Dec 17, 2018

Abuse Takes a Village

João Teixeira de Faria (born June 24, 1942), known also as João de Deus, is a Brazilian medium and "psychic surgeon" who has been accused of being a confidence trickster. He is based in Abadiânia, Brazil, where he runs the Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola, a "spiritual healing center".

João Teixeira de Faria, is world famous as a psychic healer and spirit medium called John of God. With publicity from Oprah and Wayne Dyer among others, his healing center has spawned a tourist industry in Abadiania Brazil. Many depend now on his attraction for travelers seeking a mystical cure. The economy of this hamlet is based on catering to the visitors.

Zahira Lieneke Mous, a Dutch choreographer with family ties to Brazil hopes to help other women come out of their shadow of sexual abuse at the hands of João Teixeira de Faria. She has been speaking out for years and finally the whole world is listening. This sordid story is another case of abuse by those wielding power over vulnerable people.

Dutch choreographer Zahira Lieneke Mous, 34, first revealed the abuse she alleged had happened four years ago on Facebook. Last Friday she described it to TV Globo’s Pedro Bial on his chatshow, which also broadcast interviews with three other women whose identities were hidden.

Mous claimed she had gone to De Faria looking to cure a sexual trauma and was taken into a private room and made to masturbate him. Afterwards, she said she was given a gemstone. She said she returned to the house and was given special privileges. On another occasion, she alleged De Faria raped her. She said she hesitated in coming forward out of fear. “We don’t have to feel ashamed. He needs to feel ashamed,” she said.

On the same show, American “spiritual guide” Amy Biank, who took groups of foreign visitors to see Abidiânia in the early 2000s, claimed she had entered a room where a kneeling woman was being forced to perform oral sex on De Faria. After she reported what she had seen to employees, she received death threats, she said. 

Many volunteers knew or suspected he had been molesting women and girls.
There have indeed been many healings at the Casa. However Joao is indeed a sexual predator of a magnitude that defies comprehension. I was a tour guide to the Casa for many years and even though I "knew" about his behavior I could not bring myself to believe that good and evil could co-exist like it does at the Casa. So I decided not to "see".

Victims were usually confused by his actions as they were couched in terms of a healing interaction:

The first time the entities asked me to go see "Medium Joao" He hughed me, and told me to look deep into his eyes, then he rolled his eyes upwards, as if being taken by some spirit. Then he told me to hugh him, and press my body against his. Then he said he was working on my chakras, and he told me to move my hips. I felt awkward, because he is a guy, so I moved a little bit and felt awkward, and he told me to move more, and he started massaging my hips... It was weird, but it felt like he was trying to help me or something. He treated me all special, like I was an honored guest, offered me a drink, a soda, told me to sit on his couch. Asked other followers to leave his office, and just stayed alone with me. You get to feel great at this point. Then, on my second visit when the entities told me to go back there to see Medium Joao in his private office, that was when he opened a little curtain down a hallway from his office, and there is a twin size mattress there against the wall, that's when he told me to lay down there and he was gonna work on my chakras, so he keeps asking for females to take their clothes off, to hold his part, then he tells them that they were together in previous lives, and if the female is naive enough I have no doubt he will have sexual intercouse with them, and I do believe this man has impregnated many brazilian poor women who went there, because they are even more vulnerable.

A blurred boundary between energetic "treatment" and abuse and the grooming of women with attention before escalating the abuse is an obvious pattern. The role of casa employees who left women alone and later tended to them is also an obvious pattern of enabling.

João was considered special and vital to the Casa work. As a conduit through whom humans experienced the healing of “Incorporated Entities”, he was beyond criticism. After all, the Spirits channeled by John of God were healing millions of people.

Perhaps in some way this mitigated the horror of sincere volunteers when confronted by João’s systematic cruel misuse of his position? As one anonymous witness stated: "John of God really heals, and unfortunately he also does sexual things with women who goes there in order to be healed... i´m really sad to know about this, but it is true."

Apparently many also knew he was amassing money and control despite prostestations of being a healer with only the highest intentions. One visitor reported:

The second year I went, it was different. The prices for everything had increased - pousadas, herbs, water, crystals and John was now imposing restrictions on where we could go.

For example, he forbad us to go to Crystalina but the rebel in me went there anyway. I went with a companion and while there, we spoke with a crystal seller and asked if he'd had experience of JOG. He said that he'd had trouble with him because he refused to sell his crystals at the very low price that JOG wanted to pay. We then paid a visit to Brasilia.

From a market trader here, we found out that it was well known in Brazil that JOG had sexually abused one of his own daughters and that she was now an alcoholic. This event adversely affected visitor numbers; years ago, the Casa had many more visitors than now; coachloads in fact, hence the coachpark next to the Casa - now empty. When we got back to the Casa, word must have got out that we'd 'absconded' because JOG's 'minders' were constantly watching us.

My companion befriended a lawyer who lived in the vicinity and one day, she kindly offered him a lift to the nearest town, Anapolis. They were not even out of Abadiania when she suddenly said 'We are being followed'. He turned round to see a smart car full of his 'minders' who were brandishing guns. They turned round and went back to her house and nothing further happened.

My final memory is of pastor Luis who lived in Abadiania. He used to frequent the Juice Bar (until JOG banned him)and spoke to all about JOG's dark side. He told us that each time he added to the construction of his church, JOG's men came and trashed it. Further, they had made several threats to kill him if he did not stop turning people away from JOG. Luis said he would never give up telling people that JOG was evil. I met people who'd been going there for years and had experienced no change in their health; they'd mortgaged their houses and sold everything to be with JOG, and yet they kept returning. These are my experiences of Abadiania.

Many who knew what was occurring were afraid to speak out, not only because he employed Abadiânia police support but ALSO because astral realm Entities might punish those going against John of God. Thomas, a man who spent a year at the casa, reported:

"I cannot begin to tell you all of the problems and horrible situations that occured while I was there and after leaving. Frankly, I was so desparate to be healed that I ignored a lot of obvious warnign signs combined with the manipulation that goes on there.

Make no mistake, what goes on there is beyond our understanding but people who go there are often desparate and "drink the koolaid".

Since returning home, I was attacked physically and mentally. When I threatened to tell people about it, I was again threatened in ways that lets just say are also beyond my understanding.

Brazilian Spiritism forms the back drop of Joao’s credibility to his following. Brazil is home to the largest Spiritist movement, which is growing rapidly, with almost 3.8 million devotees. In Spiritism, spiritual energy is channeled by healing mediums.

Mediums say they are connecting to the higher planes of life (each may have a different slant on what that might be). They then channel the bio-magnetic energy between the higher spirits and the patient (or it may be transferred to water to be defused throughout the group). Whatever they are doing, they are most certainly directing energy at and raising the vibrational level of some sort of etheric body and thereby making the body less compatible with the pathology troubling the subject.

Ask mediums what this energy is targeting and most will say that it targets the negative emotions: jealousy, hatred, envy, anger or depression, all underlying emotional indicators for many of the ills of the modern age. Often they will add that these negative emotions are the result of an obsession by a malevolent spirit...

...Some healers say that they’re using spiritual energy to heal; some say that it’s the spirits or guides intervening, and some say that it’s both. Whilst we in the West are content to be blinkered by an arrogant need for scientific proof, we’re presented with one new cultural concept at least, in Spiritism, where these concepts are not only accepted, but alive and well. 
John of God, the medium, was associated with a whole healing industry. Yes, the support staff had seen miracles and beautiful things and were believers in psychic surgery and spiritual healing. The faith of these well meaning enablers was in a movement, which they chose to believe was more valuable than possible victims. Feelings of shock and disgust generated when witnessing his criminal activity were suppressed. Denial was used to “forget”. Every month thousands flocked to the Casa.

Publicized by Pedro Biel’s interviews on Globo TV, where several women revealed their experiences, hundreds more (including his daughter) have corroborated sexual manipulation and rape. The long term sexual predation of susceptible seekers at Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola may be ended?

The truth is out and João is in jail, but sadly not before evil and harm was committed. The harm was extended not just by João the predator, but by a village of cult followers and a system created to "serve" the trusting. There were those who may also be indicted for crimes. Others stood by passively while a coterie of predators victimized the naive, the desperate and the hopeful.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Maggie, our newest blogger, for sharing her thoughts on the John of God scandal.


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