August 31, 2020


I have a very holy spiritual director who told me to read Unbound and go through the exercises. And yet, I’ve heard Jesse say that there are problems with it. Is it forbidden or does it just have to be “done correctly”? I know it has been used as a template by a very holy priest in Rwanda as a basis for healing, with great success. I know this priest personally and can attest to his holiness. Can you advise?


Thanks for asking. Unbound is a great tool for any Catholic Priest to use as he ministers to the individual lay Catholic looking to be freed from ordinary diabolical activity. However, if Unbound is used by a lay Catholic over another lay Catholic you put yourself in danger because it asks you to function as an ordained Priest and lay people are not ordained Priest. When a lay person tries to imitate the ministry of an ordained Priest it is dangerous, you open yourself to retaliation. I'll give you 3 examples from Scripture...

I] The story of the rebellion of Korah is recorded in Numbers 16. The rebellion of Korah demonstrates the grim consequences of usurping the authority of God and of those whom He has chosen to be leaders of His people. Korah was of the tribe of Levi, the same tribe as Moses (the Prophet) and Aaron (the High Priest). He led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, accusing them of exalting themselves above the congregation of the Lord (Numbers 16:1-3). 

II] In 2 Samuel 6, Uzzah (a layman) is struck down by God for acting like a Levite Priest.

III] Remember what happened to the “men of Beth Shemesh” in I Samuel 6:19-7:2, they looked inside the Ark of the Covenant which was prohibited to them and God killed them because they were not Levites and no one was suppose to look inside the ark. The Law of Moses mandated that the care of the most holy things was entrusted to the Levites (Numbers 3:29-31). It was not to be transported by cart or any other vehicle (Numbers 7:6-9).

Fr Chad Ripperger (Exorcist) states that a characteristic of modernism is imprecise theological language.  

Next, the Unbound ministry gives another imprecise instruction on p.vii. "This atmosphere gave people courage to ask for prayer and encouraged them to be completely open, not keeping any areas hidden." In fact, Unbound ask the afflicted person confess their sins to the Unbound leader. It says on p.15 of Unbound "Honesty in naming and confessing our sins opens a door for God's grace to enter an area of our lives that we had previously closed. Honest confession breaks down our pattern of blindness and dispels the darkness in which evil spirits dwell." Than Unbound quotes James 5:16 to support this practice of lay people confession their sins to another lay person. The quote in scripture reads: "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." 

Using this passage to justify lay people confessing to each other is taking this passage of our context. Here is what James the apostle is actually saying in context.

James 5:14-16 (RSV) “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” 

Who is St. James talking about in these verses? In context, he is talking about going to the “elders” of the Church who can heal your body and soul. James did not teach that we could go to the just any willy nilly, to receive the "anointing" and the forgiveness of sins. First, he told us to go to the “elders” in verse 14. Verse 16 continues with the word "therefore," what’s important to note is that the word ‘therefore’ is a conjunction that connects verse 16 back to verses 14 and 15. In other words, it is the “elders” to whom we are to confess our sins to (according to St. James). The word “elder” is the Greek word “presbuteros” which is literally translated “presbyters.” The word ‘Priest’ is the abbreviation for ‘presbyter,’ the English word ‘priest’ has ‘presbyter’ as its etymological origin. Clearly it is the ‘presbyters’ (aka: ‘priests’) who are to be summoned, not a lay person. So, we see that God does forgive our sins – through the priest, according to St. James.

The Unbound companion guide has no appeal to the sacrament of confession. This practice of lay people confessing their sins to other lay people comes from Protestantism, since they have no ministerial priesthood. This action militates against the Catholic ordained Priesthood and the sacrament of confession which is much more powerful than anything we as lay people can do.

The Liber Christo “program is not merely a pain management technique, rather the healing of one’s soul by reconciliation with God the Father through Jesus Christ and his sacraments” (FTC leaders guide p.22). Read about the power of the sacrament of confession to a Priest.

Fr Antonio Fortea (Spain - Exorcist) says: “…confession is a divine gift much greater than exorcism. Exorcism only drives out a demon from one’s body; confession drives out evil from our souls…Frequent confession strengthens us in sanctifying grace and is a powerful force in helping us resist to temptation.”

Fr Ripperger – “sometimes the confession is more powerful in liberating somebody than actual solemn exorcism”

Msgr. John Esseff, an exorcist for the diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania for over 40 years, said people should always remember that spiritual warfare is not a fight between equals. The devil hates us, according to him, but what is more important is that God loves us. The remedy, Msgr. Esseff said, is the sacrament of confession. “One confession is worth a hundred exorcisms”

At Liber Christo we do not want the afflicted person to “focus on the event, but instead on our response to the event. We can’t change what happened to us in the past. Instead, we should ask ourselves, ‘If I knew then, what I know now, how would my response be different? In what repetitive sin have I fallen, and in what virtue do I need to grow?” (FTC leaders guide, p.29).

“The event and retelling of the story are charged with emotion, which clouds our memory of the event. When we tell our story, it’s all about us. Instead our focus needs to be on Jesus. We need to climb up on the cross with him and offer our suffering with him and offer our suffering for the one who caused it” (FTC Companion Guide p.121). Psychologist teach that when you focus on something negative you give life and energy to it. That’s why even in the sacrament of confession Holy Mother Church just asks us to confess the kind of sin and the number of times since our last confession, no details of the sin are required.

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 988 §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet remitted directly through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which the person has knowledge after diligent examination of conscience.

§2. It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins.

Here is another huge violation in Unbound. Page 52 – “Only one leader will interview and lead in prayer. Evil spirits will respond to the authority of Jesus manifested through a person.” Yes, evil spirits will respond to the proper authority set out by the Church. The lay person in a prayer team is erroneously functioning as an ordained Priest. On page 54 of Unbound its says: “Key 4 – The Command – say firmly, with authority, while placing your hand on the persons head, ‘In the name of Jesus I break the power of every spirit that ______ has renounced and I command it to leave right now.”

What Unbound has just taught lay people to do is a minor exorcism over another lay person, put your right hand on their head (a sign of Priestly authority) and using an imperative prayer of command against the demon. This has NEVER been taught in the Catholic Church. What we’re dealing with in the Unbound model is known as ‘modernism,’ it has diluted the Catholic norms and giving the laity an authority that they don’t possess by natural law or divine positive law.

Read this article: Vatican-recognized exorcists’ group offers guidelines for ‘quality control’ Crux Staff - Jul 19, 2020 – AUTHOR Vatican-recognized exorcists’ group offers guidelines for ‘quality control’ comments will be in red.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

A Vatican-recognized group of exorcists has issued a new handbook for practitioners of the Church’s ritual to combat demonic possession, among other things insisting that authority to perform exorcisms belongs exclusively to priests assigned by their diocesan bishop and no one else. According to figures from the group, the move comes in response to a perception that there are too many rogue operators, both clerical and lay, who claim to perform exorcisms but who aren’t authorized to do so. Unbound teaches lay people to be “rogue operators,” this is very dangerous.

The guidelines offer three reasons as to why the ministry of exorcism is limited to priests specifically designated for the task:

o   Only priests possess a mandate from the Church to “command demons in the name of God to recede, no longer to harm human creatures for any reason.” Unbound violates this principal.

o   The ministry of exorcism isn’t just about the recitation of prayers, but “discernment and accompaniment of faithful tormented by the devil,” pastoral tasks which “occupy a very important and essential place.”

o   If a bishop names an exorcist, he also has a responsibility to make sure that priest has a “specific preparation that renders him more suited than anyone else to discernment of extraordinary diabolic action.” Here is why Liber Christo was started, to train Catholic Priest and their teams.

The guidelines warn that unauthorized priests and laity who attempt to perform exorcisms without authorization actually may open the door to further demonic influence over the people they’re trying to help. Issuance of the guidelines follows several years of mounting concern over what one member of the International Association of Exorcists described in 2017 as “do-it-yourself” exorcisms, which sometimes have been associated with instances of sexual abuse. In that 2017 gathering, members pointed to a case in Palermo in which a priest not authorized to perform exorcisms nonetheless offered them to local women claiming to be possessed and has been accused of abusing them sexually in the process, including, in some instances, minor girls. Notice what happens, demon are lawyers from hell, they retaliated against this Catholic Priest because he was outside of his bishops authority, if they retaliate against a Catholic Priest, what do you think they will do to a lay person who is command demons over other people and acting like a Priest. Being outside of authority leaves you unprotected and open to demonic retaliation.

Read From Unger’s Bible Dictionary (you will that ‘laying on of hands’ is a Patriarchal gesture for OT & NT Clergy or Fathers over their children)

HANDS, LAYING ON OF. This occurs in Scripture as a patriarchal usage, as with Jacob’s laying his hands upon the heads of Joseph’s children (Gen. 48:14). It also occurs in later times, as when Jesus placed His hands upon children presented to Him for His blessing (Matt. 19:15). The laying on of hands formed part of the ceremony observed at the appointment and consecration of persons, such as of Joshua by Moses (Num. 27:18–23; Deut. 34:9). It sometimes attended the healing of persons by a prophet, although in one instance (2 Kings 4:34) Elisha placed his hands upon the hands of the child. In the gospel age the action was, undoubtedly, used in connection with the bestowal of supernatural gifts, or the miraculous effects of the Holy Spirit (Mark 5:23, 41; 7:32), although our Lord extended His hands over the apostles when blessing them at the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:50). The apostles laid their hands upon the sick and healed them (Matt. 9:18; Mark 6:5, 13, etc.), and at times also laid their hands upon the baptized, that they might receive the special gifts of the Spirit (Acts 8:15–18; 19:6). A quite natural extension of this practice was to apply it to those who were set apart to the sacred office in the church—the men already possessed of delegated power and authority proceeding, like Moses in respect to Joshua, to put some of their own honor upon those chosen to the same responsible and dignified position (14:3; 1 Tim. 4:14). “Not that the mere act could confer any special spiritual power, but it was employed as a fit and appropriate symbol to denote their full and formal consent to the bestowal of the divine gift; and, being accompanied by prayer to Him who alone can really bestow it, might ordinarily be regarded as a sign that the communication had actually taken place.”

Ecclesiastical Uses. In the rites of the early church the laying on of hands was used in confirmation, which generally was an accompaniment of baptism and symbolized the reception of the Holy Spirit. It was also practiced in ordination (which see). In the modern church Roman Catholics use the laying on of hands in the ceremonies that precede extreme unction, in ordination, and in confirmation (in both of which services it has received a sacramental efficacy). In the mass, previous to the consecration of the elements, the priest extends his hands over the people in blessing. The Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal churches employ it as a symbolical act in baptism and confirmation. The Methodist, the Presbyterian, and the Congregational churches employ it only in ordination.