Broadband internet has benefited this generation with the ability not only to communicate instantaneously but to harness the power of virality through social media. Pastors and evangelicals have caught the trend and used these technologies for spreading the gospel message. However, one pastor is using it for a different yet powerful purpose: exorcism.
Many have used Skype to communicate with loved ones from different parts, yet Evangelical and Exorcist Bob Larson uses it to cast out demons. Claiming to perform over "20,000 exorcisms" via Skype, Pastor Larson utilizes the efficiency of the device to help those in need of cleansing the spirit.
CNN posted a video of Reverend Larson performing an exorcism on a possessed man named David, who was overtaken by four demons. He shows his cross and Bible right in front of the camera, and anoints the possessed with his finger at the computer screen to release the evil demons. The exorcism via Skype shows the demon-possessed David reacting violently to free himself from the evil within.
Though Reverend Larson has claimed in freeing others from the demons within, some have questioned whether this is all an act and if the number of exorcisms is even a valid number. Many have claimed that the individuals possessed are actors giving "dramatic performances" for the sake of garnering attention.
During an interview with Anderson Cooper 360, Reverend Larson claims that his exorcisms on Skype are real and performed with a purpose. "It's real," assured Reverend Larson. "There would be no need to theatrically stage this for any reason. Why would anybody do that I have no idea."
Criticisms also come from exorcists who claim that ridding one of demons cannot be as easy as it is to use Skype. Reverend Isaac Kramer is one of Larson's critics who believes that the exorcisms are not real. "If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised," explained Krammer, from the International Catholic Association of Exorcists. "Chances are, they're going to throw the computer screen across the room and destroy everything."
In an analysis session from the online David Pakman Show, David and co-host Louis claim that the "20,000" exorcisms cannot be real and are set up. "I think what's going on here is either he is paying these people to be actors in his little skit or these people are just playing a joke on him," said Louis. Further they suggest that in order to prove Larson's legitimacy of these exorcisms people should pretend to carry demons to see if the Pastor will go through the ritual. The duo believe that if Pastor Larson really is a man of God, he would be able to tell if someone would be lying about carrying a demon and not perform the ritual.
Despite the many critics who have questioned him, his website is full of testimonies from people claiming to be saved through his rituals. The people claiming to be saved come from all locations from the United States and has a set tour date all through June of 2014.