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"Modern-day" Roman Catholic View of Exorcisms[edit]

I changed (and reverted) the Roman Catholic section to note that the Rite of Exorcism was renewed in January of 2000, as the previous versions impressed that the practice of exorcism is outdated in the Church. Quite the contrary - though advances in the sciences have aided in the differentiation between demonic possession and mental illness, as Roman Catholics are aware, it indeed remains a recognized and accepted practice of the Church. For a better flow in the article, I also moved the historical information regarding the position of exorcist.

Also, the Second Vatican Council should be capitalized; it is a title, such as the Council of Trent.

17:17, 26 August 2005

On the Nature of the Jinn[edit]

The Following paragraph in the section.. "On the nature of the Jinn", needs a citation from a reliable Islamic source:

A Jinn might also do it for revenge. Jinn are said to be quick to anger, especially when they believe themselves to have been harmed on purpose (since Jinn are usually invisible to humans, a person can accidentally injure a Jinni not knowing that one is there). --Haroon Nizar--

This section should be removed and any appropriate material moved to the Jinn entry.

in Islam[edit]

The Hanbali sect is the main Sunni sect that believes in Jinn being capable of possessing humans and exorcism. Otherwise, the 3 other sunni sects don't believe in that.

I removed the section on removing Jinn by vising graves and wearing amulets. It is a controversial topic, not adopted by orthodox Islam and has no references attached

A cross reference is needed[edit]

Since the page mentions the movie of The Exorcist, the page of

should be cross referenced in my view.

To my knowledge, all the cases of the angry ghosts or devils attacking the worldly human beings are the direct consequece of the inproper human's action incurred to them in the past.

In the case of Edward Hughes encountered in 1949, which I noticed is 4 years after the World War II and I'm 90% sure that the devil is the victim or collective angry consciousness related to the World War II if one closely watches the movie and pay attention to what is scarred on the boy's chest. Again, karma will never stop manifesting what has happened and will happen to the world. As long as human being has ego views on enemies, war will never end.


This phase does not sound good at all

"the Holy Water especially is comparable to acid to the demon."


The New Zealand case of a "Makutu lifting" should not be included. This was a family suffering from a combination of poor education, low intelligence, mental illness and superstitution. There was no proper basis for any suspicion of demonic possession. What they called a makutu lifting was simply torture. Please remove this "example of an exorcism".

Added the last exorcism part ii[edit]

it is the sequel to the last exorcism and is related to the article.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thearjunpp (talkcontribs) 10:30, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


Psychosurgery is completely unrelated to exorcism, which is a religious ceremony. Its inclusion in the article is laughable. It is being removed unless somebody cares to back up its inclusion with solid sources. (talk) 07:05, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

You need to obtain consensus for its removal and that means actually discussing with the community. Furthermore, I am not convinced that the section in question should be removed based on your assertion that it's completely irrelevant. —MelbourneStartalk 07:13, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
The paper referenced, "Neurosurgical exorcism" does not even use the word exorcism outside of its title. Consensus does not override broader policy, such as need for verifiability. Please see WP:CONLIMITED. (talk) 07:20, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Also see WP:3RR. The references cited clearly point to the notability and relevance of the section in my opinion. ♥ Solarra ♥ ♪ 話 ♪ ߷ ♀ 投稿 ♀ 07:43, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Lead change[edit]

User:Steeletrap, not everything unscientific or merely scientific is pseudoscience, this concept predates any science thus it becomes nonsensical to recognize it as pseudoscience, just stop using your personal opinion for changing its definition. Instead try finding some reliable citations that have explicitly explained that how it is pseudoscience. Though much better if you find sources that are relevant to Excorcism. Bladesmulti (talk) 23:14, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

I have added a scholarly RS. However, none was needed. The theory of exorcism is pseudo-scientific because (unlike, say theology) it makes claims about the cause of mental states: namely, that demonic possession is real and leads to bad mental states. This is an empirical claim that has been debunked by modern mainstream psychiatry and psychology. Steeletrap (talk) 06:55, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
See also The Demon-Haunted World by the late Professor Carl Sagan of the University of Chicago, a world-renowned scientist. Steeletrap (talk) 06:58, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
That book[1] is no where stating that exorcism "is a pseudoscience" or even close to it, it only gives 1 page of description about Exorcism which is 80% similar to this page. Just making a blind search on Google books and throwing a book title(of Sagan) that is irrelevant to this subject is clearly unhelpful. Since you are making a Wikipedia:POINT, also violating Wikipedia:OR, misinterpreting citation and sticking to your original research rather than providing a valid citation that would explicitly describe how it is pseudoscience, I would call Dougweller and John Carter that what they have to say about this kind of misinterpretation. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:52, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
For the record I have pinged the Fringe Theories Noticeboard about this discussion. -Ad Orientem (talk) 03:58, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I had thought about it, but I just informed wikiprojects/boards like Christianity and Religion first. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:04, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
That's fine. My own first reaction is that trying to label exorcism as pseudoscience is a stretch. And it's not something that I think should be done without consensus. -Ad Orientem (talk) 04:12, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
The source implicitly labels exorcism a pseudoscience by listing it as an entry in the encyclopedia of pseudoscience.
Please realize that I am not saying that religion is pseudoscience per se. However, religious inspired empirical claims are pseudoscientific. If I said that praying to Poseidon caused tidal shifts, that's a pseudoscientific claim, even if also religious.
Exorcism differs from theology in that it makes claims about cause-and-effect in the material world. Exorcists assert that (some) people act the way the do because they are possessed by demons. This is an empirical claim; and it is a pseudoscientific one. It is distinct from most theological or religious claims. Steeletrap (talk) 04:50, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
No it is not enough, that book no where says that it is pseudoscience, if we go by your original research then we will have to call just: everything as pseudoscience that has been mentioned in that book, including psychiatry and science itself. Apart from your nonsensical ideas, can you provide a single citation that would confirm your Wikipedia:POINT? Bladesmulti (talk) 04:59, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


How important is science or pseudoscience with regard to this topic? I submit that science has little (or no) pertinence other than to assert that exorcism is not based in reality. Accordingly, adding any description of exorcism as being scientific or pseudoscientific is tangential to the topic and is best confined to a section or footnote. – S. Rich (talk) 04:27, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

We can add in footnote, but only if some citation makes any claims about it. Bladesmulti (talk) 05:00, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
IMO exorcism and religion in general is pure bunk (albeit, potent bunk). Still, I can't see any WP editing rationale that justifies adding such a descriptive (e.g., "pseudoscientific") to the lede. Williams, who was mentioned by Steeletrap, is now a Further reading item. So I suggest that Williams be used WP:SUMMARYSTYLE and added as a reference. – S. Rich (talk) 05:14, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

It is a religious belief, putting pseudoscience is misleading. Scientific medical diagnosis puts it down to dissociation, schizophrenia etc. I will expand the article, here's some references:

Goblin Face (talk) 05:15, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Have at it. I recommend adding to the Scientific view section only, with a passing reference in the lede. – S. Rich (talk) 05:18, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
What it will be? I actually came here to read about the history of Exorcism because I have some idea about it. I just thought of resolving other dispute first. Bladesmulti (talk) 05:45, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Are we seriously saying that no religiously motivated claims can be pseudoscientific? THis is political correctness at its worst. Steeletrap (talk) 06:06, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Not these claims are. These are pre-science and they have later helped scientific theories to develop. Exorcism dates back to Indus Valley Civilization, and it started from 3300 BCE, while psychiatry was already evident from 500 BCE in Indian subcontinent and later other regions of the world. That's why it is historical revisionism when you are calling it pseudoscience. It is also known that these theories have evolved throughout these centuries. Bladesmulti (talk) 06:15, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────After some consideration I believe that we cannot reasonably apply the term pseudoscience to exorcism because the practitioners as far as I am aware have never laid any claim to science to explain or defend the act. Biblical creationism does not become pseudoscience until its proponents claim that it can be proven by scientific methodology. By adopting the radically expansionist interpretation of pseudoscience offered up by Steeletrap we would have to apply the term to all manner of hitherto purely religious beliefs and practices. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that Holy Communion is miraculously transformed into the ACTUAL BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. By Steeletrap's definition this must be a form of pseudoscience. What about the Muslim belief in the physical ascension of the Prophet Mohamed into heaven,or the very similar belief by Christians about Christ? Sorry, but this proposed interpretation does not comport with what I understand to be pseudoscience, and I believe it runs counter to established consensus on Wikipedia. -Ad Orientem (talk) 06:31, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

The only reason we don't consider religious beliefs that entail empirical theories about cause and effect in the real world not to be pseudoscientific, is because it is politically incorrect to do so, given the status of Christianity in our society. Alchemy is considered pseudoscientific even though many forms of it have religious origins; I expect both of you would be arguing it wasn't pseudoscientific if it were tied to some "mainstream" (read: Western) religious doctrine. There is no principled epistemic reason not to label exorcism pseudoscience. Steeletrap (talk) 07:48, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
If one concept is considered as pseudoscientific, doesn't means that any other unrelated one would be considered as the same. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:55, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

This paper is probably the best on the topic William Trethowan. (1976). "Exorcism: A Psychiatric Viewpoint". Journal of Medical Ethics 2: 127-137. It goes into history and cites old cases. I am feeling lazy I can't be bothered to cite examples from it. If anyone else wants to obviously, then great. I put it in the further reading section. Regards all. Goblin Face (talk) 19:43, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

While there are some people who practice a pseudoscientific version of psychiatry which incorporates elements from exorcism theology, Exorcism itself does not claim to be any part of a scientific discipline. It isn't "political correctness" but rather an understanding of what pseudoscientific means, a "fake science" which necessitates that scientific claims are being made. The above article is a scientific evaluation of exorcisms, not exorcisms appeal to scientific validity. No one is making the claim that exorcisms are a valid scientific school of thought.Coffeepusher (talk) 20:27, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
for clarification please see the wikipedia page Pseudoscience "Pseudoscience is a claim, belief or practice which is falsely presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting scientific evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status." To claim it is pseudoscience, I would need to see a notable practitioner claim that it is scientific in nature.Coffeepusher (talk) 20:31, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Coffeepusher. Exorcism is a religious practice, and therefore is not a pseudoscience. Pseudosciences are things like cold fusion, or free energy that purport to be science based subjects. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rocksanddirt (talkcontribs) 21:37, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

I am myself unaware of any cases where exorcism is used in a "scientific" way. I know the current practice in the Catholic Church is that regular psychological practices are always or almost always required before this step is taken, and only if the results of those practices are ineffective in a particularly relevant way. If anyone else is aware of sources indicating that it is used in the West as a form of real therapy, and I suppose some reference works on psychology might cover that, then there might be some basis for making such a statement. However, if as I think is generally the case, exorcism is regarded first and foremost as some form of "spiritual practice" of some sort, then I think that there would be much less reason for the prominent inclusion of the word. This is not to say that it might not easily bear inclusion in the List of topics characterized as pseudoscience or some spinout article of that article. In what is called more primitive societies, it might be the case that it is used more quickly, but in a lot of cases much of those cultures is based on ideas which are not scientific, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to list religion collectively or individually as a pseudoscience. I know also that there are at least a few reference works related to Science and religion, and think it would make a lot of sense to develop content related to the intersection of those topics, but that is another matter. John Carter (talk) 22:47, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

It is a Religious practice, nothing else. It is indeed know as a the current practice in the Catholic Church. As far as I know they didn't tried to put a scientific claim on it. It is a religious belief, putting pseudoscience is misleading, as editor above stated. Hafspajen (talk) 18:13, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I think, maybe, somewhere, I have seen some sources indicating that in cases of some form of religious aberrant psychology, the form of exorcism is used as a means of psychological healing. Basically, people who have some sort of psychological aberration causing them to think they are possessed get exorcised to permit them to believe the demons they are thought to be falsely thinking possess them are removed. But in such cases, it isn't necessarily really anything like what might be called formal exorcism that is performed. Even in those cases, however, it isn't necessarily really "pseudoscientific," as it is using a practice in the belief that the subject believes it to be effect, and is ultimately a form of the placebo effect. John Carter (talk) 18:27, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I imagine only religious people who go to the priest - it is not advertised in hospitals, I think. Hafspajen (talk) 18:41, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
From my understanding what John Carter is describing is a pseudoscience, but from the perspective that it is a psudo-psychology not scientific exorcisms. We have a few examples inside the body of the article, but those examples are very specific strains of psychology and exorcisms and not an example of religious psycology or exorcisms as a whole.Coffeepusher (talk) 18:52, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, the material relating to "demonomania" seems to describe it right now fairly accurately, and such usage is not at all the standard usage of the rite. John Carter (talk) 18:57, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm a little late, but I want to add my input. Exorcisms are mystical meaning they don't have scientific/empirical/etc. basis. Because of a recent discussion over on the Wikiprojet:Occult I propose that not only should exorcisms be considered mystical, but "magical".--FUNKAMATIC ~talk 14:25, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Similar article[edit]

Is the exorcist article really needed? Would be easier if all the information was on one article. Goblin Face (talk) 14:47, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for writing Goblin Face, redirect then? Bladesmulti (talk) 15:05, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
It's an unnecessary content fork. If there is anything not already covered in this article then merge it. Otherwise, I'd just redirect it. -Ad Orientem (talk) 18:45, 8 December 2014 (UTC)