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New Age Infiltrates American Life

Written by: Branch, Craig    Posted on: 05/02/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN

                New Age Infiltrates American Life                           Craig Branch                         Birmingham, AL

The New Age messengers continue to intrude peoples' homes regularly via the television. Recent convert Oprah Winfrey is a frequent carrier.

Oprah's choice for her February 4, 1992 program was Hollywood's latest New Age spiritual guru Marianne Williamson. Time magazine labeled Ms. Williamson "the guru of the moment in Hollywood," adding that her messages "mix Christian exhortations, meditative slogans and psychotherapeutic advice... and is decidedly New Age" (29 July 1991, p. 60).

Ms. Williamson's new book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles, was given a heavy endorsement by Oprah.

The news service account was "Oprah went nuts for Ms. Williamson's book, announcing that she was buying 1000 copies and giving them to her friends and everyone in the audience" (Birmingham News, 28 February 1992).

The article went on to say, "Oprah speaks and people listen," stating that Oprah did just that and by 5:30 p.m. when all the markets had aired that show, the publisher Harper-Collins had received 40,000 new orders. Within three days Harper-Collins was into its fifth printing of 200,000 copies.

                      New Age in the Movies

Actress Demi Moore, wife of actor Bruce Willis, will star in another New Age/mystical/occultic film called The Butcher's Wife, "a psychic romance/comedy that hopes to achieve the same box office success as Ghost" (Body, Mind and Spirit, November/ December 1991, p. 46).

In preparing for her role as a clairvoyant, Ms. Moore "went for complete authenticity and began once-a-week training sessions in meditation and psychic reading" with Hollywood psychic Maria Papapetros (Ibid, p. 47).

Ms. Moore, who has dabbled in Scientology, now believes that she is quite a talented psychic and feels that this new film "will do a lot for all of us - for the average person... it will help people get in touch with what psychic ability they have" (Ibid).

In addition to The Butcher's Wife, New Age leaders and activists Fritjof and Bernt Capra are collaborating on a New Age film, Mindwalk, which has a message of ecology and consciousness.

The stars are Sam Waterson, John Heard and Liv Ullman who "are holistic thinkers familiar with and in agreement with Fritjof's new vision of the world" (Body, Mind and Spirit, November/ December 1991, p. 50).

The message is a blend of New Age quantum physics and mysticism which translates that our mind energy affects everyone and everything in the planet and universe - like karma.

                      New Age in Politics

Popular New Age magazine Body, Mind, Spirit (January and February, 1992) featured former California governor and democratic presidential hopeful Jerry Brown on its cover. The article on him discloses his journey toward forming his New Age oriented political strategies and vision for the country.

Prior to entering political life (his father had been governor of California), Brown joined the Jesuit order to become a priest. After four years he left stating that "vows of poverty, chastity and obedience no longer made sense... had become dry and remote" (p. 45).

After leaving the governor's office in 1982 he traveled and met a Zen teacher who "invited him to study Zen Buddhism" and he "stayed six months" (p. 46).

Whereas Brown has always championed liberal political causes, now he has a spiritual impetus behind him. He made two speeches last November "at the largest holistic, New Age exposition in the world", the 11th Whole Life Expo in Los Angeles (p. 45).

Albert Gore, Senator for Tennessee, co-authored the New Age psychic research bill with New Age Senator Claiborne Pell (which was defeated) now has written a new book titled Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.

A book review in the Books-a-Million promo newspaper states that it is a "Whole-Earth catalog of new technologies, economic reapportionment, political restraint and personal resolution." Gore calls ecology "the central issue of our time."

The book is full of "Gore's own philosophical search for `inner ecology'... and a "search of a new definition of community."

Ecology is an issue that Christians have neglected and as a result the New Agers have assumed leadership with its misdirected goals and objectives.

                  Tony Robbins: New Age Guru?

Everyone by now has seen his high powered infomercials on television, peddling his tapes and books but many do not understand where Robbins is coming from as far as his perspective.

Robbins, 31, has become a multi-millionaire pandering on people's desire to gain control, wealth, purpose and meaning in life. The problem is that he is further exploiting people with superficial and ill-fated solutions.

A recent article in the L.A. Times and Washington Post, revealed that Robbins "has been sued seven times in San Diego alone" and "other suits are pending in courts from San Jose to Atlanta" (Birmingham News, 19 November 1992).

Many of the complaints state that he "masterminded a pyramid scheme that delivers no goods or services" and others "allege fraud, breach of contract, or both."

Robbin's philosophy goes beyond power of positive thinking moving into the New Age philosophical mind-field of unlimited power which is the title of his first book. His second is Awaken the Giant Within. Robbins sells his motivational services for a $60,000 per day fee to corporations.

He is best known for popularizing firewalking where through a lot of manipulative hype people are convinced that walking barefoot over a bed of hot coals without burns serves as a ritualistic rite of overcoming matter with the power of the mind.

However, scientists have demonstrated that coals are poor conductors of heat and if done quickly, the feet will not be burned - purely a physiological and physical law explanation. Why do they not ever do it over a scalding hot plate?

Interestingly, a local T.V. news report recently showed another firewalking motivational speaker leading a college football team to the hot coals, but the first player received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his feet. The rest of the players declined to continue.

                      New Age in Business

Bottom Line is a new booklet copyrighted in 1992 by Boardroom Reports, published in Boulder, Colorado and whose stated purpose is "to help those who are very busy with their careers handle their personal lives more effectively. To bring to them the best information from the most knowledgeable sources... information they need quickly, accurately and efficiently."

What kind of "accurate information" from which "most knowledgeable sources"?

The booklet begins with a promotion and interview with Tony Robbins and his secret of unlimited power (p. 1), and if you have not yet clearly seen the governing philosophy, under the subheading New World there appears an article/interview with Stephen Mitchell titled, "Lessons for All Today from Jesus" (p. 9).

Mitchell just released a book The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers. This is just another New Age attempt to undermine the Bible with a completely dishonest interpretation (not a translation) to force Jesus into a liberal and New Age mold.

In the article in Bottom Line, Mitchell states that "Jesus' notion of God was not of some supernatural being ruling us from on high... not some omnipotent ruler on a throne." Instead, He is "the ultimate, infinite, transcendent reality - pure consciousness and bliss."

Mitchell states that Jesus in not the unique god-man as the son of God but He was only "someone who had entered a blissful state" and that all can become the children of God in that same way.

Mitchell also states that, "To Jesus, eternal life was not an afterlife, but a transcendent, blissful state of being." To think of heaven as an afterlife to which righteous people ascend is a "fundamental misinterpretation of Jesus' teachings." Mitchell's book is also advertised in Books-a-Million and will receive much promotion from liberals and New Agers.

                        Madeline L'Engle

Knowledgeable Christians have been pointing out for some time the neo-orthodox and New Age world-view that pervades Madeline L'Engle's books. The Newberry Award Winner's books are found in most public schools and many Christian libraries. She is a frequent lecturer in churches as well.

A recent article in The Birmingham News (31 January 1992), announced her lecture at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham and gave a revealing interview.

L'Engle stated that "she has a broad view of spirituality" and writes her books to raise the questions of "Who am I? What is the point of my existence?"

She quotes neo-orthodox theologian Karl Barth, "I take the Bible too seriously to take it literally." She states "the Bible is true, it's not necessarily factual." L'Engle says she does not believe in a God who will punish, however the Bible says whom God loves, He disciplines. Her view also ignores the holiness and wrath of a just God.

She disdains organized religion but "remains open to a mystic presence by God in people's lives." L'Engle was raised an Episcopalian.

It has been well documented that Madeline L'Engle teaches universalism in her books and denigrates organized Christianity and promotes an occultic world view. She is author in residence, volunteer librarian and sometimes speaker at St. John the Divine Cathedral which is a thorough going New Age Church.

Contact Watchman Fellowship if you would like a detailed analysis of Madeline L'Engle.

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