Be gone, Satan

Q: Did you always believe in the devil?

A: We knew about him because we had catechism classes in the summer, but it didn’t seem close to our way of life. I grew up in Prince Edward Island. It was a very protected youth. We didn’t even have a radio, let alone television. So children were allowed to be children.

Q: When did you first sense that this was real?

A: It was when I went down as missionary in Peru where they had what they call Santeria (an Afro-Carribean religion) and magic. Not black magic, but definitely the occult.

Q: Did you feel called to this role?

A: I felt like more like a priest that ran into a problem that needed a solution. I was in the midst of it and I had to do something about it.

Q: Is it frightening?

A: It can be. There was one man I prayed with and he was having heart problems. So I prayed with him and laid my hands on him. You can absorb something that way. I never thought of it, I went to bed, and woke up with in the middle of the night with pain so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. I started to pray and it went away.

Q: How many exorcisms have you done?

A: About a half-dozen.

Q: Only one in Ottawa?

A: Yes, a man named Carlos.

Q: Was he cured?

A: We worked with him over a period of time, and he did get to the stage where we had to say, “Be gone, Satan.” When we prayed that way, he would pass out.

Q: Do you think some of the people who are depressed today are in fact oppressed (influenced by the devil)?

A: Yes.

Q: They say that it’s dangerous to ignore the devil, but that it’s equally dangerous to see him behind every bush. What are your thoughts on that?

A: It can turn into superstition and it can be a lack of self-responsibility. You can blame things on the devil.

Q: How do you separate what is human evil and what is demonic? I might be tempted to cheat on my taxes. Is that demonic temptation?

A: That’s human nature. But the enemy might use it to get us in deeper. He may get you to lie about the reality of your situation. The devil is deceit. So it can (start) as something that is human but can be led in the wrong direction.

There was a young fellow who came for counselling. He was having difficulty controlling himself and his actions. One day he said to me, “I have a feeling of rage. I hear in my mind, the voice says, ‘Kill.’ I haven’t done it yet, but there is that compulsion.”

I started asking about the video games he had played as a child and they were full of violence. So it’s not surprising to me we have these shooting incidents in high schools.

Q: Are they the work of the devil?

A: I have to take it from the point of view that the devil is against mankind. There is no doubt about it — he wants to ruin everybody. He doesn’t just have a few favourites that he works on. He tries to get his hoof in wherever he can.

Q: Many people feel the image of the devil as a guy with horns and hooves is a little silly.

A: Yes, it’s a human projection.

Q: So who is the devil and why does he hate humanity so much?

A: The devils are fallen spirits who were once spirits of light, and that’s why they can have such an effect on the human race. They were superior to the human race. … It made the angels envious to have divinity shared with mankind. In certain cases of exorcism, there has been dialogue with evil spirits and some of these things came out.

Q: Have you spoken to the spirits?

A: No, I go on the principle that if you get into a dialogue, you are inviting a greater presence. I talk to God and give orders to the spirits to be gone.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday April 7, 2008.
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