Willesee shares the beginning of his life and his initial strong faith, before leading into his scepticism of God’s existence.
The story about a holiday when he was six years old and helping the community to fight a fire is enlightening given the twist at the very end.
Willesee takes the reader through different phases in his life, to meeting a man who would change his focus — his neighbour Ron Tesoriero.
Mr Tesoriero encouraged Willesee to investigate unexplained miracles. He knew Willesee was a great reporter and would know what questions to ask to get the stories.
The book details television specials seeking the truth of bleeding statues, stigmata, and miracles of Eucharistic host that had turned to flesh and blood. Tests were performed on the blood samples from the miraculous items. They were shown to have no DNA, which is an impossibility.
Willesee shares his experiences of seeing things with his own eyes that he couldn’t explain. This led him back to God.
Sharing his renewed faith then became a priority for him, and convincing television networks to show his specials.
He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016 and only given a 12-month prognosis. He outlived that to see his last show on Channel 7, The Blood of Christ. In A Sceptic’s Search, Willesee speaks of the missed opportunities of the editing of that special, and shares what he would have loved to have seen revealed.
I highly recommend this book. I plan to watch The Blood of Christ documentary again, knowing what I know now of the incredible impact it had on Willesee — something that became his aim to complete before he died in 2019.
In his last interview, Willesee said: “I think God and religion are so politically incorrect at the moment. Nobody wants to know. You can be laughed at just for saying you believe in God … I’m constantly reminded that most journalists would say this is ridiculous. But I’ve stuck with the story and I’m making progress. It shows the truth of God in the Eucharist. The truth that God is alive in our world and that His hand moves.”
Mike Willesee, A Sceptic’s Search for Meaning, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2019.