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[escepticos] RV: CSICOP RELEASE "The Exorcist"

Aunque está en inglés merece la pena...
Por cierto, el otro día vi un anuncio de que ya sale a la venta el
Director's Cut de "El Exorcista" (de lo que habla la nota de prensa del
CSICOP). Y, como uno es así, me he maliciado que igual no es tanta
casualidad que se esté haciendo la promoción de la famosa peli sobre
endemoniados y a la vez le de a La Razón por decir que el Papa se marcó un
exorcismo "unplugged" en plena visita de miércoles de tullidos y demás gente
pía, o esas noticias que van saliendo más durante estas semanas sobre
exorcismos.  ¿Tendrá el Vaticano acciones en la productora de la película?

javier armentia

Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 11:01 PM
Subject: CSICOP RELEASE "The Exorcist"

>  The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
>  Ph: (716) 636-1425 ext. 224
>  Fx: (716) 636-1733
>  E-mail: SIKevinC en aol.com
>  Amherst, NY (September 27, 2000)--The re-release of the 1973 horror film
>  "The Exorcist" debuted in theaters last Friday, exposing a new generation
>  to Hollywood's vision of demonic possession. The jury is still out on the
>  popularity of the re-release, but it has already renewed the real-life
>  discussion about belief in possession and exorcism.
>  The front-page headline for the September 19, 2000, edition of the
>  Chicago Sun-Times, read: "Archdiocese gets exorcist: Catholic Church
>  here appoints first full-time specialist in demonic possession."
>  An October 2, 2000, Time article discussed the resurgence of the
>  exorcism ritual, noting that the late Cardinal John O'Connor of
>  New York appointed four exorcists who now investigate an average
>  of 350 cases a year.
>  Those who dismiss modern exorcism as a rare holdover of medieval
>  superstition may be surprised by the persistence of belief in demonic
>  possession among modern Americans. According to a 1996 Gallup poll,
>  42 percent of Americans responded "yes" when asked whether they think
>  "people on this [E]arth are sometimes possessed by the Devil."
>  But curiously, in spite of the Catholic Church's traditional recognition
>  and practice of the exorcism ritual-Protestants are actually more likely
>  to believe in demonic possession than Catholics (47 percent compared
>  to 37 percent).
>  The inevitable skeptic's question is: What is the evidence to support
>  such beliefs?
>  Behaviors once regarded as signs of possession are now recognized as
>  treatable psychiatric conditions. In the Spring 1988 issue of
>  Skeptical Inquirer (pp. 248-262), Barry Beyerstein, psychologist at
>  Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and fellow of the
>  Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
>  (CSICOP), makes the case that epilepsy, migraines and Tourette's
>  syndrome are among the sources of ancient notions of possession.
>  And he cites a tragic 1978 German case in which a young epileptic
>  woman died during a "brutal 11-month exorcism."
>  With this modern knowledge of the mind and brain, Beyerstein and
>  other skeptics conclude that the only demons people need to be exorcized
>  of are their own faulty beliefs. Professor Paul Kurtz, chairman of
>  worries about the dangers of failing to give legitimate treatment to the
>  mental ill if their families and pastors start relying on the growing
> practice
>  of exorcism. He deplores "the reversion to ancient superstition and
>  exorcisms in this day of modern medicine and psychiatry."
>  The Catholic Church is itself split on just what exorcists are trying to
>  exorcize. Although a number of theologians still believe that evil
>  take hold of human beings, the Reverend Eugene Lauer, co-director of the
>  Hesburg Center at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, told the
>  Chicago Sun-Times that  "There is also a strong contemporary trend that
>  maintains the devil or an evil spirit is a personification of the evil
>  tendencies and evil directions that are inside the human condition."
>  CSICOP Senior Research Fellow Joe Nickell notes that possession cases
>  are sometimes the result of fakery. In his 1995 book, Entities: Angels,
>  Spirits, Demons, and Other Alien Beings, Nickell describes the televised
>  exorcism of a sixteen-year-old girl in 1991 on ABC's "20/20" (pp.
>  He and a group of magicians watching the segment found the girls
>  fits to be a case of "poor acting." According to Nickell, one Catholic
>  scholar, the Reverend Richard McBrien (interviewed on ABC's "Nightline";
>  April 5, 1991) "denounced the entire affair as an embarrassing carry-over
>  from the Middle Ages. He said that exorcism-and by inference a belief in
>  demon possession-'holds the faith up to ridicule.'"
>  The very case that brought demonic possession and exorcism to the
>  of the popular imagination has recently been criticized. "The Exorcist"
>  based on a 1971 best-selling novel written by William Peter Blatty of the
>  same title. In turn, Blatty based his book on an actual case that
>  in Maryland in 1949, involving a thirteen-year-old boy. It began with
>  phenomena initially attributed to a poltergeist: mysterious scratching
>  noises, airborne objects, the boy's bed shaking violently-the type of
>  occurrences which, according to Joe Nickell, often turns out to be the
>  pranks of young children. These disturbances escalated when the boy threw
>  tantrums of screaming and cursing, interspersed with Latin phrases.
>  In an in-depth investigation for Strange Magazine, Mark Opsasnik revealed
> the
>  truth behind the account on which The Exorcist is based. Opsasnik
>  that the boy was never actually possessed, but only a troubled youth who
> yielded
>  to the temptation to pull pranks.
>  Elements of the case on which Blatty drew for his 1971 novel are clearly
>  exaggerated when checked against eyewitness accounts. Father Walter
> Halloran,
>  a priest involved in the 1949 incidents describes much less dramatic
>  occurrences that previously alleged. For example, the boy spat but did
>  not have fits of vomiting or urinating. The only unusual language he
>  was Latin, which Halloran thought was simply a matter of the boy
>  the priests. And when Opsasnik asked about the possessed boy's alleged
>  superhuman strength, the priest replied, "....I never thought much about
>  It certainly wasn't [Mike] Tyson hitting me in the nose or
>  something like that."
>  The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
>  (CSICOP) was founded in 1976 by Dr. Paul Kurtz, in cooperation with Carl
> Sagan,
>  Isaac Asimov and others. CSICOP is a non-profit organization dedicated to
>  promoting the critical and scientific examination of paranormal and
>  pseudoscientific claims. Skeptical Inquirer-published every other month-
>  is the Committee's official journal. It features articles examining
>  ranging from alternative medicine to UFOs. Members of the media
>  should contact Kevin Christopher at (716) 636-1425 ext. 224.
>  -30-
>  Kevin Christopher
>  Public Relations Director
>  CSICOP/Skeptical Inquirer
>  P.O. Box 703
>  Amherst, NY 14226
>  Tel: (716) 636-1425 ext. 224
>  Fax: (716) 636-1733
>  E-mail: SIKevinC en aol.com