Polish ‘Exorcists’ Get Their Own Magazine

The Catholic exorcism business in Poland is growing so fast that it’s actually getting an entire magazine devoted to the subject, called Egzorcysta. Who says religious lunacy isn’t a growth sector for the economy? Raw Story reports:

With exorcism booming in Poland, Roman Catholic priests have joined forces with a publisher to launch what they claim is the world’s first monthly magazine focused exclusively on chasing out the devil.

“The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15 years in Poland is telling,” Father Aleksander Posacki, a professor of philosophy, theology and leading demonologist and exorcist told reporters in Warsaw at the Monday launch of the Egzorcysta monthly.

Ironically, he attributed the rise in demonic possessions in what remains one of Europe’s most devoutly Catholic nations partly to the switch from atheist communism to free market capitalism in 1989.

“It’s indirectly due to changes in the system: capitalism creates more opportunities to do business in the area of occultism. Fortune telling has even been categorised as employment for taxation,” Posacki told AFP.

“If people can make money out of it, naturally it grows and its spiritual harm grows too,” he said, hastening to add authentic exorcism is absolutely free of charge.

Funny, there are fortune tellers all over the world. Why is Poland singled out for a 30-fold increase in the number of exorcists? Here’s how they do it:

“Possession comes as a result of committing evil. Stealing, killing and other sins,” he told reporters, adding that evil spirits are chased out using a guide of ritual prayers approved by Polish-born pope John Paul II in 1999.

“Our hands are full,” admitted fellow exorcist and Polish Roman Catholic priest Father Andrzej Grefkowicz, revealing exorcists have a three month waiting list in the capital Warsaw.

Priests performing exorcism also work with psychiatrists in order to avoid mistaking mental illness for possession, he said.

Of course they do. Just like they work with “scientists” to determine fake “miracles” from real ones (wink, wink).

25 comments on this post.
  1. slc1:

    OT but I notice that Hank Fox’s blog, Bluecollaratheist, is no longer in the blog list. Is this an oversight or is something else going on?

  2. Chiroptera:

    slc1, #1:

    He’s renamed it: it’s now A Citizen of the Earth (using internet alphabetization, so it’s first on the blogroll).

  3. busterggi:

    I’m Polish so let me explain – most Polish words contain 7 to 12 consonants and only one or two vowels, mispronunciation is very common and often accidentally is the name of a demon who is summoned and possesses the speaker.

  4. dingojack:

    Surely they should call their magazine something like:
    ‘Jesteśmy całkowicie szalony’.
    Dingo

  5. katkinkate:

    Maybe there’s an active hellmouth in Poland. Where’s Buffy when you need her.

  6. Rodney Nelson:

    I’m just a know-nothing amateur concerning demonology, so how does anyone know if somebody is possessed by a demon? Does their head spin 360° on their neck or what?

  7. duck1887:

    What are the advertisements like in this magazine, I wonder?

  8. grumpyoldfart:

    All those Polish jokes were true. They really are stupid.

  9. cry4turtles:

    Demonology??????????

  10. Sastra:

    “If people can make money out of it, naturally it grows and its spiritual harm grows too,” he said, hastening to add authentic exorcism is absolutely free of charge.

    Occult things such as fortunetelling only make money because there is a market for them. There is a market for them only because the public is gullible, superstitious, and believe in magic.

    You’re not going to fix that by offering them exorcisms instead. Or, for that matter, religion in general or Catholicism in particular.

    People who are into the occult are often sincere. Not all of them charge.

  11. Dr X:

    Priests performing exorcism also work with psychiatrists in order to avoid mistaking mental illness for possession, he said.”

    Makes me laugh every time I read that, as if there really is a differential diagnosis to be made. Yep, he’s possessed:

    Demonic and Satanics Manual

    Axis I: 666.xx

  12. raven:

    “The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15 years in Poland is telling,”

    It says there are a lot of superstitious people in Poland.

    So when is the reality TV program?

    Demonic possessions and exorcisms by skilled and heroic Catholic priets are just made for TV. Exorcisms with the Stars.

  13. typecaster:

    All those Polish jokes were true. They really are stupid.

    I’ve spent time working in Poland, and that’s really not at all true. Easy to say when you run into this sort of thing, but false all the same. It’s more like the old saying that “you can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, and that’s enough to make a decent living.” In any large enough group of people, there’s room to play the percentages. The ones who fall for it really are stupid, but that doesn’t support the glib generality.

  14. Chiroptera:

    typecaster, #13:

    I can’t say how our Polish cousins should feel about grumpyoldfart’s comment.

    However, as a US citizen living in the US who understands just what our political news must seem to other people, I certainly don’t take offense when our cousins in other lands make snarky over generalized jokes about the stupidity of Americans.

    But I admit that the two situations are not completely analogous.

  15. Midnight Rambler:

    Remember everybody – if you find that you have an egzor cyst, get it removed right away or it may turn into a serious problem down the road.

  16. Modusoperandi:

    Sure, laugh at it all you want, but you’ll still pick it off the rack at the book store and flip to the centerfold.

  17. dan4:

    “…the rise in demonic possessions….”

    Oh, good grief. At least Raw Story could surround those last two words with well-deserved sneer quotes.

    @16: “…flip to the centerfold.”

    Huh? I hope the “centerfold” reference wasn’t supposed to refer to the likely pictures in this magazine of the “demonically possessed” (i.e. people likely suffering from severe mental illness)…because that would be damn poor taste humor on your part, MO.

  18. Modusoperandi:

    dan4 “Huh? I hope the ‘centerfold’ reference wasn’t supposed to refer to the likely pictures in this magazine of the ‘demonically possessed’ (i.e. people likely suffering from severe mental illness)…because that would be damn poor taste humor on your part, MO.”
    Jesus, man, that’s not what I pictured at all. At all.

    You know how some people light up a room just by entering it? You’re the opposite of that.

  19. dingojack:

    Dan = “Huh? I hope the “centerfold” reference wasn’t supposed to refer to the likely pictures in this magazine of the “demonically possessed” (i.e. people likely suffering from severe mental illness)…”

    That mental picture says a lot more about you than MO. (IMHO).

    Dingo

  20. dan4:

    @18: Okay, MO, what DID you mean by the “centerfold” quip?

  21. Modusoperandi:

    dan4, perhaps I’m simply delightfully naive, but I meant what I foolishly assumed to be the obvious; exorcismer, not exorcismee.

  22. richardelguru:

    Modus
    Oh! And I was hoping it would be a ‘page 3′ photo of a topless lady demon.

    Woo!! Hoo–aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh!!!!!

  23. richardelguru:

    Come to think of it ‘topless lady demon’ is open to various interpretations….

    No, no mustn’t go there…..

  24. democommie:

    I will admit I skipped this thread earlier. My reasons for doing so was that I misconfustrued the “exorcist” for some reason with “psychic” or, maybe, “clairvoyance” (put it down to a similarity in the way they’re spelled)–and both of those “professions” are complete bullshit. Exorcism, otoh, is cool and performs a public service. It helps fat people to get thin and helps skinny people to put on muscle mass.

    I’m glad I’m not misinformed now.

  25. savagemutt:

    “The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15 years in Poland is telling…”

    Hmmm…I don’t recall reading about any possessed people during the Cold War. Obviously, God wants us to live in a repressive, Soviet-Style communist regime.

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