Canadian Teen Bible Camp Under Fire Over Alleged Exorcism

·3 min read
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

A Canadian children’s bible camp is under investigation after a worker allegedly performed an exorcism on a teen camper that left him bleeding and twitching on the floor.

A bombshell report by the CBC revealed that the Redberry Bible Camp employee, who has since been removed from the camp, has been very public about his history of domestic violence, pornography, drug addiction, and past firings from summer camps. It called into question how the camp, located in Saskatoon in the Saskatchewan province, hired the man in the first place.

The camp confirmed to the outlet that it was investigating the man, but it refused to disclose any further details.

“I will tell you that we are investigating the situation… I’m not prepared to discuss it at this point,” board chair Wayne Dick told the CBC. “I can assure you [the worker] is not at the camp.”

The exorcism in question allegedly took place on July 13. Witnesses told the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that the man gathered campers—teens between the ages of 12 and 14—in a cabin for the ceremony. Once it concluded and the alleged demon was vanquished, the camper was left twitching on the ground and bleeding from his nose, according to a government official who spoke to the CBC.

The man then allegedly handed out his business cards and ordered the campers to remain in contact with him for the rest of their lives, as only he knew how to exorcise their demons.

Some campers alerted other staffers and their parents to the alleged chaos, prompting many parents to take their kids home from the six-day camp. It was unclear how the man was allowed near kids, as his social media posts reportedly gave way to years-long battles with personal demons.

Videos and posts viewed by the CBC showed the man documenting his own violent past, including self-depictions as a “monster” who was exposed to porn early and who later abused his girlfriend after a “drunken cocaine party.” That allegation is what caused him to lose his last role as a camp counselor, he reportedly said.

“In my drunken rage, I sabotaged everything, I physically abused my girlfriend, screaming so loud it woke up the neighborhood, my girlfriend ran out of the house, banging on the doors of anyone who would listen and next thing I knew my parents and the police showed up,” he reportedly wrote on a since-deleted Facebook account.

The man’s struggles eventually continued through the spring of 2020 before he reportedly fell back into a relationship with religion. “God saved me from a life of debauchery. God saved me from a life of wickedness,” he reportedly said in a May video.

Ailsa Watkinson, a University of Regina professor emerita of social work who specializes in child protection, told the CBC the allegations were “just nuts.”

“If that was my child, I’d be horrified,” she said.

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