A celebrity faith healer – John of God – sold babies for thousands as he impregnated teenage slaves he kept at his rural gem mines and farms in Brazil, an activist claims.
Joao Teixeira de Faria, 77, was arrested on December 17 on the outskirts of Abadiania, in rural Brazil on rape charges.
He became a wanted man after a bombshell late night chat show on Brazil’s Globo TV network aired accusations from ten women of abuse at his Casa de Dom Inacio de Loyola in Abadiania.
Now the activist Sabrina Bittencourt – whose investigations lead to his arrest – claims he operated a sick ‘farming’ operation which exported babies on the black market.
Bittencourt told the Mirror that Faria shipped babies to at least three continents for as much as £40,000 after luring teenage girls to his emerald mines and farms in Goias and Minas Gerais.
The destitute girls, between the ages of 14 – 18, were allegedly promised food by Faria who then used them as sex slaves and forced them to have his children.
Bittencourt alleges that once they had given birth and the babies sold on for sums ranging from £15,000 to £40,000, Faria would murder the women.
She told the Mirror: ‘Hundreds of girls were enslaved over years, lived on farms in Goias, served as wombs to get pregnant, for their babies to be sold.
‘These girls were murdered after ten years of giving birth. We have got a number of testimonies.’
Dutch choreographer Zahira Lieneke Mous, as well as an American witness, along with nine anonymous women alleged sexual abuse by Faria on the Brazilian TV show.
After the initial interview on TV authorities were reportedly contacted by more than 600 other accusers, including Faria’s adult daughter, Dalva Teixeira.
His 49-year-old daughter told magazine Veja, that under the pretence of mystical treatments her ‘monster’ father abused and raped her between the ages of 10 and 14.
She told the magazine that he stopped after she became pregnant by one of his employees.
Upon learning she was pregnant, Dalva told the magazine that her father beat her so ferociously that she suffered a miscarriage.
He went on the run as his reputation – which had been built up over several decades – was tarnished.
Court documents show that he had attempted to withdraw nearly £6.8m before surrendering to police on charges of rape.
The elderly medium, who has been interviewed by Oprah and has treated Bill Clinton, was pursued after skipping a deadline to hand himself in.
According to a video released by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, Faria said: ‘I surrender to divine justice and justice on Earth.’
Police say they discovered a suitcase crammed with £230,000 worth of Brazilian reals and bunches of emeralds they have yet to appraise in his home.
Representatives for the law office representing Faria have decline to comment on the case.
He denies all of the charges against him.
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Faria rose to international fame for his ‘psychic surgeries’ that he claimed could cure diseases, including cancer.
He gained international exposure in 2010 when Oprah Winfrey visited his retreat to interview him for her talk show and described an experience with him as ‘blissful.’
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.’
She has since stated that she hopes justice will be served.
He attracted followers from around the world, all looking for spiritual guidance or cures for afflictions who mobbed his spiritual centre.
Known in Spanish as Joao de Deus he claimed to draw his powers from King Solomon, the King of Israel, the Washington Post reported.
He claims that his power comes from God who works through him and Catholic iconography adorned his retreat.
During his surgeries he used bizarre methods such as shoving metal instruments up people’s noses until they nearly touch the brain, as well as operating without anaesthetic.
Australia’s 60 minutes program reported that he took scalpels to people’s eyeballs and pushed knives down people’s throats.
He used legitimate medical instruments to carry out his strange procedures which he told the programme could remove tumours.
They also described how he had raked in millions from the sale of pills which were analysed and found to contain nothing more than passionflower essence.
He is currently being held at the Aparecida prison complex in Goiania, with the local paper reporting he was visited by two of his daughters on Thursday.
He is charged with two counts of rape and two counts of statutory rape as detectives continue to deal with allegations being fired at the healer.
Dutch choreographer Zahira Lieneke Mous accused the medium of manipulating her into performing sex acts then raping her during a visit to his clinic, she revealed on late-night talk show Conversa com Bial.
American tour guide Amy Biank also appeared on the show claiming she witnessed Faria carry out his abuses.
Nine other Brazilian women, who all chose to remain anonymous, also told the Brazilian TV network they were abused too on the premise of transferring his ‘cleansing’ energy, according to BBC.
Some said they were seeking a cure for their depression and sexual assault trauma when the alleged abuse took place.
Mous said she went to the Abadiania centre in 2014 seeking healing from the trauma of her previous sexual abuses.
During her second visit she was told she was chosen to have a private consultation with Faria.
She recounted that she was told ‘You feel special’, according to Folha de São Paulo.
In that horrific second session she claims Faria came close to her, smelled her skin and asked her to stand with her back facing him and led her to a bathroom.
Once there he allegedly touched her genitals and forced her to have anal sex.
She said didn’t run away because she wanted to be trained as a medium at the centre.
She overcame her self-denial four years later.
‘I was terrified of them sending bad spirits in my direction, wrecking my life; that I would not be able to sleep,’ she said on Globo TV.
Other victims said they were also abused after they were chosen for private consultations that made them feel special.
They all said Faria offered them crystals and gemstones after the abuse.