A devout Catholic priest explains how daemonic possession and oppression actually work:
This is not a pleasant subject even for non-believers to discuss. Even if you don’t believe in daemons and objective, material evil, you cannot fail to be terrified and horrified when you come across it – and you WILL, because evil exists whether you like it or not. There is a reason why horror films scare the shit out of us – because we are forced to see evil in its most dreadful form.
For instance, try, if you can, to watch the opening scene to Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead without being frightened out of your wits:
That film is terrifying because it shows what evil is like in its uncontrolled, unrestrained form. But that is not how evil actually takes hold of you in the material world.
In fact, evil enters into you through far more mundane forms. You have to choose to let it in – and that choice is in fact extremely easy to make.
And one of the very best ways that you allow that evil in is by attempting to choose spirituality without God.
This is difficult to explain but easy to understand intuitively. One way to explain it comes from a very sadly departed preacher, a great Christian apologist and polemicist.
Of late, I have been watching a lot of Ravi Zacharias videos – there is something about his manner of speaking, his ideas, and his compassionate yet fiery oration that really speaks to us in times of distress and trouble. This video is quite short, and explains exactly why people choose spirituality without God – and by extension, without Christ:
They choose that path because it’s easy. They buy into what Dr. Zacharias called “the mass marketing of spirituality”. They think that this will give them a better life, free of desires and attachments and the corruption of human nature.
But this never actually happens in practice.
Let’s take a look at the three Hindu “holy” men that Dr. Zacharias mentioned in that clip. He was quite right to point out the hypocrisy and greed and very human foibles behind all of them. Take a look at what happened with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a self-proclaimed “god-man” most famous for introducing the Beatles to Hinduism:
Transcendental Meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s vast fortune in India, mostly land, estimated to be worth Rs 60,000 crore, has sparked a bitter conflict between his heirs and followers. There are allegations of illegal land deals and formation of fake trusts to take over the properties.
The godman, famous for introducing the legendary Beatles to India, died in February 2008, leaving behind more than 12,000 acres of land across India. This includes prime locations in Delhi, Noida, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Goa, all vested with the Spiritual Regeneration Movement (SRM) Foundation, set up by the guru in 1959. The guru established several societies with the SRM Foundation and Maharishi Global University based in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh at the top of the list. The other four educational institutions are Maharishi Shiksha Sansthan, Maharishi Ved Vigyan Vidyapeeth, Maharishi Gandharva Ved Vidyapeeth and Mahila Dhyan Vidyapeeth that run 148 schools in 16 states across India.
Immediately after the Maharishi’s death in Vlodrop, Netherlands, tensions started between members of the societies and followers for control of the assets. Two groups, each claiming to be his real inheritors, accuse each other of ‘impersonation’ to gain control of the land-rich societies. On one side are the guru’s nephews Anand Prakash Srivastava, 51, chairman of SRM Foundation India and Ajay Prakash Srivastava, 43, secretary, SRM Foundation India, and Brahmachari Girish Chandra Verma, 55, chairman of the educational trusts. They are pitted against G. Ram Chandramohan, 61, a member of the 12-member SRM Foundation. He is supported by Vijay Dhavale, 51, a Chhattisgarh-based real estate agent and disciple of the guru as well as Opender Kalsi, 55, who heads International Human Rights Organisation, a Jalandhar-based NGO.
(Parenthetically, the fact that this was the chap who introduced John Lennon, in particular, to Hinduism, may or may not make you think badly of him, depending on your opinion of the Beatles, Hinduism, and transcendental meditation. Jus’ sayin’, is all.)
As I pointed out in my podcast from Sunday, this whole business of “lakhs” and “crores” is very difficult for non-Indians to understand. One lakh is 100,000, or 10^5. One crore is 10,000,000, or 10^7.
Why do Indians insist on using such weird units that require constant mental gymnastics for the rest of us to figure out? Well, as Indians from the part of India with which I am most familiar would say… Bhagwan jane – which is to say, “God knows”.
So what that article is talking about, is the fact that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s fortune amounted to Rs. 600 BILLION. That amounts to roughly US$8.2 billion, which ain’t exactly chump change. To put that amount into perspective, that’s about half the cost of building, outfitting, and floating the USS Gerald R. Ford supercarrier – and very nearly twice the amount spent on building the USS Ronald Reagan.
In other words, that supposed spiritual guru, who preached a message that was all about transcending the world and achieving a higher level of consciousness free of guilt and want and pain, built up an estate sufficient to buy TWO Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.
And he wasn’t the only one to die with his wealth somewhere between Bruce Wayne and Scrooge McDuck. Consider the example of Hindu holy man Sathya Sai Baba and the controversies that were brought against him:
In a BBC documentary, amateur magician Basava Premanand had said that Baba faked materialisations.
His supposed miracles have been described as mere magical tricks.
In July 2001, a Swedish therapist made allegations of abuse against the Baba. The Sai Organization in Sweden, along with a Sai-affiliated school, was shut down after the allegations surfaced.
In 2004, Mark Roche, who had been a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba since 1969, was also allegedly abuse by him.
In 2006, an article published in the Guardian, UK accused the spritual leader of paedophilia.
And for such a supposedly spiritual man, apparently after his death there was a scandal about misappropriation of funds in the Sathya Sai Baba Trust of Rs. 40,000 crore – that’s US$5.5 BILLION in today’s money. And, supposedly, trustees found something like “98Kg of gold, 307-kilogram silver articles, and Rs. 11.5 crore [US$1.6 billion(!!!!!)] cash in his private room after his death”.
I make no claims one way or the other about such allegations. I’m simply saying that those allegations exist and have been reported. Draw your own conclusions about the facts.
Now let’s be clear, I’m NOT trying to single out Hindu holy men for criticism here. EVERY religion has its utter fraudsters, its contemptible scam artists. There are paedophile imams in Islam and fraudster Rabbis within Judaism and fake holy men within all religions. Every single one of them deserves condemnation.
Speaking for myself, I have a very strong personal dislike of mega-churches and the pastors who reduce the Word down to a mass-marketed rock concert every Sunday, and I cannot stomach preachers like Joel Osteen. I have nothing but contempt for “Christian” hypocrites like Ted Haggard and others who have been shown to be utterly Godless frauds and scamsters of the worst kind. And as far as I’m concerned, most “Christian” denominations in the Western world are led not by true Christians, but by Churchians, whom I absolutely cannot stand.
The important thing to keep in mind with all of these examples is that they all sell a kind of easy spirituality – a spirituality of works, not faith.
And that is one of the ways in which you let in the influences that lead you toward the daemonic realm.
Let’s take transcendental meditation. The reason why I look upon meditation with deep scepticism is because most forms of meditation require you to open up your mind. That sounds all well and good – right up until you remember that if you open up your mind, eventually something is going to let itself in.
The proper way to meditate is very different. It is not to open your mind and let your thoughts drift. It is instead to focus your entire mind upon one question: Lord, what is Your will?
The moment you do that, the moment you try to align yourself with the Will of God, then you are moving yourself back toward grace.
And that is the point made by the friar up in the first video. If you make your peace with God through the intercession of our Lord and King Jesus Christ, and if you work to keep yourself in a state of grace, free of sin to the greatest extent possible given your flawed and Fallen nature, then the daemonic realm simply does not have power over you.
It cannot take control of you. It cannot enter you. it cannot seek you out. It cannot destroy you.
It can, however, infiltrate and enter those who are close to you. And that, ultimately, is how daemons get you – through the people that you care about the most.
You can guard against this by keeping yourself in a state of grace. Just as God cannot stand to be around sin, daemons cannot stand to be around good. That is why Jesus was so effective at casting them out – remember Matthew 8:28-32 or Mark 5:1-13, or Luke 8:26-33. All the Big JC had to do was show up, and the daemons could not stand to be around His presence.
In the same way, close yourself off to daemons by turning away from empty spirituality and the corruptions that such things bring to you.
Any one of you has every right to call me an utter and flagrant hypocrite, by the way. I don’t live up to those standards myself. I am not in any measure a particularly good servant of God and I think that anyone who looks at me as someone to be followed or admired, needs to have his head examined, because he’s plainly nuts. I am not a paragon of anything – my life is a warning to all who observe it, a shining example of what NOT to do with the limited time that you are given on this Earth.
Even so, despite all of my failures and foibles and follies and sins, I can still point you to what is Good, Beautiful, and True – and what is true, ultimately leads you away from sin and toward God.
And what is truly sinful, what will eventually condemn you to the realm of the daemonic, is to follow an empty spirituality devoid of the Truth.