Vocativ.com is reporting on a new internet fad made famous during an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN and Evangelical Christian Reverend Bob Larson who claimed people can be exorcised of their demons in the quiet comfort of their own home.
Billing himself as a “real exorcist”, Larson, who serves at the Spiritual Freedom Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, says he appeared on Cooper’s show to advertise a new way to get an exorcism via Skype.
The only problem is that exorcisms simply can’t be done that way and the whole idea leaves the field wide open to scam artists who are already charging people for a phony deliverance.
“They just can’t be done that way,” says Reverend Isaac Kramer, director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists, an organization that trains and ordains new exorcists. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised. Chances are, they’re going to throw the computer screen across the room and destroy everything.”
In the Catholic Church, the exorcism ritual can only be performed by a priest who has the permission of his bishop. The recent demonic possession of a young woman and her children in Gary, Indiana reveals the seriousness of this subject and what great good can be done for people who fall into the hands of a competent exorcist.
Not so with the latest internet variety which is already spawning a small cottage industry of self-made exorcists.
As Vocativ reports: “A number of websites, such as ExorcismTraining.net, offer online exorcisms to demon-ridden customers. Naturally, they charge a $50 ‘diagnostic fee’ as well as requiring many biographical details. Want to self-treat? They have a beginners’ training pack for $29.95 so you can teach yourself to exorcise in just four weeks.”
The Church acknowledges that the need for exorcists is increasing, and has taken steps in recent years to train more priests in this area so that more help will be available to those in need, but relying on charlatans is not the way to go.
If you need help, visit the International Catholic Association of Exorcists.