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E52: Damien Echols On Surviving Your Catastrophe And Growth

E52: Damien Echols of West Memphis 3 on Surviving Your Catastrophe and Growth

What would you do if you were wrongfully convicted of a heinous crime you didn’t commit? If that wasn’t bad enough, you were sentenced to death and every day forward was a fight for your life, sanity, and the hope you could prove your innocence.

Today, I have a very special guest, Damien Echols who spent 18 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. His case was all over the media worldwide and was even highlighted in three documentaries on HBO. We will dig into his tragic journey, and most importantly how was able to get through using the various form of meditation and High Magick.

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In 1993, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.—who became known as the West Memphis Three—were wrongfully convicted of murder. Deemed the “ringleader,” Echols was sentenced to death. Over the next two decades, the WM3 became a worldwide symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, with thousands of supporters who called for a new trial. In a shocking turn of events, all three men were freed on an Alford plea, an unusual technicality whereby the defendants were released but not vindicated, in August 2011.

Today, Damien is the author of the New York Times bestseller Life After Death (Penguin, 2012), and co-author of Yours for Eternity (Penguin, 2014) with his wife, Lorri Davis. In 2018, he published HIGH MAGICK: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row (Sounds True), and his latest book Angels and Archangels, A Magician’s Guide was recently published with Sounds True. The story of his wrongful murder conviction has been the subject of several films: the HBO documentary trilogy Paradise Lost and West of Memphis, a documentary produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. He and Lorri live in Harlem. 

Topics Discussed 

  • Damien’s back story about landing on Death Row
  • How without the HBO series Paradise Lost he would have been executed
  • We discuss the fact that innocent people are convicted and sentenced to death more than people realize
  • The absolute absurdity of the use of “Alford Plea” 
  • How the West Memphis Three case tragically looks very similar to the Steven Avery case, as highlighted on the Netflix series: Making A Murderer
  • How his various forms of meditation and the practice of High Magick got him through this ordeal
  • How changing his physical health was one of the first steps on his path to understanding his deeper self
  • What is Magick (it is not what you think), and why it may be the first practiced philosophy of self-help and self-improvement in human history
  • Why the practicing of Magick is transformational and becoming “more than human”
  • What are the beginning steps towards using Magick to improve your life
  • How Gary started his life of living off-the-grid and transformation into a simpler life

Resources and links:

Gary Collins, MS

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