Protecting Yourself from “Wicked Spirit Forces”
Take every precaution in this real fight with demon powers.
“We have a fight,” wrote the apostle Paul, when he warned Christians to put up a fight “against the wicked spirit forces.” Now that these wicked spirit forces have been hurled down to the vicinity of the earth, the battle is more intense than ever. (Eph. 6:12; Rev. 12:9) What can Christians do to protect themselves?
One thing is to avoid anything that has to do with the phenomena that demon powers are producing today through many humans. Ensnaring forms of spiritism are numerous. Christians need to be alert, never toying or experimenting with something that is of demon origin.
Carefully avoid all forms of spiritism, whether it involves ouija boards, spirit mediums, fortune-tellers and those who diagnose and heal illness by witchcraft methods, whether it be the witch doctors of Africa, the dukuns of the Far East, the powwow doctors of North America or extrasensory perceivers of Europe and elsewhere. But what about controversial methods of diagnosing and healing that some claim to be scientific and yet which make use of the methods of the water diviner? What about water witching itself?
WATER WITCHING TODAY
Throughout the world there are thousands of water diviners or dowsers; in the United States alone there are an estimated 25,000 plying their trade, many more doing so “on their own” or for fun. When the “gifted” dowser walks over a flow of underground water, his rod, often a V-shaped twig, reacts by moving upward or downward. This movement is sometimes so violent that diviners are unable to control the twig and it is broken to pieces.
How do dowsers explain the phenomena? Many have no explanation. Some say that the force must be electricity. Some may say that trees struck by lightning usually stand over a vein of water, and hence water in friction with the soil and stones creates static electricity that is drawn upward toward the clouds. They may say that dowsers affected by this electric energy get a reaction, and the rod moves quite independently of the conscious will of the dowser. Some dowsers support their electric-energy theory by saying that when they wear rubber-soled shoes, the branch goes dead.
Though some dowsers hold to the electric theory, in a study made by anthropologist Evon Z. Vogt and psychologist Ray Hyman, the report is made that it is rare to find anyone, believer or skeptic, who still seriously maintains that there is a direct relation between the rod and underground water, especially since, whatever the cause of the rod’s operation, it is independent of the type of rod used, claims being made for barbed wire, coat hangers and pendulum-type devices such as shovels, a spool on a string, a coin on a string and pitchforks. The writers admit the subject is complex, and in their book Water Witching U.S.A. say: “There are sufficient unsolved problems to challenge the physiologist and the psychologist for many decades.”
Thus while scientific research to date does not agree that seeking water with the use of a forked twig is based on the operation of natural laws, this does not mean that such researchers are absolutely correct. It may be that there are certain basic laws of nature that are involved in it. But enough facts are available to indicate that the Christian attitude should be one of caution. “We therefore conclude,” state researchers Vogt and Hyman, “that water witching is a clear-cut case of magical divination in our culture.” Many persons around the world view it similarly, and if they are Christians they know that any form of divination is condemned by the Scriptures. (Deut. 18:10-12; Isa. 47:12-15) Even if a Christian firmly believed in the electric-energy theory, he could by his water divining bring reproach upon his faith and stumble others. That would be wrong.—Phil. 1:9, 10.
But with water witching there is more involved than refraining from it so as not to stumble others; it appears that protection from “wicked spirit forces” is also gained by shunning it. How so?
THE LINK TO ESP
More and more, dowsing and the divining rod are being linked to ESP, or extrasensory perception, the power to produce spiritistic phenomena. In fact, noted British scientist Sir William Barrett not only rejected the common theories for water witching but in effect linked it to ESP. He wrote, as a joint author, that the “dowser . . . is a person endowed with a subconscious supernormal faculty, which, its nature being unknown, we call, after Professor Richet, cryptesthesia. By means of this cryptesthesia, knowledge of whatever object is searched for enters the dowser’s subconscious and is revealed by means of an unconscious muscular reaction.”*
There have been a number of more recent links to ESP. The British dowser John Pimms claims that he often possesses knowledge of the location in which water will later be found before he starts his actual dowsing. The French dowser Abbe Bouly states that when he is engaged in dowsing he often receives a visual impression of an underground stream. This is similar to the impressions received by extrasensory perceivers when they obtain hidden knowledge. In fact, a noted British extrasensory perceiver specializing in clairvoyance and psychometry or object-reading says:
“On one occasion, E.S.P. turned me into a water diviner and I proved rather more successful than a professional geologist. . . . I had a strong E.S.P. impression and led [a farmer] to a certain spot. . . . I remember that the impressions in this case interpreted themselves to my conscious mind with the sound of a stream trickling. . . . I walked straight to the spot.”—Clock Without Hands.
Thus writers on ESP phenomena often include dowsing or the divining rod in their books or articles. One reason they do this is because of the success of map-dowsing. In this operation the dowser holds his twig or pendulum over a map and by its reaction finds water. Noted American dowser Henry Gross, whether holding his forked twig over a map or directly over land, simply talks to it, and the twig responds. Kenneth Roberts writes about this:
“He raises his rod and asks (either silently or aloud) , ‘Where is the nearest vein of water from the spot on which I stand?’ He then turns slowly, with his rod poised before him. When the rod turns violently forward and downward, he is facing the nearest spot of the nearest vein. Then, unless he wishes to walk to that spot, he asks further questions until he has learned all he wishes to know about the vein. . . . When Henry dowses a map or a sketch of a piece of land from a distance, the operation is essentially the same.”—The Seventh Sense.
Not only is the success of map dowsing a most serious objection to the electric-energy theory but so is the fact that dowsing methods are used to find many hidden things. Some prospect for oil or gold; if the forked twig is not used, the dowser may carry only a small bottle of oil or a gold coin—not that this is needed, since a scrap of paper with the words “gold” or “oil” will often act as a “directive.” According to experienced dowser K. W. Merrylees, the only limits to the use of dowsing methods are the limits which are imposed by the dowser’s own mind. He says: “Whatever special line a dowser may seek to follow, water, minerals, missing people or diseases and treatment, none will surely succeed unless he or she possesses sensitivity of mind, experience and confidence.”
Those who have experience and “sensitivity” may use their rod or pendulum to find missing people or even criminals. Many accounts of this use of the rod are found in The Journal of the British Society of Dowsers. An account of a dowser’s tracking down a criminal appears in the book The Extra-Sensory Mind, which reports that the dowser took his rod into a cellar where a killing had taken place. The rod began to swirl violently in his hand. Guided by its movements, the dowser tracked down the murderer into southern France. When searching for a missing person, some object belonging to that person will act as a “directive.” This is similar to the ESP method of divining called psychometry; rather than merely touch the object, the dowser places the rod over the object and is guided by its reaction.
Wicked spirit powers have clearly taken advantage of some who use the divining rod. Though one cannot dogmatically say that all who have picked up a forked twig have been under demon control, would a Christian indulge in something he knows the demons are using to ensnare people? For his own protection, as well as not to be a cause of stumbling, the true Christian would want to refrain from water witching.
PSYCHIC HEALING, RADIESTHESIA, RADIONICS
When the methods of the dowser are used to diagnose and treat illness, the forked twig is replaced by the pendulum. But some, as in the case of a few dowsers, feel sensations in their hands and thus rely on sensations alone. So the methods vary considerably, from the mere touch of the hand, the use of a pendulum to the use of complicated machines. The practice is generally embraced by the term radiesthesia, literally meaning “sensitivity to radiations.” The Catholic priests of France were leaders in extending the use of the pendulum to such things as selecting remedies and for estimating the dosage required.
Radiesthesia, which is now very widespread, is believed by many to be a form of psychic healing. Psychic healers do not necessarily use gadgets. Just as the extrasensory perceiver can find water without the dowser’s rod so can he diagnose without the radiesthetist’s pendulum. “Some marvelous cures have been achieved by psychics,” claims a noted woman extrasensory perceiver. “I have been aware of disease before it was officially diagnosed: I have seen cancer, for example, before it became apparent to doctors.”* Thus not all psychic healers go into a trance, though some do. Noteworthy in this regard is the fact that before Mrs. Piper became a spirit medium, she visited a psychic healer. During her second visit to the “psychic” she went into a trance and later could do this at will. Thus she was launched on her spiritistic career.
It is significant that some radiesthetists find missing people in the spiritistic or psychometric manner. One example involves a missing girl. When the radiesthetist placed his pendulum over her photograph, he announced: ‘Your daughter is dead. She was probably strangled. Her body is in Lake Lugano at a depth of so many metres and at such a distance from S.’s house. He is her murderer.’ Later the public prosecutor “declared at a legal conference that without the co-operation of the Radiesthetist K. the crime would never have been discovered.”—The Extra-Sensory Mind.
If the “psychic” element seems predominant in radiesthesia, what about radionics? This is the term used to denote the branch of radiesthesia in which the water-diviner’s pendulum is replaced by or incorporated into an elaborate machine. What do the machines do? Some practitioners claim amazing results by “tuning in” to the radiations or wave lengths of diseases. The problem here is that radio engineers and others who have tested some machines cannot find any reason why they should work. One radio engineer could not determine “any kind of energy or vibration frequency on the detector plate” of an elaborate machine. Moreover, news items sometimes tell about the seizure by authorities of these machines because they say that in themselves such machines cannot diagnose and treat illness. An example appears in the July, 1962, issue of Electronic Industries:
“Electronic ‘quackery’ got another blast from the Food and Drug Administration. Seven types of exotically named—but worthless—electronic diagnosing and treatment devices were banned by the Federal Court. . . . The gaudy machines, carrying an impressive array of lights, rows of switches, control knobs and electrodes, carried such names as ‘Neurolinometer,’ the ‘Electron-O-Ray 51,’ the ‘Radioclast Model 40.’ All were found completely ineffective in the treatment of any disease.”
Though the operators usually claim a scientific basis for the machines, many authorities say they do not work. Who is right? Are the authorities prejudiced? Are the benefits gained mainly psychological? Is it just quackery? Do those operators who claim amazing results obtain it because they are “gifted” and others are not? The issue is fiercely controversial. Emerging from the controversy are indications of the psychic element. An eminent British physician, Dr. Kenneth Walker, after an examination of radiesthesia, wrote:
“Whatever may be the truth about these elaborate instruments used in radionics there can be no doubt that the mind of the operator plays a dominant part in the results obtained from them. . . . Many people are now coming to the conclusion that the instrument merely acts as an aid or as a guide to the psychic factors . . . of the operator. . . . The majority of radiesthesia practitioners prefer to have their patients present in person . . . but if need be, the presence of the patient can be dispensed with. . . . The practitioner of radiesthesia, or of radionics, makes use of a drop of the absent patient’s blood, or of his saliva, in order to preserve this connexion with him. It is true that the expert in radionics tunes into the ‘wave length’ or the frequency of this drop of blood by turning the vulcanite knobs of an elaborate machine but the principle used is still the same as the principle . . . used in ancient sympathetic magic. So also has this method of diagnosing illness much in common with the particular form of extra-sensory perception known as psychometry.”—The Extra-Sensory Mind.
Though every operator of a machine used in radionics cannot be said to be psychic, it appears that some are. Because of this link to ESP, the true Christian would not want to risk playing into the hands of demons, and thus wisely refrains from any manner of diagnosing or healing that arouses suspicions of spiritism.
For the sake of protection, then, the true Christian will want to avoid all those things that not only lack a known scientific basis but do have a known link to ESP or spiritism. Seek Jehovah with your whole heart, never denying his power by disobedience, so that you may have divine protection from “wicked spirit forces.”
The Divining Rod: An Experimental and Psychological Investigation, Sir William Barrett and Theodore Besterman.
The Sense and Nonsense of Prophecy, Eileen J. Garrett.