A Course in Miracles and the Occult

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2012
The spiritistic nature of A Course in Miracles is obvious. Several themes that it has in common with spiritistic revelations are: 1) spirit dictation to a disinterested or hesitant party; 2) forcing production of the revelations; 3) unbiblical content; 4) encouraging psychic guidance. The wholesale denial of God’s Word and God’s Son is also typical of spiritistic revelations in general.

Contents

A Course in Miracles and the Occult

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

The spiritistic nature of A Course in Miracles is obvious. Several themes that it has in common with spiritistic revelations are: 1) spirit dictation to a disinterested or hesitant party; 2) forcing production of the revelations; 3) unbiblical content; 4) encouraging psychic guidance. The wholesale denial of God’s Word and God’s Son is also typical of spiritistic revelations in general.[1]

Again, these spiritistic themes identify the author of the Course as a demonic spirit When the Course actively promotes another Jesus, a different spirit, and a false gospel, the Scripture declares that its origin must be demonic (2 Cor. 11:3-4,13-15). Significantly, even Course editor and promoter, psychologist Kenneth Wapnick, commented that “if the Bible were considered literally true, then the Course would have to be viewed as demonically inspired.”[2] This is why the Bible itself warns, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world…. Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist…” (1 John 4:1-3).

Because false christs and false prophets are in the world, and lying spirits associated with them, Scripture warns that all who proclaim a false gospel are liable to eternal judgment: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned” (Gal. 1:8).

That the eventual production of the Course was supernaturally arranged behind the scenes by demonic initiative will be obvious to those familiar with the methods of spiritual warfare revealed in Scripture and in the history of occult revelations. The official version of the story is found in Journey Without Distance: The Story Behind A Course in Miracles (Celestial Arts, 1984) by Robert Skutch. Apparently, complex human events and encounters were carefully (and miraculously) arranged via otherworldly initiative to ensure its production.

The extent of this occult collaboration, and the power it represents on the part of the spirit world to influence human affairs, is not small; but in light of biblical revelation, neither is it unexpected (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:19). Similar manipulations of events and people are found in the lives of innumerable psychics, occultists, and mediums.[3] As Dr. Schucman confesses, “The birth of A Course in Miracles could not have occurred as it did without every single one of the cast being in the right place at the right time.”[4]

The Course content also promotes occultism and spiritistic guidance, which is another characteristic goal of demonic revelations:

There are, of course, no “unnatural” powers…. Certainly there are many “psychic” powers that are clearly in line with this course. Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes…. The seemingly new abilities that may be gathered on the way can be very helpful…. They are valuable teaching aids…. Nothing that is genuine is used to deceive. The Holy Spirit is incapable of deception, and He can use only genuine abilities…. Any ability that anyone develops has the potentiality for good. To this there is no exception. And the more unusual and unexpected the power, the greater its potential usefulness. Salvation has need of all abilities, for what the world would destroy the Holy Spirit would restore…. The Holy Spirit needs these gifts, and those who offer them to Him and Him alone go with Christ’s gratitude upon their hearts.[5]

One text comments on the Course as follows, “Based largely on the power of affirmation, it provides a way by which some people can find their own ‘internal teacher,’ to guide them much in the [spiritistic] sense that we have been referring to…. The underlying principle is the same as Seth’s central teaching and the findings of modern psychology: Our internal beliefs create what is perceived as reality, and we are imprisoned by the cage of our wrong beliefs.”[6]

Not surprisingly, Volume 2 of the Course ends with the promise of psychic guidance:

Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice….

No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God…. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own.

And now I place you in His hands, to be his faithful followers, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real…. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He [is] of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end.

The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make…. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.[7]

As an example of the psychic guidance people have been led to accept through the Course, many people have received the author of the Course (“Jesus”) as their personal spirit guide—in other words, a demon cleverly impersonating Jesus. In his Good-Bye to Guilt, Gerald Jampolsky confesses that “Jesus” became his spirit guide and even possesses him, to act and speak through him.

To my complete surprise, I began to develop what I would call a personal relationship with Jesus…. He demonstrated that death was not real, that life is eternal, and that minds can communicate with each other forever, even after the body has been laid aside.

I began to feel his presence in me, and at times I actually felt he was acting through me as an extension of his thoughts, his words, and his actions. I became absorbed by his message that the world could be transformed if all of us would practice forgiveness. At first, I was concerned about what other people might think of me, so I kept my relationship with Jesus a secret.

As my relationship with Jesus has become more comfortable, I am now less concerned about what others might say, and today a prominent picture of Jesus hangs in my living room over the fireplace…. In a way which I cannot fully explain, I have chosen Jesus as my teacher….[8]

Jampolsky believes that learning to listen to “the inner voice” is one of three key concepts of the Course[9]:

The voice of love goes by many names, such as the voice of God, Holy spirit, voice of knowing, inner teacher, inner voice, inner guide, and intuition…. It comes from… the God-self, that is in the center of our being—always there to answer and give us directions in response to any questions that we may ask.

In order to hear this inner guidance, we need to learn to still our minds, have the faith and a little willingness to ask for help—and expect to have our request answered. The voice, or guidance, can come to us as a thought; it can be experienced as inner dictation, or it can be a visualized form….[10]

Dr. Jampolsky has had such amazing experiences by listening to his inner voice (such as an unexpected meeting with Mrs. Anwar Sadat, apparently also a psychic) that he now follows its guidance “even when it seems irrational.”[11] Even the dead themselves may be contacted, although the practice is explicitly condemned in Deuteronomy 18:10-12:

Let us know that “communication is never broken, even when the body is destroyed, provided that we do not believe that bodies are essential for communication.” Isn’t that what Jesus taught the world by the resurrection?[12]

No, this is not what Jesus taught. What Jesus taught by His resurrection was that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6); and, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). Jesus would never promote contact with the dead when the Word of God specifically prohibits it. The Bible warns that no one is to become “a medium or a spiritist, or [a person] who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD” (Deut. 18:11-12).

In summary, A Course in Miracles alleges to be the supernatural revelation of a personal, powerful, and controlling psychic “voice” claiming to be Jesus Christ. This “revelation” was given through a skeptical and somewhat fearful atheistic research psychologist over a period of almost eight years. Course content, however, promotes psychic guidance and the occult, adamantly denies Jesus Christ, and is intensely antibiblical in its teachings.


  1. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Coming Darkness, eBook.
  2. Dean C. Halverson, “Seeing Yourself as Sinless,” SCP Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1987, “Sinless,” p. 23.
  3. e.g., the editors of Psychic magazine, Psychics: In-depth Interviews (NY: Harper & Row, 1972).
  4. James Bolen, “Interview: William N. Thetford,” New Realities, Vol. 6, No. 1, July/August, 1984 (Part 1), p. 22.
  5. A Course in Miracles, Volume 3, Manual for Teachers (Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1977), pp. 59-60.
  6. Willis Harman, Howard Rheingold, Higher Creativity: Liberating the Unconscious for Breakthrough Insights (Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1984), p. 117.
  7. A Course in Miracles, Volume 2: Workbook for Students (Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1977), pp. 477-78.
  8. Gerald Jampolsky, Good-Bye To Guilt: Releasing Fear Through Forgiveness (NY: Bantam, 1985), pp. 62-64.
  9. Ibid., p. 5.
  10. Ibid., p. 52.
  11. Ibid., p. 56.
  12. Ibid., p. 136.

4 Comments

  1. ACIM on June 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    A Course in Miracles works directly with the mind to release all thoughts of judgment, guilt, sickness, fear, and death (the ego thought-system) through forgiveness and miracles. This mind-training program brings you into a deeper relationship with your internal teacher, so it can guide you through this cleansing and purifying process. This returns the mind back to its natural, awakened state.

  2. Nondual Teachers on June 17, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    With willingness to question every thought and value that I hold, A Course in Miracles promises that its teachings cannot fail! I am blown wide-open with gratitude and love for this book and for the clear teachings of David Hoffmeister. They are unwinding me from the cruel and harsh belief in a world of victims and victimizers that I perceived, to a new way of seeing, and of being more consistently aware, joyful, and at peace!
    ~Ann

  3. Non dual Teachers on June 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Nondual and Forgiveness

    The nondual teachings from the Text of A Course In Miracles are the escape from illusions of error and lack. The Spirit of Giving as God Gives, freely and without expectation or condition, ensures a Happiness that is ever Present in awareness and truly not of this world. Give as God Gives is so obvious and so easy to a mind at Peace. Nothing could be simpler or more natural for a Child of God. Yet this world made by the ego was an attempt to deny the simple and the natural and the obvious. The false “sight” of fragmented perception must be released for the Sight of the Holy Spirit (Vision of Christ) to be experienced.

    My beloved sisters and brothers, it is impossible to maintain a belief in linear time and a linear identity and know the Peace of God. Let go of all linear conceptions of community, relationship, and let the stepping stone Guidance be the only way you seem to interact with the world and its dream figures. Give your mind over to the experience of nonduality. Give your Love from your Heart, and be not concerned or worried for anything of the past or the future. The game of time is almost over in awareness and never was in Eternity. Kiss it good-bye for once and for all, and the Spirit of Giving the Attitude of God’s Love is all that our Holy Mind can Identify with Now. The Way of Mastery through Love is the Way of Giving as God Gives.

    Your earthly houses have never sheltered your Loving Heart, Which has ever remained invulnerable and beyond time and space. Your bodies have never protected the tiny gap of the ego from exposure and release. All lies and deceptions have been brought to Light and therefore no longer need to be maintained or protected. The humbleness of Innocence is our Inheritance, the Heavenly Kingdom of Spirit that needs no defense and Stands Eternally without a trace of pretense.

    The Happy Game of forgiveness is now at hand. It is not a game that people play, for they are but figures in a Perspective that the Whole Mind beholds as ItSelf. In Quantum Physics and in Rumi poetry this has been called the Field. Join in the Field and Be Happy! No longer concern your holy mind with the little things of time and space, but be of Good Cheer that the need for paying close attention to specifics is fading fast. Nonduality and abstraction Calls your awareness Deeper and Deeper inwards, and your Heart rejoices in the Lightness of Being.

  4. Sheila Bliss on July 11, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Psychologist Kenneth Wapnick,commented that “if the Bible were considered literally true, then the Course would have to be viewed as demonically inspired,” because he wasn’t looking for why BOTH are literally true. “…seek and you will find…” (Mt.7:7). Sola Scriptura – explain nothing of A Course in Miracles outside the confines of what Scripture (Blible) says. If ACIM doesn’t make sense, find that same concept in the Bible in the context of making sense of ACIM. Ephesians 4:4-6 New International Version (NIV) 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Look for how ACIM makes sense through use of Scripture, and it will make sense.

Leave a Comment





MOST POPULAR
RECENT ARTICLES