- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Soldiers haunted by the faces of fellow fighters who lost their lives in battle and plagued by nightmare-filled visions of battle scenes are turning to a somewhat unconventional source to end the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Bible-based exorcists.

“Society thinks PTSD cannot be healed, but society is wrong,” said one veteran who attended Bear Creek Ranch in Portal, Georgia, a ministry by Tim and Katie Mather, News.com.au reported. “It’s called deliverance. It works wonders.”

The husband-wife team have performed more than 5,000 exorcisms, some on veterans — and those with PTSD say the treatment has worked where others have failed. The Mather’s work is profiled in a new book by Jennifer Percy, “Demon Camp,” along with the outcomes of several soldiers who turned to them for help.

The couple provide a retreat based on “Luke 4:18, declaring the good news of the Kingdom, healing for the broken hearted, freedom for the captives, liberty for the bruised and recovery of spiritual sights,” the Bear Creek Ranch website states.

And that goes for soldiers suffering battle fatigue and PTSD.

One veteran who attended said that the belief is simple: “People are in bondage to a pattern of sin. Trauma is the doorway through which demons can pass.” And the three-day retreat, complete with food, housing, a demon-fighting workbook and a 30-minute exorcism, is the solution to those afflicted with PTSD, the veteran said, in News.com.au.

The retreat can hold a maximum of 15 soldiers at a time, and the exorcisms are conducted when space allows. They start with worship and prayer, and then bring in the afflicted individual. Ms. Percy profiled in her first book the exorcism of Caleb Daniels, a special operations sergeant who survived a helicopter crash in the deserts of Afghanistan — but was the plagued by the memories and images of his best friend and seven soldier colleagues who weren’t so lucky.

Mr. Daniels said the images that haunted him after his 2005 ordeal were nightmarish and included the presence of what he described as a Black Thing — a “Destroyer demon” he said wanted to punish him “for killing and for living.”

In desperation, Mr. Daniels turned to the Pentacostal church group for help. He said in Ms. Percy’s book that after the prayer and exorcism, he felt “hot Jesus blood coming down” his face and a “glowing thing” that moved on his legs. He described how the minister then told him, “Caleb, you have a reason to live.” Those in his prayer circle, meanwhile, described their own visions, saying they say Mr. Daniels’ wrist bound with wire, and his body tied to the train tracks. Mr. Daniels said in the new book that as the group prayed, he “felt a burning sore rip open on the back of [my] neck … [and] it felt as if the flesh was coming off and something was being pulled up [my] spine toward the burning.”

Roughly 2.6 million veterans who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD-type symptoms, reliving trauma on a daily basis and fighting visions, flashbacks and accompanying negative feelings, News.com.au reported.

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