Tom Seidler - ex Eton drug dealer
10 years on the Word of God
The most powerful mind-altering substance known to mankind.
'5 years on acid' was the title of a track by Mike Ink in 1993. I'm thankful it was not that long for me. Seeing faces coming up out of the toilet floor, turning psychotic on your closest friends, having so much money, respect and acquaintances - only for it all to become so pointless and lost in mental confusion, pain and at the end stark dark lonely depression.
How did I wind up there? How did things change?
the silver spoon
It is only as time has gone on that I've understood the wonderful advantages I've had in life. First and foremost amongst these are a family of two parents that loved me. Becoming less and less normal but no less wonderful or needful. We were designed to have a truly loving dad and mother. in God's kindness, though I never really appreciated it, I was given both of these.
We also had a few quid in the bank, and money was not too much a problem, though my mum had to work when we went to boarding school at the age of 7. There was even a family trust to pay for me to get sent to a posh and marvellous school later on in my life: Eton College, Windsor - where Prince Harry and William would go. One of them came a year after I left.
The good and true stuff I learnt and believed as a kid, was that Jesus was God, and that he did lots of amazing miracles. It always struck me as true and I never had a problem with this. I mixed into this lots of my own mad ideas, like God was my friend always there for when I needed him - like if I'd lost a pen or stuff like that - and that I could do what the whatever I liked with the rest of my time. He was my mascot, my dog on a lead. Of course, that's madness, the person that made you becomes your pet; the person that runs the universe, you take him out for a stroll round the block when you have the time? Nah, mate! But that was me!
Perhaps I was additionally confused because much of what was to do with 'Christianity' was nothing to do with Christ, and just set up by people who never knew him, and who'll one day here those very words from him: ?In that day many people will come and say to me, but didn't we do this and that in your name? And I will say to them, 'Get out, I never knew you!'?
I mean our head of religion at school, who had a dog collar and all, used to curse and swear; and we all thought the guy who lead the choir was not quite safe for the choir boys to be around. Yet these were the guys who lorded it in funky robes of holiness around the marvellous chapel. And if this was Christianity, well you know what, we weren't too interested...
Well, I guess up till this point I had been quite a 'good boy', a little quirky perhaps, but beyond porn, verbal bullying for my own amusement (cos I was sharp I could often get the advantage this way), laziness and stuff, I was basically your average kid. A little less guidance than perhaps kids need.
Put Off by Drunk 'Christian' Youth
Now a crunch came at a Christian camp I'd been going to, I remember hearing all this stuff about God, and probably about Jesus, and thinking, "This is real, I ought to take note." Sitting by the seaside watching endless grey waves rolling in, and thinking, "There is some power, far greater than myself, for whom this is just effortless...", and considering the enormity of such power just blew my mind. I didn't mind that my feet and shoes were getting soaked in the waves as I sat there watching them considering the size of the God who must have made their infinite ranks, and the sun that sent them rolling. Some people I recall took this as strange, and I realised at the end of the week when every kid my age in our very large group of 20-30 odd except 2 or 3 got very drunk, I realised then, that very few people took this God seriously or what they had been hearing.
I think it was just a little while later, maybe even that night, that I (stone sober) decided if my friends weren't interested in God, then neither would I be. I couldn't be bothered, I would not do it alone. This, of course, was a mistake, if God is true, then it doesn't matter if your friends don't realise or believe it - it matters for you, and you should act on that knowledge. On something so serious like eternal life and death it is foolish to let friends hold you back from serious investigation - their time to consider it may come later, but your opportunity may have passed forever. In God's kindness, I would get a second chance to consider things, but not without some cost in pain.
Descent into Madness
I lay out my descent into madness in the most helpful way (I believe), by following the pattern given in Proverbs where you come across the following description of the adulterous woman, who is a symbol of satan: "Her lips drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword." I have never found anything to adequately describe my experience except that verse, how do you put the good and the bad in context, well that verse does it so well...
The man who seeks to take a child off a playground comes with a good sweet, not aniseed or liquorice, or arsenic, he comes with something that tastes good, real good. It does not mean his intentions may not be bad, real evil in fact. Thus I was to meet satan, so I do not hide the 'good' bits, that other brethren who encounter them may realise who they may be coming from. I remember clearly, you see, once being told all drugs were bad and would make me mad mad mad and sad... But this wasn't my experience at first, it was mind-blowing, thus I thought they had deceived me for some kill joy purpose of their own, and I chose to throw out all their statements as untrustworthy. Here we go - my honeymoon with satan, 1993-95...
Sweet as Honey & Smoother than Oil
Well my cousins 16th came along later that summer and I decided to try alcohol, to enjoy it. I got very drunk and had no hangover. At school I was looking forward to doing more of this, but when I got there ?15 pocket money a week wasn't enough to enjoy alcohol the way I wanted to. I was already going on long night trips down dark alleys to get alcohol that younger & older kids wouldn't go on, so I started dealing in alcohol. I guess I spent the next year very lost in alcohol passed out for 4 hours once, saw the inside of a toilet bowl countless times (I mean 20-30+) - vomitting food and sometimes bright green bile, in case you hadn't clocked.
This sickness from alcohol helped my 'progression' to hash, and then found more money in LSD & speed, and from trading 1/2 oz hash in a month, to 1kg weed, 6oz speed, 120 microdots, 50 pills, going thru my room in a couple of weeks. From fifty quid of gear, to four grand in the space of a year. By the time I hit uni i was on the up and had met the next rung of dealer. I guess I had 2 grand of CDs & vinyl by this time also...
We were the peaceful kind of dealers, harmless hippies. I would later come to understand that most dealing does not operate in this kind of environment, and that blood lies on every ninebar.
Towards the end I was getting pizza delivered everyday for lunch, when I was doing A-Level exams I remember carrying my 2oz of skunk and a few oz speed into exam. That's where it was at, there was no limit to what we could do, smoke, no financial problems at all.
I had been teleported from a computer room nobody to the man who would always be up and serving up, everybody 'cool' knew me, and most bought off me directly or indirectly.
Bitter as Wormwood, Sharp as a 2 Edged Sword
Lunacy, schizophrenia, mental breakdown, darkness and pain...
Paranoia, let me explain that word, I once remember two parents pushing a pram on the other side of the high street at my home, they were laughing - I thought they were laughing about me. It is hard to understand how painful it is to walk around like that. Continuously avoiding eye contact which felt like daggers, with nervous tics and peculiar behaviour which gave people a reason to look at you like you were strange.
One example: I used to think, "I'm on drugs, I should be happy. Happy people smile. I should smile and then no one will look at me like I've lost it." You can imagine how that worked. The lost-it develops a surreal fixed smile in the hope of avoiding attention. Of course, I attracted more attention, the smile was harder to maintain. You had to just block out the existence of the other people, they don't matter, pretend they aren't there, it's just you. Yeah, pretty screwed up I guess, heavily introspective, panic attacks, had one a couple of years ago.
A dealer has another pain (like with pretty people, sporty people, popular people) - the people around them need them so much they don't like to upset them - so when they behave like right plonkers - rude and unacceptable behaviour, people will often just privately bear it against them, they won't tell the person, whose grown arrogant anyway cos so few people keep them in check. So that persons character goes more and more twisted cos it ain't getting straightened out, the friendships are false and shallow, the surface smiles cover inner dislike, and somehow sooner or later you clock that ain't everything quite right. But you don't want to have to admit that, maybe in this sort of way schizophrenia develops, you kind of suppress reality and part of you knows the score, the other part just gets more twisted as it can sense all this.
One of the boys in my house year (there were only 8 of us) is dead, some of my closest friends have been on Prozac, Lithium, Ritalin, Diazepan, had to deal with serious anxiety disorders; we all got alienated for too many years, I got left alone was such a nut case by the end, couldn't handle human company would turn on my friends.
And the reason I ordered pizza at the end, was it cos I was so rich and could afford it from my gear? No. It was cos I was afraid of people. I was afraid of eating in our dining hall. Afraid of the 13 year olds, afraid of my peers, that I might seem odd, lost it, that something would not seem quite right, that people would know I was stoned (we were smoking all day long by this point). People would know I couldn't handle it, I was breaking down. So I ordered pizza cos that would enable me to avoid all human company and still be happy with my munchies and comfort food. It was safer if there was just me, I could handle that environment.
I was talking with another of drug friend of mine, who hasn't yet left that world, and we thought it was interesting how you wind up at first getting into drugs cos of the company; but, by time, you feel much happier on your own, alone. So the satan brings you in with glory and style, and leaves you alone in darkness.
A friend of mine once gave me a leaf illustration, he said, "We are like green leaves on trees and while we are like that, satan's all charming to us, but when he gets us off the tree, we fall to the ground and get trodden into it, then he don't need to charm us, we have nothing to lose." So it began all sweet, but ended so dark. Arrested, no one visited me in prison, Mr Popular is now Mr Freek, nutcase, no hoper, written off - the computer freek would have got a job at least, this guy is lost... 'the end of his career' as some said.
My life spiraled to its lowest point: I saw no human future, my mind was fried 6 months after giving up all drugs - I thought it would never recover and I'd never be married (this had always been a deep rooted desire) cos I just couldn't relate to anybody - let alone a girl. I'd lost all my money, lost my gear, lost my friends. I was alone without a future. At this time my folks once caught me spliffing and threatened to throw me out of home, and I couldn't take it, I had the pills in my hand but didn't swallow them. I'd chased my dad out of my room with one of my swords. One of my friends who went on in the path we had chosen a little longer than I was thrown out of his home by his folks for gear et al, and that dear brother ain't so well now at all. No tears can turn back time.
Being met by Christ
'Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!"' Ezekiel 16:6
The book of Proverbs says a brother is born for trouble & there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. So now in my time of greatest darkness, a middle eastern carpenter's son walked right into the life of a lost man who'd never done anything for him in his life. For this, and for the cost he paid to do so, I will remain grateful for all eternity.
The arrest brought me home (as my university threw me out) and face to face with the gospel, before I pushed my brain past its elastic limit, or wound up doing much more serious jail time for more tricks.
My folks were just attending a new church dad being baptised, and I met a pastor who reasoned from bible for the first time in my life. I'd insult him and say what kind of madness is this that he is trying to put my dad who had been christened twice under water? He'd come back and say, "Well, check this in Acts chapter 2 and verse 38 it says, 'repent and be baptized' - what is the order there? What comes first?"
"Had your dad repented when he was christened?"
"Errr... I guess not."
"Acts 18:8 says those who heard the gospel 'believed and were baptized', what comes first?"
Yes, you get me. I was quite taken aback, a rational non 'spiritual' Christian, who knew his bible clearly believed it, and lived by it. I had to say, yes you are right, if your book is true you interpret it correctly, but of course it cannot be true for God did not make the world in 6 days, nor could he give a man strength enough like Sampson to push apart two pillars of stone - it is a legend like the Odyssey, or the Iliad. Now back to this God that rolled the grey waves:
"If God is all powerful," he asked, "could he have, if he wanted to, made the earth the way it says in Genesis 1?"
"Well, yes, he could."
"If God is all powerful, could he have given a man strength like it says he gave Sampson?"
Now this was a little barrier out the way for me now. I began attending church cos my mother wanted me to, I also thought I needed God's help at the upcoming trial (I was to wait from November '95 to August '96 to be sentenced), and I thought if I rolled up at his church once a month that had to look good in terms of enlisting his help at the trial (cos I knew I needed it). Later on I'd even go as far as to paint the chapel annex the yellow colour it still is in order to try and earn brownie points with God. I still wasn't a Christian, and didn't realise that no-one's 'brownie points' could ever offset their evil, and that actually all our 'good deeds' are polluted anyway like mine was from all sorts of hidden selfish motives.
Well, the sermons were a man talking quietly but God shouting at me, as I realised for the first time I was NOT a friend of God. A very unpleasant feeling - later on people would say, "Oh, you became a Christian did you? How nice...", I'd just have to say, "No, I'm really sorry, you don't understand - it was extremely unpleasant waking up to the fact that it wasn't the drugs - it was my whole life I'd lived for myself and not for God as it had been meant - and for this I was waking up to the fact that I deserved a lost eternity. A pleasant feeling is an entirely inappropriate description of the process." A real point of dawning in fact occurred while I was painting the chapel.
I was still not a Christian, but to impress God before the trial I was happy to help paint the chapel. So while the pastor (a guy called Phil, who has now passed away) and I were painting, he asked, 'Why don't you become a Christian, since you believe it all?'
'If your God gets me off at the trial, I'll become a Christian.'
Now as I said those words a whole heap of stuff went flying thru my head, a bit like this: 'Hang on a tick, Thomas! You've never done God a favour in your life (but only used him), and you're asking a favour from him? Isn't that a bit rude? Plus what does he want with your life? You're a wreck! So why are you insulting God by offering him such a bad deal?'
And then the next strand of thoughts that came bursting through my brain went thus, with me thinking what God was saying to me: 'Tom, I'm offering to get you off at an eternal court, I'm not really that interested in this petty small earth court; you stand guilty at my court and I'm trying to set you straight so you don't have to do eternity. Why are you talking to me about this little small problem you have?!? Are you thinking straight?'
I guess it was then I realised my number one problem was not the upcoming local country/crown court trial, but the great trial I would face the moment I died ('it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement'). And the directions of my pleas to God began to change from 'Get me off this earthly trial...' (in fact, I don't think I ever asked God again to get me off this one), to 'Save me forever...'.
I knew that the deal was I give Jesus Christ my life, unconditionally, and somehow he would be able to find a way out for me. I actually didn't understand at this point that it was through his doing eternity for me, on the cross - an event so far beyond human suffering that it would scar God forever in fact, as in paradise he is the only one who remains scarred. Nonetheless, with my limited understanding sometime in mid July 96, 2 weeks-ish before I went down (I got 6 months, served 3) I trusted my life to Jesus Christ, a man who would never let me down, and never let me go.
Life Goes On
Over the years I've bumped into some cracking people, and i'm in the process of having my operating system re-written by God...
Let me give you some of the disappointments, darn - i'm still lazy, i still lust, i'm still stupid in what i do with my time; as Lecrae (a Christian lyricist) said: "Yeah i cheated, yeah i lusted, but guess what? that's why I trust in him!"
You know, one of the things that can most get you down is your own failure, your hopeless incompetence, and I often feel like, 'hey, i'm a bit of a wreck of a Christian.' Now you might say your joking aren't you, but those of you who are older, those of you who've read your scriptures, you know the deal, I know me, and God knows me even better, and a bit of a wreck is probably an understatement. Same as you all, no doubt (sorry if u don't think of yourself like that, but I don't want to be proud, and say i'm more of a wreck). 'Step by step we're moving closer, little by little we're gaining ground...'.
Yes, brethren lets keep it real. I grow yearly more convinced of the gospel, more convinced of my own hopelessness outside of God in Christ and his Spirit living in me. So more and more I am driven to call out to God.
I am not the person I was, as a young Christian i got hammered, got high, stole a car, i haven't for many years been blind drunk, i've been more than moderately drunk, but not blind drunk. I ain't touched any gear for many years... I no longer spend tonnes of money on music et al.
John Newton had little quote that goes something like this: "I'm not the man I could be; I?m not the man I should be? but thank God, I?m not the man I used to be!" Nor am I the man that I will one Day be.
You will prosper in all that you do
I feel like Joseph at the GBC, i was the 3rd person to be employed in the company back in 1999. I was employed to pack books, I am now one of the company directors. We turned over about 200k in 1999. We are now 15 strong, and turnover ?1million+
This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in my eyes.
I have fellowship with Christians across most every denomination ethnicity class, my sisters parties, transformed, i'm still in love with the gospel - you'll understand more about how amazed i am with the gospel if you read this flyer... - u see what we were after in the rave & drug scene, God in fact not only wants us to have, but went to extreme measures to provide for us thru his son's death in giving us peace with God, and thus access right into the presence of the divine, inapproachable light, at his right hand are pleasures for evermore... nirvana - all that ting, eternal everlasting out of this world ecstacy, off the planet...
i've found that the gospel answers and works in every extreme, and remains beautiful calm collected and powerful, when all other forces crumble, the Man in Control, unperturbed, not taken by surprise, the master of dissembling and organisation. The best the nicest, the kindest man in the world, remains the most dangerous, the fastest to move, most powerful player, most completely in control.
what has the Lord done with this former drug dealer, well now i have the joy of distributing the Word of God throughout the UK to a fairly phat tune. It is likely I will have the joy of distributing it internationally very soon. When I thought I was a revolutionary and anti-establishment, but in fact i was a slave and like everybody else, just working for satan and continuing his revolution that only destroys humanity - i was working for the establishment and order of this world - which will pass away. He tolerated that, and forgave me it all, and now he has me working in a truly anti-establishment way, you don't clock it but this is part of the revolution, we are opening your eyes to break free of the Matrix, Agent Smith ain't so happy. I'm still for the revolution, and it is one that will overthrow this world, and crumble all kingdoms, the gates of hell will not prevail against the aggression of the Kingdom of Christ.
So now we are selling light, for nothing! and the people love it, we know about and promote the land where everything is legal.
Lost and happy?!
"I have gone astray like a lost sheep,
seek your servant;
for I do not forget your commandments."
And I really do feel so lost, wretched and evil as I often look at my own soul and heart without Christ living in it. Yet I'm still pretty happy, and I've got so many plots and so much direction. This might puzzle someone looking in on my life from outside, "How can a man think such contradictory thoughts, is he schizophrenic, or just plain confused and stupid?"
It doesn't worry me if you do think that (not anymore), but I'd like to try and help you understand how I manage to be both so ill in myself and yet so happy.
You know what, i might be a wreck, but i know that the man on my wall runs them all, how about you? You know, I follow the man who is GOING to take over Streatham one day, and the world, yeah that makes a difference.
Or again, here I am the sick individual, the dying soul with a terminal illness called 'sin', its deep down in my flesh. How can I be happy? Cos I am terminally ill in the hands of a doctor beyond genius. Bless God and praise Him for this doctor, the NHS don't touch him, 'no other beer goes deep enough'.
Peace and love, may you come to meet my doctor and my dealer, tom
Testimony edited from all over the place.