Account of João Rodrigues Facundes

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He got this from far away, he came from Peru. In history, this drink derived from King Huascar, passed on to the Inca King, from him to a Peruvian caboclo called Pizango, from the caboclo to Antônio Costa, from Antônio Costa to Mestre Irineu. However, until then it was a completely crude drink. Only men had the right to take it. He tried to specialize it, and he really dedicated himself. He subjected himself to a regime… Then, he said, speaking to the drink itself: “If you are a drink that will give my Brazil its name, I will take you to Brazil, but if you are going to demoralize my Brazil, I’ll leave you right here.” He never tired of reporting this to us.

The Master actually had slave ancestry. Both from father and mother. His grandparents were slaves. They came to Brazil and settled in the municipality of São Vicente de Férrer, State of Maranhão.

The Master was born at night, on December 15, 1892. He was baptized in the same city. He had four sisters and three brothers. He spoke little about his brothers, but he spoke a lot about his uncle Paulo, who always guided him and who was one of the reasons he returned to Maranhão in 1957.

At the age of twelve he began to work. At fifteen, he fell in love with a cousin and his uncle Paulo advised him to see the world. That’s when he heard that there was a lot of money to be made here in the Amazon. He sought to move from his municipality to São Luís, the capital. Then he started working distributing milk until he “enlisted”, as he said, on a ship to Belém do Pará, where he spent 30 to 40 days. From there, he came to Manaus, where he spent some more time. There, the Master embarked on a “little chat”, passing through Rio Branco, to Alto Acre. This was around 1913 or 1914. His first job was cutting the syringe. He arrived with a companion, named Francisca, who he called Chica.

The Master was illiterate. Upon arriving in Alto Acre, he was ashamed to tell his boss that he was not literate. When the “notice” stopped by, the first thing he asked for was a letter from ABC. And every fifteen days, when the “notice” passed by, he would take a lesson. He turned that lie into truth.

At the age of seventeen and a half, Mestre returned to Rio Branco to join the Military Police, which was the equivalent of the Army here in Acre. He pursued his career and became a corporal. As an aide-de-camp he worked on the boundary commission. This is how he got to know Bolivia and Peru.

After signing off with the police, he returned to the rubber tapping. That’s when he met Antônio Costa and discovered ayahuasca .

The Master was invited by Antônio Costa to meet a caboclo named Pizango, who was a Peruvian caboclo, descendant of the Incas. It was with him that Antônio Costa drank Daime. This was around 1918.

It was Pizango, so to speak, a caboclo who knew where the swallows lived. When they took the Daime – there were approximately twelve people, and they were aiming, the caboclo approached. The only person who saw it was Raimundo Irineu Serra. He came to understand that the Master was the only one who was in a position to work with the drink. When it was time to work, Pizango came and entered the gourd that was serving the Daime. At that time, Daime was drunk in a large gourd. Caboclo Pizango turns to Irineu and tells him to invite his companions to look inside the gourd and ask if they were seeing anything. The answer was: No! They looked and said they only saw Daime. Then Pizango said:

– Only you (“usted“) are able to work with Daime. No one else is seeing what you are seeing.

He moved from there to the little house that smokes the rubber – the smoker, asking someone to take a baço – the container with the Daime, there. The Master called one of his companions. It was André Costa who took the baço . When the work was finished, they only found the dry vessel. The Daime had been consumed.

A lady introduced herself to Antônio Costa (as soon as the Master started taking Daime), and asked if he wanted to work with ayahuasca . He refused. He said to give it to Raimundo. Antônio Costa told the Master about this lady:

– She said she has been with you since you embarked at the port of São Luís do Maranhão.

– What’s her name again?

– Clara.

– And what is she like?

– She has an orange on her head.

In the next work, she had to introduce herself to Mestre Irineu. He kept counting the minutes and seconds until next Wednesday. And in that work, she really introduced herself to him.

This lady was Our Holy Mother, the Virgin of Conception, our protector. All of his work was with her at the forefront. The orange represents the globe. In his teachings, we clearly notice that he received this globe from her hands. Also note that the Master came gifted, he just made it develop.

When she introduced herself to him, she made some demands. One of them was learning to work with drinking. So she had to subject him to a fast. She asked if he guaranteed it. He said yes. The anxiety was so great that he submitted himself to fasting, it would be eight days of just tasteless cassava and water. And so it was.

On another occasion, in a Daime style, at the time when the Daime was boiling, he put his hand in the pan, pressed it down (pressed) well, really hard, when the Daime washed over his hand. And everyone was watching, a little amazed, of course, and there was a companion there, whose name I can’t remember now, who said he was going to do that. He asked not to do it. The other insisted and as he always said: “wills are free”, the person tried to do it. Result: the leather on the hand remained. So, really proof that our Master has a little faith. Or not to say, total faith.

The Statute was created by brother José Vieira, in the years 1960 to 1969, when it was officially presented to the Master and registered on 01/22/1971. I arrived at his residence with everything ready, registered at the Notary’s Office. That’s when he said to me: “Compadre, I’m satisfied, I gave a name to someone who didn’t have one. Keep this documentation with you until one day.”

Master Irineu was affiliated with the Esoteric Circle and Rosa Cruz. He also advised us to join the Esoteric Circle. The godfather even put us on the wall so we could join. He supported this composition here, because it worked. He began by reading the instructions of the Esoteric Circle of the Communion of Thought on the days of the concentration sessions. Then there were the Esoteric sessions which were on the 27th of each month and the Exoteric sessions on Monday at the President’s house, at Francisco Ferreira’s house “Chicão”. The Esoteric sessions were on the 27th, at the headquarters, and the Exoteric sessions at the President’s house, down the street. It was one o’clock there, you couldn’t keep anyone up at night. The Esoteric Circle sessions were with daime. He even did Mondays with daime too.

I asked him about irradiation. He even said: “The guardian angels of the home (he pointed to a haystack, I didn’t even pay attention to whether that haystack was still there) are all there waiting for us. We don’t use them, we don’t call them. This is a case of irradiation.” But there is another type. The irradiation of beings like Princess Soloína, for example. I talked to him, but I think this is something very deserving, very fine, it will depend a lot on the person’s worth. There’s nothing to say about that. This is even customary, if you deserve it, she will come and radiate you, giving you the necessary assistance. But if you don’t deserve it, a hymn is already saying: “Each one who has a gift, according to what he deserves”. But to say that it does, it does. But if we deserve it, we receive the necessary radiation. That thing happened to me, we are comforted. I did the job well, well, really well, so much so that he even said: “You are going to sing João Pereira’s hymnal, call João Pereira before you start, concentrate and call João Pereira. He comes to assist you.” Germano, Maria Damião and so on. I asked him another question. It was even when he had a caboclo session (Table Work): “Godfather, do you have a hymn that says that the caboclos are arriving with bare arms and feet on the ground?” He said: “Yeah, those are my caboclos.” Then, later I went to see who his caboclos were, it was us. This Master sometimes sent people there, there. And he was so close to us. Now, it was that thing, he didn’t declare himself and here and there he is saying who he is and people ignore him.

Generally the female commander receives from the women (the work of Kings). She can highlight someone else to receive those in plainclothes, or she can receive them all as well. This is just a matter of hierarchy, so to speak, of making the most of your time. This is also the case with men, then they pass it on to the president. The signal is made with a quick movement, raising the left hand of both the person receiving and the person giving. Delivery labels vary slightly. The person comes in front of the person receiving and says: “I received my work for the year… in the holy peace of God and in the holy peace of God I deliver my work with (or without) alteration”. The person who will know if there has been a change in their work or not, but, generally, they deliver with a change. Regarding prayers, usually the person receiving the question asks. Because people often forget to deliver. There are few who deliver on time. And whoever is receiving the work says: “I receive your prayers in the holy peace of God and in the holy peace of God I deliver another 20 thousand prayers for next year”. This is all before finishing the work, after delivery the work ends.

When there was a connection with the Esoteric Circle, Master Irineu received a letter addressed to him saying that the use of ayahuasca was irregular. Then the Master said: “Since they don’t want me, I’ll take away my daime too.” When he removed the daime, that was it, everyone fled and the Tattwa Divine Light Irradiation Center was finished. Everyone didn’t want to go there anymore. He advised us to follow, saying that the instructions were very good, in fact they were.

Master Irineu told me about macumba: “Compadre, if you don’t believe, don’t disdain either. You don’t know what’s around us, there are negative forces. I don’t tell everyone, because I want them to believe in God. But there are negative forces around. One of these times, it will catch you! If you don’t believe, don’t be dismissive, if you don’t believe, don’t be disdained, if you don’t believe, leave it alone, you never know what that person’s intention is.”

He didn’t believe in incorporation. He once said: “I asked the Queen my mother about this, and she said: ‘Out of a thousand perhaps, out of perhaps three times a thousand one will be taken.’ Now where is this one that is true, no one knows. The rest are all fantasies after money. Even if the person doesn’t know what they are doing, they are confused, the negative force is very close to people and sometimes the person is not prepared.”

He said that, when he went on this trip to Maranhão, he passed through Belém. And Fabiano, Zé das Neves’ brother, asked him to go to a place like that and he went. When he got there, people called him to give him a pass. He said he felt there was no earth on the ground, he asked for permission, went outside and stepped on the ground, looked at the sky and came back and asked to continue. And they didn’t want to continue, saying that his body was closed and nothing was caught in it. But he said, if the person makes it easy, there is a negative force that grabs the person. It’s not that the person embodies it. The person already brings with him, given by God, his spirit. But if the person moves away and someone else enters, negative forces can enter. They really are negative forces. If the person does not prepare, as the hymn “Stay a vagabond spirit” says. That vagabond spirit is after light. If you have a lot of light, they will come after you. The person doesn’t know how to defend themselves, they become disoriented, doing stupid things, really making mistakes. There is this work, precisely to support these entities. It is for that person who is not capable of fighting that entity.

There was a controversy with Dona Percília regarding hymn 130. I heard her say a lot that it was a reserved hymn, that it was reserved exclusively for mass days, that is, when there is a death, or, for the day of the passing of the Master . But, before that, I even got to sing, not just for Kings Day. If Cruzeiro came out, I would sing. This hymn, in his time, we sang at the ballet. Because as soon as he received it, many people were in an uproar, the Master leaves and so on. He went to the headquarters and comforted us. The hymnals that followed, we sang. This anthem was released on O Cruzeiro. He’s actually very good at dancing. But after he left they created this.

For example, his birthday is the fifteenth. Even in life, his birthday was the fifteenth. But it was only done with hymnals last year, before it was a forró celebration with daime. But in 1970 it was done on the 15th, at 6 pm. He called Percília and Maria Gomes to start praying the rosary, then the daime was served and he started singing at 7 pm.

So this proves to us that daime really, when it is being made, let’s say: it goes through metamorphosis, a complete transformation. It’s different from what we might think of what tea is in many centers out there, which they call tea. I don’t call it tea, because I know that this transformation it goes through is not scientifically proven. It is divinely. It doesn’t become tea, it doesn’t become just any liquid.

The Master had an exclusivity, first hand it was balsam, which is a strong wood, with good pressure. This is why he put her first. Then came cumaru-ferro, a wood with good pressure. Very good on fire too, so much so that here in Acre, when you go to buy a bag of charcoal, you wonder if it is cumaru-ferro. It’s a very good charcoal, so wood, the fire we need to make santo daime is a safe fire with good pressure. Then comes the ipê, which we call pau d’arco here, the purple one. The pau d’arco has such a hot fire that it melts at the bottom of the pan. Finish the bottom of the pan quickly, the guy will make daime with ipê, everyone comes out dark, that dark smoke, like diesel, but it’s also a very strong firewood, very good too. So these three were the essential ones. Other than that, if you had difficulty finding it, you could get maçaranduba, quari-quari, and carapanaúba. The problem is in the pressure, not letting the pressure drop. The fire must be on a single average all the time. We at work, in time, in time, in time, will come to this conclusion. There are people who set a lot of fire. What happens? The boil comes quickly, the daime dries ahead of time, without taking away the essence of the thing. There’s all this, so when we pay attention, work, we see all these things that we need, there are people who take a bag of vines, knock, knock, knock and do the cleaning. So, let’s say it gave 5, 6, 8 liters of daime, why? Sometimes it’s not even cooked well, because there wasn’t enough time, there was too much heat, what happens? It dries quickly and doesn’t take away the essence that has to be removed from the vine or the leaf. So, we learn these tricks on the job.

You start with foil, if the first layer on the bottom of the pan is foil (a small amount), you finish with foil, it could be 2, 4, 5, 8, 10 layers and in equal thicknesses. The same thickness of the leaf must be the same as that of the pulped vine pomace and so on. But it would have to end with a leaf. If you started with the vine, you would also end with the vine, that was his demand. It was how he learned from the Queen and passed it on to us, and how I still behave there, and I’m very afraid of changing.
The Master actually started with the instructions he received from the Queen. With a wooden sledgehammer. But he told me, not only to me but to other people, that there was a time when he was too lazy to make a sledgehammer right away. He picked up the hammer and started hitting it with the hammer. He made the daime. But the Queen complained to him. He says he had a hammer on his head at will. But he promised the Queen never to fall for that scam again.

Today we still try to do it the best way. And, by the way, I even asked him at a good opportunity if we couldn’t use a machine. At that time there was already talk, there in Vila Ivonete, they were working with that bone breaking machine. Then they thought about using it to grind jagube. He even said, “You’re just lazy, aren’t you?” I said: “No Master. I’m not lazy. I’m just asking you if you can or not.” He said, “No.”

We worked on average ten bags per batch. We worked every new moon of the year, except the new moon during Carnival. We worked with twelve men in twelve dens. The house was in the little house, more or less between the headquarters and his house. It was close to his shed, and close to his house too.

We arrived there around ten o’clock at night, after a daime feitio, and he had the draft. He asked Luiz Mendes to read it. Luiz Mendes spent two hours reading this Statute. Sometimes we slept, sometimes we woke up, slept, woke up and when we finished he asked us what we thought, if it was good. Our response was: “Who were we to find, to judge?” He said, “Isn’t it good?” We replied: “It’s also good for everyone.” That’s when he came by and handed it to me, and asked me to take the steps and register it at the Official Notary’s Office. So it was done.

Then he went on to form the Board of Directors. I even found it a little difficult. Because generally certain brothers around here wanted to prevail with the hierarchy. Because he was the oldest, he thought the position of President should be his. As José das Neves did not want to accept the position of Counselor, I had to return to Alto Santo. He told Zé das Neves to conform. He would leave Zé das Neves with him. That he knew what he was doing. He then quieted down. The positions he directed were mine (as secretary), Peregrina’s as treasurer, Júlio Carioca as the caretaker, Leôncio (president) and José das Neves. The rest he told me to arrange there. And so it was done. He told Leôncio to choose the vice president for him. He chose his Francisco Granjeiro. I handed him the completed registration form for the center, the day before he left for his trip. Around seven o’clock at night, I handed it into his hands, then he said: “Compadre, I’m satisfied, I gave a name to someone who didn’t have one.” He went and gave me this documentation after reading it, saying that I was to keep it here until one day.

In the work we did for him, we went in two at a time where he was so as not to cause disturbances. It was there in his room. When Leôncio and I came in, he went and told Leôncio not to invent fashion within his work. The dosage of daime from now on would be half a glass. Above half a glass was each person’s expense. For an hour’s concentration, that part was there.

I had a chat with him at the birthday party. He passed away in 1971. On the 5th I arrived with the center’s documentation, all registered with a notary, ready. First I arrived, asked him for a blessing, and around seven o’clock at night he blessed me. He received a copy of the draft statute from José Vieira. Afterwards, he sent the copy to Luiz Mendes do Nascimento to read. There, Luiz Mendes read the copy to all the components who worked on the Daime project. Then he asked one thing: “Is it ok?” I already had the answer: “You’re the one who knows, it’s fine with me.” He passed it on to me and I took care of registering it at the registry office and in the official journal. All of this then, on July 5, 1971, everything was ready. So, at seven o’clock at night I asked him for his blessing, I asked about his health and he replied: “It’s just this cold that’s haunting me.” Comadre Peregrina was like that on the side and everything. She was watching when I finished reading, he said: “Compadre, I’m satisfied, I gave a name to someone who didn’t have one.” People really tarnished the image of daime. The way he expressed himself was very visible. Now certainly registered, legalized, there was no longer any reason for so much blemish. He said, “Keep it with you until one day.”

Master Irineu was never a man to read and keep chapters and verses of the Bible in his mind, but one thing he kept with him and never tired of repeating: “From the Bible I took two commandments, for us to love God above all things and to your neighbor as to yourself. It says it all, if we do that, we’re all in.” That was the story I heard from his mouth. He never blasphemed religion, anyone, especially the Bible, because he compared: “My Cruzeiro is cutting the Bible from thread to wick, compare.” He is not undoing anything from the Bible. But he never used the Bible on the table.

One day he told me that he was going to perpetuate himself. So much so that, when the news arrived that he had passed away, I thought it was a lie from whoever said it. But in reality, it was true. Then I went to add the dots to the i(s). He actually told me that he was making the trip, but I didn’t really understand. I asked him before the day of the concentration what his health status was. He said, “I’m fine, buddy.” “Are you really okay, godfather?” “I am”. “But, are you really okay, godfather?” I insisted a little. He said: “Yes, my friend, it’s just this cold that’s bothering me a little. But my healing is in my hands. My mother told me that she put it in my hands. Whenever I want to make my journey, I’ll do it. It won’t take long.” But I had no idea it would be eight days later, or rather seven. We did the work on a Wednesday and it was on Tuesday, so it was seven.

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