The Ramey Commentaries By Mike Ramey



     Let me open our time together with a startling fact: All false religions and cult groups have an underpinning of occult practices, ranging from such ‘simple’ items as ancestor worship, tarot cards, crystal balls and the like; to the more complex and deadly spiritual items as ritual sacrifice and necromancy (summoning of evil spirits associated with the dead).  Further, false teachers that are behind these groups KNOW of the occult practices as either they—or their family members have been involved in ‘their craft’ for years, possibly for generations and are often tied up in the very occult practices that they are trying to lure others into.

     Then, we have many criminal organizations—including Modern Street Gangs (MSGs) and the cartels—also are steeped in occultism.  So much so that ten years ago, some American MSGs decided to ‘partner up’ with their international brethren and ‘brought in’ those who were experienced in witchcraft as part of the gang hierarchy.  Thus, the best place to begin our time on the dangers of the occult is with teens and pre-teens, Satan’s favorite targets to ensnare in occult activity.


     If you stop to think about it, many of those who are currently involved in occult activity started when they were young.  Either curiosity and friends played a role (such as the “Ouija Board” and “8-Ball Crystal Ball”), watching certain movies and TV shows (“Bewitched” and “Supernatural”), playing occult-themed video games for hour after hour on one’s favorite electronic device, or ‘messing around’ with occult-themed items. 

     It could be a combination of all these.

     This is 2024 as I sit down to write this column.  In the last few months, Hollywood has gone big guns bringing out occult-themed movies for this upcoming summer, including one flick that has as its central plot point: Tarot Cards.  Not to be outdone, the same ‘wizards of smart’ are bringing out more occult-laced fare for the small screen and streaming services.

     And then, they wonder why young people have such mental health problems.  Playing with the occult can leave behind a hellish residue attached to young minds.  Years ago, I taught in Middle and High Schools for a few years.  I first ran into the ‘Goth’ movement among young people back in the 90s.  Then, in the ‘00s’ I saw the Goths evolve—or change into the ‘Emo’ movement.  Now, the Goth kids were known for playing around with occult items and ‘favoring’ the color black—from their footwear to their hair color—as a form of rebellion.  The Emo kids had all this depressing stuff going for them; however, they added ‘self-cutting’ to their arsenal—whereby they would ‘feel’ better by cutting themselves (either where people could see the marks, or in hidden places) with razor blades and knives to (subconsciously) punish themselves as a part of their rebellion against society and their families.

     Put a pin in that word ‘rebellion’.  I’ll get back to it, after my following story.  Several of my students lived on my block.  One of them identified as an Emo kid because of a girl that he had been interested in.  His mother came to me in tears to let me know that her son had to be sent out of town to (what I describe) as a ‘booby hatch’ or psychiatric facility for juveniles.  He had to stay at the facility for six months or so to ‘get his mind right’.  The boy’s mother knew that I was also a Minister of the Gospel and asked for prayer and spiritual help to see her son set free from the Emo lifestyle. I prayed for him and his mom and sent along reading material to encourage him in Christ.  When he came home periodically on weekend passes, I had a chance to talk with him in person and reminded him that he needed to ‘break off’ the relationship with the Emo girl that struck his fancy.

     The Lord moved; freed my student from the Emo bondage, reset his mind back to normal and he soon quit the relationship with the girl that led him into the Emo lifestyle in the first place.  Of course, his mother read the material that I sent with her to him, so I pray that I planted ‘good gospel seed’ for her.  Later, I had the chance to witness about Christ to the boy’s father.

     Nothing but the Lord got this family through this dangerous valley.

     Wrong relationships and associations serve as means of strengthening rebellion in teens and pre-teens.  It may be called ‘peer pressure’ but it is straight up rebellion, which is as old as the Bible itself.  One does not have to be ‘taught’ how to rebel against authority.  Because of our being born with a sinful nature, the first time a child tells a parent NO is the mark of a rebellious nature starting to emerge.  That is why one must be ‘born again’ in Jesus Christ to kill that rebellious nature and live life free and clean.


     I make no apology for dealing with the occult from a biblical and spiritual perspective.  It’s the same way I have dealt with MSGs through anti-gang ministry.

     Rebellion IS witchcraft, plain and simple, which is one of the benchmarks of the occult.

     The KJV Bible proclaims this in I Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being King.”  This verse is part of a sad story about the first King of Israel, King Saul.  Saul was given a direct command by the Prophet of the Lord, Samuel.  King Saul decided to disobey the command and ‘do his own thing’, thus rebelling against the Lord.  Saul had every venue to repent and follow God’s command, but he made the choice NOT to.  He rebelled, then got a host of occult-theme snares around his life, including being stubborn, and idol worship (thinking himself above the Lord’s command because he was the King).  As a result, Saul had the kingdom stripped from him, and was cut off from the Lord’s blessing.  Eventually, Samuel died.  King Saul, who had not heard from the Lord resorted to further getting involved with the occult by having the witch of Endor tap into the spiritual realm to get answers from the dead.

     Soon, because of his rebellion, King Saul died.  David later became King of Israel.

     This pattern is played out again and again among pre-teens and teens.  They rebel against authority, get stubborn in their sin of rebellion; set themselves up as ‘the’ authority of their lives (You ain’t the boss of ME), and soon wind up hurt, in prison, or hospitalized—or WORSE!


     When I first tackled this subject in the mid to late 1980s, I was blessed to have men and women of God who had far more experience in this arena as mentors and teachers.  One such mentor was Pastor Mark Winslow, now a prison Chaplain in the southwest.  Pastor Winslow provided both a teaching worksheet, complete with a definition of the occult—which I still use and pass on to those in need.  Here is Pastor Winslow’s definition:

     “The Occult is a term which refers to knowledge of a supernatural type.  Occult means hidden or mysterious.  Although there are few people who have seriously considered the fact, it is true, nevertheless, that there are but two sources of hidden information (whether past, present or future), supernatural help, power, guidance, or healing—God or Satan.

     Occultism could then be defined as receiving or giving out supernatural help, power, guidance, information, or healing using a power outside of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Occultism is strictly forbidden and condemned by God in the Scriptures.  Occult involvement breaks the first Commandment and invokes God’s curse.  It is punishable by death.  God warns in Deuteronomy 18:9, “Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found with thee any one…that useth divination (fortune teller), or an observer of times (a soothsayer), or an enchanter (magician), or a witch (sorceress), or a charmer (hypnotist), or a consulter with familiar spirits (a medium possessed with a spirit or ‘guide’), or a wizard (clairvoyant or psychic), or a necromancer (a medium who consults with the dead).  For ALL that do these things ARE AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD!” (Emphasis mine--MR)

     Participation in the occult either directly OR indirectly can have damaging influence on your life and the lives of your children (descendants).  You and/or your children may be the victims of demonic subjection OR oppression because of this.  NOTE: A Christian can suffer demonic oppression but cannot suffer demonic possession as the ‘strong man’, Jesus Christ AND the Holy Spirit already inhabit the heart of a saved person.  Those who have NOT surrendered their life to Jesus Christ can be subject to demonic infestation and/or demonic possession. (Emphasis mine--MR).

     You may have never been directly involved in the occult, but, because of the sins of your ancestors, you could have inherited psychic abilities or other familiar or evil spirits which you cannot explain nor ‘get rid of’ except by yielding to Jesus Christ (Deut. 5:7-9).  See also Deut. 18:9-14; Ex. 7:11-12; II Tim. 3:8; Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26, 31: 20:6, 27; I Chron 10:13-14; II Kings 21:5-6; Isa. 2:6, 8-19; Jer. 27:9-10; Zech. 10:2; Mal. 3:5; Acts 8:9; 16:16; 19:19; Gal. 5:16-21; Rev. 21:8; 22:15. Also I Samuel 15:22-23 and the downward progression of King Saul, ending with his death (which I mentioned earlier in this writing).”

     The bottom line as a warning to pre-teens and teens is that you get more than you bargain for when you are involved in occult activity.  You will definitely ‘pick up’ some evil spirits that usually open doorways into your soul and mind for further occult or demonic activity and involvement.  Unless one asks for the direct involvement of Jesus Christ to set one free and break the chains of such hellish activity, EACH evil spirit serves as a snare to one’s soul.  The more evil spirits that are gathered by a person, the more their soul is snared…making it more and more necessary for that person to be delivered by the power and the blood of Jesus Christ.  More on deliverance later in my writings.


     The reason why I am going to stick with my warning to pre-teens and teens about occult activity is that they are the more easily involved, for a variety of reasons.  The reason why I will continue to bring Modern Street Gangs into the discussion is that the MSGs of today have adopted a variety of occult themes from other well-established groups to make up their ‘core identity’.  Some of the false religions/cults/occult groups that the MSGs of today have taken into their bosom are: Greek Letter Organizations, Freemasonry, Order of the Eastern Star, the Illuminati, Santeria, Rap/Hip Hop music, Roman Catholicism, Islam, Palo Mayombe, Wicca, Vampirism, Egyptology, Rastafarianism, Santa Muerte (female or male), and a variety of color schemes associated with Masonry, various Fraternities and Sororities, college, university, or professional sports teams.  Plus, let us not forget tattoos.

     Pre-teens and teens are into rebellion, stubbornness, and idolatry.  They love to wear and display the unusual without necessarily understanding their meaning.  Here are some of the occult items that are attractive to pre-teens and teens in general, and that have been associated with MSG activity—along with their occult symbolism.  Keep in mind that this a SHORT list:

     Ankh:  A Cross With A Loop On Top. Regarded As Sign of Life.   Also Regarded as Egyptian/Witchcraft Sign Of Sexual Promiscuity.

     Amulet:  An Ornament Or Charm Used To Ward Off Spells (aka Fetish).

    Butterfly: Represents Freedom; Desire/Want/Chance to Start Over.

     Black Widow Spider symbol: Mark Of Death; Symbol Of Toughness.

     Blood:  The Part Of A Man/Woman Which Survives Death.

     Burns: Gangs will burn single or groups of dots for specific symbols/rank/tasks.

     Chains: Symbol of enslavement/ownership.  Crypt:  Place Where Dead Are Kept.

     Chalice: Cup Or Goblet Used In Rituals. (ie: The ‘Pimp’ Cup)

     Curse:  A Spell Or Hex Involved Against Someone, Preferably Against An Enemy Or Rival To Secure Personal Or Group Gain.

     Fire:  Symbolizes Satan.   Goat’s Head: 16th Century Symbol For Satan.

     Heart:  Symbol Of Eternity And The Seat Of Emotion And Intellect. If One Controls The Heart Of Another, You Control Them. Also, a part of Wicca spells and Voodoo spells/powders.

     Hexagram:  Six-Pointed Star in Circle Used To Control Demons.

     Inverted Pentagram:  Five-Pointed Star with Single Point Downwards. Aka: The Goat’s Head.  Usually In A Circle.

     Laugh Now/Cry Later:  Types of smiling/crying faces.  Trad. Hispanic gang symbol.

     Numbers:  Either in color or plain.  Denotes clique/group/set/nation membership/rank

     Pentagram:  Five-Pointed Star with Single Point Upward In A Circle.

     Skull/Skeleton/Skeleton Figurines w/Wedding Dresses: Santa Muerte Cult/Hispanic (Trd)

     Talisman:  An Object Believed to Hold Magical Powers [rags, beads]. Example: Rosary Beads in Gang Colors or in Gang # Identification.

     Teardrop:  Usually tattooed in corner of eye.  Says person either believes in murder, has committed a murder, or is a known murderer--OR has done prison time.

     Wings:  MC Gangs or Prison Gangs Use for Ranking. Aka Symbols of flight.

     As I mentioned before, MSGs have ‘borrowed’ and ‘adopted’ these items from other groups, cults and/or false religions or idolatry-fueled organizations, such as sports teams.  IF a pre-teen or teen has any of these items and cannot provide a reasonable explanation as to why they are wearing it or have it in their possession, the parent or authority figure need to ask questions and let the young person know the risks of having such items on their person.  They could be getting into areas of the supernatural that will harm them, in the long run.


     There’s a slang term among pre-teens and teens which describes the mental state of a young person who is ‘cutting lose’ through the use of illegal—or legal—narcotics: “Going beast mode”.  Further, many of us either have read on-line, or seen on our local news what happens to a person who has ‘dropped’ the wrong drug into their system, and they appear dancing in traffic buck naked, or chasing the cops with a pitchfork.

     It wasn’t that long ago as Marijuana was proclaimed by law enforcement and the medical profession as a ‘gateway’ drug, opening the mind and causing it to be susceptible to other ‘wild’ urges and actions. Now, as Marijuana is legal in many parts of the country, that proclamation of common sense has been ‘hushed up’ by those who would rather ‘make a buck’ by putting their customers in a psych ward.  Let us not also forget that illegal Marijuana is still being sold in some of those same areas of the country, laced with everything from formaldehyde to PCP.  This also will cause ‘doorways’ into one’s soul, bringing a host of evil spirits along for a nasty ride.

     Who could forget what happened in Israel on 7-10-23.  More than 1400 men, women, and children—along with babies and infants—were slaughtered by Hamas agents.  In published reports, it was later revealed that many of the operatives that took part in the slaughter were ‘high’ on drugs that were used to ‘suppress’ the part of the brain which controls ‘right and wrong’, causing the agents reportedly to commit a host of atrocities against other human beings.

     Their sense of reason and remorse were ‘put out of order’ in the minds of these agents.  They reportedly acted like ‘mad zombies’, killing and slaughtering at will and in a mob fashion.

     We’ve seen this before in 20th Century history, during WW II.  German soldiers were given a ‘new’ drug that would be equated with what we would call today, Crystal Meth.  The drug—in pill form—was carried by Nazi soldiers in the field.  It kept them awake for days on end, enabled them to fight ferociously and suppressed their abilities to feel pain, or remorse, much like the Hamas agents.  In short, the drug went into their systems, and their minds were opened to satanic infiltration by occult spirits of murder and mayhem—among others.


     Remember about twenty years ago when parents would take their kids to the local bookstores late at night to purchase the latest book in the “Harry Potter” series?  Those books were hundreds of pages long.  Parents were just as happy to grab the books for themselves.  Before Harry Potter was successful, it was J.R.R. Tolkien “Lord of the Rings” and other such books from that author.  All one must do is check out their local movie theatre or cable channel and many weekends have movies from these book series on ‘binge watch’ display.

     Fast forward to last Christmas when occult-themed toys were a part of the effort of Madison Avenue to put ‘a spell under each tree’ with a variety of toys where pre-teens could ‘cast spells’ and ‘chant’ around a cauldron with their friends for ‘hours of fun’.  Then—least we forget—Halloween has become the number two or three (depending upon where you get your information) most popular holiday for children AND adults.

     It would take far too much time to go over all the occult-themed stuff in society.  You can do your own research.  My purpose is to point out the dangers—and the antidote to break occult ensnarement—Jesus Christ.  My advice?  Run anything questionable that society has to offer your pre-teens, teens, or adults in your home through the Scriptures and see IF they are sound—or are dangerous.


     It was a few years back, as the occult/MSG link became more public and more pronounced that I was blessed to develop a worksheet on that deadly progression explaining the six downward steps a pre-teen or teen involved in gang activity with occult symbols or ties.  Here is a modified presentation of that worksheet on demonic enslavement.  Please remember, this was aimed at those juveniles OR adults in the gang scene who DID NOT have Jesus Christ in their lives and were sinners without protection from evil spirits and the occult:

  1. DEMONIC CURIOSITY: Introduction of person/target to items such as ‘anthem’ of gang doing the recruiting, some of the symbols of the gang, and some of the rituals of the gang, under the guise of ‘coolness’ thus creating a ‘hook’.  WARNING:  Alcohol, Drugs, Sex MAY be introduced at this level.
  2. DEMONIC INFATUATION: ‘Preying’ on person/target to gang recruitment seeking to focus and boost their loyalty by ‘adding’ the ‘trappings’ of ‘power’ and ‘control’ and getting those who don’t know the gang to ‘fear’ you by ‘association’ with it (name of gang powerful tool). WARNING:  Occult ‘ties’ may be introduced here! (2010)
  3. DEMONIC CONTAMINATION: At this level, the person/target has already been recruited and seeks to ‘join’ the gang by taking part in ‘hazing’, ‘entry’ rituals (some involving bloodletting or blood shedding) and keeping of secrecy vows, under pain of loss of finances, physical beatings, or death.  WARNING:  Recruit is now ‘member’ and captive…Alcohol, Drugs, Sex increased.  Tattoos/Branding likely at this level.
  4. DEMONIC INFESTATION: At this level, the person/target has already opened the doorway, and are allowing evil spirits (demons) to enter at will, which are manipulating behavior, appetites, and causing physical/emotional changes.  WARNING:  Alcohol, Drug, Sex levels are addictive/increasing.  Possibly MORE Tattoos/Branding.
  5. DEMONIC STRONGHOLD: At this level, the person/target is ‘hooked’ on MSG life, bound to color fetishes, signs/symbols, music, lifestyle, and keeping secrets of the gang.  WARNING:  Mental re-written. Behavior and lifestyle choices--while destructive--preferred over ‘square’ life.  Person/target moving into responding to ‘gang’ name.
  6. DEMONIC POSSESSION: At this level, the person/target is recruiting others for the gang and gaining leadership status.  HOWEVER, the individual is using Alcohol, Drugs and Sex to ‘blunt’ conscience, is adverse to church, Bible and family.  Person ‘taken over’ by ‘gang tag’ or ‘street’ persona (Will ONLY answer to his gang name, for the most part).

     This same worksheet or checklist can be applied to those who may have been a part of other occult, false teaching, false religious or secretive societies or groups.  Take what you can use as a guide.  The Bible; the Word of God is your source and new guidebook.


     Rebellion, stubbornness, and idolatry are the three items that will often ‘lead’ a person into occult activity.  The three items to bring a pre-teen, teen, or adult OUT of occult activity can be summed thusly: Repent, Forsake and Discipleship.

     *Repent: This means to turn from sin and to Jesus Christ.  Repenting means that you KNOW that you have ‘missed the mark’ of holiness—God’s standard—for your life and want to let Jesus into your heart and life to give you a brand-new start (II Cor. 5:17 KJV).  The Gospel of John is a great place to get to know Jesus Christ and his death, burial, resurrection, and plan for your life.

     *Forsake: This means to NEVER again pick up your sin once you have dropped them into the dust and turned away from them.  Jesus will be with you as you learn how to walk in Him (I John 1:8-10; I John 4:1-6 KJV).  The longer you have turned your back on Christ—once you have accepted him—means that it will take a longer time to learn how to walk IN him and have him as a real part of you!  Be patient!  Daily Bible study.  Daily prayer.  Daily praise.  Daily forsaking of sin.

     *Discipleship: This is a part of that daily routine with Christ as you are a Christian.  You need to destroy and forsake all the occult items that you ‘collected’ during your days in sin; cut off ALL negative and occultic associations and club memberships, and using wisdom to testify to others about your newness in Jesus Christ and what He is doing in your life (Romans 8; Rev. 12:11 KJV).

     Let me close with this story.  Years ago, there was a woman who was at the top of the food chain as a very powerful witch and Wiccan.  She met a Christian woman who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with her, letting the witch know—in no uncertain terms—where her playing with the occult would eventually take her (to Hell) if she did not repent.  The witch came to Christ, thanks to the testimony of the Christian woman.

     I read their story, contacted the pair and got their testimony one evening.  BOTH of them faced the wrath of the top witch’s former associates who put a bounty on her head for leaving the coven.  BOTH of them rejoiced in the fact that they were setting the captives free!  They had overcome the fear of the threats from the satanic host and went on to become warriors for Christ.              My dear reader, Christ is open for all to accept…while the blood is running warm in your veins!  Do NOT let the occult take you into Hell…let Jesus Christ take you, rewrite your DNA and have you living for Heaven!

     Mike Ramey is a Retired Minister, KJV Bible Teacher and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  “The Ramey Commentaries” is one of a variety of columns that Ramey has in cyberspace.  To drop him a line…or a whine…the address is still the same:  ©2019, 2020, 2022, 2023, 2024 Barnstorm Communications International.

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Rev. M. G. “Mike” Ramey (Retired) served as the Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist & Media Consultant of “The Gang Line”. He had been interviewed in the U. S. and abroad on radio, television, and Internet about the dangers of Modern Street Gangs since 2007. His writings on Modern Street Gangs abound in print and online. Previously, he served as an award-winning broadcast journalist, producer, and TV/Radio talk show host. He has also served as a staff writer, section editor, and syndicated columnist. Ramey has won—or helped to win—some two dozen journalism awards and citations. He also holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986). Ramey is also married, an Ordained Minister (Retired) and a KJV Bible Teacher.

Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist with Certifications in Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010), and Gangs & Cults Ministry (2017). He also has endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues and Transnational Gangs. He also carries Specialist Ratings in Cult/Occult Crime, and Transnational Human Trafficking. Ramey has also served with several International anti-gang ministries, including of Washington state (2004-2009), Thug Exposed Ministries of California (2010 to 2015) and Bishop Outreach Ministries of Florida (2010 to 2015).

In 2011 “The Gang Line” offered training and certification coursework for those interested in becoming certified Modern Street Gang Specialists: Training approaches the anti-gang ministry field through the combined use of spiritual (biblical principles/discipleship) and criminal (gang members and gang crime). From 2015-2017, Ramey served as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Criminal Justice at Harrison College, Indianapolis, Indiana, with a specialty of Organized Crime & Gangs. From 2017-2019, Ramey served as a Bible Teacher to at-risk detained juvenile offenders at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center with his own Bible-based Curriculum centering upon Biblical Life Skills taught from the Book of Proverbs.

Rev. Ramey’s skill set includes having been a veteran substitute teacher (Secondary Education), a college instructor for two Bible colleges in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based) with the Marion County Juvenile Court, and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs with the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed, and taught the course “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies—UM-190” at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (2009 & 2010). In 2013, Ramey served as a post-production Consultant for Chick Publications’ national anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It was translated into Spanish in 2014.

Ramey has written extensively on the topic of Modern Street Gangs with two Internet columns: “The Gang Line” and “The Gang Line Blogger” which abound in cyberspace. In a post-pandemic society, the motto of The Gang Line still rings true: “Spiritual Solutions for Spiritual Problems!”

You need to be a member of TheBlackList Pub to add comments!

Join TheBlackList Pub