POSSESSION AND DEMONIC PACTS
Over the last few years, on many supposed Psychic-TV programmes, there have been featured what we are asked to believe are ‘possessions’. That is the so-called medium becomes possessed by the spirit of some infamous character, such as say Dick Turpin the highwayman. This obvious nonsense is plainly ridiculous to those that know the teachings of Spiritualism, but to the general public it may appear plausible. As Barnum said, there’s one born every minute. As for the fakes that play on the susceptibility of the public, they are bringing the beliefs of Spiritualism into disrepute. It is a sad truth that some people will do anything for a chance at fame and fortune.
As unbelievable as it may seem there are those that seriously consider it is possible to become successful, rich and famous by selling ones soul to the devil. This belief dates back into time immemorial but perhaps the best known account, albeit totally fictional, is the German mythological character of Faust. In Latin the word ‘faust’ translates as ‘lucky’ and it was a change of luck and good fortune that the character Faust sought. In the story Faust seeks all knowledge and worldly pleasures. To obtain these Faust enters into a contract with the devil offering his soul in return for earthly success. The representative of the devil is Mephistopheles and through this agent Faust gains his desires, seduces innocents and attains what he perceives as a position of eminence. In the end though Faust pays the ultimate price and is dragged screaming to hell. There is an opera that tells this story it is ‘The Damnation of Faust’ (1846) by Hector Berlioz.
Urbain Grandier (1590 -18 August 1634) was a Roman Catholic priest at Loudun in France who supposedly made a pact with the Devil. He was said to have desired to enjoy carnal knowledge of the nuns at the nearby Ursuline convent and according to reports of the time he did just that with many of them. It was claimed by the nuns that Grandier sent the demon Asmodai to them during darkness. Grandier was tortured and subsequently burnt at the stake convicted of witchcraft by a court convened by Cardinal Richelieu. This is the wording of actual pact that was submitted as evidence in the trial of Grandier: We, the influential Lucifer, the young Satan, Beelzebub, Leviathan, Elimi and Astaroth, together with others, have today accepted the covenant pact of Urbain Grandier, who is ours. And him do we promise the love of women, the flower of virgins, the respect of monarchs, honors, lusts and powers. He will go whoring three days long; the carousal will be dear to him. He offers us once in the year a seal of blood, under the feet he will trample the holy things of the church and he will ask us many questions; with this pact he will live twenty years happy on the earth of men, and will later join us to sin against God. Bound in hell, in the council of demons. Lucifer Beelzebub Satan Astaroth Leviathan Elimi The seals placed the Devil, the master, and the demons, princes of the lord. Baalberith, writer.
Niccolò Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840) was a world famous violinist who many believed had entered into a deal with the devil. He certainly achieved international success as both a violinist and composer, so popular was Paganini that wherever he performed the standard ticket price was doubled. He amassed a huge fortune which he subsequently lost by investing in an ill fated casino. He also owned a number of highly prized violins that he acquired by dubious means i.e. he won one in a music reading challenge contest and another was gifted to him by a rich admirer. These were, in today’s values, million pound instruments and Paganini had a number of them. As a point of interest Paganini was a friend and associate of the composer Hector Berlioz (see above). When he died it was on the grounds of Paganini’s association with the devil that his body was denied a Catholic burial in Genoa. It took four years, and an appeal to the Pope, before the body was allowed to be transported to Genoa, but was still not buried. His remains were finally put to rest in 1876 in a cemetery in Parma.
Many well known artistes, actors, singers etc. have stated that they believe that they are, in some way, possessed by spirits whilst performing. James Dean, the double Oscar winning actor was reported as stating that whilst playing his part in front of camera he actually became the character he was representing. Dean stated ‘I have a fairly adequate knowledge of satanic forces’ his co-star and himself a brilliant character actor Denis Hopper said of Dean ‘he used to say that he would leave himself open to the spirits…to be possessed in effect’. James Dean was killed in a car crash on 30th September 1955 when his Porsche 550 Spyder hit an oncoming vehicle head on.
The 1960s Amercian folk-singing sensation Bob Dylan in a recent interview made comments that may indicate he believes he himself has a contract with some discarnate entity. Here is a verbatim record of his interview: Q: So why do you continue to tour: BD: It goes back to the destiny thing…I made a bargain with it a long time ago and I am holding up my end. Q: What was your bargain: BD: To get where I am now. Q: Who did you make the bargain with. BD: With the Chief Commander. Q: On this Earth. BD No Sir! In a world we can’t see.
The extremely successful popular rock music group The Rolling Stones have themselves been linked to satanic practices and beliefs. During 1967, shortly after their release from prison on drug related charges, the Rolling Stones recorded an album entitled ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’. This was followed by probably their most controversial recording, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards it tells the story of Satan’s walk through the world, it recounts his exploits over the course of human history and warns the listener: “If you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste; use all your well-learned politesse, or I’ll lay your soul to waste.” Jagger stated in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that he wrote it ‘sort of like a Bob Dylan song’.