Televangelist Pat Robertson said on March 29 that a "demonic" component was involved in multiple sclerosis, and had to be cast out (video below).
A viewer named Tiffany wrote to Robertson to tell him that she had MS, had prayed to be healed, but felt forsaken because no healing had occurred.
Tiffany said she had watched Robertson on TV for years, and waited for him to mention her name in a "word of knowledge." She also asked "is healing not for everyone?" notes Right Wing Watch.
Robertson said Jesus healed everyone who asked him to, and then spoke about his own experiences with MS:
Now listen, I have dealt with MS. I have seen MS miraculously healed. I know this sounds strange, but I do believe there is a spiritual component in MS, it’s like a demonic. And it’s one of those things that you literally have to cast out.
But I have seen people with MS get up out of a wheelchair and push the wheelchair out of the room where we were. I’ve seen it. I’ve been involved in it. But it is a horrible thing. It's a wasting disease, it just eats all the energy, and the fiber and everything.
I would recommend, among other things, that you check with an endocrinologist to see if there’s something, some chemical or something that could be done that would build up that immune system that you’ve got or something that you’re eating that’s causing a problem.
But you need, in the name of Jesus, to rebuke that thing, and to say to your body, "You will be whole."
The Mayo Clinic website notes that the actual cause of MS is not known, and it's not clear to doctors why some people develop MS and others do not.
A person's genetics and environmental factors may play a factor. People who have a family history of MS are at higher risk of developing MS, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis, has been linked to MS, notes the Mayo Clinic. People who have a thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease or Type 1 diabetes reportedly have a slightly higher risk for MS.
Smokers who have the initial symptoms of MS are more likely than nonsmokers to experience the symptoms a second time.
MS can happen to anyone at any age, but people are most likely to experience the disease when they are between the ages of 15 and 60. When broken down by sex, women are almost at twice as likely to develop MS, according to the Mayo Clinic.