The Murky Truth Of Modern Exorcisms

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Talking to a friend about the Exorcist Files podcast and he sent me this ->




Quote:Journalist Andrew Gold visits an internationally renowned exorcist in Buenos Aires, who claims to cure the sick of their demons and battle against evil. As well as running the world’s first ‘school for exorcists’, Padre Manuel Acuña often appears alongside models and celebrities on Argentinian TV and radio. He has fostered a huge following in the poor suburbs of Buenos Aires, where he uses controversial techniques in an apparent attempt to heal the sick, with seemingly great success. With bizarre interactions, violent exorcisms and one particularly tense argument, this presenter-led documentary sets to uncover the murky truth about modern exorcisms.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


OTOH the Skeptical Inquirer article on the real case behind the Exorcist film is as weak as you'd expect from pseudo-skeptics....

Quote:While we’ll never know all the details or be able to definitively prove that nothing supernatural or diabolical took place in 1949, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest the sensational account of the exorcism of Roland Doe, a.k.a. Ronald Hunkeler, is more fantasy than fact. For one thing, Father Raymond Bishop was not involved with the case from the very beginning but was brought on once the decision had been made to perform the exorcism on March 9, 1949. Therefore, in writing the Background of the Case, Father Bishop would have had to rely on someone else’s account of the events from January 15 until March 9. This calls into question the accuracy of secondhand information as well as the reliability of the primary sources. So should a reboot of The Exorcist follow the “chilling true story?” My answer is “No,” because the true story is neither chilling nor likely true.

Very much recalls the articles where pseudo-skeptics can't disprove a mediumship case but throw out a bunch of stuff on why it is probably still fake...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2024-03-27, 05:53 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: OTOH the Skeptical Inquirer article on the real case behind the Exorcist film is as weak as you'd expect from pseudo-skeptics....


Very much recalls the articles where pseudo-skeptics can't disprove a mediumship case but throw out a bunch of stuff on why it is probably still fake...

I think it’s excellent skeptism. I also assign very low trustworthiness everything non-objective. People say so many weird things to get attention.
(2024-03-28, 09:12 AM)sbu Wrote: I think it’s excellent skeptism. I also assign very low trustworthiness everything non-objective. People say so many weird things to get attention.

Definitely, I mean there are people who've gotten a lot of money claiming consciousness can be produced from non-conscious "matter"...

But for people who claim to be about evidence I've noticed whenever "professional" skeptics don't find evidence of fraud they just make up claims about how said fraud was probably committed.

Pretty clear they need to reassure the materialist evangelical faithful that their religion is the right one, and are doing it for attention/money.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2024-03-28, 04:13 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Definitely, I mean there are people who've gotten a lot of money claiming consciousness can be produced from non-conscious "matter"...

But for people who claim to be about evidence I've noticed whenever "professional" skeptics don't find evidence of fraud they just make up claims about how said fraud was probably committed.

Pretty clear they need to reassure the materialist evangelical faithful that their religion is the right one, and are doing it for attention/money.

I’m not so sure anyone earns money from claiming consciousness arises from matter. Academics supporting such claims tends to be employeed at universities. I’m not aware of any self-employeed promoting such claims. 

I once attended a clairvoyance session. The medium was supposed to identify photographs in sealed envelopes in front of her. What a joke! A terrific first hand account of cold reading.
(This post was last modified: 2024-03-28, 04:19 PM by sbu. Edited 2 times in total.)
(2024-03-28, 04:18 PM)sbu Wrote: I’m not so sure anyone earns money from claiming consciousness arises from matter. Academics supporting such claims tends to be employeed at universities. I’m not aware of any self-employeed promoting such claims. 

I once attended a clairvoyance session. The medium was supposed to identify photographs in sealed envelopes in front of her. What a joke! A terrific first hand account of cold reading.

Materialists get promoted for their books, and pseudo-skeptics have managed to make money off evangelizing the materialist faith. Some are even mini celebrities now.

Definitely fake mediums, but also fake skeptics whose investigations I dismiss because they are religiously motivated to keep the materialist orthodoxy afloat.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2024-03-28, 04:22 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
(2024-03-28, 04:21 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Definitely fake mediums, but also fake skeptics whose investigations I dismiss because they are religiously motivated to keep the materialist orthodoxy afloat.

I don’t understand what a 'fake skeptic' is supposed to mean. Arguments can be more or less solid, and people may lie, including skeptics. In my book, there’s no such thing as a 'fake' medium either. I don’t believe any of the claimed abilities related to mediumship exist, so by definition, they are all fakes. But there may be people who genuinely believe they have such abilities. The nice lady who, without any kind of financial compensation, gave sessions in clairvoyance I referred to in my previous post clearly thought she was a 'clairvoyant'.

It’s not possible for a skeptic to disprove psi. One can only put a questionmark to these “stories” . Like the one in your opening post. It often turns out that the storyteller isn’t a first hand witness.
(2024-03-28, 09:44 PM)sbu Wrote: I don’t understand what a 'fake skeptic' is supposed to mean. Arguments can be more or less solid, and people may lie, including skeptics. In my book, there’s no such thing as a 'fake' medium either. I don’t believe any of the claimed abilities related to mediumship exist, so by definition, they are all fakes. But there may be people who genuinely believe they have such abilities. The nice lady who, without any kind of financial compensation, gave sessions in clairvoyance I referred to in my previous post clearly thought she was a 'clairvoyant'.

It’s not possible for a skeptic to disprove psi. One can only put a questionmark to these “stories” . Like the one in your opening post. It often turns out that the storyteller isn’t a first hand witness.

Pseudoskeptics are basically pretending to be real skeptics but are religious adherents to some combination of atheism/materialism.

There are many examples.

To me a real skeptic is someone who is willing to challenge the materialist faith as much as they are challenging claims of mediumship/possession/etc.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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