• Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Exorcist Diary #60: Are terrorists possessed?

There has sprung up in these days the "lone wolf terrorist" who commits heinous acts of violence against the innocent, including children, and then kills himself. Who would do such a senseless, evil thing? Some surmise that they must be possessed. Others suggest that these shooters are mentally ill. But recent studies suggest many of them do not have a diagnosable mental illness. Nor are they psychotic.

One study found that the majority had experienced "early childhood traumas and exposure to violence." This has led to some of them to suffer from anxiety, depression and/or suicidal thinking. However, I have treated hundreds of people who suffer from such things and none of them went on to murder innocent school children. Why did the lone wolf terrorists end up in such evil?

The previous study also said the shooters had become "angry and despondent" because of some perceived "grievance." Other studies highlight their narcissism and desire for public notoriety. Shooters also tend to be lonely and isolated. They are often full of an internal anger and desire for revenge.

It should be noted that the emotional stance of Satan is very similar. He is in a rage and believes he has been victimized by God. He is narcissistic, arrogant and violent. He is emotionally isolated and has no connections with other beings. He seeks revenge.

The 2014 Ft. Hood shooter posted the following a few weeks before killing three people, wounding sixteen others and then shooting himself, "I have just lost my inner peace, full of hatred, I think this time the devil will take me." Perhaps he meant this only symbolically but his emotional stance and actions are certainly in sync with what we know of the demonic. In fact, a common message that the possessed hear in their brains is a prompting to do violence to others and to kill themselves.

I do not think we can say all these lone wolf terrorists are possessed. But certainly many of them have devolved into a demonic mental state and then carry out evil actions that are very much in line with Satan's plan. We certainly should support early psychological interventions for potential shooters to deal with their underlying trauma, isolation, and rage. And some of them would likely benefit from deliverance prayers as well.


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