By Tony Capobianco
Autumn has arrived. The crisp autumn air and the beautiful color change of the foliage mean that Halloween and All Saints Day are on the horizon. This is also the season in which interest in the occult and spiritism peak. Curiosity leads not a few into dangerous territory as they seek to have an encounter with the preternatural as though to do so was a form of entertainment. The Halloween season is a time in which people are more likely to satisfy a spiritual craving that resides deep within them as for the majority of the year they tend to bury this desire in material pleasures and distractions. Since man is a body and spirit composite, it is not surprising that an interest in the latter arises.
Capitalizing on this, the TV networks offer an all you can eat buffet of paranormal shows. This Fall TV season, the grandfather of all paranormal “reality” shows is returning after being off the air for several years. Ghost Hunters is the paranormal show that launched renewed interest in ghosts and inspired many people to investigate the afterlife themselves. Armed with electronic gadgets such as evp recorders, emf detectors, rem pods, K2 meters, and infrared cameras, the paranormal investigators on Ghost Hunters created the perception that these investigations were scientifically sound and therefore the evidence gathered revealed legitimate insights into the spirit world. So what’s the big deal? What’s the harm in using technology to communicate with disembodied spirits?
Whether the electronic devices used by paranormal researchers are a legitimate means of studying alleged instances of paranormal activity is not the focus of this article. Nor will this article focus on the credibility of purported evidence gathered through the use of such electronic gadgets. Instead, this article will focus on the apparent relation between ghost hunting/ paranormal investigations and spiritism. The paranormal investigators on TV shows such as Ghost Hunters do not simply leave a recording device on in a neutral manner in an allegedly haunted location so that any strange occurrences might be captured. No, on the contrary these investigators attempt to initiate a dialogue with whatever unseen spirit might be near. Willfully attempting to converse with spirits in an attempt to gain knowledge which is beyond man’s natural reach is to engage in spiritism.
What is Spiritism? The Catholic Encyclopedia explains it as follows:
Has the Church issued any decrees on spiritism? The Congregation of the Inquisition, on June 25th 1840, decreed:
The Catechism of Pope Pius X teaches;
The following Radio Replies by Fr. Rumble and Fr. Carty are very helpful and enlightening:
Fathers Rumble and Carty continue:
Finally, Fr. Rumble and Fr. Carty cite Sacred Scripture to nail shut their case against spiritism and necromancy:
The above quotations clearly explain what spiritism is as well as the fact that the Holy Catholic Church has condemned its practice. When paranormal investigators use digital recording devices to capture the voices of discarnate spirits, is it not essentially nothing more than a ouija board with a modern veneer? When someone puts forth an invitation to communicate with spirits, they have no control over what might respond. After having engaged the unseen realm of spirits, some unfortunate people have found that while it is easy to open a door to the demonic, it is much more difficult to close the open door.
Exorcists have frequently and unanimously agreed that the use of ouija boards is a potential doorway to extraordinary diabolic influence. Exorcists insist that ouija boards can lead to diabolical oppression, obsession, and even possession. To use a ouija board to communicate with the dead is a form of necromancy and therefore it is grave matter. Sending out such invitations for spirits, whether seeking to contact deceased loved ones, good spirits, or demons, is sinful and offensive to God. How is using modern electronic technology with the same intention used to operate a ouija board any less dangerous? How is it any less sinful? Is not an invitation to begin a relationship with a spirit given in both cases?
It has been shown that both Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium have decidedly condemned the practice of necromancy and spiritism. Yet what of the claim that the Church is being hypocritical in Her condemnation of spiritism as She encourages Her children to pray to the saints? Frs. Rumble and Carty aptly refute this ignorant objection,
In what ways do paranormal investigators/ghost hunters appear to subscribe to the tenets of spiritism? They often have their own theories and pseudo doctrines. It is common for ghost hunters to use and define terms such as: residual hauntings, evp’s (electronic voice phenomena), elemental spirits, positive spirits, negative spirits, poltergeists, fairies, shadow people, disembodied spirits, etc. One prevalent theory or pseudo doctrine of ghost hunters is that spirits need energy to manifest or act within the material world and that cold spots are thus created as a result of the spirit drawing upon such energy. Relying upon their own personal experiences with the paranormal along with traditions passed down by previous spiritists and paranormal investigators, ghost hunters often throw away infallible truths such as the existence of sin, Satan, demons, angels, the particular judgement immediately after death, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Ghost hunters frequently believe that ghosts are often in need of help to find peace, to resolve unsettled business from when they lived, to cross over. Is it surprising that people who errantly look to spirits to find answers would then proceed to believe and promote further serious theological errors? Error begets error. If a person puts their trust in spirits instead of God and those spirits happen to be demons, is it any wonder that lies and evil are the rotten fruit of such an evil relationship?
Speaking with the dead is dangerous and sinful. When this sinful behavior is committed it is common for further errors to follow. Many times, people who attempt to communicate with spirits seek to satisfy their curiosity concerning the life to come. This curiosity and desire to find hidden answers which are impossible for man to know outside of Divine Revelation may lead to the deadly sin of pride. It is prideful to dismiss and reject Divine Revelation as revealed by Christ and His Church in favor of one’s own experiences, philosophy, and pseudo religious doctrines. Asserting that one’s own belief or claim of possessing the truth on some matter is superior to the Sacred Deposit of Faith is to succumb to the Ancient Serpent’s temptation for mankind to make themselves as gods. Spiritism leads man to believe that through his efforts, he may either improve upon or entirely replace Divine Revelation as it is found in the Sacred Deposit of Faith. Spiritism has much in common with freemasonry which seeks to create a brotherhood of man without the Fatherhood of God. Paranormal investigators have not infrequently fell victim to the lies told by fallen angels masquerading as disembodied human spirits. Blinded by curiosity, pride, and trust in supposed science based investigation techniques, paranormal investigators are often manipulated by demons and unwittingly or not become instruments of their demonic will.
Related Virgo Potens Content: