“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare.
If it is true that there is more to life than the visible and material, then demon possession is a colliding of two worlds. It is a reality that brings sinister dark forces visibly and tangibly into our world, cities, homes and loved ones. It is an invasion and violation of our very person, and many bear witness to the reality of this terrifying intrusion. This is not the stuff of Hollywood, it is not only priests or religious fanatics who speak this language. A growing number of professionals and researchers are beginning to agree that spirit possession is a real phenomenon. It is something more than mental illness or a delusional fanatics’ ramblings. In every country and in every culture from the dawn of man, possession is a fact. It would seem that more cases of demonic activity are being reported in western cultures every year and a lack of trained exorcists is leaving many no place to turn; possession, it would seem, is becoming a big problem.
What is it?
Demon Possession is the phenomenon in which a demon resides in the body of a human being. Cases of full-blown possessions are rare, and most experts would suggest that demonic influence is more common than demonic possession. The work of these dark messengers is seen on two very distinct levels. These could be called….
A. The ordinary activity of demons.
B. The extraordinary activity of demons.
The ‘ordinary’ activity of demons is seen in temptation, which in it’s simplest form, does nothing more than make wrong doing attractive. This is of course, common to all people and this kind of testing allows individuals or groups to grow in both grace and virtue when temptation is overcome. It would be true that all people are subject to temptation.
The ‘extraordinary’ work of demons has a very different, dangerous and dark focus. In this category, individuals are afflicted and tormented in ways that are anything but ordinary or common. The international Association Of Exorcists suggests that this particular kind of affliction falls into four categories.
1. Infestation; demonic activity in a place or object.
2. Oppression; also called ‘physical attack’, when an individual feels blows from an invisible force, mysterious scratches or welts inexplicably appear on the skin, or a feeling of being held down or pushed when no one else is around.
3. Obsession; Intense attacks on the mind of a person. Often leading to dangerous, violent and destructive thinking regarding self and others.
4. Possession; also known as ‘involuntary possession’, where a demon takes control of a person’s body, speaking and acting through it. This affliction will only manifest at times of crisis in the form of a trance state. The individual usually has no knowledge of what happened in this state.
Possession can be categorized in several ways also. Each case differs immensely, however medical, psychological as well as religious groups are beginning to agree on what the church has claimed for years; Exorcism is the only cure for Demon possession.
The diagnosis of an individual showing signs of alleged possession should be carefully followed, and in extreme cases only, after knowing something of the victims history, a medical evaluation, a psychiatric evaluation and interviews with the victim and family / friends, the exorcist should cautiously proceed.
Interview with an Exorcist.
Glimpses of the Devil