~The views and opinions expressed here are of the blog author and not necessarily of CCAPSG as a whole~

Sunday, February 27, 2011


This week I had a meeting with an ex-South Sydney first grade footballer about Chaplaincy.
He was a fantastic bloke and we talked about life and football. The last thing I expected was a story about the strange intervention in a suicide attempt by a vision.
This is his story.
"My brother in law played first grade Rugby League as well. His wife was a Christian but he wasn't.
 He was very down emotionally at the time and had some issues going on in area's of his life that he felt were out of control.
 We used to train by running along the cliffs that go from Bondi to the other southern beaches, it's beautiful. One day my brother in law was running and he was a fit strong guy, he was ahead of the pack. And he had this sense to keep running. And it got stronger. He felt like if he kept running and ran off the cliff then all his worries would be over.
So he picked up the pace, and he could see the bend in the trail where if he kept going straight he would go over the cliff and he ran at that gap. He was only four metres away when a clear vision of my sister, who used to pray for him all the time, appeared in front of him in a vision.
She said 'stop, stop, if you keep going your life will end and it all the plans will come to nothing'
And he ground to a halt a couple of metres from the edge. Now his life is great, he is a follower of Jesus but that would have been the end of it".
Was this vision simply his subconscious getting him to see clearly using familiar images? Was it an act of God using the face of one he loved? Or was it a vision similar to the one St Paul had which is recorded in the book of Acts (16:8-10)
"So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him saying "Come over to Macedonia and help us". Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them".
Whatever it was, it saved his life and for that his family are grateful.
God bless you  - Pastor Baz.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bizarre In The News - There's something attractive about Bogdan, the Serbian boy who claims to be 'magnetic'

A light hearted story for your Friday...


A seven-year-old boy in Serbia is attracting worldwide attention after his family claim he is magnetic.
To prove their claim, the family paraded the boy in front of an camera crew, with a variety of objects stuck to his chest.
The boy, called Bogdan, seemed unfazed by the attention - nor did he seem to mind having a variety of cutlery stuck to his body.

The footage ended up on MSNBC, where reporter Al Stirrett said Bodgan did indeed have a unique ability.
Mr Stirrett told MailOnline that the family did not offer their last name, possibly because of the age of the boy.
Nevertheless, they're happy to show off Bodgan's ability - which they claim he has had since birth.
The footage shows Bogdan first with a variety of cutlery attached to him, then a TV remote control is added to his body

Read more: here

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bizarre In The News - Poltergeist Caught On Tape

As always Ghost Theory has come up with another great video.

Please read their blog for more info. Link above.

Thoughts on the video? Fake? Real?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Real Life Story: Beware The Tokolosh

Africa is a land of beauty and amazing people.
It is also a land where many blend Christianity with spiritism and ancestor worship. Much in the same way we in the west try and blend Christianity and materialism. And in the same sense that a Christian who tries to live as a consumer/individualist is always going to live in tension, so do many African communities that try to mix the belief systems together.
I was talking to David, who is from Mozambique and his wife who is a missionary about life in Africa. I asked them if they had any interesting experiences.
And of course, they did.
David shared with me a story of his involvement in a youth group that reached out to non-churched kids. In the town he lived in there were many strange rituals occurring - cats being killed and offered as blood sacrifices to spirits in return for power and an increase in occult involvement and with it an increase in heavy metal/death metal music among the kids.
One night when David was not feeling particularly spiritual a young man was brought into the room. He had requested prayer as he felt activities he had been involved in may have opened him up to some unclean spirits. In Davids words "For five hours, this young man threw five of us around a room, we could barely hold him down as every time we mentioned the name of Jesus he manifested angrily and with amazing strength. Then the young man was delivered - he said the moment before he was so angru he wanted to kill us all and then it broke and the demon left him".
The couple also shared stories of the village witch doctors, whom were revered out of fear and wealthy due to their ability to curse and break curses. These witch doctors used to attend Church on Sunday and then practice their magic arts the rest of the week.
But the most interesting story was that of the Tokolosh.
The Africans in the region David worked in built their beds well above ground level so that the Tokolosh could not kill them as they slept.
This creature was like an imp, and renowned for it's large male appendage. It came into rooms at night and everyone lived in great fear of it because it's intent was not merely to create fear or rummage through belongings but to kill.
"So is it a myth or has anyone you know actually seen it"? I asked.
"My friend actually saw it, it was jet black and looked like a gremlin, just like in the movies, it moved across the floor of his room and he saw it in full view".
David, a multi instrumentalist, educated in London and from a great family is not prone to myths and legends. When he tells you the stories of his home country you believe his sincerity.
"Anything else" I asked?
"There was this Pastor who did not believe in demons or miracles. One night he was praying for a home group when one lady manifested. He had never done an exorcism so he said "In Jesus name leave her". But he had never done a binding so the spirit went into the lady next to her who started manifesting. So this time he bound the spirit, then cast it out. Next thing, there is a scream outside. A lady coming down the street had been pinned between two parked cars as she walked through them, they just rolled by themselves. Her legs were mangled beyond repair. In front of all the people in the group the Pastor prayed 'in Jesus name be healed' and she was completely healed. Now he believes in miracles".
What is it about Africa that causes it to be a land of blessings and curses. If you remember mid last year, when I was on crutches, an African Bishop turned up at my Church unannounced, prayed for my foot and I was instantly able to walk.
Until next week - God bless you - Pastor Baz.

Is there a spiritual side to tattoos?

It is written in the Levitical laws for the nation of Israel (Leviticus 19:28)
"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor any tattoo marks on you; I am the Lord".
What exactly were these marks for the dead - and what defines a tattoo?
Tattoo's have been used by people over thousands of year for many reasons, and in particular religious and superstitious reasons.
In the time of the ancient Israelites the Amorites used to cut theor flesh when somebody died. Also the Egyptians that were their (ie Israelites) slave masters used tattoo's ceremonially to worship and invocte their deities. Other nations tattooed images and representations of their gods or symbols to ward off evil and curses. To to take the mark of an idol was to show you were that gods servant.
Tattoo's have tended to have less spiritual meanings in recent times but also tend to remind oneself of a memory, an event, a career or a loved one. Since the times that naval sailors found the art of tattooing in the Pacific Islands hundreds of years ago, it's popularity has grown, first with sailors and military, then with "lower classes" and now in the 21st century, it is an extremely popular form of self expression. It can be a thing of great beauty and a thing of downright ugliness depending on the design, the artist and the viewers perception.
I myself have multiple tattoo's, although many Christians would disagree with that fact. But I am not here to be pro or anti tattoo but to look at the spiritual side.
The first thing that we have to look at is whether it is still a form of idolatry and giving service or placing yourself into the service of other gods.
I'll answer it with a real life example: When I was 25 my god was surfing. It was all I did, all I thought about, all I read about and all I watched. It was even by secular definitions an idol.

I wanted to be so submitted to surfing that I got a tattoo that says "Live to surf" and has an image of a shark with sunglasses on, standing on a fiery surfboard and holding onto a yin and yang symbol. What my tattoo symbolised is where my heart was and therfore became the god I worshipped. Every day it is a reminder of who I was before I found out that the only worship worth giving was to the true and living God of the Bible.
Is that the same as having a sports team, a loved one's name or your favourite activity tattooed? It depends on where your heart is. If you have no relationship with God, then chances are it's an idol. If you do have a relationship with God, how is that going compared to the item you have tattooed in terms of priority?
What about Christian tatttooes? I have five. Does that make it right? Is it a representation of who I serve and who I have submitted myself to?
And darker themes? Tattooes with demonic images, Pacific Islander tatt's with Tiki's in them, Yakuza style Japanese tatt's.
Images of Ned Kelly, Southern Crosses and rebellious statements against law and governments? Gang tatt's with guns, knives, symbols and mission statements.
I have often wondered if those images align us with things behind the images of a spiritual nature. Is it life imitating art or art imitating life?
Or is it no different than wearing images on a tee shirt?
I find this a very interesting subject. One man, of Maori descent whom I used to see walking up the street in Cronulla had the word 'satan' tattooed on his forehead and upside down crosses on each cheek. Part of me feels this was his way of stating how evil he was (or wanted to be portrayed) in the mongrel mobs back home in New Zealand rather than being a practising satanist. But is the pursuit of evil the same as being a practicing satanist anyway? I used to see him in later years in a suit and a tie with a long fringe over the tattoo!!!
One thing is certain, just like the quote "where your treasure is there is also your heart", I would suggest that tattooes say a lot about where our hearts are and what we worship.
I'll leave it with a statement from the owner of a tattoo parlour in Broadbeach QLD.

I was getting a tattoo of an eagle with the scripture Isaiah 40:31 underneath it, symbolic of that all who put their trust/hope in the Lord, will have their strength renewed and mount up as if on the wings of eagles. On his walls were some of the darkest demonic images I have ever seen.
"Mate, do people actually get those done"? I said through the buzzing of the tattoo gun.
"Yeah" he replied "I don't know how they sleep at night. Imagine getting up to go to the toilet and seeing that on your body in the mirror".
"Do the images ever creep you out"?
"Yeah they do, but that's what people want so I deliver them the goods. But I hate having them up there".
So the question remains, like the ancients who wore tattoo's of their gods and idols to proclaim allegiance to them, can our tatts proclaim allegiance to entities and does that allegiance make it easier to access our lives?
That's not rhetoric, I would actually like people to put forth their opinions.
God bless you - Pastor Baz.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Real Life Story: The nightclub demon

One of my best friends is a Lebanese Muslim and he has had a very colourful life.
In his younger days he was involved with gangs and the fast life. He has been stabbed, shot and even survived an aircraft crash.
But it's some of his real life stories about the paranormal that are even more interesting.
We were talking this week when he said "I have some stories that if I tell you, you won't sleep for a week".
So of course, I asked to hear them :)
"In our religion, like in the Christian religion, we believe in the devil. And we believe if you have sin in your life then the devil can control you. Do you think drugs can allow the devil into your life"? He asked.
I thought back to a conversation I had with my mother, who is a psychiatric nurse when I was twelve. She said to me "Don't ever take drugs or get drunk - when you do you can open part of yourself up to other spirits. The wards are full of people who have taken drugs or gotten really drunk and it has allowed something else to come in and take over. You don't see it unless you work in the hospitals but it's more than just mental illness".
And in a story for another time, I think she was right after an experience that I had in Noosa a long time ago where after a huge night on the drink, something else stepped in for a little while. It scared me so much I have never been drunk since. (Also purchase Robin "The Paranormal Pastors" latest book "True tales of the unexplained" on Amazon for some very similar real life stories about drugs and demonic stuff that lingers after the experience).
"Let me tell you a true story" He continued.
"Me and my mates went out for a big night at Kings Cross (notorious Sydney party district) and my mates were doing heaps of coke. Anyway, here we are, dressed up at the nightclub and two of my mates go to the bathroom, one only a minute behind the other. When my second mate gets into the toilets, the first one is crumpled on the ground covered in blood. There were doors broken, mirrors smashed, blood on the ceiling. The second guy grabs the first and says 'who jumped you, who jumped you' and the guy on the floor said 'no-one' I walked in here and something grabbed me and flung me against the wall, then pushed me up on the ceiling, then smashed me into every corner of the room. There was no-one here".
"That was the devil, because in our religion taking drugs is a sin, and when you sin, the devil can control you. And that is a true story, there was no one else in the room".
Drugs of all kinds have been used for millennia by cultures to induce a state in which people can have religious experiences and communicate with the spirits. What makes us think that just because our culture uses them recreationally that you won't have a similar experience.
My friends has many interesting stories because the Muslim culture is open to talking about spiritual things and I will be posting them here in the coming weeks.
A question I have is, can pharmaceuticals and caffeine have a similar effect? How do you discern between drug induced psychosis and a real spiritual event? Obviously in this case there were physical signs that something had happened that was very interesting?
And what does God have to say about this?
I think He speaks to us through his apostles in the New Testament verse of 1 Peter 5:8
"Be sober, be vigilant, because your oppenent the devil, as a roaring lion, doth walk about. seeking whom he may swallow up..."
And our response?
To stay sober minded by not allowing things to make our mind less than sober like the abuse of drugs and alcohol open up a channel to the devil and to give our 'heart, soul, mind and strength" to the love of God..
Because for a believer, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But all temples have doors which can be opened if not guarded well.
God bless you - Pastor Baz.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


from thebigfamilyoftattoos.blogspot
I have nothing against black clothes. In fact it's probably my favourite colour (its very slimming and hides dirt well :)
And personally I have eight tattoo's, so I'm not trying to bring people back under the old testament often misquoted laws about marking your skin.
But when black clothes, darkly themed tattoo's and darkly themed music collide can it create something supernatural?
Hold on - create is the wrong terminology!!
It's more like......could it invite darker pre-existant forces (if they existed) to come in and have a look, maybe stay for a while? When you see and hear life through dark filters could you attract dark things that possibly co-exist with us?
When I write these blogs, I really want to challenge people to think about culture. I didn't grow up in a Christian culture. We had a veneer of Catholicism but were involved in the occult on both sides of the family. So I hope you don't read this and think that some Christian Pastor is being condescending to any other subculture. Just as athiests force Christians to think long and hard, I hope people won't reject the possibility that some of these scenarios could be true, relevant or at least worth evaluating.
The Goth subculture intrigues me. I got to watch it evolve during the 80's, 90's and 00's. It has multiple subcultural elements within it. People often generalise and mistakenly think Goths are all depressed outcasts. Most Goths I know are intelligent, articulate, hard working, university educated, broad minded and friendly. As one person described to me as I wrote this blog, his view of the gothic subculture was;
"A purposeful attempt to subvert the dominant culture". 
And you could say the same thing about Jesus Christ and his subversion of the Empire He was born into (Think of His inclusion of woman, the people he hung out with and the message he spoke which got Him crucified). So Goths, and Christ have that in common thus far.
from hi5comments.net

Plus there are plenty of Christian Goths so we are not suggesting Goth always  = agnostic.
On the flip side of the positives in the subculture tabled above it has been my ministry experience and the experience of others that young people in this subculture are more prone to:
- Depression.
- Self esteem issues.
- Experimentation with the occult. (defined as participating in occult practices like Wicca, clairvoyance or ancient rites or religious ceremonies even at a 'playful' level).
- A perception of isolation or at times rejection from the broader community.
- Are interested in/involved with the paranormal (not the same as occult practices, more like media shows, paraphernalia and seeking answers about life after death/hauntings etc).
 from lastfm.com
So the question is, does involvement in subcultures that tend toward darker imagery create more doors to the paranormal?
In our first blog this month, we got some really cool feedback from people involved in the Vampire/Vampyre subculture and I thank them for their honesty.
Could we get similar feedback from people in the Gothic subculture? Remember, this is not an attack on you or your subculture any more than saying that many surfers/Hipsters/Bikie gangs have common traits or are prone to certain attributes, so please don't be defensive. We just want to know if you guys have more supernatural experiences and if you attribute any of that to common themes in the subculture of just random cases.
Looking forward to some feedback, God bless you - Pastor Baz.
Next week - Tattoo's and imagery.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Real Life Story: The Polter-Coke Can

I got a phone call this week from a rather flustered Pastor Baz. He went on to tell me an experience he'd just had.  

He had been having lunch this week with a parishioner of his who had previously been a high level yoga practitioner and Wizard in a wiccan coven when the most amazing thing happened. The parishioners can of Coke started sliding slowly across the table. At first Baz thought the table may have had a tilt or water on it, until he realised his own can next to it was not moving (both were empty). Pastor Baz and his friend both looked in amazement. The can moved around twenty centimetres, then stopped and then started to spin on its base, very slowly, doing two rotations. The parishioner grabbed the can and said "lets get out of here" and as they walked out Baz asked if he could pray for him. Upon prayer the other man shuddered, complained of lack of breath and heaviness and said "this is how I felt when I walked into a witchcraft shop....".

Baz wondered "Is this evidence that when we are involved in the occult that it can take years to shake off the consequences?" The same man also tells a story of waking up at night to be confronted by a small Indian man whom he has chased out of every house he has ever moved into since opening up his chakra's and third eye through yoga many years ago.  Has anyone else heard of something like this or had it happen to you? 

"I have seen a number of interesting things in my life" Pastor Baz commented "But this was the most tangible thing I think I have  experienced in recent memory. It became so obvious that it was being moved, I actually looked under the table to see if it was a trick because it was like watching a magic trick in progress.There was no wind, the other can stayed still and when it stopped and began to slowly spin, I almost freaked out a bit because I knew we were in the presence of a force that was moving it".
Then Baz wondered whether due to the nature of their conversation, which was about following Gods plan and Gods path and being in Gods will, whether something intervened to distract them both and create fear.

Has anyone else ever experienced this kind of phenomena? Can it be debunked? The sliding of the can, maybe. But the spinning is not no so easy to explain away.  We welcome your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bizarre in the news - Two news stories regarding religion and the paranormal

Huffington Post, David Briggs

The complicated connection between religion and the paranormal

Don't expect Hollywood to give up the ghosts.
The parade of paranormal entertainment filling American screens -- from the movie Paranormal Activity 2 to television shows such as Ghost Hunters,Psychic Investigators and Paranormal State -- is meeting an intense interest in otherworldly experiences, new research shows.
More than two-thirds of Americans have paranormal beliefs, sociologists Christopher Bader and F. Carson Mencken of Baylor University and Joseph Baker of East Tennessee State University report in their new book Paranormal America from New York University Press.
And the interest is only expected to increase, scholars say, with the growth of immigrant populations more open to paranormal beliefs.
Not everyone is interested. Those with no religious beliefs, Jewish people and the most committed Christians are among the least likely to believe in UFOs or psychics or Bigfoot.
But a generation of spiritual seekers are opening their minds and bank accounts to beliefs, practices and experiences that are not recognized by science and not associated with mainstream religion.
Whether it is a study showing nearly half of Americans believe extraterrestrials absolutely or probably exist, or ghost-hunting groups and documentary producers rushing to find the latest "haunted" house, interest in paranormal phenomena has entered the mainstream.
"What we can say with certainty is that we live in a paranormal America," write Bader, Mencken and Baker. "Put another way, the paranormal is normal."
Read the rest here
A slightly more one sided argument (in my opinion) regarding Catholicism and the paranormal:

Dear Father | Belief in the paranormal is no substitute for true religion


What is the Church’s teaching on the paranormal? Do ghosts or other spirits exist?

Msgr. Matthew Mitas' answer:

When you speak of the "paranormal," you're using an umbrella term that covers many things, including occultism, divination, necromancy, spiritism, Satanism, fetishism, theosophy and outright witchcraft, all of which the Church condemns as either fraudulent or destructive of the soul.
Usually a person involves himself in these things as a substitute for true religion. In true religion, God is recognized as the Lord whom all must serve. The pride that prevents us from bending our stiff necks in homage to Him drives many to seek other gods, false gods, not to serve them but to be served by them. In true religion, the believer says: "Thy will be done." In a false religion, he says: "My will be done." In other words, they are forms of idolatry and a direct violation of the First Commandment.
A spirit is, by definition, a being with intellect and will but without any kind of physical form or substance. Of course, the Church believes in them. God is a spirit, the human soul is a spirit, angels are spirits. Devils, too. Whereas God and the angels never had bodies, our souls are attached to one, making us an interesting hybrid: part animal, part angel. One day, our souls will disjoin from our bodies. That, in fact, is how we define death: the soul's departure from the body. We also believe that at the end of time, our bodies and souls will rejoin, becoming like the glorified figure of the Risen Christ.
The word ghost is now often used to name a disembodied spirit made visible to men. If that were as far as it went, then the Church does acknowledge their existence, inasmuch as there is strong evidence of instances in which a canonized saint appeared to someone still alive, usually to deliver a teaching or warning. This would be by a singular action of Providence to accomplish His own purpose. All too often, however, it's a term given over to wild tales of hauntings and infestations by the restless souls of the unhappily demised. Such things make for great entertainment, but they don't pass theological muster.
Read the rest here

Bizarre In The News - Dome of the rock UFO just a marketing stunt?

Fox News

It's the footage that has true believers in a spin.
Several videos posted to YouTube last week appear to show a strange ball of light hovering above a Jerusalem shrine before disappearing into the night. At first the clips, shot from different angles, seemed convincing -- or at least like an elaborate hoax.
It's beginning to look just as likely that they're part of a viral marketing stunt for a Hollywood movie, however. Several skeptical YouTube users have pointed out how the UFO clips appear to have been digitally manipulated.
That hasn't stopped one of the videos clocking up more than a million views, just a few weeks before the release of Battle: Los Angeles.
Official teasers for the alien invasion flick use footage from documented UFO sightings to promote the film, and its marketing team has dabbled in online stunts before.

Read more: here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bizarre In The News - Phantom Horseman of Cairo


This video was recorded by a man and his family who were watching coverage of the protests on the streets of Cairo, Egypt, February 2, 2011.  The video appears to show what looks like the ghostly green image of a rider on horseback moving through the crowd then fading away.

Read more here

Bizarre In The News - More questions raised in Fishers ghost CSI

A “CRIME scene investigation” of Fred Fisher’s murder probably produced more questions than answers, according to Campbelltown & Airds Historical Society president Jackie Green.
But, she said, that was to be expected as one bit of information or question triggered another one.
Ms Green said the new approach to the incident was very well received, with 22 adults and three children taking advantage of the History Week event recently.
The partipants took part in a round-table discussion, viewed primary source material and visited the scene of the crime and the properties of both the victim and the accused George Worrall.
Ms Green said several amateur historians attended, as did a teacher, a home school mother and several private researchers.
While the scrutiny did not unearth any new facts, she said, a conspiracy theory did emerge.
“The conspiracy suggested the police had made out Fisher was murdered so they could get hands on his land,” she said.
Read more here
Fishers Ghost: 
From wikipedia
The legend of Fisher's ghost is a popular Australian story dating to the early 19th century. It arose from a series of historical events which occurred in Campbelltown, now a large urban population centre on the southwestern outskirts of Sydney, but at the time a remote rural outpost.
In 1826 a Campbelltown farmer named Fred Fisher suddenly disappeared. His friend and neighbour George Worrall claimed that Fisher had returned to England, and that before departing had given him power of attorney over his property and general affairs. Later, Worrall claimed that Fisher had written to him to advise that he was not intending to return to Australia, and giving his farm to Worrall.
Four months after Fisher's disappearance a respectable local man named John Farley, ran into the local hotel in a very agitated state. He told the astonished patrons that he had seen the ghost of Fred Fisher sitting on the rail of a nearby bridge. Farley related that the ghost had not spoken, but had merely pointed to a paddock beyond the creek, before disappearing.
Initially Farley's tale was dismissed, but the circumstances surrounding Fisher's disappearance eventually aroused sufficient suspicion that a police search of the paddock to which the ghost had pointed was undertaken - during which the remains of the murdered Fisher were discovered buried by the side of a creek. George Worrall was arrested for the crime, confessed, and subsequently hanged. Fred Fisher, whose lands he had coveted, was buried in the cemetery at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Campbelltown.
It is thought by some that the story of the ghost may have been invented by Farley as a way of concealing some other speculated source of his knowledge about the whereabouts of Fisher's body, but this cannot be confirmed. Contemporary police and court records do not mention the ghost story - but they are also silent on how the authorities knew where to look for Fisher's body.
The legend of Fisher's ghost has since entered popular folklore, and is celebrated during Campbelltown's annual Fisher's Ghost Festival which commences early November concluding mid month. The creek beside which the body was discovered is known as Fisher's Ghost Creek. It has now however been converted into mostly a storm water drain.

The Dark Side of Music

Ah, that old chestnut, a Christian blog on the evils of music eh!!!
I'm not going to quote from "They sold their souls for rock and roll" because you can watch the whole series on percieved satanic influences in music on YouTube.
It's worth watching and making your own mind up. You will find stuff that will blow you away because I expected a whole bunch of half truths but was stunned when bands, lyrics and interviews were given verbatim from the sources.

This is not about rehashing the old "backmasking" strategy, because lets face it, its the musical equivilent of image matrixing. If someone tells you it's tehre you'll hear it. Plus who owns a record player anymore?
Last week I talked about the dark supernatural imagery that is portrayed in the retail arena and asked "is it just marketing supply and demand" or is it more strategic than that? And if it is, we ask like all good detectives "who stands to benefit from it".

What about the darker side of music. Does the imagery, culture, beats, sounds and sensations have any supernatural effect on us?
I could quote things like the Columbine High School murders and the dark video games and music that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris fed on before the killings. But that is one of many factors that led to the murders. To discuss how sociopathy develops, even in a culture that bullies, is the realm of a psychologist. But go and do your own research on it.

We could look at the rise of ritual satanic murders in Europe, particularly Italy, that have been linked to satan worshipping bands, but there is hype around it that may distort us presenting the facts.
I just want to simply present my experience of the heavy metal scene, as a musician in it and as a listener in the late 80's - early 90's..

When I entered into the subculture, I was a surfer who wore dayglo clothes, carried a year round tan and has blond streaks in my hair. I got up early and went to bed early because that's how that lifestyle works - you sleep in, you miss the waves.

As I embarked on the journey into heavy metal, not only did my sleeping patterns changed, but so did almost everything in my life. And I was less than an inch deep into the subculture compared to the people I was hanging out with.
And the question has to be asked - are there supernatural elements?
Hmmmmmm......maybe. Lets start with physical and emotional issues.

When my Dad died (and he was practicing witchcraft when he did) I went on a spiritual journey, away from surfing and it's worship of nature and the waves into the realm of the dead. Specifically, what happens to them and where are they after they go. I went from drawing waves, beaches and babes to drawing skulls, haunted houses and corpses. My friend and I decided to build a grave yard and turn his car into a hearse, and to spend our time looking for ghosts. We stayed up late watching as much occult viewing as possible. We discussed how the dead could be contacted. And in that zone, I went from listening to upbeat pop/rock music to listening to songs that had lyrics with darker overtones. Previously I thought only bogans listened to heavy metal. But as I was exposed to more music my thoughts became darker. Was it the depression of losing a father? Was it a combination of life and lyrics meeting at the cross roads. I started hanging out with guys that listened to WASP. Slayer, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Anthrax. The softer side of metal compared to the death metal that the older crew were listening to.

The people I met in the subculture were nice. Welcoming. Encouraging. Loyal to each other. They lived and breathed music. Before long I was the singer and guitarist in a band called Volatile (not a very good one either) and we started playing lots of gigs. The lyrics I wrote were dark. I didn't even know what a demon was so how was it that I was suddenly writing lyrics about them?

One day a surfer mate dropped by. He was upset. He had been listening to the band Danzig and he heard something breathing next to him in the wall.. He stopped the music, realised there was a presence in the room and rode his bike to our place to get away from it.

Another time a mate put on the new Slayer album. Considering where I was at spiritually it should not have been a problem. But the first song "South of heaven" really messed with me. I asked him to turn it off and not play it in the house.

Then the band decided we would add it to the set list. I was now singing lyrics that I would not even play in my own house, and I had no religious beliefs at the time. But to sing a song celebrating satan? It was not comfortable and I felt spiritually oppressed. Bob Larson, the well known exorcist, has spent time with Slayer in person and claims that they are not real satanists, it's just a gimmick. Even if that is true, every time that music was played around me and my brother, something changed in the mood of the house.
But that's conjecture. What facts can I tell you about the dark side of music.

- It went mainstream post grunge in '91 and it wasn't just metal heads who listened to it but people from all backgrounds.
- As a subculture itself it attracts people who don't fit into the 'typical' subcultures, who for some reason feel alienated and can identify with the lyrics, How do I know this? Because I provide chaplaincy support to people involved.
- The suicide attempt and depression rates for people I know in the heavy/dark music subculture are much higher than people in the sporting subculture that am around. 
- The people involved in the darker music subculture have spiritual beliefs that are either synergistic with multiple systems or much more open to the occult, not so much practically but as imagery in houses, bedrooms and in terms of paraphernalia of all types.
- You only have to be on Facebook to see people posting the lyrics and the "megathemes include" alienation, loss of hope, killing those who have wronged them, planning revenge and nihilism. Is this art imitating life or is it life imitating art - by saying that, I'm asking do the lyrics shape the worldview or are the lyrics supporting a pre-existing worldview of the listeners.

Personally, I think 50 Cent, is every bit as satanically inspired as Cannibal Corpse. Why? Because any music that teaches people to be self centred or anti-God is satanically inspired. Perhaps not directly but through the prevailing cultural norms. How can you say that you nutjob, you may ask? Because the keys to Gods Kingdom are in "Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving others as you love yourself". Anything else is not inspired by God, and the root of all evil (the love of money) drives our society and the one behind the root of all evil, just like on the Slayer shirt, is the devil and hordes and intelligent, strategic, powerful, supernatural beings who exist outside our frame work of time and space. So does music have a supernatural effect on people. Hell yes. Because like most of culture, as we discussed last week, the media is leading people away from loving God and loving others.

Have I burned all my Metallica records to take up listening to Stryper and Creed? Not quite. But I'm very discerning about where and when I listen to music. I appreciate the art behind it, the hours, the blood sweat and tears that produce it. But I also know that like most of what we get fed as art and media in the world it is trying to reshape my thinking, my emotional and spiritual development. James Hetfield from Metallica is a classic example of someone who was angry at God when his ultra religious mother died. It is a huge subject in his lyrics. But as he delved deeper into the depths of dark music, and the fortune and fame that was also offered to Jesus by satan when He was tempted in the desert, Hetfield hit rock bottom. Now on his arms and body are tattooes of Christ and Michael the Archangel. He knows he needs protection to survive in that industry.

Another dumbed down, anti-intellectual, anti artistic expression article by an ignorant Bible basher?
I hope not. I hope you'll stop and think about what you watch and listen. Is it good for you. Is it good for others. Does it promote love or self interest and hate.

God bless you - Pastor Baz.

Bizarre In The News - The Croglin Grange Vampire Mystery

From Phantoms and Monsters

Our modern idea of a vampire, a creature that has returned from death to prey on humans at night, is based on the Eastern European vampires myths and legends, such as vampires wearing capes or turning into bats. Although vampire myths occur in almost every culture around the world, such myths are rare in England where the idea was almost unknown until the 18th century, when reports from Europe began to surface.

This particular account dates from just after the English Civil War in the 1650's. The owners of Croglin Low Hall in Cumberland (now Cumbria) were a family named Fisher and the story was told to one Augustus Hare by a descendent of the family in 1896. For some reason of their own, the Fishers decided to go and live in the south of England and rent out the farm. The new tenants were two brothers and a sister named Cranswell. The new family stayed in their remote farmhouse through the first winter without event. The summer came and, that year, it was stiflingly hot so they slept with the windows open. At that time the Hall was only one storey high - the upstairs has been built subsequently. Near the Hall was a chapel and a small graveyard which once belonged to the Howard family, who were great landowners in these parts.

One airless summer night the men sat with their sister watching the moon rise. After a time they decided to go to bed. The sister lay in her bed, the bedclothes cast off because of the heat. She had closed her window, but not fastened the shutters. She gazed out of her window, propped up on her pillows as the long summer day faded out and night took its place. In Cumbria at midsummer, because it is quite far north, it does not get very dark at all between sunset and sunrise.

Miss Cranswell soon became aware of two lights in the belt of trees some distance from the house which separated the lawn from the graveyard. She watched and, after a while, she made out a dark shape moving towards the house and towards her window. A terrible horror seized her. She wanted to get up and leave the room, but to go to the door would have meant she had to go closer to the window. Besides she had locked the door from the inside and so would have to stand there and unlock it...all the while clearly visible to whatever was out there. Frozen to the spot, she stared at the shape...but then it turned and instead of moving closer to her window, it started to move around the house. She jumped up and ran towards the door. Her hands were shaking so much that she found it hard to turn the key. And then her heart nearly stopped. Behind her, close to her though she didn't dare look, she heard a scratching at the window. It was outside...just feet away. She stood there petrified with fear still not turning her head. Then she heard the sound of it unpicking the lead which held the glass in place. She forced herself to look and saw that one pane of the mullioned glass had come away and a long bony hand stretched in and turned the window catch. Whatever it was, it came in through the window with a rush and grabbed her...its fingers in her hair, its mouth at her throat. It bit her neck and forced her onto the ground. As it bit her she screamed.

Read more here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bizarre In The News - UFO hovers over Jerusalem shrine

I have been a bit slow on the uptake of this one as I am super skeptical when it comes to UFOs. However this one has now caught the attention of mainstream media and so I am including it on our blog. Do you think its real? The fact there is more than one video from different angles adds to the genuineness of the video. Still, its amazing what you can do with computers these days...?
So, is it government? Alien? Angel? Demon? Projection? Project Blue Beam? Fake? Any other paranormal term that could be thrown in to describe this? Would love to hear your thoughts....


The videos appear to show a bright object slowly descending until it stops above the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine on the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
A circular object appears to hover over the shrine before rocketing upwards.
The event occurred in Jerusalem at 1pm on the Saturday morning. The videos have provoked an online debate as to whether the footage is real.