A Call For The Scientific Investigation Of Exorcism

The image is of Terrance Cottrell. He was killed during his exorcism.
This article is intended as a call for the scientific investigation of exorcisms and a collection of data for a forthcoming article called "Reasonable Doubt About Sin, Biological Bases For Behavior". It shows why in all aspects of life, including faith and religion, that sound principles for evidence need to maintained. It seems there is broad agreement that the suspected demon possessed individual should be screened for psychological disorders, but when and how it gets done seems to be a problem. This is a call to "The Body Of Christ" to do the responsible thing and devote some of those tithes to a fund for the medical/scientific investigation into suspected cases of demon possession to include such things as blood tests, MRI and PET scans.

Wikipedia, Exorcism
An exorcism is a ritual to expel evil spirits from a person or place. In human possession it works by making the demon uncomfortable enough to leave the victim. In order to make the demon uncomfortable, it is usually necessary to make the victim uncomfortable. This entails methods that span the spectrum of annoying, to torturous to deadly. Exorcisms are a common practice in many places in the world. It is sanctioned by at least two protestant churches in the United States, Protestant churches in Nigeria Africa, and by the Vatican. As far as I can tell, they all caution against mistaking psychological disorders for demon possession. This, like prayer, seems to be an intersection between the natural and the supernatural that should have a significant amount of resources devoted to it.

If demon possession is real, what is it about the exorcism that is so compelling that it causes the demon to leave? The exorcist? Why wouldn't it be Christ? Is it the combination of Christ and the Exorcist? Considering that demons don't leave without the exorcist, it must be the exorcist that is the most important part.

The following are a short and incomplete list of deaths by exorcism

* On March, 8, 1995, Kyung-A Ha, 25, was beaten severely during a night-long exorcism conducted by members of the Jesus-Amen Ministries in San Francisco.
* Kyung Jae Chung was killed in a July 4, 1996 exorcism in Los Angeles.
* In 1997, a 5-year old girl in Bronx, N.Y., was forced to drink a mixture of ammonia, pepper, vinegar and olive oil because her mother and grandmother thought she was possessed. Gagged with duct tape, she died.
* Charity Miranda, a teenager from Long Island, N.Y., was suffocated in a plastic bag by her mother and sister during a ceremony in 1998.
* Terrance Cottrell, an 8-year-old, was beaten to death during an attempted exorcism in Milwaukee last September.
The above taken from CBS News
* priest and nuns jailed for exocism death
* Janet Moses, a mother-of-two, is thought to have drowned when at least one member of her 'healing group' held her under water, while trying to drive out an evil curse.

The following are links to information about Pope sanctioned exorcism
Pope John Paul II performs exorcism
Pope Benedict XVI promotes exorcisms

And the following are a list of where to go to get an exorcism done.
Logos Christian Fellowship
Erica Shepherd, Lady Exorcist
Integrated Healing Prayer Ministry, maybe Erica again
Adversaries Walk Among Us
Vatican School for Exorcism
Witch Children of Nigeria

With greater scrutiny maybe the practice will fall into disrepute and the victims will get the help they need instead of abuse.

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