Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 30, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Casting Out Demons Idea No Longer Strange
By Edmond K. Gravely, jr.
1974 New York Times News Service
NEWTON, Mass. — One man supported her head and shoulders, and two or three ministers knelt around her in the front of the sanctuary of the Newton Presbyterian church. The woman, sitting between the pulpit and the pews on the carpeted floor, pled for help.
•‘Please get me right. Please just get me right I don't care what you do,” she said to the ministers. She had fallen to the floor asking for prayer for her crippled leg.
They talked with her quietly for a minute or so, and then asked her to repeat a statement of faith, which she followed in a soft voice until she came to the last word. which she seemed unable to repeat. Instead, she moaned.
“That’s it,” one of the ministers said. “Come out shame, in the name of .lesus. Out!” the commands persisted and the woman gagged, although no one was touching her mouth or throat.
Suddenly, her whole body thrashed violently and a strange, high-pitched voice came out of her mouth, “III humilate her I’ll humiliate her. I ll make her fall in front of her friends.”
“No you won’t.” a minister replied. “Come out of her. Satan, in the name of Jesus. Loose her and come out of her.”
Another quick cough and it was over. A smile eased
across her face, and she prayed, “Thank you. Lord, I’m not ashamed. I’m free.” She laughed, as did those around her. with relief.
A scene from the movie “The Exorcist” it was not, but
an exorcism it most certainly was.
Eor hundreds of thousands of people — housewives, engines, ministers, businessmen, doctors — the idea of casting demons out of people is no longer strange, though it is relatively new to them. They have seen exorcisms performed and some say they have personally experienced the* sudden departure of alien spirits residing in them.
The extensive growth of this phenomenon, which can be seen in nearly every major city in the nation, has been highly controversial both among church leaders and the medical profession
Some religious leaders doubt that there are such things as demons — and if they do exist, doubt that exorcism is the way to deal with them.
Dr Karl A. Menninger of the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kau., called exorcism an “interesting fantasy” — not something to be taken seriously.
Nevertheless, an increasing number of people are taking it seriously, and books on the subject abound.
Unlike the movie, the books describe encounters with unseen. evil forces said to be lodged inside human beings but discoverable when certain exacting procedures are followed
In some churches, these procedures have become an accepted — even expected — part of the minister’s function Such a church is the Hegewisch Baptist church in Chicago,
Win Worley, the tall, stout minister of the church, said that after nearly every church service — there are four each week — people come to the front of the church asking that he expel the silent intruders that they say have invaded their lives.
When the prayer of exorcism is made. Worley said. it is not unusual for an evil spirit to speak and to answer questions through the vocal apparatus of the person it inhabits, but, lie says, always with a voice and personality completely unlike that of the person.
Recorded in Mark
Christian exorcists take their authority from the words of Christ recorded in Mark 16:17.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils.” They emphasize that exorcism is not something to be played with and that it can be extremely dangerous for a person to attempt it who is not equipped to do so. Their power, they say, comes by faith in the authority given by Christ.
As the exorcisms are performed according to many accounts, the spirits frequently manifest their belligerence with
displays of extraordinary physical strength, which they impart, to the person they are in. Eor that reason it is not unusual to read of several people holding a person being delivered from demons.
The widespread revival of exorcism among Christians appears to be a direct counter to the occult movement — an evangelical response to what is perceived as an alarming spread of satanism — which has touched every city and major university in the nation. At the same time, it has become an integral part of a renewed interest among many Christians of all denominations in the supernatural aspects of Christianity
Much of this renewed interest is centered in what is known as the “charismatic movement,” which comprises several million Protestants and at least 350.000 Catholics in this country and abroad. The movement emphasizes that a believer can have a personal relationship with God and that he can be “baptizes! in the Holy Spirit,” just as the disciples of Jesus “were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,” as Acts 2:4 relates.
The* movement places importance on the “charisms,” or such supernatural gifts as healing miracles, unknown tongues and their interpretation and identifying spirits, which is the gift relied on by those who cast out evil spirits
Maxwell Whyte, a minister of the United Apostolic Faith church in Scarborough. Ontario, is generally regarded as the father of the “deliverance" ministry in North America. He says he discovered exorcism almost by accident 28 years ago when he was praying for a man afflicted with asthma from birth After getting no results, he remembered a woman who had told him of seeing an old Scottish preacher cast out demons.
“I prayed about it and I did it and it worked. It was very spectacular. The evil spirits coughed out of him." Whyte said
The process took more than an hour and 2(1 minutes and
whi'ii it was over there was a pile of handkerchiefs full of spit But the man breathed deeply and freely for the first time. “Every time Eve seen him since, he's been perfectly fine." Whyte said
Whyte, a tall, heavy-set man of H6, said that the deliverance ministry “is growing and consolidating, it s bringing help to thousands of people."
One of the best known teachers about deliverance is Derek Prince, formerly a professor in ancient and modern philosophy at Cambridge university in England, and now an internationally known leader of the charismatic movement. He asserts that demons are just as real today as they were in the time of Christ and that they act the same way us they did then.
Most exorcists believe that demons are fallen angels and are directly under the command of Satan. They are said to be able to enter a person only under certain conditions, such as severe emotional stress or fear, according to most exorcists.
Exorcism, by its nature, does not come quietly to a church Seldom do all the church members accept the practice of deliverance and sometimes the church splits. But in many cases, exorcism leads to increases in church attendance and financial support.
At the Westside Baptist church in Leesburg. Fla., where exorcism began taking place in 1968. Dick Coleman, the pastor, said that attendance jumped from about 9ft to as many as 5U0 people a week in two years.
But exorcism still has many doubters, to whom the question is not so much whether exorcism is the way to handle demons but whether there are such things as demons to exorcise in the first place.
An official church document of the United Presbyterian Church of the U. S. A. states
“To attribute angry and hostile feelings to the devil is to be freed from having to face the truth within one’s self about where those feelings come from and what one must do to overcome them."
Visitors to the recently reopened Kansas Capitol building dome in Topeka are silhouetted against the windows as they walk above the inner glass
dome. The dome area has been closed to visitors since August, I 969, for reasons of 'safety and sanitation. The glass dome is about 175 feet above the floor and the main outer dome is about I OO feet higher.
Forced To Make Political Gifts, Fired Telephone Executive Says
DALLAS (AP) — A former executive of Southwestern Bell has charged that the firm required its top officials to contribute $5ft or more each month from their salaries to selected politicians The charges were made bv James Ashley. former commercial manager for Southwestern Bell in San Antomd and now a co plaintiff in a $29 million libel and defamation suit against the utility company The other plaintiff is the family of T. 0. Cravat, a former Southwestern Bell manager for Texas who committed suicide last month and reportedly left notes accusing the company of using deceitful rate-setting practices and making illegal political contributions.
Ashley said in an interview that the executives were told that money was included in their salaries for political contributions.
But U. L Todd, vice-president and general manager of Southwestern Bell, tailed charges by Ashley and other accusations made against the company in the suit “wild and ridiculous."
“We have apparently l>een accused, tried, and judged in the minds of some people without benefit of a trial, " Todd said. referring also to recent charges that Southw(‘stern Bell security men helped law enforcement agencies set up illegal wiretaps.
Ashley said that “up until 19(j(i, we gave $541 a month in cash.” Ile added that alter that a “jMilitical contact man” for liell would send out notices to executives telling them where to send the contributions, The money then was paid by personal check, he said
“We had no choice, Ashley said “We were required to make those ‘voluntary contributions.”
Ashley was fired by Southwestern lied during ail internal prolie which the company said touched on Gravid s area of responsibility. Ashley claims in the suit he was fired and Gravitt “hounded into suicide’ because the two resisted “corporate rapacities "
Todd said that the charges made against the company “will be answered thoroughly and completely in court."
Referring to Ashley, he said some of the charges he has made “are the very reasons for which he was dismissed ”
IM m a Year
Ashley said the contributions amounted to $9ft (HNI a year. He added that he knows that this same system of political contributions was used among Bell executives outside of Texas.
Ashley said that in 1966 Bell executives were given $1 (HNI raises with the understanding that ail or part of this money was to la* used for the political contributions
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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22
Will Legend Aid Desert Fox’ Son?
administrator and financial expert. He has risen to the office of under-secretary in the state’s finance ministry.
When former Mayor Arnulf Klett died last Aug 14. candidates for the job in an election Nov. IO. Rommel emerged as the top vote-getter with 44.2
percent, but this was not enough to win the absolute majority needed. His SPD opponent Peter Conrad! was second in the field with 31.2 percent of the vote.
Only a simple majority will be needed in the Dec. I contest.
By Denis Gray
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — It’s a long way rn time and place from Stuttgart, Dec. I, 1974. to the epic World war II tank in North Africa, hut there is a connection: the name of Rommel.
Field Marshal Erw in Rommel, “The Desert Fox”, carved a name for himself as commander of Hitler's Africa Corps which lought massive armor battles with allied forces. Irater. Rommel was forced to commit suicide after he turned against Hitler
The general left liehind one son, Manfred, now 46. who did not follow his father’s footsteps nor. he says, did he become what the elder Rommel had wanted him to be — a mathematician or a sports star.
( hose Politics
The son chose politics and on Dec. I he will bt* in the run-off election for mayor of this key south German industrial center If he wins. some political commentators have claimed it will he because of the legend still clinging to Jtht* Rommel name The younger Rommel disputes this.
“When the son runs a campaign, you don't elect his father,” he said in an interview. “In 2ft years I’ve worked my way up from a poor student to a state secretary and therefore believe I’m someone in my own right.”
But as much as the younger Bummel wishes to downplay his background it is inevitable that some consider the field marshal his son’s most effective campaign worker
It was also perhaps no coin-cidence that recently a local movie house replaced its usual nudie fare with a screening of ‘ The Desert Fox”, the old film about the German general.
The son speaks of his father with great respect
And observers say he shares some of his qualities — notably a stress on careful planning. an easy mariner with the
average citizen ann a sense of fair play.
The younger Rommel’s low-keyed, folksy approach served him well with the local citizens during the campaign.
Likening his own style to his father’s, the younger Rommel said the marshal had “a dose relationship to simple people. He had more friends among the soldiers than among the senior officers ” Unlike recent name-calling battles between the ruling Social Democrats (SPD) and the conservative Christian Democrat (CDI) opposition, the Stuttgart campaign has been a fight with kid gloves.
"I don't buy the idea of slandering ones political opponent,” said the younger Rommel, who is running on the IDU ticket.
In fact, he has followed this behavior so closely that one newsman asked him sarcastically whether he was also going to vote for his opponent The younger Rommel was 15 years old when his father was forced to commit suicide by taking poison Ort. 14, 1944, after being linked to an abortive attempt to assassinate Hitler.
Manfred Rommel recalls his father’s last moments: “Already weeks before the 14th of October the Gestapo stood outside our house night and day . . . on the 14th. generals Burgdorf and Maisel from the army’s personnel office visited us In a friendly manner they asked to speak to my father privately “After about an hour my father came and said he had ten minutes left to say goodbye to my mother arid myself . . . after my father had received assurances that nothing would happen to his family and members of his staff, they discussed funeral arrangements and took him away in a car.
“Twenty five minutes later the telephone rang and they told us he had suffered a brain stroke and was dead."
After the war, the younger Rommel studied law and entered the state civil service in Baden-Wuerttemberg, gaining a solid reputation as an able
Pierpont Wrote Jingle Bells
NEW YORK (UPI) - The popular “Jingle Bells," bv Bostonian composer James Pierpont. was originally written for local Sunday school entertainment in 1857 Although it was copyrighted I as “One Horse Open Sleigh,” the song was soon republished under the title we use today