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mercredi 31 décembre 2014

The Pyres of Faaite… (3)

The slaughter of innocents
Here is how our interlocutor tells us what has happened to her after the departure of "witches" from the Atoll of Faaite.

In our first article on the testimony of Monette Tetavahi, we left her alone with her four children among the community of Faaite.
The book written by Bruno Saura
…A very disturbed community through the past two weeks and by the religious discourse of the three missionaries of the Charismatic Renewal.

When a group of young men (whose husband Monette) has escorted the women to Fakarava first step they return to Tahiti, a strange and heavy atmosphere has settled on the small atoll in the Tuamotus.

Nothing has transpired what has been said between the three "witches" and young people. But after the return of these latter to Faaite, nothing will ever be the same on the atoll.

Monette's testimony resumes when they return.

From the religious exaltation until to violence
(...) "You know, I was really happy at Faaite.

“I was completely accepted and I learned a lot there. And I loved my husband so much.

“That's why I have a grievance against these three women so much. It is they who have destroyed everything. But we can blame them for anything. That's what was said by the police, Monsignor Coppenrath and the judges since they (the three ones) were not there (...).
Mgr Hubert Coppenrath: such a charismatic renewal...
“When the young men returned from Fakarava with my husband, I didn't recognize them. Even my husband had changed. I told him: 'Do you realize? You just come back and you haven't even kissed your children. How come you did that?  What's happened? (...)

“Why they changed like this? Why they have become violent? I don’t know (...).

“Anyway, they started straightaway with the charismatic prayers, saying they were going to heal all diseases and to cleanse us. They came in all the houses to see if we were well down on our knees praying. If they were not happy, so they were beating people. My husband also came to check if we are making our prayers well. They were everywhere, even in the fare (house) with their spears. They threatened to kill us if we do not pray and we had to look down for talking to them (...).
How many times have I seen the suffering in Monette's eyes?
“That's when they went to the town hall to destroy the VHF (high frequency marine radio). That way, we could not speak with anyone outside of the island. You know, there, there was no phone at the time.

The first pyre of Faaite
“So, the Deputy Mayor Iaone Harrys went to see on the dock to tell them that they had to stop all that, and wait for the return of Father Nicolas Jakimovicz and ask his opinion on what to do. The six young and Leonardo (my husband) didn't agree. Then they caught him...”

Here a long silence while Monette tries to stop her tears…

“I was passing the broom in the chapel. I saw a youth coming with a gas can. I thought the boat was going out. But no ... I asked Iaone: "What's going on?" But he did not answer me. And I went back to my fare, just opposite. And just then I heard a big boom! I turned and saw the fire.
he site plan, made for me by Monette
“I was told after he had been tied up and killed before being burned, but my back was turned: neither I haven't seen it, nor I have heard him screaming (...).

“I came back to the square to see. Fear took me.

"It was no possible!  I'd just talk to him and there were only flames now. As soon as they saw me, the young people have come to me with their spears, and they told me: "Go! You come home. Don't stay here. (...)".

The sacrificial victims of 3 september  
“On Thursday morning, they tied Katetika (the catechist) Tautu Tokoragi to a fair pole in front of my house. He cried out because he was burning in the sun. Me, I was locked at home with the children. They did it only because he dared to say that this was not well what was happening there. And then they came looking for and they burned him right outside my house. But I don't know if he was alive or not when they burned him (...).

“They brought Cyrenia Teata (the sister of the mayor) in the same place and they burned her alive also just after. It's her own son, Tavita Tapi, who threw her into the fire. To "purify her" he said (...)!

“In the afternoon it's Huatea Ragivaru whom they have sacrificed; but then I saw nothing.  I was minding my children. They are crying and  were afraid and they wondered why their father had become nasty. I only saw when they dragged him with the truck, tied up by a rope around his neck. (...)
Monette explaining, with a sketch, what happened in Faaite
“Later, they took Pai Huri and they burned him outside the church, as the deputy mayor, in front of his wife. They sacrificed him because he was angry with them and wanted them to stop. I could not see well because it was outside the church, a little further from home (...).

The latest victim of pyres of Faaite
“In the middle of the night, about two in the morning they burned Teata Simone, wife of Pai. I have seen: it's her brother, William, who put her in the lit stake.

“She, she was really alive. I heard her scream. Very strong and very long…”

An article of Julien Gué
Translated from French by Monak

Click here to read the end of the testimony of Monette... Next time…

Copyright Julien Gué. Ask for the author’s agreement before any reproduction of the text or the images on Internet or traditional press.

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