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The Healing Spirits of Brazil

Spiritualist healer John of God calls thousands to the Omega Institute each year. How did an illiterate farmer with no medical training become such a beacon?In the spring of 2001, while teaching in Brazil, I went to visit John of God, the world’s best-known practitioner of spiritism and a man said to have helped cure thousands of people since 1956 of all manner of emotional and physical problems. At the time I knew almost nothing about his tradition. I was just curious how an illiterate farmer with no medical training had become so successful. Reportedly, John of God was able to perform psychic surgery as well as physical surgeries while in trance.My doctorate in psychology had led me to believe that spiritual healing is usually an -illusion, but I was also certain that psychologists and psychiatrists do not know all the causes of mental illness. I was willing to explore; in fact, I sensed a profound inner calling. And the trip was not just for me.One of my dearest friends, Jim, was paraplegic and experiencing unrelenting physical pain. He had sought help from the best physicians in the world and even s …

By Emma Bragdon. Click here for more!

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