Blog Post

Why Insanity is Considered a Hazard of Occult Practices

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

Not according to several noted authorities.

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 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.

In an excellent paper on the subject prepared by John Ankerberg and John Weldon of the Christian Research Institute, as interest it the occult has proliferated in recent decades, mental illness has also been on the rise. 

"Mediums and other channelers, for example, are often known to have psychological disturbances; so are psychics, witches, and Satanists. For example. Dr.  Jeffrey Russell of the University of California at Santa Barbara observes, 'Satanism... has had a great effect on people of unsound mind. Some people have been psychologically damaged by it. There’s no doubt about that',” the paper states.

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 some 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.

"Alice McDowell Pempel of Cornell University delivered another paper on the consequences of drug-induced altered state of consciousness (ASC), and noted the 'possibility for madness is ever present' if those who meet up with monsters and demons in these states view them as real," the paper states.

Unfortunately, psychic and occult practices characteristically induce altered states of consciousness.

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, at the conclusion of their research, Ankerberg and Weldon found that " the possibility of insanity constitutes a potential hazard of occult practice."

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