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Demonic Possession & Oppression; Exorcism

Recent accounts in the media:

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Recent events:

bullet 2000-APR: USA: Book published about computer possession: Reverend Jim Peasboro of Savannah GA has written a book "The Devil in the Machine: Is your computer possessed by a demon?" Some of the points raised in the book by the author are:

bullet "While the Computer Age has ushered in many advances, it has also  opened yet another door through which Lucifer and his minions can enter and corrupt men's souls."

bullet Demons can possess anything with a brain, including a chicken, a human being, or a computer.

bullet "Any PC built after 1985 has the storage capacity to house an evil spirit."

bullet "...most of the youths involved in school shootings like the tragedy at Columbine were computer buffs...I have no doubt that computer demons exerted an influence on them."

bullet an estimated "...one in 10 computers in America now houses some type of evil spirit."

bullet "Technicians can replace the hard drive and reinstall the software, getting rid of the wicked spirit permanently."

Rev. Peasboro said:

"I learned that many members of my congregation became in touch with a dark force whenever they used their computers. Decent, happily married family men were drawn irresistibly to pornographic web sites and forced to witness unspeakable abominations. Housewives who had never expressed an impure thought were entering  Internet chat rooms and found themselves spewing foul, debasing language they would never use normally...One woman wept as she confessed to me, 'I feel when I'm on the computer as if someone else or something else just takes over.'"

The author had the opportunity to inspect an infected computer. He found that an artificial-intelligence program started up automatically. He said that:

"The program began talking directly to me, openly mocked me. It typed out, 'Preacher, you are a weakling and your God is a damn liar.' Then the device went haywire and started printing out what looked like gobbledygook...I later had an expert in dead languages examine the text. It turned out to be a stream of obscenities written in  a 2,800-year-old Mesopotamian dialect!"

bullet 2005-JUN: UK: Fundamentalist Christians charged with horrendous abuse of a child during exorcism: Some members of a local Fundamentalist church in East London believed that a ten-year-old girl in their family was a witch. They allegedly beat her, cut her at least 43 times, rubbed chili-peppers into here eyes in order to drive out what they apparently thought was an evil spirit possessing her. More details.

bullet 2005-JUN-15: Romania: Crucified nun dies during alleged exorcism: Maricica Irina Cornici, 23, visited an Eastern Orthodox convent in Tanacu in northern Romania in order to visit a friend. She decided to stay. She suffered from schizophrenia. According to various media reports, she insulted Father Daniel Corogeanu, 29, in front of the congregation. He and the other nuns concluded that Maricica was possessed by Satan and had to undergo an exorcism. They tied up her hands and feet and left he in the cellar of the convent for several days without food. Then they crucified her by tying and chaining her to a cross. She eventually died. According to the local police, Father Daniel and four nuns have been charged with "depriving a victim of freedom, leading to death." This is a charge normally applied to hostage-taking terrorists. More details.

bullet

2005-SEP-08 (approx): Bob Larson featured on Inside Edition and A&E: Inside Edition, a syndicated newsmagazine TV show, reviewed the ministry of Bob Larson. In past decades, he specialized in attacking Neopagan religions and the occult. But more recently, he seems to be switching to live exorcisms. He states that he has done more than 6,000 exorcisms:

"...more than any living person on the planet"

He wanders through the audience at his weekend seminars looking for signs of the devil in the eyes of those possessed. In a video made during the year 2000, he is shown casting out demons, ordering them to come out of possessed persons and go to the pit of Hell. One woman has been exorcised three times: twice in Texas and once in Alaska. 2

bullet 2006-MAY-16: Good Morning America coverage of exorcisms: ABC broadcast a short article about deliverance ministries. These are conservative Protestant groups who believe that they can drive indwelling demons from possessed persons. The article featured Bob Larson of the Center for Spiritual Freedom in north Scottsdale, AZ. The article is available on YouTube.

Larson said that the money he collects

"... goes to the ministry to teach people, to train people. The evil that is taking place is happening because the Western world has lost its moral compass. ... Some people have had their demons for so long, they think it’s normal. They think it’s normal to live a dysfunctional confused life. We tell people it’s not."

Gretchen Passantino is a Christian writer who has investigated deliverance ministries. She said:

"What he is doing is exploiting and manipulating people, [and] appealing to their fears their needs and sense of inadequacy."

Father Gary Thomas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, CA, was interviewed briefly on the program. He said that the Vatican is asking each diocese to have a trained exorcist on staff. 3

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2014-JAN-20: Germantown, MD: A 1-year-old and a 2-year-old were killed in a home in Germantown, MD. A 5-year-old and 8-year-old were severely injured but are expected to recover. The children's mother, Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28 and a second woman Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, have been charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. According to the police, the two women were attempting to perform an exorcism on the children. Captain Marcus Jones, commander of the County's major crimes unit, said:

"This was all about what was in their minds. They felt like there was something bad going on with the children, and they were trying to release it."

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger issued a statement saying:

"Cases like this are heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims along with the 911 operators, police officers, evidence technicians, and fire and EMS personnel that responded."

During 2011-NOV Avery had written on her Facebook page:

"People are being deceived left and right every day and don’t care to realize it. They think it’s safe and everything’s a game when this world is owned by satan [sic] himself who wants to dumb us down to think there’s no consequences for what we do.

Within two days, there were 67 comments placed by readers about this article in the Daily News. Most criticized religions that taught about demon posession and exorcism as being responsible for this tragedy. 4,5

bullet

Major resource on the Internet: The website "What's the harm" lists 1,089 individuals who were harmed during an exorcism "... by someone not thinking critically" See: http://whatstheharm.net/


bullet

2018-JAN: The rise in demonic posession in Ireland: An Irish exorcist, Fr. Pat Collins, has asked the bishops in Ireland to train more priests as exorcists in order to meet the increasing demand among Catholic believers. He notes that other exorcists across the world have noted a similar increase. The surge was revealed by the International Association of Exorcists. Catholic Online states that:

"Risk factors include secularism and atheism, as well as an ... interest in Satanism and the occult. ... Regular attendance at Church, prayer, reception of the Sacraments, including Reconciliation and Holy Communion help to keep evil at bay." 6

The Catholic Church believes that most presented cases of exorcism are actually individual mental health problems. Only a minority are real posession by demons.

bullet

2018-FEB: The rise in demonic posession in Italy: Reported demonic posessions are also in the rise in Italy. Catholic leaders have concluded that the Church needs more and better trained exorcists. Exorcist Father Cesare Truqui spoke at a weeklong training program for exorcists in the Vatican. He said:

"Today we are at a stage crucial in history. Many Christians no longer believe in [the devil’s] existence, few exorcists are appointed and there are no more young priests willing to learn."

An exorcism course was held during April at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.

An exorcist from Sicily, Father Benigno Palilla, told Vatican Radio on February 22 that there are 500,000 alleged cases of posession or activity by demons in Itally each year. The rate has tripled in recent years. This is attributed to the increased popularity of fortune tellers and tarot cards. He said:

"We priests, very often, do not know how to deal with the concrete cases presented to us: in the preparation for the priesthood, we do not talk about these things. And, consequently, a true evangelization is lacking."

He emphasized the need for more exorcism apprentice programs, saying:

“A self-taught exorcist certainly makes errors. I will say more: it would also take a period of apprenticeship, as happens for many professionals." 7

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Demons in your computer," 2000-MAY-01, Richard Harter's World, http://home.tiac.net/

  2. "Bob Larson on 'Inside Edition'," Wittenburg [sic] Door, 2005-SEP, at: http://www.wittenburgdoor.com/ This web site features a video from the Inside Edition program.

  3. "Exorcisms become big business in Arizona," ReligionNewsBlog, 2006-NOV-27, at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com

  4. Joel Landau, "Two children dead, two injured after Maryland women performed exorcism: police,"  New York Daily News, 2014-JAN-18, at: http://www.nydailynews.com/

  5. "Police: Mother charged in deaths of 2 toddlers thought she was performing exorcism," The Washington Post, 2014-JAN-18, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

  6. "Irish Priest warns demonic possession on the rise," Catholic Online, 2018-JAN-26, at: https://www.catholic.org/

  7. "Vatican trains exorcists as demonic possession claims rise," Catholic News Agency, 2018-FEB-28, at: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/

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Copyright 2000 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2018-SEP-29
Author: B.A. Robinson

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