The Demons Controlled Me
I WAS a spirit medium, a sorcerer, a male witch. I employed divination. I looked for omens. I bound others with spells. I practiced black magic and voodoo. Most of the spiritistic practices condemned in the Bible at Deuteronomy 18:10-12, I engaged in.
The apostle Paul’s traveling companion Luke wrote: “A certain servant girl with a spirit, a demon of divination, met us. She used to furnish her masters with much gain by practicing the art of prediction.” (Acts 16:16) As was the case with that girl, a demon also provided me knowledge of things that could not be known by ordinary means.
For example, before my grandmother died, I knew that her death was imminent. And when a relative would become pregnant, I knew about it before others did. These were not simply hunches that proved true; my knowledge about such things was almost always correct. When I would wish for a fellow student, teacher, or relative to become sick, invariably they would.
Once I became upset with my grandmother and wanted her to be hurt. I called to the demons, asking specifically that she should cut herself—that afternoon she cut herself with a knife.
Practicing voodoo, I used articles of clothing and made an image of my brother. I wanted to keep him from bothering me. Afterward, whenever he came within ten feet (3 m) of me, he got shooting pains in his chest and had difficulty breathing. So he learned to keep away from me.
Later, an acquaintance scoffed at my ability to summon the demons. I knew he dealt in drugs. So I told him he would be arrested and then be released. The demons did just what I requested. Within two months the man was arrested. Afterward the charges were dropped, and he was released. The man never questioned my abilities again.
Becoming Involved in Occultism
My family was steeped in the religious ritual and paganism of the Ozark Mountains in the United States, where people were users of love potions, and the like. I was born after my parents moved to San Francisco. They really didn’t want children; it interfered with their freewheeling life-style. So I was neglected, shown no affection, battered emotionally. I became a loner, a hater of people.
At an early age I was drawn to the occult. I would watch all the movies and TV programs featuring it. And by the time I was about six, I was a regular user of the Ouija board. I was open to and, in fact, eager for communication with the spirit realm. I knew that demons existed and I felt very comfortable talking with them. And they favored me with special powers and knowledge.
I began reading all the books on occultism that I could get my hands on, obtaining them from public libraries and, in particular, bookstores. One store, operated by a spirit medium, catered especially to those who practiced witchcraft, or black magic. From reading old books on occultism, I learned the names of demons who were contacted in past ages by people who practiced spiritism.
Then, in my communications with the demons, I began using these names when I spoke with them. And it seemed that whenever I dealt with a particular demon, that one’s personality and the way he worked differed from that of another demon I would call upon. I thus came to know scores of demons by name.
From my reading about occultism, I knew that the demons were angels who had lost God’s favor and were not the spirits, or souls, of people who had died. I had sympathy for these angels, and I particularly felt sorry for Satan. I became a worshiper of Satan, yet, contradictory as it was, I would at the same time pray to God. And when my prayers would be answered, I believed God had answered them. Satan had me thoroughly deceived.—2 Corinthians 11:14.
Although providing me special powers, the demons did not help me to be a good person. On the contrary, they twisted my thinking to hate rather than love. In time, I became a fornicator, thief, drunkard, drug abuser, and homosexual.
In January 1974 my grandmother died. This distressed me very much, since she was the only person I had loved. When I was a child she read to me from the Bible and spoke about the resurrection. Now I wanted to learn more about the resurrection. From childhood on I had wanted to live forever, and the demons had promised that I would. But it wasn’t clear how this would be accomplished.
An Important Encounter
Shortly after my grandmother’s funeral, I happened to mention to a girl named Gwen, whom I worked with, that the end of the world was coming but that no one believed it. Gwen said she believed it and expressed surprise that I knew. I had learned about this from the demons, but Gwen showed me these things from the Bible.
Gwen would always speak of Jehovah and said that he was the One who was going to bring an end to this system. I told her I hated the sound of that name, Jehovah, and asked her not to use it. She was hurt and said that if she could not use the name of the one she loved most, she’d rather not talk to me, because Jehovah is God’s name.
I was taken aback. So that night I went home, and taking the King James Version, the Bible of my deceased grandmother, I began paging through it, searching for the name Jehovah. I knew that if I found it in this Bible, Gwen was right, that Jehovah was God’s name. But I felt sure it would not be there. I was shocked when I came to Exodus 6:3, which reads: “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”
I realized in an instant that Jehovah was indeed God and that compared to him Satan was not powerful at all! Seeing the name I hated there in the Bible, as well as hearing about the hope of the resurrection, made me start studying with the Witnesses.
Breaking Free of Demon Control
Shortly afterward Gwen took me to a meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The talk was about the wild beast mentioned in the Bible book of Revelation, the one with the number 666. I had learned quite a bit of twisted information about this from the demons, and now it really surprised me that these things were written in the Bible. I was interested, so the following week I began a regular Bible study with the Witnesses.
The demons, of course, didn’t want me to study. But I knew that what I was learning was the truth, and I was not going to give it up even though the demons tried to stop me. They would hit me while I was in bed. Once a blow to the head was so severe that it took hours for the pain to subside. I prayed to Jehovah for help, and after that he kept them out of my room.
However, the demons didn’t give up. From outside my bedroom, they would rattle the windows. They kept it up all night, so that I could only get a couple of hours of sleep. They were trying to wear me down. But I kept praying to Jehovah and going to all the meetings of the Witnesses, and Jehovah helped me.
True, the demons have great powers. They can even kill people, as they did Job’s ten children. (Job 1:18, 19) And I’m sure they wanted to kill me, since I had been their servant to whom they had granted special powers but who had abandoned them to serve their enemy, Jehovah God. So Jehovah’s ability to protect me is proof that we need not fear the demons.
In the summer of 1974 I attended the district convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. There I decided that at the next such convention I would be baptized. So, in the same stadium, on July 18, 1975, I was baptized, and I married a fellow Witness that October.
Even after Mari and I were married, the demons harassed us, terrifying my wife on occasion. Mari was part of the congregation where I had begun attending meetings. She knew all about my background before our marriage. She even said she suspected that I was a male witch when I first began coming to the Kingdom Hall. I was really weird. I dressed completely in black and wouldn’t speak to anyone, just come to the meetings and sit there.
At one time we thought that we might not be freed from harassment by the demons until they and Satan were abyssed. (Revelation 20:1-3) Because of our drawing close to Jehovah in prayer and taking advantage of every spiritual provision that he makes through his organization, it has been years since the demons have harassed us as they did at first.
We are blessed to have three lovely daughters, and for the past four years, Mari has been serving in the ministry as a regular pioneer. We truly look forward to the time when Satan and his demons will be gone forever! In the meantime, even though no longer experiencing direct harassment from the demons, we never forget that we have a battle against them, even as the apostle Paul wrote: “We have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but . . . against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)—As told by Ralph Anderson.
[Blurb on page 12]
Whenever I dealt with a particular demon, its personality differed from that of another demon