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Spirit possession by a malevolent entity
Demonic possession involves the belief that a spirit, demon, or entity controls a person's actions. Those who believe themselves so possessed commonly claim that symptoms of demonic possession include missing memories, perceptual distortions, loss of a sense of control, and hyper-suggestibility.[circular reference]Erika Bourguignon found in a study of 488 societies worldwide that seventy-four percent believe in possession by spirits, with the highest numbers of believing societies in Pacific cultures and the lowest incidence among Native Americans of both North and South America.
While demons exist in the Jewish religion, they are seen as agents of God. In the Hebrew Bible, one of the very few mentions of demons harassing mortals is in the First Book of Samuel,
"Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you." There are few mentions in other Judaic religious works, with only one in the Mishnah. Both the Talmud and the Midrash mention demons, but though Kabbalists trace demonology throughout the Jewish holy books, little is mentioned of possession.
In the 16th century, Isaac Luria, a Jewish mystic, wrote about the transmigration of souls seeking perfection. His disciples took his idea a step further, creating the idea of a dybbuk, a soul inhabiting a victim until it had accomplished its task or atoned for its sin. The dybbuk appears in Jewish folklore and literature, as well as in chronicles of Jewish life.
Catholic exorcists differentiate between "ordinary" Satanic/demonic activity or influence (mundane everyday temptations) and "extraordinary" Satanic/demonic activity, which can take six different forms, ranging from complete control by Satan or demons to voluntary submission:
Possession, in which Satan or demons take full possession of a person's body without their consent. This possession usually comes as a result of a person's actions; actions that lead to an increased susceptibility to Satan's influence.
Obsession, which includes sudden attacks of irrationally obsessive thoughts, usually culminating in suicidal ideation, and which typically influences dreams.
Oppression, in which there is no loss of consciousness or involuntary action, such as in the biblical Book of Job in which Job was tormented by a series of misfortunes in business, material possessions, family, and health.
External physical pain caused by Satan or demons.
Infestation, which affects houses, objects/things, or animals; and
Subjection, in which a person voluntarily submits to Satan or demons.
In the Roman Ritual, true demonic or satanic possession has been characterized since the Middle Ages, by the following four typical characteristics:
The New Catholic Encyclopedia states, "Ecclesiastical authorities are reluctant to admit diabolical possession in most cases, because many can be explained by physical or mental illness alone. Therefore, medical and psychological examinations are necessary before the performance of major exorcism. The standard that must be met is that of moral certitude (De exorcismis, 16). For an exorcist to be morally certain, or beyond reasonable doubt, that he is dealing with a genuine case of demonic possession, there must be no other reasonable explanation for the phenomena in question."
Exorcism of the Gerasene Demonaic
The New Testament (of The Holy Bible) indicates that people can be possessed by demons, but that the demons respond and submit to Jesus Christ's authority:
33In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34"Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God! "35"Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!" 37And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. (Luke 4:33-35 NIV)
Official Catholic doctrine affirms that demonic possession can occur as distinguished from mental illness, but stresses that cases of mental illness should not be misdiagnosed as demonic influence. Catholic exorcisms can occur only under the authority of a bishop and in accordance with strict rules; a simple exorcism also occurs during baptism.
The infliction of demonic torment upon an individual has been chronicled in premodern protestant literature. In 1597, King James discussed four methods of daemonic influence upon an individual in his book Daemonologie:
Spectra, being the haunting and troubling of certain houses or solitary places.
Obsession, the following and outwardly torment of an individual at diverse hours to either weaken or cast diseases upon the body, as in the book of Job.
possession, the entrance inwardly into an individual to beget uncontrollable fits, induce blasphemies,
Faerie, being the influence those who voluntarily submit to consort, prophesy, or servitude.
King James attested that the symptoms derived from demonic possession could be discernible from natural diseases. He rejected the symptoms and signs prescribed by the Catholic church as vain (e.g. rage begotten from Holy Water, fear of the Cross, etc.) and found that the exorcism rites to be troublesome and ineffective to recite. The Rites of the Catholic Church to remedy the torment of demonic spirits were rejected as counterfeit since few possessed could be cured by them. James therefore declared the protestant view of casting out devils, "It is easy then to understand that the casting out of Devils, is by the virtue of fasting and prayer, and in-calling of the name of God, suppose many imperfections be in the person that is the instrument, as CHRIST himself teaches us (Mat. 7) of the power that false Prophets all have cast out devils." 
The literal view of demonic possession is held by a number of Christian denominations. In both charismatic and evangelical Christianity, exorcisms of demons are often carried out by individuals or groups known as Deliverance ministries. Symptoms of such possessions, according to these groups, can include chronic fatigue syndrome, homosexuality, addiction to pornography, and alcoholism. The New Testament's description of people who had evil spirits includes a knowledge of future events (Acts 16:16) and great strength (Act 19:13-16), among others, and shows that those with evil spirits can speak of Christ (Mark 3:7-11).
In medieval Great Britain, the Christian church had offered suggestions on safeguarding one's home. Suggestions ranged from dousing a household with holy water, placing wax and herbs on thresholds to "ward off witches occult," and avoiding certain areas of townships known to be frequented by witches and Devil worshippers after dark. Afflicted persons were restricted from entering the church, but might share the shelter of the porch with lepers and persons of offensive life. After the prayers, if quiet, they might come in to receive the bishop's blessing and listen to the sermon. They were daily fed and prayed over by the exorcists, and, in case of recovery, after a fast of from 20 to 40 days, were admitted to the Eucharist, and their names and cures entered in the church records. In 1603, the Church of England forbade its clergy from performing exorcisms because of numerous fraudulent cases of demonic possession.
Various types of creatures, such as jinn, shayatin, 'afarit and ruh, found within Islamic culture, are often held to be responsible for demonic possession. Usually, Iblis, the leader of evil spirits, only tempts humans into sin by following their lower desires. Though not directly attested in the Quran, the notion of jinn possessing humans is widespread among Muslims and also accepted by most Islamic scholars. There are various reasons given as to why a jinn might seek to possess an individual, such as falling in love with them, taking revenge for hurting them or their relatives, or other undefined reasons. Since jinn are not necessarily evil, they are distinguished from cultural concepts of possession by devils/demons. In contrast, the shayatin are inherently evil.Hadiths suggest that the demons/devils whisper from within the human body, within or next to the heart, "devilish whisperings" (Arabic: wasw?s ) are thought of as a kind of possession.
Buddha, resisting the demons of Mara
In Buddhism, a demon can either be a being suffering in the hell realm or it could be a delusion. Before Siddhartha became Gautama Buddha, He was challenged by Mara, the embodiment of temptation, and overcame it. In traditional Buddhism, four metaphorical forms of "m?ra" are given:
Kle?a-m?ra, or Ma?ra as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions, such as greed, hate and delusion.(the Demons of delusions/defilement and unwholesome states)
M?tyu-m?ra, or M?ra as death. (the Demons of the Lord of death)
Skandha-m?ra, or M?ra as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence.(the Demons of contaminated aggregates)
Devaputra-m?ra, the deva of the sensuous realm, who tries to prevent Gautama Buddha from attaining liberation from the cycle of rebirth on the night of the Buddha's enlightenment.(the Demons of sons of deva Gods/desire and temptation)
It is believed that the demon will depart to a different realm once the demon is appeased.
In many of the Diasporictraditional African religions, possessing demons are not necessarily harmful or evil, but are rather seeking to rebuke misconduct in the living. As Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian churches move into both African and Oceanic areas, a merger of belief can take place. Demons can be representative of the "old" indigenous religions, which the Christian ministers work to exorcise.
Medicine and psychology
Those who profess a belief in demonic possession, also referred to as possessive trance disorder, have sometimes ascribed to possession the symptoms associated with physical or mental illnesses, such as hysteria, Tourette syndrome, epilepsy,schizophrenia,conversion disorder or dissociative identity disorder. In its article on Dissociative Identity Disorder, the DSM-5 states, "Possession-form identities in dissociative identity disorder typically manifest as behaviors that appear as if a 'spirit,' supernatural being, or outside person has taken control such that the individual begins speaking or acting in a distinctly different manner." It is not uncommon to ascribe the experience of sleep paralysis to demonic possession, although it's not a physical or mental illness. The symptoms vary across cultures. Demonic possession is not a valid psychiatric or medical diagnosis recognized by either the DSM-5 or the ICD-10. The DSM-5 indicates that personality states of dissociative identity disorder may be interpreted as possession in some cultures, and instances of spirit possession are often related to traumatic experiences--suggesting that possession experiences may be caused by mental distress. Some have expressed concern that belief in demonic possession can limit access to health care for the mentally ill. Studies have found that alleged demonic possessions can be related to trauma.
^ abcdeCasiola, Nancy (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion. Detroit: MacMillan Reference USA. p. 8687. ISBN978-0-02-865733-2. Spirit possession may be broadly defined as any altered or unusual state of consciousness and allied behavior that is indigenously understood in terms of the influence of an alien spirit, demon, or deity.
Jones, Lindsay (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 8687. ISBN0-02-865733-0. The anthropologist Erika Bourguignon found that in a sample of 488 societies 74 percent believe in spirit possession. The highest incidence is found in Pacific cultures and the lowest in North and South American Indian cultures.
^Meldon, J.A. (1908). "Notes on the Sudanese in Uganda". Journal of the Royal African Society. 7 (26): 123-146. JSTOR715079.
^Szombathy, Zoltan, "Exorcism", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 15 November 2019<http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_26268>
First published online: 2014
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Forcén, Carlos Espí; Forcén, Fernando Espí. (2014). Demonic Possessions and Mental Illness: Discussion of Selected Cases in Late Medieval Hagiographical Literature. Early Science and Medicine 19: 258-79.
Hartwell, Abraham (1599). A True Discourse Upon the Matter of Martha Brossier of Romorantin, pretended to be possessed by a Devil. 2018. ISBN1987654439.