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“”Merrin: I cast you out, unclean spirit…
Regan: [possessed voice] Shove it up your ass, you faggot!
Deliverance ministry is a term describing a Christian organisation that attempts to cure peoples' ills by casting out demons, making it very similar to faith healing. The bible of the deliverance movement (well, aside from the actual Bible, of course) is Pigs in the Parlor: A Practical Guide to Deliverance, written by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond and published in 1973.
One of the more curious aspects of deliverance ministries to an outsider is the pantheon of oddly-named spirits. Neopagan policeman Kerr Cuhulain sums it up best when commenting on a list of demons posted on the website Demonbuster.com: "You'd think that this would be a list of names like 'Belial' or 'Astartoth', but it isn't. It is a peculiar, mixed up list of emotions, personal characteristics, mental disorders, world religions and meditation techniques". The general idea is that individual demons are named after their purposes, so that a demon who provokes lust is named Lust. This is taken to comical extremes, as we shall see.
Prominent deliverance ministers
The Hammonds and Pigs in the Parlor
This is the basic hypothesis put forward by the Hammonds, and indeed the entire deliverance movement. The book provides a list of demons who allegedly cause everything from murderousness and schizophrenia to sleepiness, intellectualism and homosexuality. The only way to cure a person of these conditions, say the Hammonds, is by casting out these demons.
The Hammonds also venture into Exorcist territory by noting, "It is not uncommon for demons to speak through a person who is being delivered."
Moody 'n' the Madraks
Gene Moody, a disciple of the Hammonds, wrote a book called simply Deliverance Manual which is available in its entirety on a number of websites. Building on the basic concepts behind Pigs in the Parlor the manual includes a chapter entitled "Cleaning Your House (of Demons)" speaking approvingly of a someone chucking out their kid's Big Bird toy in the belief that it gave Satan "legal grounds".
Moody has picked up disciples of his own: Stan and Elizabeth Madrak, owners of Demonbuster.com, the End-Time Deliverance Ministry. The site reads almost as a parody of Moody and the Hammonds, with words CAPITALISED seemingly at RANDOM and everything from diabetes (excuse me, DIABETES) to financial problems blamed on demons. Stan Madrak claims that people who laugh at him get punished by God, so watch out.
Jay Bartlett and his flock
Another deliverance minister of note is Jay Bartlett, owner of MinisteringDeliverance.com. His site contains a lively forum where he posts under the name of "Rescuer" and regales his followers with unhinged ravings about "sadistic cults" and anecdotes about dolls coming to life. Other members of the community include "msproverbs31", who is deeply concerned about her son's interest in Dragonball Z; and "pastorall504", whose writing style has to be seen to be believed.
Delivered a number of sermons which are available on YouTube. Claimed that oral sex demons "reside in the mouth, lips, tongue, taste buds, throat, sex organs and the mind." Apparently he's dead now.
Bob Larson is a former anti-rock music evangelist and Christian talk radio shock jock who found the exorcisms he performed on the air were the most popular part of his show. Smelling much money to be made, he now has a full time deliverance ministry in Arizona, the Spiritual Freedom Church. Ever the media hound, he has his own "reality TV" show, The Real Exorcist. John Safran visited Bob Larson for an exorcism as part of his John Safran vs. God series.
Rebecca Brown is a former medical doctor who had her license revoked in part for repeatedly misdiagnosing serious illnesses as "demons, devils, and evil spirits". She became better known when Jack Chick published two of her books at the height of the Satanic panic, including the discredited He Came to Set The Captives Free. Her subsequent books such as Prepare for War and Unbroken Curses are alleged deliverance manuals rehashing material from Pigs in the Parlor with the addition of some of Brown's own unique batshittery.
Owls and frogs
Deliverance ministries are obsessed with owls and frogs; this goes back at least as far as Pigs in the Parlor. The Hammonds' book provides an anecdote about a little girl who allegedly suffered from nightmares until toy frogs and owls in her bedroom were thrown out, as the animals in question are "types of demon spirits". The Hammonds point to Deuteronomy 14:7-19 as evidence for this weird claim; however, this bit of scripture only forbids eating the animals, along with a number of other creatures which are apparently not seen by the Hammonds as demonic. The Hammonds' comments on owls and frogs were deemed important enough by Gene Moody for him to quote in his manual. The Madraks also follow suit: "Been sick a lot in your life? Can't sleep at night? If you look around your house, you may find pictures and the like of frogs and owls. Oh No! Not my ceramic frogs and owls? YES! The Bible says that owls and frogs are abominable things."
Win Worley provides an interesting anecdote about a woman becoming possessed after collecting owl ornaments. "In a meeting in northern Wisconsin, I mentioned owls and frogs as objects which should not be in your home. The next night a school teacher came for prayer… When I commanded any spirits connected with the owls to manifest, her mouth dropped open and terrible wails came out." It gets weirder from there.
"A couple had a one-eyed stuffed large frog named 'Max'", states the website of Paul Nowlen's Free in the Lord Ministries. "After some period of time they began to talk about him as if he were a family member. Max sat on a bookcase and eventually the couple 'noticed his eye' seemed to be looking at them. God revealed the demonic properties of Max, he was trashed and the curses broken that demons had put on the frog."
Rebecca Brown has the same obsession with toy owls and frogs harboring demons, and extends it to unicorns, wind chimes, immigration papers, some kinds of "tagging" graffiti, and stained glass window ornaments. This line of thought could be taken to ridiculous extremes. If someone becomes convinced their problems are caused by "demons", but they continue to have the same problems after a deliverance or exorcism, the next step might to be clean house and look for anything around the home which might harbor demons. If getting rid of owls and frogs doesn't help, get rid of the wind chimes, fuzzy dice, and toy unicorns. If that doesn't work, your expensive art might be the problem. Of course if you have gotten to that point maybe you missed the one obvious thing you really should have chucked out: the Frank and Ida Mae Hammond and Rebecca Brown books.
Names of demons
These are amongst the more interesting demons that have been identified by deliverance ministries. Jacques Collin de Plancy must be spinning in his grave…
- Body Twitches
- Dirty Old Man
- Doubting manhood
- Oral Sex
- Shows like "Merlin"
- Sore Botch of Knees
- The Terminator
- Walt Disney
- Worship of enterprise
- You can't make me
- Hammond, Frank and Ida Mae (1973). Pigs in the Parlor. Kirkwood: Impact Books. p.1. ISBN 0-89228-027-1
- Hammond, Frank and Ida Mae (1973). Pigs in the Parlor. Kirkwood: Impact Books. p.5. ISBN 0-89228-027-1
- Hammond, Frank and Ida Mae (1973). Pigs in the Parlor. Kirkwood: Impact Books. pp.113-5. ISBN 0-89228-027-1
- Hammond, Frank and Ida Mae (1973). Pigs in the Parlor. Kirkwood: Impact Books. p.2. ISBN 0-89228-027-1
- Hammond, Frank and Ida Mae (1973). Pigs in the Parlor. Kirkwood: Impact Books. pp.141-2. ISBN 0-89228-027-1