Demon-Spotting In The 21st Century

In the depths of my skull there’s a demon that’s schemin’,
Controlling my thinking—or that’s what I’m told
It’s why I have such a reliance on science,
And gave up on demons at seven years old
At least, that’s the story I’ll tell you—but well you
Might wonder if demons are crafting my lies
And each silly thing that I’m saying, they’re playing
A practical joke in their demon disguise

Psychologists look to the brain, to explain, you
Are acting because of some structural flaw;
They laugh at demonic possession—a session
Of therapy, rather than prayer, as a law.
But really, it’s demons! I’m haunted! I’ve taunted
Religion too often; I’m paying the price!
I’ll trust my online diagnosis; “neurosis”
Is anti-religious—a demon’s device!

Historically, of course, there is a well recognized connection between demonic possession and mental illness. In a nutshell, the more we learned about biology, psychology, neurology, etc… the less we blamed demonic possession. In our modern culture, of course, nobodywhat the fuck?

Ok, to be fair, I have no experience at all with theologyonline; it may well be mostly satirical, for all I know. If so, they fooled me; while there are disagreements among forum members, it appears that the bible is a given, and the real question is whether what we know of as “mental illness” is demons, Satan, other demons, or some unspecified demonesque possession. Modern medicine has been duped by these demons–especially psychiatry and clinical psychology–and there absolutely are people who are inhabited by demons, and there absolutely are people who can recognize these demon-haunted souls.

Is theologyonline “sophisticated theology”? It would appear not–at least, not in this thread. This looks quite a lot like free-range folk Christianity–people who believe what they believe, and believe that it is Christianity, whether or not it agrees with any particular sect’s doctrine.

Edited to add: I know some people have followed the link to take a look at the forum; I don’t know if anyone tried to comment. I would urge you, if you want to comment, to recognize two things. First, it’s their playground. Not mine, not yours. Their rules apply. Which brings us to… second, they don’t seem shy about banning people they suspect to be there under false pretenses. Even if they appear to be legitimately questioning, to me. So really, there’s not a lot of reason to comment there.


  1. stever says

    Demons are so convenient. They make it unnecessary to recognize the existance of evil people. They make it easy to deny responsibility: “T’was the demon made me do it!” Of course, in a monotheistic cult, demons have to be creations of God, which kind of torpedoes the “God is Love” slogan. Unless you assume that, in addition to all the properties attributed to Him, God is a sadist. I’d rather use Occam’s Razor and be an atheist.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    Stever, I half agree and half utterly disagree–Demons are indeed convenient, but it is because they make it too easy to blame evil people (after all, since the reformation a possessed person has been voluntarily possessed). They make it unnecessary to recognize the existence of toxic environments; they make it easy for *us* to deny responsibility. If an evil person did it, we are off the hook for creating or allowing an environment that turns people into monsters.

  3. bahrfeldt says

    That is one awesome blog you found there. As Saint Kelly Bundy said “the mind wobbles”. The words they claim they believe in are not the words that they believe in. Disregarding whether or not any of those words have the slightest relationship to any reality. “Reality is not what it used to be” to Sam Neil, in “In the Mouth of Madness”. “And it never was”, yours truly.

  4. Joan says

    Is it nature or nurture or personal choice?
    In developing me just which one had a voice?
    My penchant for music? Genetic for sure.
    But my hatred of practicing? I must demur.

    Both my sire and my dam are industrious folk.
    Have not heard of a lazy gene. Sounds like a joke.
    So I’m glad that at last they have sussed out the source.
    It just can’t be my fault. It’s my demon, of course..

  5. Ed says

    While I’ve sometimes seen Christians and other believers in demonic possession consider a person possessed because they are evil (e.g. “Hitler must have been possessed”) it’s usually an attempt to explain some sort of mental or physical symptoms, especially if these are unusual and have been resistant to treatment.

    They throw in the idea that something must have left the person “open” to the demonic influence, but this can be any post hoc rationalization they come up with; not necessarily something particularly heinous even by their standards. The person wore jewelry with occult symbolism, held a grudge, worried too much, etc. This leads to the problem of why virtually everyone doesn’t show the traditional signs of possession.

  6. Kevin Kehres says

    @5…and what makes you think everyone isn’t demon-possessed?

    Ate a donut instead of a healthy breakfast? DEMON!
    Cut someone off in traffic? DEMON!
    Yelled at someone who cut you off in traffic? DEMON!
    Didn’t pray before having that snack in the break room? DEMON!

    Demons are very tricky. They make you behave almost like … well … I hate to say it … they make you behave almost like … gasp … a human! EEEEKKK!!!eleventy11!!!

  7. Ed says

    Yea, the charismatics definitely subscribe to that philosophy. :) Others want something a little more strange.

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