This past month I’ve been reading The Beautiful Side of Evil. Honestly, there was something in the title that made me want to read it. Could evil truly have a beautiful side?

Apparently, yes. Author Johanna Michaelsen narrated how since childhood she’s been experiencing demonic oppression. Inheriting the talent of her great grandmother as a spiritualist and a trance medium, she would hear ghastly voices, feel a chilly cold presence, and see terrifying, demonic faces. The encounters were predictable but nonetheless haunting. She never did feel comfortable with such encounters and felt extremely alone as no one could relate to her or even understand her.

She tried different pastimes to find a purpose for living. First was theater, then drugs, then mind control. Eventually as she ventured into mind control, she came across a psychic surgeon in Mexico who heals those patients doomed as incurable by medical science. She would see people flock the psychic healer’s house, bringing raw eggs as part of the consultation session. Waiting long hours in line proved to be worth the effort as they would come out of the house healed of their diseases. Johanna felt at home with the surgeon who operated the most hopeless medical cases with just a knife and a pair of scissors. She thought that only God could have done such miracles and so endeavored to be an apprentice.


Apparently, the evil that acquainted her since childhood had shown her its beautiful side. What seemed to be the genuine work of God proved to be a counterfeit. She found out that the healing miracles did not consistently end in success. Others did not get the healing they wanted; others even experienced hell in the hands of the psychic surgeon. Johanna was confused. Eventually in answer to her prayer, God revealed to her that the healing was the work of the enemy, imitating the power that comes from God. Through intentional searching and with the help of Christian friends, she was able to break free from the bondages of the occult and of darkness in general.

The striking truth in this book is that many people are deceived by the enemy and for so long, they are unaware of it. Our emotions, our experiences, the things we feed our minds daily, our contradicting beliefs and actions–these are all the enemy’s entry points for deception. The enemy crafts half truths and sugar-coated lies so well that we bite into them without second thought. But, as the author raised, it is never God’s will for us to be undiscerning.

We live in the age where deception abounds. The book offered ways on how to ascertain that we are grounded on the truth,  the bottomline of which is to be grounded in the word of God and to have a strong faith in the Lord. We need to ask wisdom in every step we take and awareness that every single thing we do counts–either for good or for evil. It is not enough that we believe; we have to know why we believe.

We need to stay on the right side and be careful what we allow to enter our minds through our senses. Just because we are sincere does not mean we would stay on the right track. Just because we have the right motives does not mean we won’t easily be fooled. We can’t afford to be played with by the enemy. In our present times, seeing is not believing. Every beautiful thing from the enemy is fleeting, and what follows that temporary enjoyment is lasting regret. 

Search the Scriptures. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)


No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

Mary Wollstonecraft




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