To those of you who don’t know me: I have been /news/archives.asp?ARCHIVE_ID=28writing a column
for WorldNetDaily for over a year. The byline on that column reads S.L. Goldman. I
have gone back to using my birth name to distinguish the writer of this new column
from the person(a) who wrote “Fair Game.”
I believe that the column that got the most response was that of March 12,
1999, entitled “S.L. Goldman admits he’s a hoax.”. In
that column I proposed to the reader that, indeed, there was no such person as
S.L. Goldman, and that, rather, a group of writers had banded together to conduct
an experiment — using the readers as guinea pigs. It was both a journalistic
experiment and a psychological experiment in that its purpose was to test a) the
power that print has on people, and b) the nature of our belief systems.
I was shocked and amazed at the response. In addition to a mind-boggling
barrage of hate mail and demands that I be fired — many people threatened to
never read WND again!
I come before you now to tell you that in reality, the entire series of “Fair
Game” columns were a hoax. No, let me correct that; they were a lie. They were a
lie in this sense: They portrayed an image of the writer of that column as a tough
guy — a Damon Runyonesque muckraker who would go anywhere, anyplace, anytime, to
get the story. They portrayed me as a fearless, down-to-earth purveyor of
Joe Farah and I discussed this persona, prior to me beginning the column. Joe
knew my earlier work — back in a time when I fully lived out that persona (back
then I was known as “the Journalistic Hitman”). We decided that the hitman should
be resurrected. Hence, the title of the column (“Fair Game”) and the accompanying
photo of yours truly brandishing a gun.
But “Fair Game” soon became a weight around my neck, and finally I came to
loathe it. When I decided that I could no longer continue the column, I spent many
sleepless nights trying to figure out what kind of column I wanted to write. I
soon realized I had no choice. The new column would have to be about one thing –
and one thing only — the truth.
So here is the truth — or as least as close as I can come to it — about the
writer of this column. I am not the fearless, cocky fellow portrayed in “Fair
Game.” Rather, I am a liar, a cheat and a coward. I am not fearless. In fact, I am
someone who is afraid — make that terrified — a good part of the time. For most
of my life I have suffered from an illness known as bi-polar disorder (a fancy
term for manic-depression). This condition is complicated by agoraphobia and panic
disorder. There have been long periods in my life when I was unable to go out of
my house. To this day, despite medication, I still often find myself
hyperventilating in elevators or having to run out of restaurants or
supermarkets. In essence, I am a cripple. I do not say this to evoke sympathy or
pity on your part. I say this so you can understand who I am.
I have not led a good life. For most of my life, I have been completely focused
on getting my needs met at any price. I have hurt countless people, both in person
and with the power of my pen.
I am a Jew who came to the Lord in 1977 — but I have not walked in God’s
will. Countless times He has shown me the way, and countless times I have gone
astray. I have no one to blame for this but myself.
God has chosen to give me a gift — the gift of words — and I have often
misused this precious gift. I guess this new column is an effort to make up for
One other thing you must know about me. I have had several careers during my
life — I have been a professional musician, a television producer, a
screenwriter, and first and foremost — a journalist. But in pursuing those
careers, I have always had one and only one goal in life — and that is to seek
I am still a truth seeker. However, I am not really sure if I am much closer to
finding “the truth” than I was as a youth, and as a young man. Yet I can tell you
with absolute conviction that the seeking of truth, of reality, is my only goal –
my abiding interest, my obsession.
My mother died two weeks ago. I do not want to say too much about this, but I
think it is important that you know this fact. I took care of her every day during
the last four years of her life, but now she is gone. I am in shock, but I am no
longer in denial. You see, I never believed once during that period that she would
actually die. Now I can no longer deny that. The pain, I have to tell you, is …
well, there are no words to describe it. Yet this unbearable pain has reduced my
life to utter simplicity. I no longer care about anything — about fame, about
money, about career, about the world. I no longer care about any of the things
that mattered before, because I see that all these things are nothing. The one
thing that remains, the one thing that shakes me out of the black hole that I
presently live in, is the only thing that has ever mattered to me — my need for
the truth. My need to know if any of this means anything. My need to know
where my mother is. My need to know if there truly is life after death. Now, more
than ever, I insist on finding these things out.
You see, though I believe in the Lord — my faith is full of holes. It is
tattered and torn. I am a broken man. For this reason, I prefer not to refer to
myself as a Christian. I believe that today the term Christianity has become
meaningless. Moreover, I have no interest whatsoever in “religion.”
Having said this, when I tell you that this column has only one subject — that
of spiritual warfare — you may ask yourself, “What right does someone who has
described himself in this fashion have to write about this subject?”
And my answer is that I think it is precisely because I am in my current
state — as everything must be subjected to the fires of doubt, that this
column will be of great value.
If you type in “spiritual warfare” on any search engine, you will come up with
a dozen or more sites. They are all of the same ilk They all talk about putting on
the armor of God, and all the rest of that. Which is fine. However, what none of
those sites do is to explore the area of spiritual warfare, from what I guess I’d
call the street level.
Let me explain what I mean by that. I don’t care what your belief system is. I
don’t care what your political bent is. There is one and only one issue in this
life — and whether you call it psychology or sociology or spirituality is of no
moment. The reason I prefer to use the spiritual “grid” is that it cuts to the
core of everything.
Why “warfare”? Because we are in a battle. Every single day of our life. And
anyone who denies that is a fool.
Spiritual warfare, then, means examining our lives — which we have agreed are
a battleground — and going straight to the very heart of the matter. Not getting
lost in “religious” or intellectual arguments.
Now, let’s deal (briefly) with the matter of evil. Anyone who says that evil
does not exist should bail out right now. Understanding the nature of evil is the
first and foremost issue in becoming a spiritual warrior. For those of you who say
this is too negative, well, sorry. I believe that one must come to admit and to
know evil in order to rid oneself of it. If we go the other way around — seek out
“the good” — we in danger of living in a fairy tale.
Do I believe in a literal devil? Yes, I do. I’ve encountered the dude enough
times to know that he’s real. And he has only one gig. To feed you full of lies.
To keep you from seeing the truth. To steal your soul. I know. He’s working on me
right now as I write these words.
Let me tell you a bit about my credentials, and then I’m going to wrap this
thing up. For whatever reason, God set me on this path — that of being the
“Demon Hunter”. Yeah, I know it’s kind of cheesy,
kind of B-movie-ish, but the fact is, that’s what we’re doing here — ferreting
out our personal demons … and learning how to kick their asses. (Besides, just
because I’ve dropped my old persona doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for drama.)
Back in 1985, I was on the verge of joining a cult. (That’s right, “believers”
can join cults — they do it all the time!) I won’t bother to name the group; it
doesn’t matter. However, before I’d gotten too deeply into it, a voice inside told
me to write a story about this particular group. Once I put on my reporter’s hat,
all of a sudden it was as if I had X-ray vision. I saw the lie — the absolute
evil — of this group. I remained inside the cult, pretending to be a willing
member, until I’d gotten all the information I needed, then I published my story.
The resulting expose caused this group to fold. And I’m proud to say that.
From that point on, I did a series of pieces on different cults — everything
from New Age groups to Wiccan groups to UFO cults to satanic cults. I wrote each
of these pieces using the same technique — by going in “undercover” so to speak,
gathering information — then writing exposes. Some of these exposes came out in
print, others appeared as television pieces.
Over the years, I have worked with The American Family Foundation, the Cult
Awareness Center, The Christian Research Center, The Spiritual Counterfeits
Project, and assorted synagogues, in fighting against and exposing destructive
I have told you of my strengths and also of my weaknesses. I stand naked before
you. During the forthcoming columns, I will never take the position that “I know”
and you don’t know. I am always willing to say I may be wrong. (Well, almost
always.) Because I may have more knowledge in certain areas does not mean that I
am an “expert.” I hate experts. Why? Because none of us really knows anything. The
things we think are true today will be false tomorrow. Therefore if one is really
serious, one must approach this topic totally from the point of “I don’t know.”
You must give up all your beliefs and look at things afresh. If you don’t, you’re
wasting your time.
You can do what you want, but I am not going to waste my time. This life is too
I hope you will come back next week and join me in this adventure. Because it
truly is an adventure. We’ll cover much ground in this column. We’ll go to lots of
strange places. And be forewarned: As I did in “Fair Game,” my intention is to
shake the foundations of your belief systems, to cause you to really and truly
“look.” The unfortunate truth is, most of us — despite what we may say — don’t
really want to look. What we may see is too ugly. And that ugliness is us.
Just look at that one fact — without fighting it. If you can do that, and not
argue or fuss about it, you’ve already begun the journey. If you think it’s one
you’d like to continue, I’ll see you back here next week.