Friday, August 23, 2013


In preparation for this post, I watched a documentary called The Rite of Exorcism: Myths, Mystery and Hope.  For the Catholic-centered program, various men were interviewed on their beliefs.

The video stated that possession is when the Devil takes temporary control over a body.  There were four ways discussed that will lead to a person being possessed:
  • the occult
  • hardened sin
  • a curse
  • signing a pact
Of the above, the only path of destruction discussed in detail was the occult.  One of the men being interviewed described the occult to be when people turn away from God.  He also stated that examples of such practices would be Ouija boards, tarot cards, palm reading and the like.

The signs of possession were listed as follows:
  • abnormal strength
  • ability to speak in an unknown foreign language
  • knowledge of unknown things (clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.)
A few more points broached in the documentary were that giving man free will was a risk God decided to take.  It is up to all people whether they will chose good or evil.  It was stated that God desires for everyone to go to heaven and that it is not He that sends people to hell, but people chose to walk there themselves.  One of the men interviewed said that it is Satan's goal to lead people to destruction and that he wants to keep people from heaven.  According to the documentary, before an exorcism is conducted, a full psychological evaluation needs to be conducted.  One person interviewed stated that the person conducting the exorcism should be the last person to suspect that a possession is present.

I'm not going to lie, it was very hard for me to watch this documentary in its entirety.  Being from a path that finds it unsettling to preach to others, it sounded to me like that was the only objective of this program.  By the descriptions given in the video, most of the practices of my faith have been demonized.

Studies have been conducted with findings suggesting that people who believe in a higher being  are more happy.  One must not believe in the Christian God in order to benefit from this.  A person simply has to believe in a higher power than themselves.

The gods and goddesses from Pagan faiths have both light and dark qualities.  There is no one supremely evil being.  But, since both light and dark sides of deities can be called upon, it is up to the  individual practitioner to chose between good and evil.  With that being said, Pagans have rules that state they are not allowed to harm anyone (including themselves) and they are not to take away the free will of another being.  The above points don't sound all that different to me than the ones stated in the documentary.

How about you?  What's your take on it?  


  1. Possession and exorcism are not a part of my personal belief system, but I always find it fascinating to learn about others' beliefs. I think watching that documentary would have been difficult for me too, Kristi. When I hear about exorcisms I can't help but think that the "possessed" has a mental illness and/or is doing something contrary to their well-meaning relatives' beliefs. I don't feel like they're being consumed by "evil" from the inside, but like they're being treated wrongly by their family members. Not that I don't believe in some paranormal phenomena--I do--just not possession. Maybe because I haven't had a personal connection to it. If it's real, let's hope I never do!

    1. I've never seen a possession first-hand either, Chris. I'm not sure if they exist or not, but if they do, I hope I never do experience it. Some of the scariest movies for me are the ones that involve possession. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was one that really got to me!

  2. I think there are many occurrences in this world that have no straight forward explanation. Despite beliefs, it bother me that many religions want to demonize these things out of fear rather than understanding.
    Belief is personal. Believe in something more than yourself, believe in a greater good no matter the title you give it. Live life in an attempt to understand the whole rather than hide in fear from its parts. There is good and eveil everywhere, even in humans.