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The following remarkable letter, tells the interesting story of J. H. Buzzell,a C.P.A. Specialist who decided to launch an impartial investigation into the authenticity of the Branham story. This unsolicited account of Mr. Buzzell's findings will open the eyes of many doubters.
THE VOICE OF HEALING • June, 1952
The Voice of Healing
While I have always believed that the promise of Christ should be fulfilled, that "These signs shall follow those that believe - they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover", I felt that due to man's failure to avail himself of this gift through the centuries it had perhaps become lost.
Of course, from time to time I had heard of "cures" but when an attempt to trace them down was made, it developed that the person who had reported them had not personally seen them, that it was a friend, and when that lead was followed it was found to have been a friend of a friend who had seen it, until the evidence became so far removed that it dropped into the category of mere "rumor."
With this background, when my wife secured a copy of the book "William Branham, A Man Sent from God," I read it, and as we were scheduled to be at our summer home in New Hampshire for the next two weeks I decided to check the accuracy of the reports.
While I little like the needless display of titles, yet it perhaps is not out of place for me to call attention to the fact that one of my profession has to be accurate in the extreme and must be well versed in making checks of facts and figures, rather than take some one else's "say-so." This education and training stood me in good stead in such an investigation as I was about to undertake.
I started my quest in utmost good faith. I purposely kept my mind "open", ready to acknowledge the accuracy of the events narrated or face refutation of the incidents. I picked what I considered a reasonable "cross section" of the events and started my work.
Numbered among what I considered a fair "cross section" was the incident of the 'demon possessed' man recounted below. I wrote to the Chief of Police in Portland, Oregon, inasmuch as it mentioned two police officers as having been at the meeting. I was told by the Chief that he was forbidden by law to exchange information on any other than criminal work, and then only with other properly accredited law enforcement agencies.
I felt, for some reason, that this was an event that I wished to investigate. It represented two possible extremes. If ,it were untrue it offered what one would term a "ridiculous" narrative. On the other hand, if it could be substantiated it would be an outstanding factor. Therefore I tried another approach. I wrote to one of the Boston papers for the name of Portland's newspapers and received a reply stating that there were but two, one a weekly, the other an evening paper. I wrote to both, outlining enough of the report to identify it and the Oregon Journal assigned a reporter to the case that I might be given an accurate, first hand report. This, it seemed to me, was an unusual procedure, and one which I appreciated. That reporter contacted various people until he found an eye witness, and that witness recounted to the reporter what he had seen, a recital which in all important details coincided with the book's outline. That reporter ended his letter of August 27th with these words, "The explanation of the actions of the 'demon possessed' man, and his quotations from the Bible explaining it, was most interesting to me."
In appreciation of this reporter's work I forwarded him a copy of the book. I mention this because it had a bearing on future actions on my part, upon which I shall touch a little further along.
I confirmed the healing of Mr. Daugherty's daughter in St. Louis, as described on pages 86 and 87; I confirmed the healing of Miss Carter, as told on page 200, and have Miss Carter's letter stating that she is now "well and happy today."
The Waukegan News-Sun, of Waukegan, Michigan, sent me clippings from their paper telling of Mr. Branham's visit to that town, the Jeffersonville Post, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, sent me a copy of their publication of November 3, 1949, telling of Mr. Branham's visit there.
Another case which I investigated was that of a man in Calgary, Alberta., Canada, who had an injured vertebrae disk. The incident is described on page 162. I checked with a surgeon that only surgery could help such a case. I wrote the "Albertan", one of Calgary's newspapers, and received a reply from Mr. S. McClelland, Assistant Circulation Manager, in which he told me that their supply of the particular edition I desired had become exhausted, but he had his stenographer give me an excerpt of the case of Mr. John Andre, forty-six years of age, an excerpt which covered about an entire page of single space typing. I must say that the response of the newspapers in the west and northwest was amazing to me. Furthermore it indicates to me that no one had previously been sufficiently interested to check any of the events as I was doing.
I have also read Mr. Upshaw's statement in which he tells of his miraculous cure. I heard Mr. Upshaw many years ago and recall him distinctly because of the pitifulness of his condition, the uselessness of one of his legs, the left as I recall it.
An eye-witness told me of his having attended the Kansas City meetings. He told how a woman near death from tuberculosis was brought by stretcher a distance of one hundred and fifty miles to attend the meetings. She was placed in a wheel chair and when after two days her case had not been reached, her husband with the aid of some of the men, lifted her bodily, chair and all, on to the platform. Upon seeing her, Mr. Branham wheeled and said something like this, "Woman, your faith has healed you," and he turned to the husband and said, " Sir, your faith has healed your wife," and then, turning back to the woman he commanded in the name of Christ that the illness leave her. The eye-witness told me that the woman jumped from her chair and walked two or three times across the platform, with her arms in the air, doubtless in a gesture of thanksgiving. This man tells me that from all over the auditorium one could see the flesh reappear on her arms, limbs and cheeks, and see the clothes swell out as the body regained its weight. The next day she appeared before the meeting and announced that within the past twenty-four hours she had gained twenty-eight pounds.
One branch of my business is that of business counselor and in that capacity I naturally have to get into the labor situation. I observed a newspaper article by a New Hampshire man which I thought to be erroneous and I wrote him correcting it. He received the correction very graciously and from that sprang a correspondence which branched out into other matters.
Earlier in this letter I have said that sending the book to the reporter gave me an idea. That idea was to prepare a short foreword the book, reproduce it on one of my machines and place a copy in the front of each book that I loaned, and I had decided that the loan of this book was perhaps the best method of home missionary work that I could do. Up to date I have purchased fifty of the books for this purpose. Some are returned, some are not.
In the course of events I supplied one such book to the newspaper correspondent to whom I made reference just above, and evidently he, in turn, mentioned the case to another newspaper correspondent and you can well imagine my surprise to have that second correspondent write back in the language that I shall quote, and with which quotation I shall draw my comments to a close:- "I saw Mr. Branham in Seattle heal every disease and affliction. The blind saw and the deaf and dumb heard and spake. Men given up to die were brought in on stretchers and we, the audience of 6000, saw them walk down the aisle with their cots on their backs. 'Take up thy bed and walk.' This evening was, without exception, the most soul-stirring experience in my life."
This correspondent is not a Christian so I think we may believe that she was tremendously impressed to cause her to write such a letter.
I am enclosing a copy of the brief foreword with which each book is accompanied as it is distributed. I undertook this distribution solely in the interest of inspiring greater faith among humans and a comfort and assurance to those who may at times have had doubts.
I have been glad to supply these books free of charge wherever there has been any expression of a desire or willingness to read it, and I shall be glad to continue this program so long as there seems to be interest in the matter and interest which in many instances I have been able to arouse. I tell all ministers, it is a challenge that they will have to face, now or in the future and will have the same sort of question to decide that Pilate presented to the accusers of Jesus,-"What will ye do with this gift"?
Very truly yours,
J. H. Buzzell
258 Elm Street,
West Somerville 44, Mass.