In a recent interview with The 700 Club, child-actor Keith Thibodeaux, 71, shared how his involvement in the occult led him to become suicidal and how this was broken after he received a vision of Jesus, CBN reports.
Thisbodeaus, who later changed his name to Richard Keith, is best known for playing the role of “Little Ricky Ricardo” on the 1950s TV hit series I Love Lucy.
He would later go on to have roles in The Luci-Dezi Comedy show and the Andy Griffin show. I addition, Keith played in a secular band, called David and the Giants.
At the age of 5, Keith was already earning $2,000 a month playing drums for a band called Horace Heidt Orchestra, when His father took him to an audition for the I Love Lucy Show.
In his interview, Keith shared two stories that dramatically impacted him and sent him on a downward spiritual slide.
It started when his mom and dad divorced after his father had an affair. Keith said the divorce made him extremely angry not only at his father but also at God:
“I was mad at my father, and was very, very mad at everything, and the world in general, and show business was part of the problem. I felt like, if I hadn’t gotten the part on ‘I Love Lucy,’ we would still be in Louisiana, and our family would still be together. But God was the one that I really shook my fist at.”
As a teenager, Keith became involved in drugs and eventually began delving into the occult.
“I knew there was a supernatural world,” Keith told The 700 Club. ‘And I began to dabble in Ouija boards and reading books about warlocks, and just fantasizing about those kinds of things. And my life, from that point on, really began to take a downward spiral.”
Keith said that immediately after this, he started feeling a demonic torment. He had voices in his head telling him he was no good and that no one liked him, and they began telling him to commit suicide.
Several times, he was on the edge of committing suicide.
And in some ways, this is similar to what happened to the prophet Elijah, who came under a similar demonic attack while confronting Jezebel.
King Ahab of Israel had married a Phoenician princess Jezebel who brought with her 400 prophets of Baal and 450 prophets of Asherah, two pagan gods, into Israel.
But there was more going on in Israel than just the setting up of two pagan temples. Things were also stirring in the spiritual realm. According to a passage in Deuteronomy, there were demons associated with these two idols:
They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded” (Deuteronomy 32:16-17 ESV).
After God raised up the prophet Elijah to confront King Ahab and Jezebel, this eventually led to a spiritual confrontation.
In 1 Kings 18: 17-39, Elijah challenged both the prophets of Baal and Asherah to a confrontation on Mt Carmel to demonstrate who was the true God, Jehovah, or Baal and Asherah.
Though he challenged both groups, only the prophets of Baal showed up. Elijah decisively won this battle, but the prophets of Asherah and the demons associated with this worship had still not been dealt with.
And in a strategic sense, it seems Jezebel had held these prophets, who ate at her table (1 Kings 18:19, in reserve.
And we see a strange thing happen after Elijah’s great victory over the prophets of Baal, Jezebel was so infuriated she sent a messenger to Elijah threatening to kill him (1 Kings 19:1-3). Perhaps even one of the Asherah prophets.
The Hebrew word for messenger, mal’âk, found in this verse, has a twofold meaning. I can refer to both a human messenger and as well an angel.
This suggests that there may have been a demonic element associated with this encounter, that left Elijah so terrified, that he fled into the wilderness.
Elijah was under demonic attack and experienced many of the same things that Keith did.
Elijah became suicidal. Though we are not told this exactly, we read that Elijah asked God to end his life (1 Kings 19:4). If this is what he was saying, we can only imagine what he was thinking.
Similar to Rick, Elijah fell under condemnation and believed he was no good, crying out “I am no better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4).
And thirdly, like Keith, Elijah felt alone and that everyone had forsaken him. This of course, as God pointed out, wasn’t true, but these were the lies that the demonic was feeding Elijah (1 Kings 19:10)
And in the end, it took a supernatural encounter with God to restore the prophet (1 Kings 19:11-15).
And Keith had a similar supernatural encounter that broke the demonic influence in his life, when he became born again in 1974 after his mother invited him to church.
Keith told The 700 Club that during this service, he received a vision or trance that started off as a distant light, that as it got closer, he realized that this was Jesus. The Lord then told Keith, that He had died for the former child-actor’s sins.
This not only broke the demonic attack, but Keith would eventually lead most of the members of David and The Giants, to Christ, who then transformed into a Christian band.