From Mental Illness and a Cult to Christian Ministry and Political Office ⋆ Politicrossing
Connect with us

Faith

From Mental Illness and a Cult to Christian Ministry and Political Office

Published

on

A young man turned his life around after getting involved in a cult and suffering from schizophrenia, and now later in life is a leader in Christian ministry and running for Phoenix City Council. Nick Griemsmann has gone through a lot, but through the grace of God he was able to turn his life around and now helps others. He recently wrote an autobiography called Becoming God’s Friend

Griemsmann wasn’t raised as a Christian, and having trauma as a young boy no doubt set in motion some bad things. He developed addictions and dropped out of high school. He found a job working as a bartender at Barcelona’s, a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona, but realized after a while that the party lifestyle was unfulfilling.

But he then went to the other extreme, deciding to become a monk. His attempt failed, as he ended up walking around hot and thirsty in the New Mexico desert, never making it to the monastery. The onset of schizophrenia was starting. 

However, he still yearned in his heart for God. When he was 22, he found a flyer on his car from Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. It said they provide a place for people to stay, which sold him. He called and spoke to a woman there on the phone, who prayed for him during their conversation. He could feel something changing inside of him that was supernatural. However, they wanted him to move to Arkansas, and his parents warned him that it was a cult. 

He moved anyway and it was the beginning of a deep, dark experience. He was taught that if he ever left that ministry, it would blasphemy the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven, and he would go to hell. They said his family and friends were “of the devil” and instructed him to cut them off. 

Alamo claimed he was one of the final two witnesses written about in the book of Revelation. His teachings were so disturbing, frequently focused on hell, that Griemsmann would see people shaking while listening to his messages. Cult members were required to attend church every night. Griemsmann started having spiritual hallucinations, likely brought on by a lack of sleep from the rigorous work schedule, which consisted substantially of long hours placing flyers on cars. 

He eventually tried to leave the cult, and voices in his head told him to loudly pray at the airport, which he did until the police took him to a mental hospital. Another time the voices told him to take his clothes off in public if he wasn’t ashamed of Jesus, which he did. During this time, a psychiatrist told him that he would be catatonic in 10 years and had no hope for recovery. 

Finally, God intervened in his life, and he was able to leave the cult for good and seek treatment. He became involved with several regular churches in Phoenix, and eventually felt a spiritual force leave him. With the help of his family and supporters, he weaned off all medication for schizophrenia in 2007 despite the fact that he was told that it was incurable. He found a job helping others with the exact type of mental health problems he’d gone through. As for Alamo, he was eventually prosecuted for the sexual exploitation of women and girls and died in federal prison.

Griemsmann started a ministry called The Father’s Friends. He wrote a book called Defeating Mental Illness about his journey, which did well and he was invited on large Christian TV shows to talk about it. 

He learned that “letting go of carrying the burdens of others is vital to one’s own emotional well being.” He also discovered that “Individuals do not end up with a big issue like schizophrenia randomly. It usually has been built inside the person over time through continued lies, trauma, substance abuse, etc.”

His interesting journey continued, taking a trip to Juarez, Mexico, with others and discovering through prayer that some people experienced the miracles of healing. He became an assistant pastor in Phoenix. He started livestreaming street evangelism in Harlem, New York and Europe.

Later on, he traveled to remote villages in Pakistan, where his team prayed to heal people miraculously. He did big events ministering in Kenya, where he continued to preach the Gospel and pray for sick people. Some reported healings of what he used to have, schizophrenia. 

Griemsmann talks about the negative aspects of life that he’s had to learn to deal with and overcome as “Misters.” For example, Mr. Condemnation keeps a person stuck in negative mindsets and emotions, inside a spiritual prison. He makes you feel like you are never good enough for God or anyone. Others include Mr. Discouragement, Mr. Self-Righteous, Mr. Fear, Mr. Anxiety, Mr. Lust, Mr. Addiction, Mr. Mental Illness, Mr. Rejection and Mr. Anger.

What worked for him was not focusing on the bad, like making a list of all your sins. Instead, he focuses on spiritual freedom, and teaches others to look for the good, since the fruits of the Spirit are positive attributes; love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.

Griemsmann’s journey has now taken him into politics, taking on incumbent Democrat Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia in District 8. Although the district leans heavily Democrat, it’s a nonpartisan race and Garcia has a hostile relationship with Phoenix Police. When Garcia was pulled over by the police for driving a car with suspended license plates, he tried to intimidate the police by pulling rank. Political consultant Stan Barnes told KNXV that “the councilman is anti-police officer, and he’s playing it out in real time for all of us to see.”

Griemsmann wants to represent everyone, and says, “I am a supporter of the Phoenix police.” Due to his background with not only overcoming schizophrenia and his vast ministry experience, but also his past career as an administrator in behavioral healthcare, he can be a real champion for solving homelessness, community safety, healthcare, education, and helping the incarcerated transition back into society.   

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article. Please take a minute to share them in the comment section by clicking here. Or carry the conversation over on your favorite social network by clicking one of the share buttons below.


Rachel Alexander is a conservative political writer and pundit. She is the editor of Intellectual Conservative and a recovering attorney. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2019.



 
 
 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.



Faith

A Nation of Unsung Heroes

Published

on

The movie, Unsung Hero, is not only a great movie. It’s a movie that captures the struggle and hard-earned survival and eventual success of millions of Americans who have had to overcome struggles to earn their own American Dream. For two centuries, Americans have been known for their resourcefulness and resilience, and we are not done yet!

We are again living in difficult and challenging times. Surveys suggest that nearly 60% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. Their solutions to their plight won’t be coming from politicians in Washington. Their success, as always, depends on their will and resourcefulness in overcoming daily obstacles, their ability to survive on limited resources, their scrounging for work that allows them to survive another day, and help from those who care.

That common but heart-rending struggle is conveyed in an inspiring way in Unsung Hero. The film focuses on the early struggles of the Smallbone family in the early 90’s. We watch as David Smallbone’s once-thriving music business as a concert promoter in Australia falls apart. They lose their home, their car, and their life’s savings. With no opportunities in Australia, David moves the family halfway around the world to Nashville to secure the only job he could secure. After missed flights and a long and tiring journey to Tennessee, David learns that his promised job had been given to someone else.

As their dreams fall apart, you watch as the steady faith and creativity of Helen Smallbone, played by Australian actress and mother Daisy Betts, pulls the family through one setback and challenge after another to find a way through. With six children and another on the way, every member of the family is challenged to do their part to keep them afloat. They do yard work, any work that would fill their jar of savings. They couldn’t let it be empty, and they didn’t. They kept finding a way.

They were Australians with no friends, no family, no car, sleeping on beds made out of clothes. To nurture their faith, they began attending a local church. Aware of their needs, church members found ways to help in any way they could. In a foreign country living in a city with over half-a million people, it took finding a loving faith community who cared enough to help. Watch the movie, to find out the rest of the story. Bring plenty of tissue and be ready for a few tears along the way.

America needs this movie right now. Why? Too many people are feeling hopeless in the face of growing inflation and lost jobs. They face frustrating obstacles and enormous challenges, and the answer is summed up by a quotation of Mother Teresa shared in the movie, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Luke Smallbone, the producer of the film, acknowledged the importance of that truth, “That is really the heartbeat behind the film.” It is also the local solution that has always helped Americans find their way through-the power of family and the presence and support of their local “family of God.”

Washington may send you money, but they can’t provide the flexible and persistent support needed. It’s one’s local family, friends, and faith communities who can encourage resilience and help shape a needed recovery. Solutions come from a local community’s caring and support. It used to always be that way, and it needs to be that way again.

Our nation is full of unsung heroes who are helping their family and friends, and they are more needed than ever. If you don’t have anyone helping you, stop looking to Washinton for the help that will never come no matter who is elected President. Get involved again in your family and your community. Call your family and let them know you need help. Get back involved in your church or synagogue and let God work through them to help you get back on your feet. Investing in community is an adventure that allows you to help and be helped to the glory of God and country.

When you get involved, you most likely will not make any headlines. That is left for terrorists, violent demonstrators, and other disasters and threats out of your control. But America is strong because of millions of unsung heroes who make it all work and seldom get acknowledged. This column is dedicated to you. You deserve to be honored and applauded for all you have done and will do to keep America the country it has been and must remain. May it continue to be so in your adventure!
Continue Reading

Elections

Let’s Reclaim America’s Optimism Advantage

Published

on

On this New Year’s Day, America needs more than a parade and great football games; our people need renewed optimism in living our American Dream. Instead of looking for government fixes or some magical new president who will make things right, we need a kick in the pants to get busy making America work no matter what obstacles we face.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, Ronald Reagan shared what he considered the secret of his success as our President: “I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts.”

Oh, how we need leadership like that in America today. As we start this year, too many people feel powerless. Inflation may be coming down, but high fuel and food prices have taken their toll on far too many Americans. Watching the invasion on our Southern border means too many of our cities are being overwhelmed with no end in sight. We wonder if there is anything we can do but watch. The sense of despair and helplessness is contagious, but so is optimism. What attitude do you spread?

There is more than you think within your control. Every day, you make choices to make your situation better or worse. Studies of optimism find that optimism comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles. If you have had obstacles the last few years and are still making it work, pat yourself on the back. Be a proud survivor, not a victim so many seem to take pride in claiming to be.

Make each day count by starting your day doing one thing to make your situation better. Find one way to cut expenses. Find a way to increase your resources. Make a call or visit to nurture your network of colleagues and friends. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes, both big and small. Nurture your faith realizing that God gave you gifts and give thanks every day for the blessings you have. Lest you forget, you’re blessed to live in America. People risk everything to come here, and few want to leave.

Yes, this is an election year, and it would sure be a gift to have a leader who would nurture the hope and optimism of all our citizens. So as the campaigns progresses and you listen to potential leaders vying for your support, ask yourself a few key questions:

Do they want to control your choices or ensure your freedoms?

Do they want to make you more or less dependent on government?

Do they want to increase the size of government and entitlements and the taxes needed to fund them or decrease them?

Do they want to force your children to go to public schools that don’t’ get the results your children deserve, or are they willing to give you the freedom to pick the schools your children need?

Do they disagree with their opponents and state why, or do they demean them and call them names?

Do they want to grow the size of government and its debt, or do they want to decrease both?

Do they believe in the citizens they represent, or do they convey that they are the answer to America’s future?

Do they take responsibility for their mistakes and actions or quickly deny responsibility and blame others?

No President is perfect. It’s easy to promise and a lot harder to deliver. Reagan focused on three things: an optimism based on free-enterprise innovation, smaller government, and lower taxes. He delivered on all but smaller government. As Reagan advisor Arnold Laffer confessed, “When it came to cutting welfare payments and school lunch,…it was very hard. Someone would come over and say, ‘How can you cut school lunches?’ Reagan would reply, ‘I guess you’re right; I’ll tell them not to cut that one.’”

The pressure to keep growing government is tempting and easy to understand, but it is not what America was created for. America’s form of government was designed to protect citizens from an over-controlling, over-taxing government. We need to reclaim that passion for freedom and self-reliance. Our founding citizens wanted the opportunity to pursue happiness, not happiness given to them at the expense of other taxpayers.

The election is months away. So I’m going to borrow on the optimism of Ronald Reagan to inspire us all on this first day of 2024: “I’m not taking your time…to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Reagan wouldn’t want us to wait for the next election. We’ve had enough of eloquent politicians who think they have all the answers. We need to believe in ourselves and get busy living our own dreams. Then, in November, let’s elect a leader who will stay out of our way and give “We the People” freedom again—freedom to fail, succeed, and thrive in our own American Dream!
Continue Reading

 

Trending