Dr. Bob’s Book Blog

Psychic Surgery

Books on John of God and Psychic Surgery in the Philippines follow below.


Surgeon of the Rusty Knife

by John G. Fuller
Thomas Crowell, NY, 1974.

The mere idea of psychic surgery stretches some minds beyond the willingness to imagine, believe and sometimes even observe. Piercing bodies with dirty implements without gloves, removing tissues, and closing apparent incisions all in a matter of little more than seconds is just “impossible” for many to consider. Such goings-on pass beyond our current concrete material paradigm. Thence they have to be magic or sorcery and thus of the devil. Or simply sleight-of-hand according to skeptics and debunkers.

Well, Ze Arigo dealt with such unbelief for many years. All the while, he acted as a medium for spirit physicians in the tradition of the Kardecist spiritists. And, the effects were marvelous. Miraculous to some. People were healed in such extraordinary manners that Arigo attracted patients and media from far and wide to his hamlet in rural Brazil.

John Fuller wrote, “It is an established fact that Ze Arigo, the peasant Brazilian surgeon-healer, could cut through the flesh and viscera with an unclean kitchen- or pocketknife and there would be no pain, no hemostasis –the tying off of blood vessels – and no need for stitches. It is a fact that he could stop the flow of blood with a sharp verbal command. It is a fact that there would be no ensuing infection, even though no antisepsis was used.”

After prolonged and close scrutiny, Fuller firmly believed that Arigo exhibited a unique kind of magnetism which allowed him to work on patients who were “wide awake, fully conscious and showed no fear whatsoever.”

Dr. Adolpho Fritz (who died in 1918) was said to operate and prescribe through Arigo, “violating every rational procedure of medicine and surgery.” While he was at it, Arigo treated “more patients in a day than a great university medical center saw in a week.”

For some, Arigo used knives and appeared to cut into their bodies. But, the real work was apparently done on the etheric (energy) body. Ze told the author and researcher Andrija Puharich, who submitted to Arigo’s rusty knife for the instant removal of a lipoma: “This is a demonstration only – so that people will believe. I think every doctor in Brazil should come here and do what you [Puharich] have done.”

According to Fuller, “They came to Congonhas do Campo [500 miles southeast of Brasilia]. The overwhelming majority of them were miraculously cured. A small percentage were not, and Arigo would not hesitate to tell them he could do nothing for them…. Puharich suspected that Arigo [did maneuvers such as stirring knife blades roughly in eye socket], to dramatize that he could do things for the patient far beyond the normal, and thus build up the confidence of both the patient being treated and those watching and waiting their turn.”

Perhaps, a greater wonder occurred when Ze Arigo was charged with witchcraft and practicing medicine. Even though Brazilian law deems that where no harm or injury occurs, no crime can result. Regardless of the law, Arigo was sentenced to fifteen months in jail and a heavy fine.

The fates came to the rescue in the form of Juscelino Kubitschek, the President of Brazil [a former physician], who pardoned Ze Arigo. In later years, Kubitschek said, “It was impossible in Brazil for him to be alone. The people went wherever he went. If he had gone to the widest reaches of the Amazon, they would have followed him there. I just don’t understand his strength and extraordinary powers. The most important people in Brazil sought him out.”

Kubitschek was one of those ‘important people’ who received Arigo’s healing aid. After Kubitschek’s pardon, Ze continued on sharing his extraordinary healing gift with thousands and thousands for most of twenty years until his untimely death in 1971 from an auto accident at the age of fifty.

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John of God

The Brazilian Healer Who's Touched the Lives of Millions

by Heather Cummings and Karen Leffler
Atria Books, NY, 2007.

“For those who believe, no words are necessary;
for those who do not believe, no words are possible.”
Ignatius of Loyola

John of God is, in a number of ways, a later version of Ze Arigo. Joao Texeira de Faria. But this book on him and his work is quite different from the one on Arigo.

Both men stand as healing mediums in the spiritist tradition of Brazil – performing so-called psychic surgery and prescribing melanges of drugs and therapies which do their work over time. But, John of God is of a later generation – his work continues into the present. He has developed a clientele which travels from every continent to see him. John has a whole healing Center and Casa devoted to his work. And, Americans Heather Cummings and Karen Leffler bring caravans of patients and families to submit to his healing powers. Thus, the writing of this book is by enthusiasts who are far from disinterested in the subject. Their narrative is then more personal and less literary.

That said, the writers appear to tell an authentic tale of Joao the healer through whom an admirable community center for healing has developed over the years. At the Casa, many visitors experience “unconditional love” for the first time.

All the while, Joao acts as a channel, tends to service, and can rightfully say, “I am the owner of nothing.” He also admits doing nothing other than allowing spirit doctors to take over his body to do psychic surgery and prescribe all manner of unusual medications.

Curative work is done on a spectrum of patients who travel great distances. Surrogate surgery is performed for people who cannot make the journey. Compound fractures, incurable illnesses, blindness and deafness, brain tumors and breast cancers are healed. Some healings are not immediate and require a continuing program and sometimes return visits.

All manifests through the agencies of Joao and other mediums as well as discarnate physicians and healers. But, there is more. Patients and families participate in the healing processes by contributing to the healing currents which fill the Center. “When everyone is focused in their prayers and meditations, the Entities easily draw upon this energy for healing…. Walking through the first current room is like going through a spiritual washing machine.”

“It is often said that the veils between the spiritual realms and the earth are very thin in Abadiania [50 miles southwest of Brasilia].”

It appears that the whole area is impregnated with healing forces. The water coming out of  faucets is energized. “You can eat and drink everything here. Nothing will harm you.”

“The ultimate point of the work he does is not about John of God but about the energy, the force, the spirits, the collective unconscious, or God behind all of it. This is what is really at work here, and in some way, it opens our consciousness to what is possible. I believe we are limited only by our imagination.”

“There is no magic here. Here we practice the Love of God.”

UPDATES – 2019
John of God was arrested and jailed some months ago in Brazil. He is awaiting trial for the molestation of dozens if not hundreds of women. He claims innocence. “It never happened.” But, this writer has the clear sense that such things did happen. It seems that somehow, Joao who had been the medium of healing spirits for many years became the medium of dark, lustful forces. Just as he remembered nothing after working apparent miracles while acting for discarnate helping forces, Joao may well have no memory of doing evil deeds directed by sinister ones.
2020 - John of God has been convicted of rape several times over and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Psychic Surgery & Faith Healing
in the Lowlands of Pangasinan

by Jessica Bryan
Lampico Creek Press, Talent OR, 2007.

“There are two views of life:
either there are no miracles, or everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein

Jessica Bryan’s narrative of Psychic Surgery is quite different than others. First, her involvement was with its practice in the Philippines. Second, she made an exploration on her own, independent of tours or media or scientific studies. Third, Jessica entered into a long-standing community of spiritists and healers in which she soon acted as a member rather than as a patient or investigator. She made repeated trips across the Pacific and became so involved that her experiences eventually overlapped healing with romancing.

While also becoming a “reluctant healer,” Jessica Bryan was able to sense the world of spiritism, magnetic healing and psychic surgery from the inside. Yes, she was convinced ahead of her experiences in the Pangasinan district of Luzon Island located a 150+ miles north of Manila. Nonetheless, her experiences expanded her horizons greatly and offer readers a unique view of worlds far removed and decidedly different from western life and orthodox medicine.

Other dimensions quickly came to her awareness as the writer entered the world of Filipino faith healing believing as Antonio Araneta: “As soon as we begin to understand that energy and matter are interchangeable, we discover that not everything can be regarded as matter. There may be a fourth medium, not just solid, liquid, and gas. Viewed in this way, everything is possible.”

Magnetic healing was a commonplace occurrence in her environs, which manifests as “a method of pulling negative energy out of the body by manipulating the electromagnetic force fields that hold the body in solid form … Sometimes the magnetic healer touches the body: sometimes only the etheric body is touched. This manifests as the healer stroking the air a few inches away from the patient’s body.”

Bryan easily recognized that, “In America, [much medical-health care] comes in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice. But things are different here in Vacante, where everyone is a caregiver and illness is a family affair.”

Persons designated as faith healers and psychic surgeons are common in the Philippines, but healing work is also done by many others especially in rural communities like the Pangasinan.

The major teaching from Jessica Bryan’s book may be the intimation that, “Every human being has the innate ability to heal and relieve pain.”

Comments may be sent to theportableschool at gmail dot com.
We will respond promptly.

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