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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 2 of 6

TEACHINGS of THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT

What, then, do the New Age prophets teach? Let Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, Robert Muller, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Neale Donald Walsch, David Spangler, and Matthew Fox speak for themselves - and for the motley crew of "spirit guides," "ascended masters," and "cosmic Christs" whom they serve.

The avatars of the New Age say that humanity is God, and that there is no death. Hubbard states the creed of the Serpent succinctly: "We are immortal. We are not bound by the limits of the body" and "We can create new life forms and new worlds. We are gods!" Walsch, who claims in his best-selling book to converse directly with "God" says the same: "Trust God. Or if you wish, trust yourself, for Thou Art God." The "God" with whom Walsch converses denies death, saying, "There is no 'death.' Life goes on forever and ever. Life Is. You simply change form." Bailey said, "We are all Gods...." These avatars repeat the lies that the Devil told in Eden: "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God..." (Gen. 3:4-5). As a devotee of Walsch's recently told the Washington Post, "We discovered the God within.... That's why we need God. Because we are God."

Since we are gods, there is no need for Christ to save us. Instead, as Hubbard says, "Multitudes of self-saviors is what we are, for those who have eyes to see." New Age teachers invert Christian doctrine about sin, the Devil, and the Fall. Hubbard says, "The serpent symbolizes an irresistible [sic] energy that is leading us toward life ever-evolving. First the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.... Then self-awareness came." She adds, "Evil - the devil - is evolution's selection process that constantly weeds out the weaker from the stronger." A spirit that identified itself to Hubbard as "Jesus" told her to "love Satan, my fallen brother."(2) Walsch's "God" says that Adam and Eve "are said to have committed Original Sin. I tell you this: it was the Original Blessing. For without this event, the partaking of the knowledge of good and evil, you would not even know the two possibilities existed!" Blavatsky spoke most plainly: "The Fall was the result of man's knowledge, for his 'eyes were opened.' Indeed, he was taught Wisdom and the hidden knowledge by the 'Fallen Angel.'"

These New Age teachings lead inexorably to the praise of Darkness. Walsch's statement that God is "the Darkness that creates the Light, and makes it possible" mirrors Blavatsky's dictum that "According to the tenets of Eastern Occultism, DARKNESS is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of light.... Light is matter, and DARKNESS, pure Spirit." (3) Alice Bailey likewise says that those who learn to meditate will see that "darkness is pure spirit." Followers of Bailey's New Age path will find, she says, that "each contact with the Initiator leads the initiate closer to the centre of pure darkness...a centre or point of such intense brilliance that everything fades out and...at that darkest point...[is seen] a point of clear cold fire." (4) Perhaps Dante was right when he described the center of Hell as ice.

Theosophists make it clear that in the contest between God and the Devil, they side with the Devil. Blavatsky says, "It is but natural...to view Satan, the Serpent of Genesis, as the real creator and benefactor, the Father of Spiritual mankind. For it is he who was the 'Harbinger of Light,' bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton created by Jehovah." (5) According to Alice Bailey, the fallen angels "descended from their sinless and free state of existence in order to develop full divine awareness upon earth." Spangler, like Blavatsky, praises Lucifer as "the angel of man's evolution. He is the angel of man's inner light." (6) G. K. Chesterton warns those who wander after this will-o'-the-wisp: "Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all the horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within.... That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones."

Alice Bailey denies Hell and Christ's atonement for man's sin; instead, "the concept of hell" will be replaced by "an understanding of the law which makes each man work out his salvation upon the physical plane, which leads him to right the wrongs which he may have perpetrated in his lives on Earth, and which enables him eventually to 'clean his own slate.'" What a rotten deal Bailey offers! Instead of being saved and forgiven through Christ's death and Resurrection, we are left with the unforgiving law of karma and the requirement to right all the wrongs of all our past lives ourselves.

As might be expected from a man who has channeled "a disembodied entity" for 20 years, Spangler says, "Christ is the perfect balance to Lucifer." 7 Like Matthew Fox, Spangler proposes to replace Jesus with the "cosmic Christ"; "any old Christ will not do, not if we need to show that we have something better than the mainstream Christian traditions. It must be a cosmic Christ, a universal Christ, a New Age Christ.... The Christ is universal. It is cosmic. It always has been." Note the pronoun: Spangler calls Christ "it."

New Age writers follow the Gnostic tradition, denying that birth, life, and the body are good. Walsch says, "Birth itself is a death, and death a birth. For in birth, the soul finds itself constricted within the awful limitations of a body, and at death escapes those constrictions again." This is, almost word for word, what Alice Bailey wrote: "Birth establishes the soul in the true prison, and physical death is only the first step toward liberation."

Denial of the goodness of the body leads to giving a "get out of Hell free" card to Hitler. As Walsch says, "Hitler went to heaven," and "There is no hell, so there is no place else for him to go." After all, according to Walsch's "God," Hitler was doing his victims a favor by killing them; his deeds were "mistakes," not crimes: "The mistakes Hitler made did no harm or damage to those whose deaths he caused. Those souls were released from their earthly bondage, like butterflies emerging from a cocoon.... When you see the utter perfection in everything - not just in those things with which you agree, but (and perhaps especially) those things with which you disagree - you achieve mastery." The price of "mastery" is to see "utter perfection" in Auschwitz and Treblinka. "John," the disembodied spirit which Spangler has channeled for over 20 years, likewise said, "We naturally do not identify life with the physical body, consequently, to us, the loss of your physical form is not a tragedy.... The death of millions of people in itself is not a tragedy for us, for it simply means their birth into our domains."

Walsch's "God" says that Hitler does not deserve blame for his acts - the rest of humanity is responsible for allowing them to happen: "The purpose of the Hitler Experience was to show humanity to itself." Walsch's "God" repeats what Bailey said in 1939, as World War II began: "Blame not the personalities involved.... They are only the product of the past and the victims of the present. At the same time, they are the agents of destiny, the creators of the new order and the initiators of the new civilisation; they are the destroyers of what must be destroyed before humanity can go forward along the Lighted Way. They are the embodiment of the personality of humanity. Blame yourselves, therefore, for what is today transpiring." A similar argument has been common for a generation in American courtrooms: The criminal is not accountable for his evil deeds; instead "society" - everybody else - is guilty.

The New Age philosophers define evil as matter, selfishness, and the refusal to embrace change. Bailey says, "The domination of spirit
(and its reflection, soul) by matter is what constitutes evil"; at the human level "the true nature of cosmic evil finds its major expression" in
"materialistic selfishness and the sense of isolated separativeness." Spangler has a similar definition of evil. It "cannot abide change" or
"complexity," is "fixated upon its sense of particularity," "is the dimension of separation," and "abhors diversity and seeks conformity and
sameness." This is the same way that some liberals in politics and the churches describe those who are not "PC."

For New Age teachers, spiritual growth is not the fruit of taking up the Cross and following Christ. Instead, as Hubbard says, "Your highest spiritual beings, even now, are telling you that each of you has access to an inner teacher.... They tell you that through a process called 'initiation,' you can transform yourself into an 'ascended master.'" Perhaps "initiation" is more dangerous than Hubbard lets on, for Bailey says, "each contact with the Initiator leads the initiate closer to the centre of pure darkness." Walsch's "God" does not favor obedience to the Christian God's will: "Obedience is not growth, and growth is what I desire." Walsch's "God" told him: "There's no such thing as the Ten Commandments.... God's Law is No Law." Instead, this alternative is offered: "If you are to evolve, it will not be because you've been able to successfully deny yourself things you know 'feel good,' but because you've granted yourself these pleasures...." As a result, Walsch's "God" approves of sexual activity by children and teenagers. Hubbard says, "The break-up of the 20th century procreative family structure is ...needed...." For the sake of the Divine Self, Walsch denounces fidelity and marriage vows: "Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another is Betrayal nonetheless. It is the Highest Betrayal." Indeed, family members who won't move into the New Age should be left behind. Hubbard says, "if members of our family choose to remain where they are, we have no moral obligation to suppress our own potential on their behalf. In fact the suppression of potential is...'immoral'...." And once our bodies, minds, and souls are drained dry by free sex and trafficking with the spirit world, we ought to choose to die. As Hubbard says, "When we feel that our creativity has run its course, we gracefully choose to die. In fact, it seems unethical and foolish to live on."

Hubbard rewrites the Lord's Prayer, making it a hymn to the Divine Self: "Our Father/Mother God... Which Art In Heaven... Hallowed Be Our Name... Our Kingdom Is Come... Our Will Is Done...," and ending with, "For Ours Is The Kingdom, Ours The Power, Ours The Glory, For Ever And Ever. Amen."

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

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Bibliography for SECTION 2

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.

[32] Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, New World Library, Novato, California, 1998, ISBN 1-57731-016-0, p. 212
[33] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, Nataraj Publishing, Novato, CA, 1995, ISBN 1-882591-21-6, p. 312
[34] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998; ISBN 1-57174-103-8; p. 350
[35] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 40
[36] Alice A. Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1948; ISBN 0-85330-114-X, p. 9
[37] Hanna Rosin, "Beyond 2000: Many Shape Unique Religions at Home," Washington Post, January 18, 2000, p. A1
[38] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Book of Co-Creation Part II - The Promise Will Be Kept: The Gospels, The Acts, the Epistles, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, San Rafael, California, 1993 (privately published), p. 143
[39] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, p. 54
[40] David Spangler, Towards a Planetary Vision, Findhorn Publications, 2nd ed. 1980; ISBN 0-905249-49-6, p. 75
[41] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Book of Co-Creation Part II - The Promise Will Be Kept: The Gospels, The Acts, the Epistles, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, San Rafael, California, 1993 (privately published), p. 172
[42] Barbara Marx Hubbard, Happy Birth Day Planet Earth: The Instant of Co-Operation, Ocean Tree Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1986; ISBN 0-943734-08-8; p. 22
[43] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, Nataraj Publishing, Novato, CA, 1995, ISBN 1-882591-21-6, p. 187
[44] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 57
[45] 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. 513
[46] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998; ISBN 1-57174-103-8; pp. 10-11
[47] 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," p. 70
[48] Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Volume V, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, 1960, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-122-0, p. 174
[49] Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Volume V, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, 1960, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-122-0, p. 174
[50] 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. 243
[51] Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, 1957, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-106-9; p. 118
[52] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, p. 37
[53] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, p. 45
[54] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, p. 44
[55] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, p. 45
[56] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Image Books, 1959, ISBN 0-385-01536-4, p. 76 [57] Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, 1957, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-106-9; p. 603
[58] Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Healing - Volume IV: A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1953, p. 393
[59] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Book of Co-Creation Part II - The Promise Will Be Kept: The Gospels, The Acts, the Epistles, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, San Rafael, California, 1993 (privately published), p. 246
[60] Robert Muller, New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality, World Happiness and Cooperation, P.O. Box 1153, Anacortes, Washington 98221, 1993, ISBN 1-880455-04-8, p. 191
[61] J. Gordon Melton, Jerome Clark, Aidan A. Kelly, New Age Encyclopedia, Gale Research Inc., Detroit, First Edition, ISSN 1047-2746; p. 428
[62] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, pp. 39-40
[63] David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; ISBN 0-905249-52-6, p. 107
[64] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998; ISBN 1-57174-103-8; p. 201
[65] Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Healing - Volume IV: A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1953, pp. 392-393
[66] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 35
[67] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 42
[68] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 42
[69] David Spangler, "Excerpts from Conversations With John," Internet document, http://www.oz.net/jz/spiritaa.html, p. 5
[70] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 54
[71] Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, 1957, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-106-9, p. 135
[72] Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Volume V, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, 1960, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-122-0, p. 144
[73] Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Volume V, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, 1960, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-122-0, p. 753
[74] David Spangler, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture: The Chinook Summer Conferences of David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, July 1988 and 1989; Bear & Company Publishing, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1991; ISBN 0-939680-92-0, p. 132
[75] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998; ISBN 1-57174-103-8; p. 9
[76] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, Nataraj Publishing, Novato, CA, 1995, ISBN 1-882591-21-6, p. 281
[77] Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Volume V, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, 1960, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, ISBN 0-85330-122-0, p. 174
[78] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 98
[79] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 79
[80] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 167
[81] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 105
[82] Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, New World Library, Novato, California, 1998, ISBN 1-57731-016-0, p. 208
[83] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; ISBN 1-57174-056-2; p. 97
[84] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Book of Co-Creation Part II - The Promise Will Be Kept: The Gospels, The Acts, the Epistles, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, San Rafael, California, 1993 (privately published), p. 60
[85] Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, New World Library, Novato, California, 1998, ISBN 1-57731-016-0, p. 205
[86] Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, Nataraj Publishing, Novato, CA, 1995, ISBN 1-882591-21-6, pp. 313-314; the ellipses represent Hubbard's explanation of each phrase of her prayer, and the italics in the prayer are as given in the original text.
[87] Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998; ISBN 1-57174-103-8; p. 366

END NOTES

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