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Let the bodies hit the floor
July 19, 2007 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Let the bodies hit the floor. Single-link, YouTube-like post.
posted by c:\awesome (114 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have fallen and I can't get up.

Silly xtians.
posted by psmealey at 8:16 AM on July 19, 2007


What a bully. He just bitchslapped some lady at 1:54! This monster must be stopped!
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:18 AM on July 19, 2007


Benny Hinn.
For the win.
(PDF)
posted by brownpau at 8:20 AM on July 19, 2007


I'm at work, and Websense blocked this for being in the category "Tasteless". From what I see in the comments so far, Websense may be right for once?
posted by sephira at 8:21 AM on July 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Too bad Benny Hinn can't save this thread from its damnation.
posted by dios at 8:22 AM on July 19, 2007


Surprisingly good. The line between professional wrestling and Christian revival is not that far. It took a Death Metal mash-up to see it.
posted by stbalbach at 8:24 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


He actually slaps some of the worshippers pretty hard (though never the huge guys).

I hope you realize that when the revolution comes, you're going to be fighting these people. That's a lot of crazy to be up against.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I say unto you, god, god, GOD wants you to buy me a jet. A really cool jet.
posted by freebird at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm at work, and Websense blocked this for being in the category "Tasteless"
posted by sephira at 10:21 AM on July 19


Quick summary: it's video of Benny Hinn and his faith-healing shtick wear he lays hands on believers and they fall down and twitch. It is mashed up with a Death Metal song which says over and over "Let Bodies Hit the Floor." At which point I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs.
posted by dios at 8:29 AM on July 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


I hope you realize that when the revolution comes, you're going to be fighting these people.

Really? Honestly, when the Revolution comes, I suspect the vast bulk of MetaFilter will be fighting tooth and nail right alongside these guys against the pissed-off hordes of the Other to preserve some remnant of our oil-fueled over-consumptive lifestyle.
posted by freebird at 8:31 AM on July 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


"False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive many people"... looks like he has his mission covered.
posted by Etta Hollis at 8:31 AM on July 19, 2007


flagged as LOLXIANS
posted by desjardins at 8:36 AM on July 19, 2007


The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

[this has been on MeFi before; props to whoever linked first, I can't find it on a search]
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:36 AM on July 19, 2007


The line between professional wrestling and Christian revival is not that far. It took a Death Metal mash-up to see it.

Seconded. The guy shown repeatedly lands flat on his back and the stage has that WWE look to it--it kind of bounces. Then Hinn's theatrical hand-waving really shines through.
posted by dontoine at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2007


Really? Honestly, when the Revolution comes, I suspect the vast bulk of MetaFilter will be fighting tooth and nail right alongside these guys against the pissed-off hordes of the Other to preserve some remnant of our oil-fueled over-consumptive lifestyle.

Please God I hope so. There's nothing like a horde of rabid fundie true believers for a human shield.
posted by spicynuts at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2007


I couldn't find it in search either!!!!!!111
posted by c:\awesome at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2007


c:\awesome, relax, it's not the same link. I meant mine had been on MeFi before, not yours.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:40 AM on July 19, 2007


I was just saying.
posted by c:\awesome at 8:42 AM on July 19, 2007


It's very sad, this example of mass hysteria - probably all these people really want is to get rid of cancer, see their drug addles sons clean up, or maybe see their fathers who must be in heaven. How can life be so cruel?

The people in the audience aren't at fault so much, it's that Aquanet motherfucker Benny Hinn who is the Devil, exploiting weak spirits for another private Gulfstream that cuts through the sky like a million white suits.
posted by four panels at 8:42 AM on July 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ah, one of several youtube links that I've offhandedly posted here has become a front page post.

Why yes thank you, I am awesome.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2007


This made me laugh, praise Beezus.
posted by acro at 8:46 AM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


*coff* Drowning Pool isn't death metal. *coff*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:46 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Pastor Benny Hinn and the World Healing Church d/b/a Benny Hinn Ministries"
posted by anthill at 8:48 AM on July 19, 2007


freebird is so hardcore
posted by Mister_A at 8:51 AM on July 19, 2007


It's very sad, this example of mass hysteria

You know, is it really? Of course he's fooling them, but they're helping, and we all know that belief is incredibly powerful. With all we know these days about the importance of visualization and mind/body stuff - who's to say this won't help some of them to heal whatever physical or spiritual ailments they suffer from?

Granted, it's pretty funny looking.
posted by freebird at 8:52 AM on July 19, 2007


I think freebird is generally considered "seminal southern rock" mister_a.
posted by freebird at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


At which point I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs.

Is this really any different than laughing at the people who think they can unlock their cars from miles away by holding the remote up to a cell phone? Benny Hinn cannot make you fall over by waving his hands at you (unless you are falling over from laughing at him).

He might, however, make you fall over by bitchslapping you. But probably not.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2007


Benny Hinn is a genius, and no matter how much his bullshit stinks, I find it really hard to get angry at stupid people giving money to smart people.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 8:56 AM on July 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


@c:/awesome: Awesome
posted by Debaser626 at 8:59 AM on July 19, 2007


i'll bet these losers vote
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:00 AM on July 19, 2007


My favorite part was when the guy fell down.

Seriously, the world needs more videos with a "Fall" tag.
posted by stet at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure whatever force that guy's using isn't light.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Once the audio gets out of sync it loses its shine, but the first ~30 secs is brilliant.

Damn you Linux flash player *shakes fist at Adobe*
posted by Skorgu at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2007


Could somebody, in simple terms, explain what these people are doing? The clip appears to show a mixture of rehearsed actions (street theater) and spontaneous reactions - but beyond that?
Please excuse my ignorance.
posted by speug at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2007


it's a charismatic religious gathering. to put it simply, they believe that the gift of the holy spirit given to the apostles in the bible can be experienced in the same way today--for example, speaking in tongues.
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:12 AM on July 19, 2007


speug: charismatic mass suggestion + heightened expectations + very boring daily lives = bodies hit the floor.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


speug: Slayed in the Spirit
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:13 AM on July 19, 2007


Actually, I think Hinn does have a kind of energy...perhaps in a better trajectory he would be a tai chi teacher or something. People who have never felt anything at all in their lives might feel a blast of chi or something from him and misinterpret it as God's Holy Spirit. It's easy to mistake a tea light candle for the sun if you've been blind.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:14 AM on July 19, 2007


I didn't understand speaking in tongues at all until I took the Pimsleur course. I'm not fluent or anything, but I can ask for directions and converse with a waiter.
posted by found missing at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2007


perhaps in a better trajectory he would be a tai chi teacher or something. People who have never felt anything at all in their lives might feel a blast of chi or something from him and misinterpret it as God's Holy Spirit.

you're right, taking advantage of gullible rich people is better than gullible poor people. Blast O' Chi it is...

by you just have to meet by new yoga instructor Mr. Hinn... he just has this incredible forceful aura...
posted by geos at 9:28 AM on July 19, 2007


At which point I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs.
posted by dios at 11:29 AM on July 19


Ok, I won't laugh. Let's take them seriously for a moment.

Faith healing, exorcism, the casting out of evil spirits, etc like all other seemingly odd religious practices in which both the healer AND the victim appear to be complicit in what a non-believer outsider may think of as a ruse or sham, is in fact a very necessary social and community outlet for outcasts within the community to have a socially acceptable way to find solace in or to vent their anger and frustration with that same community that has cast them out, without fear of reprisal.

In the context of faith healing, the "healed " (hereinafter "the victim") if they are an adult is looking for a way to elevate their pain above the level of what everyone ordinarily experiences. It's a form of attention-seeking behavior, because the victim believes that their pain is special and unique compared to other similarly situated people.

Furthermore, and more commonly, this adult victim has used this pain or relied on it advantageously in their lives to avoid uncomfortable situations, responsibilities, etc. they need a way to have that pain independently validated in order to give them cover. The pain itself may be a real psychological condition, but the community does not recognize psychological diseases as conditions, but rather as weaknesses or as burdens of sin. (E.g. "You're depressed because you are gay and your soul is burdened with sinful same-sex lusts" instead of "you are depressed because everyone including your family treats you like shit because you're gay.")

All of this, by the way is subconscious. They don't do this knowingly. They learn from watching others that in their community/sub-culture, this is socially acceptable. So the healer steps into the role to provide this function. The community (or just the family) knows this victim has this pain , and they may resent them for it and the resentment breeds guilt, so the faith healer steps into the breach to say, this pain is real (so family, you're off the hook, and are heroic for bearing it with the victim) and says to the victim, your pain is special (so you couldn't simply "get over yourself"). One smack to the head (note the bit of masochism here), and it gone, and they can begin anew (until the excitement wears off).

The victim may believe that they are healed or that they were at least touched by some power, but what they are actually feeling is their external social group acknowledging and reflecting back what the victim thinks and feels internally. This is how it works for adults.

For children, the mechanism is more sinister. The children have some characteristic that makes them odd in their community. Could be a psychological disorder, some lifestyle preference, etc. But note, however, that these communities are extremely rigid, fearful of change and of outside influence, are very hierarchical, and demand of their members more than anything else obedience to the social order. So the "difference" or the "quirk" doesn't have to be something as significant as sexual orientation, it could be any rebellion that is threatening to the parents. Any rebellion - odd clothing, hairstyles, music, politics, etc are all wrong if they are outside the accepted norm.

But the parents (here's where it gets sinister), who know that everyone else knows their kid is a bad seed (because in these communities, everyone shares the same hate set), need to provide some cover, lest they be "bad parents". Evil spirits are a good cover, because, (and are you ready for this dios?) in these hyper religious communities, being possessed by the devil is more socially acceptable than simply being different. Demonic possession is a good excuse, because after all to deny the devil is to deny God. So the parent communicates overtly, or through behavior, that the child is not in control of themselves, and that something evil has a hold of them. The child is likely to believe this because (a) most of the people in these communities are horribly uneducated, and (b) they feel themselves that they are different, it has hurt their lives, and when they are still young and trying to fit in, they lack self-confidence and would rather not be different if they had a choice in the matter. In a more "modern" suburban community, this would simply take the form of repression, but in these religious communities, the child is convinced that something has gotten in to them and needs to come out. Repression implies "waiting it out". Waiting for college, or to save for a ticket to the city. In these hyperreligious communities, there is no out. So these kids are stuck and know they are stuck and they want to believe so badly anything is wrong with them other than that they are different, so that when faith healer lays hands on them, they know that this is the moment, and they are overcome with fear, and emotion, and they act accordingly.

By the way, the same is true of exorcism. In that ritual, the person is an extreme case (prayer, confession etc hasn't helped them). It's extreme because the person has been broken some sacred social norm, for example, a child who rages at their parents in the worst possible profanity. In the exorcism ritual, the person is encourage to enter this demonic state (i.e. where they call their parents horrible names), and the priest basically lets them get it out of their system. I've seen these things first hand (not exorcism, but "casting out services" in mountain villages where all the "rotten kids" are trotted into the church vomit obscenity at their parents. At the one I saw, for every single kid (mostly girls, btw), every one of them, the obscenity was graphically sexual, and "Do you still want to fuck me now" was basically the gist of it. My guess was that in these mountain villages, physical and sexual abuse is not uncommon, and these rituals release pent up rage in the real victims that probably would otherwise end up as horrible violence against someone else when they got older.

So that's what this stuff is. It's isn't a fucking belief. It's a necessity of the rural American Christian ghetto.

So no, I'm not laughing. I find it disgusting and shameful that communities exist in this country that are so repressed and so repressive that unhappy people in those communities have to subconsciously fool themselves into thinking that they have been healed by the touch of some TV preacher's hand.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:28 AM on July 19, 2007 [59 favorites]


That video is at the outer limits of awesome, even sprinkling it with bacon salt wouldn't get it any closer to the awesome singularity.
posted by The Straightener at 9:28 AM on July 19, 2007


...I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs.

Seriously, these people are pretending to be physically knocked over by this guy's magic mojo. Just how stupid does a belief have to be before we're allowed to laugh at it? Because this is pretty fucking stupid if you ask me.

Also, in before the delete!
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:29 AM on July 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


And to address four panels's comment above above hope and cancer, you are quite correct, because in this particular example, Hinn isn't stupid, and he knows that for purposes of television he needs to be appealing to hope. OF course, he also knows that he isn't curing anyone of anything, so he is a bad example of how faith healing developed and exists today in the US.

Furthermore, I guarantee you that while the people on stage are victims of physical ailments, that's not who is in that audience, nor are they representative of the kids in that audience in particular.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:35 AM on July 19, 2007


Metafilter: the rural American Christian ghetto.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:35 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the information.
How very sad.
posted by speug at 9:52 AM on July 19, 2007


Quick summary: it's video of Benny Hinn and his faith-healing shtick wear he lays hands on believers and they fall down and twitch. It is mashed up with a Death Metal song which says over and over "Let Bodies Hit the Floor." At which point I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs
You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:53 AM on July 19, 2007


At which point I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs.

Yeah, mocking people isn't good manners. But for goodness' sake, stupid is still stupid--these poor people are living in such a deep pool of self-delusion, it breaks my heart. I understand that they are having a profound experience at those moments, but that they experience theatrics and cheap, sentimental spirituality as deep doesn't mean that it actually is deep.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:54 AM on July 19, 2007


As a religious freak, I endorse laughing at this video.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:58 AM on July 19, 2007


When it becomes not okay to laugh at religious freaks, the terrorists will have won. Literally.
posted by found missing at 10:00 AM on July 19, 2007


Pastabagel, your comment is fascinating--is there a particular book about same that you can recommend, or is your comment derived from lots of more diverse study?
posted by everichon at 10:06 AM on July 19, 2007


While "not" death metal, Drowning Pool RAWKS!!!!
A bit o' trivia here: lead singer o.d.'s on tour bus, in Houston, during OZZFEST. Supposedly there is a new lead singer in the line-up. GREAT SONG. As for the vid, I have an uncle who is an evangelist and he and his minions are just as C R A Z Y.
posted by winks007 at 10:15 AM on July 19, 2007


Thank you, dios, for your quick summary. Us folks who have to wait to view YouTube until after work are grateful. Tagged for later looking.
posted by sidereal at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2007


Slow day at work, PastaBagel?

Seriously though, that was a great analysis of the charismatic phenomena.
posted by Mister_A at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2007


This is a carny huckster, his cast of con men and a stadium full of duped rubes, nothing more or less.
posted by The Straightener at 10:24 AM on July 19, 2007


Ok, this is just not fair. Last time I did this in a crowd of people, I was arrested for assault. And this guy gets paid how much?

Of course, to be fair, it wasn't a perfect parallel. He was using his bare hands, I was using a hammer.
posted by quin at 10:25 AM on July 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


More Christian surrealist techniques
posted by destro at 10:31 AM on July 19, 2007


Thank you for that, Pastabagel.
posted by churl at 10:44 AM on July 19, 2007


Pastabagel is spot on, particularly in his summary. To put it in YouTube terms, it's definitely more of a WTFMORANS thing than a LOLMORANS deal.
posted by psmealey at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2007


dios: At which point I suppose we are suppose to point and laugh at the stupid people with stupid beliefs.

BitterOldPunk: *coff* Drowning Pool isn't death metal. *coff*

freebird: I think freebird is generally considered "seminal southern rock" mister_a.


I'd like to nominate this thread for highest eponysterical comment ratio of the month.
posted by googly at 10:47 AM on July 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


I was using a hammer

Oh, Maxwell called, he wants that bad boy back.

It is silver, after all.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:55 AM on July 19, 2007


Pastabagel, your comment is fascinating--is there a particular book about same that you can recommend, or is your comment derived from lots of more diverse study?
posted by everichon at 1:06 PM on July 19


Thanks, I can't think of a single book, but the idea is sort of Freudian object relational psychology. Every "primitive" culture has some religious belief that accomplishes this function, insofar as these cultures are all small, unenlightened through science, and insular. Also, note that the term "demon" comes from a greek concept which refered more to a personal drive or tenacious motivation, than some external monster (closer to a unix daemon than a biblical demon).

I guess you could read jung and Freud and then read Erich Fromm for a different slant (psycholanalysis and religion). The idea is that religion is not so much at tension with science as it is with psychology and psychoanalysis. The psychiatrist is a greater threat to the fundamentalist than the physicist, because the former attempts to explain the mind of the fundamentalist, the latter attempts merely to explain his world. It is no surprise that Paul Tillich, in attempting to recast the role of spirituality, set Freud as religions antithesis (fear of death > neuroses > cured by analysis, thus avoiding confrontation and acceptance of death which is the role of true spirituality, but no one practices religion this way).

Another way to challenge popular thinking and acceptance of these things is to watch "The Exorcist" with a critical eye. Don't go along for the fright or shock, ask why scenes are in the movie, why characters do the things they do etc.

I'm going to blow it if you haven't seen it (at least my interpretation, so the next comment is SPOILER ALERT).
posted by Pastabagel at 11:18 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Malcolm discovers he's dead from the gun shot wound back from the beginning of the film and the only reason Cole has been able to see him is because he is dead.
posted by found missing at 11:21 AM on July 19, 2007


perhaps in a better trajectory he would be a tai chi teacher or something.

Nah, I think he'd make an even better Aikido sensei.
posted by Venadium at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2007


I was exorcised when I was two years old. (Honest.) Maybe it didn't work; that would explain a lot.
posted by LordSludge at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2007


perhaps in a better trajectory he would be a tai chi teacher or something.

Nah, I think he'd make an even better Aikido sensei.
posted by Venadium at 2:24 PM on July 19 [+] [!]


Nah... Kiai Master rulez!!

(or not)
posted by LordSludge at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2007


I can't imagine that I am alone in thinking that this video paired with that song was freaking scary.
posted by msali at 11:46 AM on July 19, 2007


Rule #1: Never stand square.

Rule #2: Never be on your heels.

Rule #3: Keep your hands up.

Rule #4: I said "Keep you god damned hands up."
posted by tkchrist at 11:56 AM on July 19, 2007


A mind is a terrible thing to taste.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:18 PM on July 19, 2007


I have fallen like that and Benny Hinn was nowhere near me.


Don't make fun of stuff you don't understand.
posted by konolia at 12:19 PM on July 19, 2007


I was hoping he would shove one of them, only instead of falling down they'd get really offended and shove him back.
posted by the other side at 12:22 PM on July 19, 2007


LOLSEIZUREDISORDERS

Paging Ikkyu2
posted by The Bellman at 12:26 PM on July 19, 2007


This thread is actually quite unexpectedly good.
posted by nasreddin at 12:51 PM on July 19, 2007


oncogenesis : A mind is a terrible thing to taste.

With Sympathy sir, that is really only true in the Land of Rape and Honey or the Dark Side of the Spoon. Of course, if you read Psalm 69, you might realize that you are the Last Sucker. Hope that doesn't make you Twitch (ya, Filth Pig.)
posted by quin at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2007


(I got distracted, sorry if this is rambling and confusing)

Exorcist SPOILER

In the Exorcist, the plot is that a little girl is possessed by a demon, mommy tries all the doctors to no avail, turns to a priest/doctor who himself questions his faith and ultimately turns to a wizened old priest to perform the ritual. During the exorcism the little girl does demon like things, shoves a crucifix in her vagina, calls mommy a cunt and the priest a motherfucker etc etc, spins her head around, but ultimately the doctor/priest recaptures his faith, takes on the demon, and leaps out a window to his death. All of these things were shocking in 1973, take my word for it. Fantastic horror film. Now watch it again and ask why the movie has the charaters and dialogue it does. Why the child is a girl (and not a boy), why there is no father, why mom has a wicked potty mouth, etc.

If you watch the movie critically, there is a very strong subtext suggesting the possibility that there is no demon or possession, or that the demon, possession, and subsequent exorcism are a metaphor for the girl's psychiatric therapy.

First, the priest, Dr. Karras, is a psychiatrist. This is not accidental. The Catholic church knew that exorcism was largely a psychological phenomena by the 70s, and steered its faithful to doctors rather than to priests for these kids of problems. Making Karras a priest AND a psychiatrist makes him the union of the text and the subtext of the film. He is the context in which the film will explore the question of whether the girl, Regan, is a demon from within, or truly possessed from without.

But Karras is also Greek, which is an odd choice considering how few Greek catholics there are in Greece, let alone in the US. I think the point here is that the demon could be a Greek demon, i.e. a Socratic daemon, the little beast inside us that drives us, rather than an Assyrian demon named Pazuzu. Again, inner demons vs outer demons. And Karras is tortured by guilt over not being able to provide for or take care of his mother. The choice of mother isn't an accident either. But it is a novel/movie, so it could be both.

The image of the demon (Captain Howdy) is revealed to only two people: Regan and Karras (in his dream between shots of his mother), but the demon is seen on screen near Regan's mother twice: in the kitchen he appears on the cabinets facing her, and as she leaves Regan's bedroom, the Pazuzu statue appears on the door. But the demon is actually a woman's face, not a man's. The actress playing the face also plays Regan in the crucifix scene at the end(Linda Blairs body double), but the face is aged enough with make up to also resemble her mother's face.

The notion of the external demon is overt and obvious in the film, but what about the inner demon? Regan has issues with her mother and her father. Her mother is at times very harsh and profane (her use of obscenities is quite conspicuous). Her father is missing from the film, only present in the movie on the telephone when her mom is cursing him out. But Regan is young. The reasons for the divorce are unknown, but according to the film it is recent, so the possession has occurred right when we would expect Regan to be suffering anxiety over the breakup. Furthermore, the vitriol the mom directs at the dad seems to indicate that the divorce was not amicable.

This is classic Freudian Electra complex here (oedipal complex for girls, Jung named it, but Freud came up with it). Freud predicts that Regan would be resentful towards her mother and become closer to her father during this developmental phase, ultimately reconciling all people as separate from here. But for Regan, dad isn't around, and maybe she's angry at mom for getting rid of dad. At one point in the film Regan asks if Dad is going to call (or visit? I can't remember) and mom responds she doesn't know, but in a subsequent scene, we see Regan eavesdropping on a call between her mom and dad where her mom is tearing into him. Regan may feel that her mom is keeping her dad away, and this would exacerbate the resentment Freudian analysis would expect to be present under normal circumstances.

To exorcise the demon, the demon has to leave Regan and enter Merrill (but he dies too soon) or enter Karras. The priest takes the demon out of the victim into them selves, where they can cast it out. In psychology, this is analogous to transference where the patient transfers their feelings about someone in their lives (usu. the one giving rise to the disorder, e.g. an abuser, or a parent) to the doctor. So Karras, familiar with transference in his treatment of priests as a psychiatrist, now experiences transference in the demonic context. The demon transfers to him.

But if the demon is symbolic of Regan's feelings stemming from her parents separation as well as her oedipal issues, her anger, resentment, feelings of abandonment by father to whom she wants to feel ever more attached, etc, then the exorcism is exactly the same as clinical therapy. Her bad feelings encapsulated as a demon are transferred to Karras. To have the oedipal breakthrough and begin internalize her mother's lover for her (to see her as her mother sees her), she need to transfer the resentment to her analyst/exorcist. She does this, and soon after everything is better with her mom.

Karras himself has no therapist. The feelings from his of guilt and pain over his mother are tied up within him, that's why he sees the demon in his dream in connection with his mother. But he never gets rid of it. He can't transfer it out, so he kills himself.

So in this film, exorcism is primitive transference, the priest is also psychiatrist, the girl is also the face of the demon. Everything in the film is both the entity in the religious context and the entity in the psychiatric one. The possession is Regan's oedipal complex stunted or inhibited by her parents' breakup, the exorcism is her therapy where she manifests her oedipal feelings towards her mom, transfers them to her doctor (also priest!).

Thus while the film is effective as a horror film, the film is brilliant in my opinion for this subtext that the demons we see are the ones we find in ourselves, and therapy is the new way that we purge these demons. But we still have the demons - progress, science, and psychoanalysis will never rob us of our demons.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:17 PM on July 19, 2007 [8 favorites]


Pastabagel: that's an interesting and mostly apt dissection. But what about the projectile vomit?

But seriously, I enjoy your perspective.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2007


Is this where we post our college essays?
posted by found missing at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2007


Somebody's regurgitated a paper there, if I'm not mistaken. What sort of a grade did you get on it?
posted by spock at 1:39 PM on July 19, 2007


Is this where we post our college essays?

Um, no, it's where people can post anaylses that they've been formulating of various subjects that come up here so they can share their perspective with others so this can be more of a "community weblog" than a collection of snark.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Is this where we post our college essays?

Um, no...


Oh, too bad. Because I've got a good one using the 1966 movie King of Hearts, as an allegory for the Bush administration.
posted by found missing at 1:50 PM on July 19, 2007


“more of a "community weblog" than a collection of snark.”

Wow, if that’s not a tagline for some some community weblog somewhere than I don’t know what.
You could say like ‘something something blog’ and then add that last bit as sort of a monicker indicative of the overall feel of the place at certain times.
Man, that’d be sweet.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:25 PM on July 19, 2007


Ah. Yes. Divorce, sexual frustration, and Freud. The universal Essay filters.
posted by tkchrist at 2:28 PM on July 19, 2007


That was a smart, engaging little derail there, thanks, Pastabagel! Stuff like that is why I come to MeFi. Now I have to go re-watch The Exorcist.
posted by everichon at 2:36 PM on July 19, 2007



i'll bet these losers vote
posted by TrialByMedia

If you think that's bad just consider these people driving down the road right alongside you. Now that's down right scary.
posted by notreally at 2:42 PM on July 19, 2007


Ya know, the lead singer of Drowning Pool died at the ripe-old age of 30. Kind of sucks that "Hit the Floor" remains their signature toon.
posted by bardic at 3:10 PM on July 19, 2007


Pastabagel, lots of interesting points in your first analysis, but you said: In these hyperreligious communities, there is no out.

There's a presumption in your analysis that I'm not sure is valid--namely, that these kinds of worship services happen in rural, geographically isolated communities. This video is clearly shot in a mega-church, and while Benny Hinn's revivals are big traveling shows that bring everybody to town, these kinds of services happen regularly in "non-denominational" mega-churches in big cities (or suburbs) on a regular basis.

What's striking to me is that this sort of isolated culture has come out of the mountains and down into the cities, and is growing. How do you reconcile the faith-healing city folks with your ideas of isolationism as a key psychological factor?
posted by LooseFilter at 3:18 PM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Somebody's regurgitated a paper there, if I'm not mistaken. What sort of a grade did you get on it?
posted by spock at 4:39 PM on July 19


I got a D. But in my defense, my Antenna Theory prof clearly lacked the insight to know a dogmatically polarized, higher order Freudian harmonic when he saw one.

No, it's not a paper. I proofread my papers.
posted by Pastabagel at 3:23 PM on July 19, 2007


There's a presumption in your analysis that I'm not sure is valid--namely, that these kinds of worship services happen in rural, geographically isolated communities.

Yeah, this is a good point point. You're right, these things now happen in stadiums in or near big cities. But I think people come in from significant distances to attend (like people in a rural part of a state may travel hours to the state's only major city to attend a rock concert.

I believe the faith hailing city folks are in balkanized communities where ideas from outside don't penetrate. I'm thinking of old italian catholic communities in brooklyn and queens decades ago where some of the women would still believe in spells and hexes.

It isn't always rural, but the people in these communities always keeps themselves shut off from outside influence if not physically shut off.

Also, some synchronicity in this thread. Benny Hinn was raised Greek Orthodox, and Fr. Karras in the Exorcist was Greek. Spooky. Also, the best line from the Benny Hinn Wikipedia page:

Not to be confused with Benny Hill.
posted by Pastabagel at 3:32 PM on July 19, 2007


Is this where we post our college essays?

Yeah, man, cuz, like, thoughts that take, like, lots of words to get out are just...too, like, complex, y'know? I like my thinkin' to be short. So stop with your rambly, fancy talk, perfesser.
_______

Actually, I find Pastabagel's reading of that film quite compelling, and it reminds me that far too many see movies simply as stories, rather than the complex, nuanced works of art they sometimes are. As Pastabagel notes, sometimes the real text isn't what's actually being said. Sort of like the rituals in the video posted.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:37 PM on July 19, 2007


I believe the faith hailing city folks are in balkanized communities where ideas from outside don't penetrate.

Seems that way to me, too--though what's weird is that these megachurches are themselves the new communities that isolate these folks from meaningful interaction with the rest of the world. (What with groups and teaching for every aspect of your life, the drive-in, bookstores, sports leagues and fitness centers, and more, why go anywhere else?)
posted by LooseFilter at 3:53 PM on July 19, 2007


I bow to your mastery of sarcasm. You, sir, are the Paganini of the put-down.
posted by found missing at 4:08 PM on July 19, 2007


You, sir, are the Paganini of the put-down.

I apologize if my insult is not up to your standards. I'll try to do better the next time you talk out of your ass.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:27 PM on July 19, 2007


@LooseFilter: The isolation isn't necessarily geographic. I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, and one of the things we were taught is that we are to be "in the world but not of it." In other words, we are to be in our own little subculture separate from the American main culture.

Parents can isolate their kids even in a mobile society like the US. They can restrict who their friends are, send them to private Christian schools, restrict their access to the internet, TV, and other media. They even restrict access to "the world's" music.

They may not form physical communities like the Italian communities that Pastabagel mentioned, but they isolate themselves nonetheless.

And let me tell you: There is nothing so eye-opening to someone raised in that environment as getting on the internet and seeing what the (mostly) good, decent people in the rest of the world are saying and doing. It's absolutely shocking to me now to see just how small of a world that my fundamentalist peers live in, and how badly misinformed they are. It's sad, really.
posted by JDHarper at 4:28 PM on July 19, 2007


JDHarper, yes, I know the culture of which you speak. I live in a pretty religious region of California, and there are quite a few non-denominational fundamentalist churches that help create a world like you grew up in--several even have their own schools (K-12!) attached (and then those kids graduate and of course go to BIOLA). You mentioned:

There is nothing so eye-opening to someone raised in that environment as getting on the internet and seeing what the (mostly) good, decent people in the rest of the world are saying and doing. It's absolutely shocking to me now to see just how small of a world that my fundamentalist peers live in, and how badly misinformed they are.

I've often wondered about that--do you think that the ubiquity of the internet is substantially undermining parents' abilities to create these false realities for their children?
posted by LooseFilter at 4:44 PM on July 19, 2007


Benny Hinn's show plays eerily like a good stage hypnotist. Christians aren't the only religion to exhibit ecstatic phenomena either--there are Muslim sects that speak in tongues, for instance.

Oh, and no Benny Hinn thread is complete without a link to his wife Suzanne and her Holy Ghost Enema.
posted by EarBucket at 5:54 PM on July 19, 2007


-there are Muslim sects that speak in tongues, for instance.

Supporting link, please.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:18 PM on July 19, 2007


It's not really that complex, people. These folks go to these things because it allows them to experience religious ecstasy and religious ecstasy, like every other ecstatic state, feels really fucking good. I would imagine that, for many of these people, this is the only place outside of the bedroom they will experience ecstasy this intense. Unshakeable faith + crowd psychology + a clever facilitator = ecstatic trance = booty-shaking good time.

The horrible thing about this, of course, is Hinn's hucksterism and those who go to him desperate for a cure only to be inevitable crushed and disappointed somewhere down the road. And I think Pastabagel's take on that was an excellent one.

But the bodies hitting the floor? Good old ecstatic release*.

*I think it looks like fun, frankly. I take my ecstasy where I can get it.
posted by LeeJay at 7:03 PM on July 19, 2007


LOL I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER HOLYSPIRIT?
posted by bwg at 7:26 PM on July 19, 2007


Supporting link, please.

I don't have an online link that I can find, but I know I've read of Sufi dervishes engaging in glossolalia. It's a pretty widespread practice, though, from ancient Greeks to aboriginal religions in the Americas and Africa and Australia. It seems to be a pretty basic component of the ecstatic religious experience.
posted by EarBucket at 7:26 PM on July 19, 2007


Wow, an entire stadium of people who don't know that shoving somebody by the face will usually make them fall down. Unfuckingbelievable.
posted by dr_dank at 7:37 PM on July 19, 2007


Paging James Randi
Paging James Randi

James Randi
Please pick up the white courtesy telephone
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:22 PM on July 19, 2007


I'm going to be a filthy rich televangelist someday.
posted by Curry at 8:47 PM on July 19, 2007


I've often wondered about that--do you think that the ubiquity of the internet is substantially undermining parents' abilities to create these false realities for their children?
Absolutely. That's part of why they're so scared of it. At Bob Jones University, where I attended college, they blocked off huge sections of the internet, including all sites hosted on free web hosting (e.g. blogger, typepad, and wordpress.com) and anything they felt wasn't Christ-honoring.

Fortunately, I was a town student with unrestricted internet access. At some point I discovered Thomas Paine, and found out that not all of the founding fathers were Patrick Henry-style Christians. I started reading the Age of Reason, which got me to thinking about all the evil God commanded his followers to do (the killing of all the men, women, and children of Jericho, the genocide against the Amalekites, etc.). And then there was the tsunami in Asia while I was in college, which got me thinking hard about the sovereignty of God vs. the goodness of God. I eventually came to the conclusion that God, if he exists, cannot be as the Bible portrays him. He is either not all-powerful or he is not all-good.

But I don't think that parents are just inventing false realities for the fun of it. They genuinely believe in what they're saying. Throughout my entire time at BJU, and at the Christian high-school I attended before that, I got the impression that everyone actually believed what they were saying.

That's why parents are so determined to see their children "brought to the Lord." They genuinely believe that if their children aren't saved, they will burn in hell. That's why they're willing to insulate themselves from society; the eternal destiny of their children is at stake.

Which is why I have not and have no intention of telling my parents about my conclusions. It's why I still go to church even though I find no spiritual value in it. I love my parents and I don't want them to worry needlessly over my soul.
posted by JDHarper at 8:51 PM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think god hates charlatans
(and if you don't then go ahead and smite me)
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:59 PM on July 19, 2007


I think god hates charlatans

Naw, angels rip their souls to shreds long before they reach God.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:10 PM on July 19, 2007


btw, this footage is not from Benny Hinn's show. It's from a documentary about faith healers that I saw originally on HBO, and judging by the A&E bug in the footage, it must be playing there also.

It's an amazing doc. Amazing in that they were able to get backstage with Hinn, and admit (in a way) to most of his tricks. Highly recommended.
posted by fungible at 10:35 PM on July 19, 2007


"Paging James Randi. Please pick up the white courtesy telephone.."

He ain't pickin' up. Why? He outted all these charlatans decades ago, and people still flock to them. Why? People want to believe the lie. You can show them all the truth you can muster, but they really prefer the lie. They'll pay through the nose for the lie. They will kill and die to preserve the lie.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:19 PM on July 19, 2007


Dawkins is watching.
posted by oxford blue at 12:42 AM on July 20, 2007


punched by GOD?
has anyone ever experience this? what does it feel like?
posted by domdom at 11:38 AM on July 20, 2007


I have experienced it. More than once.

With no one touching me, some of those times. One time, I was simply talking to some folks, then, BOOM down I went. (I was at a meeting, where people were dropping like flies. I was kinda thinking they were all faking. Until all of a sudden I contemplating the subject from carpet level.)

For me it is just a feeling of total weakness. Kinda like how, if you were totally shocked all over with electricity, only there is no feeling of being shocked.

I have no doubt that in some meetings this is faked and/or facilitated by someone shoving, but there IS a real and genuine experience of this nature.

I kind of think of it as one's system being overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit-a reaction TO a spiritual event, not the event itself, if you get my meaning.

The first time it ever happened to me I was in my own living room being prayed for by a friend. I'd never even heard of the experience at the time. And I couldn't get up for awhile, either.
posted by konolia at 4:56 PM on July 20, 2007


punched by GOD?

Homer: The first meeting of Hell's Satans is called to order!

Flanders: I move we reconsider our club name. Make it something a little less blasphemous. After all, we don't wanna go to Hell.

Lenny: How 'bout the Devil's Pals?

Moe: Or the Christ-Punchers?
posted by bwg at 5:07 PM on July 20, 2007


Pardon me for being away from the internet for a while. And for not reading all 111 comments and all the derails contained herein prior to posting. But is this video actually new to people? 'Cuz I saw it like a year ago so I immediately assumed it had to be a double. I'm just surprised it isn't.

Mr. Hinn scares me, btw. When I was a hotel in Turkey, I was flipping television stations and the ONLY station I found in English was playing his sermons. It was really creepy...
posted by miss lynnster at 8:32 AM on July 21, 2007


But is this video actually new to people?

I posted it before.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:44 AM on July 21, 2007


Oh right. 'Cuz you're so dagnabbed awesome. I should've known.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:39 PM on July 22, 2007


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