Charlatans—or Demon Possessed?

Charlatans—or Demon Possessed?

A charlatan has been defined as “a person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge” (The American Heritage College Dictionary). Do you know any charlatans in your own experience?

Probably, in Christian circles, a more common term would be a “hypocrite” for we remember that Jesus often condemned the scribes and Pharisees as guilty of hypocrisy (cf. Matthew 23). But the term “charlatan” is also a good word that may be used legitimately.

We recently read an article entitled, “A Charlatan, not Virgin Mary, Stirred in Denton, Diocese Suggests Video Shows” (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 29, 2019). The article tells of a woman who went to a “pro-life assistance center” in Denton, Texas. We definitely would be “pro life” but this particular place has an interesting twist to it.

A woman who went to “Eucharistic adoration at Loreto House” referred to the administrators that flowers that had been found on the floor were the result of an “apparition” of the Virgin Mary. According to the administrators, the woman had earlier experienced this apparition. This informant woman supposedly saw rose petals falling from a book that records the words of the Virgin Mary. Later, three roses were located in a hall, a counseling room, and a classroom.

Alas, there was a surveillance video that showed otherwise. The woman herself was recorded as dropping a petal from her hand. Later, the diocese said that “the rose ‘gift’ the woman allegedly experienced . . . was indeed fabricated and not true.” The woman wrote of this incident on a website, “Our Lady Mystical Rose of Argyle.”

We read: “After a recent severe demonic attack in which demons influenced the visionary to act in such a way as to potentially discredit the messages, the visionary immediately sought the counsel of a holy priest and bishop who confirmed the deception as being of demonic origin and also gave assurance that the messages where authentic and of God,” according to the website.

There are many reasons why we do know that this was not a true appearance of Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord. Consider:

  • The Virgin Mary is dead and not alive.
  • The Virgin Mary is no longer a virgin but had four sons and at least two daughters (Matthew 13:55-56).
  • This incident confirms and promotes a false religion—Roman Catholicism—that God would never do.

Many other reasons could be offered that would show the fallacy of this supposed appearance of Mary to this woman. But there have been many other such appearances in the world that are also false.

There have been various reported appearances:

  • Our Lady of the Pillar (Spain)
  • Our Lady of the Snow (Rome)
  • Our lady of Walsingham (England)
  • Our Lady of the Rosary (France)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel (England)

There are further appearances–all approved by the Church of Rome:

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico)
  • Our Lady of Siluva (Lithuania)
  • Our Lady of Laus (France)
  • Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (France)
  • Our Lady of La Salette (France)
  • Our Lady of Pontmain (France)
  • Our Lady of Gietzwald (Poland/Germany)
  • Our Lady of Knock (Ireland)
  • Our Lady of Fatima (Portgal)
  • Our Lady of Beauraing (Belgium)

Although devout Catholics may want to accept these reported appearances as genuine, we know that they could not be. Regardless of the pilgrimages to these sites and regardless of any shrines or cathedrals erected in honor of the Virgin Mary because of these sightings, we know that they could not be genuine.

Since Mary is no longer a virgin, since Mary is dead and not alive, and since the Roman Catholic Church is false and heretical, we know that these reports could not be true.

Remaining questions might be: Were these supposed sightings demonic in origin? Did any of them come from devout but deceived Catholic devotees? Were any of these “apparitions” deliberately produced for ulterior motives?

Were any of these appearances manufactured by charlatans? Or could demons be directly responsible? Remember that Paul wrote of “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Might it be possible that the perpetrators of these supposed sightings were indwelt by Satan and sought to promote a chief satanic ploy in our world?

We encourage our readers to be content with the pure and holy Word of God (the Bible) and allow God to direct your paths! We “live” by the very words that have been given by Almighty God (Matthew 4:4). That is sufficient for the one who has faith in God and His Word!

–Richard Hollerman


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