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Last month I was reading one of the local English language dailies here, The Jordan Times, and I happened upon an article that has stuck with me. It was about the sentencing of a repeat child molester, and hidden in the last few paragraphs I found this account of another molestation:
"The court said the family contacted the two men, who were known to be exorcists, and asked them get rid of "evil spirits" in their house.
"The two men started performing spells and reading certain verses from the Koran, then molested the two girls in the process, court papers said."
I guess that a portion of the ritual was related to the deleted scenes in the 1973 classic horror film The Exorcist.
Actually it's a bit misleading to call people in the Middle East who remove "evil spirits" exorcists, because they don't believe that a demon or the devil has taken up residence in their home or loved one. Rather, they believe jinns (also called genies) occupy homes and people.
Jinns are supernatural beings that have existed for thousands of years. Just like humans, some are good, some are bad, and others are somewhere between. In Islam, Satan is considered a jinn, but he is one of thousands. An "exorcist" in this part of the world would be called upon to ask a bad jinn to leave your home.
Since reading that article, I've managed to find an "exorcist" who has invited me to watch him eradicate an ill-behaved jinn from a house. I'll be profiling him in an upcoming GlobalPost article, so be on the lookout for it if this kind of thing interests you. And don't worry, I don't think this exorcism will have any deleted scenes, so to speak ...