The Family believes that individuals can become demonically possessed and they believe in actively fighting this condition through exorcisms. The use of exorcism was not only restricted to cases of alleged possession, but also for situations in which individuals were believed to be "afflicted" by evil spirits.
This practice was commonly performed on children exhibiting even minor behavioral problems such as restlessness or "foolishness" and was a staple of most Victor Programs. Exorcism within The Family usually involved outnumbering the individual with adults acting as exorcists who would lay hands on the individual. The act of "laying on of hands" originates from Biblical references and the cult believed it to have inherent spiritual power. In some cases, doing so was a stepping stone to physical violence against the "possessed" individual that was believed to aid in the process of exorcism.
- Steven Kelly talks about the exorcism of Merry Berg (2.9MB) — From "The Love Prophet" documentary