Exposing the faith healing scam

I’m not dead yet, guys, just too preoccupied with other things to pay as much attention to blogging as I’d really like to. With all that spare time you’re not spending reading my posts (which I do hope will return very soon — tomorrow?), perhaps you’d like to set aside an hour to watch this awesome program from the UK’s Channel 4 called “Miracles For Sale.” Derren Brown, the illusionist, skeptic, and atheist, teams up with a “man on the street” (who just happens to be a Christian) and trains him in the tricks of the faith healing trade. It’s a fantastic illustration of how seemingly religious experiences really can be based on nothing more than suggestion and the heat of the moment.

 

What impressed me the most about this program was the emotional turmoil that the show’s staff went through in the process. They’re exposing a large-scale and grotesque fraud, and they’re still wrestling with the ethics of their own relatively minor acts of deception. I have so much respect for that … even though I conclude, as they do, that this sort of thing is as justified as going undercover to expose poor conditions in mental institutions or ineffective anti-terrorism measures. And they do tell people the truth about faith healing, in the end.

(Thanks to USU SHAFT for pointing me toward the video.)