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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No Soul is Safe in Rome

Original Posting: Thursday, 3 November, 2011
"No Soul is Safe"

That is the ominous tagline for the upcoming horror flick, The Devil Inside, starring Suzan Crowley who plays a multi-possessed woman in Italy, undergoing research and what is known in the Roman Catholic circles as Exorcism; which is also defined by such methods as house blessing, cleansing of the soul and flesh, deliverance ritual and so on.

20 years earlier, the victim of the Legion of demons possessing her, calls 911 dispatch to report that she had killed three people in cold blood, more than likely due to the possession haunting her, and it's up to her now grown up daughter and the help of two young priests to do battle against the forces of Hell, against a legion of four powerful demons bent on destruction of souls, that can jump from body to body -- in the heart of the Catholic Church, Rome Italy; in the hopes of saving her mother's tortured soul.

Here is the trailer for the film:

Followed by a poster, portraying the actress with an inverted cross carved into her lower lip. (ouch!)

Religious View on Exorcism:

Possession (definition) of Merriam Webster Online Dictionary-: "the act of having or taking into control"

But movies and Hollywood's popcorn portrayal of Exorcism, the ordeal itself can be just as terrifying, emotional, psychological and spiritual as one may believe it to be. Exorcism, and the rites of deliverance are as old as man-made religion itself. The word "exorcism" is derived from the late Latin exorcismus, and from the Greek ἐξορκισμός, exorkismos - binding by oath. The ritual itself is, in essence according to Wikipedia,  "is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exorcist, this may be done by causing the entity to swear an oath, performing an elaborate ritual, or simply by commanding it to depart in the name of a higher power. The practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.

According to the Oxford Reference Online an exorcism is the driving out of a dybbuk, demons, or evil spirits; the belief that a holy man can order the expulsion of evil spirits that have invaded a place or body of a person is ancient.[1] Different types of exorcisms and rituals can be seen throughout different faiths too. Requested and performed exorcisms occurred rarely until the 1900’s where the public saw a sharp rise due to the media attention exorcisms were getting. There was “a 750% increase in the number of Exorcisms performed between the early 1960’s and the mid 1970’s”.[2]"

Below is the original exorcism of the late Annelise Michel, which inspired the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose:

Annaliese Michel (b.september 21st, 1952, d. july 1st, 1976) was an innocent Russian girl with a strong family background belief in the Catholic faith,,who was possessed and tormented by a legion, or multiplicity of demons infesting her soul, and mind--and as has happened and continues to happen in worldwide cases of Exorcism, the victim dies violently from the demons tearing her body apart.  Now that I've mentioned "legion" twice, it's time to delve deeper into what he is, and to start, in connection to the topic of Exorcism, comes from the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and Matthew, and I quote:

"And He (Jesus) asked him (the man), "What is thy name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many."
-Gospel of Mark, 5:9

"And Jesus asked him, saying, "What is thy name?" And he said, "Legion": because many devils were entered into him"
-Gospel of Luke, 8:30

"And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way"
-Gospel of Matthew, 8:28-34

In other words, a Legion is a multiple amount of demons inhabiting a victim at one time; which was first experienced by Christ during an Exorcism of two men, one of which was possessed. Now, down to the grit of Exorcism itself, that is; possession and the methodology of casting out the demons. There have been cases where exorcisms have gone on for days, hours, years.

There are other cases, referred to as "perfect possession" where an individual has given themselves completely and solely over to the dark forces and demons, and no matter of ritualistic deliverance, holy water, prayers or cross will bring the soul back to God. Exorcism exists in both Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and of course Catholicism. The priest of religious authority would start off the rituale romanum/deliverance rite by opening with protection prayer of Saint Michael; then addressing the inhabited victim and demanding for the demon's name, and reciting prayers calling on Christ to combat the devil inside to let the victim go.
Exorcism typically follows a series of rules, as stated in the rituale romanum or Exorcism ritual:

"The following are selected paragraphs pertaining to the instruction of the Exorcist as indicated in the Old Rite - Rules of the Roman Ritual of Exorcism.

(RULE 1)The priest who with the particular and explicit permission of his Bishop is about to exorcise those tormented by Evil Spirit, must have the necessary piety, prudence and personal integrity. He should perform this most heroic work humbly and courageously, not relying on his own strength, but on the power of God; and he must have no greed for material benefit. Besides, he should be of mature age and be respected as a virtuous person.

(RULE 5) Let the exorcist note for himself the tricks and deceits which evil spirits use in order to lead him astray. For they are accustomed to answering falsely. They manifest themselves only under pressure--in the hope that the exorcist will get tired and desist from pressuring them. Or they make it appear that the subject of Exorcism is not possessed at all.

(RULE 6) Sometimes, Evil Spirit betrays its presence, and then goes into hiding. It appears to have left the body of the possessed free from all molestation, so that the possessed thinks he is completely rid of it. But the exorcist should not, for all that, desist until he sees the signs of liberation.

(RULE 10) The Exorcist must remember, therefore, that Our Lord said there is a species of Evil Spirit which cannot be expelled except by prayer and fasting. Let him make sure that he and others follow the example of the Holy Fathers and make use of these two principal means of obtaining divine help and of repelling Evil Spirit.

(RULE 20) During Exorcism, the exorcist should use the words of the Bible rather than his own or somebody else's. Also, he should command Evil Spirit to state whether it is kept within the possessed because of some magical spell or sorcerer's symbol or some occult documents. For the exorcism to succeed, the possessed must surrender them. If he has swallowed something like that, he will vomit it up. If it is outside his body in some place or other, Evil Spirit must tell the exorcist where it is. When the exorcist finds it, he must burn it."

Scientific View on Exorcism:

"can you ever forensically prove that something is a ghost? No." -Chad Calek, AGH Co-Founder and Investigator.

A medically trained mind with a scientific background would never acknowledge that exorcism or demonic possession actually exists, only epilepsy hysteria, mania, psychosis, dissociative identity disorder and mental or psychological disturbance of the mind, such as schizophrenia, or hallucination or delusion; often ending the possessed individual in psychiatric hospitals under observation and medication treatments -- over the traditional religious or spiritual view.  

In many cases of DID, many people would identify themselves as "demons", even though the diagnosis might actually be multiple personality disorder, instead of possession. Recently, the Vatican has begun re-training of their clergy to practice exorcism, as more and more cases of demonic possession worldwide. (300 priests have turned into exorcists).

In conclusion, even good people who don't believe in demons, can be possessed; or those who play with a spirit board can be possessed. Only a devout faith in God and all his Angels can combat the dark forces of Hell, and all its legions of evil. If the ritual is done right, the victim will live and if not; the devil inside will drag your soul to Hell.



The Devil Inside Movie homepage:
The Ritual of Exorcism:
Explanation of Exorcism:

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