Friday, January 28, 2005

Lighten Up!

I've written about M. Scott Peck before, in which I highlighted his descriptions of the exorcisms he's been involved with. I did this not because I'm into exorcisms, but because he is a reputable scientist who has spent his career telling the psychological establishment (which he summitted) that there may be more to the mystery of human evil than meets the materialist eye.

Well it seems now he's turned these reflections into a book, which may in fact be "the first account of possession and exorcism written by a medical scientist"(C.T.). In it he makes the startling claim that - wait for it - possession is something to be avoided.

But [enter sarcasm] doesn't he get it? Peck clearly has yet to discover the glories of pluralism.

There are some religions, that do everything they can to encourage possession! Indeed, though Sublime may not practice Santeria, this cousin of Voodoo now claims more adherents in the United States today than some mainline denominations, and the ritual animal slaughter necessary for their possession rituals has been legalized by the Supreme Court since 1992.

Had M. Scott Peck read this book he would have realized that possession as practiced by Santeria is nothing to be afraid of. Using the rubric of Liberation Theology (I can't imagine Gustavo would be pleased), De La Torre informs us that in Santeria the voice of the downtrodden is finally being heard - and they're telling us that possession is fun! The author explains to us that
"possession creates a sacred space where the devotees are given the opportunity to express their hostility toward their oppressors"(196).
The next time that silly psychiatrist encounters a possession case, he should just relax! The possessed are just
"openly protest[ing] their existential location by creating a hidden transcript of expression within the safe outlet of the possession"(196).
Jesus doesn't get it either!