Mark Dawes, Staff Reporter
Dr. William Schnoebelen photos by Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
As a student in a Roman Catholic high school, he was given a book on the occult by a nun. That book became a gateway for a life in which he embraced witchcraft, freemasonry, satanism, voodoo and Mormonism. He even drank human blood for 18 months.
Dr. Schnoebelen, 57, is in Jamaica until May 29 to warn the nation about the dangers of occultic involvement and to offer ways in which the Christian community can help those who are trapped in such bondage.
A few weeks ago, he became the talking point for many viewers of Ian Boyne's 'Religious Hardtalk' television programme where he unveiled his dark past. He is in Jamaica at invitation of Joseph Ade-Gold Ministries. While here, he will be teaching from the Bible about the dangers of the occult. He will also be disclosing a lot of the unsavoury details of what it was like living on the dark side.
Speaking with The Gleaner earlier this week, the Rev. Dr. Schnoebelen said he wants to share with the Jamaican audiences two main things:
First, one ought to acknowledge that there is a spiritual realm out there. He expressed regret that many Christians have embraced the western mindset that gives little or no credence to the world of angels and demons.
Second, that though demons and the powers of darkness are real, one need not live in fear for God has given tools to overcome these forces. The Lord, he said, has given the Bible and the teachings of many godly people over the centuries which show how one can claim dominion over the land through prayer, fasting and aggressive spiritual warfare. With such tools, Christians, he continued, can take back their children, cities and country out of the clutches of Satan.
"The Bible says we are not to be ignorant of the devil and his devices. We are going to talk a lot about what the dark side doesand how it functions in the spiritual realm … how it will undermine the godly foundations of a family and of society. Let's face it, the family is the building block. You can't have church without having families. And I believe you can't have a society without having church and families."
The nature of curses
He said he would be placing emphasis on the nature of curses, spells, and how to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Schnoebelen hails from Dubuque in Iowa. He is an ordained evangelist and lately, he became a rabbi in a congregation that practices Messianic Judaism.
Dr. Schnoebelen's story began when, as a high school student, a nun gave him Strangest Of All by Frank Edwards which was loaded with tales of the paranormal, UFOs, ghosts and extra sensory perception. He then developed a disconcerting intense interest in such phenomena.
Then he enrolled in a Roman Catholic college and one of his professors said that if he wanted to be like Jesus he had to be involved in the occult. The professor said Jesus was diligently learning the occult between ages 13-30. The professor gave him a book on occultic practices and he was further hooked.
Then, while still in college, he discovered wicca - a religion devoted to the study of the occult - or as he describes it 'white witchcraft'. He read Diary of a Witch by Cybil Leek and then he wrote the king of the witches in England who pointed him to a coven near where he lived in Iowa. Soon he was initiated in that coven as a witch - the year was 1968.
He explained that he made rapid progress in wicca and his superiors urged him to pursue the next step which was membership in the church of satan. Then came membership in a freemasonry society, which he maintains is a Luciferian organisation. He rose high in Masonry, becoming a 32nd degree Mason. Freemasonry has 33 degrees.
Quizzed about the attraction many Anglican ministers have for masonry, Dr. Schnoebelen said it is a matter related to headship. He stressed that if the person at the headof the church organisation is known to be doctrinally goofy, then it is bound to percolate downwards. With many kings of England known to be masons and the fact that the present Archbishop of Canterbury is a druid, more than suggests that there are problems related to headship in the Anglican church.
"There is an old saying, the pew can never rise higher than the pulpit. If your pastor is a mason, then that church is never going to grow spiritually," Dr. Schnoebelen said.
An author of several books and tracts on the spiritism, the occult and satanism, Dr. Schnoebelen was saved in 1984. He had written a cheque to the church of satan. When the cheque came back to him, he found inscribed on it "I will be praying for you in the name of Jesus" - it was from a lady who worked at the bank.
Within 24 hours, his life was shattered. He lost all his magical powers, he lost his job, he and his wife became very ill. He was, at the time, one of the most powerful warlocks on the west coast of Michigan. He had been seriously into witchcraft for 10 years. He spent hours a day developing his powers "and this one lady, by praying, knocked me flat. I did what a witch would do, I cried out for a sign. At that time, two Satanist girls brought two Christian comics - Spell bound and Angel of Light. At the back of the comics were instructions to come out of bondage and into salvation. The two Satanist came saying 'look at these comics, they are so stupid and idiotic you have got to read it.'" He put up the comics and did not read them.
The next day, he said, Mormons knocked on the door. He was surprised because nobody would knock on his door, not even Jehovah Witnesses because people were afraid of him. He recalled advice given to him earlier by one of his dark-side mentors who said "if you ever get in spiritual trouble join the Mormon church, because they had been formed by witches for witches for such a time as this". He told The Gleaner in his own investigations of the Mormons, he found out that its founder, Joseph Smith, was a sorcerer.
He joined the Mormon church and moved up the ranks quickly. Then came a prophecy conference to town. He went to the conference 'to steal sheep'. In a question and answer session, he sought to confound the evangelist leading the conference. The evangelist was, however, very knowledgeable in the Bible and was able to refute his propositions. In the end, the evangelist challenged him to read Acts 16:31 which says "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
He left the meeting feeling 'convicted' of his sins. He went home, picked up the comics, read the sinners prayer at the back of the comics and invited Jesus into his heart and life. The date was June 22, 1984.
Not long after that, he got attached to a Bible-believing church and a para-church organisation. He also went to study for the ministry.
Dr. Schnoebelen today seeks to expose the bondage that the occultic engagement brings. He has written about his life on the dark side in a book entitled Lucifer Dethroned. He has also written Wicca - Satan's Little White Lies, and Masonry - Beyond the Light.
Many, however, dismiss his claims about the supernatural and there are many places on the Internet where stories can be found denouncing him as a fraud.
The visiting clergyman, with his wife Sharon, ministers through a para-church organisation they founded called With One Accord.
Asked what effect can demons have on Christians, Dr. Schnoebelen said Christians can be possessed with demons but not by demons. To be possessed by demons, he said, means that the demons own the Christian. The Christian, however, is owned by God.
More about the work and ministry of Dr. Schnoebelen may be found at www.withoneaccord.org Send feedback on Mind&Spirit to firstname.lastname@example.org