Insuring MetaPhysicians to Cure Your MetaCancer

The State of Massachusetts is considering passing a law that would force businesses to contribute a set amount of money to every employee for health care. Perhaps you’re a conservative who would prefer health care to be covered by the free market. Maybe you’re a liberal who thinks the government should just cover the cost. Maybe you’re a foreigner who has better things to think about. Let’s set all of that aside just for a second to talk about how the Christian Scientists feel.

You’re already chuckling, aren’t you? You know where this is going. Buckle up.

As you may know, the First Church of Christ, Scientist is based here in Boston. I visited the world headquarters just a few months ago, at which time I snuck around, learned some disturbing things, got freaked out, and scurried away, thankfully without contracting measles. The Church operates like a business, particularly in the case of its award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. Because of this, the Church has paid employees, to whom the organization offers “health care” benefits. Currently, non-Christian Scientists who work for the Church are offered a plan that covers about 70% of the premium through Tufts Health Plan, while Church members are offered a plan directly through the Church, which covers 90% of the total amount of Monopoly money spent on charlatans who use their deranged fantasies to pretend patients get better. AKA, faith healers.

Just to recap: the Church offers employees a formal “heath plan” so they can afford to pay to see the Church’s own faith healers.

This is why they’re up in arms about the current legistlation — the law states that the money must go toward medical care, as opposed to fantasy unicorn summoning or whatever. The fantasy unicorn summoners are crying unfair. Poor things.

In a recent Boston Globe article, one Mark Unger was interviewed. Mark’s self-chosen title is “metaphysician,” meaning, I suppose, “somewhere around a physician, but not actually in possesion of talent or knowledge or sense of ethics.” Mark describes his job as

to lift up the patient above the physical level to the spiritual, to get them to look beyond the symptoms to the spiritual truth about what’s going on.

“What’s going on,” meaning that you’re trying to chant away disease and it’s not working and you’re probably going to die in a nasty way. The article says:

Unger charges $32 for a treatment, during which he prays for a patient to promote healing. The Ashland resident said he can pray anywhere, but prefers a quiet place, usually not with the patient.

Like maybe on a bike ride? At the beach? Reading a novel? While getting a midnight snack from the fridge? It’s great that he found a profession that allows him plenty of free time to explore his other interests, and no need to bother with pesky patients.
The article continues:

While he doesn’t make medical diagnoses, Unger says he has cured a patient’s skin cancer with prayer. “It dried up and dropped off,” he said.

Oh, the cancer just dried up and dropped off, did it? Well that’s fantastic! Can we see it? Surely there’s a lump of cancer in your desk drawer somewhere, or maybe in a jar over your fireplace that we could borrow just for a second. We’ll run a few of our heathen tests on it, but don’t worry — despite what quantum physics says the observation won’t affect the sample, and the payoff will be totally worth it. Imagine the people we could a.) convert to your crazy religion and b.) help not die and c.) get to pay you or the charity of your choice billions and billions of dollars! That means a net gain of happiness on an unimaginable scale, worldwide! Who wouldn’t want that?

Besides a scam artist, I mean.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Rebecca, could you send me my 32$. I actually prayed for you while reading your blog when at work! Really! I removed all those negative energies you get while reading all these news of nonsense…

    But if your skin dry off and drop… Sowwy, it's not my fault!!

  2. I am reminded of Tom Lehrer.

    "It has been a very nervous year, what with the Dominican crisis and John practising escatalio on the Vietnamese, so people are beginning to feel a bit like… a Christian Scientist with appendicitis."

  3. Hmm… that sounds just like that time when some girl I asked out offered me $50 to not spend time with her. I always thought she was rejecting me in an incredibly cruel and inventive manner, I never thought of it as a business plan!

  4. I have a very hard time putting my mind around these sorts of things. Some things believed by some people fly so hard in the face of common sense I can't even get a glimpse of how they can believe this sort of crap. If I was sick and someone told me they would pray for me I'd say thank-you. Fully expecting their prayer to have no effect on my outcome whatsoever but I would recognize the nice though. If someone told me they were going to "treat me" by going off in a room alone and charging me $32 bucks for that same prayer I think I'd laugh in their face. Role playing games are about the only place where miraculous healing is ever going to work. Leave the cure light wounds to D&D and go see a real doctor.

  5. Hold on there just to refresh my memory(I am a baby boomer you know) The year is 2006 not 1006 right?…..Dam for a minute there I thought I had conjured up time travel.

  6. While some faith healers have at least the decency to wave their hands over your body this guy is just brazen. But if it works, what a brilliant way of making some cash! I think I may have to move into this business, low costs, no overhead, just a paypal account making money!

    Oh, and Anthony, it's only when you get to level 8 in D&D that you learn *real* spells…….

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