How does the "power of the Lord" manifest itself these days among the christian faithful? Well, if the first video below is anything to go by the spirit shows itself by making people fall over - at least if you are ministered to by Benny Hinn.
To the sceptical eye Hinn is every inch the picture of the charlatan manipulative US evangelical christian "pastor" - no doubt complete with some dodgy "doctorate" in divinity and biblical navel gazing from some obscure mid western Christian college. It doesn't take a genius to guess that he will be milking these crowds for donations to his "ministry" as well.
Hinns "ministry" judging by this video appears to largely consist of working his flock of desperate-to-believe believers into a heightened state of emotional and spiritual frenzy then waving his arms at them so that they fall down.
I can only assume that "the Lord" heaps great praise and benefits on those who are prepared to fall down in his name. Quite where this falling over for the lord malarkey originated or what it has to do with christianity I I don't know but the US has never fallen short when it comes to the zanier side of christianty.
What I find most disturbing though is the sheer number of people who are clearly being taken in and "enraptured" by this complete and utter nonsense. Hinn is clearly using psychological techniques to put his crowd into a state of suggestibility and compliance. What he is doing here is so obvious that it is scary that the people at the event are seemingly still completely taken in by this.
Still - shouldn't be too surprised I guess. We can all be suggestible if people manipulate us. I had looked up a video of Hitler addressing crowds to show similar techniques and a similar audience reaction, but I decided against that. It's too easy for people to dismiss such a parallel because they see Hitler as such an extreme phenomenon.
The second video therefore is a (much shorter !) clip of a master British magician mentalist called Derren Brown. In it Brown demonstrates how he has set up a crowd in a shopping mall to respond to him. He doesn't use anything like the hyped up atmosphere that Hinn uses but even so elicits the reaction he wants from people. I'll be greatly surprised if you don't see strong connections between Hinn's hysterical performance and Brown's calmer demonstration of crowd manipulation.