It’s been over 5 years since Robin Williams died by suicide. Was there a spiritual component that led him to end his life? Likely. The scripture I love to emphasize is “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). The Bible is clear that there is a spiritual enemy, the devil, who kills, steal, and destroy (John 10:10), and is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Robin Williams, as far as I know, lived a life of sin and without having the Lord Jesus Christ, which made him easy prey for the devil. What hedge of protection does one have without the Almighty God?
The following is a well-supported take on how the enemy worked in Robin Williams’ life:
Everybody is currently talking about Robin Williams and his tragic suicide. Many are puzzled as to how a man, who made so many people laugh, could be so depressed that he would violently end his life. What people are not learning is the deeper truth about the insidious forces that tormented Robin Williams and drove him to suicide.
Robin Williams acknowledged that he had opened himself up to transformative demonic powers that aided him on stage. Without the aid of such demonic powers, it is likely that you would have never have heard of Robin Williams and many other famous celebrities. Williams also recognized that these powers had manifested a very evil influence on stage and that there could be a hefty price to pay for their assistance. Williams told James Kaplan of US Weekly:
“Yeah! Literally, it’s like possession ‑ all of a sudden you’re in, and because it’s in front of a live audience, you just get this energy that just starts going…But there’s also that thing ‑ it is possession. In the old days you’d be burned for it…But there is something empowering about it. I mean, it is a place where you are totally ‑ it is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where you really can become this other force. Maybe that’s why I don’t need to play evil characters [in movies], ’cause sometimes onstage you can cross that line and come back. Clubs are a weird kind of petri dish environment. I mean, that’s where people can get as dark as they can in comedy ‑ in the name of comedy, be talking about outrageous stuff and somehow come out the other side. I mean, that’s one place where you really want to push it” (Robin Williams, “Robin Williams,” by James Kaplan, US Weekly, January, 1999, p. 53).
Williams’ last statement quoted above answers the question as to why the demonic powers use entertainers. Their goal is to promote evil and darkness and increase mankind’s rebellion against God.
Williams went on to say on the heels of that admission:
“The people I’ve admired ‑ Jonathan [Winters], in his best days, was out. Gone. But the price he paid for it was deep” (Ibid).
Sadly, it seems that the price Robin Williams has now paid is just as deep as that of his idol, Jonathan Winters. In fact, in the same US Weekly Interview, James Kaplan says:
“With a gift for mimicry and improvisation that verged on demonic possession, Williams could even approach the artistry of his idol Jonathan Winters—a man whose genius took him, once or twice, over the edge into mental illness. Williams’ own version of hell has been extensively chronicled” (Ibid).Like Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters had to contend with the tormenting demonic powers he utilized for fame and fortune. “These voices are always screaming to get out,” Winters told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, further admitting “They follow me around pretty much all day and night.”
At the height of Winter’s success, he voluntarily committed himself to a psychiatric hospital for eight months. Winters would later claim that if he were not careful, the authorities would put him back in the “zoo,” an obvious reference to the mental institution. Winters, like Williams, often fell into deep depression and struggled with heavy drinking.
While many only knew Robin Williams to be what they considered a somewhat “family friendly”
actor, he was one of the most successful crude stand-up comics who ever lived. It was during his standup where he was most able to tap into what he calls “possession…Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… that’s where people can get as dark as they can in comedy ‑ in the name of comedy” (Ibid).
It was in Williams’ stand-up where he would go into his manic, stream-of-consciousness rants filled with vulgar language, perverse sexuality and the glorification of illicit drugs and drunkenness. Many people express shock after seeing Williams’ stand-up, not knowing his act was so perverse.
Comedians, like many famous musicians, pay the price for their fame by becoming enslaved to the demonic forces that possess and torment them. Jim Morrison, the frontman of America’s most successful band in the 60’s, admitted that he had to drink “to silence the constant voices of the demons” (James Riordin, “Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison,” 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” (Ibid., p. 28).
Brian Wilson, considered the musical genius of the Beach Boys, claimed that he has been harassed by several different demonic 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 scenes of Linda Blair from 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).
Ozzy Osborne admitted, “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).
Most people are blind to this diabolical pattern of celebrities giving themselves over to satanic power for fame and fortune, only to be exploited, used and abused, and then spit out after Satan is done with them.
Heath Ledger’s life ended prematurely not long after he accepted the evil role of The Joker in The Dark Knight. While Ledger’s depression began after starring in the gay promotional film, Brokeback Mountain, after his death, 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,” underscored the fact that Ledger was dealing with some dark forces.
Ledger said of The Joker character he would portray in The Dark Knight, “He’s a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” However, to properly play the role to his satisfaction, Ledger would open himself up to evil spirits with even less empathy. “Well,” said Jack Nicholson, who had also played The Joker, “I warned him” (Source).
Unfortunately, Nicholson’s warning went unheeded and Ledger overcame his fears and ended up even meditating on becoming the evil Joker he would portray:
“I definitely feared it…Although anything that makes me afraid I guess excites me at the same time. I don’t know if I was fearless, but I certainly had to put on a brave face and believe that I have something up my sleeve. Something different…just closing my eyes and meditating on it…it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts” (Source).
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.” 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). Sadly, Ledger, died of a drug overdose shortly after the filming of The Dark Knight.
Robin Williams, like Morrison, Winters, Ledger and so many others who resort to drugs or alcohol in their attempt to quell the demonic voices that torment them, fail to realize – until it’s too late – that such drugs only draw one deeper into Satan’s insidious web.
Sadly, Robin Williams must have felt like he was in a no win situation. When he sought sobriety, the demonic voices which he admits he had opened himself up to likely tormented him to no end. When he sought to drown out the clamoring voices with a deluge of alcohol, he ended up poisoning himself and teetered on the throes of death. He had tried “professional help” a number of times, but the arm of the flesh, no matter how noble the intentions, cannot overcome the demonic world.
Robin Williams felt enslaved to the industry and to the very dark powers that brought him fame in the first place. An intimate friend of Williams told the Telegraph that Williams had been working on new projects and dreaded making more films to pay the bills, as they “brought out his demons” and “left him drained and particularly vulnerable to depressive episodes.” (Source)
While we need to avoid two extremes – the claim that mental illness is always demonic or that all mental illness is simply of a material nature – in Williams’ case, he admitted the danger of plunging into the demonic realm and his concern over its dark consequences, a la Jonathan Winters! The scriptures are clear that we are not at war with flesh and blood but the demonic world (Ephesians 6:12) and that the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:4).
The truth is that only the Lord Jesus Christ has the power and authority to deliver humans from satanic powers. The scriptures reveal that the demonic powers tremble before God’s mighty power (James 2:19). It is in Jesus’ name that believers have victory over the demonic realm. God’s Word declares:
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” (Revelation 12:11).
However, if we are to truly be delivered from illicit drugs, alcoholism, sin and the demonic world, we need to repent and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ and agree to stop dancing with the devil. Kaplan wrote regarding his US Weekly interview with Williams, cited earlier, that “For years, the actor-man-child’s life was a welter of easy drugs, adoring audiences and accommodating women. Now he’s married and a father –and still willing to dance with the devil” (Robin Williams, “Robin Williams,” by James Kaplan, US Weekly, January, 1999). Sadly this ended up being a dance of death, which should be a lesson to us all.
Christians must guard their hearts from entertainers who are being used by dark forces to erode moral conviction and draw believers away from the light and love of Christ.
The terrible irony is that many of these comics, such as Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters, who are portrayed in their public persona to be happy and filled with laughs, are in fact the most tormented and joyless souls on earth. Jesus gave the solemn warning “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
According to Robin Williams’ publicist, Williams had been struggling with “severe depression.” Famous comedian Chevy Chase said of Williams after his suicide “Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease: depression” (Source).
Jim Carrey, who has his own battles with severe depression, said when asked about Robin Williams’ death, “Comedians are often plagued by thoughts and beliefs that no one understands them” (Source).
Several famous comedians have been diagnosed with mental illness and suffered from severe depression. Just to name a few: John Cleese, Paul Merton, Jim Carrey, Stephen Fry, Jonathan Winters, Ruby Wax, Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, Chevy Chase, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Hugh Laurie, David Walliams, Maria Bamford, and Tony Hancock, who was considered the funniest comic actor of his time, ended up killing himself while filming a television series in Australia in 1968.
We cannot truly have peace until we have a relationship with the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). We cannot have true joy until we open our hearts to Him who has been crowned with joy above all others (Hebrews 1:9; 27).
Jesus – not drugs or alcohol – is the Savior of the world and the only One who can deliver us from the penalty of sin, hell, death and enslavement from satanic powers. Jesus declared:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus also declared:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:16-21)
Depression can have many sources, but has only one ultimate remedy. True joy can only come from a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the infilling of His Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is manifold and includes love and joy. Let us remember that there are a lot of hurting people out there like Robin Williams, who are filled with hopelessness and despair. May God make us sensitive to their needs and help us to show them His great love through our concern, willingness to help and sharing the gospel.
Please pray for the celebrities/mediums in Hollywood and so many in the music industry, that they would repent and find deliverance from the demonic forces that are exploiting them to wickedly influence the masses, and that they would come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords! Pray for those who clamor for their “entertainment,” and are adversely and incrementally affected. May the Lord guard each of our own hearts, as we seek discernment and seek to avoid the spiritual land mines that threaten our lives and those of our loved ones. May the Lord abundantly bless you as you seek His face and His glory!
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”