Exploring New Vistas of Science and Spirit
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New Vistas is the collaborative effort of researchers the late M. Sue Benford and Joseph G. Marino.  M. Sue Benford, a registered nurse, health care researcher, and Executive Director of a non-profit biomedical organization in Ohio, has contributed to the understanding of human energy fields and how they may relate to promotion of health and enlightenment of the spirit.  She had a B.S.N. (Nursing) from the University of Tennessee.  She went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in Health Education from The Ohio State University.  
Further recognition for Benford's research and theories has come through the Discover Magazine awards program which annually scours the scientific literature and other forums for new and interesting products and ideas. Discover also mails nomination packages to virtually every technology-based company and research institution.  Nearly four thousand nominations were reviewed this year. Benford was one of a hundred semi-finalists in both the 1999 and 2000 competitions in the category designated to "encourage and support research, study, and labor designed to produce new discoveries in all fields of endeavor for the benefit of mankind."  Sadly, Benford passed away from cancer on 6 April 2009.
The unifying principle behind the bioenergetic modalities of complementary and alternative healing therapies is the "elan vital" or vital energy. Although science has never definitively proven the existence of this etheric field, theologians and philosophers have postulated its existence. In fact, the soul, or spirit, has often been linked to the human energy field. According to John White in his book Future Science, 97 different cultures believe in the etheric field. Additionally, there are 41 references to Jesus' healing powers in the New Testament. Recent research by Benford et al. may provide the missing scientific link that may identify this field and how it accomplishes its healing effects.  Click here to see quotes about "new vistas."
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Selected Publications
Conference Presentations/Interviews
Joseph Marino, former Benedictine monk and Catholic Priest, who is a long-time sindonologist (one who studies the Shroud of Turin), takes it one step further by linking these scientific findings to religious interpretations and looking at their possible significance.  Marino has a B.A. in Theological Studies from St. Louis University and has lectured and written extensively on the Shroud for nearly 35 years.  In addition to having published a Shroud newsletter, he has appeared on various radio and television programs discussing the Shroud.  Marino and Benford presented in Orvieto, Italy on August 28, 2000 a significant paper related to the controversial C-14 dating of the Shroud, which in 1988 dated the Shroud to A.D. 1260 to 1390.  This paper, "Evidence for the Skewing of the C-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin Due to Repairs," can be accessed via the preeminent Shroud website:  www.shroud.comClick here to see media articles regarding this paper.  Two important followup papers, "Textile Evidence Supports Skewing of Radiocarbon Date of Shroud of Turin" and "Historical Support for a 16th Century Restoration in the Shroud C-14 Sample Area" can also be accessed via that site.  Click here to see significant related findings by two members of the 1978 Shroud of Research Project (STURP) that studied the Shroud in Turin for five days; their data strongly support this theory.
This website is being provided as a resource to those who have expressed interest in the research and writings of Benford and Marino. Although some eventually will be available online, others will be available by contacting the publisher.  If you would like to received periodic email information about Benford and Marino's research, including related to the Shroud, send an email to Joseph Marino.
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Joseph G. Marino and the late M. Sue Benford
Benford's research received a grant from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) to support her work in the identification of the subtle energies responsible for the alternative healing effects.  IONS, founded by MIT astrophysicist and former astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, completes an extensive internal and external review of all proposals prior to awarding a grant which lends additional credibility to the work of grantees.
Click here to read Ray Rogers' article in Thermochimica Acta proving Benford and Marino's theory regarding a patch in the C-14 sample area (Adobe Reader needed).
Benford and Marino presented papers at Columbus, Ohio International Shroud conference August 14-17, 2008.  See www.ohioshroudconference.com for details. One of them was a shorter version of a peer-reviewed paper in Chemistry Today called "Discrepancies in the radiocarbon area of the Turin shroud."
See http://www.therongtree.com/shroudofturin for a concise, graphical history of over 100 years of the research on the Shroud.

Marino co-authored 2 articles with an ex-NASA scientist:  "Chronological History of the Evidence for the Anomalous Nature of the C14 Sample Area" and "Addendum to Chronological History of the Evidence for the Anomalous C14 Sample Area."


Benford and Marino appeared in the Discovery channel documentary  "Unwrapping the Shroud:  New Evidence," first broadcast 22 December 2008.  Available at http://store.discovery.com/cart.php?p=107095