Monthly Archives: June 2011

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Possessed or Psychotic?



DEMONIC possession is a subject that can elicit a chuckle in some quarters, but is taken as a deadly serious matter in others. Recently, some Jamaican men of the cloth have claimed that there has been an increase in the number of cases of so-called ‘demon-possession’ in which they are being asked to intervene.

Some of these pastors attribute this religious phenomenon to increasing scepticism about spiritual matters; greater access to a range of cultural, spiritual and religious thinking and practices via the Internet; and widespread sexual permissiveness.


HICKLING… I think when people are psychotic, something is wrong with their brain and not with their soul



Forty-eight year-old Marcia (surname withheld to protect her privacy) is convinced she was delivered from demonic spirits in 2007 after attending a service at a tent crusade where she was prayed over. The mother of two said she had struggled for more that 16 years with what she calls ‘demonic tendencies’ and was prescribed traditional medications by doctors who attributed her strange behaviour to mental illness.

“I was ill, I was out of my mind, I would hear like voices calling me,” she told the Sunday Observer recently. She said her family members were concerned about her because sometimes she would be walking the streets with a machete and talking to herself.

“I went to several doctors but they didn’t tell me anything concrete, they only gave me tablets for my nerves,” she said.

Marcia, who was eventually admitted to Ward 21 — the psychiatric ward at the University Hospital of the West Indies — said she would roam the streets and heard voices around September each year. However, she has not done so since attending the crusade three years ago, where Spanish Town revival church pastor Reverend Dr Rohan Edwards prayed for her.

“He called an altar call and laid his hands on me and I began to pray, and after that, I felt a conviction come over me and I say I am going to give my life to God,” said Marcia who pointed out that she has not had any relapse since and has therefore stopped taking her medications.

Bishop Edwards said he has performed a number of similar ‘deliverance services’ over the years and, like other pastors the Sunday Observer interviewed, he said he has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people coming to him for help to ward off malevolent spirits. In an average week, he said he receives about 10 requests for ‘deliverance’ from people who believe they are under the influence of evil spirits, and that figure increases when his church hosts a crusade.

“It’s a lot I have dealt with, so I know exactly what I am talking about. A lot of them (demons) are around and sometimes they are living in people’s heart that you would be surprised to know who they are living in. People sometimes look calm and cool, but when they begin to activate, you realise that something is wrong,” said Bishop Edwards.

“Some of us have that power to rebuke (demons) and we acknowledge that these powers are around and we have the power to cast them out,” he said.

Bishop Joseph Ade-Gold, founder of the Overcomers World Ministries located in Kingston and Mandeville, claimed that the number of spiritual/demonic interventions he has had to perform has tripled in the last year or so.

According to the pastor, who said he has dedicated the past 25 years to helping those with spiritual disorders, a number of cases have been referred to him, not only by other pastors, but by medical doctors, including psychiatrists, who, he claimed, cannot find medical reasons for their patients’ behaviour.

“Sometimes, in a week we get 35 persons,” said Ade-Gold, whose ministry performs what are known as ‘deliverance and restoration’ services for the emotionally and spiritually distressed, and offers training in the rudiments of what it calls ‘spiritual warfare’.

“We do like counselling and deliverance on spiritual issues. So somebody might go to the hospital and they cannot find anything wrong with them, so they will come. We do deliverance for people who have bad dreams and obeah in their lives, and people who suffer from generational curses like those people who have businesses and their businesses cannot survive,” explained Ade-Gold.

He attributed the recent multiple murder/suicide cases the country has grappled with to ‘demonic infestations’ brought on by the worldwide economic recession that has robbed many people of their income. He said men with suicidal tendencies are among those who have been coming to him for help.

“It is because of the kind of depression that we are in. Some of the cases I have been dealing with, it’s because they’ve lost jobs, they have no money to do whatever they need to do, their wives or their women leaving them creates a level of imbalances which demons take advantage of and influence them,” said the pastor, whose views have been supported by pastors from other churches who spoke to the Sunday Observer.

“So they will come, they want to commit suicide, they want to run away, they are angry at home and they want to kill anybody around them,” he pointed out.

The calls for these deliverance services have been overwhelming for pastor of the Portmore Lane Covenant Community Church Rev Dr Donald Stewart. He said he has even stopped using cellular phones because the calls from persons asking for spiritual help have made it hard for him to concentrate on his other pastoral duties.

“Deliverance entails speaking God’s word and rebuking (the demon) in the name of Jesus based on the authority that you have as a Christian, and the Holy Spirit working in you. It is all tied to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” explained Rev Dr Stewart, who said he has since taken the decision to send persons who come to him for help, back to their own pastors to perform the rites for them.

“Part of my principle is that each church must now get involved, so though I get calls everyday, I don’t particularly deal with everyone by myself,” he said.

But even with some pastors now taking responsibility for their congregants’ spiritual woes, Rev Dr Stewart said he still has to work with guidance counsellors and parents to assist students suspected of having demonic tendencies. He explained that some of these young afflicted persons do not belong to a church and others are referred to him by doctors when conventional medicine fails.

“I have had psychiatrists and psychologists and medical doctors referring people to me, because those are honest enough to know that what they are dealing with is not something where they can help the person. There are others who may not be so honest and who are prescribing drugs, especially psychiatric drugs to people and keeping them in a prison,” the pastor said, while pointing out that not all the doctors who refer patients to him are even Christians.

But noted psychiatrist Professor Fred Hickling poured cold water on the pastors’ claims that individuals can be possessed by evil spirits. Instead, he attributes psychotic behaviour observed in people claiming to be demon-possessed, to mental illness.

“I have been a psychiatrist for many years and I have never seen anybody who has claimed to be demon-possessed. I have never seen them helped by a pastor or a religious person,” said Professor Hickling, who has been practising for over 40 years.

“My clinical observations are that it’s just not possible. I personally do not have any belief in demon possession and I think when people are psychotic, something is wrong with their brain and not with their soul,” he said.

Dr Anthony Allen, a psychiatrist of over 35 years who has also studied theology, admitted there are instances where he has referred patients to religious leaders after deep psychiatric assessment and analysis had shown that their situation could have a spiritual connection. Still, he said it is irresponsible for a psychiatrist to tell someone that they are ‘demon possessed’.

“The typical scientist, in terms of the human scientist in medicine, psychiatrist, etc, is not going to acknowledge from a scientific perspective that these things (demons) exist. If somebody has a mental illness for example, they are not going to say that this is due to demon spirits or anything like that,” he said.

“The concern of the medical field really has to do with the natural phenomenon, or natural events having to do with the body, having to do with the brain and even having to do with the mind. So it is not the job of a psychiatrist to even be talking about anything to do with the spiritual because they cannot prove that scientifically,” he said.

The doctor said he had done research on demonic possession after the topic came up during the treatment of patients over the years. He said there have been situations where medical science or psychology has no way of explaining the experiences of some patients, which lead to some doctors suggesting that the patient see someone in their religious community who is able to deal with the phenomenon.

“You have some clergy who believe in the ministry of deliverance, in other words, praying for people to be delivered from demonic forces who will in fact feel or observe behaviour that might suggest a psychiatric illness and they will send that person to see a psychiatrist. You have such responsible ministers,” he said, even as he cautioned that there are some pastors who are extremist and who take the dangerous view that anything psychiatric is demonic.

Rev Dr Stewart explained that he has had to refer people to psychiatrists in the past after intense pre-deliverance counselling proved them psychotic instead of possessed, but, he insisted that most of the cases he sees are legitimate cases of demonic possession.

“It is more a modernistic way of thinking, where we feel that spiritual things are of the past and that we are in a post-Christian civilisation, some would like to say.

“There is a tendency in circles where people are very intellectual or very scientific to think that spiritual things are really just a figment of people’s imagination,” he said.

Whereas evangelical pastors perform deliverance services to remove demons, those in the Catholic and Anglican faith perform exorcisms, which are more ritualistic in nature.

Checks by the Sunday Observer revealed that there are four exorcists in the local Anglican church fraternity, but none in the country’s Roman Catholic archdiocese.

Monsignor Kenneth Richards from the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston, said that while local priests are able to perform various rituals such as baptisms, an exorcist from a neighbouring Caribbean island is brought over to remove demons from someone considered possessed.

“The demonic world is a reality that the church is aware of,” he said. “Jesus’ ministry was one that confronted the demonic and the evil of this world.”

The priest said individuals who visit Catholic churches for exorcisms have to undergo psychiatric evaluations to ensure they are not mentally challenged. In most cases, he said, the situation amounts to the individual needing psychiatric treatment and counselling. He said the local Catholic Church has not performed an exorcism in quite a while, since there have not been many cases coming before the church.

President of the Jamaica Council of Churches Rev Dr Paul Gardner believes that only some pastors are gifted with the ability to deliver people from demon possession. He was not able to say whether there has been an increase in cases coming before the churches that fall under the JCC umbrella, but he did support the belief that persons can be possessed by demons.

“If we are going to be truthful and faithful to the scriptures, then we have to admit that there is something called demon possession,” he said, while pointing out that the Bible tells us that Jesus and His disciples had cast out several demons.

Secretary for the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Milton Gregory, said deliverance services are not widely practised by that church’s local congregation. However, prayers are usually offered for those considered possessed.

“The demonic world is real,” he said. “We would never deny that, we have seen it so many times.”

Rev Dr Stewart believes demons are even active in local churches, where, he claims, up to 10 per cent of the Jamaican Christian population has, at one point, been possessed by incubus — male spirits who rape women in their sleep, and succubus — female spirits who rape sleeping men.

“Those are Latin words which describe demonic spirits that molest people sexually. So people are harassed in their sleep sexually. Sometimes it’s even while they are awake too,” he said.

The pastor blames the surge in demon possession cases on the Internet and the movie and cable industry which glorify pain and death. He believes it is also linked to sexual permissiveness in the country.

“There is a lot of promiscuity and sexual permissiveness, where we think it is okay to do this, it is okay to touch, it’s okay to do that, and many times, that’s where the problem is…” Rev Dr Stewart said. “We look at some of the wrong things on the television or on the Internet, it influences our thoughts, lustful thoughts develop, it leads to masturbation, fantasising, and it opens the door wide,” he said.

The pastor, who said he has witnessed several near suicides in his time, is currently writing a book on the subject of demon possession.

“I have seen some very traumatic things. I have seen people trying to throw themselves off buildings, diving through windows on second floor buildings. I have seen people who stripped themselves naked, doing all types of crazy sex things,” he said.

“I have seen people actually trying to kill themselves with weapons, knives and those kinds of things. I have seen people even sexually attacking the persons who are praying for them. I have encountered people who have boxed, kicked and karate chop and so,” he added.

Bishop Ade-Gold told the Sunday Observer that plans to turn his deliverance centres in Kingston and Mandeville into deliverance hospitals have been hampered by a lack of money. He said the establishment of deliverance hospitals would allow his team of counsellors to better monitor those patients who have been delivered from the clutches of evil spirits.





Deuteronomy 28

Blessings for Obedience

1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

8 The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. 11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience

15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

20 The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.[a] 21 The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27 The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

36 The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the LORD will drive you.

38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.

43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.

53 Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities.

58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God— 59 the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.

64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.


They are not bleaching creams, they are toning creams. It just makes the skin clean and pretty.’


With her own first-hand experience, popular dancer Keiva says she is now the face of two skin-toning products.

Speaking with THE STAR yesterday, Keiva explained that she has been using the products, Glow & White and Diva Maxi Tone, since January. It was after using it that she was approached to be the face.

“I am using this from January and I have a nice skin tone. If it was a bleaching cream, I would be white. My friend introduced me to it first. I started using it and I realised that it just makes my skin pretty in two months’ time,” she said, noting that it is available at different locations in Kingston.

Keiva also stressed the fact that the products are not for skin-bleaching.

“They are not bleaching creams, they are toning creams. It just makes the skin clean and pretty. It is not something that people hide and sell, it is approved,” she told THE STAR, noting that they are sold in the form of lotions and creams.



As part of her contract, Keiva said she will be helping to promote the products and do interviews about them. One such promotion will take place in downtown Kingston next week with radio personality Miss Kitty.

Although it is a skin-toning cream, Keiva says she is cognisant of the fact that people will think it is a skin-bleaching cream.

“I can’t stop people from thinking what they want to think,” she said.

However, she believes that when they start using the product they will realise that it is merely a skin-toning product.

And, with this new endorsement, Keiva says she is very pleased.

“I am feeling marvellous, great. As long as I am making an honest bread, I am going to work. I can’t wait to get the word out,” she said.



The Only Person Cheated is Yourself (Adultery)

My name is Niki I have been with Mike for ten years. After the birth of my first child things got sour. In the fifth year of the relationship I realize that Mike was having an affair with a married woman by the name of Marcia. I was very loyal and could not understand why he would do this to me. While at work a colleague of mine used to comfort me through the hard times. We developed a great friendship, Carl was compassionate and understating something I never got from Mike. Shortly after we developed a secret intimate relationship that I could not avoid. His wife did not have a clue as he made her feel like she was the only one and well Mike was not really paying any attention to me.

Two years had passed and I was still seeing Carl and Mike was still having the affair. I had no idea what would happen next because I was using birth control. I got pregnant and did not realize until I was nearly three months. Carl said that it was up to me what I wanted to do but Mike told me that he was happy because it could be a little girl since we already had two boys. I carried the baby and all this time I did not know whose child it was. Nevertheless on paper she was Mike’s child. After I had the baby and returned to work Carl was very distant and his attitude was not the same. I realised that the reason was he was now sleeping with Sophie a very promiscuous girl that was transfered to our department. Sophie slept with everyone in high office to secure her job.

There was no comptetion there so I had to move on and I was very pleased to now that Mike’s friend Peter was interested in me he was a very successful man and well I could not turn him down. It was a very good relationship but when his girlfriend would visit he would give all the attention to her. For the most part I was confused and started to think about my daughter and her paternity. I did an abortion between the affair with Peter and Carl and things were getting to me. Carl called me out of the blue one day and told me that he found out that his wife was sleeping with his best friend and he could not cope. He also said that he caught Sophie red handed with another man at her apartment.

Mike was spending a lot of time at home now these days and I just could not understand because Marcia was granted her divorce and free. I was surprised to hear that she had left Mike for the lawyer who handled her case as it was common knowledge that he was bisexual. Things were just too much for me. Carl did not have any children with his wife and now he is requesting a paternity test and has threatened me to take it to court. I was in shock and tried to reach out to God. I was invited to church by a friend and I had to think about my life. I could not come to terms with my poor decision and how many people I had actually slept with. My calculations was the harsh reality of adultery. Mike was sleeping with Marcia who was sleeping with her husband and her lawyer. Her lawyer was bisexual so he was sleeping with another man. it is alleged that Marcia’s husband was having affairs even with his helpers. I was sleeping with Carl who was sleeping with his wife and Sophie he were both sleeping with other men. Peter was sleeping with his girlfriend who I later found out was his cousin’s wife. What had I gotten myself into? I have left myself exposed to more than twenty people. I have also made my child apart of this madness. I have made Mike’s mistake my own. What will I do? I am now at the hospital to get the results from my tests. I am so ashamed, I have cheated myself.

written by realking

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