Bill Myers & Dave Wimbish,
The Dark Side of the Supernatural
(Zondervan, 2008)

What a dark world Bill Myers lives in. It's a two-valued world, a black-and-white one where only two alternatives exist: God and demons. In The Dark Side of the Supernatural, he tries to warn young people about the supernatural, which he sees as the natural home of Satan-worshiping demons. Everything beyond the here-and-now sensory world, he believes, is a festering pool of demons waiting to grip you, take you into their power and lead you on a fast race to hell. Among the supernatural elements he warns against are the old reliables -- witchcraft, vampires and Satanism -- as well as astral projection, reincarnation, meditation, yoga, ESP and psychic research. All of these are paths leading straight to Satan and his demons.

It's a very literal world that Myers inhabits and one where the proper way to face everything unknown is to be very frightened.

Each chapter begins with an uncredited horror story about people who either came to a very bad fate or almost did by following a supernatural practice. In the chapter on angels -- yes, Myers says, you must be very careful about angels; they are more often than not, demons passing themselves off as God's messengers -- he tells of receiving phone calls from "a fellow who claimed he was in constant contact with angels." Myers spoke to these angels, who told him he was going to do great things for God through his writing and offered to work with him on a book proclaiming "the deeper mysteries of God's love."

Myers' hackles rose. These angels were just "a but too slick." To test them, he asked one if Jesus Christ was his Lord. Not only was Christ his Lord, replied the angel, he was also his brother.

Obviously an agent of Satan because the dark one's angels "are so full of pride, they can't help themselves. If they see a chance to claim equality with God, they go for it." Yet, in many churches, the congregation refers to themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ. Does this mean they are all demons? Maybe. After all, Myers believes that Islam and the Mormon church were founded after demons appeared both to Muhammad and Joseph Smith.

Reading The Dark Side..., you get the feeling that anything Myers does not understand or disapproves of is the work of demons. He marshals a touch of research to back up his claims, but tends to rely primarily on biblical quotations. His research is questionable. He cites Jacques Vallee's 1979 book Messengers of Deception to prove there is a sinister conspiracy behind UFOs, that they are a part of a master plan to sweep away the Earth's old social order. He neglects, however, Vallee's more recent work in which he reiterates that a UFO conspiracy exists but that it is driven by the governments of the Western world in a campaign of misinformation. In fact, Myers includes no research conducted after 1990. It's as though in his mind no UFO studies have been conducted in the past 20 years.

His biblical quotations are also interesting; many are quoted out of context and, granted, I have not seen the New International Version he quotes from, but his quotations sometimes differ a little from my King James. For example, he cites the "Lord's Prayer" as saying, "And lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil one." My Bible says "Deliver me from evil." To my mind, there can be a vast difference between evil and the evil one.

Most troubling is that Myers seems completely unaware of recent brain and mind research that indicates what he thinks of as supernatural powers are actually abilities of the human mind, which is much more complex than previously thought. For example, his section on hypnosis does not even mention creative visualization, which has become a common tool used by everyone from athletes to business executives. At no point does he recognize the possibility of a symbolic reality, which would indicate that people who experience past lives or UFO abductions might have undergone a deeply symbolic experience that has its roots somewhere in their own minds, rather than in the literal world. He tips his hat to the presence of the subconscious but seems to think of it as a rest home for demons. In his world view, everything is either holy or Satanic, and the majority of human experience is Satanic.

Interestingly enough, Myers continually claims that demons are very real and driven by Satan to take us over through every device from the Ouija board through channeling to meditation and yoga. However, he also continually says that if we accept God, we have nothing to fear from them.

But if we have nothing to fear from them, why write a book designed to scare the hell out of impressionable young people?

review by
Michael Scott Cain

27 September 2008

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