Thursday, January 19, 2012

Possession and Exorcisms: The Reality

Some people fear the concept of possession. What if they become possessed? What if someone they love become possessed? Well, if you do believe in possession, and the thought crossed your mind--here's how your odds look:

There are 1.18 billion Catholics in the world and the Catholic Church performs 600-700 exorcisms a year. Apparently, this possession thing is not so easy to do.

Here are just some possession-related movies that colored people's fears and worry about such an event. The Exorcist The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Rite

The reality is that, every year, dozens of youths are killed during exorcisms by fundamentalists and others who are uneducated, fearful, or otherwise trying to discipline a youth who is acting up.

Here is one such story Guyana — A 15-year-old girl has died after neighbors and a local pastor tried to treat her convulsions with an exorcism at a church, and Guyanese police said Friday they are investigating. Sangeeta Persaud began to convulse Sunday as she drank tea for breakfast at her grandmother's home in Canal Number Two, a farming village west of the capital, Georgetown, the grandmother told The Associated Press. 

Chaitranie Ramotar said she became worried and called the girl's mother, who brought the pastor to the house. "I experienced the same thing at age 12," Nankumarie Jaikissoon, the teen's mother, told the AP. "That is why I did not rush her to the hospital. My heart did not tell me to rush her to the hospital." 

The pastor, Ewart Cummings, said he decided to take the girl to his small, concrete church, where he and several elders spent five hours praying for her as they pressed on her stomach and head. They also made her drink an anointing oil, he told the AP. At times, the teen would bark and make other strange noises, Cummings said. "I did nothing wrong," he said. "I just responded as pastor of the church. ... Ungodly people would not understand certain things like driving out spirits." 

Cummings said he drove the girl to the hospital around 5 p.m. because she had calmed down but was weak. She died at 10 p.m.

What religions have possession and exorcisms?  Catholic, Islamic, Church of England, some Protestant sects ("deliverance"), Scientology (Scientology believes that foreign beings known as Body Thetans have clustered themselves around a person and cause them confusion. It is the goal of Scientology to remove these beings from a person).

In general, if there is a belief in a higher power and evil entities, as well, the answer to ridding oneself of evil is to pray to the higher power, sometimes in conjunction with ritual and ceremony.

Next to the concept of dead people coming to life and eating our flesh in the form of zombies, the concept of being possessed is equally horrifying. Who wants to lose their will and have their body inhabited by something hell bent on getting in trouble? It is a chilling concept, but rest assured if such a thing exists, it is highly improbable. In fact, I'd advise you buy a lottery ticket--you have a better chance of winning a jackpot.


  1. And queue Mike Brines/Sharon Day fight in 3... 2... 1...

    1. I can take him down so easily, it's sad. It really is....