Faith Healing or Faith and Healing: A Balanced Perspective

An interview with Alan Doshna, Associate Producer of Canaan Land, the Saga of Sister Sara and Brother Gantry

Alan Doshna is a Christian Actor/Writer/independent film Producer. He was recently tapped by Christian filmmaker Richard Rossi (Sister Aimee, Baseball’s Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories) to be Associate Producer on his upcoming film Canaan Land, the Saga of Sister Sara and Brother Gantry. The project has already attracted media attention, including the BBC for its controversial subject matter, regarding faith healing scams promulgated by high profile televangelists. In an exclusive interview, Doshna discusses his involvement with the film.

Alan Doshna and Richard Rossi

Q: How did you meet Richard Rossi?

AD: A few years back he contacted me on the internet to tell me that he enjoyed a documentary that I was Associate Producer for, The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr. and told me that he hoped that we could work together sometime. We stayed in touch after I relocated to upstate NY from the Los Angeles area and he even had me on his radio program to discuss the Wood film.

Q: He also had Richard Anderson and you on to discuss his memoir, which you were co-author of.

AD: Yes, which turned out to be his third most listened to program to that time.

Q: You are now Associate Producer on Richard’s upcoming film Canaan Land, the Saga of Sister Sara which is about faith healing. You have had some real life experience along those lines. Tell us about that.

AD: My spiritual journey has been a bit more low key in terms of the fellowships I’ve been part of, compared to Richard’s. However there have been instances where I experienced dramatic healing, after private anointing and congregational prayer.

Q: Can you give us an example?

A: Well, the most significant one began about a year and a half ago. I was diagnosed as having a small cancerous tumor on my prostate. About six months after that, my PSA (prostate specific antigen, a high level of protein associated with cancer) count was found to be about 20.0 which is more than three times what is normal, at about 4.0. I was given another exam and requested private anointing and congregational prayer. The evaluation showed that the PSA had come down to around 9. A later blood test and an MRI found no cancer.

Q: How do you account for all this?

AD: I give thanks to God for his healing. I am the only one of four maternal brothers who had cancer whose “remission” occurred without hospital care or even any medication other than some vitamin supplements. In fact, two of my brothers had refused spiritual assistance, one of whom had even threatened physical violence when it was offered. The other surviving brother is also a believer who had successful surgery to remove the cancer. My prostate is still enlarged, however, and it is up to me to monitor the situation as far as its future handling goes. My doctor and I were greatly relieved that all this and the supplelment program had worked.

Q: What is your conclusion?

A: Jesus asked the man lying by the pool who was crippled if he wanted to be healed. I believe that predisposition is a significant part of physical illness, but at the end of the day it is something between the individual and God and that no one is in a position to judge another’s faith or lack thereof. Other human beings, at best, can only be a relay point for sharing spiritual awareness that might lead healing for others. It may be a hard thing for us to realize that God’s ultimate objective with us is beyond this physical lifetime, but that is in fact the basis of our hope.

Q: What do you feel you can contribute to the film Canaan Land?

AD: I feel privileged to be involved with Richard’s film. I realize that all churches and religions have their con artists and failings so I normally try to focus on the truth which actually precedes the lie or lies. I feel that this is an important film for him personally as well as artistically and spiritually in drawing on his own experiences. I would like to think that my own background can be drawn from in terms of production as well as my own desire to forward a true perspective on genuine healing.


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