Miranda Gothard came to Samoa in May 2016 because a voice told her to do so.
The 30-year old is originally from Chicago and believes that she is the Second Coming.
Her story began on July 7, 2007 in Macomb, Illinois where she was studying at the Western Illinois University.
On that day I had a very spiritual experience, she said.
She returned from a night-out to the summer house she was living in and suddenly heard a voice.
“n America, if you hear voices you are schizophrenic. However, it was not in my head, as much as the trees whispered, the ground shook, the lightning lit up the sky.“
The voice told her to get into the swimming pool. Fully clothed she followed and floated in the pool. She started shivering, when the voice told her that she was not cold.
“At that moment I decided not to be cold and I stopped shivering.“
She went up on the top landing of the building and looked into a mirror.
“For some reason, I was terrified of my own reflection. How often, when we look into the mirror, do we actually see ourselves?“
“Miranda, you are the second coming,” the voice spoke to her.
“Sometimes I try to believe that it was government technology beaming lasers into my brain as if I was some sort of science project,” she admitted.
“That summer, until the end of August, I was what I call, ‘in the spirit’“
Her roommates and friends were freaked out by her behaviour and started to distance themselves. Lastly, she wanted to make physical change as well and chose to buzz her hair all the way down.
“I knew that whatever spiritual journey I was on, that chapter had come to an end. The only way to prove I was okay was to go is to cut your hair off.“
She wanted to lose the memories she carried with her every day and let go of ‘that phase‘ was how she called it.
“Everything you endure, grows and stays with you.“
At this point people stopped tolerating her behavior.
If she left a candle lit, she was trying to burn the house down or if she let the puppy out, she was trying to kill the dog.
People were talking about Miranda.
“They stopped allowing my behavior and started finding ways to justify wrong-doing in my actions.“
She was admitted to the Springfield Mental Hospital in London at 20 years old.
“I denied everything. None of it was real, but it all really happened.“
She took pills for a long time, which raised the feeling of emptiness on the inside, not being able to hold a proper conversation.
“Is that normal? In order to be this confined, controlled example of a good outstanding citizen, you have to be dead on the inside? Is this right?“
She went off the medicine but still had to deal with the backlash of having taken the medicine with seizures for example.
But what brought Miranda to Samoa?
“In ten years you will be here”, the voice told her. She did not know where Samoa was, has never talked to people about it nor seen it on the map. Now she has been in the country for six months.
“It is a safe zone. America is ruled by fear. Here a young girl can embrace the stigmata,“
She is referring to Toaipuapuaga Opapa, a young Samoan girl, who claimed to have stigmata at Easter 2016.
She gets ridiculed on Facebook, but at the end of the day, they go to see her, they write stories about her in the newspaper. She has the freedom of liberty to embrace whatever higher power she sees fit.“
In Samoa, Miranda feels like she gets to be normal.
At the moment, she is an overstayer.
Her work visa was never applied for and until last week, she worked at the Coral Reef Academy, a school for troubled teenage boys.
“I adored, respected, admired the students.“
She contacted the U.S. Embassy a few weeks ago to get her out of the country. However she noticed she would not have a place to go in the States. So she decided to stay in Samoa. To stay here, she would go to University and get her Bachelor’s degree in order to be a chiropractic doctor.
Miranda wants other people to know about her story.
“Should I just sit around alone with these thoughts or do I allow and invite others to have an opinion to enable or to deny.
“Let’s just face it. I have been doing this for a long time and I need some help.“