Casting out evil spirits?

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Red Ryder
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Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Red Ryder » Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:02 am

My uncle recently recounted a personal story where he gave his sister a blessing. She was going through a tough time emotionally due to a failed marriage, depression, and a variety of life challenges.

Uncle Steve suggested she come over for a blessing and upon arrival she’s extremely distraught and nearly inconsolable. He recounts feeling the spirit prompt him to cast out the parasitic evil spirits that have entered her body. He recalls feeling extreme anxiety leave her body as she calms down and he proceeds to bless her with health and strength to deal with her problems.

I’ve become too skeptical and don’t really believe in Stan enough anymore to promote these faith enhancing stories.

Is this an example of the placebo effect where her anxiety peaks and the blessing gives her mind permission to release the built up emotion?

Or do bad spirits look for vulnerable people and take advantage of them in times of emotional crisis?

Thoughts?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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2bizE
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by 2bizE » Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:27 pm

I know evil spirits can live in our bodies. A great example was when Gandalf cast the evil out of Theodon….I’m pretty sure this was real.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iQExgALv9wI
~2bizE

hmb
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by hmb » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:48 am

I'm a huge believer of the placebo effect, which really boils down to attitude. A good attitude or positive thinking will not cure a disease, but it can help in calming a person who is experiencing emotional upset or trauma. If someone can feel hope because of prayer or a blessing, then good on them. I no longer believe strength comes from gods or angels, but I can work at hard stuff with a more positive attitude if I so choose. It's not always easy and I don't always choose to.

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blazerb
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by blazerb » Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:19 am

I believe some is the placebo effect. Some might just be lying, not necessarily by the person giving the blessing. I have recounted before that I cast out an evil spirit when I was on my mission. I'm sure it was just a couple of young people messing with my companion and me. Sometimes it might be a person who receives the blessing who overstates the comfort they received from the blessing. Maybe lying is too harsh for that sort of thing, but it's not completely honest.

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Hagoth
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:23 am

In a religious studies class I took recently we had a clinical psychologist from Benin lecture us about lessons she has learned during her practice in Africa. The official religion of Benin is Voodoo. She was having a very difficult time trying to treat people while teaching them about modern western medicine. They didn't get it, they weren't buying it, and they were reluctant to take the treatments seriously. Then she decided to try folding the local religion into her treatments and began bringing medicine men into the process. Within that frame of reference her treatments suddenly took on a new meaning and they were able to integrate with their belief system. It was a double-win. Both she and the medicine men were seen success like never before.

As hmb suggested, their attitude about the possibilities of a positive outcome was very important. It's hard to get the gate to open if the key won't turn in the lock.

When someone gets a priesthood blessing, believing in its magical powers and having a sincere motivation to have it work, they are rolling out the welcome mat for the placebo effect.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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wtfluff
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by wtfluff » Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:54 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:02 am
Is this an example of the placebo effect where her anxiety peaks and the blessing gives her mind permission to release the built up emotion?
This is where I cast my vote.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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stuck
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by stuck » Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:57 pm

My dad would often retell the story of when we were young he and my mom slept in the basement to make room for guests upstairs. He said in the middle of the night there seemed to be an evil spirit in the room. He thought it might be an old Indian spirit who didn't want us on their land--we had just moved in a new house out in the country somewhat. He tried to pray it away but it wouldn't go. Finally he used the priesthood and it vanished immediately. It is an interesting story but I think it was probably what is called sleep paralysis where you can get "intruder" hallucinations.

Here's a link https://www.sleepfoundation.org/parasom ... -paralysis

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stealthbishop
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by stealthbishop » Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:09 am

I don't really believe in evil spirits anymore. Certainly not anything to the degree that could actually cause problems for a human being if any do actually exist.

That said, human beings say and do all kinds of things that relieve suffering. Some practices have been around for thousands of years. Relatively speaking, this was perhaps a success story of sorts. She could have turned to opiates to relieve her internal pain and suffering which would have led to a much worse outcome IMO. Many of our fellow citizens have done that and will continue to do that. The placebo effect is a pejorative for a lot of people but it boils down to how humans find meaning and purpose and that has a very powerful effect on our mids and bodies and should not be discounted (except maybe where people are being taken advanatge of financially perhaps).

That said, I'm not keen at all on the patriarchy aspect of th story. I believe women can and should lay on hands equally and it should never be an exclusive club for men.
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annotatedbom
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by annotatedbom » Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:04 am

It seems to me evil spirits or spirits of any kind as defined by the Church can be recorded and measured in fine, objective detail, just like Carl Sagan's "The Dragon in My Garage."

I'm willing to consider the evidence, but as far as I can tell, even if such beings exist, there is no real evidence of such.

BTW:
Glad to see StealthBishop's naked back on NOM again :D
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Stig
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Stig » Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:01 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:02 am
My uncle recently recounted a personal story where he gave his sister a blessing. She was going through a tough time emotionally due to a failed marriage, depression, and a variety of life challenges.

Uncle Steve suggested she come over for a blessing and upon arrival she’s extremely distraught and nearly inconsolable. He recounts feeling the spirit prompt him to cast out the parasitic evil spirits that have entered her body. He recalls feeling extreme anxiety leave her body as she calms down and he proceeds to bless her with health and strength to deal with her problems.

I’ve become too skeptical and don’t really believe in Stan enough anymore to promote these faith enhancing stories.

Is this an example of the placebo effect where her anxiety peaks and the blessing gives her mind permission to release the built up emotion?

Or do bad spirits look for vulnerable people and take advantage of them in times of emotional crisis?

Thoughts?
Placebo, but I'm really more interested in finding out who this "Stan" character is?
“Some say he’s wanted by the CIA and that he sleeps upside down like a Bat. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

“Some say that he lives in a tree, and that his sweat can be used to clean precious metals. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

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Just This Guy
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Just This Guy » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:14 am

DW was looking at a thread on Facebook this morning where people were talking about the craziest experience at a Bible camp. Someone told a story about being a a camp and one kid starts acting weird. The pastor determines the kid is possessed and gathers everyone in the main hall to perform an exorcism. The exorcism fails. They then decided to call the kids parents who tell them that their kid forgot to take their medication with them. They make arrangements to get the medicine out to the camp. Once the kid takes it, they settle down and are back to normal and were fine for the rest of the week.

When people don't understand what is going on, they retreat to their known standby answers and courses of action.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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Not Buying It
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:27 am

Well, let's apply Occam's Razor - which carries the fewest assumptions, the idea that there really are evil spirits who are invisible to the eye most of the time, seem to only ever be detected by those associated with a belief system that accepts the idea of the existence evil spirits, and can only be cast out by members of a particular belief system, who for some reason avoid scientists and researchers like the plague but haunt people like your gullible cat lady aunt, who are generally reported third-hand at best and usually fourth-hand or more, and who don't ever actually do anything tangible that would provide evidence of their existence,

or

they don't really exist and are merely a product of people's religion-fueled imagination?

I know which one I think carries the fewest assumptions.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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1smartdodog
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by 1smartdodog » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:33 am

When i was a kid these stories used to get me looking under the bed at night. Then one day i decided boogey man stories were all bunk. It is a much better way to live. Belief in the supernatural just creates angst.


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Hagoth
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:37 am

Stig wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:01 pm
Placebo, but I'm really more interested in finding out who this "Stan" character is?
RR doesn't believe in Satan but he intentionally misspells his name just in case. What would happen if he types it three times consecutively? We will never know.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:51 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:27 am
...reported third-hand at best and usually fourth-hand or more, and who don't ever actually do anything tangible that would provide evidence of their existence,
There is no doubt that scary stories get scarier in every retelling. I saw a documentary that showed "actual" exorcisms being performed. The exorcist claimed that one sure sign of possession is that people gain superhuman powers and have to be tied to a chair to stop them from flying around the room. Then they showed footage of this happening. They tied a 200 pound guy to a chair and, sure enough, he was unable to fly around the room. The problem was that it was one of those resin stacking chairs that weighs less than 5 pounds. So, the devil has the power to make a 200 pound weight fly around the room with ease, but a 205 pound weight? Forget it. I guess a 195 pound victim would need a 10 pound chair to immobilize him.

Of course, when people tell you these stories they don't think they are lying. They are just telling it the way they think they heard it, but adding in the reactionary imagery that it conjured in their own mind. Before you know it, a tipped-over book has transformed into Satan is tossing things around the room and people ducking to save their lives. Or Cain jogging alongside a man on a horse. Or Brigham Transforming into Joseph.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Reuben
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Reuben » Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:45 am

Hagoth wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:51 am
Of course, when people tell you these stories they don't think they are lying. They are just telling it the way they think they heard it, but adding in the reactionary imagery that it conjured in their own mind. Before you know it, a tipped-over book has transformed into Satan is tossing things around the room and people ducking to save their lives. Or Cain jogging alongside a man on a horse. Or Brigham Transforming into Joseph.
When humans tell their own stories, they do exactly the same thing. It's just more grounded in what actually happened, to an extent that varies from person to person. You only need one person to play a game of telephone.

This bothers me quite a bit.
Learn to doubt the stories you tell about yourselves and your adversaries.

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Hagoth
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Re: Casting out evil spirits?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:25 pm

Reuben wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:45 am
When humans tell their own stories, they do exactly the same thing. It's just more grounded in what actually happened, to an extent that varies from person to person. You only need one person to play a game of telephone.
Yeah, you should hear the old High Priests in my ward tell their eye-poppingly dramatic and movie-worthy missionary stories in more detail than I can tell you what happened yesterday, and with exact word-for-word quotes of long dialogs.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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