ROME — The International Association of Exorcists (AIE) has issued a statement warning parents of the dangers of a 2019 children’s book that gives instructions on how to summon up demons.
The statement refers to A Children’s Book of Demons, a book targeting children aged 5-10 by Aaron Leighton, an illustrator and “fan” of occult practices. The book invites children to summon demons as a way of dealing with unpleasant problems such as chores, homework, and getting rid of bullies.
“Summoning demons has never been so fun!” it proposes.
The book, published by Koyama Press, presents a number of demons, each accompanied by a sigil, to be drawn by kids as a means of conjuring the demons for their personal benefit.
“Leighton’s renderings of the multieyed, multiarmed, sharp-toothed demons are outlandish without being creepy, and the creative concept will likely inspire some readers to create demons of their own,” Publishers Weekly declares in its review of the book.
Not everyone is so sanguine in evaluating the potential impact of Leighton’s book on child readers.
The author presents the calling up of demons as something “ordinary and recommendable,” says AIE president Father Francesco Bamonte, “inviting children them to ally themselves with them, to take advantage of them.”
The priest notes that Leighton teaches children to summon demons by drawing the demonic seal, or sigil, that represents them. “Thus, the children reproduce symbols very similar to those featured in the grimoires, manuals of magic spells that teach, with meticulous detail, the procedures necessary to contact evil spirits,” he said.
According to Father Bamonte, the book forms part of a broader trend to propose satanism as “a normal alternative to other religions,” deserving of the same respect and freedoms.
Teaching children to summon demons is like suggesting they get help from a criminal, Bamonte suggests, while warning that such an activity can damage a child “morally, psychologically, and spiritually.”
“You don’t mess around with demons. Whoever invites a child to summon a demon is like a person who puts a grenade in their hands to play with. Sooner or later the child will pull the pin and the bomb will explode in their hands,” the AIE said in its statement, posted last week.
In their statement, the exorcists warn that a book like Leighton’s totally subverts the “discernment between what is good and what is bad.”