Early Childhood

I was raised in a good home. My mother is a born again Christian and my father is a hard-working man who tries to do what is right. My mother faithfully took my younger brother and I to church every Sunday for a number of years. Often the service was boring and I would draw pictures or nap like most other kids I knew. But the message wasn’t wasted on me. I was taught about Jesus, His death and resurrection. Though I didn’t fully understand, it seemed evident to me that God Is and it was impressed upon my heart to recite the sinner’s prayer so that I could be saved. Remembering those early years of life, I see God has blessed me with a wonderful childhood.

However, it was not perfect. I had an active imagination that most other kids found odd. I always had a few friends throughout elementary school who were similar to me, but many other kids would insult, pick on, and bully me. I was never the strongest, but I was also never the weakest. Regardless, I felt alienated from almost everyone. Spiritually, life was tough. For a couple of years my young mind was bombarded with the voices of the devil instructing, commanding, and attempting to persuade me to ‘sell my soul to the devil’. The attacks seemed ceaseless and I remember they caused much anguish. My faith in God decomposed in the face of these attacks, together with the physical attacks and insults, the sense of alienation from my peers, and the doubt that Jesus had really saved me. I became more mischievous. I lied more as the years wore on. I became more hateful and bitter. I regularly released my aggression by mercilessly beating my younger brother. The more I turned from God and unknowingly to satan, the more destruction followed. The anger, hatred, and rebelliousness were transferred to my brother.

Half way through my public education, seeking acceptance, I attended a school for the more academically inclined student. This was a major turning point in my life. After this year of rejection, abuse, and ridicule, I returned to regular school. My outlook on life was bleak. My attitude was rebellion and hatred. I wanted revenge and vowed that what happened the prior year would not happen again. I would not allow anyone to push me around, insult me, and beat me up anymore. I fantasized about how when someone would approach me confrontationally I would release all my hatred upon them and harm them in every way possible short of taking their life. The complete opposite of how a Christian should handle such a situation. But I was no longer a Christian. I no longer recognized God as being of any importance. My attitude was "where was He when it happened to me?"

Teenage Years of Rebellion

When I began High School, I was regularly smoking pot and engaging in sexual activities and breaking laws. I was entirely rejecting of any care or concern that entered my mind. When guilt would strike me for all my abominable sin, I would justify the sin and try to push out the guilt. More and more I was successful at silencing the conscience God had given me. I embraced the view of alienation and isolation that had tried to take root in me for so many years. I longed for real friendship, but I felt that because I was unacceptably different from everyone else in whatever way that was (I did not know), I could never have such a thing. I became the silent, withdrawn, and distant individual of the group. My drug use together with my collection of ‘friends’ who also used drugs increased. I heard about other drugs and my curiosity was sparked.

Mind Expansion

I began using LSD at first, out of curiosity. My first experience was deceptively beautiful, and the beauty I thought I saw, hooked me. But I was not clueless to the origin of the experience. The first time I took the drug, one of the last visions I saw was incredibly frightening: a demon – disgustingly evil – walking through a dark mist towards me. It continued to recur as the effects of the drug wore off. I rejected the reality of the vision, put it out of my mind, and began a walk down to death.

Hallucinogenic drugs fascinated many of my friends and I. My friends whom I had known longer and grown up with were skeptical as I told them how beautiful an experience hallucinogen use was and I was unable to persuade them to join me. I finally thought that I might have found my niche when I began supplying LSD to a small group of friendly people who shared some of my views about life. I shamelessly introduced people to new drugs not realizing nor caring how I was adding to their destruction.

At this time I also began to research hallucinogens. I studied their use among people, and the history of that use from ancient times to present day. I absorbed information about drugs and even began growing a garden of hallucinogenic plants. I told my parents that I was only interested in plants and so deceiving them continued to experiment with all types of hallucinogens.

My life revolved around drugs and the hallucinogenic experience. In school I discussed with people holding ideas similar to myself the validity of them as being truth. Many people were amazed at the insight I had gained while using these drugs and many others who were not such avid hallucinogen enthusiasts shared similar views. In Boy Scouts, camping was an excuse for the older guys to go smoke pot in the woods, and a close friend and myself to go take hallucinogens and discuss life and enjoy our state of detachment from the world. When I was sober, reality seemed harsh and grating, but the drugs seemed to transport me to a manageable reality where life made sense and all I saw was beautiful. As I continued to research the use of hallucinogens I gained some concept of mind expansion and the spiritual experience. I studied more diligently Indian uses of certain plants and decided my life goal was to become a shaman.

Satan had ensnared me and now controlled me through drugs. The revelations of wisdom and knowledge that were imparted to me I believed to be absolute truth, but they were incredible lies leading me to my own demise. I thank God that He turned my life around.

My Parents Move

My father procured a higher paying job in a distant small town. Several months later my family relocated and I left my friends behind in my hometown. I became depressed and lonely. I did make a few friends, but never really got to know anyone. I spent most of my time in my room or off by myself pondering what had been ‘revealed’ to me during my experiences. Eventually I met people who could supply me with drugs.

The Great Lie

When I went back to my hometown on vacation, something happened that changed the way I viewed the drug experience, and ultimately would bring me to make the choice of life or death. While camping with an old friend and enacting our version of an Indian ritual with hallucinogenic drugs, a revelation of a principle applicable to the foundation and workings of the universe was imparted to us. We openly admitted to each other that the entire experience of the discovery was not from our own minds and we acknowledged the spirit presence that had guided us the entire night. Though acknowledging that a spirit or spirits had revealed this, I still denied God. The following day, we enjoyed a beautiful drive through the countryside while high and I believed that the spirit who revealed himself to us was blessing us because we had grasped what he was speaking to us. But this was also deception. The devils goal is to steal, kill, and destroy and now that I had accepted this doctrine of demons, he had set me up for destruction.

I Timothy 4:1 But the Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in the latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach.

When I went back to my parent's house I began to ponder this event continuously. What I didn’t realize at the time, but see now, is the spirit who revealed these ideas had now made his home with me, and continued to inject thoughts into my mind and develop his evil doctrine in me. I even began to preach my deceptive beliefs to others in an effort to convince them of the truth I thought I had found. Satan was using me for the advancement of his wicked kingdom and the spreading of his doctrine.

Desiring a change of pace, I read the books Ishmael and The Story of B by author Daniel Quinn. The views seemed to match well with my own so I adopted them into my belief system.

To sum up my view of the world, it was one of utter hopelessness; an infinite universe without meaning; a pointless existence. I gained an immense disdain for reality. What point is there in a meaningless life? If life is meaningless, how can I waste it away working and going to school so I can retire and die? Why not just follow my heart and all my desires?

The Plan

I concocted a plan. I would leap from this sphere of society: leave family, friends, and all possessions and go survive. Live off the land and fulfill the desires of my heart. My heart was black. My desires were wicked and ungodly. I decided to find a woman who I could love to go with me. The date of departure: as soon as I finished High School. A safety net in case my plans didn’t work.

As I looked for the right woman to go with, someone who shared similar views, I began to meet many new girls. At the time I never thought it peculiar that I begin meeting these girls when I decided I would leave, but looking back I know it was no coincidence.

The first girl was a Mormon, and full of lust. So was I, but the relationship didn’t last long enough for me to tell her my plan.

The second girl was a Wiccan, very mystical, and craving attention. She shared many views, but when she realized I was trying to manipulate her, she disappeared.

The third girl I met at work. I came in one day and she was in an interview with the manager. I looked at her, and her magnetic eyes drew me in. Eventually we became very emotionally involved. She was into hallucinogenic drugs and the ‘spiritual experience’ as much as I was. We left together and my plan was unsuccessful in nearly every aspect. I fell in love with her, and when we parted I was heart broken.

Unable to face my parents and family members, I returned to my hometown to the support of my old friends. They gave me food and a place to stay until I could get on my feet. I eventually got a job and found an apartment. I also began communicating with my parents and they forgave and helped as well.

Downward Spiral

I spent several months going to work then coming home to smoke until I went to sleep. I was tortured with the constant replay of the mental video of all that had happened. And looming in the back of my mind was the ‘revelation’ I had cherished. The dark clouds of hopelessness gathered in my mind. I became more and more depressed. Life lost meaning every day. Some days were better than others, but it was as if I was already dead. The weekends and many weekdays, two friends would spend with me: the fellow hallucinogenic enthusiast who was with me during the ‘revelation’, and another old friend who was a pothead and a drunk. We would go driving and smoking, or sit and watch TV all night on the weekdays, then take hallucinogens all weekend. It was a continual quest to get higher, because if I wasn’t getting high, I was dying.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. My job was backbreaking work, my free time was spent stoned out of my mind, and I was distant and disassociated from reality. I knew I would not last long. I had one option, an uncle who lived in a city a few hours away. I had worked for him before, and he might give me a job now. I called and called to no avail, until he finally said yes. Not long after, my dad was to come pick me up and move me to my new home. He was to arrive Saturday, so I spent my last Friday taking drugs with my two friends. That last night, I was in another world. My spirit was somewhere else, and my body lay on the floor. My friends said they worried because I would lie on the floor for long periods of time eyes not blinking staring at the ceiling. They would ask me if I was all right and I would nod my head. But what I remember from that night is being taken out of my body, out of my house, and off the earth.

I realize now it there was a spiritual battle going on for my soul in the heavenly realm. I saw many things, and whatever spirit was speaking to me was openly speaking to me. The main point he was trying to get me to understand was that there is evil and good. There is right and wrong. There is life and death. There are angels and demons. And I have to choose. That the great pain I was experiencing in my life could be resolved if only I would choose. It was impressed on my mind that I was running out of time, and that if I didn’t choose soon, it would be the same as if I chose death.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live and may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days …

When this was adequately revealed, I was brought back to my house and stood up. My friend was standing in front of me and asked me how I was. I remember telling him "I think I am beginning to understand!" Then he put his hand on my shoulder and when I looked into his face, I saw someone else. He had piercing blue eyes and bright white hair and I was knocked over onto the floor in front of him, I couldn’t stand up. I will not claim that I saw God, for the scriptures say that no man has seen God, but whatever I saw and for whatever purpose it was intended, God used that vision to remind me of Himself. After that I was taken out of my body again and the visions this time were different. They brought such feelings of hopelessness and meaninglessness that at the end of the night I told my friends "I am done. I am ready to die. My life is over. I have no reason to live." The only thing that prevented me from finishing it right there was that my dad was coming to pick me up in the morning. My family had done so much for me; I did not want to bring them that grief. So I wound down and tried to sleep.

New Job, New Home, New Life?

After I moved I felt much better. I lived with my uncle for a couple months to save money for my own place. I worked and when I wasn’t working, I was enjoying the company of my uncle. Life seemed renewed and the old feelings of despair seemed to disappear. However, I did not forget all that had happened. Often, I would find myself thinking about Jesus and God. I would blow it off and forget. God was calling me to Him and I ignored Him. On the job there was a Christian, a man of God. He was filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, but I was not. Often my uncle and I would mock him.

Everyday the pain of all that had happened seemed to return a little more than the previous. I shared my stories with my uncle and that provided relief. I would ponder why this had happened and what it all meant. Those demonic spirits still would speak to me in whatever way they could. They would still lead me to drugs (even to the point of finding a marijuana plant growing behind some bushes) and speak to me there. They would speak to me in dreams. They would even speak to me in music. But through it all, God still offered me the Truth if I would receive Him … I didn’t.

Eventually I acquired my own apartment. Everyday I would go home and wallow in loneliness. I could have gone to visit my uncle, but instead I went home to take drugs. This continued for several months. I had even started my hallucinogenic garden again. I would sit at home – perhaps watch a little TV- and take drugs and meditate on the universe and try to find meaning. I would listen to all the wrong music searching for answers. I would write and draw and play music. It all revolved around finding the truth. At this point I only wanted to know the truth, but I was so deceived and led astray. I thought surely these spirits will show me the truth.

Then, over the period of a couple weeks, my life changed forever.

One Last Chance

I received a package in the mail. A new plant. I was quick to make use of it. Over the past several months, some big idea was brewing in my mind, and I believed I had to maintain an altered state of perception to realize it. As I took the drug it acted quickly and I found myself in a strange state. I was aware that my body was in the physical world, and that I was occupying it, but at the same time I was aware that I was in the spiritual realm. Then something disturbing happened. I caught out of the corner of my eye, on both sides of me, two creatures. They were smiling at me and I immediately knew they were spirits. I jumped to my feet and those spirits began speaking to me. The experience was shocking, but what they were telling me was to be revealed at a later time.

I was once again at a low state of depression and ready to leave the world. It was then that one of my old friends decided to visit. He stayed with me for several weeks. The very night he arrived, I was sitting in my apartment wishing for LSD. He was outside smoking a cigarette when there was a knock and two strange people entered my house. The first was tall and lanky with long black hair. The second was short with a face that looked like a demon. My friend came in and told me he had just met them. They were trying to find my neighbor (whom I had never met). I was puzzled why my friend had brought these two disturbing strangers into my house, and was about to ask when he announced that they had some LSD. I was shocked and noticed it odd that I had just been thinking about how I might find some. They sold me some and left. My friend had a big smile on his face.

The week passed by, my friend stayed at my house while I went to work. On the weekend we went walking and found a secluded area of a city park to hang out in. We began talking and smoking pot. Then he said he heard a sound. I didn’t hear it but paused to listen. He told me he thought he saw someone. Somehow our conversation ended up on the thought of going to kill someone to see what it’s like, or perhaps raping some helpless female. I had once pondered the proposition in the past but now the idea disgusted me. I told him to shut up.

We sat for a little while, and he offered the idea of partaking in homosexual acts. During my life of sin, I had experimented and was now tempted. But I felt it was wrong and did not want to do it. I waged war in my mind trying to determine if I should or should not. Then unexpectedly, my friend said, "Oh it’s just two birds fighting." Immediately, I saw in my mind two birds fighting, it was as if the birds were spirits, and their fighting was the battle in my mind. I looked up and two birds in a nearby bush flew away. The desire that made such a horrible thing tempting left me and I have not since done such a thing. Nor will I, for the Lord has cleansed of that wickedness.

I stopped mind blown, taking in the profound event that had just transpired without my friend’s knowledge. We left and continued walking around the park.

Many more such events transpired over the period of the next several weeks. I felt that some spiritual force I could not recognize was controlling my life. Everyday, every event was too perfectly fitting into the puzzle to be a coincidence. Physical manifestations of spiritual things that I knew about were happening all around me. As I pondered questions concerning the reality of what was happening, it became more real. As I asked questions concerning my life, the answers would come from the most unexpected places.

My friend had made several friends around the apartment complex and he introduced me to them. One evening, I took some LSD and gave some also to one of these new people. More of the same happened. We played a game of chess, I was white, and he was black. Into my mind popped the idea that I represented good, and he represented evil. Then, pondering this, he began to say over and over again as he moved that he had already lost. That I had won and there was no way he could beat me. If I represented good, and him evil, or, if I represented God and him the devil, then that would have been true.

I began to think in these terms and after I won the game I stood up to talk with him. After talking for a moment I looked at the floor and my friend had arranged the chess pieces in the shape of the cross. Immediately, Jesus entered my mind. It was at this moment that the other two people noticed some pictures I had drawn. They began to point out all sorts of references in the pictures. They were translating these drawings unknowingly into messages that were applicable to my life in ways I thought no one knew about but me. I realized that I was the only one who knew, other than the spirits who had revealed to me, and put me though these things, and God.

This put into perspective the reality of the spiritual realm, for I was seeing knowledge of my actions and thoughts that no other person knew about being spoken by another person from cryptically abstract drawings. Drawings I had done in fun with no meaning ended up having more meaning than I realized. It seems I was under the influence of demonic spirits when I drew the pictures, and now their meaning was being revealed to me.

After this event sunk in, we stopped and listened to some Pink Floyd. Wish You Were Here songs 1 through 3 (Shine on you crazy diamond, the machine, have a cigar). It was a sinister deception. Some evil spirit was telling me that I was Jesus and that the words of the music were meant for me as a confirmation. This idea that I was the new Jesus and must go die so that the first Jesus could return and we could rapture His people was something satan had been setting up for a long time. Those wicked spirits tried to convince me their lie was true by showing me all sorts of ‘proofs’. I was reluctant to accept it though. It sounded good, but at the same time I had uneasiness about it. Then God began to bring to my mind a picture of His nature. It was in striking contrast to the lie I was being told to accept. I decided to not yet decide, but wait for more proof.

I began speaking not to these two people who were with me, but to the spirits that were speaking through them. Though one might think this would generate confusion in the people who are not aware of what is happening (and perhaps it did), the spirits did respond when I spoke to them, for they knew what I was talking about. As we walked outside, one said to me "Oh wow! No wonder I feel so light, I forgot what it felt like not to have a pack of cigarettes in my pocket!" What I heard in this was "Perhaps you should stop taking so much drugs, do you even remember what it is like to really be sober?"

I agreed and we laughed. I tried to walk in the role of "the new Jesus" but it didn’t seem to work. I was becoming more convinced it was true though. Even to the point that I told my friend "I know what I have to do!" He asked what but I wouldn’t tell him. My plan was to take one last ‘trip’ with a very powerful hallucinogen. I figured, well, if this is true, I can ask God and He will tell me what to do. Before I went to sleep that night, I asked Him "God, should I take this drug to confirm whether this is true or not?" And at the instant I asked a loud chorus of voices spoke an audible "NO!" I told Him "Okay God, that’s ok then." And went to sleep.

God Begins to Clear Things Up

These experiences continued, but I noticed more and more contradiction. It seemed more and more that two opposing voices were speaking to me and not just one. I became incredibly confused and looking for help, I went to the Christian at work one day before I went home. I asked him some question about God, which I no longer remember, but I do remember his response after short pause "I have to go right now, but hold onto that thought. God tells me you’ve got a lot of cards on the table right now."

So I went home, not sure what voice to believe. But it was Gods plan; He was not yet done. One of the last nights my friend was there, we sat in my neighbor’s apartment. I was going over everything in my mind trying to make sense of it all, my friend was playing a video game; my neighbor was in the kitchen. Suddenly, I remembered what my mother use to tell me to do when I would have spiritual attacks in childhood. It seemed like at least a start, so I tried it: "Satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!" I repeated silently in my mind. On the third or fourth time, I noticed my friend turned from his video game and looked at me. I looked up and the room seemed still. Then he said, "Keep trying you almost got it." And returned to his game as if he never said anything.

It was then that it seems God allowed me to glimpse the whole of the events of my life to this point. I had been deceived and led away by satan in my sin. Now, as he was trying to lead me to my death, standing right there on the verge of it, God was calling to me. It was as if I was walking down to hell thinking I was going to a BBQ party. Not recognizing the screams of anguish coming from the flames around me, and about to step in myself, but God finally got my attention. He had to practically throw a brick at my head, and it hurt, but He had my attention. And He allowed me to see I had been looking for truth in all the wrong places.

Truth is in Jesus. I did not have to die for my own sins, and I was full of sin. But Jesus took that punishment upon Himself so I wouldn’t have to. But being God, Jesus rose from the grave and ascended to His throne in heaven. And if we trust in and abide in Jesus, we repent and turn from our sins and follow Jesus, His death is for us so that we do not have to die eternally in our sins, but that we can be raised with him to eternal life with God.

We don’t have to find any hidden truth. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. And yes, salvation is necessary. We cannot look into the spiritual realm seeking truth because we will not find it. God is truth, and the only way to the Father is through the Son, Jesus Christ, not through drugs, or meditation, or good works, or following whatever desire is on your heart.

Soon after these experiences, I quietly rededicated my life to Christ. Putting my faith in Him as the Son of God who was crucified for all sin and raised from the dead. It was in the lobby of the hotel in which I worked with the Christian man I once mocked. We soon became good friends and the Holy Spirit did many awesome works. The Holy Spirit taught me the truth. He taught me and instructed me in the Word of God in time with Him alone and through my new Christian brother.

God placed me in a church and opened the door that I could share my testimony with other friends who once claimed Christ but have turned aside from the Way. God cleaned up my life. Some desires He immediately and completely removed from me. Others were battles: I stumbled in many areas, and still sinned. But as I sought to turn my life from that sin and serve God He continues to work in my life and remove evil desires and deliver me from temptation.

My life now has meaning and purpose: to serve God. I now live in Japan and work for the U.S. Navy. God has done many things in my life in the last two years, and He has taught me much. But there are others out there going through their own battles and struggles with sin. God is calling out to their hearts as well, and I pray that you respond. I once walked the path of a fool. I carried a heavy load that God had not created me to carry, but I had chosen and taken it upon myself.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened and I will cause you to rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is good, and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

Now, I have given my burdens to Christ, and He has made me a new creation in Him. God loves you, and has sent His own Son to reconcile man back to God. Without Jesus we will remain spiritually separated from God for eternity.

John 3:19-21 The judgment lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more that the Light, for their works were evil. For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his deeds be exposed and reproved. But he who does what is right comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are – done with God’s help with dependence upon Him.

Email Bryan