Exorcisms Are Very Much Still A Thing

The 1973 masterpiece The Exorcist is widely regarded as one of the most frightening movies ever made.  It nabbed ten Academy Award nominations and won two of those awards.

If you’re not familiar with its power, the story centers around a famous actress who’s shooting a movie in Washington D.C. when suddenly her teenage daughter becomes possessed by an evil and mysterious entity.  She seeks out the help of two priests to save her daughter through an ancient religious practice called an “exorcism.”

The age-old argument, does life imitate art or art imitate life, comes to mind because apparently exorcisms are still a thing.

Developing popular movies into television shows has always been a popular practice in the film industry, but recently it’s inflated to an unusual level with popular movies like Fargo, Psycho, Rush Hour, Silence of the Lambs and Limitless — all being turned into television shows.

Now, The Exorcist is following suit with this trend as Fox brings it to television this fall by the same name, and starring Geena Davis.

Now the team behind the new series has apparently uncovered something shocking in their research.

During the development process, the producers of the new drama reached out to the Catholic Church to find out if exorcisms were still being conducted.

The Church ignored their request and declined to comment on any such thing, surprisingly similar to the original events while filming the 1973 classic.

Apparently executive producer Rupert Wyatt, who is known for Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Gambler said, “We were kind of met with a stony silence.”

But as with any television project met with a high level of anticipation, word got out that they were looking for a consultant for the project.

A Catholic priest from Chicago answered the call and when the producers met with him, he gave an explanation for the Church declining to comment.

Wyatt says that the unidentified priest claimed,

“He made it clear that it wasn’t necessarily a lack of willing[ness] to talk to us…but it really comes down to protecting the exorcists.  They don’t like to show their faces; they don’t like to break their cover, and that comes from the fact that there are many, many potential cases that have nothing to do with what is ostensibly possession.”

The priest also claimed that he had never performed an exorcism himself.  At first, the producers were suspicious that he even knew anything at all and could have just invented this out of thin air.

But according to Wyatt, the priest knew too much to be pretending or lying.

Wyatt also claims that exorcists have proliferated through the United States in recent years.  There were only a handful of priests practicing exorcisms two decades ago, but apparently that number has grown exponentially.

Wyatt was shocked to learn that possessed people are also participants in their own possessions when he noted the priest said,

“It is based purely on the idea that when you are possessed, you are allowing the demon inside… when your will has been broken, so you were very much a participant in it.  People can’t just get possessed for no reason. They have to open themselves up to that situation.”

The producers learned that the Church might be covering up this knowledge because they consider it a very sensitive matter.

Wyatt even said,

“It goes on, and it’s very much a part of the modern Catholic Church. It’s for a long time been considered a dirty secret of the Catholic Church, and they’ve attempted to bury it and distance themselves from it —  something that we explore in the show itself —  but it’s a community outreach basically.”

This could be hearsay, but it seems convincing that this is still a thing — or it could be a network conspiracy to grab higher ratings for their new show.  What do you think?