Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pat Robertson Was the Exorcist on That Demon-Possessed Girl He Mentioned Yesterday

Once again, a viewer question to Pat Robertson yesterday gave the world another opportunity to point and laugh at him and/or shake our heads in disgust at him. This time, a woman asked Pat if the horror movie she saw one night caused demons to crash her car the next day at church. And of course Pat said that could be the case because don't you know demons are real?

The beginning of Pat's reply isn't the meat of his answer, but I need to highlight it for my purposes here:
“A few years ago, I heard about a teenage girl who was demon-possessed. And people began to deal with the demon and try to cast it out. And you know what the demon said?  ‘I had permission.‘ And the permission was granted when this child had gone to some XX-rated movie, or whatever it was, and had allowed this thing to come into her.”
A few years ago, I HEARD ABOUT a teenage girl.

I think Pat's being modest, because here he is in 1997 (a few years ago?) telling pretty much the same story, except HE WAS THE EXORCIST on that poor demon-possessed girl:

“I personally have been involved in casting those things out of people. One young girl in particular. And I had the thing talk to me and say, ‘You can't have her, she's mine.’ And I said, ‘Oh no, you don't understand—Jesus is going to have her and you're going to let her go!’ But the little girl—tiny little girl; I mean, she was 17 but just tiny—said, ‘You can't have her, she's mine.’ Well, that's Satan talking.” 
Okay, so the 1997 version doesn't have the dirty-movie part, and You can't have her, she's mine isn't quite the same as I had permission. But I can pretty much guarantee you that Pat Robertson has told versions of this exorcism story many, many times over the years, and people often tend to embellish certain details in repeating their stories. And I had permission definitely sounds more badass, which is what you want for something coming from, y'know, SATAN. Besides, why would anyone swap out their very own bona fide exorcism story with one they "heard" someone else did?

Maybe he legitimately forgot that that was his own story and instead remembers it as happening to someone else. I know that sounds a little like Alzheimer's, but I know that's not the case with Pat—when he's hosting a TV show for an hour, that level of dementia would be patently obvious, especially if he's answering viewer questions completely off the cuff, oftentimes supplying the same answer that he has for years and years. But the man is 83, and he's definitely not as sharp as he once was.

The only conclusion that makes any sense is that the exorcism story is all one big invention. I don't believe for one second that some girl was actually possessed by Satan and went all Regan MacNeil on anyone, and I'm guessing if you're reading this, neither do you. Pat Robertson lied in 1997 about actually performing a real-live exorcism on someone, and he forgot about that part when he re-told the story yesterday—because when you lie, you sometimes forget the lies you told when you came up with the lie. Remember where I wrote two paragraphs back that people tend to add embellishments to their stories the more they tell them? That's especially the case when the story isn't true to begin with. Any police detective will tell you that criminals under interrogation get caught in their lies when they contradict themselves on the details, because you can never keep track of the elaborations of the lie you're concocting better than remember the truth that really happened.

So maybe Pat wasn't any kind of exorcist on any demon-possessed girl. But you'll still have to pry that "Pat Robertson Was the Exorcist" headline of mine from my cold, dead hand.


By the way, that video I posted of "Pat Robertson, Exorcist" has so much more after the portion I focused on: an earlier iteration of "miracles don't happen in America because we're too sophisticated," a brief disquisition on heavy metal lyrics, the demon Abaddon the Destroyer (who is, remember, totally real and not something out of Ghostbusters)—even a Bob Dylan quote! (Granted, from one of the Christian albums.) All leading up to his prayer with the audience to cast Satan out, a piece of work that tracks like it's a version in miniature of his supposed exorcism. Enjoy. Or facepalm or headdesk or vomit, your choice.

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