I recently ran into the following two stories, both on the website of Baptist Press in Tennessee:
- A ticket from Satanism to holiness by Gwan Garrison, April 2, 2007
- Many Satanists prefer the shadows , by Joe Westbury, Posted on Apr 2, 2007
Gwan Garrison claims to be an ex-Satanist. Googling “Satanism Gwan Garrison,” I found the following earlier versions of the above two articles, on Christian Index, a Georgia Baptist site:
- The devil had my heart, but Christ wanted my soul by Gwan Garrison, Pastor, Franklin Baptist Church, March 29, 2007
- Satanism: a real force in the world March 29, 2007
His bio seemed awfully fishy to me.
On About.com, in an article titled “Satanic Panic, or ‘I was a Satanic Witch (No, Really, I Could Fly and Everything!)’,” Jennifer Emick sums up Gwan Garrison’s story as follows:
Baptist Pastor Gwan Garrison talks about how much he enjoyed “persecuting Christians,” and he’s sure to mention (with the amount of accuracy typical in these stories) his “Satanic altar” and his “crystals.” It’s light fare compared to some of these stories- no bloody sacrifices, no marriages to Satan- but there is a glowering cat and a high-voltage Satanic bible- and there is, of course, that ever-present character, the tirelessly persistent evangelical whose refusal to stop pestering the ungodly results in his miraculous transformation.
On Witchvox, Richard Brownbear remarks in a comment:
The same old “I had the world in the palm of my hand with everything that I wanted, but then gave it all up FER JAYZUS” manufactured story.
Of course, on Witchvox, there are also a few of the usual attempts by Pagan Witches to claim exclusive possession of the word “witch” (claiming that all witches, not just Pagan Witches, are “not Satanists”). These folks repeat some of the usual Pagan misconceptions about Satanism (e.g. “only renegade christians worship the christian devil because only christians believe in him at all”). But, surprisingly, there were not too many of those in the comments on Witchvox.
On J-Walk Blog, in a post titled “Protecting Yourself From Satanic Spells,” Gwan Garrison is quoted as saying, “The power over Christians was less effective, while those without a strong commitment to Christ were more vulnerable.” In response to this, someone named Sheldon says in a comment:
My experience has been the opposite. The more a person believes in Jesus, the more they accept that Satan exists. The more they believe Satan exists, the greater the fear of black magic, and the less amount of time I have to wait in line at the grocery store.