For years, Braco the "gazer" has been holding workshops around the world where his followers believe that they receive positivity, warmth, and healing from his silent stare.
Though his inner circle describes him as a regular guy who loves to travel, Braco hasn't spoken in public for years and offers only his gaze to his followers. Braco's website describes his alleged talents:
Braco’s gaze touches his visitors with peace, silence and hope. Amazing transformations happen, and many find new power, vitality and a zest for life resulting from their experience. Braco does not teach, talk or diagnose to give treatments—he simply gazes in silence and offers his gift to visitors—independent from religion, ideology, race, color and culture.
Even with his thousands of followers who follow him around the world, Braco has his skeptics. It's not without good reason; he literally just stands and stares at his audience in total silence for "five to seven minutes" for about what you'd pay for an ambitious lunch at your favorite fast food joint.
With at least a hundred attendants per 35 minute session, of which Braco is only present for a fraction of the time, whether Braco's gaze actually does anything, his bank account knows it's working.
Based on Braco's most recent visit to the United States in San Francisco, California, here's what you can expect from attending a gazing session.
More people than you'd expect
While you likely won't need to buy tickets in advance to see Braco, you'll be surprised to see the small crowds of people buying tickets for the next session with the Croatian gazer.
From people pushing sick family members in wheel chairs, to parents from suburbia, and time travelers from flower child communes, you'll see it all.
If you believe Braco is simply a mildly well-marketed scam, this could break your heart. If you believe Braco's gaze has healing powers, your soul may be moved by seeing so many like-minded people who believe in positivity and hearsay miracles that they've read about or experienced from the healer's stare.
A 35 minute session for five minutes of Braco
You'll spend the majority of your session listening to a long, drawn-out introduction to Braco, complete with a testimonial video of filled with stories that Braco followers use to justify the gazer's healing power.
Not surprisingly, the "Golden Bridge" video appears to use theta brain wave sounds to help induce a light, hypnotic trance on its audience.
As you're watching the testimonials, you'll find that you're only seeing the "After," never the "Before." Those who have benefitted from Braco's gaze speak in the past tense about their conditions, but don't seem to have a single picture of them at the hospital or any proof of their previous conditions.
From brain tumors shrinking to disorders being healed, you'll see the "After," but you'll question if there was ever a "Before." Either way, Braco's followers seem satisfied with the "After."
Believers planted in the audience
Prior to Braco taking the stage, people have the opportunity to speak about their experiences with Braco, whether that day or in the past. Chances are, people will speak of the past.
In San Francisco, both of the people who spoke during one afternoon session couldn't have been more planted in the audience. One woman, whose seat was conveniently exactly in the center of the hotel ballroom, had a seat mysteriously saved for her - the only saved seat inside the ballroom.
She spoke vaguely about her alleged trip to Croatia, where she used words like "warmth, love" and being "among Braco's people."
Most importantly, the woman also endorsed Braco's DVDs, which are for sale in the hotel lobby.
During the session, a second man gave a well-rehearsed, vaguely worded speech - complete with jokes, perfectly timed pauses, and a couple "Well, hell..."'s - about his experiences with Braco. Over the course of his four minute monologue, he'll speak in the past tense, building the idea that if you just attend one more session with Braco, your life will be changed as well.
And don't forget, he uses the DVDs too.
Few first timers
During one session, fewer than ten of the 100+ attendees were first-time Braco gazers. With over 90% of the audience as alleged devoted followers, it makes you think twice and wonder how many in the audience are actually hired hands that help recruit new followers with their stories.
Of course, most of the repeat attendees also use the DVDs.
If you think that Braco's gaze is anything other than looking into the expression-less face of another human at a moderate distance, think again; it's literally all that happens.
After his introduction, without a word, Braco comes on stage and begins his gaze. Braco scans the room, face by face, three or four times over the course of five minutes. Amazingly, he will not break expression (character?) once before he leaves the stage without a word, smile, or catch phrase.
It's gazing. Many have claimed to see angel wings, bubbles of color, or beams of light emanating from Braco's frame.
If you take a step back away from the DVDs, questionable testimonials, and enthusiastic recounting of stories that other attendees have heard from other attendees, it's a guy staring at you wearing a linen shirt for a few minutes for the price of a movie ticket.
Interested in seeing Braco?
Considering it only costs a few bucks to have either a transcendental, life-changing moment or bizarre life experience that you can talk about for months with friends, it could be worth 35 minutes of your life to see the Croatian gazer.
You'll likely say that it's the worst money you've ever spent, but you'll be amazed at his business model, question how many of the followers weren't hired guns, and have an experience that will make you a believer in the power of mob mentality.
"Many find new power, vitality and a zest for life," claims Braco's website. Others will find they just spent a few bucks to pay a guy to stare at them.