The Faith Healers
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The Faith Healers

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  363 ratings  ·  28 reviews
James Randi, the celebrated magician, has written a damning indictment of the faith-healing practices of the leading televangelists and others who claim divine healing powers. Randi and his team of researchers attended scores of "miracle services" and often were pronounced "healed" of the nonexistent illnesses they claimed. They viewed first-hand the tragedies resulting fr...more
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published April 1st 1987 by Prometheus Books
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Praveen N. Jayasuriya
James Randi is a badass. Nuff said
The Faith Healers by James Randi

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 Challen...more
What areas concerning people's beliefs are most easily exploitable by con-artists? Without a doubt it would have to be religious beliefs. Faith Healers tackles this subject and uses investigations carried out by James Randi of many so-called faith healers as its material. Some of the faith healers investigated are W.V. Grant, A.A. Allen, Peter Popoff, Oral Roberts and even Pat Robertson.

Randi starts with a little background into the phenomenon of supernatural beliefs in humans and its origins b...more
James Randi is a very awesome fellow, who has dedicated his life to debunking nonsense and protecting people from frauds and scam artists. In "The Faith Healers" he recounts his stories of doing so, particularly on the subject of people who claim to heal sickness through the power of religion. The book itself, though, is rather boring; Randi goes through each case in excruciating detail, and rarely does he tie them all together into a cohesive narrative. If you want to learn about the specific t...more
This is a very good book and quite revealing about these faith healers. The only thing that prevents a five star rating from me is the fact that it is now pretty dated. I have grown up seeing a whole new generation of these healers and didn't know who many of the people Randi writes about are. His exposure of their tactics is generally timeless but I would love to see him do an update of this book to respond to new tactics these healers have developed or how they are twisting their old tactics t...more
James Randi's research into modern faith healers is extensive and often daring. His own career as an illusionist gives him particular insight into how some faith healers fool people with their stage acts. The problem is, his writing style is awkward and unappealing; it manages to be simultaneously dry and excessively personal. I found myself wishing he'd done the research, but found someone else to actually write the book.
The faith healers described in this book deserve the Randi treatment -- it's clear that the contempt he holds for all of them was well-earned. Does tend to get a little redundant after a few hundred pages, but the sections on investigation are fascinating.
Couldn't believe Randi managed to sneak a Geller reference into a book on faith healing. The man's obsessed! That said, interesting stuff all round and well-researched as ever.
Ana Mardoll
Faith Healers / 0-87975-535-0

"Faith Healers" shows James Randi at his finest as an author and a dogged exposer of professional frauds. Carefully, Randi lays out his foundations, showing the basic how and why of faith healing scams. Then he lavishly devotes each following chapter to the main stars of faith healing at the time of publication: he runs the gamut of Popoff, Robertson, Roberts, and so many more. Each chapter methodically outlines their claims, the format of their services, the evidenc...more
I remember watching a documentary featuring James Randi back in college; he was debunking Uri Geller. When I saw this book, I had to pick it up.

Essentially, Randi is cantankerous as hell and he's not gonna take it anymore. He clearly outlines his opinions and findings throughout the book.

I have only heard of a few of the people he mentions and takes aim at, but it doesn't take away from the effect. So yes, it is a little dated; and yes- it gets a bit repetitive. But part of it is that all the te...more
This could have been subtitled "...are liars, thieves, cheats and fakes and are out to scam you any way they can, without regret" and then the book could have been all blank pages.
But James Randi wouldn't take the easy way. He has devoted his life to reality and skepticism, and to exposing these frauds and fakers and he makes sure, in this book, that we get ALL the details.

You're probably too smart to get sucked into a scam like this (even if you do forward the "Bill Gates is going to give me $1...more
David Ward
The Faith Healers by James Randi. (Prometheus Books 1989)(615.852). The magician James Randi has made it his mission to expose fraud in the world of religion and “faith healing” when a preacher/healer claims that a god has empowered him or her to heal the sick at large “healing services’ during which “miracles of healing” may occur (e,g,, the blind may see, the lame may walk, etc.).. Randi has targeted many of the more prominent healers for study and then has publicly revealed their tricks that...more
One thing I really love about James Randi is not only is he a firm rationalist, but he also has an unwavering moral compass. I was privileged enough to meet him in SF in August 2010 and I feel very confident in saying that he is one of the sweetest men I've ever met.

That's what I love about this book. Not only is it an investigation into the claims of faith-healing and those who profit from it, but a firm sense of compassion and empathy surges through every page. Randi's investigation reveals th...more
When i started i thought of reading about frauds which are 20..30 years outdated.
But - believe it or not - you can still donate money to people who have earned 500 million dollars with religious cheating.

Just visit and think ybout the products and who donates for waht reason.

So the end lines of the book still apply:
"They're still out there. They lie and cheat, the confound and trick their victims, and they usually get away with it"

The book was so and so it the first...more
The part that got me the most involved one of the gentleman Randi was working with in trying to expose a faith healer. After a particular show, the gentleman saw an older woman had her daughter (if I remember correctly). The older woman was struggling to get down a flight of stairs because she'd thrown away her cane at the show as the faith healer told her she'd been healed. The woman, despite the fact that she couldn't make it down the steps, was still praising the healer to that moment. The ge...more
A passionate expose of the faith healing racket. Although I didn't really care for Randi's narrative style (primarily 3-4 paragraph sections that are often non-linear), he provides an absolutely overwhelming amount of evidence for fraud among a number of faith healers. My only regret is that I read an original edition, and I would love to read an updated edition with a more contemporary introduction.
Heather Cawte
Read on my Kindle.

Fascinating - the cases he studies are obviously rather dated now, because this book came out in the 1980s, but there are plenty of new names who operate in similar ways.

Deeply depressing on one hand, because people can be so deceptive - cold-bloodedly so,given that they are preying on sick people. But hopeful on the other hand, because so much has been done to unmask them.
Colin Loh
Very important book for any of us who have come into contact with Faith Healers. They're quite possibly the worst of psychopathic cheaters and liars, and the pain and suffering they cause is immeasurable. There is no dungeon dark enough for the likes of Peter Popoff, Oral Roberts etc. to rot in.
James "the Amazing" Randi is at his angry best here. Randi rips apart the seedy world of the modern televangelist-style faith healer. He does a nice job exposing their nonsense. However, people deluded enough to believe in these hustlers in the first place will just dismiss Randi as the "Devil's tool." Those who are ignorant are destined to remain so...
William T.
Another fun and informative book by the genius James Randi. This book does seem to be the inspiration for the Steve Martin movie Leap of Faith.

I hope James Randi will ultimately be known by everyone, not just the skeptic community. He is now quite old but continues to tirelessly fight "woo" and the ripping off of innocent, uninformed people.
Stephen Hinkle
James Randi takes on all the legends of faith healing in this not so shocking expose! A must read for anyone who laughs whenever a televangelist comes on the air claiming that he can cure your disease by laying his hand on you and then tells you he needs your money because God can cure diseases but can't write a check.
Karen Katt
Interesting book. James Randi really makes the reader realize the ridiculousness of religious ideas. He points out that most religions play on the poor and desperate people that have a deep seeded need to believe. How they are taken advantage of, and how organized religions have become one of the biggest businesses in history.
I give this book a lot of praise, because it opened my eyes to the kinds of horrible people that are in this world who will take advantage of the hopeful and the desperate. A must have on anyone's skeptic shelf.
Daniel DeLappe
This is a great book written by the Best Bullshit detector in the world. How these scumbags get away ripping off people is beyond me. Well written and a lot of history. Read this and learn to think for yourself.
This is somewhat dated although the same scams keep deceiving the same poor credulous idiots. I kept laughing as I read this.
A superb treatment of homegrown charlatans from the icon of American rationalism.
Susie Kroes
A wonderful dissection of the "Christian" scam artists of the 80's.
A great exposure into this shady business.
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