Blog Post

Why Mental Illness is Considered a Hazard of Occult Practices

CB asks: "Isn't it true that most mental illnesses are caused by Satan or as a result of occult activities?"

Authorities don't believe that "most" mental illnesses are caused by Satan, but recent research strongly suggests that dabbling in the occult can lead to mental illness.

The late Dr. Kurt Koch, an internationally recognized Protestant theologian and minister who counseled thousands of people from all over the world who had been involved in the occult, says that only a "small percentage" of emotional disorders have occult roots.

Famed Rome exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth agrees and says that “In the majority of cases, the people who come to me are not in need of an exorcism but of medical care.”

In fact, Amorth has been instrumental in bringing scientists into the field of exorcism out of a need to properly screen people who come to him thinking they are possessed when they are really in need of psychological help.

But this doesn't mean there's no correlation between dabbling in the occult and mental illness because there is - and it's frighteningly real.

Recent research suggests satanic and occult rituals may actually trigger psychopathological reactions. Dr. Zlatko Sram from the Croatian Center for Applied Social Research published an article in Open Theology in which he argues "that people who practice black magic or have otherwise occult bondage in their history are particularly susceptible to comorbidity of depression and psychopathy."

Dr. Sram surveyed over one thousand participants and found strong evidence that people suffering from depression and psychopathy were simultaneously "attracted to satanic practices as a means of obtaining magical power and control over their destiny—regardless of their sex or ethnic origin."

His research categorized different practices, from psychic seances and black magic to reading books and magazines with occult issues, and found that psychopathy and depression were "significantly predictive" of what he called "satanic syndrome" in people who had been subjected to occult involvement. These people suffered bouts of depression and mental disorders nearly twice as often as the rest of society.

"This is an important study in that it takes ontological claims seriously and supports the real possibility that demonic forms of bondage may be linked to psychopathology as [...] evil forces can interfere in human behavior," comments Prof. Ralph W. Hood from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Occultists and their victims often end up in mental institutions when the experiences they have encountered push them over the edge. The acclaimed Dr. Koch refers to a New Zealand psychiatrist who “claims that 50% of the neurotics being treated in the clinics in Hamilton are the fruit of Maori sorcery.”

Koch also knew of Christian psychiatrists who believe that sometimes over half of the inmates at their psychiatric clinics are suffering from occult oppression rather than mental illness, but that this occurs only in areas where occultism is extensively practiced.

The phenomenon has been studied by other experts, such as Dr. Scott Rogo who identified three of the most typical negative reactions people can have to a psychic encounter of one kind or another; 1) alienation from social relationships, 2) fear of impending insanity, and 3) a morbid preoccupation with psychic experiences. He warns that if not treated immediately, this damage can be permanent.

Those who like to put themselves into altered states of consciousness (ASC) also need to be wary of mental damage because psychic and occult practices characteristically induce these altered states.

Psychotherapist Elsa First also warned that cultivating ASCs may result in a “permanent alienation from ordinary human attachments.”

In general, dabbling in the occult is not good for your mental health.

Roger L. Moore, a psychologist of religion at Chicago's Theological Seminary delivered a paper at a four-day symposium of American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American School of Oriental Research in which he said he had observed “haunting parallels” between the paranoid schizophrenic and the deeply involved occultist. He warned that “participation in the occult is dangerous for persons who are the most interested in it because they are the least able to turn it on and off.... And a lot of them have become paranoid psychotics.”

Even though it is not accurate to say that the "majority" of mental illnesses are caused by Satan, current research definitely suggests that engaging in the occult is not just hazardous to us physically and spiritually, but mentally as well.

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