The Light Bearer and The Heart of Darkness
“And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.” — Genesis 15:12 KJV
While I was a student at The University of Virginia, I became a member of The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society where I delivered several speeches.
This is one of them.
On a hot humid summer night, after my family had all fallen asleep, I left my home, and drove west into the Shenandoah Mountains. I parked my car on the side of the highway and walked out into the woods. The sky was full of black clouds. There were no stars, no moon, and after I had walked a ways there was almost no light of any kind.
I think I was out there about six hours. I don’t know how many miles I walked or where I went but I walked in absolute darkness for the whole night.
When at last I was too exhausted to walk, I sat down, alone in the darkness, near the top of some mountain.
The following is what I thought about.
Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now
“And this also has been one of the darkest places of the Earth.”
This line comes from the beginning pages of Joseph Conrad’s 1902 novella Heart of Darkness.
In 1979 there was a film released based on this story called Apocalypse Now
It’s about an American colonel in Vietnam who must be killed because he has turned to violent madness.
Near the end of the film Brando delivers a monologue about horror.
“It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face. And you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.”
I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We’d left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio. And this old man came running after us, and he was crying. He couldn’t say. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were, in a pile — a pile of little arms…”
Earlier that week there had been a 49 year old black army veteran sitting next to me in the waiting room of the Chevrolet dealership in Fairfax, Virginia.
He had never seen Apocalypse Now, nor had he read Heart of Darkness, but he told me stories about the horror and the darkness.
He said he had seen people murdering each other and committing all manner of evil in the name of religion, money, power, oil, and water.
He said he had been in Somalia, in the 90’s. He said once his unit had vaccinated the children in a small village in Somalia. He said when they returned a few days later they found that the warlords had come. They had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms.
And he said his unit hunted these men. And they found these men. And they tortured these men with hatred and malice in their hearts. And he said they took their machetes. And he raised his hand and chopped off every limb and member on the bodies of dozens of these men he judged as monsters. And he said they made their own piles. Not just piles of arms, but piles of legs, and ears, and noses, and penises, and tongues, and heads. And they burned them. And the stench of that holocaust haunts his dreams.
And it’s been over twenty years since he made those piles.
And it’s been over 50 years since the piles in Vietnam.
And men will go on making piles as long as there are men to make piles out of.
He showed me the potent drugs he depends on. Without them he can’t sleep. Without them he can’t talk. Without them he has nothing to hold back the darkness. They are the only love he has.
And only love can hold back the horror and the darkness.
Apocalypse Now ends with a horrific scene. Coppola cross cuts between a barbarian ritual slaughter of a bull, and Martin Sheen killing Marlon Brando (Kurtz).
They are both helpless beasts being hacked apart with machetes.
And the weary dying voice of Marlon Brando groans the film’s final words, the famous words from Conrad’s story,
“The horror…The horror.”
Conrad’s novel is about men on a boat going down a river at night.
The novella ends by saying “The offing was barred by a bank of black clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.”
Conrad and Coppola have agreed together on something. That despair, horror, and above all darkness lie at the heart of human existence.
The Problem of Evil
Evil. The problem of evil, is a major point of contentious debate among philosophers and people who think about God.
The Problem of Evil simply put asks the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and injustice with that of a God that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.
Now a good Christian at this juncture would begin a discourse on Leibniz, Malthus, Kant, maybe even Epicurus, and they would venerate Aquinas, and point out how the question misunderstands slippery theological subtleties and give everything a nice scholarly answer and biblical foundation.
But I am not a good Christian. I just say read the Book of Job.
However, none of these answers is any good when you’re looking at a pile of rotting infant arms.
That is Evil.
It’s there. It exists. Never mind how, never mind why, all of that philosophy and theology is just pedantic plutonian mental masturbation that does no good when someone starts swinging a machete.
All that matters is what do you do about it?
That answer is simple, oppose it. Oppose evil in all ways and in all things even unto death.
Fine. How? What is the greatest thing that I can do to oppose evil?
Again the answer is simple, expose it. People always oppose evil when it is exposed to them. So if you can expose evil you can begin to destroy it.
But it’s not so easy.
Even the few people on Earth who aren’t blind cannot see in the dark, and Evil is shrouded in darkness. Thick darkness. Immense darkness.
From a Certain Point of View
Now it is important you understand what I am talking about here. I am not at all concerned with ugly, blatant, evil that is done out in the broad light of day.
The kind of evil I am concerned with tonight is infinitely more sinister.
The kind of evil that is truly dangerous is the kind that men believe is good. Pernicious is the closest word I can think of for it. Something appearing good that is evil.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness -Isaiah 5:20
A familiar example to illustrate the danger of this confusion may be found in Star Wars.
Emperor Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker, “good is a point of view Anakin” and later Anakin becomes Darth Vader and tells Obi Wan “from my point of view the Jedi are evil”.
That is the kind of evil that will ultimately cause more pain and damnation than anything on Earth. That is what is really dangerous.
The Anointed Cherub
Now that we have come to true evil, it’s time to introduce the main character. The God of this World, Satan, Lucifer, the God Damn Devil, the Prince of Fucking Darkness.
If I am to oppose evil I must oppose the devil, Again how? Well if by exposing evil I can destroy it then maybe by exposing Lucifer I can in some small way destroy him.
But the problem is most of you don’t believe in the devil or know nothing about him or his works.
In Bryan Singer’s 1991 film The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey says, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
This line is paraphrased from french poet Charles Baudelaire. “The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”
But I can’t summon Lucifer here to this room to stand before your eyes.
I was tempted to tell you stories of my experiences. I’ve seen horrors too. Maybe my testimony would convince you.
But that wouldn’t work either. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt with a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night. He parted a sea and drowned the most powerful army in the world all right in front of their eyes.
Then he spoke to them with a voice of many thunders and they sent Moses to listen because they were afraid they were going to die.
20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. — Exodus 20:20–21 KJV
Moses was gone less than 40 days, and the children of Israel built a golden idol and had an orgy to worship Lucifer.
Well I don’t want any 1 hour Christians.
I have not come here to preach to you Jesus.
I have not come here to save your souls.
I have come here to show you what the children of Israel saw in Egypt.
As the Exodus says “A horror of great darkness, even darkness which may be felt.”
I want you to see this immense darkness and to be able to tell light from darkness, which is not as easy as it sounds.
Because destroying the devil is the most important thing that can be done. The Bible says in the book of Jude “For this cause came the son of man into the world, to destroy the works of the devil.”
So maybe the best way I can help Christ destroy the works of the Devil is to simply show that the Devil is impacting the world around you.
Because then if you believe he exists or not, he is still influencing your life and you must therefore make a decision about how to respond to him.
It’s Only Rock and Roll
The fastest way for me to do this is not to show Lucifer in politics, in religion, in movies, but rather in music, for music is the part of our culture in which Lucifer is most prevalent.
This next part is bloated and poorly organized but I cast a wide net which is necessary to illustrate the prevalence of this evil.
The song Hotel California by The Eagles refers to Anton LaVey’s first Church of Satan, which is a converted hotel on California Street in San Francisco.
Peter Criss of KISS said in a TV guide interview, “I find myself evil. I believe in the Devil as much as God, you can use either one to get things done.”
The Rolling Stones have an album titled “Their Satanic Majesties Request” and Mick Jagger did the music for several films produced by Kenneth Anger, a high priest in the Church of Satan.
Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys said in an interview, “We were doing witchcraft, trying to make witchcraft music.”
Carlos Santana claims that a demonic spirit call Metatron gives him the music and lyrics for many of his songs saying in Rolling Stone magazine “You meditate and you got the candles and the incense and you’ve been chanting and all of a sudden you hear this voice saying write this down.”
Snoop Dogg in his autobiography “The Dogfather” claims that the devil came to him and offered to make him rich and famous in exchange for his soul. Snoop accepted the offer and identifies this moment in his life as the birth of Snoop Dogg.
Ozzy Osbourne said in Hit Parader magazine in 1975 “I really wish I knew why I’ve done some of the things I’ve done over the years. I don’t know if I’m a medium for some outside source, I hope it’s not what I think it is, Satan.”
Kurt Cobain said that his life’s goal was to “get stoned and worship Satan.”
Jim Morrison of the Doors speaking of what started his musical career said, “I met the spirit of music. An appearance of the Devil on a Venice Canal. Running, I saw Satan.”
Eminem said “I’m trapped if I could go back I never would have rapped. I sold my soul to the Devil, I’ll never get it back.”
Kanye West “I sold my soul to the devil, I know it’s a crappy deal, least it came with a few toys like a happy meal.”
Van Halen’s David Lee Roth said when asked how he got energy to perform “You must fall into supplication of the demon gods.”
Dr. Dre’s producer early in his career was a man named Griffy who claimed to be present when Dr. Dre sold his soul to the devil, adding “I swear the devil got a receipt for his ass.”
Little Richard said of Rock and Roll music in his book The Life and Times of Little Richard “I believe this kind of music is demonic. A lot of the beats in popular songs are taken from voodoo, from the drums. I believe this music is driving people from Christ.” And later he says “I was directed and commanded by the power of darkness. The power that a lot of people don’t believe exists. The power of the Devil, Satan.”
Bob Dylan once said to Ed Bradley in a 60 minutes interview “I made a bargain a long time ago” Bradley asks “With who?” Dylan replies “With the chief commander.” Bradley asks “In this world?”
And Dylan responds “In this world, and in the one we can’t see.”
Jimmy Page lead guitarist for Led Zeppelin was deeply involved in the Church of Satan and lived in the former house of Aleister Crowley.
Do What Thou Wilt
Aleister Crowley is the father of modern Satanism.
Crowley wrote books on all kinds of witchcraft sex magik and one book called The Diary of a Drug Fiend.
In his book Magick Crowley admitted to sacrificing children to Satan and was actually run out of Italy for holding satanic orgies and ceremonies. The newspaper headlines called him “the wickedest man in the world”.
In 1904 Crowley wrote The Book of The Law. In it he states,
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”
John Lennon told Playboy Magazine in 1980 “The whole Beatle idea was to do what you want right? Do what thou wilst.”
One Nation, Under God
So you say that’s very creepy John I think it’s weird that you know all of this but so what?
Who cares? This doesn’t affect me. How does this impact people living in this world?
During my third year at the University of Virginia, a friend of mine who was a Christian argued that homosexuality should be accepted by Christians. I disagreed. I turned to another friend of mine who knew nothing of Christianity, Satanism, or the Beatles, and asked his opinion.
He said he believed that if you really wanted something, you should do it, regardless of what anyone else said. He said he believed you should do what you want.
This friend of mine paraphrased the teachings of Satan, Lucifer, the very words of the Prince of Darkness.
My friend was not taught this in the Church of Satan, but by American society and secular culture.
This means that American society and culture teaches Satanic ideas.
It means, therefore, that America is becoming, or will become, or has become, a Satanic nation.
This should not be surprising to you all anymore because I have just listed dozens of quotes from America’s cultural leaders, saying that they worship and serve Satan.
Darkness For Light
My friend in 2012 said Do what thou Wilt.
Just before he was killed, John Lennon said Do what thou Wilst.
The serial infant rapist and murderer Aleister Crowley said that Satan himself told him “Do what Thou Wilt.”
And you can follow this idea through philosophy and religion all the way back in time to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. Who told Eve, if you rebel against God you will become like God. You can make your own rules. If you reach out, and eat, then Do What Thou Wilt shall be the whole of the law.
And this at last is the infernal gospel.
Lucifer means light bearer and we have hundreds of tales of Lucifer, Prometheus, and countless others. Some spiritual being that gives men some kind of knowledge that God did not intend for us to have.
And Luciferianism claims that this is the better way to live. And it is appealing. Be your own God. Make your own rules. Do what thou wilt.
It sounds like freedom. And today it is called humanism. In the film “Devil’s Advocate” Al Pacino playing Satan says “I’m a humanist.”
Lucifer appears to be the light bearer, trying to free us from forced emasculating submission to a jealous and tyrannical God and his rules that take away all the fun in life, like rape, and fornication, and drugs, and gluttony, and greed, and saying you have to go to church and pay tithes.
John Lennon’s song Imagine is the most profound satanic manifesto ever set to music. And it speaks of a beautiful world of peace without God ruining all our fun. And it’s just so beautiful, it must be light.
And this deceives people who are seeking light, they think they have found answers, but they are in darkness.
Solomon writes in Proverbs there is a way that seemeth good unto a man but the ends thereof leadeth unto destruction.
The False Apotheosis of Man
And this at last is Satan’s magnum opus. His great work. Kevin Spacey is wrong.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing man that he could be God.
This is what I have come here to show you. This is the horror, the great heart of darkness of this world. And this darkness is falling down as in the last days as Lucifer is rising.
This is all foretold in the eighth chapter of the Book of the Prophet Daniel, one of the most important of all of God’s prophets.
God shows Daniel a vision of the end times and sends the Archangel Gabriel to speak to Daniel saying,
Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.
The bible says Satan cometh as an angel of light, he cometh as a wolf in sheep’s clothing seeking whom he may devour.
In the Bible it refers to Jesus as the Morning Star and Lucifer as “thou son of the morning”
If you understand astrology and astronomy you know that it likens Jesus to Venus and Lucifer to Sirius, but most people confuse them for the same light source.
But Lucifer, Prometheus, brings false fire, Frankenstein’s monster, it appears to be light, but it is thick darkness in the end.
And I want you all to see this and be not deceived, because the penalty for this mistake is great.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness — Isaiah 5:20
The Light of The World
Jesus in the Gospel of John says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
We’ve all had horrors and darkness in our lives. I know I have anyway. I have seen many horrors. I have walked in darkness.
About the time I drove out into the Shenandoah and walked up that dark mountain I had been having this recurring dream. I would be dreaming of something when suddenly my mind would go black and I would hear a deep ominous voice repeating the words “I am the gathering darkness.” Over and over and over for what seemed like hours.
But in 2nd Chronicles it is written “The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”
Christ has not forsaken me in my darkness, I dwell there and he with me.
And when you bring the light of the world into thick darkness you can finally see them both for what they are.
And that is what I want. As Anne Frank wrote in her diary I want to make you all “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
Lucifer claims to bring light, Crowley claims to support love, but without Christ there is no light, and without God there is not Love. For God is Love.
Martin Luther King said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
So it is imperative that you all be made to see the light. To see the darkness. To know the difference. And above all to walk in the light of life and love which is Christ Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.
And in so doing, we may drive some of the hate and horrors and darkness out of this world.
I Am The Gathering Darkness
But, like everyone else, that 49 year old army veteran I met in a car dealership is still in the grip of the horrors of Satan’s evil.
He said that he didn’t believe that any God could take away the horror and the darkness.
A good Christian would have assured him that he was wrong.
A good Christian would have told him that God is love. That God can ease all suffering, and that God, the great physician, can heal all wounds.
And I believe that is true, but I am not a good Christian.
I am the gathering darkness.
So I sat on that Shenandoah mountain and I thought of these things. I thought of all of the evil I have done. And I remembered that Jesus said that “If a man knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
And he who is guilty of part of the law is guilty of all.
I saw the morning star over the horizon. Then the sun rose, and the light of the world cast out the darkness of night just as Jesus Christ will return to cast out the light bearer and his heart of darkness.
As a child, sunrises used to give me a feeling of hope and joy, but as a man I have seen the sunrise many dozens of times because I have been up all night, sitting in the darkness, alone, and the dawn doesn’t rescue me anymore.
I got up, went home, and no one knew how I had passed the night.
But the 49 year old drug addicted black army veteran still sits in the boat on Conrad’s river. Still sits on Coppola’s pile of little arms. Still sits on my Shenandoah Mountain top. Still sits with me everywhere I go. Still sits in every chair in America.
Still sits — in the heart — of an immense darkness.
I apologize if I have horrified any of you darling people. I know full well I may be plain damn wrong about every last word of this from the beginning to the end. I know very well that I may be the one who has been deceived into confusing light for darkness. I don’t know what the truth is. I don’t know what to do about all the evil in this world. But I have tried to do what I think is right. I have tried to do something good. And that is all I think any man may do.
On the gravestone of Johnny Cash are written the words of King David “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight oh Lord my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 I pray that for myself also over the words I have spoken here tonight.
Thank you and may God bless each of you mightily.
May the Light of God see you safely through this heart of darkness and cover you with his love and peace.
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. — Matthew 4:16–17 KJV
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! — Psalm 107:8–15 KJV