Minister Faces Sexual Assault Charges in Novel Exorcism Ritual

Saturday July 27, 2019

A New Jersey preacher came up with a novel way to expel evil spirits from troubled parishioners, according to a report in Newsweek. When offering private counseling at Linden Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. William Weaver "would allegedly tell the men that he needed to 'suck' out demons through their semen, citing Native American rituals and a verse from Ephesians telling Christians to 'put on the full armor of God.'"

"According to impact statements the men submitted to the Presbytery of Elizabeth," the Newsweek report continued, "which has jurisdiction over the church in Linden, Weaver would order each to strip naked and lie down. Then he would place an "angel coin" on their foreheads and have them balance stones on their hands and ankles.

"Weaver would then allegedly perform oral sex on them."

Weaver has been reporting these so-called "healing acts" since 1999, the website My Central Jersey reported last month. Weaver has served as pastor for 39 years at the Linden Presbyterian Church, one of two in the town of over 40,000 residents. He also held several public roles, including chaplain for a county police department and also served as chaplain for the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association. Audrey Pereira, a representative for the chapter, described him as "a Jekyll and Hyde."

"He did good on one hand," she told My Central Jersey. "On the other hand, he did this evil to who knows how many. It can't just have been these guys. There has to be more."

"I refuse to stay silent any longer," he wrote one of his accusers, A.J. Meeker. "I need to make sure that this never happens to anyone else ever again." According to Newsweek, Meeker came to Weaver when he was 20 with family problems.

DL, another man, claimed "he had to be committed to a psychiatric hospital after Weaver molested him during pastoral counseling sessions in 2005," wrote a report in on the news site Metro.

"The 89-page lawsuit filed on June 27 filed by attorney Robert Fuggi claims DL had gone to the minister for pastoral counseling. But he says after four sessions, Weaver allegedly began to molest DL, saying: 'You are under spiritual attack!', 'You are chosen!', 'I have been waiting for you my whole life!' "

The Metro report continues: "When DL told Weaver this made him fearful, Weaver responded that he would need to face '1000 penises,' the lawsuit goes on to say.

"The lawsuit also claims Weaver got upset at DL for his inability to focus or stay erect. When DL tried to leave, Weaver reportedly shouted 'You have to close your eyes and cooperate - loosen your loin belt.' "

DL, reported Metro, had a mental breakdown and was arrested. He was later transferred to Trenton State Psychiatric hospital after he started speaking about "spiritual attacks as (Weaver) had convinced him of."

This was the second lawsuit filed against Weaver. A first, filed on June 19, was by four other parishioners, three men and one woman, wrote a report in NJ.com.

"The Rev. Dr. William Weaver, who spent nearly 40 years as the pastor of Linden Presbyterian Church, allegedly performed masturbation and oral sex on the male plaintiffs as part of a ritual he said would free them from evil spirits," the Fuggi law firm, which is representing all of the parishioners in the lawsuit, said in a statement.

"For the female plaintiff, Weaver 'freed her evil spirits' by sucking metal out from her navel," the law firm's statement said.

"All four of the alleged victims had similar accounts of their counseling sessions with the minister, according to the lawsuit. In each case, Weaver would cite a passage from the Bible calling on the faithful to use the 'full armor of God' to fight the Devil," reported NJ.com.

"Then, he would allegedly ask them to undress and lay flat while he waved feathers over their bodies and placed gem stones, metal strips and an angel coin on their bodies, the lawsuit said. After performing oral sex or placing his mouth on their bodies, he would show them small metal balls or other pieces of metal he said were evil spirits he sucked from them during the ritual."

One of the men, William Weist, said in the lawsuit that he went to Weaver for spiritual counseling after his girlfriend's son died.

"After a month, Weaver allegedly told Weist that the ritual would work better if Weist was laying down. He later told Weist that he suffered from 'hits' from the spirit world that could only be removed by ejaculation - so he instructed him to masturbate, which he reluctantly did," wrote Metro.

During the next session, Weaver said "the only way to properly extract the evil spirits was by oral sex."

When finished, Weaver pulled a little metal ball from his mouth, saying: "Look what I got out of you."

This continued two or three more times until Weist refused the rituals before he stopped seeing Weaver altogether. The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit also tell similar stories, while the female plaintiff alleged Weaver "freed her evil spirits" by sucking metal out of her navel.

"No criminal charges have been filed against Weaver, but the Elizabeth Presbytery opened an investigation into Weaver - who resigned the day before the investigation concluded, Ellen O'Connell, the lawyer for the presbytery told Metro US."

"Weaver, 69, was scheduled to face his three accusers during an internal church trial, but on Jan. 25, 2019, one day before the trial was to begin, he renounced the jurisdiction of the Elizabeth Presbytery. He was accused by the church of 'multiple acts of idolatry and sexual misconduct,'" My Central Jersey reported.