Outrageous comedian Russell Brand finds Jesus, gets baptized in Thames

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Russell Brand baptized.

By Antonio Pellot –

Russell Brand, the bombastic devotee of Bacchus, has become a Christian and gotten baptized.

Bacchus, the Roman name for Dionysus, is the god of wine, revelry, ecstasy, and fertility. Worship or devotion to Bacchus typically involves celebrating aspects of life associated with pleasure, joy, and the natural world.

After indulging beyond excess in drugs, orgies, shock antics, and his esoteric brand of religion, what was left for the UK comedian actor podcaster with the libertine lifestyle who fashioned himself as the post-modern reincarnation of Oscar Wilde?

He could have died like his idol Jim Morrison.

Russell Brand (wikimedia)

But God began wooing his heart and Brand pulled back before crashing completely off the cliff. First, the man with Rasputin’s hair and penetrating eyes stopped the drugs; next, he curbed the licentiousness. Incredibly, his brain was not fried, but remained engaged, dynamic and deep, and it led him via logic to the only reasonable solution to his condition: Jesus Christ.

On April 28, the loudmouth activist – who made a career of revolting people onstage while he revolted people offstage by carousing in a frenzy of fleshly pleasures – ditched Dionysius and submitted to Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

He followed his surrender to Christ by getting baptized in the Thames River.

“Something occurred in the process of baptism that was incredible, overwhelming,” Brand says on Instagram. “I felt changed, transitioned. I can’t tell you how happy I feel and how relieved I feel. It was an incredible, profound experience.

“As a person that has in the past taken many many substances and always been disappointed with the inability to deliver the kind of tranquility and peace and even transcendence that I’ve always felt I’ve been looking for, something occurred in the process of baptism that was incredible, overwhelming.”

“I’m learning and I will make mistakes, but this is my path now and I already feel incredibly blessed, relieved, nourished, held,” he adds. “It’s been an incredible experience. I feel as if some new resource within me has switched on,” he said. “My resources are coming from somewhere else and someone else now.” He’s part of a revival among intellectuals and cultural icons in Western Europe.

Raised in Essex by a divorced mother, Brand developed bulimia nervosa at age 14 and ran away from home at 16 after fights with his mom’s new partner. He dove into drugs, trying cannabis, amphetamines, LSD, and ecstasy, seeking solace for his inner rage.

He saw his father sporadically. He took his son to be with prostitutes in Thailand on one such visit.

Cannily clever and quick, Brand broke into humor by making fun of his own scandal-ridden life, from heroin to hookups. What the sodden fodder the tabloid press documented, he reveled about onstage with lurid details that simultaneously horrified and fascinated. He was constantly pushing the outer edge of the envelope of what was acceptable in humor.

In 2008, Brand on stage prank-called the Northampton police and purported to be a witness to a series of crimes in the neighborhood. Lynda Yorke of Leicester Rape Crisis Centre, rebuked his antics: “I don’t think that’s particularly amusing. It’s in very poor taste. The issue of sexual assault is often belittled and such callous behavior is extremely hurtful to the victims.” He apologized.

Brand branched into presenting and acting. Hosting the 2008 MTV Music Video Awards, he called George W. Bush “a retarded cowboy fella” who “wouldn’t be trusted with scissors” in England. He also mocked the purity rings worn by the Jonas Brothers.

Among his more well-known movie appearances are Arthur, Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Rock of Ages. The prolific celebrity has done writing, producing, podcasting and radio.

While he glowed in the limelight, he never relieved the inner anguish, which he tried to quell with alcohol and heroin. While his episodes with drugs made the gossipy news and was repurposed for his humor, he began to confront the stark truth: drugs were destroying him.

“When I took drugs, I felt lonely, alienated and disconnected,” Brand said. “I felt that this culture isn’t serving me. It was a personal problem – I couldn’t cope with being alive, I needed to take drugs.”

He sought help through recovery programs and has been sober since 2003.

Meanwhile, his libido raged unchecked, and his intrepid escapades began to haunt him. In 2006, Dannii Minogue accused Brand of sexually harassing her after appearing on his TV show. She described him as “a bit of a vile predator.” He “wouldn’t take no for an answer,” she said. “Throughout the whole interview he kept making shocking remarks that I can’t even repeat.”

The interview detonated other accusations. He was forced to quit the BBC for unprofessional behavior. The Sunday Times/ Channel 4 reported on his abuses in 2023, and the police are still investigating. Brand has denied he ever did anything illegal. The tidal wave of the Me Too movement was crashing down on him.

Increasingly, Brand was feeling empty. He searched for meaning beyond hedonism. The answer started to come from his own podcast. He interviewed Canadian Psychologist Jordan Peterson, a preponderant intellectual making God palatable to the intelligentsia. Brand, who understands philosophical concepts in depth, could follow Peterson well and experienced a shift in his own thinking.

Then he appeared on Bear Grylls, in which the former SAS trooper and survival expert takes celebrities to extreme landscapes and adverse physical challenges for reality TV episodes.

On a Gaelic cliff off the Hebrides, a Scottish kilted Brand opened up to Bear Grylls, a devout believer since childhood.

Talking with Bear Grylls

Drugs had become “a dominant and defining part of my life, quite extreme,” he confessed. “I was a disconnected person – from myself, but probably from other people and certainly from any sense of higher purpose or God.

“When you’ve stopped drinking and stopped taking drugs, you’re confronted with the nature of the problem, the problem with feelings of worthlessness and shame and anger and loneliness and sadness and fear. Suddenly you’re living in a very raw way… I went from the sort of chaos of addiction to the chaos of being like famous.”

That’s where the poster boy for hedonism became friends with the poster boy for Scouts and clean living. The friendship flourished. When Brand decided to get baptized, it was Bear Grylls who eased him into the water.

“My route to spirituality comes through addiction, so it comes from desperation and fear and this sort of defeat, destruction, annihilation of self in a very humiliating way,” Brand told Relevant magazine. “I had no choice but to embrace spiritual life, but now I am grateful for this. It makes sense of my life.”

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

About the writer of this article: Antonio Pellot lives in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles and studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy.

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