News24

'John of God' cures thousands in Brazil

2012-04-16 14:10

Abadiania - Every week using mainly his hands but also armed with scissors, a knife and scalpel, Joao Teixeira de Faria, a self-styled Brazilian medium and "psychic surgeon", treats thousands of sick people who claim to be cured.

Among those who have sought the services of the healer known as "John of God" has been none other than Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the popular Brazilian ex-president, now said to be in remission from larynx cancer.

"I am going to cure you," de Faria told one young woman during a session in the small town of Abadiania in the central state of Goias. After going into a trance, he stuck a 4cm needle into the sole of her feet.

"Don't look, it's going to hurt," he warned her as he thrust the needle in several times.

The young woman apparently felt nothing and when it was over, the nearly illiterate faith healer flashed a big smile.

His patient, visibly moved, extols that she has just been cured from a chronic illness which doctors could not treat.

3 million followers

Born on 24 June 1942, "John of God" is an adept of spiritism, a religious doctrine based on the belief in the survival of a spirit after death.

Founded in the 19th century by Frenchman Allan Kardec, spiritism today is particularly popular in Brazil, where it has nearly three million followers.

The healer's entourage said "John of God" paid several visits to the former president when he was being treated at a Sao Paulo hospital for a larynx cancer.

Lula however has refused to confirm or deny press reports that he met at least three times in Sao Paulo with the healer.

American TV show hostess Oprah has also visited the town to film the crowds who gather around the healer.

"John of God" says he communicates with spirits when he goes into a trance. He diagnoses diseases, prescribes medication and conducts surgeries, either with his hands, or with kitchen knives, scalpels or scissors.

No anaesthetics

"Since the age of eight, God has given me this energy. I don't heal. God heals," the spiritual healer said during a brief respite.

He receives about 1 000 people a day, three times a week and more than half of them are foreigners.

The ritual is always the same: The faith healer sits in a big armchair, his feet on a cushion. In front of him and in adjacent rooms, several hundred followers and so-called mediums meditate to form an energy circle.

One by one, the patients then parade before John of God who treats them, gives them instructions or calls them to come back for a surgery or treatment, often in less than a minute.

In one operation, performed without anaesthetics, the medium opened up the eye of one patient and began scratching it with a knife, according to Reinaldo Daher, an orthopaedic doctor who witnessed the operation.

"You could hear the scraping. The patient did not flinch and he told him: 'You are healed, you can go,'" Daher said.

Council warning

He fervently believes in the healer's powers. "I have to believe because I have seen it," he said.

But some, particularly in the medical establishment, are wondering whether "John of God" is a miracle man or a charlatan.

"We have a major dilemma in Brazil. The constitution guarantees freedom of faith, which makes it difficult to take any actions against illegally practicing medicine or charlatanism," Emmanuel Fortes, audit director of the Brazilian Federal Council of Medicine, said.

He stressed the council warns people against "inconsistencies in some practices, as well as those which do not offer any guarantees".

"We do not recommend that patients abandon their traditional medicines and prescribed drugs."

Many of de Faria's patients turn to him as a last resort after being disappointed by mainstream medicine. Others come seeking jobs or spirituality.

And many just come to say thank you.

Economic boost

"All will be received," said a volunteer through a microphone. Instructions and spiritual messages are transmitted in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian and Portuguese.

"I arrived in 2006 with multiple sclerosis diagnosed in 1999. I had been in a wheelchair. And now you can see, I am cured and I can walk. My symptoms are gone," said Marina, a New York-based Russian woman who now comes several times a year to work as a medium and a guide in Abadiania.

For the past 35 years, John of God has been receiving patients and admirers in this small town where the economy revolves around his healing centre.

There are more than 40 inns and dozens of taxis operating shuttle services to and from Brasilia airport.

There is no charge for the treatment. His centre maintains that its income comes from donations, sales of natural remedies and purified water.

But the scepticism from the Brazilian establishment remains.

"Operations in a contaminated environment and unnecessary therapies at religious events are illegal," the vice president of the Federal Council of Medicine of Brazil, Vital Carlo, told Globo television.

Comments
  • Hallo - 2012-04-16 14:43

    These new age spiritualists are worse than the atheists.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-16 14:52

      Their activities help more and more people realise just what a scam religions are and to become non-believers.

      J-Man - 2012-04-16 14:56

      What does this guy have to do with atheists? Nothing. Brainless comment. Idiot.

      Hallo - 2012-04-16 15:44

      @zaatheist - in other words, the blind leading the blind

      zaatheist - 2012-04-16 15:53

      @Hallo Say what?

      zaatheist - 2012-04-16 19:18

      @Trurio Shouting is not going to add any substance to your rant. Fact is, his claims do not stand up to scientific scrutiny and he is just another modern self-appointed messiah in the Jim Jones, David Koresh and Benny Hinn tradition. In short a fraudster and you are just a another gullible twit for believing that faith healing works.

      betsy.compaan - 2012-04-17 09:33

      @Hallo, spiritualists aren't as easy to provoke as atheists and Christians so I don't think your trolling will work today

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:03

      Clearly, you know nothing about this type of healing.

  • Brett - 2012-04-16 14:52

    Throw this quack in prison.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:03

      Another ignoramus with a big mouth.

  • zaatheist - 2012-04-16 15:00

    But some, particularly in the medical establishment, are wondering whether "John of God" is a miracle man or a charlatan. Who writes this stuff. I doubt that anyone in the formal trained medical establishment wonders anything other than why people can believe in this guy who is just another faith healing scumbag. Of course he's a scamster and crook. Otherwise he would be in the queue to claim the James Randi Foundation $1 million prize.

  • Michelle - 2012-04-16 15:10

    Psycho

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:03

      ... babble

  • Jerzy - 2012-04-16 15:46

    Christian quacks at it again.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:04

      Well, it had to be you Jerzy with this uninformed comment.

  • boramk - 2012-04-16 15:57

    If god can heal through spiritual prayer, whats the need to poke people 4cm deep with needles?

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:11

      It's aimed at the Pituitary and Pineal Glands, part of the Endocrine System, and known as the Sixth Chakra and Seventh Centers in our Etheric Body. All energy enters the body through the top of the head to the Seventh Chakra in the center of the skull. The Pineal Gland is the physical representation of the Seventh Chakra. It down-steps from there to the Sixth, Fifth, Fourth, Third and so on. With blocked Sixth and Seventh Chakras, and blocked or atrophied corresponding physical points in the body, healing cannot take place. Hence John unblocks these areas in the physical body. Personally I prefer working through the etheric body. Blockages freed there, free up the physical body as well, in time. It's less gruesome.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:14

      It's aimed at the Pituitary and Pineal Glands, part of the Endocrine System, and known as the Sixth and Seventh Chakra Centers in our Etheric Body. All energy enters the body through the top of the head to the Seventh Chakra in the center of the skull. The Pineal Gland is the physical representation of the Seventh Chakra. It down-steps from there to the Sixth, Fifth, Fourth, Third and so on. With blocked Sixth and Seventh Chakras, and blocked or atrophied corresponding physical points in the body, healing cannot take place. Hence John unblocks these areas in the physical body. Personally I prefer working through the etheric body. Blockages freed there, free up the physical body as well, in time. It's less gruesome.

      PowerPC62 - 2012-04-21 23:58

      Although I am not convinced by many if any of these spiritual healers, there are some things that occur in the universe that man will never be able to explain. Yes God can heal with spiritual intervention and the fact that an external procedure must be performed does not lessen the intervention of God. For example, In the New Testament Jesus was going to heal a man who had been blind all of his life. Jesus prayed and then mixed up a little bit of mud in his hands and placed the mud over the mans eyes. He then instructed his disciples to take him and wash the mud off of his eyes. Upon doing so the man was cured of his blindness. So, which was it that healed the man, the prayer of Jesus Christ or the mud?

  • Cris - 2012-04-16 16:37

    I am one not easily swayed but this guy seems to be doing what he does without money being the object. People don't pay for his service. All you need do is pitch up and if you love life and want to get well who cares whether its done in a 5 star medical facility or a UNO medical tent in a war-zone or even a spritualists hall on Brazil. Getting better is what a lot of people would want. No rituals just, no prayers, no bills so why not?

      Joe - 2012-04-16 17:32

      The problem is that some people may stop or not try proper modern medicine because they believe some nutjob with no medical training can think them healthy. Have a look at http://whatstheharm.net/ to see what can happen. He must prove what he does works in a controlled environment monitored by people who can properly observe what he does works or he must be stopped from lying to these people and giving false hope.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-16 20:00

      He just calls the money donations. I am sure he does not go hungry at night and never, ever has any lasting faith healing event ever been verified scientifically. You are trying to defend an immoral crook.

      betsy.compaan - 2012-04-17 09:45

      Let these people spend their money and get healed where they want to get healed, a lot of these people are so poor that they can't afford medical treatment anyways so this is their last resort. If I was in their shoes I would definitely go and atleast try to see him

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-17 05:06

    Punish him in the harshest possible way; Freeze his bank account !!

      Michael - 2012-04-18 16:47

      Before you condem this man, check the side effect of most drugs you take in blind faith. And think of the cost of modern medicine and how many people can afford it. THEN condem who you think deserves it.

  • rafaelnova0 - 2012-04-19 03:02

    Hello, guys, I'm from Brazil, and John of God has been doing his work thourgh many years. It is well know and many midia across the time covered it. The President of Brazilian Federal Counsil of Medicine is cautelous in his words because indeed lots of people go to the center with medical examinations, papers, etc. And they indeed do it all after that. There is not any king o charge - private donners keep the work of this man. Also, it is no encouraged that people in treatment leave theis medical treatment - in this way, the Physician can also attest the veracity of healing. And to finish, John of God do not convince people in following any religion, even being adept of Spiritism. People come and go, as they feel free to do it. Sorry for my bad english.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 04:13

      Thanks Rafael. I have a high regard for John, although I do prefer working almost completely energetically and etherically. Looking forward to visiting some time, hopefully soon.

  • pages:
  • 1