Sunday, March 26, 2006
Exorcist casting the devil out of Tulsa

When Sherri roared like a bull, rolled her eyes into her skull, and lunged against the three men who were holding her, Bob Larson says he saw the devil. He should know. Larson is one of the leading practitioners of modern, Christian exorcisms, and here I was in a hotel conference room in Tulsa, Oklahoma, right across from Oral Roberts University, watching him wrestle with demons.

Larson performs his exorcisms in rooms full of people -- sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands. One religious scholar says 600 Protestant churches have established what they call Redemption Ministries in recent years, which feature exorcisms or something like them.

At the heart of all this is a basic belief that demons are real and move among us, inhabiting people's bodies and driving them to all manner of bad behavior.

On this night, as Larson stood with his Bible in hand and called out demons, a half-dozen people howled, cried, and bellowed in strange voices, while he ordered their possessors back into the pit of hell.

I am naturally skeptical of things that cannot be proven, so I had to ask: Is all this just a show?

Larson and the folks he confronted say absolutely not. Larson freely admits he has been called a charlatan, a flimflam man, and a snake-oil salesman. But he clearly has legions of followers -- people who believe exorcism can help them in the eternal battle between heaven and hell. Sherri says she feels a great weight was lifted from her through the experience.

So what do you think: Are modern exorcisms a legitimate religious practice or spiritual vaudeville?

Posted By Tom Foreman, CNN Correspondent: 9:18 PM ET
Whatever next? burning heretics at the stake?

You know, there's a time and place for being respectful of the beliefs of others, and there's ALSO a time and place for being alarmed as the nation spirals further and further down into Middle Ages beliefs, distrust of science and apocalyptic yearnings.

We all watch in alarm as Afghanistan plans to execute a guy for converting to Christianity, and yet in our own country, there are people who would, if they could, disqualify you for a job or a loan or an adoption because you're NOT a Christian.

I can't be the only one to find it ironic that we're fighting Islamic fundamentalism abroad while ignoring the very real dangers of Christian fundamentalism at home.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 12:02 PM ET
I know by personal experience that demons possess humans. My ex-husband, a Baptist minister was Satan himself. No, I am not kidding. He was evil, wicked,violent,and very abusive. His face would distort and his voice change into something very demonic. It was terrifying!!!!!! I believe that Bob Larsen's ministry is real and not a fabricated show. God bless him.
Posted By Anonymous Tara, Gulfport, MS : 1:45 PM ET
No, there is no legitimacy to modern (or ancient) exorcisms. To my mind, these practices are merely an extension of the quintisentially American practice of blaming seemingly mysterious outside forces for our own bad behaviors. "The Devil made me do it" or "I stole from the company because my boss is a bigot" are two heads of the same coin: I've been "victimized," so I take no responsibility for my bad acts.
Posted By Anonymous Nick, Emerson NJ : 1:56 PM ET
Of course this is all a show, at least in this case.
I actually believe in excorcisms but do not believe there's anyone holy enough walking this planet to perfrom them, ESPECIALLY not in this God-forsaken state! The fact that it's in the same town as Oral Roberts University should be your frist red flag.
This is all for show & to shake loose any spare change from people who are already gullible & susceptible to suggestion, especially anything with a wisp of God added for spice.
Posted By Anonymous Rev Kelly R Taylor, Norman Oklahoma : 1:57 PM ET
I think it's a psychological affliction that causes some people to think that 'demons' infest them and it requires an exorcism to save them. There is no medical evidence to support the brain being hijacked by anyone or anything else. Per physics the idea that it could occur is impossible--Newton said it most famously (and please allow me to paraphrase): If you interact with me, I can interact with you. Basically, if a demon could take over the physicality of the mind, then we could interact with said demon in the world of science.

Over 400 years of accurate physics is proof positive that there are no demons, save the ones we create for ourselves. I think everyone involved honestly believes they are genuinely afflicted by a demon, but truthfully, it's an unconscious act by one person, and overt concern by the other. It isn't real.

People possessed by demons are just another garden variety hypochondriac--they believe they really are stricken by demons, and so they show all the symptoms--regardless of the fact there is no cause, nor real demons in the night.
Posted By Anonymous Robert, Cary, NC : 2:03 PM ET
Silliness. It's backwards yokels reinforcing each other's absurd beliefs in the supernatural.
Posted By Anonymous E. Andrew Buckleitner, Grand Rapids, MI : 2:35 PM ET
It is sometimes hard to decide whether these are hoaxes or the real thing. When someone does an Exorcism in front of so many people I would be quick to say this man is a con artist, or that he is doing it to further his career. when confronted with something like this I usually pray about it. The one thing you must realize is that, even if he is a fake, people will still follow him. That is the ultimately sad thing. One shouldn't focus their ideas around Exorcism because that is not the reason Christianity is around. The reason Christianity is here is to spread God's love, not to Exorcise people. Although Exorcism is a great way to show God's power, it is not the only way.

Posted By Anonymous Josh, Colorado Springs Colorado : 2:38 PM ET
In clinical psychological terms it's known as Dissociative Trance Disorder. "The research criteria for this diagnosis require the presence of either a trance state, or a possession trance state. A possession trance state is defined as the presence of a single or episodic altered state of consciousness, in which a person's customary identity is replaced by a new identity attributed to the influence of a spirit or deity ( APA, 1994)"
Posted By Anonymous James J. Lisk (Binghamton, NY) : 2:45 PM ET
Pretty much anything can be termed a religious practice and exorcism is no exception. However, like confession, which is a way to ease guilt, exorcism is a way to explain away bad behavior. This gives us a way out because it's not really our fault. The devil made me do it.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Eastwood Cornwall NY : 2:55 PM ET
It is absolutley true! People should not criticize anything that brings freedom in a persons life so they can finally live a healthy, happy and productive life. Everyone deserves the chance to live the "abundant" life that we were created to live!
Posted By Anonymous Shannon Atlanta, GA : 3:04 PM ET
I think it's very touching that these people have found freedom from the things that had them bound. GOOD FOR THEM!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Deja' Atlanta, GA : 3:07 PM ET
Well, add me to the legion of folks calling him "a charlatan, a flimflam man, and a snake-oil salesman". Because that is what he is. Whether the "afflicted" are also faking, fooling themselves, or mentally ill doesn't really matter to the ethics of his actions. He is the one who deserves censure, because by feeding their belief, he does them and others harm.
Posted By Anonymous Glenn Loos-Austin, Madison, WI : 3:10 PM ET
Just because we don't understand something, we can't take the easy way out and call it "Supernatural". You can't blame "Bad behavior" on demons from the pit of hell...Better take a look in the mirror next time.
Posted By Anonymous Dario Antepara, Hollywood, CA : 3:14 PM ET
I think it's a little freaky but I know it's real.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Atlanta, GA : 3:19 PM ET
As a Tulsa resident, I am truly embarrassed about these kinds of stories when they hit the national press.

FYI: The hotel where this is taking place is a stone's throw away from ORU's large praying hands and the site of the former hospital built by Oral Roberts at the direction of a 900 Foot tall Jesus, which is at 7777 South Lewis Ave.
Posted By Anonymous Roger Eldredge, Tulsa, OK : 3:27 PM ET
We at Landover Baptist frequently exorcise demons. Sadly though, most exoecists are phonies.
Posted By Anonymous Pastor Al Pistle, Freehold, IA : 3:29 PM ET
I would have to have it proven before I gave my opinion.
Posted By Anonymous mike, Tampa Florida : 3:30 PM ET
To call it exorcism spiritual vaudeville is to insult vaudeville. By the way, how come an omnipotent god needs to work through these blowhard bozos to combat demons?
Posted By Anonymous William, Hollywood, CA : 3:32 PM ET
I love the fact that in your picture Mr. Larson has the Bible in one hand and a microphone in the other. I wonder how long it was after the 'exorcism' that the collection basket was passed.

My vote goes into the 'spiritual vaudeville' column.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Houston TX : 3:43 PM ET
I believe in exorcisms and demons. However, I also believe that the 1692 witch trials were founded more on hysteria and mental ailments than demon possession.
Posted By Anonymous Jeffrey, San Francisco, CA : 3:44 PM ET
Hate to say it, but I don't buy it for a second. All I've ever seen and read about modern exorcisms seem like total bunk. Until I'm possessed myself, I don't believe it.
Posted By Anonymous Molly, Coleville, CA : 3:59 PM ET
We live in a materialistic and self-serving age. To question whether spiritual forces are at work in the world today is to show that the wool is already over your eyes. We are entrenched in a society which continually wants to push God and the Bible, Heaven, Hell into the grey. We would rather listen to i-pods than listen to the voice of the living God. We would rather be comfortable in this life of 80 or 90 years than think about living forever. We would rather spend years being educated so that we may theorize we came from apes and ooze than spend five minutes reading the book of the ages which tells us we were made by a creator, we sinned against Him, we began to die, but He has made a way through His blood at Calvary so we may know Him truly. How great is our arrogance that we believe that our failing eyes see what is really real. Jesus said, you cannot see the wind, but you know it is real because you see its effects. Is it such an outdated idea that we believe in God and pause from our endless toil to give some audience to His Word? Read the Bible and listen for Him to speak.
Posted By Anonymous Elijah 14607 NY : 4:07 PM ET
Mr. Larson is to true spirituality, what "fast food" is to proper nutrition. He and his style of renegade exorsists offer a "quick fix" to what may be mental, emotional and even truly spiritual problems.
The truly sad thing is, not only is it a flakey form of flim-flam spirituality...when it comes to making money for his services, Mr. Larson seems to totally ignore his supposed master,"Jesus", who reportedly trained his disciples free of charge. One can only join Larson's program for a year after "an initial gift of $199 and a monthly pledge of $150 over a 12-month period".
Clearly, this is not what Jesus did. He told his disciples:

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
Source: Matthew 10:8
This should give a person good reason to ask which "Jesus" Bob Larson represents. It certainly doesn't seem to the be Jesus described in christianity.
For these reasons alone, anyone with a desire to find help should steer clear of Larson and his phoney-baloney three-ringed circus stage shows. Once the money dried up, he would ,no doubt, be out of the exorsism business for good.
Posted By Anonymous Dean Edward, Saskatoon, Canada : 4:25 PM ET
One person's legitimate religious practice IS another's spiritual vaudeville. As a dedicated agnostic (no, that's not an oxymoron), I think what it all comes down to is that our beliefs have the power to influence the way we perceive the world, so if you believe, then that practice is legit -- for you. I think one of the biggest problems in our world right now is religious zealotry, both here in America and abroad. So I think tolerance is the key. I personally think this stuff is weird as hell, but I'd still be fascinated to witness it and to talk to someone about it!
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Cincinnati, Ohio : 4:31 PM ET
Jesus' cast out demons during His walk on earth, and has empowered His followers to do the same thing in our day and time.
Posted By Anonymous Alan, Shreveport, LA : 4:35 PM ET
Thorought all four of the Gospels, Jesus cast out demons, (ex: see: Luke 4: 33-37, Luke 8:26-39, Luke 9:37-39: and because of sin, the devil infiltrates the thoughts that lead to actions-of believers and non-believers alike..By faith we inherit the ability to become His disciples and walk as He did,thus the ability to facilitate and cast out demons in His name is real..
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth-Tampa, Florida : 4:36 PM ET
Yes, Bob Larson is a charlatan, and the "Sherri's" of the world just people with personality disorders! It's another example of the ignorant masses falling for quacks who profess to heal them in the name of the church! When will these poor fools realize they are being taken? I hope they don't give this guy money, but you know they do...
Posted By Anonymous P Bennett, Dallas, Texas : 4:49 PM ET
I absolutely believe it to be true and wish he were in california so I could take my daughter to him. I believe she may have a demon as she has been involved in the occult and exhibits strange behaviors when attending church with me. She gets intensley uncomfortable and sweats in her hands like crazy. She said when she is in church she feels the urge to run out of there. If Bob Larson would come to California I would try to get my daughter to go. The local Pastors in my experience admit there are demons but seem uncomfortable with casting them out.
Posted By Anonymous Anna, Yucaipa, CA : 4:55 PM ET
So where is this abundance of possessed people coming from all of a sudden?.... Well, yes, of course, every weak neurotic schizophrenic non-Christian has a good chance of being possessed by the devil since he/she does not see the bright light that they see..... They probably walk into the next overcrowded mental clinic for the their rituals...... It definitely makes for good entertainment though...
Posted By Anonymous J.B.G, Portland, OR : 4:58 PM ET
I Say it's bull !!!!!!!!!!!! I am as anti religion as you can get, so where are the demons that are looking to inhabit a person. I and many like me would be the perfect host. But then again we wouldn't be any news for the fakes who claim to expell the demons, My belief; we as Americans are trying so hard to be noticed that we are willing to make complete fools of ourselves, if you have any doubts just watch TV with all these reality shows, I hate to say it but the average person just doesn't act that way but for a little cash or popularity they will humiliate themselves, I guess it won't be long until theres a exorcism reality show, who'll be the first contestant for the grand prize. I guess that will qualify for some sort of disability from the Gov't.
Posted By Anonymous Scott Tampa FL : 5:03 PM ET
Doesn't it make more sense to just ask God to help you with your problem whatever it is? My concern, as a Christian believer, is that exorcism rituals are likely to be more focused on the devil than on the Almighty.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Covington, Athens, GA : 5:07 PM ET
This is absolutely real!!! As I was fishing last week with Big Foot he was telling me his mate was possessed by the devil and this guy cured her. He started to go into details when the loch ness monster brushed the bottom of the boat and we fell into the water. After we swam to shore I hoped on my unicorn and he on his pegasus and we rode off into the sunset. I never got all the details but I'm a believer.... It's 2006 not the dark ages and anyone who believes this ridiculous nonsense needs more help then can be provided.
Posted By Anonymous Joe, Phoenix, AZ : 5:13 PM ET
I find the behavior of the exorcists as interesting as their subjects. Believing in demons is one thing, but believing you have the capability to make a supernatural power move on at your request is certifiable.
Posted By Anonymous Renee, Ashland, WI : 5:16 PM ET
There have been several botched exorcisms that have led to deaths. These people aren't possessed. They're mentally ill. Denying them care should be a criminal offence.
Posted By Anonymous Bekah Marie, Miami, Fl : 5:17 PM ET
I think if you believe in God and all that is good then you almost have to believe that evil exists as well. And if evil and demons exist then I for one sincerely hope there are beings that can protects us and get rid of the evil. I may be wrong but I thought I heard of priests performing exorcisms even when I was a little girl,(not from personal experience of course).

Not to be nosy but how did you manage to post to the blog at 9:18 PM on Sunday when it is only 5:00 PM on Sunday March 26? Just curious.

PS Where is Anderson? It's not the same without him.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 5:19 PM ET
Performing an exorcism in front of an audience does make it little more than spiritual vaudeville. I believe that demonic possesion does happen, but the cure must be taken care of very discreetly, very quietly. The victim does not need additional publicity.
Posted By Anonymous Sean Hallissey, Portland, OR : 5:25 PM ET
The devil and demons are real and can be over powered by Christians. The authority comes to us from God through Jesus Chirst. Matthew 10:1 and Luke 10:19 are good reference points from which a Christian can understand the power we have over the devil. It is our duty to exercise this authority. Live in peace. Joe Reed
Posted By Anonymous Joe Reed, Wichita Falls, TX. : 5:54 PM ET
The worst kind of crook. Praying on the mentally ill and those who that need real psychiatric help, He should be put away for a long, long time. Right along side the ones that pray on the elderly, or disaster victims.
Posted By Anonymous R. Reagan, Highlands Ranch Colorado : 6:12 PM ET
I believe that they can be true. Sometimes things happen, and maybe having hope is what brings out the bad spirit or demon in us. Maybe it really isn't a demon, and we just call it that, and it helps us, just knowing that someone has "helped" us.

p.s. Does anyone like the new layout of the site, I really liked the old one better..:(
Posted By Anonymous S.R, Germantown, TN : 6:19 PM ET
The devil is for real. Forty years ago I also attended an open exorcism in Woliso, 100 miles south of Addis Abeba Ethiopia by an Ethiopian Tewadeho Orthodox Church priest whose famous name echoes in the mountains of Ethiopia. Aba Wolde Tensae would cast the devils out from screaming victims held by 4 persons in the small arenas attended by those who contribute a small sum for witnessing the age-old practice of exorcism. It is not a religious practice or vaudeville. It is "spiritual" medicine for victims possessed by spirits rather than germs and viruses. It is real and occurs at the frontiers where the physical world and spiritual world converge in all four corners of the earth!
Posted By Anonymous Basliel W. Gabriel, Centreville, Virginia : 6:24 PM ET
There is no question in my mind that these exorcisms are just for show. There is nothing new about this- you do a hocus-pocus trick and people give you money. He is just selling the religious equivalent of a freaky side-show, and at the same instilling the fear of hell that will keep people coming to church and tithing regularly.
Posted By Anonymous Kate W., Tampa, FL : 9:08 AM ET
History will show that exorcisms will bow to folly in the same manner as the Witch Trials did over 300 years ago. The brain, and its associated complexities, is the key to explaining such bizarre behavior. The true demons are made of flesh and bone and feed on our ignorance and fear.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Commerce Township, MI : 9:10 AM ET
Belief's, religious or not, help foster suspicions and more often than not lead to unrest, violence, war and deaths. All beliefs should fall under superstitions and be treated as such. When you become over zealous with the superstition and believe the teachings over daily reality, then you should be deemed insane and institutionalized to protect other non believers from your potentialality of causing them harm, in any way. Anyone can affect their health, either positive or negative, if they believe in any superstition of any kind strong enough.
Posted By Anonymous Rod' Sanders Vidalia, Ga. : 9:11 AM ET
My belief is that people have an innate sinful nature (manifesting itself in pride, selfishness, deceit, etc.) But.. in addition, I believe there is a Satan (or as scriptures call him, a "Father of Lies") who has a legion of demons whispering into people's heads, influencing choices, etc. I believe there are instances where a person has (unwittingly or not) allowed himself/herself to be used (puppeteered) by an evil spirit or spirits. Joseph Kony is a perfect example, as his Lord's Army in Africa, preys on young children by the thousands, if not tens of thousands, committing acts of violence and sexual abuse that - even in this century - stagger the imagination.
Posted By Anonymous Jon, Plantation, FL : 9:14 AM ET
Some people are incapable of thinking irrationally. Some seem incapable of thinking rationally. If a person actually believes he or she is possessed by a demon, there isn't much point in arguing otherwise. But you have to think you are something special to actually get the attention of supernatural forces. And if exorcism's so exhilerating I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of these people repossessed.
As for the exorcists, hey, they've found a market.
Posted By Anonymous John, Tampa FL : 9:19 AM ET
I am so thankful. for the people, GOD sends to help us.
Posted By Anonymous c.perez, jonesboro,in. : 9:23 AM ET
This is ridiculous. At best it's just a silly show and at worst it's a harmful and dangerous game. Children have been killed in recent years in the course of so-called exorcisms. It's the 21st century. It's time the religious wackos came to terms with it.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Martin, New York, New York : 9:39 AM ET
I believe that, at times, discontented, angry, miserable spirits of people who have passed away but not found their peace and role on the other side will inhabit people who, for one reason or another, are susceptible to invasion and a form of possession. But I do not believe in demonic possession because I do not believe in demons--except for persons among the living who do such evil they can rightly be regarded as demoniacal.
Posted By Anonymous Stephen S., Baltimore, MD : 9:42 AM ET
Many of the symptoms presented in "demon" posessions are that of severe mental illness. They should not be treated lightly, and should be remedied accordingly-- through medical and psychological treatment. Not an exorcism.
Posted By Anonymous Kai, Glenside PA : 9:44 AM ET
Sadly, it is far too easy to shirk personal responsibility and blame contrary behaviour on the idea of "Satan" or the devil. This sort of attitude not only drives the self into denial, but also serves to divide people. Anthing that Jesus might have taught about love and acceptance goes out the window because in order to maintain control of the flock, Larson has to rule with fear. The battle becomes "us vs. them" the "saved vs. the sinners", the "righteous vs. the corrupt", "God vs. the Devil".

If someone does something that we disagree with, we should accept them as a part of humanity and show empathy and compassion, not brand them as an instrument of some evil being with supernatural powers and a sinister plot.
Know thyself honestly before assuming you know the faults of others. If these "bad" people were allowed to explore thier feeling, emotions, desires, and needs without the fear of shame and guilt associated with the "God vs Devil" bunch, there would be no "great weight" that had to be lifted from "Sherri".
Posted By Anonymous Andrew, Pittsburgh, PA : 9:46 AM ET
Demons are real just as God is real. Many people who will not recognize this can spend a lifetime trying to battle something that only God can handle or even change. It is through the ministers of God and people that He has chosen that deliverance is recieved from such a world that truly exist even among what already seems to be hell. In the abyss of our minds we create only what we want to believe. Thats okay if you deem to be right.
Posted By Anonymous D. Rogers, Fort Worth, Texas : 9:48 AM ET
I suppose if someone really believes that they are possessed by a demon that is causing pain and trouble in their life, going through a public "primal scream" would be cathartic. Having the support of their community certainly would help them as well. It's also easy to blame outside forces for troubles we are having in our lives. As a "recovering" Catholic, I can attest that people truly believe this kind of thing exists. Having studied Anthropology I now realize that these kinds of beliefs and practices are not unique to American culture, but are universal.
Posted By Anonymous Monica, Birmingham, AL : 9:50 AM ET
It's actually none of those, demons are real and if your don't trust in God, they can cause you to do bad things, they can make you feel the lies of that your worthless, and give you the stuborness of to do good or listen to things, or even be a good person, and yes they cause people to freak out like this, I hate how people call all this stuff "religious" your sopposed to live your life for God, to receive eternal paradise, not to look at it as a side thing in your life, and people that do bad things for many years get many demons in them and you can even see how these peoples bodies posture and facial features start to begin to look like the drawings you see of them,you can see this especially in gay people, because bad sex things are the most sinful things that let them into you, sex is for marriage/children, nothing else. What this guy basicly did was he must have asked Jesus, God to flee the demons out of her and when she said a weight got lifted off of me, that was the demons leaving her, and Jesus making her feel better.
Posted By Anonymous J.M. Lakeville Massachusetts : 9:57 AM ET
All I know is I saw Denzel Washington's movie about evil transferring from person to person and it scared me to death. His role was police detective investigating murders that had ominous messages and code left by the perpetrator. The role of the professor gave what I assume is informative documentation about evil. Have we approached this situation with MRI/MRA? Are scientists researching it? Does their data conflict with the religious absolution? I don't know.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Clayton Georgia : 9:59 AM ET
Walk into a psych.ward and yell Jesus is Lord, Jesus is King and you will have all the proof you need by the reaction. Jesus said we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places. Eph6:12
To have a tiny five foot woman pick up a 200lb man in each arm and cast them aside with ease, slither across the floor like a snake and contort in ways impossible for the human body is all the proof I need. Warning!!! Do not fool with and take lightly something you know nothing about, your life and your eternity IS at stake. This is not a game, though some wish to make it out to be merely a side show event to cloak the reality of it.
Posted By Anonymous ER, Detroit,Michigan : 10:01 AM ET
He's no more than a common scam artist, feeding on the irrational beliefs of others.
Posted By Anonymous Brent, Austin, Texas : 10:01 AM ET
Yes, I believe in what BOB LARSON is doing in his ministry. However, it is not exorcisms but deliverance. People are being delivered from generational curses and spirits that they have opened themselves to through certain sins such as sexual soul ties and lying, for example. I wish he would come to San Antonio Texas.
Posted By Anonymous jd cooper san antonio, texas : 10:06 AM ET
Larson has a new book available on 'Spiritual Warfare'; it can help you identify the 'Influence of witchcraft and paganism in today�s culture.' Maybe when christian fundamentalism once again gains the upper hand in our country (fueled by the faith respecting casual believers and the politically correct), Mr. Larson can come to your town and help identify some witches. Who knows, it could be someone in your own family! Thanks for your 'natural skepticism', Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous James, Asheville NC : 11:24 AM ET
It's interesting to me to see the number of sharp and opinionated comments logged in from people who seem to have no spiritual orientation or knowledge of spiritual realities whatsoever - just an emotional reaction to share. Frauds abound in every walk of life, and while they can obscure they nevertheless do not diminish realities. Anyone with even a very casual spiritual experience or insight (not even necessarily having any "religion" overlaying it) can easily confirm the existence of a realm outside the physical. Like the physical, there are laws governing functionalities in this realm, many of which can be accessed and manipulated by anyone who knows how. This, after all, is the basis for witchraft and many other spiritually-based practices. Real Exorcists, while perhaps appearing somewhat sensational in their methods, are actually functioning very narrowly in this realm. They are simply calling into play specific laws that govern one aspect of the interaction or intersection of spirit and matter. The way to test or measure whether a person is really causing things to happen in this realm that can't usually be seen with human eyes (which are themselves notoriously unreliable)or just pretending is amazingly simple. Just look at the results. The results speak for themselves.
Posted By Anonymous Richard, Fairfax, VA : 1:03 PM ET
Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, there is a suprising amount of evidence showing they do work, meaning the afflicted person returns back to normal after. Whether you believe in the devil or not, the fact is if the person BELIEVES they are possessed and if that same person BELIEVES that the exorcism has saved them than it has worked. The problem could be psychological, but that doesn't mean the solution can't be a religious experience.
Posted By Anonymous W. G., Waterbury, CT : 1:27 PM ET
I suggest all of you read this book:
Remarkable Healings by Dr. Modi - a psychiatrist that is surprised by what she hears from her patients. It's very interesting and is not a religious viewpoint! You can probably find it in the library or local bookstore.

BTW - I'm a former Tulsa native - and very familiar with Oral Roberts University and the area. Just because this minister held this reported healing session in that vicinity doesn't mean that it didn't happen. From his website, it appears that he does hold them across the nation.

There are many unseen elements in this universe. Awareness is the key.
Posted By Anonymous Portland, Oregon : 2:13 PM ET
snake-oil salesman sounds about right
Posted By Anonymous NYC, NY : 4:01 PM ET
I find it interesting that we are all making comments about exorcism based on what we think or feel but have absolutely no knowledge to back up what we're saying??? Most of the comments on here are simply based on fear of the unknown. Before we make a quick and fast judgement should we not prayerfully ask God to show us whether it is real or not?
Posted By Anonymous Alberta, Canada : 4:21 PM ET
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