Seeking Help from Egypt

A palm reader and his clients

Some months back, I made a poll on this blog’s Facebook page with the question, “Who is more likely to turn to Satan worship, is it a person who has never heard of God or a person who is angry at God?”

Most responders chose the latter option, which I heartily agree with – not only because I’ve seen it time and again, but also due to the fact that there’s a core of rebellion that typifies all forms of Satan worship.

Once you reject God, you open yourself to the only alternative to God, which is Satan. His face may be disguised to you, but he’s no less real.

The occult is technically the defiance of God’s supremacy, and the screenshots from a lady’s Facebook post later in this article highlight this.

Most hardened occultists were formerly believers who are angry at God over something that didn’t happen when and how they expected it in life.

Those who recruit for the devil specifically target these hurting souls to enlist them on their side. The raging anger and unredressed hate within them are necessary ingredients needed in the kingdom of darkness.

In a certain post, I discussed the various forms divination and how the devil uses them to deceive and trap many souls – including Christians who have lost their spiritual bearing but are desperate for an insight into the spirit realm.

Every human being desires natural knowledge, but it is at the point where natural knowledge fails to satisfy this innate craving that mankind begins to seek supernatural knowledge. And there are only two sources of supernatural knowledge: God and Satan.

I have received emails from several Christians asking me if it’s okay to once in a while seek out their horoscopes, or visit a palm reader, or an Ifa priest or consult a visionary in order to know the source of a certain problem in their lives or families.

Many of these Christians are aware of how the Bible expressly forbids such interactions with the realms of darkness, but for some odd reason, they surmise that they are special exceptions to God’s rules, or that He will protect them, even if they cross the spiritual edge to seek help from Egypt.

The narration in Omotoyosi’s post below illustrates how such visits usually leads many people down the road of demon worship and deception, with grave consequences, I must add.

(Warning: there are some profanities in her post).

Omotoyosi was apparently raised in a nominal Christian home. On her blog, Diary of a Confused Girl, she made a post, The Illusion of Happiness, in which she wrote:

In the year 2014, I thought being closer to God would make me feel better, but it never did. Actually that turned out to be a big disaster. Reading the bible only took me to another whole new phase (A story for another day)! By 2015, I was reading every religious book I could lay my hands on. I even tried the Quran. After that phase of craziness, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to find happiness in God.

She obviously had a form of religion but didn’t experience the power in it.

It’s not certain whether she merely followed through the religious motions of a denomination and convinced herself and everyone around her that she was a Christian or she was actually a genuine Believer in Christ who apostatized from the faith. But from her statement above, I will go with the former. She continued:

A few months later, I packed my bags and decided to move back to England. For a short while after that move, I had the Illusion of happiness. I thought I had found my ‘happy place’ (is that even a real thing?…lol). That turned out to be a greater disaster as I moved back to Nigeria 5 months later with nothing in my heart but hate for God and all he stood for. I cut off all my religious friends and made up my mind to have nothing to do with any of them.

So, here it’s clear that she never experienced the presence of God where there is “fullness of joy” (Psa. 16:11). Her happiness was based on material things, friendship and carnal gratification.

And like most people raised in the tidal wave of secular societies, after some time, they get fed up of the emptiness of the world’s fake happiness and moral rotgut and begin to seek something supernatural to fill the holes in their souls. They start looking for a philosophy or system for a moral anchor or spiritual revelation.

This is what propels many individuals who are disenchanted with wealth and success to see a psychic, visit a seance or join an occult group. They want to connect to something higher than themselves – something omnious that secularism or atheism has failed to give them.

But the demonic forces lurking behind these shady figures are ever ready with their nets to trap anyone who patronizes them.

The messages often given to such seekers hinge on a rejection of the Bible, a denial of the reality of sin and death, a rejection of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation and a denouncement of Christianity with an allowance for a nostalgic return to ancient paganism and worship of spirits (“ancestors,” spirit guides, pagan deities, fallen angels, devas or aliens).

If you seek supernatural knowledge outside the God of the Bible, you are actually acknowledging other gods as your lords and submitting yourself to their bondage.

When you follow their instructions, perform their prescribed rituals and believe their revelations or predictions about your life, you place them at the steering wheel of your life.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)

“For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” (1 Cor. 8:5-6).

Technically, there are demon spirits that latch on to people who patronize these shamans, spiritists, seers and psychics whose assignment is to reinforce the supernatural terms of the rituals to the inquirer, or trouble the inquirer until he/she succumbs to the conditions given by the psychic.

In 2016, I read of a medical doctor in Haiti who sought a Voodoo practitioner for power and he was told to recite his request before the image of the “saint” at the entrance of the shrine. The priest told him that whatever step he should take would be communicated to him by this “saint” in his dream.

That night, he had a dream where this “saint”, looking handsome and sunny, instructed him on what to perform to receive occult power and he obeyed.

From that day on, he observed that any patient he attended at work would take a turn for the worse and inspite of all medical help, would end up dying.

When he noticed this disturbing pattern, he began to seek for help elsewhere. Turned out, one of the demon guides of the Voodoo priest had been spiritually attached to him and was destroying his career.

Again, you may wonder how these people can supposedly read minds as it occurred in the above “witch story.” This is an ability given to them by the spirit of divination or their familiar spirits.

The spirit that is introducing certain thoughts into the heart of the unregenerate is usually the one that will tell the psychic what the individual is thinking. This usually becomes difficult for the psychic when it comes to a Christian.

I’ve once met a white garment seer who while discussing, asked me to look deep into his eyes, but I refused, because I understand how hypnotism and telepathy work.

He tried to supernaturally “read” my life right there, but he couldn’t. All the things he said about me were off the mark. This was a man who boasted of hearing “animals” speak to him.

Eventually, he said in obvious defeat, “Just make sure you pray and read your Bible every morning.” What Christian doesn’t already know this is important? He later suggested that I have a “strong spirit.” Of course, because greater is He that is in me than the familiar spirits using him.

God had a reason for this clear warning:

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.” (Isaiah 31:1).

Just one visit to the agents of the devil for any help or insight can alter your life in ways beyond your imagination. Seek the Lord diligently and He will lead you in the way you should go (Jer. 33:3).

Real Spiritual Warfare or Mere Satanic Hysteria?

Growing up in the 90s, we heard lurid tales about the Church of Satan. Many of these stories were passed on from person-to-person – usually from a pastor to his congregation to friends and family, then neighbours to classmates and on to another pastor and his congregation.

It was a self-perpetuating and self-authenticating circle of narration, with each narrator embellishing the tale with his/her imaginative details. Of course, this chain of transmission wasn’t limited to Nigeria. It spread across several countries in Africa.

We were told that the Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in the US, mimics the Christian Church, but literally worships Satan and sacrifices humans to appease their horrific god along with involvement in cannibalism and vampirism.

Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Madonna Ciccone and other music stars or influential celebs were tagged as members, and many of us were warned to avoid being bewitched by their seductive charms.

In fact, I was told by a friend that Madonna had sex with Satan and has dedicated all her music albums to the prince of darkness. How he knew this with certainty boiled down to the authority of “someone who knew something.”

Just as we have people today who morbidly see the Illuminati or the New World Order behind every vice and world event, back then, Hollywood, degrading music, porn – even HIV – were all attributed to the bestial acts of the Church of Satan!

The current recrudescent panic about “satanic” vaccines, biochips, 666 mark or “invisible radiations being used to track people” which has filled the right-wing conspiracy lunatic fringe, is nothing new. Only the alleged culprits and minor details have switched over the years.

Those days, there were no Internet with which you could verify stories, you just had to take the word of “my pastor or my friend who knows someone abroad said…” as evidence.

To make it worse, some American Christian books which seemed to provide information on Satanism, circulating in Africa at the time, were by Rebecca Brown.

Her books contained sensational, hysteric and patently embellished tales which further accentuated the gross misinformation and urban legends being spread about Satanism in Nigeria.

Her books failed to rightly distinguish between the various orders of witchcraft (e.g. “white” witchcraft, Neopaganism and black witchcraft) and different satanic groups (e.g. the difference between traditional or theistic Satanism and LaVeyan Satanism) but dubiously lumped everything together, hence, many people ended up believing that the Church of Satan (CoS) fits the depictions conveyed in her paranoid-inducing books.

Again, many Christians were influenced by the world of make-believe (particularly Nollywood) which were ironically based on incorrect portrayals of the occult and spiritual warfare.

For instance, several scenes of satanists vanishing into thin air or turning into fish, snake or dog as a pastor holding a big Bible was confronting them, were a staple, even in Christian movies.

These were the “amunitions” that gave rise to certain scenarios in some Nigerian Christian books on spiritual warfare where you have agents of Satan running for the hills or instantly confessing to their evil deeds once the name of Jesus was mentioned by a pastor.

Many of these tales and thinking followed me into my adulthood until I began to research on the occult, and gain a biblical understanding of spiritual warfare. It was then I realized that much of these things do not always happen in such ways as depicted in those books – at least not physically.

Now, in the above tweets, you’ll notice a common pattern of approach by both Destined Charles and Femi-Fani Kayode: a hysteric, reactionary and “Nollywoody” back-and-forth Twitter war with a Satanist.

First of all, if they had known something about LaVeyan satanists, they would have known they are basically atheists. They don’t believe in the existence of God or Satan.

The CoS’s definition of Satan is of an archetypal force of balance existing in nature which they tap into and use it for their own selfish will. Of course, we know that’s just a philosophical euphemism to describe the powers of darkness, but it’s a more subtle system that requires wisdom and insight from the Christian.

Let me say it here that the LaVeyan satanism is an innocuous group which operates one of the lowest levels of demonic energy in Satanism. There are more powerful underground satanic covens where all kinds of debased, insidious and evil acts are being perpetrated, whilst the CoS is just an official, legal, self-identified organization. It doesn’t represent or speak for all of Satanism.

Spiritual warfare has to be fought with knowledge, not ignorance. Apostle Paul said, “I do not fight like a boxer beating the air” (1 Cor. 9:26).

That was from a man who preached in the core demonic cities of Europe in the first century. He wasn’t going from place to place binding and casting Greek or Roman gods like Jupiter, Hecate, Diana or Thor. Instead, he went forth to preach the gospel that liberates souls from their powers.

Yes, preaching the gospel is the rudimentary aspect of warfare. That is why our feet is to be shod with the equipment of the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15). This is what we use to crush the heads of spiritual serpents and scorpions.

That’s why the devil hates it when you preach the gospel because you are symbolically crushing his head. But misinformed Christians want to directly take on big battles with satanists on the Internet without first starting from the base level of spiritual warfare.

Another thing to note is, spiritual warfare is not and should not be motivated by flesh – a desire to show off one’s power, to impress the audience or garner attention to self. It is not a war against flesh and blood; it involves a believer using spiritual weapons under the direction of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 10:4).

Any “spiritual” warfare that emanates from a personal life of falsehood, or a fleshy reaction to “fix” an opponent or a desire to retaliate against perceived disrespect, will make one a laughing stock before the enemy.

In instances where Christians directly addressed demon spirits working through human vessels or pronounced spiritual judgement on a physical enemy in the New Testament, it was to defend the Gospel of Christ, not self – the very carnal nature that empowers the enemy.

For example, when Elymas the sorcerer, was trying to prevent the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus from accepting the gospel and becoming saved, Paul pronounced judgement on him. But take note of what happened before he spoke:

“Then Saul, who is also Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, with you cease perverting the straight way of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time…” (Acts 13:9-11).

You can see that he was filled with the Holy Spirit at that moment. Therefore, his words were not the product of his own fleshy reaction to opposition, but represented God’s sovereign judgement on the sorcerer, uttered by the Holy Spirit. This proved the supremacy of Jesus over Satan, without any hysteric back-and-forth.

When you truly have the power of the Holy Spirit, you don’t need to stage any show. And you can’t go into war with the enemy with a memorized method devised by men solely inspired by emotion. It has to be backed up by the Word of God and directed by the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, here is another inconvenient truth. Some things are meant to stay here on earth until the very end. For instance, no amount of prayer can kill demons or banish the devil from this earth. He will always have his loyal followers at each generation of mankind.

From the book of Revelation itself, you can see that even after the Second Advent of Christ, after the Millennial reign, Satan will still marshal his armies together from various nations to wage war against the Lord’s people, and that will ultimately seal his eternal doom.

But until then – when all the enemies of God are stripped of their powers and sent to eternal perdition – you cannot render Satan and all his vessels “useless and powerless in Jesus’ name.”

I believe that the Church in Nigeria truly needs to receive some balanced, biblical teachings and unlearn some legends and shameful errors about the occult and spiritual warfare. Then, our approach to those involved in the occult, would be more measured, mature, spirit-filled and Christ-honouring.

On Exorcism and Rome’s Authority

Exorcist-rite
Exorcism rite is based on Rome’s authority

In previous articles, the authority of Rome has been examined in the light of the Bible, its history, doctrinal and institutional consistency, and its Petrine office (its presumed succession from apostle Peter, infallibility and moral credentials).

The spiritual credential of the Roman Catholic institution, specifically in the context of its exorcisms, has also been engaged previously.

After reading The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio (Doubleday: 2009), it dawned on me that more needs to be said on this rite, as it had been sensationalised and overrated in popular culture.

I will quote mainly from Baglio’s The Rite to highlight my arguments that even in this rite, the legitimacy of Roman Catholicism is shown to be patently undermined.

The Vatican issued a decree which says:

Among her sacramentals, the Catholic Church, in obedience to the Lord’s Prayer, already in ancient times mercifully provided that through pious prayers her people may ask God to liberate the faithful from all dangers and especially from the snares of the Devil.

In a truly unique way, exorcists were established in the Church who, in imitation of Christ, could cure those obsessed by the Evil One, even by commanding demons in the name of God, so that they might depart, lest for whatever reason they do further harm to human creatures (Decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship of the Faith, Nov. 22, 1998).

This establishes that exorcism is a sacramental in which the exorcist imitates Jesus in liberating the faithful from the powers of the devil and commanding demons to depart.

This presupposes an authority that comes from Christ and is exercised uniquely by Rome. The Catechism of the Catholic Church brings this out more clearly:

When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism … Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church.” (par. 1673).

From this, it can be inferred that the rite of exorcism is based on:

1. The authority of Jesus Christ
2. What Jesus taught and did
3. Having the same results that Jesus had.

On a flip side, if this rite is based on the authority of an institution, or prevalent superstition, if it’s not based on how Jesus and the apostles expelled evil spirits and the results seen conflict with what was obtained within the pages of the New Testament, then the authority of Rome is dubious and the Jesus it appeals to is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Before I elucidate on these arguments, I want to point out that not everything stated or described in The Rite is actually false or misleading. There are parts of it that are quite revealing, though not in the way the author supposes.

For instance, it correctly draws the curtain on the existing tension between a religious institution that is blinded by its rigid structures, elitism and skepticism and the European culture which in the past relied on it for its dictates.

It quotes Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII (Pope John XXIII Community Association), that “about 25 percent of Italians, or about 14 million, are involved in some way or another in the occult.” (p. 16) Note: about 83% of Italians are Roman Catholics.

Whilst many European Catholic priests and bishops scoff at the existence of the devil and demons, Tarot card readers congest the late-night cable channels hawking their divination wares and “lucky” amulets.

It was also estimated that “as many as 8,000 satanic sects with more than 600,000 members exist within Italy” alone.

The book appealed to an occult expert, Fr. Aldo Buonaiuto, a member of the Pope John XXIII Community Association, who admits the prevalence of many hardcore satanic groups in Italy.

He classifies them into “Youth Acid” (consisting of mostly young people involved in the physical trappings of Satanism), “Power Satanism,” (those seeking power and riches from Satan) and “Apocalyptic Satanism,” which has as its goal, the total destruction of life as we know it (p. 45).

These startling realities have been fuelled, in part, by a traditional church that has failed to provide spiritual succour and a sound moral template to souls hungry for God and His intervention.

Roman Catholicism has lost much of its respectability in the West. While drowning in the cesspools of clerical concubinage, pederasty and paedophilia, it can’t be griping about satanic ritual abuse perpetrated by satanists without being hit by an irony of shame.

By whose Authority?

There are several guidelines that are laid down by Rome on how exorcism must be conducted

The Ritual itself has undergone several adjustments over the centuries and the one currently used is the 1998 Revised Ritual.

Guideline 13 of the Ritual stipulates that only a priest found worthy and nominated by a bishop of a diocese can perform an exorcism.

If a priest doesn’t have the express permission of a bishop, he can’t cast out any demon. His prayers “wouldn’t have the same effect on the demon because essentially the exorcist would be praying the Ritual in a state of disobedience and the demon would know it,” writes Baglio (p. 58).

But from the NT, it’s evident that every disciple of Christ had the authority from Christ to cast out demons. Jesus spelt it out:

“And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons” (Mark 16:17).

This was why the early church had no officially appointed “exorcists” since it was generally known that every Christian has received power to cast out all evil spirits.

Paul and Silas didn’t need any permission from a bishop in Philippi in order to cast out a demon from the diviner following them in Acts 16:18.

It now gets fuzzy when Baglio writes, “Not everybody has to be a Catholic, or convert to become liberated, though some do.” He appealed to the authority of Fr. Gabriele Amorth who “has exorcized Muslims and Hindus on rare occasions, but mentions that he will pray the Ritual using the name of Jesus Christ. ‘I also ask them to fulfill their spiritual duties. For example, Muslims have the obligation to pray and so I tell them to do so'” (p. 149).

So even if a person doesn’t submit to the authority of Jesus Christ, he/she is still supposedly liberated using Christ’s authority. Quite intriguing isn’t it?

Again, Jesus clearly stated that demons are expelled using His name, but this rite appeals more to the authority of Catholic icons of veneration and religious objects.

In the prologue of the book, Baglio recounts an exorcism in which the demon speaking through Anna describes seeing “St” Gemma Galgani, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Pope John Paul II and Mary the Queen herself joining the exorcists in the spirit to cast him out (pp. 7-8).

Quite a scintillating conference of spirits. But that’s not all. Baglio also informs us:

“Many exorcists invoke Mary during the Ritual. ‘The demon is so terrified of her that he will never pronounce her name. He’ll say ‘that woman’ or ‘she destroys me,’ says Father Amorth. ‘The Marian prayer, especially the rosary, is a very powerful weapon in the fight against Satan,’ explains Father Bamonte. ‘That is why [Mary] insists so much that we pray the rosary; the rosary is a prayer that really whips the demon into a frenzy’.” (p. 137)

It would seem to us that these demons are rather excited that the exorcists are perpetuating the very deception they wish to plant in the minds of many Catholics. Baglio adds:

“For the Church, these sacred objects (holy water, blessed oil, a crucifix) possess a kind of “power” because they carry the blessing of the Church (p. 119).

In plain terms, this rite is not essentially based on the authority of Jesus Christ. It’s based on the authority of an institutional hierarchy, Mary, saints, objects and like the case of Silvia recounted in the book, the promise of a demon (p. 147).

How Jesus expelled Demons

Without missing words, Jesus never performed an exorcism and was not an exorcist. Exorcism is not even biblical; it was an old Jewish ritual that was observed by the sons of Sceva – who had their clocks cleaned in return (Acts 19:12-16).

Modern exorcisms are marked by rituals, incantations, formulas, liturgies along with incense, holy water, and crucifixes. Sometimes they are interspersed with candle lighting. None of these things can expel demons.

A Roman Catholic publication says:

‘‘Elements of the rite include the Litany of Saints; recitation of the Our Father, one or more creeds, and other prayers; specific prayers of exorcism; the reading of Gospel passages and use of the Sign of the Cross’’ (Matthew Bunson, 2004 Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Almanac. Indiana, 2004, p. 137).

When we compare this complicated Roman ritualism with the simplicity and demonstration of authority with which Jesus and the apostles expelled demons, a striking contrast is seen.

For example, in Mark 1:25, ‘‘Jesus rebuked a demon, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’’’ and he did at that instant.

Again in Mark 9:25, Jesus said, ‘‘I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!’’ The ease and brevity with which Jesus dealt with evil spirits is far from what is being practiced in the rite of exorcism.

The New Testament contains great resources for the believer’s spiritual warfare: the Saviour’s victory at Calvary (John 12:31, Rev. 12:11). The promise of overcoming (1 John 5:4-5; Rev. 21:7). The intercessory ministry of Christ (John 17:15, 20). The knowledge of Satan’s tactics (2 Cor. 2:11). The believer’s spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-17). The Holy Spirit’s indwelling power (1 John 4:4). The believer’s prayers (Matt. 6:13; Eph. 6:18-20; Mark 9:29). The instructions for defeating Satan (James 4:7-8) and the stripping of Satan and his ranks of their powers at Calvary (Col. 2:15).

Having abandoned and rejected these spiritual weapons that are mighty through God to deal with the powers of darkness, Roman Catholicism has as substitutes, carnal weapons, religious paraphernalia, fetishism and rituals that are rooted in medieval mythology and ethnic folklore.

Such traditional rites were known in the time of Christ, He simply didn’t acknowledge them.

Jesus refused to endorse their superstition and cryptic formulas because it has always been the work of devil to complicate things that are otherwise simple – especially receiving spiritual freedom.

The Jews in the time of Jesus believed demons dwelt in crumbs so Jesus had the apostles gather up the leftover bread to enjoy it.

The Jews believed demons dwelt on unwashed hands, but Jesus did not insist on ceremonial hand washing.

The Jews believed that demons prowled in deserted places, but that is exactly where Jesus goes to enjoy
communion with God the Father.

They believed that demons infested Samaria, so Jesus boldly went there. He intentionally negated these rules because they are based on human wisdom and devoid of spiritual value (William Alexander, Demonic Possession in the New Testament, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1980, pp. 28-29).

On the other hand, Rome’s belief in the “power” of the Eucharist, rosaries, medals, “holy” water, incense and images of the Virgin to vanquish demons are vestiges of older folk or sympathetic magic as well as subjective demonic manifestations.

Rome’s failed experiments

If the exorcist is actually representing or imitating the Jesus of the Bible, then the results of these exorcisms should match what we see in the Gospels.

In The Rite, Baglio makes at least seven references to fruitless exorcisms (all emphasis mine):

• A group of Catholic charismatics in Italy who tried to cast out an evil spirit from a man. “Without warning, the demon turned on them saying, ‘Who are you?’ Then he launched a bookcase at them, sending them all
to the emergency room with injuries.” (p. 63)

• A demon possessed nun named Janica who has been exorcised for 9 years without a headway (pp. 99-102).

• A statement credited to Fr. Amorth, the late Vatican foremost exorcist: “I have people that I’ve been exorcising for twenty years” (p. 130).

• A statement credited to Fr. Carmine: “the hardest thing is that the liberation never happens right away. Sometimes you need years and years, and this methodical perseverance is not only very tiring, but the demon takes advantage of it…’” (p. 134).

• Giovanna who “had been undergoing exorcisms for more than forty years, and her case was considered one of the most severe…” (p. 142).

• Beatrice who had a “grueling two-year battle involving weekly exorcisms” (p. 151). The evidence offered in support of her liberation is as deluded as her visions during the rite itself.

• Stephanie who was said to have been sexually abused by her father and was demonized. She and her husband, Chris, “searched for other priests who might be willing to help them but had been turned away each time” (pp. 170-177). They eventually didn’t receive any help.

• Maria, a twenty-seven-year-old originally from Honduras, who had been seeing demons and hearing them tell her, “You belong to us!” After the exorcism, her mother told Fr. Gary that “her daughter’s reaction to the prayers had been similar to the [pagan] exorcism in Honduras, this time it was much more intense.” (pp. 177-178). That gives little or no hope.

Neither Jesus nor the apostles spent months or years in expelling demons from people. Yet the diary of the Catholic exorcist is laden with clients who struggle fruitlessly for decades to be free from defeated foes.

In a bid to offer a convenient excuse for these failed experiments, Baglio says God “does permit it [demon possession] for some good purpose (similar to temptation).”

He cements this with a quote from John Chrysostom, “Possessed persons can obtain a twofold benefit from their condition. In the first place they can become more holy and good; secondly, having paid the debt for their sins here on earth, they can present themselves pure before the Lord.” (p. 47).

This is a colossal tragedy. Imagine being told week after week by a religious system you trust that God who sent Jesus to deliver the oppressed and destroy the works of the devil relishes your demonized state of suffering and this is how the debt of your sins will be cleared!

This is a doomed religious vessel; a destructive cage that every truth-seeking Catholic must escape from.

This work is not how exorcists are made, it’s how deceivers are schooled and the deceived are groomed.