Acts 16:16-18 (ESV):

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

Are there published testimonies from people who received deliverance from a spirit of divination or a similar spirit, as in Acts 16:16-18? I'd like to read or watch a first-hand account, told from the perspective of a person who used to have a spirit of divination or similar spirit influencing them, about (1) their experiences prior to the deliverance, (2) the deliverance itself and (3) how their life changed after the deliverance.

Related questions:

  • Im almost positive there was one in “they shall expel demons” by derek prince. I dont know if you require a full name or if anonymous published would suffice. He doesn’t usually give names (and I imagine that must apply to some cases where the people wouldnt mind, because I cant imagine all of those requested anonymity). Idk perhaps searching the details and the right keywords could reveal a name if the person was open about it in other accounts.
    – Al Brown
    Aug 7, 2021 at 7:29
  • @AlBrown A first-hand account told by a credible witness about their own personal experiences would be ideal, but if that's not possible, a second-hand account of the experiences of an anonymous individual would at least be better than nothing I guess.
    – user50422
    Aug 7, 2021 at 7:36
  • I’ll see if i have the book tmrw when we get back
    – Al Brown
    Aug 7, 2021 at 8:15

3 Answers 3


I don't know specifically about divination, but the following resources may be helpful on this topic and do include stories of people who claimed to know things they could not have known via natural means. I of course offer them with the famous lines from Lewis exhorting us to be aware that there is an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), but that the One in us is greater than the one in the world (1 John 4:4) and we don't need to be afraid / overly interested in the details. Personally I do not think there is an accurate way to differentiate the true stories of oppression / possession from the false, though there is certainly sufficient evidence in the world for the existence of malevolent spiritual powers.

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” C. S. Lewis

"Demon Possession and Allied Themes, being an inductive study of phenomena of our own times" by The Reverend John Livingstone Nevius (1829-1893), a American Presbyterian missionary in China from 1854, would be worth reading on this topic.

"Truth Seekers: Ten Amazing People Who Found It!" by Sid Roth and Mike Shreve has at least a story or two from people who once had powers to know about events that they claimed were demonic and were delivered through Christ to a new life.

"The Kingdom of the Occult" by Walter Martin may have some stories / resources you would find helpful.

As far as academic research goes, you might start with the following paper and leap off from there to more recent works using Google Scholar.

Betty, S. (2005). The Growing Evidence for Demonic Possession: What Should Psychiatry’s Response be?. Journal of religion and health, 44(1), 13-30.

Abstract: Evidence of evil spirits is voluminous and comes from many cultures, both ancient and modern. Cases from China, India, and the United States are examined and evaluated. The actual experience of spirit victims, the universality of spirit oppression, the superhuman phenomena associated with ‘‘possession,’’ and the comparative success of deliverance and exorcism vs. psychiatry are considered. Potential arguments against the spirit hypothesis center on the antecedent improbability of spirits, multiple personality disorder, and the effectiveness of medication; but these can be countered. Psychiatrists should question their materialist assumption that mental illness is strictly a matter of an aberrant brain, carefully examine the literature of possession, experiment to determine why exorcists and deliverance ministers often succeed where psychiatry fails, and develop a more complete inventory of techniques for healing the complete person.

Malachi Martin, Catholic theologian and former professor at the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Institute, published in 1976 Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Americans. This is the most convincing and authoritative book available on the subject.

In MacNutt’s experience most people under the influence of evil spirits are merely ‘‘oppressed’’ by demons—he likes the word ‘‘demonized’’—but not completely possessed. And for these, exorcism is neither necessary nor desirable. Rather, such victims need ‘‘deliverance.’’

  • As mentioned in other comment, derek prince “They shell expel demons” is a valuable book. I dont agree w all he says elsewhere, but his organized approach has been helpful. And Lewis: wise. Yes thinking they are everywhere and the basis of every mistake can make one superstitious and weird, and thinking they are never in anyone, or that we cannot follow Biblical instruction and call on God for deliverance, is folly as well. He says 1 forgive with an act of the will everyone involved in the spirit coming, and self for sins thereof. 2 Repent. 3 Call on God for deliverance in Jesu Christ’s name
    – Al Brown
    Aug 8, 2021 at 17:27
  • 1
    Thanks Al for sharing. I've never read the book by Prince, but it sounds like it is an attempt at a structured approach to the topic.
    – Zanarkand
    Aug 8, 2021 at 21:53

Has anyone published a testimony about their own deliverance from a spirit of divination or similar, as in Acts 16:16-18?

The short answer seems to be no.

Even many authors on this subject matter are very dubious, in my opinion, when writing about this subject matter.

For example, (Fr.) Malachi Martin has a very dubious past. He may have written the book entitled Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans. However he likes the sensational and was often at odds with the Church. Personally, I do not trust his fact findings and I am not about to dive into this can of beans here.

Does the following sound like a first class Churchman:

Disillusioned by Vatican II, he asked to be released from certain aspects of his Jesuit vows in 1964 and moved to New York City, where he later became an American citizen.

His 17 novels and non-fiction books were frequently critical of the Vatican hierarchy, whom he believed had failed to act on the Third Prophecy revealed by the Virgin Mary at Fátima. Among his most significant works were The Scribal Character of The Dead Sea Scrolls (1958) and Hostage To The Devil (1976) which dealt with Satanism, demonic possession, and exorcism. The Final Conclave (1978) was a warning against Soviet espionage in the Holy See via Soviet spies in the Vatican.

Martin claimed that Popes John XXIII and Paul VI were Freemasons during a certain period and that photographs and other detailed documents proving this were in the possession of the Vatican State Secretariat. He allegorically mentioned these supposed facts in his 1986 novel Vatican: A Novel, where he related the Masonic adherence of Popes Giovanni Angelica and Giovanni De Brescia. He claimed Archbishop Annibale Bugnini C.M. was a Freemason and that Agostino Casaroli, long-time Cardinal Secretary of State, was an atheist.

He spoke and wrote often about the Three Secrets of Fátima and was an ardent supporter of Fr. Nicholas Gruner: "Father Gruner is fulfilling a desperately needed function in the ongoing perception of Mary's role in the salvation of our imperiled world. Father Gruner is absolutely correct that the consecration of Russia as - Our Lady desired, has not been executed". - Malachi Martin (Wikipedia)

Personally I put no stock in Malachi Martin’s work. Many think he even had affairs with married women. He staunchly supported Fr. Nicholas Gruner who was suspended by his own bishop! Fr. Nicholas Nightingale Gruner personally appealed to Rome about the suspension of his priestly duties, but was unsuccessful.

Now let us take up the crux of your question: Has anyone published a testimony about their own deliverance from a spirit of divination or similar, as in Acts 16:16-18?

I have never read of such an account being published. There are several reason for this.

  • Catholic exorcists almost never publicly name victims of demonic possession. There has to be extenuating circumstances for doing so.
  • Liberated souls from the grips of Satan and his angels of darkness have the right to privacy.
  • Very few of those possessed by the Devil(s) actually remember what happens to themselves during the actual moments of possession.
  • It is not uncommon to have books on the subject matter of persons being possessed and their deliverance using a pseudonym (false or fictitious name), in lieu of revealing the true name. Again such persons do not wish to have publicity about themselves, in regards to this particular field of knowledge.
  • Once deliverance has been attained, a victim of possession as well as those helping with the exorcisms must lead a very humble existence and prayerful life, lest they too become tempted and lower their guard against the snares and traps of the Evil One.

Years ago, I can recall reading the book, Michelle Remembers. This book co-authored by the Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder and his psychiatric patient Michelle Smith (victim of satanic assaults) was eventually discredited. This is the closest case of a book being published by a victim of Satan’s power and was actually proven to be bogus.

Michelle Remembers is a discredited 1980 book co-written by Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder and his psychiatric patient (and eventual wife) Michelle Smith. A best-seller, Michelle Remembers relied on the discredited practice of recovered-memory therapy to make sweeping, lurid claims about satanic ritual abuse involving Smith that contributed to the rise of the Satanic ritual abuse moral panic in the 1980s. While the book presents its claims as fact, and was extensively marketed on that basis at the time, no evidence was provided; all investigations into the book failed to corroborate any of its claims, with investigators describing its content as being primarily based on elements of popular culture and fiction that were popular at the time when it was written.

Michelle Remembers chronicles Pazder's therapy during the late 1970s with his long-time patient Smith. In 1973 Pazder first started treating Smith at his private psychiatric practice in Victoria, British Columbia.[7][8] In 1976 when Pazder was treating Smith for depression (related to her having had a miscarriage), Smith confided she felt that she had something important to tell him, but could not remember what it was. Soon thereafter, Pazder and Smith had a session where Smith purportedly screamed for 25 minutes non-stop and eventually started speaking in the voice of a five-year-old. According to Pazder, during the next 14 months he spent more than 600 hours using hypnosis to help Smith recover seeming memories of Satanic ritual abuse that occurred when she was five years old in 1954 and 1955 at the hands of her mother (Virginia Proby) and others, all of whom Smith said were members of a "satanic cult" in Victoria.


The book documents Smith's memory of events recovered during therapy, documenting the many Satanic rituals she believed that she was forced to attend (Pazder stated that Smith was abused by the "Church of Satan," which he states is a worldwide organization predating the Christian church). The first alleged ritual attended by Smith occurred in 1954 when she was five years old, and the final one documented by the book was an 81-day ritual in 1955 that supposedly summoned Satan himself and involved the intervention of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Michael the Archangel, who removed the scars received by Smith throughout the year of abuse and blocked memories of the events "until the time was right". During the rites, Smith was allegedly tortured, locked in cages, sexually assaulted, forced to participate in various rituals, witnessed several human sacrifices, and was rubbed with the blood and body parts of various sacrificed infants and adults.

After Smith had seemingly recovered her memories, she and Pazder consulted with various church authorities, eventually traveling to the Vatican.

All was eventually found to be nonsense!


John Ramirez's testimony is the best example I'm currently aware of. A short summary can be found in the about page of his website:

In his testimony, Author and Speaker, John Ramirez tells his true life story of how he was trained to be a satanic cult (Santeria and Spiritualist) high ranking priest in New York City—casting powerful witchcraft spells and controlling entire regions. Raised in an impoverished ghetto neighborhood, he grew up despising his father for his careless disregard of his family.

John learned to survive the cold, harsh streets of the South Bronx. Looking for love and validation, he eventually found it in a new “family” of witches and warlocks who groomed him to become a high priest in their occult religion. His plunge into the dark side reached a boiling point on the night he sold his soul to the devil in a diabolical, blood-soaked ritual. With renewed fervor—and the mark of the beast now cut into his right arm—he actively recruited souls into this “unholy kingdom,” haunting the bars and clubs of NYC by night to find his next victims.

John’s life continued on this dark path until God intervened through a miraculous, larger-than-life dream, revealing Himself for who He really is and literally snatching John back from the grips of hell. Many have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by John’s real and true to life testimony. He is a sought-out speaker by many who want to hear of his involvement in the highest levels of the occult and how he finally came out. People from all ethnic backgrounds dabble in the occult and fall victims to this satanic underworld and never see the way out. John Ramirez is one in a million who made it out.

A detailed account of his experiences and conversion is available in his book Out of the Devil's Cauldron. Below the preface:

Have you ever wondered if Satan is real? In his book Out of the Devil's Caldron: A Journey from Darkness to Light, John Ramirez tells the story of how he was trained to be the third-ranked high priest of a satanic cult in New York City-casting powerful witchcraft spells and controlling entire spiritual regions. But what started as a long spiral into the underworld ended in a miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ that changed the course of his life. Let John Ramirez walk you through the dark alleys of this world as he uncovers the hidden secrets of darkness through his powerful testimony. People from all ethnic backgrounds dabble in the occult and fall victim to this satanic underworld, never seeing the way out. John Ramirez is one in a million who made it out.

John Ramirez's home church for the past nine years has been Times Square Church in New York, founded by David Wilkerson. John has been blessed with the opportunity not only to attend there and sit under the Word and mature spiritually, but the Lord opened the door through the security ministry to form a tight bond between him and Pastor Dave. For two and a half years John had the privilege and blessing to walk with Pastor Dave, and he became a spiritual father to John. He prayed with him, laid hands on him, and even read the manuscript of Out of the Devil's Cauldron before the book was published, giving his blessing. Pastor Dave was so touched by John's testimony that one night he brought him up on stage to have him share his story with the congregation.

In the 1950s, Pastor Dave had a young Nicky Cruz in his life. When Nicky told Pastor Dave "I will cut you into a thousand pieces," through the Holy Spirit Pastor Dave said, "Nicky, if you cut me into a thousand pieces, all one thousand pieces would say 'Jesus loves you.'" Many years later, David Wilkerson through the Holy Spirit said to John Ramirez, "I see Jesus in you." And those words forever changed John's life, to go minister anywhere in the world. Today, John Ramirez says, "Thank you, Pastor Dave, for seeing Jesus in me."

John Ramirez is a sought-out speaker by many who want to hear of his involvement in the highest levels of the occult and how he got out. He speaks at churches, schools, rallies, and conferences--both secular and Christian--and has been a featured guest on TV and radio programs. He can be reached at JohnRamirez.org.

John Ramirez is currently very active in the deliverance ministry. For the interested reader, here is a first-hand account (in video form) of a lady who received deliverance in one of John Ramirez's services: My experience getting prayed for by John Ramirez//Demonic Oppression//Deliverance Ministry.

  • Satanists believe the Catholic consecrated hosts are the Body and Blood of Christ. I am always somewhat doubtful of such testimonies. Perhaps I am too cynical, but in any case sometimes obligingly, Satanists Return Consecrated Host to Church. This begs the question if a Satanist who converts to Christianity, can truly be anything but Catholic.
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 9, 2021 at 0:08
  • I think it would be good to distinguish those attached to divination and/or Satanism. Satanist really mock the Catholic sacraments. Interestingly enough, former satanist Betty Brennan said in a talk that many satanists and witches know the difference between a consecrated host and an unconsecrated host, being able to sense the presence of God in a consecrated host. She claims that if a thousand hosts were put on a table, the satanist would be able to find the one that was consecrated.
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 10, 2021 at 5:36

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