The following post was submitted via email.
My Father’s Story
I am sure that there are CS practitioners out there that genuinely want to help people and are convinced they can through Christian Science. I have met several. This story isn’t about honest people like them who want to bring forth healing for their patients. There are unfortunately people who view being a Christian Science practitioner as their meal ticket and lead patients on even after they can’t heal the problem swiftly or at all.
It is their responsibility to tell the patient to look at medical means if CS isn’t working for them. A responsible person or anyone with a beating heart would do that. My father died of Cancer in June 2020. Prior to his death he had been working with a practitioner for 2 years and not getting any better. The practitioner knew full well that they were getting nowhere but had my dad exchange 80 emails over that time period and charge him $900.00 a month. It was money we didn’t have. When my father expressed that the practitioner had him set up a PayPal account so my mom wouldn’t know funds were coming from their joint account in installments for CS treatment which she was adamantly against. When he could no longer pay through PayPal and didn’t have money to pay off the total debt the practitioner dropped him like a pancake and didn’t return emails.
When confronted over this after my father passed the practitioner put the blame on my father saying “A practitioner isn’t trained to make a diagnosis or even ask questions about symptoms. The patient alone makes the choice to ask for prayer. And the practitioner offers prayer only. That is the sum of the interaction. The patient alone initiates it and concludes it.” That may be all well and good from his perspective but it also up to the practitioner to bring forth healing or tell the patient to seek other means when it’s not working. They shouldn’t have an 80 email interaction with someone and charge them that much money. A practitioner also has the ability to conclude working for someone on their own. This practitioner didn’t do that. What they did even by CS standards is highly unethical.
My father was a Christian Scientist for over 60 years and that was his only physician. He never saw a doctor and didn’t trust a word that came out of their mouth nor cared what they were a specialist in. He was diagnosed with Cancer back in 2018 and died two years later after suffering along with us in agony. He knew he was in trouble but held on to these beliefs and would not be swayed. We feuded with him all that time and were yelled at and in screaming matches told that we were holding up his healing and practicing against him.
He saw a doctor one night in 2018 in pain at the ER. The emergency room physician diagnosed his Cancer but he wouldn’t go back nor look at any of the imaging, blood work results, nor accept diagnosis or follow up with his family doctor. My mother had to go behind his back to learn the truth and view his reports after he was given computer passwords and access to all his results that he wouldn’t use. The only way we got him into treatment in the end was through an ultimatum that all of us would leave and he would have nobody. It was a bluff but he took it seriously enough which was our intent. He eventually had surgery for a tumor that he ignored and allowed to grow to 20lbs in a very sensitive area of his body. He went through another year of treatment at a Cancer hospital but it was terminal and too late for him in the end.
My father was an extremely fit individual until he was 84 and diagnosed with Cancer. Watching him decline over a period of 2 years was the most traumatic and heartbreaking thing I have ever endured. He suffered way more than we did to be straight. In the end he was in so much pain that he couldn’t even be touched by us much less turned over and aided by nurses. His was a slow and unnecessary death.
It didn’t help that he believed for over 60 years that CS practitioners who had only 6 weeks of advanced Christian Science Class Instruction could heal all problems including terminal illnesses. While it was his choice to believe these lies and buy into this crap he was taken advantage of and betrayed by someone who was supposed to heal him. That scoundrel earned a ton of money from him over that course of time. I cannot believe the audacity he had in instructing my father to use PayPal covertly. That was wrong and betrayal of trust and the patient. I hate to think what this practitioner may still be doing with people he is currently treating as well as teaching Class Instruction to.
While his death certificate may say Cancer was the cause that’s not completely accurate. Christian Science and his belief in it killed him. Cancer was a secondary cause but obviously you can’t list Christian Science on a death certificate though I would be all for it if it were possible. I’m sure if you could list CS as a cause that there would be millions of people listed who lived for and died from these dangerous beliefs. It’s a pity we don’t have a record of all of them. If we did perhaps it would scare enough people to leave or better yet never be involved with this cult.
It is my firm belief that my father though 86-years-old would still be alive if it were not for holding on to Christian Science beliefs and being misled by someone who was supposed to heal him or tell him that he should seek other means when he could not. There was no swaying my father from any of this which is a common issue that has been mentioned a lot in other people’s stories. While sharing his story won’t bring him back or bring me any peace I sincerely hope people will read it and recognize this issue with others in their lives and try to sway them away from Christian Science and not take no for an answer if that person is dying and relying only on CS and a practitioner to cure terminal illness. They can’t. They won’t.
Note from the author:
Please feel free to use my name. I don’t want to be anonymous. I’m hoping even by not naming names when it comes to practitioners that people will know what is going on with some not all practitioners and some unethical things they have been doing in the name of healing others through CS. I don’t fear repercussion. I want every person I know to know what my dad and our family went through because of his beliefs and placing trust in unethical practitioner to heal him of terminal cancer. – Geoff Roberts
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2 Replies to “Christian Science & Terminal Cancer”
Thank you for sharing this very painful experience. My stepmother recently died from stage 4 cancer that went unnoticed until it was too late, sure to Christian Science’s ban on visiting doctors. My father utilized CS practitioners and nurses, which of course did no good. He blames himself for her death, claiming he didn’t pray hard enough or believe enough. This cult kills.
Thank you for being so open about such a painful experience. My mother died of untreated cancer. She was dedicated to CS and had so much faith in her practitioners (she switched from one to another to another over the years–I don’t know how many she worked with).
Christian Scientists like to criticize and demonize medical care. They talk about how much it costs and how useless it is. In reality, medical care treats illness and alleviates suffering. Christian Science “treatment” is just throwing money into a hole–or worse, making payment after payment to a morally bankrupt practitioner, as your narrative points out.
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