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Schoolgirl kicked out of school for being possessed

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Midd93
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« on: November 30, 2009, 13:30:22 PM »

tl:dr - a girl with epilepsy was banned from school for fears of her being possessed and stabbing people like the "Satanist killer" did.

Good idea or bad idea?




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cyghost
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 13:41:09 PM »

Epilepsy does not equal possessed.

That people in this day and age think it does is ludicrous.

As it stands and without any further information, very very very bad idea.
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Owen Swart
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 14:01:24 PM »

Here's the story: http://www.thestar.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=vn20091130035922943C458159


Quote
"Possessed" girl barred from school

30 November 2009, 07:23

By Angelique Serrao

A 12-year-old epileptic girl has been banished from her school after having a fit during a school camp - after which teachers and pupils believed she was "devil-possessed".

At the three-day camp in the Magaliesberg, the girl screamed that she could see an "axe man" coming to kill two girls, it is alleged. Her eyes "rolled back", which frightened the other children, and she drew "evil" signs in the sand.

Teachers at Jeppe Preparatory School prayed over her daughter, said her mother Rose, who was told she may not return to school until she was evaluated by psychiatrists.

A week later doctors told Rose her daughter was epileptic and her symptoms were common in children about to have a fit. Despite the doctor's assertion that she was not a danger, the principal asked Rose to keep her child at home. The girl will have to repeat Grade 5.

Rose recalled how excited her daughter was when she packed for the camp. But on Friday, October 23, a teacher asked her to attend a meeting on Monday, October 26 at 7am.

At the meeting, Rose said she was told her child was "going crazy". Several incidents were cited: the "axe man"; stealing children's food; disturbing others at night; and going to the toilet "hundreds of times".

"The principal said because of the 'sword killer incident', she should be removed from the school", and other parents would not let their children come to school because they were afraid of her daughter.

"Are they comparing my child to the Krugersdorp sword killer, are they saying my daughter is psycho, she is going to kill somebody? Are they implying she is demonic, she is a mental case?" Rose asked.

Rose was handed a letter to give to a psychiatrist.

"Please assess... condition as she displays extreme behaviour, e.g. seeing visions, drawing in the sand and telling her peers she can foresee the future and saying they are going to be killed. She terrorises her peers and displays anger.

"We fear that she may become violent, and is placing learners and staff under tremendous fear. Some learners refuse to come to school, others are having panic attacks due to... extreme actions and behaviour. I feel that (child's name) is a danger to both learners and staff."

The mother had a previous problems with her child and the school.

"There had been bullying and she was in trouble all the time... In the third term, my daughter told me the principal told staff she is a mental case and needs to go to mad school," Rose said.

The child had previously also seen the "axe man", but her mother, assuming it was the effects of Ritalin for her attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, took her off the medication. A teacher gave the child a Bible to take home.

After the latest problems, the girl was taken for brain scans. Rose was told her child could go back to school after she was put on medication for epilepsy, but the principal said she must study at home.

The psychiatrist, Dr Nkokone Tema, wrote to the school, asking them to take the girl back.

"This letter serves to inform you that her difficulties could have been managed better by the school instead of ostracising her... She could use a lot of support from her class teacher. She doesn't pose any obvious danger and as such should be allowed back into school."

But the school refused. This depressed Rose's daughter, who said she wanted to "commit suicide and felt like a monster and criminal".

The child wrote a letter: "I am very sad and angry. I am missing my friends... I cannot do my schoolwork, I feel like what's the use anyway ... My dream is over, my vision to pass to grade 6."

Rose sent her to live with her grandparents in KwaZulu-Natal. She asked the school for a transfer card, but it stated the new school would need a psychological report.

Gauteng Department of Education spokesman Charles Phahlane said the principal made a recommendation to help the girl.

"The decision was more in favour of the learner concerned."

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Peter Grant
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 14:06:17 PM »

Getting seriously fed up with this "demon haunted world" we live in.
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Owen Swart
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 14:09:34 PM »

Indeed... this is a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Every adult involved in this case seems to have exercised the worst possible judgement. And at Jeppe Prep! I would expect this sort of thing at a rural school perhaps, but Jeppe?
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DNA
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 15:23:56 PM »

 WTF!!
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Midd93
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 16:58:32 PM »

Yeah its quite something.

Some skeptical thinking like you guys do would have avoided harm to the little girl.
Do you think fear of Satan and demons is to blame? Or is it more fear of having another "Satanist killer"?


So, what is possession then if Epilepsy does not equal possessed?

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cyghost
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 18:51:58 PM »

Some skeptical thinking like you guys do would have avoided harm to the little girl.
Education would have (should have) done a better job.
Quote
Do you think fear of Satan and demons is to blame? Or is it more fear of having another "Satanist killer"?
Either fear is irrational in this context.
Quote
So, what is possession then if Epilepsy does not equal possessed?
nine-tenths  of the law.
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Irreverend
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 01:42:57 AM »

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So, what is possession then if Epilepsy does not equal possessed?
nine-tenths  of the law.
Grin Evil Grin

Fostering false dichotomies of such magnificently depraved stupidity is the main reason religion is so toxically dangerous. Believers just can't see it because they think that an absence of overt malice somehow necessarily makes it all good.
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Midd93
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 08:52:14 AM »

I agree with you guys, but I would like an answer on -
So, what is possession then if Epilepsy does not equal possessed?

You didn't say "Epilepsy does not equal possessed, because there is no such thing as possession" or something of that nature. Which implies a belief that possession is something at least.

Or was it merely a hastily written response?
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 09:13:06 AM »

Quote from: Midd93
You didn't say "Epilepsy does not equal possessed, because there is no such thing as possession"
Ok, I'll say it then, there is no such thing as possession. I have a cousin who is schizophrenic, when she's off her meds, she is delusional, hears voices and is capable of fighting off anyone who tries to restrain her - it's scary. So I can understand why people, ignorant of mental illnesses, may think that someone is possessed.

This story is incredibly sad, and I agree that the adults involved showed an extreme lack of understanding; praying over her while she's having a fit showed blatant ignorance, which is inexcusable. It was not all that long ago that people like this young girl would have been burnt at a stake for being a witch/demon/possessed.

mdg
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Midd93
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 09:24:15 AM »

mdg, can you speak for cyghost?

"So I can understand why people, ignorant of mental illnesses, may think that someone is possessed."

Thats exactly it. Modern savvy people recognize these symptoms and interpret it as mental illness.
the symptoms of possession are exactly the same. The only difference is the belief that demons are involved, but people don't see that - it is an implied cause. I would say that in these cases practically epilepsy does = possession, it is the same event, but interpreted in different ways.

The practical implications (aside from the social stigma); is psychotherapy or psychiatry more effective at fixing the problem than an exorcism?

I have some experience with possession, but maybe we can get into that later.

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cyghost
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 09:29:58 AM »

mdg, can you speak for cyghost?
In this case mdg voiced my own thoughts exactly.

There is no such thing as demons. There is no such thing as "possession".

That you choose to assume my denial that epilepsy equates to possession as an admission that perhaps possession exists is ludicrous.
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Owen Swart
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 09:30:32 AM »

I agree with you guys, but I would like an answer on -
So, what is possession then if Epilepsy does not equal possessed?

As I understand it, possession is believed to be a state in which a person's body is inhabited and controlled by a causal agent other than its own soul.

The belief in possession is subject to the assumptions that:
A. There is such a thing as a soul which is somehow distinct from the body, but nonetheless in control of it.
B. Other soul-like causal agents exist free of bodies.
C. The other soul-like things are capable of temporarily attaching themselves to human bodies, and in doing so, taking control of them.

Since all of those assumptions are unproven, and there is no real reason to assume any of them to be true, it's probably reasonable to assume that possession itself is a superstitious interpretation of natural phenomena - perhaps phenomena that manifest in such a way as to make a person behave in a way that they wouldn't normally do. Or in ways that are unexpected or undesirable to their community.

Such phenomena could well include epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, bordlerline personality disorder, hypnogogic/hypnopompic hallucinations, drug or pathology induced hallucinations, sleepwalking, homosexuality, violent tempers, depression, autism or a broad variety of other conditions... many of which are not really unusual or pathological at all.
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mdg
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 09:42:57 AM »

Quote from: Midd93
mdg, can you speak for cyghost?
No, I don't speak for Cyghost, I was adding my bit to the conversation. As Cyghost has already pointed out, he speaks for and of himself, he just cuts through the bullshit and gets to the point.

Quote from: Midd93
I have some experience with possession, but maybe we can get into that later.
Can't wait to hear all about it  Wink

mdg
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