Malachi Martin’s reported exorcism at Fort Bragg will be the focus of a new film from Lionsgate

Irish priest Malachi Martin’s reported exorcism at an American military base will serve as the inspiration for the new film “Incident at Fort Bragg.”

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Variety reports that the new film is “inspired by the true story of Irish priest Malachi Martin, who was brought in by the U.S. government to perform a sanctioned exorcism on a young soldier at Fort Bragg, N.C., the largest military installation in the world.”

Jeff Buhler, whose credits include the screenplay for Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s “Pet Sematary” remake, wrote the latest draft for “Incident at Fort Bragg," which is set to be directed by Osgood Perkins for Lionsgate.

Father Martin was also the focus of a 2016 film, “Hostage to the Devil,” which is based on Martin’s book of the same name. In it, Martin alleges that he assisted in several exorcisms while he was still a priest.

Read More: Documentary tells tale of real Irish exorcist’s battle with the devil

Who is Malachi Martin?

Malachi Brendan Martin was born in 1921 and grew up one of ten children in a Catholic family in  Ballylongford, Co Kerry.

After completing a three-year degree in philosophy at University College Dublin, Martin became a novice with the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1939.

With thanks to his further study at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at the University of Oxford, Martin acquired a great knowledge of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts and was involved in the research of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is believed he assisted in his first exorcism while in Egypt conducting archaeological research.

He was later summoned to Rome where he became a Professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. However, Martin soon became a fan of conspiracy theories, and claimed to know the Third Secret of Fatima and that Satanism was practiced in the Vatican.

“Anybody who is acquainted with the state of affairs in the Vatican in the last 35 years is well aware that the prince of darkness has had and still has his surrogates in the court of St. Peter in Rome,” Martin once wrote.

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He further claimed to be able to see demons surrounding immoral people and to have seen the devil in his apartment.

"I was standing on a stool in my apartment, reaching for a book and I saw him," Martin once claimed. "He was crouched on the floor looking at me. His body was like a muscular pit bull terrier, but the face was recognizably human. It was the Devil's face. I recognized the eyes. They were eyes of the coldest, deadliest hatred. When the Devil sprang at me, I fell from my stool and broke my shoulder, but I felt fortunate. I had seen Satan and I had lived."

In 1964, having grown disillusioned with reforms in the Catholic Church, Martin requested a release from his religious vows, which he was granted, apart from being pardoned from the vow of celibacy. After 25 years as a priest, his departure was abrupt, and he often argued with critics who stated he was no longer a priest.

The Irish man ultimately penned 17 novels and non-fiction books, including most notably “The Scribal Character of The Dead Sea Scrolls” (1958), “Hostage To The Devil “(1976), which dealt with satanism, demonic possession, and exorcism, as well as “The Final Conclave” (1978), which was a warning against alleged Soviet spies in the Vatican.

In his review of Martin’s “The Encounter,” Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in the New York Times that Martin was ''a lapsed Irish cleric half in love and half in hate with God.''

Martin died in Manhattan, where he had moved to in 1965, at the age of 78 in 1999.

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