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General Bible Courses > Living by the Book > Counterfeits by the Book

Chapter 5: Occultism, Satanism , and New Age


IN THIS CHAPTER, you will discover:

• The history and beliefs of Spiritualism and Theosophy.

• Satan’s origin and the four stages of satanic involvement.

• The history of satanic cults.

• The main characteristics of the New Age Movement.

AS A RESULT, you will be able to:

• Understand the dangers of spiritism.

• Detect signs of satanic involvement by teens.

• Trace the development of satanism in the West.

• Recognize New Age influences around you.

Occultism, Spiritualism, and Theosophy

Reading: Another Gospel, pp. 321-23.

Key Scripture: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim. 4:1).

Key Words: Spiritism, Seances, White Lodge Masters.


The word “occult” refers to that which is hidden, secret, or mysterious. An occultist is one who seeks wisdom, power, or knowledge through divination, magic, astrology, witchcraft, sorcery, psychic channels, or communication with spirits. Primitive religions invariably use occult practices to win protection and favor from the many spirit-beings they worship. But occultism has made inroads into the Christian world as well. In Brazil, for example, Catholicism is commonly blended with Macumba, Umbanda, Condomble, or other forms of native spiritism.

The same trend is occurring in North America. Curiosity and openness toward occultism has been gathering momentum for over two hundred years. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, such movements as Rosicrucianism, Swedenborgianism, Christian Science, Unity, Spiritualism, and Theosophy have combined occultism and Christianity. Each of these groups has remained active in the twentieth century. New groups, such as Anthroposophy, the Arcane School, the “I AM” Movement, the Church Universal and Triumphant, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, have also arisen.


Spiritism, the communication with non-human spirits or spirits of the dead, is a practice as old as humanity (see “Necromancer, Necromancy,” NIDB, p. 698). Spiritualism, on the other hand, is a relatively modern system of religious beliefs. Spiritualist churches combine the practice of spiritism with occult teachings and Christianity.

The roots of modern spiritualism are to be found in the same “burnt over” district of western New York where Mormonism was birthed. On the night of March 31, 1848, Margaret Fox (15) and her sister Kate (12) supposedly established contact with the source of the rappings that had been plaguing their “haunted” house. She said, “Here Mr. Splitfoot [the devil], do as I do!” and snapped her fingers. Receiving an answer, she worked out a code with “Mr. Splitfoot” (one tap, yes; two taps, doubtful; three taps, no). Excitement about the incident spread, and seances (“sittings”), at which contact with the dead was attempted, became popular.

Though both sisters confessed to producing the raps by snapping their toe joints, spiritualism became an international phenomenon. Following the Civil War and World Wars I and II, survivors of war victims sought comfort by communicating with their dearly departed at seances. Distinguished British scientists investigated outstanding mediums and pronounced their abilities genuine.

Spiritualists gave form to the movement by turning to doctrines dictated by spirit guides to Emmanuel Swedenborg and other famous mediums. These denied orthodox concepts of God, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Second Coming, the Atonement, the Resurrection, and hell. Teachings supplied by other spirit guides confirmed the doctrines taught by Swedenborg’s spirits. Among these doctrines, which are found in spiritualism today, are that God is an “Infinite Intelligence” in which we all participate; that we work our way upward through the levels of the spirit world by conforming to spiritual laws; and that we are all “sons of God” in the same sense as Jesus.


Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was born in 1831 of aristocratic Russian parents. Before her death in 1891, she became both a scandal and a legend. She was hypnotic and outrageous; a sage and a fraud. After becoming deeply involved in spiritualism, she traveled the world studying occult traditions. Her first book, Isis Unveiled, was a blend of Jewish mysticism, Rosicrucianism, and Western magical lore. Her major work, The Secret Doctrine, wedded her previous occult influences with Eastern philosophy. In these two books Blavatsky laid a complex foundation of doctrine upon which later occultists would build.

Blavatsky’s most significant theme was that of the White Lodge Masters – a group of mysterious, immortal “Adepts” who secretly direct the spiritual evolution of humanity and the cosmos. Blavatsky claimed to be in telepathic communication with these Masters, and even to have met some of them in the flesh. Blavatsky’s successors, Annie Besant and Alice Bailey, made similar claims. Through their writings the Masters teach that it is necessary for every soul to move through an ascending series of reincarnations and initiations. These levels, from lower to higher forms of consciousness, include mineral, plant, animal, and human consciousness; the “Master” level; planetary and solar consciousness; and finally unity with the Universal Over-Soul. This goal is won only through personal effort and merit. The doctrines of vicarious atonement and salvation by grace are held in contempt by Theosophists as well as by spiritualists.

Are spiritualist mediums truly in touch with non-physical entities? Were the teachings channeled through the leaders of Theosophy merely products of their imaginations, or do they represent the “wisdom” of superhuman intelligences? Certainly human imagination and gullibility must be considered in evaluating both groups. Deliberate trickery has also been a factor, beginning with the Fox sisters and Blavatsky. But any serious student of the Bible will be reluctant to dismiss the possibility of supernatural involvement.

God has forbidden his people to be involved in occult practices for two reasons. First, such practices constitute idolatry: “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God?” (Isa. 8:19). Second, recourse to sources of supernatural power and knowledge other than God is seen by Him as “rebellion” and separates us from God (1 Sam. 15:23; Gal. 5:19-21).

God’s prohibition of occult involvement is not rooted in His personal jealousy, as Satan suggests in Genesis 3:4. God’s commandments are always given for our own benefit and protection. When demons are contacted through occult practices, we expose ourselves to fallen angelic beings who far surpass us in power and intelligence (Jude 6, 9). These superhuman beings are at war with God’s creation (Eph. 6:12). They are crafty and subtle, masters of disguise and deceit, and endowed with the power to perform miracles (Mark 13:22; 1 Tim. 4:1). Their true delight, however, is “only to steal, to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).

Key Concepts:

1. The word “occult” refers to that which is _________________. [See above]

2. ________________ is the practice of contacting spirits. [See above]

3. ____________________ is a religious system inaugurated by the Fox sisters in 1848 and built around spiritism. [321]

4. Spiritualist churches combine spiritism and ________________ teachings with Christianity. [See above]

5. Spiritualists contact spirits at ______________ or “sittings.” [See above]

6. The founder of Theosophy was _____________________________. [322]

7. Annie Besant claimed that her adopted son _____________ was the new Messiah, or the reincarnation of the World Teacher. [322]

8. According to Theosophy, an “ __________________ ” is one who has physically died but continues to live in his astral body. [322-23]

Further Study: Read “Association for Research and Enlightenment,” pp. 359-60; “Church Universal and Triumphant,” pp. 362-64; “ ‘I AM’ Ascended Masters,” pp. 369-70; “Rosicrucianism,” pp. 376-78; and “Swedenborgianism,” pp. 381-382 in AG. Note the repetition of the theosophical motif of the “White Lodge” Masters (“Great White Brotherhood,” “Ascended Masters,” and “spiritual evolution”).

Life Application: In your study of Spiritualism and Theosophy, what seductive elements have you detected? Why are these elements false and dangerous? Have you had any experience with the occult? Do you have any occult connections that still need to be renounced?


Reading: “Satan,” NIDB, pp. 899-900; “Demons,” NIDB, pp. 267-68.

Key Scripture: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Key Words: Slasher Films, Black Metal Music, Breeders, Covens.

Jewish and Christian theology describe Satan as a fallen angelic being, who is the chief adversary of God and humanity. He is a real, personal entity whose character and chosen mission are illustrated by his many biblical titles. Satan is the very embodiment of evil, whose inherent nature is darkness, violence, and hatred, unrelieved by joy or love. Satan and his angelic followers were expelled from the presence of God because of their rebellion (2 Peter 2:4; Rev. 12:4, 7-9). Scripture hints that Satan was a magnificent “guardian cherub” who allowed himself to be seduced by his own glory (Ezek. 28:14-18; cf. Isa. 14:12). If this is true, Satan committed the same root sin condemned in Romans 1:25. By exalting the grandeur of his own created nature above the Creator God, Satan “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (Rom. 1:25; cf. John 8:44).

An understanding of Satan’s all-consuming pride (1 Tim. 3:6) gives us insight into his tactics and goals. Deceit and seduction are Satan’s choicest stratagems. Note how he plays upon Eve’s pride and greed in Genesis 3:5 – “You will be like God.” Satan uses the same scheme when tempting Christ, but Christ refuses to fall into the trap of self-exaltation (Matt. 4:1-11). In verse 9 Satan shows his obsessive desire to be worshiped. In commanding worship, Satan seeks to supplant God and to raise his throne above the stars of God. As he destroys souls who accord him worship, he wreaks vengeance against God.

Satanism Today

The last decade has witnessed an explosion in both organized and informal satanic activity, especially among young people. Many children are introduced to satanism through occult-related games and music. An increasing number of teen suicides have been traced to involvement in fantasy role-playing games such as “Dungeons and Dragons.” Children are desensitized to horror, blood, murder, and death by slasher films. Black metal music glorifies Satan, death, self-mutilation, possession, and ritual sacrifice. Its message is that evil is more exciting, fulfilling, and powerful than good, and that the listener should join in the warfare to exterminate good.

Occult-related crimes are on the increase. Cemeteries are desecrated and graves robbed to obtain the materials needed for occult rituals. Police departments across the nation report finding bodies of mutilated animals that show signs of ritualistic torture and dismemberment. Openly satanic criminals, such as Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker” killer, commit crimes expressly to glorify Satan. Their victims are made to experience as much pain and horror as possible before they are killed, and the more innocent the victim, the better.

Preschools have been closed due to the discovery of child abuse connected with satanism. When questioned, the children tell of being forced to participate in and observe perverse sexual practices, mutilation of animals, and even the murder and cannibalism of other children. Child abduction has reached staggering proportions, and there is evidence that some children are abducted for ritual sexual abuse and sacrifice. Bodies of children have been found drained of blood and marked with pentagrams. Cases have even surfaced of abused women who have been used repeatedly over a period of years as breeders to supply infants for human sacrifice.

Satanic recruitment focuses on young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-two. Teens are attracted to the rebelliousness and excitement connected with the occult. Satan is an appealing, anti-establishment figure who promises to fulfill all their earthly desires. Sexual favors and drugs are freely exchanged among members. But the most enticing aspect of satanism is the lure of power. The teen years are accompanied by feelings of impotence. Teens are powerless to fulfill their desires and are tormented by the fear of not being accepted by their peers. Involvement in the occult offers a release from such pressures through status, money, sexual gratification, and the power to hurt one’s enemies. When fledgling satanists kill a small animal and taste its blood for the first time, they experience an intoxicating rush of power–the power of life and death. The line between fantasy and reality, right and wrong, and decision and compulsion is erased by the mystique of evil and a fascination with death. Many develop an addiction to violence that becomes progressive and uncontrollable.

Once a teen is involved in a satanic group, he or she cannot easily get out. They know too much and are blackmailed or physically threatened if they attempt to leave. They now “belong” to the group, and must pay for their membership with their obedience, their innocence, and sometimes their life. The four levels of satanic involvement listed below are adapted from The Edge of Evil by Jerry Johnson, copyright 1989 by Word Publishing, Dallas, TX. Used by permission.

Stage One: Teenage Dabblers

Teens of above average intelligence, many of them “loners,” make up this category. “Dabblers” read a great deal of occult literature and carefully study core texts like The Satanic Bible, Magick, and the Necronomicon. They are typically involved in fantasy role-playing games, black metal music, and drugs. Like-minded teens may start experimental occult groups.

Stage Two: Self-Styled Satanic Groups or Covens

Teens are selectively invited to free drug and sex parties where they are photographed or videotaped. There is a “special room” where only a chosen few are admitted. If taken into that room, candidates are told about Satan and invited to make a covenant with him. If they hesitate, they may be blackmailed. Once inducted, they are used to recruit others. These groups are usually masterminded by outwardly ordinary adults in the community.

Stage Three: Public Religious Satanists

Satanism is legally recognized as a religion in the United States. It is eligible for tax-free status and protected by the first amendment. Adherents of the hundreds of incorporated satanic churches, such as Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, tend to be defensive and philosophical about their religion. They see it as a justification for an hedonistic lifestyle. Satanist churches discourage ritual sacrifice and illegal activities.

Stage Four: Hardcore Satanic Cults

Some operate independently, but there is also evidence for an organized, Mafia-like network of satanic cults operating internationally. Members can be highly placed, wealthy, and powerful. Ritual sacrifice is practiced. It is impossible to know accurately how many victims are involved. But in the Las Vegas area alone, it has been estimated that there are six hundred occult-related homicides yearly.

Key Concepts: [All answers above]

1. _________________ and _____________ are Satan’s choicest stratagems.

2. The impulse behind satanic cults is Satan’s own desire to be _____________.

3. The most enticing aspect of satanism is the lure of ___________________.

4. List three indicators of the recent growth of satanism.

5. Once teens join a satanic group, they cannot easily ___________________.

6. List three activities in which teen “dabblers” typically indulge.

Further Study: Review the scriptures under “Satan,” pp. 149-50 and “Demons,” p. 41 in the NIVTSB.

Life Application: How do you know if your children are involved in the occult? Here is a helpful checklist.

Questions to Ask: Where are you going? Who are you going with? What do you do? Don’t accept “Nowhere,” “Nobody,” or “Nothing” for an answer.

Questions to Answer: What do your children read? What movies and television programs do they watch? What music do they listen to? An interest in high-energy music and the paranormal is not unusual for a teen. But an obsessive preoccupation with the occult, especially with “hard-core” reading, viewing, or listening materials, should concern parents.

Signs to observe: Graffiti such as “666”; inverted crosses or pentagrams; “NATAS” or “LIVE” (“SATAN” and “EVIL” spelled backward); a black notebook filled with ominous reflections, curses, or spells (a “Book of Shadows”); the disappearance of family or neighborhood pets; a single painted nail on one finger of the left hand; black clothing, especially robes; goatshead artwork (a “Baphomet”); swastikas; the sign of Satan (thumb or index and little finger extended to form “horns”); black candles, ornate knives (“athames”), silver chalices, writing in “runes” or in an artificial alphabet, bones, altars in closets.

If you suspect anything is wrong with your child, talk with them, not at them. Approach them with compassion, and ask them to help you to understand. For more information, including a list of helpful organizations and resources, see Jerry Johnson’s The Edge of Evil.

Satanic Cults

Reading: Another Gospel, pp. 378-79.

Key Scripture: “Put on the whole armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11).

Key Words: Black Mass, Law of Thelema.

The History of Satanism

Although there are no explicitly satanic cults mentioned in the Old Testament, the worship of Molech is an example of pagan idolatry that expressed a distinctively satanic character. This gruesome deity required his worshipers to cast their children into the fire as a sacrifice to him, a practice especially abhorred by God (Lev. 20:1-5; Deut. 12:31). It is significant that in our own day children have begun to kill their parents as offerings to Satan (e.g., Shawn Sellers, Thomas Sullivan, Jr., and others). And parents are again offering their children to Satan, as recently dramatized in the motion picture “The Believers.”

Perhaps the first group to openly worship Satan were the Cathari (p. 36). Although their doctrines were varied and unsystematic, they espoused a gnostic dualism in which God and Satan were essentially equal. Honor was afforded to Lucifer, and the rituals of the Catholic Church, which branded them as heretics and persecuted them, were reversed and mocked. The Cathari may have inaugurated the Black Mass.

The fountainhead of medieval satanism was a group known as the Order of Knights Templar. Organized in 1118 to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land from being plundered by Mohammedans, the group became demoralized and embittered by corruption in the Catholic Church and by their lack of worldly power. They decided to turn to the “opposition” and see what rewards serving Satan might bring. Like the Cathari, they inverted the rituals and symbols of the church: the cross was spit upon and trampled, homosexual acts were committed during “mass,” urine was substituted for holy water, and animal blood was substituted for eucharistic wine. The Knights Templar spawned a group called the Luciferians that carried satanism throughout Europe.

During the fourteenth century the black plague swept Europe, killing almost half the population. It was a time of madness and excess. God seemed absent or indifferent, while the lord of death reigned supreme. Peasants, disgusted with church corruption, called on pre-Christian gods or on Satan for help. Dissolute French aristocrats amused themselves with obscene and blasphemous rites in which acts of sexual perversion were accompanied by the crucifixion of infants. Recurrences of satanism in the intellectual centers of Europe, including the Vienna of Hitler’s youth, continued into modern times.

In the early nineteenth century the Pallidists preached a dualist philosophy in which Lucifer was given prominence over God in worship. A similar movement, the Process Church of the Final Judgment, appeared in 1963. They taught the brotherhood and dual worship of Christ and Lucifer and predicted an imminent apocalypse. The group settled in California and was much feared. Both Charles Manson and Sam Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” killer, had ties to the Process Church.

The renaissance of modern satanism may be traced to Aleister Crowley. Born of Plymouth Brethren parents in 1875, Crowley renounced his Christian background and announced that he was the Beast and Antichrist of Revelation 13. Well-read and a natural showman, he gained an encyclopedic knowledge of Western occultism and merged it with Eastern mysticism. He created a model for ritual magic that has become a standard for modern witches and satanists. Crowley’s ethos is expressed in his Law of Thelema: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”

Anton LaVey, like Crowley, has a flair for the theatrical. (He has a lion that is trained to come to supper when he hears “Onward Christian Soldiers.”) He incorporated the First Church of Satan in 1966, which, according to LaVey’s calendar, is 1 Anno Satanas, the first year of Satan’s reestablished rule on earth. He wrote The Satanic Bible in 1969. The opinions expressed there have the same hedonistic overtones as Crowley’s. LaVey’s teachings suggest that he is a law-abiding citizen and a materialist who does not believe in Satan, except as a liberating projection of the mind. Yet his “bible” is full of invocations and veiled references to violence that have led others to real violence and spiritual peril.

Michael Aquino, a former follower of LaVey, is a military officer with a Ph.D. He “channeled” material from Satan Archdaimon and other inhabitants of hell into a volume entitled The Diabolicon. Later, Satan informed Aquino that he preferred to be addressed as Set, the Egyptian god of the darkness. Aquino left LaVey in 1975 to found the Temple of Set. He articulates a “thinking person’s” satanism, which is more philosophically satisfying but equally as hedonistic as LaVey’s.

Key Concepts:

1. Both the ancient Cathari and the modern Process Church taught that Satan
and Christ were essentially ______________ . [See above]

2. The father of modern satanism was __________________________. [378]

3. _____________________ founded the First Church of Satan in 1969. [379]

4. According to LaVey, “ _____________________ has been the best friend the church ever had.” [379]

5. Michael Aquino founded the Temple of ___________ for more “sophisticated” satanists. [379]

6. A blasphemous satanic celebration in which the ritual Catholic mass is inverted and defiled is the ____________________. [379]

Life Application: The question “Is God on my side?” often becomes Satan’s spiritual foothold. Are you discouraged and bitter toward God? Do you doubt Hs love for you? Why? (Be specific!) Cry out to God like Job, and argue your case with Hm (Job 13). But, like Job, also be silent and take time to listen for the Lord’s reply.

New Age Overview

Reading: Another Gospel, pp. 319-21, 323.

Key Scripture: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matt. 16:3).

Key Words: Post-Scientific, Secular Humanism, Cosmic Humanism, Holistic, Psychotechnologies, Networking.

The New Age Movement, though it contains faddist elements, is not a fad. According to religion professor Carl A. Raschke, it is “the most powerful social force in the country today” (p. 351). It is part of a cultural transformation that will be working itself out for decades to come. We live in an era in which Western culture is redefining its entire worldview. The outcome of this process may be nothing less than a new orthodoxy.

In a critical transitional period like this, the church needs to be awake, involved, articulate, and prophetic. Though the New Age may be, in part, the old occult made respectable, it is more than that. When we dialogue with educated Americans who practice astrology, believe in reincarnation, and worship “Gaia,” we are not talking to eighth-century Druids. Rather, we are talking to individuals whose twentieth-century presuppositions have led them to adopt such beliefs. To understand why, we need to know what these presuppositions are. The more clearly we recognize the historical, intellectual, and spiritual influences shaping our culture, the better prepared we will be to answer “everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

Listed below are some of the philosophical and historical developments that have brought about the New Age Movement. As you note the challenges they present, consider also the opportunities they offer.

Disillusionment with Science

From the time of the seventeenth-century Enlightenment until this century, reason and progress were confidently heralded as the saviors of humanity. It was thought that in time science and education would usher in a utopian age of peace and prosperity. Religion would collapse under the weight of its own absurdity. World Wars I and II revealed that Western confidence in Enlightenment ideals had been sadly misplaced. The most educated country in the world, Germany, committed acts of unimaginable depravity and brought Western civilization to the brink of destruction. Nuclear science gave us the technological capacity to destroy the world, but was incapable of supplying the wisdom or moral insight needed to use such awesome power responsibly. We now live in a post-scientific period in which the limitations of science are recognized. There is a renewed interest in ethics, religion, mystical experience, and modes of perception that transcend scientific rationalism.

The Meeting of the East and West

Until recently, our knowledge of non-Western philosophy and culture was sparse. This was largely due to our disinterest in cultures that were technologically inferior to our own. Since entering the post-scientific period, our limited grasp of non-Western cultures has given way to a more realistic appreciation of their sophistication and value. Western culture is faced with a huge challenge as it reexamines its own presuppositions in light of Eastern thinking. In 1950 the famous historian Will Durant said that the most dynamic confrontation of our century would not be between communism and democracy, but between Eastern and Western thought.


The exaltation of the human mind, which accompanied the Enlightenment confidence in reason and progress, led to the rise of humanism. In a universe that had been emptied of God by science and by faith in Darwinian evolutionism, humanity became the highest authority. Because of our culture’s post-scientific status, secular humanism, which is based on a scientific, materialistic model of humanity, is giving way to a “post-secular” humanism. This religious or cosmic humanism concedes that there is a spiritual dimension to humanity. But it retains the confidence of classical humanism in that it conceives of humanity’s spiritual potential as unlimited, even to equality with God.

Concern Over Global Issues

A term often used by New Agers is holistic. From a medical perspective, holism involves the recognition that we are psycho-physical organisms rather than just physical bodies. This is compatible with the biblical view of man. From an environmental perspective, holism involves the recognition that our planet is a limited, interdependent ecosystem for which we must take collective responsibility. For a New Ager, each kind of interconnectedness is tangible proof that “all is one.”

The Rejection of Organized Religion

New Agers are, for the most part, baby-boomers who bring certain characteristic attitudes and expectations to their spiritual quest. They are experience-oriented and mistrust authority and dogma. They demand ethical and intellectual freedom. They are consumers who expect a workable religion to supply spiritual gratification promptly for a minimum expenditure of energy. These attitudes clash so strongly with their perceptions of the church that it is commonly rejected. Many baby-boomers consider organized religion not “wrong” but simply irrelevant. Sadly, many gravitate toward New Age ideologies because they have concluded that Christians, although very religious, know very little about spirituality.

Keep these points in mind during our study of the New Age Movement. We begin by introducing the movement’s most prominent characteristics.

Monism. New Age thinking is pantheistic: “All is one; All is God; I am God.” “Salvation” is the process by which one comes to realize this truth.

Cosmic Optimism. The confidence of evolutionary humanism takes on spiritual dimensions. As we are carried forward on evolutionary waves, we get better and wiser. When we, as a species, realize our oneness with God and with each other, a New Age will dawn. We shall be changed from homo sapiens (thinking man) to homo noeticus (spiritual man). New Agers commonly believe in reincarnation because it is consistent with their evolutionary cosmic humanism.

Personal Optimism. New Agers reason: Because at my source I am God, I am infinitely creative and have access to infinite power. Through correct visualization techniques, what I “will” can come to pass (reminiscent of New Thought).

Extreme Subjectivism. There are no absolutes of any kind. Right and wrong are poles that ultimately merge and disappear in the One. Thus, there are no absolute values or morals. In the words of the channeled being Soli, “Your truth is your truth; my truth is my truth.”

Psychic Practices. Psychic experiences are the road marks on the path to realization. Such experiences include channeling spirit guides (mediumship), creative visualization, “out-of-body” experiences (soul travel), astrology and divination, and shamanism (pagan spiritistic practices).

Eastern Mysticism. While Westerners may have mastered physical technology, Easterners are the masters of psychotechnologies such as meditation and yoga.

Syncretistic and Eclectic. The New Age Movement weds elements from Christianity, Eastern thought, psychology, shamanism, holistic medicine, quantum physics, etc.

Pseudo-Science. The movement espouses numerous medical and psychological practices that may or may not be legitimately therapeutic. Examples include iridology, chromotherapy, reflexology, macrobiotics, rolfing, and past-life therapy. Many of these therapies attempt to heal by manipulating the primal “life force,” variously labeled prana, kundalini, mana, or ch’i.

Materialistic. New Age practices function as a yuppie religion. The socialist 60s have been replaced by the capitalist 90s. Asceticism is nowhere to be seen. New Agers charge expensive fees for channeled wisdom, psychic stock brokerage, and creative visualization seminars to increase management potential.

Self-Centered. Rather than attending to the poor and downtrodden, “me”-generation baby-boomers focus unapologetically on the self. Their rationale is that since we are all God, we all actually choose the conditions under which we live. The poor have “chosen” their status in this incarnation to do some spiritual work at that level. This “logic” is extended by New Agers like Shirley MacLaine and others to affirm that murder victims “choose” to be killed; children who are sexually abused “choose” to be so abused; people with terminal diseases “choose” to be sick, etc.

Middle-Class. The sociological profile of the typical New Ager is middle-class, educated, middle-aged, and female.

Decentralized. The movement claims to be a leaderless revolution comprised of those who “wake up” and become aware of others around them who are likewise awake. New Age individuals and organizations make their presences known to each other by networking.

Rapidly Expanding. The movement’s influence is impacting every stratum of society and culture at an exponentially increasing rate.

Key Concepts: [All answers above]

1. Because our generation has understood the limitations of science, we are said to be living in a ____________________ period.

2. The New Age reflects a shift from secular humanism to _______________ humanism.

3. New Age salvation is the process in which a person comes to realize that “all is _________________.”

4. If “your truth is your truth” and “my truth is my truth,” there can be no absolute ____________________.

5. New Agers commonly believe in _________________ because it is consistent with their evolutionary cosmic humanism.

6. New Agers link up through the process of ____________________.

Life Application: Have you personally encountered any New Age influences in the workplace? In the church? Among friends? Can you see ways that these influences can be turned to point to the reality and truth found in Jesus Christ? How can you share the relevance of your faith with your New Age friends without being “religious”?

Take the quiz

Quiz Instructions

Review Questions

1. _____________ involves communication with spirits.



2. ___________ means “Hidden” or “secret”.



3. ___________ is sittings where dead are contacted.



4. ____________ is Teachings of White Lodge Masters.



5. ________________ Initiated by the Fox sisters.



6. _____________ is reincarnation of the World Teacher



7. _________________ discourages blood sacrifices

Hardcore satanic covens

Public religious satanists

8. ______________ Readers of occult literature.

Teenage “dabblers”

Self-styled satanic covens

9. ______________ Countless sacrificial deaths.

Hardcore satanic covens

Self-styled satanic covens

10. _______________ Recruited into groups.

Public religious satanists

Self-styled satanic covens

Match the satanic group or leader with its corresponding item: 11. ____________ Process Church

Charles Manson

Michael Aquino

Match the satanic group or leader with its corresponding item: 12. ____________ The Temple of Set

Michael Aquino

Madame Blavatsky

Match the satanic group or leader with its corresponding item: 13. ___________ Father of modern satanism

Anton LaVey

Aleister Crowley

Match the satanic group or leader with its corresponding item: 14. _____________ The Satanic Bible

Anton LaVey

Aleister Crowley

Match the satanic group or leader with its corresponding item: 15. _____ Founder of Theosophy

Madame Blavatsky

Anton LaVey

16. Because our generation has understood the limitations of science, we are said to be living in a ________________ period.



17. A blasphemous satanic celebration in which the ritual Catholic mass is inverted and defiled is called a _______________ .


Black Mass

18. The New Age reflects a shift from secular humanism to ________________ humanism.



19. New Age salvation is the process in which a person realizes “all is ________________ .”



20. New Agers commonly believe in ________________ because it is consistent with their evolutionary cosmic humanism.



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