Psychological Warfare and its Application in Spiritual Warfare
The History of Psychological Warfare
Psychological warfare is as old as the devil himself. In Genesis chapter 3, the serpent used psychological warfare to deceive Eve into convincing her husband to eat of the forbidden fruit.
Psychological warfare has been used as a military strategy since ancient times. Since prehistoric times, warlords and chiefs have recognized the importance of inducing psychological terror in their opponents. The Greeks used the Trojan Horse to enter the city of Troy, using the element of deceit. The horse was presented to the Trojans as a gift, but was filled with Greek soldiers who besieged the city after its people had fallen asleep.
Psychological Warfare in Modern Times
Psychological warfare, also called PSYWAR in modern warfare, and Psychological operations, also called PSYOPS, are planned operations used by military forces to convey selected information and indicators to audiences, both friendly and hostile, to influence emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
Methods and Techniques
Methods and techniques used in PSYWAR fall into two categories:
- Psychological Warfare techniques:
(Psychological warfare can be used on the masses or on individuals.)
- Assassination – the anonymous killing of a key figure in the war, usually a political or military figure.
- Hostage taking – kidnapping of individuals important to the cause or its leaders.
- Dehumanization of important individuals in captivity, usually done publicly to demoralize their peers and supporters.
- Exemplary executions.
- Propaganda – information of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
- Disinformation – deliberately spreading false information that is intended to mislead or hide the truth.
- Blacklisting aka Targeting – publicly destroying an opponent’s reputation via propaganda and disinformation with the objective of destroying the movement or ideals he represents along with him.
- ‘False flag’ operations – covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.
- Psychological Torture techniques:
(Psychological torture is usually used on those in captivity. Many of the following techniques were used on American POWs in Communist captivity during the Vietnam war.)
- Loud music – music played at 85 decibels or higher for a prolonged period of time.
- Hooding – not allowing a captive to see his captors or those torturing him.
- Mock executions – pretending to execute a captive with an unloaded weapon.
- Water torture (Chinese).
- Humiliation (The oldest humiliation method used since ancient times is making a prisoner stand nude before his captors).
- Stress positions – putting a prisoner in physically stressful positions so that he cannot rest.
- Continuous, repetitive sounds.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Water deprivation.
- Food deprivation.
- Sensory deprivation.
- Sensory overload.
Satan and Psychological Warfare
It’s interesting to note that Satan has used many of the methods and techniques listed above on the Church and God’s people throughout biblical history.
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’”
– The Revelation of St. John 12:9-11
The Armor of God
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— “
– The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians 6:10-18
Guarding Your Mind
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
– The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians 4:6-7
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans 12:2
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name”
– The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians 2:5-9