By the Publisher,
Love One Another! 7/2006 → Magic, idolatry, spiritual threats
This is the second part to the history of Father Jacques Verlinde’s conversion - a scientist who worked for FNRS (National Fund For Scientific Research) in Belgium. At 21 he opted out of an academic career to be-come a pupil of a Hindu guru and spent a few years in Hindu ashrams. He returned to Europe and became a devotee of New Age philosophy. After undergoing conversion he broke with occultism, entered a monastery and became a priest.
People practicing Eastern cult techniques can open themselves up to so-called chakras, i.e. energy centers though which bad energies can be absorbed and used for magic or other occult purposes. A person may enter a state of so called kundalini energy, as a medium, using the mysterious energy of evil. In the brief account below, Verlinde relates his experiences:
After returning from India my chakras were open as a result of meditation and the members of an esoteric group noticed this and tried to persuade me to use my powers. In so doing, they falsely interpreted the Holy Book saying I can work miracles and use this for the good of others. After all, the Lord Jesus wishes that we help those in need!
I didn’t know the Testament well at that time and didn’t
realise that God strictly forbade this type of practice, for it
is especially harmful: ”Neither let there be found among you
any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass
through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams
and omens, neither let there be any wizard, nor charmer, nor any
one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that
seeketh the truth from the dead. For the Lord abhorreth all these
things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming.
Thou shalt be perfect, and without spot before the Lord thy God.
These nations, whose land thou shalt possess, hearken to soothsayers
and diviners: but thou art otherwise instructed by the Lord thy
Not being well informed and completely unaware that there was anything wrong, I took up uccultism and wished thus to help the needy. I used a pendulum foe diagnosis and with time realized that even without it, I knew why a person was ill. I discovered the gift of clairvoyancy and could read diseases from photographs; when asked to diagnose a problem by telephone I would shut my eyes and see everything in this patient! Every normal person learns through their senses and gathers information as a result. On the other hand, radiosthesia and other forms of clairvoyancy allow for immediate cognition and this is not a purely human ability, for only angels and demons are so endowed. Angels, however, have other tasks than clairvoyancy and thus I have reason to think that in this case, this is the ‘work’ of the devil. Moreover, the consequences of these ‘readings’ confirm that we are dealing with an unfriendly spirit.
After some time I realized that I am able not only to diagnose illnesses but even restore health through touch. I allowed myself to be persuaded to use this ability ‘for the good of others’. This was already after my conversion, when I was a person of deep faith and really loved the Lord Jesus! I attended Holy Mass, would say the rosary and spend a lot of time on prayer. In healing through touch I learnt, however, that a voice from somewhere, from a mysterious entity, is directing me and this discovery really worried me. By now I knew the Testament rather well and understood that this voice does not come from Jesus – and I started thinking, well then from whom?
Today I know that this was so called channelling, meaning the use of a channel. During the healing I became the ‘channel’ of some spiritual entity but became very concerned and enquired accordingly among those who practised this therapy. They confirmed that I am working with a spirit without whose power my work would not have any positive results. I then understood that in order to work with radiosthesia in healing with the power of touch, I am subject to the force of some unknown spirit.
I was reassured that this was a friendly spirit, one that heals and there was no cause for concern. I though, had my doubts. I started to read Allan Kardek, founder of the spiritist movement who wrote how he once asked a spirit “whether those practicing occultism and calling for help from spirits are also helped by them?” Then the spirit replied, “Do you think we wait to be called, to come and heal? Everyone practicing occultism calls us whether they are aware or not!”
Kardek claimed that these are good spirits that favour people. The fact that this is not so, I learnt first hand. One day I was at Holy Mass near Paris during the offering of the host when it transposes into JESUS, when the same spirit that accompanied me during healing suddenly started a barrage of blasphemy. I was terrified and from that moment on had no doubt that a spirit that blasphemes against Jesus cannot wish good for man. After Mass I went up to the priest and related my experience.
As a matter of strange coincidence this priest was the diocesan exorcist and was not at all surprised by my experience. He recommended a series of prayers to liberate my spiritual interior. During these prayers I gave myself to Jesus, to him solely and gave up all powers that do not arise from Him. From that moment on I lost all ability to diagnose illness and its subsequent healing. If this were to be a gift from God he would certainly have let me retain it and would have sent me to those in need. God, however, took this away from me for He wished not that I become a prisoner to evil spirits. I realized that if we are to accept a spirit, then it must be that of God, and not the spirit of darkness!
With a group of tried and trusted researchers such as doctors, sociologists, ethnologists and psychologists at the University of Lyon, we created a consultative team researching the cases of those ‘healed’ through various types of healing using occult therapies. The studies showed that such therapies are never true, rather the symptoms might recede and the patient has the impression that a treatment has been of help.
Very quickly though, problems in other parts of the organism appear, for example, a person comes to a therapist with a pain in the left arm that after occult therapy in fact does cease hurting but after a week or two a pain appears in the right hand. The person then goes to the healer again for help and after the session the pain goes but after some time a pain appears in the kidney and so on. This way, the process of dependency on occult therapy begins. The patient does not realise that the treatment is not helping for people that go to healers lose whatever commonsense they had. If you had to return to the same doctor, then after a while you would finally say, “that doctor is no good” and would find another.
The occult is very dangerous. The Testament is very rigorous in its instructions to all who make use of it, for they act against the First Commandment. We should remember that occultism cannot be our saviour! Jesus is the one and only Saviour! Only He gives us true freedom, liberating from the chains of sin and forces of darkness. Let us not take from ourselves the freedom of God’s children, let us not through the occult place ourselves in the chains of evil spirits.
If one of you has already experienced this type of therapy, now comes the time to give it up and give yourself to Jesus, to Him only; Jesus wishes to come to you with all his heart, goodness and unending Grace: ”My child, choose life itself! I will be with you, to give you freedom, to be your one and only Lord and Master – for I have created you and nowhere beyond Me shall you find peace or happiness!”
Hindus recognise occultism as dangerous because of the spirits of darkness that become involved. The great Hindi master, Krishnamurti, said: “In the West you are like a sorcerer’s apprentice; the power is let loose and you are unable to control it, later it takes you captive.”
In my pastoral work as a priest I continue to come across this problem. People come to me and complain of physical, psychological or spiritual ailments because they have practiced the occult or because they have been treated by clairvoyants, soothsayers and healers. They come for help to the priest for they cannot find any other medical help or their doctor realized that they are victims of evil spirits and advised they see a priest.
God simply wishes that in accepting the gift of The Holy Spirit, we entrust the world to Him and not become sorcerers bearing the force of the occult. We do not need to search for energy from the nether world to take control but need to instead, accept with an open heart the most wonderful force of all, life and love that The Holy Spirit endows us with.
The Lord Jesus bestows charisma unto certain brethren in the Church, though it is something entirely other than the powers of the occult. The Holy Spirit makes its way through this charisma, manifesting the Lord’s victory over death. It is a gift without encumbrance and it is not possible either to accomplish or make one’s own. It bears the fruit of joy, peace, freedom for all who thus serve it and all who reap its harvest.
It is with this gift that we serve others during prayer in a clear sign that Jesus Himself is doing the healing. The ‘healings’ practiced by the occult result in a person being locked in themselves, filled with melancholy, with various obsessions and a loss of freedom. All the paths that the world of the occult present are ones of darkness, anxiety, melancholy and death. Our good Lord forbids us therefore to practice astrology, magic, fortune telling, calling forth spirits and related practices, for He loves us so and wishes, to shelter us from the chains of evil forces.
It is my wish that we give ourselves entirely to Him and He to us, for only with Him can we find happiness, peace, joy and eternal life!