A Debate on Demonic Possession by Darkmoon Commenters
edited by Lasha Darkmoon
These selected comments on exorcism and demonic possession are directed at the sceptics. At least two of our commenters claim to have had personal experiences of the Devil.
BY EVIL POSSESSED
ETHAN HUFF (by way of introduction) : An Ivy League-educated psychiatrist is convinced that there’s a growing epidemic of demonic possession in the world today, and that most everyday people now recognize the dark reality of this scary situation.
Dr. Richard Gallagher, who boasts degrees from both Princeton University and Yale University, says that, despite conflicting opinions within mainstream medical science, demonic possession is both real and rampant.
With 25 years of experience under his belt as a private psychiatrist that complements his two teaching positions at both New York Medical College and Columbia University, Dr. Gallagher believes he holds a unique vantage point in discerning between human and non-human, or satanic, behavior.
HP (aka “Homer”) : “They’re very, very smart,” Dr. Gallagher is quoted as saying about the beings that occupy the demonic realm. “The intelligence level of a fallen angel, which is what I call them, is far superior to human beings.”
There are many classes of demons in the Hindu pantheon. Indian sages have been discussing these esoteric matters for millennia. Thus it is written:
“Mother Yasoda was firmly convinced that she should protect her child from different kinds of evil spirits and ghosts: namely Dakinis, Yatudhanis, Kusmandas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Vinayakas, Kotaras, Revatis, Jyesthas, Putanas, Matrkas, Unmadas and similar other evil spirits, who cause persons to forget their own existence and give trouble to the life airs and the senses.
Sometimes they appear in dreams and cause much perturbation; sometimes they appear as old women and suck the blood of small children. But all such ghosts and evil spirits cannot remain where there is chanting of the holy name of God.”
(Krsna Book, Chapter 6, Classes of Demons)
LD : Homer is an American expert on Vedanta and Hindu metaphysics who has been studying this subject for decades. I have known him for many years and regard him as my mentor. While firmly rooted in the great Oriental religions, Homer is deeply sympathetic to Christianity and its fundamental moral precepts. He firmly believes that after his crucifixion, the risen Christ, still bearing his physical wounds, made his way to the Himalayas and settled in Kashmir where he spent the rest of his life teaching and dispensing wisdom.
MADAME BUTTERFLY : Thanks, Homer. Most enlightening! I had no idea there were so many different types of demon. Sitting on the bus and train every day, all I see is the demon-haunted eyes of my fellow passengers.
I wish I had the Magic Sunglasses to see if THEY LIVE! The demon faces behind the human ones.
Sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, a demon looks back at me and snarls, “Why are you staring at me, bitch?”
It’s scary. I am afraid of looking in mirrors. I haven’t looked at one for six months now. At this rate, I won’t know what I look like soon.
I can’t even remember if I’m beautiful or ugly any more. Guess I’ll have to ask someone. I dread the answer.
HP : Madame B, by the sound of things you see well enough without the glasses. But we knew that…
MADAME BUTTERFLY : Flattery will get you somewhere! 🙂
SARDONICUS : Demons are much more than metaphors for evil people. They inhabit an unseen realm of their own, undetectable by 99.9% of the population. There are high frequency sounds, beyond the reach of the human ear, which can be heard quite distinctly by cats and dogs.
So it is with demons.
They can detected by others, either directly by sight and sound (called “hallucinations” by most psychiatrists and skeptics) or, as in LD’s case, by the sense of smell.
JOHN KIRBY : Mumbo Jumbo!
PAT : A belief in demons would require a belief in witch doctors. I dismiss all of that nonsense!
GILBERT HUNTLY : Pat – like Thomas Beckett said: “We really cannot argue that which will only become known after we expire. Physicals law tells us that for every action, there is a reaction. Likewise, I believe that for there to be Good, there must be Evil.”
How good and evil are manifested is a matter of perception. No one has the same perception of these phenomena. Some people are more “in tune” than others, seeing things that others cannot see.
KENDRA BLEWITT : Lately I have been reading the martyred Nazi philosopher, Rosenberg, who was martyred in that his only crime was his writing, yet he was hanged. According to Rosenberg, belief in demons has come to us from the inferior race and culture of the people of the ancient Near East. I personally find Rosenberg refreshing in many ways.
ARCH STANTON : “All truth can be tested” – Sufi saying
SARDONICUS : LD [Lasha Darkmoon] has had personal experience of demons for many years. Though she prefers not to talk about it, and never has in public, as far as I know.
Demonic possession, she once told me in an email, is exceptionally rare. But there are degrees of demonic possession, ranging from full possession (as in “The Exorcist”), to medium and low possession at the other end of the spectrum. Full possession requires an exorcist for a cure; medium possession, prayer and fasting — “This kind (of demon) cometh not out but by prayer and fasting”, Christ notes in the Gospels; and light possession, cured by regular meditation and constant vigilance.
LD has the “gift of smell”, a rare faculty analogous to the “Nose” in wine testing, whereby those who are possessed by demons can be detected by being literally “sniffed out”. They emanate an unmistakeable odour, a sickly sweet smell like the smell of burning tyres. Or sometimes like rotten eggs laced with honey or molasses. It’s always a “cloying” smell, she tells me. Sweet but sickly.
GILBERT HUNTLY : John Henry Newman preached the most beautiful piece of prose I have ever read, and William Peter Blatty featured it in his book The Exorcist. I had the good fortune to meet Blatty at a Georgetown party one evening, and he told me he incorporated part of Newman’s sermon into his novel for that very reason. I had committed it to memory when I was in high school. For any of you who have read it, you will understand. I will not recite it here, but the gist of it is the never-ending renewal of life, a perpetual struggle between Good and Evil.
SARDONICUS: I wish Gilbert had given a link to this “most beautiful piece of prose” or Newman sermon he is referring to. Never mind! Perhaps he is referring to the most beautiful Christian hymn ever written, a hymn so outstanding that even Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, would keep quoting it all the time — particularly the line: “One step enough for me.” In other words: “Let’s take each day as it comes, one step at a time. I’m referring to Newman’s hymn, originally a poem written in 1833.
The classic poem came to Newman in a burst of inspiration while he was travelling in Italy as a young priest and fell so desperately ill that he was unable to continue his journey for three weeks. In his own words:
Before starting from my inn, I sat down on my bed and began to sob bitterly. My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me. I could only answer, “I have a work to do in England.” I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the churches, and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles. We were becalmed for a whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio, and it was there that I wrote the lines, Lead, Kindly Light, which have since become so well known.
This poem, Lead Kindly Light, later to become a world-famous hymn, is highly relevant to any discussion of demonic possession because it was written by a demon-haunted man at a highly sensitive moment of his life:
Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,—
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene,—one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on:
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish days, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on;
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
Suffice to say that Newman would have had no problem believing in demons and demonic possession. He had his own demons, as Dostoevsky was to have later. Indeed, one of Dostoevsky’s greatest novels was called “The Demons”, otherwise translated as “The Possessed.”
Ed: And now the star comment of this series, written by a man who has actually had personal encounters with the demonically possessed and moved in exorcist circles:
UNGENIUS : I happened to remember that I had commented on casting out devils four years ago on the Darkmoon site, so I am reposting it again with appropriate date changes. During 2012, I investigated casting out devils. Being a follower of the teachings of Jesus, my investigation was in the Gospels. From that investigation, I learned the following:
1. Jesus only spoke of casting out devils in general, not of casting out the devil, Satan.
2. Jesus cast out devils in person and without the person being exorcised necessarily present.
3. Jesus did not pray to cast out a devil, he commanded it to leave.
4. Jesus told us to cast out devils in our fellowman.
5. It must not be difficult or requiring elaborate instructions to do this, since a man not associated with Jesus and his disciples was casting out devils using the name of Jesus.
6. If a devil is not cast out with a command, the person attempting to cast out a devil needed to pray and fast. Obviously, this was to increase the faith of the person commanding the exorcism ceremony.
7. The person possessed by a devil or devils displays symptoms of wanting to do bodily harm to themselves like cutting themselves or falling into a fire.
8. Permission of the possessed person is not needed before casting out a devil(s).
During June of 2016, I encountered a woman that witnessed a devil being cast out of her mother. She said she saw it leave. I wanted more informational detail from the person that did it. The woman refused to give me contact info on the woman that did the casting out until I read the woman’s book about how to do it. Jesus’ words of “give freely that which is freely given” came to mind.
Shortly afterward, I did bring up the topic of casting out devils on my weekly conference call with fellow Christian truth seekers (one being a biblical scholar), but did not learn anything that I did not know from my investigation four years earlier. The biblical scholar said that he believed that everyone has a devil. A point I rejected, given that Jesus did not cast any devils out of his Apostles.
During October of 2016, a friend and I were discussing possessions by a devil. This friend is the same one that raised a man from the dead in the middle of a church sermon in the presence of medical witnesses in 2012. I asked him why he was asking and he said he thought that a friend of his might be possessed. He said that she was scratching herself to the point of bleeding in reaction to bugs that did not exist. He also said that his friend had lead a life of sex, drugs, and alcohol abuse all of her adult life, that he had known her since she was a child, and that they had kept in touch throughout their life.
He said that she has spent three months living in his house after becoming homeless, but that she had relocated two hours away. They continued to stay in frequent contact after she relocated. He said that she was suffering from constant headaches, back pain, and digestive problems to the point of being miserable. His attempt to perform a healing on her did not work.
We discussed him casting out a devil from his female friend. I told him everything I knew about it from my investigation and assured him that he could do it with a verbal command using Jesus’ name. That same evening, he prayed to the Heavenly Father for increased faith, and then commanded:
“Jesus, remove all devils from (her name) and cast them into Hell!”
The next day, his friend called him and said that something totally unexpected had happened. She awoke from sleep and all her pain was gone. She also said that all she wanted to do after waking was to pray, which she did.
Apparently, a person possessed by a devil also has health problems.
Since my first post on this topic in 2016, I have not discovered anything that would alter my perception.
LD : An outstanding comment in every way. This deserves the widest possible circulation. I have never personally seen a demon in my life, but my mother has: a demonic entity haunting our house in East Dulwich, London, when I was in my teens. He used to show up at odd times, lurking on the stairwell or on the landing, grinning horribly through the yellow stumps of his teeth and with a distinct harelip, often dribbling at the mouth and cackling inanely. My mother even had a name for this disgusting creature: “Harelip”.
“Harelip” suddenly left the house when an eccentric lodger living on the top floor was removed to a mental institution. I’m sure “Harelip” was this weirdo’s personal demon. What became of the man? I have no idea. I know only this, from many experiences over the years: if a demonic realm does not exist, the world makes no sense whatever. We sometimes need Satan to pitchfork us into God’s arms. Many reach Mons Mysticus, the Mystical Mountain bathed in eternal sunlight, only after passing through the Valley of Darkness.
The great French poet Charles Baudelaire said it best: La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas. — “The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”
VIDEO : 7.20 mins
With permission from
April 21, 2018
The Bilderberg 2018 meeting is scheduled for July 7 – 10 in Turin Italy. David Rothkopf in Superclass told us that the West is run by Thirty Families and their 6,000 Minions. Rothkopf used to be CEO of Kissinger Associates.
The Steering Committee sets the agenda for Bilderberg meetings. Participants discuss the agenda items (whether publicly acknowledged or not) until a consensus is reached and the participants go back to their native countries and implement Bilderberg decisions. But notice the agenda and the Steering Committee membership are determined at a higher level.
Below is a list of the Bilderberg 2018 members and brief bios. These people run our governments for the benefit of Billionaire Bankers so we ought to study who they are. I will publish bios on all 2018 Bilderberg participants as soon as they are available.
CHAIRMAN Castries, Henri de (FRA), Chairman of Institut Montaigne. Former Chairman and CEO, AXA; President of Institut Montaigne. AXA,the insurance giant is the 9th largest company in the world. An American unit of AXA was involved in the Wall Street fleeces Main Street scandal which was investigated by the New York state Attorney General. Member of the Steering Committee. The Institut Montaigne is a French tank funded by Bankers A former AXA chairman founded it in 2000. It is an AXA operation. They favor social cohesion (meaning they don’t want the rabble to revolt.) They have studied in depth race riots in the Paris suburbs but have since brought in millions of unvetted refugees. Either not very bright or are working to destroy Europe.) Castries was replaced as CEO of AXA on Sept 1, 2016.
Achleitner, Paul M. (DEU), Treasurer, Bilderberg Meetings; Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG. Deutsche Bank has long been a favorite of Bilderberg. They helped fix interest rates and gold and silver prices. Remember Gordon Brown’s disastrous sale of UK gold? It was designed to drive down the price of gold and to save Deutsche Bank. It was contrary to British interests to sell gold for below market prices. He went to Harvard and worked for Goldman Sachs. He is on the Board at Bayer and Daimler (Mercedes.) He was the second Jewish CEO of Deutsche Bank in recent years.
Altman, Roger C. (USA), Founder and Senior Chairman, Evercore. He used to be with Lehman Brothers and Blackstone Group. He was a key supporter of Hillary Clinton. He was an adviser on the GM bankruptcy collecting $46 million in fees for Evercore. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Democratic party and Clinton insider. Speaking of infrastructure ripoffs, he helps run the Hamilton Project which is focused on rebuilding America’s infrastructure. They are linked to Brookings. Since they are liberals, the corporate press will not call them thieves if they steal a trillion dollars.
Barroso, José M. Durão (PRT).Former EU president, Chairman, Goldman Sachs International. He used to be a frequent object of Nigel Farage’s wrath at the EU parliament. Farage used to name Barroso as one of a long list of EU commissioners who were former Maoists and Communists or were either convicted felons or under indictment for felonies. He was a member of the underground Maoist MRPP . I am more concerned about his relationship with Goldman than his college days in a Maoist action group.
Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), CEO, Artemis. (Actually just stepped down but is still on the board) She is also the head of Christie’s auction house. Her husband is an investment banker at Barclays. She is board member and vice president at Gucci owner Kering She has a strong history in French business. Recently elevated to the Steering Committee.
Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Executive Chairman, Banco Santander. Formerly head of Santander UK. This is an old drug money laundering bank with ties to Latin America and the Rothschilds. Her mother is of Irish descent (O’Shea). She worked for J P Morgan for 8 years.
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard (NOR), President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA. It is the fourth largest integrated electrical generation and aluminum producer in the world.
Elkann, John (ITA), Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He owns part of the Rothschild Economist magazine. He is the grandson and heir of Gianni Agnelli. Fiat owns Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati and Chrysler. Elkann is Jewish and was born in New York. He also runs the Agnelli family investment firm Exor which owns Juventus F.C., Cushman & Wakefield and SGS. Henry Kissinger, Carla Bruni, and Ell McPherson attended his wedding. He has moved his Exor investments out of Italy. He moved their headquarters to the Netherlands. Italy is suffering and could bring down the EU.
Enders, Thomas (DEU), CEO, Airbus SE.Airbus is important to Bilderberg. Forbes called Airbus an industrial symbol of European unity. EU might soon be reduced to symbols if not ashes. This is apparent to people understand the implications of having more Unpayable Debts than at any time in world history’
Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV. She is a native speaker of Italian and German. She was critical of Berlusconi, quit her state TV job and became a Euro MP. She returned to TV. She is fluent in English and has worked as a war correspondent. She became a Member of the Steering Committee in 2016. She is older now but she is very sexy and well liked at Bilderberg. The Steering Committee recommends new members. She is in media and is close to Italian politicians, bankers, businessmen and celebrities.
Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Chairman Stichting Bilderberg Meetings.Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings.
Hedegaard, Connie (DNK), Chair, KR Foundation. She worked as a journalist for many years. She is also a Danish politician who was EU Commissioner for Climate Change serving under Bilderberg Steering committee member Barroso. She is a member of the Danish Conservative party. She had been a minister for the Environment in Denmark. The KR Foundation (http://krfnd.org/) They want to phase out coal. They say they want sustainable energy and sustainable finance. Not sure what sustainable finance means to a Bilderberger. They do want taxpayers to pay a couple trillion dollars in taxes and fees to them so they will save us from Climate Change. How about the Wigner Effect? Look it up. It says that nuclear power plants should be expected to enter into a final stage of discomposition after 30 year of service. News Flash: The US has 99 nuclear power plants with an average age of 36 years which is already 6 years beyond the Use By Date. That is not good!! Her Foundation has a program to teach us commoners how to learn to love and accept poverty.
Hobson, Mellody (USA), President, Ariel Investments LLC and the current Chair of the Board of Directors of DreamWorks Animation. She is black. First meeting was 2016. Ariel is a Chicago investment firm that manages over $10 billion in assets. She married George Lucas and had a child delivered by a surrogate birth mother. Attractive. New to Steering Committee.
Jacobs, Kenneth M. (USA), Chairman and CEO, Lazard. Lazard describes themselves as Financial advisors and asset managers. No mention of their connections to the Rothschilds.
Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies. Palantir spied on computer users for the CIA and NSA. Co-founder is Peter Thiel also a member of the Steering Committee.
Kleinfeld, Klaus (USA), CEO, NEOM. NEOM is a fanciful $500 billion project to build a mega city in the Saudi desert that will connect to Egypt via a bridge over the Gulf of Aqaba. Former Chairman and CEO, Arconic He has a spotty business career. He had to quit Siemens over corruption charges. He was CEO of ALCOA and then Arconic. He used to be a member of of the board of directors of Citigroup and Bayer. I doubt that is still true. For some reason he is popular with the Bankers at Bilderberg.
Koç, Ömer M. (TUR), Chairman, Koç Holding A.S. He was the only son of Turkey’s wealthiest man. He graduated from Johns Hopkins in the USA. His company is the largest in Turkey and partners with many foreign corporations making light bulbs and cars. He is a member of the New York Yacht Club. He hired Peter Sutherland a former Head of Bilderberg Europe.
Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), President, American Friends of Bilderberg; Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute(founded by Herman Kahn). It is funded by Eli Lily. She is from Montreal, Quebec, and is the third wife of financier Henry Kravis. She is an economist and serves on the board of major corporations. Returning member of the Steering Committee. Head of US Bilderberg.
Kudelski, André (CHE), Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group. Member of the Steering Committee. He serves on many corporate boards. He wrote this: Together with incredible opportunities come new risks, as the virtual and real world become one in the fourth industrial revolution. Read more here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-dark-side-of-the-fourth-industrial- revolution The asymmetry of risks that we are starting to face reinforces the need for an integrated and holistic view of security issues, and a strong synchronization between business and political action. (So what does that mean to a Bilderberg member?)
Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chairman, KBC Group. This is a large European bank based in Brussels which has expanded along with the EU into eastern Europe.
Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist, a Rothschild publication. New to Steering Committee.
Mundie, Craig J. (USA), Principal, Mundie & Associates. Mundie advocates that individuals be licensed before being allowed to use the Internet. Used to be part of Microsoft leadership. He was a scientific advisor to Obama.
O’Leary, Michael (IRL), CEO, Ryanair D.A.C. Must have liked him at his first meeting in 2015 because he was elevated to the Steering Committee in 2017. This guy is out spoken and funny. O’Leary jokingly described the airline’s planned business class travel experience as featuring “whores and rum”.
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), CEO, Titan Cement Co. Third year Member of the Steering Committee. Titan cement is a large international company which is expanding into the US and eastern Europe. He also appeared at Davos and likes to talk in public.
Sabia, Michael (CAD), CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. He earned his graduate degrees from Yale University. His wife, Hilary Pearson, is the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Lester Pearson. In 2016, he was appointed as a Officer of the Order of Canada. First meeting for him was 2016. He is a billionaire regarded as a savior in Montreal where he is building a light rail system. Another man from a small country who is keeping a struggling nation united. Have not heard much from Quebec separatists of late. Elevated to Steering Committee. Heather Reisman, a fellow Canadian, was dropped from the Steering Committee. She owned Indigo Books and might have been too belligerently pro-Israel.
Sawers, John (GBR), Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners. He was Chief, Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). He was a professional diplomat being neither a spy nor a warrior. Has first hand knowledge of Iran. First meeting in 2015. Joined Steering committee in 2016. They like him.
Schmidt, Eric E. (USA), Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc.Google owners Alphabet Inc. Member of the Steering Committee. Google is big at Bilderberg. They like to spy on us but he makes women wear masks in public when he is dating. Google execs have a bad history of relations with women. He thinks self-driving cars and trucks will be here in 5 years. Maybe not. They have a lot of crashes. Seems computers can’t figure out human drivers. Computers expect rationality from humans.
Scholten, Rudolf (AUT), President, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue. He is a Social Democrat. They lost control of Austria. He was head of the Austrian Central Bank. The Great Depression did not get going until the Rothschild owned Credit Anstalt bank of Vienna collapsed on May 11, 1931. It had too many eastern European bad debts. This man is not a professional banker.
Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), Senior Fellow, Harvard University. He made uncomplimentary comments about the US in a bugged conversation. He was in charge of the Oxford Debate club. He was a member of the Bullingdon group, a very despicable bunch.David Cameron was a member. They are sons of the wealthy and cannot be arrested when they tear up bars and beat patrons at Oxford. He worked at AEI while in America. They are pro-Globalist and supposedly conservative group.
Thiel, Peter A. (USA), President, Thiel Capital. He is bringing in the younger crowd of high tech billionaires the CIA and NSA will need to end anonymity on the Internet and then close down free speech. It should be noted that he is not an engineer. He is a lawyer and Stanford graduate. He worked as a derivatives trader and runs a Hedge Fund. He owned 10.2% of Facebook pre IPO. Thiel is a founder of PayPal which shuts down service to those who practice free speech on the Internet. He was an early investor in Facebook which legally should never had been offered as an IPO at anything above a dollar a share. PayPal has been linked by John Cruz to money laundering. He is a Libertarian. He defended Trump during the elections. He said: “Everyone says Trump is going to change everything way too much,” says the famed venture capitalist, contrarian and member of the Trump transition team. “Well, maybe Trump is going to change everything way too little. That seems like the much more plausible risk to me.”
Wallenberg, Marcus (SWE), Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB. He is a member of the famous Wallenberg family which was Jewish at one time. He is a Director of several banks and of Coca-Cola.
For reasons of health Henry Kissinger has been dropped from the Steering Committee. Richard Perle, extreme Zionist and founding member of PNAC used to be on the Steering Committee until 2 years ago but was dropped and in 2018 scrubbed from the list of previous Steering Committee members. Another extreme Zionist, Heather Reisman, the billionaire owner of Indigo Books and Music was dropped from the Steering Committee.
Catherine Austin Fitts: Real Danger Of The Deep State
Update: America’s Secret Multi-Trillion Dollar Black Ops Slush Fund
The Thirty Families Made Plans For A Future Without You.
Israel Killed JFK And Has Ruled America Ever Since.
No one dares to speak as smoke from a massive bonfire billows and twirls into a thick haze in the remote mountain town of Mamoiada. Flaming logs crack open, echoing through central Sardinia‘s rugged massifs and twisting valleys, shooting sparks toward a solemn mass of spectators. We’re huddled together on a piercingly cold January night, bracing for something wild in the darkness that’s lurching ever closer.
I peer through the smoke, searching for any signs of life beyond the glow of the blaze when I see several mothers suddenly pull their children in close. Just then, Ruggero Mameli, a lifelong Mamoiada resident who had invited me to come witness this event, whispers, “They’re coming.”
Within seconds, a distant rattling sound shakes the night awake, building slowly with each heavy step until it erupts into a deafening clatter. The sea of spectators parts, I see them, and a chill runs up my spine. Twelve menacing figures in jet-black masks with jutting, ghoulish features and dark sheepskin tunics are inching toward me, weighed down by up to 65 pounds of cowbells strapped to their backs. Their hunched frames slowly drag forward in two rows, eyeing the crowd as they heave themselves into a series of synchronized convulsions that cause the sheep bones inside their copper bells to clang in a thunderous chorus.
“These are not men,” Mameli tells me, as the creatures approach the bonfire. “They’re mamuthones.”
According to Mameli, every year on January 17, a group of men in this sleepy mountain town awake from their slumber and transform into masked, monstrous mamuthones and lithe, rope-wielding issohadores. From the late afternoon deep into the night, the two groups slowly parade around some 40 bonfires roaring throughout the streets of Mamoiada in a delicate dance: The black-masked mamuthones symbolize the darkness, grunting and stomping as they burst into violent pseudo seizures; while the white-masked issohadores (“rope-carriers”) are the light, leading the beasts from flame to flame while launching their wiry reed sohas into the crowd to lasso young women in an ode to fertility. The creatures reappear on Carnival Sunday and Fat Tuesday before then hibernating until the following winter.
“We feel their presence all year long, and when we speak of them, it is always hushed,” says Mameli, who has been hand-carving grimacing and pain-stricken masks out of wild pear, walnut, and chestnut trees for the mamuthones for more than 35 years, since he was 12. “On il continente [mainland Italy], the Carnival is light-hearted, but here it is full of suffering and mystery. It’s a part of us. I can’t explain it.”
No one really can. Some scholars believe the mamuthones and issohadores date back some 3,000 years to the island’s mysterious Bronze Age Nuragic civilization and represent a banishment of the dark winter and welcoming of spring. Roman invaders considered the anthropomorphic beasts a form of sacrilegious animal worship that threatened the Christianity they tried to spread. When their repeated attempts to subdue the region failed, they dubbed the area Barbagia after the “barbarian-like” practices of its inhabitants-a name that has stuck and includes much of the island’s rural interior. Remarkably, the Barbagia communities near Mamoiada were among the last in modern-day Italy to convert to Christianity, continuing to worship wood and stone until the seventh century.
In fact, away from the island’s cosmopolitan capital, Cagliari – where I lived for two years – and the puttering yachts of the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia’s craggy interior has historically been one of the most isolated and impenetrable pockets in the Mediterranean. Residents here still speak Sardo, the closest living form of Latin; veiled grandmothers and bands of nomadic shepherds gaze warily at outsiders; and residents fiercely proclaim that Sardinia isn’t Italy. This is a hard, uncompromising place-a fact that is announced loud and clear upon entering the village, where the welcome sign in Sardo is left pristine, while that in Italian is ripped through by bullet holes.
Today, the most accepted theory is that the mamuthones represent evil beings from the underworld, while the issohadores are believed to have captured these threatening spirits and are driving them out of town in a sort of pagan exorcism. In a post-Christian Barbagia, the ritual has received a Catholic gloss and now starts outside Mamoiada’s parish church on the feast day of Sant’Antonio Abate, the protector of animals and fire who is believed to have stolen a spark from the underworld to bring light and warmth to the living. Not only is participation in this archaic rite tolerated by the church, it’s encouraged: The wood that villagers collect to burn in the bonfires is blessed by the parish priest, the men who transform into monsters and convulse by firelight are well-respected members of the community who show up to Sunday mass, and this cult – Catholic syncretism has fused into a holy matrimony.
But the scene I’m witnessing is raw, primal, and trance-like. Twelve mamuthones in two even rows representing each lunar cycle stagger forward in unison, their wooly bodies pulled to the ground by the weight of the bells. They shuffle and rattle, first to the left, then to the right, as eight herders in red tunics guard the creatures, jumping around lightly in contrast and launching their reed lassos around squealing women in the crowd as an omen of rebirth and renewal, not just for their families, but also for their fields and flocks. When the issohadore setting the pace in the front of the pack raises his hand to the beasts and lowers it, they obediently shudder three times, as if expelling some evil deep within them, before returning to their hunched, hypnotic state.
We follow this otherworldly spectacle from fire to fire well into the night. When the procession finally encircles a flaming pyre on the outskirts of the village, the parade suddenly stops. The mamuthones double over in exhaustion, several falling to their knees and gasping for air. They slowly remove their masks, returning to their earthly bodies and once again becoming shepherds, shopkeepers, and men.
The mass around me bursts into applause and this once-solemn spectacle quickly shifts into an all-night celebration.
The mamuthones are each weighed down by up to 65 pounds of cowbells, strapped tightly across their ribcages and hanging down their backs. The bells’ clappers are made from the thigh and neck bones of sheep.
As the winds whip through the mountains, Mamoiada’s faithful welcome us into their dimly lit kitchens, brewing hazelnut coffee, serving sandwiches made with wild boar, and opening their homes to guests in a tradition known as cortes apertas (“open houses”). Next come the fried ox testicles, followed by the pours and pours of homemade grappa. Just when everything is starting to blur, I spot Mameli, who I had lost in the commotion.
“Follow me,” he says, leading me from Mamoiada’s squat homes through a series of doorways into the stone courtyard of the Associazione Culturale Atzeni. The association is one of two groups committed to keeping Mamoiada’s ancient rite alive, selecting and training more than 200 men and boys to take part in the sacred custom, only a few of whom will ever perform.
“You have to be strong and willing to sacrifice and suffer,” says Pino Ladu, the group’s president, pointing toward two aspiring mamuthones struggling to unbuckle a harness of bells strapped so tightly around a man’s back that he is nearly collapsing. “This thing has existed since the dawn of time. But only some of us ever become it.”
Comment: While it may be an amalgamation of traditions, one does wonder what it’s original meaning may have been:
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“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Matthew 10:26
Almost a hundred years ago, as if peering into a crystal ball and predicting the future, spiritual teacher and clairvoyant Rudolf Steiner prophesied that the most momentous event of modern times was what he referred to as the incarnation of the ethericChrist. By the “etheric Christ,” Steiner is referring to a modern-day version of Christ’s resurrection body, which can be conceived of as being a creative, holy and whole-making spirit that is inspiring human evolution as it operates upon the body of humanity through the collective unconscious of our species. Involving a radically new understanding of a timeless spiritual event, the etheric Christ, instead of incarnating in full-bodied physical form, is approaching via the realm of spirit—as close as this immaterial spirit can get to the threshold of the third-dimensional physical world without incarnating in materialized form. To quote Steiner, “Christ’s life will be felt in the souls of men more and more as a direct personal experience from the twentieth century onwards.”
A spiritual event of the highest order, Steiner felt that the incarnation of the etheric Christ is “the most sublime human experience possible” and “the greatest turning point in human evolution.” The etheric Christ is a nonlocal, atemporal spirit, existing outside of space and time, that is simultaneously immersed in, infused with—and expressing itself through—events in our world. The etheric Christ reveals itself for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear as it weaves itself, not only through the warp and woof of the flow of events comprising history, but through our souls as well.
To quote Steiner, “in the future we are not to look on the physical plane for the most important events but outside it, just as we shall have to look for Christ on His return as etheric form in the spiritual world.” The most important spiritual events of any age often remain hidden from the eyes of those who are entranced in a materialistic conception of the world. It greatly behooves us to not sleep through, but rather, to consciously bear witness to what has been up until now taking place mostly unconsciously, subtly hidden beneath the mundane consciousness of our species. If this epochal spiritual event, to quote Steiner, “were to pass unnoticed, humanity would forfeit its most important possibility for evolution, thus sinking into darkness and eventual death.” If the deeper spiritual process of the incarnation of the etheric Christ is not understood, this potentially liberating process transforms into its opposite (into the demonic).
Steiner felt that the advent of the etheric Christ—the Parousia (the Second Coming)—was the greatest mystery of our time. He was of the opinion that the incarnation of the etheric Christ was the deeper spiritual process that is in-forming and giving shape to the current multi-faceted crises (and opportunities) that humanity presently faces. This is to say that the seemingly never-ending wars and conflicts that are taking place all over the globe are the shadows cast by spiritual events from a higher-dimension that are animating earthly happenings. One of the main reasons that these multiple crises are so dangerous is because their deeper spiritual source remains unrecognized.
The higher order of light encoded within the etheric Christ is bringing to light the darkness which is seemingly opposed to it, which further helps its light nature to be seen. The true radiance of the light can only be seen and appreciated in contrast to the depth of darkness it illumines. It is as if the revelation of something is through its opposite—just as darkness is known through light, light is known through darkness. A fundamental spiritual principle of creation itself appears to be that when one force—e.g., light—begins to emerge in the universe a counterforce, opposed to the first, arises at that same moment. Just as shadows belong to light, these light and dark powers are interrelated, reciprocally co-arising, inseparably contained within and expressions of a single deeper unifying process. In essence, spirit is incarnating, and it is revealing itself through the very darkness that it is making visible.
Commenting on the other—and less recognized—half of the Second Coming, Steiner chillingly said, “before the Etheric Christ can be properly understood by people, humanity must have passed through the encounter with the Beast.” By “the Beast” he means the apocalyptic beast, the radically evil. The Beast is the guardian of the threshold through which we must pass in order to meet the lighter, celestial and heavenly part of our nature.
As soon as I read Steiner’s prophecy I felt the truth of his words. I recognized how what Steiner was saying mapped onto—and created context for—what is happening in our current world-gone-crazy. I also recognized the truth of what Steiner was saying based on my own inner experience. I have noticed that as I get closer to connecting with the light within myself, the forces of darkness seem to become more active and threatening. It is as if there is something in me—and in everyone, which is to say this situation isn’t personal—that desperately doesn’t want us to recognize and step into our light. This internal process is taking place within the subjectivity of countless individual human psyches, which is then reflexively being collectively acted out—in my language, “dreamed up”—en masse in, as and through the outside world.
In his prophecy, Steiner is pointing out that our encounter with the Beast is initiatory, a portal that—potentially—introduces us to the Christ figure. To quote Steiner, “Through the experience of evil it will be possible for the Christ to appear again.” It is noteworthy that the opposites are appearing together: coinciding with the peak of evil is an inner development which makes it possible for the etheric Christ—who is always present and available—to be seen and felt as a guiding presence that can thereby become progressively more embodied in humans, both individually and collectively as a whole species. In the extreme of one of the opposites is the seed for the birth of the other. Speaking of the power of the etheric Christ, Steiner said, “When this power has permeated the soul, it drives away the soul’s darkness.”
The brightest, most radiant and luminous light simultaneously casts and calls forth the darkest shadows. Through this process of Christ manifesting in the etheric realm, humanity is exposed to evil in a way never before experienced, such that—in potential—we may be able to find the good and the holy in a more real and tangible way than was previously possible. Humanity’s highest virtues and potentialities are activated and called forth when confronted by evil. Evil, according to Steiner, though by definition diametrically opposed to the good, is—paradoxically—a catalyst for bringing the power of goodness to the fore.
It is an archetypal idea that ascending towards the light always necessitates a confrontation with and descent into the darkness. Evil, according to Steiner, co-emerges with the possibility of humanity’s freedom, as if God could not create true freedom for humanity without providing a choice for evil. To quote Steiner, “In order for human beings to attain to full use of their powers of freedom, it is absolutely necessary that they descend to the low levels in their world conception as well as in their life.” From Steiner’s point of view, evil is created by and for freedom, and it is only through the conscious exercise of freedom of choice—which evil itself challenges us to develop—by which it can be overcome.
The mystery of humanity’s higher nature is inseparable from the mystery of evil. It is beyond debate that in our current age we are called to deal with evil—only those who choose to stay asleep, or are overly identified with the light (and hence, project out and dissociate from their own darkness) are blind to this. No realization of the light would ever occur without first getting to know its opposite. Whoever wants to support the sacred must be able to protect it and we can only do so when we know the forces that oppose it.
Evil, however, has an intense desire to remain incognito, below the radar, as its power to wreak havoc is dependent on not being recognized. Paradoxically, it is only by knowing the Beast in ourselves that we become truly human. Recognizing the depth of evil within ourselves helps us to develop the inner capacity to stand free of it, and in so doing, become acquainted with the part of ourselves that is beyond evil’s reach, thus enabling us to establish ourselves as free, sovereign and independent beings. It is to our advantage to know that our worst adversary resides in our own heart, rather than falling for the all-to-common delusion of thinking that our enemy is outside of ourselves.
If we become conscious of the evil within us, in our expansion of consciousness, that evil is promoting our spiritual development. We have then, through our realization, alchemically transmuted evil into a catalyst for our evolution. To quote Steiner, “The task of evil is to promote the ascent of the human being.” The question naturally arises: if, as Steiner professes, freedom is actualized only through the existence of evil, is evil an expression of a higher intelligence, an aspect of the divine plan designed to bring about a higher form of good that couldn’t be actualized without its existence?
The sponsor of humanity’s evolution, the etheric Christ doesn’t give the answer, but inspires the question. Sometimes it’s more important to ask the right question than to find the right answer.
About the Author
A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality (SelectBooks, May 2018), Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father (Awaken in the Dream Publishing, 2015), Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013) and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis (Authorhouse, 2006). He is the founder of the “Awakening in the Dream Community” in Portland, Oregon. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. He was the coordinator for the Portland PadmaSambhava Buddhist Center for over twenty years. Please visit Paul’s website www.awakeninthedream.com. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org; he looks forward to your reflections.