This past Saturday afternoon I was channel surfing and stopped at LTV (Lighthouse Television – the local TBN affiliate). I don’t recall the name of the show, but it was one of those shows where there is a host who interviews a different guest for each episode of the show for them to discuss their Christian experiences.

The guest that day was a guy called Godwin Bategeka who works with a ministry called Above the Waters. He was narrating an ordeal he had experienced while undergoing an operation a while back. I will paraphrase what he said from what I can recall.

Basically he had been seriously ill for a while, and he had not been responding to treatment he had been undergoing. At some point an operation was required to save him. On the day of his operation, he was told by his doctors that they would be administering Ketamine to him. They made sure to inform him of what the side effects of Ketamine would be. According to Bategeka’s account, the doctors informed him that Ketamine was hallucinogenic, and warned him he might have hallucinations while he was undergoing the medical procedure.

After being taken into the theatre, Bategeka said he felt himself leaving his body, and rising above the operating table. Then, he felt himself passing through the ceiling in a sensation he described to be like ‘breaking through ice’. As Bategeka narrated his ordeal, the host of the show kept interjecting with amen, praise him and other common Christian declarations of faith in the appropriate places as might be expected on a Christian TV show when someone is offering a testimony. Once he had ‘broken through’ the ice, he said he found himself in a place flooded with bright light. In this place he said he saw Jesus who embraced him and welcomed him into heaven. Bategeka, however, felt that his ‘time’ really hadn’t come, so pleaded with Jesus to send him back to earth. Jesus apparently honoured this request, and sent him back. When he came to, he was informed by his doctors that during his operation he had been moving about and could be heard mumbling.

Once Bategeka was done telling the story, he and the host both marvelled at the power and love of ‘God’. Bategeka then said he felt fortunate to have had the experience of meeting Jesus personally. He was also glad that Jesus had ‘sent him back’.

WHAT???

At this point I began laughing hysterically. For goodness’ sake, THE DOCTORS TOLD HIM HE WOULD HAVE HALLUCINATIONS AS A RESULT OF THE MEDICATION!!! Did this guy forget what he had just told the audience only moments ago?

Afterwards I did a little research on Ketamine and found the following information:

  • Ketamine produces a dissociative state, characterised by a sense of detachment from one’s physical body and the external world which is known as depersonalization and derealization.At sufficiently high doses (e.g. 150 mg intramuscular), users may experience what is coined the "K-hole", a state of dissociation whose effects are thought to mimic the phenomenology of schizophrenia.Users may experience worlds or dimensions that are ineffable, all the while being completely unaware of their individual identities or the external world. Users have reported intense hallucinations including visual hallucinations, perceptions of falling, fast and gradual movement and flying, ‘seeing God’, feeling connected to other users, objects and the cosmos, experiencing psychotic reactions, and shared hallucinations, and thoughts with adjacent users. (Source: Wikipedia)

Hallucinogenic substances make people see a lot of strange things. Apparently even Jesus, sometimes.