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Swallowed by Satan: How Our Lord Jesus Christ Saved Me from Pornography, Homosexuality, and the Occult Paperback – March 3, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Genuine. Authentic. Smart. 'Swallowed' carries the powerful story of Joseph Sciambra, former gay porn star. His inside knowledge of the gay world will open your eyes to the reality of gay porn.His inspirational escape from gay porn will open your eyes to the reality of Jesus Christ. This book should be nominated as one of the most relevant books of 2013!"

About the Author

Joseph Sciambra was born in 1969, in Northern California, not far from San Francisco. He grew up in a stable and loving home while attending Catholic parochial schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Early on, the dark shadow of pornography would cloud his entire childhood and teenage years. Throughout the 1990s, Joseph lived around the homosexual culture of the Castro District, offering him rare insight into the daily lives and struggles of many gay men. Later, he became an amateur porn actor and escort. In 1999, following a near death experience, Joseph returned to the Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Since then he has written extensively concerning the real-life issues of pornography, homosexuality, and the occult. He received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley in Art History and his MA from Sonoma State University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Next Century Publishing (March 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193926815X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939268150
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in 1969, not far from San Francisco. My father was a hard-working immigrant from Sicily, and my mother a California girl who grew up in a broken home. They married, in a Catholic Church, though not in the sanctuary, as my mother had been raised Baptist. Later, they had four children. I was the youngest. My mother later converted, and my parents saw to it that we all attended Catholic parochial schools. I was a child of the 1970's and 80s, when, unfortunately, the Church experienced the worst of the repercussions from the Second Vatican Council. After thirteen years of Catholic education, I left, knowing next to nothing about my Faith. I remembered the kindly guitar strumming religious sister, but I did not know many prayers, nothing of Sacred Scripture, Catholic dogma, moral teachings, or the Rosary. Religion felt inconsequential, unrelated to my life. I thought I didn't need it.
After graduation from high school, I was always nervous and restless, I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I decided to go to college and waste some time. I picked the University of California at Berkeley, not because of any academic aspirations, but for it's liberal reputation. Somewhere along the way, I feel in love with the study of Art History and was accepted into the program. Perhaps, it was my inner longing to find true beauty, away from the ugliness of the world. Right away, I began to notice a strange spiritual emptiness within me. One day, while walking near the campus, I wandered aimlessly into a New-Age curiosity shop. Immediately, I became enthralled with the seemingly discordant mix of Eastern philosophies, Western paganism, and witchcraft. From that moment onwards, I began too create my own religion based upon my personal needs, interests, and fleeting desires.
During the same period of time, I ponderously questioned my sexuality. I didn't know if I was straight, gay, or bisexual. From a very young age, I was exposed to both soft and hard-core pornography. As a child, I repeatedly rummaged through my old brother's things in a desperate need to find porn magazines. By the time I reached my late-teens, I was buying my own issues as well as x-rated videotapes. In the same spirit of further exploration, I started picking up female prostitutes then made several trips to the legal brothels in Reno, Nevada. At first, I enjoyed myself, then the risk and expense became too much. To my great relief, I discovered adult novelty stores that featured video-booths in the back of the shops. There, I began having anonymous sexual encounters with various men. After one night of deviance, I started to hear strange voices in my head. They told me to go to certain locations and to do bizarre things; usually of a sexual nature. The first place the voices guided me was to a gay bathhouse.
At one of these sex-clubs, I met my first lover. He was an older man who, at first, introduced me somewhat cautiously into the gay lifestyle. Then, our relationship quickly digressed to include more extreme sex-acts. We eventually tired of each, and I moved on, steely and cynical, to his other friends. Many enjoyed the experience of sex in public or having their exploits video-taped. In the beginning, I got a new thrill from being an exhibitionist. Later, as I was already bored, oversexed, and burned-out, this also began to no longer interest me. Then a friend told me about an amateur pornographer who paid guys to masturbate in front of his camera. I thought the idea rather tame, but I gave it a try. What I found surprisingly exciting, was the copious amounts of praise that I received. In my twisted mind I became a star; if only to a third-rate porn pusher. But my initial dalliances with pornography did not end there. Like a drug addict, in need of a more powerful fix, I jumped into the world of BDSM (bondage, disciple, and sado-masochism) pornographic films. My involvement took me to a new level of demonic possession. Satan gave me power.
The dark ritualism within the world of S&M neatly complimented my already advanced knowledge and interest in all things related to the occult. For large segments of the gay population, sex became ceremony. It was the highpoint of their religious experience. Many found solace in this. And for fleeting moments, I too could forget the pains of my tormented soul. But that also faded. I then began to pick-up random men at various cruising points throughout San Francisco. In the meantime, I was still doing an occasional cheap porn film: not for the money, but to bring a few cherished minutes of excitement into my increasingly dull life. Porn became just another route of escape. I was running from myself, but to nowhere. Near the end of my sordid existence, a stranger who invited me to his home tried to kill me. By then, I was wanting to die. I begged him to murder me. But, he didn't.
Sinking to my deepest level of degradation, I took part in a violent series of sexual performances that brought me to the edge of damnation. Later that same night, I ended up in a hospital emergency room. The demons arrived and began to escort me to hell. I was scared, and, for the first time in years, I called out to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Immediately, the demons left me alone. Then, I started the long road back to healing. Thankfully, there was still a small mustard seed of Faith within myself that even the years of being saturated in evil could not eradicate completely. Through the Grace of God, I became reacquainted with a humble Catholic priest that I once knew, and he heard my lengthy Confession. But my soul was still not at peace. I couldn't accept God's forgiveness. I thought that I was perpetually stained and forever undeserving of love. Instead of banishing the devil from my life, I clung to all that I was. In a foolish attempt to flee Satan, I entered a secluded religious community where I thought I could hide. Even there, the devil found me.
Against my stubborn will, I returned home to California and tried to start over again. But I was stuck in the past. Out of nowhere, a newly ordained priest visited the city where I lived. He was giving a series of talks about the power of the occult, so, of course, I went. When he met me, it was as if he already knew much of my story. He took me into a little room, in the enormous old building where he was speaking. There, he placed his stole upon my head and delivered me from the grip of Satan. The demonic spirits of self-loathing, hate, and fear left me. Finally, I could receive the love of Jesus Christ. He took me into his strong arms, where, at last, I found the sustenance I spent years searching for. After that moment, life has surely not been easy. But I have never abandoned my belief in God. More than a decade later, the Lord is now asking me to tell my story that others may not make the same mistakes I made.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ashleen on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am really grateful to the author for writing about his experience with so much humility and insight. I pray for him and his continued recovery. I know it must have been very hard to write about, but as a spiritual work I thought the book had a lot of worth in reminding us all about God's mercy. I loved the appendix of prayers at the end. The author helped remind me of how the spiritual life is truly a battle, one that Christ's love can win for us if we run to him. It was also interesting from a sociological and psychological point of view to read about the author's descent through pornography and the feelings that it inspired in him. Others have commented that this is a graphic book; it is, but because of the subject matter itself and not out of any fault of the author. I also thought the graphicness helped me to see how deeply wounded the pornogaphic lifestyle can leave a person, and it made me want to pray for people touched by this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lance Eccles on August 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some reviewers here say that they were unable to finish this book. That is understandable, as it is quite confronting at times, and on occasion I asked myself if I really wanted to continue reading. The descriptions are not graphic (in spite of what some reviewers say), but the reader is left in no doubt about what is happening.

Sciambra details his gradual progress into a hell of self-destructive promiscuity, beginning with his introduction to pornography in his pre-pubescent years.

He came from a rather lax Catholic family, and although he went to a Catholic school, it was in the years following Vatican Two, when much was being jettisoned and children in Catholic schools were taught nothing of their Faith. He did not even know what the Rosary was. He had little idea of sexual morality and no idea of Church teaching, and went where his inclinations took him.

He was apparently heterosexual in his instincts, but his addiction to pornography poisoned his mind against women; he became bored with and indifferent to them, and turned his attention to men. This took him down a degrading path of extreme promiscuity and to a career of sorts at the lower end of the gay porn industry, acting in cheap and nasty films shot in seedy locations.

Added to this, he became involved in the occult, and from his descriptions it appears that he was demonically oppressed to some degree. In fact, later he undergoes a short exorcism, and it lifts a great weight from him.

If the reader feels unable to cope with the relentless downward trajectory of the story, I suggest that, rather than giving up, s/he should turn to the middle of the book (57% in the Kindle edition). From here begins the author’s struggle towards spiritual, psychological and physical recovery.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on April 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
First of all, let me state that my main issue with this book is that Sciambra takes his experience with the most sordid elements of the San Francisco gay community and extrapolates that to all gays. But given some of his horrifying experiences, it's hard to blame him for being so critical. The picture he presents is frightening and sad - and shows the depths that people will go to when in the throes of a sex addiction.

This book will also be controversial because he does not believe that homosexuality is innate or genetic. He himself was attracted to women initially, but then repeated viewing of porn since being a boy made him yearn for more extreme sexual experiences.

If anything, this book is more of an indictment of porn and the fetish cultures - I'm sure there are plenty of straight people in the dungeons of San Francisco also behaving abominably.

While this was not proofed by a professional editor, some of the writing is quite poignant and insightful. But it is also graphic. Not for the faint of heart - and sure to push buttons with people who equate any criticism of gay culture with "homophobia."
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By Ricardo Ascencio on March 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very compelling story. Joseph puts his soul into this literary piece. He transmits compassion and honesty. Great read!
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17 of 27 people found the following review helpful By flossy666 on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of this book was interviewed on Howard Stern. Great interview! After hearing it I said to myself, "I gotta get this book." I like reading about the dark side of life, and this is what this book is about - one man's struggle with his homosexuality. For him, it all started with pornography.

I don't know why it got such bad reviews. It's not written super-professionally but it's not written badly either. I kinda think the people (homosexuals?) who don't like this book don't want to hear that some people still consider homosexuality wrong - and especially that it's written by another homosexual. I have no problem with guys being sexual with other guys, if that's what they want to do. But regardless, most of us know what the Bible says about homosexuality.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ardie cesario on November 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is disturbing. If raw discussions about gay sex upsets you... don't read the book. I am glad to hear of his experience with Satan and his experience of receiving forgiveness from God. He has a struggle on his hands but ....God's grace should see him through. Satan is one bad dude.

.It is all good and God is at the end.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Raymond on June 13, 2014
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Very graphic. He doesn't spare himself and doesn't glorify himself. Shows that not all gay people are happy or satisfied, and there is a way out if someone wants it. I doubt anyone else could've written this.
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