The Death of Materialism – Part 3

By: Dave Hunt; ©2000
Just because you call something “scientific” doesn’t necessarily make it any more valid. Dave Hunt explains how many “new age” ideas have attempted to gain respectability by calling themselves “science.”

“Scientific” Mysticism

Of course, the determined atheist of the past could not accept the existence of soul and spirit and so continued to support materialism even in the face of growing evidence to the contrary. This attitude maintained its dominance in science until very recently. Science has been traditionally given such unquestioned authority that it was virtually worshiped, giving rise to the religion of scientism. Scientism is an immensely powerful factor in shaping both secular and religious thought in today’s world. Charles Tart defines scientism as “the psychological dominance of a materialistic philosophy hardened into dogma and masquer­ading as an authentic science….”[1]

Many scientists, following the lead of Einstein, turned to mysticism. Rather than admit the existence of the God of the Bible, they postulated a universal Force behind evolution, or a universal mind or consciousness. Psychology helped to establish these pseudospiritual beliefs. Carl Jung, who was heavily involved in the occult, had already postulated his “collective unconscious,” a concept which he received by inspiration from the demonic realm. Today’s remote viewers are convinced that the information they pick up comes from the “collective unconscious.” We will examine that claim in due course.

While the development of transpersonal psychologies in the early 1970s brought an almost grudging admission that the realm of the spirit was real,[2] there was a reluctance to admit that science had no jurisdiction over it. Science continued to be regarded as the only way to evaluate the nonphysical as well as the physical. We had been conditioned to revere a “scientific explanation” for all phenomena.

Many of those involved in the New Age were only too eager to pretend they had “sci­entific” support. When TM (one form of yoga) fell flat as the “Spiritual Regeneration Move­ment,” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi changed its name to “The Science of Creative Intelligence.” With that new and deceitful name, TM became a success worldwide.

One of the most ancient religious practices in Hinduism and Buddhism is now widely accepted in the West as the science of yoga. This new designation gives yoga a respect­ability which it does not deserve. Among those determined to rebirth religious practices as science was Dr. Walter Yeeling Evan-Wentz, who studied at Stanford University under famed psychologist William James. Evan-Wentz became known as the “scholar-gypsy”; he traveled the world seeking initiation into Hinduism, Buddhism, and other pagan religious practices. His first book involved years of research into the existence of the “wee folk” of Ireland. He wrote:

We can postulate scientifically, on the showing of the data of psychical research, the existence of such invisible intelligences as gods, genii, daemons, all kinds of true fairies, and disembodied men [spirits of the dead] .[3]

If such beliefs sound like old-fashioned superstition, then take a close look at Touched by an Angel, one of the most popular television shows today. Many viewers unabashedly take its charming lessons on life and theories about the next life very seriously. Whether there is any connection to a heightened expectation raised by the program itself, accounts are multiplying from those who claim they have encountered angels. Of course, such en­counters have been claimed since the beginning of time.

Some of today’s most deceptive cults have adopted the word “science” to give their brand of spirituality credibility and authority: Science of Mind, Religious Science, Christian Science, et al. There could be no greater anachronism or delusion, inasmuch as the mind and spirit are outside the realm of science. It would be an equal delusion to insist, upon the basis of any analysis made by physical science, that the occult (which operates in the realm of mind, soul, spirit) was nonexistent. Physical science, by very definition, can make no judgments concerning a nonphysical spirit realm.

The Birth of Parapsychology

Finally, science, after more than a hundred years of being mired in materialism’s total denial of a nonphysical dimension, has come around to admitting the reality of a realm beyond the physical universe, and that it could very well be inhabited by spirit beings. After extensive interviews in Europe and America, philosophy-of-science professor John Gliedman wrote “Scientists in Search of the Soul” more than ten years ago in Science Digest:

From Berkeley to Paris and from London to Princeton, prominent scientists from fields as diverse as neurophysiology and quantum physics are coming out of the closet and admitting they believe in the possibility, at least, of such unscientific entities as the immortal human spirit and divine creation.

With the virtual death of materialism, a new “scientific” approach to the occult was born called parapsychology, now taught in most major universities. Inasmuch as a nonphysical dimension of reality is entirely outside the realm of science, the attempt to examine it “sci­entifically” and to be able to establish how it functions by “scientific controls” could only lead to error. Scientists were setup for a master deception. It would seem that we had reached the point dreamed of by Screwtape and outlined to Wormwood in the famous Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis:

We [demons] are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and skeptics. At least not yet.
I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to >belief in the Enemy [the God of the Bible, the Father of the Virgin-born Savior, Jesus Christ].
The “Life Force,” the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work—the Materialist Magician… veritably worshipping what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”—then the end of our war will be in sight.
But in the meantime… the fact that “devils” are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.[4]

Thus we now have a variety of quasi-materialistic explanations, all of them “scientifi­cally verified,” concerning who or what these nonphysical entities might be that seem to be communicating with mankind. They range all the way from splits of the psyche or a force generated by the unconscious to spirits of the dead or extraterrestrials visiting us from distant planets or even secretly living among us. Any suggestion that they might actually be demons bent on deceiving and destroying mankind is met with polite smiles, pained incre­dulity or outright contempt.

The New “Science” of Consciousness

Professor Courtney Brown directs The Farsight Institute, whose mission, he says, is “to demonstrate scientifically to all of us that we humans are more than our physical bodies, and that life exists on both the physical and subspace (nonphysical) realms.”[5] Brown is convinced that some of these mysterious entities with whom psychics make contact are here on planet Earth and that they are actually extraterrestrials (ETIs). He even claims to have made psychic contact with them himself.

Unfortunately, Dr. Brown is relying on his brand of “science” instead of the Bible and has fallen into serious error, which we will discuss in the next chapter. On an Art Bell radio program on November 19, 1996, Brown said:

In our view, what people really need is the truth about… the new scientific understanding of our composite nature… soul and body. Finally, people need to know that The Farsight Institute is dedicated to researching and teaching about our essential nature on the level of explorations into consciousness….
We are at a turning point in our human evolution…. Finally, one day nearly everyone will recognize that the great debate as to who we are and why we exist has been significantly resolved. This, indeed, is our mission.[6]

Here we have the new “scientific” idea that one must reach a “higher state of con­sciousness” in order to perceive things as they really are. Yet an altered state of conscious­ness allows demonic entities to take over and begin to operate the brain to create a uni­verse of illusion. This was obviously a major problem of the “Heaven’s Gate” cult, 39 of whose members committed suicide together in Rancho Santa Fe, near San Diego, Califor­nia, in late March 1997. They imagined they had received “transmissions” from the “next Level” which told them that it was time to “move on” in their evolutionary journey to perfec­tion and that if they left their bodies behind they would be picked up by a giant UFO accom­panying the comet Hale-Bopp.

Other UFO groups have been receiving similar data. Dr. Brown published on his website in late 1996 a statement titled “The Interdimensional Portal.” It declared that Scien­tific Remote Viewing “seemed to suggest that there is some type of interdimensional portal or gateway near Earth that is being used for transportation purposes.” Whether that state­ment served to encourage the Southern California cult to make themselves ready for “transport” through suicide will perhaps never be known.

These were highly intelligent people who had tried to follow “science” instead of the Bible in their dealings with what they thought were extraterrestrials. If they actually did receive psychic messages, the entities sending them must have been demons determined to destroy them.

Members of the cult believed that the kingdom they were seeking and to which they thought they were being transported by suicide was “an evolutionary level above human.”[7] And they had been deceived into believing that Hale-Bopp’s approach to Earth signaled their time of departure. In their position paper on suicide published on their website we see once again the key role that evolution plays in the occult:

The joy is that our Older Member [the reference is to their understanding of Jesus] in the Evolutionary Level Above Human (the “Kingdom of Heaven”) has made it clear to us that Hale-Bopp’s approach is the “marker” we’ve been waiting ‘for—the time for the arrival of the spacecraft from the Level Above Human to take us home to “their World”—in the literal Heavens.
Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion—”graduation” from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave “this world.”… If you study the material on this website you will >hopefully understand our joy… [and] may even find your “boarding pass” to leave with us during this brief “window.”
We are so very thankful that we have been recipients of this opportunity to prepare for membership in Their Kingdom, and to experience Their boundless Caring and Nurturing.

The obvious sincerity reflected above reveals the power of demonic entities to deceive, entities with whom this group had apparently been in communication through psychic means for more than 20 years. Even some former cult members still hold to its bizarre beliefs. When interviewed by CBS’s 60 Minutes, one former member, whose wife was among those who died, expressed regret that he hadn’t been there to “leave this world” with them. He told KQED-FM in San Francisco:

I don’t think of them as dead. Well, the bodies, yes. But these are shells behind. I believe they are on a [space] craft somewhere…. To move into bodies that had been prepared for them… of a finer nature—androgynous, sexless. It’s an evolutionary step…. I don’t consider it suicide.[8]


  1. Charles Tart, “Science vs. scientism: Role seen for spirit,” in Brain/Mind & Common Sense, February 1993, pp.1, 6.
  2. Rogo, “Psychology,” pp.12-13.
  3. Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, The Fairy Faith (University Books, 1966), p. xii.
  4. C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, (Fleming H. Revel, 1976), pp. 45-46.
  5. From the “Official Statement by Courtney Brown” on his website dated 20 January 1997.
  6. From the statement “Our Position Against Suicide” posted on the cult’s website.
  7. Cult member speaking on tape aired on CNN March 27-28, 1997.
  8. Deborah Hasting, The Associated Press, “Former cult members hold to beliefs,” in Bulletin (Bend, OR), March 31, 1997, p. 2.

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