Two weeks ago, my blog discussed the tragedy of a Catholic priest who had sex on the church altar with two women. Could anything be worse? Yes. An Arkansas pastor, Lloyd Eddie Lasker Jr., a convicted felon, has been accused of violently abusing a 21-month-old child in a failed attempt at an exorcism. He was trying to beat the devil out of the youngster while the mother watched. The baby was found with multiple body bruises and was admitted to a hospital with brain bleed and extreme malnourishment. Authorities later found a quantity of the drug meth in Lasker’s vehicle. The mother was also a meth addict. Lasker admitted to using meth in the church several times, with parishioners.
In my time as an exorcist I have heard some crazy stories about things that people do to cast out demons. Usually the actions are ill-advised or foolish, not deadly. In 2004 a Milwaukee pastor suffocated to death an eight-year-old, autistic child during an exorcism. The pastor admitted to sitting on the child’s chest for up to two hours at a time, telling the demons to leave. Perhaps, in both of these cases the one with the demons wasn’t the child.
Traditional practices of exorcism as taught in our School of Exorcism would never result in child abuse. If generational demonic possession is suspected, the parents should address the issue by baptism, curse breaking prayers for the child, and non-threatening intervention. In a biblical exorcism the presence of the demon is exposed; it is called forth to identify itself, state its legal right, and then cast out. What the pastor in Arkansas did was not exorcism. A one-year-old cannot manifest a demon in the traditional way because the baby doesn’t have cognitive abilities for demonic expression. Tragedies like this underscore why our International School of Exorcism is so important. Exorcism goes wrong when those involved don’t know how to do it right.