Sleep Paralysis Demons Explained with Vicki Joy Anderson
Inside This Episode
You wake up in the middle of the night and there it is: a menacing presence at the foot of your bed. Terrified, you try to scream and move — but you can’t. It feels like you’re paralyzed or being held down by the evil presence. Online statistics estimate anywhere from 8-30% of the population has reported experiencing sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime. The scientific and medical communities will tell you you're hallucinating. But if you’re a chronic sufferer, it’s very real and starts to invade your waking hours. So what is it, really? Why are these entities showing up in our bedrooms at night? And how can we stop it? On today’s Maybe God conversation, author Vicki Joy Anderson talks about her decades-long battle with sleep paralysis and why she believes it’s all part of the larger battle against evil forces from another dimension.
Announcer: Today on Maybe God. We've spent two weeks talking about a battle that's being waged between good and evil in a spiritual realm that most of us can't see for ourselves. According to our research, one of the most common ways dark forces can invade our lives is through something called sleep paralysis.
On today's Maybe God conversation, author Vicki Joy Anderson tells host, Eric Huffman, about her decades-long battle with sleep paralysis and why she believes it's all part of a larger battle against evil forces living in another dimension. Her new book is called They Only Come Out at Night.
Eric Huffman: Could you just tell us a little bit about the reasons you have for writing this book and what in life led you down this path of writing a book like this one?
Vicki Joy: Sure. Absolutely. I started having sleep paralysis around 3 years old. I was very cognizant of it. I probably just assumed it was a special kind of a nightmare. But I definitely knew that there was something different about these dreams than the other dreams. Even as a young child trying to communicate to my parents, I would use different language trying to explain these experiences to them.
I would say, "I had another one of those dreams last night." And I would explain to them that the terror levels were much stronger than a regular nightmare, and that they seemed real, and that I could see my room. I would explain I'm wearing the pajamas, I went to bed and I can see my teddy bear on the bed and I don't know if I'm awake, or I'm asleep. I actually think Eric, for three, four, 5-year-old, I was communicating pretty articulately to my parents that something very unusual was going on.
This continued off and on for 47 years. It was an intense experience. I've certainly heard people talk about sleep paralysis who have had much more horrific experiences than me. They see things and there's physical violence, sometimes there's sexual violence. The intensity of mine or the frequency, it was over and over and over again. Hundreds of times over the course of decades. So the frequency is really what made it intense for me.
A very, very common denominator in people who have suffered with sleep paralysis for decades... You know, there's people out there that have had it once or twice or had it, you know, when they were jet lagged, or a stressful situation. I'm talking about the people where it's kind of hounded them their whole life. One of the common denominators has been childhood trauma.
My theory is that these demons feed off of fear. They feed off of negativity, anxiety, depression, self-pity. They just revel and [rise? 00:02:58] in misery. So when you've got trauma you sort of become almost a spiritual magnet for these things.
So in my situation, I was raised in a good Christian home. There was no abuse of any kind. There was nothing like that. Trauma can be, you know, being given up for adoption or it can be like witnessing the death or the murder of a parent at a young age or witnessing some sort of horrific thing. It can be sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, all these things.
One of the things that you don't hear a lot about, and the first time I heard about it, I was very skeptical of it, but another type of trauma is frequent exposure to frightening surgical and operations and things like that from a very young age. When I first heard that, I thought, I am not going to do a disservice to the people who have really suffered in the world because I had it good. You know, we had health insurance, I had two parents. I had some surgeries. I really did not understand the significance of it, but-
Eric Huffman: What were your surgeries relating to so?
Vicki Joy: I was born with a birth defect hypertelorism and it resulted in the severe deformation of my face. I had my first surgery at 10 days old. I stayed in the hospital for a month and had surgeries every year until I was about 15 or 16. Sometimes more. I think, 25, 30 surgeries by the time I was 15. So I was constantly in the hospital, constantly being subjected to, you know, all of the needles and the scary stuff that you're afraid of when you're a kid. Not to mention the fact that you know being the 70s children's hospitals were not as family-friendly as they are today.
Eric Huffman: Yeah. We've come a long way.
Vicki Joy: There were visiting hours. And when visiting hours were over your parents both left. My parents only had one car and my dad traveled for a living. So if I was in the hospital for weeks, I would maybe see my mom and dad on the weekend. This was just the way you had to do things back then. So I was often in the hospital by myself, and doctors and nurses coming in. I didn't know what they were doing and had to just, you know...
Then, of course, when you're not in the hospital, there's all of the follow-up appointments, and you're always at the doctor's and you're getting stitches taken out and painful things being removed and all this. And then you're going to school, and then you're getting teased, and you're called Frankenstein and Freddy Krueger and Scarface and all this stuff because it's right there on your face. There's no putting a turtleneck on and hiding it, you know.
Eric Huffman: Yeah, sure.
Vicki Joy: So what was really diabolically clever in the arena of spiritual warfare in my case was they found the one place that I was 100% safe, and not bullied, not being harmed. They found the one place where I was 100% safe, which was in my home with my Christian parents, and they thought, "Let's find a way to torment her here, too."
So I would go to my room at night, which, you know, it was my bedroom, it was my safe place, and then I had all of these nocturnal attacks and nightmares and the bullying and things. So you can see now, for the children that go through this, they are basically never given a place to escape. And even when they go into their dreams at night to get some rest, there's more torment awaiting them there.
Eric Huffman: And how frequently did you experience this?
Vicki Joy: It was very frequent from 3 to 23.
Eric Huffman: Wow.
Vicki Joy: Then I experienced a very prolonged release from it. I didn't have it often at all for about 15 years. And then it came back full force around 2010, and it lasted a good three or four years. I had one bout shortly after my mother died, where I had it every night for five weeks in a row.
Eric Huffman: Wow.
Vicki Joy: And I would call my dad and I put him on speakerphone, and he would pray out loud over me and he would pray over my room and he would pray for my protection. It persisted for five weeks without a day off. It wears you out. It drains you emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. It just saps the life out of you.
Eric Huffman: I can only imagine. Having not experienced it myself, what is sleep paralysis? Give me a definition. Maybe describe what the experience was like for you or for others that have gone through it. And how common is it?
Vicki Joy: Sure. It is far more common than any statistic on the web will ever tell you. A lot of people who experience it aren't going to tell you that they're experiencing it for various reasons. They don't want to be shamed. They don't want to be disbelieved. They don't want to be hospitalized. They don't want to be put on psychotropic medication. They have a respectable job, they don't want people disrespecting them thinking they're a kook, a fringe Kook.
They don't want to tell their pastor if they're Christians, because the church has historically sort of formulaic-ly decided that if you're being attacked by demons, you must have opened all these doors. "So what did you do? And let's now take a magnifying glass over your life and your thought life and your hobbies and let's just see, you know what you've done to invite this." So there's all sorts of reasons why people who have had this would never admit to it. I get dozens and dozens of emails a week, and it is almost every one of them starts out, "I've never told anyone this before."
Eric Huffman: Wow.
Vicki Joy: But with that said, going back to the meat in the crux of your question, what is sleep paralysis? I do clarify this in the book, and it is important to understand. Technically, sleep paralysis is something that everyone experiences every night, numerous times.
When we go in and out of various sleep stages, as we come in and out of sleep, there's a brief three, four, five, six seconds, where we are in an altered state of consciousness. And sometimes we wake up and we can't move and we can't speak but there's nothing scary going on at all. So technically what we're talking about, it's assumed when we talk about sleep paralysis that what we're really talking about is a sleep paralysis episode.
It is a spiritual or a supernatural or an astral or a demonic encounter that occurs during sleep paralysis. Because there is a point when we are in various levels of sleep, our body does go paralytic and it's a safety precaution so that we don't wet the bed or we don't sleepwalk or we don't hurt somebody or act on our dreams.
Eric Huffman: Sure.
Vicki Joy: So sleep paralysis, it's a physiological thing. Completely that part is normal. It's the hallucinations that are universal that have captured so many people's imaginations.
Eric Huffman: Hallucinations?
Vicki Joy: I prefer the word visualization or vision because a hallucination in its dictionary definition actually means it's like a delusion. It's when you see something that is not there.
Eric Huffman: Right.
Vicki Joy: So it's a very mild form of gaslighting when the medical community calls sleep paralysis hallucinations because they're basically saying you're not seeing what you think you're seeing. And the people that have experienced it will very clearly tell you, "I absolutely did see that."
A classic sleep paralysis scenario, the one that you're going to hear the most is going to be something like I see a dark shadow or a dark figure by the door, or I see red glowing eyes, or an old lady, a gargoyle, an alien Grey, some sort of typical nightmare creature. And they'll see it by the door or they'll see it sitting on their chest.
A lot of people report that they can't breathe—they feel like they're being crushed or suffocated or strangled. Then some people will have out-of-body experiences. They'll have vibrations. They'll feel vibrations in their body. Some will say that the whole bed is vibrating. There are sounds that are like vibrational frequencies in the air that sound kind of like a helicopter taking off. This is the separation of your soul out of your body. This is you're actually hearing the sounds of the tearing that that is... When you start hearing the sounds and feeling the vibrations, you're actually having an out-of-body experience at that point.
Being pulled into the astral realm can seem like a lot of sleep paralysis sufferers to just be a dream. They'll wake up and they'll think, "Well, that was just a dream." And in many cases, it is something much more than a dream when it's accompanied with these severe sleep paralysis symptoms.
Eric Huffman: They feel like they're actually being pulled into another realm?
Vicki Joy: Yes, yeah.
Eric Huffman: But their body stays behind.
Vicki Joy: Correct.
Eric Huffman: And they're aware of that?
Vicki Joy: Not always.
Eric Huffman: Not always.
Vicki Joy: Not always.
Eric Huffman: So is it always a negative experience? Can it be an angelic...? My optimist side is coming out. Can you have a nice one of these episodes?
Vicki Joy: You can. But that doesn't mean that it's good. We know that the enemy can disguise himself as an angel of light. We also know that in New Age, the love and light that's very New Age kind of talk, which is a real gray area, because God is love and God is light. So these seem like very biblical terms.
But what I try to tell people is you always need to be aware of the fact that your emotions in a given situation is not enough of a litmus test. When John tells us in the book of 1 John that we have to test every spirit to know whether they're from God, it means that you go beyond how you feel because the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things, you can trace it out.
We have examples in Scripture, many examples in Scripture where godly righteous people had encounters with angels sent on assignment from heaven, bearing good tidings about the birth of children or the unfolding of redemptive history. And these people felt terror. One of the most oft-quoted things coming out of an angel's mouth is, "Fear not."
So if we have these experiences where "Oh man that was great. I was filled with this piece. I was filled with joy. I was filled with feelings of love. The being was beautiful. I've never felt so loved," that is not enough on its own to determine whether or not that being is good or evil or has your best interests at heart.
Eric Huffman: That's a hard sell, though, for somebody that thinks they found what they've been looking for, right?
Vicki Joy: It is.
Eric Huffman: I mean, I hear this sort of thing a lot with guys I talk to that I've gone on the ayahuasca retreats, for example. It's really hard to talk them out of it because it's such an overwhelming experience or feeling. How do you test those spirits then? What are the guidelines? What are the goalposts in that to make sure we're playing the right game?
Vicki Joy: I think one of the biggest places to go is Galatians 1. If anyone, even an angel from heaven preaches to another gospel, let him be accursed. And many of the people that have these ayahuasca experiences, when they come back with the answer to the universe or the message that they're supposed to share with the world, it's very often not in line with the gospel of the kingdom.
Other people come back and say, "God told me that Heaven is not a gated community, and He loves me just the way I am." Most people get these messages where they're told everything's copacetic, everything's great, you're on the right track, you got nothing to worry about.
And I'm glad you brought it up because I've even had this in my own life. There are times where I've been at a really, really low place in my life, like after my mom died, for example, and you feel like God is so far away. Like you've never felt like He's so far away. Well, according to Scripture, according to the Psalms, He's near to the brokenhearted, to all those who are crushing spirits. So actually, that time in my life where I felt God was the furthest away, according to Scripture, He was closer to me than He'd ever been before.
So we can't rely on our feelings and our emotions. It's very hard to let go of emotional experiences, especially when we need them.
Eric Huffman: And especially when some of them can be trusted. You know, as long as they're being tested against the true and only gospel, right?
Vicki Joy: Yeah.
Eric Huffman: If anyone's listening and wondering, like, what's the difference between the gospel of Jesus and a Spirit telling someone that they're okay just the way they are, is that the Gospel begins with the fact that none of us is okay, none of us is good, and we're all broken, we're all sinners, we're all deserving of some awful fate. And that by His Grace God came in the form of Jesus and His wrath was poured out on His own Son, Jesus, on the cross so that all sins are atoned for and forgiven, for all who believe can be saved. Anything other than that, anything other than just that simple faith in the Gospel and the truth of the gospel message should be looked at very carefully by us when we experienced it.
The problem, I think, is we are mostly childish in our theology, in our in our worldview. We still live as children following our appetites around and our feelings around. And the church is supposed to be there to raise up believers on all maturity, right? But we don't seem to be doing that as well as we should.
It's fascinating to hear you talk about this because clearly, just based on your own lived experience, you've got a framework to deal with this from a spiritual perspective. What would you say though, to someone who's just not convinced at all that this sort of phenomenon is a spiritual thing, that it is a purely psychological thing, you know, or just part of being human that randomly occurs in some people, and there's no spiritual war going on? What would you point to say to the skeptic, Look, there is another realm of reality that we should pay attention to when occurrences like these arise.
Vicki Joy: That's a good question. I think this is kind of like the age-old adage where you've got three blind men, and you bring all three of them up to an elephant. One's touching the tail, one's touching the trunk, one's touching the foot. So one thinks it's a tree and one... you know, they all think it's a different thing.
I think that in some cases, science and religion and medicine, we are all blindfolded and we are all touching the same animal but we're perceiving just through our own lenses of experience. So this leg has got to be a tree. I don't know what you're feeling over there but this is a tree, it can't be anything else.
So I think that one of the things that we just all of us need to do better science, medicine, and religion, is we have to stop putting the whole of reality into these tiny little dualistic categories: Everything is black or white. It's yes or no. We have all of these choice A, choice B. Reality is bigger than that.
What we're dealing with here is we have a church that, through the centuries, has become less and less open-minded to supernatural stuff. So we don't talk about it a lot in the church. We can talk about the miracles and things but supernatural is sort of a triggering topic in the church, and the supernatural is a triggering topic in science because it can't be explained. The supernatural is a triggering topic in the field of medicine.
Eric Huffman: Because it can't be monetized.
Vicki Joy: Yeah, exactly.
Eric Huffman: I mean, that's one reason at least.
Vicki Joy: But what I'm realizing here is that if you really want to figure out what's going on in our dreams, and especially these ones that have elements of shadow people, and aliens and UFOs, and old hags, and red glowing eyes, when you have dreams like that, the church doesn't want to help you. Science and medicine doesn't want to help you.
The only people that are really willing to let the cat out of the bag and tell the truth on this particular topic is the media, Hollywood, and the occult. The occult will tell you what this is. The New Age will tell you what this is. Hollywood will tell you what it is.
There is a children's movie that just came out this month, hot off the press. It's a Netflix original, though it's based on an old, old comic strip, and then I think there was a Japanese cartoon. And it's this movie Slumberland. And it's trying to normalize amongst children that sleep paralysis and out-of-body experiences and astral projection is normal, it's an adventure, it's a way to help you on your journey.
The opening line... because if the church and science won't tell you, this is what Hollywood, this is what Netflix tells you about these nightmares. Opening line of this film, "People think dreams are an escape. A chance to slip away from waking life to a world with no consequence. But that's not true. Your dreams don't just happen. We make them happen. And we design them with care just for you. We have our reasons, and we have our rules. We make your dreams to help you on your journey." That's Hollywood.
Eric Huffman: You're saying that's how Hollywood sees itself?
Vicki Joy: That's how Hollywood sees itself. That's how these entities in the astral plane see. "We are here to help you, to guide you. We're going to be your spirit guides. We're going to give you knowledge and Gnosis. We're going to make your dreams come true. We're going to create a virtual reality that is more fulfilling than the waking. But the things you learn here you can take into your waking and then the waking reality will become enhanced." It's just breadcrumb trail to ascension doctrine goes all the way back to the garden about being our own gods.
Eric Huffman: So I mean, your assertion here clearly is that those spirit guides who assert these things like the movie that you quoted are malevolent beings. That they do not have our best interest at heart. That they are the other side of the spiritual war that we talked about with spiritual warfare.
Could you just help us in an element... You're so advanced in this conversation. I'm trying to make sure we bring everybody along with us. Help us understand who the players are in the spiritual war that we're talking about. Who are the sides and what is at stake?
Vicki Joy: Absolutely. So this is the part of the conversation that actually triggers more Christians than it does non-Christians. So when I talk about the astral realm or the astral plane, there's all sorts of synonyms. Some people call it the second heaven.
I go to Ephesians 6:12. And depending on what translation you're at... I think the King James is the "high places". I think other translations say "heavenly places". In Ephesians 6:12, it says, "Our battle is not against flesh and blood," meaning it's not against one another, it's not against races, or genders, or other people, or other religions, or other nations, or other people with different politics. Our war isn't really against one another. It's against these principalities, rulers, archons, spiritual forces of wickedness in the high places.
Now, if you go to the Greek, the word "high places" there is epouraniois, and it just means heavens. But if you dig into it, and you go into the theyers, and you go into the meaning and the context and the conjugation of epouraniois in that particular context, it's talking about a lower heaven of Earth.
So we're not talking about the throne room of God and we're not talking about the blue sky with the pretty clouds. We are talking about a lower dimensional part of the heavens that are more a part of Earth but it's dimensionally situated somewhere else. But what we're talking about is in these high places, these rulers and archons and authorities and principalities that are specifically relegated to the high places, these are not your run-of-the-mill, entry-level working demons.
So one thing that the church could do better at... and I mean, I was well into my 40s before I even heard this discussed, but every single evil or supernatural or paranormal thing that we run into, we tend to just carte blanche, as Christians, and say, "It was a demon. It was demonic." And many things that are supernatural and paranormal can be, and in many cases are.
But not everything is, by definition, a demon. These things in the high places actually outrank demons and they're more powerful in many cases. Which is why in Ephesians 6:12, it tells us to stand put on all of your armor and stand firm.
Eric Huffman: Interesting. So at the same time, as, let's say, the occult and Hollywood are desensitizing us, especially young generations to these realities, your belief is that the church, at least in the West, let's say in our culture, has fallen prey to sort of rigid naturalism where we're not really interested in the supernatural. You said that it's okay to talk about miracles, but not the supernatural. I'm not even sure in many circles if it's okay to talk about miracles as miraculous anymore. They're almost demystified in many sophisticated Christian circles these days as...
You know, the best example is the one where Jesus feeds the 5,000. I was taught in seminary that the likeliest explanation is that people just started sharing their food in a way that looked supernatural. But really it was just humanity at its best. And there is an instinct or desire within us to demystify everything in the Bible to make it all controllable. And yet the Bible says what it says about Jesus and miracles in the supernatural realm, it just seems to be within our capacity to boil it down to something less than that. Is that what you're perceiving in churches these days?
Vicki Joy: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we can't throw away every single one of them. We do acknowledge that there are good churches out there. I mean, if you look at all the stats out there, the average Christian no longer really believes the Bible is the infallible word of God.
Eric Huffman: Yeah, it's only like 8%.
Vicki Joy: That's crazy. But you know, I think the thing with the Bible is we have become separated from the culture, the context, the geography, the history, and the language of the original texts. And if you really delve into the culture, the context, the history, the language, and geography, and you start getting a sense through, like in the New Testament case, first-century Semitic eyes, what some of that stuff means, the Bible is an incredibly supernatural book.
Eric Huffman: Of course.
Vicki Joy: But because we don't understand the culture, like we don't understand who the Galatians were, yeah, we don't understand who the Corinthians were, we don't remember anymore who they were worshipping. If we're reading the Scripture culturally, and we're really in the mind of the original writers, it is the most supernatural book on the planet.
Eric Huffman: Yeah, absolutely. What's interesting to me is that the church has forfeited this conversation to the world I think in an effort to be more relevant to educated, sophisticated people. Especially the white liberal churches in America, as far as I can tell, have forfeited this conversation in an effort to reach more white liberal types.
And what has happened is you've got, you know, Methodist churches and Lutheran churches and Episcopal churches and Presbyterian churches that are full of people who are casual in their Christianity but are every bit as passionate, if not more so, about some New Age practice that's their favorite sort of side project, whether it's Tarot or crystals or astrology are some of the other things people dabble in.
And they see it as an add-on to their Christian faith. They don't see a problem reconciling the two because the Christianity they've been steeped in speaks really very little about their supernatural quest, if you will. The hunger is still there. And in some ways, by forfeiting the conversation, we forced people out the door into the palm reader's office or whatever.
Vicki Joy: Wow. I couldn't have said that better. That was extremely eloquent. And you're correct. In telling the church, everything is just normal and understandable and manageable, and we can put all of this into little logical boxes, it all makes sense, it has dehydrated, our thirst for the supernatural. And so we go elsewhere looking for it.
Hollywood is great at it. And there's so, so much New Age. I used to say, New Age was like the Trojan horse that got rolled in to the lobby. But it's beyond that now. The Trojan horse has busted open, all of the soldiers have come out swinging their swords. And instead of getting them out, we have just invited them into the sanctuary to preach and teach and learn.
Eric Huffman: Among like a plethora of gods and pathways to God. It's very much like the world of the Corinthians and the Galatians and the Ephesians that you mentioned earlier. But our ignorance about that world sort of betrays us in a way. So I really appreciate your insights about that.
What is the church supposed to do? Let's say, a church like mine, or other churches that are wanting to speak more eloquently and faithfully about these issues and bring people into a deeper understanding of these supernatural realities, where do we begin? And what do we watch out for along the way?
Vicki Joy: It's a great question. You know, a verse that I've been thinking about a lot lately, you know, everybody now is talking about, "Oh, is it the end of the world? Is Jesus coming back soon? Like we look at what's going on in the world and we think, clearly, this is the end. But what a lot of Christians don't remember that it says that, when it's time to come for judgment, it begins in the household of God. The judgment begins with us.
So the number one thing that we need to do is repent. We need to repent that we have been double-minded and we have been idolatrous. There have been things that we have rooted our affections and our desires and our hopes in. We've rooted our hopes in things lesser than God. We've rooted our hopes in the turnaround of an economy. We've routed our hopes in a certain leader that's going to come and fix everything for us and we're going to get our old paychecks back and our good benefits back.
We've rooted our hopes in temporal things that are going to pass away. We haven't rooted our hopes in the fact that one day Jesus is going to come and establish a perfect kingdom that... Jesus didn't preach the gospel of salvation. And I'm not trying to be controversial. Salvation is important. But He preached the gospel of the kingdom. We're set apart. And that's after repentance is we set ourselves apart. So we are to repent, and then we are to pursue holiness.
And holiness doesn't mean sinless-ness and perfection and we're righteous and we don't... Holiness mean set apart for noble purpose. The pursuit of holiness is really a declaration to the world, We are not a part of you, we are separate from you, we are unrecognizable from you. Right now, sadly, I mean, if you go out in public, you go to a secular workplace, you can't pick a believer out of the crowd. We're not set apart anymore.
Eric Huffman: Yeah. Sometimes I've been convicted about you can't even tell a pastor from the general crowd a lot of times because even the leadership of our congregations aren't, you know, setting ourselves apart or being set apart by the Holy Spirit for sanctification and all of that it entails.
And I've been repenting lately in my prayers about basically a willful ignorance when it comes to spiritual warfare and sort of setting aside or backburnering the conversation and leaving the flock if you will—I don't really like the shepherd-sheep analogy for a local church. But let's say the flock—sort of vulnerable to wander and in search of some satisfaction for their appetites or their needs spiritually.
And, you know, it leads them into some dangerous places as they seek answers to their questions, immediate, efficacious answers. That they're not finding at the church, in part because their church is afraid to talk about angels and demons in the heavenly realm, and spiritual warfare more generally.
So I'm appreciative of your call to repentance. If you're a Christian leader listening or watching this podcast right now, I join you and your conviction, and I pray for your repentance as well as my own. So thank you for that word today. Vicki Joy.
Now, you mentioned earlier that trauma can open doorways or can open us up to demonic influence or you know the astral - what do you call it? The astral realm can sort of invade our open spaces and trauma often makes way for that. We had a guest in one of our recent episodes or last episode, who described, in her childhood, experiencing visions or seeing glimpses of things that she could not have been exposed to at such a young age. And she doesn't remember actually being exposed to them.
They were graphic sexual sort of visions that she has an adulthood traced back to, she believes, the reality of her father's pornography addiction. And her best assumption to make now, I think, for her is to say, "Well, my father's habit opened me up to demonic influence." Is that something that happens? Can work across generations like that? Can we open each other up to these vulnerabilities?
Vicki Joy: Absolutely. Absolutely. I talk a lot about this on various podcasts. And in fact, it is likely going to be portion of the next book that I'm writing. And that is one of the purposes of the sleep paralysis phenomenon, it is grooming our children.
I have spoken to half a dozen people since the publication of the book who have told me, "I've never told him on this before, but I had an early sexual awakening." And we're talking like three years old, Eric. In most cases, they were three. Where they woke up in their bed with their hand on their pants, exploring, and had never done that before, had never been exposed.
Again, we talked about how a lot of the children that are drawn into this are children of trauma. So guess what? That becomes a self-soothing behavior. It becomes a comfort. So once they start realizing that, "Hey, when I'm alone in my room at night, and I can escape from all the trauma and all the bullying and all the abuse, this, I have discovered, is a self-soothing, comforting thing that I can do." And they become addicted to that. And as they get older, the sleep paralysis and the dreams become like a grooming classroom, and the dreams are getting more graphic.
What you specifically said, when the church and our culture can say whatever it wants about the patriarchy, and we can talk about mansplaining and we can do whatever we want to make headship in the home obsolete, do whatever you want, believe whatever you want, but here's the way the spirit realm works. The spirit realm is absolutely legalistic.
So if they can dupe you into opening a door through a loophole or through your ignorance. And in fact, I want to point out again from Ephesians 6:12. When it talks about the spiritual forces of darkness in Ephesians 6:12, that word for darkness is "skotous." It literally means human ignorance of divine things.
Eric Huffman: Wow.
Vicki Joy: We see this in the garden with Adam and Eve. We see it all over the place. One of the ways that they get us roped in is they're banking on our ignorance of this spiritual realm. So what happens is, if you have a Patriarch in the house, and it can be a grandfather or a father, it can be a husband, if you're in a single-parent home and your mother is your authority figure, if you have the headship in your home, legalistically, if you bring sin into the home, what that's going to do it's going to give legal invitation into the home.
And the enemy doesn't always want you. Demons are bullies, they pick on the weakest link. So they don't necessarily care about you. But if you've got two little kids... I tell guys all the time when I'm doing these shows, and when I'm counseling them, I say, You might think that nobody is ever gonna find out what you're doing at three in the morning when you stick to your computer or when you go downstairs and say you're praying, but you really got your mobile phone out. You might get away with it. Your wife might never find out. You're gonna feel for 20 years like you've gotten away with something. And then you're gonna find out when your kids turn 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and these massive sexual bondages come out that you weren't getting away with it, but it's just that they were just going for somebody else.
Eric Huffman: But you're saying that it's the one with headship, in other words, can open his or her family up to influences that they might think they're protecting their families from by doing what they're doing in secret. But everything has consequences. It's a fascinating take.
And I think if you're rejecting that in your spirit, and you're listening right now, and you're just like, "Ah, whatever," check yourself because there might be a deeper reason for your reaction against it because it is so deeply true. And we know it to be true. That that's exactly how evil works, spiritual and otherwise. So thank you for opening our eyes up to that.
Now you did find a way to, I guess, overcome the influences that were capitalizing on your trauma in early childhood and leading to your spiritual oppression through these sleep paralysis episodes. How do you close those openings once you are aware of them?
Vicki Joy: There's often several layers. It's not usually like a one-and-done prayer. And I would just sort of pray one thing at a time. I would ask the Spirit, "Reveal to me the source. Reveal to me the open door." And I would wait, and I would get insight. And then I would repent of that thing. I think where it changed for me was I began to use the name of Jesus as an offensive weapon rather than a defensive weapon during these experiences. And by offensive I, of course, mean offense, defense, not offensive like-
Eric Huffman: Of course.
Vicki Joy: ...you know, I'm offended. So there was power in saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus help me. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me." You know, if a demon thinks there's even a 50% chance that Jesus is going to show up and fight a battle for you, they're out of there. They will leave. Not because of any power you have, but because just the thought that He might show up to defend you, they're out. So there is power in the name of Jesus even when you wield it out of fear.
But what I recognized as I got older, is, when these things come into your room, there's a difference between saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me" and "In the name of Jesus, get out." They are gone in a split second. Once they realize that you're onto that, and that you have mastered that, they don't want to keep bothering you. Now, they might find another way completely unrelated to sleep paralysis. I mean, they don't give up on you. They're always going to be hounding us as long as we're alive.
Eric Huffman: But in cases of sleep paralysis is this an effective weapon? Can you verbalize when you're in this? I've never experienced it. Are you able to speak?
Vicki Joy: Typically no. A lot of times you're not necessarily really there in your room in your body. Anyway, I know a lot of people think that they aren't I know that's what the internet tells us. But without, you know, hijacking the whole conversation and going on and on, I, through the years, would do little experiments. I would sleep with a sleep mask on, like having my eyes completely covered up to see if will I still see my room in front of me and whatnot.
And here's the good side to having sleep paralysis hundreds and hundreds of times: you do have a chance to test and observe things. I do not believe that when this is happening we are in our body or we're in our room or that we're awake.
Eric Huffman: So how do you speak?
Vicki Joy: It's all in the mind. Another thing that kind of backs this up is one time I started having this experience and I said, "Jesus, show them your authority." And I woke up mid-sentence. So in my mind, in the dream state, I heard myself boldly declare the whole sentence. But when I woke up in the middle of it, I heard myself then talking and my tongue was tied in a knot. Inaudibly in my bedroom, it was coming out, jes jes s. It was gibberish. So think we've got a lot more control over these situations than they would have us believe.
Eric Huffman: Right. That's awesome. So Vicki Joy, what would be your final word of advice or a simple word to someone who's listened in or has watched on YouTube and they're looking for just a little bit of guidance about how to live fully aware without living in fear about these realities that we've talked about today?
Vicki Joy: Absolutely. Well, I think to people who are listening who have never had it happen before or who are skeptical of it or who have had it but don't want to call on the name of Jesus, I would just say that there is nothing on intellectual about looking into or even grasping or believing in the supernatural.
I think they like to shame and gaslight us in this culture that everything has to be mapped out in a mathematic equation or if you're not being completely logical and intellectual at all times, then you're somehow automatically uneducated or you're a fool or you're simple-minded.
I just want to tell you that some of the most brilliant minds of the 18th and 19th century, the minds that have shaped our culture in the areas of literature, in religion, in science, in medicine... You look at people like Robert Monroe and Galen the physician and Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, H. P. Lovecraft, Frank L. Baum, on and on and on, people that have shaped our culture have been, in many cases, very non-religious, agnostic people who fully believed in the spiritual realm because they astral projected, they spoke with ascended masters, they were doing automatic writing.
A lot of the foundation of our current culture is built upon the writings and teachings of agnostic and atheist, highly intelligent intellectual people who wrote things that they learned in the astral realm.
Eric Huffman: That's right. I cannot echo that loudly enough. I agree. I mean, my wife and I get deep into these texts, the authors of what you're describing. It's very hard as leaders to translate it and distill it down to people who haven't accessed that world. They don't really know to what extent so many influential ideas and people have been affected and impacted by their works.
Blavatsky and Bailey, for example, just how pervasive on a local and global scale those ideas are, and how they've been informed by some supernatural entity. And I think we know generally who they've been informed by. But again, if you're listening and this just all feels like it's foreign language to you, just be patient with yourself.
I encourage you to pick up Vicki Joy's book, They Only Come Out at Night. And hopefully, if you pick up that book, you can take some next steps in understanding everything that Vicki Joy has spoken to us about today. Vicki Joy, thank you so much for your time and your insights here.
Listen, if y'all have questions about this conversation, I encourage you to engage with us in the comments section or on any of our social media platforms. And if you would like to support future episodes of Maybe God podcasts, we're now accepting donations for the first time in our four or five-year existence. So thank you in advance. For your support, just head over to Maybegodpod.com to make your tax-deductible donation to the podcast. Thank you all for joining us. Vicki Joy, thank you once again for being our guest today.
Vicki Joy: Thank you.