from a Roman Catholic Perspective
Adam Blai, M.S.
[Note: I invited this article
from Adam Blai, a psychologist in Pennsylvania who works with Catholic
authorities in the Roman Ritual of Exorcism of demonic entities.
We share mutual concerns about the rising popular interest in
“demonology,” especially among paranormal investigators. – REG]
There is a trend in popular culture, and in the
paranormal investigation field, of glamorizing demons,
“demonologists” and exorcisms.
There are popular movies, television series, books, and
websites all devoted to demons in some form.
Demonology has become the biggest draw at paranormal
conferences and meetings. This
is of great concern to those who actually work in this field.
The interest is probably based on the perception that demons
are the most “hardcore” or “serious” of the paranormal
phenomenon, and therefore it is cool to call oneself a
of this trend, this material is being offered to educate and hopefully
correct some of the misguided and dangerous assumptions of the public.
When people use the word ‘demonology’ they
usually mean investigating cases where demons may be present or
affecting people, or they mean interacting with demons in some other
way, such as in an exorcism. Some
people mean simply studying demons as an academic subject without any
intended interaction. The term ‘religious demonology’ implies approaching the
subject from a religious framework, usually Christian or Catholic, and
implies the person is working for good and is actively working against
not a guide on how to be a demonologist
No functional information is provided here about:
what a demon exactly is, how they came into being, their names, and
their history, how to fight them or how to do or assist at exorcisms.
This is not a “how-to” for being a demonologist. This is a broad
overview and a set of warnings.
reality of demons
Demons are real. They are not just
people’s imagination or getting worked up and being scared of the
dark. Demons are a very
dangerous reality that can destroy your life. You simply will not
understand this unless you encounter a demon, whether in a person or
as a disembodied entity. Once you do encounter one, your worldview
will be forced to accommodate the presence of evil as an objective
reality. This will make you feel mentally unstable for at least a
short time. And for the rest of your life you will be looking over
your shoulder, because you will know that you are probably being
watched because you know
the truth of their existence. You
will never be able to go back to thinking of demons as an abstract
idea or thrilling possibility: they will forever be a part of your
life and may attack you openly and personally because of your choice
to step into the spiritual arena with them.
framework that demons exist in
You need to be grounded in a Christian,
preferably Catholic, viewpoint in order to understand demons.
The reason for this is very practical: demons behave in a way
that shows us they are defined and bound by the Catholic religious
They react with fear and anger to symbols or words related to
Jesus, scripture from the Bible, Catholic prayers, and holy objects.
Trying to influence a demon’s behavior on your own (i.e.,
asking it to stop or telling it you command it to stop) will only get you mocked and physically
hurt, or worse.
They know when an object has been blessed by a Catholic priest,
which causes them to react negatively to it.
They know when blessed objects are near them, even when not in
If you show a demon a Crucifix and a symbol from a
non-Christian religion, it will not be able to look at the Crucifix
and will get angry. It
generally will not care about the other symbols.
They can read your mind and will know all of your unconfessed
sins. This includes
things you have never told anyone in your life and especially which
the person the demon is in could never know.
Sins confessed in the Catholic sacrament of confession are not
knowable by demons.
by demons will almost never go into a Catholic Church voluntarily.
When they attack, they are only stopped and driven away by
Christian prayers, holy water, and the name of Jesus.
The Catholic Church created the Roman Ritual of Exorcism that
is used in cases where a person has been possessed by demons, or the
tricks demons use
perspective of the religious demonologists sometime seems conservative
or simplistic. This is
true to an extent, but the reader must understand that this comes from
experience. Here are some of the tricks of the enemy and the conservative
stances that result from them.
to be a helpful or needy spirit/ghost/phenomenon/guide.
The enemy almost never appears in their true form, they lie and deceive
constantly. We know from
experience that many cases of demonic oppression and possession start
with a “harmless” or “helpful” spirit haunting or interaction.
They sometimes start with communications with a dearly departed
relative or helpful spirit guide, or a pitiful soul that needs your
help. If the demons
showed up and looked horrible and menacing you would run the other way
and right into a Church. They
suck you in slowly by offering knowledge, playing on your pity, giving
comfort or power. Only
when they have a sufficient hold will their true intent (to take you
away from God and destroy you) become clear.
leads demonologists to distrusting “harmless” haunting and spirit
communication with “positive” entities.
you that they will give you life/health/power/money/fame/sex/etc.
The enemy often takes advantage of weakness or misfortune: they come
when you are sick, bankrupt, depressed, or swollen with pride.
They offer to fix your problems or elevate you above others.
The trick comes later: when you are at your peak they tear it
all down so that you suffer the most intensely.
The enemy can lift you up, but only so that your fall is
leads demonologists, or those that understand this, to eschew fame,
undue attention or power.
you into letting a “spirit” enter your body.
The enemy has many tricks for convincing you to let a spirit into your
body. Using your body as a tool to “free” or “remove” a spirit
or demon from a haunted location is a bad idea.
There is always an act of free will involved in letting a demon
enter your body; you just might be unaware that it is a demon.
Your permission might be given in response to a deception, but
the door is opened nonetheless. You
should never assume that you can get something out once you let it in.
If someone advises you to channel spirits, use your body to
transport a spirit, or use your body to remove a spirit from a
location you need to say no. We
have seen and read many cases of possession that started in these
leads demonologists to be stubbornly against any form of admission of
anything into the body.
required to engage in Religious Demonology?
There are a number of requirements for religious
demonology, including some basic factors that must be present in the
person and in their life. Without
all of these you are putting yourself, your loved ones and your
co-investigators in grave danger.
and foremost, the religious demonologist must be called to the
work by God, not by their own choice. If you
want to be a demonologist, that
is a problem. No
rational person says they want to interact with pure evil and put
their sanity, their physical life, and their soul at risk when
they don’t have to. People
in the work are called into the work and guided to the people and
situations that train them. God
is in charge from the beginning to the end. If you are meddling
because you want to be cool, you want to be
thrilled, or you are going to defeat evil, you will either
be corrupted by evil, driven insane, or dead soon enough.
functioning along with a demonologist must also be called to do
so. There can be
no bystanders or curious onlookers; they are open to being
attacked and their presence is a major weakness that will be used
against those present.
must have special supernatural protection and intervention
from God in order to survive, remain sane, and be effective in
religious demonology. It is not the human person or the priest
who drives a demon from a person’s home or body. It is
not the human will that makes a demon stop throwing objects around
the room or causing horrible thoughts and pains in the people
there. There is no personal power or authority in humans:
all intervention, protection, and authority come from God on a
moment-by-moment basis. You might be free from sin and close to
God one moment and be covered in sin and vulnerable the next. If
you meddle with demonic forces without the special protection that
comes from a calling from God, and without living in a way
pleasing to God, you will know it from the outcomes of your
interactions with the demonic. If you see yourself depressed,
isolated, suicidal, homicidal, obsessed with demons, thinking you
are powerful or in control of demons, or working for evil, there
is a problem.
must be under legitimate Church guidance and authority.
Along with a legitimate calling from God naturally come the
contacts, friends, and guidance from people with decades of
experience in the work. It
should come as no surprise that you cannot learn how to function
as a religious demonologist from any book or website.
Doing so and thinking you have any real knowledge or
understanding is folly.
must understand what it means to give your life to God and
surrender your physical life to the will of God. Without giving up
your life to God’s will, not your will, you will feel fear and
intimidation in situations where you might die.
This cannot happen as death is a real possibility in
this work and that reality cannot be used against you to
intimidate you or control you. If you are afraid to die in God’s
service, the demons will know -- and you will be crushed by your
should be of a mature age. It is unhealthy for a developing mind
and soul to interact with the demonic realm.
Once you cross the line into knowing the reality of demons
you will go through a psychological and spiritual crisis where you
must come to terms with your new reality.
This can be very challenging for any adult; the young
forming mind is generally not equipped to handle this
to live a normal happy life when young and leave this topic for
later in life.
work must be done as an act of charity.
You cannot mix any selfish motives into the work: fame,
bragging rights, monetary compensation, social power, or other
benefits. This must
be work for good, for God, not for you in any sense.
To do this for selfish reasons puts you in an arena with a
supernatural force way
beyond your comprehension with little or no protection.
The sincere hope in sharing this information with
the public is to increase safety and educate people on unsafe
practices and some of the deceptions of the enemy.
Blai is a practicing Roman Catholic and a psychologist. His
professional experience has
been in outpatient, forensic, and educational
settings. He has taught at
Penn State University as well as Gettysburg
College. He functions as a
demonologist assisting at exorcisms, treating family
members of the possessed, as
well as the possessed themselves. He also
determines if demonic
activity is present at locations and confronts the
demonic in both human and
disembodied form when
necessary. His training with
the Church and others is
ongoing, as there is always more to learn in this field.
For questions, comments, and permission to post or reprint this
article, contact Adam Blai at firstname.lastname@example.org.