Demonic attacks & Finding God @ Burning Man. Former fiance issues coming to a head

Hello everyone I was wondering if some of you could share your experience and advice regarding dating as according to or similar to my situation.

I live in Los Angeles. I was born Catholic but fell away from the faith in my late teens as I abandoned the Church due to influence from Protestantism and eventually fell into drug addiction and Shamanism exploring my spirituality in the dangerous world of drug culture. For ten years I was very active in the Goth and Rave communities. Along the way I met the girl who up to this point has been the love of my life and we were together for nearly four years. She is a semi famous DJ and model in the Goth community and I was an alternative fashion model as well.

She was raised Catholic and born in Ireland but like me had left the faith and dabbled in paganism. Though we had our religious differences (as I had never abandoned my faith in Christ completely) we seemed to get along very well and we had a wonderful relationship. However as our drug use progressed it started to chip holes in our relationship and some issues were beginning to develop. Despite all this we were very much in love and decided we would get married at Burning Man (if you’re not familiar with this decadent art festival you should probably look it up online)

I had not realized how spiritually in danger I was. Believe me or not but the day I was going to leave for the festival I was diabolically attacked by demonic forces. I tried to shake it off but it had begun to really mess up everything. Despite my difficulties I pressed on and we drove across country to the festival. When we got there everything seemed to be fine but on the inside I was having a theological melt down questioning my place in the universe and everything that had happened up to this point. I began to think maybe I was on the wrong path. You see I was so hardened in my sinful life I thought I was completely justified but I began to think maybe who I was at the time and the things I was doing were evil. I felt all the upcoming pressure and responsibility of marriage and was trying to make sense of it all. I started to get really scared and began to think if things continued the way they were I was destined for Hell.

I began to realize this wasn’t how I wanted my life to be, and the decadence that I was so familiar with began to seem like rebellion against God. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Burning Man but It is a huge art festival in the middle of the black rock desert in Nevada and there are people dressed in all sorts of obscene costumes engaging in God knows what and the highlights of the entire festival are massive installation artworks and a gigantic wooden effigy of a man that they burn. It seems to be very influenced by ancient pagan rites and it doesn’t seem like Christians are exactly welcome there.

The seemingly demonic forces began to torment me again and were trying to convince me that my girlfriend was the source of the evil I was experiencing. I spent some time alone from her and tried to gather my thoughts and I tried to get advice from one of the female pagan ministers we were traveling with in anticipation of seeing my girlfriend. My questions went mostly unanswered as I didn’t have the courage to tell anybody exactly what I was experiencing. I had made a decision to be sober that day because I was somewhat uncertain if what I was experiencing was drug related or not.

I ended up finding some shade by our tent-like structure where we were all residing and had made an attempt to appeal to God for help. I expected as most people do to hear nothing but I knew my girlfriend was back at the tent waiting for me and because of what the demonic had told me I was scared of her. Out of nowhere a loud voice came to me and said “Joshua, this is your father!” The voice seemed so strong and invincible It shook me to the core and I was immediately convinced that it God the Father almighty. I was so in fear and awe that I felt paralyzed to the ground as I lay on my back and accidentally urinated myself. I couldn’t move. God warned me that whatever I do, when I was to see my wife to be I shouldn’t have intimate relations with her.

When I had regained control of my body I went back to the tent to wash up and change my pants without telling anybody what had happened. My girlfriend was there and I fell into temptation, disobayed God, and we ended up making love.

I felt terrible and nothing was resolved. When the rest of the group came back the seeming to be leader of our group which was a pharmacutical chemist saw that I was restless and offered me a pill for my anxiety which I vehemently denied though he was quite persistent and then it immediately began to rain.

I didn’t know if I was crazy or what and began to doubt my sanity. I knew I had to be honest with my girlfriend and try to explain to her what was going on so I asked her to come with me to this place by the center of the festival where we could be alone and try to connect with her because I felt so discontent and unstable.

We came to a place where there was a painting of Pan and a painting of a Phoenix side by side with a metal bell in between them. I in my crazy state saw Pan as the devil and the phoenix as a symbol for the resurrection of Christ. I sat under the phoenix and she sat under the Pan and I asked her to come over to my side and sit next to me, but she said “I like this side.” That was it it seemed like the last chance for me to talk rationally with her. I was so terrified from everything that I experienced and I felt like I was utterly doomed. The diabolic kept pressuring me that she was the source of all this evil, and they would not leave me alone.

we explored for a little bit and went back to the tent around nightfall and we were the only ones in the tent. She tried very hard to comfort me and gave me some of our secret inside jokes and things like that that only we knew as lovers. We were both artists for a very long time and she gave me one of our inside gestures and poked me on the nose which meant art was the meaning of life. I no longer believed this as I had appealed to God and looked for God as Love and believed that God and Love which are united to be the meaning of life. I flipped out. The demonic oppressed me and I pushed her away from me and without thinking told her “you’re the devil and the worst thing that has ever happened to me.” I had no control, I had just cursed the love of my life. Out of shame I burst into tears and ran She chased me into the desert. She tried to hug me, tried to calm me down, tried to tell me she was my soulmate. I couldn’t listen i was so overcome with fear. I pushed her away from me and she began to cry and I ran out into the middle of the desert and got lost in the festival.

I had no Idea where I was. Had no Idea how to reconcile with her and I felt like everything was doomed. I felt all these demonic voices oppressing me. In the middle of the desert I came to the dark realization that in my late teens I had inadvertantly made a pact with the Devil to dance with a former object of my infatuation in my late teens. Which came to pass and I felt like the devil was coming to what was supposed to be the greatest day of my life to collect his due. I was so filled with shame and distress I was devastated and I fell to the desert floor. Memories flooded my mind and I knew I was destined for damnation.

With nowhere else left to go I went to the giant wooden Idol in the middle of the festival and sat there and everywhere I went I saw the face of the girl I had made the pact for. Though I felt defeated by the devil I refused to pay honor to a wooden Idol. I never really loved this other girl I was just infatuated and I could never love her as much as I loved my fiance. I felt dupe cheated and destroyed by the enemy. I felt like my life was over. For a few hours I had tried to make my way back to my campsite to reconcile with my girlfriend. I thought I should tell her everything. But alas I couldn’t find it. The voices were relentless and wouldn’t leave me alone. Sometimes the demonic voices imitated my girlfriend crying and begging me to stay with her. Filled with grief and hopelessness I decided to leave the festival and wander into the open desert to die.

I climbed over the Black Rock Mountains and saw the festival from far away. I determined to never look back believing that if I returned the devil would be waiting for me. The further I got from the festival the more the voices subsided and I begged the mercy of the Lord.

I felt like Lot leaving Sodom and Gomorrah. I felt like there was no hope for me in that cursed place of decadence and sin. The demonic voices ceased the further I got away.

In the open desert I started to get massively dehydrated but I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I lived or died I knew that if I went back the devil would be there to take my soul to Hell. So I pressed on for hours into the open desert and the wind seemed to pass straight through my body. I felt my heart slowing down and for a while it seemed to not beat at all. Strangely I was alive and I kept wandering past the mountains and brush through the open desert.

I didn’t know a way out except to appeal to God for mercy. I began to thirst and when I had ran out of water I resorted to drinking my own urine. I was going to die out there and I didn’t care. I knew the only way I would live is if I found water

Seemingly out of nowhere, wild flowers began to blossom out of the ground before my eyes and I thought that if I followed them I might be able to find water and save my life. I truly believe this was the providence of the Lord.

I followed the flowers and off in the distance I saw a line of trees and knew there had to be water there. Surely enough when I came to the trees there was a stream there in the middle of the desert and I drank my fill.

Near the stream there was a little white house with a bull behind a fence and a white dog sitting on the porch seeming to smile at me. I approached the house and the dog licked me all over. I knocked on the door and asked for help. A rancher came out of the house and seemed very angry. He pointed off into the far desert and said “the way is that way.” I was too scared to press on thinking I would die. He then asked “or do you want to go back to your thing.” (meaning Burning Man.) I wanted to see my girlfriend again regardless of the cost even if it meant i would spend eternity in hell. So I felt by going back I had turned my back on God. The rancher put me in the back of his white truck and he drove me back to burning man.

I was destroyed but I was so happy to see my fiance I didn’t care about God or the devil or anything for a few moments, but in the back of my mind I felt like I was doomed. The rancher took me to the ranger station and they radioed my camp to find my party and took me to them on the way in my delusion and pride I said to the ranger “I have turned my back on my Father.” I was ready to go to hell. I saw no way out of it.

Shortly before I was reunited with my girlfriend and the rest of our party I heard another pure holy voice saying “Joshua all this will be forgiven you but for that I had to die.” I didn’t know what it was at the time but in retrospect I am convinced it was the Christ.

I was still unsure of everything and I when I got to camp I saw my girlfriend look at me and she wouldn’t approach me she just continued to talk amongst her friends. I was very upset because all i wanted to do was see her.

Eventually I saw her and she looked very upset and we went to a place called Sanctuary where people who had bad trips and things like that were supposed to go get help. I couldn’t possibly communicate to them what I had experienced. One of the others who was with us handed me a stuffed animal of a wolf and I just began to cry.

They took me to a medical bungalow for examination and the nurse was there analyzing me. When she stepped away a man in gold appeared to me and was smiling at me with a sinister grin and I was convinced this was Satan coming for me at last.

I was the only one who could see him and he was saying things to my mind like how my girlfriend now belonged to him and I would never see her again. And he was very very powerful and said that he would give me anything I desired if I would simply worship him. I felt powerless to resist and thought how the only thing i would ever want is simply to marry and be with my girlfriend and have a family. I was just about to submit when the Holy Spirit came over me and spoke through me and told me what to say. I don’t exactly remember what I said but it was something about how he was doomed to be defeated from the beginning of time and that God, Saint Michael and all the Holy ones of God shall defeat him and he is powerless and I joined my voice with theirs saying he is destined to be defeated.

I was so relieved and he disappeared into nothingness. Meanwhile the nurse came over to me and was questioning me and asked me “Who are you talking to? Do you even know who you are talking to?” I was unable to respond, she made some phone calls and before I knew it I was in an ambulance on my way to the local psych ward.

The staff in the ambulance and at the hospital were very abusive to me and I was saddened as all I wanted was to see my girlfriend and try to make some sense out of everything and I wondered why and how God could possibly redeem me though I had turned my back on him for so long.

My stay in the hospital was for the length of the entire week long festival and all I wanted to do was to see my girlfriend. I read scripture and prayed for most of the time I was there. I drew pictures of my fiance.

About on the sixth day the nurses told me “you have a visitor.” and my girlfriend was there smiling and holding my hand and we kissed passionately and the nurses barged in saying we weren’t allowed to touch each other. They wanted to keep me at the hospital but somehow my girlfriend convinced them to release me to her and told them that she was my wife and she was going to take me back to California.

We drove back cross the country with some friends she met along the way and we held each other all the way home.

When I got home my roommate had heard about what had happened and eventually kicked me out of my apartment. Right before this happened I went to the local Catholic Church and prayed before the tabernacle asking if God had really heard me to send me a rosary. I turned to leave the chapel and there hanging on the doorknob was a red auto rosary. After staying at a halfway house for a few months and with one of my girlfriend’s friends our relationship got progressively worse and I had to move back in with my mother.

I knew that no matter what I had to get clean from drugs and alcohol to save my relationship and the demonic voices never came back before or since.

One night while i was sleeping at my mother’s house I had a dream that I was in a very dark place surrounded by legions of demons clawing at my flesh in the darkness and then a blinding light came from heaven and the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to me and light came forth from all around her and the demons were terrified. She smiled at me and handed me a rosary and ascended back into heaven. When I held the rosary in my hands it became a sword of light that I had drawn in my artwork since I was a child and I had always called it the sword of God. The sword shone through the darkness and now the demons feared me and I slayed them as I found my way out of the darkness. I began to study the rosary and went to my first confession in over fifteen years and told the priest that I had made a pact with the devil. He told me that nothing is beyond the mercy of God and I asked him if he believed in miracles and he said the greatest miracle he has ever seen is how God can transform someone’s life. I had returned to the Church and to the sacraments

as I studied the rosary I came to learn what St Louis Mary De Montfort said

“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins ‘you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.’ Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practise black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-- and mark well what I say-- if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”

-St. Louis de Montfort from The Secret of the Rosary

My Girlfriend and I were together for another year and I had wrote a twenty long page testimony of everything that had happened to me. Unfortunately she dismissed me as being crazy and burned it as a sacrifice to the same Idol at Burning Man the next year when she decided to go back without me.

I checked into rehab and she left me and started dating someone else while I was in there.
I was devastated. I had been redeemed by the Lord against all odds but I lost her in the process. I saw her one more time after that and that was a year ago.

Now I have been very strong in my reversion to the faith and the sacraments and despite some sexual temptations have been doing very well considering the circumstances. I now have a year clean from drugs and two years clean from alcohol. I haven’t dated anyone seriously since her. I am very active in the church and in drug abuse recovery organizations. I have returned to School.

I am a Slave of the Blessed Virgin. Enrolled in the Scapular and a year ago became a fourth degree Knight of Columbus.

Praise God.

This entire time I have been praying for my Ex’s Soul that somehow we will be reconciled according to the will of God and praying for her conversion. I have prayed hundreds of rosaries and divine mercy chaplets for her.

Now after over a year without seeing her she is contacting me and telling me she is sober and she wants to see me for coffee and that she has been having dreams about me all the time.

Now that my prayers seem to be being answered I have no Idea what to do. I am terrified.

Anyone else have experiences with the demonic or something similar to this?

I am absolutely clueless.

I have been praying for this for over a year and now that it is happening I have no Idea what to do.


but yeah

After Knock Knock Knockin on heaven’s door for over a year not getting an answer

now that I seem to be getting one I don’t know what to do.

any commentary and or advice please?


That’s an amazing story, thank you for sharing! :slight_smile:

I honestly don’t feel very qualified to be giving you advice after the journey you’ve been on, but when I heard that your ex-fiance wants to get back together two possibilities popped into my mind:

  1. Your ex-fiance has gone through a personal conversion or is ready to undergo a conversion back to her faith and God is bringing her into your life according to His will.

  2. This could be another spiritual attack by the evil one using your ex-fiance as bate to lure you back into dangerous territory.

I think you may need to find yourself a good spiritual director who is very strong in his/her faith and who can help make sense of your past experiences as well as what God might be calling you to do now in your life. Very few people have experienced the spiritual warfare that you are describing and I think it’s very important to have a trusted individual in your life who fully and completely accepts your recollection of events as being the work of the divine and can help to guide you on the narrow path that God has set you on.

God bless, my prayers are with you.

Since you’re a Knight of Columbus, can you get hold of the priest who directs your chapter, sit down with him, and run past him every single thing you’ve posted about this episode in your life? Or maybe your parish priest?

St. Ignatius tells us in the Spiritual Exercises that when one turns away from a life of sin to a life in search of God, the enemy makes the person’s former attachments almost irresistibly attractive to that person. If your former fiance is presenting herself as now sober and leaving behind the neopaganism (you didn’t mention whether she has done the latter, by the way) her sobriety should be easy enough to recognize by a person who has been through a rehab program. Even if she is in a Twelve Step program, there are a lot of people in them who consider themselves spiritual but not religious, and she may still be adhering to pagan or even New Age practices.

Some of what you are experiencing concerning your feelings toward your former fiance may be your drug abuse history trying to get you to pick up again. Chemicals are extremely powerful, too, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if trying to “recapture the rapture” might be a factor. I say that, not with any intent of being dismissive of your sobriety, but in all charity because from my experience as a member of AlAnon, with more alcoholics and addicts in my family than you could shake a stick at, I’ve seen the prelude to relapse more times than I care to think, and it usually starts with rationalization that old friends and old ways remain attractive. For the love of God, I would suggest that you talk with your sponsor if you’re in a Twelve Step program, or your counselor if you’re still in aftercare. In any case, look at the first step again: “We admitted we were powerless over (name your poison,) and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Ever since I heard of the Burning Man event from a relative who fancies himself a pagan but is in reality a nonpracticing Catholic, I pray for the attendees there. This young man is extremely angry at me because I would not give him money to attend this year’s event, and told him why I wouldn’t. I do not want on my conscience the sin of contributing to another person’s sin and self-destruction.

Having heard of this Burning Man festival via my relative, I had to read your post. Perhaps there are others who have heard of this, or experienced it themselves.

I am putting you on my prayer list, and it is my fervent hope that God will show you what path to take here.


Man, this was one crazy read over my morning coffee!

I think you should see her, if nothing else to close this chapter of your life. It is obvious that she is still very much a part of your life although you haven’t seen her in a while. It will be good to see her when you are both fully conscious, without drug or alcohol influence. In my experience, this makes a huge difference in the way people relate to one another. You might easily find that the love of your life is a different person from the one you knew, and that you have nothing in common except for the memory of your wild years together. However, given that your recovery is still recent, I would not go alone. Can you bring someone with you? In this way a certain distance, a healthy boundary would be there to keep you in check.

If you sense that there is still something between you then I would be very careful not to do something stupid, like get back together. The question is how far she has come in her recovery. Has she severed all her ties with the previous life? Is she on the same page spiritually? If not, would you want to be with someone who is still a neo-pagan? That kind of thing. You have moved on and I very much believe that in order to move on sucessfully we must turn our backs to everything that could potentially keep us away from God and tempt us to get back to our old ways.

In any case keep praying for this and speak to a priest who knows you and who could advise you on how to proceed. If he suggests you should just forget about it and not see her for your own good, then please do so and disregard all of our advice given here. Your situation is quite specific and your spiritual director/regular confessor knows best.

I hope this has helped a bit. Take care and God bless.

Please be careful. This girl has not brought out the best in you, and you have a history of doing drugs together. I have no idea what you were taking at that festival but it sounds pretty intense and like it caused you psychosis. I hope you will stay clean and sober from now on! May God bless and heal you. Pray before you ever agree to meet her.

You should have a spiritual director. You really need one.

Hi OP,

I joined the forums specifically to write to you. From the description you gave, I think there’s a very good chance you have either done a decent amount of LSD or were under the influence of LSD while at burning man (completely plausible assumption considering the nature of the festival).

While LSD can lead people to seemingly very real and awesome insights, you have to remember that it is a very powerful drug - but just that, a drug. It is in no way indicative of matters in our OWN reality, and that is the reality we must live in on a day-to-day basis.

I have many friends who have “gone over the edge” so-to-speak on their LSD excursions. Some have ingested so much that they never really came “back.” Other have become obsessed with a particular topic, or have become convinced that they have some sort of special knowledge or powers.

It sounds to me like you had a really bad trip. These things take time - and healing. I would highly recommend talking to a counselor and staying away from any and all psychedelics (including weed) for a decent time. While your religious convictions may be lasting, I think your obsession with it is indicative of deeper psychological issues - aka “demons” to the more-religious folk.

You obviously mean well but dismissing us ‘religious folk’ as being merely superstitious on a Catholic forum where a Catholic poster needs advice, is not helpful and is quite disrespectful.

The only reason I might come across as dismissive of Catholic forum posters is because I don’t think he needs the help of Catholic forum posters. He needs to see a doctor or a counselor. I have friends that have gone through very similar experiences, enough to that I felt I should sign up and encourage him to see someone in the medical field, not a priest.

I do believe that there is a possibility that his experience with demons is a result of experiences with strong psychedelics - not the voice of God speaking to him at a hippie drug orgy.

OP, please speak with a medical professional. Get your head back in shape before you start discerning your future plans/relationships. It’s important you get help and healing.

And I’ve been to the burning man festival. It’s a helluva trip, to say the least. That place can do some crazy things to your head.

I agree. This poster wasn’t intending to insult forum members, only to help the OP.

I agree that, given the OP’s history with drugs, there definitely needs to be medical support and therapy (which the OP might already be taking care of).

That said, I also believe that the OP needs to be seeking the guidance of a priest to help understand the events that he’s experienced . It’s a big assumption to say that everything described in the original post was a hallucination and even if it was, theologically, a lot of what he accounted for is very accurate with regards to the teachings of Christ and His Church (who’s to say that our Lord can’t work miracles throug the medium of a dream or a hallucination??)

I know that it’s your intentions to help the OP and I think that this is wonderful, but it is the tendency of secular therapists to dismiss and deny the miraculous (which I think is very misguided). Don’t forget that most secular doctors today would have likely also written off men such as Abraham, Moses and Noah as being clinically insane when they claimed to have heard the voice of God guiding them (and we know that these men were anything but insane). For that reason, I think both avenues need to be pursued here (both the medical and the theological).

OP Here

Thank you all for responding

for those who seem to dismiss this experience as false I should let you know

I do see a regular psychologist and drug counselors every week and they don’t think anything’s wrong with me. They say I am doing extremely well and that if I don’t have any mood swings for the next few weeks they are going to take me off medication. I see clinical professionals as well as priests and spiritual people.

I think the notion that this is all simply drug induced is rather insulting and does not explain a normal pattern of drug experience (trust me I know) and it completely dismisses the redeeming nature of the experience. as I have stated previously I was sober the whole time I had the experience

I would like to hear more from people who have actually had real experiences with the supernatural.

and just so you know I am completely sober and confident that this was a genuine experience though it falls into private revelation and you don’t have believe it if you don’t want to but though it I have gained a greater position in my life and has changed my life forever.

I would have never gotten sober or returned to the Catholic Church if it wasn’t for this experience.

and may Jesus love us all.

Nonetheless I appreciate your concern

I’d like to also reiterate that drug experiences generally lead us away from the truth, not to truth itself which is Christ Jesus

Very cool story. I forgot that I wasn’t reading fiction for a second. Praise God that he has pulled you back into his arms. The shephard found his lost sheep. Beware, the first few months after a major conversion like that are critical and filled with temptations. Trust in God and his Divine Mercy. God bless you. I am also a 4th degree knight, Viviat Jesus!

You mean so you can discern whether this is a sign from God about you and your ex maybe getting back together?

I certainly believe that God gives us signs and I have experienced a few things myself. We should listen and keep our eyes open. If I were you I’d give this situation over to Him and ask our Blessed Mother for some extra prayers. I’d also be very careful. Unless your ex has done what you have and is at the same place, I doubt that God would want you to be with a person who could be a negative influence. It sounds like you two had a passionate relationship. The way you write about her makes me guess that this was the first time you fell madly in love. I know how difficult it is to move on. These things can leave a permanent mark on our hearts, even after the relationship is long over and we are happy with someone else, or have turned over a new page and are leading a completely different life.

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