For hundreds of years, a large number of organized religions have instilled an irrational and unhealthy fear in many members of their congregation called Demonophobia. Demonophobia is an intense fear of demons, and of those that the Church teaches are associated with demons such as devils, witches, and evil spirits.
You can learn more about the symptoms and treatments of Demonphobia in an article by Tammy Duffy. You can read the article by following this link.
Many learned clergy believe that the instillation of Demonophobia brings people closer to their religion, and further from the vices that demons symbolize. These members of the clergy try to teach that demons, and those associated with demons, are always around us, and are always working to tempt us into doing wrong in the eyes of the Church.
Even though these members of the clergy, and many of their followers, believe that the instillation of Demonophobia will create a, “religiously-healthy,” individual, many historians and psychiatrists believe that it does more harm then good. These scholars believe that those that instill Demonophobia inciting irrational and deadly fears.
Historically, the Church’s instillation of Demonophobia has led to widespread states of panic that have led to manhunts by the Spanish Inquisition, or to those that were seen during the Salem Witch Trials. Hundreds of innocent people lost their lives during these times because of the irrational fears of others.
I recently spoke to a Priest about the instillation of Demonophobia. He stated that it was the belief of the Vatican that one day, there will once again be a widespread hunt for those that associated with demons once again. He believed that many of the smaller Churches in the United States will lead a new Inquisition carrying the flag of Demonophobia.
He also pointed out that over the last forty years, the Roman Catholic Church and many Synods of the Lutheran Church have strayed from instilling a strong version of Demonophobia as the realization has come to light that there are many harmful side effects that can be caused when this type of fear is taken too far. There are many Churches, though, that still continue to press these fears on a daily basis.
These smaller Churches have pressed Demonophobia and led to famous cases in which parents believed that their children were possessed by demons. Instead of investigating traditional means that are used currently to treat certain mental disorders, these parents have caused their children’s issues to progress to uncontrollable states, and sometimes untimely deaths.
Many of these same parents have been a part of movements against forms of media that they believe are inspired by demons. These parents have let their Demonophobia take over as they try to bring down games like Dungeons and Dragons, video games like Doom, or books and movies like, The Golden Compass.
I should point out the famous case from the early 1980s where an Aunt and Uncle killed their nephew and two of their friends when they found the children playing Dungeons and Dragons. In court, the couple plead that the game may have already possessed their bodies with demons. The only way to set them free was to kill their bodies so that their souls could escape.
The instillation of Demonophobia may help many religious people come closer to their religion. It may also continue to lead to widespread panic, and murder. Only time will tell if Demonophobia becomes a more popular fear, or if more Churches finally come to the realization that they are doing more harm to their members then good.