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April 5, 2012 1:50 PM   Subscribe

American to be Saved By hot teen exorcists, according to former news program Nightline.
posted by yerfatma (99 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
They'd be hotter if not for those dead, blank stares.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:51 PM on April 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Journalism!

It's a 4 year degree.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:52 PM on April 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Are they hot teens who are exorcists, exorcists who expel ghosts from hot teens, or exorcists who expel hot teens from America?

You know what, I think I'm happier making up my own answer to that.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:53 PM on April 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


So yeah, this is terrible, and exploitave, charlatans, whatever. But man, I would watch the fuck out of that reality show.
posted by Think_Long at 1:53 PM on April 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Dad looks like he's got enough demons of his own, so I bow to his familiarity with the legion.
posted by Abiezer at 1:54 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


When do they show the part where they have to suck the demon inside of themselves and then commit suicide by jumping out the nearest window?
posted by PuppyCat at 1:55 PM on April 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


this makes me miss buffy more than twilight did.
posted by anya32 at 1:57 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is why America is stupid.
posted by Catblack at 1:58 PM on April 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


Oh, it's Bob Larson's kids. Bob Larson is a complete huckster, but he's at least moderately entertaining. And he's friends with Boyd Rice!
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:59 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wonder how these girls would fare against Japanese Shit Zombies.
posted by Catblack at 2:00 PM on April 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wonder how these girls would fare against Japanese Shit Zombies

No better than Silent Bob, I'm guessing.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:01 PM on April 5, 2012


Think_Long: So yeah, this is terrible, and exploitave, charlatans, whatever. But man, I would watch the fuck out of that reality show.

I'd watch the fuck out of a show starring a rough-and-ready film crew and host who accost other reality film crews and drive the clearly ill people they exploit to licensed, respectable therapists. It'd still be exploitative but maybe some people would get the help they need.
posted by gilrain at 2:02 PM on April 5, 2012 [46 favorites]


Ted Koppel is rolling in his grave!

And if he isn't, there are some teenage exorcists who could probably make it happen on camera.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 PM on April 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is not the reboot of the Powerpuff Girls I was hoping for.
posted by demiurge at 2:08 PM on April 5, 2012 [17 favorites]


My thoughts exactly.
posted by Talez at 2:12 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Facepalm.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:12 PM on April 5, 2012


She is home-schooled and a regular on the beauty pageant circuit.

In the grim future of Toddlers and Tiaras, there is only war.
posted by griphus at 2:13 PM on April 5, 2012 [62 favorites]


Larson claims that 50 percent of the population is probably affected by demons in some way.

This would explain American voting patterns quite nicely.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


Not to, uh, demonize the opposition or anything.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:15 PM on April 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


And he's friends with Boyd Rice!

There needs to be a "Six Degrees of Boyd Rice" game, except instead of movie stars, it's the weird fucking company he keeps.
posted by griphus at 2:16 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Santorum has responded that he supports their right to exorcise but believes that exorcism is best managed at the state level through block grants rather than through costly new federal programs.
posted by Blue Meanie at 2:16 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Teen Girl Exorcism Squad.

LARSON'D!
posted by ChuqD at 2:18 PM on April 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Aqua Teen Jesus Force...lol
posted by odinsdream at 2:19 PM on April 5, 2012


This is why America is stupid.

Aggravating symptom, not cause.
posted by JHarris at 2:20 PM on April 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


Angel: You can't do it.
Wesley: I know the ritual and we have the supplies.
Angel: You've never done this before. Look, it takes tremendous strength -- mental strength.
Wesley: Resistance to suggestion. Yes, I understand that. I like to think of myself as possessing a certain...
Angel: Wesley, you don't even have sales resistance. How many thighmasters do you own?
Wesley: The second one was a free gift with my "Buns of Steel."
posted by Zed at 2:21 PM on April 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


You must remember this:
A hot teen exorcist
Will exorcize a teen
Or a hot teen, I think I mean
Who is a ghost
Or possessed by a ghost
Or maybe it's a hot ghost
Possessing a hot ghost

As time goes by
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:24 PM on April 5, 2012 [18 favorites]


Over 10,000 in 30 years? So nearly one a day?
posted by flaterik at 2:24 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


flaterik: Over 10,000 in 30 years? So nearly one a day?

Eh, it's a living.
posted by gilrain at 2:28 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


That report wasn't sexist in the least.
posted by tippiedog at 2:28 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interviewer: "Isn't it possible that if someone were mentally ill and came to you, what you're doing might make them worst?"

Teen Exorcist: "No. Because we always do it with Dad's supervision."
posted by straight at 2:30 PM on April 5, 2012


Hot Ghosts was already on my list of potential band names.
posted by univac at 2:32 PM on April 5, 2012


*chime*

Matt Dillahunty, please pick up the nearest courtesy phone.
posted by pyrex at 2:35 PM on April 5, 2012


"No. Because we always do it with Dad's supervision."

Larson claims that 50 percent of the population is probably affected by demons in some way

Repeated for emphasis.

Nonetheless, there are very serious questions about the safety and morality of what the girls are doing for others, especially those who might need mental health care.

Oh, you think?

What's more, Larson and the girls' exorcism sessions are not free, and he insists that one session almost never does the trick.

Oh, come on now. It's time to call the BBB.

The fact that Nightline is covering this story is the real story, as noted.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:43 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is there to say?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:44 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, come on now. It's time to call the BBB.
It's all right, he offers a thirty-day 'Mammon-back' guarantee if you feel any sense of loss at the absence of your former demonic co-pilot.
posted by Abiezer at 2:47 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Which one of them is Opposite Fairuza Balk? I have important questions.
posted by furiousthought at 2:51 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why doesn't Nightline ever do a feature about teenage exorcists who don't fit society's unrealistic expectations of what teenage exorcists' bodies should look like?
posted by PlusDistance at 2:58 PM on April 5, 2012 [20 favorites]


Relax. This is just advance publicity for The Craft II: Craftening, where the witches must battle against agents of the church trying to finish the job they started a millennia ago! This summer, on at least half the screens in your local multiplex!
posted by Ghidorah at 3:07 PM on April 5, 2012


It's got to be tough making a living creating such fraudulent "services" and shilling the media for attention/free advertising.

I have to go drink some snake oil now, my stomach is upset.
posted by Max Power at 3:09 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


>>>Bob Larson is a complete huckster, but he's at least moderately entertaining. And he's friends with Boyd Rice!

That he is... and that he is... and that (the Rice connection) is a factoid I am so happy a Mefite other than myself knows about.
posted by item at 3:11 PM on April 5, 2012


Teenage exorcists? Meh. Just ripping off all the teenage ghost hunter shows, which, kill please.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:13 PM on April 5, 2012


This is why America is stupid.

This is because America is stupid.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:14 PM on April 5, 2012 [17 favorites]


Bob Larson has apparently performed more than 10,000 exorcisms in the past 30 years, which works out to nearly an exorcism a day. I find this unlikely. There are a lot of suckers in the world, but surely not more than 10,000 who have all requested an exorcism from this dude. Plus an exorcism a day is a lot. If you assume any kind of weekends or holidays, he's having to do two a day fairly regularly.
posted by Frowner at 3:15 PM on April 5, 2012


Couldn't you imagine a psychic getting that much business? And he says in the article there that one "treatment" isn't usually enough.
posted by XMLicious at 3:20 PM on April 5, 2012


Maybe one 'client' has multiple demons and each one counts as a single exorcism? But yes, it's been all downhill for working hours and conditions since they deregulated the profession and Bell, Book and Candle Local#666 got hit by those Taft-Hartley charges.
posted by Abiezer at 3:23 PM on April 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Eh, I bet sometimes there's one REALLY possessed lady with like, 900 demons in her. They can't help it if that ups the numbers; they don't decide how many demons are in a person, surely.
posted by lauranesson at 3:25 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The first time I saw this I got so angry I felt physically ill. Must be that demon that 50% of us have. I'll bow out of this thread now. It's one of those subjects that I do not do well at all.
posted by Splunge at 3:29 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, this exorcism- is it just like, one girl? I mean, they're charging, is it extra for all 3?
posted by pupdog at 3:31 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Larson claims that 50 percent of the population is probably affected by demons in some way.

Everybody knows that's horseshit, all you need to do is look at the state of rock 'n' roll right now.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:33 PM on April 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


Eh, I bet sometimes there's one REALLY possessed lady with like, 900 demons in her.

I smell a crossover episode with Hoarders.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:39 PM on April 5, 2012 [21 favorites]


Bob Larson has apparently performed more than 10,000 exorcisms in the past 30 years, which works out to nearly an exorcism a day. I find this unlikely. There are a lot of suckers in the world, but surely not more than 10,000 who have all requested an exorcism from this dude. Plus an exorcism a day is a lot.

A Bob Larson "exorcism" isn't the same thing as a Catholic Church Roman Rite that takes holy water, lengthy readings of various Psalms, etc. He's more like a faith healer, where people come to his church services and he lays his hands on them and shouts and stuff, and VOILA! Demons begone. If he does five per service and more than one service per week (and it's been a while, but I think his deal is less like a weekly church service and more like a wandering tent revival), that number seems pretty reasonable.

Again, think of it like faith-healing. You couldn't do 10 surgical operations in one 90-minute period, but somebody like Benny Hinn could easily do that many "healings" in one session because there's not really any follow-up and he gets to define the term "healing" just like Bob Larson is doing with "exorcism."
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:39 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I mean, they're charging, is it extra for all 3?

TWENTY DOLLARS, SAME AS IN...oh, never mind.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:40 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Bob Larson "exorcism"...

...is something you order with a hushed voice in a bordello.
posted by griphus at 3:45 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ugh. "Hot teen exorcists?" Really, Esquire? You didn't think that would be an offensive thing to say about actual human beings? Nightline may be full of crap, but you sure as hell aren't helping.
posted by koeselitz at 3:50 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


And the title here's pretty gross, too, honestly. When will people learn that sarcastic, ironical sexism designed to make fun of actual sexism almost always fails because it looks exactly the same?
posted by koeselitz at 3:52 PM on April 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Bob Larson has apparently performed more than 10,000 exorcisms in the past 30 years, which works out to nearly an exorcism a day.

Even if you believed in demons, wouldn't some of the demons want to take the day off every once in a while? Sloth being one of the Seven Deadly Sins and all that.
posted by jonp72 at 3:54 PM on April 5, 2012


"Beauty Pageant Girl"..."Likes to Shop" - honestly, this segment was produced by adults?
posted by davebush at 4:07 PM on April 5, 2012


Even if you believed in demons, wouldn't some of the demons want to take the day off every once in a while? Sloth being one of the Seven Deadly Sins and all that.

Sloth is the one keeping them from unionizing.
posted by edguardo at 4:10 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, this exorcism- is it just like, one girl? I mean, they're charging, is it extra for all 3?

Remember, not every exorcism has a happy ending.
posted by The Bellman at 4:15 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


And the title here's pretty gross, too, honestly.

I'm so dumb. I thought the title referred to one's gorge rising, as in this was nauseating.
posted by XMLicious at 4:23 PM on April 5, 2012


[Folks, just because Esquire is sexist, we don't have to be. Feel free to go to MeTa instead of just rapid fire complaining here. The mostly female mod team thanks you.]
posted by jessamyn at 4:32 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the 80s, Bob Larson accompanied Slayer on a brief leg of their U.S. tour, interviewing the band and some of their hardcore fans on the subject of rampant Satanism in heavy metal music. He then wrote an article about it for Spin Magazine. I've never been able to locate an online transcript, but this website has the following quote from the article:
"If Slayer's soul was sold to Satan, they did so at the bank, not at a black mass. The forbidden brew Slayer sipped isn't the drink of lyrical death and despair. It's the elixir of fame. In the Garden of Rock 'n' Roll, they ate the apple of image over ingenuity, hype over integrity."
Yup. Larson is a weird dude.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:53 PM on April 5, 2012


If you want to keep that girlish figure, eat right and exorcise regularly.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:19 PM on April 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Cross-training?
posted by pracowity at 5:40 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is like the Malleus Malificarum [sic], if it were written by Judy Blume.

I doubt very much that Charles Pierce has read Malleus Maleficarum or anything by Judy Blume, whose YA novels were truly groundbreaking, but I suppose the patina of erudition, however false, helps Esquire keep its readers buying the things that allow them to maintain the illusion they are members of a class to which they are otherwise unable to aspire.

Though I guess the insipid misogyny of this piece could be seen as a kind of homeopathic dilution of the truly depraved and excoriatingly corrosive hatred of women embodied in Malleus, which I found far more oppressive, alien and horrifying than anything De Sade ever wrote, for example.

I regard exorcism in part as a folk practice developed to cope with some of the problems we try to treat with psychotherapy and drugs, and I think it has one thing right (but only one, unfortunately) which I don't see how to get into conventional medical approaches: it acknowledges the existence of evil.
One woman, a grandmother who flew in from Dallas for an exorcism with the girls, told "Nightline" that she has demons who have physically hurt and raped her. She insisted she is not mentally ill, but admitted she had been on anti-depressants and had suicidal thoughts in the past. During the exorcism, the woman said her father sexually abused her as a child.
To describe this woman as beset by a demon captures something essential about what's happening to her that the pallid and carefully neutralized language of medicine never can, in my opinion.
posted by jamjam at 6:05 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I doubt very much that Charles Pierce has read Malleus Maleficarum or anything by Judy Blume

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Shoggoth!
posted by JHarris at 6:22 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


(Of course Lovecraft didn't invent the Malleus Maleficarum, but to me it seems like something of a real-world version of the Necronomicon. It's mentioned in the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, which notes that in German it's got the rather awesome title Der Hexenhammer.)
posted by JHarris at 6:29 PM on April 5, 2012


Oh, Bob Larson, you are like the Kris Kardashian Jenner of Kristianity. How adorable of you to make a girl group with your pageant-queen daughter and her pals. I will never stop vomiting.

Bob Larson has apparently performed more than 10,000 exorcisms in the past 30 years, which works out to nearly an exorcism a day. I find this unlikely.

He does follow-up appointments. No, seriously. People come to him to be exorcised and it's like having a root canal and then a crown put in; you have to come back to keep the demons out or your gums from bleeding or something.

Also, a Bob Larson exorcism takes a half-hour, tops. He just wheels them through. You could probably get Botox shots in less time. (FUCK I BETTER NOT BE GIVING HIM IDEAS)


To describe this woman as beset by a demon captures something essential about what's happening to her

Really? Because to me it's one way of minimizing the real damage that's been done to her by her father, and instead blaming imaginary creatures for it. Which strikes me as simply par for the course for this flavor of religion.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:02 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I doubt very much that Charles Pierce has read Malleus Maleficarum or anything by Judy Blume

I don't know about the former, but he has at least one daughter so he has almost certainly read some Judy Blume. He's a bloviator at times but not a bluffer.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:05 PM on April 5, 2012


Movie.
posted by unSane at 7:07 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is really real? We are not getting a belated April Fools or any such crap? I'm depressed now.
posted by Iosephus at 7:09 PM on April 5, 2012


Of course Lovecraft didn't invent the Malleus Maleficarum, but to me it seems like something of a real-world version of the Necronomicon.

Would that it were so. It's actually more like a combination Civil Procedure and Torts textbook, only with more stuff about cursing cows and searching for supernumerary nipples.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:19 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is really no crazier than any exorcism done by say the catholic church. It seems a little more blatant about cash on the barrel head than other religious organizations, but I haven't done any shopping for a priest to perform an exorcism so maybe not.
posted by dibblda at 7:31 PM on April 5, 2012


This is really no crazier than any exorcism done by say the catholic church.

Yeah, it is. For one thing, the Roman Catholic Church (and I think this is equally true about the Eastern Rite churches) in the US won't perform an exorcism until the person requesting an exorcism has seen a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist. The Roman Catholic Church exorcists work hard to encourage people to resolve their problems in other ways. There is no fee for their services, either.

Bob Larson's practices are very different.

Now, don't get me wrong--I think that it's ridiculous that the Roman Catholic Church does exorcisms at all. But they start from the place of "Let's make sure that this person isn't experiencing psychiatric or neurological or physiological illnesses that are causing these phenomena, and let's also rule out post-traumatic stress disorder and other responses to significant life traumas," which I think is a big difference.

Matt Baglio's book The Rite is a good in-depth look at how the RCC does exorcism these days. Again, not a fan of it as a concept, but there is so much more compassion in their approach than in Bob Larson's.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:39 PM on April 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


But they start from the place of "Let's make sure that this person isn't experiencing psychiatric or neurological or physiological illnesses that are causing these phenomena, and let's also rule out post-traumatic stress disorder and other responses to significant life traumas," which I think is a big difference.

If, at the end of that examination, they don't perpetually come to the conclusion that it is psychological or neurological because demons don't exist, then it's still a sham. If you get a nice office, put on a doctor's coat, and write a prescription for homeopathic crystal water, you're still a sham no matter how you dress it up.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:25 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw this on the news... pretty crazy to me. I wonder if they saw the exorcist?
posted by ates at 12:14 AM on April 6, 2012


If, at the end of that examination, they don't perpetually come to the conclusion that it is psychological or neurological because demons don't exist, then it's still a sham

OK, maybe. But how come the banana totally fits in the human hand then?
posted by Hoopo at 12:39 AM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


It fits other places as well, is this some evidence of God's plan for it?
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:50 AM on April 6, 2012


This reminds me of Dennis Rodman.

Liberty comes with some spectacularly woozy side effects. So does freedom of religion.

Enjoy the ride.
posted by srboisvert at 2:03 AM on April 6, 2012


I remember in Junior High, we used to muck about with Ouija boards, and read the Necronomicon, and generally scare ourselves silly with the high drama of ghosts and spirits and psychic forces. Kids love invisible dramas. So I would imagine that these hot teen exorcists (both adjectives are perfectly accurate, and capture precisely their appeal) are having the time of their lives---super-important, helping people victimized by Satan, living every beauty pageant contestant's dream of being Joan of Arc with nicer hair. Pity about the mentally ill people they're using sex appeal and hucksterism to suck money out of, but that's business.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:51 AM on April 6, 2012


This was just a bluff, broadcast to see if anyone was still watching Nightline.


right?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on April 6, 2012


Given the youth obesity epidemic in America, it's nice to see some young people exorcising regularly.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:24 AM on April 6, 2012


See, reading a bit into this I immediately assumed it was a Josh Whedon thing.
posted by newdaddy at 6:40 AM on April 6, 2012


I've read the Malleus Maleficarum AND Judy Blume! do I get a prize?

(No, really. We had a History of Witchcraft class at Ohio University, it was pretty awesome).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:47 AM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've read the Malleus Maleficarum AND Judy Blume! do I get a prize?

A signed copy of Are You There Lucifer? It's Me, Asmodeus.
posted by griphus at 9:08 AM on April 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think it has one thing right (but only one, unfortunately) which I don't see how to get into conventional medical approaches: it acknowledges the existence of evil.

This is pernicious and vicious thinking. You suffer for no reason in this life. There is no great plan. There are warped people, anbd bad luck, and selfish fucks who value what they want over the lives of others, but there is not abstract force of evil.

I say this in the context of the evangelical church, wherein your life usually considered to be a reflection of your relationship with God. If live righteously, you will be blessed and you will be successful. You pray right and live right and you reap the fruit of your faith. If you suffer, on the other hand, it's because you fucked up somewhere. You listened to the wrong music, or ate food prepared by someone not of the faith, or thought carelessly. Not acted mind you. Thought. Read the wrong books, watched the wrong television programs. I knew a woman who tore the radios out of her car because she was conviced the devil was trying to get to her through music. So when shit happens to you, this "evil", it's all your fault. I have been a member of churches where being assaulted is a moment for compassion, right up till you start wondering what the victim did to make Jesus take his light from them. The saved are protected until they invite the demons into their life. So every one of those people who have been on the recieving end of that procedure at some point are going to believe that the pain they are experiencing is essentially their own fault.
posted by Jilder at 9:26 AM on April 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Jilder is right on the money.
posted by JHarris at 11:07 AM on April 6, 2012


Fuck you Bob Larson for scaring me into throwing out my Xanadu soundtrack when I was 8. Fuck you so much.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:21 AM on April 6, 2012


OK, maybe. But how come the banana totally fits in the human hand then?

It fits other places as well, is this some evidence of God's plan for it?


Slow down, that sort of logic would imply God approves of all sorts of queer practices.
posted by straight at 11:39 AM on April 6, 2012


Demons are creatures of imagination, and as such, can be highly dangerous. They are especially good at destroying the reputations of anyone that listens to their nonsense.
posted by Goofyy at 12:21 PM on April 6, 2012


If, at the end of that examination, they don't perpetually come to the conclusion that it is psychological or neurological because demons don't exist, then it's still a sham.

I cannot argue with you there.

However, compare Bob Larson's "50% of people are possessed by demons and they should give me money" nonsense with the RCC's "Almost all the people who come to us for exorcisms would be better served by psychiatrists or neurologists or endocrinologists, but we will do an exorcism for free if they really believe, after all of those evaluations, that they are having a paranormal spiritual experience"--one is far more toxic than the other in my opinion.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:29 PM on April 6, 2012


And also, I'm not sure how different that really is from a doctor who entertains and prescribes non-risky treatments to hypochondriac patients, which doesn't make the doctor's practice a sham. Even though she would be charging for her appointment time in that case whereas a Catholic priest wouldn't.
posted by XMLicious at 12:44 PM on April 6, 2012


Because when the hypochondriac goes to the doctor with a real medical problem, the doctor doesn't continue to prescribe placebos.
posted by griphus at 12:57 PM on April 6, 2012


Because when the hypochondriac goes to the doctor with a real medical problem, the doctor doesn't continue to prescribe placebos.

In this case, it would be the placebo of the exorcism ritual in addition to the evaluation and treatment by the psychiatrist, therapist, neurologist, and/or other medical doctors.

Which is a big, big difference from how people of Larson's ilk go about this.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:28 PM on April 6, 2012


Because when the hypochondriac goes to the doctor with a real medical problem, the doctor doesn't continue to prescribe placebos.

Really? So, a doctor who decides that a patient is regularly complaining of imagined or exaggerated or misconstrued maladies simply says "no more for you" and refuses to see them any further?

Besides that, how is a Catholic priest who performs an exorcism once like a doctor who continuously prescribes placebos? And if someone believes they are beset by demons, persists through psychiatric testing and treatment, and still seeks out an exorcism, why do you think that getting that is just a placebo? Not that the priest is even claiming to practice medicine or treat any medical problem, anyways, or even saying that the person who is seeking the exorcism actually needs it.
posted by XMLicious at 1:33 PM on April 6, 2012


I am now completely lost as to who is arguing what.
posted by griphus at 1:39 PM on April 6, 2012


For my part at least, I am arguing that a Catholic priest who insists that a person who thinks they need an exorcism should go through psychological and psychiatric evaluation and treatment, probably various kinds of pastoral counseling, and then in extreme and persistent cases will actually perform an exorcism, for free, for those meeting some objective criteria without saying that the person in question is actually demon-plagued, is not more of a sham or more condemnable than a physician who, for a fee, examines a persistent hypochondriac and recommends a harmless treatment that may address the patient's complaints in the unlikely event that they're reflective of a real medical problem.
posted by XMLicious at 2:08 PM on April 6, 2012


Oh! Okay. Yeah, I agree there. I was confused and thought the metaphor was re: Larson, who, naturally, has a vested interest in making sure his exorcisees stay away from conventional mental health channels (and therefore is like a shitty doctor who would continue to prescribe placebos to a hypochondriac with an actual medical condition.)
posted by griphus at 2:14 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Their mothers all sniff socks in hell.
posted by pracowity at 1:52 PM on April 10, 2012


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