Mystics and Healers

Mystics and Healers, previously published as The Brazillian Healer with a Kitchen Knife)(previously published as “The Brazilian Healer with a Kitchen Knife)

Sandy Johnson traveled the world meeting and interviewing the greatest spiritual leaders of our time. From the dusty plains of Native America to the soaring Himalayas seeking answers to our most pressing questions about spirit, health, and life.

Travel with her through India, deep into secret, sacred Tibetan rituals, and into the heart of Brazil to meet the now famous John of God. Meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama who agreed to write the forward to The Tibetan Book of Elders. Meet the Oracle of Wanla who lived in a 13th-century village atop a 14,000 ft. mountain and could see deep inside Sandy’s life. Meet the State Oracle who in ceremonial dress dances himself into a trance and advises the Dalai Lama on affairs of state.

Sandy Johnson explores with curiosity and a measure of healthy skepticism the work of healers, miracle-makers, and transformers of the mind, body, and soul. She travels the world– from a beachside compound in Hawaii to a remote village in Brazil– to meet face-to-face with the most acclaimed healers. She experiences their work first-hand and reports, with fascinating detail, the story of their real-life miracles and incredible feats. She also writes about the wonder of the “placebo effect,” which seems to give some patients the faith they need to begin healing on their own.


Among the healers you’ll meet is Katie Engelhardt, a young woman from Tennessee, who is able to intuit and then often heal the ailments of people while in a trancelike state. Sometimes, after entering her trance, goldlike metal flakes appear on her face, neck, back, and hands. Another is “Bundji,” an Australian man with Aboriginal ancestors, who tells how he was led to resurrect the healing methods of his people and now travels the world to heal those in need with “love, light, and energy.” Dr. Ruth Ziemba, a traditionally trained nurse and chiropractor, explains why her treatments require only the lightest pressure with hands her patients say emanate an intense, healing heat.


And the famous John of God, the Brazilian with the kitchen knife, who treats as many as 3,000 people at a time, excising tumors, ending blindness, and curing arthritis and cancer at his Casa de San Inacio in a remote Brazilian village.


The Brazilian Healer with the Kitchen Knife grants an unprecedented view of this simultaneously ancient and modern phenomenon, and its most compelling practitioners. Sandy Johnson allows the reader an up-close look at these spiritual magicians to better understand their gifts and motivations, and witness the best and worst of their work.

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