Home > Skepticism > Amityville with an exorcism?

Amityville with an exorcism?

It looks like there’s another “based on a true story” paranormal movie coming out. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the story of a German girl named Anneliese Michel who died after a failed exorcism attempt in the 70s.

I can’t find a whole lot of information about this. The usual sources don’t have anything and Google was fairly unhelpful. The best I can find is this. Noting the pitfalls of trusting random Internet sites:

The psychiatrists, whom had been ordered to testify by the court, spoke about the “Doctrinaire Induction”. They said that the priests had provided Anneliese with the contents of her psychotic behavior. Consequentially, they claimed, she later accepted her behavior as a form of demonic possession. They also offered that Anneliese’s unsettled sexual development, along with her diagnosed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, had influenced the psychosis.

The verdict was considered by many as not as harsh as they expected. Anneliese’s parents, as well as the exorcists, were found guilty of manslaughter resulting from negligence and omitting first aid. They were sentenced to 6 months in jail and probation. The verdict included the opinion of the court that the accused should have helped by taking care of the medical treatment that the girl needed, but instead, their use of naive practices aggravated Anneliese’s already poor constitution.

A commission of the German Bishop-Conference later declared that Anneliese Michel was not possessed, however, this did not keep believers from supporting her struggles, and it was because so many believed in her that Anneliese’s body did not find peace with death. Her corpse was exhumed eleven and a half years after her burial, only to confirm that it had decayed as would have been expected under normal circumstances. Today, her grave remains a place of pilgrimage for rosary-praying and for those who believe that Anneliese Michel bravely fought the devil.

Assuming the facts presented here are correct, I don’t see any reason to believe there’s anything supernatural here. Not surprising, is it?

Sadly, I don’t think there’s enough information here to create the kind of debate that happened last time I brought something like this up. It’s too bad; that discussion was so entertaining.

Lastly, it looks like A&E is going to air a special entitled “The Real Exorcists” next Monday. I’m sure it will be a balanced, skeptical production that avoids uncritical acceptance and regurgitation of the claims of the supposed exorcists. Right?

Categories: Skepticism
  1. August 31, 2005 at 10:22 am

    Emily Rose… Lily Rose…. can’t be a coincidence.

  2. jamie
    September 6, 2005 at 5:26 am

    hey, i just want to say, i found Jesus Christ through a demonic experience, 2 of my friends seen it, and i cought it in pictures…my storys not like the Anneliese Michel story, more mild, but it definately was a harsh one

    much love,

  3. franny
    September 21, 2005 at 6:49 am

    where is she buried. where is the shrine.

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