Nov

24

Witnesses Report “Exorcism”; ResLife Remains Mum

Written by

On November 12, Bwog received an anonymous email with the subject line: “Exorcism on Broadway 9.” The email detailed an incident that occurred between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on October 25th, that involved several students who the sender identified as Christian Koreans — despite our attempts to reach various groups, there’s been no way of verifying this. There was also a Barnard student present who had been signed in earlier that evening.

According to the email’s sender, the Barnard student had expressed concern for her  health, and so an “exorcism” was performed. Details about the procedure remain scant, though the girl’s repeated shrieking eventually caught the attention of a Broadway RA, who stopped by the scene in an attempt to break up the gathering. The RA’s attempts to interfere were brushed off, and another ResLife staff member, who was described as being a part of the group, told the RA to allow the students to continue with what they were doing. RAs for Broadway and Ruggles have confirmed that the incident occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 25th, but few know the details of what happened, and none are willing to discuss it on record.

In the wake of the incident, rumors about the situation spread throughout the RA community. One RA said that he was forbidden by ResLife as an RA to talk about it, as it is general ResLife policy not to discuss specific incidents.

Last night, around 1 a.m. a Blue and White editor reported a similar incident occurring on the plaza between East Campus and SIPA. (Numerous students in EC also witnessed the incident.) After initially dismissing the “intermittent female shrieking” as partygoers, the editor told Bwog, “I looked outside and saw a group of about 8-9 people standing around a huddled female figure. All were wearing coats and faced towards her, largely unmoving.” With their RA absent, the editor and a suitemate went to talk to a security guard, but the group had moved away already. The editor then found the group speaking to security guards outside the Law School, before departing back to the main campus.

When the editor spoke to the security guards, they refused to discuss specifics, as Public Safety is always required to remain mum in such instances. The security guard initially claimed that the girl in the middle of the circle was having “a personal boyfriend issue” and later regretted saying as much, admitting, “I shouldn’t have even told you that.”

He then claimed the group was a sorority, even after our editor pointed out that there were men in the group. When asked whether Public Safety would be able to comment on the story, he adamantly said, “No, they wouldn’t have anything to say about it,” and refused to make any further comment.

Were these incidents a prank? An initiation? Bwog doesn’t know, but Halloween is long-gone and this is spooky.

JCD & JNW, with additional reporting and editing by KER and AMP

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137 Comments

  1. Fun war

    Fire Cristen Kromm. She has ruined this school.

    • No Warm Fuzzies  

      for Cristen Kromm. Boooooo.

      Also: ftw is up with this campus lately? is it just me or is everyone losing their shit?

    • Kromm  

      needs to resign or be fired. Dean GayGayGay needs to assume some responsibility over her lack of professionalism. Yeah, that's right Dean Kromm, I know you're probably reading this right now.

      Everyone should email the AD (Associate Director) of their area, assuming you even know who they are since many *cough* Darleny Cepin *cough* are some of the most incompetent people on campus, and demand that a statement be issued regarding this matter. Oh, and also contact your CCSC reps, although they never like to deal with these types of things anyway.

  2. Religous people  

    are wacky.

  3. Mike Oxbig  

    I think this is an urban legend. There was the EXACT same story (though I think in a different building) sometime two months ago.

  4. wait wtf  

    is this a joke?

  5. holy shit  

    that is really fucking creepy

  6. ...

    Well, perhaps bwog should contact the Korean Campus Crusade for Christ (KCCC) to see if anyone in their community knows about this...

  7. Anonymous  

    Oh, religion. How insidious and stupid. Can we just embrace the "good for society" humanistic parts, and have the walk-on-water/Ragnarok/Huitzilopochtli/Moses/Joseph-Smith fairy tale parts be as easily dismissed at one's coming of age as Santa Claus and Easter Bunnies? Thanks.

  8. #10  

    I can't vouch for the latest incident. But as an RA, I can validate that the first incident on Broadway 9 was absolutely a genuine case of Korean Christians performing their version of an exorcism. ResLife has been quiet in dealing with it, however, because it's a sensitive issue and they are afraid of the reaction is might receive from the Columbia community at large. But it is a real situation that's happening on campus.

  9. holy schmidt  

    these korean christians are nuts.

  10. omg  

    I totally saw the thing last night! I was walking back to EC when I saw this huddled group of Asians walking with this Asian girl screaming and stumbling walking out of the courtyard being escorted by a security guard. We thought that that girl was just crazy drunk and had maybe hit somebody. It was so weird. This just makes it crazier!

  11. 9th floor resident  

    I live on the 9th floor and it most certainly DID happen. Performing these kinds of "ceremonies/cult gatherings" in common spaces is NOT ok and it certainly freaks out the other people who live nearby.

    The interesting thing that the BWOG failed to mention is that the RA on duty was called, and also happened to be a korean christian and actually partook in the exorcism also. Finally, the GA on duty was called who AGAIN happened to be a korean christian and he too partook in it. What if this girl had actually needed medical attention? How irresponsible is it of RAs and GAs to believe that this girl was possessed when she could have been having seizures and needed medical attention?!!!!!!

    -freaked out 9th floor resident

    • ...

      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!
      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!

      Sorry for the repetition, i'm just hoping some administrator reads this thread and gets the message...

      SHAME ON RESLIFE FOR THE COVER UP!

    • AGREED  

      in response to #14

  12. pico  

    this really deserves a full investigation. why the fuck haven't we heard more about this?

  13. tired  

    i was woken up my the shrieking outside my ec window last night. no surprise that the security guards were involved, because it sounded horrific like the woman was being hurt or was hurting other people. so so so frightening.

  14. well,  

    any christian, korean or otherwise, is nuts

    • Is no one else  

      disturbed by the blatant anti-Christian hate in almost all of these comments? What the fuck, Columbia? We claim to be liberal, tolerant, and analytical students; but then we take a couple admittedly freaky exorcism incidents as legitimate reason to bash all Christians -- or even all religious believers?

      I'm sorry, but to suggest that all people of faith are crazy or the root of all evil makes you just as ignorant, bigoted, and hateful you claim they are. Get a grip.

      • Almost All  

        Are you kidding?

        How about a) the absurd fanaticism implied by practices like exorcism b) the fact that representatives of Columbia who are supposed to prioritize safety above EVERYTHING ELSE (or this is what we're supposed to believe with the War on Fun) c) the willful coverup of these events and ResLife's "response"

        This isn't about Christianity. This is about irresponsibility. Get a grip.

  15. This is  

    unbelievable. I don't mean the cultural implications - I'm unwilling to simply discount exorcism as wacky or "too weird". But the fact that there has been a cover-up regarding this fact is despicable. If this is not the final straw in ResLife's bureaucratic blunders, there is something seriously wrong with decisionmaking at this school. I refuse to believe that the War on Fun, the complete lack of response to the recent crimes on/around campus (I know ResLife wasn't necessarily responsible, but some advocacy on behalf of students would have been in order) and this mishap do not stem from some fundamental issue.

  16. YOUR MOTHER  

    SUCKS COCKS IN HELLS

  17. religious  

    shunnn the nonbelieverrrrr....

    SHUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN NNN NN N.

  18. curious

    Why are Korean Christians often so wildly devout?

  19. Concerned?  

    Email reslife and demand an answer. If they don't provide a satisfactory response (and fire the RA and GA who ignored and enabled a possible crime in progress), then [threaten to] call the local Fox affiliate.

  20. . . .  

    Ban KCCC.

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people? None of them should be in any position of power. What if it were another student who actually needed medical attention?

    OH GOD I HAVE A FEVER.

    THE ONLY CURE IS MORE COWB--I MEAN JESUS.

  21. religion  

    is what is wrong with this country. we're all going to hell and i'm happy to drag these bible thumpers with me

  22. I bet you  

    I can get this covered on Drudge.

  23. wow  

    the KCCC has infiltrated every part of the school. maybe next time they accost me on college walk trying to get me to declare my love for jesus I won't blow them off.

  24. KCCC  

    I know somebody in KCCC, and they are performing exorcisms. It is supposedly in keeping with their belief structure...whatever that means.

  25. btw  

    what denomination is KCCC anyways?

  26. Why are Koreans  

    in such good shape?

    They love exorcising!

  27. hahahahaha

    All Columbians use Fox news to tattle on each other!

  28. KCCC  

    actually stands for Korean Campus Crazies on Crack.

    Little known fact.

  29. bess  

    shrieking isn't really a strong enough word. it was a sort of bloodcurdling, "just informed of the death of a loved one" kind of noise. awful!

  30. AGREED  

    Bullshit parties get broken up for noise complaints and stupid rules, but this happens and Res Life covers it all up, even though CLEARLY it was disruptive, too noisy, questionable activity that the RA ON DUTY AND GA participated in!!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!??!?!?!?!?!!!

    Res Life...FAIL!!!!!!!!

  31. butlerreader  

    Those KCCC kids like to take over an entire room at Butler. Then giggle, converse, and eat all night/morning. Completely ignoring the disruption they cause the rest of the place.

    "Do unto others..." my @$$!

  32. Joseph Meyers  

    I wasn't going to write anything until now, but I feel the need to say something in response to the overwhelming barrage of thoughtless, hate-filled comments that have been posted on this wall.
    First of, I would like to respond to the general assertion that these practices are in some way exceptional, fanatical, or otherwise representative of a perversion of traditional religious belief. That is simply not the case. As I understand it, exorcism is not abnormal among Christian communities in Korea, not to mention among some Christian communities in the American deep south and other rural regions, particularly among fundamentalist Christians. The practice actually has its roots in early Judaism and pre-Catholic Christianity, and is supported by some (very early ) rabbinical writings. Treating these events as abnormal and therefore threatening to the community as a whole reflects willful ignorance, especially when a simple google search would have revealed to you how common these practices are and have been.
    Second, I would like to remind you all how little we actually know about the specifics of these events. All due respect to Bwog, whose writers are quite talented, but the fact is that this story is based on a few instances of hearsay with few details about the events leading up to the event and no input from the individuals participating in the events. There is no evidence that coercion of any sort was involved, and there is no reason to suspect anything forceful or untoward happened here. Since there was no danger to students' well being or safety, I see no need for Public Safety or RAs to have gotten involved.
    I find it interesting that many of those who would complain about the "War on Fun" and Columbia's invasion into our personal lives would also call for Columbia to intervene in the lives of fellow student when their habits make us feel uncomfortable or threatened. Is a cry of religious ecstasy really that different from the drunken yells and the moans of the loud couple down the hall the we hear every weekend?
    It is distressing to me that this event was met with such shrill demands for the practitioners of these exorcisms to be either punished or hospitalized. This is not a question of something so simple as "cultural relativism," a mindless and easily abused concept which I'm sure many of you will be eager to jump on. It's simply a question of living in a tolerant environment.
    I would like to invite you all to reflect on the degree to which custom and dogma guide the decisions you make in your daily life, as well as the other religious practices that you probably see daily, certainly at least annually, which could just as easily be described as upsetting, crazy, or bizarre if they had not become familiar through repeat exposure.

    • yeah, but  

      korean christians are still NUTS

    • thanks  

      i agree with this.

    • No offense...

      I completely understand your viewpoint. However, when a student is unleashing "bloodcurdling screams", without so much as an explanation as to what is going on while surrounded by a group of people seemingly doing nothing, it has a tendency to, at the very least, raise a few eyebrows, and like now, raise a number of concerns as to what is going on.

      Simple Google Search to find out what is going on? Ok, sorry, but if i were to see people surrounding someone screaming at the top of their lungs, I would not immediately think to "go to google" for an explanation. Rather, I would wonder what in the living hell is going on, and would inform the property authority. Seeing a huddled group surrounding a screaming person does not exactly seem "normal", and at the very LEAST an explanation could have been provided. Everyone has a right to privacy and freedom of religious practice, but people living in the vicinity have a right to know what is going on in a space that is shared amongst themselves. ResLife really dropped the ball on this one.

      What's even worse is that other authority figures allegedly participated in this so called "exorcism" without so much as an explanation of their actions. If I were to call someone for help, and then watch them JOIN IN on what appeared to be a rather horrific situation (I don't think you can really describe an exorcism as anything short of horrific, given the descriptions), that would not sit well with me. We look toward RAs and GAs as figures of authority and leaders, and to have them join in, without an additional explanation afterwards, is extremely disturbing to those who are not in the know, and to anyone observing.

      As to the call for punishment for those involved, that would not be too far out of the question. If something was truly, physically wrong with the person, and it was simply interpreted as a "possession" in need of exorcising, something could've have gone horribly wrong resulting in a student's death. The number one priority here should be respect for student health and welfare, not religious practice. You may choose to agree or disagree with me on this, but had the student involved died, people would be singing a different tune.

    • shira  

      A cry of religious ecstasy, if that's what we're calling it, is in fact different from the drunken shouts I hear outside my plaza-facing EC room every weekend. I'm not interested in getting into my feelings about religion, it's just that last night it sounded like someone was being murdered outside my window. Aside from distracting me while I was trying to work, the noise was also pretty emotionally distressing. Inasmuch as these activities disrupted a number of EC residents, I would argue that it was absolutely appropriate for Public Safety to get involved. If any RAs had been around, I would've expected them to check in with the students as well. I understand that this is a question of our tolerance for various cultural and religious practices, but it's also a question of these students' respect for other members of the Columbia community, which seems to be lacking.

  33. Concerned Student  

    This shit is ridiculous. We get left in the dark about this, even though some girl was heard screaming in a residence hall.

    I don't give a flying fuck if the group was the KCCCC, the columbia dems, some fraternity or or just some bolus of wankers.

    This type of behavior should not be tolerated in residence halls, where behind closed doors someone is heard screaming, while others just go in and participate.

    Did no one think to call public safety? Hell, I would have called the police.

    This is not an issue of religious tolerance, this is an issue of the safety and security of residents in university housing.

    Absolute nonsense.

  34. Broadway  

    I'm sorry but as a Christian I cannot reconcile my beliefs with the performance of an exorcism. The above response (I'm looking at you, Mr. Meyers) is one of those long-winded attempts to "stop the hate" and defend whomever the rest of us are attacking.

    But no matter how you spin it, the fact of the matter is this: yes, the KCCC conducted an exorcism. THIS IS NOT A RUMOR. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Yes, one of the RA's on duty that evening (who happens to be a member of the KCCC) actually participated. The fact that such weird activities of the occult (this is by no means an attack on Christianity. Real Christians don't subscribe to this sort of thing) is bad enough. But the WORST part of the whole matter is that the RA on duty took part in it. What if the girl were seriously injured or mentally distressed? She should have gone to a hospital. I'm sorry, but chanting "the power of Christ compels you" over and over is NOT going to make the pain go away. The RA should have broken up this whole affair. By actually condoning it, he committed the worst crime by betraying the duties that his job entails.

    • Alum

      "Real Christians don't subscribe to this sort of thing."

      Do you mean that no Christian denomination does this, or that those which do are not "really" Christian? There's a big difference.

      I know next to nothing about exorcisms and even less about what denomination(s) members of KCCC belong to. Therefore I am not accusing you of anything. The question is legitimate, though, and I'd like to know your thoughts.

  35. I ...  

    have never heard of any Christian denomination that allows exorcisms to be preformed without an ordained member of the clergy present and presiding over the ceremony, or allows spontaneous exorcisms without first exploring all possible medical conditions that could cause any symptoms that a person may be experiencing. So yeah, I dont think any Christina denomination allows random lay people to preform spontaneous exorcisms.

  36. charlie driscoll

    everyone needs to put this in perspective. all we need to do is start calling our parties 'exorcisms' and we're untouchable.

    fuck reslife

  37. old creepster  

    I wonder if these exorcists are good in bed.

  38. This is the  

    whole problem with ResLife. They are completely non-transparent and don't actually see themselves (in terms of their actions) as part of the student community. It is complete bullshit that ResLife has this sort of internal cover-up. Who do they think they are? Some sort of shadow organization with unbridled disciplinary power? Because that's exactly how they act. Not in any way befitting of a university that respects its students as thoughtful and responsible adults.

  39. Commenter #50  

    I agree wholeheartedly. Meyers, stop yelling at bwog commenters, we are uninformed idiots. but that doesnt mean that as students we are not entitled to our safety in the residence halls.

    I think we can no longer trust RAs and GAs. From now on, call the police when issues of safety arise in the residence halls.

    NYPD 26th precinct: (212) 678-1311

  40. woah  

    this shit is crayzay!!!

    just one thing that I feel everyone should consent on:
    the RA shouldn't have joined in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wtf?!!!!!

    ok, that's all.

    wait no, one more thing....I do not trust anyone here that says "YES THIS REALLY HAPPENED". these are anonymous posts and tons of ppll like to just fuel arguments with random shit.

    THUS

    we need an official statement. like a real thang that says what happened. yeah, that would be cool. and if it weren't so fcuking vague that would be cool too.

  41. To Joseph Meyers:

    A cry of "religious ecstasy," as you so put it, is in fact quite different from the sounds of someone having sex in the room next door. For one, most sex sounds are pretty distinct and immediately recognizable, whereas a "bloodcurdling scream" is instinctively disturbing because it suggests a threat of danger, a serious injury, or some other kind of harm. A bloodcurdling scream can't be taken lightly, and, because rarely heard, is almost guaranteed to spark alarm - it is preposterous to say that this kind of behavior is acceptable for dorm-style living. It is especially insensitive to stage these scary, ambiguous events in public spaces, and it reeks of sentiments of superiority and personal concerns outweighing the anxiety caused to everyone else in the surrounding proximity. It is NOT a reflection of ignorance or cultural prejudice that people are alarmed by this - it is basic human instinct.

    Also, it is a logical fallacy to say that these exorcisms shouldn't be criticized because "lots of people do them." Self-flagellation is also not unheard of, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable to do that in a dormitory or anywhere on a college campus/in public, even if it is a deep-seated religious belief. Both of these behaviors are, in light of their overall history of existence, infrequently practiced today and largely socially taboo. My personal bias is to see both of them as bizarre vestiges of the past. Still, while I think people should have the right to do whatever they want for their religions as long as it doesn't bring harm to others, this does harm others, and is unequivocally, unarguably inappropriate for this specific context.

  42. ...  

    i self-flagellate myself on the regular

  43. pico  

    speaking of screams, did anyone hear that bloodcurdling scream around 4 am in schapiro on friday night?

  44. RESPECT  

    Like Mr. Meyers said, we must RESPECT another persons religious beliefs and practices before all else. Before public safety, before other rights and responsibilities, before all else we must absolutely respect anything a person does as part of their religious beliefs. If that student had a serious condition and desired to only be helped through an exorcism, who are we to intervene? Yes this all makes perfect sense now. I now must fulfill my nightly religious obligation of running through the halls and loudly singing the top ten hits from 1987.

  45. ugh  

    As a devout Catholic, I'm pretty much appalled by some of the comments on this thread. But I've lived in New York my entire life so selective religious intolerance in nothing new to me. Exorcisms are not "crazy" practices. As one of the commenters stated, they are rooted in the Jewish tradition, and have been practiced for as long as organized religion has existed. Yes, yes, we are the "ivory tower elite", and sure, some of you may think we're too civilized to be religious. Great. That's your opinion. Truth is truth, and we are all entitled to our own conceptions of truth. There is a fine line between mental illness and demonic possession, if one believes in it, and frankly, most, if not all, psychiatrists, who are by and large quite secular, would choose to medicate a person instead of considering exorcism to be a viable option. You don't know how this person was involved in KCCC, and it's quite possible that they had already sought psychiatric and medical attention, to no avail. I don't know about you, but I kind of enjoy the whole American tradition of having liberty over my own body, and having a right to seek the treatment that I feel I deserve. If someone wants to potentially harm themselves by letting others perform an exorcism on them, they should be allowed to, granted, they don't injure anyone else in the process. I tend to prefer democracy to fascism. But it seems that this world is moving towards a one-world system of government and finance pretty damn soon, so I guess you won't have to worry about the whole burden of freedom for much longer.

    • wow  

      You are an uninformed Catholic. The Catholic Church takes exorcisms very seriously and I have no doubt that priests and other Catholics (such as myself) would be horrified by the thought of an exorcism being performed by lay people in a dorm room or common space or outside. I think the point is that no one knows whether this girl even WANTED an exorcism, or if anyone had explored the possibility that there was something medically wrong with this girl. RAs can have any religious beliefs they want of course but when responding to a disturbance they should verify that everyone is okay, medically, NOT RELIGIOUSLY. Also pretty sure that exorcism should never under any circumstances take place in dorm. PERIOD. it is disturbing to other students and therefore should not be allowed.

      • yeah  

        I know very well that the Catholic Church takes exorcisms very seriously. But they are not a Catholic student group, and therefore, the Catholic Church wouldn't have recognized their "exorcism" as legitimate. Certainly, a different location would have been better, but no one knows the urgency of the situation. A Friday night exorcism doesn't exactly sound like it was planned in advance for convenience. It seems as though the RAs did verify that the girl was ok medically to the extent that they could. They can't force a person to be hospitalized against their own will in such a case. And to be honest, the whole matter is none of our business. It's a personal situation. It would be tantamount to Reslife releasing information on someone who had attempted to perform a hanger abortion on themselves in their room.

        • logic?  

          "It seems as though the RAs did verify that the girl was ok medically to the extent that they could. "--- Then you must have inside information that no one else has.
          "It's a personal situation. It would be tantamount to Reslife releasing information on someone who had attempted to perform a hanger abortion on themselves in their room."--- No it would be like Reslife staff helping in this hanger abortion in a common space of a dorm and then not releasing any information, or simply stating that such practices are against policy. I don't need to know what happened, just that it wont happen again in a dorm so that it disturbs others and the RAs who are on duty will not help in such procedures. Given the whole religious candy incident, it would be nice to know Reslife isn't trying to convert us.

          • hmm  

            i don't have insider information, but i would assume that if both the RA and the GA opted to join in with whatever was going on, instead of calling for medical attention, it was fairly obvious that the student was medically sound. and certainly, it depends on whether your definition of an exorcism is one which includes harming oneself, but generally, i wouldn't place seeking to garner mental/physical health through religious means on the same level as lacerating one's body with a piece of metal.

          • The GA  

            didn't join in, that was totally made up.

          • the GA  

            did not join in. The RA on duty was involved with whatever "exorcism" was taking place. An RA from an above floor and the CPA from a bottom floor arrived at the situation and, shocked by what they were confronted with, attempted to stop it, but were prevented from doing so by the RA on duty. In turn, they called the GA on duty. This person was of the same faith as those performing the exorcism and told the two concerned ResLife staff members to allow the event to carry on. She also informed them not to report or record the circumstances in any way, despite strict policy to record all residential incidents. Despite their initial hesitations to confront this issue, and in light of the alarm it has drawn from the student body, I can only hope that ResLife will honestly and openly address this issue and discuss it with the Columbia community so that the safety and comfort of everyone can be ensured.

      • hhhh  

        Thank you!!! for some sense here. I'm tired of people thinking they can justify their silly comments by taking religious offense to something, and just expecting that people will believe them because they say they have a minute amount of inside information about a religion, clearly without checking their facts.

        • right  

          i have a little bit more than a "minute amount of inside information about a religion". i'm an ordained eucharistic minister.

          • really  

            just about anyone can walk in and become a eucharistic minister. While it's a wonderful thing to do (really, I appreciate it) don't try to make the non-catholic readers think it's something akin to a minister in a christian church (ordained? word choice please)

  46. Not gonna happen  

    None of us are allowed to make any sort of official statement. Not going to get anything from higher ups either considering the way the program directors conduct themselves. That said, I'm an RA, and I know the whole story. The RA was not there when another RA responded, he was the RA on call and did not break up the situation but rather joined in. That said, nobody was in danger, they were all partaking willingly. Not to make light of the situation in any way, but if anything this would just have been a noise violation and merited a follow up by the RA of the residents involved.

    • Problem was...

      there wasn't a follow-up, was there?

      Just disturbing, unexplained screaming at an early time in the morning, on the weekend no less.

      Yeah, that's absolutely no cause for concern for other residents.

      The main problem here is a failure to communicate. Another problem would be performing an exorcism at 3 to 5 in the morning (where most normal people are asleep), in a residential area, involving rather loud "religious ecstacy."

      Inappropriate time, inappropriate place, and inappropriate explanation. Failure on three fronts. Kudos.

      • Couldn''t say  

        whether there was followup as I'm not their RA. There probably should have been an e-mail saying that they were aware of the situation but that they couldn't disclose personal information, as would be the case with any kind of incident. On the other hand there may have been explicit instructions not to say anything due to the extremely sensitive nature of the incident. Like I said before, like it or not, there was no policy violation here other than the noise. It would've been a personal issue and therefore legally confidential.

  47. dsfdsfsdf  

    those KCC koreans are fucking out of control......

  48. are  

    you stupid? what does respecting religious beliefs have to do with being alarmed that something might be wrong because someone is screaming in a dorm room in the middle of the night?

  49. sdfdsfsdfds  

    boin boing boin boing boin boing hint hint*

  50. ...  

    I really didn't want to comment on this issue since its still shocking to myself as well, but a lot of the attacks are aimed at KCCC. But the truth is this event must have been hidden from most of the Christian community since its the first time many of us in the Christian community as even hearing this was going on. Being affiliated with KCCC, this is the first time I'm hearing this as well and I'm quite shocked.
    Honestly, I don't know how to respond, but its unfair to attack a group of people when that group was just as clueless as everyone else here. Clearly, no one knows exactly what happened and its just ignorant to make brash comments on such limited information. What ever did happen that night, however, has no direct affiliation with any of the Christians group on campus from I'm hearing within the community itself and the members that partook in the event acted in accordance to their own beliefs. The actions of the RA and GA in Broadway were of their own discretion and should not be grouped with a single student group.
    I personally do not know the logistics or anything of that specific matter of exorcisms, but at least from what I've experienced in my life, the person could have been going through some hard times and people were praying him/her. I really don't know and no one should claim they do either.
    And just to reiterate, most members of KCCC did not know this was going on and should not be wrongly accused as a whole. People on this campus should know better than to take anything from blog with a grain of salt to begin with.

  51. oh, i see

    we're just going to ignore the whole last statement about the group speaking with security guards and Public Safety (who are obviously required to not disclose any details, for the safety of everyone involved - which seems all the more important now, seeing how much anti-christian/anti-korean hating is going on in this thread alone)

    yea, let's just act like that part didn't happen.

  52. listen  

    These Koreans can exorcise and drink the Kool Aid all they like.

    But why did my RA (who happens to be Korean) shut down my party the same night, before quiet hours, with no music playing, while that RA allowed these crazy mothers to continue their occult nonsense at 3am?

  53. and btw  

    Don't blame KCCC unless you have proof that this was a student group's doing, and not a group of students. The fact that it was done in a dorm seems to suggest it was a collection of individuals.

  54. So...

    Basically...

    This girl was allegedly screaming. Loudly, and early in the morning. With a group of other people.

    Could attempts have been made to control the noise without looking even more suspicious? Such as letting her scream into a pillow, or short of gagging her?

    Probably not, as either action could be constrewd as a student under attack.

    So what's the solution? Let her scream her head off. Which, again, therein lies the problem, because someone screaming at the top of their lungs clearly presents a case of a situation gone wrong, a person in pain/harm, or under attack.

    In either case, the sound of the screaming, or the action of suppressing the screaming, is both inappropriate for other residents to have to witness or experience WITHOUT a legitimate explanation or the presence of a Public Safety/Residential Offical (NOT simply an RA who decides to "join in"/observe). For, to the casual observer, a person screaming bloody murder is out of the ordinary and cause for alarm.

    I don't see what the big deal is about releasing the details of what happened. If people want privacy about their religion, they should not be performing actions which draw such attention to themselves in a public, shared (and in this case, residential) area (such as screaming, exorcisms, flayings, blood sacrifices, what have you) and NOT expect to get questioned/provide a reasonable explanation.

    Because whatever religious action you are doing SURE is not private, and sure is not very privy to secrecy, if other people are able to readily see or hear what is going on.

    If you want religious privacy, choose discretion. Otherwise, your religious affiliation is free and open to all.

    • Bottom line...  

      You're exactly right.

      If I hear screaming bloody murder, what am I going to do? Think to myself, "Oh, it just might be somebody undergoing an exorcism. I don't want to mess with their freedom of religion, so I'll just ignore it."? NO! If I hear somebody screaming bloody murder, that to me signals a cause for alarm. I'm going to seek help or call the police. The fact of the matter is, at that point in time, people did not know what was going on. For all the residents of EC knew, somebody WAS being attacked. There was no way to know at that present moment. That in itself is unsafe. The reaction of "get help" to a blood curling scream is a natural one. If you're going to publicly do something, such as an exorcism, that might cause such alarming noise, then you cannot expect people to "ignore it because of freedom of religion."

      If students want to perform these sort of rituals that may cause alarm to people nearby, dormitories and public spaces are not the places to do it. It's just unsafe.

  55. New KCCC t-shirt  

    "Got Demons?"

  56. noise complaints  

    "You think I made your life hell? Take a look around this dump. You're just a tourist with a typewriter. I live here. Don't you understand that? And you come into my home and you complain that I'm making too much noise?"

  57. Double standard  

    People do weird stuff and there isn't really anything we can do about it.

    The only thing that annoys me is that a Friday night exorcism involving bloodcurdling shrieks would clearly constitute a noise complaint no different from the ones that many have received for throwing parties.

    If the RA and GA on duty were uncooperative in breaking up the gathering because they were either participating or were friends with members of the group, then they failed in their duties and should face some sort of repercussions.

    If Res Life is going to take this whole "safety of the student body" thing seriously, and clamp down on anything that could cause a disturbance, they shouldn't be picking and choosing which activities to target. The double standard is annoying.

  58. gotcha  

    point taken. however, i have had 12 years of catholic education, and when people try to denigrate the extent of my faith or knowledge about my religion, i'm obviously going to get a bit defensive. sorry if my diction isn't the best at 2:40 in the AM on bwog.

    • no, i get it  

      sorry from this side, too. It sucks how these bwog comments always seem to devolve into silly arguments. but it takes two to tango, so...

      (to general Bwog public)
      it's freaking 4 in the morning! if you're reading this tonight, go to sleep!

  59. so..

    then the eyewitnesses who saw this occur had every right to report it to the police or medical authority if they were so concerned. i dont think anyone was preventing them from doing so on the account of religious freedom.

    and from the one or two words we have actually describing either incident, it seems like the people were not attacking the girl, rather, they were standing around her and, i dont know, perhaps praying. i doubt it was an exorcism. and i doubt bwog's tipsters knows much about exorcisms, besides what they've seen in The Exorcist.

    • EC Resident  

      See, but people did report it to the EC security guard (I was there), and he saw the girl run out shrieking. And he said "if she's in trouble, someone [else] will get to her."

      And it sounds like in the Broadway incident, someone did seek out the proper authorities (the RA, and then the GA) and if the account is true, they did not take the appropriate action.

      When the people who are supposed to address emergencies dismiss them, it is not only dangerous in the immediate situation, it sets a bad example for the entire community (there's a word that Housing loves to throw around). If it's OK to ignore a girl indicating distress, then maybe we should butt out next time we see or hear a guy beating his girlfriend (we don't understand their relationship), or keep walking when we see someone lying on the floor having convulsions (if he's really having a problem, someone else would've called an ambulance by now). This is classic Kitty Genovese bystander behavior on the part of people who are supposed to proactively help those in distress.

  60. 101  

    people are just hungry for this year's first controversy. I am just surprised it took this long for it to happen - the semester is almost over after all...

  61. adam fertmann  

    is the new whale in res life that dealt with this.

  62. Sprinkles

    Ever heard of Kitty Genovese?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese

    If you hear screaming, forget offending anybody, call someone with authority. Which is clearly not a member a ResLife.

    Watch this, Columbia will get sued if the RA is fired.

  63. I love

    this whole discussion of ZOMG U HAZ TO RESPEK TEH RELIJUNZ. Religion is a delusion, a misguided belief, a misfiring of the brain. Just because it has spread to billions of people doesn't mean it's "normal."
    You want to perform cult rituals, enroll yourself in a mental institution (I believe they call it a "church"?) and sacrifice each other for all I care. Just keep that disease away from people who, you know, aren't batshit crazy. It always amazes me how some of the most educated minds in the country still subscribe wholeheartedly to fairytales. True, there have been much more intelligent people with religious delusions, but that doesn't make this any less fascinating.

    • Shut up  

      If that is how you truly feel, then you are just as delusional, misguided, and ignorant as the so-called "mental patients" you denigrate.

      I know plenty of people devout in their faith (be that Christian or other) and they are in fact capable of rational thought and reason. Not all devoted Christians (or devoted people of any faith) speak in tongues and believe in magic.

      I am willing to bet anything you wouldn't have made this comment about religion if the issue at hand had been a non-Christian religious activity of the same nature. In fact, half of these comments wouldn't have been made were the incident not implicating Christianity in particular. Any comments made against another faith of this nature would have been deleted by now. That is not to say that I condone the incident or think that the circumstances or the way they were dealt with were in any way appropriate. A dormitory at 3 am is no place nor time for an exorcism and the people in charge made serious mistakes in handling the issue. You don't have to condone this incident to be respectful and tolerant of someone else's religious beliefs. But that some people use an incident like this as an excuse to spew their religious hate just shows how selectively tolerant this campus is.

      • suck my

        noodly appendage. My deepest apologies for bursting your bubble, but belief in a diety is belief in magic. By the way, how much are you REALLY willing to bet? Because you really shouldn't bet against strangers. Especially strangers like me, who consider all religions equal insofar as their status as a delusion. You call it "devout in their faith"? I call it brainwashed. You wanna get defensive because I'm attacking your beloved Christianity? Well too fucking bad, because I have the same feelings about all religions (some more than others, admittedly). You wanna talk about "rational thought" and "reason" with respect to religion? Then you better put on your hypocrite cap, because that's the only way to do it, you sad, sad excuse for a human being. I'm embarrassed to see the crown next to your comment.

        • damn  

          clearly the lack of religion in your life has done wonders for your sense of emptiness and volcano of rage directed at the world. have fun with that. and what is normal tends to be defined as what works and what is exhibited by the majority. in that case, religion would be normal, my dear.

          • lack

            of religion? I like to think of it more as a presence of sanity. And your normality by majority conjecture doesn't fly either. Just because the majority of the people in the area where I work are affected by HIV (either directly or indirectly) does not make this normal, beneficial, or healthy. It is exactly your kind of complacency that has allowed the perpetration of some of the most vile crimes in human history: "Everyone I know thinks this way, so it must be right." Maybe I've got a volcano of rage, but at least I dare to ask questions. At least I'm not a happily brainwashed sheep.

        • #109  

          I never claimed to be, nor am I, a devout Christian (or even a Christian). Oh, and thanks for the ad hominem attacks. Clearly your lack of religion and therefore astounding sense of reason allows you to make such convincing arguments without resorting to pettiness.

          I just wanted to point out two things:
          1. Fanatical atheism is just as insufferable as any other fanatical belief. You calling people of faith stupid and delusional is just as annoying as someone damning you to hell for not believing in what they believe. The exorcism and its cover up is as disturbing to me as it is almost everyone else, and I agree that it was handled poorly. All I am saying is that people used this incident as an excuse to denounce all of Christianity -- all of religion -- when really we should be looking at the actions of a group of individuals engaging in and allowing a rather unsettling public disturbance.
          2. I didn't say religion was rooted in reason. All I said was that there exist people in this world who believe in a higher power and also not only believe in, but understand, scientific rationale among other things. Why does that make me a hypocrite? Honestly, I don't believe religion has a place in many areas of society, like the government, a science classroom, or a dorm at 3 am performing an exorcism. However, religion and spirituality do bring many people peace of mind and just because it doesn't do that for you (and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that) doesn't mean that it is stupid.

          You're embarrassed to see the crown next to my comment? Look around you, many, many students at Columbia do prescribe to some sort of religious belief or would at least agree with me that simple belief is not the horrendous act of baseness you imply. I, on the other hand, am more embarrassed that YOU are my classmate, one who is so incapable of engaging in dialogue with someone who disagrees with them that you instead tell me to "suck your noodle." Nice.

          • 109 again  

            The exorcism and its cover up are*. Deepest apologies.

          • it's

            "noodly appendage." Perhaps you can suspend your unwarranted embarrassment for just a few moments and google it.
            You accuse me of ad hominems, and then call me fanatical for having a strong opinion? Clever. My calling people delusional isn't meant as an insult so much as a diagnosis. You know why it's a diagnosis? Because there is a set of logical and rational steps, grounded in physical facts, leading to this conclusion.
            Why are you a hypocrite? Because you can't have both: you can either believe in magic or you can know and understand physical reality. Yes, in your everyday life those things don't conflict. But trust me, there are places beyond your own experience, and in those places, religion and physical facts collide quite violently.
            You know why your precious Christianity got attacked? Because it is fundamentally no different from the commenter whose religion prescribes screaming "Rape" and "Fire." If he were serious, would he not get (rightfully) lambasted on here in the same way? Then why should anyone restrain from treating Christianity the same way? As I said, if you want to go screw a horse to attain salvation, I have no problem with it: buy a horse, buy a plot of land, build yourself a temple, and screw the horse into oblivion. But I don't want to know about it. Moreover, I will feel very much within my rights to ridicule you and question your contribution to our society. Because, let's face it, while some of us are working, you expect special treatment, accommodations and respect because your religion calls for horse-fucking.
            Was that too extreme for your delicate palate? Fine. Replace "horse-fucking" with "praying."

          • dude  

            get off of bwog and eat a cookie or something. you sound like you are about to kick someone in the face

          • lol

            'eat a cookie.'

            but very true. so much anger in some of these comments.

      • on and btw

        I AM tolerant of religion. See, if I wasn't tolerant, I'd go on a murderous crusade against people of faith, beating my chest and screaming holier-than-thou epithets the whole way. But I'm not doing that, am I? No, I'm leaving that task to your devout peoples.

  64. ...

    Next time the broadway 9 RA tries to shut down your party, just say it's an excorcism

  65. isnt batshit insane  

    ResLife's job isnt to protect everyone's first amendment rights. Their job is to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe in their living environments. That goes for Public Safety too. I think the number of posts here is a testament to how much they've failed in that respect.

    Fuck ResLife
    Fuck Public Safety
    Fuck the Occult

  66. legally speaking  

    Under FERPA, we do not have a right to know what happened unless it posed an immediate threat to the CU community. This incident may have been documented internally, but we no way in HELL have access to it. Columbia is pretty tight mouthed; you can be living next to a student rapist and not know about it (true example) http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

  67. absurd  

    Why is there even any sort of "debate" about this? Religious ritual or not, the actions were unacceptable by breaking noise violations and alarming the student body. Blood-curdling screams and a seemingly distressed student call for authority intervention, not participation by the supposed authority. They have no way of "making sure she was alright," as they are neither psychologists nor medical doctors (nor priests for that matter). It was not their place to stop attempts to call higher authorities, it was their place to stop the rule-breaking, disturbing behavior. Plus, utilizing the public lounge for a personal religous ritual must be against some code. Religious tolerance is not an issue here, safety and rules override.

    My religion happens to dictate that at 4AM on every other Tuesday I run through the halls alternately screaming "Fire!" and "Rape!" But it's my religion, so that's okay right?

    Next time you want to exorcise some demons or puncture some voodoo dolls or do a ritual song and dance to god of the harvest or something, do it in your own room, with the doors closed, quietly, without terrifying half your building and wasting the time of the RAs, okay?

  68. KCCC  

    Once stole my frisbee.

    True story.

  69. what happens  

    when you send evil spirits to your former husband?

    an ex-orcism!

  70. wow  

    people really seem to hate kccc

  71. alum

    i am a CC alum and i do believe in demons/evil spirits, as described in the Bible.
    i don't think an 'exorcism', without further details, warrants police/RA/medical involvement.
    also, i like kccc!
    i guess the above opinions place me in a small minority within the columbia community...

  72. Yup  

    I'm just going to take a moment to laugh at the people who believe in demons and ghosts. Carry on, everyone.

  73. Fools  

    You think this was KCCC? Ha! There are higher powers at work here.

    The hunger strike, the exorcism, these were all the doing of Mr. Sinister. You can bet that Res Life and Public Safety won't be shutting down frat parties, dorm parties, and bars while you clamor over an issue that is yet again the alleged creation of a niche groups of radicals.

    The sustenance of your fun lies in the existence of these controversies. You need me. You need these. Join me, and we will distract the University from restricting the fun that all of us enjoy and crave, by stirring up controversies like this.

  74. ooh  

    I'm glad I wasn't the only person who thought that.

  75. ...

    I'm sure the bulk of KCCC members are well-intentioned and not crazy...

    But I am frankly disgusted by the fact that they don't change their name. Korean Campus Crusade for Christ is a wholy inappropriate name due to its use of the word crusade... That would be like a group on campus calling themselves the Indonesian Campus Jihad for Allah... Not only would that not be kosher on this campus but it would probably be put on some FBI watch list...

    The word "Crusade" has a lot of negative historical connotations and is quite insensitive to other religous communities on campus...

    Obviously I am not saying they should not be allowed to have chose that name since I'm a fan of free speech BUT it says A LOT about the people who join that group or lead it...... they should expect to be treated as a fanatical fringe group by chosing to have such a name

  76. Evan J. Biederstedt  

    In response to 126 and 131,

    This is Evan J. Biederstedt (in the flesh, much like the eucharist)...

    I did not write #112. The difference between myself and 112 is that I AM NOT tolerant of religion...any of them.

    May Wotan, Brahma, Zeus, Jehovah, and all the rest be with you...

  77. about KCCC  

    as a response to #133, KCCC is named KCCC on a large part due to logistical reasons. KCCC is a global group and the group receives financial aids from the global group. Trust me, many people in KCCC has/had problems with that name because they do know it brings some negative connotations and makes them seem exclusive (which is not the message they want to get out). But realistically, being associated with a bigger group outside the sectors of Columbia University brings them some financial benefits, staff members, and legitimacy. It sucks that KCCC as a whole is getting blamed when there is no hard evidence that this event was associated with them. For all we know the group could have been from outside Columbia. Its just ignorant to pass the blame to the nearest match and have everyone jump on that bandwagon because they feel safe there opposed to actually seeking the truth behind the incident...

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