Punished by the Gods

Bali is a tropical vacation paradise, but there is a dark side few tourists get to see. People with mental illness, chained, caged or tied up by their families, often in shocking living conditions. Around 20 million people in Indonesia have mental illness. Help get only a few. Because mental illnesses are still associated with the demons and obsession, so they got chained in the forest or locked in cages. The 4 million inhabitants of Bali with approximately 7,000 sufferers are estimated to only a handful of available psychiatrists. Overall, less than five percent of the mentally ill are treated in Indonesia. Traditionally, many Indonesians believe that the evil spirits can be exorcised by a healer. They have no money to treat their relatives professionally and often they see no other possibility. Out of helplessness and shame families expose their sick relatives in the forest. They chain them to trees, put their bonds through a wooden board or imprison them in cages, on Balinese it is called “pasung”. There are people who endure decades, or die.