The case of the séances used by supposed magicians in Turin for raping a student with the excuse of removing the evil eye, brings back the attention on the risks linked to occultism. What is meant by spiritism? That set of facts and doctrines based on spirits affirming a progressive evolution in time and space of the spiritual part of man that survives to bodily death. The medium would be the individual provided with particular sensitivity, able to act as intermediary with the afterlife by the so-called mediumistic trance, which some academic indicate as “a narcoleptic somnambulistic crisis with psychic dissociation of the personality”, others as “a sort of hypnotic sleep”. The medium in a state of trance would be in contact with an entity, the so-called “spirit guide“, generally the soul of a deceased person. This entity is the product of the creativity of the medium, namely, of a person with a multiple and dissociated personality.
Often there is confusion between those who have the gift of prophecy, and therefore are recognized as mystics, and those which sneakily impose their own “profession” of charlatans, misleading, allies of the evil one. This category of occultists is openly advertised in many local television stations and newspapers, exploiting the fragility of the people that are living particular situations of suffering and difficulty.
Spiritism is characterized by a certain type of phenomenology that goes from raps to automatic writing, from “materialisations” and “dematerialisations” of spirits, objects, people or limbs of living beings, to voices and music, from telekinesis to the levitation to telepathy, from clairvoyance to precognition. The true centre of spiritism “religion” is not God but the man: everything that the spiritists ask to the deceased which would be found at the séances should serve, in final analysis, to man, to his earthly existence, to drive concerns and anxieties that disturb a peaceful life away.
The Catholic Church has taken unequivocally position on a number of occasions and against spiritism, whose teachings are in contrast with the Catholic doctrine, as the Catechism recalls. With regard to the attitude of the Church towards spirits, we can stress two reflections. The first is that demons exist: they are angelic beings, created good by God and that become bad for their willingness. The second is that the real or alleged manifestations of spirits derived from evocations are always negative and often are not immune from diabolic intervention.
Spiritism is not a harmless practice, as it is shown, beyond the facts of the chronicle, the many victims with problems of mental balance and disturbances in the moral and spiritual life. There are numerous testimonies of people who in the difficult moments of their life, often after the loss of a near relative, turned to self-styled groups managed by medium promising a contact with the deceased. Sometimes is the curiosity that leads towards these practices, the reading of occultism books, the frequentation of magicians and fortune-teller, the purchase of talismans, the use of certain games (especially in the new generations), the hope of improving one’s working status. In the majority of cases these experiences are very expensive from an economic point of view and may become the springboard for real satanic rites.
Sometimes the participants to séances accuse illness, insomnia, physical, psychological and spiritual disorders; they feel invisible presences, restlessness, nervousness, emotional instability, panic attacks, depression, inability to relate with others and to have a normal life. In the most serious cases they fall into schizophrenia and suicidal behaviour. But often these people are able to find the stability and tranquillity lost relying on a priest and entering in a more active way in the Church participating in prayer groups.