By Thomas Horn
I begin my latest DEFENDER VIRTUAL CONFERENCE presentation on this subject by asking “What in the [other] world is going on? A 14-year-old boy and young girl of the same age were recently charged with the murder of a 73-year-old senior citizen, who they beat to death with a traffic cone in Philadelphia.
“Around the same time, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. That same day, he shot his grandmother in the face at her home.
“And then there was 21-year old Robert Crimo, who now faces seven charges of first-degree murder in connection with the Highland Park, Illinois, July Fourth parade killing of seven people and the wounding of dozens more. An investigative report by Gateway Pundit[i] uncovered that Crimo had connections with the occult that could indicate he was guided by unseen forces” such as described in the entry below.
This list of people including kids killing others has exploded worldwide in recent years. But what is behind this? Is it all mental disease, some dark spiritual influence, end-times developments (what my late friend Russ Dizdar called ‘The Black Awakening’), or all of the above?
In the previous entry, now deceased veteran radio minister and my good friend Dr. Noah Hutchings mentioned some of the famous convicts that, over the years, have sought spiritual guidance and prayers from the Southwest Radio Ministries. These include David Berkowitz (a.k.a. the Son of Sam), John Hinckley Jr. (who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan), and Charles “Tex” Watson (former member of the Charles Manson “Family” who was convicted of first degree murder in the 1969 deaths of Sharon Tate, Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca). The Southwest Radio Ministries has for many years provided books, inspirational calendars, and other materials to prison chaplains in hopes of leading prisoners to salvation and, as a result, are often sought for counsel by desperate souls seeking forgiveness. I’m including this information in this series because whereas Satan is a murderer and has been since the beginning (see John 8:44), we believe deliverance from his clutches and forgiveness of sins committed under his influence are available through Jesus Christ. If one were to ask those felons mentioned above how their life of crime began for which they now seek spiritual forgiveness, they would point to that darkness, which is increasingly rampant in today’s cultural romance with all-things occult, as discussed earlier in this series. These men would describe how it started in their youth, when they somehow sought out, and began listening to, the angel of death.
In an article from Raiders News Network (now known as SkyWatch TV) that I wrote nearly two decades ago, I attempted to illustrate what can happen when taking in the whispers of this dark fallen angel. The feature in questions was titled: INSIDE THE VIOLENT MIND OF THE “ANGEL OF DEATH”. In it I discussed how:
On Monday, March 21, 2005, 17-year-old Jeffrey Weise, a junior at Red Lake High School in Red Lake, Minn., went on a shooting spree that killed nine people and wounded 15 others at the school. He then turned the gun on himself, committing suicide.
The shootings were the worst attack of this type in the nation since the 1999 Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colo.
“A preliminary investigation indicated the suspect apparently first shot his grandparents, then went to the school where he allegedly shot a security guard, exchanged fire with police officers and opened fire on other students before killing himself,” said a report on the hometown news, WCCO-TV.
“Paul McCabe, an FBI special agent, said 10 people are confirmed dead: the suspect, five students, a female English teacher, a male security officer and the suspect’s grandparents.
“The teacher was identified as 62-year-old Neva Rogers, according to the Star Tribune. The paper identified the security officer as Derrick Brun. The identities of the students have not been released.
“Six wounded students were admitted to North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji, Minn. between 4:22 p.m. and 4:50 p.m., doctors said Tuesday. All were male and under the age of 18, doctors said.
“One was admitted with a head wound and later died, Dr. Joe Corser said.
“Two were critically injured and transferred to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D. for treatment. One was shot in the head and the other was shot in the face, Corser said.
“Those students, who remain in critical condition, are identified as Jeffrey May, 15, and Steven Cobenais, 15.
“Three wounded students remain at North Country Regional Hospital, doctors said Tuesday. Corser said two were shot in the chest and one was shot in the hip. Their identities were not released pending FBI and parental authorization,” the report went on to say.
The Associated Press reported Weise may have posted messages last year on a neo-Nazi Web site calling himself “Angel of Death” and expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler.[ii]
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Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
But Whose Voice Would Fill a Young Person’s Mind with Such Violent Intent?
In 1998, when defense attorneys argued that seventeen-year-old Kip Kinkel—who, like Jeffrey Weise, entered his school on a shooting rampage—should not spend the rest of his life in prison, it was because Kinkel reportedly “heard voices” telling him to commit murders. During sentence hearings, Dr. Richard J. Konkol pointed out that “holes” in what is normally a smooth surface of Kinkel’s brain reveal conditions consistent with schizophrenia. When defense attorney Mark Sabitt asked if this would make a person “more susceptible to a psychotic episode,” Konkol responded, “I think it would.”[iii]
Kinkel pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and twenty-six counts of attempted murder in the May, 1998 shooting rampage in Springfield, Oregon. Kinkel’s parents and two students at Thurston High School died as a result of the attack. Twenty-five other students were wounded.
“My dad was sitting at the (breakfast) bar,” said Kinkel. “The voices said, ‘Shoot him.’ I had no choice. The voices said I had no choice.” Kinkel testified that after he killed his parents, he was instructed by the voices to “Go to school and kill everybody.”
Murderous voices first began speaking to Kinkel at age twelve when he got off the school bus and was looking at a bush. The bush said, “You need to kill everyone, everyone in the world.” Kinkel believes the voices came from the devil, a satellite, or from a computer chip implanted in his head by the government.
Like Kinkel, Jeffrey Weise felt compelled to shed the blood of innocent people, and then to kill himself. How could such notions enter the mind of a young boy? Perhaps the same way notorious “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz claims “bloodthirsty voices” commanded him to kill. According to Berkowitz, a convert of Christianity, a six-thousand-year-old demon named Sam communicated through his neighbor’s black Labrador retriever instructing him to carry out the murders. Berkowitz was subsequently diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, a disease in which the person often hears pejorative or threatening voices separate from their own. Both Kinkel and Berkowitz were known to read pornographic and violent depictures of torture and murder. It appears from the initial evidence that Weise enjoyed the ponderings of mass murderers as well.
Schizophrenia is an accepted diagnosis of mental disorder, and we cannot underestimate the positive contribution of such science. However, many Christians, including Christian psychologists, believe the causes of violence in people suffering physical and mental illness can, in some cases, be connected to violent images and stories in popular media. Some believe curable and incurable conditions (like schizophrenia) should be approached both scientifically and spiritually during diagnosis and treatment. This presupposes a psychological influence of supernatural evil in some cases and applies a literal interpretation to the words of Jesus that the evil one is “a murderer” (John 8:44). Satan’s violent autosuggestions influence the mind that rejects the voice of God and fills it with “envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice” (Romans 1:29).
Early cultures often interpreted such difficult psychological expressions through dark metaphysics. In Greece, Dionysus was the intoxicating god of unbridled human passion. He was the presence that is otherwise defined as the craving within man that longs to “let itself go” and to “give itself over” to evil human desires. What a Christian might resist as the evil thoughts of the carnal man, the followers of Dionysus embraced as the incarnate power that would, in the next life, liberate mankind from the constraints of this present world, and from the customs which sought to define respectability through a person’s obedience to moral law.
Until then, worshippers of Dionysus attempted to bring themselves into union with their god through ritual casting off of the bonds of sexual denial and primal constraint by seeking to attain a higher state of ecstasy. The uninhibited rituals of ecstasy (Greek for “outside the body”) supposedly brought followers of Dionysus into a supernatural condition that enabled them to escape the temporary limitations of the body and mind, and to achieve a state of enthousiasmos, or, “outside the body and inside the god.” In this sense, Dionysus represented a dichotomy within the Greek religion, as the primary maxim of the Greek culture was one of moderation, or, “nothing too extreme.” Yet, Dionysus embodied the absolute extreme in that he sought to inflame the forbidden passions and murderous thoughts of the human mind. Interestingly, as most students of psychology will understand, this gave Dionysus a stronger allure among many Greeks who otherwise tried in so many ways to suppress and control the wild and secret lusts of the human mind.
However, Dionysus resisted every such effort, and, according to myth, visited a terrible madness upon those who tried to deny him his free expression. The Dionystic idea of mental disease resulting from the suppression of secret inner desires, especially aberrant sexual desires, was later reflected in the atheistic teachings of Sigmund Freud. Thus, Freudianism might be called the grandchild of the cult of Dionysus.
Conversely, the person who gave himself over to the will of Dionysus was rewarded with unlimited psychological and physical delights. Such mythical systems of mental punishments and physical rewards based on resistance and/or submission to Dionysus, were both symbolically and literally illustrated in the cult rituals of the Bacchae (the female participants of the Dionystic mysteries), as the Bacchae women migrated in frenzied hillside groups, dressed transvestite in fawn skins and accompanied by screaming, music, dancing, bloodletting, and licentious behavior. When, for instance, a baby animal was too young and lacking in instinct to sense the danger and run away from the revelers, it was picked up and suckled by nursing mothers who participated in the hillside rituals. However, when older animals sought to escape the marauding Bacchae, they were considered “resistant” to the will of Dionysus and were torn apart and eaten alive as a part of the fevered ritual.
Human participants were sometimes subjected to the same orgiastic cruelty, as the rule of the cult was “anything goes,” including rape and other acts of interpersonal violence. Later versions of the ritual (Bacchanalia) expanded to include pedophilia and male revelers, and perversions of sexual behavior were often worse between men than they were between men and women. Any creature that dared to resist such perversion of Dionysus was subjected to sparagmos (“torn apart”) and omophagia (“consumed raw”). In 410 BC, Euripides wrote of the bloody rituals of the Bacchae in his famous play, The Bacchantes:
Bacchantes [with] hands that bore no weapon of steel, attacked our cattle as they browsed. Then wouldst thou have seen Agave mastering some sleek lowing calf, while others rent the heifers limb from limb. Before thy eyes there would have been hurling of ribs and hoofs this way and that, and strips of flesh, all blood be-dabbled, dripped as they hung from the pine branches. Wild bulls, that glared but now with rage along their horns, found themselves tripped up, dragged down to earth by countless maidens hands.[iv]
Euripedes went on to describe how Pentheus, the King of Thebes, was torn apart and eaten alive by his own mother as, according to the play, she fell under the spell of Dionysus.
The tearing apart and eating alive of a sacrificial victim may refer to the earliest history of the murderous voice of Satan. An ancient and violent cult idea existing since the dawn of paganism stipulated that, by eating an enemy or an animal alive, or by drinking their blood, a person might somehow capture the essence or “soul-strength” of the victim. The earliest Norwegian huntsmen believed this, and they drank the blood of bears in an effort to capture their physical strength. East African Masai warriors also practiced omophagia, and they sought to gain the strength of the wild by drinking the blood of lions. Human victims were treated this way by Arabs before Mohammed, and headhunters of the East Indies practiced omophagia in an effort to capture the essence of their enemies.
Today, omophagia is practiced by certain voodoo sects as well as by cult Satanists. Eating human flesh and drinking human blood as an attempt to “become one” with the devoured is, in many cases, a demonization of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. But sparagmos and omophagia, as practiced by the followers of Dionysus, was not an attempt of transubstantiation (as in the Catholic Eucharist), nor of consubstantiation (as in the Lutheran communion), nor yet of a symbolic ordinance (as in the fundamentalist denomination), all of which have as a common goal—the elevating of the worshipper into a sacramental communion with God. The objective of the Bacchae was the opposite: The frenzied dance, the thunderous song, the licentious behavior, the murderous activity, all were efforts on the part of the Bacchae to capture the “voice” of the god (Dionysus) and bring him down into an incarnated rage within man. The idea was not one of holy communion, but of possession by the spirit of Dionysus.
BUT WAIT! IS THERE AN “EVIL GENE”?
I should also mention here that modern scientists increasingly believe genetics play a greater role in human and animal behavior than was previously believed, and that this may include a kind of “evil genetic combination” that leads to lower inhibitions involving criminal activity and murder.
In an article for Florida State University actually titled “The Evil Gene,” Frank Stephenson considers research from his university as well as the University of Connecticut, where scientists are analyzing the DNA of spree killers. The first line in Stephenson’s paper suggests what the professors are looking for when it asks: “Could a monster be swimming in the human gene pool?” The good researcher approaches his study from a Darwinian foundation, stating:
In ascending the evolutionary ladder, humans obviously failed to inherit from their hairy forebears inhibitions against using lethal force against members of their own species. The bizarre “ghoul factor” of sadistic psychopaths like [Ted] Bundy aside, humans’ historic willingness to slaughter each other wholesale in war and genocide offers compelling evidence to some scientists that in the genome of some humans lies a fully armed biochemical code for the gamut of aggression, from kicking the dog to killing the wife.[v]
In tandem with Stephenson’s speculation about an evil “biochemical code,” recent years have produced considerable advances in DNA research, with one of the more popular new fields called behavioral epigenetics. This is the “darling of genetic studies,” my biologist friend Sharon Gilbert tells me. It seeks to examine and understand the role that genetics play in shaping animal and human behavior, cognition, personality, and mental health. Epigenetics may occur during life or begin in the womb when chemical changes brought on by the mother’s activity affect the genetics—and thus perhaps the future behavior—of the child. That these modifications may become heritable and passed from one generation to the next has some scientists wondering if “evil genetics” or toxic combinations of specific genes may be linked to aggression and antisocial behavior in the succeeding generations of some families. If so, this raises an intriguing question I will not develop here having to do with bloodlines and a second question that I will pose regarding the potential for a blueprint or “special” genetic combination that could exist in which individuals can be programmed or reprogrammed to act in defiance of normal human consciousness (having a soul). Not to get too far off subject here, but this appears to have been the estate of the and Nephilim genetically manufactured or altered by fallen angels, which are depicted in ancient records as bloodthirsty, violent enemies of God’s people who never once had a conflict of consciousness or sought forgiveness for their brutality. Genetically engineered with a specific cellular combination by powerful fallen angels (whom the Sumerians called “flying geniuses”), these remarkable living constructs, not made in the image of God, were specifically designed for demonic inhabitation.
But did the Nephilim also represent a repeatable, dark, molecular model?
Given that Jesus said (see Matt. 24:37) the end-times would witness a return to the activity that happened when Nephilim first walked the earth, and today for the first time since those days men have intentionally set out to genetically modify plants, animals, and humans, is it possible that we have entered a reprise of the “days of Noah” in which a genetic hazard could be or already is being unleashed that may result in a global pandemic, a Nephilim-virus!?
There are numerous scenarios—all based on real science—that envision an “event” that could, in effect, modify epigenetics worldwide and thus hypothetically the mind and makeup of all but those who would be protected by God. In theory, this might suddenly and effectively diminish the ability of the sufferers to feel empathy toward others.
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Is China Attempting to Impose a Communist Regime Across the Entire Globe?
Stanford and the Lucifer Effect
Another fascinating connection to entertaining the Angel of Death’s whispers and perhaps unknown to some readers is a most notorious experiment that took place in America more than forty years ago. Commonly referred to today as “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” in 1971, a group of student recruits participated in a study at Stanford University, where they were instructed to act out roles of detainees and guards in a makeshift prison in the basement of the school. What resulted in the test was an unexpected and almost immediate breakdown in normative social behavior that illustrated such astonishing cruelty on the part of the participants that it was quickly shut down, leading the organizer and director, Professor Philip Zimbardo, to embark on a larger quest of discovery regarding how “the majority of us can be seduced into behaving in ways totally atypical of what we believe we are.”[vi] The program graphically illustrated that, given the right set of circumstances, a majority of people are capable of monstrous inhumanity against others. The Wikipedia entry on the Stanford Prison Experiment explains what happened:
Participants were recruited and told they would participate in a two-week prison simulation. Out of 70 respondents, Zimbardo and his team selected the 24 males whom they deemed to be the most psychologically stable and healthy. These participants were predominantly white and middle-class. The group was intentionally selected to exclude those with criminal background, psychological impairments or medical problems. They all agreed to participate in a 7–14-day period and received $15 per day (roughly equivalent to $85 in 2012).
The experiment was conducted in the basement of Jordan Hall (Stanford’s psychology building). Twelve of the twenty-four participants were assigned the role of prisoner (nine plus three alternates), while the other twelve were assigned the role of guard (also nine plus three alternates). Zimbardo took on the role of the superintendent, and an undergraduate research assistant the role of the warden. Zimbardo designed the experiment in order to induce disorientation, depersonalization and deindividualization in the participants.
The researchers held an orientation session for guards the day before the experiment, during which they instructed them not to physically harm the prisoners. In the footage of the study, Zimbardo can be seen talking to the guards: “You can create in the prisoners feelings of boredom, a sense of fear to some degree, you can create a notion of arbitrariness that their life is totally controlled by us, by the system, you, me, and they’ll have no privacy.…We’re going to take away their individuality in various ways. In general what all this leads to is a sense of powerlessness. That is, in this situation we’ll have all the power and they’ll have none.”
The researchers provided the guards with wooden batons to establish their status, clothing similar to that of an actual prison guard (khaki shirt and pants from a local military surplus store), and mirrored sunglasses to prevent eye contact. Prisoners wore uncomfortable ill-fitting smocks and stocking caps, as well as a chain around one ankle. Guards were instructed to call prisoners by their assigned numbers, sewn on their uniforms, instead of by name.
The prisoners were arrested at their homes and charged with armed robbery. The local Palo Alto police department assisted Zimbardo with the arrests and conducted full booking procedures on the prisoners, which included fingerprinting and taking mug shots. They were transported to the mock prison from the police station, where they were strip searched and given their new identities.
The small mock prison cells were set up to hold three prisoners each. There was a small space for the prison yard, solitary confinement, and a bigger room across from the prisoners for the guards and warden. The prisoners were to stay in their cells all day and night until the end of the study. The guards worked in teams of three for eight-hour shifts. The guards did not have to stay on site after their shift.
After a relatively uneventful first day, on the second day the prisoners in Cell 1 blockaded their cell door with their beds and took off their stocking caps, refusing to come out or follow the guards’ instructions. Guards from other shifts volunteered to work extra hours to assist in subduing the revolt, and subsequently attacked the prisoners with fire extinguishers without being supervised by the research staff. Finding that handling nine cell mates with only three guards per shift was challenging, one of the guards suggested that they use psychological tactics to control them. They set up a “privilege cell” in which prisoners who were not involved in the riot were treated with special rewards, such as higher quality meals. The “privileged” inmates chose not to eat the meal in order to stay uniform with their fellow prisoners. After only 36 hours, one prisoner began to act “crazy,” as Zimbardo described: “#8612 then began to act crazy, to scream, to curse, to go into a rage that seemed out of control. It took quite a while before we became convinced that he was really suffering and that we had to release him.”
Guards forced the prisoners to repeat their assigned numbers to reinforce the idea that this was their new identity. Guards soon used these prisoner counts to harass the prisoners, using physical punishment such as protracted exercise for errors in the prisoner count. Sanitary conditions declined rapidly, exacerbated by the guards’ refusal to allow some prisoners to urinate or defecate anywhere but in a bucket placed in their cell. As punishment, the guards would not let the prisoners empty the sanitation bucket. Mattresses were a valued item in the prison, so the guards would punish prisoners by removing their mattresses, leaving them to sleep on concrete. Some prisoners were forced to be naked as a method of degradation. Several guards became increasingly cruel as the experiment continued; experimenters reported that approximately one-third of the guards exhibited genuine sadistic tendencies [doing things we will not publish here]. Most of the guards were upset when the experiment concluded after only six days….
Zimbardo argued that the prisoners had internalized their roles, since, even though some had stated that they would accept “parole” even if it would mean forfeiting their pay, they did not quit when their parole applications were all denied. Zimbardo argued they had no reason for continued participation in the experiment after having lost all monetary compensation, yet they did, because they had internalized the prisoner identity.
Prisoner No. 416, a newly admitted stand-by prisoner, expressed concern over the treatment of the other prisoners. The guards responded with more abuse. When he refused to eat his sausages, saying he was on a hunger strike, guards confined him to “solitary confinement,” a dark closet: “The guards then instructed the other prisoners to repeatedly punch on the door while shouting at 416.” The guards stated that he would be released from solitary confinement only if the prisoners gave up their blankets and slept on their bare mattresses, which all but one refused to do.
Zimbardo aborted the experiment early when Christina Maslach, a graduate student in psychology whom he was dating (and later married), objected to the conditions of the prison after she was introduced to the experiment to conduct interviews. Zimbardo noted that, of more than fifty people who had observed the experiment, Maslach was the only one who questioned its morality. After only six days of a planned two weeks’ duration, the Stanford prison experiment was discontinued.[vii]
Following the Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo wanted to continue his research into the dark side of human psychology to decipher under what conditions “it” can be uncaged. His next big opportunity came nearly two decades ago, in April 2004, while on a business trip to Washington, DC. That’s when he saw the American television show 60 Minutes airing images taken from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq of naked detainees forced to simulate fellatio in front of mocking US soldiers. Other prisoners were unclothed and made to lie atop each other; a female soldier was seen leading a naked Iraqi around like a dog, complete with leash and collar, and electric wires were attached to a hooded inmate who was balancing on a small box. Later, it was learned that this type of torture had become sexualized and included examples of a male prisoner being sodomized by a guard using a chemical light and a female prisoner being raped. While Americans were aghast at the images and information, Zimbardo had seen such sadism before, right there at Stanford University years earlier, where his undergraduates had forced fellow students to simulate sodomy, among other things. Although Zimbardo’s “guards” knew their classmates had actually done nothing to deserve the maltreatment, he later wrote, “some…were transformed into perpetrators of evil,” illustrating that “most of us can undergo significant character transformations when we are caught up in the crucible of social forces.”[viii]
In January 2008, Random House published Zimbardo’s impressive yet chilling study on the subject in a book titled The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. In it, Zimbardo, who was called as an expert psychologist to testify during the trial of one of the Abu Ghraib guards, dismantled what happened at that military facility while also reflecting on his earlier Stanford experiment to conclude that wherever conditions allow for what he calls “deindividualization,” the foundations for the towers of evil are laid and a line between good and evil can be crossed in nearly any heart.
Interestingly, Zimbardo actually drew parallels between his findings and the biblical story of the fall of that once-powerful angel named Lucifer:
According to various scenarios of early Christian Church Fathers (from Cyprus, Armenia, Greece, and France), Lucifer was God’s favorite angel.… His sin, and the origin of his transformation into the Devil, stems from his envy of man and disobedience to God… Apparently a cosmic battle ensued in which…Lucifer and the fallen angels were cast out of heaven into Hell. Lucifer is transformed into Satan, the Devil, following his fall from grace.… Thus, “The Lucifer Effect” represents this most extreme transformation imaginable from God’s favorite Angel into the Devil. My work has focused on lesser transformations of human character not as dramatic as this one, in which ordinary, even good people begin to engage in bad deeds, for a short time or longer, that qualify as “evil.”[ix]
Zimbardo went on to describe how, given the right situational conditions, ordinary persons can be transformed from good to evil and will proceed to engage in malevolent activity, even to the point of setting aside “personal attributes of morality, compassion, or sense of justice and fair play.”[x]
Of course, what Zimbardo’s research reflects was revealed beforehand in the Bible, where it says in Jeremiah 17:9 that, “The [unredeemed] heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Again, going a bit off subject, given these facts about fallen human nature, is it much of a stretch to imagine the role the Lucifer Effect will play in this current hour leading up to the reign of Antichrist and his religious followers?
Who’s Really Behind Murder’s Voice Anyway?
When one recalls the horrific rituals of the ancient followers of the god Dionysus, it’s easy to believe that demonic possession actually occurred and modified the mental state of normal persons into murderers. A Christian should find this idea—that demons can turn otherwise normal people into killers, if they give their minds over to evil supernaturalism—plausible, as it seems the Hebrews did who considered Hades (the Greek god of the underworld) to be equal with Hell and/or the Devil. Many ancient writers likewise saw no difference between Hades (in this sense the Devil) and Dionysus. Euripides echoed this sentiment in the Hecuba and referred to the followers of Dionysus as the “Bacchants of Hades.” In Syracuse, Dionysus was known as Dionysus Morychos (“the dark one”) a fiendish creature; roughly equivalent to the biblical Satan, who wore goatskins and dwelt in the regions of the underworld.
In the scholarly book, Dionysus Myth and Cult, Walter F. Otto connected Dionysus with the prince of the underworld. He wrote: “The similarity and relationship which Dionysus has with the prince of the underworld (and this is revealed by a large number of comparisons) is not only confirmed by an authority of the first rank, but he says the two deities are actually the same. Heraclitus says, ‘Hades and Dionysus, for whom they go mad and rage, are one and the same.’”[xi]
Even the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel condemned the mind-altering madness of Dionysus as inherently satanic. He spoke of the “magic bands” (kesatot) of the Bacchae, which, as in the omophagia, were used to mesmerize the minds of men. Where the KJV says, “Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly” (Ezekiel 13:20), we read the following in the NASB translation, “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold I am against your magic bands [kesatot] by which you hunt lives [minds/souls] there as birds, and I will tear them off your arms; and I will let them go, even those lives [minds/souls] whom you hunt as birds’” (emphasis in original).
The kesatot, or “magic arm band,” were used in connection with a container called the kiste. Wherever the kiste is inscribed on sarcophagi and on Bacchic scenes, it is depicted as a sacred vessel (a mind prison?) with a snake peering through an open lid. How the magic worked and in what way a mind was imprisoned is still a mystery. Pan, the half-man/half-goat god (later relegated to devildom) is sometimes pictured as kicking the lid open and letting the snake (mind?) out. Such loose snakes were then depicted as being enslaved around the limbs, and bound in the hair, of the Bacchae women.
The mysterious imagery of Pan, the serpents, the imprisoned minds, and the magic kesatot and kiste, have not been adequately explained by any available authority, and the interpretation of them as a method of mind-control is subject to ongoing scrutiny. However, since the prophet Ezekiel spoke of the efforts of the Bacchae to mystically imprison the minds of men through the magic bands of Dionysus, and since Pan was most beloved of Dionysus, because of his pandemonium (“all the devils”) which struck sudden panic in the hearts of men and beasts, and as the serpent was universally accepted by the Hebrews as a symbol of occult devotion, it can be easily surmised that the iconography of Dionysus represented the most tenacious effort on the part of the Bacchae to fulfill the psychological whims of evil supernaturalism.
Shutting Murder’s Mouth
In Acts 17:34, we read of the conversion of Dionysius the Areopagite. This is significant. Having the name Dionysius probably meant the parents were devotees of Dionysus, and thus the child was “predestined” to be a follower of the god. He may have also been under a mind-altering kesatot spell. Yet, the powers of darkness lost control over Dionysius’ mind when he accepted the Gospel message. Jesus liberated him like He did the lunatics of Matthew 4:24 and 17:15. When Jesus touched the wild man, He left him “sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15).
Jesus is still in the mind-healing business, and testimonies abound of people whose minds were released from murderous madness into His marvelous light. You could—as I did when interviewing him for the bestselling book Redeemed Unredeemable—ask David Berkowitz about this, the former “Son of Sam” killer. David received Christ on the prison floor. “When I finished talking to God, I got up. My mind seemed to flood with a sense of peace,” said Berkowitz. “I knew from that moment that Jesus Christ heard me. I sensed in my heart that I was forgiven and that I was now free.”[xii]
Ted Bundy pleaded for an interview with Dr. James Dobson prior to his court-ordered date with destiny. Bundy appeared genuinely sorrowful on a videotaped interview and acknowledged the murderous effects of past sinful thinking. He asked Jesus to forgive him.
Karla Faye Tucker was the first woman executed in the state of Texas in 135 years. She testified of the mind-altering effect of drugs. On the eve of her execution, CBN reporter Kathy Chiero asked Karla, “Why do you agree to talk to the media regardless of why they are coming to you?” Karla responded, “God has given me a great, big open door to share the love of Jesus and I’m gonna do it…my heart has been to share with the world the love that He poured out into me—the forgiveness, the mercy, the way that He can change a life.”[xiii]
Most of us view such deathbed conversions with skepticism. Last minute loyalties attributed to our Savior in the midnight hour often bring scoffing. Yet, we read of the criminal on the cross next to Jesus and see the Lord honoring his plea for forgiveness (see Luke 23: 42–43). Jesus extended mercy and offered eternal fellowship to every repentant soul.
Perhaps Kip Kinkel—who actually targeted Christians for execution—will discover what David Berkowitz says he has: that the saving power of Jesus Christ is “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).
Jeffrey Weise, the “Angel of Death,” appears to have been lost from this idea.
And one final thought: If you, too, have been entertaining listening to the dark angel—whether through a fascination with creatures of the night, occult practices, satanic symbolism, rebellion, or even murderous contemplation—I invite you to deliverance, healing, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Ask Him to come into your heart, cleanse your mind, forgive you, and be your Savior.
As Philippians 4:8 says: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”
[ii] Thomas Horn, “Is Murder All in the Mind, Or Is There ‘Something’ Else?” News With Views, April 26, 2007, http://www.newswithviews.com/Horn/thomas8.htm.
[iii] “Neurologist Points to ‘Holes’ in Teen’s Brain,” Amarillo Globe News, November 5, 1999, http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/11/05/usn_holes.shtml.
[iv] Euripides, The Bacchantes, anonymous translator, 410 BC, http://nzr.mvnu.edu/faculty/trearick/english/rearick/readings/manuscri/bacchae/bacchan.htm.
[v] Research in Review, http://rinr.fsu.edu/spring96/features/evil.html.
[vi] Alastair Leithead, “Stanford Prison Experiment Continues to Shock,” BBC News, August 17, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14564182.
[vii] “Stanford Prison Experiment,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stanford_prison_experiment&oldid=605102500 (accessed April 21, 2014).
[viii] Edward Marriott, “Torture as Second Nature,” April 28, 2007, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/apr/29/politics1.
[ix] Philip Zombardo, “Who Was Lucifer and How Did He Become the Devil,” Lucifer Effect, http://www.lucifereffect.com/lucifer.htm.
[xi] Walter F. Otto, Dionysus Myth and Cult (Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University, 1965), 114.
[xii] John W. Allman, “Revival Leader Touts ‘Son of Sam’ Conversion,” The Pensecola News Journal, November 18, 1997, http://www.rickross.com/reference/brownsville/brownsville16.html.
[xiii] Mercy Hope, “Life Lessons Learned from a Death Row Inmate,” MercyHope.com, http://www.mercyhope.com/articles.htm.
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