Jose de Freitas - Ze Arigo
Type of Spiritual Experience
BackgroundWe have no way of knowing who the real source was so I have hedged my bets
A description of the experience
The Romeo Error – Lyall Watson
In the field of medical diagnosis, the most rapid assessments ever made are those credited to an uneducated ex-miner in Brazil.
Jose de Freitas, better known by his nickname "Arigo", died in 1971, but in his last fifteen years he alone treated more than two million people.
In a shabby building next door to a hotel in the little hill town of Congonhas do Campo, each day a thousand or more sick people would file slowly past Arigo as he sat at a table, glanced briefly at each of them and wrote rapidly on scraps of paper. These scraps turned out to be detailed medical prescriptions in Portuguese or German and, when fulfilled by a pharmacist, proved totally appropriate for the patient in question.
An investigation of Arigo was carried out in 1968 by the New York neurologist Andrija Puharich and a team including six doctors and eight other scientists. They ran one thousand patients past him and without touching any, and taking an average of less than one minute per patient, Arigo unhesitatingly delivered one thousand very specific diagnoses and for each, a suggestion of an appropriate treatment.
Puharich says, "We found we were able to verify 550 verdicts, because in those cases we ourselves were able to establish a pretty definite diagnosis of what the problem was. In the remaining 450 cases, for example in rare blood diseases, we could not be certain of our own diagnosis because we lacked available on-the-spot resources to enable us to do so. But of those of which we were certain, we did not find a single case in which Arigo was at fault."
Puharich also found that Arigo was phenomenally accurate in making out his prescriptions, despite the fact that each took him only a few seconds and he never looked at what he was writing. Many of these were complex, covering up to fifteen different drugs and giving medical and registered trade names, correct quantities, ratios and recommended dosages. For about five per cent of the patients that passed him, Arigo made a specific diagnosis but would prescribe only the comment,
"Sorry, I can do nothing for your" and Puharich's team confirmed that all of these were hopeless terminal cases.
When asked how he managed to do these things, Atigo simply said that a voice spoke to him in his right ear. He identified his invisible assistant as a German physician, a certain Dr. Fritz, who died in Estonia in 1918. He in turn is said to call when necessary for a second opinion on the spirits of a Japanese surgeon and a French specialist. Despite biographic details of these three obtained through Arigo, all attempts to trace them have so far failed.
It was only in the last years of his life, following his release from prison where he served two sentences for practising medicine without a licence, that Arigo turned exclusively to diagnosis.
Before his trial, he performed thousands of elaborate operations with table knives and scissors in totally unsterile conditions, while surrounded by mobs of children. His work has been described as like "doing surgery in the middle of London's Victoria Station in the rush hour". Puharich tells of an operation he witnessed on a patient suffering from a disease of the lower intestine. "Arigo told the man to drop his pants. Then he picked up a knife, wiped it on his shirt, slit the man open, pulled the patient's abdominal muscles apart, brought out the intestines and coolly chopped off a section as you would slice a sausage. Arigo then held the two ends of the bowel, put them back and pulled the stomach walls together . . . he never used sutures. And to cap it all, Arigo gave the chap a big punch in the belly and said, 'that's it."
Operations like this have been filmed several times by independent teams, and blood samples later identified as belonging to the patient involved, so there is absolutely no question of those present hallucinating or being hypnotized into believing that they saw surgery. Nobody can hypnotize a camera.
Summing up their study of Arigo, Puharich said, "He does it. I can't tell you how. His one-man output per week is equivalent to that of a fairly large hospital, and I suspect that its batting average is just as good. At the moment we are preparing our material in the hope that some medical journal will accept our evidence” That was in 1968, but the report still waits for professional publication. And in the meantime, Arigo has died.