Author Topic: God Made Me Cancel My Own Crucifixion  (Read 970 times)

Devious Viper
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God Made Me Cancel My Own Crucifixion
« on: April 28, 2006, 02:32:09 pm »
(The Times, London - April 15, 2006)

A British broadcaster who travelled to the Philippines to be crucified on Good
Friday for a television programme pulled out of the stunt in tears yesterday -
and blamed God for his decision.

Dominik Diamond broke down and wept after watching nine Filipinos take their
turn to be whipped and nailed on crosses and realising that his turn was next.
"God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross," he sobbed, sinking to his
knees and praying as local people and tourists started to boo.

Five, the UK television channel, denied it was disappointed that Diamond, a
radio and TV presenter and outspoken newspaper columnist, had decided against
being crucified. He was set to join an elite group of radical Roman Catholics
who mark each Easter by re-enacting the Crucifixion. Thousands of people gather
to watch the volunteers nailed to crosses with metal spikes the size of pencils.

Negotiations had taken place to bestow on Diamond the privilege of becoming only
the second Westerner to take part in the event, known as Karabrio. The ceremony
is held in the village of Cutud, 50 miles (80km) north of Manila. Men dress in
white robes and flagellate themselves with glass-tipped paddles and bamboo
whips, in penitence for their sins.

Diamond, who said that he had had a crisis in his faith, decided to go on a
pilgrimage taking in the Vatican and a Jesuit retreat in Italy, and culminating
in the crucifixion to restore his faith in God. Despite his failure to go
through with the exploit, producers insist that the documentary would still be

Sebastian Horsley, an oil painter, was the first Westerner to take part in the
Karabrio. He felt that it would be valuable for him to experience that level of
pain, for artistic rather than religious reasons.

Horsley was pleased with Diamond's refusal to go through with the ordeal. "I'm
glad he bottled it. I mean, going over there with a Channel Five crew is not
right. It got leaked to the press when I did it but I wouldn't allow any film
crews to come with me.

"This is very special to these people. It is something they do to get closer to
God, not something that should be cheapened," he said "I tell you, it really
hurts having nails driven through your hands. Your arms are strapped up and they
put alcohol on them and then bang in the nail."

Ruben Enaje, a Filipino carpenter who takes part in the festival every year,
became Diamond's mentor as the presenter tried to summon the willpower to be
crucified. Mr Enaje has had himself nailed to a cross every year since 1988 to
show his gratitude to God for saving him when he fell out of a window. Guided by
him, Diamond made his own cross and carried it for two miles through the streets
of Cutud.

[Channel Five]conceded that the programme's name - "Crucify Me" - may no longer
be appropriate. "Let's just say the title is subject to discussion. Read between
the lines," they said.