|By Clyde Lewis
One of the most terrifying of all films is the Exorcist. The Film is the story of a young girl who becomes possessed by the Devil. What is even more terrifying is the truth behind the movie. At 3210 Bunker Hill road the Devil paid a visit to a young boy in 1949. When Satan knocked on the door someone opened it, which gave him the opportunity to hold the boy in his grip of evil. Today people claim that Satan is alive and well. He is being used as the scapegoat for all that is dysfunctional.
At the close of the Flower Power decade it seemed that the Devil was having his due. The attitudes of the nation's youth were changing. The death of Woodstock and flower power was sealed in 1969 when the Altamont Festival erupted in violence. Hell's Angels began beating up on the crowd and ended up killing some concert goers. Four people were killed, and one of the murders was captured on camera by a crew filming the documentary Gimme Shelter.
In the book Dear Mr. Fantasy it was noted that the crowd was not high at Altamont, but something worse, they were vacant, they were numb to the evil that was around them.
The death of the Hippie movement was an Omen of what was to come. We were terrified with accounts of Charles Manson and Helter Skelter. The Vietnam War was the televised war where blood was splattered on the screen every night and the power of evil had engulfed the world in wrenching white knuckled grip. Many people turned to religion. Everyone feared that the world was on the brink of collapse after we abused ourselves and allowed ourselves to fall so far from grace.
The United States was suffering from religious paranoia. The Conservative ultra right was using propaganda to its fullest in the late 60's and early 70's. Time Magazine had published an Article and the words "Is God dead?" was burned into the minds of people as passive peace marches were turning into riots, and blood ran freely in the gutters.
I was very young during this time and my Father would always tell me that there were creeps waiting in the shadows. Very real creeps, not monsters, or goblins but men with knives and guns who were high on acid and capable of snatching me and offering up as a sacrifice to Satan.
I remember that I saw my first Ouija board when I was 7 years old and didn't know what it was. That was until I moved to a rougher part of town. The neighbors would pile in the car and go to the drive in movie. I decided to go with some friends to see the Movie The Exorcist. It was rated R and at that time my parents had warned me that these types of movies were not appropriate for a young boy to see. However it was time to be introduced to the Devil and of course I saw what possession was, larger than life on a huge screen. I didn't understand the impact until I got older, and realized that perhaps the movie was more or less a parable that was indeed a backlash to the overall attitudes of the United states in the early 70's.
While many thought it was an anti religious movie the truth was that the film itself was a reinforced effort to show that the power of God is real and that it can combat the forces of evil.
The movie received ten academy award nominations. Arguably the film and the films about Satan and the Anti Christ that came soon after, could have possibly spawned a fear that a secret Satanic conspiracy existed in the United States.
The public fear of Satanism and exposure to Satanic stories was at a fever pitch by the mid 1970's. Religious leaders warned that there was a nationwide conspiracy of Satanists who committed crimes which victimized children. The Satanists were allegedly sacrificing these children in orgies and secret gatherings where the members would use drugs, and listen to heavy metal music. The music of the 70's was a mirror image of what was being peddled on the big screen at the time. Rock groups like KISS, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Rush, and Styx were targeted as the evil doers, and various fantasy role playing games were singled out as ways to recruit adolescents into satanic cults.
Other fascinating stories were appearing in magazines and newspapers about alleged Satanic activities. I recall watching talk shows where women claimed that they were raised in families that were involved with satanic cults. It was claimed that these women were breeding stock, and had babies for the soul purpose of sacrificing them to Satan.
Amid the hysteria and the backlash of having Satan in the press a story appeared in Strange Magazine which related the story of a 14 year old boy who was Exorcised and was the basis for the Movie and book "The Exorcist."
"The Exorcist," written by William Peter Blatty, was allegedly drawn from an actual case that happened in the late forties in Maryland, Washington DC.
While there were many elements that were changed over the writing of the book and the screenplay, there are still many similarities between the boy and his encounter with a bad spirit from an Ouija board and little Regan McNiel's encounter with the spirit named Captain Howdy.
A Young boy by the name of Roland played with an Ouija board and was finding himself in a state of progressive entrapment. The spirits that were allowed into the home on 3210 Bunker hill road became angry and immediately the family complained of hearing strange scratching noises coming from the attic. It was first explained away as rats scurrying across the floor yet an exterminator could find no evidence of rodents. There were also sounds of walking in the hallway and small kitchen objects and furniture would be moved for no apparent reason. As with any Poltergeist infestation things began to get worse over time. Roland's bed shook at night, so hard he couldn't sleep. He also complained that the spirits would strip him naked and violently rip his clothes off of him.
Roland's parents immediately feared that there was an evil spirit in the home and so they contacted Luther Schultze, a Lutheran minister, for help. He arranged prayer sessions at the home of Roland and prayed in church, but the events continued with increased severity. The parents were noticing changes in Roland and realized that perhaps their son was a victim of demonic possession.
Roland was told that it would be best that he stayed with the priest and so he stayed with Father Schultze.
The entity followed the boy. Once again when the sun went down the darkness was an invitation for the Devil to play. Roland's bed shook violently. There was also an instance where Roland was sitting in the chair in a trance like state being pushed around the room. It was then that Father Shultze realized that the boy needed to be institutionalized.
The parents agreed that the boy was mentally ill and made preparations for him to spend time in a Sanitarium.
However what ever was inside the boy did not agree with the parenst or the priest.
Roland fought and screamed in defiance. The entity then madeit's intentions known by scratching the words 'Go To St. Louis' in Roland's skin.
He was later transferred to a hospital in St Louis. This had not put an end to the torment that Roland was going through. He began to drool and vomit up phlegm. His body was scratched some more, eventually the flesh was tearing on his body and he would be lying in a pool of his own vomit and blood.
This was where modern medicine could not help the boy and church officials felt that an exorcism would be necessary to rid the boy of his "demons"
Three priests were called into the hospital room where Roland was kept and began a thirty-five day long exorcism. They all took turns on the boy, in an exhaustive fight with the legions of evil. Roland would often attack the priests. It was recorded that the boy had super human strength and spitting bile into their eyes. Eventually, the superhuman efforts on behalf of the priests appeared to drive out whatever was possessing Roland.
Eventually, Roland made a full recovery.
After reviewing the case several witnesses have come forward to say that what Roland had was a psychological problem and that the mother was a central figure in all of the hysteria. However there seem to be other accounts that point to Roland showing signs of dysfunctional behavior that raises eyebrows as to what kind of boy he truly was.
His family were old German Lutherans and had with them the superstitions of the old world programmed into their consciousness.
Roland was heavily influenced by his mother and his grandmother who by all accounts were spiritual zealots who had a deep interest in Old World spiritualism and Ouija boards.
Roland was often teased by his classmates and was prone to tantrums. It was also said that Roland would lash out at his family in violent episodes and exhibited cruel and sadistic behavior towards other children and animals. There was an instance where an anonymous classmate said that Roland would sit in school, and his desk would shake violently. The teacher would tell him to stop shaking his desk and he would claim that he wasn't doing it. He immediately was taken out of class.
There are also accounts that while he was being treated for his dysfunction he attempted to kill a priest with a sharp edge of a bedspring. The priest, father E. Albert Hughes suffered a nervous breakdown later and eventually died a premature death.
The boy also had episodes where he would scream out in Latin phrases and spit long distances.
It was reported in diaries that Roland shouted in many voices and before he fell quiet he screamed the words "Satan! Satan! I am St. Michael! I command you, Satan and the other evil spirits to leave this body, in the name of Dominus, immediately! Now! Now! Now!" Roland had claimed that he saw a vision of St. Michael holding a flaming sword, casting out the demons within him one by one.
To psychiatrists Roland was suffering from mental illness. To priests, he was demon possessed.
Since this incident there have been several books and Videos apart from the movie "The Exorcist" that have tried to exploit the story and embellish it for profit. It also has spawned a number of copy cat incidents that have led to do it yourself exorcisms, that have resulted in mutilation and death.
Facts have been manipulated over the years and many people still have that underlying fear that an evil Satanic conspiracy exists and that every once in a while the devil can enter the human body and cause it to do superhuman things. Catholicism however is being careful now about how they perceive Satan and his powers of control.
For the first time in 400 years the Vatican has changed its mind about Exorcism. While the Catholic Heiarchy still considers Satan a living entity, they now encourage the belief that all things that appear strange are not always evil.
If the church had this attitude from the beginning we would have realized that Roland's behavior was indicative of a boy that was a spoiled only child, with an overprotective and spiritually overbearing maternal influence, and a non responsive father.
But of course Satan is blamed today for every criminal act that children commit. Right wing Christian Zealots will tell you that Satan has his grip on our nations children and that school shootings and sadistic behaviors can all be attributed to the cunning plan of the evil one.
Rock stars once again are the being targeted with propaganda campaigns, and role playing games are being banned in the public school systems.
If Satan's Influence can be seen anywhere it is in the broken families that unwittingly create these demonic children. Many cases have mentioned that the criminal acts were committed because the child was rejected by family and peer groups, and in some cases subjected to overbearing religious influences that eliminate choice.
The child finds himself trapped, and needs to lash out at what he perceives are his obstacles. Rather than telling them to get out of the way, he eliminates them permanently.
The Satanic conspiracy is the belief in the Satanic conspiracy. It possesses the mind and creates a hypothetical belief that no one is safe from demon possession. Satan has become the unwitting scapegoat at the end of the 20th Century.
It is arguable in my opinion that we have achieved a spiritual growth in the United States. We still cling to age-old superstitions that if left unchecked will eventually manifest themselves before our very eyes.
Our behavior is evidence of that. The news is full of death and fear, and religious zealots claiming that while Satan moved through the nation they declared their faith in Jesus till the bitter end. In the process they declare their hatred of others who allegedly insist on spreading the word of Satan.
They will target homosexuals, abortion doctors, Rock Stars, Video games and other new age religious practices as evil and Satanic.
These same people are convinced that the devil is haunched under their beds waiting to get them when the lights go out. I can only guarantee that he will appear to them. They will gaze into his eyes and hopefully they will finally see in his reflection a personage that looks remarkably similar to themselves. Maybe then they will realize that all of the intolerance and hatred they preach has given Satan the key to opening the door and possessing their very actions.
It is obvious that if this continues the world will be ripe for harvest. A terrifying harvest that will be carried out by someone who has been talked about for over two thousand years. The Antichrist.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.