My first Possessed member of my bible study group.

I've been going to church now for 2 years, initially to help out after the weekly BBQ, washing the dishes and sometimes turning the community compost heap. Then I started talking to a harmless retired guy, who has alzheimer's, and this turned into a bible study group, run by a pastor. During the bible group, I mostly sit back and listen and comment when asked for an opinion.

Everything was fine until this week, when we started to talk about spirits. Previously we had only ever talked about morality and forgiveness. At least that is how I interpreted what was been talked about.

This week the Pastor started to talk about, 'The Body', 'The Soul', and 'The Spirit'. And from this, a girl there started to talk about evil spirits that tell her to do things, and how the spirit of Jesus comes into her room when she has a boyfriend in her room, and how she wished Jesus would leave her alone sometimes. (She also told everybody she has a 4 foot statue of the Mother Mary in her room, that she got from her mother as a child.) Said said a lot more, and it was all a little bizarre.

Immediately I thought this girl needed psychiatric help. I said nothing, as per usual, and soon found out that I was the only one who thought this. Everybody else thought demons were trying to possess her and she needed Gods help.

This leaves me with an interesting conundrum. Should I help her or leave it to the church to 'help' her.

If the church helps her, then she will always have somebody to turn to, somebody to be there for her. Regardless of whether or not the help she receives is detrimental or beneficial, there will always be somebody there for her. Or should I actually take to a hospital. I know she will not be admitted to the hospital because she isn't suicidal nor is she a danger to others. So I've decided to do nothing and let the church 'take care of her'.

Everybody in the group knows I'm an atheist. And this occurrence, is for them, a very good reason why I should believe in God. For me though, I was thinking that the axons in her brain are not functioning properly. Maybe the axons in her memory are crossing over into the part of the brain that perceives its surroundings at the present moment. So the voices in her head, the demons, are probably past memories  she perceives now.(I haven't started to look it up yet though). 

Any thoughts on this?

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Comment by Michael Penn on March 12, 2013 at 7:48am

A Pentecostal man at my work place got ticked at me for not believing a Dear Abby letter about "a spirit sending a penny from Heaven" to comfort a bereaved person. He challenged me saying I should believe in spirits and I knew nothing about the Bible. Really, I said. AG, Berean School of the Bible, etc. What they forget is that these delusions come from their Bible and other twisted beliefs about some "afterlife." This in basic because people don't want to die, they want to be a part of the group, and they want to have experiences greater than yours. This makes them important. I have seen many things and am no stranger to phenomena. What many forget or fail to grasp is that the phenomena does not exist outside of you - it comes from inside of you! This means that the girl needs help, and if her church helps her, they are also seen as a big part of the problem. Religious belief sets it all up to happen.

Comment by leveni on March 1, 2013 at 4:32pm

"to indulge her delusions may do more harm than good." This is exactly what all professionals, eg: police, doctors, paramedics, are also told. And they are told it's not a 'maybe' but in fact it will do harm.  

I also think in the long run it's probably harmful. One other thing I didn't mention was, the pastor who runs the bible study, works in conjunction with the local neighborhood outreach centre. So he visits lots of other people, most with drug related mental health problems, in the area and 'helps' them. But the help isn't just religious help. The pastor and various church groups organize day trips, BBQ's, they make sure people are taking their medicine. And they get funding for it, but the funding is very minimal. 

I have previously looked into the deinstitutionalization of crazy people. And the government policy, here and in most western nations, is for local community services to look after these people. (I found this interesting article after further search.)

Ultimately, I have no intention of helping this girl nor all the other people like her. So who is going to help them all. In reality, it's just the church that is left to care for these people, after the professional psychiatrists have spent their 30 minutes per year with them. And even if I report this girl to somebody, I don't know where she lives, nor her full name, and it's not ethical for the pastor to give me her name and address. 

The time that church organisations give to all the homeless and crazy people out there is massive. They are the only ones who are prepared to do anything on the scale they do it. 

Ironically though, a kind of cyclic event may be occurring in the church in regards to evil spirits. The church, which is the originator of these evil spirits, is also the cure for them.

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