Why Spirit Possession is Still a Taboo Subject

Why Spirit Possession is Still a Taboo Subject

Spirit possession is nothing more than a mental-emotional imbalance and although this sounds intimidating and unsettling, spirit attachment can be reversed. Such a disturbance can be very painful and manifest itself with powerful symptoms, but in the end, it is only a disturbance that can be corrected fairly easily if there is a willingness to do so on the part of the possessed person.


Historical Perspective on Possession


Historical Perspective on Possession


It should be acknowledged that possession has not always been a taboo subject. During the time of Jesus Christ and long after, most people were aware of possession and ghosts, and it was known that after the death of the physical body, the soul might wander and remain near the physical world. Exorcists were commonplace; in fact, they were present in every major village, helping both the living with possession and the souls of the dead. In those days, any Christian could be an exorcist.


The Catholic Church and its Stance on Possession


These circumstances changed when the Catholic Church began to emerge in the fourth century after the birth of Jesus. The Catholic Church’s purpose was to introduce an official religion that would bring Christians together. After the passing of Jesus, this movement gained more and more acceptance. As a result, the pagan emperor Constantine decided to establish a new religion proclaiming himself the thirteenth apostle.

From that moment on, the church began to take over various duties that had previously been performed by lay Christians. But the problem for the church authorities was that these lay Christians could, for example, heal or exorcise, which priests could not do. Therefore, the church began to introduce many restrictions, which included the ordination of an exorcist. This led to the practice that only priests were allowed to exorcise. The church, however, began to approach this matter with more and more limitations until the 16th century, when it completely banned the performance of all exorcisms, even by priests. This policy was maintained for over three centuries. Then, in the 19th century, Leo XIII changed this ban after becoming possessed and ordering his bishops to exorcise him.


Why Did the Inquisition Target Spiritual Practices?

The return to exorcism was problematic because during the very long period of the Inquisition—beginning as early as the 12th century in Spain—any books that dealt with exorcism or metaphysical matters were burned. Any higher powers, such as clairvoyance or prophecy, were closely scrutinized by the church and consequently prosecuted in many cases.

Thus, clairvoyants, fortune-tellers, lay exorcists or possessed people—whom the Church suspected of conspiring with the devil—were burned alive at the stake. It was easy for the Church to accept this version of possession by the devil, because the possessed were often angry and blasphemed God or even the church itself.

It is obvious that the devil—as a separate intelligent being—did not exist. Even Pope John Paul II admitted to this belief. There is, however, a great power of evil expressed in negative concepts that deny the existence of a Higher Intelligence, and in negative emotions such as anger, hatred, envy, jealousy and fear. This is a collective trait of humanity ignorance; a trait that the church defined in the Middle Ages as a devilish force. If, in the time of the Inquisition, a person manifested such traits caused by possession, they would simply be accused of heresy, and tortured and burned at the stake. According to many reputable historians, there were millions of such cases.


Why Do People Today Fear Possession?


 Why Do People Today Fear Possession


It is from these very facts that the current fear of possession originates. In humanity, we store in the collective consciousness memories of previous events that have occurred on earth—especially those that were extremely traumatic. During the Inquisition, possession was associated with a fear of dying in agony, and much of this fear is still present in possessed people today.

This subconscious fear, however, is only part of the aversion against the phenomenon of the possession. The other is the fact that the Inquisition erased the multi-sensory perception from people's consciousness—a phenomena such as clairvoyance and others. During the present day, we sometimes panic even when a function of the astral or mental body spontaneously appears to us upon waking. For example, we perceive that something is going to happen even though there is no rational reason for this alarm.


Modern Psychiatry and Possession


Another explanation as for why we consider possession a taboo subject is the following fact: a very large number of people who suspect that they are possessed turn to the Church for help. However, the church does not have many exorcists who will willingly carry out this ministry. Although the church has trained many exorcists since the times of the Polish Pope John Paul II, the majority of them, despite having undergone specific training, do not want to perform exorcisms at all. This is due to the fact that, on the one hand, all of the church's materials regarding exorcisms were burned, and for three centuries, priests were forbidden to perform exorcisms. Hence, today's church exorcist does not feel qualified to deal with cases of possession. Many priests, even exorcists, consider exorcism a mere superstition. As a result of the above, priests refer most people wishing to receive an exorcism to psychologists or psychiatrists. This is obvious, since it was at the initiative of the church that the first psychiatric clinics were established in the past.

The phenomenon of mentally disturbed patients complaining of possession is so common that the World Health Organization classified "trance and possession" as a separate disorder under F44.3.

Today, very few psychiatrists allow for the possibility of factors coming from outside the psyche of the person who suffers from a mental disorder. Fortunately, there are growing exceptions to this, and more and more psychiatrists are taking possession by spirits as a serious alternative in diagnosing cases of mental disorders.


Why Do Possessed Individuals Struggle to Seek Help?


Another aspect regarding the fear of possession—or even of sharing one's symptoms with loved ones—comes from the fact that they are often intense. The possessed person is most often afraid to talk about their problem because they fear they will be seen as insane. Even to us at the Dr. Wanda Pratnicka Center, people often write emails stating,  "I know you may consider me mentally ill, but..." And yet our entire website is set up so that the possessed person knows exactly what the symptoms of a possession are, and that we can help in most cases. Let the great loneliness of these people be evidenced by the fact that when we let the possessed know that we understand their situation, they are able to lead a very long monologue describing the entire litany of their sufferings, from the time they became possessed to the present day.

A historical outline of exorcism is included in the second to last chapter of Wanda Pratnicka's book "Possessed by Ghosts - Exorcism in the 21st Century" entitled "Exorcisms and the Church.”


About the Author: 

Michael, a co-founder of The Dr. Wanda Pratnicka Center, holds a B.A. degree in psychology and is a spiritual teacher and healer, with a specialization in spirit removal. Under the mentorship of Wanda Pratnicka, Michael gained profound spiritual insights into the nuances of spirit attachment phenomenon, and for many years, he played a crucial role in assisting her with the remote spirit removal process. In his leisure time, Michael finds solace in meditation, immerses himself in the timeless beauty of classical music, and cherishes tranquil walks by the sea.




1. You can find more information about common symptoms of spirit attachment / possession here:


2. How to check whether you or your loved one are experiencing a spirit attachment?


3. Want to learn more about how we remove spirits?





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