A brief summary of paranormal entities based upon years of study

#1
Firstly, I am an amateur. I am not a pioneer. I do not communicate with spirits. I do not "ghost hunt." I am not a professional demonologist. What I do have as over 10 years of cumulative knowledge built by spending most of my free-time (not anymore) reading anything I can find on the topic including books by top demonologists and exorcists but also from listening to people tell their stories on T.V. or on video elsewhere. There are two TV shows that document these cases, and do so very well, including extensive interviews with those affected. (Paranormal Witness and a Haunting). The cases and interviewees are genuine, minus a few that really set off my BS detector. Each show has dozens and dozens of episodes and I have seen all of them multiple times. My wife and I would watch 1 or 2 DVR'd episodes nightly for a few years at least. There are other shows and documentaries on T.V. also,(along with other sources of first hand accounts) but those are the main and most valuable source of good info. I have read a lot of accounts also, but I prefer to watch the person tell the story in order to get a feel for how genuine they are.

These phenomena, to me, demonstrate more in the way of testimonial evidence for the reality of a spiritual realm than NDE's, Mediumship etc combined.

What I am going to do is try to (as briefly as possible) relay the typical phenotypical experience of demonic infestation, oppression, or possession and (separately) hauntings by human spirits as well as I have learned them over the past decade or so. If you read me write something like, "demons tend to be most active between the hours of 10 P.M. and 6 A.M.", it is because I have not only heard it time and time again from victims of this phenomenon, but the information has also been verified in books by real demonologists and exorcists. When I am personally speculating, I will say so. One thing that is interesting about NDE's, is that the same type of experiences occur over and over again, which of course lends credence to their validity. But the common "demonic experience" is much much more uniform and similar from case to case in contrast to NDE's. So, from my perspective (although I do believe in the validity of NDE's) the testimony of those experiencing demonic activity is actually far more uniform and corroborative between each other than the testimonies of those experiencing NDE's. People do report seeing "dark" or "demonic" entities during dNDE's (distressing NDE's) just as people report experiencing them while alive on this planet. So, there is definitely something to all of this. What it is exactly, is the million dollar question.

I'll break this post into different sections/posts. Ill try my best to be succinct and just hit on the main things, Im sure I will forget many things and for the sake or brevity will leave out about 90 percent of what I actually want to say. If anybody wants elaboration on any point, I'd be glad to go into it further. Or if anybody disagrees with any specific point, I would be eager to discuss that as well. This is all from the top of my head so I apologize for any mistakes and I am not going to take the time to go back through and correct grammar.

1) What are demons?
2) Who can be affected by demonic activity?
3) What is the typical infestation, oppression, possession experience like?
4) What can be done about affliction?
5) Human Spirits

I may or may not continue adding and editing these
 
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#2
1) What are Demons?

Demonic entities are supernatural forces who are inhuman and are extremely hostile towards living persons. Of course we don't know their origin or their specific goals, although their immediate goals in reference to human interaction seem to be to torment individuals to the point where they may become depressed, defeated, and experience ruined relationships with those they love. Taken to the extreme, this may lead to possession. I'm only familiar with Christian explanation/myth (depending upon your belief of course) of the origin of these negative spirits. ie-Lucifer (an angel) rebelled against God by wanting to become one like God,and convinced other Angels that they could be the same. In doing so, this group of Angels were banished from Heaven and due to their separation from their Holy life source, thus became hideous and evil. At any rate, we know that these spirits are extremely hostile towards and seem to hate people with an impassioned sense of purpose. I have never spent much time concerning myself with other religions and cultures explanation (or any explanation or speculation for that matter) on the origins of the demonic. Rather, as mentioned, I have spent all my time studying individual cases and the writings of demonologists and exorcists regarding the nature of demon-human interaction. Much more is known about what they do rather than who they are or where they come from, although (of course) religious and cultural myths/explanations are abundant
 
#3
2) Who can be affected by demonic activity?

The short answer is anybody under certain circumstances. There are unmistakable and consistent situations/circumstances which place one at risk of either infestation (a demonic haunting), oppression (a single individual picked out of a group/family and relentlessly targeted), and possession (having ones will under control temporarily or indefinitely either in a periodic or constant manner by a demonic entity).

-Any person may experience torment by a demon if they are in a location where a demon has formed an attachment to. Demons may be present at any location for a variety of reasons. They are drawn to negativity or (perhaps not ironically) things that human beings consider evil. Perhaps there was a murder at the location. A very common risk factor is that there was some sort of "devil worship" or "black magic" or "demon conjuring" being performed at the location. This can bring about a demonic "attachment" to a certain area. Demonic invitations seem to be the strongest risk factor. Probably the most common form of this is by way of use of a Quija board. Through this, the house it was used in may become "infested" as may the actual board itself. Oftentimes after this happens people will get rid of the board only to find it the next day back in the spot it used to be in. People then may try and destroy the board or burn it, again only to find it back where it used to be. Its not that the board itself has special properties. One could make a Quija board out of cardboard and a marker and it would still be potentially as dangerous. Its the act of the will which brings about the risk. The "invitation" if you will.

-In addition to forming attachments to places or even objects, demonic entities may form attachments to families with, often" one member being singled out for the greatest torment (personal oppression). There are risk factors for individuals just as there are for locations and objects. Drug addiction, depression, psychological disorder, devil worship, black magic. Demonic entities can also work their way through generations of families if they are not properly dealt with. A Demon may work itself into a families hearts by feigning the properties of a deceased human spirit (usually of a fictional person), most often a child, in order to build up compassion from the family and a greater tolerance of the spirit. Oftentimes the family will give the "ghost child" presents and try to make it feel welcome out of pity. This is just another form of invitation and serves to strengthen the demons hold on the family and its ability to torment it. One of the saddest and constant things that I have come across is victims of family incest seem to be at particularly high risk of demonic torment. Seems a sick and cruel joke of the universe. It also goes to show that they thrive in "evil" environments.

What can happen is an unlucky person can bring an object into his home which has a demonic attachment and can then transfer this attachment to the house and/or a person in the house. If that person decides to move out, the demon may stay behind or follow the person depending upon the strength and nature of the attachment.

Here is the best attested case with some of the strongest witness testimonial I have ever encountered. My personal thoughts on this one, the kids hatred for his dead grandfather opened him up to a state of vulnerability. This video includes testimonial from numerous police officers, the tormented man in question, a pastor, prison warden, and several other people. These people witnessed incredible paranormal phenomena, most notably rain forming and falling in the house where this guy was, and the rain would travel in all directions ie-raindrops travelled from the ground and went up to the ceiling, from wall to wall., or would materialize in mid-air right in front of their faces and hit them.


There is another case which is close in terms of attestation. The case occured in Gary Indiana. Here also several police officers bore witness to phenomena as did 2 social workers and a nurse in the hospital who reported witnessing a child walk up the wall to the ceiling, backwards. When the Dr. came in he did not believe them, he asked the child to do it again, and the child did not remember doing it. The family was under severe demonic oppression.

Link to story in newspaper: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/01/25/the-disposession-of-latoya-ammons/4892553/
 
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#4
3) The typical experience of infestation, oppression, and possesion

-Infestation is the most common form of demonic experience and is also the least dangerous and severe. That said, the consequences can still be pretty devastating for those afflicted. After and attachment is established, the following phenomenon are particularly common during an infestation, and as the infestation builds in severity, so do the occurances.
+Rapidly dropping or rising temperatures, often local to one specific area of the house, but often throughout the house. A visual manifestation is more likely to occur as this is happening
+Overall feelings of dread, anxiety, and depression, or impending doom.
+Very lucid and frightening nightmares
+Slamming doors
+re-arranging or stacking objects in the house ie-a person walks into a bedroom to see her childs stuffed animals arranged in a perfect circle on the floor. The stuffed animals are picked up, the person immediately after hears something in the room and returns to find the animals in a circle again.
+They seem fond of emptying cabinets in the kitchen and throwing and breaking all the dishware
+Horrible and pungent odors usually described as "sulfur-like" or like rotten meat
INTERESTING NOTE-a very common sign is scratching or banging often heard in sequences of 3. Christian demonologists take this to mean that the demonic entity is "mocking" the Holy Trinity
+Being pinned down on your bed and feeling like all the air is being sucked out of the room.
+Apparitions may appear human-like, or as a mix between a human and a beast, or a dark mass etc
+Phenomena which occur at the exact same time every day
There was a case where a mysterious substance continued appearing on the walls. The substance was sent to a lab for testing and the results came back as human plasma. There is a lot of documented happenings such as this ie-things being materialized seemingly from thin air, or certain items being transported seemingly instantaneously
+Animals or pets barking and acting aggressively towards unseen things in locations or in the air
+Sick or dying pets


-Oppression/Possession

This is generally seen as a "next" and more serious stage after infestation and is generally centered around one particular individual. An infestation may progress to an oppressive state or it may stay at the infestation level perpetually. All the "risk factors" of individual infestation apply to discernment of a risk moving from infestation to oppression in an individual. The demonic will typically target a "weakest" member of a family. Really much like a wolf or lion picking out a meal from a herd. This can mean weak in a physical (sick) or spiritual sense.

The whole "comes in threes and thus mocks the Holy Trinity) phenomenon applies strongly here in the form of scratches. The oppressed (it can happen during infestation also) are often scratched. These scratches typically "burn" and appear like a claw mark from a beast with three claws. I would be interested to see if this phenomenon occurs in cultures where Christianity is not the prevailing religion. Just as those who have NDE's in the west are far more likely to "meet Jesus" during their experience.

Oppressed individuals are manipulated, terrified, and beaten down physically and mentally worn down over a period of time. This allows the demon greater ability to possess. Victims are witnessed being thrown around, levitated into the air, and experience great mental and physical torment.

The ultimate goal of oppression is possession. Where an individuals will is taken over partially, leading to something closer to wholly taken over after some time. The individual will show a severe aversion to religious relics or objects. The possessed person will utter the most foul and obscene things and will embarrass those around them by telling embarrassing secrets about them out loud, that they could not have possibly known. There was a documented case where a child who was being oppressed and was sleeping in his parents room to stay safe. The parents had a long conversation before their child came home from school. The child sat up in the middle of the night and began speaking rapidly, recounting, word for word, the entire conversation the parents had earlier in the day while he wasnt home, terrifying his parents.

Signs of possession
+bodily levitation
+scratches on the body (usually in 3's)
+unknown hidden or personal knowledge concerning those around them's personal lives, often knowledge of embarassing nature is shared with the group
+Aversion to religious or "holy" objects
+Severely diminished personal relationships
+an ability to suddenly speak any language on command, often disused or extinct languages
+The worst utterances of profanity
+Strange contortions or eye color changes

Generally as a person weakens over time they stop fighting and continue to give into the invading spirit, making the situation more difficult to remedy.
 
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#5
4) What can be done about affliction?

There are certain rituals and ceremonies which can be undertaken in order to get rid of tormenting supernatural forces. The classic Christian rite of exorcism is effective, as are various forms of cleansing derived from other belief systems (the one Im most familiar with in these circumstances is "white" magic, and Ive heard of and seen this work in a number of cases). Decidedly though, more often I have seen the Christian rite being performed. Here, there are two different levels of ceremony which can be attempted. The first is a simple cleansing, which sometimes works. More often, however, it seems that it works temporarily, only to see the invading demoniac come back more angry. The better method, but more drastic, seems to be an exorcism. This can be done on a personal level or to an infested object, or an infested location (usually a house). These ceremonies work, so far as I can tell, so long as the belief system or religion it comes from is one that claims to "good" or "of the light."

As far as exorcisms go, Father Malachi Martins book "Hostage to The Devil" is the best I've read. Heres a link to the free PDF

https://archive.org/stream/HostageToTheDevil/HostageToTheDevil_djvu.txt
With regards to these ceremonies, they CAN make things worse, particularly if you have somebody inexperienced who does not know what they are doing. But generally, the ceremonies are effective. These ceremonies can vary in length from anywhere from a couple hours to several months.
 
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#6
5) Human spirits
Hauntings by spirits of a human nature or origin occur far more frequently than demonic infestations. Human spirits are far less capable than the demonic spirit in any category imaginable. The old cliche seems true, people who have died suddenly and/or tragically are far more likely to see their spirits cling to the earthly realm to be experienced by those still alive. These people may cling to the area which they were killed or may "haunt" an area that had particular importance and meaning to them when they were alive.
The most common way to manifest a human spirit, as far as I can tell with all the testimony, is to perform rennovations in a building or house. If there is a spirit there, or potential for a spirit there, renovation really seems to kick the phenomenon into a noticeable gear.

In contrast to demon spirits, the affect which human spirits tend to have on people is exclusively psychological and is far less damaging psychologically. Human spirits appear regardless of time, demonic spirits are FAR more likely to manifest at night. Human spirits are more common next to energy sources ie-power stations or power lines (any significant power generator) and before people experience an apparition, they generally report that they experience a cold shiver. This all leads credence to the idea that human spirits need to borrow or use energy in whatever form in order to manifest.

Exorcisms are totally ineffective against human spirits, but certain "cleansings" ("go towards the light") type ceremonies can be very effective at getting the human spirit to "move on."

Human spirits have also been known to simply "visit" family members before going back to the other realm ie-they are not "haunting" in the classical sense but have came back momentarily to deliver a message or give some form of support. This often happens when a family is being tormented by a dark spirit. A deceased family member or friend may show up to give moral support or to re-assure them, perhaps, that everything is okay, even if things seem currently bleak.

I sort of stopped trying to decide what to write here because theres so much to be said on all of these topics that its impossible to tackle in non-book form. I think when writing about something like this on a forum, there is no such thing as being too succinct, or in being too drawn out, but I do think there is such a thing as being "too much in the middle" with regards to amount of content.
 
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#7
Thanks for that really detailed review of this subject - which I don't think has been explored too much on Skeptiko.
Firstly, I am an amateur. I am not a pioneer. I do not communicate with spirits. I do not "ghost hunt." I am not a professional demonologist.
How did you acquire this interest - have you or your wife had personal experiences of any sort?

David
 
#8
As far as exorcisms go, Father Malachi Martins book "Hostage to The Devil" is the best I've read. Heres a link to the free PDF
The four Art Bell interviews with Malachi Martin are essential listening for students of demonology. Here's the first, the rest are also on YouTube:

Having said that I'm in two minds about Martin. He clearly has considerable experience as an exorcist, and his numerous anecdotes sound credible. On the other hand he was part of the ultra traditionalist reaction to the second Vatican council, and seemed to have maintained an independent priesthood without a parish. He comes across as something of a showman and an egotist, but that doesn't necessarily disqualify his accounts. People need to make their own minds up.
 
#9
The four Art Bell interviews with Malachi Martin are essential listening for students of demonology. Here's the first, the rest are also on YouTube:

Having said that I'm in two minds about Martin. He clearly has considerable experience as an exorcist, and his numerous anecdotes sound credible. On the other hand he was part of the ultra traditionalist reaction to the second Vatican council, and seemed to have maintained an independent priesthood without a parish. He comes across as something of a showman and an egotist, but that doesn't necessarily disqualify his accounts. People need to make their own minds up.
I have serious doubts about this mans claims, for one he never names any specific names of people who were there during his exorcisms. Who is the assistant who broke his arm, who are the men who died of heart attacks after an exorcism, who are these psychiatrists he claims to have worked with? How about someone who will claim that they were exorcised by him? Contrast this with parapsychologists who will readily turn over dozens of names of people who were present during experiments.

Second, there are various contradictions to strong claims he makes earlier in the interview. He claims no one is safe from possession, he claims only a catholic priest who has been authorized can perform a successful exorcism and that all exorcism comes from god. The contradictions are that those who are of strong faith and who have never made deals will not be possessed, he is no longer an authorized priest so cannot perform a successful exorcism.

Third, contradictions with existing research. He claims hell is a real and an unescapeable place completely cut off from god, he seems to split all nonphysical entities between two camps that being angels subject to humanity and fallen angels that wish to destroy humanity. Looking at NDE research and NDE researches I do not think we can claim hell is such a place, rather it looks instead to be a temporary state of mind that people can escape as soon as they either ask for assistance or are attended by a wandering spirit. I don't think we can classify the many spirits people encounter as either angels or demons.

Fourth, unknowable hyperbole. He claims that there are very large amounts of people being kept from his exorcisms by psychiatrists, he claims there's been a 600% increase in possessions based on what he's read in the news, he claims the antichrist will come in 20 or so years, he claims some people are "perfectly possessed" meaning they have a satisfaction with their supposed captors' yet are nearly completely indiscernible from normal people except sometimes they give queer glances despite never exorcising a person like this. He claims that if you are possessed you absolutely know it.

Fifth, the things that leave me feeling sour. I have performed an exorcism myself successfully, much of the phenomenon he claims is quite common I did not see. The person I exorcised claimed to have seen a demon in his home. I did not invoke a christian God though I did invoke any higher power who would lend assistance, it was not a lengthy procession having took about 4 hours and I am not authorized by a catholic priest. It is my understanding that the hermeticist who taught me a standardized form of exorcism would not have done so if no hermeticist ever had managed to perform an exorcism. I have serious doubts that more is required for an exorcism than calling on a higher power and I have serious doubts that no buddhist, no Taoist, no Hindu, no Jew, no Muslim and no Shaman has never performed a successful exorcism. I suspect Malachi would see me as damned or 'perfectly possessed' for disagreeing with him. He describes familiars and ancestor worship as demonic possession being pushed through family lines. I disagree with his use of the term Demon as meaning a fallen angel who is purely evil when its original meaning before the church began eliminating the Hellenistic philosophy is that of an inner guide or genius (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/daemon), I find this especially tendentious when Socrates Daimon was responsible for a good deal of the philosophy that made its way into the church.
 
#10
I have serious doubts about this mans claims, for one he never names any specific names of people who were there during his exorcisms. Who is the assistant who broke his arm, who are the men who died of heart attacks after an exorcism, who are these psychiatrists he claims to have worked with? How about someone who will claim that they were exorcised by him? Contrast this with parapsychologists who will readily turn over dozens of names of people who were present during experiments.

Second, there are various contradictions to strong claims he makes earlier in the interview. He claims no one is safe from possession, he claims only a catholic priest who has been authorized can perform a successful exorcism and that all exorcism comes from god. The contradictions are that those who are of strong faith and who have never made deals will not be possessed, he is no longer an authorized priest so cannot perform a successful exorcism.

Third, contradictions with existing research. He claims hell is a real and an unescapeable place completely cut off from god, he seems to split all nonphysical entities between two camps that being angels subject to humanity and fallen angels that wish to destroy humanity. Looking at NDE research and NDE researches I do not think we can claim hell is such a place, rather it looks instead to be a temporary state of mind that people can escape as soon as they either ask for assistance or are attended by a wandering spirit. I don't think we can classify the many spirits people encounter as either angels or demons.

Fourth, unknowable hyperbole. He claims that there are very large amounts of people being kept from his exorcisms by psychiatrists, he claims there's been a 600% increase in possessions based on what he's read in the news, he claims the antichrist will come in 20 or so years, he claims some people are "perfectly possessed" meaning they have a satisfaction with their supposed captors' yet are nearly completely indiscernible from normal people except sometimes they give queer glances despite never exorcising a person like this. He claims that if you are possessed you absolutely know it.

Fifth, the things that leave me feeling sour. I have performed an exorcism myself successfully, much of the phenomenon he claims is quite common I did not see. The person I exorcised claimed to have seen a demon in his home. I did not invoke a christian God though I did invoke any higher power who would lend assistance, it was not a lengthy procession having took about 4 hours and I am not authorized by a catholic priest. It is my understanding that the hermeticist who taught me a standardized form of exorcism would not have done so if no hermeticist ever had managed to perform an exorcism. I have serious doubts that more is required for an exorcism than calling on a higher power and I have serious doubts that no buddhist, no Taoist, no Hindu, no Jew, no Muslim and no Shaman has never performed a successful exorcism. I suspect Malachi would see me as damned or 'perfectly possessed' for disagreeing with him. He describes familiars and ancestor worship as demonic possession being pushed through family lines. I disagree with his use of the term Demon as meaning a fallen angel who is purely evil when its original meaning before the church began eliminating the Hellenistic philosophy is that of an inner guide or genius (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/daemon), I find this especially tendentious when Socrates Daimon was responsible for a good deal of the philosophy that made its way into the church.
I'm not here to defend or attack Malachi Martin's claims, I linked the video in response to another poster's mention of Martin's book which I'm aware of but haven't read.

Taking your points in order:
1. Whether true or false it would be inappropriate of Martin to name names associated with exorcisms, and against the guidelines of the church, possibly law and certainly good taste. Whether he's hiding behind such restrictions I have no idea.

2. I don't know the nuances of Canon Law regarding priests who request freedom from their vows. Malachi Martin seems not to have been involved with a parish in later decades, but claims to have been involved in exorcism and deliverance ministries before that time, as well as after. His adoption of "Father" throughout that time may be titular or official, I don't know.
If he claimed only a priest can perform ceremonies of deliverance, I believe he may be in error. IIRC he responds to a phone call in one interview where he says people other than priests can perform exorcisms. I've filmed such ceremonies in the Balkans and they were undertaken by lay members of the church. The behaviour of those subject to such claims was inexplicable to me, and outside my normal experience, but that doesn't represent evidence.
Remember Martin resigned his duties after what he regarded as erroneous claims by the council in Vat II, particularly what some claimed was the infiltration of its highest offices by Freemasonry. Without getting in to the minutiae of the argument, and what denotes orthodoxy and tradition, that sets the context for Martin's subsequent claims. From what I understand he is something of a figurehead for ultraorthodox Catholics, which range from run of the mill traditionalists to the SSPX to extreme fundamentalists. However he dedicated much of his time to writing thinly disguised novelisation of what he claimed were true events. Without offering them as fact they function as revisionist conspiracy theory money-makers, a genre of which there is no shortage!

3. His claims about the nature of heaven and hell are consistent with Christianity as a whole. There are no shortage of NDEs which support this view, some of which appear sober and credible, and are made by atheists and non-Christians as well as believers. I think it's unwise to claim near death experiences which meet our expectations as authentic and those which contradict them as false. There is too much about the phenomenon we don't understand either way.

4. I assume psychiatrists do not seek out exorcists in the normal call of duty, being trained in a physicalist understanding of humanity. One of the markers of possession is access to anomalous information, private details of the lives of those present, multiple foreign languages, knowledge of the whereabouts of hidden objects, and so on. It's difficult to know how conventional psychiatry can explain such phenomena, or how common they are, and I imagine individuals prone to such behaviour at placed in secure units pending an explanation. More open-minded professionals refer them to the church as the most obvious source of non-material explanations. From what I've read the Vatican's first recourse is to sceptical medical experts of whom they maintain a retinue in cases of high weirdness. Only when that strand of enquiry has been exhausted do other perspectives come into action. Speaking personally, perfect possession does reflect the behaviour of some notable recent cases, people so entirely given over to destructive behaviours at odds with social and moral norms that they are possessed by them. Whether that denotes demonic possession is for others to say.

5. Your testimony and beliefs are not for me to comment on.
 
#11
I'm not here to defend or attack Malachi Martin's claims, I linked the video in response to another poster's mention of Martin's book which I'm aware of but haven't read.

Taking your points in order:
1. Whether true or false it would be inappropriate of Martin to name names associated with exorcisms, and against the guidelines of the church, possibly law and certainly good taste. Whether he's hiding behind such restrictions I have no idea.
Right, the Catholic Church classifies this information as private in the same manner that information given during a confessional is private. But there are a number of cases where the people experiencing these things have chosen not to remain private. You just have to look around a bit. The Gary Indiana case is interesting because of the testimony of police workers, nurses, and social workers. There are plenty of cases similar, if you dig around. But generally speaking, people don't speak publicly about these things. They just want to put it behind them. But, again, if you want first person testimonial, and want it in the form of writing or video, there's no overall shortage.

If you listen to Father Martin or read enough of him, one will find him a genuinely a good and honest person. Of course that doesn't mean that everybody should be expected to believe everything he says. But Ive listened to and read him a lot, he was a great person, and I find him trustworthy. BUT, the cases in the book are not his cases. They are the cases of fellow exorcists of whom he was made privy of recording devices and testimonial and, supposedly, interviewed those afflicted.
 
#12
I have serious doubts about this mans claims, for one he never names any specific names of people who were there during his exorcisms. Who is the assistant who broke his arm, who are the men who died of heart attacks after an exorcism, who are these psychiatrists he claims to have worked with? How about someone who will claim that they were exorcised by him? Contrast this with parapsychologists who will readily turn over dozens of names of people who were present during experiments.

Second, there are various contradictions to strong claims he makes earlier in the interview. He claims no one is safe from possession, he claims only a catholic priest who has been authorized can perform a successful exorcism and that all exorcism comes from god. The contradictions are that those who are of strong faith and who have never made deals will not be possessed, he is no longer an authorized priest so cannot perform a successful exorcism.

Third, contradictions with existing research. He claims hell is a real and an unescapeable place completely cut off from god, he seems to split all nonphysical entities between two camps that being angels subject to humanity and fallen angels that wish to destroy humanity. Looking at NDE research and NDE researches I do not think we can claim hell is such a place, rather it looks instead to be a temporary state of mind that people can escape as soon as they either ask for assistance or are attended by a wandering spirit. I don't think we can classify the many spirits people encounter as either angels or demons.

Fourth, unknowable hyperbole. He claims that there are very large amounts of people being kept from his exorcisms by psychiatrists, he claims there's been a 600% increase in possessions based on what he's read in the news, he claims the antichrist will come in 20 or so years, he claims some people are "perfectly possessed" meaning they have a satisfaction with their supposed captors' yet are nearly completely indiscernible from normal people except sometimes they give queer glances despite never exorcising a person like this. He claims that if you are possessed you absolutely know it.

Fifth, the things that leave me feeling sour. I have performed an exorcism myself successfully, much of the phenomenon he claims is quite common I did not see. The person I exorcised claimed to have seen a demon in his home. I did not invoke a christian God though I did invoke any higher power who would lend assistance, it was not a lengthy procession having took about 4 hours and I am not authorized by a catholic priest. It is my understanding that the hermeticist who taught me a standardized form of exorcism would not have done so if no hermeticist ever had managed to perform an exorcism. I have serious doubts that more is required for an exorcism than calling on a higher power and I have serious doubts that no buddhist, no Taoist, no Hindu, no Jew, no Muslim and no Shaman has never performed a successful exorcism. I suspect Malachi would see me as damned or 'perfectly possessed' for disagreeing with him. He describes familiars and ancestor worship as demonic possession being pushed through family lines. I disagree with his use of the term Demon as meaning a fallen angel who is purely evil when its original meaning before the church began eliminating the Hellenistic philosophy is that of an inner guide or genius (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/daemon), I find this especially tendentious when Socrates Daimon was responsible for a good deal of the philosophy that made its way into the church.
Of course he comes at it from a Catholic angle. And we do know that Catholic exorcisms work, but so do other forms of exorcisms. Just because he is being a "good" Catholic and feels that Catholics need to do the ceremony, does not discredit the experience. If he just performed a successful exorcism, (he and a bunch of other Catholics) he may very well leave convinced that Catholics need to do this, and be wrong about it, but that doesnt mean that he did not just perform a successful exorcism.

Overall, the important thing to take from his work are the events which he bore witness to. He worked as an exorcist for over 30 years. You can take or leave his philosophical ramblings concerning his summary of the experience, but the experiences themselves are what are more interesting to me, and they do line up with the experiences of others. I might take a pill for high blood pressure, and it will lower my blood pressure. I could disagree with a number of people as to why it reduced my blood pressure, or why it may or may not work for others, but (at any rate) I know I took a pill and it lowered my blood pressure, and (particularly in light of the nature of this forum) that is the more interesting issue.

If we want to look at these phenomena objectively, we need to look and listen to what happened. If you want the personal opinions of those involved or you want to debate their religious beliefs, thats cool, but its not something Im interested in anymore. Overall, I dont think its good logic to discredit somebodys account of something because you disagree with their religious views. Their reasons as to why something happened or not, are of course up for debate, and of course hes reading Catholic bias into his experience, but that doesnt mean that he didnt have the experience. And the more you learn about him, you'll see that hes a was indeed a great man through and through, and Im no Catholic either. Nor do I agree with all of his philosophies, but I personally find that rather irrelevant to my interest. I would not find it irrelevant if I wished to debate religion. And maybe that's your thing, and that's cool. But that definitely was not where I was steering this topic and thread. This man lived amongst Catholics his whole life, was part of the Jesuit order, was a personal advisor to several popes, taught Latin and Hebrew to Catholic children, and died a virgin at the age of 78 (or so, not sure exactly). He died in the late 90s before the information revolution really took hold. He lived with Catholics, worked with Catholics, wrote books for Catholics, was even born Catholic. So hes going to read his Catholicism into his experiences.

May I inquire a bit more on the exorcism you performed? I would love to hear about it.
 
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#13
Thanks for that really detailed review of this subject - which I don't think has been explored too much on Skeptiko.


How did you acquire this interest - have you or your wife had personal experiences of any sort?

David
I've always been fascinated by existence itself and have always, therefore, had a strong love for science. I was somewhat doubtful about the ghost thing though and they I saw an episode of a Haunting where this entire family claimed to be tormented and there they were telling their story on camera with tears and pain in their eyes ie-very credible and genuine sounding. I didnt know what to make of it and so I began looking for more testimony, which I found on these shows, and began reading about them. I was floored by how genuine these people where and similarly all their cases where. Being fascinated by the nature of things in general I began taking a huge interest in a potential spiritual realm and it sort of became an obsession afterwards. Lately, Im more into NDE research and things of the sort.

But something happened which really kicked my interest into overdrive. The first was right in the beginning of my interest and probably served to really kick it into high gear. My best friend of 20 some years (a man not prone to lying or exaggerating) told me that he wanted to tell me about something. He and is family where experiencing things in their new house. Their son was having nightmares and claimed to be seeing "dark monsters" at night. They were also waking up in the morning and finding dead birds on the floor, usually in the kitchen. First he thought maybe the cat was sneaking out and killing birds and bringing them in. He locked up the cat for the night and had what he said was the realest and most terrifying nightmare he had ever had. He went downstairs for some water and saw two dead birds on the floor. He turned all the lights on and decided he was going to "go on watch" while his family slept the rest of the night. He went outside and sat down and smoked a cigarette. He fell asleep. When he woke up, THERE WAS A DEAD BIRD IN HIS LAP!

A couple days after this, a spoon slowly began standing up on its side so that the spoon end was in the air. There it stayed balancing itself upright. Then the spoon slowly moved its way back down. Heres a huge regret I have. He actually got it on video on his phone. Due to my phones lack of technology at the time, he could not send me the video, but he did send me a picture. So I had this pic on my phone of a spoon on his table standing up on its own. There were no props. It creep'd me out though, largely due to the things I was reading about the demonic and I deleted it. I regret doing that because he later claimed that the video was mysteriously deleted from his phone (more on that in a bit). I really wish we had that video and I could post it here and put it on youtube. Later on sometime, both he and is wife witnessed a pen levitating in mid air. Ive spoken to them both separately about it. Later they had a Protestant blessing of their home and the phenomena stopped.

A few years ago, a co-worker saw me reading a book called "The Demonologist." She inquired a bit and we spoke briefly about the topic. Several months later she said, "I need to talk to you."
First she asked me, "okay, you really believe that demons are real right?" I said of course. She went on to explain something that was happening to her brother the past few weeks. Long story short, he was claiming to have been pinned down at night (while not sleeping) for several nights in a row and feeling like the air was being sucked out of him. At times during this dark figures would appear around his bed and stare at him menacingly. She told me that they had had an exorcist of some sort (she is a Muslim) coming over to her house regularly the past couple of nights and that it was like "all out war" going on and nobody was sleeping and I could tell that she wasnt sleeping either. I actually left that job a couple of days after her confiding this to me, so I dont know what the outcome was. Or whether or not there was simply something psychological wrong with him, but I noted that his reported experience lined up with many others.

My wife did experience something on a small scale while she was living alone before she met me. She was recording her cat drinking from the sink (as she often did) and when she played it back and was going to send it to her mother when she heard a ferociously loud and vicious growling "rabid beast." It went on for over 8 minutes and sounded as if it was recorded right next to the phone. Now, I dont want to get carried away with conclusions, because who really knows what that was, but here are some things to note.

1) Growling and vicious sounding animals are a common part of the demoniacs repertoire
2) She didnt have the TV or radio on as she had just returned home from work and their where no noises coming from her phone
3) THE VIDEO MYSTERIOUSLY WAS DELETED after she had shown a couple of people! This is something that I havent mentioned in this thread yet, but that is very commonly reported. Audio and video seems to be deleted very frequently without explanation, as if they do not want absolute proof out there. Now I totally understand that a skeptic would look at this and say, "well, isnt that convenient? They just delete all your evidence huh? From my perspective though, firstly, not all evidence is deleted, there is plenty off audio and video out there, the difficulty lies in outing all the fakes, which is almost impossible to do unfortunately and I have no doubts or qualms about admitting that the majority of the files (probably the vast majority) are indeed faked. Secondly, it appears to me that God does exist (obviously a personal opinon) and that a spirit realm does exist, and that these beings and or God Himself does not wish to advertise this reality blatantly in the sky. Demons, may not want knowledge of their existence to become incontorvertible as then more serious efforts may be taken against them. I do not know of course, but when I hear credible sounding people saying that paranormal audio or video was mysteriously deleted and then I have my best friend and wife tell me that they had a similar experience (separately), that conclusion flows rather easily.
 
#14
The four Art Bell interviews with Malachi Martin are essential listening for students of demonology. Here's the first, the rest are also on YouTube:

Having said that I'm in two minds about Martin. He clearly has considerable experience as an exorcist, and his numerous anecdotes sound credible. On the other hand he was part of the ultra traditionalist reaction to the second Vatican council, and seemed to have maintained an independent priesthood without a parish. He comes across as something of a showman and an egotist, but that doesn't necessarily disqualify his accounts. People need to make their own minds up.
Those are gold mines of info. But there are six, not four ;)
 
#16
What I do have as over 10 years of cumulative knowledge
You may like this data.

I just found this Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist who spent decades compiling data about schizophrenic individuals experiencing auditory hallucinations (voices) in mental institutions.

Interesting things he says:

* The Voices NEVER say anything positive, only negative. If "The Voices" are a random chemical phenomena, they should say positive things at least some of the time.

* The Voices detest formal religion.

* The Voices assist criminals by providing super-natural knowledge regarding locations, people, and police.

There's more, but I've only listened to about 4 hours of interviews with this guy. I don't know much about "demonology", and I'm really not very interested in it, I just thought you might like this data.

Dr. Jerry Marzinsky. He is not hawking a book or promoting any ideology. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBNoxH3e_xoufUo4MTVJ2XQ
 
#20
Thank you for this interesting thread. What I am curious about -- and I know this may be outside of your realm of expertise -- is why negative hauntings and possessions seem to happen often enough to warrant data collection like this and books on exorcism, but there are no (similarly frequent?) occurrences of the "good" entities manifesting in the physical realm. I know some people do claim that angels help them, etc. but these good entities don't seem to be nearly as interested in going around physically asserting themselves or letting their existence be known. I wonder why this is -- if (a good) God exists?

In other words, why aren't there good angels/entities who, instead of leaving dead birds, leave some chocolate or help with the housework?
 
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