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Documentary on the Casa Aired on ABC - TV Network in the USA

On Thursday February 10th a documentary about the Casa and João was broadcast on US television - 'Primetime' on ABC (Channel 7). There have been mixed reactions to the programme but statistics from this website confirm that it has certainly generated a lot of interest in the Casa. The day following the airing of the programme, over 2,300 people visited the Friends of the Casa website.

To follow are some of the reactions / feedback which we received from friends of the Casa, people who have been to the Casa and who also saw the ABC representation of the Casa.

Marilyn, USA who travelled to the Casa in 2001:
"I thought the program was very positive. It brought back so many memories for me. I liked it. One of my friends will be going there is August. I think she will like it.....
Glad they finally got it out there to the general public....."

Janet, Canada who travelled to the Casa in 2001:
"Ron and I watched the TV programme and found it to be a fair presentation. It was good to see familiar faces at the casa and be reminded of a wonderfully peaceful and healing environment. In our opinion, there was little emphasis on the spiritual healing that can/is encountered by visitors to the casa. This seemed obvious when you could observe a special glow on peoples faces. Little mention was made of the crystal beds and their benefit to spiritual, psychological and physical healing. A similar opinion was given to us by a friend who had watched and known Carol both before and after her trips to Abadiania. She definitely returned home with a new found glow apparent to all who met her. Her spiritual and psychological healing had a tremendous impact and carried her through until the end, which was long after the predicted period of time.
All in all it was a good presentation."

Maria from Long Island was in Abadiania for two weeks in January. She sent the following letter to John Quinones and the Editors of Prime Time on ABC-TV:

To John Quinones and the Editors of Prime Time on ABC-TV:

I am taking this opportunity to comment on the John of God Prime Time Special that on aired on February 10th.

Firstly, my husband and I are pleased that Prime Time chose to focus a one hour special on this amazing human being and also for implying that he may be the greatest healer since Jesus Christ, which we believe may be true.

The overall the report was extremely interesting and fairly accurate except for some very important facts that were not brought to the viewer's attention. This information would have given the audience a more balanced view of João as a gifted human being who feeds the poor rather painting him as the leader of a cult and a "taker" who is "in it for the money". Thank you for showing João's tears when you suggested his motive is money.

It just so happens that my husband and I returned from a two week trip to Abadiania on Jan 29th, two weeks before the show. Of course, when we arrived we were skeptics. After experiencing several unexplainable, incredible and strange events, within days we started to understand that there was more to this place than spirits and entities. It is the power of prayer.

What was missing from your report is the religious aspect of the Casa and what propels the people who go there. Yes, there are people who visit who have studied spiritualism, raki or reincarnation, many from California, New Mexico and Arizona, where this practice is commonplace. However, we found that the bulk of the people who traveled from abroad to be highly-educated, many are successful business people and many were never involved with spiritualism, just everyday normal people; some curious, most with some kind of ailment or emotional condition and a few with a fatal illness.

João happens to be a devout Catholic. Not a word was mentioned about his beliefs and not a word was mentioned about Jesus or Mary, both who are entities. Some saints recognized by the Catholic Church are also entities. In fact, the impression given by the documentary is that all the entities, other than King Solomon, are doctors. Your report focused on spiritualism with hardly a word about João's religious beliefs leaving the audience to believe that he is an excentric.

Many people who visit the Casa wear Rosary beads and many say the Rosary at 8 pm every evening. The Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary are recited in Portuguese and in English at the beginning of every service morning and afternoon. Not a word about this. João's religious beliefs would certainly would have given him much more credibility. Could this be because it would not be politically correct?

You chose to focus on the surgeries with the hemostat up the nose and very little was mentioned about other types of surgeries. I witnessed João removing a tumor from a woman's arm with his bare hands and, in fact, I video-taped the operation. On another afternoon, João cut open a man's scrotum, reached in and pulled out a cyst. All of the surgeries are video-taped and documented with certain selected segments available for purchase. So what? The cost of the upkeep of this special place and his charitable works requires money through donations.

There was no mention about the beauty of the Casa, how it is maintained, freshly-painted with flowers adorning the manicured grounds.

He works every morning and every afternoon six days a week. If he is making a lot of money, he sure doesn't spend time enjoying it.

As for mentioning João owning 1000 acres in this remote part of the world, give me a break! We could have purchased a lavish 4 bedroom home in this "hotspot" for $15,000, which is considered an extraordinary amount of money. The local men earn 300 reals a month, which is equal to $100 US.

No mention that João chose this site because it lies on a bed of crystals, which it is believed to have a high energy level. That's what makes this location unique. We stayed in a pousada and were told by a reliable source that the "entities" were present. The hair stood up on our arms as we entered the room. Something was definitely going on in that room. That very evening my husband, who is very pragmatic and non-spiritual, had a vision of one of the saints. We are both very impressed.

I know people who were present when the Prime Time cameramen were filming. They told me that there was a problem with the electric power provided to work the cameras and it suddenly and unexplainably went out. That would have been interesting to report.

There are substantiated reports that people who return home after having an invisible operation have scars showing up in x-rays, stitches and all. I met a woman from NYC whose husband is a professor at Columbia University. She had an invisible surgery for her scoliosis. After she returned to her home, a scar appeared on her back. She was in Abadiania when we arrived and showed the scar to all who were interested. She is so moved by her experience that she and her husband are writing a book on healing in Taiwanese.

Another couple, who we met from Curacao had a very unusual experience. We had breakfast together the morning after he took a shower and blood was trickling down the inside of his leg from a small cut in his scrotum. He has a history of problems with his prostate. It was an invisible operation.

I know there is only so much that can be said within the time frame given to air this show, but the people who edited this work may have demonstrated poor judgment in what they selected to be aired. The consensus among the people I spoke to who saw the show was that the report portrayed João as an opportunist and his followers or believers as unstable and abnormal. This is what concerns me and compelled me to write to you.

Thank you for giving me the platform to express myself.
Marie Zere-Russo

Karen from the US sent the following letter to Gary Walker, Official Guide to the Casa:

Dear Gary,
I figured you would be curious to know how ABC Primetime USA portrayed John of God. To be very honest, if I had not educated myself about “John of God” before, and was not aware of certain things, I do not know if the broadcast would really convince me to go. I do think going to Abadiânia is something one has to experience for one’s self and not take TV programs too seriously.

The reporter gave an overall view about the place where it is located and how people from all over the world come in large numbers seeking healing after modern medicine fails them. Quinones explained about the healing techniques – visible and invisible operations and showed footage of some visible operations. He also explained about the casa and the meditation in the current rooms.

The reporter concentrated on a few individuals who went for healing He gave some background on their illnesses, doctors reports, etc. The illnesses were as follows:

1. Cancerous brain tumor
2. Breast cancer
3. Crippled for about 20 years from an accident (severed spine)
4. I think one was Lou Gehrig's disease
5. Combination of Cornice fatigue & bad allergies

They were all there for 2 weeks, and let me tell you - all determined to be healed.

#1 His tumor shrank and his medical doctor was quite surprised, because he did not give his patient much of a chance to live. The doctor added, in his opinion it could be John of God, but it could also be the patient’s determination to be healed.

#2 The lady with breast cancer refused to be treated by traditional medicine. She was not healed, but still refused medical treatment from her doctor and is determine to heal somehow.

#3 The woman with the severed spinal column has been crippled for about 20 years from an accident. She regained some feeling in her legs and was able to get our of her wheel chair, stand and slowly walk holding on to side rails – this she has not done in about 20 years. When I say she walked - she really walked slowly and was bearly able to put one foot in front of the other. But she had not even been able to do that since her accident. Also, her legs started to sweat, and that also is the first time that happened since the accident.

#4 Not healed. He was interesting. He read one of the books on “John of God” and thought it was rubbish. A non believer at first, but when his doctors gave him no hope, he got desperate. He is an attorney and a very logical thinker, but even though he was not healed he said it was an amazing experience and has no regrets at all. He said something to the effect that maybe it is his path to walk in life.

#5 She got much better, and was a happy camper.

I think the media wants to see things like cripples getting up out of their wheel chairs jumping and dancing.

Anyway, the reporter had a chance to interview John of God. He explained about the spirits helping him and that he remembers nothing. The reporter told John he understands he does not accept payment for his services, but did point out to John that people do give donations, and that John is rich and has a 1000 acre ranch. Oh My! John got really upset, and told him that he is doing God’s work and that the place has to survive some how. I forgot what else he said, but he was offended by the comment.

I just remembered, the reporter’s name is also John. Anyway John the reporter also received treatment for a torn muscle. He had his doctor in the US diagnose it, he said it bothered him for years. He was not healed after 40 days, but did admit that he did not really follow the instructions given to him by John of God.

So, that is it in a nut shell. I will look out for him being featured on Discovery Channel on March 25th.

Got to go, duty calls.
Take care, Karen