Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Know Your Trade

Half the folks on the blogosphere have been all over this one already, but in the interest of completeness I'm going to chime in on the latest exploits of the Teen Exorcist Squad, who are now heading to the UK for some serious demon-bashing across the pond. On the heels of their recent documentary, the squad is now filming a reality television series covering their efforts to drive Satan and his supposed minions from the world. According to the exorcists, Britain is apparently rife with demonic activity because of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"Every single country has a specific kind of demon," says Tess, 18, who loves music and reading. They believe that the UK in particular is a hotbed for "witchcraft", because of the popularity of J K Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"The spells and things that you're reading in the Harry Potter books, those aren't just something that are made up, those are actual spells. Those are things that came from witchcraft books," says Tess.

There's a whole lot to mock in the article, but for once I'm going to play this one completely straight and ask a simple competency question. If your exorcists don't know the difference between fake spells and real ones, what makes you think they know anything about real demon possession, or for that matter how to properly perform an exorcism? If I were interviewing a computer programmer who claimed to have developed software for WOPR (the fictional military computer system from the film Wargames) or Gibson mainframes (from the film Hackers), I would know they were lying their asses off and would never hire them in a million years.

Apparently nobody subjects exorcists to this same level of scrutiny, though they probably should before spending any money on their services.

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7 comments:

Michael Sebastian Lùx said...

I think one of the fundamental issues with this is first looking at the sociological context which would require exorcism in the first place. To have an 'exorcist for hire' is something that the West really hasn't had in at least 300 years, this is also being inclusive of clerically trained and folk-magic practitioners. Due to this cultural disconnect, it would appear these presumably Protestant kids and their minister are trying to create a role within a disparate context. If they were doing a laying on of hands or casting out in their own church, I don't think that would be terribly problematic although I would be given cause to question whether these 'possessions' were valid or not, but that's their context and not mine to judge. In terms of professionalism, I doubt they'll make much of an impact on anything since they're exporting their minority beliefs on a culture that already can handle it in the context of either their Anglican or Catholic Church's magisteria.

Donald Michael Kraig said...

While the response to these people has been serious, I would suggest that the group involved with this should not be taken seriously. The whole thing is being run by a fraud named Bob Larson, who is far more interested in putting money in his own pocket than in bringing souls to Christ. There are so many sites dedicated to revealing his antics. Try this one, for example: http://home.earthlink.net/~19ranger57/dontread.htm

Scott Stenwick said...

Yup, I know all about Larson and his particular brand of snake oil. I covered his involvement with the Squad in my previous articles about them.

I don't think very many people take them seriously, to tell you the truth. The whole thing is way too ridiculous and probably only has genuine appeal to the sort of culture-war fundamentalists who believe things like "demons of dungeons and dragons" actually exist.

Since they don't, it should be pretty clear to anyone outside that community that Larson is simply running a scam.

Cat Vincent said...

Well, to be fair some of those Harry Potter spells are real *now*...

Seriously, if you're dealing with a kid plagued with weird shit, the big advantage of the Patronus is they already know how to do it.

And what I wouldn't give for the chance to explain this to the Larsonettes!

Vigilius Haufniensis said...

They'll have a pron contract by the age of 25.

Scott Stenwick said...

Heh. Bob would just *love* that...

Melissa Lamb said...

The problem with seeking an exorcism from these people is you might end up getting it done by Bob or one of the less-hot daughters after you'd gotten all your hopes up :P