EXCORSYSTEM: THE PRIZE POSSESSION
Ground Zero is now in its second day of Ghost week. I have been contemplating that idea of ghosts and spirits and most spirits that I have come in contact with have been benevolent. There have been angry ghosts and spirits that I have heard or come in contact with, but hey most certainly can be handled like most angry people are handled. However when a spirit has reached a point where it becomes an agent of chaos there are always ritualistic ways in which to cast out a spirit that has become a dangerous liability.
Exorcism is a ritual or liturgy through which aims to expel or destroy a supernatural entity that allegedly has taken possession or control of a physical object or living being.
These entities, depending on the beliefs of those involved, can be demons, evil spirits, walk in sprits, incubi and succubae. Many people associate exorcisms with the Christian faith. However, exorcism is present in most major religions, including, Judaism and Islam.
It is also a misconception that exorcisms are only performed on people. At times it is important that exorcism be performed in a house or in a place that has been charged with negative or demonic energies such as a place of murder, suicide, or immoral activities.
The unfortunate thing about exorcism is that in many cases, the practice has lead to death and it has been abused by charlatans and frauds for money. Other exorcisms have been cited by authorities as criminal in the eyes of the law.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose based on a real case of exorcism of an alleged possessed German woman named Annaliese Michelle. The woman consented to an exorcism even though it was determined that she had a dissociative disorder. She died of severe dehydration and starvation. Her body weight at death was 68 pounds.
Once convinced of her possession, Annaliese, her parents, and the exorcists stopped seeking medical treatment, and put her fate solely into the hands of the exorcism rites. Sixty-seven exorcism sessions, one or two each week, lasting up to four hours, were performed over about ten months in 1975 and 1976. At some point, Michel began talking increasingly about dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church, and refused to eat. At her own request, doctors were no longer being consulted.
During the recording sessions of her exorcism it was evident that something was mst definitely wrong with her. There were within her illness demons buried in her subconscious that could not be removed.
I was accused once of not pointing out that Annaliese was mentally ill, however it is not my judgment call. She fully believed that she was possessed and the priests were acting on her wishes and her family’s wishes. The question is whether or not religious decisions should be overruled in cases of life or death. A lot of faith based trials where a child has been neglected or loved one has been left to heal by the power of god have always resulted in harsh convictions.
In 1976, the state charged Anneliese’s parents and priests Father Ernst Alt and Father Arnold Renz with neglectful homicide. During the case Anneliese’s body was exhumed and tapes were played to the court of the exorcisms over the eleven months leading to her death.
The state asked that no involved parties be jailed; instead the recommended sentence for the priests was a fine. The prosecution asked the parents be relieved from punishment as they had “suffered enough”.
While solemnly regarded by the Catholic Church, exorcism has been a topic of many Hollywood films. The films have been seen as beneficial to churches that are reticent in promoting them. The most notable bad guy in the devil movie genre was the 1973 film “The Exorcist.” The film coincidentally introduced us to an ancient Sumerian demon named Pazuzu. In the film a statue of Pazuzu was unearthed by Father Marin in Northern Iraq. The irony of the demon is that it was a demon that was used in the Middle East to scare off other demons, or fighting evil with more evil.
If we recall the film begins with the demonic statue and for most people it was the first exposure to Islamic calls the prayer. The sound of the chanting and the strange language to some created the ethereal backdrop for the worlds’ initiation into an evil form a country that may as well be millions of miles in space.
The film progressed telling the tragic story of a sullen priest, and an actress, whose daughter became possessed by the demon after dabbling with the Ouija board.
The demon manifested on the screen and severely affected the audience. The little girl barked obscenities in a guttural voice, she found creative ways to use a crucifix, she vomited, crawled down the stairs like a spider, and levitated.
It was reported at the time that many people were fainting in the aisles after being frightened. In San Francisco a patron charged the screen in an attempt to kill the demon.
The Movie at the time struck a nerve. It was proposed that the reason that people were affected by the possibility of a personal devil was because the United States was involved in a brutal war in Vietnam and people were already thinking that there was an evil that had been unleashed in the world. With all of the death and suffering the thought of Satan reborn had been the underlying worry of the world. The biggest threat at the time was the phantom darkness that could attack the home.
This was how the stage was set. The little girl was inviting an unwanted spirit into the home by using divination. In November of 1972 the Catholic Church had proclaimed that the devil had a grip on the world and Pope Paul VI urged his church to return to learning and studying about the real Devil. A theistic approach to a spirit, that acts as a perverting agent. It wasn’t that evil was a lack of faith or of love, but a result of an evil entity that acts in a manner that is a perversion to harmony and the agencies of God the father, God the Son and God the Holy spirit.
The demon spirit had manifested before and according to some priests had been invited in by the drug culture and a war that turned into a pseudo enterprise where there were benefits to all out bloodletting from selling helicopters to body bags. During the time from the Kennedy assassination, to the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Manson Murders there was reason for priests to object to the hippie love enterprise of rejecting the reality of the devil, especially when the evil spirit was acting out and stealing the attention of the faithful every time they saw a tank moving into Vietnam.
There was also a great deal of concern about interracial conflicts, and the rapid rising of protests against the war. The protests then were far more complex than the occupations we see today. If you recall the Exorcist film had a scene where the possessed girl’s mother was an actress who appears in a film about campus protest. She is seen using a bullhorn urging students to work within the system.
The themes that we saw then in a movie about a satanic spirit are quite literally happening again today and in a similar fashion the Catholic Church is now seeking Exorcists in order to declare war on what they believe is an attack from an evil force on the world. While there are those who wish to look away from the real entity of chaos forming in the world, it is evident that nightmare entities are manifesting and the ghosts of the past are returning.
The war on terror has become another enterprise where kills are sport, and caskets are quietly shipped with draped in flags. Middle Eastern dictators, are beaten, sodomized and shot on live TV resulting in a cause célèbre for the idea of evil replacing evil.
The Iraqi prologue in the beginning of the Exorcist film is obviously pretext. It was the anticipated phobia that now persists today. It was the beginnings of the constant threat and fear we as Americans have of the Arab world. It was indicating that a foreign evil was encroaching on America. It became a silent fear amongst the populace that the Muslim threat would eventually be the demon we would all have to face. Today we are all wondering about a demon that could be released again. The Arab spring, the rebellion and civil unrest has migrated to other parts of the world,
We are now in the midst of what has been called “The occupation of the 99 percent.” A representation of a wide disconnect from a lost generation that has felt betrayed. It appears that the occupiers are possessed with the spirit of revolution and yet has no purpose but to wander like virtual zombies in a neuro-linguistic mish mash of libertarian resolve and Marxist brainwashing.
The themes of the enemy within in the political spectrum have often bred the suspicious phantoms that are deemed demonic. It begins to become more and more evident that we invite the demons and evil spirits into our world by not controlling our bloodletting, our xenophobia and our ever increasing need to find a scapegoat. The mind is a very fragile thing, it can be broken open and destructive thoughts can be placed into the collective consciousness or zeitgeist.
A possession of the masses is very easy to achieve.
Watch the news. Read a paper. Read the Bible. The Koran . The Talmud. Look at all the things God did and does today.
He smites the disobedient, wiping out whole cities and peoples, flooding the world, and torturing innocents just to see if they love him enough, killing babies. He roasts people in Hell for all eternity, sending tsunamis, floods and earthquakes that wipe out thousands of innocent people.
As it’s often been pointed out, these are not the actions of a sane human being, let alone a loving, well-adjusted deity. Yet God we hear is in control. Could it be that we are being lied to? That some other “god” has been conjured to be in control?
It’s often said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.
Isn’t it more likely that the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he was God? Wouldn’t that be the most frightening conspiracy of all time?