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 Scattershots: exorcism
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2009 :  14:08:44  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Got to thinking the other day, then, after recovering from that harrowing experience, decided to write something about exorcism. I will kick the scrivening off with this plain and simple statement: Exorcism, as it is currently performed, is no more than torture in the name of a religion. The difference is, if difference it be, that in modern times, the victim is usually an epileptic, or an autistic or unruly child, or, as in a recent case, a homosexual teen-ager (previously posted in another thread). Often these rituals result in death.

So what is the genesis of this madness? Let's fire up the Way-Back Shovelhead and see.

Exorcism had rather an innocuous beginning many thousands of years ago. In those times, the diseases such as Gastric Ulcers and Leprosy, and such things as Bipolar Disorder were strange manifestations indeed and, as no natural cause could be discerned, logic dictated that the supernatural must be responsible – sound familiar? So various ceremonies prescribed by whatever deity was in charge of such things were performed by the tribal priest/healer. In the cases of maladies such as the flu or gout, that gentleman could usually claim some success; in others, well, the demon was just too strong, and the whole thing had to be done again, or we can try something else. For the most part anyway, it was fairly harmless. This occurred all over the world but, as civilizations became larger and more compact, it became more intense.

Every major religious and cultural tradition worldwide has espoused the idea of spirit possession and the need for some form of exorcism [Lewis, J., 1995].  The rites of exorcism have included the use of prayers, commands, fumigations (burning of dung), holy water, hellebore, rue, salt, and roses.  The Old Testament shares, "David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him [Wickland, p.18, 1974]."  In some cultures the exorcist functioned in much the same way doctors do now; people would visit the exorcist seeking a cure for illness, misfortune, or bad luck.

As time passed, exorcism took on a more sinister aspect:

Accounts from the 4th century AD depict gruesome portrayals of exorcism.  Zeno of Verona describes, "His face is suddenly deprived of colour, his body rises up of itself, the eyes in madness roll in their sockets and squint horribly, the teeth, covered with a horrible foam, grind between blue-white lips; and limbs twisted in all directions are given over to trembling; he sighs, he weeps; he fears the appointed day of Judgment and complains that he is driven out; he confesses his sex, the time and place he entered into man…[Sargant, p.47, 1973]." 


And in the Middle Ages, became downright ghastly.

The Middle Ages (500-1500AD) saw a revival of ancient superstition and demonology.  The treatment of mental illnesses was primarily left to the clergy who believed evil spirits were the cause.  The devils were exorcised through a variety of techniques which caused physical pain, including scourging [Baldwin, 1991].  The Roman Catholic church continued developing the formal rite of exorcism during the medieval era.  By 1614 the Rituale Romanum was complete; it is still in use today [Baldwin, 1991; Guiley, 1991].  Between 1970 and 1980 the Catholic Church conducted over 600 exorcisms [Baldwin, 1991].


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2009 :  18:12:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A great post, filthy!!!

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2009 :  20:21:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another fine post.

Exorcism is one of the most primitive and bloody ignorant religious practices I know of, right up there with human sacrifice or holy war.

I can imagine how it began, given ancient ignorance of abnormal psychology, abysmal medical knowledge, and lack of any scientific method. In ancient times, a "possessed" person must have appeared (and may have thought of himself) as being controlled by an external entity that was separate from himself. If the victim were sufficiently steeped in a spiritualist belief system, an exorcism may have actually seemed to have worked, at least temporarily. And what other treatments were available?

We have better treatments now. And the more enlightened among us also are capable of distinguishing between abnormal psychology and things like harmless sexual orientations that are not deemed kosher. More light needs to be shed on exorcism and the other uglier practices of religion, especially as the more ignorant, science-hating sects of Christianity, Islam, and even Hinduism seem to be on the rise compared to those religions' more moderate branches.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2009 :  02:51:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys. It's merely a Scattershot that was clogging up cerebral drain and the brief thread on a couple of exorcisms shook it loose. Now it's out, to fester malignantly in the sunlight.



It is really difficult to estimate how many of these barbaric rituals take place, in the US and the world. The only ones we actually hear about are the really savage ones ones that get the police involved. I've no doubt that those are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Most of the rest only result in a yet more screwed-up victim who, wisely, alters his/her behavior so as not to have to go through all of that bogus crap again. And we can't ignore the fact that the victim is almost always a believer who goes into it in all innocence, and certain that it's the right thing to do.

Thus and unfortunately the practice can't, but should, be outlawed.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Science Pricktion
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  20:44:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Science Pricktion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just curious if you can prove that exorcisms are fake?

Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  22:03:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Science Pricktion

Just curious if you can prove that exorcisms are fake?
Since there is a non-zero risk of death involved, shouldn't we treat exorcism like we treat prescription drugs, and demand that the promoters of such things prove them to be both safe and effective? Where is the evidence that demonstrates that demons both exist and possess people?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  22:04:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Science Pricktion

Just curious if you can prove that exorcisms are fake?
As usual, you got the cart before the horse. Since exorcisms are way-out-there ideas that require a series of beliefs in the supernatural (the existence of external "evil spirits" controlling people, as well as the efficacy of magical rituals to drive them out), the burden of proof is on the proponent of exorcisms.

So the question is: Do you have any proof that spirit possession and exorcisms are real phenomena?

(From your past postings, I doubt you even care about the subject, much less believe in it. I suspect you're only here to troll until you can notch up a banning. But here's a chance to prove otherwise.)



Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2009 :  02:04:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Science Pricktion

Just curious if you can prove that exorcisms are fake?
That's like proving the existence, or lack of it, of God, isn't it? It can't be done and therefore the question is irrelevant.

Nothing supernatural can be "proven" simply because physical evidence in in support, or opposition, is entirely lacking and has always been. If such evidence should be produced, then the subject would no longer be supernatural, would it? You really need to think about these things before you shoot out your one-liners. That way, you won't be quite so open to ridicule.

But really, exorcisms are certainly not "fake." As I have demonstrated in the text above, they are all too real for both their practitioners and their victims.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2009 :  07:15:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Science Pricktion

Just curious if you can prove that exorcisms are fake?

Who ever said exorcisms are fake?

I think you need to go back to your cave little wannabe troll.

Exorcisms are quite real events. Performed by delusional people, with zero chance of accomplishing anything they intend, but quite real none the less.

Its the gods/demons/devils/malignant spirits that are the made up part. Guess you aren't good enough at trolling to work out those details huh...

And before you ask, no. I can't disprove those things. Just as no one can actually prove them. Why? because you can't prove or disprove the existence of shit people invent inside their delusional little heads.

Now back to your cave! No pudding for you!

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  17:26:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's another, a very recent one and involving a cop:
A POLICEMAN has been stood down after being charged with trying to perform an exorcism on a teenager at a church youth camp in South Australia.

Senior Constable Roger Sketchley, 28, has been charged with two other adults over an alleged incident at a camp run by the Lutheran Church in the Barossa Valley in April.

Sen-Const Sketchley and other adults allegedly restrained a boy, 15, after he complained of stomach pains in an incident that allegedly went for about 12 hours.

The kid's stomach was aching; it could have appendicitis and 12 hours of restraint might well have killed him. These morons need to be jailed and the pastor of their church advocating it, if indeed he does, along with them.

I was under the impression that officers of the law received at least a little medical training; basic first-aid, if nothing else. evidently, Sketchley ignored that in favor of his asinine superstitions. Or, on a still darker note, he was showing off his faith to the others. Either way, he should never be allowed to work with kids nor in law enforcement again.

Incidentally, the article merely mentions restraint. There is always a lot more to it than that, as we have seen above.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  19:28:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Didn't know that Lutherans were into exorcisms. Or is it an Australian thing?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  00:33:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Didn't know that Lutherans were into exorcisms. Or is it an Australian thing?
I dunno, but like everything else, churches evolve. This is probably a small off-shoot of religious whackos, a pocket population as it were, that the main church scarcely even knows about. We've got the same thing here in all denominations.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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