One of the most insidious tactics of the spirit of abuse is its deployment of group mind control. It’s not exactly the same as the individual mind control, or mesmerism, used by Leviathan to hypnotise a person into isolation and illusion.

Group mind control is different. In recent times, we might term it mass formation psychosis. In reality, it’s brainwashing and mental manipulation of large numbers of people—through long-recognised techniques of artificially generated fear.

Belial can in fact influence entire nations with a horrifying groupthink that allows any natural impulse towards civil behaviour and mutual decency to be overridden. Instead atrocity is normalised, lawlessness is encouraged by lawmakers and the innocent are scapegoated and penalised for the crimes of the guilty. Such a takeover of mindset is obvious in the history of Germany under the Nazi regime.

Group mind control, however, isn’t a recent phenomenon. It’s been around a very long time. It may come as a surprise to realise the Bible contains a harrowing episode featuring group mind control. It occurs in the second chapter of 2 Samuel which records the period of time after King Saul had died in battle and when most of the tribes of Israel were following his surviving son Ish-bosheth. The tribe of Judah, however, was following David—and each claimant for the throne had their own army. The commanders of the rival armies were, in fact, good friends until they came face-to-face at the Pool of Gibeon.

I’ve picked an unusual translation—the English Revised Version—because most renderings of these verses tone their weirdness right back. Even the ERV does not really bring out the utter irrationality of the behaviour of the two commanders.

Abner… and the servants of Ish-bosheth… went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab… and the servants of David, went out, and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down… And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men, I pray thee, arise and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. Then they arose… twelve for… Ish-bosheth… and twelve of the servants of David. And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together.

2 Samuel 2:12–16 ERV

What Abner says to Joab in Hebrew is basically: let’s have a laugh. He proposes a suicidal game where twelve men from each side get up, pull each other by the hair and stab each other in the side. And Joab agrees!

Now in the continuation of the story, after the twenty-four young men fall down dead, the collective trance lifts. Suddenly both armies realise this wasn’t such a great laugh after all and attack each other.

What spirit was lurking at the Pool of Gibeon that could drive this insanity? It’s only much later we find out a genocide occurred there. And Belial is not the only hunter involved.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May the Lord lift any mind control over you.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.

More on the spirit of Belial can be found in the new paperback, Dealing with Belial: Spirit of Armies and Abuse, Strategies for the Threshold #8.