Beware! the New Age Movement Is More Than Self-Indulgent Silliness
by Lee Penn
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 traditional Christianity. 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 has contacted 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 common sense 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 proudly 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. New Age spiritual leaders have a firmly entrenched anti-Christian worldview, and many of them harbor a special hatred for the Catholic Church. Many believe that the Fall was really man's ascent into knowledge, assisted by Lucifer -- whom they hail as the bringer of light and wisdom. Many 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.
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.
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 civilization; 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 way 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."
For mankind to enter the New Age, we must abandon the traditional religions, especially the monotheistic faiths. Judaism was one of Bailey's targets -- before, during, and after the Holocaust. Bailey wrote that the Jews' sufferings were "the working out of the retributive aspect of the Law of Cause and Effect.... Much that has happened to the Jews originated in their past history and in their pronounced attitude of separativeness and nonassimilability, and in their emphasis upon material good...." Bailey's accusations are serious since she says "the true nature of cosmic evil" is "the supreme evil of materialistic selfishness and the sense of isolated separativeness."
New Age writers disdain orthodox Christians, whom they denounce as "fundamentalists." Robert Muller said at the 1996 URI summit conference that the United Religions must tame "fundamentalism" and profess faithfulness "only to the global spirituality and to the health of this planet" Recently he added an anti-Catholic twist: "Two of the worst principles and words still used on planet Earth are: fundamentalism and infallibility." Muller also said, "the French Revolution abolished religions as troublemakers. Even today, many regard religions as troublemakers." Muller seems to pose two alternatives for us: Worship Gaia or face the Jacobins' response to religious "troublemakers."
Matthew Fox concluded The Coming of the Cosmic Christ with a vision of "Vatican III," to be called by Pope John XXIV to define the doctrine of the Cosmic Christ as intrinsic to faith. The future Pope has replaced the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith with a board of grandmothers. "Still another action taken by this pope has been to gather all the Opus Dei bishops of the world on one island where, it is said, they are undergoing a two-year spiritual retreat that includes a critique of the history of fascism and Christianity on the one hand and an inculcation of creation spirituality on the other. It is said these bishops do body prayer three times daily and art as meditation four hours per day. The native people of the island are the instructors for the art as meditation classes. Women have assumed the office of bishop in their respective diocesan sees." There is literary precedent for sending undesirables to islands. In Brave New World those who do not fit into society are sent to islands of their choice, and left to manage their own affairs. Fox's Utopia is harsher than Aldous Huxley's dystopia, where World Controller Mustapha Mond leaves the misfits to themselves and does not force them to change; "John XXIV" will subject his opponents to brainwashing. Perhaps Fox has already picked the island to which orthodox Catholics, evangelical Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox will go for mandatory "re-education."
Nature abhors a vacuum, and no throne long remains vacant. If the New Age movement were to dethrone Christ the King, who would take His place? If Gorbachev has his way, the god of the New Religion will be nature. He has said, "Nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals." Muller has also hailed the Earth as God: "Hindus call our earth Brahma, or God, for they rightly see no difference between our earth and the divine."
New Age writers say that we will accept the New Religion when we understand that all religions have the same source and the same end. Bailey said, "The day is dawning when all religions will be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source; all will be seen as unitedly providing the one root out of which the universal world religion will inevitably emerge." Likewise, Episcopal Bishop William Swing believes that all religions "come together at the apex, in the Divine." Their affirmation of religious unity echoes Blavatsky, who said that all religions have "been derived from one primitive source," and that separate religions are "but shades of human error and the signs of imperfection." Blavatsky's turgid writings of 1877 have become the received truth for religious liberals in 2000.
Bailey expected the New Religion, which she called the "Church Universal," to emerge by the dose of the 20th century -- in other words, now. Bailey said, "Only those will remain as guides and leaders of the human spirit who speak from living experience, and who know no creedal barriers; they will recognize the onward march of revelation and the new emerging truths." Thus, liberal Protestants and heretical Catholics will have a happy place in the New Religion. Bailey believed that the New Religion would work closely with the UN: "Thus the expressed aims and efforts of the United Nations will be eventually brought to fruition and a new church of God, gathered out of all religions and spiritual groups, will unitedly bring to an end the great heresy of separateness." Muller has gone further, proposing to deify the United Nations: "At the beginning the UN was only a hope. Today it is a political reality. Tomorrow it will be the world's religion."
The New Religion will bring spiritual totalitarianism. New Age leaders agree that the last 2,000 years -- the Age of Pisces -- were a time for development of individual identity and personality. In the coming Age of Aquarius, people will happily let go of individuality and merge their personal goals and identity into that of the whole race. As Bailey said, "the will of the individual will voluntarily be blended into the group will." The existence of separate persons is an illusion; we are all really part of "The One."
In language that foreshadows Bishop Swing's blather about the emergence of a "global soul," Teilhard de Chardin, whom New Age writers hail as a prophet, said, "The organization of human energy... is directed and pushes us towards the ultimate formation, over and above each personal element, of a common soul of humanity" (Are you aware that you are only a "personal element"?) The goal of human evolution, for Teilhard, is for people to "acquire the consciousness, without losing themselves, of becoming one and the same person." If we understand things rightly, we will "love the preordained forces that unite" us. As Orwell said of his protagonist, Winston, at the end of 1984, "He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
The New Age avatars proclaim their commitment to democracy and tolerance. However, they propose totalitarian solutions to mankind's problems. The sacrifice of freedom and the acceptance of unlimited government power will be for our own good; necessity will be the excuse of tyrants. The New Age movement uses the theory of evolution -- a theory of inevitable and desirable Progress -- as a justification for whatever policies are needed to drive humanity and the planet to the next great leap upward.
Bailey and her followers at the Lucis Trust have repeatedly praised revolutions and dictatorships as part of the workings of "the Plan." In 1939 she said, "The men who inspired the initiating French revolution; the great conqueror. Napoleon; Bismarck, creator of a nation; Mussolini, the regenerator of his people; Hitler, who lifted a distressed people upon his shoulders; Lenin, the idealist, Stalin and Franco" were "all expressions of the Shamballa force" -- a force which Bailey extolled. She viewed the dictatorships of her time as a positive part of human evolution, fostering a person's "power to regard himself as part of a whole." Bailey did criticize the Stalinist regime, but said that "The true communistic platform is sound; it is brotherhood in action and it does not -- in its original platform -- run counter to the spirit of Christ."
Foster Bailey carried on Alice Bailey's work after her death in 1949. In a 1972 book called Running God's Plan, he wrote that the Russian Revolution had been "an outstanding hierarchical success. It has been demonstrated that hopeless, illiterate peasants when stimulated and given a chance become industrial workers." Historians describe these same events as forced industrialization, forced collectivization, and man-made famine. Foster Bailey's "Hierarchy," a supernatural group of ascended masters and spirit guides whose mission is to direct human evolution, also approved of the Chinese Cultural Revolution; "The cultural revolution in China.... is an hierarchical project. Amazing changes have been achieved...." According to the Black Book of Communism, approximately 20 million deaths can be attributed to Soviet Communism, and 65 million to the Chinese version. Evidently, the Theosophists' spiritual Hierarchy condones mass bloodshed to achieve its goals.
The implosion of the Soviet Empire has not dampened the enthusiasm of today's New Age writers for world government and socialism. Robert Muller favors using the European Union as the basis for "World Union." Then, "since Russia reaches into the North of Asia, the old dream of Eurasia can be implemented. The plan of Robert Schuman who dreamt of integrating the African countries into Eurafrica can be implemented.... In the meantime, the US can organize the Americas from Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego and the two unions can be integrated into a World Union." This ought to be interesting news for the Latin Americans who cherish independence from the Yankees. Projects for the world government would include global prohibition of alcohol, a global ID card for all, global police and military forces under the control of "the Ministry of Peace" (the same term that Orwell used in 1984 for Big Brother's military force), a global secret service, "world penal legislation," a global property register similar to "what the young French revolutionaries did for France," a global income tax, and a global computer database to house "all data on our planet, on its environment, and on humanity."
If this sounds like world communism, Muller says that might not be altogether bad: "We should ask an honest man like Mikhail Gorbachev to tell us what was good in certain cases in communism and which would be useful for humanity." To achieve his goals, Muller favors abolition of "nationalism" and "the big, multinational companies," to be achieved either by a "people's revolution or a revolution of the scientists, thinkers, visionaries, prophets, globalists, futurologists and synthesizers of this planet."
Walsch's "God" says that highly evolved extra-terrestrials practice pure communism: "They share everything. With everyone...All the natural resources of their world, of their environment, are divided equally, and distributed to everyone." Along with global communism, there must be world government, backed up by a World Court and a world peacekeeping force." Each nation would have two representatives in the Congress of Nations, and representation in direct proportion to a nation's population" in the People's Assembly. Under this plan, the U.S. would have as many votes in the Congress of Nations as the Sudan, where Christians are sold into slavery or executed. The U.S. would have about one-fourth as many votes in the People's Assembly as the People's Republic of China, which persecutes Christians and enforces a one-child policy on families. Would anyone care to guess how long our constitutional protections of freedom of religion and freedom of speech would survive?
Spangler likewise points toward a totalitarian future. He says: "From the depths of the race a call is rising for the emergence of a saviour, an avatar…who can be for the race what the ancient priest-kings were in the dawn of human history." The priest-kings of Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon will return to rule us. Spangler describes "true democracy" in terms reminiscent of Rousseau's General Will: "All spiritual societies are hierarchical.... It is not the will of the majority that is important. It is the will of the whole.... Democracy as we know it is a quantitative form of government True democracy, however, is qualitative, and that is what we must return to." Spangler says "theocratic democracy" is "what we are moving towards for humankind." ("Theocratic democracy"? Quick, call the ACLU! Or does it only oppose Christian theocracy?)
Spangler says that today's "new gurus" are "accepting their divinity"; they are "forming the basis for the government of the future. This will be a government that is authoritarian... in the same way that the laws of thermodynamics or of gravity are authoritarian." The authority of the New Regime will be as omnipresent and inexorable as the authority of the laws of Nature; each subject will say, "I can only follow this rhythm, this pattern," for we will be "at one with the currents of life." One might reply that the only beings that always move "at one with the currents" are dead.
Teilhard de Chardin explicitly and repeatedly favored totalitarianism. In 1939 Teilhard wrote that the time for "egotistical autonomy" had passed; "the modern totalitarian regimes, whatever their initial defects, are neither heresies nor biological regressions: they are in line with the essential trend of 'cosmic' movement" On another occasion he said, "A progressive democrat is not fundamentally different from a really progressive totalitarian."
The teachings of Alice Bailey, Teilhard de Chardin, Robert Muller, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Neale Donald Walsch, and David Spangler provide the theory of totalitarian New Age government and economics; the programs of Gorbachev's State of the World Forum and the Earth Charter Campaign describe the proposed practice.
The mission of the State of the World Forum is to mobilize "creative minorities" who will set the agenda for the "new phase of human development" Gorbachev considers those who participate in the Forum to be members of a "global brain trust" for a new civilization. He believes world government is needed.
The Earth Charter is the brainchild of Gorbachev (acting as chairman of Green Cross International) and Maurice Strong, an adviser to the World Bank, a leader at UN environmental meetings, and a wealthy proponent of world government (Ted Turner is also involved, as a member of the Green Cross International Board.) Gorbachev views the proposed Earth Charter as "a kind of Ten Commandments, a 'Sermon on the Mount,' that provides a guide for human behavior toward the environment in the next century and beyond." Strong says, "The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Gorbachev and Strong seem to view themselves as the lawgivers of the future, successors to Moses and Jesus.
Gorbachev and Strong hope to gain UN adoption of the Earth Charter in 2002. Once adopted, the Charter would be the basis for new global, national, and even local law. Steven Rockefeller, chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is coordinating the drafting of the Earth Charter, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is supporting Earth Charter activities in 10 Third World countries. Global Education Associates and the Temple of Understanding -- interfaith organizations that actively support the URI -- also promote the Earth Charter.
The basis of the Earth Charter is the belief that "Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life" -- the Gaia hypothesis. The Charter states that "A dramatic rise in population has increased the pressures on ecological systems and has overburdened social systems" -- the "Population Bomb" argument. For Charter writers, socialism and feminism are the order of the day; they want to promote "equitable distribution of wealth" and to "promote gender equality." We are called to "treat all living beings with compassion and protect them from cruelty and wanton destruction." However, unborn children are excluded from this compassion.
"The Green Cross Earth Charter Philosophy," a document on the Earth Charter web site, takes a hard line about what the Earth Charter will mean for us. First comes the call for immediate "fundamental economic, social and cultural changes that address the root causes of poverty and environmental degradation." Then comes the call for "Stabilization of the World's Population," and "Zero-Growth of Material Economy"; the needs of the world's poor will be met by "reducing material overconsumption by the rich minority." To enforce all this, there must be "Global Sovereignty" with total power and universal jurisdiction: "The protection of the Biosphere, as the Common Interest of Humanity, must not be subservient to the rules of state sovereignty, demands of the free market or individual rights.... An international body for the Sustainability of Human Life on the Earth…must have the independence and power to facilitate agreement between all societal actors...." Democratic institutions must not delay the Earth Charter revolution; at the 1995 State of the World Forum, Strong said, "We shouldn't wait until political democracy paves the way. We must act now."
When Maurice Strong says such things, we must pay attention; he has powerful friends. Strong, Chairman of the Earth Council, is on the board of the World Economic Forum (WEF); Klaus Schwab, president and founder of the WEF, is a member of the Earth Council. The WEF, which meets annually in Switzerland, describes itself as "the most significant global business summit bringing together close to 2,000 business and political leaders, experts, academics, and members of the media, to set the global agenda for the coming year." Top executives of billion-dollar companies pay fees and travel costs of $30,000 to $250,000 each year for the privilege of schmoozing with presidents of many countries and of the world's largest corporations -- including President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bill Gates, Kofi Annan (UN Secretary General), the CEO of General Motors, the Chairman of Goldman Sachs, the Chairman of Daewoo Corporation, the Chairman of Daimler-Benz, and George Soros.
In their pride, the New Age teachers and their financiers plan for a global Utopia. The greater the pride of people or movements, the greater their rage when they encounter opposition. Pride and rage are the spiritual precursors of cruelty and murder. To understand this, we need to take another look at the Theosophist prophets of New Age teachers. These prophets believed that the two World Wars were necessary for human evolution, and that the birth pangs of the New Age began with the atomic explosions in 1945. They advocated sending those who are unwilling to enter the New Age into oblivion. Such is the blood lust of the compassionate.
The New Age avatars have embraced a brutal version of spiritual Darwinism, rooted in the Gnostic belief expressed by Alice Bailey: "Death is not a disaster to be feared; the work of the Destroyer is not really cruel or undesirable." As Hubbard says, "Nature is less concerned about individual survival, than with the evolution of the whole...." Spangler's channeled spirit "John" says that suffering is merely part of "a world of form" that "has little meaning"; the spirit is "concerned with that which is the eternal life of you, the Divine Presence which I nourish and embrace. If forms must be destroyed that this Presence be released, then so be it." This spirit speaks like someone in charge of targeting nuclear weapons.
From the start of World War II until her death, Bailey wrote that the war was necessary for the New Age to come. She believed that the New Age would be preceded by a "destructive cycle, wherein the old order passes away" and "human civilization with its accompanying institutions -- is destroyed." She gave credit to the "Hierarchy" of ascended spiritual masters for "their decision, taken early in this century, which precipitated…that major destructive agency, the world war (1914-1945)." In 1943 Bailey said, "One of the purposes lying behind the present holocaust [World War II] has been the necessity for the destruction of inadequate forms.... The Law of destruction was permitted to work through humanity itself, and men are now destroying the forms through which many masses of men are functioning." ("Destroying forms" does not mean shredding IRS paperwork; it is the Theosophist code word for death.) After the war, Bailey wrote that "the Custodians of God's Plan" viewed World War II as a "major surgical operation" that had been "largely successful" in removing "a violent streptococcic germ" that had "menaced the life of humanity." She warned that this would be only the beginning of sorrows: "The germ, to be sure, is not eradicated and makes its presence felt in infected areas of the body of humanity. Another surgical operation may be necessary."
Bailey viewed the atomic incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an "inevitable and desirable" manifestation of the "saving force," since "the wrecking and disappearance of that which is bad and undesirable must ever precede the building of the good and desirable." For Hubbard, the nuclear explosions of 1945 were a turning point for humanity, "the beginning of our collective labor pains. It was the signal that the Cosmic Child, humanity, could either kill itself by remaining in self-centered consciousness in the womb of Earth, or instead emancipate itself for universal consciousness." The spirit that spoke to Spangler in "the transmissions of limitless love and truth" said, "Should nuclear devices be used, the energies will be the revelation of me. All that will remain is of what I am and all that is not of me shall disappear, to follow another law and another destiny." In 1946, after the U.S. nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean, Teilhard closed a paean to the Bomb by saying, "For all their military trappings, the recent explosions at Bikini herald the birth into the world of a Mankind both inwardly and outwardly pacified. They proclaim the coming of the Spirit of the Earth."
For the New Age soothsayers, the "end times" are now. Bailey, Hubbard, Spangler, and Walsch have predicted that the transition to the New Age would happen between 2000 and 2010. As Walsch's "God" said, "Yours is a race awakening. Your time of fulfillment is at hand." Gordon Davidson, the Theosophist who praised the URI as an example of the emergence of the "Avatar of Synthesis," says that in the year 2000, humanity faces "the impending descent of the Shamballa energy." This would not be a joyful event; Davidson's mentor, Alice Bailey, said that the European dictators of the 1930s were "all expressions of the Shamballa force." New Age fortunetellers whose writings span the last sixty years all agree that the arrival of the New Age is imminent and will be apocalyptic. We can expect New Age devotees to be busy with mischief, doing their utmost to fulfill their own prophecies.
Other New Age avatars view the possibility of human extinction with Earth-centered, reptilian calm. Jean Houston, spiritual mentor of Lauren Artress (the Episcopal priestess who runs the Labyrinth Project at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco) announces the choice facing humanity: "It could be that the human race will end as a vast, failed experiment.... And the planet will shake its shoulders, let 'em slide off and the dolphins will inherit the earth." William Irwin Thompson, a New Age associate of Morton and Spangler, said: "We might even end it for human beings and not be able to keep the experiment going, but the biosphere will not cease to evolve. If you're mystical, you don't necessarily identify just with a momentary piece of meat called hominoids." Muller also thinks that we may become extinct: "The Earth will take revenge against her most advanced species which has begun to destroy her.... God will not allow us to destroy His Creation and to put an end to the Earth's careful, miraculous evolution over billions of years. He is more likely to let humanity be destroyed."
As part of the imminent global transformation, New Age leaders look forward to a "selection" among the human race. The elect of humanity will survive to enter the New Age. Many others will die -- a prospect that these gurus view with cold equanimity. Since war and mass murder are inevitable, it's reasonable to ask whether those who foretell a "selection process" intend to kill their opponents.
For several decades Barbara Marx Hubbard has predicted "personal extinction" for people who will not get with the New Age program: "A Quantum Transformation is the time of selection.... The species known as self-centered humanity will become extinct. The species known as whole-centered humanity will evolve." At this time, "humans capable of cooperating to self-transcend will do so"; "elements" who maintain "the illusion of separation will become extinct…just as Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal humans became extinct." In referring to undesirable people as "elements," she follows the example of the Nazis, the Communists, and others who dehumanize their opponents to justify destroying them. Hubbard warns that if the selection comes, it will be violent: "Either the good will prevail... or the violent selection of the self-centered will begin." For her, Satan is "part of the selection process…that will bring forth the self-elected from the self-rejected, so that…only those connected to the whole survive." Muller agrees that persons "who hold contrary beliefs" to those favored in the "next phase of evolution" will disappear; opponents of the UN and other "anti-evolutionary, blind, self-serving people" will have their souls "parked in a special corral of the universe for having been retarding forces, true aberrations in the evolution and ascent of humanity," a banishment to a spiritual Siberia.
Nick Bunick, the self-proclaimed reincarnation of the Apostle Paul, sets the date for the selection between 2000 and 2010, when "those people who are not living according to the laws of God" will be "no longer participating in our world." They'll be sent to "a different vibrational plane" to improve their karma. Hubbard says that survivors of the selection will go with the flow of evolution, will love "choice, diversity, flexibility, ambiguity, uncertainty, responsibility, and response-ability." The inheritors of Hubbard's new kingdom will pass all the current tests for political correctness.
The leaders of the New Age movement argue that the earth is overpopulated, and that radical measures are needed to defuse the "population bomb." In the 1940s --when world population was less than half what it is today -- Bailey said, "certain physical restrictions should be imposed, because it is now evident that beyond a certain point the planet cannot support humanity." Ex-Catholic Matthew Fox has said, "Excessive human population is a grave danger... it's one of the reasons I joined the Episcopal Church, because of its open-minded and pragmatic view of birth control." In 1997 Gorbachev said, "for a certain transitional period families should limit themselves to one child."
Some of these compassionate people want to reduce Earth's population to two billion or less. In a November 1991 interview with The UNESCO Courier, Jacques-Yves Cousteau said: "World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day." That works out to 127,750,000 people per year, and 1.27 billion people to "eliminate" per decade. The eco-feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether told those who attended a May 1998 ecological conference that, "We need to seek the most compassionate way of weeding out people.... In place of the pro-life movement we need to develop the 'spirituality of recycling'…a spirituality that includes ourselves in the renewal of earth and self. We need to compost ourselves." Several months later Ruether told a national conference of Call to Action, a dissident Catholic organization, how many people must go onto the compost pile: "We must return to the population level of 1930" -- about two billion people. What is discreetly unannounced is what to do with the 4 billion "surplus" people. Once again, the liberal death wish rears its head.
Taken together, the works of people such as Robert Muller, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Neale Donald Walsch, Alice Bailey, and Helena Blavatsky are an anti-Catechism: a comprehensive anti-Gospel, a revival of the Gnostic heresy, and an inversion of Christian morality and doctrine, I have not pulled a few "smoking gun" quotes from otherwise innocent writings. The adepts of the New Age have provided an arsenal full of smoking guns, all pointed in the same direction. Those who can stand to read New Age and Theosophical books will find that these writers make clear their intentions for us all -- just as Hitler did with Mein Kampf. This time, let us pay attention!
Is the New Age movement a conspiracy? No. Conspiracies are usually secretive associations with illegal objectives. New Age leaders and their Utopian, globalist allies are open about their aims, and their activities are legal. The goals of the millennial crop of New Agers and Utopians match what radicals have sought since the French Revolution. Their project reveals the permanent vulnerability of mankind to temptation and sin. Consider: God remains forever, and does not change. Human nature does not change. The Devil does not change, and the temptations he offers mankind do not change. From the Garden of Eden to the séances of the Theosophists, the message is the same: You will be a god. Human response to temptation does not change either; apart from God's grace, we sin. Therefore, human rebellion against God will follow a consistent pattern. Those who wish to rebel against God will find collaborators and mentors to confirm and assist them in their choices. What some fevered observers see as multi-generational, international conspiracies are really just successive groups of fallen men following temptation to its logical conclusion. If New Age and Utopian movements show unity and consistent purpose internationally or historically, it arises from the dark spirit they follow lather than from any conspiratorial skills.
The Vatican has spoken against the false teachings of the New Age movement and the Utopians. The Church rejects notions of a man-made paradise on earth. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can be only realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom.. .under the name of millenarianism, especially the 'intrinsically perverse' political form of a secular messianism" (#676; also see #675). As for the spiritual practices that are common in the New Age movement, the Catechism states: "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone" (#2116; also see #2117).
The deluded and spiritually starved souls who follow New Age teachers are, each and all, people for whom Christ died and rose again. It is a spiritual work of mercy to loudly warn them that they are rushing heedlessly toward the edge of a spiritual cliff.
Ed. Note: Because of space limitations, we cannot provide documentation for every quotation. Only the most extreme quotations are documented here.
1. H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II -- Anthropogenesis, Theospohical University Press, 1970 ("Verbatim with the original edition, 1888"), p. 421, fn.
2. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, Nataraj Publishing, 1995, p. 187.
3. H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. I-- Cosmogenesis, Theospohical University Press, 1970 ("Verbatim with the original edition, 1888"), p. 70.
4. Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Vol. V, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Lucis Publishing Co., 1960, p. 174.
5. H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, Vol. II-- Anthropogenesis, p. 243.
6. David Spangler, Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981, p. 37.
7. Ibid., pp. 39-40.
Lee Penn, a health-care information systems consultant in San Francisco, is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Church, a parish of the Russian Catholic Church (one of 21 Byzantine Catholic Churches in communion with the Holy See).
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