Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Autistic Teen Battered by 'Exorcist'

There are many challenges to overcome in facing autism; in dealing with the challenges of autism. It is disheartening to see that ignorance about autism still results in serious physical harm to autistic youths or persons with any type of mental or developmental disorder. The story of a 14 year old Bloomington Indiana youth battered by a religious zealot attempting to exorcise his demons leaves me shaking my head. Have we come so far as a society only to allow such ignorance to continue under the guise of religion? It is reported that this "exorcism" was not authorized by the church involved. But it is time mainstream religious groups denounced exorcism for what it is - primitive, harmful, ignorance. And it is time parents looked to professional health care and educational service providers to help their autistic children.

Student minister charged in attempted 'exorcism'

Monroe County - A student minister faces serious charges after investigators say he committed a crime in the name of Christianity. Police say the minister battered an autistic teenager while trying to perform an exorcism. It happened at the boy's Bloomington home.

Monroe County police say a religious ritual turned criminal inside a Bloomington home.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Detective Brad Swain, Monroe County Sheriff's Department.

Police say 22-year-old Eddie Uyesugi, a pastor in training at Cherry Hill Christian Church, promised healing for a 14-year-old autistic boy. Uyesugi convinced the boy's mother he could cure autism with an exorcism.

"Through prayer, casting demons out," said Det. Swain. "She was initially in agreement in doing this thinking it was something authorized through the church."

But police say the exorcism turned violent, and that Uyesugi, under the guise of "God's work," battered and beat the boy.

"Sticking fingers into the boy's mouth while he was restrained on the bed, causing him to vomit. And this happened several times," said Swain. "The family said that Mr. Uyesugi told them this was to cast the demons out."

Police say Uyesugi also punched the autistic teen in the face, a ritualistic beating that lasted for eleven hours.

"He knew he didn't have demons in him. So why he was being abused and being told for demons to come out? It was really lost on him," said Swain.

The boy's mother tried unsuccessfully to end the exorcism.

Pastors at Cherry Hill church wouldn't comment on the alleged exorcism. But they told police while they do teach how to cast out demons, their methods don't include violence.

The church removed Uyesugi from the parsonage after the incident. He claimed to police he was simply trying to restrain the boy, but the attempted exorcism left the teen seriously injured.

Eddie Uyesugi faces felony confinement and misdemeanor battery charges and police have issued an warrant for his arrest. They expect him to turn himself in today.

Police say the exorcism was not authorized by the church.


http://www.wthr.com/Global/story.asp?S=6866975&nav=9Tai

17 comments:

April Reign said...

What a horrible story!

I can't imagine allowing someone to abuse my child, most especially for 11 hours. :(

SUZANNE said...

This is a cheap shot against religion, not autism advocacy.

An exorcism isn't a cure for disease and doesn't involve beating people up. It is to exorcise the devil from souls. It's not ignorance about autism that caused this, it's ignorance, period. The so-called exorcist in question could have known all the information out there, he still would have done it.

Exorcism has saved people from demonic possession. You may not believe in it, but simply from an empirical point of view, it has led to greater peace and delivery from a host of self-destructive behaviours. When people come to exorcism, it's usually because they have run the gamut of professionals trying to save them, but none of them have been able to find the true source of their ills.

The vast majority of people who are religious and have autistic children don't go running to exorcists to cure autism.

Autism Reality NB said...

suznne

I made no cheap shot against religion. I took a direct shot at those who practice "exorcisms" and I don't apologize for it. I also stated that it is time that organized religions denounced exorcisms.

This is not the first time that some one with autism, or a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder has been assaulted in the course of an "exorcism".

It is the exorcism, not persons of religion, that I criticized and you know it so please try to address the issues when you post.

ephemeral said...

Holy shit. Well, to be fair to mum, she did try to stop the exorcism once it was under way. Oh man, what a horrible thing to do to anybody. I keep thinking how weak the teen must have felt at the end of it all, what with repeated vomiting and being punched. It makes me sick. If anybody in this story is actually possessed by demons, that would be the idiot pastor/exorcist. Ugh.

Cash-UK said...

I think this is horrendous! Firstly, if Mum knew anything about her son's condition after 14 years, she should have known this was not an option that would work.

Secondly, regardless of what works for anyone else or what their religious choices are, this is one very dangerous individual who has tried to BE god and failed.

This is a horrendous thing to happen to anyone, let alone to a child who did not agree to it under his own admission. Autism and lack of social understanding on top will now leave the child traumatised and unable to access therapy to deal with it in the same way as anyone else.

The church should be a place that welcomes you, helps you, comforts you and leads by good example.

Please, for those with children who have autism or asperger's, there is hope, just learn how to hold on to it.

I would pray now that someone can restore this boy's faith in the church and humanity in a positive way, and educate his mother to look for the positive things rather than trying to banish the negatives.

Lead by example. If you worry and stress, so will you child. If you are happy and take life as a challenge to be enjoyed, so will your child.

www.kayreeve.blogspot.com
Asperger's & Home Education Blog.

My child was suicidal by the age of 9 and was claiming to hear voices telling him he would be a Devil's child. I simply determined and removed the cause of the stress - School! Read our story and take hope...

Anonymous said...

Plan and simple... it was abuse and assault dressed up in the fancy clothes of religion.

Dave C.

Anonymous said...

Please realize people get out of touch with reallity in all areas of life, churches are not exempt, please don't judge a church, or God by one persons behavier. I have visited this church on ocassion, you can bet there sick about what happened, mabee more so, can you imagime there embarrasment. J.B.

Anonymous said...

Marylou,I pray the girls (Jacob's) younger sisters did not witness this happening to there brother.

Concerned family member.

Anonymous said...

This stinks to high Heaven! The Mum of an autistic 14 yr old child must accept some responsibility for what has happened. She surely knows the child has a medical problem. The press is showcasing Uyesugi involvement but reports of taking a break and starting again? What is up with that? At the break time why didn't they stop? Why didn't Mum report this to the constabulary the next day? This church has some responsibility for the actions of who represents them and should not be able to simply wash their spotless hands.

Anonymous said...

People only know what is published by news reports. I feel sorry for everyone involved. I feel sorry for the young man who was put through this ordeal. I feel sorry for a mother who has done EVERYTHING she knows how to do to care for her autistic son, and has done it well. She has made changes in location just to get him better help than he was receiving where they previously were. This included uprooting all of her family and leaving where they all had roots. (a friend of mine knows this family personally)I feel sorry for a young man who probably started out trying to do something good and through ignorance, maybe pride and a lack of good judgement has made a mistake that he will have to pay for, for the rest of his life. How many of you have made mistakes that only you and God will ever know. This one just happens to be made public for everyones judgement. I feel sorry for the church that really had nothing at all to do with this severe lack of judgement but who will be judged according to someone elses mistakes. I feel sorry for a family who was misguided in the hope that this would make their family memeber with autism "normal" I see many people in glass houses on this site and others throwing stones. I was disgusted with the mom most of all the first time I heard about this. But, since than, the Lord has laid upon my heart compassion for everyone involved. As far as this exorsism goes, it was misused and not appropriate for this young mans condition. Having said that, this horrible mistake just gives non-believers ammunition to see Christians as wackos and fruitcakes. However, I challenge everyone to not base Christianity on other Christians because we are all just human and make horrible mistakes but rather base Christianiy on Christ.

Autism Reality NB said...

Anonymous 3:49 said:

As far as this exorsism goes, it was misused and not appropriate for this young mans condition. Having said that, this horrible mistake just gives non-believers ammunition to see Christians as wackos and fruitcakes. However, I challenge everyone to not base Christianity on other Christians because we are all just human and make horrible mistakes but rather base Christianiy on Christ.

Anonymous, I don't think anyone made any general statements condemning Christianity or Christ's message. Obviously the concern is over the exorcism in this case and how it resulted in an assault. No one suggested that the exorcism was authorized by the Church.

My personal opinion is that exorcism has nothing to do with Christianity. I was raised in a Baptist church and never heard of exorcisms growing up until the movie the Exorcist movie was released. I believe that this practice should be discontinued. I know factually that other autistic persons and persons with mental illnesses have been the recipients of exorcisms over the years. THis is an ancient practice arising at a time when there was little understanding of mental disorders. It is time for the practice to end.

I am not saying Churches and members should not pray for persons with mental illnesses of developmental disorders. But they should keep their hands off and do no harm.

Anonymous said...

I have known this family since before Jacob's birth. When a child is diagnosed with autism, the statistics sadly prove it that rips apart 80% of mariages and families dealing with the disorder. This family has not only stayed together but thrive on the care and love they give to each other. Jacob's mother knows exactly what is wrong with her son. Prayers, of course, but exorcism she would never consider to be a cure for an incurable neuropsychiatric disorder. I can verify she did move half way across the country seeking a better life for her family. She is a hardworking mother and believes in positive parenting. My prayers are for anyone involved in this incident, whether directly or indirectly. May God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

I find fault with both the man charged for the abuse AND with the mother! What was she thinking to let this process begin in the first place?? I hear all the time about religious groups abusing and killing children in the hopes of "saving" them. This sickens me so much. I cannot trust religion and yes, it IS a shot against organized religion. It is happening within the rooms and halls of churches where groups that supposedly seem safe and loving and healthy. People are shamed, abused and sometimes killed in the process of being saved. God doesn't require this to be done in His name... man is just cruel.

Anonymous said...

Today, Judge Harper sentenced Eddie Uyesugi to only 6 months home detention and 2.5 yrs probation (as well as a few other details). What a sad day for how little society values children with autism.

Anonymous said...

Today, Judge Harper sentenced Eddie Uyesugi to only 6 months home detention and 2.5 yrs probation (as well as a few other details). What a sad day for how little society values children with autism.

David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. said...

Suzanne, I don't often - if ever - agree with this man on anything. This is the first time I've seen this article and I am horrified about it having happened. I knew about the incident but had not read this post until just now.

Quote:
"I made no cheap shot against religion. I took a direct shot at those who practice 'exorcisms' and I don't apologize for it. I also stated that it is time that organized religions denounced exorcisms.

This is not the first time that some one with autism, or a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder has been assaulted in the course of an 'exorcism'.

It is the exorcism, not persons of religion, that I criticized and you know it so please try to address the issues when you post."

I'm afraid that I have to agree. It is not religion that he is criticising: it is the exorcism.

David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. said...

Again, Suzanne:

"Exorcism has saved people from demonic possession. You may not believe in it, but simply from an empirical point of view, it has led to greater peace and delivery from a host of self-destructive behaviours. When people come to exorcism, it's usually because they have run the gamut of professionals trying to save them, but none of them have been able to find the true source of their ills."

No, I don't believe you. The result does not even come close to proving the theory. I doubt that the blog owner agrees with you either.