AMERICA in DANGER: The demonic as historical player

AMERICA in DANGER: The demonic as historical player

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For those Christians who have been concerned about the blurring of the lines between the gospel and politics, whether through the mixing of Marxist ideology and religion in some circles, or when President Trump became almost a messianic figure in the eyes of many American evangelicals, this book will provide much food for thought — as well as plenty of controversy. No matter your political perspective, you will certainly be provoked to think and respond as you read.

–Dr. Michael L. Brown, host of the Line of Fire radio broadcast and author of Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope.

William De Arteaga (Author)

This is a chapter from my forthcoming book, “America in Danger: Left and Right”

Reporters and historians writing about the great totalitarian regimes at times use the term “demonic” to describe their tendency towards irrational and unnecessary evil, as for instance, the Terror imposed by Stalin on his own people, or the maniacally cruel Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.  But the use of “demonic” in most cases means “extreme evil” and not necessarily a fallen angelic force behind that evil. To the contrary, the plain biblical understanding of demonic or “demonized” is that behind tremendous evil, and energizing it, is a malevolent spiritual presence.  Paul talks of “principalities and powers” (Romans 8:38) which guide and energize some rulers to sustained evil.

Among professional historians it is not considered acceptable to say that a regime or a group are under demonic influence or to say that the mayhem and destruction tyrants produce have a spiritual cause.[1]  Indeed, we cannot directly see into the spiritual world the details of how the demonic influences evil in persons or public policies. For instance, writing a history about Stalin’s with such remarks as “then a demon suggested to Stalin that the Kulaks should be starved to death as a lesson to others” would be speculative in the extreme.

Bible does not reveal to us the details of demonic influence or control over humans. In fact, it is reticent about the whole issue. A few cases could be cited, as in the demons that entered King Saul (1 Sam 18:10) or the moment that a demon entered Judas (Luke 22:3).

It is the Early Church that elaborated a more detailed understanding of demonic (and angelic) influence as general to every human being. The desert Fathers in Egypt and Palestine, who established monasticism were especially discerning in understanding and describing how all human beings are constantly under the influence of some from the spiritual entities. The Life of St. Anthony, a foundational classic of monasticism describes that saint’s many battles with demons who try to tempt him out of his monastic vocation.[2] But the master of angelic/demonic influence on the mind was the monk Evagrius Ponticus (345–399 AD). He was the spiritual advisor to an early community of Egyptian monks. In the sensory deprivation of the desert monastery, Evagious would question and examine the thought processes of the monks and discern when they were most likely to fall into demonic suggestions. His writings on this topic were a masterpiece of discernment.[3] It forged the Church’s understanding of the demonic until marginalized by modern liberal theologies as irrelevant. The cartoon of a person with a small demon on one shoulder and an angel on the other is a representation of Evagrius’ understanding. Actually, the cartoon image is closer to the truth than the humanistic disregard of all things demonic.

The 1970s were a highpoint of skepticism and dismissal of the demonic among Christian churches in the West. Even the Roman Catholic Church stopped teaching exorcism in its seminaries. Thankfully, that was reversed in recent decades, and presently every Catholic diocese has a designated exorcist, and the topic is again taught to young seminarians. There have also been a steady stream of psychologists and psychiatrists who have noted the reality of the demonic as it manifests in the behaviors of some of their patients (see below). Also, a few influential writes of the modern world have maintained contact with the understanding of the demonic as a constant and dangerous. One of the prime figures of this this was the Russian novelist and writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Prophet of the Demonic in politics

Most informed critics rank Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1881) as the greatest of Christian novelists of all time. His major works are demanding, especially to contemporary readers who are used to short pieces on the internet and Russian names are often long and confusing to the  English language reader. But the Brothers Karamazov and The Possessed are tremendous resources for all Christians, and especially relevant in our present crisis.[4]

In the Brothers Karamazov the spiritual center of the novel is the parable/poem of the Grand Inquisitor. The Inquisitor represents for Dostoevsky the Roman Catholic Church. The Inquisitor explains why Christianity is useless to bring about happiness and he must protect the Church by suppressing the freedom that Jesus gave mankind – a foreshadowing of similar Marxists and Post Modernists arguments.

Dostoevsky was perhaps the greatest Christian prophet of the 19th Century. [5]  In his work, The Possessed he accurately predicted the tragic (diabolical) trajectory of the Russian Revolution which broke out over thirty years after his death.[6]

The story line is loosely based on a group of radical revolutionaries in Moscow in the 1860’s who murdered one of their own.  Dostoevsky researched their beliefs and literature, and decades earlier he had participated in a revolutionary group himself. He was arrested for this and sent to a Siberian work camp for four years. There he had a New Testament as his only reading and deepened his love of Christ and trust in the Russian Orthodox spirituality.

The Possessed is set in a provincial Russian town where a group of intellectuals meet to discuss and plot revolution. They believe revolution will be good for the peasants and the oppressed. All in the group are atheists, as was common to the radicals of the era, and they believe in various form of socialist or anarchist politics as manifested in nihilistic personal morality. One in the group is determined to commit suicide when he reaches thirty – to prove his freedom. Dostoevsky masterfully shows that none of them were particularly evil, but they slid into deep levels of evil in the course of their plot and lives separated from God and the graces of the Christian life.[7] The book ends with their plot going awry, resulting in the murder of one of their own, and with arson and destruction within the town. The demonic and tragic trajectory of this fictional work has been repeated time and again by Communist rebels and governments. A recent manifestation has been the demise of the main Columbian Communist group, FARC. They went from a “Robin Hood” type of social idealist group to end up as ruthless narcotraffickers. The peace treaty between the Columbian government and the FARC was rejected by the majority Columbians as too lenient on the Rebels given their decades of extortion, kidnapping and atrocities.

But Dostoevsky’s prophetic insights were dulled by his limitations and prejudices. He was an ultra-nationalist and felt that Russia, the Orthodox Church and the Czars were called by God to lead the world to a new and regenerated Christian era. Dostoevsky believed this would be accomplished by Orthodox Christianity spirituality, led by its monks, who modeled the Christian life of love and service in imitation of Jesus.  Dostoevsky hoped the demons of the Russian radicles would be exorcised like Jesus exorcised the Gerasene demonic and heal Russia,[8] but Dostoevsky, like his generation really had no clue as to how this mass deliverance/exorcism could be done.

Sadly, Dostoevsky was proclaiming an incomplete Gospel which was common to both Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Christianity. Both lacked the Gospel’s power element as exemplified in the gifts of the Spirit and effective healing and deliverance as normal at the parish level.[9] The Possessed clearly pictures the radicals as “demonized” in their thought life and actions but gives no hint of the biblical remedy – deliverance and exorcism. In Orthodoxy, as in Roman Catholicism, exorcism was extraordinarily rare and performed only by priest. It was done on person who manifested suspicious spiritual states, unnatural voices, etc., but it was not ministered to political radicals no matter how vile their bombings and revolutionary activities were (they were already vile and violent by the 1860s). Deliverance as a form of everyday ministry to persons with less than the manifestations of full possession was not considered in Christianity until the Charismatic renewal of the 1960s (see chapter 8).


Dostoevsky’s plan of love-example evangelization failed to stop the atheistic Russian Revolution. It is a cautionary tale for us today and especially Evangelicals who are praying for another revival. They understand this to be another Billy Graham type revival – songs, good preaching and an altar call. As effective and anointed as Graham was, he had no effect on the centers of atheistic radicalism in the 1950-1970s, i.e., the secular universities. We will outline a more realistic spiritual program utilizing the gifts of the Spirit, spiritual warfare and deliverance ministry at the end of this work.

The demonic slips up:

When I entered the Charismatic Renewal in the mid-1970s I immediately saw healings, inner healings and deliverance (exorcism) ministry at the summer camps and conferences I attended.  Within a few months I personally ministered an effective deliverance – an expulsion of demons in a person who is less than fully possessed. Soon I was on a project to write the history of inner healing and deliverance ministries and went to a prestigious Methodist seminary to get a MTS as support. To my horror I found the professors there woefully lacking in understating of the supernatural, as especially healing and deliverance.  Several of the courses were particularly awful and Bible denying, and that turned me to explore how the Church came to this dreadful situation.[10]


A seminar on planning our master’s thesis (15 students) was led by an atheist and Marxist who was department hear of Theology. (Yes!) He subtly discouraged, lessoned, and destroyed the faith of several of the seminar participants with his cutting remarks based on “higher criticism” that had been in theological fashion for over a hundred years. This type of biblical analysis (a preview of the Post-Modern deconstruction of the Bible) assumed all of the miraculous event in the Bible were mythical.


I had the discernment that in the class there was some sort of demonic presence, subtle but real. Of course, I could not prove it, nor did I stand up and start casting demons out of the professor (perhaps I should have tried that). I left the seminary in disgust as I did not want to do any research project under the professor’s direction.


I had no idea how to corroborate my discernment that some Libera professor was demonized. Somewhat later, I studies the 1960 “Death of God” theology that was initiated principally Anglican and Episcopal theologians – my denomination.[11] I call this form of liberal theology “DOG” theology from it acronym. Among its most prominent theologian was Thomas J.J Altizer (1927-2018) an Episcopal professor and layman who taught at the religion department at Emory University. Among other theological atrocities, he believed that when Jesus died on the cross his spirit divided and spread all over the earth as a pantheistic presence – how nice and poetic.[12] Of course, the demonic payoff to this theory is that Jesus was no longer available to pray to or to intercede for us as high priest to the Father.


In Altizer’s autobiography he records how he was rejected for the Episcopal priesthood because the psychological tests for his acceptance into priesthood proved him emotionally unstable and needing psychiatric care. But one of his professors suggested that despite that he had a talent for theology. Altizer decided to pursue that career, but before he began his PhD. Program he fell into deep depression. [13]  As he related:


I was in a turbulent condition. While crossing the Midway [of the campus] I would experience violent tremors in the ground, and I was visited by a deep depression, one that had occurred again and again throughout my life, but now with particular intensity. During this period I had perhaps the most ultimate experience of my life, and one that I believe profoundly affected my vocation as a theologian, and even my theological work itself. This occurred late at night, while I was in my room. I suddenly awoke and became truly possessed, and experienced an epiphany of Satan which I have never been able fully to deny, an experience in which I could actually feel Satan consuming me, absorbing me into his very being, as though this was the deepest possible initiation and bonding, and the deepest and yet most horrible union. Few who read me know of this experience, but it is not accidental that I am perhaps the only theologian who now writes of Satan, and can jokingly refer to myself as the world’s leading Satanologist…[14]


So let this sink in. One of the major theologians of the DOG theology was seriously possessed even before he wrote his first theological piece. Academic and liberal theologians and ministers read and often celebrated his books and articles. Not even his Evangelical critics said, “His writings are a demonic counterfeit to true theology.” But they really were.


In the West since the Enlightenment, Satan and his minions have plied their craft in low key. That is, as they tempt and influence the thought life of humans they rarely manifest publicly. This is to fuel the belief that neither God nor the spiritual word exists. After all, if you had a full-blown exorcism or two every week at local churches atheism would become quite rare. [15] Why the demon in Altizer allowed him to reveal his possession is a mystery. Perhaps the demon enjoyed boasting and mocking Altizer’s liberal audience.


In any case, Altizer’s possession points to a demonic presence that may be more common than people in Western Christendom realize. No such demonic revelation has happened, to my knowledge, among the biographies or writing of Marxists and Post-Modern philosophers and thinkers. It would be an incredible slip by the demonic to reveal that a Marxist or atheist Post-Modernist was possessed. This would contradict the fundamental assumptions of their philosophies. But Christian need to be on the lookout for such slips. More likely is the witness of a converted Marxist and Post Modernist radical that after his/her conversion that “something left” their bodies, etc. Look out for this.


The demonic peeps through in the literature of psychology:

For most Bible believing Christian, believing in the demonic realm is both necessary if one is true to the Gospel,[16] but difficult, due to multifaceted complications. For one, some Christian writers claim more than we can know about the demonic, as in the exact order of hierarchy and functions of the “thrones, principalities, powers, etc.” This produces confusion. Especially difficult is the discernment and demarcation in individuals between psychological issues, chemical imbalances, etc., and demonic activity in and through a person. Actually, all three of these factors might operate in a person at the same time.

A major problem in the struggle against the demonic is that most pastors and ministers are poorly educated in the ministry of deliverance and exorcism. More precisely, many ministers have been mis-educated in this field via the theology of cessationism which limits the miraculous, including the healing ministry and exorcisms, to Biblical times. This is sadly true not only of liberal denominations which write off the demonic as mythical tales or psychological disturbances, but also of many conservative, Bible-believing groups such as the Southern Baptists. Exorcism and its allied gift, the “discerning of spirits” (1 Cor 12:10) as teachable and usable subjects are simply avoided in practically all seminaries.  Exceptions are the Pentecostal/charismatic seminaries and some Catholic and Anglican seminaries.

Learning about the Demonic:

During my years as a charismatic Christian (circa 1974) I came across some excellent literature on the demonic. [17] Among the best pieces was Wilson Van Dusen’s book, the Natural Depth of Man.[18] Van Dusan was a psychiatrist in the California mental health system who treated schizophrenics. He came to understand that many of these patients were assaulted by voices and entities that closely resemble the biblically described demons. Further, effective treatment required that the patient resist the voices’ suggestions to do immoral acts such as lying, stealing, or self-mutilation.  Even more revealing, Bible reading by the patient was especially helpful in subduing the voices. Wow!

Unfortunately, Van Dusen was into Swedenborgism, a spiritualist cult, and he used its doctrines as the interpretive theology of his findings.[19] But his core insights into the negative and demonic nature of the “voices” are valid and especially useful to Christian ministers and mental health professionals.

Just after reading the Van Dusen book, I saw movie, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” (1977). It was based on the autobiographical novel by Joanne Greenburg of the same name. The movie showed a schizophrenic woman driven and harassed by “fantasy beings” – just as described in the Van Dusen work. “Blau,” the young woman, was tormented by a tribe from the “Kingdom of Yi” that dwelt in her mind. Originally, they were inviting and friendly, but then rapidly turned negative. They tried to get Blau to injure herself and commit suicide as part of an initiation ceremony into the tribe. The psychiatrist at the treatment center was able to help Blau somewhat, but at the end of the movie the voices ominously whisper to her, “We will never leave you!” Well yes, there was no one who knew how to do an exorcism for her.[20]

A few months after this, a woman I knew was institutionalized for several days for severe depression, and then released with a medication regimen. She had been hearing nagging, negative voices that told her she was worthless, etc., and should commit suicide. After her release a prayer partner and I did a deliverance on her. Using Van Deusen’s insights, we challenged the assaulting voices/demons and cast them out in ten minutes. She never had further problems of this nature.

That was over four decades ago. Since then, the secular psychiatric literature on schizophrenic voices/entities has increased greatly. An excellent review article on the literature and current practice of treating the voices/entities was done by T.M Luhrmann, “Living With Voices.”[21] Luhrmann reports that many psychiatrists still treat schizophrenia exclusively as a chemical disorder of the brain, and try to medicate it to submission – but result in never really curing it. Many others have learned to treat the voices as if they were real entities They encourage the patients to ‘negotiate’ with the voices and come to some sort of understanding and livable arrangement so that the harassment decreases.

The central case study that Luhrmann cited to demonstrate the negotiation technique was of “Hans,” a German patient from a nominal Christian household. Luhrmann reported:

Hans used to be overwhelmed by the voices. He heard them for hours, yelling at him, cursing him, telling him he should be dragged off into the forest and tortured and left to die. The most difficult things to grasp about the voices people with psychotic illness hear are how loud and insistent they are, and how hard it is to function in a world where no one else can hear them. It’s not like wearing an iPod. It’s like being surrounded by a gang of bullies. You feel horrible, crazy, because the voices are real to no one else, yet also strangely special and they wrap you like a cocoon.[22]

The psychiatrist first treated him with medication, which made him sleep much and gain weight, but he was no better in his waking period as the voices continued to harass him. But then Hans joined a new patient support group in the psychiatric center which was using negotiation technique with their voices. Han’s voices declared they would cease harassing him if he became a student of Buddhism for four hours a day. He negotiated it down to only one hour, and achieved relative peace. He was able to discontinue all medication and function again in normal society.

Success! But wait. What is missing is spiritual discernment. The voices could have been totally dismissed from the Hans’ environment with deliverance prayer, or his own persistent Bible reading and prayers as Van Dusen had discovered decades earlier. In Hans’ case the demons were apparently satisfied that they were making Hans into a Buddhist, and he would thus be shut off from the Bible and the saving grace of salvation and true healing in Jesus Christ.

In 2014 an article appeared in the academic Journal of Religion and Health which affirmed that the “Auditory hallucinations … may be a result of the presence of more than one demon in the body.”[23]  The author, Imak M Kemal, a Turkish psychiatrist, related that several schizophrenic patients he treated were healed by a local faith healer, and that this type of healing should be further investigated. He added:

One approach to this hallucination problem is to consider the possibility of a demonic world. Demons are unseen creatures that are believed to exist in all major religions and have the power to possess humans and control their body. Demonic possession can manifest with a range of bizarre behaviors which could be interpreted as a number of different psychotic disorders with delusions and hallucinations. The hallucination in schizophrenia may therefore be an illusion—a false interpretation of a real sensory image formed by demons. A local faith healer in our region helps the patients with schizophrenia. His method of treatment seems to be successful because his patients become symptom free after 3 months. Therefore, it would be useful for medical professions to work together with faith healers to define better treatment pathways for schizophrenia.[24]

The article caused an uproar in the psychiatric establishment. Several articles vehemently contested Dr. Kemal’s findings via indignation and name calling. The author of one such the article, Luke Malone, whose training is in journalism, made multiple dismissive remarks around the argument that science and modern psychology has disproven the reality of demons. Further, he suggested that the Journal of Religion and Health should be censured for even running such an article.

But in reality, Malone was only repeating a profound confusion that is common among many people in the scientific community. That is, that the philosophical assumption of a “material only” universe is “science.”  Thus, the demonic cannot exist, nor should an experiment be designed to see if that is true.  Since the seminal work of Karl R. Popper (discussed in chapter three below) it is clear that science is philosophically neutral, and true science pertains to the methodology of knowledge gathering, testing and verification. Modern science, coming out of the 18th and 19th Centuries did indeed have many scientists who believed that there was no spiritual component to the universe, but also some like Newton and Einstein who believed in God and a spiritual universe.[25]

Here we should mention that other psychologists and psychiatrists have written about the demonic as real. The pattern has been that their work gains a certain amount of attention but fades and make little or no impression in the professional care-giving establishment.[26] A case in point is the superb work by the noted psychiatrist, M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie: Hope for Healing Human Evil.[27] Dr. Peck found a significant number of his patients manifested evil behaviors and thought patters that were destructive and could better be understood in the category real demonic evil rather than psychiatric disturbances.

Testing for demons?

It is likely that the presence of demons cannot be directly tested for. That is, they cannot be put in a cage or made to run a maz, like mice. Rather, their presence and activity can only be indirectly observed, as in the immediate behavior changes that happen to a person who has been liberated of oppressing demons. But science has often progressed without direct observation of the studied item. For example, in particle science the discovery of sub-atomic particles developed without ever directly seeing the particles that were discovered. It was done in a cloud chamber of super-saturated vapor, as targets of specific elements were bombarded by other particles. The cloud chamber showed vapor trails that could be measured, and conclusions about the inferred particles drawn. By analogy, I do not believe demons will ever be directly detected by scientific instrumentation, but the evidence of their presence could be inferred if done systematically by changes in many patients’ behavior. A cruder analogy, one can tell a fox has been in the hen house by the paw prints and dead and missing chickens even though no one saw the fox.

But there is another issue in regard to demons and psychiatry. Most psychologists and psychiatrists believe that dementia; disturbances, and especially schizophrenia, are caused by chemical and physical disturbances of the brain.  Indeed, brain scans have found significant differences between the brains of normal persons and schizophrenics.[28] But here again there is a hidden materialist assumption, as well as the logical fallacy of “assumed causality.” That is, when two things occur, one does not necessarily cause the other. In the case of brain irregularities and schizophrenia, the presence of abnormal chemistry and structure of the schizophrenic’s brain does not mean those factors are the cause. It is possible they are the signs of demonic presence. That is, that demonic entrance into the person stopped normal brain development and caused various chemical imbalances. This of course could only be proven by large scale tests, including before and after scans of voice hearing schizophrenic patients who undergo deliverance prayer and the laying on of hands to restore normality to the brain. Such an experiment would be like examining the vapor trails of the cloud chamber. It would not show demons directly, but the “trails” of their destructiveness.

All of this discussion has been to lay the groundwork for my use of the words “demons” and “demonic” as I describe the history of Marxism and its stepchild in the Post-Modernists movement. I will not use the words to signify merely extreme evil, but rather the manifestation of real demonic entities influencing human thought, ideologies and beliefs. Demons will not manifest as red-dressed entities with pitchforks, but like sub-atomic particles and can be discerned only by the trail they leave – in this case of death, wreckage and harm.


[1] A very few historical works take into account Satanic evil as a mover in history. See, for instance, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke’s Occult Roots of Naziism (New York: New York University press, 1985).

[2] Athanasius, Life of St. Anthony. Available in several modern translations and on the internet.

[3] Evagrius Ponticus, “On Various Evil Thoughts,” Early Fathers From the Philpkalia, ed. And trans. E. Kadloubovsky (London: Faber & Faber, 1954). And, Evagrius of Pontus: Talking Back ( Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009).

[4] A fine summary of Dostoevsky’s theology is found in David J. Leigh,  “The Philosophy and Theology of Fyodor Dostoevsky,”  Ultimate Reality and Meaning, 33 (March 2010) 85-103.


[5] Gary Saul Morson, “The Greatest Christian Novel,” First Things. May 2021.    Morson also has a long review article on Dostoevsky in the New York Review of Books, “Dostoevsky  and Hid Demons,” July I, 2021

[6] The Possessed first appeared in serialized form in 1871-1872. And the title has been variously translated in English as “The Demons,” or “The Possessed.”


[7] Similarly,  the FARC a communist guerrilla group in Columbia, which fougth a half century war against the Colombian government drifted into extreme evil and narcotrafficking. See Garry Leech’s The FARC: The Longest Insurgency (Halifax: Fernwood, 2001).Leech is a leftist, and trys to sugar coat the FARC, but cannot do it successfully.

[8] Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky A Writer in his Time. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2010) 607.


[9] The Orthodox Church had a very limited understanding of the Gifts of the Spirit, and restricted them to monks and especially holy people. This made it rare enough so that to the atheistic revolutionary it was nothing more than fables and myths.

[10] The fruit of that investigation was incorporated into my book, Quenching the Spirit.

[11] I already knew something about it as it was presented as the “latest thing” in my theology classes at Fordham University in the 1960s. The most famous (infamous) person of this theology, which I call by it acronym “DOG theology,” was bishop John A. Robinson’s Honest to God ((London SMC 1963).  See my comments on this theological fad and atrocity in my work, Agnes Sanford and Her companions, chapter 23. “The villains in the story; The seminaries as Sanhedrin.”

[12] Thomas J. J. Altizer, The Gospel of Christian Atheism (Philelphia: Westminister ,1966) Chapter 4. “The Self-Annihilation of God.”

[13] Thomas J.J Altizer, Living the Death of God (Albany: State University of New York, 2006) 4.

[14] Ibid.

[15] This is an “intelligence estimate” done in the fog of war. We may develop a clearer understanding of the relatively light demonic manifestations in the West, vi a vie other areas in Asia and Africa, as time goes on.

[16] James Kallas, The Satanward View: A Study in Pauline theology (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966). I have found this work, now sadly out of print, to be the best discussion of the importance of Jesus’s ministry against the Kingdom of Darkness. To avoid the issue of the demonic it to short-change the Gospel, as indeed happened in liberal theology.

[17] This is an edited version of my blog posting that was removed from Blogger as “contrary to community” standards, but is now available in its full form at Pentecostal Theology:

[18] Wilson Van Dusen, The Natural Depth of Man (New York: Harper & Row, 1972). A classic and still in print.

[19] See his spiritual autobiography in which he reveals that his paternal grandmother was a medium, Wilson Van Dusen, and David Rounds (Editor).  “The Universal Church and the Sacred Source,” Religion East & West, 5 Oct., 2005, 11-17.

[20] I recommend the movie for adult Sunday School as a teaching tool on the demonic.

[21] T. M. Luhrmann, “Living With Voices.” The American Scholar.  Posted June 1, 2012.  See also the very fine summary article on schizophrenic patients who hear voices by the New York psychiatrist, Paul Steinberg, “Our Failed Approach to Schizophrenia,” New York Times (Dec. 25,2012).  Dr. Steinberg’s lament is that schizophrenic patients are released from hospitalization way too quickly, and the heavy medication masks that they are not healed. The costs of treating such patient is a major issue. (Note: exorcism of the harassing spirits cost very little. I would be happy to do it for a voluntary donation).


[22] Luhrmann, “Living.”

[23] Imak M. Kemal, “Schizophrenia or Possession?” Journal of Religion and Health, 53 #3 (2014) 773-774.


[24] From the abstract of the Dr. Kemal’s article, available at:


[25] Neuton was heavy into both theology and astrology, a fact embarrassing to secular historians and scientists who like to claim him as the father of modern science. See: Karl W. Giberson, “The Last Magician: Isaac Newton with contradictions intact,” Books & Culture (Sept./Oct. 2016. Posted Aug. 18, 2016.

[26] I found a similar pattern of resistance in the belief of demons among Protestant theologians. I published a study of a missionary pioneer John Nevius who discovered exorcism from his “naive” Christian converts. His work, Demon Possession and Allied Themes, was a best seller among the Christian public, but marginalized and forgotten in the seminaries, and thus not transmitted as an actionable ministry in the church. See my article, The Rev. John Nevius: The Holy Spirit Gives a Lesson in Chinese,” Pneuma Review (May 10, 2014).

[27] M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie: Hope for Healing Human Evil. (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1983)

[28] Psychiatric Advisor, “Brain Abnormalities in Patients With Schizophrenia Found.” Posted July 8, 2015.

William DeArteaga

William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations.

1 Comment

  • Reply September 2, 2022

    Vivian Stein, OSL

    I love this, Bill! Thoughtful, with good references. It brings under one roof a lot of scattered problems today’s society doesn’t know how to think about.

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