In Brazil, there is a quite remarkable man called John of God. He has followers all over the world. He doesn´t heal people - the power of God heals them, and people with cancer do find ´cures´. All the more remarkable, his services are free.
Catherine Woollams reports on her visit to a remarkable Brazilian Healer, Joao Teixeira da Faria, commonly referred to as Joao de Deus or John of God.
As many people know, my daughter Catherine, has a grade 4 Glioblastoma. She was first diagnosed three years and two months ago, in late April 2001.
Off the record, the "experts" gave her six months to live. They have since told her there is little more they can do for her.
Back in 2001 a young man approached me at Epsom Races. His mother, a healer, had had a patient who had been "cured" by a healer in the Amazon jungle going under the name of "John of God".
Shortly afterwards, another person in contact with our icon office, told us that she had taken her husband there for treatment and it was, quite simply, a life changing experience.
So immediately I hit the internet, and - after overcoming my initial cynicism that a man from the Amazon jungle could have a highly polished website, I passed the information on to Catherine and her mother.
Three years later in May 2004 Catherine and her mother visited John of God, also known locally as "The Entity".
Of all the thoughts and help that came up when I was diagnosed with a grade 4 brain tumour, this was probably the most strange. Following Dad´s email, mum read up about "John of God´, a healer based in Brazil and, two years later, thought it would help if she sent my picture and details to him. One day, whilst sitting in Cafe Nero in Chelsea, mum suddenly appeared with a letter claiming that "The Entity" was apparently already helping me and that we should go to him very soon. As you can imagine, we have tried most things to date, so this seemed another harmless yet positive step. The cost for ten days including all meals, hotels and the treatment was 900 plus flights, so even this did not seem excessive.
We flew first to Rio de Janeiro and had a few days of very enjoyable R&R. Then, by contrast, we flew to Brasilia, the new capital, which has no personality at all. But we did meet all of our fellow patients. There were 15 of us, all with very different ailments from cancer to muscular dystrophy. Everyone was really friendly and warm.
Next we were taken to Abidijana and to our ´pousada´ - a very basic B&B. Once we had had lunch and met our hosts Robert and Catrina, and their daughter Natalie, we were taken to La Casa. This is absolutely beautiful; there is a small shop, a tiny caf and then the main building where you wait to see John of God, plus a beautiful view-point from which to meditate and three crystal healing beds. La Casa is also decreed to be so holy that we could only wear white clothes; all things black being viewed as bad. Immediately your shoulders unwind and you relax - its a truly stress-free setting.
That afternoon we waited in the main room before being taken in a line through to see John. This main room was surrounded by people in current - this term essentially signifies lots of people meditating in an area alive with energy. The queue is very long; I had my step-father in front of me and my mother behind. As we reached John he immediately took my hand and in Portuguese told us that I was to be operated on in the morning and that both my helpers had to be in "current" for me.
In the hall there are TV screens showing operations, some of which involve being cut - yet bizarrely no blood emerges. I was terrified. The next morning at seven, I went for my two crystal healing bed sessions. This was gorgeous; you simply lie on a bed under the crystals with your eves shut listening to some relaxing music for 40 minutes. Even this feels like you are being healed.
Next came the operation. At 8:00 am we were walked through the main hall and taken into a third room for prayer. In here, we were asked if we wanted a physical or invisible operation. I chose physical but, because I had had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a recent operation, it was felt that I´d be better with an invisible one.
The operation was equally fascinating - for me it was amazing
The operation was equally fascinating. You sit and place your right hand either over the specific and damaged part of your body or over your heart if the illness is general. You have your eyes closed and listen to a man talking in Portuguese. For me it was amazing. When I was first on the crystal healing beds, I had seen white light but had thought that I was going a little mad, But then I was "operated on" and I could actually feel my head moving inside!
Two other patients, David and Sue, were given physical operations. David has bone cancer all over and had only been given two months to live. He had what I can only describe as a triangular metal instrument (which he said he couldn´t even feel) stuck up his nose. However when the instrument was removed he immediately passed out! Sue, who has muscular dystrophy, was told to relax and she too immediately passed out from all the treatment pressure to which she was subjected.
After all this we were helped outside - I was shattered - photographed and taken back to our pousada where we were put to bed and served with special soup freshly made at La Casa. You have to eat the special food they provide three times a day along with their prescribed herbs which are also given three times a day after the food. Abstinence from pork, alcohol and sex is essential!
It was as if I had had surgery back in the
National Hospital for Neurology
For the next 24 hours I slept. It was as if I had had surgery back in the National Hospital for Neurology. I had some very bizarre dreams but apparently this is normal when you subject yourself to this energetic environment.
By Friday afternoon I was again placed "in current", this time for four hours. The weekend was for relaxing and sleeping. By now we were all getting along very well and games of cards had started. The game, hearts, was never ending.
The weather was gorgeous so sun-bathing and reading were also the norm. Below the house there is the most beautiful waterfall, where you go to wash away any bad energies and spirits. On Tuesday we were allowed to go to the waterfall specifically to wash away the bad dreams we had all been having. This, in itself, was amazing - we walked down to this beautiful but cold waterfall and were each asked to step into the falling water and wash ourselves. Invigorating, healing, stimulating and cleansing.
On Wednesday it was back to the "current" in the morning and then seeing John in the afternoon. So we queued up to see John. He was telling everyone that they were fine; but when it came to me apparently I wasn´t and needed another operation! I was quite down about this as I was literally the only one who needed another session but by now I had this compelling feeling that I was in the best place for it.
So on Thursday morning I was back in for my second "operation". This felt even madder as my head was swirling before I even got into the room. For the next 30 minutes I could feel so many things that I was exhausted when I left. I slept for the next 24 hours with some horrible dreams. When I appeared for breakfast on the Friday morning I have to confess that I felt fantastic and totally relaxed. It was shortly afterwards that the black eye started to develop - exactly as it bad when I had had surgery in London!!
A week after your operation you must get rid of your ´stitches´. To do this you have to put a glass of water by your bed and pray to God to remove your stitches that night. The next morning you drink the water and your stitches dissolve.
I have to confess that I am not particularly religious and this visit to Brazil was not an obvious thing for me to do, but it has been both stimulating and amazing. I have never before felt so in touch with my body and its healing processes.
At the centre they repeatedly told us that healing was 50 per cent them and 50 per cent you. I am now convinced that this is true.
So here I am back in London feeling great. I am still having other treatments like Photo-dynamic Therapy and Metabolic Typing but who knows? I haven´t been officially scanned at St Thomas´ Hospital yet but David, who had all over bone cancer, has just had his psi reading done and it is lower than you, or he, could ever imagine!
So although I can´t yet give you any scientific readings on my health, I can tell you that I feel amazing and fortunate. Frankly it was such a friendly experience, and I know I have made friends for life.
For more information, visit http://www.johnofgod.com.
Sadly, on October 22nd 2004 at 2.00 am Catherine passed away. The oncologist told her parents that when he first saw her he ´gave´ her 6 months maximum to live, as it was a grade 4 cancer then. The most anyone has lived is 18 months and Catherine survived three and a half years.
´Survived´ is certainly the wrong word. ´Enjoyed´ might be more appropriate.
She never complained; she always took the attitude that all people get sick and, for some reason, she had been dealt a card that was an unavoidable death sentence. Just bad luck. She always knew that there was no cure, but she was determined to be positive and never wished to be regarded, nor regard herself, as a victim.