having lived in a number of other countries, and had experiences much more radical than what this politician will describe in public, I have to agree with his basic idea "I would have shut off a very good experience for myself," even if he doesn't have the science background himself to parse out what was actually going on.
Many years ago I went along with a Thai/Chinese friend who had a fieldhand who the family thought was "possessed." We traveled (in her Mercedes) through the Thai jungle and scrubland in northern Thailand until we crosses a hanging wooden bridge that was the entrance to a bustling village. (yeah, we drove across it, it is Thailand and you do shit like that, or did, with the tourist invasion in the last 20 years its no fun any more there) We went to the temple where there was supposed to be a monk who was especially holy, and especially skilled at chasing out demons, having successfully driven demons out of a number of people.
After making a suitable "offering" to the temple, and waiting for the monk to work his way through the simple problems of the other people who came for advice or other ...needs (the couple ahead of us wanted to get married, but the husband to be had been given a special amulet by a previous girlfriend and the wife to be wanted to be assured that there had been and was no evil intention carried by the amulet which might damage their marriage. The monk studied it carefully (with his glasses on, for quite a few minutes) and then said a short charm, blessing, whatever over it and gave it back to them with his blessing on their marriage. That kind of stuff.
When he got to us he escorted the fieldhand back into a room in back and examined him. He returned in a half-hour or so and told us that he was not possessed at all but was mentally ill and needed to see a psychiatrist for his problems. The family insisted that the exorcism be performed anyway, just to be on the safe side. He agreed, but told them again it was a waste of time. He performed the ritual (it was cool, but not the focus of this story) and nothing happened, we went home and he went to a shrink at my friend's expense.
Notice that the monk had no need to put on a show, he had the care and support of his village. He understood their needs and how to achieve spiritual health for an extremely superstitious people. While we can laugh and point fingers, this man relieves fear and suffering among thousands of people every day just by existing and caring for them. Is that worse, stupid, terrible, or otherwise a bad thing when it is the people who need this? And, yes, they all are educated and have studied science, but science does not relieve their fear, he does.
So, carp away, that is the real world for most of the 7 billion: to relieve their fear, it was money well spent.