Exorcism: what’s the harm?

Oh, no harm, no harm at all.

A 13-year-old girl suffocated after she was strapped down and doused with water by her father and a monk who were trying to expel an “evil spirit”, according to Japanese police and media reports.
“They allegedly strapped the victim to a chair with belts and doused her face with water,” he said.

She was confirmed dead early the next day when her mother called an ambulance after the girl fell unconscious.

“The cause of death is suffocation,” the police official said.

News reports said the two men poured water over her as an “exorcism” with the father holding the girl down while the monk chanted sutras.

Reports said the girl’s parents had turned to the monk after the youngster had suffered several years of mental and physical ill health that doctors had not been able to resolve.

It doesn’t matter what religion you adhere to. The belief that sick people aren’t sick but are actually possessed by demons, evil spirits, et cetera, is empirically harmful. So why aren’t these religious services stopped before they happen? Surely they’re not happening in a vacuum — surely someone must discuss with someone else what the techniques used to purge the victim of evil spirits will be. Why did nobody suggest to this monk that this act is far more likely to purge this little girl of her, you know, LIFE?

Exorcism: what’s the harm?

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