My Meeting With the Exorcist, Part 2: Or, How I Finally Left the Para-Closet

Posted: January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Christianity

(Read the above carefully: it’s NOT anti-Christian; it’s saying, we have to walk the walk.)

I, Kirsten, am a Christian. I’m not proud of what some Christians say about paranormal investigators. I don’t read the Bible as a text that condemns ‘alternate’ understandings and expressions of spirituality–in fact, I believe the Bible supports those understandings; but that is not the topic of this post–I wanted to offer you all an update on that extraordinary meeting I had with Pastor C. and the exorcist. Before I can do that, I need to give you all some background information and then . . . onward.

The PHW have been exceptionally busy this month, with a home investigation in Ventura, an important meeting with producers for a scripted show based on our lives and investigations together, and another investigation at the Lincoln Heights Jail in downtown Los Angeles. Since the two investigations were back-to-back, Erin stayed with me overnight and attended church services with me (even agreeing to help me with an art project for the “Souper Bowl of Caring” which involved coloring at Starbucks).

We arrived at the church, and I showed Erin around and introduced her to the pastor. He made some cryptic remark about our meeting with the exorcist showing up in the sermon, but I figured he might include a passing reference to it, at the most. I was about to be seriously shocked.

The topic was Jonah and Nineveh. I wasn’t terribly familiar with that story, but it concerns God’s command that Jonah go there and convert the masses. Nobody, apparently, wanted to go to Nineveh. The metaphor was coming together—Pastor C. drew the comparison with himself not wanting to “go there” when it came to certain areas under his pastoral care; and then he said it: Paranormal phenomena always seemed to him explainable by science, and if science didn’t have an answer now, certainly someone would explain all the weirdness in the future; however, his world view had been ‘seriously challenged’ by that meeting with the exorcist and me, and since then he has re-thought his position on supernatural events (as a side note, it seems odd to me that anyone who preaches the Bible would find supernatural events in this world to be odd, impossible, or easily explained by the gods of Science; but that’s a topic for another post).You could have knocked over Erin and me over with a feather. He looked directly at us as he stated that he was no longer going to ‘run away’ from things he did not understand.

In order to fully grasp the significance of the pastor’s message for me, (and I think for Erin, too) you have to understand what most of our society thinks about paranormal investigators. In spite of the television shows and the general interest in the paranormal, a group of women who go out and look for evidence that the physically dead are still communicating with us are considered eccentric at best, laughable and gullible at worst. There is no better way to marginalize someone than to suggest that she is nuts or deluded. My version of reality doesn’t fit with materialism, which is the dominant secular religion of American culture. We worship Science without truly understanding what real science is. In our paranormal groups, we feel compelled to say that everything we do is ‘scientific’ because we are so afraid to say it’s an art, as well. Science is the ultimate arbiter of truth in our culture; if ‘science’ says it’s real, we all accept it. Never mind the fact that ‘science’ has changed its mind multiple times on basic issues concerning what food we should eat and what medications we should take. Science is a product of culture and history just like every other field of inquiry, and changing paradigms in science upend the entire enterprise on a regular basis. Yet, we deify what happens in labs and vilify other ways of knowing, other areas of expertise.

It’s frightening to me that materialism has taken over our minds to such an extent that we have to meet in secret and find shadow communities to share our most basic, human experiences that fall outside the confines of what is acceptable to discuss in public. The price for me has been high: I have lost job offers and credibility at work due to my openness about the paranormal. I have endured jokes and sarcastic remarks from family and even some friends (ex friends, I should clarify). When I meet someone, I hide a big chunk of my life from then until I am sure that they won’t treat me as if I were a gullible fool or an oddball to be dismissed.

Therefore, when Pastor C. declared that he wasn’t running away from these very real experiences that don’t fit with his worldview, it was a revolutionary act. When he dared to question his own worldview, it was an even more subversive act. Pastor C. has turned out to be the rarest of all individuals: someone who is committed to live what he preaches.

Erin and I stayed for a few minutes after the service feeling vindicated in a way that we hadn’t thought possible. True, nobody knew to whom the pastor was directing his remarks; but that changed last night. During a small group meeting, one of the ladies finally came out with it: “just what were you referring to that made you change your mind about the paranormal? You’re like a whole different person now!” Pastor C. waffled a bit, not wanting to give me away or make it personal. It was right then and there that I decided that I had had enough.

“It was partly about me,” I said, “I’m coming out of the paranormal closet. It takes more energy to keep this secret than it does to simply explain it.” After the initial weirdness of that confession and some awkward silence, everyone seemed relieved. After the meeting ended, one of the ladies came up to me and said, “I just love you!” and hugged me. Soon thereafter, there was a little circle of people around me who wanted my phone number and email address. I have a feeling that leaving the closet at this particular church is going to open the floodgates for all people who share extraordinary experiences and have no one to talk to about it.

Now they have Pastor C. and me. From there, I’m thinking that the revolution will catch fire. What is it, exactly, that is changing here? First of all, there is an exhilaration one feels when you are honest about your life and experiences, and the reaction isn’t one of polite dismissal or open and rude skepticism (I love skeptics as long as they are polite and open minded). For me, the revolution is about accepting the possibility that we don’t understand the whole of reality, and that science can only go so far in explaining the non-material aspects of ourselves and our universe. This is changing at the cutting edge of physics, however, as more and more scientists are beginning to see the implications of their work at the quantum level. I am not a physicist working in this field, only a layperson who has read extensively on the topic in books designed for the non-expert, but I can affirm that physicists are (and have, for decades in some cases) observing phenomena that do not support a materialist vision/version of the universe (or multiple, interacting universes, but that is another story).

It is not only in the realm of the Humanities that the human spirit is emerging as eternal and non-material. Reincarnation has been studied and thoroughly investigated by scientists and academics of sterling reputation. Let’s not forget the caliber of the men and women of the original Society for Psychical Research in London, who thoroughly and persuasively made the case for human survival of death in the late 1800s! Anyone who cares to put in the time will find abundant ‘evidence’ for what Marsha, Erin, Jennifer and I experience on a fairly regular basis. The human personality, intelligence, soul and spirit do not end at death. Why is that not cause for celebration? And, isn’t that what Christianity has been saying all along?

Maybe we are much more terrified that we, these imperfect beings, might be around for the very, very long haul. For Erin and me, however, the fact that Religion—in a small and local way—just validated us and what we do is worth more than words can say. So I leave it here, and I thank you for reading.

Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

Comments
  1. Inessa De says:

    Congratulations, Kirsten!

    FINALLY you are investigating this “para stuff” on a level that is up to your PhD. I had hoped for a long time that you would geet into REINCARNATION!

    It will also be interesting to see, if you’re going to focus on “serious” ASTROLOGY and investigate what it says about the subject in terms of YOUR OWN life. For this you’ll have to have your CHARTS done – if you don’t already have it – and have it interpreted by a very good astrologer. (Mary Plumb in Ashland OR comes to mind, who also writes for the Mag. Mountain Astrologer…I can highly recommend her and a look at that publication.)

    From your chart interpretaiton you could learn a lot about yourself and some of your “strange” proclivities (drug awareness as a youngster, etc.) that you previously talked about. AND it could also tell you WHY you experienced certain life-events, like illnesses, etc.

    A further step of investigation would be to undergo a “past live regression” session with a reputable & experienced psychologist who does this sort of thing. ( You live in CA and there are many!) This could actually – if you can be hypnotized – allow you to experience some of your previous lifes. (I have done this and found it mind-boggling! – Now I’m able to put myself into such a “hypnotic state” and have learned MUCH MUCH more about my previous existences!)

    Good Luck!

    INESSA
    I’m a friend of your mother’s and, by the way, have studied Astrology seriously at the same time as I had a teaching appointment at the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin, Germany in the mid 90’s. – I have also been in touch with Mary P. many times…I respect her knowledge a lot!

  2. Gregory M Parnas says:

    hi……my name is Greg. I enjoyed reading your blog. I am a born again Christian. I became a Christian about 25 years ago….. Since that time I have come to have some amazing “spiritual” stories. All Christians will have some serious revelations about who we are, what our purpose is and how we walk with the Lord, Jesus.

    Everyday is a spiritual battle…this is a Biblical truism…. It is scriptural and it is a great journey of releasing fear with the power of Love.

    But you must know by now, the devil is a real created being that has been denied entry into Heaven. God sent Jesus to prepare us to meet the Creator.

    What you seem to love discussing is really just your own revelations into coming into the knowledge of Christ.

    I was born on the Epiphany (Jan. 6)….I have seen my share of possession and even a bit of my own conversion, from flesh bound sinner to “revelated” believer. My faith in Jesus is not a joke…..its as tangible as my double cheeseburger….

    I want you to know that I think it will be getting a bit more threatening for believers, as God is also a refining fire. Folks need Jesus…..God certainly has a way of refining.

    God is light. As long as you remain a true witness for the Gospel, God will use you as one of his soldiers. You are not to use the grace of Christ in an unworthy manner….be very aware of how Jehovah commands you to be in the face of evil.

    The church of Christ is a light AND a sword. Outside of ones own personal decisions, demons are at bay by the light of Christ…..

    By the power of the Father, through the blood of the lamb….through the comfort and protection of the Holy Spirit…..we are saved and made part of the Holiest of Armys…..

    I do not take the devil lightly..God has already defeated satan…..its up to us to remain in Gods Holy light. And it is through His powerful name that demons retreat….not because I want to be entertained by spirits, or that somebody wants to “feel nice” about their house.

    I have lived in LA for 50 years….I have my witness…..but remember God’s witness about Jesus…by Jesus, we expel demons…by repenting of personal sin and accepting the Holy Spirit, we may descern evil in the world; spiritual or otherwise; even in our own person….. Be aware that you may be called to use the name of Jesus to repel an attack. God uses anything and anybody He wants to bring praise and worship to himself. The revelation is a wonderful peace in the face of judgment, death, and a world of willful, stubborn sinners embracing demonism and chaos….

    I wish you the best….the devil should never feel comfortable around believers with faith.

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