By James Fire
The word “Ouija” (pronounced ‘WEE yah’) is a contraction of two words, French and German (oui and ja), both meaning “yes” and no doubt referring to the planchette (the flat, heart-shaped device that’s used to indicate letters and numbers on the Ouija board; see image to the left) providing answers by spelling them out or by indicating the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ printed on the board.
Certainly the producers of the upcoming film OUIJA, directed by Stiles White and starring Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, and Daren Kagasoff are hoping for some positive answers by way of ticket sales, when movie goers line up to see a story about “A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.”
OUIJA movie synopsis.
According to Wikipedia, the Ouija board by name has been around since the late 19th century. Such devices were originally called spirit boards; a form of divination, like crystal balls, tarot cards and similar devices used to divine or foretell the future or any kind of unknown knowledge or information.
Early accounts show the use of such spirit boards as early as 1100 AD in “…China in historical [such] documents [as] the Song Dynasty. The method was known as fuji, “planchette writing”. The use of planchette writing as an ostensible means of contacting the dead [necromancy] and the spirit-world continued, and, albeit under special rituals and supervisions, was a central practice of the Quanzhen School, until it was forbidden by the Qing Dynasty. Several entire scriptures of the Daozang are supposedly works of automatic planchette writing. Similar methods of mediumistic spirit writing have been widely practiced in ancient India, Greece, Rome, and medieval Europe.”
The Ouija was produced commercially as a ‘parlor game’ in 1901by William Fuld (who later sold the rights to the board to Parker Bros, who in turn sold it to Hasbro in 1991 who still holds all the patents and trademarks) and experienced an enthusiastic and wide following between 1920-1960 in America.
According to the scientific community the results of such paranormal experiences from using the Ouija can be explained in purely physical and psychological terms:
“The Ouija phenomenon has been criticized by many scientists as a hoax related to the ideomotor response. Various studies have been produced, recreating the effects of the Ouija board in the lab and showing that, under laboratory conditions, the subjects were moving the planchette involuntarily. Skeptics have described Ouija board users as ‘operators’. Some critics noted that the messages ostensibly spelled out by spirits were similar to whatever was going through the minds of the subjects. According to Professor of neurology Terence Hines in his book Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (2003):
‘The planchette is guided by unconscious muscular exertions like those responsible for table movement. Nonetheless, in both cases, the illusion that the object (table or planchette) is moving under its own control is often extremely powerful and sufficient to convince many people that spirits are truly at work… The unconscious muscle movements responsible for the moving tables and Ouija board phenomena seen at seances are examples of a class of phenomena due to what psychologists call a dissociative state. A dissociative state is one in which consciousness is somehow divided or cut off from some aspects of the individual’s normal cognitive, motor, or sensory functions’.”
The above information provided by wikipedia, Ouija/spirit boards article.
There are Christians who have had experiences while practicing the occult prior to their conversion to Christ; whether one is talking about New Age or Hindu mysticism like Warren Smith, or psychic healing like Johanna Michealson or Satanic/occult power as in Greg Reid’s case, its all derivative of the same source – that is, Satan and his kingdom of darkness.
I asked Dr. Greg Reid for his own view on the so-called scientific explanation of the Ouija board and occult power, and this is what he had to say on the matter:
“First, I had to chuckle at the ‘scientific’ evidence that shows people move the Ouija board with their minds. Talk about voodoo science. So they don’t believe in spirits or demons, but somehow we are supposed to believe that some weird unproven kinetic mind power does it? From the same folks that brought you unproven Darwinian ideas…
“It really comes down to fear, and the God equation. Fear, because if you acknowledge something ‘Other’ is working the board, then you will fear because it means there is a hidden dimension in which demons dwell…
“…the God equation because if you acknowledge that that world is real, then you have to consider the possibility that the Bible might actually represent God’s word and opinion on these things, which means either rebel or obey…right?
“Personally, of course, I found these scientific tests completely invalid, precisely because one of the principles of science is visual, verifiable evidence…and I have experienced both. When first introduced to the Ouija, we asked it about when our grandmother would come to visit, and it said “tomorrow night.” Impossible, she lived a state away! The next day, our neighbor, unbeknownst to us, had been on a business trip and decided to bring her to us as a surprise. Not one of us knew about it, so from what part of our mind did we get this if we supposedly were doing this with our own subconscious? Pretty obvious that something else was at work.
“I quickly became adept at playing it solo, and found a “spirit guide” (or it found me) through it. When I received Jesus, I played it one more time, and watched as it spelled out ‘Satan’ when I asked who was behind the board, and then watched it fly off the board onto the carpet landing upside down.
“All that communication was completely independent of my own ‘powers’ or ‘brain thoughts’. I know now that it was in fact familiar spirits which always look for opportunities to demonize unsuspecting people who play the thing thinking it is just a game.
The Exorcist was true, except it was a boy, and he played a Ouija board and thus got taken over.
“Even people in the new age, the occult, spiritualism and even Wicca will tell you that it is a dangerous thing not to be played with. How come they end up being smarter than a lot of Christians who think it’s a game, or worse, play it?”
“Q #1: Is the Ouija board actually the devil speaking to you?”
G.R. Answers: I think the devil is too busy to make an appearance at every Ouija board gathering. However, make no mistake about it – if you play it, and something responds, it is not God. It is a demon – what the Bible calls a “familiar spirit”* – whose purpose is to gain entrance in your life through your own curiosity, in the hopes of being able to take over your body. Remember the Exorcist? It was based on a true exorcism in the Catholic church, except that it was a boy and not a girl, who became possessed because of playing the Ouija board.”
* LEV. 19:31; DEUT. 18:11; 1 SAM 28:3; 2 KINGS 23:24; ISAIAH 8:19 and other passages.
“Q #2: How powerful can a Ouija board be?”
When my sister was about 17 or 18 she spent the night with a group of girls in a little cabin near one of the girl’s home on their fishing boat. I remember her telling they played with a Ouija board and saying they had gotten really scared. I don’t remember exactly what they were doing with it. I have wondered if she might have had some spirit go into her that may have caused her to be so extremely ill with the Rheumatoid Arthritis. She has had doctors tell her they have never seen anyone so bad. I realize people get sick with things often, but I also feel unconfessed sin or unawareness of something we have done can keep us from being healed. What do you think?
G.R. Answers: The problem with playing the devil’s games – whether one knows it is wrong or not – is that the consequences can be severe, and they also can be unpredictable. I have talked to plenty of people who have played the Ouija once without dire consequences – and even more who have suffered in their spirit, marriages or families, finances or health as a result. I don’t claim to know why some suffer more and some seemingly very little. But it is a Russian Roulette in any event, and I wouldn’t rule out that your sister’s condition may in fact be connected somehow to that incident. I hope she can come to realize how dangerous what she did was and make a full confession of it, receive cleansing and deliverance, and hopefully, healing. I will be praying for her.”
“Q #3: I don’t believe in demons and I’m a Christian. What’s wrong with that?”
G.R. Answers: Well, you have to throw out several passages from the Gospels and the Book of Acts as well as dozens of references to the demonic and the devil in the New Testament in order to form that conclusion. In which case, you might as well throw out the rest of the Bible and stop deluding yourself into thinking you are really a Christian.”
NOTE to READER: Secular sources such as psychiatry and biology will assert that what looks like demon possession is merely a psychological illness such as schizophrenia or biologically speaking a chemical imbalance (typically in the brain); yet if one believes and understands that the Bible is the very Word of God, and the source of His truth for us, then one must make the distinction between physical sicknesses, and abnormalities of the mind with demonic possession.
Consider the following passage:
And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
The LORD healed all that were sick with various diseases and afflictions, those who were lunatic and had the palsy; among these however there is the distinction of healing those who were possessed of demons (“devils”). This is a spiritual affliction caused by a non-corporeal entity of evil and not a psychological or physiological problem and must be dealt with spiritually, by the Spirit of God, just as our LORD demonstrated.
The word “lunatick” is translated from the Greek word seleniazomai and refers to one who suffers epileptic seizures; those who suffered “palsy” were those that suffered from any form of paralytic ailments as a result of non-responsive or damaged nerve tissues.
People who suffer from any form of derangement are not able to perceive things beyond the normal five senses, yet those that we see in Scriptures as possessed of demonic spirits are capable of preternatural discernment; they knew who Jesus really was on sight (LUKE 4:33-35; MATT. 8:28-29; MARK 5:7), they are supernaturally strong (MARK 5:1-4); prone to isolation and self-destructive behavior (MARK 5:5); they are aware of their eventual fate as being eternal torment in Gehenna (MARK 5:7; MATT. 8:29); and have conscious personality and identity (MARK 5:9).
For a comprehensive examination concerning demons see the following notes from Dr. Scofield.
The Bible has much to say about divination, necromancy (communication with the dead, known later as being a ‘medium’ and today as ‘channeling’), witchcraft and practices commonly categorized as occult:
1 SAMUEL 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord . . .
Note that in the above verse, witchcraft is seen as a sin, and the LORD equates rebellion and stubbornness against His will, which we have recorded in Scripture as something that’s just as evil. If the Word of God tells us to stay away from such occult practices, even a ‘harmless’ reading of your horoscope or getting your palm read at a local carnival ‘just for fun’, then we are to stay away from them!
9 When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lordthy God doth drive them out from before thee.
13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.
14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
There are some who might object to communicating with the dead as being demonic or evil or wrong because of their personal experiences. In a hypothetical situation, being grieved at the death of a loved one, a seeker might want one last conversation with them and find a channeler to make contact with them. They are seeking their loved one, not a demonic spirit. Perhaps a teen age boy is wanting to contact his deceased Uncle Robby who used to take him out fishing all the time and developed a very close relationship with him, even calling him a secret pet name that only the two of them knew.
Contact is established and the form before the boy is that of Uncle Robby – he looks like him, sounds like him, acts like him. Yet to be sure it really is him and not some parlor trick, the boy asks the spirit what was his secret pet name, and the spirit provides the answer!
No one else knew that name but he and the boy! It must be Uncle Robby right? Wrong!
We don’t see the spiritual realm around us, but there are angels and demons all about us working for the respective kingdoms of God and Satan. Demonic spirits can appear as anything they wish (2 COR. 11:14): deceased loved ones, or space aliens, or gods of the ancient pantheon, or anything else that would deceive and seduce people into believing lies instead of the truth. Certainly, when Uncle Robby spoke his pet name to his nephew, there would have been demons about, eavesdropping on the conversation, and could easily relate that name at the seance the boy initiated some time after the demise of his uncle.
The dead are actually forbidden to have anything to do with the living as demonstrated by Lazarus and the rich man, after they died in LUKE 16:19-31. The one possible exception may have been 1 SAM. 28:7-20, but considering the preponderance of Scripture that strictly forbids communicating with the dead, this incident with King Saul and the witch of Endor would be the only exception.
There was a time when the LORD opened the eyes of a servant of Elisha to perceive the spiritual realm that he couldn’t see previously (2 KINGS 6:15-17); the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam to see an angel wielding a sword in the path that he rode upon (NUM. 22:31).
There is a rank and file of demonic spirits ‘generals’ as well as ‘foot soldiers’ listed in EPHESIANS 6:12that work the will of Satan on this earth. They as well as Satan himself are not currently residing in hell as is depicted in Milton’s and Dante’s works; they are very much about this world and seeking to draw as many as possible into perdition and destruction (JOB 1:7)
2 KINGS 17:16-18
16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.
18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Some might equate the works of God’s prophets with psychics and other visionaries such as Edgar Cayce and William Branham – but according to the above verse, these prophets are false, and not answering by the Spirit of God but through false visions and the forbidden practice of divination with the intent to deceive!
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
The Gospel was preached in Ephesus by Paul and his co-laborers and many people repented and turned to the LORD for salvation. As a demonstration of their turning away from their old ways, they brought their books on “curious* arts” and had them burned.
* The Greek word used for “curious” implies something meddlesome, and knowledge attained by study, and refers to the use of magic.
1 TIMOTHY 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
(See also: NUM 22:7; LEV. 19:31; 20:6; 1 SAM. 6:2; JER. 27:9; ZECH. 10:2; MATT. 7:22; ACTS 8:11; 13:6; 2 THESS. 2:3-12; REV. 13:13-18).
We are living in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ, and as is mentioned above and abundantly in the Scriptures, (see references in 2 Thessalonians and Revelation above) one of the leading indicators and phenomenon of these days is spiritual deception (MATT. 24:4,5,11,24) and the rise of occult beliefs, doctrines and activities.
Author and noted speaker Dave Hunt wrote a book called The OCCULT INVASION where he documents the alarming increase in occultic and esoteric activities not only in the world in general, but even in churches across the world!
See the short clip where Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon discuss this subject (you can click on the 2nd clip on youtube on the side bar):
Will a person become demon possessed if they go see this film OUIJA? Or using a Ouja board? Not necessarily, but it can and in many cases likely will open a door out of a sense of curiosity and lead to further involvement into occult books and materials. Satan is a patient predator, and will bide his time in slowly, but surely leading a spiritual seeker into darkness (he did with me, prior to becoming a Christian!) and thus bring them into terrible oppression and bondage.
We would strongly advise parents to supervise the films seen by their children, to use such Scripture and materials to show the very real danger of the occult, and teach them why Christians should never get involved in such things . . . even something as seemingly harmless as a movie.
LORD willing, I will attend a viewing of this film and address the issues and situations portrayed there from a biblical perspective. This will be a movie review and a Part II of this article. Your prayers for this endeavor are deeply appreciated. Until then, whether you are talking about the occult, or just simply sin, always say “No, No” and never “Oui, ja” or yes for that matter!
UPDATE: Here is the article based on my viewing of the film: OUIJA: PORTALS LEADING To PERDITION (PART TWO Of the article, SAY NO, NO To OUIJA).