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Branham's Healing Numbers Game

John Collins04/26/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/40Asthkf9ng

Let’s pretend that I were an evangelist, and large crowds were to gather to see me.  Let’s pretend that I had put on such an act in other states and countries that my fame had became more myth than fact.  Let’s pretend that as the crowds were filling the seats, some even standing around the walls as I took the microphone.  And I looked out across the audience and said these words:

EIGHTY PERCENT OF YOU GUYS ARE NUTS!

Sounds comical!  There’d be walls emptying, seats emptying, old ladies shaking their fists at me while young men were throwing tomatoes at the platform.  I can just see that one little old lady from the black-and-white movies with the horn-rimmed glasses and the wart on her nose pointing at me and calling me names that only the elderly would understand!

Yet that is EXACTLY what William Branham did!  By the time he started doing it, the congregations were already so programmed that they took the insults and just sat there saying, “praise God!”  Thank you for letting the ‘prophet’ see how stupid we are!

Let’s take a few examples:

Feeling the pressure when nervous people come to this platform, there's a least, right now in this building, eighty percent of what's setting here is nervous, afflicted with nervous trouble. (53-0509) 

There's just about eighty percent of that congregation got your trouble. You want me to show you? How many in this building suffers with nervous trouble, just a nervous condition, raise up your hands, all around, everywhere. See? (53-1106)

Come lady. There's about eighty percent of this audience suffering with the same thing, lady. Let me show you. All you out there that's plagued with nervousness, raise up your hand, everybody. (61-0318)

Say, "Brother Branham, I'm bothered with nervousness." Oh, there is about eighty percent of you with that.  (64-0207) 

I have heard message believers ridicule others in the faith healing ministry for their wild claims and generalization based on the odds, but when it comes right down to it, I think Branham was the only one brave enough to use the same percentage almost all of the time:  eighty percent.  The other wizards of Oz at least change their numbers up a bit to fool the people!  Branham CONSTANTLY used eighty percent in his crazy statistics that he pulled out from behind his magic curtain!

Listen to these insulting statements to those who lived in Arizona:

They made an analysis throughout Arizona, where I live, of all the schools. They gave the children, unknowingly to them, a mental test. And guess what? Including high schools and--and grammar schools, there was eighty percent of the children suffering with mental deficiency.  (65-0424)

I told you the other day, they was taking an analysis there of the schools in Arizona where I live, and eighty percent of the children in school is mentally retarded.  (65-0425)

Eighty percent of the children in Arizona schools are suffering with mental deficiency, sixty-seven percent of them was by looking at television. (65-0911)

I can almost hear him as they skipped town to the next meeting:  “Did you hear that honey?  I called them a buncha stupid people!  And they said ‘Amen!’”  Next time, maybe I’ll call them a bunch of sissies for wearing shorts and see if they give me a few ‘Amens!’  They’ll never know that I wear shorts either!”

Branham knew the numbers game, and he played it well.  Having been deeply involved in Jeffersonville, otherwise known as “Little Las Vegas,” he knew how to use numbers to change the situation.

One common numbers game is to over-exaggerate the odds.  It’s illegal in many states, but not in the faith healing movement – lying faith healers are outside of the law for some reason.

Listen to how Branham stacks the odds in his favor:

Now, in the meetings, there's somewhat about seventy to eighty percent that passes through the prayer line, you here, that's healed within the space of ninety days, are well. (48-0304 )

Oh, my.  Eighty percent of the people are sick now. (50-0110)

Now, in an auditorium filled with people, Branham just stacked the deck!  He knew that a certain percentage of people would recover from their sickness without any intervention at all.  He also knew that he was over-exaggerating the percentage.  In any given group of people, there is closer to 10% sick – not eighty.  That leaves him a spread of 1 to 8 – which is better than any table in any casino in Las Vegas!   

With these gambling odds, Branham could hit every town or city in every state of every country!  You almost can’t lose!  Too bad there wasn’t money behind this one --- oh wait, there was!

He got crazy-cocky with the odds that he had set himself up with.  He simply could not lose!  So he started making wild claims for the remaining seventy-percent of people that were never sick to begin with:

You'll find out that at least sixty to eighty percent of every sick person in this building will be healed in the next hour. (50-0405)

I'm expecting God to heal at least sixty or eighty percent of the people in here tonight, perfectly well before this service is over. (50-0405)

You just let seventy or eighty percent of what I pray for tonight be back tomorrow night testifying it's--of a results that's happened to them, I'll go forward in faith, Lord, believing that I am moving according to Your will. (51-0503)

And I'll say this with all my heart, that at least eighty percent of them were healed 'fore they even got to where I was at. (62-0722)

The funny part?  He knew there would be doubters.  He knew there would also be a percentage of people who went through the lines and did not receive their healing.  What to do?  How can I stack these numbers MORE in my favor?

That’s easy!  He created the numbers in his own numbers game, so he can easily stack them even more in his favor!  Let’s take the doubters out of the equation, making it more like 1 and 16 odds! 

But I say that eighty percent of the people that comes to the platform, doesn't know what faith is. (51-0729E)

I find that about eighty percent of the people that say they believe possess hope instead of faith. (52-0725)

If we had the whole world gathered tonight and Christ was to come here and perform, there'd be at least eighty percent of them go away and say, "I don't believe it." (56-0406)

No, I'm speaking of the general public (See?), all around, like Chicago in whole, we'd say, or--or Durban, South Africa, in whole (See?), something like that, or Mexico City in whole. Well, they will respond to it eighty percent more than they will in America. (56-0408A)

These are GREAT odds!  Most casinos would never even TOUCH this one!  He practically can’t lose!  Then, when you combine the stacked deck with the names, addresses, and sicknesses described on those prayer cards, the odds get even better!  If he can take that 10% that were likely to be healed, boost their faith in their ….faith, (mind over matter), that ten percent healed becomes more like 15 or 20%! 

Now, we have to consider that some of those, who would have been healed any way, would not be healed immediately.  It takes some time.  You have to account for the duration in between their visit to Oz and getting the brain for the tin man.  What to do?  Let’s through some numbers at that one also!

Now, in the meetings, there's somewhat about seventy to eighty percent that passes through the prayer line, you here, that's healed within the space of ninety days, are well. (48-0304 )

To think that Branham used these crazy numbers at the expense of humble Christians is unthinkable.  To consider that they praised him for calling them stupid is humorous.  But to think that he did this in the name of God is blasphemy.

This reminds me of the prophecy that God gave Isaiah in Isaiah 29:

And the Lord said:

“Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

God just told them, basically, that he would do GREAT things for them, and they would be so consumed by the wonders that they would become COMPLETELY foolish.  These would be the 80% in Arizona!

And to those like William Branham, during the days of old, who thought God would never find out, God says this:

Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”  You turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it,

 “He has no understanding”?  Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?

But to those that are awakened by reading the Word of God, a promise of joy is given.  That promise?  Joy in the Holy One.

In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.  The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

To those who are scoffing at the many who are now finding peace in leaving the lies and deception found in the cult of William Branham, we are given peace in knowing that it is only for a while:

For the ruthless shall come to nothing and the scoffer cease, and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off, who by a word make a man out to be an offender, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.

Ask yourselves:  Do you REALLY want to be numbered among the eighty percent that was mentally deficient?  Is your ambition in life to be part of Branham’s numbers game?  And if so, do you really want to be THAT part?  The mentally deficient?

Wouldn’t you rather be numbered among those who serve Christ?  Those who were once deaf and hear the Word from the Book?  Those who are led out of their gloom and darkness, and given eyes to see?  Wouldn’t you like to be given fresh joy in the Lord, joy in exalting the Holy One?