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Has "A Haunting" gone entirely to the (devil) dogs, or what? 
27th-Dec-2006 11:50 pm
merciful madness
I'm catching up on my DVR'd episodes of A Haunting, and I have to say, I'm really rather disappointed and disgusted at their direction this season. Suddenly, everything is demons and needs an exorcism. And at least two of the purported demonologists they've employed have been people that were students of Ed and Lorraine Warren. If I recall, the Warrens were made famous by their investigation of the Amityville Horror and the Smurl House. Unfortunately, most of their work (especially the Amityville case) has been quite thoroughly discreditied.

The two episodes that irritated me the most were alleging that "Satanic activity" caused demon possession of people who subsequently moved into the house or investigators trying to deal with disturbances in the building after the alleged Satanic activity ceased. In one case, in the episode entitled The Possession, their main "proof" of Satanic activity was a pentagram drawn on the floor, and they alleged that the pentagram in and of itself was dispositive evidence of Satanic activity.

Later edit: It's been pointed out to me, quite correctly, that these people are insulting the Satanists as well. Satanism isn't what it's portrayed to be on these shows anymore than paganism is Satanism. They aren't the same thing, and neither one involves stupid hysterical nightmare scenarios straight out of bad movies and heavy metal videos. Really, I should have chewed the "demonologist" out for ignorant prickness in general because it's obvious he's completely ignorant about all occult activity.

I've been involved with Wicca and various forms of paganism for most of my adult life. I own several pentagrams, and I have friends who wear them daily and who would be outraged if someone associated them with Satanism. (Also added later: And really, what we all ought to be outraged and appalled at is that this stereotype of the occult in any form is still being barfed into our culture.)

I was appalled by this piece of bigotry, and I emailed the "demonologist" and told him that I was sure he knew better than to say such things, and remonstrated with him rather strongly for fostering bigotry. (I try not to have a persecution complex, but guys like this bring it out in me.)

Hi (Waterlilly) they did not what to go into the differenceson the show and there was a lot more we wanted them to go into that I know itwas Satanism but networks will not accepts that I personnel have friends thatare Wiccan and Pagan for many years and never seen or do I feel they are on anegative side of things and I did footage for the show on that but as you cansee that did not air that

Best Regards
John Zaffis

All I've changed is my name. The rest is exactly what he emailed to me, complete with odd spacing and a complete lack of normal punctuation. I have to confess that I'm not real impressed by this reply, and so far what I've seen from the Warrens' students is superstition, hysteria, and proselytizing disguised as psychic research.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for calling on your clergy of choice if you think you've got a plague of Things that Go Bump in the Night. But is there really that much of a problem with demons out there these days? Have I missed something? What happened to simple "Dead Guy Needs to Go to the Light" episodes?

As for the sudden alleged onslaught of old Satanist sites, I have no bone to pick with Satanists as such. I've met some, and I found them to be somewhat arrogant but no worse than that. (I've met fundamentalist Christians who were much more objectionable dinner companions, to tell you the truth.) I've read some of their literature, although I haven't used any purported Satanic rituals. But seriously speaking, I don't think the fact that a former owner of a house was a ::gasp!:: Satanist makes the place a Portal to Hell. That just strikes me as ludicrous. But I'm willing to admit that I might be missing something here.

So, I'm asking all of you: What do you think? Does Satanic activity in a house leave some kind of portal that can cause subsequent owners of the house to become possessed by demons, or is this just the result of too many people staring for too long at old Ozzy Ozbourne album covers and watching The Exorcist too many times?
28th-Dec-2006 06:25 am (UTC)
I'm a Satanist. And mostly, we're just cranky atheists who adhere to a philosophy of the now-over-the-beyond. At least, that's what I am, and that's what most of the other Satanists I know would probably say.

I don't think that my house is a gateway to hell. Then again, I don't believe in hell. Most of us Satanists (please note the caveat on "most") use the archetype of the devil to represent humanity and the Will.

If that makes my house a gateway to anything, then so be it.

What always makes me laugh is how pagans are "outraged" if Satanists wear reversed pentagrams (the symbol of which symbolizes flesh-over-spiritual) but we all got the symbol from old-school Occultists, who really didn't make any such distinction between the "good" way to wear it and the "bad".

Most Satanic ritual is done for the participant's benefit, not anything else, so no, doing a ritual should not call up any "demons" (other than those we internalize, I suppose), so that's all just silly superstition and continues to perpetuate the myth that we are all baby-killing worshipers of the devil who lurk outside the window at night and put razorblades into candy. ::rolls eyes::

So my answer, as a Satanist, would be that it's just as you said; people being lame. :)

In a completely unrelated note, that is an icon I made. I am so glad that someone is using it!! Yay!! :)
28th-Dec-2006 07:21 am (UTC) - I apologize.
I apologize for being defamatory to your religion. I spoke poorly, and I know better. I will say I don't care for pagans being lumped in with what these jackasses think Satanists do. I don't actually approve of real Satanists being lumped in with what these jackasses think ya'll (and we) do either.

I own a couple of LaVey's books, and I've read the Satanic Bible. LaVey cracks me up. He was an absolutely hilarious guy with a sharp and pointy sense of humor and a love for messing with the normal folks. I've also done some research into the Temple of Set, and I liked the person I met who was a member, she was intelligent and very, very grounded and cool.

As I see it, the problem with assholes like these "Religious Demonologists" like the idiots appearing on this show is that they work really hard to make everyone who's not their brand of Christian into a baby-killing maniac who drinks black cat blood while impregnating goats, or something like that.

Anyone who thinks that only Satanists use/wear pentagrams (in whatever orientation) is obviously ignorant about both Satanists and pagans. I'm sure you object to being lumped in with the new-age crystal-huggers, too. And while it's true that I know people who would be outraged to be called Satanists, it would simply cause me to correct someone and bore them about paganism for an hour or so. (They ask nosy questions about jewelry, I get to bore them. I figure fair's fair.)

So, all that said, my question to you is about your caveat. Do you know anyone calling themselves Satanists who is actually worshipping demons or devils? Do you think that doing such a thing would cause some kind of problem to someone who lived in the house afterward? Mostly I'm just curious, honestly.

And finally: This is one of my favorite icons! Thank you so much for making it, I use it all the time!
28th-Dec-2006 06:44 pm (UTC) - Re: I apologize.
I object to being lumped in with humans in general. Being lumped with people based on any of the various wacky religious beliefs out there is just adding insult to injury.

That's it, I'm leaving and starting my own species.
28th-Dec-2006 07:19 pm (UTC) - Your own species.
I've always known you were one of a kind, dude. How does your girlfriend feel about that, by the way? ::grin::
28th-Dec-2006 07:51 pm (UTC) - Re: I apologize.
Oh, you didn't offend me or anything :) No worries! I too think that this guy was whack who said that, so I'm glad someone called him on it!!

Yeah, LaVey...people take him a mite too seriously, methinks. I agree with some of his stuff and disagree with others. But he's still quite a character :-)

I am really glad that you like the icon!! Woo hoo!!
28th-Dec-2006 08:10 pm (UTC) - Re: I apologize.
I ended up deleting the rest of the episodes off my DVR last night. It had become a continual parade of "if you have ghosts, you have demons and you need Jesus to help you omg!!" The show didn't start out that way, but it really turned into a terrorizing people into converting festival.
28th-Dec-2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
Why do people believe Satanists kill babies? Babies don't present a challenge to an experienced hunter and outdoorsman, not to mention that they make unimpressive trophies when stuffed and mounted.
28th-Dec-2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
I think that guy emailed me about an iTunes support issue recently.

Is it just me or don't you expect a little better spelling and grammar from someone who is an expert in thier field, even if it is a field as flaky as demonology? Sheesh I expect more from him just for being on TV. I bet this dick makes more money than all of us too.

I'm really starting to think I am too smart and educated to succeed in this world.
28th-Dec-2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, it sort of cracked me up. He was so incoherent I wondered if I'd scared him. I thought, "Wow, I bet I made him pray." ::giggle::
28th-Dec-2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
True... he may have been thinking, "Oh shit, I pissed off a witch. I don't want to be a newt. *sob* I DONT WANT TO BE A NEWT."
28th-Dec-2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
Ahh, it's not like he won't get better.
15th-Aug-2007 12:56 am (UTC)
Nothing Satanists or any other religious believers do by themselves have much, if any, impact on an area. Emotions can do that, yes, but it has to be intense and/or extend over a period of time in order to have any impact at all. It is the psychological and emotional state of the people involved that determine whether or not a person can be possessed at all, period.
It should amaze me, the depths to which the unseen world has been misinterpreted, but it doesn't.
People like those you describe would be laughable if they weren't so pathetic.
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