The Worldview of Demons
When Satanism and demon possession first became front page news in the 1970s, the already well known author Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, published his classic work on demon possession, Hostage to the Devil.1 It reports in detail on the exorcism of five living Americans, based on the accounts of the actual victims and the Catholic priests serving as exorcists.
This book is not for everyone but doubtless meant chiefly for those who must minister to victims of demon possession and their suffering families. During exorcism the demons spew out their hatred against God the Creator and Lord, and against man whom He made in His own image and intended for fellowship with Himself and salvation in Christ. The demons cannot bear to hear the name of Jesus Christ or to face symbols of His holiness and passion. Martin often transcribes their repulsive, filthy speech so truly and graphically that the reader's eye and mind recoil in utter disgust, and his memory is later healed only by repeated recourse to God's gracious and merciful gift of oblivion. Exorcists bear the brunt of the demons' onslaught and gain victory over them at the price of more or less permanent mental and often physical wounds (such as heart attacks). The book also contains a brief handbook of exorcism, the Catholic Ritual of Exorcism, and a listing of prayers commonly used in exorcisms; these are profitable for us today as our society is so much more open to Satan and his demon hosts than twenty years ago.
How can demon possession be recognized? Martin is careful to point out that many alleged cases of demon possession are spurious and due to other causes. A thorough medical examination should always be made before possession is diagnosed. However,
In the records of Christian Exorcism from as far back as the lifetime of Jesus himself, a peculiar revulsion to symbols and truths of religion is always and without exception a mark of the possessed person. ... other physical phenomena frequently associated with possession [are] the inexplicable stench; freezing temperature; telepathic powers about purely religious and moral matters; a peculiarly unlined or completely smooth or stretched skin, or unusual distortion of the face, or other physical and behavioral transformations; "possessed gravity" (the possessed person becomes physically immovable, or those around the possessed are weighted down with a suffocating pressure); levitation (the possessed rises and floats off the ground, chair, or bed; there is no physically traceable support); violent smashing of furniture, constant opening and slamming of doors, tearing of fabric in the vicinity of the possessed, without a hand laid on them; and so on (p.13).Other marks may be speaking in foreign languages which the possessed person could not have naturally known, and speaking in a completely alien voice.
Most demon-possessed people in this book dated the beginning of an evil spirit's invasion of their personalities back to definite choices made at key moments in their childhood. "Invasion "is not really the correct word: the child's or adolescent's invitation of or chosen surrender to a spirit entity recognized fight at the time as not of his own imagination is always involved. The choice is one of the person's own will, perhaps in a matter which seems quite insignificant at the time or in retrospect. There may merely be a mood of rebellion against authority figures in the young person's life, or else a longing for particular experiences, wisdom or guidance contrary to actual reality which the alien entity promises to satisfy the spirit always uses sweetness, light and agreeable sensations in the early stages of seduction. Later on the initial choice or surrender is followed by additional deliberate steps of self-abandonment to the enticing spirit, until almost complete submission to and possession by the spirit is achieved. At this time the possessed person enters an inner void without any peace or joy, a real foretaste of hell. A small core of the person's self which recognizes its enslavement and degradation usually still resists and cries out to family and friends for help to be delivered. These cries for help may be hidden under increasing inability to function in daily life, more and more bizarre behavior, personal slovenliness, rudeness, promiscuity and filthy language. The exorcist enlists as the ally of this last remnant of resistance against the evil spirit, whom he commands in the name of Jesus Christ to reveal himself, and then to leave the victim.
There are, of course, multitudes of people who are subject to Satan and his hosts without showing any signs of possession. One of them, a secular humanist psychiatrist frankly skeptical about anything supernatural, insisted upon being present at one of the exorcisms described in the book. He was deeply shaken when the evil spirit suddenly lashed out at him, "We go. But we take him [the doctor].... We already have his soul. We claim him. He is ours. And you cannot do anything about that. We already have him. He is ours. We needn't fight for him" (p.246). Of course, the Devil and all evil spirits are liars, and this particular unbeliever might still be rescued after all. So presumably thought the exorcising priest who began to speak to the doctor about his beliefs after the exorcism was successfully concluded. However, Martin also states that some people are so completely possessed that no remnant of their own will is left in them to resist the demon, and hence exorcism for them is futile. In biblical language, their hearts and consciences are hardened and seared beyond repentance and restoration.
The fact that evil spirit possession often begins in childhood, as documented in this book, should alert Christian parents to the great clear and present danger to our children from the occult-related visualization, "imaging" and "centering" techniques now taught everywhere in our public elementary schools as early as Kindergarten. Our children are explicitly encouraged to make contact with "spirit" or inner" guides presented as "wise" and "good." What involved only a relative handful of demon-possessed people in Western society twenty years ago is now threatening an entire generation of children growing up with no Christian principles allowed in public education, deficient Christian guidance in many churches and homes, and very little family stability All parents who can do so should educate their children in Bible-believing Christian schools or at home. Churches need to be informed, to alert their people, and to teach children from preschool age up not to believe any thought or person suggesting that reality can be altered by our feelings, wishes, or imagination. Reality was created by God's Word in the beginning. Children must be taught this foundation truth as soon as they are able to be taught in words, according to Genesis 1, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 11:3 and the many other Scripture passages about God as Creator of all out of nothing by His word, and hence Lord of all: "Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein" (Nehemiah 9:5). If possible, Christian children who must attend public schools due to circumstances beyond parental control (so often, straitened finances in one-parent homes) should be withdrawn from any "imaging" or "centering" activities on religious grounds. If enough parents follow through on this, we may yet see a change; some Wichita, Kansas elementary schools replaced 1992 Halloween celebrations with "Fall festivals" pursuant to requests by many Christian parents that their children not participate in Halloween activities. "Imaging" and "centering" are just as related to paganism and occultism as is Halloween.
The worldview of demons is monistic and anti-creationist to the core. Through the eyes of the demon possessing "Carl," a gifted parapsychologist, "Hearty," the priest in charge of Carl's exorcism, saw the Christian biblical worldview presented scornfully, with his world.
...as a globe dotted with lands and oceans, with cities and houses and people, covered with vegetation and sand and animals, the whole hanging in an atmosphere; and "above" it, somehow or other, "God" or "Jesus" or "Heaven," with little tenuous lines running down to each human being. It is all now so laughable, so childish, so contemptible, so superstitious - this is conveyed to him like a cosmic joke turned on him with a cackle of superior intelligence. [Then] a new series of images is presented to him in an aura not of ridicule, but of approbation and applause. The aura of untruth.And here is Satan's and the demons' vision of this world presented seducingly to "Hearty" during a five-day exorcism in about 1973:
It is the globe again, together with all the objects in it - men, women, animals, plants, cities, oceans. But now all exists in an organized system. Everything is interconnected. There is really no difference between one thing and anything else. -.. And all, land, ocean, animals, humans, plants are one living organism clad in the shell of breathable atmosphere. Psychic forces bind it all together, like ethereal blood running in the veins of some unimagined giant. It is a self-creating, self-protecting, self-developing thing. A unique being, Earth as mother, as womb, as god, as tomb, as a whole unity protected by its own shell and its own strength, as all there is (pp.394-395).If you have studied today's "New Age" worldview at all, you will instantly recognize its exact likeness to the demonic worldview above, right down to "Earth as mother," proclaimed by the demon twenty years ago. You will also recognize the concept of evolution in the demon's description of the world as a "self-creating, self-protecting, self-developing thing." If you will, you may call this world a "god" as did the demon, but the transcendent, sovereign God of Creation, the only true God, and Jesus Christ His Son Whom He sent to save us, is excluded by definition ("Earth ... [is] all there is"). Now men must know this God, the only true God, and Jesus Christ His Son Whom He sent, to have eternal life (John 17:3), and by excluding this God and Christ from men's knowledge Satan, his demons, and all false teachers echoing this satanic worldview luminous with "the aura of untruth" draw men down to hell with them.
One of the most significant exorcism cases in the book involved "David," a Catholic priest who became enamored with the evolutionism of Pierre Thilhard de Chardin. Martin writes that Teilhard
...set out to make it intellectually possible for a Christian to accept the theories of Darwinian evolution and still retain his religious faith.All matter, said Teilhard, is and always has been transfused with "consciousness," however primitive. Through billions of years and through all the forms of chemical substance, plant, animal, and finally human life, this "consciousness" had blossomed. ... now, in this final stage of its development, it is about to burst forth in a final culmination: the Omega Point... The key character of the Omega Point will be Jesus ... And so all will be gathered into all, and all will be one in the love and permanent being of achieved salvation....
Teilhard was the custom-built answer, the ready-made darling for the bankrupt Catholic intellectuals of his century and for thousands of Protestants caught in the heel of the hunt by the vicious clamps of that merciless reason they had championed as man's glory some four centuries previously. ... (pp. 92-98)However, Martin writes, "Teilhard was neither strong food to satisfy real hunger nor heavenly manna for a new Pentecost. He was merely a stirrup cup of heady wine" (p.94). He describes the career of "David," who was destined to become a professor of anthropology at a Catholic university. David found that the Church taught biblical creation directly and out of nothing; Adam and Eve as the first man and woman and the parents of all mankind; how they fell and passed Original Sin on to us all. These teachings he believed to be contrary to the "scientific facts" accepted by anthropology. He thought Tejihard's formulation could bridge the gap, but
...the fatal flaw was quick and sure. The creating god of Christians was no longer taken as divine. He became internal to the world in a mysterious and essential way. Jesus, as savior, was no longer the conquering hero erupting into the human universe and standing history on its head. He was reduced to the peak of that universe's evolution, as natural an element in the universe as amino acids. The thrust that would finally bring forth Jesus in the sight of all men was an evolutionary accident - a kind of cosmic joke - that started over five billion years ago in helium, hydrogen gases, and amino acids of protean space (p.96).Eventually David taught anthropology from a "modern scientific" perspective, going so far as to exclude all traditional presentations of doctrines about creation and Original Sin in his classes (p.102). He also introduced his students to Teilhardianism, but had second thoughts about this when he observed the influence of this teaching upon "Jonathan," one of his students who, having become a priest, "insisted at one point that all the sacraments were no more than expressions of man's natural unity with the world around him" and this caused trouble for him because it is heretical according to accepted church teaching. David saw clearly for the first time that Teilhardian concepts could be used to "exalt man as an animal ... and to picture God as no more than the very bowels of earth and sky and the spatial distances of the universe with all its expanding galaxies" (p.107).
Jonathan left the church and founded his own cult among wealthy families in Manhattan. He preached that the world and all people were one in a naturally mystical union which he called "Abba Father" (p.127). Eventually he came under the dominion of an evil spirit, and David was called in to exorcise him. Jonathan chided him, saying they both believed the same things, and that if he needed exorcism, David needed it more.
This led David to many weeks of profound soul searching in which he re-examined all his intellectual assumptions, especially the theories of Teilhard de Chardin which had caused any real reverence and awe to evaporate from his religious mentality. For him in his intellectual arrogance and ignorance Jesus and all people had become "brothers to the boulders." He had imbibed deeply "higher criticism" of the Scriptures and had told himself that he believed only what the writers of the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles believed, and it sounded like delusion. The death of Jesus had become a glorious event of the past but was no longer for him "an ever-present source of personal forgiveness and unshakable hope for any future" (p.149).
The demon who had almost taken David's faith from him and possessed him now taunted him that to return to the faith would entail slavery of mind and will. Not so, he found when deliberately rejecting this counsel; instead, "a great and breathtaking dimension full of relief and distance and height and depth flooded his mind and will and imagination ... Every scale, measurement, and extension of his life was clothed in the grace and comeliness of a freedom he had always feared losing but had never been sure he possessed" (p.163). And when he now looked at the world of nature around him, the moon whose "very silence was golden and gentle and confident" and heard the song of a mockingbird nearby, he received it no longer as he had while a Teilhardian evolutionist, "as intimations of molecules endlessly regrouping," but rather "of endless life for each person, and of love without a shadow" (p.165).
His faith in God, Christ and Scripture restored, David was ready to exorcise the demon who possessed Jonathan. He did so "in the name of God who created him [Jonathan] and you, and of Jesus of Nazareth who saved him! You will depart and get back to the uncleanness and agony you chose" (p.169). Jonathan, too, was delivered into the faith, hope and love of Christ. David knew well that creation and personal salvation needed to be stressed in casting out this particular demon.
As these records of actual exorcisms show, evolution teaching in all its forms is the basic worldview tool by which demons seek to separate men from God the Creator. Malachi Martin has done the universal church a great service by extensively documenting this fact. Nor has he changed his mind about the timeless truth of the church's biblical Christian teaching on Creation, the Fall, Original Sin, and Jesus Christ Who entered history for our salvation and redemption, as shown by his praise of the excellent book by Catholic layman Gerard J. Keane, Creation Rediscovered.2 Let us hope that people otherwise indifferent about the issue of creation vs. evolution, and ignorant of present occult teachings in our public schools may yet be alerted to the demonic origin of evolutionism and monistic "New Age" and "Mother Earth" thought through Martin's classic work on demonic possession.
1 New York: Harper & Row,1976; available now in Harper's "Perennial
Book" paperback edition at $12.00.
2 Australia: Credis Pty Ltd., P.O. Box 451, Doncaster Vic 3108, 1991; available in the USA from Stella Maria Books, P. O. Box 11481, Ft. Worth, TX 76110-1481, $13.75 plus postage. For review, see Creation Social Science and Humanities Quarterly, 14:3, Spring 1992, pp.30-32.