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197: Psychic Surgery (feat Brad Abrahams)


Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, Julian Walker

Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Philosophy, Spirituality, Society & Culture, Science

4.21.6K Ratings

🗓️ 14 March 2024

⏱️ 73 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


The “healer” mutters prayers, flutters his hands over the patient’s belly, then rubs his fingers close to her navel. A stream of what looks like blood shoots out from between his fingers. After a few more finger wiggles, he appears to pull several bloody cocktail shrimp out of an invisible incision. The patient is healed. Of something. Welcome to “psychic surgery.” Documentarian of the uncanny, Brad Abrahams, takes our correspondent seat this week to explain how Shirley MacLaine, Burt Lancaster, Andy Kaufman, Charlie Mingus, and tens of thousands of Americans got drawn into the morbid healing craze that kicked off in the 1970s, and which may have seen its last hurrah with the imprisonment of Brazil’s John of God. Centuries of colonization in Brazil and the Philippines, Brad explains, made conventional medical care basically unavailable for anyone poor or outside of major cities. This left a void for traditional and alternative healing to fill as the only real options, as well as provide a connection to a cultural identity that had been systematically repressed. And of course, charlatans rode the wave. Brad brings his characteristic curiosity, empathy, and cultural competence, holding the door open for us to imagine why this abject form of medical and spiritual fraud speaks so deeply to so many. Show Notes Brad Abrahams Love And Saucers — Brad Abrahams Do you see what I see? | Short Doc about Controversial Conspiracy Theorist Artist David Dees — Brad Abrahams 72: John of Fraud (w/Lisa Braun Dubbels & Mirna Wabi-Sabi) — Conspirituality Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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So Angel's presence was starting to drive a wedge between factions at Willy World.


Oh, here we go.


That's a great sentence.


That's the cold open right there.


Angel's presence was starting to drive a wedge between factions at Willy World.


Cartwright, the author says,


Those who had faith stopped talking to those who did not.


The believers thought that the non-believers were infidels and the non-believers looked on the believers as kooks.


After a while, no one dared mention the subject of psychic surgery. I feel like I'm missing out because it seems like everyone is either starting a


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