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Tag: Ambien Hallucination

Bruce and Viced Rhino: My Worst Sleep Paralysis Hallucination Ever

sleep paralysis
Cartoon by ViperFish

I have periodic episodes of sleep paralysis. They have become more frequent as I have gotten older and my health has declined. Web MD defines sleep paralysis this way:

Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Some people may also feel pressure or a sense of choking. Sleep paralysis may accompany other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an overpowering need to sleep caused by a problem with the brain’s ability to regulate sleep.

Sleep paralysis usually occurs at one of two times. If it occurs while you are falling asleep, it’s called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. If it happens as you are waking up, it’s called hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis.

What Happens With Hypnagogic Sleep Paralysis?

As you fall asleep, your body slowly relaxes. Usually you become less aware, so you do not notice the change. However, if you remain or become aware while falling asleep, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

What Happens With Hypnopompic Sleep Paralysis?

During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM. Your eyes move quickly and dreams occur, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your muscles are “turned off” during REM sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

I had my first episode of sleep paralysis as a teenager. My latest episode happened last Friday. I had a rough night the night before (a common problem with gastroparesis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis). I had a hard time staying asleep due to leg pain, muscle spasms, and nausea. I spent the night falling asleep, waking up, falling asleep, waking up — and that’s with taking multiple medications for pain, spasms, and insomnia. Some nights, these medicines don’t work very well.

I got up at 2:00 pm, moved to the living room couch, and promptly fell asleep for two hours. Then, shortly before 4:00 pm, I had an episode of sleep paralysis — the worst episode ever.

Before falling asleep, I turned YouTube on our big screen TV. Viced Rhino (an anagram for young earth creationist Eric Hovind), one of my favorite atheist video makers, had posted several news videos, so I thought I would watch them. So I started playing the following video:

Video Link

Then minutes into the video, I fell asleep . . .

Viced Rhino invites me to a party at his house, a ramshackle one-story building. I drive there in a burgundy Chevy Lumina (a car we owned in the late 1990s). I arrive at Viced Rhino’s home and park in the gravel driveway. I walk into the home, only to find that the “party” is actually an audience for a taping of one of Viced Rhino’s videos.

After listening to Viced Rhino for a while, I decide to leave and go to a whore house (I am currently watching Underbelly season four — an Australian TV show featuring two underworld women in the 1920s and 1930s. One of the women runs whore houses.) So I walk out to the driveway, only to find my car is missing.

I am in a van with an attractive young woman. Suddenly, the van stops, the back door opens, and I fall out into a park. People are picnicking. I say to a woman, “I need to help.” “My blood sugar is low,” I say to myself. The woman gives me a warm bottle of Red pop.

I walk to a big town, going through a long, painted white cement tunnel, with adult entertainment businesses on both sides of the tunnel. (This part of the story reminds me of my visit to Underground Atlanta in 1976 as an eighteen-year-old boy.)

I stumble into a firehouse, asking a burly black fireman to help me. I tell him my blood sugar is low. Then, suddenly, I hear a banging noise in the distance (Polly is making lunch in the kitchen, 20 feet away) and hear Viced Rhino talking.

I started screaming HELP ME! This what I typically do when trying to come out of an episode of sleep paralysis. Of course, these screams sound like faint mumbles to those outside of my mind. Fortunately, Polly heard my “screams” and, as she always does, helps me to gently wake up.

I am trembling and speaking with a high-pitched staccato voice. It took me hours to gain some sense of normal. Polly was so worried for me that she thought about calling off from work — something she has never done in her 25-year career at Sauder Woodworking. Knowing that she already had one employee call off for the night, I told her I would be okay. I wasn’t, but I didn’t want her to miss getting her perfect attendance bonus.

I spent the rest of the night on the couch, only getting up to use the bathroom. This was the most terrifying experience I have ever had with sleep paralysis. Throw in Ambien-induced hallucinations — is it any wonder I don’t want to go to sleep? Sleep paralysis typically follows a sleepless night. Most of these terrifying episodes occur when I am lying on the couch or sitting in my recliner. While sleep paralysis won’t kill you, it can do a number on you psychologically. I was still having problems the next day.

I still love Viced Rhino, but I hope he doesn’t invite me to any more “parties” at his house. 🙂


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce, You Have Become a Victim of Sorcery Because You Take Ambien and Love Your Wife

peanut gallery

Over the weekend, Frank L. Givens, Jr., allegedly the senior pastor of Orting Christian Church in Orting, Washington, left a comment on the post, I Know That Demons are Real, alleging that I am a victim of sorcery; that taking Ambien has opened me up to Satanic influence. (I say allegedly because I found no Internet/social media presence for a Frank Givens, Jr., and Orting Christian Church does not have a website.)

What follows is my public response to Pastor Givens, Jr’s comment.

Bruce, the picture that heads this article is the exact same demon that I saw in the second grade in 1972!!!!

Givens believes that at the age of six or seven, he saw the EXACT demon used in the graphic at the top of the post, I Know That Demons are Real. Amazing, right? And I am sure Givens really, really, really believes he saw a demon then, and, I suspect, plenty of demons after that. Once you see a demon or an angel or Jesus or Lucifier, you tend to keep on seeing otherworldly, mythical beings. It was said of 1950s anti-communist crusader Joseph McCarthy that he saw reds under every bed. The supporters of our insurrectionist-in-chief, Donald Jesus Trump, tend to see ANTIFA everywhere they look. In the vein of Frank Perretti, Givens sees things the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world cannot see.

What evidence does Givens have for his claims? None. Claiming something is true without evidence proves nothing. Last night, Polly and I listened to a debate between atheist Matt Dillahunty and Evangelical apologist Jonathan McClatchie. Matt tried repeatedly, without success, to get the uber-educated McClatchie to understand the difference between a claim and evidence. McClatchie wrongly asserted that claims are evidence. Givens wants the readers of this blog to believe he saw a demon in second grade because he says so. We skeptics say to Givens, “pictures, please.”

Remember the devil attacks and strikes your most vulnerable points to bring confusion, pain, and frustration. My brother your vulnerable spot and opening is the love that you have for your wife.

Givens thinks that I believe Satan and demons are real. I don’t. I have seen no satisfactory evidence for the existence of Lucifer and her henchmen. I can say the same about God and angels. Sorry, but I refuse to believe something just because a preacher says it is true. If Satan and demons are real, how about they stop by my house so we can sit down and talk. I would love to hear what Satan says about his self-righteous brother Jesus.

Givens thinks I am “vulnerable,” and the reason I am is because of the love I have for my wife of forty-two years. Polly has tempted me to so a lot of things over the years, but a demon she is not. Of course, Givens doesn’t know me or my angelic wife — having read a total of one post on this site — but he’s certain that that his addled opinions are indeed true. Maybe he’s the one on drugs.

If you were a pastor as stated in this article I do not know what made you step away but remember the biggest trick that the devil ever pulled off is to convince people that he doesn’t really exist.

“If you were a pastor,” Given says. Yes, Virginia, I really was a pastor. I pastored Evangelical church in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan for twenty-five years. I was raised in an Evangelical home, attended an Evangelical Bible college, married an Evangelical pastor’s daughter, and spent most of my adult life faithfully and devotedly loving, serving, and following Jesus.

Whether Satan exists never entered the equation when it came to why I left the ministry and later left Christianity. I can’t remember one time when I pondered the existence of the Devil. I doubted and later denied the existence of God. Thus, it stands to reason, no God, no Satan.

Givens seems unable to understand when atheists and agnostics say they don’t believe in the existence of the Christian God or the Christian Devil. I refer Givens to what I wrote about evidence. Just because the Bible says there’s a Devil doesn’t mean she exists. Sorry, I just don’t buy it, and neither do my atheist brothers and sisters. To Givens I say, “put up, or shut up.”

I refer Givens and others like him to the WHY? page. There you will find everything you need to know about the Evangelical-pastor-turned-atheist Bruce Gerencser. I am an open book — well with a few pages redacted, anyway.

For it is written, Strike the shepherd and you scatter the sheep. You my brother became a victim of sorcery. Ambien is A Product of Phamekia. You know this!!! I wonder what condition your former flock are in that counted on your protection and covering because clearly you were struck and never made it back.

I have not been a “shepherd” since 2003 — almost eighteen years ago. I suspect that Givens has been influenced by Charismatic theology. He thinks that my presence in the churches I pastored provided some sort of spiritual “cover” for congregants. Shit, I could hardly cover myself let alone anyone else. As a pastor, I preached the gospel, taught the Word of God, and ministered to the church and the community. That’s it. As a Evangelical, I believed all Christians were responsible for their relationship with God. I was not some sort of spiritual guru that congregants needed to keep them safe from Satanic attack. Oh, I met plenty of demons in church, but they were flesh and blood and walked on two legs. Some of the nastiest people I have ever met sat in the pews of the churches I pastored.

Givens tries to connect my Ambien use with what the Bible allegedly says about sorcery and drug use. In the New Testament, the word sorcery is translated from the Greek word pharmakeia. Get it? Sorcery and pharmaceuticals are connected.

A writer in the Courier-Tribune wrote:

“The Bible has a lot to say about drug abuse because the word for “sorcerer” in the Bible has a lot to do with drug addiction. If you look at the Greek, the word itself is derived from the word we get our modern word “pharmacy” from.

In the book of Revelation the world is deceived by sorcery. In our world today, seemingly innocent drug habits such as abusing oxycodone and adderall twist the mind in the worst way: acceptance of things that are contrary to the Word of God.

Like on alcohol, you become indifferent to the sin around you, tolerate it in your own life and give into it just as easily. I don’t think it’s absurd to say that an indifferent attitude towards sin is cultivated under the numbing effects of adderall and oxycodone, two chemicals I abused.

I am ashamed to say I know this because as a functional drug addict, while I was defending my drug addiction to myself, I at the same time accepted nearly everything the Bible says is wrong. I am not ashamed to say that the Lord did not let me go to Hell (“all sorcerers have their part in the lake of fire”) and that the Lord saved me from that.

When you begin to see sorcery as having more in common with drug addiction than what we commonly associate it with, it changes your perspective. But there is hope. If you’re an addict, quit (repent).

Don’t be found a sorcerer when you stand before Jesus.”

[endof quote]

I suspect this is what Givens believes; that is, unless he has a headache, high blood pressure, diabetes, or needs surgery. Then all that sorcery can be life-saving.

I just prayed for you and will continue to pray for God’s covering to be over you and your family.

Givens’ prayers are much like demon sightings — works of fiction. Givens can provide no satisfactory evidence for the existence of God, the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, so to whom, exactly, is he praying? My money is on the ceiling God.

Evangelical zealots love to tell me that they are praying for me, even though I ask them to keep such nonsense to themselves. Why do they continue to tell me that they are storming the throne room of Heaven on my behalf? Here’s what I think. These zealots know they can’t provide the necessary evidence to prove their claims –over twelve years, and I am still waiting — so they do the only thing they can do, pray.

Will Givens continue to bug his mythical God about the atheist Bruce Gerencser. Of course not. He will utter a prayer of two, maybe put me on the church prayer list for a while, but in time, he will move on to more receptive marks. You see, I know the game, and I suspect Givens knows that. If he didn’t when he commented, he sure as hell does now. I am not a good prospect for conversion. That ship has sailed. That horse has left the barn, never to return. Hundreds and hundreds of Evangelicals have tried to evangelize me since 2018, without success. It’s clear, at least to me, that my holy trinity: Skepticism, Reason, and Common Sense, is superior in every way to the mythical deity of the Protestant Christian Bible. And to my God I say, all praise to your name!


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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I Know That Demons are Real


In the early hours before dawn, a demonic presence filled our bedroom. In the middle of this foreboding demonic host was a large menacing demon. This large demon, with an ugly, frightening face kept moving closer to me. Soon I could touch his extended hand. What did this demon want? Was it time for me to die and be carried off to the pit of Hell that Evangelicals are certain will be my eternal home? Or was this demon there to protect me from God’s angels? I have not seen any angels, but I have heard they are always lurking in the shadows, much like their pervert God. All I know is that this large demon and his minions were as real as Polly sleeping in bed next to me.

I woke Polly up, asking her if she saw the demons. She replied, no. Polly, they are right there. The one demon is right in front of me. I can touch his hand. I can’t believe you don’t see him.

Ten or so minutes later, the demons faded into the ceiling, and I fell back asleep. You see, I was wide awake, but not awake, caught in the world between awake and asleep. Did I really see demons? Absolutely. In fact, I physically touched the one demon and talked to him.

But, Bruce, you don’t believe demons are real, so how it possible that you saw, touched, and spoke to a demonic entity? Simple. It’s call Amibien, a drug prescribed for insomnia. I take four medications at night to help with pain and insomnia. The regimen I use is quite effective.

One of the side effects of Ambien is hallucinations. Not dreams, hallucinations. I was very much “awake” and I believed everything that was going on in our bedroom was actually happening. That’s the nature Ambien-induced hallucinations. They are so vivid that you think they are real. A month or so ago, I had another hallucination. Polly was getting ready to fly to Chicago for a business trip. After she left, I found out that she was actually going to her lover’s home. She was having an affair with a man from work. The only “funny” thing about this hallucination was that the man’s name was Charles Pecker.

After I came out of this hallucination, I sat on the side of the bed weeping for several hours. I was certain that Polly was having an affair, that she was leaving me, and filing for divorce. Quite frankly, this hallucination left me disconcerted most of the day. Of course, Polly isn’t having an affair, and no, we are not getting a divorce.

I have only had three hallucinations while taking Ambien. However, the ones I have had, have been unforgettable. Our brains, given the right stimuli or medication, can trick us into saying and believing all sorts of things. Recently, a pastor was arrested for urinating on a woman on an airplane. Supposedly, the good pastor was taking Ambien and drinking alcohol, and has no memory of hosing the woman. Now, the pastor could be lying — I am quite cynical about pastors these days thanks to the Black Collar Crime Series — but knowing what experiences I have had with Ambien, it is possible that what the pastor is saying is true. That he was allegedly chasing down the Ambien with alcohol is beyond stupid. And how much Ambien was he taking? I hope authorities took a blood sample of the peeing pastor.

Have you ever taken Ambien? Do you have a hallucination story you would like to share? If so, please share your experiences in the comment section.


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser