Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist

It has been noticed that those who say Christians can be possessed have a shocking and remarkable high view of demonic power and cleverness. This produces great fear in those communities. Jesus seems to have said that his follower who he calls the strong man can handle Satan and tie him up (Matthew 12: 29). That could be taken as saying that the Christian cannot be possessed or demonised or worse that they wonít exorcise themselves and want Satan in. Jesus one time when he was accused of being possessed said he was not for he honoured God his father (John 8: 49). Thus he is clear that no possessed person truly honours God. Maybe they can do the motions but it is their own fault. This vision explains why there are no exorcisms in Johnís gospel. Jesus is not going to come and put a demon out when you are the one keeping it in! The Catholic Church assumes possession victims are Christians. No wonder it is so hard and takes maybe years to get the demon out and if it goes it looks like it just never intended to stay in the person forever anyway. The Church is responsible for the possession by falsely assuring the victim that she or he is Christian. The exorcism amounts to superstition and abuse. The exorcism honours Satan by saying that he can get into a person who is a child of God as if he is stronger than God or a worthy opponent.

The book, The Rite, by Matt Baglio, has been approved by Father Professor Basil Cole and Father Jose Antonio Fortea. It has been hailed by the latter as one of the best books on the subject of exorcism and possession ever written.  The Catholics interestingly do not consider the New Testament to be the best guide on the subject for it says nothing about how Jesus or his apostles knew that somebody was possessed and needed a demon cast out.  They just thought they knew magically and thus their enterprise was just irresponsible and about using vulnerable people to promote their religious beliefs.  This has led to untold damage and ultimately exorcists all imagine that some "feeling" they have from God is a sign that the person truly is possessed. 
 
The first few pages (1-4) start with an exorcist trying to expel a demon from a woman. The demon began having visions. The demon speaks of the one in black who we are told was his code for Saint Gemma Galgani and then of the one from Albania meaning Mother Teresa. Incredibly, the demon riled terribly at the sight of Pope John Paul II.
 
Now Mother Teresa was no saint but a vile hypocrite. John Paul was no saint either. He let the evil of clerical child abuse go out of hand and failed to discipline evil Fr Maciel his close paedophile friend. The whole thing looks like a demonic attempt to make these evil figures appear in a good light. Good ammunition that for Christian evangelicals who regard the papacy and the Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon invigorated by the hellish energies of the pit.
 
The demon is ordered by the exorcist to say that God is his creator and he adores him.
 
This shows that exorcism is an evil practice. There is no point in making a demon pray. The demon is forced to pray so he cannot mean the prayer. The demon cannot genuinely adore a God he hates. The exorcist goes down to the level of the demon by trying to hurt another being. The exorcist blasphemes his evil God by citing his approval.
 
Clearly, the exorcist is speaking to the woman herself. She is her demon. No demon has possessed her. This is a woman being tormented and hurt by religion in the name of releasing her from a demon's control.

Page 5 states that exorcisms that involve dramatics such as above are quite rare. Most exorcisms are no more dramatic than visits to the dentist.
 
Page 7 tells us that according to the Association of Catholic Psychiatrists and Psychologists, a half a million people annually go to see exorcists. In 2004, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked every bishop in the world to appoint an exorcist.
 
The admission that most exorcisms do not involve victims floating in midair and speaking strange languages shows that this book is tame and a good authority on the subject. It means there is not much evidence then that a demon is really involved. The possessed person is probably mentally ill or just an attention-seeker. If people do not respond to psychotherapy or medicine, the exorcists are encouraging them to think they are possessed.
 
If a psychiatrist permits an exorcism, it will be only because he or she feels it helps the victim if the victim believes in it. In other words, it is the belief not the exorcism that gets the results. The Church accepts this permission and may arrange an exorcism. However, the Church is abusing this permission. The Church is really getting permission to manipulate the victim. It denies exorcism is manipulation so it really gets no permission at all.
 
The psychiatrist does not believe there is a demon there and if there is, it follows that the Church should not even care about his permission for he does not know what he is talking about. It is all so hypocritical. It is just the Church fabricating concern for the victims. It has to keep up appearances as it fears a hostile media and society.
 
Page 29 quotes exorcist Father Pedro Barrajon stating that the Devil is present anywhere evil happens - if a person rejects God's love Satan is there. And also Satan is more dangerous when he hides so as to avoid the attention of the exorcist.
 
It is stupid to think that Satan needs to be present when evil happens. What does he have demons and armies for? And Satan or a demon hiding his presence in a person makes sense. But getting the attention of an exorcist by doing strange things does not. It makes the possessions look like Satan is taking the Church for fools.
 
Page 31 says that an exorcism is only valid if performed with the authority and permission of the Church and in the name of God.
 
This insults those who are non-Catholics and say that they have performed successful exorcisms.
 
Page 32 says that Jesus didn't bother with exorcism rituals but simply ordered the demon to leave and this shocked his contemporaries. They were not used to exorcists who cast demons out without a ceremony.
 
Surely an indication that Catholic exorcism is occult for it involves a pile of ritual. If priests really could cast demons out just an order would do. The exorcisms of priests are not like those of Jesus. Warning bells ring!
  
Page 33 says that the early Church believed that any demon told to go out of a person in the name of Jesus would go. All the early Christian writers spoke of and promoted exorcism as a good way to get converts.
 
At the very least, Jesus if he had been really as good and wise as he claimed to be, would have left some warnings about exorcism. The damage done to the impressionable and mentally ill by the early Church over his example must have been indescribable. And the claim that the demons always left at the use of the name of the Son of God - a claim made by Justin Martyr for one - can only be understood as a bare-faced lie. If Jesus really did any good with his exorcisms - and no evidence is given in the New Testament that those people fared okay afterwards in the long-term - then its eclipsed by the harm done. The New Testament simply only cares about the seeming wonder of the demon going. Its not about what it did for the person and how the person might have been a holy person after. Its about the show not the spiritual lessons. So fond was the early Church of exorcism, that you had to undergo the casting out of demons from you for days before your baptism. This was using fear to force people into the Church.
 
The book deals with the notion that Jesus was dumbing down. Some have said that Jesus had to say he believed in real demons though he did not and it was about going down to the level of the stupid society he was part of in order to get a point across. The book correctly observes that it is clear that Jesus DID believe in demons. A man who did not use his exorcisms for teaching purposes is definitely not dumbing down.
 
Page 33 Exorcism was central to Jesus ministry.
 
True - he stressed that Satan could not have a kingdom if Satan casts out demons. He spoke of the evil generation under the power of the Devil. The Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. This tempted Jesus meaning he knew Satan really could give him all that power. You cannot believe in Jesus without believing in his role as an exorcist.
 
Page 33, demons and their influence over people and things and their power to possess were universally accepted by Catholics until sceptics emerged in the Church in the 60's and this was a central doctrine.
 
It is Catholic teaching that doctrine so well accepted that it is a part of Catholic teaching is to be seen as infallible for Jesus promised that his Church would never be overcome by the gates of Hades. The sceptics are not true Catholics.
 
Page 43 says that God rejects none of his creatures so he let Satan keep his powers as an archangel after he left heaven. It says that since a miracle is an event that cannot be explained by anything created but only explained by God that Satan cannot do real miracles. He can only do pretend ones. Satan cannot see into your heart but he can like a psychologist work out what is in your mind by observing from the outside. He cannot predict the future but he knows and sees more than we do so he can make very clever guesses about what will happen which will be right.
 
The Bible says that if a prophet predicts the future without error he is from God. But what good is that criteria if Satan could be telling him things?
 
If God lets Satan help people to be accurate at predicting the future or revealing hidden knowledge he might as well give him the power of doing miracles. That is because accurate prophecy is the ultimate miracle.
 
Page 45 says that when demons are present in a place or thing that is infestation. It speaks of the testimony of an exorcist that he blessed a house and saw specks of blood appearing on different things and spoke of rosary beads being found crushed up.
 
Contradicts the doctrine of the exorcists that demons can't do miracles.
 
Page 44 says that God only lets the Devil hurt us because he wishes to use his evil to bring good out of it.
 
Then he must force Satan to hurt us for Satan would not hurt us if it would mean hurting himself. It is really God we should have cast out of us not Satan.
 
Page 46 speaks of oppression by demons where they actually beat people up and hurt them. Examples of people who endured this include Job in the Bible, the woman Jesus said had the spirit of infirmity, St Gemma Galgani and Padre Pio.
 
Contradicts the view that demons can't do miracles.
 
 
Page 47 speaks of demonic obsession. It can be described as demonic temptation. It is when a person for example may experience a fixation that keeps trying to draw her or him to profane the Eucharist or whatever. It is tormenting and victims can feel they are going insane.
 
People cause their own temptations. When one blames one's demons, one is refusing to admit that the temptation is his or her own work.
 
Page 47 states that possession is when a demon starts controlling the victims body without the victim's knowledge. It cannot however take over a person's spirit unless the person willingly invites the demon and its influence in and the result is a person who is a walking demon on earth (page 49). Also, it states that almost all exorcists believe that more people are suffering possession today than in the past.
 
The possessed person could go on a shoplifting spree and convince themselves afterwards that it was the demon that did it.
 
Page 56 and 57 and 58 and 59 list the ways you can be possessed. Involvement in the occult. A curse in which somebody sends you a demon to hurt you. Dedication to a demon or Satan. A life of stubborn sin. The book says the sin of idolatry open the door. Today, most Catholics are idolatrous for they pick and choose what they want to believe out of what God has said. In other words, they are inventing a God for themselves who bears only some resemblance to the God of Catholicism. The book says that possession is not contagious and can happen if a person has been involved in the occult or if a curse has been put on her or him. It seems that once off involvement in the occult may not result in possession but if one uses the occult often enough problems will happen.
 
Possession might take place if a demon was invited in. But it is madness to suggest that a curse on an innocent person can put a demon in them. That is magic.
 
Page 63 quotes Father John Nicola's book, Diabolical Possession and Exorcism, as stating that exorcists should listen to religion and science and only proceed to exorcism as a last resort.
 
When they consider a person possessed without any supernatural indication that they are, this is a blatant lie. Science is imperfect. There are mental disorders we can't diagnose correctly. What about in the past when less was known from science? Belief in exorcism then must have led to people being treated as possessed when by current and modern standards we would know they were mentally ill.
 
FINALLY
 
You need proof not faith that a demon is possessing someone. To say a demon is possessing someone places the burden of proof on you. We are not getting that proof. We get just contradictions and nonsense and barbarism and credulity from the exorcists. The law needs to outlaw exorcism. It is an abusive practice. If exorcism seems to cure someone, the Church assumes that it was the reason for the person's recovery. This can never be proven. And if the exorcism does not work, the Church assumes that the victim is actually inviting the demon in meaning it is not the exorcism's fault if the demon is still there. Or the Church will assume that it is God's will for the possession to continue. With these excuses for its failure, it is obvious that exorcists are among the quacks of the worst kind. You might as well believe that cough medicine can eject demons from you. The belief of many that a person can be tormented both by mental illness and a demon makes it all the worse. It will lead to many disturbed people being treated as possessed. Exorcism is meant to hurt the demon but if there is no demon it will hurt the victim. Catholic belief urges the exorcist to ignore any evidence that the entity is some supernatural being but not necessarily a demon. The entity has to be pre-judged and classed as an evil spirit. It is all very uncharitable. Even if a supernatural entity were possessing the victim, the Church has no right to say that entity is a demon who is damned in Hell and pure evil. It might not be that evil and besides to tell the victim he is possessed by evil is not helping him or her. Exorcism is really evil hypocritically pretending to cast evil out. If someone is suffering from schizophrenia, that is a natural disorder and it needs to be treated by doctors and medicines. It does not help to pretend that a demon is behind it. You will exorcise the person for the next fifty years and they will be worse not better for they didn't get the proper help. The Roman Catholic Church is not as responsible as it pretends to be in relation to prescribing exorcism. Its example only encourages Charismatic and Pentecostal and Evangelical Sects who have little concern for what psychologists or psychiatrists have to say about people these sects suspect may be possessed. And tragedy and hurt results. These sects report enough seeming success to encourage them to keep going on harming mentally ill people.
  
NOTE: The movie and book, The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, is based on a true story. It is the story of Douglass Deen. The original transcripts about Douglass's phenomena, are every interesting. Blatty over-dramatised possession and exorcism in his book. The book was so florid that clearly the Deen story was not the basis for The Exorcist at all. Blatty was lying about his tale being based on a true story. The Deen case gave no indication of anything supernatural. If there was anything not of this world going on, it was really poltergeist at work. A writer called Thomas Allen got the original diaries and records and lied about what was in them to make the story sound supernatural and more terrifying. He lied that Deen was able to speak in Latin without knowing the language and levitated and exercised clairvoyance. Father Hughes nevertheless decided that the child was possessed and tried to exorcised.
 
Read Chapter 9, Demonic Possession in The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994.
 
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, Matt Baglio, Pocket Books, London, 2010