It’s (Not) Official: Yoga is Satanic
Yoga, Harry Potter, and Twilight are the causes of an upsurge in demonic possession, according to Father Cesare Truqui, successor of Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s chief exorcist for some 25 years.
Twilight I can believe – but yoga?
Okay, so it’s not solely Twilight he calls “Satanic”; it’s anything that portrays vampires or demons as something desirable or in any way sexy. Let’s hope he’s never read Vampirella!
Speaking to The Independent, Father Cesare says he’s seen an increase in individuals with inhuman strength or speaking in tongues, including one case involving a “small woman, who could not be pinned down by three strong men.” These resulted in a Catholic meeting in Rome where authorities and delegates discussed demonic possession, a meeting also attended by Professor Giuseppe Ferrari, head of The Group on Research and Socio-Religious Information (an Italian occult watchdog).
“There are those who try to turn people into vampires and make them drink other people’s blood, or encourage them to have special sexual relations to obtain special powers,” Professor Ferrari says. “These groups are attracted by the so-called beautiful young vampires that we’ve seen so much of in recent years.”
Father Cesare Truqui’s comments about yoga do have precedent, however. Five years ago, introducing a screening of The Rite, a 2011 film starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a Jesuit priest, at a film festival in Umbria, Father Gabriele Amorth said yoga “leads to evil, just like reading Harry Potter.”
Father Gabriele is the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists, having founded the group in 1990, and explains his – ahem – position on the matter: “In Harry Potter, the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses. Satan is always hidden and what he most wants is for us not to believe in his existence. He studies every one of us and our tendencies towards good and evil, and then he offers temptations.”
Naturally, Giorgio Furlan, founder of the Yoga Academy of Rome, wasn’t happy with this.
“Yoga is not a religion or a spiritual practice,” Furlan said in 2011. “It doesn’t have even the slightest connection with Satanism or Satanic sects.”
But yoga apparently does find its roots in ancient Hinduism, with many of the positions practiced originally unique ways of worshipping Hindu deities.
In the past 15 years, there’s been a 100% increase in requests for exorcisms, leading to the Catholic Church taking on six more exorcists and bringing the total number to 12.
Father Cesare warns that you have to train to accurately exercise, however, so if your plans for the weekend involved getting rid of some demons, think again.
Philip Bates is Editor of The Doctor Who Companion and you can read his posts at that site by clicking here.