The police also found items related to witchcraft and the occult.
Unfortunately, his work contributed to the ‘Satanic Panic’ hysteria of that time.
Of course it isn’t all that unusual for a pastor to claim healing powers. Witness the blow-dried televangelists of America and elsewhere, who often advertise their dramatic healing powers in infomercials.
But in western Kenya the belief in the supernatural is far deeper, and the line between Christianity and the occult is thin at best.
With the flim-flam out of the way, there’s also room for the Samaritan (“the smallest sect in the world”), China’s whining about the Dalai Lama, and some religion/abortion issues.
So far, 130 healers, including Fadkin, have passed the service’s voluntary testing program, which promoters in the government say can determine whether someone has the inherent ability to cure. The program is limited to Moscow, but a Russian lawmaker is pushing to extend it nationwide and make it mandatory.
Skeptics scoff at the notion that such testing is meaningful and criticize the government for lending credibility to people who claim paranormal powers.
Harshbarger’s tale begins at home in Indiana, where a lack of religious guidance combined with his parents’ divorce led him to become a bitter, disaffected teen with an appetite for the sensational, including tales of supernatural phenomena.
While in college, he befriended a co-worker at his day job who was already a Satanist. The two made plans to form their own cult and set about recruiting members.
Prosecutors have referred to the couple as ‘cult leaders.’
The advert on DD-India channel in Hindi said that Pandit Bharatraj Shastri was an expert in “palmistry, birth kundali (horoscopes), vastu expert, marriage issues, troubles in business, dissatisfaction at work, warding off affects of black magic, family problems”.