I’m possessed by evil spirits – and so are you!

Editorial by Terry Sanderson

Did you know that atheism is becoming a key cause of demonic influence in the world? Well, that is the claim of the personal exorcist to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, leader of Catholics in England and Wales.

Father Jeremy Davies, official evil spirit remover in the Diocese of Westminster, says that the “spirits inspiring atheism” were those who “hate God.” In a new 56-page book called Exorcism: Understanding Exorcism in Scripture and Practice, published by the Catholic Truth Society, Father Davies writes that Satan has blinded secular humanists from seeing the “dehumanising effects of contraception and abortion and IVF (in vitro fertilisation), of homosexual ‘marriages,’ of human cloning and the vivisection of human embryos in scientific research.”

The result, he said, was that Europe was drifting into a dangerous state of apostasy whereby “only (through) a genuine personal decision for Christ and the church can someone separate himself from it.”

Father Davies also said atheism was largely to blame for entrapping people in states of “perversion” (by which he means not only homosexuality – which goes without saying, him being a Catholic and everything – but also heterosexual sex outside of marriage). The book raised concerns about “some very unpleasant things” that endanger young people especially, and the priest said, “We must do what we can to protect and warn them.” I wonder what Father Davies thinks possessed Cardinal Murphy O’Connor to repeatedly conspire in the cover-up of a known paedophile priest?. Perhaps this is what he meant when he talked about the “very unpleasant things” endangering young people?

Father Davies also had warnings about the practice of yoga and massage, which he equates with astrology and séances on the scale of demonic importance. He said fortune tellers and those spiritualists who attempted to contact the spirits of the dead were issuing “direct invitations to the devil which he readily accepts.” He said such practices involve the abandonment of self-control, making them as corrupting an influence as hard drugs, demonic music and pornography.

“Beware of any claim to mediate beneficial energies (e.g. reiki), any courses that promise the peace ... Christ promises (e.g. enneagrams), any alternative therapy with its roots in Eastern religion (e.g. acupuncture). They are not harmless,” said Father Davies, a former medical doctor who was ordained in 1974 and has been an exorcist since 1986. “Sanity depends on our relationship to reality.”

Father Davies also said it was not uncommon for people who later turned away from sinful lifestyles to undergo periods of supernatural oppression as the devil fought them for their souls.

The priest, who is based in Luton, said that key among the transgressions that have a “special affinity” with Satan was “rebellion against God” — which included the sins of blasphemy, atheism and attacks on Christ and the church — as well as sins against the light, when people resisted God’s grace. He also warned Catholics to be wary of what he called the “idolatrous demonic side” of Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism and the druidism that had its origins in ancient Britain.

It seems, for Father Davies, everything but the Catholic Church is part of Satan’s great plan. The exorcist denounced “new revelations” and, rather rashly, criticised Mohammed, founder of Islam; Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, now called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. He called them “heretical prophets and false messiahs” who led their followers to a “demonic bondage of conscience.”

Father Davies’ strongest condemnation, however, was reserved for the pride of modern atheistic scientists. “Pride is the specific trait of Satan,” he said. “There are two kinds of Satanism: ‘occultic,’ in which Satan is worshiped as a person; and what is said to be even more terrible and certainly is even more deceived, ‘rationalist,’ in which Satan is regarded as an impersonal force or symbol and the glory belongs to the Satanists. How close to rationalist Satanism, without realising it, is atheistic scientism – the hubris of science going beyond its proper sphere and moral boundaries – the tree of knowledge presently spreading its branches throughout our Western culture, which is rapidly becoming that of the whole world,” he said.

His book also spells out the degrees of demonic influence a person may experience, ranging from temptation and sin to obsession, then possession, with perfect possession being the gravest and rarest form that usually entails a deliberate commitment to evil on the part of the person involved (and then results in a Hollywood film that makes everyone involved very rich).

The book includes sections on the “rites and means of exorcism and deliverance”, including those of buildings and places as well as people. Father Davies advises readers of his book to visit their bishop if they feel in need of having a little devil evicted.

Myself, I’d recommend they go to the local asylum, but then I would because I’m really possessed by a demon so whatever I say comes straight from hell. And if I say that people really can be possessed by demons and should seek help from their bishop, Father Davies would probably say it is a demon of deception speaking. You see, you can’t win with this kind of medieval thinking. It equates to the old ducking stool method of determining whether someone is a witch. Once you’re ensconced in the ducking stool, there is no way you can survive. You can only be a guilty corpse or an innocent corpse. Only the witchfinder (or, in this case, the exorcist) can say what the truth is in these circumstances, (and given that he has invented the circumstances in the first place, and can change the “truth” to fit his convenience, no-one else’s opinion can possibly matter).

For instance, if I say that eight-year old Victoria Climbié was killed by people who believed she was possessed by a demon, the pastor would say that I was trying to turn people against God (because I’m possessed). And if I point to the priest and four nuns who killed a known schizophrenic in a violent and prolonged exorcism ritual in a Romanian convent, and said that they were probably more mad than she was, Father Davies would again point to Beelzebub as the source of my information (rather than Reuters – which is probably also in league with the devil).

Father Davies, and the fools who take him seriously (are you listening Cardinal Murphy O’Connor?) need to seriously consider their state of mind. When you get into the casting out of devil’s business you can see devils everywhere. Everywhere, perhaps, except in your own imagination.

30 May 2008