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pt5.The Healthiest City in the WORLD?

There are supposedly 622 locations of healing rooms throughout the world. They want to be in every major city of the US. One is coming near you! As of Dec. 2006 over 20,000 DHT's (DIVINE HEALING TECHNICIANS) have been trained.

Lake had his theology taught to others, he considered anyone who went to doctor a heathen. Lake was preaching Divine health not just divine healing.

On everyone of their websites we find the same quotes that insinuate something phenomenal happened because of all these healings of Lake in the city of Spokane. Some say it was the healthiest city in the United states, others say “in the world.” This is quite a claim all pointing to one man. I have gathered just a few of the many examples.

“Between 1915 and 1920, in the Healing Rooms in the Rookery Building in Spokane, Washington, there were over 100,000 documented healings which led to the city being named the 'healthiest city in the U.S.' He then established a similar work in Portland, Oregon with similar results which also attracted widespread attention.” (http://www.ihiministries.com/jglm.html

John G. Lake ministered in Spokane from 1914 until 1935. Under his ministry there were documented, 100,000 healings. United States government declared Spokane, the healthiest city in the world. (http://homepage.mac.com/richardsonlau/Piggrunts/C1196424281/E20050905173452/index.html)

Documentation means that 100,000 people were diagnosed by a doctor as being ill before they went to the Healing rooms. This doctor has records of their visit[s], they are then diagnosed and their condition is recorded by a doctor after the healing  happens. Unfortunately, you cannot find where these 100,000 documents are. That would be a lot of paperwork to keep all these years. Did Lake bring these with him when he went away from Spokane? People love to repeat a good report without ever making sure they are telling the truth. So these stories have traveled around the world in the last 85 years and no one even knows where they were hatched from.

“Some declared that Dr. Lake, through his ministry of divine healing, had made Spokane the healthiest city in the world. This, of course, was similar to a documented report that came out of Washington, D.C., some years earlier regarding Zion, Illinois, during the peak days of John Alexander Dowie's ministry (The Healer: Dr. John Graham Lake p.4)

Makes one wonder whose story is being told?

Peter Wade states: "According to government statistics, between the years of 1915-1920, Spokane, Washington, was the 'healthiest city in the world', because of the ministry of John G. Lake. The mayor of Spokane held a public commemoration to honor his effort" ("God's Generals" by Roberts Liardon, p.189).

Sedona ArizonaThe U.S. Government declared Spokane the healthiest city in the world.” (http://www.solidrockchurchofsedona.com/SRC-testhealingrooms1.htm

Ely cathedral centre Under his ministry 100,000 healings were documented. Washington D.C. proclaimed Spokane the healthiest city in the world.” (http://www.elyhealingrooms.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Hawaii-Over a five-year period, there were over 100,000 documented healings. The U.S. Government declared Spokane the healthiest city in the world.( http://www.healingroomshawaii.com/

Main website- Over a five-year period, there were over 100,000 documented healings. The U. S. Government declared Spokane the healthiest city in the world  (https://secure.healingrooms.com/index.php?src=content&cid=7

Utah- “Over a five-year period, there were over 100,000 documented healings. The U.S. Government declared Spokane the healthiest city in the world. (http://www.utahhealingrooms.com/healinghtm/aboutus.htm

Singapore “Under his ministry there were documented, 100,000 healings. United States government declared Spokane, the healthiest city in the world. (www.healingroomssingapore.com

Northmpton- During one five year period 100,000 confirmed healings were recorded, resulting in Spokane being declared the healthiest city in the world. (http://www.nhrs.org.uk/aboutus.html)

The healing rooms operated in Spokane Washington from 1915 to 1920 and during that 5 year period over 100,000 documented healings were recorded. The healing rooms were so successful that Spokane was referred to as “the healthiest city in America (http://www.healingroomsbham.org/history-of-the-healing-rooms.html

Albuquerque-“ In the early 1900's, Spokane, Washington was known as the "healthiest city in America", due in large part to the ministry of John G. Lake and his Healing Rooms.  More than 100,000 documented healings came from that unique and powerful ministry.  (http://www.gloryboundministries.com/new_page_1.htm

Zion Illinios- Within five years of opening there were over 100,000 confirmed healings in the healing rooms. As a result, the Federal government declared Spokane 'the healthiest city in the America. (http://www.zionhealingrooms.com/history.htm

Northeast Hartford Connecticutaccording to statistics, the U.S. Government declared his city, Spokane, Washington, to be the healthiest city in America. http://www.nehealingrooms.org/default.asp?pagename=history

Halifax Healing Rooms- according to statistics, the U.S. Government declared his city: Spokane, Washington, to be the healthiest city in America.

Ventura cal.Over 100,000 astounding miracles of healing were reported in the Spokane area within a 6-year period.  During the period of Lake’s ministry the United States Government declared Spokane, to be the healthiest city in America.” (http://www.venturahealingrooms.com/FAQs/

Syracuse -“the U.S. Government declared his city, Spokane, Washington, to be the healthiest city in America http://healingsyracuse.com/faithx31.shtml

So many healings and miracles were taking place under Lakes ministry that he was even arrested at one point for "practicing medicine without a license"! But a time came when the federal government voted Spokane the healthiest city in America because of Lakes Healing Rooms ministry! (http://www.healingrooms.co.uk/healing_rooms/lake.htm)

The claims are widely propagated- no wonder people have such a high view of Lake. However if we look closer and examine what is being said it does not fit, there is revision going on. Spokane like any other city in the US had a problem with tuberculosis.

CONCORD – “An international healing ministry is coming to Concord as Faith Covenant Church opens its Healing Room Ministry next week.
Rev. Donna Wise, senior pastor of Faith Covenant said “Back in the early 1900s, John G. Lake established healing rooms in Spokane, Washington”. The ministry to the sick brought about thousands of healings, she said.“There were so many miraculous healings that hospitals closed down.”

“The United States government proclaimed Spokane the healthiest city in the world, Wise said. Over a five-year period, there were over 100,000 documented healings, according to the International Association of Healing Room.” (Faith Covenant brings healing room to Concord 31 July 2007 By Beth Feeback Standard & Times)

This is an interesting scenario considering that Lake was healing people of all kinds of sicknesses including tuberculosis- was any hospital shut down because of Lake? Remember they claim he healed 100,000 people. If these were people who lived there, it would be the majority of the population. In 1920 the total population of Spokane was 141, 289. 1920 the population of Washington state was 1,356,621. Source: U.S. Bureau of Census. The Washington Post May 8, 1920 Spokane, Wash., ranking as forty-eighth city of the country in 1910, had a decrease of 198 in population in the past ten years, and now has 104,204 people, the census bureau announced yesterday. (newssearch archive) So lets say Spokanes population was between these two census' 104,204- 141,289.

This hospital that was built the year lake moved to Spokane was for the common problem that was in America.In 1915 Edgecliff Tuberculosis Hospital opens in the Spokane Valley. Adults at the 200-patient hospital are housed in small cottages. A children's unit is added two years later. (100 years of Valley life A Spokane Valley timeline) http://www.spokesmanreview.com/news/live/body.asp?ID=library%5Cincorporation%5Cvalleytimeline

“The most prominent and regionally oriented of these hospitals were Fairland (1911) in Seattle; Mountain View (1914 – the first county sanatorium in the state) in Lakeview, Pierce County; Edgecliff (1915) in Spokane; and Aldercrest (1918) in Snohomish, the latter three resulting from the 1913 legislation. http://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcoll/findaids/docs/papersrecords/AmerLungAssocOfWA5271.xml

Stats on Tuberculosis the highest rates in 1919 are for BuEalo (59.2), Jersey City (33.7), St. Paul and St. Louis (each. 33.4), Providence (32.5), and Detroit (32). Of these six cities the rates for Buffalo, Jersey City, and St. Paul are higher in 1919 than in any earlier year of the series 1911 to 1919. The cities with strikingly low rates are Spokane (1.9), Columbus (3), New Orleans (4.4), and Cambridge (4.6); with the exception of Spokane these cities also show lower rates in 1919 than in any earlier year shown in the table”

(MORTALITY Statistics http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/data/intro%201919.pdf.)

In other words Spokane’s rate of Tuberculosis from 1911-1919 did not change. Tuberculosis was the third leading cause of death in America at this time.

I didn’t bother looking up other diseases since this was the one of the three the country was most concerned about then. After 1921 it stayed consistently from 86,000- 88,000 until; the 1930’s. Apparently the introduction of pasturized milk helped to bring down the stats of TB in Washington as well as other states (Along with the x-ray machine).  In 1929 The research committee of the national Lung Association researched new techniques with x-ray machines to diagnose lung disease. The rate steadily declined after 1930’s as it did everywhere else.  In 1900 the rate had been 191 per 100k.  The reason it declined- better sanitation and treatment at TB hospitals.( http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/lead1900_98.pdf)

Spokane had the same statistics as the rest of the nation with TB.

Considering that the Healing rooms are claiming to do a work today like Lake did in the same state it should be as effective as they claim he was. http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/TB/tbfact.htm

On nearly all their sites we are told that The U. S. Government declared Spokane the healthiest city in (America) the world. They attribute this to the healing rooms of Lake. Taking credit for this with no proof, in fact, not one website produced any documentation or reference to when this was said and by what government official.

"According to government statistics, between the years of 1915-1920, Spokane, Washington, was the 'healthiest city in the world', because of the ministry of John G. Lake. The mayor of Spokane held a public commemoration to honor his effort" ("God's Generals" by Roberts Liardon, p.189). (http://peterwade.com/archive/pw114.shtml)

Could it be that it was the mayor that made this statement?. A mayor is not the United States Government but a city/ state official. So this is a stretch even if it is true. But is it true?

Can the mayor of Spokane claim it is the healthiest city in the US and the World at the same time? This could only his opinion not an official statement from the government. This gets a bit distasteful to hear a ministry use this unproven insinuation as an advertisement. Anyone can say anything- the problem is whether they have documentation. If it was the Mayor how did he get his statistics. I cannot find any comparisons or statistics of each state ort city in America, much less the world. How would he know this in 1920? Maybe someone can find these, after researching I cannot.

Here is one of the quotes from his biography:

“Lake, who had trained to be a Methodist minister, went on to become a healing evangelist. He had borrowed the concept of healing rooms from his friend and mentor John Alexander Dowie. Lake arrived in Spokane in 1914 and in a short time established healing rooms in the Rookery Office building. Over 100 thousand people were reportedly healed. Government statistics proclaimed Spokane the “healthiest city in the world.” The mayor honored Lake’s ministry and an investigation by the Better Business Bureau resulted in an endorsement”.  (http://www.worldnewspaperpublishing.com/news/FullStory.asp?loc=TRW&ID=357)

The better business bureau only investigates complaints- mostly on business frauds. When someone does not deliver the service and money was exchanged. Lake did not ask for money

A letter was written to both the Mayor about the claim of the healthiest city and the BBB of Spokane as to this claim in the biography and the websites. 

Here is part of the response:

I have been asked to respond to your request for information relative to the name of the mayor of the City of Spokane in June 1918, and any record of the mayor of Spokane, circa 1918, having "honored" the Ministry of John G. Lake.  To my knowledge, there are no files in the mayor’s office circa 1918 as files are relocated to offsite storage. It is possible that some older files once kept in the mayor’s office may be located offsite.  I would suggest contacting the City Clerk’s office at _____ to make a public records request for any files that might have the information you are requesting and that may be stored offsite.

My records show that Charles A. Fleming was mayor of Spokane until 1918 when Charles M. Fassett became mayor.

We were recommended to go to City records which have not found anything from the websites and are contacting them directly (so this will be updated). We are still waiting on the better business Bureau response.

However, it should be noted there was no Better Business Bureau at this time, “These efforts attracted the attention of George W. Coleman, a Boston advertising executive, who in 1912 decided to form a National Vigilance Committee to extend the effort to regional and national advertising. This group became a fully independent corporate entity in 1926 and remained in continuous existence, changing its name in 1921 to the National Better Business Bureau of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World (later simply National Better Business Bureau). This organization was merged into the Council of Better Business Bureaus in 1970. (http://www.bosbbb.org/about/history.asp)

The claim in the biography is that the BBB investigated Lake and approved of him is questionable.  It is remotely possible that the “National Vigilance Committee” might have, but this was not located in Spokane but Boston. The BBB did not come into existence till 1921 at least a year or more after they supposedly gave their endorsement to Lake.  So I think there is something wrong with their stories. We do not know who pronounced Spokane the Healthiest city so this is unreliable. The mayor probably did not investigate the health of all the cities in the US or the world. Remember these claims are posted on all the healing room websites as advertisement for Lake and their ministry today.

And the Healings…

One would think if this many healings and salvation took place there would be a legacy passed on through the years, but it is strangely missing "When Lake left Spokane the first time in 1920, he closed the Healing Rooms in the Rookery Building and never re-opened it."

It is extremely hard to find statistics on cities health today. I would think it would be much harder 85 years ago. How can a mayor pronounce Spokane the Healthiest city without hard evidence. Something does not sit right in all this, especially when they claim it is an official statement of the US government.

The mayor honored Lake’s ministry and an investigation by the Better Business Bureau resulted in an endorsement. (http://www.worldnewspaperpublishing.com/news/FullStory.asp?loc=TRW&ID=357)

And I have written many of the Healing room websites for a response on this claim. Waiting to see if we get any answers. So far one has responded by directing me to the main website (which I have already written).

TB is on the rise again in Washington State. In 2002, Washington State reported 252 cases of tuberculosis for a case rate of 4.4 per 100,000 persons. Twenty-two of 39 counties had at least one new case of TB. The five highest county-specific incidence rates were King, Yakima, Clark, Kitsap, and Snohomish. 

What I did find is that Spokane is known for its medical facilities. And it is also noted for having the second highest rate of MS in the world. In our day- 2003 Organic Style magazine ranked Spokane as the 41st Most Healthy City in the U.S. www.visitspokane.com/newspages/index.php?id=37 Heart-Healthiest City" - (Boulder ranked #4), Men's Journal, August 2006) 

What happened to the work that Lake did?

“The healthiest city dwellers in America live in San Jose, California and the least healthy in New Orleans, Louisiana, according to a new study released by Sperling's BestPlaces and Centrum, the maker of America's #1 multivitamin. The Centrum Healthiest Cities Study is the first-ever comprehensive "health report card" of U.S. cities to be based on key factors of health status, nutrition and exercise, mental health and life balance that can contribute to overall well-being.

According to the Sperling "report card," in the nationwide battle for healthiest cities, West easily trumps East. California boasts five cities in the top 10 — San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and the Orange County area — plus San Diego in the #12 spot. Seattle (#4), Salt Lake City (#5) and Denver (#9) http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/healthy_list.aspx

Top 10 Cities with Highest Healthiest Cities Scores

Top 10 Cities with Lowest Healthiest Cities Scores

1) San Jose, CA 1) New Orleans, LA
2) Washington, DC 2) San Antonio, TX
3) San Francisco, CA 3) Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
4) Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 4) Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, OH
5) Salt Lake City-Ogden, UT 5) Orlando, FL
6) Oakland, CA 6) Columbus, OH
7) Sacramento, CA 7) Detroit, MI
8) Orange County, CA 8) New York, NY
9) Denver, CO 9) Las Vegas, NV-AZ
10) Austin-San Marcos, TX 10) Indianapolis, IN

Spokane is not on the chart even going back to the 90’s. If any one of these cities are the healthiest city for a year or more does this mean a faith healer caused it?

Let me ask you -Are you to go to a healing room or to your local church body. I understand that some churches do not believe God still heals; that would be a problem. Then they should pursue finding another church that does, we should keep it as we are instructed by the Lord in the word.

James 5:14-15: "Is any of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven."

I have to question the reports of “documented healings” when I see the exaggerations of Lake’s accomplishments by those writing the books (there is far more than we covered). Though he may have had zeal and good intentions, he had much doctrine that was unbiblical. And what is carried over today with the advertisement on all the Healing room websites with the grandiose claims of the Healthiest city” in the US and world.

This is like the claims on the Transformations video, that cities were transformed into millennial cities because of their spiritual warfare tactics. Much of what these men say lay in the cobwebs of obscurity and should not be taken as inspired word of God.


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