Friday, July 9, 2010

Demons or horrifying sleep disorders?

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Many of you who have been following my blogs and learning about me might already know that about 15 years ago I became an atheist, but for the four years prior to that time I was a Pentecostal evangelist. I had  my own ministry where I and a partner would preach on the street corners every Saturday and Sunday and oftentimes I was invited as a result of that to preach in many of the local churches where I resided. My specialty as an evangelist is what is known as a deliverance ministry, and basically what that meant was that I was good at exorcising demons from those that were believed to be possessed by them. I did not use and fancy books or incantations just simply the "word of God" and the power of the "Holy spirit" which at the time I believed resided within me and fully worked through me.

During those days I had read over 60 books on demonology, and had searched the scriptures diligently for what I termed were power verses that affirmed my power through Christ over  demons. Demons were very real to me in those days and because of some of the experiences I had there was no one who could convince me otherwise. I used to have this experience sometimes when I slept at night where I would feel as if someone sat on my chest and had put put their hand over my mouth to keep me from screaming. When this first began to happen I was told by the elders of the church that these were demon attacks in retaliation for all the souls that were being saved as a result of my ministry. I took this explanation hook line and sinker and began to pray fervently whenever this occurred and to my surprise it would work the force that seemingly held me paralyzed in my bed unable to scream for help and unable to move would go away immediately.

After I left the church four years later one of the first things that I set out to do was to try and find a logical explanation for those experiences I had had and was continuing to have even after I left! Another aspect of these experiences I forgot to mention was that I would hear also either a growl or even a voice insulting me and it seemed like it was coming from something whispering in my ear right next to me. These were very frightening occurrences and so I decided to dig a little deeper to find out if these kinds of things happened anywhere else or had been recorded in some form in history. To my surprise my search was not in vain I was astounded to find out that what was described in ancient times as incubus and succubus spirits and the symptoms recorded in history to an attack by these spirits were very similar to what I was experiencing. You can read a little about them on Wiki here is a link to get you started:

Incubus (male) and succubus (female) were believed to be spirits or even demons if you will that sought to have intercourse with mankind and were even believed to have the ability to impregnate women who would later give birth to a half human  half spiritual being called a cambion. I personally experienced all of the symptoms described in the legends regarding a succubus. I had an erotic dream that felt very real and resulted in my having an orgasm as I slept, I have had the experience of feeling an invisible force laying on my body in the night and I was powerless to do anything physically to break free, and I had auditory experiences where sometimes it spoke to me. So after I found out all of this information I took my research to the secular realm and began looking into sleep disorders, and once again to my surprise I found one that actually explained the very so called supernatural experiences I thought I was having.

The condition is called sleep paralysis or the more severe form of the same disorder is called in some circles hallucinatory sleep paralysis, if you are interested you can read a little about it in wiki at:  The symptoms described in the latter of the disorders were the exact same ones that I had been experiencing. This research led me later to discount the existence of Satan, demons, or malevolent forces as nothing more than like God a creation of the fertile imagination of mankind to explain those things which they could not explain.

I think if I was living in the dark ages and this thing got out I would be tried and tortured by the lovers of Jesus and "truth", and finally; burned at the stake. Many were murdered courtesy of the church during the witch hunts not just in Salem,Massachusetts but all over Europe as well.


  1. .... I see no reason in this... You'd have to attack every instance both inside and outside Christianity in order for your thesis to have any academic merit. If you want to be an an atheist do the work and don't tell me what your opinion in is, do the academic work.

  2. Wow! You've just described my experiences, and I too thought it was satan. I was brain-washed into thinking this as I was very 'into' converting souls. I've now been diagnosed with sleep apnoea and have had none of the episodes. I'm not an atheist, and am grateful that I've not 'thrown out the baby with the bathwater' as the saying goes! I still believe in God, but not all that stupid crap! Mind you, I had 2 years of counselling to get it out of my head. God is a loving being and does not bring fear. Well, that's my philosophy anyway. I cannot accept that he will cast all the other religions into the eternal fire of hell either, as they are who they are, because of where they are born. God is a loving being and I still pray everyday (I just can't 'get' this big ban' theory. However, I also don't go along the lines of the 'born again' theory either. I've always believe in him. How dare some 'christian' tell me that I'm not a true believer if I don't say the prayer of repentance? Every day of my life I've asked God for forgiveness when I'm out of order. That's a daily acceptance of me acknowledging I'm a sinner. Rant over.

  3. Chatpilot - Too often Christians will think :"I have no explanation for this it must be GOD (or the devil...or angels...or...or...or...)

    You have done a terrific job of demonstrating that reasonable explanations lie behind strange events that happen.

    To Anonymous - It was nice to read that you were able to gain from Chatpilot's story...too bad, however that you had to dash your credibility by ranting on and on about your imaginary deity.

  4. @ Dan I have done the research and read many books on this matter. If you want academics go to college I am basically describing my experience and what my research has led me to believe.

    Thanks billy, I too am glad that I can help others with my past experiences to understand what they believe to be supernatural as natural.

  5. brother, I did go to college, Thats why I am a little taken at your lack of citation
    your avoidance of arguing against the archeological and academic evidence that is opposite you. I was taught that good intellects always cite, always are aware of the arguments against and are able to combat their opponents counter arguments. Thats

  6. @Dan considering that this is a blog and not meant to be a place for me to teach or get too deep into my studies, I don't find citing too necessary. As I stated before my research is a combination of personal experience and academia. I don't like to cite too many sources because this research has been ongoing since I left the church a little over 15 years ago. Most of my sources are classical books and writings from prominent atheists and free thinkers.

    I have never turned down an opportunity to face my detractors and am always open to anyone who can prove me wrong. That is as long as they are willing to put all of their preconceived ideas and prejudices aside.

  7. That's awesome man. I love having conversations like that!

    I still think it would wise to cite. and mention the arguments against and how you would deal. You're right is is a blog, but its a blog centered on the idea that reason, and intellect gives merit for not believing in God. If thats true and you want to give weight to your argument it would help me and others so much if you did these things. See brother its not your conclusion I have an issue with (well I do a bit) but what gets me more is HOW you arrive there. If you want me to believe this really about reason please show the work
    It would help me so much because although I totally respect your personal experience and I can't argue with it I can find others whose personal experience is similar to yours yet they had a different outcome. (like CS Lewis)
    For example I had a really positive experience with Christianity. Nothing was ever hidden from in regards to all the contradictions in Scripture and I was encourage in church not to shy away from them but to engage them. and based on my personal rational intellectual purusit having dealt with all the issues atheists bring up and ready to deal with the idea that I might be wrong, I have come to the place where I can say from a rational / not emotional point of view that I think something called God exists.
    So when I read your blog and you say based on your experience that Christians shy away and don't think, at least in my personal experience thats not true. Christianity has along history of academia and reason.
    This is why if you want me to hear you, I need more than your personal experience, because everyone's is different. Thats why as someone who want to intellectually engage in this conversation needs more than your experience and what you think. I need to know that when you say its based in reason and intellect, it really is reason and not your emotional or personal experience which is may influence your reasoning. I need to know that if youre arguing that Reason and intellect prove that the idea of God is outdated that its pure reason and not your presumptions based on your experience that is interpreting your data. If you don't do this I feel like you're doing the same thing you say Christians are, just arguing from personal experience and emotion rather than pure thought.
    The best way for me to know that is to know that you've really done it that you've read what others have said that you deal with how academic Christians have dealt with the issue you have brought up. That shows me that it really is reason and nor your personal experience. Having said that if you still think you want to argue from personal experience then great! but pls don't call it reason, call it personal experience but at least then I know where you're coming from

  8. Point taken Dan. As a theist I was just as studious as I am now, I have read hundreds of books written by theists and hundreds more written by atheists. I have used rationalism as a means to come to my own conclusion regarding the existence and non existence of God. One thing I have always thought was an advantage for me was that I have had experience as a fundamental christian evangelist and have been exposed to a lot of the "supernatural".

    It is my opinion that you can't completely discount experience, although any experience you may have may only be completely subjective. But in the case of demonic attacks at night and sleep paralysis I don't think it was much of a leap to come to my final conclusion. Most medics who have researched this phenomenon also refer back to the ancient beliefs and those that were once tied to religion.

    Throughout my studies I have tried to find a rational explanation for all of my personal experiences that I at once believed were supernatural. That is where it all began for me, but I have later determined that I am completely convinced that God does not exist.

    The issue of Gods existence is something that will never be proven to the complete satisfaction of everyone involved in the issue. The sheer number of christian sects is a testimony to that. You are all reading the same bible and coming out with your own ideas or concepts as to who or what God is.

    Also, I have read all of C.S. Lewis's works when I was a christian. Thanks for your input and I hope to be hearing from you again soon Dan.

  9. What I find so hard to believe is that, after reading about what a dedicated Christian you and Billy B. were, how you two ever came out of the religious smog that was permeated in your brains, that in itself, was a miracle. And now you two seem to be dedicated to dispel those beliefs, which I admire.

  10. To Dan,

    The problem with the Bible is with the time at which it was written. The people that wrote the Bible,(sheep and goat herders) had no medical knowledge about sleep apnea, nor sleep disorders, nor did they have reason to.

    The people who wrote the Bible, attributed everything unknown to them, to either a god or a demon, because that was the satisfactory answer for people at that time.

    The sun above is really our only god, because without it, every living thing on earth would soon die and we all take it for granted that it will always be there, just as there are also billions of other suns out there in the universe, some of them millions of times larger than our sun, do you believe a god just made one sun and for us to worship him and his son?

    There are billions of other galaxies similar to our galaxy, do you believe a god made billions of galaxies with billions of suns just for us to worship him and his son?

    The Bible is not the word of a god.

    The Bible was written about a god that people once believed existed, but could not prove. That is why it takes so many lies and exaggerations to try to prove something exists, that does not exist.

    That's why there are so many religious sects as Chat pointed out, because the Bible was written by men and what they were told was true and what to believe thousands of years ago.

    We've all been wrongly led to believe the Bible is true, and it is not.

  11. @Steven Bently;

    I can't agree more, and about that the sun is our only true god, man that's the best thing I have ever heard or read!, that's something that never occurred to me. Another thing, there are millions and millions and keep going the millions of galaxies that exists and that all of them of what I know have solar systems like ours and we actually have found a lot of other extra solar planets. So don't tell me that we are the only ones here. Just knowing that our solar system it's just a dot in our Milky Way galaxy and there are millions of other dots in it, it can't be rational to think that we are here alone.

    For all those who are still in the bubble that God exist, just let me tell you that it's all in your mind, that's why everyone have a different perspective of God, a different point of view. We create God how we want to, in a way that fit us better. What about the miracles and answers from God? They are just simple coincidences of life. How is that possible? Well, for example, suppose that you pray for a signal from God, then out of nowhere an airplane passes across you. What are you going to think or to do?, compare that like an answer from God; "thank you God for that signal", or what if you pray for that signal from God then you just don't get to see any at the time. what are you supposed to think or believe? That you should wait, because that's how God wants you to be, to be patience so you can get a signal from Him. Then out of nowhere something amazing occurs to you. What are you going to think?? "That was a signal from God!" That's just pure coincidence!

    Even if you have prayed or not, it was going to happen anyways. We tend to omit the good things that happen to us in most cases, but when we want something from God, then that good thing that happened, it's going to be from God.

    -God is man-made-

    What I'm trying to say is that Christian people compare everything, any event that happen in their surroundings as the God's will. If it's good, it was God, if it's bad it´s from the devil or it was God testing. Come on! They are in a bubble and don't want to accept that life itself it's just random, full of oddness and coincidences.
    We don't decide, we can't decide what nature(life) have to give to us. We just have to deal with it.

    I myself have been around christianity since childhood. I've always been curious about how everything work. So I've been deciphering how this Christianity thing really works, and I kinda finished deciphering it like two years ago from now, but I'm still in the work. So I'm someone who comes from that area, and speaks from experience and from analysis.
    -"Faith is the absence of reason."-not mine but it's awesome.

    Last thing, my purpose is to free people from any kind of bubble like christianity and make them feel really free for real. I don't intend to hurt any person's feelings.