Can Science Study Demonology?
One cannot make predictions about what a mind will do. Secular scientists mock belief in angels and demons, but they have their own occult beliefs.
Science cannot study what it doesn’t believe is real. Secular cosmologists believe dark matter and dark energy are real, but cannot see them. They believe angels and demons are unreal, but then have to account for things that defy natural explanations. Let’s see how they do.
The Demon of School Shootings
Nikolas Cruz, the suspect accused of killing 17 in the Parkland school shooting last year, says that a demon told him to “burn, kill, and destroy” before he went on his killing rampage. He said he heard voices in his head encouraging violence, and also accusing him that he was “nobody” that deserved to die. In a video interview just released, he repeatedly slaps himself and appears to be talking to the voice in his head. Time Magazine reports some of the conversation between Cruz and investigator John Curcio who tried to understand the ‘voice’ the suspect claims he was hearing. Cruz never changed his story.
Curcio asked what the voice told him.
“Burn. Kill. Destroy,” Cruz responded.
“Burn, kill, destroy what?” the detective asked.
“Anything,” Cruz responded.
He told Curcio that he had to fight the voice from taking over, that it was always bad. Curcio questioned that, asking how it could always be bad if Cruz had held down a job at a discount store for two years.
“The voice is in here,” he said, apparently pointing to his head. “And then it’s me. It’s just regular me trying to be a good person.” Curcio said everyone has a good and bad side.
“Do they really?” Cruz said.
He said the voice tried to get him to shoot people at a park a week earlier. Or maybe it was three. Cruz couldn’t remember exactly, but he didn’t want to do it. Curcio asked why he didn’t.
“I … I don’t know,” he said.
Videotapes of Cruz in his cell alone show him repeatedly slapping himself, and apparently arguing with the voice. ABC News obtained release of the interview and reports what Cruz said about the voice.
Cruz’s statements about the shooting are blacked out, but the transcript is otherwise wide-ranging, dealing with the death of Cruz’s parents, his penchant for killing animals, his former girlfriend, his brother, guns, suicide attempts and, especially, the voice. He told Curcio the voice appeared after his father died about 15 years ago but got worse after his mother died of pneumonia in November.
Cruz described the voice as a male, about his age, and said the only person he ever told about it was his brother.
The investigator told Cruz he didn’t believe the voice exists, “but Cruz insisted it was there and said he wanted to see a psychiatrist.”
So what is “really” going on? Secularists, who deny the existence of demons from the outset, call it “mental illness” or give it a psychiatric label. But does that really ‘explain’ a case like this? Maybe the ‘voice’ is a phantom that Nikolas conjured up in his mind through years of fantasizing. Whatever it was, either his own mind or that of another, though, it was a mind bent on evil. It wanted to burn, kill, and destroy.
The Science of Divination
Christian apologists have long warned against giving Satan an opening. Calling on spirits for knowledge or wisdom invites demonic forces to oppress or possess a person. They have long warned of using divination tools like the Ouija Board; divination of any kind is also strongly forbidden in the Bible. There have been many testimonies of users of the Ouija Board who felt very spooked when they asked the board a question, then the board spelled out messages that they felt were not under their control, even as their hands held the planchette (a tool with a lens that shows letters being displayed).
What does ‘science’ say about this phenomenon? Denying spiritual activity from the outset, researchers look for other, less ‘occult’ explanations. Thomas Hoffman of Science Nordic, for instance, purports to explain ‘How Ouija Boards Really Work’ (see article in Medical Xpress). With one example, he defiantly declares that it’s a group mental phenomenon by the users who ask a deceased person, “How did you die?”
One or more participants sit across from each other with their fingers on a glass. Around the glass are numbers and letters. A spirit is summoned, you ask questions, and the glass begins to move from one letter to the next to spell out the response:
Perhaps you were absolutely certain that it was not you who moved the glass, and everyone else had the same feeling. So who did? A ghost?
Alright, so here comes the breaking news: No, it was not a spirit. It was you! Or rather, it was you and your friends that unconsciously collaborated to select the letters.
All that Hoffman has done is transfer the mental causation from one mind to another. He cannot explain their minds, let alone his own, but he can see the users’ bodies. Something in their minds, he infers, explains the response of the board better than proposing disembodied spirits. Whatever his reasoning, it was non-physical: it was conscious or unconscious mental activity.
And yet how can he be so certain? That’s the trouble with demons. As C.S. Lewis proposed in his classic, The Screwtape Letters, one of the demons’ most important jobs is to get people to disbelieve in them. Somebody else, or something else, causes the phenomenon under study. Secular science has bought into this with gusto. 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?
Another study of Ouija Board use showed that use of the ‘controversial’ device with autistic patients does not work (see Medical Xpress). Researchers concluded that this, and other methods of ‘facilitated communication’ produce answers directed subconsciously by the facilitator. Trying to recover ‘lost memories’ of sexual abuse with FC (facilitated communication) has led to false accusations that have landed innocent people in jail:
“I understand how difficult it may be for some facilitators to change their belief system. There is a lot at stake: people’s careers, reputations, connections with their family member or client. Nonetheless, I urge practicing facilitators to take a long, hard look at their own behavior. Voice doubts. Pursue testing outside the FC [facilitated communication] community,” wrote Janyce in 2012, 20 years after the charges against Betsy’s family were dropped.
She adds, “we cannot erase the damage we have caused by our actions, but we can take responsibility for our part in perpetuating the myth of FC. It is time to put a stop to this practice that adversely affects the very people we set out to protect.”
Once again, however, the demons could be dancing gleefully over being exposed as unreal. They just got the facilitator to falsely accuse the family member, leading to the outcome they wanted all along: burn, kill, destroy. Science explains it all. Evil isn’t real; it isn’t spiritual. It’s just patterns of behavior that evolved by natural selection. It made the facilitator fool herself into believing a lie, and causing harm to an innocent victim. The scientist got the real demon’s prize: getting secular science to deny the existence of evil and spirit. Atoms move by undirected forces. Stuff happens, because there is no Master Architect of the universe.
In the documentary Alien Intrusion, CMI shows that people who see UFOs are people who dabbled in the occult. By one way or another, victims of perverse cases of alleged visitations and abductions remembered giving permission for demons to enter their thinking at some point. The UFOs were never physically real; we know that, because they counter all we know about matter and energy. The visions of them, and the experiences with the aliens, however, were very real to those affected by visitations, many of whom were not even seeking any kind of experience like that. Some of the experiences these people suffered were extremely frightening and debilitating. When they came to Jesus Christ and asked for protection, the visitations stopped. You dare not play around with demonic spirits.
Demonology and angelology are difficult subjects in the Bible that require careful study. God wants us to focus on Him, not on lesser spirits. What are Christ followers to make of the fact that some evil spirits caused blindness, deafness, epilepsy and other physical diseases that Christ cured by casting out the demons? It’s important to notice that not all cases of healing involved the demonic. It appears that demon-possessed disabilities constituted a small fraction of the ailments Christ healed. Conversely, some who were freed from demonic possession looked perfectly healthy beforehand. It would be a grave mistake to attribute all cases of epilepsy, for instance, to demonic possession or oppression. Some Christians have done great harm (witch burnings, etc.) by taking actions against alleged demonic forces by their own power. When physical causes for disease are known, physical cures are to be preferred. Demonic power should only be considered in the rare cases that have no physical explanation, as in the case of the Book of Job. Jesus, of course, had the omniscience to know the difference, and went to the true cause in each individual’s case.
It’s mainly in the west where demons are ignored or treated skeptically. Missionaries to the far East and to pagan cultures often have firsthand experience with demon-possessed people that are quite alarming. For the intellectual west, demonic activity is most successful in false doctrines, such as in our modern godless scientific theories of origins (everything came about by a bang and warm little pond, with no intelligence involved). Religious cults that deny the lordship of Christ are other examples of Satan’s primary activity in today’s world. The cure for false teachings is God’s Word.
If you want to understand demonology, look no further than Jesus Christ. He cast out demons, and gave that power to his disciples. The demons bowed before him, knowing who He was. They could not stand before the power of the Son of God, knowing that He was their judge. Even when it appeared they succeeded in having the crowds turn on Him and crucify Him, they could not keep Him in the tomb; when He arose, he triumphed over them finally and forever. In Christ, Satan is powerless to possess a Christ follower. That doesn’t mean that we should ever give him any opportunity, because Satanic forces can ‘oppress’ believers though not ‘possess’ anyone indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. Christ is the ‘word’ that triumphs over Satan, as Luther wrote in A Mighty Fortress Is Our God —
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.