Last month, police in Jiangxi province arrested a man who confessed to digging up the graves of young women and stealing their skulls, which he then ground into powder and gave to his mentally disabled daughter.
The man had actually been doing this for months after having been advised by a quack doctor that the skull caps of young women could help cure mental illness, according to Sina News.
The man would grind the skulls into a powder and mix it with water, forcing his daughter to drink the concoction. He reluctantly admitted that his daughter’s condition did not seem to have improved at all in the time since he began the bizarre ritual.
Traditional Chinese medicine is still quite prevalent in China and is becoming more popular in many Western countries as well. This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was won by a Chinese scientist, Tu Youyou, for discovering an effective antimalarial treatment based off of traditional Chinese medical practices. That said, with few clinical trials, the efficacy of most Chinese medicine is very suspect in the opinion of the medical community at large.
Typically, grave robbing in China is done for less pure motives than helping cure one’s daughter’s mental illness. We’ve seen corpses stolen by officials to meet strict cremation quotas and female corpses unearthed to take part in “ghost marriages.” So, let’s just hope that this father’s intentions were genuine and he wasn’t out to make a knock-off Indiana Jones home movie — but let’s be honest — it probably would have been better than that last horrid installment in the series.
By Kevin Engle