Interview With An Exorcist

A spiritual perspective on phenomenon

Moderators: ryguy, chrLz, Zep Tepi

Interview With An Exorcist

Postby ryguy » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:54 pm

Please review at your leisure - just published this last night.

Interview with Exorcist Father Jose Fortea

Fr. Fortea's Spanish accent was quite strong, so it took a bit of editing to get everything correct. I know there are countless opinions that run the gamut on this forum about religion, and about the Catholic Church in particular. But my real fascination with interviewing a real exorcist was to get a feel for what it's like for those who actively confront these forces as demons (as opposed to aliens, ghosts, poltergeists, etc...).

Cases like the one he describes in this interview, of the 9 yr-old girl in the hospital, or Marta - where there were allegedly two incidents of levitation, are at least very fascinating.

Anyway...please enjoy.

-Ryan
---
"Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place." - Paul Kurtz

The RU Blog
Top Secret Writers
User avatar
ryguy
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 4920
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:49 am
Location: Another Dimension


Re: Interview With An Exorcist

Postby Access Denied » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:20 am

Interesting interview Ryan, thanks for sharing. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Father Fortea doesn’t appear to subscribe to the more questionable claims of demonic possession involving alleged paranormal effects such as those popularized by the book and movie “The Exorcist” and takes a more “practical” approach to the problem.

I think it’s only fitting that the Institution that fosters (and even encourages in some denominations) the (irrational IMO) belief in (and fear of) demons and demonic possession be the ones responsible (and perhaps arguably best equipped) for cleaning up their own mess. :)

Actually, I shouldn’t say that because as this article points out and Father Fortea seems to agree, it needs to be done by someone who can relate to his or her belief system but isn’t going to make it worse…

The Devil Within
http://www.skepticreport.com/religion/devilwithin.htm

Father Fortea, author of “Interview With an Exorcist,” states that, “The best way to determine if something is demonic in origin or merely a psychiatric problem is through the passage of time. If something that seems extraordinary... is a mental illness, it will get progressively worse and obvious psychosis will develop.”

No offense but I believe the only real “demons” we need fear (besides fear itself lol) are our own primal (“survival of the fittest” chemically driven) subconscious selves that can often “manifest” and “posses” us to do “evil” (selfish, thoughtless) things.

By the way, here’s an interesting article about the origin of “The Exorcist” myth…

The Haunted Boy of Cottage City
The Cold Hard Facts Behind: the Story That Inspired “The Exorcist
http://www.strangemag.com/exorcistpage1.html

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.

An amazing piece of investigative journalism…

[sigh, I’d like to write something like that some day]
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: Interview With An Exorcist

Postby ryguy » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:26 pm

Access Denied wrote:
By the way, here’s an interesting article about the origin of “The Exorcist” myth…

The Haunted Boy of Cottage City
The Cold Hard Facts Behind: the Story That Inspired “The Exorcist
http://www.strangemag.com/exorcistpage1.html


Awesome link and write-up. Just to make it clear to readers out there - you are referring to "The Exorcist", the movie...not implying that the overall idea of Exorcism is a myth. Although that may be what you believe (I think?), the link doesn't prove that. But I don't think that's what you were saying anyway.

Thanks for your feedback on the interview, great response on all points, especially level-headed and fair coming from someone who doesn't believe in demons! I love reading that kind of mature response.

As you know I do believe in demonic forces - but the one issue I had with Fr. Fortea's responses, and it started making me feel a little queasy half-way through the interview, is that he mentioned that it doesn't make sense to have psychiatrists trying to analyze whether there's a demonic issue or not - because spiritual matters should be left to those who specialize in exorcism...a spiritual affliction. He said (although I had to leave it out for sake of space) that it's a common misconception that psychologists need to be part of the process. They don't, he said.

That concerns me. Because while I believe, very much, that the phenomenon of possession (or at least subtle manifestations) do take place in ways many people don't realize - I also believe that an overwhelming number of cases are nothing more than psychiatric illnesses. In my opinion the very first step should be a combined analysis by open-minded clergy and open-minded psychologists. Every possibility of psychological disorder needs to be "cleared" before one should move into examining whether supernatural phenomenon is taking place.

I was happy to see that he was very fair and honest in his analysis that probably only 1% of cases represent truly supernatural/demonic phenomenon.

Thanks again for the feedback AD!

-Ry
---
"Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place." - Paul Kurtz

The RU Blog
Top Secret Writers
User avatar
ryguy
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 4920
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:49 am
Location: Another Dimension

Re: Interview With An Exorcist

Postby Access Denied » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:48 am

ryguy wrote:Just to make it clear to readers out there - you are referring to "The Exorcist", the movie...not implying that the overall idea of Exorcism is a myth. Although that may be what you believe (I think?), the link doesn't prove that. But I don't think that's what you were saying anyway.

Correct, the link doesn’t prove that and that’s not to say I think exorcism can’t “work”… apparently it does for some people.

However, it was intended to show contemporary belief in the “reality” of demonic possession (as something of external origin i.e. supernatural) is most likely based primarily on one “true” story that upon closer examination isn’t… hence my use of the term “myth”.

That said, I must admit my ignorance of the subject as the extent of my own awareness is based primarily on that story as well. :)

ryguy wrote:As you know I do believe in demonic forces - but the one issue I had with Fr. Fortea's responses, and it started making me feel a little queasy half-way through the interview, is that he mentioned that it doesn't make sense to have psychiatrists trying to analyze whether there's a demonic issue or not - because spiritual matters should be left to those who specialize in exorcism...a spiritual affliction. He said (although I had to leave it out for sake of space) that it's a common misconception that psychologists need to be part of the process. They don't, he said.

That concerns me.

Me too. I’m glad you brought that up because after reading your interview I was under the impression that because he doesn’t appear to subscribe to the more “fantastical” claims of paranormal effects (having never witnessed any himself) I figured he believed in taking a more “practical” approach to the problem.

Actually, the first article I linked to confirms what you said, he doesn’t think mental screening is necessary even though the church requires it…

The Devil Within
http://www.skepticreport.com/religion/devilwithin.htm

[emphasis mine]

In 1971, William Peter Blatty's acclaimed novel, “The Exorcist,” was published, followed in 1973 by the film version's release. The novel marked the first time exorcisms had been mentioned in such a public way since the 1600s. The demand for real Catholic exorcisms rose, but there weren't many priests actually trained to perform exorcisms, and the Catholic Church didn't often give permission to perform them. A person who believes they are possessed by demonic forces, according to the catechism of the Church, must undergo psychiatric evaluation to prove that there is no underlying mental cause. There is some confusion about whether the mental screening is really a requirement, or just a good idea, though the catechism is the true reference point. In his novel, “Interview with an Exorcist,” Father Fortea writes that “The Church does not usually require a psychiatric evaluation prior to proceeding with an exorcism.” Though it may be the habit of the Church to perform exorcisms without this evaluation, it is clear from the catechism that one is, indeed, required. To ensure that this procedure is followed, exorcisms must be approved by the Bishop of the exorcist's diocese, a rule that has been in place since AD 416. Pope Innocent I wrote to Bishop Gubbio saying, “Quod hoc, nisi episcopus praeceperit non licet.” (To perform [an exorcism] is not licit without the order from the bishop.)

Because there were not enough trained priests to meet the new demand caused by Blatty's novel and film, and because the Church was unlikely to give official permission, some priests chose to ignore the guidelines for exorcism and perform them on their own.

This article also reinforces my impression that exorcism is a long “forgotten” archaic practice that saw a resurgence in “popularity” due solely to the book and movie and therefore any claims since then should probably be met with a large degree of skepticism.

ryguy wrote:I was happy to see that he was very fair and honest in his analysis that probably only 1% of cases represent truly supernatural/demonic phenomenon.

Any good examples you’re aware of?

I was disappointed to find out the “The Amityville Horror” most likely wasn’t either. :)
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: Interview With An Exorcist

Postby ryguy » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:08 am

Yes - he refers to a supposedly well-documented case of a woman named "Marta." That's where the levitation was seen - but I haven't had time to dig much into the story yet. I've also read a number of non-fiction novels documenting cases where there was supposedly a great deal of paranormal activity that would send "sane" people like you and I running for the door...lol. Once I have some breathing room I might list some of those in this thread for people to possibly read about on their own. Fascinating stuff.

-Ry
---
"Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place." - Paul Kurtz

The RU Blog
Top Secret Writers
User avatar
ryguy
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 4920
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:49 am
Location: Another Dimension

Re: Angels, Demons and the Spirit World

Postby ScaRZ » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:47 pm

Earling Iowa Site of Last Sanctioned Exorcism
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1010349/posts

Warning: The following story contains references to spiritual matters of an extremely frightening nature. Readers with heart conditions, children and those who are otherwise ill-at-ease with detailed descriptions of demonic possession and its associated behaviors may not wish to continue reading beyond this point.

In 1928, an exorcism was performed in a convent just north of the peaceful hamlet of Earling. It was one of the last exorcisms officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The case was reported in several famous pieces of literature. One is a 48-page booklet called "Begone Satan" by the Rev. Carl Vogl, a witness to the event. The second is a book, "The Devil Rocked Her Cradle," by David St. Clair. The third is a novel inspired at least partly by this exorcism and one other in Washington, D.C. The book is called "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty and it inspired a film of the same title, which is considered to be one of the most frightening horror films ever made.

The truth is a difficult thing to preserve after so many years, but Papal records do acknowledge that the exorcism of Emma Schmidt did take place at the Convent of the Franciscan Sisters over a period of 23 days, an unusually long period of time. The convent is gone now, but the controversy remains.

It is said that Emma Schmidt had been possessed most her life, according to "Begone Satan." Born in 1882, Schmidt's Aunt Mina was reputedly a witch "who had placed a spell on some herbs which she placed among the girl's food." A Capuchin priest, Father Theophilus Riesigner, performed the rites of exorcism on her the first time in 1912, but she became possessed again "due to the curses hurled against her by her wicked father." The Earling exorcism was performed in three stages between Aug. 18 and Dec. 22, 1928.

According to Vogl in "Begone Satan," Emma Schmidt was a God-fearing woman who began to experience some very unusual things. Though she wanted to go to church, she felt as though something inside of her was preventing her from going, some "interior hidden power."

"She was conscious of some sinister inner voices that kept on suggesting most disagreeable things to her," according to Vogl's "Begone Satan." "These voices tried their utmost to arouse thoughts of the most shameful type within her, and tried to induce her to do things unmentionable and even to bring her to despair. The poor creature was helpless and secretly was of the opinion that she would become insane. There were times when she felt impelled to shatter her holy water font, when she could have attacked her spiritual adviser and could have suffocated him. Yes, there were suggestions urging her to tear down the very house of God."

By the time Father Riesigner approached his superiors about the Earling exorcism, Schmidt had not known a peaceful night's sleep for 26 years because of the voices inside her.

The modern debate is between those who believe Emma Schmidt to have simply been insane versus those who believe her to be a true example of demonic possession. It is not the position of the Daily Nonpareil to advocate one position over the other. However, the evidence for possession, the evidence that convinced a Capuchin priest and inspired decades of controversy, books and film was that Emma blasphemed whenever holy relics were brought near her. She foamed at the mouth. She made a variety of animal sounds. She was able to detect blessed food and rejected it. She spoke and understood Latin and other ancient languages in which she had no formal training. On at least one occasion, she levitated to the ceiling in front of witnesses.

During the exorcism, nuns were made busy in removing bucket after bucket of unusually foul smelling waste and green vomit from the woman who had eaten nothing in days.

A pea-sized lump moved freely underneath Emma's skin. Voices emanated from inside her chest identifying themselves as various demons, threatening participants with bodily as well as spiritual harm.

"Her body was completely distorted, swollen so badly that the nuns feared she would burst," according to the Web site, "Haunted America." "Emma's head swelled and turned red, her eyes bulged from their sockets and her lips protruded to twice their normal size. Sometimes she seemed to float above the bed, other times, her weight became so great that it bent the bed's iron frame."

According to Rev. Vogl's account, a hideous smell as well as the many loud noises drew the curious from Earling while at the monastery, an "epic battle" was raging.

"It was during this time that the poor woman admitted during her periods of rest that she had visions of horrible battles between the good and evil spirits. Countless numbers of evil spirits continually arrived. Satan tried his utmost not to be outdone this time. The good angels came to assist at the exorcism. Many approached seated on white horses and under the leadership of St. Michael, completely routed the infernal serpents and drove the demons back to the abyss of hell."

As the exorcism continued, the evil spirits appeared to be losing ground although it was noted that they often try to fool the exorcist by pretending to leave the body of their victim.

"Their bold, bitter demeanor gave way to more moaning and despairing tones. They could not bear the tortures of exorcism any longer ... Father Th. demanded in the name of the Most Blessed Trinity that at their departure the devils should give a sign by giving their respective names ... Father Th. shouted, 'Depart, ye fiends of hell! Begone, Satan, the Lion of Juda reigns!' ... (Emma) fell upon the bed ... a piercing sound filled the room ... voices saying, 'Beelzebub, Judas, Jacob, Mina,' could be heard. And this was repeated over and over until they faded far away into the distance. 'Beelzebub, - Judas, - Jacob, - Mina.' To these words were added: 'Hell--hell--hell!' Everyone present was terrified by this gruesome scene. It was the long awaited sign indicating that Satan was forced to leave his victim at last and to return to hell with his associates."

There was much rejoicing and it is said that Emma was able to attend mass and partake of all manner of holy rituals after that time.

****************************************************

Priest described 1928 possession of Iowa girl
The 23-day exorcism of a 14-year-old took place in a convent in Earling
By MARY NEVANS-PEDERSON TH staff writer
http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=221231
Image
User avatar
ScaRZ
Clearly Discerns Reality
Clearly Discerns Reality
 
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 1:49 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Interview With An Exorcist

Postby Access Denied » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:15 pm

Hey ScaRZ, hope you don't mind but I moved your post to this existing thread about exorcism.

You might find the lengthy investigation into the people behind the story that was the inspiration for the movie “The Exorcist” I linked to earlier in this thread interesting if you haven’t read it already.
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: Interview With An Exorcist

Postby ScaRZ » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:23 pm

Thanks AD for moving it. It fits in much better here,I just never thought about it.
Image
User avatar
ScaRZ
Clearly Discerns Reality
Clearly Discerns Reality
 
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 1:49 pm
Location: U.S.A.


Google

Return to Spirituality and the Paranormal

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron