I didn’t mean to get sucked into four days of exorcisms, but it seems that the trend in paranormal tv has gone from psychic detectives to ghost hunters to celebrity ghost hunters to exorcists to, I suppose, in a way, celebrity exorcists.
Ha, on a side note, they should totally have a show where Gary Busey is supposed to have an exorcism, but for some reason thinks he is the exorcist. That would be some “Celebrity Rehab” shit I would watch.
Anyway, so last night I caught the tail end of the Paranormal State exorcism, which was just as disastrous as any other episode of Paranormal State that I have caught. The basic premise, as you might guess, is that they go to investigate what is supposed to be a haunted house only to discover that the sickly girl in the house is possessed by the demon “Six,” who you don’t know, of course, but I’m sure you’re familiar with the heavy metal stylings of his son’s bass playing for such bands as Motley Crue.
Sadly, apparently Sixx is not using his wealth and connections to local tattoo artists to find a friendly place for his dad to crash, and so his dad is forced to live with these Christians, in the body of their daughter.
I was hoping we might get into that father/son dynamic, but of course, stupid ole Paranormal State did not even mention it, and so I’m left to bring you that exciting tidbit.
You may wonder–why is she digressing into some convoluted story about Nikki Sixx and the demon Six? Because, my friends, it’s much more interesting than the actual show.
It proceded much like all the tv exorcisms I’ve seen procede, where they bring in a loner religious dude who is pointedly not Catholic (though he may speak Latin sometimes, as if demons are captivated and swayed by Latin. Though, you know, perhaps they are. I imagine that, since no one has heard Latin spoken in years, I mean, thousands of years, other than in the Church, that the demons are probably like “What the hell is he saying? God damn, I cannot understand him through that thick accent. Much like, I’d suppose, if an 18th century Scottish dude suddenly found himself watching The Real World.) and he walks through the house and talks about how he feels the demon doing things to him or taunting him or whatever. And then some folks hold the possessed down and the demon is ordered out, repeatedly, and crosses are pressed onto the possessed, and more ordering is done and everyone looks nervous and then there is some kind of, dare I say, almost orgasmic yelling, and the demon is gone.
And everyone looks very spent and grateful.
So, yes, much like sex.
I have a couple of thoughts. One is that, though the Catholic Church has made many missteps over the past century, I admire their refusal to participate with these kinds of things. Second, why do these things only seem to take a few hours? Surgery takes longer than some of these exorcisms and these folks are supposed to be separating a demon from a soul. I’d think that would be hard, long, delicate work.
Are demons getting wimpier? Soft in their old age? So caught up in the novelty of being on tv that they let their guards down? Is there a special class of stupid demon in the entertainment division?
Here’s what I would expect to see in an exorcism.
1. torment of the possessed (which most tv exorcisms do do a good job of showing us).
2. Demonic power. Not just “It took three of us to hold her down” strength but things dropping off walls, furniture shaking, some full on poltergeist activity.
3. Temptation of the folks doing the exorcisms. I would think that demons would be excellent theologians. Why is there no effort by the demons to argue their case? And not in the “Oh, I have a job to do, why won’t you let me do my job?” way of “The Real Exorcist” but ask, say, the Real Exorcist “If you believe that God has seen fit to let this family be cursed for generations, are you not geting in the way of God’s will by trying to change that?”
One of the advantages that demons have during an exorcism is that they don’t get tired. As the exorcist and people helping do get tired, though, their defenses go down and the demon’s opportunity for confusing them or tempting them away from their task grows. I mean, we don’t even see the rookie “If this child is so important to God, why didn’t He stop me from taking her?” move.
4. Knowing secrets/knowing more than the person being exorcised. I was reading up on the dude from The Real Exorcist and apparently he has a couple of nice houses, fancy cars, and some rumors following him around that he cheated on his first wife. And yet no demon has ever thought to ask him about that?
The point of an exorcism is that you are trying to move the demon out of the body and the demon is supposed to be doing everything it can to stay in the body–that includes attacking you, the exorcist, and doing what it can to sow doubts in your mind and the minds of the people helping you about whether the task can be accomplished.
I am not a demon, at least, not that I’m aware, and yet, if the folks from Paranormal State just wanted to get me off the couch through prayer and cross-waving, I think I could come up with some pointed questions, like, if y’all are so Christian, why are you working with a psychic? Main kid, you do know that no one on the show except the psychic guy even likes you, right? And that the Amityville Horror is now proven, beyond a doubt, to have been faked, with help from your friends, the Warrens? Psychic guy, you know main kid doesn’t like you, right? How are you going to talk to me about getting my house in order when you don’t have yours?
And, like that, I’ve got them squabbling amongst themselves and I’m still on the couch.
Shoot, if I had access to another person’s knowledge about the inner workings of their family and all my knowledge about the inner workings of the exorcism team? And if I had all the time in the world?
But, instead, the demons are all so easily pushed around. They’re on the team that doesn’t fight fair and they barely even fight. You’d think that any exorcist worth his salt would be suspicious of that–“Wow, it only took me a few hours to get rid of that guy, and he never once even bothered to mention that I cheat on my taxes. Wait, why did he never bother to mention that? Was that way too easy?”–and yet, they never are.
They just proudly walk off into the sunset, on to the next person in need of saving.