Old ad copy might say "you could start a religion with this effect..." -- someone must have taken it a bit too seriously: Link To Story ( elsewhere the fraud-enabler ;) is identified as the Mesika Electric Touch)
Far less messy then the tricks with fake blood, sure works quicker than most things you can do using drugs and is more reliable then the stuff using psychological phenomena related to hysteria.
Is there any report of the guy using this device as part of his ministry or is this just a case of justifying confiscating thumb tips for fear they might be used in psychic surgery and trick cards for fear they might be used to cheat people in card games?
This appears to be a situation where a crime has been committed. Confiscating the specific tools used in that crime does not seem ethically ambiguous. Not like confiscating all bread knives in the country cause the lady down the road stabbed her boyfriend with one. Or all thumb tips, etc.
Perhaps, but do we know enough about the zapper in question from the article? Perhaps you do -- I do not. In any event, we are looking at a police case, not a conviction. I am not a lawyer, but if they have reason to suspect this item was used in a crime. . .
I suspect the issue behind the arrest is a governmental concern over what the article labeled as "evangelical" ministers.
Sorry, my gut tells me that searching a clergyman and believing to find "bomb making equipment" and then finding out it's a trick shop item and still fussing over it... is not a faith based issue but instead a political issue.
Such a device is not necessary to accomplish the "falling down." As I was part of the investigation of several faith healers some years back I am acquainted with their techniques, many of which involve mass suggestion. Most participants already know what sort of behavior is expected of them as they have been participants in other faith healing or charismatic services.
An article written by Professor Joe Barnhart, Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of North Texas used my description of large faith healing meetings as religious psycho-dramas
Such a device would be used by someone with little experience or understanding of the process. It isnt necessary to produce the desired results as most of the participants know what is expected of them and act accordingly.