Could trauma have altered memory of woman who claims forced exorcism?

Could an evening of alcohol, drugs and stress, mixed with a medical history of entering into trances, have altered the memory of the plaintiff about what happened during the alleged forced exorcism attempt?

A defence lawyer brought up this possibility yesterday during the hearing of the suit against the Novena Church. Psychiatrist Ong Thiew Chai, a witness for the plaintiff Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan (centre), agreed that this was possible.

Dr Ong, who had diagnosed Madam Amutha Valli as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident, said a person could have false memories after coming out from a trance. He agreed that Madam Amutha Valli could have fallen into a trance at the church on Aug 10, 2004 if she had drunk alcohol and taken a potent sleeping pill that day.

Madam Amutha Valli had previously visited general practitioners and complained of insomnia and family problems. On the evening of the alleged exorcism attempt, she and her family had two bottles of wine during dinner before heading to the church.

She is claiming she was traumatised by an alleged exorcism forced upon her at the Novena Church and is seeking damages. The 52-year-old is suing the church, two priests and six churchgoers who allegedly helped in the ritual.

Madam Amutha Valli claims she fainted in the church and was led to a room where she was held down and assaulted. The defendants say her family had asked the priests to pray over her as she was possessed.

– Source: Leeong Wee Keat, Plaintiff’s memory could have been altered by trance, court told, TodayOnline, Singapore, June 27, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Surveillance footage shows plaintiff in exorcism trial

Surveilance footage of the woman at the centre of the Novena Church exorcism trial shown in court yesterday conveyed a picture of her at odds with the one she presented her doctors.

In her lawsuit, Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan claims to have been traumatised by an alleged forced exorcism in August 2004, an experience which left her fearful of going out, of being alone and of being around strangers.

But the picture of her in footage shot by a private investigator (PI) working for the defence was one of a woman who went out to restaurants and the temple and walked alone at night.

The clip, edited from video filmed between December 2006 and last May, was shown as part of the cross-examination of one of her doctors, Associate Professor Ong Thiew Chai.

– Source: Selina Lum, Surveillance footage shows plaintiff in exorcism trial, The Straits Times, Singapore, June 24, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday June 27, 2008.
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