Sunday, November 16, 2008


Bishop Josef Stangl, who approved the exorcism and corresponded by letter on the case with the 2 priests a dozen times, also was investigated by state authorities. It was decided not to indict him or summon him to appear at the trial due to his age and poor health. The bishop stated that his actions were all within the bounds of canon law.

The courtroom case, called the Klingenberg Case, became the basis of Scott Derrickson's 2005 movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The film significantly deviates from the real-world events (for example, the film is set in the US, Anneliese was renamed Emily Rose, and the court case was shown with a substantially different outcome). The German-language film Requiem (2006) by Hans-Christian Schmid holds a much truer account of the real-life events.

Today, Anneliese's grave in Klingenberg am Main remains a place of pilgrimage for many Catholics who consider Anneliese Michel a devout believer who experienced extreme sufferings to assist departed souls in Purgatory.

Some doctors have suggested that many of Michel's 'symptoms' are consistent with, and suggestive of, mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) section on Dissociative Disorders, and/or with behaviors observed in patients with these disorders. For example, the temporary adoption of bizarre, rigid body postures (dystonia); the use of the first-person plural pronoun 'we' to describe one's self; the markedly dilated pupils not explained by any external stimuli; full or partial amnesia; the emergence of distinct 'personalities' among the 'demons'; the pervasive psychoemotional 'numbness' Michel describes in The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel; Michel's feeling as though her body was acting outside her volition (depersonalization); fear or rejection of sexuality; the persistence of these symptoms despite medical treatment, and in absence of any known medical cause; and many others.

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