On his way to Sri Lanka he stopped at a beach in South India. He had been carrying thousands of dollars worth of drugs in his guitar, ready for a run to Europe. He stood on the beach and threw them into the Indian Ocean. That was that; forever.
In Colombo he started to experience some strange things. He was hearing voices which were freaking him out. He ran into an old Anglican Church building to get away from them. The voices were echoing through the rafters saying things like, “You’ll never make it! There’s no hope for you”. He thought he was going crazy. He also thought birds were talking to him. Once, while lying on his bed late at night, something started choking him. He couldn’t breathe. He screamed out “Jesus!” as loudly as he could and sat up gasping for air. His heart was pounding but he was free.
Tony was gripped with fear. The next day at the Y.M.C.A. a young guy spoke about fear. He invited Tony to go with him to hear The Celebrant Singers in concert. They prayed for him at the end of the concert and the voices and demons left and never came back.
The music was unusual; nothing like Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix, but Tony knew it was good for him. He went after every Christian he could find. They ranged from weird to wonderful. An old Anglican priest led him through confirmation classes. He told Tony that to get rid of bad thoughts he should make the sign of the cross on his forehead. His finger never left his forehead and there was no sign of the thoughts leaving.
He had his fourth church experience in Colombo. He hung around at the end hoping people would talk to him. No-one did. He looked like a freak with long hair, funny clothes and rings on every finger. He was disappointed but not surprised. Some weeks later, he went back to the same church. He had cut his hair and put on some “respectable” clothes. It worked! People talked to him. One man even said, “Wow, you have really changed!” The change had taken place weeks before. The only things that had changed that week were his hair and clothing.
Wherever he went people talked about a “ship” that had just visited India. A monastery wasn’t an option, but the ship seemed like a place where he couldn’t hurt anyone. Six months later he was on the Doulos. He was safe.