Skeptic News: Exorcist jailed for rape

In what is another horrifying tale of the immoral nature of some of those who pray on the superstitions and beliefs of others an Indonesian man was jailed yesterday in Kuala Lumpur for raping a 15 year old girl during a bogus exorcism. Budi Tukul pleaded guilty to raping the girl during a session, where he claimed to be cleansing the victim of spirits, and was sentenced to eight years. The man from East Java was also sentenced to an extra 12 months in jail and one stroke of the cane for not having any valid travel documents.

The girl had been brought to the exorcist in June 2010 after suffering what has been described as bouts of hysteria and in one session last June Tukul raped her during her treatment on the floor of his living room.

This is sadly and worryingly not an isolated case of faith healers abusing their congregation or customers.

A similar case was reported just eight days ago in Bhutan where a traditional healer was apprehended for the alleged rape of a 16-year old girl, under section 183 of the Penal Code of Bhutan (2011), which states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of rape of a child above the age of twelve years. However it is not just in the far east that such things occur.

Last year in London “Guru” Michael Lyons who claimed to be a spiritual healer was found guilty of the indecent assault of one of his clients and the rape of another, jurors were told he got his victims drunk and then used mumbo jumbo to explain what he was doing. Also in 2006 in Texas a  63-year-old pastor accused of raping one of his congregation during a ceremony to exorcise a “demonic possession”. The investigation into Leonard Ray Owens began after a 22-year-old woman reported to authorities that Owens raped her on two occasions at his Fort Worth home.  Owens said she had a sex spirit and lesbian demon inside her that he needed to cast out.

It seems that in many cases those people with strong religious or paranormal beliefs seek salvation from evil from turn out to be evil themselves.

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0 Responses to Skeptic News: Exorcist jailed for rape

  1. Adam says:

    Hm. While these stories are shocking and describe utterly reprehensible behaviour, it seems you are making a link between exorcists and rape. However, from this small number of anecdotes, that seems to be a bit speculative. What is the evidence that exorcists are more likely to be rapists than the general population?

  2. The point is more about the danger of putting your trust in people who lay claim to extraordinary healing powers. As these people are either deluded or deceitful.

    One of the main predictors of abuse is access, people abusing positions of power in order to commit crimes. My argument would be that people setting themselves up as faith healers have created a low cost position of authority that allows access. Thus it is an easily exploitable position.

    There are further cases mentioned here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_evangelist_scandals. and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_convicted_religious_leaders

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