It’s not bad enough that these sort of charlatans take advantage of superstitious Americans, now they have to go embarrass us in other countries? Here we have an example of the worst of America – self-righteousness coupled with arrogance, the very basis of the “ugly American” stereotype – being foisted upon the hapless citizens of London. These three aren’t physically ugly but their message is decidedly unlovely: London’s teens need to undergo exorcisms!
Brynne Larson, along with sisters Tess and Savannah Scherkenback, are the subjects of a recent documentary by Charlet Duboc of Vice. She followed the trio, along with Brynne’s daddy, Bob Larson (who we shall get to in a bit), through the Ukraine, documenting the “exorcisms” they performed. Now the team has descended upon London, a city which, according to Savannah, is a hotbed of occult activity:
“It has been centuries in the making, but I believe it came to a pinnacle with the Harry Potter books.” “The spells you are reading about are not made up,” adds Tess. “They are real and come from witchcraft.”
Pardon me a brief facepalm. It amazes me that some people can’t tell fiction from fact. Maybe it’s a kind of wish-fulfillment or hysterical blindness, I don’t know. What I do know is that the spells in the Harry Potter books are make-believe. J.K. Rowling has explained this on many occasions. Trust me, witches can’t wave a wand, say a word and *poof* – if we could, I would be living in a big house in Hawai’i with a view of the Kona Coast and a billion dollars in the bank.
Let’s take a look at a Harry Potter spell:
Petrificus Totalus (pe-TRI-fi-cus to-TAH-lus): “Full Body Bind”, “Body-Bind Curse”, or “full” (UK) / “Full” (US) Body-Bind Curse”: “petrificare” L. to make into stone + “totalis” L. entire. A spell that turns the entire body of the victim rigid.
Goodness, what a handy spell that would be… Someone chasing you? A cop giving you a ticket? Your kids refusing to settle down? Flick-and-swish and say Petrificus Totalus and all is well. Alas, real witchcraft is nothing at all like that. Our real spells are best described as “prayer with props.” We don’t carry our wands with us everywhere we go and we certainly can’t affect things around us instantaneously.
But, hey, the teen exorcists have another angle in case that one is dismissed. According to them, sexuality can cause possession. Not only do we need fear STDs but there are supposedly “sexually transmitted demons,” too! I wonder if they make a condom for that?
This nonsense comes to the girls from Brynne’s father, Bob Larson. This is a man who has been selling his snake oil for decades. Back in the 1960s, Larson switched from playing music to attacking it. Lyrics that were suggestive or that endorsed Eastern mysticism, left-wing ideology or “antisocial” behavior fell under his axe. Then, in the 80s, he turned to attacking Satanism – along with anything he felt fit that description. He began performing “exorcisms” both live and over the air on his radio show, Talk Back. He was partially responsible for the “satanic panic” of the latter 1980s. He pushed the idea of satanic ritual abuse and murder on his show while, naturally, asking for money to fight the non-existent menace. He started performing on-air exorcisms to bilk his listeners out of their money.
This visit to London is yet another attempt by Larson to scam the easily led out of their hard-earned cash. He sells his books (at least one of which was ghost-written), DVDs and “crosses of deliverance” (which you can see the teens holding in the photo) at every stop. And then there are the private sessions at 200 pounds per. But Bob sees what he does as the equivalent of rehab:
“People pay thousands to go to drug rehab or for a psychiatrist but there is this idea that spirituality should be free. It is not uncommon for a pastor in America to make up to a million dollars a year. I can assure you we are nowhere near that.”
I don’t believe a word of it. Bob Larson has been grifting since he realized that people would pay money to listen to his ravings, read his drivel and have “demons” removed from them. He even has an online “demon test” where, for only $9.95 you can see whether or not you are possessed by a demon. Seriously. And now he has his daughter and her friends shilling for him. If Londoners have any sense, they will toss the lot of them back onto the next plane for Arizona.