Although it’s not clear if the fad will continue, yoga continues to draw in many Catholics, usually under the pretense of relaxation, physical therapy, and exercise.
It is one of many trends with a dark underside — at least according to exorcists.
One who cited yoga as spiritually harmful was Father Gabriele Amorth of Rome, who worried about the “energy” it opens the faithful to.
Notes Charles D. Fraune in Slaying Dragons, “Yoga, despite its intense popularity all throughout the country, is from the occult. Experts in the field both inside and outside of Hinduism, as well as Hindu practitioners, say the physical movements of yoga are invocations of, and worship of, Eastern deities, like the sun god. Further, these experts say that the physical dimension of yoga cannot be separated from the spiritual dimension. Certain yoga exercises, such as the ‘sun salutations,’ are clearly religious in their sequence, rhythm, and intent.”
Another Eastern technique, Reiki, is yet more perilous. Exorcist Father Chad Ripperger of Colorado — who has compiled an amazingly effective book of cleansing prayers (Deliverance Prayers For Use By the Laity) — says Reiki is tied to the cult of Osiris,a cruel, brutal demon. Practicing it, he warns, can lead to possession.
More widespread than all are the Harry Potter books, evoking mockery when anyone asserts they are spiritually detrimental.
Among those who have considered them so: Cardinal Josef Ratzinger.
“Exorcists have tended to conclude very harshly on the goodness of the story and the soundness of allowing young people to read it,” writes Fraune. “In his lectures, Father Ripperger provides important details about the creation and propagation of the occultic fiction books under the title Harry Potter. According to Father Ripperger, J. K. Rowling, the author, went to witch school before writing the Potter series. She wrote the entire series through autowrite, or ‘automatic writing,’ which is a technique involving demonic assistance. The spells used in the stories are real, as revealed by priests and witches themselves. Exorcists have told him that sixty percent of the names in the books are the actual names of demons exorcists have cast out of people.” (We haven’t been able to verify the automatic writing claim as yet.)
One exorcist had to conduct exorcisms on three children due to their Potter exposure. Ripperger says one possession case involved five demons who claimed they had inspired Rowlings to write the incredibly bestselling (650 million copies) books.
Father Amorth was once quoted as saying, “You start out with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likable wizard, but you end up with the devil. There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these books.” (The movies, watered down, are not seen as quite as detrimental but can lead to reading the books, claimed Farther Amorth; we would strongly advise against the movies as well.)
When it comes to “autowrite,” the author Stephen King also comes to mind. He has described a process whereby he simply sits at a typewriter with rock music blaring and lets the books flow from his fingers. In turn he has inspired at least thirteen rock, punk, or heavy-metal songs. His love for the likes of demonic bands such as AC/DC, Metallica, and Anthrax is reflected in the use of their lyrics in some of his books. He even bought a local radio station to play his favorite songs as he writes.