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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » TV series "The Exorcist" premieres tonight (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Orville Smith
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The premiere of this new TV series is based on the blockbuster movie from 1973, which was, in turn, based on an actual case of demon-possession. This prompts the question, how many of you believe in demon-possession?
http://www.fox.com/the-exorcist
Cliffg37
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Often you and I seem to agree Orville, but here I must diverge. I do not believe in Demonic possession in any way shape or form. I do believe is some things, for example mental illness. People can self-hypnotize themselves into a number of things, including speaking in gibberish that seems to mean something but does not. The claim about the bed levitating, did that happen, or was it a figment of the imagination of very distraught parents. Who actually saw it?

In today's modern age of technology, how many demonic possessions are claimed? It is just too easy to record the rantings and etc, and them analyze them.

I do not know all the details of the kid in D.C. that the book was based on, but I did read the book and see the movie. Both were entertaining. I also liked the Richard Pryor skit on SNL that was a take off on the movie with Larraine Newman as the possessed kid. Brilliant lines there... "Your mother eats kitty litter." and "Your mother sews socks that smell." ROTFL

On the more down to earth side of the coin. It is nearly impossible to prove a negative, and it is much easier to prove a positive. To prove there is no such thing, I would have to debunk every claimed instance. Is the kid in D.C. still alive to be questioned or interviewed? If he is alive is he totally out of it in a schizophrenic fugue?

To prove it is possible, you need only provide one instance that I cannot debunk.
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R.S.
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Quote:
On Sep 23, 2016, Orville Smith wrote:
The premiere of this new TV series is based on the blockbuster movie from 1973, which was, in turn, based on an actual case of demon-possession. This prompts the question, how many of you believe in demon-possession?
http://www.fox.com/the-exorcist



What do you mean by "demon-possession"? And how do you know it's a real thing?


Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
Daryl -the other brother
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Before this thread goes way off track, did anybody watch the show? How was it?
Orville Smith
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It was pretty good, although at the same time I have to admit that it was Nowhere as scary as the original movie from 1973.
Dannydoyle
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It was a different time.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Daryl -the other brother
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I caught it tonight "On Demand". Not bad considering it was the first episode. But Danny is right, it is hard to recreate the scare of a 40 year old classic movie, especially in a TV series. (They are doing a good job with "Bates Motel)
Jonathan Townsend
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A tv series?
Are they going to give the demon a back story with moral / context ambiguity ...maybe make it a hero like the guy in Quantum Leap trying to fix things as jumps from person to person?

:rolleyes:
...to all the coins I've dropped here
ed rhodes
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I was wondering, as they established (through a web search) that the events of the actual film DID happen in this universe, will they try to get Linda Blair onto the show?
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Jonathan Townsend
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...the events of the actual film DID happen in this universe...


That's difficult story premise to pull off. Ttlonists posting on wikipedia?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
R.S.
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Http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/sh......exorcist

Quote:

The script for The Exorcist was written by William Peter Blatty, adapted from his best-selling 1971 novel of the same name. In fact, Blatty won an Academy Award for his script (Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium).

Cashing in on The Exorcist gravy train, Blatty quickly followed up with his memoir about writing the book, this one titled William Peter Blatty On The Exorcist From Novel to Film. In it, he described the inspiration for the film: a 1949 Washington Post article he’d read as a grad student when he was at Georgetown University. The piece, which ran August 20, told of a 14-year-old boy from nearby Mount Rainier, Maryland, who had undergone an exorcism.

Many of the myths surrounding The Exorcist film and “real story” came about because of “the mystic twaddle Blatty gave out to the press while pushing his book” (Kim Mohan quoted in his book Nightmare Movies, p. 43). Blatty had a career and book to promote, and was not above embellishing the story with partly (and wholly) fictional elements. Of course, the film was not a documentary, but Blatty strongly suggested that the film stuck more or less to reality.

Investigative journalist Mark Opsasnick investigated the case and concluded that the Mount Rainier story, as popularly held (and which Blatty used as a basis for the novel), could not be true. For one thing, the family that occupied the home at the time the alleged possession took place did not have a boy there, demon-possessed or otherwise: the occupants were childless. Long-time neighbors denied that anything horrific or supernatural had ever occurred there. There was, however, an actual exorcism done (not in Mount Rainier but in Garden City, Maryland), though virtually all of the gory and sensational details were embellished or made up. Simple spitting became Technicolor, projectile vomiting; (normal) shaking of a bed became thunderous quaking and levitation; the boy’s low growl became a gravelly, Satanic voice. And so on. Those interested in the full details can find them in articles by Opsasnick. One is “The Haunted Boy,” published in Fortean Times, Number 123, page 34; another is in Strange Magazine, 1998, Number 20. The piece is also available online at www.strangemag.com.

More information can be found in Joe Nickell’s article ”Exorcism! Driving Out the Nonsense” in the January/February 2001 Skeptical Inquirer—25(1)20-24; and in Kevin Christopher’s review of Michael Cuneo’s book American Exorcism in the January/February 2003 issue —27(1)48-50.

It certainly is true that exorcisms have been (and continue to be) performed, often on emotionally and mentally disturbed people. Whether those undergoing the exorcism are truly possessed by spirits or demons is another matter entirely. Most often, exorcisms are done on people of strong religious faith. To the extent that exorcisms “work,” it is primarily due to the power of suggestion and the placebo effect. If you believe you are possessed, and that a given ritual will cleanse you, then it just might.

A recent book on the topic (American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty By Michael Cuneo, Doubleday, 2001) found no reason to think anything supernatural occurred in the “real” exorcist case, or any other. After attending fifty exorcisms, Cuneo is unequivocal about the fact that he saw nothing supernatural—and certainly nothing remotely resembling The Exorcist. No spinning heads, levitation, or poltergeists, though maybe some cursing and a little puking now and then.

Cuneo credits Blatty and The Exorcist with much of the modern-day interest in the topic: “Over the course of the twentieth century the popular cultural industry, with its endless run of movies, books, and digital delights, has gained a pervasive influence over the national consciousness. It has attained an enormous capacity for shaping everyday beliefs and behaviors. . . . When Hollywood and its allies put out the Word, somebody’s guaranteed to be listening” (p. 50).

As for historical accuracy, Cuneo characterizes Blatty’s work as a massive structure of fantasy resting on a flimsy foundation of a priest’s diary account of the Mount Rainier case. The Exorcist story gets less and less impressive the farther away it gets from the film that made it famous. As is often the case, sensationalism, hyperbole, and myths replace fact and reality when it comes to making a good story.



Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
Cliffg37
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Thank you for finding that. That article makes sense on several levels. I can believe it easily.
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Dannydoyle
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Yes I was going to point out that an exersism can happen with or without demons.
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jstreiff
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In the 1970s I had the pleasure of discussing the Maryland exorcism with one of the attending Jesuit exorcists who was at the time at Georgetown University. His take on the case as a religious exorcist and psychologist was that the phenomena were physically real but unexplainable by modern physics. He had prior experience with similar cases. I have certainly witnessed macro-PK phenomena uninvolved with ostensible demons that was nearly as impressive and that appeared to be genuine. Similar macro-PK studies were published by Dr. William G. Roll in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research among other places in the 1970s and 1980s. As recently as last year Dr. John Kruth, Director of Rhine Research, reported a poltergeist case he studied recently in North Carolina that was quite impressive.
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Quote:
On Sep 26, 2016, jstreiff wrote:
In the 1970s I had the pleasure of discussing the Maryland exorcism with one of the attending Jesuit exorcists who was at the time at Georgetown University. His take on the case as a religious exorcist and psychologist was that the phenomena were physically real but unexplainable by modern physics. He had prior experience with similar cases. I have certainly witnessed macro-PK phenomena uninvolved with ostensible demons that was nearly as impressive and that appeared to be genuine. Similar macro-PK studies were published by Dr. William G. Roll in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research among other places in the 1970s and 1980s. As recently as last year Dr. John Kruth, Director of Rhine Research, reported a poltergeist case he studied recently in North Carolina that was quite impressive.


I once saw a cat about the size of rat puke up a dog about the size of a horse.

Creeped me out!

I have a PhD.
tommy
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It is scarcely necessary to tell an audience of magicians, whose jobs rest upon their knowledge of the invisible science, that a basic human emotion is fear of the unknown and that fears of invisible threats can so easily be fanned by self-interested bodies as Demons, CO2 and the like. Smile


It is scarcely necessary to tell you that this was pauperized. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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R.S.
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On Sep 26, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yes I was going to point out that an exersism can happen with or without demons.


Does this mean you believe there are demons?

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
R.S.
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On Sep 26, 2016, jstreiff wrote:
In the 1970s I had the pleasure of discussing the Maryland exorcism with one of the attending Jesuit exorcists who was at the time at Georgetown University. His take on the case as a religious exorcist and psychologist was that the phenomena were physically real but unexplainable by modern physics. He had prior experience with similar cases. I have certainly witnessed macro-PK phenomena uninvolved with ostensible demons that was nearly as impressive and that appeared to be genuine. Similar macro-PK studies were published by Dr. William G. Roll in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research among other places in the 1970s and 1980s. As recently as last year Dr. John Kruth, Director of Rhine Research, reported a poltergeist case he studied recently in North Carolina that was quite impressive.


At the end of the day all we have are anecdotes. Not a very good reason to believe something. And besides, if something is "unexplained", then one doesn't get to fill that gap with your pet theory, be it ghosts, demons, poltergeists, or anything else.

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
Dannydoyle
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On Sep 26, 2016, R.S. wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 26, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yes I was going to point out that an exersism can happen with or without demons.


Does this mean you believe there are demons?

Ron


I have never seen evidence that would convince me. But then again I guess what a "demon" is would be necessary to know. But in the sense I think it is being user her I lean to no.

I have seen nothing in my life that would indicate such a thing and nothing that has been researched enough to convince me.

Does this answer your question? I am not trying to be evasive.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
R.S.
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Thanks Danny. Smile


Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
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