Gina Davis as the possessed hostess with the mostest from Fox network’s The Exorcist
I have become a big fan of Fox Network’s TV series The Exorcist – I saw The Exorcist in a movie theater when it first came out. I guess it was the 70s, although I can barely remember anything about it because, at the time, I was stoned out of my mind on weed. It was, after all, the 70s. Over the years, I never really did think about the movie, nor did I follow the career ups and downs of its star, actor Linda Blair. Neither did I remember the basic plot of the film, or even the characters. But when I started watching the TV version of it, it piqued my interest enough to Google it, and the narrative for the TV connection quickly emerged – same demons, different family, with a plot twist of the Pope coming to Chicago where Regan McNeil, the original object of demonic possession, has gone incognito – changed her name and started her own family. The demon – who originally went after her is now trying to get her back through one of her daughters – Cacey. Sorry if a spoiler alert should have been posted, but this show has been on TV for several months and is now into the 9th episode of season one as of this draft. The demon never achieved full integration with Regan, which has incensed it all of these years. Integration is full-on permanent possession; which is why the priest in the original movie took the demon onto himself and then plunged out the window to his death (again getting this from Internet research in present time), so as to not allow the demon full integration with Regan, the pre-teen in the movie.
You may be wondering why I wrote the movie off shortly after it came out (to enormous fanfare, I might add), only to be fascinated by the TV reiteration. It is because in the 40-some year interlude, I went new age and occultic, became a professional psychic, experienced the reality of the demonic realm, sought help from a Christian deliverance expert, became a born again Christian in 2013 and since then have been committed to exposing the unfruitful works of darkness in a way that God chooses, although I have not been that good at detecting how that looks, as far as I can tell.
A little more back story: When I became a Christian I did not really know any other Christians. Some people I knew invited me to their church, which wasn’t really that close to where I lived, but I did start out there, and then after a few months, some people stood up at the service and announced that they would be starting a new church in my area, which I went to for awhile. I could not really relate to the emphasis of the new church: reproducing all the other “outreach” programs that churches in the area do – meals at Thanksgiving, school supplies for kids – these are all things that churches do to fulfill their community services mission statements and keep receiving their 501c status and tax breaks. I have been inclined to observe that many of these programs are more for the churches to fulfill their mission statements than they are addressing the really pressing needs of the underprivileged and poor, such as a system that has an unequal distribution of wealth and privilege based on nepotism, classism and political corruption that makes policies and laws wherein the vulnerable can be exploited and stolen from at every turn. They’d rather you donate to give away reams of turkeys and pumpkin pies, coats, school supplies and cheap plastic trinkets. I actually went to services where the preacher said “God wants you to be rich,” and “God wants you to have a big house.” This sounded, to me, suspiciously like new age prosperity consciousness and when I mentioned this (big mistake) I was told curtly that it was not.
I also went to a “progressive” church for awhile where the good-looking, young, well spoken minister made fun of his fundamentalist upbringing during almost every Sunday “message” (not called sermons in the modern churches), once going so far as to show a slide of a little brick church with a white steeple, that he said “almost made him sick to look at;” made fun of the fundamentalist injunction to read the Bible daily as a means to deepen Christian spirituality, and made a point of advocating for the rights of the LGBT (there was no Q at that time) community and encouraging the congregation to reach out to the gay community almost every week. He said he called fundamentalists “fundies” and could also “smell them in the room,” because he’d come up with them. Unbeknownst to that minister, I’d been calling them fundies for almost twenty years, way before I became born again, and I had never had anywhere close to the amount of sneering disdain this guy had for them, and I’d come up Catholic. So you see, as a person newly committed to following the teachings of Jesus Christ, I was totally perplexed and confused by Christians. This was deeply disappointing to me, since I went to these churches to learn about living a Christian life and to understand the Bible better. The younger churches want to distance themselves from old-school fundamentalists, who are considered ridiculous and uncool, so they seem to settle for a theology of bland elitism,focusing on trending themes in the popular culture.
Click the caption link for an audio clip with screenshots from Season 1, Ep.9 of The Exorcist.