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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Power of Skype Compels You

Every week I get a few paragraphs in my e-mail from the fine folks at Harper’s magazine called Harper’s Weekly. It’s basically a report of the ironic, silly, bizarre, and pretty damned funny actions of jackasses near and far.  Here’s my favorite blurb from this week:

Isaac Kramer, the director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists, condemned an Arizona priest for performing exorcisms over Skype. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen,” said Kramer. “It would be like trying to perform a baptism on someone through the telephone.”

How does Mr. Kramer know this? Frankly, I’ve read profiles of plenty of Satan worshipers on social media sites, and I think any celebrity with an iPad and a Twitter account falls into that category as well.

Naturally, the first thing that came to my mind, is: “How do I join this association?” So I immediately went to their website,, only to find that membership is limited to ordained priests and bishops, and not unordained rooks or queens, so I’m out of luck. The good news is you don’t have to be Catholic; you can be Anglican, so I am just making the assumption that means Episcopalian as well, so at least I’m part way there.

This led to other questions, such as: How is it that one named Isaac Kramer is not the director of the International Jewish Association of Exorcists? Also, how much does it cost to join the ICAOE, and what are the benefits?

Well, apparently it’s free, but you do have to send them copies of your ordination/consecration certificates. And you must have the permission of “your ordinaries.” Visiting this website has been quite an education for me, because I thought you’d have to have permission of your extraordinaries, not just your ordinaries. So that works for me. Most of the people I know are pretty ordinary. I don’t know a lot of freaks anymore. (I sure did in high school, though.)

The benefits of membership, according to the website are as follows (this is a cut and paste, so ignore the grammar issues):

- Annual certification with license number
- Listed on the website location roster
- Listed in the ICAOE Directory
- Ability to be contacted for local cases
- Access to Facebook Group to discuss cases, learn new techniques, and dialogue with other Exorcist world-wide
- Use of logo for business cards

So it would appear that the ICAOE is pretty tech savvy, what with their Facebook group and all, so why, I wonder, does Father Kramer have his vestments in such a wad over a Skype exorcism? It’s a lot safer than participating in a non-virtual exorcism. As anyone who has seen the movie The Exorcist can tell you, in a live exorcism you can get your holy water bottle broken, get backhanded across the face, receive rocket-propelled projectile vomiting of pea soup to the face, and have your Holy Catholic face ground into the bloody girlie parts of Regan McNeil.

So I guess I’m not going to spend my retirement years going through seminary just so I can get official professionally accredited exorcist business cards, which I know would be a blast to pass out at both gay bars and the Republican National Convention.

Fortunately, I’m in luck, though, because for just five dollars, I can purchase membership in the American Association of Exorcists. With the AAE, you can even purchase a mere Supportive Membership to “those interested parties not actively involved in exorcism and deliverance practice.” I’d rather have an Active Membership, which requires ordination. As anyone with a lick of Google-smarts knows, you can become a minister easily just by going to a variety of websites and paying a fee. I know of several ordinaries who have done this just so they can perform weddings for friends without having to take that annoying notary test.

The American Association of Exorcists is based in Choctaw, Oklahoma (not The Vatican), and is apparently run by someone with the email address of That alone piques my interest. Their website is You can’t sign up online, so get out your checkbooks, all you ordinaries, and I’ll see you next time at the RNC. Don’t forget your business cards.

Creative Commons License by Bill Wiley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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