And now there is a book on the Merchants of Faith!

The book is called "How to get rich as a Televangelist or Faith Healer" (Bill Wilson, Paladin Press 2008) and in it he is exposing the tricks of the trade commonly used by these con artists (Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Pat Robertson, even our very own local boy Cash Luna) to get the faithful to "believe" but, more importantly, "to give" until it hurts (the faithful, of course, not them).
I have not read the book but you can check out the contents here. I did listen to an interview with Bill Wilson on the Infidel Guy show and it really was a paradox, wanting to laugh out loud and at the same time feeling the frustration of knowing that people are being so blatantly misled and conned into giving away their hard earned cash.
Consider this typical ploy of the faith healer (and these fraudsters love "to heal"): after carefully screening the "heal-ees", they are told to sit in a very special chair the pastor has for them. The chair, of course, is a wheel chair. They are then wheeled into the stage (notice that they did not come with "their" wheel chair, it was already prepared for the poor suckers) and the "faith healer" says something like "In the name of Jesus, get up from that chair and RUN!". And people do run and the audience explodes. Of course, you see a guy get wheeled in and then you watch the guy get up and run, you assume he has been "healed" and can now walk. But, who said he couldn't walk in the first place?
In the interview, Wilson also mentions the exposé by James Randi of Peter Popoff. Randi showed up at the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (he and Carson were very good friends) and told him "Johnny, we learned something interesting about God. He broadcasts in 49 MHz and he speaks with Peter Popoff's wife's voice!". Turns out Randi went to one of Popoff functions and took a radio scanner with him; Poppof was being told by his wife over a wireless link about the audience and their ailments, looking at cards the attendants had filled as they came in. Check the YouTube video here. It is very educational.
Anyway, this is a follow up to my previous posting on the Merchants of Faith. Get the book, I will - 166 pages of fun reading will go by in a couple of sittings at the throne and, who knows, maybe I have another career left in me yet!

No comments: