posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 11:10 AM
As someone above has remarked, exorcisms are not for the weak hearted. Nor should exorcisms be attempted by dilletantes or those thrilled and
inspired by the exorcisms they've seen on tv or in movies.
I witnessed an exorcism some years ago. There were two exorcists in attendance: one was associated with (but not officially sanctioned by) a local
church. The other was 'in training'.
They were well intentioned, no doubt about that. They were both in their 40s. Both were well educated. One held several degrees in biologoy and
Both would-be exorcists claimed considerable experience.
They coerced witnesses/assistants into attending.
They appeared extremely confident of success.
They claimed competence.
But they neglected to inform witnesses/assistants beforehand that they would not be utlizing the traditional Latin exorcism rituals.
Afterwards, they explained they did not believe in Heaven or Hell or 'good' and 'evil' spirits. They claimed there existed only 'troubled' and
They were well-intentioned, ethical, courageous and tenacious.
And they botched it all up.
They were not prepared for what they encountered, despite all their experience.
They were no match at all.
They were left shaking like rag dolls. Exhausted. And scared.
They did not exorcise the thing.
Instead, they made it worse.
One of the would-be exorcists became chronically ill soon afterwards.
Don't know what happened to the other one.
The one who fell ill quit all involvement with exorcism, yet he'd been in training for years and had planned to make it his life's work.
The subject of the attempted exorcism became progressively worse afterwards.
In Malachi Martin's book on exorcism (Hostage to the Devil ), he explains that the exorcist offers himself (his own soul for eternity) in
place of the possessed individual.
Then, upon his own death, the exorcists is compelled to rely on Christ/God to pay the 'ransom'.
If the exorcists' faith in God/Christ departs him between the exorcism and his own death, then there can be no deliverance. The exorcist would then
be owned by Satan.
If we accept all this, it would be reasonable to suspect that Satan would do all in his power to destroy the exorcist's faith in God, during the
exorcist's remaining physical life. This would mean that Satan may have lost one soul (the individual saved via the exorcism) but in place of this,
Satan would have gained the exorcist's soul.
The Church does not regard exorcism lightly. It conducts numerous investigations before considering exorcism. It conducts exorcism only as a last
resort. In the vast majority of instances, it rejects exorcism and instead recommends the individual receive medical and other assistance. Movies
portray the situation far more sensationalistically than is actually the case in reality.
There's considerable debate regarding the reality of spirit possession. Many do not believe in possession or in exorcism. They believe it's a
hangover from more ignorant eras when everything was attributed either to God or to Satan. They believe that supposedly 'possessed' individuals
actually suffer from one or more psychosomatic or recognised illnesses.
Whatever the case, before any would-be exorcist was permitted by the Church to act as exorcist, they would first be required to undertake many, many
years of theological study, followed by specialised study, during which their character and suitablility would be continually assessed. The chances
of becoming an official Church exorcists would be slim. And by the time an individual had completed his theological studies, he would in all
probability have long before abandoned his youthful interest in exorcism.
There are numerous lay-persons who claim to successfully conduct exorcism: tv-evangelists for example. Most of their performance is proved to be just
that: a performance conducted for the benefit of the gullible.
Having attended an exorcism that did not play out according to script, I would caution anyone against offering his soul to unseen forces as hostage
for the allegedly possessed individual. The exorcist would need to be totally confident that at no time during the remainder of his life, would he
ever, even for a split second, lose total belief and faith in God/Christ or allow himself to be tempted. It would require the constitution of a lion
and the sanctity of a saint. Most people don't possess those qualities. Which is why, despite all the bally-hoo about exorcists in movies and in
the media, there are few official exorcists conducting even less genuine exorcisms.
[edit on 8-2-2007 by Dock6]