There are four stories on 60 Minutes this weekend focusing on spiritual healers, drowning children, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and U2.
John of God
John of God claims he can cure any disease. He’s a Brazilian spiritual leader who’s been courted and praised by everyone from Presidents to Oprah Winfrey. Tens of thousands of sick and elderly people flock to his casa every year in the hope they’ll be cured of their diseases. He operates on some of them, and claims to deliver divine healing onto others. It’s big business, too: from therapeutic crystal beds, to blessed bottled water and costly magic pills, John of God’s devotees must dig deep into their pockets for the healing and enlightenment. Now he’s bringing his religious show to Australia next month, so Michael Usher went to investigate John of God’s medical and spiritual credentials.
Reporter: Michael Usher
Producers: Phil Goyen, Grace Tobin
Shallow Water Blackout
One moment 12-year-old Jack MacMillan was happily splashing about in the family pool. Within minutes, he was dead. There was no cry for help, no desperate fight for his final breath. Jack was the victim of a deadly but little-known condition called Shallow Water Blackout. It’s brought on by the simple act of holding your breath underwater and its thought to be the number one cause of drowning among competent swimmers. Kids are at risk in backyard pools right across the country and, believe it or not, they’re even more at risk in swim squads at the local public pool. Swimming Australia is scrambling to re-issue it’s guidelines around hypoxic training but, as Allison Langdon discovered, even our top swimming coaches can’t agree on what’s safe for our kids.
Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producer: Lincoln Howes
Over the last 40 years, U2 has risen from the rough streets of Dublin to become global superstars. Just last month they caused a sensation when their latest album was released to Apple’s half a billion iTunes account holders, for free. Some critics said it smacked of desperation, while others argued it was an innovative way for U2 to reach a younger audience. Regardless, Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton are unapologetic. And, as Georgie Gardner discovered when she caught up with the band in London, criticism only serves to strengthen their commitment to the music, and each other.
Reporter: Georgie Gardner
Producer: Stephen Burling
Bruce and Denise
It’s been a tumultuous 2014 for Bruce and Denise Morcombe. In March, they finally learned the truth about what happened to their beautiful son Daniel, when predator Brett Peter Cowan was convicted of his abduction and murder. It was the end of an 11-year search for answers, which began when Daniel disappeared in December 2003. Along the way, Bruce and Denise founded the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to help keep kids safe. This Friday marks one of the foundation’s major events, the tenth ‘Day for Daniel’, and Bruce and Denise need your help to take their message to Australia.
Reporter: Tara Brown
Producer: Stephen Taylor
Sunday, at 7.30pm on Nine.