12 Out-Of-Control Faith Healers
Did Ye Get Healed?
11. Oral Roberts
The grandfather of the televangelist movement, Oral Roberts is second only to Billy Graham in his impact on evangelical Christianity. He may be best known for his prosperity gospel – essentially that God wants good Christians to be rich. Roberts followed his doctrine to the letter, purportedly wearing gaudy jewelry and fine Italian suits while living in his Beverly Hills mansion.
At one point in his career, Roberts told his television followers that if he didn't get $8 million in donations by March, God would "call him home." Needless to say, he got his money. His rise to international fame began in the late 1940s, when he would hold tent revival meetings, complete with faith healing.
Though no charges of fraud were ever leveled against Roberts because of his divinely-inspired medicine, his abilities have never been substantiated. In fact, early in Roberts' career, when a group of Arizona ministers offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who would publically claim to have been healed by Roberts, no one came forward.
12. Mark Haville
This ex-faith healer broke with the charismatic Pentecostal Word-Faith movement in the late 2000s.
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Like many other evangelical sects, Word-Faith engaged in drawn-out revivalist meetings before attempting faith healing. Haville, who left Word-Faith after becoming disenchanted with its interpretation of the gospels, says that he used hypnosis techniques on his fervent followers in order to seemingly accomplish miracles.
He said in an interview with Evangelicals Now that he used the power of suggestion and soothing atmospheric influences -- including long periods of singing -- to prime his audiences and get them to believe that healing was taking place. He stated that his "miracles," like many of his co-religionists, are nothing more than desperate people seeing what they want to see after being properly coached by a charlatan.