Sibylle - demonic possession and sexual abuse
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Diabolical Possession, True and False – Jean Lhermitte
The case of Sibylle
As the reader may have observed in the course of this work, demonopathic manifestations show a singular preference for the hours of night, when sleep invades the destined victim, detaching him from the outside world. For this reason the patient very often wonders whether he has been dreaming.
It was therefore with the greatest interest that I followed the development of the supposedly diabolic manifestations in a woman who was referred to me by Fr de Tonquedec, a learned exorcist and an expert in matters of psychiatry.
This patient's case, which I have described at length in my work devoted to the image of the body, is characterized by the following traits.
About the age of thirty, the most curious symptoms appeared. Almost every night, Sibylle was carried by a sort of ecstasy or trance into a world which had nothing in common with the real one; it was, according to her expression, the world of "the Astral".
In reality, the woman told us, she felt herself divided into two parts during these trances: one, the earthly body, which stayed in her bed, the other which was carried off into the Astral. But, though separated, these two halves of her personality were not unconnected, for the mischiefs to which the astral body was exposed were reflected in the real body.
Justifiably alarmed at this "doubling", as she called it, she went to consult an occultist, who would give no explanation. Then as a faithful Christian she approached Fr de Tonquedec, who asked me to advise her.
Sibylle, an intelligent and lucid young woman, who lived with her parents and helped with the housekeeping, told me on many occasions about the nocturnal phenomena she experienced. At my request she wrote two exercise-books, in which the following incidents are described.
After going to bed, determined to fall asleep, Sibylle was carried away into what she called the Astral. She took the name from a book picked up by chance from a bookstall on the quays. There, in the Astral, her "double" suffered continuously the assaults and outrages of the demon. Whether the evil spirit appeared in its natural form, or disguised, or transformed into foul beasts and especially snakes, it subjected her to the most humiliating, cynical, pestering and even painful attacks. The devil forced her to enter a "diabolic club", where they abused her, giving her erotic sensations which she struggled by every means to avoid, but her will remained helpless. They burned her astral body (the double) and at once her earthly body felt the pain and the scorching; they abandoned themselves to truly satanic "experiments" on her. Thus the demon appeared under the form of a bearded creature which beat her or sent her snakes, which entered her body.
But it was the erotic assaults which mortified the poor girl unspeakably. The demon took her in its arms, violated her like a mortal man and gave her sensations the more terrifying as they seemed the more delicious.
Sometimes the devil disguised itself as a priest, who made her suffer the same amorous tortures. Again, the demon tied her up to make her suffer, still in her astral double, burned her hair, threw her into a thorn-bush, shot at her. Needless to say, in order to defend herself from these diabolical devices, Sibylle invoked the "protecting powers": God, our Lady, the saints, and used countless means to chase the demon from her room; a brazier was placed under her bed, or a piece of burnt sugar; two rosaries were round her arms; from time to time she drank holy water so that her double might be restored to her.
This idea of the dispossession of her own double was so strong and so real that one night, wishing to get up to leave her bed, she could only stand up with the greatest trouble and tottered helplessly, her double having been taken from her.
It is not surprising to learn that, in spite of all these bodily cruelties inflicted on her by the evil spirit, it was always impossible to discover the slightest trace of tegumentary lesions.
One day, however, Sibylle sought me out to show me the authentic mark of the demon, the Sigillum diaboli.
"Last night", Sibylle told me, "the demon launched a specially furious attack on me; it scratched my chest with its nails and claws, so that when my double came back, its application to my earthly body caused me frightful pain."
Examining Sibylle's chest I was able to observe a very recent vesicular eruption of shingles in the region of the fifth and sixth left dorsal roots. There can be little doubt that in certain surroundings and at certain periods this mark would have been thought significant. But Sibylle's story appears even more interesting from another point of view, that of the origin of this psychopathy.
At the age of ten, Sibylle suffered from epidemic encephalitis. Treated in a Paris hospital, she was discharged apparently cured, though she retained some slight character troubles. Still more remarkable, after these nocturnal troubles which lasted for some years, her state deteriorated and she had to be placed in a psychiatric hospital, where she rejoined her mother, who had suffered for years from de-mentai praecox, a disease to which she herself succumbed.