Thank you for joining me for another "Terrifying Tuesday" post here on my blog. I wanted to take some time before we really dive in to the story of Anneliese Michel to throw out some disclaimers:
1) I may say a few things in this blog post that you don't agree with. I hope you will still think of my viewpoints with an open mind. I mean no disrespect to the people involved, but I'm simply trying to juxtapose my theories and opinions into the case to help you make sense of it.
2) Demonic possession is a very serious matter. Part of the reason I do these "Investigating the Mysterious" posts is to educate you (and myself) on the facts and some of the theories surrounding a case. While it may be entertaining to read, demonic possession is documented.
3) Listen at your own risk. I've heard the audio clips that I will share with you below, and they are creepy. If you get creeped out by that, please don't listen. I don't want to give anyone any anxiety or problems.
Now that those are out of the way, let's dive in to the story of Anneliese Michel and the six demons that supposedly made her body their home:
THE LIFE OF ANNELIESE MICHEL
Anneliese was a pretty normal teenager from West Germany. She was a devout Catholic who showed great respect for tradition and to people of the faith. She also had a steadfast boyfriend named Peter, and a loving family.
Anneliese was so devout in her faith that she would practice penance for others. She even slept on hard wooden floors in freezing cold conditions to atone for the sings of drug addicts who had lost their faith.
It wasn't until 1969 that Anneliese experienced something she never had before: seizures. She was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy, a condition that can lead to hallucinations, mood changes, and loss of awareness. These were only a few side-effects on a laundry list of possibilities.
During her time in the hospital, she chose to spend her days furthering her relationship with God. She would likely read the Bible, pray, and do other Catholic traditions as she underwent treatment. Luckily, the treatment seemed to work well and Anneliese found herself back in school with all of the other local children.
It wasn't long, however, until Anneliese started to witness demonic faces in the walls of her family home. She would have trouble standing on her own and would even have bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. If you know anything about the Catholic faith, suicide is regarded as an unforgivable sin, so this was big for such a devout believer as Anneliese.
Her mother, Anna, said that she once witnessed Anneliese's at the dinner table with very large hands. Anneliese herself would tell those who asked that she knew demons had taken ahold of her.
In order to get approval for the exorcism, Father Renz had to rule out any "earthly" cause for Anneliese's behavior. So, he began sending her to doctors, who all suggested that she had "something like" epilepsy. Psychiatrists were also brought in to look at Anneliese, but they insisted they couldn't help her with medication, with some apparently telling the father that an exorcism was truly in order.
This made sense because Anneliese was acting completely strange. She would eat bugs, pee on the floor and lick it up, eat coal, and do all sorts of other strange and inexplicable activities.
Supposedly, Anneliese was able to walk with no problem when she encountered Mother Mary. Mother Mary also supposedly took away the demons for three days while Anneliese made her choice.
Anna begged Anneliese not to take the deal but Anneliese decided that she couldn't let so many people suffer because of her, so she decided to choose to live through the suffering so that others wouldn't be sent to hell.
After exhausting medical personnel to look at Anneliese, Father Renz decided to do a test on her to see if she was supernaturally possessed. In his head, he told the demons to flee from Anneliese. After he said this, Anneliese became violent and snatched and broke his rosary. He knew then that he needed to perform an exorcism.
During the exorcisms, which happened twice a week for nearly a year, Anneliese claimed to be possessed by six demons called Judus Iscariot, Lucifer, Hitler, Fallen Priest Fleischmann, Nero, and Cain, many of whom are found in the Bible. I want to give you the opportunity now to listen to the tapes. If this stuff gives you the creeps, I have linked the transcript here so you can read it rather than listen to it.
In 1976, Anneliese died at the age of 26 from starvation and dehydration. She had stopped eating and drinking in the last few months of her life. However, it was clear that anyone who hadn't witnessed the things that happened with Anneliese would think she was abused. She weighed close to 60 lbs (27 Kilos) and was covered in bruises and markings.
Because of this, two of the fathers and Anneliese's parents were charged with negligent homicide. They were originally sentenced to six months in prison, but they had their sentences downgraded to three months of probation.
Later, the movie "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" was made. Anna wanted nothing to do with the movie. She claims that mysterious hauntings and paranormal activity continued after Anneliese died.
MY THEORIES AND OPINIONS
Now comes my opinions and theories behind this case. I have no doubt in my mind that this was probably a case of demonic possession. I do believe that these things can happen. I believe that there is evil in the world. However, I take serious issue with this case because it continually says that Anneliese was a devout believer in God.
THEORY ONE: MOTHER MARY WAS A DEMON
The Bible that I read clearly states that those who long to be forgiven by God with pure intentions are forgiven. It doesn't say that we must bear one another's sins, but rather that we bear one another's burdens. For Mother Mary to come and say that Anneliese had to "bear the sins" of the world in order to keep others out of hell, I just can't agree that this was some holy figure she happened upon during her walk.
It seems obvious that the demons that were inside of Anneliese could torture her or choose to remain silent when they wanted to. I feel that the appearance of Mother Mary was a sick trick by the demons to try to trick Anneliese into giving them her soul...and it worked. I don't think that the real Mother Mary would ask someone to die for the sins of others. It is apparent at the cross that Mary was very disturbed and distraught about her son's wrongful death, but she understood who her son was and what was happening. To will that on to a human wouldn't be a righteous thing to do.
So, long story short, I believe that the demons stopped torturing Anneliese for three days to convince her to save the world and then, when she decided to follow their advice under the guise of Mother Mary, they ramped up their possession.
THEORY TWO: ANNELIESE HAD SCHIZOPHRENIA
I think that it is quite possible that Anneliese had schizophrenia. There has always been a negative stigma toward mental health in the Christian community. I believe it is possible that Anneliese's biblical knowledge combined with her hope to save others and her mental illness could have led many to believe that she was possessed instead of in need of serious health rehabilitation.
THEORY THREE: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
I don't really believe this theory just because there is so much evidence from what I've learned that the church fathers did a lot to seek out physical and psychological health experts to rule out problems Anneliese could have been experiencing, but it is possible that the Catholic Church was using Annliese's unique situation to instill fear in to others.
Think about it: if you read about a young woman who was doing great but all of a sudden fell sick and began seeing demons, you'd be scared and you'd want to know that the church was there to help you. The only evidence I can find that this could be a possibility is that a medical doctor was asked by the priest if they could give Anneliese any medication to keep her painless and they supposedly said "there is no injection to cure the devil."
Later, medical personnel denied saying this in court, so it could be that the Catholic Church played up Annliese's situation to manipulate the masses.
So, what do you think happened to Anneliese Michel? Was she possessed, faking it, suffering for a mental illness, or was she a pawn for the Catholic Church? Let me know in the comments below.
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