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John Ramirez: 'Out of the Devil's Cauldron'

The false religion Santeria defined John Ramirez, but after years of evil Jesus offered him a new identity. Read Transcript


Reporter: JOHN RAMIREZ

GREW UP IN THE BRONX, WHERE

HIS RELATIVES PRACTICED

SANTALIA.

MY FAMILY WAS WITCHES AND

WARLOCKS.

Reporter: JOHN LONGED

FOR A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS

DAD, BUT HIS FATHER WAS

ABUSIVE.

THERE WAS NO LOVE.

THERE WAS NO COMPASSION.

WE WATCHED HIM BEAT MY

MOTHER IN THE HOUSE.

HE CAME IN DRUNK MOST OF THE

TIME, DEMANDING STUFF,

ASKING FOR STUFF.

IF THINGS WEREN'T DONE A

CERTAIN WAY, THERE WAS

ALWAYS PUT DOWNS, HURTFUL

WORDS, DUMMY, STUPID, YOU'RE

NOT GOING TO AMOUNT TO

NOTHING -- THAT KIND OF

STUFF.

I WOULD STAND BY THE DOOR

AND LOOK TO SEE WHAT HE WAS

UP TO, BECAUSE I WAS LOOKING

TO SEE IF THERE WAS TIME FOR

ME, JUST TO HAVE

INTERACTION, FOR MY DAD AND

I TO DO SOMETHING.

BUT HE WAS CONNECTED TO THE

DEMONS.

Reporter: JOHN'S MOTHER

WAS ALSO INFLUENCEDED

INFLUENCED BY SANTARIA.

THE LADY SAID, I HAD 30

DAYS TO DO THE CARDS OR I

WOULD BE BLIND.

MY MOTHER WAS A GOOD MOTHER,

AND SO WE DID IT.

THEY STARTED CHANTING AND

CALLING THE FIVE MAIN GODS,

THE DEMONS FROM SANTERIA.

Reporter: FROM THAT

POINT, JOHN'S LIFE CHANGED.

MY WHOLE PERSONALITY WAS

NO LONGER THERE.

I FELT LIKE SOMEONE TOOK A

BLANK BLANKET AND CHANGED MY

SPIRITUALLY.

Reporter: JOHN'S

INVOLVEMENT WITH SANTERIA

HAPPENED QUICKLY.

I WAS BEING TAUGHT.

I STARTED SNEAKING INTO

FUNERALS, BU BECAUSE I

WANTED TO GET THAT SOUL.

WHEN DRUG DEALERS DIED IN

THE STREETS, I WANTED TO RUN

OUT AND GET THE BLOOD

BECAUSE I COULD USE THAT

BLOOD TO DO WITCHCRAFT.

PEOPLE KNEW I WAS A FORCE TO

BE RECKONED WITH.

I LIKED THAT POWER.

I WAS TALKED DOWN TO AS A

YOUNG BOY.

NOW I HAD THE AUTHORITY AND

THE POWER SO I COULD DO

WHATEVER I WANT.

Reporter: WHEN JOHN WAS

13, HIS FATHER WAS MURDERED

IN A BAR FIGHT.

JOHN GAVE CREDIT TO THE

DEVIL FOR RELIEVING HIS

MOTHER'S SUFFERING.

I WOULD BE UP AT 5:00 IN

THE MORNING, CALLING OUT TO

GOD, SAYING HELP MY MOTHER.

AND NO ONE SHOWED UP.

BUT THE DEVIL SHOWED UP

BECAUSE HE KILLED MY DAD.

I BELIEVED THE DEVIL WHEN HE

SAID NO ONE LOVES YOU, BUT I

LOVE YOU.

YOUR FATHER CAN'T PROVIDE

FOR YOU, BUT I CAN PROVIDE

FOR YOU.

THE DEVIL SAID, DO THE

RELIGION.

I WILL GIVE YOU EVERYTHING

YOU WANT, JUST ASK.

Reporter: JOHN SAYS

SATAN BECAME THE FATHER HE

NEVER HAD.

JOHN WAS DEVOTED TO HIM.

I'D LIGHT UP MY CANDLES, AND

I SPIT THE RUM.

AND I SPIT THE CIGAR SMOKE.

IF I DIDN'T HAVE MONEY, I

CUT MYSELF AN AND USED MY

OWN BLOOD AND POURED IT.

THE WHOLE ATMOSPHERE OF THE

ROOM CHANGES.

YOU HAVE TO DRESS THEM AS A

FAMILY MEMBER.

MY FATHER, I'M HERE.

WHAT IS IT YOU WANT TO SPEAK

TO ME ABOUT?

WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?

Reporter: AS TIME WENT

ON, JOHN PRACTICED THE DARK

ART OUTSIDE HIS APARTMENT.

IN CLUBS, I STARTED

LOOKING FOR CHRISTIANS.

I KNEW IF I COULD GET INTO

IT, AND YOU HAD IT IN YOUR

SYSTEM, ALL I HAVE TO DO IS

SAY, LISTEN, I HAVE

SOMETHING TO TELL YOU.

AND YOU WILL OPEN THE DOOR

AND SAY, WHAT IS IT YOU NEED

TO TELL ME, AND YOU GAVE ME

GATEWAY.

Reporter: EVENTUALLY.

HE BECAME A HIGH PRIEST IN A

FORM OF AFRICAN

SPIRITUALISM.

AS HE BECAME MORE POWERFUL,

JOHN TOOK WARFARE MORE

SERIOUSLY.

THE DEVIL TOLD ME

WHATEVER YOU KILL IN THE

SPIRIT ROUND, YOU CAN KILL

IN THE NATURAL.

I WOULD LEAVE MY BODY HOME

AND PROJECT MYSELF IN

DIFFERENT BURROUGHS AND

DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS.

I WOULD SPEAK CURSES AND

SPEAK THINGS I WANTED TO

HAPPEN IN THE

NEIGHBORHOODS.

SOMETIMES I WOULD GO INTO

NEIGHBORHOODS, AND THERE

WOULD BE A GROUP OF PEOPLE

ON THE CORNER, HOLDING

HANDS, PRAYING UP A STORM.

AND THERE WAS NO

ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THEIR

NEIGHBORHOOD.

THAT NEIGHBORHOOD WAS

SANCTIFIED, BLESSED THROUGH

PRAYER.

IN OTHER WORDS, YOU COULDN'T

TOUCH IT.

BUT IN THE OTHER

NEIGHBORHOODS, IT WAS PARTY

TIME.

Reporter: AROUND THAT

TIME, JOHN MET A GIRL WHO

INTRIGUED HIM.

I THOUGHT, I COULD HANG

OUT WITH HER.

SHE IS GOOD-LOOKING, AND SHE

INVITED ME TO CHURCH.

Reporter: AND SHE ALSO

INVITED HIM TO MEET HER

PARENTS, WHO TALKED TO HIM

ABOUT JESUS.

I SAID, YOUR PARENTS ARE

CRAZY.

LET ME DIGEST THE FOOD AND

THEN THEY TALK ABOUT THIS

JESUS GUY.

I THOUGHT I WOULD GO TO

CHURCH AND KILL ANIMALS ALL

NIGHT LOPPING, AND THEN I

WOULD COME BACK AND SEE HER,

BUT SHE DIDN'T KNOW.

Reporter: JOHN FOUND

THE CHRISTIANS AM MOVING

AMUSING AND HARMLESS.

I KEPT COMING TO CHURCH

TO PLEASE HER, BUT I WASN'T

GOING TO LEAVE THE PEOPLE I

WAS COMMITTED TO.

Reporter: ONE SUNDAY

MORNING THE PASTOR GAVE AN

ALTER CALL.

JOHN CAME FORWARD, AND

WASN'T PREPARED FOR WHAT

HAPPENED NEXT.

AW I THOUGHT I WAS

PROTECTED.

I WAS THROWING PEOPLE

AROUND.

AND THEN 200 SOMETHING

PEOPLE GOT UP AND RAISED

UP.

SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

I SAW THE POWER OF GOD IN

THE CHURCH.

ONE OF THE GUYS WAS

WHISPERING IN MY EAR, SAY

JESUS IS LORD.

JESUS IS LORD.

SAY IT.

I COULDN'T OPEN MY HOUSE.

BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN I COULD

SAY IT, JESUS IS LORD, AND

THE DEVIL LEFT.

Reporter: JOHN WAS

EMBARRASSED BY THE OUTBURST,

BUT WAS NOT SURE WHAT TO DO

NEXT.

ONE OF THE ELDERS APPROACHED

HIM A FEW DAYS LATER.

HE SAID JESUS WANTS YOU

TO HAVE THIS.

HE SAID YOU'RE A WARRIOR FOR

CHRIST.

FOR SOMEONE TO SAY THIS IS A

GIFT FROM CHRIST.

HE LOVES YOU.

TO ME, THAT WAS AMAZING.

I COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT

JESUS LOVED ME.

BUT I WAS COMMITTED TO THE

DARK SIDE.

I WAS COMMITTED TO THE

DEMONS.

I WAS COMMITTED TO THE

DEVIL.

Reporter: ONE NIGHT

JOHN DECIDED TO END THE

STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE TWO

WORLDS THE ONLY WAY HE KNEW

HOW.

I SAID, LORD, JESUS CAN'T

HAVE ME, THE DEVIL CAN'T

HAVE ME.

THE BEST WAY OUT IS

SUICIDE.

IN MY IGNORANCE, IN MY

SHAME.

IN MY MIND, I WAS SO FAR

GONE.

SPIRITUALLY DRAINED.

SPIRITUALLY DRAINED.

Reporter: JOHN DIDN'T

KNOW HOW TO PRAY, BUT HE

BEGAN TO TALK TO GOD.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY

CALL YOU, JESUS -- WHATEVER

THEY CALL IN YOU IN CHURCH,

I DON'T LIKE YOU.

I WANT NO DEALINGS WITH

YOU.

I HATE YOU.

I DON'T WANT TO BE PART OF

YOU.

I NEVER WANT TO BE A

CHRISTIAN.

I DISOWN YOU.

IF THAT IS GOING TO GET YOU

AWAY FROM ME, I WILL WORSHIP

THE DEVIL UNTIL THE DAY I

DIE.

I WHISPERED, IF YOU'RE

BIGGER THAN THE GOD I SERVE,

YOU SHOW ME TONIGHT OR LEAVE

ME ALONE.

Reporter: JOHN WENT TO

SLEEP AND DREAMED HE WAS ON

A SUBWAY.

THE DREAM WAS FILLED WITH

PEOPLE, AND WE WERE GOING

SOMEWHERE THAT I KNOW WAS

NOT GOOD.

AS THE TRAIN WAS GOING

FASTER THAN LIGHT, THERE WAS

A LATER DRESSED VERY

ELEGANT.

AND SHE STARTED TALKING TO

ME IN DEMONIC TONGUE,

TRADER, YOU'RE LEAVING US.

I TRIED TO GET IN THE MIDDLE

OF THE TRAIN, IN THE MIDDLE

OF THE PEOPLE, SO SHE WON'T

REACH ME.

A POP HIT, AND THE DOORS

OPENED, AND I ENDED UP IN

HELL.

Reporter: JOHN STEPPED

OUT OF THE SUBWAY IN INTO

THE DARKNESS.

AS I WENT THROUGH THE

TUNNEL TO HELLLY HELL, THE

HEAT IS NOTHING THAT YOU

FEEL ON EARTH.

THERE IS NO HOPE.

HOPE IS REMOVED.

THE DEVIL CAME OUT BIGGER

AND STRONGER.

HE SAYS TO ME --

I'VE BEEN WITH YOU SINCE

YOU WERE NINE YEARS OLD.

I'VE BEEN A FATHER TO YOU.

I'VE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING.

HE SAID, I'M GOING TO

KEEP YOU HERE.

IF I CAN KEEP YOU HERE, YOU

WON'T WAKE UP, UPSTAIRS,

WHICH IS ON EARTH.

AND HE SAID --

YOU BELONG TO ME.

AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO

LEAVE.

YOU KNOW TOO MANY SECRETS

ABOUT MY RELIGION.

WHEN HE WENT TO GRAB ME

TO SNUFF ME, A CROSS WILL

APPEAR IN MY HANDS.

I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND HOW A

CROSS WOULD APPEAR IN MY

HANDS.

I PUT IT ON THE DEVELOP, AND

HE FELT LIKE HE WAS

NOTHING.

HE FELT LIKE HE WAS A BABY.

NO POWERS AT THE FOOT OF THE

CROSS.

Reporter: WHEN JOHN

WOKE UP, HE WAS A CHANGED

MAN.

AND I KNEW THAT JESUS THE

LORD.

I BENT MY KNEE TO THE

CROSS.

AND JESUS CAME INTO MY

LIFE.

I TOOK A WHITE PIECE OF

PAPER, AND I WROTE DOWN I

WAS A SERVANT, A SLAVE OF

JESUS CHRIST.

I WILL SERVE YOU ALL OF THE

DAYS OF MY LIFE.

Reporter: JOHN THREW

OUT ALL OF THE DEVELOP

PARAPHERNALIA, BUT THE

BATTLE WASN'T OVER.

AT NIGHT, I WOULD FEEL

THE PRESENCE COME INTO THE

ROOM.

SOMETIMES I WOULD SEE WHAT

WAS THERE, AND SOMETIMES I

WOULD SEE UP THIS WAY AND

YOU WOULD SEE SOMEONE'S HAND

GRAB ME BY MY THROAT AND

PICK ME UP OFF THE BED.

SOMETIMES THEY GRAB MY FEET

AND THE BED WOULD SHAKE, AND

THEY WOULD BRING ME UP AND

LEVITATE THE BED, AND

SOMETIMES I MIGHT EVEN REACH

THE CEILING.

AND I COULDN'T BREATHE.

I COULDN'T CRY OUT.

I COULDN'T TALK.

I FELT LIKE THEY WERE

CHOKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME.

I WOULD TRY TO CRY OUT FOR

JESUS, AND THE WORDS

WOULDN'T COME OUT.

AND THEN AT THE END, JESUS,

HELP ME, JESUS, HELP ME,

SAVE ME, AND THE DEVIL WOULD

GO AWAY.

I ASKED THE LORD, WHY WOULD

YOU ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO

ME, WHY WOULD YOU ALLOW

THESE PEOPLE TO ABUSE ME

THIS WE.

I GAVE MY LIFE TO YOU.

AND HE SAID TO ME, I WANTED

TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ME

AND HOW MUCH YOU TRUST ME.

AND NO DEVIL EVER SHOWED UP

TO MY HOUSE EVER AGAIN.

Reporter: JOHN SAYS HE

WOULDN'T TRADE ANYTHING FOR

WHAT HE FOUND IN CHRIST.

FOR 25 YEARS IN MY LIFE,

I COULD DO ANYTHING TO

ANYBODY.

I COUNT THAT AS BEING

FOOLISH.

CHRIST, HE IS MY ALL IN

ALL.

HE IS THE GOD I BELIEVE.

HE WALKS WITH ME.

I HEAR HIS WORDS IN MY EAR.

Reporter: TODAY JOHN

SHARES THE GOSPEL WITH

EVERYONE HE CAN.

HE HAS WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT

HIS EXPERIENCES CALLED, "OUT

OF THE DEVIL'S CALDERON."

I'VE GOT PEACE.

I HAVE FULFILLMENT, I HAVE A

PURPOSE, AND I HAVE A

DESTINY TODAY.

AND ALL BECAUSE I SAID YES

TO THE CROSS.

AND I AM AN EVANGELIST IN

THE KINGDOM OF LIFE.

NO MORE AN EVANGELIST FOR

THE DARK SIDE.

I EXPOSE THE DARK SIDE EVERY

TIME THE LORD GIVES ME A

CHANCE.

BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TO

DIE OR SHED BLOOD.

JESUS SHED THE BLOOD FOR

YOU.

THAT'S THE BLOOD THAT

COUNTS, THE ONE AT THE

CROSS.

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