Marlene Klepees: the amazing inspiration. Not.

Hey, yesterday I visited the moon. Cool, huh? I knew you’d be impressed.
What’s that? You’d like proof? Well, I took some photos. What? Where are they? I dropped them in a lake. They were nice photos, though. You could see the crevices, some dust among all the other stuff. Give me your life’s earnings and I’ll send you up on my homemade rocket tomorrow. Bring sandwiches.
Hey, Marlene Klepees used to have cerebral palsy but it disappeared overnight…
I don’t want to spend too much time discussing Marlene, the woman who preaches God cured her of cerebral palsy. I don’t know if there’s any point. I’d like to deconvert her followers, but it seems they’d believe anything if you told them God did it. I grew another toe yesterday, Glory be.
The issue is that I know Marlene is but one of many bullshitters who talk of the unbearable cruelties of {some disability/illness} and of God’s power to cure all with the click of those giant invisible fingers. I’d like to tear Marlene’s story apart sentence by sentence but 1) it just doesn’t deserve my effort and attention and 2) I’m happy that her story sucks. And I don’t mean that it’s full of hardship and emotion, I mean it sucks. All 3 versions of it.
That’s what this post is. A counterbalance to all the deluded praise that comes up when you search her name. Yo Marlene, you suck. Yeah.
Alright, we’ll analyse a tiny bit of her story because it made me laugh:

During her teenage years, Marlene suffered numerous spasms caused by muscular surgery. These attacks were sometimes so violent they left her attendants with broken bones. After one severe spasm, Marlene was left almost totally paralyzed. Her vision, along with the rest of her condition, grew progressively worse. LINK

So during my lifetime I’ve slapped an array of people, from physiotherapists to family members to school friends to carers, but a slap across the face or an elbow to the crotch is as bad as you’re going to get*. Unlike Marlene I don’t find myself locking people in UFC-worthy armlocks.
’Hey, thatwheelchairguy.’
’Yep?’
’You know you have a screaming stranger in a crossface, right?’
’Oh, not again.’
I think God lent Marlene a portion of His unlimited super-strength, but she got so ungrateful and whiny over having cerebral palsy He took it away as punishment. That’s one thing about this disability though, one day you’re fighting off a gang of merciless spasms and then by morning you’re (almost) completely paralysed. Happens at least once a week. When spasms attack, watch your back.
It’s sad that people like Marlene have audiences to draw upon. My worst nightmare is being locked in a room with one of her fans. They’re the ones who gobble up the assumption that disability is an evil to be vanquished, unless God doesn’t want to heal you (as He doesn’t want to heal anyone except Marlene from cerebral palsy), in which case your disability was part of His plan, He’s giving you a bigger test of faith in exchange for a bigger reward in the afterlife, maybe. And don’t worry, believers, I know Marlene and friends don’t represent all people of faith, thank God.
Above all, I’d like to know who Marlene the person is, if Marlene is her real name. In my opinion, she’s either a shameless scammer who knows exactly what she’s doing and does it for donations (mentioning the same church over and over), or she’s been telling the same story so often that, over time, she’s deluded herself. So which one? For the the sake of her health, I hope it’s the former. For the sake of humanity, I’ll pretend it’s the latter.

*Please don’t fear me. I haven’t hurt anybody in, like, days.

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12 thoughts on “Marlene Klepees: the amazing inspiration. Not.

  1. Wow I’ve been google this woman for the past hour and this post is the only one I have seen critical of this women. I just came across more testimials and science articles about the latest in stem cell research (the one thing that may cure palsy one day). No one is looking at this story critically. So now I’m just mentally cursing out my religious frond who shared that story and wasted so much of my time. Thank you for sharing your opinion. It was nice to see at least a grain of perspective.

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  2. Even if you saw a photo you would not believe prolly would say they were PhotoShop. There are hospital records why dont you investigate that? Why are you so annoyed? Are you in need of healing? Are you bitter? Let go and know GOD loves you. Why get annoyed if you think its not true? Why dont you look up the nurses, doctors, pastor, eyewitnesses? She is not hiding under some rock but freely speaking thank GOD in JESUS name, if it was a fraud it would not have gained traction, on top of that her parents died when she was very young, and was raised by her grandparents. I would not want a picture taken of me if i was in that condition…its very feasible to understand why there are no pictures. Anyway your cynicisms denote something deeper in your heart give it to GOD he can heal the broken hearted, ohh and GOD healed me of grand mal seizures and horrid asthma and no i dont have pictures of me having a epileptic fit.

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    • Joseph, it’s good that you tell people about the healing you have received (from grand mal seizures). I’ve experienced healing too (of Hypothyroidism) and I’ve seen others healed. However, my wife has cancer, and God has not yet healed her and, for all I know, he may not. So, please don’t trivialize other people’s suffering, and please don’t attack others because they are skeptical or because they’re experience doesn’t match up to your theology. If God heals, why does he do so? If it’s because of love, should we not love others too? Remember that the rain falls on everyone, regardless of how righteous they are (http://biblehub.com/matthew/5-45.htm), and definitely regardless of how righteous you think they are. So, to quote Jesus, “don’t judge, or you too will be judged.”

      Wheelchair guy and Sarah, you are, of course, completely justified in being cynical of this woman’s claims. There’s all kinds of crazy on the Web. Regardless of whether this particular story is true or false though, the real question both of you started out with is do miracles happen, and that’s also a completely justified question. At least, I hope it is because I’ve been asking it myself recently despite my own experiences. My wife’s cancer has made this a very important question. In regards to that, if you’re still open to investigating it, may I recommend Craig Keener’s research. He’s published a two volume work on the subject, but you can get a pretty decent idea of what’s in those from the videos on YouTube of his lectures. There’s more in the books, of course, but the videos are free. Here’s a playlist of some of those videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-0zpu2toenY-Ys9XpvER1gAISnHQFJnu

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      • Exactly, the web is full of nonsense and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (which I’d happily accept, believe it or not, if I saw her doctors were legit or that she definitely did have cerebral palsy in the past – anyone can write that they used to have incurable condition x but it disappeared, but I need proof). The reason I’m annoyed, Joseph, is that as far as I can tell Marlene is a liar who goes around telling disabled people that if they pray enough they’ll get better, but what if they try over and over and don’t get better? There’s a risk they’ll end up blaming themselves or despising their circumstances when they could be learning to accept themselves as they are, the way God made them if you like. All the best for your wife, Andrew.

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  3. Thanks wheelchairguy, and I know what you mean. I went through a period a few months back where I kept finding all these sites promoting a teaching called “word of faith” (WoF), which is — at least in my current opinion — a terrible, TERRIBLE strain of thinking. It’s basically what you’re talking about: if you just believe it enough and pray enough, then healing is assured. Like I said in my earlier comments, I believe Jesus still heals people, and I really don’t understand why he isn’t healing my wife, but I detest WoF teaching. Actually, I heard that a lady where I work was just healed of an orange sized tumor on one of her ovaries. They were going to operate on her but after being prayed for the tumor no longer shows up on scans. I’d love to talk to her. I want to hear about God demonstrating his love like this. If God isn’t doing it for my wife but is doing it for some other people then I think that means I just don’t know what’s going on but that God really is still a good, loving God. It’s bad enough having to deal with the stuff life throws at you without all that other junk. It seems pretty clear to me that the Bible teaches us that God loves us, and that Jesus would rather go to the cross than let anything come between us and him. He loves us, so this teaching that just makes us feel guilty about something we can’t do is just awful.

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  4. There’s a lady at my workplace who had a tumor the size of an orange on her ovary. She was prayed for and now it’s gone. But then there’s my boss, who has chronic pain and a degenerative muscle disease. If there’s a pattern we could follow to assure healing, we clearly don’t know what it is. I think that’s part of the reason I hate WoF so much.

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  5. Wow, you’re one mean minded person. I cannot detect a single cell of receipt in Marlene. I can, however, detect a lot of physical traits of cerebral palsy….large protruding teeth, lots of gum, strange eyes, etc. She clearly once suffered from cerebral palsy. You can see it with your own eyes! But she doesn’t move or speak like a sufferer anymore. I believe her. Why would.d you assume, with such viciferousness, that she is lying? Your post says far more about you than it does about her.

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    • Hi Hannah, I wrote this a while ago and have just come to realise that I can only expect emotional reactions due to my tone. If you like Marlene and you believe her story, of course I’m going to come off as mean spirited. Take heed in the fact that this post will probably persuade nobody – the people who come in loving Marlene will leave loving Marlene. Regarding the physical traits idea, I disagree. Lots of non-cp people have such traits (and many cp people don’t have them).

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    • Hannah,

      I came across this blog post because I have been researching miracles because my wife has cancer. So far, God has not healed her. Could he? Yes, I believe he could, can, and may yet do so. However, if you believe in a loving God who cares enough about people that we do sometimes see him step in and do things we cannot explain scientifically (science, after all, studies normative, repeating patterns, which miracles, by definition, are not), then you believe in a loving and merciful God. If God does still miraculously heal people — and I believe he does (although I have no idea why some are not healed while others are) — then he also still loves people. He loves me, he loves you, he loves my wife, and he loves wheelchairguy. If you believe in that God, then may I suggest that your response to the post is a little out of character with that?

      I have recently, for the first time in my life (and I’m 51) found myself angry with God and wondering if I can trust him. When I was about 20, the Church of England church I attended in Twickenham, England had some people come from a Vineyard Fellowship church in America and teach on healing. I really felt like God was telling me someone had a problem with their jaw and God wanted to heal it. I got up and shared that impression but no one responded. A couple of weeks later, a guy got up and told the congregation how he had been suffering from a jaw condition and had not been able to open his mouth more than about a finger’s width for some weeks, but when I had shared the impression I had from God, that guy’s jaw had been instantaneously healed. He hadn’t responded then because he no longer needed prayer for healing as he was already healed. Now he was sharing the story to honor God for what he had done. I have seem several small miraculous healings like that over the years (and other non-healing instances of divine intervention). But here I am with a wife whose cancer the doctors cannot cure. I do not understand why she is not healed, but I do know — as does she — that God is good and he loves us. Hebrews 11:22-25 tells us to encourage and implore one another to do good. You and I should make every effort to exemplify God’s love. If there is any judgement, let God do that. He says vengeance is his (Deuteronomy 32:35), but he tells us not to just lest we too be judged (Matthew 7:1-3), and tells us that all the laws of God can be summed up as “do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

      Andy

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