May 2016 – PERU – The mass case of ‘demonic possession’ has caused some pupils to suffer from seizures while others have fainted at the school. Almost 100 schoolchildren are thought to have been ‘possessed’ by the devil – and see visions of a man in black trying to kill them. In what has been described as a mass case of demonic possession, the pupils in Peru are experiencing seizures alongside their horrifying hallucinations. Experts have struggled to explain the strange goings-on, which also include widespread convulsions and fainting at the school, reportedly built on a Mafia graveyard.
According to local reports, as many as 80 students at the Elsa Perea Flores School in northern Peru’s Tarapoto have been experiencing the supposedly contagious ‘condition’ since last month. A pupil, not named in local media, described their experience: “It’s disturbing for me to think about it. It’s as if someone kept on chasing me from behind. It was a tall man all dressed in black and with a big beard and it felt like he was trying to strangle me. My friends say I was screaming desperately, but I don’t remember much.”
Another schoolgirl said she had trouble breathing and was desperately holding her neck as if someone was strangling her. According to her friends, she kept screaming: “Take it out.” Another anonymous girl, aged 13, told local media: “Several children from different classrooms fainted at the same time. I got nauseous and started vomiting. I heard voices. A man in black chased me and wanted to touch me.” –The Mirror
Growing interest in the occult in society: Father Gary Thomas, exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose (CA) — whose 2005 training in the rite of exorcism in Rome led to Matt Baglio’s 2010 book, “The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist” and the 2011 movie, “The Rite,” starring Anthony Hopkins — likes to quote Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “As faith diminishes, superstition increases.” So when we’re looking for cultural factors that have fostered increasing interest in, and practice of, Satanism and other occult activities, we have to begin with the decline in Christian belief in the West.
Fr. Jeffrey Grob, exorcist for the Archdiocese of Chicago, described this to me in a recent telephone interview as a “disenchantment with organized religion.” Americans are impatient people and “even Catholics,” he explained, “may go to healers or botanicas” or dabble in Santeria, “seeking alternatives to God for an instant fix.”
Msgr. Patrick Brankin, exorcist for the Diocese of Tulsa, agrees that the decline in Christian faith and concomitant rise in secularism is fostering demonic activity: “‘in the last few years, we’re seeing more demonic activity,’ he said, a trend he attributes to an increasingly secular society that has turned to Ouija boards, witchcraft, astrology, fortune telling and other occult practices that ‘open the door to the demonic.’”
All three exorcists believe that there has been a marked rise in the number of people who are dabbling in the occult — whether Satanism, paganism, idolatry or something else — compared to 25-30 years ago. In “The Occult Roars Back: Its Modern Resurgence,” Richard Kyle, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Tabor College in Kansas, quotes several academic experts who have written about the causes of the sharp increase in interest in the occult. Jeffrey Russell, for example, noted that, historically, “interest in the occult has grown significantly in periods of rapid social breakdown, when establishments cease to provide readily acceptable answers and people turn elsewhere for assurance.” –Aleteia