The Footprints of the Serpent: A Review Of The New Age Movement And Its Influence Upon Our Culture (III)

Test the spirits

Footprints of the Serpent

In the previous post it was pointed out that the altered state is a key to understanding the various phenomena, whether real or imagined, which occur in Hindu-occult practices. The correlation between these phenomena and that which takes place in drug-induced experiences has been well attested to. The following related experience is typical of what I mean:

When I first took acid [LSD], I took weak enough doses just to have fun and see colors and psychedelic patterns … but when I started taking really heavy doses, I entered into a relationship with some spirit being … I got a spirit guide.

After that, whenever I took psychedelic drugs, I was always guided by spirit beings. I had spirit beings showing me lessons, making diagrams right in front of me … One of the first times I took a strong dose of LSD, I had a lesson in astrology … I saw all the signs of the zodiac and how they related to the planets and how that affected my life…

I’d never read anything about astrology. Maybe I’d seen something in a paper, but I had no interest… Now I was awed; the whole thing was laid out in living color, big charts … information being printed right in front of me by spirit beings … I heard their voices, but I didn’t see any of them at that time.

On another LSD trip, the spirit guides taught me about Hinduism. I had never read anything about it. They taught me the highest Hindu vibration, OM. I saw the whole universe dissolve into vibrations and started seeing vibrations of energy coming out of phone wires, and the spirits showed me that everything came down to one basic vibration, the OM. I saw “vibes” in people.

I never talked to anyone about Hinduism in my life—didn’t have the vaguest idea about it. I lived in Woodlake, California. If there were ever any people into Hinduism in Woodlake before me, I never ran into them. I had quit high school and devoted my life to taking drugs… With spirits teaching me, I’d entered into a higher education… I thought this was really more worthwhile than just dull stuff in school.

One of my friends was taught transcendental meditation by spirits on an LDS trip. He never had any teaching from Maharishi. By the time he was 18, just following what the spirits had taught him during drug trips, he had reached Cosmic-consciousness.

Later on, we were heavily influenced by the Beatles. They had a record called “Revolver” that I’d heard but didn’t understand until I heard it again in about 1968 one time when I was stoned. The song was teaching meditation. It said. “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream, listen to the voices, are they not speaking…?” It was occult spirit beings guiding you into Cosmic-consciousness.

A lot of the stuff the Beatles put into their albums later on, like “Sgt. Pepper,” had all kinds of enticements to get kids into LSD. “Magical Mystery Tour” had a lot of Eastern mysticism in it. They encouraged LSD, and then later advocated Maharishi Mahesh Yogi after they’d quit taking drugs and gotten into TM. The Beatles, I think, were largely responsible for initiating hundreds of thousands of kids in the U.S. and England and Europe into the Eastern way of thinking…

The spirit beings didn’t say who they were … I would just hear voices (like the Beatles described) that would explain and teach, and I didn’t ever question who they were. I just figured this was the wisdom that was woven throughout the whole universe, that this was the Universal Soul that Jung talked about, that’s how it identified itself—as sort of a Universal Mind.

I accepted everything the spirits taught me because it had to be truth coming from the Universal Self. I began to believe that was what God was. I started to believe that God was the OM and that the universe was just maya, an illusion…

One of my friends left Woodlake to travel. He spent some time in a commune, where everyone was into Hinduism. When he returned, I told him what I’d been experiencing on drugs. He said. “That’s Hinduism!” After he explained some things, I began to realize that the spirits had been teaching me Hinduism. I accepted it as truth—I didn’t care what it was called.[28]

From what we know historically, there was an obvious connection between the rise of the drug culture and Eastern mysticism. But in the past, I had totally disregarded such testimony as given above. And, although I am still somewhat skeptical of the reality of the various events being described, in that Satan is real good at deception, I have now interviewed brethren who I consider to be completely trustworthy who have reported to me their strange and horrifying experiences while in the drug culture. Two of these individuals are now faithful gospel preachers. Both of them are of excellent character and are greatly respected for the lives they are now living in Christ Jesus. Although neither man knows the other, both related to me absolutely terrifying experiences they had while under the influence of hallucinogens. What they experienced is not as important as how they felt about what they experienced. This, I think, is a very critical point. Both said that the experiences they had, although different from reality, seemed very real. From what I have been able to learn about altered states, the “real but not real” experience is common to all such occurrences. One of the men did observe entities whom he thought were demons. Experientially, he still does not know whether these entities were real, albeit supernatural, or simply figments of his drug-induced imagination. But whether real or imagined, I’m thankful that both these men did not take the next step, which so many seem to take, into Eastern mysticism. Instead, they were able to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life in Jesus Christ. Consider, though, the testimony of one of many who took that next step:

I was a seeker looking for ultimate answers. My search began… In psychoanalysis… encounter groups and … psychedelic drugs.

I was particularly impressed by Timothy Leary’s book The Psychedelic Experience, which showed the relationship between LSD and mystical experiences of Tibetan Buddhist monks. That led me into Eastern mysticism.

I became interested in TM in 1967. It was very big in Berkeley, and many of my friends were getting into it. There were posters all over the town advertising TM as a way to bliss consciousness, relaxation, and one’s full potential.

I was looking for…answers to life. That was the main reason why I got into TM. And I did experience superficial results right away—relaxation and a euphoric feeling that would come and go.

Eventually I stopped taking pot, because in TM I experienced a “high” that was greater than on drugs. It wasn’t that TM “cured” me of drugs—it was the next logical step for which drugs had prepared me.

I became a TM teacher and had many supernatural experiences. Definitely it wasn’t just in my mind, because I didn’t even believe such things were possible until I experienced them.[29]

Regardless of whatever thoughts you may now be having, I think it will be interesting for you to consider Paul’s remark to the Corinthian brethren in his second letter to them where he said they needed to do certain things “Lest Satan should get an advantage of [them]: for [they were] not ignorant of his devices.”[30] Could it be that the twenty-first century Christian is ignorant of the many devices Satan still has at his disposal? Is it simply to be thought a mere coincidence that the Greek word translated “sorcery” in the King James Version is pharmakia, the same word from which we get the words “pharmacy” and “drugs”? Contrary to what many of us have thought, the drug problem has been around for a long time. Hallucinogens (such as psilocybin, derived from the “sacred mushroom”) have been used as sacraments for thousands of years in pagan religions. God, concerned about His creation, has repeatedly warned it to avoid sorcery (pharmakia). We must not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. In the beginning, the Serpent told Eve that she and her husband could be as gods, and he has been selling that lie ever since. But let’s consider another example before we conclude this section.

Shakti Gawain, an American who had written a best-selling book in those early days entitled Creative Visualization, is a New Ager who was very popular. Shakti (notice her use of the name of the female Hindu deity that represents “the Force”) mixed the sorcerer’s technique of imaging with Eastern meditation techniques and self-hypnosis and called it “Creative Visualization.” In a section in her book entitled “Meeting Your Guide,” she wrote:

Each one of us has all the wisdom and knowledge we ever need right within us. It is available to us through our intuitive mind, which is our connection with universal intelligence. However, we often find it difficult to connect with our higher wisdom. One of the best ways to do so is by meeting and getting to know our inner guide.

The inner guide is known by many different names, such as your counselor, spirit guide, imaginary friend, or master. It is a higher part of yourself, which can come to you in many different forms, but usually comes in the form of a person or being whom you can talk to and relate to as a wise and loving friend.

Here is an exercise to help you meet your spirit guide. If you wish, you can have a friend read this to you while you do the meditation. Otherwise, read through it first, close your eyes and do it.

Close your eyes and relax deeply. Go to your inner sanctuary [a place in one’s mind already created by previous techniques—AT] and spend a few minutes there relaxing, getting oriented. Now imagine that within your sanctuary you are standing on a path which stretches out into the distance. You start to walk up the path, and as you do so, you see in the distance a form coming toward you, radiating a clear, bright light.

As you approach each other you begin to see whether the form is a man or woman, how they look, how old they are, and how they are dressed. The closer they get the more details you can see of their face and appearance.

Greet this being, and ask him or her what their name is. Take whatever name comes to you first, and don’t worry about it.

Now show your guide around your sanctuary and explore it together. Your guide may point out some things that you’ve never seen there before or you may enjoy just being in each other’s presence.

Ask your guide if there is anything he or she would like to say to you, or any advice to give you at the moment. If you wish, you can ask some specific questions. You may get immediate answers, but if not, don’t be discouraged, the answer will come to you in some form later.

When the experience of being together feels complete for now, thank your guide and express your appreciation, and ask him or her to come to meet you in your sanctuary again. Open your eyes and return to the outside world.[31]

She concluded the section by writing:

… your guide may change form and even name from time to time. Or you may have the same one for years. You may have more than one guide at the same time.

Your guide is there for you to call on anytime you need or want extra guidance, wisdom, knowledge, support, creative inspiration, love or companionship. Many people who have established a relationship with their guide meet them every day in their meditation.[32]

By this time there is surely no doubt about Shakti Gawain’s Hindu/occultic beliefs. But just to make sure, I would like to quote her one more time:

Creative visualization is not just a technique, but ultimately it is a state of consciousness. It is a consciousness in which we deeply realize that we are the continuous creators of our universe and we take responsibility for that at all moments.

There is no separation between us and God: we are divine expressions of the creative principle on this level of existence. There can be no real lack or scarcity; there is nothing we have to try to achieve or attract: we contain the potential for everything within us.

Manifestation through creative visualization is the process of realizing and making visible on the physical plane our divine potential.[33]

Let me remind you once again of what Sir John Eccles said about the brain: The brain, said he, is “a machine that a ‘ghost’ can operate.”[34] When man enters into altered states (whether through drugs, hypnosis, yoga, transcendental meditation, or any other forbidden technique) and there comes in contact with demons, spirit (inner) guides, ascended masters or avatars, he has entered the world of the sorcerer and is walking in a world that has been forbidden mere mortals. This, of course, is the “promised land” of the New Age movement.

In her book The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson wrote: “A new world, as the mystics have always said, is a new mind.”[35] She also noted that in a survey she conducted of “Aquarian Conspirators,” more were involved in education than in any other single category of work.[36] With this in mind, consider the following:

Picture twenty-five normal first-graders peacefully lying in silence on their classroom floor. It’s not a fire drill or an air raid, but part of a new curriculum, the children are being guided through a meditation in which they are instructed to imagine the sun radiantly shining toward them. They are then told to gaze into its brightness without being hurt by the light. Next the children are asked to try to bring the sun down into their bodies and feel its warmth, power, illumination. “Imagine that you are doing something perfect,” the teacher commands, “and that you are perfect.” The children are told to see themselves as resplendent with light: they should feel at peace, for they are perfect. They “are reminded that they are intelligent, magnificent, and that they contain all of the wisdom of the universe within themselves.”[37]

According to Douglas R. Groothuis, an author who has written an excellent book on the New Age movement, this “exercise” actually took place in a Los Angeles public school. Beverly Galyean, designer of the meditation exercise, taught this so-called “confluent education” in a federally-funded program. Although verbal prayer to the one true God is now prohibited under penalty of law, Beverly Galyean was able to teach her Eastern religion under a federal grant. This is how she explained her philosophy:

Once we begin to see that we are all God, that we all have the attributes of God, then I think the whole purpose of human life is to reown [sic] the Godlikeness within us; the perfect love, the perfect wisdom, the perfect understanding, the perfect intelligence, and when we do that, we create back to that old, that essential oneness which is consciousness.[38]

Now is not the time for us to roll over and play dead. New Agers are determined to teach their ideas (and have been doing so for years now) to our children even if they have to smuggle their ideas into the classroom.[39]

In the next post in this series, you’ll learn how New Age thinking has probably touched you personally. In fact, you may have already heard it preached from the pulpit and not realized it.


28 Personal interview with Brad Green by Dave Hunt quoted in Dave Hunt, The Cult Explosion, 1980, pages 26-27.

29 Personal interview with Joan Harrison by Dave Hunt quoted in Dave Hunt, The Cult Explosion, 1980, page 10.

30 2 Corinthians 2:11.

31 Shakti Gawain, Creative Vusualization, 1978, pages 70-71.

32 Shakti Gawain, Op. cit., page 72.

33 Shakti Gawain, Op. cit., page 120.

34 Louis E. Rhine, Mind Over Matter: Psychokinesis, 1970, page 385.

35 Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, 1980, page 36.

36 Marilyn Ferguson, Op. cit., page 280.

37 Francis Adeney, “Educators Look East,” Spiritual Conterfeits Journal 5 no. 1(Winter), 1981, page 28 quoted by Douglas R. Groothuis, Unmasking The New Age, 1986, page 13.

38 Douglas R. Groothuis, Op. cit., page 14.

39 Mario Fantini, former Ford consultant on education, now at the State University of New York, said bluntly: “The psychology of becoming has to be smuggled into the schools.” Quoted in Marilyn Ferguson, Op. cit., page 281.

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