In essence, it's the Entities who do the heavy lifting, who lop off the growths or reverse the scoliosis or clear away the cataracts. They are the fixers of kidneys and the soothers of arthritis, the menders of shattered psyches and broken hearts. If you show up on Heather's doorstep you are probably predisposed to believe this, although that is not required. At the Casa, skeptics are as welcome as believers. I'd already noticed that skeptics didn't tend to stay that way: Many harrumphing, empirical scientists had become impassioned John of God advocates after visiting and witnessing him in action.
At 62 Medium João is solidly built. But for all his obvious strength, the act of letting other spirits borrow his body is a demanding one. When the process begins, I read in an interview, he feels a kind of radiant heat that makes him a little dizzy. That is accompanied by, in his words, "an intense spiritual peace and an indestructible happiness." What happens at that point is easy to report but difficult to process: A couple of seconds later the ordinary man is gone, replaced by one of the Entities.
To help energetically fuel this process (and to aid their own healing), people are invited to "sit in the Current," as it is known at the Casa. The practice involves taking a seat in the rows of benches surrounding John of God's chair and meditating—hard—for hours at a stretch. In the same way the electricity that courses into a building's wiring forms a current, so does the river of benevolence coming from this concerted group. On any given day, maybe 400 people form the Current—spelunking so deeply into their interior realms that they might well be asleep or anesthetized—and while doing so they refrain from opening their eyes or crossing their arms or legs: These things, they are told, cut off the flow of energy as surely as would kinking a hose.