Exorcism Live! Feeding Our Insatiable Appetite For the Paranormal
The saturation of exorcisms in modern-day culture continues. Like water to a sponge, people soak up the medieval idea that demons and devils are real, and they infest and control both people and places.
It is not a matter of evidence and science, it is entirely a matter of faith and personal belief. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with individuals having faith an belief, there are tangible dangers associated with belief in exorcisms. People are often injured, both physically and financially when invested in exorcism beliefs, to the point that some people have paid the price with their lives or the lives of ones close to them.
Television networks, like many other forms of media, conveniently ignore the correlation of exorcism belief and personal injuries in order to get ratings and command advertising dollars. Hence, we are going to be “treated” to a live exorcism courtesy of Discovery Communications tonight.
Exorcism Live! will give viewers a chance to see an actual exorcism ritual in action. They will be exorcising an infamous house. As reported by the Wall Street Journal:
The abode, which is nestled in a St. Louis suburb, was purportedly the site of an exorcism performed in the 1940s on a teenaged boy known as “Roland Doe.” The boy’s alleged possession – which was addressed by several Jesuit priests in Maryland and Missouri — made the news of the day and helped inspire a Georgetown University student named William Peter Blatty to eventually write the 1971 novel “The Exorcist.” The rest is horror history.
The movie The Exorcist has a grip on our culture in regards to exorcisms the same way that the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind has influenced people’s collective attitude towards extra-terrestrials. These are the quintessential stories which define each paranormal category (possessions and alien visitations) for many people. The influence these Hollywood productions have had is sizable, insofar that many people actually believe these particular fictions are based in some kind of truth. The end result is that these movies are a form of manipulation, one which excites the imagination of the general population, a population which is too often incapable of separating fiction from fantasy.
For those who have a vested interest in needing a story like The Exorcist to be true (such as the devoutly religious) it is television programs such as this which stoke the fires and perpetuate the idea that possessions are real. It is a terrible disservice to people by The Discovery Network to promote the idea of exorcisms which can lead to pain, suffering, and in some cases, death.