If you have never heard of Braco before, here’s the tl;dr on what he is and isn’t: Braco isn’t a healer, as his people tell you as much as they can. He’s not a public speaker, as in he does not speak, ever, in public. He’s not Yanni, although by the looks of him he plays Yanni on tv.
He’s a gazer. No, really. A gazer. He … gazes. I swear I am not making this up. People pay good money to have Braco … look in their general direction.
Last week, he gazed at, or at least near, me. At, or generally in the vicinity of, the six in my party, the 200 other people in the big tent, and all the gaze-ees who attended the 7 other sessions that day. We all paid $8.00 to be looked at, which Braco did for 7.5 minutes total during the one hour I was there.
Best. scam. evah.
I can’t tell you much about his eyes, but I have no doubt he’s got stones the size of Magic 8 Balls to sell this newage tent show. Again: he promises nothing but gazing.
Here’s how it went down:
Jane came on stage dressed in flowy white clothes, and glasses, and gave us the “medical disclaimers” a) To be gazed upon you must be over 18 “for your own safety”; b) if you are a lady, you should not be more than one trimester along in your pregnancy as the “gazing energy can be powerful.” [Note: Jane does not claim to be a medical professional.]
Then the practical disclaimers: a) any photos or notes about things I might want in Braco’s gaze should be placed over my heart, and no higher up for maximum effect; b) so as not to disrupt “energy”, all cell phones and electrical devices must be turned off. I had to resort to writing notes on my hand! [Note: somehow, the electrical devices that were the microphones and cameras of Braco’s own crew did not disrupt any “energy”.]
Then Jane told us Braco wasn’t a healer, and it was good to be skeptical about the impending event. In fact, for 10 minutes she talked about why I shouldn’t believe anything, and “skeptics and engineers” who attend a gazing “almost always report feeling his gaze regardless.” [Note: O_O]
Then she showed us a video of a “skeptic” who attended the event two days after he’d been diagnosed with “Agent Orange Cancer Virus” in his stomach. He didn’t feel anything at the gazing, thought it was all bunk, and went home. Amazingly, two days later he went to his doctor to confirm by blood draw that he was cured! [Note: … wot?]
After the non-energy-disruptive video presentation, Braco took the stage. First thing he hit us with, I am not making this up, was his very best Zoolander Blue Steel pose, complete with Drama Prairie Dog revealing whirl! I couldn’t really see him, so instead I looked at his promo material, on which he was gazing, so I thought it was just as good. I felt a little guilty, as his stare seemed to say “Why’d you bogart the last Twinkie?” When I looked up, he was live-action gazing dolefully: “I mean, you even left just an empty box. Harsh.”
As instructed, I was skeptical. I mean, I couldn’t even see him if I wasn’t on tippy toes, so I did not get much gazing, to be sure. Jane did assure me that his gaze would reach me, “just like sun beams still reach your skin in the shade.” [Note: wait, what?]
After about seven minutes, Braco left the stage with a flourish of an invisible cape. I am sad to report no audience member fainted, spoke in tongues, or peed themselves. In fact, almost everyone seems confused if it was over. But then Jane re-emerged! She told us we might not feel anything at first, but the gazing had occurred, and we should rest assured that we’d had a successful gazing. In case we were suspicious, she invited a
confederate audience member at random to share his experience.
This “random guy” told us this was his second gazing. He went into his first as a “skeptic” who drank five or six vodkas to get to sleep at night, but “wasn’t an alcoholic because it wasn’t a problem.” But after the gazing, he switched to sleeping pills and wine, because he was healed. He told us three times in a row “You people are the good people.” [Note: Ah, fuck it.]
When Jane returned to take the microphone, my friend said “I hate Jane. Hate.”
And after a quick pitch for the Bracoware for sale at the back of the tent, we were released back into the wild. We’d been told over and over that all Braco did was gaze. And, no question, that’s all he did. Yet, in the parking lot? Much comparing of notes on how folks were touched, healed, given peace, spontaneously cured, etc. My favorite was a starry-eyed woman who said “This was wonderful. I’ve never felt anything like it. I didn’t feel anything at all when it was happening.”
I am baffled and amazed by the human desire to fit in.
And I’m out eight bucks.