Arigo: Born in 1918, this Brazilian performed psychic surgery. It
was believed that he could remove tumors and perform other surgical
operations without having the patient feel the pain of an incision
and/or without them becoming infected. He was eventually arrested
for practicing medicine illegally but he continued to treat people
while in prison. 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 primary 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
This entity identified itself as "Dr. Fritz." After claiming to
have channeled Dr. Fritz, Arigó 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 tumor
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 prosecuted by the medical association
of Minas Gerais, for the crime of quackery (curandeirismo). He was
sentenced to 15 months in prison, but was pardoned by President
Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira. In 1962 he was arrested and held
for seven months for practicing medicine without a license.
Despite the problems with the authorities, his fame continued to
increase, and in 1963 he was received by President Joăo Goulart.
He also allegedly cured the daughter of Brazilian President, Joăo
Figueiredo. Arigó died in 1971, in an automobile accident.