Heath Ledger, the young and rising Hollywood Star who was dead in his Manhattan apartment after co-starring in the latest Batman installment, "The Dark Knight", has been the object of discussion by his co-stars as to what place his role as the sadistic and demonic Joker may have played in his untimely death. Ledger was found face down at the foot of his bed with prescription sleeping pills nearby, police said. Authorities reportedly found six different types of prescription drugs in Ledger’s apartment. The New York City Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine.”
These drugs ranged in pills that were meant to deal with everything from insomnia to anxiety. I personally believe that there are a number of factors that led to Heath Ledger’s premature death and that there are many lessons for all of us to learn. Ledger’s career began with big parts in 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight’s Tale, but the latter part of his short career took a notable downward turn with brooding roles beginning with 2001’s Monster’s Ball. Ledger would later play everything from a drug addict in the movie Candy, an incarnation of Bob Dylan in the film I’m Not There and a homosexual cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Brokeback Mountain received mixed reviews because of its controversial message that many believe subverted traditional moral values. The Los Angeles Times reported that Ledger’s role in Brokeback Mountain “made him an instant icon in the gay community.” Heath Ledger “will forever be remembered for his groundbreaking role as Ennis del Mar,” said Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, adding, “His powerful portrayal changed hearts and minds in immeasurable ways. He will be greatly missed.” Homosexual activists believe that Ledger played a decided role in opening up the general public to accepting homosexual activity as natural. However, The Star reported that it was during his time starring as a gay cowboy that Heath Ledger changed for the worse. “During a 2005 interview about Brokeback Mountain, Ledger was massively different, but not always for the good,” claims The Star, “much of his youthful sparkle had also vanished. There was sadness behind his eyes.”
This sadness only intensified as Ledger battled depression, insomnia, and horrible mood swings. Many have failed to report about the dark spiritual void that Ledger struggled with and his acknowledgement that fame, drugs, and money could never satisfy him. Tragically, I believe that Hollywood’s irresponsible penchant for glorifying indulgent lifestyles is largely responsible for the premature death of Heath Ledger and countless other lost souls. Hollywood has long had a campaign against traditional moral values, espousing irresponsible sexual behavior, gratuitous violence, blasphemy, and the mockery of God.
Tragically there is evidence that more than suggests that Ledger’s problems grew even worse as he began to more intensely plunge into his role as the Joker in the new Batman movie The Dark Knight. Could it be that this role opened Ledger up to demonic oppression or even possession? With headlines from Australia’s Herald Sun like, “Tragic Death: Heath Ledger Battled His Demons” and The Star, stating “If it was personal demons that conspired to destroy Heath Ledger, they were already making their presence felt many years before,” one might wonder if they might be on to something. The truth is that the world is blind to the spiritual world around us, which is filled with demons and angels, the powers of light and the powers of darkness (Ephesian 6:10-12; 1 Cor. 2:12-14 ). The lost world is woefully blind and unaware that there is a spiritual battle between God and the forces of darkness for our very souls. Jesus Christ stated that Satan, "was a murderer from the beginning" and that he is the "father of lies" (John 8:44 ). The scriptures state that Satan seeks to blind the lost from the soul saving gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:3-4 ) and that even after God implants the seed of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ in the human heart, Satan attempts to snatch it away before one comes to saving faith (Luke 8 ).
The Dark Knight director, Christopher Nolan, said that Heath Ledger’s Joker would be far darker than Jack Nicholson’s version. “He’s extremely original, extremely frightening, tremendously edgy,” said Nolan, “A very young character, a very anarchic presence that taps into a lot of our basic fears and panic.” Tragically, the deep darkness that Ledger tapped into to play the diabolical Joker may have never left him and seemed to have followed him and tormented him until Ledger himself was driven to an untimely death. Ledger stated that the Joker character he assumed was a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” Ledger told the New York Times that he “had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker,” and that, “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night.” Some have surmised that Ledger may have opened himself up to a demonic entity to better portray the Joker… a demon that in the end, he was unable to escape from. Ledger seems to have been so tormented that he told The Times, “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” He went on to state that he took drugs, which would quell the unrest for only an hour (The Associated Press, January 23, 2008).
Few people realize the dark spiritual side of acting going all the way back to the Greek theater. The best actors in Greek theater were believed to be literally possessed by the entities they sought to portray on stage. Many occultists, like Aleister Crowley, taught that acting and assuming the role of a particular demon was the fastest way to come into contact with a demonic entity. Many actors and actresses have credited their success to possession by a spirit entity. Robin Williams claimed that when acting he becomes possessed, and that in the past they would have burned him as a witch. New Ager, Shirley McClain, has also admitted spirit possession when acting. Matrix star, Keanu Reeves, states that he attempts to connect with his muse and goes on what he refers to as “demon rides” when acting. Johnny Depp has claimed that he is possessed with a multitude of demons and Denzel Washington claims that he is able to put out such great performances because he gets on his knees and calls on spirits to possess his body and empower him to play a given role. Oprah Winfrey has claimed that she lights candles and then petitions spirits to possess her so that she can better perform as well. “I tried to empty myself and let the spirit of Sethe inhabit me,” admits Winfrey. Director, Jonathon Demme, who directed the movie Beloved, said of Winfrey’s performance, “Oprah had explained to me when we originally met that it was her goal and intention to channel the spirit of Margaret Garner…This very infusion of humanity past accounts to a significant degree for Oprah’s stunning alchemy, her astonishing abandonment of self in her Beloved performance.”
The evidence for a spiritual reality is overwhelming when one examines the preponderance of evidence found in mass testimonies by those in high places acknowledging influence from spirit entities. Add to this the fact that many of these actors like Oprah Winfrey are leading people into occult teachings that are forbidden by God through books like, The Secret and The New Earth. Sadly, many went away after viewing "The Dark Knight" reveling in Ledger’s dark performance as the Joker and never realizing that they themselves may have fallen victim to yet another Hollywood movie glorifying evil.
"Evil spirits" are called "evil" in the Bible not only because they oppose God’s will but because they use humans to increase human depravity on earth and turn humanity against the Creator. The Bible warns that Satan is the prince and the power of the air that he works through the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-2 ). What more effective way to influence the masses than through Hollywood and the music industry? These spirits can only be overcome by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh. Jesus defeated Satan through His death and resurrection. Jesus Christ, Himself, was the ultimate exorcist and cast out several demons (Luke 13:11-12; Mark 9:17-27 ). God has revealed to us that the ultimate root of evil in this world are the fallen demonic beings referred to in scripture as "Satan and his angels" (Revelation 12:1-12 ). These beings have the power to possess human beings and even take over their mental faculties for their own depraved purposes. The apostle Paul made it abundantly clear that we are not wrestling against mere flesh and blood but against the "principalities and powers" and against the "rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12 ).
This dark paradigm of demonic possession seen in the history of theatre and today in Hollywood is also evidenced within the music community, which so influences the youth around the world toward destructive behavior. No honest social scientist can dismiss the fact that since the advent of popular music in the 1950’s and 60’s that we have witnessed the moral decline of the United States of America. In our rockumentary, They Sold Their Souls for Rock n Roll, we document the occult history of rock music and provide irrefutable evidence that most of the world’s most influential rock stars have admitted that they have either contacted or have experienced full blown demonic possession.
We give evidence that everyone from Little Richard to Jerry Lee Lewis to Elvis Presley in the 50’s acknowledged influence by spirit entities. The infestation of demonic influence only grew in the 60’s as we reveal in taped interviews of those who were closest to Jimi Hendrix claiming that he believed he was possessed by a demon and credited his musical ability to his demonic possession. While we do not know exactly what was going on with Heath Ledger the day he died we do know that Jimi Hendrix’s live-in girlfriend, Fayne Prigeon, stated that Hendrix was so tormented by a demonic entity, that he believed was possessing his body, that he would stand in front of a mirror pulling out his hair and crying as he begged deliverance from this demon. Hendrix’s torment from this demon ended only after he suffocated on his own vomit due to alcohol poisoning.
Jim Morrison claimed that he became possessed by spirits after witnessing the aftermath of a car accident. He believed he was a modern day Shaman allowing the spirits to manifest through him in the Doors music and on stage. Morrison admitted that he had to drink “to silence the constant voices of the demons” (Break on Through, p. 23). The Door’s photographer, Frank Lisciandro, stated that, “Jim drank to quiet the ceaseless clamor of the demons, ghosts and spirits. He drank because there were demons and voices and spirits shouting inside of his head and he found that one of the ways to quell them was with alcohol.” (Break on Through, p. 28)
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones not only claimed that the Stones songs come en masse as though they were at a séance, but he told The Los Angeles Times that his song, "Demon", is biographical and that he, himself, is possessed by four or five demons. In "Demon" Richards declares, “It’s such a mess. Demon in me, demon in me. It’s living’ in me, the demon in me.” Brian Wilson, considered the musical genius of the Beach Boys, claimed that he has been harassed by several different spirit entities that so tormented him that he was bed ridden for years. Rolling Stone describes Wilson’s possession-like experience in ways that are reminiscent of the movie, The Exorcist, “Brian Wilson hears voices. They talk to him. They frighten him, distract him, confuse him… the voices are calling. His eyes roll toward the ceiling; they’ve gone blank. His brow is furrowed with thick worry lines. He is silent. Gone. He looks up, jerks his head back and forth for a few seconds, as if physically shaking away the voices.” Former Warner Brother Records President, Larry Waronker, claims to have met at least five different entities possessing Brian Wilson’s body (Rolling Stone, August, 1988, p. 51-52).
Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne stated, “I’ve got many, many demons that affect me on many, many levels.” (Harry Shaw, Ozzy Talking, p. 126). Ozzie further admitted, “I remember sitting through the Exorcist a dozen times, saying to myself, ‘Yeah, I can relate to that.’” (Hit Parader, Nov., 1984, p. 49). Sharon Osbourne explained to Barbara Walters Ozzy’s attempt to murder her, “I was downstairs reading. He came down with just his underpants on. And he’s like, ‘We’ve come to a decision.’ And I’m like, ‘We’ve?’ And he said ‘You have to die.’ And then he just dived on me and got me down and was just strangling me. But he was gone. There were blinkers on his eyes. He had gone. It wasn’t Ozzy” (20/20, Barbara Walters, Nov. 6, 2002). Sharon Osbourne went on to explain to Barbara Walters, “He’s just got this demon inside of him. He just can’t get rid of these little people that live in his head.” (Ibid). Sharon is never quite sure what demonic spirit will manifest when living with Ozzy. She told People Magazine that living with Ozzy Osbourne is like, “living with several different people. He’ll turn into this Jekyl and Hyde monster. I never know what I’m going to wake up with” (People Magazine, July, 10, 1989, p. 94).
God reveals to us in His word that fallen angels are more powerful than the humans they seek to possess to do their evil bidding. We should avoid allowing the demonically inspired music of the world to influence our lives. God repeatedly warns us in His Word that we are to avoid spirit mediums. Mediums are people like Ozzy Osbourne who said “I don’t know if I’m a medium for some outside force or not. Frankly, what ever it is I hope it’s not what I think it is, Satan.” (Hit Parader, Feb. 1978, p.24)
Tragically, for every rock star that Satan destroys after he is done using them, he destroys millions of souls by leading them into illicit drug use, blasphemy, the occult, gratuitous violence, sexual perversion, and suicide. The Lord Jesus Christ warned that Satan is not only the "father of lies" and a "murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44 ), but that he "comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10 )
I believe that Heath Ledger may have been beginning to see through Satan’s lies as he began to realize that the life that Hollywood offers its biggest stars was a rip off. “I never had money, and I was very happy without it,” Ledger said, “When I die, my money’s not gonna come with me.”
Sadly, Satan plays for keeps and he seeks to blind those who are lost to the salvation that only comes through a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan offers us the world, but he knows that it will never satisfy us. Satan even tempted Jesus with the temporary riches and power in his attempt to steer Jesus from His mission of rescuing humanity from Satan’s evil grip. (Matthew 4:1-11 ) Thankfully, Jesus fulfilled His mission as He died on the cross to pay the horrific debt that you and I accumulated for our many sinful crimes against God. He died in our place and paid our debt to deliver our eternal souls from Hell so that we could experience eternal life in His glorious kingdom forever! God reveals that He defeated Satan through His death, burial, and resurrection:
"The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work." –1 John 3:8b
"He suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone…Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil." –Hebrews 2:9, 14
Let us pray for the repentance and salvation of those in Hollywood and the music industry who are doing Satan’s bidding whether wittingly or unwittingly. Let us pray for those who have bought into Satan’s lies and are living superficial lives for temporary and passing sinful pleasures at the expense of eternal life. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, He loves you dearly and promised that if you turn from your sin and follow Him in faith, He will forgive you and bring you into His Kingdom forever. Jesus Declared:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him" –John 3:3; 16-21, 36