The Kasakhstan Effect

In March 2013, almost one-quarter of the residents of two Kazakhstani villages, Kalachi and Krasnogorsk, started blacking out or falling asleep for no explainable reason. In these small, dusty settlements on the outskirts of the Kazakh Steppe, it was reported that residents would pass into unconsciousness for hours. Some were actually out for up to several days at a time and no one knew why.

They would go unconscious right in the middle of the day while walking on the street, shopping, carrying a child, riding a bike or while working. When they woke up they complained of headaches, memory loss, fatigue, and overall weakness. Every living thing in both villages was being affected, from children to senior citizens and even cats and dogs were overcome by this mysterious force. Children claimed that they had nightmares of winged horses and snakes or worms eating their hands. Rumors flew wild and people were convinced that a curse from the spirit realm had manifested in the villages.

For nearly two years, doctors and researchers were baffled and none of them had a clue as to what was causing the phenomenon. Some attributed the effects to the consumption of tainted vodka, as the town was full of people with Russian ancestry. Others thought it was a strange village wide narcolepsy. One psychologist claimed that they were experiencing mass psychosis and both villages needed serious emotional counseling. Religious leaders even chimed in because they were convinced that the occult was behind what was happening and it had to be a spiritual attack which needed an exorcism of demonic forces.

As a result of the unseen force, the behavior of the villagers changed dramatically. No one wanted to drive a vehicle, few rode horses, wagons or bicycles. Mothers were afraid to carry or bathe their children. No one went swimming, started a fire, worked with chainsaws or any other occupation that was potentially dangerous. Even cooking a family meal on a stove or going outside in cold weather was viewed as nearly impossible. People feared “falling asleep” and the results could be disastrous.  

Then, in 2015, after analyzing the blood work and medical results of all the residents, researchers found the cause. They discovered that the random bouts of midday collapse and unexplained “sleep” were all connected to high levels of Carbon Monoxide and specific hydrocarbons that had been found in the blood of those who were unconscious. Apparently gasses were being release in massive amounts from some unknown source and they were periodically flowing down into the two villages. After some digging in local and government records, the source was uncovered. The culprit was a hastily closed Soviet uranium mine which had not been properly seal off.

Gasses were collecting in massive amounts within the mine and then found a way to vent from the unsealed mine into the air. The vented gas was heavier than the surrounding atmosphere and it would sink to the lowest point, which happened to be the two villages. Each “bubble” of deadly gas caused lower oxygen levels in the air and when it rolled into the village, those it flowed over blacked out. The scary party is that had conditions been just right, every living soul could have been silently suffocated by this invisible killer, and no one would have known why.

The above drives home a very important but often overlooked truth. We cannot always take everything that happens at face value. What something appears to look like on the surface could in fact, be very, very different from what the truth actually is. Until something is fully examined, better understood and the facts made known, you only end up with an opinion that is filled with unproven speculation. Without the facts you can’t come to a valid conclusion!

It is never easy to be the focus of unwarranted aggression, or to tolerate a politician you are convinced is a self-promoting, sociopathic liar. That being said, I want you to consider something else as well. It possible that the one you find so repulsive is under an invisible force, like the gas in those villages, and you just don’t see it. Could it be that they are actually being influenced by the unseen noxious memories, inner hurts, personal tragedy or past emotional and physical abuse? Don’t misunderstand what I just said. I am NOT excusing inexcusable behavior! What I am saying is quite simple. Such things lurking in the mind and emotions of a person, could be the source of what is manifesting, but it looks like something else.  

Remember, all those villagers were impacted profoundly for two years and it changed their behavior, yet they could not see and did not know it was there. The gas arrived unnoticed, did it’s work and then left with hardly a trace. It is important to note that even after the people recovered, there were still side effects and sickness that had to be overcome so life could continue. It might not have been normal life, but it was the life they were left with, and they had to walk it out on a daily basis as best they could.

Perhaps those you encounter, whom you find so intolerable, have been caught in the grip of unseen forces. They may be living out life in fear, as best they can, with the circumstance that is now theirs. That behavior, that lifestyle or that belief they now cling to could simply the aftermath of a silent, deadly force that nearly took them away. Could it be that your contact with them is God’s way of showing His love to them? Could you be God’s agent to bring them the healing they so desperately need?

If you only look as the surface of people, the obvious “facts” about them will mislead you. My challenge to all who read this blog is to go beyond the surface in every life you encounter. Dig into the records, like those researchers in Kasakhstan, and uncover the truth. Move past the behavior, the speech and the beliefs that all seem so repulsive, and start digging into the heart of the person. Uncover the unseen forces that have shaped them, and you might just find the key to understanding them that can save their life and brig them to Christ.

The adventure called "life" is best lived out with others. Some lives you encounter will be pretty broken and others might be relatively healthy. Regardless of the condition, each is worthy to be helped along the way. In helping others discover the best in life, you will also discover the best that is within yourself. This is Christianity at it’s core and it is the life Jesus called us to live. My question today is, will you rise to the challenge and uncover the truth in those difficult people you encounter, or will continue to let the unseen focus your world and rule the lives of those you are supposed to help? Only you can answer that importnat question! If you answer correctly it will set you free and can literally rescue those who might otherwise be just one more casualty in life. May advise... go out there and uncover the truth and then set free everyone you meet. That is the life worth living and the one I want to have!