It is not uncommon, within today’s media, to be concerned with the possibility of activity from negative entities – particularly with the various paranormal and ghost-hunting shows. From this has surged an interest in demonology, often blamed as a justification for rescue within many "dark" haunted spaces.
Is it real? How prevalent is it? Could I get possessed? The mysteries of demonology are deep and stirring.
Is it something we should steer away from, or perhaps engage with it to conquer our fears?
Demonology: The Study of Demons
Demonology is the study of demons or the beliefs surrounding demons, disclosing ways to summon and control them. To understand them, one has to understand their classifications and their potential impact with the earthbound. That is to say, they may be human or non-human, separable souls or discarnate spirits which have never inhabited a body.
Although its study goes back into biblical times, demonology has been shifted from a principle study in the occult to that of a level of taboo. With the condemnation of the witch hysteria in the 17th century, demonology dropped in importance. Although the Rites of Exorcism continue to be performed, even the Catholic Church has avoided public notice of its implementation.
Those that study and engage with this field are called demonologists. They, for the most part, are theologians, clergy, and philosophers who have spent time connecting their presence with the deities they are associated with. Laypeople can also become demonologists, usually working in tandem with clergy who are trained exorcists.
Catholicism and Demonology
Although Catholicism is not the only divinity realm that empowers demonology, they remain one of the strongest authorities many rely on for its implementation. From here, Catholic exorcists have identified certain requirements that a demonologist must meet:
Johann Weyer, a well-known European demonologist back in the 17th century, confirmed through his studies that there were 72 “Princes of Hell,” commanding a total of 7,405,926 Demonic Minions. How’s that to stir up some fear in dealing with spirit activity! Reference: Occult World.
Demonologists have compiled extensive volumes on the topic, including the names and functions of each demon from the infernal hierarchy. According to legend, as each demon is specialized in a certain domain of activity, it can be invoked for help in that respective area. However, the price of such an invocation is always the soul of the person, who will ultimately end up in Hell.
Authorities have organized demons into hierarchies and their origins, duties, and purposes have been explained since very ancient time. For instance, in 1467, Alphonse de Spina identified 10 species of demons:
Here are the most evil of the evil:
And of course, there is ...
According to ancient texts, these are just a fraction of the thousands of demons that make up the hierarchy of evil, looming over humanity and ready to strike at any moment.
Christian advocates have long warned against giving Satan openings through communication, referencing the Bible’s condemnation of it use. Others that study the occult, believe that calling on spirits for knowledge or wisdom invites demonic forces to oppress or possess a person. From this perspective, they have long warned of using divination tools like the Ouija Board due to its ability for inviting negative energy to come forth.
The Demon and the Ouija Board
When did this all started? Most blame it on one incredible media phenomenon, the 1973 movie, The Exorcist (based on the earlier book of the same name). The film shows how a 12-year-old girl, Regan, became possessed by a demon claiming to be Satan himself after having dabbled with this children’s game.
Before the blockbuster film, depictions of the Ouija board were usually jokey, hokey, and silly. Even an episode of the sitcom I Love Lucy featured an episode in which Lucy and Ethel host a séance using the Ouija board in 1951. But nothing came from it – until Regan took control of the board's planchette.
1973's William Peter Beatty's The Exorcist
Almost overnight, Ouija became a tool of the devil and, for that reason, a tool of horror writers and movie makers. The board began popping up in scary movies, usually opening the door to evil spirits that were hell-bent on ripping apart co-eds, children and other innocents.
Suddenly, outside of the theater, the Ouija board began being denounced by religious groups as Satan’s preferred method of communication. In 2001 in Alamogordo, New Mexico, for example, it was being burned on bonfires along with copies of Harry Potter books and Disney’s Snow White. As recently as 2011, 700 Club host Pat Robertson declared that demons can reach us through the Ouija board.
Christian religious groups still remain wary of the board, citing scripture denouncing communication with spirits through mediums as "unbiblical." Catholics chimed in when Catholic.com called the Ouija board “far from harmless."
C.S. Lewis proposed in his classic, The Screwtape Letters, that one of the demons’ most important jobs is to get people to disbelieve in them. In fact, this is how he captures your soul! Is science fortifying the power of demons?
12 Things You Might Not Know About the Screwtape Letter MENTAL FLOSS
Secular science has bought into this, with much gusto. Science continues to disclaim the existence of these make-believe evil forces. Skeptics societies carry on a vigorous practice debunking psychic phenomena: table turners, levitators, faith healers, and the like. They usually succeed very well, showing how the tricks are done. It would be a logical fallacy, however, to extrapolate from “these phenomena are fake” to “all spirits are fake.”
The demons would love science to believe that, wouldn’t they? Ref: Can Science Study Demonology?
Can those who have been successful in presenting and demonstrating their research with demons make an impact socially and culturally? Can they impede the tract that science has taken against their studies?
Two of the best-known experts on demonology for their investigations of thousands of cases and their close work with clergy are Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed’s nephew, John Zaffis, has also taken the flagship responsibility in keeping their work alive.
The pursuit of demonology can be dangerous work, especially when it involves participation in demonic possessions. But the supernatural community depends on the work of people like the Warrens and John Zaffis to ensure we're prepared to face the devil … one day.
Such a student in modern demonology is Dave Juliano.
Whether or not you're involved in cases that may involve negative or demonic entities, Dave Juliano – a 34-year veteran researcher of the paranormal – firmly believes you should know the basics of demonology, because one never knows when something might suddenly pop up.
Dave Juliano - Paranormal Researcher, Investigator and Author
Juliano believes that information about the darker side of the paranormal is important for people who have no inclination whatsoever to handle any kind of case like that. It may also be important in order to see some of the warning signs, and know when a case is something that you should probably get a consultation for – or handed off entirely.
“It’s a basic safety issue in my mind," says Juliano. "For those of us that handle that negative and extreme cases, I feel this is still important because we always need to be learning more and sharing experiences with other people in the field.”
The more information we can get concerning experiences with the darker entities, the better prepared we all may be. Juliano requires all members of his team, including even those who have been doing it for many years, to take this class every single time he gives it because one can never hear this information enough times. His presentation on demonology is always evolving because it’s based on his personal current experiences as well as the cases that he has dealt with in the past.
“My goal is to try to keep people safe by giving them enough knowledge to know when to seek assistance with the case, and also to open channels of communication between people who are working in the paranormal field and come across or handle the negative and demonic cases," says Juliano. “I also want to keep as many clients as safe as possible by helping them understand the many different dynamics that are at play in a negative case. The emotions and mental well-being of someone that contacts us is extremely important."
What's most dangerous of all is that darker entities and situations can weigh heavily on the people who are targets, he points out. People with pre-existing anxiety, depression and other issues can be even further compounded by these experiences. Darker spirits that are at play could be intentionally manipulating those issues.
Juliano claims that no one is an expert. All he is able to do is share is his experience and what he has witnessed in his 34 years within the paranormal field.
Learn from the experience and expertise that Dave Juliano has developed in his lifetime commitment to study and practice of the paranormal. This event will be one that is eager to reveal its powerful dark mysteries and should not be missed.
Jean Bodin wrote in 1580...
“It is certain that the devils have a profound knowledge of all things. No Theologian can interpret the Holy Scriptures better than they can; No lawyer has a more detailed knowledge of testaments, contracts and actions; No physician or Philosopher can better understand the composition of the human body, and the virtues of the heavens, the stars, birds and fishes, trees and herbs, metals and stones.”
Watch this chilling tale of proof about the Jersey Devil
with Dave Juliano