The false religion Santeria defined John Ramirez, but after years of evil Jesus offered him a new identity.
John Ramirez grew up in the Bronx, where his relatives practiced Santeria. “My father’s side came from a family of witches and warlocks,” says John. “My father was very heavy into Santeria, very heavy into Spiritualism.”
John’s mother was also influenced by Santeria. At his aunt’s suggestion, she took John to a tarot card reading. “The lady said in her cards I had thirty days to do a ceremony or I would be blind. So my mother, as a good mother, didn’t want anything to happen to her son, so we did it. They blindfolded me; they did a bath for me with herbs and they started chanting and calling their five main god/demons from Santeria.”
From that moment, John’s life changed. “My whole personality, everything who I stood for as a young boy was no longer there. I felt like someone took a black blanket and just put it right over me – spiritually. I was answering not only to my mom and my dad, but I was answering to the demons,” John recalls.
John longed for a relationship with his dad, but his father was abusive. “There was no love; there was no compassion. We watched him beat my mother in the house. He came in drunk most of the time–demanding stuff, asking for stuff. If things weren’t done a certain way it was always put down, hurtful words: ‘Dummy! Stupid! You’re going to amount to nothing.’ That kind of stuff,” John recalls. “I would just stand by the door and look and see what he was up to because I was looking to see if there was time for me just to have interaction. Hey, my dad and I did something. But he was connected to the demons; he was connected to Spiritualism.”