“There is no word for it.”

“Is there a thought for it?”

“Yes.” Hearty, his concentration failing momentarily, caught up in his interrogation, does not see the trap opening in front of him. He asks simply:

“What is that thought?”

And immediately he and the assistants notice the change in Carl. The crushed and lifeless look is instantaneously gone. His body relaxes beneath the hands of the assistants. He draws in a long, deep breath and stretches himself like a man coming pleasantly out of a deep sleep. His eyes start to open. He moves his head gently from side to side. The color is back in his cheeks, his lips are smiling, and his eyes are quizzical with good humor.

It all happens so unexpectedly that everyone is taken by surprise. The assistants who have been holding him in grim determination and fear up to this moment now feel embarrassed. Carl is not even offended. He seems to be amused but tolerant. “Hey, guys, can I sit up? It’s okay. It’s okay.” The voice is Carl’s. His behavior is normal.

Hearty is the only one who realizes what has happened. But too late! He is trapped. He is getting the “thought.” Before he feels the full force of that invasion in his mind, he sees the four assistants on their feet looking at him for some explanation or instruction. Carl has sat up on the couch, one leg thrown easily over the side. He also is looking at Hearty. All five wear the same quizzical expression: they seem to be surprised at Hearty’s behavior.

The assistant priest also has turned around to look at Hearty. He, too, has a questioning look. The look is an appeal to Hearty, but Hearty is helpless at that moment.

His chief feeling is one of horror: horror at what he sees happening, horror at his own imprisonment in his mind. The “thought” is now clear to him in a way he never dreamed: he sees it concretely in his four assistants and in Carl. They are completely at ease, their only emotion is wonder that Hearty is not at ease. He wants to scream at them, to shout: “Watch out! Watch out! They have played on your desire for normal behavior. They are making it all normal for you.” But he cannot open his mouth or produce a sound.

As his helplessness grows, he sees more and more clearly what is happening. No one wants to believe in evil, really, above all, not in an evil being, an evil spirit. Everyone wants to abolish the idea. To admit the existence of evil means a responsibility, and no one wants that responsibility. That is the opening through which Tortoise crawls, stilling all suspicions, making everything seem normal and natural. This is the “thought,” the unwariness of the ordinary human being which amounts to a disinclination to believe in evil. And, if you do not believe in evil, how can you believe in or ever know what good is?

Inside in his mind, this realization begins to inflate like a rubber balloon, widening and swelling in its intensity, increasing his helplessness side by side with his new understanding.

Now all looking at him are smiling, Carl included. All they see is Hearty’s long, bony face, his lips split in what they take as a grimace of embarrassment. And the more effort he makes, the more he seems to grimace.

Hearty’s torture is at its peak, and his endurance almost ended, when the assistant priest notices one thing’: Hearty is pressing the crucifix to the side of his head. The younger priest stops: something must be wrong. Something must be wrong. Otherwise, Hearty is striking a comic pose using the crucifix, and Hearty would never do that during an exorcism or at any other time. What can be wrong?

Then, turning to the others, the assistant priest says: “Something’s wrong with Hearty. Look!”

It is Carl who answers, evenly and in apparent good humor. “Look yourself, Father. He’s trying to crucify himself. A bald-headed Christ with spectacles.” And he bursts into a peal of laughter.

The effect is like a gunshot. Everyone suddenly stops. An eerie note has been struck.

Five heads turn around and five pairs of eyes stare at Carl incredulously.

The assistant priest takes over. “In the name of the Church and of Jesus who founded it . . .”

But he is interrupted. Carl begins to protest, apparently in good humor still. “Father, look!”

“Hold him down!” the priest orders the four assistants. Then to Carl: “In the name of Jesus, I command you to desist.”

This delay is all Hearty needs. The pressure relents; the “thought” deflates inside his mind. He is free again. He almost lost, but he has learned two things. He knows the ruse of normalcy that this spirit has used to work in Carl for his acceptance, step by step, year by year. He knows the “thought.” And, second, he knows for certain now that Carl’s psychic powers, and his own, will be used as a weapon against him at the slightest opening. His careful preparation may at least be some defense.

Carl is lying down again, wide awake, under the control of the assistants once more, his eyes narrowed to slits, his face a sheet of white anger.

As Hearty gazes at Carl, his mind races back: somewhere he has touched a raw nerve. Somehow he has almost found the central weakness of the spirit that calls itself Tortoise. He has to pursue this line. His next question is peremptory.

“Where were you leading Carl?”

“To knowledge of the universe.” The words come out from between Carl’s tightly clenched teeth.

“What knowledge?”

There is no answer at first. Then slowly and grudgingly the words come. “The knowledge that humans are just a part of the universe.”

“How do you mean a ‘part’ merely?”
“That they are parts of a greater physical being.”
“What being?”
“The universe.”
“The universe of matter?”
“And of psychic forces?”
“And that this was creator of humans?”
“A personal creator?”
“A physical creator?”
“Yes also.”
“A psychophysical creator?”
“Yes. Indeed, yes.”
“Why did you lead Carl in this way?”
“Because he would lead others.”
“Why lead others in this way?”
“Because then they belong to the Kingdom.”
“Why belong to the Kingdom?”

Those looking at Carl begin to feel that he is about to explode in some way. The words are coming out of him with greater harshness. He draws a breath for almost every word, so that each word comes out on a blast of breath. His arms, legs, and torso are writhing more and more. The assistants hold him down, but cannot hold him still. Now with that last question, all see the explosion coming. It starts building with Carl’s response to Hearty’s last question.

“Why, Priest? Why? You stand there with your bald head, your scorched testicles, your smelly clothes, your yellowing teeth, your stinking guts, and you ask us why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” The word comes out on the crest of ever-louder shouts.

“WHY?” he finally shouts at the top of his voice, his head raised to stare at Hearty. “Why? Because we hate the Latter. We hate. Hate. Hate. We hate those stained with his blood. We hate and despise those that follow him. We want to divert all from him and we want all in the Kingdom where he cannot reach them. Where they cannot go with him. And we want you, Priest! Because we have Carl. He is ours. And no power can undo our hold on him. No power. No power!”

Carl falls back, his eyes bulging, sweat pouring down his face and body.

Hearty all this time remains utterly still. He yet has to maneuver the spirit into a direct clash.

He now plays his trump card; he addresses himself to Carl.

“Carl, in the name of Jesus who saved you and who will save you, I command you, listen to me.”

Carl’s body begins to go cold. The assistants tell that to Hearty. He shakes his head and goes on.

“Carl! We know you are prisoner. We know that. But a part of you is free and has never been touched. Speak to us. Communicate with us.

Hearty is gambling on the same telepathic power in Carl that had called to him for help, to reach out now in some crucial sign of cooperation with good, a sign of his deepest will turned against evil.

“Carl, I never told you all the years of my student days. I never told you. I am a receiver. I can receive. You can communicate with me now. Please. We need your cooperation. Just one clear effort and the whole thing is over. Please, Carl! Please!”

Carl’s body is now quite calm, his head thrown back on the couch, his arms and legs limp, his body soaked with perspiration. Hearty looks at him, waiting, voiding his own mind, hoping and waiting.

Then the message starts to come. It wisps across Hearty’s “screen,” at first in vague waves, then in clearer outline. It is an experience of emotions and emotional ideas each entwined with the other. It invades Hearty’s psyche, stealing into all the nooks and corners of his conscious being. It is unlike any message he could have imagined. He is undergoing the feelings and desolation of ideas that beset someone exiled to a baleful land, no warmth, no love, no togetherness, no home, no smile, only the automatic gyrating of controlled beings. Animals frozen by blinding light or tumbling into a private abyss where their free-fall scream never meets its own echo and from which their desires never escape to fulfillment.

It is Carl’s message, his picture of what his bondage is like. He is faced with the suicide of those who die denying they want to live on, or were ever made to live by love. It is an instantaneous tale of sadness in living and utter misery in dying.
Carl has done the trick. Translated into words he is saying to Hearty: “See! This is my exile from love, my slavery to a degrading psychism, and my final tumbling into the aloneness of Hell forever.”

“Jesus can save you, Carl,” Hearty begins. “Jesus . . .”

He gets no further. The “message” stops abruptly. Hearty shakes his head. A warning word from his assistant priest makes him focus his vision on Carl. Carl has opened his eyes and speaks in a gentle whisper to the two assistants holding him by the arms. Apparently he asks them in a normal voice to let him sit up and “watch the Father.” The two release his arms. “It sounded so normal,” one of the assistants said regretfully later.

Carl fixes his eyes on Hearty, a slow grin of delight comes over his face. Hearty is no longer “opaque” to him. For the first time, he is looking into Hearty’s mind.

In retrospect, it now seems to Hearty that Carl’s minimal freedom from constraint and his telepathic communication with Hearty, while he was not yet free of possession, provided an ideal avenue for a direct attack on Hearty.

Carl is now to be used as a medium for the final Clash. Against Tortoise, Hearty now has no ally. He sees the purpose in Carl’s life. He knows. He braces himself.

Hearty’s first, frightening realization is that his “censor” bond is gone: he cannot block at will, as always before this, any message from the outside or any perception by an outsider into his mind and inner condition. Now, for the first time in his life, he is an unwilling “receiver.” This he has not foreseen. He has thought that as long as his will was free his censor bond would be at his disposal. But his protection is gone. He is naked. And each part of his inner man is successively invaded, seized, and polluted. A malevolent intelligence is scanning the innards of his very self. That attack finally wells up and pours over him. Hearty is filled with a disgust and loathing he cannot control. He starts to retch.

In the Clash of his will with the evil spirit, he is whipped with a ferocity he could never have imagined. Hearty’s torture comes from himself: he seems to be an onlooker watching his own punishment. According to the tape and the accounts of his assistants, this crisis of Hearty’s lasts from three to five minutes. To Hearty it is an age. As he looks into Carl’s eyes, he no longer sees their color, shape, or expression. Carl is in every sense the medium of evil. Hearty becomes a passive one, the “viewed.” He “stops seeing” for that time and “is only seen.”

The keynote of that Clash is an “either/or.” From the beginning it is conveyed to Hearty subtly that, if he submits, if he renounces his opposition to the evil spirit, all will be well; the attack will cease. If not, he will be destroyed.

Now, in one hurting glare of exposure, he sees his weaknesses laid bare: the tawdry logic he received in his philosophy training, the self-confident and ignorantly treated facts of theology, the self-indulgence and onetime hypocrisies of his piety, the useless pride in his priesthood-all is so much drivel and dross, a dump of human trash that withers under the fire of that gaze looking in at him and probing every darkest cranny of his weakness.

“For as long as it lasted,” Hearty relates, “it was a brutal partial possession of me. All that remained finally free was my will. And even that . . .” Hearty always leaves this thought unfinished.

The searching gaze continues like a filthy and malicious hand pawing each of his faculties contemptuously. Even his will is fingered and stripped of the motives he had always relied upon. His will is the last bastion. It holds. But now he sees all its apparent strength torn from it like so many cardboard coverings from an inner treasure: his sensuous enthusiasm for beautiful ceremony, his esteem of good people, his compassion for the sick and the helpless, his pride in being a priest and a man, his satisfaction in his Welsh culture, his reliance on the approval of parents, teachers, superiors, his bishop, the Pope, the consolation of prayer and submission to law. All are torn brutally aside. And only his willing self holds at last. His soul as a willing being stands naked of all the supports and reasons of a lifetime, scrutinized by the unwavering gaze of high, unlovely, and unloving intelligence.

“But this was all by the way,” Hearty explains in the offhand way survivors of terrible sufferings speak of certain indescribable moments. “The aim was to make my free choice impossible.”

The only external sign of his experience is seen by his assistants in the way Hearty holds his crucifix between him and Carl: his two arms straight out in front of him, his eyes level with the crossbar of the crucifix, so that he is looking past the head and over the arms of the crucified. In the beginning of Hearty’s agony, the crucifix faces Carl. After about two minutes or so, Hearty turns the crucifix around so that the crucified faces Hearty himself. We can only guess that then his real crisis starts. It lasts only a moment, a never-ending moment in which he knows no time, and suffering seems eternal.

For the onlookers, meanwhile, Carl never seems to change. He sits upon the couch, his eyes fixed on Hearty’s, his body immobile. “His eyes were like hollow blanks,” said one assistant. And several of them are reminded of ancient statues in which soulless eyes of antiquity turn upon the banality of life with a barren gaze.

Hearty is reduced by that gaze to an effort of sheer survival, holding on fiercely to his will and resolve. The worst is just beginning. His mind, imagination, and memory are now out of his control. He thinks, he remembers, he imagines what the “others” want him to think, remember, and imagine. He is now treated to himself in a humiliating way. He sees his world as a globe dotted with lands and oceans, with cities and houses and people, covered with vegetation and sand and animals, the whole hanging in an atmosphere; and “above” it, somehow or other, “God” or “Jesus” or “Heaven,” with little tenuous lines running down to each human being. It is all now so laughable, so childish, so contemptible, so superstitious-this is conveyed to him like a cosmic joke turned on him with a cackle of superior intelligence.

And in that sound he feels all meaning to his life is flowing away into derisive nothingness. What he had ambitioned to be, what he had become, the values he had lived by-all now seems an ugly, useless comedy of illusions. “I never meant anything, never came to anything, never was anything.” Hearty’s mind drummed with the words.

And what now seems the core of that childish view is the way he always saw Earth as a collection of things, of separate and disparate little objects, men, animals, plants, stones. “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” are the echoes in his mind. “Wrong and childish from the beginning.” The sadness and chagrin at his weakness and childishness are about as great as he can bear, when that vision is swept away and a new series of images is presented to him in an aura not of ridicule, but of approbation and applause. The aura of untruth.

It is the globe again, together with all the objects in it-men, women, animals, plants, cities, oceans. But now all exist in an organized system. Everything is interconnected.

There is really no difference between one thing and anything else. From the mitochondria in cells that convert oxygen into energy up to the largest land masses, the most complicated systems of living societies. He is shown it all. And all, land, oceans, animals, humans, plants are one living organism clad in the shell of breathable atmosphere. Psychic forces bind it all together, like ethereal blood running in the veins of some unimagined giant. It is a self-creating, self-protecting, self-developing thing. A unique being. Earth as mother, as womb, as god, as tomb, as a whole unity protected by its own shell and its own strength, as all there is.

Now and again that globe’s outlines swirl into the form of a snail or a tortoise clad in its own protective hard and furrowed shell. This sight swamps Hearty’s mind with intellectual satisfaction and clothes his imagination with images of harmony, freedom, truth.

His memory is in abeyance. He is only in the present moment, and he can anticipate no future. It is irresistible for all his powers-except his embattled will. Naked and, as it were, standing alone in the shadow of its own unfulfilled desire, his willing self remains aloof-brooding, wavering, doubtful-but aloof, not yet committed.

Only one element in that vision of human life keeps him from embracing it. It is its loveless character. Something inside him keeps crying out, “I need love. I won’t take less.” At the last central pinpoint of his free being Hearty stands and holds, rejecting the ultimatum, the “either/or” thrown at him.

But immediately some physical strength starts giving way in him under a series of shooting pains that jab at the muscles in his arms and legs. The strain is unbearable. His fingers are loosening their grip on the crucifix. He ceases to hold it rigidly upright with the crucified facing him. It wavers and swings a little to the left, a little to the right. The light glances off the metal head of the crucified and off the small notice over it which carries the letters “INRI” (“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”).
In Hearty’s world at that moment there is no such thing as an accident. The apparently accidental shining of the metal sparks a deep instinct in him. He begins to say, at first internally, then audibly: “Jesus . . . Jesus . . . Jesus . . . Jesus . . . Jesus . . . Jesus.”

When his words become audible, he is already over the worst. A new force sweeps across his mind and imagination, blowing to nothingness the entire fabric of loveless belief thrust at him as his guarantee of peace. Hearty feels for an instant some crushing pain within him: in his success he has had to sacrifice something-he does not yet know what-some intimate joy of being human, some one personal desire or inclination, some indulgence in the comeliness of human beauty and symmetry, some happiness he otherwise would be able to have legitimately in his human living. Some deeply personal fiber of his will has been seared.

The switch of Hearty’s concentration from himself to Carl is instantaneous and “murderous”-his own word-in its intent. He now wants to murder that which holds Carl. The assistants see his head lift and his eyes burn with some fire of anger and willfulness. “I honestly thought for an instant that he had gone mad,” the assistant priest relates frankly.

Hearty’s first words after the Clash still sound vicious today on the tape.

“Murderer! Be murdered now! In your turn!”

Carl falls back on the couch. The assistants hold him, but Carl’s struggle is not physical now. In a weak and pathetic voice he says only: “Opaque . . . opaque . . . opaque . . .”

“Evil Spirit,” Hearty continues, “you will go away from this creature, Carl. You will cease to possess his soul and body. In the name of Jesus you will cease. Now.”

Then he turns to Carl in his remarks. “Carl, you have to pay the price. But Jesus is with you. Insofar as you are not under the control of evil, you will renounce step by step each of your former consents. Each one of them.”

Carl shakes with terror. He has begun to perspire. He says nothing.

“The vision, Carl! You will see it again. You will see it.”

Carl’s eyes are fixed now on Hearty’s own. They bulge with fear and loathing.

“You will see it. You will reject it!”

“N-n-n-n-n-n-n-no!” Carl suddenly stutters. “No. Please! No . . .” The words on the tape trail away incoherently.

“Renounce it, Carl,” Hearty says sharply, “even though you cannot say so in words.”

Carl begins to babble and moan, then stops. Foam seeps out of his mouth. Hearty goes on mercilessly.

“Carl! Your psychic powers! Carl! Renounce them, insofar as they are products of the Evil One. In the name of Jesus, Carl! Renounce them!”

Carl is no longer looking at Hearty. He has turned his head to one side and keeps looking at the wall to his far left.

“Turn his head around.” Hearty’s command is curt. The assistants do so. Carl’s head is boiling hot and bathed in sweat.

“Now, Carl! For the final renunciation. Look at Tortoise, Carl!” The assistants feel from now on that they are listening to a verbal description of an invisible scene. Only Hearty and Carl seem to be in view of it; both are looking over toward the wall of the room.

“Look at that Evil One, Carl! The Tortoise, your all, your friend, your master, your devil, your death, that Evil One is about to be destroyed for you by Jesus.”

Hearty stops. The others see him turn his head aside, as if listening to some instructions; they see a wave of new light shine in his eyes. Then he looks steadily at Carl again.

“You will see that Evil Spirit for what it is, Carl!”

Hearty pauses abruptly as if he has been interrupted. Then: “No! Not in anybody’s name, anybody who merely lives and dies.” Another pause. Then: “Only one who lives and dies and lives again. Only in his name, Carl.”

Carl’s eyes are now full of some scene which only he sees. He is not focusing on Hearty. And even though Hearty is looking straight at Carl, he is obviously watching something more than Carl. The assistants can only guess at its identity, but they are as sure as people watching a theater audience that Carl and Hearty are watching something they cannot see.

At a certain point Hearty draws near the couch. Hearty speaks in a low, confident tone. He is praying:

“Lord Jesus Christ, who said, ‘I and the Father are one,’ act now to purify your servant, Carl, and save him from the Pit and all those who fall into it in everlasting death.”

Carl’s attitude has changed. He is relaxing. The tension is being wiped off his face. A faint smile of recognition creeps over his mouth and eyes.

Hearty bends low over Carl and whispers in his ear: “Carl! Carl! Look at me, if you can.”

There is a small wait. Then Carl turns his head and looks at Hearty. His eyes are warm. And even though they are bloodshot and tired, behind them Hearty can read Carl’s look, his personal regard.

“Carl, repeat these words after me. As much, as quick as you can. Put your heart into them. It’s the last help before your final struggle.”

Carl is looking at him steadily. Hearty says quickly, pausing after each phrase so that Carl can repeat it:

“Lord Jesus, if I must die, let me die. If I live, it will be your will. As long as I remain in life, let me abide in your presence, so completely that, despite my sins and my enemy, when I die, I merely go from your presence to your presence. Amen.”
Carl repeats every word. But at the “Amen,” his eyes are glazing over. His face is hardening. His head jerks back on the couch.

“Hold his head,” Hearty tells the assistants.

He stands up and takes his place at the foot of the couch, holding the crucifix up in front of him. This is the last stage of the exorcism.

Hearty today is loath to go into details of what Carl and he saw at that moment. Clearly from the tapes, it was some vision of Tortoise, but not as in the Aquileia mosaic medallion, and not simply as the animal whose name Tortoise took as his own. Hearty gave the nearest measure I could get of the character of what they both saw when he commented that only because something of human joy had been seared in him was he able to see Tortoise, and, to use his words, “not have a brainstorm or a heart attack or go into permanent shock.”

It was apparently some view of Tortoise as a mass of suffering and punishment illuminated and glowing with a hatred and vicious contempt. It was Tortoise as an angel who had been damned to eternal pain by love itself and who only increased in hatred of love according as his pain increased with the infinity of eternity. “Damnation unrelieved in any way,” Hearty commented in one of our meetings.

Hearty viewed Tortoise as a threatening enemy, but Carl was now seeing Tortoise, his master, who held him in his actual condition of damned misery.

After a little waiting, Hearty speaks with evident urgency.

“This is Tortoise, Carl, your friend and master. This is the world our enemy would have us accept.” He stops and waits.
Carl never takes his eyes off Hearty now.

“Enclosed and shut up within its hard shell, Carl. Imprisoned in Hell. It’s the same. Only-“ Carl interrupts with a choking sound. Hearty goes on: “Only multiplying its own shape in endless succession, soul-killing succession, banal as graves in a row, Carl.”

Carl is beginning to shake again. Hearty assures the assistants with a look, then he continues:

“This is our enemy, Carl. The one who possesses you and has fascinated you and wills you to die the death of the Pit.”
If Carl is listening and taking it all in, he is far from uneasy or fearful. His eyes are full of the old fire. There is a look on his face that reminds Hearty of the “twist” or askewness that Carl used to acquire during his trances in his heyday as a psychic.
Hearty’s voice gets a special edge to it. “It is all deception, Carl. And it is all about to be destroyed.”

Hearty is interrupted by a sound that shakes him severely. Carl has started to cry in sobs. For that moment, Hearty recalls, “I felt like the most uncouth and cruel person that ever existed. I was hurting a baby, it seemed to me.”

He forced himself to go on.

“It must be destroyed, Carl. And your Non-Self aura, your non-thingness, your voices, your visions, all will go into the Pit of Oblivion with that Tortoise.”

Carl is beginning to struggle against the restraining hands of the assistants. Hearty grits his teeth for the last effort. He has been on his feet now for over 21 hours. His legs are tired. He has shooting pains across his back. His chest is stiff. His arms
and fingers ache from holding the crucifix. His voice is hoarse. The migraine is splitting across his forehead still. Within him, the strange, deep wound in his soul bleeds. All his physical pain is only a dull accompaniment in the background of that inner agony so sharp and present and intimate to him. He will not recover from that wound for a long time.

Carl is trying to get up, to stretch out his arms.

“Nothing can save you, Evil Spirit. And nothing can hold you against the power of Jesus. As you took the form of Tortoise for this creature of God, so as Tortoise depart and fall back where you belong, with your Non-Self aura, with your deceptions, with your lies, with your death.”

Hearty makes the sign of the cross over Carl slowly and very deliberately three times.

“Sink into the primeval slime of your punishment where God thrust you after your own rebellion. Be dissolved in the mud and waters and air and fire of that Hell from which Jesus saved Carl and all human beings. Depart!” Hearty pauses. Then in a loud shout: “Depart! Unclean Spirit! In the name of Jesus, depart! Go!”

“DON’T GO!” Carl screams. “Don’t leave-me now. I cannot live without you. Don’t go! Please! My friend! Master!”

Hearty’s voice breaks in sharply.

“Look at it, Carl! Look at this chair!”

Carl swivels around, twisting his head. Then he starts to groan: the chair, he sees, has no aura. The Non-Self glow is gone. The chair is there. That is all. Simply there. In all its isness. Just a thing. Just a chair. Frantically he looks around the room. As he sees it now, all the lights are out. Things. Things. Things. Things. Among more things. Yellowed ceiling. Faded rose-colored wallpaper. Oaken door and windowsill, parquet flooring. The table with candles and crucifix. The bodies of the assistants and of Hearty. Six brutish lumps. Clods of flesh standing in a darkened world of crass things.

Carl screams and screams until darkness and unconsciousness smother him.

When he forced Carl to look at the objects around him-chairs, windows, flooring, people-Hearty already knew he had vanquished Tortoise. As with any crisis that has carried with it the threat of death, there had been at its ending an abrupt sense of a “lifting off” of stifling oppression; it was the same sudden relief that Father Gerald and his assistants described when Girl-Fixer was beaten and Richard/Rita was freed. It was something akin to the feeling so often recalled by those who were in London the morning everyone expected the final wave of Hitler’s blitz that would crush London altogether. In previous weeks, the whining rain of bombs had brought unending destruction, death, mutilation, and growing helplessness. But on that morning of expected horror the eastern sky was empty, tranquil. There was a lifting off of dread. There was the sound of silence. It was over. They had defended and persevered and survived. They knew.

Hearty knew.

And when he forced Carl to see it too, the rest of Hearty’s fears for Carl were in large measure justified again. When Carl screamed as Hearty showed him all the things in the room, Hearty knew that, along with Tortoise, the more spectacular elements that had gilded Carl’s real psychic abilities had left him. The “Non-Self” aura was gone, as Hearty knew it would be.
With it, Hearty was sure, had gone all those elements that Tortoise-under Hearty’s relentless prodding during the Confrontation-had admitted to producing: astral travel, bilocation, and all the rest. Remaining were only those more modest talents Carl had possessed since his early childhood and which he still possesses today.


So desperate was Carl’s fear to let go of those privileges and of all his life structure built around them that he cried in pain at the departure even of purest evil. He screamed in horror as all that he had been convinced was “normal” left him forever. He saw again only what everyone sees. Carl in that moment knew with his heart and soul that every warning Hearty had given him was accurate. He had listened to Hearty’s warnings before the exorcism only with a cool and detached mind, because with his will he had chosen to follow the fascinating secrets Tortoise offered to share with him.

Now, with Tortoise expelled and the truth of Tortoise’s identity crystal clear and admitted by him, a frightful disillusionment ran through Carl with the speed of an electric shock, searing and twisting all his thinking and remembering. This was the shock Hearty had tried to warn Carl of, the shock he was not sure Carl would survive with his sanity, perhaps not even with his life.

The doctor who had assisted at the exorcism continued with Carl’s case. Carl remained unconscious for several hours. When he came to, he was unable to converse. He barely reacted to any stimulus and was seemingly alienated from his surroundings.

He seemed to recognize no one. But there was no trace of violence.

Carl was transferred to a private clinic, where he remained for just over 11 months. At first, he was not able to care for himself at all. He remained in bed all the time, motionless and apparently caring about nothing. Little by little, he regained awareness of his surroundings. But, even with returning awareness, it was quickly evident that, if he had not lost his memory, it was blurred and incomplete.

During the first few months of his convalescence, Hearty spent hours sitting by Carl’s bedside. Sometimes he read excerpts from the daily newspaper, or a chapter from some book about current events, or prayers from the ritual book. At other times, Hearty talked to Carl, for all the world as if the sick man were listening and understanding every word, even though for quite a while there never was the slightest sign or response from Carl.

All this while, as he read or talked by Carl’s bedside, Hearty was probing psychically for some stirring in Carl, some little break in the congealed immobility that now enveloped Carl’s spirit, some motion out of that deadening passivity he “felt” held Carl captive now that he was free of Tortoise. Each time he left Carl, Hearty carried away with him to haunt his waking hours the memory of that still, drawn face and Carl’s staring eyes.

One afternoon at the end of a short visit, as he opened the bedroom door to leave, Hearty turned back to wave goodbye to the man he left each day lying inert, impassive on his bed. But what he saw now held him rooted in the doorway. Carl had turned his head. He was returning Hearty’s look. His eyes shone with meaning and recognition and intention.

Hearty remained still for some silent seconds, receiving the first weak but unmistakable indication that Carl would mend. He said Mass in Carl’s room every two or three days after that. Speech and movement came back slowly to Carl. It was some weeks before he could receive Holy Communion. And it was still longer before he would venture out into the sunlight.

Today Carl is well, but so changed in appearance and so frail that no one who had seen him on that sunny road to Aquileia would easily recognize him now as the same man.

“I want to tell you the truth as I now see it,” Carl wrote” later to his • Here, this letter is condensed from its original version. Omitted are some of the long, technical discussions with his students and colleagues, as well as personal references that concern former students and colleagues. “I was wrong in my personal instructions to each one of you about your lives.

“All through my childhood and youth, I had an affinity with God. Especially after my first vision.

“I’m certain God was there. Somewhere. But then came Princeton. Stanford. Tubingen. Cambridge. London. After that, my guruship and the efflorescence of the gifts I had. I became confused. Somehow I lost God. At the same time, I wanted to help. Really to help. To be of service. All around me, I could see floating neon images of pain, of putrefaction, of illness, of corruption and decay. I saw strange people who did not give a damn. Give a damn, please, I said. They took God’s name in vain. As I did. They were bright and cold and hard as storage ice. They liked gratuitous evil and upholstered innocence.

“I signed a moral contract to change all that. I was young, eager-beaver. I was determined to succeed. All up-tight, you might say. I was going to be a good psychologist, an honest and conscientious and understanding servant of mankind.

Servant. Not slave. And then I was going to be a good parapsychologist. And then a thoroughgoing guru.

“I groped, even prayed, searched, never took no for an answer. And I found that lyrical liar, the Devil.

“I knew with whom I had to deal, of course. But, first of all, the Devil was not the Devil preached by the Churches. There was no room in my universe for a principle of Evil. Not at that time of my life. And, I thought, the bond and contract would be, could be temporary. Of course, it could not be. But when pride gets hold of your mind and heart, you cannot see clearly.
“Solemnly and of my own free will, I wish to acknowledge that knowingly and freely I entered into possession by an evil spirit. And, although that spirit came to me under the guise of saving me, perfecting me, helping me to help others, I knew all along it was evil.

“After my conversations with Father F. [Hearty], I put everything into perspective intellectually. And I must ascribe my liberation, or, to speak correctly, my desire to want to be free (because I was not allowed any simple desire to be free) I must ascribe all this to what Father F. calls the grace of God and the salvation of Jesus.

“I never enjoyed astral body-travel, only the illusion of it. I never achieved the privilege of a double-if that be a privilege. Bilocation never succeeded, never was a fact for me. Of myself, I could not see things happening hundreds of miles away, read the future, see the past, peer with minute detail into people’s minds. I could give the illusion of these only by being prompted by someone who could see from a great distance, could read the future, had a detailed knowledge of the past, could peer into people’s minds. Any idea of reincarnation I championed was an attempt to trick. I was not a shaman. Just a sham.

“I never willed to be rid of possession until the day that Father F. explained my basic error about consciousness and spirit.

“My central error, which was both intellectual and moral in character, concerned the nature of ordinary human consciousness. Like many before me and many others nowadays, I found that with rigid and expert training I could attain a fascinating state of consciousness: a complete absence of any particular object (in my awareness). I found I could attain a permanency on this plane of consciousness. It finally became a constant environment within me, during my waking hours, no matter what I was doing. It seemed to be pure and therefore sinless, undifferentiated and therefore universal, simple and therefore without parts-and therefore incorruptible and unchangeable, and therefore eternal.

“My error started when I took this psycho-biological condition -of life as the life of spirit. Consciousness basically means awareness, being alert. And such awareness can be measured by certain physiological data. It can be phenomenally described, because it is a phenomenon.

“If it were not for one further mistake, that initial error would, I believe, have been corrected as time went on-simply because finally the scientific imperative would have taken over and forced us to look at the facts in the face.

“With the passage of time, I began to experience a further state of consciousness. It is difficult to put it into words. Before that, I was in a sort of state of suspension about my aware state. I was aware that I was in awareness. One day, I realized through a faculty which I have not been able to identify, that there was some other activity taking place which was so refined and subtle that, while I was dimly aware of it, I knew absolutely nothing about it-what it was, where it was, what it accomplished, whether it began and ended, or whether it had always existed, did then exist continuously, and would go on existing- whether I was aware of it or not.

“It lay beyond all my developed capacity to reach. It was utterly transcendent. Indeed, this was its mark; and this is how I realized its differentiation from my other levels of consciousness. They, no matter how subtle, were subject finally to my senses-at least to representation in images drawn from my sense-life. This further state of consciousness was not so subject.

“But this was sufficient indication for me, I thought. I took this as the absolutely spiritual state of my being. I took it for granted that religiously speaking I was out beyond that Dark Night of the Soul described by John of the Cross and well into something the Eastern mystics had called by various names like satori and samadhi. The fact that, at least in afterthought and reflection, I could measure and quantify this state of consciousness never struck a warning note. And that was crass enough on my part. What confirmed me in my error was that I refused to take into account the fact that this state was in complete disjunction from all historical religion-and without any chance of linking up with historical religion. It was, in other words, pure subjectivism. And from then on, the door was open to any influence and any distortion. What crawled through that door was Evil Spirit. Tortoise.

“I did arrive at part of the truth about spirit-the nether part, the negative part. But in the flux of spirit life, that was the only part it uncovered. And it necessarily attacked the human in me. For it is not that I am part animal, part human. I am not a human animal. I am a human spirit. We are of the spirit in its fluid, non-static, non-quantifiable existence. And, in matters of spirit, nether and upper, bad and good, these are terms that refer to its approximation to or distance from the source and sum of all spirit.

“I have been the subject of the cleverest of illusions: that spirit was a static quantum of more or less determinable dimensions; that Christian authorities had obscured the truth about the spirit; and that only by parapsychology and preternatural gifts could one arrive at the truth.

“The truth is that all along, despite my triumphal career until Aquileia, since the advent of possession I had a sorrow I could not shake. Such a deep sodden sadness. I looked for joy everywhere and lived beneath a winter moon that made a carcass of all my days.

“My advice for all who engage in the study and pursuit of the parapsychological is simple but vitally important: do not confound effects with causes, or systems with what maintains the systems. Do not take it that a photograph of Kirlian dots or auras is a photograph of spirit. Do not accept the feats of seance mediums as results of spirit from God. But do not, on the other hand, tamper with or treat of parapsychological phenomena as if you could do this without ultimately impinging upon spirit. You cannot. And that fact will, depending upon what you do, be to your detriment or to your betterment-in spirit.”
Good, Evil, and the Modern Mind

The surest effect of possession in an individual-the most obvious and striking effect common to all possessed persons, whether observed in or apart from Exorcism-is the great loss in human quality, in humanness.

Curiously enough, the difficulty in talking nowadays about possession and in describing its progress and effects in those attacked does not come from the weird, bizarre, or “unimaginable” happenings that may accompany possession.

The difficulty comes, instead, from the insistence of latter-day opinion makers that the religious view of good and evil is outdated; that the personality of each man, woman, and child exists only as a cross section of single traits and attributes best revealed in scores we achieve in psychological tests; that the truest and purest models for our behavior come from “lower animals” and from “natural man”-a mythical invention that has never existed and that we cannot imagine.

The difficulty is increased by additional factors. There is an ongoing insistence that religion and any form of worship and all ideals based openly on .Christian morality should be banished from public, tax-supported institutions-and that this is “objective” and “democratic.” In our mass entertainment-motion pictures, television, novels, theater-there are no hero figures and no concept of right and wrong, of good and evil. We are shown human life as alternating between a bleak despair and a desperate struggle with banal forces against which our only allies are ourselves and our own resources.

But the Christian viewpoint is still the viewpoint of the majority. It still guarantees that we are, each of us, whole persons, not bundles of separate reactions to be studied in cross sections and pushed to the outer limits of our endurance in a topsy-turvy world.

The core of the Christian view of individual men and women is that our humanness-our essence and value as separate and whole people-is treasured and protected by the spirit of Jesus. It is, in fact, to reestablish that humanness and its integrity that an exorcist presents himself freely in the name and with the power of Jesus. He makes himself a hostage-as Jesus presented himself as hostage for each one of us-in a battle for one person’s humanness. He will win that battle only by the strength of his faith in Jesus and with the fiber of his individual will attached to Jesus’ salvation.

In common sense and in the popular mind, a distinction is always made between human being and humanness. We find a universal agreement about the general appearance and the functional capacity that indicate human being. A certain physical form derived from another human being with the same general form. Certain normal functions: eating, sleeping, walking, talking, laughing, thinking, willing, dying. Certain capacities: learning, growing, inventing, planning, sympathizing, and so on. One or more of these may be lacking or in a reduced state. But a certain number of them enable us to describe their possessor as human.

As is clear from some of the cases reported in this book and from many others known, possessed people can and do, at least for a time, function reasonably efficiently as human beings, in their jobs and in society in general. Actually, the more perfect the possession, the less likely any disturbance in one’s functioning on the level of human being. Jay Beedem, whom Father Mark seemed to uncover as one perfectly possessed, was a model of cool efficiency.

But between that condition of human being and what, for want of a more accurate name, we call humanness, we always make a distinction.

In humanness we include qualities that adhere to the inner self and are interconnected with an appreciable outer way of living and doing. These qualities, taken together, confer a commonly recognized aura, a decor, a configuration of winsomeness and worth on the whole person.’ The quality of humanness reaches a striking degree of fullness in some of us; when it does, it seems to give a shimmering tonal halo to our communication with those around us, and others feel in such a person a temperament that eagerly responds to fragile but intimately precious values.

Humanness is a grace, not necessarily graceful but never ugly; not necessarily holy-in the religionists’ sense of that word-but never obscene; not necessarily sophisticated by “higher culture,” but always with its own refinement; not necessarily dominant or predominant or dominating, but in itself indomitable. It makes its possessor a connected human being, lovable to some, alive to all others, yet with a personal regnancy; he loves himself but no genuinely vile egotism blinds him to others; he loves others, but no hatred of self makes him a pawn or a plaything for them.

We always see humanness as a variable quality. Sometimes we think not all have it. Some seem to have little of it. All who possess it, have varying degrees of it, are never constant in it, and from time to time fail in it completely. And, in ourselves, even when we have done “as well as we can” and console ourselves by saying that “under the circumstances we could not have done better,” we are sensible of how much better, how much more perfectible we are, how more perfectly we could have acted.

For Christianity, the source of humanness in all individuals, past, present, and future, is Jesus of Nazareth. All forms of possession, from the partial to the perfect, are clearly seen as an attack simultaneously on the souce of humanness, Jesus, and on the humanness of an individual man or woman. The process of possession in any individual consists of an erosion of the humanness Jesus confers.

To explain how possession develops, therefore, one must answer several questions. What is Evil Spirit in relation to Jesus and in relation to us all? What is the humanness of Jesus? How is Jesus the source of humanness for all individuals? How do we explain this in relation to all men and women who lived historically before him and after him? Concretely, how do ordinary men and women attain or miss the humanness of Jesus? And finally, how is this humanness of Jesus eroded-what, in other words, is the process of diabolic possession?

Some of the greatest minds in our history have asked and pondered these questions. Some of those minds have gone a good deal of the way toward answering them-as far, it is fair to say, as minds in science have gone in answering questions proper to their domain.

Even though our coverage of these questions concerning Jesus and Lucifer must be brief due to limitations of space, we are not merely indulging in a comforting cliche when we make one observation: the best that latter-day prophets and modern doom sayers seem able to do with these matters is to ignore them and tell us to do the same. They cannot prove them false, but only increase their efforts to persuade us so. And for all their mighty efforts, they cannot repair the damage they do in this way to our humanness.


Back to Contents