Today in Exorcism for July 31, 21st century

I am unclear why today has delivered me three stories on exorcism. It’s a hot topic, damn it. Maybe because The Vatican Tapes is showing. But the rite of exorcism is no more relevant or non-fictional than it was centuries ago. As an enlightened society, we probably should get over the whole demon possession scapegoat thing… it’s modern times, you know.

First, the LA Times entertainment reporter has picked up on the ultra-dumb TV show announcement from Destination America that we posted earlier this month featuring Chip Coffey and the Tennessee WraithChasers who will film an exorcism of some random house which has been conveniently a$$ociated with the fictional book/movie The Exorcist.

Destination America is looking to instill a little more fright — and a few fewer spirits — into viewers this Halloween with “Exorcism: Live!”

Source: ‘Exorcism: Live!’ is a thing: Destination America performing live exorcism this Halloween – LA Times

So, make sure to not watch a sensational story based on dubious connections to a fictional tale about supernatural beings being aired on a network known for cheap and preposterous programming on a day (Halloween) that’s tainted by myths of the occult. Real life!

Speaking of real life, there is a difference between believing something is real and it actually BEING real. Take this exorcism that was being performed in a public park…

Two people were caught on video performing an exorcism on a woman at a public park in Texas.

A witness states:

“She was on the ground and they were standing over her with hands on her and screaming ‘Satan, I demand that you depart,’ and it went on and on. It was very bizarre.”

Source: ‘Exorcism’ at public park caught on camera

A pastor quoted in the piece expressed concern that the victim needed medical help and that he hoped the people had experience. Where, pray tell, does one get experience in removing evil spirits that have never been shown to exist from people who are in need of serious psychological assistance?

There is no law in Texas preventing public exorcism. I’m torn about whether there should be. Better in public than in private where people die. Obviously, the exorcists and exorcee believe this is real but how does that ACTUALLY solve the problem?

If your career goal is to be an “official” exorcist, the Catholic Church is hiring for positions in the Philippines. Help Wanted: The Philippines Needs More Exorcists

Given the number of cases he’s juggling, Syquia recently sent a letter to the Philippine bishops conference asking that it send one resident exorcist to each of the country’s 86 dioceses.

“[The] majority of them do not have exorcists or a team of exorcists that deal with these kinds of cases,” says Syquia. “Therefore many of the Filipinos tend to go to the occult practitioners, what we call the faith healers, spiritists, etc.”

I’m failing to understand the difference between exorcists and occult practitioners.

The job of exorcism is exhausting and, according to Syquia, the priests fear demons follow them home. Indeed. I’d be tempted to spit green goo on the face of whomever at NPR allowed this totally uncritical story about religious exorcism. Bad form.

Exorcism as a concept is gaining in popularity not due to gaining knowledge based on research, evidence or test cases, but to pop culture and the Catholic Church promoting it as a convenient way to scare people back into the fold. Demons, you know. It’s a fad but it’s a very dangerous one. Humans are the real evil, even when they mean well, they can do great harm.

pope

Tip: One-eyed Jack

  5 comments for “Today in Exorcism for July 31, 21st century

  1. July 31, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    I think the world would be so much better if people were able to separate what they believe (faith) from what is known (science), and stop trying to confuse the two, have one justify the other, or (on the other side of the issue) make assumptions about the critical thinking skills of people who hold religious/spiritual beliefs.

    Granted, many people who hold religious/spiritual beliefs do and say foolish things, and the people who hold beliefs but also encourage critical thinking and use of the scientific method do not say much at all, so…the Chip Coffeys of the world rule the day. Ugh. What a charlatan.

  2. Eric
    July 31, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Only a matter of time before we start burning witches again!!

  3. RandyRandy
    July 31, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    Um… what century is this, again?

  4. Tony
    July 31, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    The Wraith Chasers would be a great name for:

    1) an old-time country string band in Knox County, Tennessee

    2) a home security company in The Shire

  5. Grumpy
    July 31, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    I’m an optimist. Harrumph… at least sometimes. So my take on this is that the (Catholic) Church, sorely feeling its deserved decline (especially in financial matters!), has started pushing again something it cowardly minimized during its anticlerical/rationalist woos of the end of the XIXth century/start of the XXth: catering for the magical-obsessed customers.
    So exorcism is officially back: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/13/exorcism-conference-rome-priests_n_5316749.html, which nicely fits in with the present-day New Age/Wikka/Whatever feelings – even if that marketplace is alas quite competitive.

    I’m sure they’ll capitalize on their millenary, and priceless, first-hand experience with demons (company established since AD, uh… 33?)!

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