Secret


Description

A gift of healing through prayer, the Secret is said to be an ancient practice that can be traced right back to Christian antiquity and perhaps even further. Various formulae can be used to cure or ease a wide range of ailments and injuries such as burns, ulcers, warts, angina and headaches, as well as certain psychological problems. This type of intervention, which may be performed via a third party and even on animals, is special because it does not require any form of manipulation or indeed any direct physical contact with the patient. Swiss hospitals and care homes often have lists of phone numbers for practitioners or faiseurs de secret, stating which complaints each one can treat. The gift is passed on between individuals, most often to the younger generation and in strict confidence, and is primarily an act of charity and devotion that must be performed free of charge. Attempts to profit from it are rare and can meet with an indignant backlash. While highly popular in Jura, the Secret is also practised in a number of other Swiss cantons like Fribourg, Valais, Appenzell and in central Switzerland. It is generally more widespread in the French and Italian-speaking parts of the country than in the German-speaking area. With no governing body and no official organisation as such, it is a world of its own, shunning publicity, financial gain and glory, a mystical power beyond words and modern reason.

Image gallery

  • Distant healing with a photo (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000
  • Healing with a cross (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000
  • Healing animals (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000
  • Healing by the laying on of hands (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000
  • Distant healing with a photo (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000
  • Healing with a cross (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000
  • Healing animals (from “Les faiseurs de secret” by Pierre Montavon) © Pierre Montavon/Editions d'autre part, Delémont, 2000

References and documentation

Publications
  • Claude-Anne Balmer, Vanessa Borghini, Stéphanie Peçon : Délivrez-nous du mal… La pratique du « secret » en terre jurassienne. Dossier établi dans le cadre de la Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève, Département information et documentation. Delémont, 2001

  • Fabienne Boillat : Traitement par le secret. Travail de diplôme, Ecole de culture généralede Delémont. Delémont, 1992

  • Myriam Boillat, Isabelle Fleury : Les faiseurs de secret dans le Jura. Travail de diplôme, Haute école de travail social et de la santé (EESP). Lausanne, 1987

  • Nathalie Fleury : Aperçu d'une pratique de guérison. Le « secret » jurassien. In : Actes de la Société jurassienne d'Emulation. Porrentruy, 1995, p. 79-108

  • Magali Jenny : Guérisseurs, rebouteux et faiseurs de secret en Suisse romande. Avec répertoire d'adresses. Lausanne, 2008

  • Louis Mouchet : Le secret du secret (Collection DocuvisionS) (DVD-vidéo). Genève, 2010

  • Télévision Suisse Romande (Ed.) : Le secret du secret, les coupeurs de feu du Jura (Vidéocassette). Genève, 2002

  • Télévision Suisse Romande (Ed.) : Mon docteur a « le secret » (DVD-vidéo). Genève, 2004

Documentation
  • Secret

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