Anneliese michel


Not sure where to put this;

but what do you think about the Anneliese Michel case?


no one?


I don’t think I’m qualified to make a judgement on it, seeing as I’m not a priest or a psychologist… I think that the Church is, and they decided after they’d done all this stuff that maybe they misjudged it being a matter of possession.


I have not seen the movie personally. So I can not comment on that.

As far as that site goes, if that’s the way it really happened. The Church did right to say no the first time.

My son was diagnosed with Unexplained Epilepsy in May so I have learned a thing or two about this.

First off the goal of those with Epilepsy is the same goal that those with Asthma and Diabetes have. CONTROL! Everyone of us has a seizure threshold. For most people that threshold never gets crossed. For those with Epilepsy it does. The reasons may be known and in a lot cases (such as in the case of my son) they are not known.

There are many different types of seizures. The site never says which type she had. Many people that do have seizures experience an aura, which can be a strange sound, sight, smell, or a physical sensation. This is basically a warning for them. I’m sure that her doctors would have thought the faces she was seeing were nothing more than an aura.

Anticonvulsant drugs are extremely powerful. Your talking milliliters here, not tablespoons or teaspoons. My son was started on 1/2 ml and in less than an hour he was extremely loopy. Fortunately they adjust quickly to this so it doesn’t last long. When people are started on these drugs you are worked up to your regular dose. You do not just jump into it. The older anticonvulsant drugs have a reputation of having bad side effects. Some include damage to the liver. People on those drugs have to under go testing every 3 months for liver damage. Another side effect is also depression. One of the newer drugs Kepra does not have all of the side effects that the older drugs have. So improvement is being made. :slight_smile: The one side effect that our doctor told us about Kepra is that if they have a negative reaction to it they will have a really bad personality change. He said it is like night and day. Fortunately we never experienced that. However, for several weeks we did have serious disciplinary issues with our son, he’s 3 1/2 yrs old. After several weeks he settled down and is now basically back to normal.

When it comes to these drugs you can not stop cold turkey. You must be weaned off of them. Stopping cold turkey can have some bad side effects, including bringing on seizures. The site doesn’t say if this is what Anneliese did.

I do find it interesting that the site says this:

According to Physicians Desk Reference, taking Tegretol may cause epileptic obnubilation, (a lowered level of consciousness with loss of ability to respond properly to external stimuli) with fever and hypoxemia (lack of oxygen in blood). Anneliese had all these symptoms, which gave rise to the theory that the cause of death was suffocation.

The autopsy report, however, said that her death was caused by the malnutrition and dehydration that resulted from almost a year of semi-starvation during the rites.

When a person experiences a seizure their brain is practically running a marathon. One of the things that happens is they start losing oxygen. When my son was in the hospital back in May he had 2 seizures. During the seizures his oxygen dropped into the 80s. I’m talking with in seconds of the seizure starting it went from 99 to in the 80s! It is a rapid change. His average the rest of the time was 99.

Having watched my son go this I can definitely sympathize with her parents. :frowning: I’m no expert so I have no idea if she was really possessed or not. This is just what I know and I would say that it is possible that she was not possessed. However, I’ll leave that to the experts to decide that definitely.


I’m angry that they didn’t have a doctor handy and her vitals closely monitored. Anyway, how can a Christian be really possessed?


It wasn’t the exorcism that killed her. It was the inabilty to eat because of the possession, at least that’s what happened in the movie.

Remember the book of Job? Satan was allowed to do as he wished as long as he didnt take Job’s life. Satan has power over the flesh. It is the body that is possessed not the soul. In movie there is an account where “Emily”'s soul is given repreive from her demonic controlled body when Mary appears to her. Mary tells her that she can choose to come with her then, or to continue suffering, which the latter would enlight souls and bring then back to God’s grace. God is in control no matter what. The body is only dust, infalliable, and inferior, but the spirt belongs to God. Demons can posess the body because the body is nothing but a host.


I don’t see any reason why an exorcism can’t be performed at just about any time. There are some good reasons why it shouldn’t be done, for example to maintain the sacredness and mystique of a ritual that is generally performed only in severe cases, but really, no one dies from an exorcism, it’s just prayers and holy water.
I suppose that’s really all i wanted to say, so g’day and God bless!


That what I find strange. The examiner said she died from malnutrition and dehydration. They claimed it was due to the exorcism that was being done. I find that really hard to believe. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have just done another examine as a precaution when they exhumed her body. It’s a really strange and sad case all around.


If you want to make an informed opinion about the case, I strongly recommend the book “The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel” by Felicitas Goodman. Don’t rely on sensational movies or websites. The book was written long before the film, only a few years after Anneliese died. It’s scholarly and respectful. The author is a non-Catholic anthropologist. While she floats some flaky and theologically dangerous anthropological theories and brings in “separate reality” notions (a la Carlos Castaneda), the bulk of the book is diligent and thorough detail on the case that you just can’t get from any other source.

Goodman seems to be of the opinion that Anneliese was possessed, though her definition of possession is not the Church’s. It’s an academic, “cross-cultural” definition and she lumps religious visionaries and possession together. Both are in touch with the “alternate reality”, but with benign or negative “aspects” of it. Or something. She never clearly defines her theories.

But after reading this book, I’ve come to the conclusion that Anneliese was not possessed and the church’s judgment on the case was correct. However, the reaction to that judgment (needlessly revising the exorcism rite and a virtual disappearance of exorcism from Europe, especially Germany) threw out the baby with the bath water.

As a result of the sensational Emily Rose film, the opinion the general public seems to have is that the girl’s family and the exorcists were completely negligent about getting her medical attention. In the last few months of her life, I think this was true. However, the book shows that she was under constant medical care up until those last few months. However, it was having no effect. In fact, the medical care seemed to make her worse.

The most fascinating thing about Goodman’s book is her opinion about what REALLY killed the girl (that is, the clinical cause of death apart from negligence). She brings to light the horribly irresponsible prescriptions she received of dangerous medications. I haven’t seen the Emily Rose film, but I doubt if it touches on this medication problem at all. Anneliese’s seizures, hallucinations and personality changes lasted for years. All this time, she was prescribed enormous and dangerous quantities of an anticonvulsant drug called Tegretol, the toxicity of which was not fully understood at the time. She took the drug dutifully. It had deadly side effects including alteration of the blood and may have aggravated and worsened her hallucinations. She stopped taking it in the last few months, but the damage from the drug may have been irreversible.

Goodman is very sympathetic towards the priests and the girl’s family and seems to hold them blameless. However, I find this unconvincing. Towards the end, Anneliese was emaciated like an anorectic and covered with bruises (easy bruising is one of the side effects of Tegretol). They should have checked her into a hospital even if it was against her will. If I’m not mistaken, I think the Church’s rules on exorcism–even at that time–mandate constant medial attention where necessary.

There are recordings on the web of both her natural voice and her “possessed” voice. The contrast is startling and I can see how some pious people, especially her own family who knew her and loved her, would think that the other personality couldn’t possibly be their Anneliese. But to me she sounds and behaves just a little too much like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.” The film had been released a few years earlier and Anneliese–who already suspected that she was under demonic attack–probably couldn’t resist seeing it.

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