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Samuel Hartley was a faith healer who performed many miracles.
A Life of Faith HealingEdit
Samuel Hartley was adopted at a young age by Pentecostal pastor Calvin Hartley. Encouraged early on to find his spiritual gifts, Samuel manifested a gift of healing and brought a man named Leonard Vance back to life by praying and laying hands on him, after Vance was found dead in a fire.
Samuel's initial miracle and many others made Samuel famous and his father began a faith healing ministry. A scarred Leonard Vance was used as a living testimony of Samuel's gift and accompanied the team in their work. The ministry became somewhat corrupted as the Hartleys cashed in on donations and lost their vision. When people attending faith healing services began to die, the FBI was called to investigate.
Involvement with the InvestigationEdit
Sheriff Maurice Daniels, who helped in the investigation, resented the Hartleys and prevented Samuel from laying hands on his sick wife. When the deaths occurred, Samuel began to think his gift had become corrupted and admitted to his guilt. Sheriff Daniels incarcerated him without proof and it was later discovered that Leonard Vance was responsible for the murders; embittered by his disfigurement, he had attempted to stop Samuel's healing ministry. Vance had killed the victims with poisoned fruit juice and later committed suicide by poisoning as well. One night, Sheriff Daniels allowed men to enter Samuel's prison cell and beat him to death. His involvement was discovered by FBI Special Agents Mulder and Scully, who had him arrested. Mulder theorized that Samuel's healing ability came from an ability to use and interact with the electromagnetic energy of living beings. A nurse testified to seeing a bruised Samuel walk out of the morgue when his body was found missing. (TXF: "Miracle Man")
The character concept of Samuel Hartley took inspiration from the history of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Holy Bible. "You don't have to look too hard to see the parallels," observed Howard Gordon, who co-wrote "Miracle Man" with Chris Carter. "Samuel was a kid who was given a gift. Our premise was, what if a prophet or certainly someone with special powers was set down on Earth? What would happen to him?" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 26/27, No. 6/1, p. 50)
Samuel Hartley was portrayed by Scott Bairstow. Howard Gordon was instrumental in casting Bairstow, whose agent hadn't been allowing the actor to appear in any television productions. Remembered Gordon, "We were very lucky to get Scott Bairstow [....] I called him to specifically read for this part [....] I called Scott directly and implored him to do it. He read the script and he loved it, and he said, 'Sure, I'd love to do it.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 26/27, No. 6/1, p. 50)
The religious significance of and influence on the character of Samuel Hartley was further addressed by Director Michael Lange. "I was trying to kind of create the image of the son of Jesus, basically," he recalled. (X-Files Confidential, p. 68)