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- Paranormal Beliefs & Experiences
That was exactly what happened in the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson (Arne). It was the first case in the United States where the defense sought an acquittal for murder by virtue of the defendant being a victim of diabolic possession.
Prior to committing the murder, the defendant had participated in three exorcisms involving his girlfriend’s 11 year old brother David who according to reports was possessed by 43 different spirits and in one of the sessions Arne had challenged one of the spirits to enter his body and was possessed as a result.
Arne didn’t have any prior convictions and from all accounts he was a normal person. He changed after the incident during the exorcism session and he developed an alternate personality that would appear in a particularly menacing or intimidating manner. Most sources conclude that he was possessed by the spirit that he had challenged.
Prior to the murder Arne and his landlord, Allan, had been seen drinking heavily in the company of Arne’s girlfriend, Deborah, after which they returned to the apartment that Arne and Deborah shared. A fight broke out between Arne and Allan and in the scuffle that followed Arne stabbed Allan. The defense went to great lengths to try and establish diabolical possession.
At this stage it is important to mention that exorcisms can not only go wrong but can go drastically wrong at times so it’s best not to attempt them unless one is rigorously trained and mentally conditioned to perform them.
In 2014 a Maryland woman and her friend stabbed her two toddlers to death and injured her two other children while performing an exorcism because they thought the “the devil was inside” the children.
The pair later told the police that they were part of a demon assassin cult whose calling was to hunt demons. It may sound like it was taken out of the pages of a fantasy fiction novel but there are people who think in this manner and become overly preoccupied with the concept of good and evil. What’s good and what’s evil is subjective and it is often a question of perception. It differs from person to person.
In the Son of Sam case, David Berkowitz claimed that he was ordered to kill 6 victims and injure 7 others by his neighbor’s dog Harvey. The dog was a four legged representation of a demon and it belonged to his neighbor Sam.
A lot of what was said or written looked like facts or details that someone could have picked out from a book and structured or organized to make it look like a crime that was committed as a result of diabolical possession. Therefore it is difficult to determine if it was indeed diabolical possession or something else that compelled the perpetrator to kill.
The accused confessed to the crimes but later amended his confession to say that he was a member of a violent satanic cult and that streamlined his account with other cases of possession.
There is a standard pattern that emerges with possession in that the victim has an intense aversion to anything that is holy or sacred, including blessed objects and images. So if for some reason Arne or David didn’t display any type of aversion to religious objects then the chances are they were not possessed.
It is also worth adding the obvious in that, the “aversion to religions objects”, must be strong, tangible, discernable aversions as opposed to mere dismissals.
I’m also going to revert to instances of alternate personalities that appear under the influence of a hypnotist. If these alternate personalities are not averse to religion or religious artifacts then it is not possible for us to come to the conclusion that the subjects are possessed.
In the case of Delores for example, the alternate personality Gretchen Gottlieb, in one particular conversation mentioned Pope Leo several times and she repeatedly spoke of religious tensions.
Likewise, if there is an association to a satanic or demonic cult(s) it must be evident i.e. the victim must display or have knowledge that is peculiar to satanic cults or there should some tangible evidence that the victim (of possession) had been involved or has performed dark rites.
© 2016 Kathiresan Ramachanderam and Dyarne Jessica Ward