An internationally famous faith healer who relies on his psychic powers to channel 30 “doctor entities” while “healing” the rich and famous has fallen into disgrace after hundreds of female patients accused him of sexual assault and a judge orders him to stand trial on allegations of rape and sexual abuse.
Known as Joao Texeira da Faria, aka “John of God”, this psychic healer has been practicing in Brazil for decades and duping the likes of presidents and movie stars into believing he is some kind of miraculous healer. 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, 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. . . . ”
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.
But now he’s making other news and this kind isn’t nearly as flattering.
According to The Guardian, the first accusation of sexual assault made against Faria was made on a Globo TV program in December by a Dutch choreographer named Zahira Maus who said Faria sexually assaulted her.
“Globo TV spent three months investigating the story and interviewed a dozen other women who said they had been abused by the healer,” The Guardian reports.
From there, the floodgates opened and before long, more than 200 similar complaints were made to law enforcement.
Although Faria is maintaining his innocence, he was arrested and has now been ordered to stand trial for allegedly raping two women and using fraudulent means to sexually abuse two others.
Other allegations against Faria are still being investigated.
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