The Seduction of Christianity – Program 6

By: Johanna Michaelson, Dave Hunt; ©1985
Is it possible Satan would give us a beautiful “spiritual” experience in an attempt to deceive us as draw us away from faith in God?

Would Satan Try to Deceive Us?

Ankerberg: Welcome! Our guests tonight are two folks who have written these books. First you have Dave Hunt, who has written a very new book, The Seduction of Christianity, talking about the great lie that is sweeping across America, both in the secular realm and then has come into the Church. And now the Church has picked up some of the occult techniques and is spreading these, and some of the most surprising people, that you would never think would be teaching these things, are. It’s all in this book. The second book is by Johanna Michaelsen, our other guest tonight. We’re so glad that you are here, Johanna. Hher book is entitled The Beautiful Side of Evil.
The reason that we want you to have these books is because I’m finding a lot of you who are out there, you are having encounters, mystical experiences. Do you remember when we had Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross on our program? Dave Hunt was there as well. I asked Elisabeth, I said, “Tell us about your experience.” And she talked about how she was reincarnated and was one of the former teachers of Jesus; how she had out-of-body experiences; how she saw the “great white light,” very similar to some of the things that Shirley MacLaine and other people are saying around our country. And we’re just kind of taking it as “normal operating procedures” that people are having these experiences. I believe they are real experiences, but they are saying, “It’s beautiful. It’s the most wonderful experience they’ve ever had in their lives.”
The question we want to raise is: Could they be deceived? Is the title of her book accurate? The Beautiful Side of Evil. When we asked Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, “Is it possible that an evil power called Satan has actually deceived you?” She said, “It’s impossible! How could the best experience of my life have been caused by somebody who was trying to evilly destroy me and deceive me?” They can’t accept it. And yet, that’s why I want you to listen to Johanna and her story tonight. Before I get to your story, Johanna, Dave, in the last couple of weeks of time, we’ve been saying some things that almost sounds like you don’t believe in the supernatural. We’ve been talking about all these people involved in the supernatural, talking about the supernatural, following their spirit guides, their imagination, speaking words, creating things with their imagination. We’ve documented that. It sounds like you’re not against it, yet you’re a Christian. Say something to that effect.
Hunt: Yes, I believe in the real supernatural. I believe in miracles. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today. But 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that these miraculous gifts, spiritual gifts, are the manifestation of the Holy Spirit; not manifestation of mind power, not manifestation of some latent power within me. And the demoniac, they bound him with chains of iron: He snapped them like threads. That was the manifestation of a spirit also. He said, “Our name is ‘Legion.’” [Luke 8:30] Demonic entities. There’s no potential within us. It’s either from God or it’s from Satan. So, I definitely believe in miracles.
What we’re trying to do is warn against it, because the Bible doesn’t say that in the last days the great need is to believe in miracles. It warns us that in the last days there’s going to be one who will come who “Works according to the power of Satan, with lying signs and wonders.” [2 Thess. 2:9] We better know the difference between the genuine and the counterfeit. And, John, as I’ve sat here and we’ve talked about this the last few weeks, I can’t believe the things that I’m saying myself. I mean, it’s what I call “the accident syndrome.” If you’ve ever been in an accident, the first thought that comes to your mind is, “It can’t be happening—not to me.” I read the Scripture where Jesus warned of deception, Paul warned of apostasy and said, “Let no man deceive you.” [2 Thess. 2:3] When I look in the world about me, I see the very pattern of delusion that they warned about, I see it coming into the Church, and I say, “I can’t believe it!” But somehow, we’ve got to talk about it and we’ve got to open this up and let people see what’s going on.
Ankerberg: Why is it dangerous, David? Why is it dangerous for some of our people who are teaching courses on miracles in our churches who are saying, “If you have a miracle, it will then prove to you the truth. Whatever that miracle is” name it and claim it, and so on. Why is that dangerous in light of what you’ve just said?
Hunt: Well, because there is a “miracle worker” coming with miracles that Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 would be so genuine, would be so powerful, that if possible, they would deceive the very elect. And if I think that all I need is a miracle, I’ve been set up for a delusion. Those in Matthew 7, that was their view. Why did they think they belonged in Heaven? “Lord, we did miracles in your name. We healed. We cast out devils. We prophesied in your name.” [Matt. 7:22] They should have said, “Lord Jesus, you died for our sins, and you made a promise: ‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,’ [John 6:37] and I opened my heart to you and you can’t turn me down now because you died for my sins and you promised me eternal life.” But instead of that, they said, “Oh the great proof is in the miracles that we did.” And Johanna saw miracles that she thought were genuine.
Ankerberg: Johanna, how did you get into this? Just take us back to a starting point where you started to encounter “the supernatural.”
Michaelsen: Well, John, there are four main ways people get involved in this kind of thing. One of the key ways is through inheritance, and I inherited a demonic spirit from my great-great aunt who was a very powerful telekinetic medium. Any occultist family knows that the best way to get occult powers is to have it passed down in the generational line. And I knew that something had moved into the house one night when my parents were out. All the doors were locked. Suddenly a being came into the house, opened up that door that was locked, scared my doggies half to death and I knew that something else had moved in there with me. And over the years, I began to notice that I was developing the ability to hear what people were thinking, to know what was going to happen before it happened. These spirits were giving me information. Although I hasten to add that I was terrified of them. These things that I was seeing, oh, from the time I was 11, almost 12, through the end of my college years, terrified the living daylights out of me. When Bishop Pike’s son died, Jim Pike—I knew Bishop Pike when he was in Cuernavaca when I was about 14 years old…
Ankerberg: And you knew Jim.
Michaelsen: I knew Jim very briefly, not well, but well enough to know when the bishop’s book came out and he began delving into the psychic manifestations of his son, and my heart leapt with joy because I said, “Here, finally, is a church man, a man of God respected by our pastor—granted, Ruth Montgomery, the big psychic author, was the pillar of our church; she lived in our hometown there—but I said, “Here, finally, is a possible explanation for what’s happening.” So, actually, Bishop Pike was instrumental in my life, as he was in countless thousands [of others], for exploring this.
Ankerberg: In leading you to accepting occult practices.
Michaelsen: That’s right. And not being so terrified of them and trying to seek a method of controlling them.
Ankerberg: Putting a Christianized veneer on it, if you want.
Michaelsen: Well, barely even Christianized, because he didn’t accept any kind of a Christian explanation. It was Spiritualism.
Ankerberg: So as far as you were concerned, you saw it that way. Like many of our other people in our country are saying, “My pastor is teaching me these things and I’ve never heard them before, but he must be right.”
Michaelsen: I accepted the possibility, now, of exploring this, because, after all, a revered church man was going into this, so there had to be some validity to it. I talked to one minister who was a Methodist minister for 50 years who is now working with Benjamin Crème’s outfit. But in any case….
Ankerberg: Benjamin Crème, for people who don’t know, who is he?
Michaelsen: He’s kind of the John the Baptist for the supposed great Lord Maitreya who insists on embarrassing the New Age movement no end by never showing up when they predict he will.
Ankerberg: 1982, across the world papers, they…
Michaelsen: Yeah, came and went, and a few other dates.
Ankerberg: They said the new “Christ,” the new “Messiah” was here and Benjamin Crème is talking about him. Go on though.
Michaelsen: But I went through college years wondering if I was losing my mind. Going to my pastor, who said, “Dear, what you really need is to talk to a good psychiatrist,” and finding no answer. You know, going to other people, sincere individuals, who would hand me little talismans and medallions from saints to ward off the devils. But what really changed my life was after I graduated from college. I went back to Mexico, and my father came across an ad for Silva Mind Control. It’s one of many groups now that are trying to train you to develop your inner latent powers, to develop your psychic abilities, your supposed “neutral abilities.”
Ankerberg: And your dad says, “Boy, this sounds like something you might need.”
Michaelsen: Even my father said it. He said, “Hey, this sounds like it’s right up your alley. Why don’t you go?” So, I went. And I eventually dragged my entire family into it. And, do you know, for the first time in my life, I began to sense a new aspect of occultism. It was beautiful! There was control to be had there. I didn’t have to be buffeted by these forces at will. When they gave us our counselors….
Ankerberg: Silva promised these things.
Michaelsen: These things are for, you know, along with stop smoking, lose weight, improve your memory, become a genius—which somehow I never mastered that part of it—and all these other nifty things, they give you counselors to prove to you—whether they are imaginary or not is irrelevant—but to help prove to you that you are indeed working at the psychic level. The last day their proof is when you go into your alpha state, your quiet, meditative “imaginary” state, and they have you read cases very much the same way Edgar Cayce did.
Ankerberg: Edgar Cayce was who?
Michaelsen: Edgar Cayce was someone who came out of a splinter of the Presbyterian Church, probably one of the greatest psychics that ever lived. They call him the “sleeping prophet,” but he wasn’t asleep. He was in a trance state.
Ankerberg: And a voice spoke out of him.
Michaelsen: And when he was in that state, other voices spoke out of him and gave very exact, very accurate diagnoses and case histories.
Ankerberg: Which people still follow him from the Association of Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach.
Michaelsen: In Virginia Beach, that’s right. He’s still very closely followed. So, when I was presented with this thing of our guides and counselors, I said, “Well, what better counselor can I have than Jesus?” Because, as I mentioned in one of the earlier programs, I had invited Jesus into my life as best I knew. From my very limited understanding of Scripture, I was a Christian, and I said, “What better counselor? Jesus said He would be with me always.” So I invited Jesus….
Ankerberg: So they said, “You pick a spirit guide,” and you said, “What better counselor than Jesus?”
Michaelsen: Well, they say “counselor.” They will not call them spirit guides any more than Beverly Galyean, who was an educator who died a number of years ago and was bringing this kind of material into the school systems, would call them spirit guides. No, no, no. “Wise persons,” “counselors,” “inner guides,” they called them. And they deliberately lie about it. So I asked for my counselor to be Jesus. And we brought down this mental door in our imagination in this special laboratory that we created, and there He was, John. Little by little the face was revealed, the face of Jesus, glowing and beautiful. And my heart leapt with joy, because here finally was a visible manifestation of this “Jesus” that I’d always loved.
Ankerberg: But at the beginning, in your book you said that that Jesus kept changing faces on you.
Michaelsen: Well, He was doing some peculiar things that I didn’t understand.
Ankerberg: Like what?
Michaelsen: Well, that night I did something that we had been warned against. They said, “Whatever you do, do not go back and try bringing down your counselors on your own.” I said, “Well, that’s a pretty stupid thing to say. I’m going to try it. What if I got the wrong one? What if I just created Him in my imagination and made Him up?” So, against regulations, I went back to my room that night. I counted myself down in….
Ankerberg: The technique to talk yourself into your subconscious.
Michaelsen: The technique to bring yourself “down to level.” And I brought down the door myself. And all of a sudden, John, something happened that I wasn’t expecting. As the door was being brought down, something happened to me that has been recorded by many other occultists. I snapped into an experience that I could not pull myself out of on the psychic level. And “Jesus” began to appear before me with the matted hair—no longer was it the shining halo of the Lord—and glowing demon eyes as I’d seen more than once during my college years, and a matted, woolly face, and teeth. I mean, you know, your regular werewolf picture designed to scare the living daylights out of any kid, and a lot of grownups, too. Blood dripping down.
And I tell you, I tried to sit myself up and get myself out of that state and I couldn’t. I was paralyzed. And this thing, then, started doing strange things, with the blood dripping down the face. First, it was the face of Jesus shining, and then this hideous thing. And Sarah Bernhardt, my other guide, was doing the same thing. Finally I said, “The only way I’m going to be able to deal with this is facing it head-on,” and I said, “Jesus”—I was standing before Him with my hands in worship—I said, “Lord, why are you doing this? It frightens me!”
And they said something then that was very fascinating to me. They said, “Little one”—this Jesus did—“We just want to teach you that not everything that appears to be evil on the surface really is.” In other words, they were saying, “Accept us. This may be frightening, but you’re going to be seeing some frightening things. Not everything that is frightening is…. Follow us. We’ve come to lead you into a path of wisdom and knowledge. And when you really get a grasp on the truths we are telling you, you will see us as we truly are instead of in these masks that are frightening you.” So I kissed the woolly forehead and I said, “Thank you, my Lord. I will try to learn the lesson as soon as possible.”
Ankerberg: Okay. There is just one story, and hearing your sister tell this story alongside, just tell the story about what happened when she had this.
Michaelsen: My sister was a committed believer for about three years before I became involved in this Mind Control thing. And Kim, at my insistence, and, boy, I dragged her into it. I mean, I called her a “narrow-minded, Bible-thumping fundamentalist who wouldn’t know a genuine miracle if it ran her over.” And I insisted she come take it for her own spiritual development. She did. And when she reached the point, John, of this door coming down, suddenly this face of Satan, she said, came zooming in on her. And she was pretty opened minded. She was willing to say, “Well, maybe they’ve got something here.” But suddenly this face of Satan came zooming in on her, and her second counselor was trying to materialize in the background and couldn’t quite come. And suddenly she heard like a giant crash and a voice thundering to her, “Thou shalt have no other gods but me!” And she did sit up and say, “Whoa, this is not something the Lord wants me involved with.” And she was absolutely right.
Ankerberg: And she left right then.
Michaelsen: Well, she sat up and would not participate any further.
Ankerberg: Johanna, you would say that there were many delightful things that came from your spirit guides, from your experiences, and so on. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have kept going that way.
Michaelsen: My experiences were so different from the original manifestations of occultic phenomena I had had, John, that I was sure it had to be from God. You know, the ecstasy, the beautiful manifestations, the colors, the vibrations, the peace, the sense of control. My heart goes out to Dr. Kubler-Ross when she says, “How can you say that these things are deception, that I’ve been deceived by demonic beings?” Jeane Dixon, when she was interviewed by Hal Lindsay for his book Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, said the same thing: “Look, I’ve experienced the frightening side of the occult. I have now experienced the beautiful side of these things. How can you tell me that both have their source in the same being, that it’s deception?”
And yet, if I had known a passage, for example, like 2 Corinthians 11, where it tell us, you know, Paul giving his great negative confession, you know: “But I’m afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your mind should be led astray from simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” [2 Cor. 11:3] He tells us there is another Jesus, another spirit; that even Christians can receive, if he is to be believed, another Gospel. And he continues to tell us in that same passage, in verse 13, that such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. [2 Cor. 11:13] Now, a wolf in sheep’s clothing isn’t going to come and say, “Behold, I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing; don’t listen to me!” It’s going to come looking and sounding like the beautiful things. You know, the case histories that we are hearing of the mass murderers, like the Night Stalker recently in California who was involved in some form of Satanism and these other people, Satan isn’t going to come that way to most people. He’s going to come slipping in the door saying, “I am beautiful. I’m holy. I’m working miracles. I’m helping you. Listen to what I’m saying.”
Ankerberg: It seems like it was so easy for you to get into all of these things. And the people that you went to college with, it seems like they were dabbling in all of this as well.
Michaelsen: Yes.
Ankerberg: It didn’t seem to be something that was unique. It was something that was kind of like “standard operating procedure,” and once you got into it, you didn’t know how to get out of it.
Michaelsen: Well, once I got into it, I was very bent on staying in it, because I became involved with a woman in Mexico City who was a psychic surgeon, one of the few genuine ones around.
Ankerberg: Okay, let’s back-track in the story. You said that you had the doors coming down and “Jesus,” your spirit guide that you had chosen, appeared in different faces. You finally worked that out by facing it, and you basically gave in and you said you would do anything your spirit guide “Jesus” wanted you to do.
Michaelsen: And once I did that He gave me the most incredibly ecstatic, beautiful visions I had ever experienced in my whole life. And I said, “This has to be the way to go.”
Ankerberg: So you surrendered to Him, and then you got the peace, prosperity and so on at that point. So then you went down to Mexico, back to live with your family. And while you….
Michaelsen: All this was happening in Mexico.
Ankerberg: That was happening in Mexico. Now, you’re down there. How did you meet this lady?
Michaelsen: Well, the instructor for the Silva Mind Control course had been introduced to a little old woman by one of his clients going through the Mind Control course. We were told in the introductory part of the course this little woman did incredible things. Ignorant, peasant woman, barely a third grade education, and yet, with nothing more than a rusty hunting knife and a pair of scissors, without pulling out chicken gizzards from under any cupboard, was literally performing operations on people. People with inoperable brain tumors were walking away healed. People who were born dumb, children who had never uttered word in their lives, were beginning to speak. And I said, “I have got to meet this person.” He said he himself had done an operation on his knee, and he said, “Believe us, we were not hypnotized, we were not making this up. This is what happened.” And I said, “Well, I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Ankerberg: Yeah, because you’re a college graduate and you would say, “Hey, I’ve got to see this.”
Michaelsen: But, as the same time, I was prepared for it. I knew that something miraculous was happening. I’ve been dealing with the supernatural all my life. It was obvious to me spirit entities existed. If the bad ones were there, it was logical to me, as far as I could reason it out, that there were good ones, too, who could do incredible things for the benefit of mankind.
Ankerberg: You said when you walked into the room, what did you see on the mantel?
Michaelsen: When I first walked into Pachita’s room, boy, that’s an incredible story. There was an altar in one section of this little cubbyhole room in the back woods of Mexico, the slums. And there were all kinds of things on the altar. There were all kinds of dead roses there and little vials of liquid, a strange thing wrapped up. But the most striking thing to me was a crucifix and a picture of Jesus. As I began participating with this woman over the 14 months that I was with her, almost every week that she was working, all the glory was given “to my Father above.” You know, he would take no glory for himself. They were sincere, devoted individuals from the church, clergymen, Catholic clergy as well as Protestant who were saying, “These are miracles from God. Look at the incredible things happening.”
Hunt: You said “he,” but that’s not Pachita.
Michaelsen: Let me clarify that. Pachita would go into a trance state.
Ankerberg: Pachita was a woman.
Michaelsen: Pachita is the name of the psychic who was doing these operations. She would sit down, go into an altered state of consciousness, release her own consciousness from her body. Another spirit would come. You know, Sir John Echols [said], “The brain is a machine a ghost can operate.” And this other ghost, this other spirit, would come over, take possession of her and begin doing incredible things.
Ankerberg: And what was his name?
Michaelsen: We addressed him as Hermanito, “Little Brother.”
Ankerberg: A male.
Michaelsen: A male. He claimed to be the deceased spirit of an ancient Aztec prince who had been executed, and he was coming back to fulfill his karma.
Ankerberg: And, in essence, she started to tell you that you were picked—it wasn’t she, it was the spirit—that told you that you were picked to take over her job when she passed off the scene, whatever that would be.
Michaelsen: A dubious distinction at best. But I was elated by the news at the time, because more than anything else I wanted to help people, I wanted to be of service. And that is the motivation of most people involved in the occult. They’re not evil. They want to help.
Ankerberg: So, here you were. You had “Jesus” as a spirit guide and you said prayers to the “Father” for what you were doing. You had the crucifix right above where you were doing the psychic operations. You had all of this. Were there any doubts?
Michaelsen: The doubts didn’t come until much later when prophecies that had been made specifically were not fulfilled.
Ankerberg: By the psychic.
Michaelsen: By the psychic. When people who had been told that they would live, died eventually. By God’s grace, nobody ever did die there, or I’d still be sitting in jail telling you about this. But, yes, doubts began to creep in. I was told I would be a full trance medium within a certain period of time. And even though I could see the spirits around me as I was imaging them through my guided imagery visualization techniques, they were not allowed to take possession.
Ankerberg: Okay, we’ve got to wrap this story up. And we’re going to mess everybody up in the audience out there by holding it over till next week. But one thing that I want you to leave with the people that are saying, “You know: Hey, that’s me! I know exactly what you are talking about.” How did you get out of it? Do you have something from the Lord that you can say, because we haven’t told them the full story of how you got out of that—that’s coming next week—and what you had to go through. But give some hope here.
Michaelsen: I think the key thing that you would have to ask yourself if you are involved in this is: is there a possibility that I’m wrong? Is it possible that I’ve been deceived about the nature of what I’m involved with? If there is, is there another way to go? Is there a transcendent God who has said something to me about it? Is there a way of checking my experience against some source of objective truth? If I had known what the Bible had to say about mediums and spirits, however sincere, however good, in Deuteronomy 18, for example, and in many other passages, I would not have become involved.
Ankerberg: Why? Because the Bible says….
Michaelsen: Because I believed that I was following God, you know, and I believed….
Ankerberg: But the Bible says the practices that you were doing are absolutely forbidden and it’s an abomination.
Michaelsen: It’s an abomination, Deuteronomy 18:12. I wish we had the time to get into those passages. There are many of them.
Ankerberg: We’ll do it next week. Dave, a final word?
Hunt: Well, Paul says in Galatians 1, “Though I or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that you have received, let him be accursed.” [Gal. 1:8] And he says that Satan transforms himself into an “angel of light.” It’s no wonder then that his ministers come across as the “ministers of righteousness.” [2 Cor. 11:14-15] That’s part of the mask; that’s part of the lie. But there is only one way, and that is Jesus, the One who died for our sins.
Ankerberg: Okay. I hope that you will tune in next week, because if you haven’t read her book, she talks about how the deception finally was realized; how the blinders came off; and the frightening thing that happened. And the reason I want you to hear it is that some of you are experiencing the beautiful, the good, just like she was saying. You haven’t gotten to the bad, so you don’t think there is any bad. When it happens, you need to hear the information we are going to give. And hopefully you will do something before it happens. So please, join us next week

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