Evil Spirits in Psychotherapy

evil-spirits-in-psychotherapySome 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

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Jesus_Heals_Young_ManRemember the Savior

One of my goals this year is to remember the Savior in a more tangible manner. To me, that means being able to relate the stories of Jesus from memory. The best way to know the Savior is to meet him. The next best way is by study and by faith. Since I haven’t met the Savior yet in this life, I’ve decided to do the next best thing – write in my own words what I know about Him.

A New Story Each Week

The beauty of this project is that I get to pick and choose what I feel inspired to tell in each post. I don’t promise to write every week, but I’m going to try. My apologies to Yoda – I’m not a Jedi Knight. You know the line, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Therefore his sage advice, a nice line from George Lucas, is not reality yet. I’m not quite at that level today. Some days I get too busy.

Jesus Christ is Real

It’s kind of funny I would think of Yoda in this first post of what I hope will be a regular series. Yoda is a small but powerful, inspiring and motivational character. However, he came from the imagination of George Lucas. On the other hand, Jesus Christ is a real person. The evidence of his existence is so great that only the most skeptical persons claim he is but a myth or legend.

Third of World is Christian

Jesus, while not small – I’ve been told He is about 6’2” or 6’3” by those who claim to have seen him – is also a powerful, inspiring and motivational individual. There are more people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ than any other person who ever lived on this earth. According to the 2011 Pew Report on Global Christianity, a third of the world population today is Christian.

Jesus Has Power Over the Spirits

One of the most remarkable attributes of the Savior, and the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Him, is His power over the adversary. Specifically, when I think of Jesus, I think of the many examples we have of Him healing those who are afflicted by evil or unclean spirits. I define evil spirits as those never mortal. Unclean spirits are the dead who hide from the light.

Definition of Evil Spirits

To be even more specific, evil spirits specifically chose to reject a mortal experience. They are not neutral. They follow Lucifer, or the devil, and do his bidding. They are controlled by him. There are those who believe these spirits can repent, believe in Christ and experience mortality. I’m not convinced this is possible, although I’ve studied arguments for each side. I remain open.

Difference of Unclean Spirit

I use the term unclean spirits because that’s a phrase found in the scriptures. It defines those who were once mortal, have died, yet have not found peace and rest in the light of paradise. They are for one reason or another, tied to something, someone or some idea in this life. They either do not believe in Jesus Christ or do not want to believe. They are lost, confused and miserable.

Yes, They are Like Ghosts

Because they have not gone to the light, they wander the earth, seeking whatever it is that keeps them bound, unable to experience it without a physical body. For this reason, they seek to find mortals who are willing to let them co-habit their mortal bodies, or just hang around with them. No, I can’t prove it and neither can you unless you can see into the spirit world all around us.

Example of Power Over Fear

You may ask why I think of such a negative concept as evil and unclean spirits when I think of Jesus. Why not think of His many examples of teaching, showing love, kindness, tenderness and mercy? Trust me, as the year rolls on, I will relate those stories and how they have affected me. Today, I start by proclaiming the power of Jesus over fear, one of the principal tools of the devil.

Prophets Saw Christ Healing Others

In the Book of Mormon (1 Ne 11:31), Nephi was shown a vision of the life of the Savior. I find it interesting he was careful to bear witness of seeing “multitudes of people who were sick, and were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits…And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.”

Afflictions Can Affect the Mind

I can relate to this verse. It speaks to me. I have been sick many times in my life. Afflicted is the right word to use when speaking of diseases. I define a disease as a sickness that lingers or will not go away. I note carefully that Nephi saw devils and unclean spirits in association with those who were sick and afflicted with disease. Such affliction can affect the mind as well as the body.

Jesus Went Around Healing People

To me, it is wonderful to know that healing the sick and afflicted is one of the main things Jesus did as he went about teaching the multitudes. What greater good can you do for someone than to heal them? I can think of only two greater gifts. One is the gift of the resurrection and the other is the gift of eternal life, which is the promise of sharing all that God has. He wants us to have that.

Faith in Christ Helps Healing

Later in the book of Mormon (3 Ne 17:5-10) Jesus asks the people to bring Him their sick and afflicted. Note carefully the words He used, “…I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.” When I am sick or afflicted as I have been for most of the past year (constant headaches), I do all the medical experts tell me. But ultimately, healing is a matter of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Afflictions Can Draw us to Christ

I have learned a lot in this past year of affliction. It’s easy to say, “Oh, it’s just part of life. It’s simply the result of too much close work with the computer for the last thirty-five years.” Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I look upon it now as an opportunity for me to develop greater faith and specifically faith in Jesus Christ. I never thought I would say this affliction is for my own good.

God Chastens Those He Loves

Yet that’s how I feel now. We can read many places in the scriptures the Lord chastens those he loves (Heb 12:5-11, Prov 3:11-12, Rev 3:19, D&C 95:1, D&C 101:2-5, D&C 136:31). I confess it’s hard to feel loved when my head aches so much I can barely concentrate sufficiently to get my work done each day. I’ve always wanted to lose weight. I’ve lost thirty or forty pounds now.

Sometimes We Hinder our Healing

Maybe my subconscious mind is trying to help me. Maybe this pain is the only way the Lord could answer my prayer. I share with Him my goals. He knows I want to be healthy so I can serve Him and provide for my family. There’s a lot more I could do like be more consistent in exercise and diet. I wonder if I haven’t been fighting against the Lord’s efforts to bless me.

My Personal Witness

You may ask why I attribute this affliction to the adversary and not to some natural cause. Oh, I’m sure the day will come, once the headaches go away, it will be easy to look back and say, “You’re better now because you lost weight, or because we found the right combination of drugs or because you changed your diet,” or some other logical, Western, left-brained explanation.

Fasting May be Required

This affliction started with an event that convinced me the adversary was involved. You can read my story at this link if you haven’t already. I feel like Job in a small way. I am also convinced my healing will be the result of a newfound or enhanced faith in Jesus Christ that I did not have before. Faith is an amazing thing, but sometimes, it takes fasting to get rid of some afflictions.

Story of Jesus Casting Out a Spirit

That’s the first story I want to tell. It can be found in Matt 17:14-21 or Mark 9:14-29. It’s the story of Jesus casting a deaf and dumb spirit out of a young man, just one of several similar instances we have recorded in the scriptures. Casting out devils is evidence of the power, love and mercy the Lord has for us. It is one of the signs of his divinity, witnessed in vision by Nephi.

The Disciples Failed to Cast Out Spirit

One day, Jesus came down from the mountain with some of his apostles. They found a large group of people gathered around some of his disciples. Jesus asked what the commotion was all about. A man answered him and explained he had asked the disciples of Jesus to heal his son, but they were unable to do so. Jesus seemed a little exasperated. He commented about a lack of faith.

The Young Man had Seizures

Jesus then asked to have the afflicted young man brought to him. As soon as the young man saw Jesus he fell down and “wallowed foaming.” Some have interpreted that to be an epileptic fit. Jesus asked how long the young man had been like this. The young man’s father said the boy had suffered like that since he was a child. He described how the boy would fall into the fire or river.

Fear Can Hinder Faith to be Healed

This father was beside himself with grief and pled with Jesus to help his son. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to those that believe.” The man said, “Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief.” The father was frightened for his son. He wanted to believe Jesus could heal his son, but had already seen the disciples of Jesus fail in their attempt. Fear had killed his faith.

The Young Man is Healed

Jesus then rebuked the foul spirit by saying, “Thou deaf and dumb spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” In modern language we might say something similar to this: “I command the evil spirit in this young man to leave his body and never come back.” The young man stopped thrashing about. Some of the people said the boy looked like he might be dead.

Jesus Admonishes Fasting

But Jesus took the young man by the hand and helped him stand up. The scriptures say the young man was never afflicted again. Later, the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast the spirit out of the young man. Jesus explained it was because of their unbelief. In other words, they didn’t have enough faith yet. “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”

What We Can Learn From This

From this and many other similar stories, both recorded in the scriptures and in our early church history, we learn two important things. First, it takes a lot of faith in Jesus Christ to cast out evil spirits. Second, it may require subduing our own bodies through fasting both to make our own spirits more sensitive and to show the Lord we are serious about wanting the blessing of healing.

Done In The Name of Christ

I have both seen spirits cast out of people and have cast spirits out of myself and others. Some say it requires priesthood. I disagree. Women can cast out spirits. The scripture teaches it takes faith. It says nothing about requiring priesthood. All it requires is faith in Jesus Christ. Casting out spirits is not something we should fear. Hollywood movies make the process look horrible.

Some People Have Gift of Healing

More and more people are coming to an understanding of how this works. It is a real sign of faith in Jesus Christ. Some people have the gift to heal more powerfully developed than others. I have seen much evidence of natural healers who were successful because of their faith. They always used the name of Christ. He honored their faith. I am grateful for this powerful story of Jesus.

An Invitation to Open Dialog

As always, your comments are welcome. Healing is one of my favorite subjects to discuss.

Book Review: Spirits and Spiritual Interactions

SpiritsAndSpiritualInteractionsI just finished reading Spirits and Spiritual Interactions by Dr. Christopher E. Palmer this week. Thank you to one of my readers who recommended it. The book is self-published, 223 pages and took less than a week to read. I think I read an hour or two each night before retiring. As I read I would put a few comments in Goodreads After the first 40 or 50 pages I gave it three stars, After I got through about 150 pages I had raised it to four stars and upon completion I’ve decided it deserved five stars. I’ll explain why I raised my opinion as well as make a few observations.

Not Meant to be Sensational

There is nothing sensational about this book. It wasn’t meant to be. That doesn’t mean there are no examples of how to deal with dark spirits and dark energy. The author treats the subject with the utmost of respect. I had to keep reminding myself he is at least twenty years younger than me and wondered where he got all his experience and knowledge on the subject. Dr. Palmer is a chiropractor by profession. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found most chiropractors are more open to alternative forms of healing. I found the book to be well thought-out and well-written.

A Few Typos – No Big Deal

Sure, there were a few typos. The editor in me circled five, maybe seven, but it didn’t cause a problem. I did have a problem with a major flaw of the first section heading printed at the top of every page in that section not matching the actual chapter heading in the front of the book. I also had a problem with the length of the sections. There were only five. Although they were labeled sections they seemed to be chapters because the text kept running on an on without page breaks. I guess I was expecting well-defined page breaks with a blank page between each chapter.

More of an Introductory Book

So far I’ve focused on a few technical preferences that have little to nothing to do with the content of the book. Let’s get in to that. The book was obviously written for an LDS audience but made a good effort to include explanations of LDS terms and doctrines as it went along. That’s why I rated it so low at first. I thought it was way too basic until I realized the author was trying to be as thorough as he could be. I would recommend this book for someone as a starter book who has no exposure to working with spirits or the spirit world. Please let me explain.

Nothing Frightening in the Book

In the twenty plus years I’ve been working with those who claim to be sensitive to spirits, or in other words, can easily detect their presence, a book like this would be way too toned-down. But if you are one who has never heard of the gift of discernment of spirits or seen it in action or even believe that it exists, this is a great book. It is convincing with good examples, practical and very conservative or orthodox views of how things work with dark energy and dark spirits. It is written in such a way that there is no fear factor at all. There was nothing frightening in the book.

The five sections are:
 1. Basic Details about Spirits
 2. How to Recognize the Presence of Spirits and
     Discern Their Affiliation with Light or Darkness
 3. Other Things That Bring Light or Darkness and Similar Kinds of Spirits
 4. How to Remove Dark Spirits, Their Influence and Effects
 5. Ways to Fortify Against and Be Resilient to Evil and Unclean
    Spirits and Spiritual Darkness

How This Book Compares to Others

Now, I won’t list the table of contents here, but compare these basic five sections of Dr. Palmer’s book with, oh, let’s say, the contents of Doug Mendenhall’s Book: Conquering Spiritual Evil. If you are a novice in dealing with spirits, do NOT start with Doug’s book. It’s like a college text. On the other hand, if you are a novice, DO start with Dr. Palmer’s book. It’s excellent in getting you used to the wording, the phrases and the methods of recognizing and working with spirits. If you feel you have no ability or gift in this area, then you may be disappointed, but it has been my experience that most LDS folks have at least some sensitivity to the presence of other spirits.

This is a Step-by-Step Sort of Book

I may be wrong on this. My wife tells me she has none but she has related some stories from her mission that have convinced me otherwise. She is also a very orthodox and conservative LDS member. If I could get her to read it – she won’t because 1) she says she hates to read doctrine and 2) she is too busy writing and promoting her own books – I am certain she would be very confident with Dr. Palmer’s approach to the subject. It is reassuring, slow and easy step-by-step stuff that doesn’t make you feel like there is anything weird with talking about the influence or presence of dark spirits or dark energy by the time you get done with his book.

The Book is an Easy and Clear Read

I confess I am more of a Doug Mendenhall sort of reader: give it to me straight, raw format and let me sort it out for myself. He does that in his book. You’ve got to do a lot of pondering and praying with Doug’s book or you could be misled in what he is trying to say. Not so with Dr. Palmer’s book. It is written in such a way that it’s clear he did not want to be misunderstood. He did not want to frighten any of his readers. He wrote in such a way that caused you to feel good about the process of clearing your home, your space and even you favorite places to visit. I thought that was kind of, well, different, but I got what he was trying to get across.

It’s a Comfortable Book to Read

For those who have not read Doug’s book for comparison, let me say this: If I were an LDS mother, single or married, concerned with the dark influences I’m beginning to sense in my teenage son or daughter, I would be extremely comfortable recommending Dr. Palmer’s book as being helpful and easy to read. On the other hand, if I found myself dealing with evidence that some hard-core, satan worshippers had inhabited the home I just bought, I would get Doug’s book. Both talk about the importance of removing dark objects and especially portals – so very often overlooked – but Dr. Palmer just made me feel more comfortable reading about it.

Like Visiting With a Medical Specialist

In other words, and this is unfair to Doug, whom I consider a friend, Dr. Palmer’s book comes across more like a friend sitting across from you, advising you on something about which he has studied and does regularly, in the same sense that you got to visit him to get your back adjusted. Again, it starts assuming you know nothing about working with and removing spirits and takes you up to and through the basic steps of getting the job done. But he doesn’t get into difficult cases and makes sure that you come away feeling all is light and rosy when the job’s done.

The Book is Targeted at People New to This

Dr. Palmer, I’m sorry if I’ve received the wrong impression from reading your book. If you run across this review, you’re welcome to respond. The bottom line for me is I would feel greater confidence in working with Doug to help me deal with a problem in getting rid of the influence of evil and unclean spirits in my home, work or other space. To be fair, Dr. Palmer makes it clear that some spirits will come back again and again or send replacements – a favorite trick – but Doug’s book gets into things other than spirits that could be the source of the problem. Maybe you think this is all made-up, the product of someone’s imagination. I assure you it isn’t. I know of at least a half dozen people who do this sort of thing – cast out evil spirits. All are or were LDS. Please don’t forget it is part of our doctrine. Don’t think it’s spooky. It just is. Accept it.

You Don’t Need the Gift of Discernment

Two others I have written about are Mel Fish in Cedar City and Jan Graf in St Geoge. It seems there is much more of this kind of activity – being bothered by evil or unclean spirits in the Mormon corridor along the Wasatch Front. But I run across it all the time here in California too, especially wherever objects or activities of darkness abound – porn, drugs, stuff like that. Our objective in life is to fill our souls with light. We are beings of light. We came here to learn how to increase that light with faith, obedience and gifts of the spirits. If you don’t have a gift in this area – feeling the presence of spirits – alive or dead – don’t worry about it. Everyone has some sort of gift and can share light that will help and strengthen others. We all need each other.

Dr. Palmer Gives You the Basic How-To

I recognize this is not a very detailed review of Dr. Palmer’s book. Let me just say I give it five stars. I think he has done a thorough job, even if he does get off to a slow start. I know I called it a beginner’s book but that’s not really fair. It’s a good introductory book. It is not confusing. It is clear. It is precise. He provides the example (only one, while Doug and Mel Fish provide many), that works in removing dark spirits. I wish he wrote about dark spirits that can attach themselves to us or can hide within us. He wrote at the beginning he specifically would not address that subject. For that, see Mel Fish or Jan Graf. But using the methods Dr. Palmer writes about, I would feel comfortable in clearing my space, my room, my home, my work or anywhere else.

Would Like to Read A Deeper Edition

Dr. Palmer has a lot of knowledge on the subject. I learned some new things. I am always impressed when someone takes the time and effort to write a book, especially non-fiction about such an important subject. You know you won’t find this in Deseret Book. This sort of book is not a good fit there. I’m so happy we live in the day of Amazon and CreateSpace. Dr. Palmer addresses an important doctrine that our modern church chooses to ignore, helps us learn the basics to protect ourselves, our families and our homes, and makes it available to you. I say bless you Dr. Palmer. I hope you continue to prosper and perhaps write more on this in the future.

Personal Evidence of Casting Out Devils

JesusCastingOutDevilsI could have put some benign headline on this post, but who would read a story labeled, “Miracle in Agoura,” or “Man stops taking drugs cold turkey?” I want to make a point with the headline and I hope it catches your attention. This story needs to be told in this modern day and age. Evil spirits are real. I have personal knowledge that I allude to in this post. The healing described is real and is common, or at least it’s common for those who believe such things can and do still take place in this skeptical world we live in. Please take off the cynical glasses for a few minutes.

Going Cold Turkey Can Taste Oh So Good

It was 3:40pm California time when I start this, published at 7:30pm. I’ve been up since about 4:50am. Now these facts by themselves mean nothing, but consider this. Today is the first time in over eight months I haven’t taken any pain or anxiety medication since the morning dosage. By now, I would usually be climbing the walls, especially without the afternoon dosage of Clonazepam. Just ask Carol. I’ve been impossible to live with unless I’m on a regular morning, afternoon and evening schedule of drugs prescribed by a half-dozen doctors. [I was wrong. See added paragraph below.]

Clonazepam – To Stop Panic Attacks

For those who don’t know, Clonazepam is a strong benzodiazepine which is the preferred treatment for panic disorder, and anxiety. It sedates, relaxes, and has hypnotic properties. Oh, by the way, one of the main side effects is it makes you want to sleep a lot – for hours and hours. It’s basically hard to get anything done if you’re on this prescription drug, which I have been since last February. 2mg is a high dosage. Most people start at a half mg or one mg at the most. But the high dosage was needed to counteract the powerful anxiety I experienced constantly.

Tramadol – A Psychotropic Drug

Clonazepam is on the controlled substance list along with the other two medications I usually take about this time: 50mg of Tramadol, an opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain. If you know anything about pharmacology (and why should you know unless you are studying to be a doctor or are one) you’ll know that Tramadol ups the serotonin in the blood, popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. In other words, people take these drugs to help them feel better emotionally. It’s used as a psychotropic drug.

Vicodin – Another Pain Killer

I’m sure you’ll all recognize the third painkiller I usually take in my afternoon cocktail of drugs. It’s Hydrocodone, usually called Vicodin, another opioid-based pain killer. It’s also used to treat moderately severe pain. It contains a narcotic. In other words, it is addicting. It also has some other not so pleasant side effects, such as constipation, dizziness, and feeling nauseated. These are just the three main drugs I have listed among the dozen I take each day and have now since February. Before that, I rarely, if ever took prescription drugs of any kind for any reason.

Not Good Advice to Suddenly Stop Drugs

Now, why have I been taking these powerful narcotics and other such drugs for the past eight months? And why do I say that this morning was the last time I’ll need them or will take them? How can I be so confident? No matter what it is that has happened to make me so self-assured, shouldn’t I wait a few days before writing something like this? Every doctor I know will tell you to ease off the prescription drugs slowly, especially if you’ve been taking them for so long. [Update 11-8: The doctors are right. Go slow.] I’ve got a story to tell that could take a couple of posts, but I’ll try to summarize it in this short post. To keep a promise, I would need someone’s permission to write any more detail. By the time you finish, I hope you’ll understand why my confidence is so high that I have been healed.

The Short Answer

Here’s the short answer for regular readers of my blog: I paid a visit to a dear friend who was in Southern California for a few days. Fortunately, he just happened to be visiting twenty miles from my home here in Camarillo. Some of you may recognize him. His name is Jan Graf and he is from St George Utah. I have been waiting twenty years to tell his story since I first met him in 1993. The man is a healer and I mean that in every sense of the word. Or if you prefer, he is a man blessed with the gift of healing. He readily acknowledges the source to be Jesus Christ. Jan, or rather the Lord, healed me today. I don’t need those psychotropic and pain pills any more. Of that I am confident.

Pain to Keep Me From My Work

By the way, the pain pills were to treat the constant, and I mean absolute non-stop headaches. Some call them migraines, but migraines come and go. This was a constant pain. Along with the constant desire to sleep from the Clonazepam, I could not focus, concentrate or maintain my attention on things for more than a few seconds without experiencing severe pain. The CAT Scans and the MRI’s, along with all the blood work found nothing out of the normal. I kept asking the doctors if there wasn’t some test they missed of if I couldn’t get another opinion on the ones they had already taken. It did no good. They all agreed I was perfectly healthy.

For Those Wondering About the Backstory

Again, for regular readers of my blog, they know the story, but I’ve written it out and shared it so many times that I’ve placed it online. You can read it on my website on the above link. You know I asked at the beginning of the post to put your skeptical viewpoints aside for a while. I know many of you are experts in treating people with mental illness. I’ve been told it’s harmful for anyone to suggest mental afflictions like the ones I was experienced can be caused by evil or unclean spirits. I understand. I’ve visited with many of you looking for answers. All I can say is as of this morning I was in severe pain and anxiety and tonight I am at peace and feel no pain.

An Alternative Technique that Works

I met Jan in 1982 when my son was acting up in school. Our local bishop advised us to take him to see a new doctor he had just heard about. It turns out the man was no doctor at all. He was someone trained in a new technique named about the man who discovered it, or as he likes to say, had it revealed to him. I believe him. I felt so excited about what I discovered I wanted to shout it to the world. I could see how this could help so many people if they just knew about it. I wanted to write a book that explained how to learn and practice the technique. I found an early booklet of a seminar he conducted in Las Vegas when he was just getting started. I learned others do similar work and taught myself how to do self-diagnosis.

Planned to Write a Book on the Technique

Instead I took a few weeks and wrote a short blog (about 15-20 entries) where you can read about my introductory experiences with the Graf Technique at my other blog. Again, I was so excited about this technique – and still am – that I met with Jan and Gretchen and published the interview at this link. Jan’s web page can be found here: http://grafstressmanagement.com/ I hope he writes his story some day. I have read a really old draft he gave me and found it fascinating how he discovered things step by step. I still have it in my possession but cannot share it since he provided it in confidence.

Evil Spirits Can Be Cast Out

I want to keep this short so I’m not going to say much more than this: If I were to continue with the Western medicine way of dealing with this issue, I would NEVER be healed. I would be in pain and unable to function. I would soon go onto government disability and would be in my grave within a few years. You can argue that I have been healed by my faith and I won’t deny that my faith has a part of my healing. But I would never have known the source of the pain or malaise, discovered through the Graf Teachnique. I have three missions in life, revealed to me by the Lord. One of them is to bear witness that we can cast out evil spirits even in this day and age and have them cast out of us.

Western vs. Eastern Methods

Update 11-8-13: Not sure where to put this but I wanted to, oh, there’s no other way to say it…I was wrong about going cold turkey with the drugs. If you are working with a doctor who has prescribed psychotropic drugs (anti-anxiety in my case), don’t just drop them and expect to be fine. I know this admission extremely reduces the bold claims of the post. I felt like I was on top of the world for about 24-30 hours, then the anxiety began to return. For those that can accept it, I felt like I was being visited by an evil spirit and that this spirit was hammering away at me, getting me to doubt that I could go without the Clonazepam. I fought, I prayed, I cried. In the end, I had to go back to that one just to function. Dang!

Strength From God to Do His Work

You can ask me anything you want about this experience, how it came about, why I think its real and not all in my mind or anything else you want. All I know is I am free tonight whereas before I was in bondage and unable to perform the work the Lord sent me to this earth to do. I can now continue with what I started and intend to finish: 1) Publish my book based on Anthony Larson and his Prophecy Trilogy. I call it Red Sky for now. And 2) Finish my review of everything I have studied about Denver Snuffer. Last night I listened to the three-hour talk he gave in Orem last Saturday. All I can say is Wow! Trust me. You want to know what this man teaches.

Note: You can read a story about what happened to a man who does similar work here: https://latterdaycommentary.com/2013/02/18/excommunicated-for-priestcraft/

From Darkness Into Light

TheSunFlaringI received a call from Mel Fish the other day. He thanked me for the favorable post I wrote last month about his excommunication. It’s funny. I had been thinking about him all day. I just finished re-reading Healing the Inner Self, The Power of Unconditional Love, Become a Being of Light and The Search for Light and Truth.

I’m honored that Mel would do that. It just reaffirmed for me what a thoughtful man he is. His call relieved a great burden I have been carrying ever since I posted that entry. I was concerned he might not like the fact that I decided to tell the story of his excommunication before I actually wrote about any of his published works.

I did not tell him but his call was an answer to prayer. My Facebook friends know that almost immediately after I published that post, I began to suffer from the worst migraine headaches of my life. They were accompanied with sleeplessness, anxiety and panic attacks. The migraines were so bad they required visits to the hospital.

Blessings and Curses

It’s as if someone was not happy with what I had written and decided to curse me. Now, I know that sounds crazy, but before you dismiss the idea, let me share a few details. I promise to get to the book review in a few paragraphs. I ask the Lord to bless people all the time when I learn of something they said or did that helps me.

I have read about people who do the opposite. When they read something with which they disagree or that bothers them, they curse the writer. Worse, because there are people out there who prefer darkness to light, they invoke the power of Satan to enforce their curse, asking him to send devils or demons to make it stick.

Some readers asked, so I shared the details of my encounters with those devils in private emails. They were not pleasant and not something I want to go through again anytime in my life. I did not ask for such knowledge, but I now know things about certain classes of devils and the power they have to inflict real spiritual pain.

Generic Priesthood Blessings

At the end of my conversation with Mel, I asked him to check to see if I had been under attack. He checked and confirmed that someone who knew how these things work had sent a curse with teeth. He reminded me how to properly identify and clear the curse, which I did immediately. I felt gratifying relief within minutes.

I’m 56 years old and have been a member of this church all my life. I’ve given and received priesthood blessings for about as long as I can remember. They have been a part of my life since childhood. I asked for and received blessings while suffering through the migraines but I did not say anything about the attacks from the devils.

I was blessed that I would “get through this OK” or words to that effect. I have used similar words many times. I felt the power and comfort of the blessings for the few minutes they were pronounced and a few moments afterwards. But the attack continued unabated until I properly identified and cleared the curse today.

Darkness and Light

That brings me to the book review: Healing the Inner Self: From Darkness Into Light. As I noted in a previous post, Mel first published this in 1999, a few years after receiving his PhD in Counseling. In 2005 he published the accompanying clinical examples. This is not some theoretical book. It has real-world application.

The first nine chapters of the book contain what for me is basic doctrine. Mel sets a groundwork of common understanding that seems so familiar, having heard most of it growing up in the Church. He focuses on the idea that healing is a matter of getting rid of the darkness within us and filling ourselves with the Light of Christ.

After telling us how he got started in his search for spiritual healing he discusses the greatest power in the Universe – the Light of Christ – as well as the opposite force of darkness – The Darkness of Satan – or the Dark Force. Mel teaches early in the book how everything – including thought and emotion – is made of energy.

The Power to Create

I like how he gives us twenty pages of discussion on the Light Force and a short four pages on the Dark Force. In chapter six Mel teaches us about the Atonement and shares some marvelous insights about how it relates to light and darkness. In the next short chapter we learn how victims who also have darkness can be freed.

There is a marvelous chapter on the law of attraction filled with examples from life that explains in great detail how we either attract darkness or light unto ourselves. The secret is that on which we choose to focus. Faith only exists where there is an absence of doubt. Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time.

I have read a lot of self-help and self-healing books in my life. Mel’s teachings on the power of visualization are the best I have ever read. I have watched Mel work using this technique. The images we create in our mind are more powerful than we will ever realize. Be sure to read his instructions on the power to create (pp 79-80).

Is Life Really a Test?

I want to spend a minute on chapter nine – The Purpose of Life. You would think this would be a no-brainer, but Mel throws a curve ball in there with his thoughts addressing the question: Is Life a Test? I’m sure you’ve heard or read that this life is meant to be hard because otherwise it wouldn’t be a real test, now would it?

Well, guess what? There is no scripture that uses the word “test” in it. There are many scriptures, however, which use the words “try” and “prove.” Testing has an implication of being compared against other people. Acceptance is not determined by qualification but rather by relative position, as compared to other test takers.

Salvation does not work that way. We really cannot earn salvation by our own works. Secondly, there is no limit to the number who can be exalted. All those who qualify will be exalted. To say the purpose of life is to be tested implies we have the power to pass the test on our own efforts, thus denying the need for a Savior.

Tools to Determine Truth

Up through chapter nine, there really is nothing that a typical Latter-day Saint should find weird or unusual. It is great gospel-centered teaching about how to come unto Christ to increase our light and ultimately our happiness. The rest of the book focuses on specific tools and techniques for identifying and healing darkness.

One of those tools is applied kinesiology or muscle testing. It’s been around a long time and is used by thousands of people each day. Go read the Wikipedia article on the subject. You’ll come away convinced that it’s quackery. Now go read my blog on how I was introduced to muscle testing to get a supporting alternate viewpoint.

In seventeen short little posts, I take you from someone who had never had any exposure to the technique to one who uses it all the time to discover truth for myself. Those who are experienced with the process know that finding answers is all in the questions that are asked. Sounds somewhat similar to prayer, doesn’t it?

Christ-Centered Healing

Mel’s work is centered in Jesus Christ. He teaches of Christ. He has those seeking his help command in the name of Christ. He does not use priesthood. So how in the world he was excommunicated for priestcraft is beyond me. The key to healing is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the real power of casting our burdens on Him.

Sin is only part of the burdens we bear. Christ took upon himself all the burdens of those who are willing to let Him do so. Mel also teaches that casting off burdens is more effective when the right arm is raised to the square. I know others who teach several different ways to draw off the negative or dark energy from our bodies.

The healing process does not need to be complicated and does not need to be a long drawn-out process. I did not receive my initial training from Mel, but it has been my experience that great relief can be achieved through one-hour sessions using tools described in his book to question the spirit about what is needed.

Devils and Unclean Spirits

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I have written often about this subject. I continue to learn about them every day. Often we hear people say we should not think about these things because they’ll just bring us down. Joseph taught that we should study all we can about the spirit world and the inhabitants.

Mel spends about ten chapters on how to rid oneself of these little beasties, and provides many examples of how it is done. I recommend you get his companion book of clinical examples if you are serious about learning how to do this yourself so you can help others. It is good reading even if you do not plan to help others.

He addresses: Releasing Darkness and Stress, Good and Evil Gifts, Bonding, Soul Retrieval, Multiple Personalities, Same Sex Preference, Contracts, Satanic Abuse, Ego, Sensitives, Overcoming Fears and Phobias, Subduing the Flesh and more. He ends the book on a positive chapter discussing The Law of Deliberate Creation.

The Definitive Textbook

I had been looking for a book like this when I was first introduced to the idea that we can ask questions of and receive answers from our own intelligence or spirit about our past, especially for our healing. I planned to write one based on hours of recorded interviews with other practitioners. I’m glad we scrapped the project.

Mel is much more qualified to write this book than I ever would have been. My views would have been those of an outside observer. His are those of someone with every-day, clinical experiences in helping people heal their inner self. Mel is more than qualified to present what he has documented about spiritual healing.

In case it’s not obvious, I highly recommend this book for those who are serious about learning how to find and heal hidden spiritual / emotional distress in your life. This book is not for everyone. Some will not know what to do with it if you do not intend to learn the basic tool of discovery – muscle testing – on yourself.

A Prolific Writer

Mel has quite a selection of books to choose from at his website. I have seven of his items. The three most popular can also be found on Amazon. But I recommend you also pick up his autobiography back at his site – The Search for Light and Truth – as well as his amazing little booklet – The Power of Unconditional Love.

If you’ve read Mel’s autobiography, you know he served his Mission in Taiwan and has studied much of the oriental culture, using the good that he found in his healing practice. There are some sacred stories in his autobiography that you will not want to miss, especially the one entitled “validation” on pages 231-232.

Finally, I want to mention Mel’s latest book, Become a Being of Light. This one is not for everyone. Mel even asked me on the phone the other day that if I bring the book up to be sure to let people know that this addressees “possibilities” and “what ifs.” He wanted to be sure we know he is not teaching reincarnation / past lives.

Last of the Great Healers

I don’t know how much longer Mel will be with us. He is 80 years old now. I want you to know he is a very approachable and humble man. He is delightful to talk to. He was gracious in allowing us to interview him, open, warm and caring. I am now friends with some of his family and have found them to be just as nice and kind.

If I lived in Southern Utah, I would want to be in his ward and assigned as his home teacher. Sadly, I wonder who from the Church visits him now that he has been excommunicated. I still can’t get over that. I don’t think I have ever met a man more unassuming, humble, Christ-like and loving in all my years in the church.

If you get a chance, read some of his books. Get to know him. Email or call him. He still holds seminars and loves to teach. You can get a sample of his style from his DVD. If you suffer from unwanted and unresolved hidden stress, let Mel help you as a facilitator in bringing about the deep healing your soul wants and needs.

Dr. Melvin C. Fish, Ph.D.
Cedar City, Utah

All are Invited to the Feast

OlympicCompetitionThe Great Competition is the ninth of Denver Snuffer’s Ten Parables. It is short, one of the shorter parables in the book, at only seven pages. Yet it is the one I have pondered the most over the past year. I have shared it with Carol, offered my opinion, asked hers. We are not in agreement. I have not seen much discussion of the parable on the Internet. I don’t think it has been widely read or discussed.

When I wrote about this before, I was rather orthodox in my interpretation. I offer it here for comparison, but this is no longer how I view this parable. If you haven’t read the original parable, you really must purchase the book and do so. It begins, “There was a King who loved his people. He also loved the competition of games.” It’s $12.99 at Amazon – $5 Kindle edition.

An Early Interpretation of the Parable

Here’s what I wrote last year after the first reading: “This one is about the plan of salvation, told from a very long-range view, including the great battle at the end of the world between the forces of good and evil. Denver has drawn some profound implications of what happens at that great event because those who chose not to come to compete were invited to the great feast at the end.

“The focus is on loyalty. Who would remain true to the king in spite of the seeming unfairness of the competition designed to cause a great division among the people? I would love to share this one in a Sacrament talk or Sunday school lesson, but of course, you and I know that one cannot quote from unorthodox sources in church.” Like the parable, my analysis was short and sweet.

When Good Men Are Excommunicated

A lot has happened to me in the past year, mainly through my study of the gospel, my writings and the responses of many of you to my essays. One particularly eventful episode was my interview and subsequent report on what happened to Mel Fish, a man who searched deeply for truth, believed he found it and was excommunicated when he tried to share it with others.

Mel’s excommunication affected me deeply. I confess I was incensed. As I wrote before, I only know one side of the story and will never know the other side. What happened to Mel caused me to deeply rethink my understanding of the purpose of life, the purpose of what we do in this church and the purpose of tests – the kind of tests that, if we’re not careful, tear a family apart.

Denver Snuffer Disciplinary Action

For those who don’t know, Denver Snuffer is going through the same process in our church. He is being investigated for disciplinary action. This is no secret. He has made it clear through the writings of his own blog. Like many of you, I have plenty of contacts at Church Headquarters. I am not privy to any inside information. But I do know his investigation is soon coming to a head.

In the church we’re taught that disciplinary action for apostasy is only taken when one has been openly or deliberately disobedient to direction from priesthood leaders to cease from teaching certain things they find offensive or to be, in effect, false doctrine. Once you have published a book, or written an essay on a blog, how can you take back what you have caused to be written?

Stand Up for What you Believe

I suppose you could simply write something new, disavowing all the things you have previously written, but that seems so disingenuous, as if you are just doing that to stave off inevitable action. To each man, there comes a time when he must stand by what he has studied and thought about, prayed about and decided to be true. Else what is the purpose of intellectual pursuit?

If you can’t be true to what you feel the Lord has led you to understand, then of what use are you to the Lord? Either stand up for what you feel the Lord gave you to share, then share it and teach it, especially if you know it can benefit and bless those who believe. The Lord gives passion to men for a reason – so that others will pay attention when they proclaim something is important.

We are in the Great Competition Now

In the parable of the Great Competition, we learn that not all were blessed with the same gifts or talents. Some would never be able to compete in the area of physical strength, musical talent, intellectual or academic excellence, patience or a myriad of other virtues to improve the health and vigor of the people. We could all watch and could all compete as we felt endowed to do so.

Some refused to compete and left the playing field in anger. They claimed the competition was not fair and said they would do all they could to disrupt the games. And they did. They offered no support of those trying to excel. In fact, they discouraged them, whispering in their ears that the competition was unfair, unwise and a waste of time and effort. They were well organized.

Evil Spirits Who Followed Lucifer

So far, I’m confident nobody could miss the implications of this parable. Those who opposed the competition were those who followed Lucifer. They did not believe it possible to succeed. They believed Satan who said the competition wasn’t fair. They did not listen closely when the King explained the competition was designed to test loyalty as well as improve the lives of the people.

“After the days of the competition ended, a great feast was called. For the feast, the King invited not only those citizens who participated in the games, but also those who had fled the city rather than participate. Those who had remained loyal and participated in the games were troubled by this. … Many of those who participated resented the presence of those who had fled.” (Page 87)

All Are Invited to the Feast

And that is what I would like to focus on for just a moment. I don’t know if the feast Denver has presented here in this parable is the same as the wedding feast found in Matthew 22. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the animosity felt by some that others were invited who they considered unworthy or unacceptable. The great feast turned into a great argument over who was worthy.

In the end, those who opposed the king’s decision were cast out. Only those who remained were able to live in peace. The fairness or unfairness of what they may have encountered in life did not bother them. They were at peace. They were loyal to the King and his plan. It did not bother them that some had not participated in the competition as they had. The King loved and accepted those who opposed him at first just as he had loved and accepted those who were loyal all along.

The Doctrine of Repentance

I want to now apply this to current events in my life. I have recently found at least three sources or individuals who teach a doctrine that I have always disagreed with because of the fairness principle involved. It has to do with forgiveness of those who rebelled against the Lord at the beginning. I suspect that teaching of this doctrine may be grounds for excommunication. I am not teaching it. I am simply explaining it as I have come to understand it. You decide its truth.

Here is the doctrine: Some evil spirits can repent. Some evil spirits can change sides. Some evil spirits can choose to do good things with their agency. Therefore, some evil spirits have not yet forfeited their agency. By definition, they are no longer evil spirits but simply spirits who have never been and never will have a mortal experience. These are not the same as unclean spirits.

How False Doctrine Comes About

Of course one must ask, “Why would evil spirits have any desire to turn from promoting Satan and his works to encouraging others to follow the Savior and his teachings? What benefit could they possibly derive from such a course of action, assuming it was even possible? And of course the second but possibly more important question: “Is it really possible for evil spirits to change?”

One theologian posted in clear and unmistakable terms that there is neither the desire nor the ability of evil spirits to repent. He proposed that the idea is a foolish thought. He rejected the notion that a fallen, rebellious spirit would have any desire to pursue salvation, especially when none is offered. The sin against the Holy Ghost is unpardonable. Rebellious spirits would have nothing to gain by turning from darkness to light. Therefore there is no reason to do so.

An Example From Real Life

And yet, read this from Mel Fish, then tell me if you think he was deceived. Mel is not the first to have shared something like this, but this example is one of the most profound I have discovered. It is found in his book, Healing the Inner Self, pages 121 through 123. My wife and I also heard him tell this story and have it recorded. It is a powerful story with a real teaching moment.

—– Beginning of Quote —–

One day a woman came to me. She had been attacked by a legion of devils. She was in intense pain and paralyzed on one side of her body. As I worked with this woman, I had several others with me, helping me. I sought help because there were so many of those spirits present. We needed all the power and faith that we as a group could exert.

As we worked with these spirits, teaching and commanding, they left one or two at a time. After two hours of struggle, there were only two spirits left. At that time these spirits took control of this woman and began speaking to us through her voice.

“Go away and leave us alone,” they said. “We are far too powerful for you to control. You could never send us away.”

“What makes you think you are so powerful?”

“In Satan’s kingdom there are many levels of authority and power. The two of us stand next to him in authority, and therefore there is no one more powerful than we are, except for Satan himself.”

At this point I said a silent prayer, asking the Lord what I should do. The answer came into my mind very clearly, “Send them to the Light.”

I argued with the Lord saying, “I can’t send them to the light. They are the wicked ones that are to be cast out into outer darkness at the time of the final judgment.”

“No, send them to the Light.” The answer came again. “I still love them.”

I spent the next hour trying to teach these two spirits and convince them that it was possible for them to go to the Light. They argued and insisted that they were too wicked and evil, and that there was no way that the Lord would accept them.

Finally, I asked, “How long have you been fighting against Christ?”

“For millions of years.”

“What has been your goal in all of that struggle?”

“To lead people away from Christ into the fold of Satan, and we have been very successful.”

“You know that there is opposition in all things. If one can leave Christ and embrace Satan, you can leave Satan and embrace Christ.” Just look up. He is there with outstretched arms waiting for you.”

Suddenly this woman fell to the floor and contorted in a way that I have never before witnessed. The expression on her face and her body language communicated the greatest degree of sadness I have ever witnessed. At this point the spirits began to weep saying, “He lied. He lied. He told us that if we would follow him he would force us to do good, and we would automatically go to the highest heavens. All he has done is force us to do evil and we hate it. He has us trapped. We have to do everything he says or he will punish us.”

“Your day of deliverance has come,” I said. “Turn to Christ. Give your burdens to him. He will forgive you. He will take all your darkness and replace it with light. He will then take you into a world of light where you can finish the healing process and resume your eternal progression.”

“If we did that, we would lose our great power.”

“What you perceive to be great power is only the power to destroy. Anyone can destroy. Real power is the power to create. Your only hope of getting that real power is to embrace the Light, accept the healing that comes from Christ, and allow him to take you to that realm of light.”

At this point, this woman relaxed. Calmness spread throughout her body and throughout the entire room. It was evident that they were gone. This wonderful woman was completely recovered from her paralysis.

—– End of Quote ——

Well, that’s enough to illustrate the point. I can provide many other examples but will refrain. My purpose is not sensationalism, but discussion of doctrine. Who is correct – the well-published theologian or the humble, but now excommunicated man, Mel Fish, who has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people, rid themselves of the influence of evil and unclean spirits? Teach me.

Difference Between Evil and Unclean Spirits

Remember, there is a difference between evil spirits and unclean spirits. Evil spirits have never been born into this mortal existence. Unclean spirits have been born and died but have not gone to the light. They still hang around, bound by the pull of the flesh – an addiction or some other mortal temptation that they continue to seek by momentarily inhabiting the body of another.

And just to wrap this up into the parable offered by Denver Snuffer, is it possible that these evil spirits represent those who will be invited to the great feast at the end of the competition? In fact, aren’t all invited and aren’t all welcome at the King’s table, both those who have been mortal and those who not only didn’t participate but discouraged others from doing so successfully?

Only a Theological Exercise

But then, it’s just a parable – food for thought. What do you think? Can evil spirits repent? Or is Mel Fish simply trying to say that God will do with them as he sees fit. Perhaps he is not really teaching that they can repent, only that they can choose to go to the light if they have a reason. If you invite an evil spirit to go to the light and you think they have gone, have you been deceived?

Disclaimer: Please don’t accuse me of teaching false doctrine. This is only a theological exercise. If this sort of writing offends you or causes you concern, please don’t read it or give it a second thought. And please don’t complain to the Strengthening Church Members Committee that Brother Malone needs to be talked to by his Stake President. This is just a blog in which I review books.

Note 1: If you want to read more of this kind of stuff online: Go to Unclean Spirits Blog. I don’t know the author. I have communicated with him by email but he wishes to remain anonymous.

Note 2: I have added a link to a three-page PDF of the full copy of the theological argument against evil spirits having any desire or motivation to repent. Let me know if think you know the author. I would like to give him credit. It is quoted in Doug Mendenhall’s book: Conquering Spiritual Evil.

Conquering Spiritual Evil

Apparently I’m the first to review this book. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps it’s because the book is not widely distributed. As far as I can tell, it is only available from Confetti Books in Spanish Fork. It was published in 2011. There is already a second edition, which I’m reviewing. The author is Doug Mendenhall, who published several previous books that you may recognize.

Doug is the father of Denise Mendenhall, who suffered a diabetic stroke and coma at age ten that destroyed the left side of her brain. When she recovered she no longer had a veil, meaning that she could see the spirit world and the spirit beings around us. Denise is not the only one who has such spirit vision but of all the accounts I have read, her gift seems to be the most pronounced.

The Mendenhall family has published My Peace I Give Unto You (2001) with Robert Lake, Possibilities – Lessons From the Spirit (2002), and In His Arms – Experiences With the Other Side (2006), authored by Denise. Doug said his latest book took several years to write but is based on his spiritual experiences with his daughter and others from the previous dozen years.

A Few Warnings

If you’re going to read these books you’re going to need to deal with a lower quality binding that may be disappointing to book collectors. Each of the four books has come apart as I have read them. I’ve had to tape them back up, something I rarely have to do with other self-published or small-press published books. I don’t think I’m hard on books and it really is quite annoying.

The other negative I want to get out of the way right up front is the number of typos that you will find in these books. Doug warns us in advance and for anyone who has self-published, you know how difficult if not impossible it is to find every typo. No matter how many times you review it or how many people put eyes on it before it goes to press, most self-edited books have typos.

The only other warning I want to offer if you choose to read this book is that you need to be aware of the intensity of some of the experiences, especially the chapters on possession. If you are not used to reading about such stuff you may want to prepare yourself by reading some other, shall we say lighter introductory material about the spirit world. I can recommend a list of books.

An Unusual Claim

Doug tells it like it is. I can’t see that he would have any reason to make these things up. He has put his reputation on the line when he says in the preface that the Lord requested him to write this book. If you’re a member of the LDS faith, you know what kind of claim that is. Not many people make that claim and those who do are usually looked upon as crackpots or “out there.”

I have made the claim that my writings have been inspired over the years but have never felt I could say that the Lord asked me to write something. Perhaps I don’t know Him that well. The only other person I know who has made the claim that the Lord asked him to write a book is Denver Snuffer, whose works I have read and reviewed previously on Latter-day Commentary.

Why would the Lord ask Doug to write this book? And if he did, why hasn’t it received more attention in the online LDS world? I have searched online many times since I first heard about the book and subsequently read it. I can find less than a half dozen references to the work in the blogs of other LDS writers. There seems to be no marketing effort being made for this volume.

First Impressions

I was fascinated with the content from the moment I received the book. I confess I jumped right to the chapter on complete possession. I could not put the book down for hours. I read there the account of Rick Bos, an LDS missionary serving in South America in 1969-1971 who dealt with individuals from the Candomblé spiritualist cult. They invite spirit possession through trances.

I had heard similar stories from my mission back in 1976, especially about the Garifuna people of Belize with their African voodoo religious roots. They practiced Gubida spirit possession. Although Belize was a part of our mission, we were not allowed to proselyte there as this was prior to the 1978 revelation on priesthood. I met people from Belize while in San Pedro Sula.

I’m sure a lot of members of the church have heard anecdotal stories of spirit possession from missionaries who encountered it while serving in places where it is common. In some ways we are used to the idea of spirit possession because it is part of our LDS heritage. Who hasn’t read the story of Heber C Kimball’s encounter with evil spirits while opening the work in England?

Overcoming Fear

As I have written previously, I think the biggest problem we have with this subject is naiveté and fear. We either know nothing about dealing with evil entities or we don’t want to because the idea makes us uncomfortable. Doug jumps right in and addresses this subject in the first chapter. The enemy in studying about evil is fear. It is by gaining knowledge that we overcome the fear.

Faith and fear cannot co-exist in the same person at the same time. If you’re considering this book to obtain help in overcoming evil in your own life or to understand how evil has afflicted someone you love, you will want to approach your study with prayer and faith. If the Lord has led you to this book, then ask him for help in dealing with any fears you may have about it.

The adversary has done an excellent job of keeping us from understanding how he works by causing fear to come upon us when we think about or talk about his influence. That is not the way we should tackle our task of mastering the devil and his angels. I believe this is something we should study but if we’re going about it with fear in our hearts then we are going to fail.

Reality of Spirit World

Doug next deals with the reality factor. So many people reject the idea of negative entities that it makes you wonder if they accept the notion of a spirit world at all. I can’t think of any belief more basic to our religion than the fact that we are eternal spirit beings temporarily housed in a mortal physical body for a season. To reject this belief is to reject all hope for life after death.

Among some sophisticated, intelligent, educated people, it is considered “not cool” to believe in things of a spiritual nature, especially spiritual beings. Their religious faith does not seem to have room for influences from beyond this physical world, either divine or profane. Sadly, this kind of thinking has carried over to some members of our faith, who seem embarrassed by such beliefs.

If you reject a belief in angels or devils then you won’t get much good from this book. If you do not accept the LDS doctrine that the spirit world is here among us and well-populated by beings unseen to mortal eyes, you will be equally challenged by the concepts presented in this volume. Doug’s work is precisely about identifying and dealing with those unseen and malicious entities.

Four Categories of Dark Entities

In the first edition Doug identified three classes of evil beings, but added the appendix in the second edition describing the fourth. They are of two main types: Those who have never been or ever will be mortal and those who have passed through mortality. Of the first type there are 1) devils and 2) demons. Of the second type there are 3) earth-bound spirits and 4) spirits in hell.

I think in our theology we have the easiest time understanding the idea of devils. We believe that a “third part” of the hosts of heaven were cast out for rejecting Jesus Christ as the Savior. Notice I didn’t say one third. I have done a careful study of the scriptures about this theme and have decided we have assigned a numerical value to something that was only intended to be a class.

We also should not have any problem with understanding the concept of spirits in hell. If there is anything that is universal in most Christian religions – and many others as well – it is the idea of a hell that is populated by those who have done evil while in this life. Yes, Mormon theology includes a hell, although for us it is a temporary abode for those who will someday be redeemed.

Power to Repent

Earth-bound spirits and spirits in hell are still in a probationary state, meaning they can choose to believe in Christ, exercise faith, repent and call upon Him for deliverance. My experience with earth-bound spirits has led me to believe they do not know their influence is detrimental to our spiritual health. These are mainly addicted spirits wanting to use our bodies if we let them.

Those in hell are being tortured for their rebellion and disobedience. They are held in chains, reserved for the Day of Judgment. They do not interact with us here on earth unless they choose to join with Satan in the rebellion against Christ, in which case they become fallen angels and make war against the Saints. Their ability to repent has been diminished by their poor choices.

Devils and demons, on the other hand, are evil spirits or entities that cannot and will not repent. We sometimes make the mistake of thinking we can send them to the light when they bother us. They cannot and will not go to the light. It bothers them. It hurts them. They avoid light. Devils and demons cannot repent. They are evil and have made their choice evident by torturing Christ.

A Personal Application

I bought this book to come to a better understanding of how the enemy of my soul was keeping me bound in a certain area no matter what I did to escape him. I found the answer I was seeking in a discussion about how we actually invite evil or unclean spirits into our bodies by the choices we make and the actions we take. This may sound like basic stuff but bear with me a moment.

Do you remember the scripture (Luke 11:24-26) about the unclean spirit who, when cast out, went and got seven more wicked spirits and came back to the man? What I learned from Doug, through several personal experiences he shared, is that those evil spirits only came to the man when they were invited back. They can’t attach themselves without some action on our part.

Such spirits will not leave until, along with our fasting, we petition the Lord in prayer to come and take them away. We cannot do it alone. Our faith and our priesthood authority is not enough with these kinds of entities – be they evil spirits (never mortal) or unclean spirits (earth-bound). It takes a God who has already battled them and won to remove them according to our faith.

Additional Content

There is so much more I could include about Doug’s book but I wouldn’t want to take away your joy in discovering the truths contained therein for yourself. Doug opens up a whole new vista for some who have never considered that there are spiritually gifted people among us who can see, feel or otherwise perceive things happening in the spirit world around us, both good and evil.

In his book you will read many stories of those spiritual encounters. You will learn how we can and should protect ourselves and our families through shields of faith and weapons of light. If you have read his previous books or Denise’s book, you will continue to be amazed at the simple acceptance of things that seem so foreign to those of us who do not have such spiritual sight.

You may especially be interested in the insights found in the chapter on how little children can be and are influenced by evil spirits. Those struggling with same-sex attraction will find answers that reaffirm the reality of the cause of their addiction. I’ve addressed it elsewhere on this blog but found it clearly and succinctly addressed in Doug’s book in a very matter-of-fact manner.

Summary and Conclusion

This is obviously not an unbiased review. I bought this book looking for something specific and found it. I was not displeased. Doug’s writing style is straightforward. He does not pull any punches. He is not looking to entertain but to inform. The subject is fascinating to me and I am grateful that he took the time to provide so much detail about this so very important subject.

I am confident I will be sharing additional insights I gained from this book and from Denise’s book in future blog posts. I recently purchased a CD recording of Denise speaking at Confetti Books earlier this year on the last days, another of my favorite study topics. I was fascinated by what she had to say and continue to ponder some of the ideas and visions she shared with us.

I highly recommend this book to those who are interested in spiritual healing or in overcoming long-standing addictions and temptations. If you have been wondering why some things would never go away no matter what you did, then this book is for you. If you will take the time to study it and apply the principles contained therein you will be blessed for your time and effort.