If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone

 

The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist

The book, The Rite, has been approved by Father Professor Basil Cole and Father Jose Antonio Fortea. It has been hailed by the latter as one of the best books on the subject of exorcism and possession ever written.  The Catholics interestingly do not consider the New Testament to be the best guide on the subject for it says nothing about how Jesus or his apostles knew that somebody was possessed and needed a demon cast out.  They just thought they knew magically and thus their enterprise was just irresponsible and about using vulnerable people to promote their religious beliefs.  This has led to untold damage and ultimately exorcists all imagine that some "feeling" they have from God is a sign that the person truly is possessed. 
 
The first few pages (1-4) start with an exorcist trying to expel a demon from a woman. The demon began having visions. The demon speaks of the one in black who we are told was his code for Saint Gemma Galgani and then of the one from Albania meaning Mother Teresa. Incredibly, the demon riled terribly at the sight of Pope John Paul II.
 
Now Mother Teresa was no saint but a vile hypocrite. John Paul was no saint either. He let the evil of clerical child abuse go out of hand and failed to discipline evil Fr Maciel his close paedophile friend. The whole thing looks like a demonic attempt to make these evil figures appear in a good light. Good ammunition that for Christian evangelicals who regard the papacy and the Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon invigorated by the hellish energies of the pit.
 
The demon is ordered by the exorcist to say that God is his creator and he adores him.
 
This shows that exorcism is an evil practice. There is no point in making a demon pray. The demon is forced to pray so he cannot mean the prayer. The demon cannot genuinely adore a God he hates. The exorcist goes down to the level of the demon by trying to hurt another being. The exorcist blasphemes his evil God by citing his approval.
 
Clearly, the exorcist is speaking to the woman herself. She is her demon. No demon has possessed her. This is a woman being tormented and hurt by religion in the name of releasing her from a demon's control.
 
Page 5 states that exorcisms that involve dramatics such as above are quite rare. Most exorcisms are no more dramatic than visits to the dentist.
 
Page 7 tells us that according to the Association of Catholic Psychiatrists and Psychologists, a half a million people annually go to see exorcists. In 2004, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked every bishop in the world to appoint an exorcist.
 
The admission that most exorcisms do not involve victims floating in midair and speaking strange languages shows that this book is tame and a good authority on the subject. It means there is not much evidence then that a demon is really involved. The possessed person is probably mentally ill or just an attention-seeker. If people do not respond to psychotherapy or medicine, the exorcists are encouraging them to think they are possessed.
 
If a psychiatrist permits an exorcism, it will be only because he or she feels it helps the victim if the victim believes in it. In other words, it is the belief not the exorcism that gets the results. The Church accepts this permission and may arrange an exorcism. However, the Church is abusing this permission. The Church is really getting permission to manipulate the victim. It denies exorcism is manipulation so it really gets no permission at all.
 
The psychiatrist does not believe there is a demon there and if there is, it follows that the Church should not even care about his permission for he does not know what he is talking about. It is all so hypocritical. It is just the Church fabricating concern for the victims. It has to keep up appearances as it fears a hostile media and society.
 
Page 29 quotes exorcist Father Pedro Barrajon stating that the Devil is present anywhere evil happens - if a person rejects God's love Satan is there. And also Satan is more dangerous when he hides so as to avoid the attention of the exorcist.
 
It is stupid to think that Satan needs to be present when evil happens. What does he have demons and armies for? And Satan or a demon hiding his presence in a person makes sense. But getting the attention of an exorcist by doing strange things does not. It makes the possessions look like Satan is taking the Church for fools.
 
Page 31 says that an exorcism is only valid if performed with the authority and permission of the Church and in the name of God.
 
This insults those who are non-Catholics and say that they have performed successful exorcisms.
 
Page 32 says that Jesus didn't bother with exorcism rituals but simply ordered the demon to leave and this shocked his contemporaries. They were not used to exorcists who cast demons out without a ceremony.
 
Surely an indication that Catholic exorcism is occult for it involves a pile of ritual. If priests really could cast demons out just an order would do. The exorcisms of priests are not like those of Jesus. Warning bells ring!
  
Page 33 says that the early Church believed that any demon told to go out of a person in the name of Jesus would go. All the early Christian writers spoke of and promoted exorcism as a good way to get converts.
 
At the very least, Jesus if he had been really as good and wise as he claimed to be, would have left some warnings about exorcism. The damage done to the impressionable and mentally ill by the early Church over his example must have been indescribable. And the claim that the demons always left at the use of the name of the Son of God - a claim made by Justin Martyr for one - can only be understood as a bare-faced lie. If Jesus really did any good with his exorcisms - and no evidence is given in the New Testament that those people fared okay afterwards in the long-term - then its eclipsed by the harm done. The New Testament simply only cares about the seeming wonder of the demon going. Its not about what it did for the person and how the person might have been a holy person after. Its about the show not the spiritual lessons. So fond was the early Church of exorcism, that you had to undergo the casting out of demons from you for days before your baptism. This was using fear to force people into the Church.
 
The book deals with the notion that Jesus was dumbing down. Some have said that Jesus had to say he believed in real demons though he did not and it was about going down to the level of the stupid society he was part of in order to get a point across. The book correctly observes that it is clear that Jesus DID believe in demons. A man who did not use his exorcisms for teaching purposes is definitely not dumbing down.
 
Page 33 Exorcism was central to Jesus ministry.
 
True - he stressed that Satan could not have a kingdom if Satan casts out demons. He spoke of the evil generation under the power of the Devil. The Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. This tempted Jesus meaning he knew Satan really could give him all that power. You cannot believe in Jesus without believing in his role as an exorcist.
 
Page 33, demons and their influence over people and things and their power to possess were universally accepted by Catholics until sceptics emerged in the Church in the 60's and this was a central doctrine.
 
It is Catholic teaching that doctrine so well accepted that it is a part of Catholic teaching is to be seen as infallible for Jesus promised that his Church would never be overcome by the gates of Hades. The sceptics are not true Catholics.
 
Page 43 says that God rejects none of his creatures so he let Satan keep his powers as an archangel after he left heaven. It says that since a miracle is an event that cannot be explained by anything created but only explained by God that Satan cannot do real miracles. He can only do pretend ones. Satan cannot see into your heart but he can like a psychologist work out what is in your mind by observing from the outside. He cannot predict the future but he knows and sees more than we do so he can make very clever guesses about what will happen which will be right.
 
The Bible says that if a prophet predicts the future without error he is from God. But what good is that criteria if Satan could be telling him things?
 
If God lets Satan help people to be accurate at predicting the future or revealing hidden knowledge he might as well give him the power of doing miracles. That is because accurate prophecy is the ultimate miracle.
 
Page 45 says that when demons are present in a place or thing that is infestation. It speaks of the testimony of an exorcist that he blessed a house and saw specks of blood appearing on different things and spoke of rosary beads being found crushed up.
 
Contradicts the doctrine of the exorcists that demons can't do miracles.
 
Page 44 says that God only lets the Devil hurt us because he wishes to use his evil to bring good out of it.
 
Then he must force Satan to hurt us for Satan would not hurt us if it would mean hurting himself. It is really God we should have cast out of us not Satan.
 
Page 46 speaks of oppression by demons where they actually beat people up and hurt them. Examples of people who endured this include Job in the Bible, the woman Jesus said had the spirit of infirmity, St Gemma Galgani and Padre Pio.
 
Contradicts the view that demons can't do miracles.
 
 
Page 47 speaks of demonic obsession. It can be described as demonic temptation. It is when a person for example may experience a fixation that keeps trying to draw her or him to profane the Eucharist or whatever. It is tormenting and victims can feel they are going insane.
 
People cause their own temptations. When one blames one's demons, one is refusing to admit that the temptation is his or her own work.
 
Page 47 states that possession is when a demon starts controlling the victims body without the victim's knowledge. It cannot however take over a person's spirit unless the person willingly invites the demon and its influence in and the result is a person who is a walking demon on earth (page 49). Also, it states that almost all exorcists believe that more people are suffering possession today than in the past.
 
The possessed person could go on a shoplifting spree and convince themselves afterwards that it was the demon that did it.
 
Page 56 and 57 and 58 and 59 list the ways you can be possessed. Involvement in the occult. A curse in which somebody sends you a demon to hurt you. Dedication to a demon or Satan. A life of stubborn sin. The book says the sin of idolatry open the door. Today, most Catholics are idolatrous for they pick and choose what they want to believe out of what God has said. In other words, they are inventing a God for themselves who bears only some resemblance to the God of Catholicism. The book says that possession is not contagious and can happen if a person has been involved in the occult or if a curse has been put on her or him. It seems that once off involvement in the occult may not result in possession but if one uses the occult often enough problems will happen.
 
Possession might take place if a demon was invited in. But it is madness to suggest that a curse on an innocent person can put a demon in them. That is magic.
 
Page 63 quotes Father John Nicola's book, Diabolical Possession and Exorcism, as stating that exorcists should listen to religion and science and only proceed to exorcism as a last resort.
 
When they consider a person possessed without any supernatural indication that they are, this is a blatant lie. Science is imperfect. There are mental disorders we can't diagnose correctly. What about in the past when less was known from science? Belief in exorcism then must have led to people being treated as possessed when by current and modern standards we would know they were mentally ill.
 
Page 67 states that exorcism is a formal ceremony to release a person from demonic control and says deliverance is simply an informal prayer that anybody can say to deliver people from demonic possession or influence.
 
Rubbish. Exorcism is using prayer to eject demons - rite or no rite.
 
Page 67 observes that in the early days of Christianity, there were no official exorcists appointed and any believer could attempt to cast out demons.
 
Jesus' actions led to such irresponsibility.
 
Page 68 cites the testimony of exorcist Fr Gramolazzo that if a priest conducts an exorcism without the permission of the bishop or when the bishop has forbidden it, the exorcism will only partly work for Jesus' name that is used has great power. He cites a case where a demon said to the exorcists that they were outside their dioceses and didn't have permission and so they were wasting their time.
 
Demons would not tell a priest what steps to take to remove them.
 
If Jesus lets illicit exorcism partly work then why not let it fully work?
 
And Jesus' name is spoken of as a magic charm!
 
Page 70 speaks of the disapproval of the International Association of Exorcists for priests who do not follow the official Ritual fully. Pages 70 and 71 say that the exorcist should use the word blessing instead of exorcism, speak of removing negativity rather than removing demons and read the Ritual in Latin. This is in case the person is not possessed but mad. The priest does not wish to put ideas in the sick person's mind that will make him or her worse. The Church reasons that if there is a demon present he will understand the Latin anyway.
 
It is lunacy to think that demons all learn Latin.
 
The possessed person will know that it is an exorcism taking place. They couldn't be that stupid.
 
If demons mask their presence, they are not going to give themselves away by speaking in Latin.
 
Page 71 quotes exorcist Father Bamonte saying that a demon will always hide his presence and even let the victim pray and go to Mass. So the exorcist has to use the ritual again and again until the demon weakens so much that it stops hiding and manifests its presence. The demon will then resort to the tactic of making the victim think there is no demon but it is a mental illness. Or it will physically prevent the victim going to an exorcist as much as it can.
 
Demons getting weak the more the ritual takes place implies that the ritual is magic and occult. And manifesting is a strange kind of weakening!
 
Demons letting victims go to Mass where Jesus Christ is supposedly physically present is absurd. What if he chose to cast it out during Mass?
 
Page 72 speaks of Father Nanni who said that a demon will set up at least one of five traps. One is to refuse to react to the exorcist so that he might think there is no demon involved. Two is to pretend he has gone and the exorcism has worked when he hasn't. Three the demon will fake signs of mental illness to make it look like the victim is no possessed but merely sick. Four the demon will tell the exorcist to try a spell to remove its presence. Five the demon will let the victim receive the Eucharist to make it look like he has gone.
 
Demons would be more powerful if they hide. And nobody can ever prove an exorcism has worked for demons hide a lot. To say the demon makes the person act mentally ill is to ignore the fact that they might just be sick and not possessed. And a demon residing in a body which has just received the Eucharistic body of Christ is just insanity. No demon would let the person receive.
 
Page 74 says the demon will try anything to get the exorcist to stop praying and will even resort to trying to seduce him if it is a woman it is possessing.
 
This contradicts claims that demons pretend they are gone by letting their victims consume the Eucharist.
 
On page 83 we meet Fr Candido who can diagnose possession by looking at a victim's photo.
 
Kook, psychic. This contradicts the claim of the Church that it only lets a priest exorcise if science can't explain the problems indicating that the person is possessed. That is bad enough but to indicate that if an illness can't be explained it means possession is taking a leap of faith that may hurt the victim terribly.
 
Page 92 to 97 gives some accounts of possessed people being cured by exorcism. There was no drama during the exorcism at all just a bit of yawning and coughing and nothing to really indicate that a demon was there. A woman was healed of headaches that wouldn't respond to medical treatment.
 
Thanks for the candour! This shows how ridiculous the Church is.
 
Page 99 speaks of exorcist Father Gary's worry about discernment. He was afraid of indicating to a very mentally-ill person that they were possessed and thus fixing them in that thought and making them more mentally ill. Page 102 says that possession may be suspected if the person is unwilling to go to Mass or to pray to Jesus or Mary. Page 103 requires that before an exorcism is done a full psychiatric evaluation must be carried out. Real possession is marked by demons that have a deep knowledge of theology (page 104). Page 105 says exorcists can bless victims with water that is not holy water. If a real demon is there it will know if the water is blessed or not. If it is it will feel the pain of burning. Father Bamonte states that victims of possession rarely think they are possessed and usually have several different diagnoses from different doctors (page 105).
 
There are many exorcism accounts where the demon hardly mentions theology. And a demon must become the body rather than simply control it if it feels it is being burnt by holy water. The demon could control the body up to a point in which case sprinkling the body will not harm the demon. It will not feel the pain of burning. If the water touching the body hurts the demon then clearly the demon is the victim. The demon and alleged victim are one and the same person. It is the person the water is intended to hurt.
 
Burning the demon with holy water is just evil. It's cruelty. The holy water test involves lying. Catholic exorcism is heretical if one compares it the exorcisms performed by Jesus. It is an attempt to use evil to cast out evil. Jesus said that if Satan casts out Satan his kingdom cannot stand. He said that those who accused him of using the Devil to put demons out were committing an eternal sin that would never be forgiven for it blasphemes the Holy Spirit. How much more is Catholic exorcism blasphemy against the Spirit! Catholic exorcisms match the idea that the Catholic Church is really an occultist organisation and not a form of Christianity and is Antichrist and a counterfeit of Satan.
 
It is ridiculous to suggest that the demon necessarily will know if the water is blessed. Some exorcists would surely argue that God would know and it is on that basis that real holy water will torment the demon and fake holy water will not. But water is recycled all the time by nature. Tap water then will contain holy water that perhaps evaporated. The holy water test is utter superstition.
 
If holy water had such power, priests would never become possessed. Their bodies are blessed when they are ordained and they are blessed forever. The priest body is a holier thing than holy water. If holy water could burn a demon, then a demon would not be able to endure the pain of possessing a priest or looking at a priest or speaking to a priest.
 
Possessed people are reported to be able to go into Church. Catholic Churches are blessed like holy water is blessed. This would be impossible if holy things like holy water could avert and torment demons.
 
Catholic exorcisms are clearly irresponsible and nonsensical. They are acts of abuse. It is hardly surprising that the Church dresses evil up as good. Despite teaching that nobody has the right to be asked to take a vow when they don't clearly know the implications, the Church inflicts the vow on babies to obey and believe the Church at baptism. This is abuse and is unfair.
 
The Church uses the holy water to help diagnose possession and it also says the demon must do things such as speak in languages unknown to the victim. No demon is going to indicate its presence like that. And if it is going to use a foreign language, it will look for one that the exorcists will not understand. Then they will not know if the demon is speaking in unknown languages or not.
 
A religion of nonsense has no business attempting to diagnose a person as requiring exorcism. It is worse than a totally incompetent psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
 
Mark 9 has an account of Jesus casting out a demon that was making a child fall and foam at the mouth and grind his teeth. This is clearly epilepsy not demonic possession. It is clear that to believe in the Bible you have to deny that epilepsy exists and say it is really possession. It is a sin to be careful about diagnosing. It is laughable to suggest that the calling the name of a Jesus who taught such nonsense can put demons out.
 
Legal proceedings must be taken against Christians who perform exorcism.
 
Page 107 says that a real demon will respond if the exorcist prays for the victim. It say the exorcist should not use the whole Ritual as a diagnostic tool to determine if a demon is present.
 
Why would a demon respond to the prayer of an exorcist? What about the ordinary people and priests who are praying? How can anybody know whose prayer a demon is reacting to?
 
Page 107 says that if the victims problems don't vanish despite all the blessings and prayers made for them their problems are natural. If there is a quick healing response that it is a sign that their problems were caused by demons.
 
This is nonsense. Its a wilful lie. Natural illnesses including mental or psychological can disappear quickly. This page contradicts the claim by exorcists that they do not use exorcism or prayers as a diagnostic tool.
 
Page 120 states that the Ritual forbids the exorcist to speak to the demon except to ask him his name. Page 149 explains that the exorcists must not ask a demon any questions because he will lie and he should not be given the honour of being your source of information.
 
Demons will not lie all the time. If they did, you would know that if a demon says something is true, then it is false. If there is information A, information B and information C and you don't know which one is right or true. If you ask the demon about A and it says it is true you will know that it must be false. That means you have only B and C to consider. If you ask about one of them you will know then which one of them is true.
 
You could get the truth by a process of questioning the demon and
 
Page 122 states that a possessed nun Sister Janica couldn't confess her sins for the demon prevented her. He was weakened by exorcism and then she made her confession.
 
Even if she had a demon you can't prove or show that it was the reason she wouldn't confess.
 
Page 132 - 133 describes her pain during an exorcism and the priest touched her neck with a crucifix to torment her. Janica nearly smashed her head against a wall.
 
Exorcism is barbaric religious fanaticism.
 
Page 137 describes the testimony of exorcists that demons can make crabs and needless and other unpleasant things materialise in the mouth of the victim.
 
Contradicts the view of the book that demons can't do real miracles.
 
Page 154 states that exorcisms will often give relief but don't always lead to liberation.
 
Contradicts where it says that if exorcisms fail then the person is not demonically possessed.
 
Page 178 has exorcist Father Amorth saying that he used the Ritual and prayed the name of Jesus to exorcise Hindu and Muslim victims of possession and it was successful. He told them to live good lives. He did not tell them to convert to Catholicism.
 
This is religious indifferentism: it teaches that you believe what you want but live a caring life. The priest was not a true Catholic. If he had been, he would have told them to check out the Catholic faith and think about whether or not they should convert. This exorcism is an example of the Devil doing fake exorcisms to promote the religion of religious indifference.
 
Page 179 says that when the exorcism is working the demon fights very hard and abuses the victim terribly. Page 180 describes some of the signs when a demon is about to depart. It may sing a hymn or make the victim vomit some cursed object.
 
Exorcism and its practitioners are cruel.
 
Satan told exorcist, Father Gabriel Amorth that he fears Mary more than Jesus for it means he suffers the humiliation of a creature defeating him rather than God. If the king defeats you you would expect that but what if a person of no dignity or standing defeats you? “And, once I also asked Satan, ‘but why are you more scared when I invoke Our Lady than when I invoke Jesus Christ?’ He answered me, ‘Because I am more humiliated to be defeated by a human creature than being defeated by him.”
 
Satan is encouraging Amorth to believe that Mary really does defeat. If she uses Jesus's power then it is really Jesus who defeats but Satan is clear that it is her! These ideas are totally pagan. Amorth if he is working with demons is being fooled by them.
 
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994 chapter 9 speaks of a Hong Kong hospital where people thought they were possessed by gods and animal spirits and so on. The religious culture one came from pre-disposed the kind of possession they thought they were experiencing. For example, Christians thought damned spirits of evil were possessing them. Buddhist-Taoist people thought it was spirits their religion taught them to believe in. They did not think it was evil spirits. The Catholic faith is responsible then for all the harm done by people who believe themselves to be possessed by spirits of pure evil who are eternally damned in Hell. It programs them to do evil things. If you believe you have an evil blaspheming murdering spirit in you, you may blaspheme and murder.
 
Today we are more sceptical about possession which is reports of possession are uncommon. In the past, mental illness was thought to be possession. The incarceration, beatings and even murders of the victims to get the demons out must be firmly and squarely placed at the feet of Jesus Christ and the priesthood.
 
CONCLUSION
 
You need proof not faith that a demon is possessing someone. To say a demon is possessing someone places the burden of proof on you. We are not getting that proof. We get just contradictions and nonsense and barbarism and credulity from the exorcists. The law needs to outlaw exorcism. It is an abusive practice. If exorcism seems to cure someone, the Church assumes that it was the reason for the person's recovery. This can never be proven. And if the exorcism does not work, the Church assumes that the victim is actually inviting the demon in meaning it is not the exorcism's fault if the demon is still there. Or the Church will assume that it is God's will for the possession to continue. With these excuses for its failure, it is obvious that exorcists are among the quacks of the worst kind. You might as well believe that cough medicine can eject demons from you. The belief of many that a person can be tormented both by mental illness and a demon makes it all the worse. It will lead to many disturbed people being treated as possessed. Exorcism is meant to hurt the demon but if there is no demon it will hurt the victim. Catholic belief urges the exorcist to ignore any evidence that the entity is some supernatural being but not necessarily a demon. The entity has to be pre-judged and classed as an evil spirit. It is all very uncharitable. Even if a supernatural entity were possessing the victim, the Church has no right to say that entity is a demon who is damned in Hell and pure evil. It might not be that evil and besides to tell the victim he is possessed by evil is not helping him or her. Exorcism is really evil hypocritically pretending to cast evil out. If someone is suffering from schizophrenia, that is a natural disorder and it needs to be treated by doctors and medicines. It does not help to pretend that a demon is behind it. You will exorcise the person for the next fifty years and they will be worse not better for they didn't get the proper help. The Roman Catholic Church is not as responsible as it pretends to be in relation to prescribing exorcism. Its example only encourages Charismatic and Pentecostal and Evangelical Sects who have little concern for what psychologists or psychiatrists have to say about people these sects suspect may be possessed. And tragedy and hurt results. These sects report enough seeming success to encourage them to keep going on harming mentally ill people.
  
NOTE: The movie and book, The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, is based on a true story. It is the story of Douglass Deen. The original transcripts about Douglass's phenomena, are every interesting. Blatty over-dramatised possession and exorcism in his book. The book was so florid that clearly the Deen story was not the basis for The Exorcist at all. Blatty was lying about his tale being based on a true story. The Deen case gave no indication of anything supernatural. If there was anything not of this world going on, it was really poltergeist at work. A writer called Thomas Allen got the original diaries and records and lied about what was in them to make the story sound supernatural and more terrifying. He lied that Deen was able to speak in Latin without knowing the language and levitated and exercised clairvoyance. Father Hughes nevertheless decided that the child was possessed and tried to exorcised.
 
Read Chapter 9, Demonic Possession in The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994.
 
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, Matt Baglio, Pocket Books, London, 2010