FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
The occult, ESP, and psychic phenomena have
been popular subjects in America in the last two decades. The New
Age movement is also a part of that. Yet many people have not experienced
the supernatural, so they assume it is all a product of overactive imaginations.
That is what I would have believed, too, if it had not happened in my own
My early childhood was mostly happy. My parents
and my younger brother and I lived in a small town in Florida in
the early 1960's. We lived in a nice country home with a small yard.
Mom didn't work, but when I was six and my brother was five, she started
taking us to the babysitter every day. We both began to have horrible
nightmares. I was afraid to go to sleep and my brother would sneak into
my room to get away from the terrifying man he saw in his room. Mom
blamed my brother's nightmares on his asthma medication. Young as I was,
I had the feeling that something was very wrong. "Something bad is going
to happen between Mom and Dad," I whispered to him one day. "Yeah," he
Just before the next Christmas, Mom began to
pack up all our things in front of our father. She showed no emotions at
all as she coldly said to my Dad, "I'm leaving you. I'm taking the children."
I will never forget the look of shock and betrayal on my father's face.
We drove straight to the house of the man Mom had been seeing, and the
three of us moved in. Not long after that he and Mom were married.
For a wife to leave her husband in the
my mother did was very unusual during those times. Since the courts
presumed that a mother was the better parent for her young
children, my father had almost no legal ability to get custody of
his children, or
even have many visitation rights. From then on, he was known as our
father' in a society where a step-parent family was not common.
new stepfather forced us to call him, "Dad."
When we first moved in, my stepfather Bruce
seemed nice. But this did not last long.. He began to have uncontrollable
fits of rage, which became worse over the years. He was a very big man
and I was terrified of him. He could be extremely nice one moment,
and the next moment extremely cruel. My mother had never been a very
affectionate person, but after her divorce and remarriage she began to
change. Even her family members noticed she had changed, but
they had no idea how much! Both my mother and stepfather could be very
nice to us in front of other people, but that was not how it was as soon
as we were not in public or in front of their friends They were complimented
often on the nice, quiet children they had. No one knew that my brother
and I were too afraid to speak!
Mother told us almost every day that
father did not love us. After a few years of that, she forced us
to tell him we
did not want to see him again. That was very painful for me,
because I did not want to do it, but my mother was filled with hate
and seemed obsessed with finding ways to hurt him. I understood even at
my young age, that she made us do this in order to hurt my father.
My mother also
demanded total perfection of us children, and we were never able to
up to her standards. If we made the slightest mistake, we were accused
of doing it on purpose; and if we protested, we were accused of lying
locked in our room. One time, my brother was locked in his room
three days without
food or drink until he decided to "tell the truth." The "truth"
course, was only what my mother or stepfather wanted to hear, and we
to guess which version of the "truth" they wanted. My stepfather
very much agreed with my mother's accusations, and so we were both
screamed at so much we were afraid to talk above a whisper.
My brother bore the brunt of most of
the attacks because he could not control his asthmatic wheezing and coughing
when he was sick. Consequently, he was yelled at constantly for his difficulty breathing.
Almost daily my mother and stepfather threatened to send him to Shiloh
Youth Camp for delinquent boys and me to an insane asylum because I "was
crazy." Once, I privately asked our elementary grade school bus driver
if the boys' camp would accept girls; I wanted to be sure my brother and I would
be able to stay together. We were so young, we believed every wild
story or threat they told us.
Even before we moved in with my stepfather,
he and my mother consulted mediums (psychics who will talk to the spirits
for you). When I was older, they took me with them sometimes. My mother
and stepfather loved to talk about the thrills of their astral projections
and the power of the mind. My brother and I were fascinated by all they
told us. Looking back, however, I could see that the more they became
involved in their quest to become 'higher beings', the more they became
abusive and paranoid. The most dramatic personality change was in
my mother, but I did not want to admit that to myself because I clung to
memories of an earlier, nicer Mom.
The mediums often spoke of the spirits
that surrounded my mother and stepfather. Apparently, these
guides' attached themselves to us when we were with the medium, and
us home to stay with us. You could actually feel their presence,
and strange things kept happening. Doorknobs would move when no one was
near them, and our cats would follow something around and meow at it.
Although my brother and I were both scared, my mother and stepfather
insisting that they were friendly spirits, who were just playing
They themselves also experienced the presence of their various
and were not alarmed.
I knew nothing of Jesus or God, except
my stepfather taught me. However, when I was eleven a friend from
school invited my brother and me to a Baptist revival where we heard the
for the first time. I wanted to go to heaven and not hell,
and so that night I prayed to Jesus for the forgiveness of my
As I knelt down, I felt the sweet touch of a different spirit, but I
know then that it was my first encounter with God's Holy Spirit.
My brother and I were baptized in water during that same night, but we
not to tell my mother, because she would be furious. Sure enough,
when she did find out I believed in God, she overwhelmed me with many
I was too young to answer. Mostly out of self-defense, I
my new faith, and did not speak of God again.
The abuse got worse and worse for my brother,
who one day told my mother he was thinking of suicide. There was
a few days of peace after that, until my Mom found a way to blame my brother's
distress on my father. Later, when my brother was eleven, Mom threw him
out of the house and told him to go live with his (curse words in front)
father. I was devastated. My brother and I had fought like brothers
and sisters do, but we were very close. I felt he was the only family
I had. Suddenly, I comprehended the magnitude of the hatred in that
house. Losing my brother forced me to make a decision: I had to
survive or let the hatred destroy me. I decided I would become a
survivor. However, I was to pay a price. My mother and stepfather
turned the full force of their rages upon me once my brother was gone.
In spite of my best efforts, the rejection
I suffered turned me into an angry child who hated her parents (meaning, my mother and stepfather). I
was convinced the world was ugly and that everyone hated me. I did
not like the person I was becoming and I longed to be free of the hatred.
I studied many of the major religions for awhile.
When I was twelve, I began to see what the
mediums saw in the spiritual realm, even at home! My stepfather was very
excited, since all the mediums he took me to had very positive things to
say about me. They told him that if I chose to, I could become a
very powerful medium and help many people. Thrilled that I seemed to be
a gifted psychic, my stepfather made sure that I was given all the literature
I needed about spiritualism. With his encouragement, I explored hypnotism,
ESP, numerology, palm-reading, and auras. Eventually, I decided to
concentrate my studies on astrology and what was then called white witchcraft,
which is the practice of removing a hex or curse or invoking good fortune
on someone. Like him, I was very interested in helping people.
Of all of my 'supernatural' experiences, there
was one that puzzled me the most. One morning I woke up filled with
an overwhelming appreciation for God's creation---even though I no longer
believed in God. This was not my usual angry state of mind, and I
wondered at the joy and peace I felt. As I tried to get out of bed,
an invisible hand pushed me back. Suddenly I saw the incredibly beautiful
underside of a white dove, made completely of light, flying by at great
speed. A gentle voice in my mind whispered, "Father, Son, Holy Spirit."
I knew' the vision was from heaven, but I honestly had no idea what
the words meant. Later that summer when I attended a Catholic Church
with my maternal grandmother and heard the same phrase during mass, I at
least understood that it had something to do with the Bible. My Mom
bought me a Bible at my request, and my stepfather did not object
to my reading the Bible because he quoted parts of scripture sometimes.
However, he was an atheist and he could become hostile at the mention of
God or Jesus, so I did not tell him everything about the vision.
For some reason, I had difficulty reading my Bible, so I eventually gave
up reading it. Afterwards, I did not think about the strange vision much.
My stepfather's mother practiced a kind of
witchcraft meant to hurt people called "black witchcraft" or the "black
arts", and my stepfather was afraid of her. He firmly believed she was
determined to destroy him. After several incidences of her placing
hexes', or curses upon him, he rallied his family behind him to "return
her hexes", explaining to us that he was weary of her influence in his
life. She soon became ill and was hospitalized. Before her
death, she sent me a letter telling me that I was "her favorite."
On the night she died, I was awakened from a dream with a very loud knock
on my bedroom door. In the dream I had seen an image of Jesus at a door,
knocking, and I heard a voice warn me, "The devil knocks, too. Don't
let him in." But in reality the knock was so loud that my mother
and stepfather heard it too, and ran down the hall to my room. That
same night, I felt a cold chill enter my room and witnessed objects move
around. This 'poltergeist' remained in my room for the next few years.
I did not tell my mother and stepfather about all of this, because they
had become unconcerned once they realized that the knocking was just another
My stepfather began to include me a little
in helping those who asked him for help, and I was successful in the tasks
he gave me. I liked the power and recognition, and felt I had found
my purpose in life. But the more I worked to increase my powers,
the more I was tormented by an irrational sense of dread. I compulsively
charted my astrological signs every day.
You would think that my success in my 'powers'
would improve my relationship with my parents. But it most definitely did
not. Mother was becoming even better at twisting everything I said, did,
or didn't do, into some evil motive. My brother visited once or twice
and said he felt sorry for me, but he also told me of how my father still
spoke of the day I told him I did not want to see him when I was younger,
and so I was too afraid to ask my Dad if I could live with him. However,
I knew I couldn't take the pressure much longer. I needed help but
I had nowhere to turn. If I ran away, who would believe me? Bruce
and Mom kept up appearances well, and I had no bruise marks to show for
their abuse. But because of their constant cruelty, and because of the
fearful experiences I had in the occult, I began to mentally feel like
I was 'cracking up' by the time I was fourteen years old. I was afraid
I might really go insane as my parents had said I would. Desperate, I found
a quiet place and prayed for help from a God I didn't really believe in.
I was an excellent student and loved school.
It was my only refuge, even though I did not fit in well at all socially.
In junior high school I was in the special classes for the smarter students,
and I will never forget my science teacher, Mr. Smith. He taught
at college level and I was one of the few who could keep up. Our
last assignment was to explore the theory of evolution ourselves and come
to our own conclusions. I took the challenge to heart!
As I studied, I decided that there had to be
a God. My conclusion was based solely on logic. I realized
that there had to be an intelligence behind the intricate perfection of
natural phenomena, mysteries we humans have not yet been able to decipher.
Random chance could not explain these things, and so there had to be a
Creator to orchestrate it.
When I was fifteen I thought it would be fun
to use my powers on a boy at school to make him become my boyfriend.
But even as I did this, I felt ashamed for trying to control someone. Wavering
between spiritualism and Christianity, I prayed for God's forgiveness,
sincerely asking Him to show Himself to me. Not more than fifteen minutes
later, I met a Pentecostal girl who listened to me boast about the powers
of one of the popular psychics of that time in America. When she asked
me if I had ever heard of the Holy Spirit, I was very astonished!
Miraculously, Mom let me spend the night with
this total stranger. When I did tell her about Donna's church, she
seemed happy I was exploring 'new power'. Donna and her friends were
sincere and loving Christians. I challenged every statement they made about
the Bible. I often shouted at them that I didn't want to hear their
nonsense, but they remained patient and did not reject me.
The nights I stayed with Donna and went to
church with her, I was tormented by very severe headaches and a loud, fast
talking voice in my mind, arguing against the existence of God and repeating
the teachings of spiritualism. At first I thought it was just my
own mind reacting to the confusion inside, but as I began to argue with
that voice in my head, I realized it was not my own thoughts!
I remembered the vision from heaven and the other gentle voice whispering,
"Father, Son, Holy Spirit," and I thought hard of the possibility that
Jesus was more than a great teacher.
The more I attended the meetings with Donna
and her friends, the more I became convinced that I was in the middle of
a spiritual battle. I realized I had to make a choice between the powers
of darkness and the light of God--and I wanted more of God. Just
before one of the meetings I made my decision, and as I sat there preparing
myself for this step of faith, I heard singing. It sounded like a choir
of thousands of people praising God with the most beautiful song I had
ever heard. I looked around to see who was making that music, but realized
that no one else in the room could hear it. Then I looked up on the walls
for speakers since the sound came from above my head, but there were none!
It became clear to me that I was hearing angels sing.
With joy in my heart, I went forward to the
altar and asked to be prayed for. I told them I wanted to be free from
the demon that harassed me, and that I wanted to be baptized in the Holy
Spirit. They prayed over me in the name of Jesus for the spirit to leave.
I felt something change inside, and then in my mind I heard a voice beg
with fear, "Please don't let them make me leave. I will be good to
you from now on, I promise!" But I thought back, "NO", and then I
felt it break apart and leave! Then as they continued
to pray, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and prayed in another
language. Afterwards, I had no trouble reading my Bible!
Of course my mother and stepfather were furious.
They decided not to let me have any contact with my new friends.
They kept me a virtual prisoner for the next six months, while they tried
everything they could to break me, and get me to stop being a Christian.
I would not have believed their level of hostility could rise any further,
but it did. I was careful never to preach to them. In fact,
I avoided them as much as possible, but they went out of their way to provoke
a confrontation. They would ask me a question, then explode in anger
when I answered. Bruce's rages lasted for up to five hours, as he
cursed me and my friends with every vile curse he could invent. When he
tired, Mom took over. I had removed all my occult books and studies from
my room, and told the poltergeist to leave my room in the name of Jesus.
Soon afterwards my Mom became very angry because the spirits complained
to her that they could no longer get into my room. So she burned
my Christian books and hid my Bible, forcing me to read their books instead.
But God enveloped me with a new strength and
love that was not my own. As the Bible says in II Timothy 1:7, "God has
not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind."
Expressions of love to them made them even further enraged and more frightened.
Finally, Mom threw me out of the house and
I went to live with my brother and real father. I was worried that
my Dad would believe the lies she told him about me, but after the first
month he said that what convinced him most was the cold, heartless manner
in which my Mom parted from me. "Frances used to be nice when you
kids were young," he said, "I don't know her now." Over the years,
her family began to ask me and my brother questions, for she had become
hateful to them too at times.
Bruce and Mom moved to the state of California
and became part of a small cult called "Unarius." One of my cousins joined
them there--and nearly died because she refused medical treatment for a
condition that aliens from another planet were supposed to heal. Bruce
lost large sums of money because he gambled on UFO landings which never
came to pass, but to this day Mom denies what they were involved in was
After they joined the New Age Movement in California,
my stepfather became a respected minister of a Universalist church.
Occasionally, Bruce would send me letters full of threats, curses, and
horrible predictions which never came true. One of those letters
gave a burning sensation to the hand of the first person who touched
it. He never could accept my forgiveness, and remained convinced that I
hated him. He and Mom proudly wrote books and sent papers about their occult
ministries to her relatives. Eventually, they sent a video tape to
my mother's family of my stepfather's T.V. interview about the healing
center' he was attempting to build. They saw the sad display of a once
intelligent man, who now spoke in contradictions and twisted logic!
A few years after making this tape, Bruce died of a heart attack.
He left my Mom penniless and in great debt due to his failed healing
My stepfather believed and followed everything
his spirit guides' told him, and he began this 'healing center' project
because of what the 'spirit guides' told him through a medium (now
called 'channelers' in the New Age Movement). One of their friends
wrote to me, blaming his death on the medium which told him this advise,
stating the medium must have not heard well from the spirits.
She had no answer for me when I told her what she did not know: these
'spirit guides' were making similar promises through other 'mediums' years
ago, all through my stepfather's life.
The New Age Movement is nothing new. It includes
the basic teachings of spiritualism, which teaches that we are gods within
ourselves and can control our own destinies. This is what attracts people
to it. They rely on spirits for guidance on what to do in their lives.
But I know from experience that these spirits are liars, and do not have
our best interests at heart! Christians also rely on God for
guidance, and I also know from experience that God does have our
best interests at heart!
It is true that we have a "soulish" power within
ourselves. However, throughout history man has proven he cannot be trusted
with any power that is meant to be submitted to God. "Absolute power corrupts
absolutely." Anything we don't surrender to God is automatically given
over to the god of this world, whom Jesus calls "the father of the lie"
and "the evil one."
We are created in the image of God, and our
greatest power is the God-ordained power of choice. We have the right to
choose between good and evil, loyalty to God or to Satan, eternal life
or death. He gave us the freedom to reject Him, even though He never rejects
us when we seek Him sincerely and with humility. "I count all things to
be loss in view of the surpassing joy of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish
in order that I may gain Christ." (Philippians 3:8)
It has been almost twenty years since I decided
to turn to God's ways instead of Satan's. I have never regretted this decision!
I began a whole new life when I accepted Jesus and gave my life to Him.
He has healed my mind of the terrible damage done by my parents and the
occult. He has replaced hatred with love because He is the God of Love,
and turned my sorrows into joy. God has given me a sound mind instead of
fear, just as he promised he would, and so much more! It is because
of God's love for you that I write this account for you, exposing the pain
of my past for the sake of your soul. I have played with the fires of the
occult and have been burned. But I am thankful that I have stumbled in
the darkness and have known true evil so that I could recognize the true
light, who is Jesus, and I can tell you about the difference between a
life lost in the darkness of the occult, and a life found in Him!
How about you? Will you be a friend of God,
too? God himself says, "They that diligently seek Me shall find Me."
(Proverbs 8:17), or will you get lost in the twisted maze of the occult,
and lose your soul in exchange for so little?
And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each
of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your
sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise
is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the
Lord our God shall call to Himself." (Acts 2:38-39)