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  • Exorcism in Victoria Goes Wrong    #29
  • Church in New Age satan fight         #50


    (Investigator 29, 1993 March)

    A woman who died during an exorcism on January 30, twice failed to rise from the dead thereby thwarting predictions by persons "very sensitive to the Lord".

    Mrs Joan Vollmer, 49, lived on a pig farm near Dimboola in Western Victoria. She suffered from schizophrenia, had at times been institutionalised.

    On January 23 husband Ralph Vollmer, 54, saw his wife dancing outside, yelling and wildly waving her arms. Mr Vollmer, nominally of the Salvation Army, attended Bible meetings of a small charismatic group. He telephoned the local leader John Reichenbach, 38, and wife Leanne, 30, and the exorcism started.

    Days of prayers and holding Mrs Vollmer down followed. Two more cult members joined in, about January 28. Allegedly Mrs Vollmer had 10 demons in her including the "spirit of filth", the "spirit of abuse" and "Legion" a spirit with the strength of 2,000. Mrs Vollmer allegedly displayed abnormal strength, "read our minds" and swelled up as though pregnant.

    On Saturday, January 30, further help arrived from Melbourne 450km away in the form of Matthew Paul Nuske, 22, an assistant green-keeper, footballer, and secret exorcist. He ran cling-wrap around the house seven times and over the roof. Then the holding down, the prayers and the commanding of the demons in Jesus name to come out continued.

    On February 3 on TV Vollmer explained: "there were some terrible hissing sounds; some froth came out of her mouth. The lights went out of her eyes instantly the moment the demons came out." This occurred late afternoon after which Nuske left. The death was not immediately reported: "Because…we received…phone calls from people…very sensitive to the Lord…that the Lord was going to raise her up."

    By Monday, February 1, the body had swollen in the 40-degree heat (104 fahrenheit), was stinking and decomposing, and "blowflies and things" were gathering!

    At midday the decision was made to report the death and a second resurrection date was set to coincide with the funeral at Horsham on Friday February 5.

    Said Vollmer in the TV report: "I do not believe; I know this will happen. The whole thing has been God's plan from the very beginning and his name is going to be glorified like its never been before. Before her body is lowered into the grave he is going to raise her up again. And I hope and pray that your cameras will be there… because the Lord wants the world to see this."

    In a different TV report Derrin Hinch interviewed Catholic priest Father John Shanley who had performed exorcisms since 1978.

    Said Father Shanley: "Things like that [as in the movie The Exorcist] can happen. People begin to throw up. About a teaspoon of black stuff.

    "An invisible thing hits me… when I feel it leaving or if I'm under attack… It grabs me around the hips… like an electric current was hitting you or a coldness that pierces you to the bones."

    The Father added that demon possession could not be solely a mental symptom because it involved muscle movements which can't consciously be performed and because exorcisms are only attempted after medical diagnosis and help has failed.

    In April 1991 the Roman Catholic Church permitted an exorcism in America to be filmed and shown on TV. A young woman, "Gina", was shown being held down while she struggled and shouted incomprehensibly. Reverend James LeBar of the Archdio-cese of New York stated that exorcism was needed when medical explanations had been excluded and/or the person manifested great strength, levitation, clairvoyance and speaking in languages they had not studied.

    In Adelaide the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Uniting Church and Christian Revival Crusade all perform exorcisms.

    In the New Testament the casting out of "devils" and "unclean spirits" is mentioned dozens of times in the first three Gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke – only on four occasions in Acts and then no more.

    A report in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY said: "In a recent study of 27 patients with religious delusions, Dr Littlewood found that three were possessed by the devil and eighteen by the Holy Ghost." (Volume 3, No.1 p.29)

    In the Vollmer case the alleged demons were anchored to the womb. We're told that they were forced out via the stomach, throat and mouth. Police confirmed that Mrs Vollmer died of internal injuries.

    Hours before the burial Mr Vollmer still declared that he had received further "promises" of his wife's resurrection.

    Present at the funeral were about 30 journalists and photographers, 50 mourners and scores of spectators. When the coffin was lowered and the wife didn't step out Mr Vollmer hypothesised that she liked her new home too much to return to this world.


    Church in NewAge satan fight.

    (The Advertiser, March 4, 1995, p. 12)

    (Reprinted in Investigator 50, September 1996, courtesy of The Advertiser)


    The Catholic Church has revealed it is performing around six exorcisms a year in Adelaide.

    This confirmation comes as a leading Anglican clergyman blames New Age fortune tellers for a surge of interest in Satanism in South Australia.

    Catholic exorcisms are performed by a "deliverance team" which includes a priest appointed by the Archbishop, Dr Leonard Faulkner.

    One of the co-ordinators, Sister Pat Kenny, said yesterday doctors and psychiatrists were consulted before deciding whether to perform an exorcism.

    "Exorcism doesn't bear logical explanation because it is part of the mystery of the spiritual dimension of human life," she said. "If you don't believe in spirituality you won't believe in exorcism."

    The Catholic rite of exorcism must be performed by a priest "endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence and integrity of life", according to Church law. The deliverance team recites prayers in the company of the person possessed by the evil spirit.

    Sister Kenny said the person and the team prepared well for the ceremony.

    "You don't go into battle unarmed," she said.

    "It's a real fight, like trying to get out of a sort of hell.

    "All sorts of strange things happen. I've seen people cringe when they are sprinkled with holy water.

    "Sometimes the person is in a semi-conscious state and a voice speaks out of them and it's not the person's own voice.

    "When you call the person's name a weak little voice will answer, 'yes'."

    The team has also exorcised spirits from people's homes.


    An Anglican clergyman, Reverend David Binns, who says he has performed dozens of exorcisms – or "deliverances" – from his ministry at St Luke's Church, in the city, said society was turning back to spirituality, but not always in a good way.

    "Many people are going to clairvoyants and astrologers for guidance," he said.

    "They are touching on the spiritual and do not realise that eventually this can lead to witchcraft and satanism.

    "Once you head down that spiritual path you can go further and further. There are evil spirits around.

    "The yuppies are probably more involved in this (the occult) than the poor. They are searching for something spiritual because science has let them down and they won't turn to Christianity."

    One of Adelaide's best-known astrologers and tarot card readers, known simply as Anne-Elisabeth, said people who criticised astrology usually knew nothing about it.

    It was an accurate science, based on planetary movements, and had no connection with satanism. Some of her clients had been seeing her for 17 years.

    "People doing New Age things are usually not critical of other people's beliefs," Anne-Elisabeth said. "We don't criticise others for going to church or reading the Bible."

    The issue of exorcism rose to national prominence after Victorian woman Mrs Joan Vollmer, 49, died during an exorcism ritual at her Wimmera farmhouse in January, 1993.

    Two of the people involved were later jailed for manslaughter, but Mrs Vollmer's husband Ralph, 56, was acquitted of the charge.

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