Joao Texeira da Faria, aka "John of God" is a psychic healer who claims to channel 30 "doctor entities" in his healing practice in Brazil. He uses classic carnival tricks on his patients, such as sticking a forceps up the nostrils or scraping their eyeballs, allegedly to cure ailments as serious as cancer and malignant tumors.
In reality, da Faria is not a licensed doctor. He was born in 1942 and was thrown out of school in the second grade. A rebellious boy, he was 16 when he claimed that the entity of King Solomon entered his body and performed a miraculous healing. He began to wander Brazil offering healings to others. At some point in his dubious career, his spirit guide told him to expand his practice. He responded by going to a nearby town and sitting in a chair alongside the road. People began to come to him for healing of various illnesses and their "cures" soon brought him world-wide fame. His "hospital", called Casa de Dom Inacio de Loyola, has been visited by millions, including the usual gullible Hollywood-types such as Shirley MacLain and (of course) representatives of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
They all came away awed by his powers.
As his biographer, Robert Pellegrino-Estrich, writes: "He will scrape away cataracts and eye tumors with a knife, remove breast cancers with a small incision and cause the crippled to walk with just the touch of his hand. In a meditation room a ceiling high stack of discarded crutches, wheelchairs and braces pays silent testimony to his success. He is acclaimed as the greatest healer of the past 2,000 years. . . . "
"To call him 'the Miracle Man' is in a way a misnomer, because a miracle implies the absence of a natural law, when in fact his achievements are only the results of the law of reincarnation and the subsequent use of spirit doctors from the spirit plane. He is classified as miraculous only because we in the western world are reluctant to accept that a spirit world exists and therefore that his work is the result of this natural law."
To his credit, none of da Faria's patients are advised to stop taking their medications or treatments such as chemotherapy, insulin, etc. After seeing him, they are to avoid sex, alcohol, pork and pepper, which he claims weakens the body's alleged energy field.
None of da Faria's healings have ever been scientifically validated and the larger-than-life testimonials that are strewn all over the internet remain in the realm of "hoopla" to this day.
Why do so many people think they've been healed?
First and foremost, there are a variety of reasons why people think they're healed when they are not.
Second, because John of God is in direct communication with entities, many of these healings are likely to be deceptions of Satan. Even though the devil cannot heal, he can easily appear to do so, producing nothing more than counterfeit healings. Either a person believes they've been healed through the power of suggestion (aka placebo effect) or through an illusion of some kind.
If you'd like to see just how convincing this psychic surgery can be, this video features James Randi demonstrating how it's done on the Johnny Carson show (caution - even though it's fake, it's still graphic!)