This film will challenge your understanding of how we interact with the spirit world and the notions of healing with assistance from the other side.
Just outside the small town of Abadiania, Brazil, one of the most unusual people in the world is about to see a group of strangers dressed in white. He is known to westerners as John of God. They call him a spiritual medium, trance surgeon, healer and miracle worker. What he does and how he does it defies conventional logic.
For over 40 years, John of God has received visitors as a doctor might receive patients. Even though he is not a doctor and has no formal schooling beyond the fourth grade, he has performed countless physical operations — for free. He uses no anesthesia and patients report little pain. He scraps eyes, inserts surgical clamps up noses and makes incisions with simple instruments — all while he is supposedly taken over by spirits. There is very little bleeding, few reports of infections and numerous reports of improved health — both spiritually and physically.
John of God says that God and over 30 compassionate spirits are working through him and he does not remember what he did once he comes out of his trance. We watch him perform these unusual surgeries and follow several people from around the world with various physical problems as they seek help from him and the spirit world.
Laura Van Wagner from Maui has come to John of God to treat a life threatening cancer. Her lymphoma is causing rapid tumor growth in her throat. Kristy First was paralyzed in a car accident in Florida and wants to regain the use of her legs. Roland Nip from Honolulu has been diagnosed with defective heart valve. Izzy Zalcberg, who suffers from depression has traveled from Chicago to Brazil with his wife who has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Lynn Debenham, the south of England, will undergo a physical surgery to remove a tumor on her back.
Doctors, as well as patients, are constantly traveling to Brazil to observe the man who can reportedly heal others using spiritual assistance. Reverend Doug Busby, MD from LaPorte, Indiana is a doctor who specializes in preventive medicine. For him, John of God may hold the key to connecting the world of prayer and healing. Philip Bechtel, MD is a neurosurgeon from Fort Worth, Texas who has been to see John of God eleven times. He operates on the deadliest of brain tumors and is looking for a means to help his desperately ill patients. These two highly respected medical doctors have not only observed John of God on several occasions, they have assisted him with surgery. They offer their opinions as to what might be occurring at the healing center known as the Casa de Dom Inacio.
João Texeira de Faria - John of God and 30 of his "spirit doctors" claim to act as a vehicle for God's healing. "I do not cure anybody. God heals, and in his infinite goodness permits the Entities to heal and console my brothers. I am merely an instrument in God's divine hands". For more than three decades João Teixeira de Faria has had extraordinary success in helping people to heal from AIDS, cancer, paralysis, blindness, mental disease and a host of human infirmities. Millions of people have consulted with João-in-Entity since 1965. Up to 3,000 people per day stand and wait in line to see him individually. He continues to have a success rate in his healing work unheard of in western medicine. This simple Brazilian man, formally educated only through the second grade, is living proof of a unique form of mediumship in which benevolent spirits, aka disembodied entities or angels, use his body to perform seemingly miraculous healing, including both physical and psychic surgery. When João is acting as a host (to one spirit at a time) he is called 'the Entity', and referred to, more formally as João de Deus (John of God). His intent is to be a vehicle for God's work. He has kept to this intention despite being persecuted and physically abused by those who do not want him to practice his unique way of healing without a medical license. Brazilians believe that God becomes more accessible through the likes of João and other mediums. They believe that God's energy is too powerful for humans to handle and that, therefore, we need intermediaries, like Jesus Christ, as well as angels, highly evolved spirits, and mediums to step down God's energy. Divine energy can thus be adapted to fit our own capacities to receive it, much like an electrical transformer steps down a powerful current before it goes into individual homes designed to use weaker voltages. João de Deus has been studied by teams of legitimate scientists from Russia, Germany, the USA, Japan and France. Pathology tests reveal that the tumours, substances and tissues the Entity removes from the sick are indeed human tissues from the individuals operated upon. The most extensive study on João's work lasted two years, was published in Portuguese through a Brazilian university, and made available to the public in 1997. João encourages research into his healing abilities in the hope that medical science can make use of his success in the treatment of humankind. When called for a surgical operation by João, patients are offered the choice of visible or invisible operations. If they select an invisible operation (or are younger than 18 or older than 45) they are directed to sit in a room in the Casa and meditate. João enters the room and pronounces "In the name of Jesus Christ you are all cured. Let what needs to be done be done in the name of God. Surgeries are performed on a surrogate patient when the actual patient is unable to make the trip. João tells people not to stop taking their medicine and says not everyone he serves will be cured, but a concoction of passiflora herbs that are blessed for energetic healing are always prescribed. Persons unable to pay can see the casa staff who will make special arrangements for them. Herbs prescribed by the entity cost 10 Brazilian Reais per container ($5-6 USD/container). The usual prescription is 3-6 bottles. ($15-36 USD).