|Fox News reporter
Sean Hannity talks about Exorcism with
author Matt Baglio (The Rite) and Father Gary Thomas. Topics include
"The Exorcist" and "The Exorcism of Emily Rose". This video also has a
actual recording taken of a possessed person during an exorcism.
Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek
exorkizein - to bind by oath) is the practice of evicting demons or
other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed
to have possessed by causing the entity to swear an oath.
became prominent in early Christianity from the early second century
onward as the casting out of demons. Nevertheless, the practice is quite
ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.
Demonic possession is not a valid psychiatric or medical diagnosis
recognized by either the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV) or the International Statistical Classification of
Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10).
Those who profess a belief in demonic possession have sometimes ascribed
the symptoms associated with mental illnesses such as hysteria, mania,
psychosis, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy, schizophrenia or dissociative
identity disorder to possession.
The Exorcist (1973)
Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film adapted from the 1971 novel of
the same name and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim.
film became the most profitable horror film of all time and one of the
highest earning movies in general, grossing $401,400,000 worldwide (and a
further $112,053,066 for the Director's Cut re-release in 2000), and at
the time of release briefly became the highest-grossing film of all
time, until being surpassed one year later by Steven Spielberg's Jaws.
The film proved a huge effect on popular culture.
In cases of dissociative identity disorder in which the alter
personality is questioned as to its identity, 29% are reported to
identify themselves as demons.
Additionally, there is a form of
monomania called demonomania or demonopathy in which the patient
believes that he or she is possessed by one or more demons.
that exorcism works on people experiencing symptoms of possession is by
some attributed to placebo effect and the power of suggestion. Some
supposedly possessed persons are actually narcissists or are
suffering from low self-esteem and act a "demon possessed person" in
order to gain attention.
Nevertheless, Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck
researched exorcisms (initially in an effort to disprove demonic
possession), and claims to have conducted two himself.
He concluded that
the Christian concept of possession was a
genuine phenomenon. He derived diagnostic criteria somewhat different
from those used by the Roman Catholic Church.
He also claimed to see differences in exorcism procedures and
progression. After his experiences, and in an attempt to get his
research validated, he has attempted yet failed to get the psychiatric
community to add the definition of "Evil" to the DSMIV.
earlier work was met with widespread popular acceptance, his work on the
topics of evil and possession has generated significant debate and
Much was made of his association with (and admiration for) the
controversial Malachi Martin, a Roman Catholic priest and a former
Jesuit, despite the fact that Peck consistently called Martin a liar and
Other criticisms leveled against Peck include misdiagnoses
based upon a lack of knowledge regarding dissociative identity disorder
(formerly known as multiple personality disorder), and a claim that he
had transgressed the boundaries of professional ethics by attempting to
persuade his patients into accepting Christianity.
The Exorcist Movie & Robbie Mannheim
Mannheim (also known as Roland Doe; born in 1936) is the pseudonym
given by author Thomas B. Allen to an anonymous individual most notably
known for allegedly being possessed and later exorcised during his
childhood in the late 1940s.
alleged events which were reported in the media of the time and the
subsequent claims surrounding those events went on to inspire the 1971
novel The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and the 1973 film of the same
name, as well as Thomas B. Allen's 1993 nonfiction account Possessed, a
second edition of it in 1999, and the 2000 film by the same name, based
on Allen's book.
sources make various claims regarding the kind of poltergeist activity
that commenced around the time of Aunt Harriet's death.
includes the sound of squeaky shoes and marching feet as well as other
strange noises. Furniture moved on its own accord, and ordinary objects,
including a vase allegedly flew or levitated.
of the strange happenings affected Robbie directly such as streaks and
arrows and words such as "hell" appeared on this skin, and blessed
objects, such as a container of holy water, which were placed near him,
smashed to the ground on their own. Some sources claim that forty-eight
witnesses came forward to substantiate some of these incidents.
frightened family turned to their Lutheran clergyman, Rev. Luther Miles
Schulze, for help. According to a report made by Reverend Schulze to
The Evening Star, a Washington D.C. newspaper, in light of the
situation, the boy was examined by both medical and psychiatric doctors,
who could offer no explanation for these disturbing events taking
Schulze arranged for the boy to spend the night of February 17th in his
home in order to observe him. The boy slept nearby to the minister in a
twin bed and the minister reported that in the dark he heard vibrating
sounds from the bed and scratching sounds on the wall.
the rest of the night he allegedly witnessed some strange events—a
heavy armchair in which the boy sat seemingly tilted on its own and
tipped over and a pallet of blankets on which the sleeping boy lay
inexplicably moved around the room and slapped people in the face.
light of his observations, Rev. Luther Miles Schulze concluded that
there was evil at work in Robbie, and therefore would perform a Lutheran
rite exorcism on Robbie Mannheim.
As to the Lutheran Rite: "The
Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod certainly believes in the existence of
Satan and of demonic beings, and individual LCMS pastors have
participated from time to time in rites of exorcism.
LCMS has no "official position" on "demonic possession," however, nor
does it subscribe officially to any formal rite of exorcism or have
"special clergy assigned to this task."
Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist
A rare teaser trailer for Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist. The film was still titled Exorcist: The Beginning when it was made.
to the traditional story, the boy then underwent an exorcism under
auspices of the Anglican (Episcopal) Church. After this, the case was
referred to Rev. Edward Hughes, a Roman Catholic priest, who, after
examining the boy at St. James Church, conducted an exorcism on Robbie
at Georgetown University Hospital, a Jesuit institution.
the exorcism, the boy inflicted a wound upon the pastor that required
stitches; as a result, the exorcism ritual was stopped and the boy went
home to be with his family, where he then defacated on the walls. The
family then proceeded to take the train to St. Louis.
were in the city, Robbie's cousin contacted one of his professors at St.
Louis University, Rev. Raymond J. Bishop, SJ, who in turn, spoke to
Rev. William S. Bowdern, an associate of College Church.
both vicars visited Robbie in his relatives home, where they noticed
his aversion to anything sacred, a shaking bed, flying objects, and
Robbie speaking in a demoniacal voice.
In light of these
observations, Rev. Bowdern sought permission from the archbishop to have
the plaguing demons cast out from the boy. Before the exorcism ritual
began, Rev. Walter Halloran was called to the psychiatric wing of the
hospital, where he was asked to assist Rev. Bowdern in the deliverance.
William Van Roo, third Jesuit priest, was also there to assist Rev.
Bowdern in casting out the unclean spirits from Mannheim. Rev. Halloran
stated that during this scene of spiritual warfare, Robbie's hospital
bed shook disturbingly and words such as "evil" and "hell", along with
other various marks, appeared on the teenager's body.
Robbie broke Rev. Halloran's nose during the process. Robbie Mannheim,
while being exorcised, also often shouted in an abnormal tone of voice.
total, the exorcism ritual to cast out demons from the boy's body is
claimed to have been performed thirty times over a period of two months.
When the final exorcism was complete, it is alleged that there
was a loud noise, noted as a "thunderclap" or "shotgun" throughout the
floors of the hospital. After this pandemonium, Robbie Mannheim declared
"It's over. It's over."
Certain aspects of this story have come
under dispute. Mark Opsasnick claims that he found no evidence that
Father Hughes ever attempted to exorcise the boy, nor that he recevied a
slash or injury at that time.
In addition, Father Halloran
himself allegedly told Opsasnick that he did not hear the boy's voice
change and that he didn't check the boys fingernails and see if he made
the marks himself.
In addition one of the boys friends allegedly
told Opsasnick that the "supernatural" events were exaggerated and that
the spitting and bed shaking could be explained. Joe Nickell claims
that the events reliably reported were not beyond what a teenager can
Exorcism Report by ABC'S 20/20, May '07
religion and mythology, occultism and folklore, a demon (or daemon,
daimon; from Greek δαίμων daimôn) is a supernatural being described as a
The original neutral Greek word daimon does not carry
the negative connotation initially understood by implementation of the
ΚΟΙΝΈ (New Testament Greek) δαίμονεον, and later ascribed to any cognate
words sharing the root, originally intended to denote a Spirit or
In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well
as in the derived Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval
Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which
may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism.
Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an
amalgamation of pagan Greco-Roman, Jewish and Christian tradition, a
demon is considered a spiritual entity that may be conjured and
Many of the demons in literature were once fallen
angels, however there are many that say that they are born-forged from
The supposed existence of demons is an important
concept in many modern religions and occultist traditions. In some
present-day cultures, demons are still feared in popular superstition,
largely due to their alleged power to possess living creatures.
the contemporary Western occultist tradition, a demon, such as
Choronzon, the "Demon of the Abyss", is a useful metaphor for certain
inner psychological processes ("inner demons"), though some may also
regard it as an objectively real phenomenon.
is believed by some individuals and groups that a person who is
possessed by a demon or the devil is actually only physically possessed,
meaning their body is physically possessed but not their soul.