Johnny Depp and Damion Echols

Johnny Depp’s Friend, Author Damien Echols, Once Sentenced To Die, Has Written A Book About Magick [Opinion]

Johnny Depp became one of Damien Echols best friends when Echols was on death row, awaiting execution for a crime he did not commit. Damien and two others were falsely accused of murdering three eight-year-old boys in 1993. It was Echols’ interest in metal music and magick that led to his conviction.

Damien Echols stood accused of a crime so heinous, that most people could not see past the brutality of the murder, enough to recognize there was no evidence that Damien and his two friends had anything to do with what happened to those children. Johnny Depp though, saw through the situation, perceiving the truth. Damien Echols was only a suspect due to his interest in magick and taste in music.

Johnny Depp, Marilyn Manson, and numerous other celebrities learned about Damien Echols’ case through a documentary. Johnny Depp, Marilyn Manson, and the others hired lawyers who proved through DNA that the so-called West Memphis Three and Damien’s magick had nothing to do with the murders at all. For more information on Damien Echols and Johnny Depp check out this previous report by the Inquisitr.

Thanks to Johnny Depp and his friends, Damien Echols was released in 2011, after 19 years in prison, half of Damien’s life up to that point. Damien Echols explains what prison was like and how he used the magick practice of meditation to endure it to Motherboard.

“Prison is a dark and stagnant place. It’s filled with the most cold, horrendous energy you can imagine. It feels like a kind of psychic filth that penetrates into your very soul.”

Johnny Depp and Damien Echols remain very close friends. Johnny Depp has encouraged Damien to write and produce art. Johnny Depp even gave Echols guitar lessons. Depp is a phenomenal guitar player, so it was quite an opportunity for Damien Echols who loves music.

Johnny Depp took a great deal of personal interest in helping Damien Echols readjust to his new-found freedom. Depp helped him in many ways, but perhaps the greatest was simply Johnny being there as a friend. He was around for whatever Echols went through.

Johnny Depp accompanied Damien Echols to Memphis to speak out against the execution of Damien’s fellow inmates this spring according to a previous report by the Inquisitr. Johnny Depp even spoke at the protest rally.

Damien Echols was just a teenager when he was arrested and imprisoned but even then he was an expert in what he calls magick. Damien being accused of murder was related to this belief in magick since that made him suspicious to police.

Johnny Depp and Manson, having a broader base of experience, understood immediately that Damien Echols’ interest in magick and metal music was not any indication of guilt in the murders. Damien explained why he was suspected in an article on Motherboard.

“Because I was the town weirdo. I dressed in all black, had long hair, and listened to heavy metal music. As if this wasn’t enough to make me suspect in a small, hardcore fundamentalist town in the midst of the era of Satanic panic, I also practiced magick. Some of the most damning evidence brought against me during the trial was my love of knowledge of Crowley, and the fact that I owned Stephen King novels.

Damien Echols is referring to Aleister Crowley’s darker reputation. Unlike many rather innocuous practitioners, Aleister Crowley was more or less infamous, and yet, even though Crowley’s work wasn’t the only thing or even the main thing Damien Echols read, with his interest, of course, he would have read Crowley’s work.

“Aleister Crowley was the person who designed that magick be spelled with a ‘k.’ He was also a big part of the reason I was sentenced to death.”

Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson rightly called Dameon Echols situation a witchhunt, but Damien Echols is not a witch, much less a Satanist. He doesn’t practice witchcraft or ascribe to the philosophies of Satanism. He simply practices magick with a k, that means he doesn’t pull rabbits out of hats either.

Damien Echols appeared at his hearing in2011
Damien Echols at a court hearing in 2011 [Image by Danny Johnston/AP Images]

Johnny Depp’s friend Damien Echols is eager to explain magick, which for some is a confusing issue. As always Johnny Depp remains supportive of whatever Echols wants to do with his life.

Damien Echols seeks to raise awareness about the true nature of magick so that people will at least understand what the practice is. Echols has created YouTube videos and has written a new book, which will be available next year. Healso created this A Cast podcast presentation.

Echols told Motherboard he still doesn’t regret his involvement in magick.

“My interest in magick may have contributed to my being sentenced to death, but it was also a huge part of what allowed me to survive for the better part of two decades in the American prison system.”

He further explains in a series of videos he’s put on YouTube that magick is not what people think.

“Much of magick is about is learning to change states of consciousness at will. I learned to use meditation and ritual as shields. They prevented the hellish energy of prison from changing me and making me more like the people all around me—people who had given up on even trying to be human.”

Johnny Depp and Damien Echols
Johnny Depp and Damien Echols [Image by Charles Sykes/Getty Images]

Echols explains that magick, rather than being a religion, is the core element of all religion, philosophy, and spiritual practice. Take away the dogma, tradition, and history from virtually any belief system or philosophical system and magick is what is left according to Echols. It sounds almost like a science in that regard.

Damien Echols says people can be of any religion and still practice magick. As Damien sees it, all religion that involves spiritual practice is at its core rooted in what he loosely calls magick, and yet, magick is a separate element not tied to a religious tradition.

Damien Echols explains that magick is a simple, natural and to a degree, an instinctive process of belief in one’s ability to change one’s circumstances, even against the odds of natural law. Angel work, energy work, some forms of prayer, and various practices found within virtually any religion including Christianity all fall within the overarching connotation of magick said Echols in the video above.

“Magick is just as valid, and life-affirming as any other spiritual tradition.”

Echols explains that magick doesn’t have to be some grand practice. One popular magick book, “The Secret” teaches a widely known application of magick. Magick is in that way so subtle and so natural, that many people practice what Echols practices, to some degree without ever thinking of it as magick.

Damien Echols, once imprisoned, but now a writer and friend of Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson, explains that magick is a great equalizer, for those feeling they have no control over their life, those who have no connections, no money, and no political clout, magick is a way of leveling one’s own playing field. It gives a person at the very least, control over one’s own mind and spirit.


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Johnny Depp’s dear friend Damien Echols is an expert in the field of magick with experience in spiritual practice. His book is designed to inform, as well as instruct, and if his first book Life After Death is any indication, it will be well written and explain beautifully exactly what Magick is.

Johnny Depp and Damien Echols are close, but it is unknown if Johnny Depp shares Echols’ interest in magick.

[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Getty Images]