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John of God João Teixeira de Faria, a criminal or a victim?

Netflix, CNN, ABC, The Oprah Winfrew Show, John of God, João Teixeira de Faria, João de Deus, Rape

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John of God João Teixeira de Faria, a criminal or a victim?

Netflix documentary titled ‘John of God’ depicts João Teixeira de Faria, a man who has treated thousands of people for decades as a criminal, a rapist, a sexual predator and a spiritual mafia.

João Teixeira de Faria (born 24 June 1942), known also as João de Deus (John of God), is a Brazilian medium, “psychic surgeon” who currently is under house arrest serving 40 years imprisonment for alleged rape against 5 women.

John of God was based in Abadiânia, Brazil, where he ran the Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola, a spiritual healing center. He has received media coverage on CNN, ABC News and The Oprah Winfrey Show, amongst others.

But James Randi and Joe Nickell have exposed his healing procedures as involving nothing more than carnival tricks, and there is no evidence that the benefits that have been reported by patients are anything more than placebo effects.

In 2018, after over 600 accusations of sexual abuse, he turned himself in to police. In December 2019 he was sentenced to 19 years and four months for the rapes of four different women. On 20 January 2020, Faria was sentenced to an additional 40 years in prison for rape against 5 women. This is the third conviction of the accused. The sentences add up to 63 years and 4 months.

In 2015, Faria was diagnosed with an aggressive stomach cancer. In August 2015, a doctor of conventional medicine, Raul Cutait, extracted a malignant tumor of 6 cm – a gastric adenocarcinoma. The surgery and follow-up of 5 months of chemotherapy took place at the Hospital Sírio-Libanês in São Paulo. Faria did not report these facts to the public, originally saying he was being hospitalized for a “stomach hernia”.

During his good days, Faria regularly prescribed meditation and walked to a nearby waterfall as part of treatment. The Casa also was selling herbs, blessed items and artefacts such as magic triangles. It was estimated by 60 Minutes Australia in 2014 that these sales earned Faria over US$10 million per year.

When called for a spiritual surgery by Faria, patients were offered the choice of “visible” or “invisible” operations. If they selected an “invisible” operation (or were younger than 18 or older than 52) they were directed to sit in a room and meditate. Faria said that spiritual physicians could perform surgery on the actual patient via a surrogate when the actual patient is unable to make the trip.

A very small percentage of people choose a “visible” operation where Faria operated without traditional anesthetic. Instead he said he used “energized” mineral water and the spiritual energies present, the latter of which are provided by groups of volunteers who meditate in a separate room called the “current room”.

These practices, such as inserting scissors or forceps deep into a nose and scraping an eye without an anesthetic or antiseptics, have been scrutinized by medical authorities and skeptical investigators such as James Randi, who had called for Faria to stop victimizing people with stunts and trickery.

Faria told people not to stop taking their medicine and said not everyone he served will be cured. Often the treatment included capsules containing pure passion flower that he said carried special blessed spiritual energy to support the individual’s healing process. Faria had undergone trials and scrutiny of his work. He was arrested several times for practicing medicine without a license and been jailed once.

The allegations of rape against John of God

Anyone who has already watched Netflix documentary on João Teixeira de Faria will realize, the description of those women who came up with the allegations of rape were extremely vague and none actually came up with a description that could prove themselves to have been raped. Possibly the entire cases of rape allegations by hundreds of women were either false, or based on hearsay or with any ulterior motive.

As per the Netflix and court documents, João took advantage of women when they were emotionally, physically, and spiritually vulnerable.

Therefore, most of them didn’t even realize that they’d been molested until a while later. A person being molested or raped could not realize? Is it something any sensible person would accept? Rater this documentary series can only play the notorious role of a media trial against João Teixeira de Faria and stop him from getting justice from the apex courts.

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Ronju Sarkar is a Staff Correspondent of Blitz

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