12 Out-Of-Control Faith Healers
7. James Arthur Ray
Motivational speaker and author James Arthur Ray was once a darling of the self-help trend, appearing on CNN's Larry King Live and the Today Show. But Ray fell from grace in 2010 after his arrested for negligent homicide in connection to the deaths of James Shore and Kirby Brown in Ray's sweat lodge ceremony. Another woman, Liz Neuman died after a week in a coma as a result of Ray's retreat.
During the course of the investigation, former attendees worked with authorities and recorded a phone call with Ray, in which a "channeler" said he spoke with the deceased and that they were having a ball in the afterlife. Regardless, charges were soon filed and Ray was convicted. On November 18, 2011, Ray started a 2-year sentence in prison.
8. Jack Coe
The Oklahoma native was one of the most charismatic of the touring tent ministers that took the U.S. by storm after World War II. Coe deliberately built the largest tent (he special-ordered his only after getting the dimensions of his nearest rival's) and drew tens of thousands of people to his meetings. His magazine, Herald of Healing had a circulation of 250,000 by the mid 1950s.
A large part of Coe's message was that medicines and doctors were superfluous. But the way in which he delivered his message was so vehement that others of the faith healing tribe expelled him for "misleading the public" and "antagonizing [the] authorities".
In 1956, Coe finally had official action taken against him. He was charged with practicing medicine without a license when he instructed a mother to remove her polio-stricken son's leg braces. The felony charges were eventually dropped because divine healing wasn't covered under that particular Florida law. Ironically, Coe died shortly after the incident -- of polio.