Arigo,Jose Pedro de Freitas,psychic surgeon,

 

 Medium Arigo

Jose Pedro de Freitas

 

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Arigo Medium

Jose Pedro de Freitas  "aka" Arigo  -  Psychic Surgery

No License to Heal

 [Reader’s Digest, Mysteries of the Unexplained, 1982, contains many fascinating accounts of mysterious occurrences that are organized under the following headings: Beyond the Walls of Time, Unearthly Fates, Monsters and More, The Unquiet Sky, and In the Realm of Miracles. But in my opinion the single most interesting story--and one of the longest--concerns the career of Arigo, a Brazilian faith healer who died in 1971. The fact that the alleged healings were the subject of extensive scientific examination, and that they were not effected at a religious shrine or in an explicitly religious environment, perhaps makes Arigo an ideal subject of study for investigators who are open to the possibility of preternatural phenomena. Indeed, both the medical establishment and the Catholic Church were hostile to Arigo’s activities, which they tried repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, to bring to an end. More information on Arigo can be found at the links at the bottom of this webpage. Some of the Internet commentary is friendly, some hostile, and some neutral. It is very interesting to compare these various commentaries in order to shed light, not on the controversial subject of faith healing, but on the even more controversial subject of evidence weighing! This webpage is linked to a quote from Cardinal De Retz, ‘We learn from experience that not everything which is incredible is untrue,’ which is found on the webpage “Miracles & Ghosts.”]

The story of the Brazilian healer Arigo, one of the most mystifying figures in the history of occult medicine, began with dreams, headaches, and a political campaign. It ended with a crowd of some 20,000 mourners and a controversy as unresolved today as it was when Arigo was alive.

Arigo’s given name was Jose Pedro de Freitas. He was a farmer’s son, born in the Belo Horizonte district of Brazil in 1918. His nickname, Arigo, by which he was known, was given him while he was still a child; it can be roughly translated as “country bumpkin.”

When he was at school, Arigo was occasionally troubled by strange hallucinations. He would see a blinding light and sometimes he would hear a voice speaking in a strange language. As a young man, Arigo went to work in one of the nearby iron mines and by the time he was 25 he had been elected president of the union local. After leading a strike in protest against the brutal working conditions, he was fired. Arigo next began to earn his living as the manager of a bar in the mining town of Congonhas do Campo.

The dreams that now began to plague him nightly, often leaving him with a severe headache, were more difficult to deal with than those of his adolescence. In them he saw the operating room of a hospital, where a stout, baldheaded man addressed a group of doctors and nurses in the same guttural voice that he had first heard as a child. Deeply disturbed by the insistence of the dreams and headaches, Arigo often went to pray for help at the church of Bom Jesus do Matosinho. 

Then the dream doctor revealed his identity. He was Dr. Adolpho Fritz, he told Arigo, and he had died during World War I. His own work had been cut short by his death, and he had chosen Arigo, who was, he knew, a compassionate man, to continue it for him. Henceforward, he said, Arigo would only find peace by helping the sick and distressed people around him.

For several years the vivid nightmares and fierce headaches continued. Then, in 1950, events passed out of Arigo’s control.

Elections were being held that year, and one of the campaigners to visit Congonhas was Lúcio Bittencourt, a supporter of the iron miners in their struggle for better conditions. In Congonhas he met Arigo and was so impressed by his passionate advocacy of the miner’s cause that he invited him to attend a political rally in Belo Horizonte, the nearest city. When the rally was postponed, Bittencourt invited Arigo to spend the night at the hotel where he was staying, the Hotel Financial.

Unknown to Arigo, Bittencourt was suffering from lung cancer and his doctor had advised an immediate operation in the United States.

As Bittencourt was about to fall asleep that night, the door of his room opened and someone put on the light. It was Arigo; his eyes were “glazed,” and he was holding a razor. Strangely enough, Bittencourt was unafraid. Arigo began to speak in a thick German accent and in a tone quite unlike his ordinary voice. There was an emergency, he said; there would have to be an operation. Then Bittencourt lost consciousness.

When he came to, he found that his pajama jacket was slashed and bloodstained and that a neat incision had been made toward the back of his ribcage. He dressed and went into Arigo’s room.

At first Arigo thought Bittencourt was drunk. But in Bittencourt’s room he saw the incision and bloodstained pajamas and realized that an operation of some kind must have taken place. He had no memory, however, of going to Bittencourt’s room and denied having had any part in the bizarre affair. Shaken, Bittencourt caught the first available plane to Rio de Janeiro to see his doctor.

Now Arigo was afraid. Perhaps he had performed the operation while in some kind of trance; perhaps this was what the dreams and voices had been leading to. He could only pray that Bittencourt had come to no harm.

He did not have to wait long for news. The doctor had taken X-rays and was highly satisfied with the result of what he presumed was American surgery. The tumour had been removed, he explained to an astonished Bittencourt, “by a technique unknown in Brazil,” and the patient’s chances of recovery were now excellent. Then Bittencourt told his doctor what had happened, and not only his doctor but anyone who would listen. Newspapers all over Brazil carried the story.

In Congonhas, Arigo’s priest, Father Pernido, took the story seriously enough to warn him to perform no more operations. But how could he stop doing something he had no memory of having done, Arigo asked. Local Spiritists hailed him as a Genuine Medium, but though he rejected their acclaim, the persistent visions of Dr. Fritz continued.

During the next six years Arigo saw as many as 300 patients a day and, to contain the crowds, had to move his “clinic” from his house to an empty church across the street. Then in 1956, under pressure from the medical establishment and the Catholic Church, he was charged with practicing “illegal medicine.”

“How do you go about your practice?” Judge Eleito Soares asked him.

“I start to say the Lord’s Prayer,” Arigo answered. “From that moment, I don’t see or know about anything else. The others tell me I write out prescriptions, but I have no memory of this.” He spoke earnestly.

“What about the operations?” the judge asked.

“It is the same with them. I am in a state I do not understand. I just want to help the poor people.”

“But you are doing what you are charged with, are you not?”

“I am not the one who is doing this,” Arigo replied. “I am just an intermediary between the people and the Spirit of Dr Fritz.”

The judge was unimpressed. Could Arigo make this Dr Fritz appear in the courtroom for questioning? All over Brazil newspapers carried reports of the trial and numerous testimonies on Arigo’s behalf. According to J Herculano Pires, a professor of the history and philosophy of education, it was “simply ridiculous to deny that the phenomenon of Arigo exists. Medical specialists, famous journalists, intellectuals, prominent statesmen have all witnessed the phenomena at Congonhas. We cannot possibly deny the reality of his feats.” 

Despite the favourable publicity, Arigo was sentenced to 15 months in jail and fined 5,000 cruzeiros (approximately $270). The court of appeals later reduced the sentence to eight months and allowed Arigo a year of probation before beginning his imprisonment. During this period he would be allowed to leave Congonhas only with the judge’s permission and would have to stop his practice completely.

For a time he did stop his practice, and the headaches began again. After a while, since the local police seemed to look the other way, he began to see his patients covertly but, at least at first, refrained from operating. In May 1958 President Juscelino Kubitschek granted Arigo a presidential pardon.

In 1961 Kubitschek was no longer in office, and the religious and medical authorities again pressed for legal action against Arigo. But witnesses willing to testify on the prosecution’s behalf were hard to find, and for months the new investigation made little headway. Then, in August 1963, Arigo performed surgery on an American investigator, Dr Andrija Puharich. The operation brought him back into the national headlines.

Puharich, an investigator of psychic phenomena who had a medical degree from Northwestern University in Illinois, had heard stories of Arigo’s remarkable cures and had come to Congonhas to see for himself. Arigo told him that he and his three companions were welcome to observe him for as long as they wished and to interview any of his patients. 

On the first day of their investigation Puharich and his friends found a crowd of nearly 200 people waiting for Arigo to open his clinic at 7 a.m. After they had all filed into the abandoned church, Arigo told them that although it was Jesus who effected the cures he was credited with, he had no interest in the religious beliefs of those present. “All religions are good. Is this not true?” he said, then asked everyone to join him in repeating the Lord’s Prayer. After this, he withdrew into a private cubicle for a few moments.

When Arigo reappeared, Puharich was struck by the change in his manner. His bearing was now formal and commanding and his speech sharp. The interpreter noticed a heavy German accent in his Portuguese and a “sprinkling” of simple German words and phrases. Arigo summoned the investigators into his treatment room. “Come,” he said. “There is nothing to hide here. I am happy to have you watch.”

What Puharich saw that day staggered him. The first patient was an elderly man whom Arigo brusquely pushed against the wall. He then took a four-inch-long stainless steel paring knife and inserted it between the man’s left eyeball and eyelid, scraping and pressing upward into the socket with a forcefulness that Puharich found shocking. But the patient seemed quite unperturbed. At length Arigo withdrew the knife, noted a smear of pus on the blade, and told the old man he would get well. Then he wiped the blade on his shirt and summoned the next patient. Puharich examined the eye. He found no bleeding and no wounds. The operation had taken less than a minute.

Throughout the morning Arigo worked in this manner, never using an anesthetic or taking any precautions against infection. As far as the investigators could see, he employed no form of hypnotic suggestion. Bleeding was invariably minimal, and the patients appeared to feel no pain. More often than not, the treatment consisted only of the writing of a prescription, which Arigo did at high speed and without hesitation. At 11 a.m. he announced that the session was over and that he would be back that afternoon after he finished working his regular job in the government welfare office (so far as is known, Arigo never accepted payment of any kind for his medical work). As soon as he left the clinic, the German accent and imperious manner left him and his usual down-to-earth amiable character emerged again.

That evening Puharich and a journalist from Sao Paulo, Jorge Rizzini, set up a movie camera in the treatment room. If Arigo was a sleight-of-hand expert, they would try to catch his deception on film. That night Arigo worked until 1 a.m. In a single day he had treated some 200 people.

Puharich was completely baffled. He knew that a convincingly thorough study of this amazing man’s work would require far more time, money, and equipment than was presently available. What other tests could he make before he returned to the United States? On the inside of his right elbow was a small tumour, benign but annoying, known as a lipoma. Tomorrow, he decided, he would ask Arigo to remove it. He would be his own guinea pig.

Arigo unhesitatingly agreed to perform the operation. “Of course,” he said. “Has anyone here got a good Brazilian pocketknife to use on this Americano?” Several were offered, and Arigo quickly chose one. Puharich felt a sudden chill of alarm, but there was no way now for him to withdraw. He looked to see if Rizzini had the movie camera ready. 

“Just roll up your sleeve, Doctor.”

Puharich did as he was told and braced himself to watch Arigo make the incision. Arigo, however, told him to look the other way. 

Less than 10 seconds later Puharich felt Arigo slap something wet and slippery into his hand. It was the excised lipoma. Glancing down at his forearm, he saw a neat half-inch slit oozing the barest trickle of blood. There had been no pain at all.

That afternoon the Americans left Congonhas. Puharich kept a careful watch on the wound in his arm; Arigo had used no antiseptics, and he was on the alert for the first signs of blood poisoning. They never appeared. Despite the unhygienic conditions and the fact that no stitches had been used to close the incision, it healed quickly and cleanly.

In Sao Paulo, Puharich and his friends watched the movies Rizzini had taken. They could find no evidence of trickery in them. Soon the newspapers were again buzzing with Arigo’s name and details of his operation on the American doctor.

Now the courts were spurred into action, and on November 20, 1964, Arigo was sentenced to 16 months in jail. He was allowed to leave the courtroom only to say good-bye to his wife and children, for the sentence was to begin immediately. He went home, made his farewells, and waited for the police to come. 

But not a single man in the Congonhas police force was willing to take Arigo to jail, and the state police were reluctant to drive through the crowd that had gathered outside his house. As the evening wore on, Arigo became impatient and finally walked over to the prison by himself.

Even in jail Arigo managed to carry on his work. After he quelled a riot, the warden gave him the freedom to leave whenever he wished. Arigo took advantage of this dispensation only rarely and always to visit the sick. While the guards looked the other way he began treating sick prisoners and then the crowds of people who waited in the alley outside.

Arigo was released from jail in November 1965. Soon afterward Puharich returned to Congonhas with a research assistant. His plan was to test Arigo’s ability to diagnose his patients’ complaints, an activity not likely to rouse the anger of the Brazilian Medical Society. In the test Arigo gave an immediate verbal diagnosis of each patient who stepped in front of him. Of 1,000 such patients, chosen at random, 545 had brought their official medical records with them. In 518 of these cases Arigo’s spontaneous diagnosis matched that of the patient’s own doctor.

How could he possibly make such diagnoses and state them in modern medical terminology, Puharich asked. “That’s easy,” Arigo said. “I just listen to what the voice of Dr. Fritz tells me and repeat it. I always hear it in my left ear.”

More tests of Arigo’s ability followed, this time employing a battery of instruments--an electroencephalograph, an electrocardiogram, X-ray and blood typing equipment, a microscope, tape recorders and cameras. Tests were made on the patients before, during, and after their treatment, and Arigo’s surgical technique was demonstrated for the cameras on a variety of tumours, cysts, cataracts, and other complaints.

The press discovered what was going on, and a horde of reporters and cameramen descended on Congonhas. It was impossible to continue the research. Puharich returned to São Paulo with his evidence and showed it to a number of interested professionals, including an ophthalmologist, a nuclear physicist, a medium, a psychiatrist, and a cardiologist. They could only agree that Arigo’s cures were a fact.

When he returned to New York, Puharich showed colour films of Arigo’s surgery to Dr. Robert Laidlaw, former director of psychiatry at Roosevelt Hospital. Laidlaw observed that Arigo’s face assumed a quite uncharacteristic expression when he operated, that his hands and fingers moved with astonishing speed and dexterity when he worked, even when he was looking elsewhere, and that the incisions he made seemed to “glue” themselves together without stitches. Laidlaw could not explain how Arigo had acquired surgical skills that were beyond the abilities of many trained surgeons. He too was baffled.

Against the possibility that Arigo was a skilled magician are the following facts: that he indisputably cured numerous people (or, to be quite precise, that numerous people experienced cures immediately or soon after his treatment); that he made real incisions, which bled little and healed despite the unhygienic conditions attending them; that his patients experienced little or no pain during or after his surgical procedures, despite the lack of anesthetics; that he was able to diagnose illnesses at a glance and write accurate prescriptions, despite having had little formal and no medical education; and that, so far as is known, he never accepted money for his medical work but supported his family by working at an ordinary job.

Jose Pedro de Freitas, known to the world as Arigo, died in a car accident on January 11, 1971.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdioLBQwWx0  Off youtube the title is "The Weirdest Cut" an American doctor who visited a psychic surgeon in Brazil AMAZING 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ze_Arigo

Part I of 8 mm film of Arigo's surgery made by Dr. Andrija Puharich. I recommend setting the resolution at 480p, starting 4:25 minutes in, and watching in short segments if you are prone to queasiness.

Part II of 8 mm film of Arigo's surgery made by Dr. Andrija Puharich.

http://www.anomalist.com/reports/healing.html

http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/a/jose-arigo/

http://www.mysteriouspeople.com/Psychic-Healer.htm

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1974/jul/18/trick-or-treatment/

 

This eye operation was done with a kitchen knife and sometimes he did them with a penknife,

Click onto the links above to see some amazing operations done by him shown on youtube.

In Brazil in the late 1950s many ‘spiritual doctors’ were associated with the philosophical doctrine of ‘Spiritism’, founded in the mid 19th Century by French school teacher Leon Rivail, using the pseudonym Allan Kardec. One of the first and most famous of these Brazilian psychic surgeons was an ex-miner known as Arigo. Jose Pedro de Freitas (he took the name Arigo when he became famous as a healer in 1950) was born in October 1921, on a farm 6km outside the mining town of Congonhas do Campo, east-central Minas Gerais, in the Brazilian Highlands. Arigo came from a poor family he left school at 14 to begin work in the local mines.

When he was 30 years old Arigo began suffering from depression, and experienced fierce headaches, nightmares, sleep-walking and hallucinations.

Unable to get any relief from the town doctors the distraught young man went to a local Spiritist named Olivera, who prayed for him and told him that the cause of the problem was a Spirit attempting to work through him. One dramatic event was to convince Arigo of the truth of this statement.

Arigo’s Early Psychic Surgery

According to the story, in 1950, state senator Bittencourt apparently invited Arigo along with some other miners to attend a rally in the city of Belo Horizonte. Arigo was staying at the same hotel as the senator, who had recently learned that he was suffering from a cancerous tumour which required immediate treatment. The senator was intending to travel to the US to undergo surgery after the rally. That night Arigo entered Bittencourt’s room apparently in a state of trance, carrying a razor.  The senator passed out only to awake the next morning to find his pyjama top with splashed blood on his chest and a neat incision on his ribcage.

In a state of profound shock the senator went to find Arigo who remembered nothing of the incident but helped the dazed man to a taxi which took him to his physician. After taking several x-rays senator Bittencourt ‘s doctor informed him that the tumour had inexplicably disappeared.

Overwhelmed by his seemingly miraculous cure Bittencourt started talking about it to his friends and associates and even included it in his political speeches, thus leading to instant fame for Arigo.

Another spectacular case occurred some time in 1956. Apparently, Arigo and his family were gathered round the bed of a female relative dying from cancer of the uterus. With the priest about to administer the last rites Arigo suddenly ran out of the room into the kitchen, grabbed a knife came back and thrust it swiftly into the woman’s vagina. Twisting the knife around for a few seconds he rapidly extracted the bloody tumour which he threw, together with the kitchen knife, into the sink. He then collapsed, and subsequently stated that he could remember nothing of the operation. The understandably stunned relatives immediately called a doctor, who confirmed that Arigo had indeed removed a tumour from the woman, without apparent pain or haemorrhaging. The relative soon recovered completely from the disease. The account of this miraculous cure is, like the majority in the case of Arigo, anecdotal, so it is impossible now to verify the truth of most of the stories.

The Spirit of Dr. Fritz

Arigo claimed that he performed his operations whilst in a trance state possessed by (or channelling) the Spirit of a German doctor called ‘Dr Adolphus Fritz’, who had apparently died in 1918, during World War I. This was the Spirit that Olivera had said was trying to work through him, and after Arigo began his work as a psychic surgeon his severe headaches stopped and only returned when he later decided to temporarily discontinue his surgery.

To perform his surgeries Arigo opened a small clinic in his home town of Congonhas do Campo, where he would carry out his swift operations free of charge. He possessed no medical knowledge whatsoever, worked in unsanitary conditions, and used only his hands, a rusty knife or occasionally a pair of scissors; his only concession to cleanliness was to wipe his knife on his shirt before and after surgery. Despite these apparently dangerous conditions he performed perhaps a million successful operations over a twenty-year period, regularly treating hundreds of people a day in his surgery. During the operations there would be little bleeding and the patients would feel no pain. There was no need for stitches and wounds would heal remarkably fast; there is also no record of a patient ever having become infected, despite the non sterilised conditions.

Psychic Surgery

Carlos Paranhos da Costa Cruz, a dentist who worked in Belo Horizonte, reported how his sister-in-law Sonja had been diagnosed by several physicians, including her own father, with cancer of the liver. The condition being inoperable, in desperation she, her father and Cruz travelled to see Arigo at his primitive surgery. They waited in line with everybody else and when Sonja’s turn came, before she could say anything, Arigo informed her she had cancer of the liver and that he would perform a quick operation. He lay her down on the newspaper covered floor and made a quick incision, apparently into the girl’s liver, with his penknife. Stunned, Cruz and the girl’s father waited for the expected haemorrhaging, only to see a mere trickle of blood coming out of the wound.

According to Cruz, things then got even stranger, as Arigo inserted a pair of scissors into the wound and immediately took away his hand. The scissors appeared to move of their own accord. After a few seconds Arigo pulled out the scissors, reached into the wound and removed the tumourous growth, slapping it into Cruz’s hand when he was finished. He wiped the incision with a piece of cotton, quickly placed a crucifix against it, and without stitches it closed up. Sonja was dazed but not in any pain, and was able to get up and walk around. She was cured. A biopsy of the growth which Arigo had removed confirmed that the growth was indeed cancer. Neither Cruz nor the girl’s father had any explanation for what they had witnessed.

Other eminent individuals taken to Arigo to be treated were Brazilian President Kubitschek’s daughter, his pilot and the head of his security police, all of whom reportedly came back cured from the great healer. Arigo always operated in bright light, and allowed anyone who was interested to come and watch his surgery, including doctors. One of the many physicians who witnessed Arigo’s psychic surgery was Dr Ladeira Margues of Rio.

During an operation on a Mrs. Maria Silveiro, Margues saw Arigo remove a piece of tissue 78.7 cm (31 inches) long and 38 cm (15 inches) wide from her ovaries. During the brief operation Margues also claimed he saw the scissors moving alone, as if being taken by another hand, and described hearing ‘the sound of metals and tissues being cut.’ When Arigo saw that the wound had begun to bleed, he immediately stopped what he was doing and said ‘Lord, let there be no more blood.’ From that moment on there was no further haemorrhaging during the operation.

Unfortunately, the publicity and fame which Arigo’s abilities attracted brought him the unwanted attention of the Brazilian government, who, in the spring of 1957, arrested him for practicing medicine without a license, despite pleas from thousands of his patients.  Perhaps due to friends in high places Arigó was subsequently pardoned and released without serving his sentence. However, in 1964 he was arrested again, this time on charges connected with witchcraft, and given 16 months in jail, despite the fact that the authorities were unable to find anyone to testify against him amongst the hundreds of thousands he had treated by that time. He was to serve seven months of a 16-month prison sentence, though he was allowed to continue treating people while held in jail.

One example of Arigo’s psychic surgery performed whilst in prison was witnessed by a Roman Catholic Judge called Filippe Immesi, who went to investigate the legendary psychic surgeon for himself. He described an eye operation as follows -

I saw him pick up … a pair of nail scissors. He wiped them on his shirt and used no disinfectant. I saw him then cut straight into the cornea of the patient’s eye. She did not flinch, although perfectly conscious. The cataract was out in seconds … Arigo said a prayer and a few drops of liquid appeared on the cotton in his hand. He wiped the women’s eye with it and she was cured.

Puharich’s Investigations into Psychic Surgery

In 1963 American psychical researcher Henry (Andrija) Puharich, M.D, and businessman Henry Belk visited Brazil to begin a detailed 5-year-long investigation into Arigo’s alleged healing powers. Puharich claimed to have witnessed thousands of Arigo’s operations during the investigations and himself had a benign tumour removed from his arm in a few seconds, completely without pain. This example of psychic surgery was filmed, along with many of Arigo’s operations at this time, and showed Arigo slitting Puharich’s arm with an un-sterilised penknife, removing the growth and slapping it in Puharich’s hand. The whole operation had taken five seconds, there was little bleeding and no infection afterwards. Puharich’s research into the Arigo revealed that such operations as he had undergone himself were commonplace.

Puharich’s studies included tests on the blood from tissue Arigo had removed from patients, in order to ascertain that it did indeed belong to the person who had been operated on. He also taped interviews with numerous patients and observers, made audio tapes and films of Arigo’s surgeries and diagnoses, and took numerous photographs, some of which can be found in J.G. Fullers book about the case (see sources). Puharich found that apart from his psychic surgery, Arigo was also able to diagnose illnesses, advise appropriate treatment at a glance, and write out complex prescriptions, often for dangerously high doses of drugs, or for medicines that were obsolete or even illegal. Investigations showed that Arigo’s prescriptions worked, even on terminal cases, although, as with his surgery, there was no known medical reason why they should do so.

Some time in early January 1971 Arigo began telling his friends and associates, including former President of Brazil Kubitschek, that they would not see him again, as he would soon die a violent death. A few days later on 11 January he was killed in a car crash. Arigo’s hometown of Congonhas do Campo reportedly came to a standstill at the tragic news, flags flew at half mast and the mayor declared two days of mourning for the great healer.

Other Psychic Surgeons

Apparently the death of Arigo did not mean the end of the shadowy Dr. Fritz, the Brazilian’s supposed Spirit Guide. Other Brazilian psychic surgeons claimed to be channelling the Spirit of the German doctor, including Oscar and Edivaldo Wilde, and a gynaecologist from Recife called  Edson Queiroz. The Wilde brothers both died violently in car crashes, while Queiroz was stabbed to death in 1991. Currently, Rubens Farias Jr, a former Sao Paulo engineer and computer programmer, claims to be the channel for the Spirit of Dr. Fritz,  who has chillingly predicted a violent death for Farias.

Fake Psychic Surgery

Understandably, considering the startling nature of the subject, there are those who believe that Arigo’s psychic operations were a complete fraud, and that the wily Brazilian accomplished his ‘miracles’ by relatively basic conjuring tricks, combined with the willingness of his patients to believe he was blessed with some kind of divine healing power. Psychic surgery is admittedly fairly easy to duplicate, at any rate for a trained stage magician like James Randi (who on his website mistakenly attributes J.G. Fuller’s book Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife to Puharich), so the theory goes that it must also have been easy to fake for the uneducated Arigo. Debunkers have suggested that Arigo never pierced the patient’s skin at all, but probably pinched or rolled it back over the area to be operated on, placed his hand under the roll of skin and ‘removed’ a piece of bloody animal tissue he had concealed in his clenched fist, or perhaps under the operating table.

Whilst this is undoubtedly true of a host of fake psychic surgeons, it is difficult to believe that Arigo was able to fool a million or so patients, not to mention the numerous doctors and other qualified observers who witnessed and verified his operations over a twenty year period. It must be borne in mind that in all this time Arigo was never detected in fraud; he was accused of it, but never by anybody who actually saw him at work. How, for example could Arigo have faked the eye surgery mentioned above, especially in front of other medical practitioners?

The evidence, in the form of thousands of testimonies by patients and doctors, photographs and movie films, is certainly impressive in the case of Arigo. But sceptics remain unconvinced that an uneducated working man with no knowledge of medicine could perform complex surgery, often on people given up as hopeless by physicians, whilst in some sort of trance state, which resulted in the restoration to health of the patients. More incredible perhaps is that Arigo apparently did these operations usually in less than a minute, more often a few seconds, without using sterilised instruments or antiseptics.

According to published accounts, there was little bleeding, no infection and the wound never required stitches. It also must be borne in mind that Arigo never at any time accepted payment for his services, he had to maintain his day job in order to provide for his family. While this does not seem to be the behaviour of a hoaxer, sceptics remain unconvinced.

How Arigo accomplished his surgical feats is a disputed point. If his healing abilities were faked, which is a distinct possibility, he was still able in some way to remove all sense of fear and pain from his patients, to affect their minds in an extremely powerful way. Beyond this, all is conjecture. On one occasion, when Arigo was shown a film of himself operating, he fainted. When asked for his own explanation of this incredible ability his reply was disarmingly straight forward -- ‘I simply listen to a voice in my right ear and repeat whatever it says. It is always right.’

It is curious, but perhaps predictable, that no professional medical body ever thought it worthwhile to undertake a detailed study of this unique man, even to disprove his alleged abilities !!!!!!

Doctor Fritz Healing

 By Dennis Stacy

The Spirit of Dr. Fritz (aka Adolf Frederick Yeperssoven) has allegedly possessed yet another medically illiterate Brazilian, according to a January 12, 1996, article in The New York Times. Dr. Fritz, a German doctor who reportedly died in a WW I field hospital in 1918, first gained notoriety as the Spirit who supposedly benignly (as opposed to demonically) possessed the Brazilian peasant know as Ze Arigo, the subject of John G. Fuller's Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife (Thomas Y. Crowell, NY, 1974, Afterword by Henry K. Puharich, M.D.). Arigo died violently in a 1971 automobile accident, as he had reportedly predicted. 

Arigo conducted literally thousands of "operations" while wielding an old pocketknife, a heavy German accent, and a pronounced disregard of medical hygiene. After Arigo's death, the improbably named Oscar Wilde claimed to be the next recipient of Dr. Fritz's Spirit. Like Arigo, Wilde, too, died a violent death, although the Times doesn't say how. He was succeeded by a gynaecologist from Recife, Dr. Edson Queiroz (apparently the only one of Fritz's beneficiaries with any existing pharmaceutical or medicinal knowledge), who was subsequently stabbed to death in 1991.

The latest recipient, according to the article filed from Rio de Janeiro by Times reporter Diana Jean Schemo, is 41-year-old engineer Rubens Farias, Jr, who operates out of the poor suburb of Bom Sucesso (Good Success). Hundreds of patients line up outside his office on weekends, often waiting from early morning until almost midnight for treatment, which may take as little as 30 seconds. Prior to these marathon treatment sessions, Farias is said to enter into a trance from which he emerges as the German-speaking Dr. Fritz. All patients are told to remain silent and trust in God. Many are injected with a miracle brew reportedly consisting of part alcohol, iodine, and turpentine. Knives, scissors and dull hypodermic needles are also routinely employed. Anaesthesia and sterilization are not. "Yes, if you or I did it, it would kill people, but he does it and it cures them," says someone. It is not clear from the article who this someone is, but it appears to be Farias' wife, Rita Costa. According to the reporter, Costa doesn't necessarily accept the possession theory, "but she does believe in the power of the imagination and personal will to overcome illness."

Farias, who claims to have been possessed by Dr. Fritz as early as 1986 (while Dr. Queiroz was still alive and making similar use of the good German's spirit), has also predicted his own violent death within a few years. 

The Times, whose front page motto is "All the News That's Fit to Print," is actually surprisingly good at covering this sort of thing, if by surprising we refer to the fact that they bother to cover it all. For instance, the Tuesday, December 19, 1995, issue carries a similar article about the faithful who flock to Nancy Fowler's Conyers, Georgia, farm in hopes of glimpsing Mary and Jesus, who are said to visit the 13th of every month. (Both articles are accompanied by excellent photographs.)

Even so, innuendo is usually at work. The Times just happens to be more subtle at it than the professional debunkers. In the Dr. Fritz article, for example, Farias slices open a patient's back and inserts three pairs of scissors into the space between two vertebrae. "[Then] the doctor told a reluctant stranger to feel the space by wiggling the scissors," writes reporter Schemo. The "reluctant stranger" here, of course, is Schemo herself, who must have been impressed, but is restrained from saying so by so-called journalistic protocol, which holds that "thou shall not insert thyself into the story," another way of saying report, don't editorialize.

But sometimes you just can't help it. Later in the same story we find this clear example of editorial comment: "[Farias] seems to be concentrating, then rises as if groggy with a hangover and [speaks] in a German accent that makes you wonder whether "Hogan's Heroes" ever made it to Brazilian television..."

 

The following passage was in Brazilian Spanish but translated by 'Google Translate'.

Arigo, Ze (Jose Pedro de Freitas)

Medium, "psychic surgeon". Brazil

The Brazilian Ze Arigo was a famous psychic and "Spiritual Surgeon" in the '60s and early '70s, followed closely by Filipinos Tony Agpoa, Virgilio Gutierrez, Jose Mercado and Alex Orbito and Mexicans Pachita and Miguel Palentos.

Jose Pedro de Freitas, later known as Ze Arigo ("jovial countryman"), was born on October 18, 1922 in a poor hacienda de Faria, a town located in Congonhas do Campo, a town in the interior of Minas Antonio peasant Gerais.Hijo de Freitas

 Sobrinho and Dona Maria Andre de Freitas, was the eldest of a brood ten hermanos.Corpulento and temperamental, his face adorned with a large black mustache, this rugged rural worker received in Jesus of Nazareth Spirit Center 200 to 300 patients per day. Devout Catholic and adept at kardecismo (common syncretism in Brazilian idiosyncrasy), performed Arigo diagnoses, prescribed medications and surgeries performed "bare hands" or by using a kitchen knife or a scissor common (non-sterile and without anesthesia) to, in claimed, "remove benign and malignant tumours throughout the body and operate cataracts.". When attending, came "in a trance" and "joined" with the "Dr Fritz", a supposed German physician who used his body as a means to make their "operations"together. His "mental operations" never lasted more than a minute. Quick visual inspection performed, which consisted of inserting a four-inch blade in the patient's eye socket and pry the eyeball to ensure that excelled in its basin. Then, working with the knife on the body. Not always caused injury or bleeding.

Arigo claimed that his body embodied the Spirit of "Dr. Adolpho Fritz", a supposed German physician who died in 1918. From his childhood remembers "being chased by a very bright light that nearly blinds him." Later, he says, he began to hear "a voice speaking in a foreign language." Arigo not speak German. However, the Spirit of the doctor began to instruct and guide you in the art of healing.

 DR FRITZ

At age 25 Arlete Andre married and left the parental home, going to work in an iron mine. As the children began to arrive (in total had five), Arigo started having "severe headaches". In dreams, he said, always the same guttural voice heard in a language they did not understand. One night, he had a clear dream: I was in an operating room around a patient. The who ran the operation was a familiar voice to Arigo ... Fritz, the German doctor had chosen to "complete his work on earth." According to legend, when this revelation Arigo ran into the street screaming. Relatives and neighbors took him back to the house and he would not stop mourn. Clinicians who treated him found him well, despite the headaches continued. His father thought he was demonized and called the pastor of the town to exorcise it, apparently without results.

So, Arigo decided to hear the prayer of "German doctor" (would it have begun to speak in Portuguese? Arigo have taken a German course?) And began serving people. The first one, again according to legend, was a friend who was on crutches. "It is time that dejeses those crutches!" Arigo said. It's started, he ordered him to walk, and this one did ... He rose to fame when he was visited by Senator Lucio Bittencourt Brazilian, who was campaigning in that district. Bittencourt was suffering from lung cancer and doctors had advised surgery immediately. But the politician invited Arigo to your hotel in Belo Horizonte, where he operated and "Senator healed completely." This story, and others like them, were recounted Arigo among believers in many different ways. They found that many of them were false. For example, the version that had operated for congenital glaucoma Segundinho, son of famous singer Roberto Carlos. According to "As memories of Roberto Carlos", the same singer clarified that this was not true. (Quoted by Oscar Gonzalez Quevedo, magazine "Friend", 27/10/70).

Interviewed by a Arigo "in trance", "Dr. Fritz" said he was born in Munich. His father suffered from asthma and the doctor had advised him to move to a place with better weather, why the Fritz traveled to Poland when he was four. Forced to work from a young age because of the untimely death of his parents, Fritz studied medicine on your own. A month before graduation, became a general with his daughter in his arms and, despite their best efforts, could not save. The military accused Fritz of his death and sent him to jail, where he suffered all kinds of torture. He escaped from prison and fled to Estonia, where he lived between 1914 and 1918, the year he died. "Before disembodied, receiving chamado Father, Jesus, I promised myself that I would return to Earth to heal as long as he could. And here I am. " After Arigo, hundreds of mediums and healers incorporate the phantasmic assured Brazilians "Dr. Fritz".

SPONSORS OF THE CONTROVERSY

Contrary to what is published in books and trade magazines esotetrico, Ze Arigo never had the support of the medical community. To our knowledge, only Arigo was observed by Dr. Ary Lex, a professor at the University of Sao Paulo and member of the State Medical Academy, Dr. Oswaldo Lidger Conrado, a cardiologist and director of the Sao Paulo State Hospital and physician American Andrija Puharich. All had strong prior beliefs in spiritualism and unaware all about the tricks of magicians and healers tricks. Puharich, famous for his biography of Uri Geller and other works hipercrédulas regarding the existence of the paranormal, visited him on several occasions since 1963. Arigo was already concido as a medium, but his work, written in collaboration with journalist John G. Fuller-"Arigo: surgeon of therusty Knife" ("Arigo: surgeon of the rusty knife") - Quack popularized in the United States. Arigo Puahrich declaring interviewed but not have a malignant tumor, "a lipoma, painless but it was uncomfortable." To remove, Puharich said, "Normal surgery would take about 20 minutes." After an agonizing indecision, decided to ask Arigo Puahrich he extirpated the lipoma. She took it off in a few seconds "without causing any pain." The Brazilian healer apology was published after his death, in May 1974. Shortly before the start of the book, Puharich told the Brazilian press: "Unfortunately we could not see any way of operation, because of impediments such as injunctions" (Quoted by González Quevedo, "Journal of Sao Paulo, June 2 1968). 

LEGAL PROBLEMS

Puharich had failed to see work Arigo because they had been imprisoned twice accused of quackery and illegal practice of medicine by the Medical Association and the Regional Council of Medicine of Minas Gerais. The first time I was in jail, in October 1957, said he would not operate more and only going to "preach". When the October 11, 1963 again fell prisoner claimed to have ceased operations in 1957. According to the healer who analyzed films in action, it was true in almost all occasions (before and even after those dates), Arigo was not operating but "pretending" to. And when his knife entered the body, knew the terrain: it was found that for years was an official of the National Social Security Institute (IAPTC), which was in continuous contact with nurses and doctors spiritualists. He also had a library with several volumes of scientific and popular medicine. The expert magician James Randi debunk paranormal fraud had occasion to see a movie where a cyst extracted Arigo subcutaneous scalp of a patient. "In fact, writes Randi-I also did this operation on myself when I had a cyst developing on his forehead that was in danger of becoming a third eye. Said affliction is just some harmless fatty substance beneath the skin that bulges. Often cysts disappear without treatment, as they are absorbed into the system without causing any damage. " Moreover, an investigation of the magazine "Veja" (1/20/71) found that Arigo, in cases of malnutrition, always gave the same recipe, although the patients had different symptoms.

The January 11, 1971, while returning to Congonhas driving in heavy rain, Arigo lost control of the car that crossed hand frontally ramming a truck and died as a result of brain trauma.

O MAGIC? MAFIA?

One of the promotional claims surrounding Arigo, and on which settled much of his fame, indicated that in his clinic spiritualist "did not charge anyone." When he died, he left cruzeiro in banks 2,325,000 shares (a fortune, both at the time Comoa hour), according to the inventory delivered to the Judge of the Chamber of Congonhas and published by the Folha da Tarde March 25 1971. The largest hotel in the city was in the name of his brother Walter, pharmacy San Jose, opposite the spiritist, was his brother pharmacy Betinho and second in importance of the city belonged to another family. Were those sites where Arigo and his assistants sent to acquire the medications he prescribed. Another brother owned a souvenir shop and many people's properties were in the name of Freitas. The 95 percent of the visitors came to Congonhas looking for Arigo, according to statistics by the Mayor of the city. Oscar Gonzalez Quevedo, in his book "The Healers" (1977), collects testimonies that reveal the existence of a true "Mafia Arigo" means an enthusiastic claque or rented to endiosarlo, police arranged and a great economic machine where Ze Arigo and his wife were on the cusp.

With small additions and adjustments By Alejandro Agostinelli.in Brazilian Spanish. 

 

 

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