NC Church Members Indicted for Assault

Several members of a secretive megachurch in North Carolina have been indicted for kidnapping and assault for allegedly holding a young gay man against his will, screaming at him and hitting him in order to rid him of “homosexual demons.”

After two years of waiting, Matt Fenner of Rutherfordton has some resolution to the trauma he faced at the hands of people from the Word of Faith Fellowship Church in Spindale.

Last month, five church members were indicted for kidnapping and assault for their roles in an incident at the church in early 2013 when Fenner was shoved and beaten because of his sexual orientation…

“There were at least three instances that resulted in members of the Word of Faith Fellowship ganging up on me for being a homosexual and having tendencies that would cause one to perceive such,” Fenner wrote in an email to The Star…

After a nighttime church service, three members asked him to go to the back of the sanctuary.

“At first, three members took me to the back of the sanctuary in which they questioned me about ‘sin’ that I hadn’t been ‘opening my heart about’, meaning that I hadn’t been making known to them voluntarily,” Fenner wrote in his email.

In the affidavit, Fenner said the three were soon joined by about 20 others, and they surrounded him. And that’s when “deliverance soon ensued.”

The group started using a technique they call “blasting,” a form of hands-on, high-pitched, screaming prayer.

Within minutes, he said, they began to berate him because he was gay. One woman told him he was “disgusting.”

“I told her that I was sorry that I didn’t know what she wanted me to tell her and this is the point at which she slapped me with a great amount of force across my left cheek,” Fenner wrote in his email.

Then for two hours, they pushed and hit Fenner, screaming at him as they tried to “break me free of the homosexual ‘demons,’” he said in a police affidavit about the attack.

An indictment is not a conviction, of course, and the church denies wrongdoing (duh). But this sort of thing isn’t all that unusual in fundamentalist circles, especially those that believe in exorcism.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • eric

    The sentiment “I’m gonna beat the sin out of you” would be more darkly ironic if it weren’t so depressingly common.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It could’ve been worse. At my Jedi church they tried to “cure” me of Trekkism by surrounding me and yelling lightsaber sounds. It didn’t work. Plus, their sad devotion to that ancient religion didn’t not help them conjure up the stolen data tapes.

  • marcus

    MO @2 APOSTATE!!!1!1!!!!

  • marcus

    PS I hope that after the criminal proceedings that Matt Fenner then proceeds to sue their asses off.

  • eric

    @2: sounds like they didn’t realize that hokey religions and ancient weapons sounds are no substitute for a good blaster sound (at your side).

  • Sastra

    Then for two hours, they pushed and hit Fenner, screaming at him as they tried to “break me free of the homosexual ‘demons,’”

    The astonishing thing here (okay, one astonishing thing here) is that the members of this church must have all bought in to a narrative where something like this happened … and it worked. There must be stories going around the exorcism-believing crowd where there are grateful testimonies from ‘eyewitnesses’ or the formerly possessed on how it took all night of screaming and punching before Beelzebub finally let go and my, weren’t we all hoarse but happy and relieved afterwards, praise the Lord. Now the man’s married with 8 children, all raised in the Faith.

    This didn’t come out of a vacuum. It’s supposed to be a successful tactic and that means anecdotes.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Sastra

    They presumably believe all that rot in the Bible, I doubt they needed too much ‘evidence’ that it works.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Modusoperandi “Plus, their sad devotion to that ancient religion didn’t not help them conjure up the stolen data tapes.”

    “didn’t not”? Are you a moron?!!!

     

    rcus “MO @2 APOSTATE!!!1!1!!!!”

    I’m not actually a Trekkie. They were just suspicious that I was. On account of my Starfleet uniform. And Spock ears.

     

    eric “@2: sounds like they didn’t realize that hokey religions and ancient weapons sounds are no substitute for a good blaster sound (at your side).”

    I made a blaster sound after Greedo, just to irritate them.

     

    Sastra “This didn’t come out of a vacuum. It’s supposed to be a successful tactic and that means anecdotes.”

    To be fair, anecdotally it works.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Religion attracts control freaks. In a thousand years from now they will still be shouting at the backsliders, hitting them, and occasionally killing them. (What’s the use of having control over the flock if you don’t exercise control over the flock?)