THE BLOG
04/23/2014 02:24 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2014

Faith Healers Can Be Con Artists in Disguise

It is more often reiterated that illiteracy leads to greater problems. It can be seen to be the root of many, if not all, the ills pertaining in a society.

In Pakistan most of the population resides in rural areas where about 50 percent of the population has never attended schools, according to a recent survey.

If we look back in retrospect, the era when the masses in Europe weren't educated, their basic source of knowledge were religious cliques. Be it religious, social or economic issues, people were heavily dependent on hearing the viewpoints of religious elites.

Usually it happened that those present at the higher echelons referred to the religious scriptures to sort the problems faced by members of the society.

When people are not educated, they blindly follow believes of those who self-acclaim to classify themselves as literate.

When individuals cannot think for themselves, their brains are fed by the ideas of the more influential. These ideas which are generated in the minds of the slightly knowledgeable get circulated. This is where a society plummets toward gloom and this is certainly what was seen in the Middle Ages.

A grim reality in Pakistan is that we have failed to learn from this period of history.

Village leaders, who mostly comprise of feudal lords, act as opinion leaders. Apart from the influence that is directed from these opinion leaders, there are faith healers who hold important positions in the lives of a high percentage of the illiterate public.

Some of these mystic healers claim to be a one-stop shop -- offering solutions to every problem an individual is facing. Be it financial crisis, marriage issues... you name it, and these superficial healers are up with a solution.

The trend of consulting these faith healers has gained immense popularity in urban centers of Pakistan as well. Recently, two kids were brutally killed by their uncle, while the third one is struggling for life in PIMS, a hospital facility in the country's capital, Islamabad.

The man reportedly carried out this horrendous act on the call of a faith healer. A sane mind would get boggled at this act of insanity. How on earth can a man simply go on a slaughtering spree of his own nephews after being affirmed rewards by a person who could improve anyone's life chances -- why not start off with his own?

These spiritual healers bag huge sums of money from those who approach them for the "treatment" phase, which practically is a period that goes on for an unlimited time duration. Not only that, but a rape case involving a so-called healer has also been reported.

Often at times the class of people they cater to cannot afford to pay thousands of rupees on a regular basis, leaving them indebted.

If, and only if, education becomes common for all and not only restricted for the middle and upper strata of the society can this hideous ill of fake faith healers, who simply fool the people by playing with their psyche, be eradicated.

Only if education becomes as common as the advertisements on roadsides of those misleading the majority.

Instead of spending so much to help the faith healing industry flourish, the followers of those involved in this crime, need to realize the importance of education. It is through education only can the thinking capacity widen and the majority can think for themselves without the assistance of those who are helpless themselves.

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