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“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things”.


Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650)


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Faith Healer jailed for 18 months


Recently The Asian Rationalist Society (Britain), based in Handsworth, helped to get a bogus faith healer who had duped vulnerable and desperate clients out of thousands of pounds by claiming that he had paranormal powers, jailed for 18 months!


The Society has been running it's scientific awareness campaign since 1997, trying to combat superstitions prevalent within Asian communities in Britain.  It was partly through their efforts that the 1951 Fraudulent Mediums Act (which had replaced the 1735 Witchcraft Act) was replaced by new Consumer Protection Regulations on 26th May 2008.  There had been fewer than 10 convictions in the past 20 years under the old act, as it was difficult to prove fraud.  The new law makes things much easier for Trading Standards Officers, as it is now up to the trader, in this case the medium, to prove they did not mislead, coerce or take advantage of any 'vulnerable' consumers.   This was the first case in which a faith healer has been convicted and jailed under the new law for failing to deliver on the promises he made to clients.


It came about after the Asian Rationalists participated along with Mr Chris Neville, the head of Birmingham Trading Standards, in the BBC West Midlands TV programme “Inside Out”.  This showed three ‘faith healers’ who tried to prey on a female who was working undercover and, when confronted, they not surprisingly refused to give interviews.  However, Sandwell Trading Standards Authority saw the program and took Mr Neim Mohammed to court.  The Press Association report published on 31st March, written by Matthew Cooper, included the following:-  “A wealthy ‘faith healer’ who conned clients out of thousands of pounds while claiming to have paranormal powers was tonight jailed for 18 months.  Niem Mohammed, who owns an £850,000 house in Wilmslow, Cheshire, showed no emotion at Wolverhampton Crown Court as a judge described him as an "avaricious and deeply selfish" man.

Mohammed, 41, was jailed after being found guilty by a jury of three counts of fraud, seven of procuring a valuable security by deception and one of obtaining property by deception.
Among his victims - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - were a couple who could not conceive a child, a woman seeking the removal of a "black magic" spell and another woman seeking to trace her estranged son.


Mohammed, of Adlington Road, Wilmslow, nodded towards the judge as he was led away to the cells but showed no emotion as he was sentenced.