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Possessed politicians? A brief historical look at exorcism and demonic possession

© Wikimedia
Jesus exorcising a boy possessed by a demon. From Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century
At a recent Hillary Clinton campaign rally on Tuesday, October 11, President Obama took the opportunity to address some grave accusations waged against both himself and Hillary Clinton as of late, namely that they are demons. In reaction to a comment by radio host Alex Jones, who said the president smelled of sulfur, Obama playfully took a sniff of his own shirt sleeve and declared that he did not, in fact, agree with that assertion.

The accusation of demon possession has a long history within early Christian literature and liturgy - even if demon possession seems only the stuff of horror movies today.

For hundreds of years, demons were seen by early Christians as one of the main causes of disease. Consequently, demon possession and one of its cures, exorcism, were accepted parts of healing in the later Roman empire into the middle ages. A number of early Christian authors point to demons as the spreaders of sickness. In the third century, the writer Tertullian's Apology (22) even notes that such demons inflict "sickness and other grievous calamities upon our bodies." He also alleged that demons specifically taught women to use magical herbs. As Nicole Kelley, a professor of Religion at Florida State University has argued, demons were one way for early Christians to explain epilepsy and other sicknesses. Demonic thoughts could also creep in and cause havoc. The monk Evagrius Ponticus (345-399 CE) proposed eight cardinal demonic thoughts: gluttony, lust, greed, anger, sadness, acedia (sloth), vainglory, and pride. These eight would later be reworked as the seven deadly sins, as further developed by thinkers such as a monk named John Cassian and then Pope Gregory the Great.

Comment: The author is correct; historical misogyny in the form of accusations of demonic possession/evil is nothing new. For an in-depth discussion of these types of accusations as they relate to several other important historical issues, read: Witches, Comets and Planetary Cataclysms. (you'll be happy you did!)

Sometimes, though, these types of accusations may have some validity!: Top Russian Exorcist: Hillary shows 'clear signs' of demonic possession


Camcorder

UFOs over Charlotte? Strange lights appear in sky over North Carolina (VIDEO)

Video taken by C. Hulbert from near Le Meridien Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 15th, appears to show multiple flashing lights high in the sky above the city:


There was a time when this sort of thing would have gone down as 'The Great North Carolina Lights', but now it's almost an everyday occurrence!

Briefcase

Previously-declassified British UFO archives RECLASSIFIED as Pentagon takes over UK's 'X-Files'

Long-buried files about UFO activity in the UK have been sent back to the National Archives for further censorship, despite assurances they would be released.

Authorities claim extra sanitization was needed after they noticed sensitive material had been missed which did not have a Freedom of Information (FoI) exemption - meaning it could not be released to the waiting public.

A spokesman for the National Archives told German paranormal website Grenzwissenschaft-Aktuell that:
"The National Archives (TNA) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had agreed a timetable for the release of these records which would have made the records available for the public at TNA this autumn.

Unfortunately, following the transfer of files to TNA in June, additional information which is covered by FoI exemption was identified, resulting in the files being returned to the MoD in August.

"This has delayed the release of these files. The MoD are now ensuring that all information that is covered by an exemption is identified."

UFO

Did UFO just buzz Geneva, Switzerland? (VIDEO)

© Florian Secretan / Facebook
People have been left confounded by the appearance of an inexplicable flying object in the skies above Geneva, leading some to speculate about extraterrestrial activity.

The UFO appeared on Wednesday evening in the Praille area near Geneva stadium. Footage of the unusual dark circular object was captured by numerous witnesses, with several people posting photos and videos on social media.

"Everyone sees the same thing as me ???" asked Servette FC footballer Matías Vitkieviez on Facebook. "It's completely crazy!!! UFO above the industrial area behind the stage of la praille #ufogva."

One witness told Tribune de Genève that the UFO emitted a shrill noise and was "as big as a plane."

Cross

Seeking liberation from demonic influence - Italy is experiencing a 'boom' in exorcisms

© Reuters/Getty
The number of exorcisms has been rising sharply in Italy, with some 500,000 Italians requesting an exorcism each year and not nearly enough exorcists to meet the rising demand, according to recent reports.

The archdiocese of Milan in northern Italy has doubled the number of its exorcists, while an exorcism hotline has been launched in Rome, but those in the field claim it isn't nearly enough.

Rome's most famous exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth (pictured), died last month and his successor, Father Vincenzo Taraborelli, says that he cannot keep up with the daily requests for liberation from demonic influence. "Padre Vincenzo," as he is known, handles some 30 "clients" a day, and is calling on the Church to appoint more priests as exorcists to share in the mission of satanic deliverance.

"There are only nine of us left and many more are needed," he said. "We need other priests like me to meet the needs of so many families."

Last month, an Italian documentary on exorcism called Liberami won the award for "best film" in the Venice Horizons category at this year's Venice Film Festival, drawing still more attention to this rapidly growing industry.

UFO

UFOs? Mysterious lights baffle residents along Australia's Sunshine Coast


Bellvista, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Two mysterious lights spotted in the sky above Caloundra have got the Sunshine Coast talking.

Brett Anderson captured the two lights in an almost four minute long video he posted online.

Mr Anderson wrote that he filmed the lights about 10.45pm.

"There was no sound coming from them, and as you can see, one shot something out of itself and then stopped, while the other one crossed its path then continued on over my head and of into the distance," he wrote.

Another social media post on Facebook indicates the lights were also seen at Bellvista, west of Caloundra.

Donna Radcliffe took to the Sunshine Coast Community Board to see if anyone else saw two bright orange lights in the Bellvista area about 11.30pm.

There was speculation that the lights were space junk burning up or drones.


Question

Strange, elongated 'slit' of light appears in sky over Bridge City, Texas

© Via YouTube/secureteam10
New footage was received from a viewer in Bridge City, Texas that shows a mysterious streak of light that appeared over the city around 11pm on October 1, 2016. The bizarre event lasted about ten minutes where the light remained stationary. At one point it gets brighter, gains some color and we see this very bright orange phantom streak of light brighten up the sky.


About 15 minutes away, in Port Arthur we have some more high strangeness going on with people swerving off the road, their electronics going out, a strange high-pitched noise going through the radio. A woman named Rhonda reported on Facebook that she was headed back home from the mall when she encountered something very strange:
Did anyone else passed by the Groves loop just now and experience a weird wave-like thing that shutdown things in the car? A weird high-pitched noise came from the radio, lights dimmed, the radio stopped, everyone around was breaking or pulling over. Cars swerved not knowing what was going on. Anyone know what this was?
Now that seems to me like an EMP wave or something like that something that is knocking out power systems along this area. Really bizarre.

Comment: Not the first such appearance: this happened in Sabah, Malaysia two years ago:
What Are These Weird Lights Hovering Around In Sabah?

On 2 September 2014, many Sabahans have been reporting sightings of strange lights in the sky on social media

A pillar-shaped light was seen moving across the sky around 9.30pm and was hovering over for a few minutes, leaving locals baffled

Meteorologists, policemen and firemen were unable to explain the pillar-shaped lights that moved across the sky in the Putatan area, around 9.30pm, for several minutes.



Sherlock

The Dylatov Pass incident: Who or what slaughtered nine young Russian hikers in the wilderness in 1959?


Nine seasoned hikers die inexplicable deaths


One January 25, 1959, nine hikers from the Soviet Union's Ural Polytechnic Institute set off from the city of Sverdlovsk (1,200 miles east of Moscow) on a three-week cross-country skiing expedition to the nearby Otorten Mountain range. Led by enthusiastic 23-year-old Igor Dyatlov, the group boarded a train in Ivdel (in the northern province of Sverdlovsk Oblast) and headed for the northern Urals. The team would never make it to their destination (nor ever be seen alive again) and their enigmatic deaths prompted an investigation which revealed many mysterious and still-unexplained anomalies. Some were found wearing only underwear, some with only one shoe or one sock, and some wearing the tattered remains of other party members clothing. Despite no evidence of a struggle, some had crushed skulls, broken bones, massive internal injuries, and missing eyes and tongues. All we know for certain is that their last moments on earth were filled with hopeless terror.

The Dylatov expedition

The goal of the Dylatov expedition was to reach Ortorten, a mountain about 10 miles north of where their bodies were found. The route was ranked a "Category III", the most difficult, but all members of the expedition party were seasoned mountaineers - one ski instructor, three engineers, and seven environmental students. Ten people originally set off for the mountain but one, Yuri Yudin, was forced to go back because of illness. Yudin returned to the closest outpost (the settlement of Vizhai) while the nine remaining expeditionary members continued on their fateful journey to the nearby Ortorten mountain range.

Comment: Unfortunately, there are many hundreds of stories throughout the world with similarities (as well as differences) to the tragic occurrences at Dyatlov pass. David Paulides, a former Police Detective has made it something of a mission to bring these cases to greater public knowledge in his Missing 411 series of books. He pays a great deal of attention to the anomalies, the unexplainable and inexplicable when recounting the events surrounding the dead and missing.

For further reading see:


Camcorder

'Bigfoot' caught gatecrashing Michigan nature webcam

© OutdoorHub / YouTube
Footage from a Michigan webcam watching over an eagle's nest has caused an online frenzy because of a shadowy figure in the background that some claim is proof that the mythical Bigfoot creature exists.

According to legend, the ape-like creature, otherwise known as Sasquatch, is said to stalk the forests of North America.

The prehistoric beast has been the subject of numerous alleged sightings and hoaxes for decades, including an incident in 2012 when a man attempted a Bigfoot prank on a Montana highway and was fatally struck by two cars.

Black Magic

Hundreds of people flock to mass exorcism fair in India

© CEN
Prayers and incantations are read during the 'exorcism' festival in India.
This bizarre footage shows a 'mass exorcism fair' where hundreds of people have flocked to rid themselves of 'possessed demons'.

Gurus and mystics have been peddling their wares at the event in a village in the Rohtas district of eastern India's Bihar.

Those claiming to have been possessed by evil spirits can be seen sitting on the ground, swaying their heads as prayers and incantations are read.

Superstition is rife in India and unscrupulous operators are quick to exploit the vulnerable.

Comment: While it seems unlikely that there is a single 'devil' that successfully possesses people, it is quite likely that there are great numbers of discarnate malevolent beings that have found a 'way in'. For an in-depth discussion of this fascinating and harrowing subject, listen in:

SOTT Podcast: Channeling and Exorcism Pt1

SOTT Podcast: Channeling and Exorcism Pt2