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rewrite this title Ex-Satanist Who Says He Met Devil Leaves Occult, Finds Christ: ‘Highest Level of the Shadows of the Demonic’

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“I died in my apartment, left my body, end[ed] up in a train going to hell.”

That’s how ex-Satanist John Ramirez describes the shocking moments in 1999 preceding his decision to leave the occult and embrace Jesus.


Ramirez recalled other events foregoing his conversion, including an argument with God and proclaimed he would “never be a Christian,” as he saw the devil at the time as a “father figure” filling a void he felt from the absence of his own earthly dad.

“I’ll never follow you,” Ramirez recalled telling the Lord. “My daddy, the devil, is bigger than you, stronger than you, and better than you.”

He said he challenged God to show why He’s more powerful than Satan — and that’s when he experienced what he described as a train to hell, an experience that purportedly unfolded while he was in a deep sleep.

“It was a real train, hell-bound, full of people,” he said. “You couldn’t see the faces.”

Ramirez said he got off the train and stepped onto the ground and experienced the unthinkable.

“When you get to hell, the torment, fear,” he said, describing these attributes as being like a python placing a straightjacket on its victims. “Hell is nothing like the Earth.”

Ramirez said he walked through the portals of hell and that the devil emerged and began to hurl threats.

“[He] said, ‘I have to kill you, because you know all the secrets of my kingdom and you’re going to tell the humanity about how I entrap them,” he said. “I was in the highest level of the shadows of the demonic. I would sit and talk to the devil like I’m talking to you — all night long.”

From there, Ramirez described fleeing throughout hell before again encountering Satan, who suddenly had horns and wings — a departure from the way he had seen the devil in the past. That’s when he saw a cross and the symbol made contact with Satan.

In an instant, Ramirez said he was back in his body.

“I came back into my body like a lightning bolt, or like I was in ICU and someone doing these like electrical paddles on my chest,” he said. “I came back alive again, and that’s why I surrendered my life to Jesus.”


Ramirez, author of “Fire Prayers,” grew up in New York City in a family that practiced Santeria, a cultic religion.

“Santeria is an occult, demonic, I would say one of the highest levels of witchcraft in the planet, in the world,” he said. “Santeria means ‘worship of saints,’ but that’s not the reality of it; it’s worship of demons.”

Ramirez said such occultic practices stretched back far in his family, though it was a Tarot card reading early on in his life that seemed to jump-start his journey into the abyss.

“My aunt was a high-rank witch,” he recalled. “[One day] she was heading to the [fortune teller’s] house, and my mom was going with her to keep her company. But when we got there, the atmosphere changed because the witch focused on me, and she was telling my mom, ‘I see these things with your son; if he doesn’t do a ceremony in 30 days, he’s gonna lose his eyesight.’”

His mom, fearful of this outcome, performed the ceremony on her child. Ramirez, who was 8 years old at the time, was then inducted into Santeria, where he spent decades embracing occultic ideas and practices — rituals and practices that ushered him deeper and deeper into the demonic realm.

“I had no respect for God,” he said. “Satan was God to me — the small ‘g,’ and, to me, God was somewhere in the universe … taking care of the Christian people,” Ramirez said.

The roots of occultic behavior ran much deeper, with Ramirez saying his father, who was shot and killed at a young age, was a “witch doctor” who was also “into Satanism.”

After his dad’s death, he picked up the mantle of his activities and forged on into the spiritual abyss. Fortunately, he was eventually able to leave it all behind for Christ.

Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast


Ramirez, who has since spent years trying to turn people to Jesus, said the church today doesn’t handle evil in the appropriate way, citing damaging weaknesses that often lead people astray.

“The church at large thinks that … Satan is a fantasy,” he said. “They think he’s just a cartoon on Saturday mornings, but Jesus never took the devil lightly. … Jesus confronted the devil, Jesus defeated the devil.”

Ramirez is hoping “Fire Prayers” encourages Christians to use prayer to combat the devil. Find out more here.

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