Sanjay Gupta, the medical guru-on-staff at CNN, should really stay with subjects he understands. He just had Susan Casey, editor-in-chief of “O” magazine, and Dr. Jeff Rediger, M.D., Harvard Department of Psychiatry, on his program discussing a visit they had made to Brazil, where they met “John of God” – João Teixeira – who I handled in detail back on February 18th, 2005, to be found here. These two “experts” arrived there well prepared to prove that they, too, were well out of their respective depths. Casey set the tone when she began with:

It was clear that he [John of God] had helped tremendous amounts of people already.

No, Susan, that wasn’t at all “clear.” A lot of affidavits were shown to you from previous victims of this swindler, but you never saw any actual evidence of healings brought about by this man, did you? And your fellow-guest Dr. Rediger, wasn’t any more help.  Said he, re the eye-scraping and nasal probing – the two major tricks John features in his magician’s repertoire:

Physiologically, it’s impossible for the human body to take an instrument into the nose probably four inches or so.

Doctor, maybe you should have paid a little more attention during the physiology classes you took at Harvard. The article I already put up on SWIFT nearly six years ago, shows that forceps that long can be safely inserted up into an adult human nose, to the astonishment of ignorant spectators such and Susan and yourself. It's a very, very old carnival stunt...

And Susan, rather than invite any suspicion that Oprah Winfrey, her employer, had endorsed any form of deceptive practice, gave this sage if somewhat disjointed opinion:

Just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s not happening, and just because we can’t explain it doesn’t mean it’s not happening, and there is a lot of power in something like love, and something like faith. People have taken for centuries on faith the power of prayer… I don’t really think that, you know, we need to – one way or the other – prove or disprove that this thing is going on.

Well, Ms. Casey, I guess you’d better not try to do that. The damage has already been done, and just as when Oprah so joyously celebrated, endorsed, and promoted The Secret, the book – and the delusion – written by Rhonda Byrnes, it’s a bit late. People have accepted this fictitious “secret” and suffered as a result.

I have to ask, what made these two people so “expert”? The doctor is a psychiatrist, who I don’t expect to know much about nasal passages, though I was able to do some research on the subject, unlettered as I am, and the trick was transparent to me. And an editor-in-chief  also doesn’t have much knowledge about these matters, so just who chose these geniuses to go to Brazil? I have an excellent suggestion on someone who I think could have brought back a more useful report, Dr. Gupta, but of course, modesty forbids me from suggesting…