Over There


The small town in Georgia offering to exorcise PTSD sufferers.

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this special sixth installment, Sebastian Junger—founder of RISC, and a best-selling author and journalist—sits down with Elliott Ackerman (author, Green on Blue), Jennifer Percy (author, Demon Camp), and Peter van Agtmael (photojournalist and author, Disco Night Sept. 11).

Jennifer Percy’s book Demon Camp explores the mind of a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, along with the small town in Georgia where exorcisms are seen as a cure for the mental demons of war. In the clip above, Percy explains how she came across tiny Portal, Ga.—where soldiers go to receive deliverance from the “demon” in their body—and what, exactly, might cause struggling vets to look for help in such a place. “There’s a way that I think we talk about post-traumatic stress disorder in sort of a clinical fashion that makes people not as interested in it,” she says. “Once you get to towns like Portal—which is actually like a lot of America—they don’t really give a shit about the VA, or what they have to say, or want to talk about the history of PTSD. They want to make a sense of their trauma.”