Marx of Suspect Healing – a follow up

To follow up on my previous post (https://stephenjgraham.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/marx-of-suspect-healing/) about the leg growing miracle, have a look at this video of Mark Marx performing the wonder on Frances Finn in 2008:

One of the things that struck me about this video as I watched it (over and over again!) is how Frances’ right leg (the one of the left as we see it) is the one which is supposed to grow. However, check the carpet pattern as the miracle proceeds and you’ll notice that relative to the dots on the carpet the right leg doesn’t actually seem to move at all. Now look at the left leg (the one on the right as we look at it) – it certainly does move relative to the carpet – in fact, it appears to shrink. This strikes me as consistent with the shoe on the left foot (right as we look at it) having been loosened slightly and then pushed back on.

Readers will be aware that I have no desire to label Marx as a fraud or trickster. However, he certainly has a case to answer concerning his leg growing “miracles.” In addition to my previous article, here are a few considerations specific to Marx which make me suspicious:

1. The video above where the leg that is grown does not appear to move relative to the carpet pattern.

2. There are two cases I have seen where Marx lengthens the right leg – and in both cases (including the case of Frances Finn above) that leg was specifically identified as problematic. In every other case I’ve witnessed – when Marx himself checks a persons legs to see if one is shorter than the other – it’s the left leg that is shorter. That strikes me as odd. It’s consistent with Marx having a preference for performing the wonder on the left leg – perhaps if he is right-handed?

3. The video I linked to in my previous article is also highly suspicious. It begins with a young lady already seated in front of the audience, and with her shoes removed. Marx says he’s glad she has her shoes off because “sceptics” have charged him and others with manipulating shoes. He adds that he “hopes” she has one leg shorter than the other. Lo and behold, she does! This sounds artificial and staged to my ears.

4. Following from 3 above, it’s highly suspicious that Marx seems to constantly meet people who suffer from this malady. Why is there always a ready supply of people with one leg shorter than the other wherever he goes? Is the condition really as common as that?

5. Before performing the feat, Marx is almost always at pains to make sure that everyone has a good view of this amazing wonder of God that’s about to happen. But, how can he really be so sure that a leg will grow?

6. Many of the volunteers are only diagnosed with the condition when Marx seats them and lifts their legs – they have had no previous diagnosis by a medical professional. Marx himself is not a doctor (I think his previous career was in interior design), he has absolutely no medical authority or expertise to diagnose any orthopaedic condition. Moreover, if you have a look at how orthopaedic experts diagnose this condition you’ll soon discover that it cannot be done simply by seating someone in a chair and holding their legs out towards yourself.

These are just some additional reasons to be very suspicious about what is going on in these leg growing cases.

Whilst I’m highly sceptical of this phenomenon, I’m also fair minded. To that end, should Mark Marx wish to address the issues raised in this and my previous article I would love to hear from him. He is free to comment here – totally unedited and uncensored – if he cares to engage with the issues and questions I have raised.

Stephen J. Graham

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4 Comments

Filed under Charismatic Movement, Faith-Healing, Miracles

4 responses to “Marx of Suspect Healing – a follow up

  1. Pingback: Marx of Suspect Healing | stephenjgraham

  2. Phil

    What was that passage again about baring false witness?
    Me thinks sky daddy won’t be too pleased.

  3. I’d be interested in talking to you further about this. Mark Marx came to my church a few years ago and prayed for my leg to grow and it grew. He prayed for a number of people for their leg to grow. I saw it with my own eyes where I could get literally centimetres away from their legs. He then prayed for me. I went up for prayer for a friend who had back problems as I’ve never had problems but he said let’s pray for me “just for fun” and found one of my legs shorter then the other. So I both saw them grow and felt them grow.

    Darren Brown did an episode about healing where he showed fraudulent methods of making people’s legs grow by manipulating their shoes. But mark Marx couldn’t have done that.

    I don’t know what to think. I believe in the miraculous and I believe in God and the bible but also I did physics with philosophy at university and find myself regularly surrounded by people who are mega trusting of some things that are probably just placebo effect.

    So I’d be intrigued if you have any specific things that make you think he might be fraudulent. I’d be interested to see how your views square up with my memories.

    • Hi James,

      Apologies for my tardiness in responding. I’ve been having an e-break over the past few weeks, so I have only just read your comments on these two articles. I am more than happy to discuss this further as it’s an issue I have a lot of interest in.

      In response to your comments I have a few observations.

      (1) You claim to have “saw it with my own eyes.” Whilst I don’t doubt you at all, I simply note that we can be victims of all kinds of deceptions that we witness with our own eyes. That’s why deceptions are so – well – deceiving! Consider again my witnessing of a woman sawn in half and stuck back together again. I witnessed it with my own eyes, but it’s no less a trick.

      (2) I can’t at this stage comment too boldly on your experience, but a few issues immediately pop into my mind. You went up to accompany a friend when suddenly Marx decides to pray for you “just for fun.” He then proclaims you to have one leg shorter than the other. This alone strikes me as odd. By your own admission you had no problems: no pain that might be due to such a condition and no medical diagnosis that you had anything wrong with your legs. Now, how did Marx know you had one leg shorter than the other? You claim he didn’t touch your leg. Moreover, Marx has no medical training in general let alone orthopaedics in particular, and thus his medical diagnoses lack any authority whatsoever. So, how are we to know you really had one leg shorter than the other? You had no previous history of it, no pain relating to it, and no one’s word for it except a layman who manages to find an epidemic of this condition wherever he goes.

      (3) Concerning your experience, you appear to make much of the fact that Marx didn’t touch your legs and that you “felt them grow.” Firstly, by not touching your legs there is no way to measure them properly. Secondly, by seating a person a certain way – at an angle – you can create the illusion that one leg is shorter than the other. Thirdly, feeling your leg grow is not the same as actually having your leg grow. Recall what I said in my articles about the ideomotor effect: a person can engage in subconscious movement without knowing it, but of course they will still feel the movement which they are making under the power of suggestion. It can create a powerful illusion.

      All of this leads me not to claim that Marx is a fraud (I have never claimed that) but rather that there is no reason at all to think you or anyone else has witnessed a genuine act of God in such cases.

      Stephen J Graham

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