It is interesting that there are plenty of mass media, indeed Hellmouth-Hollywood, products that depict the spiritual war of this world - in terms of angels and demons, and including what might be termed 'spiritual technologies' such as exorcism. And such matters have been the subject of best-selling novels for many decades.
The provenance of these stories should alert us to the probability that many are evil-intentioned in one way or another (and, since it is negative by nature, there are numberless ways in which evil can oppose Good).
But there is perhaps a deeper and more devious misleading going-on in terms of the basic quality of these depictions - which is nearly always of a 'medieval' nature. What I mean is that in these stories symbols have objective effectiveness in a quasi-technological fashion.
The media spiritual world is one in which demons possess good people against their will; and when corrupted they can be saved (again, without consent) by physical objects such as Holy Water, Consecrated Host; or by expert exorcisms using specific Latin prayers and which must be performed by consecrated priests.
Such aspects make spirituality into an almost materialist technology and down-play (or eliminate altogether) what is actually the core role of human freedom and choice in spiritual matters.
I believe that human consciousness has changed since the medieval era, and therefore the 'objective' world as we know it - has also changed.
In the middle ages, Men lived in a mental-world that we would experience as communal - they had not fully dissociated their consciousness from the group; and (to a significant extent) meanings and effects were taken-in with perceptions.
What this meant was that symbols and language had an objective reality - perceived symbols affected the material world; because the material world was not separable from them. For example, a physical cross, or a picture or a vision of the cross; had reliable and powerful spiritual effects - on unbelievers, animals, disease - causally potent much as we would expect from a laser beam.
Thus, demons could attack men who resisted them, because Men could not fully resist them due to their (partial but significant) absorption into the communal spiritual mind. And/ but these demons could be exorcised even without the consent of the possessed - for the same reason.
Exorcism, done by those with authority and in the proper form of words and actions, therefore had the kind of objective efficacy we moderns might associate with penicillin or surgery.
As the modern era dawned from around 1500 in Europe; these symbols began to lose their objective effect and the Reformation was a major result. This focused on whether the consecrated host was objectively spiritually-effectual - or whether there needed to be an inner 'subjective' act on the part of the believer.
I believe this dispute arose exactly because the Eucharist began to lose the unquestioned and reliable objective effects it had possessed for many centuries.
My understanding is that the root cause of this change was a change in human consciousness - with the separating-out of the individual 'self' from the communal mind. Men no longer took in meaning with their perceptions, but also required that the outer symbol be met with a voluntary inner assent.
And I believe this process has continued until now; when once-sacred and objectively-effective symbolism has become completely ineffectual and irrelevant for many modern people.
The other side of this coin is that individuals are now responsible for their own spirituality. On the one hand (as I understand it, as a rule); nowadays demons cannot possess men unless they are invited, and can only stay in possession with consent...
On the other hand, exorcism has lost its objective and reliable effectiveness.
Nowadays an exorcism would not be something done-to a possessed person; but would need to be more like an attempt to persuade and encourage a possessed person to resist and repent - to withdraw consent and make an inward decision to refuse demonic control.
The basic nature and conduct of the spiritual war has therefore changed since medieval times - and both the power and responsibility of the individual have increased greatly.
Thus individuals are personally to blame for their own spiritual plight. And also, for the same reasons, people must do for-themselves what could once be done for-them.
What I am saying is that in their depictions of angels, demons, and spiritual technologies; the mass media are encouraging a false understanding of the spiritual war as it (nearly always) applies here-and-now.
They are encouraging an atavistic, obsolete spirituality - which is not true for these times; and therefore does not work.
This has two kinds of bad effects:
In the first place it absolves individuals of responsibility of their own spiritual corruption, and encourages a spiritual passivity that looks to other people, external actions and physical objects for their salvation.
Yet none of this actually works. (Or, only seldom, and incompletely.)
In the second place; this atavistic spirituality is so alien to the actuality of modern life (and so ineffective) as to seem utterly absurd; and to encourage the rejection of spiritual belief altogether.
When the depictions are so sensational, medieval and untrue to experience; naturally most people regard the whole subject as mere make-believe.
Meanwhile, the real spiritual war proceeds and thrives unnoticed, denied; and unimpeded by that correct-understanding, acknowledged responsibility, and free-individual-choice - which are the demons only truly-powerful opponents.
Note: The above perspective, especially on the developmental (evolutionary) changes in human consciousness through history - and causally-driving that history - is heavily indebted to Owen Barfield - in books such as Romanticism Comes of Age, Saving the Appearances and Worlds Apart - and also a selective reading from the vast (and uneven) corpus of Rudolf Steiner.