A British broadcaster who travelled to the Philippines to be crucified on Good Friday for a television program 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 realizing 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.
We want blood! We want blood!
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 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 aired.
After pulling out of the challenge, Diamond said: "At no point was it ever conveyed that I would definitely be crucified. At all times in this journey I have been guided by my God in ways I could never have predicted. Having experienced the humility of bearing my own cross through the streets, I felt my God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross."
I smell a reality show.