We're sitting around the dinner table tonight and listening to the news that was tuned in on the big screen. The topic was, of course, the Aurora shooting and the report was attempting to posit possibilities as to motive. At this point, the oldest son's girlfriend turns to me and asks what I thought had caused the young man to do what he did.
My answer elicited silence on behalf of some at the table and some ridicule from others.
"I think he was possessed"
Not fifteen minutes later, I check my phone for emails and see I have something from The Anchoress who is linking, incredibly. to this piece covering the possibility of demonic possession to explain the Aurora killings:
What makes a mild mannered, promising young scientist decide to arm himself to the teeth, walk into a suburban movie theater and start killing innocent people at random?
Did he have a bad childhood experience? Doesn't seem that way. Everybody says he was a nice, very smart, shy kid. Maybe a bit of a geek, but there are millions of geeks who don't go on killing sprees. Was he insane? There weren't any warning signs that he was crazy. Was he politically or religiously motivated? No evidence. Was he driven crazy by violent video games? He didn't seem to play more than most kids. Was his mind poisoned by the nihilistic second Batman movie? It was a dark film, but millions saw it and didn't go on a rampage. Was he somehow "possessed" by the Joker character? Some say the demonic Joker drove Heath Ledger to kill himself.
Now it's getting spooky. There was a weird phone message with bizarre guttural voices and moans. Was he demon possessed? Maybe. It happens.
Demonic infestation is a rare, strange and terrible psycho-spiritual affliction. In simple terms, a malevolent, separate intelligence infests the mind and spirit of a person. It takes over the rational faculties and dominates the personality. The phenomenon is real, but anyone who has ever dealt with the problem realizes that the demonic realm is complex. The human person is an intricate organism in which the physical, mental and spiritual aspects are totally interwoven. Therefore, in most cases, trying to diagnose the possibility of demonic influence is extremely difficult.
This is because, in theory, demonic influence in a personality can exist on several different levels. Experts disagree about the terminology and extent of the diabolical influence, and in this arcane discipline, for reasons that will become clear, there are few set rules or guidelines. However, some levels of demonic involvement can be observed.
Is James Holmes demon possessed? It is impossible to say without a detailed diagnosis. Even then, it is a slippery question. We are dealing with a reality that is rubbery. In many ways this is the wrong question. Better to ask, "Was James Holmes taken over by Evil?"
Yes. Something happened to the mild mannered science geek. He turned into a monster. Something twisted in his mind and heart, and Evil made an entry. Evil infested his life. It took him over. Whether the twist was through mental illness, some inner wound or some terrible dark intelligence, we cannot say. The fact that we can't say what went wrong and don't have a neat and tidy answer is the key to understanding the terrible conundrum of evil.
When faced with mindless massacres, we don't have a rational answer—and that is the rational answer. What I mean is that the further one goes down the path of Evil, the more it becomes irrational and mindless. Evil, by its very nature, is a lie, a subterfuge, a deceit and a vast web of contradictions and inconsistencies. Evil is, by it's nature, the darkness and the chaos—where what seems reasonable is only a smoke screen for the absurd, and what seems logical is a pretext for irrationality.
There is much more and it's quite enlightening.
As for me, I'm sticking with my theory. It's as good as any we've heard yet.