Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, Cardinal George Pell, made his first court appearance on Wednesday to hear historical charges of sexual abuse.
An Australian court has begun the trial of the most senior Vatican official that has ever been charged in Catholic Church sex abuse scandals.
Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, Cardinal George Pell, made his first court appearance on Wednesday after being charged last month with sexual abuse of multiple individuals years earlier in his Australian home state of Victoria.
While the details of the charges against the 76-year-old cleric — who has maintained his innocence — are yet to be revealed to the public, police have described them as historical sexual assault offenses, which means the alleged crimes happened years ago.
The development came after Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed earlier this year that seven percent of Catholic priests were accused of having sexually abused children across Australia over the past several decades.
Pell said nothing during his court appearance on Wednesday, and although he has still not entered a plea, his lawyer Robert Richter said at the brief hearing that the cardinal intended to formally plead not guilty at a future court date.
“For the avoidance of doubt and because of the interest, I might indicate that Cardinal Pell pleads not guilty to all charges and will maintain the presumed innocence that he has,” Richter told the court.
Though many Catholic clerics have faced sex abuse allegations in recent years, Pell is by far the highest-ranking church official ever charged, and his case has rocked the Vatican.
Pope Francis has famously pledged a “zero tolerance” policy for sex abuse in the Catholic Church. The pontiff has said he would not comment on Pell’s case until it is over.
Advocates for abuse victims had long criticized the Pope’s decision to appoint Pell to the high-ranking position in the first place since, at the time of his promotion in 2014, the cardinal was already facing allegations that he had mishandled cases of clergy abuse during his time as archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney.
Pell conceded in testimony to the commission last year that he had made mistakes by often believing priests over alleged abuse victims, and vowed to help end a rash of suicides that has plagued such victims in his hometown of Ballarat.
Over the past year, however, the allegations against Pell moved beyond his conduct in handling cases of child abuse by priests to accusations that he himself had committed abuse.
Last year, Australian investigators flew to the Vatican to interview Pell and formally charged him last month.
With permission from
July 20, 2017
We were expecting that the Deep Swamp in DC will be cleansed through the filing of pedophilia cases. However, not one of the already identified pedophiles ended up in jail. It turns out that these high profile criminals will remain, and will stay for the rest of their privileged life, as untouchables due to the statute of limitations.
At least, that’s what their masters are getting out from our ever tolerant, and conniving, public servant authorities.
The nightmare of those who suffered in their filthy hands will continue on.
Published time: 18 Jul, 2017 15:30
Hundreds of school pupils in the Bavarian town of Regensburg, home to the famous German cathedral choir, suffered from physical and sexual abuse for decades, an investigator says, adding that no abusers will be prosecuted due to a lapse in the claims.
Some 500 instances of alleged physical abuse and 67 instances of alleged sexual abuse that took place over almost five decades were uncovered during an investigation against the famous Regensburger Domspatzen (Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows) choir, the special investigator, attorney Ulrich Weber, told journalists during a press conference, where he presented his 450-page report on the issue.
The abuse practices continued in the school for almost 50 years from 1945, with the most recent cases dating back to 1992, Weber said.
He went on to say that some victims were subjected both to physical and sexual abuse and put the total number of victims at 549. At the same time, he said that the real number of those who suffered from various forms of abuse at the Catholic school could be even higher, and cited unofficial data that suggest the number of victims could amount to at least 700 people, as reported by the German Die Zeit daily.
In some years, violence at the school took place almost on a daily basis, Weber said, adding that the victims described their experience at the school and choir as “like a prison, hell and a concentration camp,” and called those years “the worst time of their lives, characterized by fear, violence and hopelessness.”
Most instances of abuse occurred in the pre-school institution, Die Welt reports, citing Weber.
The investigator said that the pupils were mostly abused by their teachers as well as the heads of the choir, adding that the total number of those involved in various forms of abuse amounted to 49. Nine people of those perpetrators were involved in sexual abuse, he said.
According to Weber, at least one director of the pre-school institution, several boarding school directors as well as “numerous members of the school staff” were among the abusers.
Pupils at the school were abused not only physically but also psychologically, Weber said, adding that educational and disciplinary standards at the facility were “extremely high.” The teachers “particularly used violence” against pupils to force them to achieve high results, he added.
The abusers did not only act out of “personal propensity” to violence but were also guided by vanity and pursuit of success, the investigator said. In most cases, violence against pupils was a result of arbitrary interpretation of the school’s internal rules.
The investigator also said “almost all officials” in the school were at least “partially aware” of abuse, but preferred to “close their eyes” to the matter. The fates of the victims were ignored to protect the reputation of the school, Weber said, adding that the crimes of the abusers were covered up in several instances.
“Dereliction of duty” by the victims’ parents and “negligence” of the church and state supervisory authorities also contributed to the situation in which the abusers got away with their crimes for decades as the school developed a “culture of silence.”
Weber also accused Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of the former Pope Benedict XVI, of playing a role in covering up the abuses for years as he was the head of the choir between 1964 and 1994, when most instances of abuse took place.
The investigator particularly accused the 93-year-old of a “deliberate lack of attention” to the instances of physical violence against the pupils and “lack of action at a time when [he] knew” about the real situation at the school.
At the same time, Weber said that the former Pope’s brother “knew nothing” about the sexual violence in the facility. He also did not accuse Ratzinger of potential involvement in any instances of abuse.
The statute of limitations in almost all abuse cases has already expired as they occurred mostly more than 30 years ago, in the 1960s and ‘70s, Weber said, adding that the abusers cannot be now subjected to legal action, even though all the cases of abuse technically qualified as acts punishable under criminal law.
Under German law, the longest limitations period amounts to 30 years, and applies to crimes for which an offender can be sentenced to life imprisonment. In cases in which an offender can be jailed for more than 10 years, the limitations period is 20 years.
The most recent recorded instance of abuse dates back to 1992.
In 2016, the Diocese of Regensburg offered financial compensation to the victims of abuse at the school amounting to between €5,000 and € 20,000 ($5,800 and $23,000). Some 300 requests for compensation have been filed with the relevant church body so far, German Die Welt daily reports, adding that €450,000 ($521,000) has so far been paid out to the victims.
Following Weber’s report, the amount of compensation would be reviewed by an independent committee, Die Welt reported.
The first reports about widespread abuse in the school emerged in 2010, which were brought forth by former choir members. By 2013, some 400 people had come forward with accounts of abuse they said they had suffered at the hands of teachers at the school.
However, the Regensburg episcopate initiated an official inquiry into the matter only in 2015. The results of the investigation, which ran for about two years, were presented by Weber on Tuesday.
It wouldn’t surprise us to know that the High Priests of Babylon were the ones who concocted the idea of the Statute of Limitations, even in cases involving their own morals.
For those who fall into their sweet tongue and believe that there is justice in the afterlife, well, I hate to burst your bubble, but everyone’s body will ultimately be burned in that endless cycle of nuclear fusion and fission in that thing we called the sun.
All that Mother Nature could do is continue remixing and reconstituting our atoms and molecules, hoping that one day we could hit a jackpot and come up with every living soul upright. That’s not going to happen without a physical effort towards that direction.
We, too, are expected to use that gray matter that she provides in order for us to establish a saner society, free of scoundrels and filth. That situation could only be made possible if we, here and now, establish new rules and a new paradigm, which de-establish all forms of priesthoods and entitlements.
Each individual must experience respect by first giving it; and earn the public’s adulation not for what type of fancy paper he holds, but in the true beating of his heart and the beauty and depth of his mind.
All those who misused their borrowed, or acquired, authority must suffer the consequence of their actions. No exception, no limitation, no postponement, no bullshit.
How can we change the outcome of the whole ballgame by being true to the rules that these criminals themselves have stipulated?
Only days after the third highest-ranking member of the Vatican was charged with raping children, another scandal has been uncovered in Rome.
In 2014, Pope Francis admitted that “about two percent” or 1 in 50 Roman Catholic priests are pedophiles. He then promised solutions to the history of the church essentially condoning the horrid practice. However, in light of recent events, it appears the Pope is either unconcerned with or actually facilitating the abuse and hypocrisy of those within his holy ranks.
Within the last few weeks, scandal has plagued the Vatican as the third highest-ranking cardinal, George Pell, was charged with sex abuse against children in Austrailia. Now, on top of pedophilia, the Vatican can add drug running to its ever-expanding list of corruption.
The newspaper, Il Fatto Quotidiano — translated from Italian to The Face Daily — reported last week that Vatican police raided the apartment belonging to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ironically, that department is charged with, among other things, tackling clerical sexual abuse.
The occupant of the apartment is alleged by the paper to be the secretary of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative texts and a key adviser to the Pope.
Coccopalmeria had reportedly just recommended the secretary, who was charged with running drugs, be promoted to bishop. That promotion is apparently on hold at this time.
During the raid, police allegedly walked in on a massive ‘drug-fueled gay orgy’ taking place, according to the report.
Here at the Free Thought Project, we feel that it is anyone’s right to do as they please with other consenting adults so long as all parties act voluntarily. If someone wants to host a ‘drug-fueled gay orgy,’ by all means, host it, as both the drug use and sex are voluntary. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is nobody’s business but their own.
That being said, however, the hypocrisy of the church in this instance is rife and certainly warrants scrutiny. Moreover, the ages of those involved in the raid have yet to be disclosed and — given the sordid history of the Catholic church — to say there may have been children present is not an excessive assumption.
Also, as Il Fatto Quotidiano reported, the corrupt clergymen were able to use their church jurisdiction to transport drugs freely without worrying about the Italian police. The luxury cars driven by the traffickers all had license plates and official Holy See plaques that allowed them to move about freely without being worried about getting caught.
The alleged sex ring has been the subject of recent protests in the area by residents who say they heard and saw many unusual comings and goings of people at all hours of the night.
As the Pope preaches reform and claims the church is ridding itself of problem members, it appears, according to all the recent revelations, that the exact opposite is happening. And, it appears, that it may even be deliberate.
According to a recent report out of the AP, Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.
It is no secret that the Vatican has been sweeping the issue of pedophilia under the rug for many years. In 2014, the UN issued a scathing report, blasting the Vatican for protecting pedophiles.
The U.N. committee’s main human rights investigator, Sara Oviedo, led the most intense grilling the Holy See has received on the issue, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Given the “zero tolerance” policy of the Vatican, she asked, why were there “efforts to cover up and obscure these types of cases?”
After observing the sheer number of recent alleged crimes committed by members of the church, the answer to that question could be quite simple; corruption within the church is so rampant that cover-ups have become the norm.
May 11, 2017
Over five centuries after the Age of Discovery, we all know a long historical cycle is ending. The Decline of the West is shorthand for a tangle of immense complexity – directly proportional to the ascent of the century of Eurasia integration, driven by China’s New Silk Roads.Every time I dig deeper into the Decline of the West, I have to go back to the roots. And that means – echoes of Stendhal, Keats, Nietzsche — a Journey to Italy. I had recently engaged in an extended dialogue with Machiavelli in Florence. This time, the French presidential election was looming – widely billed as the “civilized” West facing a crucial crossroads.
I set out after reading Decadence, by the explosive philosopher and founder of the Popular University of Caen, Michel Onfray. His thesis is devastating; Judeo-Christian civilization, thus the West, was built on a fiction, “that of a Jesus never having an existence other than allegorical, metaphorical, symbolic and mythological.” Over a thousand years of art history had conferred him “the body of a white man, with blond hair and a thin beard’ (where better to examine it than through Renaissance art?) And “nothing that constitutes this emblematic portrait, finds justification in a single verse of the New Testament.”
Thus, Onfray writes, “our whole civilization is based on the attempt to give a body to this being that had only a conceptual existence.” Jesus of Nazareth, “who did not exist historically,” becomes the “Christ Pantocrator” (meaning, in Greek, “ruler of all”), “crystallizing under his name almost two thousand years of a Western history saturated by him.”
St. Paul laughed out of the agora
So here was the road map for the journey: Christianity as the official history of the West – in an almost perpetual clash with ancient Greek philosophy. And then once more to retrace the steps of how humanism – and the Enlightenment – briefly lifted the human spirit until the slaughterhouse of the 20th century led the way to the current, end of ideology, Age of Anger.
I started in Turin over dinner with the great Gianni Vattimo, one of the last, towering European intellectuals. Frail but still sharp, Vattimo is like a living embodiment of a dying world. I paid my ritual homage to Nietzsche (“there are no facts, only interpretations”), a fierce admirer of the pre-Socratics, at the house where he wrote Ecce Homo before succumbing to folly. In Milan, I saw the Silk Road in reverse at Porta Nuova as the city increasingly reinforces its myriad links with China.As I moved south towards Florence, I could not stop thinking – in a Nietzschean mode – about St. Paul, among his countless pilgrimages to Ephesus, Antioch, Corinth, Pergamon, Tyr, meeting Pythagoreans, Platonics, Epicureans, Stoics, Cynics in agoras where they taught their art de vivre according to reason, always mingling with the local merchants, weavers, fishermen.
Paul hated philosophers. The New Testament refers to Paul at the agora in Athens, which once harbored the prized dialogues between Socrates and Plato, Plato and Aristotle, and many a Neoplatonist debate. Paul was horrified by this city full of “idols.” He was preaching the “resurrection of the flesh,” the abolition of paganism and a multiplicity of tolerant gods, replaced by a one and only, intolerant God. Talk about delirium; that could not but send partisans of Zeno or Epicurus into roars of laughter.
Then there was Helen, mother of emperor Constantine, turning the Cross into a major political business. Helen invented not only the pilgrimage to the Holy Land but also the Crusades – that extended historical instance of Christian jihad.Constantine, a cynical, opportunist strategist, understood that to halt the political fragmentation of the Roman Empire and domesticate popular anger the best way was to adopt a minor, quirky Jewish sect whereby the poor must remain poor (it’s God’s will) and power exists because God conferred it to those who possess it (parallels to American exceptionalism, anyone?)
When, in May 22, 337 Constantine converts himself to Christianity, he converts the whole empire; he kills Rome as the center of the world (we should not forget that Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire, was a devout disciple of pagan Apollo); he creates Judeo-Christian civilization; and he opens the way to what will become the West.
Onfray synthesizes it; Rome lived for 11 centuries. But then “the She-wolf was eaten by the Lamb”; that was “the inaugural feast of our Judeo-Christian civilization.”
Epicurus does Tuscany
Cynics – and Epicureans — privilege other modes of feasting. By then I had reached Tuscany, armed with a pocket edition of the Letters of Epicurus. Ahead was the sublime countryside in Val d’Orcia, worthy of a Renaissance masterpiece; Bacchus springing up from the perfect bottle of Brunello at the fortress in Montalcino; the simple magic of water and flour savored in a pici from Siena.And as a sideshow, in a revised pagan Rome register, I was catching up with remembrances of La Dolce Vita. How Luchino Visconti ruled Cineccitta. How Antonioni pictured the eclipse of sentiment by transposing his life with Monica Vitti to the screen. How Fellini was arrested by the NYPD in the black Cadillac of his producer Dino de Laurentiis just to be honored by the cops as a living God.
Epicurus teaches in his Letters a radical antinomy to Christianity. All that exists is nothing but atoms that fall on the void (so no more resurrection of the flesh); serenity is obtained by the knowledge of atomist physics (thus no government of men under the fear of God); and most subversively, pleasure is the origin of good, residing in the satisfaction of natural and necessary desires (thus no Christian asceticism, penitence, original sin — and interminable expiation of the sin).
No wonder, for centuries, Christianity had to suffocate this hedonist, sensualist philosophy. Three Epicurus letters survived the Christian Inquisitor because they were included in a 3rd-century volume by philosophy historian Diogenes Laertius. And then Epicureanism reappeared in the 7415 verses of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura. What an extraordinary historical twist; the Christian destruction of the work by Epicurus the Greek was to a great extent saved by an immense poem written by Lucretius the Roman.De Rerum Natura was discovered by Poggio Bracciolini in January 1417 in a German monastery. The first edition is published in Brescia in 1473. Enthusiastic readers include Erasmus, Montaigne, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Pascal, Galileo, Newton. Europe really comes alive when humanism oversteps Christianity.
Poggio Bracciolini traveled all over Europe as much as Petrarca, who had searched for Greek and Roman manuscripts since the 1330s. When Poggio rediscovers Lucretius, he builds intellectual Europe; the vision of the world that puts man at the center where, after a millennium, Christianity had installed the Christ. Rhetoric, history, poetry, philosophy, letters, architecture, all those disciplines that have shone before Christ – and then nourished those ghastly Christian auto-da-fés – are finally set free.
Nowhere better than Florence to retrace the steps of humanists who created Europe without Christianity. Take Niccolo Niccoli; when he dies in 1437, he had amassed 800 manuscripts, the most spectacular collection in Florence. And he single-handedly invents the modern concept of the public library, where you can borrow any book you want.
Onfray frames it beautifully: ““Constantine and his followers made ancient thought leave through the door, Petrarca, Niccoli and Poggio made it re-enter by the window.”
Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight
And nowhere better than in Tuscany may we revive how Christian mythology was sold to the masses — in contrast with eulogies of Greek paganism. The aesthetic perfection of Donatello’s spectacularly insolent, adolescent David, Botticelli’s Neoplatonist Spring, or Giambologna’s Mercury shines as much as Leonardo’s Annunciation and most of all the unfinished Adoration of the Magi, meticulously restored with state of the art technology.
And then we are knocked out by a breathless Franciscan masterpiece; the Legend of the True Cross by Piero Della Francesca at the St. Francis Basilica in Arezzo.
St. Francis absolutely venerated the symbol of the Passion. The whole saga is pictured in a sort of Renaissance cinemascope 4K series of frescoes – also meticulously restored. Piero based them on legends related to the wood of the cross where Christ was crucified, included in the Apocryphal Gospels originated in Asia and known as the Golden Legend.
The symbolism is unmistakable; God always intervenes; He is the guarantor of redemption; and in the end, the forces of Evil will be defeated.
No wonder the Golden Legend enjoyed an immense success during the Crusades; one of the chapters, the profanation of the Holy Land by infidels, was used as effective propaganda for military conquest.
But Piero, with his unmatched formal rigor, transcends it, turns it into an epic, a “less is more” modernist aesthetic orgasm even as the message remains a myth; Piero’s Annunciation – arguably the highlight of the fresco cycle — symbolizes a rite of passage for man; condemned by the original sin, from Adam to Christ, he finally enters the age of Christianity, where faith in salvation, possible by the sacrifice of the Redemptor, signals hope.
Yet way over a century before Piero, the Ambrogio Lorenzetti cycle of frescoes painted between 1338 and 1339 at the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena was hinting at something way more revolutionary; the triumph of sensible, human – not divine — politics.
This meticulous intervention of man building an ethic-aesthetic conception of civil society still blows our minds away. In his Allegory of Good Government, Lorenzetti depicted nothing less than the effects of good government in a sort of utopia of reality; a solar, serene, laborious medieval city in a symbiotic relationship with a productive countryside. Something that the West has lost – perhaps forever.
Throughout history, the West was enshrined as a fable; imagined to death; celebrated as the fountain of civilization; deeply religious, sentimental, paragon of secularism, imperial, colonial, political. It’s easy to forget that for those Christians “discovering” the new world, the West was not the antithesis of the East but a Divine successor. Now the pendulum swings back.On the way back to Paris, through Epicurean Bologna – home of the definitive tortellini – I had time to revive a last modernist yell, via a bilingual pocket edition of Pound’s Pisan Cantos, a sort of pre-requiem for the Decline of the West. As a lone ant from a broken ant-hill/ from the wreckage of Europe, ego scriptor.
Pull down thy vanity, repeated as an incantation in canto LXXXI, reads like a poignant message to two millennia of Christianity. And then, riding on the TGV, I saw the new French pharaoh, Ramses Macron, studiously and cinematically walking towards his pyramid at the Louvre to celebrate yet one more Western triumph towards a Brave New Neoliberal World.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.
With permission from
By Jack Murphy
May 11, 2017
A New York psychiatrist has shocked the science community by admitting that patients are suffering from mental illness are the subjects of demonic possession.
Richard Gallagher, who is a board-certified psychiatrist and professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College has come forward saying he has had personal experiences with demonic possession adding that it’s ‘very widespread’.
According to the Washingtonpost.com: In the late 1980s, I was introduced to a self-styled Satanic high priestess.
She called herself a witch and dressed the part, with flowing dark clothes and black eye shadow around to her temples. In our many discussions, she acknowledged worshipping Satan as his “queen.”
I’m a man of science and a lover of history; after studying the classics at Princeton, I trained in psychiatry at Yale and in psychoanalysis at Columbia.
That background is why a Catholic priest had asked my professional opinion, which I offered pro bono, about whether this woman was suffering from a mental disorder.
This was at the height of the national panic about Satanism. (In a case that helped induce the hysteria, Virginia McMartin and others had recently been charged with alleged Satanic ritual abuse at a Los Angeles preschool; the charges were later dropped.)
So I was inclined to skepticism. But my subject’s behavior exceeded what I could explain with my training. She could tell some people their secret weaknesses, such as undue pride.
She knew how individuals she’d never known had died, including my mother and her fatal case of ovarian cancer.
Six people later vouched to me that, during her exorcisms, they heard her speaking multiple languages, including Latin, completely unfamiliar to her outside of her trances.
This was not psychosis; it was what I can only describe as paranormal ability. I concluded that she was possessed. Much later, she permitted me to tell her story.
The priest who had asked for my opinion of this bizarre case was the most experienced exorcist in the country at the time, an erudite and sensible man. I had told him that, even as a practicing Catholic, I wasn’t likely to go in for a lot of hocus-pocus.
“Well,” he replied, “unless we thought you were not easily fooled, we would hardly have wanted you to assist us.”
So began an unlikely partnership. For the past two-and-a-half decades and over several hundred consultations, I’ve helped clergy from multiple denominations and faiths to filter episodes of mental illness — which represent the overwhelming majority of cases — from, literally, the devil’s work.
It’s an unlikely role for an academic physician, but I don’t see these two aspects of my career in conflict. The same habits that shape what I do as a professor and psychiatrist — open-mindedness, respect for evidence and compassion for suffering people — led me to aid in the work of discerning attacks by what I believe are evil spirits and, just as critically, differentiating these extremely rare events from medical conditions.
Is it possible to be a sophisticated psychiatrist and believe that evil spirits are, however seldom, assailing humans?
Most of my scientific colleagues and friends say no, because of their frequent contact with patients who are deluded about demons, their general skepticism of the supernatural, and their commitment to employ only standard, peer-reviewed treatments that do not potentially mislead (a definite risk) or harm vulnerable patients.
But careful observation of the evidence presented to me in my career has led me to believe that certain extremely uncommon cases can be explained no other way.
The Vatican does not track global or countrywide exorcism, but in my experience and according to the priests I meet, demand is rising.
The United States is home to about 50 “stable” exorcists — those who have been designated by bishops to combat demonic activity on a semi-regular basis — up from just 12 a decade ago, according to the Rev. Vincent Lampert, an Indianapolis-based priest-exorcist who is active in the International Association of Exorcists.
(He receives about 20 inquiries per week, double the number from when his bishop appointed him in 2005).
The Catholic Church has responded by offering greater resources for clergy members who wish to address the problem. In 2010, for instance, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops organized a meeting in Baltimore for interested clergy.
In 2014, Pope Francis formally recognized the IAE, 400 members of which are to convene in Rome this October. Members believe in such strange cases because they are constantly called upon to help. (I served for a time as a scientific adviser on the group’s governing board.)
Unfortunately, not all clergy involved in this complex field are as cautious as the priest who first approached me. In some circles, there is a tendency to become overly preoccupied with putative demonic explanations and to see the devil everywhere.
Fundamentalist misdiagnoses and absurd or even dangerous “treatments,” such as beating victims, have sometimes occurred, especially in developing countries.
This is perhaps why exorcism has a negative connotation in some quarters. People with psychological problems should receive psychological treatment.
But I believe I’ve seen the real thing. Assaults upon individuals are classified either as “demonic possessions” or as the slightly more common but less intense attacks usually called “oppressions.”
A possessed individual may suddenly, in a type of trance, voice statements of astonishing venom and contempt for religion, while understanding and speaking various foreign languages previously unknown to them. The subject might also exhibit enormous strength or even the extraordinarily rare phenomenon of levitation.
(I have not witnessed a levitation myself, but half a dozen people I work with vow that they’ve seen it in the course of their exorcisms).
He or she might demonstrate “hidden knowledge” of all sorts of things — like how a stranger’s loved ones died, what secret sins she has committed, even where people are at a given moment. These are skills that cannot be explained except by special psychic or preternatural ability.
I have personally encountered these rationally inexplicable features, along with other paranormal phenomena. My vantage is unusual: As a consulting doctor, I think I have seen more cases of possession than any other physician in the world.
Most of the people I evaluate in this role suffer from the more prosaic problems of a medical disorder.
Anyone even faintly familiar with mental illnesses knows that individuals who think they are being attacked by malign spirits are generally experiencing nothing of the sort.
Practitioners see psychotic patients all the time who claim to see or hear demons; histrionic or highly suggestible individuals, such as those suffering from dissociative identity syndromes; and patients with personality disorders who are prone to misinterpret destructive feelings, in what exorcists sometimes call a “pseudo-possession,” via the defense mechanism of an externalizing projection.
But what am I supposed to make of patients who unexpectedly start speaking perfect Latin?
I approach each situation with an initial skepticism. I technically do not make my own “diagnosis” of possession but inform the clergy that the symptoms in question have no conceivable medical cause.
I am aware of the way many psychiatrists view this sort of work. While the American Psychiatric Association has no official opinion on these affairs, the field (like society at large) is full of unpersuadable skeptics and occasionally doctrinaire materialists who are often oddly vitriolic in their opposition to all things spiritual.
My job is to assist people seeking help, not to convince doctors who are not subject to suasion.
Yet I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners nowadays who are open to entertaining such hypotheses. Many believe exactly what I do, though they may be reluctant to speak out.
As a man of reason, I’ve had to rationalize the seemingly irrational. Questions about how a scientifically trained physician can believe “such outdated and unscientific nonsense,” as I’ve been asked, have a simple answer.
I honestly weigh the evidence. I have been told simplistically that levitation defies the laws of gravity, and, well, of course it does! We are not dealing here with purely material reality, but with the spiritual realm.
One cannot force these creatures to undergo lab studies or submit to scientific manipulation; they will also hardly allow themselves to be easily recorded by video equipment, as skeptics sometimes demand.
(The official Catholic Catechism holds that demons are sentient and possess their own wills; as they are fallen angels, they are also craftier than humans. That’s how they sow confusion and seed doubt, after all.)
Nor does the church wish to compromise a sufferer’s privacy, any more than doctors want to compromise a patient’s confidentiality.
Ignorance and superstition have often surrounded stories of demonic possession in various cultures, and surely many alleged episodes can be explained by fraud, chicanery or mental pathology.
But anthropologists agree that nearly all cultures have believed in spirits, and the vast majority of societies (including our own) have recorded dramatic stories of spirit possession.
Despite varying interpretations, multiple depictions of the same phenomena in astonishingly consistent ways offer cumulative evidence of their credibility.
As a psychoanalyst, a blanket rejection of the possibility of demonic attacks seems less logical, and often wishful in nature, than a careful appraisal of the facts.
As I see it, the evidence for possession is like the evidence for George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware. In both cases, written historical accounts with numerous sound witnesses testify to their accuracy.
In the end, however, it was not an academic or dogmatic view that propelled me into this line of work. I was asked to consult about people in pain. I have always thought that, if requested to help a tortured person, a physician should not arbitrarily refuse to get involved.
Those who dismiss these cases unwittingly prevent patients from receiving the help they desperately require, either by failing to recommend them for psychiatric treatment (which most clearly need) or by not informing their spiritual ministers that something beyond a mental or other illness seems to be the issue.
For any person of science or faith, it should be impossible to turn one’s back on a tormented soul.
April 2, 2017
The name of George Soros in recent decades has been repeatedly mentioned in connection with different mass movements around the globe that frequently resulted in some form of coup d’etat. Unsurprisingly, there’s been a lot of accusations going his way both across the globe and in the US, so it is hardly a coincidence that his name was mentioned by Gateway Pundit when the so-called “women’s marches” against President Donald Trump were on the rise in the US.
George Soros has also been known for his ongoing attempts to get richer by bleeding the truly unlimited financial capabilities of the Vatican dry. The war between Soros and the Pope is being waged on all sorts of legal field, after its initial start in 2011 in the United States, before it started spreading across the world. Soros elected the Jeff Anderson and Associates law firm as his tool, even though this firm is known for its connections with the former US President Barack Obama. To achieve its goals, Soros used claims of sexual harassment and abuse voiced against the priests of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Thus, Jeff Anderson and Associates filed demands to various courts across the world to criminally prosecute certain priests of the RCC. This struggle was accompanied by massive media campaigns that Soros launched and financed. Caught off guard, the church decided to yield and started paying settlements, the total worth of which amounted to some 2.5 billion dollars in the US alone. Thus, Soros achieved two goals: he dealt a powerful blow to the Pope and simultaneously earned some extra cash.
In 2012, a number of secret documents that concerned various fraudulent activities of the the Vatican Bank were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church and made public. Immediately after the scandal broke off, those media sources controlled by Soros started to fire all sorts of accusations against the Pope. This campaign was directly supported and coordinated by the Obma administration through a person that’s been really close to Soros – Cass Sanestein.
Therefore, it is not surprising that American NGOs have fallen into disgrace in a number of European states, including Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic and even Poland, which until recently was considered an undisputed ally of the United States. Those who promoted globalization and American-style democracy suddenly found out that they were not welcome anymore. Then, according to the Czech president Milos Zeman, Soros decided to strike back by arranging a “color revolution” in his country. At the same time the ruling Polish Right and Justice Party accused the billionaire for creating preconditions to the resettlement of Muslim refugees to the banks of the Vistula.
As it’s been reported by the Financial Times, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban carries on his struggle against his ideological adversary billionaire George Soros, calling the financier and his Open Society Foundations fund a bunch of “paid political activists.” This time, the efforts of Victor Orban are aimed at closing the Central European University (CEU), founded by Soros in the republic some 3 decades ago. The right-wing Fidesz Party, led by Orban, submitted to the National Parliament a bill that would introduce changes in the system of higher education in the country. The new legislation will require foreign universities to change their legal status, making them accountable to the government of Hungary. At the same time the Central European University came under heavy fire in the Hungarian media, while all the NGO affiliated with the billionaire are now running the risk of closure.
In turn, the New York Times would report:
In Hungary, especially those who are succored by George Soros, and accusing the groups of wanting to flood Europe with Muslims and transforms” Christian “in the multicultural stews of left-wing globalism.
The EU has been knee deep in the struggle to put a stop the flow of refugees for years now, but it is opposed by volunteers from non-governmental humanitarian organizations who created a whole network for the delivery of tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia to Europe. It is the humanitarian organizations that today provide those suffering in the above mentioned regions with the means and skills for those who found themselves struggling at home necessary to reach Europe as safely as possible.
Today, such “humanitarian organizations” specialized in the delivery of refugees to Europe are represented by well-established associations – the French Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms, the Maltese The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).
It is noteworthy that MOAS was founded in 2014 by an American Christopher Catramboun, who previously worked at the US State Department and made a career as an investigator in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, this organization is being promoted by the people associated with the notorious Blackwater military contractor firm. Moreover, it is owned by a man who made a fortune in US military operations in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. So the fortune that those people made on creating preconditions for the migrant crisis are now being used for the smuggle of Africans without any papers to Italy, France, Greece and Germany. As it’s been noted by the Gefira research center, it is impossible to understand whether the people of MOAS are honest rescuers, or their mission is to further destabilize Europe.
MOAS is funded by the Tangiers Group funds, but Soros has also been sponsoring it. According to Disobedient Media, last year the organization received 500 thousand euros on “search and rescue operations” from the major global activism group Avaaz. It, in turn, was founded by the advocacy group of public policy Moveon, owned by the above mentioned American financier.
Another organization of George Soros – Open Society Foundations – supports such humanitarian organizations Save the Children and Médicins Sans Frontiéres. Those ogranizations are operating at least four ships to carry out their operations.
It won’t be an exaggeration to state that a number of EU states, including Hungary, are fed up with George Soros, so it won’t be a surprise if the coming weeks they are going say to him: “Soros, go home!”
Grete Mautner is an indepenent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”