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Deborah Lipsky from Maine is a specialist in education who -- before returning to the Church -- spent years in Satanism, where she gained sharp insight into the secret, powerful workings of demons -- an educated woman who now gives presentations on autism and articulates what we often sense: the various ways and reasons demons gain power in our lives.

This is a person who used to conjure fallen angels!

And so what Deborah has to say about the operation of evil may be of interest, now that she is back to Catholicism (having found the power of the Church against demons).

As we mentioned when we left off with her, she says the occult is the foremost way that evil enters our realm, along with sexual immorality, negativity, hatefulness, and other forms of sin, she warns. But often people forget about more innocent, "venial," and common practices -- such as not telling the unvarnished truth, which in our day is rampant.

Sales pitches. Advertising. Politics. Personal relationships.

Unfortunately, says Lipsky, who entered satanism and the occult after an abusive, deeply troubled childhood, "lying has become second nature to the point we rationalize lying, and consider some forms like white lies, harmless. While lying isn't always a direct attack by a demon, it is one of their most effective ways to separate us from God." At the heart of darkness, she points out, is the Prince of Deception. "Untruthfulness of any sort is the sort of 'stuff' demons feed on," warns Lipsky in a new book, A Message of Hope. "It is a vibrational pattern that mirrors their essence. As they absorb this 'energy' of lying emanating from you, they grow stronger. Lying is beyond question the most toxic activity we can engage in. Every time we ignore the truth, we ignore God. God is Truth. When we lie, we can't be part of that because He is absolute truth. Lying is a demon's native tongue. When you lie, you are not only speaking the language demons can connect with, but you also are in sync with a demon's nature."

We think of such matters in this week leading up to the great feast Saturday of the Archangels who heal through the truth and by defeating evil.

In a world that has cocooned itself with deception, it's hard to break free and remain truthful for any length of time. But as Lipsky notes -- powerfully -- there is no such thing as a 'half-truth." There are only "half-lies."

"The Holy Spirit and Holy Angels including your guardian angel will 'step back' a step if you will, when you engage in telling a lie because they refuse to co-inhabit in your 'space' with any hint of evil," she explains. What about a '"white lie"? Are there not times it is "good" to fudge a bit? At times, don't we "have to"?

"You are breaking one of the Ten Commandments every time you lie, period," insists Deborah. "We convince ourselves that under certain conditions telling a lie isn't a sin. If anything, the one you are deceiving is you! Demons aren't finicky; they will feed on any deception including white lies. I am guilty of knowingly telling white lies because I don't want the person to suffer undue emotional stress if they can't handle the truth at hand. That doesn't make it right. Telling a full lie or half-truth is the quickest way to nourish a demon. If a lie is an especially 'juicy' one, you can bet that the initial demon drawn to your lie will scream out 'buffet!' so as to attract his buddies. Demons are not only pack hunters, but they are also communal feeders."

Tough talk. Tough stuff. But as she says, telling lies causes bondage -- "anxiety and a sense of desperation" eventually cloud judgment, she notes -- while the truth sets us free. Look at today's (9/25/12) Mass readings from Proverbs 21: "Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue is chasing a bubble over deadly snares."

Many are those who don't realize that white lies are sinful. Only God judges. He has mercy. And we have the great joy of Confession.

But it liberates us to walk in the truth and nothing but. This is required for purity!

So many little things may not be quite so little to evil spirits. Lipsky warns that while venial sins won't condemn us to hell, over time they can cause attachment to dark entities. Never say "I swear to God," she says (see Matthew 5:33-37). And of course, do not use (or listen to anyone use) God's Name in vain. She also notes expressions like "hocus pocus" that seem like naught but have questionable origins (in the case of "hocus pocus," this started as a mockery of the Eucharist by Protestants in the Middle Ages (Hoc Est Corpus, "This is My Body'), which they besmirched as similar to a magic trick).

On an additional, more controversial matter, Lipsky comes out in surprisingly strong fashion against another seemingly "innocent" if somewhat offbeat practice: that of burying Saint Joseph statues (in order to sell a home).

It is not innocent, she maintains. Sacred objects are not to be used in this fashion, she says.

Tough talk again. It's one thing to protect property with medals. It's another to use sacred items in a superstitious way.

"What really made me gasp is the growing trend to bury a statue of Saint Joseph upside-down (as opposed to an earlier custom of right-side-up) on your property with a prayer that says, 'Oh, Saint Joseph, guardian of household needs, we know you don't like to be upside-down in the ground, but the sooner our escrow closes, the sooner we will dig you up and put you in a place of honor in our new home.'"

This, she claims (for our discernment), "reeks of a satanic ritual."

"I know it is an established practice among many Catholics, but this doesn't make it right," writes Lipsky. "How dare anyone 'threaten' and torment a saint in such a manner and for material gain no less? In the satanic black mass, holy objects including statues and the Crucifix over the altar are always inverted (turned upside-down). This is done to desecrate all holiness. Make no mistake about it; people who engage in this practice are carrying out, albeit unknowingly, a satanic ritual right out of the black mass. By following this practice, people are accidentally opening up their homes to demonic influences because demons are attracted by familiar rituals. Instead, people should have a blessed statue of Saint Joseph in their home, light a candle in front of him, and pray in full humility to Saint Joseph to intercede on their behalf to Almighty God to help them with this petition, if it's God's Will. To follow the old adage of 'Let go and let God.'"

Those who have done this innocently, take heart: the Lord knows your heart. He knows what we have done unknowingly. Only He judges. He will cleanse us of what we have allowed in when we love Him and others and live with the right help of saints like Joseph (and forget not Michael).

[resources: A Message of Hope (Confessions of an Ex-Satanist]

[spiritual warfare retreats, Michael Brown: September 29: Chicago, October 13: Northern New Jersey-New York; and November 3, Minneapolis]

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[Feedback from the early mail: "While I agree that lying is wrong, there are some circumstances that even saints lied, for good reason.  I recall Father Miguel Pro in Mexico lied to the police when he was arrested, denying that he was a Catholic priest  to his jailers.  He was part of the 'underground,' trying to administer the sacraments using various disguises to avert being captured by the police.  I also recall many lay people in England who hid priests in their homes such as Edmund Campion or the many people who hid Jews from the Nazis.  To lie to the police or authorities in order to protect a priest or any other innocent person (i.e. the Jews during WWII) is an honorable thing to do and I do not believe it to be a sin."]

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