Shaman or Charlatan? The Cult of Faith Healers

Culture Facts

Where:The Philippines is the mecca and epicentre of healers
What’s it about: Using magic and trance to heal and stimulating blood without the use of incision
Watch out for: Numerous charlatans and queeze inducing blood

The Philippines are both renowned are repelled for their faith healers, who offer perform surgery without knives and promise miracle cures for all kinds of ailments, from cancer to liver problems. People from all walks of life and from all over the world come here to get cured, and whatever you may think, some people take their ‘powers’ pretty seriously.

Myth or Mystic?

These healers are often blasted for being charlatans, who use fake blood among other props to trick and deceive; though some swear by their ability to perform these feats, and claim to be in a trance when they operate, and are ‘guided by god’ the whole time. Faith healers tread a fine line between magic, mysticism, science and folklore and battle against the familiar taunts of charlatanism.

Acting as an intermediary between the surgeon and the Holy Spirit, Faith Healers occupy a sometimes revered high ground of a mystical saint. Often patients are desperate to be healed, pining their hopes and money on a magical cure to a terminal illness. But for every genuine ”healer’ there are doubtless a dozen scam merchant’s, so be carefully before you part with your hard earned cash.

Bloody Miracles

Witnessing a healing session is not for the squeamish, because lots of blood is seen while they massage the area where the illness is present; using their fingers to move around the affected areas. Afterwards, however, when the blood is wiped away, the skin is clean and no opening, incision or cuts remain.

From a sceptic’s point of view, it all looks like trickery, but many people who have been terminally ill have claimed to be cured and believe the ‘medicine’ offered here saved their lives.

More Information

Philippine Alternative Medicine
Directory of Faith Healer practicioners

Medlina.com
Books on Medical Quackery

By Dave Lowe

Related Content