From About.com by way of YouTube, the above video shows a Russian exorcism rite. For those who may not wish to view the possibly disturbing images, according to About.com:
Here's what you'll see in this video presentation:
- After an introduction by Alexey Pushkov, correspondent Julia Grabovskayatakes takes us to a church where a group exorcism – or deliverance, as it is called – is taking place.
- A young woman struggles violently and howls as the priest holds a crucifix on her head.
- Then an older parishioner tells us of the “inhuman” sounds she’s heard coming from the possessed, and how some of them even run screaming from the church.
- The reporter tells us that videotaping of the deliverances is usually not allowed, but the priest sanctioned it in hopes of convincing viewers of its reality. Besides the animalistic growls and screams, the reporter has been told of even more fantastic manifestations – including levitation.
- The elderly exorcist speaks of his struggle with what he considers the demonic and his dedication to the deliverance rituals, despite criticism, for the sake of his parishioners’ souls.
- Another parishioner tells how he was cured by the exorcism. He was not able to walk, he says, but after he began to attend services, he regained use of his legs.
- An older parishioner, restrained by two others, curses at and threatens the priest, resisting his blessing.
- The reporter tells how this woman was dying of cancer that an operation did not help. She then says that she does not feel anything during the exorcism, but that the crucifix burns the demon inside her.
- A younger exorcist warns that these demonic entities are intelligent beings that should not be underestimated. They know people’s personal secrets.
- In the interest of journalistic balance, the reporter next quotes a psychiatrist, who believes the exorcisms may be doing more harm than good.
- Another “possessed” person fights and curses. ("Panteleimon," which the woman refers to, is the name for an Orthodox priest.)
- The younger exorcist counters the psychiatrist, saying that they can usually tell the difference between someone who is mentally ill and someone who is “oppressed by an evil spirit.” Those in need of a psychiatrist are referred to doctors.
- On the other hand, the exorcist says, he has seen patients in mental clinics that really need exorcisms. He claims to have cured one such patient of schizophrenia.
Are these people truly possessed by evil spirits? Does the video provide evidence? Or are they afflicted with more common mental or emotional disorders, or even just reacting to the expectations of the exorcist and the rite? Although the exorcists are convinced of its reality, you’ll have to judge that for yourself.