Arigó, José

Arigó, José (1918–1971)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

José Pedro de Freitas, later known as José Arigó, was born in Congonhas do Campo, Brazil, in 1918. As a child he had many psychic experiences, seeing lights and hearing voices that spoke to him in a variety of languages he did not understand. When he was in his early thirties, he discovered that he had a spirit guide who called himself Dr. Adolphus Fritz. This guide claimed to have been a German surgeon in World War I. He would take control of Arigó’s body, with Arigó going into a trance, and would operate on sick people.

Arigó first became aware of his healing talent shortly after finding a crucifix lying in the street. He picked it up and took it home. At that time he ran a restaurant and, out of the kindness of his heart, he would feed an old man who frequently came in at closing time. One day he asked the man to arrive earlier if he wanted to eat. The man suggested that instead Arigó might bring the food to him at the local cemetery. Arigó refused and the man told him that it was he who had left the crucifix for Arigó to find. The man said that if Arigó held it in his hand and said a prayer, he could cure the sick. Arigó was skeptical but tried it out on a sick neighbor. It worked, and she was cured. From then on he devoted part of every day to healing the sick.

When confronted with a dying relative whom the doctors said they could not cure, Arigó grabbed a knife from the kitchen and, before he could be stopped, cut into the woman’s stomach and removed a huge tumor. Pressing the sides of the wound together, they healed and the woman recovered. Arigó came out of a trance that he had gone into. This was when he first became aware of the deceased German doctor operating through him. Arigó went on to perform other such “operations” using unsterilized instruments such as kitchen knives, scissors, tweezers, and similar. He always worked in trance and without giving his patients any form of anesthetic. News of these unconventional cures quickly spread and soon Arigó was being asked to treat hundreds of desperate people. At one time a group of doctors from South America watched as Arigó removed a tumor from a young woman’s womb, using an ordinary pair of scissors. The woman was conscious throughout the entire operation and experienced no pain.

In 1956 Arigó was finally arrested for illegally practicing medicine. Following the announcement of an eight-month sentence and fine, in response to a public outcry the Brazilian president issued a pardon. However, Arigó did have to serve a sentence on a similar charge eight years later, despite impressing a visiting judge with his talents. He served sixteen months in prison and did not perform any more psychic surgery on his release. But while in prison he was permitted to continue to operate. The judge who presided over Arigó, Judge Filippe Immesi, wrote the following report after his visit to Joseacute; in prison:

“I saw him pick up … a pair of nail scissors.

He wiped them on his shirt and used no disinfectant. I saw him then cut straight into the cornea of the patient’s eye. She did not flinch, although perfectly conscious. The cataract was out in seconds … Arigó said a prayer and a few drops of liquid appeared on the cotton in his hand. He wiped the women’s eye with it and she was cured.”


King, Francis: The Supernatural: Wisdom From Afar. London: Aldus, 1975
Wilson, Colin: The Supernatural: Healing Without Medicine. London: Aldus Books, 1975
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