Leaning forward, I dangle a set of gold bells above the head of a young woman shrieking in anguish. She twists and turns her limbs into the most unnatural of positions, while a man draped in religious garb barks biblical verses at her. Helpless and confused, I stare blankly. I’m someone who feels awkward at the best of times, but this is something else entirely.
The shrieking woman in question, Natalia, is undergoing an exorcism, and I’ve signed up to ring the bells that supposedly drive off the devil. To my side, the exorcist, Padre Manuel Acuña, nods at me in encouragement. He wears a stern expression, ready for battle. So I ring the bells harder. I don’t really believe in any of this; to me, these are just small golden bells. But Natalia believes, and I just want her to feel better.
With the exorcism’s climax imminent, the Padre yells in Spanish, “In the name of the Lord, I order you to leave this body!”. I just freeze, clutching my bells. When it’s over, Natalia weeps with joy. She’s been suffering from delusions and hearing voices for years. Now though, she seems convinced the exorcism has cured her. Her relief is palpable, her anxiety quelled.
That was 18 months ago, when I started filming a documentary for BBC Three about exorcism, a subject I never imagined I’d be so interested in.
Take a read through the story. It’s an interesting read. Deals with the power of the mind
It basically ends up as, at first, the exorcism seems to work, short term. It’s placebo effect . The same thing as what can also happen too, will pills what doctors can use ,to help people to use their own “positive thoughts” so as to help make themselves “feel” better.
When people are really wanting to find something that will work, they “will it” to work, and therefore as such also will even “think positively” that it has worked as well too.
Id say the same thing happens within religion?. If you really do want to find some way to feel like you do converse with a-God and have a personal relationship with a-God, then you’ll even be able to convince yourself as well, that you do.
It’s the power of positive thinking
What’s telling is that you can
choose picture any choice of God, in your mind, it can even be Thor or Zeus or Jesus or any other. With will of enough positive thinking, you’ll soon enough feel like you can actually converse with this God,of your choice, and can then fully believe you actually do have a personal relationship
Some people even feel they do the same thing with ghosts .And so on
When I was a brethren, through power of positive thought, i’d more or less convinced myself, that devils and demons existed . After first leaving the brethren cult ,i’d have great trouble sleeping some nights. The whistling wind and any bump sound outside and so on, in my mind, seemed to be coming from something that’s actually alive .
These days i never feel this way anymore. I can sleep anywhere, without any feeling of the heebie-jeebies . I even look for sign of Ghost or Ghoblin or Devil or Demons or whatever . Im no longer afraid to even purposely go looking out for any positive evidence of these things , because ive readjusted my mind to meet with evidence of what’s freely available, and as such im also no longer expecting to see these things either
Through coercion , the cult life had taught me to faithfully believe that all these things were actually for real. Like a type of phobia . The same way that children might convince themselves that the dark is something supernaturally scary. Or that monster live under their bed. Some children ,might sleep better, should they remember to first check under their bed, before jumping into bed
That’s how powerful the mind can be?
David Koresh, Jim Jones, Shoko Asahara or Paul the Apostle or John the Baptist , all could have used power of their own mind, to convince themselves, they had had a personal relationship with God