The devil can never do what is good
-Elder, can a sorcerer cure a sick person?
-A sorcerer? Curing a sick person? If a person is being convulsed by a demon, the sorcerer can “cure” him, by… sending the demon to another person. Given that the sorcerer is partners with the devil, he simply says to the devil “Get out of that person, and go to so-and-so”. So the devil removes the demon from that person, but usually sends it to a relative or an acquaintance of that person (who has given leeway to the devil). Then the one who was rid of the demon will say “I was tormented, but so-and-so (the sorcerer) made me well”, thus actually advertising the sorcerer! The demon then ends up entering relatives or acquaintances. However, if a person is hunchbacked on account of sorcery, a sorcerer can rid him of that demon and send it to someone else. But if that person is hunchbacked on account of a physical disability, a sorcerer is not able to cure him.
I was told of a woman who supposedly cured sick people with the use of various “holy items”. When I heard what she did, I was amazed at the devil’s artfulness. She holds a Cross in her hand and chants various troparia (hymns). For example, she chants “Virgin Theotokos”, then spits near the Cross (in other words, blasphemes Christ) and that’s how the little demon brat helps her. Thus, those who are sick – with depression etc., on account of demonic influences – she could cure them because she would drive out the demon that was causing it, then send it to someone else so that the first victim would be relieved of the depression. And there are many who regard her as a saint! They go to her for help, and gradually, she harms their soul… she destroys them…
One needs to be very careful, to keep away from sorcerers and sorcery, the way one would avoid fire and snakes. We should not confuse things: The devil can never do any good. He can only “cure” the sicknesses that he himself provokes. I was told of the following incident: A young man had gotten involved with a certain sorcerer and had begun to dabble in sorcery himself. He was eventually harmed, got sick, and ended up in hospital. His father spent a lot of money over many months, because at the time, they were not insured. The doctors couldn’t understand what was wrong with him. He had become a mess! What did the devil do then? He appeared before him in the guise of Saint John the Baptist (who was the patron saint of the young man’s home town) and said to him: “I will make you better, if your father builds a church”. The young man told this to his father and that poor fellow said “My child, I will give everything I have, as long as you get well” and he made a promise to the Baptist to build a church in his name. The devil departed and the young man recovered; the devil had performed his “miracle” ! So the father thinks to himself: “I made a promise to build a church. I must fulfil that promise.” Their finances weren’t very strong, so, in order to build the church, the father sold all the properties that he had – he gave up his entire fortune. His children were left stranded; they became exasperated, “We can do without Orthodoxy” they said, and went off to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. See what the devil does? There weren’t any Jehovah’s Witnesses in that region, and the devil found a way for them to appear there as well!
Elder, when do spells work?
-In order for spells to work, one has to have given rights to the devil. In other words give him a serious reason, and not have put oneself in order with repentance and confession. To a person who confesses, even if spells are shovelled onto him, they won’t affect him at all. Because if that person has been to confession and has a cleansed heart, no collaboration whatsoever between sorcerers and the devil is able to harm him.
One time, a middle-aged man came to my Hut with a suspicious air about him… From a distance, when I first spotted him, I could tell he was under a demonic influence.
“I came here so you can help me”, he said. “Pray for me, because I’ve been having terrible headaches for a whole year, and doctors can’t find what’s wrong.”
“You’ve got a demon”, I said to him, “because you’ve given rights to the devil”.
“But I didn’t do anything!”
“You didn’t do anything?” I replied. “Didn’t you cheat on a young woman? Well, she went and had a spell put on you. Go and ask her to forgive you, then go to confession, ask to have Exorcisms read over you, and you will regain your health. If you can’t perceive your error and don’t repent, even if all the spiritual fathers in the world get together and pray for you, the demon won’t leave you.”
When people like him come to me, with such an air, I speak to them openly. They need to be shaken up in order to come to realization.
One other man told me that his wife was demon-possessed; that she constantly created a fuss at home. She would get up at night, wake up the others, and turn everything upside-down.
“Do you go to confession?” I asked him.
“No”, he replied.
“You must surely have given rights to the devil”, I said to him. “This couldn’t have happened out of nowhere.”
In the end, we discovered that he had been to a Hodja, who had given him something to sprinkle on his house “for good luck”, so that his business would prosper, but he didn’t pay any attention to this fact… After that, the devil began wreaking havoc in his home.