View Full Version : Exorcisms are on the rise.

12-29-2005, 07:58 PM
Mexican judge commits 8 to psychiatric prison for brutal exorcism killings of baby, teenager

By MARK STEVENSON Associated Press Writer

(AP) - MEXICO CITY-A judge ordered eight adults committed to a prison psychiatric facility for 40 years Thursday for the grisly exorcism slayings of a 7-month-old baby and a 13-year-old girl in a remote mountain community in western Mexico.

The brutality of the Dec. 7 killings - the baby was hacked to death and dismembered while the teenager killed with stones - has shocked Mexico. Officials say the killers were the victims' own parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, who had become convinced the girls were demons or possessed by the devil.
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They carried out the ritual slayings, accompanied by prayers, the lighting of candles and the sacrifice of farm animals.

A ninth suspect - an aunt described as the alleged instigator of the slayings - remains at a psychiatric hospital in the state capital, reportedly in an even worse state of mental illness.

Judge Ana Maria Raya Razo, who ordered the commitment, told The Associated Press that members of the extended family had acknowledged carrying out killings. They said they were convinced they had to save themselves from demons.

"The psychiatric testimony showed that they were suffering from a delusional psychotic state, with paranoia and hallucinations," Raya Razo said by telephone from Penjamo, the Guanajuato state township where the killings occurred.

"For example, they said they saw animals, demons in the girls," Raya Razo said, citing testimony from the case. "They said they had animal's faces, the faces of monkeys, that they had demons inside and had to be killed in order to for them (the adults) to save themselves."

According to Rodolfo Gonzalez, spokesman for the Guanajuato Attorney General's Office, police were tipped off to the killings by an anonymous phone call.

They traveled on foot - the only way into the remote, three-house hamlet where the family lived - and found the baby girl mutilated, and the body of 13-year-old Juana Perez Frausto tied to a stake and battered to death.

The baby, Maria Elena Perez Gutierrez, had had her arms and legs cut off, and her belly cut open. The suspects later claimed they saw animal excrement instead of her intestines.

About 10 children and adults - members of the same extended family of about 30 - were found locked into a house, where they had been confined for three days, apparently because they too were suspected of being possessed.

According to police reports, goats, pigs and chickens had been sacrificed at the site.

Ismael Gonzalez, private secretary to the mayor of Penjamo, located 180 miles (290 kms) west of Mexico City, said the suspects were known as "a normal family."

"This is the first case like this here...this is not what people in Penjamo do," Gonzalez said.

He said that Amalia Perez Hernandez, who alleged started the hysteria after visiting a faith healer, had become catatonic and had been taken to a psychiatric hospital after she was detained.

The suspects - Reinaldo Perez Hernandez and Hermelinda Frausto Lopez, the parents of the 13-year-old - and the parents of the baby, Josefina Gutierrez Gutierrez and Jose Luis Perez Hernandez - helped kill their daughters, but were found not responsible for murder due to insanity.

The girl's grandfather and three aunts were also ordered committed for the crimes. All will serve out their treatment in the psychiatric ward of a Guanajuato state prison.

Judge Raya Razo said the suspects could be released before the 40 years were up, if psychiatric tests proved they had recovered from the psychosis.


Exorcisms Rise in Mexico, Keeping Father Mendoza, Healers Busy

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Father Pedro Mendoza Pantoja, the Roman Catholic Church's highest-ranking exorcist in Mexico City, has never been busier.

Mendoza, 70, takes 15 phone calls a day from people who say they are possessed by the devil and sees about five of them for in-office consultations. They're part of the increasing number of Mexicans demanding exorcisms.

``Growing up, I don't remember a single person possessed by a demon,'' Mendoza said from his parish in Cuajimalpa, a town on the outskirts of Mexico City. ``Every time a girl gets sick or acts strange, they send her over.''

Mexico is part of a global surge in exorcisms sparked by the Vatican's decision in 1999 to issue a new manual for the process, said Scott Lilienfeld, a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta. Ninety-two percent of Mexico's 106 million people are Catholic.

The instructions on carrying out exorcisms are contained in the 84-page Roman Ritual, a book produced by the Vatican to outline how prayers and ceremonies should be handled. The revision to the section on exorcisms, the first since 1614, was made to reduce injuries and deaths, Lilienfeld said.

``I have to wonder if inadvertently they may have made it more popular by giving it a veneer of legitimacy,'' Lilienfeld said in a telephone interview. ``The Vatican guidelines urge it be done with a medical professional. It may make it look like this is a real medical practice, which it is not.''

`The Exorcist'

A year after the Vatican published its new guidelines, the movie ``The Exorcist'' was re-released in theaters in the U.S. Mendoza said the movie, the second-highest-grossing U.S. horror film behind ``Jaws,'' also spurred demand for exorcisms. The film was originally released in 1973.

In Mexico, belief in possession and exorcism predates the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. Aztec healers burned herbs and prayed to ward off spirits. After the Spanish conquest, indigenous beliefs merged with Catholicism and the worship of saints.

According to a woman called Rosey, who describes herself as a healer and goes by only one name, people who believe they are possessed also seek out treatment in places such as Mexico City's Sonora Market. The market is a gathering place for such healers, who also sell herbs and candles used in saint worship.

Rosey attributes the demand for demonic expulsions to the rise of infidelity and the breakdown in the Mexican family.

``I've had people come in and ask how much I will charge to kill their husbands,'' she said in an interview in the market.

Tell-Tale Signs

Rosey said she knows a person is possessed when she touches them and a cold feeling passes through her body that hurts her bones. That's when she performs a ``breaking.'' Rosey charges anywhere from 100 pesos ($9) for a cleansing to 7,000 pesos for a full exorcism, which involves the burning of herbs and wood and evoking saints such as Elegua, known as the guardian of the crossroads. The Catholic Church doesn't charge for exorcisms.

Healers such as Rosey are part of the problem, Father Mendoza said. Many people who are suffering from a mental illness or drug addiction turn to healers, ``where they then really do pick up a demonic influence or possession.''

Mendoza said he looks for the tell-tale signs of possession described by the Vatican guidelines, such as speaking in a foreign language the person has ``no reason to know'' or being ``familiar with events in far away places or in other times.''

`Diabolic Oppression'

Some of those who aren't fully possessed by the devil suffer from ``diabolic oppression,'' a lesser form of demonic invasion, Mendoza said. For those people, some Catholic churches in Mexico do mass ceremonies -- called prayers of liberation -- where hundreds are exorcised at the same time.

``Many exorcisms cure the oppressed and not the possessed,'' Mendoza said after he spent his whole day attending to people who said they were possessed. ``True demonic possessions result from making a pact with the devil, from inviting the devil inside, sometimes without realizing it.''

In an exorcism, a priest performs a ceremony that includes sprinkling holy water onto the possessed person and reciting prayers ordering the devil to depart.

In August 2004, Father Mendoza coordinated Mexico's first national meeting of exorcists and ``auxiliaries of liberation.'' The auxiliaries are those who aren't trained exorcists themselves. They aid the priest or bishop in his work. Mendoza declined to say how many exorcisms he performs.

The Vatican guidelines require a trained professional, such as a psychologist, to examine anyone before an exorcism, Lilienfeld said. The professionals determine whether someone is suffering from a mental illness such as schizophrenia or from epilepsy, conditions that priests commonly mistake for demonic possession.

``Sometimes exorcisms can go wrong, and a few people have been harmed or even killed by exorcisms when they have been accidentally strangled or beaten,'' he said. ``It's dangerous, because a belief in exorcism can encourage the misdiagnosis of genuine psychiatric problems and encourage people to think of their problems as the result of indwelling entities.''


Seems a bit strange to me that they're becoming so popular down there.

12-29-2005, 08:10 PM
Wow. Thats a lot. You honestly dont think anyones gonna read all that..do you?

12-29-2005, 08:12 PM
Yes, I do.

12-29-2005, 08:12 PM
wow, just wow, that's amazing. As for the above post, yeah, I just did read all of it and it was definitely worth my time. It was really interesting.

All About Eve
12-29-2005, 08:14 PM
Silly Mexicans.

12-29-2005, 09:42 PM
Silly Mexicans.
For sure.

Check out this new Rosalita Hernandez-Cuervo action figure! She's a 13 year old girl who's head SPINS ON A 360 DEGREE AXIS! Buy the whole set! You get the girl, the psychotic mother, the mystic grandmother (with speaking action "DEEEEMONN!!!!"), an extra packet of pea soup for extreme projectile vomiting action, AND the priest with HOLY WATER THROWING ACTION! ALL THIS FOR JUST 15 PESOS! Show your children how to take care of themselves in case they ever find someone infected with the DARK SPIRIT!!!!1

12-29-2005, 11:40 PM
that group is quite the catastrophe. unbelievable!

12-30-2005, 01:20 AM
Okay, now that's batshit insane.