No, I am not making that up... read the speech.. it's all in there...
The thing is... Colin Ross, a former president of the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality Disorder and Dr. Bennett Braun, director of the Dissociative Disorders Program at Rush Presbyterian- St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago (both respected and well known institutions) both made similar claims.
The book I've been reading, American Exorcism, is a really really fascinating look at why exorcism (and many of the things that grew out of it) was ever a phenomenon in america and how popular media (two things in particular, William Peter Blatty's book (based vaguely on a report of an actual exorcism he'd read about from the 1950's in Maryland) and subsequent movie The Exorcist, and Malachi Martin's book Hostage to the Devil) could be very much at the root of the vast majority of charismatic, evangelical, and deliverence ministry growth and popularity since the early 70s, up to and including the rash of satanic cult fear the ran rampant in the 80's and 90's.
You would think that this would be a really dry account and hard to get through but it's incredibly readable, totally non-sensationalistic, evenly handled and informative. No actual judgement on wether or not satanism, demons, demonic affliction, posession and torment are real or even wether or not exorcism and deliverance are viable means of dealing with these afflictions.
Michael Cuneo is more concerned with where the influence for the widespread exorcism/deliverence craze came from and why it's still such a pervasive idea in such a moderate christian culture.
And yes, american culture is a *moderate* mainstream christian culture, as you see when you delve into pentecostal tongue speaking and deliverence ministries and do a little comparing. In fact, most mainstream christian institutions go out of their way to seperate themselves as much as possible from the demon binding, screaming, stomping and flailing ideals of pentecostalism.
It wasn't until the mid 70s that anyone outside of backwater, mostly indigent areas were even willing to discuss those sort of fire and damnation, shake down the walls ministries, let alone embrace them in any form whatsoever.
The book is just really well done, well written.
This was what I was looking for when I bought Hostage to the Devil a few years ago. What I got with Hostage to the Devil was a completely credulous view of demonization and exorcism from the view of a former Jesuit priest who claimed to have been personally involved with the several very sensationalistic cases outlined in the book, along with a stern warning about the dangers of satan's horde.
Not suprisingly, most of the big names in deliverence, pentecostal fundamentalism and charismatic ministries have also made names for themselves through book deals, lecture circuits, delieverence retreats and the tabloid tv show circuit.
Here is a skeptic's look at RSA. Most of the things talked about here are covered in American Exorcism, but with a lot more open mindedness.
I think even if you believe that demons exist and torment the souls of true believers that you would find this book inoffensive and educational. It debunks the obvious bunk, but does not attack the institution or the core beliefs involved.