In the early 1970s, a new idea began to spread like wildfire through the US Protestant evangelical right - that the social and political upheavals which beset America during the 1960s had been caused by a literal geographic invasion of demons.…
I own this book. In it John Hagee - whose political endorsement was heavily courted by John McCain in the 2008 presidential election primaries - describes personally casting out demons, in the style of the movie "The Exorcist".
Hagee has fallen under the influence of the 1948 Latter Rain revival which proposed the Gnostic paradigm that when Adam & Eve had been cast out of the Garden, God also withdrew his protective force field from the Earth and that allowed a literal invasion of demons which...
came to control most geographic areas on Earth. The demons could be fought, however, by believers wielding the name of Jesus. This idea was spread by the science fiction novels of Frank Perretti. The "invasion of demons" paradigm became so pervasive that by the first decade of...
...the 21st Century the members of the Colorado Springs,CO megachurch founded by Ted Haggard were doing computer assisted "spiritual mapping" of their city to identify and drive out the alleged demon forces. At the time, Haggard was president of the...
National Association of Evangelicals (between 20 and 30 million strong) and was reported to be having weekly phone chats with president George W. Bush. If you want a visceral, first person narrative of what Haggard's church was up to, you can listen to the public radio show...
...This American Life, #77 : Pray.
The story ("act 1") starts at 4:55. What happens ? - Well, Alix Spiegel goes to CO Springs, to look into the massive "spiritual mapping" campaign being led by the church. Spiegel gets near the heart of it, when she learns
...that Haggard's "prayer walk" teams are trying to expel demons, and that the demons are associated with various secular factors - such as shops that sell pornography or, in one telling case, a schoolyard where high school theater students used to hang out. Spiegel figured out..
...that there was a far right ideology underlying the war against the demons. What she never learned was that Ted Haggard's church was part of a global movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation and a top leader of the movement, C. Peter Wagner, attended Haggard's church...
Indeed, it was Wagner and other top NAR leaders who had originally tasked Ted Haggard with going to CO Springs to found the New Life Church. Haggard, head of the massive, influential NEA was not the top of the leadership chain. Wagner was. I pulled together some of these pieces.. a 2009 story for Religion Dispatches (… ). That same year I came across a video in which Wagner proposed that the current Japanese emperor had participated in a Shinto ritual in which the emperor had sexual intercourse with a demon spirit who might...
...have been a succubus (see:… ) Wagner claimed that an early 1990s Japanese economic downturn occurred because of the alleged human/demon tryst.
Now, in 2011 when then-Texas governor Rick Perry was ramping up for a presidential bid in the 2012 election, he held a notorious prayer rally that was dominated by the apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation. This led to a bit of a media uproar when a few pundits
...notably Michele Goldberg (now an op-ed columnist for the New York Times) wrote of the spreading influence, in US politics, of Christian "dominionists" (see:… ). Goldberg's influential op-ed set off a chain reaction that culminated in the appearance...
...of C. Peter Wagner on the NPR/WHYY show "Fresh Air" hosted by Terry Gross. In the astonishing interview, Wagner tells Gross about his emperor/succubus theory and also admits to his movement's close ties to 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin…
Now, I doubt there's any good empirical method by which to assess this - because the NAR by design is a movement that advances by stealth, which lies incessantly and practices elaborate methods of infiltration - but it has become my strong belief that the NAR is now...
...the dominant influence within the American Protestant religious right which is, in turn, the dominant influence within today's #Republican party.
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