Do you have trouble with your computer? Does is freeze or shut down at the most inopportune times? Does it go haywire suddenly or arbitrarily erase important data for no reason? Does it vomit forth long dead languages in a deep, growling voice? If so, then you may have a serious problem. According to some reports, your computer or even your smartphone may actually be possessed by an evil spirit.
Demonic possession is a very well-documented phenomenon among human beings, and has been for centuries, but what of modern devices such as computers and smartphones? Can these machines serve as some sort of conduit for evil forces? One person who would say yes to that is a Reverend Jim Peasboro, of Savannah, Georgia, in the United States, who has spent a lot of time denouncing how computers are powerful tools of the Devil for corrupting our souls. So far, so standard, but Peasboro goes beyond just using the Devil working through computers as a metaphor for their bad influence on our youth, and rather seems to believe that demonic forces can literally possess computers.
Peasboro has written a whole book on this, called The Devil in the Machine: Is Your Computer Possessed by a Demon?, in which he outlines his belief that possession by demons can be experienced by anything with a mind, including humans, animals, and even the processor of your computer. According to Peasboro, “Any PC built after 1985 has the storage capacity to house an evil spirit,” with storage capacity seeming to make a difference, and he asserts that “one in 10 computers in America now houses some type of evil spirit.” He seems to take this all quite literally, and claims that these malicious spirits are responsible for seeping through our screens to exert their influence, which has led to much of the crime and gun violence among young people seen in the country. As to other effects of these malevolent cyber-demons he says:
I learned that many members of my congregation became in touch with a dark force whenever they used their computers. Decent, happily married family men were drawn irresistibly to pornographic websites and forced to witness unspeakable abominations. Housewives who had never expressed an impure thought were entering Internet chat rooms and found themselves spewing foul, debasing language they would never use normally…One woman wept as she confessed to me, ‘I feel when I’m on the computer as if someone else or something else just takes over.’