My Journey From Darkness Into Light:
"Revival" Memories Of A River And Deliverance Survivor
by an anonymous Christian and Alan Morrison
Originally posted on the Diakrisis.org website by Alan Morrison
Written in 2002, the story goes on today.
I want to share with you a most harrowing but true story of one woman's experience in a well-known church in the U.K. (when she was a worship leader there) which was hit by the "Toronto Blessing" in 1994 and also her treatment by a high-profile so-called "deliverance ministry". In case you think that this is all 'old hat' and rather out-of-date, I hasten to add that what commenced at that time is still going on unabated to this day and is still deluding and damaging a great many people. It is by no means an isolated set of circumstances that we will read about in this story but is all too common in my ten years of experience of counselling a multitude of folks who have escaped -- or are in the process of escaping -- from the most appalling church situations imaginable.
The dark spiritual activity which began at that time -- and which hugely accelerated the degradation of churches and of the witness of the true gospel -- has not in the least abated but instead has consolidated itself into a position of respectability and strength in the wider evangelical scene.
However, I don't just want this to be yet another "horror witness" concerning the madness which takes place today in the name of Christ. I also want it to be an opportunity for us to grapple with the issues so that we are clear where we stand and can stand on that solid ground when confronted with those who would oppose. Therefore, at the conclusion of the lady's story below, I shall return to expand some teaching and encourage further thoughts on the issues involved.
It has been a long hard road for this lady to extract herself from the clutches of these fiendish deceptions. In fact, she has paid a high price with her health and is now permanently disabled. She has given her permission and encouragement for me to send this out, and to make some apposite comments. So read on, and I shall return at the conclusion of her story...
Descent Into Darkness
Originally, I was in the New Age but it was mixed up with the church we were in, my family and inherited "gifts". No one told me they were wrong. My Dad was brought up in a spiritualist church and was introduced to many dark things by his mother, who was a spiritualist medium. He got "saved" just before I was born at a Billy Graham crusade in London. However, he still continued with his spiritualist activities, like being on the prayer list of a famous Medium, whose name was Harry Edwards, if I remember correctly.
My Father loved dark scary stories and was always getting the vibes from buildings. I learnt how to seek out cold buildings and try to find out the history of the place by laying my hands on them. My sister and I followed in our Dad's footsteps.
When we got into ESP (extra-sensory perception), I was able to make things happen like getting people to trip over. I could even predict events -- always bad ones! My sister and I perfected it. We practiced for hours. We would send messages to each other from the other side of the world and write them down and compare them when we got back.
I could astrally project. I could practise levitation. My sister and I practised these to a fine art. I became a very frightened person, always looking over my shoulder feeling I was being watched. As I closed my eyes at night, I always saw death, rotting corpses and other horrible things.
I gave my life to the Lord in our local Baptist church but still continued with all that. It was the time period of Uri Geller, when many things like this were popular on the TV. At the Youth Club after church we would talk about these things and do the Ouija Board in church. At school we would do levitation and put the desks together. We used to lay someone down on the desks. We all fought for this position. Then we would chant sickness over them. Each one more horrific than the last until we pronounced they were dead. Then we would levitate. One day it was my turn as usual and as they said I was dead, I had the most horrible experience. I was suddenly at the gates of hell and fire was all around. It was the most terrible thing I had ever experienced. I jumped off the table and vowed never to do it again.
A few years later, I was working at a Christian publishers in ******* . In the lunch hour I would go to the packing room and look through the discarded books which had their covers on upside down or pages missing. Many were from America. They were all about the Baptism in the Holy spirit, healing and deliverance. I read them avidly. I loved to read. Also there were tapes on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. One night I was in my bedroom and was desperate to have what these books said I could have. I wanted to know how to pray better because I found it so hard and my Christian life was dead. Suddenly, I was taken over. I was scared as I couldn't remember my name or even speak English. I felt my mouth bubbly and my tongue tingly. I was in another world. This went on for hours.
The next day I went to work and went to see the Director of the firm who was a Pentecostal. He called me in and I told him what had happened the night before. He was so thrilled and said I'd been Baptized in the Holy Ghost. This "language" wouldn't go away. It just kept on bubbling out. I had to keep going into the ladies toilets and put my hand in front of my mouth. This went on for months. I tried to use this conjunction with the other gifts in the Holy Spirit but when I tried to pray my head spun round fast inside and I felt like I was on a merry go round. I was confused. Meanwhile, my sister had started at University and the same thing happened to her too. Later, it happened to my Mother and Father. I repented of my Occult past and did not do any of these things again. I eventually realized that these things were Evil and not natural gifts which man had forgotten how to use.
"Power" became very important in our Christian churches -- a must-have for charismatics. Everyone was reading John Wimber's book on "Power Evangelism". We then heard about the church starting in ******* and were amazed to see these things start happening there.
One strange thing happened to me on a leaders training day in ******* . We were all on the floor getting out our fishing rods to haul in the lost. The music was getting louder and people were exhibiting bizarre manifestations. Suddenly I was pinned to the floor. I couldn't get up and I was being transported through the clouds at breakneck speed. I knew this was astral projection, as I used to do in my occult days. So I cried out to the Lord to save me and I came back from the astral projection and I could get off the floor. I told some others about this and they said it was great that the Lord was taking me through the Universe and I should just go with it.
As the years went on we were told from the front of the church that these things were normal. People were thrown off chairs. We were told to take our heads off and not think any longer but to "drink in the Spirit" and to "jump into the river". So we did. Chaos had come into our church. Our real introduction to "it" came when we got drunk -- not on alcohol but on the manifestations which we experienced.
Because we had small children we took turns to go to the leaders' training meetings. That night it was very hot and all the windows were open in this ground floor room. I walked in and wondered what on earth had happened. I had not experienced it until this evening.
I saw the guest speaker sitting on a metal stool, blind drunk -- a "drunkenness in the spirit". His face was puffed out, really large. He was waving his arms at a man outside on the street shouting at him with unintelligible words. When he pointed his hand at people in the room, they did somersaults backwards and ended up on the floor unable to move, drunk with this "spirit". Others slithered across the floor. I thought to myself "The answer is to not look at this man", because as soon as his eyes met yours you were gone. It wasn't just pointing - it was eye contact. So I decided not to look at him.
Others were convulsing all around me. Some were shooting each other with bows and arrows. There were no chairs so I had to sit on the floor. People were rolling fast across the floor. I ended on my back when our future Pastor rolled over my neck with his body. I cried out to the Lord as I thought I was going to break my neck. I didn't, but it hurt. One lady was beating her chest like King Kong. At the time I thought, "what is she doing?". She was beautifully dressed and behaving like an animal. I could see some women were very shy of all of this because they had dresses on and ended up indecent.
It was then that I made a mistake. I accidentally looked at him and he looked at me. He then said "Let her have it Lord!". Within seconds, I was a gibbering wreck, unable to walk or talk. My body felt like it was swelling up. I started to laugh uncontrollably and everyone was rolling over me -- arms, faces, legs. I knew enough to be cross inside that it had happened to me, but I could do nothing about it. Eventually, I crawled to the door to try to get out. Outside it was dark and I saw the headlights of a car coming towards me. I thought "I'm going to be killed and there is nothing I can do". I was rescued by my future pastors, who took me home. They were thrilled that I could get under the "anointing" so quickly. It lasted for days.
Then, on Sunday my husband got 'zapped' by this man. At this stage, it was popular for them to zap the soles of your feet with the microphone. People went under quicker through the feet. That night, my husband drove us home with his head on his steering wheel totally drunk. From now on, it was easy to get into this experience. If anyone pointed their finger or laid hands on us, we were gone.
It was at this time that we installed the Christian Channel Europe in our home. There was programme after programme where you could get zapped if you were already under this power. From then on we were completely initiated into the "Toronto blessing". It was August 1994.
In May 1995, we lost our drummer in the church band. He was killed by a bridge when he stuck his head out of a window of the train. He was 16. The week before this, we had experienced a visitation of angels, which of course then took us up to another spiritual notch.
Week after week we would have hands laid on us for power. The more noise you made, the more the speakers were pleased and the more they gave you. If you sat in the corner and did not get "blessed" you were thought of as awful. Often you would get chased and oil would be thrown over you.
At one leaders' conference we attended they kept on throwing oil at us. I remember going to the ladies with others and washing our hair in the sink to get it off, plus our clothes were stained with oil. At this conference one lad was singled out as being very anointed because he made lots of noises and jerked and was thrown off his chair a lot. We were told to collect round him and get it off him. So many ended up in a heap on him. Most ladies didn't.
Every Sunday we were told to obey our Pastors and not question them. Also we were not allowed to go home and ask the Lord if it was okay for us to do a particular task which our Pastors might have asked us to do. Several times during the services we had altar calls to come out and come under their "anointing" and for other things too.
My husband had been very unhappy for a long time and felt it was wrong so he left, which caused me much unhappiness. He joined an Anglican church with our son. So my daughter and I were left going there. I was finding the hours tiring with my daughter and with the constant pressure from my husband at this time against it. I thought as he led me into it in 1994, it has to be right. He had got it wrong, I thought. But there were many nagging doubts in me.
One Sunday we had Benny Hinn's brother, Henry, come to speak, so everyone was very excited. He told us off because our pastor was away and someone had dared to park his car in his place. He was furious and told us so. It got late. It was about 11.00pm Sunday night. I was exhausted and so was my 5 year old daughter. He said that no one must leave or it would "break the anointing". He was watching everyone. So I crept to the back with my daughter on my back. It took awhile and was hard work with my 5 year old on my back with me. We got to the back of the warehouse and managed to phone my husband to say we were on our way because of the lateness. I was very scared that Henry Hinn would stop me from leaving but I think he missed seeing me.
Meantime, as the keyboard player in the church band, I had a microphone to sing into. One song we were singing was composed by one of our people. It was entitled "Put the Roar Back". "Put the roar back, roar back, put the Lion of Judah in your hearts, then we'll take back, take back"... basically taking everything back which we were supposed to be entitled to. Money, prosperity, gold of the nations, health and wealth.
So we roared like lions with open mouths, screaming and shouting. It was then after a morning service that I had severe pain in my jaw and it wouldn't close. I went to accident and emergency at hospital and they diagnosed it as dislocated . So the doctor, in front of students, showed how to dislocate and undislocate a jaw. I was screaming. He said it was fear and that I should stop worrying.
Over the next week I had a dental appointment which I went to. My dentist said she could not treat me because I couldn't open my jaw. She rang the hospital and I saw a specialist that day and had an MRI. It showed it was severely degenerated. I slept for 9 months with a band round my jaw and head because of the terrible pain. Meanwhile I started getting excruciating pain in my right hip. I had X-rays and they said it was osteoarthritis.
Because of the pain I decided to step down from being music leader and sat in the congregation instead. It was there that the Lord opened my eyes. One day a lady came and prayed for my hip and jaw and really went at it. I lay on the floor and she shouted at it for ages. She made a man with cerebral palsy get up and push his own wheelchair. He was in agony. I was very upset by this.
I saw the pastor's anger get worse. We had many famous speakers come from America who you can see on the Christian Channel. One Sunday we were told we had a man coming who was special. The man told our pastor that we weren't to come in the evening unless we were prepared to do what he said. We were scared but still went. He was the man that prophesied over the leaders of the Christian Channel to put it into being. Jonathan David - a Malaysian who had changed his name. The evening came and all the chairs had gone. The music was deafening. We were put through a series of movements to the music. "Move to the left and then to the right. Call on the Spirit to give us more." This was a process lasting an hour. Then we were ready. He was going to take us into the "throne room".
My mother was with us and she started to cry. Her dead mother and father appeared to her to take her in. They were both Christians and had died a while ago. I was not happy with this because we were not allowed to see our dead relatives and I always thought that demons could do this. Eventually, this stopped and people were in a state of great delusion. I was in the middle of these people. About 500 of us. I decided to push my way to the front of the crowd to get a better look at this man. I was about 10 feet away from him and I wanted to see what his eyes were like. I looked at him and he was very scary - very evil looking. I thought how come there is nothing in him that looks like Jesus. Jesus wouldn't look like this. He then got all the leaders of the church and prophesied over them.
By now I was a nothing in the church, having my husband step down I was ignored and I was no longer in the music. Some of the words for the people were quite bizarre, like "you'll be known for your healing ministry and you will dress in long velvet flowing robes". My sister and I were there and that evening we reflected over the past week's events. We said that if he had asked people to jump from the balcony they would have. Our eyes were even more opened.
People may think "Just get out of there, what's wrong with you?" But we had been under this "anointing" for so long that we were trapped in it. It wasn't that simple. My use of the word "anointing" is not flippant. For it was definitely an "anointing" of something. But what?
Finding The Light
I'm not quite sure of the year. It was Easter Sunday morning, 1997 or 1998. I had come to the realization that it was all truly wrong and that I had to leave. I had come to realize how manipulative the sermons were. The Lady Pastor shouted at the start of the service. "There is a bad atmosphere in here and someone is causing it. Someone is stopping the anointing". Gulp! I knew it was me because I had known for a long time and had stopped going forward to catch the "anointing". She ran towards me and screamed "IT'S YOU!" She pushed me and I fell back on a lady who jumped forward to catch me. We were thrown several feet and I landed on this lady. I got up dazed not remembering what had happened but feeling upset. I sat down and the music was deafening. I saw this lady sprawled out on the floor crying in agony, who at the time I did not know had tried to catch me. I was told this later by other witnesses. Many were furious and left over this thing.
I went over to this lady, who was now lying on the floor. She was crying in agony. She explained to me what had happened. I couldn't believe it. I prayed for her but her pain was great. She said she needed an ambulance. So I went up to the Pastor and told him. He said "never! No one goes out of here in an ambulance!" so he carried on. Meanwhile I went around asking for help and found someone and we got together with others and decided to go against the Pastor and ordered and Ambulance. When it came the men were Christians which helped a lot. She was X-rayed and found to have broken her back and was in a hairs breadth of being paralysed. It had gone into her spine and just missed the spinal chord by as much as a hair.
I visited her in hospital and felt devastated. I was told that I'd done it but had no memory of it which was worse. I felt very responsible for her agony. Of course the Pastor blamed me because I was blocking the "anointing". In fact, I now saw the truth and realised the deception. However, I still carried on in the church as an observer. But the Lord had started to show me bit-by-bit how dangerous it all was.
One Sunday I decided to see if they'd let me back in the music group. I thought perhaps I can change things for the better! I was allowed back, but as second fiddle. It was during a music practice when I realized that I had to escape. I was the main keyboard player that evening. We had a famous guest who was joining our church. A musician who now is in a famous church in London and has appeared on the Christian Channel. Drums played an important part in worship. We were practicing songs and each time we had to get to the stage where we had "arrived". We were either screaming, barking, groaning like giving birth or laughing hysterically. The ultimate quest was to be stoned, blind drunk in "the spirit".
This day it was the Lady Pastor. We had two. It was a husband and wife team - both Pastors.
She said that we were getting nowhere, so she started to bash the drums to a beat. This went on for ages while I had to jam in the back ground with guitars while the others roared in tongues. As the beat got more furious she started to sound like an American Indian going round a totem pole. Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo... She was making the sounds with her hands on her mouth. By now I was feeling horrible in my spirit and I asked the Lord to forgive me. She said we can take any sound and sanctify it.
I knew now that we were summoning up spirits. I decided to make an excuse and leave. I went home and told my husband who had left nine months before that I must soon leave that church altogether. But the pull was enormous. While chatting to others I realized many felt the same way but were far too scared to leave because we were cursed with death if we left the anointing. The pastor said that he would bury us within three years. So you can imagine how scared everyone was. This statement was not a one-off - it was week after week after week of indoctrination about leaving the anointing.
The next Sunday morning I was not playing the keyboard and sat in the service when the drums were thumped to a beat for ages. It was horrible - like someone was being prepared for sacrifice. I got up with my daughter and walked out shaking all over. We went to a shop and bought some chocolate to calm my nerves and caught a taxi to my husband's church. He was so surprised to see us. However, they would not leave us alone. There were phone calls and visits. It was horrible. I walked the streets with my daughter in fear - scared to answer the phone or door.
Every Sunday at the Anglican church I found it so different. It was like a culture shock. I couldn't trust anyone or anything. They sang modern songs and as soon as they sang anything like the other church's songs I felt myself go under the "anointing". So did my husband. We had to try very hard to stop it. It took about a year. We were prayed for in the Anglican church and this helped. They never got into the "Toronto " thing.
About six months later, a friend from the old church said that we had been publicly cursed for leaving the church and that no one was allowed to speak to us. They said that we were evil and very dangerous. I just burst into tears.
We had contacted an organization that supposedly helped people who had come out of these churches. So we sent a letter telling her how scared we were. She then put our story on the internet but she didn't change the name of the town or our own names. A member of the church saw it and told the Pastors and that was why we were publicly cursed. I was so scared. Within months, my husband was in hospital with an embolism but by the grace of God he survived. One other man died in the church and others had mental breakdowns plus brain illness. I later went down with Meningitis and still greatly suffer now as a result of it.
Spiritually we did not know what to do. We didn't even know if we were praying to the real Jesus anymore, or if it was a false Jesus. We had forgotten how to be a normal Christians. We had learnt to roar in tongues every morning for years and rely on this anointing, hardly ever reading our Bibles. So we went back to the AV and little by little came back going up and down on the way and almost giving up. But my grandma's Baptist hymn book saved me really. The old tunes and word were in my memory deeply. This is how I came to know the real Jesus - this is how I will get back to being normal again.
Now I was very ill, unable to care for myself at all. Meningitis had hit me badly. I started to read Joni Erickson's books. Only a bit at a time because I couldn't read properly at first. I realised the real Jesus wasn't far away. I asked for forgiveness and to be washed clean.
It's been a great trial to come back. In our town is a Bible book shop which only opens if you press the button because it's more a place to store stuff and a place where they teach. They are old Reformer types and they had some video tapes on the Toronto Blessing by a man called Alan Morrison! I hired them and watched. I was amazed and he helped open my eyes. He also mentioned Ellel Ministries with which we had been involved (about which more is below), but had also eventually left. I chatted to the people in the shop who were very helpful.
When I found Alan Morrison's Diakrisis website, it dawned on me slowly that he was the same man as the one in the videos. I am so grateful for that site! However, the truth is that I will never be the same again. My husband has never got over it and can't even talk about it. He is not the same man. It had damaged us in so many ways and our son too, but my daughter was too young to be really affected by it. Life is hard now being so ill and not being able to care for my family. The Lord is merciful and is showing me the truth. The 1990s were a nightmare for us and the year 2000 started with meningitis, leaving me with permanent brain damage.
I would hate others to suffer like us. Alas, many do and are still suffering. Others are now being hooked on the Christian Channel. It is so easy for people to be manipulated en masse through that medium.
My Ellel Grange Experience
Because it was also one of the major influences in that dark period of my life, I want to share with you my nightmare experience with the "deliverance" ministry called Ellel Grange. I am telling you this because I think it is important that others realise the truth about this place. In 1991, I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband and I had heard that an organization that had a healing and deliverance ministry was setting up a branch in the South of England in a huge manor house. We were very excited as both of us had bad backs.
There was a meeting about it, which we attended. I went forward to be prayed for and they said I had a Kundalini spirit on my spine (Kundalini is a kind of snake of coiled energy in Hindu spirituality). They said it was not right to pray much now but they "bound" it and told me to see them when I had had my baby when they were properly installed at Glyndley Manor.
1992 came and I gave birth to my daughter. I decided to go for an interview with them. There were two ladies who asked much about my childhood. They arranged an appointment with a couple. This was to be one of many lasting about six months, going to all the conferences they had there and experiencing the ministry. Most of the sessions I attended with this couple lasted from 10 o'clock in the morning till 9 at night. I was exhausted by the end of each session. Basically they were taking me back on one side to the Valkuries in the Northern hemisphere. They had apparently thrown their babies over a cliff and aborted many and their souls were trapped in my body. They got me to visualise these things and I started to see them. It got very scary.
On another side there were flying carpets! Yes! Going back to the Far East. Before long, I had hundreds of demons which they were expelling every time. It got to the stage that if they'd have said "Marks and Spencer" I would have had it.
By now they said there were covens in the spirit world around me and power points through which they were getting into me. They had talks with people above them and it was decided that I was in such a bad state that I needed to go to their other healing centre at Ellel Grange in the North of England. So a time was set for me to go: July 1993. That was about three weeks away. So when the time came, I said good bye to my 10 year old son, toddler daughter and husband, and off I went.
When I got there, I was told that I was the second person to have this type of ministry. The Director had done this to one lady and she had then done it to another woman. Then there was another, who couldn't cope, but they thought I could. I arrived in this wing off the stables. It was built for this purpose. It had a kitchen, lounge and one bedroom and bathroom. I was to have one lady sleep in the same bedroom as me. The man who had been counselling me at the South of England branch had also come to stay in the Grange and came to all the meals and sessions with me.
It was like a mental hospital. I was locked in and only allowed out with two people with me. All meals were served on my lap from the Grange kitchen. Most ministry did not get going till 10 p.m. at night because the main counsellor who had had this done to her by the Director was a night person, so I was told. I was not. They said I had many children trapped in me from various stages in my childhood. Each night they bound them down until they were ready to come out. I soon realized that If I didn't co-operate I would never get free of these people and this "mental hospital". The main thrust was I had to get in touch with my anger. Large pillows were provided. I had to get into a mode where I was thumping them and then my anger would be released.
At about 10 p.m., under the personal instruction of the Director, a pork chop arrived on its own on a plate which I had to eat in front of everyone. By now there were three women and two men "ministering" to me. All accept one of these people collapsed themselves and exhibited strange manifestations and it was mayhem. It was just like a really crazy mental hospital. The only relief was the beautiful walks in the grounds and by the river -- but of course there were always three of us. One of them even had to stand outside the toilet waiting for me.
It came to a climax in the third week. I had bruised and bleeding elbows, hands and knees. I had not reached where they wanted me to go. This night the lady in charge started to bully me intensely to make me react and fight back. I just kept on collapsing in hysterics on the floor. Hour after hour this went on, bullying, name calling, pushing and shoving. Still I kept on crying and ended up in a heap. Then the worst thing happened. She climbed on top of me pretending she was going to abuse me (I had been abused in my past by a woman and she knew this). I simply couldn't take anymore. I was confused and very scared. So, at about 3 a.m. in the early hours I snapped and went for her. She was thrilled. I'd finally made it. They took a photo. I was sweaty and horrible.
The next day they finished it off.
They said they would hold a children's tea party for the children in me. They did so, and invited another man who was to be a little boy at my party who had also exhibited manifestations and had the little children in him too. I had to regress and have fun like a child. I actually felt like one. It was weird. Then they called them all out, starting at age three. They then asked each child who was behind until I'd grown up.
The next day they said I'd finished and the doors were unlocked. Meanwhile it seemed that there were problems with my counsellors. Some were in tears when I saw them. There were words. Three days passed and I was ignored and left to myself. I then asked the man who had brought me up there, who had counselled me with his wife, what was going on. Apparently, they had all been in trouble with the Director because of the way the ministry had gone on and that even the counsellors were exhibiting manifestations.
I drove home the next day feeling vulnerable, and that was that. A few weeks later, I went to an open day at Glyndley Manor and was told that heads were rolling over the way my ministry was carried out. The Director then apologised to me via someone else. They stopped this ministry and carried on with it in a less intense way. Meanwhile my husband had ministry with them and was very unhappy with the way he was taken back several generations. We came straight out of all this into the large Toronto Blessing church which I wrote about in the previous section. Out of the frying pan into the fire. In 1998, we left that church and tried to get help. It was suggested that we try Ellel Grange again, because they said that had improved! So I did and then received similar ministry. Soon after this I contracted Meningitis, resulting in brain damage, and my husband was also rushed into hospital with an Embolism.
We are now in a Baptist church and three months ago I went up for prayer. The same man who took me up to Ellel Grange was there in our church in a ministry position. He talked with me and said that he still ministers and teaches at Ellel. He then told me that my meningitis is caused by part of someone's spirit entering me who I had contact with in the past who had meningitis. Of course this was the Lady Pastor in the previous church. She recovered quickly though. Here we are now, confused and vulnerable but determined to be free.
I am continually reminded of the past and don't seem to be able to escape from it. Here is an example, which happened yesterday while I was out with my daughter in my wheelchair. I had to get her some new school clothes for the start of the Autumn term. At the shop, I met a lady who was in the large charismatic Toronto-type church we used to belong to. She looked at me in horror and said "You're not still in that wheelchair are you?" She then grabbed my shoulder hard and said loudly "It's not Gods will for you to be in there. You shouldn't be in there". She then very harshly told me that it is never God's will for anyone to be sick, that I must be healed and then started to tell me about "another" man coming to their church who had a healing gift. Her spirit was so harsh and uncaring. So I grabbed her arm which took hers off mine and said that at the moment it is God's will for me to be in the wheelchair. To which she shouted "Never!" with such disdain.
The shop we were in was very crowded and I was getting very hot. I was aware of people listening. I then tried to explain that the Lord loves people and cares for the hurting and disabled people and that I am now reaching them. I told her that the Lord has softened my heart towards sick people. Now that I'm one myself, I have an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to them. I said I may never be healed. She then just hissed with mockery. I wanted to move away because I was very upset but I was determined not to. The abuse was terrible.
I said that at one time I used to find wheelchairs annoying if they were in my way, but not anymore, and that the Lord had allowed me to be sick to show me things. She was furious and laughed mockingly. I said He loves sick people and that there are so many hurting Christians who have been to so many meetings and are still sick. They are really hurt and need grace to get through each day. I said that I need the Lord's help to get through each hour and that I have a lot of pain in my body. She was amazed and said "Have you?!" I said that the sick need love more than anything, and peace and quiet. She then turned her back on me and walked off angrily. Last night I could not sleep and had terrible palpitations on top of everything else. My husband prayed for me though.
As I reflected on this unpleasant meeting, I wondered if she and I are talking about the same Jesus!
I'm praying that some of my conversation may help her to understand those who are ill in church and not mock them when they are not healed. Maybe it was meant to help her. I don't know if it will, but it did hurt me.
Commentary By Alan Morrison
I'd like to make a few comments after that awful tale, which almost beggars belief, if one isn't already aware of the real extent of these activities. You may think that the events described above are extreme and not very widespread. But that would be a mistake. I have counselled many hundreds of people with a similar experience during the last 10 years. There are so many who come to churches for help and succour only to find themselves subjected to such an onslaught, which often lasts for years. Why should this be?
Before I attempt to answer that question, let me first say that the churches and people and institutions mentioned above are widely regarded as respectable in the evangelical scene in the U.K. today. (And even where they are not, no one dares to speak out against them for fear of being branded as "divisive to the Body"). That they should be regarded as respectable is an insult of the highest order to Christ and a sure sign of the decadent state of the church in the world today. It is taken for granted that such "deliverance ministry" is on a par with the casting out of demons practised by the Lord Jesus Christ. But they are as far apart from each other as one could imagine.
What possible biblical basis could there be for people calling themselves Christians to put curses on others calling themselves Christians simply because they disagree with them or because they leave their church? The whole idea is not only bizarre in the extreme but it is utterly pagan. One only finds such terrible activities in the worst kind of black magic. How anyone could do such a thing and imagine that they are a Christian is quite extraordinary.
And a further question is begged here: Could such curses uttered in these churches be effective from an objective point of view? Only insofar as the people being cursed believe it to be so. I do not believe that these perverted people uttering the curses have any objective power whatsoever over genuine Christians. Believers have the assurance that "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:13). They have the assurance that "He who has been born of God keeps himself [i.e. guards himself against sinful behaviour], and the wicked one does not touch him" (1 John 5:18). Believers have the assurance that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Why did the lady who wrote the above story fall victim to Meningitis? Was it the result of a curse (which is no doubt what some people and the pastor involved in her former church will believe)? Was it the result of "part of someone's spirit" entering her who she had contact with in the past who had Meningitis, as the Ellel Grange counsellor told her recently? Not at all. We must not believe any of that hocus-pocus for a moment! I can't think of any more irresponsible explanations than those that this lady has been given by these so-called counsellors, which are more suited to pagan superstition and the Grimm Brothers than biblical exposition and godly counsel.
The most plausible explanation for her contraction of meningitis is that the horrendous stress and abuse inflicted on her by her spiritual guides over the span of a decade -- much of it spent imagining that she had hundreds of demons, spirits of the dead and phantom children inside her -- made her body weak and vulnerable to infection. I think the same is true also for her husband's embolism. I would agree with her own courageous analysis that it is God's will for her to be in that wheelchair at this time. However, the future may hold all sorts of wonderful surprises in store for her, and we must still pray for her healing.
On that note, I want to present four definitive statements here about illness, disability and the Christian -- and may they ricochet around the cosmos and deafen the ears of those who teach otherwise! Those statements are:
Definitive Statement No.1: Every single one of us is permanently disabled in many different ways in this life".
Definitive Statement No.2: Every single one of us is going to die from illness or degenerated body tissue".
Definitive Statement No.3: God does not want or expect everyone to be continually healthy, wealthy and happy".
Definitive Statement No.4: God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes, but always with the proviso that He is working "good" for the believer and making us more like His Son
It is necessary to stress these statements today, because there are very many professing Christians who foolishly think that illness or disablement or hard times or suffering or distress are all signs of a lousy relationship with the Lord or disobedience to Him or quenching the Spirit in some way in our lives. But here I want to make an impassioned personal response to the events mentioned in the lady's story above.
To teach that Christians should not get sick and that they have a right to permanent healing in this life is to teach a kind of perfectionism, and represents a serious misunderstanding of biblical anthropology (human nature in the wake of the Fall) and soteriology (the process of redemption). The Bible clearly shows that "the whole creation groans" (Rom.8:22), and that even we "who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves", and have to wait for "the redemption of our body" (Rom.8:23) until the time that "the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom.8:21). This is very basic Bible teaching about the process of redemption in the cosmos.
Sickness exists because we live in a fallen world, and the Christian -- even though he or she is a part of the perfect world to come, i.e. is now in the kingdom of God -- still exists in this fallen world, with all its problems and obstacles, and still has to decay and die in the physical realm. Because of that, it is true to say that we are ALL disabled in this life, to a greater or lesser degree. Some people can't use their legs, some can't use their brains, some can't write properly, some can't make head or tail of a problem staring them in the face, some can't exist without a cigarette (a real disablement!), some can't bring up their children properly, some can't read or write, some can't understand William Shakespeare, some can't fly a kite, some can't tell the difference between good and evil, some can't see with their eyes, some can't see with their hearts.
We - even we Christians - are ALL disabled to a greater or lesser degree and yet, in spite of that, we complement each other and must help one another. Understanding this truth would save a lot of heartache in the churches today. If it was true that God doesn't want us ever to be ill and that we have a perfect right to full health, then that proves too much because then it must surely follow that He doesn't want us to die and that we should just have eternal life right now. But even the Christian must die, and most will die of sickness, and many will suffer a painful lingering death, no matter how faithful or weak they have been. Fallen body tissue degenerates. That is the fallen nature of humanity and the world in which we live. The difference is - as the expositor Matthew Henry so ably put it - that "for the unbeliever, death is the end of all joys, and for the believer death is the end of all griefs".
The truth which these people just will not accept is that believers have to wait for the after-life in order to experience full health and prosperity (Rev.21:7). As Augustine of Hippo put it in his heading to Chapter 19 of Book XXII of his book "The City of God":
All bodily blemishes which mar human beauty in this life shall be removed in the resurrection, the natural substance of the body remaining, but the quality and quantity of it being altered so as to produce beauty
Until then, we will have to endure wheelchairs and crutches, fillings and screws, appendectomies and medicinal brews. So far, we have only experienced the Kingdom in its grace, but not yet in the fullness of its glory. That awaits us beyond this life.
Certainly the Lord wants us to be happy (in the highest sense of "blessedness", as the Greek word makarios imports, Matt.5:3-11 & Rev.1:3, etc.); but His idea of our happiness may be (and almost always is) vastly different to our own. So often, we see our happiness from an 'instant gratification' standpoint, whereas the Lord views our happiness from a long-term perspective. He knows (whereas we don't) that our ultimate happiness (blessedness) may involve sitting in a wheelchair or getting knocked down by a car or being imprisoned, ostracised, tortured or even being killed. Oh how little we understand! Oh how much we want to superimpose our petty minds on the vast plan of God! All those spiritual pigmies with their "healing" and "deliverance" ministries are actually working against the Lord's will rather than carrying it out, and are (from a human standpoint) undermining His true labour.
This is why I can confidently state that "God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes". For this is how He moulds us into being more like Christ. If you deny that, then read Heb.12:3-11 and Rom.8:28-29. If you deny that, then read about the experience of so many saints in history who have suffered persecution, extended torture and finally martyrdom (cf. Heb.11:32-40). Was their experience a sign of their lack of faith? To imagine that the Lord wants everyone to be healthy, wealthy and happy always in this life is to miss entirely the deep things of God. The froth of charismania and Toronto-style experience goes hand-in-hand with the superficial teachings of the Word of Faith movement.
How is it that these churches -- or cults, as they should properly be called -- and these so-called "healing centres" are allowed to remain in existence? If they were running a hospital, a therapy institute, an elderly person's home, a day-care centre for the handicapped, a children's home or some other social agency, and carried on these practices, they would soon be held up on disciplinary proceedings and removed from their office in disgrace. Some of them may even find themselves to be the subject of criminal charges.
As for Ellel Grange -- or "Hellhole Grange", as it is properly called by those who understand its true origins -- it should have been razed to the ground years ago and its workers arrested on criminal charges or made the subject of numerous civil lawsuits claiming damages for harassment and emotional distress. In the U.K. newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, March 8th 1992, even the wife of the Director of Ellel Grange said that it is "a dangerous place", claiming that "what he [her husband] is doing is as dangerous as the occult practices he preaches against". In a BBC documentary which I have in my possession on video (Everyman, 1995), Steven Pockson, a former trainee counsellor at Ellel Grange, spoke of how he came to be accused of having a "demon of lust" and was subsequently assaulted by the staff there in a bizarre "deliverance" ritual. He spoke of the way that the Director (who is also the co-compiler of a leading modern hymnbook used in most of the churches in the U.K.) is obsessed with demons and sees them in everyone. Most telling of all, this former counsellor at Ellel Grange said:
"I have nothing but disgust for these methods. I certainly wouldn't recommend them or condone them as Christian practice in any way. They're intrusive; they're violent; they're impolite at the very least. And I don't think they are helpful. I'm aware of a number of people who are still suffering the psychological effects of this type of counselling."
Some years ago, I received a letter asking me to withdraw some derogatory comments I had made publicly about Ellel Grange. It contained more than a hint about possible legal action. I refused to withdraw those comments, and I still do so today. Actually I challenge them to sue me right now! It would be a great work for Truth to go eyeball to eyeball in a court of law with these charlatans. I welcome the opportunity. I would come to court armed with reams of documented evidence from all the abused people I've counselled over the years proving that Ellel Grange and similar outfits are a blot on the face of the earth and have harmed far more people than they may claim to have helped with their phoney and entirely transparent catharsis therapy, not to mention their fanciful (and harmful) theories about demon-possession coming down the generations as a result of some sin or occult activity in the lives of one's ancestors.
A number of years ago a conservative politician in the UK spoke of what he called "the unacceptable face of capitalism" - a reference to the corruption and chicanery which goes on at the heart of many financial institutions. Surely we also need to speak out publicly about "the unacceptable face of evangelicalism", as so many people calling themselves "evangelical" support, condone, endorse and even attend the cultish churches and healing centres which have become such a widespread feature of modern-day church life.
Why is it that these religious perversions are allowed to continue? They are not only an affront to the name of Christ - whom they claim to represent - but they are also incompatible with a civilised society. What they have done to this lady, and others like her, is nothing short of criminal. How come the perpetrators of this malevolence have not been locked up in prison or put in a mental hospital, where they can no longer harm people and abuse them spiritually and emotionally? Why, years later, are they still in practice and raking in money for the purchase and upkeep of huge mansions and estates?
Two answers come immediately to mind:
1) The victims are so exhausted and intimidated by real or implied threats of being cursed that they feel unable to approach the police or lawyers to file complaints;
2) Many rich and influential people are involved in this mayhem (even Anglican Bishops have been on the board of Ellel Grange), which thus affords it a measure of protection and brings in the cash.
However, while those two answers may explain, from an earthly standpoint, why they have been able to proliferate so successfully, there is, I believe, another, deeper aspect to the presence of these cultish churches and movements, and it is this: The whole thing is a sinister shadow of wickedness instigated by dark powers in the heavenlies and their emissaries on earth intent on destroying the credible witness of the church. Surely, as the power of darkness comes into the ascendancy at this extraordinary point in history, we will see the unfettered growth of these chaotic "churches" and destructive "healing centres".
Our job, therefore -- yours and mine -- is to expose them for what they are, both journalistically and theologically, and to offer a hand of rescue to those caught in their miserable grip. There are many suffering at the hands of these "ministries" who have serious doubts about them, but they are too fearful to voice those doubts openly. If we publicly provide a gentle path for them to make their exit, their courage will be supported and their journey made easier.
May the Lord help us to do so...
Yours, in the cause of God and truth,
© Alan Morrison, Diakrisis International, 2002
ALAN MORRISON is a Baptist minister who established Diakrisis International originally in 1990 to acquaint believers with the importance of Christian apologetics, to provide written commentary and public speaking on a wide range of topical, doctrinal and pastoral issues, and to hold out a hand of rescue to those who suffer psychological and spiritual manipulation in the religious scene. Rev. Morrison has, since the publication of this on his website in 2002, shut the web site down to engage in a church planting project in France. We have adapted an email containing this Christian woman's testimony for usage in this article and did not omit nor insert a single word into this truly terrifying and yet avowedly true story.
While Spiritwatch Ministries does not endorse his views on an end time conspiracy theory that links a shadowy network of occult organizations promoting a globalist New World Order, Rev. Morrison's work in discerning this strange fire burning in the Pentecostal and Charismatic world is highly recommended. RM
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