Exorcism, as a practice, although portrayed in entertainment, is widely viewed as religious folly performed by zealots of the past. However, is this age-old religious practice really as sensational and senseless as the box office would portray? I find Evidence of Satan in the Modern World by Léon Cristiani to be an educational read that sheds light on the ritual of expelling evil forces and why the ritual was deemed necessary during the 19th and 20th centuries.
I discovered this book while reading a 1966 December 15 edition of The Watchtower in an article entitled, "Repelling the Attack of Wicked Spirits". I think Cristiani does an excellent job at presenting the real experiences of those who felt they needed ritualistic healing in a way that honors the person and the testimony itself.
In this article, I review Evidence of Satan in the Modern World by Léon Cristiani. Tap play to see my entertaining Book Review. Be sure to also subscribe to be automatically entered to win FREE tea/books/stuff during Tea End Blog Give-Aways. Already subscribed? Tell a friend!
Page Count: 205
Author: Léon Cristiani
Published Date: 1961
Publishing Company: Barrie & Rockliff (Barrie Books, Ltd.)
ARE THEY POSSESSED?
Throughout the book, Léon Cristiani makes a clear distinction between possible cases of mental disturbance or illness and the characteristics of being possessed by wicked forces. In fact, part of the procedure of exorcism required, first, that the patient be seen by a doctor, a psychologist, and other mental health practioners available at the time. What are the clear signs that someone might be possessed or heavily influenced by a demon? See the 4 indications of demonic infestation or possession according to Cristiani:
1. Reveals Secrets: If the person reveals secrets or hidden details about other's lives that they would have no way of knowing unless they learned from natural ways in which human beings transfer information (spoken word, writing, signing, etc.) then the person may be under the influence of a demonic spirit who would have access to this information since spirits are not restricted to only knowing what is told to them.
2. Becomes Irritated When Exposed To Spirituality: Spirituality (differing from its popular counterfeit, "spiritism") consists of anything that truly makes a human draw closer to the creator. If someone is possessed or influenced by an evil spirit, they may become visibly irritated when someone else speaks of God, prayer, or spiritual matters. Their irritation is not simple discomfort or disinterest but disproportionate to the discussion.
3. A Higher Intelligence: In some of the cases of exorcism mentioned in the book, the patients responded to the priests in languages that they had never learned and that they did not actually speak. This sudden increase in intelligence, intelligence that normally would take time to acquire, was a sign of demonic influence or possession. Demonic entities can endow a person with talents and skills that they otherwise would not possess on their own.
4. Uncanny Body Movements/Functions: Human beings cannot fly unless we are in an airplane, and we cannot swim underwater for hours at a time because we must breathe air. If a person is able to perform supernatural functions or movements then they may be possessed or influenced by a demonic spirit.
Is there a modern way to perform an exorcism or does a person who believes that they are possessed only have the outdated option of asking a qualified priest to make a house call? Most of us don't even know a priest let alone one that specializes in exorcisms!
So, how can you obtain relief if you feel that you or someone you love are being harassed by a wicked spirit or a demon? On page 12 of Evidence of Satan in the Modern World, Cristiani states, "His (the devil) force comes from our consent, and his weakness from our resistance." Wicked spirits have as much influence in our lives as we allow and we can weaken their tactics and influence, not by performing rituals, but by outright rejecting them.
There are systematic steps that someone can take to prevent and eliminate demonic influence or possession. You can read about these steps in the same article that I found this book! The article is entitled, "Repelling the Attack of Wicked Spirits".
Evidence of Satan in the Modern World by Léon Cristiani opened my eyes to what spiritual darkness looked like in the 19th and 20th century and this reading increased my appreciation for accurate knowledge of scripture and spirituality. Perhaps you will enjoy this read also for similar reasons!
What is the most intriguing religious ritual that you know?