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A DEFENCE OF DEMONS:

demon

by Alyne Pustanio

"…demonic possession and obsession are both voluntary states. In order to become subject to one or the other, a link has to be formed between human awareness and the demonic plane, and that link must be formed from the human side. Demons, in other words, cannot force their way into the human mind or body uninvited, for despite all their powers and unnerving forms, we are stronger than they are – at least potentially. They must seduce, flatter, wheedle, and cajole their way in, for they can only enter with our permission." -- Greer 2004:169



DEMON ASTROTH


This Defence is prompted by the rampant cult of personality and rampant arrogance at work in the paranormal community today. This community, which has grown exponentially in the past several years, is now populated by literally hundreds of groups and individuals who put themselves forth as professionals and experts in the field of paranormal research and the occult. And there are yet others whose focus is less on the strictly paranormal, who cloak themselves in the role of the warm-and-fuzzy, ooey-gooey spiritual "advisor" and who hold forth on a plethora of subjects from ghosts and the now-obligatory demons to what color underwear the Dahli Lama wears on a Wednesday if it's raining and the wind is from the southwest …. In fact, many of these groups and individuals are instead laboring toward one goal: Celebrity and the notoriety (not to mention money) that can come from being "just like the guys on TV."

Preying upon the public's interest and often its genuine needs, these self-absorbed yahoos hold forth on websites and social networking sites with their often borrowed and mostly skewed concepts of paranormal theory and information, calling it education or, even worse, fact, modeled almost completely from what they have observed in the mass media. For its part, the media (which remember is 99% income-focused or it would not exist) has played into this dismal scenario with exploitative "reality" shows that follow the supposedly real and unscripted activities of the so-called experts and their cache of formerly idle, but now decidedly in vogue, psychics, mediums, occultists, "tech specialists," "documentarians," and on, and on. Mostly these groups will regurgitate the common, long-held conceptions about ghosts and hauntings, and equipment constructed for use in other fields of science but which have been adapted for use by self-styled "researchers" to validate suspected preternatural activity -- and they'll all look and sound very ersatz-professional doing so!

But there is also, with increasing regularity, the inclusion of someone or others who present themselves as demonologists – literally an expert on demons – who are present "in case" the purported activity is "demonic" or who are there to lend other aid usually because the person being investigated thinks that he or she is the victim of demons. These demonologists always inspire a muted awe in the subjects of the investigation – after all the term "demonology" originated in the 1590's or thereabouts, must be something to it, right? The introduction of the demonologist also signals, to all those fans of paranormal reality (there's an oxymoron for us) TV shows that things are definitely ramping up – or otherwise why would a demon expert be called?

Why, indeed?

There is a new trend among the multitude of ghost hunters, self-pronounced professionals, and wanna-be demonologists to use a very broad brush in painting the nature of supernatural activity when it is encountered. Only a couple of years ago, there wasn't the propensity that exists now to include demons in the laundry-list of possible spirits causing anomalous activity – unless, of course, there was some firm evidence of ritual magic or other misguided occult activities taking place in the environment (present or past) or indulged in by the individual in question that would point the possibility of genuine demonic involvement.

Matthias Gerung - satirical print, 1520-1560

Matthias Gerung - satirical print, 1520-1560



But with the popularity of the paranormal as entertainment, all such nit-picking has gone the way of the ghosts themselves, and now anything is possible, anything is fair game.

In that infamous second-to-last season-closing episode of A&E's "Paranormal State" we were subjected to Ryan Buell's fearful allusions to a powerful and frightening demonic force that he claims to have encountered in his past, with devastating results; at the same time the name BELIAL (in ominously large letters) flashes almost subliminally in between frames. So, Ryan won't utter the name, nor will he allow his team to utter the name, but we at home are responding to the schtick – and probably saying the name aloud in the cozy darkness of our living rooms. Belial, the Arch Demon, used as a prop in a fabricated fear fest designed to make teens scream in worry and woe for the "PS" hottie and the rest of us scratch our head in a collective "duh" trying to guess the identity of the bad guy.

In popular shows from the old MTV "Fear" to the current "Ghost Hunters" and so many others, simply the inference or suggestion that "it's demonic" are enough to raise goosebumps – oh, and ratings, too. In "The Exorcist," what was really frightening? Was it that Linda Blair's character became possessed, or that the possessing entities were demons from the pits of Hell itself?

Among investigative groups, as well, there is now a tendency to immediately bring the possibility of the demonic into play – as if the obsession or possession by evil discarnate human beings isn't frightening enough! Appealing to our deep, primordial fears and also to our propensity for "rubber necking" at everything from car crashes to murder scenes, the demonic is the new and exciting spirit du jour!

This casual approach to demons and the demonic realm is worrisome to me for several reasons. The first is that it deliberately increases the fear of both victims of supernatural occurrences and the public in general with regard to the nature of what is being experienced; inferring that the experience is "demonic" automatically creates undue fear and worry. Second, jumping to the demonic can often turn the spotlight away from what really is happening and what type of spiritual activity may actually be taking place; there is a large catalog of verifiable activities perpetrated by all sorts of spirits, not necessarily demonic. And finally, it both minimizes the profound reality of Demons and produces a more casual attitude toward the demonic that not only denigrates the profoundly cosmic nature of these beings, but also opens the unwary and the just plain stupid up to a vast array of undreamt-of horrors.

UNDERSTANDING DEMONS: THE QLIPPOTH part 2

CALLING UP DEMONS

ABOUT ALYNE PUSTANIO

Folklorist and occultist Alyne Pustanio is a New Orleans whose roots go deep into the local culture; it is from that proverbial “gumbo” that she draws her inspiration for most of her tales of terror and fascination.

ALYNE PUSTANIO

A descendant of Portuguese and Sicilian immigrant families who trace their ancestry to European Gypsies, Alyne was exposed to the mysteries of the occult at an early age.  Two great-grandmothers were gifted and sought out mediums and another relative is a verified psychic, however, Alyne credits her mother – an avid spiritualist – with inspiring her lifelong interest in the supernatural and unexplained.  When still a schoolgirl, Alyne accompanied her mother to spiritualist meetings and panels where she met some of the early paranormal greats such as Hans Holzer, Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Jeanne Dixon.

First-hand experiences with the world of the unseen (she has lived in haunted houses and around haunted people all her life) and her own intuitive nature caused her fascination with the paranormal to grow, and for more than half her life she has been a student of the occult.  These interests, combined with her avocations in folklore and history, result in a validity and passion that is immediately obvious in all her writings.  Some of her most colorful pieces, “The Zombie Child of New Orleans” among them, owe much to the rich supernatural heritage that steeps New Orleans; others, such as her essay on “Psychic Vampires” published in Doorways Magazine, are the product of harrowing real-life experiences.  Essays such as her “Defense of Demons” are breaking new ground in the realm of paranormal investigation, changing pre-set notions and concepts about the real dangers of the supernatural realm.

Alyne has used her extensive knowledge of the occult, in particular the traditions of Western Ritual Magic, in her work as an Occult Analyst and Case Manager for groups such as Louisiana State Paranormal Research (LSPR) Society, Seekers of Unexplained Louisiana (SOUL), and New Orleans Paranormal and Occult Research Society (NOPORS).  She is also frequently called upon by individuals across the United States, victims of attacks from the realm of the unseen, for information and guidance in cases of extreme hauntings or suspected demonic activity.  In addition, Alyne coordinates the Paranormal and Unexplained track for Babel Con, a popular multi-genre convention held annually in Baton Rouge, LA; she also lectures on the paranormal and occult at Babel Con and other conventions in the South.

When she is not writing, developing material, or investigating, Alyne enjoys participating in Renaissance festivals and medieval faires throughout the South; she is the founder of her own tribe of Gypsies, “The Vitsa Hokano Baro,” which she describes as her own “living experiential discovery” of her Gyspy heritage.  A November child,she loves dark, brooding, grey days, cold weather and thunderstorms; anything to do with the British Isles, the American Civil War and New York City; reads the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Edgar Allan Poe, Christina Rosetti, and Tolkien, admires Milton, Blake and Machiavelli, and is a student of modern occult writers John Michael Greer, Michael Ford, and Dr. Joseph Liewsienski.  Her favorite holiday is Halloween, her favorite color is black and she lives in New Orleans with her teenage daughter, two dogs and several cats.

 

The Midnight Tour© SixthSenseSavannah.com'

 

The San Francisco Ghost Society

The San Francisco Ghost Society

The San Francisco Ghost Society: Top Left To Right: Jim Petry, Tammy Putnam, Sharon Leong, Tommy Netzband, Annalisa Bastiani, Shonna Sinclair, Elissa Fricano. Bottom Left To Right: Sharon Leong, Syndi Burton, Shannon Riley

Top Left To Right: Jim Petry, Tammy Putnam, Sharon Leong, Tommy Netzband, Annalisa Bastiani, Shonna Sinclair, Elissa Fricano. Bottom Left To Right: Sharon Leong, Syndi Burton, Shannon Riley

www.sfghostsociety.org

 

The San Francisco Ghost Society

The San Francisco Ghost Society was founded by Tommy Netzband as a small all volunteer organization, devoted to the research and investigation of the city and county of San Francisco's ghosts and paranormal occurrences. We conduct FREE, professional and discreet investigations of locations where there have been reports of paranormal activity or unexplained occurrences. Our approach is one of flexible skepticism; we seek to remain unconvinced by the end of the investigation, as opposed to embracing every speck of dust caught on camera as proof positive of a haunting. To this end we conduct extensive research about a prospective site, to understand its history, architecture, infrastructure and location. We utilize a broad spectrum of equipment and technology to record and analyze the course of the investigation. Our team members are all responsible, knowledgeable and professional individuals from the San Francisco area, who contribute their diverse interests, talents and time to each investigation.

Services Of The San Francisco Ghost Society
Free and confidential investigations of reported paranormal activity...


Free SFGS lecture/workshop events...
Conference presentations and lecturing ...
Corporate team building through a paranormal investigation...
Appearances for radio and television

Tommy Netzband
Founder & President:
Annalisa Bastiani
Vice President
Shonna Sinclair
Director of Communications
Anne Leong
Co-Director of Imaging and Technology
Sharon Leong
Co-Director of Imaging and Technology
Syndi Burton
Field Investigation Coordinator
Shannon Riley
Lead Field Investigator
Elissa Fricano
Active Field Investigator/Sensitive
Jim Petry
Active Field Investigator
Tammy Putnam
Active Field Investigator

tOMMY nETZBAND

Tommy Netzband is the creator and host of the Haunted Haight Walking Tour www.hauntedhaight.com. He also in the founder and President of the San Francisco Ghost Society, a paranormal group that researches claims on of the supernatural in the city of San Francisco. Tommy is often called a "ghost historian" for his passion for researching the history of ghosts. Come discover the macabre history of San Francisco and learn all about the ghosts of Haight-Ashbury. ALSO SEE: 20 QUESTIONS WITH TOMMY NETZBAND

sfghostsociety@yahoo.com or call us direct at: (415) 336-6945.

 



 

 

 

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How can you say ghost exist unless you try to experience it yourself? If you are not willing to try, then you have no factual basis for your conclusion. To put this another way, don't decide it before you try it. All beliefs come from a experience. Many believe people for their word, others not so trusting simply need to be shown. And still more do not believe what they see even if it shoved in their face.

 

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I have been a ghost hunter and the president of H.P.I. International for 4 odd years now.  Not only am I the President of HPI (with over 375 members and another branch in Michigan and San Luis Obispo), but I have written articles for Haunted America Tours
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