Religious satellite TV show Miracle Hour ‘risking lives’

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Watch the program at the link below

TV shows made in London that encourage viewers to believe they are cured of life-threatening illnesses by prayer have been condemned by charities.


Charities have criticised an episode of the Miracle Hour show, broadcast on Faith World TV on 4 January, during which a caller with diabetes was told he was “set free” from the disease.

“It is particularly dangerous and puts his life at risk,” said African Health Policy Network head Francis Kaikumba.

UK World Evangelical Trust, which produces the show, said: “We are now reviewing our new programmes to make sure our standards meet good practice.”

BBC London’s Nick Beake spoke to head of African Health Policy Network Francis Kaikumba, Action Plus Deliverance Centre’s Pastor Fred Annin, and London solicitors Michael Simkins LLP’s Eleanor Steyn.

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

27 COMMENTS

  1. This is why atheists need our own tv channel on sky. Instead of just complaining about the 50 god channels brainwashing and exploiting ordinary people, we need to start a rational tv channel showing all the abundance of videos that are online. No christian or Muslim will ever visit an atheist website so we need to to bring rational thinking to them by any means necessary.. Even most atheist friends of mine have never seen a Christopher hitchens debate or a Richard Dawkins documentary or even heard of James randii.
    We need to get our message of rational thinking and reason on national tv before its too late. With the amount of rubbish on tv these days, I think an atheist tv channel will be very popular, especially if the religious organisations try to ban it and take way our freedom of speech.

    • In reply to #3 by brown dwarf:

      This is why atheists need our own tv channel on sky. Instead of just complaining about the 50 god channels brainwashing and exploiting ordinary people, we need to start a rational tv channel showing all the abundance of videos that are online. No christian or Muslim will ever visit an atheist website so we need to to bring rational thinking to them by any means necessary.. Even most atheist friends of mine have never seen a Christopher hitchens debate or a Richard Dawkins documentary or even heard of James randii.
      We need to get our message of rational thinking and reason on national tv before its too late. With the amount of rubbish on tv these days, I think an atheist tv channel will be very popular, especially if the religious organisations try to ban it and take way our freedom of speech.

      How on earth could non believers have their own channel?
      The only thing we are guaranteed to agree on is that there is no evidence for any theistic hand in the universe,would not be a long show,far less a whole station.

  2. OP

    UK World Evangelical Trust, which produces the show, said: “We are now reviewing our new programmes to make sure our standards meet good practice.”

    Where as before….?

    Lying fundagelicals only ‘review’ when they get found out seemingly!

    Sorry to say that if there are dumb headed sycophantic fools out there that ‘believe’ this rubbish then they deserve all they get.
    Natural selection indeed…

    Now the cretins are smiting their own, and proud of it.

    Kind of suggests they are an evolutionary dead end.

  3. It’s only natural selection if the behaviour is genetically inherited. As far as I know that is absolutely not the case. In light of that, calling it “natural selection at work” seems like an asinine excuse to not care about the suffering of others.

  4. In reply to #3 by brown dwarf:

    This is why atheists need our own tv channel on sky. Instead of just complaining about the 50 god channels brainwashing and exploiting ordinary people, we need to start a rational tv channel showing all the abundance of videos that are online. No christian or Muslim will ever visit an atheist website so we need to to bring rational thinking to them by any means necessary.. Even most atheist friends of mine have never seen a Christopher hitchens debate or a Richard Dawkins documentary or even heard of James randii.
    We need to get our message of rational thinking and reason on national tv before its too late. With the amount of rubbish on tv these days, I think an atheist tv channel will be very popular, especially if the religious organisations try to ban it and take way our freedom of speech.

    There is partial success in the UK with BBC 2 and BBC4. – David Attenborough, Brian Cox, the late Patrick Moore, Richard Dawkins, Jim Al khalili, Alan Titchmarsh etc.

  5. The only reason this isn’t fraud, as far as I’m concerned, is that the fraudsters actually believe their own lies.

    After the BBC put the charities’ criticisms to UKWET last week, Bishop Simon read a statement at the start of the Miracle Hour programme broadcast on 15 February.

    “If God heals you, please make sure you go to your doctor to certify that you have been healed or have been made whole and let your doctor give you a clearance on this very matter,” he said.

    “Also, when it comes to your children, if your children are sick and we pray for them, that does not remove you from going to your doctor.

    “Our prayer is to offer a prayer of faith but the medical people satisfy that people are truly healed.”

    AKA We’re still running this fake show to please you, but the doctors are the ones actually doing something for you. So go to them before somebody sues us.

    UKWET manager the Reverend Chris Mmeregini told the BBC the Miracle Hour programme is “designed to bring encouragement to believers in Jesus Christ through the preaching and teaching of the word of God and to offer prayer of faith to help those in need”.

    “The issues you have raised in our Hour of Miracles programme on 4 January and 11 January do not represent the content or intent of the programme as you have implied,” he added.

    In other words, this is really about proselytizing to the masses, not about medical matters. People who are sick and in need of medical attention are just vehicles for preaching our faith.

    An Ofcom spokesman said: “Ofcom has very strict rules in place to protect viewers and listeners from harm and to prevent religious programmes from exploiting audiences.

    “We have already issued a number of tough sanctions to channels in this area and are actively monitoring content to ensure that any breaches are appropriately dealt with.”

    Well, so long as they’re following their statement, I don’t mind, but if they’re actively monitoring content, then how did this one slip through the net?

    Pastor Fred Annin, of Action Plus Deliverance Centre, a ministry which congregates in south London, emphasised the important role faith can play “in boosting morale” for “helping people through illness”.

    “Faith lifts people up when they’re down but should never push them down more,” he added.

    “Prayer can not bring our health back when we ignore medicine.”

    No. Positive attitudes and the love and goodwill of caring people lift people up, boost morale, and help people through illness. Faith’s got nothing to do with it, and suggesting it has is misattribution of the cause. I respect the well-intentioned sentiment expressed, but that’s a reason why you can’t undermine your own intentions with incorrect ideas about how to fulfil it.

    And there are good people out there who won’t take this lying down:

    “It is particularly dangerous and puts his life at risk,” said African Health Policy Network head Francis Kaikumba.

    Exactly. People who go to alternative medicine (which is what this essentially is) aren’t going to real medicine, which potentially allows their illnesses to get worse as a result.

    Mr Kaikumba said: “The clip is worrying. Bishop Simon claims to have removed the illness from the caller, insinuating he has been cured.”

    “The pastor should have recommended the caller sought medical help.”

    Yes, he should because he’s accepting responsibility for the caller’s health and then abusing it. The caller should have gone to the doctor in the first place, anyway. Why didn’t he? Is the information not getting across to the public?

    Debbie Ariyo, head of Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (Afruca), said the broadcast “flags up a child safeguarding issue”.

    “Someone is telling the woman she has the power to heal children she believes are possessed.”

    “It gives someone who has potential cancer false hope. That’s absolutely shocking, dangerous and misleading for the patient”

    That “someone” is lying and/or spreading misinformation, and as a result kids who should be receiving medical care are being denied it for alternatives that don’t work. Shocking, dangerous, and misleading, but sadly not considered criminal by enough people.

    Mr Kaikumba said: “There needs to be a far reaching investigation into this pastor and TV channel.

    “We intend to write a letter to Ofcom raising our concerns…[Ellipsis mine]

    Mr Kaikumba said he has watched “similar channels” to Faith World TV and “been appalled by some of the things I’ve seen faith leaders do”.

    “I’ve seen shocking examples of faith leaders advising people that they have been healed or cured as a mechanism for people to attend services and purchase items,” he added.

    He called for “better scrutiny from Ofcom”.

    “There needs to be a government commission and inquiry,” he said.

    And I hope the investigation sees this misinformation stopped in its tracks.

    Joe Aldred, executive secretary of Meca said: “Ministers need to be careful when dealing with children and vulnerable adults.

    “Ministers should be careful about claiming that exorcisms or healing have actually occurred unless there is corroborative evidence; the minister cannot be both judge and jury.”

    They shouldn’t be allowed to practise unless they have evidence, and since they don’t, they should be told to cease practise indefinitely.

  6. Bishop Simon and his “Miracle Hour” ilk deserve to be “Miracle-Whipped” off the air. Exploiting popular ignorance with typical religious mumbo jumbo in the 21st century is despicable.

    His act should be permanently stuck in the mayonnaise jar, and thrown away together with all of his
    accompanying over spoiled baloney!!!!

  7. The logic of these charlatans amazes me. Even accepting the ridiculous claim that the good bishop can cure people, because he has some hotline to God, where did the illness come from in the first place? No other place but from their loving Creator !

    Thank you God for saving Aunt Mary, – too bad about all those other people with cancer who died !

    As usual with the religios, God gets the credit for the good stuff, whereas anything bad is down to the sinful state of humanity !

  8. In reply to #5 by Serdan:

    calling it “natural selection at work” seems like an asinine excuse to not care about the suffering of others.

    It is not about not caring for the victims of these scam shows, but they have no intention themselves of rational action anyway, that is why a) they worship a sky daddy and b) why they are watching such a show in the first place to such a level that they buy the nonsense espoused lock stock and two smoking barrels worth because that is what they want to believe.

    With the best will in the world that mind set is almost impossible to rationalize with and completely unlikely to make an impression on.
    I am not saying that therefore they should be ignored but there is no organization or indeed attempt to try and negotiate a less stark dependence on the premise these shows promote.

    Exactly how that would be rectified properly is beyond my ken certainly.

    The folk that watch and believe every word do not wish for nor do they seek out such knowledge or advice.
    For them the answer is given, and it is the answer they feel most comfortable with.
    They are lost to reality, and almost impossible to re-direct except by a ju ju man.
    That is their understanding and that is the way the culture they are part of demands.

    Even if explained to them by the appropriate experts it is still a fair bet that the mechanism of healing will still be fully explained in their understanding by some spurious spiritual act and not medication.

    Yes it is sad, but apart from withdrawing license from the show scammers there are few alternative ways to inhibit such nonsense flooding the airways.

    These folk are doomed because that is the way they roll.
    And the biggest scam is that the moderate churches rarely if ever intervene.
    This case is very unusual for the way it was handled, but I rather think it was the secular side that coerced the institutions from the theist camp to intervene, it simply does not happen often enough.

    So this is not about lack of care it is about lack of affective measures, or indeed means, to save these folk from themselves.

  9. “We are reviewing our new programmes to make sure our standards meet good practice” – does that mean they soon won’t have any programmes at all? By “standards” do they mean a list of things to avoid claiming that prayer will cure – like amputations, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, congenital deformities, bubonic plague, schizophrenia, bone fractures, and toothaches? And aren’t there laws against false advertising?

  10. The religious have around 50 god channels broadcasting 24 hours a day slowly brainwashing people with falsehoods, and all we have is the occasional “program” on bbc2 or channel 4. This is not good enough. We need our own channel, maybe called RDTV, or Atheist TV, or Rational TV broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is more than enough good video material online to do this. We need to contact public access channels in the USA and http://www.information.tv here in the uk to get our message across to the general public.
    Let millions of people at home flicking through the tv channel stumble upon a Christopher hitchens debate, or a James randi debunking, or an episode of mr deity, or one of the videos on YouTube made by atheists that they would never ever see. This will quickly raise awareness of the harm that religious belief is doing to our society.
    In reply to #6 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #3 by brown dwarf:

    This is why atheists need our own tv channel on sky. Instead of just complaining about the 50 god channels brainwashing and exploiting ordinary people, we need to start a rational tv channel showing all the abundance of videos that are online. No christian or Muslim will ever visit an atheist website so we need to to bring rational thinking to them by any means necessary.. Even most atheist friends of mine have never seen a Christopher hitchens debate or a Richard Dawkins documentary or even heard of James randii.
    We need to get our message of rational thinking and reason on national tv before its too late. With the amount of rubbish on tv these days, I think an atheist tv channel will be very popular, especially if the religious organisations try to ban it and take way our freedom of speech.

    There is partial success in the UK with BBC 2 and BBC4. – David Attenborough, Brian Cox, the late Patrick Moore, Richard Dawkins, Jim Al khalili, Alan Titchmarsh etc.

  11. I’m at a loss to understand why shows like this are even allowed air space. It’s not just Britain, of course, USA is famous for these types of people and TV shows.

    I bet if I started similar shows asking people to donate their life savings and having faith that I will multiply it by 1000% before their very eyes and then not coming up with the goods I’d be banned from the airwaves in minutes, and probably thrown into jail, but because it’s religion, these quack fraudsters/faith healers get away with it, yes, murder in some cases.

  12. In reply to #12 by Sue Blue:

    “We are reviewing our new programmes to make sure our standards meet good practice” – does that mean they soon won’t have any programmes at all? By “standards” do they mean a list of things to avoid claiming that prayer will cure – like amputations, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, congenital deformities, bubonic plague, schizophrenia, bone fractures, and toothaches? And aren’t there laws against false advertising?

    What they are promoting can’t possibly by any stretch of the imagination be legal in any civilised country. Britain, I’m ashamed of you. Disallow the nonsense immediately before any more people suffer at the hands of these charlatans.

  13. In reply to #15 by ArloNo:

    I think that the majority of these nonsense broadcasts are sequestered on the satellite channels.
    Maybe one or two on Sky, I am not sure about their content, neither Sky’s nor the shows that might be on there.

    Certainly the satellite route seems to be the preferred method of distribution…there is a whole raft of gobbly gook littering the airways from that source, not just religio bumph but gambling and sexline shows, it is a free for all wild west scenario.

    And the problem is most are free to air, anyone can receive, if they have a basic packet, and their HQ is probably in Belize or similar tax or law vague haven.

    They are affectively outside UK jurisdiction.

    And certainly the distribution networks in Europe are not exactly run along the lines of quality, in fact the main one ‘Canal Digitaal’ is part owned by UPC which is an American company in all but name.
    And UPC, the main distributors for terrestrial TV, are regarded broadly actually as a ‘cowboy’ organization in how they conduct their business.

    Atrocious service and schizophrenic in attitude about the content they handle.
    There was uproar a while back when they colluded with some aspects of the governmental body that is supposed to insure diversity and equal access etc etc..

    .in other words a dozen Muslim oriented schedules were introduced and popular content was moved to a paid package,and when that went pear shaped through lack of viewers of Islamic content then Spanish bullfighting was introduced, with much the same affect.

    But free to air is a unregulated mess, it is no wonder that cockroaches and religio crappola wiggle between the cracks.

    And at last count on the receiver I use there is over 800 channels, not all broadcasting some are just place holder slots for the big boys to be utilized when terrestrial finally bites the dust in a decade or so.
    But the majority of it is just utter dross and interspersed with local amateur affairs a slew of shopping channels with a few esoteric weird progressive art progs and all in different languages.

    Oversight of prog content is not for the feint hearted government, which has other fish to fry, no resources and probably targeting would result in court proceedings citing discrimination and unfair restrictions.

    Most on the religious selection are indeed of American origin.
    That is the source, like Tower of Power was very popular before that spectacular imploded under its own pompousness.

    And so many are African subcontinent self proclaimed bishops and scams that are impossible to trace but so easy to donate to, if you get my drift!

  14. I’ve mixed feeling on this. On one hand I’m disgusted by this show and on the other I can’t say I feel sorry for callers that are gullible enough to accept miracle cures instead of seeking proper medical attention. I suppose it’s a kind of natural selection process where the gullible die of their illnesses and the skeptics survive.

  15. Since these sky channels are so easy to set up i think we rationalists are missing a great opportunity here to get our message onto the tv screens of millions. PLEASE Richard Dawkins, start your own tv channel. Millions of people visit this website every month. You are the most well known atheist in the world today. All the atheists on youtube will be more than happy to have their material shown on national tv. You could easily advertise it here on richarddawkins.net. I honestly believe It could become the most popular tv channel on sky tv!
    The only atheist tv show in the world is http://www.theatheist-experience.com on austin public access tv. They have years of great material in their archive and i’m sure they would love to have it broadcast to millions as well.

  16. In reply to #13 by brown dwarf:

    The religious have around 50 god channels broadcasting 24 hours a day slowly brainwashing people with falsehoods, and all we have is the occasional “program” on bbc2 or channel 4. This is not good enough. We need our own channel, maybe called RDTV, or Atheist TV, or Rational TV broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is more than enough good video material online to do this. We need to contact public access channels in the USA and http://www.information.tv here in the uk to get our message across to the general public.
    Let millions of people at home flicking through the tv channel stumble upon a Christopher hitchens debate, or a James randi debunking, or an episode of mr deity, or one of the videos on YouTube made by atheists that they would never ever see. This will quickly raise awareness of the harm that religious belief is doing to our society.
    In reply to #6 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #3 by brown dwarf:

    This is why atheists need our own tv channel on sky. Instead of just complaining about the 50 god channels brainwashing and exploiting ordinary people, we need to start a rational tv channel showing all the abundance of videos that are online. No christian or Muslim will ever visit an atheist website so we need to to bring rational thinking to them by any means necessary.. Even most atheist friends of mine have never seen a Christopher hitchens debate or a Richard Dawkins documentary or even heard of James randii.
    We need to get our message of rational thinking and reason on national tv before its too late. With the amount of rubbish on tv these days, I think an atheist tv channel will be very popular, especially if the religious organisations try to ban it and take way our freedom of speech.

    There is partial success in the UK with BBC 2 and BBC4. – David Attenborough, Brian Cox, the late Patrick Moore, Richard Dawkins, Jim Al khalili, Alan Titchmarsh etc.

    I’ve always liked The Education Station but I think it’s taken now. Reason TV would do. I would stay away from the word atheist, people freak at the word and would avoid, just because.

  17. Reason tv would be a fantastic name. We need to find a way to get something on air as soon as possible. There is a wealth of videos on YouTube from atheists that need to be shown to the mass population.
    As for the name atheist tv causing people to “freak at the word”. Remember that the last census showed that most of the population of the uk are atheists. The only people who would freak out are those who believe that non belief in a god breaks blasphemy laws. Atheist tv might even be a better name because it would generate good publicity for the channel. It is our job as atheists to not be ashamed of what we are (atheists) and let people know that it is ok to be, and call yourself an atheist. This is the uk and we still have freedom of speech. There are many countries in the world where atheists are not so fortunate. We cannot just sit back and allow that to happen here. The religious don’t worry about calling their channel ‘God TV’.

  18. Another website I found has links to thousands of online videos in the categories section half way down the page to the right. They also produce a regular weekly news show called the infidel.

    http://www.atheismtv.com/blog/

    I hope you understand my point that the general public will never know about all this material unless they search online for it (which they won’t). Therefore it is our job to inform them by putting it on tv if we want to spread information, increase knowledge, raise consciousness and make a real positive difference in our society.

  19. I am an atheist, and I have to thank Brown Dwarf for understanding atheists like me. I’m a creature of habit, when my working day is done all I want to do is chill out, vegetate in front of the TV but the TV is full of Completely Ridiculous Abstract Programes. I’m not one to spend hours searching the internet for secular videos or programes, I’ve tried listening to blog radios, news feeds and such but some of these programes are not compatible with my laptop and some people don’t even have computer equipment to view these videos. A secular TV station would be heaven to me, imagine hour after hour of rational thinking people discussing real issues that affect everyone across the globe this is the kind of thing that I wouldn’t mind paying my TV licence fees for not stupidity like Hollyoaks or big brother. Actual factual TV with real intelligence and thought provoking debates. Why has this not been done already?
    If the internet is where religion goes to die then why can’t we euthanize it on TV? There are so many GOD channels why not have an Atheist National TV Station? If the godly don’t like it don’t watch. Stepping on the sensitivities of the religious shouldn’t deter us atheist from broadcasting material that would bring awareness to millions, after all they don’t care about the atheist sensitivities.
    If Brown Dwarf had not listed all that information I for one would not know it existed, how many more me’s are out there wanting new information and ways to express our points of view or just the fact that we disbelieve and not finding it. I agree TV is the next logical step in the fight to disseminate information to the masses.

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