The True Story behind The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel / Emily Rose
July 5, 2009
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How did she become possessed? Why? Why weren’t the exorcisms successful? The startling little-known true story behind The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel/Emily Rose. An interesting analysis with striking facts you probably haven’t heard before.

Sometime back I read the book called The Exorcism of Annaliese Michel by Felicitas Goodman.  As the video clips to which we’ve linked show, this was the case of a young woman who was extremely possessed - about as possessed as someone could seemingly be.  And it’s a very interesting case because on the one hand it’s extremely sad; but on the other, it’s also quite revealing in a certain number of ways.

The case deals with a young girl who had been raised in a professing Catholic household, but around the years 14 or 15 years of age, she began having these problems with apparent demonic activity.  From things that she said (and later confided in people), it seems that her problems started around the same time she began maybe getting involved with young men.  So it seems like this may have resulted from her having fallen into mortal sin in one of those situations.

I’m going to read a few quotes from the biography of her life which reveal the extent to which she was possessed.  This is a quote from page 34 of the aforementioned book, referring to when she was about to enter a Catholic shrine.  It says:

“She approached it with the greatest hesitation, then said that the soil burned like fire and she simply could not stand it.  She then walked around the shrine in a wide arc and tried to approach it from the back.  She looked at the people who were kneeling in the area surrounding the little garden, and it seemed to her that while praying they were gnashing their teeth.  She got as far as the edge of the little garden.  Then she had to turn back.  Coming from the front again she had to avert her glance from the picture of Christ in the Chapel.  She made it several times to the garden but could not get past it.  She also noted that she could no longer look at medals or pictures of saints.  They sparkled so intensely that she could not stand it.”

Here’s another interesting quote from page 35:

“She spoke with a voice like a man’s, made fun so-to-speak of the priest.  She was simply not Annaliese anymore.  She tore off a medal that Frau Heine was wearing, and she exuded a stench like Frau Hine had never smelled before.  Like fecal matter or something burning.  Everyone in the bus could smell it.  As Frau Hine told me, the other passengers in the bus were quite angry that a young girl would behave in that manner, talking very loudly and all that.  It was something completely unbecoming under the circumstances.”

Here are some other quotes about what happened to her as the evidence of her demonic possession began to pile up.  This is from page 71:

“Anneliese seemed to develop a peculiar aversion to all sacred objects.  She removed a picture of Christ from the wall.  In Maria Klug’s room she threw her rosary into the corner during a prayer session of the little group.  During a conversation her face contracted into a real hideous grimacing countenance that I cannot describe in detail.  Her body became completely stiff.  It took half an hour before the cramp disappeared.”

Now, what’s particularly sad about this case is that, as she started to recognize that her problems were demonically related, she approached the local priests – and this occurred in the ‘70s (last ‘60s and into the ‘70s).  So, these were Novus Ordo priests.  But they were a little bit more conservative (these particular priests).  And generally speaking, the Vatican II Apostasy hadn’t been so thoroughly imbibed that there were no even remotely conservative priests left.  (Even though anyone who is in the Novus Ordo is not truly conservative.)

And so she began to consult them about possibly getting an exorcism done.  And they went to the bishop.  And the bishop delayed…and delayed…and delayed.  And it was just ridiculous how long he waited to give the permission to perform an exorcism.  Here’s a quote from page 66 of the book I’ve been quoting from.  And this quote comes after Anneliese had exhibited many of the signs of demonic possession which we’ve covered and many others which I did not even read.

“Bishop Stangel was not convinced.  He instructed Father Alt to continue observing the case, but he was not to recite the solemn prayer of exorcism over her.  Anneliese may have foreseen that decision, because even before it came she decided to take matters into her own hands.  She felt Father Alt was only half-convinced that she needed priestly help.  She knew that she needed more than she was getting now.”

And so I think that this is another example of how evil the Vatican II Church is, and how faithless it is – how you have a clear case of demonic activity going on.  Where exorcism is needed.  And this girl wants it.  And yet because they are faithless apostates…they delay… and delay… and delay… and let evil prevail.  So her problems just continued to get worse and worse. 

In the rooms where she stayed in her home, she spread a horrible dung-like stench.  This is from page 77:

“Herr Michel received me and took me immediately to the living room.  It was filled with a horrible stench of something burning and of dung that penetrated everything.  Herr Michel expressly called my attention to it and told me that Anneliese had been in the room just before.  In other rooms of the Michel home and on the outside I could detect no trace of the stench.” 

She would remain immobile in certain places for periods of time, claiming that she wasn’t able to move. She had trouble eating because she claimed that her will was impeded.  So, she was in consultation with a number of priests who finally, as they saw more and more undeniable evidence, began to totally conclude that she was possessed and needed an exorcism. And so they began to become more and more persistent with the apostate Bishop who had delayed in giving permission. 

From page 80 of this book we read:

“In the meantime, Father Roth had reported on his experience with Anneliese to his friend Ernst Alt.

‘Her parents begged me to see to it that she gets exorcised.  They also wrote to our Most Reverend Bishop about it.  There is no longer any doubt in my mind that the girl is under the influence of demonic forces.’  Father Alt agreed.  It seemed to him that not only was Anneliese under the influence of demonic forces but that, indeed, those forces were now living in her using her body - thus meeting the condition of the Church, together with her aversion to the sacred symbols of the faith, for the recognition of true possession.  He had been convinced of that earlier on the basis of the painful scene in Annaliese’s room in the Ferdinandium and had told Bishop Stangel on the phone at the time.  But once more the Bishop had counselled patience.  He went to Wurzburg to speak with Bishop Stangel personally, but the Bishop was on vacation.  So, he wrote to the [apostate] Bishop at his vacation address and the Bishop at last relented and gave oral permission for saying the exorcism over Anneleise but only the small one.  During the recitation of the small exorcism Anneliese Began to whimper and to moan and she pleaded, ‘Stop, it’s burning!  When asked where, she answered, ‘in my back, in my arms.’  What was also striking on that day was that she tried to knock the book containing the exorcism prayer according to Pope Leo XIII out of Father Alt’s hands.  When we left the Michel home about two hours later we were both convinced more than ever that we were dealing with a case of possession...” 

After the exorcism her problems did not go away. 

“Anneliese’s torment reached heights that no one could possibly have anticipated.  Sleep was nearly impossible allowing her at most one or two hours’ uneasy rest.  She rushed through the house up and down the steps, bucking like a billy goat.  She knelt down, then got up again with incredible speed until her knees swelled and were ulcerated.  Her course, incessant screams rising and falling like waves scudding against a rocky shore echoed from the walls.  Then a peak would come.  She would tremble and twitch and as a consequence of the enormity of her agitation, she would lapse into complete catatonic-like rigidity, not moving arms or legs, and even the screams at last would cease for a while.  Along with her excitation came muscle power that was close to superhuman.  Peter saw her take an apple and effortlessly squeeze it with one hand so that the fragments exploded throughout the room.  Fast as lightening she grabbed Roswitha, and threw her on the floor as if she were a rag doll.  Her neck muscles tensing like bands of steel, she could not swallow any solid food and could take liquids only sometimes.  She stuffed flies and spiders into her mouth, tried to chew on coal, urinated on the kitchen floor and licked it up, and chewed on panties soaked with urine.  Love became hate.  Her family learned to duck her vicious blows.”

Now, I’m quoting this in detail in order to illustrate two points.  Number 1 – that it’s hard to imagine almost anything worse which could befall an individual.  Becoming possessed and possessed to this point where not only are demons inside a person, but are not allowing a person to do what that person wants to do and forcing it to do other things.

And the second point is:  that the devil is in existence.  That he’s out there trying to drag souls into hell.  To get people into mortal sin and into his kingdom whereby they become vulnerable to things like demonic possession, demonic influence – and ultimately being the property of the devil - so that if that person dies in the state of mortal sin that person will be with the devil in hell for all eternity.

Here are some more quotes of some of the things that Annaliese did.  It’s from page 83:

“She ripped holy pictures from the walls, dumped out water from San Damiano, tore rosaries apart, and yanked a medal from Tay Heine’s neck who had come by to see the action.”

So, in September of 1975, the complete exorcisms began in earnest, and continued and continued and continued.  With no resolution to the situation.  The demons were not removed.  But they did apparently reveal themselves and their names.

During the exorcism the priest asked how many of you are there, and the names of six demons that were possessing her were given.  The demons were Judas, Lucifer, Cain, Nero, Fleischman (a fallen priest) and Hitler.  These were supposedly the names of the demons that were possessing her.

As far as where these demons were, Annaliese said that they were in her lower back:

“She wants to bite right and left.  She kicks toward me.  Sometimes she simply hits toward the front.  At first she sits on a chair, then on the couch.  She is not allowed to remain lying down.  Sometimes she does it but has to get up again right away.  She complains that the devil sits in her lower back.” 

So as the priest continued to spend long hours trying to exorcise these demons from Annaliese, they continued to fail again and again, and she continued to exhibit the same problems even after the exorcisms were over.

And I believe that one of the reasons for this is that these priests were heretics. 

There’s an interesting dynamic that goes on with exorcism.  Because we see in Matthew 7:21-23, that people can exorcise demons who are in fact insincere and-or heretical.  They can exorcise demons by the power of the name of Christ or by the power of the priesthood.  Again, we see that in Matthew 7:21-23, where Jesus says to the people: “Have you not cast out devils in my name?  Behold on that day I will say I never knew you.”

So there are people who will, by the power of His Name or by the power of His Priesthood, effectively exorcise demons but who are not themselves good people or even in the state of grace.  That’s sort of like how the sacraments work ex opere operato – by the work that has been worked.  In other words, a heretical priest can validly say Mass.  A bad priest by the power of the priesthood and the sacrament can forgive one’s sins.

But also in exorcism we see from the Gospel that there is an element of the merit of the minister becoming involved.  In Matthew 17:16-19 we read a case of another person who was possessed, and the Apostles could not cast the devil out from the person.   And Jesus says to them in verse 20:  “But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.”  So, from this verse in Matthew 17:20, we see that the faith and the merits and the holiness of the individual plays a part in how effective the exorcism is.

So, on one hand, the power of the priesthood and the power of the name of Christ can work, even if the person himself is a heretic or not a true believer or not truly holy.  And on the other hand, we see in Matthew 17:20, that with certain cases of possession, the merit of the minister is necessary.  The faith of the minister is necessary to cast the demon out.  So I think that’s why some exorcisms are successful even by heretics who may be valid priests or may be using the name of Christ.

And while others are not, as in this case, I believe that the reason that they had so much trouble expelling the demon is because these were Novus Ordo priests who were, as this book reveals, wrapped up in a number of what I believe to be false apparitions.  They were involved with this other woman’s supposed revelations; that was heavily involved in their attempts at exorcism.  They seemed to be wrapped up in some other false mysticism, even though in certain ways they were conservative.  So I believe that’s why they also failed. 

And what’s interesting is that as the exorcisms went on, the demons started to speak things through Anneliese, claiming that she was chosen.  She even actually appeared with the stigmata during one of the exorcisms.  (Obviously this was a false stigmata in my view.)  And these heretical priests even began to believe the revelation she claimed to be giving!  And one of the revelations was that she would eventually come out of this and get married.  That never happened.  One of the revelations was that the demons would be removed by a certain date, and that never happened. 

And so I think this is another example of how the faithlessness of the Novus Ordo fails people.

Now, some may wonder:  how did she get possessed?  And the story in the book is that, based on what the devil said in the exorcism sessions, that an evil woman had cursed Anneliese before she was born.  Had cursed her mother’s next child apparently, and that’s how she was possessed. 

Now, we posted in one of our e-exchanges that one of the common ways of possession is that people are cursed.  You read that in a lot of cases and we believe that that’s true because, just as there is a communion of saints, there’s a communion of devils.  So, that as the saints in heaven you can invoke and they can assist you here on earth, those who are in mortal sin are under the sway of the demons.  And so those evil people who ask for the demons’ help to attack or curse those who are in the devil’s kingdom by mortal sin, can be cursed.

I do not believe that even if one is cursed he can fall under the power of that curse, unless that person opens himself up to it through falling into mortal sin.  So if we were to assume that this story is true, it would only be true if Anneliese had at some point fallen into mortal sin, and therefore made herself vulnerable to such a curse.  But whether or not one believes that this was the real reason she was possessed, that’s what’s claimed in the book based on what was revealed in the exorcisms.

Another point I wanted to mention is that things got so bad for her that it was just truly awful.  The demons would cause her to kneel on the floor and stand up, kneel on the floor and stand up – over and over again.  And she would smash herself into the walls over and over again.  It was truly a nightmare.  And her family was becoming totally distraught and almost ready to despair.

And what’s interesting is that some of that activity is similar to what’s described again in Matthew, chapter 17:16-20 where it speaks of the person who had the devil who would:  “falleth often into the fire and often into the water.”   So he would harm himself.  The demons would cause him to harm himself, and we saw the same thing in this modern case. 

The demons would also forbid her from eating, and eventually that was what caused her death.  It was ruled a death by starvation.  And so the sad end of this story is that she was not freed of the demonic possession and she wound up dying by starvation. 

The priests who had been involved in the exorcism – Fathers Alt and Renz – were charged with wrongful death but were sentenced only to a half a year’s prison term.  I obviously believe that that was an unjust ruling against the priests.  It was heavily influenced by the faithless medical doctors who tried to persuade the jury that her problems were simply psychological problems and not demonic possession.  But I do believe that their faithlessness as Novus Ordo priests failed her in this result - as well as her own probable involvement in these false apparitions and lack of true faith. 

It shows us again how those false conservatives who are wrapped up in some ways with the Vatican II Apostasy or some other heresy  - who think that they have a dedication to the Catholic faith - are actually (unfortunately) helpless against the forces of hell if they are without the faith:  the Catholic faith, whole and undefiled. 

This story again is the story upon which the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose was based.  And in the movie they tried to present Anneliese as one who was a Saint, one who was basically a victim of possession as a suffering soul.  And I don’t believe that to be the case at all as I’ve explained in this little discussion.

This story should remind us again of the malice of mortal sin and how everyone should do their utmost to avoid falling into it.