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Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:05 am UTC
by Cynical Idealist
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/28/AR2009032801936.html?hpid=moreheadlines
Excerpts:
[…]they denied a 16-month-old boy food and water because he did not say "Amen" at mealtimes [emphasis added]. After he died, they prayed over his body for days, expecting a resurrection, then packed it into a suitcase with mothballs. They left it in a shed in Philadelphia, where it remained for a year before detectives found it last spring.

I have no words.
Ramkissoon, 22, has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge on one condition: The charges against her must be dropped if her son, Javon Thompson, is resurrected.

Lets just call that the "Jesus Plea". Clearly, the woman is delusional...right?
Psychiatrists who evaluated Ramkissoon at the request of a judge concluded that she was not criminally insane. Her attorney, Steven Silverman, said the doctors found that her beliefs were indistinguishable from religious beliefs, in part because they were shared by those around her.
"She wasn't delusional, because she was following a religion," [emphasis added] Silverman said, describing the findings of the doctors' psychiatric evaluation.

Oh. Okay, then. It isn't delusional because it is a religion. I don't really have anything against religion, but things like this make me reconsider.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:24 am UTC
by Jahoclave
Cynical Idealist wrote:"She wasn't delusional, because she was following a religion," [emphasis added] Silverman said, describing the findings of the doctors' psychiatric evaluation.

Oh. Okay, then. It isn't delusional because it is a religion. I don't really have anything against religion, but things like this make me reconsider.[/quote]
Blame the DSM4, silly asterisks that say sky fairies are not a sign of the crazy.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:47 am UTC
by Poochy
4 words: Natural selection strikes again.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:49 am UTC
by Cryopyre
I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:02 am UTC
by Princess Marzipan
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Not reading articles is one thing; not even reading the entire OP is quite another. The kid they starved to death was 16 months old.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:03 am UTC
by Magic Smoothie
Note: 16 months. He might not have even known he was supposed to say "Amen."

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:08 am UTC
by Poochy
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Believers lose child. Believers no longer have a child to carry and continue to pass on their "incredible stupidity" gene. Thus, natural selection.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:09 am UTC
by Pandercolour
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Not reading articles is one thing; not even reading the entire OP is quite another. The kid they starved to death was 16 months old.

Kid should have known better than to be born to batshit crazy parents, right?

Pochy, that is not natural selection that is negligent homicide.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:19 am UTC
by Cynwulf
Pandercolour wrote:...that is not natural selection that is negligent homicide.

My thoughts exactly.

They expected a resurrection? Fuck, who are these people? Ugh.. I would normally go into a spiel at this point, but this is too awful.

I'm done.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:26 am UTC
by Brooklynxman
Actually, psychologists have determined that a person holding an impossible belief/etc is not crazy if it is a common belief in their culture/religion.

This isnt a common belief. You sick fucks.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:50 am UTC
by Cryopyre
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Not reading articles is one thing; not even reading the entire OP is quite another. The kid they starved to death was 16 months old.

Oh crap.
Well this story went from bad to worse.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:13 am UTC
by Poochy
Pandercolour wrote:Kid should have known better than to be born to batshit crazy parents, right?

Pochy, that is not natural selection that is negligent homicide.

I think we have different definitions of "natural selection" here. "Should have known better" is the informal definition used as the Darwin Award criteria. "Differential reproductive success due to genetic variation" would be the technical definition, which I am using here. It is not mutually exclusive from negligent homicide, and in fact, negligent homicide with the victim's parents at fault usually means the parents were being selected against. The key is simply that the parents had the combined intelligence of a slice of toast, which caused them to bring about the death of their own offspring, thus decreasing their reproductive success. Much like if an elephant seal recklessly charges and tramples its own child, or an ostrich carelessly crushing its own eggs.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:32 am UTC
by Cynical Idealist
Cryopyre wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Not reading articles is one thing; not even reading the entire OP is quite another. The kid they starved to death was 16 months old.

Oh crap.
Well this story went from bad to worse.

Not exactly. The story is exactly as bad as it was, but your understanding of it has been improved.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:39 am UTC
by Solt
Pandercolour wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Not reading articles is one thing; not even reading the entire OP is quite another. The kid they starved to death was 16 months old.

Kid should have known better than to be born to batshit crazy parents, right?

Pochy, that is not natural selection that is negligent homicide.


I know this is getting pedantic but it is natural selection. Parents were unable to take care of their children, thus their genes will not be passed on. It's the reason we have such strong parental instincts- those who protected their children passed on their urge to protect.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:53 am UTC
by Woofsie
Man, every time I decide I should try to be more tolerant of religion some fucking bullshit like this happens.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:53 am UTC
by Bubbles McCoy
Even if it is natural selection, chalking up infant death to it is rather tasteless.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:30 am UTC
by Arancaytar
"She wasn't delusional, because she was following a religion,"


Now I would like to found a religion based around beating the living snot out of stupid fundamentalists.

---

I hope that at least the "not delusional" ruling means she will face full charges for murder rather than being allowed lenience on grounds of insanity.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:47 am UTC
by Nomic
So...If she wasn't delusional because her believes were a part of a religion (which religion tells you that if you starve 16 mont old children they get resurrected, btw?), wouldn't that mean that the definition of religion is delusion shared by a large amount of people? Hurm, that actually does makes sence. Now if only I could convince the authorities that killing assholes is part of my religion.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:30 am UTC
by el_loco_avs
I think it's quite reasonable to say that religion is a shared delusion. It's offensive to those that believe ofcourse, but not unreasonable.

added:
There will be a heavier punishment if she's considered sane though, right?

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:46 am UTC
by Iv
Brooklynxman wrote:Actually, psychologists have determined that a person holding an impossible belief/etc is not crazy if it is a common belief in their culture/religion.

So, that would mean that this person committing negligent homicide (which is legally viewed as a Bad Thing (tm)) is a victim. Where are the culprits of this then ? Maybe there are no culprits, only people holding the same beliefs since time immemorial. Then, for the sake of humanity (and social peace) isn't there a law that outlaws gathering where we kill kids and hold this as a normal thing ?

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:07 am UTC
by TheStranger
Iv wrote:
Brooklynxman wrote:Actually, psychologists have determined that a person holding an impossible belief/etc is not crazy if it is a common belief in their culture/religion.

So, that would mean that this person committing negligent homicide (which is legally viewed as a Bad Thing (tm)) is a victim. Where are the culprits of this then ? Maybe there are no culprits, only people holding the same beliefs since time immemorial. Then, for the sake of humanity (and social peace) isn't there a law that outlaws gathering where we kill kids and hold this as a normal thing ?


Actually I read it the other way... if they were found to be crazy then they could be called a victim, but they are sane and responsible for their actions.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:39 am UTC
by Iv
...
[does not compute]
...
You are right. And yet, something seems awfully wrong to me, somewhere. Police says it is an homicide, the woman says she did it because of her religion, the psychologist confirmed that this was indeed the reason. Doesn't that make the religious belief somewhat murderous ? Isn't one of the functions of society to prevent that kind of stuff ?

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:54 am UTC
by Gellert1984
mom played computer games though right? all killers play computer games, well known fact.

I think it'll be interesting to see what this woman is charged with and sentenced to.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:25 pm UTC
by Chen
TheStranger wrote:Actually I read it the other way... if they were found to be crazy then they could be called a victim, but they are sane and responsible for their actions.


Yeah this is how I read it too. She was not delusional due to it being a religion. While there is nothing illegal about believing in a religion, following its practices can result in doing illegal acts. And these acts will be punished according to the law. There is no defense that "my religion said I could", at least that I know of.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:57 pm UTC
by Aikanaro
They should just cut out her tongue, then lock her up, and not give her any food if she doesn't say "Amen" at meal times. It shouldn't be a problem for her, since she can just pray for her tongue to grow back.

also, RAGE.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:04 pm UTC
by Darkscull
el_loco_avs wrote:I think it's quite reasonable to say that religion is a shared delusion. It's offensive to those that believe ofcourse, but not unreasonable.


Not really.
It may be true with the very basic definition of "an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary", but it doesn't really work to call the people who follow it delusional.

If you're brought up to believe something that is false (or persuaded through other means), then that doesn't make you delusional, hence the clinical definition excluding otherwise delusional beliefs if they are the norm in your social group.

The ancient Egyptians thought the sun was moved through the sky by a giant dungbeetle. That's not true in any way whatsoever, and if someone spontaneously believed that to be true now, they'd be delusional, but each individual egyptian at the time couldn't be said to be delusional.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:39 pm UTC
by Veracious Sole
This just proves what we all already knew. Babies are incredibly hard-headed (other than the soft spot.) I can't tell you how many times I've asked a baby to complete a simple task - like, say, watering the garden - only to have it stare back at me blankly and gurgle. Then it actually has the gall to cry when I finally lose my temper and yell at it!

Babies have this ridiculous delusion that they are the center of the world. They expect you to wait on them hand and foot and they wail and whine if you ignore so much as one of their multitude of requests. Try it for yourself sometime. The next time you see a baby demanding you change it's diaper or hold it, just ignore the thing. What happens? A hurricane of tears! What's even more insane is that they are so resolute in their desire to be coddled that they will refuse to help themselves even if it means death!

The baby in the article only had to say one word. Amen. It's a simple word, two syllables, takes barely a microsecond to squeak out. Yet this baby was so set in it's atheist ways that it refused to so much as whisper the word and be done with it. No, when the parents asked that the child - which they'd been waiting on hand and foot for over a year - to say one little word, it just stared back at them blankly. Was that one word so much to ask? No! And yet this miniature fanatic was willing to go to it's grave because it didn't feel like utilizing it's vocal chords for anything but it's insipid demands!

And don't tell me that this is only a case of religious persecution! Babies will dive willingly into their deaths for anything that is so much as slightly inconveniences them. Why, just the other day a baby was crying at me to be picked up. I calmly told it that I had just finished an intense upper body weight lifting program (I can bench over 340lbs) and my arms might as well have been wet noodles. It just stared back at me crying and reaching it's fatty little arms towards me to be picked up. Irritated I told it that I had had enough and didn't want to hear it's whining any longer. Still it wailed! I tried asking politely, I tried shouting, I even tried bargaining (look, if you'll stop bawling I'll take you rock climbing with me next week), Nothing.

Finally I'd had enough I got in my car leaned my head out the window and told it that if it didn't cease it's cries I would stop them permanently. The baby only cried louder. Daring me. I revved up the engine, put the car into gear, and began rolling slowly forward. It had plenty of time to stop. Plenty of time to just stop crying only for a moment. It was all I asked! As I said though, babies are fanatical in their demands.

As my new tires thumped over the soft, thankfully silent, mess. I thought about all the things that could have been done to prevent this. The child could have stopped crying, the child could have waited until I'd recovered from my work out, the child could have satisfied itself by reading a short story. Perhaps it could have gone to the mall and picked up a puppy or something. I don't know. Now it doesn't matter.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:57 pm UTC
by ThomasS
Chen wrote:There is no defense that "my religion said I could", at least that I know of.

Well, in the US, peyote and eagle feathers are effectively treated this way, but such exemptions are specific and limited.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:44 pm UTC
by Pandercolour
Woofsie wrote:Man, every time I decide I should try to be more tolerant of religion some fucking bullshit like this happens.

The solution is simple: become a militant atheist.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:00 pm UTC
by SummerGlauFan
This is sick. Part of me says she needs help, and part of me wants to take a golf club to her head. At least she isn't likely to have her genes passed on to future generations.

Fortunately, the vast majority of religious people are nowhere near that insane. Don't group them in with her.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:28 pm UTC
by oxoiron
The article wrote:Although an inability to think critically can be a sign of brainwashing, experts said, the line between that and some religious beliefs can be difficult to discern.
Is there anything left to say?

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:55 pm UTC
by apricity
I'm glad they said she's not delusional. Now she can't plead insanity, so she will get hard time.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:55 pm UTC
by The Reaper
It's nice to know that if I ever turn into a psychotic killing machine, I can always say that it's my religion, and that I should be let off perfectly safe.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:16 pm UTC
by Moo
The Reaper wrote:let off perfectly safe.
Do you have the first clue what is going on here?
lanicita wrote:I'm glad they said she's not delusional. Now she can't plead insanity, so she will get hard time.
This. No-one's being let off anything :roll:

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:32 pm UTC
by Princess Marzipan
lanicita wrote:so she will get hard time.


Image

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:13 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
lanicita wrote:I'm glad they said she's not delusional. Now she can't plead insanity, so she will get hard time.

Yeah, congratulations on being one of the few, it seems, who actually understands what this means.

It was a religious belief, not simple insanity. Which means she cannot get a lighter sentence on an insanity plea. Which means she'll be held fully accountable for her actions.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:14 pm UTC
by MartianInvader
The Reaper wrote:It's nice to know that if I ever turn into a psychotic killing machine, I can always say that it's my religion, and that I should be let off perfectly safe.

A lot of people in this thread seem confused on this. She WON'T be let off because they decided that she believed what she believed because of religion, not delusion.

Delusional - More leniency, you can get treated instead of being punished.

Religious - Not a legal excuse, will be tried & punished normally.

Edit - Gah! gmalivuk snuck in and explained this while I was posting!

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:58 pm UTC
by Dezign
Pandercolour wrote:
Woofsie wrote:Man, every time I decide I should try to be more tolerant of religion some fucking bullshit like this happens.

The solution is simple: become a militant atheist.
lanicita wrote:I'm glad they said she's not delusional. Now she can't plead insanity, so she will get hard time.

Anger may be a common reason to adopt atheist attitudes, and vengeance is a very popular response to immoral action, but the most effective way to change the world (and oneself) for the better is by completing the moral insight. Moving from outrage at injustice to methodical action produces the best results. Angry atheism seeks to reverse the oppression, not end it; prisons attack symptoms, not causes.

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:13 am UTC
by Diadem
Cynical Idealist wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:I dunno, sounds like the questioner in the family who got killed, not the believers, sadly.

Not reading articles is one thing; not even reading the entire OP is quite another. The kid they starved to death was 16 months old.

Oh crap.
Well this story went from bad to worse.

Not exactly. The story is exactly as bad as it was, but your understanding of it has been improved.

I salute you, oh great master of pedantry!

Re: Cultist mother kills son for not saying "Amen" at mealtimes

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:34 am UTC
by Malice
SummerGlauFan wrote:This is sick. Part of me says she needs help, and part of me wants to take a golf club to her head. At least she isn't likely to have her genes passed on to future generations.


"Yeah, so this mother killed her son for not saying 'Amen'."
"That sucks. Well, at least he won't grow up and have children."