Sydney, Sep 30: A man paid $50,000 for a naked prayer session on the advice of “angels” to rid his wife of a “black magic” curse, an Australian court heard Thursday.
The husband and wife, who cannot be named for legal reasons, trusted Tony Golossian as a respected “holy man” who said that a curse on the woman could only be broken if he (Golossian) prayed over her naked body, the husband told the Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court.
According to Australian news agency AAP, the man told the court that though he could not afford the money, he had no choice but to pay two instalments of $25,000 each to Frances Psichogios who has been facing trial along with two others for sex offences.
“It is not something we could really afford … but I had to give it to her, I had no choice,” the husband said of the payment to Frances Psichogios.
“I had to give it to her, otherwise I would have had to go away and become a monk.” After paying the money, he had contacted Golossian, the man said.
Golossian, 62, and Arthur Psichogios, 40, have pleaded not guilty to a string of charges mainly relating to sex offences against two women in Sydney between 2001 and 2008. The third accused Frances, 38, has also pleaded not guilty to charges related to a second woman.
“Could you please speak to the angels and ask if I gave the money to the right person?” he had asked Golossian. He had been told “everything was fine”.
The husband said the prayer sessions were held in a hotel room, and he was told that his wife should bring eye patches because “evil would burn her eyes” if she opened them during the session.
He had to convince his wife to return for the second session, for which she was collected by Frances Psichogios.
“She wasn’t happy but I kept telling her, and after a while she agreed,” he told the court.
He said his wife had seemed tired and dizzy as she returned from the second prayer session.
“She felt again that she was sexually assaulted or raped or penetrated and she felt someone on top of her and I think she said for the second prayer session she remembered holding a penis,” the man said.
“I told her it was probably a dream … That’s probably what you thought was happening.”
The couple contacted Golossian for help in 2008 after finding a black wax object under their doormat and receiving text messages from an unknown person referring to a black magic curse on their family.
“Tony did say if we don’t break the curse then I would die of cancer and that (my husband) would die from a fatal accident and slowly my children would die and my family,” the wife said in her evidence to the court last week.
She also told the jury of her Greek Orthodox background and of the “evil eye” tradition relating to curses involving “bad, bad things”.