So Who Wants to be a Demonologist?

With the popularity of recent movies such as The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, there seems to be more interest than ever in "demon hunters", as represented in the films by real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.  Though Ed Warren died in 2006, Lorraine Warren continues to be a major figure in the New England Society for Psychic research (which she co-founded with her husband).   While skeptics may dispute many details of the cases the Warrens have supposedly investigated together, the website and museum describing their paranormal claims still draws believers from around the world.

Given the rising fascination many people have with demonic possession and exorcisms, it's hardly surprising that Lorraine Warren and many other self-professed "demonologists" continue to be in demand for lectures, media presentations, and, yes, the occasional exorcism as well.   Perhaps inevitably, we are seeing a rash in new online and off-line schools claiming to teach demonology to anyone with "genuine faith."   Even the Warrens' website offers a couple of courses on demonology and paranormal investigation though they aren't intended to be a stand-alone program like what other schools are offering.

I should note that these demonology programs should not be confused with "legitimate" exorcism schools run by the Catholic Church and other major religions which are reportedly much more rigorous and limited to trained clerics.   There is also no such thing as a certification process for demonologists,  so, as with many other programs offered online, caveat emptor seems to be the main principle would-be demonologists should  follow.

Here are some of the programs I have been able to find.  Please note that they are only presented for your amusement and not meant as an endorsement. 

  • American Association of Exorcists (AAE) -  Yes, this is indeed a thing.  According to the mission statement listed on their web page, the AAE is a "Bible-based Christian organization" that provides formal certification in exorcism/deliverance as well as help for people experiencing demonic possession.  Along with the annual membership fee of $5.00 a year, the AAE also offers 19 courses on various aspects of demonology and exorcism.   Grading is done through an open-book exam format and successful graduates get included in the AAE's referral service for anyone seeking a local exorcist.
  • John King Hill Ministries -  Open to anyone with a "love of learning and commitment to Christianity,"  the web site states that their course will "give you riveting experience as we cover the different kingdoms that are in relentless warfare, which affects the daily lives of people. We will examine the five critical areas of deliverance, which are the keys to freedom from demonic powers."  One of the pricier options, the course fee is $450. 
  • Bishop James Long's Demonology Course -  According to this website, "Bishop Long has performed 27 Exorcisms on individuals who were possessed and he will share his experience and what he has learned throughout his seminary training with you as well."    According to his Facebook page,  James Long is a Bishop in the United States Old Catholic Church and his demonology course is only $49.99  (limited time only). 
  • Institute of Metaphysics -  Offers a range of courses covering a wide range of paranormal topics including Aquatic Cryptids, Mysteries of Mars, Anomalous Hominids, etc.   According to their website, the Demonology course "will provide the student with an in-depth examination of the subject, and will include historical, theological, scientific, and philosophical elements... Be warned, few enter this shadowy realm and emerge unaffected."  Costs $140.99 though discounts are available with multiple purchases.

And there you have just a few examples of what is available for any would-be demonologists out there.  Again, I'm not endorsing any of these courses, pursue or not as you see fit.

And remember what I said about caveat emptor.

           

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