It always amazes me the lengths the religious will go to in order to play out their ridiculous beliefs. On this week’s Horror Show Sunday, in France, a 19-year old girl was found by authorities, emaciated, dehydrated and in a state of shock after four members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, including the girl’s boyfriend, tied her into a Crucifixion pose on a bed and left her there for days in a southern Paris suburb. Luckily, the girl survived and the perpetrators were arrested.
The girl, known only as Antionette, reportedly jumped on her boyfriend, Eric Deron, while babbling incoherently, which led Deron, a devout Seventh Day Adventist, to think that she was possessed by the devil. Prosecutors in the trial say that Deron considered himself a prophet of God and on a divine mission to save Antionette’s soul when he and three other church members bound her to a bed and kept her alive with minuscule amounts of oil and water while they prayed over her.
Supposedly, tying her to the bed was supposed to get God’s attention so that he’d come and cast the demon out. Geez, I guess God gets busy given all the purchase of love cuffs and the like worldwide.
The four have been charged with kidnapping and acts of torture and barbarism but they have denied all allegations. They hold that they were just following their religious beliefs. The Seventh Day Adventist Church has excommunicated all of them, saying that this type of exorcism is completely against church beliefs and cannot be justified.
According to their lawyer, Jacques Bourdais, they should not be held accountable because this was religiously justified. “To them, she was possessed, that is why they did not call a doctor. You call a doctor when someone is sick, when someone is possessed you exorcise them.” All five individuals were originally from Cameroon.
Unfortunately, as with all of these cases, it is not unique, such things happen with alarming regularity. Take, for example, the case of an 8-year old French boy, also originally from Cameroon, who was left for dead in a carpark after a botched exorcism by his father and aunt left him “cold, frightened and covered in bruises”. His aunt told investigators that they violently beat the boy and abandoned him because he was “bewitched.” The boy reported that since his aunt had arrived in France and tried to “save his soul”. This resulted in his aunt beating him with a bat and his father whipping him with a belt while they prayed over him. The father and aunt were charged with “acts of violence” and “abandonment of a minor”. The boy’s mother disagreed with their tactics but made no move to protect the boy.
Unfortunately, Cameroon has become a hot spot of religious child abuse in recent years after the nation outlawed the practice of witchcraft. Many people who have creatively combined witchcraft and Christianity have taken to beating the evil out of people, as seen in these two stories. According to UNICEF, examples of physical abuse on children and even executions to cure demonic possession are commonplace and, as we see here, these beliefs spread when these people move to other nations.
And people wonder why religion is so harmful?