Good, Evil and The
Father Hartney F.
When Hartney F. was born in Wales in 1905, his parents had been
living there for almost 18 years. He was a late child. His mother
was Welsh, his father, an Englishman from Northumberland.
Hartney’s hometown, which he called Casnewydd-ar-Wysg but which is
shown on English maps as Newport, stands on the banks of the river
Usk in Monmouthshire. He was baptized in St. Woolos parish church.
When Hearty was one and a half years old, his father, a general
medical practitioner of the old school, came into a substantial
inheritance from his father. Up to that point, the family had
struggled to make ends meet. Now, with the sudden affluence, his
father gave up his city dispensary and practice. The family moved
out of the town to a small village near the confluence of the Usk
and Severn Rivers.
There, Hartney spent the next twelve and a half years. His father
maintained a small
private practice. At their home on the Severn, his first ideas and
formed by his mother and aided by the ambient of Welsh tradition in
neighborhood-its people, history, monuments, and communal life-were
bathed. At the
six he was sent to grammar school. His daily language was Welsh, but
his father tutored him in English from the age of seven.
Up to that time his mother, an ardent Welsh nationalist, steeped in
Welsh history and literature, would not allow any English to be
spoken in her child’s presence. Only after he was fourteen did she
consent to send him to a British public school, where he acquired a
thorough grounding in English and developed a deep interest in
science. But his English never quite lost the Welsh lilt and
His parents were Methodists and worshiped each Sunday at the little
stone chapel in their village. Between his mother’s fixation with
the Welsh soul or spirit, the attractiveness and beauty of their
hymn-singing Methodism, and his immersion in the folklore of village
and country, Hartney’s mentality was early on soaked in that
peculiarity of all Celtic peoples which the Welsh developed to a
very particular degree.
The best name for that peculiarity is style, style, as distinct and
different from all other humanly valued qualities or powers, and not
encompassed by or to be equated with intelligence, cunning,
artistry, money, land, blood.
The soul of the Celt has a particular universality of its own: all
of life and the world is interpreted in terms of light and shadow.
But that innate generalism of their souls has never enabled Celts to
achieve military conquest, imperial possessions, huge wealth, or
cultural predominance. Early in their history, they were confined to
the extremities of France (Brittany), of England (in Wales and
Scotland), and in Ireland as the outermost tip of the European
continent, dominated by Romans, Vandals, Franks, English, Normans,
Danes, and others.
Celts developed the only power that remained: verbal expression and
a corresponding mercurial agility of spirit. Oralism, not mentalism,
is the mark of the Celt. The aspect of their peculiar style that
became most noteworthy and most celebrated was their remarkable
verbal expression of emotion.
At that one thing the Celts excelled. The Irish turned their style
to express the Celtic twilight: the two dusks of birth and death.
The Scots concentrated on the play of light and shadow, never
clearly happy, never undoubtedly sad. The Bretons took refuge in the
shadow as a covert for their perseverance.
But the Welsh took up the light in style and developed the distinct
colors of their singing into a Pindarism all their own; and the
clarity and brilliance of their language became a more powerful
factor of identity than their nationalism or their religion. They
maintained the Celtic shadow as a secret background in which to
treasure their emotions. The great presumption of “Welshism” was
that the visible and material world was merely a clothing or garment
thrown over the living heart of sublime and beautiful reality.
It was this peculiarly Welsh style of thought, feeling, and
expression that deeply characterized Hartney through the various
stages of a life spent far from his native Wales.
Hartney’s psychic powers were part and parcel of this “Welshism.”
Among his fellow countrymen there was no prurient curiosity as to
his psychic ability-“Half of the people I knew had it, the other
half presumed they had it,” Hartney remarked once. Nor was there any
mystery attached to it. Consequently, he did not grow up with a
feeling of being abnormal or out of the ordinary. And the security
he enjoyed was a distinct advantage.
Only when he went to public school and thence to Cambridge did he
realize that his psychic power was a rarity and usually regarded as
an untrustworthy abnormality. The English, permissive though they
might be about their own emotions and peculiarities, tend to regard
emotions or psychic abilities in non-English people as evidence of
Hartney’s latent psychic perception was mellowed at an early age by
three prime, never-forgotten influences: the folklore of his people,
the physical countryside, and his family’s Methodism.
Before he knew one rule of English grammar or how to use a test
tube, Hartney’s memory was filled with the deep stuff of Welsh
folklore that placed him in a living continuity with the “spirit” or
“soul” of the land and the people. His mind was filled with the
names of romantic Welsh princes such as Rhun ab Owain, Llewellyn,
Owain Glyn Dwr, and of poets such as the fifteenth-century Tudur
Aled. His mother recited the odes of the sixth-century Taliesin and
Aneirin. And his speech was modeled after the metrical forms of the
Welsh Middle Ages, the cywydd and englyn. He learned to avoid
mentioning the year 1536 (when the infamous Act of Union abolished
Welsh national independence).
The Welsh countryside that grew to be a part of Hearty’s inner man
was and still is of a special kind. There was a living magic about
its whitewashed houses, its stone chapels, the intimate play of
light on running water, the aloneness of mountain and valley, the
perpetuity of pastureland, the merciless maw of mines where men grew
black and sick working beneath the earth but returned to sing in
chapel and go home to their wives and children. As Owen M. Edwards
wrote, “The spirit of Wales is born in the mountain farmhouse, in
the cottage by the brook, in the coal miner’s home.”
This entire complex of nature’s face and men’s haunts was taken as a
Years later, in the jungles of Burma and in postwar Japan, when
waves of nostalgia
hit him now and then for the Vale of Usk, Bala Lake, the Swallow
Falls, Llyn Idwal,
or for the north beach of Tenby Bay, where he spent all the summer
vacations of his
childhood and youth, Hearty saw himself once again in the long
small-windowed cottages, smelling the flitches of bacon hanging from
rafters, and eating hot “shot”- ground oatcake and milk. Such a
memory was as mystical as a poem about the Vale of Avalon and as
faery as the cuckoo’s song in Merion.
Methodism was the third great developing influence on Hartney. The
meaning of Methodism was holiness. Not that the chapel was holy, or
the singing sacred. (The minister, indeed, used to preach that it
was the adjoining graveyard that made the chapel holy, not vice
versa). But it was holiness in expression: the hymnal. Worship of
God and Christ, performed according to rule and with the
characteristic Methodist regularity and rhythm. This expression was
holy because it was believed to be a conversation with the spirit of
Christ and God. And more than once in his early youth, as Hartney
stood between his parents during the soaring phrases of the
chanting, the gabled roof of the chapel would no longer be a thick
shield against the sky. It was for him a sacred mountaintop opening
on to Heaven through which the angels of song descended from God to
men and ascended back to God.
The extent of Hartney’s psychic power became clear to him at a young
age. He could and did receive clear-often literally accurate- inner
intimations of what other people, near him and far away from him,
were thinking and-on rare occasions-what they were suffering. It was
thus in a Burmese jungle clearing late in 1943 that he knew the
exact hour when both his parents died in the German blitz of London.
In 1924 Hartney chose to follow lectures in physics at Cambridge.
While at the university, he became interested in Roman Catholicism.
When he graduated in 1929, he had already been received into the
Roman Catholic Church and had his mind made up to become a priest.
Ordained in 1936, he served in a succession of parishes in the
London area, until he joined the British Army as a chaplain in 1941.
Shortly afterward, his unit left for India and within a few months
of his arrival there was sent into the Burmese jungles to harass the
Japanese forces. During this part of his career Hartney was
nicknamed “Battling Hearty” by his men. The shortened form, Hearty,
stuck to him ever after.
He had his first experience of possession by Evil Spirit during the
Burmese campaign. The small force of men with whom he traveled as
chaplain had halted for the night in a small clearing. All was quiet
and tranquil. But Hearty woke up at about 2:00 A.M. with a strong
feeling that other human beings were moving near or around their
encampment. He tried to fall asleep again, but the idea would not go
He finally sat up and listened for a few minutes. He crawled over to
the commander of the unit, woke him up, and told him of his fears.
It was not the first time Hearty had had these experiences. And he
had always been right. The commander waited a while, talked with the
posted sentinels, and finally decided to send a mortar barrage in
the direction Hearty indicated. After five minutes, when there was
no answering fire, they settled down to watch for the rest of the
In the faint light of the new day, scouts were sent out. One was
back in minutes. The mortar barrage had found its target. Their
night barrage had taken a Japanese hospital unit by surprise. When
Hearty and the others arrived, all Japanese personnel, except for
one soldier, were dead; the sole survivor was unconscious. Hearty’s
unit commander wanted him for questioning. He was brought back to
the encampment, and his wounds were tended. When he regained
consciousness several hours later, the unit commander knew he would
not live very long. He had the poor fellow interrogated by his
Late that afternoon Hearty went over to talk with the prisoner. He
wished to find out if he was a Christian, possibly a Roman Catholic.
If he were, Hearty wished to give him the last rites of the Church.
It was at the time of the short Burmese dusk that Hearty approached
him. Hearty wore battle fatigues like all the members of his unit.
He wore no sign or badge indicating that he was a chaplain. As
Hearty approached, the prisoner’s eyes flickered and then opened
wide; he was looking straight up at the overhanging foliage and at
the sky. Hearty expected a look of fear mixed with hate to appear in
his eyes. But what he saw there was neither fear nor hate. It was
some other emotion he could not recognize: inimical, yes but with an
added trait he could not grasp immediately.
Still interpreting all this as a natural reaction to the sight of an
enemy uniform, he drew nearer. The dying man grew more and more
agitated; his limbs and torso shook; his eyes rolled around in their
sockets; even his short-cropped hair seemed to stand up on his
scalp. For all the world, he was like a helpless animal bristling in
Hearty stopped and waited.
He had begun to perceive a very unaccustomed “mental” message. He
had approached Japanese prisoners before and he knew their
mentality. Hearty did not speak Japanese, but the language
difference between him and them created no barrier for mental
communication; that communication was not by words, verbal or
mental. This dying man’s mentality had some curious trait in it
which Hearty was perceiving for the first time in his life in a
Years before, when he and his father with some local hunters had
cornered a fox that had been devastating the chickens in the farms
around their home on the Severn, Hearty had killed the fox. As he
took aim and was about to pull the trigger, his eyes had caught the
direct glare of the defiant, snarling animal. Now, in the jungle
clearing, looking at that prisoner, he had a similar feeling.
Still thinking that he had been misunderstood, Hearty pulled a small
crucifix from his breast pocket and held it up so that the dying man
could see it. The effect was instantaneous and catastrophic. By this
time, one of the intelligence officers who spoke fluent Japanese had
joined Hearty. He and Hearty heard strange guttural sounds coming
from the man’s throat.
“My God! Padre, he’s cursing your cross,” the officer said. But
already Hearty was “receiving.” His mind became full of a strange
perturbation; and the wordless message was clear: Go away. Take
yourself and all you signify away from us. You serve what we hate.
“Ask him a question for me, Captain,” Hearty said to the officer.
“Ask him why does he hate the cross.”
The officer had no sooner put the question than the prisoner started
to rise. His right hand flashed up to the bandages covering his
chest wounds, tearing them off in a convulsive movement.
“Himiko! Himiko!” was as much as Hearty could catch of his shout
before the man fell back. The intelligence officer could not
understand the curious word, but thought it must be a name of some
sort. In a matter of seconds, the prisoner’s eyes opened with the
sightless stare of the dead. Blood flowed for a few moments from his
wounds; then it stopped.
It was not until later that Hearty found out what Himiko meant. But,
in the jungle, he had a dawning realization that the man who had
just died had been dedicated to some spiritual power from which his
hate of the cross had come. Obscurely, without fine lines or
definitions, Hearty understood the raw elements of possession.
At the end of the war, in 1946, Hearty volunteered for a vacant
chaplaincy in occupied Japan. He was posted to the city of Kyoto and
settled into his new quarters in April of that year.
Untouched by war and deliberately preserved from bombing by the
Allies, Kyoto had been the imperial capital of Japan until 1868. It
was the one city of Japan that had been laid out geometrically in
rectangular shape, every street running north-south or east-west. In
Japan of the postwar period, Kyoto sank deeper and deeper into its
traditional past while attracting radical politicians and thinkers.
Its Buddhist and Shinto shrines were magnificent, and Hearty spent
his spare time visiting them all.
It was during a conversation in 1947 with a teacher named Obata at
the Ryukoku, the Buddhist school, that he learned about Himiko.
Himiko had been, it appeared, a shaman queen in very ancient times,
and a modern sect still existed that worshiped her as a
devil-goddess. They believed she lived and ruled from among the
snow-covered mountains behind Kyoto.
Hearty and Obata became good friends. Obata had graduated from the
Sorbonne in 1938. His chosen field was mysticism; his thesis had
been a comparative study of Dervish knowledge and Buddhist
enlightenment. With the facts he had researched about the dance and
rhythms of Dervishes and his own native knowledge of Buddhism, Obata
gave Hearty a systematic perception of a type of human knowledge not
based on scientifically controlled and verified facts.
Hearty’s scientific background began to fall into a new perspective.
He started to realize the meaning of mysticism in his own religion.
And very soon, also, he began to see that whatever psychic abilities
he had should be carefully distinguished from spirit and the
supernatural. For this was the central lesson of Buddhist and
Dervish beliefs and practices.
(Here was the distinction that Carl V. had never really understood,
indeed had lost almost from the start of his parapsychological
career. If any one factor in Carl’s mental makeup had helped
preponderantly to his being possessed, this failure was it. Failing
in this vital distinction, Carl inevitably took spirit, or soul, and
psychic activity as one and the same thing. Any change produced in
the psyche was taken by him as a change in spirit; and any illusion
imposed on the psyche was taken as an ultimate truth of the soul.)
With Obata, Hearty explored the basic ideas of telepathy and
telekinesis as well as bilocation; all these had been current coin
over one thousand years before the words “parapsychology” and
“extrasensory perception” had been breathed on a Western campus.
Obata used simple expressions and some current terms to instruct
Hearty. Hearty’s psyche, he said, was a “screen” on which some
powerful psychic sender could flash images. Hearty had, however, a
“censor bond,” a faculty with which he could make his psyche opaque
to the psychic probe of any “mind reader.”
Obata assessed Hearty as a “receiver.” And, concluding one of their
discussions on the subject, he added, “Be thankful.” He would only
grin good-humoredly in the Japanese fashion when Hearty asked why he
should be thankful that he could not also “send” messages or move
objects by telekinesis.
Hearty got only one clue, though a very dramatic one, as to why it
was better thus. Once on their way home from an early-morning walk,
the two men passed by the edge of the Geon, Kyoto’s renowned geisha
district. Obata pointed this out to Hearty, and they stopped a
moment. Without any forewarning, Obata suddenly fell forward on his
face and rolled over. He was up in a flash, his eyes narrowed with
“Hearty-San, they don’t like me to be with you here. Hurry.” He was
bleeding from a cut in his forehead where he had struck the
Hearty was too dazed by the bizarre experience to say anything. But
as Obata left him
at the gate to his quarters, he said to Hearty, again with good
humor, but with a faintly
grim note: “You see, my friend, it’s better you be only receiver.
But watch. They know you already. And they know always for future
Only by reflecting on this incident did Hearty begin to understand
why it was better not to be able to “send” messages or move objects
at a distance. To have those abilities apparently laid one open in
some mysterious way to assault by others-human beings or spirits-who
enjoyed similar powers. To be on the same plane as they was somehow
to be vulnerable to them.
By the time Hearty’s enlistment as chaplain came to an end in 1949,
the Himiko incident in the jungle as well as Obata’s fall near the
Geon had receded in his memory. He had already applied for and
received permission to transfer himself to the United States. A
bishop on the East Coast was more than willing to accept Hearty into
Hearty had been living and working in Newark, New Jersey, for two
years when the bishop called him and asked him to assist the
diocesan exorcist. There would be nothing to it, the bishop assured
him. Hearty had nerves of steel, and the bishop felt anyway that
nine-tenths of all these things “are simply bad nerves or bad faith
The exorcism proved to be neither bad nerves nor bad faith. As far
as Hearty could see, the exorcee-in this case, a middle-aged man-was
afflicted with some peculiar disturbance and anguish that ceased
once the exorcism rite was completed. He reported back to the
bishop, adding a request to be included in future exorcisms. The
bishop remonstrated; no one, absolutely no one, wants any truck with
these matters. “Well, I do. And I don’t know why. But I do,” had
been Hearty’s answer.
In the next six years Hearty was assistant at more than 17
When the diocesan exorcist died unexpectedly after a long and
exhausting exorcism, Hearty was clearly the strongest and most
experienced man to replace him. When he was approached by the
bishop, he did not hesitate for a moment.
In that same year he took his one and only holiday vacation: two
weeks in his native Wales. He wandered once again around the
countryside he had loved, visited the cottages of the ordinary
people, ate great meals of bacon, potatoes, buttermilk, cheese, and
oatcakes. He spent evenings reminiscing with old friends around open
fires and tasting the fire in cwrw, the Welsh national liquor.
For the next six years or so after his return from Wales, Hearty
served as an assistant priest with several assignments in the
diocese. He remained diocesan exorcist. In 1963 the bishop offered
Hearty his own parish. Hearty took this rather important occasion to
sit down for a long and serious conversation with his bishop. With
six years as exorcist behind him, as well as broad day-to-day
experience with normal parish problems, Hearty had begun to see a
subtle but already pervasive change.
There was, he said to the bishop, a new situation rapidly developing
which the Church had not yet recognized. It concerned a new
direction of psychology and psychiatry; but it seemed to Hearty that
it also involved popular devotion and piety. Several times when
putting candidates for exorcism through psychological and
psychiatric tests he had found the experts talking of
parapsychology. They seemed to look forward to some future date when
all religious phenomena would be easily and understandably taken as
the products of the human psyche as the psyche somehow passed
through hitherto unknown altered states of consciousness. It
bothered him a good deal, he told the bishop, because the new study,
parapsychology, tended to displace religion altogether and to empty
it of its significance.
There was a sabbatical coming to Hearty. If it was all right with
his bishop, he could
take a two-year sabbatical and do some private research on the
subject. He would, of
course, maintain his activity as diocesan exorcist; for anything of
that nature he would return home, he said. The bishop gave his
consent and promised Hearty the necessary financial support. Only
later did Hearty tell him of his intention to follow courses at a
Hearty thus came to study on the campus where Carl V. had already
made his name. At that point in his life, by the time Hearty started
to attend Carl’s lectures, he had developed a very strong instinct
in matters concerning diabolism. He knew almost immediately that
Carl V. was in trouble. How deeply he could not make out in the
beginning. But after three semesters and various conversations with
Carl and his group, Hearty was convinced that Carl was heading for
serious disturbance and possibly was already well into the first
stages of diabolic possession.
In the last few months of his stay at the university, Hearty was
somewhat puzzled by Carl’s effect on him. On the one hand, Carl took
no pains to hide from him and the others that he regarded Hearty’s
clerical profession a definite hindrance to Hearty’s full potential
as a parapsychologist. On the other hand, time and time again Hearty
“received” subtle “messages” from Carl, messages that were appeals
The process of receiving “messages” always followed a pattern. The
“messages” came as little chunks of knowledge suddenly appearing in
Hearty’s consciousness, always preceded by a short blank period
when, it seemed to Hearty, his mind stopped thinking but he remained
conscious. Immediately after that, he knew something without knowing
what he knew. And then there was a sudden realization of what he
knew; images appeared for what he knew; and after that he attached
words to the images.
Hearty finally realized that, if part of Carl was already under the
domination of an evil spirit, nevertheless another part of him was
still free and as yet unpossessed. It was this profound part of
Carl’s being that was appealing for help. In a somewhat
disconcerting moment, Hearty realized that Carl must be aware that
he, Hearty, knew of the possession.
It was quite a while before Hearty got used to the idea of such a
fission in a human personality with whom he was in contact several
times a week. But Hearty had already learned enough over the years
to realize that evil spirits do not always know everything-they do
not necessarily know accurately even what they already possess. He
had more than once taken hope from that very fact.
The last three “messages” Carl sent him occurred at some distance
apart both in terms of time and space. One came to him on the day of
his farewell to Carl at the end of his studies. When he looked back
at the office building where he had just left Carl, the message came
loud and clear for Hearty’s psyche: “Help me! Come when I am just
about to be completely taken.” Hearty dropped into the college
chapel and said some prayers. He had to believe and trust that he
would arrive in time for that moment when Carl was about to be
The next message came to him one morning in Newark in late 1972:
Carl was about to take some final step; he needed now to be pulled
back, but he was helpless. Left to himself, he had to go on and
perform the final act of submission to the spirit that had taken
possession of him. Hearty came as fast as he could to the university
campus, but he missed Carl both at the campus and at the airport.
The last message came to him at the end of July that same year. He
knew Carl was home in Philadelphia and that he needed him. Again
Hearty set out without delay in order to get to Carl. Hearty lost no
time in beginning the examinations and study that were needed in
advance of any expected exorcism.
His first undertaking was to acquaint himself with Carl’s life and
to test the validity of Carl’s supposed psychic powers. He spoke
with all those who had known Carl intimately. He tracked down both
Olde and Wanola P. in different parts of the country. They both came
to see Hearty; and Olde in particular was an enormous help. Carl’s
mother, now divorced from his father and remarried, lived in Malta.
But his father and two brothers gave Hearty all the help they could.
The best parapsychologist Carl knew, a Swiss-born German, was in New
York for a lecture series. Carl and Hearty spent three weeks there;
and the parapsychologist completed his examination of Carl between
his lecture commitments. His verdict on Carl: positive. That is, the
man possessed extraordinary extrasensory powers, but he was
suffering from some deep trauma which was out of the
parapsychologist’s reach. Neither hypnosis nor pharmacological
treatment was of any avail.
Hearty and Carl returned to Philadelphia, but Hearty was not yet
satisfied. He distrusted parapsychologists.
While maintaining a home base in his own diocese in Newark, he went
to New York several times with Carl. After a thorough physical
examination, Carl was put in the hands of two psychiatrists who put
him through a battery of tests. In substance, their verdict was the
same as that of the parapsychologist: Carl V. was normal and sane by
any standard acceptable to their profession. He had suffered, they
said, from a good deal of nervous tension during the previous
summer. But they could uncover no abnormality.
One of them urged Carl to return to Aquileia and finish the rite he
had gone there to perform. Hearty vetoed this suggestion.
The other suggested mildly that Carl “go easy on the religion bit”
for a couple of years, to give himself a chance to recuperate lost
ground and gain self-confidence. As Hearty was leaving his office,
the second psychiatrist became a little more expansive. He felt a
lot of people were crazy on account of religion, he said. All that
guilt. “Get him to go out and lay broads, Father. That’ll do the
“God bless such salutary broads, Doctor,” Hearty said, tipping his
hat as he left.
As his investigations progressed over the weeks and months, Hearty
was increasingly certain. Carl had to be exorcised. All this while,
and right up to the exorcism, Carl was completely docile. He urged
Hearty to hurry up. “I haven’t much time, Hearty,” he used to say
But Hearty felt he had to be thorough. He had never been involved in
an exorcism of a person as psychically gifted as Carl, and he did
not know how this unusual element might be used, even against Carl’s
will, as a serious weapon against them both. He insisted on covering
every inch of ground Carl had traveled in parapsychology since his
student days. Only in this way would Hearty be at least reasonably
well equipped to follow and deal with any vagary through which Carl
might pass during the exorcism.
In addition, Hearty had one profound doubt. For the first time he
foresaw the possibility that in an exorcism the exorcee might die or
go insane because of the exorcism.
Hearty was rather sure of a few things: that Carl’s claimed
perception of the non-thing aura as well as his professed
astral-travel trances and his knowledge of former reincarnations
were deceptions induced by the evil spirit. And he guessed the only
tangible proof that the spirit had been expelled would be the
cessation of these effects in Carl.
Hearty felt that, if he was correct in his basic analyses, then the
final and possibly the greatest danger to Carl would lie in his
reaction to the sudden exposure of how he had been deceived over and
over and had consented to each deception. The bottom would fall out
of his life. Could he take the strain? Disillusionment or
disappointment as profound as Carl would likely undergo in this
exorcism could, as Hearty knew from his studies and experience,
render a human being not merely catatonic, but in extreme cases
Right up to the last moment, in spite of the assurance that every
precaution and test he could devise showed Carl to be strong and
sturdy, Hearty could not rid himself of this idea of extreme danger
for Carl. Finally he gave Carl the option to withdraw or to go
ahead. He warned him of what he felt to be the risks if he chose to
Carl insisted on going on with the exorcism. “If I live as I am, I
will die a real death of soul. If I die under exorcism, I may be
saved. If I go insane, perhaps God will take this into account when
The choice of locale for the exorcism was easy. Carl wanted it to
take place in his childhood home out beyond Chestnut Hill among the
hills of the Piedmont plateau, and in the place where he had had his
teenage vision-his father’s library-den.
Hearty, going against the practice of many exorcists known to him,
had nothing removed from the place except breakable objects such as
desk lamps, vases, ashtrays, light tables, glasses, statuettes, and
pictures. He had the carpet taken up. Books and bookshelves he left
He had a reason for this which was part of his guessing game at this
point. He assessed-rightly, as it turned out-that any special
difficulty in unmasking the evil spirit in Carl would arise because
its possession of Carl was so subtle and so bound up with his
Carl did possess a power of telekinesis. It was theoretically
possible that Carl would use this power to make the exorcism
difficult, if not impossible. But Carl, relying on that still-intact
part of him with which he had signaled to Hearty before for help,
now reassured Hearty that he, Carl, would not use, and could refrain
from using, that telekinetic power. Hearty felt, therefore, he could
be practically certain that, if there were telekinetic disturbances
during the rite, they would be signs of the evil spirit’s
displeasure. And in that case, he could follow that clue and seek
the further discomfiture and final expulsion of the spirit.
Hearty was ably aided in the exorcism by four men whom he had
trained over the years as assistants. They never failed to come to
him whenever he was performing an exorcism. One was a doctor; two
were businessmen; the fourth was a factory foreman.
The exorcism of Carl V. lasted for five days. It was very unusual in
that its course was largely determined, as Hearty had been certain
it would be, by the exceptional psychic gifts Carl possessed. Hearty
had to deal with Carl not only as possessed, but as a medium in the
psychic sense. Indeed, there were brief silences throughout part of
the exorcism when only the looks of Hearty and Carl indicated to the
assistants what was going on. At those times, the quick interchange
of challenge, threat, command, and insult between Hearty and the
evil spirit possessing Carl were telepathic. Hearty’s notes serve us
well for these verbal blanks.
A dangerous, complicating problem, in addition, was that Hearty
could not always determine whether it was Carl or the possessing
spirit that was producing psychic effects. In this case above all
others in Hearty’s career, all care and alertness had to be
maintained. There was no shortcut. As exorcist, Hearty had to get to
the core of the possession and make sure that the evil was expelled
in its vicious essence.
Hearty also realized his own danger in such an exorcism. He was
moving on a slippery psychic plane, where thought and memory and
imagination are peculiarly naked and open to aggression. His friend
in Kyoto had shown him that many years ago. He had had occasion to
learn it again since.
Curiously, but briefly, the one great advantage Hearty enjoyed at
the beginning of the exorcism was precisely Carl’s power as a
medium. With Carl disposed to help, Hearty had little difficulty in
ferreting the evil spirit out and compelling it to identify itself.
Therefore, Confrontation with Tortoise, as it called itself, was
achieved quickly. But, by the same measure, the Clash between Hearty
and Tortoise was immensely painful.
Carl’s cooperation with Hearty was cut off abruptly when the
Confrontation took place between Hearty and Tortoise. Carl became
helpless and unhelping. In his struggle alone, the wrenching of
Hearty’s will and the wound to his mind were acute, sharp beyond
words, and irreparable.
In excerpting the exorcism transcript, therefore, choice has been
made of passages concerning the identification of the evil spirit,
the unmasking of the deceptions Carl had accepted, and the effect of
that unmasking on Hearty and on Carl himself. The transcript
contains many more details (omitted here) about Carl’s supposed
reincarnation in the ancient Roman, Petrus, about early Christian
rites, and about Carl’s own psychical development from teenage on.
“Do you feel all right, Carl?” Hearty’s voice at the opening of the
exorcism is full of feeling. But Carl is perfectly calm.
“Yes, Father. Don’t worry anymore. Let’s get going.”
Carl is lying on the couch in his father’s den. Hearty’s four
assistants are kneeling around the couch. Hearty, flanked by his
assistant priest, stands at the foot of the couch. It is 4:30 A.M.,
the beginning of the first day of the exorcism.
Hearty takes up the opening words of the rite. His chanting stops
after the first three sentences.
He looks at Carl. He is motionless. Something alarms Hearty.
“Carl! Carl! Answer me! Don’t slip away, Carl! Answer me!”
Carl stirs and speaks uneasily. “It’s hard, Father. It’s hard.”
“Carl, what’s happening?”
“Low g-g-ga-gate . . .” Carl stumbles off into silence.
“Carl, before you slip into high-gate, tell me. Just before. Do you
hear me? Carl! Do you hear me?”
“Ye-e-e-e-e-e-e-es, Fa-a-a . . .” Carl’s voice trails off.
Hearty continues for a minute or two with his monotone chanting of
the exorcism prayers, then the chanting stops. Carl’s mouth is
opening and shutting. His fists are clenched.
“High-g-g-g-g-g . . .” Hearty can hardly hear his voice.
He motions to the assistants to take hold of Carl’s legs and arms.
“Spirit of Evil, you are commanded in the name of Jesus: Do not
cloud the mind of Carl. Do not enslave his will. There is to be no
deception. In the name of Jesus, stop.”
Hearty looks at Carl: his face relaxes; his fists are unclenched.
After a few moments, Carl speaks slowly without opening his eyes.
“I cannot hold against them . . . him . . . them, Father. I cannot
hold much longer. Too habit . . .” His voice breaks.
“In the name of Jesus . . .” Hearty breaks off. The strain in the
faces and arms of the assistants is a warning to him. Carl’s body is
struggling to rise.
“Speak, Evil Spirit! Speak and declare yourself,” Hearty commands.
He sprinkles some holy water and holds up the crucifix. Carl
struggles for about a minute or so. There is silence in the room,
except for the rustling and heavy breathing of that struggle.
Finally, all signs of life disappear from Carl’s face. Carl’s body
ceases to move. His lips open. Hearty hears the voice of Carl, but
silken, smooth, ingratiating in tone, without any accentuation; it
speaks in short broken sentences. It is like a slowly turning
record. Clearly Carl is now a medium for the evil spirit.
“I am the spirit. Of Carl. We are ascending. Into high-gate. And
beyond. I am the spirit. Of Carl. We are ascending. Into high-gate.
And beyond. I am . . .”
Hearty decides to break in. “You are not the spirit of Carl. You are
the spirit of Satan, the evil spirit who possessed him. In the name
of Jesus, cease your deception. Declare yourself. Who are you? What
name do you go by? Why do you possess God’s creature, Carl? In the
name of Jesus, speak. By the authority of Jesus and his Church, I
command you. Speak!”
All present now notice a sudden change in Carl’s body. In some way
or other, it seems to shrink or diminish in size or bulk. The
assistant priest afterward described it “as if his body caved in on
itself.” The luster goes out of Carl’s black hair, even his curls
seem flat. The skin on his face is drawn taut. They see the
stretched tendons and veins in his neck clearly. His trunk, arms,
and legs look as if a huge, invisible weight rested on them,
pressing them down but not flattening them. There is no sound. The
silence becomes oppressive.
Hearty decides to speak again. “Evil Spirit, you are commanded. In
the name of Jesus, speak!”
Silence ensues. Everyone becomes aware of the slightest sound-the
breathing of the others, the scuffing of a shoe on the wooden
flooring, the sound of someone swallowing hard, the intake of breath
in a quick sigh. But Hearty is not discouraged. It is the Tortoise
to which Carl was drawn; and the progress of a tortoise is slow but
sure. Hearty is fully confident. He waits.
Then, without warning, a minor bedlam breaks out. Every book on the
shelves lining three walls of the den come toppling down pell-mell
on the floor, their pages opening, covers flying, book after book
toppling off in no order, pages fluttering, onto the floor with dull
thuds and tearing sounds. It is as if two pairs of hands attack each
shelf simultaneously. The sudden sound unnerves one of the
assistants; in sheer surprise and fright he half-screams.
Hearty has not moved even his eyes. They are on Carl’s face. His
gamble has paid off. The only thing Hearty does is raise his hand
for calm; he knows exactly what is happening. The tortoise is
There is silence once again. They wait. Carl is still sunk into
Hearty has almost made up his mind to take up more exorcism prayers
when he feels the first internal pressures. He finds it increasingly
difficult to keep his eyes on Carl’s face. His vision keeps fading
as his imagination fills with curious images.
“Jesus, Lord Jesus,” Hearty prays silently. “Save me. Help me now. I
cannot resist this if you leave me to myself. I believe. Lord Jesus,
The others know by Hearty’s appearance that something is happening
to him. His eyes blink open and shut. He sways slightly on his feet.
His knuckles show white as he holds the crucifix.
The assistant priest understands. Hearty has instructed him well;
and he, too, has
worked frequently with Hearty at exorcisms. He folds his hand over
the crucifix. With the other, he makes the sign of the cross on
saying out loud: “Lord Jesus, have mercy on your servant.” The four
assistants take their cue and repeat the same prayer.
Slowly Hearty’s imagination clears. But pain is now his adversary.
His head is racked by a shooting migraine. Every look he gives Carl
is full of an ache he never felt before. This crisis passes, but
like all attacks in exorcism, it has taken its toll.
When he speaks again, Hearty’s voice has changed from a deep
vibrancy to a strained and choking tone. His Welsh lilt has
“In the name of the Savior, the Lord Jesus, you will declare
yourself, Evil Spirit!”
They all look at Carl. His head has moved. His mouth opens and they
hear a voice that this time in no way resembles Carl’s. It is like
the thin falsetto produced by a deep-voiced man as a mockery of
somebody else. It rings with a note of falsity, but is quite
defiant. It irritates and frightens.
“We will do the bidding of no being but Carl’s friend. We will
answer to . . .”
“You will answer in the name of Jesus,” Hearty shoots back
vehemently, his voice cracking Under the strain of this effort.
“Hear, then, our voice, and see if you, a miserable, two-legged
piece of slime, can command the Lord of Knowledge, the Unconquered.”
Before Hearty gets in a reply, Carl’s voice changes. Hearty looks
quickly at his assistants: “Brace yourselves, boys! This is going to
be tough on all of us.”
Their ears are suddenly filled with sound. As long as they could
concentrate on Carl, it seemed to them that the sound was coming
from his lips. But now the force and peculiar quality of that sound
rapidly distracts them. They cannot bear to look at Carl or at
anything else, so violent is that absorption of their attention.
Carl starts to thrash around. The assistants barely succeed in
holding his arms and legs.
It is not so much how loud or piercing that sound is. Rather, it is
the quality of sound
each one hears. For, as they find out by comparing notes later, the
sound is tailored to
each one’s feelings, experience, and character. Each one is treated
to a replay of all
past pain made more agonizing now than when it had happened. Each
feels the pain of
every heartbreaking cry, of every lonely tone of voice, of every
harsh piece of news
he has experienced during his past life. The doctor hears again the
dying breath of the
first patient he ever lost-a young mother in childbirth crying as
she died, “Let me see
my son! Let me see my son!” And together with that, his own crying
as a child; and
the shout of a man who was knocked down and killed in front of his
eyes a year
before. Another hears the last crying of his own child, who had died
of a brain tumor;
another, his own betrayal of his employers at a private meeting with
company. And so on for all. That voice is duplicating and
reproducing for each one all
those now-remembered sounds of pain, regret, guilt, despair, sorrow,
anguish that make up the sum of his life’s experience of suffering
and human weakness.
When one listens to the taping of this part in the exorcism, all one
hears is an uneven series of groanings and heavy breathing.
Hearty’s experience is different. The voice does not affect his
imagination. It seems to twist his mind. He becomes full of a
quietly running commentary: whole sentences are scurrying through
his mind-“The Lord of Knowledge must be adored. . . . With knowledge
one can be sure. . . . Surety only comes from a clear vision. . . .
Clear vision comes from clear thought. . . . Feelings and beliefs
are a travesty. . . . The Lord of Knowledge gives possession of the
earth. . . . The earth is all one, all one being. . . .”-until the
harangue seems endless. Hearty cannot remember it all. When it
finally seems to reach an ending, it is only to start again from the
beginning, going faster and faster, as it repeats itself over and
Hearty can manage no word, verbal or mental, on his own. But
instinctively he presses the crucifix to his lips and holds it
there. The gesture is seemingly enough. The grip on his mind eases.
The logic countdown stops. He is free again.
“In the name of Jesus, the Savior, you are commanded to declare
Speak, Evil Spirit!”
Hearty’s assistants are recovering. They renew their grip on Carl.
Carl himself is still. But his face is lit up with color. He looks
alive, well, just like somebody lying down with his eyes closed as
he talks calmly. It is not Carl’s voice, however. All present hear
it, but each one’s description of it differs from the others. All
agree it is calm, almost superior in tone, neither slow nor fast,
with just a little suspicion of a laugh or sneer in it. But some of
them hear a young person speaking, some a very old man, some a
mechanical voice, still others hear that voice as a distant echo. On
the tape today, the sex of the speaker is indistinguishable-it could
be male or female. To this writer it brought back memories of the
tone of voice used by announcers in the music halls of the 19305.-
affected, openly artificial, always with a note of laughing
ridicule, loaded with suggestive undertones.
“We come in the name of the Tortoise. Tortoise. Call us Tortoise. We
have the eternity of the Lord of Knowledge.”
Hearty feels thankful: he has gained a point. But almost immediately
he regrets that distraction.
The voice speaks again. “Thankful, eh? Don’t you know what we’ve
prepared for you, rooster-lover? Cock-lover?” Hearty concentrates
again, restraining his impulse to ask what. The evil spirit may be
constrained to Confrontation; but any opening he, the exorcist,
affords it can be turned in a flash and fatally to the spirit’s
advantage. Hearty swings into his main interrogation.
“You will speak only in answer to the question put you in the name
of Jesus.” No rejoinder to that one, but Carl tries to turn over on
his face. The assistants hold him firmly. He struggles a little,
then is still.
“Were all Carl’s psychic powers due to your intervention, or because
he was so gifted by nature?”
“Both.” At this answer, Hearty concentrates again. Some force is
attacking his mentality. His mind is like a barred door with strong
hands beating insistently upon its panels.
“Let us take his reincarnation, his supposed reincarnations. Was
this your work?”
“We, belonging to the Tortoise, existing in his eternity, have all
time in front of us as one unceasing moment.”
“But Carl spoke to people long dead. He knew their thoughts and
“The living are surrounded by their dead. Those of the dead who
belong to us, they do our bidding. Everyone in the Kingdom does our
“And those who don’t belong to you-“
“The Latter,” It comes as a snarl, but also, Hearty feels, with a
certain note of craven fear. That fear impresses Hearty. Again he is
distracted, and again he pays the price.
“You too, cock-lover! Priest! You too will be afraid when you get
what’s corning to you.” The door of Hearty’s mind is giving way.
That force is battering at him. He falters a moment, then regains
concentration in an immense effort. He goes on questioning.
“The astral travels of Carl? Did you engineer that?”
“How did you get him into such delusion?”
“Once spirit is confused with psyche, we can let anybody see, hear,
touch, taste, know, desire the impossible. He was ours. He is ours.
He is of the Kingdom.”
Carl is not moving, but his entire body lies once again in the
crushed position. The pathos of his captivity makes Hearty wince. He
prays quietly, “Jesus, give him strength.” Then he tries to continue
his interrogation, but the voice interrupts, this time screaming in
“We will not be expelled. We have our home in him. He belongs to
us.” Hearty waits as the scream dies away in gurgles. Carl’s own
throat is visibly moving.
“Are you the maker of the Non Self aura?” No.”
“How did you use the Non Self aura in Carl’s case?” “The aura is
there for all who can perceive it. Only humans have learned to unsee
it. If they saw it continually, they would die.” “How did you use
it?” “We didn’t.”
Hearty now flings concise questions, most of which need only a yes
or no as answer.
His aim is to expose the evil spirit, to make it tell its own
“Did Carl see it?”
“Did you make it clear for him?”
“He wanted it so!”
“Did he ask you?”
“Did he know who you were?”
“Did he bilocate?”
“We gave him knowledge of distant places as if he was there.”
“Had he a double, a psychic double?”
“We gave him one.”
“Gave him the knowledge a double would have.”
“When did you start at Carl?”
“In his youth.”
“Did you give him his early vision?”
“Did you interfere with it?”
“He wanted us to do so.”
“How do you know?”
“By what sign?”
“What did he do that let you know?”
“In the name of Jesus, I command you: Tell me how you knew.”
There is a long pause of about two minutes. Hearty waits patiently,
all the while looking at Carl, keeping his mind on the question.
Then the trap comes for him.