Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church

003white The Contemporary Church   >     Literal Doctrines of Demons > Index To Tongues >     Tongues Part IV  What Spirit


Part V - Tongues, Gift of The Spirit? - What Spirit?

 Carol Brooks

Index To All Five Sections

Tongues Are NOT Restricted to Born Again Christian Believers
Both in the ancient past and in the modern world pagans, non-Christian religions, and heretical 'Christian' sects speak in tongues without, apparently ANY difference.

Erratic Movements are NOT Restricted to Born Again Christian Believers
In fact, the erratic movements of people in a Pentecostal church, those practising dynamic meditation under a Hindu guru, and a man having a spontaneous kundalini awakening  are WAY too close for comfort.

A Different Spirit?
What every Christian probably already knows. but rarely seems to take seriously, is the fact that not every spirit is of God

But How Did This Spirit Infiltrate the Church?
A Brief History of Pentecostalism May Provide The Answer
Every occult practice is introduced into the church by one person or a small group of people who open the floodgates.

Vodou  - One God and Many Spirit 'Helpers' (Lwa)
An ancient religion practiced by some 30 million people in the West African nations of Benin, Togo, and Ghana. But what, if anything, has any of this to do with modern Pentecostalism?

So What Exactly Are The Lwa?

But What, If Anything, Has Any Of This To Do With Modern Pentecostalism?

Circumstantial Evidence?
If it looks like a duck, walks and sounds like a duck -
we would be very foolish to arbitrarily dismiss the possibility that it is a duck.

Signs of Demon Possession Common To Vodou and Pentecostalism
The desire to have the experience, the emotionally charged setting, the sounds, and the frenzied movements

Comparing the Lwa with New Testament Demonic Possession

Conclusion - A Meaningless Language? Probably Not

Tongues Are NOT Restricted to Born Again Christian Believers

If tongues is the initial evidence of Christian believers being filled with the Holy Spirit, then I have absolutely no idea how anyone can explain the fact that the phenomena is known and practised by not only heretical Christian groups like the Mormons but also by many pagans around the world. It is beyond the realm of possibility that God has bestowed the gift of the Holy Spirit on Christians, non-Christians, cults, and pagans without any discrimination whatsoever.

In fact, far from being a modern phenomena tongues was well known in antiquity. 

In The Ancient Past: Pagans
The Oracle of Delphi
Delphi is a modern town in Greece on the slopes of Mount Parnassus and also the site of the 4th-century-B.C. Temple of Apollo, once home to a legendary oracle. An oracle was a priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods. The position of the oracle at Delphi was filled by different women from about 1400 B.C. to A.D. 381.

The Sibylline priestess, through whom Apollo is said to have made prophecies, became a legendary figure causing people from all over Europe to travel to the temple to inquire about the future. The sibyl would fall into a trance, allow Apollo to possess her spirit and then indulged in ecstatic speech that was "translated" by the priests of the temple.

In roughly the 5th century BC. Plate also reports a number of people who spoke in tongues while they were praying and apparently had no control over their mental faculties. The person was believed to be under the control of a god and since no one knew what they were saying there was need for an interpreter or diviner.

Heretical Christian Movements
The Montanists: Tongues also occurred among heretical Christian sects like the Montanists. Montanus (156-172) claimed to have received a series of direct revelations from the Spirit. He and his two prophetesses, Maximilla and Priscilla, "spoke in ecstatic trance-like states and urged their followers to fast and pray, so that they might share these personal revelations." [01] According to the early church historian Eusebius,  Montanus

    was filled with spiritual excitement and suddenly fell into a kind of trance and unnatural ecstasy. He raved, and began to chatter and talk nonsense. . . . Of those who listened at that time to his sham utterances, some where annoyed, regarding him as possessed, a demoniac in the grip of a spirit of error, a disturber of the masses.” [02]

    Note: Tertullian, one of the few early church leaders who referred to speaking in tongues, was once a follower of Montanus.

In The Modern World:
Heretical 'Christian' Sects
The Shakers were a radical fringe sect founded in 1758 that bore little, if any, resemblance to orthodox Christianity. In fact, they felt a spiritual connection with the Montanists considering them to have been the "forerunners of a new dispensation". Worship services were not only characterized by singing and dancing, shaking and shouting, but also contained "speaking with new tongues and prophesying". [03]

Catholic "Saints":
Tongues was known among some Catholic "saints" and in fact, is commonly used among Catholic Charismatics See Footnote I

The Mormons: References to tongues are scattered throughout the pages of Mormon history. In one instance, it was even claimed that The gift of tongues came them "like the rushing of a mighty wind". In another instance, Joseph Smith said the tongues spoken by Brigham Young was "was the pure Adamic language" See Footnote II

In fact, Article of Faith 7 says "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.” [04]

And Non-Christian Religions
Far from being a uniquely Christian practice, glossolalia is practiced by a large number of native non-Christian traditions around the world including African tribal religions. A form of ecstatic vocalization ... 

    occurs most usually during possession by Shamans among South American and Australian aborigines, and among the Shango cultists in Trinidad, the "zar" cult of northern Ethiopia, the Shango cult in Trinidad, Vodou cult in Haiti, the Peyote cult of North America. To say nothing of Helene Smith (a pseudonym) in Switzerland - a spiritualist medium. [05]

Walden Pod a philosophy, science, and culture podcast hosted by Emerson Green writes that

    Glossolalia is practiced among non-Christian religions: among the North American Indians, the Haida Indians of the Pacific Northwest, Shamans in the Sudan, the Shango cult of the West Coast of Africa, the Vodou cult in Haiti, the Aborigines of South America and Australia, the Eskimos of the subarctic regions of North America and Asia, the Shamans in Greenland, the Dyaks of Borneo, the Zor cult of Ethiopia, the Siberian shamans, the Chaco Indians of South America, the Curanderos of the Andes, and the Tibetan monks.”

He goes on to write that William Samarin who conducted an experiment in which he simply asked university students to produce an artificial language there on the spot. Many did so easily, and the invented material was strikingly similar to tongue speaking. [06]

The question then becomes ...

Is There Any Difference?
That is between the tongues of Christians, non-Christians and various cults?
Apparently not!

    Felicitas D. Goodman, a psychological anthropologist and linguist, engaged in a study of various English - Spanish - and Mayan-speaking Pentecostal communities in the United States and Mexico. She compared tape recordings of non-Christian rituals from Africa, Borneo, Indonesia and Japan as well. She published her results in 1972 in an extensive monograph (Speaking in Tongues: A Cross-Cultural Study in Glossolalia by Felecitas D. Goodman, University of Chicago Press, 1972).

    Goodman concludes that "when all features of glossolalia were taken into consideration--that is, the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and its suprasegmental elements (namely, rhythm, accent, and especially overall intonation)-- she concluded that there is no distinction in glossolalia between Christians and the followers of non-Christian (pagan) religions. The "association between trance and glossolalia is now accepted by many researchers as a correct assumption," writes Goodman in the prestigious Encyclopedia of Religion (1987).

In fact, it has been found that the "speaking in tongues" practiced in Christian churches and by individual Christians is identical to the chanting language of those who practice Vodou on the darkest continents of this world. [07]

Erratic and Bizarre Movements are NOT Restricted to Born Again Christian Believers
It is not only the vocalizations, but the body movements that have to be compared. Pay close attention to the close similarities of movement between people in a Pentecostal church, those practising dynamic meditation under a Hindu guru and a man having a spontaneous kundalini awakening. Be warned.. most of these videos are very disturbing.

The following is a rather long video of dynamic meditation taken at the Zen Rajneesh resort. The vigorous breathing and hyper ventilation is designed to arouse the serpent force called Kundalini, which the gurus believe lies coiled in the base of the spine. Pay attention to the movements in the first 50 seconds or so followed by some unearthly screaming.


If we cannot attribute these people's experience to the working of the Holy Spirit, then how can we attribute the experiences in so many Pentecostal churches to the Holy Spirit. Although you cannot see the faces of the participants, the horrible screaming in the first few seconds of the next video apparently taken at some Pentecostal church, is virtually identical to the people screaming in the dynamic meditation/Kundalini video above.


If you really believe the  people in the 'Christian' church were 'blessed' by the Holy Spirit of God, you have been hopelessly deceived. When the screaming sounds like someone being tortured to death, what is controlling them is not the Holy Spirit of God whose fruit according to Galatians 5:22, is love, joy, and peace among other things.

Here are three other videos from around the world that show the kind of behavior that often happens when the supposed "holy" spirit descends...

Pentecostal - Women In India



Pentecostal - Sri Lankan Women - Watch the entire video if you can but especially the movements of the interpreter (in a white shirt) beginning around the 35 second mark and the women rolling around on the floor beginning around the 2:10 mark.


Kundalini Awakening
Now compare what you saw (especially the movements of the interpreter) and heard in the Pentecostal church video above with the man's movements and the sounds he makes while experiencing a spontaneous kundalini awakening in the first minute.  Note his 'collapse' at about the 2:50 mark



Watch vodou practitioners also roll around on the floor beginning at the 1:30 mark. This apparently is in worship of Damballa, one of the most important of all lwa and traditionally portrayed as a great white serpent. Those believed to be possessed by Damballa during a ceremony slither like a serpent on the floor.


 Pentecostal Meeting Presumably Somewhere in the US.
Watch the person sitting in the front row in a white shirt from about the 45 second mark and, very disturbingly, the woman wearing a pale pink suit that you first see from around the 2:20 mark,


A Different Spirit?
What every Christian probably already knows, but rarely seems to take seriously, is the fact that not every spirit is of God... and those that aren't of God are against Him and extremely dangerous to us. So why exactly are we not testing every spirit that presents itself as a gift of the Father? Why are we taking every phenomenon at face value?  Why are we ignoring the early apostles who warned that false apostles and Satan himself are masters of deception (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), and we should "not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God".  (1 John 4:1)

In his Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul issued a triple warning that is extremely relevant to this subject. (All Emphasis Added)

    For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive (Gr. lambano) a different spirit which you have not received (Gr. lambano), or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Corinthians 11:4 NASB)

He spoke of a different Jesus (as opposed to the real Jesus) and a different Gospel (as opposed to the genuine Gospel), but also warned against receiving a different spirit (as opposed to the real Holy Spirit).

In other words, the allure of receiving some form of deeper spiritual experience has deceived countless millions into accepting "a different spirit" ie. a demonic spirit.

The church that should have been a bulwark against evil has, with apostate leaders and a Biblically illiterate population, adopted practices that are DIRECTLY derived from the occult. In fact, it would not far from the truth to say that the contemporary church is the devil's playground, and he has us cheerfully walking Labyrinths, indulging in Contemplative Prayer, being 'Slain in the Spirit', and treating God like a celestial page boy. We are so busy congratulating ourselves on how "spiritual" we have become, that we little suspect that we have actually lost all rights to call ourselves "Christians". As Einstein once said,

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former".

See Doctrines of Demons

But How Did This Spirit Infiltrate the Church?
A Brief History of Pentecostalism May Provide The Answer
What is very certain is that Yoga, Kundalini, Vodou, and many other occult practices have exactly the same spirit behind them that manifests itself in very much the same way. What is to be noted however, is that every occult practice is introduced into the church by one person or a small group of people who have been led astray and who act as a conduit opening the floodgates that were never meant to be opened.

For instance, a form of contemplative prayer was first practiced and taught by the Desert Fathers of Egypt, Palestine and Syria, practised in the Middle Ages and continued after the reformation. However, it only became immensely popular as a way to get 'closer' to God after it was distilled into a simple method of prayer in the 1970’s by three Trappist monks, Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. See Contemplative Prayer

The practice of walking labyrinths was pretty much kicked off by two women - Jean Houston and Dr. Lauren Artress, priest at the new-age-friendly Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco. See Walking The Labyrinth

Similarly, although there were several time in church history that saw supernatural phenomenon (often assumed to be revival) accompany one or another preacher's ministry, the world wide spread came about fairly recently. For example,

The Holiness movement that arose in the 19th century among Protestant churches in the United States were characterized by a doctrine of sanctification centering on a post-conversion experience. The numerous Holiness churches that arose during this period varied from quasi-Methodist sects to groups that are similar to Pentecostal churches. However,they also practiced a life of separation from worldly values and adherence to practical holiness. [08]

And then there were preachers like the "trance evangelist" Maria Woodworth-Etter sometimes known as the 'Mother of Pentecost' who was born in 1844 and began her ministry in 1880. She was called so because people usually fell over in trances when they "received the power" as she called it.

Although her ministry and the ministry of others preceded the Pentecostal outpouring by many years they usually had limited local or regional influence thus did not have the impact of later events.

    (Although it is disputed by some, Pentecostalism is said to have spread in 'waves'. There is even some difference of opinion as to how many 'waves' of so called revival occurred in the 20th century. See Footnote III ).

Methodist minister Charles Parham of Bethel College in Kansas is often considered to be the single most influential factor in the movement. But was he?

Charles Parham
Parham was influenced by the preaching of Frank W. Sandford, founder of the Holy Ghost and US Bible School in Maine. Although Charles Parham might have believed that tongues was evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is very clear that he also believed that the gift of tongues was the ability to speak in known languages

Speaking-in-tongues as ecstasy, prayer, or heavenly language were not part of Parham’s religious vocabulary. He certainly believed it was the miraculous spontaneous utterance of a language unknown beforehand by the speaker for evangelistic or missionary purposes. Parham would have vehemently disagreed with Wikipedia’s description that he "associated glossolalia with the baptism in the Holy Spirit,” because he felt it was known human languages, not glossolalia, which implies something psychological or non-human speech. [09]

So the multi million dollar question is what (or who) causes the unintelligible speech, the howling and screaming, the shaking, jerking and falling over?

The answer may very well lie with a quiet listener to Parham's messages.

William Seymour & The Azusa Street Revival
According to the New World Encyclopedia (Emphasis Added)

In 1905, Parham started preaching in Texas and began a Bible College in Houston, where a black preacher named William Joseph Seymour, a son of freed slaves, was required to listen to Parham's lectures outside the classroom through a half-opened door. In spite of this act of racism, Seymour became convinced of Parham's views. The leadership of the movement was soon to pass to Seymour and take on international dimensions.

In 1906, Seymour spearheaded the watershed of the Pentecostal movement in the U.S. and the world - The Azusa Street Revival. It began on April 9 in Los Angeles, California, at the home of Edward Lee. Seymour claimed that he was overcome with the Holy Ghost on April 12, 1906. On April 18, the Los Angeles Times ran a front page story on the revival, headlined: "Weird Babel of Tongues. New Sect of Fanatics Is Breaking Loose. Wild Scene Last Night on Azusa Street. Gurgle of Wordless Talks by a Sister."

By the third week in April, the small but growing congregation rented an abandoned African Methodist Episcopal Church at 312 Azusa Street and subsequently became organized as the Apostolic Faith Mission. [10]

In other words, Azusa Street was the launching pad for what would become a global Pentecostal movement.

In September 1906, a local newspaper reporter who, although guilty of much prejudice, wrote that the Azusa Street mission was a "disgraceful intermingling of the races", also told us of the outlandish bizarre behavior of the participants ...

... they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. [11]

Within a few years, William J. Seymour's 'Azusa Street Revival' had "elevated supposed manifestations of the Holy Spirit to such a level that even Parham believed they were demonic. [12] Parham hit the nail on the head when he said that Pentecostals took all the phenomena to be from God, because they believed He would prevent them from being deceived by a false spirit. (All Emphasis Added)

    Hear this: three-fourths of the so-called Pentecosts in the world are counterfeits, the devil's imitation to deceive the poor earnest souls... Many hundreds, in seeking Pentecost, were taught to yield to any force, as God would not permit them to be misled; under those conditions they were ripe for hypnotic influence... Two-thirds of the people professing Pentecost are either hypnotized or spook-driven, being seized in the first place with a false spirit or coming under the control of one afterward. We cannot be too careful to try or test the spirits and any person unwilling to have their experience tested by going to God for themselves or with the brethren, reveal the fact that they are demon-controlled. They plead the blood, and claim to be Jesus, giving messages, and imitate every gift of the Holy Spirit and Pentecostal tongues (Parham 1911: 55, 72, 120-121). [13]

And the movement spread very rapidly far beyond the borders of the U.S.

    From Azusa street the revival spread throughout the U.S. Holiness leaders from the Church of God in Christ (Memphis, Tennessee), the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), and the Pentecostal Holiness Church (Georgia and the Carolinas), were present at Azusa, and carried its message back to their churches. [14]

    "... within two years the movement had spread to over fifty nations, including Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, South Africa, Hong Kong, China, Ceylon and India. Christian leaders visited from all over the world.  [15]

So perhaps it would be fair to say that it was William Seymour not Charles Parham, that jump-started the modern day version of Pentecostalism. Common sense dictates that if Parham believed that the gift of tongues was the ability to speak in known languages, then there had to be some other influence in William Joseph Seymour's life that led directly to Azusa street and would account for the jerking, twitching, falling on the floor and babbling etc.

And it is entirely likely that there was.

Vodou - One God and Many Spirit 'Helpers' (Lwa)
Vodou is the most common spelling in Haiti. Alternative spellings include Voodoo, houdou, Vodun, Vodoun, Vaudou, Voudoun, Vodu

Vodou, primarily practiced in Haiti, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and New Orleans, is a syncretic religion that combines Roman Catholicism with native African religion. According to World-Wide Religious News

The exact origins of Vodou are unknown, but it's generally agreed that its roots lie in West Africa. The nation of Benin, once known as Dahomey, is considered the cradle of Vodou, which means "spirit" in the local language. [16]

Many, if not most, followers of Vodou (Vodouisants) are monotheistic and believe in a single, supreme deity is known as Bondye - from the French bon (good) and Dieu (God). In fact, although a large percentage of Haitians are Catholic they also practice Vodou that holds that God has assigned power to certain spirits known as Lwa to help him govern the natural world...

    ... unlike Yahweh, Bondye is thought to be so distant and transcendent that s/he is beyond human cognizance. Moreover, the quotidian foibles of mortals are not any concern of Bondye’s– prayers and spiritual rituals are carried out solely between humans and the lwa. Since mere mortals are simply unable to communicate with Bondye, the lwa must serve their vital role as intermediaries between humanity and the highest power of the universe.

    Owing to Bondye’s aloofness, voodoo ceremonies focus solely on the lwa. It is the lwa that vodouisants pray to and only the lwa who may intervene in humans’ worldly concerns. Unlike Bondye, they are also known to manifest through possession of a human host. Possession in voodoo (unlike in many other religions) is not a negative phenomenon. Rather, it is seen as humanity's primary means of communicating with the divine. [17]

Although the Lwa are not gods, they are said to be distinct beings with their own personal likes and dislikes who can aid people in certain aspects of their life. In fact, because the relationship tends to be a reciprocal one "believers provide food and other items that appeal to the Lwa in exchange for their assistance. Animal sacrifices are sometimes woven into the rituals as as offerings to these spirits. The Encyclopedia Britannica  states (All Emphasis Added)

    The primary goal and activity of Vodou is to sevi lwa (“serve the spirits”) - to offer prayers and perform various devotional rites directed at God and particular spirits in return for health, protection, and favour. Spirit possession plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions. During religious rites, believers sometimes enter a trancelike state in which the devotee may eat and drink, perform stylized dances, give supernaturally inspired advice to people, or perform medical cures or special physical feats; these acts exhibit the incarnate presence of the lwa within the entranced devotee. [18]

In fact because possession by the Lwa is the primary object of the Vodou ritual, drumming that facilitates a trance state is an integral part of the ceremony.  Practitioners will dance to intense drumming that very commonly will result in the spirit possession of humans. In this video of a ceremony in Benin, West Africa  The snake worship begins at about the 3:30 mark.



    Damballa, one of the most important of all loa, is traditionally portrayed as a great white serpent ... When a serviteur is believed to be possessed by Damballa during a ceremony, he or she moves on the floor like a serpent. [19]

Also Pay attention to the whirling "masquerades" from about the 9:50 mark to the 10:50


So What Exactly Are The Lwa?
In our rush to 'understand' and accept anything and everything that comes along many claim that we simply need a better understanding of Vodou that is often wrongly associated with devil-worship and witchcraft.

Do we?

At heart Vodouisants believe in one supreme creator god - Bondye. However, as one quote above says "unlike Yahweh, Bondye is thought to be so distant and transcendent that s/he is beyond human cognizance".  "Unlike Yahweh"? The Bible unambiguously states that there are no gods besides Yahweh, For example,

     "To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him... "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.  (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39 NASB)

    'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39 NASB)

    "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. (Isaiah 43:10-11 NASB)

    The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; (Mark 12:32 NASB)

    "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (John 17:3 NASB)

    one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:5-6 NASB)

More? Also See

    2 Samuel 7:22, 1 Kings 8:60, 2 KINGS 5:15, 2 Kings 19:15, 1 Chronicles 17:20, Psalm 18:31, 86:10, Joel 2:27, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, Ephesians 4:6, 1 Timothy 1:17, 1 Timothy 2:5, James 2:19

Moreover, far from being ”distant and transcendent” Yahweh is not only involved with humans but has gone to unbelievable lengths to save us. See Salvation   and   The Message of The Bible

Additionally, Vodou also claims that the lwa are not gods but supernatural beings who serve as mediators between humanity and God, the only intermediary between God and man that the Bible recognizes is Jesus Christ. Angels were occasionally sent to earth with a message for a particular person or a job to do.  The ONLY other spirit beings are demons. So the so called ancestral spirits that are called by the drummers in Vodou ceremonies and who take over the bodies of some of those present are in fact, EVIL SPIRITS.

But What, If Anything, Has Any Of This To Do With Modern Pentecostalism?
From Benin to Haiti and Louisiana
The Kingdom of Dahomey (later renamed "The People's Republic of Benin") was a powerful west African state founded in the seventeenth century. It survived until 1894, then became part of French West Africa. The entire region become known as the slave coast because it was at the center of the transatlantic slave trade for centuries.

As to how Vodou came to Louisiana

The French were, for a time, the major slave exporters from the Benin region. On the other side of the Atlantic the French only had two major colonies that imported slaves (not counting an assortment of small Caribbean Islands); Saint-Domingue (now called Haiti) and la Louisiane (Louisiana).

It cannot be particularly surprising that the African slaves brought their beliefs and practices with them and why Vodou is particularly recognized in these two former French colonies.

William Seymour and The Golden Era Of Vodou In New Orleans However, there were phases in the development of Vodou in Louisiana. The first was during the African period - from 1719 to around 1830.

The later Creole Phase that lasted from about 1830 to around 1930, was called the golden era of Vodou in New Orleans. During this period, there were numerous changes such as the African languages giving way to French, the rise of Vodou Queens, the merging with other celebrations like Mardi Gras etc. However, that does not mean that Vodou,as it was traditionally practiced in Africa, died out completely. In fact, when have you ever heard of demonic spirits letting a person (much less an entire culture) go without a fight.

William Joseph Seymour was born the son of slaves in Centerville, St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana on the 2nd of May 1870, and was said to have been baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Franklin, Louisiana. Most slaves were freed by about 1865 and Seymour is reported to have attended a freedman school in Centerville where he learned how to read and write. Fleeing both poverty and oppression he enlisted in the Northern Army and served with the United States Colored Troops and "marched across the southern gulf states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. During his service, he became ill and was hospitalized in New Orleans left southern Louisiana in early adulthood." [20]

In other words, Seymour not only spent his formative years in Louisiana but also spent some time in New Orleans at the time of the golden era of Vodou in New Orleans.

Circumstantial Evidence?
In many court cases, prosecutors often present what is called "circumstantial evidence' that indirectly points toward the accused’s guilt, but does not conclusively prove it. This often makes it very difficult for juries to render a guilty 'beyond reasonable doubt' verdict. However, their task becomes considerably easier if there is actually physical evidence (like DNA) that links the defendant to the crime.

In the case of Vodou and Pentecostalism I understand that the evidence presented so far is circumstantial, i.e it does not conclusively 'prove' a link between Vodou and Pentecostalism.

However, there are some very telling parallels between what takes place during a Vodou ritual and what takes place in many Pentecostal churches. Although some will argue that the similarities do not prove they originate from the same source, if it looks like a duck, walks and sounds like a duck - we would be very foolish to arbitrarily dismiss the possibility that it is a duck.

Listen to what Dr. Kameelah Martin, a scholar who specializes in the history of black spiritual practices in North America says in THIS interview on PBS.org from about the 4:20 mark. (Note: there is a short ad first)

Signs of Demon Possession Common To Vodou and Pentecostalism
The Desire to Have The Experience
In Haitian Vodou, it is considered desirable to be possessed by the Lwa. In fact, this is usually the whole point of the ritual.

Pentecostals believe God wants them to be baptized by the Holy Spirit and expect the manifestations to occur. And while it is not the point of all Pentecostal gatherings, it certainly is the primary reason for 'Tarry Meetings'

The Emotionally Charged Setting
In Vodou, the intense drumming serve to whip the participants into frenzied dancing that eventually results in a trance state that facilitates the Lwa's entry into their body.

In church settings, the atmosphere is typically emotionally charged. There is usually a time of singing which, in itself, can put the participants into an almost euphoric state. Because most of the congregants typically believe accept the preacher to be an 'anointed' servant of God who can facilitate the experience, those who are already in a highly suggestible state of mind are usually very receptive to exhortations from the leader to 'accept' the Holy Spirit.

And, as happens in so many cases, when the preacher begins shouting and yelling, speaking in tongues, and calling the Holy Spirit down, the atmosphere begins to get super charged.

The Similarity of Sounds
Another sign is when the possessed person begins speaking in an undecipherable 'language'.

    During a Vodou ceremony, the primary object is for the participants to become possessed by the spirits by means of the music and dancing. Upon being possessed, evidence of this effect is given by the demonstration of the person's speaking in nonsensical syllables, (like speaking in tongues), or the undecipherable "language" of the Vodou spirits. [21]

According to anthropologist Harold Courlander who specialized in the study of African, Caribbean, Afro-American (U.S.), and Native American cultures and is the author of 35 books and plays and numerous scholarly articles,

    in Haiti although the word "language" is understood in the ordinary sense, it usually refers to the "tongues" spoken by the houngan or possessed persons during Vodoun rites. It may mean language in also. [22]

Erratic Movements
When a Lwa enters a person there is at least one, and possibly two distinct signs that possession has taken place, the first of which is that the possessed person gets into an uncontrolled frenzy. Harold Courlander, noted that

    when these possessions first occur, the possessed persons lapse into a kind of frenzy without control or direction. They may stagger, fall, and go into convulsions.[23 ]

As shown in the videos on this page, someone who experiences a full-on 'Kundalini Awakening' and many Pentecostals display many of the same bizarre movements. 

Comparing Possession By The Lwa with New Testament Demonic Possession
Harold Courlander (cited earlier) also spoke of another of the Lwa's tendencies.

    Sometimes possessed persons also exhibit self-destructive tendencies. "Loa will cause their 'horses' to rub hot pepper into their eyes. Still others will compel possessed persons to cut themselves with machetes." At times possessed persons have to be restrained from throwing themselves into deep water. [24] 

While this does not find a parallel in Pentecostalism, it certainly finds one in the New Testament when a man came to our Lord with a plea to Jesus to have mercy on his son, "for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. " (Matthew 17:15-18 NASB)

This is an obvious indication that the Lwa are nothing more than demons who are masquerading as intermediaries between humans and the Supreme deity.

Conclusion - A Meaningless Language? Probably not
In summary, when there is virtually nothing in common between the Biblical accounts of people receiving the Holy Spirit and what takes place in Pentecostal churches, and so much in common between what takes place in Pentecostal churches and what takes place in both Vodou rituals and Hinduism shouldn't we start entertaining the possibility that tongues are not necessarily a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God.

Much to the contrary what we perceive as unintelligible words is not an unknown language nor meaningless gibberish, but words and phrases that are very well known to the demons who use them.

Foot Note I.. Tongues in Catholicism
Stanley Burgess's short essay - Medieval Examples of Charismatic Piety in the Roman Catholic Church, cites male religious who received the gift of tongues. The list includes SS. Pachomius, Dominic, Vincent Ferrer, Anthony of Padua (who wrote that "his tongue became the pen of the Holy Spirit"), Louis Bertrand, Francis Xavier, Stephen, and Bl Angelo Clareno.

    Note that Dominic was the founder of the Dominican Order, to whom the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared in 1208, with the message - "One day through the Rosary and the Scapular I will save the world".

Regarding religious women who received the gift of tongues, Stanley Burgess's findings were restricted to SS. Clare of Montefalco, Colette, Hildegard of Bingen, and the sixteenth century Spanish nun Joan of the Cross.

    Note Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) a known Christian mystic, was a Benedictine abbess who founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg Eibingen and is said to have left behind over 100 letters, 72 songs, 70 poems, and 9 books including three books of visions

In her book The Gift Of Tongues: Women's Xenoglossia In The Later Middle Ages the author Christine Cooper-Rompato says she located other examples of medieval xenoglossic experiences, such as Basil The Great, Andrew the Fool for Christ, Norbert, Francis of Assisi, Bernard of Siena, St. Lutgard of Ayswieres, St. Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, Elisabeth of Schonau, Bridget of Sweden, Umilta of Faenza, Christian Mirabilis, and Margery Kemp.

Ignatius of Loyola- God or an "evil spirit"
What is particularly interesting is that, in his Spiritual Journal, Ignatius of Loyola makes daily mention of "loquela" (ecstatic speech) that came to him in prayer. However, he also said that he was not sure whether the experience was caused by God or "the evil spirit".

In the greater part of the Mass, no tears, but much loquela, but I fell into some doubt about the relish and sweetness of the loquela for fear it might be from the evil spirit, thus causing the ceasing of the spiritual consolation of tears.  Going on a little further, I thought that I took too much delight in the tone of the loquela, attending to the sound, without paying so much attention to the meaning of the words and of the loquela; and with this many tears, thinking that I was being taught how to proceed, with the hope of always finding further instruction as time went on. [25]

And Now:
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal, which sprang from a retreat held in February 1967 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [26] Many students were baptized in the Holy Spirit. As stated by the National Service Committee (a body of leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal)

God's action was also prepared for in a very human way by the students prayerful preparation in reading the Acts of the Apostles and a book entitled The Cross and the Switchblade.

This move then spread to graduate students and professors at the University of Notre Dame and others serving in campus ministry in Lansing, Michigan, and continued to spread to over 238 countries in the world, having touched over 100 million Catholics in its first 40-years of existence. {PLACE IN TEXT}

Foot Note II.. Tongues in Mormonism. (An Adamic language?)
The gift of Tongues is mentioned several times in the Mormon Scriptures (See Omni 1:25, Alma 9:21, Mormon 9:24, and Moroni 10:15-17), and even more often in Mormon History. (All emphasis added in the following quotes)

    "Tuesday, 29. After preaching at 10 o'clock a. m., I [Joseph Smith] baptized two, and Confirmed them at the water's side. Last evening we ordained F. A. Nickerson an Elder; and one of the sisters received the gift of tongues, which made the Saints rejoice exceedingly. [27]

    "President Rigdon then arose and observed that instead of preaching the time would be occupied by the Presidency and Twelve, in speaking each in his turn until they had all spoken. The Lord poured out His Spirit upon us, and the brethren began to confess their faults one to the other, and the congregation was soon overwhelmed in tears, and some of our hearts were too big for utterance. The gift of tongues came on us also, like the rushing of a mighty wind, and my soul was filled with the glory of God." [28]

    Sunday the 27the [March 1836] attended on the dedication of the Lords house .... In the evening I met with the officers of the church in the Lord’s house. The Spirit was poured out - I saw the glory of God, like a great cloud, come down and rest upon the house, and fill the same like a mighty rushing wind. I also saw cloven tongues, like as of fire rest upon many, (for there were 316 present,) while they spake with other tongues and prophesied [29]

    "We arrived at the place where there was a small branch of the Church; we conversed with them, attended their meetings and heard them preach, and after staying about one week we returned home, being still more convinced of the truth of the work, and anxious to learn its principles and to learn more of Joseph Smith's mission. The members of the branch in Pennsylvania were the first in the Church who received the gift of tongues....In the evening a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed together upon the things of the kingdom. He called upon me to pray; in my prayer I spoke in tongues. As soon as we arose from our knees the brethren flocked around him, and asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He told them it was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift Brother Brigham had, but he said, "No, it is of God, and the time will come when Brother Brigham Young will preside over this Church. The latter part of this conversation was in my absence." [31]

    Just as a by the way Brigham Young had fifty-seven children. Seventeen sons and twenty-nine daughters grew to maturity. {PLACE IN TEXT}

Footnote III. Pentecostalism - The Four Waves -The Four Major Pentecostal 'Revivals'
Although there is some difference of opinion as to how many 'waves' of so called revival occurred in the 20th century, Revival-library.org lists four major Pentecostal revival waves during the twentieth century

The First Wave: -was the initial outpouring that began through Charles Parham of Bethel College in Kansas in 1901 at Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Although the phenomenon that took place at Azusa Street is often considered a "Christian Revival" people who attended it people ran amuck often indulging in shockingly bizarre behavior.

The Second Wave was called the "Healing Revival" which occurred in the late forties and fifties in America. William Branham and Oral Roberts were the most influential figures along with Jack Coe, A. A. Allen, T. L. Osborn, W. V. Grant, Don Stewart, Kathryn Kuhlman and Morris Cerullo.

    Although the Bible says "Without Holiness, No Man Shall See God!" (Hebrews 12:14) the sad fact is that many of these people made little effort to live a life of holiness demanded by Scriptures. Kuhlman married a man who left his wife and children to marry her, a marriage that lasted a few years before they divorced. Aimee Semple McPherson was the controversial founder of the Foursquare Gospel denomination. She was not only a divorcee, but was widely believed to have faked her own kidnapping in order to spend time in an adulterous affair. She eventually died of a barbiturate overdose. Bob Jones confessed to sexual misconduct with two women who attend a Vineyard church in the Kansas City area.

The Third Wave Although not as well known as some of the others, this movement called the Latter Rain originated in North Battleford, Canada. It has, in my opinion, had the most far reaching effect, spreading its tentacles far beyond Pentecostalism. The leaders included Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, Bob Jones etc. Although Latter Rain influence gradually waned (perhaps in part because in 1949 the Assemblies of God officially denounced the excesses of teaching), it never really died but went underground to await the day when sound doctrine would be of little concern to so many. Then, once again, the deception raised it's ugly head branching out in all directions as it went - this largely due to three men - Bill Hamon John Wimber, and C. Peter Wagner. [See The History and Spread of Dominionism.

The Fourth Wave "began with Dennis Bennett, rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California, who believed that he had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoken in tongues. When he said so from the pulpit the resulting outcry was unbelievably strong with articles appearing in Newsweek, TIME and even Encyclopedia Britannica. Bennett resigned rather than subject his church to a media frenzy but continued his ministry at the small St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Seattle, Washington that exploded into a revival center where tens of thousands experienced 'the baptism'. Dennis Bennett, Michael Harper, Ern Baxter, Derek Prince, John Poole, Bob Mumford, Don Basham and Charles Simpson etc. were leaders of the movement. {PLACE IN TEXT}.

Continue On To Part VI - The Conclusion
According to The Bible Who Receives God's Holy Spirit and How Does One Receive God's Spirit? What It Means To Have The Spirit of God Dwelling In Us. HERE

End Notes
(Accessed November 2023)
[01] Montanism. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Montanism

[02] Eusebius, The History of the Church, Translated, G.A. Williamson, revised and edited, Andrew Louth (London: Penguin Books, 1989), 161. As quoted in Excited Utterances: A Historical Perspective On Prophesy, Tongues and Other Manifestations of Spiritual Ecstasy by Matthew Allen. https://bible.org/article/excited-utterances-historical-perspective-prophesy-tongues-and-other-manifestations-spiritua#P46_8727

[03] Matthew Allen. Bible.org. Excited Utterances: A Historical Perspective On Prophesy, Tongues and Other Manifestations of Spiritual Ecstasy. https://bible.org/article/excited-utterances-historical-perspective-prophesy-tongues-and-other-manifestations-spiritua

[04] https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/2015/06/article-of-faith-7?lang=eng

[05] [An Ethnological Study Of Glossalalia. George J. Jennings' who was Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1968/JASA3-68Jennings.html

[06] Emerson Green A Naturalistic Explanation of Glossolalia (Speaking in Tongues)

[07] Lorraine Day, M.D.  Speaking In Tongues. (Glossolalia) https://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/speakingtongues.htm

[08] Holiness movement - American history. https://www.britannica.com/event/Holiness-movement

[09] Charles A. Sullivan. Charles Parham on Speaking in Tongues. February 11, 2021

[10] Pentecostalism New World Encyclopedia. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Pentecostalism

[11] History of the Azusa Street Revival Compiled by Louis F. Morgan, Ph.D. http://www.louismorgan.info/azusa.html

[12] The Holiness Movement https://tottministries.org/the-holiness-movement/

[13] K. Neill Foster.  Glossolalia and the Ruark Procedure. Distinguishing Between True and False Utterances.

[14] Research Center > Assessing The Roots of Pentecostalism. https://www.apostolicarchives.com/articles/article/8801925/180088.htm 

[15] Pentecostal Beginnings.

[16] Brian Handwerk. Vodou a Legitimate Religion, Anthropologist Says. by ("National Geographic News," October 21, 2002)

[17] Olivia Barrett, Spirits Born out of Blood: The Lwa of the Voodoo Pantheon https://www.thecollector.com/voodoo-lwa/

[18] Encyclopaedia Britannica Vodou - Haitian religion https://www.britannica.com/topic/Vodou

[19] DBpedia About: Damballa https://dbpedia.org/page/Damballa

[20] William J. Seymour https://www.azusastreet.org/William%20Seymour%20Life.htm

[21] Tek-Gnostics .. Voodoo at Mardi Gras! https://tekgnostics.blogspot.com/2014/03/mardi-gras-and-voodoo-wild.html

[22] Harold Courlander (1908-1996) The drum and the hoe; life and lore of the Haitian people. Pg. 359

[23] ibid. Pg. 11

[24] ibid. Pg. 41

[25] Nathan O'halloran, Sj. St. Ignatius’ Devotion to the Holy Trinity.

[26] The Ark and The Dove. Historical Site of the “Duquesne Weekend”

[27] Brigham Young University. History of the Church. Volume 1 Chapter 30. Meetings and Baptisms at Mt. Pleasant. October 1833

[28] History of the Church. Volume 2 Chapter 27 January. Reconciliation of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles - Pentecostal Times in Kirtland. 1836. https://byustudies.byu.edu/online-chapters/volume-2-chapter-27/

[29] Brigham Young University. Oliver Cowdery, Diary, January - March 1836, MS 3429, Church History Library, available on Church History Library, https://byustudies.byu.edu/online-chapters/a-pentecost-and-endowment-indeed-six-eyewitness

[30] Manuscript History of Brigham Young Second President of the Church. 1801–1844, comp. Elden Jay Watson [1968], 4–5.


Tongues In Corinthians