A long time ago I met an individual who cast out unclean spirits for a living. This was not in some backwards third-world country but right here in California. Good people who struggled with deep emotional or spiritual problems paid him to diagnose and remove negative entities. That’s a fancy word for evil spirits. He was highly successful and helped a lot of people.
He is also LDS. I know what you’re thinking. That’s priestcraft, isn’t it? No, not really. The technique was such that it was the individual seeking help who did the casting out themselves. After guiding the person through a process to identify the source of the problem, he would help them express words in certain phrases that would cause the negative entities to leave them.
LDS doctrine of evil spirits
There are several things you probably want to know at this point. Did the man have any kind of professional training? Yes, he was a certified stress management consultant. Is that recognized in the State of California? No, there is no board or bureau that requires a practitioner of stress management to register their services, obtain a license, pass an exam or prove competency.
So anyone can claim that they are an expert in stress management and set up shop to help people deal with their troubles in life? Yep. Do Mormons really believe that they are afflicted with evil or unclean spirits that can possess them or even control them? Some Mormons do. So do a lot of good Christians. I have written previously about the doctrine of evil spirits in LDS theology.
Born that way, but not biological
Being intensely interested in what this man was doing for a living, I conducted several in-depth interviews that led to a discussion of the cause of homosexuality. I’m sure you can guess where this is going. He was convinced that same-sex attraction is the result of being tempted by an unclean spirit. And yes, he even felt that a little child could be afflicted from a very young age.
In other words, he did not feel that there was a biological explanation for same-sex attraction. So in effect, he was saying that what so many have been claiming about being born that way is true. That seems to go against LDS doctrine that little children are born pure and innocent. But he felt that they could be afflicted because of a parent or an ancestor that somehow passed it on to them.
Unclean spirits encourage homosexuality
A quote from the interview: “When a female spirit is controlling a man’s body, the man says, ‘I feel like a female trapped a man’s body.’ That’s the evil spirit talking. They really do feel like a female trapped in a man’s body. They’re trying to get that man to want other men, because that’s what they want. The same thing applies to a male spirit trapped in a female’s body.
“Often people get priesthood blessings, but because they didn’t have much faith in the blessing, they didn’t get rid of the cause. The evil spirit would be gone temporarily, but then they would come right back again. Why? Because they hadn’t taken care of the guilt, or anger, or fear or whatever they had that allowed the evil spirit to be there in the first place.” (Source available)
A cure for homosexuality
I won’t disclose the details of the technique this practitioner used to help individuals identify and resolve their own stress issues. I will tell you that he is not the only one who does this sort of thing professionally. This healing modality has been documented in clinical work by a licensed therapist who now markets his services in his local area and sells training through his website.
So there are professionals who are claiming that they can cure same-sex attraction. What they promote is not gender-affirmative therapy, but a technique for identifying and removing negative energy and negative entities that are the root cause of homosexuality. The majority of their work does not involve working with evil spirits but that is covered and explained in their materials.
Summary and conclusion
I throw this out there because I found it fascinating when I was first exposed to it many years ago. I have done enough serious investigation to feel that I understand the technique that is used and the theory behind it. Of course, the proponents claim it is a more than a theory, but is based on doctrine. I have withheld judgment for many years and offer it for discussion and feedback.
Comments are open. Discussion is welcome. Please don’t turn this into a circus. I was very pleased with the fifty comments I received on my last essay on this subject about same-sex marriage, proposition 8, dissent and excommunication. Thank you for the intelligent and frank discussion. I look forward to knowing what you think. I can also share a lot more information.
Update – new conclusion
After much dialog with good individuals who took the time to get me to think this through, I have concluded that my friend was wrong. Our LDS scriptures teach that little children cannot sin and that the adversary has no power to tempt little children. I am also more and more convinced that yes, some people are born with a biological disposition to same-sex attraction.