The reason why I am posting this here and not in the "alien abductions" (or whatever its called) section is because possession has always posed a rather interesting dilemma for me and has intrigued me for a long time. There is a fine line between what science regards as a disorder and what the religious or spiritual might describe as a gift. Where does a "gift" end and a "disorder" begin? Or vice versa.
My own perspective is that I'm more of a scientist and very reluctant to fall for any kind of hocus-pocus and hoopla. I've seen some, what were called, demon possessed people. They were quite scary by ordinary terms, but I doubt they were possessed by demons. I'm a pragmatic kind of person. Not much fools me and I'm not scared of things that go bump in the night.
History is dotted with accounts of people who have been possessed, who have experienced "other-worldy" phenomena.
The halls of mental institutions are dotted with people who suffer from mental illnesses, some dramatic and others not as dramatic.
One can safely say that many people who have been regarded as saints or have been said to have had special powers were just mentally ill and possibly suffering from psychosis. Hundreds of years ago these symptoms were labelled by the religious and superstitious as "coming from God" if it was good, or "coming from the Devil" if it was bad.
We didn't have science to explain it away back then. But is science explaining too much away right now? Where do you draw the line between witchcraft and medicine, spirituality and psychiatry? Is there a line at all?
Give me your thoughts.
Anneliese Michel lived in Germany, born on 21st September 1952. She came from a strict Catholic family and was considered as a timid girl by many persons. According to some researches I made, she had not that freedom to enjoy her life, due to her family where religion was their first pillar, Anneliese had to obey mostly everything. All happened when she was about 15-16, her health started deteriorating. It is said sometimes she heard voices guiding her to commit something. Her problem increased day by day, thus her family brought her to the hospital, and where the doctors said she was having Epilepsy and prescribed her some medicines. Unfortunately, her problems continued to persist, sometimes Anneliese did not only heard voices, but also had creepy hallucinations. She argued that demon faces kept appearing to her. Even she got medicines to combat hallucinations and other related stuffs, Anneliese thought that it was not Epilepsy she was having, but possessed by a demon. As her family was Catholic, and saw that there was no change in Anneliese’s health, they decided to bring her to some priests. Anneliese could not resist religious objects like the Cross (Crucifix), holy water and so on… By scholars, it is said she became angry when she saw something religious or went to a holy place. When her family brought her to some priests to know more what was really happening to her, to their utter amazement, the priests said to them to continue the medical treatment. However, Anneliese was not convinced that she was having a mental problem, she kept thinking she was possessed by the devil, and for her, it was only religion which could cure her. One thing which I am not sure is whether Anneliese herself stopped her medical treatment or the priests told her, but she did halt her medical treatment. Her family brought her to some priests again to know what could be done to save Anneliese, most of the priests refused to proceed a religious treatment on her, nevertheless, only one priest accepted to perform an exorcism, and he was Father Renz, after getting the permission from the Bishop. The exorcism was performed on Anneliese, in fact, she had several exorcism sessions after that. Again here, she was not cured, she had changed, she was not that Anneliese before, some months later, she died when she was sleeping and it was on 1st July 1976. The priest involved in the exorcism did face legal charges after Anneliese’s death.
Above is a brief story of Anneliese Michel, and many questions have raised since her death. Anneliese’s story is still famous, however, the real question is “What really happened to her?”. Was she possessed or she was having only mental issues? There are many facts on her life, for example, I have read somewhere where a nun told her family that Anneliese’s body was still intact in the cemetery. If I am not mistaken, her family did proceed to an exhumation, the rest of the story I do not know but if you know what happened, do comments! Some of the important facts in her story are, Anneliese usually heard voices telling her to do something etc.. This can be classified as a metal problem, of course, hearing voices does not mean you have been possessed. More than that, she stopped her medical treatment, does this mean if she continued to take her medicines, her health would be ameliorate? Perhaps yes and no as well, because she herself stated many times these medicines were nothing and she continued to be ill. I do not know if her family brought her to the hospital again to negotiate to the doctors that her medicines were useless, and the latter would change them but if not, they could do that. Last thing which I am interested is Anneliese could not see religious stuffs. For me, this is an essential fact here, because I do not think there is a mental problem to make you hate God, religion or whatever… Personally I believe, the hatred she had for religion or God did not come from any mental disorder, as it can be considered as a sign of possession.
You feel sad when you hear her story… You ask yourself what really happened, what is the truth, or is there any conspiracy behind it! Demonic possession or mental disorder, we cannot say anything, all what we can say to her is rest in peace…
NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS. Pictures which were taken of her during her exorcism, and just before she died. I did not want to post the photo of her after she died.