John of God, Disappointments at Casa de Don Ignacio
As you may know from my previous articles, title 1 and title 2. I have spent the last week in Abadiania, Brazil, doing regular trips to Casa de Don Ignacio to witness John of God’s miraculous healing abilities. Unfortunately, John of God has not been around this week. He has been spending his time in a nearby hospital where he received stomach surgery by medical doctors. The last words I heard about him were that the surgery had been successful and that he was resting before returning to his healing center to continue to do his miracle work.
During his absence the healing center has continued to operate almost normally. His assistants have continued to welcome the crowds looking to relieve their pain and regain their health. The center saw close to 3,000 patients last week. About half of the amount that it receives when John of God is around. It is clear that people count on John of God to be healed and they don’t trust that they will get the same benefits if he is not there. On the other hand, assistants and tour guides continue to state that healing is still going on despite John of God’s absence. According to them and to John of God himself, who today sent a voice recording message to the crowds at the center, the healing is done by God and by the spirit entities who continue to operate at the Casa de Don Ignacio healing center. If you ask me, there is nothing out of the ordinary going on in that place, nor in this small city in the suburbs of Brazil.
Spiritual Surgery, Truth or Fraud?
Today was a big day for my travel companions and myself. Today was the day that we finally got to ask for an intervention, or spiritual surgery. There are two different types of interventions going on at Casa de Don Ignacio. Some of them are visible and are performed by John of God, these usually entail a patient getting their eye balls scraped with a knife, receiving a 3-inch long incision on their breast or viscera, or having an 8-inch long pair of scissors inserted all the way in through one of their nostrils. According to John of God, these interventions are unnecessary and are simply done to show the power of the entities. The other type of intervention is also a spiritual surgery, except that this one is non-visible and happens in the Current Room, a meditation room where people sit as long as 4 hours and pray for healing. It is also said that the spirit entities are working on everybody all the time, even when you are not in the Casa de Don Ignacio. Technically speaking, they are working on me right now as I type.
Because today I received a non-visible surgery I am not supposed to be using any technology. According to the rules, after you receive your intervention you are not to talk to anyone or communicate in any way, you are not to do anything strenuous (not even walk a single block back to your hotel) and you are not to use any technology or write or anything other than rest, drink your prescribed herbs and holly water. I tried following the rules and did great for about 5 hours. Then the urge to follow my intuition took over and I grabbed my computer to get some work done. I will continue to take my prescribed herbs and I will finish my bottle of holly water but I will not be buying any more of it nor following up with any further treatments. The reason is that while I was in the Current Room I did not feel anything special and after I got back home I did not feel anything either. My thoughts, emotions and body felt normal and I am sure my spirit was the same, I continued to be myself.
I believe that the work that John of God does at the Casa de Don Ignacio is healing for many and it is clear that millions have received benefit from their experience. I have also benefited from this experience but not in the same way that most people do. The healing that I am undergoing here is related to the strengthening of my boundaries, my increased levels of self-worth and my improved ability to listen to my intuition and discern between what is good for me and what is not. Following the prescribed treatments and rules appointed here is clearly not for me. I have many reasons to think, feel and know that this place has equal amounts of truth and fraud. Probably more of the latest.
The Good, the Bad, The Beautiful and The Ugly
John of God may have healed millions of people. According to all the stories I heard, all the books I read, all the videos I saw and all the research I did it is clear that he did help many people feel better and regain part of their health, otherwise no one would be talking about it. Stories include healing the blind, helping the crippled walk and removing tumors with his bare hands. He says he has never healed anyone that he healing is done by God. Yet, it is his lips that move when he talks and it is his hands that do the visible operations. It is he who built and owns the healing center and it is he who people count on to make their trip to Casa de Don Ignacio.
I think it is good and it is great to help others heal and feel better. It is my profession too. I offer my massage therapy services and teach my yoga and Foundation Training classes so that people and feel good and feel better. I do this because I love doing it and because it is the job and career I have chosen for myself at this time in my life (I used to be an independent business consultant and data analyst). I believe that God has the power to heal and also the power to hurt just like every human has the power to heal and the power to hurt. Consider this, when a friend is sad and you give her a hug, you are providing healing, she will feel better when you hug her and after the hug is finished, in the circumstance you are a healer. You are healing her sadness or whatever negative emotion she may be feeling. It is not God who is doing the healing, you are, with your love and your hands and your heart. Surely you could say that it is God who moved you to hug her, you could even say that to give her the hug you channeled the spirit of Jesus or mother Mary or anyone else. I don’t mean to be rude, but you could channel my spirit and that would lead you to give a hug. I love hugging people and when I die I hope to be remembered for my hugs and my love, among other things.
I am sure John of God is a good man, I am sure he has good intentions. I also know that his healing center is a business and it is run as such. Every business has its good things and its bad things. Mine does too. However, there is a point where the beautiful becomes ugly and the divine becomes bulls#!t. At the Casa de Don Ignacio that point looks more like a gigantic black hole where it is unclear what is coming in and what is going out. It is good to help people heal but it is bad to lie. It is good to help people feel better but it is bad to create dependency. It is good to charge for your products and services but it is bad to do it with the promise of something that can’t be given. It is good to perform scientific research and studies on your work but it is bad to use this to spread misleading information.
The Ugly Side, Observations from a Holistic Health Practitioner
During my Holistic Health Practitioner program I learned much about the idea of integrity. To have in integrity means to adhere to moral and ethical principles. I also learned about and developed my own theory of what holistic health means, you can read more about this on my article title 3. In this article I explain that true health is holistic health and that holistic health includes healing of the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social and environmental aspects of ourselves.
According to my model, the best practices and forms of healing are those that improve all these aspects simultaneously, without sacrificing one to improve another. In my model I also consider that because all of these aspects are part of the whole there is no one better than the other. When one aspect of our health improves, they all improve and when one worsens, they all worsen. The ratios vary greatly in every situation.
Spiritual health is not more important than physical health, nor mental health more important than social or environmental. Some people who are familiar with the chakras system believe that the goal is to move from the lower chakras to the higher ones. They believe that enlightenment, salvation and immortality depend on spiritual evolution. I disagree. I believe that for us to reach our greatest potential as individuals and as a community we must develop all our chakras. Improvement in our spirituality is only useful if it is accompanied by development in our sexuality, communication, physical health and so forth. It is not healthy to be a highly developed spiritual being living in a world polluted with toxins, nor is it healthy to have extraordinary physical health without being able to get in touch with you emotions. If you have achieved optimal mental health but have no community values then you are missing the mark. Using this model we can observe and point at much of what is wrong with the work that John of God is doing at the Casa de Don Ignacio.
One thing that I have learned from my years of holistic health education is that nutrition takes a huge role on healing. Everything you eat affects your health and it is obvious that a person who eats fresh fruits and vegetables will have better health than someone who eats candy all day. Nonetheless, at the Casa de Don Ignacio you can buy all sorts of cookies, candy and ultra-processed and packaged “foods”. I saw everything in there from skittles to M&Ms to Coke bottles and all sorts of garbage food that is proven to deteriorate your health. I don’t care how many sings there say “food blessed by the entities”, if you base your diet on junk you will surely suffer from bad health. This is just one example, but this simple example is also related to deterioration of mental and emotional health through the ingestion of unnatural substances and toxic chemicals in the food.
Another good example is the huge amount of unnecessary trash that the healing center produces. Every patient that visits Casa de Don Ignacio is encouraged to buy and drink lots of the bottled water that is supposed to be blessed by the entities and have abnormal healing properties. People are told to drink two to three bottles per day. If we consider that visitors are told to make their visits three to four weeks long then we can deduce that each person that travels to Abadiania and follows these recommendations uses (and throws away) between 42 and 84 plastic bottles on their trip. Multiple this by the thousands of visitors that come each week and you have a trash making factory. Needless to say there are no recycle containers in the center, or in Abadiania, and I am sure that the entities do not take care of recycling all this trash, it surely ends up in dumpsters that pollute the earth for our and future generations. It is a pity that instead of generating all that trash they don’t offer the fresh water that is on the stream that passes through the property. I drank plenty of this water when I was at the waterfall, it was healthy, delicious and according to our guide, also blessed by the entities. Surely enough, you can’t sell free water so there is no much room for revenue and profits there. Again, this is just one example.
Conclusions on Jhon of God and His Healign Center
I do not want to take away from the fact that some of the people that travel here do get better and that John of God has an impressive history of curing the ill. Yet, I do want to point out that this place is not as divine or holly as some people say and that there is much room for improvement regarding the way the healing center and town operate.
I reiterate that it is neither John of God, not God himself who does the healing but ourselves and each other. It is our love, our caring, our faith in ourselves and the power of our mind and our conviction that allows us to raise when we fall and to lift up those who have fallen. Silent prayers and magic pills do not do the trick alone, it is the power of community and the determination to self-care that heals us and gives us another chance. Doctors, shamans, spirits and all sorts of people can give you a hand, a tool, some words of encouragement and some healthy medicine. However, at the end of the day, it is our education, awareness, love and service that make this a better world.
I hope you found this article useful and enjoyable. If you have any comments or questions you are welcome to contact me. I wish you health and wellness.