There has been, for some reason, a convergence not only of natural disasters, but also occultism -- which we will have to address at various points this week, for it is now rampant.

A key recent issue is UFOs -- interest in which was stoked to fever pitch last week when a Vatican official, Father José Gabriel Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI, announced that belief in life on other planets is not contrary to Catholic teaching.

"In my opinion this possibility exists," he said. "How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he added in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano -- published in its Tuesday-Wednesday edition. The large number of galaxies with their own planets makes this possible, he noted. In the interview, headlined, "The extraterrestrial is my brother," Funes said he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God.

Asked if he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: "Certainly, in a universe this big, you can't exclude this hypothesis."

That seemed reasonable enough: the universe may be teeming with life, and that's fine. Jesus is Lord not only of the earth, but all Creation. Indeed, for all we know, the Lord has even visited other places in the universe. There are an estimated 100 billion galaxies (each with billions of stars, and many stars with planets)

That's all fine and well, but the remark by Father Funes was taken out of context by the media and countless blogs to insinuate that it is okay to believe in "aliens," and that is a problem.

For while indeed "alien," "outer spaceman," and "extraterrestrial" can be taken as meaning the same thing -- synonyms -- the term "aliens" has been used in recent decades to describe bizarre slanty-eyed gray entities that thousands claim to have encountered along with those strange aerial lights called UFOs.

Those "aliens," we fret, are not extraterrestrials but rather (in the accounts that bear credibility) demons. A great deception of our times has precisely been communication with evil spirits masquerading as visitors from outer space and as a result haunting countless people, including Christians.

Those who instantly reject all discussion of UFOs and aliens as "over the top" and superstition -- silliness -- miss the point and are not cognizant of the case histories indicating not only that a phenomenon has indeed occurred, but that it has an extremely dangerous underside. Such was exhaustively documented by Dr. John E. Mack -- a Pulitzer-prize winning psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School who set up to disprove the cases and ended up totally convinced that something was taking place (until his recent death in a car accident).

Thus, a balance must be struck -- between those who go full-hog after UFOs and those who blanketly (and too often arrogantly) dismiss it as lunatic fringe. Especially, there must be caution with any account of an encounter.

For spiritual dangers lurk, along with signs of the time.

That these "entities" are spiritual in nature is drawn from the many testimonies on how such visitors can appear and disappear; pass through walls; levitate; read minds; cause false memories; and remain attached to families down through several generations.

The fact that these "aliens" often leave the odor of sulfur and cause lasting terror should be -- for the discerning Christian -- another indication. Frequently, they appear reptilian. (Was not Satan cast down as a reptile?)

The fruits are not good. That is another way of discerning the matter. Indeed, those who have encountered such "creatures" have been known to commit suicide afterwards -- prodded or haunted by such entities. Others "channel" these aliens just as New Agers channel spirits. Or, those who encounter aliens suddenly have psychic abilities. Poltergeist activity erupts in homes where aliens visit. (See too Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the appliances going haywire).

The director of Close Encounters -- who is coming out with another esoteric movie later this week (more on that soon) -- himself said he was frightened at the strange occurrences in the crew's hotel during the filming of the UFO movie.

If this sounds wacky, consider what Father Gabriele Amorth, the famed Rome exorcist, has said: "Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let's not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers. It is normal for domestic appliances to be involved and for demons [to] make their presence known via electricity."

The question: how and why would ETs cause a haunting? And if extraterrestrials have such spiritual abilities -- if they can pass through solid objects -- why do they need spaceships?

An estimated four million Americans have had alien experiences.

This is cause for alarm -- and deliverance.

In fact, the common depiction of "grays" is virtually identical with ancient art from Africa -- voodoo art -- of demons. It is also within their powers to create delusions (such as "spacecraft"). To the Indians they were known as "spirit lights." They -- and aliens -- have been known to leave when commanded to do so in the Name of Jesus, which is another indication.

Many claim to see space ships but forget that an evil spirit can manipulate our perception -- and even make us think we are on a space ship. They leave scars, bruises, and -- most tellingly -- claw marks. Every possible combination of grey, reptoid, insectoid, and blond have been seen during single abductions, aboard the same craft or in the same facility. Why would they be so different -- with one thing in common: an unsettling, sinister appearance (see: Men in Black)?

Some believe it is an "end-time" delusion.

I don't know about that, but it is a deception on a massive scale-- part of the increased spiritual warfare, and something I prefer not to write about, but that it is so dangerous. Virtually every major rock musician -- from John Lennon and Elvis Presley to Jimi Hendrix -- swore to a "close encounter" at some point.

"When the underlying archetypes are extracted, the saucer myth is seen to coincide to a remarkable degree with the fairy-faith of Celtic countries … religious miracles… and the widespread belief among all peoples concerning entities whose physical and psychological descriptions place them in the same category as the present-day ufonauts," said one prominent researcher, Dr. Jacques Valee.

The whole ET-Star Trek-Star War-The Force-Close Encounters smacks of New Age globalism.

Would an anti-christ-like figure present himself as from another planet?

"I cannot unequivocally state that so-called demons or extraterrestrials are, in fact, objectively real," says a researcher named R. G. Teets. "But as I continue to research subjects seemingly connected with the UFO phenomenon, it is apparent from a great number of percipients I've interviewed (and collateral research, as well) that the net effects of many, but certainly not all, of these interactions be they with non-human intelligences or with other states of mind (i.e. consciousness and all of its various aberrations) appear to demonstrate many similarities between the UFO abduction experience and demonic-spirit possession."

In previous centuries, spirits masqueraded according to the culture and technology as fairies, wood nymphs, gremlins, monsters, and so forth.

What about Roswell (where there was supposedly physical proof of a alien "crash")?

If true, there are indications it was a military test project with balloons that used human subjects and experienced a number of crashes in that very vicinity.

It sounds far out -- and perhaps much of it is. But the accounts are far too numerous -- and consistent.

Something spiritual is transpiring, and you should make sure not to let it or even books about it anywhere near you.

And remember this from Revelation 12:12: ""Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time."

[resources: Prayer of the Warrior, Interview with an Exorcist, and Spiritual Warfare Prayers]

[see also: Cops report UFOs and Rock stars and UFOs]

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