A 16-year-old named “Freddy” is seen on the floor, going into spasms as women put blankets over him, in a bizarre ritual that was briefly posted on YouTube, giving a 20-minute glimpse into an apparent exorcism.
"Rip it from his throat!" a woman yells. "Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!"
Someone puts what looks like oil on the teen’s face. He flails, according to Fairfield Weekly.. He struggles. Someone yells at him.
"Stand him up," a "prophet" orders. "Something needs to come out of his belly."
The video was posted on YouTube by Manifested Glory Ministries in Bridgeport, according to the newspaper. But when you click on the video, you get a message that says, “This video is no longer available due to copyright claim by Manifested Glory Ministries.” There is no sign of it on the church’s site.
Manager Bill McGary of the Bridgeport Holiday Inn, where they exorcism apparently took place, told Fairfield Weekly that the church did rent space but had not been back since it found a space of its own. The only complaints McGary says he’s received about church groups are over loud singing.
The whole ordeal has gay rights advocates outraged and demanding an investigation.
Robin McHaelen, executive director of True Colors, an advocacy group for gay youths, said the video appeared abusive and she planned to report the incident to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.
The boy confirmed he is 16, but declined to comment.
But a church official this week denied that the teenager was injured or that the church is prejudiced.
“We believe a man should be with a woman and a woman should be with a man," the Rev. Patricia McKinney, of Manifested Glory Ministries in Bridgeport, told The Associated Press. "We have nothing against homosexuals. I just don't agree with their lifestyle."
McKinney claimed the boy is 18 and came to the church last year and collapsed on the floor during a service. She denied the church is prejudiced and says they took care of the youth.
McHaelin said her organization is aware of five cases in recent years in which youths in her program were threatened with exorcism.
"What saddens me is the people that are doing this think they are doing something in the kid's best interests, when in fact they're murdering his spirit," McHaelin said.