Mysterious Britain Forums

for the open discussion of all things paranormal.
 
HomeHome  Mysterious Britain mainpageMysterious Britain mainpage  Mailing ListMailing List  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Exorcisms

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Mauro

avatar

Number of posts : 217
Age : 41
Registration date : 2007-10-11

PostSubject: Exorcisms   Mon 17 Mar 2008, 11:25 am

I know I am uncovering a very controversial subject here but what are your views on the matter?
I must say that I have more than a passing interest into it because a distant relative from my mother's side of the family was a Capuchin monk, a Roman Catholic priest and a fully ordained (meaning officially sanctioned) exorcist. I have very few stories of interest about him because "official" (ie authorized by the ecclesiastic hierarchy) exorcisms are almost invariably shrouded in the deepest confidentiality.
I have always been fascinated to say the least by the figure of the "professional" exorcist, be him a Roman Catholic priest, a Jewish Ashkenazi rabbi, a Shinto priest or a Bonpo from the Himalaya. These men really believe they are going face to face with the most evil forces in existence, shielded only by their own personal faith. It takes more than guts.
We have all heard about the lurid accounts of what is supposed to go on during an exorcism and the book by William Blatty (made into a grotesque and distasteful but highly succesful film) exacerbated things further.
I have also heard about "amateur" exorcists trying, for example, to free a household from a ghost or a poltergeist using homemade remedies and "lithurgy", which more often than not involve liberal use of Holy Water and lots of Bible reading (in Christian countries). More often than not this not only fails miserably but seems to "fuel" supernatural activity even further. Perhaps it's only some kind of inconscious reaction from the "agent", perhaps is really an "entity" getting furious at being ill-treated by amateurs, I cannot say.
Anybody has any experience to share?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
LeeWat

avatar

Number of posts : 230
Age : 46
Location : Cheshire
Registration date : 2007-09-02

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Mon 17 Mar 2008, 3:06 pm

I myself have done a pagan/wiccan house blessing (only in my own home) asking anything that was in the house to politley go and live somewhere else.

We used a small ritual outlined in an old book by Robert Skelton if memory serves, and no holy water but it did involve me having to drink a glass of red wine Smile, it seemed to work....well the second one seemed to work, no more footsteps outside the bedroom door etc.. and before we moved into our current house we did the same thing but added a little voodoo magic to it. Essentially burning a St. John the Baptist candle untill it ran out, took nearly a week that did.

sorry for the lack of fire and brimstone.

Lee.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
matt.h



Number of posts : 100
Registration date : 2008-01-30

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 5:54 am

As with many things to do with "spirit", it seems there's more than one way to skin a cat.

From Lee's description of a house blessing, through to drama of a full-blown Roman Catholic, the common factor is real intent and faith in the procedure. I think this has evident ramifications for the efficacy of an exorcism - by carrying out whatever ceremony fits our worldview, are we simply providing ourselves with the conviction we need to stop believing an entity is present?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 44
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 7:27 am

Do exorcisms drive out evil spirits or do they put the mind of the witness at ease? It does all boil down to belief. Belief that you are dealing with a supernatural entity that is malicious and needs getting rid of and a belief that the power of whatever religion or practices that are used can remove it. Apart from Ned thinking I had been possessed by a welsh man one night (it's a long story Wink ) I have only come across one case where a woman thought she had been taken over. In actual fact she had hyperventilated and got very confused....needless to say calling in a Paranormal Investigator seemed the logical answer Rolling Eyes .

Some cultures take extreme measures with exorcisms which include beating the evil spirit out. This has resulted in deaths, as in the case of young Bernadette Hasler, beaten to death for being possessed by an end of the world cult in the 1960's. I am sure in a recent Fortean Times it mentions a New Zealand girl drowned by her family in order to drive a native spirit from her. No matter how you look at it, it's very primitive and scary.

I am not sure if the Exorcist got it right. That demon was very vulger and rude. Ernaldus, biographer of St Bernard of Clairvaux described the Saints conversation with a demon that had possessed a young woman. The Saint ignored the devil as insulted him by saying "this eater of leeks, this devourer of cabbages shall not drive me away". Strong words indeed and obviously deeply shocking to the St Bernard.

_________________
"Sometimes I just sit and think, and sometimes I just sit".
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
mysteryshopper



Number of posts : 141
Registration date : 2008-02-05

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 8:32 am

It is known that belief is a factor that increases numbers of paranormal reports. This suggests an element of psychological suggestion in some such reports. Therefore some kind of ceremony which impresses the witness might switch the suggestion the other way so reducing future reports.

Personally, I would never advocate an exorcism. You've no idea what psychological risks you are taking both to witnesses and exorcist.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
matt.h



Number of posts : 100
Registration date : 2008-01-30

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 8:39 am

The big question is - does this factor of belief alter our perception of something that is objective (an environmental cause behind what is interpreted as a possessive entity), or is it wholly responsbile for the creation of the "entity" in the first place?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
mysteryshopper



Number of posts : 141
Registration date : 2008-02-05

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 10:37 am

In the process of misperception, an object may be poorly registered by your senses. However, your brain may decide what the object is without your conscious knowledge. You may 'see' a shadow as a ghost. Obviously, belief can bias such unconscious decisions.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Mauro

avatar

Number of posts : 217
Age : 41
Registration date : 2007-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 11:48 am

I remember hearing a fundamentalist minister (cannot remember the exact denomination) complaining that ever since The Exorcist people had been caught in the false belief that Roman Catholic priests are more powerful at driving away Satan's minions while they are actually His Infernal Majesty's servants!
I've heard a number of allegations that The Exorcist was loosely based on the "real" account of an exorcism performed in 1928 by one Father Teophilus Riesinger on a woman who had been possessed by demons for 26 years. While some researchers claim to have located the original documents I remain deeply suspicious. First I have already related how Roman Catholic exorcists are required to keep the strictest confidentiality: it's highly unlikely that one of them will leak out anything; second the aforementioned "real" account bears striking similarities to other, older accounts of alleged "true" exorcisms from a number of pubblications.
As for the question whatever or not we are dealing here with delusions, schizophrenia, multiple personalities or true paranormal entities taking hold of a human body or an object or a location, I think nobody can say.
The Roman Catholic Church has formal and very strict guidelines to determine whatever or not a rite of exorcism is to be authorized and performed. These guidelines are known in the details only to ordained priests but they include the consensus by a number of specialists that modern science and medicine is powerless and incapable of helping; the final word on whatever or not to perform a "sanctioned" exorcism rests with the bishop who recieved the request. After hearing expert testimony he will usually consult both some of his colleagues and a number of representitives from the Vatican before "giving the green light" and asking a sanctioned exorcist to intervene.
The late pope John Paul II was a staunch believer in the rites of exorcism. He ordered the rituals to be amended (last time it was done was in 1614) and he gave orders that every diocese should at least have one sanctioned exorcist available. This has proven most problematic, of course, since the Catholic clergy has problems keeping up their numbers, let alone finding enough suitable candidates for such a difficult role.
He was probably influenced in his decision by the deep belief that Polish people have always held in demonic possession, so deep in fact that it even penetrated the many rural Jewish communities that crowded that unhappy country in the past centuries.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 44
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 18 Mar 2008, 12:20 pm

Quote :
As for the question whatever or not we are dealing here with delusions, schizophrenia, multiple personalities or true paranormal entities taking hold of a human body or an object or a location, I think nobody can say.

There may well be thorough checks now by specialists before an exocisim is sanctioned, but go back a few centuries and I am sure you had ill people being treated as if they were possessed. This would have strengthend belief in the church and the power of the clergy. I very much we would ever get a Pope who would turn around and say they were mistaken, possession does not exist.

I don't know much about the Catholic Church at all and your post above made very interesting reading Mauro. I think you are right though that an exorcist approaching a case where he wholey believes in his heart that he is facing an evil supernatural being, must be a brave man.

_________________
"Sometimes I just sit and think, and sometimes I just sit".
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Mauro

avatar

Number of posts : 217
Age : 41
Registration date : 2007-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Wed 19 Mar 2008, 6:36 am

Must be said that there are two types of exorcisms, Ian. The Catholic Church has mantained since 1614 that an exorcism should be officially sanctioned by a bishop. Over the course of the centuries the exact procedures changed: right now they ask for expert testimony from psychiatrists and physicians, back then they usually sent a doctor of divinity or other learned characters to see if the situation really required a sanctioned exorcism.
Of course this hasn't stopped a number of priests and friars from performing unathorized and often unorthodox exorcisms over the course of the years.

The most curious approach is usually used by Bonpo, the aboriginal clergy of the Himalayas. While we usually imagine that an exorcist forcibly drives away the "evil spirit" using his personal powers or those conferred upon him by his deity, these shamans try to enter a bargain with the entity.
This bargain can include a number of things: for example an offering to be burnt, or a particular pilgrimage to be completed on behalf of the entity itself.
Alexandra David-Neel related how a Bonpo freed a departed soul, that had been captured on his way to the Afterlife by a demon and was haunting the dreams of his family asking for help, by arranging for a ransom to be paid by his relatives. Of course the great traveller was more than a bit sceptical about this occurence but related a couple of meetings with the mysterious "spirits" of the Himalayas that even her deeply critical mind could not satisfactorily explain.
It surely lent credence to the old maxim by Kipling that once an Englishman crossed the Indian Ocean he was left at the mercy of the local gods and demons since the Church of England only had a saltuary influence over Her Majesty's overseas territories!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ned Nanped



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2008-02-17

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Tue 01 Apr 2008, 3:40 am

Ian wrote:
Do exorcisms drive out evil spirits or do they put the mind of the witness at ease? It does all boil down to belief. Belief that you are dealing with a supernatural entity that is malicious and needs getting rid of and a belief that the power of whatever religion or practices that are used can remove it. Apart from Ned thinking I had been possessed by a welsh man one night (it's a long story Wink ) I have only come across one case where a woman thought she had been taken over. In actual fact she had hyperventilated and got very confused....needless to say calling in a Paranormal Investigator seemed the logical answer Rolling Eyes .

Some cultures take extreme measures with exorcisms which include beating the evil spirit out. This has resulted in deaths, as in the case of young Bernadette Hasler, beaten to death for being possessed by an end of the world cult in the 1960's. I am sure in a recent Fortean Times it mentions a New Zealand girl drowned by her family in order to drive a native spirit from her. No matter how you look at it, it's very primitive and scary.

I am not sure if the Exorcist got it right. That demon was very vulger and rude. Ernaldus, biographer of St Bernard of Clairvaux described the Saints conversation with a demon that had possessed a young woman. The Saint ignored the devil as insulted him by saying "this eater of leeks, this devourer of cabbages shall not drive me away". Strong words indeed and obviously deeply shocking to the St Bernard.

I'll have you know that you speaking welsh to me that time actually happened - I remember it as clear as day - scared the living daylights out of me I can tell you - and it wasn't the 10 bottles of Newcastle Brown that I had drunk at the Uni bar that was making me hallucinate either!!!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 44
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Thu 03 Apr 2008, 6:15 am

Quote :
I'll have you know that you speaking welsh to me that time actually happened - I remember it as clear as day - scared the living daylights out of me I can tell you - and it wasn't the 10 bottles of Newcastle Brown that I had drunk at the Uni bar that was making me hallucinate either!!!

What can I sa...Ydych chi'n siarad Cymraeg?....y, I didn't have an exorcism so I hope he has gone Suspect

_________________
"Sometimes I just sit and think, and sometimes I just sit".
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Dave

avatar

Number of posts : 10
Age : 25
Location : Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
Registration date : 2008-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Fri 25 Jul 2008, 10:46 am

As the influence of the church has decreased, I think the belief in exorcisms has declined.
I remember a report in my local newspaper (I don't think it made the national news) that the old pipe shop at BAE Systemes in Barrow-in-Furness was being haunted by an former worker (reported between 2006-2007). The shipyard called in a priest to preform an exorcism. They didn't seem thouroughly convinced it would do anything. Perhaps they wanted to make it look like they were taking this seriously and were doing something about it, as many workers did not want to enter the pipe shop on there own or work the night shift.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
wombat

avatar

Number of posts : 125
Age : 97
Location : United States
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Sun 10 Aug 2008, 4:44 pm

I heard an interesting interview on BBC International this morning with a man (American) who had struggled for years to find a way to eliminate his feelings of homosexuality, as he felt that they were not in accord with Christian teaching. One of the cures he attempted was an exorcism. This fascinated me, as I'm pretty sure he described himself as a Protestant, from one of the independent churches that don't have a hierarchy with bishops, etc.

End of the story: after 17 years of struggle, the man accepted his sexuality and is now a practicing Quaker.


Last edited by wombat on Tue 26 Aug 2008, 6:34 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
agricola



Number of posts : 97
Age : 38
Location : Edinburgh
Registration date : 2008-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   Sun 24 Aug 2008, 12:23 pm

I seem to recall that generally the Priests (and possibly religious representatives of other religions) tend to bless haunted locations. Exorcisms are for the excision of entities et al from humans.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Exorcisms   

Back to top Go down
 
Exorcisms
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» At Weekly Exorcisms, Egypt's Muslims and Christians Unite Against the Demons

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Mysterious Britain Forums :: Mysterious Britain :: Other Mysteries-
Jump to: