One guy I'm focussing on this time is one Reverend Bob Larson. I only hit upon him by chance today whilst browsing the magazine rack at work, bored out of my mind. It was the headline "I'm a TEENAGE EXORCIST" that caught me. So, succumbing to my curiosity, I shelled out the 70p for the magazine.
The article was about a young woman called Savannah Scherkenback, a nineteen year old from Arizona. She talks about her studies under Reverend Larson, how she's studying to be an exorcist after she went to his ministry for an exorcism (which, to be honest, sounded more like she needed a Senokot and a good fart).
And young Savannah isn't the only young exorcist in the ministry. In fact, Bob Larson has quite a few young ladies under his wing, training them in the ways of
scamming the vulnerable exorcising demons. In fact, in the Reverend's own words,
We've found that our female, teenage exorcists are particularly effective, because they're so sensitive and very pure.
Excuse me whilst I suppress this ominous shudder down my back.
Others in Savannah's class include her younger sister Tess, Larson's own 16 year old daughter Brynne and Melanie and Christina Massih. All of them under 20 years old, all of them very beautful girls and all of them believing this bull of demons possessing people and stalking the planet for prey. I will commend them for their intended spirit - by all accounts, they believe they're doing good in the world. But I can't help but gawk at them. The people they help sound genuinely in need of professional medical and psychiatric help, like most victims of exorcisms. Unfortunately, these girls have been brainwashed into a cult, thinking themselves as warriors for God. I dread to think what would happen to one of these girls if one of their exorcisms goes wrong and either they or their client ends up seriously hurt or dead?
In my search for info about this guy, I found his website, a Facebook page dedicated to him and a Youtube account with videos of his exorcisms. Incidentally, his website offers a "Demon Test" so you can find out if you're in need of his ministry (although you do need to pay $4.99 for the privilege, which I am just not inclined to do right now); his Youtube channel is probably not for the faint-hearted. I only watched the most recent video which was uploaded in April, but it did take a lot for me to sit and watch it as he exorcised a demon from two women. Even though it was him shouting a lot and waving his Bible around, I have a certain awful taste at the back of my throat about it. I suppose because I know how easy it is to fool someone into thinking they are possessed. I know, being someone who believed that themselves (I might blog about that some day, actually).
This isn't his first apperance in any media, by any means, but learning about Bob Larson has made me wonder - just how many of these people are there? And just how much do people believe them? It kinda makes me sad to think about it too much.
And yeah, I'm still raising a skeptical eyebrow over his popular team of sensitive and pure teenaged female exorcists. I'm sure I've seen that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.