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Bowie and the Devil in the Pool

In an age numbed by the constant glow of digital devices and the poisonous inoculation of indifference, the spiritual realm has become a haven for those who seek to pull themselves out of the mire of nothingness and depravity. However, still hypnotized by our culture of consumerism and it’s devilish daughter, self-gratification, some who seek escape are still held in bondage, turning to forms of spirituality that worship the self. Thus, the spiritual realm can be equated to just another form of entertainment, or at best a feel-good drug that satisfies our want for sensation in an otherwise bland and numb world. Spirituality has become a cerebral playground that one can conjure up whenever one hits the yoga mat or goes for a serene walk on the beach. In this “spiritual cafeteria,” modern man walks through and takes a scoop of eastern meditation here, a shock from a horror movie there, some tarot reading over there–all garnished with some lovely quotes from our social media feeds.

The constant search for pleasure and instant gratification has driven us mad, and addicted to the rush of feel-goods and fun-loving sensations, we have been blinded to the reality of life and the gravity our own actions have on the soul. We treat the spiritual life as a placid shallow pool and wade through it at our leisure, yet as we follow our feel-good senses we do not take into consideration what deadly currents might be in front of us, or what vile beasts might be swimming under our feet, seeking our destruction. Devoid of authentic spiritual guides, we are destined to drown in our own mire, unlike the saintly ascetics of old.

The story below is taken from the biography of a pop-icon who undoubtedly changed the face of music and the culture of his own time. As the reader will take notice, the waters David Bowie thought he could wade through turned out to be a rip current of no return. Sometime after releasing Young Americans, Bowie entered a stage of heavy drugs and dabbling in the occult. He would snort cocaine, and read books on white magic and the occult, doing what he thought would safeguard his psyche against evil powers. The book Psychic Self Defense could be found on his coffee table next to drawing pads and large amounts of high quality cocaine. The author Dione Fortune, described Psychic Self Defense as being a, “safeguard for protecting yourself against paranormal malevolence.” The Pop-star dove deeper, seeking advice from UFO experts and occult practitioners across the country.

When the spiritual world is interpreted by our own self-gratifying feelings, the reality can turn out to be grave. We post this article to show this generation that the devil indeed exists and he lurks in the waters waiting for one to make an undiscerning step. The spiritual realm is not a play arena, it is not always a feel-good place, but it is a battleground of unseen warfare that one must be trained to fight in in order to free one’s own soul. May the reader also take note that there could’ve been a turning point in this story, for God never abandons those who continue to knock, however it is up to the individual whether he chooses to walk in and take refuge under His wing, something Bowie chose against. There are only two masters, much to the dismay of many, and when we are not at one banquet, we are at the other, and it is obvious what feast Bowie decided to partake of.

Below is an excerpt from Bowie’s biography Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With Bowie by his now ex-wife Angela Bowie. It takes place in Los Angeles, at a new home the couple had bought in the city that had just experienced the ritualistic Manson murders. Bowie’s occult and self-help strategies were not helping and cocaine fueled his paranoia. He believed evil spirits were after him and it came to a head when he decided to take the matter in his own hands through his occult practice:

“There was a beautiful Art Deco house on six acres, an exquisite site property and a terrific value at just $300,000, but he took one look at a detail I hadn’t noticed, a hexagram painted on the floor of a circular room by the previous owner, Gypsy Rose Lee.

“A great deal of codling and reassurance got us through that crisis, and I went and found the Doheny Drive house. Built in the late fifties or early sixties, it was a white cube surrounding an indoor swimming pool. David like the place, but I thought it was too small to meet our needs for very long, and I wasn’t crazy about the pool. In my experience, indoor pools are always a problem.

“This one was no exception, albeit not in any of the usual ways. Its drawback was one I hadn’t encountered before and haven’t seen or heard of since: Satan lived in it. With his own eyes, David said, he’d seen HIM rising up out of the water one night.”

Feeling demonic forces moving in, David felt strongly that he needed an exorcism and asked that his new found friend white witch Walli Elmlark be called upon to lend her assistance to remove the evil from his surroundings.

“A Greek Orthodox Church, in LA would have done it for us (there was a priest available for such a service, the people had told me) but David wouldn’t have it. No strangers allowed, he said. So there we stood, with just Walli’s instructions and a few hundred dollars’ worth of books, talismans, and assorted items from Hollywood’s comprehensive selection of fine occult emporia.

“There he (David Bowie) was, then, primed and ready. The proper books and doodads were arranged on a big old-fashioned lectern. The incantation began, and although I had no idea what was being said or what language it was being said in, I couldn’t stop a weird cold feeling rising up in me as David droned on and on.

“There’s no easy or elegant way to say this, so I’ll just say it straight. At a certain point in the ritual, the pool began to bubble. It bubbled vigorously (perhaps “thrashed” is a better term) in a manner inconsistent with any explanation involving air filters or the like.”

The rock and roll couple watched in amazement. Angie says she tried to be flippant – “’Well, dear, aren’t you clever? It seems to be working. Something’s making a move, don’t you think?’ – but I couldn’t keep it up. It was very, very strange; even after my recent experiences I was having trouble accepting what my eyes were seeing.”

Angie insists that she would peak through the glass doors leading to the pool every so often and was dumb founded by what she saw. “On the bottom of the pool was a large shadow, or stain, which had not been there before the ritual began. It was in the shape of a beast of the underworld; it reminded me of those twisted, tormented gargoyles screaming silently from the spires of medieval cathedrals. It was ugly, shocking, malevolent; it frightened me.

“I backed away from it feeling very strange, went through the doorway, and told David what I’d seen, trying to be nonchalant but not doing very well. He turned white but eventually became revived enough to spend the rest of the night doing coke. He wouldn’t go near the pool, though.

“I still don’t know what to think about that night. It runs directly counter to my pragmatism and my everyday faith in the integrity of the “normal” world, and it confuses me greatly. What troubles me the most is that if you were to call that stain the mark of Satan, I don’t see how I could argue with you.”

“David, of course, insisted that we move from the house as quickly as possible, and we did that, but I’ve heard from reliable sources (Michael Lipman for one, the property’s real estate agent) that subsequent tenants haven’t been able to remove the shadow. Even though the pool has been painted over a number of times, the shadow has always come back.”

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