; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, March 14, 2016

Daily 2 Cents: Exorcism's Comeback in the Catholic Church -- Interactive UFO Encounter -- ‘Satanic’ Animal Sacrifices on Long Island

Exorcism's Comeback in the Catholic Church

Every Thursday evening, a few dozen people file into Immaculate Conception Chapel, a small Catholic church on the steep slope of Folsom Street on Bernal Hill's north face, carrying bottles of water, tubs of protein powder, small bottles of booze, watches, rosaries, and cell phones.

They place these items on small tables and on the rails at the front of the church, below the altar and the figure of Christ nailed to the cross set deep into the chapel's far wall. Then they find a spot in one of the 13 rows of pews, to sit or kneel as they pray in silence. For a long while, the only noise comes from the wheeze of the 67-Bernal Heights bus as it chugs up the hill or the whir of the church's HVAC sys flitem.

The people stir a few minutes past 7 p.m. when a tiny man wearing white robes — a long rectangle of cloth with Vegas-worthy golden sparkles hanging around his neck — appears from a door to the left of the altar. A few weeks shy of his 89th birthday, Father Guglielmo Lauriola walks slowly across the raised altar area to a waiting chair. Here he sits, facing away from his congregation in the style of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, to read from laminated card prayers and songs devoted to the Virgin Mary. Aside from Jesus on the cross, she is the principal figure of veneration here at the 104-year-old church.

When this is finished, in about half an hour, the two middle-aged Filipinas who serve as Lauriola's lectors and attendants, towering over his five-foot-ish frame, help him into different robes. Then the Franciscan priest — the pastor of this church for over 40 years — starts a second Mass, this one facing his parishioners.

Everything follows the liturgy, the script that would be recognizable to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics even if Lauriola were speaking in Klingon. He reads from the Bible. He delivers a short sermon, talking about the time he welcomed some Muslims in the neighborhood into the church. (Their god is not so different from his God, he says.) He gets up, the smell of incense thick in the room, to fling water from a small wand onto the personal items arrayed on the table, granting them all — water, booze, phones — a blessing. The parishioners line up to receive Communion, the small wafers of bread that Catholics believe becomes the physical body of Jesus Christ. Read more at Return of the Devil: Exorcism's Comeback in the Catholic Church


Interactive UFO Encounter

Betty in Los Angeles called in to tell of a strange encounter she had in Indiana:

“Ever since I was a child in Pennsylvania I have seen, my whole family has seen, things in the sky and I lived in Indiana in the later part of the 90s. One night I had my children and one of the neighbor kid who was just learning how to drive and everything in Indiana is just laid out in mile grids. And we were going north. She was practicing driving and I had the kids in the car. I was actually pregnant at the time. We saw ahead of us – it was in the sky and it was obviously, it was almost dark but it was quite bright and my little driver friend said what is that. I said, please let me drive. So I slid over and she went around and got in the other side and the closer I got. It was actually a big light and three little lights dropped out and it looked like they were playing like little kids and then they went back up into the light. I said okay and I started to turn around because the kids were a little bit scared. I started to turn around and it started tracking me. And I believe that once you have had – it's not a close encounter of the third kind. I know I've never been abducted but I believe there is some kind of a connection because I, in my mind, I wasn't desperate, I was very clear, I was saying, these are my responsibility, these children are my responsibility, please. Please back off. Well, the closer I got to town, they backed off and went away. Well about a year later I was by myself, I was coming home from work and it was about 11 o'clock at night and I noticed, off to the side, this light and it was like it was tracking me. I pulled up into my driveway, I stopped the car and it swooped down on me, and off it went. Now I've lived in six states and the only state I haven't seen these things is California but I've always lived in populated areas. I haven't spent much time out in the country where you can have a clean sight to the sky.”

Source: Coast to Coast – December 26, 2011

Transcribed by Jamie Brian


Officials probe ‘Satanic’ animal sacrifices on Long Island

The Suffolk County SPCA is probing whether a satanic cult has been beheading goats and chickens on Long Island for the past two years.

Officials also believe the recent torture of a 7-month-old pit bull found hanging from a tree last month may be part of a gang initiation rite.

“Animal abuse is widespread. We’ve found them in all areas of the county,” Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross told The Post.

Suffolk County SPCA Capt. Paul Llobel said several incidents “may be tied to religious and satanic ritual. There’s a lot going on here right now.” The cases include:

Three beheaded roosters were found in a garbage bag in Centereach on Jan. 13.

The carcasses of three beheaded adult goats were found in Riverhead on June 24.

Less than a week later, the SPCA found a dead rooster nailed to a tree in Islip. Police found it with its eyes and tongue cut out, near a candle.

A Riverhead employee found plastic bags containing three mutilated chickens on railroad tracks on July 9.

An 18-inch cow tongue, wrapped in fabric, was found nailed to a tree in an East Islip park July 23. It was the second such discovery that month.

Investigators believe the “barbaric” crimes were the result of “twisted” religious rituals. Read more at Officials probe ‘Satanic’ animal sacrifices on Long Island


Man who beheaded teen 'possessed, needs exorcism'

A man who admitted hacking off a teenager's head wants his case reopened because he has been possessed by the devil, his lawyer said.

Alijar Swartz admitted strangling 15-year-old Lee Adams and decapitating him so he could sell his body to a shaman at a hearing last month, News24 reported.

But shortly before he was due to be sentenced, his lawyer Sheriff Mohamed told the Western Cape High Court his client carried out the murder under the influence of Satan, who still controls him.

He told the court: "The demons are still busy with him...The accused was but a vessel and instrument in the hand of the devil."

He argued that sentencing should be put off so the devils could be cast out of Swartz by Reverend Cecil Begbie, who the laywer claimed was an internationally renowned exorcist.

On February 22, Swartz changed his plea to guilty and admitted he had murdered Lee at a primary school in Cape Town, South Africa on October 17, 2013.

Swartz strangled Lee, stabbed him until he died, and then decapitated him.

He said in a statement: "Although I consumed alcohol and dagga (cannabis) during the day of October 17, 2013, I could still appreciate the wrongfulness of my conduct. I was a follower of Satan at the time."

A security guard found Adams's headless corpse at the school. His head was later found in a grave in Swartz's yard.

Judge Elizabeth Steyn, who was baffled by Mr Mohamed's sudden request during Thursday's hearing, postponed the case until today.


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