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SHHHH - Be Vewy, Vewy qwiet! We's hunting CONSPIRACIES! Yes that's right! Watch out secret government cabals! Look over your shoulders Men-In-Black! Check your altitude variance you silly flying saucer folks! Because once again Conspiracy Journal is here to rip off the veils of intrigue and secrecy from those dedicated to keeping mankind in the dark.
This week Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such icy-finger tales as:
- How U.S. Government Spun the UFO Tale -
- Massive Solar Flare Could Have Caused 8th Century Radiation Burst -
- Vietnam and High (Humanoid) Strangeness in Wartime -
- There’s Something in the City -
AND: Church Sets Up An Exorcist Hotline
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- OFFICIAL OBFUSCATION OF UFOS DEPARTMENT -
How U.S. Government Spun the UFO Tale
By Jackie Loohauis-Bennett of the Journal Sentinel
Richard Thieme watches world governments watch UFOs.
An expert on computer security who counts the Pentagon and the National Security Agency among his clients, the Fox Point resident was an Episcopal cleric who is now, says CNN, a member of "the cyber avant-garde." He's challenged audiences around the world with speeches that mind-meld together spirituality, culture and 21st-century science.
The latest challenge from Thieme? "UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry" (Anomalist Books; $29.95), a 580-page epic sure to become the bible of Unidentified Flying Object research.
Thieme joined "The UFO History Group" consortium of researchers/writers, including Michael Swords and Robert Powell, who spent four years delving into the response the U.S. government and other world agencies have given the UFO phenomenon. The group used government documents and other archival sources to explore what military and intelligence insiders think about UFOs and their possible threat to world security.
The book includes Wisconsin UFO sightings - a 1951 report from St. Croix and Marinette in 1956.
"UFOs and Government" readers might find the book unsettling for what it reveals about how governments operate and about the UFO phenomenon itself.
Here's what Thieme has to say about the subject.
Q. How did you get involved in this project?
A. I was invited by Robert Powell, one of the main organizers. He knew I was a writer and speaker and had been quietly investigating the subject for 30 years. I had talked to a fighter pilot decorated in Vietnam, and the subject of UFOs came up and the close encounters, and I said, "What I read is that you chase them and we can't catch them." He said, "That's right." He kind of turned away. He didn't like having things we can't catch. I used my situation as a priest to have conversations with people in security and intelligence and with people in Wisconsin - credible people who saw credible things. I used my skills as a thinker and researcher to separate the considerable amount of chaff from the wheat. I did editing and rewriting chapters for the book.
Q. What were some of the obstacles you faced in collecting information? Any Men in Black knock on your door?
A. No Men in Black. Everything in the book is documented within the government. We include nearly 1,000 references in nearly 600 pages and as little speculation as possible. We don't discuss aliens. We leave the readers to conclude based on the government's own documents what they think might be real about this.
Q. Give me some adjectives to describe the way the U.S. government has handled the UFO issue?
A. Disingenuously. Ultimately with contempt for the reasoning ability of normal citizens, with disregard for credible officers who made credible reports and were dismissed as idiots. These were life-changing experiences for people.
Q. Describe the history of the U.S. government and military response.
A. The response to the phenomenon generally was to formulate as a policy decision to ridicule and debunk reports in the interest of national security. The CIA and Air Force made a reasonable decision in light of the Soviet Union threat to spoof the phenomenon, to cover a possible nuclear attack. And the reason that was a concern was that in 1952, there were so many sightings over Washington, D.C., so dramatic, that the calls coming into the Pentagon overwhelmed the switchboard and there was a genuine concern that there was a denial of service attack giving the Soviet Union a jump in an attack. The Robertson Panel made the decision to ridicule people. Illusion, misdirection and ridicule are the three legs of the stool of deception. I've talked to pilots who saw a UFO and their superiors said, "You must have been drinking." All you needed to do is have your eyesight or your drinking questioned and you didn't fly again. I'm willing to talk about this subject because I don't have much to lose.
Q. What is the biggest revelation you found in your research?
A. That the documentation represents a compelling, accurate historical narrative of at best government obfuscation and at worst manipulation of the facts in the interest of national security.
Q. If I say "Roswell Event," you say . . . ?
A. We have a sidebar about it in the book. There is no single coherent narrative that connects all of the dots in the Roswell UFO case, so we remain agnostic.
Q. How does the U.S. government's handling compare to that of other countries?
A. We have a chapter, and we have little sections on Belgium and Brazil, where there have been major events. Other countries pursued this in light of their own national frameworks, but the U.S. has taken the lead. We know that the Belgians and French present compelling cases that are inexplicable in conventional terms. The French conducted a national inquiry using the national police force. We have statements from members of other governments advocating a global response to the phenomenon using the United Nations. But the French government is withholding documents.
Q. So are UFOs really extraterrestrial visitors?
A. We can neither confirm or deny that hypothesis, but the extraterrestrial hypothesis is suggested as one reasonable explanation for the data that challenged the government to respond for the last 60 years. An informed, critical reader, we hope, will conclude that if the nose of the camel is inside the tent there might be a camel outside the tent.
I don't think there is any way to read this scholarly work without concluding that the Air Force lied, that the phenomenon is real and that the extraterrestrial hypothesis is on the table. The sociological and psychological question that remains for us investigators is: "How is it that reasonable, seemingly open-minded people can confront the data we present and dismiss it with a smirk or the statement: 'It can't be possible' "?
Source: JSON Online
- DUCK AND COVER DEPARTMENT -
Massive Solar Flare Could Have Caused 8th Century Radiation Burst
A mysterious spike in atmospheric carbon-14 levels 12 centuries ago might be a sign the Sun is capable of producing solar storms dozens of times worse than anything we’ve ever seen, a team of physicists calculates in a paper published in Nature.
Carbon-14 (14C) is created when high-energy radiation strikes the Earth’s upper atmosphere, converting nitrogen-14 into carbon-14, which eventually makes its way into plants via photosynthesis.
Earlier this year, a team of Japanese physicists discovered a spike in 14C in tree rings of Japanese cedars dating from the 774-775 growing season. But they were unable to explain where that 14C might have come from because all possible explanations appeared unlikely.
But Adrian Melott, a physicist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, who is the lead author of the new study, says the Japanese team made a miscalculation in ruling out one of these possibilities — a giant solar storm.
The problem, Melott says, is that the Japanese team treated solar storms as if they shone like lightbulbs, radiating energy uniformly in all directions. But actually they produce “blobs” of energetic plasma that explode outwards unevenly. Adjusting for that, he says, reduces the size of the solar storm needed to produce the observed 14C spike from 1000 times larger than anything known, to only 10 to 20 times larger — meaning that a giant solar storm is suddenly back on the table as a reasonable explanation.
Furthermore, observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have found that sunlike stars are capable of generating super-storms of this type every few hundred to 1,000 years. This doesn’t mean the Sun does the same, “but it suggests it’s reasonable”, Melott says.
Other possible explanations for the spike appear unlikely. Radiation from a supernova explosion has enough power, but the supernova would have to have been within about 100 light years, Melott says. “Such an event would have been blindingly bright in the sky, much brighter than a full moon. It would have been bright like that for months and could not have failed to be noted by every civilization on Earth.”
Another possibility is a gamma ray burst from a more distant supernova. But such bursts are rare and produce searchlight-like beams of radiation unlikely to hit us. “I don’t think it’s likely,” Melott says.
If the 774-775 event was indeed a flare, it’s a disturbing find. Such a flare would be about 60 times more powerful than the 1989 solar storm that knocked out power to much of Quebec for nine hours on a cold winter night. Multiply that by 60, and add two decades of increased technological vulnerability, and the effects might be disastrous. “A lot of people could die,” Melott says. “You could have power out for months or longer — no refrigerated food, no food being transported to all the people who live in big cities.”
- STRANGE CREATURES FROM TIME AND SPACE DEPARTMENT -
Vietnam and High (Humanoid) Strangeness in Wartime
By Micah Hanks
There are few periods in World History that become murkier than those during which conflict erupts. Within this already darkened jurisdiction of past studies, perhaps no era is quite so strange and troubling as those years during which the infamous Vietnam conflict had been waged.
Falling between the final years of the 1960s, the United States became embroiled in the conflict with the intention of aiding South Vietnam, and of course, to bolster the ongoing effort toward the spread of democracy in parts of the world still riddled by Communism. So far as historic periods of conflict are concerned, Vietnam is indeed remembered as one of the darker periods in history; and within its shadows of obscurity, there are nonetheless a number of curious accounts and seldom-spoken mysteries which have prevailed over the years, begging questions as to what kinds of odd operations might have been taking place “behind the scenes,”so to speak.
That is, of course, if such strange stories can be believed. Indeed, some of the more bizarre accounts from the Vietnam years are so strange, they might likely fall beyond the jurisdictions of what can even be considered “believable.” And yet, the stories persist… which include accounts of friendly giants, glowing nonhumans, and winged wonder-women drifting about the deep jungles by cover of night.
The stories of strange humanoid beings appearing during the Vietnam conflict are many and varied, with one of the more memorable accounts stemming from the summer of 1969, near the Da Nang province, where Earl Morrison and his company witnessed something truly out of the ordinary. He and his two companions had been stationed during a watch above a bunker near the city of Da Nang, when they three of them began to notice a strange figure moving toward them from overhead in the distance:
“…It looked like a woman. A naked woman. She was black. Her skin was black, her body was black, the wings were black, everything was black. But it glowed. It glowed in the night—kind of a greenish cast to it.
"There was a glow on her and around her. Everything glowed. Looked like she glowed and threw off a radiance. We saw her arms toward the wings and they looked like regular molded arms, each with a hand, and, fingers and everything, but they had skin from the wings going over them. And when she flapped her wings, there was no noise at first. It looked like her arms didn’t have any bones in them, because they were limber just like a bat.
"She started going over us, and we still didn’t hear anything. She was right above us, and when she got over the top of our heads she was maybe six or seven feet up.
"We couldn’t do anything. We didn’t know what to do. We just froze. We just watched what was going over because we couldn’t believe our eyes. … So we watched her go straight over the top of us, and still she didn’t make any noise flapping her wings. She blotted out the moon once—that’s how close she was to us … As we watched her—she got about ten feet or so away from us—we started hearing her wings flap. And it sounded, you know, like regular wings flapping. And she just started flying off and we watched her for quite a while. The total time when we first saw her and could almost define her until we lost sight of her and were unable to define her was between three or four minutes.”
Fortean researcher John Keel featured this strange story in his book, The Mothman Prophecies, as it obviously appeared to detail the presence of a large, winged humanoid, similar to later reports of a creature allegedly seen around Point Pleasant, West Virginia, around the same time.
There were, however, other reports of so-called “mystery beings” seen during the Vietnam years. In his book UFOs in Wartime, author Mack Maloney recounts a curious story where one soldier claimed he was saved by a “giant” that appeared and attacked an approaching enemy. As this rather odd and whimsical story goes, the “witness” claimed to have been assisting a landed helicopter, which subsequently took off after being repaired, leaving the witness slightly disoriented and, eventually, lost in the jungle. Soon afterward, he would claim that he heard the voices of oncoming Vietnamese soldiers, and just as one had attempted to confront him, he heard a loud crack, followed by the appearance of the dead enemy soldier in front of him. There, behind the dead would-be-assasin, stood an eight-foot-tall giant, “dressed perfectly” and clad in an odd looking helmet, who told him to return to his helicopter.
Not all reports of encounters with beings during the Vietnam years were quite so benevolent, however. One story, shared in Martin S. Caidin’s book Natural or Supernatural? detailed a peculiar story the author claimed to have collected from one GI, who along with his company, made the claim of having met a group of terrifying, glowing yellow humanoids that were impervious to gunfire.
The story had been related to Caidin by a U.S Marine calling himself “David E. Gower,” having allegedly transpired on December 17, 1974 while serving the Fifth Special Forces Group, Marine Detachment. It had been an ambush, and Gower and his team had been carried upriver by boat, and deployed carrying Browning Automatic Rifles, a 45 caliber Thompson Subgun, four M16 rifles and an M-79 genade launcher. As Gower and his company traveled along, they reached a clearing where they found that none of the usual outdoor sounds–not even the familiar of sound of insects common to the humid jungle landscape–could be heard.
At this time, one of the soldiers became aware of a large deposit of strange-looking fecal matter; shortly thereafter, the soldiers claimed to see at least three large, yellow ape-like beings emerge from the nearby forest. These creatures were between seven and eight feet tall, yellow in color, and glowing. At first, Gower and his company remained concealed, but upon initiating a retreat, were then pursued by these beasts, which Gower claimed were essentially impervious to the heavy fire of their weaponry. Miraculously, Gower and his company said they made it back to their boats, and claimed that the entire way back down the river, they were able to see the bright glowing in the distance along the shoreline, presumably emanating off the bodies of these terrifying creatures.
Can such strange claims of encounters with mystery humanoids be taken as anything more than mere myth and fantasy? While the claims of soldiers during times of conflict may lend themselves to a bit less scrutiny than those of the average witness, many of these stories are simply so bizarre that to take them literally might force one to change his or her entire conception of what constitutes “reality.” So what can be made of tales like these… are they perhaps the best evidence for mystery humanoids in our midst, by virtue of having been reported by various officers during the Vietnam conflict? Or are they simply proof that a teller of tall-tales will go to great lengths to fabricate a good story, and despite their professional disposition? Indeed, as we see here, it begins to become hard to tell at times…
Source: Mysterious Universe
- STRANGE AND MYSTERIOUS DEATHS DEPARTMENT -
Family Claims Scientist Was Killed By CIA
A new lawsuit has dredged up a 60-year-old Cold War mystery surrounding the death of an Army bioweapons researcher who was given LSD by the CIA.
The government says Frank Olson jumped to his death in 1959 after he was given the hallucinatory drug as part of a top-secret CIA mind control program codenamed MK-ULTRA.
Dr Olson's sons now claim they have evidence that he did not commit suicide, but was instead pushed out of a 13th story New York City highrise window by CIA operatives who feared he was getting cold feet about the intelligence agency's tactics.
Eric and Nils Olson, of Frederick, Maryland, are seeking unspecified compensatory damages in the lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday.
Their lawyer, Scott D Gilbert, said the brothers also want to see a broad range of documents related to Dr Olson's death and other matters that they say the CIA has withheld from them since the death.
Mr Olson was a bioweapons expert at Fort Detrick, the Army's biological weapons research center in Maryland.
The lawsuit claims the CIA killed Dr Olson when he developed misgivings after witnessing extreme interrogations in which they allege the CIA committed murder using biological agents Olson had developed.
The CIA had a program in the 1950s and '60s called MK-ULTRA, which involved brainwashing and administering experimental drugs like LSD to unsuspecting individuals. The project was investigated by Congress in the 1970s.
Olson consumed a drink laced with LSD by CIA agents on November 19, 1953, the suit says. Later that month, after being taken to New York City purportedly for a 'psychiatric' consultation, Olson plunged to his death.
At the time - when Eric and Nils Olson were 9 and 5 years old, respectively - the CIA said he died in an accident and did not divulge to his family that Olsen had been given LSD.
But in 1975, a commission headed by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller released a report on CIA abuses that included a reference to an Army scientist who had jumped from a New York hotel days after being slipped LSD in 1953.
Family members threatened to sue, but President Gerald Ford invited the family to the White House, assuring them they would be given all the government's information. CIA Director William Colby handed over documents and the family accepted a $750,000 settlement to avert a lawsuit.
In an email, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood said that while the agency doesn't comment on matters before U.S. courts, 'CIA activities related to MK-ULTRA have been thoroughly investigated over the years, and the agency cooperated with each of those investigations.'
She noted that tens of thousands of pages related to the program have been released to the public.
In a statement, Eric Olson said that the CIA has not given a complete picture of what happened to his father.
'The evidence shows that our father was killed in their custody,' he said. 'They have lied to us ever since, withholding documents and information, and changing their story when convenient.'
Source: The Daily Mail
- ANOTHER REASON TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER DEPARTMENT -
There’s Something in the City
By Nick Redfern
Any mention of large, serpent-like monsters lurking in the waters of the British Isles inevitably conjures up imagery of the nation’s most famous cryptozoological creature, Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Or monsters. Indeed, if not some strange Fortean phantasm (which I don’t actually rule out), then there would have to be an entire colony of such things in the loch, given that sightings have been reported for many a year. But, regardless of the true nature of Nessie, sometimes it’s not necessary to travel to ancient lochs to find tales of terrible things lurking in the dark depths. Sometimes, you can find them right in the heart of the city, which is something I note in my new book, Monster Diary: On the Road in Search of Strange and Sinister Creatures.
Back in the late 1980s, when I was working as both a fork-lift and a van driver for a company in the West Midlands, England town of Walsall, I heard a number of noteworthy stories pertaining to sightings of huge violent eels, which were said to roam the dark, winding canals of both the nearby city of Birmingham, and certain rural areas of the adjacent county of Staffordshire. Rather like some 1950s era street gang from the Bronx, they seemed to travel in packs, prepared to take on just about anything and everything that had the misfortune to cross their path.
One memorable account originated with a truck driver who recalled such a sighting somewhere in Birmingham on a summer’s day in the late 1980s. It reportedly “shook the staff rigid” at a store that overlooked the stretch of canal in question. In this case, the mighty animal of the waters was described as being dark brown in color and said to be no less than 15 feet in length. Supposedly, it had briefly been seen by an employee who, completely mesmerized by its presence, watched it “circling” one area of the canal frequented by a large number of semi-tame ducks that the staff at the store regularly fed with bread during their daily lunch break.
Equally intriguing was the story of Norman Dodd, who lived for many years in Scotland and who, in the 1970s, was a regular commuter to central England on business. It was at some point in the very hot and memorable summer of 1976 that he, too, had a remarkable encounter that took place in the Cannock Chase woods, which are no more than a 45-minute drive from the city of Birmingham and are a hotbed of seemingly never-ending supernatural strangeness.
When I interviewed Dodd years later, he could not recall the exact location where the incident had taken place, but he was able to state with certainty that it was a small pool of no more than 20 feet by 30 feet that existed at the time, and that he is fairly sure was “not far from [the village of] Slitting Mill and perhaps a mile back into the [Cannock] Chase.”
Dodd stated that he had parked his Ford Cortina on the grassy verge of the road that was adjacent to the pool and was munching on his lunch and reading a newspaper. “It was a bloody stifling day. Remember that summer, how hot it was? I remember swigging something to drink and having a bite when there was something moving right on the bank [of the pool].”
He had been startled to see a creature, which he estimated to be around six or seven feet long, slowly surface from the water and then proceeded to “bask” on the banks of the pool. “It wriggled like an eel,” said Dodd, adding that “its body seemed to sort of shake or wobble as it moved.”
Dodd further explained that the animal had a serpent-like head, a “thick body,” and an oily-colored skin. It seemed wholly unconcerned by his presence. “I know it saw me—or saw the car, definitely—because it looked right in this direction and then just went back to what it was up to: just laying there.”
But what was most puzzling of all to the shocked Dodd was the realization that the animal seemed to have “flippers near the front, or little feet.” He conceded that it may very well have had similar flippers or feet at its rear but that the “back-end never came right out of the water…” Dodd watched astonished, and not a little concerned, too, for at least 20 minutes, after which time the animal simply slid softly back into the pond and vanished from sight.
He concluded: “I wondered how a small pond like that might feed an animal that big for food [sic]. But what about its feet or the flippers: does that mean it might have been able to go from pool to pool for fish and things?” These were questions that neither Dodd nor I could ever really answer.
But, what the story of Norman Dodd and those that surfaced out of the English city of Birmingham in the 1980s do demonstrate is that it’s not always in the wild and inhospitable parts of our world that monsters lurk…
Source: Mysterious Universe
- GET TO HIGHER GROUND DEPARTMENT -
‘Hotspot’ Causing Sea Level Rise Acceleration In Eastern U.S.
The sea level of the eastern coast of the United States is accelerating at a much faster rate than the country’s other coasts due to global warming, claim researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
According to Damian Carrington, a reporter with the UK newspaper The Guardian, the sea level rise of the “densely populated” Atlantic coast from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to Boston, Massachusetts is increasing at a rate three to four times faster than the rest of the country’s coastal regions.
Likewise, the Associated Press (AP) said, the 600-mile area, which the USGS researchers dub a “hot spot” because of the sea levels, have been rising at a rate up to 400% faster than the global average.
Among the fastest-rising areas are Norfolk, Virginia, where the sea level has increased approximately five inches since 1990, and Philadelphia, which has seen a four-inch rise.
“Many people mistakenly think that the rate of sea level rise is the same everywhere as glaciers and ice caps melt, increasing the volume of ocean water, but other effects can be as large or larger than the so-called ‘eustatic’ rise,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a statement. “As demonstrated in this study, regional oceanographic contributions must be taken into account in planning for what happens to coastal property.”
“Cities in the hotspot, like Norfolk, New York, and Boston already experience damaging floods during relatively low intensity storms,” added Dr. Asbury Sallenger, a USGS oceanographer and the head of the study, which is the subject of a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change. “Ongoing accelerated sea level rise in the hotspot will make coastal cities and surrounding areas increasingly vulnerable to flooding by adding to the height that storm surge and breaking waves reach on the coast.”
While Sallenger told Carrington that this hotspot affect had previously been predicted through computer modeling, the USGS study is the first to use real data to prove that the sea-level acceleration is currently occurring and that scientists can currently detect and monitor it.
The cause, he said, is the warming of dense Arctic water, causing it to sink more slowly and leveling out the so-called “slope” from the fastest-moving water in the mid-Atlantic to the east coast of America. As a result, the sea level in that location increases, and could ultimately add as much as 30% to the global sea level rise.
“We came up with a very clear correlation between the acceleration of sea level rise and rising temperature in the hotspot area. That suggests to me that as long as temperature continues to rise the hotspot will continue to grow,” Sallenger told the Guardian on Sunday.
- JUST $1.99 FOR THE FIRST THREE MINUTES DEPARTMENT -
Church Sets Up An Exorcist Hotline
The Catholic Church has established an exorcist hotline in Milan, its biggest diocese, to cope with demand. Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese’s chief exorcist since 1995, said the curia had also appointed twice as many exorcists to cope with a doubling in the number of requests for help over 15 years.
“We get many requests for names, addresses and phone numbers; that’s why we’ve set up a switchboard in the curia from Monday to Friday from 2.30pm to 5pm,” he told the chiesadimilano website.
“People in need can call and will be able to find a priest in the same area who doesn’t have to travel too far.” And to that end, the number of demon-busting priests on call has increased from six to 12.
The Monsignor said he knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. “But with so little time per client he was only able to offer a quick blessing. That’s not enough,” he said. ”There should be two to four appointments a day, no more, otherwise it’s too much.”
It’s not clear why the number of suspected possessions has risen so sharply. But Monsignor Mascheroni said that part of the increase might be explained by the rising numbers of parents having difficulty controlling disobedient teenagers.
“Usually the parents call [because they are] concerned about a child who won’t go to school or who’s taking drugs or rebelling. In reality it’s not a demon, but when they’re 18 years old young people don’t want to be told what to do.”
He warned that many worried and vulnerable people were at risk from charlatans. “Magicians demand money; we … give our time, give benediction … all for free. It couldn’t be any other way.”
The Monsignor said that all those who sought help were welcomed. But he added: “The real diabolical phenomena, at least in my experience, are very rare.” He said that “mental phenomena, mental and psychiatric disorders” were often to blame for unusual behaviour.
Not all Catholic exorcists take such a pragmatic approach, however. Father Gabriele Amorth, who was the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years, claims to have dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession.
Father Amorth said that sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church were proof that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”. He also claimed that satanic behaviour lay behind Vatican attempts to “cover up” the deaths of Alois Estermann, then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and another Swiss Guard, Corporal Cedric Tornay, in 1998.
Father Amorth also took a dim view of fantasy novels and yoga. Practising the latter, he once warned, was “satanic; it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter”.
The act of exorcism: Catholic practice
Defined by the Catholic Encyclopaedia as “the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice,” exorcism has been practised by the Church for centuries, but its use has increased dramatically over the last half century.
Source: The Independent
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