Monday, April 7, 2014

A Run on Demons by Chad Stambaugh

For many years I have been helping people who were being haunted by spirits or in some cases, people who thought they were being haunted. I treat all cases the same way. I remain skeptical but open-minded and wait to see what I found. This could take days, sometimes weeks. In many cases, nothing happened. Even if there was no haunting taking place, it was important to treat the people with respect and courtesy. Even if there was a mild haunting, it was vitally important that the victims be treated with utmost respect. They needed to be believed, plain and simple. The overwhelming number of those cases involved human spirits. That does not seem to be true today.

In the past few years, I have been getting more and more cases where clients believe they are being plagued by demons. Obviously there are demons and those of us who work in this field know that demonic cases are on the rise, almost alarmingly so. Still, the truth of the matter is that demonic attacks on humans are rare. So why the sudden rise? There are several reasons why this is so. One reason is there are more movies about possession and exorcism around today. The same is true of books. Even TV shows bring demons into people’s homes. Many people read those warning signs and get the impression that they may be victims of demonic influence.

The most important point I can make is that it takes a number of those manifestations to occur before we can even begin to think there is something demonic going on. One or two or three simply do not constitute a demonic haunting, let alone possession. It takes a professional to prove the existence of the demonic. That person might be a clergyman; he or she may be a well-seasoned paranormal investigator. The point is that one should never jump to the conclusion that demons are present. When someone comes to me and believes they are being demonically haunted, I try to let them know that I believe what they are telling me. I also try to convince them that the chances of demonic involvement are extremely rare. Are they right sometimes? No, but that doesn't mean that one day I won't finally run into one.

In some cases, these people are suffering from a mental illness. No one wants to admit they are mentally ill. There is a terrible stigma when it comes to mental illness. Yet for many people, they would rather believe they are demonically possessed than to accept the fact they have an illness. Our society plays a role in that too. We look at the mentally ill with such disdain or fear. We move forward with the new advances of our age but we do so while looking backwards. This is especially true when it comes the mentally ill. To think one would rather believe they are possessed than admit to an illness tells us a lot.

Demonic hauntings eventually make themselves well known. They sometimes start off slowly but they become rather obvious in time. Generally speaking, if a person is possessed, they likely won't realize it. Those who believe they are possessed may be under attack but they are unlikely to be possessed. For those who think they may be, prayer is a good solution. Prayer is safe. If a person is under demonic attack, prayer may solve the problem. If there is no demonic activity at work, prayer certainly isn't going to hurt. Sometimes people feel desperate enough to seek an exorcist. There are plenty of people around who call themselves exorcists but going that route is playing with fire. If the person is not legitimate and most of them aren't, terrible damage can be done. If the person is mentally ill, great harm can be done by feeding into their delusion.

The mentally ill are not the only victims. There are frauds out there who will find someone who believes they are possessed. Believe me when I tell you they will find ways to suck every penny from the victims. It may start with rituals or the victim may be asked to build a kit containing oils, incense, icons, special candles or what have you. While they do work because my team uses them. Be wary of anyone who claims they have special powers over the devil. Be wary of people who tell you they can free you from demons you don't even have for a fee. If you look for help over the Internet, don't just buy into the fanciest website you find. Do research. Ask for references. Never believe everything you hear. If you really feel your problems are demonic, go to a clergyman.

Most of all, don't believe that the devil is behind all of your problems. He plays a role in our lives but it is usually in the background. Live a good life, stay away from the occult, give reverence to God and you should have a life free from the devil.

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