www.ephesians-511.net JULY 2009
THE SANGAM INTEGRAL FORMATION AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE, GOA
AN ORGANIZATION PROMOTED BY LEADERS OF THE CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL
SANGAM PROMOTES NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY
[AN ARTICLE IN THE COUNSELING/PSYCHOLOGY SERIES]
I. CERTIFICATE COURSE IN PERSONAL COUNSELLING
This was conducted at Sangam over a period of five weekends from October 18, 2008 to December 14, 2008.
The course was conducted by Mr. Clifford DeSilva [contents of the course unknown. See page 43 – Michael]
II. INTEGRAL CATHOLIC FAITH FORMATION COURSE
“Organized by the Pilar Theological College and SANGAM Integral Formation and Spirituality Centre, with recognition from the Papal Seminary in
Pune, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV),” “the Course consists of 25 credits, and would be completed in two years, starting from 18th January 2009,” according to the Sangam newsletter volume II, No. 1 of January 2009. The contact telephone numbers are: 2541188, 2540616, 9370015289, 9890172696.
MY COMMENTS: I cannot say what exactly the contents of this course were.
But, the spirituality of the priests of the Pilar-Goa and JDV-Pune seminaries is not exactly charismatic or even compatible with Word of God-based, Holy Spirit-centered spirituality of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement. If anything, they are diametrically opposed to each other.
Admittedly, one might expect to find good, traditional priests in those seminaries as everywhere in the Church, priests who do not participate in the New Age practices and do not accept the liberal and modernistic teachings for which these seminaries are notorious. If so, where are their prophetic voices protesting against the errors of these institutions?
What errors? The priests of the
teach yoga, vipassana, chanting of the “Om” mantra, admit that people who attend their prayer sessions “do not pray to any specific God,” believe that all gods are the same so “let a Hindu be a good Hindu” etc. See these two documents: http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PILAR-SEMINARY-GOA.doc and “India: The Lotus and the Cross”: http://ephesians-511.net/documents/INDIA-THE-LOTUS-AND-THE-CROSS.doc.
Quoting from the above report, “the Papal Seminary and its priests/theologians and their associates are actively engaged in the propagation of New Age philosophies and practices including eastern meditation systems and alternative holistic therapies which have been denounced by Rome in two Documents… consequently Catholics cannot trust anything that is proposed or explained by these theologians of the Papal Seminary/JDV/De Nobili College and their associates [ashram leaders or sympathizers].”
Fr. Kurien Kunnumpuram, SJ., theologian of the JDV, was one of the more vocal defenders of the erroneous St. Pauls June 2008 New Community Bible that has references to Hindu deities, includes religious texts from Hindu scriptures and says, among other things, that the appearance of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary was not a historical reality.
The priests of this seminary insist that “the Catholic clergy must incorporate Hindu practices like performing aarti during mass.” Note that they said “Hindu” and not “Indian” practices. [The Pilar seminary is no different.]
The above link also provides evidence that the JDV seminary supports the seditious Catholic Ashrams movement.
So much for the two seminaries with which Sangam is closely associated.
And finally, from the details available about the two other Sangam courses, see below, “The God in the Now retreat” and “Healing the Inner Child,” I am even more greatly concerned because of the overt New Age connections.
III. THE GOD IN THE NOW RETREAT
A Unique Invitation To Integrate your Prayer and Your Life
Dates: Four Consecutive Saturdays starting On 20th June, 2009 3-30 P.M. to 7.30 P.M.
Venue: Sangam Spirituality Center, Miraton Gardens, Airport Road, Chicalim, Goa
Retreat Experiences: Living in the Present Moment, Spiritual Accompaniment and Journaling, Individual and Group Lectio Divina*, Centering Prayer, Praying your Everyday Experiences, Welcoming Prayer, The New Universe Story *page 58
Resource Persons: Br. Mark DaCosta, Mr. Francisco Dias, Dr. Noemia Mascarenhas
Charges for the Retreat: Rs. 600. For registration contact: Tel Nos. 2541188/ 09370015208/09890172696
NOTE: SEE INDEX OF CONTENTS ON PAGE 63
I wonder who among the above is the resource person for Centering Prayer.
On learning about this proposed programme I wrote to Merwyn Rodrigues, CCR National Service Team [NST] member who represents Goa, two days before the advertised commencement of the four-Saturday course:
Subject: The God in the Now retreat
Dear Merwyn, My name is Michael Prabhu and I am writing to you from Chennai.
I came to learn about the above-titled retreat to be conducted at the Sangam Spirituality Centre in Chicalim, Goa.
I also understand that you are one of the organizers of the programme and associated with Sangam.
There are concerns that one of the components of the programme is Centering Prayer, which is a New Age technique.
As you are a member of the National Service Team of the CCR, you may be aware that there have been articles by reputed priests in the now-defunct New Covenant [Charismatic Renewal-USA] magazine explaining the New Age errors of Centering Prayer.
I write this in the hope that my information about the Centering Prayer retreat — with which senior priests and leaders of the CCR in Goa are reportedly associated — is incorrect.
I look forward to your early response. At your service in Jesus’ Name, Michael
I received this response after four days, which was AFTER the first session of the course was held:
Dear Michael, Thanks for your mail and the concern you have expressed. I have noted what you have pointed out and have already forwarded your message to the other members of Sangam and will personally take up the matter at our next meeting. Thanks and God Bless Merwyn
Subject: Re: The God in the Now retreat
Thanks, Merwyn. God bless you too. I will be happy to be appraised of your decision. Love, Michael
There was no further communication from Merwyn Rodrigues. See page 19.
MY COMMENTS: At present there is no article on Centering Prayer on this ministry’s website because it has no real presence in India. Or so I thought,
because I had not come across anyone promoting it in Catholic circles.
But, seeing that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal has taken the initiative to introduce it in this country, I am hurriedly putting together a report on the subject from information that I have already saved in my computer*. Meanwhile, here are a few excerpts from the report on Centering Prayer:
Danger of Centering
Prayer‘, Fr. John Dreher, in Catholic Answers, says “Its techniques are neither Christian nor prayer… It is essentially a form of self-hypnosis… The technique is not only futile, but objectively sinful” and involves “the
spirits.” (This Rock, November 1997).
Catholic New Age expert Susan Beckworth agrees, “The Centering Prayer empties the mind through repetition of a mantra: it is neither Catholic nor prayer… Centering Prayer is typical of New Age meditative practices.”
Margaret Feaster in The Cross and the Veil [Ignatius Press] and catholicculture.org:
“In my research on the New Age which I did for the past ten years, I found that it is not Christian contemplation and that this type of prayer is not recommended by Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or St. Teresa of Avila. There have also been warnings from Johnnette Benkovic on EWTN (Mother Angelica’s Network). Johnnette has a program called “Living His Life Abundantly”, and has had a series on the New Age. She has also written a book called, The New Age Counterfeit, and devotes one chapter to the problems of Centering Prayer (CP). She identifies it as being the same as Transcendental Meditation (TM) which is tied to Hinduism.”
Says Catholic writer R.J. Grigaitis, S.F.O., “It seems that Centering Prayer is really Transcendental Meditation disguised with Christian language. Transcendental Meditation, by the way, is Hinduism adapted by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for use in a Western society, and is not compatible with Christianity.”
Writing in Catholic Insight, John Shea says that Centering Prayer “confuses the psychological and the spiritual, is consistent with gnostic panentheism, delusions produced by self-hypnosis, and a Gnostic Pelagian belief that one can reach salvation by one’s own efforts unaided by Grace.”
In ‘Centering Prayer: A Pastoral Perspective’‘, Fr. Emile Lafranz SJ., asserts, “It comes from Hinduism. And it is an attempt to reach an altered state of consciousness. It is simply Transcendental Meditation in a Christian dress”.
“A.S.Cs are induced either by drugs or by various mind-expanding techniques, particularly in the context of ‘transpersonal psychology*‘” (#2.2.3, Vatican Document on the New Age).
*see pages 54 to 58
So, Centering Prayer is clearly not Christian; it comes from Hinduism and it is New Age.
Fr. John Dreher says, “I know of an incident where several thousand people attending a charismatic conference were brought into centering prayer, again without explanation or choice. This incident was particularly objectionable, because the priest who was leading the session did not even bother with a Christian “mantra” but used an explicit hypnotic technique.” [http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9711fea1.asp]
Before Merwyn Rodrigues of the NST could give me any information about their deliberations and decision concerning the God in the Now/Centering Prayer, SANGAM advertised another programme:
IV. HEALING THE INNER CHILD by FR. S. S. SAHAYARAJ, OFM Cap.
Many of the pains, problems and weaknesses that we face today can be traced to the hurts we received as children. This seminar aims at healing the hurt child and liberating the joyful child that lives inside each of us. The seminar will cover multiple topics necessary for an integrated personality growth namely, walking in the light and turning from that which binds you, healing your childhood memories, learning to forgive, healing life’s hurts, your adult wounds, traumas of life, dealing with fears and traumas, dealing with anger and traumas, journey to wholeness, and release from losses in life.
Fr. S.S. Sahayaraj OFM Cap comes from ANUGRAHA, Institute for Counselling, Psychotherapy and Research, Tamil Nadu. Anugraha offers professional psychotherapy training, counselling training and supervision and various programmes, workshops and seminars to enhance and enrich human dignity and understanding. Fr. S.S. Sahayaraj has a Masters of Arts degree in Psychology and has done post-graduate studies in Counselling. He has several years of experience in this line. His expertise includes working with couples to enhance their relationship as well as working with individuals and families. He has additional training with grief, depression, abuse and trauma issues, and spiritual growth.
Venue: SANGAM 10, Miraton Gardens, Airport Road, Vasco-da-Gama, Goa Dates: 1st-5th August, 2009
Time: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. everyday except on the 1st (Sat) when the programme will be from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m.
Fees: Rs.1500/- (Lunch and tea will be provided).
Register at Sangam office from 10 am till 12 noon, call 2541188
WHAT IS ANUGRAHA?
The New Leader, March 1-15, 2008, Full page advertisement, page 14
ANUGRAHA Capuchin Institute for Counselling, Psychotherapy and Research. Recognized by the Canadian Association of Pastoral Practice and Education and Affiliated to Madurai Institute of Social Sciences
Healing the Inner Child 25 March-1 April (in Tamil) 12-19 April, 26 April-3 May (in English) Rs. 2000
Counsellor Training Programme 5-31 May, 1-27 September, 5-31 January 2009 (in English) Rs. 7000
The New Leader, November 1-15, 2008, Full page advertisement, page 36, similar to the above.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ANUGRAHA WEBSITE:
The mission of the Capuchins of Amala Annai Province is to assist individuals and groups to further the Kingdom values and to keep alive the charism of the Franciscans as embodied in the life of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Order. The mission of Anugraha is to promote excellence in the fields of psychotherapy, counselling, training, supervision, and related research. The training here is designed to impart human, spiritual and intellectual formation according to the Indian situation, keeping in line with the charism of St. Francis. The core model we use is Gerard Egan’s approach, Gestalt therapy, transactional analysis (TA), related humanistic approaches and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) also contribute to our work. Counselling model offers a framework for counselling within a person-centred perspective. Counsellors training at Anugraha promotes personal regard and respect within a style of counselling and care which is non-judgmental, nondirective and of a reflective nature and which encourages clients to work through their issues.
HISTORICAL NOTE OF ANUGRAHA
…Anugraha which proved itself as a veritable resource of healing has Fr. John Antony, the Founder and Director as its cornerstone and many other friars as its pillars. Initially Fr. John Antony designed a one-month counsellor Training Programme for the benefit of the first year students of Capuchin Theologate. He inaugurated the course in Amalashram, our Capuchin Theological Institute in January 1989. The participants found the course immensely rewarding and intriguing. They suggested to have the course open to outsiders. Hence from the following year 1990, priests, religious, and lay began to attend the course. But soon changes in the staff and curriculum of the Theologate necessitated a different place to run the course. At this critical juncture, Fr. S. Arockiam persuaded Fr. John Antony to shift the course to Assisi Ashram, Pampanvilai, Nagercoil in January 1991. Assisi Ashram happened to be an animation centre and our Capuchin Novitiate. The transfer of the course was a mighty struggle and a great providence. Very soon Fr. Arockiam and Fr. I. Joseph joined the staff and nurtured the growth of Anugraha. It gained wider circles and greater popularity. We named our Institute “Anugraha” in 1992.
As our course became an annual feature in Tamil Nadu, we looked for a separate location connected with bus and train routes. Dindigul at Sirumalai foothills was found ideal, central and climate-wise fine. We spotted a land ten kilometres away from Dindigul on Natham High Way. Two priests of Trichy diocese volunteered to pay the cost of the land of six acres. The province contributed its mite to buy another five acres of land adjacent to the first purchase. We constructed our Counselling Institute the first of its kind in India by its focus on personal growth, professional proficiency and community building, the last of which directly flows from the Franciscan brotherhood in joyfulness. We blessed and opened this centre in November 5, 2001.
We re-shifted the course to this third and final place in May 2002. We have adequate infrastructure for learning, experience and blooming. These years, Anugraha sees efflorescence in all spheres of activities and the flowering of creative inspirations of our staff. Having made significant strides in counselling field, Anugraha is expanding its horizon by offering a multitude of courses and seminars relevant to counselling.
We get candidates from all over India. We have trained 590 persons over these 14 years. Thousands from all over India have attended our various seminars and workshops. Anugraha building has 72 self-contained rooms and every room can also comfortably accommodate two persons when needed. But we limit accommodation to sixty persons at a time. It is our permanent edifice for our special ministry of counselling.
Fr. D. John Antony OFM Cap — Founder Director
Fr. S.I. Wilson OFM Cap —Director
Fr. Lawrence OFM Cap — Assistant Director
Fr. I. Sathian OFM Cap — Administrator
Fr. S. Arockiam OFM Cap — Course Co-ordinator
Fr. S.S. Sahayaraj OFM Cap — Staff Member
Fr. Alphonse Charles OFM Cap — Staff Member
Sr. Selva S.C.C. — Staff Member
Sr. Genevieve S.C.C. – Staff Member
THE PROGRAMME OUTLINE
CERTIFICATE AND DIPLOMA IN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
Year- Course Code -Mode -Title -Credit
1 CPSY 1006 L & P Neuro Linguistic Programming 2
1 CPSY 1007 L Transactional Analysis 1
1 CPSY 1010 L& P Homeostasis Reality Therapy (HRT) 1
1 CPSY 1014 P Personality Tests (Myers-Briggs, FIRO – B & F) 1
1 CPSY 1017 P Yoga (Optional) 1
Year- Course Code -Mode -Title -Credit
2 CPSY 2004 L Enneagram 1
2 CPSY 2009 L & P Genogram 1 [see page 22]
DIPLOMA IN PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC COUNSELLING (Part Time) Course Code CPSY 3000
This is an integrative process model, broadly derived from the work of Gerard Eagan and others. It assumes that three themes—relationship, content and reflection/planning—are developed throughout the different stages of counselling. The core qualities of counselling—empathy, warmth or respect, and genuineness—are emphasised.
SPECIAL INTEREST AREAS: Topics such as HRT,
Yoga, bioenergetics, and other courses may be offered, reflecting the interests of the staff and the course group.
Course Code CPSY 1006
This module aims to introduce students to methods of Neuro Linguistic Programming and its application in a range of counselling contexts. It offers a few of the most important NLP techniques useful in helping people to solve their problems and to grow healthily. Anchoring, V.K. Dissociation, New Behaviour Generator, Swiss Pattern are the few techniques taught in this module.
YOGA (Optional) Course Code CPSY 1017
Every day starts with Yoga practice to deepen self-awareness, to enhance the growth of mind, body and spirit as well.
ENNEAGRAM Course Code CPSY 2004
This module uses guided imagery, writing and test to understand the relationship between personality-type and life. It explores how our addictions or compulsive behaviours can be attempts to deal with childhood wounds and current stressors. It helps students with self-discovery and transforming addictions into redemptions.
Focusing Course Code CPSY 2007
This module takes the new approach of Eugene Gendlin, inventor of a new method in addressing problems. This method avoids reasoning and using the mind to figure things out. It also avoids “getting in touch with feelings” and expressing intense emotions. It helps students get in touch with body sense or “wisdom of the body” or “felt sense.” The method involves focussing on the “felt sense” and addressing problems
GENOGRAM Course Code CPSY 2009 [see page 22]
Genogram highlights influences of the past generations on the life of an individual. This module provides opportunity for trainees to examine how the structure, function, culture, values, found in their family tree can influence their life and activities. This pictorial representation of the person’s family tree, normally reaching as far back as the person’s grandparents records information about family members and their relationships, spanning at least three generations. This visual aid quickly points out the patterns and multi generational transmission of the family system.
… Self-analysis: (personality tests)
It facilitates self understanding by exposing the participants to various personality tests like Enneagram, Myers Briggs Temperament Sorter, Genogram and so on.
GUIDED RETREAT BASED ON ENNEAGRAM (Six Full Days)
Enneagram is a tool of self-exploration and healing that anyone can approach. Our Enneagram Retreat will involve becoming familiar with our own personality-type among the nine existing. We will learn how to develop the Inner Observer to facilitate the conscious path between the limits of our personality and the infinite possibilities of the Soul. This retreat will include presentations, prayer experiences, time to meet individually with the director, and time for quiet reflection.
In this retreat, we will:
1. use guided imagery, inner-child work, writing and test to understand the relationship between personality-type and life;
2. explore how our addictions or compulsive behaviours can be attempts to deal with childhood wounds and current stressors;
3. undertake self-discovery and transforming addictions into redemptions;
4. start our day with Yoga practice and deepen our self-awareness to enhance the growth of our mind, body and spirit.
SEMINAR IN SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT
(Six Full Days) (IQ and EQ, it’s now Spiritual Quotient)
After intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ), it is now the turn of the spiritual quotient (SQ). Many Western authors now are increasingly considering spiritual intelligence as the most important attribute of a human being and the foundation for both IQ and EQ. Institutions are increasingly falling on spiritual awakening programmes, retreats, soul searching camps and meditation workshops for the spiritual development of their members. Spiritual Intelligence is like an IQ. It is something we are all born with. It differs from an IQ in that it can be developed. It differs from the concept of an EQ because it is not something that you automatically use. It involves a conscious choice to be spiritual at all times and seasons. When one is spiritual, one will see, hear and act with high SQ behaviour and when one is not, one will react with low SQ behaviour. The training in this seminar is primarily on how to preserve spiritual strength and use it to develop the innermost potential of the body, mind and soul. An understanding and practice of the same enables one to tackle any kind of negativity and face tough situations with ease in day-to-day life. The participants are taught to work over their negative emotions hidden deep within and prepare themselves to experience tranquillity and peace of mind. The special meditation techniques are simple, effective and effortless so that anybody can easily practise them. The programme includes practical sessions on Yoga, various types of meditations and relaxation techniques.
ADMISSION: You may wish to print out the booking form below; alternatively, please send the information to the Course Registrar by letter or email to the address below… We would be delighted to welcome you to Anugraha, should you decide that you want to study counselling and psychotherapy or related subjects with us.
POSTAL ADDRESS: The Director “Anugraha” Nochiodaipatti Post Dindigul East – 624 003 Tamil Nadu, India Tel. No. (0091) (451) 2550100 / 2550839 / 2550324 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
GENERAL READING LIST
Below is a list of books that have helped shape the development of this programme.
John Antony, D. Dynamics of Counselling. Nagercoil, T.N., India: Anugraha Publications, 1994.
John Antony, D. Skills of Counselling. Nagercoil, T.N. India: Anugraha Publications, 1995.
John Antony, D. Types of Counselling. Nagercoil, T.N., India: Anugraha Publications, 1996.
John Antony, D. Psychotherapies in Counselling*. Dindigul, India – 624 003: Anugraha Publications, 1996. *see page 21
Also see http://www.udhayamcaps.org/anugraha.htm [ANUGRAHA
continued on page 20]
The above is only an extract from the information available at the Anugraha site.
This writer, though a trained Catholic pastoral counselor, is no expert in the disciplines of psychotherapy, psychotherapeutic counseling, psychology, psychoanalysis and to be able to evaluate the contents of the different courses. However, it does not require an expert to be aware that over the last decade, there is a greater incidence of advertisements in Catholic periodicals from Catholic organisations run by priests and nuns inviting the faithful to sign up for various types of courses as we shall see in the following pages.
The range is mind-boggling. A look at the syllabus of Anugraha will give one an idea. It is of great significance that the training in counseling on offer is neither Biblical nor pastoral. Except for the frequent use of the word “spiritual” one might not even suspect that the courses are related to spirituality or are being offered by Catholic priests. There is no reference anywhere to the Word of God which is the Source of all Wisdom, or to the writings of the Early Church Fathers or the great Catholic mystics. Apart from the four books by Anugraha Founder-Director Fr. D. John Antony, the dozens of other recommended books are secular. While that in itself should not be a problem for Catholics, there is always the possibility – and a high probability — that the philosophies and methodologies of these authors would contradict and oppose Catholic spirituality. I lack the academic background to evaluate this reliably, but I am sure that if Catholic psychologists who are faithful to orthodoxy were to analyse these courses and related books, they would be able to confirm my apprehensions.
On this ministry’s website, there are several articles, a series of twelve, which will help the Catholic to understand the limitations and inherent dangers of secular [human sciences-based] counseling techniques:
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – SELF-ESTEEM – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. IV.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – PHOBIAS – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. V.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – INFERIORITY COMPLEX – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. VI.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – PERSONALITY DISORDERS – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. VII.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – NARCISSISM – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. VIII.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. IX.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. X.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. XI.doc
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PSYCHOLOGY Series – SCHIZOID PERSONALITY DISORDER – Human Wisdom Vs Divine Wisdom No. XII.doc
[These articles are prepared by a Catholic priest who has a doctorate in Canon Law.]
MY COMMENTS: How many Catholics realise that Confession [the Sacrament of Reconciliation] is being gradually replaced by psychotherapeutic counseling and all manner of psychospiritualities? See pages 48 ff.
Intelligent and knowledgeable youth leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Bangalore who studied psychology in Catholic institutions told me that what they were taught opposed their Catholic beliefs. However like the majority of Renewal leaders, their concern did not extend to exposing these errors.
A senior leader in a Bangalore-based charismatic international ministry did an academic course at a Catholic institution at which Enneagrams were taught. This leader informed me about it after reading my article on Enneagrams, but sat through the course without a protest to collect the course-completion certificate.
Am I exaggerating the problem?
A priest who is a trained psychologist and is very knowledgeable in these matters wrote these letters to me:
1. Dear Michael, Your letter to Rome is well done.
But it would be necessary to include the role of psychologists who today have gone beyond the limits of rational psychology and gone to transpersonal psychology and into the New Age and occult beliefs. These Catholic psychologists (belonging even to religious congregations) have got such ideas from centres outside the Catholic Church.
In India these psychologists are conducting their programmes in centres which propagate New Age ideology and some of them are experts for different religious congregations and strengthen their position through the organization: The Association of Indian Psychologists and have a big clout in the all religious circles.
There are certain programmes like Sadhana which are a combination of psychology and oriental beliefs and practices, and these experts are the ones who promote such things. Lonavala is a centre that has trained a lot of formators in the art of pseudo-mysticism and therapies in keeping with the New Age Ideology. There are other centres doing similar things. So we need to make a more thorough inquiry.
See if you can contact persons in different areas to help you with information. Father XXX [May 2004]
2. Dear Michael, Keep it up. I am back and safe and I am thinking out a strategy. To uproot a mountain of evil we have to dig a lot and it will take long. If we are dealing with the Church, we need to take up the canonical angle:
1) the threat of the second magisterium (alternative) active in a hidden way through centres where no syllabus or written material reveal the false teachings they preach;
2) the sinful or immoral practices present in such centres to which innocent religious (especially sisters) and young priests are lured and exposed;
3) propagation of the Indian “Maya” and magic in the name of Indianization;
4) the role of religious congregations of pontifical right to run such centres with absolute autonomy;
5) the moral and ideological corruption suffered by the top leadership and formation staff of many religious congregations; 6) the fear of Bishops to interfere where such religious congregations are active.
We need therefore to request that the concerned authorities take note of the following:
1) that the concerned Bishops monitor closely the questionable type of centres;
2) that the concerned centres to be asked to submit reports on activities, persons and subject matter taught and that all lectures be accompanied with written material and that secret talks, confidential lessons under oath and the manipulation of liturgy to suit the whims of the director of the programme be stopped;
3) that the Vatican issue strict guidelines regarding such centres’ on-going formation, so that no second or alternative magisterium be allowed to function, no manipulation of liturgy and no immoral or sinful activities be allowed.
4) that an inquiry be set up about the existing centres of on-going formation and on personnel involved in such matters and about the role of the psychologists in particular.
We need to ask Rome why the local Bishops are either ignorant or indifferent to take action in their diocese. Are Bishops afraid of theologians and self-proclaimed “Gurus” and Messiahs? I will elaborate on these matters later on and we can think of a seminar later on. I will go through the articles and write to you later. Please keep up the efforts. Fr. XXX [July 2004]
3. Dear Michael, You should know by now why Church people are opposed to the truth and that is why your Ashram report was not well received by some of those in authority. Satan has control in many areas of our Church matters. Both psychology and the media are used by Satan to deceive the followers of Jesus. So it is necessary to pray and do penance for those affected by such “New Age” culture. Father XXX [February 2006]
4. Dear Michael, I am trying to warn people about the dangers of psychology that has gone too much into every walk of life, specially the formation of religious and clergy. Father XXX [January 2007]
5. Dear Michael, For many years I was watching the backdoor entry of not-easily-perceptible but cancerous and deadly evil creeping into the Indian Church. […] The C.R.I [Conference of Religious, India] is now the forum for promoting all that is questionable – feminism – male-female experiences under the brand name called “psychosexual spirituality”, “New Age”, liberation and so on – anything except the Gospel. When doing counselling I have come across religious who were sexually exploited at seminars. Now that the majority are on the other side – some are under treatment for depression – I cannot say anything. All these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. As a true charismatic I am very sensitive about these issues but I am helpless being a member of a Religious Congregation that is also affected by some lethargy and the influence of psychology and the New Age. They are curious about the new things, digging broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). It is a hopeless situation. While the hierarchy sleeps the “enemy” comes in to sow weeds in the field.
Try to call a gathering of laity to pray and atone for the sins against the Word of God. Father XXX [September 2008]
I was saying that it might be difficult for the average lay person to discern the errors in the Anugraha courses simply by looking at their syllabi.
But what about YOGA, ENNEAGRAMS, NLP, GESTALT THERAPY, BIOENERGETICS, MYERS-BRIGGS TESTS?
Do the Charismatic Renewal leaders [who have invited Anugraha to Goa] not know that these are New Age?
Surely they are internet savvy and could google the required information? Did they did not check out Anugraha [have they forgotten the Bereans who checked out St. Paul, Acts 17:11?] Or have they simply lost their discernment and therefore the right to lead others.
Based on my personal experience, too many leaders are simply abysmally unaware of the nature of New Age and its errors. They cannot read the signs of the times [Hosea 4: 6, I Chronicles 12: 32, 33] and are unfit to lead. What is worse, many of them – including senior priests — have practiced or continue to practice New Age meditations and alternative therapies like yoga, hypnotherapy, dream therapy, acupuncture, dowsing, reiki, enneagrams, NLP, pranic healing, etc. Homoeopathy, which is definitely “soft occult” and New Age, is probably one of the commoner practices among senior charismatic leaders who simply do not want to accept the truth about it. This despite their hearing it from Fr. Larry Hogan, Chief Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Vienna, at the Asian Seminar on Healing and Deliverance for leaders in Ernakulam in February 2004.
Have they not read the Vatican Document which explains New Age psychology, and in which psychologists Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Erich Fromm, Carl Rogers, and Robert Assagioli are named as New Agers?
During a recent visit of mine to Goa, a young charismatic who is known to me, declined to accept my invitation to attend one of my talks with the comment that some of my views are “extreme”. I have to be grateful that he said that of SOME of my views, not ALL. A middle-level leader, a fairly good friend of mine, answered my telephone call, but deftly skirted meeting me or inviting me over to his prayer meeting. They would rather not know the truth. It is the same everywhere in the Charismatic Renewal. Propagation of New Age has become institutionalized in the Church, as my reports continue to demonstrate and the powers-that-be in the Renewal desperately want to avoid rocking the boat by having these issues spoken about at any meeting under their auspices. However, that caution does not seem to extend to ensuring that New Age is not propagated under their auspices. The “God in the Now Retreat” and Anugraha’s “Healing the Inner Child” are examples of this. Who ever thought that the beautiful Catholic Charismatic Renewal, in which I was a servant from 1982 to 1992, would come to this pass?
We will return later to the subject of psychology. Let us now examine some of Anugraha’s programmes:
The following articles — proving conclusively that yoga is New Age — are available at this ministry’s website:
2. http://ephesians-511.net/documents/YOGA_WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT IT.doc
THE PROPOSED COMPULSORY INTRODUCTION OF YOGA IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
[2. Detailed article to be published soon, but information is available by email on request]
III. NEUROLINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING [NLP]
Since this is not meant to be an article on NLP, I shall be as brief as possible, showing that NLP is New Age:
1. NLP and Science [wikipedia]
At the time it was introduced, NLP was heralded as a breakthrough in therapy, and advertisements for training workshops, videos and books began to appear in trade magazines. The workshops provided certification.
However, controlled studies shed such a poor light on the practice, and those promoting the intervention made such extreme and changeable claims that researchers began to question the wisdom of researching the area further.
There are three main criticisms of NLP.
NLP’s claims for scientific respectability are not based on the scientific method. Its very name is a pretense to a legitimate discipline like neuroscience, neurolinguistics, and psychology. It has a large collection of scientific sounding terms, like eye accessing cues, metamodeling, micromodeling, metaprogramming, neurological levels, presuppositions, primary representational systems, modalities and submodalities.
Corballis (1999) argues that “NLP is a thoroughly fake title, designed to give the impression of scientific respectability”. According to Beyerstein (1995) “though it claims neuroscience in its pedigree, NLP’s outmoded view of the relationship between cognitive style and brain function ultimately boils down to crude analogies.” With reference to all the ‘neuromythologies’ covered in his article, including NLP, he states “In the long run perhaps the heaviest cost extracted by neuromythologists is the one common to all pseudosciences—deterioration in the already low levels of scientific literacy and critical thinking in society.” Proponents of NLP often deny that it is based on theory.
There is little or no evidence or research to support its often extravagant claims. Heap (1988) remarks that if the assertions made by proponents of NLP about representational systems and their behavioural manifestations are correct, then its founders have made remarkable discoveries about the human mind and brain, which would have important implications for human psychology, particularly cognitive science and neuropsychology. Yet there is no mention of them in learned textbooks or journals devoted to these disciplines. Neither is this material taught in psychology courses at the pre-degree and degree level. When Heap spoke to academic colleagues who spend much time researching and teaching in these fields, they showed little awareness, if any, of NLP. Heap (1988) argued that to arrive at such important generalisations about the human mind and behaviour would certainly require prolonged, systematic, and meticulous investigation of human subjects using robust procedures for observing, recording, and analysing the phenomena under investigation. “There is just no other way of doing this”. Yet the founders of NLP never revealed any such research or investigation, and there is no evidence of its existence. Indeed, Bandler himself claimed it was not his job to prove any of his claims about the workings of the human mind, “The truth is, when we know how something is done, it becomes easy to change” (ibid). Tosey and Mathison say that “the pragmatic and often anti-theoretical stance by the founders has left a legacy of little engagement between practitioner and academic communities”.
A significant amount of experimental research suggests that the central claims of NLP are unjustified.
See “NLP and science” for a description of the literature. The majority of empirical research was carried out in the 1980s and 1990s and consisted of laboratory experimentation testing Bandler and Grinder’s hypothesis that a person’s preferred sensory mode of thinking can be revealed by observing eye movement cues and sensory predicates in language use. A research review conducted by Christopher Sharpley in 1984, followed by another review in 1987 in response to criticism by Einspruch and Forman, concluded that there was little evidence for its usefulness as an effective counseling tool. Reviewing the literature in 1988, Michael Heap also concluded that objective and fair investigations had shown no support for NLP claims about ‘preferred representational systems’. The conclusions of Heap and Sharpley have been contested on the grounds that the studies demonstrated an incomplete understanding of the claims of NLP and that the interviewers involved in the many of the studies had inadequate training/competence in NLP.
A research committee working for United States National Research Council led by Daniel Druckman came to two conclusions. First, the committee “found little if any” evidence to support NLP’s assumptions or to indicate that it is effective as a strategy for social influence. It assumes that by tracking another’s eye movements and language, an NLP trainer can shape the person’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions (Dilts, 1983). There is no scientific support for these assumptions.” Secondly, the committee “were impressed with the modeling approach used to develop the technique. The technique was developed from careful observations of the way three master psychotherapists conducted their sessions, emphasizing imitation of verbal and nonverbal behaviors… This then led the committee to take up the topic of expert modeling in the second phase of its work.” These studies marked a decline in research interest in NLP generally, and particularly in matching sensory predicates and its use in counsellor-client relationship in counseling psychology.
Beyerstein (1995) argued that NLP was based on outmoded scientific theories, and that its ‘explanation’ of the relationship between cognitive style and brain function was no more than crude analogy. [For the links to the references please click on the link given above.]
2. Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
The entire report debunks NLP as unscientific. Some extracts:
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is one of many New Age
Large Group Awareness Training
NLP is a competitor with
Landmark Forum, Tony Robbins, and legions of other enterprises which, like the
Sophists of ancient Greece, travel from town to town to teach their wisdom for a fee…
NLP, consciously or unconsciously, relies heavily upon (1) the notion of the unconscious mind
as constantly influencing conscious thought and action; (2) metaphorical behavior and speech, especially building upon the methods used in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams; and (3)
as developed by
One common thread in NLP is the emphasis on teaching a variety of communication and persuasion skills, and
using self-hypnosis to motivate and change oneself. Most NLP practitioners advertising on the WWW make grand claims about being able to help just about anybody become just about anything…
Do people benefit from NLP?
While I do not doubt that many people benefit from NLP training sessions, there seem to be several false or questionable assumptions upon which NLP is based. Their beliefs about the unconscious mind, hypnosis and the ability to influence people by appealing directly to the subconscious mind are unsubstantiated. All the scientific evidence which exists on such things indicates that what NLP claims is not true.
You cannot learn to “speak directly to the unconscious mind” as Erickson and
NLP claim, except in the most obvious way of using the power of suggestion.
It seems that NLP develops models which can’t be verified, from which it develops techniques which may have nothing to do with either the models or the sources of the models. NLP makes claims about thinking and perception which do not seem to be supported by neuroscience.
3. Mind Control in the 1990’s: Neurolinguistic Programming
Volume 7, No. 3, 1990, Articles on the New Age by Rick Branch
In recent years, several
New Age [New Age] groups have entered the realm of the business world under various guises. One of the most widespread is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). This organization is very prevalent among the medical and legal professions.
According to the Seminars and Certification Trainings manual, produced by NLP, “Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a practical application of how people think. Described as `software for your brain,’ NLP allows you to automatically tap into the kind of experiences you want to have,” (p. 1).
Keeping this relatively simple and unassuming definition in mind, the following information will demonstrate why NLP should be classified as a New Age philosophy.
“In the early 1970’s Dr. Richard Bandler and Dr. John Grinder through careful study of acknowledged masters of communication and change such as Drs. Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, George Bateson and [Gestalt therapist]
Fritz Perls, discovered what made these individuals so effective and in the process developed the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming,” (The New Age Catalogue, 1988 ed., p. 85).
One of the models for NLP was Dr. Milton Erickson who heads the Milton Erickson Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona.
This man was the founder of the technique known as Ericksonian Hypnosis.
In this type of hypnosis, Erickson teaches the students how to, “communicate with the whole person by utilizing conscious and unconscious levels. Dr. Erickson also taught us (his pupils) how to utilize and bypass client resistance by embedding therapeutic interventions in seemingly casual conversation,” (Ibid; emphasis mine).
These techniques, which the NLP freely admits adopting to its purposes, are the same processes that Radio Stations once used and Television Stations are still allowed to use. That is, Subliminal Messages, or the act of tapping into the unconscious mind apart from the person’s conscious knowledge. This act of “planting” an idea in someone’s unconscious mind is both unethical and unbiblical.
The example for Christians should be that of Jesus Christ who said “I spake openly to the world; I even taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said,” (John 18:20-21).
Another of the NLP’s primary role models was Fritz Perls. Dr. Perls has a long career of New Age teachings.
In 1961 Michael Murphy and Richard Price opened a new residential community which came to be known as Esalen*.
Located in California’s Big Sur area, Esalen “helped mid-wife much of what came to be known as the human-potential movement. Seminar leaders in Esalen’s first three years included Gerald Heard, Alan Watts, Arnold Toynbee, Linus Pauling, Norman O. Brown, Carl Rogers, Paul Tillich, Rollo May, and a young graduate student named Carlos Castaneda,” (The Aquarian Conspiracy**, p. 137; emphasis mine).
It was here at Esalen that “…Fritz Perls came to live…” in the 1960’s. This new community, of which Perls was a part, was “…seeking ways the insights of this new human-potential movement*** could be applied to the larger society,” (Ibid, p. 139). Thus the very foundation for Bandler and Grinder’s NLP is based in the New Age motif. However, it can be argued that because a group has its origins in a non-Christian movement, that does not, by necessity, cause the new group to be non-Christian also. For that reason, it is categorically imperative that the practices and teachings of the new group be equally scrutinized.
One final argument against the claims of the NLP, interestingly enough, does not come from a Biblical perspective. Rather, it comes from a government study completed by the U.S. Army.
The study, conducted by the National Research Council (NRC), completed in 1988, and entitled Enhancing Human Performance, under the commission of the U.S. Army, examined the claims of the NLP.
“The NRC researchers checked out other frontiers of human potential as well, including accelerated learning, biofeedback****, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). NLP which postulates connection between behavior and neurology and claims to train students to `read’ others by noting their eye position and choice of language, was also dismissed as having a social rather than a neurological basis,” (The Fringes of Reason, A Whole Earth Catalog: A Field Guide to New Age Frontiers, Unusual Beliefs & Eccentric Sciences, 1989 ed., p. 196).
Thus, from both a Biblical and a secular perspective, Neuro- Linguistic Programming fails to fulfill its claims.
*Esalen: Discussed in the Vatican Document on the New Age #2.2.3, 2.3.2, 7.2, 7.3 and some of my articles
**The Aquarian Conspiracy: Discussed in the Vatican Document on the New Age #2.3.2, 9.1 and –do-
***Human Potential Movement: Discussed in the Vatican Document on New Age #2.3.2, 4, 7.2, 7.3 and –do-
****Biofeedback: Discussed in the Vatican Document on the New Age #2.2.3, 188.8.131.52, 4 and –do-
4. Disinformation and the Dangers of Neurolinguistic Programming by Anthony J. Fejfar, 2007
NLP is dangerous because it gives the NLP practitioner the power to put another person in a hypnotic trance state and make compulsory suggestions to that person regarding beliefs or actions…
The only way to really get out of NLP hypnosis is to transcend the level at which you have been hypnotized…
If you are not a Critical Thomist, to correct the problem you will probably have to be placed in a deep trance state by a hypnotherapist and deprogrammed.
IV. GESTALT THERAPY
Since this is not meant to be an article on Gestalt Therapy, I shall be brief, showing that it is New Age.
1. A Call to Vigilance (Pastoral Instruction on New Age) by Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera
Taken from the August/September 1996 issue of “Catholic International.” Published monthly by “The Catholic Review”, 320 Cathedral Street, P.O. Box 777, Baltimore, MD 21203
EXTRACT: 20. Few fields have been as susceptible to manipulation by New Age as psychology and biology. Starting from the research of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), and the theories of the “collective unconscious” and of archetypes propounded by his disciple Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), there has been a varied succession of currents of thought in psychology that are connected to a greater or lesser degree with New Age’s ideas and therapies. In particular, so-called transpersonal psychology, founded by the Italian psychologist Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), attempts to go beyond the individual’s psychic experience in search of a superior collective consciousness that would be the door to discovering a “divine principle” lying at the core of every human
This gives rise to a multitude of New Age’s typical techniques: biofeedback, hypnosis, rebirthing, Gestalt therapy*, and the provocation of altered states of consciousness, including the use of hallucinogenic drugs.
For Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls’ influence on NLP, please see page 9.
2. Instrucción Pastoral sobre la Nueva Era. Pastoral Instruction on New Age
Concise and thorough study about the characteristics, practices and philosophies of the New Age
Archbishop of Miami, Florida, USA, November 1991
EXTRACT: Chapter 2 Appendix [Going alphabetically, the Archbishop has listed New Age personalities, organizations and therapies in this long document. The following is under the alphabet “G”- Michael]
Gaia (Dr. James Lovelock, “Gaia, a new look at life on earth” 1982). Los estados ganzfeld (estados de conocimiento en sueño que son de interés especial para la PES y PSI; véase también a Carl Sargent de Cambridge), geomancia (Nigel Pennick 1981), terapia Gerson (el Dr. Max Gerson +1959; dieta basada en el tratamiento del cáncer); terapia Gestalt (Fritz Perls, Wilhem Rich), grafología (análisis de escritura como diagnóstico). Ganzfeld states (states of knowledge in sleep that are of special interest to the PES and PSI, see also Carl Sargent of Cambridge), geomancy (Nigel Pennick 1981), Gerson Therapy (Dr. Max Gerson +1959; based diet cancer treatment), Gestalt Therapy (Fritz Perls, Wilhelm Rich), handwriting (Writing as analysis of diagnosis).
3. The Desacralization of Hinduism for Western Consumption
by Rama Coomaraswamy, M.D., F.A.C.S.
One finds among New Agers – and they come in a wide variety of aspects – almost no intellectuality at all. “Leave your shoes and minds outside,” or as Marian Ferguson (The Aquarian Conspiracy) tells us, “you can’t reason (her emphasis) into a paradigm shift [i.e., a higher state of consciousness], it’s experiential. You either get or don’t get it”.
According to her, intellectual concepts inhibit “getting it”. Thinkers and academics therefore are the least likely to “get it.” As Kevin Garvey explains, “To avoid the intelligence trap Ferguson suggests we do Est* or Lifespring Training. These are, according to her, centering techniques which allow the real self to emerge.”  In a similar manner, we find Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls, another Esalen resident, actually preaching that rational thought had to he conquered if one was to liberate one’s inner feelings, his slogan being “lose your mind and come to your senses”. *Erhard Seminars Training which is New Age
Since this is not meant to be an article on Bioenergetics, I shall be brief, showing that it is New Age.
Bioenergetic therapy: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Bioenergetic_therapy/id/78004
Therapeutic phase of bioenergetics (Bioenergetic Analysis). It is a voyage in self-discovery that can bring one closer to a state of grace.
A combination of psychotherapy with bodywork* (a wide range of massage-like therapies).
It involves deep breathing, talk therapy, bioenergetic exercise and massage* to relieve tension and release confined emotions.
Bioenergetic ZEB Devices
*NOTE: Vatican Document on the New Age #2.3.2:
“Advertising connected with New Age covers a wide range of practices as… massage and various kinds of ‘bodywork‘…”
2. Bioenergetics: The Revolutionary Therapy That Uses the Language of the Body to Heal the Problems of the Mind
by Alexander Lowen* [*The founder of bioenergetics- Michael]
3. Spirituality in nursing: from traditional to New Age by Barbara Stevens Barnum [pdf file] EXTRACT:
Energetic (otherwise termed energic) healing, movement of energy with the hands, is perhaps the most common new paradigm* healing technique… In their work, [Laurie and Tucker (1993)] describe how a healer can draw energy from other sources… the atmosphere, the molten core of the earth, the heavens. *New Age
4. Shamanism By Mariko Namba Walter, Eva Jane Neumann Fridman [page 29]
In New Age parlance, bioenergetics refers to certain forms of therapy, including the therapy specifically called bioenergetics, Reiki, and chakra, distance and aura healing. These therapies deal with natural but invisible energies flowing around the human body through numerous channels or meridians. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology, which also explain their healing effects by energy channels, are comparable, although “bio-energy healing” deals more specifically with non-contact techniques… [read the rest by clicking on the URL]
5. Awakening the Energy Body from Shamanism to Bioenergetics
By Kenneth Smith
http://store.innertraditions.com/Product.jmdx;jsessionid=F4A32634D538198E71A3AA77D114D421?action=displayDetail&id=3602&searchString=978-1-59143-084-1 [read the article by clicking on the URL. Two selected comments follow]
“Both psychology and new age libraries
will find much of interest in Awakening the Energy Body. It uses science from bioenergetics to study the ebb and flow of body energy and draws important connections between psychology and physical matter, and uses the author’s Toltec tradition studies to reinforce the possibilities involved in body energy understanding.” The Midwest Book Review, Aug 2008
“Awakening the Energy Body demonstrates the universality of the energy body by relating its dynamics to psychology, physics, sociology, and religion; and it helps to further establish the fields of
bioenergetics, Energy Psychology, and Transpersonal Psychology…” Fred Gallo, Ph.D., author of Energy Tapping
6. Bioenergetics: Energetic healing of the Body, Mind and Soul
http://www.askalana.com/new-age/bioenergetics.html [pdf] EXTRACT:
…A “Western form of yoga that aims to understand the human personality through bodily energetic processes including body movements and breathing exercises”…
Bioenergetics in all of its forms relies on the notion that energy, whether from one’s own body or from an outside source can be used for healing purposes. Such is the basis for many energy-based types of alternative medicine, including but not limited to homeopathy, reiki and acupuncture. If you’re in search of alternative holistic healing systems …bioenergetic therapy might just be what you’re looking for.
7. The Biology of Kundalini-A Science and Protocol of Spiritual Alchemy
Bioenergetics, a form of bodymind therapy developed by Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen is another method of approaching the body armor and consequently releasing toxic repression. One would assume that if we are directly touching and expressing the tension held in our body armor that neurological changes reflecting this release must occur within the brain. Thus I assume that if we lovingly address our muscular armor, our brain will recover from toxic repression, and there is no better time to do this than when our nervous system is already perturbed, and our connective tissue already dissolving during active kundalini. By adopting these “unlocking” practices while kundi-active we help to facilitate rewiring and we are less likely to snap back to our former repressed cocoon self once with awakening is over. This point is vitally important for anyone going through kundalini, and is the reason why yoga is an integral part of Eastern spiritual practice.
The following is a list of practices which claim to have medical or psychological validity but actually the source of, impetus behind, underlying world-view or ultimate goal is that of New Age / occultic / [New Age / occultic /]
9. The Christian, Energetic Medicine, “New Age Paranoia”
Elliot Miller http://www.equip.org/articles/the-christian-energetic-medicine-new-age-paranoia-
WHAT IS BIOENERGY?
Energetic medicine encompasses dozens of diverse therapies and diagnostic approaches, including meridian therapy (e.g., acupuncture, acupressure), Applied Kinesiology, homeopathy, reflexology, polarity therapy, Therapeutic Touch, and (at least in its original theory) chiropractic. All these approaches are concerned with balancing or releasing energy in the body for the advancement of health and the treatment of disease. The energy that is the concern of these therapies has been given many names, including bioenergy, vital force, the life force, universal life energy, cosmic energy, chi (acupuncture), and Innate Intelligence (chiropractic).
10. New Age Holistic Health Practices-Part 8, What are Bioenergetics and Reichian Therapy? by Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon
Bioenergetics or neo-Reichian bodywork was developed by Alexander Lowen, a disciple of Wilhelm Reich’s Orgonomy or Reichian Therapy. Reich (1897-1957), who dabbled in the occult, wrongly believed that the cause of many physical and mental disorders and illnesses was the inability to achieve a satisfactory orgasm. Thus, supposed sexual dysfunction helps produce “character armor” and a psychological-physical response to the stresses of the outside world. Character armor could allegedly be loosened through “full orgiastic gratification.” In other words, Reich believed that for a patient to be cured he must be able to achieve gratification in the sexual act. He was convinced that blocking of sexual “bioenergy,” which he called “orgone,” was due to armoring—a condition that results from energy being bound in a muscular contraction and not being allowed to flow through the body. Reich proceeded to explore the therapeutic use of so-called orgone energy, which he also believed was the alleged “life energy” of the universe. In this sense, orgone is similar to other mystical energy concepts within New Age medicine such as prana and chi.
While Reich attempted to demonstrate both the reality and healing powers of this orgone energy, Alexander Lowen, a committed student, revised Reich’s theories in accordance with his own findings. Rejecting the theory of orgone, he still accepted the concept behind it of a “life force” based upon mystical energy. Thus “bioenergetics” or neo-Reichian therapy involves the study of the human personality in terms of the alleged energetic processes of the body.
Bioenergetic therapy has two aspects. The first part involves the physical bodywork—bioenergetic exercises—in which the individual assumes yoga-like postures and performs breathing exercises in order to allegedly help relieve muscular tension which is obstructing the flow of energy.
Second, bioenergetic therapy utilizes counseling to discuss and analyze the individual’s feelings before or after he has been treated. Bioenergetics is also based upon helping an individual to expand his mental consciousness by supposedly increasing his body consciousness. It attempts to go beyond both mechanical and mystical consciousness to unify mind and body consciousness toward more “awareness.” The goal is to expand consciousness downward bringing a person closer to the “unconscious” in order to produce a new heightened consciousness of the unity and purpose of life. Nevertheless, these bodywork methods can also produce mystical experiences, and many patients seem to have some kind of transcendental experience in the course of therapy.
The effectiveness of bioenergetics has never been established and these therapies may encourage a client toward occult pursuits.
11. Acupuncture and bioenergetic cure vs. Catholicism?
QUESTION from Dalila Velez
Hi, I would like to know whether I’m committing sin or not by receiving acupuncture and I wanted to know also if using bioenergetics (I think it’s not hand healing like in Reiki) that uses magnets, flower waters, and stuff like that to cure my 5 year old son’s Ideopathic Trombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) is bad in the eyes of the Catholic Church. I would like to get the answer as soon as possible if you can. Thanks.
ANSWER by Bro. John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM
Dear Mrs. Velez:
Many acupuncture practitioners will offer silent prayers to entities other than God while given you the procedure.
Also remember, that the basic theory behind acupuncture and much of Chinese medicine is a worldview and theory and philosophy that is incompatible with Christianity.
Bioenergetics comes in many forms. It depends on what you have in mind. Bioenergetics can include elements of Reichian theory, meditation techniques, relaxation therapy, massage, and other muscle work. It is a New Age concept on the whole as little value… and elements such as Reichian Theory and mind-emptying type meditation MUST be avoided by Catholics.
Bioenergetics that uses flower water or crystals and other such nonsense is just that — nonsense. Such things also usually carry with it New Age philosophies that are inconsistent with Christianity.
There is an issue of faith, however. To be desperate to try unproven and known ineffectual non-traditional techniques “may” suggest a lack of trust in God’s providence.
We need to give our medical health and the medical health of our children to God. He is the Master Physician. God has given us the gift of medicine and the gift of legitimate alternative medicine. But to pursue alternatives for the sake of doing so when there is no evidence that they will have any effect is a problem.
I would advise that you follow your doctor’s advice and stay away from questionable alternative procedures. These procedures at best are ineffectual for a condition like ITP, and at worse can involve occultic elements either in the procedure itself or with the practitioner who treats your child. It isn’t worth the risk.
12. Instrucción Pastoral sobre la Nueva Era. Pastoral Instruction on New Age
Concise and thorough study about the characteristics, practices and philosophies of the New Age
Archbishop of Miami, Florida, USA, November 1991
EXTRACT: Chapter 2 Appendix [Going alphabetically, the Archbishop has listed New Age personalities, organizations and therapies in this long document. The following is under the alphabet “B”- Michael]
bioenergy (Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Cowen*) *It should read as “Lowen” and not Cowen- Michael
MY COMMENTS: The above twelve references conclusively prove that bioenergetics is New Age. It is seen to be closely associated with kundalini yoga, acupuncture, reflexology, bodywork, Applied Kinesiology, massage, homeopathy, reflexology, polarity therapy, Therapeutic Touch, chiropractic, reiki, various other types of ‘energy’ healing, etc. And Transpersonal Psychology*.
Now let us check out the Vatican Document on the New Age:
Advertising connected with New Age covers a wide range of practices as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, kinesiology, homeopathy, iridology, massage and various kinds of “bodywork” (such as orgonomy, Feldenkrais, reflexology, Rolfing, polarity massage, therapeutic touch etc.), meditation and visualisation, …psychic healing… #2.3.2
“A.S.Cs [Altered States of Consciousness] are induced either by drugs or by various mind-expanding techniques, particularly in the context of ‘transpersonal psychology’.” #2.2.3
Note that most of the therapies are specifically mentioned in the Document.
*We will discuss Transpersonal Psychology on pages 54 to 58 of this report.
Let the reader keep in mind that we are discussing the content of the programmes of Anugraha’s courses on counselling and Transpersonal Psychology. Yoga, enneagrams, NLP, Gestalt therapy, bioenergetics and Myers-Briggs tests are an integral component of these courses in which our Catholics are being trained.
VI. MYERS-BRIGGS TEMPERAMENT INDICATOR [MBTI]
Since this is not meant to be an article on MBTI, I shall be as brief as possible, showing that it is New Age.
1. Influence of Carl Jung on the Church Part II
http://www.cephas-library.com/formation_willowcreek_pt_3.html [CAUTION: This is an anti-Catholic site- Michael] EXTRACT: CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT – PART III
As a concerned Christian, I would like to fervently respond to the following paper which was delivered at the CAPS Convention in Virginia Beach, Virginia entitled:
THE USE OF THE
MYERS-BRIGGS INSTRUMENT IN SANCTIFICATION OF LIFE AND
by John H. Stoll, Ph.D., Executive Director, ASK, Inc.
Dr. Stoll proposes that your marriage can be sanctified by the Meyers-Briggs Temperament Indicator [MBTI] even though the Bible states precisely that we are sanctified by the Word of God. Ironically, he uses the very Scripture to support using Myers-Briggs which should be used to refute its use. If the Word sanctifies and perfects us, “He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5: 21-26) then what can Carl Jung/Myers-Briggs add? He also states that Christians should be treated equally, but most Christians were never administered the Myers-Briggs test either today or before it existed, so how is that equal treatment (“There should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care, one for another” (I Corinthians 12: 25). Now, the only difference I can see between MBTI and Carl Jung himself, is that MBTI uses numerology to codify and number the results of the personality profiling. To sanctify means in part to make holy. How do you make something holy with something which is unholy?
For your convenience and reference, Dr. John Stoll’s paper which he presented at your convention may be located at:
As you all know, Myers-Briggs is based on the theories of Carl Jung. So, I invite you to test the spirits to see if they be of God and re-examine whether or not his ideas are truly Biblical and whether or not a Christian Counselor or Pastor can truly implement these tests. I will prove to you below from Jung’s own words that his personality profiling was derived from a demonic spirit-guide named Philemon. The Bible calls this Divination and is forbidden by the Lord.
In addition to my article below, I encourage you the read the following two scholarly articles on the Paganization of Christianity: http://www.crmspokane.org/myths2.htm & http://www.crmspokane.org/Philemon.htm
I invite you to consider the following documents which prove the Clear and Present Danger of Carl Jung and Psychology which has already become the Trojan Horse and Strange Fire within the Body of Christ and has become a central theme to the Church Growth Movement through Bill Hybels at Willowcreek and Rick Warren via his Purpose Driven Church.
I appeal to you all to consider two Scriptures with respect to the use of Meyers-Briggs and Personality Profiling
“Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come “Behold, they shall be as stubble;…” Isaiah 47:13. “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matthew 7:16 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.” Luke 6:43-44 “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” James 3:12
“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” I Corinthians 10:21
“Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalm 1:1 (Carl Jung was clearly ungodly and unbiblical in his ideas)
Finally, I humbly submit to you the following verse in the hope that I might actually recruit you to become part of a vanguard to your colleagues, members, and those you counsel to fear the Lord in considering this Scripture:
“Whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
Thank you for your time and consideration. Kindest regards in Christ, James Sundquist, President, Rock Salt Publishing
[MBTI‘S CONNECTION WITH THE OCCULT PERSONALITY TYPING TOOL –THE ENNEAGRAM] NOTE THAT THE ANGLICAN RENEWAL MINISTRIES FINALLY DROP THE MBTI! See page 17
2. Carl Jung, Neo-Gnosticism, and the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator [MBTI]
A report by Rev. Ed Hird, Past National Chairman of Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, Rector, St. Simon’s Anglican Church, Vancouver (revised March 18, 1998) http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/st_simons/arm03.htm
In 1991, I had the wonderful privilege of attending the Episcopal Renewal Ministries (ERM) Leadership Training Institute (LTI) in Evergreen, Colorado. Since then, I and others encouraged Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada to endorse the LTI approach, reporting in the ARM Canada magazine with articles about our helpful LTI experiences. ARM Canada, through our LTI Director, Rev. Murray Henderson, has since run a number of very helpful Clergy and Lay LTIs across Canada, which have been well received and appreciated. Through listening to the tapes by Leanne Payne and Dr. Jeffrey Satinover from the 1995 Kelowna Prayer Conference, I came across some new data that challenged me to do some rethinking about the
Jungian nature of the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator) used in the current ARM Canada LTIs. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover’s critique of Jungianism came with unique credibility, given his background as an eminent Jungian scholar, analyst, and past President of the C.G. Jung Foundation. I began to do some reading on Carl Jung, and mailed each ARM Board member a copy of the two audio tapes by Payne and Satinover. The ARM Board at our April 1996 meeting took an initial look at the Jungian nature of the MBTI, and whether we should continue to use the MBTI in our LTIs. Our ARM Board agreed to do some investigating on this topic and report back with some information to discuss at the November 1996 ARM Board meeting.
Currently approximately two and a half million people are ‘initiated’ each year into the MBTI process. (1) According to Peter B. Myers, it is now the most extensively used personality instrument in history.
There is even a MBTI version for children, called the MMTIC (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children) (3), and a simplified adult MBTI-like tool for the general public, known as the Keirsey-Bates Indicator.
A most helpful resource in analyzing the MBTI is the English Grove Booklet by Rev. Robert Innes, of St. John’s College, Durham, entitled Personality Indicators and the Spiritual Life. Innes focused on “the two indicators most widely used by Christian groups – Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram.”(4) One of the key questions for the ARM Board to settle is whether the MBTI is an integral part of Jungian neo-gnosticism, or alternately, that it may be a detachable benevolent portion of Jung’s philosophy in an otherwise suspect context. To use a visual picture, is the MBTI the ‘marijuana’, the low-level entry drug that potentially opens the door to the more hard-core Jungian involvement, or is it just a harmless sugar tablet?
To get at this question, I have broken my analysis down into smaller, more concrete questions.
1. Is the MBTI actually connected with Carl Jung?
The Rev. Canon Charles Fulton, President of ERM, commented in a June 17th, 1996 letter that “We have certainly had some concerns over the MBTI over the years and its Jungian nature”.
Rev. Fred Goodwin, Rector of National Ministries for ERM, commented in a September 18th, 1996 letter that “…we (ERM) no longer use the MBTI in our teachings…we’ve not included it in the last couple of years – believing that there are many other models and issues that need to be discussed with clergy and lay leaders.”
In Isabel Briggs-Myers’ book Introduction To Type (1983), she comments that the MBTI is “based on Jung’s theory of psychological types.”(5) In the book People Types and Tiger Stripes written by Jungian practitioner Dr. Gordon Lawrence, he states that “The (MBTI) Indicator was developed specifically to carry Carl Jung’s theory of type (Jung, 1921, 1971) into practical application.”(6) In the Grove Book on personality indicators, Robert Innes comments that “Carl Jung’s psychology lies behind…the MBTI”. (7)
The Buros Mental Measurement Year Book (1989, 10th Edition) notes that the MBTI “…is a construct-oriented test that is inextricably linked with Jung’s (1923) theory of psychological types.”(8) As to the evidence of validity, Buros characterizes the stability of type classification over time as “somewhat disappointing.”(9)
The Jungian/MBTI stance, as expressed by Dr. Gordon Lawrence, former President of the Association for Psychological Types, is that MBTI “types are a fact”, not a theory. (10) After reviewing the statistical evidence relating to the MBTI, however, Dr. Paul Kline, Professor of Psychometrics at Exeter University, commented that “There has been no clear support for the 8-fold categorization, despite the popularity of the MBTI.”(11) Mario Bergner, a colleague of Leanne Payne in Pastoral Care Ministries, observed in a July 2nd, 1996 letter that “of all the different types of psychological testing, forced choice tests (such as the MBTI) are considered the least valid.” More specifically, Bergner noted that “the validity of the MBTI is at zero because the test is based on a Jungian understanding of the soul which cannot be measured for good or bad.” The official MBTI view, as expressed by Dr. Gordon Lawrence, is that MBTI personality designations are “as unchangeable as the stripes on a tiger”. (12) Bergner, in contrast, does not believe that all of humanity can be unchangeably boxed into 16 temperament types, and is concerned about cases where people are being rejected for job applications, because they don’t fit certain MBTI categories.
5. What is the connection between ‘Archetypes’, the Unconscious and the MBTI?
Keirsey and Bates are strong MBTI supporters who have identified the link between the MBTI psychological types and Jungian archetypes. In their book Please Understand Me, they state Jung’s belief that “…all have the same multitude of instincts (i.e. archetypes) to drive them from within.” Jung therefore “invented the ‘function types’ or ‘psychological types'” to combine the uniformity of the archetypes with the diversity of human functioning. (65) In their best-selling MBTI book: Gifts Differing, Isabel Myers Briggs and Peter B. Myers speak openly about Jungian Archetypes as “those symbols, myths, and concepts that appear to be inborn and shared by members of a civilization”. (66)
Dr. Richard Noll holds in his book The Jung Cult that such Jungian ideas as the “collective unconscious” and the theory of the archetypes come as much from late 19th century occultism, neopaganism, and social Darwinian teaching, as they do from natural science. (67) Jung’s post-Freudian work (after 1912), especially his theories of the collective unconscious and the archetypes, could not have been constructed, says Noll, without the works of G.R.S. Mead on Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and the Mithraic Liturgy. Starting in 1911, Jung quoted Mead, a practicing Theosophist, regularly in his works through his entire life. (68) Richard Webster holds that “the Unconscious is not simply an occult entity for whose real existence there is no palpable evidence. It is an illusion produced by language – a kind of intellectual hallucination.”(69)
Jung was a master at creating obscure, scientific-sounding concepts, usually adapted from occultic literature. Jung held that “the collective unconsciousness is the sediment of all the experience of the universe of all time, and is also the image of the universe that has been in process of formation from untold ages. In the course of time, certain features became prominent in this image, the so-called dominants (later called archetypes by Jung).”(70) [Much of Jung’s teaching on archetypes is so obscure that I have placed the relevant data in the footnotes of this report, for the more motivated reader.]
In his phylogenetic racial theory, Jung assumes that acquired cultural attitudes, and hence Jungian archetypes, can actually be transmitted by genetic inheritance. Richard Webster, however, explodes Jung’s phylogenetic theory as biologically untenable.(71) Peter B. Medawar, a distinguished biologist, wrote in the New York Review of Books (January 23, 1975): “The opinion is gaining ground that doctrinaire psychoanalytic theory is the most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the 20th century: and a terminal product as well – something akin to a dinosaur or zeppelin in the history of ideas, a vast structure of radically unsound design and with no posterity.”
“This work Psychological Types (1921), said Jung, “sprung originally from my need to define the way in which my outlook differs from Freud’s and Adler’s. In attempting to answer this question, I came across the problem of types, for it is one’s psychological type which from the outset determines and limits a person’s judgment.”(72)
In words strangely reminiscent of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, Jung teaches in Psychological Types (PT) that “The unconscious, regarded as the historical background of the psyche, contains in a concentrated form the entire succession of engrams (imprints), which from time to time have determined the psychic structure as it now exists.”(73)
Jung held in PT that “The magician…has access to the unconscious that is still pagan, where the opposites still lie together in their primeval naiveté, beyond the reach of ‘sinfulness’, but liable, when accepted into conscious life, to beget evil as well as good with the same primeval and therefore daemonic force.”(74) Jung entitled an entire section in PT: “Concerning the Brahmanic Conception of the Reconciling Symbol”. Jung notes: “Brahman therefore must signify the irrational union of the opposites – hence their final overcoming…These quotations show that Brahman is the reconciliation and dissolution of the opposites – hence standing beyond them as an irrational factor.”(75)
My recurring question is: “Do we in ARM Canada wish to be directly or indirectly sanctioning this kind of teaching?” Symbolically, the MBTI can be thought of as a “freeze-dried” version of Jung’s Psychological Types (1921). Since PT teaches extensively about Jung’s archetypes and collective unconscious, it seems clear to me that to endorse the ‘freeze-dried’ MBTI is ultimately to endorse Jung’s archetypal, occultic philosophy.
6. What is the Relationship between Neo-gnosticism and the MBTI?
Dr. Richard Noll of Harvard University comments that “We know that (Wilhelm) Ostwald was a significant influence on Jung in the formation of his theory of psychological types.”(76) Jung mentioned Ostwald’s division of men of genius into classics and romantics in his first public presentation on psychological types at the Psychoanalytic Congress in Munich in September 1913. The classics and the romantics corresponded, according to Jung, to the introverted type and the extraverted type. Long quotations from Ostwald appear in other of Jung’s work between 1913 and 1921 – precisely the period of Ostwald’s most outspoken advocacy of eugenics, nature worship, and German imperialism through the Monistenbund, a Monistic Alliance led by Ostwald. An entire chapter of Jung’s Psychological Types is devoted favorably to these same ideas of Ostwald.”(77) Is any link, however, between Ostwald’s Germanic anti-Semitism and Jung merely an exercise in ‘guilt-by-association’? The newly emerging hard data would suggest otherwise. The influence of Germanic anti-Semitism on Jungianism can now be seen in a secret quota clause designed to limit Jewish membership to 10% in the Analytical Psychology Club of Zurich. Jung’s secret Jewish quota was in effect from 1916 to 1950, and only came to public light in 1989. (78)
“The book on types (PT)”, says Jung, “yielded the view that every judgment made by an individual is conditioned by his personality type and that every point of view is necessarily relative. This raised the question of the unity which much compensate this diversity, and it led me directly to the Chinese concept of Tao.”(79) Put simply, the MBTI conceptually leads to Taoism. Jung held that the central concept of his psychology was “the process of individuation”. Interesting the subtitle of the PT book, which The MBTI claims to represent, is “...or The Psychology of Individuation“. Philip Davis, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of P.E.I. comments, “In this lengthy process of ‘individuation’, one learns that one’s personality incorporates a series of polar opposites: rationality and irrationality, the ‘animal’ and the ‘spiritual’, ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’, and so on. The goal of the (Jungian) exercise is the reconciliation of the opposites, bringing them all into a harmony that results in ‘self-actualization’.” (80) Once again, it seems that aspect after aspect of this seemingly innocuous personality test leads back to Jung’s fundamental philosophic and religious teachings.
Two of Jung’s ‘most influential archetypes’ are the anima and animus, described by Jung as “psychological bisexuality”. (81) Jung teaches in PT that every man has a female soul (anima) and every woman has a male soul (animus). (82) Noll comments that “Jung’s first encounter with the feminine entity he later called the anima seems to have begun with his use of mediumistic techniques…”(83) Based on the recently discovered personal diary of Sabina Spielrein, John Kerr claims that Jung’s so-called anima “the woman within” which he spoke to, was none other than his idealized image of his former mistress, patient, and fellow therapist, Sabina Spielrein.(84) After breaking with both Spielrein and Freud, Jung felt his own soul vanish as if it had flown away to the land of the dead. Shortly after, while his children were plagued by nightmares and the house was seemingly haunted, Jung heard a chorus of spirits cry out demanding: ‘We have come back from Jerusalem where we have not found what we sought.’ (85)
In response to these spirits, Jung wrote his Seven Sermons to the Dead. In these seven messages Jung ‘reveals’, in agreement with the 2nd century Gnostic writer Basilides, the True and Ultimate God as Abraxas, who combines Jesus and Satan, good and evil all in one.(86) This is why Jung held that “Light is followed by shadow, the other side of the Creator.”(87) Dr. Noll, a clinical psychologist and post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, holds that “Jung was waging war against Christianity and its distant, absolute, unreachable God and was training his disciples to listen to the voice of the dead and to become gods themselves.”(88)
7. What Does the MBTI Prototype Book “Psychological Types” teach about Opposites?
Consistently Jung teaches about reconciliation of opposites, even of good and evil. Jung comments in MDR : “…a large part of my life work has revolved around the problem of opposites and especially their alchemical symbolism…”(89) Through experiencing Goethe’s Faust, Jung came to believe in the ‘universal power’ of evil and “its mysterious role it played in delivering man from darkness and suffering.”(90) “Most of all”, said Jung, “(Faust) awakened in me the problem of opposites, of good and evil, of mind and matter, of light and darkness.”(91) Being influenced as well by the Yin-Yang of Taoism, Jung believed that “Everything requires for its existence its opposite, or it fades into nothingness.”(92)
Dr. Gordon Lawrence, a strong Jungian/MBTI supporter, teaches that “In Jung’s theory, the two kinds of perception – sensing and intuition – are polar opposites of each other. Similarly, thinking judgment and feeling judgment are polar opposites.”(93) It seems to me that the setting up of the psychological polar opposites in PT functions as a useful prelude for gnostic reconciliation of all opposites. The MBTI helps condition our minds into thinking about the existence of polar opposites, and their alleged barriers to perfect wholeness. In the PT book, Jung comments that “One may be sure therefore, that, interwoven in the new symbol with its living beauty, there is also the element of evil, for, if not, it would lack the glow of life as well as beauty, since life and beauty are naturally indifferent to morality.”(94) My question for the ARM Board is: “Do we accept Jung’s ‘polar opposites’ view that there can be no life and beauty without evil?”
“We must beware”, said Jung, “of thinking of good and evil as absolute opposites…The criterion of ethical action can no longer consist in the simple view that good has the force of a categorical imperative, while so -called evil can resolutely be shunned. Recognition of the reality of evil necessarily relativizes the good, and the evil likewise, converting both into halves of a paradoxical whole.”(95) Here is where Jung ties in his ethical relativism to the PT/MBTI worldview: “In practical terms, this means that good and evil are no longer so self-evident. We have to realize that each represents a judgment.”(96)
Jung saw the reconciliation of opposites as a sign of great sophistication: “(Chinese philosophy) never failed to acknowledge the polarity and paradoxity of all life. The opposites always balanced one another – a sign of high culture. Onesideness, though it lends momentum, is a sign of barbarism.”(97) It would not be too far off to describe Jung as a gnostic Taoist. In PT, Jung comments that “The Indian (Brahman-Atman teaching) conception teaches liberation from the opposites, by which every sort of affective style and emotional hold to the object is understood…Yoga is a method by which the libido is systematically ‘drawn in’ and thereby released from the bondage of opposites.”(98)
While in India in 1938, Jung says that he “was principally concerned with the question of the psychological nature of evil.”(99) He was “impressed again and again by the fact that these people were able to integrate so-called ‘evil’ without ‘losing face’…To the oriental, good and evil are meaningfully contained in nature, and are merely varying degrees of the same thing. I saw that Indian spirituality contains as much of evil as of good… one does not really believe in evil, and one does not really believe in good.”(100)
In a comment reminiscent of our 1990’s relativistic culture, Jung said of Hindu thought: “Good or evil are then regarded at most as my good or my evil, as whatever seems to me good or evil”. (101) To accept the eight polarities within the MBTI predisposes one to embrace Jung’s teaching that the psyche “cannot set up any absolute truths, for its own polarity determines the relativity of its statements.”(102) Jung was also a strong promoter of the occultic mandala, a circular picture with a sun or star usually at the centre. Sun worship, as personified in the mandala, is perhaps the key to fully understanding Jung. (103) Jung taught that the mandala [Sanskrit for ‘circle’] was “the simplest model of a concept of wholeness, and one which spontaneously arises in the mind as a representation of the struggle and reconciliation of opposites.”(104)
In conclusion, to endorse the MBTI is to endorse Jung’s book Psychological Types, since the MBTI proponents consistently say that the MBTI “was developed specifically to carry Carl Jung’s theory of types (1921, 1971) into practical application.”(105)
Let us seek the Lord in unity as he reveals his heart for us in this matter.
Rev. Ed Hird, Past National Chair, ARM Canada
P.S. Anglican Renewal Ministries, Canada, decided in Nov. 1997 after much prayer and reflection to no longer use the MBTI in the Clergy and Lay Leadership Training Institutes.
1. Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B. Myers, Gifts Differing, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Press, Inc., 1980, p. xvii. Many charismatics have a soft spot for this book, because it quotes portions of scripture from Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. The actual link, however, between those bible passages, and the Jung/Myers-Briggs theories is rather questionable.
In an October 29th, 1996 letter from Rev. Fred Goodwin, Rector of National Ministries for ERM, Fred Goodwin commented: “I would suggest that in light of your concerns, you drop the MBTI and use some of the material out on small group ministry and discipling instead — which we find are desperate needs for leadership training in the church.”
2. Ibid., p.210; also Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p. xi; A book Prayer & Temperament written by Msgr. Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey in 1984 has been very effective in winning Roman Catholics and Anglicans to the MBTI. The book claims that the MBTI designations will make you either oriented to Ignatian prayer (if you are SJ), Augustinian prayer (if you are NF), Franciscan prayer (if you are SP), or Thomistic prayer (if you are NT). In the MBTI, the four sets of types are Extrovert (E) & Introvert (I), Sensate (S) & Intuitive (N), Thinking (T) & Feeling ( F), and Judging (J) & Perceiving (P). None of these 8 innocuous-sounding type names mean what they sound like. Instead each of the 8 type names has unique and mysterious, perhaps even occultic, definitions given by Jung himself in a massive section at the back of Psychological Types.
3. Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, Gainesville, FL: Center for Applications of Psychological Types, 1979, p. 222
4. Robert Innes, Personality Indicators and The Spiritual Life, Grove Books Ltd., Cambridge, 1996, p.3; The Enneagram is significantly occultic in nature and origin, coming from Sufi, numerology, and Arica New-Age sources. George Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo of Esalen Institute, and Claudio Naranjo are the prominent New Agers who have popularized it, and then introduced it, through Fr. Bob Oschs SJ, into the Christian Church. For more information, I recommend Robert Innes’ booklet and Mitchell Pacwa SJ article’s “Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram” Christian Research Journal, Fall 1991, pp. 14ff.
5. Isabel Briggs Myers, Introduction to Type, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1983, p.4
6. Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p. 6, also p. x
7. Robert Innes, Personality Indicators and The Spiritual Life, p.8
8. The Buros Mental Measurement YearBook (1989, 10th Edition), p. 93
9. Ibid., p. 93
10. Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p.150
11. Dr. Paul Kline, Personality: The Psychometric View: Routledge, 1993, p.136
12. Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, Back Cover
65. David Keirsey & Marilyn Bates, Please Understand Me, Del Mar, CA: Promothean Books, p. 3
66. Isabel Myers Briggs & Peter B. Myers, Gifts Differing, p. xiv
67. Richard Noll, The Jung Cult, front cover
68. Ibid., p. 69 Dr. Noll comments: “I therefore argue that the Jung cult and its present day movement is in fact a ‘Nietzschean religion'”, p. 137; Frederick Nietzsche’s stated view on Christianity is: “The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity; it has turned every value into worthlessness, and every truth into a lie.” (Canadian Atheist, Issue 8: 1996, p. 1)
69. Richard Webster, Why Freud was Wrong, p.250
70. Jung, Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology, ‘The Psychology of Unconscious Processes’) p. 432 These dominants, said Jung, “are the ruling powers, the gods; that is, the representations resulting from dominating laws and principles, from average regularities in the issue of images that the brain has received as a consequence of secular processes.”(p. 432)
71. Webster, Why Freud was Wrong p. 387
72. Berger & Segaller, Wisdom of the Dreams; p. 103, MDR, p. 207
73. Jung, Psychological Types, p. 211
74. Ibid., p. 233 It would be interesting to research how much Jungian reading George Lucas did in preparing to produce his Blockbuster Star Wars. [i.e. The Force be with you]. The deity-like Force in Stars Wars was either good or evil, depending how you tapped into it..
75. Ibid., p. 245-46
76. Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 51
77. Ibid., p. 69
78. Ibid., p. 259
79. Jung, MDR p. 207; Carl Jung, Psychology & the East, p. 15 “The wise Chinese would say in the words of the I Ching: ‘When Yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin.”
80. Ibid., p. 209; Philip Davis, “The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.12
81. Ibid., p. 391; Henri F. Ellenberger makes a strong case that Jung borrowed his matriarchy and anima/animus theories from Bachofen, an academic likened by some to the scientific credibility of Erik Von Daniken of The Chariots of the Gods and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of TM and its Yogic Flying. (Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious, Penguin Press, 1970, pp. 218-223); Philip Davis, “The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.13); Richard Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 188-90
82. Jung, Psychological Types, p. 595
83. Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 202-203; Philip Davis comments: “Jung’s therapeutic technique of ‘active imagination’ is now revealed as a sanitized version of the sort of trance employed by spiritualistic mediums and Theosophical travelers, with whom Jung was personally familiar.” (Philip Davis, “The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.14)
84. John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method, p. 12; 49;191; 498 “…there (the Russian-born Spielrein) remained (in almost complete obscurity) until the publication of the Freud/Jung correspondence in 1974.”;p. 502;503: After the collapse of the Spielrein affair, John Kerr notes that “Jung’s condition had so deteriorated that his wife allowed Toni Wolff openly to become his mistress, and a sometime member of the household, simply because she was the only person who could calm him down.”; p. 507- Jung’s stone bear carving in his Bollingen Tower specifically symbolized the anima . Curiously the inscription said: “Russia gets the ball rolling”; In a letter to Freud, Jung commented: “the prerequisite for a good marriage…is the license to be unfaithful.” The Freud/Jung Letters, trans. by R. Manheim & R. Hull (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 289
85. Ibid., p. 503; MDR, p.190
86. MDR, p. 378
87. MDR, p. 328
88. Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 224
89. MDR, p. 233
90. Ibid., p. 60
91. Ibid., p. 235
92. Jung, Psychology & the East, p. 184
93. Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p. 113
94. Jung, Psychological Types, p. 235
95. MDR, p. 329
96. Ibid., p. 329
97. Jung, Psychology & The East, p. 11
98. Jung, Psychological Types, p. 149-50
99. MDR, p. 275
100. Ibid., p. 275
101. Ibid., p. 275
102. Ibid., p.350
103. Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 137
104. MDR, p. 335
105. Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p. 6
3. THE ENNEAGRAM THEORY OF PERSONALITY: WHY ITS USE IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIANITY [CATHOLIC]
by Michael S. Rose, St. Catherine Review, January/February 1999 issue,
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ belated recognition that the enneagram is a threat to sound Catholic spiritual formation opens up the possibility that the American bishops will have to undertake a similar, if not harder, and more comprehensive, examination of the vast influence of Carl Jung in supposedly Catholic spirituality program. As a Canadian Anglican, the Rev. Ed Hird, past national chairman of Anglican Renewal Ministries in Canada, wrote in March 1998*, Jung, the enneagram, and the Myers-Briggs personality test — which almost all dioceses use to evaluate potential seminarians and “pastoral leaders” — are all connected, the latter two intimately connected to Jung’s work to deconstruct traditional Christianity. *see the previous report, sl. no. 2
4. GURDJIEFF AND THE ENIGMATIC ENNEAGRAM by Rev. Ed Hird, Past National Chairman of Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, Rector, St. Simon’s Anglican Church, Vancouver http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/st_simons/arm04.htm EXTRACT:
The following article emerged out of a footnote to a larger investigation into the relationship between Dr. Carl Jung, neo-gnosticism, and the MBTI [http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/st_simons/arm03.htm]…
Robert Innes describes Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram as “the two indicators most widely used by Christian groups…” (p.3) Baron & Wagele hold that “Many of the variations within the nine [Enneagram] types can be explained by relating the highly respected Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to the Enneagram. This will increase accuracy, give greater breadth to the system, and lead to a more finely tuned understanding of ourselves and others. (p. 7, 136-149) Suzanne Zuercher, author of “Enneagram Spirituality” (Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1992, p. 157) “places the whole of the Enneagram within a basically Jungian framework.” (Robert Innes, op. cit., p. 14)
5. WHEN THE NEW AGE COMES TO YOUR PARISH [CATHOLIC]
by Fr. Mitch Pacwa S.J., New Covenant magazine, March 1992 EXTRACT:
Instead of turning to Jungian archetypes, astrology or enneagram personality descriptions, the New Testament shows us ways to see ourselves before God…
One man heard one of my lectures on the enneagram and read my New Covenant magazine articles about it. When his parish was about to sponsor an enneagram workshop, he distributed the articles to parish council members so they could rethink the issue in the light of more information. The seminars were not held.”
MORE ON MBTI AND PERSONALITY/TEMPERAMENT TYPING IN
PSYCHOLOGY AND NEW AGE_PART TWO
MY CORRESPONDENCE ON/WITH ANUGRAHA
1. Greatly concerned on learning that senior charismatic leaders in Goa had invited Anugraha to conduct programmes in Goa under their auspices at Sangam, I once again [see page 2] wrote to Merwyn Rodrigues:
Subject: MOST URGENT: Inner Healing retreats in Goa by the Capuchin priests from Anugraha
My dear Merwyn, I was waiting to hear from you after your meeting with the other Sangam people [my reply to you, above]. Now, I understand that the Capuchin Fathers of Anugraha, Dindigul, are coming to Goa to conduct an Inner Healing retreat. I am shocked to learn about this programme so soon after the “God in the Now” Centering Prayer retreat arranged by you all.
The type of psychology and counseling that these priests offer is not Catholic-biblical-pastoral at all. In fact, while it may not be Christian even, and purely secular, which need not necessarily be a problem for Catholics, it is hardly avoidable that they include components that are anti-Christian.
While it will take too much time and space for me to prepare an article to justify my statements, what I can assure you is that the OFM Cap. priests at Anugraha are promoters of yoga retreats, retreats based on enneagrams, bioenergetics,
neurolinguistic programming, Gestalt Therapy, Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator, etc.
Their spirituality is New Age and not anything that charismatics would want to touch with a barge pole.
I am preparing a brief report on what the Anugraha priests are doing in the guise of promoting Catholic spirituality and will be sending it to you shortly. [Meanwhile I trust you will reply]
It will show you why these practices are not Catholic but New Age.
But that does not shock me. What shocks me is that the charismatic renewal in Goa has become the conduit for New Age!
I would like to be corrected if I am wrong and I will beg your pardon, but aren’t the leading charismatic renewal leaders of Goa in the Sangam organisation?
Where has the discernment gone? Where is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God anymore in some sections of the CCR. Do we not have established and reputed charismatic inner healing ministries? Did not the Goa leaders check out thoroughly the contents of these programmes and the allied activities of those who would be conducting them?
I can say from my experience, observation and the information that I get, that all this is the result of compromises made at different times, a cover up of the truth about New Age dangers because some senior leaders were already into some forms of it, and a decay in the spiritual dispositions of many senior leaders. What is happening was inevitable.
I do not speak as one in authority over you or anyone else, so kindly do not misunderstand me.
I also request you not to look at me as a fault-finder, as some misguided “leaders” might have you believe. There are lots of good, average Catholics in Goa, even in the Renewal, and quite a few priests, who have met me, heard me, and will vouch for me.
I am seriously concerned about the errors, especially the New Age ones, that are getting institutionalized in the Church because of our apathy and silence. And now because of our collaboration with them?
Who will pay the price for this? Our brothers and sisters, our children and grandchildren.
It is our duty to protect and fight for our Faith. Even if today some of the enemies of the Church are within her. Let us do it together. At your service in Jesus’ Name, Michael Prabhu www.ephesians-511.net
Having received no response overnight, I wrote again:
Subject: Fw: MOST URGENT: Inner Healing retreats in Goa by the Capuchin priests from Anugraha
Dear Merwyn, This is a reminder. Please do not take offense at anything I wrote. I am very concerned about the spread of New Age error in the Church and the role of the CCR either by its silence or by its participation. Love, Michael
No response till the time of my writing to other senior leaders in Goa [see page 59].
2. I then arranged for the following email to be sent to Fr. Sahayaraj of Anugraha:
For kind attention of Fr. Sahayaraj,
I am a Goan. If I am attending your healing program from 1st to 5th August in Goa, I would like to know if we can learn the basics of enneagram and NLP from you as Catholic priests. Can we also start the day with yoga session?
Will there be Mass in the morning or in the evening?
I had visited your Anugraha website. You can reply to me at email@example.com.
[Mobile: 098840 29990 only after 7:00 PM]
firstname.lastname@example.org; Sent: July 3, 2009 3:37 PM
Subject: YOUR GOA PROGRAM
Two of the three email addresses failed, so I am sending this letter once again- Angela
Dear Angela, Greetings of peace and joy!
Thank you for your mail. In fact I do not know if we would have time to include enneagram and NLP during our Healing sessions. The program starts at 9.30 am each day, I believe. Therefore, I am not sure if we would be able to include Yoga in the program. I shall be celebrating Mass. We could decide about it during our session. You are most welcome for the program. My Email ID is: email@example.com with kind regards, Fr. Sahayaraj OFM Cap
Dear Fr. Sahayaraj, Thank you for replying.
My husband was just studying the Anugraha book Psychotherapies and Counselling by your Director, Fr. D. John Antony, OFM. Cap. Is it one of the books that you will be using as a basis for the Course? Will copies of the book be available on sale at the Goa programme?
Which particular model/approach or school of thought of psychology or psychoanalytical counselling will be used in the “Healing the Inner Child” programme so that I can read about it in the book? With regards, Angela
Dear Angela, Greetings of peace!
I am out of station and am not able to give u the details of the book I shall be using. When I get back, i shall give u the details. I will not be using Psychotherapies in Counselling. with kind regards,
Fr. Sahayaraj S. Santiago OFM Cap., Udhayam Polytechnic College, Thenkuda, Ramnad district. T.N. Mobile 944 296 5496
It is clear from Fr. Sahayaraj’s letters to me that, while enneagrams, NLP and yoga would not be part of the Goa programme, it would be only because of time constraints and not because the techniques are New Age or incompatible with Christian spirituality and the Catholic faith.
In my library, I have two books produced by Anugraha. One of them is the 60-page Counsellor Training Programme whose contents we have seen as excerpts on pages 3 through 5. Interestingly, this book is part of the library at the Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam [see my report on the Catholic Ashrams]!!!
It is not surprising that Catholic Ashrams would find such a programme compatible with their spirituality.
The second is Psychotherapies in Counselling by Fr. D. John Antony, OFM. Cap., Anugraha Publications, 2003.
Let us examine the contents of this book which is written by a Catholic priest and meant for the reading and training of Catholics.
The book deals with the various theories and models of psychology and psychotherapeutic counseling.
While it is very informative, it does not seem to me to be a very original scholarly work in the most part, and anyone with a basic knowledge of the computer and the internet could have put together the basic teachings of the different psychologies and therapies [psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, operant reinforcement, homeostasis reality, neurolinguistic, humanistic-existential – including psychosynthesis, transactional analysis and Gestalt, etc.,] and the biographies of their founders, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Erik Erikson, Alfred Adler, Melanie Klein, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Harry Stack Sullivan, Albert Ellis, Aaron T. Beck, Donald Meichenbaum, George A. Kelly, Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, William Glasser, Arnold A. Lazarus, John Grinder and Richard Bandler, Viktor Frankl, Rollo May, Carl R. Rogers, Robert Assagioli, Arthur Janov, Erich Berne, Frederick Perls, etc. Is there a conflict between these psychotherapies — which are taught and applied in Anugraha’s courses and counseling training programmes – and Christian psychology or in Catholic pastoral counseling? Many of them are influential New Agers, named in the Vatican Document, as we shall see. But, the detailed answer will be in the form of a separate report to be published by this ministry.
In the meantime, the reader can, for a start, check out the links provided on pages 5, 6 of this report.
The series of 12 articles explains – while addressing different psychological problems – how Catholic pastoral counseling is superior to the psychoanalytical counseling of human sciences.
Two other articles on psychology and New Age by this writer are available at this ministry’s website:
1. PSYCHOLOGY AND NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY_PART ONE
2. PSYCHOLOGY AND NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY_PART TWO
“PSYCHOTHERAPIES IN COUNSELLING” by Fr. D. John Antony, OFM. Cap. AN ANALYSIS
Now, we will examine some sections of Fr. D. John Antony OFM. Cap. of Anugraha’s book Psychotherapies in Counselling. [The standard of English used in Fr. Antony’s original inclusions in the book — illustrations or case studies for example — leaves much to be desired. For this writer, it was painful reading.]
My comments follow the extracts.
“The number of psychotherapies is ever on the increase as time passes by. At present it is more or less estimated that there could be about 400 types of psychotherapies.” Page 29
With the plethora of models and theories available, which model will a psychologist choose for his client/ patient,
Martin and Deidre Bobgan in Prophets of PsychoHeresy I, Eastgate Publishers, 1989, page 18, ask:
“Is the psychologist going to explain the data according to a Freudian, Jungian, Skinnerian Adlerian, Maslovian, or Rogerian point of view? What theoretical, philosophical influences will determine how the data is explained? Will it be psychoanalytical, behavioral, humanistic or transpersonal?”
I have always asked the same question of Catholic nuns who offer a range of New Age therapies like Pranic healing, reiki, acupuncture, reflexology etc. at their holistic health centres. Which therapy would they select for treatment of a patient with a particular complaint? Would they use the same therapy to treat different patients with the same complaint? The answers have always been evasive or contradictory to one another.
The reason is that the different therapies and their founders, like the different schools of psychology, are themselves in disagreement with one another and are not scientific despite claims to the contrary.
On page 35 of his book, in his Introduction, Fr. John Antony gives an example of a person named Suresh who he was counselling. “Suresh had fallen in love with a spinster older than he was… There were enough of phone calls, meetings, physical touch and sexual intimacy.” The woman had ditched Suresh, he was inconsolable and had come to Fr. Antony for counseling. How does Fr. Antony analyse and treat the problem? He presumes that Suresh had some similar problems and rejections earlier in his life and attempts to relate this incident to it. The important point for us to note is that nowhere is there any moral judgement made by the priest against this sinful sexual relationship. And that is one of the main problems with psychoanalytical counseling and which should seriously concern Catholics who attend these courses or go for such counseling: there is no concept of sin or sin-related guilt. This aspect we will take up later, see pages 48 ff.
On pages 185, 186, there is an illustration about Sudha, “a young lady of 37 years with two children. She had some extramarital relationship due to which she is feeling guilty.” How does Fr. Antony counsel her [treat her with one of the forms of psychotherapy] about her feelings of guilt because she was sleeping with her husband’s best friend? He makes her write on a piece of paper about the extent of her feelings of guilt, percentage-wise, starting with an initial level of “I am feeling guilty of committing adultery, 90%”, “reliving the experience” each time and reducing the guilt level in stages till she can write on the paper, “I am NOT feeling guilty of committing adultery, 50%“, which is enough for Sudha to say, “I feel a bit confused but there is a sense of relief.”
Is this what Catholics want to experience or learn from attending courses conducted by Anugraha?
Much of psychology is such ‘enactments’ or ‘pretend techniques’.
There is also a lot of “dream therapy“, analysis or interpretation of dreams or what is known as “dreamwork“. Fr. Antony touches on the subject, page 54 under Freud, page 292 under Perls’ Gestalt Therapy, etc. Much of Dreamwork is New Age and it is the subject of another article.
But, it must briefly be said here that this has nothing to do with the biblical Christian understanding and analysis of dreams. All analyses are based on one or the other of the secular or New Age psychoanalytical approaches, are at best a harmless psychological palliative, at worst something that could be dangerous to trust with one’s full confidence. In the same way, the Genogram [see page 4] is something like what some Christian ministries describe as “Healing the Family Tree” and which is carried out in a prayerful situation. Attempted with secular psychological approaches, these areas are fraught with dangers and consequences.
More reasons why the Catholic Christian should be wary of such psychotherapists:
Page 39 of Fr. Antony’s book, while differentiating between ‘Counselling’ and ‘Psychotherapy’, explains that in psychotherapy “The therapist is an authority figure [and] has authority over the client. Here the interest is in restructuring of the personality [of the patient].” Does a Catholic want to have his or her personality “restructured” by a priest who does not recognize the problem of sin and its effects on a person?
Let me quote Fr. Antony from pages 46, 47 of his book on the subject of Sigmund Freud‘s Psychoanalytic Therapy. “We are in a way conditioned by psychic energy* and early experiences…
Since human beings are energy systems, the psychic energy*
is distributed to the id, the ego and the super ego.
As the energy is limited, any one system could have control over the available energy at a given time at the expense of the other two systems. The id is the original system of personality with which we are born…” *There is no such thing as “psychic energy”, see page 35
“Freud’s posited that it is life instincts (known as Eros) that maintain the survival of the individual and humankind. Life instincts were identified with libido, which originally meant sexual energy.” Page 46 As a consequence of that theory, a patient is analysed by six stages in his/her life, all of which have sexual labels. People thus exhibit oral- or anal-aggressive behaviour; men suffer from ‘Oedipus complex’ and ‘castration anxiety’ and women from ‘Electra complex’ and ‘penis envy’. Psychologist Karen Horney, pages 83-85 of the book, as explained by Fr. Antony, “discredits Freud’s concept of penis envy as the determining factor in the psychology of women. She was of the opinion that feminine psychology is based on lack of confidence and an overemphasis of the love relationship and not on the anatomy of her sex organs.” No two theorists agree with each other, hence the preponderance of theories.
German psychotherapist Erich Fromm is discussed on pages 80 to 82 of Fr. Antony’s book. Erich Fromm is listed in the Vatican Document on the New Age as one of the world’s most influential New Agers, Notes 15.
Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychotherapy, follows with his theories of the anima/animus [man is basically bisexual], the ‘personal unconscious’ and the ‘collective unconscious’. See pages 10, 15, 16, my separate articles on psychology, and the Vatican Document on the New Age, keeping in mind that the Document records is that Carl Jung is New Ager number 2, Notes 15
In an illustration by Fr. Antony of psychodynamic therapy on page 102, a woman who felt unloved is led by him, as her counselor, to visualization and affirmative action, and his final advice is, “Sheela, you have a little homework. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you should take your younger self with you and fondle her and put her to bed with you and report to me after three days.”
Camila, who was falsely accused in her childhood by her father of stealing a coin, is advised, page 105, “Close your eyes, be whatever age you were at that time, and relive that painful experience. Tell your younger self that she is innocent and did not steal the coin.”
About Neurolinguistic programming, Fr. Antony writes,
page 192, “NLP was based on the works of Virginia Satir, a family therapist, Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist, and Milton Erickson, a hypnotist.” We have already seen that Gestalt therapy is New Age. And so is NLP.
Gregory Bateson is listed in the Vatican Document on the New Age as one of the world’s most influential New Agers, listed at number 6, Notes 15.
American humanistic psychotherapist Carl Rogers is discussed on pages 232 to 238 of Fr. Antony’s book. Carl Rogers is listed in the Vatican Document on the New Age as one of the world’s most influential New Agers, listed at number 4, Notes 15.
Roberto Assagioli, whom we have briefly mentioned on pages 7 and 10, is dedicated six pages, 239 to 244, in Fr. Antony’s book. Fr. Antony writes, “Assagioli, a student of Freud… later got disillusioned with the theory of Freud.
In 1910, he formulated a holistic theory of human development that is called ‘Psychosynthesis’… Like Jung, Assagioli postulated a realm called
Roberto Assagioli is listed in the Vatican Document on the New Age as one of the world’s most influential New Agers, Notes 15.
Eric Berne, the Canadian founder of Transactional Analysis, gets almost twenty pages, 249 to 277, in Fr. Antony’s book. This ‘expert’ in psychoanalyzing others had three of his own marriages ending in divorce.
Writes Fr. Antony, “His personal life reflected extreme paradoxes of his personality. The reason for the failure of Berne’s three marriages remain unclear. He ‘died of a broken heart’, having not been able to sustain love and to allow himself to be loved by others.” Evidently, not someone whose teachings can be considered authoritative for psychoanalysis.
Read the following extract from the Pastoral Instruction of the Archbishop of Miami:
PASTORAL INSTRUCTION ON NEW AGE by the Archbishop of Miami
Concise and thorough study about the characteristics, practices and philosophies of the New Era*.
http://es.catholic.net/catequistasyevangelizadores/90/1915/articulo.php?id=32065 Miami, USA, November 1991 EXTRACT:
The Archbishop of Miami worried about the breakthrough of this new movement and noting the subtle damage that occurs in the faithful, a concise and thorough study about the characteristics, practices and philosophies of the New Era. El Movimiento de la Nueva Era, como se conoce hoy día, tuvo su comienzo en California en la década de los 60 con la difusión de filosofías orientales, particularmente el Budismo que fue tan popular entre los americanos de clase media desilusionados en ese entonces con la guerra de Vietnam.The New Age Movement, as it is known today, had its start in California in the ’60s with the spread of Eastern philosophies, especially Buddhism, which was popular among middle class Americans disillusioned with the Vietnam War. Este movimiento, como lo conocemos hoy día, tiene sus raíces en un sin fin de prácticas y disciplinas religiosas, filosóficas y teosóficasThis movement, as we know it today has its roots in a number of religious practices and disciplines, philosophical and Theosophical… *New Age
Chapter 2 Appendix [Going alphabetically, the Archbishop has listed New Age personalities, organizations and therapies in this long document. The following is under the alphabets “P” and “T”- Michael]
parapsychology, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, […] transactional analysis, transcendental meditation and
NOTE: The Archbishop of Miami issued this warning 12 years before the release of the Vatican Document.
We have already seen, pages 9 and 10, that Frederick (Fritz) Perls’ Gestalt Therapy is New Age. Pages 278 to 293 in Fr. Antony’s book, deals with this psychotherapist and his methods of counseling.
The front and back outer covers of Fr. Antony’s book have the photograph of a toddler on his or her tummy. The forehead of the child has a fairly, I would say disproportionately, large black-coloured bindi or teeka. Now, that is not the normal South Indian decorative bindi or teeka. It is a very prevalent custom among South Indians, especially in Tamil Nadu where Anugraha is located, to mark the faces of their little children with this large black dot, most often on the right cheek, to ward off the “evil eye”. This is called “drishti“.
On page 384 of Fr. Antony’s book, in the section under Bibliography, one finds the following inclusion:
“Vas, Luis S.R.
Master Approaches to
New Age Alternative therapies, Bangalore, Pustak Mahal, 2001.”
WHO IS LUIS S. R. VAS?
He is the author of “Meditation Masters and their Insights”, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, in which he has explained all the major non-Christian meditation systems and the esoteric philosophies of their founders.
I have written about him in several of my earlier reports and I will quote from one of them here:
I reproduce from The Examiner [the Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay] of 3rd August, 2002, a letter to the editor by Dr. Trevor Colaso of Bandra, Mumbai, titled ‘The ‘JE’-‘SUS’ prayer’.
“Sir, Luis Vas in ‘Journey into Silence’, The Examiner July 13, 2002*, enlightens us on the Jesus Prayer- ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me’ which was first attributed to an Orthodox Christian spiritual classic, The Way of a Pilgrim.
Here, I would suggest a terse ejaculation- ‘JE’-‘SUS’, which could also suit those who practise yoga. For example, in pranayama or breath control, focus on Christ, either mentally, or before a Crucifix, or His Image of the Sacred Heart or Divine Mercy. Inhale the word ‘JE’ slowly and deeply; hold for some time and gradually exhale the word ‘SUS’. Breathe thus ‘JE’-‘SUS’ often, and experience the sweet fragrance of His Holy Name and spread it. This exercise can be quietly performed in the confines of a room, before the Blessed Sacrament, or even while travelling…”
While I do not want to judge Dr. Colaso in terms of his personal spirituality, I would like to refer to Luis S.R. Vas’ book, ‘Discover the Power of Your Inner Self- Effective ways to Enhance Your Well-being and Spiritual Growth ‘, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books. It is
one of the MOST OCCULT and NEW AGE books by a Catholic author.
Vas recommends New Age techniques like Gestalt Therapy, Hypnotism, Neurolinguistic Programming, Sufi Heart Rhythm Meditation, Zen meditation, Vipassana meditation, etc.
The Examiner, July 13, 2002 issue had a three-page article by Luis S.R. Vas on the World Community for Christian Meditation [WCCM]. Does the WCCM promote genuine Christian meditation? No. It is a New Age organisation disguised as Catholic. See my report at
What is Luis S.R. Vas’ spirituality? NEW AGE!
The danger to Catholics today is increasingly from ‘within’. From Catholic priests and ‘enlightened’ lay people who pretend to focus on Jesus Christ while blinded by their deep involvement in esoteric spiritual practices. It is not surprising that Anugraha priest Fr. Antony should include a New Age book by Luis S.R. Vas in the bibliography of his own book. Birds of the New Age feather flock together. [ANUGRAHA ctd. on page 44]
The secular world has no problem in combining different esoteric arts under one roof, for example:
“The Sanjeevani Yoga Ayurveda Foundation, Chennai has now started an aromatherapy programme which includes yoga, ayurveda, pranic cleansing, homeopathy, acupressure and osteopathy. [Mylapore Times, Chennai, March 7-13, 1998].
At Sanjeevani “there are plans to start consultancy services in complementary therapies like reiki, self-hypnosis, Transactional Analysis, Neuro Linguistic Programming, astro diagnosis and alfa music” [Mylapore Times July 1997].
And, the secular world might need the shrink:
The Shrink is in, Soma Wadhwa, Outlook magazine, 2 May 2005, pages 52-59
It was when she had nothing to say to anybody that she knew it was time to talk about it. So, Udita Joshi, 41—daughter, wife, daughter-in-law, mother and partner at a Delhi event management firm—fixed herself an appointment with a therapist. Five months since, Udita’s been taking Rs-500-an-hour-long sessions every week, and finds herself telling her therapist more than she’s ever told herself. Speaking out not just about her disconnect with others, of bonds feeling like bondages, the monotony that underpins all her life’s changes. But also of grudges, grievances, guilt, stunted ambitions, stresses and sexual frustrations she had never recognised, let alone articulated: “I didn’t know so much is bottled up in me, the sessions have helped me uncork. Turns out that the one person I haven’t really been listening to has been inside me…”
Urban Indians are opening up to looking within. To know their mind, understand its unmet needs, heal its scars and harness its strengths. Find inner balance, and stability in relationships, in today’s world that’s continually tumbling over one change to another challenge, in baffling traipse between tradition and modernity. With so much unknown and unpredictable today, the recesses of the mind, it’s becoming apparent to an increasing many, need to be delved into for priorities, purpose and peace. Maybe they were as elusive to earlier generations, but perhaps stoicism made up for mental health then (who knows how much grandma endured silently?). But impassive suffering doesn’t count for virtue now. Distress and depression need no longer be tagged and shelved away as growing-up pain, teenage trauma, midlife crisis or the anguish of aging. Because today’s prescriptive—for children and the old, for adolescent and the adult—is more than about not being mentally ill. It’s about attaining Mental Wellbeing. And a newly conspicuous breed of mind experts—The Shrinks—are busier than ever, helping urban India get there.
Delhi-based family therapist Reena Nath’s appointment diaries registered 10 clients a week in 2002, compared to 22 entries in January 2005. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Programme (CAMHP) in the capital’s Sitaram Bhartia hospital, which began nine months ago with 20 cases, has over 200 now. Her clinical experience corroborates a tenfold increase in cases over the last decade, says Bharati Visweswaran, consulting psychologist at Chennai’s Apollo hospital. Thara Srinivasan, who heads the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai, notes a qualitative change too: “Unlike before, people aren’t just coming to us with medical and psychiatric problems, but also with emotional and stress-related issues.” Calcutta psychiatrist S.K. Hazra recalls there were no more than 20 of his ilk in all of West Bengal in the late ’90s, and marvels that the state has more than 250 now: “Significantly, clients earlier came to me as referrals from other medical practitioners, but in the last five years large numbers are visiting me directly.”
Non-metros too mimic this change. Of Pune’s 10 top schools, seven have psychologists. In the same city, psychiatrist Nilesh Naphade takes 15 clients daily because he “can’t take any more appointments”; and over the four Sundays of the month that he divides between working in Daund and Ahmednagar, he sees over 300 people! Bhopal has over a dozen practising psychologists, and 10 psychiatrists.
“A far cry from there being just two of us here 20 years ago,” recounts psychiatrist S. K. Tandon, “The number of clients we collectively counsel per day now has shot from 100 to about 500.” Clinical psychologist Dwarka Prasad says, “The inability to cope with expectations, your own and others’, is becoming an epidemic.” One that has him working overtime with practices at Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar.
Not that these specialists, albeit fewer, weren’t there earlier, just that they’d existed on the peripheries of our mind: they were for the severely dysfunctional, for the insane.
Or for the super-rich who could afford sessions in self-absorption. For the rest, visiting a shrink was taboo. If you needed to see a shrink, you were mad, or couldn’t cope, weren’t resilient, thus weak. Anyway, with your family, friends, guru, the astrologer even, there for succour, why need you go to a shrink? And if you still had to, keep it hush hush.
How things have changed. At a recent party, a guest asked Mumbai psychiatrist Shamsah Sonawalla if he might have bipolar disorder because he had a family history of the illness, and was experiencing mood swings: “His acute awareness of his emotional health pleasantly surprised me.” No wonder, for, as her colleague Rajesh Parikh says: “When I became a psychiatrist, I was told people would avoid me at parties, that my patients would be thankless because they wouldn’t want to acknowledge they were seeking mental help.”
But now, about 15 per cent of Parikh and Sonawalla’s clients come for their first visit armed with printouts of net searches they’ve done to research their problems. “Most of them have some sense of what they have and sometimes even of how it needs to be cured and what medication is needed,” says Sonawalla. And far from hiding their troubles, more of Parikh’s clients now take medical certificates from him when they need time off from work. Many say their colleagues and bosses are more cooperative and accommodating after knowing their mental problems.
What explains this change of attitude? “We’ve delayed, dawdled but finally got to the realisation that there is a middle mental space between the body and the soul. And this space might need repair even without one being physiologically problematic or spiritually impoverished,” analyses sociologist Shiv Visvanathan, “And it cannot be medicated by the general physician or cured by the guru, it needs its own specialist.”
The Bharatias of Calcutta are “converts to the idea of counselling”. Three years ago, their five-year-old son Rishav started returning from school with his uniform soiled: “he wasn’t even a bed-wetter at home”. Weeks of soiling and deliberations later, the Bharatias took Rishav to a child psychologist. Who assessed that Rishav was not being able to cope with being promoted to the next class, and wrote in to his school asking he be allowed to continue in the junior class one more year. Rishav is doing fine today. “Who’d have known but an expert,” say the Bharatias. “We recommend counselling to all parents. There’s nothing shameful about it, it’s like taking your child to a doctor when he’s sick.”
But Mumbai businessman Sean Patel is a less forceful advocate; he’s had too much resistance against his going to the ‘cuckoo-doctors’. His family dragged him to one godman after another; and finally to a doctor. And even though it was this doctor who referred Sean to the therapist he’s been seeing for the past seven months, his family still doesn’t approve.
“I tell people how therapy might help them as it has me, and leave it at that,” says he. “Because most think they’ll never need it, it’s a ‘not me’ attitude.”
Unsurprisingly then, it took Delhi-based executive Sanjeev Daulatram over a year of his wife Kanika’s being in therapy to realise that he too needed counselling. Paradoxical that it was Sanjeev who’d insisted Kanika visit a shrink; she’d become a morose mess over seven years of married life. She was the ‘patient’ as far as he was concerned. Till, painful and poignant sessions over months unfolded Sanjeev’s verbal aggression, emotional apathy, and alcohol dependency.
Says the therapist who was seeing the Daulatrams till recently: “Part of the resolution was in getting the couple to realise she wasn’t the only one in need for counselling, they both were”.
But these breakthroughs apart, the fact that Sanjeev and his likes today are aware that they can talk through their problems with shrinks is itself significant furtherance in the cause of mental wellbeing. And many acknowledgments must be made here.
For one the media, accused however much of superficiality, and justifiably perhaps in this case, has made the mental health professional a household name today. Newspapers, radio, television—all of media has promoted every which type of shrink in all possible avatars. Prodding the shrink for bytes on tsunami trauma to quotes on licentious lingerie with equal alacrity. And, in the process, even creating some celebrity shrinks. One such is psychiatrist Samir Parikh of Delhi’s Max Healthcare: “That we now agree to speak on almost anything to the media has highlighted the role of mental health professionals in non-clinical situations.” That position of strength attained, Parikh contends, it’s for shrinks to leverage it to educate people. He conducts at least three workshops a week, in schools, companies, people’s organisations.
But this information dissemination would’ve meant little if body doctors hadn’t upped their awareness on mental health. “For instance, a paediatrician today is far more sensitised to the emotional needs of a child, and referrals have shot up,” says family therapist Shelja Sen at Delhi’s Sitaram Bhartia hospital. Also, mind doctors themselves, Sen feels, have begun perceiving the problems presented to them in context rather than isolation: “With a child I don’t just focus on the child’s problems, but also try to understand the disturbances in relationships around the child.”
The fact that a therapist’s clinic today “doesn’t have hospital environment” helps, says Chennai-based psychiatrist Vijay Nagaswami: “We’ve ensured that there are no crowded waiting rooms, that one feels secure about privacy and confidentiality. Most importantly, we’ve now made sure we come across as seeing clients, not patients.”
This differentiation has truly made a difference.
Earlier mostly schizophrenics, now the bulk of psychologist Vandana Narula’s clients in Chandigarh are “average middle-class people who come to me with something like conducting an IQ test for their child, for pre-marital counselling, or are stressed-out teenagers.” Reveals Ruma Bhattacharya, psychiatrist in Bhopal: “A couple, back here in India after a stint in Europe, sees me every month just to smoothen their adjustment process.” Delhi-based psychoanalyst Ashok Nagpal says people come to see him “not with symptoms but with beginnings of narratives,” and that the measure of the effectiveness of his session with them could be “one moment of acute insight”.
Most callers who ring into his radio show, says Mumbai psychologist Harish Shetty, disclose names, ages and addresses.
The talks he conducts in schools and colleges have students openly putting up hands when asked if they’ve ever felt suicidal or were sexually abused. At camps Shetty sometimes holds at busy local railway stations, harried commuters drop by and talk about intimate problems like lack of sexual performance, and depression due to work-related issues. Observes Shetty: “Feelings and emotions are becoming a part of public discourse.”
A trend that needs to be energised, advocates Delhi psychiatrist Amit Sen: “Because it’s a secure society that can talk about its insecurities”, only when people have been able to do away with the most primitive of their fears. Illustrates Sen: “A city couple distraught with familial opposition to their inter-community marriage can think of visiting the therapist to talk through their distress. In the heartlands, such a couple would perhaps be trying to survive being hacked.”
Ergo, concludes Sen, the upswing in the numbers visiting the shrink in our cities today need not be linked only to the rising conflict and chaos in urban Indian lives. It needs also to be read as our having acquired the space and confidence to look our vulnerabilities in the eye. But cautionary voices against over-reliance on the shrink are already being heard. Indiscreet, infinite visits to the therapist, they warn, might lead us to the American situation. Where, as Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s book Against Therapy reports, “…each American is supposed to consult a psychoanalyst daily…” and “psychotherapy, like credit cards and television, is big business”.
“In the US, indiscriminately taking all your problems to your therapist is fashionable. We haven’t got there yet, but will in a few years,” predicts Calcutta psychiatrist C.S. Mukherji. “This will mean stopping, looking within for solutions, and reducing our innate ability to solve problems.” Zana Deb, clinical psychologist in the same city, homes in further: “In many metros now, it’s almost a status symbol to have a counsellor. People often come to me and say nothing’s wrong with them, they just want to see me for some ‘personal growth’. It’s trivialising the process.” Mohan K. Issac, professor of psychiatry at Bangalore’s NIMHANS, says that the growing numbers visiting the shrink as a fashion statement are dubbed the ‘Worried Well’ in therapist parlance: “They are affluent, anxious about the smallest thing seemingly wrong with them. They bring good business, and make counsellors famous in party circuits.”
“The huge and sudden demand for shrinks is seeing hordes of untrained counsellors cashing in,” regrets psychiatrist Srinivasan. “There is no regulatory mechanism.” Also, no code of ethics. And in the wrong therapist’s clinic, no monitoring of symptoms, no goal setting, no yardsticks to measure progress through endless rounds of sessions at anything between Rs 100 and Rs 3,000 an hour. Actually, in the wrong therapist’s proverbial couch, one could be buying oneself more harm than health (see box). Like Nagaswami says: “A good counsellor never gives advice, but most untrained ones do only that. “The therapist is not a friend-philosopher-guide surrogate, emphasises Nath: “Therapy is not about professionalising care, it is about enabling you to take care of yourself.”
Suffering needn’t be silenced, and nor should human resilience be muted. It’s time to speak out.
But do Catholics need the shrink, too? Apparently, we do, and very badly, from the plethora of “courses” on offer by Catholic congregations of priests, and Catholic organizations, SOME NOW EVEN IN THE CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL, many of them in the guise of ‘counseling’, ‘healing’, ‘training’, ‘relaxation’, etc., and even ‘spirituality’, ‘prayer’ and ‘retreats’. And they never seem to stand alone.
They are almost always packaged along with dubious techniques or overt New Age practices and therapies:
1. DHYANA BHAVAN AND MATRIDHAM ASHRAM [THE INDIAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY], ALAPPUZHA [ALLEPPEY], KERALA, AND VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH
Bro. Harshit Dev, I.M.S., now an ordained priest,
had recommended the IMS web site www.theims.org
in one of his emails to me. I am now copying from the web site of IMS, Paravoor, Punnapra P.O. Alappuzha, Kerala:
Through Gestalt Therapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming [N.L.P.], Transactional Analysis [T.A.] and pranic healing methods and using an eclectic approach by a group of male and female counselors on every day, especially on Mondays and last Saturday night service. Fr. Atul, IMS., directs this ministry.
It is an ancient method of treatment. The word ‘Pranic’ comes from the word ‘Prana’ which means life, power. Healing means making one cured. We gain power from different sources-the nature, the sunlight and above all from God. Pranic healing is the method of treatment by which this power is received by the healer and then given to the patient and there by healing him. In Pranic healing, power received from God, air etc is transferred to the body of the patient through his ‘aura’ and heals him. At the I.M.S retreat center at Alappuzha, this healing service is rendered by trained and experienced persons. It is done on every Monday, during night vigil and also during retreats. So may people make use of this service and get healing.”
The May 2003 issue of Catechetics India magazine carried an article titled ‘The Khristbhakta Movement’, authored by Fr. Anand Mathew, IMS., and has five full pages on Matridham Ashram, Varanasi. All the information on their activities is excellent, I would say. But there is this one disturbing paragraph on the fourth page:
“Programmes and Features of Matridham Ashram.
Indo-Christian Spiritual Experience. The ashram offers a very re-vitalizing spirituality course based on Indian Christian Spiritual traditions giving the participants deep spiritual experience centered on the person of Christ through discourses, meditations, prayer, and yoga. An average of more than 30 groups of religious men and women, priests, seminarians, and laity from different parts of the country benefit from the courses every year.”
It was confirmed to me by a reliable source who is close to the
charismatic community headed by
Fr. Dheeraj Sabu, IMS., that yoga was used by Fr. Anil Dev IMS., at Matridham. [I don’t know if it holds good as of now when I write this.]
Fr. Anil Dev, IMS., is a member, representing the state of Uttar Pradesh, of the National Service Team of the CCR, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in India, and a renowned retreat preacher in charismatic circles.
But a 2006 Ashram Aikya newsletter, which is the mouthpiece and journal of the Ashram Movement as much as Charisindia is to the CCR in India, records that the invitation to the 15th
Ashram Aikya Satsangh, 29th October to 3rd November* 2007 is from Fr. Anil Dev himself who has offered his Matridham Ashram as the venue. *IMS Society Day
NEW AGE AT MATRIDHAM ASHRAM, A CHARISMATIC CENTRE
“Matridham’, belonging to the Indian Missionary Society, means ‘The Abode of the Mother’, and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have a copy of the brochure of the Matridham Ashram, Christnagar, Varanasi.
On page 3, there is a drawing of an 8-spoked wheel. Each spoke carries the symbol of one of the world religions- the Cross, the swastika, the OM… etc.
The vision of the founder, Fr. Gaspar Pinto, was “the sacred work of spreading the light of Christ in North India”. The third year Philosophy students of the IMS Order pursue their studies at Matridham under the guidance of the resident ‘Acharya’. From 1983, Swami Ishwar Prasad was the Acharya. He is well known as a “champion of inculturation”. During his time, the Ashram attracted many ‘seekers’ from India and abroad.
He started the “Indian Spirituality course in the Ashram, which brought about changes in many religious congregations in North India. In 1992 the responsibility was taken up by Fr. Vinayanand IMS who continued the good work started by his predecessors, and in March 1995 he was succeeded by Swami Anil Dev IMS. The Ashram is open to all genuine ‘Seekers’ irrespective of caste and creed. People of all religions frequent the Ashram. It is a Place of Sadhana…”
http://www.ims.org.in/vns_indch.htm: “The message
of Christ should be incarnated. To this end, the Ashram holds important programmes such as Indian Christian Spiritual Experience (ICSE), Indian Spirituality Course,
Yoga Sadhana, etc… Discourses and practices of Yogasanas are part of the ashram programme.”
The daily Timetable of the Ashram includes
at 5:00 A.M. [immediately following Rising at 4:30 A.M.] and again at 5:45 P.M. The
is used, and several bhajans and the Litany of Our Lady incorporate the mantra ‘OM’.
The Ashram also conducts “Inter-Religious Prayer Meetings or Satsangs”.
While Matridham Ashram literature also places fair emphasis on the Eucharist, use of the Bible, evangelization, healing services, adoration of the Real Presence, intercessory prayers etc., unlike all the other Ashrams, the following points must still be taken into consideration:
Even if it is simple breathing techniques and physical exercises, are they really necessary in a ministry where the Acharya’s spirituality is reportedly charismatic? Do the two ‘systems’ not conflict with each other?
Is it not impossible to separate the practices from the advaitic philosophies on which they are based?
Yoga, the Gayatri Mantra, and the chanting of OM.
They are intrinsically
Hindu, and not simply ‘Indian’ for them to be inculturated into our worship. A detailed and painstakingly researched report on all these issues is available at this ministry’s website
www.ephesians-511.net. See page 7.
The threesome, along with Surya Namaskar, are inseparable from the seditious ‘Catholic’ Ashram Movement.
The Ashram Movement itself.
I have no problem with the Ashram movement in the sense of it representing, emulating and encouraging an inculturated spirituality in the Indian milieu towards a deeper God-experience, Christian witness in inter-religious dialogue, and evangelization, with the Twelve Points of Adaptation [recommended by the CBCI] being faithfully adhered to.
In my October 2005 report on the Catholic Ashram Movement in India, I have examined the Ashrams- some of which I have visited, and some which I have not. A cursory glance at the recent issues of Ashram Aikya is enough to confirm beyond any shred of doubt that this movement is totally opposed to traditional Catholicism and proposes a syncretised ‘Christianity’ beyond religion, sacramentalism and ecclesiastical and magisterial authority.
My report on the Ashrams also conclusively demonstrates its New Age nature. The Ashram movement is a Trojan horse within the Catholic Church, and not just in India. It has long since been exported to all the other continents.
Matridham might just be different from other Ashrams. But, I have only the Brochure which I have quoted from.
But the points that I have raised in this letter beg examination. And there is another important point:
If Matridham ashram is a full member of the Ashram Aikya, which is the Federation of the Ashrams, and played host to the 2007 Ashram Aikya Satsangh [meeting of ashramites] , is it not logical to conclude that Matridham subscribes to all the fundamental anti-Catholic and seditious beliefs, practices, and aspirations of the Ashram Movement?
Matridham Ashram, remember, is a CHARISMATIC centre.
I had the privilege of meeting
Fr. Anil Dev, IMS.,
[in January 2005] and he graciously accepted from me some of my articles and reports. After that I have written to him, but I have received no response:
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 7:22 AM Subject: FR. ANIL DEV
Dear Fr. Anil Dev, I trust you will recall that when I met you in January 2005 at Dhyana Ashram, Chennai, I had given you a set of my papers containing reports and articles on New Age issues, and I requested you to read them.
Now, I understand that the 15th Ashram Aikya Satsangh – a gathering of ashramites – is slated to be held at your Matridham Ashram, Varanasi, October 29 to November 3, 2007.
I am concerned because the leaders of the Ashram Aikya promote certain New Age philosophies and encourage the practice of yoga, which is also a part of the curriculum of Matridham. I had already written to Mr. Cyril John several times about this last year, but he has not responded.
May I have your comments on this, please, especially as you are currently a member of the National Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal? Michael Prabhu, Chennai firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2007 11:14 AM Subject: Re: FR. ANIL DEV REMINDER
I had also written a detailed letter on this issue, followed by two reminders, to Mr. Cyril John, Chairman of the National Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in July and August 2006:
Subject: CATHOLIC ASHRAMS / FR. ANIL DEV I.M.S., MEMBER, NST
Subject: REMINDER: CATHOLIC ASHRAMS / FR. ANIL DEV I.M.S., MEMBER, NST
Subject: Fw: REMINDER: CATHOLIC ASHRAMS / FR. ANIL DEV I.M.S., MEMBER, NST
NO RESPONSE WAS RECEIVED BY THIS MINISTRY TO THE ABOVE LETTER FOLLOWED BY TWO REMINDERS.
Copies of some of my letters to the IMS Fathers were also marked to Cyril John but received no response.
Meanwhile, I had received a letter from a friend in Canada, a former classmate of mine from Catholic Bible college who was distressed that his family members in Kerala had learnt Reiki healing from the IMS Fathers. They were convinced that if priests had taught them Reiki, it could not be a New Age therapy.
Fr. Anand Mathew, IMS.*, had sent me some literature in 2006 that says that
yoga is included twice daily
in the Matridham ashram timetable.
Bro. X., an IMS seminarian had been corresponding with me. What he wrote concerning his views on the appropriateness of eastern meditations, breathing exercises, yoga, alternative medicine, etc. had me very worried about the formation of IMS seminarians like him. *see page 30
In 2006, I had the privilege of a meeting and lengthy discussion with Fr. Dheeraj Sabu, IMS., who founded and guides the
community in Delhi and Agra. This is a lay community with a charismatic spirituality, engaged in a genuine ministry of evangelization, mostly in the Hindi vernacular, in North India. Fr. Dheeraj Sabu is fully “inculturated” in the true sense of the word- culturally, remaining faithful to the canonical directives and guidelines regarding liturgy and worship.
I shared with this priest my apprehensions about the forthcoming  Ashram Aikya Satsangh to be hosted by the IMS Fathers at Varanasi, and informed him that as I had not received responses to my letters to senior charismatic renewal leaders on this matter, I would be soon making a detailed report and publishing it.
Fr. Dheeraj explained to me that maybe the yoga practised at Matridham was a “Christian” yoga, limited to asanas and some meditation, and did not involve the teaching or use of the advaitic or esoteric philosophies of yoga.
The inclusion of yoga in the Ashram timetable, Father felt, might also serve to make the many Hindu participants in the Ashram programmes more comfortable in the otherwise Christian environment, and make it more conducive for them to accept the Gospel.
I contended that I could not accept that explanation because it would then mean accepting that the Gospel [the preaching of the Word of God] was lacking in completeness, and anyway, Father Dheeraj himself had not found it necessary or helpful to use yoga or the Gayatri mantra in his Santvana community or to introduce them in Santvana outreach to non-Christians.
Fr. Dheeraj Sabu. IMS., kindly permitted me to explain to him what I understood about yoga; and why, in my opinion, the philosophy of yoga is incompatible with Christianity, and its practice in any form to be avoided by Christians.
Fr. Dheeraj also felt that by hosting the Ashram Aikya Satsangh at Matridham Ashram, it would present Fr. Anil Dev with an opportunity for them to give witness of a different kind to the leaders of the Ashram movement who would all be present together for Matridham’s “Sunday gathering of Kristabhaktas” [devotees of Christ] on the last day of the Satsangh.
Having visited some of these Ashrams, witnessed firsthand their programmes and rituals, attended their satsangs [discourses], interviewed several of their leaders, and read all the Ashram literature that I could lay my hands on, I was convinced enough to tell Fr. Dheeraj that it would make no impact on the diehard leaders of the Ashrams movement.
As far as the chanting of the ‘Om’ mantra
is concerned, I was very pleased to hear from Fr. Dheeraj Sabu that he was of the opinion that
it cannot and should not be used by Christians.
Fr. Dheeraj Sabu was kind enough to accept copies from me of several of my reports on the Catholic Ashrams, Yoga, etc.
I also shared with Fr. Dheeraj Sabu, that after hearing that the IMS congregation were involved in promoting Reiki healing in Kerala, I corresponded with an IMS priest and an IMS seminarian, and also checked out the IMS websites [see page 26] from which I learnt that the IMS Fathers are involved in the use and propagation of New Age techniques like
Gestalt therapy, NLP, T.A. and Pranic Healing.
NEW AGE AT DHYANA BHAVAN, A CHARISMATIC CENTRE
Another link http://imsmatha.org/mainab.htm says, “IMS Dhyana Bhavan, a branch of Indian Missionary Society is
a popular Charismatic renewal centre.” We are informed that “The Renewal movement has now grown into a multipronged and power packed spiritual revolution under
Fr. Prashant, as its director.”
At this “popular Charismatic renewal centre“, “The IMS team numbering more than four hundred strong” uses, among other things, “Traditional Indian ways of praying and meditation soothen the frayed nerves and tired bodies. Praying of Bhajans, Yogic exercises, profuse use of Indian classical music, simple life style, Pranic healing, etc.
some of the significant characteristics of IMS…
A strong team of voluntary counselor trained in T.A., N.L.P, Gestalt and Pranic healing at the service of the seekers during week days round the year.”
Yet another IMS site http://www.ims.org.in/gen_prind.htm linking Fr. Anil Dev with yoga says, “The goal of ashram way of life is to attain God experience with simple life style,
yogic experience, silence, meditation, manual labour and a continuous search for God. The promotion of justice, peace and interfaith harmony and collaboration are the common features of all the IMS ashrams. Swami Iswar Prasad and Swami Dayanand are the pioneers of Catholic ashrams in North India till the younger generation like Swami Deendayal and
Swami Anil Dev
gave a new thrust to the ashramic movement in N. India. The Matridham ashram at Varanasi is sought by people from all walks of life. The ashram is also a pioneering centre for prayer and God Experience for all the Khrist Bhaktas. Swami Anil Dev is the Acharya of this ashram.”
Still other IMS links give information on
the formation of IMS seminarians:
“Pre Novitiate Programme: The [IMS seminary] students are given intensive language Course both Hindi & English. They are introduced to Indian Music both instrumental and Vocal, Yoga, meditation…
Our seminaries are not mere centers of Christian religious learning but also Indian culture, philosophy, art, social and human right issues that affect the people.
Students also get opportunities to learn from the Buddhist monasteries and Hindu Ashrams and from the learned monks and Acharyas of these centers.”
Writing in the magazine Catechetics India of November 2005, pages 12-15, “Monastery for Renewal’,
Fr. J. Dayanand, IMS.,
the Spiritual Director at Vishwa Jyoti Gurukul, [Seminary], Varanasi, says,
“We need a central Indian Christian Sanyasa Ashram-Monastery in a thapovan set-up, where future gurus can be trained with an experiential and experimental knowledge of ashram life or monastical life of bhakti, jnana and karma (devotion, divine knowledge and apostolic activity)… In the thapovan one experiences the desire to enter into the ‘Interior Castle’ as St. Teresa of Avila describes in her book of the same title. It enables us to practice what Our Lord instructs us: ‘When you pray, enter into the room; shut the door and speak to your Father in secret’. In the immense divine solitude, one will be able to practice ‘ashtanga yoga’ as Maharshi Patanjali explains in his Yoga Sutra…
“We shall remember that an attempt was made under the leadership of Bishop Patrick D’Souza of Varanasi
diocese years ago in his concept of pilot seminary proposed by Guru Abhishiktananda [Fr.
Henri Le Saux, OSB]* to form Gurus and Sanyasis for the Indian Church and establish Gurukul system of priestly formation in India a Varanasi. But unfortunately this heroic undertaking was given up after two years of successful experiments. Now let us wait and pray for a new start.”
*An ashram founder and leader of the Catholic Ashrams movement
It is extremely difficult for one to reconcile the opposites seen above. There is a charismatic spirituality, and a meditative-ashram type spirituality with yoga that rejects the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament. There is charismatic healing and there is the healing with New Age alternative medicine.
As a matter of fact there is one IMS site that is captioned,
“Holistic Health Ministry”
– it offers
psycho-spiritual, herbal and homoeopathic
treatments. Another link states that they offer homoeopathy in dozens of their centres.
Fr. Prem Antony, IMS.,
has trained in Pranic Healing and he defends it in the charismatic Jesus Youth forum, saying that God has given us powers in our bodies, that we can tap for good reasons, and just because Pranic Healing has a Buddhist background that does not make it as coming from the devil, or New Age.
Date: Aug 16, 2006 10:17 PM To:
Greetings. Let me first introduce myself. I am Fr. Prem Antony, IMS. I read your message from the JOYnet. Thanks. But i do have a concern. I have attended a pranic healing session myself. And I feel it is unjust to condemn it as coming from the devil, etc stuff. Our body which is created by our God has within it powers that are given by God Himself. To tap those powers for good reasons is not anything bad or condemnable. I am not one to support New Age Spiritualism, but kindly do not associate everything with New Age Spiritualism as well. Someone can then club the Charismatic Movement with it as well! Of course, it is coming from Buddhist backgrounds, but that does not make it ipso facto unacceptable. All that the Christians practise is not necessarily good because it is practised by Christians and in the same way, everything that the others practise is not necessarily bad because it practised by “non”- Christians.
Let us be slow to condemn. Let us pray first for ourselves that we may have a greater sense of charity that alone will make us different in this world that is given to rash judgements and religious frenzy. As I often say, what Jesus wants are not religious NUTS but spiritual FRUITS…
Dear Fr. Prem Antony, I read your letter of August 16th in the Jesus Youth forum.
I researched Pranic Healing for more than one year in 1999, and wrote a book [not published, but available in hardcopy] on the subject. I am attaching here one of my shorter write-ups on the subject.
I trust that you will read it, and I look forward to your comments. Yours obediently,
Michael Prabhu, Chennai
DEAR FATHER, I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR RESPONSE AND COMMENTS. MICHAEL
There was no response to these two letters from me.
The following correspondence with
Fr. Anand Mathew, IMS., needs to be reproduced:
[Against my thanks for the Matridham Ashram material received by post]:
Subject: Thank you
Thank you very much for the mail. I shall reply later. Anand IMS
Dear Fr. Anand Mathew, Could you please give me the address of the IMS website.
If it is www.theims.org , I am unable to open it and I cannot understand why. Michael
Dear Michael, The website address is the same. The IMS are neither netizens nor web friendly. So I am afraid, it is not maintained regularly. Anand
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 9:36 AM Subject: Re: IMS
Dear Fr. Anand, Thank you for your prompt reply.
I was finally able to locate the website of the Alappuzha IMS.
I was interested in getting details on yoga and how it is used as prayer or meditation.
I went through the printed matter that you sent me earlier, but it does not say more than that yoga is included twice daily in the Matridham ashram timetable. Yoga exercises is also mentioned in the Alappuzha website.
But I would like to understand the role and significance of yoga in ashram life, with respect to Matridham ashram, if you can find the time to briefly explain it to me. Gratefully, Michael
DEAR FR. ANAND,
COULD YOU PLEASE FIND THE TIME TO EXPLAIN AS REQUESTED? MICHAEL [NO RESPONSE]
[Against an article THE PAGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH IN INDIA… sent to Fr. Anand Mathew]:
Subject: Re: THE PAGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH IN INDIA…
Dear Micheal Prabhu,
The attempt made at Neendakara is a model for the entire church and people of faith to follow. Jesus prayed: “Father, I pray that they may be one…” The chief objective of every religion and esp. christianity is to unify. Religion comes from the root word “relegar” which means to unite; unite man to God and to one another. Let us work to break walls and make bridges. Motifs and symbols are expression of devotion. Devotion is part of culture. By culture we are Indians, natives, but by faith we are Christians. Let our faith strengthen our culture and let our culture deepen us in our faith. God bless you.
I am ready for more dialogue in this line. Fr. Anand IMS
[Against an article THE PROPOSED COMPULSORY INTRODUCTION… sent to Fr. Anand Mathew]:
Subject: Re: THE PROPOSED COMPULSORY INTRODUCTION OF SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA: A LETTER TO THE BISHOPS
your whole letter smells of communalism and fanaticism. Arrogance of one’s faith and contempt for others; faith is communalism. It kills the peace of one’s own mind and the mind of the entire community. anand ims
Subject: A RESPONSE TO FR. ANAND MATHEW IMS
Dear Rev. Fr. Anand Mathew IMS.,
Frankly, I am not surprised to receive first this negative letter from you, followed by a harsh one that is not even addressed. It is what is to be expected to happen when our own priests forsake the Gospel and practise syncretism. I have never written rudely to a priest before, but I cannot but ask you why you remain a Catholic priest, an alter Christus, when you would do better as a Hindu poojari. After all, as you maintain, it is all the same to you, and you could be free to be even more ‘Indian’.
Father, you have interpreted Jesus’ words to meet your spiritual worldview. Jesus certainly did not say what you would have him mean. If Jesus returned today, He would have a problem recognising many of His priests; but I doubt that he would call me a fundamentalist, a communalist, or a fanatic, because that is exactly what some of His own priests would be calling Him.
I have received responses from several lay persons, priests, and Bishops. They support the stand which I have taken in my two postings. Either they are correct or you are. I leave it to you to decide which.
Would you like to have copies of all those letters?
My detailed report on such “Indianisation” by the IMS Congregation of Fathers is almost ready. May I request your kind permission to post your responses on this ministry’s website in that article as well as in my updates on the two issues to which you have so kindly responded? They would only help confirm to my readers that the Church is in danger not from external agents, but from within. Yours sincerely, Michael Prabhu
Subject: Re: A RESPONSE TO FR. ANAND MATHEW IMS
Although I do not agree with your views, I appreciate your website services based on your own convictions. God bless you.
Fr. Anand IMS
Charismatic priest Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS., of Santvana [of which ministry my family and I are past benefactors but not anymore] has steadfastly refused to respond to my letters and postings of articles except for these three letters.
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 7:22 AM Subject: FR. ANIL DEV
Dear Fr. Dheeraj Sabu,
I trust that you will recall our meeting in Chennai, recently, and the lengthy discussions that we had.
I also trust that you must have read all the material that I gave you, especially the report on the Catholic Ashrams, and my articles on Yoga. Would you like to comment on them?
Were you also able to convey to Fr. Anil Dev my apprehensions about the 15th Ashram Aikya Satsangh- a gathering of ashramites- to be hosted at Matridham Ashram, Varanasi, October 29 to November 3, 2007?
Michael Prabhu email@example.com
Dear Machael Prabhu, Thanks for your mail. I do share some of your concerns. Especially certain theological trends that shows inclination to sideline uniqueness of Christ and the Church. My prime concern is to bring the Gospel to people. I do not wish to divert my attention and energy for other concerns. I also see the role of ashrams for evangelisation. Inculturation is an obligatory path for evangelisation (Ecclesia in Asia). I think it is good that ashram aikya is at Matridham Ashram. It will help those ashram that are not open to evangelisation to witness a powerful evangelisation taking place at Matridham ashram. Hope that you are fine. May God bless your ministry. lovingly, Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS
Subject: Re: THE KOLLAM CHURCH / COMPULSORY INTRODUCTION OF SURYA NAMASKAR &YOGA
Hi Michael Prabhu. Thanks for your mailing the report about Kollam church and the responses. I hope to respond to you later. God bless you. Lovingly, Fr.Dheeraj Sabu IMS
Hi M. Prabhu, Thanks for your mail. Yes equipping the faithful for apologetics is an urgent ministry in this time of confusion. Congratulations. May God bless you. Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS
http://www.crusadewatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=453&Itemid=54 carried a story on August 15, 2006, of the installation of an ex-Carmelite nun, Catherin Prabhujyoti, as the first woman acharya of the Sachidananda Ashram in Kerala,
http://ephesians-511.net/documents/NEW-AGE-IN-CATHOLIC-EDUCATIONAL-INSTITUTIONS-DHARMA-BHARATHI.doc\. Of all the Catholic ashrams in India, the story refers to the IMS ashrams: “The Indian Missionary Society (IMS)
is also a major initiative in inculturation.
Bharat Mata Ashram at Kurukshetra and Matridham Ashram at Varanasi
are living example to this fact.”
Which means that the IMS are considered to be an integral part of the Catholic Ashrams movement.
The IMS Fathers are an outstanding example of the promotion of New Age by a congregation that is also in the forefront of charismatic ministry in India. Even if the individual charismatic ministries and the priests who head them are not directly involved in New Age, they do not prophetically speak out against the practice of New Age by other priests in their congregation. That is the reason for the inclusion of almost five pages of information on them in this report. That, and to show that the charismatic renewal has apparently lost its prophetic spirit to discern and correct error, as is apparently happening in Goa through SANGAM.
Let us not forget that the IMS Fathers are in this report because of their “Counselling Ministries“
through which they offer Gestalt Therapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Transactional Analysis, [as is the case with Anugraha whom Sangam have invited to Goa], along with pranic healing, yoga, etc.
The New Leader, Dec 1-31, 2008: Fr. Anand, IMS reports that the Shankaracharya of Dwarkapeeth inaugurated their charismatic convention
[Annual Satsang], November 7-8 at Fr. Anil Dev’s Matridham Ashram, Varanasi.
In Kerala, the IMS Fathers have their “Christeen” ministries which target youth like the Sachidananda Ashram’s New Age DHARMA BHARATHI movement does. The Trojan horses are now within the Church.
2. DR. PAULOSE MAR GREGORIOS, A ‘NEW AGE’ BISHOP IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
Bishop of the Orthodox Church, the late Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios is the author of
Healing- A Holistic Approach, published by the Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam, 1995.
This Bishop attended the International Consultation on Medical Anthropology and
Alternative Systems of Healing, February 20-27, 1995 in Haryana, which “brought together some fifty healers and thinkers from various countries,” at which there were “free consultation clinics in Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy, Jorei, Naturopathy, Yoga, Pranic Healing, Acupressure, etc.”
His writings promote all those Alternative Therapies. He constantly quotes leading New Age gurus like
C.G. Jung, David Bohm, Werner Heisenberg, Deepak Chopra, Fritjof Capra, Sri Aurobindo and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
3. JESUIT FR. JOSE MEKAT, AUTHOR OF A BOOK ON ‘PERSONAL GROWTH’
In Own Your Power, An Aid for Awareness and Personal Growth, by Fr. Jose Mekat, S.J., Claretian Publications, 1991, sold at St. Pauls bookshops, Jesus is mentioned only once, on the last page of the book, and then only to misuse the Word of God, quoting Jesus from Luke 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is within you” to justify the teachings of his book, to “Own Your Power”. This priest was the Provincial of the Kerala Jesuits!
Fr. Jose Mekat extensively employs New Age concepts and practices like Jungian techniques, Gestalt Therapy, yoga, the yin and yang, the subtle body, astral tubes or nadis, the sushumna, the Law of Karma, mantras for meditation, etc.
His “Recommended Reading” list of 30 books is completely New Age with titles like Kundalini Yoga by Swami Satyananda of the Bihar School of Yoga; The Banyan Tree by Sr. Carol Huss, MMS [the nun who established the Catholic New Age Holistic Health Centre in Bibwewadi, Pune, see separate report]; The I Ching or Chinese Book of Changes; Sadhana, by Swami Sivananda of the Divine Life Society [see report on Catholic Ashrams], etc.
In the Acknowledgements, the author thanks other priests, nuns and Catholic laity for their assistance in turning out this occult book. In the Introduction, Dr. Mathew says that Fr. Mekat is “not sticking to only one school of thought. He uses concepts from Carl Jung, Gestalt Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, Yoga and Indian Insights.”
DR. SR. M. AMALAVATHY, NAGERCOIL, TAMIL NADU [A NUN OF THE I.C.M. ORDER]
SPIRITUAL HUMAN YOGA- UNIVERSAL ENERGY – MANKIND ENLIGHTENMENT LOVE
This is the long name of the main programme that she offers. Her organization and its occult practices are detailed in a separate report which includes my interview with her. It is the Indian counterpart of
Mankind Enlightenment Love [MEL]
Professor Doctor Sir Master Luong Minh Dang of Vietnam. Sr. M. Amalavathy, ICM.,
is the Director of the Centre in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu. Amalavathy swears by Dang because he has a “wooden doll that grows”. [See page 43]
SHY-UE-MEL books list the use of New Age therapies and arts like Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Acupuncture, Reiki, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Rebirthing, the Alexander Technique, Yoga, Breathing Exercises, Chakra-work, Visualization, use of intuition as against rational thinking, Remote Healing [Healing at a distance], clairvoyance, astral travel, kundalini power, etc.
Their bibliographies list the channeled writings of the spirit entity Ramtha; New Agers Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics, Ken Wilber’s No Boundary, David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicated Order and The Undivided Universe,
Freemason and Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater’s The Chakras; Theosophist J. Krishnamurti’s The Flight of the Eagle; books on Ramana Maharshi [see my CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report],
C.G. Jung’s The Structure and the Dynamics of the Psyche;
and literally dozens of other works on the occultic arts and esoteric sciences.
Sr. Amalavathy conducts courses in convents and seminaries and has poisoned thousands of Catholics.
5. DR. SR. ELIZA KUPPOZHACKEL, ‘AYUSHYA’, KOTTAYAM, KERALA [MEDICAL MISSION SISTERS]
Ayushya, Centre for Healing and Integration, Veroor, Changanacherry, Kottayam (Dist.), Kerala [see pages 58, 59]
Founder: Sr. Eliza Kuppozhackel
This centre is run by the Medical Mission Sisters [MMS] nuns.
Some of the New Age therapies used here are:
Acupressure, Acupuncture, Meridian Massage, Chakra Balancing, Zone Therapy, Hand and Foot Reflexology,
Therapeutic Touch, Magneto Therapy, Auricular Therapy, Vibrational Medicine, Polarity Therapy, Crystal Healing, Pranic Healing, Reiki, Counseling, Family Therapy, Homeostasis Reality Therapy, Brain Wave Therapy, Stress Management, Psychotherapy, Emotional Bodywork, Spiritual Direction, Yoga and Meditation.
I had written about Sr. Eliza Kuppozhackel in my very first reports- which were submitted to the Bishops, in 1999/2000.
She and her organization are the subject of a separate detailed updated report on the Holistic Health Centres run by nuns.
She holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Bombay University and
Doctor of Alternative Medicine from the Open International University. She has taken training in Holistic health, Non Drug therapies, Energy Medicine, Psychotherapy and Emotional Bodywork from East and West, etc.
She is a Certified Yoga Teacher from Bihar School of Yoga and also Kaivalyadham Yoga institute, Pune.
She is trained in Transactional Analysis [T.A.] and worked as a consultant in TA to the Voluntary Health Association of India, Delhi. She took training in Psychotherapy and Emotional Body work from the Institute for Studies in Psychotherapy and Emotional Body work, Toronto, Canada;
Oriental Medicine and Auricular Therapy from the Asian Health Institute, Japan; Energy Healing and Vibrational Medicine from USA and Philippines.
Sr. Eliza was the Director of the Pranic Healing Foundation Kerala from its foundation [inaugurated by Pranic Healing founder Master Choa Kok Sui himself in 1991] till 2005. She has over “27 years of experience in giving training and healing in Holistic Health” [all above information from the MMS website].
Her Pranic Healing article Rediscovering Lost Heritage
was published in
the Sep. 1999 issue of The Teenager, St. Pauls.
Her above and below advertised programmes target “healers, counsellors, pastors, chaplains, lay ministers” etc.
The Examiner, August 5, 2006,
Psychotherapeutic course for Church personnel, SAR News
“Canadian expert psychotherapist and exponent of Emotional Bodywork, Dr. Daniel McDonald*… founder of the Canadian Institute for Learning in Psychotherapy and Emotional Bodywork… will conduct self-discovery sessions for various groups of Church ministers and professionals at Ayushya in Changanacherry, January 1-6, 2007.”
The Vatican Document n the New Age lists “various kinds of “bodywork”” as New Age. #2.2.3
One of the programmes is a ‘Dream Festival Workshop’.
one can read that Daniel McDonald teaches that “The Body, Mind and Soul are One”.
is the acronym for
Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy.
Against the above-titled report in the National News column, I wrote to The Examiner Editor, Fr. Anthony Charanghat:
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 10:54 AM Subject: LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir, This refers to the News Report “Psychotherapeutic Course for Church Personnel” [The Examiner, August 5, 2006].
In January 2007, “Canadian expert psychotherapist and exponent of Emotional Bodywork, Dr. Daniel McDonald will conduct self-discovery sessions for various groups of Church ministers and professionals” at Ayushya in Changanacherry, Kerala.
Ayushya refers to “ayush”, the acronym for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
The three week-long back-to-back programmes offer among other things Emotional Bodywork, and Dream Festival Workshops, for the “inner-healing” of repressed and damaged emotions. These are New Age therapies and practices.
Though Biblical scripture is referred to in some of these courses, the contents are anything but Christian, ignoring the basic reality of man’s sinful nature and the need of repentance for sin.
The Programme Co-ordinator Dr. Sr. Eliza Kuppozhackel, MMS of Kottayam has been the Director of the Pranic Healing Foundation of India, Kerala unit, for 15 years, and is extensively trained in a range of New Age practices which she offers at her centre. I believe that your readers should be made aware of these facts to enable them to take the correct decisions.
Yours sincerely, Michael Prabhu, Chennai [SUBSCRIBER] My letter was not published.
More examples of “courses” by nuns, priests, Catholic congregations of priests, and Catholic organizations
6. SRC, CHRIST HALL, ‘A CENTRE FOR HEALING’, CALICUT, KERALA [JESUITS]
The New Leader, February 1-15, 2008, Full page advertisement, Front Inner Cover
Personal Growth Workshop, May 16-25, 2008; June 4-10, 2008; October 1-10, 2008
Sangamom, April 1-30, 2008: The goal is Sangamom, confluence of the inner energies that guide body, mind and spirit.
The programme uses the insights of Transactional Analysis*…
Light Yoga, Meditation will lead the participants to a deeper integration and wholeness. *Mr. Prakash Chandy
from Kochi [NL, Jan 16-31, 2009]
Neuro Linguistic Programming**, Aug 7-10, 2008
Frs. C. P. Varkey, SJ., Joe Thayil, SJ., **John Bosco, SJ.,
Dream Workshop: Fr. P.J. Joseph, SVD., from Panchmarhi, MP [from NL, Jan 16-31, 2009 and June 1-15, 2009]
7. Transactional Analytic Center for Education, Research and Training (TACET), New Delhi
COUNSELING TEAM HELPS HEAL MENTALLY WOUNDED IN NEW DELHI
New Delhi (UCAN) A two-member Catholic Transactional Analysis team in New Delhi has helped more than 7,000 people, including unemployed, divorcees, drug addicts and people suffering depression, overcome their mental difficulties.
Australian Jesuit Father Oswald Summerton and Pearl Drego of Grail secular institute comprise the team of the Transactional Analytic Center for Education, Research and Training (TACET).
“We are committed to bring wholeness to human relations and build a healthy social framework for families and society,” Drego told UCA News recently, so those with mental problems “can get professional help on a charitable basis.”
The team is trained in psycho-social skills in child development, family harmony, communications dealing with conflict, and the science of stress.
Drego said they use integrative techniques such as counseling, conflict resolution,
dream analysis, relaxation techniques,
Indian meditation and yoga. These are based on spirituality and transactional analysis (TA).
TA involves awareness of one’s inner self and analysis of relations with others, explained Drego, trained in theology, Indian mythology and yoga.
“We help people discover their real inner self by sorting out and allowing dialogue with their ego states,” she said. Using psychiatrist Eric Berne’s theory that people play games and occupy certain roles, TACET helps patients analyze their transactions with others, identify and escape from unhealthy situations, and lead wholesome happy lives. Drego said transactional analyst-client bonding is spiritual, like “the guru-shishya” (teacher-disciple) system in the Indian tradition. Therapy begins only after a client accepts this, she said. She said counselors should be good persons with ethics and compassion. “Physical healing is connected to spiritual healing — a person’s three ego states being enveloped by a spiritual sheath, a belief that one is always surrounded by a higher power,” she explained. TA requires surrender to the divine presence, she said. Spiritual exercise is “complete and authentic when founded on human values and overflows into an integrated individual, social morality and group conduct.” “We treat, but God cures,” Drego admits.
TACET has six programs with family and growth group therapy sessions where people 6-60 years old discuss and solve their problems with professionals. With six trained staff and 11 trained volunteers, it is also an academy for training professionals to help people with problems. Father Summerton has trained 70 people and Drego 22.
Drego said TA is an education for better communication between students and teachers and in basic communities it helps people discuss their feelings and not suppress them as private family matters. “It also helps one come closer to God by clearing up the inner conscience,” she said.
NOTE: Drego is ‘Catholic’, but TA and yoga restrict her to speak of God as a “divine presence”. She is close to the theologians who promote Hindu-isation [not inculturation].
For the errors and dangers of Transactional Analysis, see pages 34-36.
8. ATHMA SHAKTI VIDYALAYA, BANGALORE [JESUIT FATHER HENRY PATRICK NUNN]
Posting in KonkaniCatholics [KC] e-group
digest number 1554 of July 26 2008 by member Godwin Coelho recommending Fr Henry Nunn, SJ., to KC member Eugene Rasquinha who was enquiring about a counselor. I, too, am a member of KC.
From: “Godwin Coelho” <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <KonkaniCatholics@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:48 AM Subject: Re: [KonkaniCatholics] In need of a councellor
Dear Eugene, For your counseling need you can also approach
Fr Henry (Hank) Nunn SJ, Atmashakti Counseling Centre. Address: Atmashakti Counseling Centre, No. 112, Madhuvan Colony, Hulimavu Village, Bangalore – 560 076. Ph: 2658-1564 / 5292. email@example.com Regards, Godwin
I wrote to the KC moderators:
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 10:27 PM Subject: SOME ISSUES THAT I FEEL I NEED TO BRING TO YOUR KIND NOTICE
EXTRACT: Dear Austine, Rupert and Rohit,
This is not to find fault with any of you personally or with KC. But I am pointing out what could possibly be areas that you might want to look into. Anyone can miss something or not see the side of it that I always somehow see. You are doing a lot of good work and it is my daily [literally] prayer that this is carried on more effectively.
You have a lot of people to write the nice and good things only. But I am different from others in the sense that if I see what I presume to be error, I must point it out or I cannot live with myself. So I hope that you will take it in the right spirit as you have always done… The Centre’s URL is:
Please read this 15-year-old UCAN report that I have copied from my files:
CHURCH INSTITUTION IN SOUTH INDIA HELPS SCHIZOPHRENICS 10 June 1993 […]
[see further below]
MICHAEL COMMENTS AND ASKS:
Since Fr Nunn was already in my records, I contacted him and confirmed from him that
they offer yoga therapy and a few New Age practices. If someone can check out “Schiff School of Reparenting Technique” (SSRT)
[I haven’t], it might be revealing.
Would you agree with me that this is a Centre that Catholics must be warned about instead of being directed to by KC?
If you agree with me would you kindly post a correction and a warning on KC to confirm that?
It would also be good to know about Godwin’s connections with this Centre, and Eugene’s experience of his counseling.
There was no response from the moderators, neither was any clarification/correction made in future issues.
CHURCH INSTITUTION IN SOUTH INDIA HELPS SCHIZOPHRENICS
Bangalore, India (UCAN) An institution started by a Jesuit counselor in southern India has successfully combined Indian traditional practices with modern psychology to treat schizophrenia.
The “Atma* Shakti Vidyalaya” (ASV, power of the soul school) in Bangalore, some 2,020 kilometers south of New Delhi, attracts patients even from abroad. The institute has so far helped some 100 people overcome their psychotic disorders — distortions in perception of self, others and surroundings. *mis-spelled. It should be Athma
Started by Canadian Jesuit Father Henry Patrick Nun* in 1979, ASV is among a few centers in Asia that treat schizophrenics in the “Schiff School of Reparenting Technique” (SSRT). *mis-spelled. It should be Nunn
ASV uses a therapy based on transactional analysis, behavior modification, reparenting techniques, programs for relieving body tensions, yoga and “pranayama” (breathing) techniques
and work therapy, says Father Nun, who is popularly known as Father Hank.
Father Hank was impressed by SSRT,
a brainchild of Jacqi* Schiff, a social worker in the United States. In early 1960s Schiff took a schizophrenic boy into her family and found in him a childlike simplicity and a desperate need for parenting. She brought more patients to treat them within the family, which marked the birth of SSRT. Schiff proved that the family setting helped patients adapt and behave in socially acceptable ways. ASV is a registered society and initially treated 25 patients, including a few Europeans. Its 13-member staff include psychologists and therapists. Some 50 patients, mostly Indians from different backgrounds, are now being treated at the center. Only patients under 30 years old with a demonstrated desire to get better are admitted… *mis-spelled. It should be Jacqui
WHO IS JACQUI SCHIFF AND WHAT IS ‘SSRT’? READ THIS HORRIFYING ACCOUNT AND UNDERSTAND WHO AND WHAT FATHER NUNN’S MENTOR WAS:
This is what Pat Crossman has to say about Jacqui Schiff’s SSRT in the 2004 SkepticReport’s The Etiology of a Social Epidemic
The report is very authoritative with more than fifty references. [I recommend reading the whole report which also explains the errors of Transactional Analysis and other psychoanalytical approaches in “counseling”.]
Jacqui Schiff… created a new “therapy” called reparenting based on the flawed theory of Transactional Analysis…
The last decade has seen a sharp rise in the number of cases of gross child abuse, some resulting in death, by or under the direction of “psychotherapists”–many unlicensed or delicensed, who practice a form of pseudotherapy called Attachment Therapy (AT).
AT is a growing, multi-faceted and as yet underground movement for the treatment of children who pose disciplinary problems to their parents or caregivers, in many cases adoptees or foster children. These children are diagnosed as suffering from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), a failure to attach with the current caregiver due to early trauma.
The only cure (according to AT) is to “reparent” the child, thereby supposedly obtaining the desired attachment and total obedience of the child. Reparenting methods include eye contact on command, physical restraint, the infliction of pain and terror, and the induction of regression. ..
In many ways, AT resembles Transactional Analysis (TA), a theory of personality that was originated by Eric Berne, author of Games People Play. Specifically, I am speaking of the Cathexis School of TA. “Reparenting,” a movement started by a social worker named Jacqui Schiff for the alleged treatment of schizophrenia in the late 1960s, grew in size and influence during the 70s. But the Cathexis patient is not a real child, but an adult “regressed” in imagination to the age of a child. The methods of control, punishment and intimidation are the same as we have seen in AT and have been responsible for at least one death and unnumbered suicides.
In 1970 Jacqui Schiff wrote All My Children, a book which I call a “cookbook of child abuse.” This book is recommended on the ATTACH website.
During the last few years, TA has lost much of its market in the USA and moved abroad, leaving a legacy of human damage. But AT is here and growing.
It is my contention that both AT & TA are dangerous, have no basis in contemporary science, and in fact, encourage a return to magical medicine and the rites of primitive exorcism…
Who was Eric Berne? Berne was a Canadian-born psychiatrist who had served as an army psychiatrist during the Second World War. In those days to get anywhere near the top layers of the psychiatric world an analysis was necessary. Berne spent years in analysis, which got him nowhere, and in the end he was rejected for membership by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Deeply wounded by his rejection, Eric sought to outdo the APA by creating his own system, which he described as a Model T Ford, a more workable and less costly model for the understanding of human behavior. In 1961 he had published “Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy.” A number of people were attracted by the simplicity and cheerful colloquial language, and would attend his Tuesday evening social psychiatry seminars at his home in San Francisco to exchange “bright ideas” and enjoy Eric. He gathered a small band of followers, some from Europe and in 1964 started the International Transactional Analysis Association. I attended these meeting from 1965 to 1969.
So what’s wrong with TA?
Ego states are not real entities with lives of their own. They are metaphors. And there is no such thing as psychic energy*. *see page 22
But what was really going in Fredericksburg? Nothing good. In 1971, the facility was shut down, a patient had brought charges of assault and battery against Jacqui Schiff, saying he had been beaten bloody, tied to a bed and gagged. At the inquiry that followed, Marian Hallet, a former patient, described an atmosphere of terror in which the cardinal sin was failing to call Schiff “Mom.” For that, patients could expect a severe beating. She said one patient was forced to drink dishwashing detergent every time he mentioned his natural parents. She said that she had once seen Schiff suckling a male patient and that she too had been offered Schiff’s breast with the caveat not to be too disappointed if Mom failed to produce milk. She also said that Schiff had promised not to kill her, unless it was absolutely necessary!
The municipal judge charged Schiff and her reparented and adopted son Eric with assault and battery and the facility was shut down. Jacqui fled, taking some of the family with her and leaving the rest behind, and after having been refused permission to operate in Ohio, she came to California. Initially, she was given a ward at Gladman Hospital in Oakland, a traditional psychiatric hospital, on the basis of her connection with Eric Berne. After six months, having created chaos in an otherwise well-run hospital, she moved on and set up shop in Alamo in a residential home…
Marian Hallet, who was also there at the time but escaped with the help of the Fredericksburg police, says that she was beaten and insulted. Once, when Jacqui was drunk — she was a heavy drinker — Marian was offered Jacqui’s breast to suck on. She states that one occasion a regressed patient, Danny C., tried to run away. Jacqui had him tied to the leg of the coffee table and he had to stay under the table for a week. When he tried to crawl out she would kick him. A rope was then attached to his waist and Aaron and the other “big boys” would lead him around like a tethered cow.
Marian said she simulated regression to avoid punishment and is sure that the other kids were also putting on an act, and for the same reason. She has written about her experiences. In a letter sent to ITAA she states: She said Jacqui would demand direct eye contact whenever she chose and any kid who did not respond with direct eye contact would be beaten.
Finally, here are some brief passages from All My Children, described on the book jacket as “the story of sick kids getting well. It is the story of how a remarkable form of therapy was discovered and how that therapy works. It is the story of love and courage that has as many implications for normal child rearing as for the curing of the mentally ill.”
“This is how she cured Aaron’s castration fears.
Dennis, now legally adopted by Jacqui and Moe and renamed Aaron, was stripped naked.
“Naked, Aaron was strapped securely in a restraining chair. As I approached him with a large hunting knife, I was sure that he believed I would indeed castrate him. Maybe he really wanted to be castrated.
“Then as I laid the edge of the knife against his naked genitals, Aaron’s face drained of color.
“‘What am I going to do?’ I asked him. ‘Shall I start cutting so you can never be a man?’
“‘No, no, please!’ he whispered. ‘I do want to be a man!’
“‘I don’t believe you,’ I said. I pressed slightly with the knife, and his controls broke. He began to struggle and scream.
“Untied and safe, the knife put away, Aaron lay shaking in my arms as I stroked him.”
It is amazing that few people paid attention at the time to violence and obscenity of this ghastly book (currently recommended by ATTACH). But then Jacqui had by now diagnosed all her patients as hebephrenic-“hebephrenia being the most regressive of all the schizophrenias–and the most dangerous.” Hebephrenics could be seductive and charming, but they were all dangerous and potential killers.
What happened to the thirty kids who made up the Schiff family, who were taught to regard one another as siblings? We already know that one was killed. In addition, there have been at least four suicides. Four, including Shea Schiff, Aaron Schiff, and Eric Sigmund Schiff, are all members of the ITAA and hold high rank as teaching members. Two who have survived are friends of minute — the rest have disappeared, since Jacqui Schiff kept no records and could, if she wanted to, expel a patient with no referral to any other agency.
Marian Hallet, who spent seven months in the facility before she escaped, contacted the ITAA appealing for help in stopping the abuse. She was referred to a teaching member who told her she was a bad kid, and no, she would do nothing to help-because Marian was lying!
Erro Kerss, who was with Jacqui in 1968 but escaped in 1972 shortly before the death of John Hartwell, called the ITAA for help, but was referred to a male psychiatrist, also a teaching member, who told him to stop playing the game “Ain’t It Awful” and cathect his nurturing parent. But he took Erro’s MediCal sticker anyway, so the State would be sure to reimburse him for Erro’s “therapy.”
However, by 1978 the Board of Trustees of the ITAA instituted an inquiry into Jacqui’s activities. A patient managed to get through to the Ethics Committee. (I have been told that the patient subsequently committed suicide. She may have been the patient who was forced to clean out the tub after John Hartwell’s torture.)
Although the ITAA ethical investigation revealed multiple testimonies of shocking abuses, and although the majority of the investigating committee wanted to censure her, she threatened to sue. Instead, she was asked to submit a complete manual of her reparenting techniques for peer approval. Her refusal to do so became her de facto resignation from the ITAA. In the early eighties she ended in Bangalore, India, leaving her entire family behind in California. In Bangalore she founded the School for Spiritual Strength. But rumors of the death of a six-year-old Indian child surfaced, and in 1985 Schiff found herself in England. There she set up a residential Cathexis clinic in Birmingham, causing consternation on the Birmingham City Council.
The Cathexis Institute in Oakland continued her work under the supervision of Shea Schiff, an adopted son, and David Kline, a psychiatrist who lost his license a few years ago for molesting a regressed female patient. The abuse continued, fortunately coming to the attention of the Alameda County Mental Health Association. After that, Cathexis moved to San Diego and changed its name.
Jacqui made yearly visits to the Eric Berne Seminar, where in 1981 she justified the use of violence by the assertion that rats injected with the blood serum of schizophrenics would not respond to positive reinforcement, but only to negative. These so-called experiments are in fact bogus. Nobody attending the Seminar, except myself, asked, “What experiments?” She said she had been working in Bangalore, India with unmedicated patients and said she hoped to win a Nobel prize for isolating the blood serum of catatonia. Her immigration status was that of a missionary! She said she had adopted an Indian baby girl who was three months old and was a homicidal hebephrenic.
In 1994 she attended one ITAA Conference in San Francisco. She arrived unannounced and over one hundred people lined up to pay homage. She died last year in 2003. But her movement is still spreading.
After the alleged expulsion of Jacqui Schiff, business went on as usual. The name “Reparenting” was changed to “Corrective Parenting,” which many therapists claimed bore little resemblance from the work of Jacqui Schiff. Thus, they distanced themselves from their erstwhile mentor while retaining her methods. However, a doctoral thesis by Susan Smith, clinical member of the ITAA, built around a survey of 267 therapists known to be doing regressive work noted “twenty-two percent acknowledged spanking some of their regressed clients, eighty-two percent punished clients by standing them in a corner, and seven percent breast-fed their clients.”
Post-Schiff reparenting has not been without controversy. From 1984-94 four successful lawsuits were filed against reparenters in the Kansas City area. In 1988 the Kansas City Star ran a long article on the history and controversy surrounding reparenting. In 1995 Changes magazine published an expose of reparenting called “Call Me Mom.” In 1995 Dr. Margaret Singer devoted a chapter of her book Crazy Therapies to the subject. In 1999 Andrew Meacham reviewed the Hartwell case in his book Selling Serenity. In 2000 the Chicago Reader ran a lengthy article about Schiff and her methods by Tori Marlin called “A Most Dangerous Method.” From within the ITAA there has been little concern. I have written numerous letters, but have few responses. However, in 1994 Alan Jacobs, a high-ranking member of the organization, who had in fact received part of his training from Schiff, was permitted to publish an article in the authoritative Transactional Analysis Journal. His excellent and highly critical article examines Schiff’s methods and theories from the point of view of Robert Lifton’s eight criteria for evaluating ideological totalism–brainwashing. Jacobs concludes “that Schiffian reparenting theory, particularly the concepts of passivity and passivity confrontation, provides an example of how theory can become ideology and thus be used to support and promote totalism, thought reform, and the misuse and abuse of power.” But it received scant attention and some hostility. In 1999 the ITAA addressed the whole reparenting problem in an entire issue of the Journal, with articles from a couple of happy reparented kids, but some suggestion about the possibility of sadism coming up in a counter transference situation. The message was clear. Mistakes were made, but we don’t do that anymore! There was regret for the pain caused to the organization. But not one word of apology to the victims!
Remember that Anugraha also offers Transactional Analysis [see page 4].
Remember that Jacqui Schiff was the mentor [teacher, trainer, guide and inspirer] of Father Hank Nunn.
The Athma Shakti Vidyalaya website of Fr. Nunn says that he “leads the daily yoga session“.
My correspondence with Fr. Nunn:
Subject: INFORMATION REQUIRED, PLEASE
Dear Father Hank, I got the information about you from a site called KonkaniCatholics [below].
Do you have any printed information about your centre that you can send me if I give you my postal address?
Michael [Apologist and Counselor]
Subject: RE: INFORMATION REQUIRED, PLEASE
Dear Michael, You will get information on us from the web-site holistic-psychotherapy.iinet.net.au. Fr Hank
9. PSYCHOLOGY COURSES AND THE SALESIANS, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, BANGALORE
9A. PRAFULTA PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES
At a graduation function on April 17, 2009, twenty participants of the first batch of the Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology received their certificates from Fr Michael Fernandes, the Salesian Provincial of the Mumbai Province. In his address to the participants and the guests present, Fr Michael complimented Fr Godfrey D’Sa, the Programme Director and Ms. Shalu Mehrotra, the Course Coordinator, for creating a professional course that had a good mix of both theory and practicum. The programme comprised 210 hours of theory and 60 hours of supervised practicum, ranging over a period of 10 months. It also included practical application of various therapies like Art, Somatic, Cognitive, Behavioural, Client-Centred and Transactional Analysis. Modules on Career Guidance, Sexuality, Spirituality and Stages of Development were also part of the course.
Although the criteria for selection for this course was a post-graduate degree in psychology, human resources or social work, the participants did not feel competent to counsel clients on a professional level. Many of them had a theoretical knowledge of various therapies and counselling skills. This course insisted on hands-on practice after each skill was taught in class, using concrete life examples and also comprised regular supervised sessions all through the course for the clients they were taking. Another unique aspect of this course was that every one of them had to spend several hours in group therapy and individual counselling, working on their own selves in order to ‘be the change they wanted to see’ in others.
This Course was a decennial venture of Prafulta Psychological Services, a Don Bosco Organisation based at Andheri, Mumbai. Prafulta Psychological Services was initiated in September 1998. Presently, it has a team of over 35 professionals that include psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, vocational guidance counsellors, special educators and occupational therapists that provide an array of psychological services both at the Centre and at various institutes in Mumbai. Prafulta aims to help clients understand, accept and deal effectively with the influences of their environment, take personal responsibility for their lives and create a meaningful future for themselves.
Posting in KonkaniCatholics [KC] digest number 1866 dated April 26, 2009. I am a member of KC.
PRAFULTA: ANOTHER DREAM REALIZED!
by Godfrey D’Sa, SDB., Don Bosco India, Bosco information Service Mumbai, July 6, 2008
On July 4, 2008, Prafulta Psychological Services in its Tenth Anniversary year, crossed yet another milestone! The Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology was flagged off at the Youth Services Audio-visual Hall, Matunga.
Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of Provincial House and the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, in his inaugural talk emphasized the need for good and able counselors in this fast-paced, chaotic world. He suggested that we do not neglect the `divine element` in the counseling process because “without God all our learning and effort comes to naught“.
Prafulta Psychological Services in the last three years has been conducting a program of 100 hours in “Basic Skills in Counseling“ for the teachers of the Mumbai Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) Schools. Over 300 teachers from 85 ABE Schools have been trained thus far, and this program continues with 2 batches of 38 teachers each being trained in the current academic year. Most of the teachers trained expressed that the course made a “big difference“ in their own personal lives and in the way they related with their families and school children. Spurred on with this success Prafulta constantly dreamt of conducting an advanced programme in counselling.
Finally, the “Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology”, a course of 260 hours which includes over 60 hours of supervision, has become a reality. Ms. Shalu Mehrotra, Counsellor at Prafulta Psychological Services, is the program designer and coordinator of this course.
The First Batch of 20 students of psychology come from different walks of life with one common element – a determination to make a difference in the lives of people they will work with. Besides learning the basic and advanced skills in counseling, these students will do a lot of `Self Work. They will be introduced to various therapies like TA, Somatic, Art, Group and Marital Therapies. They will learn to deal with special issues like academic underachievement, anti social behavior, learning disabilities and sexuality.
Above all, this Course will stress hands-on experience of working with clients and being supervised during the learning process. The objective is to enable participants to work as effective counselors in various settings like mental health centers, schools, colleges, hospitals, corporates or in private practice.
To promote emotional growth and development has always been the objective of Prafulta Psychological Services. The Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology enables this in a meaningful way.
The Examiner, March 28, 2009. Full page advertisement.
Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology July 2009 to March 2010 (Twice a week, Tue and Fri, 5:30-8:30 pm)
9C. SUMEDHA CENTRE FOR PSYCHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY
[NEW DELHI & JEOLIKOTE]
The New Leader, November 16-30, 2007. Front inner cover. Full page advertisement.
Psychospiritual Integration: January 22 – March 16, 2008; October 7 – November 30, 2008. Age limit: 32-60 years
Resource persons: Br. Gerard Alvarez, CFC; Sr. Inigo Joachim, SSA; Fr Joe Mannath, SDB*; Fr Jose Parappully, SDB**; Fr Peter Lourdes, SDB. **President, Conference of Catholic Psychologists of India, see pages 39, 48
Insights from Christian faith and wisdom traditions, various psychological theories of development, particularly Eriksonian, Attachment, Object Relations, Self Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology as well as tools and techniques from Psychosynthesis, Intensive Journal, Expressive Arts and
Jungian Psychology, and various techniques of meditation and methods of prayer are used to explore one’s psychospiritual journey. *see below
The New Leader, August 16-31, 2004. Back inner cover. Full page advertisement.
Similar advertisement as the above, for the year 2005
The New Leader, July 1-15, 2008. Full page advertisement.
Sumedha Centre for Psychology and Spirituality opens a centre at Jeolikote, Uttarakhand, near Nainital.
Fr. Ajoy Fernandes Ph. D., is the Jungian expert on the faculty. His course is described as “Self-awareness”.
9D. DON BOSCO RENEWAL CENTRE / DON BOSCO YUVA PRACHODINI
The Examiner, May 7, 2005. Half page advertisement.
The New Leader, May 16-31, 2007. Full page advertisement.
Psycho-Sexual Integration and Celibacy, A seminar for priests and religious, May 20 to May 30, 2007.
Fully Alive After 50. June 3 to June 14, 2007.
Personal Renewal and Integration. July 1 to July 29, 2007. For priests and religious.
Resource persons include Fr. Joe Mannath, SDB.*, Fr. Tom Polackal, SDB., Fr. L. B. Anthony, SDB. *see below
WHO IS FR. TOM POLACKAL, SDB? HE PRACTICES DREAMWORK AND DEFENDS NEW AGE
Subject: New Age Movement and Dreamwork.
Dear Michael Prabhu,
Good that we met at least for a brief moment at DVK [Dharmaram Vikas Kendra, Bangalore] yesterday. I was sitting down quietly to read the hand out you had given then, a young man sat near me to say something when you passed by.
I would strongly recommend that you read a special issue of JEEVADHARA: NEW AGE THEOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO THE VATICAN DOCUMENT
edited by Fr. Sebastian Painadath SJ. This issue has articles by eminent and serious theologians of India on the matter of New Age.
Your hand out disturbed me. I am taking DREAMWORK at our centre here and I do not find any of what you call New Age business. Church has had a grudge against Dreams – quite not in keeping with the Scripture Tradition. For my dreamwork classes I am using as my basic text the book by a team of Catholic writers: DREAMS AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH – A Judeo-Christian Way to Dreamwork by Louis M. Savary, Patricia H. Berne, Strephon Kaplan Williams, Paulist Press, Mahwah, 1984… pages 50-56 treats of how the Church got into disfavour with dream work; pp 67-71 shows how the Church, not the squint eyed one, rediscovers the Christian Dreamwork Tradition.
God gives us dreams for some purpose. What is that purpose if not to make us whole beings. It is not from the nether world or from the demons but from our own unconscious which is the untapped power source of wholeness and holiness… In Jesus, Tom Polackal.
The above is only a small extract of his lengthy debate with me.
1. Just because a book is written by Catholics/ published by St. Pauls does not necessarily make it error free. We have seen that with dozens of “Catholic” books as well as with the New Community Bible, June 2008.
2. Fr. Tom’s own words “our own unconscious which is the untapped power source of wholeness and holiness” give him away.
3. Jesuit Father Sebastian Painadath is an ashram founder and senior leader of the seditious Catholic Ashrams movement [see my report on the Catholic Ashrams].
JEEVADHARA: NEW AGE THEOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO THE VATICAN DOCUMENT
edited by Fr. Sebastian Painadath SJ is a collection of articles by liberal theologians trashing and rejecting the February 2003 Vatican Document on the New Age. By his recommendation to me, does not Fr. Tom express his agreement with them? And this priest is a pastor to the charismatic group, Jesus Youth.
WHO IS FR. JOE MANNATH, SDB?
Salesian Father and psychologist Joe Mannath, SDB., [see previous page] says, “Find time everyday for half an hour of yoga” [The New Leader, April 16-30, 2007, page 7].
Fr. Joe Mannath has a regular column in The New Leader. I refer to one issue, September 16-30, 2004.
Title of essay under “Parables for today”, “Ah, the human heart”. In it he writes about his friends Walter and Martha who are married and have a daughter, Bernadine. He tells us about “their failed marriage”, that they “separate”. Walter meets Brigitte, and invites Fr. Joe to their “marriage”. Says Fr. Joe, “I wish him and Brigitte well.” He adds, “None of us is perfect…I wish him and Brigitte happiness and God’s blessing in their life together. May they learn from the past…” From the data provided by Fr. Joe, the second marriage is adulterous. His being a Catholic priest-psychologist, I leave the unasked questions to the reader.
NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC PSYCHOLOGISTS
The New Leader, November 1-15, 2007
National Conference of Catholic Psychologists
EXTRACT: The 8th National Conference of Catholic Psychologists was held on 1-3 October 2007 at Ryshivana, the Carmelite Retreat house in Mangalore. The theme of the conference was ‘Psycho-Spiritual integration in the Indian context’.
78 Catholic psychologists-religious, priests and lay persons from different parts of India participated.
Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore inaugurated the conference and said,
“What began as a Salesian venture
has been extended to the entire Church. Holiness is wholeness.”
Dr K.B. Kumar, Head of the Dept of Psychology at M.A.H.E., Manipal, in his keynote address, stated the importance of exploring the role of religion in psychotherapy.
RYSHIVANA- RELIGION YOGA SPIRITUALITY HEALTH INSTITUTE, MANGALORE, KARNATAKA [DISCALCED CARMELITES (OCD)]
WHAT IS RYSHIVANA?
YOGA PROPONENT V .L. REGO PLANS YOGA CLUBS FOR CHURCHES
July 8, 2005, EXTRACT:
V. L. Rego, yoga master and founder of the
Integral Yoga Satsang, Mangalore, “[G]iving an insight of the activities of the
Ryshi Vana Yoga Kendra, set up with the assistance of the
Catholic priests of the Carmelite congregation, said that a
Religion, Yoga, Spirituality, Health Institute (RYSHI) and Spiritual Research Institute (SRI) have been set up for research and promotion of Yoga.”
RYSHI… is an acronym for Religion,
Yoga, Spirituality, Health, and Institute… One of the great contributions of India to the wisdom of the world is
which when practised well, gives discipline to our life, brings about health of mind and body, promotes peace and serenity, and yields even longevity… Fr. D’Souza intends to provide the necessary means for systematic and scientific study of Yoga.“
In preparation for his own Ph. D.,
“a most popular Indian school of Yoga, was the field of his philosophical research.” Ryshivana therefore is a yoga centre. [Also see page 43]
National Conference of Catholic Psychologists [firstname.lastname@example.org] got two pages in The Examiner,
October 20, 2007, report by Fr. Jose Parappully SDB*., Ph. D., President. *see page 48
Fr. Atul, IMS., is the Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Psychologists. Reader, go back to page 26:
Atul, IMS., is the same priest who uses “Gestalt Therapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming [N.L.P.], Transactional Analysis [T.A.] and pranic healing” in his “Counselling Ministries“.
The New Leader, August 1-15, 2008. Back inner cover. Full page advertisement.
9th National Conference of Catholic Psychologists of India at Pilar Centre, Goa, October 3-5, 2008
Contact: Fr. Atul, IMS., Dhyana Bhavan, Alappuzha [Alleppey], Kerala email@example.com
The Salesian congregation is perhaps the Catholic religious order that leads the field in “psychology”.
The President of the National Conference of Catholic
Psychologists is a Salesian.
In almost every case that we have examined above — except in the case of the Salesians who have only mentioned Transactional Analysis and Jungian psychology — and as we will see again, below, the various counseling courses and psychospiritual programmes are clubbed along with yoga, NLP, meditation, pranic healing, vipassana, enneagrams, Gestalt therapy, etc. Psychology cannot stand alone, without New Age.
If one will closely examine the spirituality of any of these psychologists, one will find New Age.
10. THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF POONA [JESUITS IN CHARGE?]
NATIONAL VOCATION SERVICE CENTRE, PUNE, MAHARASHTRA
The New Leader, January 1-15, 2008. Half-page advertisement.
Self-awareness for Personal Growth, April 20-May 17, 2008 [“specifically designed for Priests and finally professed Religious… towards a psycho-spiritual integration of their personalities”]
Professors: Fr. Joe Mathias, SJ.; Ms. Lily Fernandes, IMP.; Sr. Carmelita Monteiro, UFS.; Fr Walter Saldanha; Sr. Rosamma John, ICM.; Fr Andrew D’Cunha
The New Leader, December 1-31, 2006. Full page ad. says that Sr. Carmelita Monteiro, UFS teaches Enneagrams.
The New Leader, January 16-31, 2008. Back inner cover. Full page advertisement.
One-Year Diploma Programme in Pastoral Counselling and Religious Formation: June 30, 2008 to March 26, 2009.
On offer are 25 individual courses which include the following five:
05. Transformation through Enneagram:
Ms. Lily Fernandes, IMP. MA in Education, Diploma in Integrative Counselling (UK).
Lily Fernandes also gives the no. 13 course on “Counselling Skills: Theory and Practicals with Fr Joe Mathias SJ, Lic. In Psychology (Gregorian University, Rome)
06. Group Therapy Experience:
Sr. Rosamma John, ICM., Ph. D. (Clin. Psy.) Ateneum, Manila
10. Neuro Linguistic Programming
Mr. Clement D’Souza, M.A. Mysore University
14. Indian Christian Spirituality Sadhana:
Fr. Sebastian Painadath, SJ., Ph. D. (Theology) Tuebingen, Germany
24. Vipassana: Fr. Frederick D’Silva, SJ., Lic. In Spirituality (Gregorian University, Rome). He also gives the no. 16 course on “Spiritual Direction on Discernment of Spirits”.
The New Leader, November 16-30, 2003. Half page advertisement. [The other half is also an NVSC ad. for another course]
Self-awareness for Personal Growth, April 18-May 15, 2004
The course includes NLP by Bro. Mathew Chulaparambil, Ph. D. (Couns. Psy.) Manila and Inner Child: Psychospiritual Integration by the NVSC Director: Fr. Lawrence Pinto
Similar advertisement on another page for the same course from November 7 to December 10, 2004.
The New Leader, December 1-31, 2003. Front inner cover, Full page advertisement.
One-Year Diploma Programme in Pastoral Counselling and Religious Formation: June 28, 2004 to March 22, 2005.
On offer are 21 individual courses which include the following two:
16. Vipassana: Pune Vipassana Samithi
17. New Trends in Canon Law: Archbishop [now Cardinal] Oswald Gracias*
Similar ad. in The New Leader, November 1-15, 2004, Full page advertisement.
Similar ad. in The Examiner, October 16, 2004, Half page advertisement.
The New Leader, December 1-31, 2003. Full page advertisement.
First Year M.A. Psychology: June 28, 2004 to March 22, 2005.
Programme details include the following two courses/resource persons:
9. Rational Emotive Therapy: Bro. Mathew Chulaparambil [the NLP practitioner]
15. Vipassana: Pune Vipassana Samithi
*A Cardinal, Oswald Gracias, is teaching at the same formation course where Vipassana meditation is being taught to Catholic religious by Buddhists of the Pune Vipassana Samithi [see my article on Vipassana].
Who are these other “professors” and psychologists?
Sr. Rosamma John, ICM.,
a Ph. D., a Clinical Psychologist at the ICM House in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, where Anugraha is based, wrote an article titled
The Phenomenon of Healing, which was published in
February 1-15, 2002 issue
of The New Leader in the Issues-Health column. The full-page article includes a photograph of a person in the yogic padmasana posture exhibiting the upadesa mudra. In her article she describes
such New Age phenomena as “hypnosis, Pranic Healing, Reiki, the use of pendulum, crystals, and so on… We are familiar with
various concepts used in these types of healing such as energy fields, chakras, prana, bioplasmic body, etc.”
Rosamma, like some of the leading nuns of the Holistic Health Movement in India, was trained in Manila, The Philippines, which is the leading location of many institutes offering courses in New Age Alternative Medicines, psychologies and psycho-spiritualities, and is also the centre for the World Pranic Healing Foundation.
Fr. Frederick D’Silva, SJ., is the Vipassana meditation guide.
Lily Fernandes and Sr. Carmelita Monteiro, UFS., are the experts on the occult personality typing tool, the enneagram.
Clement D’Souza is the neurolinguistic programmer.
Fr. Sebastian Painadath, SJ., is an ashram founder [see my report on the seditious Catholic Ashram movement] who led a group of priests in producing a book that trashed the Vatican Document on the New Age, ridiculing Rome for its Middle-Ages mentality and obsolete thinking.
Such are some of the people who are training Catholics in “personal growth” and “pastoral counseling”. It is possible that most if not all the other “professors” have similar backgrounds as the above. See also page 59.
11. ATMADARSHAN, PATNA, BIHAR, FR. JOE KUNNUMPURAM [JESUITS]
The New Leader, July 16-31, 2007, page 34, Book Review by Fr. M.A. Joe Antony, SJ., Editor of The New Leader
The Star of the East, by Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram
SJ, Media House, Delhi, Rs. 311:
In this book, Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram SJ presents his discovery: a new “holistic system of psychotherapy that would bring about harmony in the human person as a body, mind, and spirit composite, opening to oneself, others, cosmos and the divine.” He calls it AMR- Awareness Meditative Relaxation. His earlier books, The Miracle of Awareness, On the Wings of the Swan, introduce and describe this new tool of psychotherapy, but the present work, The Star of the East, gives a complete account of the development of AMR.
The title of this book tries to convey that this therapy is a blend of eastern and western traditions and approaches.
In his foreword, an experienced practitioner in the field, Joe Kootinal SJ talks of his own experience of using AMR and affirms, “AMR therapy is a quick and easy method for bringing about profound therapeutic changes.”
EXTRACTS from the Atmadarshan, Patna, website
“Atmadarshan is a Retreat and Counselling
Centre run by the Jesuit Fathers of Patna. Considered as a very good Retreat Centre, Atmadarshan has a silent and peaceful ambience. It is situated at Digha Ghat, Patna, Bihar, India. Tel: 0612-2560537 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The centre also conducts many courses and workshops based on Holistic Awareness, Health, and integration. People of all caste, creed, and religion are welcome here for counselling, psychotherapy, healing, empowerment, and enlightenment.
Prof. (Fr) Joe Kunnumpuram SJ
email@example.com has an integrated school of psychology specialized in healing many psychosomatic disorders such as asthma, migraine etc. Broadly called AMR (Awareness Meditative Relaxation) is a holistic awareness therapy for healing and integral human liberation.”
Therapy includes the use of “inner imagery”, “inner color”, “inner light”, “divine image”, etc.
“We have a group of 30 resource persons. Five permanent staff reside in Atmadarshan Jesuit Residence. The permanent members are Fr. Bob Schmidt, Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram, Fr. Joe Kootinal, Fr. Pius Thekkemury, and Fr. Albert Tirkey, all Jesuit Fathers… We have completed the following integration programs: AD-Initiation, Intensive Journal, Hypnotherapy, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Yoga, Vipassana. Each Module is followed by a holistic integration processing for deeper healing, empowerment, and integration at the core of one’s being.”
“I have also conducted many AMR workshops together with my co-therapist Archana in Taiwan, Indonesia, and Singapore.”
The New Leader, August 16-31, 2007. Back cover. Full page advertisement:
SRC, Christ Hall*, Kozhikode [Calicut] *See page 32
September 2-5 Resource person: Fr. John Bosco, SJ., Secunderabad
Hypnotherapy for Holistic Healing November 26-December 2 Resource person: Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram
12. ISHVANI KENDRA, PUNE [DIOCESAN?]
The New Leader, September 1-15, 2007. Full page advertisement:
Ishvani Kendra, Pune, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Intensive Course on Personal Growth and Transformation: January 21-16 March, 2008 [eight weeks] for Animators, Formators, Superiors, Activists and Teachers
[It includes]: Enneagrams, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Feminine Spirituality
Resource Persons: Sr. Sheela SSpS., Sr. Inigo SSA., Sr. Philomena FMA., Ms. Sylvine Vas, Mr. Andrew Pinto, Mr. Clement D’Souza, Mr. Joe Rodrigues, Fr. Itoop Panikulam SVD., Fr. S.M. Michael SVD., Fr. Gilbert de Lima and others.
Contact: Ishvani Kendra, Post Box 3003, Off Nagar Road, Sainikwadi, Pune 411 014. Tel: 020 270 33 507, 270 33 820,
Clement D’Souza is the neuro linguistic programmer.
The New Leader, August 1-15, 2004. Full page advertisement:
Same programme as above. Jan. 10- March 17, 2005. Seven out of the fourteen resource persons are SVD priests.
13. PUSHPADAAN CARMELITE SPIRITUALITY CENTRE, CALICUT, KERALA, FR. JAMES MANTHRA [DISCALCED CARMELITES (OCD)]
The New Leader, August 1-15, 2004. Back inner cover. Half page advertisement. Four courses are offered:
Silence to Silence – A Course on Meditation… an integral convergence of both eastern and western mysticism. September 12-23.
Launch out into the deep – A unique contemplative retreat that dissolves the barriers (masks and make-up, guises and disguises) created by the phenomenal world. November 1-10.
A Meditative Retreat for Inner Peace through Sacred Music – …employing sacred sounds in healing. December 6-11.
I am sitting but on a journey – …”Go sit in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.” February 20-March 31.
The New Leader, October 1-15, 2004. Back inner cover. Half page advertisement. Similar to the above.
Retreat Master: Fr. James Manthra, OCD., email@example.com Resource Person: Fr. Dominic, OCD.
In the full page back cover ad. in the NL of December 1-31, 2006, the contact is the Sacred Heart Philosophical College, Aluva, [Alwaye] Kerala. It is a seminary.
The New Leader, December 1-31, 2004. Front inner cover. Full page advertisement. Similar to the above.
The above courses cost Rs. 1750 each while the ‘Sitting but on a Journey’ costs Rs. 8000!
One can only wonder what the actual contents of these courses are, but it is likely that they will include yoga and mantra chanting along with use of the Word of God, especially the Psalms.
14. NAVA SPOORTHI KENDRA, BANGALORE, KARNATAKA [REDEMPTORISTS]
The New Leader, May 16-31, 2006. Full page advertisement.
Various courses including “Rational Emotive Therapy” and “Healing the Inner Child”
15. DARSHAN COLLEGE AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE, BANGALORE, KARNATAKA, [CAPUCHIN FRIARS (OFM. Cap.)]
The New Leader, March 16-31, 2007. Quarter page advertisement.
Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Post Graduate Diploma Course in Psychological Counselling, July 2, 2007 to March 28, 2008
The Examiner, May 14, 2005. Advertisement.
Post Graduate Diploma Course in Counselling, July 15, 2005 to April 30, 2006 firstname.lastname@example.org;
16. ASHA KIRAN, CENTRE FOR PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN RELATIONS, BANGALORE, KARNATAKA
The New Leader, June 1-15, 2006. Half page advertisement.
Eleven programmes from July to December 2006. They include a six-day course titled “Who am I?” offered four times.
The Examiner, November 29, 2003. Half page advertisement.
Eleven programmes from July to December 2006. They include a 3/6-day course titled “Who am I?” offered eleven times.
There are also courses on Counselling Skills, Knowing Myself Through My Body, Fostering Harmony Between Myself And My Body, Training in Self Analysis, My Interpersonal Relationships, etc. email@example.com
17. NESAN COUNSELLING CENTRE, TIRUNELVELI, TAMIL NADU
The New Leader, July 1-15, 2006. Half page advertisement.
For “…all those who are affected by emotional, psychological, spiritual problems, …and problems under the cover of divination, sorcery, evil spirits, etc. will be assisted and helped through counselling and psychotherapy.”
Fr. Dr. Arul M. Arockiam, M. Sc., Ph. D., Counsellor and Psychologist
18. SIDDHI VIHARA, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR HUMAN WHOLENESS, MYSORE, KARNATAKA
The New Leader, February 1-15, 2007. Back inner cover. Full page advertisement.
Devopasana, One year Psycho-Spiritual Course for Seminary Rectors/Staff, Novice Masters/Mistresses, Community Animators, Spiritual Directors, Vocation Promoters. June 15, 2007-March 31, 2008 firstname.lastname@example.org
19. SAMPURNA POST GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY, MONTFORT COLLEGE, BANGALORE, KARNATAKA [MONTFORT BROTHERS]
Montfort College To Celebrate 10th Anniversary January 9, 2008
Bangalore, Karnataka (SAR News) Montfort College Bangalore will celebrate the ten years of its existence in India, January 9-11. The college is run by Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel, who are a part of the worldwide Montfortian family founded by St. Louis Marie de Montfort in France in the 18th century.
They became an autonomous society in 1842 and ever since have been involved in general education, vocational education and education of the disabled. In India, Montfort Brothers have pioneered in the field of counsellor training and services.
September 11, 1903, marked the congregation’s foundation in India, with the arrival of three French Brothers at the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
At present there are 555 Brothers serving in 159 institutions in 21 states across the country, addressing the needs of general and vocational education, providing training for the hearing impaired, the visually impaired and the differently abled children. The Brothers are also involved in the development of the tribals, Dalits and urban poor, and creating harmony and peace among religions and social groups. In view of the 10th year celebrations, the College is holding a three-day International Conference in Bangalore, January 9-11. The conference is a collaborative initiative of the Sampurna-Montfort College Bangalore, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the University of Toronto and Bangalore University.
The theme of the conference is “Wellness through Counselling and Psychotherapy”.
The conference being held at Sampurna-Montfort College Bangalore, is playing host to 70 international delegates. It will have 20 workshops, besides witnessing presentations of 40 scientific papers.
The New Leader, May 16-31, 2007, June 1-15, 2009. Front inner cover. Half page advertisement.
Sampurna Post Graduate Institute of Counselling Psychology email@example.com; www.sampurnamontfort.com
Services: Counselling and Psychotherapy, Psychological Assessment…
Courses: M. Sc. in Psychology and in Psychological Counselling, Ph. D. in Psychological Counselling, etc.
20. DHYANA SADHANA CENTRE FOR HOLISTIC SPIRITUALITY, MYSORE, KARNATAKA
The New Leader, February 1-15, 2009. Full page advertisement.
Animation Program 2009-2010, six programmes offered, including:
Psycho-Spiritual Integration, April 27-May 30, 2009.
21. RYSHIVANA INSTITUTE OF INDIAN CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY, A CENTRE FOR INNER SILENCE AND CONTEMPLATION, MANGALORE, KARNATAKA, FR. GREGORY D’SOUZA, OCD
The New Leader, February 1-15, 2009 and February 16-28, 2009. Full page advertisement.
Programmes 2009-2010, seven programmes offered, including:
Eight months Certificate Course that includes Psycho-Spiritual Integration, August 2, 2009-March 19, 2010.
Contact: Fr. Gregory D’Souza, OCD., firstname.lastname@example.org;
Remember that RYSHI is the acronym for Religion, Yoga, Spirituality, Health, and Institute and that Fr. Gregory D’Souza is a proponent of yoga [see page 39]
22. INSTITUTE FOR BEHAVIORAL AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES, CHITTOOR, ANDHRA
The New Leader, August 16-31, 2004, Front inner cover, Full page advertisement targeting Christians
Become a professional psychological counsellor.
Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh-based IBMS offers Post Graduate Diploma and Master’s courses in psychotherapy and psychological counselling. Salient features include “Recognised by Medicina Alternativa Open International University”.
Medicina Alternativa: It is affiliated to the Open International University for Complementary Medicines, Sri Lanka,
an association for New Age Alternative Medicines founded by the World Health Organization.
It was at the 35th such Congress for Alternative Medicines in Sri Lanka in November 1997 that Sr. M. Amalavathy, ICM., [see page 32] met her Vietnamese Master Luong Minh Dang and imported his brand of Universal Energy healing into India. Dang had already succeeded in getting his brand of energy healing- Human Universal Energy [HUE] incorporated in the syllabus of Medicina Alternativa university studies.
23. THE ANTHONY DE MELLO INSTITUTE, GOA [MR. CLIFFORD W. DeSILVA]
The Examiner, July 22, 2006. Basic Course in Personal Counselling
Under ‘Local News’ in The Examiner, the F.I.A.M.C. Bio-Medical Ethics Centre at St. Pius X Seminary in Goregaon, Mumbai, announced the above course, to be conducted by Mr. Clifford DeSilva, August 5-12, 2006, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Examiner, November 18, 2006. Letter to the editor.
Personal Counselling Course at FIAMC
The letter was written by the Director of The Anthony deMello Institute himself, Clifford DeSilva about the Valedictory Function on November 5, 2006 at which Dr. N.A. Antao, Managing Trustee, FIAMC, gave away the certificates to 31 participants. “Dr. Antao commented that FIAMC had perceived the crying need for people to have someone to whom they could turn which is why, after consulting the various parishes, they decided to have a course of this kind.”
Rev. Dr. [Fr.?] Stephen is named as the Program Coordinator, FIAMC.
FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre, Goregaon announces it’s Basic Course in Personal Counselling for the fourth year running. Conducted by the Anthony de Mello Institute, Goa, the Course will run in its tried and tested format consisting of five full weekends spread out from the first weekend of August 2009 to the first weekend in October 2009, along with Internship.
The Course will be held at the Centre’s premises in Goregaon and is open to anyone who has a graduate degree in any discipline, and has a genuine interest in becoming a personal counsellor. It is especially recommended for school and college teachers, social workers, health workers, working youth and others in the helping professions.
Details may be had from FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre, Goregaon. E-mail: email@example.com
Tel: 2874 7310 Cell: 98203 32965″
This is the same course that was organized under the auspices of SANGAM, see page 1. I am not aware if it has any New Age contents but Clifford DeSilva is a psychotherapist and a psychologist, and the secular Institute that he founded and heads is named by him after Tony de Mello, the Jesuit whose books were posthumously banned by Rome for “positions… incompatible with the Catholic Faith”:
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH NOTIFICATION CONCERNING THE WRITINGS OF
FATHER ANTHONY DE MELLO, SJ
The Indian Jesuit priest, Father Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) is well known due to his numerous publications which, translated into various languages, have been widely circulated in many countries of the world, though not all of these texts were authorized by him for publication. His works, which almost always take the form of brief stories, contain some valid elements of oriental wisdom. These can be helpful in achieving self-mastery, in breaking the bonds and feelings that keep us from being free, and in approaching with serenity the various vicissitudes of life. Especially in his early writings, Father de Mello, while revealing the influence of Buddhist and Taoist spiritual currents, remained within the lines of Christian spirituality. In these books, he treats the different kinds of prayer: petition, intercession and praise, as well as contemplation of the mysteries of the life of Christ, etc.
But already in certain passages in these early works and to a greater degree in his later publications, one notices a progressive distancing from the essential contents of the Christian faith. In place of the revelation which has come in the person of Jesus Christ, he substitutes an intuition of God without form or image, to the point of speaking of God as a pure void. To see God it is enough to look directly at the world.
Nothing can be said about God; the only knowing is unknowing. To pose the question of his existence is already nonsense. This radical apophaticism leads even to a denial that the Bible contains valid statements about God. The words of Scripture are indications which serve only to lead a person to silence. In other passages, the judgment on sacred religious texts, not excluding the Bible, becomes even more severe: they are said to prevent people from following their own common sense and cause them to become obtuse and cruel. Religions, including Christianity, are one of the major obstacles to the discovery of truth. This truth, however, is never defined by the author in its precise contents. For him, to think that the God of one’s own religion is the only one is simply fanaticism. “God” is considered as a cosmic reality, vague and omnipresent; the personal nature of God is ignored and in practice denied.
Father de Mello demonstrates an appreciation for Jesus, of whom he declares himself to be a “disciple.”
But he considers Jesus as a master alongside others. The only difference from other men is that Jesus is “awake” and fully free, while others are not. Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the one who teaches us that all people are children of God. In addition, the author’s statements on the final destiny of man give rise to perplexity. At one point, he speaks of a “dissolving” into the impersonal God, as salt dissolves in water. On various occasions, the question of destiny after death is declared to be irrelevant; only the present life should be of interest. With respect to this life, since evil is simply ignorance, there are no objective rules of morality. Good and evil are simply mental evaluations imposed upon reality.
Consistent with what has been presented, one can understand how, according to the author, any belief or profession of faith whether in God or in Christ cannot but impede one’s personal access to truth. The Church, making the word of God in Holy Scripture into an idol, has ended up banishing God from the temple. She has consequently lost the authority to teach in the name of Christ.
With the present Notification, in order to protect the good of the Christian faithful, this Congregation declares that the above-mentioned positions are incompatible with the Catholic faith and can cause grave harm.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Notification, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 24, 1998, the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist.
+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
+ Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B. Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary
ANUGRAHA [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24]
The New Leader, May 16-31, 2004, Front inner cover, Full page advertisement.
On offer are 3 individual courses which include “Emotional Maturity“, “Healing the Inner Child“, and the following:
Course in Mental Health: 19-24 July, 2004; 18-23 August, 2004.
Major threads: “Understanding devil possession, sorcery, witchcraft, casting spell, devil haunting and ESP phenomena“.
MY COMMENT: Could priests who are already compromised by their practising New Age techniques and therapies be expected to teach the Catholic biblical perspective on these issues of spiritual warfare?
The New Leader, February 16-28, 2005, Full page advertisement. As above.
THE NEW LEADER, CHENNAI, AND THE EXAMINER, MUMBAI
As illustrations of the extent to which pseudopsychologies and suspect and New Age psychospiritual techniques are commonplace in the Church, I have been including selected items from two leading Catholic publications, The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly of Mumbai, editor Fr. Anthony Charanghat, and The New Leader from Chennai, editor Fr. M.A. Joe Antony, SJ. Almost every issue of the New Leader carries at least one — sometimes there are three or four — advertisement by Catholic organizations for courses in psychology or ‘counseling’. In The Examiner, they are not so frequent.
24. ATMA DARSHAN / GYAN ASHRAM, ANDHERI, MUMBAI, MAHRASHTRA [THE SOCIETY OF THE DIVINE WORD (SVD)] FR. GILBERT CARLO AND OTHERS
However, almost every issue of The Examiner, under the ‘Local News- Forthcoming Events’ column, advertises for programmes with yoga, vipassana, NLP, enneagrams, etc. mostly at the SVD- run Atma Darshan centre in Andheri or at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre or Retreat House or in some parish or school hall in Bandra, which means that these New Age courses are institutionalized. As examples,
The Examiner, April 29, 2006:
Atma Darshan programme:
Vipassana, May 24-June 4
CRI* Summer Courses *CRI is probably the Conference of Religious, India,
an organization of
priests and nuns
1. The Myers-Briggs Personality Typology from May 2-6, 9 am to 5 pm at Nirmala Niketan, Churchgate.
Resource person, Fr. Trevor D’Souza, SJ
2. Psychosynthesis for formators and counselors from June 1-6, 9 am to 5 pm at St. Joseph’s Convent, Bandra.
Resource person, Fr. Trevor D’Souza, SJ
The Examiner, June 13, 2009:
Heal yourself through Relaxation, 1st Saturday of the month 9 am to 12 noon from June to December 2009
Taste of InterPlay Retreat, June 14
Search and Find Retreat, July 4-9
InterPlay Trainers Retreat July 18-19
Atma Darshan programmes 2009:
Psycho-Spiritual Inner Healing Retreat, June 26-28
Stress Management, August 28-30
Christian Meditation Programme
This programme, the “Christian Meditation” of Fathers John Main and Laurence Freeman, has been shown to be New Age, see
All these programmes are found to be at http://www.archbom.org/, the site of the Bombay archdiocese, as well as at http://examinerindia.blogspot.com/2009/01/local-news.html*, the site of the Archdiocesan weekly, The Examiner, proving that they are indeed institutionalized.
*copied on July 15, 2009:
Atma Darshan Programmes 2008:
Healing through Yoga Meditation Jan. 16-18
Understanding Your Dreams Jan. 24-26
NLP-Beginners Course Feb. 1-5
NLP-Advanced Course Feb. 5-9
Psycho-Spiritual Inner Healing Retreat Feb. 27, 28, Mar. 1
For registration and enquiry, contact: Atma Darshan, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400 093. Tel: 2836 3120 / 2824 2419
The Examiner, April 21, 2007 carries a one-and-a-half page article “Making of a spiritual mall” by Divine Word Father Jose Arayathel, SVD. It gives the history of the founding of this centre. The initial land was donated by Catholic families, the D’Almeidas and the Mathews in 1958. Later 20 properties were bought and added on and the Ashram now covers 18 acres.
Its aims and objectives were “to form a group of young men and women who would live a life of service to proclaim God and bear witness to Him, exalt the ways of God to humanity and take humanity to God through the medium of Indian culture. Fr. Proksch visualized evangelisation by proclaiming the Word of God…” Then the German priest fell ill and returned home. Now, “Atma Darshan is a centre for spirituality and counselling.” We know the rest.
The St. Theresa’s Parish bulletin, Bandra, December 2003/January 2004
Retreats and Seminars at Atma Darshan. The programmes for January-February-March 2004 are as follows:
1. Jan 9-12 Understanding your Dreams
2. Jan 11 One-day seminar on Dreams
3. Jan 16-18 Yoga-based Meditation
4. Feb 2-12 Retreat with Enneagram Spirituality
5. Feb 16-22 Guided Retreat
6. Feb 27-29 Psycho-Spiritual Inner Healing Retreat
7. Mar 5-7 Meditation for God Experience and Healing
The Managing Editor of the parish bulletin is a Fr. Berly Pallan, an SVD priest. He has misused the bulletin to advertise their New Age programmes, and it doesn’t seem that any of the parishioners notice or care.
New Leader, December 1-31, 1999 advertisement for
Atma Darshan Retreats and Seminars – 2000
Briefly, Dream Therapy, Enneagram Spirituality, Vipassana Meditation, Psycho-Spiritual Retreat…
The Examiner, December 29, 2001.
Yoga Based Christian Meditation … SVD Fathers will conduct …from 22 Jan 2002 to 27 Jan 2002…
FR. GILBERT CARLO, SVD.
Gilbert Carlo, SVD., of Gyan Ashram is one of the leading promoters of “Christian yoga”.
Christian Meditation through Yoga, by
Fr. Gilbert Carlo, SVD., Ishvani Publications, St Pauls Press, 1998
Ishvani is an SVD enterprise, and SVD
Frs. Edwin Vas
contributed to the bringing out of the book.
The book is “Dedicated to the Society of the Divine Word [S.V.D.]
and to all those who encourage and support me in my apostolate of spreading Christian meditation through yoga
in India as well as abroad”.
The Forewords are given by Archbishop Emeritus Simon Cardinal Pimenta
of Bombay, and
Fr. Augustine Kanjamala, SVD., who pays a rich two-page tribute to Fr. Carlo.
The Cardinal wrote,
“The author has interpreted the techniques of yoga in the light of the Bible… Yoga, indeed, has its roots in Hinduism. But… it can also be seen as a cultural heritage of India. And, as such, we could use the techniques of yoga to help us pray more and pray better… Neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian… I wish every success to Fr. Carlo in his apostolate of spreading the use of yoga as an aid for prayer.“
In his Acknowledgements, Fr. Carlo thanks a number of priests and laity who assisted him in this great yoga “apostolate”.
Fr. Carlo even celebrates “Yoga Healing Masses” as reported to me by friends in Melbourne, Australia.
The Bibliography of Carlo’s book pertains to swamis, yogis, gurus,
Swami [Fr.] Amaldas, Fr. Bede Griffiths, [both founder-leaders of the seditious Catholic Ashrams movement]
J.M. DeChanet, author of Christian Yoga, 1960, and Yoga in Ten Lessons, 1972, the Belgian priest-turned yogi who finally left the Catholic Church.
This book, Christian Meditation Through Yoga, has everything, including
Surya Namaskar and Kundalini Yoga. It has a section “Nature and Sunrise Meditation“.
Doesn’t one expect that the morning priority of a Catholic priest would be the readings of the Divine Office and Holy Mass?
Some excerpts from the book:
“I would say that Mother Mary practised the highest form of yogic prayer” because, “one of the objectives of yogic meditation is to attain purity” and “she remained pure…”, he deceivingly attempts to explain!!!!!] [his book, page 16]
Stating that “yoga” means “union”, he opines that “Jesus’ union with the Father at all times is the real prayer of yoga.” 
Realizing that “Some people think that yoga is just a series of physical exercises, but it is much more than that,” he launches into an in-depth study of yoga, replete with photographs of himself in contorted postures most unbecoming of a Catholic priest.
He discusses “Concentrating on the
Life-Force” for the practise of
breathing, quoting Ezekiel 37:6. Here he equates the Spirit of God with the monistic cosmic or universal energy that is in all and is all. The thin line to self-deification is crossed when he teaches that the eighth stage of yoga, Samadhi, is “total union with God”, without differentiating the yogic from the Christian understanding of such a ‘union’. 
He sanctifies the occult forces in Kundalini
yoga with Ezekiel 36: 27. “I will put my Spirit within you”. He says, “Kundalini is a Sanskrit word for energy. In the light of Christian spirituality, it could be understood as
power of the Holy Spirit.” 
This is not new Christian theology, it is blasphemy and heresy. The Holy Spirit is not energy; He is a Person.
There being no concept of sin in yogic spirituality, he quotes Galatians 5: 19-21 [those who will not possess the Kingdom of God] to say, “ONE COULD OVERCOME THESE EVILS
ONLY BY THE POWER OF MEDITATION and only then the energy is awakened and will flow upward from the base of the spine to the crown of the head by stimulating the seven chakras. If one tries to awaken this energy without purifying one’s own heart, it could be harmful to oneself and to others unharnessed, just like a wild elephant.” (emphasis mine), 
Since when does the Holy Spirit have the nature and the harmful potential of a wild elephant?
Fr. Carlo has produced audios and videos on chanting, meditation, and yoga. They are sold at St. Pauls bookstores.
This is one priest who has not recommended the ‘OM’ mantra. He has recommended others, though.
Fr. Francis Barboza, SVD., a highly acclaimed Bharatanatyam exponent, felicitated by the Catholic Church, used to teach the Hindu temple dance form at Gyan Ashram till he finally left the priesthood and got married.
One of my priest-friends who mistakenly attended a “Yoga Meditation” retreat there under this priest came away very unhappy. I had written to him expressing my deep concern about what was happening in Catholic Ashrams [this was about a year before the release of my report on the Catholic Ashram movement] and my priest-friend wrote back:
“I have never been to a Christian Ashram as such, but they have different names. I think that your mail is timely, because from tomorrow I am on retreat for a week at a religious institution called ‘Atma Darshan’.
It seems to fit the description of Ashram. Since the retreat is labeled contemplative, I have decided to attend it, and also to experience just what the teachings are. Perhaps after this my first experience, I may be able to relate my experiences- YY”
He sent me a copy of Gilbert Carlo’s “Meditation on Jesus for Healing and Joyful Living”. In the booklet, Carlo attempts to Christianize yoga. He uses the chakras, mantras, etc., but with words having non-Hindu connotations. I have written a lot about all this in my several articles on yoga. Anyway, my priest-friend found the book to be absolute rubbish, and I am in complete agreement with him. Along with a letter strongly criticizing Atma Darshan, the priest-friend sent me the brochure
Atma Darshan Programme 2005
Again, Yoga Meditation, Dream Therapy, Enneagram Spirituality, Vipassana Meditation, Psycho-Spiritual Retreat… plus Stress Management, Inner Freedom, Self Discovery retreats, etc.,
The Enneagram resource persons are Sr. Carmelita UFS., [see pages 40, 41] and Fr. Henry D’Souza, SVD.
In the Atma Darshan brochure, both Sr. Carmelita and Fr. Henry are described as having Masters degrees in “COUNSELING”. But what are they teaching retreatants? ENNEAGRAMS.
This point should serve to remind the reader of the actual purpose for writing this report. What you see is NOT what you get!
Then, there is a one-month “Human Development and Development to Christ” retreat. The brochure says, “Herein one will be helped to live by the new awareness by being more open to the Spirit.”
Sounds refreshingly different and good; until one reads the list of Resource Persons and finds that they are the same as those who give the Enneagram retreats, etc. And, what’s more, the brochure invites all those who attended the “Development to Christ” retreat to “stay on for the 10-day Vipassana Meditation programme” which would be given by their “Authorized Vipassana Team”.
One does not have to wonder whether it is the Holy Spirit at work or a very powerful deceiving spirit.
One programme [offered at Catholic centres] is “Feminine Consciousness Retreat for Women
Religious” or something on similar lines. This one was advertised in the Jamshedpur Jesuits’ Newsletter of August 2002. The Resource Person was Sr. Amala, SND., for Atma Darshan, Patna. She also works on a team with Fr. Joe Kunnumpuram, the
Awareness Meditative Relaxation
psychotherapist and hypnotist, mentioned on page 41.
She is a feminist, like Sr. Inigo Joachim, SSA., former Provincial of the Sisters of St. Anne, Madras, [pages 38, 41] but that is the subject of another article.
If I had not mentioned my sources, one would never guess that the above information copied by me was from a CATHOLIC Archdiocesan magazine or from a CATHOLIC website.
Now, I include what I believe is a very important observation, with a question:
In almost every issue of The Examiner, within the VERY SAME ‘Local News- Forthcoming Events’ box, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal advertises its programmes such as Inner Healing Retreats or Emmaus Encounter Retreats. I did not find these programmes on the sites that carried the information about yoga, NLP, Psycho-Spiritual Inner Healing, etc. Why is that so?
A senior lay leader in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal who has given programmes all over the world for more than 25 years lamented to me that their very Catholic ministry has not been formally recognized by the Archdiocese even after decades of its selfless and highly acclaimed service in the Church.
But the ignorant and the innocent, especially lay people, nuns and seminarians, continue to be deceived because these programmes are conducted by priests at Catholic centres with the blessings of the Archdiocese, as these letters demonstrate:
The Examiner, July 4, 2009. Letter to the editor.
Psycho-Spiritual Retreat by Rui J. Dias, Borivli, Mumbai
I attended a 3-day Retreat from June 26-28. This was a different experience for me. Here the psycho-spiritual side is brought out strongly, and more so the psychological aspect, where one goes through 8 stages in one’s life cycle, from an infant to a senior citizen.
Psychology facilitates to understand one’s hurts and inner wounds and enables one to handle the same with confidence. However healing comes from the Divine Healer. The resource persons are all priests who have done studies in Psychology and Counselling, and are experienced. 42 persons attended the Retreat which comprised youth, adults, senior citizens and Religious. The ambience is excellent and the rooms are airy and comfortable.
Atma-Darshan has already chalked out their yearly Programme for 2009-2010, which includes Meditation for God-experience and Healing, Stress Management, Ageing Gracefully, etc. Do attend these programmes and experience peace and joy.
I thought that I saw a similar letter in The Examiner recently, but I could not locate it. Here is one from
The Examiner, January 23, 1999:
Wholesome Spirituality by Sylvester Lobo, Mumbai. Half-page write-up. EXTRACT:
The time is right. The place is right. The institution is right… From its inception just a few months ago, over 200 people have already stayed at Atma-Darshan. Keeping a clear focus on spirituality and counselling, Atma Darshan has chalked out its plans. Being a centre for spirituality, there is a feast of retreats on inspiring spiritual subjects. In the first week of February there is a retreat with Enneagram spirituality, a Charismatic retreat in March…
For those who want to try something different to get enriched in their spirituality, there is a course on Yoga Meditation in March and Vipassana Meditation in September. One could even attend a Nature Healing programme in November.
What this means is that Atma Darshan is a ‘must’ place for every taste in spirituality…
It is clear that The Examiner and the Archdiocese of Bombay support the New Age spirituality of the Atma Darshan centre.
At the risk of being accused of being judgemental [as I am unaware of the details of these ‘retreats’], I wonder if Sacramental Confession is a part of these programmes. After all, the resource persons are priests. I also wonder if these priests ever talk about sin and repentance and then sit for confession during these retreats, and if they do, do they take a psycho-analytical approach or a biblical faith-based one in counseling the penitent. I keep in mind that there are enough of priests who reject the notion of a personal judgement, hell and even the devil as a personal spirit being [see other articles of mine and below].
Once again, at the risk of being accused of being judgemental, to me Dias’ letter seems more like an advertising gambit for Atma Darshan than a testimony. After all, he did not say how HE personally benefited from the psycho-spiritual ‘Retreat’. Lobo’s letter, too, is quite obviously an advertisement for the Ashram
And finally, I wonder if I wrote a letter to the editor of The Examiner pointing out the problems with these ‘Spiritual Retreats’ at Atma Darshan and warning Catholics of their possible dangers, would it be published? That is a rhetorical question.
I COULD NOT HAVE SAID THIS BETTER THAN R. P. COELHO HAS SAID IT:
The New Leader, November 1-15, 2004, Letter to the editor.
Christianising Psychology by R. P. Coelho, Bangalore 560005
I read the article on psychology with great interest, particularly because on the cover it was “Mental Health and Religious Faith”.
I was disappointed that spirituality is dismissed as an enhancer, and God is not mentioned.
I hoped he would go beyond the statement that religious involvement exhibits both preventive and healing effects on mental health… Fr. Parappully wrote as an expert, limiting himself to a psychology devoid of moral dimension.
This limited or truncated view of the human person in professional psychology is extensively applied in our Marriage Preparation Courses. R. P. Coelho
Coelho was referring to the Cover Feature of the October 1-15, 2004, issue of The New Leader, “Ways to avoid mental illness and enjoy mental health” by “Clinical Psychologist Fr. Jose Parappully, SDB., Founder-Director of Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi, [see pages 38, 39] on the occasion of World Mental Health Day observed on 10 October.”
As Coelho noted and remarked, God was completely missing in this Catholic priest’s four-page article.
But New Age psychologist [the Vatican Document on the New Age lists him as New Ager number 2] Carl Gustav Jung gets an honorable mention in his article.
And that is the reason for this report. The humanistic psychologies espoused by our Catholic psychologist-priests are just that – humanistic. The spiritual aspect is completely obfuscated.
As the series of 12 articles on Psychology [see pages 5, 6] reveal, in secular psychology there is no sense of guilt and sin as Christians understand it. And the devil naturally does not figure in their scheme of things:
THE BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN MIND BY DR. DOMINIC DIXON
The New Leader, August 16-31, 2007, Book Review: The Beautiful Christian Mind by Dominic F. Dixon, ATC Publications, Bangalore. The book is reviewed by Fr. Emmanuel Arockiam, SJ*. I now copy the review:
The title of the book, “The Beautiful Christian Mind: Deliverance From Mental Illness” is indicative of the author’s leaning toward a Christian understanding of mental illness. The author looks at various illnesses of the mind such as depression, schizophrenia, etc. through the glass of faith. Sounding like a spirited Pentecostal preacher, the author, Dominic Dixon, who is involved in the Ministry of Evangelization and Reconciliation (MORE) advocates passionately that we should acknowledge our need for God’s healing touch and deliverance from the devil. Using many snippets from his experience in his spiritual healing ministry, he asserts that mental illnesses are not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain but by the demon’s vicious torments. Hence, claiming that mental illnesses may not be cured by medication and psychotherapy as practiced by professional psychologists and counselors, the author argues that the healing of the oppressed mind can happen only through biblical counseling.
As he believes that mental and physical illnesses can also be God’s way of disciplining and chastening his people when they go against Him, he recommends that we must be ready for the ‘spiritual warfare’ with the devil, who is our ‘enemy’. The devil for the author is not a habit or mental state but a person equipped with knowledge, will, emotion and ability to speak.
While the book might be of interest and some help to those involved in pastoral healing ministry, the content and the tone of the book will be jarring to anyone with a professional training in psychiatry or counselling and those who do not take the words of the Bible literally or believe that demons are persons.
Though spirituality is a ‘core category’ in anyone’s life, and faith plays an important role in physical and mental wellbeing, we cannot easily ignore the modern medical research on neurochemical changes in the brain that can be controlled by certain medications. Though references to people who have recovered are galore in this book, the author has not explained in detail the process of helping people with mental illness. Fr. Emmanuel Arockiam
*The New Leader, May 16-31, 2009: “M. A. Emmanuel Arockiam, SJ., did his Ph. D. in Counseling Psychology in the U.S. He is currently teaching psychology-related courses and practising counseling at Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai. He teaches part time at Satya Nilayam [the Jesuit philosophate, Chennai] and facilitates group therapy at the Sadhana Institute**, Lonavala.
MY COMMENTS: I do not intend to analyze here the contents of Dr. Dominic Dixon’s book though he sent me a copy for my library. Rather, I will analyze just one point of Fr. Emmanuel Arockiam’s review of the book, a point that he stresses all too often. To me, the Jesuit’s comments appear to be based on his personal belief — one that is shared today by many priests and apparently by most priest-psychologists — that the devil does not exist, at least not as a personal entity “equipped with knowledge, will, emotion and ability to speak“, and that he [the priest] does not accept the reality of ‘spiritual warfare’. [The words that the priest chose to put in inverted commas in his review, reveal his mind.] For the priest, the devil or evil is purely a habit or a mental state – to use his words — and psychological counseling with medication is the solution.
It is difficult to understand why the priest, reviewing in a Catholic magazine a book written by a Catholic lay person and published by a Catholic publishing house, would consider the hypothetical reaction of “those who do not take the words of the Bible literally or believe that demons are persons“; unless he is one of that number.
While I might agree with the priest in that it would be irrational to blame the devil for all emotional problems and to completely reject psychiatry and medicine for just biblical counseling alone, I must also disagree with his anti-Christian secular humanistic approach. But then, that is what one must expect from modern psychoanalytical approaches to the problems that beset the human condition, even those that might be related to unrepented [or the effects of even repented] sin, unforgiveness, guilt, etc.
**The Jamshedpur Jesuits’ Newsletter of August 2002 records NLP programmes at Sadhana Institute. There is also a course titled “The Embodying Experience”. Without any doubt, there will be other New Age courses.
PSYCHOLOGY, SIN AND GUILT. REPENTANCE, CONFESSION AND HEALING
by Mary Camejo, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Miami
Recently I had a client in my office who after revealing a mortal sin to me felt she did not need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. She felt relieved and had unburdened herself by sharing her actions with me. I explained that she needed to receive the Lords forgiveness and graces. She seemed baffled and did not understand why she would have to repeat all of it to someone she did not know. How sad for the one who was waiting to receive her confession is the one who knows her better than herself. Jesus Himself.
Catholic therapists are indeed valuable on the road to health, and depending on the emotional struggle they are sometimes indispensable. Sharing your experience with a trained professional is helpful. But the Sacrament of Reconciliation offers a particular encounter with God and with ourselves that cannot be duplicated elsewhere.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 987, “In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification. Catholic therapist should encourage the practice of Reconciliation because without it we are denying our clients the gift of healing.
“The spiritual effects of the Sacrament of Penance are:
– reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
– reconciliation with the Church;
– remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
– remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
– peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
– an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1496).
If you are struggling with emotions, feelings or personal obstacles it would be wise to choose a priest with whom you feel comfortable. When you have found a priest you feel you can trust, ask him if you could schedule Reconciliation at least once a month. Gradually, share with him information about your difficulties. Tell the priest what makes you feel guilty, ashamed, depressed, confused, angry, anxious, etc. It is important to return to the same priest because he will understand your particular circumstances. The regular celebration of Reconciliation while also working with a Catholic therapist can bring the gentle healing gift of grace that is essential for acquiring emotional health.
Many of the confessionals are empty while the therapist sofa is occupied. We must not replace venting for confessing. Catholic therapists must be aware of their limits. We are not priests and if we do not direct our clients to the Sacrament of Penance we may hinder them from receiving forgiveness and freedom.
2. Confession, Confession Everywhere
Sydney, Australia, July 16, 2008 (Zenit.org) EXTRACT: The archbishop of Sydney says that World Youth Day is helping to restore a key element for the life of the Church — the sacrament of reconciliation. To this end, Cardinal George Pell has made sure the sacrament is readily available in the host city this week. Priests, who received with their accreditation a schedule for hearing confessions, are located throughout the city in real and makeshift confessionals…
The cardinal said that when young people have the chance to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, they normally go.
“We’ve seen ourselves at the cathedral school and in our World Youth Day groups that nearly all of them do, and the non-Catholics want to come too,” he added. “Though they can’t receive absolution, they can come for a chat and to bare their soul.” Cardinal Pell said he is “convinced that a significant element behind the anger and hostility in many young people results from displaced guilt, and all this talk about the primacy of conscience doesn’t help either.”
“People feel guilt,” he continued, “although they may not call it guilt, which they try to bury deep inside them, only for it to emerge in all sorts of unexpected directions.”
“In an age where there is the burgeoning business of
psychology, counseling, etc.,” the cardinal said, “it’s sad that there’s been a fall away from the practice of confessing to a priest, and World Youth Day is helping renew this — one of the most important gifts the Church offers.”
3. Spiritual Warfare: The Occult has Demonic Influence. A Pastoral Letter by Bishop Donald W. Montrose, Bishop of Stockton, CA. EWTN Library dated 4/1/1996 http://www.ewtn.com/library/BISHOPS/OCCULT.HTM
Freeing My Own Self From The Power Of Evil
Through his passion, death, and resurrection, Jesus has broken the power of the Evil One. When the influence of evil is perceived in one’s own life, it most frequently comes about from personal sin. Family members suffer because of the sin of an individual member of the family. It is through the sacred power that the Lord has placed in his Church that the evil of sin is conquered. Through medicine, psychology and other human means, suffering can often be alleviated. But Jesus in his Church, has given us basic helps that are often neglected. In our day the Sacrament of Reconciliation has fallen into disuse. There exists a power in this sacrament to break the power of the Evil One and sin that is not possible otherwise. Our faith in the Eucharist is weakened. In this sacrament is the power and presence of Jesus Himself. Persons who have actually needed exorcism from the power of the Evil One have been cured by sitting in church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, an hour each day, for one or two months. These were very difficult cases. Our Blessed Mother has been designated by God as the one who crushes the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:1s). The Rosary is a very powerful means of protection and salvation. Many sons and daughters have been saved from the power of sin and the loss of faith through the perseverance of their parents in saying the Holy Rosary…
Again, however, there is the difficulty of defining sin in our present age. We have to define sin according to the Gospel and the official teaching of our Church as it has been handed down by the Church’s Magisterium and not define it by the viewpoint of the modern age which has been contaminated. Many people live in sin and have false peace, because their conscience has been formed, not by the Gospel, but by the spirit of this age. They may be leading very respectable lives, be law-abiding citizens, and in the estimation of people, leading good lives. But if they are not living according to the Ten Commandments, the Gospel, and the moral teaching of the Church, even in just one area that concerns serious sin, they are probably living in the Kingdom of Darkness.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, (as well as all of the sacraments) are very special weapons that Jesus gave to his Church to overcome the Kingdom of Sin and Darkness. We need to use these sacraments as Christ meant them to be used and have no fear of the enemy. If one has a heavy problem in this regard, I suggest daily Mass and Communion.
The Lost Sense of Sin in Psychology
Andrew Sodergren on Sin vs. Symptom
Arlington, Virginia, December 22, 2005 (Zenit.org) http://www.ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/zsinpsych.HTM
Psychology needs to examine the role of sin in mental health, in the light of Christian anthropology, says a Catholic therapist. Andrew Sodergren is a therapist at the Alpha Omega Clinic and Consultation Services (AOCCS)
http://www.aoccs.org/, and a doctoral candidate at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS)
http://www.ipsciences.edu/www. The recently accredited institute is dedicated to the development of a psychology that is consistent with Church teachings while in constructive dialogue with the world. In this two-part interview, Sodergren shares his views on psychology’s tendency to “medicalize” human behavior and the implication for society.
What do you mean when you say that modern man and society have lost a sense of sin? How have secularism and secular psychology in particular contributed to this?
Sodergren: We have been hearing a great deal recently from the Holy Father, various Church leaders and commentators about the growth of relativism. It is worthwhile to recall the words of Benedict XVI shortly before the conclave that elected him Pope. In that address he accused modern culture of “building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.”
This growth in a relativistic mentality would not be possible without a prior weakening of the sense of sin. The “sense of sin” refers to having an accurate conception of sin and an awareness of sin in one’s life. It is part of what is normally understood as “conscience.”
John Paul II in “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” wrote of a “sensitivity and an acute perception of the seeds of death contained in sin, as well as a sensitivity and an acuteness of perception for identifying them in the thousand guises under which sin shows itself. This is what is commonly called the sense of sin. This sense is rooted in man’s moral conscience and is as it were its thermometer.” Thus, without a healthy sense of sin, man’s conscience becomes clouded, and he easily goes astray. When this happens on a large scale, it can be disastrous for society. Indeed, many writers have commented that “sin” has all but dropped out of modern discourse. John Paul II analyzed this situation and concluded that modern society has indeed lost its sense of sin for which he largely blames secularism. I believe that secular psychology has also had a particularly important role in diminishing the sense of sin.
Indeed, John Paul II himself identified secular psychology among other human sciences as contributing to this loss…
What is it in the content of certain secular psychology theories that denies the sense of sin?
Secular psychology has produced many theories of personality. These theories have contributed to the loss of the sense of sin in two ways: by their secular view of the person and by their misconceptions regarding human freedom.
Dr. Paul Vitz has noted many times that all of the major theories of personality in psychology are secular in nature. In other words, they attempt to give an explanation of human existence, development, fulfillment, and obstacles to that fulfillment without any reference to divine or sacred realities. These theories focus on the immanent happiness of the individual without any reference to the transcendent or to objective truth. They portray a humanism totally without God. Thus, these secular theories of the person reduce one’s sense of God. As John Paul II and others have pointed out, the sense of God is closely related to the sense of sin. When the former withers, so does the latter. The other way in which these theories of personality undermine the sense of sin relates to how they conceive of human freedom. Many psychological theories conceive of the human person in a
fashion. That is, they regard the human person and his actions as pre-determined results of his childhood experiences, his genes, his neural circuitry, the pressures of environmental reinforcements and punishments, and so on. Within a deterministic framework, human freedom soon disappears, and if man lacks freedom, moral notions such as sin likewise become meaningless. Other psychological theories absolutize human freedom conceived as autonomous choice.
These theories deny the reality of original sin stating that the human self already possesses everything it needs to be self-actualized. It only needs to be freed from any constraints placed on it by external forces.
The problem with these theories is that they embrace an ethical subjectivism that denies the existence of moral absolutes other than, perhaps, the “commandment” to self-actualize. Duties and obligations toward others are secondary at best. With this mindset, any sense of sin quickly vanishes.
How does secular psychology define mental illness, and how can this be related to the reality of sin?
Is it significant that psychology’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has been rapidly expanding as the sense of sin has been diminishing?
Sodergren: This is a very subtle and complicated but important issue. The application of a purely secular disease model to the realm of mental disorder and its treatment has served to undermine the sense of sin. How could this be the case?
John Paul II again points us in the right direction: “Another reason for the disappearance of the sense of sin in contemporary society is to be found in the errors made in evaluating certain findings of the human sciences.
Thus on the basis of certain affirmations of psychology, concern to avoid creating feelings of guilt or to place limits on freedom leads to a refusal ever to admit any shortcoming.” Many scholars from psychiatrist Thomas Szasz to sociologists P. Conrad and W.S. Schneider to psychologist O.H. Mowrer and more have observed that as the field of clinical psychology with its classifications of mental disorders has grown, so has the tendency to “medicalize” human behavior. My faults and foibles, my internal or interpersonal struggles, my bad habits and the like are no longer my responsibility but rather symptoms of an illness that needs medical treatment. As the notion of “mental disorder” has gained prominence, it has been stretched to include more and more areas of human thought, feeling and acting…
It may surprise some that modern psychology and psychiatry do not have a settled vision of what mental health is. With this lack of a clear norm, how can a valid system of mental illness be constructed?
This is a problem of which John Paul II was well aware: “The difficulty which the experts themselves in the field of psychology and psychiatry experience in defining satisfactorily for everybody the concept of normality is well known. In any case, whatever may be the definition given by the psychiatric and psychological sciences, it must always be examined in the light of the concepts of Christian anthropology.”
Not only has the sense of sin subtly been undermined by this emphasis of clinical psychology, but at times it has also been forthrightly attacked. As the reasoning goes, if this medicalized view of human behavior is correct, then any residual guilt feelings regarding my own condition or that of someone close to me must themselves be symptoms of psychological disturbance. Despite the attempts of a few marginal thinkers to restore a sense of moral responsibility and thus a sense of sin to the psychotherapeutic milieu, the psychiatric establishment has largely been unaffected. Thus, the sense of sin continues to wither under the powerful influences of psychology.
(Part 2) Guilt and Mental Disorder
A sound psychology must rekindle man’s innate spirituality by taking sin seriously, contends a Catholic therapist.
December 23, 2005. In the second part of this interview with ZENIT, Sodergren shares his views of an integrated psychology that is true to human nature and acknowledges human freedom.
How can a sense of sin and vice contribute to the field of psychology?
Sodergren: In 1995, Pope John Paul II said in an address to the Roman Rota, “Only a Christian anthropology, enriched by the contribution of indisputable scientific data, including that of modern psychology and psychiatry, can offer a complete and thus realistic vision of humans.”
Any psychology that is going to be true to human nature must take into account the revealed knowledge present in the Catholic faith as well as two millennia of theological and philosophical reflection of the human person. Such an account takes seriously human freedom and necessarily contains the concepts of sin and vice.
Unfortunately, the present age seems to be one in which the sense of sin has been lost due to the effects of secularism and secular psychology. And this loss of the sense of sin has detrimental effects not only on individuals but on the social development of the world.
What then is the answer to this state of affairs, specifically for those seeking to propose a psychology grounded in Catholic anthropology?
Sodergren: First, as John Paul II continually warned, we must not fall into the trap of giving an account of the human person limited to this temporal sphere.
Rather, he said, a psychology integrated with Catholic anthropology “considers the human person, under every aspect — terrestrial and eternal, natural and transcendent. In accordance with this integrated vision, humans, in their historical existence, appear internally wounded by sin, and at the same time redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ.” Thus, in our academic and clinical psychologies, we must strive to rekindle man’s innate “religious awareness,” that is, the inner longing of the human heart for God, which St. Augustine so eloquently articulated and has been echoed in the Church for centuries.
Secondly, we need to recover an authentic understanding of human freedom: one that underscores the fundamental connection between freedom and truth, the ability for man to shape himself through his free choices, and neither takes an overly pessimistic view nor an exaggeratedly optimistic view of the power of freedom in the face of human weakness.
Such a notion of freedom, springing from our Catholic anthropology, must penetrate both theoretical and clinical aspects of a renewed psychology. Thirdly, as Robert George said in his 2002 commencement address to the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, “A sound psychology takes sin seriously.” We need to adopt a rich understanding of the dynamics of sin. That is not to say that Catholic psychologists should begin blaming their patients for their own troubles as some authors would suggest. On the contrary, our anthropology impels us to the highest level of compassion and gentleness. Nor should we go to the extremes taken by people like Szasz who deconstruct mental illness altogether.
When someone comes for psychotherapy, there really is “something” wrong for which they need some form of treatment. The question is, “How is that ‘something’ to be understood?” This is where the work of integration must be done.
We must strive to parse the relationship between sin and mental illness.
Presently, I see three ways of construing this relationship, although there are probably more. One view is that sin and mental illness are two mutually exclusive ways of conceptualizing the same phenomenon. In that perspective, to the extent that one wishes to begin from a Catholic anthropology, one must reject modern understandings of psychopathology. Though there is some truth to this, I think it would be foolish to discard this whole area of the discipline. A second view of the relationship is to see them as entirely separate domains: sin and vice pertaining to the moral domain and mental disorder pertaining to the medical domain with no intrinsic connection between them. This view must absolutely be rejected. No patient arrives at the psychotherapist’s office unaffected by original, actual and social sin. Nor have they been unaffected by the call of grace, and these have the utmost bearing on the human person’s psychic and interpersonal life. The third perspective is to recognize that sin and mental illness are not exactly the same thing, but they are closely related. Current standards for identifying and classifying mental disorders use a descriptive approach based on observable signs, symptoms, course and onset. This approach makes few if any claims regarding etiology. What a rich concept of sin provides is a sure grounding for speculation regarding the etiology of mental disorder. Simply put, there is no clinical disorder whose genesis cannot be accounted for through the dynamic interplay of original, actual and social sin. These do not however, provide much detail about the concrete manifestations of such a disorder. Here modern psychopathology offers us a genuine service through systematic observation and data collection. However, such procedures on their own cannot give a complete account of the phenomenon of psychic and/or interpersonal suffering.
In a sense, the two perspectives need each other. An authentic psychology that successfully integrates these concepts will be poised to give the clearest, most comprehensive explanations of human phenomena and offer forms of treatment that will truly help the human person overcome the effects of sin, become more human, and progress toward his ultimate end.
In light of this discussion, is guilt a good thing — or it is something to be resolved by the psychologist?
Sodergren: First, there is such a thing as neurotic guilt, i.e., guilt that is unfounded and misguided.
In such a situation, the task of the therapist would be to examine why the patient is inappropriately taking this guilt upon himself. Often, underlying such guilt is an experience of rejection and utter shamefulness. A related problem is when the patient is Catholic and has been sacramentally absolved of a given sin but continues to feel profound guilt over it. In such a case there could be two things happening. First, the person, through their prior relationship experiences — going all the way back to infancy — may have developed an interpersonal style in which he or she cannot accept the mercy, beneficence or care of another. This internalized view of self and other can prevent the objective fact of forgiveness from taking hold.
Second, a person who has committed a particular grave sin for which he or she is embarrassed and ashamed may have difficulty separating this experience from the sense of self. In other words, the experience of having done X, even though X has now been forgiven, overpowers the person’s sense of self, leaving feelings of guilt and shame. The goal here is to help the patient engage in positive behaviors that will strengthen the self-image that is currently being overshadowed by X. These patients may need to identify further ways to do “penance” for their sins that allow them to “pay the debt” of their misdeeds. Rather than fixating on the morbid nature of their misdeeds, patients in this way can use the experience of their past sinfulness as a motivation to do good. On the other hand, guilt is not always a bad thing and indeed, is an important part of the moral life. Because of the sanctity of the human conscience and the tendency of psychology to diminish the sense of sin, psychologists must be extremely careful when dealing with patient guilt. In most cases, it is not the place of the therapist to absolve patients of guilt. This should be worked out between the patient, God, a confessor and perhaps a spiritual director. Rather, the therapist can help the patient to identify the underlying causes of his difficulties, which led to the guilt, and work together to resolve them. When a therapist attempts to absolve a patient’s guilt feelings, he steps into the arena of conscience, a sanctuary that one ought not trespass upon lightly. When thinking about their patients’ guilt feelings, it is important for therapists to keep in mind how subtly human beings can affect each other, often without a conscious awareness that it is happening, as well as how one’s actions shape one’s character, tuning the cognitive, affective and volitional powers of the person in a particular way. With these dynamics in mind, how can the therapist be absolutely certain that a given patient has no reason whatsoever to feel guilt for something?
How does a sound psychology, which takes sin seriously, relate to understanding the concepts of forgiveness and a God of mercy?
Sodergren: In his encyclical “Dives in Misericordia” about the Father who is rich in mercy, John Paul II noted that the “present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy. The word and concept of ‘mercy’ seem to cause uneasiness in man.” Without a sense of sin, the need for mercy and the possibility of giving and receiving mercy are impossible. This places a horrible limitation on humanity for as John Paul taught, mercy is the form that love takes in the face of sin, i.e., in a fallen world. Without a sense of sin, then, it is impossible to fully love. A sound psychology does not restrict itself in this way. Recognizing that self-giving love involving the whole person is the goal of human existence, a goal of such a psychology will be the ability to give and receive forgiveness. Psychotherapeutic interventions based on such a psychology will seek to help patients forgive others who have wounded them and to grow in the ability to seek and accept forgiveness for one’s own misdeeds. In regard to the latter, this means also taking responsibility for one’s condition and using the gift of freedom in positive ways in accord with the Truth. In the early stages, the patient’s freedom will likely be fairly impaired, requiring much assistance from the therapist and others to counteract the habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting that have developed over time. In the end, the patient will hopefully embrace these goals for themselves and continue to pursue them with the full force of their humanity. A patient, who has been helped to give and receive forgiveness with other human beings, will be more able to accept the overwhelmingly profound fact of God’s love.
As St. John explains, the measure of our love of God is our love for one another. The psychologist who can help his patients to love others more authentically, which necessarily requires the recognition of sin and the need for forgiveness, will do his patients a great service indeed.
5. Decadent Virtues
and Feel-Good Ethics Come to the Fore
London, October. 22, 2005 (Zenit.org) EXTRACT: Western Europe and the United States are decadent societies because they have abandoned a morality based on the traditional virtues. So says a book just published by the London-based Social Affairs Unit, “Decadence: The Passing of Personal Virtue and Its Replacement by Political and Psychological Slogans.”
Edited by Digby Anderson, the volume brings together authors from a variety of backgrounds and views. A first section contains essays on the “old” virtues, such as prudence, love and courage. The second deals with the “new” virtues, centered on the environment, caring, therapy and being critical.
The book does not pretend to give a complete analysis of any of the virtues, and the authors of the chapters differ in their approach to the subject matter. Readers could also disagree about some of the interpretations of the virtues. Overall, however, the book provides a stimulating reflection on the dangers of discarding the tried-and-true virtues for passing fads.
In the introduction, Anderson explains that the old virtues were genuine ones, in that they demanded of people specific types of behavior. The new ones, in contrast, often fall into the category of slogans or rhetorical appeals. Or, if in some cases they do contain elements of true virtue, they tend to elevate a trivial aspect into the main virtue…
Peter Mullen, rector of the Anglican church of St. Michael’s in London, takes a critical look at the new virtues of “caring.” The new caring society, he notes, is based on euphemisms and sentiments, instead of a community of faith.
Death and personal tragedies, for example, are not dealt with by reference to faith, but consigned to the attention of grief counselors and therapists. Instead of being consoled by the promises of eternal life contained in the Gospel, people are now comforted by promises of healing and energizing. The grief-counseling business does, in fact, conjure up vague religious feelings but empties them of all doctrine and Christian teaching, leaving just a sham of religion.
Based on his 35 years of experience in parish work, Mullen warns that grief counseling is pretentious and designed just as much for the attention-seeking of the counselor as it is for the benefit of the bereaved. In the end we have “New Age froth instead of the promises of the gospel,” he writes.
Another aspect of the caring society is that we are expected to feel moved by the death of every celebrity or public figure. The result, however, is that our emotional response is cheapened through exaggeration.
Mullen also criticizes the self-centeredness of the new spirituality. The old religious idea of acting virtuously for its own sake, or for God’s sake, has been replaced by the psychotherapeutic notion of virtue for our own well-being.
Self-respect has been replaced by self-esteem. Self-respect used to come from the peace of trying to live a virtuous life and having a clear conscience. Now it means just feeling good about ourselves and lacks any moral content.
Traditional religions told their followers that we are fallen and in need of spiritual help, and explained the realities of sin and forgiveness. The new gospel of self-realization, in contrast, denies any personal deficiencies and sells a series of techniques that will enable us to realize our potential. In the process the concepts of right and wrong fall by the wayside.
Modern therapeutic culture
also encourages the open and uninhibited display of emotions, Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent observes. Acknowledging our feelings is presented as an act of virtue. And the subsequent encouragement to seek therapy or help has acquired a connotation akin to the act of admitting guilt. There is, therefore, a tendency to inflate the problems of emotional vulnerability and to minimize the capacity of the person to cope with distress without the help of outside therapy. This culture of therapy also brings with it the idea that people are not the authors of their lives, but the victims of consequence. Virtue is thus replaced by therapy, leaving us all the poorer as a consequence.
6. NEW AGE CATHOLICISM
The “New Age” is actually a resurgence of old paganism which has been “westernized” and dressed up in modern vocabulary. It denies foundational Christian doctrines and basic Christian morality. But in spite of this, there are Catholic priests and nuns who are openly promoting New Age beliefs and practices.
I will give documented information about this from Catholic authors. One of them is a Catholic reporter who spent over twelve years getting first-hand, eye witness information. There are also online articles which you can read for yourself. (I give the addresses in the Notes.)
As we will see, there are priests and nuns who promote pagan rituals, occult activities, Hindu religious practices, worship of “the goddess,” witchcraft, and “channeling” (having “spirits” speak through you). They deny foundational Christian doctrines, such as the fact that Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins. And they renounce traditional Christian morality.
If you have difficulty with the following information, I understand. So do I.
But the facts won’t go away just because we don’t like them.
Randy England is Catholic. He wrote “The Unicorn in the Sanctuary: The Impact of the New Age on the Catholic Church“. According to England, New Age concepts are taught at retreats, prayer workshops, and educational conferences. [http://www.marianland.com/errors024.html]
…I went on a Catholic retreat which was run by priests. Much to my surprise,
the psychology of Carl Jung was taught throughout the retreat. In addition, the bookstore sold books which discussed spirituality in terms which didn’t sound Christian. One of the books talked about finding “the goddess within”. According to Randy England, Jung was an occultist who had spirit guides.
… The Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality was founded by [excommunicated Dominican priest Matthew] Fox. It is located at Holy Names College (a Catholic college run by nuns, the Sisters of the Holy Names Jesus and Mary). Staff members of the Institute included a practicing witch named Starhawk, a voodoo priestess, a shaman (an animist who worships nature spirits), and a Jungian psychologist. Starhawk is the high priestess of a witches’ coven.
The Institute has developed a Catholic liturgy which is based on Wiccan sources. Matthew Fox denies the existence of sin, except for one thing. He says that it is sinful to fail to embrace the New Age. Fox preaches “sensual” spirituality, hedonism, and “ecstasy”. He says that “intelligent use of drugs” is an aid to prayer. He openly and directly promotes witchcraft.
7. Exercises in Transpersonal Psychology:
On Retreat With Sister Joyce Rupp
June 2008, by Ginger Hutton http://www.newoxfordreview.org/article.jsp?did=0608-hutton
Ginger Hutton, a convert to Catholicism, is a freelance writer whose column “Obsessions” appears in The East Tennessee Catholic, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Knoxville.
Before lunch at my retreat with Sister Joyce Rupp, I automatically lifted my hand to my forehead to make the sign of the cross. That’s when I realized that in this retreat for Catholics in a Catholic parish, led by a Catholic sister, the sign of the cross had never been made. Not once. Over the course of seven hours, it never was. Although I had come to the retreat with serious concerns about Sr. Rupp’s spiritual philosophy, I was still shocked by such a blatant omission. As it turns out, I really shouldn’t have been surprised.
Servite Sister Joyce Rupp is a popular author and retreat director who receives over 400 requests for retreats annually. The 20 retreats she grants each year are almost always given for capacity crowds of several hundred. She holds a masters degree in religious education from St. Thomas University in Houston, and has worked in catechetics and education for most of her life.
On the basis of these credentials, she is a regular speaker at some of the largest and most influential catechetical conferences in the country, including the National Catholic Education Association and Roger Cardinal Mahony’s massive Archdiocesan Catechetical Congress in Los Angeles.
However, Sr. Rupp has some far more disturbing credentials. Her second
master’s degree is in transpersonal psychology
from the notorious Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. To understand the problems with the December 2007 retreat I attended, it is necessary to know a bit about transpersonal psychology.
This is the branch of psychology that the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Interreligious Dialogue identified as
“the classic approach in New Age” (Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life, #184.108.40.206)*. It is a just assessment. The course offerings in the Institute’s catalog are a snapshot of New Age syncretism, with classes in shamanism, the goddess, Jungian psychology, ESP, and Eastern spirituality. Underlying this is a profoundly Gnostic and relativist concept of the world in which God is sought almost exclusively within the individual and his experience of personal transformation and growth in “wisdom” through contact with “the Higher Self.” This higher self — which is called by many different names, including simply “soul” — is good in its essence, has no need of salvation, and is inseparable in any real way from the divine. It is by discovering the higher self that one discovers inner wisdom. This alleged wisdom amounts to the revelation that there is no real difference between you and God; you have all that you need to know within you, and need merely to remember or rediscover it. *see page 57
The Institute prides itself on religious indifferentism, and believes all mystical traditions manifest a common wisdom. Therefore, some seemingly Christian classes are offered, like this course:
GLBP 9302: Ignatian Spirituality This course explores the spirituality and spiritual practice of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th century soldier turned Christian mystic, and founder of the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”). The course also considers transpersonal psychological constructs that underlie the spirituality of St. Ignatius, such as the role of memory, imagination, intellect, and desire in prayer and meditation; the role of affect in the process of spiritual discernment and decision-making; and Ignatius’s notion of the intimate interpersonal quality of communion with the divine.
One cannot imagine, however, that St. Ignatius’s critically important “Rules for Thinking with the Church” are covered, particularly when another description of this course reveals that “there will be room in the experiential learning tasks to adjust them to your own understanding of the Divine, or Higher Power, or God.” It is hard to imagine anything further from the intent of St. Ignatius’s book Spiritual Exercises — to bring one’s will into conformity with Christ’s, for the glory of God and the salvation of one’s soul — than to understand them in a way that makes even a personal God an optional component.
Having been stripped of those elements that would make them definitively Christian and reinterpreted in transpersonal terms, these courses have little more than a superficial appearance of Christianity.
There’s at least the suggestion of malice in casting the saint who wrote “what seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines it,” as an exemplar of a method the Church considers part of the New Age movement. This, however, is the modus operandi of the New Age, and transpersonal psychology is arguably the system that is best described by this passage from Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life: “New Age traditions consciously and deliberately blur real differences: between creator and creation, between humanity and nature, between religion and psychology, between subjective and objective reality” (#6.1).
The opening prayer from Sr. Rupp’s retreat is an excellent example of this blurring. Before we began the prayer, we were instructed to “make a slight bow” to the people at our table, “honoring the presence of God in these ladies” (the retreatants were all women). Then Sr. Rupp led the participants in chanting, “Oh, I open to you. I open to you.”
Who exactly we were supposed to be opening ourselves to was left undefined. Perhaps it was to be assumed that we meant Christ, but having read Sister’s highly questionable article on her relationship with Sophia (“Desperately Seeking Sophia,” www.joycerupp.com), I did not think one could necessarily make that assumption.
After chanting for a while, the retreatants were told to imagine a door and to imagine that “Emmanuel, God with Us” was knocking at the door. We were supposed to visualize opening the door as we chanted, “Oh, I open to you. I open to you,” inviting God to come into our life.
Next we were to visualize our “deepest, truest self,” and invite that self into our life. Obviously, in reality, an individual has only one self, but even if Sr. Rupp meant to distinguish between the image we show to the world and the person we know ourselves to be, there remain problems with this. She is assuming the “self” we “really are” is a better one than the one we present to the world, which, in fact, is rarely the case. After imagining this multiplicity of selves, we continued to visualize various people — a loved one, an enemy, the poor — and in each case to open the door while chanting, “Oh, I open to you. I open to you.”
The intended message was that we should welcome others as we welcome Christ. Nevertheless, the form was very problematic. Clearly, since she called this chant the “opening prayer,” Sr. Rupp sees this as prayer. But in using precisely the same imagery, the same words, the same chant, whether we are visualizing God, ourselves, or other people, what were we really doing? It is quite impossible to argue that we were not treating the Creator and the creatures as equals, blurring the very real distinction between the two. To do this in the context of prayer not only fails to recognize the transcendence of God, and fails to give Him the worship He is due as Creator, but it is dangerously close to idolatry.
It seemed to me that such prayer could only flow from a Christology that emphasizes the humanity of Christ nearly to the exclusion of His divinity. Sr. Rupp quickly confirmed that perception. Almost immediately after the opening prayer, she quoted Karl Rahner, speaking of Christ “entering so much into our normality that we can hardly now pick you [Christ] out from other human beings.”
After stating correctly that Jesus is fully human in all things but sin, she failed to affirm that He was also fully divine. Instead, she said, “We see godness in Jesus. We can also see godness in us.” Though the quest to see “godness” in ourselves occupied the rest of the afternoon, the godness of Jesus was not deemed worthy of further discussion.
Sr. Rupp told us that “what Jesus is saying to us by His birth is that the way to [Him] is through your humanity.” In other words, we come to know God through the study of our own lives and experiences — that was the focus of all the retreat activities. This is quite different from the Church’s understanding that we come to know God, to have a relationship with Him, through receiving (from the Church in genuine catechesis) the proclamation of the Gospel (cf. Catechism, #425-427). In accepting it, and seeking to understand the significance of Christ’s life and actions, in studying and imitating the objective truths revealed by Christ in His incarnate life and in His Church, in loving and adoring Him, we are then able to understand the dignity, meaning, and significance of our own lives and experiences. To attempt to find Christ primarily through our own experiences exposes us to the risk of a radical subjectivity in which our limited ideas and understandings are given more weight than the objective truth expressed in the teaching of the Church.
As an example, one need look no further than Sr. Rupp’s treatment of Mary. In a truly ludicrous refusal to use Catholic terminology, we were told that Mary’s womb was “a container for Christ,” which has to be the least attractive way of speaking of Mary as tabernacle that I have ever heard. Making Mary sound like a Chinese takeout box is annoying, but Sr. Rupp’s misunderstanding of Mary’s relationship to Jesus is far more alarming. In speaking of Mary’s response to the Annunciation, Sr. Rupp betrays a very limited understanding of what “full of grace” means.
Sister says that Mary is “every parent whose child’s values are very different from her own…every person questioning how to receive someone in their life who is difficult or different from themselves.” This is completely at odds with what the Catechism says of Mary and the Annunciation: “Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with Him and dependent on him, by God’s grace” (#494). The absence of original sin in Mary means that she certainly shared her Child’s “values”!
In mentioning original sin and how Sr. Joyce misunderstands it, we come to the heart of the matter, the unifying error that explains every errant idea and mistaken way of praying that marked this retreat. Simply put, transpersonal psychology, which is inimical to Christianity, is poisoning the whole of her work. This influence appeared in a clear and disturbing manner when she discussed her concept of the soul.
She said correctly, “I think our soul is the essence of who we are,” but then went wrong when she stated, “It’s our core goodness… No matter what happens in our life, we have this essence of goodness, which is our soul. Our spirit really is our personality, that brings our soul to life, that brings it into being and is present in our world.” What was being presented here is the transpersonal rather than Christian concept of the human person. Rather than viewing the person as the unity of body and soul, where the state of the soul and the actions of the body are intimately linked, we are offered an idea of the soul as an inherent inner good, more or less expressed through the actions of the body. In other words, the state of the soul is not affected by our actions. Sr. Rupp made this clear when she spoke of salvation: “We don’t talk about our soul nearly enough in the Church. We talk about saving our soul. Our soul doesn’t need saving, it’s all the crazy things we do as human beings that need saving, but our soul doesn’t need saving. Our soul is united to God at every moment. That’s our core essence. And we just need to believe that. We are born with an amazing soul.” This is an outright denial of the Church’s doctrine that we are born with original sin and require the saving act of Christ on the cross transmitted to us in the Sacrament of Baptism to make us adopted children of God. Christ Himself stated that no one would enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless he was born of water and the spirit (John 3:5), and the Catechism calls original sin “the ‘reverse side’ of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation, and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ” (#389).
Sr. Rupp’s retreat is a living example of that truth. In denying that our souls need to be saved, Sister strips the Incarnation of its meaning. We were left with a Christ no more significant than ourselves, no more in possession of “godness” than we are. Which leads one to ask: Why should we worship Him differently than we worship ourselves, if we are essentially just as worthy of worship, just as perfect, as He is? How could we possibly understand the unique place of Mary if we are all free of original sin? And why would we make the sign of the cross (at the retreat we didn’t)? The cross is significant because by it, through Christ’s willing sacrifice, the way of salvation is opened for us. It is there that we are freed from our sins. To quote Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life: “In Christianity salvation is not an experience of self, a meditative and intuitive dwelling within oneself, but much more the forgiveness of sin, being lifted out of profound ambivalences in oneself and the calming of nature by the gift of communion with a loving God. The way of salvation is not found simply in a self-induced transformation of consciousness, but in a liberation from sin and its consequences which then leads us to struggle against sin in ourselves and in the society around us” (#4).
If we have no need of salvation, we have no need of Christ and His cross. The omission of the sign of the cross from Sr. Rupp’s retreat is consistent with her philosophy, which has at key points entirely departed from Christian doctrine. This does not prevent Sr. Rupp, however, from trying to maintain the appearance of Christianity. Having denied the need for salvation, she then attempts to give her views respectability by referencing St. Teresa of Ávila, a Doctor of the Church. Sr. Rupp presents St. Teresa’s image of the soul as a beautiful castle to illustrate her point that the soul does not need to be saved. As with the sign of the cross, what is omitted is of critical importance.
St. Teresa of Avila was speaking of the soul in grace. Contrast Sr. Rupp’s ideas with St. Teresa’s vision — here taken from an account by one of her confessors, quoted in the introduction to E. Allison Peers’ critical edition of St. Teresa’s Interior Castle: “This holy Mother,” he writes, “had been desirous of obtaining some insight into the beauty of a soul in grace. Just at that time she was commanded to write a treatise on prayer, about which she knew a great deal from experience. On the eve of the festival of the Most Holy Trinity she was thinking what subject she should choose for this treatise, when God, Who disposes all things in due form and order, granted this desire of hers, and gave her a subject. He showed her a most beautiful crystal globe, made in the shape of a castle, and containing seven mansions, in the seventh and innermost of which was the King of Glory, in the greatest splendour, illumining and beautifying them all. The nearer one got to the centre, the stronger was the light; outside the palace limits everything was foul, dark and infested with toads, vipers and other venomous creatures. While she was wondering at this beauty, which by God’s grace can dwell in the human soul, the light suddenly vanished. Although the King of Glory did not leave the mansions, the crystal globe was plunged into darkness, became as black as coal and emitted an insufferable odour, and the venomous creatures outside the palace boundaries were permitted to enter the castle. This was a vision which the holy Mother wished that everyone might see, for it seemed to her that no mortal seeing the beauty and splendour of grace, which sin destroys and changes into such hideousness and misery, could possibly have the temerity to offend God.”
St. Teresa’s Catholic vision of the soul and its need for its Savior is quite opposed to Sr. Rupp’s idea of the inherently good soul that has no need of salvation.
How is it that Sr. Rupp is still giving retreats to Catholics or speaking in any Catholic organization? The answer lies in her masterfully insidious presentation. Although this may not be deliberate, Sr. Rupp’s work is a masterpiece of implication and omission. Most of what she says is vague enough that it can be interpreted in a Catholic way, particularly if one is not familiar with the system of thought — transpersonal psychology — that undergirds her presentation. The gravest errors — her definition of the soul and comments on salvation, for example — though obviously flawed, are touched on lightly, leaving the majority of the implications unstated. These errors are surrounded by apparent supporting evidence, such as the implication that Sr. Rupp and St. Teresa agree in their assessment of the soul. To someone unfamiliar with St. Teresa, this is convincing support for the Catholicity of Sr. Rupp’s ideas.
Further, she quotes heterodox ex-priest Matthew Fox, but she neglects to mention his doctrinal deviations, his having been silenced by the Vatican, or his having left the Church. If one didn’t know Matthew Fox and heard his quote on narcissistic prayer that she used, one could well think that he was worth exploring. The problem is that her audience is, for the most part, the very people who are ill-equipped to evaluate Matthew Fox and whose faith could be significantly endangered by reading him. Well-catechized people — because they tend to seek out theologically sound presentations — are not generally attracted to Sr. Rupp.
For the most part, Sr. Rupp draws women who like her writings and who attend her retreats for the emotional experience she provides. Sr. Rupp does not disappoint in that regard. She is a very engaging speaker who excels at telling stirring spiritual anecdotes, stories that grab the emotions. Alongside these are self-deprecating stories that make it hard not to like Sr. Rupp. Her other stories touch on our deepest emotions — stories about young children, stories about death and grieving, stories about courage in the face of extraordinary hardship. Much is said about the significance of dreams, but with no mention of the necessity for careful discernment when dealing with such experiences. This combination of a charming personality and deeply stirring stories has great power to attract those whose primary interest is in the emotional rather than the intellectual.
These very moving emotional moments are surrounded by prayer and conversation designed to make participants feel affirmed. We were told repeatedly about our inner goodness and wisdom. Any inanity expressed by any of the retreatants was received by Sr. Rupp as if it were inspired truth. This sort of attention makes people feel good, that was quite obvious. And some of Sister’s advice — on relationships, on accepting others, on hospitality, on seeing Christ in the stranger — was excellent. Thus, the retreatants tend to dismiss the spiritual danger inherent in her presentation. They think that if the bad ideas were touched on lightly, if they weren’t the focus, if it all made one feel good about oneself and others, if it even taught a few good techniques for relationships, it does no serious harm. This is incorrect. The problem with Sr. Rupp’s retreats is not that some good ideas are mixed in with some bad ideas, but that some good ideas and positive emotions are being associated with some spiritually fatal ideas. No one would argue that a bit of cyanide should be tolerated in an otherwise excellent meal, because even a little cyanide is deadly. As St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us (Summa Theologica, II-II Q.5, A.3), when one denies even a single article of the Creed, one has lost the faith. That Christ died for our salvation is an article of the faith, stated in the Creed. To come to believe with Sr. Rupp that our souls have no need of salvation is to lose what is essential to Christianity, to lose the faith — and that is the spiritual equivalent of swallowing poison. It is a poison that Sr. Joyce Rupp should not be permitted to spread.
First let me quote in greater detail [see pages 2, 54] from the Vatican Document on the New Age #220.127.116.11:
“Psychology is used to explain mind expansion as “mystical” experiences… Since there is only one Mind, some people can be channels for higher beings. Every part of this single universal being has contact with every other part. The classic approach in New Age is transpersonal psychology, whose main concepts are the Universal Mind, the Higher Self, the collective and personal unconscious and the individual ego. The Higher Self is our real identity, a bridge between God as divine Mind and humanity. Spiritual development is contact with the Higher Self, which overcomes all forms of dualism between subject and object, life and death, psyche and soma, the self and the fragmentary aspects of the self. Our limited personality is like a shadow or a dream created by the real self. The Higher Self contains the memories of earlier
#4: Isolated individual personalities would be pathological in terms of New Age (in particular transpersonal psychology).
We have referred to transpersonal psychology on pages 2, 6, 10, 11, 13, 23 and 38 of this report. Transpersonal psychology is discussed also in the article
PSYCHOLOGY AND NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY_PART TWO
It is a frequently used component of many Catholic-promoted programmes in India.
But as Ms. Ginger Hutton points out, our people are either too ignorant to identify it or simply too emotional about speakers like Sr. Rupp to listen to positive criticism that exposes the errors of their teachings.
I am encouraged by Ginger Hutton’s exposé of Sr. Rupp. I am encouraged to know that I am not alone and that there are other lay people like me [I have used some of their exposés in my articles, Michael H. Brown’s, Paul Likoudis’, and Eddie Russell’s, for instance], who love their Faith, their Church and their fellowmen enough to break the deafening silence and speak out prophetically. The Emperor is naked, but no one seems to want to know the truth. One Catholic forum has ridiculed me for my insistence on writing or saying something simply because it is the truth. A few good priests whose integrity and Catholic spirituality are unquestionable have felt that this ministry washes “the dirty linen of the Church” in public. They forget that public actions require public re-actions, and if spiritual error is propagated publicly by priests and religious, then they require to be publicly corrected. It is a question of the salvation of our immortal souls.
There are many Sr. Rupps in the Church, promoting various New Age therapies and psychotherapies.
May our Church leaders be like the leaders of the Anglican Church, see pages 14 to 17 who, when presented with the facts about the Myers-Briggs personality tests by Ed Hird, former Chairman of the Anglican Renewal Ministries, dropped them from being taught in the Anglican Church in Canada. It requires humility to do that.
PRAYER: As Ginger Hutton explained, many of the forms of prayer taught at these retreats and seminars are not so much prayer as talking to oneself. Often genuine forms of Catholic prayer are introduced to confuse the believer. One of them is Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina, a prayerful reading and meditation on sacred Scripture, is combined with the Bombay Archdiocese’s Kripa Foundation’s and World Community of Christian Meditation [WCCM]’s “Christian Meditation” but my report http://ephesians-511.net/documents/KRIPA_WCCM.doc shows that they are New Age anyway.
While waiting for responses to my letters of July 17, 2009 to the leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal at the regional level in Goa and at the national level in Delhi, see the following page, I realized that I had omitted a discussion of a couple of issues related to Anugraha and to the SANGAM programmes:
Homeostasis Reality Therapy [HRT], Counseling and Brain Wave Therapy
HRT Psychotherapeutic Foundation, Trivandrum, Fr. Berkmans Koyickal
Quoting again from the Ayushya [see page 32] MMS nuns’ website
“Homeostasis Reality Therapy [HRT]
is a system of clinical counseling and psychotherapy to deal with mental and emotional problems. This system is researched and devised in India by Dr. Berkmans Koyickal, Indian Clinical Psychologist who has done his study in USA. HRT is an innovative dynamic oriental system. It is a drugless, holistic treatment in which counseling and therapy are incorporated. Diagnosis is done with clinical tests in which high intensity symptoms and events of Fear, Loss, Anger and Guilt (FLAG emotions) are identified. The tests provide personal awareness and insight about the root causes of the problem as well. Based on the principles of laterisation of the brain, the inequilibrium experienced in the left and right hemispheres of the brain due to high intensity events in the clients’ life from childhood to the present are diffused through counseling and therapeutic procedures. The brainwave synchronizer is effectively used for therapy. During the therapy the ALFA, BETA, DELTA, THETA brain waves are modulated with light and sound in the machine and the memory intensity of the event is reduced, thereby the problem/illness is healed.
The client who has no belief in the system, non-cooperative, non communicative, violent, out of reality, blind or deaf and those who have had shock treatment (ECT) will not get the desired result from this treatment.”
From the above, it is clear that this oriental, non-drug treatment using pseudo-scientific jargon and dubious “scientific” instruments, is subjective — the patient has got to “believe” in the system — whereas allopathic treatment is objective and scientific, it works because under specific conditions two plus two always equals four. If one does not “believe” in HRT, the therapy will give no result!
It may be added that most alternative therapies are subjective, since they aim at holistically* treating the mind and spirit of the human person, not just the body alone which is the case with allopathy.
*There is no New Age practice that the nuns will not include in their holistic repertoire of so-called physical health remedies and mind-altering psycho-technologies, not forgetting that they have included spiritual courses such as “Spiritual Direction, Life Guidance and Retreats”.
Remember that Anugraha also offers
Homeostasis Reality Therapy [see p. 4]. It is also in Fr. Antony’s book.
Anugraha also offers a course on
Counselling Skill Practice
with 6 credits.
THE LAST WORD ON COUNSELING. WHAT THEY MEAN BY IT
Counseling is the one half of this report, the other half being Psychology. The reader must by now be familiar with the thrust of the exposure of errors in these areas when Catholics engage in the secular variations being taught. But I would like to end with an extract and references from another of my reports, the one titled “The New Age Dangers of AYUSH”, even if it as the risk of being repetitive.
“Counseling is often seen as enabling a person to handle psychological problems. Today, counseling has wider meaning. It is to help people to see the value systems they hold. Counseling enables one to become an integrated person and build good relationship between individuals and families. Stress and strain have become an unavoidable psychological reality due to the fluctuating economy, social pressure, comparisons and consumeristic values.” [The quote is from the MMS nuns’ AYUSHYA website]
On the AYUSHYA Medical Mission Sisters’ team, Sr. Eliza Kuppozhackel, the founder of the Pranic Healing Foundation of Kerala and of AYUSHYA, is recognized as a “Psychotherapist” trained in Toronto [pages 32, 33]
Sr. Celine Paramundiyil has done “Training in Counseling
and Personality Development programme from Atmadarshan, Patna
[see page 41]. Attended workshops and exposure programme in USA and UK.”
Sr. Deena Philip Medayil
“did her studies in Counseling and Psychology at East Asian Pastoral Institute, Manila and Ateneo de Manila, Philippines. Later studied Spiritual Direction, Counseling and Psychotherapy using different approaches and methods at Sadhana Institute, Lonavla, Pune. [see page 49] She is specialized in HRT Counseling and Brain Wave Therapy at HRT Psychotherapeutic Foundation, Trivandrum and Aluva with Dr. Berkmans Koyickal, the deviser and Founder of
HRT system of counseling coupled with Brain Wave Therapy.”
“acquired training in Holistic Health from Bibwewadi, Pune, Counseling from Philippines.”
She is also into “Acupressure, Crystal Healing, Vibrational Medicine and several others.”
Sr. Josephine Caripathu is proficient in “Pranic Healing, Pranic Psychotherapy and Acupuncture.” Pranic Psychotherapy is a highly occult form of Pranic Healing in which
the existence of demons is firmly denied. Pranic healing founder Choa Kok Sui explains that what Jesus exorcised were weak “negative elementals”, “thought entities”, or “etheric cockroaches” from “psychologically imbalanced persons” and any pranic healer may imitate Jesus and cleanse a patient by an act of will-power, using “violet pranic energy” or throwing the exorcised elements into a salt and water solution to be destroyed.
He further recommends
“Eucharistic healing, taking the sacred host three times a week or more for as long as necessary. The participant may see his body filled with divine light and may experience illumination.”
Sr. Clare Muthukattil
“holds a Masters in Theology with specialization in Spirituality and Counseling. Has experience in individual and family counseling; gives Retreats to individuals and groups with integrated approach to body, mind, soul.”
Sr. Emily Kottaram:
“Masters in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University, Chicago, USA. Experience in Spiritual direction, giving retreats, family therapy and Counselling. And, Training in Pranic Healing, Reflexology.”
As part of their extension programmes they visit neighborhood families for “counseling, health consultation and prayer”. Children from their neighborhood gather every month for “integration, training of personality development, skill development, social orientation and value education”. “We also organize programmes for their over all development through Yoga classes, holiday camps and by providing Counseling.”
The MMS nuns have their centres not just in Changanacherry, Kottayam, but all over Kerala State, and others in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.
From the multifarious New Age practices that the Medical Mission Sisters nuns propagate, one can easily imagine the secular, humanistic and relativistic “value systems” — based on the philosophies and spiritual assumptions that underpin the therapies — that are associated with their “counseling” programs.
This ministry has posted several articles on its website that compare worldly psychological counseling — that is not just lacking in substance but potentially harmful — with Catholic pastoral counseling that includes the Sacraments and spiritual wisdom from the Bible which is God’s own revelation for man’s total well-being. The series of articles explains Christian stress management and Christian treatment of sickness through counseling. Since New Age techniques completely ignore the reality of sin and its negative effects on a person’s physical, mental and spiritual wellness and his social relationships [holistic health], they are not just inadequate or falling woefully short of a solution to the patient’s problems, they even point the patient away from the truth of his condition, and therefore from the Christian solution to it; and so must be unequivocally condemned.
BOOKS RELATED TO THE ISSUES IN THIS REPORT, SOLD AT ST. PAULS BOOKSTORES
Good Pastor International Book Centre, Chennai, July 2009:
Seeing the Unseen, The Power of Looking Beyond, by Shammi Sukh, Certificate in Neurolinguistic Programming from the National Federation of Neurolinguistic Programming, USA, 2007, The Bombay St. Pauls Society, Rs. 50.
Perpetual Motivation, by Dave Durand, Certified Neurolinguistic Practitioner, 2009, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, Rs. 140.
Urgings of the Heart, A Spirituality of Integration, by Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon, A Certified Jungian Analyst, Pauline
Publications, Rs. 80.
Dear Youth Counsellor, by Anthony Gurguri, MD., 2001, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, Rs. 60. 4th Print, 2008.
Q. 36 on page 89: “Is sex before marriage a sin?”
A. Dr. Gurguri says a lot but DOES NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION WITH A CATEGORICAL ‘YES‘. This is what passes off as Catholic “counselling”. In the book, Gurguri says, “For the last 10 years I have been counselling youth through the National Youth magazine, ‘The Teenager’…” The Teenager is a monthly of the Daughters of St. Paul.
Oh, Mind Relax Please! Roots of Yoga, by Swami Sukhobodananda, 2002, Prasanna Trust, Rs. 250.
Yoga for you, by Indra Devi, 1968/2008, Jaico, Rs. 125. It includes Kundalini.
Yoga and Your Heart, by Daley, Gharote and Parvi, 1983/2007, Jaico, Rs. 125.
All You Wanted to Know about
Bhakti Yoga, Sterling Publishers, Rs. 50.
All You Wanted to Know about
Jnana Yoga, Sterling Publishers, Rs. 50.
All You Wanted to Know about
Karma Yoga, Sterling Publishers, by Dr. Ravindra Kumar, “Karma Yoga is the first of the Vedic methods recommended for self-realization“, Rs. 50.
Meditation Masters and Their Insights, by Luis S.R. Vas, 2009, The Bombay St. Pauls Society, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, Rs. 150. [see page 23] Includes Vipassana, WCCM “Christian Meditation”, Centering Prayer.
A Handbook of Holistic Healing, by Luis S.R. Vas, 2001, 2nd Print 2003, The Bombay St. Pauls Society, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, Rs. 80. [see page 23]
Discover the Power of Your Inner Self, by Luis S.R. Vas,
The Bombay St. Pauls Society, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, 1998, 3rd print 2005, Rs. 60.
The above are two of the MOST OCCULT books that I have ever read.
St. Paul Book Centre, St. Luke’s Church, Chennai, July 2009:
Yoga, by BKS Iyengar, Harper Collins, 1966, 37th edition 2008, Rs. 395.
Light on the
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by BKS Iyengar, Harper Collins, 1993/2008.
for Daily Life, by Jan Baker, Goodwill Publishing, Rs. 175.
The Illustrated Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar, Rs. 250.
The Tree of Yoga, by BKS Iyengar, 1998, 12th edition 2008, Rs. 295.
for Healing, by Dr. P.S. Venkateswaran, 2006, Jaico, Rs. 150.
for High Blood Pressure, by Carmine Ireene, Rs. 275.
and Diabetics, by Carmine Ireene, Rs. 195.
Diet for Weight Loss, by Carmine Ireene, 2008, Jaico, Rs. 250.
for Easier Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth, by Anjali Devi Anand and Sri Ananda, 1998/2007, Orient, Rs. 190.
for Health, by N.S. Ravishankar, Pustak Mahal, Rs. 120.
in Daily Life, by Dr. K.S. Joshi, 1968/2004, Orient, Rs. 70.
All about the Ancient Science of Yoga, by Dr. Ira Sharma, 2004, Goodwill Publishing, Rs. 75.
Yogasana and Pranayama for Health, by P.D. Sharma, Gala/Navneet Publications, Rs. 55.
Foot Reflexology, by Dr. D.R. Gala, Gala/Navneet Publications, Rs. 53.
Health In Your Hands, by Dr. Devender Vora, Navneet Publications, Rs. 75 [Acupressure, etc].
The Magic of Massage, by Tanushree Podder, Pustak Mahal, Rs. 110. The author is an expert in Reiki and Vipassana
The Power of Positive Thinking
for Young People, by Norman Vincent Peale, 1955, St. Pauls Better Yourself Books, 16th print 2008, Rs. 50.
The Joy of Natural Living, by Luis S.R. Vas and Anita S.R. Vas, Nov. 2003, Pustak Mahal, Rs. 80. Back cover: Anita S.R. Vas has done courses in personal counseling and cosmetology. She is the co-author of “Solve your Problems – the Birbal Way” and “Secrets of Leadership – Insights from the Panchatantra”.
Ancient Healing Secrets, by Dian Dincin Buchman, 1996, Orient, Rs. 80. Acupressure, Massage, Homoeopathy, etc.
All you wanted to know about Colour Therapy, by Vijayakumar, 2004, New Dawn, Rs. 50.
The Healing Touch – Acupressure, by Dolores Rodrigues, 2002, New Dawn, Rs. 50.
in Daily Life, by Dr. Savitri Ramaiah, 2003, New Dawn, Rs. 50.
Cure for Common Diseases, by Dr. Raman Kapur, 1997/2007, Orient, Rs. 95.
Cure for Common Diseases, by Dr. Keith Kenyon MD., 1994, Orient, Rs. 90.
Homeopathy – The Scientific Medicine Part I, by E. Balakrishnan, Unicorn Books, 2003, Rs. 96.
Homeopathy – The Scientific Medicine Part II, by E. Balakrishnan, Unicorn Books, 2003, Rs. 135.
Colour Therapy, by Rashmi and Maharaj Kishan Sharma, Pustak Mahal, Rs. 48. Specialist in Acupressure, Shiatsu, Reiki.
All you wanted to know about Sun Therapy, by Vijayakumar, 2003, New Dawn, Rs. 50. Yoga, Surya Namaskar, Healing with Colour.
Subject: SANGAM: New Age programmes in Goa
Dear leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Goa,
As I have not received a response to my several letters to Bro. Merwyn Rodrigues, NST member representing Goa and connected with SANGAM, I am writing to some of you hoping that if I am wrong, I will be corrected, or if I am correct, then someone will inform me that something has been done to stop such programmes or to avoid inviting priests/organizations like Anugraha that have New Age in their curriculum.
Since my letters to Bro. Merwyn, I have done some intensive research and have written an article on Centering Prayer [re. the God in the Now retreat], a report on the wrong teachings and practices of ANUGRAHA, and a couple more on psychology and the errors and dangers of the psycho-spiritualities such as those promoted by the OFM Cap. Fathers of Anugraha [re. the Healing the Inner Child Retreat] and other Catholic congregations like the IMS Fathers, the Salesians, the Jesuits, the Montfort Brothers, etc.
These articles and reports are being sent to my webmaster today for hosting on this ministry’s website, and I will be sending you the links in a few days so that you can read them.
Regards, Michael Prabhu
Correspondence with Merwyn Rodrigues copied to several Goa CCR leaders in Bcc.
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 10:46 AM Subject: SANGAM: New Age programmes in Goa
Dear Cyril, Constantine, Bishop Vally, Praise the Lord. For your kind information and necessary action please. I trust that I will receive a response from you. Regards, Michael
My earlier correspondence with Merwyn Rodrigues was copied to Mr. Cyril John, Chairman, National Service Team, Catholic Charismatic Renewal [CCR], to the National Charismatic Office, New Delhi; to the editor of CHARISINDIA and to the Episcopal Advisor to the CCR, Bishop Valerian D’Souza.
Copies of the above letters were sent to a few selected leaders in the CCR. Here are a few responses:
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 11:32 AM
Subject: RE: SANGAM: New Age programmes in Goa
Dear Mike, That was well written, Keep me informed about the responses to all of this. Secondly, you have mentioned about healing of the inner child, etc, which I believe is also erroneous (send me the links also). Actually, the whole inner-healing area in the Church today needs to be scrutinized because whatever is not scripturally based tends to take-off into error at some point as they are all man-made therapies and not really scriptural at all. Keep up the good work, hallelujah!
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: SANGAM: New Age programmes in Goa
Dear Mike, Just to share with you, recently we were given a retreat by Brother Martin of Divine Retreat Centre on what is written in Revelation, saying the end time is nearing fast… to intercede for all and work for all souls to be worthy to see Him finally. The retreat was a blessing for all of us. I am with you in intercession in your crusade against this challenging time, the waiting time to see Him very soon. Even the Word of God written about the final stage just before His coming is happening amidst us. While I too would like to read your report on Anugraha, what best can I do is to bind all of them in prayers who are going against the teachings of the Church. This year being the year dedicated for Priests, let us also bind all priests in God’s love and pray for them too… If you get a response from anyone, please share it with me
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 12:31 PM
Dear Michael, The problem with the some good folks in the Renewal as those in many well-minded organisations I feel is that ‘worship’ of God is understood for a nice soothing prayer, (silence included) and nothing gets changed thereafter. The love of God does not get translated into following the God of worship but running after small time/petty affairs and also New Age practices mistaking it for God.
I am sorry if this appears to be bracketing ‘all’. I sincerely don’t mean all. But isn’t it shameful when Vatican documents are clear and cautionary enough about the dangers of New Age some of our leaders run headlong into it?
Michael I’ve paid the price of my defense of orthodoxy. I’ve taken a back seat into telling leaders about New Age. But believe me my friend, my forward drive is on as usual telling people to love and worship God and show it by the fruits.
Don’t expect much response from Goa. Lethargy, timidity and silence rules over concern for genuine faith. Prayer on knees, Michael! Fasting, Michael. That’s the need of the hour. This is what a priest (exorcist) friend of mine told me.
But you still have a long way to go on your ‘internationally and theologically supported crusade’. It is your call to warn. So go on. My prayers are with you.
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:43 PM
Hi Michael! Here am I after a long silence, although not silent as regards PRAYER. I remember you often, and pray for your ministry often. We need laymen like you who stand firmly for Orthodoxy. Your voice will never be silenced because the Saints and Angels are with you. And the Lord has blessed you with wisdom from on high. Praise the Lord!
Thank you for all the detailed news on the NCB, the meeting in Bombay between bishops and Hindu leaders. The Lord is using the Hindu leaders themselves to put obstacles to the NCB.
Being in Goa I did not know about Sangam’s New Age programmes in Goa. The official Renewal has lost its way in many parts of the world. Most prayer groups are devoid of any Holy Spirit power. They are spiritually bankrupt. Michael, expose them and confront them. The Lord has chosen you for that, and only a person like you, with in depth knowledge and love for the truth, can do it…
Michael, I am immensely grateful to you for updating me on so many things that are happening in our Church. In our little gentle way we have to expose it and fight it. God bless you once again. Regards to Angela. Bye. Fr. ZZ
“Sach Ka Samna” is a “reality show” compered by actor-anchor Rajeev Khandelwal. It is on the lines of the American reality show, “Moment of Truth”, where a person is asked personal, intimate, and often previously unrevealed details about their lives. Such disclosures can have – and have had — far-reaching and often disastrous consequences on the lives – and future relationships — of the persons involved, and these consequences have made newspaper headlines.
A few days ago, I watched an English TV channel interview Khandelwal, asking him if such public “psychological venting” was not mindlessly imitating western sensationalism, while pointing out the negative emotional fallout of such pubic revelation of intimate information. On the panel were a lady psychologist from a reputed hospital and a member of the Muslim Personal Law Board. The Muslim stated that Islam did not approve of such behaviour and added that Muslims should instead resort to religious/spiritual means which are available in Islam through their Holy Book, the Quran, to treat a person’s psychological needs. How one wishes that Catholic priests and nuns would have the same confidence about the spiritual treasures in our own Book of Wisdom, the revealed Mind of God, the Holy Bible.
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Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 2:56 PM Sent AGAIN: Thursday, August 13, 2009 2:59 PM
REPORT ON SANGAM’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROMOTION OF NEW AGE ERRORS IN GOA
Dear leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Goa and at the National level,