Wagner’s Insane Demonology

Terry Gross of NPR did an interview with C. Peter Wagner, the godfather of the New Apostolic Reformation, and it is just chock full of crazy. Serious crazy. Like “everyone but me is possessed by demons” crazy. I have no idea how Gross did this interview without just laughing in his face the entire time. To wit:

On the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan being connected to the emperor of Japan having sex with the sun goddess

“That happened many, many years ago, and that created a spiritual atmosphere over Japan which was an atmosphere ruled by the powers of darkness. The sun goddess is not a very nice lady. The sun goddess is a power of darkness, which is headed up by the kingdom of Satan. And so the sun goddess wants natural disasters to come to Japan. Sometimes the hand of God, which is more powerful, will prevent them. And when he decides to prevent them and when he doesn’t is far beyond anything that we can predict.”

“But in this case, God could have prevented that tsunami and the destruction, but he didn’t. He just took his hand off and allowed these natural forces to work. And one of the background pieces of information is Japan is under control of the sun goddess.”

Yeah, that’s not a batshit crazy delusion — it’s a “background piece of information.”

On Alice Patterson, a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation and one of the leadership team members at Rick Perry’s prayer rally, saying on stage at the rally that the Democratic Party is a demon structure

“I personally would not endorse each one of her statements and especially the statement about the Democratic Party being demonized, any more than the Republican Party is. I mean, I believe there’s a lot of demonic control over Congress in general that needs to be dispersed.”

Well at least he’s bipartisan in his insanity.

On demons

“As we talk, in Oklahoma City there is an annual meeting of a professional society called the Apostolic — called the International Society of Deliverance Ministers, which my wife and I founded many years ago. … This is a society of a large number, a couple hundred, of Christian ministers who are in the ministry of deliverance. Their seven-day-a-week occupation is casting demons out of people. And they have professional expertise in this and they happen to meeting — to be meeting right now. My wife is one of them. She’s written a whole book called How to Cast Out Demons. And I don’t do that much. Once in a while when I get in a corner, I might. But that’s — that’s been her ministry. And so I’ve been very, very close to that for years. We’ve been married for 60 years.”

Translation: “I know a bunch of other crazy people who believe this crap. My wife believes this crap. So it’s not crap.” Very compelling.

On demon identification

“Sometimes they know. Sometimes the demon has identified itself to the person. Sometimes you can tell by manifestations of superhuman, unhuman behavior. Sometimes you can tell by skilled deliverance ministers. My wife has a five-page questionnaire that she has people fill out before she ministers to them. So she asks the kind of questions that a medical doctor would ask to find out, to diagnose an illness. So she actually does diagnostic work on people to discover not only if they have demons, but what those demons might be.”

“Hi, I’m Chip, I’ll be your demon today. Can I bring you something to start? Pea soup to vomit up? A bloody crucifix? A set of Michele Bachmann crazy eyes glasses?” Sorry Peter, but asking a demon his name is not a medical diagnosis. It is, on the other hand, a sure sign of crazy.

On what it means to be an apostle

“In terms of the role of the apostle, one of the biggest changes from traditional churches to the New Apostolic Reformation is the amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals. And the two key words are authority and individuals — and individuals as contrasted to groups. So now, apostles have been raised up by God who have a tremendous authority in the churches of the New Apostolic Reformation.”

Color me skeptical, but I’d like to see a letter of assignment from God on this one. The only authority these people have is granted to them by the credulous followers.

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  • d cwilson

    The sun goddess is a power of darkness,

    So, the goddess of the source of all light in our solar system is a “power of darkness”? Wow.

    And so the sun goddess wants natural disasters to come to Japan.

    Wow. The emperor of Japan must really suck in bed. Maybe Japan would have been spared the earthquake and tsunami if he’d tried a little foreplay.

  • Cuttlefish

    What got me, about the interview, was that Wagner clearly (IMO) knew exactly where he was, and moderated his language to appear less bat-shit crazy for the NPR listeners.

    In other words, this is the toned-down version of his delusional world.


  • fifthdentist

    I heard this last week.

    Seriously, Canada, you guys need to build a really tall fence, because if these guys take over (more than they already have, anyway, say with a Rick Perry win) your population could quadruple in a matter of days, if not hours.

  • ManOutOfTime

    I would add to Cuttlefish’s observation that he weaseled out on some key points, such as a colleague being shunned for closeted homosexuality – he didn’t gave an opinion on the gayness; he didn’t have opinions on a couple of other culture war issues. Really? Whatevs.

  • slc1

    OT but I’m sure that Mr. Brayton will want to comment on this.


  • eric

    Ed, you should get and post that 5-page questionnaire. I really want to know if I’m demon-haunted.

  • That last item is scary. The guy thinks he has authority.

  • shadowwalkyr

    Should we point him towards this little-known book called Genesis, in which both God and angels make themselves scarce when the sun rises?

  • Mattir

    For anyone wanting to know if they’re possessed by demons, the answer is yes.

    The questionnaire is here.

    Bugfuck insane, all XXI sections of it.

  • Terry Gross of NPR did an interview with C. Peter Wagner, the godfather Colonel Sanders of the New Apostolic Reformation,


  • abear

    eric; Check out boblarson.org, he has a demon test on his website.

  • raven

    This is one of the crazier xian death cults.

    The New Apostolic Reformation claims they have been given Superpowers by the gods.

    It looks like those superpowers include babbling like a loon, lying, name calling, asking for money, and repulsing normal people.

    Their god is just a sockpuppet with their human hands up its rear end.

    My gods, OTOH, are real. They want you to send me lots of money. They told me so themselves. LOL.

  • It’s been a while since I thought about this point, but the natural disaster thing is a way of backwards morality: Bad things can’t happen to good people, therefore if something bad happens, you must have done something to deserve it.

    It doesn’t take much for that kind of attitude to end up endorsing tyranny: If the Authority wasn’t good, god wouldn’t let them hold onto power, therefore the pogroms, witch hunts, and general oppression and killing of innocents ordered by the Authority must be good.

  • raven

    That last item is scary. The guy thinks he has authority.

    I don’t know about scary. People claiming to speak for or act for the gods are dime a hundred. They never agree on what god says or wants though. It’s just routine con-person babble.

    I definitely would not let any of them near me, kids, pets, houseplants, and especially bank accounts.

    For all their claims of authority from god, they always seem to need a lot of human US dollar denominated money. Apparently god is all powerful but broke.

  • raven

    I have to admit the whole idea of bazillions of demons wandering the earth is alien and silly.

    My natal Protestant sect wasn’t into demons at all or much into satan and hell. Half of all US xians don’t believe in any of that any more. They never ever referred to demons once in my time there.

    Where is that all powerful god? Can’t he take care of a bunch of low level evil spirits? Xians act like he is sick, drunk, apathetic, or just doesn’t care any more. Or more likely is nonexistent.

  • bahrfeldt

    Thanks Mattir, for the link. The questionaire is too easily dimissed by calling it insane. Exploitive. Manipulitive. Just a tad leading. What those who could fall for the routine would refer to as Diabolic and/or Satanic. Only insane if the authors and users of the text believe in it as well. That does not appear likely.

  • Taz

    The Japan stuff sounds like a bad video game.

    So she asks the kind of questions that a medical doctor would ask to find out, to diagnose an illness.

    Did anyone else misread this as medieval doctor?

  • Michael Heath

    Yeah it’s freakin’ insane but it’s not much different than what most fundamentalists and evangelicals believe. This guy is merely conjuring up imaginary explanations regarding the mechanics of what most fundamentalists and evangelicals are convinced is happening.

  • bryanelliott

    Wait.. So Wagner’s a polytheist?

  • eric

    Thanks for the link Mattir. There’s some howlers in there. Have you ever made agreements with someone to strengthen your relationship? Were you the right sex? Have you ever read a horoscope?

    Abear @11 – no demon test on the web site. Clicking on the link simply brings up a notice telling you to contact Bob Larson for your own personal reading, and has a big “BUY NOW!” button. IOW, the web site is an informercial for a demon test, not the actual demon test.

  • bryanelliott

    Also, I’m fairly curious as to the content of that questionnaire.

  • pHred

    I managed to listen to most of this – I had to leave the room several times to clear the crazy out.

    You missed out the bit where he addressed whether he thought that the Statue of Liberty was a demonic idol

    “I – let me say that I don’t have enough information to disagree with it. I know it was given to the nation by – as a gift from the Freemasons of France. And there might be some demonic power that he [John Benefie] and his friends discern in that statue, but I don’t want to – I really don’t want to make a strong commitment one way or another to that one.”

    He was speaking so carefully – choosing his words as if he were addressing something very important. It was so weird! This is supposed to be a reasoned, thoughtful response.

    I don’t know how Terry Gross got through this without becoming increasingly sarcastic. She kept an even tone while discussing totally crazy stuff.

    I don’t what to know what color the sky is in his world. (Though apparently it is definitely tinged with green).

  • pHred

    Ugh – that should have said “I don’t want to know what color the sky is …”

  • d cwilson

    People claiming to speak for or act for the gods are dime a hundred. They never agree on what god says or wants though.

    But the one consistency is that what god wants always lines up 100% perfectly with their own desires. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

  • DaveL

    For anyone wanting to know if they’re possessed by demons, the answer is yes.

    The questionnaire is here.

    Bugfuck insane, all XXI sections of it.

    Wow, if anyone ever needed confirmation that these people speak an entirely different language from the rest of us, let me offer you question number one:

    1. When did this bondage start?

    I would love to see the look on their face if you were to answer with “well, we had a few cocktails, then we laid down some ground rules…”

  • abear

    eric; He has changed the demon test, probably didn’t want to give away too much valuable info for free.

    At least he hasn’t started to charge to watch the exorcism channel yet.

  • dingojack

    Ed – as opposed to what? ‘Sane Demonology’? – Dingo

  • Wow, that questionnaire is really obsessed with bondage. Methinks repressing homosexual urges might not be the only sexual preferences being repressed by this lot.

  • Question 21.3:

    “Do you have any physical or mental disabilities, diseases or illnesses? Explain.”

    I’m disabled. I’m mentally ill. Neither one of these is, you know, MY FAULT — I didn’t fucking choose to be born premature. I didn’t choose to have cerebral palsy. I sure as hell didn’t choose my ADHD, OCD, anxiety, or depression. My PTSD is the direct result of an abusive ex, whom I’ve discussed elsewhere on FTB. And, uh, I didn’t do anything to “deserve” any of this, either. Haven’t committed any horrible sin, you know, ‘cuz I couldn’t, I was a fucking fetus.

    So, uh, can someone tell me why, by this particular “logic”, a person would have these “demons” when all they’ve done to “deserve” them or “invite them in” is merely… exist?

    Genuinely curious, here. This has been bugging me for a good 30 years.

  • Strategically Shaved Monkey

    Raven #12

    “My gods, OTOH, are real. They want you to send me lots of money. They told me so themselves. LOL.”

    Nigerian princes as gods? Let me know how that works our for you. Though extorting money seems to be a theme.

    “Have you ever made agreements with someone to strengthen your relationship?”

    Does marriage count? That would explain a great deal.

  • Strategically Shaved Monkey

    Ooops – serious quote fail. Sorry

  • ambulocetacean

    At first I thought that that unnamed sun goddess must be uniquely stupid: taking over Japan and then blasting it with natural disasters instead of trying to expand her empire by beating up on Korea or China.

    But it’s not really all that different to Yahweh/Jehova/Allah taking over the US and then blasting it with Hurricane Katrina. Not to mention Him zapping Touchdown Jesus with that lightning bolt.

  • DaveL

    What I love are the questions about whether you’re superstitious, or whether you’ve been ridiculed and laughed at. OH NOES! TEH DEMONHUNTERS IS POZEZZED!

  • The Christian Cynic

    bryanelliott: Actually, the term for that position would be henotheism.

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