For decades, like faux Colonel Kurtz operating in the jungle, Joao Teixeira de Faria, 77, sold his “spiritual” con to sadly gullible individuals from all over the world at the rate by some data of 10,000 “patients” a week. But over the last week the cover is being lifted off his scam and more has come creeping to the surface. Aside from selling such advanced medical devices as magic triangles to desperately sick people, he’s also a perv.
Those who live close to his headquarters in Abadiania, Brazil see this nicknamed “John of God” as a local meal ticket and his presence has driven development and jobs catering to faith tourists. The ever promoting of New Age fakeries Oprah Winfrey came down there in 2012 and proclaimed him “inspiring.” Oprah would know, as they both “inspired” their way into pretty hefty paychecks by selling crocks of manure dressed up as self-help and healing, respectively.
But to the thousands he bilked, who sought and were promised treatment for serious diseases like cancer, who now know the jig is up, he stands at the lowest pit of hell. To make the pit even lower, he is accused by Brazilian authorities of sexually molesting hundreds of women who traveled there. The accusations also involve his own daughter, who says he raped her regularly when she was 10 to 14 years old.
What a guy.
This is the usual outcome when one renders onto conniving amateurs what should be the main preserve of medical professionals. But what about Lourdes, you might say. Same deal? I’ve been to Lourdes as a skeptical tourist myself. Wasn’t a Christian then. I wanted to see what went on there. There were no promises of cures, no magic triangles or special potions for sale at a cheesy gift shop. There were lots of prayers. People humbly asking God, through Notre Dame (the mom, not the school), to cure them? Yes. Thinking their prayers took the place of medicine? No. I left with a reverence for what they do.
As long as there is man there will be the tendency amongst some to seek medicine that bypasses reason. There will also be those who take advantage of this. “John of God” is one of those people. I hope he eternally pays for it.
Though also hope he changes his nickname. As I venture, he plays for the other team.