72: John of Fraud (w/ Lisa Braun Dubbels and Mirna Wabi-Sabi)


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By Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, Julian Walker, Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, and Julian Walker. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Whatever one’s conception of “God” is, “John of God” should now be a nauseating name. For decades, João Teixeira de Faria pretended to heal an endless stream of pilgrims to his center in rural central Brazil through the Spiritist practice of “psychic surgery.” In reality, the miracle healing claims worked to cover up an obvious truth. João was sexually assaulting and raping women, in public and in private, likely every day of his “working” life. As he did so, he amassed a vast fortune in affiliate businesses, farming operations, real estate, referral rackets, and sales of crystals and fake remedies.

In this episode we won’t retell this history, now poignantly captured by a new Brazilian-made documentary on Netflix. Instead, we’ll look at how lazy and motivated journalism shook hands with the entrepreneurial New Age to validate and accelerate the absurd claims of a monster. In addition to original reporting on how João made his mark in the U.S., Matthew is joined by former New Age publicist Lisa Braun Dubbels and Brazilian journalist Mirna Wabi Sabi to discuss the globalization of magic and abuse.

Trigger warnings for this episode: rape, sexual assault, fraud, spiritual abuse.

02:17 John of Fraud

1:16:22 Interview w/Lisa Braun Dubbel & Mirna Wabi-Sabi

All music by EarthRise SoundSystem

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Show Notes

Biles, Maroney, Raisman and Nichols opening statements before Congress

Chico Xavier | Obituary

Is ‘John of God’ a Healer or a Charlatan?

John of God — Skepdic

James Randi ABC comments debrief

The trouble with Dr. Oz

John of God 2006 Atlanta Program

About Heather Cummings

Oprah March 13, 2010: “Do You Believe in Miracles?” (webarchive)

Leap of Faith: Meet John of God — Susan Casey (webarchive)

Part One: John of God: Oprah’s Favorite Ghost-Channeling Rapist Surgeon – Behind the Bastards

Famous Brazilian spiritual healer accused of sexual abuse | 60 Minutes Australia

Celebrity Healer in Brazil Is Accused of Sexually Abusing Followers (NYT 2018)

John of God – OMEGA INSTITUTE • 2014 — program guide

Statement from Omega Regarding John of God Allegations | Omega

Brazilian faith healer now accused of running BABY farms

187 episodes