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Atheist Experience
Possession

I have a question for the believers:

Why do demonic or satanic possessions only happen to believers? If I was the devil or a demon of some sort, then I would go after Atheists. The Atheist would only think they are sick and need medical attention and the demon could stay in that body for a much longer time, if not forever.

Because believers are Muppets! The Psychology is simple; one gets caught up in the emotion of it all, then guilt and suppression of 'self' leads to the imagination being pushed into overdrive; all of which is supported by all the other morons who believe in the same crap. This creates an interesting set of behaviours in people. They suddenly start to copy what they think a demon infested person does. There are numerous examples in the media or even in the bible. All of which is reinforced further by their peers. This compounds the psychology. Group think takes over and bobs your uncle you got mouth foaming nut cases left right and centre. Well that is the colour of it as far as I can tell. :-)

The devil doesnt need to go after non believers because they are already heading down his path

If you believe in something it is real to you - it does have power over you. If you don't believe in it - it isn't real to you - it has no power over you. When someone gives up believing in things that are not real they go away - what is real doesn't. You give the devil power by your belief in it.

To research this you should read Evidence of Satan in the Modern World by Monsignor Cristiani. Cristiani is/was a French bishop. The book is a collection of possession cases. All but one of the phenomena that impress him are explained by psychological causes, mostly split personality. Cristiani is an honest man and properly notes his sources. The only one that has unexplainable phenomena such as levitation was written 90 years after the event, time enough for embellished retelling.

On the contrary Americans even in the Bible Belt have no history of belief in possession. So in our culture we have the Bible Belt example of The 3 Faces of Eve. Eve White was possessed at times by an evil personality. When the evil person, Eve Black, came out to the psychiatrist she had never given clear consideration that she and White shared the same body and the same fate. Now, interacting with society as a person, Black was subject to social influence. Black was not a psychopath but was a bit of a spoiled child. So Black at first was not clear who she was.

In a milieu that believed in demonic possession such an "alter" would not be sure of who it was and would be open to the idea that it was Asteroth.

I remember in Cristiani's book of an early 19th century possessed person. Once when Asteroth came out he aimed a kick just short of a guest's chin and laughed. Cristiani lived in a country which was famous for the kick boxing style known as savate. Also, a French comic romance of the Middle Ages describes a young aristocrat's agility by saying that he could kick so high and fast at a candle that he could put out the flame without knocking over the candle itself. Nevertheless, Cristiani, being superstitious, regarded this as supernatural. Note that like Eve, the possessed man was rewarded for his possession by being given leave to make antisocial pranks.

Danlantic said, in the (second paragraph) "On the contrary Americans even in the Bible belt have no history of belief in possession. So in our culture we have the Bible belt example of The 3 Faces of Eve. Eve White was possessed at times by an evil personality."

Eve white was not "possessed" she was diagnosed with mental illness. It was not schizophrenia, it is a dissociative disorder. I'm sure that there has never been a case of demon possession that could not have been explained by mental illness.

It was the "clergy" that decided who was demon possessed in the past, and they believed in it because it is in the Bible. Today mental illness is better understood and the Catholic Church has tried to distance themselves from their "exorcist" past. Some fundamentalists in the Bible belt and elsewhere do believe in demon possession because it is in the Bible, and they do believe every word of the Bible is literally true. Belief in demon possession because it's in the Bible does not make it a certainty or a fact.

The story of Eve White/Black (not her real name) was a book that was made into a movie "The Three Faces of Eve." I saw an interview with this woman when I was a kid. The movie only described one traumatic incident where she was made to kiss her dead grandmother good bye at her funeral, but in the interview she said that when she was a child she had witnessed a horrible logging accident. I do not know if that was in the book because I haven't read it. I don't think her story is interesting except for the fact that she had an unusual mental illness that there was very little known about at that time. The traumas I mentioned and other factors caused her to have multiple personality disorder. I'm speculating, but I think that there is probably more to her story than she could ever remember.

What I understand about this illness, when things become extremely intolerable for some people they will disassociate. Disassociate means (mentally not literally going away) and some other side of their own personality takes over. They are not possessed by something outside of themselves and they are not schizophrenic; it is not a split personality.

There is another story about a person with multiple personality disorder (or dissociative disorder) Sybil, based on a book written by Flora Rheta Schreiber. It is the story of a woman who suffered from reportedly up to 16 co-existing personalities. This woman had a horrible childhood because of her mentally sick mother. The story is a little more interesting (but not much) and she had the same mental illness.

Both of these cases are about a rare mental disorder, not possession. There were some psychiatrists who debated the actual diagnosis in both cases. Some psychiatrists thought it was another type of mental illness, but none thought it was demon possession. They had a form of mental illness. Today I think they call it dissociative disorder. I'm not saying that these mental illnesses have been cured. They do not have a cure; there is only treatment. Treatment is not a cure. I am not saying that they know everything about these disorders because they don't, and that is why there is no cure. There is only treatment. Some researchers think that brain chemistry could play a roll in many kinds of mental illnesses. They have spent far more money on treatment for mental illness than on finding all the causes. The problem is that we have never had a good understanding of mental illness, and it is only now that they are arduously studying the brain because we know very little about the brain, and I don't think the reason they are doing that is because of mental illness.

This is just my opinion and I didn't document a thing. When nothing is documented it is only an opinion; it is not proof of a thing. I'm sure an explanation in a psychiatric journal could explain misdiagnosis of mental illness, and why demon possession is bunk. I'm sure I could find plenty of proof if I thought I needed to, but I don't. I don't have to prove a thing about demon possession, or prove that it is an unreasonable belief, and I'm not. The burden of proof is on those who make extraordinary claims and mine are not extraordinary or unreasonable claims. They are based on actual events that have been explained. The claim that demon possession exists has not been proven. They need to prove that there are demons first, and then they need to prove that demons inhabit people, before I would need to prove a thing. Since they have no proof of demons the belief in demon possession is unreasonable; I don't have to prove something does not exist when there is no proof that it does.

When someone has no proof of a claim or uses unreliable sources like the Bible to prove a claim and gives no corroborating evidence from qualified experts, it does not stand up as proof. Their claim has not been proven. That is why they need to give their opinion along with experts that confirm their beliefs. That is true of any belief that has no basis in fact. If they don't do that it is only an opinion, but it's not proof. If I say their opinion is flawed that's my opinion that is based on what I know scientifically or historically, but unless I have corroborating evidence it is only my own opinion. I need some proof, such as qualified expert's findings, or I haven't prove a thing. My opinion is not proof. I don't have to do any of that though in this case. I do not have to prove something does not exist; they have to prove that it does first. Being part of a very large freethinking family helps me to know when you do or don't need to prove something. Until someone can prove demons exist we are only discussing an unreasonable unfounded belief.

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