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Man raises demon in church. Is this a crime?

WillethWilleth Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Demon ready to kill in city church

A WITCH who plans to open an occult centre in Cambridge says he has conjured up a demon - in the city's Catholic Church.

Magus Lynius Shadee says the demon could possess parishioners and drive them to suicide.

He claims to have instructed the evil spirit to "dwell" in the famous church to "cleanse it".

The occultist, who calls himself the King of All Witches, says he let loose the entity to prey on worshippers at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Hills Road.

Fr Dick Healey has branded the occultist "twisted" and plans to report him to the police for practising witchcraft in a church.

He said: "He should be reported to the police. It's as if someone came into your home and performed some sort of magic trick without your permission.

"He's obviously a bit twisted to perform witchcraft in a church.

"We will not be performing an exorcism, but I will consider reporting him to the police."

Mr Shadee, a Frenchman with an occult centre in Normandy, claims to have made the "incantation" to evoke the demon on a visit to the city to look for a site for his occult centre, which he plans to open on December 24.

He said: "It's an element, a hunter that will attach itself to an individual, then try to take the person, either send them insane and make them depressed, and the worst is to cause them to take their physical life.

"I did not speak to the priest, just performed a visual ritual format, an incantation, to bring in an element to dwell within the building.

"When I perform, unless it's within the confines of a ritual room, most of my work is on my own with associates observing."

Fr David Paul, of St Laurence's Roman Catholic Church in Milton Road, fears the occultist's move into the city is to target university students, as the News reported.

Now the witch hopes to "convert" the priest.

He said: "I will have to visit Mr David Paul's church and perform a ritual for him - perhaps he will be converted."

Police said a potential crime under the Public Order Act could have been committed if anyone was in the church at the time of the ritual and was alarmed or distressed by it.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_home/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=454587

I've bolded the parts of the article that seem pertinent, but I recommend, of course, reading the entire thing. I am not a lawyer. I am also an apathetic agnostic.

Firstly, I want to talk about the Public Order Act. Section 5 states:
(1) A person is guilty of an offence [of harassment, alarm, or distress] if he:

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

The information in the article supports this - summarily, that there has only been a breach of the Act if the behaviour was witnessed by someone else, and the Magus himself says that he performed the ritual in private. However, this act could easily cause mass distress in the churchgoers, many of whom firmly believe that this is possible. I think it's telling that Father Healey has chosen not to perform an exorcism.

Regardless of personal belief in the occult or religion or whatever, surely this should fall under the Public Order Act? If it falls under another statute then please enlighten me, but it irks me a little that the police are essentially ignoring the fact that to a lot of people, this is a very real threat, and instead treating it as an issue of public disorder rather than anything else.

I realise my thoughts might be a little scattered on this, but if anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear them.

Willeth on
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Posts

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    It's like someone walking into a bar and screaming hatred at all the regulars. Yes, a crime was committed, and hopefully this poor fellow gets the help he needs.

  • AJAlkaline40AJAlkaline40 __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    It's like someone walking into a bar and screaming hatred at all the regulars. Yes, a crime was committed, and hopefully this poor fellow gets the help he needs.

    I more or less agree, this is a matter of harassment.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Right. Were demons, you know, real, it would also be something like criminal endangerment or attempted assault/murder or something, but at the least he seems like he's harassing people.

  • FalloutFallout GIRL'S DAY EVERY DAYRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    If he violated public order or whatever, then fine, but there's no such thing as demons. Who cares how strongly people believe it? Fucking retarded.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Is this The Onion?

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    As a person of faith I'm not about to slam people for believing in demons like some people here already are, because y'know, we can't let bygones be bygones.

    At the very minimum, this is harassment.

    But being what I just said, I take a bit of offense to this harassment.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't see how this is any worse than what hellfire preachers do in public on a daily basis.

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  • reVersereVerse Never odd or even Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't see what the problem here is. Some nut says he put a demon in a church, and that's a problem because...? Demons aren't real, people.

    Also:
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I don't see how this is any worse than what hellfire preachers do in public on a daily basis.

  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    It's like someone walking into a bar and screaming hatred at all the regulars. Yes, a crime was committed, and hopefully this poor fellow gets the help he needs.

    I more or less agree, this is a matter of harassment.

    I agree, but the Public Order Act specifically states that someone has to be offended at the time for it to be harassment or distress, even in cases of intentional harassment. If no-one was present in the church at the time of the ritual, it's still harassment, but is it covered under law and can this man be punished?
    Fallout wrote:
    Who cares how strongly people believe it? Fucking retarded.

    If someone's life is based around God and religion, then demons are as much a part of that as anything else, and this can (and will) cause genuine distress. No, I don't believe they exist either. That doesn't mean that the people that do deserve to be scared of their place of worship.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I can't decide which is more hilarious, that this guy actually thinks he's conjured a demon that will drive people to suicide, or that the priest responded in a manner aside from "We're just happy to hear that Mr. Magus finally left his mother's basement."

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  • KurnDerakKurnDerak Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    From the sounds of it, their going off of what he said he did in the church which gives me the impression that that no one was around to A) be offended or B) even prove that he did the magic other than taking his wrod for it.

    However, if no one was actually at the church, is it possible that this might fall under some form of breaking and entering?

    Also... seriously, not doing an exorcism of any sort but the police can solve this? "It's okay God, this is a bit out of your reach. The police have got this one." I think whether demons exist is irrelivent seeing as it is part of the christian belief that demon's at least at one point existed on earth and no where does it say they still don't.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Technically, an exorcism isn't required. All churches are the safe houses of God's children, and they are by proxy warded from evil.

    Edit - Yay now I sound crazy.

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  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Willeth wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    It's like someone walking into a bar and screaming hatred at all the regulars. Yes, a crime was committed, and hopefully this poor fellow gets the help he needs.

    I more or less agree, this is a matter of harassment.

    I agree, but the Public Order Act specifically states that someone has to be offended at the time for it to be harassment or distress, even in cases of intentional harassment. If no-one was present in the church at the time of the ritual, it's still harassment, but is it covered under law and can this man be punished?
    Fallout wrote:
    Who cares how strongly people believe it? Fucking retarded.

    If someone's life is based around God and religion, then demons are as much a part of that as anything else, and this can (and will) cause genuine distress. No, I don't believe they exist either. That doesn't mean that the people that do deserve to be scared of their place of worship.

    Devil's Advocate (heh): Are you saying that this witch shouldn't be allowed to practice his religion for fear of insulting/scaring the Christians? I mean, he claims he's trying to convert the priest and cleanse the church.

    My religion sees all other religions as threats to my soul. So, if a Christians includes me in their prayers, whether to bless or damn me, does that constitute harassment?

    Discuss.

  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Yea how could you summon a demon into a church anyway (if you go by Christian Theology)?

    Wouldn't they be...un..summoned as soon as you brought them to this plane?

    Or did this guy just spec deep into Demonology?

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I can't decide which is more hilarious, that this guy actually thinks he's conjured a demon that will drive people to suicide, or that the priest responded in a manner aside from "We're just happy to hear that Mr. Magus finally left his mother's basement."

    This would have been a much better response on all fronts, IMO.

    You reassure your flock that there's no demon in the church, because this guy's knowledge of the occult is the sum of a D&D 3rd Edition ruleset, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, and Stephanie Meyer novels, and you humiliate the fucktard who did it.

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Arch wrote: »
    Yea how could you summon a demon into a church anyway (if you go by Christian Theology)?

    Wouldn't they be...un..summoned as soon as you brought them to this plane?

    Or did this guy just spec deep into Demonology?

    Ha. :P

    But yeah. I think most people of faith are going to remember what I said above. I think even Satan's influence is unable to penetrate inside churches.

    Regardless, the fact is this guy had the intent of harassing people (or well, his intent was to kill the zomgchristians, but the end result is harassment).

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

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  • lu tzelu tze Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Willeth wrote: »
    If someone's life is based around God and religion, then demons are as much a part of that as anything else, and this can (and will) cause genuine distress. No, I don't believe they exist either. That doesn't mean that the people that do deserve to be scared of their place of worship.
    You're right, they should arrest this man.

    But I think they could also go further... I can't imagine anything that would cause genuine distress more than, I don't know, telling people that they'll burn in hell for all eternity if they don't do as they're told. So they should arrest the priest while they're at it, it's only fair! :)

    Or maybe a secular government should keep its grubby nose out of religious affairs, and vice versa. We'd all be better off for it.

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  • KurnDerakKurnDerak Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    @Teaspoon:

    It all comes down to a case by case basis. If the Christian did so but without telling you, then this would not infringe on your religious rights. If they told you so without the knowledge of your religion, chances are at least it would be with best intentions and again most likely not infringe in your religious rights due to intent.

    However, if a Christian prayed for you and came up to you to inform you of this while telling you their prayers would cleanse your soul of your "false religion" that would be very close to if not harrasment, IMO.

    If they came into your place of worship and performed a religious ceremony (are there any Christian ceremonies to bring in a holy being other than possibly baptism?) without your consent then this would be most definitely harrasment. In this article, replace Witch and Christian with any form of religion or belief and it should be treated the same, ideally. Realistically, I doubt it would.
    lu tze wrote: »
    Willeth wrote: »
    If someone's life is based around God and religion, then demons are as much a part of that as anything else, and this can (and will) cause genuine distress. No, I don't believe they exist either. That doesn't mean that the people that do deserve to be scared of their place of worship.
    You're right, they should arrest this man.

    But I think they could also go further... I can't imagine anything that would cause genuine distress more than, I don't know, telling people that they'll burn in hell for all eternity if they don't do as they're told. So they should arrest the priest while they're at it, it's only fair! :)

    Or maybe a secular government should keep it's grubby nose out of religious affairs, and vice versa. We'd all be better off for it.

    See, thats the difference here. It would only cause distress to tell someone that they will burn in hell forever if they actually believe in hell. If they believe in hell and are scared of the prospect of spending eternity there then chances are they already are trying to stay out of hell. This means they aren't going to be who this preacher, or most preachers for that matter, are going to be targeting with hellfire and brimstone sermons.

  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Yes but religious people can say whatever they want to you, but you can't say anything to religious people

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  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Maybe said Hellfire Preachers should be prosecuted too?

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Are you suggesting part of his ritual included a d20, and he rolled the shit out of it?

    By the way, what's a hellfire preacher? You mean those people who go up and down the streets barking at people to convert and shit?

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Maybe said Hellfire Preachers should be prosecuted too?

    Good luck.

    Hellfire preachers are more likely to be able to sue YOU for interfering with them.

    Some of them make their livings off of it.

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  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    Willeth wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    It's like someone walking into a bar and screaming hatred at all the regulars. Yes, a crime was committed, and hopefully this poor fellow gets the help he needs.

    I more or less agree, this is a matter of harassment.

    I agree, but the Public Order Act specifically states that someone has to be offended at the time for it to be harassment or distress, even in cases of intentional harassment. If no-one was present in the church at the time of the ritual, it's still harassment, but is it covered under law and can this man be punished?
    Fallout wrote:
    Who cares how strongly people believe it? Fucking retarded.

    If someone's life is based around God and religion, then demons are as much a part of that as anything else, and this can (and will) cause genuine distress. No, I don't believe they exist either. That doesn't mean that the people that do deserve to be scared of their place of worship.

    Devil's Advocate (heh): Are you saying that this witch shouldn't be allowed to practice his religion for fear of insulting/scaring the Christians? I mean, he claims he's trying to convert the priest and cleanse the church.

    My religion sees all other religions as threats to my soul. So, if a Christians includes me in their prayers, whether to bless or damn me, does that constitute harassment?

    Discuss.
    Interesting. I'd agree, if it weren't for the fact that the 'entity' has been summoned for the express purpose of killing people. Even under the veil of religion, that's not cool.

    And yes, I have a lot of Christian friends, and I've been told on numerous occasions that I'm being prayed for. Last week I was told that one friend's entire family was praying that I would become a Christian. My instant reaction was to be slightly offended, if I'm honest, but it was quickly put aside.

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.
    Well, sort of. This guy is saying if you believe in God a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. Preachers say if you don't believe in god a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. The difference is the preacher is warning you, while Magus is threatening you. Sort of. Or something.

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  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.
    Well, sort of. This guy is saying if you believe in God a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. Preachers say if you don't believe in god a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. The difference is the preacher is warning you, while Magus is threatening you. Sort of. Or something.

    This. It's the intent behind it that bothers me.

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Maybe said Hellfire Preachers should be prosecuted too?
    How about no one's prosecuted because people are allowed to say silly things

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.
    Well, sort of. This guy is saying if you believe in God a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. Preachers say if you don't believe in god a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. The difference is the preacher is warning you, while Magus is threatening you. Sort of. Or something.

    It's fairly often a direct threat of lightning bolts.

    I've dealt with this shit a LOT.

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    Is this The Onion?
    That was my first reaction as well.

    The Onion is quickly becoming a saner world than ours.

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.
    Well, sort of. This guy is saying if you believe in God a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. Preachers say if you don't believe in god a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. The difference is the preacher is warning you, while Magus is threatening you. Sort of. Or something.

    Wouldn't it be the preachers saying if you don't believe in God, the demons will make your afterlife complete shit? If you don't believe, then there is no afterlife.

    There's also the issue of actual recognized religions by government law and cults (religions not officially recognized).

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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.
    Well, sort of. This guy is saying if you believe in God a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. Preachers say if you don't believe in god a demon will make you depressed until you kill yourself. The difference is the preacher is warning you, while Magus is threatening you. Sort of. Or something.

    It's fairly often a direct threat of lightning bolts.

    I've dealt with this shit a LOT.
    Yeah, but the preacher isn't the one conjuring up the lightning bolts and threatening you with them.

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  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Maybe said Hellfire Preachers should be prosecuted too?
    How about no one's prosecuted because people are allowed to say silly things

    To a point.

    I'm rabidly pro free speech and even I recognize there are legitimate limits on its application.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Maybe said Hellfire Preachers should be prosecuted too?
    How about no one's prosecuted because people are allowed to say silly things

    Harassment isn't covered by freedom of speech. Except when it's done by a member of a religious group, a politician, or a news organization. Double standard, etc.

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  • JoJoHoraHoraJoJoHoraHora ItalyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Does Dresden take overseas cases?

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't see how we could conclude if it's or isn't a crime as we're severely lacking information.
    I mean, come on people - What kind of demon is it?

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elldren wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    And, again, Hellfire Preachers do this constantly.

    Also maybe in his religion his demons trump church barriers because they use a new rulebook.

    Maybe said Hellfire Preachers should be prosecuted too?
    How about no one's prosecuted because people are allowed to say silly things

    To a point.

    I'm rabidly pro free speech and even I recognize there are legitimate limits on its application.

    Condemning people with hellfire and lightning from the sky isn't quite on the same level as yelling "BOMB!" in a movie theater.

    The issue is freedom of speech colliding with freedom of religion (or no religion). And in that clash, I prefer the latter. I try not to occupy my time with trying to convert people, like any of you, and I wish others of my faith would behave in the same manner.

    Now, I could get into how there are people who automatically judge people of faith without getting to know them. "Oh you're a believer? You're not worth my time." And there are people who are non-believers who harass just like the hellfire preachers do, or they do it in stealth. In Portland, there's a series of vandalism cases going on recently against churches and pro-life centers get hit sometimes too (which I associate by proxy somewhat).

    Edit - tl;dr - people need to learn how to leave each other the fuck alone.

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  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    KurnDerak wrote: »
    @Teaspoon:

    It all comes down to a case by case basis. If the Christian did so but without telling you, then this would not infringe on your religious rights. If they told you so without the knowledge of your religion, chances are at least it would be with best intentions and again most likely not infringe in your religious rights due to intent.

    But my religion doesn't take into account the motives of the person who is damning me to super-hell. I'll still be deepfried in demonic transfat for all of eternity. This is very distressing. I feel distressed. Someone should be punished for making me distressed.
    KurnDerak wrote: »
    However, if a Christian prayed for you and came up to you to inform you of this while telling you their prayers would cleanse your soul of your "false religion" that would be very close to if not harrasment, IMO.

    If they came into your place of worship and performed a religious ceremony (are there any Christian ceremonies to bring in a holy being other than possibly baptism?) without your consent then this would be most definitely harrasment. In this article, replace Witch and Christian with any form of religion or belief and it should be treated the same, ideally. Realistically, I doubt it would.

    The above seems fair but absolutely unworkable.

    If the US is to have a freedom of religion, people should be allowed to actually practice that religion, even if that involves trying to convert people to their cause, so long as it does not turn into stalkerish behavior or becoming a public nuisance.

  • ElldrenElldren 3067-6294-6208Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Proselytising is not practising religion, it is impinging upon the religious freedom of others.

    And this is not a case in the US, so US laws do not apply. Crazy, I know.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    What are the laws regarding religion where this happened, then?

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  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    This is just silly.

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