The Reverend Bob Larson has performed more than 20,000 exorcisms. But that is just the beginning. His services for the possessed are now available through the wonders of Skype.
An intrigued Scott Bixby, a writer for the Daily Beast website, powered up his laptop and explained himself to the Satan-buster through his webcam. And posted a video of the encounter online, naturally.
At first, Bixby seems shocked to find he rather likes Larson, who says most of his work is with survivors of sexual abuse.
“Much of our time felt like a rather effective therapy session. Larson is warm, authentic, and funny. It’s easy to feel comfortable and open up to him.”
But towards the end of the hour, things go up a gear. Larson addresses the demon direct: “I confront you by the blood of Christ. Any spirit of anger, rejection, shame, hate, even murder. Look at me. Any evil spirit that’s there … I confront you by the blood of Christ! … I torment you!”
He was, writes Bixby, “intense, scary, almost violent; I would have been terrified if we’d been in the same room.” When Larson reaches for his silver cross for a third time, Bixby calls it quits. The problem? Larson concludes: “Your faith is not where it needs to be.”
The exorcist community (let’s call it that) has not universally welcomed the Skype variety, however.
Skype exorcisms would be an exciting advance in an otherwise ancient world of rituals—if, of course, they weren’t an Internet scam.
“They just can’t be done that way,” says Reverend Isaac Kramer, director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists, an organization that trains and ordains new exorcists. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised. Chances are, they’re going to throw the computer screen across the room and destroy everything.”