In a strange story out of Thailand, a supposed psychic medium accidentally stabbed himself in the heart and died while he was trying to prove his immortality last week.
Theprit Palee, aged 25, was in the middle of performing a traditional spirit dance in front of a crowd in Chiang Mai, Thailand last Monday, April 24th, when he accidentally stabbed and killed himself. In previous performances of the dance, meant to honor ancestral ghosts, Palee would press a sword to his chest but the blade would break, proving his divine and immortal nature. The blade did not break this time and Palee stabbed the sword into his chest. Palee was later pronounced dead at a local hospital after emergency personnel could not revive him.
Palee had been performing his act for years and had become quite popular among some of the locals for his psychic readings.
Death is a tragic event, and while I do lament that this man died, at the same time he was bilking people with his phony psychic readings and “proving” the legitimacy of his act with magic tricks billed as miracles. He was duping the public for years with his act. It is sad that someone failed to expose him as a charlatan before he himself did the exposing through this accident. I wonder how many of those who witnessed the event will try to rationalize the death rather than admit they had been fooled by him.
Even in ancient times this is how holy men and women were able to “prove” the divine source of their power. Looking at Christianity, just read some of the epistles of Paul, or the anonymously authored epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament, where they say multiple times that the authority and truth of the apostles’ words were proven by the miracles they could perform. For example: “This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him (the apostles). God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Hebrews 2:3-4 (NIV)
So angels delivered the message to the apostles, then God proved the message true with the miracles that the apostles performed while empowered by the Holy Spirit. Replace angels and the Holy Spirit with ancestor ghosts, throw in a malfunctioning sword prop, and you have this situation in Thailand with Palee.
And the same thing happens to this day all over the world. While it is far less common in the developed world, it is not absent. The miraculous healing that televangelists supposedly perform in front of crowds and cameras is supposed to be proof of their divine connection to God. But, notice that they never seem to be able to heal a missing limb, or cause visible lesions and gashes to heal. They are great at healing completely invisible problems though, through the power of their invisible God. Not suspicious at all.
This also reminds me of the priest in South Africa who had his buttocks mauled by a lion last year while trying to prove God's command over animals. That priest survived his injuries, however, unlike Palee.
This is why we need to continue to promote critical-thinking skills generally. Too many "holy" men and women are willing to take advantage of those willing to believe, and it does real harm in the world, and not just to that South African man's butt.