A Humble Critique on John of God and His Healing Center
As the days go by I continue to experience more and more the work of John of God and the healing that happens at his center called Casa De Don Ignacio which is situated in Abadiania, a small town located two hours south-east of Brasilia, Brazil.
In this article I want to share some of the positive and negative aspects of my experience here. I will attempt to include most of what I have seen, though and felt during my first week in town. If you want to learn more about John of God, Casa de Don Ignacio and my trip to Abadiania I recommend you read my previous blog posts titled title 1, title 2, title 3
First Impressions about John of God and Casa de Don Ignacio
The first things you will hear about John of God is that he is a healer. However, as they say, he technically has never healed anyone, according to him, it is God and the entities that he channels that do all the healing. As soon as we hear this we can become huge skeptics about this man and his healing abilities but the truth is that during the past 40+ years millions of people have traveled from all over the world to see him and countless of men and women swear that they received healing from their experience. Weather the healing is done by John of God, the entities or via the placebo effect and the power of the patient’s minds, the truth is that people come here and get better. They do not only fix their headaches, but tumors, brain diseases and all sorts of illnesses that their doctors have defined as incurable.
There has been dozens of books written about him and some people have moved from around the world, all the way to this small town, to continue to receive treatment and work in Abadiania. I am sure there is a lot of scam artists in the world who can make you believe all sorts of things but it is out of discussion that something special is going on here.
Requirements and Advice for Healing
So far I have not been able to talk to John of God and if I did it would only be for a handful of seconds. Every week, thousands of people visit his healing center. They all want to get a piece of him and his miracle-giving organization. No one knows the truth of what is going on here, not even John of God, who claims to be unconscious while he channels the healing entities (this includes every time that he is cutting people open, scraping eye balls with a knife, and sticking 8-inch long scissors up peoples noses). See Video.
Everyone in town including assistants, tour guides, visitors and shop owners is happy to share their experience and the stories they have heard from everyone else. People are also very willing to give you advice, even when you don’t ask for it, which I personally dislike. Unless you are able to swallow a whole elephant, it is hard to tell when someone is trying to sell you something and when they are trying to help you improve your life. After six days here I am still trying to find the difference. I understand that there are times when people are trying to sell you something that will also improve your life. As a massage therapist and body worker I do it quite often. Clients will asks me for a massage therapy session or a private yoga class and I sell it to them because I know that is good for them. The difference is that I know and believe in the benefits and efficiency of my services, you can experience them right away. Here the story is different, the work is done at the spiritual level, which means you may feel it in a week, in a month, in 20 years or in your next life.
If you wish to receive healing through the work of John of God the first requirement is to travel to his healing center in Brazil. There are some exceptions and cases where people have been able to receive healing without traveling through the use of a photograph. The only person I trust whom I heard talk about this is D. Wayer who talks about his experience with Oprah in this video. What I still don’t understand is, if we are able to receive healing from timeless entities, why do we need to travel all the way to Brazil and do all the other things they recommend here? Why not receive the healing at home? The answer is unclear, but as far as I know, you can. You don’t need to go anywhere, because the healer is in you. If you have no idea what I am talking about I recommend you read The Healer Within by Roger Jahnke.
Once you make it to Brazil you have to travel to Abadiania and get a room at one of the posadas near the healing center called Casa de Don Ignacio. You are recommended to plan your visit for three to four weeks. They say that the longer you stay, the more healing they will receive (and more money they will make). Most people are recommended to come back the next year (and the next and the next…) and others are told to move to Abadiania and open a business here. Judging from the large amount of construction that is going on around the healing center it looks like many do. I had the pleasure to talk to some of these people and they seemed to be very happy with their choice.
On your first visit to Casa de Don Ignacio you get to meet John of God (unless he is in the hospital receiving stomach surgery, which has been the case so far during our stay). If you do see John, you get to ask him for the healing that you are looking for and he tells you what you need to do. He may prescribe you herbs, crystal bed sessions, spiritual surgery or all the above. You then move on to sit on the Current Room, a place where people sit in meditation with their eyes closed for four hours straight.
They say that most of the work happens while you are sitting in the Current Room and I do not contradict that. I have learned much about the healing powers of meditation and have experienced them myself. It is important to note that there are thousands of techniques for meditation but simply sitting and closing your eyes can do wonders. If you are used to unhealthy habits and a detrimental lifestyle, four hours of sitting can do a whole lot for you, no matter where you are or who you are with. In addition to that there is much research done in the power of intention and the greater power of collective intention and you have to consider that while you are sitting in that room you are surrounded by hundreds of people focusing on the same thing. We wont get to sit in the Current Room until Wensday so I will know more about if once I go through it.
To support your healing you are recommended to take the prescribed herbs, crystal bed sessions and drink lots of the holly water which is blessed by the entities that operate in the healing center. The herbs are sold in bottles an each costs 50 Reals (which is about $15 dollars, depending on the exchange rate). These can last you about a month or two, depending on your dosage. The herbs are nothing more than dried passion fruit flowers, which are known for their sedative effects. According to those here, the entities bless these herbs and put in them the specific healing energy that each person needs. I have not tried these yet but I do take specific Chinese herbs that my teacher gives me and those certainly work.
The crystal bed sessions can last 20 or 40 minutes and they cost 1 Real per minute (between $5 and $10 dollars). Yesterday I had a a chance to experience these crystal bed treatments. I booked a 40 minute session and layed down on room #6. In the room there was a small single-body size bed with a disposable sheet on it. Above the bed there was a simple electric machine with seven clear crystals lined up on a row to hang above the body. The woman that worked there walked me to my room and I laid clothed on the bed. She turned a switch on and the crystals began to alternate a light on and off. Each one had a different color to represent each chakra. Before she left she placed a small piece of cloth to cover my eyes (the same one that every person that goes through that room uses without being washed in between). I was left alone for 40 minutes listening to some classical music. To be honest, I did not feel anything special about the treatment. At best, it felt the same as when I lay on the ground and do simple relaxation breathing exercises. I did not feel any entities or special effects, the only thing that was special about my experience was that while I was laying there I got to think about and visualize my future wedding.
Once the session was over the lady walked in to the room and said “you are done” or something like that. I felt and thought that the way in which she walked into the room without knocking was rude and unthoughtful. When I finish giving a massage I talk very gently to the people on my table, I give them time to get up and integrate the work that they experienced. The fact that this lady behaved the way she did is more proof to me that there is nothing divine going on at John of God’s healing center. After all, you would agree that entities capable of removing tumors would also be able to make this woman a little more mindful and kind. I asked my friend what his experience on the bed was like and he said that it went by very fast. Aside from that he also mentioned feeling some subtle sensations around his neck. I was not impressed. My friends booked another session for today but I figured I have better uses for $15 dollars.
The water is about 3 Reals per bottle ($1 dollar), each bottle contains 1.5 litters of holly water blessed by the entities. They recommend not to freeze or heat the water. They also recommend not to share your bottle or drink straight from it. That can contaminate it and reduce its healing effects. I tried this water and compared it to the regular water they sell on the street. I did not notice a difference but the effects are supposed to take place in the spiritual world. Some of the people we talked to, including our guide, said that they have experienced amazing results from this water, they used it to heal wounds and other things.
Another recommendation is to eat the soup served by the healing center. I was happy to hear that this was free. The soup is also supposed to be blessed by the entities but I did not find it special at all. The skeptic in me figured it was a simple and cheap way to bring people together after their sessions to add another social component. You really can’t charge much for 4 ounces of soup and a slice of bread. It can also be an easy strategy to attract the poor, raise up their numbers and make the center look good. Nonetheless, I believe in the beauty and the healing power of sharing meals with people as well as feeding those in need, weather the soup has extra healing properties or not it is still up to debate.
The last main recommendation to boost up your healing is to take a trip, or several, to the small waterfall situated a mile behind the healing center. This waterfall is also said to be blessed by the entities and have healing powers. The trip is done from the center in a Taxi that charges 20 Reals ($5 dollars) for taking you there and back.
From the road you walk down a paved path till you get to a small gate. Men are women are supposed to go separately and each person is supposed to take their own turn under the water. On your way there you pass through three separate bridges where you do a small ceremony on each. On the first one you visualize what you wish for, on the second one you release what doesn’t serve you, and on the last one you express your gratitude as you bath underneath the waterfall. Each person has two minutes for their turn so that the next person can go right after. There is a long line waiting behind you so you can’t take much time.
Out of all the experiences I had so far the waterfall was my favorite. I enjoyed being in nature and being in waterfalls is not something I do often. I had a beautiful experience walking through the bridges and washing my feet, hands and head under the cold water. While I was there I prayed for my parents, for my sister and for myself. I also prayed for every single person in the world to be happy and free. I made sure to bring some waterfall water on a bottle. I plan on sharing it with my family and doing a small ceremony for them. Right after I left the waterfall I wrote these lines on my notebook: “On the first bridge I see the man I already am. On the second bridge I let go of fear. On the third bridge, at the waterfall, I AM JOY.”
In addition to the things mentioned above, people recommend you wear white clothes and spend as much time as possible at the healing center. There was a church service on Sunday where we sang some lovely prayer songs in English. There are also some altars where you can leave your prayers. There also are multiple crystal shops at the center and all over town, so far no one sent me to buy anything there but maybe they will, I still have two more weeks here.
What I Take From My Trip to Abadiania
Considering all that I have experienced so far the trip is not a waste and healing does occur here. It may not be as grandiose as they say, or it may only be for some, but I know that since I arrived I have learned a lot. Much of my insight has been about my own wisdom and my own healing abilities. More than yesterday now I know how much I can do to take care of myself and others. I have learned about holding boundaries and I have learned about the power of the mind. I have also learned how to make a living as a scam artist with a fake healing center. I am not saying this is the case and I am not interested on that.
I want to conclude this article saying that I know that healing does occur hear and surely John of God plays a big role on that. After all, this place would not exist if it wasn’t for him. However, as far as I know, the healing comes from within ourselves and from the support we get from each other. It comes from nature, from being in community and from giving and receiving love for life and each other.
I am not able to see or hear entities outside myself and it is possible that they do not exists just as it is possible that I am not able to experience them yet. Still, I do see the people, and I do hear their faith and I do know that this world is full of wonders waiting to be explored. If you believe there is healing for you waiting here, then I recommend you come. If you do not believe so, I recommend you keep an open mind, you never know what you will find on your path. Either way, I know that the power to heal is always within ourselves, along with the wisdom and all that we need to be happy and free.
May you heal from all that needs healing and may you be what you are meant to be. I wish this article was useful and I welcomed you to share your thoughts with me. I wish you well.