Updated on February 27, 2023
Doug Tales 107: Evil Entities, Part Seven
Doug Mendenhall continues his list of ten characteristics of evil spirits in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), pp. 60-70, and adds additional related experiences on pp. 219-222:
Characteristic #7: Devils and demons can cause addictions or facilitate our propensity for certain addictions.
They have been at their “work” for so long that they know the human body so well that they know what hormone or area to tweak to cause a “desire” for things, often called a “craving.” When the dark entities are cast off, the cravings go away.
I had never in my life contemplated that a mortal might have an earthbound spirit attached to them, which was addicted to something, and that addiction in turn could cause the mortal to have the same problem. Also I never imagined that earthbound spirits might also have demons or any other dark things attached to them.
The man later shared a part of his journal with me:
“…I have had repeat visits from my longtime spirit-friends, those demons who were part of my life for so many years. Because of the time that they haven‘t been with me, I am now better able to discern their promptings and implanted thoughts. Before, I thought those implants were my own thoughts. Now, I recognize when I am being tempted. I am much more quick to successfully request the Lord‘s aid at those times.”
I often marvel how the Lord helps us along His paths, how He helps us understand how He works, how unseen things work, and how He allows us to help our brothers and sisters on this earth.
Ron Poulton in his paper describes a similar incident of a man who traveled a lot in his work and who eventually conquered pornography by not only reading scriptures and praying, but also by always “cleansing” his hotel room of any evil entities whenever he was “on the road.” Poulton concludes with these comments:
“[The man] said that the thoughts and the urges to watch improper programs simply ceased, without any effort on his part, other than his faith in God‘s willingness to honor the priesthood and the name of his Son. He said that sometimes a single rebuke was sufficient for an entire business trip. On other occasions he was required to rebuke more often, not to control his thoughts, but to maintain what he came to understand as a clear space. He had experimented on the witness and promise of Paul:
“‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (I Corinthians 10:13).
“His battle against pornography had irreversibly changed. It was no longer a battle of one part of him against another part; it was simply a matter of his discerning and rebuking the influence of unwanted evil around him. . . [This man] was not overcoming or conquering anything; he was not learning and applying new insight to change his thoughts or behavior; he simply vanquished a present enemy. . . He could have struggled, and perhaps eventually overcome this problem, many persons have done so. What [he] did was to recognize the true nature of the trouble he faced and the personal enemy that brought it to him. He discerned that his enemy was imminent. He won, not by fighting the good fight, but by exercising his faith and priesthood to refuse the contest.” (Ron Poulton, “Understanding Spiritual Evil in the Context of Psychotherapy” self-published paper, pp. 23-24)
As Brigham Young said, evil entities are all around us, wanting to destroy us, make us sick, try and tempt us. These are not dull-witted thugs. They have been practicing their art for millennia and are quite good at what they do. The more light we have the harder they will work to entrap or entice us. It is always dangerous to underestimate the power and appeal of evil. If we don’t have an understanding of how they operate or recognize their operations in this creation, it could be catastrophic. Addictions to alcohol, drugs and pornography are no small things to consider. It is imperative for us to realize how evil operates and how we can stop it.
In my own life I have had more than a few experiences with earthbound spirits. Just recently in the last several years I have put on much weight. I knew it was related to my heart problems, but it seemed to be so much more. The past several months I felt there was more to it than just gaining weight because of a bad heart. I was severely addicted to sugar.
Finally I started focusing on the idea that I might have an earthbound spirit attached to me causing these desires. They were intense and constant. It seemed a bit much, even for me.
My daughter, Denise, happened to be over one night, and I asked her if I had an earthbound spirit attached to me.
“Yes, you do,” she answered. “He is making you have cravings for food and sugar.”
“How long has he been with me,” I asked.
“Several years,” was her reply.
Later that night I knelt and expressed my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the experience of having had this earthbound man with me for these past years. I told Him of my strong desire to be free of this man. I focused intently on this desire. Then in the name of Jesus Christ I commanded the earthbound man to leave. I then shielded myself from him. The cravings were gone.
Ten days later I still didn’t have those cravings for sugar. In my mind I kept wondering if it really could be this simple. The answer has come that it can be this simple if you are focused with true intent, asking Father for His help in the name of the Son, while expressing gratitude for the experience and then casting out the problem.
But about two weeks later I was on the road and had an experience where something didn’t go my way and I judged the person. I thought nothing of it. While driving home I started to tell other drivers how stupid they were. I kind of chuckled at my good driving ability that they didn’t have. This should have been a huge red flag for me! When we start expressing and thinking things or doing things that we normally don’t do, it is a warning that we are being influenced by an evil entity. After arriving home one of my granddaughters brought us a cupcake for St. Patrick’s Day. I started to crave the cupcake. I realized then that the earthbound was back, and he had brought friends with him. I started the repentance process all over again in order to cast them off.
Some days I feel like I take one step forward and two steps backward. After some time on my knees and feeling better about everything, I cast them off again. Will they be back? If I don’t mend my way, they most assuredly will come back. Earthbound spirits can cause us problems that we might attribute to our childhood or earthly pressures.