We take a view of dark subjects as horror fans, and try to bring the true horrors of the world to light. Things can happen being motivated by greed, political reasons, personal reasons, and sometimes in the name of religion. None of which are easy subjects to talk about with peers, and certainly not strangers, due to the strong feelings opposed or/for said topic. But what happens when things get taken to far? What happens when you betray comrades, or people that trust you under the guise of common interest for your own personal benefit?
Today’s subject, is a sensitive one…so prepare yourself if you decide to read on…
In May of 2005, Tangipahoa Louisiana, local police discovered that “ritualistic child abuse, accompanied by sacrifices, and group sex had occurred at the town’s Hosanna Church between 1993-2003. The investigation followed a telephone call made to the sheriffs office in April 2005 in which a local woman, Nicole Bernard (Austin Bernard’s wife, who was later arrested and charged with aggravated rape), said she had fled to Ohio fearing the safety of her child. On June 20, 2005, Louis Lamonica, a beloved pastor of the Hosanna Church, walked into the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, and admitted a list of offenses he and his parish members, Austin “Trey” Bernard III (the accused mastermind), Christopher Labat (a deputy sheriff of Tangipahoa Parish who lived on the church grounds), Allen R. Pierson and his wife Patricia, Robbin Lamonica (the former pastor’s wife), and 2 other members (who knew, but didn’t say anything to authorities) committed: including, anal, oral, and vaginal sex with children.
Rituals conducted at the church involved the use of robes, pentagrams on the church floor, sex with a dog (the family’s pet poodle), the sacrifice of cats, and the rape of “up to two dozen children, ranging from infants to teenagers”, including his own children. Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, a former state prosecutor, said some of the perpetrators had admitted that, “Devil worship was the reason for their participation”. Police reported that Lamonica also claimed that the children were taught to perform sexual acts on each other, and with animals.
Lamonica stated: ‘They would start off like a church service but with Satanic music. There were candles burning, dark, red candleholders. And the dedication of baby “A” unto Satan with this Pentagram, she was put in the middle, in a black dress.’ He described chanting around the child – “Trey” Bernard’s daughter, barely one year old at the time – before killing a cat, draining its blood and each drinking it. He claimed they did not make the child drink because she was too young and instead took off her dress and sprinkled the blood over her. During some of these rituals, he claimed that there was “feces laid around. There was urine”. He also claimed that during these satanic rituals he would become “distorted” by the #Devil and that #demons would change him into an animal – “a snake, a fox, wolf, or spiders”.
On December 5, 2007, Austin “Trey” Bernard III was convicted on three counts of aggravated rape including his own two y/o daughter, and a 12 y/o boy. He received three life sentences. Another church member pleaded guilty of aggravated rape to the same girl and received 10 years. Lamonica was convicted and sentenced in 2008, and received four concurrent life terms for having sex with his own sons.
Today, there is still a church on the site – the Christian Life Assembly of God, under the leadership of Rev Gary W. Yates. In the aftermath of the scandal there were calls to raze Hosanna Church. One company wanted to buy it, bulldoze it and build a hospital on the site. But ultimately Hurricane Katrina saved anyone the trouble of gutting the building so associated with shame and scandal and it was cleared out not by a contractor but by an Act of God.