Originally posted 08 Nov 2016
Is 'John of God' a Healer or a Charlatan?
For nearly 30 years, millions have visited the tiny village of Abadiania in remote, central Brazil to see a man some call the most powerful spiritual healer since Jesus and others call a charlatan.
"Primetime" followed the journeys of five people who sought out the man known as "João de Deus" -- "John of God" -- and took a closer look at the amazing claims that surround him.
Read full article By ABC News - Feb. 10, 2005
A more recent article - (certainly makes you think)
- By Joe Schwarcz of the Montreal Gazette' - July 22, 2016
In an ironic twist, in 2015 John of God complained of a pain in the stomach to his cardiologist. Yes, the medium who claims wondrous healing powers has a cardiologist who without fanfare years earlier had implanted three stents in John’s narrowed arteries. Now he sent his patient for an endoscopy that revealed a tumour. A 10-hour surgery, not the spiritual variety, was followed by extensive chemotherapy. A year later, John appears to be well, cured not by mumbo jumbo, but by modern surgery and drugs. No problem affording the treatment. John is wealthy from donations and sales of blessed water and magic triangles.
When asked why he did not heal himself the way he is able to heal others, he replied with the stunning rhetorical question, “what barber cuts his own hair?”
Incidentally, back in 2010, so-called 'psychic surgeon' Gary Mannion visited Brazil to see John of God in the Casa de Dom Inacio in Abadiania, the village that hosts the healing centre to see how he works, and on his return began opening up his 'Abe Healing centres' advertising that he was running these practices along the same lines as the '3-question' sessions held at the Casa.
Shortly after his return, I attended a Gary Mannion event at the MBS Exhibition. This particular demonstration was actually being filmed for intended inclusion in the BBC documentary about Gary ('Gary: Young, Psychic and Possessed'). After the demonstration I was interviewed by the BBC journalist (it was my request that the interview be off-the-record and off-camera). The answers to many of the questions that they were asking, were to be found on the Spiritlove forum which carried a long related thread at the time (some of which has been captured on the Web Archive) here: https://web.archive.org/web/20111115124545/http://spiritlove.freeforums.org/locked-thread-gary-mannion-t306-1850.html . The documentary producers expressed an interest in reading this long discussion and requested the web address which I gave them.
My later report on that MBS demonstration (contained in the Spoiler below) is recorded in the above archived link - and in case of future deletion problems I have copied out the relevant extract here:
Had a very interesting day today at the MBS Exhibition, where one of the events I took in was Gary Mannion's demonstration.
Just a little re-cap - This is the same event and venue where I first saw Gary demonstrate, two years ago - and which was being filmed at the time for the BBC documentary, 'Young, Psychic & Possessed'.
This was my review at the time:
Two years on ... and my thoughts on Gary Mannion have not changed. I saw no evidence today that Gary was working in trance or performing any kind of healing on the two volunteers who went up to receive "treatment". In my opinion, today's "demonstration" was as before, a public relations exercise for the various centres and workshops that have been set up in Gary's name. Inviting questions from the audience and talking all the way through, Gary made mention of some new centre which is going to be run in a similar way to the John of God healing centre in Brazil, (3 questions allowed for the entities), a waiting area .. etc (not everyone gets chosen to get through) - as he mentioned he had recently been to Brazil to see John of God and also India to see Sai Baba.
- Well, on Sunday I finally got to see for myself what all the fuss has been about.
The session was being filmed for a forthcoming BBC tv program, and I saw that Gary was being interviewed on camera just inside the door for about 5 minutes or so before the demonstration began.
After Gary's initial introduction to the audience of about 120 people, explaining how as a trance psychic surgeon he would be channeling healing through (the biblical) Abraham. He explained that unlike John of God, who goes into deep trance, he preferred to allow the healing to be channelled solely through his hands, thus remaining fully aware so that he could explain to the audience what is happening as he goes along, and be 'present' to answer any questions. I was particularly interested in this aspect, having seen a number of trance mediums in different stages of trance, taken part in spiritual healing and trance workshops run by the most senior respected and experienced mediums, healers and teachers in the spiritualist movement.
Also having experienced overshadowing, transfiguration and trance stages of healing and mediumship myself, I was intrigued to see how this might manifest itself through Gary's demonstration.
I have to say, I saw no evidence whatsoever of any spiritual healing or trance activity taking place in that room.
Gary first asked, on Abraham's suggestion, if there was anyone in the audience suffering from allergies. A young girl went up and lay on the table. Gary suggested that allergies all stem from the pancreas. He placed his hands on her pancreas area and proceeded to knead that one spot with his hands (in what I would describe as a bread-making movement, as though kneading dough, and continued this movement for a good 20 minutes, all the time talking to us about the various conditions that people come to him with, and answering questions from the audience. He told us how he is undergoing testing with Archie Roy, Tricia Robertson and Harry Oldfield, mentioning the Faraday Cage, etc. He asked a number of times if there were any more questions. 'Do you treat neurological problems?' was one, 'arthritis?' another. To every condition that was asked of him he replied yes, we have had clients for this, that and the other. He suggested that a good cure for arthritis is to rub peanut oil into the skin, which can be bought in the shops, so long as a person is not allergic to peanuts.
After about 15 minutes of kneading, he asked his volunteer if she felt anything. I could not hear her reply, but could see that she shook her head as if to say 'no'. He then continued with his talk, still kneading.
When finished, he started to tell her that she would not feel any effects straight away but in a few days ... she interrupted him to say that she is already undergoing a course for her allergies and hoped that this 'treatment' would not interfere with her course. His answer was that no, it would not affect her course in any way, but she would find in a few days that suddenly she would feel an effect, different from what she is experiencing at the moment.
Next, Gary suggested that there was someone in the audience who has been suffering pain in the right arm, stemming from the shoulder. A man immediately put his hand straight up (his right arm ' the painful one'). Gary asked is it the right one, it must be the right one? and is it all down the arm? He said yes, for a long time now, and it goes right down to my fingers. This man was sitting right up in the front row just inside the door. I had particularly noticed him as he had arrived with 2 other people literally just before the demonstration was about to begin.
He sat on the edge of the table and Gary began with the same kneading motions to his upper back, again talking continuously and inviting more questions. When asked if he had felt anything, the man replied yes, I felt an energy. This energy he said had entered through his right foot and he felt it travel up the right side of his body. He felt this energy left him cleared. All the left side of his body was cleared, and he said he knew the left side was connected to the heart. Then he said he felt the energy go upwards and felt it enter the crown chakra.
At the end of his session the man said that he actually knew beforehand that he was going to be called up - because Abraham told him. He heard Abraham say 'You will be next'. Gary didn't seem to find anything strange or unusual about this comment, simply repeated what the man had said and then asked if there were any more questions. I so wanted to ask that man a question, but someone then asked another question, can't remember what. I think Gary then said that it would take a few days, but his pain would go, something like that. To be honest, I was in a slightly bemused state at this stage, finding it a bit hard to take it all in.
I was not impressed.
My overall feeling was that this was some kind of publicity stunt - for Gary Mannion.
When the question (my question) was put to Gary about his visit to JoG and the 3 questions - did he get his questions answered, Gary said that he was in a privileged position because he had been personally invited there (by spiritual message) and he actually got the chance 3 or 4 times to ask questions of the entities. He didn't say what the questions were but said that some were answered, some not - but then (he said) he didn't think they wanted him there, as they apparently looked on him as a threat (his words). When asked to elaborate on that he said JoG is now getting old and might not be around much longer ... and they (not sure who the "they" were :? ) were worried that Gary posed a threat (taking over where he left off? Not really sure .. but Gary seems to be thinking along those lines anyway). So now it would seem Gary is planning on setting up a JoG type of thing here ...(?) all very strange ... I'm not really sure what to make of it all. It was all a bit mumbled and vague.