Charisma, the New Apostolic Reformation magazine that warned us about smelly demons, transgender ghosts, succubi, and Jezebel, is at it again. As Halloween approaches, one of its contributors is warning Christians about witchcraft.
Jennifer LeClaire penned an October 11th commentary piece for Charisma News on the "witchcraft season" entitled "5 Clear Signs Witchcraft Is Attacking You Right Now". Witchcraft, she argues, clouds the minds of its targets, distracts them from Jesus, and leaves them vulnerable to Satan's "vain imaginations".
According to LeClair, autumn is an ominous time of year when supernatural influences compel people to "start attacking and accusing you for no reason, rebelling against authority, and otherwise walking in the flesh." The column describes witchcraft as an infernal power drawn from evil spirits, calling it "one of the powers in the hierarchy of demons Paul listed in Ephesians 6:12".
LeClair lists five symptoms of witchcraft attacks, including lack of focus, the urge to be alone, a sense of self-pity or worthlessness, depression, and "confusion" (questioning oneself, questioning leaders, questioning one's faith, and forgetfulness). First, most of the symptoms she describes are textbook symptoms of depression. Readers suffering from these symptoms would find a visit to their doctor more beneficial than LeClair's superstitious nonsense. Second, these symptoms can also be normal reactions to stress. Readers experiencing these symptoms would gain more from rest and relaxation than from reading the rant of a demon-obsessed fundamentalist. LeClair's column appears to be yet another fundamentalist attempt to cast mental health issues as spiritual maladies, rather than physical or psychological illnesses.
It's revealing that LeClair sees existential doubt, as well as a willingness to ask uncomfortable questions about one's leaders and faith, as the result of infernal influences. In her belief system, Christians must fearfully suppress any doubts about their path in life, rather than follow those doubts wherever they lead. A superstitious belief system won't last very long if its adherents honestly listen to their minds and hearts.
Oddly LeClair never explains who is supposedly deploying witchcraft against hapless believers. Where are all these alleged witches? Where are their demonic patrons? Why would witches waste their time and magical power tormenting Christians? Why would demons teach witches how to inflict depression on enemies rather than something more spectacular, like leprosy, locusts swarms, or lightning bolts?
As usual, Charisma is reinforcing the faith of its readers with superstition and fear. Rather than encourage readers to cultivate introspection and self-awareness, it presses them to attribute problems to imaginary monsters. Charisma's childish messages would be hilarious if not for the fact that some people take this nonsense seriously.