S305: The Prophet - Brazil and the Word of Faith Fellowship
Play • 36 min

Did you know that the Word of Faith Fellowship has nearly 2,000 members internationally? They have affiliate churches all over the world including Brazil, Sweden, Scotland, and other countries.

Brazil is by far the biggest territory ruled under Jane Whaley’s kingdom. They have churches in two southeastern Brazilian cities. The first church is in Soa Joaquim de Bicas which is about 6 hours north of Rio de Janeiro. They also have second church in Franco de Rocha which is an hour outside of Sao Paulo.

Jane conquers Brazil and offers them salvation

For a few lucky Brazilians, Jane blessed them with more than just salvation—an opportunity to live in the United States.  Ana Albuquerque told the Associated Press that when she first arrived in Spindale, church members showered her with love. She said, "The first time you go, they treat you well. But afterwards, they start treating you bad.” Ana says things turned ugly fast. She claims she worked full time as a teacher’s assistant and baby sat church member’s children at night–all without pay. Then the physical abuse started. Ana says that Jane and another minister spanked her with a wooden stick. She told the AP they blasted her with a screaming prayer because she was “unclean” and possessed by the devil. And we’re not talking a small tap on the butt kind of spank. Ana says the beatings lasted for at least 40 minutes. She finally was allowed to return to Brazil and has since left the church.

16 Brazilians come forward

“It was a horror living there,” says Rebecca Mello. Her dreams of freedom quickly turned into a nightmare. She told the Associated Press that she was brought to the US in 2009 on a student visa. Immediately after she got here, church leaders took her passports and her money, and was quickly put to work. "We’re made to get up early, make the kids breakfast, cook, do their beds, pick up the the laundry.” Thiago Silva says, "We were there working, but we never got paid. If you’re not paid for something, even for your food, I would say that you’re a slave."

All in all, 16 Brazilian’s have come forward to share their personal story of abuse and enslavement.


True Crime Podcast Festival | Chicago 2019

Also, I am excited to announce that Pretend Radio is going to be attending the first annual True Crime Podcast Festival on July 13, 2019 in Chicago! Trust me, start planning now. It’s worth traveling to. This is your chance to mingle with podcasters you listen to regularly. There will also be live episode recordings as well as panel discussions. In fact, I’m speaking in one of them.

Go to the website TCPF2019.com to find information on tickets and the hotel.

Many people have been writing me and sharing their stories. If you have a story to share, shoot me an email at info@pretendradio.org or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Today’s episode was edited by the talented Molly Clay. Our theme music was composed by Joe Basile with thechicken.net.

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