Monday, February 03, 2014

The Devil in the Details

And the report of Jesus went forth into all Syria:
and they brought to him all that were sick,
with various diseases, those suffering severe pain,
possessed with demons,
epileptics, and paralytics, and Jesus cured them Matthew 4:24.

Stories like this one always pique my curiosity, even though I consider myself a rational, 21st century person. It's about a woman in the States who claims she is possessed by demons and the people in authority who aren't sure what to make of what they have witnessed.

A US police captain says he believed a story about a woman who claimed her children were possessed by demons. Latoya Ammons, from Indiana, said her three children walked up walls, levitated and spoke in voices. Official reports filed in 2012 backed up her claims, with psychologists stating that they saw the nine-year-old child speak in "different deep voices" and walk "up the wall backwards". "He flipped over and landed on his feet," they added.

Gary Police Captain Charles Austin, who has more than 35 years of experience, said he had been convinced by the story. According to a local newspaper he described himself as a "believer" after visiting the house and interviewing Ms Ammons and her family. Official Indiana state documents detail more events, apparently witnessed by medical experts and those outside the family. Medical staff reported they observed the children and heard the seven-year-old making growling noises and his eyes rolled into the back of his head.

It is interesting that in our scientific era, highly skeptical of strange notions such as demon possession, there is a steady stream of scare-the-bejabbers-out-of-you films which feature just this sort of possession. I remember as a teen my father passing on the best-selling novel The Exorcist, before it had become a movie. I was 17 at the time and it terrified me! The novel and film are based on a real-life incident, complete with Roman Catholic exorcist. There are still RC exorcists, bye the way.

In liberal churches we interpret the healing stories of Jesus where folk are cured of demons as actually being accounts where he addresses mental illness, but is this what is going on?

All total nonsense? Strange, yes, but explainable? Is there such a thing as possession and evil personified?



3 comments:

roger said...

Not sure what to make of this, although I am skeptical. My first reaction is that there are some serious mental health issues at play here....or some very acrobatic kids!

Judy Mcknight said...

I think I would have to see it myself in order to believe it - and it is not something I am searching for !

David Mundy said...

Thanks to both of you. If you ever need an exorcism, give me a call!