Wednesday 25 March 2015

CASE STORY: When New Age Techniques contaminate Catholic Religious Life and open the door for the demonic

Consecrated men and women offer their life in prayer, ministry, and service. What happens when they fall under the power of the evil one?

We at AMOE have ministered to several consecrated women and men, who devoted themselves really to service to God and neighbor, but had the unfortunate event of being held in the devils sway. The demons latching in their lives enter through various means. But in most of the cases that we have ministered to, the major opening is due to emotional trauma. With women religious, it would be abuse in the family especially if they came from very poor families with very little educational formation. They entered the religious life in order to escape primarily poverty and the sorry situation they find themselves in. And since they came from rural and remote areas, it is not seldom that they too are contaminated with occult practices either in their own family or that they were brought to occult practitioners for healing.

Now upon entering religious life, where they have more time for prayer and reflection, they would at times be awakened by the memory of the trauma they have experienced. If the trauma was sexual in nature like incest or rape of which they never told anyone in their family for fear of rejection, the memory would haunt them, and their sexual desires awakened by the experience of the past. Of course in these cases professional help is needed to assess the damage and to facilitate healing. However, in many religious congregations, the professional help themselves are members of the congregation. So the afflicted is brought to them. This would certainly be ideal provided that everything is done scientifically and in a sound manner. But since the 1980's other things, which are truly, foreign to Catholic spirituality and formation started to come in and be integrated into the religious formation. These things which are borrowed from the New Age Movement include the enneagram, pranic healing, reparenting the child within, the ying-yang, the chakra, crystal healing, energy healing all started to be enmeshed in the life of the religious. So mixing western psychological methods with esoteric ones, opened the door for the demonic to take hold of the religious. No one involved in this kind of techniques would ever admit that this have been instrumental in the entry of the demonic in the life of the candidate. But our experience at AMOE will prove otherwise. We have seen the disastrous effects of these New Age in the life of religious men and women.

Consider this case:

There is this case of a young novice who was sexually abused by a relative when she was still in her pre-teen years. The father was irresponsible and has spent his life in drinking and gambling. The mother brought the daughter to a close relative. Then the mother left. Although the relative took the child in, she was never considered as a family member and was treated as a servant. This is where the abuse came in. She never told anyone about it for fear of being sent away or misunderstood or judged. When she came of age, she decided to enter a convent. One would immediately already see possible impure motives there. While in the convent, she was struggling with chastity as the sexual abuse experience left her scarred. It was her first sexual experience and hence her dreams centered on that experience. Up to that time she never had any resentments with the mother that left her because she knew that she could not give her a decent future. She never had resentments as well with the relative who took her in even if she was treated as a domestic helper. She was grateful in fact that she was given the opportunity to go to school and finish up until high school.

She entered a convent of sisters and began her formation. She recounted her traumatic experience to the mistress of novices who referred her to one of the sisters who is a psychologist. That would have helped a lot except that this psychologist is also a believer and practitioner in the esoteric arts of pranic healing, crystal healing, enneagram, and the reparenting the child within exercise. In one of the sessions with her, the psychologist-sister instructed her on how to go about the reparenting the child within which is a return-to-the-womb exercise. Now what is this technique all about? It is like a self-hypnosis thing where one imagines of going back into the womb of the mother in order to discover what are the baggages one has received since conception.

The young novice, did as instructed. The procedure was done inside the chapel. The psychologist-sister left the room to give the novice time and space. While she meanwhile attends to other things. Well, this is a very delicate and risky procedure. Many things can happen. It is not wise to leave a person all alone because catharsis might occur in the process and the experience of very intense negative emotions. So the novice was, according to the narrative she submitted to AMOE, able to go back to the womb. And there she heard the very heated arguments between her mother and father related to the pregnancy. The father wanted the pregnancy to be terminated as they could not afford another child. The mother meanwhile pleaded that the pregnancy be allowed to continue. And if they could not really raise funds to assure a decent future for the child, then they can send her for adoption. The father agreed.

However, as the pregnancy was advancing, the father left the house and never returned. Meanwhile, the mother was left on her own with the help of some close family relatives to finally deliver the baby. When the child was already weaned from the mother, she was entrusted to a relative who promised to take care of the child. All these she heard and saw while apparently in that state. Whether this is really scientifically plausible, we allow science to judge.
Illustration taken from
What was significant to the case was what happened after she returned from the hypnotic state. Suddenly she felt deep hatred towards the father who left the mother, and anger against the mother who left her to the relative. She also developed anger against the relative who took her in. And to the other relative that took advantage of her vulnerability she has only curse words reserve for him. She never had those feelings before. And every time she would remember, her passions would flare up. At the same time she became also psychically sensitive. She started to see things, ghastly apparitions, terrible nightmares. She developed an  "evil eye", where those who displeased her become ill by her simply looking at them with anger and hatred. Due to this, her co-novices became afraid of her. Even her friends started to avoid her so as not to be an object of her displeasure. She became secluded in a life where community life is of vital importance. The novice mistress tolerated her, perhaps moved with compassion, but when she too became ill because of her evil eye, then she was sent out.

How she was able to seek help from AMOE is another story. But it suffices to say that the introduction of New Age techniques in religious life do more harm to the soul than good. And any apparent good it would bring is simply a deception as the evil would strike back at the most unexpected moment.

CASE STORY: Demons entering a monastery by the front door

There was this case of a monastery of contemplative nuns who are known for their fervor in religious observance and in prayer. However, they are located in an area known to be the center of occult practices nearest Metro Manila. Every so often, when people coming to seek solace and relief through AMOE complain of sicknesses that the local witch doctors or albularyos could no longer cure, they have already visited so many of them down through the months or years. It is not seldom that we have encountered that the greatest of all the curses or infestations come from healers in this area. Now the presence of these nuns with their holy life of hiddenness, penance, and prayer in that locality, by the grace and mercy of Almighty God, become a beacon in the midst of all the superstition and error. The prayers of the nuns are able to curb the intensity of the curses sent by these occult practitioners to their victims, when these come for solace in the prayers of these consecrated maidens. One would not be surprised then that they would be targets of curses themselves sent constantly by the sorcerers. These occult practitioners know that they cannot fight God directly who protects the nuns, but they can do something to them so that the intensity of their prayers and penance would lessen either by sickness or that they be distracted in their prayers.

One day their opportunity came when an unsuspecting benefactor of the monastery brought in a very powerful occult master to the monastery to have an audience with the nuns. Although the occult master did not enter the papal enclosure, he was able to accomplish even something more destructive by just being received in the parlor. Nobody among the nuns thought the guest was a sorcerer. According to the introduction made by the benefactor,this fellow is a gifted and kind person who helps a lot of people in their problems because he also heals. This did not even raised a red flag for the sisters. They were simply in their plain trusting self. Perhaps even the benefactor did not consider him as spiritually dangerous.

This occult master boasted that he is a good friend of many priests, and bishops. He even boasted that he is a close friend of Popes St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. (All lies of course!) He presented the nuns with religious gifts like scapulars, medals, oil, water telling them that these objects were blessed by these saintly men, or by many bishops or many priests. Then he presented them also with custom made cotton shirts printed with well known prayers and catholic religious pictures. He told them that these were blessed in a mass attended by so many bishops and priests. He advised them to use the shirt as protection by wearing them as undershirts. The occult master even pointed to each of the sisters where they experience pain in their body and what causes them. He advised them to use the objects he gave as it would help in facilitating their healing. For after all the objects he gave have healing powers. The women were amazed at this, and in their innocence thought that this must be a gift from God. The nuns naively took these inside the cloister.

Most of the nuns started using the shirt as an undergarment. The medallions and other religious objects they placed inside their cells, and some other areas in the monastery like infirmary, kitchen, common rooms, laundry room, refectory, chapel. One nun used the oil to anoint herself, thinking that it would be "miraculous". Another drank the water given by the occult master and mixed it with regular drinking water. Soon enough strange things started to happen. The nuns started to get sick one by one. There are nuns who started to seeing ghostly apparitions, double gangers, nightmares. They started to hear noises, knocking on the doors, scratching on the windows. The one who used the oil started to have what seemed like allergic reactions. The one who drank the water started to have upset stomach. And most of all, the nuns started to have stupor during prayers, and arguments during community time. Nobody suspected it all came from those gifts. For who would ever suspect that the person who came with a dear and respected benefactor, would wish them harm or anything. But that was where they were deceived. They did not detect the malice behind the gifts, for in effect the objects were all bewitched and cursed by a ritual that is not of God.

The AMOE was asked by the nuns to help them as they could no longer understand what was happening. Initially we thought of infestation in the context of the monastery building being subjected to animal blood offerings (padugo) by the construction workers while erecting the complex. But we immediately understood that as a monastery dedicated entirely to prayer and penance and spiritual growth, whatever evil spirit was there in the erection of the building would be terribly weakened by the very life of the nuns. And besides the monastery has been in existence for years, why only now? There must something that was introduced from the outside. Our suspicion was confirmed when the nuns recounted how things came about. In their community discernment they all pointed to that moment when they received the gifts.

They brought out the gifts, the shirts, the religious objects, the oil, the water. Fr. Jocis started to pray for protection for everyone and for the Lord to reveal what we are up against. And indeed it was judged that all the objects were cursed. How about the shirt that had all the catholic prayers and familiar religious images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Cross, St. Michael, St. Joseph, Padre Pio? At first glance all seemed catholic, but there is a saying: "The devil is in the details." So I got hold of one of the shirts and examined the prints one by one. The initial impression was that all the prayers and pictures were in order. Until, I caught glimpse of what seemed to be fine prints along the shoulder and shoulder blade part of the shirt. There were strange characters, letters, symbols. Looking closely, I could recognize some latin words mixed with gibberish letters. I could recognize symbols that are not Catholic nor Christian at all. I knew then that this is an orasyon, a hex mixed with Catholic things so that it would not be immediately detected. A typical ploy of occult practitioners whose intention was to deceive.

The monastery's spiritual protection was breached by the willful albeit naivete acceptance of objects not of God by the nuns. Having explained to them what happened, they immediately recognized their folly and renounced all ties with the occult practitioner. Then the AMOE team headed by Fr. Jocis proceeded to cleanse and liberate the monastery and the nuns from the infestation. During the exorcism prayer of the various places in the monastery we recognized areas with very strong presence, a kind of stronghold. These were:
  • the corridor immediately outside the monastic choir. The choir is the place where the nuns pray.
  • the chapter room where they hold their meetings, especially the chapter of faults
  • the superior's office
  • the infirmary rooms
  • the novices' quarters
  • the novices' bathrooms
  • the cloister garden in the middle of the building
  • the refectory
  • the laundry room
  • the area immediately adjacent to the confessional.
Let us analyze why these areas.

1. Why the cloister corridors immediately adjacent to the choir area? Since the demons probably could not get inside the choir once the nuns are there praying, the demons would disturb from the outside. The nuns would also use the corridors for meditation and that would be the best part to disturb them in prayer.
2. Why the chapter room? Because that is the area where the nuns decide the matters affecting their life as a community. The demons would want to influence them so that they would relax their penances and mortifications. It is also in that room that they have their chapter of faults, where the nuns confess to the superior their infractions of the rule like rules regarding silence, penance and mortification. The demons would want the nuns to keep things for themselves and excuse them or justify the infraction made.
3. Why the superior's office room? Because this is where superior's make decisions of importance to the life of the individual nuns and of the community. The demons would like to influence the superior so that she would make wrong decisions.
4. Why the infirmary rooms? Because the demons of infirmity would like to keep the nuns sick and unable to pray and offer their suffering for the salvation of souls.
5. Why the novices quarters? Because the novices who are just starting in their life a nuns are still weak spiritually and can easily be discouraged. Hence, the demons would batter them and throw cinder in their emotions so that they would give up or have negative and resentful feelings towards some of the nuns.
6. Why the novices' bathrooms? This made us think as well. But our discernment brought us to consider the demon of lasciviousness to be at play here. It must have come from someplace else as the specter seen in this area is an old man who peeps when the novices are taking a bath.
7. Why the cloister garden in the middle of the building? Because four medallions coming from the occult master was placed one in each corner of the building facing the garden.
8. Why the refectory? Because it is there that simplicity is tested in terms of taste for food and moderation in eating and gratitude for the food they are to partake. The demons tempt the nuns to relax their fasts, complain about the food, and dream of fancy delicacies.
9. Why the laundry room? The corner pillar of the monastery, where the animal blood offering was made by the workers, is located in this area. Hence, there is an evil presence in the locality that has taken dominiom.
10. Why the area immediately adjacent to the confessional? Because the demons would like to influence the nuns in their confession, to discourage them from accusing themselves of their sins and failures and weaknesses, to hide therefore their sins, excusing themselves from the process.

We were also able to discern the sources of the spirits that came in:

1. From the curses sent against the monastery by occult practitioners that are affected by the nuns presence, prayer, mortifications, and penance.
2. From the occult objects that were introduced into the monastery as a gift from the occult master.
3. From the spirits that are latched on to some of the young candidates who have an opened third eye, or have been contaminated by unclean spirits because of exposure to occult practices prior to their entering the monastery.

After the first two areas were properly expelled and sealed, the nuns stopped experiencing what they were reporting to us before. Addressing the third cause was a bit more complicated because it would require a personal ministering to them at another time by AMOE.