Skeptic News: Exorcisms in Pakistan

PazuzuFrom: The Express Tribune

Yesterday, the police found a body that had been pierced by needles over a hundred times. The girl’s bones were fractured by repeated blows to her limbs, and then burned with a hot iron rod.

The police claim the it was exorcism, but no one is sure about what really happened to her.

Earlier last year many cases were reported. In one, a girl namedSalma, who was just 13 died of exorcism. According to The Express Tribune,  The girl’s breathing was hampered by blocking her nostrils with cotton buds and holding her mouth shut.

According to the The Express Tribune’s own survey , over 55% of Pakistanis believe in magic. There are many among us who regard demonic possessions and witchcraft as legitimate threats to our security. Surely, one’s personal beliefs are none of my concern, and in themselves these beliefs minimally affect people’s lives. The problem arises when opportunists begin crawling out of the woodwork. They recognise our general ignorance of psychiatric disorders, and our disillusionment with the limitations of medical science. And within it, they see a lucrative industry based on fleecing the gullible and the desperate.

For exorcisms, there is no standard operating procedure and no documented evidence of success. You can have 50 different exorcists performing 50 different rituals to vanquish the same jinn, and not one of them will offer you any more evidence than the other for the validity of his method.

The full blog by Faraz Talat is well worth a read here.

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