Spiritual Counterfeits |
Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Posted: September 30th. 2002
Times Viewed: 12,650
In the last part of this article I discussed Jack Roper's CARIS and Lou Sloat's TRCIN. Let's look at some more organizations specializing in acting as "misinformation resources," especially for law enforcement agencies.
Many of the resources used by those pushing the Satanic Conspiracy myth are organizations that exist to convince you that all religions other than Christianity are false and/or Satanic. One such organization on Roper's list is the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP), based in Berkeley, California. The Spiritual Counterfeits Project, founded in 1973, is a non-profit, charitable organization which bills itself as doing "research and publishing on new religious movements".(1) SCP has a telephone ministry called "Access" to answer queries and refer callers to "appropriate resource people"(2) and a web site (http://www.scp-inc.org/). Spiritual Counterfeits Project is under the leadership of Tal Brooke, a fundamentalist Christian author who has written several books, including When The World Will Be As One, The Other Side of Death and Riders of the Cosmic Circuit. Brooke has made appearances on KOMO TV's (Ch 4, Seattle, WA) "Town Meeting" and on the "700 Club".
The SCP publishes a free newsletter and the "SCP Journal" magazine. The SCP sells books, pamphlets and tapes which include works by the following fundamentalist Christian authors: Tal Brooke, Robert Burrows, M Albrecht, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, John Weldon and Clifford Wilson, David Fetcho, V Mangalwadi, Rabi Maharaj, Dr Ronald Enroth, Harold Bussell, Dr Walter Martin, James W Sire, John Ankerberg, J Isamu Yamamoto, D Halverson and Brooks Alexander. SCP also videos by Jeremiah Films, who I discussed in an earlier article in this series.
SCP's attitude towards Wiccans can be seen in the following statement by Stuart Chevre, an SCP correspondent:
"Witchcraft and Satanism have their roots in ancient Pagan religion and are now being promoted in the US as a legitimate form of religious practice. W.I.C.C.A. is one of the propaganda distributing organizations, composed of witches, pagans, satanists, and other of a similar spiritual orientation, whose goal is to gain credibility and respectability for themselves by influencing public opinion. They have been greatly aided in this endeavor by support received from various sectors within the New Age Movement".(3)
Here is the W.I.C.C.A. Letters myth again. Note how the SCP has turned this fictitious organization into an umbrella group which represents Satanists. Note also how they suggest that Wiccan and Pagan spiritual paths are not a "legitimate form of religious practice."
When I sent away to the SCP for materials on "witchcraft," they sent me the following materials:
- A brief bibliography of literature recommended by the SCP on Witchcraft. It lists:
- Escape From Witchcraft by Roberta Blankenship;
- B.O.O.K. (Beliefs Of Other Kinds) by the Dept of Interfaith Witness, Home Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention;
- The Devil's Alphabet by Kurt Koch, a fundamentalist Christian who was a prolific author used as a resource by most other Satanic Conspiracy myth believers;
- Fifty Key Words: Comparative Religions by Eric J. Sharpe;
- The Occult Explosion by Clifford Wilson; and
- Those Curious New Cults by William J. Petersen.
- CARIS's tract entitled "An Open Letter to the Witchcraft and Magical Community" by "warlock" Tom Sanguinet, whom I discussed earlier in this series.
- An extremely paranoid article dated 10 May 1986: "Satanism's Evil Aim To Overturn Society: Belief in Occultism Spreads." This was taken from the Sun Weekend newspaper in Melbourne, Australia. The article, by London reporter Elizabeth Grice, claims that Satanists are taking over Great Britain.
- An article from Vol 13, Issue 71, of Cornerstone Magazine: "Satanism in America." The author of this article was Eric Pement, one of the authors whose pamphlets SCP sells.
- An article from the S.C.P. Journal by Carl A. Raschke: "Satanism and the Devolution of the 'New Religions'." I will be discussing Rashcke and his article in a future article in this series.
The "SCP Journal" editor, Robert Burrows, makes the following statements in his introduction to Raschke's article:
"...The logic of it is easy enough to understand. A decadent culture that has turned its back on God will, in time, turn back to the gods of decadence. Such is the link between the culture and that most decadent of religions, Satanism. But what of the new religions? How do they fit in? Contrary to the propaganda cast abroad by the groups in question and their liberal supporters, the new religions are not always among the land's most upright citizens. There is a dimension of decadence and criminality among them that cannot be dismissed. It is this dimension which connects the new religions with the culture in general and with Satanism in particular. The relationship between the three, as Raschke points out, is one of devolution, a gradual and growing dissipation".(4)
What Burrows fails to see is that many Christian groups are, to use his words, "not always among the land's most upright citizens" either. By his reasoning then, they would be "Satanic" in nature too.
Burrows expands upon this theme later in his introduction:
"Satanism, the new religions, and decadent culture are not identical. But there is a socio-spiritual dynamic that binds them and confirms that they are of the same spiritual genus".(5)
However, having said this, Burrows tries to cover the holes in both Raschke's article and his own argument by stating:
"Out of concern for those involved and the ever present spectre of a lawsuit, names of key persons, specific organizations, and other relevant details have been concealed, not because of the sinister dimensions discussed are not real but precisely because they are".(6)
Thus we have another typical case of no names, no dates and no locations, rendering independent verification virtually impossible.
Tal Brook teamed up with Russ Wise to write an article, "Goddess Worship," for the Winter 1998/99 issue of the SCP Newsletter. The anti-feminist nature of this article is immediately apparent in the opening paragraphs:
"The goddess has returned. She who brought judgment on the hillsides of apostate Israel--the Ashteroth from Canaan whose altars were condemned by God--is being revered and embraced by today's followers of witchcraft, radical feminism, the occult, and increasingly, those in the liberal church. Neopagans look toward an idealized feminine age to heal the world. To them, the masculine age has been an age of destruction and broken relationships. But "feminine energies" promise to bring balance to the destructive aspects of the Piscean Age--so says this emerging myth.
"Rosemary Radford Ruether, in her Book Womanguides: Readings Toward a Feminist Theology, states to whom we must look for salvation in the new creed: "it is to the women that we look for salvation in the healing and restorative waters of Aquarius. It is to such a New Age that we look now with hope as the present age of masculinism succeeds in destroying itself." It is a gynocentric gospel.
"According to Starhawk, an author and well known self proclaimed feminist witch living in Berkeley, "the symbolism of the Goddess is not a parallel structure to the symbolism of God the Father. The goddess does not rule the world; She is the world."(7) In order for this feminine age to come into full fruition, a shift in consciousness must take place in the world, a shift in thinking that will bring forth the goddess(8).(2) Meanwhile, any religion must have a history."(9)
Brook and Wise then go on to summarize a historical view presented by feminist authors such as Lynnie Levy (Of a Like Mind), Zsuzsanna Emese Budapest (The Holy Book of Womwn's Mysteries), Gadon (The Once and Future Goddess), and Jean Shinoda Bolen (Goddesses in Everywoman), under the title "Historical Myth." This is followed by a section, "The Goddess and Witchcraft," in which Brook and Wise state:
"Now the goddess is being resurrected by post 1960's women all primed for social change. Leading the charge are the wiccans, practitioners of witchcraft. Salem, Massachusetts is having a recurrence of witchcraft but this time the culture is embracing their revival while it turns against the Christians. The goddess is out in the open.
"Wiccans consider the goddess as the giver of life. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., in her book Goddesses in Everywoman, remarks: 'The Great Goddess was worshipped as the feminine life force deeply connected to nature and fertility, responsible both for creating life and for destroying life.'
"Bolen goes on to say that 'the Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent,' prior to the coming of Christianity.
"Starhawk, the Berkeley based witch referred to earlier, says in her bestselling book The Spiral Dance, that 'the model of the Goddess, who is immanent in nature, fosters respect for the sacredness of all living things. Indeed, she is Gaia, the earth goddess. Because of that, witchcraft claims itself as a religion of ecology. It claims its goal is harmony with nature so that life may not just survive, but thrive.'
"And indeed, the environmental movement of our day is greatly influenced by wiccans and those who hold neopagan beliefs. Witchcraft promises to reintroduce the sacred aspect of the earth that was allegedly destroyed by the Christian world. They will heal the earth of all the problems that the biblical God and his followers caused."(10)
Here is that theme that we have seen surface several times in my Witch Hunts series: The idea that environmental movements are Satanically inspired. Brook and Wise go on to document how feminist leaders stress the importance of Goddess symbols as well as the importance of including the feminine side of divinity in spirituality. They quote Betty Sue Flowers, speaking at the International Conference on Women's Spirituality in Austin, Texas: "the goddess is a metaphor that reminds us of the female side of spirituality. Metaphors are important. You can't know God directly. You can only know images of God, and each image or metaphor is a door. Some doors are open and others are closed. A door that is only male is only half open."(11) Brook and Wise then begin a section on "The Goddess and Feminism." They state:
"To understand fully the implications of the women's spirituality movement, one only needs to read the pivotal literature on the subject. The editors of the book Radical Feminism state that, 'political and other institutions such as religion, because they are based on philosophies of hierarchical orders and reinforce male oppression of females, must be destroyed.'
"For that reason radical feminists believe that the traditional church must be dismantled. Naomi Goldenberg, in her book Changing of the Gods, states that "the feminist movement in Western culture is engaged in the slow execution of Christ and Yahweh. . . . It is likely that as we watch Christ and Yahweh tumble to the ground, we will completely outgrow the need for an external God." This is the language of war, in case you missed it... It is a war on men as well as a war on God. Little wonder that a large lesbian consensus steers the leadership of this movement. Mark Muesse, an assistant professor of religious studies at Rhodes College, sums up what should be obvious: "Some feminist Christians push for changes ranging from the ordination of women and the generic, non-sexual terms for God and humanity to overhauling the very theology.' (12)... The feminist movement calls the process "transformation." But it's really war. Catherine Keller, associate professor of theology at Xavier University says in her essay, "Feminism and the New Paradigm" that: "The global feminist movement is bringing about the end of patriarchy, the eclipse of the politics of separation, and the beginning of a new era modeled on the dynamic, holistic paradigm. Radical feminists envision that era, and the long process leading toward it, as a comprehensive transformation"(13)
Yes, the language being used by scholars like Goldenberg is certainly "the language of war," but it was fundamentalist Christians like Brook and the SCP who first coined the term "spiritual warfare" that we have seen them use so many times so far in this series.
Brook and Wise then introduce a section called "The Occult Twist." They speak of how people in Goddess oriented religions "awaken the goddess by invoking or inviting her presence. [emphasis in original] "(14) They quote Donna Steichen:
"The Goddess religion is a conscious attempt to reshape culture."(19) This reshaping is nothing less than viewing man and his understanding of reality from a female-centered perspective, the focus of which is on the Divine as female. Therefore considerable emphasis is placed on feminine attributes, ultimately focusing on eroticism and sexuality. "Women are clearly the catalyst for the formation of the new spirituality. It is women above all who are in the process of reversing Genesis . . . by validating and freeing their sexuality."(15)
Brook and Wise attempt to dismiss this by stating:
"Sodom and Babylon are the prototypes of this kind of societal revolution. Jungian psychotherapist John Weir Perry believes that 'both current psychology and ancient history point to an emerging transformation in our sense of both society and self, a transformation that includes redefining the notion of what it means to be men and women.' The revival of the goddess promises to bring a blunting of distinction between male and female while affirming bisexuality, lesbianism, homosexuality, and androgyny.
"If men and women were created as distinctive beings, male and female, according to biblical revelation, the rising occult influence seeks to end this 'tyranny' for wild new paradigms. And this will have consequences. Already growing numbers of churches are switching sides. The Bible warns, 'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.' In short, apsotasy [sic].(16)
It is interesting that they should be using Jungian psychology here to defend their homophobic claim that the feminist movement causes "bisexuality, lesbianism, homosexuality, and androgyny."
The next section is "The Goddess and the Church" which complains of the women calling for church reform and the recognition of women by the Christian church. They conclude:
"Churches have been embracing the New Age movement for some time now. Many already teach A Course in Miracles, Yoga, Silva Mind Control, Unity teachings, ad infinitum. They are primed to move on to the goddess and have nothing within to resist this movement. And it will not go away.
"We are told to 'test every spirit lest we become deceived.' The language of the goddess movement gives it away. It is a militant movement that cannot ever be appeased. It will grow like a contagion, not satisfied till it has excised the Biblical God, His testament and His people off the face of the earth. The rhetoric of this movement belies the various invented myths about its peaceful beginnings. Its proclamations are as bloodthirsty as the goddess Kali dancing on her beheaded victims. Its alters [sic] will be no different from those of Moloch in Canaan, where infants were presented to be burned alive. The goddess movement can only bring destruction to men, women, and society. Just listen to the language of Mary Daly and her sisterhood of stunted women turning to a kind of collective spirit of legion, not for healing, but revenge."(17)
[continued... Click HERE for page 2]
Article ID: 4718
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,808
Times Read: 12,650
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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