Silvania Machado is a Brazilian who has appeared in churches across America. According to her testimony, at one point she was dying of cancer. After trying "everything, including witchcraft," a charismatic pastor’s wife told her to "give God 30 days to heal her." According to Machado she was healed after five days. Skipping ahead to 1996, as an American charismatic woman laid hands on Silvania, gold flecks began appearing on her face during services, "so much gold that it covers almost all of her face and rains from the top of her head." In May, 1999, Machado spoke at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, where Pastor John Arnott gathered some of the gold specks and had them analyzed by the University of Toronto Geology Department. Charisma magazine also contracted the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct tests. The results were unanimous. The particles contain no gold or platinum, but were plastic glitter, similar to that used at Christmas. To his credit, John Arnott of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) canceled the originally scheduled four-day appearance of Machado.
According to Arnott, Machado and her team were “sweet as could be” when he presented the findings. When Charisma confronted Machado, she stated, "To me, it doesn't matter what it is as long as it's from God. "Some people focus on the signs instead of the fruit. I must continue to share with the world what God has done in my life and the life of my family" (Charisma, "Glory Dust from Heaven?", November 1999).
Conclusion: "The con man [or woman] will look you straight in the eye and lie to you, telling you he's a doctor if that's what you need to hear - or a lawyer, or a police officer, or a businessperson....A con artist looks like a mother, a grandmother, a priest, a banker, an insurance salesman, a trustee, a photographer, an executive, a policeman, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a mechanic, a craftsman, a diplomat, a foreign dignitary, a student. A con artist looks like me, a con artist looks like you....All in all, the con artist is a master psychologist. He is a psychological illusionist, able to convince anyone to viscerally believe in his illusions. (Chuck Whitlock, Chuck Whitlock's Scam School, Macmillan, New York, NY, 1997, page 20).