I always wondered why so many use torture to exorcise dark forces. Jesus certainly didn’t and most churches who believe something like that resort to stuff like prayer.
I think violent exorcisms around the world are really just excuses to be sadists and torture people they don’t like. All this stuff with witches and devils is merely an excuse. This crowd of people didn’t like these gals for whatever reason… perhaps they were too strong and independent and owned property and didn’t rely on men.
It’s the same with certain really backwards communities in the backwoods of parts of some African nations… where everyone has it out for that elderly woman who’s living on her own. You have all these people pinning malevolent magick on elderly women or small children.
If it was really about genuine fears of the nasty side of the supernatural, these folks would just use a lot of prayer or counter-spells… not killing people.
Some communities are super-misogynist or they don’t like extra-children… or certain folks aren’t deemed obedient enough… for they’ll find an excuse, any excuse, to eliminate that person and blame it on devils & baneful sorceries so they can keep a clear conscience and not feel like the evil losers they are.
I’d also imagine that elderly and extra kids are seen as a hinderance where poverty is rife and resources are scarce and these people are seen as “useless eaters” who are sucking up the resources.
A similar mindset is behind the whole “Rape an child to cure AIDs” thing. No traditional healer worth their salt would suggest something so dumbassed… it’s just a made-up excuse for nonces so they’ll feel better about making perverted asses of themselves. Sadly, it seems in some places, Healers, Medicine People, Shamans, etc. are as plagued by hucksters, shysters and losers as Organized Religions. Plastic Shamans and Fakey Trad-Healers… the “Jim Bakers” of ancient nature-based, animist, spirituality.
I remember a FSTDT entry from years ago where a guy in Madagascar got his head bashed in because a fakey “healer” told his killer that there was gold inside the man’s head.
And so… you get a weirdo Bible-Fundie cult in an abandoned school that beats a teen guy to death with power cords, a bogus “holy man” in India who beats a sick girl to death, some East Orthodox nuns in Eastern Europe who get crucified, old ladies and children being declared “witches” and getting killed by villagers in Africa and elsewhere, a gal in China who got force-fed water until she croaked, numerous domestic violence cases where “exorcism” was the motive, a guy beheading his mom because he thought she possessed, etc.
It’s al an excuse to murder, oppress, scratch that sadism itch, be a pervert or grab someone’s stuff.