Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Strange Work of God's Judgment

The act of God’s judgment on unrighteousness is unique to His creation. In eternity, before God created the universe and the angels, the earth or humanity, God did not need to deploy His righteous judgment and wrath. So, judgment is alien to the LORD, a strange act that is only necessary as it relates to His creation.

“The LORD will rise up as He did at Mount Perazim, He will rouse Himself as in the Valley of Gibeon— to do His work, His strange work, and perform His task, His alien task.” Isaiah 28:21


In Psalm 46:8 the Psalmist says,

“Come, behold the works of the LORD, who has made desolations in the earth.” Psalm 46:8


It is natural for us to wonder about the judgment of God in His creation. But the next verse explains its necessity:

“He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.” Psalm 46:9


God’s judgment is against the wicked; the oppressors, the destroyers. God’s judgment ends war and destroys the weapons of war. God’s final judgment will bring peace to His people forever and will end the need for this alien task that God has always been reluctant to bring upon the wicked.

“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!’” Ezekiel 33:11


The LORD is righteous. The sin that brings pain and destroys life will only be allowed for a limited time, until it threatens humanity’s very existence.

“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:22


God has been patient for thousands of years, giving room for His mercy and love to bring people to repentance of sin and faith in Him.

“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.” Micah 7:18


His wrath upon the wicked eventually does come against those who continue to reject His goodness and truth. Instead, they perpetuate evil in this world, bringing pain and grief and complete ruin. God’s judgment, brought down on those who reject all that is good, is to destroy their evil works and deliver those who trust and call on Him.

“And I heard another from the altar saying, ‘Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.’” Revelation 16:7


“But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:2-4

“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:5-11

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

Monday, June 7, 2021

Occult Invasion by Dave Hunt: Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 3 & 4 from Dave Hunt's classic book "Occult Invasion" which should be found on his website:

What Is the Occult? (Chapter 3)

"In its pristine loveliness, there is nothing quite as beautiful as Mystical and Occult lore as handed down through the ages. …The conversion of our great scientists to occult philosophy will perhaps be the outstanding spiritual event of this century. Already many of the leading minds in this field have moved secretly from physics to metaphysics." -The Occult Digest

"A medicine man has … spiritual powers … to do something supernatural, which cannot be explained by the white man’s science. … Not only humans can have ton [spiritual power]; animals, plants and stones can possess it … the spirit inside a person or thing … the power of the universe pervading everything."
-Archie Fire Lame Deer, Lakota medicine man

"The team room at the Sheri L. Berto Center is … the inner sanctum of the Chicago Bulls—a sacred space adorned with Native American totems … I’ve collected over the years. On one wall hangs a wooden arrow with a tobacco pouch tied to it—the Lakota Sioux symbol of prayer—and on another a bear claw necklace which, I’m told, conveys power and wisdom upon its beholder. The room also contains the middle feather of an owl ( for balance and harmony); a painting that tells the story of the great mystical warrior, Crazy Horse, and photos of a white buffalo calf born in Wisconsin. To the Sioux, the white buffalo is the most sacred of animals, a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. I had the room decorated this way to reinforce in the players’ minds that our journey together each year, from the start of training camp to the last whistle in the playoffs, is a sacred quest. This is our holy sanctuary … where the spirit of the team takes form." -Phil Jackson, Coach of the Chicago Bulls

"A thread of alternative thought … scholars say is working its way increasingly into the nation’s cultural, religious, social, economic and political life … evidenced by a surge of interest in new metaphysical religions, [spirit] mediums, the occult, reincarnation, psychic healing, Satanism, “spirit guides”. …
Leaders [in the movement] contend they are ushering in what they call a New Age of understanding and intellectual ferment as significant as the Renaissance." -New York Times

Chapter 3

The word occult comes from the Latin occultus, which means “concealed” or “hidden.” It involves mystic knowledge and magic powers received from the spirit world and dispensed for the benefit of devotees or directed destructively at enemies by those who have been initiated into its secrets. The masters of occult power are known as medicine men (or women), witch doctors, witches, psychics, priests, sorcerers, astrologers, gurus, yogis, shamans, mediums, seers, or healers.

Some of those involved with occult powers attribute them to a variety of deities, others to a “Force” inherent within the universe with a “dark” and “light” side which humans can tap into. Still others claim they are simply using a normal power of the mind which can be cultivated in a special state of consciousness. There are also those who attribute occult powers to the God of the Bible.

Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines occult as: 1)-hidden; concealed: 2)-secret; esoteric: 3)-beyond human understanding, mysterious: 4) designating or of certain mystic arts or studies, such as magic, alchemy, astrology, etc. In apparent agreement with the dictionary definition, and unabashedly identifying himself with the occult, Archie Fire Lame Deer (quoted on the facing page) boasts that a medicine man has “spiritual powers … to do something supernatural which cannot be explained by the white man’s science. …” An occult connection is no embarrassment to a medicine man or practicing witch, but would be (or should be) to a priest, pastor, or televangelist. Yet many professedly Christian leaders are involved in the occult and are leading their churches into this error, as we shall see.

What Is Going On?

Some years ago, a leading attorney in a city in Florida where I was lecturing, having read some of my books and knowing the type of research I was doing, invited me to breakfast in order to ask me some questions. As soon as we had placed our orders, he launched into an interesting story:

I was at this party the other night. Someone introduced me to Dr. ——- [he named a world-renowned nuclear physicist]. After some small talk, I asked him a silly question: “Where do you get these brilliant ideas that have made you so famous?” His reply really dumbfounded me: “Most of them come from the school I attend at night.”

“You go to night school?” I asked, not knowing whether to take him seriously.

“Not exactly,” he said. “It’s like this … sometimes after falling asleep at night I find myself … well … out of my body … I don’t know where … and usually in the company of some other scientists, where we’re taught advanced concepts by extraterrestrials of some sort

… maybe spirit beings … I’m not sure.”

The lawyer paused for a moment, watching me closely to see how I would react. I said nothing, so he continued. “Was the man drunk, or just pulling my leg? He seemed to be serious. I didn’t know how to react. It just blew my mind. What do you think? Have you heard of anything like this?”

I nodded. “You’d be surprised,” I told him, “how many medical doctors, scientists, writers, and inventors report similar experiences. The basic concepts for the Xerox photocopying patents came in a similar way. Richard Bach claims that his bestseller, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was all dictated to him by a disembodied spirit. And there’s Napoleon Hill. Have you heard of him?”

“He wrote books about success and Positive Mental Attitude, I think. Is that the man?” “Yes. His books have heavily influenced thousands of top business executives around the world and have changed the whole concept of success/motivation training. Hill claimed to have learned his techniques from ‘The Venerable Brotherhood of Ancient India,’ a group of highly evolved Hindu Masters who supposedly lived centuries ago and can ‘disembody themselves and travel instantly to any place they choose.’ They claim to act as spiritual advisers to humans, whom they initiate into the use of their powers. And
that’s just a sample.”

A Host of Questions Arise

“You’re not serious,” the lawyer responded with a skeptical smile.

“I’m afraid I am. This amazing contact with mysterious beings from a nonphysical dimension has been going on since the beginning of time.”

He insisted upon an explanation. Did I think these “beings” which the physicist seemingly encountered were extraterrestrials inhabiting other planets who were able with their superior technology to get to earth? Or were they “spirit beings,” as the nuclear scientist suspected? Were they demons, or angels, or something else? Or could it all be explained by some kind of innate power within the human psyche? What about psychics who predict the future or can apparently move physical objects with their minds? Is this all part of the occult? And what exactly is the occult?

Over breakfast that morning I did my best to explain why everything he had mentioned was indeed part of the occult, and exactly how it worked and what was behind it. In the ten years since that conversation, the practice of the occult and its popularity have grown at an astonishing rate.

A Common and Easily Evaluated Example

Logically, a belief in the occult could hardly have persisted for thousands of years unless enough people had convincing evidence that there was something to it. Of course, multitudes in primitive societies would vouch for that. They would swear that the curse of a witch doctor or an “evil eye” could bring not only “bad luck” but death. And we have reliable testimony about these powers, such as that of the Yanomamo shaman from Venezuela who tells his story in Spirit of the Rainforest.

In the prestigious Smithsonian journal in its January 1996 edition, the explosive growth of dowsing, a very common form of occultism, was documented. Dowsing involves a mysterious power for which there is no possible scientific explanation. Yet its results are verifiable and undeniable.

Dowsing for water with a forked green willow stick held in both hands as one walks back and forth across the ground is an ancient occult technique. Often called “water witching,” it is well known in all cultures throughout history. It has been used in the successful location of more than 500,000 producing water wells in the United States alone. How it works, however, is the question.

Dr. Peter Treadwell traveled the world for the multinational pharmaceutical firm Hoffman-La Roche “to dowse for water sources for newly planned factories before they were built.” Addressing a group of engineers in Basel, Switzerland, Treadwell declared, “I hope I shall not disappoint you when I say that I am in no position to offer any explanation for the phenomenon of dowsing … I have none.” In a magazine interview, in response to the question “How is it that Roche, a company based on science, uses a nonscientific method to find water?”, he replied:

That problem has bothered me for a long time, but … we keep finding water for our company with a method that neither physics nor physiology nor psychology have even begun to explain. … The dowsing method … is 100 percent reliable.

Dowsing may be “100 percent reliable” for Dr. Treadwell, but there is a varying margin of error for other dowsers, as in every area of the occult. Dowsers rationalize that the moisture in the green twig is magnetically attracted to the water in the ground, thus causing the twig to bend downward over a good supply of underground water.

However, there is no magnetic attraction of water to water of the magnitude exhibited in dowsing. If the dowser attempts to prevent the stick from turning downward, it will nevertheless do so with such force that the forked portion held firmly in both hands is twisted loose from the bark. Clearly, such force cannot be attributed to an attraction of moisture in the forked stick to water in the ground.

The Crux of the Problem: Information Communicated

More important, for some dowsers the wand or pendulum will, in response to questions, accurately indicate the depth at which the water will be found and the flow of water per minute and even the quality of the water! No impersonal force can transmit information.

Furthermore, many modern dowsers now use dry sticks containing no moisture whatsoever, while others use metal wires and even string and plastic devices. And in addition to water, dowsers have been known to locate oil, deposits of minerals, ancient cities, buried treasure, or any number of other desirable finds. “To dowse,” writes one expert, “is to search with the aid of a hand-held instrument … for anything … subterranean water … a pool of oil … mineral ore … buried sewer pipe or an electrical cable … an airplane downed in a mountain wilderness … lost wallet or dog … a missing person. …” An editorial in Gold Prospector magazine states:

Dowsing is the easy way to get answers to your questions. You ask nature a question to which she (through your instruments) will answer with a “yes” or “no”. …

For instance, you need to find … gold; the grade of the deposit; ounces per ton; width of deposit; length of vein; and depth of deposit below surface, and the total amount of ore in tons.

Some dowsers are even able to locate these sites for drilling, digging, or diving by dowsing over maps! Henry Gross, while sitting in Kennebunkport, Maine, located three well sites on a map of Bermuda and described accurately the depth to drill, the quality of water, and the quantity per minute which each well would produce. At that time Bermuda had gone “three hundred and forty years without drinking water” except for the rain that could be caught by various means. A plaque on a wall in Kennebunkport, Maine, reads:


Ted Kaufman, a retired public relations executive living in New York, has worked with New York State Rangers using his dowsing abilities to determine whether lost persons were dead or alive and to locate them on a map. The first person to discover that dowsing could be done over maps was Abbe Alexis Mermet, a French priest, around the turn of the century. “Contacted through transatlantic mail by monks desperately seeking underground water for their monastery in the mountains of Colombia, Mermet marked a potential drilling site on a map of the monastery grounds which, when drilled, produced more than the water required.” Others have dowsed over maps to locate downed aircraft in remote areas. …”

Divination: Another Form of Witchcraft

Of particular interest is the fact that, as the Smithsonian article documents, dowsing is now being used to uncover all sorts of information—answers to virtually every question one could ask. Dowsing, then, is simply another form of “divination” (any occult technique for obtaining information and help from the spirit world through a physical device). It is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Other divination devices commonly used include crystal balls, tarot cards, Ouija boards, tea leaves, and pendulums. More occult practitioners in France are licensed to diagnose and treat illnesses by the use of pendulums than there are medical doctors in the country!

That dowsing has always been known as “water witching” is evidence that all cultures have recognized a connection between dowsing and the occult. Yet thousands of those who call themselves Christians, including pastors and other church leaders, have been involved in water witching without apparently being aware that they have been drawn into the occult. Many other beliefs and practices now acceptable within evangelical churches involve the occult. Alan Morrison tells how he was compelled to write The Serpent and the Cross because he “became convinced that there was the need [within the church] for far greater understanding and discernment concerning the meaning of the term ‘occult.’”

The occult invasion did not begin yesterday. At the same time that the early American colonists were stamping out witchcraft, they were practicing it themselves: “Renaissance esotericism … astrology, palmistry, and magical healing.” We see the same incursions in our day. Having once been involved deeply in the occult, Morrison was staggered to discover that “so many satanic influences which I had renounced on becoming a Christian were gaining increasing popularity within the Church and were upheld as valid Christian experience.” This trend is increasing.

Good or Bad?

Occult powers that produce results which cannot be explained by material science are found in the practice of almost every religion, from much that calls itself Christianity to paganism, idolatry, witchcraft, and Satanism. Occultism is present even in religions which are opposed to one another. For example, it is found in the Sufism of Islam and in the Kaballah of Judaism; in aberrant Christian sects as well as in satanic and UFO cults.

Of course, the Roman Catholic Church would argue that the apparitions of “Mary” and other “saints” and the mystical experiences of “saints” in trance have nothing to do with the occult but come from God. The same argument would be made by Pentecostals and charismatics (whether Catholic or Protestant), who attribute their mystical experiences and seemingly miraculous healings to the Holy Spirit. What is the truth? We shall see.

In Christian Science and the other Mind Science religions, where God is “Universal Mind” and the biblical gospel of salvation by God’s grace through Christ’s death and resurrection is denied, the connection to the occult becomes more obvious. And when it comes to the mysterious powers manifested in voodoo, macumba, Candomble, and other native and nature religions, the occult connection is even clearer.

That “spiritual” powers which can neither be affirmed nor denied by materialistic science (because they are beyond its reach) do indeed exist has been amply demonstrated among all cultures, peoples, and religions throughout human history. The acceptance and proliferation of all aspects of the occult are increasingly viewed as perfectly legitimate and desirable in today’s world. Whether this is beneficial or detrimental to the best interests of society and the church is another question.

A Widespread and Growing Phenomenon

The proliferation and popularity of psychic networks is evident by the commercials on TV and in newspaper ads. Occultism is one of the growth industries of our time. In November 1996 USA Today reported: “Kabbalah is the rage in Tinseltown. … ‘It’s the kind of thing Jews don’t talk about,’ [TV’s] Roseanne [noted]. … I’m a Catholic shiksa,’ actress Diane Ladd says, ‘but I’m on a spiritual journey. …’ She was introduced to Kabbalah by comedian Sandra Bernhard. … Jeff Goldblum took the basic course. Barry Diller and Dolly Parton attended a private class. Roseanne explains … ‘[Kabbalah] is about connection between mind and body, astrology, Atlantis, reincarnation and computers.’”

The universality and persistence of a belief in mysterious powers that exist in a realm beyond the material dimension has been dramatically demonstrated in the former Soviet Union. For more than 70 years, Marxist atheistic materialism was forced on the entire populace. At the same time, believers in any religion, from Christianity to witchcraft, were the objects of relentless persecution.

Once the Iron Curtain came down, and with it the repression of diverse opinions, belief in the occult suddenly exploded. As of this writing early in 1997, one of the most popular television programs in Russia is the “Third Eye,” aired each Saturday. Its guests include witches, parapsychologists, healers, and Orthodox priests, who mix their peculiar application of the Bible with crystal balls and all manner of occultism.

One psychic popular on Russian television claims to be able to tell from a photo whether the person pictured is alive or dead, his or her state of health, where the person (or dead body) is located, and other data. A Russian woman “healer” teaches how to use occult power to restore health. Another popular psychic claims to have raised the dead in a mortuary and to be able to lower the level of toxins in food and drink through ritualistic motions of his hands. Then he infuses the food or drink with his occult powers and sells it. Purchasers throughout Russia swear by the benefits they have received in this way.

In America, Daerick and Nedrra Lanakila are the inventors of “energy medicine and quantum healing … healing products designed for direct interaction with the body/mind intelligence.” Through their organization, Y.A.T.O. Enterprise, they distribute the “Li.F.E. Energizers System for Vibrancy.” It consists of vials filled with “spiritual energy in an aqueous solution of distilled water” designed to “work on all four systems— physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. …” Many other examples could be given.

A visit not only to large cities but to small rural towns across America reveals a staggering variety of occult shops, some on the main thoroughfares. There is no denying that in spite of the skepticism one would expect in an age of science, interest and even belief in the mysterious is growing. Nor is there anything new about the occult. “New Age” is a misnomer. In spite of computers and space exploration and communication satellites, neither the gods nor the rituals have changed.

Occultism in Our Modern World Remains Unchanged

Occult practices abound today in every culture around the world. On the roof garden of a fashionable Istanbul hotel, wealthy businessmen (who also regularly pray in Islam’s time- honored way) consult a spiritualist at their monthly meeting, while at home their wives “read” the coffee grounds left in their breakfast cups. Both practices are forbidden by Islam. In Romania, former top Communist officials who in Iron Curtain days had Indian yogis brought into the country as part of a circus to be secretly consulted can now practice occultism openly. In Beverly Hills, an attorney and his college professor guest and their wives rest their fingers lightly on an empty, overturned wineglass after dinner and watch expectantly as it is impelled across the table by some unseen power to provide amazing answers to their earnest questions. In New York, driven by the same compulsion, a successful Wall Street trader consults his astrologer to determine when to buy or sell.

In Kenya, after ritual dancing and drumbeating, a Luo tribe witch doctor, with the approval of the United Nations World Health Organization, listens as ancestral spirits speak through patients in deep trance. At the same time, on Long Island, an Episcopal priest and several of his parishioners hold a séance to communicate with dead relatives in order to seek advice from those who had little wisdom upon earth but have somehow become all-knowing since reaching the “other side.” In the steamy town of Recife in northern Brazil, Orisha gods and goddesses, imported from Nigeria and Dahomey, and now called by the names of Catholic saints, take violent “possession” of participants in a macumba ceremony.

Meanwhile, at faraway Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. candidate in solid state electronics with an open I Ching book on his lap solemnly drops 12 yarrow sticks and studies the resultant pattern. He is seeking guidance for a major decision in his life. Nearby at Harvard, a chemistry professor meditates beneath a mail-order pyramid. And deep in the Amazon jungle, natives drinking yage prepared from the banisteria caapi vine slip into an altered state of consciousness and begin to describe events taking place in a distant village. The gods, proven to be accurate the next day when a visitor comes from that village, have thus gained the confidence of their followers and thereafter can speak convincingly about the “next life.”

In Tibet, lamas exercise ancient secret practices now forbidden by the Chinese Communists: spirit mediums transmit the messages of gods, demons, and the dead, while the naljorpa feast on corpses of the enlightened in order to increase their own psychic powers, or engage dead bodies in a mystic dance climaxed by sexual intercourse with the demonically animated corpses. On the Island of Hawaii, a kahuna engages in a secret huna ritual to gain control over “life energy” for a wealthy client who carefully keeps his connection with native religion hidden from his business associates and pays the kahuna to put curses on his enemies. And in Hollywood, California, in an occult bookstore, a pair of teenage girls, whose parents take them each Sunday to fundamentalist Christian churches, browse among the parentally forbidden witchcraft volumes, eager to discover for themselves the promised powers they became intrigued with through a recent PG- rated movie.

A Legitimate Concern

W. Brugh Joy is a medical-doctor-turned-Eastern-guru. Although he has had enough experience in the occult to be well aware of its dangers, he remains an avid believer and participant in occultism. Nevertheless, he issues this rather alarming warning:

Tapping these energies is fire, and the consequences … can be psychosis, aggravation of neuroses, acceleration of disease processes and suicide.

Such somber pronouncements are rarely heard from those who entice multitudes into occult involvement by trumpeting its benefits. One reads Phil Jackson’s book, Sacred Hoops, without finding even a hint that there might be dangers hidden within the native spirituality which he touts so highly. His very involvement, on the other hand, serves as a powerful endorsement of what he preaches to his team and readers.

Our concern will be to discover the source and ultimate fruit of occult powers. Unfortunately, the mere display of seemingly miraculous powers is sufficient to cause many people to follow wherever it seems to lead them, as though anything “supernatural” must of necessity be benevolent. It should be clear, however, that evil is very real. Nor is there any reason to believe that evil, so prominent in the natural realm, would not be just as likely to exist in the paranormal.

We will therefore be examining evidence for the reality of these powers, as well as facing some serious and important questions about them. Are they from God or from Satan? Does either God or Satan, or both, actually exist? Or is there simply one universal Force embodying “dark” and “light” sides? Do occult powers and experiences lead ultimately to good or evil, to blessing or destruction? Is it possible to be sure of the source and final disposition of occult powers? If so, how?

Logic Recoils and Begs an Explanation

That someone as well-educated, intelligent, and sophisticated as Phil Jackson (coach of the world champion Chicago Bulls basketball team), along with many team members, believes so strongly in native American spirituality, Zen Buddhism, and other occult powers (as do millions of others equally educated and sophisticated) would seem to negate the idea that such things can be written off as mere superstition. Something convincing is going on—but which of the many explanations being offered is true?

That numerous celebrities and even scientists endorse the existence of psychic powers, however, is no excuse for naiveté. Logic recoils at Jackson’s suggestion that a “bear claw necklace” really possesses occult powers implanted by a medicine man. Common sense also looks askance at Jackson’s claim that such powers could be conveyed to beholders. Is it enough just to “behold”? And what of those who “behold” unintentionally or out of historical or anthropological curiosity but with no desire to imbibe spiritual “benefit” from such totems and fetishes?

There can be no doubt that in our day a belief persists in much that modern skeptics have long ridiculed as old wives’ tales and childish superstitions. This is true even among some of the world’s leading scholars and intellects. Belief and participation in the occult is literally exploding. That fact cries out for a legitimate and definitive explanation—an explanation which we will carefully pursue.

Entering a Forbidden Realm

One would not expect occultism to gain a foothold in the Christian church, since the Bible forbids it in both the Old and New Testaments. Nevertheless, the church has been enticed as well as the world. Much that is now practiced in evangelical circles is the old shamanism (a universally adopted word for witchcraft and other occult practices) under new names.

Anthropologist Michael Harner, himself a practicing shaman, is one of the world’s leading authorities on shamanism. A number of the basic elements which he says have been at the heart of shamanism worldwide for thousands of years are widespread within the church: visualization, hypnosis, psychological counseling, Positive Thinking, Positive Confession, and Eastern meditation techniques. To what extent these involve the occult, and why, will be dealt with in the following pages. Multitudes of those who call themselves Christians are involved in the occult, many of them unwittingly.

The Bible provides a far more detailed list of occult practices than the quote from Webster’s dictionary at the beginning of this chapter. The Bible lists divination (tarot cards, Ouija boards, crystal balls, pendulums, etc.), observing times (astrology), enchantment (hypnosis), witchcraft, charming (another form of hypnosis), consulting with “familiar spirits” (mediumship, séances, channeling), and wizardry or necromancy (communicating with the dead). The Bible forbids each of these occult practices.

The fact that some people are seemingly healed through occult powers or become successful through occult practices does not prove that the purpose behind them is to bless mankind. There must be some bait on the hook or no one would bite. Even if the intent is evil, one would expect some apparent good as a means of enticement. Mankind would hardly be drawn to something that was clearly and totally harmful.

In one’s enthusiasm for embracing mysterious phenomena, one dare not ignore the question of ultimate purpose. We will attempt to face this vital concern carefully and honestly.

The Death of Materialism (Chapter 4)

"Many people thought that science … [would] take us away from dependence on a Creator … [but] modern science actually points strongly toward Him. … It is only with considerable effort that a person can cling to materialistic views of the universe." -Michael Behe, Lehigh University Professor of Molecular Biology

"The evidence of PK [psychokinesis] along with that of ESP [extrasensory perception] establishes the case for the reality of mind … [that] mind is what the man in the street thought it was all along. …The man in the pulpit too was right in preaching that the human spirit is something more than the material of his body and brain. For the first time, science offered a little support to his view."  -Duke University Professor J. B. Rhine, the father of American parapsychology

"There are powers of the mind and powers beyond the mind, which your science could never have brought within its framework without shattering itself entirely … strange phenomena— poltergeists, telepathy, precognition—which you had named but never explained. … Any [complete] theory of the universe must account for them."  -Overlords of the Universe to earthlings in Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End

"That consciousness is ruled by the laws of physics and chemistry is as preposterous as the suggestion that a nation could be ruled by … the laws of grammar." -Sir Arthur Eddington, Nobelist in physics

"Psychoanalysis … offers only a partial view of reality, since it overlooks the spiritual dimensions of humanity. That can get you into trouble." -Professor Charles Tart, University of California

"The outstanding achievement of twentieth-century physics is not the theory of relativity … or the theory of quanta … or the dissection of the atom … [but] it is the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with ultimate reality. …”      -Sir James Jeans

Chapter 4

The acceptance of Darwinian evolution in the nineteenth century was the key development in moving the scientific world into hard-core materialism.

Nevertheless, increasing numbers of leading physical scientists became convinced of the reality of a nonphysical world. Among them were Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, one of the greatest physicists of the century, the mathematician and quantum mechanics theorist John von Neumann (sometimes called “the smartest man who ever lived”), and Sir Karl Popper, recognized as the most famous philosopher of science of recent times. Sir John Eccles quotes Popper as saying:

According to determinism, any theory … is held because of a certain physical structure of the holder—perhaps of his brain. Accordingly, we are deceiving ourselves … whenever we believe that there are such things as arguments or reasons. … Purely physical conditions … make us say or accept whatever we say or accept.

If materialism and determinism are true, then the theory of evolution itself must be the result of random thoughts and thus could not be true. In fact, the very concept of true and false, good and evil—and all other ideas and beliefs—would simply be the result of random motions of atoms in the brain which all began with a big bang billions of years ago and have proceeded by chance ever since. If so, then our thoughts have no meaning. On the contrary, the fact that the mind must be something other than brain, and that it formulates meaningful thoughts, is demanded by our everyday experience and forms another argument against materialism.

Evolution Destroyed the Soul

As Mortimer J. Adler points out in his book The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes, there is such a vast chasm between animal instinct and uniquely human characteristics (for instance, recognition of good and evil and appreciation of beauty) that there is no way to bridge it by a gradual evolutionary transformation. The human soul stands squarely in the way of evolution. To refute special creation, one would have to show that human personality is simply a quality of organic matter acquired through the evolution of the physical brain and nervous system. Behavioristic and humanistic psychologies provide the rationale for the general acceptance of evolution and materialism. Charles Tart, Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis, points out some of the consequences:

Behaviorism and psychoanalysis make it very clear that the mind is the brain. This means, of course, that when you die you’re dead. There is no survival. There’s no real spiritual life.

… Humanistic psychology … didn’t teach us to question the mechanistic assumptions of the Western world view [it supported them].

Materialistic understanding of man persisted as the predominant view in academia well past the middle of this century. Psychology (which we will deal with in more depth in a later chapter) was determined to establish itself as a science on a par not only with medicine but with physics and chemistry. This author well remembers the prevailing view when he attended university 50 years ago: Humans were simply complex lumps of protein molecules wired with nerves who made conditioned responses to stimuli bombarding them from the physical world. Human behavior could therefore be reprogrammed through the “scientific” methods of “behavior modification.” One day it would be possible, with drugs and therapy, to reprogram the brains of criminals and overly aggressive political leaders and thus turn this world once again into paradise.

A “Ghost” in the Machine

Thoughts were presumed to originate in the brain as the result of chemical and electrical processes. Nothing nonphysical could exist. Contrary to common sense, man was the prisoner of whatever his brain cells (for purely mechanistic reasons) “thought.” This incredible “fact” of science was taught throughout the academic world.

The great hope was that the laws of physics and chemistry, applied to the brain, would explain human personality. That would allow psychiatrists to manipulate the brain like a mechanic does an engine. Thus all inappropriate behavior could be eliminated. There would be no more wars or crime and this world would become a rhapsody of kindness, pleasure, and prosperity, the Eden no one had believed in.

It was impossible, however, to suppress the evidence that, instead of producing thought, brain activity is a result of thought. Inasmuch as thoughts originate independently of the brain, they must exist outside the physical dimension. That fact is self-evident on the basis of the many thoughts for which there is no physical counterpart nor any physical stimulus: truth, justice, holiness, perfection, God, ad infinitum. Indeed, consciousness itself exists outside the realm of science. Michael Polanyi argued:

The most striking feature of our own existence is our sentience [consciousness]. The laws of physics and chemistry include no conception of sentience, and any system wholly determined by these [physical laws] must be insentient [i.e. without consciousness].

It may be to the interests of science to turn a blind eye on this central fact of the universe, but it is certainly not in the interest of truth.

No matter how “intelligent” a computer may be, it can only do what it has been programmed to do. Nor can the brain, though far more complex than any computer, think on its own. If thought were the result of neural activity in the brain, we would all be helplessly dragged along by chemical/electrical processes determining our thoughts and even our morals and emotions. No rational person can accept that hypothesis because we demonstrate our power of choice, and thus control of our brain cells, countless times each day. There is a “ghost” in the machine. The human soul and spirit do the thinking and use the brain to communicate these thoughts to the body and through the body to others.

No “Science” of Human Behavior

For materialism to be a valid theory, human personality and behavior would have to be explicable in purely scientific terms and subject to modification according to the laws of physical science. It would therefore be theoretically possible to precisely predict human behavior and to reprogram personality. Otherwise there could be no science of human behavior. Although most psychologists would now recognize that their profession is not science, some still cling to that appealing delusion.

It requires little common sense to recognize that there could not possibly be a “science of human behavior.” If there were, then for a man to say to his wife or child “I love you” would be no more significant than to say he had an itch or a gastrointestinal pain. Love, an appreciation of beauty, a sense of injustice, and all other uniquely human emotions and understandings would simply be physical reactions within the brain cells, the nerves, and the glands, totally explicable by physical laws, thus as meaningless as a reaction between chemicals in a test tube.

Though behavioristic psychologists such as B. F. Skinner tried for years to convince themselves and others that man is a stimulus-response robot without the power to genuinely make choices—to love or hate, to do good or evil, to be kind or vicious—few retain that opinion today. Apparently one person who still does is Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the richest entrepreneur in the world, now worth about 37 billion dollars. Gates “believes that we’ll someday be able to replicate intelligence and emotions in a machine. But he admits that the joy of raising daughter Jennifer ‘goes beyond analytic description.’” Gates may one day recognize that Jennifer is not a machine.

Mind Distinguished from Brain

If the physical/material universe is all there is, then every facet of occultism (which necessarily occurs in a nonphysical universe) is simply a delusion. There is, however, far too much evidence in support of so-called ESP, telekinesis, precognition, poltergeist activity and other forms of the occult to allow one to accept materialistic dogma. Carl Rogers eventually confessed that “mind is an entity far greater than brain. …” Recognizing that consciousness could not be explained by materialism, Rogers realized the consequences and on that basis predicted the imminent practical application of “such paranormal phenomena as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition … healing energies … the power of meditation, transcendent forces. …”

The famous neurologist Wilder Penfield put it well: “The mind is independent of the brain. The brain is a computer, but it is programmed by something that is outside itself, the mind.” Logically, if the mind/spirit/soul is independent of the brain, it could survive the death of the body. Carl Jung, reflecting upon whether the soul, which he called “the psyche,” might survive physical death, wrote:

Total loss of consciousness can be accompanied by perceptions of the outside world and vivid dream experiences. Since the cerebral cortex, the seat of consciousness, is not functioning at these times, there is as yet no explanation for such phenomena. They may be evidence for at least a subjective persistence of the capacity for consciousness—even in a state of apparent unconsciousness.

That some form of consciousness persists even when the brain is not functioning is evident from the many testimonies of those who have been declared brain dead and yet lived to describe in detail what was happening around them while they were being revived. A consciousness that functions independently of the brain is obviously nonphysical. The world of the occult is also nonphysical but it can affect this physical dimension just as our nonphysical minds operate our brains.

Remote Viewing

One of the most powerful occult practices known today is called “remote viewing,” to be dealt with in depth in the next chapter. Its practitioners claim that information of any kind can be obtained, no matter how far removed from the viewer by space or even past or future time. Remote viewing is still being used by both the American and Russian (and other) military and intelligence establishments for espionage purposes. The results, many of them still classified and secret, are mind-boggling and totally inexplicable by science. So accurate have remote viewers become, so they tell us, that governments rely upon them for secret missions when lives hang in the balance.

One of today’s premier remote viewers, Major Ed Dames, testifies to having used this occult power in the military. Congress is allegedly well aware of such activities and appropriates funds for this pursuit. Dames heads Psi Tech, a firm which specializes in remote viewing for the civilian world. Still called upon by the military in difficult cases, he claims to have been used to locate chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein was hiding in Iraq from United Nations inspection teams. In all of its remote viewing assignments, Psi Tech guarantees 100 percent accuracy to its customers!

Edgar Cayce many years ago claimed to be able to see “the body” of the patient he was diagnosing in trance and could even describe that person and the bed and room he occupied. Much of Cayce’s remote viewing (including his medical diagnoses) proved to be amazingly accurate. Such practices among psychics continue today. Time magazine recently reported:

Rosemary Altea is a spiritual medium and a healer who with her spirit guide, an Apache called Grey Eagle, communicates with spirits to heal, guide and console. …

Writes Altea [in The Eagle and the Rose]: “Using mind energy connected with universal God energy, we can give absent or distant healing.”

Remote viewers are not so ready to admit the involvement of “spirits.” Remote viewing is mentioned briefly here because it has contributed in a major way to the death of materialism. There is no physical explanation for the remarkable phenomenon of remote viewing.

Another of today’s best-known remote viewers, who also was involved with this technique for the United States military establishment, is Emory University professor Courtney Brown. In the civilian world he teaches and employs what he calls Scientific Remote Viewing (SRV). Says Professor Brown:

You have to understand that remote viewing is absolute positive proof … that we’re more than our physical bodies. It was developed in laboratory conditions and now operationalized under laboratory conditions with the strictest of controls.

Remote viewing procedures demonstrate that we have a soul, that we are more than physical beings because the properties of the soul are what we use when we remote view. … There is a whole realm of life out there that’s not physical.

Science and the Mind

If everything in the universe works according to scientifically defined physical laws, then there are no otherworldly, mysterious, inexplicable powers, and those who believe in them have been badly deluded. On the other hand, if there is a nonphysical dimension, then who knows what astonishing “entities” and “powers” might be out there? And if the mind exists in a nonphysical dimension independent of the brain, then could it not make use of the powers in that dimension and contact entities who reside there?

Obviously it could be dangerous to venture into this realm. Could that be why the Bible forbids occult involvement of any kind? One thing is certain: Whatever understanding or protection one would hope for from the laws of the physical sciences would be left behind on such an adventure.

It is clearly wrong to demand a physical explanation for spiritual experiences—and if one was not forthcoming, to then deny the reality of a spiritual dimension to life. That would be like denying the reality of the sense of smell because odors can’t be felt or insisting that because honesty and justice have no taste they don’t exist. Yet such foolish judgments by science were accepted uncritically until well into this century, when many top scientists finally began to speak out against such nonsense. Referring to the existence of a spiritual dimension, Sir Arthur Eddington wrote:

The scheme of [the new] physics is now formulated in such a way as to make it almost self-evident that it is a partial aspect of something wider.

That this “something wider” could be nonphysical is, as Eddington believed, suggested by the very qualities of the universe as we know it. The discovery of ghostly particles such as the neutrino makes the existence of discarnate spirits or other nonphysical intelligences much more plausible in a scientific context. With virtually no physical properties—no mass, no electrical charge, no magnetic field—the neutrino behaves very much like a “ghost.” Neither gravitation nor electromagnetic force have any effect upon the neutrino. A neutrino zooming in from intergalactic space at nearly the speed of light would almost instantaneously pass through the entire earth without hitting anything. This fact makes the suggestion that “ghosts” can pass through walls seem less fantastic.

“Scientific” Mysticism

Of course, the determined atheist of the past could not accept the existence of soul and spirit and so continued to support materialism even in the face of growing evidence to the contrary. This attitude maintained its dominance in science until very recently. Science has been traditionally given such unquestioned authority that it was virtually worshiped, giving rise to the religion of scientism. Scientism is an immensely powerful factor in shaping both secular and religious thought in today’s world. Charles Tart defines scientism as “the psychological dominance of a materialistic philosophy hardened into dogma and masquerading as an authentic science. …”

Many scientists, following the lead of Einstein, turned to mysticism. Rather than admit the existence of the God of the Bible, they postulated a universal Force behind evolution, or a universal mind or consciousness. Psychology helped to establish these pseudo- spiritual beliefs. Carl Jung, who was heavily involved in the occult, had already postulated his “collective unconscious,” a concept which he received by inspiration from the demonic realm. Today’s remote viewers are convinced that the information they pick up comes from the “collective unconscious.” We will examine that claim in due course.

While the development of transpersonal psychologies in the early 1970s brought an almost grudging admission that the realm of the spirit was real, there was a reluctance to admit that science had no jurisdiction over it. Science continued to be regarded as the only way to evaluate the nonphysical as well as the physical. We had been conditioned to revere a “scientific explanation” for all phenomena.

Many of those involved in the New Age were only too eager to pretend they had “scientific” support. When TM (one form of yoga) fell flat as the“Spiritual Regeneration Movement,” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi changed its name to “The Science of Creative Intelligence.” With that new and deceitful name, TM became a success worldwide.

One of the most ancient religious practices in Hinduism and Buddhism is now widely accepted in the West as the science of yoga. This new designation gives yoga a respectability which it does not deserve. Among those determined to rebirth religious practices as science was Dr. Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, who studied at Stanford University under famed psychologist William James. Evans-Wentz became known as the “scholar-gypsy”; he traveled the world seeking initiation into Hinduism, Buddhism, and other pagan religious practices. His first book involved years of research into the existence of the “wee folk” of Ireland. He wrote:

We can postulate scientifically, on the showing of the data of psychical research, the existence of such invisible intelligences as gods, genii, daemons, all kinds of true fairies, and disembodied men [spirits of the dead].

If such beliefs sound like old-fashioned superstition, then take a close look at Touched by an Angel, one of the most popular television shows today. Many viewers unabashedly take its charming lessons on life and theories about the next life very seriously. Whether there is any connection to a heightened expectation raised by the program itself, accounts are multiplying from those who claim they have encountered angels. Of course, such encounters have been claimed since the beginning of time.

Some of today’s most deceptive cults have adopted the word “science” to give their brand of spirituality credibility and authority: Science of Mind, Religious Science, Christian Science, et al. There could be no greater anachronism or delusion, inasmuch as the mind and spirit are outside the realm of science. It would be an equal delusion to insist, upon the basis of any analysis made by physical science, that the occult (which operates in the realm of mind, soul, spirit) was nonexistent. Physical science, by very definition, can make no judgments concerning a nonphysical spirit realm.

The Birth of Parapsychology

Finally, science, after more than a hundred years of being mired in materialism’s total denial of a nonphysical dimension, has come around to admitting the reality of a realm beyond the physical universe, and that it could very well be inhabited by spirit beings. After extensive interviews in Europe and America, philosophy-of-science professor John Gliedman wrote “Scientists in Search of the Soul” more than ten years ago in Science Digest:

From Berkeley to Paris and from London to Princeton, prominent scientists from fields as diverse as neurophysiology and quantum physics are coming out of the closet and admitting they believe in the possibility, at least, of such unscientific entities as the immortal human spirit and divine creation.

With the virtual death of materialism, a new “scientific” approach to the occult was born called parapsychology, now taught in most major universities. Inasmuch as a nonphysical dimension of reality is entirely outside the realm of science, the attempt to examine it “scientifically” and to be able to establish how it functions by “scientific controls” could only lead to error. Scientists were set up for a master deception. It would seem that we had reached the point dreamed of by Screwtape and outlined to Wormwood in the famous Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis:

We [demons] are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and skeptics. At least not yet.

I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy [the God of the Bible, the Father of the Virgin-born Savior, Jesus Christ].

The “Life Force,” the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work—the Materialist Magician … veritably worshipping what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”—then the end of our war will be in sight.

But in the meantime … the fact that “devils” are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.

Thus we now have a variety of quasi-materialistic explanations, all of them “scientifically verified,” concerning who or what these nonphysical entities might be that seem to be communicating with mankind. They range all the way from splits of the psyche or a force generated by the unconscious to spirits of the dead or extraterrestrials visiting us from distant planets or even secretly living among us. Any suggestion that they might actually be demons bent on deceiving and destroying mankind is met with polite smiles, pained incredulity, or outright contempt.

The New “Science” of Consciousness

Professor Courtney Brown directs The Farsight Institute, whose mission, he says, is “to demonstrate scientifically to all of us that we humans are more than our physical bodies, and that life exists on both the physical and subspace (nonphysical) realms.” Brown is convinced that some of these mysterious entities with whom psychics make contact are here on planet Earth and that they are actually extraterrestrials (ETIs). He even claims to have made psychic contact with them himself.

Unfortunately, Dr. Brown is relying on his brand of “science” instead of the Bible and has fallen into serious error, which we will discuss in the next chapter. On an Art Bell radio program on November 19, 1996, Brown said:

In our view, what people really need is the truth about … the new scientific understanding of our composite nature … soul and body. Finally, people need to know that The Farsight Institute is dedicated to researching and teaching about our essential nature on the level of explorations into consciousness. …

We are at a turning point in our human evolution. … Finally, one day nearly everyone will recognize that the great debate as to who we are and why we exist has been significantly resolved. This, indeed, is our mission.

Here we have the new “scientific” idea that one must reach a “higher state of consciousness” in order to perceive things as they really are. Yet an altered state of consciousness allows demonic entities to take over and begin to operate the brain to create a universe of illusion. This was obviously a major problem of the “Heaven’s Gate” cult, 39 of whose members committed suicide together in Rancho Santa Fe, near San Diego, California, in late March 1997. They imagined they had received “transmissions” from the “next Level” which told them that it was time to “move on” in their evolutionary journey to perfection and that if they left their bodies behind they would be picked up by a giant UFO accompanying the comet Hale-Bopp.

Other UFO groups have been receiving similar data. Dr. Brown published on his website in late 1996 a statement titled “The Interdimensional Portal.” It declared that Scientific Remote Viewing “seemed to suggest that there is some type of interdimensional portal or gateway near Earth that is being used for transportation purposes.” Whether that statement served to encourage the Southern California cult to make themselves ready for “transport” through suicide will perhaps never be known.

These were highly intelligent people who had tried to follow “science” instead of the Bible in their dealings with what they thought were extraterrestrials. If they actually did receive psychic messages, the entities sending them must have been demons determined to destroy them.

Members of the cult believed that the kingdom they were seeking and to which they thought they were being transported by suicide was “an evolutionary level above human.” And they had been deceived into believing that Hale-Bopp’s approach to Earth signaled their time of departure. In their position paper on suicide published on their website we see once again the key role that evolution plays in the occult:

The joy is that our Older Member [the reference is to their understanding of Jesus] in the Evolutionary Level Above Human (the “Kingdom of Heaven”) has made it clear to us that Hale-Bopp’s approach is the “marker” we’ve been waiting for—the time for the arrival of the spacecraft from the Level Above Human to take us home to “their World”—in the literal Heavens.

Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion

—“graduation” from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave “this world.” … If you study the material on this website you will hopefully understand our joy … [and] may even find your “boarding pass” to leave with us during this brief “window.”

We are so very thankful that we have been recipients of this opportunity to prepare for membership in Their Kingdom, and to experience Their boundless Caring and Nurturing.

The obvious sincerity reflected above reveals the power of demonic entities to deceive, entities with whom this group had apparently been in communication through psychic means for more than 20 years. Even some former cult members still hold to its bizarre beliefs. When interviewed by CBS’s 60 Minutes, one former member, whose wife was among those who died, expressed regret that he hadn’t been there to “leave this world” with them. He told KQED-FM in San Francisco:

I don’t think of them as dead. Well, the bodies, yes. But these are shells behind. I believe they are on a [space] craft somewhere. … To move into bodies that had been prepared for them … of a finer nature—androgynous, sexless. It’s an evolutionary step … I don’t consider it suicide.

Compounding the Error

Many people who call themselves Christians are drawn into the occult because it acknowledges the reality of the soul and spirit and can even sound biblical in doing so. This apparent agreement with the Bible is a deliberate setup by Satan in order to lead simple souls into deeper deception.

Professor Brown believes that the human soul exists throughout the entire universe at all times. Thus to view anything going on anywhere in the universe is simply to change one’s center of awareness from the body to the soul. Here is “The Mission of the Farsight Institute”:

The Western scientific paradigm postulates that consciousness is a phenomenon strictly related to brain physiology: when the brain stops functioning, consciousness ceases to exist. This belief has dominated society, and it has inhibited scientific investigation into the nature of the soul. The consequences have been devastating … [to the] spiritual aspect of life. …

The Farsight Institute of Scientific Remote Viewing seeks to overturn this flawed paradigm before it is too late. Research at the Farsight Institute demonstrates that consciousness is … eternal and unbounded … basic to and permeates all of physical creation… [making] knowledge of all things … possible.

At The Farsight Institute, we are dedicated to the practical and benevolent use of Scientific Remote Viewing … [for] helping humanity to discern that which is real in … a universe filled with mystery. … Using the controls of modern science … our goal is no less than to perceive the nature of God. …

“To perceive the nature of God” by some “scientific” technique operating in the spiritual realm would seem to pave the way for the ultimate delusion. You may be certain that Dr. Brown’s god is not the God of the Bible or he would look to His Word for an understanding of God. Science is still on its throne even after the death of materialism. That is a recipe for disaster.

An Unshakable, Universal Conviction

Throughout history and in all cultures, mankind has held a common and unshakable conviction that a nonphysical realm inhabited by spirit beings does indeed exist. That even atheists are not immune to this universal sense of the noumenal (a reality beyond the senses) can be easily demonstrated. A suspenseful mystery, for example, or a realistic war movie can stimulate a certain fear in readers or audiences. Horror films or novels about the occult, however, are much more unsettling. Why?

Facing a gun is one thing; facing an unseen “ghost” that is throwing furniture around the room brings terror of a different sort, even to the dogmatic materialist who denies the existence of such entities. As philosopher A. E. Taylor argues:

The “uncanny” is precisely that which does not simply belong to “this” everyday world, but directly impresses us as manifesting in some special way the presence of “the other” world. …It is hard to believe that the most skeptical among us does not know the experience. …

That sense of the “uncanny” to which Taylor refers is normal. It may be repressed, but it remains, no matter how deeply buried. In the former Soviet Union, even after more than 70 years of enforced atheism and the most severe measures against all religious faith, occultism is rampant. Belief in the supernatural is so much a part of human consciousness that it persists in spite of all the arguments that skepticism can marshal.

Spirit Entities and the Occult

Robert Jastrow (founder and for many years director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies) theorizes that the evolutionary process could have been going on ten billion years longer on some other planets than on Earth. While the theory of evolution is mathematically impossible, Jastrow’s conclusions are nevertheless of interest. He suggests that some entities could have evolved beyond the limitations of space, matter, and time:

Life that is a billion years beyond us may be far beyond the flesh-and-blood form that we would recognize. It may … [have] escaped its mortal flesh to become something that old- fashioned people would call spirits. And so how do we know it’s there? Maybe it can materialize and then dematerialize. I’m sure it has magical powers by our standards. …

Sir John Eccles, Nobel Prize winner for his research on the brain, describes the brain as “a machine that a ghost can operate.” As a result of his research, Eccles believes there is compelling evidence to support the traditional religious belief in the existence of a nonphysical soul and/or spirit—and that it is this “ghost” which actually operates the human brain and through it the body. It is certainly reasonable to assume that the “operator” could very well survive the death of the “vehicle” it was operating.

If the human spirit operates the brain, which in turn operates the body, then psychedelic drugs, yoga, hypnosis, TM, and any other technique for altering consciousness could very well loosen the normal connection between the spirit and the brain. That temporary disconnection could allow another spirit to operate the brain and thereby subject that person to occult bondage and delusion.

John Lilly invented the isolation tank, which became the inspiration for the movie Altered States. He has devoted himself to exploring “altered states of consciousness.” Some of his observations are interesting:

From certain experiences that I have had of leaving the body while in the isolation tank, I would say that the spirit contains the being that is contained in the brain. …

Now, if you work in the tank, what you’ve done is to shut down all the known senses … the gravitational field effect is reduced to the minimum possible. …

Once you get the input to the brain down to the minimum possible … you’re free to go. Some people call it lucid dreaming. … It’s a lot easier if you have a psychedelic in you, but a lot of people … can just meditate and go into these alternate realities. … I suspect that a lot of new science can come out of this. …

Materialism Is Dead

Lilly was only one of many psychiatrists, anthropologists, and other researchers who realized the connection between drugs and the occult. Here was another powerful factor in the death of materialism. Psychedelic drugs open the doorway to a whole universe beyond the material world. Two generations of Westerners have been set free from materialism by drugs, only to be swallowed up by the occult.

No argument could any longer convince those who had experienced the “altered state” that reality was limited to the physical world. The sights, tastes, smells, sounds, and above all the exhilarating feelings in this strange new land of the mind often seemed even more vivid and real than those in the so-called “real world.” Ordinary reality seemed drab and tasteless by comparison. The magical door to what Carlos Castaneda called the “sorcerer’s world,” a realm surpassing even Alice’s Wonderland, had swung open, and America would never be the same. That world was inhabited by entities who would masquerade in any form that best suited their purpose.

Though Harvard professor William James at one time was convinced that human personality and behavior could be explained in materialistic/deterministic terms, he became a supporter of religious and mystical experiences for which there was no materialistic explanation. Unfortunately, he clung to the “scientific method” for understanding the realm of the spirit. As a consequence, James, not unlike the cult members of Rancho Santa Fe, fell victim to the belief that “higher powers exist and are at work to save the world. …”

Why should these allegedly “higher powers” be interested in saving the world? Might they not be determined to destroy us for their own selfish reasons? Is it not possible that such evil entities as demons actually exist?

Demonic Possession?

That demonic possession could result from entering an altered state of consciousness is being increasingly acknowledged by scientists and psychologists and other researchers into parapsychology. Jon Klimo, author of one of the most definitive books on channeling, explains:

If your own mind can affect your own brain, then the similar nonphysical nature of another mind might also be able to affect your brain [if it is in a state of receptivity], giving rise to your hearing a voice, seeing a vision, or having the other mind speak or write [through you] by controlling your body the same way you normally control your own body.

Charles Tart admits reluctantly, “There’s enough evidence that comes in to make me take the idea of disembodied intelligence seriously.” William James, one of the most highly regarded psychologists of this century, wrote:

The refusal of modern “enlightenment” to treat [demonic] “possession” as a hypothesis

… in spite of the massive human tradition based on concrete human experience in its favor, has always seemed to me a curious example of the power of fashion in things “scientific.”

That the demon-theory … will have its innings again is to my mind absolutely certain. One has to be “scientific” indeed to be blind and ignorant enough to suspect no such possibility.

Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, pioneer researcher into LSD and altered states, reports that some of the LSD subjects he has studied have had encounters with “astral bodies,” and in some cases this has led to “the characteristics of spirit possession.” Friedrich Nietzsche indicated that the inspiration for Thus Spake Zarathustra came as a form of possession. “It invaded me. One can hardly reject completely the idea that one is the mere incarnation, or mouthpiece, or medium of some almighty power.” It takes little thought to realize which “almighty power” inspired this great inspirer of Hitler.

Famed architect Buckminster Fuller, after staying up half the night reading Marilyn Ferguson’s groundbreaking book The Aquarian Conspiracy (the New Age Bible), suggested that “the spirits of the dead” had helped her to write it. Ferguson laughed and said, “Well, I sometimes thought so, but I wasn’t about to tell anybody.”

What Does It All Mean?

Materialism is dead. It is no longer the brain, a mass of matter, that is credited with thought, but the mind, a nonphysical entity that is not part of the brain or any other part of the body and thus could apparently survive the death of the body. The mind could therefore entertain perceptions quite independent of the body and its five senses.

Unfortunately, while the delusionary lie of materialism has been largely discredited, it has been replaced by a new spirituality that still remains tied to this universe and to science. There is a belief in nonphysical “entities,” including “angels,” but their identity is decided entirely on the basis of what they say about themselves. At the same time, there is an even greater skepticism toward belief in demons, Satan, the God of the Bible, and Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

A major problem with scientific spirituality is its inability to deal with life on a moral basis. It can only promise power to supposedly gain control of one’s life. The Bible, on the other hand, claims that the problem with the world is sin and that it cannot be dealt with by “higher powers.” No amount of power, no matter how high, can solve a moral problem.

From "Occult Invasion", book by Dave Hunt

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