Friday, 7 August 2015

Claude Provencher: a fake doctor                       

There is very little that is worse than being treated by a fake doctor. It is risky at best and can be fatal at worst.

Claude Provencher is at the time of this writing, 58. He is from St-Mathieu-d'Harricana, a small town in northwestern Quebec, but he practises in Sudbury and New Liskeard in the province of Ontario, Canada. Provencher      hasn’t treated anyone in Quebec, his home province for years after being prosecuted and fined for practicing medicine illegally, following the death of a cancer patient who was under his care. Further, he has also been effectively excommunicated, after the local Roman Catholic diocese instructed church authorities to shun him. So in 2000, he shifted operations to Ontario, setting up so-called clinics in Sudbury and the New Liskeard area, catering to an average of 80 patients a week who would give him $40 or so per treatment.

He had many people in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario convinced that he was not only a doctor but also a religious healer. He likens his powerful fingers to “the scalpels of Jesus,” and some believe him. Others, however, view this self-proclaimed faith healer as a charlatan and sex predator. For example, he prefers to examine his so-called patients when they are nude, even if their ailments are simply a bad knee.  His groping hands wander toward the women’s genital area and onto their breasts.

When Trina Breault began to suffer from chronic pain, she tried everything to make it go away. She talked to every specialist she could find and tried every treatment they recommended. When nothing seemed to work, she turned to Claude Provencher, the self-proclaimed faith healer with offices in Sudbury and New Liskeard, Ontario. Provencher told Breault and others that he believes he has a God-given gift to heal people with a touch of his hands. Some of his followers even referred to him as being God's second son. This is proof that a great many people in the world are extremely gullible.

Breault said that the sessions with Prevencher lasted about 30 minutes and cost $40 a session. However as the sessions proceeded; she felt progressively more uncomfortable.  She said, “You're expected to get naked and you would lay on a table. You weren't covered. You were exposed.”

It was her last session with this charlatan that Breault said that Provencher crossed the line. While she lay on her stomach naked, Provencher said to her, “You have a nice ass.” She had previously asked for her husband to be present for the session. She said that upset Provencher so he ranted at her. Had her husband been present, this creep wouldn’t have asked such an impertinent and embarrassing question. He sexually assaulted her six different times during treatments in 2011 that incrementally became more invasive and disgusting. 

After that last meeting, she pressed charges of sexual assault. On January,21, 2013, Provencher was convicted of six counts of sexual assault and 22 counts of breach of recognizance and probation at the Superior Court in Haileybury. While he waited for his trial, Several times she had been accosted and cursed by some of the followers of Provencher, whose bail conditions prohibited him from treating anyone for anything. He was sentenced on May 27, 2013 to one year in jail for his sexual abuse of Breault and for disobeying a previous court order. She said, “He’s a scary guy, but he can only operate because people are being quiet. Really, he has the best set-up for a sex offender: He takes the most vulnerable people and manipulates them into thinking he’s their only hope. And he does it slowly, so by the time he’s doing awful stuff to you, you’re thinking, I chose to be here.”

It's not the first time the self-described faith healer has been convicted of sexually abusing his clients. In late 2012, Provencher served more than a month in jail for two sexual assault charges that dated back to 2007. He inappropriately touched a female patient during a session in his Sudbury office. He was sentenced to six months in jail, but had already served more than four months for a breach of probation in 2011.

Provencher was also given a 10-year weapons prohibition and had to register to the sexual offender registry for 20 years. His probation order prevented him from being alone with patients for any spiritual sessions.

Provencher spoke to The Star (one of Canada’s largest newspapers) after that latest brush with the law. He was out on bail, but a court order said that he was to be accompanied by a surety (someone who put up his bail) when he ventured in public as long as he was in Ontario. His surety accompanied him for his interview with The Star.

He was facing six charges of sexual assault, and 23 counts of flouting court orders stemming from previous sex-assault charges in Sudbury.

He told The Star that 22 former patients testified at his court hearing in Haileybury saying that most of them defended him in court in January 2013. They attested to his good character at his trial.

It is conceivable that some of his patients still believed that he was a son of God. But then, they can also be convinced that the moon is made of cheese.  He said, “All my patients are still on my side.”  That was a lie. Many of his patients saw him as to what he was—a charlatan and a sex predator.

He said the 22 charges for breach of probation were due to an error of interpretation. Following his conviction in Sudbury, Provencher was forbidden to be alone with his patients for spiritual sessions. However, he said the sessions such as those with Breault were not spiritual in nature, but merely healing sessions. Now there is a play on words. That is like saying that you are not a doctor but merely a healer of illnesses.

Provencher does not have any health-related certification, but he told The Star that he is a healer. "I heal all kinds of diseases," he said. “I heal anything from heart and lung problems to arthritis and cancer.”

Let me ask you this rhetorical question. “If you were suffering from pain in your heart and also had difficulty in breathing, would you go to this quack for treatment or would you see a real doctor? 

I had that problem several years ago so I went to my doctor who referred me to a heart specialist who in turn referred me to the hospital where it was discovered that excess fluid was clogging my lungs and surrounding my heart. The problem I was suffering from is called congestive heart failure. One of Provencher’s so-called patients was suffering from cancer and Provencher convinced her to let him cure her. She agreed and she also died from the cancer in her body. And yet, there are fools who believe that Provencher could heal them of such a failure of their hearts by submitting to his groping hands in areas not related to their hearts. If I had gone to Provencher for his so-called healing powers, I would have died also.

This fake doctor said to The Star that all his patients were expected to remove their clothing because he had to make contact with their skin for his technique to work. He said, “Some people stay clothed, but I tell them it's easier for me if they're naked. No one is forced to take their clothes off.”

Despite the convictions against him, Provencher had maintained his innocence. He sobbed, “It's easy to destroy me now, my name has already been undone.  No matter what I said, I was guilty.”  Boo Hoo and more crocodile tears followed. 

When told Provencher regarded his meetings with her as healing, rather spiritual, sessions Breault, took a different view when she asked this rhetorical question, “He claims his powers come from God, so is that not a spiritual session?” It certainly is. It certainly isn’t medical treatment that’s for damn sure.

Breault said she made sure there was no publication ban on her criminal case against this charlatan so she could share her story. She contacted The Star after Provencher was convicted in Haileybury, wanting to warn others of his sexual conduct. She said to the reporter, “He has a lot of supporters.  I sought Provencher's services in a moment of weakness and desperation. A young girl that is struggling and feels she has no other choice, is going to have a very difficult time.”

This twit actually had the audacity to say publicly, “People such as me who are gifted, have the world against us because I say it’s not me who heals but God, through me.” He also said, “God showed me how the body works and I’m able to heal almost anything. I can cure all of it—heart, lungs, thyroid, kidneys, infections, anything, although sometimes not all at once.” He added that he’s done a few exorcisms too.

Would you really put your medical wellbeing and your money in the hands of a sexual groper who claims that he gets his power to heal directly from God? Can you believe it?  Some really ignorant people actually made that choice to do just that.

He claims that God first spoke to him at age seven by telling him that during his life he would see many naked women and become famous. Well many of his victims were naked while they lay on his table in his rundown mobile home as per his instructions and he certainly became famous as a charlatan and a sexual molester.

Creeps like Provencher never change their ways. Last November, an undercover report revealed that this creep he is STILL treating female patients, naked, some are even underage. During the private investigator’s treatment, without warning, Provencher touched her buttocks. While treating the W5 producer, the faith healer attempted to touch her breasts five times. While she continued to push his hands away, Provencher dismissed her concerns insisting “I’ve seen breasts for 30 years.”

Not only did Provencher attempt to deny that he inappropriately touch the two women, he also claimed to have diagnosed a medical condition for the W5 producer, a woman who is actually in good health. Provencher claimed God told him she has pituitary gland problems and she will be depressed in a few years. He also has told patients to stop their prescribed medication.

Even with complaints, fines and imprisonment, it seems difficult to stop this sexual pervert permanently due to inadequate laws in place to halt his practice. One way to put him out of business is to expose him as the charlatan and sexual pervert that he really is.  It is conceivable that the medical and police authorities will step in again and this time when he is facing trial and is convicted, the sentencing judge will step on this bug and permanently put him out of business.                  

There isn’t too much more to say about this charlatan except I hope that this article is a stern warning that belief in a healer can make you blind to his treachery. Criminals like Provencher ooze hubris and perversity as they creep around society.

If I learn anything more about this horrible man, I will place that information as an UPDATE at the bottom of this article.                                                                 

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