Libertarian Views / Father Amorth, Exorcist

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Libertarian Views / Father Amorth, Exorcist

About the show

James P. Gray was a trial judge in Orange County, California, starting in 1983, and the 2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President. In the first half, he shared his views as a Libertarian, and weighed in on such issues as public education, homelessness, healthcare, taxes, and drug laws. Libertarians, he noted, believe that "you should be able to live your own life as you choose, as long as you don't wrongly impair other people to do the same thing." Now working as a private mediator in resolving disputes, he lamented that many in society have lost the ability or even interest in talking and working with each other to address and resolve issues, particularly of a political nature. One of the most critical issues facing America is that many public schools are failing our children, especially in lower economic areas, he commented. Parents should be able to choose where their government money will be spent for the education of their children, and that will bring competition back into the school systems, Gray suggested.

He spoke in favor of an idea popularized by economist Milton Friedman-- negative income tax, where people who make very little or no money would receive a stipend yet would be incentivized to work rather than collect welfare. Regarding healthcare, Gray does not believe the government should be involved in implementing programs, as this has caused the medical system to be mired in costly bureaucracy. He thinks there should be vouchers for people who can't afford it, but they should choose how to use them rather than through a government vendor. Gray also discussed the problem of homelessness in cities like Los Angeles, and highlighted the need for more mental health facilities and the challenges faced by veterans in particular.

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With a master's degree in religion from the University of Chicago, Michael Lichens focuses his work on overlooked aspects of spiritual life. In the latter half, he discussed the Catholic Church's most celebrated exorcist, the late Father Gabriel Amorth, how he became an exorcist, and some of the intense cases he was involved with. Amorth, who was based in Rome, conducted some 70,000 exorcisms over the years, Lichens estimated, though some of these were on the same person (the documentary, The Devil and Father Amorth, depicts him performing his ninth attempt to exorcise a woman named Cristina). One of the reasons Amorth became so well-known was his willingness to work with the media, he noted. One person Amorth worked with was said to be possessed by a staggering 1,000 demons, and in some cases, he worked with individuals for years trying to free them from demons.

Lichens recounted how Father Amorth was initially reluctant to be an exorcist, but after six years of training, he began to take on solo cases in the 1980s. The Church would always try to rule out natural or medical explanations before conducting an exorcism on someone. Speaking of supernatural occurrences during an exorcism, Lichens detailed how the Father witnessed levitations on occasion, as well as had a direct encounter with Lucifer and was spit upon, with the spit turning into nails as it hit him. He also experienced freezing rooms, actually seeing ice form on the windows. A spiritual protege of Amorth was Padre Pio, who bled the stigmata in his hands, battled with demons, and was said to communicate with angels. Amorth said he sometimes felt the spirit of Padre Pio (who died in 1968) assisting him in exorcisms.

News segment guests: John M. Curtis, Catherine Austin Fitts

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