There is still argument among scholars as to what an exorcism really is. Should it be a psychological process ? Is it a spiritual sickness ? Can depressive treatments help ? David Tyndall whom I admired greatly for his expertise, was for some years a well known Christian cleric, and he confided in me that although he a bible scholar, a talented grief counsellor and psychologist, had attended over 30 exorcisms in his 17 years in the church, had never seen anything which definitely convinced him of the existence of the paranormal.
Where you draw the guidelines in these issues is crucial, in my prime I was on call for anywhere in the country, and for many years, could often do one a week, and in all fairness the amount of times I saw real phenomena was very rare, yet whenever I am interviewed for the media, it is these instances that I have to keep recounting. I reminded David of the Bishop Wall case, now although this has never reached the public domain, I know of several of the people involved, and can vouch for its authenticity. As I remember it, in 1970 a late night phone call was made by a group of youngsters,
Who after a party at a tower block in London’s Stratford area, contacted the Catholic Church to say that the group had brought up an intelligence from a game on an ouija board after a party, and that this intelligence had occupied one of these youngsters, who was showing extreme paranormal abilities. This sort of story is part of the chaff that is interspersed with the precious wheat of knowledge, and in the ordinary way I confess would take little notice of, but coming from; David Tyndall, Fr. Kenneth Green and Bishop Wall himself, I had to listen and take notice.
Before an exorcism can take place permission from the Diocesan Bishop must be granted, and the area exorcist, a man chosen usually for his holiness brought in, but so serious did the Bishop see the apparent danger to the youngsters involved, that he went immediately to the scene phoning both the two experts to meet him at the tower block. So all three The Bishop, and the two priests, all experts in the field remember, Met up at the flat to give assistance. Over the years we perhaps all have met people who have benefited in their research from ouija boards, and stories of all shades are told of it. My own opinion is that most of the information is from the unconscious minds of the sitters, but horror stories alas, are also very common.
The Bishop who was an outspoken and fearless man in what he believed, had become well known when he protested at the torture of German detainees at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, he also objected to the catholic Church giving last rites and Catholic funerals to I R A killers and bombers, it is actually canon dogma that no one who has committed a “mortal sin “ such as a murder can be buried in consecrated ground, But the Church turned a blind eye to this. Canon Wall’s story told in the greatest detail by the two priests, was that when he entered the room in the tower block, the possessed youngster spoke to him in a deep metallic gravely voice, and mocked him that he was not a good enough man to exorcise him,
Because he had slept with a woman some 5 years before, and liked a secret night time drop of Scots Whisky, apparently when the 2 priests searched the guilt and shame on the Bishops face, they knew this was true. The sheer strength of the youngster, made it necessary for the 3 churchmen to hold him while the deliverance was attempted, and at times all 3 were off the ground simultaneously. Things and objects seemed to just fly round the room, and the Bishop seized the youth by the lapels and began screaming through the insane laughter the catholic exorcism rites, I was told that the Bishop struggled with the beast inside the youth into the small hours of the morning, before they could all leave the tower block. The Bishop became extremely ill in the days after, and I was told his hair went white over the next three weeks.
As a rule I will ask permission to discuss these topics but on this occasion for this article I did not, My opinion was asked at the time on the ouija board incident, the church lumps this in with tarot cards and horoscopes, and I still maintain that any of these tools in responsible hands do not represent any threat. So to answer the esteemed David Tyndall, I am sure that there are times when the causes are just psychological, other causes can be paranormal or even emotio/physical.
But I would stress to all who would wish to push the boundaries of these knowledges, That as the master occultist Rollo Ahmed, one of Dennis Wheatley’s top pupils once said; “the dangers in the unseen worlds can be very real indeed”.
T Stokes paranormal studies lecturer copyright 2005