Extremist Cult in Chile
Daily Mail Reporter’s store “Baby burned to death on bonfire in Chile after cult leader decided she was the antichrist”, The Daily Mail, April 25th 2013 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2314866/Baby-burned-death-bonfire-Chile-cult-leader-decided-antichrist.html)
An innocent, three-day-old baby was burned alive in Chile by an extremist cult whose leader believed that the child was the antichrist. The baby was placed naked on a board with her mouth taped closed and thrown into a bonfire as part of ceremonial sacrifice which was approved of by the baby’s mother. The cult leader, Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, lead the rest of the group members to believe that the world would soon come to an end and that the child was the antichrist and therefore, they would have to sacrifice the baby to the spirits.
The sacrifice of the baby can be closely related to honor killings in the sense that in both cases, a group felt as though their views or way of life were at risk. They believe that the best way to preserve their way of life is to kill off the threat which in this case, was the baby. I think most people would agree that the sacrifice of the baby was a horrendous crime. The story is especially upsetting because the baby was only three days old and could not possibly have done anything intentional against the group. The radical views of the cult leader persuaded the rest of the group members that the sacrifice was necessary and were even convincing enough to influence the mother of the baby into approving the ritual. The grueling details of the baby’s death are sickening and also bring a lot of anger. It is almost impossible to believe that a mother could agree to such a brutal sacrifice of her own child just based of the beliefs of the leader. The mother’s decisions are enraging because she was so influenced by the leader and cult itself that her baby wasn’t given any chance as a result which is upsetting because this is not something that the baby even had choice on, she was just born into . It is also bizarre that the rest of the members of the sect all had post-secondary degrees. Being in university and going through the process of obtaining a degree myself, it is especially troubling to think about because part of the experience of university is to meet new people and learn about things we haven’t experienced. As a whole, I feel like it is supposed to make you more open minded, which is the experience I have had thus far. It’s very puzzling that we can go through similar stages and still see some people become very open minded and intuitive of the world around them, while others remain close minded. The influence of the leader of the sect is dangerous as he has brainwashed his followers to a point where it is hard to imagine anyone being. With an influence so strong that he could turn a mother against her own child and convince a group of professionals that the murder of a baby, who is only three days old, is an appropriate sacrifice it’s hard to believe that some form of mind-abuse did not occur.