Wednesday, August 28, 2019
This is the second part of my two-part article on demonic hauntings and why you don't want an exorcist who advertises. You can read the first half of the article here. But if you're ready, let's get into the scariest possibilities of a demonic haunting.
Before we get too deeply into this part of the discussion, let's take a moment to consider the fact that true possession is extremely rare. With hauntings, only about 5% of the cases paranormal teams investigate are legitimately haunted. Of legitimately haunted locations, only 5-10% are negative in nature--most are residual, too, and don't involve an intelligent haunting. These kinds of statistics are mirrored when it comes to true possessions. In the same December, 2018 article from The Atlantic, the Catholic priests (who all have over ten years' experience as exorcists) that were interviewed all said they'd worked on "only a handful" of true possessions in their careers.
This is for a couple of reasons. First off, the Catholic church has a seriously thorough discernment process before they commit to an exorcism. Father Thomas laid this out in our LiveSciFi interview as well. Before the church risks the spiritual and physical health both of the victim and the exorcism team, the person is subjected to physical examination and then a psychiatric evaluation. Only if the victim gets through both of those will an exorcist consider whether or not the individual is possessed.
If someone claims you need an exorcism and does NOT require medical and psychological competency testing, run away.
You think I'm kidding, but I recently witnessed an "archbishop" who frequently shows up on paranormal television shows tell two people in ten minutes that they were possessed and required an exorcism. He didn't know the history of the two people, their medical history, their psychological state, or their motivations. And neither of these people were walking up walls or spitting up pea soup either. But somehow, this "archbishop" was able to diagnose the need for spiritual warfare within minutes of being in the same place at the same time as the people he alleged to be possessed.
Putting it frankly, that's bullshit.
A true possession occurs when the victim finally succumbs to the diabolical influence in their life that's been gradually breaking them down through the infestation and oppression stages we've looked at already. After suffering through infestation and oppression, the victim is extremely depressed by this point and is on the brink of giving up the only thing the demon wants--their soul.
At the end of the day, the struggles against diabolical agents all come down to the same thing. The longer the victim fights against becoming fully possessed, the worse the paranormal activity surrounding him becomes. Bringing in investigators at this point just endangers them. Only legitimate exorcists can help the victims of true possession--and legitimate is the key phrase here. In my opinion, the majority of legitimate exorcists are within the Catholic church--and you can find those exorcists by contacting the diocesan offices your local priest answers to--along with a very few ordained clergy and demonologists outside the Catholic faith. Sure, the clergy from your family's church are a great option when it comes to blessing a person or location. But to do spiritual battle with the demon(s) behind a possession requires special training, like what's offered at the Vatican's Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome or its sister school in Chicago. Students do not have to be Catholic priests; the church has opened the doors to exorcist training to practitioners of all faiths. However, there's one place you absolutely do not want to go.
The internet. Why?Fake Exorcists
Anyone who advertises themselves online as a demonologist or exorcist is neither. Can't be stated any more strongly than that. If an exorcist or a demonologist has to advertise for clients that's a huge red flag. Another huge red flag? They offer "courses" where for $99, you get reading material AND a certificate meant to validate you as a paranormal investigator or a demonologist or an exorcist.
Total BS, folks.
Considering the surge of purported oppression and possession cases in the world, why would an exorcist need to advertise? Exorcist is pretty much at the top of the list of "jobs no sane person wants". There is NOTHING fun or exciting about confronting a demonic entity. So why would an exorcist need to drum up new clientele?
There are two answers to that question. First, the exorcists who are looking for new clients and more notoriety are the ones who are skulking around on the rotating "guest appearance on paranormal reality shows" list. But second--and pay attention, because this one's the most important--
Remember way up at the top of this article when I quoted the statistics for legitimate hauntings, demonic hauntings, and demonic possession cases? Possessions are extremely rare. So the odds that he'll confront a for-real demon are basically nil. Those odds are always in a fake exorcist's favor. Fake exorcists are snake oil salesmen who exploit their clientele, performing deliverance ceremonies on people who aren't even close to being possessed. They're the equivalent of faith healers who hide chicken livers in their hands and pretend to pull "tumors" from patients' bodies. A fake exorcist demands no medical or psychological exams; they have no real discernment protocols. They are running a huge scam for fame and excitement, which is basically the spiritual equivalent of giving someone chemotherapy for a splinter in their big toe.
Anyone can read from the Roman Ritual--you can download .pdf files online. But the Ritual doesn't have the power to confront a real demon unless the person reading the Roman Ritual has the spiritual backing that ordination in the Church or training and education by the Church or valid religious backgrounds confer.
Beware, too, of variations on the Catholic Church. Learn to differentiate between the REAL Catholic faith, not a fake one claiming to exist because of a schismatic bishop of Utrecht (this digs deeply into dogma, so we'll refrain from getting into this until the paranormal parasites article coming up.) BUT doesn't have a single church he or she preaches at. Seriously. If the "archbishop" who's advertising as an exorcist has no congregation, no link with a legitimate denomination, and if their mailing address is obviously their apartment? That's not a valid member of the clergy. There are purported archbishops out there where the entirety of their religion appears to be an archbishop, three or four bishops, a couple of deacons, and that's about it. They have more clergy than parishioners because there are no parishes. Many fake exorcists claim to be of the OLD Catholic Church. Word to the wise--there is no Catholic Church older than the Roman Catholic Church. There is a schismatic branch called the Old Catholic Church that the Vatican recognizes as a legitimate arm of the Church, but the real Old Catholic Church has things like churches, denominations, Mass, et cetera and doesn't require a mailing address at a strip mall.
So if for some reason you don't want a Roman Catholic exorcist, your best bet is to contact credible paranormal researchers who can set you on the right path.
Like here, for example. Always glad to help. My article on paranormal parasites is coming next, so hopefully I'll be able to help you protect yourself from the diabolical--both human and supernatural. In the meantime, if you have questions or are afraid that you're dealing with a demonic haunting then contact me through this blog or email me through my website: celina(at)celinasummers(dot)com. I'm more than happy to help you find a legitimate paranormal research team and to hook you up with the avenues you need to take to seek help from the clergy.
The REAL clergy.
(By the way, all those cool illustrations? Those are woodcut engravings from 1818's Dictionnaire Infernal by Collin de Plancy--and pretty much the only thing of value to be found in this decidedly fictional demonological lexicon.)