Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: Nantucket exorcism edition.

Yet another child falls victim to a delusional parent:

NANTUCKET (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Police say a Nantucket woman accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter told a priest and hospital officials that God told her to push a rose down the girl’s throat to ward off the devil.

Documents filed in Nantucket District Court said 26-year-old Dora Alicia Tejada Pleitez said she realized that the “rose” was her fist and the devil bit her through the child.

via Nantucket child killed in exorcism by mom according to court docs.

I can’t begin to imagine the horror of having your mother try to shove her first down your throat because she thinks you have demons in you. What a way to go.

Authorities, needless to say, are planning on a competency hearing for the mother.

Nine year investigation of Ireland’s Catholic reform schools reveals Hell on Earth.

It’s taken nine years and the final 2,600 page report goes into detail on the systematic abuse and rape of children living in reform schools run by the Catholic church in Ireland:

Catholic Church shamed by Irish abuse report – Yahoo! News

Wednesday’s five-volume report on the probe — which was resisted by Catholic religious orders — concluded that church officials shielded their orders’ pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy.

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse concluded.

Victims of the abuse, who are now in their 50s to 80s, lobbied long and hard for an official investigation. They say that for all its incredible detail, the report doesn’t nail down what really matters — the names of their abusers.

“I do genuinely believe that it would have been a further step towards our healing if our abusers had been named and shamed,” said Christine Buckley, 62, who spent the first 18 years of her life in a Dublin orphanage where children were forced to manufacture rosaries — and were humiliated, beaten and raped whether they achieved their quota or not.

The Catholic religious orders that ran more than 50 workhouse-style reform schools from the late 19th century until the mid-1990s offered public words of apology, shame and regret Wednesday. But when questioned, their leaders indicated they would continue to protect the identities of clergy accused of abuse — men and women who were never reported to police, and were instead permitted to change jobs and keep harming children.

The Christian Brothers, which ran several boys’ institutions deemed to have harbored serial child molesters and sadists on their staff, insisted it had cooperated fully with the probe. The order successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report. No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.

It’s outrageous enough that the abuse took place for multiple decades in an institution that likes to claim itself as a moral authority, that the Vatican itself knew of the problem, and that the church as a whole covered up the crimes without ever removing the people involved in them from their positions, but to then publicly admit that you’re going to continue to protect the guilty from being revealed?!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: How anyone can continue to be a Catholic after these revelations is just beyond my understanding. At the very least you should be at the Vatican with pitchforks and torches demanding to know how this was allowed to happen for so long and who’s going to be held accountable for their actions. There’s a lot to account for such as:

The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

“In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. … Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body,” the report said. “Personal and family denigration was widespread.”

I haven’t even tried to read the report itself because the news summaries are already pretty upsetting. It gets worse, though, there’s a second report due at the end of June:

A second damning report, due to be published by the end of June, will detail the abuse of hundreds of children in the Dublin archdiocese from 1940 onwards. More than 100 priests are facing allegations and 400 people have been identified as victims.

For the moment it doesn’t appear that anyone involved in the abuse over the years will so much as be named, let alone prosecuted, and the Irish government has now called upon the Vatican to continue the investigation further. How likely do you think that is? I’m not holding my breath in anticipation.

Man beats his 3-year-old son to rid him of demons from eating meat.

I have stated many times my opinion that religious belief is a form of delusion that, for most people, is relatively harmless. Some folks get so wrapped up in their delusions, however, that it leads them to committing acts that are reprehensible at best and downright deadly at worst. Often when I write entries such as this the people I’m talking about are Christian, but it would be wrong to suggest that they have a lock on the deeply delusional marketplace of ideas.

Take for example this news item from the Houston Chronicle:

A southwest Harris County man who is accused of beating his 3-year old son said the child had been invaded by demons after he ate meat, a prosecutor said today.

[…] During a court hearing Monday morning before state District Judge Debbie Mantooth Stricklin, prosecutors said that Tran, a vegetarian, thought some meat his son ate caused demons to enter the boy.

“The defendant said eating meat will cause demons in the child,” said Assistant Harris County District Attorney Angela Weltin said during the hearing.

The twist here is that the father is a Buddhist which makes this case particularly odd. Those who know him say he just snapped. Apparently he’s been acting oddly for awhile now and had only just decided to become a vegetarian:

“Jacky thinks he’s an angel right now: that he’s sent by God to help everybody,” said Thuba To, Tran’s cousin-in-law.

Tran’s relatives and neighbors say the devout Buddhist had never shown any tendencies toward violence. The family has no record with CPS, and Tran appears to have no criminal record. Those closest to him believe something within him just snapped.

“He’s a very nice person, a very responsible husband, a good person,” To said. “I think he’s run into a problem with psychology.”

[…] Within the last week, however, neighbors noticed that Tran been acting strangely. On Wednesday, Badat said he spotted Tran carrying a Buddhist statue into his house and the next day he saw the man throwing almost all his furniture into his front and back yards.

The front and back yards of the family’s house were still strewn with broken furniture Sunday.

“He threw everything out, even valuable things, because he says they’re evil,” To said.

By Friday morning, Badat decided to check on Tran, who told him that the statue he brought home earlier in the week was possessed by a demon and that he had buried it in a cemetery. He also told Badat that the furniture in the home had also been tainted.

“He thought the demon came onto everything,” Badat said.

He decided during the week to become a vegetarian, eating only fruits and vegetables for days, his cousin-in-law said.

“He’s been Buddhist for many years, but not like this,” she said.

Buddhists typically eschew worldly goods and embrace pacifism and moderation. But Tran seemed suddenly to be taking his faith to extremes, neighbors said.

His toddler son was flown to the hospital where he was being treated for multiple skull fractures. When police arrived the unresponsive boy was being cradled by his mother in the bathtub. His face a maroon color and his eyes nearly swollen shut. His father denies hitting the child at all saying he had merely “knocked the demons out of him.”

If you accept the idea of demons and Gods and spirits and possession then everything the man did up to, and possibly including, beating his son should make perfect sense. If he truly believed his household furnishings had been invaded by a demon then throwing them out is perfectly logical. If he truly believed the Buddhist statue he brought home was possessed then burying it somewhere else would also be perfectly logical. As for beating his child to rid him of demons, I’ll admit that I’m not up on Buddhist exorcism practices, but it’s not like he’s the first person to try that approach. The point being that if you buy into the same or similar ideas, that supernatural forces are at work in the world and some of them mean to do us harm, then it’s hard to see how you can criticize the approach this man took or claim that he’s crazy in anyway. These “harmless” beliefs led directly to a purportedly good man—according to those who know him—committing a terrible act against his own child with nothing but good intentions on his part.

How can you call that anything but delusional?

Sent in by an SEB reader who didn’t provide a name for me to use in the email.

School reports child as sexually abused based on the claim of a psychic.

Being a single mom raising an autistic daughter is hard enough to begin with and having to deal with stupid shit like this only makes it harder. Colleen Leduc had just dropped her autistic daughter, Victoria, off at the school and was headed to work when she got a frantic phone call saying she needed to come back to the school immediately. Upon arrival she was greeted with the following news:

“The teacher looked and me and said: ‘We have to tell you something. The educational assistant who works with Victoria went to see a psychic last night, and the psychic asked the educational assistant at that particular time if she works with a little girl by the name of “V.” And she said ‘yes, I do.’ And she said, ‘well, you need to know that that child is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.’”

Victoria, who is non-verbal, had also been exhibiting sexualized behaviour in class, actions which are known to be typical of autistic behavior. (See other typical actions here) That lead authorities to suspect she had a bladder infection that may have somehow been related to the ‘attack.’

Leduc was shaken by the idea. “It’s actually your worst nightmare your child being violated,” she admits. “So for them to even suggest that, and that be my worst nightmare, it was horrific.”

But things got worse when school officials used the “evidence” and accepted the completely unsubstantiated word of the seer by reporting the case to Children’s Aid, which promptly opened a file on the family.

“They reported me to Children’s Aid,” Leduc declares, still disbelieving. “Based on a psychic!”

It’s bad enough that the teacher’s aid was credulous enough to buy into this story, but the fact that everyone else bought into it enough to take it seriously is just amazing. They must have some very incompetent people running the Terry Fox Elementary school. A possibility backed up by the fact that Leduc had to take steps to safeguard her daughter after the school repeatedly “lost” her at various points. Steps that would, in fact, pay off in this new situation:

As a result, the already cash strapped mom had spent a considerable sum of money to not only have her child equipped with a GPS unit, but one that provided audio records of everything that was going on around her.

So she had non-stop taped proof that nothing untoward had ever happened to her daughter, and was aghast that the situation had gone this far. But under the Child and Family Services Act, anyone who works with children and has reasonable grounds to suspect a youngster is being harmed, must report it immediately – and the CAS has an obligation to follow up.

The key words above should be reasonable grounds and the word of a supposed “psychic” who claims to have gotten the knowledge through her extra sensory powers and not, say, as an eyewitness to the crime should never be considered reasonable grounds. Not only should the teacher’s aid be fired, assuming she’s not a volunteer, but probably the principal as well for letting this idiocy happen in the first place.

Father puts pins in son’s tongues because of God.

A Nigerian-born father of two boys, living in the UK, felt that since God had his tongue cut off in the Bible, he must inflict similar injuries on his sons. He put pins in their tongues and through their lips, cut their mouths with scalpel blades, and pressing one of the boy’s tongue with sharp pliers until it swelled and bled.

It went to court, and he was found guilty of three counts of child cruelty. He pleaded not guilty; his wife also pleaded not guilty to essentially turning a blind eye to the cruelty. They await sentencing and a verdict on further charges.