Could John of God be a sex abuser and a sex addict?
Dec 8, 2018: Twelve women stepped forward to report that an internationally known healer, referred to as “John of God”, is a sex abuser. He had sexually abused them, they said. A major Brazilian newspaper, Folha, did a 17-minute TV expose. Within 3 days 187 more women reported being sexually abused by John inside his healing center in Brazil. Total complaints on Dec 12 numbered 458.
As of Dec 11, John of God (real name: João Teixeira de Faria) says he didn’t do it. His lawyer says the same.
However, for years there have been illustrations of John’s abuses in the media. Australia 60 minutes reported it on TV in 2014. The reporter warned Australians of the dangers of going to John of God’s clinic.
A Spiritual Healer?
John began healing people as a teenager. As a young boy he was able to make valid predictions of the future. More than 44 years he has been available to the public as a spiritual healer, working for free. A kindness to others you would think. Many believe they have been healed by John’s work at his spiritual hospital. Before he passed away in 2002, Chico Xavier, considered a saint in Brazil, was a teacher and counselor to John.
But even the best of teachers cannot save us from our own demons. Ultimately, each one of us has to do the work.
What are the stresses he has faced? John has been an “unconscious medium”. That means he goes into a trance while channeling discarnate beings and has no memory of what has happened when he “wakes up” from the trance. He has thus been completely dissociated from his personality (ego) and has allowed discarnate beings to take over his body, counsel the afflicted, even do physical surgery. For three full days a week when he works with the afflicted—often more than a thousand each day–his life is not his own. Sometimes, spontaneously, spirits come to him, disturbing his sleep, intervening when he is talking to a friend—even grabbing his attention during his own wedding ceremony.
His gifts as a healer did not come with an instruction manual about how to stay balanced as a human being. Even if there was one to be found: He is illiterate and can’t read. He came from a poor family. His schooling took him up through 2nd grade. He has no medical training. He has not had psychotherapy or coaching to help him integrate his gifts and lead a balanced life.
Evidence of his imbalance: He has trouble sleeping. He’s had 11 children by 11 different women. He gets no exercise and has a sedentary life-style, eats a heavy diet, suffered stomach cancer…and now there’s a strong possibility that he is a sex abuser.
John clearly believes in the existence of disembodied spirits and believes there are benefits in communing with spirits; but that does not make him a Spiritist.
Spiritists are followers of a very particular philosophy created by a French academic, Allen Kardec, in the mid 19th century. Spiritists believe that the goal of life is spiritual evolution. A follower is encouraged to be ethical and respectful in all their relationships. That’s the chorus to their song. Support for growth and healing is offered at Spiritist Centers through classes, talks, free energy work and interventions by highly trained medical intuitives; however practitioners never work alone, only in groups.
Training for Spiritist therapists is available for free and trainees are always being watched by those more experienced. It is considered essential to study the five foundational books of Kardec and to discuss the principles with other followers of Spiritism. Being in a position to get supervision when one is a medium is of the essence. Maintaining a balanced, moral life is the grounding for all Spiritist work.
The successes of Spiritist therapies have been measured by academics and medical doctors. For example, some centers claim 60-90% success curing addicts and the suicidally depressed.
John could not study Kardec’s books because he cannot read. He works alone and without supervision of any kind. His center also offers no training or study for others aspiring to be healers or mediums. John commands the spotlight as the only medium at his spiritual hospital. John is thus, by definition, not able to be a Spiritist and follow Spiritist principles.
The Federation of Brazilian Spiritists denounces John of God. They do not recommend anyone go to John’s spiritual hospital in Abadiânia for treatment.
The #Me Too movement is raking through the landscapes of all cultures, exposing the dirt of those who abuse power (spiritual, physical, political and/or financial). No sex abuser is immune. The Catholic Church has had to face reports of its priests involved with child sexual abuse. There have been thousands of reports in many countries. All of the bishops of Chile offered to resign as a demonstration of the need to clean up this gross aspect of the Church that has been swept under the rug for decades—possibly longer. Famous Hollywood stars and wealthy CEOs have been jailed for their abuses. Congressmen and Senators have been called out to surrender their positions of power. Even the US President is being exposed for his transgressions.
Denials and cover-ups are burning up in the bonfires of the #Me Too movement. Hopefully a culture of mutual respect will arise from the ashes.
Courage and Compassion
John of God has been a phenomenon: An energetic healer whose work has inspired thousands. If the stories now being told prove true and he is a sex abuser–I hope he will come clean about his abuse of women and youngsters. I hope he can obtain the help he may need to work through the shadow land of being a sex addict and one who has abused power.
May he have the courage to make amends and face justice.
May we have appropriate compassion. May we recognize each of us needs to do the work of facing our addictions.
Emma Bragdon, PhD, is the author of “Spiritual Alliances: Discovering the Roots of Health at the Casa de Dom Inácio”, a series of interviews with medical doctors and healers who were impressed with the work of John of God in 2002. Dr. Bragdon takes groups of healthcare providers once a year to Brazil to visit a Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital and Spiritist Community Centers to witness, experience and learn from medical doctors and practitioners who work there. She has published 2 books on Spiritism. https://imhu.org/brazil-spiritist-hospitals/. She is producing a series of films on “spiritual emergency”: https://imhu.org/mental-health-awakening