A good week for the devil…

And a busy one for child protective services. Reports of not one but two exorcisms gone awry make us wonder: who needs demons when you have relatives like these? Eddie Uyesugi II, a 22-year-old pastor in training, was charged this week with felony confinement and misdemeanor battery for attacking a 14-year-old autistic boy in Bloomington, Indiana. Uyesugi, once a varsity athlete and the valedictorian of his high school class, convinced the boy's mother that he could cure her son by casting out the demons supposedly causing his condition. During the 11-hour ordeal that transpired at the boy's home in May, Uyesugi beat the teenager, pried open his eyelids, and repeatedly forced fingers into his mouth. Seeing her son vomit several times, the mother apparently attempted to stop the so-called exorcism, but without success (what, is 911 the new 666 in certain Evangelical circles?). The ritual left the teen seriously injured, and he is now a ward of child protective services.

The second exorcism was even stranger—
and had an even unhappier ending. On Saturday, police burst into a cinderblock home in Phoenix to find a man named Ronald Marquez holding his bloodied three-year-old granddaughter in a headlock. Officers had to force open the door to the barricaded bedroom where the grandfather was choking the screaming child. The girl's 19-year-old mother was also in the room—likewise bloody, completely naked, and chanting while clutching a religious icon. A struggle ensued, but Marquez was unfazed by an initial stun from an officer's Taser. He did finally cease trying to "squeeze the demons out of the child," as one relative told the Tucson Citizen, after being stunned a second time. Marquez seemed stable when he was placed into handcuffs, but then stopped breathing; emergency personnel were unable to revive him, and Marquez was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Both mother and daughter were hospitalized, and the girl is now in the custody of child protective services. The family's driveway has become home to a makeshift memorial, which includes a cardboard sign that reads, "#1 Dad, Love you Dad." We think a far more appropriate message might be a quotation from Alfred Kreymborg: "Satan the envious said with a sigh: Christians know more about their hell than I."


-Jackie Houton

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