Silva, Edivaldo Oliveira (ca. 1930–1974)
Brazilian Spiritualist healer specializing in psychic surgery.
Born in Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia, he became a schoolteacher,
taxidermist, and entomologist. In his later years he studied
medicine and law, hoping thereby to qualify as a doctor so that
his spiritual healing would be secured against prosecution for
illegal medical practice. Although brought up as a Roman
Catholic, he was an unconventional Christian who did not endorse
the monopoly of the church authorities and developed
his own personal theological approach. He did not claim to be
formally aligned to Spiritism, the Brazilian form of Spiritualism,
although his healing work was ascribed to spirit controls.
He first discovered his healing abilities in 1962, when he visited
a neighbor who had a fit of temporary insanity. Silva went
into a trance and was taken over by a spirit personality, becoming
very violent. When he recovered normal consciousness, his
neighbor had been cured.
Later, Silva visited a Spiritist center where he again went
into trance, discovering on his way home that he had performed
psychic surgery while in this state. Over the next ten
years, he performed psychic healing on some 65,000 individuals.
During his healing sessions, Silva went into a trance-like
condition while his spirit controls performed the work. He only
learned the details of his healing afterward from conversations,
photographs, or tape recordings. His spirit controls consisted
of an international team that included ‘‘Dr. Calazans,’’ ‘‘Pierre’’
(a Frenchman), and ‘‘Dr. Fritz’’ (a German), as well as an Englishman,
a Japanese person, an Italian, and a Brazilian.
Silva believed that the psychic surgery operated on two
planes—plasmic and ectoplasmic. In the former, red globules
were actually separated from the plasma; in the latter, the operation
was on a subtle body rather than a physical body. As with
other psychic surgeons, he would make instantaneous incisions
that were afterward apparently paranormally healed.
Silva was investigated by author Guy Lyon Playfair, a member
of the Brazilian Institute for Psycho-Biophysical Research,
who spent two years studying Brazilian healers firsthand. Two
operations were performed on Playfair himself, who also witnessed
the making of an incision in another patient and was allowed
to place his fingers into the hole before the flesh was reunited.
Silva performed over 10,000 psychic operations during his
lifetime. He died in 1974 after being involved in a car accident.
Playfair, Guy Lyon. The Flying Cow. 1975. Reprinted as The
Unknown Power. New York Pocket Books, 1975.