Here’s a story we’ve seen a hundred times. A ministry in Georgia has been proven a fraud by scientists after claiming they had a Bible that was flowing miracle healing oil. Turns out it was just plain old mineral oil purchased from a local hardware store. But of course thousands of credulous rubes flocked there and gave lots of money to the con artists who tricked them.
Chemical analysis tests gathered by the Times Free Press challenge the basis of a popular Dalton, Georgia, ministry that claims to have a Bible flowing with oil.
Each week, hundreds of people come to Dalton’s Wink Theater to see the Bible owned by Jerry Pearce. Those who gather described deep religious experiences when the oil Bible touched them. Others said the oil cured them of sickness or helped them kick addictions.Through donations, Pearce and Johnny Taylor, the other leader of His Name is Flowing Oil, have made a full-time job of traveling the country with the Bible, estimating they have handed out around 350,000 free vials of the oil.
The Times Free Press wrote about the increasingly popular gathering in November 2019. The next day, someone contacted the newspaper saying Pearce was a regular customer at the Tractor Supply store in Dalton. The person said Pearce often bought large amounts of mineral oil — a clear oil similar in appearance to the oil Pearce claims is coming from his Bible.
In December 2019, two Dalton Tractor Supply managers visually identified Pearce and said he consistently bought gallons of mineral oil. However, company policies barred them from providing more specific customer information.
The Times Free Press then paid for a series of chemical analyses by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, comparing samples of the oil Pearce hands out with the chemical structure of mineral oil and comparing Pearce’s oil with the Ideal brand mineral oil sold at Tractor Supply.
No matter how many times we’ve seen virtually identical scenarios play out, there are always suckers left for the next one. P.T. Barnum was an optimist.