ABC Nightline is doing a special report tonight, April 5 2012, on exorcism as part of their series Faith Matters. The special will focus on many aspects of the religious practice of exorcism but one of the main points of focus will be three young women in Phoenix Arizona, who fancy themselves demon hunters. The Nightline reporter actually calls them real life Charlie’s Angels. The girls are lead by a man named Reverend Bob Larson, who is also the father of Brynne.
Brynne frequents the local beauty pageants and she is the leader of trio. These two things are probably related; when your most valuable skill is banishing things that already don’t exist then beauty is probably your next best claim to the leadership position. Brynne is also the “enforcer” of the group, whatever that means.
In fact, each of the girls has a special “skill set” to round out their character sheets. 17-year-old Tess is the “middle man” because she can play “the good cop, and the bad cop”. 20-year-old Savannah is the “compassionate one”, no further explanation is given, maybe she is compassionate to demons. All three of the girls are also black-belts in Karate and expert horseback riders. As exorcists, fighters, and horseback riders it’s a shame these women aren’t living in 1622. But, given that the “demon hypothesis” is bullshit and that we are no longer at war with Native Americans, it’s hard to imagine how this skill set would be of any use. Yet, perhaps my imagination is wanting, because these girls, along with their equally bug-nutty father, are raking in the cold hard cash.
If all of this sounds like a boring fantasy story with hollow characters and a poor plot, it’s because that’s exactly what it is. The real news here should be about how these three girls are living in a town that just watches this nonsense take place, and even participates in it, instead of offering the psychological care that is obviously needed. The girls are very certain of their abilities, which means they are either practiced con-artists or they are mentally ill.
No doubts, that you are disconnected from reality?
Dan Harris, reporter for ABC, asked if they worry that they might perform an exorcism on someone who is mentally ill and actually make them worse. This, of course, is what is happening every single time. Brynne responds that she doesn’t worry at all, “we are acting under God’s supervision, we never do it alone”. Well, as long as the bearded sky wizard has your back…
The father of the girls claims that he is currently weighing offers for a reality show based on the trio. Seriously! As if there isn’t enough bullshit on TV these days with ghost-hunters, ancient aliens, and so on, we need a TV show that feeds into the psychosis of three “demon-hunters”. Hopefully it ends up on TLC, as I am already boycotting them.
Clips of the ABC special indicate that it will focus on more than just these three girls. We will see several different exorcists performing their magical rituals on desperate people. Just the few clips I watched on the ABC site showed several people that had suffered abuse, were mentally ill, or had their lives ravaged by drugs, getting taken advantage of my these “demon-hunters”. We can only hope that ABC takes a clear stand and calls this what it is, mentally ill people attempting to treat other mentally ill people. My guess, is that in the interest of not offending the religious, they will take a stand on nothing. I hope I’m wrong.
Watch tonight at 11:35 on ABC.