New Hartford – Members of a secretive, hard-core Christian church savagely beat an upstate teen to death during a “counseling session” that turned horrifically violent.
The parents and sister of victim Lucas Leonard, 19, were arrested after allegedly delivering deadly punches and kicks during the hours-long assault Sunday night, inside the Word of Life Church in New Hartford.
Bruce Leonard, 65, and Deborah Leonard, 59, were charged with manslaughter, while sister Sarah Ferguson, 33, was charged with assault.
Lucas’ brother Christopher Leonard, 17, was severely injured during the same beating, officials said.
Both young men were at church, after regular services Sunday night, to attend a counseling session aimed at boosting their “spiritual state.”
“During the counseling session involving Lucas Leonard and his brother Christopher, the session turned physical,” said Inserra.
“Both brothers were continually subjected to physical punishment over the course of several hours in hopes that each would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness.”
When Lucas Leonard was found in bad shape Monday morning, he was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead.
Religion, ladies and gentlemen! Step right up to the Pulpit and confess your sins! Wait, no, that confession was horrible. You’ve got nothing else? K, hopefully God’s a forgiving god because guess what, you’re dead!
Was this a World of Life Christian Church counseling session or a gang initiation? Not that there’s much of a difference between the two, but I actually can’t tell.
Seriously, what is wrong with people? How do people become such brain-washed sheep? I’m all for religion as an institution to promote community, decency, and teach lessons of morality and ethics, but this is what happens with these eccentric, hard-core cult factions of literally every organized religion ever. They’re all mongoloids. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and everything in-between; if you can’t separate the metaphorical lessons of your chosen text from literal interpretation of said text than you are a certifiably insane person who belongs on a neighborhood watch list. Let’s call it Matty’s Law. Maybe then we could have beaten Bruce and Deborah Leonard to the punch. Maybe we could have forced the Leonard parents to admit just how full of shit they really are. Maybe they wouldn’t have been able to pummel their own son to death because he failed to adequately confess his “sins.”
Oh well, Lucas Leonard is pretty much a martyr now. He’s basically the World of Life’s Isaac, Son of Abraham. The kid might even have a few verses written about him by some other wacko a thousand years from now. Good for Lucas Leonard. We should all be so lucky.
PS – Lucas and Christopher Leonard are tough as nails. Hours of constant punches and kicks? One thing is for sure, their coward family members wouldn’t have lasted half as long with the same treatment. Hopefully Christopher turns out alright, in a relative sense.