Oregon-based exorcist says demonic possession cases ‘are getting darker’

Actor Anthony Hopkins plays Father Lucas Trevant in the 2011 movie 'The Rite,' about an American seminary student who travels to Italy to take an exorcism course.
Actor Anthony Hopkins plays Father Lucas Trevant in the 2011 movie "The Rite," about an American seminary student who travels to Italy to take an exorcism course. | (Photo: New Line Cinema)

An exorcist based in Oregon and who belongs to a splinter Catholic group has stated that incidents of demonic possession are “getting darker” in recent years.

James Cloud, a former Anglican who is presently an Archbishop in the Advent Catholic Church, gave an interview with Emily Burris of the Portland-based KOIN 6 after reportedly performing an exorcism.

“If I hadn’t seen half the stuff I’ve seen in life, I wouldn’t believe it, either — until it actually happens,” said Cloud, who is also a licensed counselor, to KOIN in a story published last week.

“Throughout the scriptures, we see examples of angels interacting on Earth — devils and Satan himself interacting on Earth.”

Cloud explained to the local media outlet that he feared that too many churches gave a “very sanitized” approach to spiritual life that omitted possessions, with the exorcist claiming that he was kicked out of the Anglican Church for his focus on spiritual warfare.

Cloud also told KOIN that, as a mental health professional, he first looks for rational explanations for the problems that his patients are experiencing.

“Many things that would almost mirror someone that’s being possessed or oppressed — many mental health conditions will do it too,” he continued.

“I have to differentiate: is this substance use, is it mental health, or is it a legitimate issue that’s going on? … So, if I can rule out the first two then what I’m left with is something that’s potentially legitimate.”

Cloud warned that modern American society, with its interest in things drugs, ouija boards, and other items, was fueling a need to perform more exorcisms, adding that as “the years go by, the cases are getting darker.”

According to a 2018 gathering of exorcists at the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome, the number of requests for exorcisms has tripled over the past decade to about 500,000.

While oftentimes considered a specialty of the Roman Catholic Church, in recent times there has been a growing interest in Protestant circles over the practice of exorcisms.

In May, the Roman Catholic Church announced that they were opening up their annual exorcism course at the Pontifical University to major Christian denominations, in response to a reported rise in demonic possessions.

“Expelling the devil goes back to the earliest origins of the Christian Church,” explained Father Pedro Barrajon, one of the course organizers, in an interview with The Telegraph.

“The Catholic rite is very structured, whereas some of the other churches are more creative, they don't use a precise format.”

Gabe Lyons, author and founder of the Q conference, explained during a Q&A summer session held last year that demonic possession is something he believed Protestant churches needed to better address.

“There's an inherent interest in these matters,” said Lyons at the time. “I'm not sure why that is except that perhaps it's one of the places where the spiritual world really becomes physical. I think on a basic human level, that is inherently interesting to us. It's the reason they make movies about it.” 

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