Top

blog

Stories

 

Aurora theater shooting: Priest wonders if James Holmes was possessed by a demon

father dwight longnecker.jpg
Longnecker.
There have been plenty of theories about James Holmes's actions in the Aurora theater shooting, including some that appear semi-plausible (e.g., reactions to antidepressants) and others that seem unmoored from reality (the assault was staged to promote a United Nations gun control measure).

The possibility advanced by Father Dwight Longenecker? Holmes may have been possessed by a demon.

Longenecker's essay, "The Aurora Murders and Demonic Possession," was actually published on the Patheos.com website more than a week ago, but it's won new life thanks to an August 1 piece in the Christian Post labeled "James Holmes Was Demon Possessed, Claims Catholic Priest."

james holmes image longenecker.jpg
The image of James Holmes that accompanies Father Longenecker's thesis.
This headline is a bit exaggerated. Longenecker, who's described by Patheos as the "author of sixteen books on the Catholic faith, a broadcaster and a nationally known speaker" who now serves as pastor for Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina, doesn't come right out and say that Holmes was possessed. Instead, he floats the prospect as a question, then answers it in an indefinite but persuasive manner: "Was he demon possessed? Maybe. It happens."

At that point, Longenecker shares his view of demonic possession:

Demonic infestation is a rare, strange and terrible psycho-spiritual affliction. In simple terms, a malevolent, separate intelligence infests the mind and spirit of a person. It takes over the rational faculties and dominates the personality. The phenomenon is real, but anyone who has ever dealt with the problem realizes that the demonic realm is complex. The human person is an intricate organism in which the physical, mental and spiritual aspects are totally interwoven. Therefore, in most cases, trying to diagnose the possibility of demonic influence is extremely difficult.

This is because, in theory, demonic influence in a personality can exist on several different levels. Experts disagree about the terminology and extent of the diabolical influence, and in this arcane discipline, for reasons that will become clear, there are few set rules or guidelines. However, some levels of demonic involvement can be observed.

According to Longenecker, demonic influence has four major components, with the first two (temptation involving "something radically and extremely vile" and obsession with evil via the likes of "occult activity, violent video games or movies, pornography, drug abuse, sexual perversion, sexual promiscuity or...power and violence") not necessarily sporting a paranormal element. But they can be followed by what Longenecker describes as "infestation...the stuff of exorcism movies," and then possession, at which point "the malevolent spirit does not manifest itself any longer, but hides within the personality rather like a parasite. The person will appear to return to normal, but there is a shadow within. Even if they do so in a respectable and 'normal' manner, they will live only for themselves and the darkness within."

These ruminations lead Longenecker to ask, "Is James Holmes demon possessed?" -- and he concedes that "it is impossible to say without a detailed diagnosis. Even then, it is a slippery question. We are dealing with a reality that is rubbery. In many ways this is the wrong question. Better to ask, 'Was James Holmes taken over by Evil?'"

To that query, Longenecker responds with an unambiguous "Yes."

Nonetheless, he concludes on an upbeat note:

Love is the divine force of rationality and goodness. Love is the force which empowered three murdered men in the cinema in Aurora to shield their girlfriends from harm. Love is the force which makes the meaningless meaningful through the strange power of forgiveness, and which brings sacrifice in the face of insane self-love. Love is the light in the darkness, and Love is the meaning that makes us remember in a compassionate connection that this dark act took place in a town named Aurora, which holds a hopeful meaning: "Daybreak."

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Aurora theater shooting: Five twisted theories about the attack."

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
StillMM2
StillMM2

Short answer: No.  Long answer: Nooooooooo.

my2cents
my2cents

lol...only think Holmes is infested with is being a "punkbitch"

rvs44
rvs44

"The Devil made me do it"....  Works on jurys every time...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 

Religion = Superstitious Nonsense for Ignorant Imbeciles.

 

Ipso facto.

.

Brandi Pratt
Brandi Pratt

Wow. The lack of knowledge in present day society, still amazes me.

Kevon Lei
Kevon Lei

Seriously guys? Who gives a shit! Tired of seeing new posts on the same nutjob. Nobody cares about him! Drop the douchebag coverage already...

Justin Cook
Justin Cook

My news feed has been possessed by this bs story!

David Spohn
David Spohn

Give me a fucking break! Fanatical fools always bringing in ridiculous opinions. Thats like saying the Westowrd is a reliable news source! Laughable! Stick with the music news and MMJ adds and escorts. It is what you're good at!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

He is possessed by Carole Chambers ???!!!

TheSpleen
TheSpleen

I will bet that "Father" Longenecker thinks he could exorcise those demons from this troubled young man (and his lithe body) with a little "laying on of hands". Perhaps Holmes could grasp Longenecker's scepter of righteousness.

 

How can you trust perverts who wear dresses and abuse little boys to tell you anything worth knowing?

Aaron Wall
Aaron Wall

Seriously, Westword? I saw a homeless guy ranting about Holmes being a alien. Is that news too?

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...