Are Public Schools Teaching Our Children New Age Religious Views? – Program 5

By: Johanna Michaelson, Craig Branch; ©1992
Even children as young as kindergarten age are being introduced to spirit guides. Of course, they don’t know that they are inviting demons into their minds.

How Can We Protect Our Children from Harmful Influences?


Announcer: Many parents used to ask their children without fear: What did you do at school today? But now, many, many parents are experiencing shock when they find out what their child is being taught in their local public school.


Eric Buehrer: We need to warn parents today that education has taken a dangerous turn. There are those in the public schools who want to turn the child against the values of the parent; turn the child against the values of the church; even turn them against the values that we have as an American government. Our system of democracy and freedom – those things are being destroyed by some in education and we need to be aware that occultism, Eastern mysticism, even socialism are being taught in the public schools today. Parents need to know what’s going on.
Announcer: So, are the public schools teaching our children New Age occult and religious views?
Johanna Michaelsen: Picture if you will, a scene where little children are stretched out on the floor, told to take deep breaths, and are taken in their minds to a special place – a temple where they meet a holy, wise person, a guide, their own wise person, who will give them the meaning of life. Picture a place where little children are introduced to those spirit guides, where they’re taught the basics of astrology, chanting “Om,” the basics of yoga. Your local ashram? No! These things, under the guise of the latest educational psychology, are being taught to your children in the local schools.
Announcer: If you are concerned about your children and what they are learning at your local public school, then I invite you to join us for today’s program.

Ankerberg: Many people are not aware of how prevalent New Age religious ideas and occult practices are in public school education. But you know, as far back as 1984, in testimonials before the United States Department of Education, the following list of New Age practices were reported to have been taught in public school classrooms: How to do horoscopes; conduct séances; use a Ouija board; meditate; role-play characters such as spiritists and warlocks; cast a witch’s circle; and read occult literature.
Now, if these occult practices were taught in classrooms in 1984, what do you think is taking place there today? Well, Johanna Michaelsen and Eric Buehrer have both authored books on this topic and they’re going to tell us about some of the curriculums and programs they have found in the public schools today that are introducing our children to occult practices such as meditation, guided imagery, and visualization. Listen:
Ankerberg: Would this go down in 7th or 8th grade or lower?
Michaelsen: Try kindergarten.
Ankerberg: Kindergarten?
Michaelsen: Many of the school districts, in fact, it’s picking up now across the country bringing it in at the earliest levels. Teaching the little kids how to meditate. For example, I’ve got here a book that is written by a women named Deborah Rozman. Her materials are now being promoted very heavily not only in California but in school districts across the country. A lot of parents are going to be seeing this woman’s name. She writes materials, “Meditating for Children,” “Meditating with Children.” You’ve got these beautiful little tykes there with their little faces all screwed up and they’re teaching them how to do this even in kindergarten.
Ankerberg: Under what guise? In other words, what title would they put that under?
Michaelsen: Relaxation.
Ankerberg: Relaxation for what? Even in kindergarten kids have stress?
Michaelsen: Oh, absolutely.
Buehrer: Oh, yeah. They’re hyperactive. They come in from recess all hyped up, we’ve got to calm them down. In Washington for instance, in Ferndale, Washington, it’s called calm down time, any term that says calm down, relax, reduce your stress. Jack Canfield, a leading New Ager, said a few years ago that the reason why they must target children is because children are closer to the spirits, not being encumbered by all the adult experiences that we’ve experienced so far. They’re more open and listen to the spirits. So actually we can be guided in the future by getting children contact with spirits and then the children will lead us because they’re more open to the spiritual.
Michaelsen: But even back in the 70s, in 1978, he wrote an article called “Education in the New Age.” He acknowledges that the key technique in their New Age, transpersonal, you might use the term holistic, consciousness education, perhaps confluent education would be a term that you hear. He said, “The key technique that we use to begin introducing the kids to these experiences is guided imagery visualization.” Now, that’s really very interesting, and I dedicated a whole chapter in Like Lambs to the Slaughter to that because there’s this myth now that this is just a neutral technique, that you can use guided imagery visualization in the churches to contact Jesus.
The fact is, John, that it is one of the most dangerous, one of the most ancient deadly techniques for contacting spirit beings, spirit guides. The Bible calls them demons. Let’s call them what they are. The New Age educators will say, “Oh, well, call it your higher self,” like Canfield does. Call it your “wise person.” Call it your “counselors,” your “dear friends.” Make up names. Whatever you want. What they’re talking about is spirit guides.
Ankerberg: Now, which school curriculums are teaching our young children how to meet their imaginary wise person, their imaginary animal friend who talks to them, or their spirit guide? Well, the most popular are DUSO the Dolphin, Pumsy the Dragon, the Quest program, and Mission SOAR. Yet there are a variety of others that all follow a similar pattern. The parents really want to know what exactly do young children do in school who are taught these programs? Johanna Michaelsen has attended many of these classes and she describes what takes place. Listen.
Michaelsen: So the key thing that parents might come across for example, say in a kindergarten class or in a gym class or in their math class, you’ll see it a lot in art classes, the teachers will have the children turn down the lights, maybe in a classroom such as this, where they’ll turn the shades and turn out the lights, they’ll tell the children to take deep breaths and calm down to relax and kids let all the tension drain from their little bodies. Then, as they’re having them inhale and relax and exhale, then they say now see yourself walking through this beautiful place.
Kung Fu is one of the meditations that Jack Canfield used. He said, “Yeah, you know what, kids?” (A group of six graders in a Los Angeles public classroom.) He said, “You know, do you guys remember how Michael Caine from the movie Kung Fu had this special guide that he would go and talk to whenever he had a real problem?” And all the little kids nodded yes. He said, “well, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a special guide like that?” He said, “Well, tell you what we’ll do. Stretch out, relax, take deep breaths,” then in a very quiet tone of voice – the correct term there would be hypnotic tone of voice – he gives them basic induction techniques of hypnotism, takes them down into this quiet hypnotic state, the same techniques I used when I was becoming a medium and working in Silva Mind Control. Then he leads them in their minds to this beautiful mountain.
And, John, the language of this Kung Fu meditation is fascinating to watch because he says now go up this beautiful mountain and he has them feel it. Now there’s a temple at the top of this mountain, now, take off your shoes before you enter the temple. Now, to me it was reminiscent of “remove the sandals from off thy feet, for the ground on which you are standing is holy ground” [Ex. 3:5]. I mean, I almost expected that to come through. Then he said, “Now, walk, and you’ll see this beautiful temple filled with candles and there, at the far end of the temple you’ll see a wise old person, just like Michael Caine had. Now, go and ask him a question about yourself or your life or anything you want. Now wait, listen for the answer.
Then when the children came back he asked them – and you know, it was incredible the almost supernatural insight some of these kids had that their spirit guide, their new friend had given them. One little girl asked her guide the meaning of life, and she said her guide just held up a mirror to her. And Canfield said, “Do you know what that meant?” And, of course, anybody who has watched Shirley MacLaine or read any of the Hindu material knows what the guide was saying to this child was, “You look within for the answers.” And the little girl got it. She said, “Everything is within me. Life is what I choose to make it.” Canfield was amazed, as well he should have been, because unless that child had been raised in a Hindu occult home, then that child had no other way of getting that kind of answer except from the demon that actually provided it for her.
Ankerberg: Some people might be out there saying, “Hey, I want my kid to relax. I want my kid to have these experiences. I want them to delve into it.” What’s wrong with that?
Buehrer: Well, what’s wrong with it is, one, when they’re doing that, first of all, they’re putting them in a hypnotic trance. For instance, in the program Mission SOAR, it’s undoubtedly a hypnotic state that they’re putting them in. In fact, the program is so close to another program called “Beyond Hypnosis,” which is blatantly an occultic program, that you can actually accuse them of plagiarizing out of that program. They’re hypnotizing the kids and then giving them autosuggestion in how to relax, that when you see certain colors that you will automatically relax. I don’t think parents send their kids to school to be hypnotized. But that’s just on one level.
The second level is, once they get into the hypnotic state, they are inviting spiritual beings to come to them and this program is very blatant. It says, “Hey, kids, we’re going to teach you a method where you can contact somebody who is either living or dead. It doesn’t matter if they’re real or imaginary, living or dead, after today you’ll be able to contact them.” That’s why I spend a whole chapter just exposing this program because when you put it side by side with occult programs, the words, the phrases, the meanings are identical and parents don’t understand.
Ankerberg: Now it seems that everybody wants to know, “What’s the difference between using your imagination in a proper sense and using your imagination so that it starts to parallel occult techniques?” If a child visualizes that he’s shooting a basketball, when does his visualization of that act enter the realm of the occult? Eric Buehrer explains:
Buehrer: Oftentimes I get called about visualization, and is this good for my child or not good for my child. And I’ll often use the illustration of the basketball and I’ll say, “You know, if I visualize myself shooting a basketball, really what I’m doing is I’m prolonging the signals that go from my brain to my arm in terms of how hard to shoot the ball, what angle and so forth. And so if I visualize myself doing it I’m prolonging that process that normally takes place in a split second. The New Ager, the spiritualist, the mystic would say that once the ball leaves my hand, I still can control it with my mind. I can visualize and make it happen. Or I can visualize talking to someone across a room and I can actually communicate with them. This is where you’ve gone into a spiritual dimension and so again, the difference is between physiological and the spiritual.
Ankerberg: Next, I asked adolescent psychiatrist Dr. George Twente the same question. What’s the difference between guided imagery, hypnosis, visualization and one’s own legitimate use of the imagination? This is what he said:
Twente: What is the difference between guided imagery/hypnosis and visualization and imagination. That’s a very important issue. And it does cause a lot of anxiety and anger and confusion. Once again, let’s go over the steps in hypnosis or guided imagery, because it’s the same thing. Number one, you’ve got a relationship with an authority figure. Number two, you must induce a relaxed state of mind where the conscious mind starts to relax enough to go to sleep, almost asleep. The next thing you have to do is you have to distract the conscious mind to something that will keep it from thinking about something that you’re really doing – such as the watch swinging. Your conscious mind is being distracted. Or, most commonly in the field of hypnosis you will have that person imagine something, something that doesn’t exist.
Okay, now you’re to the point where you can do hypnotic suggestion; that a person will be suggested that they can do certain things they can’t normally do or remember things they can’t normally remember, or start to believe things about themselves that aren’t real. This is where you get in a suggestible state of mind without discrimination, you are not in control. The child is not in control. And I’m going to have to do something to bring you out of that state of mind such as getting you to wiggle your fingers or wiggle your toes or I have to turn on the light or get some sensory input to break you out of it. This is hypnosis/guided imagery. Okay.
Your English teacher, your literature teacher, poetry, or whatever it is, is saying, “I want you all to imagine this story as I read it to you.” And they just start to read it. Well, a child…most children can daydream anyway, it’s a natural part of their mind. It’s their imagination. And it can be very creative. So they start to think about it and they see the scene, with symbols that they understand but they’re choosing to do it and then when you finish, they followed your story. You don’t have to do anything to bring them out of it. If you do, then you need to be concerned about how suggestible this child is and say something to their parents.
So you pay attention to what they’re doing. But you haven’t gone through a process of put them in a relaxed state of mind, distracting their conscious mind, and then suggesting a reality that they’re not using their own discrimination to filter out, and then have to bring them out of it. So, if I tell you that you’re getting ready to run a race. You’ve done it before. I want you to figure out how you can do it better. You sit there and you think real hard on it and you see it, you think about it and all this and you analyze it. You’re in control; you’re choosing to do it. If you’re following in a story that you just happen to want to embellish with your imagination, you’re choosing to get into it; you’re coming out of it. You’re not being told that you’re going to be able to do things that are supernatural; that are unrealistic, or ways to dissociate yourself from reality.
Ankerberg: Now, psychiatrists believe that these programs can be dangerous. Dr. William Coulson has two earned Ph.D.s. He is a licensed psychologist and was an associate of the late Carl Rogers. He tells why these programs can be harmful. Listen:
Coulson: What if a teacher conducted a hypnotism exercise on the kids and wasn’t able to bring them back? There’s a program called the Michigan Model of Comprehensive Health Education where in the seventh grade the teachers read the kids down into a trance by counting backwards from ten. “Ten, nine, eight, you’re getting sleepier and sleepier.” Well, they’re not competent to do that! And Dr. Lazarus is suggesting there are a lot of fully trained professionals who might better think twice about what they’re doing.
There is, for example, in a program called “Get Set” in Topeka, Kansas. It’s supposed to be an alcohol education program, and instead, they’re instructing the children “visualize on the screen inside of your mind total darkness, total blackness. If any thoughts come into your mind you do not want, visualize surrounding them in a bubble and letting them float up out of your conscious.” And this goes on for three pages and the children are led into a peaceful glade and a campfire within themselves somewhere. And then, suddenly, they meet the “wise person.” You become aware that the “wise person” asks you to share a problem or a concern that has been troubling you. Think of a problem or a worry that you have had and ask “wise person” for assistance. Now listen carefully for “wise person’s” response. What did you hear?
Well, there are people who are knowledgeable about Eastern religions – I’m not one of them – but they say these are spirit guides. And I say, “Maybe so.” But look at the alternative. Maybe it’s the child himself who is being tricked into thinking that he’s wise but he’s not wise. If he doesn’t have input, nothing is going to come out of there except disaster.
Ankerberg: Now, Eric Buehrer and Johanna Michaelsen cite another reason why parents should be concerned that witchcraft, the occult, the supernatural all are appearing in our school curriculums as well as in our comic books, cartoons and movies. Such themes, they say, are conditioning our children, desensitizing them to the occult. And such desensitizing may lead children to be more open to experimenting with the occult later in life. Listen:
Michaelsen: It shows up every so often in things like turtles and the magic crystal. Well, crystals, of course, are quite the rage as part of the New Age Movement. Some segments of the New Age Movement believe that the crystals are living things that can transmit energy to them and help them become enlightened. And they’ve got now this thing about these crystals that are able to provide power and special materialization and information for them. So it is rather interesting where you see it coming out in any number of their books and stories and collections. So what you are talking about is a very violent killer cult that is now been trivialized in some way, but still teaching the children the basics of occult meditation.
Ankerberg: Okay.
Michaelsen: And I think parents definitely need to be aware of that.
Buehrer: I think the important thing, too, in all of this is that, you know people say, “Oh, you kill-joy! You don’t want kids to have fun with cartoons.” And it is not really that. It’s simply that with a continual bombardment of cartoons about the occult and about special powers and so forth, it desensitizes a child to the occult so that when they grow up and they read something from Shirley MacLaine or from these other more popular New Agers, it will seem like, “Well, I grew up on this. What’s wrong with this?”
Michaelsen: Well, that’s exactly, I think, what we saw happening with the parents of the children today. They grew up watching Casper the friendly ghost. Well, what’s wrong with Casper the friendly ghost? Well, you listen to the lyrics. Here you’ve got the spirit of this good little boy, Casper, and you know he is the spirit of the little boy because I watched one cartoon where they showed his grave stone and it said “Casper” on it. And you got Casper the friendly ghost, the friendliest ghost I know. Parents don’t understand. The children all love him so. And he is battling the nasty ghosts who are out there saying boo and scaring little kids. And, of course, he is trying to get little kids, hey, don’t be scared of me. I’m a good ghost.
And so, of course, then when Star Wars came, and they say the parents were looking at this and there you see the good side of the force and the bad side of the force. The good witches and the bad witches. The Luke Skywalker and the Darth Vader. They think, yeah, what’s wrong with that? But you know, it is interesting, because some of this material which we consider just fun and entertainment, when you read the material written by the developers of the stuff themselves, you find out they really have a very definite purpose and intent.
Buehrer: Again, it’s a desensitization.
Michaelsen: Exactly.
Ankerberg: What’s the difference, some people would say, “Hey, it’s just a passing fad and the fact is, we’ve had other fads that have been in past history and didn’t hurt the kids that much.” What would you say to that, Eric?
Buehrer: Well, I wouldn’t say it is a fad, I’d say it is a trend. A fad, you know, has a lifespan of about 18 months or something. But a trend is something that you see building, and this is what we’re seeing. We’re seeing it build over the last 20 years in education and in movies and in books and on television and in popular thought. Surveys now today show that increasing number of people believe in karma and reincarnation and extraterrestrials and all these different things. It’s because of this enculturation through popular media.
Michaelsen: Exactly.

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