Occult Watch: Psychics And Dark Force Have Spread Across Breadth Of Society
By Michael H. Brown
For years a rising tide, the occult is now roiling into whitewater and cresting onto an indifferent Western landscape.
Long the province of witches, magicians, and psychic dabblers -- who were always in the far backdrop -- the occult is now being thrust into an open display of what the Bible calls an "abomination."
The tidal surge can be seen from childhood cartoons -- which so often focus on the saving graces of "magic" -- to the practices of celebrities and politicians. In the Church, occult ways have slipped in through Eastern-style meditation, reverence for Mother Earth, and use of such things as the enneagram. Across society, the occult ying-yang and other esoteric symbols like the horn necklaces to ward off "evil eye" have become fixtures -- despite their link to practices that for centuries have been categorized as witchcraft.
Most worrisome is the effect on our young. In Saturday morning cartoons are the witches and wizards and at night the teen vampires. It has permeated our commercials. It is a fixture -- by way of the horoscope -- in the daily newspaper (despite the Church's specific condemnation of astrology, which is the devil's prophecy). Movies are full of occult themes (an actual and often palpable evil exuding from the screens to ensnare innocent viewers) while those who make or star in them are involved in practices like the kabbala, a form of Jewish augury that is now the rage of the "spiritually" svelte. "Today, of course, the subject is almost 'the flavor of the month,' even for non-Jews," notes one report. "Trendy movie stars and TV personalities of both sexes dip into it and talk about how it has changed their lives."
The kabbala is picking up from where mind control, transcendental meditation, yoga, EST, and other questionable practices -- questionable when they lead to communion with the dark side -- have left off.
In England, Prime Minister Tony Blair is said to have made at least one major decision after waiting for inspiration from a "light." Although he is Protestant and his wife is Catholic, there is concern that he is drifting into the New Age. During a family holiday on the Mexican Riviera, Prime Minister Blair and his wife Cherie went through a "rebirthing ritual." According to a report in the December 15 edition of the Times of London, the Blairs stayed at the very swanky Maroma Hotel near Cancun, where rooms fetch as much as $1,000 a night. While there, they reportedly underwent a hybrid New Age/Mayan ceremony. "Dressed only in bathing suits, Britain's first couple stood outside a brick pyramid on the hotel's grounds and bowed toward each point of the compass while chanting to each of the four winds," said a report. "The spiritual leader of the ceremony encouraged them 'to feel at one with Mother Earth,' and to 'experience inner feelings and visions.'"
Blair may not know it, but if not focused on Jesus, such is tremendously dangerous -- allowing forces of deception to come as "angels of light." And however much it may or may not figure into his actual life, Blair is hardly alone. The occult has gone mainstream. Wearing crystals or tattoos with occult undertones are practices that have become startlingly widespread, as has body piercing, which has long possessed a voodoo-like element. The same is true about the "gothic" (read: pagan) influence, which affects much of today's rock music. The Goths were barbarians who often formed a cult of blood.
"I love Harry Potter. I think it would be so cool to be a witch," Sharon, age 11, of California, tells a newspaper -- indicating another way the occult has washed over modern society, which is too "sophisticated" to believe that such things can bring danger.
In Peru, the former president consulted a psychic before fleeing and around the world police are working with clairvoyants. In Europe two South Wales psychics were summoned to see what was afoot at a notoriously haunted naval base in Devonport.
Also in the United Kingdom -- where churchgoing has dropped to frightening levels -- an illusionist starred in a controversial televised seance in which 12 people attempted to make contact with a group of teenagers who had allegedly committed suicide (drawing 600 complaints from viewers who knew the abomination).
On Long Island, a psychic has "channeled" her gifts into a novel (Miriam the Medium), while the occult game Dungeons and Dragons -- deeply demonic -- continues in popularity, now with a version called the "Temple of Elemental Evil."
Devilish characters stare down at us from fast-food restaurants or Halloween shops or from "playing cards" that seem innocent on the surface, even innocuous (see Uh-Gi-Oh), but bear hidden occult significance. Look more closely or sprinkle a little Holy Water to feel the influence.
Bottom line: an entire generation of Western children is being exposed to an energy that could affect them for years. These games are more clever versions of Ouija boards -- which also put youngsters in touch with dark forces.
According to exorcists, the Ouija and similar occult practices are frequently behind cases of possession.
Yet our society has already accepted so much and is so open to more that we have lost our sensitivity.
In historic cities are tours that take the unsuspecting on "fun" trips to haunted homes while other visit voodooists. Take Charleston, South Carolina. "With slightly over 330 years of ghostly legends involving voodoo curses, alleyway duels, cold-blooded murders, hanged pirates and Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers bravely going to their deaths, Charleston has earned a reputation as one of America’s most haunted cities and a popular tourist site to have a possible brush with the supernatural," notes another news story. "Indeed, walking and driving tours of historical, contemporary and supernatural interests are an extremely important part of Charleston’s thriving tourism industry, which brings in $4.5 billion annually to the city and surrounding area, according to the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau."
Fortunately, not everyone has been duped. On the border of Wales and England, in Shropshire, a councilor has called for a ban on ghost tours in a castle. The tours are being planned by a "self-styled pagan high priestess." The same is happening in St. Augustine, Florida, Savanna, Georgia, New York City, and other cities -- exposing the unsuspecting to spiritual contamination. At night, "coast to coast" radio shows deluge sleepy listeners with the occult.
Meantime, New Age shops catering to pagans and witches have even opened up in the heartland (see: Kansas).
The ultimate manifestations can be seen in places like Italy -- where occult-drenched teens have killed other teens in retaliation or ritual, including a poor young girl who they thought looked like the Blessed Mother. "An Italian magistrate has warned against the growing lure of Antichrist cults in Catholic Italy after the discovery of the bodies of two teenagers killed in a satanic sacrifice," said a newspaper there recently.
Paranoid? Fundamentalist? What our society allows today on an average television show would have frightened just about every major Christian society over the past 2,000 years and has gone so far into the occult domain that average Christians no longer recognize it. Yet, it has only been since the Sixties that such things have been allowed into the open. And as occult experts warn (most recently Father Gabriel Amorth, the official Rome exorcist), it is all taken far too lightly by the Church, which has not been preaching the dangers.
Speaking to the Italian daily L'Espresso, Father Amorth underscored an alarming rise in occult practices across Italy, and offered some sharp criticism of Church leaders for failing to warn against the devil's influence. "The Church has gone from one excess to another," he said. "To compensate for the madness of witch-hunting -- in which people were burned when they should have been exorcised -- we have completely eliminated the devil and exorcism." He noted that "entire Catholic regions do not have a single exorcist," naming Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
In North America, even the largest dioceses report few cases where exorcists are deployed for what they were intended to do, with bishops instead opting for psychological explanations. While there are cases in which psychological illness is behind what looks like possession, more often "psychological" ailments have a spiritual cause. But this is rarely recognized.
Which is how the Prince of Dark likes it.
"The devil is extremely satisfied, because he is at liberty to do his work," said Father Amorth.
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