Spirit Channeling at Wallkill's Bethel
There could be a kernel of truth to the story. Alcoholism is endemic in Bethel. Illicit sex happens at Bethel. Every other kind of vice happens at Bethel. Why wouldn't there be incidents of spirit-channelling happening at Bethel? Not that I believe they're actually speaking to any spirits. But look at JW culture - the belief in demons and the belief that dead anointed are in heaven revealing truths to the GB. Isn't it enough to inspire some bethelites to experiment?
I think that's all it is - a few adventurous bethelites experimenting - but this fact is being exaggerated and blown out of proportion and used to accuse the GB of being involved. It's the same with the SI (subliminal images). There were some actual SI in some of the older Watchtower publications like the Live Forever book. This was undoubtedly the work of pranksters in the art dept. But this fact has been blown out of proportion to the point of accusing the GB of being involved in systematically adding SI to the literature. It has gotten to the ridiculous level that many are putting mirror over Watchtower literature to uncover hidden demonic faces - I mean, come on people!
I note that you have selectively responded to the 6 points which I raised.
Please note that I stated nothing about whether or not God exists. I'm simply asking about the scope of God's protection. Isn't demonic attack an evil too? Why does God only protect persons from demonic attack and not from all other forms of evil as well (natural or otherwise)? This doesn't make sense to me.
"I have not experienced many of the symptoms you have related." ~knowsnothing1
Have you ever been so deeply absorbed with God and prayed, meditated deeply, strongly and intensely to the point where you alter your state of consciousness?
It is a fact that (unknown to me at the time) you can pray, meditate, fast, chant, ecstatically speak in tongues or engage in other spiritual practices until you alter your state of consciousness which can subsequently lead to mystical and/or psychotic experiences.
All of the references which I have provided throughout our discussion are testimony to this fact. Many persons have experienced this besides myself:
I think this is a good point at which to end our discussion as we have both found a framework/worldview/narrative/paradigm which helps us make sense of our experiences and give us the structure we need to prevent a breakdown of identity and psychological disintegration.
I found relief of my symptoms by simply stop engaging in deep, strong, intense prayer and meditation. Some persons have had to be hospitalized or seek medical attention in order to successfully treat the adverse side effects/symptoms. Fortunately this was not the case for me.
On the other hand, you found relief of your distressing anxiety symptoms by turning to God and so it will be difficult for you to accept any other explanation of what you experienced.
I am not surprised by this as voluntary intensification of religious beliefs/practice is usually the result of a "religious experience" such as yours. Such intensification is usually one of the coping mechanisms used to deal with distress/trauma, and is associated with the need to find meaning in the distressing event in order to avoid a breakdown of identity.
You value the so-called "spiritual dimension" of your experience:
You rather a broken egg in a glass of water tell you that demons are attacking you and you need cleansing; you rather perceive your distressing experience of anxiety attacks as manifestations of external spiritistic agents than look intrapsychically for explanations based on your own internal psychological processes.
I can see why you are so inclined because we have all been raised to believe that God and demons influence everything.
In my case, I only wish I had discovered the harm which I was doing to myself much much much sooner. This harmful experience has unequivocally taught me that there was no one listening to me while I was earnestly praying and meditating in a sincere effort to draw close to God, develop a personal relationship with him and become deeply absorbed with him as the scriptures recommend - I was just making myself sick.
Yes, I think we've come at an impasse in our discussion. I do appreciate the time you've taken to show me the dark side of meditation. I certainly agree that there are situations where it can drive you mad.
However, my case was far from it. I was not seeking God at first. I was trying to live my life as distant as possible to God or and religion for that matter. It was only through God's power that I stopped having the panic attacks. I tried everything I could in my own hands to control it, but I couldn't.
I hope that just because you had a bad experience, doesn't mean you will never again seek God. He is only a prayer away. God bless you.
...I think we've come at an impasse in our discussion ~ knowsnothing 1
No, we have not come to an impasse. I was just making it easy for you as I note that you have selectively responded to the various points which I have raised. You have been avoiding the hard questions.
For example, you have not been able to provide a satisfying answer to my question regarding the scope of God's protection. Isn't demonic attack an evil too? Why does God only protect persons from demonic attack and not from all other forms of evil as well (natural or otherwise)? This doesn't make sense to me.
It was only through God's power that I stopped having the panic attacks. I tried everything I could in my own hands to control it, but I couldn't ~ knowsnothing 1
Did you seek medical/psychological/psychiatric attention?
It is not reasonable to believe that God will protect you from demons but not the people in the holocaust who also cried out for his help just like you did.
They were still herded into the gas chambers. No deliverance from the fiery furnace there (Daniel 3).
You continue to question God without acknowledging his existence. I'm baffled really.
I have not responded to all your points because I am responding from my phone. I don't always have access to a computer, when I have time I will attempt to address all your questions.
As for the panic attacks, I will give you a better background on how they began and all that I went through.
I used to live in Florida in 2016, but got laid off. I wasn't making too much money doing Uber and Lyft, and at that time I was still a JW, physically in, mentally out. I wanted to get out of being a JW, but I didn't want to lose contact with my mom, so I was able to get work as a medical interpreter in Virginia through the witnesses. I moved end of January 2017.
I managed to get a cheap apartment and also started working at a bank to supplement my income. The problem was I couldn't get away from the witnesses because they had contact with my mom, and so I was forced to go out in field service and to the meetings with them.
This made me very depressed. I was finding no escape. I had suicidal thoughts. I would play video games till 4 or 5 in the morning and sometimes only get 1 or 2 hours of sleep.
One morning I woke up early after 5 hours of sleep. It was on a Monday. I couldn't go back to sleep and I felt bad. I started to prepare to go to the hospital, I was going to drive myself. Before I was fully dressed, I had my first full blown panic attack. I had never had one like that before, and so I called the ambulance. I thought I was having a heart attack. My heart rate must have gone up to about 150? I laid against the door of my apartment on the outside waiting for the ambulance. I felt as if I were about to faint. It was a terrible experience. They took my vitals and my blood pressure was a bit high, but not too bad. I requested I be taken to the hospital. Obviously they found nothing.
This was only the beginning. I went to the hospital many times after that. In one episode my blood pressure was 166 over 95, but still my heart was working just fine. I had to quit my job and my sister offered me to stay at her apartment in California. She flew to Virginia so that we could take my car driving to California. I drove for as long as I could before I got a panic attack and then she had to take over.
Once in California, I almost immediately went to a psychiatrist. They prescribed Xanax(anti-anxiety), citalopram(anti-depressant), and gabapentin (for muscle twitches at night). I took these medications faithfully.
A therapist started coming to the apartment. I did all the exercises he asked. Breathing techniques, grounding, decatastrophizing, yoga, guided meditation.
I went several times to the hospital in California as well. I even ended up in the psych ward a partial night. I had had a manic episode the night before where I fled at 2:45 am in my car (the first and only time such a spontaneous act I committed) They didn't find anything sufficiently wrong with me to merit staying, but I still had trouble sleeping and so they prescribed Seroquel (anti-bipolar/anti-psychotic drug).
I tried everything under the sun. Homeopathic medicine, healthy eating, exercising daily, you name it. I took a long break from religion and decided just to live my life as I pleased. In California I had that freedom.
Nothing worked my friend. I would still have panic attacks. Some weeks more frequent, some less, but it persisted.
I am extremely happy to know that you have overcome your panic attacks.
Whether or not God exists, I still maintain that it is not reasonable to believe that God will protect you from demons but not the people in the holocaust who cried out for his help just like you did, yet they were still herded into the gas chambers. No deliverance from the fiery furnace there (Daniel 3).
There are many stories of people crying out for God's help daily, yet no help comes.
Am I supposed to believe that you are more special than all of these people?
Thanks for your kind words. I have been rather busy, I don't have time to give you an adequate response, but know that I am not the only one with these experiences.
Did you watch the video of the ex Satanist?