Originally posted by patrask: I saw Bill Maher's Religulous and I thought it hit home pretty well. Not just one of the world's religions, but all of them, a sorry excuse for the truth. Once you realize that the Christ Story has been around the block for a few thousand years BEFORE CHRIST, it make you wonder why anyone would believe in the story at all. It must hit a universal nerve in us somewhere that causes us to feel better in the assumption that we can be saved, from ourselves, and get to the next level. I have read a lot of things over my lifetime that lead me to believe in the truth of what is presented in this movie. If you are faithful and strongly believe that does not hurt my feelings. But, I think one should consider the alternatives and understand the sources that have been used to compile the story, before you swallow it whole. There is much to laugh at in the movie, and much to cry about as well, that we can be this immature so late in the day. Maybe there is hope for Mankind, maybe not. I especially liked Mr. Maher's final summation. Go see it - it can't hurt your sensibilities to see what is known about the religions of the world and how they can seem so really ridiculous, thus the title of the movie.
I love Bill Maher and "Religulous"! Brilliant!
Posts: 152 | Location: Formerly SacraDemento, California | Registered: 23 February 2006
Although I didn't see the movie, my response to the stories being around long before Christ is SO, WHAT? What does that prove that the Bible doesn't already say? Christ came to fulfill thousands of years of prophecy. Some of the prophecies were repeated and circulated, perhaps in story or myth form, throughout various cultures for some time before the actual birth of Christ. And, there are only so many plots and characters around since the beginning of time. Even Shakespeare isn't original. Sometimes a story is around as an urban legend, and later something similar happens in real life. Again, SO, WHAT?
Posts: 7154 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001
Originally posted by dandelion: Although I didn't see the movie, my response to the stories being around long before Christ is SO, WHAT? What does that prove that the Bible doesn't already say? Christ came to fulfill thousands of years of prophecy. Some of the prophecies were repeated and circulated, perhaps in story or myth form, throughout various cultures for some time before the actual birth of Christ. And, there are only so many plots and characters around since the beginning of time. Even Shakespeare isn't original. Sometimes a story is around as an urban legend, and later something similar happens in real life. Again, SO, WHAT?
One word: Midrash.
Posts: 6904 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002
This information on The Exorcist has been available for some time, but I just discovered it thanks to a helpful post on a message board I frequent, where I asked about it after seeing the St. Louis house featured on the 100th episode of Ghost Adventures which ran on Halloween. Of course William Peter Blatty is at no fault as his work is fiction and not passed off as fact. This concerns numerous stories told about the real case. Many sources state that despite extreme efforts by fans of the book and movie, the real boy involved in the original 1949 events has never been identified. What!? They know the address, but they don’t know who lived there? What is that?
Facebook page of Troy Taylor, author of The Devil Came to St. Louis. https://www.facebook.com/authortt He is the one who found Brother Hollewinske for his Unexplained Files appearance. He states on a post dated July 31 that he took him at his word. He remains open-minded about what happened in 1949, which he says was worth the twenty years of research he put into it. So far I've found no further statements regarding Brother Hollewinske, and would be very interested to learn of anyone who knew him and can comment one way or another on his level of involvement or lack thereof.
Further information: writeup on Reverend Luther Miles Schulze, a Lutheran pastor who was the first clergyman to observe the boy. He wrote a lengthy article describing his observations, and, according to a 1949 newspaper article referenced here, www.strangemag.com/exorcistpage1.html gave a talk on the subject. The newspaper article describes him as laughing as he related the events and claiming he told the boy to cut the comedy. Unfortunately neither the text of the pastor's talk nor his article seem to be available online, so no checking whether what he actually said and wrote contradict the newspaper article.
Internet Movie Database page for Walter H. Halloran, the one priest documented to have participated who was willing to speak publicly. www.imdb.com/name/nm0356726/?ref_=rvi_nm This lists programs in which he appeared describing his experiences, which can then be checked for availability on You Tube.
Amazon.com entry for the book The Real Story Behind the Exorcist, by Mark Opsasnick, who did the groundbreaking research on the case. http://www.amazon.com/The-Real...words=Mark+Opsasnick Of course no one should review a book they haven’t read, but can we please give this guy some love in the comments? I commented on remarks posted about him and Reverend Luther Miles Schulze which seem unfounded to a degree bordering on slander. Several other much less well-researched books have garnered way better reviews. For those relying solely on Amazon reviews, this is extremely misleading!
I hope I am not doing a public disservice in providing this information, as personally I believe there is something to these things. I'd hate to contribute to someone saying, "Well, if the most famous case ever is this questionable, it must be fine to play with Ouija boards and so on," which IMHO it's emphatically not!
In case all this proves too much, this cracks me up every time I think of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RifxYTpS39o When Tim Conway ad libs that she is now all good including “a little of her left knee,” you can see Bernadette Peters crack up.
Thinking about all this leaves me with a lot of questions, starting with Reverend Luther Miles Schulze. The 1949 newspaper article referenced here http://www.strangemag.com/exorcistpage1.html has him giving a talk making light of the events, yet an article for The Parapsychology Bulletin (August 1949, Number 14), a periodical of the New York-based Parapsychology Foundation, titled “Report Of A Poltergeist” appeared publishing his name. (I posted above saying that he wrote the article, which is incorrect—it was uncredited.) Well, why was this article published and what did it say? So, you’re an adult with a responsible community position, a child/teenager comes to your house and pulls a mischievous prank, and you go to a Parapsychology Foundation? To say what? Beware of pranksters? Without seeing this article, it would seem to me that there is more to this.
Then there are the priests. Why would people who present themselves as professionals allow themselves to be yanked around for months by a highly-strung young man staging an elaborate act? At what point would they not simply walk off, saying, “He needs help other than ours”? Who leaked this story to the press, and why did Father Halloran continue to discuss it for decades afterwards? If absolutely nothing paranormal happened, why would professional people risk their reputations by taking a non-story to the press?
As for the subject and any of his family members not wanting to discuss it, that proves absolutely nothing. If he was possessed, would they advertise it? If not, yes, they’d be embarrassed, and either way it was not their finest hour and they’d want to put it behind them. Their behavior in no way proves anything paranormal either did, or did not, happen.
Lastly, there is the mysterious matter of Brother Greg Hollewinske, a dying cleric who should be making his peace with God, coming forward and absolutely swearing he witnessed profoundly paranormal phenomena. His possible involvement bears further looking into.
I have come to no bottom line conclusion here, except that there is an awful lot of smoke for no fire. Certainly the exaggerated events did not occur as depicted in the book and movie, but it seems to me something out of the ordinary did in fact happen.
That is an excellent question. I loved his passion for Ray Bradbury and for God. It was a juxtaposition of personality that resonated with me. We met on these boards, but exchanged phone numbers and often talked to each other about religion, god, science fiction, Ray, etc. He knew Ray quite well and over a long number of years. He would share conversations he would have with Ray over years and years. I finally met Nard (Bernard) at a Science Fiction Conference at UC Riverside (Southern CA) where Phil and I were both panelists there. What a thrill to be able to present a paper on Ray Bradbury in front of Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, Greg Bear, David Brin, etc. (Ray came, but later in the day. How cool would it have been to present that paper when Ray was in the audience??) I go to meet Nard, Doug, Phil and others at that conference. Does that help at all?