A couple of years ago, the Standard, a newspaper out of Springfield, Missouri, told the story of Kenneth and Farah Rose Deel, a couple who makes a living by convincing people that they are being haunted by demons. In the ultimate economic convenience, prospective clients are told that only Kenneth and Farah are capable of solving the problem through an exorcism. They’re demonologists, you see.
“We don’t think people should be messing with this,” Kenneth warns people. Yes, it’s a much better idea to pay the Deels to take care of the invisible problem with their own, super-secret, invisible methods. And how would a client know that the invisible demons are gone? The Deels will tell them. How reassuring.
How does a person become a demonologist anyway? There is no educational program, no certification, no training. You just call yourself a demonologist, and presto, you’re a demonologist.
This exorcism scam is an ugly way to take advantage of people dealing with earthly anxieties, but what’s particularly strange is the way that the Standard mixes the Ozark Howler in with the Deels’ Catholic system of demonology. “Missouri could be one of the best places to test that knowledge. With rural legends such as the Ozark Howler… superstition has a deep cultural rooting in the Midwest,” the Standard writes.
The Deals are authors of The Catholic Demonologist: Workbook and Study Guide: A companion guidebook for the serious Demonology study. The Catholic Church, however, has no official doctrine about the Ozark Howler. Ozark locals have never called the Howler a demon, and there’s no folk practice for exorcising it.
I suppose that details like that aren’t enough to get in the way of hucksters proposing that they have a surefire spiritual consulting method for exorcising the Ozark Howler from a particular patch of woods, though.
I guess they’ll just pray on it, and the solution will come… at the usual charge.