Ben H. Swett
Temple Hills, MD
2 December 2007
Kerrang is a rock music radio station in England. One of their regular programs is "The Night Before, with Nick Margerrison." Nick found my spirituality website and arranged to interview me by telephone. This is a transcript of the entire interview. It was edited to reduce its length and broadcast on 10 December 2007.
NICK: This is Kerrang Radio, The Night Before, and with us we have a very interesting chap. His name is Ben Swett. Now, Ben, thanks for joining us here on The Night Before. Let me first of all ask you -- Ouija Board. Tell me.
BEN: Ah, yes, a friend introduced me to the use of a Ouija Board, and we found that we were receiving messages through it, and I evaluated them, as to whether they were just noise or had message content. As it turned out, several different entities were working through the board, and we figured out that some of them were better than others, in the sense that some were manipulative, some were gabby, some seemed to be wiser than others. So I began to be very selective in who I would listen to through the board. The other guy kept listening to what I considered worse and worse spirits, so I quit using the board.
NICK: You stopped using the Ouija Board. What would you say to someone who was thinking of using one?
BEN: I would probably say, "Don't." The problem isn't that it doesn't work; the problem is, there's no filtering as to whether you are communicating with good or neutral or bad spirits. And unless you're prepared to make that discernment, and to be selective, you can really get led around by the nose, by communicating with ghosts or demons.
NICK: Now, let me tell you, I'm going to be straight with you, Ben. I'm an atheist myself, and I don't believe in all this kind of stuff unless I see direct evidence of it. So, to me, Ouija Boards are just for laughs when you get drunk with your mates. You push a little glass around and say, "Oh, it's the spirits moving it."
BEN: Well, we checked that, and there was enough evidence of what we were doing. We were not drunk, and the content of the messages coming through stood the test of being cogent and not random noise. The messages were also very different -- I used to call them "voices" -- they're not voices, but very different writing styles, so it was obvious that we were communicating with several different sources. That's all experience I can testify to, but of course, the experience itself is not transferable.
NICK: Let me ask you this: In your opinion, is there a god? Is all that kind of stuff true?
BEN: Well, it's not all true. The word "god" is an English word, probably from an Indo-European base -- ghau -- that means "to call out to, or invoke." The bottom definition of a god is "a person or thing deified or excessively honored or admired" and of course that's trivial. There are, as you know, "American Idol" and other such. The next one up is "an image that is worshiped" and in history we know that people make statues and worship them, so that's fairly trivial. Next up, the word "god" is used to refer to "any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people." I can testify that there are discarnate beings, having been in communication with them now for -- what? -- 43 years, so that's not trivial.
NICK: Hold on a sec -- beings that have power over mortals, and like that?
BEN: Well, the power is actually given [to spirits by those who obey them]. My interpretation of what I ran into is that there are discarnate beings, and some of them want to be spirit guides, or guardians, or gods. Kind of like human beings -- a human guru may try to establish a following, and there are spirits who do that.
NICK: You ran into them? Is this straight?
BEN: Yes. I ran into a lot of them. Mainly, they were recruiting followers, and I didn't wish to be recruited, so I tuned them out. I learned how to tune myself so I can select who I listen to. That's reported on my website, but it's too long to explain here.
NICK: These are voices, are they?
BEN: Actually, I went from Ouija Board to semi-automatic writing, and then to thoughts that pop into my mind and I recognize as not being my own thoughts.
NICK: So, hang on just a minute. I'm not sure. Automatic writing -- that's when you write whatever comes into your head.
BEN: Well, yes, or you sit there and watch your hand write, and find it is carrying on the other side of a conversation. Of course, you can be considered crazy for doing this, but I'm well familiar with that interpretation, after all these years. So, yes, I have encountered discarnate beings who want to be gods.
NICK: Let me just -- I'm trying to visualize. Automatic writing is when you just write and don't think about what you're writing. But you're saying semi-automatic writing. Is that when you start writing and then have a conversation with your hand that's writing?
BEN: That's essentially correct. The difference is, automatic writing is often thought of as being done in trance, in a trance state, and I don't do that. I am conscious; I am aware; kind of in a reverie, but I'm not out of it.
NICK: Automatic writing is sort of spiritualist, or like that. It's always had, you know, sort of occult implications to it.
BEN: Yes. The word "occult" means "hidden and forbidden" and usually for good reason. Many people get hooked up with some spirit entity who tells them, "You're going to be an avatar of the new age" or whatever, promises them all this stuff, and recruits them as followers. I am not a follower or recruitable.
NICK: To bring you back to where you were, what you are saying is that in automatic writing, you have what we would call a mad thought, a random thought, or what some people would call intrusive thoughts -- psychiatric wording there -- where you have a thought that's not necessarily a thought you expected, and you would say that is a kind of a manifestation of an evil spirit.
BEN: Not a manifestation of an evil spirit, necessarily. It depends on what they say and how they say it. I have to discern whether the source is good, bad, or indifferent.
NICK: Right. So, when some people get a random thought, they keep quiet about it, as something to be guarded, whereas you would actually think it was a demon from the other side, or maybe a deity, communicating.
BEN: Well, my opening assumption is that it's a human ghost, they being the majority of what shows up.
BEN: If you could communicate with angels, ghosts or demons, and select your channel, which would you select?
NICK: Yeah, I think I'd probably go for angels, right?
BEN: I did. I set about looking for better spirits than the ones I was communicating with, and so I thought, well, then I've got to define what I mean by better.
NICK: You kind of tuned the voices in your head.
BEN: Yeah -- well, the internal tuning is a more complicated subject. It depends on what you want, and controlling what you want is a fairly fine art. Yogis and others have talked about it, and as you will see in the reports on my website, I learned how to tune what I want. Also, I reject offers. You know, somebody says, "I'll make you rich and famous and handsome" -- or whatever -- and I say, "No way." I don't accept offers like that.
NICK: You know -- let me tell you, Ben, your analysis of this makes a lot of sense to me, because on the occasions when I've seen mediums, I think they're just saying the first thing that comes into their head. And actually, you're saying that is, as far as you're concerned, the basis upon which we communicate with other spirits, and the random thoughts that just come into your head are the thoughts of spirits. That's what you're saying, and it ties together a lot of ideas.
BEN: Well, sometimes they are. Sometimes they're because you had too much onions on your hamburger or Wimpy at supper.
NICK: Sometimes they're just my thoughts.
BEN: Yes. In trying to discern what is my own thought and what isn't, it's kind of like working a computer with a modem hooked up. I suspect it's not my thought if I didn't put it there. That's what you mean by random or what I consider a thought that just pops into my mind. So, that's step one: "OK, that may not be me." Then step two is, "Well, if not me, what kind of spirit is it?" And that depends on what they say and how they say it. You know, if somebody says, "Kill, kill, kill" I hang up the phone. That isn't the kind of folks I want to talk to.
NICK: Yeah. You see, often when people talk about things like spirituality, god, and the like, isn't it an interpretation of chaos? You die; what happens nobody really knows; it's just a chaotic thing that happens. And so from that comes interpretation of life after death and the ideas of god. In fact, it's like when people talk about throwing the bones. You throw the bones, and they randomly land, and...
BEN: No. They're not similar at all. I have some comments about various forms of divination on my website, and I don't buy it. Divination assumes that somebody or something controls the fall of the dice or the bones or whatever, and I don't see any evidence of that being true. The quick test there is, throw them again and see if you get the same results. Almost always, you don't. So I don't play that game.
NICK: I see. Right. I see. What I was saying is, people's interpretation of chaos often results in spirituality, and I would say you're interpreting chaotic thoughts as sort of a spiritual message behind the whole thing.
BEN: Well -- I'm not following the word "chaotic" because if the message is chaotic it's just noise and I don't pay any attention to it. It has to have substance, in order to pay any attention to it.
NICK: Let me ask you this: you're currently able to communicate with these deities that talk to you via these voices -- not voices, but thoughts in your head -- and let me ask you this: are you in contact with them at the moment?
BEN: Not at the moment, no.
NICK: Also, the ones you are in contact with, are they particularly useful, and what are their names, and...
BEN: OK, let me touch on that. As I said, I started looking for better spirits than the ones I was communicating with, so I had to define for myself what I meant by "better." So, I looked around at people, and realized that I believe kindness is better than indifference, and indifference is better than cruelty. Then I used that as my basis or criteria by deciding that I only want to talk with spirits who are kinder and wiser than I am. And progressively over time, that's what happened.
BEN: I also encountered some spirits who are not only wiser and kinder than I am, but also a lot more gracious, so I thought about that, and added that to my criteria, and kept on, over these forty years. In the course of that, I wound up talking with some spirits who described themselves as "as-angels." Well, what does that mean? What's the difference between you and angels? Their answer was, "The angels did not fall. We did, but we have risen again." And I thought that was interesting.
NICK: Yeah -- interesting.
BEN: I routinely ask a spirit, "Who do you serve?" and I began to encounter these kind, wise spirits who said, "I serve the Most High God. Jesus is my master." And I thought that sounded good so I proceeded in that direction, and...
NICK: Have you found God?
BEN: I believe I have, but I've also found a whole lot of bad theology that I don't buy.
BEN: I believe God is the Source of the Spirit-Light that I perceive clairvoyantly, and God is, as Jesus described Our Father, a being like a kind, wise parent who has some prodigal children -- including me. I consider myself to be a prodigal son of the Most High God, presently on my way home.
BEN: I also found that a lot of theologies, like the monotheistic theology that says God is all-powerful, are things that people have said about God. These are people saying this -- theologians -- so I don't have to buy it, and I don't. It is also said that God is the creator and ruler of the universe. I can accept the idea that God is creator -- I would say "creative" -- but as far as ruler is concerned, I don't think so, because a lot of things that happen are not in accordance with the will of the kind, wise God. You know, we screw things up a lot, and I think those things are not in accordance with the will of God.
NICK: So, what you're saying is that God actually isn't all-powerful at all.
BEN: I believe not. I believe God gets things done by the angels and humans who work in accordance with his will -- kindly, helping -- so I believe I see the hand of God at work where I see somebody being good to somebody else -- helping, healing, lifting, mending. All of those things I believe are in accordance with the will of God. Also, Jesus talks a lot about the Kingdom of God, which consists of those beings, in bodies and not in bodies, that do the good-will of God.
NICK: So, listen, I've heard the idea that God is just a concept. A concept manifests good or evil as it travels from mind to mind. I think that's what you're talking about, an idea that spreads from mind to mind and evolves, like DNA. Some people would say that supports what you're saying.
BEN: That's not what I'm saying, but I certainly recognize that people do say that, and that's what I meant when I talked about theologies. There are many different theologies of god. Even in monotheism, they paint different pictures -- the Jews, the Moslems, the Christians -- they paint different mental images of god, and I believe those are human doing. Those are concepts, doctrines, that get passed from people to people. So, I don't deny that, but I think what I have found is other than most of those theologies, and I am content with what I have found. By the way, there is a word that describes my belief. It's kind of a strange word. It's called "henotheism."
BEN: It was coined about 1860 by somebody named Muller, and it's defined as "belief in or worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods."
NICK: Right! Do you mean you believe in the Christian god, and in Jesus, but you also believe in, say, Allah -- or Thor?
BEN: I believe that the Jewish god -- they don't pronounce his name, but it could be pronounced Yahweh -- and the Moslem god, Allah, and other gods probably exist as discarnate beings. They're not my God, but I don't deny they exist.
NICK: This idea was expressed most popularly in a book by Douglas Adams, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency," and the idea is that gods derive their power from people worshiping them. So, Thor may still exist, but only a couple of people support him, so he's only got the powers of a normal human being, because he's not got that many supporters.
BEN: I think there's some merit to that idea. If you consider the "old ones" -- the old Greek and Roman gods, for example, or Egyptian, they don't have much power now because not many people obey them now.
NICK: They're just somewhere in the ether...
BEN: As discarnate beings, I suspect so.
NICK: Suppose I was to say I want to create a god -- that I want to worship the god Modell. What we are going to do is to invent him, and get everyone listening to the show worshiping the god Modell. Would he then manifest? Would he become real by virtue of the fact he was worshiped?
BEN: No, I don't think so, but I think some discarnate being would step up and say, "That's me!"
NICK: So, what about, for example, Santa? A lot of kids worship Santa as a deity. Do you think Santa now manifests as a god-like being?
BEN: No, I don't. We know where Santa came from, and we know where some of the other gods came from, too, some of the idols and so forth.
NICK: I don't know where Santa came from.
BEN: Oh -- well, Santa was created in the 1800s in the story "The Night Before Christmas." That's where the modern image of Santa as a jolly old elf and all that came from. It was followed by Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and other such inventions.
NICK: There are some -- most notably, Allen Moore who writes graphic novels and comic books -- who believe that fictional characters, when you create them, by virtue of what you're talking about, gain a genuine life of their own, in a sense, in another plane. Some people believe that.
BEN: Yeah, I know, but I don't. Fictional characters can appear to take on a life of their own, but they really don't. If you try to contact them as I do, there's nobody home, or occasionally you'll find a human ghost pretending to be that fictional character. So, I don't think we create entities, but I do think we create images -- such as theologies. People have created a lot of different mental images of god.
NICK: The fact you don't believe that is very interesting, because the next logical step there would be to say the Bible, as a work, has got a lot of mythology in it.
BEN: Sure, it does.
NICK: It's obviously not a document of facts, and so a lot of people would make Jesus a fictional character -- but -- are you in direct communication with Jesus?
BEN: Not usually direct. Usually through his messengers, his angels. Occasionally direct, but not usually direct.
NICK: OK, on those occasions, what has Jesus said to you?
BEN: What? Sorry, I didn't catch the question.
NICK: On the occasions when you have been in touch with Jesus, what exactly did he say to you?
BEN: Ah, yes. Well, he came to me once, many years ago, and that is reported on my website. I wasn't expecting him. I was, at the time, worrying about all the poor people around the world, hungry and lonely and all that, and the hopelessness of trying to help them. That was when Jesus came to me, and his presence blew me away. I couldn't look at him; he was too bright, and I was ashamed. His message was like a chunk of thought with many facets, but the core of it was for me to pay attention to the people right around me: my family, my friends and people I contact in the store -- in other words, not to get so worried about all the people I couldn't help that I ignored the people I could help. That was the shape of the message.
NICK: That's kind of how I think. I can't pretend to know what it's like to be in Sudan, for example. It must be a horrible place. But I can take care of the homeless guy down the road, right?
BEN: Yes. And your closest neighbors actually are the people you live with, the people in your house, your spouse if you're married, your kids, grandkids in my case. My interpretation of his message to me was to pay attention to them, care about them, be present to them, to help them if I can. As Paul said somewhere in the Bible, to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. I buy that.
NICK: You know, Ben, I think maybe Jesus was repeating some of his old material there: "Love thy neighbor."
BEN: Exactly! It's consistent. That is his teaching, but I had not really assimilated his teaching. Where he said, "Love your neighbor as yourself," yeah, I read that, but I had not really focused on it personally the way I do now, and that is what he did.
NICK: Clarified it.
NICK: Ben, you're an amazing person to talk to, and your website at www.bswett -- now the spelling of that is S W E double T
BEN: Correct. It's one word, B S W E T T .com
NICK: And it's very fine, actually. You're in America, right? I expected it to be all brash, and garish colors, and like that, but actually, no, it's just a neatly laid out website, with just the words there, so I enjoyed looking round it for that reason. It isn't all brash and "Hey! Look at me!" like a lot of American websites.
BEN: Well, as I said on the site, I'm not trying to prove anything or sell anything. Some of my friends said this material wasn't doing any good buried in my files, and I should make it available, so I did.
NICK: And that's how it comes across as well. Thanks for joining us on the show, Ben. I wish you all the best, and maybe we'll talk again sometime.