Inner Demons: Suburban Exorcists – The Feed

(Cackling) (Screaming) Your core body temperature rises extremely high, like really hot all of a sudden, intense heat. Your body starts to convulse.
Something comes from your stomach. It’s like water comes up and out in a big voice. They say it’s a supernatural battle between God and the Devil. All taking place within the body of a human. – Take the shackle off her neck.
– No!
– Yes Satan and his army of fallen angels
or demons are on the warpath, or so exorcists would have us believe. Millions of demons, there’s demons called lust, there’s demons called murder. There’s demons of witchcraft… Come out for Jesus’ sake.
Come out of her in Jesus’ name. Spirit of masturbation, out in the name of Jesus! It’s very real.
People do get demonized. And sometimes fully possessed. Spirit of lust, out, out, out! Pornography, lust,
but also meditation and Harry Potter, are opening doors to the demonic, making us vulnerable to possession. Exorcism is usually very strongly moralistic, occasionally violent. It’s a way of enforcing religious dogma. The knowledge of the future is meant to
be something that only God can provide, so that’s the problem with the tarot cards. We’re going on a journey to meet the exorcists
who cast out demons, and to sit down with those who’ve been told they’re possessed. She was a very good baby, placid. Round about the age of two, she just changed over night. They would lay their hands on me and
cast demons out of me. Something supernatural invaded Linda’s
life. They told me I had legions of demons
in me. I’m sorry I find this really hard. A lot of the things you say cause demonisation, I have done in my own life. Have you got demons in you? Let the enemy have no power over you. It was the ultimate 1970’s horror movie,
the tale of a young girl possessed by demons. But the exorcist was actually based
on a real case of exorcism in the U.S back in 1949. “Be silent.” Far from being fiction, the story
originated in a group of believers, who wanted to show the power of God over Satan. The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you! Today, belief in demonic possession is alive and well. From the Vatican, to Judaism and Islam, most major religions have strict protocols for dealing with cases of suspected demonisation, and then there are people who’ve taken matters into their own hands. These are self-styled exorcists who
formed their own ministries, pastors who say that God has appointed them, and that he works through them. They use both the words exorcism and deliverance
to describe the act of casting out demons. And it’s something that’s probably taking place in a suburb near you. So I’m on my way to a seminar by a U.S preacher called Jay Bartlett, and the title of the seminar is
removing demons and healing. So this could get pretty interesting. I’m pretty keen to see who’s going to turn up. (Singing) Jay Bartlett has traveled here from California, where he runs an Evangelical ministry. He’s friendly, and chatty and he certainly tells a good story. And the demon was in the back of the sanctuary of this church, and I looked at him, and you could
tell it was no longer him, it was the demon looking at me. And I asked him I said, are you making him walk strangely? He said “yes. I have chains around his legs.” That’s what demons do. They chain people up, spiritually enslave people. The meeting is open to the public, but I get the sense that most people here are
already strong in their Christian faith. The blood of Jesus in this room tonight! The blood of the lamb. The blood that heals. We thank you Jesus! It’s not long before those in need of exorcism make themselves known. – I need to know how many of you
in this body and mind – How many of you in Jesus name? How many of you?
– 24! 24 of these death spirits. (Wailing) There’s the demon coming up now. (Cackles) – Do you want this on your head, yes or no?
– No! These scales… Now in Jesus’ name! (Cackles) You’re going to the abyss. The exorcism seem to follow a kind of script. First prayers and words from Jay, followed by group prayer, and then finally, the bucket. (Yelling) It’s a strange kind of spectacle, almost
like a sport. In each case, the power of good
wins out over evil. (applause) Hasn’t she changed? Could I get a picture with you? The big button that should be. yeah.
The big one right there. There’s a kind of showman like quality to Jay, that seems to put people at ease, and apparently brings the demons out. It’s a really strange feeling, it’s like, …you are speaking to, it’s coming out of
your mouth but it’s not you. -You’re the strong man.
– Yes! – You hold all the pain.
– Yes! – Do you have fiery darts in heart?
– Yes! I used to go get my palms read,
and I used to go and do the tarot card reading, .and you don’t realize you’re actually opening
a door for Satan, because he has access to you through that. Through the demonic. That’s his realm. Take it off, take it off, take it off. (Blows)
– There we go! There’s a part of me that starts wondering
if exorcism is the new reiki or laughing therapy. Something harmless that
helps relieve stress. (Yelling) But I feel like some in the room might not be in a good place mentally and emotionally. When I asked Jay about this, he says it’s their suffering that’s made them vulnerable. There’s multiple doors that people can open up to evil spirits, such as participating in witchcraft, delving into the occult, participating in self-harm, cutting, suicidal tendencies, being a victim of abuse and trauma. I asked Jay if exorcism is really appropriate in these cases. I do believe psychiatry has it’s role. Psychology has it’s role, but I also believe that the exorcist has a role. There hasn’t been a lot of research into exorcism, but one of the world’s experts lives here in Queensland. Sarah Ferber has spent nearly 30 years looking into it. We meet in a new age shop, the kind of place that exorcists warn against. What’s the problem with tarot cards? If someone seeks to understand the future by looking at cards, that’s seen as an act of superstition, because the knowledge of the future is meant to be something that only God can provide? Reading tarot cards, yoga, within the Christian tradition these are seen as potentially diabolic. Superstitious activities that can be seen as inviting the devil in. I want to understand the mindset of exorcists like Jay. What do they see when a person comes to them suffering pain or trauma? It’s about good and evil within that theological tradition, and exorcists see their role as part of
a militant battle against, the kind of sins that they have decided are the worst sins in the world. Go to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Witchcraft come up, now! (Wailing) Sarah Ferber also says the extreme nature of deliverance, the sounds, the actions, …serve as a kind of powerful advertisement. Why should people believe? Well look at the evidence before your eyes. That’s why you should believe. – Now!
– (Cackles) While Jay Bartlett conducts his exorcisms in public, there are others who specialize in one on one consultations. Pastor Maurice Chapman is one of them. How do they realize or feel they are being oppressed by the enemy? They can’t sleep at night, they have nightmares. Many feel actual physical attacks, scratches and stuff like that. I meet Maurice on a weekday morning in a subutban church he hires out for his deliverance sessions. Today, he’s dealing with a particularly
intractable demon. It’s a very stubborn spirit. Dermott has been undergoing
deliverance for a week now. Out of him! Out of his belly! I had depression and a bit of anxiety, but I had a lot of tiredness and memory loss and stuff. (Yells) Get out of him in the name of Jesus (Yelling) The key is to confess, forgive, renounce and then receive forgiveness. Whilst that happens, yeah, we can tell those demons to take a big hike and, go to wherever the Lord wants to send them to. Preferably to the pit, and not come back. A common method in this style of exorcism or deliverance, is to get the person to go back over their whole life, to try and remember everything and anything that could be seen as a sin. You know, it doesn’t matter. Just confess it, you know, you have nothing to lose, everything to gain. You hit on names then there’s a reaction, then we know
that thats one that’s in there. Spirit of masturbation, out in the name of Jesus! Out in the name of Jesus! Spirit of lust out! Out! There’s a whole list of quite obvious demons. Things people often feel guilt or shame around. But then there are things you would never imagine could open the door to the devil. Up! Wow! Harry Potter. The greatest curse to mankind because kids are so drawn to that. It’s all witchcraft. This is how the devil is getting in. Dermott is thinking hard, trying to remember if there’s something in his past that he’s forgotten. One last demon to evict. I haven’t done any really bad stuff, that I consider bad but, …then they say it could be something simple so, …so something simple is you don’t really know. Get out of me! Get out. Get out! His wife back in Sydney is also Christian, but doesn’t like the idea of deliverance. So what does she think about you coming down to get it done? Uh, she probably thinks your imagination. You will go. You will go! Out, out, out in the name! Come on, out of him! On the outskirts of Melbourne, I meet with one of Pastor Maurice’s success stories. Yul is 28 years old and has just finished building a new house with his wife. Three months ago, he underwent deliverance. My body started shaking uncontrollably. And at one point, this thing came out and it spoke. And it called it’s name. That I am the spirit of masturbation. So that’s when I knew there was something there. Makes me think there must be a lot of spirits of masturbation out there. There you go. Yul comes across as a pretty normal guy. He’s got a good job, drives a nice car, wife, house, so it’s a little surprising to see this. (Screaming) You have no control. No control. A lot of our viewers will think that you’re just being way too hard on yourself,. and feeling guilty about something that is totally a natural part of life. And I would totally understand them, because I felt dirty and guilty, and I
said you know what? I actually said this. I think Christianity is not for me. I was at that point, because I was so tired of being guilty
and feeling guilty. What’s interesting about Yul’s story is that he
didn’t feel bad or guilty, until he started following the sermons of deliverance ministers, and once he did, he went to a very dark place. When you get to a point of being demonized, you can get to a point where you hear voices, and this is very common. -How often were you hearing these voices?
– Very often. Very, very often. At one brief stint I started hearing, just kill yourself. Yes. Did you ever think of going to see a counselor or a psychologist? Yes I did. But I’ve got good news, when I went through deliverance, I’ve never heard those voices ever again. They went. Some people might think that you’re sort of causing more harm than good with these vulnerable people. I’d like to meet a person who says that. In fact, 99.9 percent of the time they thank us and thank all the other deliverance ministers, for setting them free and getting them back on track. I go back to academic Sarah Ferber to try and unpack some of what Yul and Pastor Maurice have said. Is it possible to see an exorcist in the same light
as a doctor or psychologist? Even if that individual thinks that they are demonically possessed, an exorcist’s first concern is to serve God, and only secondarily does it relate to
the mental or emotional health, of the person who they’re interacting with. There is a truly dark side to all of this. Since the 1970’s, dozens of people
have died undergoing exorcism. Here in Australia, there was a case in the 1990’s involving a woman called Joan Vollmer. Joan Vollmer died because of
pressure placed on her throat, in the belief that demons would come out
of her body if they did that to her. The question you’d want to ask is how
could it be that this is violent, when it’s supposedly intended to assist the person? On this journey, I’ve witnessed different types of exorcisms and deliverance. They’re not always violent, but I can see how they could be traumatic for some of those involved. When she was a kid, Linda’s parents were
part of fringe Pentecostal ministry, that would meet in people’s houses. My parents told me that I had
always been a bad child. I had screamed all my life, that I had rejected my brother, that I had, I’m sorry, I find this really hard. They told me that I was demon possesed. They also told me that I was cursed by a witch. There were visits to doctors and psychologists, but ultimately Linda’s parents turned to their faith,. for a solution to her bad behavior. My memories of going through deliverance or exorcisms began as early as maybe ten years old, The leaders of the church, I would go to their house and they would take me into their lounge room. I would sit there for up to a whole day whilst they would lay their hands on me and cast demons out of me. They would have a bucket in front of me and they would tell me to cough, spit, vomit, so I would comply by coughing when they asked me to cough, spit. I could never actually bring myself to vomit. I’d try and give them the best kind of show in order to just make it stop. I think the worst part for me was when they’d actually say the name of the demon, and it would feel like it was contagious. It made me feel like I had contagious disease. As it turns out, there was another more mundane reason for Linda’s behaviour as a child. A few years ago I was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. Most people would probably be upset to be diagnosed with epilepsy, but I was kind of relieved. I could’ve been having seizures
where my behavior was a bit unusual, saying unusual things, rambling. Linda no longer has a relationship with her parents. I don’t know how you can have a relationship with somebody who believes that you’re intrinsically flawed, I need to see myself as a person
who is intrinsically good After meeting Linda, I wondered how her parents remembered that time. I wondered if being estranged from their daughter had made them rethink their faith, and belief in demons. I was a little surprised when they
agreed to meet with me. She was a very good baby, placid. Round about the age of two, she just changed overnight. I think it’s possible that something supernatural invaded Linda’s life by means that I don’t understand. So when you say something invaded her, you’re talking about something that’s not a physical- – Spiritual.
– Spiritual. Something. You know, you can be demon possessed. People can be. We didn’t want to believe it but we just had to come to the point where we had to try praying, …the spirit out. If you want to call it exorcism. We continued for quite a while but it didn’t change. When I ask about Linda’s epilepsy, they say that it was never diagnosed when she was a child. We had tried everything medically, everything. Many hours of talking and trying to, …understand what was wrong. Do you think she still has some kind of negative spirit or something about her? Would you use those terms? She’s probably just learnt to live with it. If you say one wrong thing, it could escalate in a rage. Would you see that as a sign that she’s still got some kind of- Mm. I believe so. Exorcism and deliverance are not illegal per say. We do have freedom of religious belief, but if somebody were having fits, for example, …I would be thinking they’d probably need to see a doctor in case they had epilepsy. If someone were hearing voices, then they might be psychotic. It would be important for them to, …see some kind of medical practitioner or counselling. I think about those I’ve met who’ve willingly undergone exorcism or deliverance, I think about the guilt they’ve carried with them, and the rules that now govern their lives. I wonder if they sin again, will the demons come back? (Yelling) This is the first time Yul has watched
the footage of his deliverance. Do you remember this? – No.
– You don’t have any memory of it? – No this one, no. I have no memory of this.” – It’s very…violent. Well it’s very real isn’t it? That’s the whole thing. I realize with seeing through very different lenses, to me, it’s violence and little disturbing. To them, it’s proof of the power of God. A lot of the things you say cause demonization,
I have done in my own life, so you know I’ve read horoscopes, I’ve had my palm read. I do yoga everyday, sex before marriage. – So what does that mean for someone like-
– Have you got demons in you? I don’t know. How do I know if I’ve got demons? Start reading the bible. Give your life to the Lord and see how agitated they get. All these demons, they’re quite happy because you know, they’ve got you. You belong to him, to Satan. Lord I submit my life. It’s either God or Satan.

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