Last September 3-year-old Arely Naomi Proctor died.
She should still be alive today.
Unfortunately, those around her, those responsible for her care, were convinced that she was possessed by an evil spirit.
The reason for writing about this now is that there has been an update. Police have arrested two more relatives. One is Rene Trigueros-Hernandez, the grandfather of Arely. He was also the pastor of Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas, a very small fundamentalist pentecostal church in San Jose. The other is the uncle of Arely, Rene Hernandez-Santos. They have both been charged with child abuse that led to Arely’s death.
The mother, Claudia Hernandez-Santos, had already been previously arrested back in January.
What convinced them all that she was possessed?
They told police that 3-year-old Arely would “wake up and scream or cry periodically.” That alone convinced them that she was possessed.
3 years old.
Wakes up and cries.
Diagnosis – evil spirit.
(About here is the wholly appropriate place for a rather strong anglo-saxon phrase or two. I shall simply leave it to your imagination to select any your prefer)
What then Happened?
The mother, along with her brother, brought Arely to their father’s church for an exorcism.
This “exorcism” involved the two men holding Arely down while Claudia stuck her fingers down the 3-year old’s throat to induce vomiting and so cause the evil spirits to leave her.
This “exorcism” ran for about 12 hours…
“She strangled her multiple times to the point where the victim went unconscious, she stuck her hands down her throat, and continued this course of conduct for almost a full day,”
Arely died of asphyxia due to suffocation and smothering.
Then what happened?
They immediately freaked out and dialled 911 ?
They waited two hours and then dialled 911.
That also did not attempt any lifesaving measures.
These hideous details have only now emerged via court documents.
Let’s be wholly clear about a few things
Demons and evil spirits are not real, they don’t exist.
Some might indeed tell stories, others may sincerely believe. None of that makes it true.
Once, I myself attended an independent Pentecostal church as a teenager. There there was one “brother” who was informally telling folks how he had cast a demon out of somebody at work. As he described the details in soon because clear that what had actually happened is that somebody has an epileptic fit. This “brother” did not understand what was happening, assumed it was a demon, and so proceeded to stand over him yelling “In the name of Jesus I cast you out”. The chap having the fit recovered and so as far as this “brother” was concerned, he had cast out a demon.
My point is this.
If you asked him if demons were real, then he would assure it with a resounding “yes”. This would be a wholly sincere deceleration. You need not doubt that he really believes it and then he himself had successfully cast out a demon. I suspect no counter argument would ever persuade him that he simply did not grasp what was really going on.
How did Arely’s mum respond later?
Shortly after it all happened, she set up a GoFundMe page asking for donations for the funeral. She raised $2,935.
She also posted the following 45 minute clip on YouTube in January…
Permit me to give you a few brief extracts …
“I could sit here and be negative … [but] I cannot change what is. It is what it is,” …
“I could sit here and be negative, be sad about the whole situation that she passed away, but it’s like, there’s no point, you know, because it is what it is. It is what it is. She’s not here with me — it is what it is,” …
“It’s like, what’s the point, you know? I’m just gonna be putting myself down when there’s no point for me to do that, you know? I cannot change the situation,” …
“When she passed away, she was with me,” …
“a lot of people turned on me after my daughter passed away.”…
“I don’t worry too much about that because God knows the truth, and the truth always comes out,” …
Be assured that the commenters under that clip did not hold back.
She is in complete and total denial about her own personal responsibility for the death of her daughter.
What happens Now?
The mother, Claudia, was arrested in January and charged with assault. She faces the distinct possibility of life in prison.
The grandfather of Arely who had helped in the exorcism maintained that what had happened was “the will of God”.
This past week he also was arrested along with Claudia’s brother who had also participated. They both now face charges of child abuse leading to the death of Arely. They now both also face at least 25 years in jail.
Were they Crazy?
Short answer – no, just very very religious.
When you embrace ideas that are simply not true, then regardless of the depth of your sincerity there may be huge consequences.
Demons don’t exist
I wrote about this last year. This is how I put it then – Human beings do suffer from things that would in the past have been identified as demons. In every case of supposed possession, you will discover that we now do have a better understanding of what is actually happening. Specifically, …
- Tourette syndrome
- conversion disorder
- dissociative identity disorder
No modern doctor (except perhaps a deeply religious one) would seriously diagnose “demons”, not because they refuse to recognise the “truth”, but instead because there are far better explanations.