Hayley Stevens On Healing on the Streets (HOTS) – ASA Takedown

I was quite concerned at the claims I found there about illnesses and conditions that this group seemed to be promoting as healable through prayer. At the same time I became conflicted about what to do next because I knew that no matter what I did, I would be accused by people of being anti-religious.

However, as time passed I saw the group at work again, and I also became aware of their Youtube videos in which even more claims were made, and I realised that I didn’t feel comfortable with not expressing my concern to people who might be able to do something about the claims if they agreed something was wrong. That’s when I made the complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority using the ‘Fishbarrel’ plug in.  – Hayley Stevens, “Healing on the Streets & why I am not ‘a group generally opposed to Christianity’”.

Due to the complaint lodged by skeptical investigator Hayley Stevens, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) declared “Healing on the Streets” (HOTS) to be engaging in false advertising – and had them removed:

As already reported on Pharyngula – ‘An organization in Bath called “Healing on the Streets” (HOTS) plastered flyers around town advertising their services’:

Need Healing? God can heal today! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction … Ulcers, Depression, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, Sleeping disorders or any other sickness? We’d love to pray for your healing right now! We’re Christian from churches in Bath and we pray in the name of Jesus. We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness.

The Advertising Standards Authority declared them to be irresponsible, false advertising and ordered them taken down. As Hayley says herself, this is not about religion: “…I object to [HOTS] being pushed onto other people as a genuinely potential cure. Especially when they’re vulnerable.”

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a former Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide. She regularly presents a news and current affairs show on RTRFM's The Mag (tune in on Tuesdays!).
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science. She files her nails while they drag the lake.