Pershing took Karen by the wrist and began slowly counting to himself. Then he backed away and shook his head in disbelief. Karen Kingston’s pulse rate was 65–about what it should have been if she were in a state of sound slumber.
Dr. Pershing felt that Karen’s pulse rate should have been a bare minimum of 95, which would be indicative of the condition for a mildly excited patient. 150 would have been an even more logical pulse rate for Karen in this extreme physical state. It was not unusual, in his many years of medical practice, to see patients with a 200-pulse rate when they appeared to be in a condition similar to that of little Karen.
Pershing rechecked her pulse. Then a third time. The rate didn’t change a heartbeat. It was but another unsolved mystery in a series of baffling medical phenomena.
Dr. Pershing later attempted more pulse readings at various intervals, during each subsequent exorcism in this three-day period. Karen’s pulse late registered 65 when she appeared to be relaxing. It was 65 when she appeared to be mildly upset. It still remained at 65 while she was obviously under great stress. And it stayed at 65 when taken right after her most violent reactions.
Pershing also checked Karen’s respiratory rate. Respirations are also increased with the advent of excitement, hysteria, etc. Karen’s respiratory pattern was found to be a stable 20 per minute, a figure Dr. Pershing considered to be normal under ordinary circumstances.”
As soon as Pershing completed his third and final check of Karen’s pulse and her respiratory rate, the furious seizures began anew. Elizabeth again gave that same diabolical grin at the doctor and said, “Well good doctor, what is your diagnosis? Do you even have one? Give me the benefit of your learned mind and your scholarly background.”
Dr. Pershing said nothing.
Vulgar abuse once more spewed from Karen’s unmoving lips. The voice of Elizabeth polluted the air with debasing words. The room was filled with her shrill screams of agony. Tyson and some of the others backed even further away. They were pale and shaking. Rogers, Sister Ruth, the nurses, and evangelist Sutter still held on. Richard interrupted the demonic entity with “Why don’t you try praying? Why don’t you ask the Lord to help you in the name of Jesus? Pray, demon!”
“Praise Jesus!” exclaimed Sutter. “Oh, Jesus help us with this suffering child! In His holy name! Jesus, Jesus. Amen.”
Sister Ruth over and over whispered a three-beat cadence, “Oh my Jesus, Oh my Jesus, Oh my Jesus.”
Rogers’ voice could be heard over the cacophony of prayers and pleadings. He shouted, “Try praying, devil! Try praying! Stop this sacrilegious diatribe! In the name of Jesus, use no more of this filthy language!”
The entity, through Karen, would start a prayer, “God help me in the name of …” There was a slight hesitation. Then with a curse, Elizabeth inserted her own name.
A fit of spontaneous laughter followed each of five attempts at praying. The spirit continued, “God help me in the name of Je …, Elizabeth.” The exact same phrase was repeated, time after time after time. Finally Elizabeth screamed, “God cannot help me! I am God! Do you hear me? I am God!”
Rogers ignored the demon’s declaration. He merely asked Elizabeth, “Do you believe that Jesus came in the flesh?”
A sneering “no” was vehemently spat back in his face. Karen’s crossed eyes were now wide and like saucers. She looked exceedingly vile and evil. “Shit no! I don’t believe any of the god-damned garbage you’re trying to force-feed me!”
Rogers was unruffled. He asked Karen, “Do you want to be rid of the spirits?”
The voice of Elizabeth replied cautiously, “Let me think about that.” After a short pause, she added in a whisper, “No. I don’t want to be rid of my friends. I love my family. They give me power. Why should I try to make any of them leave me?”
“You can’t speak for Karen!” Finally, Rogers started chanting, “I challenge you in Jesus’ name! In Jesus’ name I command you to go! Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Go demon go!”
Sister Ruth and Reverend Sutter joined him. All three of the prayer warriors linked their hands with one another. They each began to chant in unison, “Come out for Jesus! Come out for Jesus! Come out for Jesus!”