The New Age Movement and the Church – Program 4
|By: Brooks Alexander, Dave Hunt, Tal Brooke; ©1988|
|Are many of the practices common to the New Age Movement found in the warnings God issued in Deuteronomy 18? Why would God be against those things?|
How Has the New Age Movement Affected Psychiatric Theory in America?
Tonight, John Ankerberg will conduct an open forum with three influential guests on the question: is the American church accepting new age ideas and techniques and presenting them as part of the gospel? John’s first guest is Dave Hunt, a Christian author who has awakened the church to the consequences of the ideas of the new age movement through his best-selling books, the seduction of Christianity and beyond seduction. John’s second guest has come out of the new age movement and is well aware of its power and practices. Mystical experiences led Tal Brooke to India where he became a disciple of Sai Baba, one of India’s most powerful miracle-working gurus. But after two years, Jesus Christ demonstrated he was more powerful than anything Tal had previ¬ously experienced in the occult, whereupon he gave his life totally to the Lord. He has recently graduated from Princeton University with his masters degree and is the author of two best-selling books. John’s third guest is Brooks Alexander, co-founder and senior researcher for the nationally-known spiritual counterfeits project of Berkeley, California. Before becoming a christian, Brooks embraced the religious world view of the new age movement and participated in mystical out-of-body experiences. John will ask these three men to freely share their views with you on the controversial question, “Has the new age movement influenced the church?” They will answer questions frankly about many well-known people, both christian and non-Christian alike. Many of the people mentioned in tonight’s program were extended an invitation to join our guests for this taping. Our invitation remains open to them and to other responsible spokesmen to participate and present their views in future programs. The John Ankerberg show has already arranged a future forum where well-known christian psychologists will meet face-to-face with tonight’s guests. With this in mind, we invite you to join us for this edition of John Ankerberg.
- John Ankerberg: in this new series, we refer to information concerning Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud that was talked about in a program several months ago. I have decided tonight to begin with that segment and add it to this series so you’ll have a basis to understand the information that will be presented. Many university students wrote to us at that time, and said they had never heard the information concerning Jung’s involvement with the spirit world and how these experiences shaped his psychological view of man. We consider this information important to the discussion, so we invite you to listen.
- Ankerberg Welcome! We’re talking about the ideas of the New Age movement that are crossing our country and how it’s affecting our culture. Maybe you’ve embraced some of the ideas of the New Age. Maybe you’re listening to a New Age radio station in Washington, D.C., or in Los Angeles, or another one of our cities. Maybe you’ve visited one of the 2,500 bookstores that are New Age bookstores, pouring out thousands of books concerning the ideas and the philosophy of the New Age. Maybe you saw the Harmonic Convergence that took place in 1987 where people turned out in mountainsides, went out to the desert, got up early in the morning to feel the vibrations of being one with nature. Mystical experiences that are taking place like what Shirley MacLaine is experiencing and what other people that are channelers are talking about on radio and television. What’s all this about? And tonight, I’d like to start this from a biblical perspective right off the bat. These things that are happening in our country, in Deuteronomy 18 God says — and I’m going to have one of you fellows in a moment, if you would refer to that — in fact, why don’t we just start with it? Why don’t you read it and let’s talk about what some of those words mean. What does God say about some of the things that are taking place in our country?
- Alexander God says in Deuteronomy Chapter 18, starting with verse 9, “When you are come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations, the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.”
- Ankerberg Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you find channeling in those verses?
- Alexander Yes, I do.
- Ankerberg Where do you find it?
- Alexander In the forbidding of the contact with familiar spirits.
- Ankerberg All right. Do you find these laws of success and prosperity that are on both sides of the fence being condemned there?
- Alexander Yes, I do, in the sense that you’re speaking of wizardry or an observer of times or an enchanter or a witch. All of these contain aspects of the mind power.
- Ankerberg We’ve had 5 million people go through Silva Mind Control. We’ve had I don’t know how many that have gone through est and are going into other spiritual groups and so on and cults, and they’re having mystical experiences. Silva teaches them how to have a spirit guide. Others are being informed that they actually have spirit guides. Do you find anything about going to spirit guides? Is there anything wrong with that?
- Alexander Again, under consulting with familiar spirits or dealing with a necromancer.
- Ankerberg All right, now let me say this. In the questions that are going to come tonight, why is it that God forbids people to go and practice in those areas? Why is God so hard-hearted at this point in saying, “Don’t go to those sources for information”? Can I start us off with an illustration. The old Indian torture was to drive a stake through the biggest rattlesnake they could find, right in the middle of him so he could still snap at you, but he was alive. But he was a little bit “ticked” because he had a stake going through him. Right next to him you drove another stake in. And they would have leather thongs they had dipped in water so they would be very soft and pliable. They’d stretch them out a certain distance, and then the person that they were going to torture, they would tie the leather thongs around his hands, and the sun would come out and he would lay there. He’d be just a short distance away from the snake. But as the leather thongs would dry out, they would pull him back toward the snake. And it didn’t matter, when he got within reach of the snake, it didn’t matter if you were black or white, man or woman, the snake got you because you went into his territory. I believe that the God of the Bible is saying, “If you go on that territory, you are going away from His protection and you are open to it.” So therefore, wouldn’t you back me up in this, Dave, in terms of the parapsychological research that is saying, “Look, scientifically we’re going to look at this.” They’re having problems. Because God didn’t say, “Listen, you can put a label of science on this thing and go over there and nothing will happen to you that are investigating.” The very parapsychologists that are investigating it are being embraced by this, captured by this, and they’re having problems. Is that a correct assertion?
- Hunt Uri Geller, when SRI — used to be Stanford Research Institute — was making his documentary film of his psychic powers — said something very interesting. He said, “The psychologists talk about my mind, my mind.” He said, “It’s not my mind, it’s other minds. And they are in control of me 24 hours out of the day and I have to do their bidding.” Now, he believes that these are E.T.’s from a planet called “Hoova,” and that he’s their ambassador to planet earth. Now, interesting that none of the scientists at SRI laughed at him. In fact, I think it was Russell Targ who said, “Uri, you’re not saying anything that Hal” — Hal Puthoff, another one of the physicists there — “and I haven’t suspected.” And Edgar Mitchell, the ex-astronaut, with a Doctor of Science degree, said, “Uri, that’s exactly what we suspect, but we don’t know quite how to prove it.” Well, they think they’re E.T.’s. I believe they’re demons, and we’ve got plenty of reason for knowing this. So, in fact, the Bible tells us the only beings out there are demons. You’re not to try to communicate with angels, and you’ve got Satan and demons, or you’ve got God, and that’s all. So if you try to communicate with anyone other than God, you have opened yourself up to demonic delusion.
- Ankerberg Brooks, you have written in Spiritual Counterfeits Project, your journal, about UFO’s. Is science fiction coming true? What did you find out about UFO’s, etc.?
- Alexander A lot of the characteristics that attend UFO “close encounters” are also highly characteristic of demonic encounters. And one of them that we’re all familiar with from medieval legendry is the smell of brimstone or the smell of strong…smell of some putrid odor, which often comes over people who encounter these UFO beings. But more than anything else, the thing that we came to was to understand that these UFO’s are not extraterrestrial space vehicles, but they are extra-dimensional beings. They are not E.T.’s as it were, they are E.D.’s. And what that means is that they come from a dimension outside of the three dimensions of time…or the four dimensions of time and space that we normally inhabit, and that they enter our world in a way that is by and large completely inexplicable to us because our minds are not equipped to understand these higher dimensions that they operate in. Let me give you an analogy, which will help to explain the nature of the UFO manifestations. If you can imagine a world which consists of two dimensions strictly — two dimensions alone — and understand how we would interact with that world, you can understand how a being of higher dimensions could interact with our world. The two dimensional world would be completely flat, a world of length and width only with zero thickness. And it’s inhabited, theoretically, by beings consisting of geometrical shapes — squares, triangles, circles and so forth. Now, imagine what would happen if the simplest three-dimensional object, a sphere, a ball-bearing, say, interacted with this world. Imagine that it descends upon this two-dimensional world from above. Now, what the two-dimensional being experiences in that world is not an object, as we perceive the sphere to be, he perceives it as a dynamic, two-dimensional process, a sequence of changing events. Because the sphere, where it first touches the two-dimensional world, it appears as a point, and then it begins to enlarge as the sphere descends and becomes a circle. The circle enlarges to the maximum circumference of the sphere and then begins to shrink again as the ball-bearing passes on through the two-dimensional world, finally becoming a point again, and then finally disappearing. This is an analogy of the nature of the interaction of the angelic or the demonic realm with the four-dimensional space/time world that we live in.
- Ankerberg You have people like Steven Spielberg in his films like “E.T.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” saying that all the visitors that he’s putting there are benign and friendly. This is coming right out of Time magazine. And yet after they talk about some of the people that are doing channeling and having these spirits speak out of them, it’s interesting that Time turns the corner and they say, “But several recently reported episodes have been more sinister,” and they go on to account and report about people who have had bad experiences with these voices, these spirits that are speaking out of them. Do you want to talk to the down side of this? Tal?
- Brooke There was a parapsychologist…actually in a book on contemporary exorcism. I have mixed feelings, but I’ll tell you about it. It’s by Malachi Martin who is an ex-Jesuit and it deals with contemporary cases of demon possession. And there is a thing in there that has a fellow who was a parapsychologist who was also psychic. And here’s the general come-on. You know the proverb where it says, “In the beginning it was as sweet as honey but at the end it was as bitter as wormwood.” That’s actually talking about adultery, but there are other areas of sin involved. It feels great at the beginning. When this thing linked with our parapsychologist friend, he had extended powers; he became clairvoyant, he became telepathic, and he was on the “bread crumb trail” to higher consciousness. Okay? We don’t know yet that it’s an entity. We find out later. He follows this thing along until he reaches a panic point. Now, what happens with people who get possessed, demonically possessed, is that there are “goodies” that they get out of the relationship with a familiar spirit or entity. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. A sense of power. A sense of being godlike. A lot of people want to be special. The old comic book ad: “Hey, you want to be able to beat up the guy on the beach?” You know? “Here’s the exercise that will give you a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Well, people are open, of course, spiritually for this kind of thing. What happened to our friend Carl is that he reached a point of terror and panic because he came to see that this thing was beginning to eclipse his own will, and he was now being forced to do things he didn’t want to do. He finally reached a point where he was walking in kind of a twisted manner, a funny voice would come out of him, and soon you get to the exorcism and the corporate entity reminds me of “Seth” that possessed Jane Roberts. And it says, “We are as old as the universe” — I’m going to paraphrase it. It’s a Prentice Hall book on Seth. And, of course, what I’m now talking about, the parallel here is the book by Malachi Martin. And basically what it says, “We’ve watched you since you were born. You were marked. We knew who you were, my friend. We are as old as the universe.” And finally, they’re asked, “Well,” — you know, in the name of Christ, you know, “you are going to be expelled out.” And what comes through this is that they hated…they have hated from the foundations of the world the only Son of God, Jesus Christ. The bottom down-link to this whole thing is demonic possession. I’m going to tell you something that I think is going to happen. And I think that you’re going to begin to find some of these channelers are going to get way over their heads and they’re either going to die grotesque deaths or you’re going to see funny things happen. And one or two of them are bound to get exorcised. That’s my prediction on that. I mean, not….
- Ankerberg Let me get questions from the audience. From a biblical point of view, gentlemen, this that is taking place, where you have a pantheistic world view being supported by mystical experiences so that the New Age Movement is coming up with the ideas that “God is all and all is God, and we are actually just a part of God, and we’ve got to get rid of our ignorance and realize that. And when we realize it, we will start to experience these powers.” And so it goes together. They come out then with the fact of, “Well, if everything is one, then to get rid of the red tape in the world, we ought to have a one world government. We ought to get a one world food supply. We ought to have just the one army. Because, really, we all logically are one anyway. We’re connected with God.” And so that’s logical and they say, “We should go that way.” Do you see anything about that in Scripture that also could lead to something dangerous up ahead?
- Brooke If I could say something really quickly. I’m doing what Dave’s done….
- Hunt That’s all right. Keep going.
- Brooke …and that is that there seems to be precedent in the book of Revelation certainly for global economic system — you know, the number 666 imprinted either by a laser, by computer disk, or however it’s done. Two thousand years ago people couldn’t picture how every citizen could have a mark like that. Today we can. The idea of a global economic system, and of course, we have to remember that when John on the Isle of Patmos had this vision and then wrote it down, this was during the era of the Roman caesars so there was precedent to know. In about 93 A.D. there was Nero, there was Domitian who was coming in office, there was Caligula. There were types in the ancient world of the antichrist. Now, what you see is a centralization of power through a global “Caesar” and you find this guy isn’t just possessed by an ordinary demon, he’s possessed by the devil himself. But he comes on as an angel of light; indeed, he’s the “super-bright boy,” you know. I’m sure he’s brilliant. And whenever that is — no sense to time-set. But there is a scenario of globalism where the other nations are surrendering their national sovereignty. And it’s like the Orwellian scenario. You say, “Well, would you like security?” “Sure, we would like security.” “I’ll tell you what you do. Surrender some of these freedoms. Put these poker chips on the table, and I’ll give you security.” You’ll be on a welfare system, but you may not be able to read all the books that you might want to read. So I would say there’s a precedent for globalism that’s very strong.
- Ankerberg According to Time magazine, one of the doctrines of New Age thinking: “You can be whatever you want to be.” It’s complete surrender and trust to the powers that are there, and everybody is God, co-creator of the universe. Now, one of the things in the book of Revelation, out of reading some of your books, Dave, that really stood out to me was the phrase that you see time and time again in Revelation, that the whole world will worship this new religion. And coming from the university I thought, “That’s ridiculous!” I mean, the last thing you’re going to do is force religion into the secular society of today.
- Alexander John, it’s even more specific than that. This new religion that’s referred to in the book of Revelation is specifically referred to under the title of “Mystery Babylon.” The ancient Babylonian religion spoken of in the 47th chapter of Isaiah makes it clear it is one and the same as the teaching of the New Age Movement today involving self divinization. God says to Babylon, the original historical Babylon in the 47th chapter of Isaiah, that Babylon is being condemned for one reason: “Because,” God says, “You have said in your heart I Am, and there is none besides me.” And that is specifically the divine title, the “I Am” revealed to Moses at the burning bush.
- Ankerberg Dave, final word?
- Hunt Well, probably the top UFO — since we talked a little bit about that…
- Ankerberg Yeah.
- Hunt ….Ufologist out there is a fellow by the name of Jacques Vallee. In fact, he was the real life scientist after which Coloumbe, the French scientist in Close Encounters was patterned. And in his sixth book on the subject — he’s not a “kook,” he’s an astrophysicist, a computer scientist, I mean, a very brilliant man who has just done logical, scientific research for 20 some years on the subject. He says four things about UFO’s. He says, “Number one, they’re real. Too many competent witnesses. Swat teams. We’ve had…some of our fighter pilots have chased them, we’ve tracked them on radar and so forth. Number two,” he says, “They’re not physical.” Got a lot of reasons for that, which I won’t go into. “Number three,” he says, “They’re messengers of deception,” and that was the title of that book. “Number four,” — hang on to your chairs. Now, this is an agnostic. Doesn’t come at it from the Scriptural point of view. But he says, “They are psychologically programming, setting up the human race, for some ultimate delusion that is too horrible even to imagine as yet.” Now, you’ve got Robert Jastrow, the founder and director of NASA’s Goddard Space Lab — you know, the Pioneer, Voyager, and now the new Galileo thing — and he says, “You know, some of these entities out there could be so far beyond man on the evolutionary scale that they have evolved even beyond the need of bodies. They are just pure intelligence.” So now we’re being set up by science for spirit entities. Okay? And we’re going to embrace them because they’re going to help us.
- Ankerberg Dave, you know, a lot of times I keep you guys from saying these things because they sound so far out. In Time magazine, quote, “The National Science Foundation reported last year” — this is in Time magazine, December 7th  — “that 43% of the citizenry of this country believe it likely that some of the UFO’s reported are really space vehicles from other civilizations.” Time magazine reports it, that you have 43% of the populace believes what you’re talking about. Now, we’re being set up every way you can.
- Hunt Right.
- Ankerberg And even in our popular literature, it’s now…the culture is filled with the ideas of the New Age even at that point. Let’s get some questions from the audience.
- Audience: Tal, you came out of something like this. I’d just like to ask you real quickly, what major problems can Christians expect to encounter when they witness to New Agers, and how would you address these problems so you can effectively communicate the Gospel to them?
- Brooke Well, I think Christians have to, if they can, try not to be naive. I know that it can be complicated, and in truth, the people in India who really were God’s instruments in bringing me to Christ were two missionaries that had been there for 32 years and they were not experts in Hinduism or Vedanta, though I had read, you know, scores of things on it and I really knew it cold. I would say, though, that you do have to have some insight into the nature of the deception, you have to pray for discernment; speak from sincerity. You have to assume that the Holy Spirit will do the convicting. You know, love is something that…I talked to somebody who said, “You know, I was in a terrible mood when I witnessed to this guy, and I thought I’d really blown it.” But he got saved later, and he said, “Well, the only thing I saw in you was love.” So the Holy Spirit can fill the gap that we’re not always sure about. I would say, though, you know, some of these people are into very subtle stuff and they’re bright and they can have demanding questions. And sometimes it’s good to give them a book; sometimes it just takes time. And you can always pray, because that’s a weapon. And if they’re dealing with these familiar spirits, then prayer can really pop things out into the open.
- Ankerberg There’s a lot of fear about the demonic, and I’m sure that this program has now scared a lot of Christians. And if they did meet somebody that even used some of the words we’ve been talking about, they might say, “I’m going to stay 10 miles away from them!” Should they?
- Brooke Let me tell you something. There’s a great verse in the Bible. When I left Sai Baba in India I left fearlessly. Number one, I was willing to die physically for the truth. Number two, there’s a verse that says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” The Holy Spirit can blow apart any of these things. If you have problems, read what some of the Old Testament prophets did. They blew some things through the doorway. I say we go in a spirit of fearlessness, but don’t traffic into the occult and don’t get seduced.
- Alexander I would just say there is one essential fact to keep in mind when you’re dealing with people that are into this kind of thing, and that is, that very, very often they don’t experience the reality they’re talking about on a day-to-day level. A good example of this is Shirley MacLaine herself, who despite the fact that the New Age world view teaches that the world is perfect just as it is — “There is absolutely nothing wrong with her, or with any of us or the world we live in, if we could only see it right, it’s absolutely perfect.” She said she…when it came down to it, she really could not reconcile that with her own urge and desire to work for politically-active causes for the sake of justice. That there is indeed something wrong with the world. We experience that reality every minute we’re alive.
- Ankerberg So that the fact is, even in your experiences, you, taking in all of the philosophy of Sai Baba, you knew deep down inside of you what he was telling you, even though he’s giving you miracles to back it up, there was something wrong with it.
- Brooke That’s absolutely right.
- Ankerberg And you can assume that this is also taking place in these other people even though they might have miraculous things, got spirit guides and are visualizing and all this kind of stuff, there’s still the opportunity to talk to them on the same basis….
- Alexander Because the image of God in that person is fighting it all the way, as long as it’s still there. We’re talking mainly about the conscience..