I will start with a brief overview of my journey to Christ. I spent five years practicing the occult in some form; Ultimately, I became a Satanist and formed a coven with my husband. In October of 2008 I was saved and baptized. My spiritual journey has been a long and winding road that eventually led me to pursue a Master of Divinity program in seminary school.
I grew up with a single mom. My father left when I was three; my sister is 14 years older than me so I was mostly an only child. My mother had multiple mental health issues growing up and never got over my dad leaving. As a child, my mother was a Christian; we attended a Southern Baptist church quite regularly. When I was 5 or 6, my mother pulled me aside while we were visiting my grandmother. I remember the exact spot in her living room next to the huge window overlooking the front yard down a long gravel driveway. She told me that if I did not let Christ into my heart, I would burn forever in fire. She had me kneel next to her and led me through a prayer to accept Christ. I was terrified at the thought of the eternal fire; I did not feel Christ in my heart. I prayed multiple times as a child asking him to enter, but I never felt him, and I did not understand why. I was haunted by nightmares about burning in the lake of fire throughout my childhood.
Eventually, my mom became more and more depressed and we stopped attending church. Any time we did attend church or talk about church, it was always a church that was really fundamentalist, judgmental and talked a lot about Hell. Every Christian I knew spoke about the law and Hell and how you should or should not act, or they were just plain hypocrites. I never had a good Christian role model and certainly was never shown the loving side of Christ.
As a child, I remember a lot of unusual things around me. I often felt a presence as if I could sense spirits. I dreamed vivid dreams There were other things that led me to later seek out the occult. In the 6th grade, a teacher pulled my mother aside and said she was “scared” of me and that I made her nervous. This same teacher was an extremely fundamentalist Christian to the point where she did not want to discuss evolution in class nor allow “trick or treating” on Halloween.
To add to that, my mother told me that the other family members thought I was “strange” or “different,” and “selfish.” My mother kept us isolated from nearly everyone. I practically had to take care of her as a child due to her mental health issues. She had me believing that all we had was each other and that no one else cared about us. She always pitted me against my dad when she had financial issues and made me call him up asking for money. By the time I was a teenager, I hated my family. I saw them as living the good life with plenty of money while my mom couldn’t afford to feed us. I didn’t realize that she was in fact spending all her money due to bipolar issues. I started to struggle with temper and rage issues. I became outraged over social injustices that affected my mother. Over time, I think I started to believe that I was alone, strange and different, and then when the demons said I was different because I was special or “chosen,” I started to believe it as well.
I had a friend in high school who was involved in the youth group at another Southern Baptist church, but it seemed to me that all the church ever cared about was homosexuality and abortion. Plus, they openly promoted Rush Limbaugh whom I despised. I happened to be a liberal and I started to feel isolated because of that. It was all about politics, the law, Hell and judgment. I went to the youth group to be with my friend, but it never meant anything as the focus was always on how we should not act, how terrible the world was, and how everyone was going to Hell. One of our Sunday school youth group lessons was about the details of the abortion procedure for instance. This church was the perfect example of a congregation suffering from what Lane and Tripp call the “Gospel Gap” in How People Change. The gospel gap according to Lane and Tripp is a vast gap in our understanding of the gospel which undermines all of our relationships, our decisions, and our attempts to minister to others. This church certainly failed at ministering to me as a youth and instead pushed me far away from Christ.
I did very good in school, and was active in student government and politics. I was a leader and I had the respect of others, but I had no really close friends. My mom smothered me and doted on my so much that I felt guilty not spending time with her. I was nominated as “most likely to become a politician” when senior superlatives came out our senior year.
I attended Cornell University, and loved every moment of it. For the first time, I had close friends. I was very bold and ambitious. I liked to challenge the status quo and question standard beliefs. I enjoyed the attention of a good debate. Whatever I did, I became a leader in it as always. I was not religious and did not really care about it either way. I got my buckets filled so to speak in politics just as I did in high school. Looking back, I believe I started to like the power and crave it more and more. On top of that, I started to struggle more with anger issues.
It was not until after college that I really sought out the occult. I was active in politics and various social and peace movements. During the Iraq War, I became active in the peace movement and for the first time actually really sought out Christ because I witnessed loving Christians in the peace movement. This was the closest I had seen to Christians doing Christ like things. However, something happened. Looking back on it now, I realize it might have been the final seed.
While in the Middle East, I came across a group of “sun worshippers” in a village. I don’t think it was intentional, but seeds were planted. As I said before, I was always attuned to spirits and things around me. The place felt strange and uneasy. Part of me didn’t want to go into the temple, but I did. After that I started to delve into paganism, fascinated with Babylonian mythology. I want to emphasize here that I do not blame people of other religions, but Satan used that as a gateway to reach me and the seeds had already been planted as a child. It was not any one person’s fault; it was simply the energy around that village. Others were there with me and to my knowledge were not impacted by it, other than one individual flipping out about the fact that these people are also rumored to worship the devil.
When I came back home to the states, I realized that there was an active occult movement. I liked the empowering energy and craved the knowledge and power that might come with it. I learned Reiki which opened me up even further to the occult. I became a Reiki Master and started to teach others about the occult. Reiki itself was not bad, but I used it to open myself up to darker energies. Opening yourself up to strange “energy” and “channeling your spirit guide,” is a wide open gate to demons and Satan.
During this time, a coworker introduced me to a Christian book series called Left Behind. I read the series and then studied Revelation more in the Bible. The series was really a hateful, graphic and cruel portrayal of Christ and the end times. I would not recommend it for a seeking person. This type of thing only makes you accept Christ out of fear, not love. It would be okay for a solid, secure Christian, but not a non- believer. I could not understand how a loving God could destroy his creation. I started to become sympathetic to Lucifer “Satan,” I saw him as simply God’s adversary trying to protect humanity from his wrath. I slowly realized the new age spirit guides were demons and I saw Lucifer as a “light bringer.” I started to channel his energy and pray to him and it felt empowering. I started communicating with the demons on a regular basis, and was told to form a coven, a coven that would become an army.
Ultimately, myself and a few others founded this coven, naming it the Order of the Morning Star. This is where I met my husband, Joseph Craig. We had known each other for a few years, and he was also into paganism and the new age. He happened to have started out with Nordic paganism where as I came from Babylonian paganism. He like myself had grown up around a very judgmental church and family, and also was attuned to spirits. He joined the Order of the Morning Star and later we started formally dating. He could channel demons as well and was a great teacher like I was a good leader. We recruited more and grew the coven. We actually thought we could win Armageddon.
We also had a more legitimate business as a front called the Indigo Dawn. The Indigo Dawn was our “new age” cover where we offered Reiki healing, spirit guidance, channeling, divination, etc.
At various times we let other members of the coven live with us. We opened up our home as a place to teach new members. We believed we were doing the right thing, that we were enlightening humanity to the truth. However, over time, the demons started becoming more violent and forceful with us, and in turn we became more coercive and harder with other members. Eventually, things kind of became a blur.
I was falling hard. I had a one way ticket to Hell. I had a raging temper during all of this and the slightest offense would set me off. I had started to realize that Lucifer was indeed evil and started embracing the violent, destructive side of it all. I had no morals and thought I was invincible. I realized that Satan was not going to win the war and that the only end for me was Hell. I did not care though as I had come to accept my fate. Part of me thought about getting out of it, but Satan and the demons threatened me. They said they’d kill everyone I loved if I didn’t do what they asked.
So I did all they asked, until one day the Durham Police showed up. They arrested Joe and myself for assault. Two members of our coven had turned us in saying we had beaten and abused them. Apparently, they wanted out and the only place they knew to turn was the police. We weren’t guilty of all the charges, but we weren’t innocent either. We had dragged these two to Hell with us. Granted they were Satanists too, but we were their leaders and we were hard on them just as the demons were hard on us. It was a violent path, and all who follow it eventually figure that out.
I spent three weeks in Durham County Jail until I could afford to bond out. My friends and family stood by me and showed me nothing but love. I had friends put up their own money to bond me out. Even as I set in jail, it all seemed surreal to me. I am thankful for the inmates that taught me about Christ. I remember the passage that one inmate showed me. It was Psalm 27. The inmate giving it to me was in jail on charges of murder. She was facing more time than I could imagine, yet she talked to me about Christ. I was sort of sulky at first. I didn’t believe I deserved to be in jail. Then another inmate asked me bluntly, “So you never did anything wrong before?” She was right; I did deserve to be there. My time in jail really opened me up to what injustices were really out there. I had been a peace activist and social activist, but it took suffering with others in jail to really make me see what I had missed. While in jail, I prayed to Christ and reached out to him. Also, while in jail, I was very worried about my dog, a pitbull named Tia. She was my baby and I was terrified the police would search the house and shoot her because she was very defensive. I prayed for Tia’s safety many times. It turns out the police did search our house, and an officer was able to walk Tia outside with no problems at all. She is still with me today. That was not in her nature, and the only way I can explain that is God. For some that might not mean much, but to me that meant everything. When I need a reminder of God’s love for me and to know he does not abandon us, I just pat Tia.
When I bonded out, I attended my mom’s church, Providence Road Church of Christ, in Charlotte. They loved me and accepted me. I was saved and baptized. As I was baptized I felt a wave of peace wash over me. That night I drove to Durham to visit my husband in jail. The jail was on lock down and I was turned away. Had it not been for that baptism, I would have lost my temper and who knows what would have happened. A few months later, Joe bonded out again with the help of a good friend and family. He too became saved and baptized. The church continued to show us love and guide us in our new life and even help us with a place to stay and money. A year or so after our arrest, Joe and I accepted a plea deal for Misdemeanor assault. We served a year probation. After all we had been through and the felonies we were facing, this was indeed a blessing from God.
I do not know where Joe and I would be today had we not been arrested that night. I honestly believe that God stepped in to free us from Satan’s grip. I would say we would either be dead, in prison, or worse doing exactly what we thought we wanted to do. There is nothing else God could have done to get my attention. I am sure he tried in other ways, but the only thing that would work was to forcefully get me out of Satan’s grip. He isolated me in jail where I had no choice to but clear my head and think about where I was headed.
Currently, Joe and I are still happily married. We are attending and volunteering at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ. I am a student in the Master of Divinity Program at Chicago Theological Seminary. We are sharing our story with others and also reaching out to those in prison. I now realize that the leadership gifts I had were meant to be used for Christ. I am still a peace and social activist, but I am at peace now. I have righteous anger, not the violent type I had before. I have been through it and want to be a witness to others in similar situation. I had friends supporting me when I was in jail, but it was still a lonely, stressful, terrifying situation. I cannot imagine how it must feel for someone who has no support. I want to give testimonies and tell my story about the dangers of the occult. I want to show people the love of Christ, not judgment. If it were about the law, Jesus did not need to die on the Cross. It’s about Grace and Mercy. No one can fulfill the law. If you’ve committed one sin, you’ve committed them all. If you hear more about judgment and politics at your church, then pray about it and find another. Do not judge Christ based on the actions of his followers. Do not turn to the enemy because you are not feeling Christ’s love at church. Those are just one of Satan’s many tools to keep you from knowing Christ. If God stepped in to save a Satanist, then he can save you too. Like Saul became Paul, God will get the glory in the end.