|Born||Arnold Gerrit Henske'
August 6, 1912
|Died||May 26, 1948|
|Known for||Body piercing|
Mirin Dajo was the pseudonym of a Dutch performer named Arnold Gerrit Henskes (August 6, 1912 – May 26, 1948).
He was born in Rotterdam. He started out trying a career in the Beaux Arts. He headed a design firm in his twenties. During his earlier years he had had all sorts of dreams and "paranormal" experiences. It was not until he turned 33 he claimed to realize that his body was "invulnerable." As a result he left his job and went to Amsterdam. Hanging around pubs, he made money by letting people pierce his body with "dagger-like objects." He also swallowed glass and razor blades.
Notorious for his radical “body piercings” Dajo was now able to explain, or preach, his views of reality. As he saw it people should abandon the materialistic world view and accept there was a higher force, the Source. God was using him, through his invulnerability, to show us there was something better out there. His conviction was that materialism only results in misery and war.
At that time he adopted his stage name Mirin Dajo, Esperanto for "wonder" (the right form should be mirindaĵo – wonder, abstract substantive derived from adjective mirinda – wonderful). He saw the use of Esperanto – one language to be used around the world – as a way of uniting mankind, his primary goal. Because he needed a licence to perform in public he was taken to Professor Carp, Dr. Bertholt and Dr. Stokvis of the University of Leiden. They allowed his act but not his concomitant lecture, thereby hindering the "mission" to inform the world of his message of "love and peace".
Although not as widely documented as his sword piercing feats, there were claims by his name that said his invulnerability had been proven by numerous means. In an interview by Time, he also declared his invulnerability having been tested with burning irons, boiling water and having been shot through the head from half a yard distance in two opportunities. He supported this by exhibiting two scars allegedly from the shots, one in the center of the forehead and the other above his right eye.
Move to Switzerland, death
In 1947, he moved to Switzerland and initially was only granted a licence to perform without the ability to speak to the public. In his performances Dajo used several assistants but, after many disappointments, he paired up with Jan Dirk de Groot who was his Dutch neighbor. According to De Groot, Dajo had several guardian angels, was telepathic, and could heal people. Time magazine reported on an appearance at the Corso Theatre in Zürich. The article alleged "that Dajo had 'proved' to Zurich doctors that his act was not based on fakery."
He was allegedly instructed by voices to eat a steel needle which was to be surgically removed. He did so on May 11, 1948. It was surgically removed on May 13, 1948. During recovery in the hospital he requested a lot of water for recovery which was only granted by taking full responsibility himself. To show off his health he walked through Zurich directly after being released. Ten days later, when De Groot picked up his wife from the airport, Arnold laid down on a bed and went into a trance-like state. At arrival De Groot's wife was not comfortable with this man laying for dead and asked to check his health. On the third day De Groot's wife asked to check Arnold's health again. This time his neck felt cold. The medical examiner claimed he was dead for a day. The performed autopsy revealed Dajo had died of an aortic rupture. This was contested by De Groot and the aforementioned surgeon.
- Mirin Dajo: Wonderman at the Wayback Machine (archived December 14, 2013) by Philip Coppens
- Deliberately Caused Bodily Damage: A Different Perspective
- Miracle Man Time, June 23, 1947
-  Book 'De onkwetsbare profeet' (Dutch) by Jan Dirk de Groot
- De Onkwetsbare Profeet: Het Nederlandse Fenomeen Mirin Dajo (Dutch) by Jan Dirk de Groot
- Mirin Dajo, de wonderman by Luc Bürgin
- L'homme brochette video with French commentary.
- on YouTube
- Unverletzbar! Mirin Dajo und seine Wunder by Luc Bürgin
- Fistula of fun Lightweight BBC Three show tries to debunk, posted at Cabinet of Wonders.
- Mirin Dajo by Klapetek J., Cas Lek Cesk. 1968 Mar;107(13):400-2. PMID 4874675
- Miracles of the human body; the case of Mirin Dajo by DA SILVA MELLO A., Rev Bras Med. 1950 Jul;7(7):450-6. PMID 14781476