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article imageDemonic Possession - Is It Real, Or Imagined?

By Pamela Jean     May 11, 2007 in World
"The Devil Made Me Do It" We've all heard the statement, but is it possible? Can a person be possessed by demons and made to do horrible things against their will? Or is it just mental illness? True believers claim the Devil is everywhere.....
Legend has it that the Reading's home in Litchfield Connecticut was haunted. There had been evidence of spirits within it's walls. Furniture would be moved, and strange knocking sounds would emanate from the walls.
Patricia Reading began to feel that she, too, had been possessed by satanic spirits. She felt that she was being followed in her own home. Strange black and blue marks would appear on her body, as the "force" would push and pull at her. Her daughter Michelle explained it this way....."She'd scream, she'd jerk backward, I'd turn around and she'd be in pain. Of course, she would panic, she would cry, she was shocked." At her wits end, she engaged the assistance of the local Bishop, whom performed a series of exorcisms on Pat.
Her teenage daughter, Michelle was witness to the events. "When you see the person that you love," she said, "that gave birth to you and took care of you … and then you see her being attacked by something invisible, so heinous and so disgusting, I mean, it really is a disgusting situation and you will do anything to stop it."
Patricia had been analyzed by a doctor. She had been found to have no psychosis. She was not a drinker, she did not do drugs. Medically she was healthy. There was no other explanation for her condition, and because of that, the decision was made to perform the exorcisms.
Take the case of Traci. She, too, felt the presence of the Devil inside of her. "When the demons are active in my body, I feel confused, I get paranoid. I get tense," Traci explained.
"The first time a demon left my body, I felt like something was literally from the inside pushing out through my chest, and through my arms and through my throat.
"The feeling of freedom that I get is a spiritual feeling. The fear goes away, the insecurity goes away, the pain goes away and I'm filled with hope."
The exorcisms performed on Traci were documented in an upcoming production called "Satan Unmasked", the executive producer of the film is the Reverend Frank Desiderio. "We've been following this story of this woman called Traci," Desiderio explained. "She does have a history of drug use … but that in and of itself does not explain everything that's going on in this woman's life."
Traci is thankful she got her life back, and thanks the exorcists for giving her the tools and showing her how faith could save her.
Reverend Giancarlo Gramolazzo, an exorcist, said it is faith that saves you.
"Even in the exorcisms fighting the devil, it is faith that makes it work, he said. "It is faith that makes sure that it is not the priest that is working but Christ."
Gramolazzo has 30 years of experience performing exorcisms in Italy, a country where 88 percent of the population is Catholic and exorcisms are performed every day. Pointing to a crucifix, he explained, "It is he who is exorcising, not me. I loan my body. Jesus is the first exorcist. It is the Lord in the first person who showed us that he wins against evil."
The Reverend Gabriele Amorth is perhaps the most famous exorcist of our time. He is said to have performed 60,000 exorcisms to date. He strongly believes that Satan exists, and is here to challenge humankind. "For our Christian faith, it's very, very important to realize that Satan exists," he said. "Go forth, preach the Gospel, throw out the devils and heal the sick -- those are the commands Jesus gave to the apostles." Priests who have performed exorcisms say many have a remarkable resemblance to the 1973 Hollywood blockbuster "The Exorcist". "There are exorcisms in which the things you see in the film happen … people who lift off the ground, people whose skin is cut, people who vomit strange things. … The first exorcism I saw of an 18-year-old girl who had phenomena, her head rotated, her hands and her arms spun round, cuts would suddenly appear on her skin, certainly not made by her."
Full body possessions are actually extremely rare. Satan is generally much more subtle in his actions Gramolazzo states. His main activity is to tempt man to fall into sin and away from God. Satan does everything he can to avoid being discovered … And he's also pleased to be projected with bat wings and with hooves at his feet, with long ears and things like that. Because by rendering him ridiculous what people do is deny his existence."
According to Tracy Wilkinson, the Los Angeles Times bureau chief in Rome, the hierarchy of the church is ambivalent about the phenomenon of exorcism. They recognize it can be so easily distorted and sensationalized and abused, many priests are skeptical about demonic possession However, quite a few academics and psychiatrists who allow for the concept of demonic possession, finding themselves with patients that they don't know what to do with, have sent them to exorcists. With good results.
Staunch supporters claim that to believe in exorcism is to have a faith complete enough to acknowledge the existence of Satan, whose legions of devils can inhabit bodies and possess souls. "It is faith, faith, faith, only faith," said Gramolazzo.
The most well-known priests who perform the rite, like Amorth, say exorcism is only part of a larger mission.
"It is a ministry," he said, "which is gratifying, a spiritual gratification of bringing souls back to God."
So, what do you think? Can the Devil possess you? Can you be inhabited by evil spirits? Or, is it just a form of mental illness.
I firmly believe in Satan and his existence here on Earth. I also firmly believe that evil dwells within a lot of people among us? Did The Devil Make Them Do It? You bet he did.............
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