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The Exorcists: Four on trial in France for religion inspired kidnap and torture

Published time: October 07, 2013 19:53
Reuters/Jaime Saldarriaga

Reuters/Jaime Saldarriaga

A group of former members of a US-based protestant church, the Seventh Day Adventist, are on trial in France for torturing a 19-year-old woman while attempting to exorcise “the devil” out of her in shockingly-violent style.

The trial of three men and a woman, all of French Caribbean origin, kicked off on Monday, with the group being charged with kidnapping, acts of torture and barbarism, reports AFP.

They are accused of tying up the young Cameroonian woman, Antoinette, in the position of Jesus Christ on the cross and keeping her bound to a mattress for a week.

The four, including her former boyfriend Eric Daeron, were confident that the teenager’s body had been possessed by the devil. According to defendants, Antoinette jumped on Daeron mumbling something incomprehensible. After the attack – which they believed was a proof of her being possessed by evil - they decided to try an exorcism. 

When police found Antoinette in Grigny, a southern Paris suburb, she was dehydrated, emaciated and showed signs of having been beaten. The woman later told investigators that her captors fed her small amounts of oil and gave her water just to keep her alive.

The defendants deny using violence against the victim and claim that she agreed to the exorcism.

To them, she was possessed, that is why they did not call a doctor. You call a doctor when someone is sick, when someone is possessed you exorcise them,” their lawyer, Jacques Bourdais, told AFP.

The victim and alleged assailants met in 2011 at a Seventh Day Adventists church, which has millions of followers worldwide and 13,000 in France. The church said all the people involved in the case were expelled a year before the alleged attack, underlining that that it in no way condones that kind of exorcism.

Exorcisms are still not uncommon in Europe, including in France.

Last month, blood-curdling screams woke neighbors in the middle of the night in a quiet area of Limoux, South France. Locals alleged that a woman was being murdered, but when police arrived they found out that a bizarre exorcism ritual was being held in an evangelical church where a pastor was trying to release a member of the congregation from demonic possession, media reported. 

In March this year, an 8-year-old boy of Cameroonian origin was abandoned by his father and aunt to die in a hotel car park in Yvelines after they carried out exorcism on him, believing the child was possessed by “evil spirits.”

Comments (31)


K Fizzey 10.10.2013 15:53

I am a Seventh Day Adventist and I can reassure you all that we don't do these types of things. Obviously the people that were involved in this horrific event were not practicing Seventh Day Adventists. Just because they call themselves Seventh Day Adventists doesn't mean that this ritual or whatever you want to call it is done by the church.

Obviously they were involved in other practices outside what the Seventh Day Adventist church teaches.

Please do t judge an entire religious organization by the actions of a few troubled people. That should apply to people of all faiths and churches.


Harini Ranathunga 09.10.2013 13:24

Stephanie Cevelin 08.10.2013 14:20

It's a shame that the photographer or those in the newsroom didn't get the entire photo. The girl is laying inside of a double triangle inside of a circle. This is an occult symbol.

Thi s is no attempted excorcism. This was an occult ritual.

No wonder the 7th Day's had to expel them from the church!


How stupid are you??? I mean really...


Harini Ranathunga 09.10.2013 13:21

Ashley Brock 08.10.2013 18:15

I have recently befriended a Seventh Day Adventist, I wonder what she might think of this.


Ashley Brock 08.10.2013 18:15

I have recently befriended a Seventh Day Adventist, I wonder what she might think of this.


May be you might want to stay away from her???

View all comments (31)
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