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The Psychic Healer; New Craze Hits Our Community!

By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

While I have written many articles warning the public to beware of monetary scams, this short article will deal with scams that are far worse. For not only do they steal your wealth but they also steal your health and therefore they are extremely dangerous.

Many people are not willing to accept the limitations of physicians, and in desperation will turn to anyone who offers them hope, no matter how foolish or nonsensical it may sound. These psychic healers have unfortunately defrauded their believers to the tune of billions of dollars with their claims of being able to cure the incurable. They take advantage of the sick, the destitute and the unwary, who will believe anything, no matter how ridiculous and outrageous. These cynical con artists willfully divert the patient from seeking the services of a doctor and as a result, often lead these suffering people to the intensive care unit, and even to the morgue. Medical quackery is a dangerous business and many a time can even lead to the loss of life. Each day they come up with new fantasies, new gadgets and new scams. So great is the desire to believe in these quacks, that the blind believe they can be made to see, the lame believe that they can be made to walk, and the deaf believe that they can be made to hear.

These quacks are guided by their desire and greed for money and are nothing but booby traps for the gullible. One by the name of Tony Agpaoa who did psychic surgery in the Philippines, attracted thousands of people and his spectacular procedures in which he appeared to plunge his hands into the body and remove certain body parts were all done with simple conjuring tricks performed with sleight-of-hand. He was arrested in Detroit and charged with medical fraud but skipped bail and fled back to the Philippines where he died in 1982.

Nowadays, Russia has become flooded with these types of quack doctors and many Russians that have immigrated to Israel have opened shop there.  Since a certain amount of illnesses go away on their own, it is quite easy for them to take credit for these ‘miraculous’ cures. Yet most of the time they will simply give you a list of phony credentials. They thrive on the diseased and the suffering, and are masters at exploiting human credulity and people’s desire to live.

This type of quackery is not new and certainly has been around for thousands of years. One would have imagined that modern day medicine would have put an end to this quackery. Yet the popularity of these psychic doctors seems to be growing despite the fact that many of them have been exposed as being worthless.  Benjamin Franklin once said that there are no greater liars in the world than quacks - except for their patients!

Yankel Miller tells the story about a farmer who once came to a psychic healer asking for a cure for his chickens that were dying out. Charging him only a thousand dollars, he gave him an amulet which he told him to hang on his chicken coop which would stop the chickens from dying. A few weeks later the farmer came back complaining that the chickens were still dying. For another $1,000 the psychic healer now gave him a red thread which he told him to tie to the right foot of each of his chickens. When the outraged farmer came back a few weeks later and complained that the chickens were still dying, the psychic now suggested he try a stronger remedy and feed his chickens special water which he had blessed and that, along with another $1,000, would certainly solve his problem. When the psychic met the farmer a few weeks later and asked him if he had any chickens left, the farmer asked him, “Why do you want to know?” The healer thereupon responded that “as long as you still have some live chickens left, I still have some more remedies to offer you.”

Recently I’ve been told that this craze has begun to spread through our midst and that many naive and gullible people are falling for their miraculous claims. A friend just told me that one of these quacks is asking a half million dollars to “cure” a Down-syndrome child. While it is very difficult to convince people to stay away from these quacks, I recommend that one not pay them in advance, but rather make an agreement beforehand that the money is only due when it is proven that the sickness is actually healed. If the psychic is not willing to agree to these terms, then I strongly suggest that you leave your checkbook at home.

Please make copies and pass them on and also Post! This May Save a Person’s Life!

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