The Arkansas Times published a detailed report on Arkansas Republican state representative Justin Harris today. Harris has come under fire for giving up his adopted daughters to an employee of his daycare facility who then assaulted one of them and is now serving a long prison sentence.

According to explosive allegations leveled by people who were close to the family and spoke to the Times, Harris and his wife failed to heed the warnings of DHS and other foster families when they adopted these very young children, used their political influence to force the adoption through against said advice, and then kept the children confined to their rooms over perfectly-predictable behavior problems that the couple believed to be the result of demonic possession.

Chelsey Goldsborough, who regularly babysat for the Harrises, said Mary was kept isolated from Annie and from the rest of the family. She was often confined for hours to her room, where she was monitored by a video camera. The reason: The Harrises believed the girls were possessed by demons and could communicate telepathically, Goldsborough said. Harris and his wife once hired specialists to perform an “exorcism” on the two sisters while she waited outside the house with the boys, she said.

Multiple sources who interacted with the family confirmed Goldsborough’s account that the Harrises believed the children were possessed, and another source close to the family said that Marsha Harris spoke openly about the supposed demonic possession.

[…] Goldsborough said the “exorcism” was performed by specialists from Alabama who came to the house to orchestrate the event. Other sources confirmed to the Times that Marsha Harris told them at least one “exorcism” was performed on the girls.

Goldsborough said the Harrises showed her “a picture of [Mary] where they’re like, ‘You can see the demon rising from her back,’ and it just looked like a little 6-year-old to me.” [Mary was 4 or 5.] The separate source close to the Harrises reported seeing a video that Marsha Harris said showed a demon interacting with one of the girls. The source said demons were an “obsession” with Marsha Harris.

“They consider it to be spiritual warfare,” the other source said. “I’m a Christian, and I have these beliefs, but this was completely beyond anything I’ve ever seen or heard about.”

Goldsborough said the reason the family removed Mary’s toys was “because a demon told [Mary] not to share. … Demons told her to not appreciate [her toys] and all that, so they took away all the toys and her colored clothes.”

Although they ostensibly identify themselves with a political movement which espouses absolute personal responsibility, the Harrises are trying to blame invisible demons, the state Department of Human Services, the bureaucrat who pushed the adoption through for them, and even the girls who suffered in their care — everyone except themselves — for what they did.

Read the whole sordid thing here.

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