Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

25 May 2011

"Lovely Day For An Exorcism!"

Remember that line from The Exorcist? That movie still creeps me out. So chilling, so accurate, (at least the exorcism part!), so freakin' scary!
But really, are demons actually that scary? That dangerous? After all, the kids from Paranormal State can get rid of 'em with less effort than Orkin does a quick roach job! TAPS calls in their resident "demonologist", he says a little prayer, problem solved! Just today I read a post on fb in which someone in the paranormal field (someone I happen to respect) mentioned exorcising a demon as casually as if they swatted a fly. Out of respect for the person in question, and since there's no point starting a big deal over it, I did not comment.
But, the truth is, there are darned few people who can actually go toe-to-toe (if demons have toes...) with a real demon and emerge unscathed and victorious. The fact of the matter is, the entities most of these self-proclaimed exorcists are really dealing with are not demons at all.
In the paranormal/monster hunting world, demons are regarded as major league players, heavy hitters, suspects of last resort. Spirits, negative entities, poltergeists, even fays or djinni are far more likely candidates in most cases. Demons aren't gonna be driven away (at least not permanently) buy blessed coins, a little smudging, or a simple "taking back" of the residence. These remedies may work temporarily, but if it's a demon, like MacArthur, it "shall return".
The PS crew is doing a dangerous "service" to interested viewers by labelling everything a "demon" and following their little homebrewed "Rituale Buelleum". IF Ryan & the gang ever encuntered a real demon, the folks in wardrobe had better have a change of underwear standing by.
And even my favorite fictional monster show, "Supernatural", while surprisingly accurate on a lot of the folklore presented, also makes way too light of the demon problem. Just reciting the Rituale and sprinkling some holy water wouldn't cut it in the real thing. In fact, if Sam & Dean were to even attempt an exorcism in the real world, the results would be disastrous. Face it, demons know our weaknesses, they are privy to our dirty little secrets, they exploit every chink in our armor. A demon would have Sam for lunch.
I've never performed an exorcism, and I never intend to attempt one. I HAVE spoken to Priests, clergy and laypeople who have either performed, assisted, or witnessed them, however.
There are few things in this world that I wouldn't try. That's one of them!


Autumnforest said...

Seriously, what's next? Self circumcision? Bathtub electricians? I have to laugh. I want to put on my demonologist hat and cleanse a place. Poof! This reminds me of why I don't perform spellbinding as a pagan. It's too much like Catholicism. The rituals, phrasing, timing, everything must be perfect or you can totally cause big problems. So, I decide not to be a practitioner. I'm lousy at that ritual crap. I'd make a horrible druid or Buell follower.

Jessica Penot said...

There is a wonderful book called An Exorcist Tells his Tale. It is written by one of the vatican exorcists. It is written by a priest, so it is religious, but in it, exorcism seems like very serious business that can take years to complete properly. An incomplete exorcism only seems to strengthen the demons in the long wrong

Adsila said...

Very good post Gummer. I totally agreed with everything you said. Also, I would never attempt an exercism either. It in not on my to-do list.

Gummerfan said...

Yep. Apparently the consequences of an "amateur" exorcism can be disatrous for all involved. And as Jessica said, it can be quite a long and involved process.
True possessions of people or locations is extemely rare. Demons are like the "black ops" forces of darkness rather than the foot soldiers. There are other negative or dark entites that CAN indeed be bound, banished, or warded off with simple measures. But the media's (both fiction and reality-based) treatment of negative=demon sends a dangerous message.
I'd be highly suspicious of anyone in the field who declares a phenomenon "demonic" and claims their particular
"McExorcism" (quick & easy)will take care of it.

Courtney Mroch said...

Another excellent post, Burt. Holy crap. The demon thing bothers me most. If someone really has a negative entity hounding them, it's not just going to go away. Not with all the religion or prayers people want to throw at it. Heck, seems sometimes that feeds it more. Way to point out the fallacies!