Greetings, friends. My name is Barry Knudsen. I am finally ‘publicly’ posting ‘my story' after several years of wanting to, thinking it would be unwise to do such a thing.
I've hesitated because I've not wanted to bring misery or sadness to my brothers with whom I've shared a collective career for nine-twentieths😉 of a century and, in the process, damage our ability to earn livings. In my perception, it would undoubtedly create undue mental distress for them (which I do not have a right to do) and possibly alienate thousands or even tens of thousands of fans and admirers. I can handle personal rejection, but not the thought of harming others' ability to survive and so, for several years, kept quiet. I also refrained from 'coming out', because the only logical result I could see was: ultimately bringing harm to the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®, which was the last thing I've wanted to do.
I consider (mostly with apathy but with some very mild frustration) my ability to express my thoughts in written form, relatively ineffective and orally, even more so. Such critical self-assessment comes from the responses I frequently get from people that I communicate with regularly, that they did not receive the intended message I formulated in my brain and was trying to give them with my mouth. It seemingly has taken me literally years to put this very composition together with multiple abandoned efforts. With the preceding in mind, I have written what I have written, which follows this likely-pontificating diatribe.
Nevertheless, believing with all my heart that what is truly at stake for ALL of humankind if its current course remains unchanged and the terrible impact if people like myself don’t throw off the chains of fear and pride--such fear and pride having the potential to paralyze and make wholly ‘impotent’ a person who believes with all their heart that they ‘know better’--that I’ll be more sorry and regretful than I have ever been over something I've done or not done over the past almost six decades of my life, especially in the life-hereafter, when I come face-to-face with my eternal self.
It is because I ‘fear God more than man’ that I have finally taken the time and composed the following—no longer caring enough what ‘the world’ thinks about me, to keep me from posting SOMETHING (as impotent and seemly ostentatious as it may end up being), that I add my small ‘voice’ to the fearless voices that have already published their support for the ONLY SOLUTION that will solve worldwide poverty, thereby saving humanity from itself.
By way of introduction: I was born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1961. Over the course of the following over-four decades since my birth, I developed what I believed was an unbreakable—I mean: UNBREAKABLE—‘testimony’ and conviction of the church being God’s One and Only True Church upon Earth, along with what I felt was an enviable and profound understanding of its doctrines and the ‘gospel of Jesus Christ’ which it ostensibly, albeit sadly, teaches. I believed more firmly than I can effectively communicate, that NOTHING or NO ONE could shake me from my firm and steadfast, seemingly-sure knowledge of its truthfulness and of the absolute necessity its place in a person’s life had upon their salvation and eternal exaltation in the uppermost ‘heaven’ of God.
I had fearlessly read enough ‘anti-Mormon’ literature over the years, emerging unscathed and tenaciously unmoved, so much so, that I ‘knew’ nothing could ever dissuade me from my solid knowledge and beliefs. I also knew that because of my 134 I.Q. (hampered by some otherwise profound learning disabilities and slight residence on the autistic spectrum), I just about ‘knew it all’ and was proud that I was always complimented on the exceptional nature of my Sacrament Meeting talks and Sunday School Gospel Doctrine lessons.
I was also what I now sadly call, “a nazi-Mormon,” meaning: I was ready to take down with righteous indignation and without mercy, anything or anyone that threatened to defile ‘the true church of God’, with verbal violence and if necessary, physical violence.
To help illustrate: I still remember (with sadness and embarrassment) at his wedding, my self-righteous confrontation with relatives (who smoked) of an ex-brother-in-law. We were at an LDS church building in preparation for my non-Temple brother-in-law‘s civil wedding. We had gathered in the ‘cultural hall’ or gymnasium of the church with a set of double doors propped open to allow the Southern California beautiful day’s breeze to circulate through.
I noticed some of the adult male relatives of the fiancé of my ex-brother-in-law were standing in the doorway, smoking. I was both flabbergasted and indignant! Their second-hand smoke was wafting in and ‘desecrating’ this ‘sacred house of God’ in my self-righteous perception! I knew the responsibility to take swift action to stop this supposedly outrageous defilement fell upon me since no one else seemed to notice or care! I walked swiftly towards these ‘clueless’, ‘rude’ and ‘disrespectful’ ‘heathens’ with a prominent scowl on my face meant to intimidate, with the hope of also putting the ‘fear of God’ into them and sternly said, “You men are desecrating a house of God with your cigarette smoking. Please go off property to smoke, if you must be on these sacred grounds!”
Throughout my time as a husband and young father, I would also use my religious stance and ‘priesthood authority’ to help keep my wife and children on the ‘straight and narrow’, even if it meant being ‘abusive’ (albeit righteously justified) and forceful in seeing to it that they obeyed God’s commandments.
Meanwhile, I always felt like a ‘loser’ and worried that I wasn’t doing enough to secure my exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom’s highest level of ‘heaven’. From the time I first wanted to die and asked God to “Please kill me,” after a severe beating from my father at age seven, I would end up (with increasing frequency because of the frequent beatings, verbal abuse and bullying at school) contemplating suicide through the years until it became an almost daily desire at times.
At this point, I want to emphatically state, by way of disclaimer, that unlike many who survive physical and emotional abuse at the hand(s) of their parent(s) or other guardians, because of what I have learned as a result of this work, I harbor no—I mean—NO ill will towards my late father, whom I believe was also slightly autistic and who did the best that he could, with the limited mental and emotional resources and capacities he had.
I would also say I have forgiven him, but there is nothing to forgive in my mind. I say all the foregoing in this paragraph because I feel like it is essential to understand that he ‘beat the hell’ out of me, quite a few times—so many, I cannot count and he was also verbally abusive enough to my mother that I finally in my mid-teen years, stood up to him and threatened, “Dad, if you do anything to Mom, the younger brothers and I will beat you up!”
Suffice it to say, my upbringing ill-prepared me to be a good husband and father. However, I reiterate that I do not blame my poor choices and behavior and husband, on my upbringing or any other external influences. I also know the abuse I suffered at the hand of a 'guardian' is in no way unique, nor does it mean I suffered any worse than many others with abusive upbringings.
In the summer of 2007, I opened an email from my Gmail account from the church's Stake Presidency. Back then, there happened to be a Google-placed Ad at the top of the email inviting me to read the ‘Book of Lehi’ or ‘116 Lost Pages of the Book of Mormon’. With cynical curiosity, I mockingly laughed to myself and had thoughts to the effect of, “Was this some kind of a joke?!.. I’m gonna have to read THIS, just to see how absolutely ridiculous it is!... The '116 Lost Book of Mormon Manuscript Pages'?!!!😂 HA!!!🙄
With mistrust and trepidation, but still, with a curiosity that overwhelmed any hesitation, I clicked on the link....
I spent the next several hours browsing the website I landed on, with everything that it presented, along with corresponding Yahoo groups and forums that were active, at the time. Partially because my memories of the experience have faded, but also because of my inability to describe what my entire psyche experienced as a result of browsing the website, I can only tell it in the following way: I both unwittingly and unwillingly at the time, began what I could call a mental-behind-the-scenes evolutionary as well as a revolutionary journey that would irrevocably transform me and my perception of ‘reality’ over the next several years. (I was unaware of it, at the time, being almost imperceptible, but a few years later, I would come to recognize what had been going on in the subconscious recesses of my mind.) This transformation began, unbidden in the recesses of my mind, causing wheels to turn and pieces of a HUGE PUZZLE I didn’t know existed, to be put into place.
(SIDE NOTE: It is mentally very exhausting for me to write about this, which is also why I have attempted and abandoned several times over the past several years, to write my story.)
(In what I realize is most likely a fruitless and wasted effort to illustrate the magnitude of the impact this Marvelous Work and a Wonder®️ has had on my life, so much so that I am willing to ‘put it all on the line’ despite the havoc it may wreak upon my mortal life, I will nevertheless trudge onward with my story.…)
Unlike most supporters of this INCREDIBLE WORK (THAT COULD BENEFIT ALL OF HUMANITY), I have kept my transformation and other perceivable indications of my support for it, mostly secret, believing it ultimately would only bring harm to the work, because of my career and the somewhat public figure it makes me, as I previously alluded to. In fact, I had continued, up until the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Shutdown, I had continued to attend and occasionally participate in church meetings and even maintained a Temple Recommend until a few years ago (as of the date of this commentary, being February of 2021.)
(As it turns out, incidentally [at least in my estimation], the True Messenger of this work has seemingly stated over the past several months in so many words, that how many of the supporters of this work have come out, so to speak, have indeed brought harm to the work, so I’m glad I followed my instinct and avoided helping heap mockery and persecution to this marvelous work. For the longest time, I felt guilty for keeping it to myself, though. Still, my thought processes, along with the culmination of life experience [arising primarily because of my career], would no more allow me to ‘come out’ than I could or would, rob a bank at gunpoint. It had absolutely nothing to do with actual fear; I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it. In other words: it simply didn’t make sense to me to tell my family and friends, based on how I could see it turning out.)
(Realizing I’ve gotten sidetracked, I will attempt to resume my story.…)
As I said before, I landed on a website that had downloadable electronic books in PDF format, as well as articles, in 2007. I became somewhat apprehensive, a feeling which initially had me wondering if I had come to something ‘dark’ or Luciferian. I began reading the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon, or the other 2/3 of the gold plates that Joseph Smith originally obtained in the 1830s, but which allegedly wasn’t allowed at that time, to release to the world.
WHAT IN THE WORLD had I stumbled onto?! This was not an LDS church-sponsored website! This was not information from the prophet or other ‘inspired’ church leaders!!! Initially dismissing the website and its contents as nothing more than a fascinatingly ingenious novelty, I was compelled by I-didn’t-know-what (the devil, for all I knew), to continue. My staunch LDS-mind was resistant, but what I read made sense and felt ‘right’ at a profound level, even though much of it went against my Mormon–based beliefs!! This new stuff necessarily wasn’t aligning with the teachings and doctrines of the True Church of God! In all my consumption of anti-Mormon materials, I had NEVER experienced ANYTHING like what I was going through at that time!
BUT,… IT MADE MORE SENSE than anything I had come across in my time researching and browsing the Internet since the public interwebs’ almost-infancy! It even made more sense than the church I was convinced made the most sense of all! MORE SENSE!!!
WHAT THE HECK?!!!😳🤯
The weekend in probably June or July of ‘07, I finished reading The Sealed Portion, along with the book about the LDS Endowment Ceremony, as well as digesting about a quarter of the Mark of America book. (None of the other books were published at the time that I can recall, although the Human Reality book was being promoted for release in ‘08 and I was fascinated.) Also, having had several email correspondences with one of the website's authors, I found myself in a very tangible-feeling way, between a rock and a hard place!...
I WAS IN A LIFE-ALTERING QUANDARY!
I had just taken the most fantastic and joyous three-week literary journey of my life and now my world was upside-down! Being the introvert that I am (yet learning how to competently behave as an extrovert because of the career that has put me on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people for over four decades) and having become somewhat distrustful of human beings as confidants, because of my exposure to many disingenuous and predatory individuals during my career as an entertainer, I felt there was no other mortal that I could share the resultant heart-wrenching and mind-fracturing feelings and thoughts I was experiencing.
I felt VERY ALONE, HELPLESS and anger began to build! The Sunday afternoon and evening of that particular weekend when everything more or less came crashing down on me, I became angry at ‘God’ and wanted to kill myself so that I could give him a piece of my mind, face to face! How could he allow me to belong to his one and only true church for all these years and then give me this information that turned my life upside-down?!
It seemed too RIGHT and CORRECT to question or doubt what I had just digested!
What was I now to do, because I knew I could not leave the church or tell anyone else about my life-altering experience!!! It just didn't make sense to do such a life-destroying action!...
I then became absolutely depressed. Because I was desperate to get rid of the disrupting feelings, I began to doubt everything I had just experienced and wonder if the devil had just overcome me!…
The following Monday morning, I met with my siblings in our weekly business meeting and was so miserable, I had to excuse myself so that I could go home and cry before our show that evening. A friend who happened to catch the show that night later remarked how miserable I had appeared to be on stage.
Because it made absolutely no sense to me to tell my family about my experience without a hugely negative result, I kept these things to myself. My doubts, along with other business and religious pressures, caused me to abandon the work for a period of a few years. In fact, I even convinced myself, after much effort, into once again having a ‘testimony’ of the LDS church.
Meanwhile, as I previously indicated, things began to be unlocked, as it were, on an almost subconscious level and ‘behind the scenes’, in my mind until with overwhelming curiosity and also feeling compelled otherwise, I apprehensively searched out the website once again and discovered even more books to read. Again, I experienced a sense of dread and apprehension and stopped, again, out of fear that I would experience more emotional trauma and that this time, if I continued digesting more reading materials, my transformation would be too far progressed to reverse. I had already worked so hard to 'regain' a 'testimony' of the church, to give it up, that easily.
Sometime later, I think in 2012 or ‘13, I just decided (because my mind had continued to work behind the scenes without any effort on my part, to unlock and put together a puzzle that made more and more sense, as time went on, bringing me to a place where I could no longer avoid pursuing my search for Real Truth™), to begin listening to some audio seminars and watching some YouTube videos (then published, but now, not) by the True Messenger Christopher, about our 1st Level of Consciousness or True Eternal Existence, which had never been shared with the public before 2012. By 2014, I no longer had any doubts about the veracity and truth of the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®️. However, I continued to attend the LDS Church's meetings and activities on a reasonably regular basis and kept my new mindset to myself mostly.
I was getting more adept at managing a very compartmentalized life until it came to a head on August 30 of 2016, when I decided to take my own life, swallowing an overdose of prescribed anti-depressants, according to a few medical professionals, should have killed me.
(For the reader to understand how in the world I could’ve come to the point where the only solution in my mind was suicide, I’d have to write many more paragraphs and I simply don’t have the energy. Suffice it to say that the culminating and consequential effects of going through a 15 year long, absolutely agonizing separation and eventual emotionally-traumatizing divorce, as well as a massive run-in with the IRS that led to me becoming a tax felon, combined with being able to tolerate existing in a depressed and somewhat autistic brain, I just couldn’t see any reason to continue on, even though I was a recent newlywed and my wife was about was as great a wife as I could be married to.)
On a what-is-humorous-to-me sidenote: at the time that I swallowed the overdose of prescription pills, I looked up at the sky in my car, raised my middle finger in the air and said, “F**k you! Let’s see you overcome this sh*t,” fully expecting with eager anticipation, to painlessly and soon, transition to another ‘reality’!
Instead, I woke up a couple of days later in the hospital after being in and out of consciousness (due to the after-effects of my overdose). A few more days after I’d begun to recover, I was then placed in the hospital's psychiatric unit for several days more.
I suppose I could go on with many more details about the ensuing four or five years since my suicide attempt, but again, I simply don’t have the energy and this is already long enough, in my estimation. Suffice it to say: I determined to continue to live and keep trying to live... one day at a time!
Having been reiterated several times by its authors, since I’ve become acquainted with the MWAW, that Humanity is not supposed to know the absolute truth about our existence and perceived reality and that revealing it through the MWAW is a last-ditch effort by ‘God’ (presumably, the authors and supporters of this work will know to whom I am truly referring), to save Humanity before and assured destruction if we continue on this current path, as a planet, I can see why knowledge of these things has the potential wreak havoc on one's mind.
(I genuinely believe my ignorance of Real Truth™️ would very much be bliss, in this case of having learned about our actual existence and perception of reality!)
While I have an inner peace about my own eternal existence, have also become an overall more patient and kind person (though I can still be a jerk) and nothing makes more sense to me than the truths of Reality and existence revealed through the MWAW, my life since embracing this Work has been anything but bliss referring to the “ignorance is bliss“ reference, several paragraphs up.
I WOULD NOT WISH IT TO BE ANY OTHER WAY, as far as where my mind and heart now reside, as a result of becoming associated with this work and its Real Truth™️!
One remarkable thing this work has done for me has been to allow me to peacefully let go of and not regret the past or worry about the future. I now exist, trying to take each moment as it comes. I’ve also become more and more inclined to simply let others exist the way they want to and simply avoid those who interfere with my pursuit of a peaceful existence.
So let it be written. So let it be shared. So let the chips fall where they may.
Best wishes for your peace and the salvation of Humanity!