Begone Satan! Exorcism is on the rise in the UK.

Wascurito

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Theos is a British Christian think tank whose motto is "Clear thinking on religion and society". Their reports - dealing with matters such as passing on the faith to one's children or how Christian organisations can respond to social need in innovative ways - tend not to attract much notice in the mainstream media.

Not so with a publication earlier this week on Christianity and mental health. The report deals with what it says on the tin but the mainstream media have seized on one aspect of it: what the author refers to as "the burgeoning exorcism scene in the UK".

The casting out of devils seems to be more of a feature of Christianity in west African migrant communities and Pentecostal churches and reportedly, in certain parts of London where these communities predominate, "there are flyers and stickers everywhere" with which exorcists promote their "services".

The report expresses the fear that some of these communities are turning to exorcists when mental health professionals would be the appropriate people to contact. Not only is the underlying psychological condition left untreated but the trauma of the exorcism could exacerbate matters. Finally, even if the target of the exorcism "recovers", they are still left with the stigma of having been possessed by a demon.

Given the lack of information, the report - understandably - can do little more than express concern and call for analysis of this bizarre and seemingly growing phenomenon.
 


Deadlock

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Theos is a British Christian think tank whose motto is "Clear thinking on religion and society". Their reports - dealing with matters such as passing on the faith to one's children or how Christian organisations can respond to social need in innovative ways - tend not to attract much notice in the mainstream media.

Not so with a publication earlier this week on Christianity and mental health. The report deals with what it says on the tin but the mainstream media have seized on one aspect of it: what the author refers to as "the burgeoning exorcism scene in the UK".

The casting out of devils seems to be more of a feature of Christianity in west African migrant communities and Pentecostal churches and reportedly, in certain parts of London where these communities predominate, "there are flyers and stickers everywhere" with which exorcists promote their "services".

The report expresses the fear that some of these communities are turning to exorcists when mental health professionals would be the appropriate people to contact. Not only is the underlying psychological condition left untreated but the trauma of the exorcism could exacerbate matters. Finally, even if the target of the exorcism "recovers", they are still left with the stigma of having been possessed by a demon.

Given the lack of information, the report - understandably - can do little more than express concern and call for analysis of this bizarre and seemingly growing phenomenon.
Weren't there a number of dismembered corpses dredged from the Thames a number of years ago, and the manner of dismemberment lead police to suspect that the unfortunates had been mutilated in the process of exorcism?
 

mr_anderson

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I'm seeing the fish symbol on some cars in Ireland.

The driver is never white.
 

Strawberry

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Weren't there a number of dismembered corpses dredged from the Thames a number of years ago, and the manner of dismemberment lead police to suspect that the unfortunates had been mutilated in the process of exorcism?
Not that I know of. There was a child's dismembered body found in the Thames which was traced back to a ritual murder carried out by followers of some animist religion, I've never heard of a person being dismembered in the process of an exorcism. The only murder of any kind I can think of connected to exorcism was the child Victoria Climbié who was beaten to death by her aunt and aunt's boyfriend because they were obsessed with the idea that she was a witch.
 

Deadlock

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Not that I know of. There was a child's dismembered body found in the Thames which was traced back to a ritual murder carried out by followers of some animist religion, I've never heard of a person being dismembered in the process of an exorcism. The only murder of any kind I can think of connected to exorcism was the child Victoria Climbié who was beaten to death by her aunt and aunt's boyfriend because they were obsessed with the idea that she was a witch.
It may well have been that ritual murder and I got it confused with something else in the media at the time.
The story of little Victoria Climbié was utterly horrific.
 

Strawberry

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It may well have been that ritual murder and I got it confused with something else in the media at the time.
The story of little Victoria Climbié was utterly horrific.
It was. I just looked up the case of the child's torso found in the Thames to refresh my memory - seemingly the boy, who has never been identified, was trafficked into England from Nigeria specifically to be murdered for some voodoo ritual which uses the body parts of a murdered child to make "medicines."

Its enough to make you despair at the human race, maybe we should let the cockroaches take over.
 

Deadlock

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It was. I just looked up the case of the child's torso found in the Thames to refresh my memory - seemingly the boy, who has never been identified, was trafficked into England from Nigeria specifically to be murdered for some voodoo ritual which uses the body parts of a murdered child to make "medicines."

Its enough to make you despair at the human race, maybe we should let the cockroaches take over.
The cockroaches would at least be more compassionate to each other.
 

Cruimh

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Lumpy Talbot

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No
As ever there will be at the bottom of it all someone making money out of the stupidly superstitious.

Dangerous stuff when it creates hysteria in a community closer to the stone age than the 21st century.

Hysteria in villages in remote areas of India and Pakistan as well as African countries will occasionally throw out horrific stories of murder when the superstitious begin to look around to find someone to blame for any local ills.

That is where being an outsider of any kind becomes really dangerous. Mind you you get the same thing historically in rural areas in Ireland at least in philosophy if not in exactly murderous intent. The loner or the stranger is the first one on whom suspicion lands because it is simply inconceivable to admit that a local might have committed a particularly heinous crime.

Not just Ireland either. The same instinct can kick in other European countries. I know of a fellow who was in the area where a woman was attacked and responded to a police appeal for anyone in the area at the time to contact them. He said he got the distinct impression in the station that the coppers were weighing up whether they had enough to start focusing on him- started to feel very alarmed at the way the questions were going and of course he was a stranger in the town- a University student not from the area.

Luckily another station got on and said that they had the chap who had committed the crime and he'd admitted it so the fellow I know was released. But he said it would be the last time he'd ever voluntarily come forward in such circumstances. Frightened the life out of him.

Anyway- these 'exorcists' in immigrant communities aren't really operating any xtian ceremony although I am aware that 'exorcism' is a genuine belief in the xtian psychology but I feel fairly sure that these 'exorcists' in west African communities in the west are operating on native superstitions rather than xtian ones to be fair.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I suppose what it is is various forms of hysterical projection. If you can't identify a stranger who is the root cause of the problem then you either have to turn someone you know into that stranger or import one specially.

Either way it is a very dark side of the human psychology. Mind you in terms of psychology it would be a lot easier to find an external target for all the ills in your life than to ask yourself whether it is your perception.

A sort of externalisation added to confirmation bias. When you throw superstition such as possession by evil spirits or demons into the mix then pretty nasty stuff can happen even with groups of people where there is no steadying influence.

Lord of the Flies stuff.
 

Boy M5

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What does the fish symbol indicate?
It was a catholic symbol in preChristian Rome. I think connected the Jesus Christ son of God in Greek.
 

Wascurito

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Weren't there a number of dismembered corpses dredged from the Thames a number of years ago, and the manner of dismemberment lead police to suspect that the unfortunates had been mutilated in the process of exorcism?
If it's the case I'm thinking of, then it was a case of voodoo and had nothing to do with Christianity.

Macabre as exorcism is, I don't think they'd set out to intentionally kill/sacrifice anyone.
 

Wascurito

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I'm seeing the fish symbol on some cars in Ireland.

The driver is never white.
What's the fish symbol - apart from being a symbol for Christianity in the first few centuries AD?
 

Wascurito

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[...]
Anyway- these 'exorcists' in immigrant communities aren't really operating any xtian ceremony although I am aware that 'exorcism' is a genuine belief in the xtian psychology but I feel fairly sure that these 'exorcists' in west African communities in the west are operating on native superstitions rather than xtian ones to be fair.
There's a lot of truth in that but it wouldn't surprise me if the Christian missionaries who introduced their religion to sub-Saharan Africa had allowed some inter-weaving of Christian and local beliefs. That's how Christianity has spread in the last 2,000 years.
 


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