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Dave Hayes is a Christian activist known as the “Praying Medic” and an extremely vocal QAnon supporter. Not surprisingly, he’s known for making bonkers conspiratorial claims and just flat-out lying to his audience. (Last month, for example, he told a struggling man he was “healed” after a painful loss… based on absolutely nothing.)

But what he did this week was just laughably egregious.

Speaking with MAGA cultist YouTuber Patrick Gunnels, Hayes explained how people needed to accept God’s healing powers — and if they did, it would make our traditional health care system obsolete.

You know, God gave me a dream back in 2013 or 2014. And in that dream, He showed me that He has a health care system that He wants to implement that is going replace our current health care system.

And, uh, let’s see… No appointments necessary, no deductibles, no side effects… It’s not like we’re going to take out the wrong kidney if we pray for you. No iatrogenic damages. No lawsuits, no liability. What I’m seeing on Telegram with all these people getting healed is this — people are becoming awakened to the fact that, if we partner with God, we could get to a point — literally get to a point — one day where we really don’t need a health care system.

In fact, on my livestream this afternoon on my Telegram channel, I was telling the story about how John G. Lake, in the early 1900s, between 1910 and 1920, he started a thing in Spokane, Washington called the Healing Rooms.

And he trained people in divine healing and deliverance, sent them out into the community, and they started praying for people to get healed. They had such great success. They had over 100,000 documented healing miracles in that time span.

There were so many people getting healed, the Spokane Hospital closed. They literally closed down the Spokane Hospital. It’s a historical fact. You can go on Wikipedia and look it up… There was such great success, they actually closed down a hospital.

First of all, it’s beyond frustrating that the people who oppose universal health care in the U.S. long for a utopian health care system with no deductibles…

But about that last thing: Hayes claims there was a faith-healing hospital in Spokane, Washington run by a man named John G. Lake. It was so successful, says Hayes, that a local hospital was put out of business. He adds that we can even “look it up” on Wikipedia.

Okay. Let’s do that. And we’ll throw in more reliable sources while we’re at it.

There was, in fact, a Pentecostal missionary named John G. Lake who opened faith-healing clinics called “Lake’s Divine Healing Rooms” between 1915 and 1920, during which his team reported over 100,000 healings. Those are not “documented” in any meaningful sense of the word. They cannot be verified. We don’t have any medical records to look at.

Did Lake’s work put the Spokane Hospital — or at least some hospital in Spokane — out of business? There’s no record of that happening, as far as I can tell. What I can tell you is that there’s at least one record of a new hospital being built in Spokane in 1920. Which means actual medical care was still a necessity in that city at that time.

But Hayes got close. Kind of. One hospital did indeed get shut down during that time period.

It was the faith-healing clinic run by John G. Lake.

It had to close because it was violating the local fire code. Here’s the screengrab from The Spokesman-Review on May 24, 1916.

The order came after [city health officer] Dr. J.B. Anderson visited the place the day before.

“I found a 14-room, two story frame residence used as a hospital, in which were three patients, one of whom was a paralytic,” said Dr. Anderson. “I told the Rev. Mr. Lake that it made no difference to me what form of treatment, spiritual or medical, is employed, but that it would be necessary to comply with the city building ordinance, which requires that hospitals be fireproof.”

The reverend and superintendent of the hospital said they were willing to comply with the ordinance and that they were looking for a more suitable building. As soon as they found it, they would transfer the patients.

Amazing how the flagship faith-healing clinic that supposedly shut down a local hospital and spurred a movement that healed over 100,000 people was actually a small facility that, in 1916, had three patients in total and had to be closed for breaking the law.

Don’t wait for Hayes to apologize. That’s not his style. And he knows as well as anyone that his followers will never attempt to verify his statements.

(Thanks to Kyle for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.