Native, Indigenous, and Nature Religion
|By: Dave Hunt; ©2001|
|What is wrong with embracing native religions? Dave Hunt explains how the “back-to-nature” movement can be a doorway into the occult.|
Native, Indigenous, and Nature Religion
(from Occult Invasion, Harvest House, 1998)
One of the surest and most acceptable paths leading into the occult is today’s back-to-nature movement in the name of ecological preservation of our planet. Earth has suffered much harmful damage due to mankind’s carelessness and greed. While the industrial nations must bear their share of the blame, some of the worst pollution and destruction has occurred in Communist lands and also in developing countries of the Third World. Furthermore, pollution (such as that caused by volcanic eruptions) and destruction (such as blight and insects, forest fires started by lightning, or plagues) are an integral part of nature itself.
Nevertheless, the popular delusion has gained unchallenged acceptance that anything “natural” must be beneficial. It seems to be overlooked that nothing is more natural than disease, suffering, death, and natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods). In fact it is against such destruction regularly wrought by nature that humanity has desperately struggled to protect itself and in so doing has arrived at the present degree of civilization.
It seems more than ironic that after mankind has fought for centuries against the often antagonistic and sometimes deadly forces of nature, there should now be a popular and growing movement calling for partnership with these same forces. Such ideas sound appealing, but would have afforded no comfort to the Donner Party starving in the impossibly deep snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. To them (and to other victims of wind, ice, and storm) nature could not have been more cruel, vicious, and unmerciful!
A Call to Reason
It was the unnatural act of reason opposing the natural processes of nature that brought under control a host of formerly fatal diseases, that lowered the death rate in infants, and that has extended the average life expectancy. The repeated unnatural act of taking out an appendix or transplanting a kidney or removing a tumor has saved countless lives. Such realities ought not to be forgotten in the rush to worship a mythological Earth Mother.
Only a relentless battle against nature has achieved the many comforts and benefits unknown in earlier times and taken for granted today. None is a product of nature. There is nothing natural about computers, television, space travel, dams, bridges, books, or even such basic necessities of human life as weaving, food processing, plowing, planting, weeding, or cooking. Then why the cry to “get back to nature”?
Moreover, it was Western science that brought these benefits to mankind. These blessings would never have resulted from Hinduism’s pantheistic philosophy or Eastern mysticism. Nor would medical science ever have blossomed from the beliefs of the North American Indians, which the West is now embracing in its pursuit of “oneness with nature.” What irony, that indigenous peoples who still find themselves appealing to unheeding spirits against the diseases which ravage them in nature’s own undeveloped territory (diseases which modern medicine has cured) are now being exalted as examples for universal emulation!
This is not to deny that some plants and roots with healing qualities have been discovered by native peoples or that they have something to teach us. Nor is it to deny that ecological destruction has been unnecessarily wrought by the human folly and avarice of “civilized” peoples. At the same time, however, charges against science and technology must be made on reasonable grounds. It is a quantum leap from respecting and protecting our environment (which we should do) to deifying “Mother Earth.”
A Selective Favoritism
Nor should we overlook, much less condone, today’s rampant prejudice against Christianity. Biblical faith has become taboo in American society while anything else, including witchcraft and voodoo, is accepted without question. A great hue and cry is being raised across the country to prohibit any public display of crosses or manger scenes. At the same time, totem poles are immune from comparable criticism or objections. Even the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO) has given its approval to a revival of witchcraft under the popular euphemism of “traditional medicine” or “native cures.”
Whatever is native or “indigenous” is indiscriminately praised, and woe to those who have the temerity to point out any flaws in native cultures or religions. We must all emulate what the natives of Africa or of a Pacific island or our own native American Indians believe and practice! Such is the propaganda line which is promoted in the media and goes virtually unchallenged.
On Sunday, November 17, 1996, the popular A&E channel aired “America’s Mysterious Places.” It presented witchcraft in Salem and early New England along with voodoo in New Orleans as benign. Spokespersons for voodoo said, “We are descendants of those slaves carried here from Africa who brought voodoo with them.” The purpose of voodoo was explained as simply serving the spirits and worshiping the gods and goddesses. Not a word about the curses which terrify the populace where voodoo is practiced. The program showed favorable depictions of the serpent god. A voodoo priestess explained that she was the equivalent of a Catholic priest or a Jewish rabbi. Such erroneous statements left viewers misinformed—duped, in fact.
Pagan religions are even being introduced into public schools in the United States in spite of the prohibition on school prayer or any favorable reference to Christianity. Of course these religions are classified as “culture,” which is simply a deceit. The same is true in community programs. Consider, for example, Carolee Nishi, “the creator and volunteer director of a unique after-school program sponsored by the YMCA of Honolulu that teaches Hawaiian Studies to children ages 4-14.” The word religion is not to be found in the full-page promotional piece about Nishi in United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine. Instead, it is said that she teaches “hula dancing… Hawaiian history and culture.” Occultism escapes mention.
Even the United States government promotes native American spirituality in spite of the “separation of church and state” which is enforced so strictly against anything Christian. The National Park Service has promoted Indian animist/spiritist religion—including the worship of nature spirits—while blaming the Bible for the destruction of the West! For example, Gary Hathaway, Acting Superintendent of Lava Beds National Monument, in an official newsletter which was handed out to park visitors in 1993, stated:
- Native Americans had a spiritual tie to their land…. [White men] used the resources for their own commercial gain, and the timeless spirituality of the land was disrupted…. Their spiritual viewpoint, recorded in Genesis, called for them to dominate the land and subdue it… vast areas of the West were destroyed.
- Today the spirituality of the land at Lava Beds is undergoing an awakening… throughout the monument the presence of spirits can be felt… you can [even] see them when they choose to appear in their visible forms….
- Enter the medicine circle reverently, as you would enter your own church. Let the spirits of the winds, the rocks, and the animals speak to you….
- Ruth Montgomery with Joanne Garland, Ruth Montgomery: Herald of the New Age (Fawcett Crest, 1986), pp. 71-111.