Of Benny Hinn, and Faith Healers…

Even as I write this, Bangalore is coming to terms with the various facets that are linked to Benny Hinn‘s “Pray for India” rally being held for three days (starting today) at the Jakkur Airfield Grounds here.

There is enough and more tension brewing up in all parts of the City, what with many a Hindu religious and social outfits taking up opposition of this event. Again, today being an Id for the Muslim brethren, has only added to the tension.

Legally speaking, the event per se is not illegal, as religious missionaries have the freedom to propagate their religion, as far as it does NOT infringe on the Indian citizens’ Fundamental Rights related to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 to 28).

Again, the Indian citizens under Article 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) and Article 28 (Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain education institutions), have a right to attend, or not attend, or even choose their faith.

So while many of our social, political, and religious leaders are quick to point out that any disturbance caused to the event would be against the law of the secular land of India, I am (for once) NOT in agreement with this.

The reason: This tour is NOT really called “Pray for India” as the hoardings scream out. In fact, on his television programs (on GOD, and other channels), this is called “The India Crusade,” and he blatantly says that the idea is to convert as many as possible (in his words the people of India!) to the “only way to God”.

While respecting his religious sentiments (everybody has a right to their own faith!), I have to say that the proponents, custodians, and followers of Hindu, and other religions, ALSO have every right to OPPOSE the Benny Hinn event, simply because during a recent visit to Trinidad and Tobago, Benny Hinn stated that he had converted mostly Hindus there, who made up 30 percent of the population, during his “crusade”.

So there is indeed every cause for concern on their part, and in that way their actions are in fact in “Public Good”; Especially in the interest of the religious harmony that has hitherto existed here.

In the same vein, I also admire and express my support to all those journalists who were part of the Press Meet at the Bangalore Press Club on January 15, 2005, where they opposed the distribution of printed literature that was blatant insulting Hindu and other ‘pagan’ religions, to say the least.

Kudos to you, journalists of Bangalore.

Also, three cheers to the learned Judge of the Bangalore High Court, Shri Belvadi Ramaswamy, who has ordered that the event be monitored through close-circuit cameras, and that 15 (medically examined) “handicapped people” be monitored for miracles by a team of 5 doctors.

I salute the High Court of Karnataka!

In fact, I go on record to state that I SUPPORT ALL those that are opposing the Benny Hinn’s show here and anywhere else in the world.

The reasons are NOT really linked to religion, NOR are they linked to conversion. They are entirely linked to various facts that point to Benny Hinn being a con artist, and NOTHING MORE than an unscrupulous charlatan, who is feeding on the emotions of the bereaved and needy, in the name of God and religion, all for his own financial benefits.

Most of his prophecies have been wrong, while others are fast running out of the time that they require to be ‘right’.

Again, Justin Peters (a staff evangelist at the First Baptist Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi) who analyzed Benny Hinn’s Ministry and it’s methods for his master’s thesis in theology, concludes that, “Benny Hinn is a false prophet in every sense of the word. He is a pathological liar seemingly incapable of telling the truth even about major events in his own life history.”

In fact, Benny Hinn the Faith Healer is, in the name of God and Religion, giving false hope, (mis)using the secrets of conjuring and hypnotism, and duping millions of their hard-earned pennies, and stacking away zillions.

To me the best words to expose Hinn are those by James Randi (magician, and author of the book The Faith Healers), as quoted in the article Controversial evangelist to visit Waco:

James Randi, a professional magician/escape artist who is perhaps best known these days as a “demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims,” recalled in a recent telephone interview how he disguised himself to attend a Benny Hinn faith healing service on behalf of the BBC in Toronto. With a hidden camera, he said, he captured on film some of the assisting pastors coaching people when to fall down, as well as scenes of paramedics coming to the aid of those supposedly “cured” who collapsed when their adrenaline rush subsided after their on-stage “cure.”

“We have followed up on 104 of his so-called cures, and not a one of those people was healed. There is no medical evidence to support his claims,” Randi said.

It doesn’t matter how many times the secular media or skeptical investigators expose Hinn’s actions, he added. “There are people who need for it to be true. They are predicating everything on their belief that faith healing works. For some people, it’s the only thing they’ve got going.”

Thus, Hinn should be stopped. In every possible way.