Miracles for sale

by Richard on April 27, 2011

Big Bible has a report of the Channel 4 documentary Miracles for sale. (For those outside the UK, the whole thing appears to be available on YouTube) Stage illusionist Derren Brown takes a member of the public (a hip-looking scuba diving instructor) and trains him in stagecraft sufficient to convince a crowd of Texans that he is a faith healer.

Part of me wonders why this documentary was made at all. Watching Benny Hinn, Morris Cerrullo, Peter Popoff and company ought to be enough for anyone. And, of course, it has been done before. More than once. And yet, these folk do seem to keep the money rolling in, against all reason.

I confess that I haven’t seen the whole show yet, so I’ll hold back until I have. In the meantime, the floor is yours.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }


Simon 04.27.11 at 10:47 am

I watched it, and thought pretty much the same. I guess if you follow a mainstream Christian denomination, you probably find Hinn et-al pretty distasteful already, and don’t really relate to what they’re doing. The tiny bits of “expose” in the show about how the “leg lengthening” works were not exactly remarkable either.

Maybe for people who don’t really associate with Christianity it would have been more eyebrow raising. But as I said, I was left with the feeling you had - “so what?” really….


Earl 04.27.11 at 3:34 pm

Nothing new here. Fakery in the life of the Church is as old and repugnant as Simon. Peter’s blunt and unequivocal public rebuke signals the best response to such abuse.


Joseph W 04.27.11 at 4:30 pm

The thing is, Derren Brown was a member of his Christian Union, got involved with hypnosis, enthused about it, but was met with suspicion from his peers at university in Bristol. They thought he was behaving in an un-Biblical and spiritually questionable way.

So, he became obsessed with hypnosis and how to influence people, and the spiritual dimension behind it. I think the spirituality of it all is what really interests Derren.

He said recently,

“I guess I’ve gone from being somebody who wanted to go: ‘Look I can do magic tricks – aren’t I clever?’ to having grown out of that now”.

In other words, this is what Derren Brown finds most relevant. I wonder whether he’ll make more shows about religion. He would make a refreshing alternative to the likes of Dawkins, at least, as someone who sees religion from a far different vantage point.


Simon 04.27.11 at 5:50 pm

In that case, it’s in it’s late 30s and isn’t very repugnant at all, in my humble opinion. Which at least my wife shares.


Richard 04.27.11 at 6:21 pm



drbexl 04.27.11 at 7:52 pm

Ha Ha, I have to say I read the Simon comment in the same way!!

Thanks for the link to Big Bible Richard. Fascinating show!

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