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While many Americans think of real exorcisms as relics of the Dark Ages, exorcisms continue to be performed, often on people who are emotionally and mentally disturbed. Whether those undergoing the exorcism are truly possessed by spirits or demons is another matter entirely. Exorcisms are done on people of strong religious faith. To the extent that exorcisms "work," it is due to the power of suggestion and psychology: If you believe you're possessed (and that an exorcism will cure you), then it just might.
Scarification is usually more visible on darker skinned people than tattoos. Endorphins can be released in the scarification process that can induce a euphoric state. There are also aesthetic, religious, and social reasons for scarification. For example, scarification has been widely used by many West African tribes to mark milestone stages in both men and women's lives, such as puberty and marriage. It is also used to transmit complex messages about identity; such permanent body markings may emphasize fixed social, political, and religious roles.