Corporate exorcism

Language – corporate exorcism… dealing with a corporate spirit… cleansing a house. I am not sure what the best language is for what I am about to describe, and there might well be different (and also effective) approaches to the situation. In summary I hold that there is a corporate ‘spirit’ that comes into being as any organisation (even those that begin organically) develops. That corporate spirit might be a spiritual entity (as in ‘being’) though I probably side toward understanding it to be some of sort of reality, of manifesting all the elements of personality but falling short of being an independent ‘being’.

[I probably have not fully grasped the writings of Walter Wink on this but I consider what he has written is some of the best on this – he does not believe in what we would term a ‘personal devil’ but is very happy to use the language of ‘demon / spirit / devil. I have certainly used his understanding in my own writings when seeking to understand how a city develops.]

So painting a progression. Here comes a handful of people who come up with a brilliant idea and they collaborate together to move it forward. This is driven by the energy and vision of those people and so in the early stages everything is very malleable and open to adjustment. Probably the organisation (and by that I am not suggesting it is all tied down, but am using the term as a catch-me-all term for the spectrum of corporeality from loose to structured) then receives a name. [In Scripture the term ‘city’ is pretty much the term that would be ascribed to what I am terming an organisation.]

At this early stage the organisation is there to serve the vision. All seems in harmony. The naming is an important element (here I think we can draw on the naming of the animals in the creation story) for the name gives it an identity. A great challenge later will be if the name is appropriate and if so can the organisation continue to live up to what the name should entail.

As the development continues the organisation will move through from interdependence between the organisation and the ‘founders’ to then the beginning of the organisation gaining a measure of independence. If this independence continues there will be a greater measure to which ‘Babylon’ will manifest, with its claim that:

I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children (Is. 47:8).

The claim then is of continual existence through the generations,

The Hebrew for Babel and Babylon are the same and in Babel we see the vision ‘make a name for ourselves… raise a tower to heaven’, all fuelled by what can be imagined. Within all organisations (business, schools, systems, churches, clubs) are the ‘babylonic’ and (possibly) the ‘new Jerusalem’ attributes. So as the development takes place there will be a tendency for more of the babylonic to manifest – it is the default direction, it will simply happen if left unaddressed. And certainly the further it moves to the babylonic expression the more likely a (assuming they exist) demonic entity will be attracted.

[The make a name is not that of I will make a name for myself, but I will be part of something that has a name and reputation… it will live to perpetuate its own existence, and likewise I will be present to give my energies for its continues existence.]

Because this is a default direction it is very dangerous to leave this all unattended. An ‘exorcism’ or at least a re-alignment will need to be carried out on a regular basis.

Scripture uses the term ‘beasts’ to describe that which rises up with an imperial presence. An imperial spirit is simply that which empowers a few at the top of the pyramid who in turn offer success to all who comply but the benefits simply flow to those at the top… and if such a system claims also the endorsement of ‘heaven’ we have a right old mess on our hands! The use of the ‘beast’ metaphor is from creation, where there are domestic and wild animals (Jesus in the wilderness – yes in the wilderness – lived eschatologically and ‘the wild beasts were with him!); the wild beasts, those that cannot be domesticated by humanity are then the appropriate metaphor for ‘babylonic’ systems.

In Revelation 13:5 we read that ‘The beast was given a mouth’. That is always an important stage for it initiates the 42 month period (that is what is known as a ‘rectangular’ number and signifies the time and place of conflict). The ‘mouth’ manifestation is a major sign that we have gone past the time when an exorcism / re-alignment should have taken place – this being when there are those who verbally are contending for the success of the organisation… success at all costs. They think they will benefit personally but in reality they too will be sacrificed once they have no value to the future success.

In simple terms all organisations are looking for those whose faces fit; who will be loyal. This can work for some, but it is always open to dehumanisation, for no organisation, nor leader(s) can say ‘my people, my money/ resources’.

In summary then as the organisation develops and if it is left unchecked an independent life will develop (a corporate life that transcends the sum total of the individuals) it will increasingly devour people and reward those who align with its babylonish intent.

So what do we do?

Those within need on a regular basis – and surely something annual would be helpful and probably enough if done with conviction – to address the corporate reality. As with all demonic expulsions, muzzle the voice (and here practically any advertising, self-promotion needs to be looked at) – the voice is so important. Then to exorcise or to re-align I consider that the corporate spirit needs to be addressed with a firmness of conviction, and addressed till there is a submission… something along the lines of ‘we are not here to serve you and see you succeed (and if ‘Christian’) we command and align you to the advance of the kingdom, not to our idea of what that means but to be coformed to the pattern of the Son of God’. It is amazingly how challenging those words are to us – we are not seeking your success. If we cannot say that we might need some deliverance first! If the body of people addressing the organisation are not ‘Christian’ then maybe something along the lines of ‘we command and align you to serve humanity and with a particualr bias to the marginalised’.

Now just for a moment think of a before and an after. Before: the world as we have it. After: when all governments, cities, businesses, organisations, churches etc. all together make those declarations.

Maybe we might get something different:

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.

The wolf shall live with the lamb;
the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the lion will feed[b] together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Just imagine… imagination was not cursed in Babel, just how it was being used.

5 thoughts on “Corporate exorcism

  1. This viewpoint Martin is so helpful in my trying to make sense of what I have seen and experienced – having been involved in organisations for many years: government, non-government, corporate, religious, local, international. Yes, ‘let’s make a name for ourselves… raise a tower to heaven’ is so often the environment created – and it can obvious or subtle (as in the boiling frog allegory!).
    My master’s degree (early ‘90’s) was on organisational leadership where this topic was discussed. I recall two quotes (from philosophers) to this day: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” (Eric Hoffer); and paraphrased, “every bureaucracy is any group that replaces its original worthy cause with the same cause i.e. to serve and perpetuate itself” (Edward de Bono).
    “Imagination was not cursed in Babel…” ….. how releasing and redemptive is that?!
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Love the quotes… Great cause –> a racket. OUCH!!!
      I have held to these views for years but am coming back round to them again to think ‘and so what are we to do?’
      I am also thinking what are we to do when inside, or given opportunity to bring about genuine cultural change to the (wild) beasts? There is a lot of language that is centred on ‘Christian (eg) business’ – most of which does not enter into the realm of kingdom business… If it does then we have the metaphor of ‘light’, but about when ‘salt’ is the guiding metaphor? How not to lose the flavour, enter in and transform – can it be done without what I term an ‘exorcism’?
      You (Maurice) ought to write something to stick up on this site… think about it.

  2. I am currently watching some very unsavory “babylon is falling” behaviors here stateside…from organisations that started out doing 24/7 prayer-etc…as the main focus and “corporate identity”…

    How does one go from 24/7 prayer to sexual abuse from leaders that is now being defended via attacking the victims? Easy, just accuse them of not maintaining the corporate vision for success…silence the victims…hire expensive legal teams to manage the Public Relations and image…

    I think the minute you have an image to protect, you have a “graven image”…

    Carve the image into the group think…keep carving the same image and eventually it gets engraved…

    But Biblical evolution has species morphing out of beasts like crazy…it goes from wild to tame in a heartbeat…

    ““Do not weep! See, the Lion.” >>> Goes to >>>> “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain”

    I do know that my thinking about demons has changed radically in the last many years, I see fewer of them, but the ones I do see are more malignant than I ever imagined…and generally are the result of corporate energy trying to protect itself…negative human energy.

    To my knowledge there are no reports of demon possessed giraffes or penguins or even crocodiles…no parrots manifesting or dolphins needing intervention…

    Nature itself does not have a demon problem, only human nature does.

    I think that verse in Rev.5:6 is the linchpin upon which the entire gospel can be hung…you wanna find Lions and power and all that stuff of greatness and tribes and whatnot?

    No lions only lambs.

    Fresh lambs having been slain.

    The sacrifice of the “self” is the greatest divergence in evolution ever conceived…it is counter-intuitive.

    Perhaps its not just the church but also the Kingdom that exists only for those who are not officially its members.

    I don’t know too deep for me.

  3. Are you saying that we are each, to some level, responsible for the behavior, activities and goals of organizations, communities, corporations, nations, and systems to which we belong? And need to act accordingly? Call out wrong behavior and goals? Wow, that would change a lot of lives if we took that seriously. Might also just change the world too.

    1. PS: would change my life too. I’m way to accepting of what I see around me. Time to get on it, I guess.

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