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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Agpaoa, Tony (Antonio C. Agpaoa, 1939-1982) Agpaoa is the quack who began the still-popular psychic surgery craze in the Philippine Islands, attracting thousands of persons annually to his center in Baguio, the most beautiful area in all the Islands. In some cases, he actually performed simple surgical services, removing cysts and draining infected areas; the rest, mostly very spectacular procedures in which his hands appeared to plunge into the body were the usual conjuring tricks.
      On one occasion, Tony was being driven in his gold-plated Mercedes when he fell ill and asked to be rushed via private chartered jet to San Francisco, where his appendix was removed. When his small son also needed medical care, Tony took him to the United States for medical help, but the boy did not survive the hospital stay.
      In 1968 Agpaoa visited the United States for the third time, performing his sleight-of-hand act for patients who paid well for the service. Then he was arrested in Detroit and charged with medical fraud. Choosing not to answer the charges, he skipped his $25,000 bail and fled back to the Philippines.
      Agpaoa died in 1982 of what the Manila newspapers referred to as “rich living” and was interred in a glass coffin, for some unknown reason.

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