Turtles all the way down

‘Magic water’ sales by churches raise health fears

Posted by doctore0 on July 12, 2012

The old “Holy/Magic Water” scam

Health juices touted as “a cure for everything” are being sold by Pacific Island churches in Christchurch and are worrying social workers and government officials.

Pacific Island Evaluation social workers were aware of one church minister who claimed his health juice could “heal illnesses” and had told a seriously ill man to drink it rather than take his prescribed medication.

Registered social worker and trauma counsellor To’alepai Louella Thomsen-Inder said the minister had described the juice as “a cure for everything”.

“The minister claimed this magic water heals the soul and fixes everything, but the water is just water,” she said.

This month, the minister doorknocked a churchgoer and enticed him into buying a $60 bottle of juice the day after he had been released from hospital with serious medical conditions, Thomsen-Inder told The Press.

The elderly Samoan man, who could not speak English, was told the drink would “heal his illnesses”, but only if he stopped taking his antibiotics.

He bought the bottle, did not take his pills and ended up back in hospital with pneumonia days later.

Thomsen-Inder said the man was recovering at home and had since decided to “throw the magic water away”.

She was concerned that several Pacific Island families, who look up to their ministers like “God”, would buy the drink rather than go to the doctor.
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