As if you needed another excuse to skip church: In Viareggio, Italy, 46-year-old Aldo Bianchini blinded himself and permanently scarred everyone else attending mass at Sant'Andrea church when, during the priest's sermon, he suddenly stood up, ripped his eyes right out of their sockets with his bare hands, then "collapsed to the floor in a pool of blood."
Lorenzo Tanganelli, the priest who was giving mass, describes the horrific scene:
'I had just started to read the sermon when all of a sudden there was a great commotion.
'This man at the back of the knave started tearing at his face and I realised he was gouging out his eyes.
'I called for assistance and the paramedics were quickly at the scene and he was taken away and then I carried on celebrating Mass but a lot of people had left because they were so shocked by what they had seen.
That's one focused priest! We would have probably needed immediate, heavy sedation followed by two or three months of round-the-clock therapy after witnessing such a traumatizing and gory event. We couldn't even watch Kill Bill.
People gouge their eyes out for all kinds of reasons, but usually it's because of mental illness or extreme emotional trauma. The surgeons who tried to save Bianchini's sight say he heard "voices" that told him to rip out his eyes. In 2005, R&B singer Houston gouged out one of his eyes with a plastic fork after a suicide attempt. Also in 2005, Eugene Roman—a Florida man who's been diagnosed with schizophrenia—gouged out his eyes while in jail; he's now in prison for gouging out his wife's eyes. And in 2009, Texas death row inmate Andre Thomas—who is totally sane, according to the state of Texas—not only gouged out one of his eyes but ate it. He'd already gouged out the other eye, so now he's blind.
In reporting on Bianchini's eye-gouging, some newspapers suggest that maybe he was influenced by the Biblical passage in which Jesus tells people to gouge out their eyes if their eyes have "caused them to sin" (by looking at Playboy magazine). Maybe, but it's also possible that there's no connection whatsoever, and that the voices Bianchini heard were, like, Wiccan or something. Whatever, it's probably best to stay away from the Bible, if you enjoy your sight. The Bible hates eyes.