Ambassadors episode 2 review

The Girl Who Makes Miracles review

Published by jamdog on 3rd April, 2006.


 review

Extraordinary People – The Girl Who Makes Miracles

Channel 5

“Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine” – Jack White

This Extraordinary People has been a weird little series on Channel 5. Titles like The Boy Who Ate His Own Testicle have given the uneasy feeling of following a weekly freak show, whatever the human interest angle. The Girl Who Makes Miracles was no different although in many ways it was merely an update on the classic non-judgmental pop science miracle investigation that made Horizon such a hoot back in the day.

“Not one to let being clinically dead hold her back, Audrey has carved out a career for herself as the leading stigmatic and faith healer of our times.”

The subject is Audrey Santo, a 22 year-old woman from Massachusetts who has been in a deep, unresponsive coma for 19 years after nearly drowning in the garden pond, aged 3.

Not one to let being clinically dead hold her back, Audrey has carved out a career for herself as the leading stigmatic and faith healer of our times. In the family home, paintings miraculously weep oil and statues miraculously weep blood. The oil comes from God Himself and is thought by believers to be chrism.

Audrey’s mother says “We don’t know what the oil is”. We will be finding out though.The deluded goons in her entourage wheel her around the world, bringing the message to the pilgrims. She sells out football stadiums where She Heals The Sick. Where once was tribal soccer hostility there are now unpleasant emotionally crippled cranks or Christians as I like to call them.

“A line of distraught cabbages file past to pay homage to another cabbage. It’s like The Munch Bunch up in there.”

Weird, insecure and consumed with self-loathing, a line of distraught cabbages file past to pay homage to another cabbage. It’s like The Munch Bunch up in there. Donations flood in and gift shops open up. No matter that there’s not a single verifiable case of a healing, with all medical investigations pronouncing the evidence circumstantial.

“The most important thing Audrey does is drool and shit herself every 14 hours which is admittedly more than Andrew Ridgeley contributed to Wham”

Scientific analysis proves the “chrism” is household olive-oil. It soon becomes apparent that the most important thing Audrey does is drool and shit herself every 14 hours which is admittedly more than Andrew Ridgeley contributed to Wham but you can’t help wondering if she’s just taking the piss a bit. Is she just incredibly lazy? She wouldn’t be the first teenager to pull the ‘staying in bed all day’ stunt. I’m not passing judgment – just saying, is all.

The Santo claims are welcomed by the corrupt, misogynist, homophobic, Nazi sheltering, child rapist sanctuary the Catholic Church. Important to have the good guys on your side.

What really irks about these programmes is how the narrative constantly treads the party line of “ooh well there might be something in it, who are we to judge, the important thing is that they believe”.

“We need to get past this toxic nonsense that religious beliefs deserve special protection from criticism. Like my secular beliefs are worth less than your bongo bongo ones ‘just coz’.”

No, the important thing is that this is plainly bollocks and that anybody who believes it is as brain-dead as Audrey. Are we really so chicken shit scared that we can’t say that? We need to get past this toxic nonsense that religious beliefs deserve special protection from criticism. Like my secular beliefs are worth less than your bongo bongo ones ‘just coz’.

Watching mommy push her girl around in a wheelbarrow, performing her non-existent miracles does have a certain poignancy. The gullibility of the pilgrims is predictable but no less unsettling.

“She’s Helen Keller but not as chatty. She’s Stephen Hawking but with his brain replaced by marshmallow.”

An object lesson in the power of delusion, groupthink and desperation, the Audrey Santo case has echoes of other deified disability. She’s Helen Keller but not as chatty. She’s Stephen Hawking but with his brain replaced by marshmallow. Christy Brown without his left foot.

We can demand evidence of the claims, critique the self-evident nonsense these people spout but ultimately we have to give them another reason to live other than exploiting their mashed up offspring. Poker and PlayStation work for me.

I say we give it a shot.

The best thing about it: The olive-oil revelation.

The worst thing about it: The fence-sitting narrative.

The verdict on Extraordinary People – The Girl Who Makes Miracles : Man, if you need to ask then you’ll never know.

Marks out of 10: 5

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