Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

religion-faithhealinghealthrobbers

The willingness of people to suspend sound judgment in favor of belief has boundless consequences, only one of which is death. Faith healers, such as Oral Roberts, have played on this character defect to devastating consequences. Stephen Barrett and William T. Jarvis in their book The Health Robbers chronicled egregious examples, including this:

In 1983, Roberts announced, “God has called this ministry to declare war on cancer and dread diseases…. We must believe that a cure for cancer can be found through a supernatural manifestation from God and medical research.” In 1987, Roberts told his followers that God had ordered him to raise $8 million for scholarships at Oral Roberts Medical School and would “call him home” unless he did so. He obtained the money, but the appeal set off a storm of protest from television executives and religious leaders. Roberts had envisioned that his center would attract large numbers of devout Christians from across the country. But in 1989 he announced that unfilled beds—a problem from the beginning—had forced him to close the school and shut down his hospital. At its peak, the 777-bed facility had only 148 inpatients.

Stephen Barrett. The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America (Consumer Health Library) (Kindle Locations 4513-4517). Kindle Edition.

The above is from Chapter 24 of the book, dealing with faith healing.

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One thought on “Dying to Believe

  1. Pingback: Dying to Believe | Skeptical Analysis

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