Exorcism is the religious practice of engaging in theatrical and foolhardy ignorance for the sake of fitting in with a crowd of others doing the same to the detriment of a person who needs medical attention. It's wildly hilarious, except for all the many, many, many, many times someone has died as a result of it. Many times.
The "official" word on exorcisms is that they are using the power of Christ (or just regular God for the non-Christians) to force an evil spirit out of an afflicted individual, because this is in keeping with science as we understood it in the year 1300. By the way, earthquakes are simply caused by the elephants that support the world on the back of a giant turtle jumping over mice that scare them.
While most modern exorcism stories -- and you'll be pleased to hear that there are usually a good dozen each and every year, and all of them end with someone dying because they were tied up and left to dehydrate, starve, or asphyxiate in a room by themselves for days on end -- end in death, not all of them are so sad. There are a few shining examples of the awesomeness of exorcism still out there, if you look for them.
#5. Penis Exorcism
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Do you know why pick-up artists exist? Because there's an epidemic in Western society of no confidence. Many men simply don't have the balls to approach a woman and start a conversation. They turn to pick-up artists because they're convinced there's a trick to it, a skill they haven't developed yet that they can learn, when really it's just about not being a wussy sack of lame ass lamery.
For those who still think they need a gimmick, I propose that offering to exorcise a woman's demonic vagina with your righteous penis is maybe not the best one. Or at least hold that one in reserve till she's told you her name and you've had lunch together.
Forgive how this story flows in a manner that literally makes no sense, but it's from China, and every source I've checked tells it basically the same way, which just boggles the mind. So Huang Jianjun is a self-proclaimed ghostbuster. A woman calls him because she's being haunted. Wait, no, that would make sense. A woman calls him because she has a crush on her boss and needs his help to make her boss love her back. Right there the story falls off the rails into "Huh?" Huang and the woman meet in a hotel where Huang immediately diagnoses the problem after telling her to get naked -- her vagina is a veritable fun house of evil spirits, a flappy clown car of beings from beyond all crammed in there gumming up the works with not-so-freshness and Slimers and whatnot. Oh shit, what should we do? Bonercism.
Yeah, she loves the bone, and other assorted euphemisms.
Huang offered to rid the woman of her evil groin goblins with the power of his Penis of Light and Goodness. You think demons hate holy water in the face? Imagine what they'd think of this poking them in the eye repeatedly.
At this point the story again crumbles into the domain of head scratching, when most sources say that the woman called authorities, and Huang says he can't even get an erection due to diabetes and that he sacrificed his virginity for the exorcism, so either they never even had sex, he tried and couldn't get it up, or it went off without a hitch. Or maybe I just read it wrong because I have a dick ghost in the eye, I have no idea.
#4. Gay Demons
Back before the invention of medicine and thinking, probably a lot of erratic behavior was blamed on demons. Why not? Someone doing shit you don't like? Tell everyone Satan is inside them. Your cousin has seizures? That's probably Satan trying to push on a pull door. Schizophrenic? Nope, you just have Super Satan Vision and your world is a little different from everyone else's. But even in modern times, there's one thing some churches still are pretty convinced is being thrust upon us by demons, so to speak, and that's gay. Yep, gay is caused by Satan. Satan is basically Richard Simmons with a pitchfork.
If you think about this entry too long, it becomes a lot more sad and depressing than I am making it seem, since there are whole congregations out there making mockery of members by trying to convince them the reason they're attracted to members of the same sex is because the archnemesis of the very Creator of the universe, the most prideful of angels who so hated mankind that he rebelled against an impossible-to-defeat enemy and was cast for all eternity into a realm of suffering and regret, is anxious to see the proliferation of Dancing With the Stars and blow jobs.
A quick Google search will net you a tidy little sum of videos of these exorcisms in which hicks and the ignorant band together to cast out gay demons. None of them come anywhere close to being as awesome as this one featuring perennial shyster Bob Larson and his scruffy man demon. Also, for legal purposes, I am happy to retract my insinuation that Bob Larson is a fraud if he is equally happy to prove he's ever actually exorcised a demon and not just made a guy who looks like he makes knickknacks in his basement woodshop openly admit to playing with his own butthole.
Wasn't that profound and interesting? I hope that demon isn't floating around waiting to possess someone else now; I'd hate to have to grow that beard. Here's another one from a nondenominational church in which a 16-year-old gets the gay exorcised the hell out of him.
It's 10 minutes, so if you can't be bothered to watch (committing to 10 minutes of diesel-powered dumb fuckery is tough), you'll be disappointed to know that, by the end, no little red-horned devil crawls from the guy's anus. Mostly he just spasms a lot, pukes at some point, and gets yelled at. So it's like Thanksgiving with my family.
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Do you know who Bobby Jindal is? For a time people thought he might be Mitt Romney's running mate, and he's the current governor of Louisiana. Back in the day he was also secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. That's an important fact to remember because, when Jindal was in college, he apparently exorcised cancer out of a friend. If you need to run out right now before finishing the article, the short story you need to take away from this is don't get cancer treatment in Louisiana. If you have time to finish the tale, then please stick around, it's a knee slapper.
In a very long personal essay published in 1994 in the New Oxford Review, Jindal describes the tale of his best friend who was afflicted with cancer and who, after an impromptu prayer/exorcism session on campus while he was in attendance, was then cured of cancer. The current governor of Louisiana, a man who many people feel has a shot at running for president one day, believes cancer can be exorcised. He wrote about seeing it happen firsthand.
"Dear Diary, today I ate a bag of mushrooms and saw the craziest thing!"
This kind of thing is often a touchy subject with people, the whole science vs. faith thing, and it often comes to a head with both sides demanding the other side prove something, and when it can't, taking that as evidence to support their own side. Now of course that's silly, for two very important reasons. The first is that science can only explain what it can explain. You must learn the science behind things before they can be explained. Asking science to explain what happened before the Big Bang, for instance, or any unobservable, unrepeatable event given our current understanding, is to misunderstand the very nature of science. Just because we don't know something doesn't mean science can't explain it, though. And conversely, faith should never explain anything. That's kind of what "faith" means. Don't try to explain things with faith; it's like trying to propel yourself forward with farts. You feel like maybe all the pieces are there, but it falls apart under scrutiny.
Now the issue with this story is that we kind of know what cancer is, what can cause it, and what can fix it. Demons don't fit in there anywhere. There has never been a recorded case of demon cancer that I am aware of. Science doesn't have to prove things like this -- it's inert, it doesn't have to prove anything. It just explains things, and in all those explanations, demons just never seem to come up. Despite that, Jindal's essay makes it pretty clear that he saw his friend get all super possessed, the friend had the demon prayed away by some like-minded students, and then later doctors found no sign of cancer, while she claimed that the exorcism had a purifying effect on her. So feel free to believe Jindal or not, based on your own understanding of how the world works.