Sunday, May 1
Demonic Possession and Exorcism
“This is a story ripe with religious overtones.”
Rev. Charles McGowan from Chapel Woods Presbyterian Church
It was through the act of demonic possession that Satan used Mark Chapman to collect John Lennon’s soul. Mark’s pastor, the Rev. Charles McGowan from Chapel Woods Presbyterian church in Decatur, Georgia, USA, commented after visiting Chapman in prison, “I think spiritual forces of darkness distorted his whole world view—almost whispering to him that this was God’s ordained plan for him to take this evil out of the world. And I attribute that to the devil himself quite frankly.” Mark continually refers to ‘the spiritual matters behind Lennon’s murder’. It is a story that goes to the heart of the Christian faith, one man tempted by self fulfillment and the gains of the material world would stop at nothing to obtain his dream, makes a pact with the devil, all his wishes granted, he is now owed to the Devil. The Devil finds a vehicle to obtain John’s soul in the possession of a child.
As a child only a few months old, Mark had signs of deep agitation within him as though he placed into this world laden with an ancient grudge. As an infant, his body would violently and involuntarily shake and rock, back and forth at times so severe the casters had to be removed from his crib to prevent it from rolling across the room. His mother recalls the rocking behavior carried on into his teenage years. “He would just be rocking back and forth all the time” she said. As a teenager Mark felt the presence of an evil spirit residing in his body. One night while sleeping at a friend’s house he sensed the presence of evil giving him
instructions, “Everyone was lying, passed out in bed...There was a knife in the room.... Something in me -I recognize now to be a spiritual force -was trying to urge me to pick up the knife and kill my friends.” There were periods of demonic activity throughout his life and at times Mark was unable to distinguish God’s directives from those of Satan. But in the months prior to Lennon’s murder the demonic activity reached its peak and Chapman opened doors that could not be closed – he began praying to Satan for help. He prayed for the strength of a weak individual to perform a cowardly act. He prayed to Satan to send his most powerful, experienced demons, ‘not little ones but big ones to do a big thing’. And he believed his prayers were being heard and answered. From Let Me Take You Down, by Jack Jones, page 183: “At last he sat before the record player, naked except for a pair of headphones clamped across his skull:”
“Hear me, Satan,” he prayed softy, bowing his head. “Accept the pearls of my evil and my rage. Accept these things from deep within me. In return, I ask only that you…”
He paused, lifting the headphones momentarily from his head to assure himself that his wife was still asleep behind the closed door in the next room. A chill passed through his body.
“I ask only that you give me the power,” he continued, rocking gently in time to the Lennon song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” that had just begun to trickle into the headphones.
“…..The power to kill John Lennon. Give me the power of darkness. Give me the power or death. Let me be a somebody for once in my life. Give me the life of John Lennon.”
Chapman fixated on the Lennon song lyrics he believed to be blasphemous. In his anger and rage, his wife Gloria said she would hear him in the next room calling out in a loud voice, ‘you bastard phony’, ‘your days in this world are numbered’. “The goddamn phony fool he doesn’t even realize that soon he’s going to be dead. Just imagine that.”
From Let Me Take You Down by Jack Jones:
“In the months after he killed John Lennon, Mark David Chapman was evaluated by numerous psychiatrists. Each describes Mark’s case as one of the most difficult to diagnose. Mark appeared to his psychiatrist, Dr. Goldstein, ‘to have an even higher sensitivity than most people to moral issues and social concerns in general. He had a clear understanding of the relationship between past actions and their future consequences.’ Dr. Goldstein concluded, “Whatever Chapman’s reasons for killing the rock superstar, those reasons were part of a complicated riddle that lay beyond the realm of modern psychiatry as she knew it.” The profession community has struggled to penetrate and describe the medical symptoms of a spiritual battle that Mark Chapman says raged within him for his entire life.”
In 1987, People Magazine ran a three part series on Chapman and talked about his ‘psychotic breakdown’ and ‘exorcism’.
“As the guards at Rikers Island reported it, he destroyed a TV set, threw a radio and began taunting fellow inmates in a high pitched voice that warned of horrible tortures awaiting them in hell. Guards quickly subdued him and locked him in his cell, where he ripped off his clothes and began jumping around wildly, climbing the bars and ‘screeching and hooting like a monkey.’ He tore his bible into small pieces and used them to stop up his toilet. As his cell flooded, he began throwing water at the guards and taunting them. When they opened his cell door he lunged at them, and it took six men to drag him into a van that took him to Bellevue. There he did not answer to the name Mark Chapman, he spoke to the doctors in voices they had not heard before – one a high pitched, female voice, the other low, snarling and aggressively male. The voices identified themselves as Lila and Dobar, emissaries of Satan. It was Lila’s first possession of a human, Chapman later told his co-counsel, David Suggs, and she was struck by the weakness of human vision and the human body. Dobar was the more powerful demon – thousands of years old, exceedingly well versed in biblical scripture and a member of the Supreme Council in Hades, a ruling body whose power was only exceeded by Satan’s. Chapman noted, however, that Lila had the power to release and contain Dobar; he thought perhaps this was because Satan didn’t trust him. He said that both demons could read his mind and that their purpose in possessing him was to make a showing of Satan’s presence in the world, using Lennon’s murder as a vehicle.”
In his jail cell at Attica State prison in New York, his demons were excised. Mark was instructed to pray, and that God would flood him with peace and prepare him for the expulsion. He was told to pray for his wife and kin (priest) and suddenly God began to deliver him from 5 or 6 demons.
“They came out. I ended up on the floor, groaning and making sounds and language very strange to me…” Chapman said. Mark said he didn’t want people to believe it was a mental act and asked “will you try to believe it? I was pacing in my cell, and my body was shaking, and all of a sudden I felt the Holy Spirit come down and say there were demons inside me, and I said, ‘So that’s what this is,’ and I asked in Jesus’ name for them to come out. My face was snarling and it came out of my mouth, this thing, and it was gone. And I relaxed, and then I started breaking out in a sweat. Then there were more, I said, ‘In Jesus’ name, come out, and the second one was worse. Then the third one came out, and it was worse, and I said, ‘I’m ready, God, lets get them all out, let’s go.’ During that hour six came out. They were the most fierce and incredible things you ever saw of or heard in your life – hissing, gurgling noises and different voices coming right out of my mouth. My body was twitching an I was praying, I remember saying – this was the last one, and I said, My body is the temple of the Lord, and this voice came out and said, ‘This the body of Satan.’
As the demons left his body, Mark said he felt the essences of his personality departing with them. Mark said, “In other words, the way I was acting – cursing and things like this – weren’t me, and when they came out I could sense these things coming out of my mouth, hissing and awful gurgling and grinding and I could feel that part of my personality was gone.”