Friday, March 6, 2009

The Leap of Faith


After my work yesterday, early morning at 3:30am, I went with my colleague to his house to watch some television. Oh, yes, my T.V is still waiting for spare parts and a miracle even after 2 months. I tried a couple of times to wedge out the remote from his hands but he was mesmerized by a "healing session" in one of the local channels. A charismatic and handsome middle aged man in a dark black suit was rendering people unconscious by touch and supposedly healing them in the name of God. Oh, sorry, it was not touch but rather a melancholic outcry of non vowels which went something like, "ra ra raa Raaa Raaah Raaahhh raaa raa ra ra." No sooner were the words uttered, the subjects to our amazement fell down on their backs as if lightning had struck them. Once done, they rose up, smiled for the camera and testified what disease the "Holy Spirit" took out of them amid cries of "Halleluiah! Halleluiah!" However, I amusingly noticed that many who fell with a jolt from the air were clearly self-conscious enough to pull their shirts back down over their stomachs or use their hands to break the fall. If they were "filled with the spirit" and unconsciously fell down, would they be really worried about exposing a belly?

I'm not an atheist but I'm completely wary of those who cast out "the demons" of asthma, blindness, AIDS, cancer, diabetes or anything which affects the human anatomy and those who come to pray and collect money. I'm always filled with rage at fakirs, faith healers, holy men who consider feeding, tantalizing, baiting fake hopes to innocent mortals desperately in quest of a miracle just to propagate their own convictions. I loathe the total system of self-deception and suspension of disbelief. Are they able to bring back the dead or re-grow an amputated limb in the name of God? You will have to remember that this is the same ‘God’ who flooded and swamped the whole earth, divided the Red Sea, and as per Bible carved humans from mud. Are they able to make a bald man grow hair right there on the stage? Or maybe remove scars from a burned victim's face? No, all healings ever recorded are paid, unseeable, and unverifiable. Does this make sense if you look at it from the theological side? All there ever was are "healings" that are temporary and brought on by euphoria, emotions and wishful thinking. I feel disturbed and saddened by the colossal gullibility and stupidity of so many thousands of people. These faith healers are just accomplished and wealthy conmen who prey on the vulnerability, helplessness, hopes, and superstitions of millions of worshippers who all want a quick fix.

Googling up I found a list of these "faith healers" mostly from the Christian faith:

Oral Roberts, Richard Roberts, Rod Parsley, Morris Cerullo, Paul Crouch, C. Peter Wagner, Paul Cain, Juanita Bynam, Benny Hinn, T.B. Joshua, John Arnott, John Kilpatrick, Steve Hill, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyers, Earl Paulk, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar, R.W. Shambach, Reinhard Bonnke, Christian Harfouche, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, Tommy Tenney, Cindy Jacobs, George Otis. Jr., Michael Brown, Jack Deere, Randy Clark, Colin Dye, Nicky Gumbal, Ed Silvoso, Markus Bishop, Kim Clement, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey, Rodney Howard-Browne, T.D. Jakes, Robert Tilton and probably a whole bevy of others like them!!

The only guy that I've had ever heard of is an entertainer called Benny Hinn. Benny is different than them all. He makes a staggering amount of money in his world wide religious crusades. He goes on to the stage, dramatically swings his arms and paralyzed victims in wheel chairs automatically stand up and walk. All he does is, wave his arms and a complete standing crowd as a group will instantly fall on their backs! I've seen him on TV with his gold watches, fancy suits, and expensive luxury cars. Benny simply doesn't hide his hunger for money, and he makes it obvious with his outlandish living styles and purchases. He buys people with money to fall for him, to stand up and push their own wheel chairs. Everything large scale! The saddest fact is that Benny could not cure his Mother who was diabetic and his Father who died of cancer.

All know that magic is about illusion and tricks. Simply put magic tricks are very clever illusions. Magicians flourish on the principle that people are gullible and the human mind is very easy to trick when tricks are done with speed. But it's an irony that all magicians do not claim supernatural power. This is the only difference between professional magicians and the numerous fake healers in this world. The fake healers arrogate that they perform miracles. But the truth is that these men are like parasites feeding on the weak and the sick. Vulnerable is the person whose spirit and body has been devastated by an illness. They go to such healing sessions and healers because all other means of a cure have failed. They look at a miracle as their last chance to get their health back. Fake healers understand this human weakness and they use it to get what they want - money.

As skeptics, earthlings need to opine out and make our voices heard, maybe at least for the sake of the despairing people so handily victimized by the faith healers.
Secular humanism calls for it. Amen!

26 comments:

Indyeah said...

Completely agree these guys look so damn ridiculous..
and I always see them on TV..you are right about the Christian part because they are most visible on TV...the Hindu and Muslim counterparts are not far behind..the only thing is they are not yet media savvy enough and so resort to street tricks as of now...

all of them are equally pathetic..
Are they the christian ones, called evangelists?I think..not sure though..

this madhouse cutting across all religions seems to be increasing its folowers day by day though...

mirrorcracked said...

Brilliant post, dude! These frikkin 'faith healers' are no better than the squeaky little bastard rat that's hiding somewhere under my bed... :D

Sujeeth said...

I agree with you.....

These crusades in the name of almighty started a few decades back..... then they used to claim the attainment of ultimate bliss and blessings... but nowadays they got the right catch word- "healing". You should see the crowd for this healing sessions......its in multitudes.... everybody wants their illness to be cured or healed...... no wonder why these crusaders thrive in this ailing world!!!!!

Som said...

These Touts should be @#$%^$ royally ...

I really loves the part where you said Mr. Hinn couldn't save his own Kin ... :)

brocasarea said...

Are they able to make a bald man grow hair right there on the stage??...very much true...

this post reminds me of satya sai baba videos...

best part is that people actually believe them and even coax others to do so..!!...

Biju Mathews said...

@ Indyeah: You are right, they look real pathetic and parasites to the core.

"...Are they the christian ones, called evangelists?I think..not sure though...." - Yeah, Pentecost and the like more of what we call Christian radicals!!

Yeah, the followers are increasing day by day with conversions happening all over. They are like a group and help each other only in jobs nd financial empowerment!

Its another reality that 50-60 percent of marriages fail because all they do is chuck in a Bible under their arms and roam.

Thanks for coming by..

Vee said...

Lol, so much in the name of faith.

Btw, heard of that guy (forgot name) whose abode was recently raided and seems he got some 200 crores of wealth..all out of faith-healing/disease-curing tactics. Sigh!

Biju Mathews said...

@ mirrorcracked: Thank you! And thanks for visiting!

You said it right - as good as the queky rat :-)

Biju Mathews said...

@ Sujeeth: Thanks for the comment. I agree the numbers are increasing everyday. It is mostly popular with women because it the only thing they get permission for to venture out of their houses to pass the time

Biju Mathews said...

@ Som: Thank you! Yeah, they shoul be @#$%^$ royally ... :-)

Biju Mathews said...

@ brocasarea: Yeah, it's a curse. Radical thinking has embedded so deep into our thinking because of frauds like them..

Thanks for the comments!

Biju Mathews said...

@ Vee: Ah, India is famous for this and there were plenty of guys who were caught. In Kerala, there were raids all over last year when they caught a swami with a collection of porn cds all featuring him and young girls. The problem is that all these institutions are registered as non-profit and religious institutions and the legal force cannot ask them to declare their wealth. A sad state of affairs!

Shadowthorne said...

.... they said my wife was filled with evil demons. They did everything to get thse demons out, including getting services from shamans and religious men.

My wife just don't really like me. That's all. End of story.

:) Thanks for the encouragement.

drNO said...

wow...what a good point. but why, oh why, still a lot of people believe in this kind of stuff?

nimis540 said...

hmmm,i know what you are talking about..I lived amidst all the Maramon conventions and I hvae watched how Muringoor retreat centre grew...like a Banyan tree...

I don't know,maybe people are getting some illusion of peace when they go to such retreat centres,but hoestly,i hate Shalom TV...Almost all my christian friends too have allergic reactions to that channel-not a joke,but many of them develop headache and drowsiness..

I won't point fingers at these kinds of people who run this,may it be hindus or christians or muslims..I would only blame those dumbos who spent their own money on these kinds. ..If they don't care,why should we waste our time worrying about them :)

vishesh said...

well we can't do much,can we..all we can do is tell them,they won't listen..as long as it is their house,I don't have a problem...

Crafty Shines said...

this is no laughing matter, but that definitely was a witty one about Benny not able to cure his mom n dad while he claims to free the world of its illnesses.
It is so sad that these lesser-than-conjurers play on faiths of ppl :(

Vyazz said...

I am not an atheist, nevertheless, I certainly grow wary of the numerous faith healers who swindle the gullible ones in the name of God.
No wonder the scientific community detests religion so much.

los said...

I have been to many catholic healing sessions for myself and my family.Though there have been some temporary relief we never had any complete cures. But the true value of these meetings is in that they can answer the one question haunting every incurable invalid...'why me?'
It sure gets annoying when every session ends in entreaties for money. But then I am yet to come across a mosque/ church/ temple built without a hundi....
PS: Something's wrong with my blog's comment section and I couldnt reply to ur comments.Thanx for the encouragement.

Deepika M said...

Know a real bunch of people, who believe in a bunch of them...and I still don't understand how on earth they are able to follow and practice every word that these folks preach!!

Good One Biju!

Solilo said...

Oh! tell me about it. So many faith healers from all religions.

There is this Ajmeri baba kinds on American based hindi channels then there are some rudraksh ones from Hinduism. Religion is a business too. Not to forget the door to door Bible salesmen.

Usha Pisharody said...

As long as there are gullible minds, and here in India, there will always be a surfiet of them, the faith healers will rule. That is the bottom line.

The pluralistic and multicultural fabric of our nation also is such a boon for them. When it comes to seeking miracles, the religion sometimes simply does not matter.

There are non hindus, who seek remedies at the thantric, chaathan seva and other such outlets; non christians, who are part of such sessions of highly visible faith healing, and being part of retreat centre, and of course, non muslims who have no compunction seeking out for their own ends, the babas and the fakirs.

So much for national integration. Lol.
But as the fact has already been pointed out by Indyeah, only a certain section, with their rudraakshaas, on tele network shopping sites, the healers, on so many channels have actual high visibility, so they rake in the moolah.

Truly, she said it so well.. the madhouse cutting across religion!

Fine observations, and simple, in the face expression, here on this blog. Enjoyed being here.

Winnie the poohi said...

Ah truly stated! People get duped coz they want to.

And lets face it illusion r more charismatic than our level headed rationalism :)

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

well observed!! We somehow have lost the sensitivity and sensibility to look for miracles in our everyday life, instead fall prey to the machinations of the truly vile who promise the unattainable.

RaymondM said...

Well i can testify that i was healed by a miracle of God. Since i was born i wasnt bale to eat dairy or bacon, eggs, cheese, whole wheat, and when i was 6 or 7 i remember an evangelist came to our church of about 25 people. He spoke about how God can do miracles in our lives, that faith can move mountains. He asked for those that sought to be healed by the power of Jesus. That he was just a tool, and God was the worker. Well, i went up in the altar call, and about 4 or 5 grown men prayed over me and asked for me to be healed several of which knew my ailment and the evangelist knew also because he asked my why i was up there. Now hear this it was now dead silent in the room, people were praying, singing so he wasnt pointing me out. I wasnt getting paid, i was 7 years old. Well anyways i rember the heat and the furvor of then men who were praying over me. And when it was all over, i went to Mcdonalds and had my first cheeseburger and milkshake. Now that is a miracle, miracles do happen all the time, sinners are blinded by ignorance. Every knee shall bow and every Tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I long for the day when He comes back and rips this world a new one. You all should tremble and be wary of the possibilty of the words "depart from me, I never knew you" then the gates re closed forever and only pain and suffering are waiting for you;the wicked. Any questions or comments feel free to E-mail@ doombringr9@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

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