What can I do? What should I do?

A letter from Patsy

Over the past month, I have been e-conversing with Pastor Tim O’Brien who has some limited national recognition throughout the US. The conversation started because I was upset after seeing how the children were treated in Jesus Camp, and I expressed that to him. As a result, the conversation continued to grow.

He and I are polar opposites. I am an atheist and I have been questioning much of what he does. He has told me in several emails that he has healed the sick with prayer. He says has healed leukemia. He has told me of two incidents where he has prayed and “watched” a leg grow, one inch in front of him and another one inch overnight. He says he has healed back problems. His claims own hearing was healed by prayer when he was 10 years old.

His church sends out missionaries and they have recently been to India supposedly healing at least 12 AIDS patients. They have been totally cured for at least a month, so it is said.

I have never been able to get him to admit he’s taken money for these prayer healings. His non-answer to my direct question leaves me with the impression he indeed has suggested and accepted money. I have been trying to get him to try James Randi’s $1,000,000 challenge. Of course, he won’t do this, because he knows it’s “rigged."

Tbe best email was when he told me something along the lines that it's not so hard "to make a human from dust. All the combined ingredients would cost about $2.79.”

Somehow, with all these interesting beliefs, he manages to stay under the radar. There is nothing about him on the Internet where someone claims to have been cheated out of money for a false healing (at least nothing I’ve found). When I started to write to him and questioned his reports of prayer and healing, he removed comments pertaining to prayer and healing from his website. (Last time I checked he also removed his sermons after I poked fun at them).

This man is charismatic and it’s easy for me to understand how he charms anyone. While I’ve been appalled at much of what he’s said to me, and I’ve expressed that to him, in most cases he’s remained calm. I, however, am haunted with this, thinking he will tell a person who is genuinely sick that he’s healed them.

Is there anything that can be done to stop this sort of action? Am I out of line pursuing this? Should I just leave those who are vulnerable to fend for themselves? I would really like to see an operation like his shut down. I need the perspective of others. Any thoughts and assistance will be appreciated.

I have all the email conversations between us. He is in Missouri and I am in Arizona. His website is www.roaministries.org .

I don’t know of anyone who has claimed to be hurt by this man ... I’m just worried.


Anonymous said...

Few victims of con-men admit to being taken; it's embarrassing.

My suggestion is to continue to correspond, and save everything. Try to get testimony from "flock" members who feel taken, when you can.

A bit like Jesus Camp, all you relly have to do is let the camera roll and they hang themselves. Any rational person knows that legs don't grow back, and that this is clearly a lie.

eris.discordia said...

To expound on what Chuckyjesus said, might I suggest that you keep records of everything he says to you and, when there is enough evidence of fraud, report him to the attorney general of your state as well as Dateline, 20/20 and other news reporters. Even shows like Oprah may want to investigate! You never know with the news folks! Sometimes they pick up things like this and run with them! Especially if you get hard evidence!

Good Luck and may the FORCE be with you, my friend!

eris.discordia said...

BTW - I forgot to mention this. I saw a video on that Jesus Camp and it made me and my kids physically ill! I literally vomited while watching it. It is child abuse, pure and simple! Parents who send their kids to places like that should have all parental rights terminated immediately! Can you imagine the kind of mental shit those kids will have to deal with later on in life? No wonder we have so many murderers and rapists in our society!

WhateverLolaWants said...

Wow. I think that if any of these things had happened (esp. legs growing back), someone credible would have noticed- a doctor, perhaps? A journalist? I know plenty of researchers would be thrilled to find cases of cured AIDS patients.

Has this pastor answered those questions? Why hasn't the world at large heard of his healings? After all, he's making very big claims- not just run-of-the-mill "we cured Martha's arthritis" claims. I'm curious as to his answer. Probably something about media bias, no doubt.

Hellbound Alleee said...

He's either evil, or crazy, or both.

Thanks for the website: I intend to make a podcast out of this lunatic.

Make fun of him as much as possible. Either way, people will still seek men like this out.

They get something from him. Perhaps he is a criminal, but most people feel they are getting their money's worth just listening to the bullshit. That's christianity for you: whatever feels good, do it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who say continue to correspond with him. Keep him talking. He will eventually hang himself. We all do -- or, rather, we all reveal what's really going on in our heads and hearts if we talk long enough.

Look for disaffected members, which probably means getting to know more of the congregation than just him.

You sure you're up for this? Exposing someone seemingly as crafty as he is isn't easy work.

I wish you luck.

Pantonal said...

I think the only reason to continue corresponding with him would be the entertainment value. Guys like this are far craftier than the typical person. They've been lying so long they actually believe half of what they say. You're not going to catch him in a lie and even the leg growing before his eyes is unverifiable. If you do choose to continue this correspondance then something like that would be a great occasion to question him, something like, "Do you actually believe that? Because as far as I'm concerned that's a lie and you know it's a lie. Keep it up and you'll be meeting the devil." In other words don't take it seriously, expect him to lie and call him on it.

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