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It started with a Ouija board. My search for supernatural power began at the same age when many people first become entranced by the occult–I was almost a teenager. I assumed the Ouija board was just a game. I believed what I’d heard: that it worked by releasing hidden answers from my subconscious mind.
But one Sunday afternoon, my younger sister, Karen, and I got an answer that surprised us. Neither of us could have pulled it out of our youthful minds.
“What is the meaning of church?” we had asked the Ouija.
We expected it to reply, “A place of worship,” or perhaps, “God’s house.” Instead, the triangle-shaped pointer, with our fingers barely touching it, moved around the alphabet to spell P-E-O-P-L-E.
“You’re making up a false answer!” Karen and I accused each other. To settle the matter, we asked our father if the meaning of church could be “people.”
“Why do you ask?” he replied.
“The Ouija board said it was,” we told him.
“Well, it’s right,” he said. Then he explained how the Church is not a building of wood and stone, but everyone who worships God.
Now, this was exciting. This seemingly simple game could provide an accurate answer beyond our knowledge! Karen and I wanted more supernatural answers. We never once stopped to wonder where the answers came from. Playing with the Ouija was fun; that’s all that mattered to us.
Therefore, when the next opportunity came to learn more about the occult, I eagerly took it.
On my fourteenth birthday, a friend gave me a book on haunted houses. This opened a whole new world of mysteries. Hungry for more, I frequented the bookstore and library to devour everything I could find on ghosts and spirit communication.
My favorite author was “ghost hunter” Hans Holzer. His books taught me about another plane of existence, an afterlife that I’d never heard about in my Christian upbringing. He described it as a place between Heaven and Earth through which everyone passes after death. Some, he said, get stuck there and become the ghosts who haunt houses. Holzer had even photographed and tape-recorded a number of these ghosts.
Two years later, I was to see and hear his proof of life-after-death at a lecture he gave at my high school. Meeting him in person helped to firm up my confidence in his ideas.
Meanwhile, I longed to experience the spiritual world myself. At the same time, my curiosity led me to books on related subjects. One of those was hypnotism.
An idea hit me: If I could hypnotize my sister, maybe I could put her into a mediumistic trance so she could channel a ghost. The opportunity came, one evening, when we were alone with a friend. We turned out the lights, lit a candle on the coffee table between us, and settled into our chairs.
At first we giggled, but then I began to lull the two of them into a hypnotic state using the words I’d memorized from a book. When they responded to a few suggestions, indicating they were deep in a trance, I told them to look with their inner eyes into the spiritual world.
“What do you see?” I asked.
“Someone’s here,” the friend mumbled.
“Who?” I leaned forward. “A spirit?”
She shook her head. “It’s gone now.”
After I brought Karen and our friend out of their trances, they both reported sensing a presence in the darkness they had entered.
“Could it have been a spirit?” I asked.
“Probably,” they replied.
We were hooked. Eager to share our discovery and improve our skills, we invited other friends into our circle and formed a secret club, The Psychic Society. I taught a classmate to be hypnotist, and the two of us guided our friends into trances.
Usually we contacted “spirit guides.” We believed them to be the souls of dead people who had the special assignment of helping us, sort of occult counterparts to guardian angels. They temporarily possessed our mediums’ bodies to speak to us.
One of the things they told us was why they had taken an interest in us: because we were involved in the occult. They wanted to encourage us to pursue it further. That should have sounded an alarm in us, but we didn’t want any doubts to stop us from having our fun.
In our seances, these “guides” took over quickly. We sought their help in locating everything from spirits we could talk with to lost pet hamsters. We never found the hamsters (we assumed the cat had reached them before we did), but we often met what we believed were troubled souls. Some, apparently, were ghosts who didn’t know they had died; some sought our help in finding deceased loved ones; others were angry and needed to find peace.
This gave a purpose to our seances. We could help these spirits!
“Look for God,” I’d tell them, and as soon as I began to talk about God’s love, they’d leave. We thought we had steered them into Heaven.
Ghosts started seeking us out, sometimes making themselves known by creating cold spots near us in the house.
The more involved I became, the more I wanted to learn. Nothing was as fascinating as the occult. My curiosity spread to witchcraft, reincarnation, Tarot cards, astral projection, automatic writing, and almost anything I came across. The only occult field I never tried was Satanism, because I didn’t believe the devil existed. This disbelief turned out to be one of the reasons I trusted the occult.
My life took a sudden, unwanted turn after I turned seventeen. My family moved from southern New Jersey to upstate New York. No one there wanted to join us in Psychic Society number two.
A new friend, Janet, gave me a book that explained why all spirits contacted in seances are really demons trying to fool us to convince us we don’t need God. If this were true, it would explain why the ghosts always left when I started talking about God’s love. But that’s not what I thought had happened, so I disregarded the author’s warning.
Little did I know I was soon to experience proof of this first-hand.
In my last year of high school, I met the young man who would later become my husband. I told him it would be fun to get hypnotized and visit the world beyond. Unwilling to say “no” to the girl he wanted to impress, he agreed.
“You are going deeper and deeper into the spirit world,” I monotoned as he sat on my parents’ couch, trusting me. “Look around you with your spiritual eyes.”
Ralph’s body began to quiver nervously and he awoke with a start. His eyes locked on me with intense fear.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I can’t talk about it.” He stood up to leave.
“Ralph, what did you see?”
He hesitated, shaking his head. “It wasn’t anything like you said it would be.”
“Did you see something?”
He shivered. “A huge, hideous figure. Dark and shadowy. Cold.” He paused. “It reached out to get me.” He turned to get out of my house as fast as his feet permitted. “It was evil. Very evil.”
Despite his frightening experience, I still wanted to try again, although not with Ralph. The opportunity never came, but I continued reading more and more about psychic phenomena. In college, I even took a course on it.
When Ralph and I married, we moved to Florida. Our new lives did not include church because we couldn’t find one that felt right to us. By this time, I couldn’t be satisfied with a church that did not believe reincarnation is an alternative path to Heaven or that Christians are called to evangelize ghosts.
After so many years of making God part of my daily life, I wanted to live without Him. After so many years of seeking the supernatural, I turned my back on the greatest supernatural Being in the universe.
Would I have drifted away from God had I never gotten involved in the occult? It’s impossible to know, but one thing is certain: The involvement ruined my relationship with Him. My Christian beliefs had been warped by the occult and left me with no awareness of a need for God or for the Church that the Ouija board had described as people.
I had fallen victim to the biggest danger of the occult. I had used it to develop my spirituality. I had thought it would lead me closer to God and Truth. In the end, it destroyed what I had sought to gain.
That’s what happens when people get involved in the occult. As unlikely as it seems at first, it eventually ends in destruction.
All of us are in search of truth. Searching is good, but those of us who try the occult are lulled into thinking we have found ultimate reality. We are influenced into believing we no longer need to search for truth.
This actually goes against our inborn desire to persevere until we find the truth that totally satisfies our craving for love. Pope John Paul II addresses this in his encyclical letter The Splendor of Truth. He says that our curiosity cannot ignore the obligation to ask the highest and purist of all questions. He adds:
Rather, it spurs us on to face the most painful and decisive of struggles, those of the heart and of the moral conscience. No one can escape from the fundamental questions: What must I do? How do I distinguish good from evil? The answer is only possible thanks to the splendor of the truth which shines forth deep within the human spirit, as the Psalmist bears witness: “There are many who say: ‘O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord,'” (Psalm 4:6).
The light of God’s face shines in all its beauty on the countenance of Jesus Christ, “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). . . .
Consequently the decisive answer to every one of man’s questions. . . is given by Jesus Christ, or rather is Jesus Christ himself.
Real or imagined?
Just how real is the occult? Is it actually that big of a threat? And what does it consist of?
Here is a complete study of the spiritual warfare needed to combat the evils of our day. Here is all the information you need to know to recognize signs of occult involvement. And here are over 180 Scripture references to back it up.
This book is different than others on the topic because it emphasizes and leads readers to the greater power and love of Jesus Christ. It’s a book of victory.
“A time bomb of truth, waiting to explode with the facts about the occult.” ~ Father Edward P. Nichols
“The author skillfully and artfully dispels the myth, thus arming the reader with power.” ~ Dr. Ronald Cannella, Ed.D., Licensed Psychologist
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256 pp. $9.50 + s/h
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