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Anneliese Michel The real Emily Rose

#1 User is offline   Craig 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:11 PM

Do you guys think she was really possessed? or was it something else?

Anneliese Michel (21 September 1952 – 1 July 1976) was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism. When she was sixteen, she suffered a severe convulsion and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Soon, she began hallucinating while praying. In 1973, she suffered from depression and began to hear voices telling her that she was “damned” and would “rot in hell”.

In 1968, when she was 17 and still in high school, Anneliese began to suffer from convulsions. Court findings have her experiencing her first epileptic attack in 1969. It was then that a neurologist at the Psychiatric Clinic Wurzburg diagnosed her with Grand Mal epilepsy. Soon, Anneliese started experiencing devilish hallucinations while praying. She also began to hear voices, which told her that she was damned. The court determined that by 1973 Anneliese was suffering from depression and considering suicide. In 1975, convinced that she was possessed, her parents gave up on the doctors from the psychiatric clinic. They chose to rely solely on the exorcisms for healing (washingtonpost.com). Anneliese's symptoms have since been compared with those of schizophrenia, and they may have responded to treatment.

The first unofficial diagnosis was made by an older woman who accompanied Anneliese on a pilgrimage. She noticed that Anneliese avoided walking past a particular image of Jesus, and that she refused to drink water from a holy spring. The woman also claimed that Anneliese smelled hellishly bad (washingtonpost.com). An exorcist from a nearby town examined Anneliese and concluded that she was demonically possessed. After two failed requests, the rite of exorcism was finally granted by the Bishop.

According to The Washington Post, as she grew more convinced that she was possessed, Anneliese began to see the faces of demons on the people and things around her. She was convinced that she had been possessed by several demons, including Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and Fleischmann, a disgraced Frankish Priest from the 16th century. She also mentioned a few other damned souls who had manifested themselves through her.

Director William Friedkin's film The Exorcist was released in Germany in 1974, two years prior to the audio tapings of the exorcisms in which we hear Anneliese's recorded voice. Even though her voice is quite chilling, it bares a striking resemblance to the growling, barking, and inhuman voice of Linda Blair from Friedkin's film. This has caused some people to conclude that Anneliese was simply mimicking what she had seen in the film, if she had in fact seen the film. Upon its release in Germany, the movie created a sort of paranormal hysteria that swept the nation. European Psychiatrists reported an increase of obsessive ideas among their patients. The movie however, does not provide explanation for the years prior to 1974, in which she was experiencing numerous other afflictions that she and those close to her had attributed to demonic possession.

Anneliese carried out a number of highly disturbing actions. She licked her own urine off the floor. She ate flies, spiders, and coal. She bit off the head of a dead bird. In one instance, she crawled under a table and barked like a dog for two days. She could often be heard screaming through the walls for hours. Tearing off her clothes and urinating on the floor became a regular occurrence.

Anneliese endured 67 rites of exorcism over a period of 10 months. Over time, the ligaments in her knees ruptured due to the 600 genuflections that she performed obsessively during each exorcism session. A genuflection is an act of reverence consisting of falling onto one or both knees (called a "double genuflection"). On June 30, 1976, during her last rite of exorcism before her death, too weak and emaciated to perform the genuflections on her own, Anneliese's parents stood and helped carry her through the motions.

Some experts believe that that the priests who performed the exorcisms provided Anneliese with *the contents of her psychotic behavior.* Psychiatrists who testified during the trial spoke about the "Doctrinaire Induction", which in relation to Anneliese explains that she accepted her behavior as a form of demonic possession, mainly because the exorcists introduced much of the idea to her and reinforced it with each exorcism (moviesonline.ca). In 1984, German bishops and theologians petitioned Rome to change the exorcism rite. They concluded that speaking directly or "imperatively" to the Devil, that is, "I command thee, unclean spirit . . . " only confirms to the patient that they are without a doubt possessed.

Anneliese was admitted to an unnamed psychiatric hospital did not improve Michel’s health. Moreover, her depression began to deepen. She grew increasingly frustrated with medical intervention as it did not help. Long-term medical treatment proved unsuccessful; her condition, including her depression, worsened with time. Having centered her life around devout Catholic faith, Michel began to attribute her condition to demonic possession. Michel became intolerant of sacred places and objects, such as the crucifix, which she attributed to her own demonic possession. Throughout the course of the religious rites Michel underwent, she was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, which she may or may not have stopped taking.

In June 1970, Michel suffered a third seizure at the psychiatric hospital she had been staying in and was prescribed anti-convulsants for the first time. The name of this drug is not known (Gambutrol, mentioned in a movie loosely based on her story, is a fictional drug) and it did not bring about immediate alleviation of Michel’s symptoms. She also continued talking about what she called “devil faces”, seen at various times of the day. Michel became convinced that conventional medicine was of no help. Growing increasingly adamant that her illness was of a spiritual kind, she appealed to the Church to perform an exorcism on her. That same month, she was prescribed another drug, Aolept (pericyazine), which is a phenothiazine with general properties similar to those of chlorpromazine: pericyazine is used in the treatment of various psychoses, including schizophrenia and disturbed behavior. In November 1973, Michel started her treatment with Tegretol (carbamazepine), which is an anti-seizure drug and mood stabilizer. Michel took this medicine frequently, until shortly before her death.

Anneliese went on a pilgrimage to San Damiano with a good friend of the family, Thea Hein, who regularly organized such pilgrimages to “holy places” not officially recognized by the church. Because Anneliese was unable to walk past a crucifix and refused to drink the water of a holy spring, her escort concluded that she was suffering from demonic possession. Both Anneliese and her family became convinced she was possessed and consulted several priests, asking for an exorcism. The priests declined, recommended the continuation of medical treatment and informed the family that exorcisms required the bishop's permission.

Eventually, in a nearby town, they came across vicar Ernst Alt, who, after seeing Anneliese, declared that she didn't “look like an epileptic” and that he didn't see her having seizures. He believed she was suffering from demonic possession.[2] Alt urged the bishop to allow an exorcism. In September 1975, Bishop Josef Stangl granted Father Renz permission to exorcise according to the Rituale Romanum of 1614, but ordered total secrecy. Renz performed the first session on 24 September.

Once convinced of her possession, Anneliese, her parents, and the exorcists stopped seeking medical treatment, and put her fate solely into the hands of the exorcism rites. Sixty-seven exorcism sessions, one or two each week, lasting up to four hours, were performed over about ten months in 1975 and 1976. At some point, Michel began talking increasingly about dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church, and refused to eat. At her own request, doctors were no longer being consulted.

On 1 July 1976, Anneliese died in her sleep. The autopsy report stated her cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration from almost a year of semi-starvation while the rites of exorcism were performed.[5] She weighed 68 pounds (30.91 kilograms).

After an investigation, the state prosecutor maintained that Michel’s death could have been prevented even one week before she died.

In 1976, the state charged Anneliese's parents and priests Father Ernst Alt and Father Arnold Renz with neglectful homicide. During the case Anneliese's body was exhumed and tapes were played to the court of the exorcisms over the eleven months leading to her death. The parents were defended by Erich Schmidt-Leichner. The state asked that no involved parties be jailed; instead the recommended sentence for the priests was a fine. The prosecution asked the parents be recused from punishment as they had "suffered enough".

The trial started on 30 March 1978, in the district court and drew intense interest. Before the court, the doctors claimed the woman was not possessed, although Dr. Richard Roth, who was asked for medical help by Father Alt, allegedly said after the exorcism he witnessed on 30 May 1976, that “there is no injection against the devil, Anneliese”. The priests were defended by lawyers retained by the Church, and the parents were defended by Erich Schmidt-Leichner. Schmidt-Leichner claimed that the exorcism was legal and that the German constitution protected citizens in the unrestricted exercise of their religious beliefs.

The defense played tapes recorded at the exorcism sessions, sometimes featuring what was claimed to be “demons arguing”, as proof that Michel was indeed possessed. Both priests presented their deeply held conviction that she was possessed and that she was finally freed by exorcism just before she died. Ultimately, the accused were found guilty of manslaughter resulting from negligence and were sentenced to six months in jail (which was later suspended) and three years of probation.

It was a far lighter sentence than anticipated but it was more than demanded by the prosecution, who had asked that the priests only be fined and that the parents be found guilty but not punished. During the trial, the major lingering issues were related to the Church itself. A not-guilty verdict could be seen as opening the gate to more exorcism attempts, and possibly unfortunate outcomes. But for the most part, experienced observers believed the effect would be the opposite: that merely bringing charges of negligent homicide against priests and parents would provoke changes and more caution in the carrying out of exorcisms.

Before the trial, the parents asked the authorities for permission to exhume the remains of their daughter. They did so as a result of a message received from a Carmelite nun from the district of Allgäu in southern Bavaria. The nun had told the parents that a vision had revealed to her that their daughter’s body was still intact and that this authenticated the supernatural character of her case. The official reason presented by the parents to authorities was that Michel had been buried in undue hurry in a cheap coffin. Almost two years after the burial, on February 25, 1978, her remains were replaced in a new oak coffin lined with tin.

The official reports state that the body bore the signs of consistent deterioration. The accused exorcists were discouraged from seeing the remains of Michel. Father Arnold Renz later stated that he had been prevented from entering the mortuary.
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#2 User is offline   Jack Frost 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:21 PM

Nope, evidences clearly show she had epileptic attacks which were not treated since she refused to take medicine. She studied to become a school teacher, and she though if she takes medicine, everyone would think she was insane.

on the other hand, it was the time when German Catholic Church split into two groups, old traditional (who believed Devil is pretty much real and everything comes from demons and God) and other, new Church, which accepted science and see Devil and God as symbol for good and evil in man....

So, Traditionalist saw this as perfect opportunity to "save another possessed soul from the Devil" and bring back believers (since they were rapidly losing to the New Reformist Church). She died from starvation and dehydration, and physical\mental torture priest inflicted upon her (although, not on purpose. It happened via exorcism which lasted for three months if I remember correctly).

Both parents and priest were brought in court for help-in-suicide case, but judge found them not guilty. (Well, they didn't kill her on purpose after all.)

there are several documented and books about this case, I suggest you read it. The facts are clear on whatever she was possessed or not.
You know you are a true horror fan when someone sees your DVD collection and accuse you of being a Satanist. :wub:
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#3 User is offline   Craig 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:52 PM

Yeah I don't believe she was possessed, been reading about her case for a while.
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#4 User is offline   Jack Frost 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:55 PM

:rofl: thing is, no one believes she was possessed. :rofl:
You know you are a true horror fan when someone sees your DVD collection and accuse you of being a Satanist. :wub:
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