Studying occult opens people up to danger and ‘dark side’ – exorcist

Studying occult opens people up to danger and ‘dark side’ – exorcist Fr Pat Collins CM.

Studying witchcraft and the occult even in an academic setting can open the door to malign spirits, according to a well-known Vincentian priest Fr Pat Collins CM.

The Dublin-based psychotherapist and expert in deliverance ministry said that while he does not object to research, any course focused on these issues should have a “health warning”.

This comes as the University of Exeter in Devon, England, announced it would run a one-year postgraduate programme in Magic and Occult Science in September 2024.

In its overview it states students can “Build interdisciplinary expertise whilst exploring your specific interests within the long and diverse history of esotericism, witchcraft, ritual magic, occult science, and related topics”.

In the ‘Research’ section it states a student will conduct research using their archival material which includes “sources for rites and rituals” and “Westcountry witchcraft”. It also states they can access books relating to “séances and Victorian occult activities”.

Fr Collins said a person taking a course such as the MA in Magic and Occult Science in Exeter “would certainly be taking a risk that instead of just being objective, they could become subjectively involved and be open to forces that could be quite malign. Be careful, because if you put your head down a sewer, don’t be surprised if you get a bad smell”.

He said: “I don’t think you can have much objection to a university – they can put on courses for anything they like, but there should be a health warning on that course. That by studying it you may be infected by it and in a rather negative way.

“It’s like going into a room and there may be an infection, and you might not catch it but on the other hand you might. You’re opening out to the spirit world but you’re not sure what spirits you’re opening out to.”

Everyone has a desire for meaning and purpose in life Fr Collins said, but in a secular culture “very materialistic” people are looking for replacements for Christianity and are getting into magic and the occult. He added: “But replacing one worldview with the another is very problematic, the danger is they are opening out to the dark side”.

Subscribe to read a more detailed feature piece by Chai Brady: Studying the occult can open door to evil – exorcist