A Call for Truth in Advertising Laws

I was in New York City the other week, near Penn Station, when I was accosted by a well-dressed man in a business suit attempting to hand out fliers to passers-by. I did not take one, but inside the train station, I noticed one cast aside and lying on the ground. Out of curiosity, this time I picked it up and read it. It turned out to be promoting a revival meeting to be held in Madison Square Garden that weekend by the Korean evangelist Jaerock Lee, sponsored by a host of local churches. Below is a scan of the front and back sides of the flier:

The flier promised rather ominously that this event was “the last opportunity for New York”, but did not elaborate on what this meant – the last opportunity for New York to see Lee in action, or perhaps the last opportunity for New York to repent before the city was razed by heavenly fire? These preachers really ought to be more precise.

However, that phrase was not the one that provoked my ire the most. Rather, as readers can see for themselves, the front side of the flier makes the following claim:

Come and experience the wonders and miracles of God through the ministry of Dr. Jaerock Lee. Come and be healed from skin diseases, mental illness and all types of diseases. The mute come to speak, the deaf hear, the blind see, the cripple [sic] walk and those at the edge of death due to accidents and injuries are revived.

and, not to be outdone, the back side elaborated on these promises at greater length:

  • The blind can see and the deaf can hear!
  • The handicapped are healed and restored!
  • The dead are raised!
  • Miracle healings from AIDS, Cancers, and other terminal Diseases!

Call me a skeptic if you must, but I highly doubt that anyone was raised from the dead, at this revival meeting or any other. A photo of people getting up off the ground looking woozy does not establish otherwise. Make no mistake, if Jaerock Lee really can cure AIDS, regenerate severed spinal cords, or heal retinas destroyed by glaucoma or macular degeneration, I would welcome him to demonstrate his powers under the oversight of qualified, independent physicians – but I do not think he can do any of those things. I will, in fact, go further and assert that no Christian evangelist in history has ever done any of the things Lee’s flier claims he can do. The evidence for such an extraordinary claim simply does not exist. (Interestingly, Lee’s “miracles” have been endorsed by none other than notorious creationist William Dembski.)

Why are truth in advertising laws not being applied here? If some pharmaceutical company or herbal supplement manufacturer put out an ad falsely claiming that its products could cure blindness, AIDS and terminal cancer, the FDA and other government agencies would come down on them like a ton of bricks. Why, then, are religious evangelists allowed to get away with making exactly the same claims without offering a shred of evidence? The right to free speech does not extend to allowing a business selling a product to make extravagant unproven claims about the efficacy of that product.

In the end, it boils down to a public-relations issue: government regulatory agencies sue businesses making false claims because they are confident of prevailing in the court of public opinion, but they fear to touch religious hucksters because of the backlash that would inevitably ensue. Make no mistake, Christian evangelists have raised the skill of depicting themselves as the poor, unjustly persecuted minority to an art form, and no doubt an angry horde of true believers would storm the offices of any agency that had the courage to call Lee’s fabricated claims what they are. We badly need a truly secular government, one that does not give a pass to false claims just because they are made in the name of religion; but more importantly, we need an educated populace that will not credulously accept ridiculous claims just because they come tagged with the word God.

Interestingly, it seems Jaerock Lee is a controversial figure even among his fellow Christians. Sites such as this one document assertions made by him that, to put it mildly, betray an exaggerated sense of self-worth. To put it less mildly, these claims would be considered delusional if not for our society’s tendency to consider any belief emanating from religion as above reproach. It seems likely that Lee’s wild and grandiose stories about healing terminal illnesses, raising the dead and so on stem from the same psychological condition that makes him think of himself as virtually equal with God. Regrettably, the fact that millions of people hold very similar beliefs causes them to hail him as a prophet and visionary, rather than encouraging him to seek the psychological help he plainly needs.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://stupac2.blogspot.com Stupac2

    It’s too bad we don’t sue them, because they probably do more harm than false claims by businesses. Someone might forego treatment because of their ridiculous faith, and then when nothing happens either die or need more drastic treatment. It’s just another example of how religions cause harm.

  • http://dominicself.co.uk Dominic Self

    I guess the risk is that if the government sued this type of thing, then they’d have to determine exactly which Christian claims were not lies. If a more humble flier only offers the chance to feel the spirit of God through prayer, I think it’d be overly-optimistic boarding on fantasy to expect any government to act – thus establishing a standard of religion which is classed as true by a court.

  • Philip Thomas

    Well, it isn’t selling a product, is it? No charge is being made for what the poster is advertising. This could well create legal difficulties if you tried to prosecute.

    On the broader issue, it is of course reprehensible to lie like this. I

  • Archi Medez

    I would like to see these “healers” held to the same standards as other business owners. Such hucksters may have other ways, legally, to get around any prosecutions, which exploit loopholes or gaps in the law.

    I noticed that Jaerock Lee’s ad says the event is “Non-profit”. At some point, he must be making some money on something (getting time at Madison Square Garden is expensive); the event itself seems to be an info-mercial to draw people in to buy some other kinds of products or services.

    I wonder if any of these guys like Lee, or Benny Hinn, et al., have ever been successfully sued?

  • Archi Medez

    I was just looking up the research on Benny Hinn…what a loon…no wonder the television networks have seen fit to do investigative reports on him

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Hinn

    “The heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield, banned from boxing because of a heart condition, went to a Benny Hinn crusade in Philadelphia, had Hinn lay hands on him, and gave Hinn a check for $265,000 after he was told he was healed. In fact, he passed his next examination by the boxing commission, but later his doctors said he never had a heart condition in the first place – he had been misdiagnosed. But Hinn refused to give Holyfield his money back and threatened legal action if he told anyone the truth.”

  • Philip Thomas

    Well of course they said he was misdiagnosed. People don’t just recover from heart conditions like that, you know. So his diagnosis must have been false.

  • Doug Purdie

    Maybe you didn’t notice that all the “claims” of healing are spoken in the passive voice. In other words, the ads do not state who does the healing. There is no subject to their sentences or phrases.

    If you were to sue them, their legal argument would be, “We didn’t claim we would heal anybody. We only said, ‘healing happens’.”

    The New Testament makes clear that Jesus didn’t do the healing. God, his father, did, but only if his subject had faith – implying that the most prominant mortal actor in their healing is their self

    If you were to corner Rev. Lee and ask him bluntly how he intends to give sight to the blind, he would tell you that he doesn’t heal anybody – that he is simply a catalyst to faith. They heal themselves.

  • Philip Thomas

    Then the advertisment is highly misleading. Especially as these things don’t happpen at these meetings, whoever is supposed to be doing them.

  • Archi Medez

    Doug Purdie,

    1. It doesn’t matter if it’s passive phrasing. If he’s saying he’s a catalyst to some healing that takes place, he’s claiming to provide a service. The only question is Is he taking money for that (alleged facilitation of healing), or for something else? It appears he’s not taking money for the healing (at least in the above ad), but is using it as a stunt to lure people into buying other products or services.

    2. It doesn’t matter what the Bible says in such a case. Jaerock Lee is the one making the claims and providing the service or products.

  • MissCherryPi

    It doesn’t matter if he’s making money or not. Wouldn’t this fall under practicing medicine without a license?

    *Waits for libertarians to defend Jaerock Lee.* After all, we don’t need FEMA, why would we need the FDA or government regulation of medicine?

  • Mike.K

    To Archi Medez, Thanks for the Wikipedia link to Benny Hinn, the guy’s a hoot. As if the story of Adam and Eve wasn’t silly enough, Hinn adds to the absurdity by telling us that Adam used to fly around like Superman. Damn – where’s that Kryptonite when you need it? I think this guy has a few kangaroos missing in the top paddock.

  • Archi Medez

    MissCherry,

    Good point. I’m not sure how these guys get around claiming to provide medical “healing” for all those diseases, but it seems they are navigating deftly through gaps in the law as well as gaps in the critical thinking ability of the followers.

    Mike.K,

    Hinn puts on quite show. Apparently one participant really did die (instead of being “healed”) when Hinn got a little carried away with his dramatic “push” (i.e., that abrupt laying-on-of-hand gesture) and knocked the person off the stage, sending the person into cardiac arrest.

  • Inquisitive Raven

    Well of course they said he was misdiagnosed. People don’t just recover from heart conditions like that, you know. So his diagnosis must have been false.

    This can be tested. Hand the results of any diagnostic tests (e.g. stress ECG’s) from before the laying on of hands to a doctor who doesn’t know who the patient is, and see how he/she interprets the results. This healing shouldn’t affect prior test results, right?

  • Philip Thomas

    Yes, but you can get anomalous test results, not to mention error by the person conducting the test and taking the readings. Even if the readings from before do objectively show a heart condition, that just shows they were wrong, or alternatively that the heart condition did spontaneously vanish, in whicb case it is a scientific phenomena worthy of study…

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Well of course they said he was misdiagnosed. People don’t just recover from heart conditions like that, you know. So his diagnosis must have been false.

    The real problem with such claims is that one case study is at best an anecdote. That’s why double-blind trials of new pharmaceuticals are conducted with tens or hundreds of volunteers whenever possible. One person can be misdiagnosed, or experience a spontaneous recovery for reasons unrelated to whatever treatment they receive – both of these things can and do happen. But if hundreds of people, all of whom have been independently judged to have the same condition, receive a given treatment and fare substantially better, statistically, than those who do not receive this treatment, there is little doubt that the treatment is effective. This is the test that every religious faith healer there ever was has failed to pass, as scientific tests (such as this one) show repeatedly that sick people who are prayed for by strangers fare no better than those who are not.

  • Philip Thomas

    and it is of the essence of the miracle that it is a one-off. Indeed, if scientific tests showed the power of prayer, it would merely be a new scientific principle- there would be nothing miraculous about it.

  • http://gayspecies.blogspot.com The Gay Species

    Either the FDA or FTC should put a halt to these preposterous claims, and religionists should be the first to herald such a halt. Whether it is practicing medicine without a license, fraud, or false advertizing, or all of them, it simply is not kosher to allow a wingnut to abuse his freedom to speak.

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  • http://mcv.planc.ee mcv

    I would just like to point out that although the flier promised “live broadcast via satelitte to over 200 countries” we here in Estonia didn’t get to see it. Did you guys?

  • http://corsair.blogspot.com corsair the rational pirate

    Well, if ole Jaerock can’t heal ya, that flier sure is colorful enough to raise the dead.

    Aren’t babies and simple-minded natives attracted to shiny, colorful trinkets like these?

  • Mark

    Well, you aren’t being charged for attending this event, so you can’t claim you were defrauded out of any money as you could if you bought some worthless medication. The only harm you would suffer would be disappointment.

  • Philip Thomas

    are you sure there isn’t a charge? It says “This is a non-profit event, call now to reserve your seat.” Non-profit usually means they are levying a charge to cover costs, and normally when one reserves a seat one pays for the privilege.

  • Dave

    I came across this site by chance while seeking out articles on human longevity. I can’t believe there is an entire site devoted to the naive ramblings of so called ” atheists. ” You dumb, dumb MFs! There is no such thing as atheists if you call yourself human. The only atheist is Data from Star Trek. Check out the book by Dean Hammer, ” The God Gene .” ” Atheists ” who trumpet their ideology from the hilltops are no different than homosexuals who flaunt their ridiculous, embarassing plumage during gay parades. They are desperate to be noticed, stroked, be considered ” hip ” and a superior cut above the rest of their societal peers. You see, this is an age old impulse ingrained in our genome as a means for social dominance over others. The stupid chatter of the ” atheists ” discust me with their ignorance. The earth will continue to spin, animals evolve, and the sun rise in the morning regardless of whether you or the Christian evangelicals prevail on the high ground of philosophical discourse. You are merey a subgroup of pussy – whipped geeks who can’t see your own reflection in the mirror. Oh, by the way, I notice you only direct your ire against Christianity, and not against other religions. Hmmm…why is that, I wonder? Could it be because you are a bunch of insecure nerds and cowards afraid to cross the line and touch the third rail of political incorrectness ? Could it be that Christianity happens to be the only “soft” target that doesn’t fight back ( unlike the Muslim “Fatwas” and terrorist bombings for example )? When you take a position, always question motive, motive, motive. No human action is explainable without it.

    Does God exist? Did Jesus rise from the dead? Did Moses part the Red Sea ? Was Mohammed a prophet ? Is Britney Spears a descendent of the Buddha ? Wrong questions, asked only by the cerebrally – challenged. From a Darwinian point of view, they are entirely irrelevent. The correct question, is how has religion affected world history, especially the Western world and its culture of achievement, which has given birth to the scientific genius that produced the Da Vinci’s, Galileo’s, Newtons, the Einsteins, for sending men to the moon, and for the computers everyone here is using. Ask the RIGHT questions, to get the RELEVENT, MEANINGFUL answers. Capish, you morons ? Here is what I find interesting: the people most violently attacking Christianity are the very ones raised and educated in the culture of scientific scepticism and inquiry which it spawned. Ironic. Coincidence? I think not.

  • Dave

    Sorry to be so wordy, but I want to make one more comment concerning the Christian evangelicals : Some of you may be familiar with the phenomenon of the ” Left Behind ” series of books and movies, as well as the more recent Dan Brown’s ” The Da Vinci Code.” I personally feel sorry for this huge, self – deceiving demographic; they are grasping at straws in their final swan song, and their spiritual desperation draws them to these manipulative authors like moths to a flame. In the 21st Century such cunning people in the media will continue to influence the masses for their own personal benefit. What the people don’t understand is that this is a selective process of dominance that has accelerated to unbelievable heights from the impact of mass electronic media, especially film, television, and the internet. The bar keeps getting raised higher and higher, and people of low intelligence will continue to pay a terrible price. And ironically, in a sense things have not changed since Pharoah cracked the whip over his slaves laboring over the pyramids thousands of years ago; only the methods have changed. The new ” whip ” is the media and its mind – controlling influence as foretold in the novel ” 1984.” Keep in mind that this phenomenon is being closely watched in the East, where Darwinian ideology was already firmly entrenched in various forms for thousands of years, and is being craftily modified today in sublime ways to account for evolving technology. They understand that technology changes, but the human organism does not.

  • Padishah

    Dave: There is no ‘Darwinian ideology’ any more than there is an ideology of string theory: both are models used to explain the universe; neither

    Much of the criticism on this site is directed against Christianity yes; most of its members are likely from the USA, where despite the fact that other extremist religions are universally condemned and yet in many instance the evangelicals get a free pass. I doubt you will find anyone here defending Islamic fundamentalists.

    I find it interesting you think the possible existence of God irrelevant and meaningless, and the study of historical trends not so. The extent to which historical lessons can be reapplied (except in the most general sense) is decidedly limited, whereas the divine, if true, would have a direct and immediate relevance to my current behaviour at least.

    Where do you live that atheism is considered ‘hip’?

  • Philip Thomas

    Good evening Dave. Since you don’t care whether or not God exists I suppose we should call you an agnostic… Your homophobia is pretty disturbing. Your lack of manners is a lesser fault, but either one is likely to get Adam to ban you from here in short order. Just a friendly warning.

  • Archi Medez

    Dave,

    Thanks for providing me with today’s chuckle.

    There’s lots of nonsense in your post that I could refute, but I just don’t have time. I will just make two corrections:

    1. The scientific traditions in the West come from Indian and Greek origins, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. Galileo developed his methods (essentially pioneering experimental and observational methodology) and made his discoveries in spite of a Christian influence, not because of it.

    2. You claim this site focusses only on “attacking” Christianity. False. (a) Ebonmuse does focus on Christianity, but so what? That’s where he has the most expertise and that is what is most relevant to him in U.S. society. (b) Ebonmuse himself has criticized other religions on this site, multiple times, including Islam. (c) Posters (such as myself) criticize Islam. You might want to actually read through the site before throwing out a bunch of false statements–as if there were not already enough of those on the internet.

    P.S. Your view on homosexuals are the same as Benny Hinn’s. Fine company you’re keeping there.

  • andrea

    hmm, most actual researchers dont’ belive that slaves built the pyramids. Not that facts make much difference to someone who “claims” he doesn’t care about God. Sure.

    As for divine healing, I’ve always found it curious that it’s always the fault of the healee if the healing doesn’t work, “not enough faith”. For omnipotent beings, gods sure can’t make much work.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I don’t ban anyone without giving them fair warning first, so let this be yours, Dave: You’re welcome to stay and comment, even to spend your time explaining why you think this site shouldn’t exist. However, I do not tolerate open displays of homophobia, racism, sexism, or other personal insults, and will ban people who engage in such. If you have something worth saying, say it civilly; otherwise, you will be removed.

    I can’t believe there is an entire site devoted to the naive ramblings of so called ” atheists. “

    There is not just one, but many such sites. Atheists and other nonbelievers constitute 15% of the American population, and an even higher number in many other countries. We have a vibrant and flourishing community, something which you evidently were not aware of, and we intend to continue to speak out on issues that matter.

    There is no such thing as atheists if you call yourself human.

    I happen to be an atheist, and as such, I am in a good position to tell you that you are wrong.

    ” Atheists ” who trumpet their ideology from the hilltops are no different than homosexuals who flaunt their ridiculous, embarassing plumage during gay parades. They are desperate to be noticed, stroked, be considered ” hip ” and a superior cut above the rest of their societal peers.

    Given that you’ve so condescendingly informed us what we should “really” care about and flaunted your superiority in recognizing the “right” questions to ask, I think you’re the one who’s desperate to be noticed, Dave. As for me, I write on the topics I care about and that concern me, and most of my commenters are here for very similar reasons. If those are not the topics that interest you, you are welcome to leave.

    The earth will continue to spin, animals evolve, and the sun rise in the morning regardless of whether you or the Christian evangelicals prevail on the high ground of philosophical discourse.

    I’m not concerned about the earth spinning or the sun rising. What I’m concerned about is human beings, and the direct, serious, and undeniable harm that religious fanatics and fundamentalists of all sects, including but not limited to Christianity, will do them if they are not contained by the democratic process. Perhaps you’re not keeping up with the headlines, but I am, and every day I read about, among other things, Christians who demand that victims of rape be forced to carry their pregnancies to term; Christians who want not just to ban and ostracize gay people but, in some cases, treat them as criminals; Christians who cheer and praise the violence in the Middle East and encourage it to continue because they think it will hasten the battle of Armageddon, and they expect to win; and many more. I oppose these dangerous fanatics because I care about the well-being of humanity.

    Oh, by the way, I notice you only direct your ire against Christianity, and not against other religions. Hmmm…why is that, I wonder? Could it be because you are a bunch of insecure nerds and cowards afraid to cross the line and touch the third rail of political incorrectness ?

    Actually, as Archi Medez has capably pointed out, my sites frequently do discuss and criticize religions other than Christianity. For example, here’s an essay I wrote on the contradictions of the Qur’an, titled “Much Incongruity“. Here’s another post strongly criticizing the violent fanatics who protested the Mohammed cartoons. Here is a post that criticizes both Islam and Hinduism for their unjust treatment of women. Here is a post criticizing the “barbaric fundamentalists” of Islam and praising an ex-Muslim who is courageously speaking out against them. Are you now going to withdraw your claim that I don’t criticize other religions and admit your error in making it?

    Here is what I find interesting: the people most violently attacking Christianity are the very ones raised and educated in the culture of scientific scepticism and inquiry which it spawned.

    You are deaf to history if you think Christianity played any significant role in creating a “culture of scientific skepticism and inquiry”. Throughout its history and still to a large extent today, the Christian churches have been among the bitterest opponents of science and questioning. When they had the power to do so, they repressed scientific study of nature, assembled inquisitions to hunt down those who committed the dread sin of asking questions, and used torture and execution as weapons of terror against scientists and philosophers the world over. Even today, there are many fundamentalist groups opposing science at every turn, and demanding that their vacuous superstitions be taught in public schools instead.

  • loveGod

    I am a Christian and make no apologies. I’m honored to be a child of God. But I have to agree that these faith healers are liars and scum-bags. Peter Popoff-a scumbag still deceiving the naive-is a perfect example. Benny Hinn is nothing more than a religious criminal. Without the first amendment he would be in prison for life. But all of us are not fools and liars.

  • Tommykey

    Here’s to Dave, he hates EVERYBODY!

    Right on about the “faith healers” loveGod.

    As an atheist, what I believe is most important is that we all work together, regardless of religious belief, or lack thereof in my case, to create a just and decent society.

  • Christopher

    The problem with these “faith healers” is that they can just make the claim of being a non-profit organization (despite the HUGE profits they rake in from their crusades [ominously named if you ask me...]) and avoid tax audits under that status. The only real solution to this problem is to raise the standards of qualification for such a title.

    By the way, to those who think we believe what we do to be “popular”: I (personally) am often singled-out for my unorthodox beliefs (I’m a Nietchean-style ammoralist and agnostic, with a few bends towards classic conservatism) by my family and my peers. While I am willing to agree to disagree with them on matters of politics, economics, and religion, they will afford me no such luxury. I have been accused of almost every heresy imaginable: from promoting slavery (in reality, I’m nuetral on this subject) to being a willing tool of Satan (I don’t believe in Satan, but my family thinks I still do).

    Being an Atheist/Freethinker isn’t a belief system for the weak of heart…

  • Philip Thomas

    I think it is possible David is making a classic post hoc, ergo propter hoc error. Christianity preceded the Enlightenment. Did it cause the Enlightenment? that is a good essay question, but I think it is safe to say there were other factors at work…

  • andrea

    I’d be inclined to say that it was the contact between cultures that created the Enlightenment, say the Muslim influence in Spain, perhaps the Crusades, etc. It’s harder to stay hide-bound if you are shown facts that prove you can be wrong.

  • Philip Thomas

    Well, I agree Muslim (and more generally, Asian) influence played a part. The Enlightenment ocurred in the 18th century, while the Islamic invasion of Spain occured in the 8th century, and the Muslims were expelled from Spain in the 15th century. The First Crusade was in the 11th century, the last crusade in the 15th century. So important as those events were in the dialogue between cultures, one might seek a closer cause for the Enlightenment: the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (1453) is often seen as a proximate cause of the Reniaissance. In the 18th century the Muslims were on the retreat in central Europe.

    One interesting line of inquiry is the debt owed by Enlightenment thinkers to the Reformation (and Counter-Reformation). The shattering of the christian consensus encouraged more radical speculation. The Reformation is generally thought to have run its course by about 1700, just as the Enlightenmnet began.

    But I have not studied the Enlightenment specifically.

  • http://autismnaturalvariation.blogspot.com Joseph

    Truth in advertising doesn’t apply when a reasonable person can easily see there is no truth in the statements :) You don’t really believe RedBull gives you wings, do you?

  • Christopher

    When Red Bull uses the “Red Bull gives you wings” slogan, it’s being used in a metaphorical sense (wings being increased energy or concentration). When faith “healers” advertise supernatural healing powers, they mean just that and nothing less.

    It’s one thing to make a metaphor, but it’s dishonest to advertise something that we can’t even prove exists.

  • Jeff T.

    When I was in my teens, I was a participant in similar revivals and faith-healings. Emotions would skyrocket and you could feel the sizzling energy of the crowd as we prayed and sang.
    The preacher would preach and shout, slap his hands on people who would then fall down backwards. People would jump up and down on the pews and run up and down the aisles as they spoke in ‘other tongues’.
    I remember watching the preacher yank a walker from an elderly lady who had a crippled leg. He then slapped her on the head with his palm and she still had the crippled leg, but the walker was not returned to her.
    I think that was a pivotal point in my deconversion.

  • Sasha

    He is a pastor as a witness of Jesus Christ.
    He prayed “in the name of Jesus Christ”.
    God healed people in New York at crusade.

  • Prup (aka Jim Benton)

    That Jaerock is a faith healer strikes me as the least interesting thing about him. (A little research would have pointed you to his ‘interesting’ theory of the connection between UFOs and the children of Adam and Eve that were conceived ‘before the fall,’ and whose descendants still occupy “Edenian Space.” Not to mention that Dragons were the beloved of God before Lucifer apparently corrupted them too.)

    But what I wish someone would investigate is this. He is one of a series of “New Messiahs” that the Korean culture seems to be spawning. Jeong Myong Seok would be another, and the granddaddy of them all, Sun Myung Moon. But I’d argue that Kim Il Soong and Kim Jung Il are much the same, only rather than using Christianity as a base, they use Marxism. In each case Korean society seems particularly vulnerable to this type of “Cult of Personality” far more than other cultures, and I am wondering why.

    Btw, along with the Rick Ross Institute, one of the more interesting sites on such cults is http://falsemessiah.proboards23.com/index.cgi which specializes in JMS.

  • http://hotcupofjoe.blogspot.com/ Hot Cup of Joe

    Thank you for pointing out this guy. I had heard of Benny Hinn and Popoff (who now has a show on BET I believe) and now I can add Jaerock Lee to my list of nutbars to keep an eye out for in my city. I’ve been waiting for such a “revival” to show up so I can write letters to editors as a tool to increase public awareness.

    I think that con artists like these exist because there are so many who are simply credulous and cannot accept rational explanations and perspectives in certain situations of their lives. Certainly, at least one commenter here has demonstrated that, and I read with great enthusiasm yours and other replies to him. I hope he continues to visit skeptical and atheist sites in his quest for “human longevity.” Perhaps he has a new-found interest in debating the rational vs. irrational, though my instinct tells me he will simply put rational responses to his rant above out of mind since they are disagreeable.

    Kudos on a great post, I’ve added Daylight Atheism to my bookmarks to visit again!

    Carl

  • http://falsemessiah.proboards23.com CaptPorridge

    Thanks for plugging my site Jim!!

    Videos of these New York events are on-line at Mr Lee’s site:
    http://www.manmin.or.kr/english/

    And interestingly, the TV company that produced the videos is the same one that does promo videos for that raping fugitive Messiah, Jeong Myeong Seok.
    Small world:
    http://www.gcntv.org/

  • John Paepke

    I personally am a believer in Jesus Christ and havw witnessed Gods power many
    times 0ver 37 years, including the raising a lady from the dead after she was
    pronounced dead by those who work in healthcare.I agree that to much self promoting
    is infecting the christian church, but that does not change the fact that millions
    of people have had their lives changed through Christ, and for the better I might add. People can say and think what they will, but in the end the Word of God shall
    prevail, and Jesus Christ WILL rule and reign.

    John

  • http://nes-ramblings.blogspot.com/ Nes

    … including the raising a lady from the dead after she was
    pronounced dead by those who work in healthcare.

    It’s possible that she was prematurely pronounced dead. There may have still been some brain activity (I assume in most cases they only check for a pulse and breathing) and she was able to recover. God isn’t the only possible explanation. (Nor is it, from my point of view, a likely one.)

    … millions of people have had their lives changed through Christ,

    I could hardly disagree with this.

    and for the better I might add.

    This part I would disagree with. Personally, I think they’re wasting their time and money (and for poor people in 3rd world countries, that’s already scarce!). I wouldn’t call that a change for the better. On the other hand, for some people it could act as a catalyst for improvement. If that’s what they need to be a good person, more power to them, as long as they aren’t shoving Jesus down my throat.

  • http://nes-ramblings.blogspot.com/ Nes

    Hey, what happened to my <em> tags?! They showed up in the preview! Sigh, let’s see if I can get the parts I was quoting in <i&gt tags instead:

    … including the raising a lady from the dead after she was pronounced dead by those who work in healthcare.

    … millions of people have had their lives changed through Christ,

    and for the better I might add.

  • Jeff T.

    In response to John’s post dated 10/7/06:

    The dead do not return to life and any such claim otherwise should be highly suspect. For you to state that she was dead and returned to life with such such absolutism demonstrates the flawed reasoning that is so widespread in religious circles.

    Likewise, your claims that millions of people have had their lives changed through Christ would require personal knowledge on your part that this was indeed true. I highly doubt that you have personal knowledge of so many individuals.

    Any claim can be made—try making claims that are subject to testing using known scientific methods.

  • Jim H

    I believe “non-profits” are not subject to the same truth in advertising rules that for-profit companies are. That’s why political campaigns are “non-profits”. Can anyone confirm this?

  • Elijah

    M. Emanuel(21 in 2004, Peru)

    AIDS

    M. Emanuel(21 in 2004, Peru)

    21-year-old M. Emanuel suffered from frequent diarrhea for 3 years. The lab test provided a definitive diagnosis of AIDS. He thought he had gotten HIV infection through an affair 7 years before. He got fungal infection in his mouth 3 weeks before Miracle Healing Crusade Peru 2004.
    But his usual diarrhea stopped and he felt lighter after he received Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee’s prayer during the crusade in Dec. 2004. The lab test showed that his CD4 level increased from 292 to 462. That means significant recovery.
    AIDS is so fatal as to be called the pest of today. When HIV invades a human body, it continues to destroy CD4 immune cells among human cells. Finally extreme immune deficiency causes terrible complication leading to death.
    But he experienced a surprise that dying CD4 immune cells in his body recovered considerably through Rev. Dr. Lee’s prayer. So frequent diarrhea stopped and now he can defecate normally.

    http://www.wcdn.org/wcdn_eng/case/case_content.asp?id=36&page=3

  • anita

    Divine healing is a reality and there are many testimonies that verified the healing power of Rev.Jaerock Lee in the 2nd International Christian Medical Conference – “Spirituality & Medicine” in Chennai, India on May 30-31, 2005,.Dr. Edith S. Tria (Medical specialist at Dept. of Health Central Laboratory in Manila, The Philippines) said, “It is wonderful to have collected data on healing by God’s power! I was particularly impressed by the cases of systemic lupus erythematosus of a doctor, tennis elbow tendonitis of a violinist, and hydrocele of a baby, all of which were healed by prayer. It is delightful to know that Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee is a pastor of God’s power, and I would like to read all of his written works.”

  • http://peternothnagle.com Peter N

    Testimonies are perfectly adequate for church, but worthless for science. Doctors and scientists can fool themselves and see what they want to see, just like the rest of us. It takes the tools of science — randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind tests, with the test protocols, data, and conclusions published in peer-reviewed journals, to discover reliable treatments for medical conditions.

    As for Jaerock Lee’s faith-healing show, “We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.” — Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

  • kennypo65

    Question: After this snake-oil salesman “heals” someone, does he do any follow up, like medical professionals do, or is he on to the next “crusade”, fleecing more of the faithful?


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