John Of God The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer is exactly what it says on the tin. This is a true crime documentary series revolving around the infamous case involving João Teixeira de Faria. While that name may not mean a lot here in Europe, in South America, João de Deus (John of God) was a prolific medium, attracting people across the continent to experience his healings. Only, there’s a far darker and more sinister side to this story.
For those unfamiliar with this, John of God had over 600 accusations of sexual abuse during his time, including repeated arrests for raping different women. The case does run deeper than that, which this four episode docu-series covers in detail across its hour-long episodes.
The first essentially serves as an introduction to this man before the scandals and accusations begin to pile up, eventually leading to John facing trial and his victims trying their best to move forward with their lives.
With only four episodes to chew through, John of God doesn’t unnecessarily drag out its storyline and instead tells a straightforward narrative, featuring all the usual archival footage, newspaper clippings and talking head segments we’ve come to expect.
Numerous victims are interviewed here too and some of these accounts are pretty difficult to hear. There’s a good variety of people who give their part of this story, and their tales are oftentimes heartbreaking and, at times, stomach-churning and grotesque. Make no mistake, this is a story about an abuser taking advantage of vulnerable people. There are definitely similarities here to Wild, Wild Country with the cult-like status this man achieves, but the story has enough shock value to keep you invested to the end.
John of God is a concise, detailed recollection of the vile atrocities this man committed, making John of God well worth a watch. True crime fans should definitely find enough to chew into, even if those bites can be a little difficult to swallow at times.