Thoughts on John of God

Readers of The World Is Freaky Beautiful are likely to be already familiar with the Brazilian spiritual healer called John of God. 

If not, I suggest going to these sources to catch up a little on the mystery of this man who cannot write or read and yet has healed many thousands of people (by their own claims) over more than five decades of spiritual healing:

From O Magazine

ABC News

The Skeptic’s Dictionary

John of God’s website

It’s up to you to decide for yourself whether or not you believe he’s channeling spiritual entities — and ultimately God spirit — as he claims.

I’ve seen two or three shows about him. I’ve read, as you can, stories about John of God all over the Internet. 

Healings are not universal through John of God. Many claim to have been healed of incurable diseases. Others claim improvement. And still others report no change. However almost all report some kind of transcendent experience. 

What is his healing success rate?

We don’t know. There’s not been a systematic study. But . . . for argument’s sake . . . let’s say it’s the low, low rate of 5%. (Though many claim the healing rate is significantly higher.)

Would you not go if you had no other options? 

It is predominately the incurable who go to him. Meaning that it is those medicine cannot help who seek him out.

Would we not seek out a medical alternative if it could cure 5% of the incurable? Yes, humans around the globe do it every day. 

Is it spiritual healing or is it mental healing from the power of the patient’s belief?

To me they are one and the same, or rather, they are part of a continuum.

How does John of God operate?

The great majority of people who come to see him are treated with spiritual surgery. In those a physical incision/process does not take place. The method and its immediate effects are invisible.

John of God also performs physical operations. The three most common are a scraping of an eyeball, opening up a nasty gash in the chest and fishing around in the wound with his fingers, and inserting an instrument far up the nose, seemingly with a flourish.

Me, I’d opt for the spiritual surgery. Even Oprah got wobbly and had to sit down upon watching one of these procedures.

What do you make of it, Evan?

I found this interesting from a metaphorical mind viewpoint: That the most common physical surgeries John of God performs — eyes, chest, nose — correspond to powerful spiritual metaphors:

Seeing the truth/light

Opening up one’s heart

Breathing in pure spirit  

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