Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shared Insanity Kills a Toddler


Sanity debated in deadly exorcism
Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette

Latisha Lawson rocked slightly in her chair throughout much of her second interview with Fort Wayne police detectives as they questioned her about the death of her toddler.

And as they repeatedly pressed her on the details of how he died, her statements kept going back again and again to her belief that 2-year-old Jezaih King’s body and soul had been completely taken over by a demon named “Marzon.”

It was Marzon that made the baby act out in a way Lawson thought was uncharacteristic for his age, such as making a clicking noise with his mouth, and causing his physical appearance to change, which she compared with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

And when she poured the mixture of “blessed” olive oil and vinegar down his throat in November 2009, it was Marzon that struggled to spit it out and fought against her, not Jezaih.

But it was Jezaih who died, and Lawson, 31, stands accused of murder, battery causing death and neglect of a dependent causing death concerning her son, as well as neglect of a dependent causing injury, neglect of a dependent and battery for allegedly beating and neglecting her 10-year-old daughter.

Police found the little boy’s body stuffed in a storage tote being used as a bedside nightstand in a south-side home in late December, more than a year after his death.

...

Lawson told detectives it was her roommate, Natasha Hawkins, who told her that the Lord wanted her to get rid of the demon. Hawkins has also been charged in connection with Jezaih’s death. ...
All those in the home – Lawson, Hawkins, Lawson’s two children and Hawkins’ three children – were all suffering from demonic influences, Lawson told police.

At one point, a detective asked her whether she’d consulted with a religious authority, such as her pastor or a church, about what she thought was going on.

“No,” Lawson said. “It was clear to me.”

So she and Hawkins decided to drive the demons out, making all the children drink the concoction. The older children vomited and then sat there while the two women held Jezaih down and tried to get him to drink it, according to testimony.

Lawson told police about the toddler’s reaction, which she attributed to the demon.

“A 2-year-old cannot speak tongues,” she said, which she described as a spiritual gift. “He was speaking tongues. I could not interpret it because it wasn’t of God. … I know this sounds insane, but his voice, his behavior was not a 2-year-old baby.”

As he fought, Lawson covered his mouth and nose with her hand, what she told police was an effort to keep “Marzon” from spitting the liquid back into her face.

But after a few minutes, the baby was still.

His death was ruled a homicide, caused by asphyxia due to neck compression and suffocation, according to testimony.

...
During her interview with police, Lawson said the demon Marzon told her that he was the leader of the group of demons.

When Lawson and Hawkins were exorcising the demons that November night, Lawson said she heard them talking.

“The spirits were chatting amongst themselves,” she said.
She said she believed that Marzon had completely taken over Jezaih, that the little boy no longer existed in his own body.

“At that time, I felt that we were saving Jezaih from Marzon,” she said.

A detective asked her what she would say when she stood before God and he asked her what happened to her little boy.

Lawson broke down into huge sobs.

The trial is scheduled to end today.
Remember, folks, exorcism is best left to the experts.

22 comments:

scum said...

Crazy mother. The mother doesn't realize that the real demon here is her.

Why would you kill a child just because you think it's inhabited by a demon. You have to consult and ask. When Christ expelled demons, he didn't kill anyone, but rather he expelled them out. The original person remained intact and alive.

So if you kill someone just to exorcise demons, then you're really the demon.

LadyAtheist said...

Mom found guilty:
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110528/LOCAL03/305289976

B.R. said...

This is the result of faith on society at large. And while the vast majority of Christians aren't this fucked in the head, faith can still cause people to do evil, barbaric things while considering themselves the good guys. If you believe that our world is inhabited by countless, invisible demons from a magic dimension who have the power t possess people, what is the eventual outcome of this? The answer is people like Andrea Yates and this woman.

Allusive Atheist said...

How could this have been prevented? It's easy enough to put labels on the mother regarding her intelligence or sanity. But it is the general acceptance in society of the existence of supernatural entities that created the potential for this tragedy. And the mother felt she was qualified to make this "diagnosis." A little skepticism might have been all that was need here. Or naturalism. Or critical thinking. Religion, superstition, supernatural beliefs? Not so helpful.

I feel sorry for the mom. To some degree we are all products of our environment. And for Jezaih, the fear, confusion and stolen future, my sympathy seems wholly inadequate.

LadyAtheist said...

Fortunately for me, my insane mother wasn't a member of one of the insaner branches of Christianity. My insane stepfather believed God talked to him but the voices in his head were more beneficient. My brother has an entirely different sort of schizophrenia, so the family is safe though I worry about the movie stars he's obsessed with.


There will always be sick people but if there's no religion for them to hook into they will have less "nutty" nuttery, if that makes sense. The kid who shot Gabrielle Giffords is an example. Unpredictable but his kind of insanity *should* be more readily noticed and dealt with. It's harder to know when a parent has delusions about a child.

scum said...

"This is the result of faith on society at large... faith can still cause people to do evil, barbaric things while considering themselves the good guys." - B.R.

It only means that faith on society at large is false or partially true but still lacking. Remember lack of knowledge is very dangerous. If you know Jim Jones who believed if you drink poison you will not die, because of his incomplete knowledge of the bible. His dangerous knowledge has led into mass murder of innocent and naive people. He considers himself the good guys. But is it the fault of the bible?Nah. He misread verses in the bible which it turns out wasn't even part of the bible.

"If you believe that our world is inhabited by countless, invisible demons from a magic dimension who have the power t possess people, what is the eventual outcome of this?" - B.R.

That depends on what your faith is. If it's like this woman here, then definitely you'd kill thousands of people. If it's like Jim Jones' faith, then same result.

Remember the bible is only good if it's used on the right way. Those who claim the bible is good do not understand that it's only good if used for the right purpose. Otherwise, it's very harmful.

shreddakj said...

It's things like this that really rub in in the faces of people who go around claiming that religion is harmless. I don't want to take away their toys, but want to stop them from using their toys to harm people, especially children.

B.R. said...

@scum;

What is your point here, exactly? You're not saying anything that really needs to be said. I made it clear in my last post that not all Christians are insane, but large numbers of them are, whether in quiet ways, or like this would-be "exorcist".

If faith in invisible demons with the power to take over the minds and bodies of the living did not exist, would this woman have "exorcised" her child? Would hundreds of children be tortured and murdered in Africa every year by evangelical witch-hunters? Eh?

scum said...

"What is your point here, exactly?" - B.R.

I've said it before. "It only means that faith on society at large is false or partially true but still lacking." Lack of knowledge is dangerous.

"I made it clear in my last post that not all Christians are insane, but large numbers of them are, whether in quiet ways, or like this would-be 'exorcist'." - B.R.

I know that's clear. I don't remember disagreeing with that.

"If faith in invisible demons with the power to take over the minds and bodies of the living did not exist, would this woman have 'exorcised' her child? :

Of course, it exists. But whether we she indeed saw it or she was delusional that we cannot prove. But even if we can prove either, in any case, her belief is not biblical (meaning it's not the Christian way).

"Would hundreds of children be tortured and murdered in Africa every year by evangelical witch-hunters? Eh?"

I don't doubt it. The Catholic church has been historically abusive against those who believe and disagree with her. These evangelical groups nowadays are just offspring of the Catholic church. So I wouldn't be surprised.

Like I said the majority are lacking biblical knowledge with the intention to fattened their bellies.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

Rebecca S. Green's next article,

"Sanity debated in millions of Americans as millions of abortions are performed nationally"

Yes, there are some fringe Christians who are 'out there'. A few.

Now, what can you tell me about the woman who has a convenient abortion? About the millions of pagans, and atheists, who endorse this infanticide?

This false, inside, outside, of the womb, moral safe zone separation works only with the blinkered. The rest of us have our eyes wide open, and we can't believe what we are seeing justified by our pagan neighbours.

B.R. said...

@Never Was An Arrow II;

What does abortion have to do with this thread? Oh, that's right, nothing. And by the way, there are pagans and atheists who are against abortion, and Christians who are for it, so save your self-righteous sermons for those who actually care to hear your drivel.

LadyAtheist said...

Yeah, what B.R. said

B.R. said...

@scum;

You;re ignoring the pint. Faith is general is detrimental to society. You believe that demons are real, but where's your proof? What evidence is there, apart from the scribblings of Bronze Age goat-herders who believed in a flat earth, that demons exist? If you proclaims demons real without even a shred of proof, then what about unicorns, and fairies, and trolls? They're just as likely to exist as demons. And if you believe in these entities without proof, what happens if you become unhinged and start seeing demon-possessed people everywhere? What if you start to think that they're after you? What if the only way to get rid of Deadites--er, "demons", is by killing them? You see the slippery slope here?

Ancient superstitions never contribute anything valuable to society, and never have.

fv said...

This is tragic and the woman's delusions might well have been made worse by her religious patterning, but she sounds more like a person who has very severe mental problems over and above the craziness of her religion. I know of another case in the town where I live - a woman had stopped taking her bi-polar meds because she was pregnant and she cycled into an acute psychotic mania where she heard voices commanding her to kill her 3 year old because the child was Satan. So she did. She was charged and tried for murder, but hospitalized, not imprisoned. I think this lady might have been imprisoned for the wrong reasons - she doesn't sound as if she's sane enough to get what she did. IMNSHO.

LadyAtheist said...

fv, that's my point. Without religion, psychotics don't generally kill their children. They occasionally develop other types of homocidal thoughts but they target people outside of their home, where there's a chance of someone intervening. Children have no defense against a psychotic parent, unlike a Hollywood celeb or politician (usually).

Ranch Chimp said...

Good Morning LA! I havent even heard a bloody thing about this, so thanx for posting it! I just happened to run across your posting going through Infodel's "Link Round Up". I am thrilled to see them going after this mom and holding her responsible, because frankly too many of these religious parent's get away with so much crap, even as far as seeking medical treatment for their kid's and the list is endless of this crap in this country too. I actually have a series/ posting's called "Killer Parent's" (created the title kind of tongue in cheek type thing), if I would have known about this one, I would have done a bloody posting on it. I'm a dad with 3 daughter's, 4 grandson's and 1 granddaughter, so these thing's catch my atencion.

Thanx ....

LadyAtheist said...

I will post updates as the legal proceedings proceed. I don't see how an insanity defense could work, since another person gave her the excuse she needed to abuse her children.

cl said...

"This is the result of faith on society at large."

"But it is the general acceptance in society of the existence of supernatural entities that created the potential for this tragedy."

Nonsense. The "general" acceptance of the supernatural didn't cause this. This tragedy is a result of untempered fanatacism--not faith at large, not "general" belief in the supernatural. Slippery slope fallacy, all the way.

"Faith is general is detrimental to society."

Laughably, utterly, absurdly false. Where's your controlled studies? Surely, thou art rational--right? If you can't provide the scientific evidence to back up your claim, critical thinkers are under no compulsion to accept it.

"Ancient superstitions never contribute anything valuable to society, and never have."

Oh, but I suppose making claims without evidence--all the while denigrating others for doing the same--contributes something valuable to society? If only you could see how badly your contradicting yourself.

B.R. said...

"Nonsense. The "general" acceptance of the supernatural didn't cause this. This tragedy is a result of untempered fanatacism--not faith at large, not "general" belief in the supernatural."

If Christianity did not advocate imaginary concepts like demons and witches, how many people would have been killed by Christians throughout history? And I didn't say that belief in the supernatural in general resulted in things like this. You're cherry-picking my post in a most dishonest manner.

"Slippery slope fallacy, all the way."

Either you didn't even read what I said, or you're a lair. Andrea Yates. Matthew Hopkins. The Salem Witch Trials, and many more. Tens of thousands of people have been butchered by Christians for consorting with demons, or being possessed by them. The slippery slope is real and it only takes a cursory glance at history to see it.

"Laughably, utterly, absurdly false. Where's your controlled studies? Surely, thou art rational--right? If you can't provide the scientific evidence to back up your claim, critical thinkers are under no compulsion to accept it."

As my previous paragraph shows, I don't need modern studies to prove this--I have the whole of recorded history on my side. Name one good thing to come of belief in witches, warlocks, and demons. One good thing.

"Oh, but I suppose making claims without evidence--all the while denigrating others for doing the same--contributes something valuable to society? If only you could see how badly your contradicting yourself."

This last bit is pathetic, puerile, and dishonest. Nothing good has ever come of faith in demons, and society has been greatly harmed by it.

http://vassleer.newsvine.com/_news/2007/01/03/504714-murdered-for-being-an-atheist

cl said...

"I didn't say that belief in the supernatural in general resulted in things like this."

Try again Fett: "But it is the general acceptance in society of the existence of supernatural entities that created the potential for this tragedy."

"Either you didn't even read what I said, or you're a lair. "

False. Also a false dichotomy, with a typo to boot. I read every word you said.

"As my previous paragraph shows, I don't need modern studies to prove this--I have the whole of recorded history on my side."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! How quickly critical thought and science go out the window when the goal is to demean religious faith!

"This last bit is pathetic, puerile, and dishonest."

Wrong again, Fett. It is commendable. You cannot demand that others support their claims with scientific evidence, then go around blowing your anti-religious flamethrower without any scientific evidence. Just be consistent, and tolerant, and we'll get along fine. I respect tolerant atheists who hold themselves to the same standards they hold theists. Is that you?

As for your link, did I ever deny that *actual nutters* are a threat to society? No. I take issue with your logical misstep from "actual nutters are bad," to, "Faith is general is [sic] detrimental to society," and the slippery slope nonsense, "If you believe that our world is inhabited by countless, invisible demons from a magic dimension who have the power t [sic] possess people, what is the eventual outcome of this? The answer is people like Andrea Yates and this woman." Slippery slope, all the way--just like I said.

B.R. said...

Exactly; supernatural entities like demons and any other evil spirit that must be repelled with juju. If people didn't believe in invisible demons that can take over other people at will, stuff like this would be extremely rare.

You didn't respond to my argument, or even attempt to, so how can I know, and why should I care? You're being trollish.

"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! How quickly critical thought and science go out the window when the goal is to demean religious faith!"

I just love trolls whop can't even make counter-arguments. History proves that society has never benefited in any way from belief in demons and witches, and has suffered untold harm from it. And science does not support invisible bad guys, BTW.

"Wrong again, Fett. It is commendable."

It's commendable to wave your hands and go, "you're wrong, you're wrong"? Uh huh.

"You cannot demand that others support their claims with scientific evidence, then go around blowing your anti-religious flamethrower without any scientific evidence."

There are not studies relating to belief in demons and murder rates because from what I can gather, no one has bothered to put one together. But I don't need a statistic to point out what is obvious fact. Society has gone through devastating periods of mass hysteria and murder because of belief in demons and witches, and has never benefited from it in the least. I challenged you in my last comment to prove otherwise, and you don't even address it. How typical. And BTW, I said nothing about religion in general causing this, just delusional superstitions like demons and witches.

"I take issue with your logical misstep from "actual nutters are bad," to, "Faith is general is [sic] detrimental to society," and the slippery slope nonsense,..."

Faith in demons is detrimental not just to society, but civilization itself. If you were expecting me to cater to your "faith is ultimately good" bias, think again. I don't think that all forms of faith, or all religions, are harmful to society, but cults and sects that obsess about demons and and the idea that they can posses you? That shit has never been anything but a burden on mankind, and you know it.

"Slippery slope, all the way--just like I said."

That's a retarded reply. Something is not a fallacy just because you say it is. Prove that this is not the eventual outcome of faith in demons/witches, that people like Matthew Hopkins and Andrea Yates are not the final stage. Prove that demons are real, and the belief in them has benefited society, and this paragraph of mine will be refuted. If not, then you're a fool. Look at the Middle Ages. Look at the Inquisitions. Look at the pentecostal witch-hunters in Africa who killing children to this day and refute this "slippery slope fallacy".

B.R. said...

And again, I should have elaborated more when I said "faith is detrimental, etc." but you've completely dodged the point in your latest reply to me, and I expect much better in your next try. Prove that belief in demons has benefited humanity, or begone.