Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Exorcist Warns Parents of Rise in ‘Demonic’ Websites
The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 2/2/11 | Simon Caldwell

Posted on 02/02/2011 6:31:30 AM PST by marshmallow

An American exorcist has blamed the internet for rising numbers of young people who say they are possessed by the Devil.

Websites dedicated to the occult, witchcraft, Tarot cards, psychics and séances were increasingly exposing young people to demonic influences, said Fr Gary Thomas.

The priest, whose story has just been made into a major Hollywood film starring Welsh actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, said that pornography and drug abuse were also “doorways” to harassment by evil spirits.

He said there were “no statistics” on how many people might be possessed but said there was a definite increase.

“What I can tell you is that there are more and more Catholics involved in idolatrous and pagan practices,” he said. “That’s really why there’s more demonic activity. There’s the absence of God in the lives of a lot of people.”

He added: “A lot of parents today have no critical eye of faith with which to even recognise the dangers their children are in. A lot of this is going on with the internet. There are lots and lots of demonic websites.”

Speaking to the Catholic World Report magazine he continued: “A demon doesn’t show up. He has to be invited in … The involvement in pagan, satanic, or occult practices are the classical ways.

“Pornography is a doorway. But addictions of any kind can be – not are, but can be – a doorway, but it’s coupled with other things. For instance, drug use alone isn’t going to invite the demonic in, but coupled with the occult it could.”

Fr Thomas, of San José diocese, California, is rapidly emerging as the most famous exorcist in America after the story of his ministry was turned into a film called The Rite, which will be released in Britain on February 25.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: demons; exorcism; satan

1 posted on 02/02/2011 6:31:31 AM PST by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow; BenKenobi

Ping!


2 posted on 02/02/2011 6:32:11 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zot

ping


3 posted on 02/02/2011 6:36:17 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
It is also important that people understand that possession isn't an all or nothing proposition.

Drugs and pornography DEFINITELY lead to harassment by demonic spirits. Anyone with experience with either (or anyone with experience with those how have such experience) knows that.

4 posted on 02/02/2011 6:43:47 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (I am inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and call for the ouster of Obama!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Dear Wormwood,
Glad to hear you have a new subject, hope you do better this time. You couldn't have chosen a better time to start work - conditions have never been so favorable. We are never so at liberty to do as we will as when our subjects believe we don't exist. Just let him immerse himself in his modern culture and you can't fail.
Your affectionate Uncle

Screwtape

5 posted on 02/02/2011 6:56:47 AM PST by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: circlecity

I don’t know I was somewhat into that sort of thing as a teen, power is very tempting but after I hit 14 I realized it wasn’t real. The devil is just a metaphor for humanity indulging his own evil.


6 posted on 02/02/2011 7:02:38 AM PST by utherdoul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

I wish more people understood this. Most people I know are so lost they think Jesus is in heaven, God is merely a spectator, and Satan is some kind of folklore/fairytale thing. Yikes!!!

In my house, we DO NOT even so much as check the daily horoscopes, let alone visit fortune tellers, read tarot cards, etc. And I dont allow my child to watch such garbage as “Wizards of Waverly Place” nor will she be permitted to read Harry Potter or vampire pop culture trash.


7 posted on 02/02/2011 7:10:40 AM PST by surroundedbyblue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
My husband and I speak Spanish ( badly) but, nevertheless, we were asked by our church leaders to help with the Spanish speaking congregation in our county. To improve my Spanish I read books in Spanish with the English version of the same book as a help when I am total stuck. I have recently found that books for youth are exactly at my reading ability in Spanish.

Anyway....I was in Barnes and Noble on Saturday looking for Spanish and English literature for youth. I was greatly surprised the enormous volume and percentage of fiction devoted solely to the topic of vampires, witches, and magic driven fantasy. In the Spanish section for youth it was nearly entirely vampire and witchcraft. I bought the **only** non-vampire/witchcraft book on the Spanish literature shelf.

This must reflect the curiosity that youth have in the occult. From the covers of the books these fiction seems to be dark stuff...not many cute little red slippers there.

8 posted on 02/02/2011 7:12:27 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul

The devil is not a metaphor!!!! Please realize Satan is very real & does indeed exist!!


9 posted on 02/02/2011 7:12:31 AM PST by surroundedbyblue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

This is happening near my hometown as well. Last year I went to a large book retailer and all the front shelves featured vampire, ghost and werewolf books. The store also sold official Twilight vampire dolls. I went in there to look for a Bible to purchase as a gift. It was a spiritually bizarre experience.


10 posted on 02/02/2011 7:17:57 AM PST by ruralvoter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

I’ll second what you are saying! I have a 3 year old so it hasn’t impacted her too much yet but I have noticed reading for school-aged kids (like 2 grade) is inundated with magic, wizards, vampires, etc. And shows & movies are just as bad (think “twilight”). Fortunately, my little one is into EWTN’s Faith Factory shows and we together pray St Michael’s chaplet. It is my hope that she never strays away from our Lord & that St Michael will protect her from evil influences.


11 posted on 02/02/2011 7:18:26 AM PST by surroundedbyblue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul
"The devil is just a metaphor for humanity indulging his own evil."

That's certainly not the way Satan is presented in the Bible. Satan is a live, conscious, sentient being with power and the will to exercise it for evil.

12 posted on 02/02/2011 7:18:29 AM PST by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul
"...after I hit 14 I realized it wasn’t real. The devil is just a metaphor for humanity indulging his own evil."

Christ himself believed in the devil. You know something he didn't?

13 posted on 02/02/2011 7:19:45 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul
The devil is just a metaphor for humanity indulging his own evil.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The devil is not a metaphor.

My husband and his teen friends were playing with a Ouiji board. One of his friends asked the Ouiji board if they were going to move. It said, “Yes.” and then predicted “6 months”. When asked where, it spelled out a name that meant nothing to anyone at the party.”

Well...Six months later the father was transferred and his friend and his family moved to house on a street with the exact **same** name as that spelled out by the Ouiji board. ( CREEPY!)

Personally...I will have nothing to do with the occult. While references to witches, fairies, magic, werewolves, Harry Potter etc. are part of the culture and are found in movies and literature, when we encountered these things I always was clear with my children to *never *never never* dabble in these things.

14 posted on 02/02/2011 7:29:45 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: surroundedbyblue
The devil is not a metaphor!!!! Please realize Satan is very real & does indeed exist!!

BUMP!


15 posted on 02/02/2011 7:39:33 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Snowpalooza 2011)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: reagan_fanatic

If he does exist why has he not been destroyed? If he is a living entity who can impact events why hasn’t someone destroyed him? If not holy water surely extreme heat, cold, or force could destroy him. And if he is real and as powerful as as you say than why does he manipulate and dabble with occult toys or weak human souls? Why wouldn’t he manifest himself?


16 posted on 02/02/2011 7:56:35 AM PST by utherdoul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Honestly. I do believe satan exists, and I think there’s ample evidence in the evil we see around us everyday and from a historical perspective. There are lots of questions regarding religion that we simply don’t know the answers to, and probably won’t until we die. That doesn’t mean that the devil (or God for that matter) doesn’t exist.

Some things have to be taken in faith, and if you don’t have that, then nothing will convince you anyway.


17 posted on 02/02/2011 8:19:55 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Snowpalooza 2011)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul

Frankly, because it isn’t time yet for him to be destroyed.

He was the highest of the Archangels and stood daily in the presense of God Himself before he fell. Do you really think that he can be destroyed by mortal means? As it is written, we are made a little lower than the angels, yet you expect us to be able to destroy the Chief of all the Angels?

Bluntly put, he manipulates humans because he desires to destroy them, not just physically but spiritually as well. The occult is just one of many avenues that he uses to further this goal and, frankly, it’s one of his most productive. Your attitude, that this is just some kind of human subconscious defense mechanism, is another of his greatest ploys. Mankind’s two greatest weaknesses are either they don’t pay enough attention to Lucifer and dismiss him as a figment of our collective imagination, or they pay too much attention to him and worship him. You yourself admitted that you went from one extreme to the other, so you prove this to be the case.

As for the driving rage behind Lucifer’s hatred of Man is pride. God showed love to mankind and Lucifer, because of his own pride, hated it and was determined to destroy the object of God’s love. Ultimately Lucifer will eventually manifest himself in human form, but it won’t be to dominate humans, it will be to challenge God’s authority to rule.

Choose very carefully which side you pick. There’s only two sides and a selection of neutral will automatically put you in Lucifer’s camp.


18 posted on 02/02/2011 9:04:20 AM PST by paladin1_dcs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: reagan_fanatic

I do have faith I believe in god though not in the same way that many do I think. I’m just not convinced in the devils existance as a tangible entitiy. I think humanity has a great deal of good within itself and a great deal of evil. I’ve felt the presence of god a few times in my life whether he tips the odds slightly in my favor or gives some insight which helps me overcome an obstacle. The only evil I’ve ever felt is from within me.


19 posted on 02/02/2011 9:09:40 AM PST by utherdoul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

The Catholic church has long been very dubious about the whole thing, because superstition is about as reprehensible as it gets—often a throwback to old pagan practices.

Despite the demonologies of the past, in which church scholars imagined all the details of Hell down to, literally, Hell’s pastry chef, eventually the church decided that some distinctions had to be drawn.

1) Just because something is unknown does not mean it is demonic or evil. Likewise, the unknown far tremendously outstrips the demonic by many orders of magnitude. So the assumption should be that the unknown is just unknown, until it becomes known. Not that it has evil or malign character by default.

2) The church also recognizes that mental illness is almost invariably an illness, and that almost all illness is not caused by demonic or evil forces, but are congenital and genomic, or caused by pathogens, parasites, malfunction and injury.

3) However, the church also recognizes that many are the times in our lives in which we need solace in many forms. Just because people are mistaken in the cause of their problems does not diminish their need for ministration.

4) Unfortunately, people will adopt heterodoxical or even heretical beliefs, as well as rampant superstition. But an important distinction needs to be drawn, that these are objectionable *not* because they are demonic or powerfully evil, but because they are empty and meaningless.

What is offensive is that people waste themselves, putting their faith into mindless and powerless things instead of how it should be directed, in enriching their lives and faith in what does matter.

The church recognizes that people can terribly harm themselves in the pursuit of such things. In investing the life, their hopes and desires, their strength and their character in foolish ways. It becomes like other sins, indicated more by obsession and excess than the thing in itself.

People need to eat, but if they gorge themselves they are gluttons.
It is good to procreate, but insatiable lust makes a person jaded.
Prosperity is good, but greed steals away from your life.

People need to explore the unknown, to make it part of the known. But obsession with not just the unknown, but the unknowable, saps the strength. A graven image may be worshiped all day, but it just sits there.

5) Then finally, after all that argument, there is an admission that demons exist. But claiming that from the start is a fool’s errand.


20 posted on 02/02/2011 9:55:48 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: utherdoul
Why wouldn’t he manifest himself?

He has and does on a daily basis. You, along with so many other poor souls, lack the acumen to realize that.

As Father Lucas Trevant(Anthony Hopkins) tells Deacon Michael Kovak(Colin O'Donoghue) in The Rite:

"Just because you think the devil doesn't exist, doesn't mean he doesn't."

21 posted on 02/02/2011 10:56:22 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the ping.


22 posted on 02/02/2011 11:56:45 AM PST by zot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

What in your husband’s childhood experience suggests evil or the devil?


23 posted on 02/02/2011 12:08:41 PM PST by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: dmz
Uh?...Don't you think it odd that the Ouiji board not only predicted the move but the name of the street?
24 posted on 02/02/2011 12:35:10 PM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

Odd does not equal evil or demonic. Again, where is the evil in this story? I believe I have read you relate the story a time before (I could certainly be mistaken about that), and was puzzled then by its use in supporting the existence of the devil.


25 posted on 02/02/2011 1:15:19 PM PST by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: wintertime
Uh?...Don't you think it odd that the Ouiji board not only predicted the move but the name of the street?

Ouija boards predict nothing...feelings, inherent knowledge, opinions, predictions (ours) may come out...I had a blast mant years ago with an Ouija board...there was a girl that everyone...I mean everyone knew as Sue....I somehow, knew that her real name was Marilyn....at a stupid teenage party we played with the Ouija board and I revealed that "Marilyn" would do something that I knew "sue" was going to do...after the event, the participants discovered that Sue was really Marilyn....they were all amazed and I never revealed the answer....that was 50 years ago

26 posted on 02/02/2011 7:53:31 PM PST by terycarl (4)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: dmz

Evil (as in Satan) uses the Ouiji board and does indeed make predictions. It’s a ploy to distract your faith from God to lead you to put your faith into other things. That’s how it all starts. And, its an entry for evil into your life.


27 posted on 02/02/2011 9:06:42 PM PST by surroundedbyblue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson