Deliver us from outrage
For anyone fortunate enough to have missed Channel 4′s live Exorcism show last night, here’s an abbreviated transcript of the action:
Exorcist: How are you feeling?
Possessed Man: OK
Exorcist: In the name of Mighty Jesus, spirit leave this man!
[continues in similar vein for 2 minutes]
…How are you feeling now? Happy?
Possessed Man: Yes.
[a minute's silence while audience, presenter, and producers come to terms with the fact that that is it]
It was quite possibly the silliest, most anti-climactic piece of pseudo-scientific nonsense ever to appear on terrestrial TV. The utter banality of it all was underlined by Krishan Guru-Murthy’s repeated warnings not to try this at home, and offers of a special telephone helpline for anyone disturbed by the proceedings.
The only people who could be disturbed by this program are those who stayed up late hoping for a controversial ratings-chasing stunt , and ending up disappointed. But John Beyer (who actually believes in demons), managed to muster up a bit of outrage. That’s what he’s for, after all.
Is this a legitimate investigation or just some stunt to create controversy and ratings? People who need ‘exorcisms’ are nearly always mentally ill. The channel is likely to get loads of calls from people saying they are possessed too because they haven’t had proper help for their problems-from doctors.
So perhaps you should be campaigning against the prevalence of these silly beliefs, Mr Beyer? Wouldn’t that be a more productive use of your time? Oh wait… “people who need exorcisms are nearly always mentally ill”. Except for when they are
Anne Widdecombe also expressed her concern. But she probably believes in demons too.
A good (as in amusing) review appeared in the London Evening Standard. Like me, he switched off before the end.