99 Comments

I'm starting to think the main reason I don't believe in demons/paranormal explanations is because I don't want to, and I don't think that's a good reason.

Expand full comment

That's the fatal flaw in the liberal Humanist project: it cannot account for spiritual evil. But the biological and social explanations for this kind of psychopathy are inadequate. Some people are just evil. Of course, being open to the possibility of spiritual evil makes you open to the possibility of spiritual good. Great post! (And a horrifying case study!)

Expand full comment
Nov 10, 2023Liked by Harrison Koehli

I have mercifully not experienced so radically evil a person. But I have, without a shadow of doubt, experienced the presence of evil entities. Going into a meeting once with others for whom I had caused organizational upset and revealed behaviours they wanted to remain covert, I was suddenly aware of a freezingness. It was not a cold day but it was as though my body warmth had been vacuumed out. The others were all smiles and bonhomie while my teeth were literally chattering. None of them was chronically evil, but I came to realise they had made space, unconsciously, for that power hungry cold, dark presence.

Expand full comment
Nov 11, 2023Liked by Harrison Koehli

People who tell me they don't believe in the demonic often tell me they do believe in God. They don't really know what or how to act on that knowledge. I tell them if they believe in God then they should also believe there is a Devil. If you come to the realization that God and Satan exist in a spiritual realm that somehow parallels us. Then one should also believe in Angels and by consequence... Demons. I spent close to 20 years in Law Enforcement and I can tell you Evil is real. They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I have met criminals whose eyes were completely empty and devoid of a soul. In it's place in this vacuum was a malevolent force or energy that has no empathy for anyone or anything else. It was unsettling to say the least and caused me to examine my spiritual bonafides. I also found that they could be very persuasive and influential to others they encounter. People who are often unsure of themselves or uncertain about their place in life. It really was a matter of Wolves and sheep. I tell you as a warning to be cautious, put up your spiritual antenna and be on guard. There is evil among us...the Devils greatest trick is getting society to discount and doubt his existence.

Expand full comment

When we talk of the nature of evil we are moving in deep and dark waters. The beast is out there somewhere but it won’t show it’s true face, It’s in the shadows, in the corner of our eye and when we turn our head to look at it straight it’s gone, because the evil wasn’t in the corner of our room but in the eye itself, like a radar station searching the sky for something that’s inside the radar station.

The language of dream, myth and metaphor is maybe all we have. Modern American tribes have Star Trek but more ancient tribes had theirs too.

I was recently reading the story of “Little Red Riding-hood” to some kids and explaining it to them as much as dared. It seems incredible to me now that I’d known that story for years, four decades and more before I could see that was a detailed account of a sexual predator, a rapist of children and a murderer of the elderly.

Don’t forget that the brothers Grimm didn’t CREATE those stories, they COLLECTED them. They're folk memories from times when people really were eaten by wolves in the dark forests of northern Europe. It’s entirely plausible that those stories were told to children in Neolithic times. What once looked like a goofy silly story about a talking wolf, as real or as important as Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck, looks a lot more important once you can see that a wolf with the characteristics of a man is also a man with the characteristic of a wolf.

A very clever and charming man talks to a naïve young girl in a lonely place, gets some useful information from her, tracks down and kills an old woman who is of no use to him except for her clothes which he wears to lure in and capture a child. That’s not an entertaining fantasy, that’s a lesson for the tribe’s children and a warning from the past.

The Wolf-Man (or something very similar) has always been with us. Wolf+Man is still a term for sexual criminal in Chinese. “The Wolf Man” was released by Universal in 1941, Heck! Duran Duran released “Hungry like the Wolf” in 1982.

I read a biography of the notorious rapist AND decorated celebrity entertainer Jimmy Saville, where he referred to HIMSELF as a wolf. When asked by an interviewer why he lived in a shabby apartment on the edge of town “The Wolf knows what he wants” he replied.

So, there we can see at least one example of an evil force moving across the world for thousands of years, resisted by most men but taking over some others who then go on to cause terrible suffering and pain. The brave and good Woodsman in the old story killed that particular wolf but the spirit could not be stopped with an axe.

Are these Demons all just metaphors?

Sure, they are metaphors, but they aren’t JUST metaphors. They describe a base reality that we can only ever partially see. Our language is an organ, like our eyes, that we use to perceive the world. Nietzche wrote that our language is made of metaphors that we have forgotten are metaphors.

“Truths are illusions that we have forgotten are illusions, they are metaphors that have worn out and drained of sensuous force, coins that have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer coins”

So, our ancient ancestors stamped “Demon/Devil” onto some particular pieces of metal, but they have been jingling in our pockets for so long that now that stamp looks faint and ridiculous. They had their religions, we have ours. But even if we re-stamp them as something like “Psycho-sexual Neurosis” or “Pathological Maladjustment” the metal remains.

And they’re cold hard pieces of metal indeed.

Expand full comment

Absolutely fascinating interview.

Regarding aliens: if an individual can be possessed in this fashion, what of an entire species?

Expand full comment

I'm listening to Walter Kirn's "Blood Will Out" now, about 2/3rds of the way through it and a few years back had previously listened to Audible's "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit By Mark Seal

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter"

By: Mark Seal Narrated by: Erik Singer, which covered the mysterious disappearance of the two people he murdered but at the time it was written, he had only been charged with the kidnapping of his daughter. Both books are good, and the details regarding the cons are not contradictory, but Walter's book fleshes out the true evil of this con artist.

Gerhartsreiter is an amalgam of psychopathology without a scintilla of morality, a man who takes extreme pleasure and finds purpose as a poseur, for whom compassion or legality is a stumbling block to be thwarted no matter the means. Perhaps his success in taking on the persona of the rich, and being convincing is that they (the uber wealthy) demonstrate to a somewhat lesser degree the characteristics of pathological narcissism, so that these behaviors do not stand out as much as they might in people who do not occupy the elite strata.

Kirn's book is a fascinating profile of evil, while Singer's is a portrait of a consummate liar. What is most interesting to me in Kirn's book is his unstinting description of his own culpability at being so utterly bamboozled by this creature.

Expand full comment

The last paragraph reminds me of

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

and

““Principalities and powers” are always with us; we have no need to create them even if we could. It is merely incumbent on us to choose the master we wish to serve, so that his service shall be our safeguard against being mastered by the “other” whom we have not chosen.

Carl Jung

Also was thinking from what I have read recently about the Rockefellers, maybe this guy really was a Rockefeller and Christian Gerhartsreiter was created to protect the Rockefellers :)

Expand full comment
Nov 11, 2023·edited Nov 11, 2023Liked by Harrison Koehli

The really weird thing is trying to explain all of this in the broken language that was handed down to us. Some days I'll wake up from a dream and say, "Oh, fuck! We used to know how to say this!", and then spend the rest of the morning trying to reconstruct the straightforward language that was lost, or maybe purposely burnt down.

The craziest thing is this: I think we all instinctively know what a demon is. But in trying to describe it to each other in anything but the artist's tongue, we get lost and accidentally help it do its business, like Kirn himself did. But he seems to be waking up.

Expand full comment
Nov 11, 2023·edited Nov 11, 2023Liked by Harrison Koehli

Wow.

You really don't hear this much in the modern world anymore.

My confessor tells me something similar - don't give the demons rights over you by entertaining their suggestions.

Repent and pray from the heart. Everything that is happening in the world today is because we lack repentance and don't know how to pray.

Pray without ceasing.

If nature abhors a vacuum, demons love them.

Expand full comment
Nov 10, 2023Liked by Harrison Koehli

This conversation was chilling for me, as I am in the fallout from the exact realization moments as described. Despite 45 years in my own entrpreneurial businesses, world travels to dozens of countries as a lone single female, was I just lucky to have never encountered such evil? Now I am living the longterm focus of that evil wanting to show power, wanting to destroy all that makes a creative person shine, wanting to bask in proof of the worst animalistic attributes a human might display, oblivious to being caught. My losses are legion. I am older and out of the financial circles that accelerated my work because my character. Aye, it is my lesson, but the losses are not just my own; for now all the expressions of my creative force and expertise are lost to the thousands whose lives I touched and the more that could have been touched as I withdraw.

Expand full comment

Harrison, Thanks for this illuminating post. Like a few other commenters, as I become a bit older/wiser (🙏?), and as I become more aware of our hidden history and the more recent machinations of our power elites and their minions, I find myself using the word evil to describe much more of what’s being perpetrated. I’m not suggesting I’m about to embrace the Good Lord or run down to the nearest river to get baptised. But nonetheless as events unfold it’s difficult to think of another way of looking at the world.

Expand full comment

There is a spiritual dimension and there's a physical dimension. There are good entities and there are evil entities. And they are at War on both the spiritual level and the physical level. And you are seeing it played out on a very large scale today.

I did not believe this for 50 years.

I have faced true evil, and it is not something I want to face again.

Both evil and good on the spiritual level can possess people and things in our physical dimension. The good choose not to because it believes in free will and taking possession of somebody takes away that person's free will.

Your choice to believe it or not does not eliminate the fact that evil is real and that this war exists. Maybe a person needs to experience facing true evil to believe it.

What I still wonder about is whether or not a possessed person is aware that he/she is possessed. My guess is that some people are aware and enjoy it and some people are not. aware.

Whatever you believe it is time to choose sides.

Expand full comment

I laid out a similar idea to a couple of super rational and very intelligent friends. This was about four years ago. Pre Covid. They said they would ignore it and pretend I didn’t posit the idea a demonic cabal exists. Fast forward a couple of years and they both came around and said what they’re seeing out there is beyond bad politics, poor science, greedy corporations. The only thing that covers it is demonic. I said ‘hey hey hey! I said this four years ago and you two acted as if I were nuts’. They apologized. A lot of people are seeing this. A lot. And people I really don’t think tend to think in terms of angels and demons usually.

Expand full comment

Revolver linked to your article. Thanks for this. For me, people cling to the "blank slate" idea because they must believe in equality and a just God. The reality that some people are just born bad and there's nothing you can do to balance chemicals or "love it out of them" destroys equality, blank slate, and the idea of a just God. Some people are cursed and irredeemable.

Expand full comment

Excellent post and interview.

I will say this, if you believe in the good, godly and angelic, then you must believe that evil and the demonic exist as well.

We have traded our spiritual intelligence, for intentional secular distraction, escape and omnipotence.

However, as Kirn experienced, from time to time, we are given a glimpse into the real and present spiritual world. Sometimes it's a brush with true evil and sometimes it's through a miracle or undeserved grace.

We recently had a true, biblical style miracle in our family. I won't go into many details, but 12 days after a traumatic brain injury, this person was sitting up, talking and eating, with little evidence of cognitive loss. Doctors were baffled, as they predicted if they survived, it would be a life of handicapping cognitive issues and resulting physical problems. This person reported speaking with their deceased parents, who said it was not time for them to pass over, to that side. There were literally tens of thousands praying for their recovery, survival and healing. The entire event was and is a witness to God's love, grace and power and that He does listen to the prayers of His children.

Good and evil are real, God is present and His will be done, in His time and purpose.

The reason people don't recognize evil is they live with and embrace it, on a daily basis in varying degrees and ways. However, every once in a while the curtain is pulled back and we are asked to see and acknowledge the truth.

I think Kirn, passed the test and will be better for it, the rest of his days.

Expand full comment