Right-Wing Media Figures Babble About ‘Demonic Possession' Of Democrats (VIDEO)
Right-wing media figures are ramping up apocalyptic political rhetoric that literally demonizes LGBTQ people, perceived political enemies, and progressive causes, with some absurdly suggesting that demons are using portals to enter Earth and wage “spiritual war” against humanity.
Rhetoric about “demonic” influence and an existential, “spiritual” war has become a hallmark of right-wing punditry and Republican politics ahead of the 2024 elections, as Christian nationalism grows in popularity among Republican voters. Language that demonizes and dehumanizes political opponents has been a staple of right-wing commentary for years, but these recent accusations are not simple rhetorical flourishes; a number of media figures have begun to warn their audiences about occult rituals from the left and supposed portals to hell from which demons would enter the Earth. Last year, Trump ally and provocateur Roger Stone even claimed that a “Satanic portal” had opened over the White House after President Joe Biden took office.
This sort of framing, which posits that political enemies are literal “demons” waging a “spiritual war,” stems largely from a right-wing Christian movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation. For years, the NAR movement has reportedly sought “to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus.” Rolling Stone described the core NAR belief in spiritual war in a profile of one of the movement’s leading figures, commentator and self-proclaimed prophet Lance Wallnau:
NAR followers like Wallnau believe that America is specially anointed by God to project Christianity across the globe. And the NAR movement’s followers view foes of their quest as satanic. This is not metaphorical. They hold that the physical world is enveloped by a supernatural dimension, featuring warring angels and demons, and are convinced that demons afflict their enemies on behalf of the devil. The movement holds that these spiritual battles are reflected in earthly politics. As the late NAR founder C. Peter Wagner explained in a striking NPR interview in 2011: “I believe there’s a lot of demonic control over Congress … that needs to be dispersed.”
Fiery rhetoric of a spiritual war coupled with demonization of opponents has created an atmosphere in which violence appears permissible and justifiable to followers. For instance, the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was largely undergirded and inspired by boisterous cries of spiritual warfare from prominent figures on the religious right — including Wallnau — who have conditioned their audiences to consider political violence a legitimate tactic.
Over the last two years, right-wing media figures have increasingly adopted the scorched-earth rhetoric of movements like the NAR, setting the stage for a potentially dangerous political atmosphere in 2024. Here are a number of examples:
Right-wing media figures say demons are using 'portals' to enter Earth
On several occasions, prominent right-wing media figures have claimed that demons are using “portals” to attack conservative causes or even fearmongered that Satan created a “woke mind virus.”
- Right-wing media gadfly Roger Stone — who observers have noted has increasingly adopted rhetoric around “spiritual war” — claimed on Eric Metaxas’ Salem radio show that “a demonic portal” had been visible above the White House since Biden’s inauguration. Stone suggested that through the “portal,” demons began to “populate the Biden administration,” arguing “you can’t tell whether they are men or women.”
- Salem media host Charlie Kirksaid that “we’re in the midst of the most consequential spiritual war” in millennia because “there is no other way to explain the campaign of arson and destruction against our country other than diabolical, spiritually dark influences that are fighting for dominion over this nation.” He also argued that “witchcraft and the occult is a real thing, and there are portals to darkness and you have to be vigilant about this.” Kirk also alleged that Satan had created “the woke mind virus” to destroy America and called on religious leaders to “excommunicate … the demons of the woke.”
- Conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Joneswarned that the European Council for Nuclear Research had used the Large Hadron Collider for “satanic rituals” which he claimed “definitely has opened up a gate” to hell and let demons into the Earth “like paratroopers.” Jones has also claimed that an “alien offworld force” with demons as its agents is “working against us around the clock because they know we are about to go from our embryonic level to birthing into the next level.” What’s more, in his trial for defamation of the families of the Sandy Hook massacre, Jones attacked the judge and plaintiffs’ lawyers as “committed to occult ideology of the new world order” and implied they were “demonically possessed.”
- Daily Wire host Michael Knowlessaid of reports of interactions with aliens: “Aliens are just demons for liberals who don't want to admit metaphysical reality."
Right-wing media figures have labeled LGBTQ people and abortion 'demonic'
- Knowles — who demanded this year that so-called “transgenderism” be “eradicated from public life entirely” — claimed that trans people are “demonic” and that demons are “always trans.”
- On her prime-time Fox News show, Laura Ingrahamreferred to gender-affirming care as “a demonic campaign to destroy the natural biological order.”
- Daily Wire host Candace Owens called trans people “demons in our society” and smeared “any actor, actress, individual that supports this” as “demonic.” Owens has also argued that surrogacy is “deeply demonic.”
- On Fox, now-former host Tucker Carlson used the Covenant School shooting in Tennessee to falsely claim that “the trans movement is targeting Christians, including with violence,” and denounced the trans community as part of “a deranged and demonic ideology.”
- On YouTube, BlazeTV’s Liz Wheeler said that “if you took the three most disgusting, demonic ideologies that you could possibly think of and put them all in one flag you would get the trans flag.”
- Doomsday prophet and repeat Trinity Broadcast Network guest Jonathan Cahn recently declared that Biden had put the United States under “demonic possession” at the hands of an ancient goddess of “sexual immorality” by lighting up the White House in the colors of the rainbow for LGBTQ Pride.
- Two days after a shooter killed five people in a Colorado Springs LGBTQ club, Infowars host Owen Shroyer ran footage of drag queens and questioned whether “these people are even human,” ranting: “Demon possession is real. Satanic agendas are real. I don’t know how else to describe any of this.”
- BlazeTV host Steve Deacepartnered with far-right Christian filmmakers Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon to produce a right-wing movie that argued humanity is engaged in a spiritual war against demonic forces such as abortion and LGBTQ equality. On his podcast, in an episode titled “Hot Take: Demonic or Democrats?” Deace said that people who advertise drag story hours are “literally inhabited by a demon” and are “a manifestation of a demonic presence.”
- Salem Radio host Eric Metaxas and his guest John Zmirak proclaimed that Satan himself was behind the LGBTQ rights movement, with Zmirak decrying “blasphemous drag queen rituals, in your church, mocking Christ” and comparing the Pride flag to an inverted pentagram, claiming Satan “wants you to use the pronoun they.” Metaxas then warned his audience that if they did not boycott companies that celebrate Pride Month, they would be comparable to Germans who failed to stop the Holocaust, saying, “The death camps were the result of good people saying, ‘I don’t want to deal with this. Just let me live my life.’”
- Christian nationalist pastorJack Hibbs, whose sermons air on Fox Business Network, declared that transgender people are “satanic,” saying that in “the last days there’s going to be doctrines of demons and deceiving spirits. Wonder what that’s going to be like? You’re in it.” Per Right Wing Watch, Hibbs has also claimed that "demonism” has caused public support for trans rights.
- Christian nationalist influencer and repeat Fox guest Sean Feucht has described abortion and the movement for trans rights as demonic, ascribing public support to “demons” and “the demonic spirit.” Feucht is closely associated with prominent NAR movement leaders and “apostles.”
- Right-wing radio host Jesse Kellysaid that “we have a society so full of demons that baby murder is now popular” and also referred to the LGBTQ community as “the LGTBQ demon mob.”
- Lance Wallnau, a contributor for The Victory Channel’s Christian nationalist show FlashPoint, has repeatedly invoked demons while discussing LGBTQ people. In an April show, Wallnau said that transgender people represent “a fundamental deception” and that accepting them has made society “sympathetic with evil.” Wallnau said that demons target people to make them trans, saying, “I believe a demon comes along that enters into that confusion that affirms that they are the opposite gender.” Per Right Wing Watch, Wallnau also claimed that people become trans because "Satan has taken 'em over with crazy talk about them being in the wrong bodies.”
Right-wing media personalities warn Democrats are 'demonic' and 'satanic'
Far-right Christian media figures and prominent right-wing commentators have told their audiences that the left is engaged with “satanic worship” and “demonic forces,” rationalizing ideological opposition as a product of the “demon-possessed.”
- Fox prime-time host Jesse Wattersclaimed that viewers should be afraid of “demonic teachers” interested in “turning their classroom into a drag show.”
- Carlsonwarned on Glenn Beck’s show that there are “spiritual forces surrounding” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), calling him “a force of darkness.”
- On a FlashPoint broadcast, contributor and pastor Hank Kunnemantold viewers that “we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness in high places — you know, demonic entities.” Earlier in the episode, Wallnausaid that tragedies in society such as mass shootings should be understood through a lens where “you don’t deal with current events, you deal with a demonic spin cycle.”
- BlazeTV founder and longtime conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck proclaimed that the 2020 election was not contested against Democrats, but against “Satan himself,” which he claimed was prophesied to him in a dream. Beck has an extensive history of linking progressives to “the devil” and warning of “demonic” influence.
- Disgraced Trump ally-turned-podcast-host Steve Bannonsuggested that Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) is “satanic” because he “exudes … pure evil” and “hangs with Satanic Groomers.”
- During his Christian nationalistReAwaken America Tour, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has frequently asserted that there is a “spiritual war” in America. He has also called former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a “demon.”
- Right-wing podcast host Benny Johnsonattacked the grand jury forewoman investigating Donald Trump’s 2020 election interference in Georgia, calling her “borderline demonic” and “demon-possessed.” He has also claimed that “you can see demonic forces at work" in Schiff's district, claiming that the congressman is “on the side of the demons.” Johnson has previously embraced the rhetoric of spiritual warfare, saying, “This rabbit hole goes down so far into the occult … This is a spiritual battle. This is a battle of possession, and there are stages of demonic possession, and we are in the oppression stage right now.”
- Far-right pundit Stew Petersfearmongered about “SatanCon,” an event that is hosted by “a progressive church that doesn't worship the devil but instead uses the word to get attention,” claiming it was evidence of “full-blown satanic worship” in America. His guest, Sean Feucht, insisted that we are witnessing “the total unveiling of this demonic realm, this demonic spirit.” Feucht then warned that these alleged forces of Satan were “agitated and upset and trying everything they can do to intimidate Christians.”
- On his BlazeTV podcast, Deacecalled the Democratic Party “a demonic construct, a satanically influenced entity, and a death cult.”
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.