Christian Science & Terminal Cancer

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

“Oh, don’t worry about it. Everybody does it.”

By Marion, an Ex-Christian Scientist Group Contributor.

 

I was 42… over forty years ago now. I was teaching at a university thirty miles from my home, and had four kids, aged nine to nineteen. The stress level was pretty high, and during the Christmas break I observed the unmistakable signs of breast cancer.

I remember quite vividly the reasoning I went through one night, taking the premises of Christian Science down to the basics. At its heart, they are that human life is illusory, and physical evidence is meaningless. That is, it doesn’t matter whether or not you seem to die. With four children, a husband, a teaching job I loved, and an appreciation of the beauty of this life, I decided that it did make a difference to me whether or not I continued to be here. I gave myself the time to ‘un-see’ it. If the evidence was still there at that time, I would go for surgery.

Just before Spring Break, I told the administration that I would be out for a time after the break and told them why. The response: ”Why didn’t you give us more notice?” I told them that I was a Christian Scientist and that I had hoped to solve the problem metaphysically. Talk about people looking at you funny. A substitute was found, and I was out for the break time and about a month after. Since the university and my home community were quite separate, almost no one in the home or church community knew about it.

The wake-up call for me was after I had chosen to have the mastectomy. Having acted on that decision, I confided to another church member that I had broken the faith’s directives, and that I felt that I should resign my membership. This is the response that angers me still: a whispered response, ”Oh, don’t worry about it. Everybody does it.”

I had been on the verge of risking my life. I believed these people were sincere and committed to what they professed. I should have known. Eddy was ‘committed’ until it became inconvenient for her. I may well have known about her dental work and morphine use even then, but still, the sense of betrayal was overpowering.

I Had Prostate Cancer

By an anonymous Ex-Christian Scientist Group contributor.

 

I was ailing. My son noticed and insisted I have a physical. A PSA blood test indicated I had prostate cancer. I was out of Christian Science at this time, but not running to doctors. My son insisted they call him with the results.

We went for a conference, and radiation was recommended. At the time of the conference, my hands were shaking and I was falling often. I went to radiation for nine weeks, five days a week, and that cleared it up beautifully. I had a Christian Scientist friend with similar symptoms at the same time. He had a practitioner working and went to a Christian Science nursing facility, sat around reading, and died shortly after.

As we often heard on Wednesday, “I am extremely grateful for….” But in this case, I am so grateful that my son got me to the doctor!