When ‘Voodoo Exorcisms’ Turn Into Violence and Rape

The other side of “spirituality”:

A French court on Friday sentenced the uncle and mother of three teenagers to jail for raping and assaulting the girls in voodoo exorcism sessions.

The uncle, a 28-year-old Togolese man, was sentenced to 14 years for raping his niece in the guise of “chasing out an evil spirit”, as well as for assaults against the girl’s two older sisters.

Consider this your trigger warning for what is yet to come.

The victims’ mother, 41, got seven years for complicity as she had even supplied the condoms used in the crime. “She more or less delivered her daughter to the rapist,” the prosecutor said. …

During these sessions, the man would wash the girls’ genital areas, and cut their hands and legs before applying a purportedly magical black powder to the wounds.

Agence France Press notes that

Cases of voodoo exorcisms come up from time to time in France, which has a large African community. Four men were recently sentenced for holding a young woman captive and torturing her as they believed she was possessed.

But Britain has had a spate of such cases too, many involving sexual abuse.

Exhibit one:

A man who carried out “juju” witchcraft on teenage girls he trafficked from Nigeria to Europe for prostitution has been jailed for 20 years. Osezua Osolase, 42, from Gravesend, Kent preyed on poverty-stricken orphans with the promise of a better life.

Exhibit two:

A child was tortured by adults who feared she was a witch with powers to change from human to animal form, before she was stuffed in a laundry bag and threatened with being drowned, a jury heard yesterday.

The child, an orphan known only as B, was eight when the alleged abuse started. Her ordeal began in a property on a north-east London council estate after another child told his mother she was a witch. Over several months child B was cut with a knife on her chest, beaten, kicked, starved, whipped with a belt and had chilli peppers rubbed in her eyes, it was claimed.

Exhibit three:

Kristy [Bamu] was attacked with knives, sticks, metal bars, ceramic floor tiles, bottles and a hammer and chisel by [perpetrators] Bikubi and Bamu, who also used a pair of pliers to twist his ear.

His tormenters then drowned him in a bath tub, an act they called a “ritual cleansing.”

There’s been a wavelet of these crimes:

Detectives believe that dozens of children of African origin have been beaten and abused in Britain after being accused of witchcraft by family and friends in a “hidden crime” that is hard to detect and investigate.

A Metropolitan Police intelligence report identified 31 such cases in just five years in London alone and called for “ritualistic abuse” to be made a new category of crime with stiff penalties.

I doubt that the people who perpetrate this insane cruelty can be stopped by imposing more severe sentences. Plain-vanilla criminals will sometimes stop their recidivism for fear of long prison terms, but that’s not typically who we’re dealing with here. The gross irrationality of most of these these voodoo-loving child torturers probably transcends any consideration of the law, and any fear of worldly consequences.

Not that I’m the slightest bit opposed to seeing them locked away for many, many years.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.


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