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THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT

Beware! The New Age Movement Is More Than Self-Indulgent Silliness

A Comprehensive Exposé of The New Age Movement
by Lee Penn

Published by - New Oxford Review, July-August 2000, pp. 19-31

Please Note: Although The M+G+R Foundation agrees with Mr. Penn about the dangers that lurk in the New Age Movement, we do not necessarily agree with each point and/or statement, written or implied, in Mr. Penn's document.

SECTION 1 of 6
 

PREFACE

This article is intended as a warning against the spiritual and socio-political dangers associated with the New Age and globalist
movements.  The intent is not to call down fire upon "bad guys." Rather, I seek to sound an alarm, to awaken those
who are in these movements (and those who might be in a position to resist these movements) to these perils.  Let no one hastily
assume that the rank-and-file adherents of these movements are aware of, and culpable for, the bizarre beliefs (described below) of the
New Age and globalist leaders.  Very often, spiritual seekers and those who desire political reform enter these movements with good
intentions, and never have a reason to look inside the movement's closets for skeletons.  In addition, the writings of the globalist and New
Age leaders are crashingly dull, and few of their followers will examine these texts in sufficient detail to learn of the darkness at the heart
of these movements.

Christian opponents of the New Age and globalist movements need to remember the profound truth in the saying, "the cults are the unpaid
bills of the Church."  Some of the causes that the New Age and globalist movements support (such as protection of the environment from
pollution, and an end to inter-religious violence) are praiseworthy.  Some of what the New Age and globalist movements oppose (for
example, racial discrimination and imperialism) also deserves Christian opposition.  Thus, a knee-jerk reaction (i.e., if the New Age is for "X,"
Christians must oppose "X") is unwise.  Christian opponents of the New Age and globalist movements should consider what real injustices
and spiritual hungers lead people to follow these movements - so that the People of God might answer these real, unmet needs of their
fellow men.

Christ loves, and also came to save, all who are now in the New Age and globalist movements.  (That goes for the leaders: "Father, forgive
them; for they know not what they do!" [Lk. 23:34])  Let us never forget to pray for them all, and to entrust them
all to God's Mercy.  For all of us, myself included, are utterly dependent upon this same Mercy.
 

INTRODUCTION

In recent years the New Age movement has come out of the closet in the Church and in the world.   The New Age movement is made up of those who follow a potpourri of beliefs and practices that fall outside the boundaries of the major  traditional religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, animism, and Buddhism). Its manifestations are protean. Some Catholic  nuns walk on labyrinths to contact the "Divine Feminine." Increasing numbers of health insurance companies have heeded consumers'  demands to cover offbeat treatments, ranging from Ayurvedic herbal medicine to "therapeutic touch" - in which a "healer's" hands  manipulate "energy fields" but never touch the patient's body. Hillary Clinton was moved to contact the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt  under the guidance of Jean Houston - a New York-based avatar who runs a "Mystery School," and who inspired the current fad of  walking on labyrinths. Millions of Americans with more money than commonsense are buying into this trendy, feel-good style of  spirituality; they have helped to keep Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations with God on the best-seller lists since 1997. These are the  people who say, "I'm spiritual, but not religious."

Many Christians view the New Age movement as merely self-indulgent silliness. Unfortunately, there's far more to the movement than astrology, crystals, weird workshops, and psychobabble.  Many New Age spiritual leaders have a firmly entrenched anti-Christian worldview, and harbor a special hatred for the Catholic Church.  Some New Age leaders believe that the Fall was really man's ascent into knowledge, assisted by Lucifer - whom they hail as the  bringer of light and wisdom. These New Age teachers expect an imminent, apocalyptic transformation that will lead humanity into the  New Age. By acts of men or by an act of "spirit," earth will be cleansed of those who refuse to evolve. In the New Age, there will be world government; the economy will be remade to promote "sharing." Traditional morality and traditional families will disappear.  Orthodox religions - especially Christianity and Judaism - are considered "separative" and "obsolete"; in the New Age, they too will  vanish.
 

HISTORY and SUPPORTERS of the NEW AGE MOVEMENT

For the last 125 years, New Age leaders worldwide have followed the false light of Theosophy; they now whisper into the itching ears of the powerful - politicians, media moguls, UN officials, foundation grant-makers, and Anglican bishops. As the West moves into a post-Christian era, the influence of the New Age movement grows.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky blended Eastern religion with Western occultism, establishing the Theosophical movement in 1875 in New York City. Theosophy has influenced occult, spiritualist, "New Thought," and New Age movements around the world ever since. For Blavatsky, the LORD is not God; mankind is. She says, "Man is truly the manifested deity in both its aspects - good and evil." Since mankind is god, it follows that "mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally - SELF-REDEEMED." Or rather, some of mankind is "god-informed" and capable of self-redemption - namely, "the Aryan and other civilized nations." Others, "such human specimens as the Bushmen, the Veddhas of Ceylon, and some African tribes" are "lower human creatures," "inferior races" that are "now happily...dying out. Verily mankind is 'of one blood,' but not of the same essence."(1)

In the early 1900s Alice A. Bailey carried forward the teachings of Theosophy in the U.S. She founded the Lucifer [yes!] Publishing Company in New York City in 1922, renaming it the Lucis Publishing Company in 1923. Between 1922 and 1949, Bailey published 24 books of "revelations" that she claimed to have channeled from the Tibetan ascended "spiritual master" Djwhal Khul. All these books remain in print, and are widely available.

The influence of Theosophy continues to grow a half-century after her death. Robert Muller, former assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, won the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1989 for his World Core Curriculum. He says, "The underlying philosophy upon which The Robert Muller School is based will be found in the teachings set forth in the books of Alice A. Bailey by the Tibetan teacher, Djwhal Khul." Like Muller, Neale Donald Walsch praises Theosophy. James Parks Morton, the Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City until his 1997 retirement, praises Theosophist David Spangler, as "a genuine mystic."

Muller, Walsch, and Morton's Temple of Understanding all actively support the United Religions Initiative (URI), a well-funded venture in religious syncretism led by Episcopal Bishop William Swing of San Francisco. (Other Theosophists are lining up to support the URI. The Rudolf Steiner Foundation has recently made a grant to the URI, and the Lucis Trust newsletter, World Goodwill, has praised the URI twice in 1999.) Laurance S. Rockefeller and his Fund for the Enhancement of the Human Spirit have financed New Agers Matthew Fox, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Bishop Swing's Grace Cathedral. Morton has friends in high places; he is on the Council of Advisers for Global Green, USA (an affiliate of Mikhail Gorbachev's Green Cross International, an environmentalist organization), and was co-chairman of UN conferences on the environment in 1992 and 1997.

Another of Gorbachev's organizations, the San Francisco-based State of the World Forum, draws funding from a galaxy of corporations and foundations, ranging from Archer Daniels Midland, CNN, Hewlett-Packard, and Occidental Petroleum to the Carnegie Corporation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The State of the World Forum attracts almost 1,000 VIPs to San Francisco each year, and encourages them to believe that they will be the ones to shape the emerging "new civilization." Not all participants are eggheads and political has-beens; the 1998 Forum included Georges Berthoin, President of the Trilateral Commission, James Michel, the chairman of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other power brokers. Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of the 22 co-chairs of the Forum, along with Gorbachev, Ted Turner, Federico Mayor (Director General of UNESCO), and other high UN officials. Neither orthodox Christian nor Orthodox Jewish leaders have spoken at any Forum sessions. Instead, the assembled dignitaries have heard New Age-style preaching from such people as Andrew Weil, Michael Lerner, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan (leaders of the Esalen Institute), Fritjof Capra, Jean Houston, Sam Keen, Ram Dass, Matthew Fox, Deepak Chopra, and Tony Robbins.

In short, promoters of New Age and Theosophical ideals are not social outcasts. On the contrary, these followers of the Spirit of the Age get attention and money from the rich and the powerful.

Format Copyright 2000 - 2003 by The M+G+R Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Bibliography for SECTION 1

NOTE: Internet document citations are based on research done between September 1997 and January 2000. Web citations were accurate as of the time that each Web page was accessed.  However, some documents may since have been moved to a different Web site, or they may have been removed entirely from the Web.
 

[1] H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II - Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1970, "Verbatim with the Original Edition, 1888," p. 515
[2] H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II - Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1970, "Verbatim with the Original Edition, 1888," p. 420
[3] H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II - Anthropogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1970, "Verbatim with the Original Edition, 1888," p. 421, footnote
[4] H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. I - Cosmogenesis, Theosophical University Press, 1970, "Verbatim with the Original Edition, 1888," pp. 410-411
[5] Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism, New York University Press, 1992
[6] 6 Robert Muller School, World Core Curriculum Manual (Overview), 1986, Arlington, Texas, preface page
[7] Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson, Spiritual Politics: Changing the World from the Inside Out, Ballantine Books, 1994, ISBN 0-345-36983-1, front cover endorsement
[8] Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, New World Library, Novato, California, 1998, ISBN 1-57731-016-0, p. 216
[9] Lucis Trust bookmark; also, on p. vii of Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1960, ISBN 0-85330-122-0
[10] Lucis Trust bookmark; also, on p. vii of Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1960, ISBN 0-85330-122-0
[11] Robert Gilman, "Between Order and Chaos: An Interview with David Spangler," Internet document, http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC34/Spangler.htm, p. 1
[12] Rudolf Steiner Foundation, "Client Profiles," Internet document, http://www.rsfoundation.org/clientprofiles/projectdescriptions.html, p. 1
[13] Lucis Trust, "Transition Activities: The United Religions Initiative," World Goodwill, vol. 1, 1999; Internet document, http://www.lucistrust.org/goodwill/wgnl991.shtml, p. 21; Lucis Trust, "Invoking the Spirit of Peace," World Goodwill, vol. 3, 1999; Internet document, http://www.lucistrust.org/goodwill/wgnl993.shtml, p. 2
[14] Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance, Harper San Francisco, 1988, ISBN 0-06-062915-0, p. xi
[15] Donor list, Grace Cathedral Magazine, Spring 1995, p. 9; covers donations made to the Cathedral capital campaign as of March 1, 1995; Rockefeller donated at least $10,000, according to this listing.
[16] Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, New World Library, Novato, California, 1998, ISBN 1-57731-016-0, p. viii
[17] State of the World Forum, "Our Common Enterprise - Participants," Internet document, http://www.worldforum.org/news-events/oce_participants.html, p. 1
[18] State of the World Forum, "Our Common Enterprise - Participants," Internet document, http://www.worldforum.org/news-events/oce_participants.html, p. 9
[19] State of the World Forum, 1999 brochure inviting participation in the 5th annual State of the World Forum, list of co-chairs, p. 3
[20] Case Western Reserve University, "Global Excellence in Management," Internet document, http://www.nexxus.som.cwrv.edu/gem, pp. 3-4
[21] James Gregory Lord, "What more can higher education be to society," Internet document, http://www.university.org, p. 2
[22] Taos Institute, "Consulting," Internet document, http://www.serve.com/taos/consult.html, pp. 1-2
[23] Taos Institute, "Conferences and Workshops: In the Past," Internet document, http://www.serve.com/taos/conference.html, pp. 1-2
[24] Taos Institute, "About the Founders: To briefly introduce the founders of the Taos Institute," Internet document, http://www.serve.com/taos/founder.html, p. 1
[25] Dennis Delman, "United Religions Initiative Advances with Appreciative Inquiry" Pacific Church News, February/March 1998, p. 22. All ellipses are as given in the original article.
[26] H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled: Vol. I, Science, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, original edition 1877, "new edition, revised and corrected, and with additional material, 1972," ISBN 0-8356-0193-5, p. 639
[27] Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, "The Course: Survival & Empowerment for the Twenty-First Century," Internet document, http://www.balpoint.com/wicar/survival.htm, pp. 1, 2
[28] Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, "The Course: Survival & Empowerment for the Twenty-First Century," Internet document, http://www.balpoint.com/wicar/survival.htm, p. 1
[29] Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, "The Course: Survival & Empowerment for the Twenty-First Century," Internet document, http://www.balpoint.com/wicar/survival.htm, p. 1
[30] Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, "Interfaith Seminary Program," http://www.balpoint.com/wicar/seminary.htm, p. 2
[31] Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, "Board of Directors," Internet document, http://www.balpoint.com/wicar/director.htm, p. 1

END NOTES

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