Some twenty years ago I experienced a dramatic and profound change in my life. Through a family counselor I was introduced to a method of communicating with my subconscious self. Learning and using this skill produced extraordinary and life-changing results. Deeply moved by the new insights gained and the freedom acquired, I felt compelled to share it with the world.
In so doing, I quickly learned two things. First, the majority of people I told about this idea were suspicious, skeptical and even downright hostile. Second, the originator of the technique asked me to stop sharing what I had learned because the opposition of so many people was hindering the work of healing in which he was engaged. I agreed, but continued to study and to practice.
I purchased dozens of books and self-study guides on the subject, most published by certified therapists, along with amazing stories of success from their clinical practice. I began to suspect there may be a gift involved in using this diagnostic modality of muscle-testing. Sadly, I also learned the technique could be abused and results easily misinterpreted by the inexperienced.
Accessing the Subconscious Mind
Today I want to tell you about a recently released booklet from Dr. Wesley Craig, the only LDS therapist to have published a paper on Evil Spirits in Psychotherapy. First issued in the AMCAP Journal in January of 1984, Dr. Craig has expanded and added commentary to the original paper and made it available on Smashwords as a free ePub. The additional insights are worth reading.
Dr. Craig did not use muscle-testing in his practice. He used hypnosis, another recognized and valid method of reaching the inner-self or center of our being. Some call this our higher self, our intelligence, our spirit or subconscious. Whatever you choose to call it, the basic concept is that we each have within us or available to us a wealth of innate knowledge we can learn to access.
The linking and common denominator between Dr. Craig’s work and that of other therapists I have studied in communicating with our inner self is the idea of encountering negative energy, entities or evil spirits. I hope this idea doesn’t frighten you. In early Mormonism, the existence of evil or unclean spirits was more commonly accepted than in today’s so very sophisticated world.
Summation as an Introduction
From Dr. Craig’s summation, he acknowledges his reported cases are unusual: “I recognize that the prevailing view in the field of professional psychotherapy is that evil spirits do not exist, that they are myths, pre-scientific religious nonsense, unacceptable for consideration in dealing with human pain and misery; that reports by professionals such as myself [and others] are anomalies.
“But in science it is the anomalies that surface which do not ‘fit’ into the existing theory that lead on to new emergent paradigms that can incorporate the anomalies.” Expanding upon this idea, I offer the following summation of my own: I am convinced most members of the LDS Church today are ignorant of their own doctrine that there are evil or unclean spirits dwelling among us.
In a previous post on this subject I quoted the results of a study conducted in 2001 and reported in the Deseret News in which an astonishing forty percent of members of the LDS Church said they did not believe in the reality of Satan or evil spirits. Given the rapid decline in acceptance of many early Mormon doctrines in the LDS Church, the percentage would likely be higher today.
The Influence of Discarnate Spirits
Dr. Craig differentiates between dissociative identity disorder such as ego states or multiple personality subparts and external discarnate entities. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a valid prognosis in individuals who present distinctly splintered temperaments. Fractured spirits are real. They come about as a protective measure in traumatic situations, usually in childhood.
However, in the course of his work, it became obvious there were occasions when the entity encountered turned out to be of a foreign nature, not a part of the individual’s own personality. According to most analysts, this is not a viable opinion. However, Dr. Craig is not the only therapist to put forth the idea of discarnate spirits being the cause of undesirable behavior.
Simply put, Dr. Craig is not alone in presenting clinical evidence of the existence and influence of unclean or evil spirits upon his patients. I have written previously about the work of Dr. Edith Fiore and have recently been reading accounts from Dr. Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled. In his book, Glimpses of the Devil, Dr. Peck shares clinical cases of evil spirits afflicting patients.
Two Or Three Witnesses
With at least three professional, qualified and certified practitioners of psychotherapy reporting multiple clinical cases of identifiable negative entities influencing their patients, it is my long-held hope more people will begin to accept the idea of evil spirits being a real cause of unwanted power or influence upon us. “The devil made me do it,” may not be so far off the mark after all.
It is not my intent to disavow responsibility for our own actions with such a pronouncement. I simply hope you will consider science has shown in at least three cases, and I can provide other documented studies if requested, the impact of evil or unclean spirits upon us mortals is a real phenomenon worthy of careful study and consideration. For some, this idea can also bring hope.
I know many individuals who have struggled with addiction all their lives. They have tried every suggested method of overcoming habits, compulsions, obsessions and cravings to no avail. They are discouraged and have given up hope, never believing they can be free of unwanted conduct. These are people who want to be better than they are, but feel awful because of so many failures.
Understanding Cohabitating Entities
The case study presented in Dr. Craig’s paper is interesting and intriguing. I had read it before. What I did not know is this particular case study is only one of hundreds encountered by this particular therapist. The case studies of Dr. Peck’s were also numerous as were Dr. Fiore’s. She pointed out there exist both evil spirits and discarnate or what the Bible labels unclean spirits.
“Undoubtedly one of the most significant findings in my work with clients was the numbers in whom evil spirits were found while using hypnotic accessing and differentiating according to endogenous and exogenous parts.” I have to ask, why do we not hear of such evidence from other LDS Psychotherapists? Do they simply not believe in the existence of evil spirits today?
“…a substantial number of people seeking help for psychological/emotional disorders may likely have an underlying spiritual dimension that is not being addressed.” I concur, and have long felt so. Gratefully, courageous individuals such as Dr. Craig are coming forth with their findings. He also understands the difference between unclean, discarnate spirits and evil spirits, never mortal.
Be Aware of the Adversary
I hope you will take a few moments to read Dr. Craig’s paper. Long-time readers know I have written about the similar work of Mel Fish in Cedar City and Jan Graf of St. George. In spite of having researched this subject for over twenty years, I am still learning how carefully and deeply concealed some of these evil spirits can be. It can take years of practice to discern their presence.
One of the things I have discovered in my quest to come into the presence of the Savior, is the sad and disturbing fact that in opening the heavens, I often encounter these evil or unclean sprits. Years ago, I was fearful, very fearful of dealing with them. Now, we seem to have almost regular conversations. They know what I am trying to do and often attempt to impersonate messengers.
You may ask, “Why write about such a disturbing topic?” Some long-time readers know of my early encounters with the minions of the adversary in my youth and again a few years ago. All I can offer by way of explanation is my interest in the subject seems to be a part of my mission in life. It’s not that I’m focusing on evil spirits; it’s that I sense their presence and can hear them.
Don’t Ignore True Doctrine
I know. That’s weird. I confess. It is weird. It takes discipline to keep the voices quiet. I used to live in an area with a mental hospital. Some of the patients were members of the church. I was assigned to be their home teacher. They described how difficult it was to keep from going crazy because of the voices. I told them I understood. Only drugs helped them to deal with the voices.
Even though I’m no longer a member of the LDS Church, I firmly accept the inspiration of the patriarch who pronounced my patriarchal blessing at age fifteen. It talks about the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I can tell you they are real. The blessing also warns me the evil one will seek to destroy me and my work. I am promised the spirit of discernment. I can tell you that too is real.
I’m grateful for the work of dedicated family counselors like Dr. Craig who invested so much of their time and energy helping others deal with difficult situations in their lives. I hope more therapists will take a clue from the examples of Scott Peck, Edith Fiore and Wesley Craig. Figure it out people. The influence of evil spirits is real. Don’t discount their power to bind.
May God bless each of us in our journey to come unto Christ, the master healer of us all.
Note: For additional insight on the problem of LDS Psychotherapists who don’t accept the idea of evil spirits, please see: Understanding Spiritual Evil in the Context of Psychotherapy By Ronald L. Poulton