Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Doctor Jesus - The Franchise

Coming soon to a town near you – healing through the power of prayer.

A group called The Healing Rooms is spreading its tentacles across the UK. The Starbucks of faith healing, their mission statement is:

We have a vision to see every town and city in England with at least one Healing Room and many Healing Rooms in larger cities. This is part of a wider vision to see Healing Rooms set in around the world. The first IAHR Healing Room in the UK opened in Halifax, West Yorkshire at the end of January 2003. There are now 50 registered IAHR Healing Rooms in England and if you include those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the total is 79 Healing Rooms in the UK. Worldwide there are just over 1,000 Healing Rooms in 47 nations all linked together through IAHR.

The parent organisation, the International Association of Healing Rooms is based in America.

They were brought to my attention at work by someone who had seen the glowing article in his local paper, the Wee County News, on 7 October 2009, about a branch opening in Moncrieff Church, Alloa.

IAHR claims include the usual gamut of minor afflictions as well as curing cancer, HIV, ME, asbestosis and restoring a liver. Testimonies from the London branch include these cancer cure claims:

I am giving a testimony on behalf of my sister who received her healing from cancer. I used to come to the Healing rooms every week to pray for her when she was diagnosed and to the glory of God she is healed and completely free. I believe that God answers prayers, all we have to do is to ask and I am living proof. There is nothing too difficult for Him and with Him all things are possible. All the doctors in South Africa where she was receiving treatment were completely amazed by her recovery. She has gone for several other check-ups and no tumor is found.


I was diagnosed with cancer over 11 years ago. In Dec 2005 I had a body scan and was told that there were 3 tiny nodules in my left lung and many lesions throughout the vertebral bodies and pelvis. I have been going to the Healing Rooms for nearly a year and I am very pleased with the result I have today. God is good to me and has answered my prayer. The last report I had was really good and my consultant is very impressed. He told me the body scan showed no evidence of bony metastases. I feel very well in myself and praise God daily. Thank you Jesus, for you are the same yesterday today and forevermore. You are the greatest healer. A big thank you to the Healing room staff for their patience and love.

There is also this oddity:

I came on Wednesday evening and the welcome was very loving . I had prayer and my lower back and crushed disc was healed and my right leg grew 1.5 inches and I no longer have any pain. It is so wonderful, no pain, peace at last. God is wonderful, thank you Jesus. I have been so blessed my family relationships have improved and my brother phoned me after 2 years.

Doctor Jesus made this man’s leg grow one and a half inches. That's an observable and quantifiable effect. There is no mention of whether the leg was measured by a doctor before and after prayer, of course. And how nice that Doctor Jesus also got his brother to call. They must have been praying extra hard that night.

Healing Rooms also have something called a Prayer Cloth:

In Acts 19:11-12, it speaks of how cloths (aprons and handkerchiefs) were touched by Peter and Paul and taken back to the sick who were often cured of their ills. It says that "God gave Paul the power to do unusual miracles, so that even when handkerchiefs or cloths that had touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and any evil spirits within them came out." (The New Living Translation) The cloths are anointed with oil and prayed over by our intercessors before we mail them out to you.

Testimonials for this include:

A prayer cloth was sent to a man in Australia who had Asbestosis, for which there is no cure. When he received the cloth he put it on his chest. On his next visit to the doctor, he was told that all traces of Asbestosis have now gone - he is completely healed.

If these cloths worked, the NHS would be mighty interested as it would save them an awful lot of money. In fact, why not get rid of all the doctors and nurses and just hire Healing Rooms to service the entire UK? Oh right, you only get healed if your faith is sufficiently strong. That rules out all the non-Christians. Doctor Jesus is a private practitioner. Or maybe it's not part of His Great Plan to cure you. Who knows? He moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.

From the Scottish branch claims include:

Danny was waiting to go to hospital to have an arm amputated from the elbow as he had no feeling or movement in it and nothing could be done to save the arm. After prayer his hand began to tingle and move and he can now clench his fist and move all his fingers. No amputation will now be needed!

He will no doubt be using that hand to put against the other one in prayer.

And there are many more testimonies on the American site.

Not only do IAHR claim to heal any number of problems through prayer, they also train people to heal. So if you want a new hobby, pop yourself along to one of their centres and you can set up your very own franchise. I'm not sure why you have to go along to the Healing Rooms to get fixed - does Doctor Jesus not make house calls?

As I mentioned in my Doctor Jesus post about Body of Christ International Ministries, as soon as a claimed cure for cancer is spotted, the alarms go off because such claims are in contravention of the BCAP code of practice 50.27 viz Marketers should not falsely claim that a product is able to cure illness, dysfunction or malformations and also the Cancer Act 4.1.(a) 8:

No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement—

(a)containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof;

(8) In this section the expression “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds

For this and other reasons detailed in the Doctor Jesus post, I have reported them to Trading Standards and the ASA.

For every group making a claim that the ASA rules against, more spring up. They are hydra-headed and the more canny ones make no actionable promises or claims. But it's important to keep chipping away and to publicize the facts about faith healing - that there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that it has anything more than a placebo effect at best. That's NO EVIDENCE AT ALL.

Of course, if you have faith, then evidence is nothing. Proof is nothing. Facts are nothing. It's a miracle, praise Jesus and pass the collection plate. You can't put a price tag on the Love of God but there's no such thing as a free miracle.

It doesn't take long to fill in the Advertising Standards Authority complaints form or to send an email to your local Trading Standards office.

In the words of eco-campaigners: think global, act local.

And if you'd like to know more about the Alloa branch, you can ring local director Elaine McDonagh on 07742 175 453 or email

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