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Listen to “”DID THE MANDELA EFFECT CREEP INTO THE BIBLE?” #ChurchOfTheUndead” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: Are you remember a verse in the bible that isn’t really there? Ever heard of the “lion laying down with the lamb?” If so, then you are suffering the Mandela Effect from the Bible!

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Darren Marlar is a licensed minister through the Universal Life Church: https://www.themonastery.org. Find his other podcast, Weird Darkness, in your favorite podcast app at https://weirddarkness.com/listen. “Church Of The Undead” theme music by Epidemic Sound.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46

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We all know the scene from The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader is battling Luke Skywalker and shortly after cutting off our hero’s hand, he says, “Luke… I Am Your Father!” Millions of us have watched the dramatic sequence endlessly, in fact, it is one of the most famous lines in cinema history.  However, Vader never actually says “Luke”, he simply says “No, I am your father.” If you don’t believe me you can go back and watch the film tonight at home.

How about that iconic scene in Risky Business when Tom Cruise is dancing in his underwear and sunglasses to Bob Segar’s “Old Time Rock And Roll”? Unforgettable, right? Except… there are no sunglasses in that scene despite what you might remember. He wore shades a lot in the film – but not while dancing in his tighty-whities.

This is what has been dubbed “The Mandela Effect” – and it’s not just in movies where we are misremember something that we would swear we know is fact. It crosses into books, cartoons, and public figures – hence how it got its name. And… it also has crept into what we would swear we know is in the bible.


Hello, Weirdos – I’m Pastor Darren – welcome to the Church of the Undead.

Here in the Church of the Undead I can share ideas which are relevant to those who suffer with depression, need some encouragement, and for those who love (or are just curious about) the God of the Bible. And it doesn’t matter if you are a Weirdo-in-Christ or just a Weirdo – everyone is welcome here at the Church of the Undead. And I use the word “undead” because here we are DEAD to sin and ALIVE in Christ! If you want to join this Weirdo congregation, just click that subscribe or follow button – and visit us online at WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH.

Full disclosure – I might use the term “pastor” because I’ve branded this feature as a church – but I do not have a theology degree, nor did I ever go to Bible college. I’m just a guy who gave his life to Christ in 1989 and has tried to “walk the walk” every since – and has stumbled a lot along the way – because, like everybody else, I am an imperfect, heavily-flawed human being. So please don’t take what I say as gospel; dig into God’s word yourself for confirmation, inspiration, and revelation.

That being said, welcome to the Church of the Undead.


In case you’ve never heard of the Mandela Effect – it’s named after Nelson Mandela, or better, it’s named after a cultural phenomenon related to Nelson Mandela. Apparently, several people believed that Mandela died in the 1980s while in prison, though he actually died in 2013 as a free man. We’ve taken this example and have made the phrase “The Mandela Effect” useful to describe any situation where a mass amount of people have the same false memory.

For example… does the Monopoly man have a monocle?

Curious George has a tail, right?

Mickey Mouse wears suspenders, doesn’t he?

Do you remember how the Fruit of the Loom logo once had a cornucopia as part of it? You do? Well, you’d be wrong – it never did.

All of these are examples of the Mandela Effect. The Monopoly man never had a monocle (though, like you, I remember he did). Curious George never had a tail (what kind of a monkey is that?), and Mickey Mouse never wore suspenders (though I can’t picture him in my head without them).

Also – there was never a movie called Shazaam starring Sinbad – but boy will people argue against you on that one!

These are all examples of the Mandela Effect.

There’s a biblical one too. Ready for it?

Have you read that verse about the Lion laying down with the lamb? In the KJV, I think it goes something like this, “And the lion shall lay down with the lamb.” Where is that verse found?

Where Do THINK that Verse Is Found?

An elderly lady asked about this not long ago. She asked a minister about it and said she remembered reading it as a child… but couldn’t find the verse. She looked it up in her concordance and everything and couldn’t find it anywhere. The minister assured her that he had also read the verse and that he thought it was somewhere in Isaiah.

He thumbed through his Bible and found it in Isaiah 11:6.

“The WOLF shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the LION and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” English Standard Version

There it is. Maybe the woman’s KJV version just had “lion” written in rather than “Wolf” for some reason.

But the woman said, “No… my Bible also says ‘the wolf’.” Not the lion.

The pastor scanned the room checking all the various translations he had on the shevles to discover that not one single version had a lion laying down with a lamb.

Maybe that’s from somewhere else? There’s a similar sounding passage in Isaiah 65—but it too has the “wolf and the lamb” grazing together.

Turns out that verse doesn’t exist – yet even a trained, college-educated pastor and minister thought that it did. Even though almost everyone he asked had sworn they had read or heard the verse “the lion shall lie down with the lamb,” it never occurs in Holy Writ.

So How Did This Happen?

If this verse never appeared in Scripture, why do so many believe it does – including myself until I started working on this message? It’s the Mandela Effect right before your eyes. For some reason we all have that same recollection. What happened?

First, I want to know if there are verses in Scripture where lions and lambs are together. The first place actually is Isaiah 11:6. Wolves live with lambs, leopards lay down with goats, and the calf, the lion, and the fattened calf are together. There are several animals listed here, why would we pick out only the lion and the lamb for our collective memories?

The number of animals narrows down a bit in Isaiah 65:25,

“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the LORD.

Here the wolf and the lamb make another appearance together, and now the lion is right there on their heels, this time eating straw like an ox. Wolf, lamb, lion, ox, serpent. Knock off the edges, and we’ve got the lion and the lamb together.

In Revelation 5:5-6 we read of Jesus as both a lamb and lion. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God. These pictures merge into the one Christ. Christ being both the lion and the lamb give us powerful imagery. The wild and ferocious united in the person of Christ with the meek and mild slaughtered lamb.

The metaphor of the lion and the lamb won out, and implanted itself in our collective memories. The idea emerged of a future millennial kingdom where wild animals would peaceably lie down with tame animals. The lion and the lamb dominated that motif. And this was further linked in 1939 when Mahalia Jackson belted out the song “There’ll Be Peace in the Valley for Me.” When there is peace in the valley, this is the image:

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down
By the lamb, oh yes

And when Elvis Presley sang this song on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957, the lion seems to have permanently and peacefully laid down beside the lamb in our cultural conscious. Preachers picked up this metaphor and preached it as biblical imagery. Paintings, songs, book covers, and other memorabilia had the lion and the lamb together. And just like that, “the lion shall lay down with the lamb” becomes a Bible verse in our memory… though not an accurate one, entirely.

Back to the Mandela Effect for a moment. There are some who believe that this is part of a vast conspiracy where the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) started messing with the multiverse, and it changed Bible verses and jumbled our memories. (Something like that).

In that case, Hannibal Lecter really did say, “Hello Clarice” when it’s not true in our current reality.

Humphry Bogart really did say “Play It Again, Sam” while in the film today never utters those precise words.

Captain Kirk really did once say “Beam Me Up, Scotty”.

A little alien really did say, “E.T. Phone Home”.

Freddy Kruger really does wear a black and red striped shirt, not a red and green one.

The evil queen really did say “Mirror Mirror on the Wall” instead of “Magic Mirror on the wall…”

And if CERN really did messup the multiverse, then in this view, Isaiah 11:6 really did once said, “lion and the lamb,” your memory is reality, but we now live in a false or alternative timeline—apparently one in which Curious George lost his tail and the Monopoly guy dropped his monocle. Hannibal never said “Hello, Clarice”… Bogart never said, “Play it again, Sam”… William Shatner never said, “Beam Me Up, Scotty” in the original Star Trek series…

I supposed if we wanted to we could blame all of this on Barry Alan – the Flash – for going back and saving his mom and screwing everything up for the rest of us, including our memories.

But it’s more likely that preachers and ministers (and lay people like us) grab onto metaphors, we jumble up passages of Scripture, it enters into our music, and before you know it, we become convinced of a reality that isn’t actually a reality.

False memories have also been implicated in several serious cases, some fatal. In such instances, false memories have had a dramatic and disturbing impact on people’s lives.

  • False memories have led to lawsuits and financial judgments against therapy providers when false repressed memories of traumatic events have been uncovered in therapy. 6
  • False memories have also led to false accusations and false convictions for various crimes, including sexual abuse. Some defendants who have been convicted of crimes based on false recollections have had their convictions overturned.
  • False memories have been implicated in a number of hot car deaths in which parents have mistakenly left children locked in cars, with deadly results.7

People often read such stories and immediately think, “It could never happen to me. I have an excellent memory.” However, the evidence suggests otherwise. How many of you remember the Monopoly man with a monocle? See my point?

Things like this serve as a reminder that:

A) We trust our memories too much… and…

B) we need to be diligent in studying our Scripture.

There are many things that we simply assume to be true, to be in the Bible, and we settle for “it’s in there somewhere” as an answer to our theological beliefs.

It’s important to know this about ourselves. Our brains are lazy. Our memories, sometimes, aren’t that trustworthy. We can tend to grab ahold of images and metaphors that are powerful—but not necessarily biblical. What is dangerous is that we ascribe the authority of Scriptural proclamation not to what God actually said, but to our false memory—or the false implications we’ve tied together—when, in reality, God never said what we are claiming He said.

Yes, the Mandela Effect (not the weird conspiracy aspects of it) can even impact your Bible reading.

Oh… and by the way… in the movie “The Lord of the Rings”, Gandalf did not say “RUN, you fools!” In fact, he actually said, “Fly, you fools.” Thought you’d want to know.


If you like what you heard, share this episode with others whom you think might also like it. Maybe the person you share it with will want to join this Weirdo congregation too! To join this Weirdo family yourself, find us on Facebook, listen to previous messages, even find out how to join me in my daily bible studies, visit WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. That’s WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. You can find the sources I used for this week’s message in the show notes. I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me, Weirdos. Until next time, Jesus loves you and so do I. God bless.

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