Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: John of God: Oprah's Favorite Ghost-Channeling Rapist Surgeon

Part One: John of God: Oprah's Favorite Ghost-Channeling Rapist Surgeon

Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:00

Robert is joined by Andrew Ti to discuss Brazilian 'healer' John of God.


  1. Impression on Observing Psychic Surgery and Healing in Brazil Which Appear to Incorporate (+) Qi Gong Energy & the Use of Acupuncture Points
  2. Spiritual Surgery: An Investigation
  4. Brazil 'spiritual healer' known as John of God jailed for 19 years for raping four women
  5. An Oprah Winfrey Scandal Timeline: It's Not The First Time She's Weathered A Storm Like This
  6. Slaves to religion: Brazil raids expose dark side of cults
  7. Notorious celebrity faith healer John of God 'sold babies' to Australians
  8. Faith healer with millions of followers ran a "sex slave farm and sold babies to highest bidder"
  9. ‘John of God’ cult leader allegedly ran child sex slave farm
  10. Brazilian activist’s alleged suicide sparks coverage controversy
  11. Leap of Faith: Meet John of God
  12. John of God: my encounter with Brazil’s accused faith healer
  13. I Found Healing With A Famed Spiritualist. Then He Was Arrested As A Sexual Predator.
  14. Celebrity Brazilian healer ‘John of God,’ once featured by Oprah, surrenders on sexual abuse charges
  15. John of God – the Brazilian psychic surgeon
  16. He is Brazil's favourite faith healer, but did he spirit away £1million?
  17. The Science of Faith Healing
  18. John of God: Miracle worker or charlatan?
  19. The Right Chemistry: Brazilian 'healer' John of God leads cancer patients by the nose

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. Join your host, Josh and Chuck on the Super Popular podcast packed with fascinating discussions on science, history, pop culture and more episodes that ask, was the lost city of Atlantis Real? I don't know. Is birth order important? I don't know. How does pizza work? Well, I do know. Bit about that. See? You can know even more, because stuff you should know has over 1500 immensely interesting episodes for your brain to feast on. So what do you say? I don't want to miss the stuff you should know. Podcast you're learning already. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode we're speaking. With Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees, it wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I. This is lovely Robert Evans behind the ******** podcast. This is introduction. Not very good. I liked it. Thank you, Sophie. Thank you for lying about it being a good introduction, but you know it is good, certainly better than my introduction is our guest for today, Mr Andrew Tea. **** yeah, what's up? I'm alive. Can't kill me yet? Nope. Nope. Can't. So you have made it through the Rona so far, Andrew? Yeah. Yeah, I I I have to say, your hair looks as badly in need of a cut as mine does. Yeah, yeah. I can't decide. Are you? I'm like, debating whether to just shoot the moon and grow it to, like, donate able lengths. Yeah. **** yeah. Shave my head. I don't know. It's it's unpleasant. It's at the very unpleasant. Point of the growth. Like it? Like, yeah, I hate it back in my neck. It's ******* disgusting. It's terrible. But we could do what if we did, like a locks of love thing, but instead of for people who need hair, it's for like, weird, ***** people on the Internet. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We raise money for some charity. I don't know what kind of charity. Like bombs, not food, maybe? That sounds like a charity. I mean, it could be like sort of an only fan situation. Yeah, the recording of cutting it. Will be. Will be useful to somebody. Yeah. That'll be ASMR for some very weird person. Yeah. And yeah. So Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. As a general rule, when you and I get together, we talk about a horrific story of colonial genocide, which is what our friendship has been based on up until this point, even before the podcast. That's the part. Yeah. I would just call you randomly in the middle of the night and be like if you heard about what they did. Katie? That'd be like, Nope, let's hear it today, though. Today we have a story that's horrible. Really, really horrible. But it's actually a little bit of a reversal because it's like, in part, the story of this weird belief system from Europe being adopted honestly by people in a colonized nation and then used to justify a horrific misbehavior on behalf of cult leaders. So that's kind of cool. Yeah. Yeah. Cool new ****. Yeah. I guess you could call it a type of. I don't know. I don't even know what to call this. It's a real ****** ****** of a story though. Umm, this is the tale of John of God. Have you ever heard of John of God? I've heard of neither John nor God, so OK, no John of God. Now people might be confused. There's an actual like, Jesus he guy, like a Catholic person called John of God. I think he's a St or some ****. This is not that guy. This is a modern, spiritual medical grifter repeatedly endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, who turned out to be a mass ****** and possibly a baby farmer. So that is that's what we're getting into today. You're welcome, Andrew. For booking. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Jesus Christ. Yeah. Yep. It's it's gonna be an interesting tale today, but before we get into John of God's story, we have to go back in history to the mid 1800s and to a man with what I would have to say is one of the most unreasonably cool names I've ever come across in my research. Are you ready for this name? You're not religious name. Nobody's ready for this ******* name, Hippo. Light Leon denizard reveal. That is a ******* name. Hippolyte Leon Denizard revealed. That is a ******* name like reveal is like, So what I like like going like subtle on the on the final landing. It's just like, yeah, we could do it. Normal. We can do it. I like this name fully. 50% of his four names sound like Pokémon. I've got a hippolite. I've got a dinner Zard. It's ******* so Hippolyte. Leon Denizard reveal was a French educator, and he wrote under the markedly less cool pin name Alan Kardec, which I don't understand. If your hippo lightly unlimited denizard reveal, you lean into that ****. Like this guy did not know what was clickable. Very frustrating. That's wild. Yeah, that's giving us. Speaking as a guy who's named after ******* the Godfather guy like and like, that's that. You don't give up the gift of a name. That cool? Very frustrating. So anyway, under the boring name Alan Kardec, he wrote a series of books about spirits and and kardex core contention was that all living animals were inhabited by immortal spirits that bounced around from body to body. Over the ceaseless aeons. Kardec also believed that spirits could become disembodied through a variety of causes, and that these free spirits could impact the world in positive and negative ways. Cardex theories became the religion of Spiritism, which is still practiced around the world. Today, and it is particularly popular for reasons I don't really understand. In Brazil it has something like 3,000,000 adherents there. Damn. Yeah, that is, I guess it it's it's sort of like a French version of sort of like an animist type religion, right? There's. Yeah, I think. I think you're you're you're very keen to recognize that, because I suspect it has a lot to do with that, and usually spiritism winds up being kind of like a spiritist Christian hybrid. And it does. You're right, it kind of does because a lot of these places had sort of animus traditions prior to Europeans coming in and ******* **** up. And so Spiritism felt like this kind of genuine synthesis of these old traditions with, you know, the new Christianity. I think you're probably on to something there. I guess that's kind of the **** that happened with like Catholicism, you know, in in South America where it basically became Saints, became a pantheon. Yeah. Or the polytheism. It's like, yeah, it's fine. Just a slight emotion and they're everyone's the same. Yeah. It's whatever. So we don't hear a lot about Spiritism today in the United States and probably the reason why is that a sizable number of what we're originally, the religions chief pillars have just become normal facets of, like, fringe spirituality. Like a lot of stuff that was originally part of this spiritualism religion that cardiac cooked up just kind of became things that like people who like crystals all believe. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and even Christianity, kind of like mainstream evangelical Christianity in the United States, has even absorbed a number of spiritist beliefs, or at least different Christian cults around the world have done that, and in a number of places, including Brazil. This has led to spiritual healers becoming a very big deal. Spiritual healers are individuals who claim to be able to carry out magical healing sessions because their bodies act as conduits for dead medical doctors, Saints, and sometimes just God himself now in the United States. This is often seen in Pentecostal communities who I talk about a lot because people need to know more about them. They do if you ever seen like spiritual surgery sessions. Oh ****. I feel like I I can imagine it, but I can't think of 1, but yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's kind of like like laying on of hands type **** and laying on of hands. But then they'll like pull their hands away. They'll be like, oh, there's a tumor inside you. The, the Devils put a tumor around your heart and they'll pull their hands away and they'll have like a bunch of bloody pieces of meat in their hands. And it's almost, it's it's always like chicken or something. Like they get guts from like an animal and they do slight of hand like magician ship to make it look like they're kind of like that. Guy in Temple of Doom pulling out, you know. Right, right, right organs. Yeah. Like, that's that's a big thing in the United States and it's it's it's cool. It's a big thing in the parts of the United States that I'm going to guess most people don't know anything about. Like, most Americans would be like, this isn't a big thing in the United States, but you're wrong. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it is, it is like, nice how the state-of-the-art of, like, 16th century magic has kind of remained the same. It's. Yeah. You can palm a chicken heart. You can get away with a lot. Yeah. The most important thing to realize about just the world is that people have never been Dumber than they are now, and they have never been smarter than they are now. Human intelligence, regardless of the actual amount of knowledge that exists, is a flat plane. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, spiritual surgery is a thing that happens here in the United States and it's a thing that happens all over the world. The various kinds of spiritual healing traditions have existed since time immemorial. There's like a whole tradition of it over in India that has nothing to do with Christianity. It's like, **** like, this has been happening for thousands of years, right? But over in Brazil, a combination of Spiritism and Christianity has created a thoroughly unique tradition of what is generally called psychic. Certain times it the problem is just a little bloodletting is needed. Or like, yeah, there's building up and like, that will work occasionally. Yeah. And it's kind of like, you know, people who for like, whatever reason because of like. Depressive disorder cut themselves like they feel they like, they tend to feel relief for one reason or another, and it's like because it releases endorphins and stuff. So like, you do that in the context of a powerful religious experience and it can feel really good to people. Yeah, so anyway, yeah, the Brazilian two first pioneered this technique. Uh, was Jose Pedro de Fertittas, or Zee Arrigo. According to his autobiography, an obviously problematic source, he started working at a mine until age 14 in 1950, at age 29. Or he started working at a mine at age 14. And in 1950, when he was 29, he began to suffer a series of blinding headaches followed by hallucinatory trances. This all culminated in his body being taken over by the spirit of a bald German. Man and a white apron with a massive team of spectral doctors and nurses at his beckon call so we get like, a whole German surgery team in his head. OHS Christ, now this this magical dead German was doctor Adolf Fritz, a field medic in the German army who died in the trenches in 1918. Which is cool. So. It's it's it's bizarre that, like, this Brazilian mind worker would choose like, it's gotta be a German field medic. That's that, but that's that's what he picks. And I guess we all considered Germans trustworthy. I can't think of anything in history that would make me not trust German doctors. So yeah, that scans so together Doctor Fritz and say Adigo had a wildly successful 20 year career performing surgery to adoring audiences of as many as 800 followers at one time. Zaregoto would go into trances and become so taken with the spirit of Doctor. Fritz that he would grab random kitchen knives and use them to cut out tumors and the like from his patients. He became known as the surgeon of the Rusty Knife, and this was not like a nobody was like talking **** at him by calling him this. That's a. That's like, that's some **** that's like a prison nickname. The search. Yeah. That is like a prison nickname. Yeah. Like, if you're if you get like locked up and they're like, oh, man, that's the knife. That's the rusty knife surgeon, like, that's the dude you don't wanna **** with. That's like the butcher bill. ************. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's incredible. Yeah. That's that was a compliment. Yes, that was a compliment. Yeah. Because like, that's that's part of the evidence to these people that he's like, so clearly holy and sacred is that it doesn't even matter that he's using a rusty. Life. Because, and again, you'll see this throughout the whole episode and all these guys we talk about, like part of the thing everybody focuses on is that, like, none of his patients feel any pain. None of them get infections even though, you know, he's just cutting them with The Dirty knife. Like, that's how holy this is. Yeah. So that's cool. And yeah, you know what? Just cool. Yeah. You know, blood of Jesus. That works. It's fun. Yeah. Antiseptic, largely. Yeah. The blood of Jesus is profoundly antiseptic. Hmm. Yeah. So he prescribed various medications, generally a mix of herbal remedies and complete nonsense. His patients could redeem their prescriptions at a local pharmacy run by his brother. The height of Zaragoza's career came when he removed a tumor from a popular senator. He was arrested in 1956. And. Convicted of practicing medicine without a license, but he was pardoned by the President of Brazil in 1962. He was arrested and jailed again for the same thing, but the police allowed him to continue healing from his cell. He died, wealthy and beloved, in 1971 due to an auto accident that his spirits failed to warn him about. So. Yeah, this guy would be like an amazing character in like a Batman video game. I feel like he feels like real final boss energy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but he's we're just getting started with Zay Origo, so Zurigo dies. And in 1990 this guy Rubens Faria who's a 44 year old engineer and software salesman, kind of looks back in history 19 years and is like this guy made a **** load of money. What if I start claiming to channel the spirit of the same dead German? Guy so? Next up, Rubens Fairy has like Doctor Fritz is in my head and he starts like pretty soon. He's attracting crowds of 1000 people every day to this giant hangar style building he buys in Rio de Janeiro. His patients were renowned to feel no pain even when he cut into them, and they reportedly never got infections from all of his eyeball scraping and body gouging. Christopher Reeves is reported to have visited Mr Faria for healing. It didn't work. Boom. Too soon. But boom, yeah, I mean, it's just not making a joke. It just it clearly didn't do the trick. Yeah, seriously. Damn. Yeah. I mean, that's a bummer. He seemed like a nice guy, but yeah, this was not the treatment. So in 1995, Mr Faria married Rita Costa at age 34. He dumped her a few years later for a 19 year old friend of his daughters, Missus. Costa reported her former husband to the police. For non payment of taxes, the police confronted him during a surgery in Rio and arrested his bodyguard for possession of an illegal weapon. That bodyguard then testified that he'd been secretly helping his boss dispose of the corpses of a number of patients who died as a result of Mr Ferry is hacking on their bodies. So it turned out like a bunch of people were dying and getting infected and his bodyguard was just throwing them in a hole. I guess I was gonna say, like, what does it take to have the confidence to just cut people with the ******* rusty knife? And I guess it is. You just have to. You have to break a few eggs to make. Yeah. Omelet. You know, I've always said there's no. Nothing builds confidence like having a large, heavily armed man willing to dispose of corpses for you. That really, that's all any of us really needs? Hmm? That's. I guess that's you for most people that I know. I mean, yeah, I, I'll, I'll do a little bit of corpse disposal, you know, it's like a yeah. So a raid on Rubens Ferry is compound revealed more than 1000 boxes of conventional prescription medications, suggesting that the spiritual healer was actually practicing traditional medicine, but just without a license. He was arrested in jail. But while his district police chief agreed that Farias needed to be locked up, he still professed a strong belief in the myth of doctor. Fritz telling the Guardian, in my opinion, I think that Doctor Fritz does exist, but that Rubens Ferry is doing things that he shouldn't. So I think he's really channeling this German guy, but that doesn't mean he's not committing crimes too. Oh my God, really threatened the needle. Thanks. Yeah, my favorite is that that reminds me a little bit of I I've, I've known various people that have gotten out of Scientology and the worst of them sometimes say **** that is basically akin to like, well. I don't agree with all the homophobia and all the cult stuff, but obviously Xenu is real and, you know, controls our lives through us here. You know, **** like that where I'm like, you know, it's it's like it's just about the practice of it, not like the underlying. Like, like, yeah, it's amazing. Hey, I mean, you know, I, I, I worship all Ron Hubbard, not for his spiritual teachings or or any of the things he wrote about space aliens, but for his ability to get boats full of young people to search for gold that has passed life buried. That's exactly, that's what. I celebrate about LRH. Yeah, so yeah, this all is the background. I think that's necessary to understand John of God. So on November 17th, 2010, Oprah magazine writer Susan Casey published an article about her visit to Brazil, where she met with the country's new hottest psychic surgeon, oh boy, Joao Teixeira de Faria, better known as John of God. This sparked a visit by Oprah herself and an avalanche of uncritical, positive stories about how cool this new John of. God guy was, for the first time a Brazilian psychic surgeon attracted mass interest outside of Brazil, but foreigners had been trickling into the country for years before that, and one of them, an American named Heather ******* wrote a book about John of God, the man who became her guru. It is a thoroughly uncritical work of puffery from a woman who clearly worships her subject, but it's also our best real source or our best source on the early life of John of God. So I'm going to start by reading from that, and I'm going to give the caveat that this information. This is all information that a mass ****** cult leader wanted to convey about his early life. So, you know, noted a little bit of salt here, here and there. So. Drought tick Sarah de Faria was born on June 24th, 1942 in the poor village of Oh boy Cachoeira de Fumaca in the state of Goias in central Brazil. His mother, Donna Luca, was a popular member of the community and a dedicated housewife. John of God would later speak highly of his mother and I have no reason to suspect she wasn't a nice person, other than perhaps the fact that her boy grew up to a mass ****** cult leader. The biography of John of God continues quote in the 1940s and 50s there were no paved. Roads or infrastructure in this part of Brazil, the roads connecting the towns were dirt studded with cattle grids, and wound their way through farms and villages. When construction of paved roads began in the late 1950s, Joel's mother ran a small hotel and cooked the for the road workers to augment the family's meager income. Joel often says that his mother became famous for her delicious cooking. His father was less successful. He was a tailor and known to laundry business. But money was not great and young. Joao and his four brothers and one sister lived in constant economic anxiety. Young John had to work from an early age. Starting as a cloth cutter in his father's shop at age 6, he only attended 2 years of primary school before economic necessity forced him to end his formal education and take up a series of increasingly brutal jobs now. That's what his biography says. That's not the only version of that we have. A 2005 ABC News profile on him notes that based on interviews with people from his hometown quote, he is said to have been so rebellious that he was thrown out of school after the 2nd grade and could not keep a job. So that's a a different version of his background. Sure, sure. But probably either way should **** was. Yeah, he had to. He had to do some ****. He got up to some **** and did some ****. Yeah. And the age of seven. Yeah. And he had basically no school and he never learns to read or write. That's that's that's the important thing here. Umm, yeah. Never. Not a reader, this guy. So his biographers, though, claim that he worked many jobs as a, well, digger, as a bricklayer. And you know, generally they say that he spent his late childhood and early adolescence in a hard manual labor. He learned how he never learned to read or write, but he did learn how to play pool and this provided him with something of an escape from the dreary existence. Poverty had forced upon him. John's biographer claims that he was a brilliant natural clairvoyant who earned pocket money by actively prophesizing events at the Pool Hall. Yeah, this is very funny because she notes that quote after being given money, he would return to the pool hall. He is an excellent pool player to this day, and I can't prove what I'm gonna say next in any way, but my suspicion is that there is a germ of truth to this, but that he's not clairvoyant. John just discovered he had a knack for pool hustling and various forms of cheating that required quick hands and charm. This is a guy who would go up to spend his life doing sleight of hand stuff to giant crowds. The fact that he's he's a pool hustler as a kid. Makes total sense. So I think that's what's actually going on here is he's. Yeah. Yeah. He learns how to hustle at a pool hole. Well, it's also like, you can the range of predictable items of things that could happen in a pool hall is like, yeah, finite and like less than 30, I would say. I feel like you could just shoot, shoot a lot of shots in the dark and that she's going to come true eventually pretty quickly. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, he spends a lot of time as a kid in the pool hall. He learned sleight of hand. He learns how to how to grift. UM and yeah, the, the, the yeah. So, so far, the biographical information that we've got from his, uh, his biography by his follower Heather Cummings, has been broadly reasonable. This changes with this next paragraph quote. He also remembers walking into the fields with the villagers and pointing to roots and plants that would heal their ailments. The first recorded occasion of Joel's paranormal abilities took place when he was nine years old, while he was visiting family in the town of Nova Ponte with his mother. It was a beautiful, cloudless day, but Joel had a premonition that a huge storm was coming. He began pointing out houses, including the houses of his brother. Saying that they would be blown down or lose their roofs, he urged his mother to leave before the storm, although she was not convinced. She humored her son, and they sought refuge in a friend's home nearby, exactly as he had predicted. The thunderstorm appeared seemingly out of nowhere and badly damaged or destroyed about 40 houses in a small town. And depending on where you find this story, he always claims a different number of houses were destroyed. So I don't know. Yeah, so he he he predicts a storm. This is his first his first case of of clairvoyance. But despite being clairvoyant and able to read storms in the sky, he found himself still forced to labor in order to get by. At age 16 he moved to a city, Campo Grande, and to try and make a living. He was only successful in fits and starts, and before long he found himself unemployed and living under a bridge at the edge of town. One day he headed to the water to bathe, and John claims as he approached the water, a beautiful woman called to him and invited him closer. They talked for hours. The next day he returned to the water to speak with her again, but he found a brilliant. Shaft of light in her place. He heard her calling his name, and so he approached. She told him to visit the Spiritist Center in Campo Grande, which he did. So that's that's that's that's his version of events. The spirit meets him and they talk for hours, and then she sends him to the spirit to center in town. So, like, hell yeah, yeah. He arrives and the director of the center, like, knows his name already, and uh says they've been waiting for him. And then John immediately, like, collapses. He, like, passes out, and when he returns to consciousness, there's this huge group of people standing around him, and they tell him that he has incorporated, which is the term they use for when you're you're taken over by a spirit, the entity King Solomon, and he cured 50 people while possessed by King Solomon. Which I remember King Solomon is the guy who cuts up babies. But yeah, I don't know. And as far as, like, the luck of the draw goes, hey, that's a good get. Good get. Yeah. Name oht. Yeah. Solomon kicks. That's a big one. Yeah. Yeah, could have happened anyone. Could have happened to anyone. Amazing. Could have happened to anyone. I mean, I I would love to. I don't know. Not king Solomon. Which king would I wanna? Ohh him. Henry the eighth. Henry the eighth. That's a good. That's a bad. I mean, that's a bad king, but that's a fun king to to incorporate, to be or King Leopold. I could write a tricycle. Take that chance. Yeah, I guess. I guess. The old dude. The old old dude from the Bible, he probably got up with some ****. Nebuchadnezzar. Lever, Methuselah, Nebuchadnezzar. You mean like the the Babylonian Emperor? Yeah, that's a good one, right? Those guys. Those guys got up to some ****. Yeah, man. And it's so much more impressive to take on Nebuchadnezzar. That guy's got a way better name than Solomon. Yeah, blame. Yeah, yeah. So yeah, obviously this is all lies. The only truth here is probably that John's age, 16, is about when John started fooling around with Spiritism. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of any serious journalism that exists to actually document what Dan what went down with John's early years in the religion. But he claims that the director of the center had to take him aside and explained to him that he'd been chosen by an entity of light known as King Solomon. This director told him to leave and come back at 2:00 PM the next day to keep healing. People. Since John was homeless, this guy invited him to stay the night at his house. John claims that this man's humble home and food were unthinkable luxuries for him, given the poverty he lived with his entire life. He was given his own room with an electric fan, so that's a big deal. Nice electric fan. It is, like, so weird to think about, like, the band of Grifters welcoming in a new. I mean, this is in the retelling, welcoming in yeah, grifter. Like, what the **** was actually happening? Yeah, and it's one of those things. Yeah it it's convenient that you know out in the at this period of time, out in the middle of nowhere, Brazil, you know, life spans aren't enormous. So you're you're really, if you make it old enough you could just lie about what happened to you when you were a kid because. Right, yeah, right, right, right. That makes sense that, yeah, the the earlier most people die, the easier it is to be a grifter. Yes. I mean, when everyone I go to went to high school with his dad, I'm gonna have some stories I start telling. I'll tell you that. Yeah, yeah, no problem. I was healing the **** out of people in 11th grade. It makes sense to add, buddy. Yep. You know who else was healing a lot of people when I was in the 11th grade? Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. 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So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great option. It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit today to get 10% off your first month. That's better my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SPREAK. get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. OK, so. Now let's talk about. Products. Nope. We did that. Now we're back. OK, so Jenna, God, he meets this, this spiritist church, and they tell him that King Solomon's taken over his brain and he's like, that's that's good and normal. And yeah, so he winds up staying the night with, like, the leader of the center. And he he tries to explain to him that he's not a practicing medium and he doesn't know anything about medicine, and he doesn't understand how he was healing all these people. He was actually terrified because he didn't know, like, how to. He was expected to come back the next day, and he didn't know. How to do what was expected of him. But as soon as he gathered at the spirit of center the next day, King Solomon took him over again and he kept healing more sick people. John claims this went on for months while the more experienced spirit is practitioners educated him on the nature of the entities that increasingly took over his body. He became known as Medium John and his new teachers. It is kind of funny medium John. It's like the sequel to Big John. That's not as as good a rhythmic medium job. Just meet him, John. Every morning at the mine you could see him arrive. He stood 5 foot 8 and weighed 135. Kind of medium at the shoulders and medium at the hips, and everyone knew it was OK to give some lip to medium John. And so it is like so juvenile to find confusing medium with medium. But that I know it's funny. To me, it's very funny, yeah. So his his new teachers told him he needed to devote his whole life to healing other people. And this is biography his biographers claim started a five or six year period of traveling throughout Brazil, healing the sick and the suffering. He became known as Joel curator or John the healer. Through his biographers and in interviews, John always make sure that people know that he is a healer, but he also, at the same time, all always firmly rejects being called a healer. So he makes sure that people knows that, like he, everyone started calling me John the healer, but I'm not a healer. The entities that Channel through my body are the ones doing the healing. I'm just a conduit, so it's very important to him that you believe both things. Yeah. So this has a nice side benefit of allowing him to argue that he isn't practicing medicine without a license, which is is handy when you're practicing medicine without a license. I don't know if you've ever practiced medicine without a license, but you gotta be careful with it. That is. So he's shifting the blame to literal King Solomon, essentially. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. If if somebody dies while he's performing psychic surgery, it's the Dead King's fault. So, but that's a hell of a loophole. That's genius. I mean, I am going to start blaming all of my many crimes on King Solomon. I I'm. I'm not. I'm not gonna. I'm not even gonna lie to you about that. Like, I that seems like a very good idea. Especially the baby chopping thing, because that's he's got the baby chopping. He's got previous MO on that. Yeah, I mean, yes, officer. I was going 135 miles an hour in a 55, but if I didn't, this ******* King ghost in my head was going to chop up some babies. Like, do you want me to? Go a little faster. You want some chopped up babies? That's all I gotta ask you. Yeah, yeah. It's up to you. Up to you, up to you, up to you, cop. Seems reasonable to me. You want me to heal you? Let me pull out some chicken gizzards and pretend to rip them from your chest. So his biographers next note that he did that while he did his extraordinary work of healing medium. John was persecuted by members of the medical and religious establishments. He claims that they were threatened by his presence and that he lost count of the number of times he was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. John traveled constantly, never more than a few steps ahead of the law. He finally got a break in 1962, when Brazil was thrown into turmoil by a violent coup. His biography says the country suffered a revolution. And a military government came into power. The reality is that Brazil's democratically elected socialist President, Joel Guler, was overthrown by a military coup backed by the US government, a conservative military dictatorship that ruled Brazil for the next 20 ish years. Johns biography glosses all over over all of that because the advent of a military dictatorship worked out really well for him. Medium John traveled to the capital, Brasilia, and offered his services as a tailor to the military. Quote from his biography. Because he was so young, he was not commissioned to create uniforms, but was given an opportunity to sow a consignment of work pants. His expertise to impressed his new employers, and he was soon promoted to full-time tailor and assigned to make uniforms for the army medium. Joel continued his healing work quietly on the side, but word of his gift soon spread throughout the barracks. One day he incorporated an entity who operated on the wounded leg of a doctor, which healed immediately. The doctor was enthralled with Medium Joel's gift, and from that day on he became the spiritual healer for the military and civil authorities he was promoted to master. Taylor it became their protege for nearly nine years. Consequently, he was protected from persecution during that time and traveled extensively throughout Brazil with the army. There's a lot that's interesting there. The most fascinating thing to me is that so the army comes to believe that this is a magical healer, and as a result they promote him to master tailor, which is this is an interesting choice. You know, it's just like, keep them in the ranks, I guess. Yeah, keep in the ranks. Keep a paycheck going to the guy while you dictatorship Brazil. Look, I'm not gonna backseat dictatorship. You know why? Government. There's a lot of bureaucracy you can't just insert. Like, which doctors? Surgeon general? Yeah, you get. That's like a year eight of the dictatorship thing at best. You know, you gotta. Oh my God. I wanna be witch doctor, surgeon general. So bad. That's just that sounds even better than Reverend. To be honest, you just have to, yeah, you have to work within the available structures and yeah, until such time as you don't, yeah. Yeah, I got really ****** ** fighting those partisans the other night. I got a bullet in my arm. I gotta go to the master tailor to deal with this. Yeah, so John John claims that the the experience of working as a protege healer slash Taylor with the dictatorship instilled in him a deep desire to become a successful businessman. His fawning biographers explained that he quote needed money making expertise to support his spiritual purpose. This is so he doesn't sound greedy. Wonderfully, they claim John just happened to have a great head for business and his financial success has allowed him to fund his healing mission all without charging patients a dime. This is absolutely a lie. But incredulous white Americans bought it for years. So basically he, like, he claims that he became a great businessman, and that's how he's able to fund his his free healing hospital. The reality is, like, literally the opposite. He makes a bunch of money healing people, and he used it to buy, like, ranches full of cattle and stuff. But whatever, yeah. Now, from this point on, the story of Medium, John has a decent amount of documentation. So we're going to depart from his terrible, terrible biography. But before we do, I want to turn to his biographers for an explanation of exactly who these entities that take over. Don are they described the entities as transcendent spirits who are who are quote able to use medium Joel's body to produce cures by performing visible and invisible spiritual surgeries. Quote Medium Joel can incorporate approximately 37 entities, but only one entity can be incorporated at a time. The specific entity may change, however, depending on the needs of an individual patient. In addition to the entity incorporated at any given time, there is a highly evolved group of thousands of spirits who actually work on a person while they incorporated. Is the overseas healing. This group is referred to as his phalange. 1 Spirit might specialize in diabetes or heart problems, another in emotional afflictions. These entities serve humanity in the hopes of alleviating pain and suffering on the earthly plane. This service is part of their evolutionary process. So he's a whole hospital of ghosts. Jesus Christ, that's having having like support staff in this like fake, like spiritual. The best part system, it's like. I I mean, I guess it makes it sound more plausible on some level. Like, Ohh, how could you possibly do this? No, we need, you know, the help of thousands to to cure your ******* whatever. Oh yeah. No, I got nurses. Yeah. Is it ever like, oh, I'm sorry, no, the guy who could help you, he's out on vacation. We just have, like, the dude who helps me cut people's eyes. Do you need an eye cut? Yeah. Oh, that's the other side of it is if you were like, if I were designing my own version of some cockamamie ******** I feel like. It would be. It would involve as little true body horror as possible. Like, no, no, they let people love that ****. Yeah, people love getting ******* cut into and blood and ****. Like, if you really wanna, if you want to, like, if you want to get some cult **** going on, you got to get gross with it, man. Yeah, it's part of it. It's part of it. But the physicality, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's why, you know, not everyone's made to be a cult leader. Andrew. I don't think I got what it takes anymore. I believe you could be a cult. But, you know, it takes some sacrifice. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I don't. I I don't have the willingness to put in the reps to really get good. Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot in common. Being a cult leader has a lot in common with having great ABS. Right. They both they both take. You either have to be born with the right genes or you have to put in a lot of time on the bench. Yeah. And it's not happening for me. Yeah. Well, that's that's. Yeah. We all make choices. Yeah. There's not happening yet. I'll see. We'll see. I wish life takes me. Would be cool to be able to incorporate the spirit that could just give you incredible labs like one of them has to know how to do abs. But OK, so John claims that after a few years of making money and getting in good with the brutal dictatorship, his entities told him it was crucial he expanded his work and heal more people. He wound up being guided to the town of Abadiano and Goyas. He first arrived there in 1978 and began his practice by sitting in a chair outside in the middle of the main road and greeting travelers who showed signs of illnesses through him. The entities would heal these people, and over time the numbers increased from dozens to hundreds to thousands per day. John's incredible healings eventually earned him the loyalty of a mysterious benefactor, who purchased him a plot of land and paid to build a healing center, Casa de Dome, Ignacio de Loyola. This spiritual hospital, as his followers would come to describe it, eventually received more than 10,000 visitors per month. Since Abrianna has only about 19,000 residents, the huge streams of sick and dying people represented a big infusion into the local economy. So, like, half the population of the city is coming in every week just to see this guy. Oh yeah. That's. I mean, I guess you need like desperation tourism sometimes, yes, but Jesus Christ, that's. That is actually Jesus Christ business model also. So you know what? Maybe, maybe it's just a good one. Yeah. If Jesus Christ had benefited from, like, roadside billboards, I don't think they ever would have gotten to kill him. He would have made too much money. But tragic. Yeah. Render and disease are about 38% and you're fine. Yeah. Honestly. Yeah. So. This was often glossed over by the positive coverage of John of God, but the extent to which he became an industry for the people who lived around him can't be exaggerated. I'm going to quote now from an old magazine profile by Susan Casey, just a terrible article from 2010 that nonetheless revealed some important details about the economic impact of this guru on the small town of Abrianna. Quote, several businesses had displays of white clothing. The Casa request that only white be worn. This makes it easier, apparently, for a person's aura to be seen. There were a number of vividly painted small. Hotels lined up side-by-side, lilac purple, Canary yellow, lime green. One of them, a coral colored one story building, opened up to the street and inside I could see a John of God video playing on a large screen. An audience of about 20 people sat in straight back chairs and watched him cut into a man's chest with what looked like a rusty paring knife. The man's eyes were closed and he was peaceful and still as rivulets of blood ran down his white shirt. To Oh yeah, that's awesome. That sounds like the kind of charming, small Brazilian town I want a vacation and just have a couple of ******* mojitos and watch some guy commit surgery on people. Hell yeah. This is like some Midsummer ****. This is like, yeah, insanity. Yeah. Imagine like you just backpacking through Brazil and wind up here on accident and it's like, Oh no, yeah, I have. I have aired. I did not want to be here. Yeah, ****. So John established a cattle ranch nearby, and by the early 2000s he was known to spend most of his week there running his various businesses. He was able to do this because increasingly throughout the 90s and early 2000s, a string of foreigners, generally American women, moved in and dedicated themselves to helping his mission. This includes the Americans who wrote his biography. John of God's practice involved a series of mass meetings where sick folks would basically fill up rooms and wait to be seen by the medium. He'd consult with his entities and then diagnosed their problem. I'm going to quote now from a write up in the Montreal Gazette quote once the diagnosis has been made, the healing procedure begins. It may be visible or invisible. Spiritual surgery. If the patient chooses invisible, they are directed to a room to meditate while the spirits do their work. Visible surgery can involve sticking a surgical clamp up the patient's nose. It looks very impressive, but it is nothing but an old Carney trick usually performed with a long nail and a hammer. Any anatomical text will reveal that there is a roughly 4 inch long passage up the nasal cavity that is quite ready to accommodate a foreign object. Without any harm. John maintains that. Yeah, that's that's a good trick. Yeah, he's he's doing the nails up the nose thing. He's calling it brain surgery. Classic. Yeah, classic. John maintains that the success of his treatment hinges on the patient abstaining from drinking alcohol, eating pork, and having sex for 40 days after the treatment. This can provide for convenient out in Case No miracle occurs. Patients can be healed even if they are unable to travel to Brazil. All that is needed is a surrogate willing to undergo the spiritual surgery. So that's awesome. That's a good grift. Oh, God. Yeah. Oh well, I mean, I guess it's like, if you're gonna be a main grifter, at least bring up your little grifting town around you. Yeah, yeah, I guess, yeah. I mean, that's that's obviously the safest thing, right? Because then they'll have a vested financial interest in protecting you. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I guess that is what a cult is. Yeah, that's basically. I mean, yeah, more. I mean, this is a little more complicated than just a cult because there's a cult, but then there's also the town who like. Probably a lot of the townsfolk knew that this was ******** but they also know there's a ******** of money in this ****. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Make everyone invested in you. And yeah, one way or the other, yeah, it's got leverage. It's essentially the same way that the pot industry works in large amounts of the United States. Or, yeah, like any drug, illegal drug business works where it's like, well, this is where the money is here, so nobody's, nobody's gonna start. Jet? Yeah. Don't don't snitch. This is this is the ******* godfather. Don't snitch. This is good for all of us. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's kind of what's going on here. Except for instead of good, honest marijuana. It's a guy cutting people's faces and shoving things up their noses. And he actually hates marijuana. He was. He was famous for saying that, like, if you smoked pot, you had to, like, detox for a whole year before he could heal you. The entities don't like weed. Yeah, that's can't be true. But fair enough. Entities. Yeah, if there are, if there are ghostly entities flying around, there's no way those ghostly entities don't like some ******* dank. Like, come on, yeah, they love, they love weed. So that that last write up I read you from the Montreal Gazette was obviously written by a credible journalist who was critical of who was very critical of John F God. But I want to read another example. Another another person writing about. His healing sessions look like who actually, like, believed in him and was a member of his cult. So here's his biographer Heather Cummings recalling one of his healing sessions quote. The entity Dr Jose Valdovino, called for his and that's the the guy he's channeling is this. Doctor Jose Valdovino called for his instruments again. I opened the special drawer and carefully removed the tray and took the instrument tray to him. He chose a paring knife, a regular kitchen serrated edge knife. He passed his hand over the man's eye and told him to relax. He opened the eye wide and pressed down hard and scraped. See, here it is, he said as he wiped the check. The knife on the man's shirt, I could see a minute dark sliver. I know beyond a doubt, after seeing so many of these operations, that the sliver was not a topical. For an object being removed, but rather something from deep inside that only the entities can see, the eye looks. The entity looks into the eye as a representation of the whole body system, not limited to the physical eye. I understand this is a symbolic removal on the physical level, but originating from many levels involving many different or organs. The sun is healed, you can take him to the Infirmary, he said as he wrote the post OP prescription so. That's cool ****. That's an awesome gig, man. That is. I mean, I don't. I like, I don't wear contacts because I can't touch my eye. I think, ohh, I'll heal you, man. Yeah, come over to my house. I'll, I'll whip out a big old rusty machete and I'll, I'll carve the ghosts out of your eye, man. It's it's fine. This is this is where I'm taking machetes in next. Damn. Damn, that's a that's an easy grist. Just start slashing people's ******* faces. It's fine. Holy **** man and then yeah Can you imagine the first time you tried this **** like this will work there's a lot of blind people who are like before he learned how to scrape. Peoples eyes without blinding them like he there's like a whole village full of his his his first draft healings. Yeah, Jesus Christ. I guess some of those people are dead. Huh yeah, I mean, you know the good thing is if you're actually like if you're doing this kind of grift I think you definitely want to. Tired out, only trying to heal people with serious terminal illnesses like cancer. Because then once you **** ** they're not around very long, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's really key. Yeah, a lot of good advice on how to start a medical grift in this episode. So take notes. When society collapses, some of you are going to do very well remembering this stuff. So yeah, like as that story noted, John of God would write prescriptions to his patients, and all of these prescriptions were for a specific herbal pill mixture sold in John of God's own Pharmacy. The pills were mostly passion flower, and by some accounts, they've netted John more than $10 million a year. He also gets a cut of the sales of the white clothes. The hotel fees, the sales of blessed water, and the sales of healing crystals, which he prescribes to his followers. So you can see why no one in Abadiano had any interest in questioning whether or not John of God was legit. He did face occasional challenges for members of the Brazilian government, particularly folks in the medical establishment who were leery of his psychic surgery. But this sort of woo is extremely popular in Brazil, particularly among rural voters, and John of God was both rich and connected, so it is not surprising that very little was ever done. What's more surprising is the degree to which. Foreign journalists bought into his stick. In 2005. ABC News sent a small team to Abadi Yanya to meet John of God. They put together a documentary basically posing the question of whether or not he was a healer or a a ******** artist, and they kind of landed on healer like ABC News did a pretty ****** job of journalism here, and I'm going to quote from this write up in the Montreal Gazette quote. In an attempt to provide a critical review, a view of John's antics, the producers invited 2 experts, cardiac surgeon Mehmet Oz and James Randy, the world's leading investigator of paranormal phenomena. Oz was probably chosen because he was a proponent of various alternative therapies such as therapeutic touch and reflexology, and would be likely to be somewhat sympathetic to faith healing and perhaps at an air of legitimacy. Randy was invited as the token skeptic. Oz appeared repeatedly in the hour long show, basically echoing the refrain that science doesn't have all the answers and not. All other forms of healing need consideration. Science, of course, doesn't claim to have all the answers, but it does look for evidence before jumping on a bandwagon. Randy, who could have provided evidence for methods of trickery and for psychological manipulation, was given a total of 19 seconds on the show after being interviewed for hours. Why? Because the possibility that cancer can be healed by penetrating the nose with surgical forceps, by a healer chosen by God makes for better television than declaring him to be a self delusional simpleton or a calculating fraud artist. So. I mean now this this has to also be like something like the underlying like. You know, a faith in Christianity. Like, you know, it's like, ohh, you gotta, you know, can't question religion. Can't question religion takes you all the way to wealth. This could be real. This clearly fake **** could be real. It's got to be real. What else could it be? It's it's it's wild, man. And doctor Oz is a big part of justifying this guy. Like, you can't overstate how much doctor Oz played a role in giving this guy legitimacy. Because his job for his whole career pretty much has been to be a real Doctor Who will get up and say that nonsense makes sense, that nonsense medical treatments are good for you. I mean, I think, I think it's like critical to point out that, like, physicians are not ******* scientists. Like, you can be a doctor. Ben Carson believes in ******* you know, doesn't believe in evolution. Like doctors are just like high stakes technicians. Yeah, and and they're engineers are regularly. Engineers and doctors actually are are not irregularly like part of like, terrorist moves like Al Qaeda had a bunch of engineers and doctors. Yeah, because like they, you know, if you've got that kind of Intel, like Ben Carson is a great brain surgeon and is also able to convince himself that the world is 6000 years old, like the the kind of brains that these people have, don't, you know, there's a lot of very smart doctors, obviously, too, but you can be a doctor and very dumb. And you can be a but I don't think Doctor Oz's dumb. I actually don't think that's. I think doctor Oz is a very intelligent grifter who's made millions of dollars, causing untold harm to the world and to our shared understanding of science. God, all the doctor Oz ad comes on during this episode. He's a ***** ** **** and a monster. They could add for doctor Oz comes on right now. Yeah, I think, I think it's just like worth pointing out that the TEM in stem. None of those things are indicative of actual knowledge necessarily. No. And this is part of why, like, this. People talk about, like, you know, conservatives in particular, like, talk a lot of **** about the liberal arts and, like, philosophy and all this stuff. And it's like, no, no, the reason why engineers and doctors should have some grounding and all that education is to stop doctor Oz from coming about. Like, yeah, like it's to give people, like a broader understanding than just, like, if you get really good at. One incredibly narrow technical thing. Yeah. You can convince yourself to believe all sorts of stupid ******** because you're a very smart person who doesn't have a wide-ranging education and it's very easy for those sorts of people to convince themselves of the dumbest things in the world. Yeah. And. And who have, like, who are highly rewarded for it. Yeah. So like, yeah, you watch like any Silicon Valley person make a pronunciation on anything outside of business and it's like, oh, you are less educated. Than the average person you are. Yeah. Bad at reasoning. Yeah. And when a bunch of these people who are really good at one incredibly narrow task wind up responsible for a wide range of things, you have stuff like a viral epidemic, get wildly out of hand and kill 10s of thousands of people. But yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So hypothetically, yeah. And doctor Oz is, of course, a part of that was like, urging people to take ******** medical treatments during the coronavirus epidemic because he's he's he's, he's history's greatest. Monster. Umm, you know, he was also cited repeatedly in that 2010 O magazine article because of course Oprah gave Memento's life and nursed him at her metaphorical breast of publicity. And I'm going to quote from that next. So this is the write up in O magazine that really put John of God on the map. Quote, five years ago, Oz had participated in a primetime live segment focusing on John of God. He examined hours of film, footage from the entities, healings he looked at, scans and biopsy reports, and the results he couldn't explain. The shrinkage of an aggressive tumor, for instance, this guy has a glioblastoma, which is a very deadly brain tumor, Auz recalled. It was grade four. They biopsy didn't proved it as an added credential. The biopsy was done at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, a prominent hospital. I took those films down to my radiologist, along with a new set of films that patient had taken after his visit to John of God, which showed the tumor had calcified and essentially died. Now, I don't know Doctor Oz's radiologist, but I do know that doctor Oz himself is a famous charlatan and a liar. I can't speak to the specific case, but it's worth noting that no other doctors got to look at this information. I can, however, speak about other cancers that John of God claimed falsely to have cured. In 2005, South African singer Leah Mellman refused breast cancer surgery to be treated by John of God. She claimed to have been cured by him and showed up on Oprah Winfrey show to tell everyone the good news about how Brazil's miracle Healer had had cured her untreatable. Cancer which actually was treatable that she just chose not to get treated. She died of her untreated cancer two years after her Oprah appearance in 2012. Oprah did not post a retraction based on any of this. Of course, some of this is probably due to the fact that there were many, many other grateful patients all too eager to come forward and share their own stories of miraculous healing. That 2010 article by Susan Casey included the stories of several charismatic foreigners who claimed to have been cured by John and now worked for him or made money taking groups to be healed by him. I'm going to. Read one example. This is a quote from that O magazine article which you can only find it on the Wayback machine, because once this guy got accused by of rape by literally hundreds of people, Oprah pulled the article. But I found it on the Wayback machine. And if you want to be really angry at an unspeakably ****** journalist, and Susan Casey is one of the very worst who's ever, ever done the job. Read that article because it will make you want to punch holes in your wall, so I'm going to read a quote from it now. So get your hole punch in, hands ready. Over a good Chilean red Edwin, an ordained minister, motivational speaker, and author of the four spiritual Laws of Prosperity, recounted the story of her brain aneurysm, deemed inoperable by 5 neurosurgeons. Get your affairs in order, she remembers being told, and try not to sneeze. That's how fragile I was, she said. So I did it. I went out and got my living will, my durable power of attorney, but then I realized I'm not ready to go just yet. She laughed at the memory. That's all it is now, after her dire diagnosis, at the urging of her prayer group. All of whom? Say they received the same vision of John of God curing her. Edwin travelled to the Casa. I was nervous and I was skeptical, she said. But what did I have to lose? Almost immediately, the entity performed invisible surgery on her, a 40 minute process that involves sitting in a group meditation with her right hand over her heart. Nobody touched her, but Edwin remembers. I could feel things moving around in my head. It didn't hurt, but it was different. Afterward, she collapsed and exhaustion for 24 hours. Days later she was told by her guide the Stitches would could would be removed. That night, I could feel ping ping, ping, like stitches being pulled out. Eventually, a CT scan revealed the truth. Her aneurysm was gone. I'm so grateful, she said, nodding toward the heavens. Since then, she's been back to the Casa once at Christmas, and now she was headed there for a third time, bringing a group of 20 people who also sought healing. So this is the level of journalistic rigor that we're getting in this article. No magazine, everybody. The mention of the wine is particularly choice. Oh, it's gotta be yeah, yeah. Revolting. Yeah, Oprah magazine was definitely like it was. Yeah, it was. It was. It was entirely geared at getting wine moms to believe spiritual nonsense and not get their cancer treated. Jesus Christ. I mean, Robert, you wanna take an ad break real quick? Yeah. You know what else doesn't care if wine moms get cancer treatment? The products and services that support this podcast, they don't. They don't give a good *** ****. And that's the Garrett that's the behind the ******** guarantee. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. 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Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. We're back. Oh my gosh, what a great. I don't know. Whatever this is. What a great you know, John of God. John of God is a monster and a ****** and we will only hear more about the horrible things that he's done. But I can't have the same kind of hatred for him that I can for these ******* O magazine grifters and doctor Oz and I I don't know why. I think it's because I'm like, on like a global level, the amount of harm that these people do is so much higher. And it's also so much like. This is going to sound weird, but like the horrible physical crimes that John of God committed, like he just went out there and committed with his own body, and there's a level of, like, commitment to evil that's necessary. Whereas Dr Oz and Oprah just, like, sit in front of a camera and say ******** that harms so many more people while at the same time they're perfectly friendly and nice people and so, like, nobody hates them and they never go to prison. And like, I'm not going to say they're worse than a ****** but yeah. You know, they do more damage on a on a broad scale, right? Like, Oh yeah, it's not good. Well, it's it's like sort of like, it's like. It's like, whatever the the PR version of money laundering is, they they mean they clean it. They're the cleaner. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's exactly right. They're they're like money launderers for like dangerous ******** that gets people killed and molested and stuff and they they world. And that's very frustrating to think about. Although to be fair, actually, if she were to graduate to the level of American President, yeah, she would once again be in company where probably, relatively speaking, her hands are relatively clean. I and and like, I hate. I hate to say it, but I suspect she would not be the worst president of my lifetime. Ohh my gosh, she might be the best. Yeah, it's it's it's entirely possible. Yeah, you both things are true. You can be the friendly face of a lot of horror. Yeah, and still be the best president. Yeah, I would still vote for her over the current guy. Or even Joe Biden, to be honest. So. Here we go. Like it's ******* wild. This is so dumb. We shouldn't have presidents or billionaires like Oprah, but whatever. Anyway, that O magazine article has been scrubbed from the Internet because of all the rapes and stuff. But yeah, it's I almost recommend finding it and reading it just to get a crash course in how to write a really irresponsible article about a cult leader. Susan Casey should be in some sort of journalist prison, but instead she went from being Oprah's editor in chief to working as the creative director for outside. Magazine, the editor of Sports Illustrated Women and the author of a Ridiculous sounding book on Dolphins. And I am sure that I have ruined any chance of publishing an outside magazine now. Which bums me out because. I would much rather do that than write about Nazis. But I don't like Susan Casey, and I think she's very irresponsible. Yeah, she's the journalistic equivalent of like. Like taking your 9 year old out, shooting for the first time and just getting blackout drunk first. I mean is it like because it's like, so generally there's just like a vested interest in promoting like spirituality and Christianity on some level? And like cause it's like when you when you encounter these people are you are not at any point like hey, this seems ****** **. I it's so wild to me that you don't, that they don't have that instinct. You know, the key is that all of the people surrounding John of God because you don't spend much time with him, you spend a lot of time around these, like, and they're mostly like White American ladies who who right like, love his ****. And they're all the same kind of, they're all Gwyneth Paltrow kind of people. And they're all like, like, well heeled and friendly and and charming and and they know how to speak to a specific segment of the population and those people find them. Trustworthy. Yeah, so Susan felt the need to visit John of God, the author that Old magazine article, so she could write a terrible article. But the the the ailment that sent her there was the fact that her father had tragically died very young and the resultant grief had nearly broken her. She went to Brazil for healing and she basically claims that John of God put her into a trance during one of his mass healing sessions and she was able to visualize her father in Paradise, knowing that he was happy and off living his eternal life allowed her to move on. And that's all fine. Like, seriously, grief is the worst thing. Ever. And there are way worse ways of coping with it than paying a guru to help you to hallucinate heaven or whatever. Do what you got to do to get by. I'm not going to blame her for that. What I will blame her for is the utterly uncritical way that she wrote about John of God's ******** like his claims of being able to perform surgery without even touching people. So here's another quote. When you consider the countless unseen things that have undeniable power sound waves, microwaves, radio waves, emotions like anger or envy, wind, and of course the awesome universal power of love, it seems silly to rely on the naked eye for proof of anything. Yeah, that is what we do. Numbers on charts and graphs X-rays those we believe in, but we leave without documentation. Something we perceive with one of our five senses is considered without with. One of our five senses is considered blind faith. Sweet, but we don't really trust it. So she's saying that like it's it's silly to believe in radio waves, but not the power of ghosts to heal people's cancer. The hand waving of naked eye into evidence. Yeah is ******* revolting. She is hand waving so hard it could power a ******* windmill farm like Jesus. So she actually makes the argument in that article that it's unreasonable for us to reject the reality of John, of God's powers just because there's no proof behind them. This is reinforced by some something she writes about her arrival in the hotel that Abadi Annya quote, as I hoisted my luggage up to the second floor, a small sign of the wall caught my attention. Don't believe everything you think it advised, which is like, that's kind of gaslighting, right? Like it's like, it's like gaslighting via decoration. That's yeah, that is exactly. That is what abusers say. That's fine. Yeah. Insane. Yeah. Holy ****. In this same incredulous way, she writes about the entities that John of God channels quote. If you spend time at abadiano, you will hear the phrase the entities over and over again, sometimes plural and sometimes singular, and you will come to use it yourself as if it were a completely ordinary thing to say. What it actually means, however, is so extraordinary that it defies our sense of what is logical or even possible in this world. The healing entities who work through John of God are the spirits of deceased doctors, surgeons, masters, and Saints. Heather's website explains matter of factly. They use medium Joel's body, channeling their power through him. Sometimes the spirits show up anonymously, but there are several who make regular appearances. They include doctor Augusto Dealmeida, a surgeon in Army man with a serious and efficient manner. Dr Oswaldo Cruz, whose specialties were infectious diseases and bacteriology. St. Francis Xavier Co, founder of the Jesuit order, along with Casas patron, St Ignatius of Loyola, a priest and nobleman from the 16th century. Despite the presence of Saints, medium Joel, born a Catholic, makes it clear the Casa is not a church but rather a spiritual hospital. My mission has nothing to do with religion, he says. So. Ah, have the yes. Have these guys ever been, like, sued by the estates of these? This feels a little bit like Mormons like, Nope. Baptizing people in in. Like a postmortem. Most of the poor people who come to John of God are too poor to sue if they're serious. Diseases don't get cured. And most of the rich people aren't actually coming there for serious diseases. They're coming there for things like like Susan, as we're like. They're sad, you know? Yeah, that's a lot of patients. Sorry, I I meant. I meant the estates of these spirits, of these people. Man, yeah, that that would be fun to try to sue someone for that. I don't know that there's any legal precedent. I I think it's really funny that you're, like, talking about, like, OK, we've got this infectious disease doctor, but actually, he's calling it a second opinion from the 16th century. Noble. Yeah, exactly. It's like, hey, my grandpa. You know, admittedly, my, my Nazi grandpa probably wouldn't have supported this, I guess is not the best court case, but yeah, you know. Yeah. The boy season goes on to write quote at the Casa Skeptic Series welcome as Believers. I had already noticed that skeptics didn't tend to stay that way. Many harrumphing empirical scientists had become impassioned. John, I've got advocates after visiting and witnessing him in action. She doesn't go on to quote any of these scientists or or give any evidence of this. She just like says it because this is again a perfect piece of journalism. At one point Susan Atenza healing and says that John of God called for doctors in the audience to come forward in her recitation of events. These learned men. We're all bowled over by John's inexplicable healing abilities. As far as I can tell, Susan took no action to determine if any of these men were actual doctors. A real journalist, Michael Usher, did report critically on John of God in 2014 for 60 minutes, and I want to compare how she and Michael both wrote about the mediums ice scraping surgery quote from my vantage point, only 10 and this is Susan. From my vantage point only 10 feet away, the change in his body and demeanor was easily visible. Now his eyes were more intense and they flashed noticeably. Darker. His gait became stiffer, his movements more deliberate. He turned to the three women standing against the wall, took the one closest to him by the hand, and gently sat her in a wheelchair. Her eyes fluttered wide as she meditated. Reaching to the tray, he selected a short knife with a wooden handle, a cheap looking type that you might use to pair an apple, and he held it up to the room, making sure that everyone saw it. Sharp blade. He tipped her head backward, running his hand across her face, and he opened her left eye, holding the eyelid wide. Then he began to scrape, scrape the knife across her eyeball back and forth with visible pressure. Unbelievably, the woman said, absolutely still. Without flinching or recoiling, I had a hard time watching this, believing as I do that the words knife and eyeball should never appear in the same sentence. After what seemed like an eternity devoid of trauma, he put down the knife. The orderly took the wheelchair and steered it into the Infirmary as she had the entire time, the woman appeared to be napping. How on Earth could a knife cross your eyeball and not hurt? Later, I would interview another recipient of this treatment, Connie Price, 62, from Jackson, MI. There was no pain whatsoever, she said of the five minute scraping. I could feel the energy coming through him. I remember the heat pouring through that man's body. Price found the treatment beneficial. I can see a lot better now. So you'll notice the only evidence of efficacy of healing is they didn't look to be in pain when this guy was rubbing a knife on their eye and they said one of them said afterwards, I can see better. Now. There's no, again, that's not evidence. That's an anecdote. And that's not an anecdote based on, like, actually testing her eyesight. Is that. And also it's like, aren't there isn't the whole thing that's like, yeah, there aren't. Are there nerves on your eyeball? Because that's how they do. Like, basic, right? Yeah. It's actually really easy to write. It's the same thing with like, it's actually very easy to rub a knife and even cut a little bit on an eyeball without somebody being in horrible pain, right? And you know, even when you actually are cutting into people's chest, like, it's easy for people to not feel pain. Like, again, people who like there, there are people who like do cutting and stuff, or who will like, like, I I have friends who like will suspend themselves from the ******* things in the roof of a building with like hooks in their back and. Like it feels good to them. Like there's like a release of endorphins. Like there's pain too, but like they they're not like screaming in agony the whole time, even though you would think they would be. Like, there's. Yeah, exactly. Like the fact that these people don't report pain or anything isn't weird and is part of, like, a long, documented history of people experiencing temporary relief from faith healing and stuff like that. There's nothing mysterious about it. For decades, Pentecostal revivalist preachers have done things like pray over people with injured legs and then have them discard their crutches and dance around. And the explanation for how this works is the same as the explanation for why, if you throw your back out, you might find yourself forgetting the pain during a moment of. Dream danger or extreme excitement, like it's just sometimes our brains override our experience of pain. It happens. It's a thing that people do. It's like those stories of women lifting cars off their babies. So, yeah, that's how Susan Casey uncritically reports on a healing session. Here's how a real journalist, Michael Usher, reports on a pretty much identical healing session. John of God is not a surgeon. He is not a trained doctor. Yet he is presented with a tray of medical instruments, scalpels, and all sorts of scissors. He takes a scalpel and scrapes. Guys, he sticks knives and scalpels of some sort sort down the back of people's throats, and he claims he is getting to tumors. He claims he is getting to the root of people's illnesses. He claims he is getting to what makes people ill or sick. None of it is done with an anesthetic, and you don't even know if what he's using is sterile. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that feels about right. A large part of why John of God's magic seems to work is the fact that he performs it all in public. Among an in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd of true believers, many of whom also happen to be desperately ill, John tells them that they can all help fuel his work and heal themselves by sitting in the current and basically meditating for hours while he does his thing. As Susan Casey writes, on any given day maybe 400 people formed the current, spelunking so deeply into their interior. Films, they might well be asleep or anesthetized while doing so. They were trained from opening their eyes or crossing their arms or legs. These things, they are told, cut off the flow of energy as surely as would kinking a hose. So. This is Alicia said they were told in that one. Yeah, I'm if I'm throwing a lot of shade on Susan Casey for her bad article here. It's because her choice to platform John of God with no critical thinking or even an attempted examination brought his line of ******** to the eyes and ears of millions of vulnerable people. Oprah Winfrey had her on her show in 2010, and one of the millions of women who watched that episode was a Dutch choreographer named Zahira Lenik Linke Mouse she suffered from. Sexual trauma and Winfrey's episode do you believe in miracles? Convinced her that medium John could heal her. She waited in line twice to receive his healing. After traveling to Brazil on her first visit, he prescribed to some of his herb pills. When those didn't do the trick, she went back and he offered her a spiritual cleansing and a rare private session from the Washington Post quote. She waited until everyone in line had their turns until finally she was alone and John, if God invited her into his office and then into his bathroom. That's where Moses says he raped her, all while leading her to believe it was part of her healing. Now, Moses was one of hundreds and perhaps thousands of rape victims of John F God and I I want to end on this note to to get to the point of, like, what's really happened here, which is that an American industry based on uncritically looking at spiritual healers funneled victims into this guy's hands and allowed him to achieve a level of influence and and basically, like, build a spider web for this ******* spider of a man. So we're going to continue the story of John of God in Part 2, but, uh, right now we're going to continue the story of Andrew T of God's. Plegables. Oh ****. You know, just go to the Yozis racist podcast I met. Andrew T's last name is spelled TI everywhere. Yeah, that's it. That is it. Well, I'm Robert Evans. You can find me on the Internet You can find me on Twitter at Irido. OK. And if you want, I will just sort of rub a machete all over your eyes. It's gonna cost you. I don't know, let's say I don't take any money. But we do ask for $3000 donations to our our our Medical Center. So give me 3000 bucks and I'll *******. I'll rub a machete on whatever part of your body you want. That's the key. That is a guarantee. Absolute guarantee. I also have a podcast called The Women's War. It's upbeat. It tells you about how to. Out of. Make things that don't suck out of your society when it sucks. So maybe listen to that too. And I don't know, go in Christ and cut up people's eyes. That's the podcast. Yeah, it is dope. Part Part one of the podcast, OK? Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break your handle the hosting creation distribution. And monetization of your podcast go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So, four, oh, months the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts, sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and as a Dominicana myself, I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books to read. Your has blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts.