The Aurora Murders and Demonic Possession: Demonic infestation is a rare, strange and terrible psycho-spiritual affliction. It’s also real. Was James Holmes possessed?

Father Dwight Longenecker raises the possibility, and explains the deeper meaning, of possession by Evil:

What makes a mild mannered, promising young scientist decide to arm himself to the teeth, walk into a suburban movie theater and start killing innocent people at random?

Did he have a bad childhood experience? Doesn’t seem that way. Everybody says he was a nice, very smart, shy kid. Maybe a bit of a geek, but there are millions of geeks who don’t go on killing sprees. Was he insane? There weren’t any warning signs that he was crazy. Was he politically or religiously motivated? No evidence. Was he driven crazy by violent video games? He didn’t seem to play more than most kids. Was his mind poisoned by the nihilistic second Batman movie? It was a dark film, but millions saw it and didn’t go on a rampage. Was he somehow “possessed” by the Joker character? Some say the demonic Joker drove Heath Ledger to kill himself.

Now it’s getting spooky. There was a weird phone message with bizarre guttural voices and moans. Was he demon possessed? Maybe. It happens.

Demonic infestation is a rare, strange and terrible psycho-spiritual affliction. In simple terms, a malevolent, separate intelligence infests the mind and spirit of a person. It takes over the rational faculties and dominates the personality. The phenomenon is real, but anyone who has ever dealt with the problem realizes that the demonic realm is complex. The human person is an intricate organism in which the physical, mental and spiritual aspects are totally interwoven. Therefore, in most cases, trying to diagnose the possibility of demonic influence is extremely difficult.

This is because, in theory, demonic influence in a personality can exist on several different levels. Experts disagree about the terminology and extent of the diabolical influence, and in this arcane discipline, for reasons that will become clear, there are few set rules or guidelines. However, some levels of demonic involvement can be observed.

The first level of demonic influence is temptation…

The second level of demonic influence is obsession…

The final stage of demonic influence is possession…

Is James Holmes demon possessed? It is impossible to say without a detailed diagnosis. Even then, it is a slippery question. We are dealing with a reality that is rubbery. In many ways this is the wrong question. Better to ask, “Was James Holmes taken over by Evil?”

Yes. Something happened to the mild mannered science geek. He turned into a monster. Something twisted in his mind and heart, and Evil made an entry. Evil infested his life. It took him over. Whether the twist was through mental illness, some inner wound or some terrible dark intelligence, we cannot say. The fact that we can’t say what went wrong and don’t have a neat and tidy answer is the key to understanding the terrible conundrum of evil.

When faced with mindless massacres, we don’t have a rational answer—and that is the rational answer. What I mean is that the further one goes down the path of Evil, the more it becomes irrational and mindless. Evil, by its very nature, is a lie, a subterfuge, a deceit and a vast web of contradictions and inconsistencies. Evil is, by it’s nature, the darkness and the chaos—where what seems reasonable is only a smoke screen for the absurd, and what seems logical is a pretext for irrationality.

The true answer to the absurdity of evil is the supernatural rationality of love, for love is the outgoing goodness that counters evil. By “love,” I do not mean merely sentimental or erotic love. I mean a power that is positive and creative and dynamic and pro-active in the world—the power which Dante said “moved the Sun and the other stars.”

Love is the divine force of rationality and goodness. Love is the force which empowered three murdered men in the cinema in Aurora to shield their girlfriends from harm. Love is the force which makes the meaningless meaningful through the strange power of forgiveness, and which brings sacrifice in the face of insane self-love. Love is the light in the darkness, and Love is the meaning that makes us remember in a compassionate connection that this dark act took place in a town named Aurora, which holds a hopeful meaning: “Daybreak.”

3 thoughts on “The Aurora Murders and Demonic Possession: Demonic infestation is a rare, strange and terrible psycho-spiritual affliction. It’s also real. Was James Holmes possessed?

  1. Interesting you posted this. I wrote the below a day or two ago in response to the post regarding the Colorado church praying for the gunman but then just saved it as a txt file thinking I was over-reacting and needing to give myself time to further reflect. But it’s relevant to this post.


    “So here’s a question that is honesty circulating around in my brain and is not just me trying to stimulate debate. Obviously, in every tragedy like this, churches will hold a prayer service and pray for the victims and their families and then, undoubtedly, someone will pray for the perpetrator of the crimes that God would “make Himself real to them during this time.” I’m not mocking that, and, like George, I agree that this is an appropriate response.

    But what won’t leave me is the thought that while our prayer “services” inside our “sanctuaries” may be right, they may also be labeled as reactionary. And what I can’t help but think is that a reactive response is not necessarily bad, unless it is happening in lieu of what should have been a proactive response.

    Here’s what’s at the core of my thinking. We’re seeing a surge of abnormally violent criminal behavior without the obvious medical and psychological explanations to cover them. A man cannibalizes another man in broad daylight with little more in his system than marijuana. (Bath salts were ruled out by the coroner.) One of the most sick pedophiles of our time is a high-profile leader who developed a program supposedly harboring the innocent and was protected by an entire network of leadership. A man guns down a movie theater who has no previous criminal activity, was a Ph.D. candidate working summer camps for under-privileged children.

    While I have always been a very reserved Pentecostal who has never liked the “here’s a demon, there’s a demon” explanations too often casually used in my upbringing, I feel there is something terribly and visually hellish in what we are seeing. Obviously all crime is “hellish” and has evil as it’s source, but I’m wondering if we’re not seeing something more tangibly evident of the reality of the demonic. And, to my initial point… is it simply because, as Paul put it, the “days are evil?” Possibly. But I am also wondering if it is not also a symptom of a terribly ineffective church who has come to spend her energies trying to perfect her Sunday morning service and worship experience and lost sight of what is supposed to be happening when Christ-followers walk the world in true Spirit-empowerment.

    Is praying for the victims and the victimizer right? Yes. But God-forbid that we encounter these people prior to their crimes where God would have us expel the force from them ahead of time and we don’t know recognize it because we have an incorrect understanding of what it means to be a Christ-follower.

  2. I just recently began reading some of your posts George, but really respect and appreciate your insight.

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