Cutud out already!
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 97 11:48:50 -0800
Subject: Cutud out already!
[Last night on "Politically Incorrect" a very outspoken and spirited woman
comedian (whose name I didn't catch) shocked many when, in discussing the
Heaven's Gate cult, she said "I used to be part of a cult--I was brought up
Forwarded-by: Jef Jaisun <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Reuters America
[And you thought the Comet Busters were sick. At least they got new shoes out
of the deal.]
CUTUD, Reuters via Individual Inc. : Devout Christians had themselves
nailed to wooden crosses while others beat their own backs with whips in a
bloody re-enactment of Jesus Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday nearly
2,000 years ago.
The event, which has become a tradition in the Philippines, drew large
crowds and vendors in a carnival-like scene that Roman Catholic Church
officials refuse to endorse because of its extreme nature.
Fifteen penitents, one of them an elderly woman, lay grimacing on wooden
crosses in Cutud San Pedro town, 80 kms (50 miles) north of Manila, as
friends hammered four-inch long nails into their palms.
Then under the blazing sun the crosses were hoisted up as the 5,000
spectators looked on.
Just outside the barricaded mound where the penitents suffered, ice
cream and soft-drink vendors rang their bells in a cacophony to attract
Signboards pointed to Calvary Hill, named after the biblical site where
Christ was crucified in the Holy Land nearly 2,000 years ago.
``This way to Calvary,'' said one sign placed just above another board
saying: ``Cali Shandy available.''
``Anyone trying to inflict such pain on themselves is indeed very
strange,'' said Keith Morton, an American management consultant based in
He had come to the Philippines specially to see the crucifixions after
he read about it in a book, he said.
``Their faith, their country. They can do what they like,'' said David
Cowley, a retired Briton who stays in a nearby town.
But to the penitents, all of whom are poor and illiterate, it was their
way to atone for sins and seek divine favours.
Chito Sangalang, 37, who had played the role of Jesus Christ and was
the first to be crucified, said he made a living selling smoked fish on the
``My wife gets nervous but I am not scared,'' he said before the
His mother and one of his children were ill and his sacifice would help
them recover, he said, showing a bottle of alcohol in which he had dipped
the nails that went through his palms.
Sangalang shivered, bit his lips and screamed as the spikes were driven
He stayed up on the cross for eight minutes.
``I don't want to see anymore,'' said an American tourist. ``I looked
away when they were putting the nails into him... Why should they do this.''
The Catholic Church frowns on the bloody rites that began more than
three decades ago in the Philippines, whose population of 68 million is 85
Ben Enaje, 36, a signboard painter, said he wanted to be crucified to
repay a debt to God. Nine years ago, he had fallen from the third floor of
a building while doing a painting job and survived without much injury.
Since then he had offered himself for crucifixion every year and would
continue it until he finished 12 years, he said.
``Yes, I am nervous. But it is up to God,'' he said.
``I am doing this for the benefit of everybody,'' said 55-year-old
Mother Paring, the only woman to be crucified.
Meanwhile, dozens of young men with hoods on their faces and crowns of
thorns beat their backs into a bloody pulp with bamboo whips encrusted with
Police said two people were crucified in nearby towns and and hundreds
of devotees in other parts of the country walked barefoot to religious
shrines as part of their sacrifice.
[03-28-97 at 17:10 EST, Copyright 1997, Reuters America Inc.]
© 1997 Peter Langston