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JOHN OF GOD - JOAO DE DEUS
His name is Joao Teixeira da Faria, and he provides free ‘treatment’ from a centre in the town of Abadiania, Goias, Brazil, which is 130 kms from Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
The claims for the miracles performed by this man are astounding. It is said that he ‘is arguably the most powerful unconscious medium alive today and is possibly the best-known healer of the past 2000 years’. The literature says that it is estimated that he has treated, either directly or indirectly, something like 15 million people during the past 40 years.
In a book called The Miracle Man: The life story of Joao de Deus, the author, Robert Pellegrino-Estrich claims to have seen Joao pass his hand over the cancerous breast of a woman who has been diagnosed with malignant carcinoma and then lift her blouse to reveal a fresh incision, neatly stitched, and the tumour gone’. The author records healings of thousands, of all kinds of illnesses, including cripples throwing away wheelchairs, walking sometimes for the first time in life. It is said that he can make incisions with a kitchen knife, and yet there is no sign of blood; no anaesethetic used, yet the patients experience no pain.
In addition to the ‘miracles’ performed on hundreds in the main hall, there are other rooms where some of the hundreds who come choose to have ‘invisible operations’. They sit meditating and Joao-in-entity comes in twice a day and claims for them that they are cured. The operations are said to occur internally, with incisions and stitches, but there are no visible signs. Others in this room are ‘healed’ whilst in a coma for a few hours, or a few days, and these are people suffering from severe illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Significantly, we are told that ‘in this room sit twelve special healing mediums’.
The information provided gives us plenty of evidence that Joao is working within the world of spiritism, or spiritualism. The author of the book we have mentioned is quite clear about this. He writes of Joao always operating when he is ‘in entity’ and that he is thus in a trance, and cannot later remember what he has done. The people who come pass through one of the ‘current’ rooms where there are fifty or more mediums whose purpose is to raise the spiritual awareness of each person. In another room twenty to thirty mediums sit in meditation, which is said to provide ‘the current to assist the entities in their work’. The people who wish to consult with the entity (Joao) walk through here first to experience a spiritual cleansing.
The biography states the Joao’s mediumship is extraordinary for he is able to take on thirty three entities, all of whom ‘were remarkable people during their own physical lives; e.g. doctors, surgeons, healers. It says that Joao is only able to have one entity at a time, although he can change readily. Very conveniently, any number of entities can operate outside his body at any one time. It is said that the principal entity is St. Ignatius Loyola.
The beliefs included as a list in the book and considered to be essential include ideas from other than pure spiritualism. One is of reincarnation, and karmas is mentioned, both of which are Hindu tenets. Another speaks of energy fields which has its basis in Taoism. The overriding belief system is, as mentioned, spiritism or spiritualism.
A SKEPTICS VIEW
A well known American skeptic, James Randi, has viewed films of the ‘healer; and is convinced that the ‘injections’ Joao gives are phony, pure sleight of hand. Many other procedures he cannot see because of the camera angles. He thinks that the incisions are sometimes, genuine, but considers them to be very dangerous. He has estimated that if Joao were to work 8 hours per day, 6 full days a week for 35 years he would need to ‘heal’ one person every 21 seconds to have ‘healed’ the numbers claimed! He believes that to visit this centre is to take grave chances.
Whether one concludes as Randi does, that the so-called Joao de Deux is a charlatan who is making a lot of money, or a genuine medium who is tapping very effectively into spiritual power, we can be sure the so-called ‘healings’ are not from Jesus Christ. We take note as always, of the warning in the Bible in Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, that to consult a medium is ‘an abomination to the Lord’.
Pellegrino-Estrich, Robert; ‘The Miracle Man’ website: http://www.johnofgod.com/book.htm
Randi, James; Another ‘healer’ website: http://www.mindspring.com/~ansom/randi-hotline/1998/0002.html