Interview with Father Owen from The Banishing by Fiona Dodwell
Here Fiona shares with us a transcript of an interview she conducted with Father Owen, the priest and exorcist who kindly agreed to support her in writing of The Banishing:
Fiona: Thank you Father, for agreeing to be interviewed for this.
Father Owen: No, I thank you. It’s important we get this message out there, I think (coughs), really, the pleasure is all mine.
Fiona: Can you tell me what you remember about Melissa when you first met her?
Father Owen: She was struggling. Such a pretty young thing, but it was evident when she first spoke to me that she was troubled, extremely.. ah, you know, she had problems.
Fiona: Did you believe her when she said she thought her husband might be demoniacally possessed?
Father Owen: I knew it was possible. Demons do exist, and this is the message I want to get out there to people – they are real. People don’t want to think about it, it’s not a nice topic, is it? But it’s important (coughs)…to get this message to the people.
Fiona: When Melissa told you about Mark, her husband, and the changes he had gone through, did you ever consider that he may be mentally ill or perhaps just showing his true-colours, for want of a better term?
Father Owen: (Pause) People can commit evil in their own way, with their own hands, definitely. One can’t exclude human nature and illness. But you have to look at the bigger picture – what is the person’s history? Is there a history of mental illness or domestic abuse in the family household? Was the childhood a happy one? With Mark.. I just… Melissa told me about him, told me of his family history. His was a happy childhood. He’d shown no signs of a temper or abuse before. There was no trace of mental illness in his family. All of that.. all of that was looked into, with great care. Melissa knew there was something wrong – she just knew Mark was possessed by something. He simply wasn’t himself anymore. Let’s not forget to think about the paranormal occurrences that happened in her home while Mark was going through this whole episode.
Fiona: So you believe he was literally possessed by a spirit?
Father Owen: By a demon. And yes, he was possessed. Like many others before him, I might add. Mark is just one of many, a drop in the ocean.
Fiona: Hollywood paints a picture of possession that make this hard to believe. Many of us now come to view possession as something highly dramatic – head spinning, projectile vomiting, being tied down to a bed and so fourth.
Father Owen: (Laughs) Some cases are that dramatic, sometimes it does happen that way. But evil normally likes to disguise itself in more subtle ways, that way it can remain for longer, it can survive under the labels that society deems acceptable.
Fiona: Can you explain that a little more?
Father Owen: Yes. Imagine if you were a demon (laughs). I know that may be hard. You are a demon. You want to inhabit somebody, take over their lives, control their thoughts and actions. Do you think you could do this for longer if you used subtle ways to influence that person? Don’t you think that by adopting theatrical dramatics the demon would invite unwanted attention and the process of being banished would be all the more quicker? No, I definitely think demons thrive on the small weaknesses of humanity: the single mother that injects illicit drugs into her veins. The once loving husband, such as Mark, who suddenly turns on his wife, inventing ways to torture her?
Fiona: Do you have advice for people who want to protect themselves?
Father Owen: Yes, remain strong, resolute. Pray. Remain moral. God with protect you.
Fiona: Thanks for your time, Father Owen.
If you want to find out what happened to Mark and Melissa, you can pick up a copy of The Banishing (paperback or e-book) from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Damnation Books.
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