When I was little, I was a pretty good kid. Mum says I was one of those no-trouble children who did what I was told. But this didn’t last. At 14 years and nine months, after suffering through a traumatic encounter I started drugs—crack and cocaine. With the help of Mum and Dad I got off them, but turned to alcohol and marijuana instead.
I’d always felt different. I had unusual dreams, including one recurring dream about my grandfather being thrown from one side of the road to the other, running, yelling and screaming. He had a shotgun and my mum and aunty were running up the road after him. You could see something was throwing him violently. You could see the marks, the scratches on his back, but you couldn’t see what was inflicting the damage.
Having morning tea with my sisters and mum one day—I was about 22—I brought my dream up.
“Where did you hear this?” Mum asked. “What you’re describing is real. It happened—I was there. Tell me again—all the details you can remember.” When I finished, she said, “I don’t know how you know this. You weren’t even born yet.”
For the first time I started to realise what was different about me.
A couple of years later, I’d been considering moving from Sydney to Melbourne or Perth, but I hadn’t decided yet. Mum left me a phone message. “Rose is here,” she said. Now Rose was a clairvoyant who I’d met once years before. She’d had me in tears after telling me some truths about an ex who I’d been on and off with. Mum said, “She’d like you to come—she wants to see you.” I was doubtful, but I went.
“So, have you decided if you are going to Perth or Melbourne?” Rose asked me. “You haven’t told your mum yet, have you?”
I hadn’t mentioned anything to anyone. I hadn’t even told my son. I was shocked.
“I think Melbourne’s probably best; what do you think?” she asked me.
“Yes, I was leaning towards Melbourne. It’s not so far as Perth.”
“Have you finished the drugs and the drinking yet?”
Part of the reason I wanted to move was to change my lifestyle—I was at a crossroads. I wanted things to change. So I said, “Yeah, I think I am.”
“Good,” she said. “Because they have been waiting a long time for you. The angels have been waiting for you to do the job you’re supposed to be doing. Are you ready?”
It was then that I decided I’d become a clairvoyant. I’d used drugs and alcohol to stop the things I was seeing—running away from the fact I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t think it was normal; it wasn’t anything I’d had in my environment before. So when she asked, “Are you ready?” I just felt this overwhelming sense of Yes, I am ready to do this.
I thought it was angels—God’s angels. It never occurred to me that these spiritual forces were actually the devil’s angels—demons.
In Melbourne, I set up a 1900 line that people would ring for fortune telling or clairvoyant readings over the phone. I was very good at it.
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just giving my own opinion, so I would tell them to write their question down on a piece of paper and fold it. Then, without telling me what the question was, I would shuffle the card deck. I would have oracle cards, a couple of different tarot decks and angel cards as well. I would select a tarot card from each tarot pack—and I would read them and tell the caller what the question was and what the answer was. I needed to know I wasn’t making it up—that what was being pushed into my mind during these tarot readings wasn’t from me.
People believed me. There was a sense of trust that came with what I did, and I was able to support my family. I felt like I was helping people; it never occurred to me that “these powers” came from anything other than good angels.
It took me four or five hours to recover from each session, so in a day I wouldn’t do any more than three.
I did this very successfully for about two years. I felt so gifted with this blessing.
I then decided to study angelology. I wanted to learn new things; I wanted to teach other people to talk to angels. I felt it was a gift everybody should have.
After about a year of study I was going over some content to prepare for my final exam and Mum kept distracting me. At one point she asked, “So, what do you think of the three angels’ message?”
I looked over. “What do you mean?”
“Haven’t you done that?” She sounded surprised.
“No, I haven’t heard of it.”
“I’ve seen you studying angels in history, in the Torah, in the Kabbalah, and you’re telling me you don’t know anything about the three angels’ message?”
“No, I don’t. Where is it?”
“It’s in the Bible,” she said.
“What? Why would they leave that out?”
“I don’t know. You’re the one who’s supposed to be being qualified to teach people about angels. Why do you think they’ve left it out?”
The question played on my mind a lot. I passed the exams, became qualified, but it nagged at me. I was thinking, Why would they not want us to know?
I felt drawn to read Revelation, the last book of the Bible, where the vision of the three angels’ messages is recorded. My grandmother had given me a Bible—I’d had it for years, but never read it. I started reading Revelation and wow, was it an eye-opener! I could relate to it—I’d seen some of these things. I knew what the visions of demons looked like, from different things I’d seen in my mind. So to me it was exciting.
Mum had been going to church and she told me she was planning to invite a whole lot of people home for lunch to make up for all of the lunches she’d been invited to.
“What? Your churchy friends?”
“Yes,” she said. “You’ll sit there, I’ll sit here . . .” She was pointing out around the table.
“Hang on,” I said. “I’m not sitting at the table with your churchy friends.”
“We need an even amount around the table so, yes, you will.”
At one of these lunches I met Pastor David McKibben. He was so cool. Easy to talk to—I felt I could ask him things. He’d come over to visit Mum and although he knew what I did, he never judged me, he’d just listen. Then one day, I told him, “I think I want to do Bible studies.”
So we started Bible studies. I remember what he said when I told him I’d read Revelation: “It’s not the book everybody goes to first when they read the Bible. It’s one of those books most people steer clear from.”
But I wasn’t dissuaded—even if Revelation is a complicated book filled with talk about evil spirits, spiritual warfare and heavenly places. I was absorbed with God. I wanted to know more.
I discovered the life I’d been living was a lie. I was totally deceived, yet it had felt so right. I thought I was doing things to help people. But then, reading God’s Word, I had this epiphany. When I got to the part of the Bible where sorcery and fortune-telling and trying to communicate with the dead is called an “abomination”, I thought to myself, Oh my goodness, this is what I’ve been doing!
It was like a rock falling on my head.
It was time to get rid of everything.
I had rare card decks that were worth lots of money. But I realised I was done. What I’d been doing was influenced by the devil and it was time to cleanse my life, our house.
I packed it all up. I took all of my certificates out of their frames. I was a reiki master (a form of Japanese energy healing), I was all sorts of things by this stage. I told Mum I needed to burn them.
“Why don’t you just throw them into the bin?” she asked.
“No way. God has spent enough time competing with these things to get His daughter back. I’m not making Him compete and I’m not having anyone else find them. No-one else will use them again.”
We took the lot and burnt it. There was probably $A10,000 worth of stuff and we needed the money. But I knew then that God would never compete with Satan in my life again.
God gave us back the money in about nine days. Ten thousand dollars entered my account—a clerical error had been made in taxes. I knew I’d done the right thing—I knew God had done it on purpose.
I was baptised on January 19, 2019. My birthday is on the 19th of another month, so I felt like I was being given a new birthdate—my life was starting over.
I felt the devil saying, “I’m not pleased with what you’re doing. Don’t think I’m prepared to let you go.” My son started seeing “grey men” in the corner of the room and a “grey boy”—a little boy who would stand with him. They would keep calling his name—they wouldn’t stop. Then there was screaming.
I couldn’t hear anything, but my son could. He would end up so distressed. I told Pastor McKibben and we started praying. I went into my room and I yelled at the devil, “You won’t have my child and you don’t own me anymore.”
We prayed a lot. The next night there was no more screaming. He slept nice and peacefully.
For anyone who’s interested in clairvoyance or anything like that, all I can say is, don’t go there. It’s deceptive. It looks like fun, but the price is too high. And it’s not just you who you bring into it, it’s your family.
I do my own Bible studies now with the girls I got baptised with. I help my church’s livestreaming and Facebook page; I teach Sabbath School for the kids, which I love.
The devil hasn’t gone away—he still torments. But it doesn’t affect me like it used to. I don’t get the anxiety, I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs—I don’t need any of it anymore because I have prayer. And I have Jesus Christ.
This article is taken from Cathy Hookham’s story in her own words, presented in a video during the online Sydney Adventist Women’s Breathe conference. You can watch the full interview here.