(Investigator 55, 1997 July)
A teenage girl dies of cancer and rises from the dead. Investigator's editor is banned from church for life. Are these events connected?
Christian Outreach Centre International was founded in 1974 by Clark Taylor (b.1937) and each church is a Christian Outreach Centre.
A booklet produced by the movement lists Centres in 21 countries including 181 in Australia, Philippines 90, Papua New Guinea 73, Solomon Islands 57, and Vanuatu 37.
The Centre I attended on Sunday evening, April 13, and Sunday morning, April 20, had 15 worshippers. After an hour of singing came a rousing hour-long sermon, then calls to come to the front and prayers.
Following each of my attendances I circulated, exchanged names with some and had chats with others. The pastor, whom I'll call Pastor H, told me of a girl raised from the dead. I'll call the girl J O. She is 16.
J O began to attend early this year. She had Hodgkin's Disease – a cancer that affects the lymph glands. Despite prayer, plus specialized medical care required for this condition, the girl deteriorated.
In March she went to a hospice/hospital for children with cancer.
Church members were praying when a phone call came saying J O had died. Days later Pastor H was informed the girl lived. Her death certificate had been signed but later a nurse noticed the corpse move. A week later she was still improving and her death certificate was revoked in court.
On my second attendance J O was pointed out but we didn't talk.
That evening 200 metres from my home, a young person wearing baggy clothing, head and face almost covered by a cap, and leading a dog, walked in the opposite direction to me. She smiled upon passing.
Minutes later came the thought, "That might be J O." Her large cap on a warm evening could be due to hair loss from chemotherapy.
A city of a million people and I encounter twice in one day a person I had never seen before – the second time almost outside my home!
Two days later I phoned Pastor H to find out whether the coincidence did happen. Did J O live near me?
Pastor H did not confirm or deny. Instead he criticized my "suspicious" conduct of mingling after the meetings and talking with people who talked with me. It became evident that everyone I spoke to had reported everything I said to the pastor!
His wife, Mrs H, then took the phone and poured out five minutes of anger and accusations. She alleged I had gone to their church to pick up and molest school girls – the proof being I had said "Hello" to two and asked how long they'd been members. Statements like "We don't ever want to see you in this church again" and "We don't want perverts in our church" came thick and fast. Offers to meet so that Mrs H might know the person she's judging were rejected.
Next day I sent a letter of protest.
On Friday came profuse apologies by phone including, "I'm very sorry for calling you a pervert."
Mrs H explained, "I'm really a very loving person."
I replied, "I'll
take your word for
And indeed I do "have to" – since I wasn't invited to attend again.
Regarding J O – I've heard nothing more.
Medical Guide says
of Hodgkin's Disease:
the following may give a clue:
Note: Christian Outreach Centre International founded by Clark Taylor in 1974, should not be confused with Outreach International founded by Tony Kostas, also in 1974.
Religion, the supernatural and the paranormal – Reports and Investigations: