The Raving Theist

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Medical Study Confirms Power of Cursing

April 10, 2006 | 15 Comments

Durham, North Carolina, April 10, 2006
Special to The Raving Atheist

Curses offered by strangers to induce heart failure are highly effective, concludes a $3.4 million study to be published in the American Heart Journal next week.

Researchers told 1,802 paranoid schizophrenics at six mental institutions that government agents in black helicopters were circling their buildings and praying for their hearts to explode. Nearly 97% of the patients suffered cardiac arrest within two hours, with the remainder experiencing acute arrhythmia.

“Satan apparently loves to be tested,” said Dr. Harold Benson, the cardiologist who authored the study.

Skeptics dismissed the results as the power of suggestion on highly unstable subjects. However, Dr. Benson noted that the patients’ paranoia was not a relevant factor because the helicopters were real rather than the product of delusion. He further noted that there was no statistically significant difference in the morality rate among a second group of 1,635 paranoiacs, who were falsely advised that the black helicopters circling their buildings were not full of government agents wishing them death.


15 Responses to “Medical Study Confirms Power of Cursing”

  1. Realityhack
    April 10th, 2006 @ 10:55 am

    Where did this come from? My BS meeter just shot through the roof. On what planet would that pass human subjects testing?

  2. The Raving Atheist
    April 10th, 2006 @ 11:07 am


    Paranoid schizophrenics are not deemed to be emancipated adults under the applicable provisions of the mental health law, but wards of the state subject to treatment and experimentation within established medical protocols. It’s a common practice which originated with the Tuskegee syphilis study, which pioneered the use of appropriate human specimens to further the public interest in eradicating venereal disease.

  3. a different tim
    April 10th, 2006 @ 11:33 am

    The interesting thing about the prayer study, which this is a piss take of, is that people who knew they were bing prayed for actually did worse…..

    NYT: “In another of the study’s findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for — 59 percent — suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers’ prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety.

    “It may have made them uncertain, wondering am I so sick they had to call in their prayer team?” Dr. Bethea said.

    The study also found that more patients in the uninformed prayer group — 18 percent — suffered major complications, like heart attack or stroke, compared with 13 percent in the group that did not receive prayers. In their report, the researchers suggested that this finding might also be a result of chance.”

    (Full text here

  4. Tom
    April 10th, 2006 @ 11:52 am

    “Satan apparently loves to be tested,” said Dr. Harold Benson, the cardiologist who authored the study.


  5. Facehammer
    April 10th, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

    Sounds like the sort of thing you would normally find on The Onion

  6. Realityhack
    April 10th, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

    Yeah it struck me as an onion like peice too. The numbers are pritty extream (97% cardiac arest 100% minimum of arithmia) you almost never see numbers that extream in human subjects research, the ‘control’ of telling paranoid people that the ‘bad men are not out to get you’ is prity lame, the ‘statan loves to be tested’ is practicaly screaming parody.

    Furthermore despite them being wards of the state or whatever you would think that after the first few hundred cartiac arrests that you would be well outside of ‘established medical protocals’. I googled the docs name in quotes and the word cardiologist but came up with nada.

    Do we have a source for this?

  7. FrancestheMagnificent
    April 10th, 2006 @ 7:12 pm

    Man o man….that was hilarious!

  8. Jospeh
    April 11th, 2006 @ 3:27 am

    How come you never see an atheist cutting her daughter’s arms off in an “Athiestic Frenzy?”


  9. a different tim
    April 11th, 2006 @ 5:28 am

    uh…realityhack, “special to the raving atheist” means he’s made it up. In this case to satirise the recent study on the medical efficacy of prayer.

  10. Jason Malloy
    April 11th, 2006 @ 5:51 am

    I await the multi-million dollar studies testing the medical efficacy of wishin’ upon a star, blowing out birthday candles, and throwing nickels in the mall fountain.

  11. Los Pepes
    April 11th, 2006 @ 7:54 am

    I’d also like to know what the effects of stealing nickels from the mall fountain are, because as a much younger man, I was guilty of that one…

  12. HappyNat
    April 11th, 2006 @ 8:23 am

    Here is the only source I could find.

  13. Realityhack
    April 11th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    Doh!. It sure seemed like satire. Thanks for filling me in… I did not know the code.

  14. Facehammer
    April 11th, 2006 @ 12:44 pm


    Man, I love that thing.

  15. salvage
    April 12th, 2006 @ 9:04 am

    Man that must suck when it’s proven that your sky god doesn’t actually care about what happens to people even if you beg him for intervention.

    Question about prayer, does it work like this:

    God: I’ve decided that Beatrice M Flubbernagger of 123 Fake Street will contract bowel cancer and die of it on May 12 2006.

    Bea’s friends and family: Dear God please don’t kill our relative and friend. Please? Pretty please? We’ll do stuff you like.

    God: Well, okay the cancer is in remission, you’ve convinced me. But she’ll get hit by a bus in a month because I am one strange and mysterious cat.

    Or what? It’s always confused me about what the possible cause and effect between an infinite omnipotent being and his creation asking for a game plan change.

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