Author Topic: Joao de Teixeira AKA John of God, Josie Tamarin AKA Josie Raven Wing  (Read 16280 times)

Offline Pono Aloha

  • Posts: 141
This man has received the blessing of Oprah, but I wonder about him. In the bio on his website, it says,   João Teixeira de Faria, internationally known as John of God or João de Deus, is arguably the most powerful unconscious medium alive today and possibly the best-known healer of the past 2000 years. However, João is a humble man ... http://www.johnofgod.com/index.php/about-john-of-god.html

If you search "john of god fraud" you find stories of sexual abuse and that his "free" services are funded by sales of crystals that are necessary for healing.

[Changed thread title-Al]
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 05:34:59 pm by educatedindian »

Offline Laurel

  • Posts: 136
Re: John of God
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 11:07:31 am »
And if you search "John of God cult" the first hit is this:

http://homepage.smc.edu/martin_ben/Resources/john_of_god_scam.htm

Rick Ross page:

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,77450,94295

Very informative and scary.

This is the outfit that sells his crystals, etc:

http://www.exquisitecrystals.com/

I can't see where he's claiming to be or do anything Native American. However, he is selling CDs by a "Josie RavenWing" that are supposed to feature "Native American/Native American style" chants and songs:

http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/prodcuts/music-cds-and-meditation-by-josie-ravenwing/

"RavenWing”: primarily in Native American style, these songs and chants came to Josie during extended vision quest ceremonies during which she asked Spirit to give her new songs to uplift and inspire others.

and

“I Send a Voice”: primarily Native American chants as well as a few composed by Josie in a similar style.

 And there's this undoubtedly made-up "quote" from the page for a laudatory "documentary" about him called, amusingly enough, I Do Not Heal: “For thousands of years the priesthood held and carried the Way. It is now time to share the ancient mystical knowledge, so that everyone may benefit.” – Native American Elders

He's a new age fraud, and a dangerous one. And he claims to be doing psychic surgery, which is a "shamanic" kind of scam, I think? But there's not much of a Native American angle with him that I can find.

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: John of God
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 01:28:44 pm »
What John does is the old psychic surgery scam, palming bits of blood and animal flesh to appear to be taking evil or infected flesh from inside some sick. He also uses an old carnival scam, where you insert a nail up the nose. Only he uses forceps.

Just like with any faith healing any cures are likely placebo effect. There are lots of reports of failures to cure people, dozens of lawsuit, and of women being molested and abused.

-------
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2MCQVMJWX4894/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2MCQVMJWX4894
As far as John of God the man, there are hundreds of stories of inappropriate (any beyond) sexual contact with young attractive women in both Brazil and other countries. One that was extremely profound was of an American women who was asked by the `entity' to see John of God after he was finished seeing people for that session. While in his room she was sexually assaulted (according to her) and then an instrument was shoved up her nose. When she returned to the states, she immediately fell ill and was in the hospital for several days. I have no firsthand knowledge of her account but stories such as this are numerous and their are messgae boards on the internet with first-hands accounts of sexual misconduct.

A friend of mine went to the Casa while I was there for her asthma. A few minutes after entering `current' she started to have breathing problems. The next day she was brought to the local hospital. She passed away several days later. You could chalk this up to coincidence but I doubt it. I can clearly remember one of our last conversations when she was scolding herself for not having `faith' which the Casa subtly but effectively pressures people to have and limits ones ability to evaluate situations clearly.

There have been numerous other incidents of people ending up in insane asylums after visiting, becoming worse physically and so on. I would say these incidents are in the minority but would you ever go to a doctor whose negligence had resulted in the deaths of some of his patients - of course not hopefully. Plus, no one knows what really goes on there when people feel and experience weird things in their bodies that they have never had before. They just take for granted that it is loving and benign. `John of God' never broaches any of these topics.

I have no doubt there are many more stories/incidents like the ones I have mentioned but `John of God' never touches on any of these. Furthermore, there have been dozens of lawsuits filed against the Casa in Brazil with claims of negligence such as I have mentioned but interestingly and unsurprisingly none have ever resulted in a judgment from what I know.

As for myself, all kinds of horrible things happened to me since first going to see John of God that never had happened before and I wasn't some `new-agey' guy who was interested in such phenomenon. I was threatened and attacked physically and mentally after returning from the Casa in ways that would defy most people's understanding as well having been in near constant fear over my safety and life.
Could you go see John of God in Brazil and be healed and have a wonderful experience? Yes, it is very possible and many people who go there have one or the other. Healings do take place there and many people have gotten better from whatever was ailing them.

However, at the end of the day there are tremendous risks as none of us know what truly goes on there. Again, `John of God' only provides the alluring mythology of the man and the Casa pr talking points. Whatever goes on with John of God is not from this earth and this books fails to address in any way the negative stories and aspects of the man and the Casa where he works. `John of God' has no warning label.

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 01:53:21 pm »
The claim that John doesn't make any money off of this and does it all for free is a lie. He's never had to work at a regular job and has always been supported by his carnival tricks. And there is an entire industry built up around him that he lives off of indirectly.

DVDs for sale.
http://www.johnofgod.com/index.php/buy-jog-dvds.html

When you go there, you pay his center for transport and hotel.
http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/john-of-god/trip-itinerary/

You also pay for crystal baths, meditation, and are encourated to volunteer and do free work for their center in their kitchen.
You also are given herbal prescriptions, which are not free.
http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/john-of-god/casa-processes-and-protocols/
There are also elaborate unnamed protocols.

Josie Raven Wing is central to the moneymaking that allows literally hundreds of people to make a living off of John's claims, including her.
She's paid as a guide for many tourists. You pay for meals and "blessed water."
http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/the-journey-to-abadiania/your-guide/

She sells ceremony herself, including sweats and vision quests.
http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/josie-raven-wing/josie-raven-wings-workshops/

Sells healings herself.
http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/josie-raven-wing/private-sessions-with-josie-ravenwing/

Sells books, and is endorsed by fraud Brooke Edwards AKA Med Ego.
http://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/prodcuts/books-by-josie-ravenwing/

This is probably one of the bigger scams we've seen. To support hundreds of people for decades, you're talking taking in tens of millions at least. Moved to Frauds.

Offline snorks

  • Posts: 99
  • I Love YaBB 2!
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 01:54:53 pm »
John of God also sells crystals through "Heaven and Earth" Company which is run by Robert Simmons, a New Age person who "speaks" to rocks.

http://heavenandearthjewelry.com/

 Simmons attests to the "magical healing" properties of these crystals in his print catalog..

Offline Pono Aloha

  • Posts: 141
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 01:38:14 am »
I am wary of anyone who thinks rocks would listen to them. Now if rocks speak to you, that's another story  :) But I have to give Simmons the rock guy credit - this is what it says at the bottom of his website
Quote
Please Note that the information about the metaphysical properties of stones on this website is intuitive and not scientifically verified. This field is speculative and explorative. Individuals need to use discrimination to determine what is true for them. We cannot guarantee any results with any stone or jewelry item. We do not advocate the use of stones as a substitute for medical or psychological care. Our stones are not intended to treat or cure any disease.

Offline nemesis

  • Posts: 527
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 08:14:51 pm »
This guy is also being promoted in the UK by a woman called Sandra Straw who organises trips and retreats to Brazil to visit him via her spiritual holidays company

Quote
A life changing Spiritual Journey to the Healing sanctuary of Joao de Deus (John of God) - a pilgrimage to Brazil.


Special Healing Retreat with John of God in Brazil
with an optional one-week round trip extension to Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and the World Famous Heritage site of Iguassu (Iguazu) Falls

(please call for details about future trips)

Accompany Sandra to a small village in the remote high plateau of Central Brazil, an hour and a half from Brasilia, where thousands come seeking a cure, or to receive a profound spiritual experience, at the Casa de Dom Inacio Healing Sanctuary with João Teixeira de Faria, one of the World’s most gifted and remarkable spiritual and psychic surgeons of our times.

The 'Casa', named after St. Ignatius Loyola, is like a small hospital set in tranquil and deeply relaxing gardens amidst rolling hills and lying on a bed of natural quartz crystal.

The visible surgery which takes place requires no anaesthetic – there is no pain but most of the work, however, is invisible. John of God (João de Deus) can treat just about any illness or disease. However, healing is very personal, what works for one person is not necessarily going to be the same for another, so for some the healing takes place immediately, whilst others notice it over a period of time.

Sandra Says: "Having been a healer myself for many years, I understand how healing can take place on many different levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Time can be spent in quiet meditation or prayer at the Casa – it is part of taking responsibility for our own Being. You don’t have to be sick to visit Joao de Deus, many go purely for the spiritual experience. I recommend all who are interested to read the book 'The Miracle Man' by Robert Pellegrino-Estrich.

On these spiritual healing retreats:
- Receive healing from John of God and the 'Casa' friends
- Witness the work of this world-renowned healer and psychic surgeon
- Experience a profound transformational spiritual journey

Call Sandra for info. regarding prices, flights etc.

- Optional one-week round trip extension to Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and the World Famous Heritage site of Iguassu Falls - please enquire for prices.

Places are limited and need to be booked ahead to secure flights and accommodation. A deposit will secure your place.

CONCESSIONS AVAILABLE IF YOU BOOK EARLY ENOUGH!

source:
http://www.spiritualholidays.com/john-of-god-retreat.html

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2018, 03:00:26 am »
https://news.yahoo.com/more-200-women-accuse-brazil-spiritual-healer-sex-163451821.html
More than 200 women have come forward in Brazil to accuse an internationally celebrated self-proclaimed spiritual healer of sexually abusing them, according to media reports and police complaints received Tuesday.

The accusations against Joao Teixeira de Faria, 76, better known as "Joao de Deus" ("Joao of God") include allegations he made women perform sex acts during one-on-one sessions in which he claimed he was using his supernatural powers to cure them.

Faria, whose reputation reaches far beyond Brazil, counts followers in the United States -- where American television celebrity and producer Oprah Winfrey did a show on him in 2013 after visiting him the previous year -- as well as Europe and Australia.

Brazilian television network Globo TV and its associated newspaper O Globo reported allegations last week from a dozen women dating back over the past eight years.

They said Faria had made them masturbate him or perform oral sex, which he insisted was the only way to transfer his "cleansing" energy to them.

One woman, a Dutch choreographer identified as Zahira Leeneke Maus, told Globo TV that Faria had raped her.

- Hundreds come forward -

Faria's healing center, in the small town of Abadiania, close to the capital Brazilia, did not respond to attempts by AFP to get comment on the allegations.

Globo's G1 news website on the weekend cited a statement from Faria's press service saying he had used his powers to treat thousands of people over the past 44 years and "he vehemently rejects (allegations of) any improper practice during his treatments."

Since the initial reports, many other women in Brazil have come forward to lodge complaints with police against Faria.

Prosecutors in the state of Goias, in which Abadiania is located, said Tuesday they had 78 complaints from women saying they were victims of the spiritual healer.

More complaints were also being lodged in other states. In the state of Sao Paulo, a prosecutor told media that more than 200 complaints had been received.

- Town suffers -

The allegations have resonated through Brazil, where "Joao de Deus" had been broadly respected and admired.

Three Brazilian presidents had sought his services: former leftist leaders Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his successor Dilma Rousseff, who had both battled cancer; and current President Michel Temer, before a prostate operation.

Several foreign and Brazilian media outlets have done critical investigations into Faria's claims of healing. Some uncovered previous allegations of sexual abuse and other improprieties for which Faria has never been prosecuted.

The fresh allegations come amid a global reckoning of alleged sexual misconduct by powerful men against women under the #MeToo campaign.

They threaten to decimate the prosperity Abadiania has enjoyed from the many thousands of believers who each year flocked to see Faria.

The Estado de S. Paulo newspaper quoted the town's mayor saying he feared that the tourism industry in Abadiania could collapse as a result.

He said the spiritual healer had attracted nearly 10,000 visitors each month, 40 percent of them from abroad.

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3402
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2018, 01:26:28 am »
Once again, a predator whom Oprah promoted. No doubt she'll pretend she had nothing to do with this one and his many victims, as well. James Arthur Ray, Oprah. Ring a bell? How many of these women got raped because you promoted this guy, Oprah? Newage enablers...

Offline kuljamu

  • Posts: 21
Re: John of God-Video update
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2018, 02:05:59 pm »
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-of-god-sex-abuse_us_5c179c3fe4b05d7e5d841543
A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing more than 300 women turned himself in Sunday to authorities in Brazil’s central state of Goias, after spending almost a day as a fugitive, police said.

Joao Teixeira de Faria, who is known as Joao de Deus or “John of God,” had been given until 3 p.m. Saturday to comply with an arrest warrant, but he did not surrender by the deadline and was deemed a fugitive from justice, officials had said.

He finally surrendered Sunday afternoon on the outskirts of Abadiania, a city in Goias, a Civil Police officer told The Associated Press....

According to a video released by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, de Faria said: “I surrender to divine justice and justice on Earth.”

De Faria, 76, was to spend the night at the State Delegation of Criminal Investigations in the state capital.

He has been a faith healer for four decades in a small town in central Brazil and became famous for conducting “psychic surgeries” that he said could cure diseases, including cancer.

The allegations against de Faria first surfaced last week, with several individuals going on a Globo Television show to recount charges that he had been sexually violent with them or relatives. After that, authorities were contacted by more than 300 other accusers, including de Faria’s adult daughter, Dalva Teixeira.

In an interview published Friday by Brazilian magazine Veja, Teixeira said that under the pretense of mystical treatments he abused and raped his daughter between the ages of 10 and 14.

She said her father stopped after she became pregnant by one of his employees. Teixeira said she was beaten so severely by her father that she suffered a miscarriage.

“My father is a monster,” she said....

He gained international exposure in 2012 when Oprah Winfrey visited his retreat to interview him for her talk show. In a since-deleted column on oprah.com, Winfrey wrote that she was overwhelmed by the experience of seeing him cut into the breast of a woman without anesthesia and that she left feeling “an overwhelming sense of peace.”

[Added text from link. Bolding is mine.-Al]
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 07:20:01 pm by educatedindian »

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 07:30:15 pm »
JRW is suddenly not offering her "teachings" anymore, except for continuing to promote JoG. Presumably this was before his charges on hundreds of rapes. She has yet to make a statement on that. Neither have his other promoters/accomplices.

All the sites on JoG continue to promote his selling healing.
-------
https://www.johnofgod-brazil.net/josie-raven-wing/josie-raven-wings-workshops/
 Update on Josie RavenWing’s workshops:  Due to an extended period of inner spiritual work and transformation in her life, Josie is not currently offering the workshops listed below.  The only exception would be offering presentations on the work of John of God/Joao de Deus in South Florida, should there be adequate interest.  She will update this page should there be any changes.  Meanwhile, what is described below will give readers a sense of what she has offered in the past.

Josie RavenWing has been creating and teaching unique workshops nationally and abroad since 1983....

Offline Piff

  • Posts: 824
Re: John of God, Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 12:09:14 am »
Fictitious Name Detail

Fictitious Name
JOSIE RAVENWING
Filing Information
Registration Number   G16000132431
Status   ACTIVE
Filed Date   12/08/2016
Expiration Date   12/31/2021
Current Owners   1
County   BROWARD

Mailing Address
1425 ARTHUR ST., #502
HOLLYWOOD, FL 33020
Owner Information
TAMARIN, JOSIE ANN
1425 ARTHUR ST., #502
HOLLYWOOD, FL 33020

(search done here: http://dos.sunbiz.org/ficinam.html)

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 733

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 733
Re: Joao de Teixeira AKA John of God, Josie Tamarin AKA Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 04:19:25 am »
With my (academic / religious studies) interest in anything shamanism (such as Neo-shamanism, pseudo-shamanism and plastic shamanism, this article caught my attention. Not much of a read though, really:

“Shaman’s Drum Magazine” Article on John of God by Josie RavenWing

(originally published in November of 2001, this article has been printed here almost exactly in the original, except for the number of groups Josie has take to the Casa, which was updated in July of 2015).

[Just changed title-Al]
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 05:36:39 pm by educatedindian »

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: Joao de Teixeira AKA John of God, Josie Tamarin AKA Josie Raven Wing
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 06:03:58 pm »
Really, he should have been charged years ago, and almost was. The current charges I think we should credit the Me Too movement. Long, LONG overdue. From 2005.

--------
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Primetime/story?id=482292&page=1
....It's against the law to practice medicine without a license in Brazil. "John of God" has been charged, fined and even jailed briefly. He keeps on performing surgeries, saying it's the entities, not him, at work.

About the surgeries, he said: "I don't do that. God and the spirits do that." He says even looking at the videotapes of the surgeries makes him queasy.

He says he doesn't even remember the experience. "I am unconscious," he told "Primetime Live's" John Quiñones. He likened his state to being asleep.

Challenged over the propriety of these operations, João answered, "Bring your scientists here, bring the doctors, bring them here. There is no magic going on. Just the power of God."

The Darker Side
Some people say the healings are just a front -- a way to make John of God rich.

Even though he charges no fee for treatment, João appears to be a wealthy man. He owns a cattle ranch just down the road from where he sees patients -- more than 1,000 acres.

When Quiñones pointed out to João that his town has become a tourist beacon with thousands coming to spend money for herbs and other items, he looked hurt. His eyes turned red and watered.

He said he has money but he spends it to pay for food and education for the poor. "I have cattle, but that's not enough to keep the casa," he said.

Yet, there are also rumors that John of God has a much darker side. Juliana Almeida Franca, a district attorney who has investigated John of God, says he sent her death threats -- delivered by a relative. João denies this.

João has also been accused of taking advantage of a woman who came to be healed. "There is a lot of jealousy. People talk. What dictates is the conscience toward God," he answered.

He insisted his healings are legitimate. "You can fool the people for one to two years. But you cannot fool people for 45 years," he said....

----------
https://web.randi.org/swift/no-healing-miracles-found-in-john-of-god-follow-up-investigation
....reporter Michael Usher revealed that a woman declared as cured of breast cancer by a spirit entity channeled by João died in 2003. A woman in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis who, in the 1998 report said she visited to João with the expectation of walking again didn’t feel any effect, is still in a wheelchair, and her condition deteriorated. Her trip to the Casa cost $5,000. Usher said that none of the other people [forty Australians] who made the pilgrimage that Hayes joined for investigation improved.

Usher’s report mentioned that some of the thousands in João’s audience three days per week hope to receive “spiritual surgery” from him. These practices such as inserting scissors (or forceps) deep into a nose and scraping an eye without an anesthetic have been shown in previous stories about João. I was disappointed that Usher did not point out that James Randi and Joe Nickell have described these procedures as old carnival tricks.

João is also shown making various skin incisions without anesthetic or sterile procedure.

“…modern medical world could not condone this behavior in any way whatsoever,” said emergency medicine specialist Dr. David Rosengren in an extended interview.

Usher reported:

Meeting John [de] Faria is free, but he often prescribes visits to these crystal beds [shown with colored lights shining on them]. At $25 a session, they earn him around $1.8 million a year. Then there’s the blessed water, a dollar a bottle. There’s a gift shop and next door to that, a pharmacy. It sells one thing: blessed herbal pills, only available by a John of God prescription apparently. They’re $25 a bottle and would make Mr. Faria about $40,000 a day. That’s more than $14 million a year.

(An Australian dollar is currently valued at $.88 American.)

Usher noted, as did Nickell, the pills contain nothing more than passionflower. In his book The Honest Herbal, Varro Tyler wrote that the herb is reputed to have sedative effects and has been used in sedative products in Europe, but in 1978, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited its use in over-the-counter sedative preparations because it had not been proven safe and effective.

According to Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, passionflower has GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for use in foods in the US, is “possibly safe when used orally and appropriately for short-term medicinal purposes,” “possibly unsafe when used in excessive amounts,” but unsafe when used orally during pregnancy since“…passionflower constituents show evidence of uterine stimulation.” The database suggests its possibly effective for adjustment disorder with anxious mood, anxiety, and opiate withdrawal, but it “can cause dizziness, confusion, sedation, and ataxia” and there are some reports of more severe side effects including vasculitis and altered consciousness. A 34-year-old woman required hospitalization for IV hydration and cardiac monitoring following use of passionflower for therapeutic purposes. Passionflower received a moderate rating for interaction with anti-hypertensive and depressant drugs.


Part 2 of “John of God” Report

In Part 2 of his report, Usher stated that there were two deaths in recent years at the Casa that warranted investigations, but no one was charged.

He also reported that in 2010, when João visited Sedona, Arizona, the police department investigated him because a woman said he took her hands and placed them on his genitals; João also tried to pull down her skirt. The case never went to court; one of his associates encouraged the woman to drop the allegations.

Usher attempted to interview João, but the exchange became testy after Usher asked if João is more about money than miracles and if he ever sexually assaulted his followers. The report shows that João walked away, responded sarcastically to the interpreter following him that he sexually assaulted her mother, and returned to the interview insisting to see what has been recorded. He does not come off as godly in this investigation.

The Primetime Investigation and John Quiñones

....In 2004, medical writer Clare Bowerman wrote in Skeptic magazine:

Better investigative features do more than hang an argument between opposing views. They consider the ordering of these views carefully, and seek to position and frame information so that readers can understand the merit of each viewpoint.

In reporting on João Teixeira de Faria, Oprah and Quiñones selected and framed information to encourage the wishful thinking that God and spirits use an uneducated man as a conduit for supernatural healing....

-----------
https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/the-right-chemistry-brazilian-healer-john-of-god-leads-cancer-patients-by-the-nose
....in 2015 John of God complained of a pain in the stomach to his cardiologist. Yes, the medium who claims wondrous healing powers has a cardiologist who without fanfare years earlier had implanted three stents in John’s narrowed arteries. Now he sent his patient for an endoscopy that revealed a tumour. A 10-hour surgery, not the spiritual variety, was followed by extensive chemotherapy. A year later, John appears to be well, cured not by mumbo jumbo, but by modern surgery and drugs. No problem affording the treatment. John is wealthy from donations and sales of blessed water and magic triangles.

----------
https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/john-of-god-miracle-worker-or-charlatan-20141002-10jl7q.html
....eight crystal beds at the casa that are rented out on high rotation (for $60 an hour), as well as a gift shop selling all manner of John of God-branded merchandise: books, CDs, DVDs, tote bags, T-shirts, coffee mugs and crystals ("All crystals have been blessed by the Entity," reads a sign on the wall). There are John of God pendants, postcards and travel pillows, even glow-in-the-dark John of God wall stickers.

Both the gift shop and cafe also do a brisk trade in water that has been "blessed by the Entity". People at the casa treat the "Blessed Water" like nitroglycerine. "Don't drink it all at once!" Jana Tsu-Jones says one afternoon, when she sees me swigging from a bottle. "You'll be up all night!" Sarah Layton tells me she regularly buys 10-litre jugs of the stuff to take home in her luggage.

Then, of course, there is the "pharmacy", where patients buy their healing herbs. I had assumed that the pharmacy would stock a range of different herbs to treat a range of different conditions. But no, there is only one herb for sale here: passiflora, the flower of the passionfruit plant. When I ask Coppola about this, he explains that it's not what's in the capsules that counts, but rather the "spiritual prescription" that John of God writes for each patient. "The intentionality of that prescription is transferred to the capsules at the time of purchase," he says.

Virtually all of the approximately 2000 people João sees daily receive a prescription for herbs. Some buy $50 worth, others as little as $10. The average purchase appears to be about $20, which would account for $40,000 a day, in herb sales alone.

Coppola now seems distinctly lukewarm on the prospect of my interview with João, who didn't like "my energy". (I'd apparently moved too fast around him, which had "disrupted his field".) This is a shame, since I would like to ask about allegations I have read that João has sexually abused female staff at the casa and misappropriated donated funds meant for building a soup kitchen to renovate his own home.

Instead, Coppola arranges for me to speak to former patients, casa regulars who have been cured of various cancers, a stroke, a broken spine; one woman was made to walk again, despite the fact she has no kneecaps. (She insists I touch her knees, which are like sacs of jelly.) These people all seem sane and relatively sensible, but the evangelism of their cumulative testimonies produces in me something akin to "miracle fatigue": if one more person tells me about their amazing recovery, I'll kill them.

And so I take a walk around town. About 7000 people live in Abadiânia, mainly engaged in farming and small business; there are also three brick factories, which pump out sooty, black smoke all day long. But the biggest industry by far is Medium João. There are no less than 72 pousadas (or hotels) here, all catering to casa pilgrims, most of whom come on two-week tours arranged through booking agents. These tours cost many thousands of dollars, and must be approved by João, or rather, The Entity. (There are rumours that he also demands a percentage from the tour operators, but Coppola denies this: "Medium João owns farms and some mines. He doesn't need more money.")

It soon becomes apparent just how closely the town has been moulded in João/The Entity's image. Photos of him are everywhere: on street poles, in the pousadas and cafes. A whole industry has sprung up around the sale of white clothes, for visitors who forget to bring their own. ("He is THE brand here," one visitor told me. "The locals are now worried about how long he's going to live.") The Entity oversees everything here, from new businesses (which must be "Entity Approved"), to new construction. One Australian casa staff member told me that before building a house here, she ran the plans past The Entity.

There are now about 60 expats living in town: Americans, English, Dutch, Australians. The demand has forced up the price of land considerably, yet the town itself remains singularly unattractive. "All the world has an anus, and this country's anus is Abadiânia," says Australian expat Robert Pellegrino-Estrich. "It's a craphole." As the author of The Miracle Man, Pellegrino-Estrich has done more than anyone to put John of God on the map. Born in Bowral in NSW, the 76-year-old is a former jewellery shop owner, air traffic controller and reiki master, but now works full-time organising tours to Abadiânia, where he owns four villas and two houses. "I first met John of God in 1995, when I came here with my wife. I remember him telling me, 'Robert, you will write a book that brings the whole world to Abadiânia.' And so I did."

Talk turns to the sexual assault allegations against João. "I've never seen any evidence of that," says Pellegrino-Estrich. "But who knows? There are two different things: João, the Entity, and João, the man. A man is a man: we have impulses, right?"

....I start by asking João how the Entities come to him ("I surrender myself to the highest being, and then the work happens") and how sticking forceps up someone's nose can cure cancer ("Anything is possible with the power of God"). I then mention the sexual abuse allegations. When Coppola translates my question, João looks up, frowns, and says he is closing the interview. "I thought you came to talk about me," João says. "Not other people." He then tells Coppola he wants to rest.

Apologising, I squeeze in one more question, about the allegation that he diverted funds that were meant to go toward a soup kitchen into renovating his own home. This does not go down well. João begins a long rant, about how he has been a successful farmer and businessman, that he has worked for 50 years, that he is not a thief; quite to the contrary, the person who made that allegation is a thief, a vagabond and a bandit. He says he will show me his tax receipts and that he wants to see mine, too. Then he walks out, shouting, and does not return....