WHAT AN EXCELLENT DAY FOR AN EXORCISM
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
I have been talking to people on buses and trains about the state of the world today. What is most intriguing is that the majority of those I speak with believe that the hate and the various violent murders are the result of some sort of demonic possession.
The answer doesn’t surprise me but I often wonder if they really feel that way or they are telling me what they think I want to hear since most of the people, total strangers actually listen to my show.
I don’t think anyone wants to hear that the entire population or group have succumbed to some sort of possession, it just doesn’t seem like we can find our way out of the darkness.
The media expects you to focus on political matters and every crisis that can be dreamed up by news editors who are all too willing to pump up a crisis in order fulfill a particular agenda.
Most people can’t get enough of the political hate — it is as if they thrive on it and that the anger is such a powerful energy that if it were pumped into the electric grid we would not have to worry about an energy crisis.
When I was young, I was often sullied by older generations that would say that we were a godless group. Now here I am – older and wondering if the future can become any more godless.
The older generations are forced to move forward into a world of future shock while clinging fondly to memories of when times were perceived to be simple.
In the last thirty years, times have become less spiritual and less religious.
We are now hearing about graven images of satanic iconography in the public square, taking its place near the Ten Commandments and there are witches who wish carry out a Hex action against politicians that they do not agree with.
According to reports, Father Gary Thomas, the exorcist for the Catholic Diocese of San Jose, California, scheduled two masses prior to the hex event against Justice Kavanaugh in order to stop it. Father Thomas told The National Catholic Register “that he has witnessed people in the satanic world becoming bolder.” He said that the more confident these so-called Satanists become, the more “the general public will be more accepting of the demonic.” Thomas said that this is not about free speech or religion, it’s about “conjuring of evil.” He added, “Satanic cults often commit crimes; they murder and sexually abuse everyone in their cult.”
The Rite of Exorcism was first published in 1614 by Pope Paul V to quell a trend of laypeople and priests hastily performing exorcisms on people they presumed were possessed, such as victims of the bubonic plague.
A line (in the rite) said that the exorcist should be careful to distinguish between demon possession and melancholy, which was a catchall for mental illness.
From the beginning, there was always that fine line that most priests had to walk with regard to exorcism and mental illness.
The church knew back then that there were mental problems. It said the exorcist should not have anything to do with medicine. Leave that to the doctors.
Most people were first introduced to the exorcism rite in 1973 when William Peter Blatty’s novel “The Exorcist” was made into a major motion picture.
The film became a horror classic however its intent was meant to be an exploration of faith.
Horror writer Stephen King said of the film:
“The Exorcism is a film about explosive social change, a finely honed focusing point for that entire youth explosion that took place in the late sixties and early seventies. It was a movie for all those parents who felt, in a kind of agony and terror, that they were losing their children and could not understand why or how it was happening.”
Today we can all agree that perhaps we are not only losing our children to the devil, but we may also be losing ourselves.
It has also been argued that The Exorcist addresses anxieties about changes in the structure of the family and how evil and trauma can be handed down from generation to generation only to eventually manifest for all to see in an explosive demonstration of mental and physical breakdown.
Few realize that the movie, and Peter Blatty’s novel is based on a true story: a months-long exorcism by Jesuit priests of a 14-year-old boy, who priests assigned the pseudonym Roland Doe, in 1949.
Roland Doe’s boyhood home was in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where his reported possession began.
That winter, according to the boy’s parents and several books on the case, Roland’s bed began to shake violently, furniture moved across the room, and scratching noises were heard in the walls. After having Roland evaluated at Georgetown University Hospital, his parents met with Father Albert Hughes, the Roman Catholic priest at Saint James Parish, near their Maryland home. Father Hughes said he believed the boy was possessed, and sought permission from the Archbishop of Washington DC to begin the rite of exorcism.
In the spring of 1949, Roland’s parents relocated him from Maryland to a relative’s home in Saint Louis, where over the course of two weeks as many as nine Jesuit priests participated in the boy’s exorcism. One of them, Father Raymond Bishop, kept a diary of those encounters.
One of them, Father Raymond Bishop, kept a diary of those encounters. It includes the following passage, dated 11 April 1949: ‘At midnight, the Fathers planned to give (Roland) Holy Communion, but Satan would have no part of it. Even while the institution of the Blessed Sacrament was explained to (Roland) his body was badly scratched and branded. The word ‘HELLO’ was printed on his chest and thigh. Upon the explanation of the Apostles becoming Priests and receiving Our Lord at the Last Supper, scratches appeared from (Roland) hips to his ankles in heavy lines, seemingly as a protest to Holy Communion.
Next, the Fathers began the Litany of the Saints, as indicated in the exorcism ritual. In the course of the Litany, the mattress began to shake. Roland was awake.
The shaking ceased when Father Bowdern blessed the bed with Holy Water. The prayers of the exorcism were continued and Roland was seized violently so that he began to struggle with his pillow and the bed clothing. The arms, legs, and head of Roland had to be held by three men.
Father Bishop, Father Bowdern and at least six other Jesuits took part in Roland Doe’s exorcism, much of which took place in an upstairs bedroom at this home, which belonged to the boy’s relatives, in the Bel-Nor neighborhood of Saint Louis, Missouri.
The concept of possession by a spirit isn’t limited to Catholicism. Muslim, Jewish and other Christian traditions regard possession by spirits – holy or benign as possible.
In fact, possession and the idea of mental illness have been discussed amongst the clergy and psychiatrists for some time and there have been terminologies that have been arguably used to describe the phenomenon.
One term used is something called excitable delirium. Excited delirium, also known as agitated delirium, is a condition that presents with psychomotor agitation, delirium, and sweating. It may include attempts at violence, unexpected strength, and very high body temperature.
Some psychiatrists have even talked of adding a “trance and possession disorder” diagnosis to the DSM, the premier diagnostic manual of disorders used by mental health professionals in the US.
There’s still so much about the human mind that psychiatrists don’t know.
Doctors used to be widely skeptical of people who claimed to suffer from multiple personalities, but now it’s a legitimate disorder called dissociative identity disorder.
The question is whether or not possession should be considered an infestation of the mind, the body and the spiritual health of the victim.
Should it be included in the DSM?
There is now a certain openness to experiences that are happening that are beyond what can be explained by MRI scans, neurobiology or even psychological theories.
Is science now open to the possible possessions of human beings?
Well not quite yet, and for good reason.
So many scientists and doctors are cautious about legitimizing demonic possession.
Mostly because of another infamous case that was the basis for the film “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”
The 2005 film was not entirely fictional but rather was based on the actual experiences of a German girl named Anneliese Michel.
Anneliese Michel grew up devoutly Catholic in Bavaria, West Germany in the 1960s, where she attended Mass twice a week. When Anneliese was sixteen, she suddenly blacked out at school and began walking around dazed. Though Anneliese did not remember the event, her friends and family said she was in a trance-like state.
A year later, Anneliese experienced a similar occurrence, where she woke up in a trance and wet her bed. Her body also went through a series of convulsions, causing her body to shake uncontrollably.
After the second time, Anneliese visited a neurologist who diagnosed her with temporal lobe epilepsy, a disorder that causes seizures, loss of memory, and experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations.
After her diagnosis, Anneliese began taking medication for her epilepsy and enrolled in the University of Würzburg in 1973.
However, the drugs she was given failed to help her, and as the year progressed her condition began to deteriorate. Though she was still taking her medication, Anneliese began to believe that she was possessed by a demon and that she needed to find a solution outside of medicine.
She began to see the face of the devil wherever she went and said she heard demons whispering in her ears. When she heard demons telling her she was “damned” and would “rot in hell” while she was praying, she concluded that the devil must be possessing her.
Anneliese sought out priests to help her with her demonic possession, but all the clergy she approached rejected her requests, saying that she should seek medical help and that they needed the permission of a bishop anyway.
At this point, Anneliese’s delusions had become extreme.
Believing she was possessed, she ripped the clothes off her body, compulsively performed up to 400 squats a day, crawled under a table and barked like a dog for two days. She also ate spiders and coal, bit the head off a dead bird, and licked her own urine from the floor.
The devil wasn’t the worst of her problems… some say her parents, the doctors, judges and exorcists all exploited Michelle rather than help her of her problems.
Michel died of starvation in 1976 after receiving 67 exorcisms over a period of nine months.
Authorities later determined that it was Michel’s parents and two priests who were responsible for her death. German authorities put them on trial for murder, and they were found guilty of negligent homicide.
Now you know why many psychiatrists believe that telling a patient they are possessed by a demon is the worst thing you can do.
However, the demon seeding or the use of words used in strategic context are getting the ball rolling for what can be called psychological warfare.
The “seeds” that are being planet today in Christian sects are most certainly doctrines with hidden Satanic messages that are now influencing people to believe that our destruction on some Lord-supervised “Day of Judgment” will be a wonder to behold, and should even be welcomed as “salvation” and atonement for the so-called evils of the world.
This is generating an overall feeling of despair in most people.
It’s a kind of despair that can most certainly compromise your spiritual immune system.
The spiritual immune system has been provided to most people to keep them away from demonic influences, but most Christians today are not convinced that this is enough and so they find themselves haunted by their own supernatural beliefs and superstitions.
This has been the biggest contributor to what is being called “Modern Demonic Possession.”
When people find themselves haunted by demons, they certainly are able to describe them as they are now emboldened to manifest in various ways.
The demons reveal themselves to be utterly and horrifyingly malevolent; they cling to their victims with unbelievable tenacity and exhibit superhuman strength.
Over one half (63 percent, to be exact) of young Americans 18-29 years old now believe in the notion that invisible, non-corporeal entities can take partial or total control of human beings.
Belief in demons or demon possession isn’t declining among the American population generally; it’s growing.
Young Americans are dropping out of religion, but they still have beliefs in supernatural entities.
In other words, they believe in ghosts, angels, demons, and ritualism that are not necessarily connected to traditional religious practices.
From ghost appearances to demonic personages, we hear of people today that are now coming into contact with entities who lurk in the shadows of a dimly lit room, or that we see out of the corner of our eye.
Lurking in the margins of our lives are experiences that cannot be explained. It can be theorized that these experiences remain in the margins in most part because they shock us, confound us, and play with the mind in such a way that it makes us question mortality and why we were given the experience in the first place.
When paranormal experiences happen and we are witness to them, it can be argued that it expands our sense of who we imagine we are and transforming our intimate relationship with ourselves.
These experiences are unmediated manifestations of the dream-like nature of reality; we know that we are awake, but the experience can be compared to a dream or a nightmare.
Attributing misfortune and social change to hidden evil forces is a natural human reaction; the demonic provides a context that can make sense of unfamiliar or complex problems.
However, in times where Satanic icons are displayed in public malls, music and television shows are replete with satanic imagery — every day may be an excellent day for an exorcism.