Basic Exorcism Rite–Removed
I've decided to take down the “Basic Exorcism Rite” from this site. Although I attempted to preface the rite with cautions about misinterpretation, I can no longer lend any support whatsoever to the idea of E.G.C. clergy–or anyone else–performing exorcisms as a service to others. Even beginning Magicians can perform their own banishing rituals, and people who have genuine symptoms of mental illness should be encouraged to seek help from competent mental health professionals.
My original intent with the Basic Exorcism Rite was to present a Thelemic version of a traditional sacerdotal function of Western churches in terms of mythopoetic, ceremonial Magick. Unfortunately, the concept of exorcism comes with some rather ugly, and sticky, baggage. Not only is the concept of “spirit possession” largely a superstitious response to the symptoms of mental illness (or even, in some cases, social or religious nonconformity or disobedience); but the idea that the clergy have the power–and the moral right–to “cure” such behavior lends itself too easily to a whole spectrum of abuses.
Although I have never heard of any such abuses taking place within E.G.C., I have heard recent news accounts of horrendous examples of abusive exorcisms (and their brutal cousins, witch hunts) within what we may term the superstitious religions. I do not think such abusive practices should be tolerated, even under the banner of religious freedom; and I do not wish my writings to ever be cited–by anyone–in countenancing such practices.
Even though it appears that the practice of exorcism has been widely ignored within E.G.C. anyway, I think it is time for us to relegate this particular aspect of the traditional sacerdotal arts to the museum of obsolete religious artifacts, once and for all.
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