Silva Mind Control – Program 1

By: Jose Silva, Dr. George DeSau, Dave Hunt, Dr. John Weldon; ©1986
Jose Silva claims his graduates can contact historical figures and invite spirit guides into their minds. How does he claim that works?

Can We Talk to Dead People?

John Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re glad that you joined us tonight. We’re going to be examining the Silva Mind Control Method. One of our guests is Jose Silva. Silva claims that any person who will take their 48-hour, four-day, course will develop psychic powers. In the course, a student is shown how to enter an altered state of consciousness—you’ll hear what that is in a moment—and in that state you will be allowed to tap into higher intelligence in the universe. You will be able to function, after four days in the course, psychically, clairvoyantly. You’ll be taught how to invite counselors or psychic guides into your mind to help you with your problems. By the third day of the course, students are supposed to be able to operate psychically enough so that they can project their awareness outside of their bodies. They can have out-of-body experiences. Their minds are supposed to be able to tap any source in the universe for the information, including the minds of other men, alive or dead. On top of all of this, Jose claims that God sent Jesus to teach us all of this.
Now, tonight, we want to check the eyewitness evidence, if you want, from the people that are involved. We want to check the evidence for these claims. Tonight, Jose, I’m going to start with you. We’re glad that you’re here. In your book, you talk about a grade school teacher in Buffalo who used the Silva Mind Control Method to teach her students. Now, I know one of your goals is to have the SMC course taught to all of the school children, both in grade school and in college. But this lady is already teaching her students how to tune in, during their history class, to tune in to George Washington and other figures who have died. Now, is this really true? And tell me, Jose, how can students contact the dead to get information to help them study history today?
Jose Silva: John, we need to start from the very beginning in wanting to explain how is it possible, not to talk to dead people, but to be able to detect the recordings of these people, their series in relation to the aura-type radiation that everybody has, and that this radiation is in relation to your thoughts, thought patterns and so on, the way your brain functions. So the radiation of your body is altered by your thought patterns. This radiation of your body penetrates matter, it alters matter at some level. We have two different dimensions: the physical dimension, so-called physical, that can be detected with objective instrumentation, and we have another type of energy that cannot be detected with objective instrumentation. We say that it is “spiritual energy.” Call it spiritual, call it intangible, call it immaterial, non-physical, subjective, invisible; you can call it several different names, but this energy does alter matter at some level. What we’re doing, and you can get it through psychometry. It’s called psychometry—the detection of information as it has been programmed on inanimate matter and in the animate matter. So what we’re doing is not contacting the dead people, we’re contacting the programming, the impressions, recordings made by these people when alive.
Ankerberg: Okay. Let me turn to your friend who is sitting right next to you there. Mr. Hunt, in your book, a very controversial book that’s out these days [The Seduction of Christianity], you make this quote: “Visualization [now, Jose, you’re using visualization quite heavily in SMC] and guided imagery have long been recognized by sorcerers of all kinds as the most powerful and effective methodology for contacting the spirit world in order to acquire supernatural power, knowledge and healing.” And you’re saying that, “Such methods are neither taught nor practiced in the Bible, and those who attempt to do so are not following the leading of the Holy Spirit or the Word of God, but are practicing an ancient, occultic technique.” Do you think, Dave, that Jose, in teaching this course to these grade school students, that these students are getting their information from demons? Or is it possible that Jose has really uncovered a new experience—psychic abilities for every man?
Dave Hunt: Well, he has not uncovered a new experience, that’s for sure, because this sort of thing has been going on down through history. It’s known as “shamanism,” or witchcraft. It’s been practiced in every culture in every era of history. They have different explanations for it, and he’s giving us one particular explanation which sounds rather vague to me. I mean, what “inanimate matter” has been impressed with the thoughts and the actions of people? And if so, how do you sort all of this out? He seems to base his theories upon the Bible on the one hand, but one of the things that I object to is, in a rather cavalier manner he throws out every part of the Bible that doesn’t seem to fit his system. And he says, “Well, it’s really not important whether Jesus was born of a virgin. It’s not important whether Jesus was God. This is not important, that’s not important, but Rabbi Jesus”—and Jesus was not a rabbi that I know of; the rabbis certainly wouldn’t have acknowledged Him as a rabbi—but, he says, “Rabbi Jesus came here specifically to teach us these things.” And amazingly, Jose Silva has discovered exactly what Jesus came to teach, which nobody else seems to have understood.
Ankerberg: Okay, let me pin you right down. What do you think is going on when these students contact these memory patterns, or whatever, of George Washington or other history figures?
Hunt: If they are actually getting information, valid information, based upon my years of research around the world, it’s from a demonic source. It’s not from God. It’s not from some vibration left quivering in some inanimate objects. And it is not from the spirits of the dead. Now, Jose has an explanation, but he’s not the first one who’s done this sort of thing. You can go out there and get involved in contacting spirits of the dead in séances, so they will say, but the Bible absolutely warns against this. It calls it necromancy; it is forbidden.
Ankerberg: Dr. DeSau, I’m sure that you’ve heard that before. What would you reply?
George DeSau: I guess I would be looking for some definitions from the orientation toward sorcery, and Dave does have what I think is a definition of sorcery in his text, in his book. As one looks at it, the definition, as I recall, is something about any attempt to change reality, either present/past, objective/subjective, by utilization of means which can range from alchemy, I think your referencing was, all the way to positive thinking. And I think there is a very crucial issue that is being raised, because the definition that Dave is using for sorcery is so widespread that it encompasses everyone from Norman Vincent Peale, to Schuller, to the gamut of whoever is involved in any process of change. And I would say that I think Dave’s definition, or his attributes or attributing to sorcery is a rather, to use his terms, vague and unspecific; just too general.
Ankerberg: Okay. Let’s nail down a straight definition and then I want to come back to George here. Give me a straight definition we can work with.
Hunt: First of all, it does not encompass everybody who is out for change. Specifically—and we don’t say that this is the dictionary definition, or that this is the generally recognized definition—we say, “In this book, in the following pages, when we speak of sorcery we are speaking of any attempt to use mind-over-matter techniques, mental alchemy techniques.” Through your thoughts, through your visual images, through your speaking of words, you are going to transform reality, you are going to create reality, and this is an old method that has been used in witchcraft and shamanism down through the centuries.
Ankerberg: George, do you see the parallel from all of your reading that this would parallel with what the mediums, the spiritists have been doing?
DeSau: Not really. I’m rather amused, I guess. Because as I think about the definition and what’s being used, I will reference some of my biblical referencing. As I think about it, the definition that we have used and the statements we have made, we could then attribute that to Jesus. Because the last I recall, Jesus was involved in things like changing “reality” when He did the loaves and the fishes, when He changed the water to wine, when He stilled the tempest. There’s a whole listing of statements which would fit your definition.
Hunt: No, they would not, because Jesus was not doing it by mind over matter. He did it by the power of His Father. He said, “The words that I speak and the works that I do, I do not of myself but the Father who dwells within me does,” [John 14:10] and I’m differentiating between the miraculous, the genuine supernatural power of God, and that which man attributes to his own mind, which is usurping the authority of God and trying to be a little god himself.
Ankerberg: Alright, gentlemen, I’d like to get us right down to part of the technique, which is visualization. Jose, in your book you’ve said, “By visualizing with conviction in alpha and beta, you are causing, that is, creating.” And you talk about how to do psychic healing when you get into this altered state of consciousness. And, Dave, you commented on this in your book as well. So I think it would be a good thing for us to talk about back and forth.
First, you say, Jose, in order to do psychic healing via visualization, you say, “First, know the condition of the person you are about to heal. You can learn this psychically or objectively.” You teach your students how to do that. It does not matter. “Second, go to your meditative level and project this person onto your mental screen as he is, with whatever ailment is troubling him. Third, project onto that screen a little further left a vivid image of the person in perfect health, filled with energy and optimism. Then, finally, develop a conviction that the happy image you now have of that person is the real one, not that it is becoming real or that it will be real, but that it is real. While you visualize this person in perfect health, there will come an instant, a very pleasant one, when you know that you have done enough.” And you’re saying that in your course, you can train everybody to do this. Is that correct?
Silva: That’s correct, John. But first of all, I would like to expand a little bit on what Dave said about what I’m doing, you see.
Ankerberg: Okay.
Silva: We left that out. You see, I would like to fill it in now.
Ankerberg: That’s fine. Go back to it now.
Silva: He said something about me taking from the Bible what I like to take and drop everything else. I take from the Bible only that I can apply for problem-solving situations, okay? That’s one thing. He also said that Jesus is not a rabbi. If He was Jewish, born in a Jewish family, He had disciples, He was teaching something to His disciples, all His disciples were Jewish. So anybody, any Jewish person, teaching Jewish people something I called him a “rabbi.” Okay? I call Him a rabbi, okay? Now, He is teaching His disciples to become prophets and wise men. Now, when He said, “He who believes in me and the works that I do, He also shall do,” okay? “And greater than this he shall do.” [John 14:12]
Ankerberg: That’s good. Now hold on, Jose, right there though. With all those words like “prophets,” “wise men,” you know that the Jews used certain words to define those words. And I think that Dave would come back and say, “Jose, I don’t think that you’re using them the same way that those Jewish people would know how to use them.”
Silva: I would like to know his interpretation of it, yes; what he thinks it is and what his concepts are.
Ankerberg: Okay, Dave, would you give us the definition of what a prophet….
Hunt: Well, the verse that Jose quoted begins with these words, “He who believes on me shall do greater works than I do.” And yet Jose says, “It’s not important whether Jesus was born of a virgin, whether He was God, or whatever,” but simply that He taught a technique. Now, “he who believes on me,” you’re going to have to believe some certain specific things and, in fact, in John 8, Jesus said, “Except you believe that I Am….” [John 8:24] He claimed to be the “I Am that I Am,” [Ex. 3:14] God Himself become a man, “if you don’t believe that, you will die in your sins and where I go you cannot come.” I think that’s rather serious.
Ankerberg: So, the first thing that you’re saying is that the concept of Jesus is important all by itself.
Hunt: That’s right. Absolutely.
Ankerberg: Address the issue of “prophets,” though. And then I’ll come back to you for your definition. I want a definition of prophets.
Hunt: “Prophet.” Over and over in the Old Testament, Ezekiel, Isaiah or the prophets say, “The word of the Lord came to me saying,…” And we are given definitions and signs and warnings about false prophets. For example, Deuteronomy 13 says, “If a prophet comes, he does a sign or a wonder [he doesn’t say that a false prophet can’t do miracles, seeming miracles], but he leads you to follow other gods [very important, who God is], then you are not to follow him.” [Deut. 13:1-2] It says, “If he says something and it doesn’t happen,” and Jose Silva, I think, claims about 80% accuracy in his knowledge, “and it doesn’t come to pass, he is a false prophet.” [Deut 18:22] Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.” And a prophet was not accepted unless what he said correlated and agreed with everything that the prophets before him had said.
Ankerberg: Okay. Hold on to that. Jose, give me what you think is the biblical definition, then give me yours, or whatever you want to do.
Silva: In order to explain that, John, I need to say a few other things, because Dave mentioned that there is no such thing as “mind over matter.” And I’m saying this: mind is an invisible, intangible something. Let’s say it’s subjective. It functions in an invisible world, subjective world. Sometimes it’s called “spiritual world” because it is non-material. Human intelligence also, distinguishing it from animal intelligence, biological intelligence, there’s a lot of difference. It is also functioning in an invisible, intangible dimension. So we say that the past is composed of materialized thoughts, mind materializing thoughts: mind-over-matter, any way you look at it. The present is a process of materializing thoughts, and the future is composed of conceived thoughts not yet materialized. Now, when we talk about being able to prophesy, we want to continue to project into these thought patterns to see if we can detect information that can help us solve problems. It is the only use we have for information. Information is for no other thing than for solving problems, period: To make this planet a better world to live in.
Ankerberg: Okay. Hold on to that. John, we haven’t had you on the program. Before we close down here, you are all involved with gathering information. You are a researcher who has done many, many solid books, okay, and especially in this area. Talk to this thing that Jose is talking about. Maybe number one, definitions, and number two, what about this thing called “mind”? What do we need to know about it?
John Weldon: Well, I think the important issue for us to really deal with here is, historically, as a consensus of religion and as a consensus of history, the human race really isn’t alone. When you get into the spiritual realm, you are not really just dealing with the human mind. And you brought up psychometry earlier. Mediums, psychics of all sorts and varieties practice psychometry through the help of their spirit guides. There is a book called Spirit Psychometry. My concern in this whole area is really distinguishing what is human from what is spiritistic, from what is really divine. And my concern is that much of what many people think is “divine” is ultimately spiritistic, and by that I mean demonic. In Scripture it refers to Satan masquerading as an angel of light for purposes of deception. [2 Cor. 11:14] And when people claim to get power or clairvoyant knowledge, from my research it is not something that the human mind really has a capacity to have access to; that there is typically spiritistic associations, and these are independent minds. For example, the Jane Roberts phenomenon, her “Seth” books. Seth is another entity who dictates books through her while she is in an altered state of consciousness, and Prentice-Hall has published a good dozen of them. There is this consistent theme of contact with another mind, a spiritistic mind. And universally, these entities, whenever they do produce information, it’s anti-biblical.
Ankerberg: Okay, hold it right there. George, we’ve got to come back, because that’s the question I came to you before on, and that is: There is a track record out there. And the thing is that, in talking about these tremendous claims that Silva Mind Control is inviting people to delve into, there also has to be on your part an investigation of these parallel lines that are very similar to what you are doing or the same. You have got to comment concerning this kind of material. What do you comment?
DeSau: I guess my orientation to that would be that as the Silva Method is taught, it’s oriented very strongly toward learning to control one’s own mind. So it’s a matter of learning control. The attributing of demons and spirits and entities is an orientation which comes out of people, I think, attempting to explain what is taking place with this phenomenon. I’m not really convinced that what we’re talking about here are strange, demonic kinds of things. There is a statement which says that certainly, in an interpretation of biblical statement of demons, that it’s a process of uncontrolled thought, the matter of being “possessed” in that sense. So, we may be attributing, if you will, demonic kinds of statements to minds which are not in control.
Ankerberg: Would you say that there is a body of information now that would suggest that it is real?
Weldon: Oh, I think very definitely. There is a large body of literature dealing with demon possession, the phenomenon of demon possession, being taken over by a hostile entity: Malachi Martin’s Hostage to the Devil, Montgomery’s book, Demon Possession. Most people in most cultures throughout all of human history have believed in the reality of spiritual evil, personal spiritual evil. We have the testimony, the biblical testimony of Jesus Christ. He is the only religious figure in all of history who has raised Himself from the dead, who prophesied it and who did it, which verified His claims to be God and as God, He is an infallible authority. And He Himself cast out demons from individuals and spoke of a very real Satan. The testimony of active occultists is to that of a very real spiritual evil, the possibility of being taken over. A former medium, such as Raphael Gasson in his book, The Challenging Counterfeit, or Victor Ernest, I Talked With Spirits. Both had what they thought at one time were positive, benign spirit guides, entities, that would help them diagnose illnesses, heal psychically, clairvoyant knowledge, psychometry….
Ankerberg: So you’re saying there is a body of literature that says it’s real. George, what do you think about that literature?
DeSau: I’m saying that you can create almost any kind of a body of literature that will say these things. It’s a matter of how you interpret it.
Ankerberg: You would say that it is recognizably real?
DeSau: I would say that it is recognizably real by individuals who believe in that approach or that reasoning.
Ankerberg: So, unless you believe in it, it’s not real?
Hunt: Does that put Silva Mind Control’s body of knowledge in the same category, then? It is just simply recognized as real to those who believe it.
Silva: Is this fair? Can we interfere?
Ankerberg: Yeah, talk back to that.
Silva: I waited for you to call my name, see?
Ankerberg: You would say that this literature then is only real if people believe in it.
DeSau: It’s what they attribute. It’s the name they give to a phenomenon which they are not controlling. The statement is, if you don’t control your own mind, your own thought processes, then you can get phenomenon such as John is talking about.
Ankerberg: Okay. John.
Weldon: A friend of mine was at a conference where some Satanists and witches were in the room. And they let out the power of evil in that room, and invariably, the most shaken people were the materialists and the atheists who sensed this incredible, tangible evil that they could not deal with. And I think that there is something very real and genuine that we’re dealing with here.
Ankerberg: Okay. We’re going to pick this up next week, so please stick with us.

Read Part 2


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