Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bring out your severely sick! Now, send them away!

Interesting story off the BBC website.

It is yet another story of miracle cures being sold. In Africa we can find many of these. But in this case it comes out of the hands of a retired evangelical preacher. What's for sale? An herb and water treatment that fixes what ails ya. He is so popular that people are lined up outside in the 1000's. At these umbers they are overwhelming him.

And they are coming in all sorts of states. Coming from home, from hospitals, and even some dragged out of hospital beds, they end up in this massive line (over 15 miles) to receive a cure made mostly of false hope. 

This isn't the sale of a fake hair growth formula. This isn't a miracle diet. No, this is a promise to cure whatever it takes to get you in. And the result has been death. Death while waiting for some. Death for some after getting help for some others. 

Now there is no indication that it is a poisonous brew. But like so many others selling snake oil and miracles, many come away with what they feel is their only hope. So many choose to abandon all other support that was still available. Like people who go to faith healers, and then rely on these results. Or, people who go to psychic surgeons, and assured afterward that there cancer has been yanked out. So they aren't being sold a poison. No, they are being sold on abandoning medical treatments which is the only real chance that they have.

So the preacher man wants a break now. :Stop coming, people", he decries. He needs time to work the MILES of people standing under the hot Tanzanian sun, mile after mile of people. 

Yes, promise a miracle, and then expect people who are afraid of death, that they deem looming, to not come. Sure. When you promise a cure all, nothing will stop people from seeking you out. That is the magic of advertising. Convince folks they will die without your aid, and they are hooked. Ad men, religions, and quacks all know this well.

Interesting as well, the nation in question, Tanzania, has already banned old school healers, magic users. But selling a water concoction that is unproven...go ahead, and promise the moon when peddling it. Nice, Tanzania, nice. What exactly makes him different from tribal witchdoctors? Is it not coaching things in magic? Or is it being a former man of the clothe? Are you letting him do this...out of faith? Or out of him having the right faith?

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