And now Eugene has provided us with video that includes excerpts of actual exorcisms conducted by Russian priests. Eugene has acquired video from a Russian television news magazine segment about the church's "battle with the demonic." Eugene assisted in the production of the video segment, which appeared on the program Postscriptum with Alexey Pushkov, one of Russia's top weekly news programs.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
(WARNING: May be disturbing to some viewers.)
What you'll see (or if you are unable to view the video):
Although some scenes of the exorcisms may be disturbing to some viewers, they are not as intense or incredible as other exorcisms that have taken place in the churches.
"On a scale of phenomena from 1 to 12," Eugene says, "the scenes in this video rank about a 6½ or 7." They do not show the full extent of what has happened in some cases, including physical changes in the victim and other more dramatic phenomena. In at least one case, Eugene says, the possessed person actually bent in two, head to toe - backwards!
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.