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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Patient Sues Clinic|Over Strange Exorcism

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A Muslim woman claims in court that praying mental health counselors pushed on her stomach until she vomited, then told her she had vomited up a "demon of fear" and "was now a Christian."

Veta Shamsud-Din sued PDH Family Medical, of Salem, its director Phyllis Hursey, her therapist Wilma Marchbank, and Charlotte Barrett, in Multnomah County Court.

Shamsud-Din claims she want to PDH to see her therapist, Marchbank, for counseling on Dec. 2, 2010.

"While they were sitting during their meeting, defendant Barrett, who plaintiff thought was a doctor, came in," according to the complaint.

It continues: "While defendant Marchbank stood in the background, defendant Barrett repeatedly asked plaintiff about Jesus Christ and if plaintiff considered him to be God.

"Plaintiff explained that she respects people's religious beliefs, but that her Muslim beliefs were different than Christian beliefs. Plaintiff explained that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) is a prophet honored in Islam, but not God. Defendant Barrett continued to 'drill' plaintiff on her beliefs, and began to pray. Defendant Marchbank prayed in the background.

"Defendant Barrett laid her hands on plaintiff's stomach and head and while continuing to pray told plaintiff she had 'demons inside her.'

Plaintiff was pushed back out of her chair and onto the ground. Defendant Barrett fell on plaintiff, landing on plaintiff's previously injured knee and causing plaintiff pain.

"Plaintiff asked to leave, but defendant Barrett refused to let her up. Defendant Barrett continued to pray and push on plaintiff's stomach, eventually causing plaintiff to vomit on herself and the ground. Defendant Barrett told plaintiff that the vomit was a 'demon of fear' leaving her body.

"Plaintiff kept asking to leave and eventually she was let up off the ground. Defendant Barrett told plaintiff she was now a Christian. Hoping to leave the clinic and go home, plaintiff pretended to agree with what defendant Barrett was saying. Plaintiff was allowed to leave the clinic."

Shamsud-Din seeks damages for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and negligence.

She is represented by Jonah Paisner.

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