This is a little bit hard for me to write and I’m not really sure why, as over the years I have been quite willing to share this strange chapter of my life.
As a child I had good discernment of who was a good person and who was bad and responded accordingly. When I got a bit older, for some reason I forgot how to use my discernment. I think it was because at 17 I gave my life to Jesus and decided it was time to love everybody, which there’s nothing wrong with that. With my new-found faith I became free to enjoy people without my shy mask and went about life being full of much zeal but lacking in some necessary wisdom.
It had been a few years down the track when I got mixed up with a group that, at first glance had me feeling a bit cautious and instead of listening to my gut instinct about them I went along with the ride. I was introduced to this group by friends from Sydney who would come down for weekends to stay in a house next to one of my local friend.
They had met a prophetess who somehow inspired more zeal and excitement for the Lord. Some of them even gave up surfing for six months or one of them cut his hair as a sign of his devotion to the Lord. After about a year of them praising their new prophetess the group decided to evangelise my small town.
They decided to do this at the tail end of the Christmas holidays way back in 1993 (I think). At first I could sense that the prophetess was playing her cards carefully on my behalf because she could tell I wasn’t to be won over that easily. When I look back she was playing a very smooth game.
I suppose that I should explain a bit of what this cult was all about? They were a Christian based cult that took one scripture about demon possession and claimed that everyone was indeed, demon possessed
I will skip to the night where I had my (so-called) deliverance where I thought that I was possessed. I wasn’t going to attend that meeting, however one of my friends who had become a hard-core convert pulled out all of the manipulation tactics and somehow I was convinced to go. When we arrived, there was an evangelist giving a talk and then we all broke up in little groups. I had two young women either side of me praying and giving me instructions on how to breathe. “As the air that you breathe” and as I was doing funny breaths they were praying things like “COME OUT in the name of JESUS”!
Right there, the continuing of mind control which I will say was a form of hypnosis. Strange breathing along side with repeated statements is a recipe to make one suggestible for the next stage. The next stage was when the Prophetess came up to me and placed oil on the palm of my hands. When that happened, I was on the floor like a women possessed, out of control and thrashing about like a child having a tantrum. Whatever demon that they said I had, I would act it out. The process seemed to go forever and I was exhausted and when I thought it was over it I’d go to just sit up and everyone would drive more devils out of me.
After the night had finished my vulnerability to this group had increased dramatically, as I suddenly was bombarded with thoughts like, I need this group. Who else was doing this type of deliverance? No body else understands my predicament like this group does!! That’s called priming someone for isolation. I was also ready for the prophetess to tell me whom I should marry. EEEkkkkk.
The next day I was full of confusion and when I went to prayer meeting at my own church the Pastor began to warn every one of the group which only increased my confusion. I then went and sat on the stair case in the foyer. I prayed to God for help and I asked that he send to me a specific person in the church who I knew could give me clarity. The next minute that person had walked out of the prayer meeting, walked up the stairs where I was sitting and said “So what’s going on?”
The relief was like melting butter. We talked. She said lots of good things about love and reminded me of scriptures that explain how this group was not doing God’s will. After that, our youth pastor gave us (by then the whole group who had attended that night were gathered) the same scriptures and reminded us how much we were loved by our church. Our then Pastor also joined us and prayed with us. The aftermath happened with love and care and I was able to overcome my experience without too much damage.
Days after my true freedom experience I had to confront someone from the cult. It was difficult as I had to kick them out of my house but necessary as I am not a slave to man I am a child of God.
As I reflect upon this experience I know that it made me wiser, it caused me to trust my discernment, I realised that not everyone who claims that they know Jesus Christ actually knows Jesus Christ, it created a stronger desire to read the word of God and it made me more compassionate for those who are trapped in abusive relationships or situations.
I know that I follow a loving God who does not use manipulation or control as we have all been blessed with a free will. I do not give up on meeting with other believers as the bible instructs and I test the spirit with the word of God so that I will never be trapped by a man made lie ever again.
If you can identify with this story and are worried about yourself or a loved one please reach out to your local church or if you need more intense help I have connected some resources below.