Braco (faith healer)

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Braco (pronounced Braht-zoh),[1][2] sometimes called "the gazer",[3] is a self styled "healer" from Croatia. He does not touch, speak to, diagnose, or treat the people who come to see him — rather, he stands on a platform and gazes.[3][4] He avoids direct claims to have the ability to help people with his eye contact, but it is strongly implied and supporters report it causing improved well-being.[2]

Early life[edit]

Braco was born Josip Grbavac in Zagreb, Croatia, in November 1967.[1][5] He earned a degree in Economics in Croatia, married and started a family. He began practising "healing" after the 1991–1995 Croatian War of Independence.[6] Braco's mentor was Ivica Prokić, a Serbian economist, whom he met in the autumn of 1993.[5] Prokić suggested the name Braco, meaning "little brother." Prokić died under mysterious circumstances in 1995[7][8] while on holiday with Braco. The two were alone on a beach in South Africa, when Braco says a "rogue wave" swept Prokić away[9] after he had first taken off all of the gold jewelry he traditionally wore along with his socks and wallet. Also, Prokić's body was discovered with multiple gashes in the lower abdomen believed to be from a coral reef in Plettenberg Bay.[10] After Prokić's death, Braco initially saw people one on one, however, due to the large number of people who started coming to see him, he began gazing at groups.[10]

Gazing[edit]

At public events, Braco stands on a podium following a ten minute period of introduction and silently looks at the members of the audience for a period of five to ten minutes.[3][4] Afterwards, during a period called "meditation and reflection" by supporters, believers have claimed to experience life changes, healings and positive experiences.[2] According to supporters, during the "gaze time" they feel tingling, see energy or a golden aura, or experience peace or relief from pain.[11] Braco reportedly does not call himself a healer or claim to have spiritual powers.[7] Braco reportedly "has not spoken to the press or in public since 2002",[2] Participants and event organizers claim that his gaze has cured physical diseases such as cancer and respiratory disease.[12] Believers claim Braco's physical presence is not necessary, and gazing at a picture or video of him can be sufficient for healing.[13] When not touring, Braco holds gazing sessions at his center in Zagreb, Croatia.[10] Braco's Croatian events draw thousands of people, totaling to over two hundred thousand annually.[3][4]

Criticism[edit]

In her column for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Karen Stollznow wrote that since all reports of healing are anecdotal and that Braco's alleged healing abilities have never been proven under test conditions, she writes there is no scientific evidence that Braco's gazing has any benefits at all. The article also disagreed with Braco's statement that he makes no claims of healing abilities, saying: "However, the 'no claim' claim is disingenuous; whether the claims come from the public or his crew, the claims are promoted by and therefore made by Braco." [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hundreds flock to Miami Beach to feel rare power of man's gaze on 1-11-11", by David Smiley, January 10, 2011 The Miami Herald, online at The Palm Beach Post; also online as "Spiritual healer Braco packs ballroom at Miami Beach Convention Center" at the Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  2. ^ a b c d "Braco brings his healing gaze to Arlington", by Tom Jackman, Washington Post, October 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c d "Some Say Man Heals With A Gaze", Inside Edition, airdate January 19, 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  4. ^ a b c "Stare Way: A Gaze on World Tour", by Daniela Forte, Housatonic Times, New Milford, Connecticut, October 22, 2010. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  5. ^ a b "Biography of Braco" Archived December 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., official site. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  6. ^ "Staring at the man who stares", by Nadine Kam, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  7. ^ a b "Croatian healer sports extensive following for stop in Gaithersburg" Archived May 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., by Alex Ruoff, Maryland Community News, May 2, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  8. ^ a b "Braco the Gazer", by Karen Stollznow, April 26, 2011, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  9. ^ A New Age Guru with Nothing to Say
  10. ^ a b c "Mysterious Braco Asks Only for Flowers in Return". dalje.com. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  11. ^ Gilma Avalos. "South Floridians Hope for Healing from Braco's Gaze | NBC 6 South Florida". Nbcmiami.com. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  12. ^ "South Floridians Hope for Healing from Braco's Gaze | NBC 6 South Florida". Nbcmiami.com. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  13. ^ "South Floridians Hope for Healing from Braco's Gaze", by Gilma Avalos, NBC Miami, Jan 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-03.

External links[edit]