'John of God'
Source: Netflix

From Spiritual Healer to Prisoner: Inside João Teixeira de Faria's Fall from Grace


Aug. 26 2021, Published 5:06 p.m. ET

Trigger Warning: This article mentions sexual abuse allegations.

The latest addition to Netflix's vast collection of true crime content is John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer. The four-part docu-series tells the story of João Teixeira de Faria, a Brazilian man who claimed to be a medium and a healer. For decades, Faria claimed to be in touch with spirit guides, and he offered alternative treatments to help those suffering from various types of ailments.

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Known as "João de Deus" aka "John of God," Faria operated on patients without any sort of training, sanitized instruments, or anaesthesia. His treatment center was featured on an episode of Oprah's Next Chapter in 2013, and it was also covered on ABC News, and CNN. Many entrusted him with their care, but he was later accused of sexual abuse.

'John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer'
Source: Netflix
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As hundreds of women came forward to accuse him of abuse (which he denies), the formerly exalted healer's empire began to collapse. Read on to find out what Faria was accused of, and to learn where he is now.

Who is João Teixeira de Faria? What did he do?

For years, Faria was celebrated globally for his alleged healing powers, and for his visions. He opened his healing center and clinic, Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola, in Abadiânia in 1976. He would offer "visible" and "invisible" operations to those seeking spiritual surgery.

Though he had no medical training, Faria would cut into patients, and he claimed that the spirits of doctors and other healers would guide his hands during the procedures.

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Many sought out and visited his center, and he had thousands of ardent followers who believed that he could make miracles happen. His empire continued to grow even more once his center was featured on various television programs.

While some people had been skeptical about Faria and the legitimacy of his healing procedures for quite some time, he still continued to run his lucrative healing business until 2018.

Source: Netflix
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Where is João Teixeira de Faria now?

During the height of the #MeToo movement in 2018, women began to come forward in droves against Faria. They accused the medium of sexual abuse and of unwanted sexual advances. Many of his accusers claimed that the abuse happened during his private healing sessions.

Feria had previously been accused sexual abuse years earlier, but he was acquitted of those charges in 2008.

One of his accusers was his own daughter, Dalva Teixeira, who claimed that she had been raped and beaten as part of one of his treatments.

In December 2018, Feria turned himself in to the authorities. A year later, he was convicted of four rapes, and he was sentenced to 19 years. A month after his first conviction, Feria was found guilty of five more rapes and he was sentenced to an additional 40 years. He was also convicted of a firearms charge.

The disgraced figure is now 79 years old, and he is currently imprisoned at the Aparecida de Goiânia Complex in Goiás, Brazil.

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João Teixeira de Faria
Source: Netflix

The convicted sex offender will spend the rest of his life behind bars, as his total sentence is 63 years and four months long.

The closing credits of the Netflix series reveal that there are dozens of women who are still waiting for court decisions with their own cases against Faria. To date, hundreds of women have filed charges against the self-proclaimed healer.

John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer is available to stream on Netflix now.

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