Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who is John of God?

There are many types of spiritual options in Brazil. Yes, options. You can watch people dance for a spirit, make offerings to one, be taken over by them, and talk directly to some. Brazil is a very religiously open place when it comes to this kind of thing. It wouldn't be unheard of to see your hardcore Catholic neighbor leaving a spiritualist church.  Some just like to cover all their bases.

And Rio de Janeiro is no different. I have been to or have received in my own home numerous figures of the spiritual group here. No, not to any credit of my own. They all know and adore my Mother-in-law. She has taken me places where I am able to go (apparently I'm too open to attend everything) and has brought her friends to do work in my home. A baby gift from one of them was a spiritual/energy cleaning of my home before the baby arrived.

Anyway, the thing that is different about the people who I have met first hand and John of God is the lack of a PR machine.  There seems to be a level of unsaid respect. It is not for publicity. They will not accept cameras or tourism. No lookie loos are allowed to enter.

So when asked if I know who João de Deus is I said I don't.  I looked him up the way I look up everything, with Google. What did I find? I found that the number 1 site when you goggled him in English was a site selling his DVD. If you search in Portuguese the #3 is the same site, in English.

Yeah, that's a red flag for me. He's from a small town and should obviously not be expected to heal for free. Oh wait, I thought that's what a healer did. A healer heals because it's their mission. It's their purpose in life. Yes, they have mouths to feed. Obviously healers are also able to procreate. But isn't the second thing written in the book of "All that is Sacred" that you can't whore out your gifts?

Oh yes, I just called John of God a bit of a money whore. He was on Oprah for heavens sake! He's on Google. He has his own paypal account. Something in there does not make me scream out second coming of the lord.

An article I read about him just made things worse for me. All the "results" these foreigners felt were either circumstantial or a placebo effect.

And fine, everyone needs their opiate. I get it. But there are some key points in looking for a healer. I think the number 1 would be that they don't appear on Oprah. Just call me crazy but I think that's against everything and anything they believe in.

To clear things up, it's not that I doubt that he could possibly do miracles. I have yet to meet him and thus can't say for sure. At the same time, there is a PR machine. Any PR machine makes me nervous. You don't see me going to Coka Cola for advice do you?

It's just that once you live in Brazil for a while you gain an understanding about healers and spiritualists. You meet and learn about people who house other spirits. It's no longer a "weird thing."

There is a magnetic level of energy in this country. The entire place seems to vibrate at a frequency that just sets stuff in motion. As Brazilians you see these healers as amazing humans with God-like gifts. As foreigners we tend to see these people as infallible God-like people.

That difference is where the question lies. They are amazing people attempting to help others with their gifts from God, not demigods acting as men.  I feel there is a danger in not realizing the difference. The spread of his name and movement is one that creates an air of holiness that I think needs more than a few testimonials to confirm. I don't care if he has a stack of crutches as proof. I have seen that stuff at a "healing" in a crazy ass cult/church in Washington State. Not sold.

I would like to believe that John of God is a man with a mission. His mission being to heal as many as he can. I would love to believe that in a few visits his incarnations can breath new life into a failing body.

I honestly do not have enough information to say either way. In a debate with a friend she called me out on all reasons why I would not believe in him. Why not believe in someone just because he has become a public figure. He is not living in a mansion. He does not have 10 jags or a room full of virgins. He is a man with a plan trying to reach as many as he can.

And that does deserve some respect.

Regardless, remember that this is not Ancient Greece and the Gods are not walking among us. He is a man like everyone else, with potentially extraordinary gifts. Then again, even if his gifts are just the power of suggestion, isn't that all we need sometimes.

What do you guys think of João de Deus (John of God)? Have any of you met him? Would you meet him if given the opportunity?


  1. Rachel,

    I am a skeptical and seriously cynical when it comes to religion, I know, it's bad, but I can't help it, those priests and bishops in the Vatican with the colorful costumes are just too funny if you ask me.
    However, when I watched Oprah I was totally convinced. The reporter checked and they actually don't charge anything from anyone. There are signs to leave a "donation" of any amount if you can, so they can maintain the facilities, waiting rooms etc...There is even a restaurant where they serve meals for free, prepared by volunteers with the donations.
    I see your point with being on Oprah and all, but Oprah's reporters went after them, and they just allowed them to film, just like they allow any other TV crew that shows up.
    My mother has been fighting a serious health condition for sometime now and we are desperate, we will try anything.
    I am totally curious and want to plan a trip over there when we come to Brazil, you are welcome to come with us. ;)


  2. Interesting you're posting this on the week that the allmighty Sai Baba died (yes, the guy who wasn't supposed to die!)

    I have heard of St. John, someone called him also, "St. John of the dirty knife", because he does operations with a dirty knife apparently. I heard about him through my uncle, a Canadian who has travelled lots through South America, who heard about him from someone who had visited St. John.

    Imagine this... you are from a small rural town, have hardly any money, and hardly any hope. You don't have an internet connection. Word of mouth brings you news of this healer, someone who could save your sister from her illness so that she can continue to raise her five children. Word of mouth is interesting... it doesn't spread the same way that internet does-- it adds, it elaborates, it focuses solely on here-say (not heresy-- here-say :) ). It is powerful. It is what made Jesus popular, back in the day. I think there is no way for us to really understand it's power with an internet search. In this way, the internet deprives us of a certain type of knowledge, when we actually think we have access to it, we don't.

    Imagine another situation. A poor single mom with 5 kids living in Detroit. She's broke and sick. She has a TV, she has a credit card. She watches Oprah. She uses her credit card to book a flight to Sao Paulo.

    That's all I have to say about that.

  3. I believe that the brain has much more power to heal than we understand, or yet have the ability to tap into on our own. So I think you are right. This John of God, and other healers, probably don't actually physically do the mending themselves. But perhaps they initiate a reaction in the brain that allows the body to heal itself. Maybe. And perhaps this, in itself, is healing.

  4. Born: I also believe that the brain is an amazing thing...

    Ray: Sorry to hear that about your Mother. I would do the same thing in that situation! And it possible, I would love to come!

    Fiona: Good point

  5. As a healer I want to weigh in.. I know something about healing, as my friends have told me.
    The heart is much more amazing than the brain or mind can ever be. The heart is a dimension all its own.

    Now we are talking about REAL healers.. Real healers don’t heal. What? I thought you said healers don’t heal? Yupp real healers know for a fact that the only one that does any healings is GOD, period dot the end. So what the hell does a healer do? A healer is like a flute that god plays and allows GOD’s presence to enter a person and clean them. That’s all. The healer actually steps out of the way consciously and allow GOD to do the healing. That is why when I finish my sessions I always thank my clients for the healing I received.. It is because I get a healing as well as the person I’m healing. it is in truth I am healing myself.. That is why healers heal, it is because they need to be heal most..
    Healers are not gods or any crazy thing like that, and they are not special. Everyone can do it. Yet everyone can be a Michael Jordan. But how many people will commit to the hours of playing basketball that Michael did to be the best of the best? To the degree that a person has a connection to the Divine energy that we all has access to, and to the degree that this connection is clear of any encumbrances is to the degree and power of the healer.

    The problem with healing is science. Science wants to know everything. It’s true that knowing stuff is useful to the extent that it helps people. Remember that Science is a new idea and less than 300 years old and that include medical science. Energy healing is over 10 thousand years old. The problem with science is that it’s not either or, it’s both. They are both right.. The difference is though.. Our current scientific method is very crude and our tools and our methodologies are much too immature to understand the vastness and the intricacies of energy. In that regard we don’t yet know anything. Science doesn’t even know what energy is or where it comes from. Let’s not talk about the dimensions of love or its application, look up heart math to heal.

    John of god is real. How do I know.. I can feel his energy from the videos and he’s full of love, and his energy works. His surgery is another story.. I am not a medical doctor and I can’t speculate. About placebos. All healing is a placebo.. Think about that! I know hypnotherapists who do major surgery on patients with no anesthesia. Do some research on hypnosis and that in of its self is a whole new world. If you look into your world as if everything is a healing you will be healthier I guarantee it. I can also guarantee 100% that if don’t believe in your heart of hearts you can receive a healing you wouldn’t be healed no matter how much your mind tries you will fail. So choose to be healed, choose god and choose love and joy and be healed. It’s really that simple, or not.

    Dom Eduardo Octavio

    Facebook Page