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A Portland hotel ballroom hosted a man who supporters say can heal physical and emotional ailments with his gaze.
Norae McRae says she suffers from 10 physical ailments, including multiple sclerosis, and traveled from Seattle to see Braco, a Croatian healer who allegedly draws crowds of 10,000 people in Europe.
“I’m going to give myself three days to feel completely different and not need this walker,” McRae said.
She made that statement after several so-called "gazing sessions," where Braco stood on a platform in front of the crowd and stared out in the audience for about the length of two instrumental songs.
“Originally, it was a lot of tingling and like, ‘Oh wow, I know something’s going on,'" McRae said.
Nearly 600 people attended the session that FOX 12 observed Tuesday afternoon at the Sheraton Hotel near the Portland Airport.
Organizers say they did no advertising and relied on word of mouth and viral Internet videos to draw the crowd. They say Braco’s gaze alone has healed diseases such as cancer, and has also led people to experience greater emotional well-being.
“I saw gold all around him and I saw something come out of him and come over the group,” said Mary Anderson, of Oregon City. “I mean, there’s definitely divine work going on.”
It was hard to find doubters at the event, but several passersby tell FOX 12 they are skeptical about the healing powers of Braco. Organizers acknowledge their critics.
“I can’t convince anyone to come and (Braco) doesn’t want us to convince anyone to come. If they don’t want to come, they don’t come and that’s OK,” said Jane Sibbett, who organizes Braco’s American events.
Sibbett is a former actress, who had a supporting role on the sitcom “Friends." She met Braco a year ago when hired to do a documentary about his healing. She says she’s heard remarkable testimonials from people who have been healed that seem inexplicable.
“I don’t know how it works. No one really can explain it. He doesn’t explain it,” Sibbett said. “He actually stopped talking to the press eight years ago. He says it’s too big to explain, so he lets the people talk.”
The sessions cost $8 each, but organizers say Braco doesn’t profit from the event. They say the fee goes toward the costs of the event itself, however, workers are selling books and DVDs.
The sessions continue Wednesday.