People flock to “odd garden” to seek disease treatment

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VietnamNet English - 37 month(s) ago 3 readings

People flock to “odd garden” to seek disease treatment

VietNamNet Bridge – A garden in Long An Province that was rumored 7 years ago to have an ability to treat various diseases, has been crowded again recently, with hundreds of people coming everyday, authorities reported.

VietNamNet Bridge – A garden in Long An Province that was rumored 7 years ago to have an ability to treat various diseases, has been crowded again recently, with hundreds of people coming everyday, authorities reported.

The photo taken on May 31, 2011 shows many people staying in the garden. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

After several months of cooling down, people have begun to flock to the garden in Duc Lap Thuong Commune, Duc Hoa District, Long An Province, again since they consider it to be a “magical garden” that can rid them of diseases, said Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang, deputy chairman of the commune.

The garden’s owner is Nguyen Van Song, whose daughter Nguyen Thi Kim Hong was rumored in 2004 to be able to treat diseases, such as rheumatism, paralysis, and even cancer, in a superstitious manner.

The visitors drank water from a well in the garden that they believe was able to treat diseases.

The 2,000 square meter garden now receives about 400 people per day from different localities, including HCMC, Long An, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Bac Lieu, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, and Hanoi.

The gatherings have caused security and order in the area to become a complex issue, since many people have taken advantage of the opportunity to offer transport services, set up eateries and rent houses, Trang said.

Last May, when the garden was flooded with numerous people, local authorities, police, relevant agencies and scientists rejected the rumor of the healing garden, the superstitious people returned home.

This time, the local authorities are once again trying to persuade the crowd to leave the garden.

In 2004, it was rumored that the garden had a “biological power” that helped cure people of their diseases.

Hong asked her patients to say their prayers at the garden to recover from their illnesses, without having to use any medicine.

In September 2004, the number of people gathered in the garden once amounted to 700 per day.

Her patients at that time did not know that Hong had been arrested in June 2003 and was later sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by the Long An Province People’s Court for superstitious practices.

After serving her sentences she falsely claimed that her body had the ability of self-illumination, a superstition that was spread by many people.

Since many people said that the garden had a mysterious power that helped them recover from illnesses, even by simply walking around the garden, many concerned agencies launched surveys of the garden and later affirmed that its was just like any other garden.

In October 2005, Vo Thi Ngoan, Song’s wife, and five other people were detained for several months by local police in the province’s Duc Hoa District for provoking others to cause public disorder and act against law enforcement officers who came to persuade the superstitious people to leave the garden.

Ngoan, who is 66 years old, and three of the people were released several months later.

VietNamNet/Tuoi Tre

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