• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty
 

American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty

on

  • 10,647 views

This is a powerpoint presentation to accompany Michael Cuneo's book American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty. It covers exorcisms, religion, and religious fundamentalism.

This is a powerpoint presentation to accompany Michael Cuneo's book American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty. It covers exorcisms, religion, and religious fundamentalism.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
10,647
Views on SlideShare
10,609
Embed Views
38

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
36
Comments
0

2 Embeds 38

http://demojw.blogspot.com 28
http://www.slideshare.net 10

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty Presentation Transcript

    • AMERICAN EXORCISM: EXPELLING DEMONS IN THE LAND OF PLENTY Michael W. Cuneo
    • Introduction Why read this book?   It does a great job of explaining a social phenomenon by putting it into its social context:  There was a huge increase in exorcisms post 1974, mostly explainable by the book and movie The Exorcist (that’s what we’re going to discuss)  So, we’re going to discuss exorcisms in the US, not so much the book or movie…  Though, what did you think of the movie?
    • The Exorcist But just so we’re clear, the book and movie were based on a  1949 exorcism case that the author (William Peter Blatty) found in a newspaper article As of 2000, the original story has been thoroughly debunked:  http://www.strangemag.com/exorcistpage1.html  Mark Opsasnick looked into the details  Based on events in the life of a 13 year-old boy named Ronald  Edwin Hunkeler of Cottage City, MD Ronald was a troublemaker and all of those who would know  about the case (his best friend, his best friend’s brother, the surviving priest, and all of the neighborhood children) attest to the fact that nothing supernatural occurred When Opsasnick called Ronald, Ronald told him to never call  him again and refused to talk about any of the events
    • The Exorcist Here is Mark Opsasnick’s summary:  With the completion of this adventure we now know who the boy  was, where he really lived, where he attended school, who his friends were, what his family life was like, and what behavior and personality traits he exhibited before his alleged ―possession.‖ The credibility of the mysterious diary has now been called into question. I have shown that Father Walter Halloran—the one living, talking eyewitness to the St. Louis exorcism attempts, maintains that he did not witness any supernatural behavior by Rob Doe—no strange foreign languages (other than mimicked Latin), no changes in tone of voice, no prodigious strength, no excessive vomiting or urinating, and—to top it off— he is uncertain about the nature of the markings or skin brandings on the boy’s body. Perhaps most important of all, this case illustrates the need in paranormal investigation for close scrutiny of both initial newspaper accounts and highly touted individuals as providers of information. In this instance, both sources muddled the picture by embellishing the story when facts were uncertain.
    • Introduction to Book Michael Cuneo is a sociologist  Became interested in exorcism  Observed more than 50 of them  Interviewed many of the principle people  involved
    • Exorcisms Are Happening Today Exorcism is alive and well in Contemporary  America Generally under-the-radar  Thousands have had these rituals performed  Generally only surface when there is a  problem
    • If you know where to look… Yellowpages.com for Miracle Faith &   Tampa: search for Deliverance ―deliverance‖ (as of 7301 N Florida Ave Ste  11/15/2008): A Jesus New Covenant Mount Calvary   Deliverance Fellowship Deliverance Church 2909 E Hillsborough Ave 1509 E Dr Martin Luther   King Jr Blvd True Holiness Church  True Holiness Deliverance Center  Deliverance Child Care 3800 N Nebraska Ave  Center 3800 N Nebraska Ave 
    • US Examples Terrance Cottrell Jr. – 8 year-old suffocated by  Ray Hemphill in 2003 during a 2 hour exorcism http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/08/25/natio  nal/main569963.shtml Ray Hemphill The boy's mother, Patricia Cooper, told  investigators the minister held Terrance Cottrell Jr. on the ground with one hand on his head, another between his legs, and his knee pressed into the boy's chest. Cooper and another woman each held one of his legs, while a third woman laid across his torso. The mother ―stated that while this was going on she could see Ray Hemphill talking to Terrance Cottrell and telling him that the 'Demon should leave him,'‖ for about two hours, the complaint said. When the service was over, Cooper said the boy was not breathing and his face appeared blue. She said several people tried to revive him before calling for emergency help. The boy suffered extensive bruising on the back of his neck and died of suffocation, the Terrance Cottrell Jr. (undated complaint said. photo)
    • US Examples Susan Kay Clark, 59, was killed in February of  2008 by her husband as he was trying to exorcise a demon from her http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Feb03/0,4670,De  athExorcism,00.html  He had his wife pinned down on a carpeted floor  His defense: ―the devil entered his body and caused her to die‖  quot;They were like an old married couple,quot; said Beck, 29, whose late grandfather was married to Susan Clark. quot;They would just roll their eyes at each other, but I never thought something like this would've happened.quot;
    • US Examples 6 year-old girl in Atlanta was killed by her  parents in an apparent exorcism attempt in 2004 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/20/natio  nal/main594278.shtml A 6-year-old girl found dead in a motel room had  been strangled, stabbed, beaten and covered in pages torn from a Bible, possibly in an attempt to quot;undemonizequot; her, police said Tuesday. Christopher Carey, 29, and his wife Christopher Carey Valerie, 27, were taken to a psychiatric ward Monday and charged with murder… The Careys were arrested after they were spotted wandering the street naked in the freezing cold with a 7-year- old girl and 2-year-old boy. The older child provided detectives with information that led investigators to the motel where the 6-year-old was discovered, police spokesman Sgt. John Quigley said. Quigley said the adults indicated they were conducting a ritual that quot;had something to do with undemonizing the child.quot;
    • International Examples Maricica Irina Cornici – killed in 2005 in a  Romanian convent during an exorcism http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-06-  25-exorcism_x.htm The whispers started in April in the mind of the  23-year-old nun. In the heart of an Orthodox convent in Romania's impoverished northeast, doctors say, Maricica Irina Cornici believed she heard the devil talking to her, telling her she was sinful. She was treated for Daniel Petru schizophrenia, but when she relapsed, a monk Corogeanu, the and four nuns tried a different method: exorcism. monk who led the Last week, Cornici was bound to a cross, gagged exorcism with a towel and left in a dank room at the convent for three days without food — where she died of suffocation and dehydration.
    • International Examples 37 year-old woman died during a ―deliverance‖ ceremony in  Auckland, NZ in 2001 http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/24236  Members of a small religious group in Auckland say they believe  that a 37 year old woman, who died after an exorcism in December, will return from the dead in the next few days. The police are investigating the woman's death, which was not reported to the authorities for six days. A member of the group says the woman, known as Joanne, died during a ceremony known as deliverance, which had been performed to cast out the demons which were possessing her. A 24-hour-a-day prayer vigil is being held at the house where she died. Police spokesperson Nolene Hagarty says police are still waiting on the results of the post mortem examination and forensic tests to determine the exact cause of death. Police have asked interpol to help them locate her next of kin in Korea.
    • International Examples Anneliese Michel, 23 year-old woman, died in  1976 weighing just 68 pounds She starved herself to death during a ten-  month series of Roman Catholic exorcism rituals in Germany to cure epileptic episodes  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171 ,919629,00.html
    • THE EXORCIST AS HERO Part One
    • Chapter 1 – The Blatty Factor Priests were losing prestige in the US post  Vatican II (we discussed this in class) One way they have gained prestige is in the  context of exorcisms – they are seen as the true heroes of ―good‖ opposing the forces of evil This is the result of Blatty’s ―The Exorcist‖  Why was The Exorcist so appealing?  Takes science to task for not being able to provide  answers  Argues there is a supernatural force that is beyond science  People love simple answers
    • The Aftermath American Catholics had mixed opinions  Father Donald Campion condemned the movie as sordid and  sensationalistic Turns out, thousands of households across the US suddenly  had infestations of demonic presences My brother Mike’s experience (around 1984 or so):  Greg P. and friend watched The Exorcist and were drinking  alcohol; came to him for help Ironically, Catholics are told to be skeptical about exorcism  Most priests claim to have never seen an authentic case of  demonic possession – just people pretending The Exorcist was followed up with dozens of copycat books  and movies
    • Chapter 2 – Malachi’s Hostages Malachi Martin followed up Blatty’s The  Exorcist with Hostage to the Devil in 1976 As a former priest, this added fuel to the fire  He claimed to know all of the 5 people in the  book, but wouldn’t let anyone verify the claims in the book, including his publisher All of his books mix fact with fiction and  conspiracy theory (kind of like Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code)
    • The Stories All of them are lurid, with lots of sex   Why? Also, many of them are initially skeptics or  involved with science  Why? Routinizes possession and exorcism by giving  patterns
    • The Patterns Pattern of Possession:  Entry – the point at which an evil spirit gains access to an  individual Erroneous Judgments – people don’t take care of it  Voluntary Yielding of Control – give up control to the  demonic force Complete or Perfect Possession – all power of the  individual is lost Pattern of Exorcism:  Pretense – demonic presence attempts to disguise its true  identity Breakpoint – demon speaks in own voice  Clash – lock in contest of wills  Expulsion – when the exorcist wins 
    • Doubts about Malachi Martin The people who would have known about  these exorcisms didn’t:  Father Nicola was the principal investigator for the American Catholic bishops was unaware of Martin’s cases  Father Benedict Groeschel, go-to guy in NYC in the 1970s and 1980s, never seen an actual case of demonic possession; didn’t know of Martin’s What’s going on? 
    • ENTREPRENEURS OF EXORCISM Part Two
    • Chapter 3 – Demon-Busters Lots of unofficial exorcisms taking place in the  1970s and 1980s in the US Maverick priests and non-Catholics  Ed and Lorraine Warren – The Demonologists  Claim there are demons and spirits all around   Exorcisms are the tip of the iceberg  And no one is doing anything about it Two thoughts:  Creating demand for their product?   Classic conspiracy theory – there is a secret problem but no one is willing to help (Catholic Church, government, doctors, scientists, etc.), just those who see the conspiracy
    • Chapter 4 – Demonic Breakdowns Full-on possession transformed into  ―deliverance ministry‖ of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement New form of ministry that turns exorcism into a  home remedy to cure all sorts of ailments:  Demons of anger, lust, resentment, addiction, etc.  A cure-all for all sorts of ailments, including demons that prevent winning elections and making money (e.g., Sarah Palin):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwkb9_zB2Pg
    • Scientific Support M. Scott Peck, PhD, author of The Road Less  Traveled, published People of the Lie in 1983  Said demonic possession was a real condition  Made demonic possession an acceptable middle- class treatment  Also took it away from the campy treatment of it in films and Hollywood Popular culture was pushing exorcisms   Why?
    • Satanic Panics There were also scares of satanism in the 1980s  People thought satanists were everywhere  Torturing kids in daycares  Committing ritual acts of murder (40k per year)  In music, particularly heavy metal  Recovered memories  All included Satanic components  But you can’t see the Satanists; they blend in  How do we account for this?  Hysteria  Was it actually happening?  Not a single clear-cut case ever  Why the hysteria?  It sells! Greed! 
    • Cultural Diffusion Malachi Martin appeared on Oprah   Cases of possession skyrocketed as a result  Same thing happens when the news mentions cases of the flu or meningitis or advertisers mentioning new medical tests (e.g., BRCA)
    • Chapter 5 – The Priest-Exorcist as Hero-Revisited John Cardinal O’Connor, archbishop of New  York, delivered a sermon about the plague of Satanism in the US Also said actual exorcisms were taking place  20/20 showed an exorcism on April 5, 1991  Gina  Father Richard McBrien criticized the exorcism as  ―holding the Catholic faith up to ridicule‖ Why?  Father James LeBar, consultant on the Gina  exorcism, said, ―In the majority of cases these forces are probably the product of an overactive imagination or some definable psychiatric condition…‖
    • Popular Culture Roman Catholic Church has rarely encourage  exorcism Most of this comes from popular media like  20/20, movies, TV shows, etc. P. 70 ―In this capacity, in fact, it isn’t much of  an exaggeration to say that exorcism today is actually the invention of the popular entertainment industry – the product, above all else, of Hollywood hype and Madison Avenue hucksterism.‖  Is this true?
    • CHARISMATIC DELIVERANCE MINISTRY Part Three
    • Chapter 6 – Heartland Deliverance Observes the exorcism of a guy named Paul  Why didn’t Paul’s prayer group want to support his claims of  demonic possession? People were blaming everything imaginable on demonic  possession: marital infidelity to depression This doesn’t work well with the American ethos of personal  responsibility People want a quick fix from exorcism or deliverance, which is  part of its appeal Conclusion of Paul’s exorcism:  P. 81 ―And that was it. No pyrotechnics. No acrobatics or  spinning heads. The whole business orderly and efficient. Over and done with in less than fifteen minutes. Aside from Paul’s coughing and head-jerking, a calm, controlled, almost decorous procedure.‖ Ends up seeing a Christian psychotherapist 
    • Chapter 7 – Pentecostalism Joins the Mainstream Paul’s exorcism seems routinized to the author   They have refined it into something of an art form Originally it was an awful lot like what you see  in The Exorcist – yelling, screaming, fighting, vomiting, etc. Now, the demons are ―bound‖ and the  exorcism plays out calmly
    • Episcopalian Exorcisms? Why did the speaking of tongues and deliverance ministries  in Van Nuys, CA in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church seem so out of place? Because Episcopalians are generally middle-class, and  deliverance and exorcism ministries are generally popular in lower/working class groups Pentecostals are generally lower/working class  What does this say about class differences?  Do people from different social classes comport themselves  differently? Is it acceptable for people in lower social classes to behave in  these ways but not for people in higher social classes? Virtually all investigations into this suggest it is  ―incoherent, repetitive syllabification having neither the form nor the structure of human speech‖(p. 87)
    • Charismatics Label was changed from Pentecostals  (specific groups) to Charismatics (to the practitioners, regardless of denomination)  We now have ―charismatic Catholics,‖ ―charismatic Methodists,‖ etc. Interesting side note – Mormons have their  own take on ―speaking in tongues‖  Mission experiences
    • Taming of the Demons Exorcism became more mellow over time  Started ―binding‖ demons so there wouldn’t be  any hysterics  Why? Pentecostals moved up in social class   That type of behavior was seen as less acceptable
    • The Bible Is demonic possession mentioned in the Bible?  Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, Luke 13: 10-17, Matthew 15:21-  28, Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 8:28-32, Luke 10:17-19, He said to them, quot;Go into all the world and preach the good news  to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.― (Mark 16:15-18) Is this still done today? Why not?  Why do religious ―intellectuals‖ deny the possibility of  exorcism? Why has it fallen out of favor with the Catholic Church? 
    • Who Gets Possessed P. 92 ―Every single person who had come to  [Basham] for an exorcism was a Christian – a born-again, spirit-baptized Christian no less.‖  How do you explain this? Deliverance ministers have two explanations:   Devil focuses on the righteous, to challenge them  Non-Christians don’t recognize it
    • Chapter 8 – The Heyday of Charismatic Deliverance Lots of books that detailed the elements of  demonic possession and affliction (minor possession) Pigs in the Parlor detailed all of the types of  possession  Demonic possession is a danger in every corner of the world  But once you know about it, you can contain it Does this reflect ―demand creation‖ for those  with a product to sell?
    • Chapter 9 – Discerning Demons Might Charismatics experience possession  because they are expected too? Have you ever been influenced to do  something you wouldn’t otherwise do?  Example from pp. 114-115 of a woman who had no sense of what was being suggested, but once she caught on (30 minutes later), she was writhing on the floor with the best of them
    • You’re Possessed The author was told point-blank he needed  deliverance: P. 116 ―You see, Michael,‖ the first woman said, ―these  kindhearted women are picking up that you’re in trouble. They want to help you. All of us have years of experience dealing with the demonic. Are you going to tell us we’re wrong? Are you going to question my discernment?‖  How would you respond He was diagnosed as needing deliverance and  being clear within days of each other by different people
    • You Should Try It P. 117 ―It’s nothing to be ashamed of,‖ the priest  said. ―I’ve even been exorcised myself – several times. It’s a terrific feeling getting liberated from demonic influence.‖ What’s the implication?  Goes with the 1960s and 1970s ethos of self-  improvement  Quick fixes for finding one’s self  Lots of other groups at the time – est, Synanon, Quest In some circles, having been delivered is a badge  of honor suggesting Satan doesn’t have ―more important fish to fry.‖ (p. 125)
    • Manipulation Exorcisms can also be used for manipulation   Tellsomeone their dissent or bad behavior is the result of demonic possession  Used against women, in particular, to get them to accept male patriarchy (demons of dissent or feminism Can also lead to abuse 
    • Chapter 10 – Exorcism as Therapy By 1979, 19% of the US claimed to be  Pentecostal or Charismatic Exorcism was domesticated in the 1980s  (originated in 1614) The addition of binding reflects the power of  changing expectations  Now that you can bind people, the demons accept it  What’s the implication?
    • Other New Developments Genealogical tracking of demons  You can inherit demons from your parents (p. 151)  Dr. K can’t think of any patients who have come for  ―intergenerational deliverance‖ who didn’t need it Implication?  Became a pretty clear ―cure-all‖, self-  help, psychotherapuetic tool Can it be a positive tool?  Many psychological problems are cured just by giving  them attention (thus therapy seems to help in many cases, just due to the attention) However, some cases are more serious and should  receive more attention
    • THE ROUGH-AND- READY SCHOOL Part 4
    • Chapter 11 – The Hegewisch Shuffle My favorite story of the book:  P. 168 ―Pastor Mike Theirer, a small, balding, amiable man in his  early forties, wastes little time getting down to business. Just a minute or two into the deliverance session, he works his way to the front of the brightly lit auditorium and sits down in a metal folding chair beside Brian, a strapping young man with brown wavy hair. Wrapping his arms tightly around Brian’s shoulders, he speaks directly into his ear, commanding the demons to reveal themselves. For five minutes or so Brian sits quietly, fidgeting, shifting his feet, his face pressed against Pastor Mike’s chest, but then, growling and foaming, he lurches to his feet with Pastor Mike now on his back, clinging to his neck. One of Pastor Mike’s assistants, a stocky man in his twenties wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, charges to the front of the room and tries to intervene, but Brian, flailing, kicking, screaming, tosses him aside and starts gyrating furiously, twirling Pastor Mike around and around in an airplane spin, sending his glasses flying.
    • Chapter 11 – The Hegewisch Shuffle My favorite story of the book (cont’d):   Just an hour earlier I had eaten dinner with Pastor Mike at a local restaurant, and now, concerned for his safety, I take off my jacket, walk slowly up the center aisle, and throw a headlock on Brian, which stops his gyrating and gives Pastor Mike a chance to climb from his back.‖ P. 174 – people take turns being exorcised;  everyone gets a chance  What’s going on here?  Video of mass exorcism
    • The Hegewisch Shuffle P. 169 ―As our ministry grows, I hope the Lord will  give us more power to cast out these demons,‖ he says. ―You know, Jesus used to just command demons to depart, and they’d have to leave. It’s strange; it should be that way for us, too. These are very tough, stubborn demons we’re dealing with here tonight. We pray the Lord will give us more power.‖ What’s going on here?  Demons comport themselves based on gender  lines: Men curse a lot; women say ―shut up!‖ 
    • The Hegewisch Shuffle P. 174 ―For a solid hour it’s a repeat performance of the night  before. Clumps of bodies sprawled out across the floor: Foam-spattered writing demoniacs being held down and prayed over. People not directly involved at any given moment stand by the refreshment table chatting, surveying the situation. I position myself by the rear doors, where five young children  are playing on the floor, drawing pictures with crayons, seemingly oblivious to it all… Less than ten yards away Pastor John is now putting on a  roushing show of his own, squirming in a chair, snarling, barking, cursing (―Fuck! Fuck! Fuck this fucking place!‖), with Pastor Mike holding him from behind, praying.‖ P. 168 ―Young children roam the hall, taking it all in  nonchalantly.‖ Can you imagine experiencing this as a child? 
    • The Hegewisch Shuffle Most of the people at the church are working-  to lower-middle-class; plaid shirts, jeans, sports jackets or long skirts and long-sleeved blouses  Why? At 11:00 pm they call a halt to the  mayhem, bind the demons, and wrap things up  What does this indicate?
    • Chapter 12 – Carolina Blues Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, NC  Example of exorcism gone wrong  Exorcisms are used to control  Pastors control members and won’t allow outside  access Members signed waivers to join  Video of blasting  This isn’t necessarily because of exorcism  Many religions do this and all religions have this  potential  Video Taught ―Faith Movement‖ (a.k.a. Prosperity 
    • Chapter 13 – Satanic Conspiracies Among non-Pentecostals  (i.e., evangelicals, mainline, and even Catholics), many are middle-class Most despise glossalalia and spirit-  baptism, but are okay with deliverance  500 to 600 ministries around today Generally do this in secret   Why?
    • Satanic Conspiracies Popular in the 1980s and early 1990s  Called Satanic Ritual Abuse   No evidence for this whatsoever Bolstered by the ―recovered memories‖  movement garbage – people cannot distinguish  Total between planted memories and real memories (see Elizabeth Loftus’s work)  Major implication today – don’t trust eye- witnesses  But people went to jail based on ―recovered memories‖
    • Satanic Conspiracies Why don’t religious academics and many  trained theologians believe in demonic possession?  Believe miracles ended with the Bible  Now all that is required to believe is the Bible How did satanic conspiracies contribute to the  increase in exorcisms?
    • Chapter 14 – On the Front Talks about an exorcism of a young man’s  demons Ends with:  P. 221 ―these demons are now expelled… But your  attitudes of anger and resentment and vanity are long- standing… So you still have a lot of work to do. You could easily fall back into these habitual patterns of behavior. But this wouldn’t be the work of evil spirits; it would be sinful habit… If you find yourself falling back into this rut, you may be tempted by Satan to believe that the demons weren’t expelled tonight and that you’re still enslaved to them. But this would be a satanic deception.‖  What’s going on here?
    • On the Front P. 222 ―Deliverance ministries such as Dr.  Graves’s… provide a relatively safe and nonjudgmental forum for students to sort out difficult (and potentially embarrassing) problems that might otherwise be left to fester… It isn’t the students themselves but rather their indwelling demons that stand in need of correction… deliverance may serve as a kind of functional equivalent to the Roman Catholic sacrament of confession, providing relief not only from tension and anxiety but also from an accumulated sense of personal guilt.‖ What do you think? 
    • On the Front Cuneo’s perspective may be substantially  different from those who are experiencing deliverance P. 226 ―Several months afterward… I bumped  into a young man in New York who had attended the same conference. He told me that it had been the most moving and transformative experience of his life.‖  Why the difference?
    • On the Front P. 234 ―About 80% of his exorcisms have  involved women.‖  ―Men are much less in tune with their spirituality.‖  What’s going on here? Three sources of evil in Evangelical  Protestantism:  The world, the flesh, and the devil  Demonic possession reduces the first two to bit players; it’s all about the third  Why is this appealing?
    • ROMAN CATHOLIC EXORCISM Part 6
    • Chapter 15 – A Day at the Office Warren (the subject of the exorcism in this  chapter) sought out exorcism rather than professional help because he had seen the 20/20 episode where Gina was exorcised  Does the media influence how we behave? P. 247 ―Hollywood sets the scripts, and with  very few exceptions… people undergoing exorcism fall into line.‖  Is this true?
    • A Day at the Office P. 249 ―And here’s the thing: While priest-  exorcists as a rule don’t actively seek out demonic fireworks, they can’t live indefinitely without them. They need them the same way a pathologist needs disease or a coroner homicide – as a validation of purpose, a confirmation of actually being in the game. They’re an occupational necessity… Without the occasional hell-blasting, even the most stalwart exorcist can begin to doubt the relevance of his work.‖  What do you think?
    • Chapter 16 – Official, Unofficial, Quasi-Official P. 257 ―This was my first direct exposure to  Catholic exorcism – official, fully credentialed Catholic exorcism, that is. I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but it was something rather different from what I got. The proceedings had an improvised, patch-work, here’s-what-we-do-now feel to them. There was no scene of shuddering finality, no soul-piercing moment of truth. Everything seemed drawn out and inconclusive – seemed somehow too human… Whatever else they might be, [exorcisms are] resoundingly human affairs, with all of the faltering unremarkability this implies.‖ What do you think? 
    • Official, Unofficial, Quasi-Official As a result of media attention, the Roman Catholic  Church now has more exorcists than it has in decades 10 Catholic priests in the US   Maybe a couple hundred worldwide Even so, getting a Catholic exorcism isn’t easy  and can take months Catholic exorcisms are being performed around  the world, but primarily in conservative diocese, not liberal ones Why? 
    • Official, Unofficial, Quasi-Official Does the existence of exorcists result in  demonic possession?  P. 262 ―If an exorcist is appointed… and if he’s afforded a supervisory role in the investigative process, exorcisms will take place. This is virtually a given, a propositional inevitability.‖  Why?
    • Official, Unofficial, Quasi-Official Cuneo saw over a dozen official Catholic  exorcisms But no ―fireworks‖  Why?   Some said ―luck of the draw‖  Others said ―Satan doesn’t wont to blow his cover‖
    • Official, Unofficial, Quasi-Official P. 267 ―In the irony-begetting-irony fashion of  the day, the media create the myth of the sacrificial priest-exorcist out of scraps of truth and snatches of fiction, and then wind up half believing in their own creation.‖  What does he mean here?
    • Official, Unofficial, Quasi-Official P. 269 ―Catholic exorcism is a rarity among  religious rituals. It seems actually to lose value unless it is performed only under the most extraordinary circumstances – or not at all. Those who perform it more often than is absolutely necessary run the risk of trivializing both the ritual and the evil it is designed to combat.‖  Is this true?
    • Conclusion Exorcism is widely available in lots of forms  Though if you get it, you probably won’t say so to strangers  Widespread practice of exorcism is (probably) not to  due to an increase in possession but from the media P. 272 ―Hollywood and New York City called the shot; a  highly suggestible public took care of the rest.‖ People who want to believe are the ones who end up  believing. Cuneo saw over 50 exorcisms but no indication of  supernaturalism Doesn’t mean it isn’t there  Could be beneficial for some, though certainly can be  very negative Any effects are probably due to the placebo effect 