The Devil made me do it.
I'm preparing for the first signing for Holy Moly (tonight, Barnes & Noble in Westlake, 7:30). If you know anything about the book, you know it features a televangelist. I want something entertaining to talk about tonight (as if the world of televangelism isn't enough by itself), so I decided to contact one of the more flambuoyant televangelists, a man named Leroy Jenkins (that's him in the photo), and see if he'd give me the scoop on the Miracle Water he hawks on his web site. The site says:
Thousands have been healed, saved and delivered through the Anointed Miracle Water. Reverend Jenkins has prayed over this water and anointed it for the healing and blessing of those who use it. We receive their testimonies every day.
The best part is, the water is only $20 for a liter. What a deal. So I wrote him a note. I'll admit, I had the devil in me, and I pretended to be someone other than who I truly was. Shame on me. Here's how the first exchange went:
ME: I'm very intrested in Miraclle Water and its healing properties. My questions are does it take care of arthritis? I have it bad in my left hand. Does it take care of scabies. My wife has that lately and its driving her crazy. Also, how many miracles can you get out of one bottle? How much would I have to drink to get rid of my ahthritis? Thank you and God bless.
LEROY: Ben, I cannot give you a definite answer to your questions. Many have benefited greatly from this water God bless you.
ME: Thank you for responing. How have people benefited? Did it cure them? God Bless.
Then something weird happened. Up until then, I'd been using a Yahoo address to talk with him. It's my secondary address, the one that I use when I sign up for something, because I know spam will be coming my way. But the address has my real name in it, and I guess Leroy did some digging, learned who I was, and replied to my primary email address, the one you can link to via my web site. Surprisingly, he didn't accuse me of deceit. The response continued this way:
LEROY: I am sorry, I do not have that information at hand.
ME: You figured it out faster than I thought you would. Congrats. This is your chance to answer some questions and have me tout your Miracle Water to thousands of my readers around the world. Seriously, how much water does it take cure a case of scabies? An ounce? An entire bottle? What makes this water so miraculous? More important, does it taste great or is it simply less filling?
LEROY: Ben, I am not aggressively selling the water. I go out of my way to provide it to those who long for it. I use it in my services to anoint people that I pray for, and they are healed. There is nothing in the water, it is just a point of contact, and people are healed if they believe. God has a hand in it, of course. I have prayed over the water. There have been some fantastic miracles wrought when I pray for people and pour it on them, or give it to them to drink. It is a ministry.
ME: Again, I appreciate the response. I have one last question, and this ties into a web site you've probably seen: Has Miracle Water ever enabled an amputee to grow a limb back? If it hasn't--yet it has healed many others with serious afflictions, according to your web site--why can't it help the amputees? I don't mean this to sound flippant. I am honestly interested in your answer.
LEROY: Ben, A 6" portion of a leg bone grew back after I prayed for the child. He is now 41 and in perfect health. I did not use the water at that time. What happens, happens.
There were a couple more emails after that, but then I let it drop. What else was I going to ask him, and what would be the point?
Oh, by the way, my wife does not have scabies.
Hope to see you tonight.