Beware False Healers

The Maha Sabha of Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad Express

Benny Hinn and all who claim the power to heal are instructed in Luke 4:23 "Physician, heal thyself." On his Trinity Broadcasting Network in the United States, Hinn has been highlighting his two-day visit to Trinidad (February 27/28), not only stating that he had cast more devils out in Trinidad than he had in a long time but using the TV clip of a Hindu man from Moruga whom Benny Hinn claims to have cured.

But Marcano Siewkumar, speaking from his bed at Ward 11 of the San Fernando General, totally disclaims Benny Hinn's healing. In the Express of Saturday, March 13, Siewkumar, said in an interview with Camille Boodoo: "No man can heal. Healing comes from the Creator." And asked if he was temporarily healed at the crusade, Siewkumar said: "Would I be in hospital if I was healed?"

Siewkumar's wife, Molly, is reported to have told the Express reporter, "Benny Hinn never healed my husband." She went on to explain that the entire family fasted for six days before a Gita puja was performed for her husband and he felt better. Yet this poor, sick man was being wrongly used by Benny Hinn and some locals to publicise their claim to cure the sick.

Newsday of March 13 in a story by Azard Ali states: "But yesterday it was a severely ill Siewkumar lying at the San Fernando hospital who described himself as a staunch Hindu, condemned Hinn and his healing power. 'Benny Hinn healed me? Look where I am,' sobbed Siewkumar, fearing that he may never walk again."

The same article further stated: "Contending that his worsened heart condition and the consequences of not being able to move brought about by paying homage to Benny Hinn instead of the Hindu deities he was accustomed to, Siewkumar sobbed: "I am going to be here a long time. I know that and I want to tell Benny Hinn something -he knows nothing about healing because I feel that something bad happened to me since."

The Maha Sabha would like to know what follow-up action has been taken by Benny Hinn and his followers in Trinidad to meet with Siewkumar and others whom they claim to have healed. There is silence over these stories, yet extravagant claims continue to be made by Hinn and his local collaborators.

One pastor in central Trinidad has in the past published pictures of Indian women in orhanis whom he claimed to have converted. Why is there no paid advertisements proclaiming the cure and conversion of Marcano Siewkumar or any other verifiably cured person?

Benny Hinn himself presides over a multi-million dollar US enterprise based in Miami. In two recent television programmes CNN dealt with Hinn whom they described as the outlandish charismatic who delights "in slaying" people with the spirit. CNN revealed that when travelling abroad Hinn stays in presidential suites at as much as US$2,000 per night. The international TV Network also stated: "A trip to Europe by Benny Hinn and his entourage (flying on the Concorde and staying in luxury hotels) cost US$9000 return for each of them."

During an appearance on the Larry King programme on CNN Benny Hinn, referring to himself said, "I face devils as the Son of God." The message seems quite clear. Benny Hinn sees himself as the Arisen Christ. This man seems not to have read his own Prov. 16:19: "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoils with the proud."

It was well anticipated that just as the sick will move from doctor to doctor for diagnosis and healing, so too would they move to those who possess the "Sidhi" or gift from God to bring physical and emotional relief. In the Hindu tradition there are many blessed with this gift and hundreds from Trinidad, even people in prominent positions, travel to India for audiences with one of its most renowned healers and teachers. When, however, the God given gift is misused for commercial, or other purposes, then that gift is lost.

Since there is no locally recorded verifiable healing, what then was the purpose of Benny Hinn's visit to Trinidad? Those who keep close watch on so-called miracle churches have observed a steady drop in attendance. Where once some boasted of full audiences that necessitated multiple daily services with bulging coffers, decline has stepped in and international support has become necessary.

The Roman Catholic Church which is one of the main targets has now put its Pope on the International Religious Circuit. While speaking to millions in Mexico, the Pope made a call to arms. According to an Associated Press report, he summoned the faithful "to take to the streets and confront the challenges of protestant evangelism".

Hindus worldwide, including Trinidad and Tobago, are also responding in an aggressive manner to "Hindu-bashing" and the false healing claims. This new self-defence posture has thwarted well-laid-out international plans to subvert and destroy Hinduism and other traditional religions across the world.

Because of poor harvest of converts and shrinking coffers, Trinidad and Tobago can expect over the next few years a flood of high profile tele-evangelists flying down to prop up their local religious collaborators.

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