The Real Story Behind The Movie: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anneliese_Michel
Anneliese Michel (21 September 1952 – 1 July 1976) was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism. The case has been labelled as a misidentification of mental illness, negligence, abuse, and religious hysteria. Three motion pictures, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Requiem, and the Asylum film Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes, are loosely based on Michel’s story. When she was sixteen, she suffered a severe convulsion and was diagnosed as having epilepsy. Soon, she began hallucinating while praying. In 1973, she suffered from depression and began to hear voices telling her that she was “damned” and would “rot in hell”.
Anneliese went on a pilgrimage to San Damiano with a good friend of the family, Thea Hein, who regularly organized such pilgrimages to “holy places” not officially recognized by the church. Because Anneliese was unable to walk past a crucifix and refused to drink the water of a holy spring, her escort concluded that she was suffering from demonic possession.
Both Anneliese and her family became convinced she was possessed and consulted several priests, asking for an exorcism. The priests declined, recommended the continuation of medical treatment, and informed the family that exorcisms required the bishop’s permission. Eventually, in a nearby town, they came across vicar Ernst Alt, who, after seeing Anneliese, declared that she didn’t “look like an epileptic” and that he didn’t see her having seizures. He believed she was suffering from demonic possession. Alt urged the bishop to allow an exorcism. In September 1975, Bishop Josef Stangl granted Father Renz permission to exorcise according to the Rituale Romanum of 1614, but ordered total secrecy. Renz performed the first session on 24 September.
Once convinced of her possession, Anneliese, her parents, and the exorcists stopped seeking medical treatment, and put her fate solely into the hands of the exorcism rites. Sixty-seven exorcism sessions, one or two each week, lasting up to four hours, were performed over about ten months in 1975 and 1976. At some point, Michel began talking increasingly about dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church, and she refused to eat. At her own request, doctors were no longer being consulted.
On 1 July 1976, Anneliese died in her home. The autopsy report stated the cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration from almost a year of semi-starvation while the rites of exorcism were performed. She weighed 68 pounds (30.91 kilograms)
Another internet source [click here]  provides the following descriptions of Anneliese’s life as the demons that possessed her started making themselves apparent;
During one night at the dinner table, Anna recalls a situation where Anneliese’s hands appeared to be “enormous”, to the extend that she would even claim that they were almost twice their normal size. Anyone who has an experience in these matters would not be surprised by this, as the demonic are notorious or manipulating the physical world, specifically the body of that which it possesses. At the table, when Anneliese noticed this, she was noted as saying “I have black hands. Savior, forgive me.” This was also right around the same time that Anneliese began to have troubling and often times horrifying visions. She claimed to see things, namely terror-inciting visions. “I see devil faces on the walls, they have seven crowns and seven horns.”, she had said. ( It was) the night of the dinner event in which Anneliese’s hands swelled, Anna decided right then and there to begin attempting to contact an exorcist.
While Anneliese’s case is often dismissed as a horrible example of how mental illness can be falsely identified as demonic resulting in needless suffering, there are multiple sources that cite evidence such as detailed above, which indicates that her condition was more than simply mental illness [click here] to read more about this young lady.
Despite the allegations of the prosecution on the ensuing court case, the Priests involved had insisted that Anneliese receive medical care as well as psychological attention. The Roman Catholic church requires that before an exorcism can be permitted, all medical and psychological avenues must have been exhausted. Only when it is apparent that conventional therapies are not working, can an Exorcism be permitted.