Insights through Illusion for Daily Living

Posts tagged “Faith Healer

When the Scam Artist Enters the Church

Deception from the Pulpit

Last week I revealed a few techniques used by “psychics” to con people into believing a lie.  The worst part is, and one of the things I stress during my show, is that their customers for the most part knew what they were doing was a lie.  They knew that they were paying money to be lied to, but it made them comfortable.  That’s just like our culture.  We trade in what we know to be true for something we know to be a lie for comfort.

It’s a sad thing, but it’s even worse when it enters the church.

Let me preface this by saying, I fully believe that God can heal someone.  In God’s power He his able to heal and interact in this world, but when He does so, it is for His glory not the vessel or instrument He is using.  God’s works are done to lead the most people to freely choosing to follow Him.  Some people however, hijack God’s name and slap it on their brand of con artistry.  When this is done, hundreds of thousands of people are fooled into believing a lie.  It’s dangerous, but it is oh so common.  I can think of a place in town right now in which the events that I am describing are happening.

As an evangelist, it really chaps me to see someone claim to have some special “healing” power granted just to them.  They use this “power”, not to bring glory to God (sure they may say that), but to bring glory and fame to themselves.  This kind of false teaching is worse than an ordinary false doctrine because of what it purports to do.  “If you send me a seed of $1,000 you will be blessed by God, and if you are not blessed it’s your fault and your faith is weak.”  Okay you never hear anyone come right out and say those two things together….they wouldn’t get any money.

As an illusionist it makes me quite angry because I can see through the techniques used to con these people.

Peter Popoff

The video at the top is a prime example of someone who is abusing the name of Christianity and bending it to his own will to con people out of their money.  This is just a quick video, but listen to the techniques it reveals that I mentioned last week in my exposing the psychic blogs.  There is hot-reading and cold-reading.  There is the tell-tale sign of failure it’s never his fault, but the fault of the person in the congregation.  They don’t have enough faith.

You can see how dangerous this kind of thing can be.  Look at the followers in the auditorium.  He is standing in front of them and lying in Jesus name.  He could say anything he wanted to and because of his “signs and wonders” people would believe him.

We are not called to sit idly by when false-teachers and false-prophets run rampant.  We are called to stand up against the lies and the counterfeits this world offers.

Have you heard stories of “Faith-Healers”

What were the circumstances?

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Exposing Mediums and Psychics

Swindlers

Long Island Medium was a popular show this season.  It’s a woman from Long Island (go figure) who claims to be a psychic medium.  She claims she can speak to the dead and get information.  Understand that I take Ephesians 6:12 very seriously, but I also believe in con artists.  Especially ones who are easy to catch out.

Back in the 1800s they would have thrown the woman in jail for this.  There are quite a few super-mediums” here in the US who have television shows, tours, books, and rather huge followings.  The problem is the bereaved people are taken advantage of through their suggestive emotions by these scam artists who claim to be communicating with the dead.  There is something much more simple going on, and I am going to show you what they are doing.

In the next few posts, I’m going reveal a few techniques used by “mediums” to con people out of their money by exploiting their emotions.

The 2 techniques I’m going to start with are:

  • Cold Reading

  • Hot Reading

Cold Reading:

The prominent internet definition that is most common is:

Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, illusionists, and con artists to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do.[1] Without prior knowledge of a person, a practiced cold reader can still quickly obtain a great deal of information about the subject by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readers commonly employ high probability guesses about the subject, quickly picking up on signals from their subjects as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, and then emphasizing and reinforcing any chance connections the subjects acknowledge while quickly moving on from missed guesses.

See what actually happens is that there are so many vague things that are said that the listener makes the connections to the things that work, and completely blocks out and forgets the things that don’t fit.  The medium is forgiven for these misses because of the hits they do get.

Worse even if there is a blatant miss, the “medium” will blame the subject for the miss.  That somehow they need to think harder about the connection.

If you want to see this in effect, find a newspaper and before reading the horoscopes, cover up the months and mix them up.  Now because your mind doesn’t know which one applies to you, they all seem to fit you.  Your brain fills in the gaps for the things that are close, and the things that sound similar to your situation.  Then because of these hits, you look past the misses.  There have been tests where 100 people were given the exact same word for word cold reading horoscope by a magician.  Most of these people walked out of their individual readings, emotionally drained because of the accuracy of the horoscope to their specific situation.  Strange huh?

This sounds very basic, but if you survey 99.9% of all “psychics” this is the number 1 technique they use.  The second technique that is used is more diabolical than this.  The technique of “Hot Reading” is an even more touchy subject because it has made it’s ugly way into Christian denominations under the guise of “Prayer Cards” used during faith healing ministries. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out more.

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