The Sunday Exorcism

From 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

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.

2 responses to “The Sunday Exorcism

  1. This is Hector,

    I’ve seen things like this before growing in Oakland, California quite often. This is what happens when you take too many drugs. You go absolutely crazy. Its not spirits, or some nonexisting force that everyone says exists. Just a simply case of drug abuse. Could be withdrawals. But I guess in Russia as in the USA they’ll create anything to make people sit down and watch with peaked interest.

  2. Obscurantism.
    In the Tora and the whole Old Testament you will not find any single mention of evil spirit possesion. Nothing about exorcism in Leviticus book for Jewish priests.
    The idea that evil spirits may posses people and cause mental and physical illnesses was borrowed from Persian religion later, when Persians conquered Judea. And in Jesus time it was generally accepted among Jews. Jesus did a lot of excorsism and even healed a man who could not walk (paralized or having arthritis?) explaining that the desease was an evil spirit’s work. Christians believes got it in full.
    On my opinion all this “possesion stuff” is a variety of schizophrenic (or induced by some other conditions or outer factors) delusion like paranoya. Or some other kind of psychological deviations like claustrophobia or cleptomania. So treatment with hypnosis may help.

    The other interesting thing is that not only Orthodoxal priests, but the Catholic ones, the Protestant pastors and even mullahs can successfully perform excorsism by the name of God.
    So, the God racognizes them all as his followers.
    Why than we had the Chrystal Night, religious wars, Catholic Inquisition, heretics burned alive in our mankind history; and why we still have all this disputes among the believers about which religion is closer to the Divine Truth?

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