Several years ago a friend that became a christian because of my proselytizing related a story to me that was at once funny and horrifying. It had to do with a friend of his that I had not met. Jeff, was attending Madison Area Technical College in Madison WI. He was studying commercial arts at the time while also attending a local church. Back then the church was called Madison Gospel Tabernacle. The church has since changed its moniker. Jeff was with a group of your men all about the same age, said group was on fire for the lord. During a prayer meeting either at the church itself or at a of church site, I don’t recall now to many years have passed. One of Jeff’s friends experienced the The Demon of Masturbation Gambit.

Here’s how it happened. After the worship service and the convocation, the older men in the group gathered around the band of young men. They settled on each of them and prayed for them as the spirit led them. When it came time for Brad’s turn, (not his real name) they began praying earnestly and with great show. It seemed that Brad was being oppressed by a demon, and that god couldn’t use Brad until this demon was driven from the comfortable Brad given it. The demon afflicting Brad was none other than the despised Demon of Masturbation. Problem was that tried as hard as they might to cast said demon out of Brad, those good holy men just couldn’t manage it. Now why do you suppose this godly men couldn’t cast out the demon of wanking? These were holy men of god, presumably they had fasted and prayed prior to the exorcism. What was the big hold up.

One important part of fundy chirstian doctrine held by some but not all fundies; is the that a christian can in fact be possessed by a demon if that person so wants to be. In such a case it’s said that even Jesus couldn’t cast out the demon of self abuse. Nope if the rosie palmer really, really wants that demon it’s there to stay. And wouldn’t you know the holy man that failed to get the demon to come out announced in a loud voice so that all could hear.

Demon of masturbation come out, come out of him, release him at once. I don’t know, I can’t get it out, I guess he wants to keep it.

Everybody heard it and everybody was treated to a great show. The pastor or elder was a great showman. Bradly was completely and thoroughly humiliated; destroyed. He assured the holy man and he prayed and he did confess mightily his sins, real or imagined until the holy one was happy to have a go at Satan’s dark angel. It was a night no one concerned will ever forget. It made an impact on me, and both Jeff and I could relate to the humiliation that Brad had to endure. Sadly this is one of a couple instances of this very public shaming of a fine young man said to be afflicted by the dastardly demon of masturbation. An acquaintance of mine at about the same time related to me and a group of fellow christians a story eerily similar. Dennis, correctly guessed where this was going and that the young man in this instance was info a drubbing. However before the holy one of god could get his hooks in, Dennis interrupted and intoned that perhaps they all show drop their drawers and each show the color of his underwear. That effectively put a stop to the stupidity.

All these years I had been asking myself what was the purpose of this episode, why target a young man and humiliate him in this manner. Of course while I was a christian I couldn’t see the obvious. The point was to humiliate him, take him down a peg or two. Embarrass him in front of his friends. Perhaps to embarrass his father, mother and family. Perhaps the Bradly’s of the world took a liking to the pastor daughter. What is clear is that the intention was to do great damage. So what if Bradly left the church, perhaps that was the reason for the treatment. If Brad didn’t leave he was at time and for some time to come nurtured. He won’t become a youth pastor in that church. It was nothing more than a power play.