I will be honest- I am an OWN Network  junkie 🙂

I also closely follow the Ling sisters, I think their style of documentary journalism is

amazing.

Tonight, Lisa started her series, ‘Our America with Lisa Ling’ on OWN.

The first episode explored  faith healers and faith healing.  She featured  three people attending a three day Faith- Healing meeting in Charlotte.

She presented each story with empathy and an open mind, wondering if somehow, she could witness a miracle because of the emotional investment she had in each person, and their story. At one point  in the meeting she stepped out, realizing ‘There’s no place for doubt in that room’.

I am not a believer in faith healing, and I’m not trying to pass this off as a ‘pro religion’  endorsement.

It is  simply an observation of what is to me, is an  an awesome blend of investigative reporting,  empathy, and some insight into the mind of a true journalist.

Lisa Ling’s show airs Tuesday nights on OWN Network.

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Sabreen60
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Sabreen60

jkkFL

Since I can’t answer your last question to me, because there is no “reply” button, I’ll do it here. Your question/statement was:

“How is telling them what to think the cure- if it isn’t ‘your’ message, it becomes propaganda.”

I’m going to do the unthinkable. I’m going to answer your question with a question.

Do you believe there is “truth”? Not opinion, not spin, but “truth”? I ask you this, because I previously said that networks, such as CNN let lies go unanswered. You replied with your statement above.

ghsts
Member

@jkkFL- Please reconsider bring Madoff into this. I get what you were saying but he wasn’t doing anything different from JPMorgan, GoldmanSach, UBS etc. His crime wasn’t even that his ponzi collapsed it was that he targeted the top 5%.

Sabreen60
Member
Sabreen60

Thanks jkkFL for writing the article – it brought forth a lively discussion, didn’t it. I love it when we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Last week, I finally watched the “Sunset Limited”. That might induce a conversation, also.

jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

I didn’t see the story at all. I worked as an allied health professional for many years, most in a burn unit. I saw things there that defied explanation, from both perspectives incidentally. I was always intrigued with “placbo” healing, where patients got better simply because they thought they were getting a treatment when in fact they weren’t. I can’t even begin to understand the human mind or the power of positive thinking. That said, a severed spinal cord is a severed spinal cord and no amount of faith or prayer is going to regenerate those nerves. I gather from the article the question surrounds whether this was presented as flim flam or not. I suppose I better try to find the show before I make a judgment. In general I think faith healers do pull people in for money instead of faith. That’s just me and my “medical model” training. I think the same can be said of a lot of more traditional medical healers. Surgeons performing surgery for the sake of surgery or to correct the effects of a previous surgery.

smit9187
Member
smit9187

Thank you for bringing our attention to this. I saw Lisa Ling on O’Donnell’s show discussing this. She led you to believe that the guy might have walked again, I know she was just promoting her show. I’m happy to find out on this blog what actually happened.

Bauart
Member

I completely disagree. Vehemently disagree.

I didn’t find a link in your article to the story or video, so I did a Google search and found a video snippet titled, “Will Steve Walk” by Lisa Ling for the OWN Network.

http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/Faith-Healers-Will-Steve-Walk

I strongly believe Faith healing should NOT be approached with dignity OR sympathy. It is a fraud, and should be called out for what it is, and the preachers that still practice this bronze age mumbo jumbo should be held criminally liable for the snake oil remedies they are pushing to the detriment of their followers. Passing off faith healing as a treatment for illness is just as wrong as if they were filling empty medicine capsule with sugar water and selling it for cash. Worse yet it is often perpetrated on those in our society who are both mentally and physically incapable of helping themselves.

Ling’s approach, from the snippet I saw, was just pandering to Oprah’s OWN audience, and giving a marginally digestible story that neither supported or repudiated the faith healers claims.

In the video Steve did NOT walk afterwards (of course) but was still afflicted with the same illness, and to the same degree, he had had before attending the faith healing service. Instead of doing some actual reporting and using that opportunity to reject the whole notion of faith healing, Ling instead redirected the story and told how “Steve reached out to her [Lisa Ling] to give her comfort”. (Really?) The video even showed Steve (still in his a wheelchair) physically doing what evangelicals call, “Laying on of hands” on to Ms. Ling. (Pathetic.)

So, in the end, Lisa Ling’s final conclusion was that maybe she [Lisa Ling] had been the one “expecting too much?” (Oh please!)

“That room” was EXACTLY the place into which someone should have tossed some doubt, and Ling completely missed her opportunity to do so.

I’m not sure what she set out to do with this piece? But it sure wasn’t journalism.

smit9187
Member
smit9187

Agreed, the emphasis should have been on failure to produce the promised miracle. It should have been on the power of the mind to delude us into believing when we witness obvious failure. I posted this from my HTC, is that cool or what? The blog is blocked on my network at my job.

KQµårk 死神
Member

I didn’t see it so I can’t comment directly.

To be fair to jkkFL they did not say dignity or sympathy. jkkFL said empathy and an open mind. I’m a scientist and I approach everything with skepticism so I wouldn’t have approached it either way.

Participation with an open mind is one valid method journalists use to share an experience with an audience. But I like you would not have taken that tact.

Bauart
Member

Thanks KQuark, I stand corrected… But I would not have approached this topic with either empathy or an open mind. Perhaps the poor duped followers of these sham artist deserve our empathy, but certainly not the evangelist themselves, and none of them have given me any reason to have an open mind about faith healing. Every true journalistic investigation into faith healing reveals nothing but deceit and corruption.

KQµårk 死神
Member

I’ve seen stone cold investigations into faith healers and every time they have proven to be frauds.

I would recommend you see a series called “John Safran vs God”. He’s an Aussie comedian but takes a participatory angle of finding religion by experiencing different religions around the world. The series was great but the last episode was quite spooky when he went through an exorcism with a southern evangelist. It was hard to explain but he did kind of have an out of body experience were he seemed to be unable to control his actions. I don’t think it was shtick because of the way he approached the other religions he examined. But I do think some of these preachers are so good at manipulating human behavior that they can induce a psychological episode with people along with creating mass hysteria. The subjects behavioral changes often manifest in extreme ways like seeming to “speak in tongues”, perform inhuman bodily movements, pass out etc.

Khirad
Member

Indeed. I’ve watched some of these things.

I of course think it’s bullshit.

I also know that the conditioned and primed mind is a powerful thing.

I’d love to see a good social psychological take on it.

And, as creepy and unsettling as I find this stuff, it ironically is interesting in that it is similar in some ways to tribal West African religions (as one example), where you are built up into a frenzy (probably not the right word) with heightened experience, and undergo a release, and so forth.

KQµårk 死神
Member

Oh absolutely the psychology of it all just fascinates me.

A movie you should check out is “The Forth Kind” which is about alien abductions in AK.

The psychological state this one guy was put in was so extreme he actually broke his neck and became paralyzed.