- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books; Updated edition (April 1, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0879755350
- ISBN-13: 978-0879755355
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Faith Healers Updated Edition
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From School Library Journal
YA Are there people chosen by God to heal bodily ailments through the power of prayer alone? Randi's answer is ``maybe,'' but on the basis of his three-year investigation into faith heal ers, he hasn't found any evidence of it and suggests it may be nothing more than a religious con game. The author, a professional magician, has made it a sideline to expose fraud and miscon ceptions in the realm of the paranormal. Leading evangelists such as Oral Rob erts, Peter Popoff, W. V. Grant, Pat Robertson, and others are all shown to use tactics that are at best misleading, to guide the faithful into believing that they have been supernaturally cured by prayer alone. At worst, some of these men are shown to be cynical frauds preying on the desperation of the seri ously ill. The book is not tightly writ ten, but it can be read for enlighten ment. Karl Penny, Houston Pub . Lib .
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
James Randi is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician, as The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he began investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims. Although often referred to as a "debunker," Randi rejects that title owing to its perceived bias, instead describing himself as an "investigator." He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic, and has published many books including Flim-Flam!, The Truth about Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, and The Mask of Nostradamus. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.
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Top Customer Reviews
My background before entering the ministry was in math, physics, engineering and biology. I know and understand the scientific method and what it can and cannot do. I also uderstand the limitations of theology and anecdotal reporting. James Randi does as well. He make no claims of being religious but is willing to look and consider each case put before him. I rather suspect him of being an agnostic but that does not prevent his outrage from showing at some of the tricks faith healers have been known to use. His book is a well presented expose and it is a shame that more people, including governmental agencies, broacasters and church members across the CHristian spectrum are not outraged by what is routinely done to people of faith.
Nowhere does Randi claim that healing by prayer is impossible, though he does admit to being skeptical about it. What bothers him is seeing flocks being fleeced unmercifully by people who claim to be God's annointed and seeing those same ministers actually hurt people and perpetrate frauds. I respectfully submit that such behavior should bother everyone. I know it bothers me, especially since it eventually hurts the faith of those most in need of healing.
I do believe in the power of prayer and make no apoligies for it. I believe it does work and is efficacious. I do not believe that prayer always gives the desired results. Modern medicine can cure many things, treat many more and fails in yet others. THe minds who have brought medicine thus far are too the gifts of God. I don't think that the "Amazing Randi" would object to very much of what I said here but he wants proof. That I cannot provide.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I cannot provide that proof for matter of healing through faith do respond on demand. I have seen miracles of healing. Most often, these take the form of a drug therapy or surgical procedure. I believe these too are gifts from God. On a few, rare occasions, I have seen things that I chalk up to pure "miracle" but I am not advising anyone to dispense with medical treatment nor am I soliciting for funds.
Randi's book is a tirade against abuses of trust and against dishonesty. Too many bad people have tainted the whole concept of faith healing and he takes them to task. His goal is not to rehabilitate faith healing but to expose its misuse and fraud. For that we should all be thankful.
He covers the antics of a few famous "faith healers" in detail and provides sketches of others. In doing so, he gives away some of their tricks and publicizes contradictions, lies and plain old trickery. If more people were aware of these methods, fewer people might be hurt.
God bless James Randi.
Being a magician himself he is aware of many tricks of the trade when it comes to manipulating an audience, and uses his own personal experience to unveil when others use similar techniques. This book reminds me of the movie "Leap of Faith", but there is no happy ending in this book. Granted those of us that will read this book are the ones that are inclinded to not believe in the laying on of hands, or other types of "Healing". This is a good read and I highly recommend this book.
Mr. James Randi the renowned magician uncovers the fraud behind "faith-healers" and is not too shy to expose them in his classic work. This 318-page book was originally released in 1989 and is composed of the following eighteen chapters: 1. The Origins of Faith-Healing, 2. Faith-Healing in Modern Times, 3. The Church View, 4. The Financial Aspects, 5. The Mail Operations of Faith-Healers, 6. A.A. Allen and Miracle Valley, 7. Leroy Jenkins and the $100,000 Challenge, 8. W.V. Grant and the Eagle's Nest, 9. Peter Popoff and His Wonderful Machine, 10. Oral Roberts and the City of Faith, 11.A Word of Knowledge from Pat Robertson, 12.The Psychic Dentist and an Unamazing Grace, 13. Father DiOrio: Vatican-Approved Wizard, 14.The Lesser Lights, 15.Practical Limitations of Medical Science, 16. Where is the Evidence? 17. Legal Aspects, and 18. Amen!
1. It starts out with a forward from Carl Sagan that is always positive.
2. A well-written, well-thought out book that is fascinating, and infuriating.
3. As a magician of international fame, Mr. Randi knows fakery when he sees one and this wonderful book provides ample evidence for it. A great skeptic indeed.
4. Exposes so many scoundrels it's truly jaw-dropping.
5. The origins of faith healing explained.
6. Mr. Randi tackles the most fascinating cases.
7. The most famous Christian shrines debunked.
8. The methodology of examining claims.
9. Great use of scripture to support religious beliefs that would allow frauds to take advantage of their subjects. The importance of instilling unquestioning faith.
10. The inquisition of witches.
11. Not an anti-religious book. In fact, many of the skeptics were theologians.
12. The Financial Aspects chapter will infuriate.
13. The marketing machine behind the fraud.
14. The danger of believing miracles occurred. An important message that needs to be conveyed.
15. So called "healees" exposed.
16. Mr. Randi shows his great skeptical instincts.
17. The secret behind "calling out" audience members.
18. The power of divine financial advice.
19. Claims debunked, over and over.
20. Shotgun techniques exposed.
21. Prophets exposed.
22. How cultural biases predispose people into believing in the possibility of faith-healing.
23. The inefficacy of prayers.
24. Is faith-healing real? Answered to satisfaction.
25. The truth as a dissonant reality.
26. How blind faith hurts children who do not get the medical attention that they need.
27. Fascinating from cover to cover.
1. Of course a book written in 1989 will be dated in some areas but too small an issue to derail this classic and surprisingly enough a lot of the main culprits are still in "business".
2. Waiting for an update to this masterpiece.
In summary, a fascinating and an important book. Faith-healing is dangerous because it allows unsuspecting subjects to rely on it without any objective evidence of its efficacy and in doing so may relinquish the use of proven scientific methods. Mr. Randi should be commended for this great work of exposing scoundrels who take advantage of others for personal benefit at the expense of their financial, and overall well being. Bravo!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like it or not. Amazing how adults in 2016
can turn critical thinking on and off at will.