12 Out-Of-Control Faith Healers
Cures And Lies
9. Kathryn Kuhlman
Kuhlman was a moderately successful faith healer who traveled throughout the U.S. holding "healing crusades" between the 1940s and 1970s.
Toward the end of her career, she had a weekly television program called I Believe in Miracles. Kuhlman gained her notoriety after a study conducted by Dr. William A. Nolen raised some serious red flags. Dr. Nolen followed the long-term case histories of 23 people Kuhlman claimed to have healed. In all cases, his published findings concluded, the faith-based cures didn't work. The most tragic case in Nolen's study was of a woman who though Kuhlman had cured her of spinal cancer. The believer threw down her crutches at a revival meeting and ran across the stage. Regretfully, the same woman's spine collapsed the next day and she died four months later from resultant injuries.
Though Kuhlman was sued for financial misdealing, she died in 1976 without having ever been held accountable for any possible criminal activities.
10. Charles Fox Parham
Pentecostalism, a Christian renewal movement, largely owes its existence to Parham. Along with William J. Seymour, he established this charismatic sect at the end of the nineteenth century. Pentecostalism emphasizes a direct, personal connection with God as a mark of salvation. For most practitioners, this connection is evidenced through speaking in tongues or faith healing.
Parham was studying at a Methodist college before dropping out after concluding that education would prevent him from administering effectively. Instead, he founded his own college, which had only one book on the reading list – the Bible. It should come as no surprise then that when Parham and his infant son fell gravely ill and then quickly recovered, the event was attributed to divine intervention.
For the following three decades, until his death in 1929, Parham used his experience to promote the practice of faith healing among Pentecostals. Of course, little evidence exists that Parham's methods were beneficial to any sick people.