289: Damien Echols

Damien Echols is an author, activist and ceremonial magician from the US, and he was one of the West Memphis Three. 

It was an incredibly famous case of the miscarriage of justice. 

Along with two others, Damien was falsely convicted of the murder of three eight year old boys.

There are plenty of documentaries and dramas that were made about the case - but if you’ve seen Making a Murderer it will get you close to what went on at the trial. 

Barely 18yrs old, Damien was sentenced to death and ended up spending 18 years and 78 days on death row. 

I’m 45 - so if you’re ten years either side of my age, you’ll remember seemingly every band you liked getting involved in the activism around getting these men out of jail. 

Which indeed ended up happening. 

In 2011 the men were released from Prison as part of a plea deal. 

Since then Damien has been adjusting to life back in the world, and writing many books - his latest : High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row

You know me - I like to do the work. 

And while what worked for Damien isn’t exactly something I’d try in a hurry - it worked, and brought him peace and deliverance from the crushing mental load of waking up every day wondering if today’s going to be your day to die. 

Two things about this conversation - 

Go with it. 

While what Damien talks about, is an evangelist for and practices every day might not be for you - I got a lot out of hearing how it worked for him and it made me think about how I might double down on my own daily work and ritual that helps me get through the day. 

And secondly - we connected via Skype from far, far away. 

Sometimes not everything works as well as it could. 

I do have redundancies when I record, just in case - and thankfully in this instance, I had one because the original feed from my mic got lost in the netherworld. 

So, while Damien was talking to me over the phone, you’ll hear me as if I’m also on the phone. 

I apologies for that, sorry it’s not the greatest audio quality from my end - but I’d rather bring it to you as it was than re-record my bits and not remain authentic to the conversation. 

Also - a massive thank you to Rachel Barrett (elfymama on the gram) my producer who managed to track Damien down for this conversation. She’s the best there is, and we are thrilled that we were able to get Damien on the show. 

So - while I normally invite you to come to my kitchen table and enjoy a chat with one of my guests - today I’ll invite you to jump on a conference call with you, me and Damien Echols.  

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