Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Possession of Anneleise Michel
Two movies, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "Requiem", available on Netflix streaming, are loosely based on this story.
Anneliese Michel was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism.
Michel experienced what is recognized by medical professionals as severe psychiatric disturbances from the age of 16 to her death, at age 23 from malnutrition secondary to mental illness. She apparently intended her death by starvation to “atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church”.
After several years of ineffective psychiatric treatment, she refused any form of treatment and requested an exorcism. Both priests who performed the exorcism and Michel’s parents were convicted of negligent manslaughter because they did not seek medical treatment (for her refusal to eat) on her behalf and over her objections.
The Roman Catholic Church, which had authorized the exorcism, later declared Anneliese Michel a case of mental illness.