Is there such a thing as “Holy” Yoga?

Yoga has gained a worldwide appeal today because having a slim and healthy body is a current concern.

More people are hitting the gym and turning to health clubs and are being introduced to yoga. In the medical field, yoga is at times prescribed for people suffering from stress and frustration.

However, reflecting the dominant religious and philosophical themes of this post-Christian age – religious pluralism and postmodernism, many Christians are now embracing what they have re-christened as “Holy Yoga” as an integral aspect of physical fitness and a devotional for connecting with God.

In 2012, the Purpose Driven author, Rick Warren’s Saddleback church announced to its members:

Holy Yoga is a worship experience combining the physical benefits of world class yoga with an intentional dedication to God through prayer, scripture, and contemporary Christian music. We breathe in His goodness and grace…and exhale tension and stress. It is coed, noncompetitive, and Christ honoring in fellowship. Come join us…!” [1]

The influx of this practice in the church and its prevalence among Nigerian Christians (many of whom are upwardly mobile and urbane) necessitated this piece.

Yoga: an unholy offshoot from an unholy tree

Many sincere Christians have asked: Is yoga simply an exercise that helps keep the body slim and healthy? Does it have occultic origins? Can it be practiced without its Eastern religious overtones? Is it suitable for Christians just to gain physical benefit without implications?

To answer these questions, one has to dig back to the very roots of Yoga, to the religion from which it sprang: Hinduism.

Once you have a proper understanding of the philosophy and principles of Hinduism, it won’t be difficult to make up your mind about yogic practices.

According to a reference work, Hinduism is ‘‘the major continuing and connected religions of India, which have now spread throughout the world.’’ [2]

Hinduism is not a monolithic or organized religion with a linear chain of history. “The paradox of Hinduism was its ability to adapt itself to a mass polytheism while simultaneously advancing monotheistic tendencies.” [3]

Another source explains it further:

“Hinduism is not really one religion, but many religions that interact and blend with one another. There is no known founder of Hinduism, no creedal statements of faith to sign and no agreed-upon authority. In fact, one can be a good Hindu and believe in one god, many gods, or no God at all!” [4]

Hindu scriptures include the four Vedas; their commentaries, called the Upanishads (also known as Vedanta); the Mahabharata (of which the Bhagavad Gita is a small portion); the Ramayana; and other lesser books.

The early vestiges of the Hindu religion have been found in an ancient text consisting of about a thousand hymns known as the Rig Veda, probably compiled circa 1500 B.C.

“This makes Hinduism the world’s second oldest religion after Judaism, which was established by God’s covenant with Abraham, somewhere between 2000 to 1800 B.C.” [5]

Historically, yoga dates back many centuries. Figures of people seated in various yoga positions appear on seals found in the Indus valley (present day Pakistan).

The Indus valley civilization is dated by archaeologists to 3600-1900 B.C. There have been many seals found at Indus Valley sites which had engraved upon them pictures that some have related to later Hinduism. The Encyclopedia of Hinduism explains:

“One is the ‘proto-Shiva’ seal, which shows a person, seated in a cross-lehhed position, with a headdress with horns on it and what appears to be an erect phallus. The headdress is said to relate to the later god Shiva’s title of ‘Lord of the Animals,’ … Some see his seated posture as being the yogic lotus position. Shiva is known for his yogic practices.” [6]

Note also that Shiva, one of the principal deities of Hinduism is called “the Destroyer” and the authoritative 15th century text Hathayoga-Pradipika, declares that lord Shiva was the first yoga teacher.

This connection is critical, because the assertion that yoga is a neutral practice that can be utilized by Christians who don’t worship the Hindu pantheon is at best disingenuous and at worst, spiritually dangerous.

The book, Hindu World, calls yoga “a code of ascetic practices, mainly pre-Aryan in origin, containing relics of many primitive conceptions and observances.”

Yogic methods were handed down orally and later put into detailed written form by the Indian yogic sage Patanjali as the Yoga Sutra which is still the basic yoga instruction book today.

The work defines yoga as “a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.” Thus, yoga cannot be separated from the Eastern religions from which it originated.

There are different types of yoga: Raja, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, Tantra and Hatha yoga.

The physical exercises yoga is Hatha yoga. In Sanskrit, ‘ha’ means the sun and ‘tha’ means the moon. These exercises are meant to bring opposing yet complimentary occult forces (yin and yang) into balance to enhance physical health and strength.

A reference work has this to say about hatha yoga:

‘‘Originally a part of Raja-yoga as taught by Patanjali [perhaps second-third centuries A.D.], but now frequently detached as a yoga to seek mental and physical health. Its purpose is to locate and activate the cakras (centres of energy) and thus to raise the kundalini (dormant spiritual power) to life. It works especially through bodily postures (asana) and control of breath (pranayama), uniting the ha (breath of the sun) with tha (breath of the moon). The reputed founder is Gorakhnath.’’ [7]

Uncoiling the Serpent

The physical aspects of Hatha yoga are familiar to many Christians. Like most yoga, Hatha yoga also incorporates breathing, relaxation, and meditation (and there are musicals tailored to this end)

However it is the first five steps of the eight-step process of raja-yoga. It starts with the external and ends with the internal. It’s like peeling off the layers of an onion. A person begins with the physical and ends up with the more spiritual and occultic methods.

“When this [first five steps is done], one is to begin the three internal steps of raja-yoga. The first five steps of Yoga have been conscious external methods of preparation for the internal goals of raja-yoga.” [8]

There’s also Kundalini yoga, which is supposedly meant to awaken the serpent goddess from the base of the humsn spine to produce an altered state of consciousness and trigger violent manifestations.

The late El Collie, a Kundalini enthusiast and blogger, wrote:

“When the Kundalini awakens, tremendous power is unleashed. The resulting expansion of consciousness affects every element of our being, from our biological functions to our personal relationships to our concept of reality to our influence in the world. We are irrevocably changed in ways we could not have imagined and in ways we may never fully comprehend.

“For some of us, the risen Kundalini gives us our first or most unmistakable contact with the Spirit… Kundalini is Shakti, the Great Mother Goddess, the living energy that daily make her vibrant presence known in my body and my psyche. She is as fierce and powerful as she is mysterious and enticing.” [9]

However, it’s agreed by all practitioners that:

“All paths [of Yoga] lead ultimately to the same destination – to union with Brahman or God…” [10]

So it doesn’t really matter whether one practices a physical or non-physical yoga, inasmuch as it the overall purpose of yoga is aimed towards attaining a “higher state of consciousness” or “self-realization” with a spiritual force, it opens up the door for one to interact with the spirit realm.

The word yoga literally means “to yoke” or “bind together” or to harness or control. To a Hindu, yoga is a technique or discipline that leads to union with a great supernatural force or spirit (called Brahman).

Its goal is “self-realization” to realize that atman, the individual soul is identical with Brahman, the universal soul i.e. you and god are one

Yoga was not designed or originally practiced for physical fitness. It’s meant to “yoke” a person to the universal force through a stage called moksha or liberation, which we call death.

In an article on ‘‘Yoga and Hinduism,’’ the authors wrote:

‘‘In ancient Indian philosophy yoga was not meant to be a fitness regime. Rather, it was a means to salvation or liberation (moksha) through the isolation of the soul from the body. Out-of-body experiences are still the goal of some popular forms of yoga. Later, after other schools of Indian philosophy had adopted yoga, its goal was reinterpreted as the union of the human self with the cosmic self, or God” [11]

The unholy feet of the Eastern gurus

It must be noted that Yoga was not shipped directly from India to Africa. With the exception of the Kemetic Yoga, much of it was imported to Africa from the west.

The spread of yoga to the west started in the latter half of the 20th century. In 1965, the U.S. immigration law was rewritten to cancel racial qualifications and restore rights of naturalization to Asians.

Through this, many Hindu gurus found their way to America giving rise to the Hare Krishna movement, and Transcendental Meditation, a close adjunct of yoga, which was popularized by Maharishi Yogi and Hollywood stars.

The India-born journalist, Caryl Matrisciana, in her book Out of India: A True Story About the New Age Movement, points out that classic Hinduism was not as mission-minded as evangelical Christianity, but during centuries of British rule learned several effective missionary strategies from British missionaries.

As a result, by the beginning of the 21st century there were over 70,000 yoga instructors active in more than 20,000 locations across America, including business centers, hospitals, and education facilities, spreading Eastern mysticism throughout the entire country.

In a 1993 publication, an American-born Hindu monk named Palaniswami predicted:

‘‘A small army of yoga missionaries – hatha, raja, siddha, and kundalini — beautifully trained in the last 10 years, is about to set upon the Western world. They may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes.’’ [12]

Holy Yoga’ – an oxymoron

In the 20th century, a large percentage of Western including many American churches, fell prey to the dubious syncretism championed by the ecumenical movement and as more churches were mired in liberalism and pragmatism, the concepts of Hinduism began to find their way in.

These Christians while seeking for means to straddle two opposite concepts and revelations to birth what they call “Christian Yoga,” were also attempting to detach yoga from Hinduism by turning history on its head.

Brooke Boon, the founder of Holy Yoga Ministries and an active Christian Yoga instructor wrote:

’’…yoga predates Hinduism by at least one thousand years. Yoga was not created by Hindus but was indeed co-opted by Hindus as a major part of their religion.” [13]

Let’s accept for the sake of argument that yoga did predate Hinduism by a millennium, the basic question still remains: did it originate from an Abrahamic worldview or ancient paganism?

The Concise Dictionary of Religion defines Yogic religions as “those religions, ultimately of Indian origin, that have at their core one or another form of the practice of Yoga. The major Yogic religions are Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.” [14]

The same author in another reference work notes that, “Yogic religions are the main rivals to Abramic religions,’’ which he defines as: “Religious traditions that trace their ancestory to the patriarch Abraham. The major religions in this grouping are Christianity, Islam and Judaism.” [15]

Since yoga emerged from a religious system that stands opposed to the Judeo-Christian faith, mixing it with Christian worship doesn’t alter its nature. It’s still unholy. Mixing milk with dung will not produce chocolate fudge.

The Bible directly warns against this adoption of pagan traditions among the nations:

And after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates… ” (Deut. 12:30-31) see also 2 Kings 16:10-16.

It’s interesting to note that Boon admits that yoga opens people up to spiritual influences but claims that by rebaptising it as “holy,” it will somehow connect people to Jesus Christ. Definitely not the Jesus of the Bible.

“Yoga absolutely does open a person up to spiritual influences. But in Holy Yoga, the only spiritual influence we are open to is that of Jesus Christ. … We must completely co-opt the amazing gift of yoga for Christianity. That’s what we’re doing with Holy Yoga.’’ [16]

Proper breathing techniques have always been very important in yoga practice. Traditional, non-Christian yogis teach that deep breathing can translate into deeper meditation and union with a divine being. Christian Yoga instructors also teach that proper breathing skills are crucial to meet with God.

In their desperation to legitimate this with the Bible, they appeal to Genesis 2:7 where God breathed into the nostrils of Adam making him a living soul. But that was describing creation, it is not about relationship with God (which Adam lost later).

Elliot Miller points out the components of yoga that grate against the Christian faith:

“There are some rather sneaky elements in hatha yoga that help explain why enrolling in the neighborhood yoga class would be a dubious decision for the Christian. First, teachers and students typically greet each other with the Sanskrit namaste, which means, ‘I honor the Divine within you.’ This is an affirmation of pantheism and therefore a denial of the true God revealed in the Bible. Furthermore, hatha yoga classes typically conclude with ‘a 10-15 minute relaxation period to relax the body and still the mind.’ As part of this process students often are given a mantra to repeat in meditation or chanting. Hindu mantras are generally the names of Hindu gods and goddesses.” [17]

Not only has Hatha yoga found a place within the body of Christ, Bhakti yoga which had been utilized as a tool of devotion to Hindu deities has also been snagged on as a technique to encounter “the One” (a New Age term for God).

Nancy Roth, an assistant priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin, Ohio, attempted to describe “an incarnated Yoga theology.”

She said, “[i]t did not matter that we had chanted ‘OM’ or that the exercises had Hindu names. My awareness of my own ‘incarnated-ness’ drew me closer to the Incarnate One … The One I encountered, as I lay on the gym floor with my body relaxed and my mind and spirit attentive, was the God I knew in Christ Jesus.” [18]

The “OM” mantra is regarded as the most sacred syllable in Hinduism. It is said that the syllable contains three sounds, a, u, and m, sometimes written “aum” in English.

“The three sounds stand for very many things, including the three parts of the universe (earth, atmosphere, sky) and the three major gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Siva).” [19] Chanting it is an implicit endorsement of polytheism (Exodus 20:1-3).

The spiritual experiences described by these yogis (whether ‘Christian’ or otherwise) and the beings they encounter measure up with the kingdom of the occult.

Rabi R. Maharaj, an ex-Yogi who became a Christian wrote:

“Although the peace I experienced in meditation so easily deserted me, the occult forces that my practice of Yoga cultivated and aroused lingered on and began to manifest themselves in public. Knowing that without these displays of the supernatural my following could never be very great, I welcomed this growing spiritual power” [20]

David Purseglove, a therapist and transpersonal counselor mentioned some of the crises common to people who get involved in Eastern meditation:

“Frightening ESP and other parapsychological occurrences… [spontaneous] out-of-body experiences or accurate precognitive ‘takes’… profound psychological encounter with death and subsequent rebirth… the awakening of the serpent power (Kundalini)…energy streaming up the spine, tremors, spasms and sometimes violent shaking and twisting… ” [21]

Gopi Krishna also warned of the dangers of the practice of seemingly innocuous Hatha Yoga:

“In Hatha Yoga the breathing exercises are more strenuous, attended by some abnormal positions of the chin, the diaphragm, the tongue, and other parts of the body to prevent expulsion or inhalation of air into the lungs in order to induce a state of suspended breathing. This can have drastic effects on the nervous system and the brain, and it is obvious that such a discipline can be very dangerous. Even in India, only those prepared to face death dare to undergo the extreme discipline of Hatha Yoga.” [22]

He also stated that the reason why Hatha yoga is very dangerous is because it can cause Kundalini arousal.This arousal typically results in temporary states of insanity, radical changes in the physical body, and possession by a demonic spirit.

Caryl Matrisciana explained that the exercises and breathing techniques of yoga actually do release the same neurological energies that are released by abuse of certain narcotics, and by other mystical practices.

Very often the goal of both drug abuse and Yoga meditation is to escape from the intense pressures of real life. Both produce physiological changes in the body and brain, and euphoric experiences. She pointed out that Christian Yoga meditation brings about the very same state of altered consciousness produced by Hatha Yoga, New Age meditation, and several hallucinogenic drugs. [23]

From the facts presented, it’s clear that Yoga – in whatever guise – opens the door of people’s lives to demonic bondage. Instead of being yoked to vicious spirits, Jesus invites all to Himself:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28)

Yoga constitutes a “pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,” and as good soldiers, we should fight the good fight against all demonic lies, including the one that says that Eastern-born yoga is compatible with Bible Christianity (2 Cor. 10:5)

Christians need to say “No” to Yoga, no matter how popular it may be or whoever is offering it to them.

Notes

[1] https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/saddleback-church-and-holy-yoga/

[2] The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, John Bowler, editor, Oxford Univ. Press, 1999, 430.

[3] Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions, Larry Nichols, George Mather and Alvin Schmidt, Zondervan 2009, p. 426

[4] Fritz Ridenour, So What’s the Difference? Regal Books, 2001, p. 91

[5] Ronald Enroth, Evangelizing the Cults, Vine Books, 1990, p. 21 “Hinduism”

[6] The Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Constance Jones and James Ryan, Facts in File, 2007 p. xviii

[7] The Oxford Dictionary, p. 415

[8] Ronalson Carlson, Transcendental Meditation: Relaxation or Religion? Chicago: Moody Press, 1978, 41-42

[9] El Collie, “Kundalini: Danger – High Voltage Kundalini Awakening,” http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/kundalini/id/35190

[10] Lucy Lidell, The Sivananda Companion to YOGA, Fireside Books, 1983, p. 18

[11] Ronald Enroth and Vishal Mangalwadi, A Guide to New Religious Movements, InterVarsity Press, 2005, 45

[12] Stan Guthrie, Hinduism Gains a Foothold in America, Christianity Today, Feb. 8, 1993, p. 50.

[13] Holy Yoga: Exercise for the Christian Body and Soul, NY: Faith-Words, 2007 p. 31

[14] Irving Hexam, Vogelstein Press, Canada, 1993 p. 237

[15] Irving Hexam, Pocket Dictionary of New Religious Movements, InterVarsity Press, 2002, p. 120

[16] Holy Yoga p. 33

[17] Elliott Miller, The Yoga Boom: A Call for Christian Discernment, Christian Research Journal vol. 31, no. 4 pp. 35-36.

[18] An Invitation to Christian Yoga, Cambridge: Cowley Publications, 2001, p. 1

[19] The Encyclopedia of World Religions (Revised Edition), Robert Ellwood and Gregory Alles, Facts on File, 2007, p. 328.

[20] Ravi Maharaj and Dave Hunt, The Death of a Guru, Harvest House, Oregon, 1977, 75.

[21] Naomi Steinfield, “Passages In: For People in Spiritual Crisis,” in AHP Perspective, Feb. 1986, p. 9

[22] Gopi Krishna, “The true aim of yoga,” Psychic (Jan.-Feb. 1973):13, in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, 605.

[23] Out of India: A True Story About the New Age Movement. Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails Pub., 2008, p. 187

Recollections of Born Twice: From Demonism to Christianity (V)

Chapter 11: The Surrender

On the first day of the crusade. Kalu had deployed more than 100 of his agents to infiltrate the crusade ground. Some were assigned to sell a cocktail of rum or gin in small nylons while others were to distract listeners by engaging them in mundane discussions.

These were being monitored on the screen from the spirit realm. As crowds began streaming in, he gave them their signals and these agents commenced their assignments. Many of the attendees who bought the drink became tipsy and fell deeply asleep. But some spat it out, received the gospel and became saved.

On one of the days, a preacher mounted the crusade podium and began to pray. From the screen Kalu was viewing, this preacher was surrounded with flames of fire and as he preached on, some of their agents fell by the power of God. At the end of it, many of the agents were also converted. The others returned to give him their report.

The next day, he mobilized more agents to the ground and instructed them to bring back their reports, but most of them didn’t return as they were arrested by the power of God and became converted.

At this point, Kalu decided to launch attacks against the organizers of the crusade. He invoked the wind, rain and storms to destroy their billboards, posters and damage their items of equipment. That worked, or so it seemed.

By the third day, it was obvious that the more agents he sent to the crusade ground, the more their loss and the greater their defeat was becoming obvious. One afternoon, while the crusade was ongoing, an helicopter hired by the crusade team was distributing fliers of the program and Kalu’s window was opened. The wind made many of the fliers stream into his room.

He picked up a copy and saw “Greater Abiriba for…” with fury, he clutched at the papers, tore them, squeezed them and threw them out through his window. Not only has he sent his agents to this crusade at his own expense, they even had the effrontery to bring their fliers into his own room!

Later, he shut his window and reached for the last egg from India and after chanting the words required, he angrily smashed it on the floor. The chief demi-god appeared. This time he cared little about protocols and began venting in rage, shouting at the chief to behold the defeat and shame that have befallen the kingdom. He has already lost many agents in this war, he has done all he knew, yet there was victory in sight.

The chief sounded rather conciliatory, appealing to him to exercise understanding that they too were trying their best but there’s nothing much they could do at that point.

He proceeded to invoke Satan to address Kalu. When he appeared, he complained to him also also what was going on. Satan arrogantly stated that he would have the victory. He commanded Kalu to go to the crusade himself and make use of all the powers he had been given to thwart the crusade. Then he disappeared.

As the chief demi-god was speaking on, there was a roaring voice like that of thunder from above and he instantly disappeared too. At that moment, Kalu felt a great presence in his room. The room was dark, but a big white hand emanating a glow of light, appeared and began to write things in gold letters on the wall of his room.

He was so engulfed in fear, unable to even move his mouth as he felt totally subdued by the power in the room. A searing heat engulfed him making his heart thud so loudly that he could feel it in his mouth.

The hand wrote with the index finger: “Will you surrender to Me, Yes or No?”

He couldn’t answer. But in his heart of hearts, he affirmed yes. Then the hand wiped it off and wrote another: “Whether you like it or not, you will surrender and you will become a fisher of men.”

Then it wrote: “Write your surrender letter before you go to My crusade.”

With that, Kalu picked up a pen and paper and wrote his surrender letter. He could no longer control himself and was completely unable to resist the power of God which arrested him.

He went to the crusade ground the next day after enduring what he described as a searing heat like someone made to stand on a family long stick while the whole of Aba town was engulfed in flames. When he got to the place, he sat at the far back and dispersed his spirit man into different places which made the internal heat subside a bit. He quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to operate there.

He paid little attention to whatever was going on but from where he was, he could see with his occult eyes that Satan was right when he said he had captured Abiriba town because about 90% of the people at the crusade ground were stark naked before the powers of darkness.

The preacher that night was Rev. Uma Ukpai but he couldn’t remember the title of his sermon. Kalu clearly avoided looking at his direction because his face was radiant with the glory of God, just like those of the angels he encountered before. At the end of the sermon, he invited those who wanted to give their lives to Jesus Christ to come forward and he began to pray.

As he mentioned the name of Jesus, Kalu saw himself levitate several feets into the air and land back on the ground. The policemen and some people seated around him quickly fled. At that point he became physically unconscious but spiritually active as he tried to project his demons into the others who fell with him.

He was carried to the podium where the ministers began to pray for him. When he came out of consciousness, he reached into his pocket and gave one of the ministers his letter of surrender.

The man asked Kalu, “Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?” Kalu asked, “Who is Jesus Christ?” As he said that, one of the occult rings Satan gave him (the good, the bad, the destroyer) knocked him unconscious again, apparently to prevent him from affirming Jesus as Lord.

The pastors came together and began to pray for him as various demons began to manifest through him. He was said to pull out weeds from the grounds with his teeth and nails, ripple on the ground like snakes, swim and scream. When he came to, many of the visible and invisible rings on his toes and fingers had vanished, some of them had peeled out his toenails while leaving. The ministers further prayed for him and the light of God entered his heart.

He took them to his place and surrendered all his paraphernalia and occult tools for burning but two items refused to be burnt: the transcendental flying saucer (which demons utilized in supplying his applicants with power) and the ring Satan gave him (the good, the bad, the destroyer).

He was so exhausted that he fell deeply asleep but woke up later in the night to realize someone sleeping next to him. It was the queen. He was facing the wall while she was facing the other direction. She began to speak that she knew he has left them, but she’s ready to welcome him back if he chooses to return.

Kalu struggled to remember the name of Jesus. It wasn’t a name he was familiar with but he knew its efficacy. If only he knew, he could have asked anyone of the ministers to write it on the wall for him. Suddenly he remembered it and even before he called it out, the queen herself experienced a form a fire and quickly vanished.

He went back to sleep and was taken up to heaven accompanied by a friendly angel to see its beauty. The streets were more beautiful than the ones he had seen in the kingdom of darkness and their structures were superior. This, he was made to understand, was what God has prepared for those who serve Him.

Chapter 12: I will make you a fisher of men

After his salvation and deliverance, Kalu sought to live a normal life again. He visited a man who used to owe him some money and when he narrated his newfound faith to him, the man admitted he became suspicious he was involved in the occult due to some strange dreams he began having after he held on to his money.

He was paid back the money and he moved to another town. While he was there, he visited a friend who informed him that all his possessions he kept at his place had mysteriously disappeared from the room. Kalu assured him not to worry since he knew full well who had taken it.

He wanted to start a business and began to make some contacts. One of the contacts promised to take him to his boss who would help him procure the resources he needed. Then he followed the man, and after hours of journey, finally lead him to an uncompleted building in the outskirts of town.

As if he knew what was going on, Kalu wasn’t surprised to see Satan, the queen and two agents carrying the luggage that his friend had declared missing waiting for him there. The queen told him they had lots of goodies for him; they would give him more wealth and power and whatever he asked for, only if he’d sign on their register of agreement.

They handed him the register and he realized his name was no longer in it. They also gave him a blood-soaked pen to sign in agreement. When he saw the blood in the pen, he simply declared the blood of Jesus. At the mention of that, they all vanished, leaving him stranded at the place too as the money he earlier put in his pocket had also vanished with the spectres.

He met a man who was traveling to Afikpo (in Ebonyi State) to buy fish by canoe and he decided to help him. An elderly man he was carrying and didn’t know, suddenly paid his fare and he blurted out that he didn’t want his assistance; he had just been robbed and wanted to get by safely. When the man saw that he didn’t yield to his ploy, he quickly put the money back in his pocket.

Later that night, he was arrested by the police by sleeping at an unauthorized place and put in jail because they thought he was a thief. In the jail, one of the inmates walked up to him, introducing himself as the boss, and asked him for money, when he told him he had none, he dealt him a painful blow and left him.

That night, he had a dream in which an angel of God encouraged him not to be discouraged by his experience as God already planned that he would through that place become a fisher of men. He was told that God has called him to preach the gospel and narrate his testimony pointing to the love of God and His readiness to save no matter the depth of one’s sins.

When he woke up in the morning, he was really encouraged and after a day, he was set free and found his way back to his place and became established.

The book ends with series of questions and answers such as:

• Does Satan attack unbelievers too?
• Who were really the demi-gods and what are their roles?
• Why do some babies have ogbanje (familiar) spirits shortly after they are born?
• Why some children sought in white garment churches often have dreadlocks?
• How can someone who is not a member identify a member of their kingdom?
• Is it true that witches and satanists can transmogrify into animals?
• Which cities/towns did Kalu have more influence than the others?
• How many people were in his rank and level of power before his conversion?
• Can the queen of the coast control Christians?

To the last two questions he answered that there were 17 occultists on his equal rank worldwide, but he happened to be the youngest and the most aggressive.

And he said it’s impossible for the queen of the river to control Christians but as for others who are not born again, they are like toys in her hands.

Recollections of Born Twice: From Demonism to Christianity (IV)

Chapter 10: The Underground Temple

With the temple he acquired, new responsibilities were given to Cashnaya. Part of this included inviting seekers of power from the religious, political, social and others from various walks of life to visit his temple.

He was also given a pamphlet on laws guiding power usage. One of them is that a member of the kingdom of darkness is not to use his powers against another member, unless one is erring.

One day, one of Kalu’s agents reported a religious gathering near his temple to him. He viewed the gathering through the occult screen in his temple and found it to be a church with all its members naked except for one man who had a bright ring around his head.

When a supernatural “ring” is seen around the head of an individual (signifying the presence of the Holy Spirit) it means he’s born again. Some people’s rings are dim while others are bright.

From his findings, the man with a “bright ring” wasn’t a member of that church, he only began attending because he couldn’t find his own denomination as he recently relocated. Cashnaya decided to finish him off.

He monitored the gathering on a Sunday and as the church service ended, he astral projected there. As the worshippers were coming out to the main road, including this Christian man, the Roman Catholic patrols were trying to controll the traffic of car users.

Kalu noticed a man with a car coming from an opposite end as this Christian was about crossing the road, so he quickly took over the body of the driver and controlled his leg, shifting it from the brake to the accelerator making the car go on full speed. He also made the car doors open so that even if the bonnet missed him, the car doors ajar won’t.

The car crushed many people and Kalu rejoiced in his temple. Later when he watched a playback of the entire scenario on his screen, he realized that the Christian man was actually spared. Not a single thing touched him. In fact, he learnt that he later helped them clear the corpses. Kalu’s joy quickly melted into disappointment, but he let it slide to focus on other duties.

Kalu then took the second egg from India and walked into a forest as instructed and chanted an incantation and smashed the egg on a floor.

Immediately, there was a quake which splitted the ground open and he was taken down in it. He descended and appeared before a powerful demon who asked him who he was and what he was doing in his kingdom in an unfriendly tone.

He introduced himself as a son of the Queen of the Coast, on a mission to gain more wisdom and power and also told him of his predicament. The demon said there was really nothing spectacular to explore in his kingdom but unlike during his first tour, he was free to ask questions which he would answer.

He saw some earthly birds flying around and he asked the demon what were they doing there. The demon told him that these birds were the ones responsible for helping them to plant supernatural trees (such as Tossy tree) on earth.

He also saw a deserted football field with many men and women chained to it. From the looks on their faces, they haven’t eaten for months. He asked about this from the demon and he told him that these were people whose souls were given to them in exchange by earthly donors who wanted to alter their lives through material wealth, good health or power. He said no matter how famished they look, they won’t die.

He explained to Kalu that pacts are made with the kingdom to give human lives in exchange for power. He mentioned the name of a certain prophet in Amaogudu, whose name Kalu had forgotten, who made a covenant with him that he would regularly supply two human heads for his power to manifest in his church.

The transaction went smoothly for years until the past few years when his debt accrued. After warnings, this demon and his army stormed into his church in fury, demanding their dues – causing a serious erosion to occur on the road leading to his religious structure. To the physical realm, the erosion was presumed to be caused by a massive flood, leading to much public complaint.

The man managed to appease the demon, but he admitted he will still end his life when he’s tired of his game. Kalu inquired how the erosion they supernaturally caused would be repaired, the demon said they have their own recognized construction company that will take up the task.

The demon also showed him on a large screen, pictures of many wealthy people, scientists, philosophers and elites. The demon told him that some of these people were dead while the others were still alive but all of them have been in partnership with the realms of darkness.

Some of these people, Kalu said he knew and were still alive as of the time of his writing. The demon said if any of these people should violate any of the laws guiding the kingdom of darkness, they will be subjected to the unchangeable penalty of death.

After spending three days with demon he realized that what he said about their own construction company repairing the damaged road was indeed true.

Chapter 11: My Last Battles as a Satanist

The queen arranged for Cashnaya to embark on a tour to all the fourteen kingdoms of darkness in order to incorporate all the wisdom and power needed in his operations. This journey took an entire month and after the visits, he was equipped with more power and knowledge.

The notice reached him that a massive crusade was to be held in Abiriba, his own base, tagged The Greater Abiriba for Christ 1989. This was to be his assignment.

Kalu first went out in his spirit body to one of his agents, a market woman. He appeared to her in the shop and instructed her to mobilize other agents to be present at the crusade venue.

He then drew up an agenda for a meeting with Satan and the queen of the coast on this matter. When Satan appeared at the meeting with the queen, he asked what his agenda was about and Kalu read it out without hesitation, “How to thwart the Greater Abiriba for Christ crusade.”

As he mentioned the word “Christ” they all could hear peals of thunder, a roar of fire and an invisible power forced the three of them to bow their heads to the ground for about 30 minutes. When they got up from the ground, Satan warned Cashnaya furiously to never use that name again in his presence ever again.

Satan began to boast that he had captured the town of Abiriba for as long as her existence. Cashnaya asked him which weapons he utilized and Satan said they were: pride, hatred, love of money and cultural activities. Hence, that upcoming crusade was an affront that must be resisted.

Abiriba, Abia State.

He ordered Cashnaya to mobilize all the agents under him into action and frustrate the crusade. After boasting some more, Satan eventually disappeared.

When he was gone, the queen walked up to him with a warm hug and that was precisely what was on his mind. The queen always seems to know whenever he feels like having sex.

While they were both gleefully having sex about 4:30 am (she would transform into a girl of about his age whenever they had intercourse), they were suddenly hushed into panicking as the whole place began to quake.

They disengaged and the queen changed back into her real form. At her command, their screen showed where the rumblings were coming from: a Christian man was preaching the gospel around Ameke Square (apparently, whenever the gospel of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed in the physical world, it causes ripples in the realm of darkness).

The queen chanted an incantation and a bottle appeared in her hand. She rubbed its gummy/sticky contents on Kalu’s face and commanded him to go after that preacher and stare at him face-face with that concoction and the demons would melt the preacher into natural water.

Ameke Square, Abiriba.

Kalu woke up physically, and left the house immediately. His family knew he had a habit of visiting the restroom every morning so they didn’t think it was unusual for him to go out at that time. After walking hurriedly, he located the preacher from a distance, but as he was about catching up with him, suddenly, two angels appeared and were walking towards him.

It soon got to a point that the angels were close to him and wouldn’t allow him go any further. He chanted an incantation against them, it didn’t work. He had been given a “special” ring when he visited Satan’s kingdom; the ring is called “the good, the bad, the destroyer.”

Satan told him that the demons attached to the ring would make a bad situation become “good”; turn a good thing into bad and would also destroy a bad thing/person. He used this ring against the angels as he had been instructed, but it didn’t faze them.

He couldn’t even stand in their presence as their countenance was like the sun in its zenith, so he began to stagger like a drunk. The two angels captured him and took him to a place in the woods where they had him tied down to a tree by bright white cords they produced from their bodies. They then left their two swords by each of his ear and left the place. The sword began to sing in a most melodious voice he had ever heard and later began to preach the gospel to him.

Though he found the message somewhat tormenting (each time the name of Jesus was mentioned, he would feel burns on his body) one line from the messages stuck with him: “I will make you fishers of men if you will follow Me.” Later, the angels returned, picked up their swords without saying a word to him and untied him.

By then, the day had dawned, he chanted an incantation to disappear but it didn’t work. He repeated it, still didn’t work. He then recalled when he visited Satan’s kingdom, he taught him that whenever he got defeated, he should walk two poles away from the site and repeat the incantation. He did that and he was taken to his room, and being fatigued, he slept off on the bed while his spirit travelled to his temple.

When Kalu’s mother returned from the market and found him lying on the bed, she got the shock of her life. She wanted to know how he entered into the room.

Kalu managed to mumble some excuse about the padlock not being properly locked, but his mother knew that was impossible. This padlock was brought by his brother from Cotonou and wouldn’t lock unless the key was removed from it.

He couldn’t seem to convince his mother of his fib, and that raised her suspicion. She confided in one of her friends who suggested they visit a witchdoctor. Even though Kalu’s mother wasn’t a Christian, she didn’t like anything involving consulting a fetish priest. But her friend urged her to go find out the spiritual identity of her son.

They visited a rather popular dibia whose name Kalu declined from revealing. He gave them a stick with which they were to touch the body of the person whose spiritual identity they wanted to know. This his mother did that night at about 2am. He was watching this with his spiritual eyes.

When they took the stick back to the dibia, he asked for the name of the person they were inquiring about and the moment his name was mentioned, there was pandemonium in the shrine. All his deities began to wail loudly in his ears and when they stopped, the heads of their images began to break to the ground. His powers began to crumble.

The dibia began to act insane, yanked off the wrapper from each of the woman (luckily they wore two) demanded for their money and sent them away bewildered.

After this incident, Kalu invoked Satan to his temple and consulted him with incantations. He was pleased. He charged him to fight like a soldier and deploy all the powers at his disposal in his assignment.