I do not mean to say that touch healers are bad people. They have simply fallen prey to an evil ideology.
I am a happy forty-six-year-old husband and father of three adult children. Though my father was practically a non-believer, my mother tried her best to raise me according to some basic religious principles. I was baptized and received my First Holy Communion. For the longest time this was all I had to support me. Then came the years of my youthful rebellion, which distanced me from the Church. My life became empty. Since I was a seeker after truth, I tried to find God, but I did not seek Him where I should have sought Him. I became interested in the New Age movement and the cloud of ideas surrounding it. I eagerly read every piece of New Age literature I could lay my hands on. This was during the 1970s when such publications were only beginning to appear on the market in Poland. The literature caused great confusion in my spiritual life. God stopped being a personal God for me, and I began to see Him as an all-pervasive cosmic energy. This in turn led me to embrace various beliefs, including those of other religions.
Eventually love came my way, then marriage, then children and all the problems that attend family life: sickness among the children, my wife’s indispositions — the usual things. You try to cope and seek solutions. Alas, I sought a remedy in bioenergetic therapy. I came across a radiesthesist (diviner), who, seeing that my family had some health issues, suggested bioenergetic therapy as an appropriate remedy for the whole family. I allowed myself to be talked into undergoing a round of treatment. My wife and children also underwent treatment. After these sessions, the therapist told me I had strong potential in this area. Naturally, this pleased me very much. And why shouldn’t it? Did I not want to help myself, my family, and other people? I was guided by the best of intentions. I would never dream of causing anyone any harm. And so I began to immerse myself still deeper in esoteric literature. I took courses in the occult. First, I took a course in Reiki healing, level one at first, then level two, and after that a course in Tibetan massage. This in turn brought me into contact with the world of shamanism and various related domains. That is the way it goes. One thing leads to another. At the time I was not aware I was doing anything wrong. Before long I was supporting myself as a touch healer. I thought I was helping people and doing the right thing, for people were responding positively to my treatment. For example, on touching my patients, I was able to read their thoughts and feelings. I also had out-of-body experiences and engaged in forms of astral travel.
Strange things occurred in my life then, all of which made a good impression on me, for here was something new and interesting, transcending our everyday grayness. I delved deeper. Before long I even underwent the so-called Buddhist refuge ritual — an initiation rite consisting of cutting off a lock of one’s hair and sending it to India, where it is burned beside an altar in accordance with a special ceremony. I also received a Buddhist name. All these esoteric novelties, I tried to assimilate as quickly as possible.
Spiritually, I was drifting ever further from the Church. I had never been close to the Church. (In those days I did not feel the need to go to Mass.) But I had a wife who was a strong believer. She wanted me to take part in the church liturgies and live a sacramental life; and she strongly urged me to do so. I resisted her pleas, for every time I entered a church I was feeling greater and greater discomfort. At first, it consisted of unpleasant thoughts, a vague sense of unease, but later I could even hear shrieks of abuse inside the church. It got to the point that I could no longer dip my fingers in the holy water font. All this took its toll on the man that I was then. I felt an oppressive sense of emptiness stemming from my lack of belief in a personal God. For, as I mentioned earlier, I considered God to be a form of energy; and of course you cannot converse with an energy. It is hard to confide one’s heart to an energy. Our family life slowly withered on the vine. Gradually I lost contact with my children. My relationship with my wife steadily worsened. We were on the point of divorce and I faced the loss of those dearest to me. Here was another dimension of the negative effects of dabbling in the occult.
There was still another aspect of its destructive influence: the state of my health. In the process of treating people with serious illnesses such as cancer, I seemed to take on their ailments — to such a point that the pain caused me to lose consciousness. They carried me off in an ambulance. The doctors put me through a series of tests only to conclude that there was nothing the matter with me. A picture of health!
I began to suffer from depressions and suicidal thoughts. There were periods when I thought of nothing else but ending it all. Life held no meaning for me. I saw no value in it. So strong did these thoughts become that when driving my car, for example, I felt a constant compulsion to turn into an on-coming truck or roadside tree. That is how strong these thoughts were — almost as if someone were saying to me, “Do it! Turn now! Smash into it!” These insistent, destructive thoughts gave me no peace. Finally, when I could stand it no longer, I cried out to God, “Lord, save me!” And God heard my prayer.
One such sigh is all this is needed for God to respond. He orchestrated a series of events that was to touch me profoundly. The first of these involved my wife. Later I would learn that she had been praying for my conversion for years.
At precisely this time our parish decided to hold a retreat under the direction of a holy monk. My wife urged me to attend. “I won’t go to such retreats,” I told her. “The priest will only talk about abortion and similar matters. I’ve no interest in these things. I’ve never killed anyone and don’t intend to. None of this holds any interest for me.” But my wife continued to pester me. In the end I said to myself, “I’ll do it for her and go.” During that retreat, I heard the word of God vigorously proclaimed for the first time in my life. The monk spoke with such power and conviction that his words cut into my heart like an etching needle. He believed what he said, and lived it. That was a turning point for me. I thought to myself, “There is something in this after all.” Such was my conviction. I had to look into it. Then God arranged another event. Friends of ours invited me to accompany them to a healing Mass in Czestochowa. The occasion was a meeting of the “Mamre” Families Covenant Community. My initial response was not very positive. “What’s the point of going? ”I said to myself. “I’ll only end up standing for hours in a cold and crowded church.” But my mental state was so bad then, that in the end I said, “I’ll go. What’s a few hours anyway?”
I took the whole family: my wife and three children. We got in the car and drove to Czestochowa. There I saw God working with great power. For the first time in my life I met people with spiritual gifts, including that of prophecy. A woman said to me: “Listen, I don’t know if I can tell you this, for these are very hard words.” “Go ahead,” I replied. “I don’t care. Tell me what you have to say.” And these were the words I heard: “If you do not convert, you will die, and your family too.” I thought to myself: “Whoa there! I don’t care if I die, but my family and children? No! I have to do something about this.” I asked what I needed to do. “Convert!” came the answer. “Join in our intercessory prayers and ask for God’s forgiveness.” So I joined the group. Intercessory prayer was completely new to me. I told the others why I had come. I suffered from various forms of enslavement and this probably had something to do with my practice of bioenergetic therapy. Perhaps I ought to free myself from it. The others said, “No, for such things you need to go to the priest.” So I joined another group of people lining up to see the priest. But just as my turn came up, the priest went to another line. And so I went from line to line. God seemed to be having fun at my expense. I went back to the woman I had spoken to earlier. “I can’t seem to get to the priest, and the meeting’s almost over. Couldn’t you pray over me?” To this she replied, “I know a priest and a nun here. Come, we’ll go and pray together.” We went to the nun. She looked at me and said, “No, you haven’t been to confession. First go and confess your sins; then you can join us in intercessory prayer.”
I returned from that meeting determined to save myself. I asked my friends what else I had to do. They told me I should try to pray with the family. This was another new experience in my life, for we had never prayed together. I had never prayed with my wife and children; and yet after this first Holy Mass in Czestochowa, I was able to sit down with my wife and growing children and pray together. It was an extraordinary experience. The following evening we prayed again. Soon daily prayer was becoming
the norm in our family. We began to rediscover each other. This was the next stage of my deliverance and healing.
A month later we went back to Czestochowa. This time there was no problem. We immediately found a line with a priest. When he began to pray over me, the first “special effects” began to manifest themselves. The priest asked me what I was feeling. I told him the whole thing made me want to laugh — and, indeed, I began to laugh, for I seemed to be beside myself. At this, the priest said, “Let’s pray on!” Then picture this. No sooner did the priest resume the prayer than I began to bare my teeth and growl like a dog. I could see what I was doing, and yet I had absolutely no control over myself. It was simply a shock! “What’s happening to me?” I said to myself. “I must be going out of my mind!” Meanwhile there was the priest praying, and there was I standing with something convulsing and growling inside me. All this I saw as if I were outside of myself. Then, just as the priest came to the part of the prayer that says “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” I felt myself being thrown to my knees. This was not like losing one’s balance. I was hurled forward with such enormous force that I landed on the kneeler like mote of dust driven by an irresistible gust of wind. I dropped on the kneeler and, despite the force of that push, I had the impression I had fallen onto a cushion; and I became conscious of resting in the caring arms of some great Being that loved me. Meanwhile the priest went on praying. I felt a sense of relief; and that is when the next breakthrough occurred. I proceeded to renounce all the demonic powers with which I had come into contact. I began to see my life in a new light.
Then came the next stage — the spiritual battle, for while I continued to be tempted, I knew I could no longer resume my past activities. I had to refashion my whole life. For example, I had to burn fifty kilograms of occult literature and get rid of all my pendulums, divining rods, and other objects I had used in my work. I also had to change my milieu. Among the practitioners of bioenergetic therapy I had had many friends. Alas, they died in various ways. Some died of the illnesses they were treating in others. A good many of them died tragically. Those who are still alive have various problems and remain as blind as I had been, unable to see what they are involved in.
The next important stage in my life were the evangelical retreats of the “Mamre” Families Covenant Community. It was there that I learned the basic beliefs of the Christian faith, and how to live them. Meanwhile, the priest continued the process of my deliverance in a series of prayers in which the whole community participated. And yet when it came to going for the final prayer, I was unable to leave my house unaided. If it had not been for my wife, who practically dragged me out of the house, I would never have made it to that meeting. Imagine! You get up, want to go to the door, and your legs turn around of their own accord and go in the opposite direction! At such moments the demon manifests himself so powerfully that you have no control over your body or reactions. The prayer lasted for an hour and a half and was accompanied by more bizarre “effects.” At one point the chapel doors and windows began to bang as though caught in the wind. Dogs howled in the courtyard. It was like a scene taken straight out of a horror film. At the end of the prayer I felt as one does after some gigantic physical effort. I was sore all over, but happy; for at last I felt that something evil had left me. I felt peace, relief, and great joy. Finally I was free and in command of my body.
This then is what the practice of bioenergetic therapy brought me to. I do not mean to say that bioenergetic practitioners are evil people. They have simply fallen prey to an evil ideology. In desiring to do good through this kind of activity, they enmesh themselves in evil and harm others, since they transgress on a domain that God has not made available to us.
In conclusion, I wish to add that Jesus is supremely good and merciful. In my own life, He has brought about more changes than I could possibly recount. Besides freeing me from the results of bioenergetic therapy, He has healed me from various ailments, depression chief among them. Glory to the Lord! Now I am living a sacramental life, and I see my presence in the Church as a reality that impels me to new action.