Shane lynch is most famous for his part in 90’s pop sensations Boyzone, still one of the most successful bands ever. But while Ronan Keating had the image of clean cut ‘nice boy’, Shane was most certainly the bad boy! Shane had it all – money, fame and a lifestyle beyond his wildest dreams – but he didn’t have peace. Night after night Shane was tormented by spirits from ‘the dark side.’ What started out as a teenage fantasy ended up becoming a terrible nightmare.
“It all started when I was about seventeen years old…”
Shane’s anger and bad attitude seemed to attract demonic forces which tried to attach themselves to him.
“In the early stages, the whole experience sort of entertained me, despite me knowing what they were. I thought, ‘Wow! This is great,’ They were making me into something dark and I was enjoying the extra attention I was getting from people as a result. I kinda liked the idea of people being scared of me.”
But the enjoyment didn’t last. Even hard man Shane began to get frightened as the visitation of ‘spirits’ became more and more persistent.
“I would lie on my bed unable to speak, frozen as these phantoms flickered around my vision. They got stronger and stronger as time passed until eventually one of them made ‘contact’ with me physically. I was in Hong Kong lying on my bed when this huge transparent figure actually touched me and I remember screaming and going absolutely ballistic!”
After the terrifying ‘contact’ Shane knew he needed help, but he didn’t know where to turn. Boyzone’s management introduced him to a psychic medium ‘healer’ who placed crystals on various parts of his body before chanting over him. Shane says,
“She told me to imagine myself being covered in white sheets or silk and that they would protect me. When she finished she dropped the crystals because they were burning hot to her touch – although they were cool to me. She told me she believed I was possessed by an evil spirit because she hadn’t felt anything leave my body.”
The psychic medium was unable to offer any real help and Shane’s problems only grew worse. As the visitations became stronger over the next few months, Shane became more frightened.
“I was being taken to different places in my mind, into anger, violence, hatred. Every word that came out of my mouth was destructive and negative.”
The turning point for Shane came after a ‘moment of madness’ following a trip to see a London chiropractor.
“As I left the surgery, a car started up and the driver made a rude sign at me and, as he pulled away, a violent rage took over. I saw him stop at the traffic lights and I was thundering along the road after him. Thankfully the lights turned green and he pulled away. Had I caught him I don’t know what I might have done to him or him to me. I thank God those light changed colour when they did because anything, absolutely anything might have happened otherwise.”
It was just a few days later that Shane bumped into Ben Ofiedu, an old friend and a member of the hit band Phats and Small. Ben was a committed Christian and was the only one who had been able to offer any real help or advice. It seemed ironic that the ‘professional’ psychic healer could do nothing, but the ‘amateur’ ordinary Christian could! After hearing Shane’s story, Ben told him to pray to God. When the evil spirits re-appeared, Shane was able to tell them to go in the name of Jesus Christ. But they kept returning, stronger and more vicious than before. Shane stated going to church and found his ‘home’ in The Tabernacle at Lewisham, an evangelical church in South London. He joined a weekly bible study group, became a committed Christian. Shane was the baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit. He found that he was able to speak in ‘tongues’ – and experience described in the New Testament. Shane says,
“The [evil] spirits left me as I gave my life to Christ. I know this is all real – I’ve bee on both ‘sides’ and in what I believe are [the world’s] last days, it is obvious to me the impact the devil is making on the world.”
His new faith has also enabled Shane to ‘bury the hatchet’ with Ronan Keating.
“I went through a time where I was very angry and had a very loose tongue. I was very confused, very violent. God helped me get through everything. I was stupid. Ronan Keating was one of my closest friends for years. We fell out through childish behaviour – mine. As you move on, you can look back and say: ‘Wasn’t that a bit stupid?’ or ‘Why did I do that?’ I said a lot of stupid things about Ronan out of anger I have now apologised to him. Ronan has accepted my apology and we can move on.”
Shane is now a different person.
“Some people mocked me when I announced that I was a Christian, but this is no flash in the pan experience. I’m stronger, freer and happier than I’ve ever been in my life and it gets better and better.”
“I owe everything to Christ. I’ve been freed of everything and now pray that I am placed in a position where I can help bring others to Him.” Shane says, “Every day is a brand new adventure. I’m a better man for the faith which has been placed in my heart.”
Story by Ralph Burden
* photo attribution: Photo 1: Boyzone by Rach, 2009. Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License; Photo 2: Shane with Heather, Lucy, Hannah & Ralph Burden and Keith Campbell, 2005. Creative Commons 2.0 License.