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PWSM Network has a modest but growing Network throughout the country, but as yet are not in every state or locale. If you would like to know if there is a Network group or clergy near you, please contact my case manger, Terry at

Stages of Demonic Influence

Although the following are often referred to as “stages of demonic influence”, this can be misleading. The use of the word “stages” could lead one to think in terms of a necessary of progression from temptation to demonic subjugation. This, however, is not true. These areas, rather than being a progression are best understood by the word “areas”. There are various areas of demonic influence.

Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of Rome, who is a leading expert on the subject of the demonic, has set forth an excellent outline of the various areas of demonic influence…

To begin with, Fr. Amorth splits these areas into two categories: ordinary and extraordinary activity.

 I. Ordinary activity. TEMPTATION
This is the most common and ordinary of demonic activity. It is at the heart of our daily choices: to do what is right and godly or to do what is wrong and sinful.

II. Extraordinary activity.
*IMPORTANT NOTE*- There may be other, explainable reasons for a person having some of these symptoms. It does not necessarily mean a person is being affected by the demonic.

Fr. Amorth includes in this second category six different areas of demonic influence…

  1. External physical pain caused by Satan. We can see evidence of this in the lives of such saints as Padre Pio and St. John Vianney (Patron of Parish Priests) who were physically attacked by demons. Those involved in paranormal investigation or in deliverance ministry who encounter and try to confront these dark forces sometimes have also been assaulted by them.

  2. Diabolic obsession. In this area, we are referring to an “out of character” sudden attacks of obsessive thoughts. These can be of an ongoing and even absurd nature. There is an added inability to be freed from these thoughts which range from desperation to suicide.

    Although there are mental illnesses such as an obsessive compulsive disorder, if this is a persistent and harmful obsession, it would not be a bad idea to either have clergy or fellow believers pray over the person in the name of the Lord for healing and liberation from the obsession.

  3. Diabolical oppression. This is most likely the most common demonic activity pertaining to persons that a paranormal group or clergy will be called in on.

    In a case of diabolic oppression, there is no possession, but rather it is an attack from outside the person that person. Fr. Amorth points to the Old Testament story of Job as an example of this type of activity. He also notes that, while possession is relatively rare as far as demonic activity, there have been many who have been attacked by evil in areas such as health, employment, family, relationships and even physical discomfort.

  4. Diabolic infestation. This activity is also of a more common nature that investigating groups will encounter. This affects houses, property, things and even animals.

  5. Demonic possession. This is when a demon (or demons) take full possession of the person’s body. However, Fr. Gabriel notes that although the devil possesses the body, he cannot possess the soul. The demon acts without either the knowledge or consent of the afflicted person. We must realize that the victim is morally blameless in this case.

    It is important to understand that possession can pose a danger to the clergy and team assisting them. For this reason, it is only the local bishop that can sanction an exorcism.

  6. Diabolical subjugation, or dependence. This can happen when a person voluntarily and willingly submits to the devil. Fr. Amorth suggests common ways are through blood pacts and consecration to the devil.

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