That would a wise move if you find yourself listening to the Rev. Gary Thomas, a Catholic priest in the Diocese of San Jose who has been schooled in the arcane Catholic art of exorcism.
Skeptics, of course, are quick to poke holes in the rationale for what Thomas does. And why not? Exorcism is seen by many as a bizarre relic of more superstitious times.
But Thomas, speaking in San Mateo last week, asserted that, while many people who believe they are possessed by some sort of satanic influence are, in fact, simply disturbed in one way or another, a small percentage is actually afflicted by something far more malign and need assistance.
Father Thomas, pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga, declared that he has seen and heard things that defy the imagination and all of our accepted, civilized norms.
Over the past four years, he said, he has participated in five actual exorcisms. Another 100 or so cases of suspected demonic possession turned out to be something less than that and were handled in far less dramatic and, in the end, more traditional ways.
Thomas, who is the subject of a new book, "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist" by Matt Baglio, does not appear to be naive, easily influenced by the media spotlight or eager to curry any sort of celebrity favor.
He is mild-mannered, affable, subdued, self-effacing and matter-of-fact. His subject matter is anything but.
He refers to himself as "a discerner," someone who weighs available evidence and makes a decision regarding the potential for diabolic involvement in a person's case.
"I operate much like a doctor," he said. "I am a healer, not of the body but of the soul."
He noted that the "last thing an exorcist wants is an exorcism." That's probably because a formal exorcism can often be extremely exhausting and stressful — though Thomas emphasized, "I am not afraid."
He said an examination of an afflicted individual can include the services of a team of experts, including a psychiatrist and a psychologist. "I don't do this by myself," he said. Good thing. If his stark description is any guide, a full-blown exorcism is neither pretty to observe nor easy to facilitate.
Thomas said a troubled subject likely will drool, hiss, spit, curse, scream, shake uncontrollably, speak unintelligibly, talk in the voice of the demon, slither on the floor like a snake and, perhaps, take on the facial appearance of a reptile as he or she is being freed from the grip of the forces of darkness.
"These experiences are real," he declared, though some in his audience weren't so sure. Then again, unless you have walked in his shoes or shared his experiences, it probably wouldn't be prudent to dismiss him out of hand.
There were no volunteers to join him in his next venture into the paranormal — whenever, or wherever, that may be.
Incidentally, Hollywood, which gave us "The Exorcist" decades ago, is interested in this subject once again.
A movie based on the Baglio book is in the works. Thomas said Anthony Hopkins is ticketed to play one of the key roles in the film.