Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.
I went to see Reverend Ernest Angley perform his healing merkles when he visited New Westminster back in the ’80s and saw how he faked them.
That clown is still around? Egad! He was on cable TV around here about 20 years ago and was the most obvious of fakes then. I’m talking about making pro wrestling look realistic. We used to have a few drinks and put him on for entertainment. One night he had about 20 spontaneous volunteers from an audience of perhaps 100, all of whom had lost their sense of smell, which he, of course, summarily restored by waving a hankie under their noses. I guess we should have put a national task force to work on that olfactory failure epidemic. Declining deodorant sales could have precipitated an economic collapse;
Most gods have the morals of a spoiled child.
~ Robert A. Heinlein (born:1907-07-07 died:1988-05-08 at age:80)
People were giving Reverend Angley $100 bills. That so many modern day Christians take him seriously makes me wonder about the reputed miracles of Jesus before much a less sophisticated audience.
Let me tell a little story about that encounter with Reverend Angley. He was offering genuine leather bibles, with pictures of the holy land, for only a $100 donation. I heard a chorus of voices in my head strongly urging me to get one. I thought this bizarre since I already had a collection of bibles, but I was rich at the time and decided to play along to see what would happen. There were no takers but me. The spotlight shone on me and I could see Reverend Ernest was very pleased to have a taker as I majestically walked to the podium to stirring music. We both had our hands on the Bible. I suddenly got the brilliant idea, "This would be a perfect time to ask my key question about faith healing.Why is God waiting, I asked? Why is God waiting to heal people? He tried to snatch the Bible from my hands but I held on. He then shouted, You are possessed by the devil! Just then two burly men dragged me off the stage and threw me out of the auditorium onto the ground. This was not what I was expecting. It was such a shock I just started to cry. Some kindly old ladies came out and tried to console me. They felt Reverend Angley had been most unfair.
I later went back in and waited hours to be slain in the spirit. Reverend Angley smacked people on the forehead and they fell backwards into the arms of two strong men. Angley kept nervously eyeing me as he worked his way down the lines toward me. I was 6’ 4” at the time and physically imposing. When he got to me, he asked me to promise never to smoke tobacco, to which I agreed, then he let out a whoop and whacked me. I fell back. His attendants caught me. I was somewhat disappointed that I could not feel anything special.
God works in mysterious ways. I read a newspaper account of the encounter. To the reporter, I was some poor sick person, turned away from God because I asked out of turn to be healed. The reporter soundly condemned Angley in the article. I never did get my genuine leather Bible and Reverend Angley never did get my $100 bill.
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