Today you’re gonna witness the miraculous. The blind will see, the deaf will hear, limbs will grow out. These are faith healing miracles, and I’m gonna show you how to perform them. This is how Derren Brown, the famous hypnotist and psychic debunker, introduced faith healing to one of his students in a show.
He then went on, and showed him the various tricks of the trade, of which I’ll speak about in a minute. Derren even helped this student perform a faith healing show on stage, in front of a live audience. After about 6 months of intense training, he became so convincing, that nobody even suspected that the whole thing was a set-up.
The concept of faith healing is most probably based on the legendary miracles that Jesus performed. He is believed to have cured leper, blindness, deafness, and that he even resurrected the dead. These stories can be true, or just myths based on hearsay and exaggeration, we will never know. But as far as faith healers are concerned, if Jesus could do it, they can do it, too.
All that matters is to have faith, and then everything is possible. According to Loyola, the famous Catholic priest: For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who disbelieve, no amount of proof is sufficient. I can’t argue with that, but you see this is exactly why blind faith is so dangerous: you can easily get caught up in it. For more on beliefs, please watch the video: “Belief is the barrier”.
Surprisingly, faith healing seems to work in some cases, although it was never proven under scientific tests. Faith is the main factor itself, because those who expect to get better tend to actually improve their health. However, there’s no need to have faith in God, only in the effectiveness of the cure itself. Faith healing is most often due to the placebo effect, which is not miraculous, but it actually works.
The power of suggestion is especially effective when treating psychosomatic disorders. These diseases stem from various negative thoughts and self-defeating beliefs, manifesting as actual physical ailments after a while. If the thought can be changed to a positive one, and the belief turned into a self-empowering one, the physical symptoms will also disappear, and the patient will authentically be cured.
Thanks to the human immune system, self-healing naturally occurs in the case of minor diseases, while the more serious ones are known to abate for months or years for reasons we don’t understand. If spontaneous self-healing happens right after a faith healing ceremony, it seems as if the healing happened because of the ceremony, when it really didn’t. This is known as the post hoc fallacy, and this kind of faulty reasoning is the basis for most superstitious beliefs.
We need not go to such lengths to explain some of the miracles though. Some seemingly unexplainable healings are simply due to a misinterpretation of the disease itself. For example, a subject who is sight impaired is introduced as totally blind. The fact that she can still see vague contours is given as proof, that her sight suddenly returned.
Somebody whose leg hurts is given a wheelchair. When asked to stand up and walk, he can of course do that, as he was never paralyzed in the first place. As these faith healing ceremonies are often held in a big crowd, the subjects face enormous peer pressure to cooperate with the healer. They don’t want to ruin the fun for everybody by being too objective about the specifics of their conditions.
They also don’t dare to question the authority of the minister representing the authority of God himself. Just like the stage hypnotist needs the cooperation of the audience, a faith healer would also be lost in a skeptical crowd. Believers want to believe, they want to be healed, and they want to witness modern day miracles.
There are other instances when the disease is not misinterpreted, but fully misdiagnosed. Ironically, these diagnoses are often given by the faith healers themselves. Certainly they don’t like to rely on medical tests before or after the healing. But if a subject can prove the healing with medical papers, all the better! Why not mix in some selective bias into the magic potion to make it even more effective?
If, on the other hand, the disease is serious, and doesn’t want to go away, the healers can easily blame the victims for not having enough fate. In many cases, people will often lie about their well-being rather than being looked down in their congregation for not being faithful enough. Sometimes, the need for acceptance overcomes even the importance of health. Other times, the healers can get away by saying that while you’re still sick, your soul was healed, so all is well after all.
Then there’s the favorite trick of televangelists: outright fraud. Using stooges, magic tricks, sleight of hand, and even modern technology. Just like many psychics in the 1900s, these fraudsters are often caught. Perhaps the most famous case is that of Peter Popoff, a popular faith healer in the 1980s, whose shows were televised to millions.
What elevated him beyond every other televangelist was his seemingly unique gift. Namely, that he could name addresses and other specific details about his audience, supposedly by communicating with God. However, James Randi, the famous magician and skeptic, debunked this claim by proving that Popoff’s wife read out these details from prayer cards via an invisible earpiece. What’s most unbelievable, that even after his public downfall, Popoff is still in business. It seems to me that for those who believe, no amount of negative proof is sufficient.
The most dangerous aspect of faith healing is that it can literally kill people. Some religious groups, especially Christian fundamentalists, shun traditional medical practice and accept faith healing only. This has resulted in hundreds of deaths, mostly among children who were otherwise curable. As a result, some states now remove legal protection for parents who rely on faith healing to care for their sick children.
Like I mentioned in a previous video titled “The 4 levels of spiritual healing”, if a negative thought form already manifested itself as a physical disease, it’s necessary but not enough to correct the thought. You have to deal with the ailment at the level of the body, as well. Please always keep this important law in mind, and turn to a doctor whenever you’re in pain.
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