15 January 2017 saw the launch of Belfast produced documentary ‘Hostage to the Devil’ on Netflix. Somewhat provocative in both content and direction, it is based on the life of Father Malachi Martin, a Vatican priest and Exorcist who brought controversy and more questions than answers wherever he went.  So who was this man and what was his place in the battle of good versus evil and within the Catholic Church? ANN MASSEY O’REGAN finds out…

  1. Malachi Martin was born near the town of Listowel in County Kerry. From a wealthy family, unusually all four sons went on to join the priesthood.
  2. Although Malachi entered the Jesuit order at the age of 18, his penchant for academia took precedence and he went on to become a scholar in ancient languages, texts and scripts including Hebrew and Arabic and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  3. Father Martin carried out his first official exorcism in Egypt in the mid 1950’s.
  4. The priest who was looked on favourably by the Vatican claimed that he had witnessed and evidenced the involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in clandestine Satanism which he documented in both fiction and non-fiction accounts.
  5. Malachi also claimed that at least two popes had been Freemasons and that the Illuminati had infiltrated the Vatican. He also believed that there were nuns who practiced dark witchcraft.
  6. By taking on a high-profile Vatican position, Father Martin was able to visit places others could not, such as secret visits behind the Iron Curtain.
  7. Due his studies and sympathies with Jews he was believed for a time to be of Jewish origin, however, the story circulated was proved false and as such Malachi was accused of being a spy for the Israelis.
  8. In 1965 Father Malachi Martin was released from his vows after being at such odds with the Vatican. He travelled to New York to become a writer.
  9. He was twice awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for writing. The second time was for his famous book ‘Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans.’
  10. By the time he became a US Citizen in 1970, Malachi Martin had over 60 known works (there are rumours of several books under pseudonym) including those directing towards the accusation of Vatican involvement in Satanic Rites. Malachi stated they were true but he was only able to publish these allegations as thinly veiled fiction.
  11. Malachi Martin firmly believed in the 3 Secrets of Fatima, visions and prophecies allegedly given to three young boys and held by the Vatican. Fatima is now a pilgrimage site and it is said not every secret has yet been revealed by Rome. In contrast Martin adamantly discredited the site of Medjugorje which was a very similar set of events.
  12. The Son of Sam, David Berkowitz claimed on arrest to have been possessed by a demon. This was later dismissed in court, however, from his prison cell Berkowitz approached Malachi Martin for assistance in writing his autobiography. Martin declined.
  13. The former Jesuit priest stated he carried out thousands of minor exorcisms and assisted in hundreds of major exorcisms during his lifetime.
  14. Malachi Martin worked alongside prominent Demonologist Dave Considine and paranormal researcher John Zaffis.
  15. Martin believes that no one can be possessed against their will. Possession must be permitted and it takes place systematically over time.
  16. Exorcism is a battle of wills between the Exorcist and the demon so the priest must be as pure and cleansed of sin as possible according to Malachi Martin.
  17. Malachi Martin believes there are different levels of possession from partial to total where the human soul within has gone and only the demon remains.
  18. The best-selling writer believed that Satanic practices, Black Masses and sacrifices all took place within walking distance of his New York apartment.
  19. In July 1999, Malachi Martin allegedly fell in his home and succumbed to serious head injury. Conspiracy theorists continue to promote the theory that he was in fact murdered for revealing Vatican secrets.
  20. When asked in an interview if he feared for his life, Malachi Martin said he was but that he was too old to change.
Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin

Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin: Buy the book here

https://youtu.be/i17wAIXbgs0

Ann Massey O’Regan
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