A COURSE IN MIRACLES-BIBLE OF THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT

 

“A COURSE IN MIRACLES”

 

CATHOLIC PAPERS

 

A Course in Brainwashing

http://www.ewtn.com/library/newage/brainwas.txt

By Tracy Moran, June 2, 1996 issue of Our Sunday Visitor

 

Catholics across the country are alarmed at the increasing popularity of a New Age phenomenon known as “A Course in

Miracles,” a system of spirituality that proponents claim is the “Third Testament” of God to His people.

Even more alarming, critics say, is that the movement is gaining a foothold among some Catholics.

“A Course in Miracles,” a 1,249-page study manual, was authored by the “inner voice” of research psychologist
Helen Schucman between 1965 and 1972. Schucman, a professor at Columbia University and a self-described atheist at the time, claims the “voice” was that of Jesus Christ.

In 1977, New Age guru and best-selling author Marianne Williamson discovered “A Course in Miracles” and helped spread its message internationally, reeling in stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Shirley MacLaine along the way.

Today, the course has sold more than 1 million copies, and more than 2,000 groups in the United States meet to study the course, which Williamson calls “a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy.”

 

But a former disciple of “A Course in Miracles” who returned to the Catholic Church calls it a course in brainwashing. Moira Noonan, once a New Age minister and psychic, was introduced to the course 20 years ago. Upon returning to the Church, she was shocked to find that “A Course in Miracles” is sold in some Catholic bookstores and that many fellow believers are studying it. “They say in the course that the Holy Spirit wants us to have these new thoughts, a new reality,” Noonan explained. “It says right in the beginning of the course to question everything … The course is Satan’s mock bible,” she said, adding that its disciples “want people to think it’s a religion, but it’s not.”

 

The Foundation for “A Course in Miracles,” based in Roscoe, N.Y., is not affiliated with any church or denomination. Dr.

Kenneth Wapnick, the foundation’s director, was a Catholic seminarian about to enter the monastery when he met Schucman and read the manuscript for the course. A clinical psychologist, Wapnick claims the course teaches that the way to recover one’s buried knowledge and memories of God is by “undoing” guilt through forgiving others. It aims to remove “the blocks to one’s awareness of love’s presence,” which is every person’s natural state of mind.

Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa, who has written on New Age religions, sees how such language can resonate with Catholics, luring them to study the course. “The key problem is the [course’s] pseudo – Christian vocabulary and ideas,” said Father Pacwa. “People don’t know the Catechism; they don’t know their faith … The course strongly rejects the use of reason and thinking … This is precisely what makes the course feasible. Once you get rid of reason, you get rid of discussion.”

Noonan explained the course’s attraction to Catholics by noting that “in our culture, we want a quick fix. [The course] teaches that you can claim a miracle. It’s part of the individualistic attitude we have in this society.”

Noonan said some Catholics pick up the course thinking: “I never really liked or understood the Bible anyway, so why don’t I read this? The language is easier for me to understand.”

 

Led astray

Critics of “A Course in Miracles” warn that Catholics who try to incorporate its principles into their faith will severely compromise their beliefs because the two theologies are completely incompatible.

Father Pacwa said the course repeatedly misquotes the Bible and “presents a false Jesus.” Even though Jesus supposedly dictated the course to Schucman, the course’s Jesus “does not like the Crucifixion,” Father Pacwa said. “One of the things said repeatedly and forcefully in the course is that sacrifice has nothing to do with love-they are incompatible.”

 

 

The “Jesus” of “A Course in Miracles” is not really the Son of God, never really had a physical body, and hence never really suffered on the cross. He even rephrases the Lord’s Prayer, replacing “hallowed be thy name” with “Our holiness is Yours,” Father Pacwa pointed out.

With such glaring differences between Christianity and the course, it is no wonder Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., another critic, said the movement “has become something of a sophisticated cult.”

And he should know, having studied at Columbia University under Schucman.

In his book, “A Still, Small Voice,” Father Groeschel recounts his “utter astonishment” when he was told in 1969 about Schucman’s alleged encounter with “the Son of God.” According to Father Groeschel, the course that resulted from this encounter is “centered on a Son of God who at times seems to be the Christ of orthodox Christianity and sometimes an avatar of an Eastern religion.”

Father Groeschel said that among clergy and Religious, “There’s a lot of suspicion about the course right now.” And suspicion seems warranted, considering that the course denies the existence of suffering and sin, claims the Holy Spirit’s main purpose is to heal people’s unconscious thoughts, and reinterprets the word “miracle” into psychological terms.

 

According to a recent book promoting the course, the “purpose of this system . . . is to draw our minds into a completely different way of thinking…. Education on this level is clearly re-education, which demands, first of all, unlearning.”

Moreover, “A Course in Miracles” purports to be a “purifier of Christianity,” as explained in the book: “Echoing the Bible, [the course] thus presents the image of a contemporary revealed scripture, a modern-day message from God to mankind.”

Yet, ironically, perhaps the strongest argument against wedding Christianity with the course comes from Wapnick himself. In the book “A Course in Miracles and Christianity: A Dialogue,” published by his foundation, Wapnick and Jesuit Father W. Norris Clarke map out the sharp differences of the two theologies, defining them as “mutually exclusive.”

Wapnick writes that “to attempt reconciliation between [the two] must inevitably lead to frustration at best and severe distortion at worst…. ‘A Course in Miracles’ directly refutes the very basis of the Christian faith, leaving nothing on which Christians can base their beliefs.”

Whatever the course’s true intention, however, Father Pacwa warns that the course “presents a false Jesus, false Spirit and false Gospel, and therefore it deserves simple rejection.”

And even if the course does attempt to “purify” the Gospel, its effort is fruitless, as Father Clarke points out in the

“Dialogue”: “Traditional Christianity maintains that human beings have really sinned and turned away from God, hence [they] have the burden of a genuine (not merely neurotic) guilt…. Then Jesus took on the burden of our own sins and truly suffered and died on the cross to make reparation for them. He then truly rose from the dead, with a real, though transformed or glorified body, and is forever united with His Father now in glory.”

 

Moran writes from San Diego, Calif. For more information on A Course in Miracles,” contact Moira Noonan at: P.O. Box 232716, Encinitas, CA 92023

 


A Course In Miracles

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc
EXTRACT

By Michael Prabhu, October 2005

 

During my investigation of the seditious — and New Age — Catholic Ashrams movement in December 2004, I had stayed for a week at the Camaldoli Benedictine Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam at Thannirpalli.

I noted that “A Course in Miracles” — one of many New Age titles in the Ashram library — was one of the more popular reads among the visitors according to library records. An excerpt from my Report:

 

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

A New Age classic, in 3 volumes, Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975

This thoroughly New Age classic is one of the most frequently drawn books from the library. I give selected extracts from its ‘Idea for today’ [with the lesson no. in brackets]. They are to be continuously repeated as affirmations or mantras so as to spiritually benefit the user. [They are not much different from the New Age teachings of
Bro. John Martin Sahajananda, the de facto guru of
Shantivanam, as we shall see shortly when examining his satsanghs and his books.]

[10] My thoughts do not mean anything…This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

[25] I do not know what anything [this chair, this hand] is for.

[29] God is in everything I see. God is in this waste basket.

[35] My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.

[36] My holiness envelops everything I see… You are holy because your mind is part of God’s… If your mind is part of God’s you must be sinless, or part of His Mind would be sinful.

 

 

 

[38] There is nothing my holiness cannot do… Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God.

[39] My holiness is my salvation… Your holiness means the end of guilt and therefore the end of hell.

[61] I am the light of the world… How holy am I who have been given the function of lighting up the world! Let me be still before my holiness.

[70] My salvation comes from me… All temptation is nothing more than some form of the basic temptation not to believe the idea for today… When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. In understanding this you are saved. Today I will recognize where my salvation is. It is in me… It is not found outside.

[77] I am entitled to miracles. You will offer miracles because you are one with God… You state a fact that cannot be denied. The Holy Spirit cannot but assure you that your request is granted.

[93] Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Over and over this must be repeated until it is accepted… The self you made, evil and full of sin, is meaningless.

[95] I am one Self, united with my Creator.

[96] Salvation comes from my one Self.

[101] If sin is real, salvation has become your bitter enemy, the curse of God upon you who has crucified His Son. You need the practice periods today. The exercises teach that sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will not happen… You have made a devil of God’s son. There is no sin.

[124] Let me remember I am one with God.

[163] There is no death. The Son of God is free… The idea of the death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing in it. For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished… And with the Father died the Son as well… There is no death and we renounce it now in every form… God made not death. Whatever form it takes must therefore be an illusion.

[183] I call upon God’s name and on my own. God’s name is holy but no holier than yours. To call upon His name is but to call upon your own.

[191] I AM THE HOLY SON OF GOD HIMSELF.

[253] My Self is ruler of the universe… It is I who rule my destiny.

[259] LET ME REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO SIN.

[300] Christ’s Second Coming… is merely the correction of mistakes and the return of sanity.

 

A Course In Miracles

http://www.ewtn.com/library/NEWAGE/COURSE.TXT, http://www.catholicreason.com/shtml/course.shtml

By Edward R Hryczyk

 

The text of the book “A Course in Miracles” is the product of seven years of trance spirit channeling of a Mrs. Helen Schucman. The spirit that channeled a “new gospel” to Mrs. Schucman claimed to be Jesus Christ. The “spirit” made contact with her to correct errors in Sacred Scripture, and the teachings of the Church. The “spirit” that channeled through Mrs. Schucman wrote that Sacred Scripture was in error in teaching us that sin separates us from God, and that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross for our sins. The book “A Course in Miracles” contains a Text (the dictations of Mrs. Schucman), a Student Workbook, and an Instructor’s Manual. (1)

 

Mrs. Schucman, a Columbia University professor and psychologist, was an acquaintance of Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. (seen on EWTN)

Fr. Groeschel gave a eulogy at her funeral. Fr. Groeschel wrote (2), “This woman who had written so eloquently that suffering really did not exist spent the last two years of her life in the blackest psychotic depression I have ever witnessed.” Fr. Groeschel is a holy, practical, wise, no nonsense priest, and psychologist. During an October 1994 lecture on “Discernment” given at Holy Cross Church, Rumson, N.J., Fr. Groeschel stated that he believed that Helen Schucman’s experience with the channeled “spirit” was possibly a true diabolic manifestation.

Fr. Groeschel’s experience as a psychologist and priest included being called upon by his Bishop to investigate reported diabolic manifestations in his New York City diocese. In the lecture Fr. Groeschel described one experience – called as an exorcist – where he witnessed objects unexplainably being thrown about a room. At the end of a lengthy discussion he attributed that particular experience to paranormal manifestations – but not diabolic in nature (3).

Fr. Groeschel is not easily inclined to attribute any experience to the diabolic. The possible diabolic origin in the spirit channeling of Helen Schucman was one exception given by Fr. Groeschel. Fr. Groeschel’s suspicions find support in Sacred Scripture. Helen Schucman’s “channeled spirit” denies that our Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth in the flesh.

An abstract of “the Course” can be written based solely on two lines of the “spirit” channeled writings.

Chapter 8, Section VII, paragraph 7, page 152 states:

“The Bible says, “The Word (or thought) was made flesh.” Strictly speaking this is impossible, since it seems to involve the translation of one order or reality into another.”

 

 

Contrast the “spirits” channeled words to the inspired words of St. John (1 John 4:1-3):

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.”

 

To further stress the assertion to a “student” of “the Course” that Jesus Christ was but an illusion the accompanying Manual For Teachers, page 87, Clarification of Terms, Section 5, “Jesus-Christ”, paragraph 2 states:

“The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but one with God. The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as illusions do.”

The “channeled spirit” was not from God.

 

On page 186 of the Text the “spirit” writes, “I do not bring God’s message with deception, and you will learn that you always receive as much as you accept.”

 

One does find truth in the writings of “the Course.” The following quote would be humorous if it were not for the sad ending of Mrs. Schucman’s life, and the influence “the Course” has had on thousands of individuals. Chapter 9, Section IV, paragraph 8, of the Text, page 170 states: “Anyone who elects a totally insane guide must be totally insane himself.” Chapter 25, Section VII, paragraph 8, of the Text, page 533, again states: “It would be madness to entrust salvation to the insane.”

 

The writing style of “the Course” is very confusing – but at the same time in some way intellectual and emotionally seductive. The writings may start with a beautiful, seemingly inspired truth and than will slowly drift to confusion – logically ending up with conclusions that are contrary to Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church.

 

The course is “Gnostic” in teaching and practice. The writings deny the reality of physical creation (4). The course acknowledges the need for a novice student to receive training in “the Course” by a teacher that has already received some enlightenment by studying “the Course.” A separate teacher’s guide forms part of “the Course.” As with all “New Age” teachings, seminars are provided – for a fee – to help the individual advance in spirituality.

 

Some of the beliefs, as written in “the Course” are:

a. REALITY: Reality is illusory.

(1.) From Manual, page 85, “The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself” (Manual, p85).

(2.) “And therefore all your sins have been forgiven because they carried no effects at all. And so they were but dreams” (Manual, p87).

(3.) “Forgiveness through the Holy Spirit lies in looking beyond error from the beginning and thus keeping it unreal for you” (Text, p169).

b. CREATION/TRINITY:
The writings teach that God and His creation are one.

(1.) “There is no separation of God and His creation.” (Text, p147)

(2.) “If you are part of one you must be part of the other, because they are one. The Holy Trinity is holy because It is One. If you exclude yourself from this union, you are perceiving the Holy Trinity as separated” (Text, p146).

(3.) “Creation is your will because it is His” (Text, p196).

c. JESUS CHRIST’S ORIGIN:
The writings state that Jesus Christ was created (made not begotten).

“God would not have us be alone because He does not will to be alone. That is why He created His Son, and gave him the power to create with Him” (Text, p150).

d. SALVATION:
We do not need a savior. Salvation is nothing more than right mindedness. We are the source of our own salvation.

(1.) “Never forget that the Sonship is your salvation, for the Sonship is your Self. As God’s creation It is yours, and belonging to you It is His. Your Self does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is.” (Text, p200)

(2.) “My holiness is my salvation.” (Workbook, Lesson 58, p97)

(3.) “My salvation comes from me. It cannot come from anywhere else.” …”My salvation cannot come from any of these things. My salvation comes from me and only me.”…”My salvation comes from me. Nothing outside of me can hold me back. Within me is the world’s salvation and my own.” (Workbook, Lesson 70, p120)

(4.) “Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation.” (Text, p142)

(5.) “We cannot be separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself.” (Text, p150)

(6.) “Yet all loss comes only from misunderstanding. Loss of any kind is impossible.” (Text, p152)

(7.) “He will teach you how to see yourself without condemnation, by learning how to look on everything without it. Condemnation will then not be real to you, and all your errors will be forgiven.” (Text, p168)

 

e. GOD:
God is your identity, you will be like God.

(1.) “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself. There is no separation of God and his creation.” (Text, p147)

(2.) “God’s Name is holy, but no holier than yours. To call upon his Name is but to call upon your own.” (Workbook, p342)

(3.) “My decision cannot overcome yours, because yours is as powerful as mine. If it were not so the Sons of God would be unequal.” (Text, p145)

(4.) “Our creations are as holy as we are, and we are the Sons of God Himself, as holy as He is.” (Text, p150)

(5.) “God Himself is incomplete without me.” (Text, p177)

(6.) “God is not jealous of the gods you make, but you are.” (Text, p186)

f. SELF:
We are sinless and are like God.

(1.) “My true Identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious, and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light.” (Workbook, Lesson 225, p403)

(2.) “You do not know yourself, because you do not know your Creator. You do not know your creations because you do not know your brothers, who created them with you…. He is the co-creator with God and you.” (Text, p137)

(3.) “Glory to God in the highest and to you because He has so willed it.” (Text, p141)

(4.) “What God and His Sons create is eternal, and this only is their joy.” (Text, p148)

(5.) “God does not contradict Himself, and His Sons, who are like Him, cannot contradict themselves or Him. Yet their thought is so powerful that they can even imprison the mind of God’s Son.” (Text, p149)

(6.) “God gave you the function to create in eternity.” (Text, p168)

g. LAST JUDGMENT: Have no fear of God’s Judgment

“Do not fear the Last Judgment, but welcome it and do not wait, for the ego’s time is “borrowed” from your eternity.”… “The Second Coming is the awareness of reality, not its return.” (Text, p170)

 

In dealing with individuals who teach and follow “the Course” one must realize that they probably believe they are truly seeking God in their studies of “the Course.” Those trying to follow the teachings would consciously reject all evil. Unfortunately, their beliefs are “Gnostic” and they probably consider a Catholic’s devotion to the Faith, given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, as unenlightened medieval superstition to be rejected by all in this enlightened “new age.” The teachings in “the Course” are particularly attractive to individuals who have fallen away from the faith and find themselves seeking some- thing to fill their spiritual void.

Reading Sacred Scripture is nourishment for the soul, since the words have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. Taking the words of “the Course” into one’s heart will lead to a slow spiritual death. It is a book to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately celebrities such as John Denver have been taken in by the book and have spread its influence.

 

NOTES:

(1) The quotations are taken from “The Course in Miracles”, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace, P.O. Box 1104, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, second edition, second printing, August 1992.

(2) Page 79 of, “A Still, Small Voice, A Practical Guide On Reported Revelations”, by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., Ignatius Press 1993

(3) For a good discussion of the para normal see Fr. Groeschel’s video series “Religious Experiences”, distributed by the Daughters of Saint Paul.

(4) The Spiritual Counterfeits Project, SPC Journal, Vol. 7, No 1, 1987 analyzes the teaching found in “the Course” in an article by Dean C. Halverson, “A Course in Miracles, Seeing Yourself as Sinless.” The SPC claims to be a non-denominational evangelical Christian organization; the organization has demonstrated an anti-Catholic bias in its recent publications.

Also at:
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2575

A Course In Miracles- A Biblical Evaluation

http://www.catholicreason.com/shtml/course2.shtml, http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/thcourse.html

By Russ Wise, Probe Ministries International, July 29, 2003

 

Historical Background

In 1965 a Jewish atheistic psychologist from Columbia University began to channel messages from a spirit she believed to be Jesus. She ultimately produced, or she says Jesus revealed to her, well over a thousand pages of revelation during the next seven years.

According to her testimony, Helen Schucman had a difficult relationship with her department head at the university. In an attempt to move beyond their differences, they set out on a journey to find a base of common agreement. Schucman began having “highly symbolic dreams” and experiencing “strange images.” Her colleague encouraged her to transcribe the content of these phenomena so they might understand them better.

 

As she began to write, she was surprised to see “This is a course in miracles” appear on the paper. She went on to say that this was her introduction to the “Voice.” This voice began to give her rapid inner dictation that she took down in shorthand.

According to the dictated material, the voice of The Course was Jesus. As a result of the influence Christianity has had on humanity, The Course chose Christian terminology to convey its message. A 1977 pamphlet published by the Foundation For Inner Peace states “its only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher”- -in other words, their personal “Spirit Guide”.

 

Key Players

There are several individuals who play key roles in spreading the message of The Course. Perhaps the most prominent is Marianne Williamson. A former lounge singer and now its most celebrated guru, she has become The Course’s media star, appearing on numerous television programs. Her most-watched and persuasive appearance was on Oprah. She has been Oprah’s guest on several occasions. Because of her personal interest in New Age philosophy, Oprah Winfrey purchased a thousand copies of A Return To Love, Williamson’s book, to give to her television audiences.

Another high profile individual, well-known in New Age circles, is Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. He is a psychiatrist, formerly on the faculty of the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco and founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in 1975. He has written several books based on what he has gleaned from The Course.

In his influential book, Good-Bye to Guilt, Jampolsky describes his conversion to The Course.

“I began to change my way of looking at the world in 1975. Until then I had considered myself a militant atheist, and the last thing I was consciously interested in was being on a spiritual pathway that would lead to God. In that year I was introduced to . . . A Course in Miracles. . . .
My resistance was immediate. . . . Nevertheless, after reading just one page, I had a sudden and dramatic experience. There was an instantaneous memory of God, a feeling of oneness with everyone in the world, and the belief that my only function on earth was to serve God.”

As a result of the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of our society, namely the baby boomer generation, there is a ready-made market for the “feel good” spirituality of The Course. Through the influence of Williamson, Jampolsky, and others, a growing number of Christians are being sucked into this whirlpool of spiritual confusion in which they exchange the truth for a lie.

 

The Course and the Mainline Church

We have already established that The Course uses Christian terminology and its followers believe it to be the revelation of Jesus. As a result, a number of denominations within Christendom have embraced The Course as being legitimate and introduced it into their churches.

Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians have used The Course in Sunday schools and special study groups within the church. Presently there are over 1,500 official study groups that have utilized The Course both inside and outside traditional Christian churches.

 

If It’s Not Love–It Must Be Illusion

Marianne Williamson, author of the best-selling book A Return To Love, says that we have “a natural tendency to focus on love.”

Only love is real. All that is negative is illusion. It simply does not exist. If anything negative is in your consciousness, it is real only because you give it reality by holding it in your mind. According to The Course, sickness, hate, pain, fear, guilt, and sin are all illusions. The Cyclopedia In A Course In Miracles states that “illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them.” The Cyclopedia continues, “The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you will have put them out of your mind.”

The Course sums it up this way, “There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion.” There you have it! It is perfectly clear–murder, rape, and other forms of evil do not exist because they do not come from “love.” Try explaining to a mother who has lost a son or daughter that their loss is the result of an illusion.

 

The Problem of Evil

You guessed it, The Course also teaches that evil does not exist. It is an illusion that must be overcome by right thinking. The Text (i.e., volume one of The Course) reads, “Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist.” In essence what is meant is that evil does not stand on its own, that it only has reality as the individual believes its existence. So, you might say that the rape victim created her own evil situation and thereby caused her own suffering. The victim is guilty; the perpetrator had no choice.

 

The Problem of Guilt and Sin

A pamphlet published by the Foundation For Inner Peace states, “Sin is defined as a ‘lack of love.’ Since love is all there is, sin in the sight of the Holy Sprit is a mistake to be corrected, rather than an evil to be punished.”

The Course further teaches that there is no need to feel guilt because there is no sin. Sin does not exist. The problems that man faces are a result of separation from God. This separation is only illusion because it likewise does not exist. It is only a reality for those who believe they are not part of the divine.

 

 

The Text makes this point clear where it declares that “no one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners.” As you might anticipate, there is likewise no need for the cross because there was never a transgression that needed to be dealt with by God, only a mistake. If we are a part of God, how then can we become fragmented by sin since separation (i.e., sin) does not exist?

 

Thought-Reversal

The stated goal of The Course is to change how one thinks, to change one’s belief system by subtle deception. The individual is for the most part unaware of the transformation he or she is undergoing because The Course utilizes Christian terminology. The Manual for Teachers (i.e., volume three of The Course) boldly says, “It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought.”

 

Religious Recovery–The Thirteenth Step

Many who become involved in studying The Course are active in self-help groups such as Twelve Step programs. They are seeking to make connections in their lives and discover who they truly are. They are willing participants in this transformation.

Many are desiring some form of “spirituality” and for those who see the Bible as being too harsh, The Course offers what they believe to be God’s correction of our misinterpretation of the original message of Jesus.

The Course becomes the “thirteenth step” in recovery for those who are attempting to escape the rigid fundamentalism that has smothered them in the past. For them, the recovery process becomes a spiritual transformation.

The integration of psychology and spirituality becomes a lure that pulls them deeper into the web of deception and ultimately suffocates them.

The biblical teaching of original sin is dismissed for the more palatable “original goodness.”

This “thirteenth step” regards all faiths as a part of the whole; they are one, and a psychological unity of sorts is achieved. The Course becomes whatever the individual desires it to be, it is “Christian,” but not if you don’t want it to be.

It’s psychology, but more than psychology. It’s not New Age, but then again it is.

The Course claims to have all of life’s answers. It has become the “spiritually correct” solution to bring about peace and unity. However, in the end, this transformation brings spiritual death.

Helen Schucman’s new do-it-yourself psycho-spirituality is not new. The Hindus have been taught for centuries that the world and all that is in it is Maya, or illusion.

 

Sense and Sensibilities

We must be clear that the message of The Course in Miracles is not the message of Jesus Christ.

Schucman and her Course do not teach that Jesus is God incarnate yet fully human, but that He is a highly evolved being who became divine. The Bible does not allow for such an idea.

The Bible also leaves no room for the idea that evil does not exist, but instead that evil entered the world through disobedience. Likewise, the Bible does not allow for the idea that God is a universal oneness rather than a personal Being.

Kenneth Wapnick, a Jewish agnostic who later became a Catholic monk, founded the Foundation for A Course in Miracles. Wapnick states that The Course and biblical Christianity are not compatible. He gives three reasons why he holds such a view.

First, The Course teaches that God did not create the world.

Second, The Course teaches that we are all equally Christ. Jesus is not the only Son of God.

And third, The Course is clear in its teaching that Jesus did not suffer and die for man’s sin.

The above differences clearly show why a Christian cannot in good faith consider The Course as a source for his or her spiritual understanding. It is unequivocally anti-biblical and is without doubt promoted by Satanic deception (2 Corinthians 11:14: 1 Timothy 4:1).

 

A Short Course in Doctrine

The Course teaches that there are no absolutes; truth is relative and is determined by one’s experience. According to the Cyclopedia In A Course In Miracles, “only what is loving is true.” So truth is subjective.

Marianne Williamson, the author of A Return To Love, made this observation about truth in her book: “There’s only one truth, spoken different ways, and the Course is just one path to it out of many.” In other words, no one religious tradition has all the truth, but there are many avenues to the truth and the individual has the freedom to choose the path most suitable to him or her.

 

Who Is Jesus?

According to Williamson, Jesus is one of many enlightened beings. In her text she makes this statement, “Jesus and other enlightened masters are our evolutionary elder brothers.” She continues by saying that “the mutation, the enlightened ones, (including Jesus) show the rest of us our evolutionary potential. They point the way.” So in reality Jesus is a way-shower.

 

 

 

Williamson makes a telling observation on page 41 of her book by saying that, “A Course In Miracles does not push Jesus. Although the books come from him, it is made very clear that you can be an advanced student of the Course and not relate personally to him at all.” This is an interesting comment regarding the lack of relationship one is to have with their God. For Christians, faith is built on a personal relationship with Jesus. Without it, their salvation would be in question.

Williamson continues by saying, “Jesus reached total actualization of the Christ mind, and was then given by God the power to help the rest of us reach that place within ourselves.” Such a statement brings to mind Matthew 7:23 where Jesus says, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

 

The Christ and Salvation

The Manual For Teachers states that “Jesus became what all of you must be.” It continues by declaring, “Is he the Christ? O yes, along with you.”

The Course identifies with much of New Age thought in that it teaches false Christology. New Age proponents teach that The Christ is the one who is the most highly evolved being during a given age. This Christ, whether it be Buddha, Krishna, or Jesus, is the messiah for a given age. They believe, for example, that Jesus was The Christ for the Church or Piscean Age. According to their philosophy, Jesus achieved Christhood and, by right-thinking, we too can achieve Christhood.

The Text says that, “Christ waits for your acceptance of Him as yourself, and of His wholeness as yours.” Keep in mind that these words you have just read are, according to The Course, the “spirit-dictated” words of Jesus. Now hear the true Word of God from the Bible where we read, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5). The Scripture is crystal clear about the deception of multitudes by signs and wonders based in experience rather than His Word.

The Scripture teaches that Jesus alone is the Christ, the Son of the living God. John 1:20 and 20:31 indicate that we are not His equals.

 

Abandoning Your Miracle

There are a growing number of people waking up to the fact that The Course cannot adequately meet their growing need to worship a being beyond themselves, much less defend them in spiritual warfare.

Warren and Joy Smith are examples of how The Course is totally inadequate when it comes to defending one’s spirit from the evil one and his dominion. The Smith’s were deeply involved in the study of The Course. Warren relates Joy’s story in his book, The Light That Was Dark.

Joy was being spiritually harassed by a man who was highly proficient in astral projection (projecting his spirit for great distances). Warren relates how they faced the attacks. “We tried every metaphysical and spiritual technique we had ever learned–we repeated our Course in Miracles lessons, did visualizations, prayed as best we knew how, sent the spiritual intruder blessings, and kept the whole situation surrounded in white light–but none of it had any effect. We had to wait it out. The spiritual presence was calling the shots.”

After an intense time of frustration, they went to their course study leaders for help. Joy explained that they “had repeatedly applied their Course in Miracles lessons, such as: ‘There is nothing to fear,’ ‘In my defenselessness my safety lies,’ and, ‘I could see peace instead of this.'” After explaining that nothing had worked, Frank, their study leader, “made it clear that he agreed with the Course’s metaphysical teaching that evil was only an illusion and that the experience was probably something that Joy was working out within herself.”

Frank’s wife, Trudy, was dazed when she heard herself say, “Put on the whole armor of God and stand fast against the wiles of the devil!” In amazement at herself she added, “Ephesians 6:10. It’s in your Bible.”

Trudy went on and said, “I’m sorry, Frank. There is a devil . . . read Ephesians!”

In the days ahead Joy continued to undergo the harassing attacks. During this time of uncertainty Warren visited a bookstore and discovered a book entitled The Beautiful Side of Evil by Johanna Michaelsen. He read it through and decided its message of deliverance was worth a try.

It wasn’t long before he had an opportunity to test his newly found discovery–biblical exorcism. Joy fell into a depression as she had on so many occasions, and Warren seized the opportunity to act.

He relates the incident in his book this way, “Reading from my notes the exact words that I had taken from Johanna’s book, I firmly addressed the presence. ‘Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I command you to be gone! I forbid your presence here. I claim the protection of the blood of Jesus upon us. Go where Jesus sends you!'” Immediately Joy’s face cleared and the oppression was gone.

Warren later remarked, “We were amazed that the presence left every time we called on his [Jesus Christ’s] name. Nothing in A Course in Miracles or any other metaphysical teachings had ever talked about this aspect of Jesus.”

Warren and Joy’s encounter with personal evil ultimately convinced them that the Bible was the spiritual teaching that they could rely on. Warren said it best, “So far it hasn’t let us down.”

 

Russ Wise has been an observer of the occult and cults (both Eastern and Western) for over 20 years. Russ seeks to create an awareness of these non-biblical teachings in the Christian community, thereby helping to prevent Christians from falling victim to these deceptions. He is a former associate speaker with Probe Ministries and resides in Richardson, Texas, with his wife, Wendy.

 

 

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. In seeking to accomplish this mission, Probe provides perspective on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity.

In addition, Probe acts as a clearing house, communicating the results of its research to the church and society at large.

Further information about Probe’s materials and ministry may be obtained by writing to: Probe Ministries 1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100 Richardson, TX 75081 (972) 480-0240 FAX (972) 644-9664 info@probe.org; www.probe.org.

 

Is Oprah Leading People Away From Christ?

http://www.newagedeception.com/new/free-resources/3-information-on-the-dangers-of-new-age-thinking-and-the-new-thought-movement-and-possible-qwaysq-to-help-friends-and-loved-ones-exit-the-deception-.html

 

Oprah [Winfrey] has totally transformed herself and her media empire. She is no longer a microphone-toting interviewer of tearful guests and cheering audiences. Believe it or not, she has become . . . a spiritual icon.

Because of her, New Age teachings are being pitched to millions of our fellow Catholics – many of whom are being taken in by the mega-popular Oprah Winfrey and her promotion of three key books in the New Age Movement:

The Secret. . . A New Earth . . . and A Course In Miracles.

 

Oprah: Televangelist Of The New Age Deception

http://www.newagedeception.com/new/shop/oprah-televangelist.html
EXTRACT

By Sharon Lee Giganti

 

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,

Karl Keating asked me to write you this letter to alert you to a serious spiritual threat.

My name is Jimmy Akin, and I’m the director of apologetics and evangelization for Catholic Answers.

If you know my personal story, you know that I am a convert to the Catholic faith from Evangelicalism.

What you may not know is that before I was an Evangelical, I was a New Ager. That’s right. When I was young and impressionable, before my religious convictions matured, I was a follower of the New Age Movement and its bizarre beliefs regarding reincarnation, astrology, clairvoyance, psychic healing, Atlantis, “Earth changes,” automatic writing,” Christ consciousness,” and all that stuff. But I grew out of it.

By God’s grace, I was led to embrace the Christian faith … and then the fullness of the Christian faith in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, many people are still trapped in the New Age Movement, and now it is more dangerous than ever.

It’s hard to believe that one of the most well-known, most popular, and most influential women in the world is also one of the most dangerous because of what she’s teaching to millions of unsuspecting people every single day.

She’s Oprah Winfrey. You know her as a wildly successful TV talk show host; you’ve seen her equally successful woman’s magazine, “O,” at the checkout stand in the supermarket; you may have heard her popular radio program.

But if you are like many people, you’ve assumed that she’s just been pumping out the same kind of confessional TV talk show pablum, pop psychology, and feel-good self-affirmation that you find on so many other programs.

If that’s what you think, you haven’t seen her show in years.

Oprah has totally transformed herself and her media empire. Believe it or not, she has become …a spiritual icon.

In its article, “The Church of O,” Christianity Today reports:

Oprah Winfrey has become one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America … To her audience of more than 22 million mostly female viewers, she has become a postmodern priestess — an icon of church-free spirituality.

Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope. Even if you don’t watch her TV talk show or listen to her radio show or read her magazine, you or someone you love will be affected by what she’s passing off as “spirituality” these days.

Because of her, New Age teachings are being pitched to millions of our fellow Catholics-many of who are being taken in by the mega-popular Oprah Winfrey and her promotion of three key books in the New Age Movement: A Course in Miracles, The Secret, A New Earth.

 

 

Again, if you haven’t heard of these books, you probably don’t subject yourself to watching the Oprah Winfrey Show. But the teachings contained in them – particularly A Course in Miracles – are very dangerous because they are the opposite of real Christianity. And yet … they claim to come from Christ Himself!

Sharon Lee zeroes in on the most powerful, destructive top New Age Ideologies.

Let’s start with A Course in Miracles. It’s a foundational book of today’s New Age Movement-and it’s one that Oprah Winfrey is promoting so religiously on her show.

It’s a 1,249-page, 3-volume set that was written in the 1970’s by a woman named Helen Schucman – a psychologist from Columbia University. She claimed that she “heard a Voice” that she identified as Jesus. He spoke to her and dictated this entire book. She merely “scribed” everything he said, and she later dictated that to another writer. It took her seven years to write A Course in Miracles (Jesus speaks slowly, I suppose) – but even when she was finished with it, she curiously wanted to “re-write” the whole thing!

The bizarre (and dangerous) claim behind this book is that it is “divine revelation.” In fact, its proponents claim that it’s a “Third Testament” that should be included with the Bible.

The set has been popular for decades. When I was a New Ager, I saw it all the time on the shelves of the (then small, now huge) New Age section in the bookstores. But now the course has been carried to new heights of popularity.

Oprah Winfrey, who already had a long history of promoting New Age ideas via the guests she featured on her show, has locked onto A Course in Miracles and chosen to do a 365-day, non-stop “lesson a day” program that would present it to her millions of fans.

 

What does A Course in Miracles teach?

“Revelations” from “Jesus” such as

–There is no such thing as sin.

–Evil, pain, suffering, sickness are all illusions.

–Since man never sinned, he has no need of salvation.

–A slain Christ “has no meaning” and so we should not cling “to the old, rugged cross.”

–The name of Jesus Christ is a symbol “of all the gods to which you pray.”

–To recognize God is to recognize yourself.

 

Believing that “you are God” is perhaps the worst idea ever sold to the masses!

Keep watch. Be vigilant. The New Age ideas being pushed by Oprah cannot be easily dismissed. They’re building steam and gaining ground-even among our fellow Catholics.

I feel strongly about this because I myself was once trapped by the lies of the New Age Movement. Millions of people still are, and it is up to us to help them.

Sharon Lee Giganti’s new 3-CD set is an ideal tool to help educate and inform people about the dangers of the New Age. Won’t you join us in the effort to liberate souls from its deadly clutches?

Sincerely in the real Christ, Jimmy Akin, Director of Apologetics and Evangelization

 

Moira Noonan: The deliverance story of a former New Age guru, occultist

http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/667
EXTRACT

By Roxanne King,
Denver Catholic Register October 1, 2008

 

Raised as a Catholic, author Moira Noonan began delving into New Age practices as a college student. For years she worked in Religious Science ministry, as a psychic counselor and a therapist. In 1993, after a series of powerful conversion experiences, she returned to the Catholic Church, and is now a popular speaker in the Christian community, explaining the deeper meaning and influences of the New Age movement. Noonan has told her story in the book “Ransomed From Darkness: The New Age, Christian Faith, and the Battle for Souls” (North Bay, 2005). She has a chapter about her conversion in “Prodigal Daughters” (Ignatius Press, 1999). For more information, visit spiritbattleforsouls.org.

 

Q: How deeply were you involved with the New Age movement?

A: I was involved for 30 years. I was really far gone in every kind of psychic practice: clairvoyance, Reiki, neuro-linguistic programming. I was a clinical hypnotherapist.  I was in ministry in the Church of Religious Science, which is similar to Scientology. I was working with the “Course in Miracles“—the New Age bible. (The “Course in Miracles”) is not mainstream New Age; it leads you into the occult.

 

 

 

Occultist to Evangelist – Halloween Is Holy Again

http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/16311
EXTRACT

By Matthew Rarey, October 26-November 1, 2008 Issue of the National Catholic Register

 

Moira Noonan left the Catholic faith in the early 1970s and became a leader in the New Age movement. … Following a powerful conversion recounted in her autobiography, Ransomed From Darkness: The New Age, Christian Faith and the Battle for Souls … Noonan has devoted her life to exposing the errors she escaped and evangelizing for the faith…

Register correspondent Matthew Rarey recently spoke with her.

 

You mentioned Oprah Winfrey.

Since January 1, Oprah has been offering on her daily radio program a year-long course on the New Age Christ from the New Age bible called A Course in Miracles. With one lesson a day, she will completely cover the 365 lessons from the companion workbook. However, A Course in Miracles is not Christian.

The Course is actually three books based on the messages received by its “scribe”, Dr. Helen Schucman, a psychologist at Columbia University who was a self-described atheist. Starting in the mid-1960s and lasting for seven years, she claimed to receive daily instructions from an invisible teacher who called himself Jesus, and she auto-wrote these messages, seemingly without exercising her own will. She was always uneasy about this.

Anyhow, this “Jesus” explained that his biblical counterpart was misunderstood and misquoted — that his true teachings were not revealed. Her colleague, Dr. William Thetford, and especially her pupil, Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, got the Course published and popularized. And here’s an interesting factoid: Dr. Wapnick, a former Catholic seminarian, studied under Dr. Schucman with Father Benedict Groeschel. They’re like night and day. Wapnick has worked tirelessly promoting the Course, getting it into Barnes & Noble and helping make it mandatory reading in so many [university] psych departments.

At the height of my New Age career, I participated in study groups in which Dr. Thetford was involved. Maybe because I spent so much time studying the Course, its radical departures from Church teaching are so shockingly clear.

 

Former Occultist is Converted by Mary and Warns of New Age in the U.S. Church

http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/moira-noonan/former-occultist.htm
EXTRACT

March 25, 2009

 

Infiltration of the New Age into the Church is usually subtle…

[Moira] Noonan relates the time she attended a conference at Xavier University in Ohio and found that the student bookstore featured vampire books, astrology titles, goddess manuals, and even
The Dictionary of Satan.”

“In my own parish, I learned that the Friday night program for divorced, single, and separated Catholics was using
A Course in Miracles
as one of their textbooks,” she reports, alluding to an occult bestseller that has ensnared countless Christians. “I’ve had priests from all over the country contact me to inquire about the Course. Make no mistake. This book is the dictated pronouncements of a demon, transcribed by a Columbia University psychologist in the 1960s and 1970s.

 

Quick Questions Related to New Age

http://www.devthrone.com/thisrock/quickquestions/keyword/New%20Age
EXTRACT

 

Q: What exactly is wrong with the book A Course in Miracles? My sister said she thought it was Catholic-based, but I said I didn’t think so.

 

 

A: Forget about this one. It is New Age in Christian trappings. It teaches that all is relative, that there are no absolutes, and that Jesus is one of many enlightened masters. As I said, forget this one! – Fr. Vincent Serpa

Also:
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/quickquestions/?qid=477, http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=203749

 

A WARNING ABOUT: A COURSE IN MIRACLES

http://www.sharingthetreasures.org/pdf/warning_about_course_in_miracles.pdf

By Sharon Lee Giganti

 

A Course in Miracles is the name of a book that was written by a channeled spirit, who claimed to be Jesus.

Described as “spiritual psychotherapy”, it’s been widely promoted by Oprah, and as of January 2008, she now has Marianne Williamson, the Course’s leading spokesperson, teaching this “Course” on her world-wide radio show.

This is unfortunate, because many of the Church’s most trusted Catholic leaders — such as Fr. Mitch Pacwa
and
Fr. Benedict Groeschel — have warned the faithful for years, to stay away from this false teaching for the following reasons:

The teachings of A Course in Miracles contradict Holy Scripture, Tradition, and Authentic Catholic Teaching; claiming that: Jesus was NOT God, the devil does not exist, and there’s no such thing as evil, or sin—especially original sin, as the Course teaches that man’s fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden never happened— (preface, pg. xiii) and that Holy Scripture cannot be trusted, as Christ’s apostles misinterpreted his message and taught in error. (Text pgs. 94 & 95) These false tenets alone clearly show that the channeled spirit who wrote them, while claiming to be Jesus, is in fact, a counterfeit Christ.

 

The teachings of A Course in Miracles have FAILED many, if not all, of the standard “tests of discernment” the Church has used for centuries, to distinguish a true and Godly spirit from a false one. EVEN FOR THE NON-CHRISTIAN, THE VERY REAL DANGER
of studying “A Course in Miracles” can clearly be seen in what the Course asks you to believe: Claiming that physical life on Earth is really just a “nightmare” the collective human race is having while in a state of psychic sleep, (Text pg. 18 and throughout) the Course teaches that:
everything you see around you is an illusion,(lesson #14 and throughout) that sin and guilt are not real but, solely an invention in your own mind” (lesson #70) that, you can neither hurt others, nor be hurt (text pg. 96 and throughout)… that you can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you”the false promise that: if you see your neighbor as sinless, you will be released entirely from all effects of sin (text pg. 474) that the reality of everything is total harmlessness” (text pg. 158)… that you alone are the sole cause of anything hurtful that’s ever happened to you (lesson #23, #304, and throughout)… that, The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.” (Lesson #14 and throughout)

 

MANY FORMER STUDENTS OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES and it’s founding teachers attest to it’s core message: that if enough people, (an amount large enough to affect “mass consciousness”)—or if even just one person realizes and integrates these “truths” fully, the human race will “awaken” from it’s psychic nightmare and find that we’ve never left Heaven. The only condition necessary for this amazing occurrence is this: the student must make NO EXCEPTIONS in the application and full acceptance of the ideas.
(Workbook introduction Pgs 1 & 2, Lesson #1, and throughout)

Course students all over the world are seeking to be “the one” to hasten this “great awakening”, because they’ve been taught that when it occurs, “in the twinkling of an eye”, the entire world of “form”, with all its suffering and sorrow, will disappear and we’ll be back in Paradise.

 

THE HAZARDS OF ADOPTING THIS OUTLOOK ON LIFE
cannot be stressed enough — to give just a brief example, lest you think I’m exaggerating — the 14th lesson, which is to be accepted as true by the student, reads as follows:
“With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its’ reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say for example: God did not create that war, and so it is not real. God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real. God did not create that disaster, and so it is not real. Suitable subjects for the application of today’s idea also include: Anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned.”

 

ANOTHER POISONOUS TENET
the student of A Course in Miracles is asked to accept, is that —
any unjust, hurtful, or violent incident that happens to you, is, in actuality, merely an illusory “manifestation” of your own fearful “attack thoughts” projected outwards, like an image on a screen… (Workbook pg. I, lesson #23 and throughout)

 

 

 

This is another reason, according to the Course, that no forgiveness is ever warranted since your own ego is the “cause” of anything hurtful that ever happens to you. (Text pg. 649 and throughout) One could say, this is a perfect example of why our adversary, the devil has been called, “the accuser of the brethren”.

 

THE FAITHFUL ARE TO BE WARNED:
The Course is very deceiving, as it uses Christian terminology but gives the words alien meanings. For example, many people may have heard that the Course is “all about forgiveness”, but they’re most likely not aware, that “forgiveness” according to the Course, means saying to yourself, “since no sin ever occurred, no forgiveness is necessary.” (Text pg. 548, manual pg.79, and throughout) According to the Course, teaching our brother that he has NOT hurt us, is how we forgive.

Another example: the “Atonement”, according to the Course, is: “the acknowledgement that I am NOT in this world”, (Text, pg. 97) and this “atonement” teaches that: never having sinned, I have no need of salvation.” (Text, pg. 237)

 

I WAS A DEVOTED STUDENT AND TEACHER OF THE COURSE,
before returning to my Catholic Faith, and I’ve now devoted my life to exposing the very real dangers of A Course in Miracles and other
“New Thought” teachings such as Eckhart Tolle‘s “A New Earth”, and the Law of Attraction teachings as found in “The Secret” and the books and workshops of Abraham-Hicks. (I formerly taught their material and was known as an “Abraham Ambassador”).

I’VE SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES, and have often shared my belief, that the living out of A Course in Miracles lessons, and the like, can, and did, spawn such tragedies as rampant divorce, suicide, mental breakdown, and even murder.

I’ve publicly stated my opinion, that “You cannot study A Course in Miracles without seriously jeopardizing your faith, and putting your mental, physical, and spiritual health at risk.”

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHO I WAS DEALING WITH, when I read in the Course, that, after finishing the lessons, mighty companions would walk beside me… that, “helpers are given you in many forms… their names are LEGION.”
(Manual for teachers, pg 87) Unfortunately, it was only years later that I would read in the gospels, the story of Jesus healing a man possessed by unclean spirits, and that, when casting out those demons Jesus asked, “What is your name?” and they replied, “
WE ARE LEGION, for we are many.
(Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30)

 

PERHAPS YOU’VE ASKED YOURSELF THE QUESTION
that seems to be on everyone’s mind lately: Can I still be a good Catholic and devotedly watch a show like Oprah’s which promotes New Thought teachings, study A Course in Miracles, or embrace the lessons of “A New Earth”?

FOR ME, THE ANSWER RESOUNDS IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES OF OUR CHURCH:
The following passages are found in 2nd John chapter 1. I’ve used the words of the NAB and Douay-Rheims Catholic Bibles, all emphasis is mine.

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, (the complete, apostolic doctrine of Jesus Christ and the historical truth about Him), DO NOT RECEIVE HIM INTO YOUR HOUSE, or even greet him, wishing him ‘God-speed’; for whoever greets him or wishes him ‘God-speed’ shares in his evil works.” Verse 10 Douay-Rheims Bible footnotes regarding these and other such verses: “This admonition is in general, to forewarn the faithful of the dangers which may arise from a familiarity with those who have prevaricated and gone from the true faith, and with such as teach false doctrine. BUT, this is NOT forbidding a charity for all men, by which we ought to wish and pray for the eternal salvation of every one, even our enemies.”

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: THIS IS A SEDUCER AND AN ANTICHRIST” Verse 7 “Anyone who is so ‘progressive’ as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.” Verse 9

And from Ephesians chapter 5 – “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient– SO DO NOT BE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM”. Verses 6 & 7 “TAKE NO PART in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret…” Verses 11 &12

 

MORE DEADLY QUOTES FROM: A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Lesson #14“The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of our own making, and it does not exist.”

Lesson #101“You need the practice periods today. The exercises teach sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will never happen, for it has no cause… say: God’s Will for me is perfect happiness. There is no sin; it has no consequence.”

Text page 158, Line 2“The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality.”

Text page 96, Line 19“The Holy Spirit says you cannot either hurt or be hurt. Your brothers need to hear this. Perceive only this need in them and do not respond to any other.”

Text page 474“Christ’s Vision is to see your brother as sinless – do that and you will be released entirely from all effects of sin.”

 

A Course in Miracles asserts again and again that: A sense of guilt for having done “wrong” is an illusionary invention of our own minds, and is to be downplayed or overlooked as much as possible.

Here is an excerpt taken directly from the text:

 

 

“When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. In understanding this you are saved. The seeming cost of accepting today’s idea is this: It means that nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But it also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you, or disturb your peace or upset you in any way. Today’s idea places you in charge of the universe, where you belong because of what you are. This is not a role that can be partially accepted. And you must surely begin to see that accepting it is salvation.” (Lesson# 70)

 

According to the Course, TO FORGIVE means, you: “hold not the proof of sin before your brother’s eyes… You must attest his sins have no effect on you to demonstrate they are not real”.

The Course teaches, in a thousand ways, its axiom that: “In our defenselessness our safety lies”. While this may sound “spiritually loving”, the Course’s teaching of this idea goes seriously awry; for, according to the Course, no defense is ever warranted since “in reality” no offence or attack really occurs. The Course teaches that sin and guilt are not real, and therefore, neither are any of their “seeming effects”.

 

Marianne Williamson believes A Course in Miracles can, and does generate real and lasting peace. She will undoubtedly be very involved in our Government’s “U.S. Department of Peace” if she can help to make it a reality. She is the founder of The Peace Alliance, a grassroots campaign group working to install in our Government, this “Department of Peace”, as a compliment to our Department of Defense. This group’s numbers are growing daily, nationwide, thanks to Oprah’s enthusiastic promotion of Marianne Williamson. Marianne has said that the head of the Department of Peace will be VERY influential in our Government’s policy making, “having the ear of the President”
as it dispenses advice on the art and science of “Peace keeping”. Knowing that Marianne Williamson is a world renowned devotee of A Course in Miracles and the channeled spirit who authored it, and knowing full well what the Course teaches, I find myself thinking of a certain passage in Scripture:
And Jesus wept, for they knew not the ways of peace”.

Luke 19:41 (paraphrase)

 

For more information or to have Sharon speak to your group, Please contact Sharon Giganti (619) 463-2310 sharontheword@yahoo.com or call Judy Salmon at (619) 884-3829

Note: All quotes from A Course in Miracles are from the combined three volume 1992 edition, Published by The Foundation for Inner Peace (Now called The Foundation for A Course in Miracles)

Also at http://www.newagedeception.com/new/free-resources/5-a-warning-about-a-course-in-miracles.html,

http://www.newagedeception.com/resources/Warning%20about%20a%20course%20in%20miracles.doc

 

Wanting to Have Your New Age Cake and Eat It Too

http://www.asanas.org.uk/files/001York.pdf/
http://www.asanas.org.uk/files/001Contents.pdf
EXTRACT

(Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies 2005)

By Michael York, 2003

 

Among the portfolio of New Thought groups, those which are chiefly significant for New Age include Unity, Divine Science, Religious Science, the Adventures in Enlightenment Foundation (Terry Cole-Whittaker) and Miracle Experiences, Inc. (A Course in Miracles).

Whilst most New Thought is to be found in America, New Thought groups exist throughout the world. Much of the New Thought – New Age international impetus is now led by the formation of A Course in Miracles study groups.

 

Hidden Dangers of the New Age

http://www.catholicassociates.com/leaflets/Hidden%20dangers%20New%20Age.pdf
EXTRACT

 

Another ‘…ism’ that should be mentioned here is Gnosticism, that heresy which was widespread in the second and third centuries, and which has re-surfaced repeatedly ever since, albeit under different disguises – the present one being the New Age Movement. (Incidentally, Gnosticism is also the ‘religion’ of the Da Vinci Code which is currently doing irreparable harm to the faith of millions – young and old alike – by means of both the book and the film).

The writings of many New Age authors contain Christian terminology and quotations from Sacred Scripture. This gives the writings a cloak of authenticity which they do not deserve. An example of this is a programme called ‘A Course in Miracles’ promoted by the Institute for Teaching Inner Peace. They have an impressive website offering a range of books, CD’s, DVD’s, audio and video tapes and a free quarterly magazine.

 

The purpose of this self-study course is to change one’s perceptions. The late author, Dr Helen Schucman, claimed that the course was given to her as an inner dictation. Some of it is written as though the words come directly from Jesus. The unwary may be taken in by this, but the ‘Course in Miracles’ has been described as a modern version of Gnosticism. It is counterfeit Christianity.

It is interesting to note that in Volume One of his ‘History of the Church’ Philip Hughes states that the Gnostic movement became ‘a rich and confused amalgam of rituals and beliefs, magical practices and theories, which attracted many followers.’ That would be a suitable description for much of the New Age Movement today.

Also at http://www.catholicassociates.com/Talk%20ProFide%20Apr_07.pdf, Religion, Spirituality and ‘Mumbo-Jumbo’

 

Why New Age is a Challenge for Christianity

http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=56135
EXTRACT

 

Father Alessandro Olivieri Pennesi Responds

VATICAN CITY, June 30, 2004 (Zenit.org) The spread of New Age and its use and abuse of Christian elements make of the movement a challenge for the baptized, says a specialist at the Lateran University.
Father Alessandro Olivieri Pennesi, a professor at the Mater Ecclesiae Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of the Lateran, gave that warning in an interview with us.
An international consultation on New Age, held by the Holy See from June 14-16, emphasized the need to know this phenomenon better in order to provide more appropriate Christian answers.

 

Q:
What are the conceptual characteristics that describe New Age? And what are the main differences that characterize Christian doctrine?
Father Olivieri Pennesi: [I]nsofar as sin is concerned, while reference to Adam’s sin is silenced, it is affirmed, as “A Course in Miracles” states, that man’s principal problem is his ignorance of his divinity. Every perceptible fault
that man thinks he has is more an absence of knowledge; with this is eliminated the need for salvation and for a savior.

Sixty-eight, mysticism, Satanism

http://www.30giorni.it/us/articolo.asp?id=910
EXTRACT

Published in 30 Giorni, May 2003, Rome

The relevance of the ancient Gnosticism and its perversions insinuate themselves into Catholic thought even at higher-levels. An interview with Alessandro Olivieri Pennesi, Lecturer at the Lateran Pontifical University by Giovanni Cubeddu.

How widespread [is New Age thought]?
Father Olivieri Pennesi:
The attempt at divinizing man that the New Age propagates, through a transformation that can be brought about by working on oneself, comes with a retrieval of the idea of alchemy. In the Celestine Prophecy there is the metaphor of the spiritualization of the man who becomes pure energy: a Gnostic attempt to get back to the divine spark. That also comes in another of the sacred texts of the New Age, Course in Miracles. It’s a book that came out of academic circles in the United States, the work of Helen Schucman, who is Jewish. She claimed to enter in contact with her deep self, receiving from it the “revelation” of Christ.

New Age: Still with Us and Still Dangerous, Part Two

http://catholicexchange.com/2009/11/24/124328/
EXTRACT

By Cheryl Dickow, November 24, 2009

 

New Age teachings are dangerous because they encourage us to assume that we know what is best for our salvation and when we enter into these teachings we jeopardize our eternal life in ways that we may never know — until it is too late.

 

Sharon Lee Giganti is a popular speaker on the new age phenomenon with tragic, first-hand experiences with its dangers. Sharon was recently a guest on Teresa Tomeo’s EWTN radio program “Catholic Connection” where she shared the family tragedy that resulted in her New Age philandering and her passions to ensure that new age teachings are seen for what they are — evil.

The cornerstone of Sharon’s speaking and upcoming book is based upon a list she calls “The Devil’s Dirty Dozen“. Sharon’s website is www.NewAgeDeception.com. Sharon was kind enough to give me some of her time to answer a few questions and offer resources.

 

Dickow: Sadly, I’ve heard you share other personal stories of New Age teachings gone terribly wrong. I know that you were so entrenched in this teaching that you couldn’t see yourself clear from it — even when these tragedies surrounded you. Can you tell us a little of your friend’s suicide?

Giganti: A friend came to me with questions regarding the taking of one’s own life and I answered with the most common New Age teachings, especially those of Abraham, and another well known New Age teaching: A Course in Miracles. I told this young lady, “No, it is not wrong as there is no absolute right or wrong, good or bad, you’ve only been conditioned to believe it’s wrong.” Quoting Abraham, I told her, “In Truth, every death is a suicide, since we each are in charge of when we re-emerge into the Non-physical dimension.”

Would her family be devastated?” she worried. “Only if you envision them that way. You can create that scenario if you want, but you can also create a better scenario with the power of your thought and feeling vibrations… No, God would not be displeased since there is no ‘God’ that exists as such a judge.” Quoting Abraham again, I told her, “God is nothing more or less than the Law of Attraction, and you are free to attract anything you want, even death.”

She left my home the next morning, locked herself into a hotel, and drank poison until she died. […]

You won’t really understand the depth of A Course in Miracles depravity, unless you read some of its samples that I’ve listed on my free document: “A Warning About: A Course in Miracles”*—found under Free Resources, on my website www.NewAgeDeception.com. *See page 12

 

The World’s “Most Dangerous” Spiritual Guru: Oprah Begins 10-Week Online New Age Class

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/mar/08030701

By John Jalsevac, LifeSiteNews.com March 7, 2008

 

This past Monday Oprah Winfrey, considered by many to be the world’s most influential woman, began a ten-week long online course on the best-selling book, A New Earth, by New Age guru, Eckhart Tolle. A New Earth has already sold some 3.5 million copies worldwide, thanks largely to the publicity given to it by Oprah. According to Oprah, 500,000 people from across the world signed on to the first segment of the online course, to spend an hour and a half listening to Eckhart and Oprah talking about chapter 1 of the book, and taking calls from participants.

In recent years Oprah has been inviting an increasing number of representatives of new age spirituality onto her talk shows, including figures such as Marianne Williamson, Barbara DeAngelis, LaVar Burton, Richard Carlson, Betty Eadie, and many others. Oprah has strongly endorsed many of their works, and has included some of them in her “Book Club” list.  
Since the beginning of this year Oprah has offered daily classes on her XM radio station on the book A Course in Miracles. “A Course in Miracles” (or ACIM for short) was written by another major player in the New Age movement, Helen Schucman, who claims that the book was dictated to her by an interior voice, which she identifies with Jesus Christ. In that course, the listener is taught that there is no sin, is told not to make the “mistake” of “clinging to the old rugged cross,” and that the name of “Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol.” 

Oprah, who is a self-labeled “Christian”, was recently named the “most dangerous woman in the world” by Bill Keller, considered by some to be the world’s leading Internet evangelist. He accused Oprah of peddling the equivalent of “spiritual crack.” Keller has been warning the subscribers of his Daily Devotional for years about Oprah and how she uses her TV program to promote every New Age philosophy in the world, including the wildly popular book and DVD last year, The Secret,” which teaches readers or viewers that simply by desiring them strongly enough, one may obtain wealth, health and happiness.

However, rarely has Oprah shown more enthusiasm for a New Age guru than for the so-called Eckhart Tolle, who takes his first name from the well-known 13th century Catholic Rhineland mystic, Meister Eckhart. Tolle is the author of several books including The Power of Now*,” and, most recently, A New Earth. *See my comments on page 18

 

 

Much like many other New Age systems, Eckhart’s “spirituality” is a vague, ethereal blend of spiritual theories and ideas, gleaned from all of the world’s major religions. Eckhart promises the attainment of “inner peace” and a higher state of consciousness by utilizing methods of meditation that plunge one into the “now.” He also says that mankind is in a moment of crisis, in which the race must either achieve the next stage in its evolution by attaining “higher consciousness”, or destroy itself and the planet.

The title of his newest book, A New Earth, is taken from Chapter 21 from the Book of Revelation, in which the Biblical visionary says that he “saw a new heaven and a new earth.” Throughout his newest book Eckhart sprinkles quotations from Scripture, and he frequently speaks about Christ and Scripture in his talks.

The core of Eckhart’s teaching is a religious relativism, in which he eschews all rigid doctrine or exclusive claims to truth as dangerous and manifestations of “egoic consciousness.” “The moment you say ‘only my belief’ or ‘our belief’ is true, and you deny other people’s beliefs, then you’ve adopted an ideology,” Eckhart told the participants in Monday’s online class. “And then religion becomes a closed door.”

Eckhart explains away conscience and feelings of guilt as but the consequence of years of conditioning. He told one caller, who confessed that she still feels guilt when she decides against going to church on Sunday, that she must recognize that “the voice” which tells her to go to church is simply the result of social conditioning.

One caller into the show told Oprah that she was a Catholic, and was having trouble seeing how Eckhart’s teachings could be reconciled with her Catholicism. Oprah responded that the caller must simply realize that Christianity is but one of many ways to achieve the “higher consciousness,” and that the belief that one must follow a set of doctrines is a consequence of “egoic consciousness.” While Christianity is a valid way to achieve high states of spirituality, it must not be considered a unique way, or a “correct way”.

“Jesus,” said Oprah, “came to show us Christ-consciousness…Jesus came to show us the way of the heart…Jesus came to say, ‘Look I’m going to live in the body, in the human body and I’m going to show you how it’s done.’ These are some principles and some laws that you can use to live by to know that way”

She concluded, “I don’t believe that Jesus came to start Christianity.”

“What Jesus said is much deeper than what you, how the church interprets it. There’s a depth to it. And it reflects your own depth when you read it. So there’s no conflict between this teaching, which is purely spiritual, and any religion.”

Oprah also indicated that there are many names that one might give to that which she calls “God”, including “energy,” “consciousness” and “life.”
Oprah also contrasted what she called the “old” spirituality vs. the “new” spirituality, as espoused by Eckhart. “The old way is the hierarchy has the authority. Church authorities tell you how to worship in church and how to behave outside of church. The new spirituality is that you are your own best authority as you work to know and love yourself, you discover how to live a more spiritual life.”

Despite Oprah and Eckhart’s reduction of Christianity to but one “way” amongst many other equally legitimate ways to God, and their calling Christ a “revolutionary” who has been misunderstood by the Church, and who simply came to manifest “Christ-consciousness”, a quick search through the internet reveals that many Christians are following Oprah in attempting to fuse together the teachings of Eckhart, and the doctrines of the historical Christian church.

One writer on the message board on Oprah’s website wrote a message with the subject line, “Scared I’m replacing my religion, which I love.” “I just started the book” she wrote, “and I love the idea of the book but I guess the question I keep repeating in my head is will this be replacing my religion? How do the two work together. Can someone please help ease my mind that I’m not turning on the lord?”

Many of the respondents to the questioner confessed that they too had similar misgivings about the book, but “upon reflection”, realized that Tolle draws from numerous Christian sources, and that he and Oprah were giving them a “deeper understanding” of their faith.

However, Keller, and a number of other Christian pastors have begun to actively warn Christians that Oprah and Eckhart’s teachings are by no means compatible with Christianity. “Oprah is now trying to be the spiritual guru to this nation,” said Keller in an appearance on Fox. “Sadly, she is being used as a tool of Satan to lead millions of souls to hell with her false teachings.”

Another pastor, James A. Smith Sr., writing in the Florida Baptist Witness, criticized Oprah’s “spirituality” for its emphasis on the power of the individual to define truth and reality, and to totally control one’s own life. “What this fails to acknowledge is that man dos not define reality; man does not determine what truth is,” wrote Smith. “The source of truth for our decisions and power is the one true God of all reality and He has communicated plenary propositional truths to us in the Bible and remarkably, uniquely in His incarnation in Jesus Christ.

“Oprah, as with other New Agers, is not in pursuit and in communion with God.” 

WorldNetDaily columnist Chuck Norris, wrote about Oprah and The New Earth, “The reason Tolle’s psychology and spirituality is marketed so easy is that it is an eclectic mix of conventional and unconventional wisdom, and Western and Eastern beliefs, presented in a tolerant, non-threatening, and non-sectarian way. In other words, it’s ‘Religion Light’, in which one can be spiritual with ‘little down and no credit’.”

Norris recommended that his readers simply sit down and read a Bible, rather than A New Earth. “One could easily save the purchase price of A New Earth and subsequently avoid misleading remarks by reading a Bible, which gives a much more thorough and accurate picture of life’s purpose and methods for overcoming its obstacles,” said Norris.
See YouTube video of Fox interview with Bill Keller http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFtKIztRtnY

 

 

 

*From page 16, my comments on “The Power of Now“.

Like so many other New Age titles, The Power of Now is available at the Good Pastor bookshop run by St Pauls Society in Chennai: The Power of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle, published by YOGI Impressions, Rs 250; with reviews by
New Agers Deepak Chopra
and
Oprah Winfrey
on the cover.

 

 

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

http://womenofgrace.com/newage/?p=68
EXTRACT

By Susan Brinkmann, March 15, 2010

 

EFT is a New Age alternative medical practice that is based on the balancing of an energy form that is not supported by science, and is therefore considered to be a pseudoscience… According to EFT founder Gary Craig, EFT combines two New Age techniques (which he refers to on his website as “well established sciences”) Mind Body Medicine and Acupuncture (he’s referring to the traditional Chinese medicine form of acupuncture, which is based on the alleged existence of opposing energy forces known as yin and yang rather than the medical form)…

On his website, he openly admits that he is an avid student of A Course in Miracles, an occult-based mind-control program created by a woman who claimed to be channeling Christ.

Note: For more on EFT, see separate article at this ministry’s website. Also see my compilation NEW AGE by Susan Brinkmann.

 

Stay Away from A Course In Miracles

http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2007/04/stay-away-from-course-in-miracles.html April 4, 2007

 

Q: I was wondering if you might know of A Course In Miracles. Thomas Merton left when A Course In Miracles was scribed, and he taught also ideas taught by Jesus in A Course In Miracles. I like it, especially in these times, when Jesus offers a new interpretation of old concepts from the Gospel.

Some I have mentioned in my blog, http://teachingacourseinmiracles.blogspot.com. I am always looking at ways to introduce A Course In Miracles to a wider audience.
What does a Catholic like you say about A Course In Miracles, and the fact that is quite obvious to anyone looking at this masterpiece, that Jesus is the author of it?
Once I heard that it is on the index of the Catholic Church. I do not know if that is true. Yet who was more a heretic than Jesus Christ? Isn’t it the same today than it was 2000 years ago? That is why no one wants anything to have to do with it.
It has changed my life. Once I wanted to become a priest, but while growing up in a Catholic seminary I lost my faith in the god I was taught. Nothing made sense to me anymore. I could not resolve the existence of this world of cruelty with the idea of a loving God, and still can’t. But through A Course In Miracles I found relief that I don’t have to. It allows me to experience God in me, in everything, God not knowing of this world, God Who truly has no opposite. My relationship with Him is not broken or lacking, and therefore it is a fact that there is no sin. If sin were true, I would be forever separated from God. Separation is a false idea. So, aren’t we all in need of teaching this? Teaching in order to learn, teaching the truth; in order to learn forgiveness, I have to teach it. In order to be healed, I have to heal. In order to be free, I have to release, to free. All power is given me in Heaven and Earth. The resurrection did happen, and it must include everyone and everything. This is and can only be an individual discovery for anyone here on Earth. Nothing else will ever solve any problem that besets mankind. Happy Easter. Alban
A: Dear Alban,
I am about to disappoint you. I think that A Course In Miracles is nothing short of a modern Gnostic work, contradicting the Gospel in several key areas. I don’t see how “Jesus” could be the author of this work. As such, this work is not apt to instruct or correct Catholic Christians in the living of the Gospel.
The Catholic Church stopped keeping an “Index of Forbidden Books” back in 1965. Such an endeavor was easy to do when the book printing output was a fairly small enterprise and a book catalog could be kept by bored clerics. That’s a very impractical, if not impossible thing to do today, considering the publication output of modern media and the Internet. Besides, putting a work in such an Index would constitute a “reverse endorsement.” Any such designation would be exploited by publicity-hungry authors and publishing houses who would then use the Church’s censure for maximum propaganda effect. Advertisements would read “Come, buy this book! BANNED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!” People would just flock to buy it.
Nevertheless, we all still have the responsibility to refrain from reading works damaging to the faith, unless one is prepared to face up those arguments and the truth is that not all of us are that well-prepared.

 

 

 

Context is also important: I may read an essay by Dawkins and his coterie of lonely atheists if printed in a reputable publication, but probably would pass if it were printed in Penthouse. Such a context would provide a marked occasion for sin at numerous levels. The Catholic Christian must not be either proud or naive when facing temptation and should have a distinct appreciation of when s/he is staring down the chasm of temptation and sin, less one tempts the Lord in the process.
This brings us back to A Course In Miracles. Jesus didn’t write this, nor was He “channeled” by anyone to do so. The work contradicts the Gospel, as I said, in many key places, as you yourself have admitted by denying the reality of sin. To say something like…my relationship with Him is not broken or lacking, and therefore it is a fact that there is no sin is, in my view, wrong, for it assumes that the soul has reached an ontological “perfection” in this life, that the Christian life consists only in the “unfolding” of this realization. I also think that this assertion reflects a sin of presumption of God’s grace. Any spirituality flowing from such an axiom would be, in my view, damaging to one’s soul.
The constant use of the first person pronouns (“I, me, mine”) also unsettles me, because Catholic Christianity is a reality that transcends the individual. The Gnostic “spirituality” contained in this book sets the individual and his/her “gnosis” (“knowledge”) over and against the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
Finally, the allegation that Jesus granted a new “revelation” violates the apostolic consensus that public revelation, the one binding on all Christians everywhere and at all times, ended with the death of the last apostle; that every “revelation” since is by definition a “private revelation” subject to the discernment of spirits which St. Paul talks about, and other criteria we find in the Johannine writings, and that even if such a private revelation were to meet these criteria, it would only be binding on the person who received it, and also on those who voluntarily make its teaching their own. In this line of “revelations” we find those received by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque about the Sacred Heart, and to St. Faustina regarding the Divine Mercy, along with all “approved” Marian apparitions.
Because of its substance, contents, and claims, A Course In Miracles fails the “discernment of spirits” test. I believe that if you practice its teaching, you will end up in a state of spiritual confusion and captivity. My suggestion to you is that you break away from this book and return to the true Christ you meet in Word and Sacrament in the Catholic Church.
I remain, Your concerned brother in Our Lord Jesus Christ, Theo [Teófilo de Jesús]

Also see:
http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43861/13255939/A_Course_in_Miracles_and_Catholicism

The Making of ‘A Course in Miracles’

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2004/07/The-Making-Of-A-Course-In-Miracles.aspx

By Randall Sullivan

 

A Catholic priest recounts the mysterious spiritual journey of ‘A Course in Miracles’ scribe Helen Schucman.

Journalist Randall Sullivan met Father Benedict Groeschel, a Catholic priest and popular speaker, while Sullivan was investigating claims of miraculous occurrences in America and abroad. In this excerpt, Father Groeschel discusses Helen Schucman, who “scribed” the bestselling spiritual work “A Course in Miracles.”

Reprinted from The Miracle Detective: An Investigation of Holy Visions with permission of Grove/Atlantic.


[Father Groeschel] was certainly no less perplexed by what he had witnessed more than 30 years earlier, when he had been present at the inception of a book now considered to be the “New Age Bible.” He had been a graduate student in psychology at Columbia University during the late 1960s when one of his professors, a woman named Helen Schucman, had written – “which is not to say authored” – A Course in Miracles.

Helen Schucman was nearly sixty when they met, and Groeschel, who was then almost forty, knew her not only as a teacher but also as a friend. “Helen was a very scientific lady,” he recalled, “a Jewish intellectual who considered herself to be an extreme agnostic, though not quite an atheist, and very skeptical about everything having to do with religion or spirituality.” Schucman also was witty and engaging, and Groeschel, who was writing his dissertation on the relationship between science and theology, found her to be one of the most stimulating conversationalists he had every encountered. The older woman became a good deal more fascinating to him when she announced in 1969 that she was taking dictation from a disembodied voice she knew only as the “Son of God.”

It had all started one day when she was riding the subway uptown and experienced a vision, Schucman explained: A beautiful light suddenly filled the car and shone on the faces of the people all around her. A short time later, she felt compelled to begin writing page after page of blank verse that eventually grew into A Course in Miracles. Groeschel still could vividly recall his “dizzy astonishment” as the professor explained that she knew the meaning of each sentence she was writing, but had no idea what was coming next. “The interesting thing is that it scanned,” the priest remembered. “It was written in iambic pentameter, and some of the passages were quite beautiful.” The result was a series of discourses by the “Son of God” in which the narrator/teacher/protagonist came across as the figure Jesus Christ might have been if born a Hindu rather than a Jew. Sin, sacrifice, and suffering all were dismissed as illusory, the maya (though this word was never used) of those chained to earthly existence.

Only forgiveness is real, and all things, even the most heinous acts, are forgiven, the “Son of God” says again and again, without any need for penance or punishment.

 

He eventually came to understand the book as the product of “an intellectual experience called ‘sequential words,'” Groeschel said. “It’s actually very common and probably the least impressive of all these things. St. John of the Cross nailed it. He said, ‘They’re calling the words of God the thoughts that they address to themselves.’ Now, there’s an ice-cold glass of hot water.”

What Groeschel found to be at once most thrilling and confusing about Helen Schucman’s process was that, during the time she wrote A Course in Miracles (a book that any number of fundamentalist Christian ministers have called the most dangerous ever published), she became intensely attracted to the Catholic Church, attended Mass regularly, and was devoted to the Virgin Mary. Only under close questioning did Schucman admit that, many years earlier, she had briefly been a Christian. This had resulted from an “accidental” childhood visit to Lourdes, where she had been so moved that she received baptism upon her return to the U.S. She also had prayed the Rosary for years afterwards, Schucman claimed, until she adopted scientific skepticism as her creed, and lived by it for most of her adult life.

When he suggested she apply for membership in the Catholic Church, Schucman replied that this was unnecessary because, as a Jew, she had been Catholic before “you Gentiles came along and made all these rules.”

No less fascinating to the priest was the sharp distinction between Schucman’s own stated convictions and the content of A Course in Miracles. “I hate that damn book,” she often told him, and regularly disavowed its teachings.

Groeschel continued to try to “open the doors of the Church” to Schucman, but his influence was subverted by her husband. William Thetford, also a Columbia professor, was a mysterious character, and “probably the most sinister person I ever met,” the priest recalled. Only after he retired from teaching did Thetford’s Columbia colleagues (who knew him best as a rare-books expert) discover that all during the years they worked with him, the man had been employed as an agent of the CIA–one who was, among other things, present at the first fission experiment conducted by physicists assigned to the Manhattan Project. Thetford also was “the most religious atheist I have ever known,” Groeschel recalled, and conceived a great enthusiasm for A Course in Miracles, personally arranging for its publication. Schucman was embarrassed, Groeschel remembered, and confided to the priest her fear that the book would create a cult, which of course it did.

Groeschel initially read the Course as “religious poetry,” but grew steadily more negative in his assessment of it as the years passed and sales of the three volumes passed into the millions of copies. From his point of view, A Course in Miracles served to undermine authentic Christianity more effectively than just about any other work he could recall, and while he was inclined to reject the position of St. John of the Cross that “these things are diabolical unless proven otherwise,” doubts had crept in over the years.

Most troubling to him by far was the “black hole of rage and depression that Schucman fell into during the last two years of her life,” the priest explained. She had become frightening to be with, Groeschel recalled, spewing psychotic hatred not only for A Course in Miracles but “for all things spiritual.” When he sat at Schucman’s bedside as she lay dying, “she cursed, in the coarsest barroom language you could imagine, ‘that book, that goddamn book’. She said it was the worst thing that ever happened to her. I mean, she raised the hair on the back of my neck. It was truly terrible to witness.”

Only during Schucman’s last weeks of life did Groeschel learn that the woman’s mother had been a Christian Scientist, one who read to the girl from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy all during her childhood.
This information had contributed to the appraisal of the woman he found easiest to live with, the priest said: “I decided that A Course in Miracles was a fascinating blend of poorly understood Christianity inspired by her visit to Lourdes and poorly understood Christian Science inspired by her memory of Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, all of it filtered through some profound psychological problems and processes.”

Yet doubts persisted. The morning Schucman died, Groeschel said a funeral Mass for her. “Only, when I opened the missal did I discover that it was the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes,” the priest recalled, “and I tell you, I shivered. The odds are one out of three hundred and sixty-five.”

He had been sifting his experiences with Helen Schucman through his mind for more than three decades now, Groeschel said, and over the years had realized that any attempt to define them was futile. “What I learned, I think, is that these things can be both real and imaginary, paranormal and spiritual, divine and diabolical. And that when you enter the world of the supernatural, the worst mistake you can make is to impose an ultrarealist point of view. You can’t make those kinds of distinctions about experiences that are beyond our comprehension. You have to do as Moses Maimonides instructed and teach your students to say, ‘I don’t know’.”


The Secret, A Course in Miracles, and Oprah Winfrey

http://catholicischristian.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/the-secret-a-course-in-miracles-and-oprah-winfrey/

By Christine, April 30, 2011

 

 

I believe any individual today who does a moderate bit of research over the internet regarding some ideas they’ve heard expressed on the Oprah Winfrey show, or to follow-up on certain individuals she’s had on the show will find a great deal of hubbub going on regarding these practices and ideas she’s promoting. Even without being a viewer of the Oprah Winfrey show many people today are catching wind of some very influential books on the market such as The Secret, A Course in Miracles, and New Earth.

This has made a significant ripple in the Christian world as well. Many different Protestant and Catholics have been quite outspoken regarding the ideology of these movements of thought and the individuals behind them as well. Names like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, and sometimes Esther Hicks speak of individuals who have become very influential not only in the secular world but among many Christians as well. The raging debate with the methods being taught by these individuals and the Christian collective is most starkly summed up, from a Christian standpoint, as the fight between New Age and Christianity. This new movement of thought permeates Christian thought on a much more wide scale level because this latest movement incorporates many ideas of Christianity and yet reconstructs its tenants to also incorporate other world faith views and ideas as well as New Age beliefs. Through an a la carte potpourri of tenants, ideas, and world religious mantras, this new breed of spiritual self-help guru’s is having a widespread effect on the beliefs and ideas of the Christian populace.

In order to clarify this position and to create a factual basis for these statements, I’ve selected a short list of quotes regarding this movement and its influence.

First, I’ll discuss The Secret. It deals, primarily, with what’s called the Law of Attraction. According to a foremost former New Age “evangelist” Sharon Lee Giganti the Law of Attraction was “the premiere teaching of a channeled spirit called Abraham” whom Giganti herself used to follow. She also states that, “although this was only mentioned once or twice in The Secret the media picked up on this and it was dubbed, ‘the Secret behind The Secret.[1]  

The spirit “Abraham” was channeled through Esther Hicks. Esther Hicks was a narrator and star of the original version of the film The Secret, as well as a central source of the film’s inspiration. The Hicks’ books, including the best-selling series The Law of Attraction, are — according to Esther Hicks — “translated from a group of non-physical entities called Abraham” (Hicks describes what she is doing as tapping into ‘infinite intelligence’). After a contract dispute with the writer of The Secret the source of the inspiration for it, Abraham – via Hicks – no longer appear in the film version.[2]

A Course in Miracles (which encompasses a textbook, a workbook for students, and a manual for teachers), [was] authored by research psychologist Helen Schucman. Dr. Schucman maintained that between 1965 and 1972 an “inner voice” (which she identified as Jesus) dictated the material to her, which she took down in shorthand and transcribed into what was eventually published as A Course in Miracles.” [3] “It’s been widely promoted by Oprah, and as of January 2008, she now has Marianne Williamson, the Course’s leading spokesperson, teaching this “Course” on her world-wide XM radio show.”[3], [4]

“The teachings of A Course in Miracles [claim] that: Jesus was NOT God, the devil does not exist, and there’s no such thing as evil, or ‘sin’ especially original sin, that man’s fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden never happened— (preface, pg. xiii) and that Holy Scripture cannot be trusted, as Christ’s apostles misinterpreted his message and taught in error. (Text pgs. 94 & 95) Everything you see around you is an illusion,(lesson #14 and throughout) that sin and guilt are not real but, “solely an invention in your own mind” (Lesson #70) that, you can neither hurt others, nor be hurt (Text pg. 96 and throughout)… that “you can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you”… the false promise that: if you see your neighbor as sinless, “you will be released entirely from all effects of sin” (Text pg. 474) that “the reality of everything is total harmlessness” (Text pg. 158) … that you alone are the sole cause of anything hurtful that’s ever happened to you (Lesson #23, #304, and throughout) … that, “The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.” (Lesson #14 and throughout) ” [4] One of the more startling teachings within the course as “the 14th lesson, which is to be accepted as true by the student, reads as follows: “With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its’ reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say for example: God did not create that war, and so it is not real. God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real. God did not create that disaster, and so it is not real. Suitable subjects for the application of today’s idea also include: Anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned.”

Another startling teaching for anyone familiar with the gospel of Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30 is the teaching included in the teachers manual that states, “helpers are given you in many forms… their names are LEGION.”[4]

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, a Capuchin Order Roman Catholic priest, knew the medium Helen Schucman personally — was at her bedside when she was dying— and has stated that, by the end of her life, she was almost completely overcome by rage (against all things spiritual—especially the Course in Miracles which she used to curse!) and [was in] the blackest depression he had ever seen. According to Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s point of view, “A Course In Miracles served to undermine authentic Christianity more effectively than just about any other work he could recall…” Fr. Groeschel shares his story concerning Helen in an interview, “No less fascinating to the priest was the sharp distinction between Schucman’s own stated convictions and the contents of A Course in Miracles. ‘I hate that d___ book’, she often told him, and regularly disavowed its teachings. Most troubling to him by far was the ‘black hole of rage and depression she fell into during the last two years of her life’, the priest explained. She had become frightening to be with, Groeschel recalled, spewing psychotic hatred not only for A Course in Miracles but ‘for all things spiritual.’ When he sat at Schucman’s bedside as she lay dying, ‘she cursed, in the coarsest barroom language you could imagine, ‘that book, that g__d___ book’. ‘She said it was the worst thing that ever happened to her. I mean, it raised the hair on the back of my neck. It was truly terrible to witness.’ [5], [6]

 

Eckhart Tolle‘s book A New Earth was also promoted by Oprah. Tolle himself doesn’t align with any one religion but blends tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Sufism, Christianity and other faiths. A review in The Vancouver Sun said of Tolle: “His spiritual outlook has become more complex since (his earlier book) The Power of Now, when he dismissed external reality as an illusion and made it sound as if ‘living in the now’ was a panacea for all the world’s problems. …”

In addition, Tolle believes outer realities — including politics, war, poverty and even the climate — will magically be transformed when individuals change their inner consciousness. This may be true, but only to an extent. The reason Tolle’s psychology and spirituality is marketed so easily is that it is an eclectic mix of conventional and unconventional wisdom, and Western and Eastern beliefs, presented in a tolerant, non-threatening and nonsectarian way. In other words, it’s Religion Light, in which one can be spiritual with little down and no credit. Tolle only quotes relatively benign sayings of Jesus, avoiding the more difficult ones. For example, Tolle notes that Jesus taught that the “kingdom of heaven” is already present on earth and can be experienced right now, but Tolle overlooks Jesus’ teaching that one must be born again (by believing in him as the Son of God and Savior) to see that kingdom in the future.”[7]

 

All of this information comes back to Oprah Winfrey because she is a huge, enthusiastic promoter of these New Age authors. She has promoted The Secret, A New Earth, and A Course in Miracles. As a result, “Since Oprah’s endorsement of Tolle’s book a month ago, about 3.5 million copies of his spiritual self-help guide have been sent out to enlighten the minds of people around the globe. More than 500,000 people in 125 countries have signed up for [a] World Wide Web seminar.”[6] After her promotion of The Secret the sales for that book went through the roof, as well as it did for A Course in Miracles. “Because of the long list of New Age teachers she promotes on her media outlets, she has done more to promote New Age Spirituality than any other person on the planet Earth.”[8]  

One of the biggest statements out of Oprah indicating her belief as what is called a New Age Christian is a statement of a discussion with audience members where she effectively dismisses and cuts off an audience member who adamantly proclaims (to the applause of the rest of the audience) “Jesus Christ is the only way”. Oprah herself says, “There are many paths to what you call ‘god’. If it brings [one person] to the same place as [another person] it doesn’t matter if [they] call it God or not. Does God care about the heart or does God care if you call His Son Jesus?”[9] I feel the woman’s final answer to Oprah regarding this (contained at the end of the video) and the individual who posted this video make weak points in their view of to what Oprah is saying. However, these statements and her enthusiastic endorsements of New Age Christianity should call into the mind of every Christian an earnest wariness.

I believe many Christians today are fooled into the idea that Oprah is a true Christian. I also believe many Christians are being duped into believing that these sources of spiritual self-help are harmless. I have even seen these ideas such as the Law of Attraction (your outlook on life creates your reality) drawn into the teachings of prominent Christian ministers and their books. My “beef” isn’t with the idea of trying to think more positively in your attitude toward life. Nor is my argument against seeking out the fruitful things in your life such as God and your relationship with Him, how you approach your own faith tradition inasmuch as it entails embracing God in the closest possible way, or limiting things in your life which call your mind to always be pessimistic or wading in a sea of “negative” thoughts. Everyone wants that, I believe. Everyone has the need and want to be happy and I don’t discourage that. However, the methods mentioned above from the most prestigious promoters of these ideas goes so far beyond just trying to look at the “bright side of life” and gets into very un-Christian beliefs, or their source for designing these methods is obtained as a way absolutely counter to Christian law. (Cf. Deuteronomy18:10-12; 1 Samuel 28) I would encourage anyone who believes these sources or these materials to be harmless to speak to the pastor of their church and ask what the standing of their own faith is regarding this. I can guarantee you, as far as Catholicism goes, they have outright condemned these and other highly sought after “fads” such as Yoga, Reiki, Law of Attraction, and many other thoughts that, if studied would bear them out as nothing more than New Age Thought obtained, in certain cases, from “spiritual beings”.

Again, I encourage everyone to take seriously these methods and means of obtaining these ideas into serious question. 

I don’t doubt that a committed well-established Christian can read The Secret or New Earth and take from it only what one would deem “positive” reinforcement for their own faith and absolutely nothing more. However, when I read deeper into the beliefs of the authors or the sources of their writings like a spirit that calls itself “Jesus” or “Abraham”, I’m much more likely to be too scrupulous as to allow those things a place in my life and I would encourage all honest Christians to seek the true nature of anyone promoting a “new way” of obtaining religious insight.

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:8

The ACIM and relevant information comes from Sharon Lee Giganti’s own firsthand knowledge and more information can be obtained from her website as well as the entire document the excerpts were obtained from.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc7DBDga87c
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Hicks
[3] http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/newageoprah.asp
[4] http://www.newagedeception.com/new/free-resources/5-a-warning-about-a-course-in-miracles.html
[5]http://www.newagedeception.org/resources/Information%20on%20the%20Dangers%20of%20New%20Age%20Thinking%20and%20the%20New%20Thought%20Movement.doc
[6] The full article The Making of ‘A Course in Miracles’ by Randall Sullivan can be read at www.Beliefnet.com)

[7] http://townhall.com/columnists/chucknorris/2008/03/04/oprahs_new_easter/page/full/
[8] http://erwinlutzer.com/images/OprahMiraclesExcerpt.pdf
[9] http://youtu.be/pwGLNbiw1gk

 

 

A Course in Miracles
http://catholic-bulletin.blogspot.com/2008/08/course-in-miracles.html



Q: My niece was advised by a psychologist friend (Church of Christ) to do “A Course in Miracles.” She asked if I knew anything about it. I do not. After looking at their web-site, I’m still not sure about its basis. What do you know about it? Is it compatible with Catholic teaching? If not, is there a good spiritual course that might be more Catholic. This niece is prone to depression, is very intelligent and concrete, and she questions everything. I’d like to see her read materials that help her strengthen her Catholic faith as well as her “inner strength.” Thank you, Kathy Sekula, 8/7/2008

A: I know next to nothing about the “Course.” However, red flags go up in my mind when I hear the Course is based on private revelations from Jesus Christ, particularly when the recipient of these “revelations,” Helen Schucman, is said to have “channeled” them. Sounds New Agey to me.
Private revelations are always subject to doubt unless they are investigated by Catholic authorities. I find nothing suggesting any connection between the “channeler” and the Catholic Church, such that her revelations would come under Catholic scrutiny.
The danger of embracing a system based on supposed revelations is that they may have an infernal rather than a heavenly source. Remember, as St. Paul writes, Satan can transform himself into an angel of light (
2 Corinthians 11:14).
For psychological as well as spiritual guidance, I suggest your niece read Fr. Benedict Groeschel, whose books and DVDs are available from our Religious Catalogue section or most online book suppliers. – David Gregson, 8/25/2008

 

 

Against “A Course in Miracles”

http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74770

 

June 8, 2011 TheologyOnLine poster Damian’s favorite book to quote is called “A Course in Miracles.” The relevant wikipedia article is here. An excellent article against the book from the Catholic perspective is here on an EWTN page. I rather like the name of the article: “A Course in Brainwashing.” I decided to make a thread against this book a few days ago when, Damian quoting it, he said that he was referring to a higher authority.
Ok, Damian. Let’s talk about your so called “higher authority.”
First question: Since it’s obvious that the work is a theological/metaphysical work, is it the case that the work is dialectical /rational (philosophical) or dogmatic (religious)?
“‘A Course in Miracles,’ a 1,249-page study manual, was authored by the “inner voice” of research psychologist Helen Schucman between 1965 and 1972. Schucman, a professor at Columbia University and a self-described atheist at the time, claims the “voice” was that of Jesus Christ” (“A Course in Brainwashing”).
Well, I suppose that answers that question. “Inner voices” usually don’t give rational arguments. The work is dogmatic, and it must be evaluated in terms of the authority of the one issuing the doctrines.
The author of the book was Dr. Helen Schucman. She was a professor of medical psychology. Uh…ok. I’ll give it to you, Damian, that our woman is an authority. She was an authority on medical psychology. But, last I heard, medical psychology isn’t religion. Why should we trust Dr. Helen Schucman whenever she talks about religious matters?
Because she heard a voice in her head and she thought it was Jesus? Damian, I’m sure that there’s got to be a joke about a psychologist hearing voices in her head…
But seriously, Damian. Why would you want to claim that her writings are authentic? The way I see it, there are two possibilities. 1. The voice originated outside of her. 2. The voice did not originate outside of her.
Even if we suppose that she really heard a supernatural voice, why should we believe that the voice was Christ’s? Perhaps she was writing down Satan’s gospel:
“And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light” (
2 Corinthians 11:14).
Of course, it seems a lot more likely that the voice was her own. According to wikipedia, Schucman issued a related pamphlet called: “Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice.” Further: “And suspicion seems warranted, considering that the course denies the existence of suffering and sin, claims the Holy Spirit’s main purpose is to heal people’s unconscious thoughts, and reinterprets the word “miracle” into psychological terms” (“A Course in Brainwashing”).
How convenient! A psychologist heard voices in her head. The voices told her to write a religious text. That religious text just so happened to interpret religion in terms of…psychology! Mirabile dictu! “A higher authority,” Damian? Really? Perhaps you might have considered the Bible to be a higher authority. Perhaps at least you might have considered the philosophers to be a higher authority. At least the philosopher is qualified to speak on metaphysical/theological matters. But no! Your so called “higher authority” is a psychologist who heard voices in her head and set out to rewrite religion in terms of psychology.

All of a sudden, I think I realize why you only ever quote wikipedia.
But this much is certain: the voice wasn’t Christ’s. If Schucman identifies the voice as being Christ’s, then I must ask her: “Who is this Christ, and how do you know about him?” The only answer is that the Christ is the Christ that was crucified about 2000 years ago, and we know about this Christ because the Holy Church preached His gospel for over 2000 years.
And St. Paul writes:
“Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead, [2] And all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia. [3] Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, [4] Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present wicked world, according to the will of God and our Father: [5] To whom is glory for ever and ever. Amen.
[6] I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. [7] Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. [9] As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.
[10] For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:1-10).
But the most pernicious thing about the book is not that it teaches a false gospel. A false gospel is of no harm if nobody believes it. Worst of all: “‘The key problem is the [course’s] pseudo – Christian vocabulary and ideas,’ said Father Pacwa. ‘People don’t know the Catechism; they don’t know their faith…. The course strongly rejects the use of reason and thinking…. This is precisely what makes the course feasible. Once you get rid of reason, you get rid of discussion'” (“A Course in Brainwashing”).
The most vicious lie is a lie that refuses to be questioned, refuses to be interrogated. If you question the lie, if you put it on trial, you can see plainly that it is a lie. But if the lie is such that it refuses to be questioned, then it remains hidden, and it might even resemble truth.
“And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. [20] For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. [21] But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God” (John 3:19-21).

 

What is the Catholic view of “A Course in Miracles”?
http://forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=5282432

 

Q: I am an active, participating Catholic. I am currently studying A Course in Miracles. What is the Catholic impression of ACIM? I would like to discuss the course with a Catholic who has actually studied the course. – Jo Ro, June 3, 2009

A: Recommended resource: Oprah: Televangelist of the New Age Deception
http://shop.catholic.com/product.php?productid=445&cat=0&page=1, by Sharon Lee Giganti (CD set) – Michelle Arnold, Catholic Answers apologist, June 3, 2009.

 

 

DOES “A COURSE IN MIRACLES

REALLY MEAN WHAT IT SAYS?

http://www.newagedeception.com/new/free-resources/22-does-qa-course-in-miraclesq-really-mean-what-it-says.html

Compiled by Sharon Lee Giganti, 2010 (all emphasis mine).

 

A listing of the “NO EXCEPTIONS” directives within the text of: “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”

All quotations are taken from the Combined Volume, Second Edition, of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”

This document is designed to combat the assertion (from Course devotees) that Catholics and other critics of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES” have “misinterpreted” it, or that it is to be understood and applied “only in a metaphysical sense”… or that “it applies only in the spiritual realm, but not the physical

 
 

Trust me– as a former “Course” student and teacher, I can assure you that unfortunately, such is emphatically NOT the case. When the Course says, “The body is not real… the body is not a part of you…” and, “At no single instant does the body exist…”, it means exactly what it says.  The Course confirms this, IN IT’S OWN WORDS!!! (This document lists some of these specific quotes) And, yes—this is the same “A COURSE IN MIRACLES” that is still being taught by Marianne Williamson, a lesson a day for 365 days, on Oprah Winfrey’s Official Website.

 

Many times, fans of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”, when hearing criticism of the Course’s bizarre claims, often say of former students of the Course, like myself, who are now denouncing it, that we’ve “misinterpreted” the ideas, or taken them too literally, or that the Course, “when properly understood”, would have the student use common sense when applying the ideas and perhaps make appropriate exceptions when the “situations” involve something like cancer or a heroin addiction, or something equally potentially hazardous.

The following quotations taken directly from the pages of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”, however, should suffice to prove that, in actuality, such an assertion is not true– the student reading the Course is, in fact, directed by the Course itself, NOT to make ANY exceptions when it comes to the application of the ideas– even when (according to Lesson 14) the student is being directed to “deny the reality” of such things as a war, or an airplane crash.

Page 2 of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES'” Workbook, for example, instructs the student to: “be sure that you do not decide for yourself that there are some people, situations or things to which the ideas are in-applicable.

All the examples below, of actual Course quotations, should come in handy for the critic of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”, who is being told that he or she has “misunderstood” it, or that the Course is only to be interpreted and applied in a “metaphysical” sense.

The sad fact is, “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”
itself states within its’ own pages that such is NOT the case!
Therein lies the danger of the Course’s teachings.

But, could the Course really mean it, when it says things like, “the body is a dream” (vol. 2, pg. 409) and “at no single instant does the body exist at all”? (vol. 1 pg. 362)

Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”, and for verification, one needs only to consult the actual text of the Course—and read the following passages:

 

“You have surely begun to realize that this is a very practical course, and one that means exactly what it says.” —Text pg. 159

 

“The purpose of the workbook is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world. The exercises are planned to help you generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is equally applicable to everyone and everything you see.” —Workbook Intro to Lessons, pg. 1

 

There must be no exceptions.
Your consistency is called on despite chaos. As long as you’re assailed by any doubt, His accomplishment is not apparent in you.”

—Text pg.110

 

“If true perception has been achieved in connection with any
person, situation, or event, total transfer to everyone and everything is certain. On the other hand, one exception held apart from true perception makes its accomplishments anywhere impossible.” — Workbook Intro to Lessons, pg. 1

 

“The only general rules to be observed throughout then are that the exercises be practiced with great specificity, as will be indicated… (Note: example of exercise: “…this war is not real, this earthquake is not real, this airplane crash is not real”… from Lesson 14) This will help you to generalize the ideas involved to every situation in which you find yourself, and to everyone and everything in it.

Second, be sure that you do not decide for yourself that there are some people, situations or things to which the ideas are in-applicable. This will interfere with the transfer of training. The very nature of true perception is that it has no limits. It is the opposite of the way you see now.” —Workbook pg. 2

 

“The overall aim of the exercises is to increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to include everything.” —Workbook pg. 2, #7

 

“Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe… they may seem quite startling. This does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all, you are only asked to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you they are true.”

—Workbook pg. 2, #8 (Note: Remember that Lesson 1 says, “This body does not mean anything…” and Lesson 13 says, “Nothing without meaning exists”. Also, Lesson 14 says, “God did not create that war, and so it is not real… God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real…” Are those ideas really “true”?)

 

Note: “A COURSE IN MIRACLES” states, on page 2 of the Workbook that using the ideas will show you “they are true”. Take a look at the last paragraph of Lesson 14; it says:

 

 

“The idea for today can, of course, be applied to anything
that disturbs you during the day, aside from the practice periods. Be very specific in applying it. Say: ‘God did not create a meaningless world. He did not create [specify the situation which is disturbing you], and so it is not real‘.” (Note: What if the “situation” that is disturbing me is a cancer diagnosis—is it really “true” that the cancer is “not real”?)

 

“Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, or accept them… or even welcome them… you may actively resist them… none of this will matter or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your resistance to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required.” (Note: Remember that Lesson 1 says that the body does not mean anything…) —Workbook pg. 2 #8, #9

 

Make no allowance for differences in the ‘kinds’ of things to which they (the ideas) are applied. The statements should merely be applied to anything you see… use it totally indiscriminately—only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.” (Note: remember, you’ve been told that their use will show you that ‘they are true’, and Lesson 1 says, “That body doesn’t mean anything”…) —Workbook, Lesson 1

 

The Holy Spirit opposes the idea that differences in form are meaningful, emphasizing always, that these differences do not matter.” —Text pg. 115

 

“For the body is a limit on love. The belief in limited love was its origin, and it was made to limit the unlimited. Think not that this is merely allegorical, for it was made to limit you.” —Text pg. 364 (vol. 1(Note: so, ‘you’ are unlimited?? Really??)

 

BOTTOM LINE: The handful of examples listed above should suffice to prove that any student of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES” who actually applies the ideas and lessons of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”, to real people with real problems is not “mis-reading the text”, nor are they “misinterpreting the Course” or taking the directives, “out of context”.

 

Again, the text of “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”
states within it’s own pages that,this is a very practical course, and one that means exactly what it says…” —Text pg. 159

 

The rest of that paragraph, found on page 159 of the Text, has the supposed “Jesus” who dictated the Course to Helen Schucman saying, “I would not ask you to do things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do. Given this, and given this quite literally, nothing can prevent you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything argues for your doing it. I give you no limits because God lays none upon you.” End Quote

 

Of course, nothing could be farther from the Truth, and I know from past experience– as a former student and teacher of the Course—that one is never farther from God’s Truth, than when one is reading, believing, and acting on the ideas found in A Course in Miracles.

+ http://www.newagedeception.com/resources/Does%20A%20Course%20in%20Miracles%20REALLY%20Mean%20What%20It%20Says.doc

 

Does Oprah Have the Last Word? New Age Thinking – Mp3s

http://catholicicast.com/2010/06/09/does-oprah-have-the-last-word-new-age-thinking-%E2%80%93-mp3s/

Sharon Lee Giganti is the guest on Catholic Answers Live in these discussions on New Age Thinking. She is a certified Catholic Catechist and postulant of The Holy Family Institute. She talks about some of the things Oprah Winfrey is involved in promoting, embracing, and encouraging people to be a part of that you don’t want ANY part of. Also how Oprah introduces the world to the books, The Secret, A New Earth and A Course In Miracles. She also discusses Deepak Chopra, author of the book The Third Jesus. He is known as a very vocal voice in the New Age, New Thought movement who specializes in alternative medicine. Sharon tells how she was involved with a spirit guide called Abraham who taught ideas contrary to the Catholic Faith. She also tells us what Fr. Benedict Groeschel said about A course In Miracles. These are very interesting, informative talks on the dangers of the New Age movement.

Does Oprah Have the Last Word?

Tackling the New Age: The Third Jesus

The Dangers of Popular New Age Thinking – Hour 1

 

The Dangers of Popular New Age Thinking – Hour 2

A Dangerous Contradiciton to Christianity

Sharon Giganti is a monthly guest and here are several more “Oprah and the New Age” and “The New Age Deception” shows from CAL.

Oct 27, 2008Nov 24, 2008Jan 26, 2009 Mar 31, 2009 Apr 27, 2009 May 27, 2009Jun 29, 2009Jul 29, 2009 Aug 31, 2009Sep 28, 2009Oct 26, 2009Nov 23, 2009 Feb 22, 2010Mar 29, 2010May 24, 2010

 

Letters

From:
Rolando
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 10:05 PM

Mr. Prabhu,

Peace and grace of the Lord be with you!

I was listening to our local Catholic radio station this morning and Sharon Lee Giganti was the guest.  She mentioned your name and your website where one can read articles regarding Yoga and other New Age practices…

I have heard many times that Yoga is not in conformity with our Catholic faith and believe that this is true but could not explain it clearly to my close friends and relatives who are taking or wants to take yoga classes thinking that it is only a form of exercise.  I have read some of your articles and find it very helpful.  With that being said, I would like to ask for your permission if I can use some of your articles to share it with my family and friends.

Moreover, I am a member of Couples For Christ – Foundation For Family and Life (CFC-FFL) a lay apostolate recognized by the Vatican that started from the Philippines.  We have a monthly newsletter that we publish to our members and would also like to ask your permission to use some of your written articles regarding New Age.  Unfortunately, some of our brethren are not aware that Yoga, Centering Prayers and the likes do not conform to the teachings of the Church.  My intention is to help my brothers and sisters understand the dangers of participating in the New Age practices.

Hoping for your kind response. Thank you very much and God bless!!! Rolando, CFC-FFL Dallas Chapter

 

From:
Linda To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:25 AM Subject: Advice?

Hi Michael,

I heard about your website during an interview with Sharon Lee Giganti, a former New Ager who is now a Catholic apologist, on Catholic Answers Live radio show yesterday.

I wondered if you would be open to receiving a more detailed email from me about my experiences in the New Age, and the spiritual warfare that’s been a part of my life since my return to Christianity. I’m afraid not many Catholics, particularly priests that I’ve encountered and sought help from have much of an understanding of the siddha and kundalini energies, which unfortunately were part of my journey away from Christ.

I continue to suffer the consequences in terms of demonic spirits bothering me despite receiving deliverance prayers from Catholic charismatics and others. I’ve been walking a very devout Christian path for years, observe the sacraments, adoration, etc. but truly continue to feel as if I’m in bondage, even physically. Does that mean I’m not saved despite the sincerity of my efforts and prayers?  

I thought you might be able to offer some insights, spiritual direction and advice given your experience and knowledge of the yoga culture. Thanks, Linda

 

From:
Donna
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:10 PM Subject: new age

Dear Michael, 

I heard about your website on Catholic Answers Live with Sharon Lee Giganti (The New Age Deception) on our KVSS Catholic Radio Station, Omaha, Nebraska. I see you have “Chiropractic” listed, but no information. As far as I know, being a Chiropractor is legitimate. Please explain why it is listed with no information. God bless, Donna

 

From:
Maureen
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:19 PM Subject: yoga

Michael,

Greetings from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. I got your address from Sharon Lee Giganti who speaks of the dangers of New Age. I have read your article: WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT YOGA? and I have some questions concerning your article about Christians doing yoga exercises: 

1. If I do some yoga postures or physical exercises of yoga (asanas) , like the Sun Salutation, and some breathing exercises (pranayama), in the privacy of my own home with the intention of doing them purely for the physical benefits (breathing and fitness exercising) with no intent or understanding of their Hindu background, would that be acceptable?  When I did yoga, I did experience physical benefits and enjoyed the benefits. I never had any intent other than physical when I practiced yoga. 

2. If I understand you correctly, are you saying that a Christian should not go to yoga classes because yoga philosophies and beliefs will come through during the class even though that is not my intent? In the yoga classes that I have taken, I have experienced teachers who seemed to do it purely for the physical benefits and some where yoga philosophies and beliefs came through. In my first yoga class, the teacher said she did it purely for the physical benefits. 

3. Have you personally done yoga? Do you speak from personal experience when you write of the possible spiritual dangers of doing yoga? 

Thank you for your time and attention to my questions.  I await your reply. God bless you, *_* Maureen

 

 

From:
Robert
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 7:15 AM Subject: John Paul II Quotation

Dear Michael,
Thank you very much for your site – it’s awesome! I regularly listen to the “Catholic Answers Live” radio program and your website has been referred to a number of times. Could you specify which secular media quoted John Paul II as saying the errors of the New Age Movement are “one of the greatest threats to Christianity in the third millennium”?
My parish pastor likes to quote the Dalai Lama in his homilies and I’d like to locate the quote. Thank you very much. Robert, Canada

 

From:
Daniel
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 3:31 AM Subject: Yoga

Dear Michael

I heard Sharon Lee Giganti talking about your website on a Catholic radio Station. I had back surgery one year ago on 4/2/10 on Good Friday, and I noticed that the Rehabilitation exercises were copied out of a Yoga manual in the physical therapy program I am in. I have witnessed this first hand now, and I have seen that I have completely shied away from the Yoga Program not understanding why. Now I understand a little better why my Lord has given me caution in this…

I am writing to thank you for the information and helping me understand why I have this natural aversion to Yoga. I was watching Namaste Yoga on the fitness Channel before my surgery and found it helped me for a while. I turned the worship poses towards Christ but it was met with great adversity of spirit after about 2 weeks of feeling stronger and started to begin enjoying this workout. I have since stopped, not knowing why and this is helping me understand why!!!  Thank you for your website. I will proceed in my rehab, understanding this better, thanks to your input, Sincerely, Daniel

 

From:
Anna
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 2:39 AM Subject: Chiropractors

Hello Mr. Prabhu, 

I heard Sharon Lee Giganti on Relevant Radio yesterday and she directed listeners to your site. I was wondering about Chiropractors. Is this part of the new age movement? Do you have any articles about this on your site?

Also, which of the articles most appropriately addresses yoga poses and stretches when done in another kind of class. 

I grew up dancing and many of our stretches included yoga stretches and poses although we were not practicing yoga.  Furthermore, I am currently doing a workout regime, INSANITY, that uses certain stretches from yoga within the program. It’s not a yoga program, but it uses a couple yoga stretches. Is it ok for me to do these stretches?

Thank you for your help! Anna

 

From:
Frank
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 9:00 AM Subject: Bio-magnetism questions

Hello Mr. Prabhu 

We recently heard of you web page in our local Catholic radio and a question came up to us and wonder if you can respond to it. We read a lot of info in your web page that can relate to this theme, but we still not clear about it or did not find something directly talking in this area.

Bio magnetism therapy is not mentioned much in your documents of touch therapies. We have a relative that is a therapist and uses it to help other to get healthy from different sickness without selling any products. Where is it evidence that this can be a new age practice? Or against Christ? […] Our relative is a very devout Catholic person and she has prayed a lot about it and before the Blessed Sacrament and finds not bad feelings to do it, her life is a prayerful life and always recurs to the Lord in the sacraments for everything she does. Any ideas?? We will appreciate your response, Blessings, Franks

 

From:
info@sharonleegiganti.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 5:35 AM

Subject: Please keep up the excellent work you do!

Dear Michael, 

I am a real admirer of yours! I can’t wait to reply to you, more in depth that in this brief note– but, yes– I just recommended your website again yesterday, on the monthly radio show I do for Catholic Answers Live Radio; The New Age Deception, the last Monday of every month. It airs “globally” since a lot of Catholic Stations air our show, and also EWTN… and people can listen to all of our shows right over the internet, as they are all archived… www.catholic.com  

And I’ve been recommending your website to everyone who asks me about yoga, etc. I wonder if I should include a little warning: be careful, once you get on his site, you might be there for 5 or 6 hours, (!) (ha ha) since the amount of amazing material you provide for our benefit is staggering! And all of it so well researched, and always listing all references so we’re not just pulling this stuff “out of the sky”…

Truly, the Church and all her children owe you a debt of gratitude for the treasure house of sound research and apologetics you have made available for us, showing us the very real ways that many Eastern spiritualities / philosophies / religions and their “yoga” practices do, indeed, contradict our Catholic Faith.

Michael, I need to read your “about me” section again — because I keep forgetting the details — were you once of the Hindu faith? One or both of your parents? Were you born in India? I just recommend your site and say that you LIVE in India, and that you REALLY know your stuff — the culture, the beliefs, etc. And I just tell people to go to his site for any questions about yoga, prana, kundalini, etc. When I discovered your site, sitting there at the computer one day, I felt as though all my Christmases had come at once!!! In other words, I was flooded with appreciation for your amazing work and research. And what I’ve read matches what I’ve found in my research as well… Bede Griffiths, Thomas Merton, etc.

 

If I haven’t already said this, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! for the stellar work that you are doing. 

I guess I’ll use some (or all) of the above sections in my “letter” of endorsement for you! Or feel free to just go ahead and use my quotations above if you have a “praises for Michael Prabhu” section on your site. 

More later… boy, could we compare notes or what?

I’m glad that millions are being warned and saved from deception thanks to your website and wonderful articles. 

I WILL get back in touch A.S.A.P. and I am so glad you contacted me, as I said before. God bless you,  

Sharon Lee Giganti

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead, expose them…” -Ephesians 5:11

NOTE THAT SHARON LEE’S SCRIPTURE IS IDENTICAL TO THE ONE USED BY THIS MINISTRY- MICHAEL

 

Anti-Christ, Anti-Mary, Anti-Scripture

http://www.semperficatholic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7043&sid=fd994f3ccef529a9bf598be20208abb2

By Marguerite, moderator, Dangers of the New Age semperficatholic.com/forum March 16, 2008

Dear Readers, It has been recently brought to my attention that the “Queen of Prime time TV”, Oprah Winfrey, has unleashed a writing that IMHO* is an Anti-Scripture. “A Course in Miracles” is a work that I taught from 1981 to 1983 in Dallas. The point of this material is to totally and completely brainwash all vestiges of traditional Christian thought from a persons mind. I view this as the most dangerous New Age material in circulation today. Catholics must know what this is when they see it or hear others applaud its “work”. *In My Humble Opinion

The Anti-Bible

As Catholic Christians we often come across speculations about the nature and personae of the Anti-Christ. Many have speculated about his appearances in the forms of a Nero or a Hitler. Much ink has been spent writing on his exact nature. Yet, no one ventures to suggest that if one day we shall see an Anti Christ, does it not stand to reason that we shall also be subjected to an Anti-Bible?
In January of 2008, on the hallowed Oprah Winfrey show, one such Anti-Scripture called “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM), has been released into mainstream America.
This work is one of the deadliest Anti-Scriptures that the New Age Movement has to offer. In these channeled writings, Dr. Schucman, a noted psychologist and medical advisor at Columbia University, claims that Jesus told her to set out the “New Gospel” to the world. She claims that the Word Made Flesh channeled this “Course of Miracles” to her so that she, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, could give the “Word to the World”. (ACIM)

So who is this writer?

Quote:

Dr. Schucman was raised by Jewish/Lutheran parents. Neither of them was particularly “religious” by her own admission; however, her mother dabbled in Theosophy and Spiritualism for a brief time. She was raised by a Roman Catholic governess and a Baptist maid. The maid christened Helen when she was a young child. (miraclestudies.net)

Quote:

While growing up Helen was always fascinated by Catholic rituals but never converted to the faith. She is quoted as stating that she could never rectify a belief in religion with her belief in Science. (miraclestudies.net)


At the age of 12, while with her family at Lourdes, France, Dr. Schucman experienced a “vision- a sign from God” in answer to her request. In later years, she claimed that this phenomenon with an appearance of comets. Her mystical experiences often conflicted with her belief that everything had to have a scientific explanation.


According to the time line of events, Helen began to “channel Jesus” in October of 1965. This period of history is familiar to Catholics, as it coincides with the close of Vatican II

Quote:

A Course in Miracles was “scribed” by Dr. Schucman between 1965 and 1972 through a process of inner dictation. She experienced the process as one of a distinct and clear dictation from an inner voice, which earlier had identified itself to her as Jesus. (quote) (acim.org) Helen claims that Jesus gave her this “new gospel” in order to “correct errors in the writings of Sacred Scriptures”. (ACIM)

Before we delve into these “corrections” it’s important to understand that in all NAM writings, there is NO distinction between the material and the spiritual worlds. Those of us who claim that such a distinction even exists, are guilty of “the sin of separation”, which to a New Ager-who doesn’t believe that sin is real-is THE ONLY real sin. Dr. Schucman claims that the ACIM will help all humans recover from the “sin of separation”, which keeps us from realizing that we are actually sons of god too. According to ACIM, we are all Jesus

Quote:

“You are the Holy Son of God Himself! You need only remember who you are.” (themiracletimes.com)


Now we will look at a few concepts that the Course in Miracles supposedly corrects: forgiveness, sin, salvation and suffering.

According to Dr. Schucman’s Jesus,

Quote:

“The dream of healing in forgiveness lies, and gently shows you that you never sinned…” (ACIM Ch 28).


You see, since everything is an illusion, your need to forgive, or be forgiven is a lie. You never did anything wrong in the first place and neither did anyone else. All is simply a false illusion. The ACIM addresses the concept of the realities that we see by claiming that everything is illusion. This Eastern Mystic concept permeates the entire writing.

Now, let’s look at Jesus suffering on the cross and the idea that sin is not real:

Quote:

“God’s Will for me is perfect happiness
Today we will continue with the theme of happiness. This is a key idea in understanding what salvation means. You still believe it asks for suffering as penance for your “sins.” This is not so. Yet you must think it so while you believe that sin is real, and that God’s Son can sin. If sin is real, then punishment is just and cannot be escaped. Salvation thus cannot be purchased but through suffering. If sin is real, then happiness must be illusion, for they cannot both be true. The sinful warrant only death and pain, and it is this they ask for. For they know it waits for them, and it will seek them out and find them somewhere, sometime, in some form that evens the account they owe to God. They would escape Him in their fear. And yet He will pursue, and they can not escape. If sin is real, salvation must be pain. Pain is the cost of sin, and suffering can never be escaped, if sin is real. Salvation must be feared, for it will kill, but slowly, taking everything away before it grants the welcome boon of death to victims who are little more than bones before salvation is appeased. Its wrath is boundless, merciless, but wholly just. Who would seek out such savage punishment? Who would not flee salvation, and attempt in every way he can to drown the Voice Which offers it to him? Why would he try to listen and accept Its offering? If sin is real, its offering is death, and meted out in cruel form to match the vicious wishes in which sin is born. If sin is real, salvation has become your bitter enemy, the curse of God upon you who have crucified His Son”. (ACIM
blogwww.facim.org/acim/description.htm)


In Chapter Three, part III, of ACIM, we read about Jesus’ atonement for sin being terribly misunderstood by the
“Christians”.

Quote:

“The Crucifixion did NOT establish the Atonement. The Resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. Nobody who was free of the scarcity-fallacy could POSSIBLY have made this mistake. If the Crucifixion is seen from an upside down point of view, it certainly does appear AS IF God permitted, and even encouraged, one of his Sons to suffer BECAUSE he was good. Many very devoted ministers preach this every day. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which actually arose out of the combined misprojection of a large number of my own would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God.” (courseinmiracles.com)

Also, in Chapter 6 part I, we read:

Quote:

“The message which the crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to perceive ANY form of assault in persecution because you cannot BE persecuted. If you respond with anger, you MUST be equating yourself with the destructible, and are therefore regarding yourself insanely. I have made it perfectly clear that I am like you, and you are like me. But our fundamental equality can be demonstrated only through joint decision… … … The message of the crucifixion is very simple and perfectly clear; “teach ONLY love, for that is what you ARE.” If you interpret it in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call to peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it, and always for the same reason that makes anyone misunderstand anything. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection**, and out of their own fear they spoke of the wrath of God as His RETALIATORY weapon. They also could not speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their own sense of guilt had made them angry.” (courseinmiracles.com)


**Here I would like to explain the NAM/psychobabble term of “projection”. This term is based on psychology and it is used extensively in ACIM to explain away all negative human emotion and all negative consequences to immoral behavior. For example, because I view the Scourging at the Pillar in the same way that, say, Mel Gibson portrays it in The Passion, then I am guilty of unresolved anger and hate in my own life and I don’t see it “correctly” therefore, I PROJECT my anger, guilt, or whatever into the Passion and that’s what makes it … bad, or painful or hurtful. In short, Jesus didn’t really suffer and die, we all, in mass “mind thought”, projected that idea into the Passion. It doesn’t take much for a Mass-going Catholic to see a gross and terrible deception in these lines of the “Course”. Claiming that salvation is something we would run away from; claiming that the Passion and Crucifixion was a “misconception”; and finally claiming that the Apostles got it all wrong, would benefit only who? The devil. Claiming that evil is illusion; that the salvation offered to us through Jesus’ suffering is OUR BITTER ENEMY benefits only the devil and his works. By the mere reading of these passages, we can see their deceptions. But why do so many former Catholics and Christians find these teaching “compatible” with Christianity? I believe the answer lies in the clever way the ACIM is scribed. When I taught “A Course in Miracles” at a New Age center in Dallas, Texas, I was struck by the way it was worded. The lessons came across as if they were plucked right out of the Summa or the Confessions of St. Augustine. Take for example this quote:

Quote:

“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lays the peace of God.” (thecourseinmiracles.com)


At a quick first glance one might think that this is a writing of Aquinas, St. Francis or even Aristotle. In the Summa, St. Thomas talks of essence and existence; that a thing “is” (existence) and what a thing “is” (essence). He even backs up beyond that to contemplate the idea of a thing existing at all. What he finds fascinating to contemplate is, “That a thing ‘is’.” (A paraphrase of parts of the Summa) The metaphysical works of these great thinkers have a sound premise based on God’s creation and the Natural law. The NAM metaphysics is based on Eastern mystics and whatever person is writing and channeling at any given time. It is a house built on marshmallows. In addition to the way the course is scribed, the material made inroads into many Catholic retreat centers and seminaries. (
catholicinsight.com) ACIM came into these establishments on the roads paved by the writings of others, specifically: Matthew Fox, Hans Kung, Teilhard De Chardin and latter writings of Raymond Brown, all of which have become a steady diet in seminaries. With these teachings as a foundation, “A Course in Miracles” found an opportunity to take root. The Course then offers to “bridge the gap” between the teaching of The Sacred Scriptures, The Didache, Teilhard and Kung by offering the newest of gods; NAM psychology, with a full bouquet order of pseudo-divine revelations for Jesus … enter the pagan god of personal relativity.

When writing in this forum and speaking to groups I find myself saying over and over again, “stay away from these books”. However, with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, taking “The Course in Miracles” mainstream; staying away from the books may be more difficult than imagined. Since Winfrey’s exposure of this work on American TV, ACIM jumped up to the number one spot on the NY Times Best Seller list. It stayed there for 39 weeks. This means that there are a great many copies of the ACIM in the hands of Americans in all walks of life. As Catholics we have The Holy Mass, The Sacred Scriptures, prayer, and the Sacraments as our weapons in this battle against evil. It is my personal belief that, like Hosea 4:6 reminds us, we also need knowledge to shield our way though the spiritual minefields of our times. It is to that end that I write this piece on the “Course in Miracles”. I hope to somehow enlighten, warn, and educate those of us who take Our Lord at His word when He says in Matthew 24, “See that no one deceive you.”

In conclusion, I would like to share with you a cruel irony about the death of the writer of ACIM, Dr. Helen Schucman. A good portion of “The Course in Miracles” spends much time convincing the student that there is no such thing as real suffering. It teaches that suffering is but a mere illusion of our ego, created because we believe we are not gods. Students spend countless hours repeating manta-like chants in order to “reprogram” their thinking about suffering. Yet, this poor doctor of psychology, this unfortunate soul, experienced slow death by pancreatic and liver cancer. As many well know, this is a painfully real suffering to endure.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, an acquaintance of Dr. Schucman’s (in their common field of psychology) said it best when he wrote,

Quote:

“This woman who had written so eloquently that suffering really did not exist spent the last two years of her life in the blackest psychotic depression I have ever witnessed.”

answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071202013258AA3qNjJ


In the same article, it states that during an October 1994 lecture on “Discernment” given at Holy Cross Church, Rumson, N.J., Fr. Groeschel told those in attendance that he believed
Helen Schucman’s experience with the channeled “spirit” was possibly a true diabolic manifestation. If Fr. Groeschel is correct, and the channeled writings of Dr. Schucman in “The Course in Miracles” was written by a demon; and this work is out in our mainstream public as “self-help”; then we have demonic messages in the hands and MINDS of thousands of unprotected souls. Can one even begin to imagine what the cultural impact of this will be?

In closing I’d like to quote a great teacher for our times, Fr. John Corapi, when he says,

Quote:

“This current generation is lazy! They don’t fast, they are lax at prayer, they are utterly unwilling to self-sacrifice, but! (dramatic pause)…… they are battling the devil… unchained.” (910am radio discourse Fr. John Corapi. February 2008)


Blessed Mother Mary, St. Michael, Pray for Us. Pax Christi,

Marguerite, moderator, Dangers of the New Age semperficatholic.com/forum

 

Theological Thoughts

http://www.emmitsburg.net/grotto/father_jack/2003/theological_thoughts.htm

Father John J. Lombardi

 

Be aware/wary of “A Course In Miracles.” Fr Benedict Groeschel knew the “authors” of this enormously popular, new-age book, when it was allegedly “channeled.” After personally seeing many flaws in “The Course,” and in the authors and the “spirituality,” (esp. since it denies Jesus’ uniqueness, divinity, and atonement), he writes: “I pray that he (a friend) and other followers of the Course will listen to the word of God and to the Church which Christ has given to us to be our objective guide in this confusing world.” (Emphasis mine; from: “A Still Small Voice”). Be prudent and spiritually informed regarding these books and alleged private revelations. Fr. Groeschel’s book is immensely helpful and recommended.

 

Is the New Age “Law of Attraction” compatible with Catholic teaching?

 

http://www.catholic-tube.com/is-the-new-age-law-of-attraction-compatible-with-catholic-teaching

Catholic Answers YouTube video 9:51 minutes

 

 

 

Oprah Winfrey

http://www.google.co.in/search?q=course+in+miracles+catholic&hl=en&prmd=ivnsfd&ei=ZxMsTrO8LonRrQeopKiyDQ&start=200&sa=N

HALL OF SHAME – SHOWCASES THOSE WHO HAVE OFFENDED THE CHRISTIAN ETHIC, March 9, 20008

 

Oprah Winfrey has been inducted into our Hall of Shame because of her promotion of cult and occult philosophies and denigration of Christianity.

She is one of the most powerful women in the world and has the power to influence millions. Due to the recent report from Lifesite News below we not only place her in the Hall of Shame, but call upon all people of good will to love God to boycott her show.

 

Lifesite News reports…

One caller into the show told Oprah that she was a Catholic, and was having trouble seeing how Eckhart’s teachings could be reconciled with her Catholicism. Oprah responded that the caller must simply realize that Christianity is but one of many ways to achieve the “higher consciousness” and that the belief that one must follow a set of doctrines is a consequence of “egoiic consciousness”, While Christianity is a valid way to achieve high states of spirituality, it must not be considered a unique way, or a “correct way”.

“Jesus,” said Oprah, “came to show us Christ-consciousness … Jesus came to show us the way of the heart … Jesus came to say, ‘Look I’m going to live in the body, in the human body and I’m going to show you how it’s done.’ These are some principles and some laws that you can use to live by to know that way.”

She concluded, “I don’t believe that Jesus came to start Christianity.”

“What Jesus said is much deeper than what you, how the church interprets it. There’s a depth to it. And it reflects your own depth when you read it. So there’s no conflict between this teaching, which is purely spiritual, and any religion.”

Oprah also indicated that there are many names that one might give to that which she calls “God”, including “energy”, “consciousness” and “life”.

Read more at http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/mar/08030701.

 

Oprah has also promoted The Secret and has been conducting a year-long “Course in Miracles” on her XM satellite channel, with New Ager Marianne Williamson teaching it.

A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus”—who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ—began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman.

One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.” For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus”. A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.

Here are some of the demonic lies Oprah will propagate through her show this year:

Here are some actual quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:

There is no sin. . .

A slain Christ has no meaning.

The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.

Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’

The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.

God is in everything I see.

The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.

The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.

The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.

 

Oprah also supports, and brings onto her show, people in contact with demons (spirit guides) and considers these people as credible advisers and experts in spirituality.

Due to these factors, we believe that Oprah should be boycotted.

 

 

 

 

 

In search of the miraculous

http://www.spiritual-wholeness.org/faqs/sources/seekmir.htm
EXTRACT

By Stratford Caldecott

 

Extraordinary or “paranormal” phenomena and apparently miraculous healings abound in the New Age movement. But what exactly is the challenge they represent, and how should the Church respond?

The term “New Age” is used to refer to a worldwide movement that believes a new age is dawning in the history of mankind, an age not necessarily of material prosperity but of “higher consciousness.” In the 1960s, this began to be called the “Age of Aquarius,” after the constellation which, astrologically, succeeds Pisces in supposedly determining the character of our historical epoch. New spiritual influences, we were told, were coming into play during the latter part of the twentieth century, spreading peace and enlightenment across the earth.

How did this movement come about? The material optimism of the late Victorian period, with its myth of inevitable progress through evolution, had been severely shaken by the experience of two world wars. It began to revive in the fertile soil of a post-war generation sheltered by relative prosperity (in the West) and “liberated” (in imagination) by the rapid development of new technology, from television and electric guitars to spaceships and the Pill. One manifestation of this new optimism was the United States moon program, and the growth of a scientistic subculture that believed all problems could be solved by a combination of technological creativity and money. But the declining support for institutional religion and conventional morality also went hand in hand with a desire to discover meaning and values for oneself, starting from scratch The new “Church of Science” did not have the capacity to satisfy everyone.’ An original naive experimentation with drugs, with lifestyles, with communes, and with self-made religion among the hippies of the ]960s prepared the way for involvement in more established alternatives to institutional Christianity, such as occultism, spiritualism, theosophy, the imported Eastern religions and humanistic psychology, with all their various offshoots and hybrids. 2

The spirit underlying the whole movement is individualistic, despite the fact that it is constantly throwing up new collectivistic cults. It is often described by its exponents as a “spiritual awakening,” or a “coming of age of the human race,” and that the race is supposedly outgrowing the need for dogma, tradition, and external authorities such as the Church. These facts do not, however, prevent the New Age from being quite widespread among Catholics, who often remain committed to the Church with the conscious intention of influencing or transforming it from within. They sometimes take Teilhard de Chardin* (rightly or wrongly) to be one of their prophets, because of his stress on the evolution of consciousness. Ironically perhaps, it was Enlightenment individualism that cleared the way for this massive conversion to what the Enlightenment thinkers themselves would have regarded as forms of mere superstition. By splitting facts from values, the Enlightenment mutilated Reason in the very act of glorifying it, and increasingly the search for a supreme, unifying, and universal reality had to be pursued through the faculties of feeling and intuition.*Jesuit priest and world’s leading New Ager according to the Vatican Document on the New Age

 

A course in miracles

The three-volume Course in Miracles, which was channeled” rather than written by a human author, was first published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1975. 3 Since then it has sold many hundreds of thousands of copies, and remains immensely influential. It sums itself up as follows: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Therein lies the peace of God.” It goes on, “All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His Voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know … Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong. Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first” (p. 1). “I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement” (p. 7).

The spirit dictating the Course continues for several thousand pages of close print: You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you. Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort because you will be acting under direct communication. The personal nature of the miracle is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. Lead us not into temptation” means “Recognize your errors and choose to abandon them by following my guidance” (Ibid.).

To what does this guide direct us? To monism: matter, embodiment and limitation are not evil (as the Gnostics taught), but illusory. “No one who carries Christ in him can fail to recognize him everywhere. Except in bodies. And as long as they believe they are in bodies, where they think they are he cannot be” (p. 482). “The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God … Jesus became what all of you must be” (Manual for Teachers, p. 83). “The Holy Spirit … represents your Self and your Creator, who are one” (Ibid., p. 85).

The Course is by no means unusual, except in its use of Christian terminology. It is only one of the voices of the New Age, but it may stand here for many others. As will already be apparent to anyone who has stepped inside one of the many New Age bookstores, the movement is like a great river fed by many tributaries: the Hermetic and alchemical traditions of Europe, mediated sometimes by Carl Jung; the neo-Platonism of the Renaissance or of Sufism; popularized Vedanta, Buddhism, and Taoism with the embroideries of Madame Blavatsky; Gnosticism, witchcraft, Kabbalah, Yoga and so on.

 

 

Belief in reincarnation is common, although not essential. (The Course, with its stress on the “Holy Instant” and non-existence of past and future, refuses to be drawn on the subject.) The ultimate criterion of truth tends to be pragmatic: whatever helps you to find inner peace is true “for you.” Thus the New Age keeps itself free to follow every kind of appealing idea (often merely for the sake of novelty), without exposing itself to the danger of refutation.

Indices nos. 1 for the note below is not given in the text above- Michael

 

NOTES

1. The New Age movement is not against science per se, but materialism it accommodates quite readily both the “new physics” and the new biology. See, e g., Marylyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (Los Angeles, Jeremy Tarcher, 1980).

2. A still important study of spiritualism by Herbert Thurston, SJ, The Church and Spiritualism, (Milwaukee: Bruce t Publishing Co.. 1933), argues the case against Christians involving themselves in such practices. The opposite point of view is
put by Morton Kelsey in The Christian and the Supernatural (Minneapolis Augsburg 1976), for whom “Psiis a “natural phenomenon of the human psyche” which can be used for the glory of God and the enactment of human life.”

3. I will be quoting from the one-volume paperback edition (London and New York Arkana. 1985).

 

 

Some Deceptions of the New Age Movement

www.catholicassociates.com/leaflets/Somedeceptionsfthenewage.pdf

catholicassociates.com 1991

 

This leaflet, published originally in 1991, summarises some essential information for Catholics.

The notes, arranged under four headings, provide a brief insight into the activities of New Agers – and the danger represented by their beliefs and practices.

 

BACKGROUND

Before we consider what the New Age means; before we look at its so-called doctrines and its sphere of influence let me set the scene. Millions of New Agers recognise the nature of the ‘movement’ to which they are dedicated. Millions more have little or no idea what it is they are involved in. But what is this New Age that is referred to so often these days? There is no simple definition. We can say, however, that New Age thinking is incompatible with Christianity and we can also say, with certainty, that it is a world-wide phenomenon which is now influencing Western countries to an alarming degree. How it is doing this is examined briefly in this leaflet. One of the most disturbing effects, already apparent, is that the New Age Movement under its various guises has infiltrated the Catholic Church to the point where some priests and bishops allow – or even actively encourage – beliefs and practices which should be denounced.

The basis of our Faith is the authority of Christ and the Church which He founded; but what about the claims to authority by the New Age proponents? The following quote gives us a clue.

The words are those of a co-director of the Findhorn Community -a community which claims to be guided by spiritual beings:
“…Lucifer is the angel of man’s inner light – he comes to give us the final gift of wholeness. If we accept it then we are free. This is the Luciferic initiation. It is an initiation into the New Age.”

The Church has met and survived many challenges to Her authority. Each of these challenges was made against a background of factors which were particularly significant at the time. The combat is not new. What is it, then, that is particularly significant about our present time? One factor must be the mass-media and modern communications which permit the rapid spread of heresies. Another factor which is unique to this generation is that the year 2000 marks not only the beginning of the third millennium of Christianity but also – in New Age/astrological terms – the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. This is an event of peculiar significance for those involved in New Age practices and it is important for us to understand why.

Every two-thousand-one-hundred years or so, because of the apparent movement of the sun, the earth and the constellations in relation to each other, a different Zodiac ‘sign’ is said to be ‘in the ascendancy’. Within this sequence, or pattern, the period from 2200 BC to the year 100 BC was said to be the Age of Aries – symbolised by the Ram – the time of Abraham and the Fatherhood of God. Then, coinciding with the Incarnation, came the Age of Pisces – symbolised by the Fish – an age centred on Jesus the Son. Now, we approach the year 2000 AD, which sees the dawning of the Age of Aquarius – symbolised by the Water Carrier – supposedly the age of the spirit and liberated mankind. It can be seen from this how the deception takes shape.

 

 

 

Think of the recent years paving the way: hippies, flower-power; transcendental meditation; gurus; drugs; the Beatles; the pop-rock culture. Add to that the involvement of writers, scientists, celebrities and activists lending influential status and intellectual credibility and, suddenly, it’s no longer freaks and fanatics but a serious and even sinister threat. One recent publication summed it up like this: “…the traditional forms of paganism are prospering in the West… in the midst of skyscrapers, computers, T. V. and jets we find flourishing altars of Pantheism, nature worship, Buddhism, astrology and witchcraft. ….. We find spiritual supermarkets full of ready-wrapped, do-it-yourself meditation religions”.

It should be recognised that, for the New Agers, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius also marks the end of Christianity.

Know your enemy is the first rule of battle, so we need to become familiar with the false doctrines being promoted, who is promoting them and how they are being promoted.

 
WHO’S WHO?

(Matthew Fox*, referred to in this section, is no longer a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He now works with the Episcopalians in America – see the leaflet entitled ‘Spiritual Anarchy – The New Age Threat’ for more recent information)

First place goes to Dominican priest
Fr Matthew Fox. He is the best-known promoter of Creation-Centred Spirituality – central to which is the insistence that for hundreds of years Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular has been barking up the wrong tree. Fr Fox was silenced by Rome in 1988 and it is revealing to hear his response to that decision. When told of the Vatican ban Fr Fox reportedly said to his superior: ‘This work is just too pressing to be postponed until a neurotic papal regime dies out.’ Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out that Fr Matthew Fox denies original sin; that his treatment of homosexuality is inspired neither by Scripture nor by the doctrines of the Church, and that his work is dangerous and deviant. *He was excommunicated in 1993

Despite this, Fr Fox is still giving retreats, still speaking publicly and still spreading his heresies. His 1991 schedule includes several venues in Britain. The aim of the CCS network is to establish a presence in every parish in the country. Working closely with Fr Fox is an apostate Jewish woman who goes under the name of Starhawk. Her real name is Miriam Simos and she claims to be a pagan witch. Among her attributes is the revival of basic chants and spiral dances from ancient religions to awaken us all to the power of play in worship! That presumably confirms reports of her persuading nuns to dance around trees.

Then we have Alice Bailey who died in 1949. She is considered to be a New Age prophetess. According to her, our destiny is guided by Ascended Masters, one of whom was Jesus who, she claimed, acted as a bodily vehicle for the Cosmic Christ.

One of Alice Bailey’s disciples is Benjamin Creme author, lecturer and self-proclaimed forerunner of the New Age Guru, Maitreya or the Anti-Christ. Creme also founded the Tara Center in America which issues regular bulletins about the coming of the Anti-Christ. Next, we turn to Helena Blavatsky one of the founders of the Theosophical Society in 1875. The aims of Theosophy are the formation of a universal brotherhood, comparative study of world religions and the exploration of psychic and spiritual powers in man. The Society that set out to promote these aims laid the modern foundations of the New Age movement. In fact a plan drawn up in 1876 included a proposal that work to achieve these aims should be carried on secretly for 100 years before being brought out into the open. And that is exactly what has happened. Blavatsky’s successor was Annie Besant whose books on Ancient Wisdom and Esoteric Christianity are still used among New Agers.

Then there’s that popular New Age channeller J. Z. Knight – she claims that a thirty-five-thousand-year-old warrior called Ramtha communicates through her. This spirit guide is a favourite of actress Shirley MacLaine who herself is doing much to promote addiction to New Age practice and thinking. In fact, Shirley MacLaine has been described as a super saleswoman for the movement.

There are numerous avenues leading into New Age deception. New ways of thinking can be observed in all areas of society – in science, government, medicine, education, psychology, religion and so on. Many of these are referred to by Marilyn Ferguson in her book The Aquarian Conspiracy. She had noticed a fascinating phenomenon: that groups of people were linking together in networks. These networks themselves were interlinked because members of one would also be members of another. Marilyn Ferguson called it a Conspiracy in the sense that people are working together towards a common goal. Her book written in the early 1980’s is regarded by many as a blue-print for the New Age movement.

Of necessity, this must be a very brief ‘Who’s Who’ but it cannot be concluded without a reference to Helen Schucman who is responsible for a programme called A Course in Miracles. This course is widely available as a Penguin paperback and on audio cassettes. The purpose of this self-study course is to change one’s perceptions. Dr Schucman claims that the course was given to her as an inner dictation. Some of it is written as though Jesus is speaking … However, this ‘Course in Miracles‘ has been described as a modern version of Gnostic ‘Christianity’.

 
FALSE TEACHING

Now we look at New Age doctrines and interpretations starting with one that seems to reflect the more convoluted thinking of the New Agers. This is a definition of God from a book called The Seth Material by Jane Roberts. Seth was a disembodied entity who ‘channelled’ through the author: ‘God is an energy gestalt… a psychic pyramid of inter-related, ever-expanding consciousness that creates simultaneously and instantaneously … universes and individuals that are given duration, psychic comprehension, intelligence and eternal validity…’

 

Or you may prefer the definition of Benjamin Creme: ‘In a sense there is no such thing as God. God does not exist. And in another sense there is nothing else but God … and because all is God, there is no God.’

Confused? Yes – and so are many people. But it is all made to sound so plausible to the unsuspecting and expectant listener or reader. For example, consider this definition of the Trinity from a book called The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ: … ‘Eternal thought is one: in essence it is two – intelligence and force: and when they breathe, a child is born: this child is love.’ It is certainly not what we know as the Mystery of The Blessed Trinity.

Our Lord Himself is given only equal status with other prophets and spiritual leaders. In his Reflections on the Christ, David Spangler says this… “The true birth of the Christ was not the birth of Jesus. Jesus was an individual who himself had to recapitulate certain stages. He built upon the pattern Buddha had established.” Any New Ager may agree that Jesus Christ is God – his world-view will allow that. But his world-view will also compel him to say that Jesus is no more God than you or me. We hear many references to the Cosmic Christ the concept of which can be traced back to the second century although the term only surfaced in the nineteenth century. The concept attributes three natures to Christ – human, divine and cosmic, that is, pervading the whole physical universe, the sum total of experience. And if you start from a creation-centred view, the Cosmic Christ is within creation, holding it together, suffering with it and evolving with it. Contrast that with the Catechism teaching on the second article of the Creed. 

When we come to the Four Last Things, the Aquarian Gospel again gives us a clue to New Age thinking: ‘God never made a heaven for man: He never made a hell. We are creators and we make our own.’ Or from the aforementioned Course in Miracles: ‘There is no need for help to enter Heaven, for you have never left.’ Finally, in this brief review, it is unlikely that you will be called upon to refute any false teaching about Our Lady because it seems that New Age writing and teaching simply ignores Our Blessed Mother. These brief examples are typical of the dangerous material that is now available on the shelves of many bookshops — and often in the section marked ‘Religion’. These false ideas and ‘spirituality’ can also be identified in magazine articles; business seminars; radio and television broadcasts; music; fashion; games; toys – and in the many fantasy films at the cinema. But it is in retreat programmes that they find their most spiritually dangerous expression…. 


METHODS AND TECHNIQUES

One of the ways in which New Age ideas can be spread is through Prayer Techniques. We hear of nuns who pray in the lotus position; friars who recite mantras in their cells; courses in Zen meditation in parishes and convents. Add to this the teaching of Anthony de Mello, Bede Griffiths, Thomas Merton and others, and one begins to realise the extent of the problem. 
In December 1989 the Vatican released the text of a long-awaited document giving the Church’s position on eastern prayer techniques. It points out that no method or technique can ‘master’ the love of God. The document also warns against prayer techniques that are not inspired by the Gospel and which, in practice, tend to ignore Christ in favour of a mental void that has no meaning in Christianity. The document itself is in the form of a letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and therefore could be referred to if you are writing to your own Bishop on any such matter. The opening paragraph draws attention to the genuine desire of many Christians to experience a deeper and authentic prayer life despite the difficulties which the modern world places in the way of silence, recollection and meditation. But, we must be sure that any spiritual guidance is in keeping with Catholic tradition and that it does not by-pass or reject the time-honoured devotions of the Church. 

 
 

Another popular vehicle for New Age deception today is the Green Movement. There are many examples of non-Christian views being expressed in the ‘green’ literature put out by numerous organisations and groups. Frequently, it speaks of ‘reinterpreting’ the Church’s teaching about creation. Furthermore, any instruction manual on ‘How to be Green’ will almost invariably include a section on relaxation and the advice to ‘find out about yoga classes in your area’. The growing movement of Feminism, too, has strong links with New Age spirituality. This is evident in campaigns which seek to eliminate inequality between the sexes. But it goes further than that. The ultimate goal is the dominance of the female principle which supposedly corresponds to the spirit of the Age of Aquarius. It would be easy to become obsessed about such dangers. Not everyone who belongs to an environmental protection group is a New Age sympathiser. But when the origins and world-views of some of these campaigns are studied they are found to contain a strong allegiance to non-Christian spiritual traditions. Many adults – and their children – may be exposing themselves quite innocently to influences which could affect their thinking on matters concerning their religious belief.

 

CONCLUSION

In May 1993 Pope John Paul II warned Catholics about the dangers of New Age ‘spirituality’*. He drew attention particularly to its promotion of what he called ‘a vague vision of the world expressed in myths and symbols.’ Many people are being seduced by such myths and symbols. We are living in a time of unrestrained deception. Society has been conditioned to a life-style of self-gratification. The New Age Movement represents a major part of this deception and conditioning. It is directed towards the Age of Aquarius. It is inspired by demonic forces. It relies upon the response of susceptible and unwary men, women and children. It promises them freedom and fulfilment. In reality it is Satan working furiously to destroy souls. *His address to the US bishops, Ad Limina visitation, May 28, 1993
www.catholicassociates.com e-mail: mfandra@hotmail.com 

www.catholicassociates.com e-mail: info@catholicassociates.com

Catholicassociates.com is the website of M.A. Associates, publishers of Catholic leaflets.

 

EVANGELICAL/PROTESTANT

 


 

A Course in Miracles: a CIA exercise in mind control?

http://www.conspiracy-times.com/content/view/104/37/

Conspiracy Times June 25, 2007

 

A Course in Miracles, published in 1975, is a book considered by its students to be their “spiritual path” – some have labeled it the “New Age Bible”. It has sold millions of copies. But could it have been part of a CIA mind control experiment? One of its authors was a key MKULTRA scientist.

Its promoters describe it as “A Course in Miracles is a complete self-study spiritual thought system. As a three-volume curriculum consisting of a Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers, it teaches that the way to universal love and peace – or remembering God – is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The Course thus focuses on the healing of relationships and making them holy. A Course in Miracles also emphasizes that it is but one version of the universal curriculum, of which there are ‘many thousands.’ Consequently, even though the language of the Course is that of traditional Christianity, it expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. A Course in Miracles therefore is a universal spiritual teaching, not a religion.”
According to Dr. Helen Schucman and the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP), she and Dr. William Thetford “scribed” the book by means of a process coming from a divine source through a form of channelling, which Schucman referred to as “inner dictation”. Schucman described the divine source of her channelling as none other than the person of Jesus Christ – thus making one think that the notion that this is just a spiritual teaching “not a religion”, somewhat suspect.

 

Channelers of Jesus Christ would – perhaps should – be treated with suspicion. But amongst the usual list of possible explanations for mounting a hoax, “A Course in Miracles” has an unusual candidate: CIA sponsored mind control.
Dr. William Thetford, co-scribe of the book, co-headed the CIA’s “Mind Control” MK-ULTRA SubProject 130: Personality Theory, while at Columbia University, between 1971 and 1978. His colleague on this project was David Saunders. Thetford’s Professional Bio, also available on the A Course in Miracles web site, makes reference to his involvement in a Personality Theory Research Project while Professor of Medical Psychology at Columbia University, but the information does not specifically cite this as a CIA MK-ULTRA SubProject – an omission we would expect to find.


When we check dates, it is clear that A Course in Miracles was written in the middle of this project’s existence. The next question should therefore be whether it was part of this project. After all, the project addresses “personality theory” and the Course tackles how heal the personality.

Some might argue that though the book was published in 1975, the sessions predated Thetford’s involvement with the CIA in 1971. But can we be sure? The story goes that in late 1965, Schucman began to “channel” this voice in her head. From 1965 to 1972, Thetford directly assisted Schucman with the transcription of the first three sections of the work, which was in fact the great bulk of the material. But one year into his involvement with the CIA, in 1972, Thetford and Schucman were introduced to Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, whom they invited to assist with the editing that was required to render the rough draft of the ACIM manuscript into a publishable format. So though it is possible the actual sessions fell outside of Thetford’s MKULTRA employment, the promotion and publication fell squarely within it.
Furthermore, it has been alleged that among the subjects deleted from the original versions were remarks concerning “the CIA.” When some of these original versions were first published on the Internet in the late 1990s, they were almost as quickly removed by a court injunction brought by none other than Wapnick himself.

The publisher of the Course was the Foundation for the Investigation of Para Sensory Phenomena. Some observers wonder whether this may have been funded by members involved with or employed by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Menlo Park, California, which at the time was home to the Remote Viewing project – itself sponsored by the CIA. One of the people with connections to SRI was Judith Skutch, the president and founder of the foundation.
In 1973, Skutch was one of Uri Geller’s first supporters. According to Andrew Tobias, most of Geller’s private demonstrations were done in Skutch’s apartment and it was this foundation that put up $60,000 to pay for SRI’s further study of Geller. As it is now known that funding for such experiments also came from the CIA, we can of course wonder whether the Foundation was a front for the CIA… which would mean that it was the CIA itself who published “A Course in Miracles” in 1975. That would mean that the Course was from beginning to end a CIA affair.

 

Could this couple have faked everything? Father Benedict Groeschel, a Catholic priest, knew Schucman both as a teacher and friend. He described William Thetford as “a mysterious character”, and “probably the most sinister person I ever met.” That is an interesting assessment.
Only after he retired from teaching did Thetford’s Columbia colleagues (who knew him best as a rare-books expert) discover that during the years they worked with him, he had been employed as an agent of the CIA – one who was, among other things, present at the first fission experiment conducted by physicists assigned to the Manhattan Project. Thetford also was “the most religious atheist I have ever known”, Groeschel recalled. Equally, Groeschel uncovered that Schucman, though outwardly an atheist, had been an admirer of the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes – quite an uncommon fascination for a Jew. She was also embarrassed and feared, Groeschel remembered, that the book would create a cult, or a cult following, which of course it did. In her eyes, it was that “damned book”.

Was Schucman the unknown victim, or active participant, in a government-sponsored experiment? As an associate professor, she definitely had the intelligence to figure whether or not she was abused.
Furthermore, J.W. Gittinger was the primary personality assessor for MKULTRA. He pioneered scientific methods to enable him to identify the most susceptible types of personalities for Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, one of the leading scientists on the MKULTRA project. Gittinger’s work eventually surfaced as his “Personality Assessment System” (PAS). Two years after Schucman went to work for Thetford, they co-authored a paper on Gittinger’s PAS, suggesting they at least knew of him… or may even have written this paper within the framework of the MKULTRA project.

So could the book be part of some mind control experiment? Author and Yogi Joel Kramer states that the Course could be considered a classic authoritarian example of programming thought to change beliefs. Long time teacher of the Course, Hugh Prather, notes that the Course students often become, “far more separate and egocentric”, with many ultimately, “[losing] the ability to carry on a simple conversation”. He admits that he and his wife Gayle “had ended up less flexible, less forgiving, and less generous than we were when we first started our path!”
Furthermore, the book starts off as a psychic channeling session and this is an area that the CIA was involved with in the 1970s. So not only was Thetford an MK-ULTRA employee, the book itself, and the method in which it is said to have come about, also fits a CIA area of interest.

 

While occult phenomenon has long been ridiculed by the scientific establishment, the CIA seriously entertained the notion that such phenomena might be highly significant for the spy trade. The Agency speculated that if a number of people in the US were found to have high ESP capacity, their talent could be assigned to specific intelligence problems. In 1952, the CIA initiated an extensive program involving the search for, and development of, exceptionally gifted individuals who could approximate perfect success in ESP performance. The Office of Security, which ran the ARTICHOKE project, was urged to follow all leads on individuals reported to have true clairvoyant powers so as to be able to subject their claims to rigorous scientific investigation.


The CIA began infiltrating séances and occult gatherings during the 1950s, which may explain why they were interested in a bizarre UFO/medium case in Maine in 1959.

 

 

A memo dated April 9, 1953, refers to a domestic – and therefore illegal – operation that required the planting of a very specialized observer at a séance in order to obtain a broad surveillance of all individuals attending the meetings.

During the late 1960s, the CIA experimented with mediums in an attempt to contact and possibly debrief dead CIA agents. These attempts, according to Victor Marchetti, a former high-ranking CIA official, were part of a larger effort to harness psychic powers for various intelligence-related missions (PROJECT SCANATE) that included utilizing clairvoyants to divine the intentions of the Kremlin leadership.
Early in 1981, a well-known syndicated columnist Jack Anderson said, “My associate and I revealed a Pentagon secret that raised eyebrows from coast-to-coast. To the skeptics who wrote in, no, we don’t take hallucinogens. The Pentagon and the Kremlin are, indeed dabbling in the black arts, they are seriously trying to develop weapons based upon extrasensory perception…”
A Course in Miracles seems to have been a part of this psychic warfare… the question is: what was its intended purpose?

 

A Course in Miracles/Part 1

http://www.google.co.in/search?q=course+in+miracles+catholic&hl=en&prmd=ivnsfd&ei=ZxMsTrO8LonRrQeopKiyDQ&start=200&sa=N

By Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon 2009

 

A Course in Miracles was channeled through an atheistic psychologist named Helen Schucman. Dr. Schucman, who had an early background in New Thought metaphysics and the occult, would not permit public knowledge of her role as the medium and eight-year channel for the Course until after her death in 1981.

 

Introduction

To date, A Course in Miracles has sold over one million sets and has had great impact. It has been or is being translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, and many other languages.[1] Over a thousand Course study groups now exist in the United States and Europe.

The printer for A Course in Miracles, Coleman Graphics, Inc. publishes over 50 additional book titles, most of them written by students of the Course who have incorporated Course philosophy into their writings. One influential example is psychologist Kenneth Wapnick’s book, Christian Psychology in A Course in Miracles. Wapnick, a Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism, has apparently devoted his life to spreading the good news of the Course. His “Foundation for a Course in Miracles” in Roscoe, New York, has published six books on the Course that attempt to show its supposed relevance to Christian belief and practice.

According to New Realities magazine, even a brief, partial listing of the organizations who recommend the Course to their constituents, or who have incorporated it into their curriculum, is impressive: est (The Forum); the Association for Humanistic Psychology; the Center for Attitudinal Healing; the Association for Research and Enlightenment (Edgar Cayce); the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship (founded by famous trance medium Arthur Ford); the Association for Transpersonal Psychology; the Institute of Noetic (consciousness) Sciences; Stuart Emery’s Actualizations seminar.[2] From university presidents (such as Glen Olds, former president of Kent State University) to owners of football teams – to “various researchers and authors that read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the consciousness movement”,[3] the Course continues to expand in popularity. Psychic researcher Willis Harmon, head of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, has called it “the most important book in the English language”.[4]

Also, scores of individuals in numerous occupations have incorporated Course teachings into their professions. New Age pianist Steven Halpern has set material from the Course to music. Michael Stillwater has used its concepts for gardening in his A Course in Marigolds. Centerlink, Inc. has even put the Course on computer disk.

In light of its sales, the number of its teachers, and its indirect influence through other mediums, a conservative estimate would be that at least five million people have been exposed to the Course teachings. For example, prominent New Ager Marianne Williamson is author of the million-copy bestseller, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (Harper-Collins, 1992), which is heavily based on the Course. Her promotions of the Course on TV are also numerous. Popular TV host Oprah Winfrey was so enthralled with Williamson’s book that she bought a thousand copies for her friends and others, many of noted influence.[5]

Influential psychiatrist Gerald Jampolsky also extols Course virtues throughout the country, in his lectures and books. He has appeared on the “Phil Donahue Show”, “Today”, and “60 Minutes”. Robert Schuller has hosted Jampolsky at his famous Garden Grove Community Church.[6] Jampolsky’s bestselling books, There Is a Rainbow Behind Every Cloud, Good-bye to Guilt, Out of Darkness into the Light, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Teach Only Love, and Children as Teachers of Peace condense basic themes of the Course. His Center for Attitudinal Healing was founded in 1975 under the direction of an “inner voice”, which instructed him to establish a center where the principles of the Course could be taught and demonstrated.

Jampolsky’s Teach Only Love asserts that the Course is “central to attitudinal healing”.[7] In Good-Bye to Guilt he describes his conversion to the Course and its relation to the Center:

 

 

I began to change my way of looking at the world in 1975. Until then I had considered myself a militant atheist, and the last thing I was consciously interested in was being on a spiritual pathway that would lead to God. In that year I was introduced to… A Course in Miracles… My resistance was immediate… Nevertheless, after reading just one page, I had a sudden and dramatic experience. There was an instantaneous memory of God, a feeling of oneness with everyone in the world, and the belief that my only function on earth was to serve God.

Because of my Jewish background, however, I found that, as I got into the course, I developed a great deal of resistance to its Christian terminology…

Because of the profound effect the course had on my life, I decided to apply its principles in working with catastrophically ill children. In 1975, my inner guidance led me to help establish The Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California, to fulfill that function.[8]

He explains that the Course itself is not used at the Center (the full Course program requires a minimum of a year to complete); however, the staff are expected to “adopt and demonstrate the principles of attitudinal healing” taught by the Course.[9]

The Christian church has also been influenced by the Course. “Evangelical” Christians, such as author and lesbianism supporter Virginia Mollenkott, in Speech, Silence, Action, attest to its alleged benefits in their lives.[10] Some mainline churches use it as part of their educational programs, because it has received glowing endorsements by numerous Catholic and Protestant clergy.

In fact, the Course specifically commends itself toward acceptance within the Christian church. For example, its spirit author claims to be “Jesus Christ” Himself; and distinctively Christian terminology is utilized throughout.

 

Spiritual Counterfeits Project [SCP] researcher Robert Burroughs observes:

It has also found a ready and expanding audience within the Christian Church, which is not surprising either. Biblical illiteracy is rampant and commitment to orthodoxy often less than vigorous and sometimes consciously absent. Those conditions are aggravated by the very nature of the Course writings. Couched in biblical terminology and allegedly dictated by Jesus Christ, they easily confuse and seem designed specifically for that purpose.[11]

 

Of course, other non-Christian spiritistic writings have these themes, i.e., 1) the biblical God or Jesus is the alleged author, 2) spiritistic contact in one form or another is encouraged, and 3) a claim to be a message for the Church (e.g., medium Levi M. Arnold’s History of the Origin of All Things[12]; the occult Oahspe: A Kosmon Bible[13]; A.J. Russell’s (ed.) God Calling.[14] In each case new revelations seek to revise and discredit biblical teachings, usually through sophisticated-sounding spiritual explanations and methods.

Nevertheless, in all such revelations, “God” denies His earlier teachings in Scripture.[15]

 

Background

A Course in Miracles was channeled through an atheistic psychologist named Helen Schucman. Dr. Schucman, who had an early background in New Thought metaphysics and the occult,[16] would not permit public knowledge of her role as the medium and eight-year channel for the Course until after her death in 1981.

As it happens, dream work played a role in the formation of the Course material. Due to job-related stress and a crisis at work, Schucman began to write down and explore her “highly symbolic dreams”. This exploration went on for several months. Unexpectedly, one day she heard an inner voice say, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.” And from this ensued a form of inner dictation. Although it was not a form of automatic writing or trance, the otherworldly nature of the phenomenon made her “very uncomfortable”.[17]

The method of transmission was a clear, distinct inner voice that promised “to direct [her] very specifically.” The “voice” did just that, and the same spiritistic direction is promised to students of the Course.[18] Dr. Schucman described the process as the kind of inner dictation common to many other channeled works. She wrote, “It can’t be a hallucination, really, because the Voice does not come from outside. It’s all internal. There’s no actual sound, and the words come mentally but very clearly. It’s a kind of inner dictation you might say.”[19] Schucman took shorthand dictation from the voice almost daily: “It always resumed dictation precisely where it had left off, no matter how much time had elapsed between sessions.”[20]

Dr. Schucman was a most unlikely channel. She was a respected research psychologist, a pragmatic materialist, and a committed atheist before receiving the revelations. Among her prestigious appointments, she had been associate professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and associate research scientist and chief psychologist at the Neurological Institute of The Presbyterian Hospital. Her Jewish background and commitment to atheism made her uncomfortable with the “Christian” tone of the messages. Her co-scribe on the project was the late Dr. William Thetford, an agnostic, teacher, and research assistant to the famed psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers (whose humanistic psychology also finally catapulted him into spiritism.[21] Thetford held appointments at the Washington School of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Before his death he was a civilian medical specialist in family medicine at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California, and director of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California.[22] His prestigious appointments and wide influence gave him many opportunities to publicize the Course.

Robert Skutch, publisher of the Course, says that the power and tenacity of the “voice” became all the more impressive because of Dr. Schucman’s obvious reluctance:

 

 

She did know that the material was coming from an unusually authoritative source – one she did not intellectually believe in. Thus began the actual transmission of the material which Helen would take down in more than 100 shorthand notebooks over a period of seven-and-a-half years. The situation proved to be tremendously paradoxical. On the one hand, she resented the Voice, objected to taking down the material, was extremely fearful of the content and had to overcome great personal resistance, especially in the beginning stages, in order to continue. On the other hand, it never seriously occurred to her not to do it, even though she frequently was tremendously resentful of the often infuriating interference….[23]

The Course illustrates two characteristics of spiritistic inspiration: 1) when possible, seek a contact that will provide the most impact or credence for the revelation produced (Schucman’s scholarly standing provided this credibility), and 2) force production of the material, regardless of personal cost to the channeler.

Some might argue that Schucman simply wanted to discredit orthodox Christianity. But nothing in her life or personality suggests she would deliberately go to such lengths merely to undermine Christian belief. Furthermore, the “voice”, like the spirits in general, was merciless and unrelenting. This was clearly a force controlling Schucman, not a personally desired writing project to reinvent Christianity:

The Voice would dictate to Helen almost daily, and sometimes several times a day…. She could, and very often did, refuse to cooperate, at least initially. But she soon discovered she could have no peace until she relented and joined in once again. Despite being aware of this, she still sometimes refused to write for extended periods. When this occurred, it was usually at the urging of her husband that she did return to work, for he knew full well that she could only eliminate her distress by resuming her function as Course “scribe”, and he was able to convince her that to continue fighting the inevitable could only have a deleterious effect on their relationship….

The acute terror Helen felt at the beginning did gradually recede, but part of her mind simply never allowed her to get completely used to the idea of being a channel for the Voice…. For the most part she was bleakly unbelieving, suspicious and afraid.[24]

Afraid, indeed. Mysterious powers that take control of one’s life are something to be feared. Robert Skutch also recorded Schucman’s own perception of the phenomenon:

Was the Voice that Helen heard dictating the material really that of Jesus? Both Helen and Bill believed the material must stand on its own, regardless of its alleged authorship. At her deepest level, Helen was certain that the Voice was that of Jesus, and yet she still had ambivalent feelings on the subject. In her own words:

“Having no belief in God, I resented the material I was taking down, and was strongly impelled to attack it and prove it wrong…. But where did the writing come from? Certainly the subject matter itself was the last thing I would have expected to write about, since I knew nothing about the subject. Subsequent to the writing I learned that many of the concepts and even some of the actual terms in the writing are found in both Eastern and Western mystical thought, but I knew nothing of them at the time. Nor did I understand the calm but impressive authority with which the Voice dictated. It was largely because of the strangely compelling nature of this authority that I refer to the Voice with a capital ‘V’.”[25]

Dr. Schucman proceeded to admit her complete bafflement: “I do not understand the [control of] events that led up to the writing. I do not understand the process and I certainly do not understand the authorship. It would be pointless for me to attempt an explanation.”[26]

Her co-scribe, Dr. Thetford, recorded his own observations in an interview in New Realities:

… The material was something that transcended anything that either of us could possibly conceive of. And since the content was quite alien to our backgrounds, interests and training, it was obvious to me that it came from an inspired source. The quality of the material was very compelling, and its poetic beauty added to its impact.

I think that if it had not been for many of the extraordinary experiences that occurred during the summer of 1965, neither Helen nor I would have been willing to accept the material she scribed.[27]

(This article excerpted from John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 1996)

 

Notes

1. Dean C. Halverson, “Seeing Yourself as Sinless,” SCP (Spiritual Counterfeits Project) Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, 1987, p. 18.

2. Brian Van Der Horst, “Update on A Course in Miracles,” New Realities, vol. 3, no. 1, August 1979, p. 48; cf. New
Realities, vol. 1, no. 1, lead article, 1977.

3. Ibid.

4. Martin Gardner, “Marianne Williamson and ‘A Course in Miracles’,” The Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1992, p. 19.

5. Ibid., p. 21.

6. Frances Adeny, “Re-visioning Reality: A Critique of A Course in Miracles,” SCP Newsletter, vol. 7, no. 2, 1981, p. 3.

7. Gerald Jampolsky, Teach Only Love, New York: Bantam, 1985, p. 23.

8. Gerald Jampolsky, Good-Bye to Guilt: Releasing Fear Through Forgiveness, New York: Bantam, 1985, pp. 4, 11.

9. Ibid.

10. Adeny, Re-visioning, p. 3.

11. Dean C. Halverson, Kenneth Wapnick, “A Matter of Course: Conversation with Kenneth Wapnick,” SCP Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, 1987, p. 9.

12. Willis H. Kinnear, ed., The Creative Power of Mind, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978.

13. Ibid.

 

 

14. John Weldon, Christian Science, mms.; cf. Edmund Gruss, “God Calling: A Critical Look at a Christian Best Seller,” Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter, vol. 6, no. 3. L. M. Arnold’s text and Oahspe are much more blatantly anti-Christian.

15. Gruss, “God Calling”.

16. Gardner, “Marianne Williamson”.

17. Robert Basil, ed., Not Necessarily the New Age: Critical Essays, New York: Prometheus, 1977, p. 23.

18. A Course in Miracles, Volume 2: Workbook for Students, Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1977, pp. 417-78.

19. James Bolen, “Interview: William N. Thetford,” New Realities, vol. 6, no. 2, September/October 1984, Part 2, p. 20.

20. Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience, San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 1991, p. 2.

21. Carl Rogers, A Way of Being, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980, pp. 88-92.

22. Jampolsky, Goodbye, p. 214.

23. Adeny, Re-visioning, p. 20.

24. Bolen, “Interview: William N. Thetford,” New Realities, vol. 6, no. 1, July/August 1984 Part 1, pp. 20-23.

25. Bolen, “Interview” Part 2, p. 78.

26. Ibid.

27. Ibid, p. 18.

 

A Course In Miracles: Is It Christian?

http://logosresourcepages.org/FalseTeachings/miracles.htm

Compiled and Edited by Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.

 

INTRODUCTION

Although it is not widely known “A COURSE IN MIRACLES” was received by demonic revelation. Here’s why I say that. In October 1965, an atheist, Jewish, psychologist named Helen Schucman, an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York, claimed she began receiving channeled messages from an unknown entity in an audible voice. At a later date the entity identified itself as Jesus Christ according to a talk given on A Course In Miracles by Kenneth Wapnick, May 9, 1981, page 10. As a matter of record, for the next ten years the voice is said to have dictated “in an inaudible voice” the three volume, 1,188 page, 500,000 word book known as A Course In Miracles according to an article that appeared in Psychology Today, September 1980, page 75.

Next on the scene was Dr. William Thetford who was an associate of Helen’s. He was a clinical psychologist at Columbia University. While he was present with Ms. Schucman on several occasions when she was receiving her revelations, he never, at any time heard the voice. Yet, he believed (according to The Holy Encounter, September/October 1990, page 5) that the revelation Schucman was receiving was “the original teachings of Jesus…”

The Doctor was mistaken on two accounts. First, as a person who holds a degree in psychology I learned that there is a BIG problem when you encounter a patient who is hearing audible voices. Secondly, as a Bible believing pastor who holds a masters degree in theology in theology I believe in the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. Therefore I measure all other teachings by the 66 books of the Bible. But Dr. William Thetford did not that view. Because he was raised in the Christian Science Church, he was accustomed to extra-biblical revelation. Therefore, he was pre-conditioned to being receptive to this sort of demonic activity. Thetford worked hard to bring “A Course In Miracles” to publication. His efforts gained momentum in 1972 when he met Dr. Kenneth Wapnick of the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) of Glen Ellen, California. Schucman and Thetford turned the copyrights for the Course over to (FIP) in 1975 and in September of that same year the first edition of A Course In Miracles came rolling off the press in a three volume set. There is some disagreement as to the publication date. The copy of the Course that is in my research library says “A Course In Miracles was first published in three volumes in June of 1976.

In February of 1981 Helen Schucman discovered that she was not talking to the Jesus Christ of the Bible but a false Christ. The reason I say that is because that is when she died and because she had not received the biblical Christ she went to Hades. The same is true for her crony William Thetford who died in 1988. They know now that their efforts should have been directed to the study and belief of Biblical revelation and a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ instead of the false Christ Schucman encountered by occult means.

Despite the death of these two cult leaders, A Course In Miracles has experienced phenomenal growth. According to the November/December 1990 issue of Holy Encounter there were a total of 1, 250 study groups meeting in 48 states. Then the Course got another boost when Marianne Williamson was featured in Time magazine. Her supporters call her “the
Mother Teresa for the 90’s.” Williamson is one of the best known promoters of the Course (Time, 29 July 1991, p. 60). In 1992, Williamson published A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course In Miracles which “occupied the number one position on the Publishers Weekly non-fiction best-sellers list for eleven weeks!” (The Holy Encounter, July/Aug. 1992, page 2).

 

 

The BIGGEST EXPOSURE for A Course In Miracles came when Williamson appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which received more pro viewer mail than any other show for 1992 and with Barbara Walters on the ABC television news show 20/20 (The Holy Encounter, July/Aug. 1992, p. 2; July/Aug. 1993, page 9).

It is indeed tragic that there is an increasing number of Evangelical Christians who are studying this course and see nothing wrong with it. The truth is, there are major doctrinal problems with A Course In Miracles.


 

FALSE DOCTRINAL TEACHINGS OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Doctrine of Jesus/Doctrine of Man

Normally, when explaining the theology of a group, these two categories [Jesus and Man] would be discussed separately. However, in this particular organization, to differentiate between the two seems to be unjustified.

According to the Course, Jesus is merely “an elder brother entitled to respect for his greater experience.” The Jesus of the Course explains, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other” (A Course In Miracles, Vol. 1, p. 5).

Similar to many other New Age teachings, the Course makes a distinction between Jesus the man, who is like all other men, and the Christ idea, which all men possess and must eventually demonstrate. The Course explains this idea when it states, “There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left. But there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false beliefs of your Identity, which God alone established in reality.

“Helpers are given you in many forms. There names are legion, but we will not go beyond the names the course itself employs. The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God. The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do.

“Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusion. Jesus became what all of you must be”.

Thus, according to the Course, Jesus the man was used by the Christ to demonstrate the illusion of the world. In actuality, man is still in heaven. It is simply the illusion of sin and death that have caused false senses of reality. However, when man gains his Christ consciousness as Jesus did, then according to the Course, man will also discover the illusion of sin.

Nature of Illusion and Reality: One of the stated purposes of the Course is to “teach the Course’s reinterpretations of traditional Christian principles such as sin, suffering, forgiveness, Atonement, and the meaning of the Crucifixion” (Foundation for A Course In Miracles, “Forgiveness,” p. 4).

 

Reality Manipulation

As the Course explains, Man has not left Heaven. Man is still in the presence of God, but has created this illusionary World from “…false perceptions. It is born of error, and it has not left its source”. Because Man believes he is separated from God, through his own ego and mistaken beliefs, Man has created the reality in which he now finds himself.

“The effect of the ego’s belief in separation, which is its cause; the thought of separation given form; the world, being the expression of the belief in time and space, was not created by God… The World of separation reinforces the ego’s belief in sin and guilt, perpetuating the seeming existence of this world” (Glossary-Index For A Course In Miracles, p. 168).

Given the presupposition that Man is the creator of his own illusionary world is of no help to the average person. For, as is explained by one of the Course’s introductory booklets, “Once an individual has been caught in the world of perception he is caught in a dream. He cannot escape without help, because everything his senses show him merely witnesses to the reality of the dream” (A Course In Miracles: What Is It?, p. 7).

Thus, if the world is an illusion or dream-state, then by necessity, everything that the physical body does in this make-believe world must also be an illusion. This would necessarily include the false concepts of sin and death. As Volume 2 of the Course demands, “…sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will never happen, for it has no cause” (p. 179). A similar claim is made on death’s behalf. “Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem” (Vol. 3, p. 63).

Thus the world, sin, death and everything is an illusion created by the ego of man, who unfortunately believes in the mistaken idea that he is not currently in heaven and is separated from God. If this is so, how is man to awaken from his “dream-state”?

 

Atonement of Jesus

Kenneth Wapnick, of the Foundation for Inner Peace, explains, “If we now attempt to follow the Holy Spirit’s thinking, and we want to prove that the world is not real and that the sin of separation never happened, all that is needed is to prove that sin has no effect. If we could prove that the cause had no effect then the cause can no longer exist. If something is not a cause it is not real, because everything that is real must be a cause and thus have an effect. If we remove the effect we are also eliminating the cause. Now, if the greatest effect of sin in this world is death, demonstrating that death is an illusion simultaneously demonstrates that there is no sin. This also says that the separation never occurred. We therefore need someone to show us that there is no death. By undoing death that person will also undo sin and will simultaneously show us that there is no separation; the separation never occurred and the only reality, the only true Cause, is God. That person was Jesus. And his mission was to show that there is no death.

 

 

“The gospels speak of Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The way that he took away the sins of the world was to show that they had no effect. Through his overcoming of death he took away all sins. However, this is not the way that the churches have understood it, or that it has been taught. So one important reason that the Course has come at this time, in this way, is to correct this error. What Jesus did was to live in this world – the world of suffering, sin, and death – show that it had no effect on him” (A Talk Given On A Course In Miracles, p. 65).

 

A BIBLICAL RESPONSE

Though the Course explains Man’s ego created the world, the Bible disagrees: Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16.

Though the Course teaches Man is still in heaven with God, Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for Man. Hence man is obviously not already in heaven: John 14:1-3.

While the Course denies the reality of death, the Bible teaches that every person will die: Hebrews 9:27.

The Course claims Jesus’ body was an illusion. The Bible, however, stresses the physical reality of Jesus’ human body: John 1:14, 1 John 4:1-3.

Sin is an illusion according to the Course, but the Bible warns of sin’s reality and consequences: Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:7-10.

According to the Course, Jesus is not the only Savior. The Bible presents Jesus as the unique and only Savior of the world: John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, Acts 16:29-31.

In conclusion, A Course In Miracles is the product of demonic revelation. Those who believe the Course is Christian should read 1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. There is nothing Christian about A Course In Miracles!

2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

This report was compiled and edited David L. Brown, Th. M. firstbaptistchurchOC@gmail.com
using the following resource information:
A Course In Miracles by Rick Branch of Watchman Fellowship
New Age Cults & Religions by Texe Marrs

A Course In Miracles published by Foundation For Inner Peace

 

A Course in Miracles: Christian Glossed Hinduism for the Masses
http://www.inplainsite.org/html/a_course_in_miracles.html

Christian Research Institute

 

What is it about A Course in Miracles? In the past century a glut of spiritistic Bibles have been published to help usher in the anticipated New Age of occult enlightenment, but none have rivaled the popularity and influence achieved by the Course. It has sold 1.25 million sets and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, and many other languages. [2] 1900 study groups now exist in the United States and Europe. [3]

In light of its sales, the number of its teachers, and its indirect influence through other mediums, a conservative estimate would be that at least five million people have been exposed to the Course teachings. For example, prominent New Ager Marianne Williamson’s million-copy bestseller, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (Harper-Collins, 1992), is heavily based on the Course (see accompanying article). Her promotions of the Course on TV are also numerous. Popular TV host Oprah Winfrey was so enthralled with this book that she bought a thousand copies for her friends and
others, many of noted influence. [4]

Influential psychiatrist Gerald Jampolsky also extols Course virtues throughout the country in his lectures and books. He has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show, Today, and 60 Minutes. Robert Schuller has hosted Jampolsky at his famous Crystal Cathedral. Jampolsky’s bestselling books, There Is a Rainbow Behind Every Cloud, Goodbye to Guilt, Out of Darkness into the Light, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Teach Only Love, and Children as Teachers of Peace condense basic themes of the Course. His Center for Attitudinal Healing was founded in 1975 under the direction of an inner voice, which instructed him to establish a center where the principles of the Course could be taught and demonstrated.

The Course has influenced the Christian church as well. Evangelical Christians, such as author Virginia Mollenkott in Speech,
Silence,
Action, attest to its alleged benefits in their lives. [6] Some mainline churches use it as part of their educational programs, since numerous Catholic and Protestant clergy have given it glowing endorsements. In fact, the Course specifically commends itself toward acceptance within the Christian church. Distinctively Christian terminology is used throughout.

 

 

So back to our opening question, What is it that makes A Course in Miracles so successful? All in all, the Course is a masterpiece of spiritual strategy. It claims to be a revelation from Jesus Christ Himself, and it is intelligently organized and simply written. It appeals to personal pride and can become almost addicting emotionally. It is carefully designed for radically restructuring a person’s perception
against Christian faith
and toward New Age occultism.

We might say the text was designed not only for spiritually searching individuals of a secular or psychic persuasion, but especially for nominal Christians in the church who have recognized the bankruptcy of theological liberalism and desire more spiritual reality in their lives. In essence, the Course simultaneously indoctrinates its students in Eastern metaphysics and human potential psychicism, while it specifically insulates them against biblical revelation and true Christianity. In achieving this end, its manipulation of psychological and emotional states is impressive; it offers carefully thought-out spiritual exercises, one for every day of the year.


BACKGROUND
A Course in Miracles was channeled (spiritistically delivered) through an atheistic psychologist named Helen Schucman. Dr. Schucman, who had an early background in New Thought metaphysics and the occult, [7] would not permit public knowledge of her role as the medium and eight-year channel for the Course until after her death. She died in 1981.

Due to job-related stress and a crisis at work, Schucman began to write down and explore her highly symbolic dreams. This exploration went on for several months. Unexpectedly, one day she heard an inner voice say, This is a course in miracles. Please take notes. From this experience ensued a form of inner dictation. Although it was not a form of automatic writing, the otherworldly nature of the phenomenon made her very uncomfortable. [8]

The method of transmission was a clear, distinct inner voice that promised to direct [her] very specifically. The voice did just that, and the same spiritistic direction is promised to students of the Course. [9] Schucman described the process as the kind of inner dictation common to many other channeled works. She wrote, It can’t be a hallucination, really, because the Voice does not come from outside. It’s all internal. There’s no actual sound, and the words come mentally but very clearly. It’s a kind of inner dictation you might say. [10]   Schucman took shorthand dictation from the voice almost daily: It always resumed dictation precisely where it had left off, no matter how much time had elapsed between sessions. [11]

Schucman was a most unlikely channel. She was a respected research psychologist, a pragmatic materialist, and a committed atheist before receiving the revelations. Among her prestigious appointments, she had been Associate Professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and associate research scientist and chief psychologist at the Neurological Institute of The Presbyterian Hospital. Her Jewish background and commitment to atheism made her very uncomfortable with the Christian tone of the messages.

Her co-scribe on the project was Dr. William Thetford, an agnostic teacher and research assistant to the famed psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers. Thetford held appointments at the Washington School of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medica1 College, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Before his death he was civilian medical specialist in family medicine at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California, and director of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California. Thetford’s prestigious standing in the medical community and his wide influence gave him many opportunities to publicize the Course.

Some might argue that Schucman simply wanted to discredit orthodox Christianity. But nothing in her life or personality suggests she would deliberately go to such lengths merely to undermine the Christian faith. Furthermore, the voice, as is generally the case in spiritism, was merciless and unrelenting. This was clearly a force controlling Schucman, not a personally desired writing project to reinvent Christianity.


TEACHINGS
A Course in Miracles teaches people that for physical and spiritual health, they must accept proper attitudes toward themselves, life in general, and the world. What are these proper attitudes? In essence, they constitute (1) the rejection of biblical understandings about such issues as sin, guilt, and atonement, and (2) the acceptance of New Age occult teachings, such as pantheism (All is God, God is All) and psychic development. Specifically, the Course offers a form of Westernized Hinduism with the distinct goal of changing its readers’ perceptions into conformity with the nondualistic (advaita) school of Vedanta Hinduism. This school maintains that the world is ultimately a dream or illusion and that all men and women are in reality divine manifestations of the godhead. Another chief goal of the Course is to encourage the student to accept psychic (spiritistic) guidance.

Volume 1 is the text itself, which presents spiritual (metaphysical) and theological teachings, including heretical treatments of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as a vicarious atonement, the Holy Spirit, and the doctrine of salvation.

Volume 2 is a Workbook for Students, which offers 365 spiritual lessons and exercises to help the participant personally and experientially assimilate this new worldview and cultivate an openness to psychic and spiritual guidance. Volume 2 has two specific goals: (1) learning New Age Hinduism and (2) unlearning biblical Christianity.

Volume 3 is a Manual for Teachers of the Course. It offers them a sense of divine destiny for their spiritual mission, Course teachers are referred to as teachers of God.

In addition to the set of three volumes described above, another manual, Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice, is suggested by Course promoters for integrating its concepts with modern psychotherapy. This is for the professional therapist who wishes to use Course teachings in his or her counseling practice. [12]

 

 

The Course’s encouragement toward psychic guidance is obvious. Writing in New Realities, Brian Van der Horst observes Above all, the Course instructs students in the discovery of their own inner guidance, the revelation of a spiritual voice that counsels one in all situations. The Voice or God or Holy Spirit, as it is called, that gives everything from direction for making decisions on business, career, and life purpose, to advice to the lovelorn. [13]


THEOLOGICAL CONTENT
Eastern philosophy, particularly Hinduism, plays an important role in the Course. Robert Skutch, publisher of the Course, writes:

What they now had in their possession was a spiritual document that was very closely related to the teachings of the non-dualistic Vedanta of the Hindu religion, and that the profundity of the Vedanta certainly paralleled the obvious profundity of the Course. He [Thetford] realized the basic spiritual teachings of both had many striking similarities to each other, and that the main difference between them was that the Course was stating the perennial philosophy of eternal truths in Christian terminology with a psychological application that seemed expressly aimed at a contemporary audience. [14]

In Course usage, words undergo drastic changes of purpose. Often, the new meanings are the opposite of their biblical usage. For example, atonement no longer refers to Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross for sin. In biblical teaching, the Atonement is based on the fact that mans sinfulness separates him from God. Before man can be reconciled to God, there must be a divine judgment of sin. Christ sacrificed His own life on the cross He was judged in our place to accomplish this reconciliation. This is what Christians mean by the word atonement, or the atoning sacrifice of Christ (John 3:16, 18).

See Meaning of The Cross

In the Course, the word atonement involves the exact opposite: one is not, and never has been, separate from God. An atoning sacrifice in the biblical sense is therefore meaningless. For the Course, the term atonement now refers to correcting the belief that people are separate from God, which is presumed to be a false belief. Hence, because the Atonement is not yet completed (i.e., some people still think they are separate from God), Course students are told they have an important role to play in the Atonement. [15] Their job is to help reconcile men and women to the spiritual truth that they are God and therefore cannot be separate from Him.

According to the Bible, God freely pardons, or forgives, a believers sins on the basis of Jesus Christ’s atonement. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (1 John 1:8-10). Denying the reality of sin, the Course rejects this central biblical teaching, just as it rejects the biblical concept of the Atonement. For the Course, forgiveness merely involves the realization that there never were any sins to pardon. Likewise, sinners do not exist, because sin is an illusion.

As a result of this distorted theology, the Course’s approach to salvation lies in understanding that no one requires salvation in the biblical sense because all men and women are already divine. Salvation is merely accepting ones true identity as one essence with God. Therefore, we need nothing from God because each person’s true nature is God. [16] [See Sin and Salvation]

Sin, guilt, death, judgment, propitiatory atonement, and other biblical doctrines are viewed as attack philosophies by the Course; that is, they are concepts that supposedly stand in the way of spiritual progress and severely damage the realization of our true divine nature. People must become free of these false, enslaving, and evil ideas if they desire true spiritual freedom. Otherwise, they choose to remain in hell and to kill the God of love. [17]

In this worldview, orthodox Christian beliefs (biblical teachings given by the one true God) are held to be evil, insane, and anti-Christ. Such Course teachings prove that the Jesus of the New Testament could not be its source. This means that the apparent
[18] entity who dictated the Course to Helen Schucman lied when he claimed to be Jesus Christ. The most logical possibility for the true author of the Course is therefore a demon, a spiritual underling of Satan, the one Jesus called a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).


THE OCCULT NATURE OF THE COURSE
The spiritistic nature of the Course should now be obvious. Several themes that it has in common with spiritistic revelations are: (1) spirit dictation to an uninterested or hesitant party; (2) forcing production of the revelations; (3) unbiblical content; and (4) encouraging psychic guidance. The wholesale denial of Gods Word and Gods Son is also typical of spiritistic revelations in general. [19]

Again, these spiritistic themes identify the author of the Course as a demonic spirit. When the Course, as a supernatural revelation, actively promotes another Jesus, a different spirit, and a false gospel, the Scripture declares that its origin must be demonic (2 Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15). Significantly, even Course editor and promoter, psychologist Kenneth Wapnick, commented that if the Bible were considered literally true, then the Course would have to be viewed as demonically inspired. [20] This is why the Bible warns,

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).

Because false christs and false prophets are in the world, and lying spirits associated with them. Scripture warns that all who proclaim a false gospel are liable to eternal judgment: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8).

 

 

That the eventual production of the Course was supernaturally arranged behind the scenes by demonic initiative should be obvious to those familiar with the methods of spiritual warfare revealed in Scripture, and in the history of occult revelations. The extent of this occult collaboration, and the power it represents on the part of the spirit world to influence human affairs, is not small. In light of biblical revelation, neither is it unexpected (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19). Similar manipulation of events and people are found in the lives of innumerable psychics, occultists, and mediums. [21]

The Course content also promotes occultism and spiritistic guidance, which is another characteristic goal of demonic revelations. As an example of the psychic guidance people have been led to accept through the Course, many people have received the author of the Course (Jesus) as their personal spirit guide in other words, a demon cleverly impersonating Jesus. In his Good-Bye to Guilt, Gerald Jampolsky confesses that Jesus became his spirit guide and even possessed him in order to act and speak through him. [22]

Dr. Jampolsky has had such amazing experiences by listening to his inner voice that he now follows its guidance even when it seems irrational. [23] Even the dead themselves allegedly can be contacted, although the practice is explicitly condemned in Deuteronomy 18:1012. He states that communication is never broken, even when the body is destroyed, provided that we do not believe that bodies are essential for communication. Isn’t that what Jesus taught the world by the resurrection? [24]

No, this is not what Jesus taught. What Jesus taught by His resurrection was that I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6); and I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies (John 11:25). Jesus would never promote contact with the dead when the Word of God specifically prohibits it. The Bible warns that no one is to become a medium or a spiritist, or [a person] who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:11-12).

 

Notes [Indices nos. 1 and 5 for the notes below are not given in the text above- Michael]

1 This article is derived from John Ankerberg and John Weldon’s Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996). Used by permission.

2 Telephone interview, Foundation for Inner Peace, 23 November 1998.

3 Telephone interview, Miracle Distribution Center, 23 November 1998.

4 Martin Gardner, Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles, The Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1992, 21.

5 Frances Adeney, Re-visioning Reality: A Critique of A Course in Miracles, SCP Newsletter 7, no.2 (1981): 3.

6 Ibid.

7 Gardner, 21.

8 Robert Basil, ed., Not Necessarily the New Age: Critical Essays (New York: Prometheus. 1988), 23.

9 A
Course in Miracles, vol. 2: Workbook for Students (Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, I977), 477-78.

10 James Bolen, Interview: William N. Thetford (Part 1), New Realities, July-August 1984, 20.

11 Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Harpers Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991), 2.

12 For a critique of modern secular psychology see John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Self-Esteem, Psychology and the Recovery Movement (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995).

13 Brian Van Der Horst, Update on A Course in Miracles, New Realities, August 1979, 50.

14 Bolen, 24.

15 A Course in Miracles, vol. 1, Text (Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1977), 7, 10.

16 Ibid., chaps. 13, 22-23.

17 Ibid., chaps. 5-6; pp. 374-78.

18 Although secular skeptics would argue that at best the Course is a creation of Schucman’s subconscious, the Christian has every biblical reason to suspect that Schucman truly was guided by an otherworldly intelligence (see below).

19 John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Coming Darkness: Confronting Occult Deception (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993), appendix.

20 Dean C. Halverson, Seeing Yourself as Sinless, SCP Journal 7, no. 1 (l987): 23.

21 For example, see accounts printed by the editors of Psychic magazine, Psychics: In-depth interviews (New York: Harper & Row, 1972).

22 Gerald Jampolsky, Good-Bye to Guilt: Releasing Fear through Forgiveness (New York: Bantam, 1985), 62-64.

23 Ibid., 56.

24 Ibid., 136.

 

A Course in Miracles or in Brainwashing?

http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina31214.htm

By Ali Sina, http://www.faithfreedom.org/Author/Sina.htm

 

A Course in Miracles [ACIM] is a religious sect created by research psychologist Helen Schucman who claimed Jesus dictated A Course in Miracles ACIM to her. The essence ACIM is allegedly love and forgiveness. 

 

 

For some unexplained reason Jesus did not appear in person to give his message of love to everyone or at least to a group of people so everyone is confirmed that we are not dealing with an impostor but chose to dictate his Course in Miracles to just one individual, Helen Schucman who compiled ACIM and made it available to mankind, leaving all of us in doubt of her credibility, honesty and truthfulness — a terrible mistake on the part of Jesus, that can only lead to confusion.

This article is a study of “A Course in Miracles” and its evaluation in the light of reason.  Here is what Helen Schucman the founder of the A Course in Miracles wrote: 

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
(T-Intro 2:1, 2, 3, 4) 

[1

Let us test the claim of Schucman and ACIM by the litmus of reason. If it is real then nothing can threaten it.  

 

Critical thinking  

Humans are born free. The greatest freedom we have is the freedom of thought. Followers cannot be freethinkers. Only sheep need follow. Rational humans are supposed to think and make their choices independently. The choices that we make must be based on logics. We are free to believe in anything we want, but to be rational we have to be able to prove our beliefs. As humans we have to be rational thinkers because the antithesis to rational thinking is irrational thinking.  

Beliefs are either true or they are false. True beliefs can be defended with logics and as Schucman said nothing can threaten them. False beliefs cannot be defended logically. People who love the truth are not afraid of scrutiny of their beliefs. They care more about the truth and if they find what they believe is false they will abandon it. People with false beliefs are afraid to talk because they cannot defend them logically and hence avoid discussions. They are filled with fear and insecurity.  

 

One definition of critical thinking is as follows:

“Thinking critically – reflecting on the assumptions underlying our and others’ ideas and actions, and contemplating alternative ways of thinking and living – is one of the important ways in which we become adults. When we think critically, we come to our judgments, choices and decisions for ourselves, instead of letting others do this on our own behalf. We refuse to relinquish the responsibility for making the choices that determine our individual and collective futures to those who presume to know what is in our best interests. We become actively engaged in creating our personal and social worlds.” [2

Another definition is:

“Just what do we do when we’re thinking critically?
To think critically is to think clearly, accurately and fairly while evaluating the reasons for accepting some belief or taking some action. The goal of thinking critically is simple: to guarantee, as far as possible, that one’s beliefs and actions are justifiable and can withstand the test of rational analysis. To achieve this goal one must rigorously scrutinize one’s own beliefs and actions as well as the beliefs and actions of others.” [3

Let us evaluate and test with reason the claims of Helen Schucman to see whether her claims about A Course in Miracles are true.

 
 

Feel Good Factor

Before going into that let us talk about the “feel good factor”. The feel good factor is subjective and it must not be taken as a valid argument in defense of any belief. People who follow any cult or religion do so because it makes them feel good. They think they have found the truth and they are very happy with their findings. But of course some of those beliefs are very dangerous. The followers of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide because they thought an extraterrestrial ship hiding in the tail of the comet Hailey is going to take them to Heaven. They murdered themselves happily. The followers of Aum sect poisoned people in the subways of Tokyo believing that this will liberate their victims from the painful cycle of birth and death and take them to their nirvana. They committed murder of innocent people happily and with clear conscience. The same is true in the case of the terrorists of the September 11. So the feel good factor must be discarded at once because it is extremely misleading. The fact that a belief makes you feel good is no proof that it is true. That feel good factor is subjective and could be false.  

 
 

How It All Started

Now, let us take a quick look at the genesis of A Course in Miracles. Helen Schucman was a research psychologist, an atheist and ethnically a Jew. She claimed receiving revelations from Jesus in the form of dictations. She wrote:  

“Although I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still very surprised when I wrote, “This is a course in miracles.” That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook.” [4]  

Did she give any proof for that claim? Absolutely none. She expects people to believe in her claim and take her for her words. How could we know that she told the truth?  

Did she really hear voices? If so then could it be that she was schizophrenic? Schizophrenics hear voices in their heads and those voices are real to them. They also are obsessed with religion and God.

 

 

 
 

Or perhaps all that started as an experiment. Think about it! Schucman was a research psychologist; she was into experiments on minds, she did not believe in God, therefore she did not have any qualms or fear of God for misleading people and lying about Him and she decided to test the gullibility of human beings. She invents a religion using Christian terminology to target the Christians, even though she did not believe in Christianity. Why Christians only? Aren’t the rest of people children of God too?

 
 

The Jewish Influence  

As I said Helen Schucman was a Jew. Not surprisingly the religion that she invented reflects the Jewish concepts of Christianity. In A Course in Miracles Christ is not the Son of God but one of his many sons. Schucman denied the exclusive station that the Christians attribute to Jesus and claimed that he was an enlightened person and that all humans as sons of God who can reach the station of Christhood if they evolve or “mutate” spiritually. This concept of course is not Christian but Buddhist.  

George P. Walmsley, Jr. in the Miracles Study – An Introduction writes:  

The time was the fall of 1965; the place was New York City, and these words infiltrated the mind of a hard-nosed, Ph. D, research psychologist by the name of Helen Schucman. She would become the scribe of, “The Course”, learning that the identity of the voice she was hearing was none-other than, Jesus, yet quite different from the one Christianity would exalt to the status of, “The Only Begotten Son of God.” This time, Jesus would identify himself as our elder brother – identifying us all as Christ, and part of the same Sonship to which he belongs. It is this Jesus that is the author of, A Course in Miracles – the same Jesus Helen had a love/hate relationship with for a good part of her life. [5]  

In Chapter 3 of A Course in Miracles Schucman denied also the crucifixion. That is strange since the crucifixion is expressly stated in all the four books of the evangels. So why would Schucman deny it? The answer again is that she was a Jew. Jews deny the crucifixion. They never accepted the responsibility. Schucman grew up being influenced by Jewish propaganda. Even though later she became an atheist, Judaism was the foundation of her education. Therefore it was natural for her to implement her own beliefs into her self-made religion than accept what is written in the New Testament. A Course in Miracles states:  

“T-3.I.1. A further point must be perfectly clear before any residual fear still associated with miracles can disappear. 2 The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. 3 Many sincere Christians have misunderstood this. 4 No one who is free of the belief in scarcity could possibly make this mistake. 5 If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. 6 This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which arose out of projection, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. 7 Such anti-religious concepts enter into many religions. 8 Yet the real Christian should pause and ask, “How could this be?” 9 Is it likely that God Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have clearly stated is unworthy of His Son?” [6]

 
 

Making Room for Non Christians  

Most people are gullible. Some started believing in her. As a matter of fact it makes no difference what you preach. There are always people who are credulous enough to believe in you. What started as an experiment, (assuming it was not schizophrenia) eventually took the shape of a religion when followers flocked in. At this point Schucman had the choice to come clean and say it was just a hoax folk, or continue. What would have happened if she had told the truth? She would have angered many people who had fallen for her lies. So she decided to continue and stir her foolhardy followers to what she thought would be the best. We should not overlook the ego factor either. As a human she must also have ravished in her newfound popularity and respect that she received from her followers. Power is ecstasy.  

The experiment worked. It always works. Bertrand Russell in “Marriage and Morals” observes:  

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

Russell had it right. The majority of humanity is just silly. And silly people are easy to fleece. Now that she had the Christians hooked, she decided to accommodate others and make room for non-Christians as well.

One of the most prominent figures in the Course is the ex-singer Marianne Williamson. She authored a book called A Return To Love. In the page 41 of that book she wrote: “A Course In Miracles does not push Jesus. Although the books come from him, it is made very clear that you can be an advanced student of the Course and not relate personally to him at all.”  

Now that is bizarre! How can one believe in a teaching while rejecting the teacher’s authority? This can only be interpreted as intellectual dishonesty and the desire to promote A Course in Miracles at any cost. 

 
 

The Doctrine of Illusion:  

A Course in Miracles sums up: 

There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion. At best it seems like life; at worst, like death.” (T-23.II.19: all) [7]

In other words what you and I experience here is noting but illusion. Living and dying, are just good and bad dreams.  

Among other absurd teachings of the Course we learn that “Real life is only Mind, but the body is a lifeless illusion and God did not make the body. 

 

 

 

“The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who are life. …God did not make the body, because it is destructible, and therefore not of the Kingdom.” (T-6.V.A.1: all) & (T-6.V.A.2:1) [8]

So who made the body?  

Even if we believe in this absurdity, there is nothing new in that. This is the Berkley’s idealism. According to Berkeley’s principal metaphysical position “nothing, including material objects, exists apart from perception; external objects are ultimately collections of ideas and sensations.” [9]  

As we see Schucman is preparing a cocktail of already existing ideas. Nothing taught in A Course in Miracles is new and therefore no revelation was needed to tell us humans what we already knew and some of which we already discarded as false.  

Further, on the subject of illusion Schucman writes:

“Once an individual has been caught in the world of perception he is caught in a dream. He cannot escape without help, because everything his senses show him merely witnesses to the reality of the dream” (A Course In Miracles: What Is It?, p. 7). [10]  

The reality compared to a “dream” is a borrowed concept from Taoism. The book of Zhuangzi narrates:  

“One day about sunset, Zhuangzi dozed off and dreamed that he turned into a butterfly. 
He flapped his wings and sure enough he was a butterfly.
What a joyful feeling as he fluttered about, he completely forgot that he was Zhuangzi. 
Soon though, he realized that that proud butterfly was really Zhuangzi who dreamed he was a butterfly, or was it a butterfly who dreamed he was Zhuangzi!
Maybe Zhuangzi was the butterfly, and maybe the butterfly was Zhuangzi?” [11]

In this story, the Chinese philosopher is trying to say that the world is an illusion. The concept of the illusory world therefore predated the “revelation” of A Course in Miracles by at least 2500 years in China and even more in India. It was already thought by sages who were not prophets and did not claim to have received any revelations. Did God learn this concept from humans?  

The question arises, if the world is just a dream and every thing is just an illusion, what should we do to wake up?  

Kenneth Wapnick, one of the key players of A Course in Miracles explains:

“If we now attempt to follow the Holy Spirit’s thinking, and we want to prove that the world is not real and that the sin of separation never happened, all that is needed is to prove that sin has no effect.

“If we could prove that the cause had no effect then the cause can no longer exist. If something is not a cause it is not real, because everything that is real must be a cause and thus have an effect. If we remove the effect we are also eliminating the cause.” [12]

The absurdity of these statements are self-evident. Wapnick is not suggesting to remove the sin but to pretend that sin has no effect. So if one is a victim of a crime all he has to do is to pretend that the crime never happened and therefore he cannot be harmed by it. What if the victim is dead? What if the victim loses a limb, an eye or becomes wheelchair bound? What about the survivors of the dead victim? Should they just pretend that the crime has never happened and their loved one is among them? Could they?  

Wapnick continues:

“Now, if the greatest effect of sin in this world is death, demonstrating that death is an illusion simultaneously demonstrates that there is no sin.” [13]

Schucman is dead. Is that our illusion or is it hers? Could we tell a mother who has lost a child, oh don’t cry you are just having an illusion? 

 
 

Heaven

Schucman makes startling statements such as: 

“There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left. But there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false beliefs of your Identity, Which God alone established in reality.” (C-5.1:1-3)  [14]  

According to the above, Man is still in heaven. It is simply the illusion of sin and death that have caused false senses of reality. Therefore all these wars, crimes, calamities, pains and sufferings are figments of our imagination and are not real.  

Evil  

A Course in Miracles also teaches that evil does not exist. It is an illusion that must be overcome by right thinking.  

“Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist.” [T33/38] [15]  

According to the Course pain and suffering are illusory. They are only in the imagination of the person who is suffering.

“YOU are the dreamer of the world. You, singularly and individually (but not personally as a separate entity, as that “you” is illusory), are dreaming the entire universe of pain and suffering, sickness and death.” [16]

Is that true? If we stop “dreaming” about terrorism, wars or the natural disasters do they go away? As I understand from this explanation, you are responsible for all the evil things going on in your world because you are dreaming them. So all you have to do is stop dreaming and your world will become a paradise. Looks like according to this doctrine each one of us is the writer and the director of this universe. A universe that exists nowhere but in our own minds. All we have to do is to change our dreams and the world will change accordingly.  

The more we read the more we realize A Course in Miracles is a course in stupidity, a course in absurdity, in brainwashing, in fantasies and in self-deceptions. But the stupidity does not end there. 

 

 

 

On Sin  

A Course in Miracles states:

“4. No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. 5. Any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified.” [T-6.I.16] [17]

This is absurd. Sin means transgression of a divine law. Those who transgress are sinners. And if there is a divine justice the sinners and non-sinners cannot be treated both equally. Hitler cannot sit next to Gandhi and enjoy the same privileges or the divine Justice becomes meaningless. If we survive our deaths, as A Course in Miracles states, would it be just if a criminal is not blamed for his crimes? Are we humans not responsible for our actions?  

Another disturbing deduction of this philosophy is that since “Sons of God are not sinners” and pain and suffering are only illusions, a rapist is not guilty but his victim is. He is not to be blamed because as the son of God he can’t commit sin, but she is guilty for imagining all that pain and suffering. The pain is not caused by the aggressor but is the cause of the separation of the victim from God. It boggles the mind to think that otherwise intelligent people would let themselves be fooled by this much asininity.  

 
 

A Loving Truth? 

A Course in Miracles teaches that there are no absolutes; truth is relative and is determined by one’s experience. According to the Cyclopedia In A Course In Miracles, “only what is loving is true.”  

This is yet another intellectual fallacy. Truth is the state of being factual. It is neither loving nor cruel. Truth is bereft of feelings. 2+2=4. This is a true statement. To be loving or not has no relevance on the outcome of truth. Truth must be factual. If it is not factual it is not true. Love is subjective. It has nothing to do with facts. One can love anther person believing him to be his father. That belief could be untrue but that love is real. What we are seeing here are vague talks that have no meaning whatsoever. Mixing love and truth together is like adding apples and crocodiles.

 
 

The Sources of the Revelation 

Much of what Helen Schucman claimed to be revelations dictated to her by Jesus are actually taken from Eastern philosophies. “All ways lead to God” is a Hindu concept that is incorporated in the Course. Also Hinduism teaches that the world and all that is in it is Maya, or illusion. Looks like the Jesus that dictated to Schucman had a crash course on Hinduism and plagiarized many of their concepts.  

“Hinduism considers the world in which we live as a projection of God and unreal. It is unreal not because it does not exist, but because it is unstable, impermanent, unreliable and illusory.” [18]  

 
 

The Revelation’s Earlier Versions  

Even though Schucman claimed that A Course in Miracles was dictated to her by Jesus, an unedited, earlier version of that book has surfaced – with a number of key differences between it and her final version. Some Internet sites have published that version and this has caused some legal fight between the Foundation for A Course In Miracles who claims to have the copyright to Schucman’s writings and the sites who say the words of Jesus are not copyrightable. [19]  

The point is who decided to revise and edit the words of Jesus?

Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick, the executive directors of the Foundation For A Course in Miracles [FACIM] of Roscoe, N.Y., which holds the book’s copyright, say the early manuscript is nothing but a rough draft. On February 19, 2000, Ken told the Salt Lake Tribune

“A lot of changes had to be made because Helen’s hearing was not all that good,” he said. “The early material was not polished or well-written and had a number of inconsistencies.” [20

But didn’t Helen Schucman say that the voice did not make any sound? In that case her hearing abilities are irrelevant. She heard those “internal dictations” in her head. She could have been deaf for that matter and hear the voice.  

Kenneth Wapnick wrote:  

“Helen took down her internal dictation in stenographic notebooks, using her own version of shorthand, and dictated these notes to Bill. Helen intentionally omitted some material while dictating to Bill, who typed Helen’s dictation.” [21]

In her unpublished autobiography Helen makes a startling statement that she wanted to change the whole manuscript:

“I wanted to change just about everything, but I knew that Bill was right. Any changes I made were always wrong in the long run, and had to be put back.” [22]

Bill Thetford was an associate of Helen Schucman who helped her in the compilation of A Course in Miracles. Weather she actually made the changes or not we don’t know. Maybe she did and disclaimed it just to make appear that the script is authentic transcript of what the voice had dictated. However what is revealing is her admission that she wanted to change everything. Why would she want to change everything if the script was not hers but belonged to Jesus? The very fact that she had this itch to revise the early version makes us suspect that the book is entirely hers and just like any other writer she wanted to go back and do some editing. If she believed that those words were from Jesus, would she allow herself the thought to revise them? She could be a psychologist but still she made the same stupid mistakes that others make, which exposed her lies. Under this light I discard the hypothesis that Helen Schucman was schizophrenic who really heard voices. It appears that she was a plain and simple charlatan who never received any dictations and knew perfectly that she is fooling the gullible.  

 

 

 
 

Brainwashing

The course uses a standard technique of brainwashing, which is mindless parroting and repetition. The “Workbook for Students” consists of 365 lessons, an exercise for each day of the year. This one-year training program begins the process of changing the student’s mind and perception.” (Preface: ix) [23]  

In the introduction to the course it states:  

“Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling. This does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true.” [24]

It would be foolhardy to deny that as a psychologist Schucman did not know this is the way to brainwash people. Using this method, you do not need to explain anything. People will eventually believe just by doing repetitive constant exercises. This is exactly the process children are indoctrinated by their parents. Children do not question the validity of the beliefs and practices of their parents. They simply emulate them and eventually those beliefs and customs become part of their own belief system. Schucman demands that you relinquish your rational thinking and submit to her like a sheep.

 

A Course in Miracles
continues: 

“Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required (Workbook, p. 2).” [25

These are nothing but established and proven techniques of mind control. It is saddening that otherwise intelligent people allow themselves consciously to be brainwashed.  

The Course claims to be the third book of the Bible. However there is nothing new in it. The book is a concoction of Eastern and Judeo-Christian philosophies. Most of the writings are senseless and tautological. It contains vague statements that give the impression of conveying the truth. The book however contains no truth unknown to the average man but it burdens him with a lot of nonsense.  

A Course in Miracles is an industry to make money. Some famous personages such as Oprah Winfrey may have possibly accepted this belief and hence it has become popular amongst some TV personages. Oprah in one of her shows bought 1000 copies of A Course in Miracles and gave it to her guests. However, Oprah cannot be ranked amongst the intellectuals of the society. I am not sure whether she has a college degree. Oprah is a good show woman, but not an intellectual. It is disappointing that people take movie stars, singers and showmen as their source of guidance and not the philosophers, and thinkers.   

A Course in Miracles is a hoax. It teaches no new wisdom unknown to man. It is just an industry to sell books and make money. It is absurd to think God would communicate with humans in this way. Again as Bertrand Russell stated: “It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it to be true.” And there is absolutely no ground whatsoever to believe in the proposition that Helen Schucman heard the voice of a man who died 2000 years earlier.  

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. is a psychologist who was an acquaintance of Helen Schucman. He gave a eulogy at her funeral. Fr. Groeschel wrote:

“This woman who had written so eloquently that suffering really did not exist spent the last two years of her life in the blackest psychotic depression I have ever witnessed.” [26]

Who knows! Maybe that psychotic depression was the result of her awareness of being a hoax and her pang of conscience for defrauding people. Something she could not easily get out of. 

A related article: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina41030.htm

Related Link: http://skepdic.com/cim.html

 

References 

[1] http://a-course-in-miracles.cc/

[2] (S.D. Brookfield. (1987). Developing Critical Thinkers, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass) 

[3] http://skepdic.com/ch1samp.html

[4] http://a-course-in-miracles.cc/

[5] http://www.alphaxomega.com/Miracles/ACIMINTR.htm

[6] http://www.unitedbeings.com/acim/Chapter%203.htm

[7] http://www.pyramus.com/acim/WcompanionL8.htm

[8] ibid

[9] http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/b/berkeley.htm

[10] http://www.forthrt.com/~chronicl/archdec9/review.htm

[11] http://www.chinapage.com/chungtz2.html

[12] http://www.letusreason.org/BookR3.htm

[13] ibid

 

 

 

[14] http://www.unitedbeings.com/acim/Clarification%20of%20terms.htm

[15] http://www.miracles.org.nz/zing09.htm

[16] www.miracles.org.nz/simple.htm

[17] http://www.unitedbeings.com/acim/Chapter%206.htm

[18] http://hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_maya.htm

[19] http://www.apologeticsindex.org/news/an200219.html#19

[20] http://www.neirr.org/cimnews.htm

[21] http://www.miraclestudies.net/HLV.html

[22] www.jcim.net/Dthompson_faq.htm

[23] www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html

[24] http://64.77.6.149/about_acim_section/what_it_is.html

[25] ibid

[26] (Page 79 of, “A Still, Small Voice, A Practical Guide On Reported Revelations”, by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., Ignatius Press 1993) 

 

“Oprah and Friends” to teach course on New Age Christ

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/oprah-and-friends-to-teach-course-on.html, http://www.benabraham.com/html/ophra_s_new_age_gospel_-_a_cou.html, http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/smith-oprah.htm

By Warren Smith November 2007

 

Oprah joins false prophets Bible warned about

Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles.1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.”

For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.”3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4

By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset—a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to
rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”6
Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter
Marianne Williamson—who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance. This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.”7 They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles—which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?
A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus”—who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ—began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman.

One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”8 For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.
As a
former New Age follower and devoted student of A Course in Miracles, I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was—in reality—the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was “a gift from God” to help everyone understand the “real” meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age “Christ” and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false “Christs” who would pretend to be He.

 

 


When I left the New Age “Christ” to follow the Bible’s Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was a false “Christ,” and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive.

Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:

There is no sin… 9 [See note]

A slain Christ has no meaning.10

The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.11

Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’12

The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.13

God is in everything I see.14

The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.15

The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.16

The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation. 17

Most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross of Calvary was hardly a “useless journey.” His triumph on the cross provides salvation to all those who confess their sin, accept Him and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. His victory on the cross rings throughout the New Testament. It has been gloriously sung about in beloved hymns through the ages and is at the heart of our Christian testimony.

I found the Jesus of the Bible to be wholly believable as He taught God’s truth and warned about the spiritual deception that would come in His name. The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles reveals himself to be an imposter when he blasphemes the true Jesus Christ by saying that a “slain Christ has no meaning” and that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.” It was by reading the Bible’s true teachings of Jesus Christ that I came to understand how deceived I had been by A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings.
I was introduced to A Course in Miracles by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear. Jampolsky declared in his easy-to-read book how the teachings of A Course in Miracles had changed his life. As an ambassador for A Course in Miracles over the years, Jampolsky has been featured not only in New Age circles but at least twice on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. While Schuller introduced Jampolsky and his “fabulous”18 Course in Miracles-based books to his worldwide television audience, it was Marianne Williamson’s appearance on a 1992 Oprah Winfrey Show that really shook the rafters.
On that program, Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Ironically, all of this was happening after I had left the Course and the New Age. In fact, I was doing the final editing on my book The Light That Was Dark that warned about the dangers of the New Age—and in particular A Course in Miracles.
After being introduced to the world on Oprah, Marianne Williamson has continued to grow in popularity and, as previously mentioned, has become one of today’s foremost New Age leaders. Williamson credits Winfrey for bringing her book about A Course in Miracles before the world: “For that, my deepest thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Her enthusiasm and generosity have given the book, and me, an audience we would never otherwise have had.”19 In her 2004 book, The Gift of Change, Williamson wrote:

“Twenty years ago, I saw the guidance of the Course as key to changing one’s personal life; today, I see its guidance as key to changing the world. More than anything else, I see how deeply the two are connected.”20

Thus the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles are about to be taught by Marianne Williamson to millions of listeners on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio program. Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course. An audio version of A Course in Miracles recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas is also available on compact disc.

Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the “brilliant writing” of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.21 Williamson’s New Age colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, said his “God” stated that “the era of the Single Saviour is over”22 and that he (“God”) was responsible for authoring the teachings of A Course in Miracles.23

Meanwhile, Gerald Jampolsky’s Course in Miracles-based book, Forgiveness, continues to be sold in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral bookstore as Schuller prepares to host a January 17-19, 2008, “Rethink Conference” at his Crystal Cathedral.24
At this critical time in the history of the world, the New Gospel/New Spirituality is coming right at the world and the church with its New Age teachings and its New Age Peace Plan. But this New Age Peace Plan has at its deceptive core the bottom-line teaching from A Course in Miracles that “we are all one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. But the Bible is clear that we are not God (Ezekiel 28:2; Hosea 11:9). And per Galatians 3:26-28, our only oneness is in Jesus Christ—not in ourselves as “God” and “Christ.” What Oprah and Marianne Williamson and the world will learn one day is that humanity’s only real and lasting peace is with the true Jesus Christ who is described and quoted in the Holy Bible (Romans 5:1).

 

 


Oprah Winfrey’s misplaced faith in Marianne Williamson and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles is a sure sign of the times. But an even surer sign of the times is that most Christians are not taking heed to what is happening in the world and in the church. We are not contending for the faith as the Bible admonishes us to do (Jude 3).

It is time for all of our Purpose-Driven and Emerging church pastors to address the real issue of the day. Our true Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed right in front of our eyes and hardly anyone seems to notice or care. If we want the world to know who Jesus Christ is, we need to also warn them about who He is not. There is a false New Age “Christ” making huge inroads into the world and into the church. The Apostle Paul said that “it is a shame” we have to even talk about these things, but talk about them we must (Ephesians 5:12-16).
If people want to follow Oprah Winfrey and the New Age “Christ” of A Course in Miracles they certainly have that right. But let them be warned that the New Age “Christ” they are following is not the same Jesus Christ who is so clearly and authoritatively presented in the pages of the Bible.

Warren Smith is a former New Age follower
who at one time was deeply involved in the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. He is the author of these insightful books:

Deceived on Purpose:
http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/01743purpose.htm

The Light that was Dark: http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/01743light.htm

Reinventing Jesus Christ (2nd edition which is posted online): http://www.reinventingjesuschrist.com

 

Note: Philip Pullman’s trilogy (starting with The Golden Compass) illustrates this occult context. It calls for the destruction of Biblical authority, which defines sin and thus generates guilt. To reverse the consequence of “the fall” in Genesis 3, the 12-year-old heroine Lyra must become Eve, be tempted, choose immorality, and free humanity from God’s moral law and boundaries. See
The upside-down world of Pullman’s “Golden Compass”

 

Endnotes:
1.
http://marianne.com/book/index/htm. It seems to be broken, so try http://marianne.com instead.

2. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), (Workbook), p. 45.
3. Ibid., p. 102.
4. Ibid., p. 119.
5. Ibid., (Text), p. 16.
6. Ibid., (Preface), p. ix.
7. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 262-263.
8. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
9. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Workbook), p. 183.
10. Ibid., (Text), p. 425.
11. Ibid., p. 52.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid., (Teachers Manual), p. 58.
14. Ibid., (Workbook), p. 45.
15. Ibid., (Text), p. 147.
16. Ibid., p. 125.
17. Ibid., p. 237.
18.
http://www.hourofpower.org/interviews/interviews_detail.cfm?ArticleID=3079
19. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. ix.
20. Marianne Williamson, The Gift Of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), p. 5.
21. Wayne Dyer, “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem,” Public Broadcasting System broadcast in 2001.
22. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
23. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1996), p. 90.
24.
http://www.rethinkconference.com (See also WorldNetDaily.com 10/30/07 “What is Robert Schuller ‘rethinking’?” by Joseph Farah and “Rethinking Robert Schuller” by Warren Smith. See also Herescope: “Rethinking Culture” and “Rethinking and Reinventing” (10/30/07)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE on Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles*

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/discernment/oprah.htm

By Discernment Group,
January 3, 2008 http://herescope.blogspot.com


“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,

according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience…(Ephesians 2:2)

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4)

On New Year’s Day, New Age leader Marianne Williamson got the New Year off to a rousing start on Oprah & Friends XM Radio as she began to systematically teach the New Age principles of A Course in Miracles. While most of the Christian world was relaxing, Williamson was hard at work teaching this occult Course on her radio show. Her program, which now airs each weekday for an hour, is completely devoted to teaching A Course in Miracles. Both Oprah Winfrey and Marianne Williamson have openly stated that they believe its principles can change the world. (1)

A Course in Miracles is reputedly “new revelation” from “Jesus,” channeled through a university professor in New York City by the name of Helen Schucman. But the Course is actually the Bible turned upside-down, as it teaches that “a slain Christ has no meaning” and that “the journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.” Its teachings state that “there is no sin” and that “the recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”

Kicking off the New Year in high gear, Williamson cleverly avoided any direct reference to biblical Christianity when she stated that over the coming months on her program she would be methodically “dismantling a thought system based on fear.” She emphasized that the dismantled thought system would be replaced by “a thought system based on love” – a thought system that would be inspired by the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles.

In introducing A Course in Miracles to her Oprah & Friends listeners, Williamson was careful not to alienate anyone. She skillfully avoided discussing the origin of A Course in Miracles: how it was dictated to Helen Schucman from an “inner voice” claiming to be Jesus.” Nor did Williamson describe how the ambivalent Schucman never fully believed in the teachings she channeled. Schucman confessed,

“I resented the material I was taking down, and was strongly impelled to attack it and prove it wrong….” “I do not understand the events that led up to the writing. I do not understand the process and I certainly don’t understand the authorship.” (2)

Most faith-contending Christians are familiar with Jesus’ warnings in the Bible that describe how a powerful end-times deception will arise from false prophets and false christs that come in Jesus’ name and shall deceive many:

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:11)

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

Unfortunately, Marianne Williamson and Oprah Winfrey are either unaware of, or choose to disregard, Jesus’ warnings in the Bible. They also overlook other scriptures like 2 Corinthians 11:4 that warn about spiritual imposters who call themselves “Jesus,” yet teach “another gospel” and have “another spirit.” Williamson and Winfrey apparently do not know or take seriously the 1 Timothy 4:1 warning that in the last days “seducing spirits” will introduce false doctrines – like A Course in Miracles – that are described as “doctrines of devils.”

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

When Marianne Williamson stated on her New Year’s Day program that the chief purpose of A Course in Miracles “is the dismantling of a thought system based on fear,” she was clearly referring to dismantling the traditional teachings of biblical Christianity. According to A Course in Miracles and the New Age/New Spirituality, the Bible is a fear-based thought system because it preaches an “angry, wrathful God.” Also, in the upside-down worldview of the New Age, it is “fearful” and “unloving” to deny the divinity of humanity and to not see everyone as “God” and “Christ.”

But, while the Bible states that we are to always love and forgive others, it also states that God is God and we are not Him or a part of Him. The recognition of God is not the recognition of yourself. Contrary to the teachings of the New Age and A Course in Miracles – and even some Christian leaders – God is not “in” everything.

Besides authoring books and hosting a radio program for Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson also co-founded the Global Renaissance Alliance with Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch – a man who claims he has had direct communications from “God.” Their former organization of New Age leaders is now called the Peace Alliance. Walsch indirectly stated that the only thing hindering the “paradigm shift” to their New Age worldview and the attainment of world peace are those people still subscribing to a fear-based worldview. Walsch’s “God” states that this fear-based thought system is humanity’s “greatest enemy.” Cleverly avoiding the use of anything directly denoting Christian believers, Walsch’s “God” defines “fear”
as the thought system of those who collectively oppose his New Age concepts:

 

 

 

“But the paradigm shift will take great wisdom, great courage, and massive determination. For Fear will strike at the heart of these concepts and call them false. Fear will eat at the core of these magnificent truths and make them appear hollow. Fear will distort, disdain, destroy. And so Fear will be your greatest enemy.”(3)

As Marianne Williamson uses A Course in Miracles to teach her Oprah & Friends listeners how to systematically dismantle the supposedly fear-based worldview of biblical Christianity in 2008, the big question is this: will Christian leaders contend for their faith as passionately as Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, and other New Age leaders are contending for their New Age beliefs? With Marianne Williamson and Oprah & Friends widely trumpeting the teachings of A Course in Miracles, the New Age has laid down its gauntlet for the New Year. Isn’t it about time for Christian leaders to move out of their denial concerning the New Age? Isn’t it about time for Christian leaders to start contending for the faith?

In the meantime, put on the whole Armor of God and stand fast in the truth as you defend your faith in what promises to be a challenging new year.

 

The Truth:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)

*Today’s post is authored by Warren Smith. For more information on the topics covered in today’s post, see Warren Smith’s book Deceived on Purpose, especially chapter 8, which explains the errors of the New Age doctrine that God is “in” everything. For a better understanding of the dangers of the teachings of A Course in Miracles, read about Warren Smith’s experiences while studying the Course in his personal testimony The Light that was Dark. For background information on Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, A Course in Miracles, their New Age friends and global PEACE agendas, be sure to read Reinventing Jesus Christ which is posted online.

 

Endnotes:
1. The Oprah Winfrey Show, February 4, 1992, “My Life is Driving Me Crazy”; and Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life, page 5.
2. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story Behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984), pp. 134-135.
3. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 2, page 242.

 

Deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus” – The twisted “truths” of The Shack & A Course in Miracles

http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/theshack_twistedtruths_kjos.html

By Berit Kjos

 

(Exposing dangerous occult teachings brought forth through The Shack and A Course in Miracles [spiritism])

 

“God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things….” [panentheism] —The Shack’s Jesus.” [1, p.112] 

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims…. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters.” —The Shack’s Jesus.” [1, p.182]

“The esoteric spiritual traditions — whether Christian mystics, Hebrew Kabbalists, Zen Buddhists, Islamic Sufis, or Hindu yogis — all have specific practices to help individuals overcome this great ‘illusion of separation’ and to experience the One True Self, which is in us all.”[2, p.149] —A Course in Miracles, as “dictated” to channeler Helen Schucman in 1977 by her spirit guide who claimed to be “Jesus.”

“Jesus… said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”  Matthew 24:4-5

 

Two books (one new, one old) have suddenly grabbed public attention and captured the hearts of multitudes. One is long and instructional — a dictation from a channeled spirit guide. The other is a fictional testimony full of tear-jerking dialogue. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is obviously occult, while the more subtle message of The Shack by William P. Young has been widely accepted in postmodern churches.

 


The two books share a common message. I saw a stark preview of it back in 1992. Skimming through a magazine called Well-Being Journal, I noticed this New Age “insight” from the author’s “inner guide”:

“Many people believe in evil, sin, and dark forces. It is your purpose to teach the opposite which is the Truth: there is no devil, no hell, no sin, no guilt except in the creative mind of humankind.”

I heard similar deceptions at Gorbachev’s 1997 State of the World Forum. At the time, keynote speaker Marianne Williamson was touting the Kabbalah, not A Course in Miracles (ACIM). While those New Age “insights” would fit both, they are best expressed through ACIM, which Williamson is now popularizing through Oprah Winfrey’s weekly radio program.
The Shack
calls for a similar denial of reality. Yet countless pastors and church leaders are delighting in its message. By ignoring (or redefining) sin and guilt, they embrace an inclusive but counterfeit “Christianity” that draws crowds but distorts the Bible. Discounting Satan as well, they weaken God’s warnings about deception. No wonder His armor for today’s spiritual war became an early victim of this spreading assault on Truth.
Roger Oakland, author of Faith Undone, hinted at this transformation in his article “My Trip to the Rethink Conference:”
“For nearly two thousand years, most professing Christians have seen the Bible as the foundation for the Christian faith. The overall view at the Rethink Conference, however, is that Christianity, as we have known it, has run its course and must be replaced…. Speakers insisted that Christianity must be re-thought and re-invented if the name of Jesus Christ is going to survive here on planet earth.”[3]
No room for the historical Jesus? Must we reimagine God to make Him fit the rising universal church?
That seems to be the aim of The Shack’s female “God.” Here she is speaking to the main character, Mackenzie (Mack for short):

“For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.” [1, p.93]

“Religious conditioning?” Is that how Mr. Young views Biblical Christianity?
It’s easy to be persuaded by his clever arguments. The Shack is written as a personal testimony that draws readers into virtual dialogues with a playful, culturally relevant “God.” In contrast to the dry, occult lessons in ACIM, The Shack leads readers into vicarious experiences in a world of revelations and sensations. The only sin-like issue here is independence — what ACIM calls “separateness” — a refusal to accept universal oneness with “God” and man. Unhindered by Biblical guidelines, The Shack offers no standard for right or wrong, so there’s no real need for Biblical repentance. It fits right into the popular vision of a unifying, non-judgmental church.
“So how do I become part of that church?” asks Mack.
“It’s simple,” answers the fictional “Jesus.” “It’s all about relationships and simply sharing life… being open and available to others around us. My church is all about people, and life is all about relationships.”[1, p.178]
That sounds partly true, as do most spiritual lies! For example, Jesus criticized the Pharisees who “searched the Scriptures” but refused to “come” to Him. Today’s postmodern seekers are just as foolish. They ignore unwanted Scriptures, and then flock to the culturally attuned “Jesus” of their imaginations. 
In The Shack, readers meet a permissive “God” that “submits” to their human ways. They look through the veil between life and death, see the joy beyond, and communicate with loved ones — subtle examples of “calling up the dead,” which the Bible bans (Deuteronomy 18:11). Mack “sees” the colorful “auras” that show spiritual maturity among the dead-but-alive. He even practices astral travel — what The Shack calls “flying” — a word popularized by Maharishi Yogi long ago.
“Such a powerful ability, the imagination!” said The Shack’s fictional “Jesus.” That power alone makes you so like us.”[1, p.140]
Here the boundaries of the church are broadened to include almost everyone. The only exception seems to be “independent” folk who refuse to “come” to this universal “God.” This isn’t Christianity — and this false “Jesus” would agree. When Mack asks him what it “means to be a Christian,” he answered:

“‘Who said anything about being a Christian? I’m not a Christian.’ The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn’t keep himself from grinning. ‘No, I suppose you aren’t.'”[1, p.182]

Of course, he’s not!  The word “Christian” refers to Christ’s followers — not to Jesus — and it has always clashed with trendy cultures. Even when “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26), that word was a derogatory label used by enemies of the Church. But that didn’t keep faithful Christians from joyfully claiming that name and sharing His Word!


Reimagining the Trinity
The Shack opens in the context of tragedy. Four years have passed since the cruel murder of Missy, Mack’s precious six-year-old daughter. Enveloped in grief, he receives a strange invitation. “I’ve missed you,” it says. “I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. Papa.” What could it mean?
Doubtful, but drawn to the meeting, Mack heads for the Oregon wilderness and finds the dilapidated old shack. “God” miraculously transforms it into a cozy cottage, and Mack meets his supposed maker:

“…the door flew open, and he was looking directly into the face of a large beaming African-American woman. Instinctively he jumped back, but he was too slow. With speed that belied her size, she crossed the distance between them and engulfed him in her arms….”[1, p.82]

“Just as she turned… a small, distinctly Asian woman merged from behind her….  He then glanced past her and notices that a third person had emerged… a man. He appeared Middle Eastern.”[1, p.84]

 

“When they finally stopped giggling, the large woman… said, ‘Okay, we know who you are, but we should probably introduce ourselves to you. …you could call me what Nan [Mack’s wife] does: Papa.’…

“‘And I,’ interrupted the man, who looked to be about in his thirties…. ‘I am Hebrew….’

“Mack was suddenly staggered by his own realization. “Then, you are….”

“‘Jesus? Yes….’

“Mack stood dumbfounded…. Just as he was about to crumple to his knees, the Asian woman stepped closer and deflected his attention. ‘And I am Sarayu [the Holy Spirit, Creativity].’ she said…

“Thoughts tumbled over each other as Mack struggled to figure out what to do…. Since there were three of them, maybe this was a Trinity sort of thing…. ‘Then,’ Mack struggled to ask, ‘which one of you is God?'”

“‘I am,’ said all three in unison.'”[1, p.86-87]

Their ongoing dialogues reinforce this new view of God. They immerse Mack in spiritual re-education, for each comment contradicts his previous understanding of God. For example, this new “Jesus” never returned to heaven. Was there no real resurrection? Not according to the female “God”:

“Although by nature he is fully God, Jesus is fully human and lives as such. While never losing the innate ability to fly [which he demonstrates in the book], he chooses moment-by-moment to remain grounded. That is why his name is Immanuel, God with us….”[1, p.99-100]

But the Bible tells us that Jesus did return to His heaven after His crucifixion. Besides, neither God our Father nor the Holy Spirit made themselves finite or visible to man. “No one has seen God at any time,” said the true Jesus. (John 1:18) Yet, here we see all three in human form — on earth! “God” explains:

“‘By nature I am completely unlimited… I live in a state of perpetual satisfaction as my normal state of existence:’ she said, quite pleased. ‘Just one of the perks of Me being Me.’

“That made Mack smile. This lady was fully enjoying herself…

“We created you to share in that. But then Adam chose to go it on his own, as we knew he would, and everything got messed up. But instead of scrapping the whole Creation we rolled up our sleeves and entered into the middle of the mess—that’s what we have done in Jesus…. When we three spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. …flesh and blood.” [1, p.98-99]

 

Denying sin, guilt and God’s authority
Unlike the true God, this false trinity exercises no authority over man. That should please today’s postmodern church leaders! They seem to shun words such as “sovereignty” and “authority.” After all, a reigning God who sets the moral standard for all time could cause division. He could impede their main purpose: inclusive relationships and “authentic community.”
No wonder Mack is confused when he asks, “Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?”
“Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationships,” answers “Jesus.” [1, p.145] Together the “trinity” explains:
“Authority, as you usually think of it, is merely the excuse the strong use to make others conform to what they want….  We carefully respect your choices….” [1, p.123]

“‘Are you saying I don’t have to follow the rules?’…

“‘Yes. In Jesus you are not under any law. All things are lawful.’

“‘You can’t be serious! You’re messing with me again,’ moaned Mack.

“‘Child,’ interrupted papa, ‘you ain’t heard nuthin’ yet.’…

“‘…enforcing rules [says Sarayu] …is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty. And contrary to what you might think, I have a great fondness for uncertainty. Rules cannot bring freedom; they only have the power to accuse.'”[1, p.203] [ACIM uses the word “attack” instead of “accuse.”]

Are God’s guidelines really “a vain attempt to create certainty?” Of course not! To impress God’s unchanging values in the minds for faithful believers is no “vain attempt.” But there’s plenty of uncertainty for those who believe in evolving Truth and adaptable Scriptures. Such “uncertainty” can lay no firm foundation for either peace or confident faith!  In fact, many “Christian” pastors today suffer from agonizing doubts — even about the existence of God! Small wonder, when they build their ministries on the shifting sands of people-pleasing “truths,” not on the solid Rock of God’s Word.
In this new story, sin no longer separates unholy people from our holy God. It fits right into postmodern churches that ignore Biblical commands such as “Do not be conformed to the world” and “Abhor evil” (Romans 12:2, 9). Chipping away at the reality of sin, guilt and God’s just judgments, this transformational process undermines any real understanding of our need for discernment, repentance or the cross. Even God’s amazing grace becomes meaningless!
Notice how The Shack’s false “God” mocks our true God by minimizing His sovereignty and judgments:

“I’m not a bully, not some self-centered demanding little deity insisting on my own way. I am good, and I desire only what is best for you. You cannot find that through guilt or condemnation….”[1, p.126]

“You don’t need me at all to create your list of good and evil. But you do need me if you have any desire to stop such an insane lust for independence….  Mackenzie, evil is a word we use to describe the absence of Good, just as we use the word darkness to describe the absence of Light. …evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence.”[1, p.136]

That’s a lie! Though the wonders of God’s love and promises are vastly beyond our comprehension, He has told us His standard for good and evil — and He will punish those who minimize sin (and thus the need for the cross) or reject His ways and warnings. :

 

“They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God….” Jeremiah 5:4

“You thought I was altogether like you, but I will rebuke you…” Psalm 50:21

“…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…. Professing to be wise, they became fools…” Romans 1:18, 22

“Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words….” Jeremiah 6:19

 

A Course in Miracles [ACIM] echoes those views of authority, sin and guilt:

“Sin is insanity…. Sin is the home of all illusions…. There is no sin.“[4]

“…guilt is always totally insane, and has no reason….”[5]

“The Holy Spirit never commands. To command is to assume inequality, which… does not exist.”[2, p.103]

“…you have let the belief in darkness enter your mind and so you need a new light…. The voice of the Holy Spirit does not command, because it is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand, because it does not seek control.” [2, p.76]

“There is no guilt in you…. Your only calling here is to devote yourself, with active willingness, to the denial of guilt in all its forms…. We are all joined in the Atonement…. So will the world of separation slip away … For peace is the acknowledgment of perfect purity, from which no one is excluded. Within its holy circle is everyone whom God created as his Son.”[2, p.282-283]  

These absurd claims remind me of Ray Yungen wise words, “Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether.”[6]
But God says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? … ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”[7] Deuteronomy 12:32

 

Unconditional Forgiveness
Both books demonstrate a perverted kind of forgiveness — the world’s way of promoting unity and healing apart from the cross. Not only does Mack learn to “forgive” all who have hurt him, he also forgives “God.” As if God had done something wrong!
Following the same reasoning, ACIM’s “Jesus” offers this bit of twisted theology:

“Forgive, and you will see this differently…. These are the words which end the dream of sin, and rid the mind of fear. These are the words by which salvation comes to all the world.”[8]

It may sound loving to claim universal salvation through human forgiveness. But it’s not Biblical! This counterfeit “Jesus” has totally divorced himself from God’s Word — the living Word which is the true Jesus. (See John 1:14)
Our God is Judge as well as Love. And since He is also sovereign and holy, he must deal with the reality of sin. It can’t simply be dismissed or justified. His salvation is only through the Biblical cross, in spite of ACIM’s denials and The Shack’s deceptions. We partake in His atonement (not a New Age atONEment) through Biblical faith, not positive presumptions.

“…if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:9-10

 

An evolving process hides the unchanging truth
“There is a new world emerging….” writes Tamara Hartzell, author of In the Name of Purpose. “This new world stands against the truth, against the Lord Jesus Christ, and against God. Its rise is coming about in the power and authority and deception of the god of this world (angel of light), who will easily lure the spiritually-prepared masses into worshipping him and his Coming One.”[9]
Her insightful report on “The New Age Ark of Oneness” gives us an overview of this spreading deception:

• Relativism is replacing truth

• Worldliness is replacing righteousness

• The New Gospel of peace with the world through Oneness is replacing the original Gospel of peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ

• The New Spirituality is replacing the true faith that comes from the Word of God

• The unity in diversity of Oneness is replacing the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ

• Unity-seeking dialogue and spiritual experiences are replacing the Word of God. [9]

It’s not surprising that so few Christians notice or resist this process. Ever since John Dewey and Julian Huxley began to replace factual learning with subjective socialization, our ability to discern error has been undermined. As Donna Garner said, “We now have twenty years of indoctrinated people.”[10]
Leaders inside and outside churches have discovered that facilitated group experiences create new perceptions, which produce corresponding feelings that establish new beliefs. These steps are key to change. The Shack’s “God” agrees:

“Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions…. So check our perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms — what you believe.”[1, p.197]

“…religion is about having the right answers…. [in contrast] I am about the process that takes you to the living answer.”[1, p.198]

 

 

 

“You cannot see in your mind’s eye something that you cannot experience.”[1, p.201]

“It is impossible not to believe what you see,” says ACIM’s “Jesus,” “but it is equally impossible to see what you do not believe. Perceptions are built up on the basis of experience, and experience leads to beliefs. It is not until beliefs are fixed that perceptions stabilize. In effect, then, what you believe you do see.“[2, p.207]
Like other virtual experiences, reading The Shack stirs the imaginations of the gullible. It plants perceptions that shape new beliefs in “open” minds. What few realize is that the end of this process will be a bit like Pinocchio’s experience. The cruel tempter had promised Pinocchio all kinds of fun and food on “Pleasure Island.” But when he arrived, he changed into a donkey and became a slave. 

In the midst of today’s deadly deceptions, the true God offers hope:

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-36


See “From God’s Truth to the “New Spirituality” [chart] and New Spirituality for an Emerging New Earth
You may want to read Berit Kjos’s rebuttal to an article dealing with the same issues.

See COMMENTS
on this page


Endnotes:
1. William Young, The Shack (Windblown Media, 2007), www.theshackbook.com

2. A Course in Miracles, “dictated” by a demonic spirit guide who called himself “Jesus” (Foundation for Inner Peace, 1976), 149.
3. Roger Oakland, “My Trip to the Rethink Conference,” January 2008, http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c73.shtml

4. A Course in Miracles, What Is Sin? at http://acim.home.att.net/workbook250a.html

5. A Course in Miracles, Release from Guilt at http://acim.home.att.net/text-13-11.html

6. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails Publishing Company, 2002), page 101.
7. http://www.crossroad.to/HisWord/verses/topics/Word.htm#alter

8. Workbook Lesson 193, http://acim.home.att.net/workbook193.html

9. Tamara Hartzell, “Are you ‘Being led away with the Error of the Wicked’ to the New Age Ark of Oneness?” February 2008.
10. “Process over content,” www.crossroad.to/Quotes/brainwashing/2008/process-content.htm

 

A Course In Miracles

http://www.bibleprobe.com/a-course-in-miracles.htm

 

Another devilish attempt that proves Satan is losing

Satan tries to contradict Bible teachings with this “cutesy” course (lie)

What is not widely known is that “A COURSE IN MIRACLES” was received by demonic revelation.
A Course in Miracles” is more New Age “dribble” meant to sidetrack and confuse us.  What is not widely known about this “course” is that it was received by demonic revelation by a Jewish atheist psychologist named Helen Schucman in 1965.  In this “cutesy” course, Satan attempts to hide his existence, while at the same time “revealing” to the gullible Ms Schucman, an entire list of things that contradict Holy Scripture – which only the father of lies could concoct.

In October 1965, a Jewish atheist psychologist named Helen Schucman, an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York, claimed she began receiving channeled messages from an unknown entity in an audible voice. She claims that from 1956-1972 an inner Voice dictated to her the three books which comprise A Course in Miracles. This voice, claimed Schucman, was the voice of Jesus.

Schucman recalled, “The voice made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid inner diction which I took down in a shorthand notebook”. She claims the Voice chose moments when she was free–at work, on the subway, at home–to dictate Christ’s update. 

The Course originated with two such people, Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman. They worked together in a stress filled environment in New York City. Their relationship was anything but peaceful. One day Bill had had enough of the strife and said to Helen, “There has got to be a better way!” To his surprise, Helen did not come back with her usual facetious remarks but said instead, “Yes Bill and I’ll help you find it.” With this joining, the Course was conceived.  In 1972, another psychologist and his wife, Ken and Gloria Wapnick, assisted Schucman with her book. At a later date the entity identified itself as Jesus Christ according to A Talk Given On A Course In Miracles
by Kenneth Wapnick, May 9, 1981, page 10. As a matter of record, for the next ten years the voice is said to have dictated “in an inaudible voice” the three volume, 1,188 page, 500,000 word book known as A Course In Miracles according to an article that appeared in Psychology Today, September 1980, page 75.  

 

 

 

Dr. William Thetford was an associate of Helen’s. He was a clinical psychologist at Columbia University. While he was present with Ms. Schucman on several occasions when she was receiving her revelations, he never, at any time heard the voice. Yet, he believed (according to The Holy Encounter, September/ October 1990, page 5) that the revelation Schucman was receiving was “the original teachings of Jesus…”  As a person who holds a degree in psychology he should have flagged as a BIG problem someone who says she is hearing voices.

Scribed between 1965 and 1972, and making its public debut in 1975, not surprising, “A Course in Miracles” has been a favorite of necromancers, channelers, shamans, priests and disciples of the New Age (Religion of Ancient Babylon) ever since. 

This course is another subtle way for Satan to spread the lie that Satan and demons are nonexistent.  This course goes one step further by contradicting the truths in the Bible by perpetrating the lie that “Jesus said to the authors” that the Bible is in error. 

 

Biblical truth
There can be no doubt that Jesus, his disciples, and authors of the New Testament had made it clear that Satan and the devils (or demons) exist. And like
Muhammad of Islam, they tremble at the sight of a cross; and they cringe at even the mention of the holy name Jesus. There are at least 300 references to the devil in the New Testament. There are seven episodes in the Gospel that deal with diabolical possession alone. Three of these are simply references (Matthew 8:31-33, 12:22-32; Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2). The remaining 4 (demoniac of Capernaum, demoniacs of Gadara, Canaanite woman, and epileptic demoniac) are described in greater detail. Satan (or the devil) is a personal being. He is not some abstract concept, but a real spiritual being with a personality of his own. The casting out of demons by both Jesus and His disciples is evident proof that “the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20). By a simple command, Jesus was able to cast out demons from persons in whom they had chosen to dwell.  And Christ gave his disciples power over demons (Mark 6:7, Luke 9:1)

In this course, the Holy Spirit is the Guru; the seeker is the disciple. The Holy Spirit is never said to be part of the Trinity that is God.  The Course teaches that ego (not God) created the world. The world we see is illusion, and God does not know it exists. The Course stresses that it is not the only route people can follow, because “they all lead to God in the end”. Death, according to The Course, is the “central dream from which all illusions stem,” and is the “symbol of the fear of God”. It goes on to add, “If God created bodies, death would be real”. But according to The Course, God does not create bodies.

According to the Course, Jesus is merely “an elder brother entitled to respect for his greater experience.” The Jesus of the Course explains, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other” (A Course In Miracles, Vol. 1, p. 5). This course mirrors false Eastern Religious and New Age beliefs when it teaches Jesus is one of many Christ’s, and we all have the possibility of becoming Christ.


Biblical truth about Jesus/Yeshua

The Savior, who was obedient even to death on the cross, has destroyed the works of the devil; he has triumphed over Satan. The Apostle Paul says: “Because of this, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other name, so that at Jesus’ name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD (Philippians 2:9-11) Reference: “The Devil … alive and active in our world” by Corrado Balducci

The voice dictating A Course in Miracles claimed to be Jesus Christ Himself, intent upon correcting errors in the Bible that have offended unbelievers because of their “narrow-mindedness.” The Course explains that “forgiveness” is simply recognizing that sin does not exist and therefore there is nothing to forgive.

The Course is popular with those who dupe themselves by wanting to call themselves Christians, while rejecting sound biblical doctrine. One simply cannot ignore or fail to embrace the work of Jesus on the cross, and expect eternal life.  Who will believe it? The greatest of kings; born in the humblest of places … God, born in the flesh!

The dictating “Jesus” contradicted nearly everything the Bible says about Him. That fact is admitted by Kenneth Wapnick, head of the foundation that publishes the Course. Not surprisingly, what this “Jesus” said was in perfect agreement with the messages being communicated by a wide variety of entities through thousands of “channels” around the world. Yet Schucman was ignorant of the phenomenon of “channeling” until it suddenly happened to her.

When insurance supervisor Jach Pursel tried Eastern meditation at the prompting of his wife, he thought he kept falling asleep. She found herself, however, talking with the strangely accented “Lazaris” when Jach was in this state. “Lazaris'” themes echo A Course in Miracles, “Seth” (recorded in numerous books over a 24-year period through Jane Roberts), “Ramtha,” and many other channeled entities: All is One and we are reincarnating, evolving, spiritual, immortal beings, all part of God but unaware of that great fact and on a journey of enlightenment to realize who we really are.

The “higher Self” of Meredith Lady Young, a New Hampshire publisher, channeled through her Agartha: A Journey to the Stars. Once again the message was positive thinking, evolutionary advancement to perfection, the oneness of all, that “God” is an energy, and that man is God: “We [channeling spirits] are multidimensional beings from another more spiritually evolved plane. Our aim is one of positive reinforcement to further man’s development. The human race must recognize its deeply buried bond with Universal Energy or no significant spiritual growth is possible.”

 

 

A Monotonous Echo from Eden

When genuine contact is made with the “spirit realm”, the communications that come through are inevitably anti-Christian and particularly blasphemous of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The “God” of the channeled materials inevitably contradicts God’s Word and usually even holds God up to ridicule. One of the boldest, latest, and most popular examples is found in Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, which Neale Donald Walsch claims just “happened” to him and is “God’s latest word on things.” 48

In an obvious put-down of Jesus, this “God” says:

There was once… a new soul… anxious for experience. “I am the light,” it said. “I am the light….” Every soul was grand … and every soul shone with the brilliance of My awesome light. And so the little soul in question was as a candle in the sun. 49

The blasphemy continues with this “little soul” coming to earth to discover its true self. Like Buddha and many others, Jesus eventually “attained mastery…. What Jesus did… is the path of the Buddha, the way of Krishna, the walk of every Master who has appeared on the plane…. So who said Jesus was perfect?” 50 Yet we’re born as gods and goddesses and there is neither sin nor judgment. 51 There are no morals; God has no opinions and makes no judgments; we are free to do whatever makes us feel good. 52 It is all very comforting to those who, like Phil Jackson, want to justify their rejection of the Christ of the Bible and replace Him with “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) and “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9).

2 Corinthians 11:4 warns us about things like this A Course in Miracles, you might say it also applies to Mormon so-called later revelations also:

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Note below in (Galatians 1:6-9) Paul thought this was so important, he repeated it:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

This “God” (who claims to be the author of A Course in Miracles) 53
also tells Walsch that Satan and demons are nonexistent: “You have created in your mythology the being you call ‘devil.’ You have even imagined a God at war with this being…. Of course, a real devil does not exist….” 54 Of course “God” says we are all evolving through many lifetimes ever higher to oneness with God. Walsch has been on earth during many life-times and may have as many chances to do it over again and again as he wants or needs. 55 “God” says:

This “be Who You Really Are” business… [is] the most challenging thing you’ll ever do … You may never get there. Few people do. Not in one lifetime. Not in many…

You are immortal. You never do die. You simply change form. [Concerning Adam and Eve,] there were more than two. [Life] evolved over billions of years… the evolutionists are right…!

Using psychic ability is nothing more than using your sixth sense… not trafficking with the devil… there is no devil… Each to his own without judgment. 56

It is the amazing unity of the channeled material and the fact that its basic message consistently reflects the four lies of the serpent in the Garden that both proves its reality and identifies its source. Enlightenment involves recognizing the illusion of our daily entranced experience and awakening to the true reality lying behind it. 57

Jean Houston declares: These [channeled] “entities” as we call them—are essentially “goddings” of the depth of the psyche. They are personae of the self that take on acceptable form so that we can have relationship and thus dialogue. 58

Goddings of the depth of the psyche so we can dialogue with ourselves? Jean can’t even tell us what that means! How much more reasonable to accept the evidence that demonic entities are deceiving mankind.

 

Reality Manipulation

As the Course explains, Man has not left Heaven. Man is still in the presence of God, but has created this illusionary World from “…false perceptions. It is born of error, and it has not left its source”. Because Man believes he is separated from God, through his own ego and mistaken beliefs, Man has created the reality in which he now finds himself.

 

A BIBLICAL RESPONSE

Though the Course explains Man’s ego created the world, the Bible disagrees: Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16.

Genesis 1:1:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

John 1:1-3: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him

Though the Course teaches Man is still in heaven with God, Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for Man. Hence man is obviously not already in heaven: John 14:1-3.

John 1:1-3: 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

 

 

While the Course denies the reality of death, the Bible teaches that every person will die: Hebrews 9:27.

Hebrews 9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

The Course claims Jesus’ body was an illusion. The Bible, however, stresses the physical reality of Jesus’ human body: John 1:14

John 1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Sin is an illusion according to the Course, but the Bible warns of sin’s reality and consequences: Romans 3:23, John 1:7-10.

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

John 1:7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

According to the Course, Jesus is not the only Savior. The Bible presents Jesus as the unique and only Savior of the world: John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, Acts 16:29-31.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me

Acts 4:10-12: 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved

In conclusion, A Course In Miracles is the product of demonic revelation. Those who believe the Course is Christian should read 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

There is nothing Christian about A Course In Miracles!

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

One Must be a Christian to be Saved!

References for this is found in John 14:6; Acts 4:12, and 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16. One cannot be a Christian without verbally confessing the deity of Jesus the Christ. One cannot even pray to God, let alone have sins remitted by Him, without approaching Him through Jesus (John 14:6 and 13, 15:16; 16:23-24; Romans 5:2, and Ephesians 2:18).
I know
Muslims and Mormons, Christian Scientists, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarians, Scientologists, Moonies, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Seventh Day Adventists -and many others – will not want to hear this, but the Bible declares that Jesus was the FINAL revelation of God to man (Hebrews 1:1-3). There have been no others.

A Course In Miracles

http://www.watchman.org/profile/mirclpro.htm

By Rick Branch, Watchman Expositor Vol. 11 No. 4, 1994

 

Founders: Helen Schucman and William Thetford

Founding Date: 1965

Official Publication: While there are no official publications, The Holy Encounter is one of the major publications that promotes the philosophy of A Course In Miracles.

Organization Structure: There are hundreds of small study groups scattered across the country, each organized on an informal basis, for the express purpose of studying the Course.

Unique Terms: While the Course has no truly unique terms, it defines common Christian terms in a unique way. Be aware of this fact when speaking to or listening to those who are followers of the Course.

 

HISTORY

In October 1965, Helen Schucman, an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York, began receiving channelled messages from a speaker who would later identify himself as Jesus Christ (A Talk Given on ‘A Course In Miracles’, Kenneth Wapnick, May 9, 1981, p. 10). For the next ten years the voice is said to have dictated “in an inaudible voice” the three volume, 1,188 page, 500,000 word book known as A Course In Miracles (Psychology Today, September 1980, p. 75).

One of Schucman’s colleagues was Dr. William Thetford, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University. While he never heard the voice, he was instrumental in the publication of the Course. Raised in the Christian Science church, Thetford believed the Course was a representation of the “original teachings of Jesus” (The Holy Encounter, Sept./Oct. 1990, p. 5).

In 1972, Schucman and Thetford meet Dr. Kenneth Wapnick of the Foundation for Inner Peace. The Copyright for the Course was turned over to Wapnick and his organization in 1975. This action is followed in September of the same year with the publication of the first edition of A Course In Miracles (Ibid, p. 7).

Schucman died in February 1981 and Thetford in 1988.

 

 

Though the leaders had died, the Course was experiencing phenomenal growth. By the end of 1986 there were 630 study groups. That number grew to 848 in 1987 and to 1,059 groups by 1988. By the end of 1990, the Course had study groups in 48 states with a total of 1,250 groups meeting (The Holy Encounter, November/December 1990, p. 1). There are also more than 700,000 sets of A Course in Miracles as of 1991 (Vanity Fair, June 1991, p. 131).

The Course began to receive national attention when Marianne Williamson was featured in Time magazine. Called “the Mother Teresa for the 90’s” by some of her supporters, Williamson is one of the best known promoters of the Course (Time, 29 July 1991, p. 60). In 1992, Williamson published A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course In Miracles which “occupied the number one position on the Publishers Weekly non-fiction best-sellers list for eleven weeks!” (The Holy Encounter, July/August 1992, p. 2). Williamson has also been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which received more pro viewer mail than any other show for 1992 and with Barbara Walters on the ABC television news show 20/20 (Ibid., July/Aug. 1992, p. 2; July/Aug. 1993, p. 9).

Other well known New Age celebrities that have become associated with the Course would include Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. and composer Steven Halpern (Ibid, March/April 1993, p. 3).

 

DOCTRINE

Doctrine of Jesus/Doctrine of Man: Normally, when explaining the theology of a group, these two categories [Jesus and Man] would be discussed separately. However, in this particular organization, to differentiate between the two seems to be unjustified.

According to the Course, Jesus is merely “an elder brother entitled to respect for his greater experience.” The Jesus of the Course explains, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other” (A Course In Miracles, Vol. 1, p. 5).

Similar to many other New Age teachings, the Course makes a distinction between Jesus the man, who is like all other men, and the Christ idea, which all men possess and must eventually demonstrate. The Course explains this idea when it states, “There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left. But there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false beliefs of your Identity, which God alone established in reality.

“Helpers are given you in many forms. There names are legion, but we will not go beyond the names the course itself employs. The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God. The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do.

“Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusion. Jesus became what all of you must be”.

Thus, according to the Course, Jesus the man was used by the Christ to demonstrate the illusion of the world. In actuality, man is still in heaven. It is simply the illusion of sin and death that have caused false senses of reality. However, when man gains his Christ consciousness as Jesus did, then according to the Course, man will also discover the illusion of sin.

Nature of Illusion and Reality: One of the stated purposes of the Course is to “teach the Course’s reinterpretations of traditional Christian principles such as sin, suffering, forgiveness, Atonement, and the meaning of the Crucifixion” (Foundation for A Course In Miracles, “Forgiveness,” p. 4).

 

Other Doctrines

Reality Manipulation: As the Course explains, Man has not left Heaven. Man is still in the presence of God, but has created this illusionary World from “…false perceptions. It is born of error, and it has not left its source”. Because Man believes he is separated from God, through his own ego and mistaken beliefs, Man has created the reality in which he now finds himself.

“The effect of the ego’s belief in separation, which is its cause; the thought of separation given form; the world, being the expression of the belief in time and space, was not created by God…. The World of separation reinforces the ego’s belief in sin and guilt, perpetuating the seeming existence of this world” (Glossary-Index For A Course In Miracles, p. 168).

Given the presupposition that Man is the creator of his own illusionary world is of no help to the average person. For, as is explained by one of the Course’s introductory booklets, “Once an individual has been caught in the world of perception he is caught in a dream. He cannot escape without help, because everything his senses show him merely witnesses to the reality of the dream” (A Course In Miracles: What Is It?, p. 7).

Thus, if the world is an illusion or dream-state, then by necessity, everything that the physical body does in this make-believe world must also be an illusion. This would necessarily include the false concepts of sin and death. As Volume 2 of the Course demands, “…sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will never happen, for it has no cause” (p. 179). A similar claim is made on death’s behalf. “Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem” (Vol. 3, p. 63).

Thus the world, sin, death and everything is an illusion created by the ego of man, who unfortunately believes in the mistaken idea that he is not currently in heaven and is separated from God. If this is so, how is man to awaken from his “dream-state”?

Atonement of Jesus: Kenneth Wapnick, of the Foundation for Inner Peace, explains, “If we now attempt to follow the Holy Spirit’s thinking, and we want to prove that the world is not real and that the sin of separation never happened, all that is needed is to prove that sin has no effect.

 

“If we could prove that the cause had no effect then the cause can no longer exist. If something is not a cause it is not real, because everything that is real must be a cause and thus have an effect. If we remove the effect we are also eliminating the cause. Now, if the greatest effect of sin in this world is death, demonstrating that death is an illusion simultaneously demonstrates that there is no sin. This also says that the separation never occurred. We therefore need someone to show us that there is no death. By undoing death that person will also undo sin and will simultaneously show us that there is no separation; the separation never occurred and the only reality, the only true Cause, is God. That person was Jesus. And his mission was to show that there is no death.

“The gospels speak of Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The way that he took away the sins of the world was to show that they had no effect. Through his overcoming of death he took away all sins. However, this is not the way that the churches have understood it, or that it has been taught. So one important reason that the Course has come at this time, in this way, is to correct this error. What Jesus did was to live in this world – the world of suffering, sin, and death – show that it had no effect on him” (A Talk Given On A Course In Miracles, p. 65).

 

BIBLICAL RESPONSE

Though the Course explains Man’s ego created the world, the Bible disagrees: Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16.

Though the Course teaches Man is still in heaven with God, Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for Man. Hence man is obviously not already in heaven: John 14:1-3.

While the Course denies the reality of death, the Bible teaches that every person will die: Hebrews 9:27.

The Course claims Jesus’ body was an illusion. The Bible, however, stresses the physical reality of Jesus’ human body: John 1:14, 1 John 4:1-3.

Sin is an illusion according to the Course, but the Bible warns of sin’s reality and consequences: Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:7-10.

According to the Course, Jesus is not the only Savior. The Bible presents Jesus as the unique and only Savior of the world: John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, Acts 16:29-31.

 

RESOURCES

1) The New Age Movement: Space Age Heresies, James Walker. A cassette tape and manual produced by Watchman Fellowship that provides a general overview of the New Age. While it does not discuss A Course in Miracles directly, it provides a helpful introduction to some of its underlying doctrines and philosophies.

2) Unmasking the New Age, Douglas Groothuis. This book does not specifically address the Course but it does provide a balanced survey of many of the New Age doctrines and practices which are incorporated in it. 192 pages with index.

3) Confronting the New Age, Douglas Groothuis. In his sequel, Groothuis mentions the Course as an example of New Age error. This book is most helpful because of its practical advice and sound suggestions for reaching out to those who are in the New Age Movement. 230 pages with index.

4) A Crash Course on the New Age Movement, Elliot Miller. Here is a well-written volume explaining the New Age Movement’s effect on Western culture and Christianity. The Course is mentioned by way of example but the book’s value is in its balanced critique of the New Age Movement as a whole. 260 pages including indexes.

The New Age Movement

http://www.watchman.org/profile/nwagmpro.htm

By Craig Branch, Watchman Expositor Vol. 13 No. 2, 1996

 

Founder: Being an eclectic blend of many ancient and modern religions and philosophies, there is no single human founder.

Founding Date: Many attribute the rise of the current New Age Movement (NAM) to evolving occult movements, such as New Thought and Theosophy in the late 1800’s, and the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s. Its root forms, however, actually are expressed in Satan’s temptation of man in Genesis 3, and in the beliefs of many pagan and eastern religions, thousands of years old.

Official Publications: Due to the lack of a central organization and the diversity of emphasis adhered to by the various New Age groups there are literally hundreds of publications. Some popular publications and journals are New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega.

Other Names: Higher Consciousness Movement, Occultism, Eastern Mysticism, Eastern Spirituality, Ancient or Perennial Wisdom, Age of Aquarius, Holistic Health Movement.

INTRODUCTION

The New Age Movement is both a religious and a social movement. In fact, Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal, spiritual, ideological, and sociological shift. It is a religious world-view that is alien and hostile to Christianity. It’s a multi-focused, multi-faceted synthesis, in varying degrees, of the Far Eastern, mystical religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Western Occultism, adapted to and influenced by Western, materialistic culture. It sometimes appears in secularized forms.

 

 

It is comprised of hundreds of groups and individuals who have gained significant influence, affecting almost every area of the culture – sociology, psychology, medicine, the government, ecology, science, arts, education, the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the church. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent and various mutated forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. It is expressed in organized religious forms such as Christian Science, Unity, and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, in various human potential seminars, and much in between, i.e., transcendental meditation, some alternative holistic health practices, and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools.

The most central and commonly shared beliefs among New Agers are various combinations of Gnosticism and occultism. Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that Divine essence is the only true or highest reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually this essence. It is through intuitional discovery, “visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine” (not the plenary revelation of propositional truth in the Bible), that man becomes conscious of this true Self (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 10, 1968, p. 506; J.D. Douglas, ed., New Bible Dictionary, pp. 473-4).

Occultism is a “general designation for various theories, practices, and rituals based on esoteric knowledge, especially alleged knowledge about the world of spirits and unknown forces of the universe” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, p. 469).

The term “New Age” is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, if not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age (rationality) to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things. Even though it is undergoing a significant revival, the “New Age” is hardly new. In fact, it is very old.

 

HISTORY

The New Age Movement is a modern revival of very ancient, divergent, religious traditions and practices. The actual original root is squarely centered in Genesis 3:1-5, and reverberates throughout the movement’s continued historical expressions. In the original lie, Satan questions God’s word, His authority and benevolent rule (v. 1), disputes that death results from disobedience (v. 4), and claims that through the acquisition of secret or Gnostic wisdom man can be enlightened and can be “like God” (v. 5).

Many of the occult practices and beliefs revived by the modern NAM were a part of very early pagan cultures. Many practices common to the NAM such as witchcraft/sorcery, spiritism, divination, (clairvoyance; seeing the future), necromancy (consulting the dead), and astrology are clearly and strongly condemned in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18: 9-17; Isaiah 47: 9-15). These and other occultic practices were spread through the ancient magic and mystery religions of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, and most notably the Assyrian-Babylonian culture (Ancient Empires of the New Age, pp. 15-62). Noting the scope of its continuing presence, the Bible informs Christians of Babylon’s eschatological implications. The lie of Genesis 3 is significantly developed in Babylon (Isaiah 47) and continues to its ultimate state of development, revealed as Satan’s one-world system at the end of the age (Revelation 17-18).

Three major world religions whose beliefs and practices are entwined with the NAM are Hinduism, a product of 5,000 years of development, Buddhism, circa 560 B.C., and Taoism, circa 500 B.C. (Eerdman’s Handbook to the World’s Religions, pp. 170, 221, 252). Another prominent occultic influence in Europe was Druidism, the religion of the Celts, which extended from 300 B.C. into the middle ages (Ibid., pp. 114-19).

Prominent expressions of the NAM were carried on into more modern times in Europe and America by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), transcendentalists like Thoreau, Emerson, and Wordsworth (early 1800’s), and Theosophy introduced by Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) (The New Age Rage, pp. 22-4). The decade of the sixties witnessed a revival of Eastern mysticism as traditional values were being challenged. Zen, Carlos Castañada, the Beatles, Transcendental Meditation, and yoga all became popular.

In the eighties, Shirley MacLaine’s autobiographical books and television mini-series gave the NAM more popular exposure and momentum. Today, various research polls are consistently demonstrating that a significant shift has been occurring in the West, both in the beliefs and practices of the New Age world-view. For example, 36% of Americans believe that astrology is scientific, and 25% now believe in reincarnation (Russell Chandler, Understanding the New Age, pp. 20, 130-133).

It is important for Christians to recognize even the most disguised forms of the New Age Movement. The following is a list of some of the organizations, beliefs and practices associated with the NAM: astrology, aura, black and white magic, bioenergy, Brahman, Buddhism, chakras, chi energy, Christ-consciousness, Christian Science, Church Universal & Triumphant, crystals, Druidism, Eastern mysticism, ESP, est, extraterrestrials, the Forum, fire-walking, Gaia, gnosticism, Hare Krishna, higher consciousness, Hinduism, human potential movement, Kaballah, karma, Magick, Mind Science, Native American spirituality, near-death experiences, neo-paganism, nirvana, parapsychology, prana, psi, psychic, reflexology, reiki, reincarnation, Religious Science, shamanism, Silva Mind Control, spiritism, Tai Chi, Taoism, tarot cards, Theosophy, therapeutic touch, trance-channeling, Transcendental Meditation, transpersonal psychology, UFOs, Unity School of Christianity, Witchcraft, yin-yang, Yoga, and Zen.

 

DOCTRINE

Keeping in mind that the myriads of New Age groups are quite eclectic, drawing from several religious traditions mentioned earlier, the following is a general description of the more prominent unifying themes of the NAM.

God

Even though many New Age adherents describe “God” in personal terms, ultimately, “God” is an impersonal life force, consciousness or energy (M. Ferguson, Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 382; S. Gawain, Living In the Light, pp. 7-8).

 

 

The cosmology (nature of the world and universe) of the NAM is monistic and pantheistic, which means that everything that exists is of One essence, and that One essence is God. Everything is a different form of that essence (energy, consciousness, power, love, force). The state of God is called by various terms among different New Age groups, i.e., God-consciousness, Universal Love, Self-Realization, the I AM, Higher Self, Brahman, Nirvana, etc.

Jesus Christ

Jesus was a man who evolved spiritually to the state of “the Christ” being. “The Christ” is an actual state of ultimate essence. Everyone’s true being is “the Christ:” and each person’s goal is to come to that self-realization (A Course in Miracles, Vol. 3, pp. 83-4). So to the New Ager, Jesus, the Christ, is one of many ascended masters – a way-shower, whose function is to awaken humanity and illumine the path. Many even reinvent the historical Jesus by claiming that He traveled to India and learned the New Age doctrines there during His “silent years” (Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb, pp. 233-34).

Man

Man is not sinful since his true essence is divine and perfect. The only discontinuity between man and “God” is man’s ignorance of his unlimited potential. Man is divine. He creates his own reality. Absolute truth is replaced by relativistic, subjective experience.

Man’s Destiny

Since man is intrinsically divine and perfect, his only real problem is ignorance of that fact. Man has a perception of finiteness which is in reality an illusion (Ken Keyes, Jr., Handbook to Higher Consciousness, pp. 125-29). Salvation in the New Age is for man to become enlightened through experiential knowledge (gnosis). New Age groups offer various occultic techniques to enable individuals, and ultimately the world, to evolve into this oneness (unitive) consciousness (James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy: An Experimental Guide, pp. 243-60). These techniques may include altered states of consciousness (often transcendental meditation), yoga, crystals, channeling (spirit guides), psychics, past life therapy, acupuncture, etc.

An almost universal belief among New Agers is an adaptation of the Hindu concept of reincarnation which teaches that after death the soul, or essence comes back in another form to continue spiritual evolvement. New Agers misrepresent church history, the doctrines of Christianity, and often twist Scripture to support the idea that original Christianity taught reincarnation. They wrongly argue that the early church suppressed the doctrine and censored its teaching (Kenneth Ring, Heading Toward Omega, p. 158).

 

CHRISTIAN RESPONSES

Individual New Age followers are at various stages of transition and assimilation of its teachings. In addition, since the NAM teaches that truth is relative and individualistic, Christians must approach New Agers as individuals. Ask New Agers questions. What spiritual background do they have? What happened in their lives that precipitated this path? What books, experiences, or ideas are most influential, most important to them? The answer should give Christians good direction as to where to focus their attention.

The fundamental issues that need to be addressed with New Agers are epistemology (the source of truth), the irrationality of relativism, factual and historical errors, the fallacies and inconsistencies of living out their world-view, and finally, a clarification of the real God, Jesus, and gospel, contrasted to those of the New Age. New Ager must see that there is a choice to be made instead of blurring the distinctions.

Christians should be able to demonstrate that the Bible does not teach reincarnation. When Jesus calls John the Baptist “Elijah,” He is clearly speaking metaphorically. Luke 1:17 demonstrates that John was filling the office of Elijah, fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6. In fact, Elijah was seen with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3. The meaning of the resurrection is the opposite of reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:12-28). Point out that if God is an impersonal force, then love and forgiveness are not possible. These are personal attributes as opposed to impersonal karmic law. Fundamentally, intercessory prayer is absolutely necessary. The battle for the souls of men is won through God’s grace, intervening and drawing them to Himself.

 

RESOURCES

Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, John Ankerberg and John Weldon. This well researched work covers a wide range of New Age beliefs, practices, and leaders, providing a Christian analysis. 670 pages with index.

A Crash Course on the New Age Movement, Elliot Miller. One of the best overall analysis and critiques of New Age ideology and trends. 260 pages with index.

Thieves of Innocence, John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Craig Branch. Covers the beliefs of NAM and uncovers its strategy to infiltrate schools to capture the minds and souls of children. Offers practical steps to eliminate it. 345 pages with index.

The Counterfeit Christ of the New Age Movement, Ron Rhodes. Reveals the false history and deception of the reconstructed “Jesus” presented by the New Agers, and contrasts it with the authentic Jesus. 255 pages.

New Age Movement: Space Age Heresy, James Walker. This 90 minute cassette tape and manual provide an overview of New Age theology and history.

 

 

 

 

A modern Miracle – Or: The ruthless logic of A Course in Miracles

http://www.bezinningscentrum.nl/teksten/anton_eng/mireng.htm

A critique by Anton van Harskamp, Bezinningscentrum Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 1999

 

And seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not … (Jeremiah 45:5)

There is a hype in the field where spirituality and mental health become intertwined: A Course in Miracles. An increasing number of people have become fascinated by this book with its curious title. This group does not only include frequent visitors of New Age Centers, but also spiritual Do-It-Yourselvers and those who study ‘The Course’ with a couple of friends. We are talking about a book of monstrous size: 1249 pages in india-paper edition, a guidebook for spiritual study. The purpose of the book is to let go of our regular thought-system about ourselves, the world and God. We have to learn how to radically change our way of perception and thinking in order that our life, which is controlled by struggle, deep-seated dread and feelings of guilt, makes room for a life full of love and harmony.

The increasing interest in this piece of writing – or ACIM as experts would say – might be called a modern miracle. This can be illustrated by looking at the origin and the nature of ‘The Course’. It also appears from the central message of ‘The Course’: the uncommon optimistic belief that a perfect life is something that is within our reach. The questions I will address in this essay are the following: what is it that ‘The Course’ bases this belief on and does it also bring into practice an optimistic attitude to life?

 
 

The origin and nature of ‘The Course’

Insiders in the world of New Age knew about the existence of the book since 1972, because thousands of copies had been circulating in the United States before its actual publication in 1976. At first no information was available about the source of the text, not within ‘The Course’ itself, nor within the movement that had come into existence because of it. However, the in-crowd knew that the origin of the book lay with a certain Helen Schucman. This fact had been made known in 1984 by a woman named Judith Skutch, one of the driving forces behind the movement ‘The Course’ had engendered.

Helen Schucman (1923-1981) was Associate Professor in medical psychology at ‘The Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center’ in New York City. It is a curious fact, at least for outsiders, that although she had written the text, she claims that the content of it was not from her. The book is considered to be the product of ‘channeling’.

Channeling is a relatively well-known practice in the world of New Age. It is the coming through of information from a spiritual source which lies beyond the normal world and human consciousness. So the messages express themselves as verbal revelations. ‘Channeling’ takes place in many different ways. The spiritual intermediary can be in ecstasy and actually show signs of being in ecstasy. This usually happens in a group of people who know each other well. It also happens that a medium, sitting in a comfortable chair, passes on the messages of a spiritual entity to hundreds of people at the same time. A famous example of this are the Californian sessions of Jach Pursel. In name of the spiritual being Lazaris, this ex-employee of an insurance-agency would pass on practical pieces of practical wisdom on how to deal with anger, guilt, depression and other emotions. These were sometimes illuminated with examples from quantum physics, something that made the entire show even more spectacular. This would all take place in the congress hall of some fancy five-star hotel, in a usually cheerful mood, before an audience of predominantly white people in their thirties and forties. The audience would be relatively diverse, from stylish upper-middle-class to traditionally hip.

Helen Schucman’s case was less remarkable. Or was it really? The literature sketches the picture of a tormented person. D. Patrick Miller, journalist and dedicated student of ‘The Course’, author of an informative book about the story behind ‘The Course’, reports that she suffered from personality dissociation. He apparently meant that mystical and rational tendencies lived side by side in her character. Having grown up in a Jewish-religious environment and with a father who showed interest in esotericism, she developed into a scientific psychologist with a rational-empirical perspective on reality, not only when it came to her profession but also in other matters. Nevertheless, she often had mystical experiences, whereas she considered herself to be an agnostic in religious matters. She said herself that she had to overcome strong inhibitions when writing down the often patently obvious religious texts of ‘The Course’.

Typical of her was that although she was fully part of academic life she also suffered greatly because of it. The same can be said about William Thetford (1923-1984), a Professor of Psychology. Although he remained on the background, he played a substantial role in the coming about of ‘The Course’. During her entire adult life Schucman had a tensed, ‘platonic’ relationship with this man who was formally her Head of Department. Reading ‘The Course’, one might feel the aversion to the silent but harsh competition of the in academic circles not unusual habit to consider criticism of the greatest significance, as a result of which people ‘profile’ themselves by heavily criticizing other people’s work. Schucman and Thetford suffered because of this and decided that a new era of cooperation with each other and their colleagues was necessary. It was in this mood of “we shouldn’t treat each other this way”, that from childhood the mediumistic talented Schucman began to hear ‘a soundless voice’, which urged her to make notes. Encouraged by Thetford she started, however reluctantly, to make notes.

 

This was in 1965, the beginning of a period of well over 7 years in which she, supported by Thetford who typed out all of her notes, produced the theoretical foundation of ‘The Course’ (669 pages in print), a workbook with 365 lessons, one for each day of the year (488 pages) and a manual for teachers (92 pages). The Voice, also called ‘The Boss’ by Schucman was sometimes aggressive and disturbing, but there was no question of ecstasy. She was able to interrupt the soundless Voice to answer telephone calls and take care of other daily activities. From the writings of many of the most enthusiastic students of ‘The Course’ appears that they believe that it is exactly this recalcitrance and the fact that she would sometimes object t he Voice that supports the authenticity of the text.

The essence of the content of this message is at the same time literally childishly simple and complex. Simple, because ‘The Course’ appeals to a primeval feeling, a feeling that especially children know very well: this world is not real, we all live in a dream! Complex, because the message tells us that this insane world, full of death and misery is not real, but an illusion, created in our minds. The reason for us constantly creating this so-called reality in our minds is that we consider ourselves to be separated from others and from God; as separate egos. According to ‘The Course’ we can only find true inner peace when we realize that love is the only reality and everything that is ‘not love’ is not real. Only then we are capable of forgiveness and of unconditionally loving everyone we meet, also the ones who (seem to) harm us. However, and this is a very special aspect of the doctrine of ‘The Course’: we are talking about the evil things we and they have never done! After all: all evil is but an illusion! Apart from that, the miracle mentioned in the title will only happen when we truly change the way we think and perceive the world around us, which will result in us no longer thinking of ourselves as separate human beings, apart from others and from God. This means that we will no longer be controlled by feelings of fear and guilt and that we will indeed be able to radiate love.

I will go into the content of the book a little bit further on. Now I will continue with the character of ‘The Course’.

 
 

Odd, irritating, laughable, or…?

The sixty-four thousand dollar question is of course: who does ‘The Voice’ belong to? Who is this ‘soundless speaker’? This brings us to an aspect of the book that probably many people find not only odd, but irritating or even laughable. While Schucman has always been very unresponsive about this, it is clear that according the book the Voice is Jesus Christ! It has to be said that there is disagreement among experts whether we are talking about the historical figure or the so-called universal spirit of Christ, in other words, everyone’s deepest spiritual identity. Whatever the case may be, Jesus Christ is according to the book undeniably present (cf. M. 59).1 This can be supported by the fact that the Voice mentions Christmas and talks in the first person about the death on the cross. By the way, this death on the cross would be a by-human beings-projected illusion. (T.36, 91v, 95, 284)

Almost as irritating, or in accordance with personal mentality as laughable, may come across the fact that, for example God as source of love and the Holy Spirit are referred to as being male. But it is especially all the seemingly Christian concepts, because next to the central concept of forgiveness, the text is teeming with concepts like sins reconciliation, redemption, Holy Spirit, The Kingdom of God, Heaven and sin.

At a cursory reading, one might get the impression of a Christian book. This was not only repellent to atheists, but also to people who had abandoned the dogmatic and church-oriented Christianity and were looking for something else. This group represents a large part within the New Age movement. The linguistic usage is also shocking to Christians, since at a slightly less superficial reading of the text one has to come to the conclusion that the message is very much ‘unchristian’. By the way, critics as well as the dedicated students of ‘The Course’ agree with each other on this matter. To name some of the differences: the world of time, of matter, of separate human bodies has not been created by God. Considering the illusionary reality of evil ‘The Course’ even indicates that the essence of the world made – or to use a fashionable word, constructed – by us, human beings, is a world of fear and guilt. As such our world is an attack on the God of love and peace (W. 413, M. 36v.). In that world there is sin in abundance, but au fond it does not exist, since God’s love can never be truly harmed or hurt. Redemption is for that reason purely an awakening, a coming to ourselves of our spirit.

That concerning some differences in doctrine. Also when it comes to religious behaviour the differences with the Christian religion are immense. Praying, for example, is in ‘The Course’ only a meditative concentration, a practitioning for forgiving oneself and others, and not an expression of a personal relationship with God. According to the book, liturgy has no meaning whatsoever for living in truth. The same goes for institutions (churches). To put it briefly, we encounter a substantial number of non-Christian beliefs in what seems to be Christian terminology. It is conceivable that this is by first introduction to the book a source of irritation. According to the above-mentioned D. Patrick Miller, many of the most dedicated students of ‘The Course’ at first had great difficulties with the ‘Christian’ language.

There are yet other characteristics, and that is putting it mildly, which may cause astonishment. Part of the book, and especially the second part of the workbook, is written in Shakespearean blank verse, in the so-called iambic pentameter, in which every line consists of five iambs, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable: the result of Schucman’s great passion for Shakespeare and her desire for profound, poetic language. Possibly this is also the reason that the Dutch scholar on religion, Wouter Hanegraaff observed that if there is one text in the world of New Age that may be called a sacred scripture then it is ‘The Course’. There is no other text for which the believers have so much respect and veneration.

For non-believers this veneration is incomprehensible, especially when we compare the book to the ‘real’ bible. In this new-religious bible we find no stories about people of flesh and blood, nothing about prophets who are great and faint-hearted at the same time, no stories about kings who were heroes and evil at the same time, no image of a God who at times seems to be almost human but remains a mystery all the same. We find no Psalms that lament, beg, cry out; there are no horrifying apocalyptic visions.

 

On the contrary, the main text is a sequence of apparently timeless insights and pieces of wisdom. Of course always spoken by a superior ‘I’ or ‘We’, a pluralis divinitatis that addresses the ‘you’ in a constantly mild and paternal tone: ‘You believed that…’, ‘Your perceptions are distorted because…’, ‘Whatever lies you may believe..’ etc, directly followed by corrections, often in seemingly profound ‘one-liners’, such as ‘Darkness is lack of light as sin is lack of love.’ (T. 11); ‘You can accept insanity because you made it, but you cannot accept love because you did not.’ (T. 243)

It is exactly this almost endless variation on some universally meant insights in life that, as might be expected, brings readers of the book, in any case this reader, in a mood in which bewilderment and boredom take turns. In the long run, however, boredom prevails. This feeling however is ‘punished’ by ‘The Course’: ‘good’ students will start to see things differently. They will see that boredom will no longer exist, which is the result of the insight that even ‘a slight twinge of annoyance’ is nothing but ‘a veil drawn over intense fury.’ (W.32)

This type of argumentation is typical. Emotionally charged moods as boredom, doubt and anger simply cannot have their origin in the reality surrounding the individual. They are solely the product of the individual’s own thinking and certainly not of a book as ‘The Course’. This ‘thinking’ is, so says the ideology, nothing more than an attack of the ego on reality (T. 31v. W32 vv.) Something that may cause irritation is not the observation that behind that boredom may hide anger; everyone with a bit of common sense understands that. No, the point is that this argumentation has been revealed by a creature that is according to the book of a divine nature. It is also a statement about the essence of reality, on the level of religious ontology. This excludes refutation a priori; even the making of slight distinctions is impossible. It is this guarding against so-called negative feelings and criticism that makes this book, one would imagine, indigestible to many people.

 
 

Ignore? Disregard?

Meanwhile another important question demands to be answered: Why pay attention to a book that comes across as astonishing if not irritating or laughable? Why waste our energy on a movement of students that people with ‘common sense’ regard a movement of other-worldly people? Apparently, the Humanities do also not regard this attention and energy as necessary. Apart from a single religion sociologist or a scholar in the field of religious studies, the established academic world does not engage in studies of ‘The Course’, or in the movement around it. The same applies even stronger to the world of the church and theology. There have been some attacks from American fundamentalist circles, in particular from the on the internet active opponents of sects, e.g. the ‘Christian Ministry Report’. And there is an apologetic treatment of ‘The Course’ by the American evangelical philosopher of religion, John P. Newport. Other than that, the church and theology, while feigning indifference, are ignoring the book.

However, that does not seem to be a sensible thing to do. This phenomenon I have been talking about is not per definition socially and/or culturally insignificant. There are signs that in the near future, ‘The Course’ will attract not thousands but millions of people. I will try to illustrate this point by providing some facts.

The book has sold over a million copies of the original English text. The publication, initially taken care of by the ‘Foundation for Inner Peace’ founded by a couple of friends of Schucman, has been taken over by the reputable publishing company Viking Penguin, a branch of Penguin books! What’s more, the book has been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese and Hebrew, while still other languages are in process (among others a Dutch one, which will be published by Ankh-Hermes in November 1999). What is striking is that the book is not only available in bookshops which specialize in esoteric subjects, but is also prominently available in the ‘regular’ bookshops. There are also a number of books available that either comment or build on ‘The Course’. There is, for example, an extremely detailed concordance of the book, written by one of the most eminent experts on the subject, the psychologist Ken Wapnick. In Dutch there are at least four (translated) books available that were either written as a comment on or as a result of the book.

In the United States a real movement has come into being because of ‘The Course’, including a large number of study groups, publishing companies and periodicals. Within the movement two groups of people can be discerned, namely the ‘moderates’, who focus on the more easily obtainable psychological effects of ‘The Course’, and the ‘strictly orthodox believers’, who want to adhere to the underlying doctrine. Significant for a full-grown religious movement is the fact that there are formal churches, where the insights of ‘The Course’ are being preached, this in spite of the anti-church sentiments of the book. Several communities have even come into being because of ‘The Course’. However, these are considered sectarian by the majority of the students.

Apart from that there are over a thousand of study groups outside the United States. And last but not least, the internet offers a surprisingly wide range of forums and sites. Perhaps the book will not ever be as popular as James Redfield’s The Celestine
Prophecy
, because of the fairly high level of complexity, but it is likely that the book will gain in popularity, which will presumably last longer than James Redfield’s bestseller.

 
 

Gnosticism

Besides all these quantitative facts, there is something else to be considered, something that may seem very curious but is certainly not insignificant. In the book we seem to find a variant of the classic rival of Christianity of the first three centuries A.D.: Gnosticism. In particular there seems to be a connection with the so-called school of valentinianism, the strongly speculative variant of Gnosticism, named after the philosopher Valentine, who, himself of Egyptian descent, worked in Rome in the middle of the 2nd century A.D.

Relying on the classical work of Hans Jonas about Gnosticism, we may view this variant as an intellectual school, in which the problem of good and evil are being treated strictly monistic. Characteristic for this kind of Gnosticism is among other things that good and evil are being explained in terms of knowledge and ignorance, in evocative language also in terms of light and darkness.

 

We can only grasp this when we realize that gnostic knowledge is not information that is about reality outside him or her. Rather, knowledge from a gnostic viewpoint is pre-eminently participating knowledge. This type of knowledge denotes a situation in which the subject with all of his or her abilities is united with the known object. This is a situation that is difficult to express in our language, characterized as it is by on the one hand a schematic representation of separate speaking, thinking and feeling individuals and on the other hand objects like natural things and people. This way we are inclined to view gnostic knowledge as mystical ecstasy. Be that as it may, knowledge in valentinian Gnosticism is in any case not only the business of the knowing subject, but also of the known object. Viewed from the deepest religious-metaphysical level, in other words from the divine from which everything originates, this means that knowledge and ignorance are ontological positions of the highest order. They say something, to put it differently, about reality as such.

It is possible for valentinian monism to express itself in more than one way. One of these ways is based on the terrifying thought that from the perspective of the divine, from the source from which everything originates, evil and darkness forms the necessary way by which the divine comes to himself in a cosmic process of redemption. Whereas this thought – namely that all evil originates from the divine self – cannot be discovered in the statements ‘The Course’ makes about reality as such, it is indeed clearly present on a psychological level. This is because everyone has to go through ignorance to come to redemption. Psychologically, this is according to ‘The Course’ a passage through the realistic illusions of fear, anger and guilt in order to arrive at true humanity. I will return to this a bit further on.

Another way in which valentinian monism expresses itself is in the description of reality as such. This we do encounter in ‘The Course’. It is the surprisingly simple and far-reaching thought that evil, including guilt, sin and suffering form a veil, a veil of illusions that can be taken away by knowledge.2
Immediately in the preface, we read that the reality of subjects as well as objects in essence knows only one area, that of knowledge (X). Other than in our usual way of thinking and perception, ‘The Course’ sketches knowledge as a situation in which there is a direct and total union with the essence of the known objects, without interference of the senses, reason or interpretation (cf. T 40 ff.,74).3This is also the case in gnosticism.

We also encounter ignorance, in valentianism the total opposite of knowledge, time and time again in ‘The Course’, described as ‘perception’ or our thought system. These words do not only point to a subjective, intellectual activity, but more importantly to the reality outside every individual, reality as we experience it in ordinary life. The crucial lesson that might be hard to understand for outsiders is: we do experience our lives as ‘real’, but we have to learn that ‘Everything you see is the result of your own thoughts.’ (W.26) An essential concept is projection. Our projection, that is our inclination to place what is inside us outside, is the creating principle of all we perceive: ‘Projection makes perception’, it says in the preface: ‘We look inside first, decide the kind of world
we want to see and then
project the world outside, making it truth as we see it ‘(XI). Because this world, created in our own minds, is so vulnerable, we are constantly attacking and defending ourselves and inevitably we feel constantly guilty about the fact that this illusionary project turns out to be a major disappointment over and over again. And so the central message of ‘The Course’ is, in countless variants, that we should see through this mechanism and that we should remember who we are in essence. We have to get rid of the by aggression and guilt characterized mental condition and realize that we are children of love. This is how we encounter in ‘The Course’ a variant of the old Gnosticism.

 
 

Oprah and Marianne

But does this new manifestation of Gnosticism make ‘The Course’ meaningful? This is an aspect of the book that makes it even more curious, because we can be fairly certain that Helen Schucman did not know the first thing about Gnosticism. But meaningful? Are we not dealing here with an aspect of the book that is so abstract and so speculative that it is only interesting to a handful of scholars?

The answer is: no. We may have to agree with those theologians, who think that the alternative for not only Christianity, but also for secular humanism, is not atheism or plain materialism, but Gnosticism that has repeatedly surfaced over the centuries. According to this view, Gnosticism is the only real rival of Christianity (and of so-called secular humanism). This certainly applies to our time, according to for example the theologian J.B. Metz, who claims that the incurable religious animal ‘man’, substitutes the Christian ‘Gotteskrise’ and the uncertainties it has brought along for a new ‘Gottesförmigkeit’. In other words: by belief in powers and realities, which have a divine yet immanent character.

Such a point of view is supported by a remarkable phenomenon. Not so long ago we were able to see – literally ‘see’, because it was on television -, that the ideology of ‘The Course’, converted into psychological advice is least of all the business of a small scholarly or intellectual elite. On the contrary, the central ideas of ‘The Course’ turn out to work very well for masses of people who psychologically and existentially wrestle with the unsatisfactory and disturbing aspects of modern life, and who doesn’t? This is about Marianne Williamson, author of ‘A Return to Love’, mega-star in the area of spirituality and the new way of thinking. ‘A Return to Love’ is a practical psychological handbook entirely based on the principles of ‘The Course’. In 1992, it was on top of the non-fiction bestsellers-list of the United States for no less than seventeen weeks. Williamson herself appeared in that year twice on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the first time even a whole hour. And Oprah loved it! She told the viewers that she had purchased a thousand copies of the book to give to friends and staff members (and after the hamburger case everybody knows what kind of effect her opinion about something can have). Meanwhile the book has been translated into many languages, among others into Dutch by the publishing company ‘De zaak’.

The book describes situations and problems that are recognizable to many people. In many ways Williamson’s own life is exemplary for a specific sort of Western problem area. Being young, attractive and academically educated, she went through an almost classic development. She joined the student protests, had a series of relationships, jobs and houses, but never had to face any financial difficulties.

 

She was always in the circumstances in which she didn’t have to worry about shortages or disease, let alone about poverty. However, she became more and more insecure and perturbed and she gradually became aware of an existential boredom within herself. She tried to calm this restlessness with overeating, drugs and more relationships, but nothing seemed to work. And that while everything really had to be o.k.! But that wasn’t all. She began to be disgusted by herself, but after a while this disgust swung, as it were, to the world: according to her something was fundamentally wrong with a world in which people have to suffer and die. That is when the way of thinking of ‘The Course’ came into the picture, because she began to discover that the problem lay really within herself and by that in the inner world of her own generation.4
Our generation, she expresses aptly, is scared to death. The argumentation is: once we were perfect, we lived in a world full of magic, which we have forgotten. We have been suppressing our inner self with our so-called common sense, which presupposes violence, because it creates a world in which everyone fights anyone to survive. For all our fears, for ourselves, for others and even for death and meaninglessness there is really only one solution: we have to learn to recognize that there is only one true, real and universal power. Until we realize this, so when we only have faith in goodness and in love, only then can we return to our potential of love; the only truly existing potential. This suggests that we can and have to change ourselves, our way of thinking and perception. Only then can we change ourselves and the world around us. From these basic principles she then shows how in practical situations, especially in the field of relationships, we can get rid of nightmares and the hallucinations we create ourselves, in order to live a truly meaningful life.

These opinions are typical for some kind of talk shows – Oprah Winfrey kept repeating it: We have forgotten who we are – that have a gnostic, or if you want, a new-religious background. It is most of all the at first sight total condemnation of ‘the’ world and the message that everything can get better by changing your attitude. No, the Gnosticism of ‘The Course’ is not out of our reach, it does not remain in the abstract theories of scholars. We can literally see and hear it every day. This is exactly what makes ‘The Course’ meaningful. Reason enough to look, by way of conclusion, at the possible effect of the basic idea of the ideology of ‘The Course’.

 
 

‘Uncanny’

A paradox that the reading of ‘The Course’ may render is the following. The outburst of optimism, of the assurance that we, by a reversal of our way of thinking and perception, can make the quantum-leap to perfection, may leave us with an ‘uncanny’ feeling. This might have something to do with what we call the doctrine of creation.

A cornerstone of the whole system is the notion of separation. According to ‘The Course’ God created the world in accordance with his own nature. Everything was of a divine nature, or rather, as ‘The Course’ claims everything IS of a divine nature. People were – are – extensions of God’s inner radiation. But then there is sin, which is in essence a (false) conviction that we have broken away from God. It is the conviction, says Wapnick, that we are a self that is separated from our true self, which is the spirit of Christ. According to Wapnick this is the beginning of all the misery in the world. It creates the illusions of an autonomous material world, of bodies that exist separately from each other in the kosmos, but also of the illusions of how time passes (cf.T.79. 245f) and last but not least the central illusion of death (T.4, 416-419, W.445). But this separation that is our ego, out little ego, is above all riven by guilt. Guilt, or this feeling of guilt, according to ‘The Course’, summarizes our earthly existence, the foundation of all our feelings that we are really suffering from loneliness and from the fact that we are separated from other people, the world and from God. But these sorts of feelings are so strong and so typical for our normal ego, that it in secret desires guilt, and is inevitably even attracted by it (T.319, M.77). According to ‘The Course’ this is the reason why we are so terribly frightened (T.84). And because we do not realize that we have created this existential fear ourselves, we project it on the world outside us, and consequently we tend to view others as threatening creatures. This leads to a horrible never-ending game of attack, defense, counterattack and a constantly growing feeling of guilt. ‘The Course’ provides an almost endless row of variations on this line of thought. Wapnick, the master-exegetist of ‘The Course’ also does this and to a high degree of sophistication. What is disturbing about this kind of argumentation is the extremely unequivocally negative approach to the ‘ordinary’ world. To get a sense of the atmosphere of ‘The Course’ a substantial quote follows:

…this world is a symbol of punishment, and all the laws that seem to govern are the laws of death. Children are born into it through pain and in pain. Their growth is attended by suffering, and they learn of sorrow and separation and death. Their minds seem to be trapped in their brain, and its powers to decline if their bodies are hurt. They seem to love, yet they desert and are deserted… And their bodies wither and gasp and are laid in the ground, and are no more. Not one of them has but thought that God is cruel. If this were the real world, God would be cruel. For no Father could subject his children to this as the price of salvation and be loving…Only the world of guilt could demand this, for only the guilt of it could conceive of it. (T.236)

We have to keep in mind two things. First of all, the therapeutic ‘healing’ for which ‘The Course’ wants to be an aid, desires in effect that the students are completely aware of all the misery of ‘the’ world, and even that they constantly meditate on this fact. It is not only the establishment of everyday reasoning that there are many poor, hungry and sick people; ‘The Course’ tries to show us that suffering is the essence of existence. The beginning of the path to wisdom, claims the above-mentioned D. Patrick Miller, is the vision of dreariness given to us by the non-enlightened world, and he adds that it is the same in Buddhism. But the fact that ‘The Course’ keeps harping on about the same thing makes the reader – in any case this reader – realize that there is an obsession of the author of ‘The Course’ to be discovered; an obsession with all the misery and suffering that this world supposedly consists of.5
The certainty that this world is characterized by sin and evil is so great that there is no room left for faith in the meaningfulness of ‘ordinary’ life.

There is only the spiritual desire to break away from this world, reverse our way of thinking and perception and build up another world.

 

Secondly, we can, however implicitly, read in the quoted passage that the Story of Creation is totally different from the Christian one. It might be useful to give a moment’s thought to the fact that ‘The Course’ seems to argue more rigorously than Christianity does. Driven and moved by the suffering in the world, ‘The Course’ says that this world cannot be created by a God, who is love and peace. And for the seemingly effective presence of suffering, ‘The Course’ has a reading as well as an explanation that suffering resulting from evil does not really exist, but that this illusion is the product of our minds. Christianity has a less rigorous, less logical view on this. On the one hand it says that there is a good reason for our worldly existence, an existence that is definitely not of a divine, but of a natural and finite nature, an existence we can enjoy and have faith in. We may have trust in the meaningfulness of the ordinary aspects of our lives. On the other hand, says for example the Dutch theologian H.M. Kuitert, the world as created by God also knows evil, bitterness and horror without an equal. The creation is good, says the Christian, but at the same time it is impossible to say this about everything that exists. Some theologians call this ‘the bitter mystery of a good creation’. Is this logical? No, definitely not. But it does correspond to the more human experience of the mystery and the ambivalences that belong to life.

This can be illustrated by the vision on man. To ‘The Course’ ‘man’ is an ego, characterized by guilt, fear and sin and that is all the result of our own mental vision, namely that we are literally unique, separate human beings. Characteristic of Christianity is that every human being is at the same time a holy creature and morally fallen; in the language of the Reformation: and justified, and sinner: simul iustus et peccator. This is an impossible thought in ‘The Course’. It is also not logical, it says that every human being is a mystery and that we can leave the unsolvable unsolved in the end. However, it does express some of the realistic ambivalences we sometimes experience. These ambivalences occur for example when we take a closer look at the life of a horrible criminal and we, shockingly enough, also discover a human side to him. Or the other way around: when we discover dubious aspects of our own character or of the people we are close to or of other seemingly friendly, civilised people. These kinds of ambivalences are not recognized by ‘The Course’. And this is exactly what makes the book so ‘uncanny’, because it is constantly trying to prove that suffering and evil are but illusions. It is so vigorously fighting something that is really not even there, that you cannot but conclude that behind all the optimism an obsession with this suffering lurks.

 
 

Merciless

The logic of ‘The Course’ does not only render the book ‘uncanny’, it also makes it merciless. How can this be? Is the message of ‘The Course’, compared to Christianity, not uncommonly optimistic and humanitarian? After all, everybody can make the quantum-leap to a life full of peace, love and harmony (T. 75 en passim). The possibility of happiness lies within ourselves. And this is on first sight totally different from Christianity, which says that perfection is not possible and that the true realization of what an individual is, does not come from outside, literally not in this time, but it has to be granted to us. It is a belief, it has to be said, that may result in a suppressing ideology – something that the history of Christianity shows in abundance. However – and this has to be said as well – it is also a belief which may result in the consoling thought that we do not have to give meaning to everything in life and that there are – in simple words – things that we cannot and do not have to make sense of. It is indeed so that the message of ‘The Course’ appears to be optimistic and humanitarian. But if you take a closer look you may come to the conclusion that the road to happiness is superhumanly heavy. According to ‘The Course’ we are all separate egos and we should first deal with our own guilt and fear, something which will only arouse even more guilt and fear (T.53). Wapnick says that we have to go through – an of course ostensibly – horrible oppression (cf. T. 394, W.375v.) Nobody can escape, according to Wapnick, an increase of feelings of guilt and fear, when he or she decides to throw in one’s lot with ‘The Course’.

You may think that this is rewarded handsomely in the end! However, it is questionable if this end can humanly be reached. The same Wapnick also stresses that he has trouble believing the students who claim that they have gone through ‘The Course’ without much difficulty. He says – some call him the ‘pope’ of the movement – that ‘The Course’ is nothing less than a rarely completed, lifelong task. The book is extremely demanding, which is in essence also logical. We have to remind ourselves that ‘The Course’ says things two things at the same time. On the one hand the book repeats over and over again that all experiences of suffering and misery, within and outside us, are the result of suffering that we subject ourselves to. That is de facto an exceptionally heavy accusation to each of us. On the other hand, however, ‘The Course’ does tell us that each and every one of us has the capacity to see through the suffering and get rid of it. It is exactly this combination that imposes us with a truly frightening responsibility. Imagine: every time we fail on the road to happiness, and of course we will fail a number of times, we will have to blame ourselves and only ourselves. And this is what we may call merciless.

 
 

The Idea

What idea do we now have of ‘The Course’? This: what we encounter in ‘The Course’ and the movement around it is an old religious ideology that is at the same time new. The impetus to the ideology is sincere and authentic. The followers are deeply touched by the evil and suffering in the world.

However, this sensitivity has become so strong that it brings them to the conviction that everything is suffering. Then they risk resembling those people, as the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer described them in his prison-letters, namely people who first bring man to despair, so that he believes his luck to be his bad luck, his health as sickness and his courage to face life as despair. The most remarkable aspect of ‘The Course’ is the paradoxal effort to teach us how to view the apparently omnipresent evil and suffering as non-existent. This may be called the totalitarian desire (on a spiritual level) to deny the ambivalences of life, to deny the possibility that it might not always be possible to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil.

 

‘The Course’ claims that Truth exists and that it is in principle possible for human beings to know Truth. To quote from the preface to the book: Truth is ‘unalterable, eternal and unambiguous.’ So the religious ideology of ‘The Course’ is one that is far removed from Christianity. When it comes to the ‘last things’ and evil, Christianity accepts the fact that it is of the utmost importance to realize that life will remain a mystery and that some things cannot be rationally solved.

Many students of ‘The Course’ consider themselves people who have bid farewell to or have abandoned the burden and pressure of a church-oriented Christianity. But what has replaced this? A religious ideology that in the form of an extremely optimistic view on man, places an incomparable greater burden and pressure on the individual. It is the burden of creating life ourselves. Paradoxically by letting go of our own ego, but nevertheless with our own strength and potential. The pressure results from the realization that we have to blame ourselves for every second that we have not reached complete happiness. This all renders ‘The Course’ in my opinion ‘uncanny’ and merciless. So: what should we think about this development to a ‘new-old ideology’? These words come to mind: bewildering and sad.

 
 

Notes

1) References to the texts of ‘The Course’ will be rendered by a letter, followed by page number(s): T refers to ‘The Text’, W. refers to ‘Workbook for Students’, and M. refers to ‘Manual for teachers’.

2) This may lead to the following profound question: Why is it that we, human beings, have created a world which may in fact be an illusion, but is an illusion – ‘The Course’ emphasizes this time and again – that hurts tremendously and is purely negative? ‘The Course’ does not offer an answer to this question. Only once, in an often quoted passage does ‘The Course’ mention that ‘Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh (T.586). Because of that instance of forgetting, the illusion of this world came into being, in essence a world of evil. Strictly speaking this image could mean that this world’s foundation does indeed incorporate God. However, this is not in agreement with the ideology. In fact, the refusal of ‘The Course’ to answer the question of what it is that forms the foundation of the ideology, is logical and consistent, to the point that it is horrifying. An answer to the question may after all mean that it is possible for people to attain knowledge about the origin of the world and evil. But in the ideology this would only augment evil. This way we have to consider the passage of the laughter of the Son of God as didactic encouragement. Many times it is repeated that our original state is one of love, peace and laughter and that we should learn to laugh about it, about our ego and about all the illusions of which we suffer. Everyone that has ever had anything to do with New Age must have noticed how special the role of laughter is in these circles. It calls into mind the ‘enlightened’, the ‘pneumatic’ who benignly smiling, look down from the heights of their wisdom on the ignorant, those who are attached to the material world.

3) This is the state which ‘The Course’ says she wants to lead the student to. Naturally the book does not really offer this knowledge, as it is also tied to language and material manifestation (T. 396).

4) By the way, Williamson does not say anything about the real ‘heavy’ beliefs of ‘The Course’. She does not mention Jesus Christ as ‘The Voice’ for instance, too controversial perhaps.

5) The American scholar Catherine L. Albanese has the same sort conjecture when it comes to New Age in general. However, she approaches it from a different angle. She talks about a sort of ‘conspiracy of optimism’, an optimism that expresses itself in ‘The Course’ in the belief that all suffering is au fond an illusion. This is constantly repeated and with such ardour that one may suspect a hidden preoccupation with guilt, a symbol of all negative feelings, beliefs and observations: ‘Original sin lurks at the borders of the new fields and lands. Guilt, obligation… peek through the new spiritual wool and flax in the fields.’

 
 

Bibliography

C.L. Albanese, ‘Fisher Kings and Public Spaces’, in: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May 1993, 131-143.

E. Babbie, ‘Channels to Elsewhere’, in: Th. Robbins/D. Anthony ed., In Gods We Trust: New Patterns of Religious Pluralism in America (Second Edition), New Brunswick (USA)/London: Transaction Publishers 1991, 255-268.

A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, New York/London etc.: Penguin-Viking/Foundation for Inner Peace 1996.

W.J. Hanegraaff, ‘Channelling-literatuur: Een vergelijking tussen de boodschappen van Seth, Armerus, Ramala en “A Course in Miracles”‘, in: Religieuze bewegingen in Nederland 22 (1991) 9-44.

Id., New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought, Utrecht: Diss. Utrecht University 1995.

H. Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, Boston: Beacon Press 1963.

H.M. Kuitert, Het algemeen betwijfeld christelijk geloof, Baarn: Ten Have 1992.

J.P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue, Grand Rapids (USA)/Cambridge (U.K.): Eerdmans 1998.

D.P. Miller. The Complete Story of the Course, Berkeley: Fearless Books 1997.

K. Wapnick, A Talk Given on A Course in Miracles, Roscoe: Foundation for A Course in Miracles 1989.

Id., Absence from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A Course in Miracles, Roscoe: Foundation for A Course in Miracles 1991.

Id. ed., Concordance of A Course in Miracles: A Complete Index, Mill Valley: Foundation for Inner Peace 1995.

A.S. Weiss, ‘A New Religious Movement and Spiritual Healing Psychology Bases on A Course in Miracles’, in: A. Greil/Th. Robbins ed., Religion and the Social Order (Volume 4: Between Sacred and Secular: Research and Theory on Quasi-Religion) Greenwich (USA)/London: Jai Press 1994, 197-215.

M. Williamson, A Return to Love, New York: Harper Collins 1993.

 

 

ACADEMIC

A Course In Miracles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Course_in_Miracles
EXTRACT

A Course in Miracles (also referred to as ACIM) is a self-study curriculum which aims to assist its readers in achieving spiritual transformation. The book describes a non-dualistic philosophy of forgiveness and includes what are meant to be practical lessons and applications for the practice of forgiveness in one’s daily life. The introduction to the book contains the following summary: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.

While there is no author clearly listed for the book, Helen Schucman in fact wrote down the book with the help of William Thetford, based on what she called an “inner voice” which she identified as Jesus. This edition, the most recent copyrighted one, is published by the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP), the organization chosen by Schucman for this purpose. It consists of preface, text, workbook for students, manual for teachers, including clarification of terms, and two supplements. Kenneth Wapnick and Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) was awarded the copyright to this edition after the original copyright was overturned. This edited version earned copyright status since it derives from the original manuscript as edited by Wapnick. FIP reports that two million volumes of A Course in Miracles have been published and disseminated worldwide since it first became available for sale in 1976. Additionally, the book has been translated into nineteen different languages with eight new translations underway.

There is currently one “un-copyrighted”, published edition of “A Course in Miracles” that contains the writings that Helen Schucman had scribed. It is published by A Course in Miracles Society [CIMS] and consists of forward, introduction, text, workbook for students, and manual for teachers. It is the manuscript that was retyped three times by William Thetford and Helen Schucman. They had divided the Text into chapters and sections and had given titles to each, and they had removed a great deal of material from the early chapters, material they believed was meant for them personally, not for the ‘Course’. This is the manuscript that is published by CIMS.

When Schucman experienced some personal difficulties and hesitance after hearing the voice, Bill Thetford, her work supervisor and friend, contacted Hugh Lynn Cayce (son of the celebrity psychic Edgar Cayce) at his Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, Virginia to seek his advice and counsel. Schucman later met with Cayce before she began to record the Course.

Kenneth Wapnick was a clinical psychologist who directed a school for disturbed children and served as chief psychologist at Harlem Valley State Hospital from 1967 through 1972. In 1972, Wapnick left his Jewish faith and converted to Catholicism so he could become a monk. Fr. Benedict Groeschel, a priest and a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, who also had a doctorate in psychology, heard of Wapnick’s conversion, which interested him, and so they met.

Groeschel, who studied under Thetford and worked with Schucman, arranged an introduction of Wapnick to Schucman and Thetford in November 1972. In 1973, Schucman and Thetford presented the third draft of the complete manuscript to Wapnick and Groeschel. Wapnick subsequently became a teacher of the Course, co-founder and president of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM), and a director and executive committee member of the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP). Groeschel’s only known responses are sharply critical.

Since it first became available for sale in 1976, over 2 million copies of A Course in Miracles have been sold worldwide and the text has been translated into sixteen different languages. A Course In Miracles (ACIM) is widely distributed globally, forming the basis of a range of organised groups. The teachings of A Course in Miracles have been supported by commentators and authors such as Eckhart Tolle. However, due to ACIM’s claims to “clarify” or even supersede some of the teachings of orthodox Christianity, the book has been judged negatively by some Christians.

Although a friend of Schucman, Thetford, and Wapnick, Benedict J. Groeschel has since criticized ACIM and the related organizations. Finding some elements of the Course to be what he called, “severe and potentially dangerous” “it has . . . become a spiritual menace to many.”

Other Christian authors, such as evangelical Bob Larson, have similarly criticized A Course In Miracles, saying it contradicts basic tenets of Christianity, twisting its core teachings and “deceiving people who are sincerely looking for God.” Larson also criticizes ACIM popularizer Marianne Williamson personally, saying that her work on behalf of ACIM denies “essential qualities of faith” such as guilt and forgiveness, and necessitates the Biblically forbidden practice of transpossession mediumship.

Evangelical editor Elliot Miller says that Christian terminology employed in ACIM is “thoroughly redefined” to resemble New Age teachings. Other Christian critics say ACIM is “intensely anti-Biblical” and incompatible with Christianity, blurring the distinction between creator and created and forcefully supporting the occult and New Age world view.

Theologian Anton van Harskamp notes that the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles is inconsistent with that of Christianity in that its “story of creation is totally different from the Christian one“. Accordingly to van Harskamp, in looking at “the suffering in the world, ‘the Course’ says that this world cannot be created by a God.” In the Christian conception “creation is good” “but at the same time it is impossible to say this about everything that exists.”

Despite the high level of criticism that ACIM has received from many Christian theologians and authors, other theologians, both Catholics and Protestants, including Evangelicals, have given ACIM high marks and “glowing endorsements”. In summary, ACIM’s reception among Christian theologians has been quite mixed and has been by no means uniform or monolithic.

 

 

 

The Web Site of “A Course In Miracles – Foundation for Inner Peace”: http://acim.org/

 

“A Course In Miracles”
centers:
http://www.fearlessbooks.com/ACIMResources.htm

 

An Exclusive Interview with Marianne Williamson

http://www.peopleandpossibilities.com/marianne.html

Marianne Williamson www.marianne.com is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. She is a native of Houston, Texas and has been lecturing professionally on spirituality and new thought since 1983.

Veronica Hay is the author of “In a Dream, You Can Do Anything” – An extraordinary collection of writings that will uplift you, motivate you, inspire you, and gently guide you along the inner path of your life.

Veronica: Marianne, I understand your work is based on the ideas in a self study program of spiritual psycho-therapy called A Course in Miracles. A Course in Miracles is not a religion, but a psychological training in the relinquishment of a thought system based on fear, and the acceptance instead of a thought system based on love. In your book, Return to Love you state that fear is the root of all evil. It is the problem with the world and fear seems more real than love. Could you talk about that?

Marianne: We have been programmed by a fearful thought system for millions of years. Any time we read a newspaper or take any look at the world around us, we are aware of the cruelty and violence that dominates our world. It is so pervasive that it is easy to forget that the fearfulness of the world reflects the fear in our mind. A Course in Miracles trains us to look for peace not in the world, but in our own heart, and in doing so, we become contributors to the healing of the world.

Veronica: A Course in Miracles likens us to sunbeams thinking they are separate from the sun, or waves thinking they are separate from the ocean. Just as the sunbeam can’t separate itself from the sun, and a wave can’t separate itself from the ocean, we can’t separate ourselves from one another. So, why do so many of us feel so isolated and separated from one another instead of connected?

Marianne: The Course says that “illusions are as powerful in their affects as is the truth” and in this three dimensional reality, the illusion of the physical world is very powerful. We think that because we dwell inside our bodies that we are separate from other people who dwell inside theirs. Because our consciousness is tied to the physical manifestation of reality, we are tied to the belief in separation. The transformation from body identification to spirit identification is the purpose of our lives.

When we begin to see each other through what the metaphysician calls, the third eye, we begin to know each other on a level that is beyond what our physical eyes can see. A mother can unite so wonderfully with her child and the level that separates them is as nothing. The same can be true of course for lovers and friends. All we are talking about here is getting to the point where everyone has that experience of oneness with everyone all the time. It is not easy, but one day it will be.

Veronica: That kind of relates to my next question. You say there is only one of us here, and what we give to others, we give to ourselves, and what we withhold from others, we withhold from ourselves. So, the very thing we want someone else to do for us, is what we should do for them?

Marianne: As the Course in Miracles says, an idea doesn’t leave its source. So, what I think about you, I will not be able to escape thinking about myself, and what I do to you, I will not be able to escape experiencing myself. It is not so much a matter of should, as it is a matter of intelligent understanding of how consciousness operates.

Veronica: When we get down to feelings, do you mean that if we want someone to give us flowers, if we give them flowers, we will experience that same feeling back?

Marianne: Well, what the Course in Miracles says is that if you give to a person, the form of good that you receive in return may or may not be the form that you had in mind, and your attachment to the form of the result is in fact part of what you want to heal. When you understand spiritual law, then you realize that everything you give, good or bad, will in fact come back to you tenfold and that’s just the way it is. You give someone flowers and the person you are ultimately giving to is yourself.

I also remind you of the spiritual principal, virtue is its own reward. At the highest level of awareness, the greatest gift given and received when you give someone flowers is the joy of living a life based on love.

Veronica: Love isn’t love until it is unconditional. How is it possible to love everyone unconditionally, to love for example someone who has hurt you deeply, either physically or emotionally?

Marianne: Well, it certainly isn’t an easy thing to do. But an important point is that there are those who have achieved that level of enlightened love, and the purpose of our lives is to try our best to become like them. It is not a race. It is just a process.

Veronica: So, it is our intention that is important?

Marianne: Yes, our intention to be like those who have gone before us, who have attained that level of enlightenment, and who now show the way. That intention, that commitment, that focus, is what matters. It is nice to temper that commitment and focus with a nice sense of humour of course and it is extremely important not to take ourselves too seriously. On the other hand, you do what you can do. While enlightenment is not a weekend seminar, when we work at forgiveness, we certainly find ourselves more healed and whole than we were before we did the work.

Veronica: Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it. Can you explain that?

 

Marianne: Jung said, “The psyche is in inexorable drive for balance.” To me, that indicates the action of God’s spirit within us, the fact that it is built into our consciousness, that we are on a path of evolution and that the universe is always nudging us in the direction of a higher life. Clearly, not everyone is in conscious touch with this, but not everyone has conscious knowledge of how their lungs operate either.

Veronica: I’d like to talk about a subject that seems to affect a lot of people these days with the large number of layoffs and the current economic situation, and that is work. In your book, Return to Love, you say, “Do what you love. Do what makes your heart sing. And never do it for the money. Don’t go to work to make money; go to work to spread joy. Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and the Maserati will get here when it’s supposed to. Think of your work as your ministry. Make your career an expression of love in service to mankind. ”

For a lot of people, this seems impossible. It would require an enormous amount of trust. I have seen people do work they hate and make a lot of money. I have seen people do work they love and starve. I have seen people do both. What is the secret of success here?

Marianne: The secret of success is to realize that the crisis on our planet is much larger than just deciding what to do with your own life, and if the system under which we live – the structure of western civilization – begins to collapse because of our selfishness and greed, then it will make no difference whether you have $1 million dollars when the crash comes or just $1.00. The only work that will ultimately bring any good to any of us is the work of contributing to the healing of the world. The prayer has to be, “Dear God, how can I help this world through this very difficult time of transition, through this urgent crisis?”

Veronica: You have also stated, “When I first began my career as a lecturer, doing my best to make a positive difference in my community, I often heard people say, “Isn’t she nice!” But as my work became visible to a larger public, the same work done the same way and with, if anything, even greater dedication, drew cries of “Who does she think she is?”

Marianne: Boy is that the truth!

Veronica: And you continued to state, “I have never received the criticism for failure that I have for success, and it is clear to me that people in our society at least unconsciously hold the conviction that someone else’s success limits their own, makes them lesser, and puts a permanent lid on their own chances. The world believes in finite resources and in everybody’s guilt. As long as we adhere to these pernicious beliefs we will not only fail to let others shine, but we will never be able to allow ourselves to shine fully either.”

I have found this to be true. It just seems that there is so much of it out there. The other day I was watching the television show, 60 Minutes, and they were talking about President Clinton’s new health care proposal and this fellow was talking about how there just are not enough resources to go around. There aren’t enough hospitals and doctors and everything to handle all of the United States. There just isn’t enough of the world’s “good stuff” to go around.

Marianne: Well, there isn’t! Because the world as it is perceived by most people, is a world of finite resources. To the extent to which we believe in this world, we are heir to the laws which rule this place. Jesus was able to do the miracle of the loaves and the fishes because he realized that he was not a being of this world. When we realize that we are not beings of this world, we are freed from being at the effects of those laws.

If we look merely to the world for answers this will merely increase our fear. If we come to see that this world does not have the final word, then we open our mind and therefore our entire lives to experience the possibility of infinite possibilities.

 

A Course In Miracles with Tara Singh

http://www.aromatherapygoddess.com/tarasingh.html



One of the most highly regarded teachers of A Course In Miracles, Tara Singh derives his deep appreciation for the Course from his own direct experience with its Scribe, Dr. Helen Schucman, with whom he had daily contact during the last two years of her life.
Tara Singh draws inspiration from the wisdom of the East and West, from the Vedas to Emerson, and from his association with world figures including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Eleanor Roosevelt and J. Krishnamurti.
Born in India, Tara Singh lived in the Himalayas as an ascetic monk, in Central America and Europe before coming to the United States in 1947. In New York he met J. Krishnamurti and became his life long student. Krishnamurti imparted eternal principles to guide his life.

Following three years study of Yoga in India he spent five years in silent retreat in Carmel, California. At the end of his silence he came across A Course In Miracles. He was able to meet its Scribe Helen Schucman, and it was she who insisted he do workshops on A Course In Miracles.
In 1993 Tara Singh established the Joseph Plan Foundation. Its purpose is to help meet basic human needs and to awaken people to the joy of service.

 

 

 

New Age: Details about ‘A Course In Miracles’

http://www.new-age-guide.com/new_age/a_course_in_miracles.htm

 

Oprah Winfrey is offering the Controversial New Age “A Course In Miracles”

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/oprah-miracles.htm

According to both Oprah Winfrey’s and Marianne Williamson’s websites this daily one hour radio program through Oprah and Friends Radio on XM satellite radio went on the air January 1, 2008.
It is a one-year show based on A Course in Miracles. Winfrey’s web site describes the program as “a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy contained in three books. It is not a religion, but rather a psychological mind-training base on universal spiritual themes.”
Marianne Williamson is a popular lecturer who has authored several books and promotes “A Course in Miracles.”
A Course In Miracles first came out in 1976. Psychologist Helen Schucman describes herself as the “scribe” of the book rather than the author. She said that she and fellow psychologist William Thetford “scribed” the book from an “inner source.” Schucman has said that it was channeled to her by Jesus Christ.
The course of teachings makes frequent reference to Jesus and uses Christian terminology, but many Evangelical Christian teachers and apologists regard it has heretical. 
The text of this eRumor is from an article written by Warren Smith, a former new ager who was a devotee of A Course in Miracles and who is now an Evangelical Christian.
In March, 2008, a video began circulating widely on the Internet that used some similar material as in the forwarded email version.


Among the statements in the video include: 

“Who you are requires no belief.”
This is a quote from Eckhart Tolle a featured guest of Oprah’s. He is the author of the book The Power of Now.

“Heaven is not a location but an inner realm of consciousness.”
This, too, is an Eckhart Tolle quote from his book A New Earth. 

“The man on the cross is an archatypel [sic] image, he is every man and woman.”
This is described second-hand as a Tolle quote, but we have not confirmed that.

“My mind is part of God’s, I am very holy, my holiness is my salvation and my salvation comes from me.”
One of the lessons in A Course of Miracles is titled “My Holiness is My Salvation.” The statement “My salvation comes from me. It cannot come from anywhere else” is a quote from the Course of Miracles (workbook, lesson 70).

“There is no sin.”
This is a quote from A Course in Miracles. “The exercises teach sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will never happen, for it has no cause. Accept Atonement with an open mind, which cherishes no lingering belief that you have made a devil of God’s Son. There is no sin. We practice with this thought as often as we can today, because it is the basis for today’s idea.” Workbook, lesson 101.

“Do not make the pathetic error of clinging to the Old Rugged Cross.  The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross.”
This too is from A Course in Miracles. “Do not make the pathetic human error of “clinging to the old rugged cross.” The only message of the crucifixion was that we can overcome the cross. Unless you do so, you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. But this is not the gospel I intended to offer you.” Chapter 4, The Root of All Evil.

 

A Course in Miracles (ACIM)

http://www.skepdic.com/cim.html

All you need is love … love is all you need. -the Beatles

A Course in Miracles [ACIM] is the name of a book, allegedly dictated by Jesus to Helen Schucman (1909-1981), a research psychologist. ACIM is Christianity improved: Jesus wants less suffering, sacrifice, separation, and sacrament. He also wants more love and forgiveness.

ACIM is a minor industry. To find out what Jesus really had in mind when he came to save the world, you can buy ACIM or one of a dozen similar books from the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP). About 1.5 million copies of ACIM were sold worldwide between 1976 and 2002. FIP also sells audio and videotapes, and conducts workshops, seminars, and discussion groups. Its sister organization, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM), has an academy where you can get the Holy Spirit to help you understand the real message of Jesus. You may then return to your everyday life situation with a deeper appreciation for the difference between appearance and reality, illusion and truth. The academy is known as “The Institute for Teaching Inner Peace Through A Course in Miracles” (ITIP).

Why should anyone believe that the words of Helen Schucman are the words of Jesus? She was a clinical psychologist by training (she received a Ph.D. in 1957 from New York University). She claims that from 1965-1972 an inner voice dictated to her the three books that make up ACIM. She was assisted by a colleague, William Thetford (1923-1988). In 1972, another psychologist and his wife, Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick, assisted Schucman with her work. The Wapnicks are the ones who started FACIM.

Why is it called A Course in Miracles? According to Schucman, the voice said to her: “This is a course in miracles, please take notes.”1

 

 

ACIM got a big boost when Marianne Williamson,2 one of America’s most popular New Age spirituality writers, began promoting her version of it in the 1990s. The teachings of ACIM are not new. They have been culled from various sources, east and west. That does not make them false or worthless. But to claim that they were dictated by someone who has been dead for 2,000 years is a bit much to swallow. Did she really hear voices or didn’t she want to take responsibility for what she thought?3

 

Notes

1According to Joe R. Jesseph, Ph.D., Coordinator, Miracle Studies,

Essentially, in ACIM, the term “miracle” refers to that change of mind that makes it possible for the Love of God to be somehow expressed in the world. This expression of love is referred to as forgiveness in the Course and it is reasonably accurate to say that the miracle spoken of in the Course (and indicated in its title) is forgiveness.

2Williamson might be called Oprah’s patron saint. She’s all about love and healing, yin and yang, being wounded, and using love and prayer to heal all wounds. A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course In Miracles (1992) was number one on the Publishers Weekly non-fiction best-sellers list for eleven weeks. Williamson promoted her book and ACIM when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, an episode that received more pro viewer mail than any other show for 1992. She also plugged the book and the course when she was interviewed by Barbara Walters on the ABC television news show 20/20.

3If the former, I have nothing to add. If the latter, however, I must say that I am much more sympathetic to the approach of someone like Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998), another psychologist who taught love and forgiveness. He took responsibility for what he claimed and seemed to say: This is what I’ve learned; take it or leave it.

See also Edgar Cayce, The Celestine Prophecy, channeling, New Thought, and Ramtha.

 

A Course in Miracles

http://web.archive.org/web/20060829151944/religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/course.html

I. Group Profile

Name: A Course in Miracles

Founder: Helen Schucman

Date of Birth: 1909

Birth Place:

Year Founded: In 1965, Helen Schucman began hearing a voice that would later identify himself as Jesus. She and her colleague, William Thetford, scribed the conversations into a three volume series that was published in 1976 1.

Sacred or Revered Texts:
A Course in Miracles is the sacred text, which includes a text, a workbook for students, and a teacher’s manual.

Cult or Sect:

Negative sentiments are typically implied when the concepts “cult” and “sect” are employed in popular discourse. Since the Religious Movements Homepage seeks to promote religious tolerance and appreciation of the positive benefits of pluralism and religious diversity in human cultures, we encourage the use of alternative concepts that do not carry implicit negative stereotypes. For a more detailed discussion of both scholarly and popular usage of the concepts “cult” and “sect,” please visit our Conceptualizing “Cult” and “Sect” page, where you will find additional links to related issues.

Size of Group: Over 1 and a half million copies of The Course have been sold, and over 2,200 study groups now meet worldwide 2


 

II. History:

Helen Schucman was an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York 3. She had an interesting relationship with her colleague, Bill Thetford. When Schucman first saw Thetford she said to herself, “And there he is. He’s the one I’m supposed to help” 4. Schucman did not yet know what this help would be. “Helen and Bill were obviously drawn together, as if they both recognized on another level a purpose to their association greater than simply a professional one” 5. They became very close friends, but also had a very strained relationship. As Schucman recalled, “The relationship between Bill and myself deteriorated steadily. We had come quite interdependent, but we had also developed considerable anger towards each other” 6. As their relationship worsened, Schucman and Thetford desperately sought solutions to fix their problems. One day Thetford came to Schucman and said, “There must be another way” 7.

Schucman then began having strange visions and dreams. In the autumn of 1965, Schucman told Thetford she felt she was “about to do something very unexpected” 8. Thetford advised her to write down everything that was happening to her. In her first attempts, not much transpired. But then on October 21, 1965, a voice said to her, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes” 9.

This voice, claimed Schucman, was the voice of Jesus. Schucman recalled, “The voice made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid inner diction which I took down in a shorthand notebook” 10. Schucman began writing down everything the voice had to say. At first, the teachings were mixed in with material geared towards helping Schucman and Thetford with their own relationships and lives. Jesus instructed that these passages be removed, “as they were not meant for the general readership” 11.

 

 

It took seven years, but finally A Course in Miracles was complete. In the winter of 1972, Schucman and Thetford met Dr. Kenneth Wapnick through a mutual friend. He helped them edit the text and got it published through the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP.) In June of 1975, Schucman turned over the copyrights to FIP, and in June of 1976, the three-volume work, including the text, a workbook for students and a teacher’s manual, was published 12. Schucman and Thetford wanted to remain anonymous in their association with The Course because they feared they would lose their jobs, and they did not want to be made into gurus or cult figures 13. Ironically, neither Schucman nor Thetford ever identified with the teachings of The Course. For Schucman, ACIM “aroused tremendous anxiety” 14. Schucman openly admitted that she was unable to, “integrate the teachings into her own life” 15. Her own failure with The Course has led many people to doubt its relevance.

Since the book’s publication, over one and a half million copies of The Course have been sold and over 2,200 study groups have formed 16. From the FIP, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) was formed by Kenneth Wapnick in 1983. FIP remained primarily in charge of publishing ACIM, while FACIM focused on teaching it. The main campus is located in Roscoe, NY. It has lodging, dining, classrooms, a bookstore, and a library, as well as recreational facilities, including swimming, boating, tennis, badminton, volleyball, and hiking 17. In 1997, a West Coast branch opened in La Jolla, CA. The West Coast branch does not offer dining or lodging. FACIM founded the Institute for Teaching Inner Peace through A Course in Miracles (ITIP-ACIM), which is a credited teaching institution chartered by the New York State Department of Education 18. The ITIP-ACIM focuses on both study and application in teaching The Course. Its goals for their programs are for students to develop a deeper understanding of The Course
19.

The Miracle Distribution Center is another organization founded around the teachings of The Course. Founded by Beverly Hutchinson and her brother in 1978, the organization began as a four person operation, and has now grown into a networking center for people studying The Course
20. MDC serves several purposes: a networking center, an educational center, and a spiritual counseling center. As a networking center, it publishes a bi-monthly newsletter entitled The Holy Encounter, compiles a listing of study groups, and sponsors a pen-pal project to connect students from all over. As an educational center, MDC facilitates weekly study groups, hosts annual conferences, sponsors lectures, and provides a 24 hour phone service that gives daily lessons from the workbook. As a spiritual counseling center, it offers help through e-mail, mail, fax, and phone; prayers through the Miracle Prayer Ministry; and assistance through the Counseling Referral Service 21.

ACIM brought about other organizations, such as the Community Miracles Center, Miracles Counseling, and the Circle of Atonement. CMC “exists to provide supportive community relationships for A Course in Miracles students worldwide” 22. CMC began in 1987, and offers online study groups, a monthly publication, and links to many other ACIM resources. Miracles Counseling “is an online counseling service” 23. Their counseling is based on the principles of A Course in Miracles. The Circle of Atonement is a teaching and healing center located in Sedona, AZ. It is a non-profit organization that teaches ACIM through weekly study classes, workshops, seminars, correspondence courses, booklets, newsletters, and books 24.

The Course received a lot of publicity due to believers such as Marianne Williamson. Williamson is the author of A Return to Love, which is her reflections on The Course. She promotes The Course through lectures and even on TV, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show. Williamson preaches weekly to packed audiences. The majority of her followers are “guiltless baby boomers” and many were once involved in twelve-step programs 25. She also has many celebrity followers, earning her the nickname “Hollywood’s Guru” 26. She officiated at Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding, and has other celebrity followers such as Cher, Bette Midler, and Shirley MacLaine 27.

Williamson is an inspirational speaker, telling her followers, “Align your mind with God and watch the miracles happen” 28. Williamson believes the core teaching of ACIM, “is simply that God is love” 29.


 

III. Beliefs of the Group:

According to A Course in Miracles Homepage, “A Course in Miracles is a self-study spiritual thought system that teaches that the way to universal love and peace-or remembering God-is by undoing guilt through forgiveness” 30. This forgiveness is for others as well as oneself. The Course believes that only love is real, and that everything negative is merely an illusion of one’s mind, including the world. Our world is made up of our own ideas, and this becomes truth as we know it. The world we see is simply a figment of one’s imagination and realizing this leads to the ultimate truth: Heaven. The Course teaches that ego (not God) created the world. The world we see is illusional, and God does not know it exists 31. The Course stresses that it is not the only route people can follow, because “they all lead to God in the end” 32.

The Course refers to the illusionary view of the world as “ego” or “wrong-mindedness.” The ego has three parts: sin, guilt, and fear. Sin is “the belief that we have separated from God”; guilt is having sinned; fear is the belief that one deserves punishment for one’s sins 33. Right-mindedness, on the other hand, occurs when one stops believing in the illusionary world and starts believing in God’s World. The Course describes darkness as wrong mindedness, and teaches the necessity to escape from darkness. The process has two steps: 1.) Recognition that darkness cannot hide; 2.) Recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could 34.

Followers of The Course believe that Jesus came to Schucman and presented The Course at that particular time for several reasons. These are outlined in the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) Homepage. These include:

The Necessity of healing the mind of the belief that attack is salvation; this is accomplished through forgiveness, the undoing of the belief in the reality of separation in guilt.

 

 

Emphasizing the importance of Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit as our loving and gentle Teacher, and developing a personal relationship with his Teacher.

Correcting the errors of Christianity, particularly where it has emphasized suffering, sacrifice, separation, and sacrament as being inherent to God’s plan of salvation 35.”

The Course is Christian in terminology, referring to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God, but its beliefs stray from the traditional ideals of Christianity 36. According to The Course, Jesus is one of many Christs, and we all have the possibility of becoming Christ. Jesus is, “an elder brother…entitled to respect for his greater experience” 37. The Course also differs from Christianity in its belief of Heaven. The Course believes that man has never really left Heaven; we are still there but simply in a dream from which we need to awaken 38. This process is atonement. The Course defines atonement as, “a lesson in sharing, which is given to you because you have forgotten how to do it” 39 . Unlike Christianity, The Course does not call for “worship, ritual, tithing, a formal church, conventional prayer, priesthood, hierarchy, or even a congregation” 40.

The Course defines terms in a different manner than usually defined in the English language. According to The Course, a miracle is “the change of mind that shifts our perception from the ego’s world of sin, guilt, and fear, to the Holy Spirit’s world of forgiveness” 41. The miracle occurs when we realize that the word is illusionary. The ego is the belief in the false self, that the world actually exists. Atonement is the way to, “undo the ego and heal the belief in separation,” and Jesus is the first person to complete this atonement 42. ACIM sees the body as a consequence of the mind and a device which is only used to help heal the mind 43. Death, according to The Course, is the “central dream from which all illusions stem,” and is the “symbol of the fear of God” 44. It goes on to add, “If God created bodies, death would be real” 45. But according to The Course, God does not create bodies.

The workbook serves to help students in their studies. “The purpose of the workbook is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world” 46. The workbook consists of 365 daily lessons, but one may choose to spend more than a day on one lesson. The lessons start out simple, but then build to more complex ideas. Lesson 1 states, “Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything” 47. The student then applies that idea to things around him, “this pen does not mean anything” 48.

The manual for teachers is a guidebook to help them enhance the students’ learning. It begins by describing the characteristics of ‘God’s Teachers’: trust, honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, defenselessness, generosity, patience, faithfulness, and open mindedness 49. The manual “is written in question and answer form and provides answers to some of the more likely questions a student might ask” 50.


 

IV. Issues and Controversies

Is it Christian?

The Course angers many Christians due to its contradictions with the Bible. One such contradiction is concerning Creation. The Course teaches that the world is an illusion created by man, whereas the Bible explicitly states, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and earth” 51.

Another big difference between The Course and The Bible is that The Course teaches that Jesus is not the only savior. According to The Course, “We don’t need a savior. Salvation is nothing more than right-mindedness. We are the source of our own salvation” 52. This belief obviously strays greatly from what Christianity teaches. Therefore, many Christians cannot accept The Course as legitimate. Christians argue that The Course is not a religion, “it is in reality nothing more than cloaked New Age philosophy lurking in the shadows waiting to spring on the unaware” 53. They are also resentful towards The Course because one of the purposes of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) is to correct, “the errors of Christianity” 54.

Many Christians are alarmed by the growing popularity of The Course. “A growing number of Christians are being sucked into this whirlpool of spiritual confusion in which they exchange the truth for a lie,” writes one critic of The Course. He goes on to write, “It is unequivocally anti-biblical and it is without a doubt promoted by satanic deception” 55. A former Course believer, Moira Noonan, describes The Course as, “Satan’s mock-bible,” and also calls it a “course in brainwashing” 56.

One avid critic of The Course sums up his opinion, warning that, “It is a series of books and organizations whose existence every Christian should not only be aware of, but also have a biblical answer for, in order to refute its heretical teachings” 57.

 

Copyright Issues

Jesus advised Schucman and Thetford to copyright The Course, however, he “cautioned her against publicly associating her name with it” 58. At the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, they were told that a copyright could not be assigned to ‘Jesus’ or ‘Anonymous.’ They eventually decided to register the copyright in the name of Anonymous, followed by Helen Schucman. Helen then assigned the copyright to FIP 59. In 1999, FIP transferred the copyrights over to FACIM.

Several court cases have sprung up over the copyrights of ACIM. One such case involved Penguin Books (who publishes The Course) and Endeavor Academy in Wisconsin. Penguin sued Endeavor for copyright infringement. However, Endeavor Academy argues that Jesus wrote The Course, and therefore it is not copyrightable. Penguin responded that Helen Schucman, not Jesus, wrote The Course. Schucman simply used Jesus as “a symbol of the love of God,” and The Course is actually her words for the idea of the eternal love of God 60. Penguin’s response has an impact on students of ACIM because it challenges the authenticity of their beliefs. For some, the authorship is crucial to their relationship with it.

 

 

If it is not Jesus, their relationship to The Course would greatly change; words that come from Jesus himself are very powerful; words that come from Helen Schucman do not carry as much weight 61. Since an important aspect of The Course is developing a personal relationship with Jesus, it is crucial to understand if the words are coming from him or not 62.

Another such court case was filed by Robert Perry (of the Circle of Atonement) against FACIM. When copyrights were turned over to FACIM, FACIM sent letters to several organizations that used ACIM at the core of their groups and told them that any material making any use of The Course had to be submitted to FACIM for approval 63. FACIM denied Robert Perry permission to use excerpts from ACIM in his upcoming book. Perry then filed “a legal motion calling for a judge to ‘establish the right of COA to fairly use A Course in Miracles and other related works in its publications'” 64. FACIM filed a counterclaim for 52 infringing works. FACIM also filed suits against several other groups for copyright violations. Many of these suits are still pending. A website started by Tom Whitmore outlines the history of The Course’s copyright struggles. That website can be found at http://www.whitmorelaw.com/CIM_Copyright.html.


 

V. Links to A Course In Miracles Web Sites

A Course in Miracles Homepage
The official homepage for A Course in Miracles, including News, information about ACIM, catalog, and mailing list.
http://www.acim.org

Miracle Distribution Center
The Miracle Distribution Center is a learning center for students of The Course. Information on ACIM, including study groups, can be found here.
http://www.miraclecenter.org

Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Foundation for A Course in Miracles is an institute and retreat center located in Roscoe, NY that helps students with the teachings of A Course in Miracles. It also offers information on ACIM and links to other sites.
http://www.facim.org

Miracles Counseling
Miracles Counseling offers on-line counseling. Many links to various ACIM sites.
http://www.miraclescounseling.com

Community Miracles Center
The Community Miracles Center provides links to articles, book products, and group events.
http://www.miracles-course.org

Circle of Atonement
These web pages provide information about the Teaching and Healing Center, the resources the center provides, and about A Course in Miracles (ACIM). You will also find links to other ACIM sites around the world.
http://nen.sedona.net/circleofa

A Course in Miracles, Miracles Studies
This sight provides information and articles on A Course in Miracles.
http://www.thecourse.org.uk

Watchman Fellowship
An anti-cult sight that provides a Christian response to cults and new religious movements.
http://www.watchman.org


 

VI. Bibliography

Branch, Rick. “A Course in Miracles: Biblical Response to the Course.” Watchman Expositor 1996. http://www.watchman.org/corsein.html

Branch, Rick. 1996. “Another New Age Fraud: A Course in Miracles Denies All.” Watchman Expositor
http://www.watchman.org/corsebib.html

Bromley, David. 1994. “Between Sacred and Secular: Research and Theory on Quasi-Religion.” Religion and the Social Order, Vol. 4, Greenwich, CT: Jai Press Inc, 1994.

A Course in Miracles Combined Volume. New York: Viking Penguin, 1996. 2nd Ed.

Dalin, Shera. 1999.Book Helps People Find Love, Forgiveness.” St. Louis Post Dispatch, (9 January). Five Star Lift Ed; p 31.

Hryczyk, Edward. 1995. “A Course in Miracles.” Trinity Communications.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/NEWAGE/COURSE.txt

Holt, Patricia. 1993. “Exploring Women’s Spirituality.” The San Francisco Chronicle, (22 April). Final Ed; sec E, p5.

Knowlton, Leslie. 1993. “Divine Lessons in Study of Miracles.” Los Angeles Times, (18 April). Orange County Ed; part E, p1, col. 3.

Moran, Tracy. 1996. “A Course in Brainwashing.” EWTN Online Services.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/NEWAGE/BRAINWAS.txt

McNichol, Tim. “Women’s Message of the Moment?” USA Weekend, p10.

Perry, Robert. “Who Wrote A Course in Miracles? Part I.” http://nen.sedona.net/circleofa/whowroteI.html

Schwiesow, Deirdre. 1996. “‘A Course in Miracles’ Opened Up to the Masses.” USA Today (29 March). Final Ed; p9D.

 

 

 

Smilgis, Martha. 1991. “Mother Teresa for the ’90’s?” Time Magazine. (29 July) v138 n4 p60.

Wapnick, Kenneth. 1991. Absence From Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A COURSE IN MIRACLES. Roscoe, NY: Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

Wapnick, Kenneth, Gloria Wapnick, Judith Skutch Whitson, and Robert Skutch. 1992. “A Course in Miracles Comes of Age.” The Lighthouse, (Dec) Vol. 3, No 4.

Weiss, Arnold. 1994. “A New Religious Movement and Spiritual Healing Psychology Based on A Course in Miracles.” Religion and The Social Order. Vol. 4.

White, Cecile. 1992. “Her Crash ‘Course in Miracles’: God is Love.” The Houston Chronicle. (16 Feb) 2 STAR Ed; Lifestyle.

Wise, Russ. 1996. “A Course in Miracles, A Biblical Evaluation.” Probe Ministries.

 

Footnotes

1 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html
2 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html
3 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html
4 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence From Felicity p86
5 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence From Felicity p88
6 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence From Felicity p91
7 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/scribes.html
8 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence From Felicity p165
9 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/scribes.html
10 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/scribes.html
11 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence From Felicity p200
12 Watchman Fellowship http://www.watchman.org/corsfact.htm
13 Weiss, Arnold p198
14 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence from Felicityp381
15 Wapnick, Kenneth Absence from Felicityp382
16 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html
17 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org/maincampus.htm
18 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org/itip.htm
19 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org/itip.htm
20 Knowlton, Leslie “Divine Lessons in Study of Miracles”
21 Miracle Distribution Center Homepage http://www.miraclecenter.org/newoutline.htm
22 Community Miracles Center Homepage http://www.miracles-course.org
23 Miracles Counseling Homepage http://www.miraclescounseling.com/index2.htm
24 Circle of Atonement Homepage http://nen.sedona.net/circleofa/cofaoffr.html
25 Smilgis, Martha “Mother Theresa for the’90’s?”
26 Holt, Patricia “Exploring Women’s Spirituality”
27 McNichol, Tim “Women’s Message of the Moment”
28 White, Cecil “Her Crash ‘Course in Miracles’: God is Love”
29 White, Cecil “Her Crash ‘Course in Miracles’: God is Love”
30 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html
31 White, Cecil “Her Crash ‘Course in Miracles’: God is Love”
32 ACIM Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/what_it_is.html
33 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org/acim/theory.htm
34 A Course in Miracles Text p168
35 FACIM Homepagehttp://www.facim.org/vision.htm
36 Weiss, Arnold p199
37 Watchman Fellowship http://www.watchman.org/corseim.htm
38 Watchman Fellowship http://www.watchman.org/corseim.htm
39 A Course in Miracles Text p168
40 Weiss, Arnold p199
41 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org/acim/glossary.htm
42 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org/acim/glossary.htm
43 Weiss, Arnold p199
44 A Course in Miracles Teacher’s Manual p66
45 A Course in Miracles Teacher’s Manual p67
46 A Course in Miracles Workbook p1
47 A Course in Miracles Workbook p3
48 A Course in Miracles Workbook p3
49 A Course in Miracles Teacher’s Manual p9
50 A Course in Miracles Homepage http://www.acim.org/about_acim_section/intro_to_acim.html

 

 


51 Watchman Fellowship http://www.watchman.org/corsebib.htm

52 Hryczyk, Edward “A Course in Miracles”
53 Watchman Fellowship http://www.watchman.org/corseim.htm
54 FACIM Homepage http://www.facim.org
55 Probe Ministries http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/thcourse.html
56 Moran, Tracy “A Course in Brainwashing”
57 Watchman Fellowship http://www.watchman.org/corseim.htm
58 Wapnick et al “A Course in Miracles Comes of Age”
59 Wapnick et al “A Course in Miracles Comes of Age”
60 Circle of Atonement Homepage http://nen.sedona.net/circleofa/whowroteI.html
61 Circle of Atonement Homepage http://nen.sedona.net/circleofa/whowroteI.html
62 Circle of Atonement Homepage http://nen.sedona.net/circleofa/whowroteI.html
63 Miller, Patrick “The Course, the Copyright, and the Controversy: A Brief History” http://www.miraclecenter.org/miller.htm
64 Miller, Patrick “The Course, the Copyright, and the Controversy: A Brief History” http://www.miraclecenter.org/miller.htm

 

Helen Schucman (A Course in Miracles)

http://www.thetruelight.net/religions/helen_schucman.htm

By Mike Shreve, former yoga instructor

 

This book and the worldview it promotes resulted from a mutual decision between two Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City: Helen Schucman and William Thetford. They were professionals, working together in a highly academic setting, but by their own admission, their relationship was strained, full of anger and marred by aggressiveness. One day, William, the head of the department, announced that there must be a better way. Around June of 1965, they proceeded to seek it out.

Though at one time a professed atheist, Helen began receiving symbolic dreams and perceiving strange images. After several months, she felt compelled to write down her impressions, sensing what she felt was the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in her task. Over a course of seven years, Helen Schucman dictated to William what she felt the ‘Voice’ communicated to her. She claimed her source of inspiration was Jesus Christ. William typed the course, making it a collaborative effort. The book, A Course in Miracles, was published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. Helen Schucman died February 9, 1981. William Thetford passed away seven years later, July 4, 1988.

 

The Nature of Salvation, Liberation or Enlightenment

“Salvation is nothing more than right-mindedness.”1 “Never forget that the Sonship is your salvation, for the Sonship is your Self… Your Self does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is. You are not saved from anything, but you are saved for glory.”2

“When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. In understanding this you are saved.”3 “My salvation comes from me. It cannot come from anywhere else… Within me is the world’s salvation and my own.”4

Referencing Christian doctrine, Schucman insists “the crucifixion had no part in the Atonement.”5 Instead, when we forgive ourselves, when we receive forgiveness from fellow human beings, or when we extend forgiveness to others, we are participating in, and perpetuating, ‘the Atonement’. “Forgiveness is for God and toward God, but not of Him. It is impossible to think of anything He created that could need forgiveness. Forgiveness then is an illusion… a kind of happy fiction, a way in which the unknowing bridge the gap between their perception and the truth.”6

 

NOTES

1 Helen Schucman and William Thetford, A Course in Miracles (Tiburon, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1976) “Text”, p. 53.

2 Ibid., “Text”, p. 186.

3 Ibid., “Workbook for Students,” p. 118.

4 Ibid., “Workbook for Students,” p. 119.

5 Ibid., “Text”, p. 264.

6 Ibid., “Manual For Teachers,” p. 79.

JULY 2011



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