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Gold Dust? The story of Silvânia Machado

by Venefredo Barbosa Vilar

I recently found in the Internet, at a number of sites and links, in English, French and other languages, the story of Mrs. Silvânia Machado, from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The story tells the wonders God had supposedly done and continued to do in her life, such as the cure of a cancer, the oil dropping from her hands, the water she transmutes into wine, and the gold dust she removes from her hair.

Because I hadn't found anything about this story in Portuguese, I decided to report a little bit of what I know about this wonder lady.

Arrival and fleeing of the couple

In July 1999, I was asked by my friend Junior to host the couple Silvânia Machado and Luiz Rafael at my home in Taguatinga, Federal District, Brazil. She had been invited by Junior to stay with us for five days, during which she would visit several churches and tell our members about how she had been cured of a cancer and show the wonders God had done and continued to do in her and through her.

But the couple stayed at my home only one night. They didn't comply with the five-day program they had agreed to carry out. They disappointed us by leaving our home in the morning of the following day, telling a number of lies, leaving us (myself, my wife, my two daughters and their husbands, as well as my eight-year-old grandson) with the feeling they weren't real Christians. (My grandson, perhaps influenced by Mr. M, who by that time was in the Brazilian media, said to his dad after seeing the gold dust phenomenon at the church: " That's magic, Dad!"

They said to my wife they were going to stay at the home of their friend Valéria because they didn't want to be a burden to us. But soon we knew they had registered in a hotel, from where they called my friend Junior and asked for money. Later we heard that their friend Valéria lived in Goiânia, the capital of Goiás, 200 kilometers far from our city!


Then I decided to submit her gold dust to the test of fire. It burned out like plastic. It wasn't gold but – it seemed – golden glitter, which can be bought at any notions store.

I immediately contacted my friend Junior, who told me that in the evening before, after church service and still in the room where the wonder of gold dust took place, she had said that she didn't want to stay in my home because I wasn't a believer and could impair her work. (Up to that moment, I had only complimented her and recorded a video.)

She added that she was going hungry at my home and that we hadn't given her not even water to drink, that there was not a TV set in her bedroom, that the bathroom was too far from the house and that every time she needed to use it she had to ask for the key.

It's true there was not a TV set in the bedroom but only in the living room, since my home is not a hotel! The rest is pure falsehood.

After this confusion they fled to Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, leaving Junior embarrassed before the pastors of the churches where she was to do her presentation during the remaining four days.

The gold that isn't gold

In the following days, an analysis of the "gold dust" was carried out by METAGO, a firm in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil, that was ordered by my brother W. and his son E., the latter being pastor of a church in that city, where Silvânia Machado had been doing her work during June 1999.

That analysis proved the material to be no gold at all.

If you have some of this "gold dust", you may want to do the fire proof as I myself did, as well as the author of the expert's report (the jeweler Daniel Roberts, from Virginia, USA), which she used to show during her speeches, stressing that it had been done at one of the best laboratories in Washington, by one the best geologists in the world. In such report, Mr. Daniel Roberts certifies that the sample is 24-karat gold, and that each particle had the form of a sandwich, with a layer of gold, one layer of oil, and a third layer of gold. In one of her statements, Mrs. Machado said that a Canadian laboratory had found that the third layer was platinum.

At an Internet site I learned that in May 1999, in Canada, at the church Toronto Airport Vineyard, the pastor John Arnott also ordered a sample of the "gold dust" to be analyzed. The sample was found to be plastic film with no trace of platinum, silver or gold, and the pastor cancelled Mrs. Machado's presentations after the first of the four that had been programmed.

She never said a word here in Brazil about her experience in Canada…!

It would be wonderful if all she said and showed in the only night she lectured in Taguatinga were true, but she wasn't able to convince us of that.

At that time I suggested to her –  in a letter delivered to the president of her denomination, with a copy to himself (I don't know whether he passed her a copy) –  that she permitted her head and hair to be examined prior to the manifestation, in order there were no doubt that the phenomenon was not a trick, as it seemed. I think she didn't receive the letter or didn't accept my suggestion, for in the next meeting at a church in Goiânia, the pastor of which is the president of her denomination, she acted the same way as she used to.

The news spread that this pastor, who I know for a long time, had examined her head and hair before the manifestation.  But in a telephone conversation he told me he hadn't done that.

In a video I have, she tells (with the enthusiastic participation of her husband) that at London airport she had been barred by the metal detector and had to explain the policemen that she had just finished a night of prayer during which a manifestation of gold dust took place, causing her body to be covered by gold dust. (Are the London detectors so sensitive as to detect even minute particles of plastic?)

In an interview to the Charisma magazine (Sept. 8, 1999), which showed two reports certifying the sample to be plastic, she said: "To me, it doesn't matter what it is as long it's from God".

I agree with her. But if it were from God they didn't need to flee as they fled, or lie as they lied. 

The inquiry

I was forced by my conscience to travel to Goiânia the same day the couple fled from Taguatinga, in order to tell the president of her denomination what had happened. Having not found him, I reported everything to the vice-president, who showed interest in investigating the truth. He asked me whether I would agree in testifying before a committee of pastors he would summon to investigate the matter. I agreed, but never received any invitation.

However, I was told that, due to what I had reported to the vice-president and the METAGO's expert report, pastors from her denomination submitted her to an inquiry to find out the truth. Friends told me that she passed the examination. She explained the fact that her gold was not real gold by saying that in the beginning it was gold, and just didn't know why it wasn't gold any more. She added that the confusion in Taguatinga was due to the action of an investigative group.

If the gold she received from God wasn't gold any more, then a backward transubstantiation occurred! In the Roman Church, bread and wine transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ. At least this is what the clergy determines people to believe. In our story, the gold sent by God transubstantiated into plastic! Here is a serious problem for the theologians of her denomination to solve.

According to her version, I must conclude that God gave her the unction of gold and she went ahead throughout the world – Brazil, United States, Canada, England, Switzerland – testifying this wonder. Sometime later, God transubstantiated the gold into plastic without telling her a word about it, pushing her into trouble. She only discovered this when I hosted her at home. I don't know how theologians will explain such a situation that compromises God's character!

I was told that, despite approving her, the committee introduced a few changes in her presentation at the church. The so-called unction of gold became golden unction. The gold dust, which used to be collected by the pastor on his open Bible and distributed among many believers, now was blown on them as the pastor walked along the nave.

The expert's report

I have a copy of the report made by the Virginia man, that is, by the Virginia jeweler Daniel Roberts, with whom I had a telephone conversation in December 1999, with the assistance of the interpreter R. 

He informed me that he had examined the sample at a microscope and also set fire to it and it burned out. He also confessed that, although he had certified the sample to be gold, he hadn't signed the report because he wasn't sure it was gold. My copy of this report was obtained from a friend that found it in the drawer of a pastor that told me he hadn't it. I asked my son-in-law A to get a copy of the report from Silvânia's husband, Luiz Rafael. Although having said at church that he himself would provide a copy to anyone interested, he said I should get my copy from the president of his denomination.

It is curious that other pastor in Goiânia guaranteed me that the gold dust was true, for a member of his church ordered it to be tested and it was found to be pure gold. I telephoned this member. He told me a dollar dealer had carried out the test, and certified the sample to be pure gold by simply examining it with his "clinical eye".

An observation

The report I have is a copy of the one Silvânia exhibited, which is recorded in my video. But the recorded copy shows neither name nor address of the expert.  In the copy I obtained, one can see there was a mounting job: someone glued the business card of the jeweler on the report and photocopied it. Hence the surprise Mr. Roberts showed when I found him out. He asked me how I'd found his name and address. He got upset when informed that his card had been attached to his report.

(Attention! Never buy any jewel from Daniel Roberts. He can't tell gold from plastic. As he burned the sample, he didn't remember that gold doesn't burn out, but that it just melts under high temperatures!)

Intriguing facts

With no intention of judging or influencing people's opinion about the origin of the gold dust (not gold any more, but plastic), or about Mrs. Machado's character, I want to stress four intriguing facts observed during her meteoric, chaotic passage by Taguatinga.

First.  Before her preparation for church service and after the gold manifestation, she complimented cheerfully the people with hugs and kisses. But after her preparation and before gold manifestation she avoided people, complimenting them at a distance. She even refused a lift offered by my daughter S., and preferred to drive her own car to church, facing unfamiliar, crowded traffic at night for about ten kilometers. At the entrance of the church she stayed in the car till presentation time. When I first met her, she had just prepared for her presentation, and complimented me with strange coldness. As I introduced myself, she glanced at me and said: "I know who you are".

Second.  During her presentation at church, anticipating eventual doubts about her gold manifestation, she uttered the following phrase: "By the GODS' sake!

Three.  During the same presentation she repeated not less than 37 times the words CAPETA and CAPETICE, which mean devil and devil's work.

Fourth.   At no time did she say how and when she was converted!

A personal opinion

Considering her behavior and the way she removed gold dust from her hair after asking the audience, in a defying tone, if they wanted to see a signal from God, I want to offer a guess.

I think she had her husband's assistance to hide glitter in her golden-painted hair, on the right side of her head, where the volume of hair is bigger and from where she always removes it. She avoided physical contact with people because this could ruin the trick. Well before beginning her testimony (after which her husband prayed for God's unction and removed the gold dust from her hair), a number of sparkling spots could be seen on her face. This means that the glitter had been there from the very beginning.

We don't know yet what her husband did with the newspaper he borrowed from my son-in-law E., which he took to the room where she was preparing for presentation. He didn't return it, and we weren't able to find it in the trash or at any other part of the room. Didn't they use it to cover the floor so as to leave no trace of the fraud?

Fruitless efforts

Having heard that she would be at a church in Goiânia in August 1999, I went there to warn the pastor she was a fraud. Two witnesses accompanied me: my son-in-law E., and my friend Junior. I did this in consideration for my wife's family relationship with the pastor of the church she would visit. He didn't accept our testimony, and received her. It was at that church that she named me demon.  Also it was to a member of that church that the dollar dealer said the "gold dust" was pure gold.

I tried a number of times to definitely clear up this matter to several pastors who received her in their churches in Uberlândia and Goiânia, but found only subterfuges, lies, reservation. It seemed to me there was much of convenience and connivance!

In addition to the expert's report, I have a video tape recorded at the Calvary Church, USA, in August 1998; another video recorded in June 1999 at a church whose pastor is a nephew of mine, in Goiânia; a video recorded by myself in July 1999, when she passed by Taguatinga; yet another video recorded in August 1999 at another church in Goiânia, whose pastor is my wife's cousin. At the latter church Silvânia Machado affirmed she had been a guest in the devil's house, meaning my home and me.

If anybody wants to clear up or investigate this case, and to have access to this material (report by the jeweler Daniel Roberts and video tapes) and to hear a complete report from me, from my relatives and from the pastor who brought her to Taguatinga, please contact me.

My interest is only the TRUTH, since, as we heard from the Lord Jesus, lie comes from the evil one.

Where is Silvânia?

I don't know where she is presently. I heard she had moved out of Uberlândia. If somebody knows of any church that's going to receive her, please let me know. I want to see her again!

I'm a retired lawyer, 67 years old and 49 years of evangelic faith.

For truth sake, please let other people read this. If anyone wants to publish it in a magazine or newspaper, don't hesitate to do it, without any cost, provided there is no editing, except for technical and grammar revisions. Translations to other languages are also permitted.

I've found her!

Because there was no news about her whereabouts, I thought she could be in prison for her frauds, since jail is a good place for crooks. However, after writing this testimony I had the surprise of finding in the site the news that she will be in a conference in Charlotte, North Caroline, USA, from April 25 through 28, 2002.

The site also shows her postal address: SILVANIA MACHADO, P.O. Box 49263, CHARLOTE, NC 28277-0076, USA, site:, e-mail:

Unfortunately, I won't be able to see her there.

Two messages and an advice

Here I offer an advice to her and to the person responsible for the conference. I suggest the person responsible for the event to ask somebody to examine her hair publicly, just prior to the gold manifestation. I suggest her to use short sleeves and to remove any rings from her fingers, so that there be no doubt that the gold dust is not a trick!

(I myself know a little bit about magic and tricks. In my youth I could make wine from water and vice-versa. I could read words and phrases that were written and placed into envelopes, with no need to open them.)

Now a message also to Mr. Daniel Roberts: "Please never test anything you don't know well. If you do, and if you write an expert's report, add your name, address, date and signature. This is how serious, honest things are done!

Although advice and water should be offered only to those who ask for them, I insist in offering an advice to church leaders: before leaving anyone occupy the pulpit, submit them to the sieve of common sense, and be certain of the veracity of the facts they intend to present. Investigate their antecedents. Don't expose God's people to those willing to take advantage from their faith. These deceptive persons are showing up more and more in this end and beginning of millennium. Also, if you find out you've been deceived, don't fail to tell your people the truth.

However, if you find out that the gold dust is a real manifestation of God (with capital G!), please let me know so that I regret my mistake, beg pardon to God and to Silvânia, and confess to everybody that I was wrong.

Venefredo Barbosa Vilar