The Conspirituality Report

John of Fraud

How did slack journalism and New Age earnestness help a monster globalize?

Matthew Remski
21 min readOct 8, 2021


João Teixeira de Faria. Police mugshot, December 2018.

Trigger warning: physical assault, rape, institutional betrayal, spiritual abuse.

First of a projected series. For more on this story, plus audio clips, download episode 72 of Conspirituality Podcast. Subscribe at: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher.

João Teixeira de Faria — mugshot above — is a former alleged Brazilian Spiritist medium now convicted for multiple rapes. He was once famous for performing “psychic surgeries” utilizing unsterilized scissors and kitchen knives, ostensibly under the influence of one of 30-odd ghosts. Celebrities swooned over him as he travelled the world as a darling of the globalizing New Age economy.

João de Deus — “John of God” as he was humble-braggingly known — channeled more than ghosts. He channelled disenchantment with clinical medicine, and the modern world in general, into bloody spectacles that awakened religion in the most hardened heart. Before his prison shrinkage, he was a bear of a man who managed to seem gentle, even fragile, as he convulsed with whatever “entity” he claimed was pouring through him.

He also channeled a primitive calculus. João contained spirit, divinity, wisdom…