The Ouija Board -
by Kent Allan Philpott
When I was a kid some neighborhood friends and I fooled around with an Ouija board. Lots of kids were doing it, as it was popular then. I think my mother got it for us and showed us how to use it. Strange now that I think of it.
There we were in the living room beside the fireplace on a wintry afternoon, on our knees, around this strange square with numbers on it, the alphabet, and some other odd figures and shapes. There was a small heart-shaped object made out of wood (in other countries the planchette, as it is sometimes called, it is made of glass), and we put a finger on it and were wildly amazed as it moved about the board and answered questions we asked of it. Strange also that we would ask a game board questions.
How shocked we were when the answers we got made sense and even seemed like the right answers. We were excited and scared all at the same time. At first we played with the board every time we got a chance. However, a few things happened that caused us to back away from it--the answers were too right, funny right. That was the last time I saw an Ouija board, and I did not think much of them, until I read Robert Anderson's book, The Ghosts of Iceland.
A history of the Ouija board
An anthropologist, Dr. Anderson studied spiritism in Iceland, and I read in his book about elves, trolls, spirits of the dead, mediumship, shamans, and other occult things, including the Ouija board used by mediums and fortune tellers. By the way, Iceland is the most occult-oriented place I have ever known about. Wikipedia tells me the Ouija board was introduced to the western world by Elijah Bond in 1890 as a harmless parlor game and not related to the occult. But then, during WWI, an American spiritualist named Pearly Curran used it for fortune telling.
Ouija believers feel it has supernatural or paranormal powers, while others, not so spiritualist in orientation, think it operates through a phenomenon called "ideomotor effect," in that those playing the game are moving the planchette around in an unconscious manner.
Other Wikipedia sources link the Ouija board to China, around A.D.1100, when it was used for automatic writing. The planchette would move to different letters, each written down, and thus a message would appear that was supposed to be from spirits of the dead. Apparently, an Ouija type board was used in ancient India, Greece, Rome, and also in medieval Europe.
Is there something to it?
The 1973 film, The Exorcist, tells what is thought to be the true story of a teenage girl becoming possessed by a demon. The film links the possession to the girl's involvement with an Ouija board. This was only one of twenty-five films Wikipedia lists as having something to do with the Ouija board. Is there a reality here imbedded in the plots of all those films?
My research and experience says yes there is.
Remember Satan does not play fair, and his devises do not have labels containing full disclosure to the dangers involved. The devil's religion is the occult, magic, fortune telling, mediumship, séances, and straight-up Satanic worship. The Ouija board - how perfect – is targeted to a youthful audience but at its core is aimed at making contact with something ethereal and ghostlike - spirits of the dead. My friends and I did not know we were trying to contact the dead, but we were gathered around a tool used for fortune telling and a means of contacting spirits - right where the devil wanted us. Remember - he does not play fair.
Ideomotor effect? Maybe. "Does Diane like me?" I think I asked that question, and I wanted the board to tell me yes - and it did. Wow. Let's ask another question. Deeper and deeper it goes, and then strange things begin to happen - weird things, scary things. And it begins to follow us around till we are seeing and hearing things. Is there something in it? Yes!
Right or wrong?
An ancient book, the Bible, has a passage in it that is chilling, all the way to the bone:
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his
daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes
or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a wizard or
a necromancer, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the
LORD. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
"Sorcerer" means magician, for clarification purposes, and "necromancer" is a person, like a medium, who communicates with or gets messages from the dead.
Likely the admonition about sacrificing and burning sons and daughters will seem strange to us now, but back then it was not unusual.
The practices listed in Deuteronomy are the rituals, the religious tools of Satan and his demons, who make them work, and their aim is to indwell or possess the practitioners of those rituals and tools.
Okay, now what?
For many years, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s, many of us involved in that great moving of the Holy Spirit called the Jesus People Movement, routinely conducted a ministry we called "deliverance ministry," which essentially was a casting out of demons. I testify to participating in it hundreds of times - casting out thousands of demons, many of which originally gained entry into the individual via occult activities.1
Let me be direct and clear: Only Jesus casts out demons. Though nearly all the major world religions know about the devil and evil, only Jesus cast them out, and more than that, gave His disciples authority over them to also cast them out. Here are some key biblical passages explaining what I just said:
Luke 9:1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.
"The twelve" - apostles whom Jesus had specially called. But in the next passage, it is not the "twelve" who cast out demons but seventy-two other people.
Luke 10:17-20 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
1 John 3:8 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Part of Jesus' ministry was to defeat Satan, which He did through His atoning death on the cross and in His resurrection. Jesus is victor over sin, death, and Satan. Those who contact spirits of the dead are falsely, and I do mean falsely, comforted when they contact what they think are spirits of the dead. The so-called spirits of the dead are really demons who imitate departed loved ones.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Demons are cast out when a person submits to God and resists Satan. No one need fear Satan, for his power is severely limited. While he may appear fearsome and dreadfully powerful, he trembles at the power and authority of Jesus Christ, even when His very human disciples approach the simple ministry of casting out demons.
In Acts 16:16-24 is the story of Paul while in the Greek city of Philippi, who crossed the path of a slave girl whose owners were using her to tell fortunes. She recognized, or her demons did, that Paul and his companions were “servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation" (Acts 16:17). She kept yelling this out until it annoyed Paul, so he turned and pointed to the girl and said, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." Luke, the author of Acts, relates, "And it came out that very hour" (Acts 16:18).
Paul cast the demon out and the slave girl could no longer make money for her owners by fortune telling, since the demon that actually did the telling was now gone. As a result, the owners were angry at Paul and stirred up trouble against him.
My involvement with the Ouija board turned out to be harmless, but if yours is otherwise, know that you can find help and relief in Jesus. And let me be clear -- in Jesus alone. Yes, there are exorcists who claim that their "magic incantations" are effective, but it is a false claim and fakery, since the devil does not cast the devil out.
In Christ alone is our help and hope. Submit to him, resist the devil, and that enemy of God will flee.