THE GADARA ADVERSARY

2011

“And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.”

Mark 5:1-20

Prayer camps are religiously run institutions keeping people suffering from mental illnesses. The owners of these camps call themselves men of God and claim to be healing the most severe afflictions through praying. The patients are most often brought to the camps by family members to escape the dark stigma brought onto them by mental disease. In a great number of prayer camps, severe human rights abuse are occurring: Patients are tied with short chains bought by their own relatives. Some patients are left without food or water below the intense heat or the heavy rains for months and sometimes years. The suffering which they must go through is supposed to suck the devil out of them. Prayer camps owners believe mental diseases are of spiritual source and can be healed through a Christ like experience and intense praying. Aside from the patients suffering from physical symptoms, prayer camps enclose a great panel of mental diseases going from very mild depressive patients to psychotics. Some patients who arrive to the camps as a result of a social stigma, (witch naming) but without any mental affliction, soon develop symptoms created by the camps’ beast like living conditions.