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Ummm I'd have to say "Close, but no cigar" in this case.
Humans can create "demons" in their own mind and yes, there are some peculiar things that do go bump out there, most of it quite malevolent though "prankish" (what lore refers to as Fairy Folk, Pixies and Brownies for the most part) but 99% of the "demons" recognized by "The Church" are nothing more than invention; the gods of conquered peoples that were turned into the boogiemen of the new power-cult, and or mental & certain physical health conditions like Epilepsy and Turettes. The "Mischievous" sort have another name echoed by two noted occultists, Donald Michael Kraig and P. I. Bonewits who refer to them as "little nasties", essentially "Elementals" (not demons) that were not properly dispelled by persons that created them (usually not even realizing they had done so). Elementals are a semi-sentient residue type energy that are typically the result of strong emotional expression which can be everything from a child's imaginary friend with whom an exceptional connection exists to a kind of "etheric imprint" of certain emotional energies such as can be found around traumatic experiences. Then you have those that are "invoked" by neophyte "Witches" who haven't a clue when it comes to their obligation to banish the damn things once they've done their job, leaving them to hang around without any sense of purpose outside of self-amusement. But again, these are NOT Demons.
Probably the closest thing to a genuine demon any human will encounter (when it comes to the dark, evil, and dangerous sort) are those humans that have turned their back on humanity for sake of personal carnal glories; look around at the big business world and how it manipulates the law, the idea of ethics and morality, etc. in that realm you will find a great abundance of demons most of them dressed as Lawyers and Marketing professionals.
I do not totally discount the so-called "super" natural (which is actually an impossibility; nothing can be beyond nature or natural law) in that I've had to deal with aspects of it over the years. But, I have likewise see first hand that most alleged demon encounters or "possession" is explainable under far more mundane parameters and the real task is convincing the "unlearned" what the difference is.
I grew up in a religious home, and the thought that demons existed was not even questioned. I read Peretti and really thought that's how the world was. Never did see anything though. My Aunt, on the other hand, says she's seen at least one demon and Jesus. Demon's scare her so much that she won't watch movies where actors invoke made up spirits and demons; she's afraid the actor invoking them will call real demons into her home. It wasn't just her either, it was my grandparents (they live together) and their whole church. At one point I was dating a Wiccan (not out of rebellion, it just happened that way) and they refused to let her in the house because their church told them that she would carry demons which could kill my grandparents since they were in poor health.
Personally, I always thought that fear of demons was an odd thing for fundamentalist Christians to have. If you're so gung-ho that your god is all-powerful and in control of anything, then what's to be scared of?
Speaking of demons and TAPS and other ghost hunting shows and if one were to take at face value what religionists say; demons are opportunistic ,why aren't they showing up on these ghost hunting shows ?
Last edited by really? on March 31st, 2011, 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Understand that without FEAR no cult (it's leadership) has the ability to usurp and manipulate the will of the people, it is the nature of the beast known as "Religion". Bear in mind that this is a cult that promotes fear and shame over something as natural and pure as SEX
Trust me, I have a long list of really silly things Churchianity promotes fear and/or shame around let alone its incredible list of outrageous bigotry. But what you are describing is quite common to persons that were raised in a more rural (country) environment that was exposed to a rather dogmatic sort of leadership within the area churches; a thing that is more than typical when it comes to Baptists and certain Methodist sects but any group that can be identified as "Fundamentalist" or "Pentecostal" generally falls into this grouping. Unfortunately most of the members in such groups are WASP (White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants) which happens to be a requisite for Klan membership. . . we'll just ignore the fact that the majority of the groups that fit this niche are based in the good ole Bible Belt. . .
Such people see "the Devil" in everything and refuse to study any material that might prove to them otherwise. The look at the medical research for example, around human sexuality as being part of a subversive political agenda that forces "good god fearing Christians" to tolerate Gays, Lesbians, Bi-Sexuals and Trans-gendered people -- "it ain't natural" and yet there are over 1,700 known species of animal that is known to have same-sex partnering within roughly 8 to as much as 15% of it's population (roughly the same balance found in humans). . . I could go down this list but I think you get the point. These people won't think for themselves but live as voluntary puppets of their clergy
When I was young and growing up in a strict Baptist household the scientific explanations surrounding the famed Plagues of Egypt were always viewed as "Satan Trying to Distract the Born Again" He was tempting them to no longer see God's Miracles. Yet, we now have a number of Christian sects that are embracing these explanations, some of them actually going back to the time attributed to Moses, they are accepting that god used natural causes to exact his demands on Pharaoh. But look at their record when it comes to the "condemned" by way of science; the rotation of the planets, which was ultimately seen as sound and embraced; The previously mentioned Health & Mental Health proofs against once viewed "demon possession" (except in the case of certain fanatical cults still present today in the U.S. and in other lands). With Technology we have the Radio, Television and even the Internet; each damned as the devil's off-spring UNTIL church groups started seeing how to use it "in service of the lard" . . . they did the same thing with Hemp Jewelery in the 90's, taking its popularity from the RAINBOW PEOPLE and tying it to the WWJD campaign. . . a "stealth" way of manipulating young people, which they have started doing by no long condemning tattoos, piercings (of certain type) and even Rock music . . . as long as it puts seats in the pews it's not evil. . .
. . . as long as it subtly robs people of their free will, it's "sanctified" . . . according to the corrupt politically focused leadership of said group (and you can apply some of this to Islam though it has yet to get as "commercial" as the fanatical fringes of Christianity.
Hey, they promote the idea of "fearing God" too. That says a heck of a lot about how out-of-touch they really are.
I have been cursed and damned on so many levels by the good Christians and Preachers in my family because of my Paganesque beliefs, my sexual orientations and career choices (the evil world of show biz) and yet, I don't live in a state of extreme paranoia as they do, I don't have a need to have a house full of guns as they do, I'm not buying into the stupidity that gushes out of the mouths of the truly demonic hosts that they patronize (Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson, the FOX NEWS talent line-up, Dr. Laura. . . ) These are people with their own agenda and while they deliberately "praise Jesus" I can assure you, it is in word only; they know how such affirmations trigger the weakened minds of the public and once that switch is flipped, it's amazing what you can get away with that is totally ignored, forgiven and simply blanked out -- it didn't happen! Just look at what they did to put an faux Texas Cowboy in the White House and how they now support Sarah, Mitt and the gang.
Oi! I really do have a reason to be fearful, don't I
I don't know about any demons "showning up" but TAPS, Ghost Adventures and most other ghost hunting shows have featured episodes with demons. If you go to IMDB and put John Zaffis or Carl Johnson (demons) into the search box, you will find episodes that feature demons. Then there's Ed & Lorraine Warren. They got their 15 minutes of fame back in 1975 with Amityville, NY. Ed has since passed away but Lorraine is still out there doing her thing on various TV shows.
Demons are big business in ghost hunting and of course require a specialist or demonologist according to the laws of TV Land.
As per Carl Johnson, here's his 'Demonology 101':
A "Demon" was originally a Greek term which meant a wise, guardian spirit. In present day spiritualism and parapsychology, the word connotes an entity which appears to have a malicious and resentful nature, and is possibly of a non-human origin: differentiated from a spirit which proceeded from a once-living person.
What characteristics do these entities evince?
1- They seem interested in, and often resentful (perhaps envious?) of living human beings.
2- Although they have been known to inflict minor injuries on people, such as scratches, welts and even what appear to be bite marks, primarily they assault the human mind through oppressive anxiety and fear.
3- They sometimes make their presence known through our senses, such as inexplicable foul odors and low gutteral growling (examples of which have been recorded during TAPS investigations as well as investigations by other paranormal research groups).
Demons may exist as a "quasi life-form," inteligent though not reasoning as do human beings, and existing outside the boundaries of our experience of linear time.
An exorcism or spiritual cleansing may provide a remedy, either temporary or hopefully permanent, against demonic infestation by making the environment hostile for the entity or entities.
Only in one episode do I recall a guest investigator claim a demon was about to show itself. As for the other shows. Unless these other shows videoed projectile pee soup spewing about and head spinning or some other obvious manifestation I'm very reluctant to take these ghost hunters at their word. One other thought. Religionists say demons are just looking for an opportunity. I can't imagine a better opportunity for a demon to show itself then ghost hunting.
Demons in the context of Christian faith are the fallen angels.
*Poltergeist means noisy ghost,.
*polter[n] is German: to make noise
geist : German also, for ghost
Yeah, yeah, yeah... they're always "ABOUT" to show themselves but those danged demons never seem to actually do more than growl or cause electronic equipment to malfunction.
Now "pee soup (or pea soup) spewing about" is a full blown "human possession", not just some half assed, opportunist demon hanging around in your closet or attic. BTW, some demonologists claim that there are demon "levels" or a hierarchy among the ranks. They even come complete with numbers on their heads and everything. You know what they say, "You can't tell the players without a scorecard".
I tend to believe that what is meant by "demons are just looking for an opportunity" is that demons will do whatever it is that demons do and not that they are looking for their 15 minutes of fame or more camera time. Exactly what demons do for a living is beyond me. Heck, what demonologists do for a living is just as confusing to me. I've met a few professional demonologists in my travels. Everyone of them have been what I would term real bible thumpers. I assume that since I do not subscribe to any organized religion or any actual religious beliefs, I'm safe in some sort of demon "no fly zone" of life.
To add to this question: "Generally violent?" Eh... maybe yes, maybe no. Poltergeists can sure be a nuisance around the house but the average puppy can do more damage in less time. Demons have been reported to be more of a problem but usually only scratch or occasionally bite if they are so inclined. Once again, a puppy can cause more damage if left unchecked.
Well maybe malevolent was the word I was searching for, but that's certainly an important distiction. Really, I just meant that Poltergeists and Demons are consistantly associated with strong negative emotions whereas ghost can be anywhere from helpful to harmful. I'll profess a near ignorance on the differences between various haunting types though.
Hasn't the term "demon" been somewhat secularized though to just mean non-human evil spirit? It doesn't have to be a fallen angel to qualify though right?
That is why I previously made a comment about stereotyping. Ghost, spirit, demon, poltergeist, entity, etc., no matter what you want to call 'em, they can be of the negative variety. It's the self proclaimed "professionals" that have coined the individual phrases to describe whatever it is that they are talking about. It will change from demonologist to demonologist, depending on their religious upbringing or their personal experiences, or whatever they might have been told by someone else. It can vary due to a combination of all of these things.
Yes, the term demon is usually associated with negativity. Whereas there are stories of ghosts that have saved lives. In some religions, any non-human entity is a demon, period! There's no distinction between good or evil, as they are all bad. It's a crap shoot as to what you will hear from different folks about the various entities.
You can thank religions and Hollywood for that confusion. Demons are not, and never were human in any form according to most demonology that I have heard or read. As really? said, they are opportunistic little buggers. Some claim that they can immitate ghosts, manipulate ghosts and a whole bunch of other stuff to get a human to 'trust them'. IMO, if you are at a stage where you are talking to some entity as if you are Cosmo Topper, (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029682/) then you need to take a step back and find some professional help and I'm not talking about a team of TV Land Ghost Hunters either. Don't get me wrong, I totally believe in ghosts but a person having a one on one relationship with one isn't particularly something that I believe. At least not from the perspective of the movie link that I just posted.
According to the Catholic bible, the devil was a fallen angel and he had a few friends who went with him. I'm sure that Craig Browning can elaborate on the actual written facts but I'm a bit rusty on my bible factoids.
I was raised a fundie, so I'm ok on the religious part of it. I'm just trying to get a handle on the nuances of hauntings as they are secularly perceived. From the sounds of it though, it would seem my confusion is warranted and actually expected given that no two people seem to tell the same tale.
So, I've also gotten mixed vibes from you. Do you like/respect Ghost Hunters (the TV show)? I hesitate to share my feelings on them as I don't want to be off-putting, but I'm curious to know if they are well-thought of in paranormalist circles.
I think it's a case of bastardization. In the Christian faith demons are fallen angels. Now without getting into the different meanings a word takes on when vernacularized you would be right. However demons are a different lot that supposedly play a much more insidious game than making a mere annoyance of themselves.
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