Brazil's João Teixeira de Faria AKA “John of God” arrested for sexual abuse of over 200 victims

Laura

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Administrator
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FOTCM Member
Oprah-featured "psychic healer" to be arrested on sex abuse charges after an astonishing 258 women step forward with detailed accusations

A “psychic healer” from Brazil is now facing arrest, after over 200 women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse. The women say that João Teixeira de Faria, also known as “John of God,” abused them while they were seeking out spiritual guidance. Teixeira de Faria reached celebrity status after appearing on a television show hosted by Oprah Winfrey in 2013. Prosecutors are now calling for his arrest, according to reports.

This is not the first time a celebrity has been accused of taking advantage of women, but the victim toll here is astonishingly high. Many of Teixeira de Faria’s followers are choosing to reject the accusations, and are continuing to welcome him in their communities with open arms.

Accusations are piling up

Teixeira de Faria has his own spiritual center, nestled in the small town of Abadiania, located in the central Brazilian state of Goias. The Sydney Morning Herald reports since the first accusation hit the airwaves, a total of 258 women have contacted the Goias state prosecutors’ office, alleging that they too were victims of the self-proclaimed faith healer.

But now, it’s all come crashing down, and rather quickly, too.

As the Herald reports, “The first accusation of sexual misconduct against Faria was made on Brazil’s Globo TV on Friday by Dutch choreographer Zahira Maus who said Faria sexually assaulted her. Globo TV spent three months investigating the story and interviewed a dozen other women who said they had been abused by the healer.” Now, there are hundreds of accusations, and “John of God” may soon be “John of Prison.”

Faith healer under fire

Oprah is feeling the heat, as well: After the accusations went viral, a Facebook campaign was born. The Facebook protesters demanded that Oprah delete Faria’s episode, and alleged that the TV personality shared responsibility in creating the predator’s fame. It’s hard to deny there’s been an uptick in popularity in the years since his Oprah appearance.

Unsurprisingly, all mentions of Oprah’s Teixeira de Faria episode and the “healer” himself have been scrubbed. “I empathize with the women now coming forward and hope justice is served,” Oprah said in a statement.

John of God maintains his innocence. In a brief statement, he told his followers, “Brothers and my dear sisters, I thank God for being here. I want to comply with Brazilian law. I am in the hands of the law.”

“John of God is still alive,” he added.

Whether you believe in faith healing or not, it’s clear that people do believe in John of God. And in many cases, people turn to “alternative” beliefs such as these because modern treatment modalities have failed them. Whether it’s the cancer industry making people sicker with chemotherapy, or the psych drug industry tampering with people’s minds, modern medicine as we know it often leaves much to be desired, no matter what part of the body, mind or soul you’re trying to treat. Fortunately, there are many natural medicines and remedies out there that can help pick up the slack.

See more coverage of stories like this at Twisted.news.

Sources for this article include:

Reuters.com
SMH.com.au




Teixeira de Faria first opened his “practice” in 1976. Thousands of people, from Brazil and abroad, traveled to his clinic — so much so that the town of Abadiania has become dependent on the sheer volume of tourism related to the spiritual center. Teixeira de Faria garnered a substantial amount of attention by claiming he’s able to perform “miracle” surgeries with nothing but his hands; no tools, no anesthetics.
 

Jenn

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
There is also this video by 60 Minutes Australia from 2014. Most of the interview is with people who have been to see John of God who were sorely disappointed, JOG's segment starts at 10:53 but his "team" promptly decide to end the interview when the interviewer starts asking some tricky questions.

"More than 200 women have accused Brazil’s most famous medium and spiritual healer of sexual abuse in a case that is becoming the country’s first major post-#MeToo scandal. In 2014, 60 Minutes investigated 'John of God's' medical and spiritual credentials. "

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
December 28, 2018 - Brazilian Prosecutors charge healer 'John of God' with rape, sexual assault
Brazilian prosecutors charge healer 'John of God' with rape, sexual assault | Reuters

BRASILIA - Prosecutors on Thursday charged a disgraced Brazilian faith healer with rape and sexual assault, following his arrest after allegations from hundreds of women who said he had sexually abused them while seeking spiritual guidance or psychic healing from him.

FILE PHOTO: Brazilian spiritual healer Joao Teixeira de Faria, known as "John of God", arrives at the police station a day after being officially ruled a fugitive, in Goiania, Brazil December 16, 2018. Picture taken December 16, 2018. REUTERS/Metropoles/Igo Estrela

João Teixeira de Faria, known as “John of God,” was arrested earlier this month and has been imprisoned since.

He became a celebrity after his healing methods were featured on Oprah Winfrey’s television show in 2013 and drew thousands of Brazilians and foreigners to his spiritual center in the small town of Abadiânia, in the central Brazilian state of Goiás.

His fame has been boosted by supposedly miraculous surgeries he claims to have performed with his hands and without anesthesia.

Goiás prosecutors charged Faria on Friday on four counts of rape and sexual assault, a spokesman said in a statement. Farias has repeatedly said he is innocent.

The accusers are not just Brazilian citizens, according to prosecutors, and include four women from the United States, three from Australia and three from different parts of Europe.


December 19, 2018 - Brazil faith healer tried to withdraw millions before arrest
http://mynorthwest.com/1220773/brazil-faith-healer-tried-to-withdraw-millions-before-arrest/


In this handout photo released by Agencia Brasil, spiritual healer Joao Teixeira de Faria, better known as John of God, center, arrives to the Dom Inacio Loyola House in Abadiania, Brazil, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Authorities say that more than 200 people have come forward to accuse the spiritual healer of sexual abuse in the central Brazilian state of Goias. The accusations against Faria began last week after several alleged victims spoke of abuse on a popular Brazilian television show. (Marcelo Camargo/Agencia Brasil via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Court documents show that a Brazilian spiritual healer tried to withdraw nearly $9 million before surrendering to police on charges of rape.

The documents seen by The Associated Press are part of a judge’s ruling rejecting bail for Joao Teixeira de Faria, who is known as Joao de Deus, or John of God.

Fagner Pinho of the prosecutor’s office also said Wednesday that investigators found firearms and large quantities of cash in a house used by de Faria as a spiritual retreat.

Hundreds of people have come forward with allegations of rape and threats of violence by de Faria. Many say they were underage at the time of the abuse.

De Faria turned himself into police on Sunday.


December 18, 2018 - Brazilian Spiritual Healer João de Deus Requests House Arrest
Brazilian Spiritual Healer João de Deus Requests House Arrest | The Rio Times % %

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The defense team for Brazilian spiritual healer, João de Deus, is seeking that the famous medium be transferred to house arrest, due to his age (76) and state of health. The healer is accused of sexual abuse of at least five hundred women and withdrawing R$35 million from his accounts.

João de Deus talks to supporters outside his clinic, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agencia Brasil.

“He is depressed, prison is prison. We cannot forget that we are talking about a 76-year-old man with diseases and difficulties. John slept on a thin mattress on the floor,” his lawyer Alberto Toron was quoted as saying in news site G1.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State of Goiás confirmed that João Teixeira de Faria, better known as João de Deus (John of God), withdrew R$35 million from his accounts and funds after the first allegations of sexual abuse.

“What’s wrong with someone moving your account? Is there a block on his assets?” argues one of the healer’s lawyer.

The accusations against João de Deus began to appear on local media on December 7th, and since then hundreds of women claiming to be victims of the medium have come forward.

The accusations have been coming from all over the country and also from abroad. A special task force was set up and a channel for women to report possible abuse was created. So far there are reports of abuse from women from six countries: Germany, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, the United States and Switzerland.

Known for having greeted and ‘healed’ national and international celebrities, the spiritual leader has been working for more than 40 years in Abadiânia, in the interior of Goiás.

The accusations and arrest of João de Deus has altered the routine at Casa Dom Inácio de Loyola, the center where the medium met his followers, as well as the small city of Abadiânia. Owners of the city’s inns, shops, hotels, restaurants, who live from religious tourism, have reported a steep decline in customers.

“The flow today is the same as yesterday, much weaker than in normal periods” said one of Casa Dom Inacio de Loyola’s managers, Francisco Lobo told local news media last week. According to local officials the House receives up to 20,000 visitors per month.
 

hiker

Jedi
I first came accross John of God in Kelly Turner's book "Radical Remissions". In the book Turner writes about her studies of over a
thousand cancer patients who had recovered against all odds. She lists certain commonalities that the patients share, one of which is "deepening your spiritual connection". In the relevant chapter, Kelly mentions "Matthew" (pseudonym), who had a terminal, inoperable brain cancer, situated in the center of the brain. To cut a long story short, after chemo and radiotherapy failed, he was advised to travel to Brazil to meet John of God, due to him having success with curing cancer patients. Down there, Matthew meditated and took certain herbs, and after 2 years the cancer was gone, which was verified by MRI.

The "energy healing" that John of God did probably played a part in his recovery, but the work Matthew personally put in his recovery (meditation, belief in the treatmens etc.) must have affected strongly too.

Interestingly, John of God has been reported to channel about thirty different "entities". He channels a specific entity/ entities according to the individual patient's needs. However, John of God is probably a sexual predator on his own account, and not due to being possessed by these entities.
 

PopHistorian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
My working theory has been that a lot of predator "gurus" accumulate power to abuse simply by using a kind of Placebo Effect to "help" people. No matter what kind of help the followers seek, some are "miraculously" aided, others are not. The predator needs to target only certain followers for abuse. The rest provide cover.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A Judge has ruled that João Teixeira de Faria will face trial on allegations of rape and sexual abuse. The Judge has accepted the testimonies of four woman, although the number of victims entering the Case may increase. No date has been set for the trial, yet.

Brazil 'miracle' healer, profiled by Oprah, to face rape trial | Reuters

On Wednesday, Rosângela Rodrigues dos Santos, a judge in Abadiânia, the small town in central Brazil where Faria’s spiritual center is located, accepted the charges brought against him by four women, and said he must face trial.

Prosecutors allege that Faria raped two of the women, and used fraudulent means to sexually abuse the other two.

Another spiritual leader is in the spotlight, this one is in Nepali, South Asia. Ram Bahadur Bomjan, dubbed “Buddha Boy” is believed by his followers to be a reincarnation of Buddha. He is under investigation over the disappearance of several devotees.

Nepal probes ‘Buddha boy’ over devotee disappearances


‘Buddha Boy’ Ram Bahadur Bomjan, seen here in 2008, became famous after followers said he could meditate motionless for months without water, food or sleep. (AFP)

Ram Bahadur Bomjan, dubbed “Buddha Boy,” became famous in 2005 after followers said he could meditate motionless for months without water, food or sleep in Nepal’s jungles.

The 28-year-old guru has a devout following but has been accused of physically and sexually assaulting some of his flock.

Special police investigators have begun inquiries after the families of four of Bomjan’s devotees allegedly vanished from his ashrams.

“The police have started investigating these complaints against Bomjan,” Uma Prasad Chaturbedi, a spokesman for Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau, said.

“The investigation is in preliminary stage and we cannot share many details.”

Bomjan has long been dogged by accusations of abuse in deeply spiritual Nepal, even as thousands of worshippers queued for days to witness his so-called miracles of meditation deep in the jungle.

In September last year, an 18-year-old nun accused the guru of raping her at one of his ashrams.

Dozens more have filed complaints against him alleging assault. The self-styled godman said he beat them for disturbing his meditation.

The Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangha, an organization associated with the guru, recently slammed as baseless a series of fresh allegations made by a local website, Setopati.com, which published reports detailing cases of disappearances, sexual assault and violence in his ashrams.
 
Although I was aware of this case I had not looked into it at all. Honestly, when I first heard of it I thought it might be a bogus MeToo thing. But rapidly it exploded from a few women to hundreds, so I quickly suspended any judgement before taking a closer look. This is what I've found so far that I think might contribute to the discussion.

Althought it was already mentioned, the first thing that caught my attention was the massive number of people attending his healing practice. As mentioned above, 20 thousand per month, which agrees with other estimates of around a 1000 people a day.

The sheer number of attendees and the decades he has been doing this help explain the potential victim count in the hundreds. However, important to note that according to the Court of Justice of the State of Goiás, there are only 18 victims present in the criminal actions as of March 9, 2019. Also, more than 200 witness have been enrolled.

Given that the prosecutors have included other victims as witnesses, I believe they only have, so far, enough evidence to go forward with those 18 victims. These are 18 out of 300 plus potential victims, but 18 is very far from zero. Also, these 18 most likely do not include the victims where the crime has already prescribed.

The occultation of these facts for so long I suppose can mostly be laid at the feet of his "saintly" renown and lots and lots of money for things like bribery and lawyers. Taking also into account a dropped murder charge in 1980, the guns found in his bedroom in 2018 and his son being charged with intimidating a witness while armed, I think it is reasonable to think violence might have played a part in such occultation.


His past: accused but acquitted of indecent assault, smuggling of ore and murder

There are a number of accusations tying John of God to other crimes. These ones are from 1980-1985. Translation from Wikipedia in Portuguese:

According to Época magazine, in addition to accusations of illegal exercise of medicine, João de Deus has also been accused of indecent assault, smuggling of ore and murder. In none of the cases was he convicted.[18]

The charge of "indecent assault" occurred in September 1980, when John was prosecuted for the crime of seduction against an adolescent, then 16 years old. The lawsuit was dismissed six years later for lack of interest on the part of the family because it did not contain enough evidence.[39] John's lawyer said at the time that it was all just an invention of the family to try to extort money.[39]

The process of "ore smuggling" was opened after João was arrested, on November 5, 1985, with 300 kg of autounite, an ore with high uranium content.[39] The three lawyers hired to defend João affirm that he was deceived: he would not know that the material was radioactive and that he was only transporting the ore to a landing field.[39]

The murder charge involved the death of taxi driver Delvanir Cardoso Fonseca, who was shot in the back on January 27, 1980, in Anapolis (GO). According to Sebastiana Geralda Costa, a friend of Fonseca's, João threatened to kill the driver. The motive was a love affair between Fonseca and Tereza Cordeiro de Faria, João's ex-wife. The threat would have occurred two months before the murder, according to Sebastiana. Two days after the murder, João and Tereza separated.[39]
Most of the information above comes from a short news article from 1995.


Chronology of the 2018 sexual abuse and violation charges

This is a tentative chronology of some of the facts. I wanted to see if there were factual grounds to the high number of victims, some understanding of how it all blew up so quickly (because it sounded fishy to me) and also what were the actual legal charges against him.

Overall, it seems that what made the case blow up so quickly was the combination of the massive reach of Rede Globo television and print media throughout the country, the propagation through social media, the communication channels opened by the State of Goiás D.A. Office and, obviously, the large amount of victims that now had an opportunity to safely present their case to the authorities.

The current psychological zeitgeist of MeToo might have contributed positively to the victims willingness to come forward. It might also have produced fake claims but in this case it does not seem to matter so much due to the expressive numbers of true victims (or so I think at the moment).

Given the initial chronology, it seems like Rede Globo and the D.A. Office were communicating so that both benefited when it was all made public.

I got most of the information below directly from the press releases issued by the D.A. Office of State of Goiás (Ministério Público do Estado de Goiás).

1973
The oldest case of abuse reported dates back to this year.

June, 2018
Goiás D.A. Office was already investigating John regarding sexual abuses. This was made public on December 9, after Globo had televised the case.

December 7/8, 2018
Something between 10 and 15 cases reported by multiple vehicles of Rede Globo, both televised and in print. Zahira Lieneke Mous comes to the forefront as the only victim which allowed her name to by divulged. She was later called a prostitute and extortionist by Alberto Toron, John's lawyer.

December 10, 2018
Goiás D.A. Office released telephone numbers and an e-mail address so that anyone could contact them with new information and complaints. 40 new complaints were registered on that same day.

John goes to São Paulo to talk with his lawyer, Alberto Toron. This guy is kind of a celebrity criminal lawyer, he is considered top notch in his field. John goes back to Abadiânia to keep doing what he does.

December 11, 2018
Goiás D.A. Office received 156 e-mail messages.

December 15, 2018:
John is declared a fugitive.

December 16, 2018
John turns himself in to the police and is arrested.

December 17, 2018
Goiás D.A. Office has received 506 messages and 30 formal testimonies.

December 21, 2018
596 messages, 75 formal testimonies. 255 possible victims, of which 23 were between 9 and 14 years old; 28 between 15 and 18, and 70 between 19 and 67.

The Health Surveillance Agency closed part of a pharmacy where they made medications for non compliance with regulations.

December 26, 2018
Goiás D.A. Office says they have collected 78 formal testimonies and received over 600 e-mails regarding the case. Among those e-mails, 260 are potential victims of the medium.

January 9, 2019
Judiciary receives the first indictment, which refers to four sexual crimes, making John formally a criminal defendant. It includes testimonies of 15 other victims as witnesses.

Around this time the judiciary put into effect the blocking of R$ 50 million (about USD 13 million) of John's assets.

January 15, 2019
Goiás D.A. Office indicts John a second time. It involves 13 victims, including five cases that have already prescribed (abuse happened too long ago, law doesn't allow to be prosecuted) but were included to show that he has been doing this for a long time. The crimes imputed to him were "estupro de vulnerável" (rape of someone younger than 14 years old, the law basically says that sex with someone younger than 14 is always rape) and "violência sexual mediante fraude" (something like having sex or performing another libidinous act with someone when the victim's free will is blocked or diminished by fraudulent means, but there is no violence or threats). The crimes happened between 1990 and 2018, involving women between 8 and 47 years old at the time of the crimes.

January 10, 2019
Goiás D.A. Office received 688 e-mails, with over 300 potential victims identified.

January 24, 2019
Goiás D.A. Office indicts John two more times. One for raping five women between 23 and 38 years old, crimes that happened between 2010 and 2016. They sustain these women should also be qualified as vulnerable due to the circumstances of seeking spiritual treatments. The other indictment is for carrying illegal or restricted firearms. Other six victims whose crimes had prescribed were included as witnesses. They were between 23 and 51 and the crimes occurred between 1996 and 2009.

This is when his son Sandro and his wife Ana Keyla were also indicted.

March 12, 2019
His son Sandro was granted habeas corpus and should be released soon.


Crimes involving his wife and son: illegal possession of firearms, intimidation of witnesses and possible money laundering

John is now being prosecuted in at least three different lawsuits.

Apart from the sex-related charges, he has also been indicted:
1) along with his wife - Ana Keyla Teixeira - for illegal possession of firearms; and
2) along with his son - Sandro Teixeira - for intimidating witnesses. It seems Sandro was armed when he coerced a witness the day after she went to the police station. Sandro allegedly offered her some also allegedly precious stones in exchange for her silence.

Regarding his wife, they found five firearms in the couple's bedroom, three of them being of restricted or prohibited use, which the law now considers an heinous crime. His wife's lawyer, Ismar Estulano Garcia, says she had no knowledge of the firearms found in their bedroom and that she will cooperate.

In their home it was also found over R$ 1.5 million reais (about USD 260k), and cash in various currencies, such as dolar, euro and swiss franc. Thus they also began a money laundering investigation.

In March 12, 2019 an habeas corpus was granted to both John and his son in the witnesses intimidation lawsuit. His son should be released soon but John will remain in prison due to the other legal proceedings still in course.


What exactly has he done to these women?

One way to go about this would be to find all the testimonies and interviews that were made public and scour them for the facts as reported by the victims. To be honest, besides being a lot of work, at the moment I'm not really into the prospect of going through such reading. It will not be pleasant and I'm avoiding it for now.

Luckily, the guys at the D.A. Office already did that and came up with this informative though stomach churning chart. It reads at the top: Percentage and Total of Facts by category of Age and Conduct (Period between 1973 and 2018)

29421
The list of Conducts reads (I'm also putting in parentheses the % and total of occurrences of the given conduct, taken from another chart):

Green: Ejaculation (19.8%, 44)
Gray: Masturbation (18.0%, 40)
Red: Penetration (8.1%, 18)
Blue: Oral sex (7.7%, 17)
Purple: Attempt (4.1%, 9)
Orange: Touch (41.9%, 93)

The PDF where this came from can be found here.
 

Bastian

Jedi Council Member
FWIW : I knew a woman with cancer who went from France to Brazil to meet this healer.
She came back without cancer, to the surprise of her doctors.
She was an old lady, really kind and attentionate.
But she stayed in a toxic relationship with a guy, got a cancer again and finally died of it.
 
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