“Predestinado” hits theaters today and presents the story of the medium José Arigó, played by Danton Mello. Born in 1922, José Pedro de Freitas, the religious’s baptismal name, is well known in Brazil for his spiritual activities carried out in Congonhas do Campo, a city in Minas Gerais currently known only as Congonhas.
His work was guided by the spirit of the doctor Doctor Fritz. The film is inspired by the book “Arigó e o Espírito do Dr. Fritz”, written by John G. Fuller and released by Pensamento.
However, incorporating this entity was not something exclusive to Zé Arigó and other mediums also claimed to receive the doctor’s guidance. This is the case of João de Deus, a well-known religious from Abadiânia (GO), convicted of sexual crimes committed during spiritual care.
To better understand what this mysterious spirit is about, splash explains details about Doctor Fritz and his “appearances”.
There are no official records of who would have been Doctor Adolf Fritz, but the story is that he would have been a doctor born in Germany in the 1890s and, as a young man, he moved to Poland.
With a lot of effort, the young man managed to pay and graduate from medical school. In 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War, Fritz would have been called up to enlist to help soldiers on the battlefields.
Once on the war front, he would have developed different forms of healing and also worked to develop different practices of spiritual surgery.
According to reports, several lives were saved because of the techniques used during the clashes.
However, Doctor Fritz would not have seen times of peace: the doctor is said to have died before the end of the war. It was never defined what the causes were.
It is worth remembering that everything that is known about the history of the healing spirit came from the accounts of the mediums who incorporated it, through spiritual communications. Historically, there is no evidence that he ever really existed.
Protagonist of “Predestinado”, Zé Arigó is known worldwide for his spiritual work. In 1950, the miner began to have severe headaches and insomnia. During his seizures, he claimed to have visions and heard a guttural voice, in a language he did not understand. He was attended to by doctors and specialists, but nothing wrong was identified.
His call to spirituality came through dreams in which Doctor Fritz appeared. The entity would have explained that it was unable to fulfill its mission on Earth and, therefore, would need Arigó to complete it. The chosen way would be the spiritual surgeries.
Thus, he began to attend at the Jesus Nazareno Spiritist Center, with the first patient at 7 am and, until noon, he received about 200 people. Zé Arigó died in 1971, at age 50, in a car accident.
Cures and Controversies
One of the great controversies involving the spirit of Doctor Fritz was precisely his practices, carried out by means of his mediums. Surgeries have become quite recurrent in Brazil, initiated by Arigó.
The instruments for the realization were quite rudimentary, such as saw knives, pocket knives, scalpels and scissors. All tools without asepsis came into contact with the patient’s body.
On the other hand, there were no complaints of pain among those treated and there were no reports of postoperative hemorrhages or infections. The fame of a healer began to spread worldwide and the American researcher Andrija Puharich came to Brazil to understand the phenomenon and even had a lipoma in the operated arm.
One of the most famous cases of his psychic career happened after allegedly operating on lung cancer on senator Lúcio Bittencourt.
The two were staying at the same hotel when, during the night, Arigó went to the politician’s room with a razor in his hand. Frightened, he tried to defend himself, but reported that he could not move. When he woke up the next morning, his pajamas had been cut in the back and were smeared with blood.
At the hospital, Bittencourt was told that he had had an operation and that he no longer had lung cancer.
Zé Arigó was prosecuted by the Medical Council and twice convicted of illegal exercise. The first time took place in 1958, but he received a pardon from President Juscelino Kubitschek who, at the time, had his daughter operated on by the medium. The other conviction took place in 1964 and he also received a pardon for the crime. Of all the processes he received, none came from a patient.
Another spiritual healer who said he received the manifestation of Doctor Fritz was prosecuted and convicted, but not for questionable use of medical practices. Responsible for Casa Dom Inácio de Loyola, in Abadiânia, João de Deus received three thousand people a day.
It all came crashing down when the medium was accused and convicted of rape and other sexual crimes while performing spiritual surgeries that were supposed to be guided by various spirits, with Doctor Fritz among them.
Other mediums also claimed to embody the spirit of the German doctor, such as Edson Queiroz, and Rubens Farias Jr.