Threads about demons, curses, possession etc


#1

Lately it seems like we have been seeing many, many threads dealing with people’s alleged experiences with the demonic. Some of these are bordering on, or essentially consist of, private revelation except with demons.

Example: Person posts saying, "I saw Jesus in my backyard and he said these things to me, " etc. is clearly private revelation and can be flagged and removed under the “no private revelation discussions” rule.

However, person posts saying, “I saw a demon in my kitchen and he threw my coffee pot against the wall and broke it” and everybody takes that seriously and starts handing out advice about how to deal with the demon - use some holy water, throw out the evil cursed coffee pot or other “infested” object, call the priest.

I try to be open-minded and kind because I understand that some people come from cultures where demons, curses, etc may be part of daily folklore. Also, I do not dispute the point that demons exist and the Devil is real and so forth. But on the other hand, many people’s reports of “demons” are actually something very different such as simple bad luck or mental illness, and it is not helpful to them or to the Catholic Church generally if strangers on the Internet take these posts seriously when they do not know the poster and when the poster is doing the foolish thing of asking the Internet about something they should be taking to their priest.

Some days lately it feels like this board has become some nutty horror movie.

Should we be flagging such posts? Like I said I don’t want to be insensitive to people, but if you’re seeing a demon in your home, you need either the priest or a mental health counselor, you don’t need the Internet.


#2

personally, i ignore these types of posts.
i have no interest in them.


#3

Ignoring them is one option, but from a “forum quality” standpoint, this forum brings a lot of people here who aren’t Catholics and don’t know much about the Church. I’d like the postings to be somewhat rational and intelligent, and since we’re all expected to help moderate via flags, this is partly my responsibility as a forum communiy member.

I have some concern that if people with legitimate interest in or questions about Catholicism show up and see 20 threads about demons and exorcism, they will get a very wrong impression of the Catholic faith and what we do all day. Same as if they showed up and saw 20 threads about “I just saw the Virgin Mary on my piece of toast.”


#4

i understand your concern. i hope i didn’t sound flippant.
on the one hand, i don’t like reading anything about demons, curses or possessions. i don’t like watching movies about this stuff either.
on the other hand, are these people trolls -
are they just making this stuff up.

i can understand your worry about what people will think about so many of these threads and also those about masturbation. they might think Catholics are obssessed with all of these topics.


#5

It’s a quandry. Sometime, maybe the best answer is to flag other, and ask the mods for guidance.


#6

The thread should be closed after offering the advice to seek a priest IRL not some random Catholic person online. It’s serious business.


#7

Yes, I’m also uncomfortable with some of the advice given about what to say to get rid of the demon, using holy water or salt, etc.

I’ve noticed that some of this advice is coming from people who are very young, possibly even minors, and in one case not yet a Catholic to my knowledge. This is about on the same level as teenage posters opining on marital relations. It is way above their “pay grade”. I don’t care how many books on deliverance by Fr. Amorth, Paul Thigpen, random websites on the Internet, etc. they read.

This is just wrong. The only advice should be “call the priest and perhaps the doctor/ mental health professional also”.


#8

It´s like with all those “wicca witches in my house” or “did my neighbours cursed my house” posts in the last time. I tried to relativate in my posts, but to be honest, the problem was more the bigger crowd of people attesting me a lack of faith in christian demonology …


#9

I think these threads are to a large extent “monkey see, monkey do”. One person puts up a demon thread, or a masturbation thread, and suddenly 10 other people are motivated to post about the exact same thing happened to them.

I always think some percentage of the people are trolls who notice that a particular topic gets a reaction and decide to poke for some more reactions.

Unfortunately we have had an out-flux of quality posters lately and more of this random clutter on the Topic of the Day coming in.


#10

I agree with you about it being like a horror movie lately. I really, really don’t like all these demonic threads lately. Sometimes even the titles can give me a chill…just creepy. I’m thinking of one that was quite descriptive recently. Heaven knows why I even clicked on it…that was my absent-minded fault.

I know the power of God who protects me, but I still don’t like to read about it.


#11

One of the things I miss about the old CAF. That and hiding certain posters!


#12

I believe that the Moderators have given us guidelines regarding the flagging of posts.

We are to flag posts when they violate–when their content–violates anything in the Community Guidelines/Terms of Service.

If anyone has any further questions or comments about this, then they can send a PM to the Moderators. :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree in that the best advice to give someone in general on certain threads, is to talk to their local Priest or Pastor. I feel that that’s the best place to start. He can then best advise them on the best course of action to then take for their particular situation.


#13

Never does a week go by without someone calling the parish office about a demon in this or a devil in that. They are never Catholics who call, so, the parish cannot do anything for them except suggest they call their _________ (insert denomination HERE) minister.


#14

Yes, I know this. My confusion is at what point do these “I saw a demon” threads become a private revelation and turn into flaggable posts? Like I said, I don’t want to disrespect anyone’s culture or pooh pooh their concerns, but this is not the Exorcism Forum and too many posters here are too quick to start giving advice when they should be leaving these matters to trained priests in the person’s diocese to sort out.

I have flagged a couple as “other” with a comment. I noticed they eventually did get locked or removed so I suspect maybe others were flagging too.


#15

I think flagging them is the proper course of action.

I do also want to add that I think that for those who do choose to respond, in addition to advising the OP to see a priest, I think seeing a mental health provider should also be suggested. But, I don’t know if saying this would be considered uncharitable.


#16

I’ll mention it if it seems the person is way out there.
I don’t think saying “Please consider seeing a mental health counselor” is a bad thing. The priest is also supposed to be watching out for signs that the person actually needs mental health help.


#17

Hi! I think there are various reasons as to why people might post on a Catholic site and this topic does come under Catholicism; that said, I have not been around the new site enough yet to know if there is an over-abundance of threads on the topic, and yet, it used to be the case on the old layout - as one poster here has mentioned as being the case on this site - that similar subjects sometimes pour in, in waves, like a tide rushing in. The correlation made by the OP, between ‘private revelation’ and tales of demonic experience, is an interesting one.

As to contributing a personal opinion to the discussion, I don’t think people ought to hand out, too spontaneously, mental illness as a possibility for certain things - I remember that this used to come up in similar subjects. And too, on the subject of ‘flagging’, I think that this process could be used if it is obvious beyond a certain doubt that people are trolling or only ever seem to be posting on the same subjects, and yet, I suspect that flag-usage is quite specific in its terms of use (it can be over-used, possibly).

I would say, give people benefit of any doubt, if there is any, and just try and help them. Telling people to go to priests is sensible. There are things, however, which are known ways and means, within ‘spiritual warfare’, that can help people before they approach those with a certain ministry in that area - one might even find that it would have been expected, that people would try certain known ways first, before going to someone (prayers said-for, prayer, fasting, holy water, blessed items and sacramental devotions all come under reasonable advice).

Thanks.


#18

I personally think that the best course of action is to refer someone to their parish priest or pastor. That’s where I would leave it at, when answering posts like this.

I personally don’t believe that anyone has the ability to determine whether or not someone else needs a mental health professional, and that someone else needs psychological intervention or help.

If we look at the lives of our saints for example, some of them had interaction with negative spirits.

Some people today also have this ability as well–to discern spirits–and this would be something that should be done with a priest or a Spiritual Director.

I personally don’t think that this is something that should be determined by telling someone that they need mental health care, when they could very well have a legitimate spiritual charism that possibly needs spiritual discernment with someone who could very well help in this process, instead. This is always a possibility, too.


#19

You are right there seems to be a pattern. Now when i see one of these “off the wall questions” I check to see when they have joined the forum and 99% of the time they just joined. I bring that up to them, some stopped posting. I believe if you feel a flag is the answer, go that way… God bless


#20

I find it kind of easy - to differentiate between a joker - and a seeker.

It’s amazing how many jokers - this religious site attracts.

I sometimes wonder if that’s why some veteran posters - leave.

Then - the joker tries to explain - his view - as if honestly concerned.

They did the same with Jesus - with dumb questions -


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