Exorcism: Priest in Ancient Battle with Demons

Meet Father Jose Francisco Syquia. He's a Roman Catholic priest in Manila, Philippines, with a rather unusual job: he's head of the Manila Archdiocese's Office of Exorcism.

A blood-curdling scream echoes through the Roman Catholic chapel in Manila as Father Jose Francisco Syquia says a prayer of exorcism over a Satanic cult member believed to be possessed by the devil.

"It's very painful," the woman cries in an unearthly voice, her body contorting in an attempt to break free from the tight grasp of Syquia's assistants. After a few minutes she falls silent, her limp body exhausted.

The case is among hundreds documented on video and kept by Syquia, who heads the Manila Archdiocese's Office of Exorcism -- the only one that exists in the Catholic nation of 94 million people.

"She would have levitated had she not been restrained," Syquia said of the woman in the video, portions of which were shown to AFP during a rare interview at his office in the basement of a seminary in Manila.

Syquia believes he is in the frontline of the battle between good and evil on earth.
"There is a great dramatic increase of possessions right now," said the 44-year-old priest. "More and more the demons are gaining a foothold into this society."


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Not true. I risked myself receiving an exorcism, at risk of my own health.
It happened when I was 14 years old, living in central-southern Italy. It was 1992.

While on a day trip with the equivalent of American "Sunday School", I started experiencing a strong headache, shortly followed by seizures to part of the face and right arm, foam from the right of the mouth and rapid eye movement.

While the bus driver raced to an highway service area to call for medical assistance, the priest accompanying us took the situation in his hands and put up a ruckus to have the driver to stop at the roadside to let him "practice an exorcism". Later someone told me that of the three adults with us, two agreed with him while the third panicked.

Fortunately, the driver managed to overcome opposition and reach a service area, where he found a Carabinieri car. They took me to Naples hospital without having to wait for an ambulance. There I was visited and went under emergency surgery to remove a blood buildup that was causing pressure on the brain. The priest was later questioned, but no measure was taken.

That was a close call, the blood spill could have been fatal in just a few minutes more. It had consequences, of course, but luckily they disappeared with time.
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"Schizophrenia" is a disorder of phenomenological ontology. That is to say, there is always a physical correlate for psychological stuffs. Schizphrenia must have neurological correlates.

Two known contributors to schizophrenia:
Congenital Toxoplasmosis
Congenital Rubella

BTW; Congenital Toxoplasmosis is the result of a placental infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii whose primary host is the feline (cat). T. gondii can infect mice and cause them to be attracted to cats who then get infected. One day I saw a mouse trying to climb up on our cat and thought maybe it was infected. I went to the vet, and the vet had never heard of T. gondii.

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@Ryan S, it could very well be one cause, but psychosis is another obvious cause that does not involve trauma or congenital neurological factors. Individuals with psychosis (caused by schizophrenia, bipolar, or depression for example) experience auditory and visual hallucinations that could certainly explain a case of "possession".
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Having studied neurological disorders quite at length, I can safely say that this might be a dysfunction of the temporal lobes which generally causes a feeling of a presence and perhaps possession. The dysfunction could be caused by congenital factors, aneurysm, stroke, head injury or transcranial magnetic stimulation. On the other hand, she could actually be possessed. I'm doubtful of the reality of possession, but doubt is healthy, denial is not.

A constant concern of mine when wathing Paranormal Research Society is that the "EMF" they pick-up on their recorders is the actual cause as transcranial magnetic stimulation of the temporal lobes. But they are busy looking around for ghosts.
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@lulu, thanks for the strawman but I don't hate priests. I do however disagree with the act of exorcism being performed on individuals, encouraging their and their familys' delusions rather than getting them the real medical/psychological help they need.
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