Is It Safe for You to Trust Your Health to the Holistic Health Practices of Today? – Program 6

By: Dr. Norman Shealy, Dr. Robert Leightman, Dr. Jane Gumprecht, Dr. Paul Reisser, Dr. John Weldon; ©1994
Have many patience been unwittingly exposed to spiritism through healthcare?

An Open Invitation to Spiritism


Today on the John Ankerberg Show, four medical doctors and a Christian theologian will debate the question: Is it safe for people to trust their health to the new unconventional medical therapies? The New England Journal of Medicine reports that one-third of all American adults now seek out and use unconventional medical treatments and holistic health practices. By definition, an unconventional medical therapy is a practice that not in conformity with the standards of the scientific medical community. But if so, how can the public know which therapies are safe? Who has tested the principles upon which each holistic health practice claims it can cure illness? And what about harmful spiritual effects? Haven’t some holistic health treatments incorporated parts of occult belief and practice?

During this series, doctors representing all sides of these issues will discuss the individual holistic health practices by name, and express how they may impact your physical and spiritual well-being.

My guests are: Dr. Norman Shealy, the founder of the holistic health medical association in America. He is a neurosurgeon and former professor of medicine at Harvard university; Dr. Robert Leichtman, a medical doctor, who is also recognized as one of the premier psychics in America; Dr. Jane Gumprecht, a Christian doctor who has warned the public about many holistic health practices; Dr. Paul Reisser, also a Christian doctor, who has written extensively on the medical dangers of unconventional health methods; and finally, Christian theologian Dr. John Weldon, who did his Ph.D. work on the beliefs and practices of the eastern religions. We invite you to join us as we investigate the question: is it safe for you to trust your health to the holistic health practices of today?

Ankerberg: Welcome. Did you know that the major distinctive of holistic medicine is that it claims to deal with the whole person—mind, body and spirit? But stop and think about that. If holistic medicine claims it can treat the spirit, where did it get the information to do so? In medical school no doctor has ever been taught a definition of “spirit,” much less taught how to diagnose and cure in that realm. Why? Because “spirit” has always been recognized as a religious term. Someone who claims he can treat your spirit is really practicing religion on you. So when holistic health practitioners claim they are treating you, what religion is being passed off as medical science under the label of that particular treatment? For most holistic health practices, the answer to that question is obvious. It is a mixture of eastern religious beliefs and occult philosophy.
Recently an NBC special on holistic health kept referring to the ancient wisdom from the past which modern day holistic health practices depend upon. But the term “ancient wisdom” usually referred to ancient occult beliefs and spiritistic practices.
Now, what is spiritism? It is the communication with entities alleged to be the spirits of people who have died or other highly evolved spirits that have come to help man on earth. But the Bible defines all spiritistic practices as communication with evil spirits, demons. Now, these take their orders from Satan.
Our topic today is: “Do some holistic health therapies—under the disguise of legitimate medicine—introduce unsuspecting people to spiritism?” Our answer is “yes.” And if you listen carefully to the program, you’ll understand why.
Also, I would ask that you stay tuned for my comments at the end of this program in which I will outline for you how most of the founders of the major holistic health practices today were directly or indirectly involved with what the Bible calls spiritism. Now, realize, we are not saying that every New Age medical technique has its origin directly in the spirit world, but much of it does. And to the extent that the practice you might be involved in depends on an occult source of power, we want to warn you and say that the God of the Bible considers occult involvement a serious matter. Christians are to avoid it wherever it is found. With this in mind, let’s go to our program with our five doctors.

Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re glad you’ve joined us this week. We’re talking about a very interesting topic. And the topic is: “Should New Age holistic health techniques be cataloged as quackery or the new wave of medicine?” And we’ve got five doctors on the platform. And Dr. Leichtman, let me come to you. And in holistic health, obviously the difference between that and the scientific basis, and, of course, that’s not a completely straight definition, but for the most part, you’re treating not only the body but the mind and the spirit—the whole person. That’s where we’re talking about “holistic.” Now, I think most people agree that you got your degree—both of you guys, I mean, Harvard and some of the best schools in the country—you got the scientific training, okay? How many years? Four years in terms of that and internship. I mean, you’ve been a student forever, alright. You’ve got your degree in “body;” where did you get your degree in “spirit?” When you talk about the realm of the spirit, isn’t that religion and what religion are you teaching to people when you talk to them about their spirit?
Leichtman: Basically how I explain that is this: When I’m dealing with someone who is very ill, physically or psychologically, and they have in many ways exhausted what pills and surgery can do for them, I tell them that we have available to all of us spiritual resources. And if I’m talking to an atheist I simply say, “There’s a power greater than your body and personality which made you, and you can call upon that in various ways, such as prayer, meditation, or simple contemplation. And use that to help guide you. To help heal you of psychological or physical ills.” If I’m talking to a Christian I say, obviously, you call upon that in the name of Jesus. And that creative healing, solacing power is what I call spirit. And depending on who you’re talking to, you can use Jesus terms, or if you’re talking to someone else who might not be particularly religious, you just leave it in nondenominational terms.
Ankerberg: Well, let me say something to you here about your buddy Bernie Segal, okay?
Leichtman: Yeah.
Ankerberg: And let me preface it by trying to sort out, I think, from a biblical point of view what the difference is between the two worldviews.
The God of the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18, “Don’t go over and do those practices. Don’t talk to the medium and get advice from him. Don’t go over there and talk to the spirits. Don’t call up the dead. Don’t do these sorcery things. Stay away from that.” Now why? It’s like a protective umbrella that God says I’ve got on you. You go over there, that’s a different ground. That’s the devil’s ground over there. Let me put it in these terms.
Back in the old Wild West, the Indians had a neat torture trick and that was they would catch a cowboy coming through, didn’t like him invading on their territory, so they had this little neat trick. They would put a stake in the ground, get some nice leather thongs, dip them in water and get them nice and soft. Stretch them way out and then tie his wrists to those leather thongs and the rest of his body would be tied up. And they put him out in the hot sun. Then they would get a big rattler and they would put the rattler, a stake through its tail so it wasn’t dead but it was awfully mad, and put it right next to that stake. And then would leave them there. And then the sun would come out and this guy would have a little bit of a time to think about what was going to happen, because those leather thongs would dry up and they would start to pull him closer and closer into the stake. And when he got inside the reach of the snake, then the snake got him, okay? Now, I think that’s a good illustration of what God is saying in the Bible. These areas are off limits. You walk into that circle, you’re open game.
Now, the reason I say that, your old buddy Bernie Segal at Yale gave me the illustration. You know how? He said he didn’t believe it and he still got it! Let me read his quote. He said, “I approached this exercise”—he’s going to talk about how he went into an altered state of consciousness and picked up a spirit guide, okay? Teaching the doctors at Yale—“I approached this exercise with all the skepticism one expects from a mechanistic doctor. Still, I sat down, closed my eyes and followed directions. I didn’t believe it would work. But if it did, I expected to see Jesus or Moses. I mean, who else would dare appear inside a surgeon’s head? Instead, I met George, a bearded, longhaired young man wearing an immaculate flowing gown and a skull cap. It was incredible! It was an incredible awakening for me because I hadn’t expected anything to happen. George was spontaneous, aware of my feelings, and an excellent advisor.”
Now, hold on to that thought. Dr. Weldon, you have read The Aquarian Conspiracy by Marilyn Ferguson. In her book, page 258, she makes this interesting statement: “The holistic health centers”—where all this stuff we’re talking about here—“The holistic health centers and networks have drawn many people into”—not good health—“the consciousness movement.” This altered state. They picked up their spirit guide. She’s all for it. What’s wrong with that?
Weldon: The thing that’s wrong with it is that people aren’t asking the right kinds of questions. Number one, who are these spirit guides? Number two, altered states of consciousness, what they claim to be, are they really higher states of consciousness or perhaps are they regressive states of consciousness? Number three, are the techniques that are used really safe or potentially dangerous?
And I think that the most important thing to define is, who are these spirit guides. The problem is that they give all the evidences of being demonic beings. A lot of people may not believe in demons, they may not believe in Satan, but there are a number of reasons why they should reconsider. Number one, the consensus of history and religion is that evil spirits exist. You find them believed in throughout most of history, in most cultures, by most people of most times. Number two, active occultists, such as those who engage in magic ritual and voodoo and other things believe in a realm of genuinely evil spirits. Number three, Jesus believed in evil spirits. The Bible speaks of evil spirits. Those who have come out of the occult—such as mediums who once thought that their spirit guides were very good, benevolent, kind entities who did all kinds of good things to them and spoke about Jesus and the Bible and everything else attempted to kill them or destroy them—once they really gave their lives to Christ, their spirit guides turned on them. This is true of Raphael Gasson who was a spiritist/medium for 35 years, wrote a book called The Challenging Counterfeit; Victor Ernest, I Talked with Spirits; Ben Alexander, Out of Darkness; Johanna Michaelsen in her book, The Beautiful Side of Evil. All these people at one time were convinced their spirit guides were good, benevolent entities sent by God to help them grow spiritually. And yet these very same entities turned out to be demons.
Ankerberg: Go ahead, Norm.
Shealy: How do you distinguish that from all of the evangelical ministers on TV, two of whom in the last few years have been, at best, in my opinion, evil?
Ankerberg: I think they’re evil. How’s that? When they’re evil, they’re evil.
Shealy: And so evil is evil and you know the tree by its fruits.
Ankerberg: Yeah, but the fact is that statement that Jesus made in Matthew not only referred to the works because in that same passage where He said that, He said many are going to come in my name and they’re going to do the miracles, they’re going to do the great works and they’re false prophets. [Matt. 7:22] So how do we tell when their good works, they do the miracles and it does happen, how do we tell the difference? The difference is what they’re teaching. And the teaching is different than what the God of the Bible is teaching.
God is separate from His creation. He sent Christ into the world. We don’t have an energy problem, we have a sin problem. And Christ went to the cross, died on the cross, paid for that sin. And the way we have oneness with God and fellowship with God is not by lifting up ourselves or trying to get our energies balanced but the fact of confessing we’re sinners and trusting the work that Christ did at the cross. Now that’s a difference in worldview, and the question is one is right and one’s wrong. They can’t be both right at the same time when they’re saying contradictory things. Norman, in your book, AIDS: Passageway to Transformation, and Dr. Dossey, the guy that wrote the foreword to the book…
Shealy: Larry Dossey.
Ankerberg: Larry. He said, “If the new mental factor in medicine sounds new, it is not.” He said, “In most places today there are no modern hospitals, and folk healers and shamans”—the old witchdoctor term—“still account for most of the medicine practiced on the face of the earth.” I was actually in Africa for five, six different years, going back and forth, and I saw some of these powerful, powerful shamans or witchdoctors that he’s talking about here.
“These techniques of theirs,” he said, “while they employ various esoteric”—that is, secret—“methods relying heavily on the powers of consciousness of the healer and the healee,” he said, “the power of the mind has been the veritable backbone of shamanism whose history extends for 50,000 years.”
What I found fascinating was, “From this perspective, we are treading old paths. We are rediscovering truths.” He says they are ancient truths, but “they’re truths about ourselves which we have almost forgotten in an age of science.” Then he ties you and Carolyn to those same views.
Now, my question is this: Are the techniques that we are using today under the new scientific names nothing more than what the witchdoctors used to do without those scientific names?
Shealy: Well, I don’t agree often with what other people say, but I do respect their right to say it.
Ankerberg: Yeah. Robert, what do you think? Do you think that you should tell… I mean, there’s no problem with your holding your views. And you are very articulate in doing it and both you fellows, you just have the nicest personalities and I really appreciate your attitude and all this, because we’ve had a tough conversation. But the fact is, the point I’m getting to, are holistic health people being honest—maybe some of them don’t even know, okay? They have never paralleled it and they don’t realize they’re presenting Hinduism or basic shamanism. But should the people that come to them be told that the basics parallel shamanism right down the line? And then if they want to get into it, to get into it.
Leichtman: No, I don’t think they should. First of all, I think the average patient that goes for this stuff wouldn’t understand what shamanism is.
Weldon: John, can I give you an illustration of what happens here. People that get into what seems like an innocuous medical technique and then all of a sudden find themselves involved in the occult and where that can lead. If I can quote Robert Leichtman from his book, The Life of the Spirit….
Ankerberg: Good quote, right?
Weldon: Right. For example, he does not believe in the atonement. Now, the reason I believe he does not believe in the atonement of Christ is because of the influence of his spirit guides. This is what he says. “It is one of the unfortunate triumphs of evil that these great spiritual lessons of the Christ have been largely ignored in favor of an obsession with the idea of atonement. It may be comforting to the masses to believe that Jesus somehow mysteriously atoned in advance for our sins, but it represents a tragic distortion of the real nature of God’s love and redemption. The force of the Son of God survives the dead minds and dead doctrines of the theologians who trivialize the significance of the Christ.”
Now Jesus Himself said, “I came for this reason, to give my life a ransom for many….And this is the blood of the covenant poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” [Matt. 20:28; 26:28] The atonement is a basic Christian doctrine that has been believed by all Christians since the time of Christ and Jesus Himself taught it.
And Dr. Leichtman goes on to say, “Millions of people, after all, have come to believe that the best way to serve the will of God is to surrender to it and to give ourselves to ‘Jesus.’ No doubt the intent of surrendering to God is sincere, but the consequences are disastrous. In the majority of cases, surrendering to God and accepting Jesus as our personal savior is nothing but an act of self-denial and escape from responsibility. It is not what Christ meant.”
Ankerberg: Bob, let me ask you this. Dr. Weldon’s got a quote there that seems to show the differences. Now, is it okay just to say that those differences exist, but because the system works over here, we’ll go with it? I mean, is it okay to have differences?
Leichtman: It’s okay to have differences. I don’t think it’s okay to say that simple pragmatism is justified so that we should use certain things. A lot of things work well for a short while and then they have long-term disastrous consequences. Like 20 years ago people were saying, “Oh, use LSD. You’ll find God through LSD.” And it was stupid to begin with, but some people have to go through that several years to find out LSD was extremely harmful. Experience shows in time that what seems to work in the short-run may be very dangerous.
Weldon: But, Robert, that’s exactly what happens with spiritism. Look at the life of Edgar Cayce, Jane Roberts, on down the list.
Leichtman: Yeah.
Weldon: Fodor’s Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. In the end, the end of mediums and spiritists is a very sad and tragic one.
Leichtman: No it’s not.
Weldon: Oh, yes, it is.
Leichtman: It’s not.
Weldon: Well, you’re not familiar with the history of spiritism, then. These entities are not who they claim to be. Dr. Leichtman’s theology proves that, and the nature of the spirits themselves proves that. They lie. That’s what they’ve been doing for hundreds of years.
Ankerberg: Alright. We’re going to have questions from our audience in our next program. We hope that you’ll join us.

Ankerberg: Thanks for being with us today. As we have investigated the founders and leaders in modern New Age medicine, almost all of those we investigated have been involved to some degree in occult activity. Still, we are not saying every holistic health practice has had its origin in the occult. Nor are we saying that those which did originate in the occult have continued to be based on those principles. Some have changed their views. It is very important for you to ask specific questions of your health practitioner or doctor before you begin treatment.
Now, with that in mind, realize the founder of anthroposophical medicine was the occultist Rudolf Steiner, who practiced and encouraged necromancy, or contacting the spirits of the dead. The area of astrologic medicine is replete with spiritistic influence. Attitudinal healing has been dramatically influenced by the spirit-written text, A Course in Miracles, and medium Jane Roberts’ The Nature of Personal Reality: a Seth Book.
Some modern leaders in the field of biofeedback, such as Elmer and Alyce Green, are often scientific investigators and promoters of occult phenomena. Elmer Green has a spirit guide he calls “the teacher.” Edgar Cayce methods of healing were developed by medium Edgar Cayce through whom the spirits dictated thousands of pages of information on health issues, alleged past lives, and other aspects of the occult. D. D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, was involved in psychic practices and had a life-long interest in spiritism. Many leaders in the field of color healing are spiritists and occultists. Many leaders in crystal healing have spirit guides. Some leading dowsers are spiritists. Many leaders in dreamwork also have had spirit guides. Shamanistic medicine is spiritistic by definition. Naturopath Bernard Jensen, the leading U.S. authority on iridology, is a member of an occult sect encouraging spiritistic contact, namely, the Rosicrucians. Wilhelm Reich, the founder of orgonomy, was for a time involved in the occult. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was a follower of the famous spirit medium Emmanuel Swedenborg. Leaders in the field of radionics, such as George de la Warr and its founder, Albert Abrams, have been involved in spiritism or the occult. Randolph Stone, the founder of polarity therapy, was an occultist and a member of the spiritistic Hindu sect, Radhasoami. The founder of psycho synthesis, Roberto Assagioli, was an occultist and a leader in Alice Bailey’s “Lucis Trust”/Arcana-Workshops in Italy. Dolores Krieger and Doris Kunz, the founders of Therapeutic Touch, are both psychics. Doris Kunz is a spiritist and the president of the spiritistic Theosophical Society.
Time does not permit me to list the personal history of every founder of a New Age therapy, but nearly 100 percent of those we did examine were in some way involved in the occult. That so many founders or leaders of New Age medical techniques are psychics, spiritists and occultists is one reason why New Age medicine is so permeated with occultism. Yet the history of occult practice is littered with human wreckage and it is therefore ironic to see it so thoroughly linked to human health.
The Bible clearly teaches that the spirits who operate in the world of the occult are not what they claim to be, that is, enlightened spirits sent from God; but demonic spirits bent on the deception and destruction of human beings. Once again, God considers occult involvement a serious matter and it is better avoided wherever it is found.

Read Part 7


  1. Joyce A Bock on August 26, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    When a Christian man or woman is truly walking with Jesus Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit does his job. The Holy Spirit will lead and guide in all truth and righteousness. His job also is to teach us. When I went to a holistic person years ago, the Holy Spirit told my heart “this not good or right for you!” I knew immediately in my spirit something is wrong so I looked around the room before the man (holistic doctor? no credentials) before he came to sit and talk with me. His consultation room was filled with books that I was not familiar with. So after he introduced himself to me, I immediately asked him where did he get his education to use holistic medicine and give direction. He then proceed to tell me in Montana. I asked was it true that he had what they call a “spirit guide” that would tell him what I needed. “YES” was his answer. He did not tell me the guides name. I got up and said, “thank you for your time but I do not need your help”. I do not believe he billed me for the session. The Holy Spirit protected me from a very false, “cult”! Thank you, Jesus

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