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Dr. Fritz

Dr. Fritz is a ghost who invades the bodies of Brazilians and turns them into healers. His first victim, Zé Arigó (1918-1971), informed the world that he was channeling Dr. Adolf Fritz, a German doctor who had died in World War I. The search for this Adolf Fritz has been even less successful than the search for Bridey Murphy. In short, no proof of his ever existing has been brought forth. No matter. Faith healing is very big in Brazil and Arigó made quite a name for himself as a healer. He was thought to be possessed by the devil but it turned out to be a dead German doctor who, for reasons known only to Arigó and the Lord, took over Arigó's body and started writing illegible prescriptions for sick people. Only Arigó's brother, a pharmacist, could read the prescriptions. People came from far and wide to be cured by Dr. Fritz. His reputation soared after it was alleged that he did a bit of psychic surgery and removed a cancerous tumor from the lung of a well-known Brazilian senator. For twenty years Arigó's fame spread as he "cured" thousands of people, including the daughter of Brazil's president. Despite his fame, he was twice convicted of the illegal practice of medicine. Arigó died in an automobile crash in 1971.

Dr. Fritz was not done with his work, however, and soon slipped into the body of another Brazilian, and when he died in a violent crash, Dr. Fritz picked another body to invade. He has done this several times. Two of his most famous invasions have been in the bodies of Edson Queiroz from Recife and Rubens Farias Jr. (1954- ) ofrubensfarias.jpg (2312 bytes) São Paulo, the current channeler of Dr. Fritz. Rumor has it that Christopher Reeve has been treated by Rubens Farias Jr. The latest version of Dr. Fritz is well-educated and heals the astral body. Rubens Farias Jr. seems to have abandoned his Catholic training for the teachings of Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy or Madame Blavatsky's theosophy. Like them he favors a mysticism which maintains that the astral body—a duplicate of the physical body but composed of a finer substance—is what needs to be treated when one is ill. The physical body can be cured by treating the astral body with "energy healing." But only special healers can do this. Unfortunately, Dr. Fritz predicts a violent death for Farias Jr. so he won't be practicing much longer.

Despite being accused of the illegal practice of medicine without a license, Farias Jr. has unending lines of people waiting to be cured. However, Farias Jr. is just one of hundreds of faith healers that plague Brazil and many other countries, including Australia where Dr. Verna Yater has been channeling Dr. Fritz along with a team of 27 other spirit doctors.

See also alternative health practice, faith healing, and John of God.

To gain some understanding as to why so many people believe they have seen or experienced that faith healing works, see the entries on cognitive dissonance, communal reinforcement, confirmation bias, energy, faith, the placebo effect, the pragmatic fallacy, self-deception, testimonials, and wishful thinking. But to truly understand the deceptions used by faith healers and how these deceptions play upon vulnerable minds, no matter how intelligent, read James Randi's The Faith Healers.

further reading

books and articles

Carroll, Robert (2004). "Pranks, Frauds, and Hoaxes from Around the World." Skeptical Inquirer. volume 28, No. 4. July/August, pp. 41-46.

Fuller, John G. Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife (Devin-Adair Pub. 1975).

Maki, Masao. In Search of Brazil's Quantum Surgeon: The Dr. Fritz Phenomenon (Cadence Books 1998).

Randi, James. An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural, (N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, 1995).

There is also a video documentary about psychic surgeon Rubens Farias Jr. called Dr. Fritz: Healing the Body and Spirit (1996), directed by David Sonnenschein.


Fritz Healing by Dennis Stacy, The Anomalist

Roasting the Cartesian-Newtonian Paradigm in the Brazilian Rainforest Richard Yensen, Ph.D. and Donna Dryer, M.D.

Last updated 21-Jan-2014

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