Zé Arigó was the pseudonym of José Pedro de Freitas; 18 October 1921 – 1 November 1971), a ‘psychic surgeon’. He not only diagnosed patients whilst in a trance condition, but performed psychic surgery with his hands or with simple kitchen utensils. More details are provided in the observation I have for him.
Zé Arigó was born José Pedro de Freitas on a farm located 6 kilometers from Congonhas, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. His family was very poor and he could only study up to the third grade of school. At the age of 14 he began working at a mine where he worked for 6 years.
According to his autobiography, around 1950 he began to suffer from strong headaches, insomnia, trances, and hallucinations. One day he felt that the voice that had been pursuing him took over his body, and he had a vision of a bald man, dressed in a white apron and supervising a team of doctors and nurses in an enormous operating room. This entity identified itself as "Dr. Fritz."
It was whilst he was in this ‘possessed’ state that he began to perform operations using scalpels and needles. His reputation soared and spread throughout Brazil after it was alleged that he had removed a cancerous tumour from the lung of a well-known Brazilian senator. Over the next twenty years, thousands of people who mistrusted traditional medicine, or had not found help in it, came to Congonhas in search of a cure.
In 1956 Arigó was convicted of illegally practicing medicine. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, but was pardoned by President of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira. In 1962 he was arrested and held for seven months for practicing medicine without a license. However, he was allowed to continue treating people while held in jail. Arigó died in 1971 in an automobile accident.
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