THE NEW AGE CONSPIRACY How certain elements of the Evangelical Christian movement sees Occ

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THE NEW AGE CONSPIRACY How certain elements of the Evangelical Christian movement sees Occult, Human Potential, Holistic and Pagan groups by Michelle Klein-Hass Editor, The Christian Hate Archives (XIANHATE.ARC, X-HATE2,3,4,5&6.ARC) This is a scenario that a lot of people believe is the future...a future foretold nearly two millenia ago by a old man in State-imposed exile on a deserted Greek island. The depravity of the world comes to a head, and all who are not believing Christians desert their belief systems and follow a man who identifies himself as the "True Messiah". His worship is promoted by a shady character that identifies himself as the Prophet of God. Both men turn out to be in truth in league with the devil, and start an anti-Christian holocaust. Jesus Christ comes back to save the day, the devil is bound for a thousand years, and the "Anti-Christ" and his "False Prophet" are thrown bodily into hell. Many believe that the book was an allegory of the times that spawned the book. Augustus Nero Caesar (which by the way when translated into Hebrew characters comes out numerologically as "Six Hundred Threescore and Six", or 666) began a massive pogrom against Christians, and later added Jews to his hit list after the Bar Kochba rebellion of 80 CE. His successors continued this "tribulation" until the mysterious conversion of the Emperor Constantine and his declaration that Rome was now to follow Christianity. At the time, slaves were marked with a brand either in the back of their right hands, their foreheads, their posteriors, or a combination of some or all. Also disease and famine were common, and Pompeii and Herculanium had just been buried in hot lava. But many Christians, especially those who believe that the bible is "inerrant", meaning "not errant, (having) no mistakes, infallible"(Webster's New World Dictionary 1966, College Edition,) believe that these events are yet to come. And quite a few play the game of looking for the signs of the "end times", as they call the events in Revelation, in everyday events. The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 is seen as a sign. The Atomic Bomb is seen as a sign. The dread disease A.I.D.S. is seen as a sign, and also as punishment for those that they consider behaving contrary to God's laws, like Gays, those that have sex outside of Christian marriage, and intravenous drug abusers. End times conspiracy buffs have seen the Anti-Christ in everyone from Henry Kissinger to James Baker (who suffered a head wound from a gunshot and lived to tell the tale, just as the Anti-Christ was supposed to have been "dealt a mortal wound (to the head) and yet his mortal wound was healed") to Mikhail Gorbachev, whom some devout Russian Orthodox believers (and Constance Cumbey, author of "The Hidden Dangers Of The Rainbow", one of the most influential "New Age Conspiracy" books) have identified as the Anti-Christ because of the port wine stain on the top of his balding head. My husband has a similar birthmark in the same place and nobody has (yet, anyway) accused HIM of being the Anti-Christ! When Benjamin Creme, a British scholar of Alice Bailey and of Theosophical writings by Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya (Helena Blavatsky, as she is more commonly referred to) and Annie Besant (of whom we will hear about later) announced to the world that "The Christ is now here" in newspapers around the world in 1982, the Evangelical Christian community sat up and took notice. Creme said that this man, whom he identified as Maitreya (the name that Gautama Buddha used for a future Buddha that is regarded as the Buddhist "messiah") would go on the air on every television station in the industrialized world and declare his existance in every language within two months of the initial newspaper advertisement. There was panic, preparation for either rapture (an event that some Christians believe will happen before the events in Revelation, where believers will be physically plucked off the Earth) or the seven long years of the Great Tribulation that is described in Revelation, and speculation about who was bankrolling his efforts. When "Maitreya's" broadcast failed to materialize and Creme lost about 2/3ds of his following thereafter, most forgot about him. Creme, who is independently wealthy and apparently bankrolled the newspaper ads and press conferences, continues to lecture and says that "Maitreya" is living incognito in the Pakistani ghetto in West-end London. He still heads the Tara Foundation, and it apparently continues to float only by dint of Creme's wealth. He is now claiming that the "day of declaration" will be sometime in 1989, but is understandably being cagier about the date. But most look on him as a crank, rather than either the messenger of the Messiah or something much more sinister. However,according to some authors on the far fringes of Christian literature, Mr. Creme is not only the False Prophet of Revelation and the mouthpiece for the unseen "Maitreya the (Anti-)Christ", but he is also the coordinator for a vast conspiracy of New Age groups out to take over the world for the Anti-Christ and to win the hearts and minds of even the Christian faithful. By "New Age" these conspiracy hounds mean everyone from Yoga enthusiasts and followers of Eastern religions (including those born into them) through the crystal freaks, Channelers and success counselors all the way to the alledged "Satanic Network" that was trumpeted in the NBC Geraldo Rivera special, in books like "Satan's Underground" by Lauren Stratford, and in the newsletter "File 18", a publication that is targeted to Law Enforcement departments and is compiled, on police time, by the Chaplain of the Boise, ID Police Department. Within this vast conspiracy also resides the National Council of Churches; most "liberal" Christian denominations; Jews that believe in the Qabala, a body of literature separate from the Torah, Tanach, (prophetic books of the Old Testament) Talmud and Mishnah (Commentaries on the Torah and Tanach by scholars written around the 1st and 2nd centuries CE) that is, however, revered by Jews Orthodox, Conservative and Reform alike; and political, peace or social justice organizations like Alliance For Survival, Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Sierra Club, People For The American Way, Amnesty International, and the Committee To End Hunger. Even the Christian organization World Vision is suspect in some of these books, and so is the Catholic Church. It grows very, very clear that the targets that are fair game to these conspiracy mongers are any organization that is not politically hard right and/or not religiously Evangelical Christian. And as Robert Anton Wilson's "Illuminatus!" books have proved, any series of unrelated incidents can be made to look like a conspiracy if enough literary tweaking is done. So here is a summary of this vast conspiracy that books like "The Hidden Dangers Of The Rainbow", "Mystery Mark Of The New Age", and "Dark Secrets Of The New Age" trumpet. THE GREAT "NEW AGE" SATANIC CONSPIRACY, or "How I Learned To Stop Getting Stressed Out And Love Lucifer." The John Lennon song "Imagine" is, to most people, a heartfelt (if rather naive) paen to a utopian vision of a world without want or war. To some, it sounds a little like the Communist Manifesto set to music. To the believers in the "New Age Satanic Conspiracy", however, it sounds like the Gospel according to Satan...a summary of The Plan, the "New Age" program to take over the world for the Anti-Christ. The Plan is mentioned in a prayer that was written by author Alice Bailey, a British eccentric who claimed, like many of the fin de siecle occult revivalists, to be in touch with the "Ascended Masters", a group of people that were illustrious in life and after death became demigods. She had asserted that the prayer was dictated to her by one of the "Masters", and it is one used now by not only followers of her writings but by several "New Age" groups. To all but those who are either skeptical about the existance of this "great white brotherhood" or looking for a vast Satanic conspiracy, the prayer is a pretty little thing, full of entreaties to restore love and light to Earth. To the authors of the conspiracy books, The Plan is nothing less than a program for World Domination. According to Ms. Cumbey, The Plan entails: *Establishment of a World Government, with Maitreya the Anti-Christ at the helm as both religious and political leader. *Establishment of a money-free method of exchange using a laser-readable mark (the Mark of the Beast) tatooed on the body as a permanent "debit card". This mark would be given at a "Luciferic Initiation" where the initiatee would have to denounce Christianity and swear allegiance and worship to Maitreya and his true "father", the devil. Nobody would be able to obtain food, work, or have "money" without this mark. *Consolidation of the World's food distribution under a Maitreya-run "food bank" that would make the ability to obtain food contingent on whether or not one had submitted to the "Luciferian Initiation". *The death penalty for anyone who refuses to worship Maitreya, especially Christians. The members of the conspiracy, according to these authors, do not merely begin and end at those attached to the Tara Foundation. Many organizations, from primarily religious ones like the Unity-In-Diversity Council, The Church Universal And Triumphant of Elizabeth Claire Prophet, and the Church of Religious Science; to non-sectarian organizations promoting holistic health; to totally secular peace, ecological and hunger organizations; are either willing accomplices, fellow travelers or unwitting dupes of Maitreya's "New Barbarians". Cumbey even links such impeccably Christian organizations as World Vision, Operation California (both relief organizations) Intervarsity Press and Word Books (Christian publishing houses) and Christian author Ron Siders as part of the "conspiracy". Ms. Cumbey's list is short in comparison with the connections that Texe Marris makes in his books. He writes, and apparently truly believes, that such world religions as Judaism, (especially where the Qabala is concerned) Islam, and the Catholic Church are involved in the conspiracy, as are most of the media, certain people in the US Government, the Communist Bloc of nations, the UN (which he sees as a MAJOR bugaboo) and all Pagan, Occult, or Eastern Religion groups. He sees malignancy in everything from the Star Wars movies to Fantasy Role-Playing Games like Advanced Dungeons And Dragons and Traveller to (of course) Rock Music of ANY kind, including such Christian bands as Stryper and The Resurrection Band. And there are other weird divergences between Ms. Cumbey and Mr. Marris' view of the extent of the conspiracy. Cumbey cites the sometimes mildly to vehemently racist aspects of Alice Bailey's and Yelena Blavatskaya's books and says in very sweeping terms that the "New Age" movement is anti-Semitic and Racist and advocates Nazi-esque hatred. Marris, on the other hand, is wildly anti-Arab and somewhat anti-Jewish, and says some very Racist and sexist things in his tomes. But all and all, the books agree on a basic thesis: that the "New Age Movement" is not a scattered, independent explosion of groups but a tightly bound, intercommunicating conspiracy out to conquer the world for the Anti-Christ. This thesis is being taught in countless Sunday School classes, on Christian TV, and could very well provide an ideological base for a whole new crop of inquisitors and bush-league Cotton Mathers-es. From what I see, the "New Age Movement" is ANYTHING BUT a coherent movement. Not counting such spontaneous occurances as the "Harmonic Convergence" mania of August 1987, there are so many little groups and sects that are competing for the potential adherent's money and time, asserting that "my way is the quickest route to enlightenment/prosperity/health/self-realization (choose one)." I have been at functions like the Crystal Congress and have heard the chattering and "my path is better than yours" arguments that happen, and the put-downs of, say, this group as being "not high enough in vibrations" or "real negative" or whatever. Being a Shamanic Pagan and an active participant (when I can) in the Magicknet Echo, I can say that this sort of thing happens even more frequently among Pagans. Some unified front, huh? I have my quarrels with the "New Age Movement" at large. The heavy emphasis on making money and the high fees charged by teachers can curl my hair. The fact that most naively believe that "there is no evil in the universe" is a danger. There are nasties out there...I've seen them, I've dealt with them. I'm thankful I'm alive after some encounters with dark forces I've had. And the other assertion common to them, that "you make your own reality", sounds like a neat, easy cop out when faced with such things as poverty and the oppressed of the world. Did the homeless family sleeping on the street over there somehow will themselves to be homeless? That doesn't make sense. But the fact is that over half of the population of the United States, even after the PTL and Jimmy Swaggart debacles, still regard themselves as "Born Again Christian." Fundamentalist and other Evangelical denominations are still the fastest growing religious organizations in the country, overwhelmingly outnumbering the supposed hordes of the "New Age." George Bush could not have been elected President without the Evangelicals. The religious Right's agenda is, by and large, still the agenda of the Republican Party and of our Republican President. People like Jesse Helms and Orrin Hatch have vowed to continue to press for legislation on school prayer, against "witchcraft, satanism and the occult", and against abortion. Eight years of Bush could very well cause the Supreme Court to be loaded with Right-wing, religious-Right influenced judges like Antonin(Sp?) Scalia, and Robert Bork. It may seem far-fetched even after eight years of Reagan and after the Evangelical Christian movement took such hits from the sex scandals, but it is not inconceivable that authors like Mr. Marris especially are out to stir up a new round of religious persecution of minority religions. It is time for those who are adherents to minority religions to speak up, and act boldly. Pagans and "New Agers" are protected under the First Amendment right to "free exercise of religion" no matter if their beliefs do not conform to the Judeo-Christian status quo. All who wish to contact me about this essay should write me at Box 2273, Van Nuys, CA 91404-2273. Others who have information on Christian hate propaganda are the Cult Awareness Network, Los Angeles Chapter, which runs a computer bulletin board called Cult Monitor in Burbank; and CultWatch Response, PO Box 1842, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. I believe that the Jewish Federation Council's Cult Task Force may also have information. Enclosed: XH-BOOKS.LST

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