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Vice releases 'Teenage Exorcists' documentary

Vice releases 'Teenage Exorcists' documentary

Coached by evangelist Bob Larson, three Bible-thumping young women from Phoenix, Arizona, claim that they exorcise demons from people. Eighteen-year-old Brynne Larson and her friends Tess and Savannah Sherkenback (18 and 21, respectively) claim to be able to confront the demons lurking inside traumatized people and draw them out using nothing more than a crucifix and a few choice words.  A snapshot of their activities is captured in Teenage Exorcists, hosted and produced by Charlet Duboc.

Bob Larson is Brynne's father.  He's been accused by the media of getting rich by preying on the weak. He says that half the world is demonically possessed.  Bob and his young exorcist gals claim that the biggest source of demonic possession is drug addiction and sex abuse.

The documentary, Teenage Exorcists, follows Larson and the young women to poor mining towns in Ukraine, where superstitious belief and poverty are common.

"I must say, Bob's technique is a bit unique," remarks host Charlet Duboc, as the camera pans to people crying, growling and lying on the floor.

Noting that there is "the power of placebo," the documentary shows that some of the people who claim to have been exorcised by Larson feel better, at least for the short term.

Via Vice, here is the first half documentary:

{Part 1 Video Link}

According to the teenage exorcists, people who do drugs are no longer under the "umbrella of God's protection" and get sexually transmitted diseases and demons. They also say that "Harry Potter, witchcraft, violence, Twilight [stories], horror movies and sexual stuff" can open people up to demon possession.

"Once you scratch the surface of their Stepford Wives' demeanor, it's clear these girls truly believe in what they are doing and have no idea how ridiculous they seem," Duboc — an atheist — comments in the second part of the documentary.

Duboc participated in an exorcism as an exorcist. "I obviously didn't just exorcise a demon," she remarks, "I just made a woman cry and get angry and have some release, hopefully, by screaming and crying and the whole bible and nonsense and cross stuff is just symbolic." Many of the Ukrainians flocking to Larson's exorcisms were women who had been sexually abused at some point.

She observed that Bob Larson was obsessed with the media during his so-called exorcisms and also characterized him as a control freak because he would not allow the filmmaker to talk offstage to a woman who was kicked out of a church, who appeared to be crazy but claimed to be possessed by demons. "He likes his demons to appear only when it suits him," Charlet Duboc remarks. "Bob is just another insidious televangelist, practicing medicine without a license. But by harnessing the Hollywood appeal of his young proteges, he's able to manipulate the vulnerable and the weak in a way he could never achieve on his own. When it comes to conquering society's demons, the exorcists are both the problem and the solution as demand for their services will continue to grew here while people remain unconvinced about their therapeutic options. But if you've actually got the devil in you, don't go crying to Bob Larson," she concludes.

{Part 2 Video Link}

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
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