Encouragement of belief in demon possession costs pastor his life

This is the second case of murder related to mental illness and a deliverance ministry in Germantown Maryland. Recall that in January, 2014, two children were stabbed to death by self-proclaimed “demon assassins”.

Demon-possessed man kills Md. pastor during spiritual cleansing, police say | WJLA.com.

A man who said he heard voices and kills demons is under arrest, accused in the murder of an eccentric Montgomery County pastor.

Roland Zinneh, 38, of Darby, Pa., was taken into custody Wednesday, after police say he strangled Connery Dagadu, 57, inside a modest two-story Germantown home, which doubled as an alternative church.

Dagadu, who specialized in “deliverance ministry,” was the lead cleric of the Beautiful Feet World Impact Center.

Dagadu ran a church in a garage. He regularly counseled people who thought they were possessed by evil spirits. Zinneh had travelled from the Philadelphia area to seek his help because he was hearing voices. It’s no stretch to see that Zinneh was suffering from mental illness. Like tinder to a fire, the dark ages diagnosis of demons intensified the problem and put Dagadu and others at risk.

Officers who subdued Zinneh say he yelled “I kill demons!”.

Note that this is NOT the same church that played a part in the child murders last year. Deliverance ministries preach that EVERYONE has demons and they are the cause of the problems in your life. See the site called “demonbusters.com” (Do not link). A huge problem with such deliverance groups is that they are run by people who do not know anything about mental health issues or social problems that plague those that come to them for help. They are not equipped to do any sort of counseling and promote a superstitious unhelpful belief instead of actively getting people to medical resources. Their goal seems to be spiritual warfare instead of human-based assistance – a dangerous objective.

  10 comments for “Encouragement of belief in demon possession costs pastor his life

  1. busterggi
    March 15, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    This sort of incident is why religion often does equal ignorance & mental illness.

  2. terry the censor
    March 15, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    > people who do not know anything about mental health issues

    I disagree. These kind of people don’t believe in mental illness. Ideologues are prone to explaining phenomena in terms of their belief system. They’ve heard about mental illness, they just don’t believe it is a natural process.

  3. Brandon
    March 15, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    “Dagadu, who specialized in “deliverance ministry,” was the lead cleric of the Beautiful Feet World Impact Center.”
    That is a pretty odd name for a church. I’m curious why they would name it that.

  4. Bill T.
    March 15, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    “knowing about mental illness” and “knowing about mental health issues” are not equivalent. It’s the difference between having heard of the theory of relativity and understanding the math behind the Special Theory of Realtivity.

  5. One Eyed Jack
    March 15, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Foot washing is a common ritual in Judeo-Christian mythology, signifying devotion and service to others. That could be the link. Then again, it’s just as likely that the founder(s) simply had a foot fetish.

  6. Tony
    March 15, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Maybe it’s because “Happy Feet” was already taken? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0366548/

  7. Bonnie
    March 15, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

    It is partially quoted in Romans 10:15 as, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”

  8. Graham
    March 15, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    It’s much the same with New Agers, it’s just that they prefer to see psychosis as proof that the affected individual is psychic.

  9. March 16, 2015 at 4:24 AM

    While I agree that the belief in such nonsense will only lead to tragedy, I have one small issue with this line:

    It’s no stretch to see that Zinneh was suffering from mental illness.

    How can you be sure? There are other causes of auditory hallucinations. I know this because I was a methamphetamine addict for several years, one who suffered from such hallucinations. But they stopped when I cleaned up.

    People who use drugs tend to believe in demons often, rather than just face the obvious fact that the voices are caused by the drugs. And whether such a paster deals with the mentally ill, or addicts under the influence of a drug that can cause “hearing voices” as well as dangerous aggression, it can lead to disaster either way.

    But I do think that it *might* be a stretch to assume mental illness.

  10. Colonel Tom
    March 16, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    A simple search on google of the terms “psychiatrist killed by patient” produces a morbid but fascinating listing of mental health professionals that have met the same fate as Rev. Dagadu. Apparently a little honest research can put things in perspective. I often work with wounded warriors, and believe me I do so knowing that risks. At least I am not crazy and stupid enough to put a loaded weapon into their hands.

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