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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MLAAW: The Exorcist

I was an Assistant Manager for an industrial cleaning company which operated in a textile mill for seven years. The work was hard, required little training, and we had a high turnover. Often when we hired someone we had no idea how long they would stay and sometimes we'd hired someone we knew would not last just to cover a job for that day.

A high percentage of our employees were developmentally disabled, had prison records, were on welfare, etc... and our company was given financial incentives for employing them. When Rosemary (not her real name), an African American woman in her mid 40's, was interviewed she seemed normal and stable enough. However, after she was hired she began exhibiting strange behavior.

One day she accidentally dropped a bottle of cleaner and exclaimed "The Devil DID that!" I didn't think anything about it at first, but later on I noticed that she blamed the devil for all kinds of things. She was late because the devil messed with her alarm, she forgot to fill the toilet paper in the ladies room because the devil was hiding in there to scare her, she didn't take out the trash because the devil hid it from her.

It was strange, but she did her work for the most part so we let it pass. Then one day I was walking her route with her checking her work and she pointed at an older white man and said that that was her son. I pointed out that the man was much older than her and white. She began to tell me how the devil came into her bedroom at night and raped her and got her pregnant. She explained that he would come back a few nights later and steal the baby from her, but whenever she saw one of her children she would know them. This happened several times, she kept pointing out more and more people that were supposedly her children with the devil.

I was a practicing Wiccan at the time and often wore my pentacle outside my clothes, but I began tucking it in my shirt around Rosemary because I didn't know how she would react to working with a witch. One morning I was sitting at my desk waiting for the morning shift to come sign in for work, collect their gear and head to their stations. Some of the early comers were sitting in the office with me and we were chatting. Rosemary came in with a bible in front of her and something behind her back. She began loudly reading a passage from the bible and before I knew it she reached around her back with a large cup of water and threw it on me. She was trying to exorcise me!

I stood up but Rosemary ran out the door and never came back to work. All I could figure is that at some point someone told her I was a witch and she began to believe that I was possessed.

Carolina Dean

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