Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Michael Gallander 03
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Life between life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher
Hildebrandt has left his principality far behind. In 1189, at thirty-one years of age, he is a knight commander with the Third Crusade stationed with his soldiers in the desert near Acre, Palestine. The proud Teuton, wearing white robes emblazoned with a black cross, curses the intolerable heat as a group of Arab women are prodded before him, pleading for their lives.
But their entreaties have no effect on Hildebrandt who glares disdainfully at the captives. All around, the desert is littered with suits of armour belonging to fellow knights, slaughtered in battle. These brave, loyal men had been like brothers to him and his inclination is to weep openly at their loss. Instead, fearing to betray these feelings, Hildebrandt resorts to barbarism. He orders his men to place the diminutive women inside the suits of armour where, pinned to the sand like giant steel crabs, they are baked alive in the hot sun. Their screams are powerless to save them.
Michael was shaking and perspiring when he regained normal consciousness, but the upheaval produced results within hours.
For the first time since childhood he found he was no longer burdened with a fear of being buried alive. Over the next few months, Michael was to observe the vile litany of Hildebrandt's crimes. Once he actually felt himself in the knight's body, on horseback, watching a woman with a baby in her arms begging to be spared.
'I am staring at her the way someone else might stare at a worm,' he later recounted. 'No sympathy, no compassion.'
The act of lowering his lance and running it through the infant and into the mother brought him out of trance with tears running down his cheeks. He knew that he was responsible but wanted neither to accept nor to believe what he had seen. He also knew that as Michael Gallander he was incapable of such callousness. Leaving Dr Whitton's office that day, he wandered distractedly into a nearby park where he stopped to feed the pigeons. Watching the birds swoop and strut to claim the scattered pieces of bread, he wondered how this same man of gentle instincts could have killed a helpless woman. Then again, he reminded himself, even Adolf Hitler loved dogs.