Index of Religions and
How To Use This
IndexYou may begin your search by
clicking on a highlighted letter below that matches the first letter
of the term for which you are searching. Or, you may use your
browser's word search function. If the term is listed, it will be
followed by a brief definition. Many definitions contain highlighted
words that are linked to the definitions for those words; clicking
on the highlighted word will take you directly to that
Some DefinitionsBy using the terms “cult,” “occult,” and “New Age,” we
are in no way implying that the followers or leaders are necessarily
evil or immoral people. It simply means that such groups seem to
promote doctrine or practices which may be considered outside the
realm of historic Christianity.
CultBy its primary
dictionary definition, the term cult just means a system of
religious beliefs or rituals. It is based on a farming term in Latin
meaning cultivation. Sociologists and anthropologists sometimes use
the term cult to describe religious structure or belief patterns
with meanings (usually non-pejorative) unique to their disciplines.
In modern usage, the term cult is often used by the general public
to describe any religious group they view as strange or dangerous.
Thus, cult can describe religious leaders or organizations that
employ abusive, manipulative, or illegal control over their
followers’ lives. In addition to these usages, Christians generally
have a doctrinal component to their use of the word. Cult in this
sense, is a counterfeit or serious deviation from the doctrines of
classical Christianity. In many cases the group claims to be
Christian, but because of their aberrant beliefs on central
doctrines of the faith (God, Jesus, and salvation), the organization
is not considered to be part of orthodox, biblical
“occult” comes from the Latin occultus or “hidden.” Generally
the word is used of secret or mysterious supernatural powers or
magical, religious rituals. The word “occult” in this publication is
used to describe any attempt to gain supernatural power or knowledge
apart from the God of the Bible. Generally it refers to witchcraft,
or various forms of psychic discernment (astrology, seances, palm
New Age is a recent and developing belief system
in North America encompassing thousands of autonomous (and sometime
contradictory) beliefs, organizations, and events. Generally the New
Age borrows its theology from pantheistic Eastern religions and its
practices from 19th century Western occultism. The term “New Age” is
used herein as an umbrella term to describe organizations which seem
to exhibit one or more of the following beliefs: (1) All is one, all
reality is part of the whole; (2) Everything is God and God is
everything; (3) Man is God or a part of God; (4) Man never dies, but
continues to live through reincarnation; (5) Man can create his own
reality and/or values through transformed consciousness or altered
states of consciousness.
Happy, and Holy.
7 Habits of Highly Effective
People: A book by Stephen
Aaronic Order, Maurice Glendenning,
Murry, UT: Splinter group from The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), founded in
1942 by Glendenning after he was excommunicated by the LDS Church
for receiving and publishing revelations later known as the
Abaddon: (Hebrew for "The Destroyer"; in
Greek, Apollyon) A demon
described in the Bible
as "the angel of the bottomless pit" (Revelation 9:11).
Abbey of Thelema, Old
Greenwich, CT: Esoteric
teachings of Aleister
Abode of the Message, Pir Vilayat Inayat
Khan, New Lebanon, NY: Sufism,
to lead to "inner attunement," Native
American spirituality, sweat
Academy for Guided Imagery, Martin L.
Rossman & David E. Bresler, Mill Valley, CA: Healing by altered
states of consciousness, imagery training (i.e., visualization),
Academy of Religion
and Psychical Research, Evanston, IL: Organization founded in
1956 to explore psychic
occurrences and metaphysical
experiences while evaluating the growing interest in occult
phenomena in Christian churches. See Spiritual
Frontiers Fellowship, Spiritualism,
Age teaching based on panentheism,
according to which all human beings possess the divine Christ-consciousness
and are united with the Mother-Father-Creator God.
Chinese system of healing using needles or hand pressure
(acupressure) applied to certain points on the body,
traditionally believed to balance the yin
and yang energies in the body by opening blocked meridians
(apexes in the pathways). Once the chakras
(key points or intersections) are open, the chi,
or energy, supposedly can then flow through the body bringing all
things into harmony. While some limited physical effects (mostly
anesthetic) can be attributed to this practice, these effects have
scientific, physiological explanations totally unrelated to the
mystical explanation, which derives from Taoism.
Adams, Dennis, Mt. Shasta, CA: New Age, man is God.
Adelphi Organization, Dallas, TX: New Age teachings on Atlantis,
seven planes of existence. See Stelle
Adeptco, Chuck McDonald, Omaha, NE: Yoga,
Advanced Organization of Los Angeles
(AOLA): Promotes Scientology
Advanced Systems, Inc.: See Zen Master Rama.
Widespread trans-denominational movement inspired by William
Miller's prediction that Jesus' "advent" (return) would take place
in 1844. Even after the Great Disappointment (the date's failure),
many people in the movement continued to believe. Some suggested
revised chronologies and new dates, eventually forming groups such
as the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society. Others, notably Hiram Edson and Ellen
G. White, suggested that the 1844 date was accurate but that a
heavenly (thus invisible) event had taken place. Their teachings
became the basis of Seventh-day
Adventism, which eventually spawned its own offshoots, including
and the Branch
Aesthetic Realism Foundation, Eli Seigel,
New York: Happiness can be achieved through the harmony of
opposites, e.g., realizing and accepting that the world is both
beautiful and horrific (see Taoism).
Educators have criticized the Foundation after public school
teachers in New York introduced the philosophy into high school
English, biology, and art courses.
Aetherius Society, Sir George King: Clairvoyance,
White Brotherhood, UFOs,
secrets of Jesus,
Affective Education: Also called
value-free, or non-directive, education. Influenced by the
philosophy of Carl Rogers, affective education programs attempt to
facilitate the emotional development of children in order to enhance
the learning process, particularly focusing on self-esteem. This
contrasts with traditional educational paradigms that focus on
cognitive, or intellectual, practices such as reading, writing, and
arithmetic. Affective education has become particularly influential
in drug awareness programs for youth.
Agasha Temple of Wisdom, William Eisen,
Los Angeles, CA: Universal consciousness of god, reincarnation,
Agnosticism: The claim (denied by Romans
1:18–20) that one has no knowledge of God or the origin of the
universe. Some agnostics make the claim on a personal level, while
allowing that such knowledge may exist but has never been known by
themselves. Others assert that such knowledge cannot be had by
anyone. Agnostics avoid the charge of dogmatic atheism
by acknowledging the theoretical possibility of God’s existence. Yet
virtually all live as if the non-existence of God was an established
fact, and are thus practical atheists.
Agon Buddhism: Sect of Buddhism.
Uses the Agon Sutras as scriptures.
Agyeman, Jaramogi Abebe: See Pan
African Orthodox Christian Church.
Prophetic Ministries: See Gatekeepers.
Ahmadiyya Movement: Sect of Islam
following the teachings of Ahmad (1835-1908), an Indian Muslim; most
followers in the US are black, Indian, or Pakistani.
Akashic Records: Term
used in theosophy
designating an alleged library that exists on the astral plane
containing all the thoughts, actions, and events of mankind.
Mystics, through altered
states of consciousness, tune into this library for
Foundation: Tony Alamo, leader of this group, has been
imprisoned by authorities for alleged illegal activities. Teaches
is dead. Former followers have reported deplorable living
control, and slave labor. Operates Music Square Church in TN,
Holiness Tabernacle in Dyer, AR, and End Times Book is the
Alan Shawn Feinstein Association,
Cranston, RI: UFOs,
Alchemy: In its
original, literal meaning, theories and experiments involving the
transmutation (dissolving and combining) of base metals to form gold
though chemical and/or supernatural processes. Today, it caries the
meaning of a mystical transformation in New Age consciousness through various mystical
Aleph: New name adopted
by Japanese doomsday-cult Aum
Shinri Kyo January 18, 2000.
Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Rabbi
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Philadelphia, PA: Combines Chassidic Judaism,
American spirituality, Eastern mysticism,
Course in Miracles, and New
Age practices. Emphasizes combining syncretistic spirituality
Aletheia Psycho-Physical Foundation, Jack
Schwarz, Ashland, OR: New
Age seminars on the inner-self, paraconsciousness, meditation
All-One-God-Faith, Emanuel H. Bronner,
Escondido, CA: Sells Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, which claims
to clean both body and soul. The soap is widely available in
health-food stores. Teaches (like Process
Theology) that God is continually recreating Himself. God
desires all nations and religions to unite in an "All-One-God-Faith"
on Spaceship Earth. This unification will come about through
following 13 precepts and 20 directives revealed to Bronner by
All Souls Unitarian Church, John Wolf,
Tulsa, OK: See Unitarian-Universalist
Association for similar theological perspective.
All Ways Free, Madison, WI: New
Allah: Arabic, Muslim name for God; see
Allegro, John: Wrote The
Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.
Alphabiotic New Life Center, Dallas, TX:
New Age seminars on one’s divine being, Ramtha,
Alphasonic International, Los Angeles,
CA: Company specializing in tapes with subliminal
Altered States of
entered through hypnosis,
drugs (including hallucinogenics), visualization,
etc. State of being in which one allows the subconscious to take
control and guide. May heighten one’s vulnerability to suggestion or
susceptibility to deception.
Alternative Medicine: See Holistic
Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of
America: See Mon-Ka
Ambassador University, Big Sandy, TX: Now
defunct Liberal arts and religious institution founded by Herbert
Armstrong. See Armstrongism.
Ambassadors For Christ, Tustin, CA: See
Bible and Tract Society for similar theological
Ameba, San Francisco, CA: Paganism,
promotes the teachings of Aleister
American Academy of Dissident Sciences,
Culver City, CA: Studying a wide array of conspiracy theories, the
Academy focuses on UFOs
and the Illuminati.
American Association of Ayurvedic
Medicine, Fairfield, IA: Holistic
health association founded by Deepak
Chopra while he followed the Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi (see Ayurvedic
Inc., Madalyn Murray-O'Hair, Austin, TX: Advocates strict
separation of church and state, and actively opposes Christian
influence on society. O'Hair and two children disappeared in 1994
with a sizeable portion of the organization's assets. It is now
believed they were murdered. Publishes American Atheist
American Babaji Yoga Sangam, New York,
American Constitution Committee:
Political organization of the Unification
American Fellowship Services: Splinter
group of The
American Foundation for the Science of
Creative Intelligence: A branch of Transcendental
American Gnostic Church, Daeva Ares
rituals, Egyptian magic,
rituals of Anton
LaVey, Gnostic Mass.
American Holistic Nurses Association,
Amherst, MA: Trains medical nurses to use therapeutic
touch and meditation
American Imagery Institute, Milwaukee,
WI: New Age teachings on visualization,
American Leadership College, Inc.
Osceola, IA: New Age/occult
teachings on trance
American Pie and the Armageddon Bible
Prophecy Home Page: The pop song American Pie, which prophesies
the destruction of America, was foretold in the Song of Moses in
Deuteronomy 32. See Apocalypse.
American Society for Psychical Research,
Simon Newcomb, New York, NY: ESP,
American Study Group, UT: Defunct
splinter group from The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) that used the
of Mormon and the teachings of LDS leaders to speculate on
Michael Whitney, Portland, OR: A "fourth wave" esoteric and
mystical order led by "Patriarch" Michael Whitney reviving the
doctrines of the now defunct Holy
Order of MANS.
American West Publishers, Tehachapi, CA:
cosmic laws of balance. Publishes the Phoenix Journal.
American Zen Center: Zen
AMOM: See Ancient
Mystic Order of Malchizedek.
man is already a master.
AMORC: See Rosicrucian
Ananda Marga, Denver,
CO: Philosophy and deities of Hinduism,
Anchor of Golden Light, Dorothy and Henry
Leon, Grants Pass, OR: UFOs,
Publishes the Anchor of Golden Light newsletter.
Order of Malchizedek, Malachi Z. York, Eatonton, GA: Also known
as AMOM, Nuwaubians, the Nubian Nation of Moors, Right Knowledge. A
group whose leader, (a.k.a. Dwight York) claims to be form the 19th
galaxy, called Illyuwn. A 1993 FBI report calls the group a "front
for a wide range of criminal activity, including arson, welfare
fraud and extortion." York’s group has also operated under other
names and organizations including the Nubian Islaamic [sic] Hebrew
Mission, the Ansaaru Allah Community, (an Islamic
sect with doctrines similar to Nation
of Islam), and the Original Tents of Kedar.
Ancient Wisdom Connection, N. Myrtle
Beach, SC: New
and belief in “Lord Sananda,” who is an incarnation of Jesus.
non-human beings created by God. Angels worship God and serve as His
messengers. The angels who followed Satan
and rebelled against God are called demons.
Anglo-Israelism: See British
Animal Magnetism: See Mesmerism.
Animism: The idea
that all things in the universe are inherently invested with a life
force, soul, or mind. This belief is an important component of many
primitive religions, the occult,
Annihilationism: Taught by most Adventist
groups, including the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society, this doctrine denies the conscious,
eternal punishment of the lost. Instead, humans who do not receive
eternal life will be destroyed and cease to exist.
Anointed Class: See
Answers Research and
Education, Bud Cocherell, San Jose, CA: Man’s destiny is to
become a God, keep Old Testament festivals.
Anthropomancy: A form of divination
based on psychic
readings of the entrails of a human who has been ritualistically
Anthroposophic Society, Rudolf Steiner,
Hudson, NY: Similar to the Chicago organization (below), possibly
Society, Rudolf Steiner, Chicago, IL: Occult,
related to Theosophy;
teachings on karma,
called Armageddon. From the Greek word apokalypsis, meaning
"revelation, disclosure, or unveiling," the term apocalypse refers
in the Bible to the summation of human history through God's direct
judgment upon the world. Central in biblical apocalyptic literature
is the Revelation to John (sometimes called The Apocalypse). A
common feature of many pseudo-Christian groups is their attempts to
predict the date of the apocalypse. For examples of groups that have
falsely predicted the apocalypse, see Church
of the Living Stone Mission for the Coming Days, Adventism,
Bible and Tract Society.
Apostasy: From the Greek word
apostasis, meaning "rebellion," and the Latin word
apostasia, meaning "abandonment," the term apostasy refers to
a renunciation of the Christian faith. The Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society applies the label apostate to
former Jehovah's Witnesses, who are then shunned
by all Witnesses in good standing.
Apostle: From the Greek word
apostolos, meaning "messenger," the term apostle refers to
those leaders of the early Christian church who were chosen by
Jesus. The criteria for being an apostle was 1) the individual was
personally chosen by Christ; and 2) the individual must have
personally seen Christ. Members of the top two quorums of leadership
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim the title
A branch of Pentecostalism including several denominations as well
as independent churches with the name "Apostolic"; many (but not
all) Apostolic churches adhere to Oneness
Apostolic Overcoming Holiness of God,
Inc., Birmingham, AL: Pentecostal church, stresses the oneness
of God while accepting the Triune Being of the Godhead. Salvation
depends upon baptism, tarrying to receive the Holy Spirit, and
holiness. Publishes The People's Mouthpiece magazine.
Apostolic United Brethren: See Corporation
of the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic United Brethren.
Applewhite, Marshall: See Heaven’s Gate.
Kinesiology: New Age diagnostic technique sometimes called “muscle
testing.” Often patients hold health care products (vitamins, herbs,
etc) in their hand while the practitioner pulls or “tests” the
reciprocal strength in the finger, arm, etc. to determine the
effectiveness or dosage of the remedy. See Holistic
Aquarian Academy, Robert E. Birdsong,
Eureka, CA: Jesus
only an avatar
of the Cosmic Christ,
of the Great
White Brotherhood of Light. Man’s purpose is to reach the
transcendental plane, release from the wheel of fate, astral
Aquarian Age Teaching, Ruby Focus,
Sedona, AZ: Discover the God within, the Father-Mother god, Atlantis,
Aquarian Church of Universal Service,
Paul Shockley, Portland, OR: Teaches cosmic awareness but with no
specific doctrine. Similar to Unitarian-Universalist.
The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn
Ferguson: A book documenting and advocating the widespread growth of
the New Age movement.
Aquarian Educational Group, Torkom
Saraydarian, Sedona, AZ: Astrology,
moon festivals, use the Bhagavad-Gita,
only an avatar.
Publishes the Fiery Synthesis magazine.
Aquarian Foundation, Keith Milton
Rhinehart, Seattle, WA: Universalism,
Gospel of Jesus Christ: Book written by Levi H. Dowling, a
New Age, apocryphal story supposedly based on the Akashic
Aquarian Minyan, Berkeley, CA: Jewish
Aquarian Perspectives Inter Planetary
Mission, Montgomery, AL: UFO
group, receives messages from Futron and the Rainbow Star
Aquarian Tabernacle Church, Index, WA: Paganism,
worship of Mother Earth, goddess
worship, sun and moon festival, magic.
Publishes the Panegyria newsletter.
Arcana Workshop, Manhattan Beach, CA: Meditation,
Invocation, moon festivals. Based on the teachings of Alice
Bailey (see Arcane
School). Publishes the Thoughtline newsletter.
Arcane School, Alice
teachings, connected with Lucis Trust, formerly Lucifer Trust.
Similar to Theosophy.
Arefu: Company created
and owned by Japanese doomsday-cult Aum
Shinri Kyo for real estate brokering, financing and seminars. On
January 18, 2000, the cult announced it was also changing its own
name to Arefu (Aleph,
Arete Truth Center, Paul Lachlan Peck,
Las Vegas, NV: New Age, metaphysics,
teaches balancing the body, mind and spirit.
Arguelles, Jose: New Ager who staged the
Arizona Light, Phoenix, AZ: New Age periodical.
Arizona Metaphysical Society, Frank
Alper, Phoenix, AZ: New Age seminars on rebirthing,
Arizona Network News, Scottsdale,
AZ: New Age periodical.
Arm of the Lord, Warren, OH: Teaches that
it is a satanic idea to invite Jesus
into “one’s life.”
Armageddon Time Ark Base Operation, O.T.
Nodrog, Weslaco, TX: UFO
group, channels messages from outer dimensional forces.
Armstrong, Garner Ted: Son of Herbert W.
Armstrong who formed his own rival Armstrongism
splinter group, the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association.
of God, International.
Armstrong, Herbert W.: See Armstrongism,
Church of God.
The doctrines and religious movement originating with Herbert W.
Armstrong (1892-1986), who founded the Worldwide
Church of God (WCG). Armstrong rejected such essential doctrines
Christianity as the Trinity,
the full deity of Jesus
and the personality of the Holy Spirit. Armstrong taught British
Israelism and believed that worthy humans could eventually
“become God as God is God.” Teaches salvation
by works predicated on Sabbatarianism,
tithing (20-30%), and keeping the Old Testament feast days and
dietary laws. Under the leadership of Armstrong’s successors, Joseph
W. Tkach and his son Joe Tkach, the WCG has undergone a radical
doctrinal transformation. Scores of splinter groups, such as the Global
Church of God and the United
Church of God, continue to teach various forms of
Arn Draiocht Fein, P.E.I. Bonewits,
Nyack, NY: Paganism,
nature worship. Publishes News from the Mother Grove
health practice of seeking to heal certain diseases or illnesses
by inhaling scented steam or fragrances.
Aromatherapy Seminars, Los Angeles, CA:
Healing therapy, oils healing the psyche. See
Arunachala Ashram, Bhagavan Sri Ramana:
philosophy, also called Maharshi Center, Inc.
Aryan Nations Church, Hayden Lake, ID: A
neo-Nazi paramilitary organization in the Christian
Identity movement that preaches against all non-Caucasian
groups. The Order, an Aryan Nations break-off group, killed Alan
Berg, a Jewish radio personality in Denver, in 1984. The Aryan
Nations received national notice in 1992 when the wife of member
Randy Weaver was killed in a shootout with the FBI in Ruby Ridge,
As It Is: See Process
Church of the Final Judgement.
Asatru Free Assembly, Denair, CA: Paganism,
worships Odin as Father-god, Frigga as Mother-god and Nerthus as
Mother-Earth. Publishes The Runestone newsletter.
Ascended Master Teaching Foundation, Mt.
Shasta, CA: Occult,
part of the I
AM movement, Great
White Brotherhood, similar to Theosophy.
Sometimes called the Great
White Brotherhood. Occult,
New Age belief in alleged teachers or masters who live on an
astral plane as non-physical entities beyond time and space. They
can supposedly communicate spiritual truths to humans through channeling
or other occult
techniques. Membership includes Jesus,
St. Germain (see I
AM movement), Ramtha (see Knight,
J. Z.), Mafu (see Torres,
Penny), Seth (see Roberts,
Jane), and others.
Ascended Masters School of Light, Toni
Moltzan, Carrollton, TX: New Age, channeling,
Masters including Jesus,
Ascension Week Enterprises, Santa Fe, NM:
New Age, Channeling,
reaching out to children with New
ASCENT Foundation, Larry Jensen, Sedona,
AZ: New Age enlightenment, similar to Silva
Mind Control, est,
Asheville Meditation Center, Asheville,
NC: New Age, achieving man’s divine nature,
Assemblies of the Called Out Ones of
“Yah,” Sam Surratt, Milan, TX: Sacred
Assemblies of Yahweh, Jacob Meyer,
Bethel, PA: Publishes The Sacred Name Broadcaster magazine.
Assemblies of Yahweh (7th day), Cisco,
TX: See Sacred
Assembly of Scientific Astrologers,
George Cardinal, LeGrosoplin, MO: Esoteric
Assembly of Yahweh, Holt, MI: Founded in
1930, perhaps the oldest of the Sacred
Name groups in America. Sabbatarianism.
Publishes The Faith.
Assembly of YHW Yoshua, Pueblo, CO: Sacred
Associated Readers of Tarot
International, Carbondale, IL: Tarot
form of divination,
Associates for Scriptural Knowledge,
Ernest L. Martin, Portland, OR: Anti-denominational group whose
Associates study doctrine through a Home Study Course. Teaches universalism,
i.e., that all people will be saved (although not all will
experience the first resurrection and live in Christ’s millennial
kingdom), and the Sacred
Name doctrine (Martin claims that the name Yahweh was removed
from the Bible by Jerome). Martin was fired by the Foundation for
Biblical Research (an Armstrongism
splinter group in Alhambra, CA) in 1984 for espousing these
doctrines. Publishes a “restored” Bible called The Manuscript
Version of the Bible, and The ASK Communicator.
Association for Christian Development,
Kenneth Westby Auburn, WA: Armstrongism
Association for Past-Life Research and
Therapies, Inc. Riverside, CA: New Age, reincarnation
Association for Research
and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), Edgar Cayce, Virginia Beach, VA: Pantheism,
life readings, reincarnation.
Association for the Understanding of Man,
Austin, TX: New Age, channeling,
states of consciousness.
Association of Unity Churches: The
denominational structure affiliated with the Unity
School of Christianity.
Association Sananda & Sanat Kumara,
Mt. Shasta, CA: New Age, channeling
Astara, Robert & Evelyn Chaney:
Publishes Voice of Astara.
Astral Projection: New Age/occult
doctrine teaching methods to induce an out
of body experience (OBE), in which one’s soul (i.e., astral
body) departs the physical body, travels to various parts of the
universe, then re-enters the body. Usually a “cord” is said to
connect the soul and body at all times. Also called astral
Astro Computing Services, San Diego, CA:
ancient fatalistic system of divination
using the position of the planets, moon and sun in the twelve Zodiac
positions at the moment of one’s birth to gain occult or hidden
knowledge of the future.
Astrology and Psychic News, N.
Hollywood, CA: New Age periodical.
assertion, to be taken on faith, that there is no God. Some
atheists, such as Madalyn Murray-O'Hair, have fought to prevent any
recognition of God in public life. See American
Atlantic Pagan Council: Association of
East Coast pagan covens,
moon festivals, paganism.
Publishes the Atlantic Pagan Council Amateur Publishers’
Atlantis: A mythical
island/continent said to have sunk beneath the ocean. Purported to
have been a highly advanced civilization. New Agers often claim to
have recovered lost mystical wisdom and knowledge from Atlantis,
sometimes through channeling.
Atman: A term used in Hinduism
referring to the eternal or real self and sometimes refering to the
principle of life in all things.
Term used by several Mind
Science or New
Thought religions (such as Christian
Science) referring to the supposed metaphysical unity or
“oneness” of human beings and God as demonstrated by Christ.
Contrast the Christian term “atonement,” which refers to Christ’s
death on the cross as the means by which he reconciled sinful human
beings to God.
Aum Shinri Kyo, Shoko
Asahara, Tokyo, Japan: Aum (a mantra) Shinri
Kyo (Supreme Truth) is the apocalyptic Buddhist sect suspected
in the 1995 subway nerve gas murders in Japan. Police raiding cult
compounds discovered stockpiles of nerve gas and the basic
ingredients of biological warfare. Sect leaders have been charged
with abduction and "murder preparation." Aum leader, Chizuo
Matsumoto (now called Shoko Asahara), predicted the end of the world
between 1997 and 2000. The Dalai
Lama, the leader of Tibetan
Buddhism, has denied Aum claims that Asahara was ever his
disciple. The sect has about $29 million in assets and 10,000
disciples in Japan and 30,000 in Russia. The sect has followers in
other countries including the U.S. and Australia. On January 18,
2000, the cult announced it was changing its name to Arefu
Aum Supreme Truth: See Aum
Aura: A subtle light or
energy field said to surround people or objects. Mystics explain
that from the color of the aura, a person’s emotional and
intellectual moods can be determined.
Author Services, Inc.: Promotes Scientology
Inspired from the spirit world, the writer has no conscious muscular
control of his hands or arms. Found in many occult
and New Age groups.
Avanta Network, Palo Alto, CA: New Age, works by Virginia Satir promoted, positive and
concept of an earthly manifestation of one of the gods in human or
animal form, e.g., Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu.
Avatar, Flagstaff, AZ: New Age seminars similar to est
enables participant to have conscious shift of beliefs.
Awake!: Magazine published by the
Bible and Tract Society.
Awareness Research Foundation, Inc.,
North Miami, FL: Astrology,
and Lord Sananda.
Ayurvedic Lifestyle Center, Pearl Miller,
Reno, NV: Eastern mysticism,
Medicine: Promoted by Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi and Deepak
Chopra. Teaches the balancing of vibrational centers for health
through diet, exercise, herbs, and purification procedures.
Bahá‘u’lláh: A sect of Islam
evolving into a major independent religion with approximately five
million believers worldwide. Buddha,
Muhammad, Bahá‘u’lláh and others are viewed as a succession of
divine messengers. A 19th century Persian teacher, the Báb, (or
“Gate”) predicted Bahá'u'lláh's coming. Bahá’í advocates a new
global order of sexual equality, a one-world economic system to
eliminate poverty, and a one-world religion.
Bailey, Alice: Founder
of the Arcane
Baphomet: The Goat
God, also called the Sabbath Goat, the Great God Pan, Abraxas,
Thanateros, or the Horned God. Often used as a symbol of Satan,
especially in Satanism,
and depicted as a Goat’s
Head symbol, an upside down five-pointed star (cf. pentagram),
or a man with horns and goat-legs.
Baptism for the
Dead: Practice of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) whereby living
members are baptized by proxy for people who have died without
knowing the LDS Gospel.
If these dead persons then accept the LDS gospel while in Spirit
Prison, they can potentially attain full salvation or godhood
(exaltation). This ceremony is performed only in an LDS Temple. See
Regeneration: The belief that regeneration (i.e., the new
birth), and therefore salvation or eternal life, is conditioned upon
water baptism. Most groups teaching this doctrine also add that
proper mode (immersion or sprinkling) and/or proper minister (one
authorized by the organization) is necessary. All Christians should
be baptized (Matthew 28:19). The teaching that baptism is a
prerequisite for salvation, however, is considered by many
evangelicals to be a heretical compromise of the biblical gospel of
salvation by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-10). The extreme version of
baptismal regeneration, which denies the salvation even of baptized
Christians outside some particular church group, is clearly
heretical. See Salvation
by Works, Salvation
by Grace, Gospel.
Bear Tribe Medicine Society, Spokane, WA:
American spirituality, Mother Earth, medicine wheel, moon
The Beatles: A highly influential
rock-and-roll group from the 1960s. In 1966 they became involved in
Meditation; later both John Lennon and George Harrison
repudiated TM. Harrison then became a devotee of ISKCON
and recorded his hit single “My Sweet Lord” as a devotion to
The Beatles are widely credited with increasing the popularity of
Eastern religions in the United States.
International, Tucson, AZ: Compiling a compendium of all of William
Branham's teachings. Publishes Believer’s News.
Bell, Art: Popular late-night radio talk
show host. While his Coast to Coast weeknight broadcast and
Dreamland weekend broadcast focus on a wide array of New Age and
occult issues, as well as many conspiracy theories, one of the most
common subjects discussed by guests on the program is UFOs.
holiday, also called Walpurgisnacht, celebrated on the night of
April 30. Celts are alleged to have conducted fertility rituals and
Bermuda Triangle: Geographically, the
Triangle composes the southwestern quadrant of the North Atlantic,
with apexes in Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and in the Gulf of Mexico west
of Florida. Some people involved in the occult and UFO
studies believe the Triangle is a supernaturally dangerous area,
with many ships and airplanes disappearing in the Triangle in the
Bernard, David: A well-known Oneness
Pentecostal writer and speaker.
Successor to Madame Blavatsky (founder of Theosophy)
who proclaimed Krishnamurti as the Messiah. (Krishnamurti later
renounced that role).
Bet Hashem – The House of YHWH, New
Haven, IN: Sacred
Name, man is the offspring of light, conversion is the union
with the light.
Beth El Shaddai, Dick Amos, Plano, TX: Dual
Covenant doctrine, denies Jesus
Beth HaShem, Jacob Hawkins, Odessa, TX:
keeps Old Testament feasts and laws for salvation. Publishes The
Prophetic Watchman newsletter.
Meaning “Song of the Lord,” this scripture is used in Hinduism
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Though this
is deceased, many followers still practice his unique form of Hindu
philosophy and sexual yoga
system to gain enlightenment.
Bhakti Yoga: Type of yoga
or spiritual exercise involving devotion to a guru.
scripture by Christianity.
Consists of the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) and the Christian
scriptures (New Testament).
Bible Believers, Inc.: See Branham,
Bible Code, Michael Drosnin:
Bestselling 1997 book teaches that prophecies are hidden in a
complex network of letters and words within the Old Testament.
Drosnin claims that he attempted to warn Israeli leader Yitzak Rabin
of his impending assassination based on a prediction in the biblical
code. The theory is a form of numerology
and has some associations with the Jewish occultism of the Kabbalah.
Bible Speaks, The: Former name of Greater
Grace World Outreach.
Various semiautonomous groups that broke away from the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society after Joseph Rutherford took control of
the organization. Reprints the early writings of Watchtower founder
Charles Taze Russell including Divine Plan of the Ages. Groups
across the country go under various names (e.g., Fort Worth Bible
Students, Chicago Bible Students, etc.).
Bible Talks: Home and campus group
studies sponsored by the International
Churches of Christ.
Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus
Bible Way Publications, Ft. Lauderdale,
Biblical Church of God, Santa Cruz, CA:
Biblical Research Centers: Regional
centers for The
Bind: See Spell.
Bioenergy: New Age practice of healing. Balances the life-energy by
opening blocked meridians (see acupuncture).
BioEnergetic Synchronization Techniques:
New Age method using the body’s life force to heal
Biofeedback: The use of EEG
(electroencephalographic) feeback instruments to monitor brain waves
and skin resistance with the goal of modification of brain waves.
Participants can learn to control heart rates or generate brain wave
activity (alpha, beta, and delta) at will to induce altered
states of consciousness. Enhances the capacity for relaxation
and/or inducing meditative states and physiological control similar
to that in yoga
Biointegration, Ross Algelo, Dallas, TX:
New Age, body alignment, yoga,
Bio-Magnetics: New Age, the realigning of magnetic fields allegedly
surrounding the body.
BioPsciences Institute, Minneapolis, MN:
Black Mass: A ritual in Satanism
that attempts to negate or profane the Catholic Mass. Black candles
are used and Catholic prayers recited backwards. Allegedly, the
communion is occasionally performed using human blood and
Black Muslim: Generic term referring to
of Islam and related groups.
Black Christian Nationalist Movement: See
African Orthodox Christian Church.
Blavatsky, Madame Helena Petrovna:
Founder of Theosophy.
Blessed Be: A common greeting used among
to invoke or wish happiness and well-being.
Doctrine: The belief, taught by the second Mormon Prophet,
Brigham Young, that for certain sins the blood of Christ will not
atone and for which the sinner’s own blood must be shed to receive
forgiveness (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 53). No longer
taught by The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the belief is often
preached and sometimes practiced by members of Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter groups. To this day, Utah allows
condemned murders to face execution by firing squad rather than
methods that do not shed the criminal’s blood, such as lethal
injection or the electric chair.
Blue Lotus, Wilmot, WI: New Age periodical.
Blue Mountain Center of Meditation,
Eknath Easwaran, Petaluma, CA: Hindu
uses the Bhagavad-Gita.
Blue Rose Ministry, Robert Short, Joshua
Tree, CA: UFOs,
messages from the “space brothers,” channeling.
Publishes the Solar Space-Letter.
Blue Star, Mary Thunder, West Point, TX:
New Age, sweat
B’nai Noah: Dual
covenant doctrine, teaches Jesus
is not the Savior of the Jews, Gentiles are to keep the Seven Laws
of Noah and study the Torah (or Old Testament) with Jewish
Body, Mind and Soul: Houston, TX:
New Age periodical.
Body, Mind and Spirit: Providence,
RI: New Age magazine.
Book of Changes: See I
Book of Mormon: One of
the scriptures or “Standard Works” accepted by The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other sects
originating from Joseph Smith, including the Reorganized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and various Mormon
Book of Shadows: A journal for recording
Bookmark, Santa Clarita, CA: Christian
Science splinter group.
Borderland Science Research Foundation
Garberville, CA: Alchemy,
Born Again: Biblical
term used to describe regeneration (John 3:3-7). Some New Age
followers teach that the term was Christ’s reference to reincarnation
In context, Jesus was speaking of a spiritual event effected by God
through the Holy Spirit (see verses 6-8) to restore a sinful, fallen
human to right relationship with Him (see verses 16-21). See Gospel.
Boston Church of Christ: See International
Churches of Christ.
Prominent New Age teacher on PBS and author of Healing the Inner
Brahma: The creator
and first member of the triad of demigods in Hinduism,
including Shiva and Vishnu.
Forced indoctrination using various techniques to cause a subject to
abandon basic political, social, or religious ideas or beliefs and
replace those ideals with a contrasting belief system. A translation
of a Chinese word xinao, “brainwashing” became a popular term
to describe the phenomena of radical change in behavior and core
beliefs that took place in some prisoners of war held in Chinese
camps in the mid-twentieth century. In a more general sense, the
word is sometimes used to describe any form of persuasion perceived
to be unethical that results in a radical and negative change in
personality. See Lifton,
Benjamin Roden: Splinter group of the Seventh
Day Adventist Church. David Koresh (A.K.A. Vernon Howell) was
leader from 1984 to 1993. He and many of his most devout followers
were killed when their headquarters near Waco, TX, was destroyed by
fire in 1993 during a government raid. Taught knowledge of the Seven
Seals of the Book of Revelation brought salvation. Many followers
still believe Koresh’s messianic claims and expect him to be
Pentecostal preacher who claimed he received healing and
prophetic powers from an angel. Denied the Trinity,
taught the serpent
seed doctrine, and rejected other Pentecostal and traditional
Christian churches. “Branhamism” is still taught at the Branham
Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, IN, and in many other places around
Roberts: Also known as “the Garbage Eaters,” the group follows the
teachings of “Brother Evangelist” Roberts. The group requires
renouncing both family and worldly possessions in order to earn
salvation (see Salvation
by works). Members travel nomadically, earning their nickname
because of their practice of eating discarded food. Family members
note that Roberts hides relatives, moving the individuals to avoid
familial contact. Note: This group is not
affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, an Anabaptist
Brinkley, Dannion: As chronicled in his
bestseller Saved by the Light, Brinkley allegedly underwent a
experience after being struck by lightning. He teaches people to
perform “life reviews” to enhance their perception of life and death
and to find their life missions. He operates a hospice organization
called Compassion in Action / The Twilight Brigade.
(Anglo-Israelism/Israelitism) The doctrine that the true identity of
modern Israel (or the “ten lost tribes”) is Britian and (sometimes)
the British colonies (America). The monarchs of England sit on the
throne of David. In more extreme forms, Israel is identified with a
particular race—usually white Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and
Scandinavian people. Opposing versions of doctrine teach that Blacks
are God’s Chosen People, Israel. See Christian
Identity Movement, Serpent
Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma,
Richard Duc de Palatine, Sherman Oaks, CA: New
Age revival of Gnosticism,
God and man are the same being.
Brotherhood of Eternal Truth, New Albany,
life regression. Also known as Center of Light and Life.
Brotherhood of Seth, Ellsworth, ME: Paganism,
homosexual or homophilic magic,
teachings of Aleister
Brotherhood of the Followers of the Present
Jesus, Ann and Peter Meyer, San Diego, CA: Alchemy,
in each person, channeling
Brotherhood of the White Temple, Inc., M.
Doreal, Castle Rock, CO: New Age/occult
metaphysical teachings, soul illumination, three planes of
The Bruderhof Community: A communal
society started in Germany in the 1920s and based on the
sixteenth-century Moravian Anabaptist sect of Jacob Hutter, which
was part of the Radical Reformation. The group is also called the
Society of Brothers and the Hutterian Brethren. The basic theology
of the group is Protestant
but, according to former members and other critics, the group
exercises inappropriate control over the members and practices shunning
and other forms of spiritual
Gautama Buddha (“enlightened one”) was born about 560 BC in
northeastern India and, according to legend, received spiritual
enlightenment through meditation.
During his lifetime, his spiritual insights and teachings became a
major alternative to Hinduism
throughout India. Diverse versions of his teachings can be found
worldwide today. See Buddhism.
Buddha’s Universal Church, San Francisco,
CA: Similar to Buddhism
religion based on the spiritual teachings of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.
There are a number of versions or sects of Buddhism generally
teaching paths to Nirvana (enlightenment or bliss) though the four
noble truths (recognizing existence and source of suffering) and the
eightfold path (correct understanding, behavior and meditation).
Some variations of Buddhism include traditional Theravada schools of
India, Mahayana Buddhism, which became very popular in China and
Japan, and Tibetan
Buddhism (Lamaism) in Tibet. Two more recent forms that have had
great influence in America are Zen
Builders, Norman Paulsen, Oasis, NV: New Age, Christ-consciousness,
Father-Mother God, enlightenment.
Builders of the Adytum, Paul Foster Case,
Los Angeles, CA: Occult,
Burning Man Festival, Black Rock Desert,
NV: An annual festival celebrating neo-paganism
The name comes from the culmination of the festival, in which a
wooden man with outstretched arms (resembling a crucifix) is burned
by the crowd.
Buzzworm: New Age/environmental periodical.
of Bible Understanding.
Cabalah: See Kabbalah.
Caelum Moor, Arlington, TX: Private park
(now closed) containing menhirs (large upright stones) similar to
those found at Stonehenge. Newspaper reports claim trespassers have
used the site for pagan ceremonies. See Stonehenge.
Best known for his book and PBS series with Bill
Moyers, The Power of Myth, which teaches all religions
are based on common mythological themes, best interpreted through a
New Age world view.
CAN: See Cult
Canfield, Jack: New Age education author, editor of popular Chicken
Soup books. Very influential in the public school arena.
Cantillation Research Foundation, John
Diamond, Valley Cottage, NY: New Age, pantheism,
All is God, All is Mother.
CARP: See Collegiate
Association for the Research of Principles.
Castaneda, Carlos: New Age author of The Teachings of Don Juan series.
He helped popularize Native
the hallucinogenic peyote,
and New Age occultism.
Castle Rising, Denver, CO: Paganism,
impressions, moon festivals, crystals.
Publishes the Castle Rising newsletter.
Catholicism: See Roman
CAUSA: Organization affiliated with the
Cayce, Edgar: See Association
For Research and Enlightenment.
The: A best-selling New
Age book by James
Redfield that teaches enlightenment through the fictional “Nine
Insights” contained in secret manuscripts written by Maya natives in
the jungles of Peru.
Celticism, Celts: The
Celts were a group of related tribes whose territory extended
throughout Europe early in the first millennium AD, but who are most commonly associated with the
British Isles. The Celts worshipped local deities (frequently
associated with nature), often served by a priestly class of Druids.
Human sacrifice was important to Druidic religion. Modern neo-pagans
frequently claims to be Celtic, although the modern beliefs and
practices bear little resemblance to ancient Celticism.
Celtic Christianity: Augustine of
Canterbury evangelized England in the late 6th – early 7th
centuries. His work was later taken by Patrick to Ireland, who is
largely credited with establishing the Celtic church. Celtic
Christianity was heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, to
which it was allied, although many individuals claim a greater
reverence for nature in the Celtic tradition. Differences in
practice within the Celtic church were gradually eradicated during
the Middle Ages as the Roman papacy asserted its authority over
Ireland. Modern groups that claim to revive Celtic Christianity are
frequently a mixture of Protestantism
Catholicism, with few legitimate ties to the early Celtic
church. Nonetheless, these groups should not be confused with neo-pagan
groups that also claim to be Celtic.
Center for Action and Contemplation,
Albuquerque, NM: Yoga,
Center for Advanced Communication and
Training, Carrollton, TX: New Age, hypnosis,
Center for Alternate Realities, Durango,
Cards, guided meditation,
Center for Personal and Planetary
Empowerment, Austin, TX: New Age, meditation,
Center For Spiritual Awareness, Roy
Eugene Davis, Lakemont, GA: New Age, enlightenment, man’s higher self,
Center for Studies on New Religions,
Massimo Introvigne, Torino, Italy: Introvigne studies new and
alternative religious groups. He and his work, which is frequently
supportive of new religions, are often used by alternative religious
groups to support their activities when pursuing governmental
Center for Wisdom Spirituality, Paradise,
Publishes the Interconnections newsletter.
Center for World Networking, Soguel, CA:
Center of the Light,
Great Barrington, MA: New Age, Native
American religions, reflexology.
Publishes The Light Journal.
The Centers Network: See est.
Centre de Recherche sur l’Energie Humaine
Universelle (CREHU): See Spiritual
Centric, Houston, TX: New Age periodical.
Cesar, San Antonio, TX:
Assistant to Papa
hexes, curses, voodoo,
witchcraft (see Wicca).
Chakras: New Age, said to be centers for cosmic energy in the human
body that are aligned to allow the Kundalini
energy to proceed from the base of the spine to the top of the
Champaign-Urbana Church of Christ:
Churches of Christ.
Age term for the occult
practice of Spiritualism
(also called trance channeling). Spirit beings, Ascended
Masters, deceased humans, familiar
spirits, or animal spirits allegedly communicate important
messages by temporarily entering the body and controlling the voice
of a host (channel or medium).
Most channelers give the same basic message, that man is a
Chapel of Prayer, Eleanor Button,
Houston, TX: Psychic
Cheetham, John: See Great Lakes Society for Biblical Research.
Chen Tao, Hon-ming
Chen (The Right Way, God's Salvation Church, God Saves the Earth
Flying Saucer Foundation): Apocalyptic
group that drew international media attention when they predicted
that God would descend to their Garland, TX, headquarters in a
flying saucer on March 31, 1998. Publishes Practical Evidence and
Study of the World of God and Buddha, God's Descending in Clouds
(Flying Saucers) on Earth to Save People.
Chi: Invisible energy or
force alleged to make up the universe and flow through all living
things via meridians or chakras.
and Yang, Acupuncture.
Chicago Bible Students, Chicago, IL:
Largest and best known of the independent "Bible student" groups.
Reprints the early writings of Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society founder Charles Taze Russell, including
Divine Plan of the Ages.
Children of God: See The
Family (Children of God).
Chinmaya International Foundation, Swami
Chinmayananda, Piercy, CA: Eastern mysticism,
Publishes the MU News.
Chinmoy, Sri: Hindu
Chinook Learning Center, Fritz and
Vivienne Hull, Clinton, WA: Native
American Earth-Spirit philosophy, shamanism,
called one of the most important New Age centers.
Chiromancy: See Palm
Chiropractic Medicine: A holistic
health practice whereby practitioners use a form of manipulative
therapy to treat musculoskeletal problems. While many chiropractors
are not engaging in alternative religious activities via their
practice, critics claim that some chiropractors engage in
chiropractic medicine in accordance with the Taoist
principle of facilitating the flow of chi.
Choice Experience, A, Jerry Stocking,
Chetek, WI: New
Programming, “other-than-consciousness” techniques.
Choosing Light, Mill Valley, CA: New Age, meditation,
telepathic communication from Higher Dimension Guides and
Noted New Age and health author and lecturer. See Ayurvedic
Christ: Based on the
Greek christos meaning “anointed one,” equivalent to the
Hebrew “messiah.” Generally used in the Old Testament of one who has
been anointed with oil and/or set apart for a specific mission, as
was David, the king of Israel (see 1 Sam. 16:13). Specifically used
to speak of the promised messiah/savior of Israel and the world.
Christians believe this to be Jesus
of Nazareth, who died to atone for human sin. Other religions
believe in a succession of Christ figures through history, sometimes
including Jesus, who were great teachers. New Age groups sometimes
understand the term “Christ” as a reference to the deity found in
all humanity (the Cosmic Christ). Thus, Jesus was conscious of his
deity or “the Christ within” and others can have this same “Christ-consciousness”
by realizing that they, too, are divine. Other religious leaders
have historically claimed to hold the office or ministry of Christ
Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Biblical warnings are given
for “false Christs” (Mark 13:22). Scripture also speaks of an
antichrist and of antichrists who stand against and/or instead of
the true Christ (1 John 2:18).
Christ Cathedral for Divine Abundance,
Alexius Bassey, London: Universalism,
Christ-consciousness: New Age term expressing the belief that Christ
is a divine potential in all human beings of which only some people
are aware or conscious, rather than a unique title for Jesus.
Christ Family, Charles McHugh: McHugh,
a.k.a. Lightening Amen, claims to be the incarnation of Jesus.
Followers dress in robes, no shoes, practice vegetarianism.
Christ Light Community: See New
Age Church of Truth.
Christ the Savior Brotherhood: See Holy
Order of MANS.
Christadelphianism, John Thomas: Teaches
is a created being, Holy Spirit is Power of God, and salvation
by works. Also rejects the ideas of heaven and hell. It has
several splinter groups.
Christian Community: Based on teachings
of Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Anthroposophical
Christian Fellowship, The: See Potter’s
Christian Foundation, Canyon County, CA:
movement: The belief that the true identity of the ten lost
tribes of Israel is the white, Anglo-Saxon race. The belief is
similar to but distinct from the doctrine of British
Israelism. A number of independent churches and organizations
(including some militant racist groups) make up the general
movement. Most deny the Trinity.
Some teach a form of the Serpent
Seed doctrine, believing that Jews are descendants of Eve’s
alleged sexual relations with the serpent (Genesis 3) and are thus
not fully human. Many also hold that non-Whites are descended from
the union of Cain and a woman from a supposed pre-Adamite
Christian Millennial Fellowship,
Hartford, CT: Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society splinter group (see Bible
Students). Publishes The New Creation periodical.
Christian Prayer Center, Mother Martin,
Washington, D.C.: Native
American spirituality and rituals, voodoo.
Christian Renewal Ministry, Saratoga, CA:
Bible and Tract Society splinter group (see Bible
Christian Rose Cross Church, Olympia, WA:
Based on the teachings of Max Heindel (see Rosicrucian
Science, Mary Baker Eddy, Boston, MA: Officially called Church
of Christ, Scientist. Eddy’s teaching heavily indebted to Phineas
P. Quimby, a mesmerist.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures functions as a virtual
second canon of Scripture. Views God as infinite Mind, “the
animating divine Principle of all that is real and good.” Matter is
unreal; thus, so are sickness and death, which are overcome by
believing that we are Mind. Seeking medical help is discouraged,
frequently resulting in preventable deaths. Christ
is “the divine manifestation of God” most fully seen in Jesus, who
only seemed to die. The “Holy Ghost” is Divine Science, that is,
Christian Science. The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity
is rejected as polytheistic. Many New Age ideas have historical
roots in Christian Science and related Mind
Jesus Christ: Major world religion developed in the first century AD
based on the belief that Jesus
of Nazareth was the promised Messiah or Christ
of Israel. Followers, called Christians, were initially viewed as a
sect of Judaism.
It quickly developed as a separate religion as Jewish Christians
became outnumbered by non-Jewish converts and, through a strong
missionary emphasis, Christianity became a diverse worldwide
movement. Their scripture is the Bible, which contains the Jewish
Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Christian Scriptures (New
Testament). Except for cults,
aberrant sects, and Liberal
Christianity, those who claim to be Christians have historically
believed the following: There is only one true God eternally
revealed in three distinct Persons - the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit (the Trinity).
Human beings are sinners who (without the grace of God received
through faith in Christ) are eternally lost. Jesus, who is God in
the flesh, died on the cross and rose physically from the dead as
the sole and sufficient payment for the sins of humanity. See Gospel,
by Grace, Salvation
Christward Ministry, Escondido, CA: New Age, guided meditation,
Chuang-tzu: Legendary founder of Taoism.
Church, The, Jim Roberts: See Brethren.
Church at San Diego, Paul and Patrica
Carroll: Current leaders Vincent and Patricia Izacic (a.k.a.
Church For Positive Living, Dean Davis
Bedford, TX: Native
American spirituality, yoga,
Church in York, Bernard Haygood, York,
Church of All Worlds, Otter Zell,
Berkeley, CA: Occult/Pagan
theology. Publishes the Green Egg periodical.
Church of Bible
Understanding (C.O.B.U.): A controversial network of churches,
headquartered in New York, that historically has been charged with
abuse due to legalism,
undue influence, and control mechanisms.
Church of Christ: See Churches
Church of Christ-Consciousness: See Center
of the Light.
Church of Christ Jesus: See International
Churches of Christ.
Church of Christ, Scientist: Official
name for Christian
Church of Christ, Temple Lot, Granville
Hedrick, Independence, MO: Splinter group that broke away from the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message,
Otto Fetting, Independence, MO: Splinter group that broke away from
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message,
Greenwood, MO: 1998 splinter group from Otto Fetting's group of
the same name.
Church of Cosmic Origin, Hope Troxell,
June Lake, CA: New Age, Community, Cosmic Christianity, additional
scripture includes The Book of Enoch.
Church of Divine Influence: Alignment
with the Divine Will of the Wise Movement of the Universe.
Church of Essential
Science, Scottsdale, AZ: Kabbalah,
cosmic laws of Divine spark to achieve salvation, God was All in the
Church of E Yada di
Shi-ite, Mark Probert, Mountain View, CA: New Age, channeling,
Church of Freethought: A social
organization for atheists that provides the opportunities for
socializing, community service, and social support offered by
Church of God and True Holiness, Robert
Carr, Raleigh, NC: Allegedly practice slavery and mind
Church of God Evangelistic
Association, David J. Smith, Richardson, TX: Armstrongism
splinter group. Denies Trinity,
personality of the Holy Spirit, and the bodily resurrection. Teaches
salvation by law-keeping, Sabbatarianism,
and that man can become a member of “the God family” (Godhead).
Publishes Newswatch Magazine and Newswatch radio and
Church of God, (Abrahamic Faith),
Wenatchee, WA: Adventist
group, similar to the Bible
Students groups; rejects the Trinity,
Publishes Notes For Bible Students newsletter.
Church of God Family Counseling Center,
William Miller, Dallas, TX: Miller claims to be the savior.
Church of God General Conference, Oregon,
IL: Rejects the Trinity.
Main headquarters for the Church of God, Abrahamic Faith.
Church of God,
International, Garner Ted Armstrong, Tyler, TX: Armstrongism
break-off group. Armstrong recently stepped down from his top
leadership position amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and
litigation. Publishes the International News and Twentieth
Century Watch periodicals.
Church of God Philadelphia Era, David
Fraser, Pasadena, CA: Armstrongism
break-off group. Publishes the Proclaim Liberty
Church of God (Seventh Day), Denver, CO:
One of the older Sabbatarian
churches in America. Publishes Bible Advocate.
Church of God, Seventh Day, Caldwell, ID:
observes Sabbath and Feast days; baptism necessary for salvation
regeneration). Publishes The Herald of Truth
Church of God (7th Day) Salem, WV:
Rejects the Trinity; teaches Sabbatarianism;
observes Feast days and Sabbath; baptism required for salvation (see
regeneration). Publishes The Advocate of Truth
Church of God, The Eternal, Raymond C.
Cole, Eugene, OR: Armstrongism
splinter group; Sabbatarianism;
observes Sabbath and Feast Days.
Church of Hakeem, Hakeem Rasheed,
Oakland, CA: Teaches how the god within makes people rich.
Church of Illumination, Quartertown, PA:
New Age, Divine Spark in all humans, Gnosticism,
similar to Rosicrucianism.
Church of Israel, Day Gayman,
Schell City, MO: Radical Christian
Identity movement sect. Publishes The Watchman.
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, The, Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City, UT:
(Latter-day Saints, LDS, Mormonism) Main body of Mormonism;
recognizes Brigham Young as Smith’s successor. Smith claimed that
the Father and Son appeared to him and called him to restore the
true Church. LDS Church teaches that God the Father was once a man
and was exalted to Godhood. God (and his heavenly Wife) begat
billions of spirit children, the firstborn of whom was Jesus.
Lucifer was the leader of God’s rebellious spirit children. Those
spirits who did not rebel become human beings in order to begin
process potentially leading to exaltation to Godhood. Jesus,
however, became a God while only a spirit. He organized our world
and is Jehovah, the God of Israel. He is a separate and subordinate
God to Elohim, the Father. A distinction is made between the Holy
Ghost, who is a personage of Spirit, and the Holy Spirit. The latter
is a divine energy, force, or spiritual essence that fills the
universe and is used by all three members of the Godhead in the
exercise and accomplishment of their will. The Church rejects the
orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.
It also redefines salvation
by grace to refer simply to resurrection. Almost all humans will
be resurrected into one of three kingdoms of glory, the least of
which is far superior to anything known in this life. Entry into the
higher kingdoms, and one’s rank there, depends not only upon the
atonement of Christ, but also upon one’s good works. Achievement of
the highest potential within the highest kingdom—Godhood—requires
complete “obedience to all the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”
The Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and
Doctrine and Covenants are all considered scripture.
Publishes Church News and Ensign magazine.
Church of Jesus Power, E.S. Cooke, Sr.,
Boulder City, NV: Astral
projection via “Jesus Powered Sakraments” (sic) which changes
man’s electro-magnetic polarity.
Church of Light, Elbert Benjamin, Los
Angeles, CA: New Age, Associated with the ???Brotherhood
of Light, rejects heaven and hell. Atonement to be found in each
person’s own path.
Church of Metaphysical Christianity,
Russell Flexer, Sarasota, FL: New Age, Jesus is Ascended
Master, Creation by Vibrations. Publishes Metaphysical
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ Apostolic
Church of Perfect Liberty, Tokuchika
Tokuhara, Glendale, CA: Zen
Buddhism, man is manifestation of god.
Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey, San Francisco, CA: Satanism,
incantations, festival days include Spring equinox and Halloween.
LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible, founded the church in
1966 and died in 1997 after which a struggle for leadership ensued
between LaVey's daughters, Karla and Zeena, and his long-term
live-in partner, Blanche Barton. Eventually, Barton became the
Church of Stan High Priestess and she later appointed Peter H.
Gilmore to be High Priest. As of early 2002, Peggy Nadramia joined
Gilmore, her husband, in leadership with the Church of Satan with
Nadramia serving as High Priestess. Barton is now serving in a
lesser role as Magistra Templi Rex. The church has claimed as many
10,000 members. LaVey, a former lion tamer, organist, hypnotist,
psychic, artist, and photographer. Like the vast majority of
Satanists, he did not believe in a literal, personal devil, but
turned to Satanic imagery to provoke a reaction and illustrate his
disdain for Christianity.
Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard: Humans are immortal spiritual
beings whose experience extends beyond a single lifetime (reincarnation),
and whose capabilities are unlimited, though presently imprisoned by
matter, energy, space, and time (MEST). Salvation is the recovery of
spiritual freedom, ability, independence and serenity, including
freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death (reincarnation),
and full awareness and ability independent of the body, i.e., being
“able to control matter, energy, space, and time.” These god-like
powers are achieved through auditing, a process whereby “engrams,”
(the mental recordings of past moments of pain and unconsciousness),
and other barriers to such states are removed, abilities are
regained, and greater awareness achieved. Auditing can last for
years and may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Teachings are
also advanced through affiliated business management companies such
Management Systems, the drug prevention program Narcanon,
and in public schools though Way
to Happiness. The writings and recorded spoken words of L.Ron
Hubbard (contained in over 500,000 pages of writings and over 2,000
tape-recorded public lectures) constitute the scripture of the
religion, his book Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental
Health being foundational. Scientology publishes several
magazines including Advance, High Winds, and Source;
also several newspapers and newsletters including The Auditor,
Tech News, KSW News and the FSM Newsletter. Scientology
has a history of alleged abuse and illegal activities, and is
fighting legal battles in countries all over the world.
Church of Seven Arrows, Wheatridge, CO:
American spirituality, shamanism,
Publishes Thunderbow II newsletter.
Church of the Brigade of Light,
Charlotte, NC: Divine Mother in everyone, Jesus
called the Gentle Brother, Metaphysical
philosophy. Publishes the Crystals of Light
Church of the Final Judgement: See Process
Church of the Final Judgement.
Church of the
Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, The, Joel LeBaron, Colonia
LeBaron, Chihuahua, Mexico: Polygamous, Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter group organized in 1956 by Joel LeBaron,
who was assassinated in 1972, allegedly by his brother Ervil, who
formed a rival splinter group, The
Church of the Lamb of God. The assassination was allegedly
carried out on the grounds of the Blood
Church of the Great God, John Ritenbaugh
Charlotte, NC: Armstrongism
break-off group. Publishes the Forerunner newsletter.
Church of the Lamb of
God, The, Ervil LeBaron, Salt Lake City, UT: Polygamous, Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter group formed in 1974 by Ervil LeBaron,
who was removed from The
Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times following
accusations that he was responsible for his brother’s assassination.
The church has also been suspected in the deaths of other rival Mormon
Fundamentalists, including Rulon Allred, founder of the Corporation
of the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic United Brethren. LaBaron
died in a Utah State Prison in 1981.
Church of the Living Stone
Mission for the Coming Days, Bang-ik Ha, Seoul, Korea: Predicted
would return on October 28, 1992. See False
Church of the Most High
God, Marvel, TX: God the Father is male and the Holy Spirit is
female or God the Mother.
Church of the Most High Goddess, Mary
Ellen Tracy, Los Angeles, CA: Revival of Egyptian religions, temple
priestess, salvation through sexual relations.
Church of the Movement of
Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), John-Roger Hinkins, Santa
Monica, CA: New Age, seminars, karma,
spirit guide/possession, visualization,
Church of the New Birth: See Foundation
Church of Divine Truth.
Church of the New Jerusalem: See Swedenborg
Church of the Plains Indians: Native
American spirituality, sweat
Church of the Tree of Life, San
Francisco, CA: No doctrine of God, sin, etc., only doctrine is
anything goes within legal limits.
Church of the Trinity, A. Stuart Otto,
San Marcos, CA: New Age; By Jesus’ C.E.R.A. (Crucifixion, Entombment,
Resurrection and Ascension) he imparted his Consciousness into the
psyche of all.
Church of the White Eagle
Lodge, Jean LeFevre, Montgomery, TX: Divine or Christ light in
each person, visualization,
Publishes Newsletter for The Americas.
Church of Universal Love, Linda Foreman,
El Paso, TX: Similar to I
AM Movement, use teachings of St. Germain, channeling,
Publishes Cosmic Channelling newsletter.
Church of Unlimited Devotion: Worships
Jerry Garcia of the rock-and-roll band, The Greatful Dead. They
believe Garcia’s guitar is a channel for God.
Church of Y, Tylwyth Teg, Smyrna,
Church Universal and
Triumphant (CUT), Mark Prophet, Corwin Springs, MT: New Age, Great
White Brotherhood, God-consciousness, similar to I
AM movement. Currently led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
Churches of Christ: The
independent Churches of Christ movement was one of several
associations and denominations that developed from Alexander
Campbell, Walter Scott and Barton W. Stone’s restoration movement of
the early 19th century, which was designed to promote unity among
Protestants. Many (but not all) Churches of Christ today, however,
differ from traditional Protestant doctrine in two key areas. Many
maintain that water baptism and/or other commandments (rather than
by grace through faith alone) are a requirement for salvation
by works). Some also believe that today’s Churches of Christ are
the only true churches on earth and that they can literally trace
their history to the first century church in Jerusalem.
Circle, Madison, WI: Pagan
Circle Network News Mt. Horeb, WI:
worship. Publishes the Circle Network News newsletter.
Circle of Life, Dorothy Espiau, Houston,
TX: Healing planet Earth, forces of Divinity, crystals,
believes dolphins are alien beings.
Circle of Light, Dallas, TX: New Age periodical.
Circle of Light, Inc., Honolulu, HI: New Age, follows Lord Michael, astral planes, channeling.
City of the Sun Foundation, Columbus, NM:
man is part of God , man is perfect.
The supposed paranormal ability to “see” psychic
information, including historical or future events or other
phenomena, that cannot be discerned naturally through the five
material senses. See ESP,
Cleage, Albert B., Jr.: See “Pan
African Orthodox Christian Church”.
Clifford E. Hobbs Foundation, Newport,
WA: Hedonistic theology.
Dissonance: A mental, emotional, or psychological state which
results from attempting to hold two totally incompatible beliefs or
opposing attitudes at the same time. See Double
Terry: New Age guru, teachings derive from Religious
College of Divine Metaphysics, Joseph
Garduno, Glendora, CA: New Age, metaphysical teaching.
Collegiate Association for
the Research of Principles (CARP): College and University
outreach of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
Comfort Corner Church, Lawrenceville, GA:
Common Boundary, Chevy Chase, MD:
New Age periodical.
Communion Letter, San Antonio, TX:
Christ, Joseph Smith, III, Independence, MO: Smaller of the two
main groups that originated from Joseph Smith’s alleged restoration
of the true church. When Smith died, those who accepted Brigham
Young as Smith’s successor followed him west to Utah; they are known
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Those who
rejected Young and accepted Smith’s son, Joseph Smith, III, remained
in Missouri and became known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS). The doctrines of the two groups
eventually became radically different. On April 6, 2001, the name of
the RLDS group was officially changed to Community of Christ.
The Community of Christ church has a slightly different version of
the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and they reject the
Pearl of Great Price as scripture. They do not hold to many of the
LDS distinctive doctrines, including the polygamy of the 19th
century LDS Church and the LDS belief (still held) that God was once
a man. In recent years the church has experienced divisions, with
more conservative Restoration
Branches becoming independent. Historically, the RLDS—now
Community of Christ—church also has had a leader who was a direct
descendant of the Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, Jr. The current
leader and prophet of the movement, Grant McMurray, was the first
exception to this practice.
Community of Jesus, Orleans, MS: Thought
to be involved in shepherding
Concept Therapy, Thurman Fleet, San
Antonio, TX: New Age, stress management seminars, book title Rays Of
The Dawn. Publishes The Beamer newsletter.
Christians, Monte Kim Miller, Denver, CO: Ironically,
begun in the early 1980s as a Christian
ministry to expose cults
and false teaching, Miller's organization began to take on cult-like
characteristics in later years. Becoming increasingly controversial
and bizarre, Miller's group drew national media attention in 1998
when over 50 followers fled the Denver area and disappeared after
Miller predicted the Apocalypse
was to begin and that Denver was to be destroyed by an earthquake on
October 10. Miller, who claims to be one of the two end-time
prophets mentioned in the Revelation 11, published Report from
Concerned Christians and Take Heed Update. Produced
Our Foundation radio program. This group is not to be
confused with the Mesa, Arizona-based Concerned Christians, a
Christian ministry to Mormons led by Jim Robertson.
Conciliation Ministries, Dusean Berkich
Lawrence, KS: Conversion should be inward to self, not to Jesus.
Confraternity of Deists, Homosassa
Springs, FL: Reject sin, no need for a Savior, no consciousness
Confucianism, Chiu King (King Fu-tzu or
Confucius - “Kung the Master”): A world religion based on the
teachings of Chiu King who, according to tradition, was born in Lu,
China about 550 BC Chiu King promoted peace and social harmony
through the traditions of the ancestors. He is said to have
collected, edited and written commentaries on four ancient
manuscripts (including the I
Ching). He also wrote Ch’un Ch’iu (“The Annals of
Spring and Autumn”) These documents comprise the Five Classics and
along with the Four Books (a collection of his sayings) form the
basis of Confucianism. Doctrines include ancestor worship, devotion
to family elders, and right conduct based on the inherent goodness
Congregation of God, San Jose, CA: See Answers
Research and Education.
Congregation of God Seventh Day, John
break-off group. Publishes The Herald magazine.
Congregation of the Firstborn, Raymond
Glenn, Grapeland, TX: Teaches that Jesus
is not God; also sabbatarianism,
Congregation of Yahweh, Pittsburgh, PA:
name group, sabbatarianism,
Old Testament feast days and dietary laws kept, the Holy Spirit is
the power of God. Publishes The Restoration Message
Conscious Development of Body, Mind, and
Soul: Organization of Teri
Conscious Living Foundation, Drain, OR:
New Age, states of consciousness, visualization.
Publishes the Gentle Place and Quiet Space magazine.
Consciousness Connection, Las Cruces, NM:
New Age, visualization,
Constellation, Elton Powers, Dallas, TX:
New Age, African spirituality, animal spirituality, yoga
Contemplations, Inc., Ed Heinemann,
Durango, CO: The Universe is alive and speaks. Life is crystalized
Continuum Foundation, Chino Valley, AZ:
New Age, dynamic energies, consciousness raising
Preachers, No Name Church, Two by Twos): Meet in homes. Jesus
is only part human and part God. Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to live
sinless life and can do the same for any person. Salvation
Cornerstone, Jim Rector,
Texarkana, TX: Armstrongism
splinter group. Publishes Cornerstone.
Corporation of the President of the
Fundamentalist Church, Rulon T. Jeffs, Sandy, Utah: Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter group of between eight and twelve
thousand members. The group has a strong presence in Hilldale, Utah,
and Colorado City, Arizona (once known as Short Creek), which was
the site of a government effort to prosecute polygamists in
of the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic United Brethren, Rulon
Allred, Bluffdale, UT: Polygamous, Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter group of between five and eight thousand
members in Idaho, Nevada, Montana and the United Kingdom.
Allred was murdered in 1977 by members of a rival Mormon
Cosmerism: Mixture of Christianity
but embraces all religions as having truth.
Cosmic Awareness Communications, Olympia,
WA: New Age, channeling the Force which also spoke through Jesus,
and Edgar Cayce (see Association
for Research and Enlightenment).
Christ: See Christ.
Cosmic Communication Commune, Decorah,
IA: All religions have same common roots, communication from the
Cosmic Light of Peace Center: See House
of Divine Bread.
Cosmic Science Research Foundation,
Edward Palmer, Portland, OR: New Age, UFO
information given by Hierarchical Intelligence on the various planes
Cosmic Wisdom, Clark Wilkerson, Honolulu,
HI: New Age, Kabbala,
cosmic consciousness, Universal Mind.
Council of Light, Honolulu, HI: Ascended
Masters, similar to I
AM movement; channeling.
Council of the Magickal Arts, Austin, TX:
witchcraft (see Wicca),
worship, ritual magic.
Course in Miracles,
A, Helen Schucman: New Age book given through the channeled
voice of “Jesus.”
The world, sin, and sickness are all illusions. Teaches that man is
still in heaven with God and this life is a dream.
Coven: A group two or
more people (ideally thirteen) practicing witchcraft (see Wicca)
or occult arts. Also called a clan.
Coven Gardens, Boulder, CO: Occult,
revival of Egyptian deities.
Covered Bridge Canyon, Spanish Fork, UT:
denies reality of death.
Covey, Stephen: Mormon
author with New Age affinities. Author of the best-selling, 7 Habits
of Highly Effective People, and several sequels.
Creation Calendar, Verlis W. Johnson,
Kermit, TX: Sabbatarianism,
necessity of keeping the Law, Feast Days, etc., for salvation (see
Creme, Benjamin: See Tara
Crossroads Church of Christ: See International
Churches of Christ.
Crowley, Aleister: An
English magician and Occultist.
Crowley (1875–1947) was known for sex magic, homosexual rituals, and
a fascination with drugs, blood and torture. Headed the British
branch of Ordo
Templi Orientis (OTO), founded the Abbey
of Thelema at Cefalu in Sicily. Author of Diary of a Drug
Fiend and Magick in Theory and Practice.
Crusade of Innocence: Believed to be a
splinter group of Process
Church of the Final Judgment.
Chrysalis Foundation, Durango, CO: Metaphysical
Crystals Consciousness, Warren Klausner
San Diego, CA: New Age, crystal
Crystal Horizons, Santa Barbara, CA: New Age, crystals.
or fortune telling by gazing into a crystal rock or crystal
Crystal Pathway, Denver, CO: New Age/Occult
Crystals: Many though
not all New Agers believe that gems (especially Crystals) possess
spiritual powers to bring the bearer health, wealth and good
Cult: See the Definitions
section in the introduction.
Cult Awareness Network
(CAN): Headed by Cynthia Kisser and based in Chicago, IL, this
was once the largest secular cult watch organization or anti-cult
group in America. According to Kisser, between 1991 and 1996 CAN was
the victim of approximately 50 lawsuits directly or indirectly
sponsored by members of the Church
of Scientology, an organization considered by CAN to be a
dangerous cult. CAN eventually lost one of those civil suits,
which resulted in CAN filing bankruptcy. On October 23, 1996, the
Cult Awareness Network’s name, logo, and phone number were sold to a
Scientology-related law firm as part of a $20,000 purchase of CAN
assets in the federal bankruptcy court. Kisser warns that anyone now
contacting CAN should be aware that they are very likely talking
Confession: One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton’s theory of Thought Reform. A system that requires
members to disclose to their leaders or superiors the personal
thoughts, attitudes, and actions that do not conform to the group’s
ideals. This practice diminishes healthy personal boundaries and
privacy, and may facilitate additional abuses.
Cumorah Books, Independence, MO:
Affiliated with the more conservative Restoration
Branches of the RLDS
Church. Publishes Restoration Voice, The
Daily Word: A monthly publication of Unity
School of Christianity.
Dalai Lama: The
spiritual leader of Tibetan
Dallas Fellowship, Inc., Arlington, TX:
New Age; uses The URANTIA Book as their main text.
Publishes The Circle newsletter.
Dang, Luong Minh: Founder of Spiritual
Davera Mission Church, Korea: Alternate
name for Church
of the Living Stone Mission for the Coming Days.
David, John: See John-David
David, Moses (King David): Pseudonym for
David Berg, the late founder of The
Family (Children of God).
Davis, Haviland: Albany, NY: Leader of a
Students splinter group from the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society.
Dawn Bible Students, East Rutherford, NJ:
One of the original Bible
Students splinter groups formed after Joseph Rutherford assumed
leadership of the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society.
Dayspring Resources, Leonie Rosenstiel,
New York, NY: Hypnosis,
de Mello, Anthony: An Indian-born Jesuit
priest, who wrote a number of New Age books that were bestsellers in many countries. His
works include One Minute Wisdom, One Minute Nonsense,
Wellsprings: A Book of Spiritual Exercises, and Walking on
Water. In 1998, over a decade after his death, the Congregation
for the Doctrine of Faith (a Vatican commission) denounced de
Mello's writings. They warned of false teachings in his works,
including a denial of objective morality and the claim that all
religion, including Christianity, are obstacles to truth.
Delphi School, Sheridan, OR: Uses the
teachings of L.
Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church
Demand for Purity:
One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton's theory of Thought Reform. An environment of blame and
guilt based on an impossible ideal of human behavior or perfection.
This shame-based culture punishes failure and can even subtly train
members to punish themselves for their inability to live up to the
group's ideals or standards. See Brainwashing.
under the direction of Satan
who seek to destroy God’s purpose and people. Demons are invisible,
spiritual beings (Ephesians 6:12), are organized and have
supernatural power and knowledge (Matthew 12:24, Revelation 16:14),
can possess humans and animals, (Luke 8:2, Mark 5:13), and can
inspire false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1).
Denver, John: Prominent New Age singer who promoted est,
Meditation, and the Windstar
Foundation before his death in 1997.
coercive attempt to dissuade an individual of religious or
ideological convictions believed to be harmful, through a
concentrated (usually two to three days) counseling procedure
designed to produce a sudden "snapping out." Deprogramming was
developed in the 1970s by Ted Patrick and others as a way to rescue
family members who were perceived to have undergone negative
personality change after joining destructive cults.
Often presented as an antidote for brainwashing
control, some deprogrammers rationalized the unethical use of
force and coercion to rescue victims by illegally holding them
against their will (abduction or "snatching") in a process known as
"involuntary" deprogramming. Not to be confused with Exit
Deseret Shadow Church: See Church
of Essential Science.
Devil: See Satan.
Di Mambro, Joseph: See Order
of the Solar Temple.
Dianetics: Bestselling “bible” of the Church
Discover Seminars, Irving, TX: New Age, stress management.
Discovery, West Valley City, UT: Anti-Christian,
is the Devil.
Disfellowshipping: As practiced by the LDS
and many other groups, this is a level of church discipline
involving a probationary period of restricted privileges, but
retaining church membership. As practiced by the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society, it is an alternate term for
“excommunication,” being completely cut off from Jehovah’s
organization; see Shunning.
Existence: One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton's theory of Thought Reform. The organization's dogma
determines whether or not other groups or individuals have the right
to exist. All alternative belief systems or organizations are
considered illegitimate. In extreme cases this mindset can promote
violence or murder.
philosophy of Enlightenment.
biblical term describing attempts to gain hidden knowledge
supernaturally, usually about the future, apart from the God of the
Bible (Ezekiel 21:22–25, Acts 16:16). Most often props are involved
such as the hand (palm
reading), the stars (astrology),
or random symbols (I
Divine Light Center, Swami Omkarananda:
Mixture of Hinduism,
and animal sacrifice.
Divine Light Mission, Maharaj Ji: Hindu/New Age philosophy, teachings on the God within.
Divine Science, Denver CO: Similar to Christian
Science theology: God is All, man is a part of the All, thus man
Divine Science of Light and Sound, Marina
del Rey, CA: New Age, reincarnation,
Divine Word Foundation, Warner Springs,
CA: New Age, channeled writings, Jesus
are separate entities.
Dixon, Jeane (1917–1997): Astrologer,
prognosticator, claimed information was from Christian
God, however she made many false prophecies.
Doctrine and Covenants: One of the
scriptures or “Standard Works” of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the Reorganized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints accepts a different
version of the work as scripture.
Person: One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton's theory of Thought Reform. The ideas and doctrines of
the leader and organization overrule the personal experiences,
conscience, and integrity of the individual.
Dominion Press, San Marcos, CA: New
Thought, similar to Christian
Science and Unity
School of Christianity. Publishes the Theologia 21
newsletter. Not to be confused with Dominion Press in Tyler, TX, a
controversial but orthodox Christian publishing house.
Arlington, TX: Occult,
and other pagan
The Door: See Potter’s
Double Bind: A
mental or psychological dilemma caused when a person receives from a
single leader or teacher conflicting messages or "truths" resulting
in no appropriate response or answer. See Cognitive
Dowsing: Form of divination
using a forked rod, a bent wire, or a pendulum. Used to locate
people, objects, or substances, and to diagnose illnesses.
Druids: A priestly
caste of the ancient Celtic people of France and the British Isles.
They were the keepers of oral history and law, and officiates of pagan,
religious practices. See Halloween.
Dual Covenant: The
belief that the New Testament (or covenant) applies to gentiles
(non-Jews) only. Thus, Jesus
is not the Savior of the Jewish people and they should relate to God
through the earlier Old Testament or Abrahamic covenant. A similar
doctrine called the Plural Covenant theory emphasizes other
covenants in addition to these two major systems.
Dualism: An understanding of reality as
existing in two opposite extremes. Metaphysical dualism sees the
universe as existing in two contrary (and sometimes conflicting)
realities—mind and matter, or spirit and physical, or yin
and yang. Ethical dualism posits a conflict between universal
good and an equal and opposite force of universal evil (e.g., the
belief that God and Satan are equal and opposite beings).
Dungeons and Dragons: Occult,
role playing game, allegedly uses demonic names and spells found
in occult literature. Some parents have charged that children
committed suicide under the influence of the game.
DuPage Church of Religious Science,
Donald E. Burt, Naperville, IL: Religious
Science, use the teachings of Ernest Holmes.
Dyer, Wayne: Prominent New Age writer and spokesman focusing on business
applications, personal transformation and motivational speaking.
Also promotes holistic
health, and Buddhism.
Monarchianism: A late second-century heresy denying the Trinity,
put forth by Theodotue of Byzantium and later adoped in modified
forms by Paul of Samosata, Noetus and Prazeas.
Eadie, Betty: New
Age author of best-sellers, Embraced by the Light and
The Awakening Heart. An active member of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Eadie claims to have died,
gone to heaven, and returned to her body (see near-death
experiences). Her books contain a combination of New Age and
Eagle’s Cry, Denver, CO: New
periodical, includes Egyptian revival, channeling,
Eagle’s Path, Grand Junction, CO: UFOs,
moon festivals, yoga,
Earth Church of Amargi, St. Louis, MO: Paganism,
witchcraft (see Wicca),
moon festivals, Kabbalah,
Earthmother Therapy Center: Astrology,
life regression, reflexology.
Earthsong, Wendy Moss, Dallas, TX:
Journey into Mother Earth.
East West Journal, Syracuse, NY:
New Age periodical.
Eastern School Press, Talent, OR: New Age, Theosophical,
Ebon, Martin: See Spiritual
Ecclesia Athletic Association, Eldridge
Broussard, Jr., Los Angeles, CA: Believed to practice controversial
forms of mind
control and shepherding.
Twitchell: Mixture of pantheism
and eastern mysticism,
Ecstasy, Ojai, CA: New Age, man is God, realized through sexual encounters, New
Eddy, Mary Baker: See Christian
Edwards, Bishop Luke: See REACH,
Effective Learning Systems, Edina, MN:
Subliminal tapes, visualization,
deep relaxation techniques.
Elmwood Institute, Fritjof Capra:
Internationally recognized New Age author (The Tao of Physics) and
Emmanuel, J. David Davis, Athens, TN: See
Noah for theological perspective. Publishes The Gap
Emerald Circle: Paganism,
know the Divine within, be part of Gaia.
ENERGIE et PARTAGE: See Spiritual
symbol. A circle with its circumference divided by nine points; has
connections with the “Tree of Life” in Kabbalah,
Epiphany Bible Students Association,
Mount Dora, FL: Splinter group from Laymen’s
Home Missionary Movement, one of the Bible
Students groups that broke away from the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society.
Erhard, Warner: See est.
Esalen Institute, Michael Murphy, Big
Sur, CA: New Age, one of the original institutions for developing and
promoting eastern mysticism/New
Esoteric: Hidden or
deeper knowledge held by an elite few. Belief that there are
mystical core truths underlying /unifying religions that are unknown
to the uninitiated. See Gnosticism,
Esoteric Order of Dagon, Soror Azenath
23rd, Abita Springs, LA: Channel the energy of the Nu Aeon,
unconsciousness, worship the Old Ones or Old Gods.
ESP: Acronym for Extrasensory
ESPress, Inc., Washington, D.C.: Psychics.
Spiritual Science Center.
Essene Gospel of Peace, Edmond Bordeaux
Szekely: New Age, allegedly channeled by “Jesus,”
enlightenment, illness is a mistake.
Essene Light Center, Mary L. Myers,
Charlotte, NC: Has similarities to I
AM movement, belief in Great
White Brotherhood, ascended
beings, Father-Mother god.
est, Warner Erhard:
Personal transformation seminar promising individual growth,
business management skills, stress reduction, etc. Teaches the world
has no objective meaning, enlightenment, and to live moment to
moment with no regard for the future. New Age themes. In the midst
of mounting troubles, Erhard decided to leave the United States. Est
was discontinued and replaced by The Forum. Similar to other
transformational/encounter seminars such as Lifespring.
Eupsychia, Austin, TX: New Age, Transcendental
American spirituality, shamanism.
Christianity: Evangelical (from the Greek euangelion,
good news or gospel)
generally means a focus on the essentials of Christianity.
The term can be used to describe all Christians or churches that
hold to or give heavy emphasis to specific conservative Protestant
beliefs. (In Germany, “Evangelical” is basically synonymous with
“Lutheran.”) These include: the authority and infallibility of the
Bible, the nature of God (sovereign, holy, compassionate, personal,
etc.), the sinful and fallen state of humanity, and salvation
by grace through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of
as the only means of salvation. More specifically the term has come
to be closely identified with a widespread trans-denominational
shift towards more conservative Christian doctrine that developed
after World War II. See Fundamental
Evolutionary Kingdom Level Above Human,
Richardson, Texas: Earlier name of Heaven’s Gate, Marshall Applewhite's UFO
Exaltation: In the teaching of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the highest form of
salvation. It means to become a God, exactly like God the Father and
Jesus Christ, and to produce and rule over one’s offspring
(Thought Reform Consulting) A non-coercive technique (in
contrast to deprogramming)
designed to help rescue members of religions or cults that are
considered false, harmful, or dangerous. The program usually
involves a two to three day voluntary counseling session emphasizing
education and dialogue, often with a licensed mental health
professional, a former member of the group, and/or a specialist on
dynamics. The approach stresses true personal and religious freedom
in the context of providing additional information and full
disclosure, which facilitates more informed decision-making. Family
counseling and intervention techniques may also be
(ESP): Alleged knowledge of an experience or a response to an
external event apart from the five senses. This experience can take
place either in a wakeful or dream state.
Church, Raymond Jackson, Jeffersonville, IN: Similar to William
Branham. Publishes The Contender newspaper.
Faithbuilders Fellowship, San Diego, CA:
Theology similar to Jehovah’s
Faithful Word, Chicago, IL: Armstrongism
splinter group, teaches necessity of keeping the Law of Moses.
Publishes The Faith Word magazine.
Faith Temple, Rosemary Cosby, Salt Lake
City, UT: Apostolic
Faith splinter group; Cosby has claimed to be the
Generally, any teaching by a prophet that is not true. Specifically,
it is a prediction, made by an individual or group claiming to speak
on God’s authority, of a specific event that fails to occur by the
specific, given date or within the specified time frame (Deuteronomy
A spirit that can allegedly communicate with humans, often through
possessing the body of a medium,
Also, a special type of demon
that can impersonate a deceased person during attempts to
communicate with the dead (see necromancy).
Family, The, Charles Manson: The
followers of Charles Manson, some of whom were convicted for the
1969 Tate/LaBianca murders. Not related to the following
Family, The, David
Berg: Originally called the Children of God (COG) and recently
called “The Family of Love,” this group boasts communal “colonies”
throughout the world. Best known for explicit sexual practices in
recruiting converts and inner-group life, based on Berg’s writings,
the MO Letters. Not related to previous entry.
Fantasy Role Playing Games
(FRP): Players assume the identity of mythical characters and
participate in elaborate mental adventures. Critics have expressed
concern over the tremendous amount of time often invested in the
games. More disturbing are reports that the games often emphasize
rape, violence, spells, magic
and other occult
themes. Some parents have also charged that their children committed
suicide while under the influence of FRP.
The Farm, Stephen Gaskin, Summertown, TN:
Buddhism mixed with esoteric
Farrakhan, Louis: Leader in the Nation
Fate, Marion, OH: New
Divine, né George Baker (1878–1965): Black founder of the
Mission Movement, believed by his followers to be God.
The Fellowship, Chicago, IL: One of a
number of groups that follow the teachings of The
URANTIA Book. New Age, automatic
Fellowship For Spiritual Understanding,
Marcus Bach, Palos Verdes Estates, CA: Similar teaching to Unity
School of Christianity, denies reality of death, teaches man is
Fellowship of Isis: Paganism.
Egyptian gods and goddess
Fellowship of the Inner Light, Paul
Solomon, Virginia Beach, VA: New Age; concept of “Meta-Human” teaches man to go beyond
human to become Creator/Master.
Fellowship of Universal Guidance,
Glendale, CA: Astrology,
Fellowship Press, Noblesville, IN:
Soulcraft library, claims of channeled
information from William Dudley Pelley in the very High Planes of
Consciousness after he had died.
Feminism: See Radical
Feng Shui: A religious “science” for the
balancing of Yin
and Yang in the environment, discovered or originated by farmers
some 3,000 years ago and developed within Taoism. Feng Shui teaches
that there is an energy called Qi (or, Chi)
flowing throughout the universe, and in this world through lines,
sometimes called channels or meridians, to which one must be
properly aligned for optimal health, fortune, and quality of life.
The position and alignment of structures and objects in one’s
environment affects the flow of this energy and one’s own ability to
harmonize with nature. Practitioners therefore arrange household and
office furniture, design rooms and even whole buildings, their
grounds and gardens, etc., to properly align with the flow lines of
earth’s energy. They thus hope to improve the balance of nature
around them, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit
everyone in the area.
Feraferia, Eagle Rock, CA: Paganism,
Fellowship, Chicago, IL: One of a number of groups that follow
the teachings of The
URANTIA Book. Formerly URANTIA Brotherhood. New Age, automatic
Firewalking Institute of Research and
Education, Twain Harte, CA: Firewalking, shamanism,
sweat lodge, rebirthing.
First Demonic Church, Efrem Del Gatto,
Church of Elvis the Divine, Bethelehem, PA: Begun in 1988 as a
marketing ploy/parody by Farndu and Karl Edwards, the church spoofs
traditional religions and cults by “worshipping” Elvis Presley in
weekly services held on the Internet and the campus chapel of Lehigh
University in Bethlehem, PA.
First Temple of the Craft of W.I.C.A.,
South Chicago Heights, IL: Paganism,
witchcraft (see Wicca).
Church of God-Realization, Bhagavan Sri Babajhan-Al-Kahlil,
Redondo Beach, CA: New Age, God is the self within, many paths all lead to the
First World Conclave of Light, San Diego,
32 planets already joined but are waiting for the Earth to make the
necessary commitment before the spaceships can land. See also Unarius
First Zen Institute of America, New York,
Publishes the Zen Notes newsletter.
Fitch, Joseph: See Spiritual
Flag Service Organization, Tampa, FL:
of Scientology philosophy.
Flirty Fishing, (Ffing): Allegedly
discontinued practice of using sex to entice converts into The
Flying Saucer Information Center,
Pasadena, MD: UFOs,
aliens coming to take Earth children for seedlings. Publishes the
of Christ Church, Walter T. White, Oregon City, OR:
and holds to a strict faith-healing doctrine. Doctors and hospitals
are not allowed. State medical examiner claims as many as 25
children have died in the last two decades from complications from
otherwise common medical problems.
Ford, Arthur: See Spiritual
Form Criticism: A
method of literary
criticism used by many scholars in the interpretation of the
Bible. It identifies the literary forms of specific parts of the
biblical writings, such as the different types of psalms
(thanksgiving, lament, etc.) or the different units in the Gospels
(parables, miracle stories, etc.). By noting common features in
passages of the same form, various conclusions are drawn about how
to interpret those passages. In liberal
Christianity, which pioneered this method, many of the forms are
assumed to be legendary or mythical (especially those involving the
supernatural). Some evangelical scholars think form criticism can be
useful if such liberal assumptions are avoided, while other
evangelicals reject form criticism outright. See also Redaction
Fort Worth Bible Students, Fort Worth,
Students group that republishes older Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society materials.
Fortunetelling: A form of divination
in which a person attempts to predict the future using alleged
The Forum: New
Age, personal transformation seminar; see est.
Foundation Church, New York, NY: Psychic
development, “psychosomastery,” UFOs.
See also Process
Church of the Final Judgement.
Foundation Church of
Divine Truth, Washington, D.C.: New
based on automatic
writings of James E. Padget as found in the book True Gospel
Revealed Anew by Jesus; teaches that man becomes the very
essence of God. Publishes the Divine Truth Commentary
Foundation Church of the Millennium: See
Church of the Final Judgement.
Foundation Church of the New Birth: See
Church of Divine Truth.
Foundation Faith, (Foundation Faith of
God): See Process
Church of the Final Judgement.
Foundation Faith of the Millennium, New
All religious leaders, including Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha were
sent by God.
Foundation for Co-Creation, Barbara Marx
Hubbard, Greenbraie, CA: Prominent New Age lecturer and writer.
Foundation for Higher Spiritual Learning,
Centreville, VA: Formerly “Bridge to Freedom,” the new name was
adopted in 1979. The group follows the theosophical
teachings of Guy Ballard of the I
AM movement, including the Great
Foundation for Inner Peace: Organization
and publisher for A
Course in Miracles.
Foundation for Life Action, Tara Singh,
Los Angeles, CA: Know one’s own Christ
nature; promotes A
Course in Miracles. Publishes A Call To Wisdom
Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Michael
Harner, Norwalk, CT: Occult,
for empowerment and healing.
Foundation for Unlimited Consciousness,
Rain Morgan, Orcas, WA: New Age, channeling,
Ramtha devotees (see Knight,
Foundation of Human
Understanding, Roy Masters, Grants Pass, OR: Eastern mysticism,
Foundation of Light and Metaphysical
Education, Hurst, TX: Occult,
Foundation of Revelation, San Francisco,
CA: Eastern mysticism,
Fox, Kate and Margarett: See Spiritualism.
Fox, Matthew: Dominican
Catholic priest silenced by the Vatican for teaching blatant New Age theology (which he calls “creation-centered
Fraternity of Light, Philadelphia, PA: Kabbalah,
one’s inner essence is a Divine Spark.
Free Bible Students: A small Bible
Students splinter group currently consisting of only four
congregations and approximately 27 home groups.
Free Soul, Sedona, AZ: New Age, spirit guides, commune with Divine Nature, Psychic
and Higher Soul Dimensions.
Free Spirit, Brooklyn, NY: New Age periodical.
fraternal order revived in the early 18th century in England,
loosely based on associations or guilds of stone cutters
(“operative” masons). Freemasonry (“speculative” masons) sought to
give philosophical, moral, or spiritual meaning to the lodge, tools,
and oaths of the stone cutters. Branches of Freemasonry include the
Blue Lodge, York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Shriners. Affiliated
organizations include the Order of the Eastern Star (for women), the
Order of DeMolay (for boys), and the Order of Rainbow (for girls).
Most modern adherents maintain that the organization is not a
religion but a club or fraternity promoting high moral values and
good works. They believe, therefore, that Freemasonry is compatible
with and supplements Christianity and other religions. Critics
counter that Freemasonry involves secret blood oaths or curses, and
that the writings of respected early leaders (Albert Mackey, Albert
Pike, etc.) are replete with occult philosophy and religious
doctrine contrary to Christianity. Despite Freemasonry’s promotion
and funding of a number of worthwhile, philanthropic endeavors (free
Shriner children hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), many Christian
individuals and churches have condemned Freemasonry or warned of
elements that they believe are contrary to Christianity. These
churches include the Presbyterian Church of America, Southern
Baptist Convention, Episcopal Church, Christian Reformed Church,
Church of the Nazarene, and Lutheran Church (Missouri and Wisconsin
Freewinds Relay Office, Clearwater, FL:
Friends Review, Hillsboro, OR: Occult/metaphysical
Christianity: Generally a reference to conservative Christians
who believe five “fundamentals” of Christianity:
the inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth of Christ, the
substitutionary atonement of Christ, the bodily resurrection of
Christ, and the historicity of biblical miracles. More specifically,
the term is identified with the conservative reaction, especially in
America, to liberal
Christianity in the early 20th century. Core beliefs of the
movement are virtually identical with evangelical
Christianity. Some fundamentalists, however, later distinguished
themselves from evangelicals (or neo-evangelicals) whom they saw as
too compromising and ecumenical. More recently some have given a
new, negative meaning to the term “fundamentalist” using it as a
synonym for narrow-minded, bigoted, anti-intellectual or divisive
Ministries, Elm Grove, WI: Sabbatarianism,
observes Feast Days, part of Sacred
Name movement. Publishes The Appointed Time
Gabriel Society, Ruth Harders, Western
Springs, IL: New Age, metaphysics,
Gaia: Originally the
of earth. Many see the earth as one large living organism made of
numerous parts, much as the human body is one living organism with
Gandhi Memorial Center, Swami Premananda,
Washington, D.C.: Eastern mysticism,
teaching of Hindu
leader Mahatma Gandhi. Publishes The Gandhi Message
Garvey Center, Witchita, KS: New Age, holistic
health mixed with sound medical procedures. Pyramid
Christopher James Turgeon, Pala, CA: A small cult
formerly called Ahabah Sasah Prophetic Ministries in Everett, WA.
Turgeon once claimed to be the prophet Elijah. He and another
member, Blaine Alan Applin, were charged with first-degree murder in
1998 following the shooting death of former member Daniel Jess.
Earlier that year a SWAT team served a warrant on the group's
five-acre compound located 60 miles north of San Diego and recovered
weapons and other stolen property.
Gateway To Light, Lloyd G. Sellman,
Dewey, AZ: UFOs,
Gateways Institute, Jonathan Parker,
Ojai, CA: New Age, subliminal
Gawain, Shakti: New Age author who popularized Buddhism
through creative visualization
Geller, Uri: Psychic,
Germain, Saint: See I
AM Movement, Ascended
entities or spirit beings, often believed to be the spirits of the
dead. See Spiritualism,
Global Church of
God, Roderick Meredith, San Diego, CA: Splinter group from Worldwide
Church of God. Teaches a form of Armstrongism.
Global Family, Palo Alto, CA: New Age, visualization,
Higher self which is God, pantheism
(all is God).
Globalism: When used in a religious
sense, this term most often means to lose all national identity.
Mankind must see itself as one world family, without the need for
distinctions between religions. All religions become true or the
distinctive doctrines of the various religions must be disregarded
in an attempt to achieve the new Global Family idea.
Global Times: The bimonthly
magazine published by the Denmark office for Proutist International.
Gnostic Catholic Church of Canada,
Edmonton, Alberta: Paganism,
rituals. Publishes the Sunspot magazine.
the Greek word gnosis (knowledge). Salvation comes through
secret knowledge. A diverse belief influenced by Greek philosophy
and similar to forms of pantheism,
Gnosticism generally taught that matter was evil and spirit was
good. Forms of gnosticism affected early Christianity. One Gnostic
heresy taught that because matter was evil, Jesus could not have
come in the flesh. Many New Agers regard Gnostic Christianity as the
more enlightened form of Christianity.
Gnostic Order of
Christ, The, Timothy Harris, San Jose, CA: An esoteric and
mystical order reviving the doctrines of the now defunct Holy
Order of MANS.
Goat’s Head: An occult
symbol consisting of an upside-down five-pointed star. See Baphomet.
God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer
Foundation: See Chen
Goddess: New Age, occult,
A term used in various though related senses to affirm a feminine
nature or aspect of the divine. Three beliefs are common: revering
“Mother Nature,” or the Earth, as divine (see Gaia);
worshiping a female deity (often linked to primitive pagan
religions, as in Wicca);
and the search by some women for the “divine spark” of the “goddess
God’s House of Prayer for All People,
Samuel T. Allen, Dallas, TX: Sabbath and Old Testament festivals
kept for salvation (see Sabbatarianism).
God’s Salvation Church: See Chen
Golden Association, Ann Rogers, San Jose,
CA: New Age, channeling,
Golden Book of the Theosophical Society,
The: See Rosicrucianism.
Golden Dawn, John Phillips Palmer,
Lumberville, PA: Occult,
spiritual authorities are Secret Chiefs and Inner Plane
Golden Dolphin, Sheila Balenger,
Greenback, WA: Paganism,
Mother Earth, Primal Goddess.
Publishes Sacred Cycles newsletter.
Golden Eagle Sanctuary, Hot Springs, AR:
Golden Lion, Ann Alexander, Houston, TX:
New Age, esoteric
Golden Quest, Hilda Charlton, Lake Hill,
space brothers, karma,
the divine child within all.
Golden Wheel, W.E. Reeve, England: Occult,
Good Cheer Press, Boulder, CO: Publishes
material promoting The
Good, Joseph: See Hatikva
meaning “good news,” the term gospel is used by traditional
Christians as a reference to the message of salvation
by grace through faith, based on the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus
(1 Corinthians 15:1–4). The first four books of the New Testament,
which consist of accounts of Jesus’ ministry, death, and
resurrection (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), are also called the
Gospels. One of the marks of a cult is that it preaches a different
gospel, that is, a false way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4;
Galatians 1:6–9). Most false gospels teach a form of either salvation
by works or universalism.
Grail Foundation of America, Abd-ru-shin,
Binghamton, NY: Esoteric
call for “child-like faith” no longer valid.
Grand Canyon Society, Scottsdale, AZ: New Age, channeling,
members use The
URANTIA Book as their text.
Invocation: A New Age prayer written in 1937 by Alice Bailey
School) and circulated by various New Age groups that believe
widespread recitiation may help initiate a new utopia on
Great Lakes Fellowship: Splinter Group of
Great Lakes Pagan Association, Techumseh,
Publishes The Covenstead newsletter.
Society for Biblical Research, John Cheetham: Armstrongism
Age belief in a group of spirit beings or reincarnated
teachers, also called Ascended
Masters, existing on a non-physical higher plane.
Greater Grace World
Outreach, Carl H. Stevens, Jr., Baltimore, MD: Formerly “The
Bible Speaks.” Courts required church to return funds to millionaire
contributor for unethical and illegal actions. Allegedly practices
control and shepherding.
Group for Creative Meditation: See Meditation
Group for New Age.
Grove of the Unicorn, Galadriel, Atlanta,
moon festivals, magic.
Guardian Action International, Deming,
Another term for Visualization.
Guideposts: Magazine founded by Norman
Guild For Hermetic Revelation, Houston,
TX: New Age, astrology,
Gunvik, Sigurd: This man’s teachings are
a mixture of Jehovah’s
Witnesses and Sacred
Gurdjieff, George I.: Mixture of occult,
and mystical teaching. Considered by some to have been the greatest
mystical teacher of all times.
religious teacher (sometimes thought to be a focus of worship or
adoration) who gives personal guidance towards enlightenment.
Guru Dev: Hindu Swami (religious master)
who was the teacher of Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental
Company San Francisco, CA: New Age, yoga,
(Samhain) The term “Halloween” originally referred to All Hallows’
Eve, a Catholic observance of the night before All Saints’ Day.
However, in its modern American form it is a holiday based on pagan,
beliefs and Druid
rituals. Believed to be a religious high or holy day by those
involved in witchcraft (see Wicca)
Celebrated on October 31st, children are encouraged to wear costumes
and solicit candy door-to-door (Trick-or-Treat).
Prominent New Age music composer and lecturer.
Hare Krishna: Nickname for the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Convergence: A New Age, social, environmental and personal transformational
event formulated by Jose Arguelles, based on alleged Mayan
prophecies and astrological
conjecture. Arguelles promoted a gathering of New Age believers held
16–17 August 1987 at the earth’s supposed vortexes (psychic
power centers) for meditation
and chanting, theoretically to usher in a cosmic transformation.
Other significant dates were 31 December 1987 and a culmination in
Harmonie et Energie des volcans
d’Auvergne: See Spiritual
Harr, Brian, Rochester, NY: The reincarnation
Harris, Timothy: See “Gnostic
Order of Christ.”
Hartley, Harriette, Arlington, TX: New Age, psychic,
Hatha Yoga: See “Yoga.”
Joseph Good, Port Arthur, TX: Denies the doctrine of the Trinity
and deity of Christ,
seems to be Sacred
Hawkwind, Charla Hawkwind Hermann, Valley
Head, AL: Native
American spirituality, Mother Earth, shamanism,
Publishes The Pathfinder magazine.
Hay, Louise: New Age, metaphysical
counselor and author.
Healing Arts Expressions, Solvang, CA: New Age; healing by meditation
on a piece of art, painting, etc.
Healing Center, Sarasota, FL: New Age, magnetic therapy, chakras,
and Yang balancing.
Health and Wealth Gospel: See Word-Faith
Health Conscious Services, Christ Singh
Khalsa, New York: Yoga,
each person is his or her own Master.
Healthy, Happy, and
Holy, Los Angeles, CA: A.k.a. 3H0, the educational arm of
Sikhism. Practices Kundalini
vegetarianism, and overcoming painful thoughts to move toward
Heart Consciousness Church, Middletown,
CA: New Age, goddess
American spirituality, sweat
Publishes the Harbin magazine.
Heart Dance, Mill Valley, CA: New Age, psychic,
Publishes the Heart Dance magazine.
Heaven and Earth, Gloucester, MA: New Age, crystals.
Gate, Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Lou Nettles, Rancho
Santa Fe, CA: New Age, UFOs.
Applewhite (a.k.a. Do) and 38 other members committed suicide in
March of 1997, believing that by leaving their bodies behind they
could join Nettles (a.k.a. Ti) and other "older members" from "the
next level above human" on a UFO supposedly hidden behind the
Heaven’s Magic: Another name for the
followers of David Berg, founder of The
Family (Children of God); produces multi-color children’s
posters and music.
Heresy: Literally, a
theological dissension or division arising from diversity of
opinions and aims. The term is usually reserved to refer to false
teachings considered so serious that belief in them excludes the
followers from the true faith and salvation; in other words, a
belief viewed as fatal to the gospel.
Religious groups founded on the basis of heresy are known as cults.
Heretic: A person who causes a division
by teaching heresy.
Heritage Institute, Plainfield, WI: New Age, past life, Ouija
board, telepathy, psychic
Hermit, Jan Moody, Topsham, MA: Astrology,
card reading, channeling.
High Point, Vance Harris, Willard MO: New Age, Channeling,
High Wind Association, Milwaukee, WI: Native
American philosophy, Alchemy,
Accelerated Human Consciousness. Publishes Windwatch
Hinkins, John-Roger: Founder of Church
of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.
Himalayan International Institute of Yoga
Science and Philosophy, Swami Rama, Honesdale, PA: New Age, Hinduism, yoga,
Publishes Himalayan Institute Quarterly.
Hinduism: The major
world religion that originated from the ancient religions of India,
which originally embraced polytheism.
As a more unified world religion, Hinduism teaches pantheism;
the ancient gods (especially the triad of Brahma,
are commonly interpreted as representations of the various aspects
of the divine (Brahman). Human beings progress to the ultimate
realization of their oneness with Brahman (often called Nirvana)
according to the law of karma.
Some of the concepts of Hinduism are incorporated, modified, and
expanded upon in the New
Hippocrates Health Institute, West Palm
Beach, FL: New Age, healing, yoga
Dallas, TX: New Age guru,
believed to practice mind
control. Twelve followers or close associates have committed
suicide or died under unusual circumstances. Many left large sums of
money to Hoffman. Her organization is called Conscious Development
of Body, Mind and Soul.
Hohm Community, Lee Lozowick, Tabor, NJ:
No specific doctrine, all religions have truth, seek Divine
Holiness Tabernacle, Dyer, AR: See Alamo
(New Age Medicine/Alternative Medicine) A view of health care
focusing on the “whole self” (body, mind and spirit) and natural or
spiritual cures. Some holistic health remedies and assumptions
(i.e., a focus on wellness and prevention) are well within the
Christian worldview and are scientifically valid. Much within this
movement, however, is based on pantheistic
and eastern religious beliefs such as Chinese Taoism
and Yang). Most questionable are holistic practices that have no
valid physiological explanation or scientific proof such as applied
Holistic Life University, San Francisco,
CA: New Age, aura
Hollyhock, Rex Weyler, Blaine, WA: New Age retreat, shamanism,
Holy Body of the Coming Jesus Christ Mission
in New York: See Church
of the Living Stone Mission for the Coming Days.
Holy Grail Foundation, Leona Richards,
Santa Cruz, CA: New Age, Ascended
Holy Order of
MANS, Earl W. Blighton: Monastic New
Age group that practiced esoteric,
mystical religion blending biblical themes with reincarnation
and other concepts from Eastern religions and the occult.
Blighton, an ex-engineer who was once fined for practicing medicine
without a license, began the order in 1968. "MANS" was an acronym
for a phrase revealed only to initiates. After advancing through the
order, men reached the status of Brown Brother of the Holy Light,
while women might become an Immaculate Sister of Mary for Missionary
Training. After the death of Blighton, the group underwent radical
changes. The majority of followers converted to Eastern Orthodoxy
and the order eventually was transformed into Christ the Savior
Brotherhood, a sect of Eastern Orthodoxy. Several competing groups
later formed claiming to preserve Blighton's original purpose and
message. They include the Gnostic
Order of Christ, Science
of Man, and the American
Holy Shankaracharya Order, Stroudsburg,
theology. Publishes Purarnave periodical.
Holy Spirit Association
for the Unification of World Christianity: See Unification
Holyland: See REACH,
health techniques developed by Samuel Hahneman whereby minute
doses of natural elements are said to cure diseases.
Homewords, Susan Johansen, Salt Lake
City, UT: Channeling,
experiences. Publishes the Homeword newspaper.
Horoscope: See Astrology.
Horus/Maat Lodge: Occult,
House of David,
Benjamin Purnell Benton Harbor, MI.: British
Israelism; Purnell taught he was the seventh and last messenger
or angel of Revelation. Publishes Shiloh’s Messenger of
House of Divine Bread,
J.L. Mociulewski, Bayonne, NJ: Pantheism,
House of Prayer for All People, William
Blessing, Denver, CO: Sacred
Name, teachings on Atlantis
Yahweh, Yisrayl (a.k.a. “Buffalo BiIll”) Hawkins, Abilene, TX:
splinter group. Sabbatarianism,
Israelism, only true church.
House of Yahweh: Odessa, TX: See Sacred
Houston, Jean: Prominent New Age spokesperson and author of many books on education
in the American school system.
Hubbard, L. Ron: Late
founder of the Church
Human Universal Energy (HUE): Alternative
name for Spiritual
Hunger Project: Claims to help
poverty-stricken people using visualization
to rid the world of hunger. See est.
Hyperborea, Mark Roberts, Dallas, TX: Paganism,
Mother Earth is Divine.
inducing an altered
state of consciousness or trance
by verbal or non-verbal stimuli. Participants experience reduced
ability for critical thinking and are generally open to external
suggestion. See Mesmerism.
II AM Movement, Guy and Edna Ballard: Occult,
New Age, pantheism,
White Brotherhood, the god within. Founded 1930; directs praise
and adoration on the 18th century French occultist, St.
Germain. Publishes Voice of the I AM magazine.
I Ching: (Yi
King or The Book of Changes) Ancient Chinese method of divination,
predicting the future using random casting of the stalks of the
yarrow plant or three-lined diagrams (Trigams) representing, among
other things, Yin
I DO, Twin Falls, ID: New Age, cosmic law, karma,
awaiting a New Savior.
Iglesia Ni Cristo, Felix Manalo: Rejects
by works, salvation found only in this group.
(“Enlightened Ones”): Secret society founded by a professor of canon
law, Adam Weishaupt, in Bavaria, Germany. Originally promoted free
thought and democratic political theories. Now believed by many to
be an anti-democratic, elitist, conspiracy for
Imagery: Alternative term for Visualization.
Imagine, Nora Jennings, Springfield, MO:
New Age, reincarnation,
Dream Rap, uses A
Course in Miracles as a text.
Impossible Possibilities, Marshall Lever,
Annapolis, MD: New Age, numerology,
Infinity Institute International, Royal
Oak, MI: New Age, hypnosis,
Ancient Mystery philosophy, Egyptian revival. Publishes
Subconsciously Speaking newsletter.
Inner Connection, Lewisville, TX:
New Age periodical.
Inner Light, New Brunswick, NJ: UFOs,
Inner Light Foundation, Betty Bethards,
Novato, CA: Psychic,
inner spirit guides, Atlantis.
Inner Light Institute, Christina Thomas,
Memphis, TN: New Age, rebirthing,
inner child, firewalking, Neuro-Linguistic
Inner Peace Movement, Francisco Coll: New Age, ESP,
Inner Space Center: See Prosperos.
Inner Technologies, Richard Daab,
Fairfax, CA: New Age, yoga,
reaching Samadhi (state of enlightenment), channeling,
Inner Vision, Brooklyn, NY: Mystical
Inner Way, Bruce Derby, Homeland, CA:
Spirit guides, mystical use of names.
Insight magazine, Washington,
D.C.: Politically conservative, owned by the Unification
Insight Transformational Seminars: See Church
of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.
Institute for Advanced Perception, Harold
S. Schroeppel, Oak Park, IL: Tarot,
Institute for Bio-Spiritual Research,
Coulterville, CA: New Age, focusing, God-Consciousness.
Institute for Family and Human Relations,
Los Gatos, CA: See Life
Training, same co-founder.
Institute for Human and Universal Energy
Research, Inc. (IHUERI): See Spiritual
Institute for the Advancement of Human
Behavior, Stanford, CA: Guided Imagery (visualization)
Institute of Divine Metaphysical
Research, Henry Clifford Kinley, Springfield, OH: Mixture of Theosophy
Taught the world would end in 1996.
Institute of Esoteric Study, Milwaukee,
Lunar festivals, astrology,
Publishes the Lunar Letter.
Institute of Greater Awareness, Steve
Mazzarella, Denver, CO: Voodoo,
Judaic-Christian Research, Vendyl Jones, Arlington, TX: B’nai
Noah, teaches Plural Covenant doctrine, teaches from the Kabbalah,
and denies the Deity of Jesus.
Institute of Mental Science, Nashville,
TN: Mental Science, psychic
Institute of Mentalphysics, Edwin Dingle,
Los Angeles, CA: New Age, Eightfold path of Enlightenment, self-realization
(a concept borrowed from Buddhism),
self-realization, Supreme Mind.
Institute of Noetic Sciences, Edgar
Mitchell, Sausalito, CA: From Greek word nous, meaning
“mind.” Healing through mind power, New
health. Founded in 1973 with 55,000 members worldwide. Current
president Willis Harman. Publishes: Noetic Sciences Review
and Noetic Sciences Bulletin and ReSource.
Institute of Sorcery, Hillsdale, IL: Occult,
witchcraft (see Wicca),
Institute of Spiritual Unfoldment: See Light
of the Holy Spirit.
International Assembly of Wizards,
Brooklyn, NY: Occult,
cycles, cosmic vibrations, astrology.
International Association of
Scientologists, England: Promotes Church
of Scientology philosophy.
International Churches of
Christ, Kip McKean, Los Angeles, CA: Formerly called the Boston
Church of Christ movement, this worldwide splinter from the
of Christ originally developed out of the controversial
"Crossroads" Church of Christ campus ministry in Gainesville, FL.
Former members and critics allege mind
control. Practices shepherding,
regeneration, and claims to be the only true church. Publishes
Upside Down magazine. Aggressively recruits on college and
university campuses throughout America and internationally.
International Community of Christ: See Jamilian
University of the Ordained.
International Congregation of Yahweh,
Pocahontas, AR: Armstrongism
splinter group. Sabbatarianism.
International Fundamental of Astrological
Sciences, New York, NY: Occult,
Assembly of Spiritualists, Fred Jordan, Norfolk, VA: Spiritualism,
clairaudience and clairvoyance.
International Mahayana Yoga Association,
Bo-In Lee, Jamaica Plain, MA: Yoga,
International Meditation Society: See Transcendental
International Metaphysical Association,
New York, NY: Similar to Christian
Science theology; uses Science and Health with Key to the
Scriptures as textbook.
International Religious and Magickal Order of
Societe, La Couleuvre Noire: See Technicians
of the Sacred.
International Society of Divine Love,
H.D. Prakashanand Saraswati, Austin, TX: Eastern mysticism,
Divine Love consciousness.
International Society for
Krishna Consciousness, A.C. Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada:
(ISKCON) Sect of Hinduism,
uses mantras, worships Lord Krishna
and uses Bhagavad-Gita as scripture. Publishes Back to
International Space Science Foundation,
Rick Ardyn, Salt Lake City, UT: UFOs,
claims to possess recordings of space people.
Into the Light, Tahlequah, OK: New Age, metaphysics,
Intuitive Explorations, Quincy, IL: New Age, karma,
Investigative Judgment: One of
the unique doctrines of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church that make the place of that church within evangelical
Christianity questionable. First taught in Adventism
by Hiram Edson, F.B. Hahn, and O.R.L. Crosier, it was accepted as
“present truth” by those who would later become known as Seventh-day
Adventists (SDAs) after it was confirmed and taught in visions
received by Ellen G. White. The doctrine teaches that in the Holy of
Holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary Christ is now conducting an
investigation into the lives of all who have ever professed belief
in Christ. He is judging all their works, by the standard of God’s
Law. All those whose lives fail to measure up to the standard of the
Law are rejected and condemned as not having true faith. Those whose
lives meet that standard and thus manifest the perfect character and
righteousness of Christ are recognized as having true faith, and so
their sins are “blotted out.” SDAs say, “This judgment vindicates
the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares
that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the
kingdom.” Evangelicals believe, and the Bible teaches (Rom.
3:21–26), that God’s justice in saving sinners who trust Jesus to
save them is vindicated by the blood of Jesus—His death in their
place, in their behalf.
Invisible Fellowship Boulder, CO: New Age, promotes the teachings of The
Inward Bound, Alexander Everett,
Arlington, TX: New Age, Centering, tapping into the Universal
Developed by Ignatz Peczeky, a Holistic
Health technique which supposedly allows one to diagnose
unrelated diseases (such as a sprained ankle or weak back) by
reading the color patterns of the eye’s irises. Some practitioners
also claim ability to diagnose emotional or mental problems.
Isis New Age Center, Denver, CO: Yoga,
Isis Unveiled: See Rosicrucianism.
ISKCON: Acronym for International
Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Islam, Muhammad: Based
on the teachings and life of Muhammad (570-632 AD) in Mecca and
Medina, Saudi Arabia (then Persia). Islam is the second largest
world religion, and has recently become the third largest religious
body in America with over 6 million adherents. Muslim-based sects
such as the Nation
of Islam (which appeals especially to African-Americans) and Bahá’í
(which proclaims the unity of the human race) have special appeal to
many Americans. Islam is composed of two major divisions — the
mainstream Sunni (the largest) and the more radical Shi’ites. The
mystical tradition of Sufism
includes many Sunnis and some Shi’ites. The Arabic word Islam
means “submission to the will of God” and a person who submits is
called a Muslim. The Qur’an (or, Koran), the Torah, the Psalms of
the Old Testament, and the Gospel of the New Testament are regarded
as holy books. However, only the Qur’an is considered uncorrupted.
Islam rejects the Trinity
doctrine, the deity of Christ
and His Sonship, claiming that Jesus
was only a great prophet. Muhammad is considered to be the greatest
prophet, whose coming was allegedly predicted by Christ. Islam
adheres fiercely to monotheism. In addition to good works, salvation
is sought though observance of the Five Pillars: reciting “there is
no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger,” praying five times
per day, fasting, giving alms (donations to the poor), and a
pilgrimage to Mecca. Historically, Islam experienced tremendous
growth often by forced proselytism — unbelievers (infidels) were
offered conversion or death. While many Muslims exhibit tolerance
towards other faiths, even today Islamic fundamentalism promotes
jihad (holy war), against those of other religious and
Isthmus Institute, Dallas, TX: New Age, reincarnation,
JJainism, Mahavira: A world religion begun as
a reform movement of Hinduism.
Mahavira (b. 599 BC ) denied the existence or worship of a supreme
deity and taught enlightenment through strict self-denial and
non-violence. Later followers deified Mahavira himself, calling him
the 24th Tirthankara (last great savior teacher) who descended from
heaven without sin and with all knowledge.
Jamilian University of
the Ordained, Gene Savoy, Reno, NV: Esoteric
teachings; Jamil (Gene Savoy’s son) was second coming of Christ;
Jesus was a mystic.
Official name of the religion that accepts the authority of the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society.
Jesus: The founder and
central figure of Christianity. Jesus of Nazareth lived in Palestine
from about 5/4 BC until AD 33 (or possibly AD 30). The name “Jesus”
corresponds with the Hebrew “Joshua” and means “Jehovah is
was founded on the belief that Jesus is the Messiah, or Christ,
promised in the Old Testament, and that he died to save human beings
from the penalty of sin. Even ancient, non-Christian sources
corroborate some historical facts about His life and ministry. By
far, the oldest and fullest historical information is found in the
New Testament Gospels.
Attempts have been made by liberal
Christianity, New Agers, cults,
and other religions to present Jesus as a “great teacher” whose
ministry or life was radically different from the biblical
historical accounts. While these efforts often define a “Jesus”
compatible with their world views, they lack early supporting
historical documentation and are thus arbitrary and subjective. The
sources support the historic, traditional Christian belief that
Jesus is the second Person of the Trinity,
that he was and is fully God and fully man, that he was born of a
virgin, died on the cross as a substitutionary atonement for our
sins, and rose bodily from the dead.
Jesus Only: Nickname for Oneness
Pentecostalism. See Modalism.
Jihad: Literally, “struggle,” more
popularly, “holy war”; a term used to refer to the Muslim commitment
to impose the teachings and law of Islam
throughout the world, by force where that is considered necessary or
Joan Teresa Power Products, Mars Hill,
witchcraft (see Wicca).
Publishes an annual catalog.
Johannine Daist Communion, “Da Free
John.” a.k.a. Franklin Jones: Promotes violence against women in his
book Garbage And The Goddess. It is said that he makes “love
slaves” of women.
Institute, Carlsbad, CA: New Age, Brain-Mind expansion, Brain relations
Jones, Jim: Founder of the People’s
Temple Christian Church.
Jones, Vendyl: Founder of the Institute
of Judaic-Christian Research.
Jouret, Luc: Leader of the Order
of the Solar Temple.
Joy Lake Mountain Seminar Center, Reno,
NV: New Age, visualization,
Joy of Living, Roosevelt, NJ: New Age, spirit within is Divine, yoga,
religion that traces its origins to God’s call to Abram (Abraham) to
be the father of a great people who would inherit the land of Canaan
and be the means of blessing to all mankind (Genesis 12). That
people is identified as the children of Abraham’s grandson Jacob,
who was renamed Israel. The foundation of Judaism is the Torah
(Genesis through Deuteronomy), which tells of the Israelites’
bondage in Egypt, their miraculous deliverance in the Exodus, and
the giving of the Law through Moses. The Israelites returned to the
promised land of Canaan and became a small but powerful nation there
under the rule of King David and his son Solomon. After Solomon’s
death the kingdom split into a northern kingdom called Israel and a
southern kingdom called Judah (the name of David’s tribe). The
northern kingdom was conquered and decimated by the Assyrians in 722
BC, after which the term Judeans, or Jews, gradually came into use
to refer to all Israelites. The Jews suffered conquests by a
succession of foreign powers — the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks,
and finally the Romans in the first century BC. Throughout this
period the Jews developed a strong sense of national identity,
identification with the Promised Land, and anticipation of a coming
Messiah or Christ
(“Anointed One”). These themes dominate the rest of the Jewish
Bible, which is identical with the Protestant canon of the Old
Testament. In the first century AD, Christianity
originated with the belief that Jesus
was that promised Messiah. The Jewish establishment at that time,
however, rejected Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah, and in fulfillment
of his prophecy (Mark 13) the Jerusalem temple was destroyed and the
Jewish nation scattered (AD 70). What is now known as the religion
of Judaism originated after AD 70 as the rabbis, or teachers of the
Torah, developed a system of laws and interpretations of the Torah
that were eventually codified in the Talmud. Today Judaism can be
identified as a cultural, ethnic, or religious concept. There are
three main branches of modern Judaism: Orthodox (traditional,
literal adherence to the Torah as interpreted by the Talmud),
Conservative (a middle position advocating traditional beliefs and
practices up to a point), and Reform (liberal, non-literal stance on
the Torah and Talmud; often non-religious or secular with emphasis
on Jewish culture).
Jon: New Age leader introducing Zen
Buddhism into hospitals for stress reduction.
spellings) Mystical Jewish teachings intermingled with teachings of
and the occult.
The word Kabbalah means secret oral tradition and was coined by an
eleventh century Spanish philosopher, Ibn Gabirol. The philosophy
developed in Babylon during the middle ages from earlier Hebrew
speculation and numerology.
An early Kabbalist, Moses de Leon, developed and systematized the
philosophy in his thirteenth century work, The Book of Zolar
(sometimes spelled Zohar meaning “Splendor”).
Kairos Foundation: See Life
Karma: The Hindu
principle of cause and effect. Representing neither good nor evil,
all actions and events are balanced with corresponding actions and
events in the past or future (including past and future lives
Karma Yoga: See Karma,
Katherine, Brooklyn, NY: Astrology,
Keen, Sam: Prominent New Age teacher and author. Featured in a series on PBS with
Kemp, Daniel, Patchogue, NY: Numerology,
Kerista Consciousness Church, San
Francisco, CA: New Age, Divine Cosmos, the “hippie goddess”
Kerista. Publishes Utopian Eyes magazine.
Keyes College, Ken and Penny Keyes,
Eugene, OR: Yoga,
higher self, promotes
John Bradshaw’s philosophy, Neuro-Linguistic
Keys To Understanding: See Messianic
Assemblies of Yahweh.
Kingdom Voice Publications, Joseph
Jeffers, St. James, MO: UFOs,
Kirpal Light Satsang,
Sant Thakar Singh, Kinderhook, NY: Pantheism,
Klassen, Frank, Ft. David, TX: Sacred
Name; publishes The Overcomer newsletter.
Knight, J.Z.: New Age, channeler
of spirit entity called Ramtha,
an alleged Ascended
Koresh, David: See Branch
Kosmon: See Universal
Faithists of Kosmon.
Krastman, Hank: See Metaphysical
Krieger, Dolores: See Therapeutic
Kripalu Yoga Retreat, Amrit Desai, Summit
Station, PA: New
self-realization is god realization. Publishes Yoga Quest
Krishna: According to
sects, Krishna is the eighth or ninth incarnation of Vishnu and
possibly the manifestation of the supreme demigod/God incarnating as
Vishnu. Devotion to Krishna has been introduced in the West
especially through the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Foundation of America Ojai, CA: Hindu
theology. Krishnamurti, a Hindu who sought to unify Eastern religion
with Western philosophy and science, was proclaimed as the world’s
messiah by Theosophy
leader Annie Besant in 1906. He later renounced that role to be the
head of the newly created Order of the Star. Teaches alternative
term for the serpent force or Chi
energy or life force) that is supposedly within humans. Also, the
form of yoga
that seeks to focus that force.
Kunz, Dora: See Therapeutic
LL. Ron Hubbard
Gallery, Hollywood, CA: Promotes Scientology
Laksmi: (or Lakshma) The name of one of
consorts. Also, a Hare Krishna term for money in the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Laodicean Home Missionary, John Krewson
Ft. Myers, FL: Bible
Lao-tzu: See Taoism.
Latter-day Church of Christ, Merlin
Kingston, Salt Lake City, UT: Polygamous, Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter group led by Merlin and Ortell Paul
Kingston. Membership estimates range between 300 and 1,500 members.
The group is believed to own or control more than 24 companies and
have holdings in Nevada, Idaho, and possibly Arizona and
Laughing Dove, Albuquerque, NM: Produces
“consciousness raising products for Body, Mind and Spirit.”
La Vey, Anton
Szandor: Authored the Satanic
Bible, founded the Church
Laymen’s Home Missionary
Movement, Raymond Jolly, Chester Springs, PA: Bible
Students group; publishes The Bible Standard and Herald of
Christ’s Kingdom newsletter.
Lazaris: Spirit supposedly channeled by
LDS: Acronym for The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Lectorium Rosicrucianism, Bakersfield,
CA: Splinter group of Rosicrucianism.
Lee, Bo-In: See New
Legalism: The belief
that spirituality or salvation is dependent upon strict observance
of laws and/or rituals, implying salvation
by works. Or, a system of religious rules must be kept to please
God or religious leaders, sometimes resulting in a kind of spiritual
Lemurian Fellowship, Ramona, CA: Esoteric
Christianity, The Great Being called Christ
which was over 76,000 years ago, Atlantis.
Lenz, Frederick: Guru who renamed himself
Zen Master Rama.
Les 18 lumieres de l’EU (LEU18): See Spiritual
Christianity: A movement that seeks to retain religious and
spiritual values of Christianity
while discounting the infallible authority of the Bible. Its origins
are in the German Enlightenment, notably in the philosophy of
Immanuel Kant and the religious views of Friedrich Schleiermacher.
Liberals reject the stated authorship and historical accuracy of
many books of the Bible. They are skeptical concerning many or all
of the biblical miracles, preferring naturalistic explanations or
viewing miracle accounts as legend or myth. They often deny or
reinterpret in mythical terms such doctrines of orthodox
Christianity as the virgin birth, atoning death, and even the
resurrection of Jesus.
Liberalism has been most influential in mainline Protestant
denominations and is rejected in Evangelical
A movement that attempts to unite theology with social and religious
concerns about oppression. It finds expressions among blacks,
feminists, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans, but it is most
closely identified with the shift toward Marxism
Catholic theologians and priests in Latin America. Most
traditional doctrines of Christianity
are de-emphasized or reinterpreted. Jesus and the Bible are defined
and interpreted in light of a class struggle, with the gospel
seen as a radical call to activism (or even revolution) promoting
political and social answers usually in the form of classic
Life Enhancement Systems, Houston, TX: Yoga,
Life Training, Dallas,
TX: New Age seminars that seek to awaken people to a new level
of awareness and belief systems; Eastern spiritual
Life Understanding Foundation, Santa
Barbara, CA: New Age, pyramid
Age seminars promoting human transformation and altering belief
systems. Similar to est.
Lifton, Robert: Dr.
Lifton studied Mao Tse-Tung's programs of "Thought Reform" or
while doing research for military intelligence. His study focused on
radical change in personality and belief systems of certain
prisoners-of-war who were held and tortured in Chinese camps. This
research was later expanded in his 1961 work, Thought Reform and the
Psychology of Totalism, in which he theorized that subtle elements
of these brainwashing techniques could also be found in other
environments. He outlined eight criteria for "thought reform," which
he called: Milieu
the Language, Doctrine
over Person, Sacred
of Confession, Demand
for Purity, and Dispensing
of Existence. While some elements of these criteria could be
found in virtually any group, Lifton warned that an environment of
control or thought reform exists when all eight are found
implemented in the extreme.
Light Canal, Winchester, OH: Tarot
Light Connections, Cardiff, CA: New Age/eastern mystic periodical.
Light of the City Ministry, Renton, WA:
power of words, Christ-consciousness.
Publishes the Let There Be Light magazine.
Light of the Holy
Spirit, Harry Lee Holmberg, Bativia, IL: Astrology,
some similarities to the I
Light of the Universe, Maryona Tiffin,
OH: New Age, Transcendental
Publishes The Lotus quarterly.
Light of Truth
Church, Fra Zarathustra, Pasadena, CA: Occult,
Publishes The White Light newsletter.
Light of Truth Church of Divine Healing:
General Assembly of Spiritualists.
Light of Yoga Society, Cleveland Heights,
Publishes Yoga In America magazine.
Light Speed, Zavi and Zava, Sedona, AZ:
New Age, UFOs,
Publishes the Light Speed magazine.
Lighted Way, Santa Monica, CA: Pyramidology,
Divine Mother, alchemy.
Lightworker, Azel, TX: New Age, Christ-consciousness,
Publishes the Lightworker newspaper.
Lion and Lamb Ministries, Monte W.
Judah, Norman, OK: Messianic Jewish ministry. Holds that Jesus
is the biblical Messiah. Legalistic
practices Jewish holy days. Judah falsely predicted that the
Abomination of Desolation prophesied in the Bible
would occur by March of 1997 promising he would be "totally
discredited" and would "shut down" the ministry if wrong. On March
23, 1997 he apologized for the false
prophecy but reneged on his vow to disband the movement. [Note:
this group should not be confused with the Texas-based Lamb &
Lion Ministries, a reputable Christian organization led by David R.
The discipline that seeks to discover the underlying literary
sources, stylistic features, type or genre of literature,
authorship, unity, and date of a text, for their value in
interpreting the text’s meaning in its original historical context.
The application of literary criticism to the Bible can be
constructive, although in liberal
Christianity the method is typically applied on the basis of
antisupernatural and humanistic assumptions. See further Form
(Anointed Class) In the teaching of the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society, this phrase (Luke 12:32) refers to the
144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses who will be allowed to go to heaven. All
other worthy Jehovah’s Witnesses (the “other sheep” cf. John 10:16)
will live for eternity on a new paradise earth.
Lively Stones Fellowship, Palatka, FL: New Age, reflexology,
Living Stream Ministry: Publishing firm
for The Local Church.
Living Waters, Lois Roden, Waco, TX: Sacred
name; taught that the Trinity
is Father, Mother (Holy Spirit) and Son. Published Shekinah
newsletter. Now defunct. See Branch
L/L Research, Louisville, KY: New Age, channeling,
attain Higher God-self.
Ltd., St. Paul, MN: See “Spell.” Influential publisher of occult,
Age, and Wiccan
materials begun in 1901 as the Portland School of Astrology. The
current president is Carl Weschcke who in 1988 acquired the magazine
Fate, which now has 140,000 subscribers. Their popular catalog, New
Worlds, is sold in newsstands nationwide and has a circulation of
Language: One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton's theory of Thought Reform. Limiting or controlling the
thought processes by regulating the language in such a way that
communication constricts and limits rather than expands human
understanding. This may include the use of thought-stopping clichés
or artificially reducing complex issues to a false black/white
The, Watchman Nee, Anaheim, CA: Controversial movement begun in
China in the early 1920s by Ni To-sheng (Watchman Nee). Growth and
controversy developed during the administration of their second
leader, the late Witness Lee, who moved to America in 1962 founding
Living Stream Ministry. Among issues drawing criticism from evangelical
Christians is the Local Church's use of the term “mingling” to
describe the relationship between God and believers (i.e.,
Christians become both divine and human like Jesus).
Some evangelicals have also charged that the church compromises the
doctrine by confusing the Persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son in
a way similar to modalism.
The organization's exclusivity has also comme under fire. According
to Lee, each city can and should have only one church.
Denominationalism is seen as of the Devil. According to critics, the
effect is that Lee-led local churches, usually called by the name of
their cities (e.g., the Church in Anaheim or the Church in Chicago),
become the only true expressions of the Body of Christ. Thus,
according to former members, all other churches or denominations are
seen as being outside the will of God or not true churches at all.
The Local Church has also gained a reputation for threatening legal
action to prevent unfavorable public evaluation of its movement.
Even Christian critics have been targeted, adding to the evidence
that they do not consider believers outside their movement to be
true or obedient Christians (1 Corinthians 6:1–8).
The Lodge: See Freemasonry.
Lor’d Industries, Hancock, WI: Occult,
Lotus: New Age periodical.
Louis Foundation, Louis, Eastsound, WA:
New Age, cosmic consciousness, Unmanifested Reality, Inner
secrets, True Realization and Awareness.
Loving Relationships Training, Sondra
Ray: New Age, seminars, rebirthing.
Lucifer: Another name for Satan.
Lucifer Trust/Lucis Trust: See Arcane
Lucis Trust: See Arcane
Lumen Foundation, San Francisco, CA: Occult,
Publishes the Gnosis journal.
Lumin Essence Productions, Oakland, CA:
New Age, channeling,
spirit entities, Ascended
Masters Orin and DaBen. Publishes Birth Into Light
Luna Astrological Services, Flint, MI: Astrology.
Albert: See Freemasonry.
MacLaine, Shirley: Former film actress
turned New Age author; seminars, channeling,
Mafu: Spirit supposedly channeled
Magi Center, Inc., Paradise, CA: Psychic
Higher Beings, meditation,
cosmic friends, astral worlds.
Magic: (Magick) Occult
ceremonial use of amulets and talismans.
May involve necromancy
invocation of infernal deities or use of natural elements to gain
supernatural power or knowledge. The word magic is also used to
describe a type of stage performance involving legerdemain (slight
of hand) or illusion with no alleged psychic
or occult power. This type of stage magic is not inherently evil,
although occultists have occasionally used stage magic in an attempt
to claim supernatural abilities.
Magic—The Gathering: A fantasy
role playing card game involving Satanism,
witchcraft (see Wicca),
and the occult.
Maharishi Ayur-Ved Foundation: Promotes
teachings of Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental
Maharishi International University,
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Fairfield, IA: New Age or Hindu
beliefs, started by founder of Transcendental
Yogi: Founder of Transcendental
Mahavira: See Jainism.
Mahikari, Kutama Okada, Houston, TX:
Japanese philosophy, Divine light purifies the soul, mind and
Malcolm X: See Nation
Mandragore, New York, NY: Egyptian
worship, teachings of Aleister
Mantra: Eastern mysticism
or New Age term for a word or series of words that are repeated
over and over either verbally or silently. The Mantra is said to
help one achieve an altered
state of consciousness. Often practiced during meditation
or relaxation exercises.
Marah, Madison, NJ: Occult,
worship, Egyptian revival, Wicca,
moon festivals, divination,
Maranatha Ministries, Brooklyn, MI:
prophecy group. Taught Christ would return in 1998.
Mark-Age, Miami, FL: New Age, light-Body manifestations, UFOs,
Lord Sananda, Christ-consciousness.
Mark Probert’s Educational Foundation and
Kethra E’Da (Teachers of Light): See Church
of E Yada di Shi-ite.
Installed as president of The
Way International by founder Victor Paul Weirwille in 1982.
Martindale resigned leadership April 20, 2000, after a former member
filed a lawsuit accusing him of forcing her into a sexual
Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, V.I. Lenin: Atheistic philosophy of
communism based on the “class struggle” theory of socioeconomic
evolution derived from dialectic materialism. Sometimes confused by
the uninformed with biblical mandates to care for the poor, and the
voluntary sharing of resources practiced by some primitive
Christians. Marxism advocates establishment of a classless,
stateless society by revolutionary force; it has always led,
however, to totalitarian statism, and has never successfully
eliminated any class but the bourgeoisie, the middle class,
leaving the great majority of its subjects in poverty. It is
militantly atheistic. Marx wrote, “The criticism of religion ends
with the teaching that man is the highest being for man…” He
contended that man “looked for a superhuman being in the fantastic
reality of heaven and found nothing there but the reflection of
himself.” Wrote Engels, “…we have once and for all declared war on
religion and religious ideas and care little whether we are called
atheists or anything else.” Citing Marx and Engels as his
authorities, Lenin declared that “the philosophical basis of
Marxism” is “a materialism which is absolutely atheistic and
positively hostile to all religion.” His hostility bordered on
hysteria: “Every religious idea, every idea of God, even flirting
with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness … vileness of the most
dangerous kind, ‘contagion’ of the most abominable kind. Millions of
sins, filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions … are
far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of a God decked
out in the smartest ‘ideological’ customs…. Every defense or
justification of the idea of God, even the most refined, the best
intentioned, is a justification of reaction.”
Mary's House of David, Mary Purnell,
Benton Harbor, MI: Founded by the widow of Benjamin Purnell. See
Masonry: See Freemasonry.
Master of Life, Dick
Sutphen, Agoura Hills, CA: New Age, Reiki,
writing. Publishes the Winners newspaper.
Masters, Roy: Founder of the Foundation
of Human Understanding.
Matagiri Sri Aurobindo Center: New Age, yoga,
Divine reality, Great Mother, self perfection.
Maya: The Hindu
principle that all is an illusion and that ultimately the physical
world, contacted through the conscious mind and the five senses,
does not represent reality. This philosophy is also taught by many
within the New Age Movement.
Maya Factor, Jose Arguelles: New Age book on which the Harmonic
Convergence was based.
Mayan Order, San Antonio, TX: New Age, Unity between man’s Inner force and Cosmic
Universal force. Publishes Mayan Mysteries magazine.
McKean, Kip: See International
Churches of Christ.
Entering an altered
state of consciousness by use of a mantra,
deep relaxation techniques, controlled breathing or visualization.
Often linked to Eastern metaphysical philosophies, the New Age and/or Eastern religions, these techniques promote
the emptying of the mind or the suspension of critical
thinking. This is different from biblical Meditation where one is
encouraged to meditate on God, His attributes or His word,
employing the whole mind (Joshua 1:8; Luke 10:27).
Meditation Group for New
Age, Ojai, CA: Esoteric
Medium: A psychic
who claims to be able to contact and communicate with the dead, as
in a seance.
communication with the dead, known as necromancy,
is forbidden in the Bible.
Mega: Periodical of the New
Age Community Church.
Megiddo Mission Church, L.T. Nichols,
Rochester, NY: Denies Trinity;
Heaven and Hell are illusions; the Devil
is of man’s imagination.
Menhir: “Long Stone.” See Stonehenge.
Meridians: See Chi,
and Yang, Acupuncture.
Mesmer, Franz: Founder of Mesmerism.
Mesmerism: An 18th
century movement begun in France by the Austrian doctor Franz Anton
Mesmer, who believed that astrological
influence on humans was conveyed through a force or substance
similar to magnetism. He first began treating patients with magnets
or charged fluids but quickly modified his position, theorizing that
cures were actually coming from an energy or mysterious “magnetic
fluid” coming from the hands, voice, or nervous system of the
practitioner. This invisible substance or magnetism was thought to
be similar to electro-magnetism and was dubbed “Animal Magnetism.”
Mesmer’s pupils were later able to induce a “magnetic sleep” (trance
state or hypnotic condition) in their patients. The term Mesmerism
eventually became analogous with hypnosis
and was linked with both Spiritualism
Science religions. See Altered
States of Consciousness.
Messianic Assemblies of
Yahweh, North Warren, PA: Sacred
Name group; publishes The Messianic Messenger
(Meta, “after” or “beyond”; physics “physical”).
Originally any study or discussion of non-physical, spiritual, or
non-material realities. Later, in modern usage, it usually means
experimentation with, belief in, or practice of magic,
powers, or the occult.
Metaphysical Institute for Research and
Development, Dallas, TX: New Age, Christ-consciousness,
man is divine, meditation
breathing, God is All.
Union, Hank Krastman, Encino, CA: New Age, mystic knowledge, psychic,
Cayce materials. Publishes The Unexplained
Meyer, Aleta, Albuquerque, NM: New Age, psychic,
Michael, Sandra: Channeler,
Midwest Research of Michigan, Walled
Lake, MI: Visualization,
deep relaxation techniques, Subliminal tapes.
One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton’s theory of Thought Reform. Milieu control is the
systematic, strict regulation of human communication, relationships,
and access to outside information and alternative viewpoints.
Miller, Monte Kim: See "Concerned
Baptist lay minister from Low Hampton, New York who was
excommunicated for teachings that Christ
would return in 1844. Although Miller repented after his prediction
failed and opposed further speculations, his teachings gave rise to
Mind/Body Medical Institute, Herbert
Benson, Cambridge, MA: Affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the
Institute was founded by Dr. Herbert Benson, the Chief of Behavioral
Medicine at Harvard, to research and train practitioners in holistic
(Thought Reform, brainwashing) While evangelicals are lack
consensus on the nature, extent or, in some cases, even existence of
Mind Control, the Bible does warns against seducers, deceivers, and
exploiters who employ methods that can bring about spiritual harm
and/or personal abuse. The Mind Control or Thought Reform model, as
for instance developed by Robert
Lifton, suggests that there are specific methods of deception
that can be employed by abusive spiritual leaders that may result in
a diminished capacity for critical thinking and suppression of
autonomy in their followers. These methods are believed to
involve an intense social influence conditioning program which may
include a closed system of authoritarian control, manipulative,
group dynamics, a system of punishment and rewards, induced
dissociation or trance
induction, information control, fraud, coercion, and double
binds. Depending on the number and intensity of undue influence
elements, and a person's own unique susceptibilities, one may
experience a pseudo personality change and marked debilitation,
compliance, and servitude. The Mind Control model should not be
interpreted to mean that the subject is not responsible for the
consequences of his or her decisions and actions. The Mind Control
theory is not justification for holding individuals against their
will or for conducting forcible, involuntary deprogramming.
Mind Power Technique: New Age process to read auras
and balance chakras.
Mind Sciences: A
generic, general classification of religious groups that hold to the
belief that human beings are inherently divine and that mind or
thoughts are energy forms that can create and/or alter reality. Most
often used in reference to the American religions formed since the
middle of the 19th century, especially Christian
Thought, and Religious
Science, that deny the actuality of sin, sickness, and/or death
and promote health though mental practices.
Miracle Distribution Center, Fullerton,
Course in Miracles promotional organization. Publishes
The Holy Encounter newsletter.
Mitchell, Wayman: Founder of the Potter’s
House church movement.
Mo Letters: See The
Family (Children of God).
(Patripassianism, Modalistic Monarchianism,
Sabellianism, Jesus Only, Oneness
Pentecostalism) Originally, a second and third century heresy
that denies the doctrine of the Trinity,
teaching there is only one Person in the Godhead. While the Trinity
doctrine teaches three distinct Persons, modalism maintains that one
Person (usually the Father) has manifested Himself at different
times under different names (Jesus/Spirit)
or modes. Thus, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three names for the
same Person. Originally taught in various forms by Noetus, Praxeas
and Sabellius. Modified forms of this doctrine can be found in the
teachings of William
Branham, some Apostolic
churches and the United
Mother Ruth: See Science
Mohammed: Founder of
the world religion of Islam.
View found primarily in the third century that denied the Trinity,
arguing that because God’s nature is one He cannot exist eternally
in three Persons. The two most popular forms of monarchianism were
monarchianism and modalism.
Mon-Ka Retreat and
Universal Mother Mary’s Garden of Healing, Energy, Love and
Light, Mary Pacquette, Gabriel Green, Grass Valley, CA: Channeling,
AM teachings of St.
readings. Publishes the News From The Mountain Top
Monroe Institute, Robert Monroe, Faber,
experiences, Evolution of Human Consciousness.
Moon, Sun Myung: Founder of the Unification
Moonies: Nickname for followers of Rev.
Sun Myung Moon’s Unification
Church. Considered a derogatory term by members.
Fundamentalism: A loose collection of doctrines and practices
maintained by splinter groups of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). These
splinter groups attempt to adhere to the tenets of earlier LDS
leaders such as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Expressions of
Mormon fundamentalism may include polygamy (forbidden by the LDS
Church in the 1890s), communal living, and the blood
Mormonism: Common name for The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Moses de Leon: See Kabbalah.
Moyers, Bill: Former
Baptist who is known for his exploration of New Age themes on public television. On PBS specials he
Campbell’s Power of Myth as well as holistic
health, i.e., New Age medicine.
MSIA, John-Roger Hinkins: See Church
of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.
Muhammad: See Mohammed.
Muhammad, Elijah: See Nation
Murray, Arnold: Pastor of the Shepherd’s
Testing: See Applied
Music Square Church: See Alamo
Muslim: Follower of the religion of Islam.
Mysteria Products Company: See Dorene
Mystical Crossroads, Atco, NJ: Occult,
witchcraft (see Wicca).
Access to over 35,000 metaphysical
books; sells incense, oils, cauldrons, candles, crystals,
statues and the complete “Wiccan Altar Set.”
Manipulation: One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton's theory of Thought Reform. A group dynamic
involving contrived, manipulated behavior designed to appear
spontaneous which produces feelings and/or actions that are
misinterpreted as spiritual phenomena.
theory or belief that man can know God or religious truth through
the inward perception of the mind, internal illumination, or special
revelation, and that such knowledge is more immediate, direct, and
reliable than that obtained by ordinary understanding or sense
NNarcanon, Los Angeles, CA: Promotes Scientology
Nation of Islam, Elijah
Muhammad: A sect of Islam
originating in America composed of black Americans. Followers,
sometimes called Black Muslims, believe that Allah (God) appeared in
1930 to the last great prophet Elijah Muhammad, in the person of
Wallace D. Fard. Elijah Muhammad borrowed many beliefs from
traditional Islam but introduced important differences. Most notable
was the focus on black oppression and equating Satan and evil with
the white race. Malcolm X became a notable leader of the movement in
the 1960s and the focus on black supremacy and militancy escalated.
Malcolm X later converted to traditional Islam and rejected radical
black supremacy and was subsequently murdered. The current leader of
the Nation is Islam is Louis Farrakhan.
Yahweh, Yahweh ben Yahweh (a.k.a., Hulon Mitchell, Jr.), Miami,
Name group; believes God is Black and that Mitchell is
National Council for Geocosmic Research,
Westchester, IL: Astrology,
Publishes the Tree of Life newsletter.
National Institute for Clinical Application
of Behavioral Medicine, Mansfield Center, CT: Hypnosis,
Science Center, Alice Tindalli, Washington, D.C.: Pantheism,
Universal Creative Energy.
National Spiritualist Association of
Churches, Cassadaga, FL: Occult,
Spirituality: The religious beliefs, practices, and rituals
associated Native Americans. Early Native American beliefs, though
diverse, often shared common religious ideas. Many believed in a
“Great Spirit,” that nature in all of its forms possesses spirits
and that all life is interconnected. Seasons and moons often were
viewed as marking times of evocation for spirits and prosperity.
Some New Age believers promote revival of Native American
spirituality, seeing obvious parallels with their own views.
Natural Law Party: Political party
started by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the father of Transcendental
Meditation (TM). Critics allege it exists to promote the
Maharishi’s religious movement at taxpayers’ expense through
campaign matching funds provided for political candidates in the
Nature’s Sunshine, Kristine Hughes,
Spanish Fork, UT: Holistic health, especially iridology,
testing; also visualization.
Publishes the Natures Field newsletter.
(NDE): Any paranormal or supernatural experience had when a
person is near death, including experiences when a person thinks he
or she has died and returned from death. Reports of NDEs have become
numerous in recent decades due to advances in medical technology
that make it possible to revive people from comas and other critical
conditions. Many patients report having out-of-body
experiences (OBEs) while they were unconscious or
Necromancy: A form
in which a person attempts to discover the future or obtain other
information through communication with the dead, typically using occult
Nelson, Bernard, San Antonio, TX: Occult,
charms, amulets, UFOs,
Publishes The Illustrated Cosmic Machine newsletter.
Neo-Orthodox Christianity: Development
associated with the strong reaction of Swiss theologians Karl Barth
and Emil Brunner against the barrenness of liberal
Christianity. They felt that Scripture, although a flawed,
fallible, human product, could still be used by God to accomplish
His purposes. Thus the Bible becomes inspired in its
proclamation when the Holy Spirit quickens faith and obedience in
its hearers. Thus, like liberalism, this view results in a
subjective, existential encounter, which denies absolute
propositional truth in revelation.
modern revival of paganism,
emphasizing witchcraft (see Wicca), goddess
worship, and nature worship.
Neo-Pythagorean Gnostic Church: See Proclus
Society and Neo-Pythagorean Gnostic Church.
Nettles, Bonnie Lou: See Heaven’s Gate.
Age. Techniques developed by Richard Bandler and Dr. John
Grinder that allegedly enable practitioners to read random eye
movements and other visual cues during conversation or counseling to
“program” a client’s behavior and restructure their core beliefs.
Called “software for the brain,” it is supposed to be faster and
more powerful than traditional clinical counseling and can work
without the subject’s conscious knowledge. The co-founders have been
heavily involved with other New
Age practices. NLP failed scientific tests conducted by the U.S.
New Age: See the Definitions section in the introduction.
New Age Church of The Christ, Thomas
Printz, Long Island, NY: Ascended
death is an Illusion, Father-Mother God, man is divine.
New Age Church of
Truth, Gilbert Holloway, Deming, NM: New Age, ESP,
Impressional Readings, psychic
New Age Community
Church, Phoenix, AZ: New Age. Publishes Mega magazine.
New Age Journal, Brighton, MA: New Age periodical.
New Age Medicine: See Holistic
New Age Music: While there is music
composed to promote New Age philosophy and/or facilitate altered
states of consciousness and meditation,
much of the music sold as such is not explicitly New Age in
doctrine. Some light jazz, instrumental music has been labeled (or
re-labeled) “New Age” simply as a marketing category.
New Age Symposium, Houston, TX: New Age periodical.
New Age Teachings, Brookfield, MA: New Age, meditation,
cosmic vibrations, divine energy.
New Church: See Swedenborg
New Dimensions Foundation, San Francisco,
CA: New Age, shamanism,
American spirituality, homeopathy,
New Life, Vernon Howard, Boulder City,
NV: New Age, channeling,
New Life Clinic, Baltimore, MD: Parapsychology,
Headquartered at Mount Washington Methodist Church. Associate
director, Olga Worrall, and her husband, Ambrose Worrall, are also
affiliated with Spiritual
Frontiers Fellowship and the Association
for Research and Enlightenment.
HealthCenter, Bo-In Lee, Jamaica Plain, MA: Treats illnesses
(from eating disorders to cancer) through Eastern medicine. See Holistic
New Realities, Washington, D.C.:
New Age periodical.
New Thot Free Thot, Bill Greenhouse, Los
Angeles, CA: Seeks to combine the teachings of Christian
School of Christianity and New
New Thought: One
of the branches of the mind
sciences; unlike Christian
Science, New Thought usually maintains the reality of matter and
is more liberal and pluralistic in its views. Teaches that the Christ
is only a principle that was embodied in Jesus as in other religious
New Times, Seattle, WA: New Age periodical.
New World Publishing, Phoenix, AZ: New Age, uses A
Course in Miracles, channeling,
New Worlds, St. Paul, MN: Catalog of occult
New World Translation: Official Bible
translation published by the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society. Key verses have been inaccurately
rendered especially to obscure the deity of Christ.
This translation has been universally rejected as inaccurate by
competent Bible scholars.
Newbrough, John: See OAHSPE.
Nichiren Shoshu of
America (NSA): Former name of Soka
Gakkai International (SGI).
Nightingale-Conant, Chicago, IL:
Publishes books and audio tapes on personal growth, business,
positive mental attitude, and self help. A significant portion of
their material contains New Age themes.
state of enlightenment or bliss.
Niscience, Glendale, CA: New Age, karma,
Nizhoni School of Global Consciousness,
Galisteo, NM: Higher self, Kundalini,
NLP: Acronym for Neuro-Linguistic
Noahides: See B’nai
Nova 8, Pueblo, CO: Mother Earth, Christ-consciousness,
American “Great Spirit” is at the heart of all beings. Publishes
the Living Love newsletter.
Nova Mystery School: Alchemy,
The Nubian Nation of Moors: See Ancient
Mystic Order of Malchizedek.
Numerology: The occult
use of numbers in divination
to discover hidden knowledge. Often associated with the Kabbalah, magic,
and witchcraft (see Wicca).
Nuwaubians: See Ancient
Mystic Order of Malchizedek.
OOAHSPE, John Newbrough: A 921 page
“Scripture” written in 1881 by John B. Newbrough, a psychic
who was allegedly gifted in ESP.
OAHSPE is translated “sky, earth, spirit.” See Universal
Faithists of Kosmon.
Oasis Fellowship, Florence, AZ: Similar
School of Christianity.
Occult: From the Latin word, hidden. See
under the Definitions
section in the introduction.
Occult Americana, Panesville, OH:
Odinism: A return to the gods of Norse
mythology, Odin being the chief or supreme god, also known as Woden
or Wotan. Originally worshipped as the god or warriors or leaders,
it is his responsibility to delay, as long as possible,
Ragnarok, the day of doom. He gained use of the Runes
and passed these on to men.
Olcott Library, Wheaton, IL: New Age library, Theosophy,
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies,
Hudson River Valley, NY: New Age, aromatherapy,
Omega Press, New Lebanon, NY: Sufism.
Publishes the Omega Press newspaper.
One to Grow On, Trenna Sutphen, Malibu,
CA: New Age, subliminal tapes for children, magic,
and higher self.
Pentecostalism: (Jesus Only) A heresy that emerged from the
mainstream Pentecostal movement during the years 1914–1916. Unlike
traditional Pentecostals, “Oneness” followers deny the doctrine of
in favor of a view similar to Monarchianism.
In addition to this heresy, most Oneness Pentecostal organizations
also teach that speaking in tongues, baptism (in Jesus’ name only),
and maintaining various moral “standards” are necessary for
salvation. See Salvation
by Works, Modalism.
Order of Rhea, Chicago, IL: Magic,
Order of the Cross, J. Todd Ferrier:
States of realization, Christhood (see Christ-consciousness),
Order of the Solar
Temple: Headed by Luc Jouret and Joseph Di Mambro, this group
dabbles in New
rites. 53 members were victims of suicide and/or murder in
Switzerland and Canada in 1994.
Order of the Star: See Krishnamurti
Foundation of America.
Ordo Adeptorum Invisiblum, Chicago, IL:
rituals, Egyptian goddess Maat, teachings of Aleister
Ordo Templi Ashtart (OTA), Pasadena, CA:
splinter group. Publishes The Seventh Ray journal.
Ordo Templi Baph-Metis (OTB), James M.
Martin, Corpus Christi, TX: Occult,
Ordo Templi Orientis: Occult,
Orr, Leonard: See Rebirthing
Christianity: Generically the term orthodox refers to
traditional, conservative forms of Christianity,
upholding the traditional Christian beliefs about God as a Trinity
and about Jesus
as taught in the church’s early creeds. In this sense orthodox
Christianity includes conservative Roman Catholics, and Protestant,
Christianity, and is opposed both to liberal
Christianity within Christian denominations and to the teachings
of the cults. More specifically, the term Orthodox (with a capital
O; or, Eastern Orthodox) refers to the state churches of Eastern
Europe and the eastern Mediterranean who split with Roman
Catholicism of the West largely over the issue of papal
Ouija Board: Occult
“game” using wooden board and pointer which spells out messages
allegedly from the dead (a form of necromancy).
Many such messages are derived from the subconscious of the
operators; however, there is always potential for demonic
Our Lady of Enchantment, Sabrina,
Danville, CA: Paganism,
witchcraft (see Wicca),
“the craft,” goddess
worship, moon festivals, psychic
(OBE): Any experience in which a person believes that his or her
spirit has temporarily left the physical body and then returned to
that same body. Some OBEs are associated with near-death
experiences; others are induced through occult
or mystical practices, especially in Astral
Institute, Louis Tice, Seattle, WA: New Age, stress management seminars, changing core
Pacific West Fellowship: Splinter group
Pagan Spiritual Alliance, Selena Fox, Mt.
Horeb, WI: Paganism,
worship of gods and goddesses,
Mother Earth. Publishes Circle magazine.
Pagan Way, Philadelphia, PA: Paganism,
denies reality of sin.
Historically, paganism has been used as a generic term to describe
primitive non-Christian religions and superstitions, including
religions centered on the occult.
More recently paganism is used as an umbrella term referring to Wicca/witchcraft,
nature worship, polytheism
(especially female deities), and ancient mythologies (Celt, Norse,
Egyptian, Greek and Roman).
(Chiromancy) The occult
practice of divination,
i.e., predicting the future or gaining hidden knowledge, by reading
the shape, lines, or markings on the palm of the hand.
Orthodox Christian Church, Detroit, MI: Founded by Albert B.
Cleage, Jr. a.k.a. Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman. Part of the Black
Christian Nationalist Movement. Teaches Jesus
is the Black Messiah sent to rebuild the Black Nation Israel and
liberate the Black People from oppression, brutality, and
exploitation of the white gentile world (from the Black Nationalist
Pan-American Indian Association: Promotes
of God taught in Process
belief that all is One and that One is God, thus all is God. This
God is an all-encompassing, impersonal principle or force. A central
doctrine for most eastern religions and New Age groups.
Papa Jim San Antonio,
herbs. Publishes the Papa Jim quarterly catalog. See Cesar.
Parapsychology: The study of ESP
and other supernatural phenomena dating to the foundation of the
English Society of Physical Research in 1882 and continued through
laboratory research at Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory,
Stanford Research Institute and elsewhere. This movement attempts to
give scientific validity to occult
and/or paranormal activities such as the alleged psychic
abilities of Uri
Parascience Institute, Evanston, IL: Psychic
Age practice associated with hypnosis
which allows one to discover one’s past lives; assumes reality of reincarnation.
Pastoral Bible Institute, Milwaukee, WI:
Path of Light, Charlotte, NC: New Age, auras,
Universal Mother, reincarnation.
Pathways: Ramana Maharshi, Sarasota, FL:
Mixture of Hinduism
Publishes Pathways: The Journal of Spiritual
Patrick, Ted: Controversial practitioner
Patripassianism: Name for a kind of modalism
the word means that the Father (patri-) suffered and died
(-passian) on the cross.
Peace Community Church, Washington, D.C.:
the mystic, “crystal clear vibration” techniques, Christ-consciousness,
Peace Mission Movement:
Based on the teaching of founder Father
Divine, which contains elements of New
Thought, asceticism, perfectionism, utopian communalism, and
denies existence of race and strictly prohibits discrimination among
members. Requires all members to turn over all property and income,
severing all ties to everything but the Peace Mission. Room, board,
and a small allowance for incidentals are provided in exchange for
otherwise unpaid labor in Peace Mission owned businesses or
projects. Father Divine did not actually claim to be God, but he
fostered the belief in his followers, and required loyalty and
obedience from them due only to God. The group claims the biblical
prophecies about the coming Jewish Messiah and Christ’s
second coming were all fulfilled by Father
Peace Pole: New
Age / occult;
poles or obelisks around which people sit in order to practice meditation
of World Peace or other topics important to those meditating.
Peacevision, Houston, TX: Visualization;
known for the blue and white bumper stickers that read “Visualize
Peale, Norman Vincent:
Was a popular writer, promoter of the belief in the power of
positive thinking popularized through the interfaith magazine,
Guideposts. Peale’s views of Christianity were heavily
influenced by his mentor Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious
Science, and also reflected the philosophies of New
Thought, and Unity.
Pearl of Great Price: One of the
scriptures or “Standard Works” of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Peck, M. Scott: New Age author and lecturer influenced by Buddhism
and Eastern metaphysics.
His best known book is The Road Less Traveled.
Pelley, William D.: New Age author.
symbol consisting of a five-pointed star with a single point at the
top that is used in ceremonial magic,
often representing the Microcosm. Called a Pentacle when depicted
with a circle around it. The Pentagram is considered a positive
force—the opposite of the Goat’s
Head or Baphomet
symbol that is made by inverting the Pentagram (two points at the
Pentecostal Assemblies of the
World (PAW), Indianapolis, IN: Oldest of the Apostolic churches.
Pentecostal. Publishes Christian Outlook.
Pentecostal Churches of Apostolic Faith:
People House, Denver, CO: New Age, subjective truth, Inner wisdom guiding, karma.
Christian Church, Jim Jones, Jonestown, Guyana: Jones,
influenced by Unitarian Humanism, Father
Divine, and Marxism,
founded his church in 1977. He later claimed at various times to be
and Lenin. In 1978 at Jones’ command, 914 people (including Jones)
committed suicide or were murdered. The group is now defunct.
used by some Native
American and New
Age groups as a sacrament in order to produce altered
states of consciousness.
Peyote Way Church of God, Anne L. Zapf,
Willcox, AZ: Native
American rituals, use the drug peyote
as a sacrament. Publishes The Sacred Record
Phanes, Grand Rapid, MI: New Age, paganism,
Philadelphia Church of God, Gerald
Flurry, Edmond, OK: Armstrongism
splinter group. Publishes The Philadelphia Trumpet
Philadelphia Congregation of Yahweh,
William Scampton, Philadelphia, PA: Sacred
name group. Publishes the Yahweh’s Watchman
Philosophic Community Center, Denver, CO:
New Age, Egyptian rites, man is Divine. Publishes the
Colorado Mind, Spirit and Soul Report newsletter.
Philosophical Publishing Co., Quakertown,
PA: See Rosicrucianism.
Philosophical Research Society, Manly P.
Hall Los Angeles, CA: New Age, Kabbalah,
past lives (reincarnation),
third eye, Buddhism,
Christ Principle (cf. Christ-consciousness).
Pike, Albert: See Freemasonry.
Plain Truth, The: Magazine of the
Church of God.
Planet Health, Arlington, TX: Yoga,
Plural Covenant: See Dual
Poltergeist: From German (“rattling
ghost”); an apparently supernatural disturbance attributed to a ghost
or spirit. Usually associated with the visible movement of physical
objects by an unseen spiritual (that is, occult)
force. See Demon,
belief in the existence of a plurality of gods, in contrast to
monotheism (one God) or atheism
(no God or gods). Examples include Greek, Roman and Norse mythology;
ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Assyrian religions; and some forms
Age belief. Some forms of Hinduism
combine polytheism with pantheism
(all is God). The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches a form of
Christianized polytheism, since it holds that the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost are three Gods and that human beings can become exalted
Alternative name for the Word-Faith
House, Wayman Mitchell, Prescott, AZ: Originally called Victory
Chapel, churches affiliated with Mitchell go under the names Praise
Chapel, The Door, Grace Chapel, The Christian Fellowship, La Capilla
de la Victory, La Casa Del Alfarero, and La Puerta. Begun in 1970,
Mitchell has over 1,000 churches in 73 countries including Mexico,
South America, Australia, Europe, and the Philippines. Numerous
former members have alleged mind
control and authoritarian/abusive leadership, and the group was
the focus of a CBS News 48 Hours investigative report.
Mitchell’s churches are not affiliated with the Potter’s House in
Dallas, TX, pastored by T. D. Jakes. Also, The Door is not
affiliated with the religious satire magazine by the same
Power for Abundant Living: Older
name for the main recruitment and initial indoctrination course (and
book by the same title) for potential members of The
Way International, as developed and taught by its founder Victor
Paul Wierwille. His successor, Craig
Martindale, produced a revised version of the course entitled
The Way of Abundance and Power.
PPPANA, Macan, GA: New Age, yoga,
Praise Chapel: See Potter’s
Prana: See Chi.
Presleyterianism: See First
Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine.
Process Church of the
Final Judgement, Robert de Grimston: Occult,
Three Great Gods who are Jehovah, Lucifer, and Satan. Dualism—unity
both are equally good and should be loved. Grimston who wrote, As
It Is, was ousted in 1974. Several splinters formed. Charles
Manson was reported to be a member at one time.
Built on the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, process theology
is a heresy within liberal
Christianity that holds that reality is becoming rather than
being - in process rather than static. The Bible has a relative
authority in that it concurs with one’s own self-evident
experiences, rather than having absolute authority over all human
experiences and beliefs, as in evangelical
Christianity. Process theology teaches panentheism
(God is in all), which is to be distinguished from pantheism (God is
all). Panentheism teaches that even though God is somehow
transcendent, He also includes the world within Himself. Therefore,
God is in “process,” evolving along with creation into future
possibilities. Some New
Agers (e.g., Matthew
Fox) and some Mormons have found value in process
Proclus Society and
Neo-Pythagorean Gnostic Church, Chicago, IL: Mixture of occult,
Project X: See Jamilian
University of the Ordained.
Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Mark: See Church
Universal and Triumphant.
Doctrine: Alternative name for Positive
Confession; the term also can apply to some Mind
Santa Monica, CA: New Age, occultism,
claims people become God. Publishes The Prosperos
Prosveta U.S.A., Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov,
Los Angeles, CA: Yoga,
Publishes the Circle of Light newsletter.
Often used generically of all Christian
churches that are neither Roman
Catholic nor Orthodox,
the term more specifically refers to the movement that originated in
the 16th century Reformation.
Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and others led efforts to correct, reform or
“protest” the errors in doctrine and practice that they saw in
medieval Roman Catholicism. The 16th century Protestants saw their
main doctrinal differences with Catholicism to include: Soli Deo
Gloria (“only to God’s glory,” God’s wisdom and glory as opposed
to church/papal sovereignty); Sola Scriptura (“Scripture
only,” the authority of the Bible over official Papal interpretation
and tradition), and Sola Gratia (salvation
“by grace alone,” eternal life received from God as a free gift
by grace through faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ
rather than by works, rituals, or sacraments).
PROUT, Northampton, MA:
An acronym for Progressive Utilization Theory, a Hinduism-based
spiritual program teaching meditation
that claims to enable life forms to progress from animals to
divinity. PROUT is promoted by Ananda
Marga, who hopes to establish through practice of the Theory a
single world government and religion. Proutist Universal, Ananda
Marga’s formal organization for promoting PROUT, publishes Prout
Journal and Global Times.
Psionics: See First
Universal Church of God-Realization.
Psychedelic Venus Church San Francisco,
Venus and Aphrodite.
Psychiana, Frank Robinson: New Age, metaphysics,
not all have sinned, similar to Christian
Science or Unity
School of Christianity.
New Age. A person with alleged supernatural or paranormal
powers used to gain hidden knowledge apart from five senses (divination);
or, that which relates to such person or gift.
Psychic Healing: An occult
form of New Age, holistic
health care involving the alleged use or balancing of healing
energy through touch or hand movements by the practitioner over the
patient to bring health. Also, employing spirit guides to aid in
Psychic Learning Center, Martha Woodworth
Rockport, MA: Occult/New Age, Tarot
Supposed ability to control movement of physical objects by the
power of the mind alone, apart from the laws of natural
Psychomancy: A form of divination
based on communication with spirit entities or ghosts.
supposed ability to discover facts about an object or an individual
connected with it, by being close to, or in contact with, the
Psynetic Foundation, Anaheim, CA: New Age, channeling,
Course in Miracles. Publishes Psynetic Calendar
sacred scriptures consisting of myths, legends, and historical
events; also occasionally used by those in the New Age movement.
Pursel, Jach: New Age, channeler
of spirit entity called Lazaris.
Pyramid Power: The
belief, typically based on pyramidology,
that ancient pyramids or the geometric shape of a pyramid generates
or directs occult
power or energy.
Study of the Ancient Egyptian and/or Central American Mayan
pyramids, which are believed to possess keys to hidden mystic
knowledge or secret spiritual messages. See also Pyramid
QQabalah/Qabbalah: Alternative spellings for Kabbalah.
Quartus Foundation, John Price, Boerne,
TX: New Age, meditation,
healing the planet, Journey to the Fourth Dimension.
Quest For Excellence, Dallas, TX: New Age, Star Chamber for altered
states of consciousness, self-realization, metaphysics.
Quimby, Phineas P.: Mesmerist
and healer whose metaphysical theories influenced Mary Baker Eddy
(founder of Christian
Thought and other Mind
School, Kenneth Wheller, Mount Shasta, CA: New Age, Ascended
Radical Feminism: An
outgrowth of the more moderate feminist movement which sought to
influence societal views and laws to reflect women’s equality and
opportunity with men in all areas of culture. Radical feminism,
however, pushes for a revolution to free themselves from male
enslavement and exploitation. Among those holding this ideology are
some lesbians who attempt to perpetuate an actual anti-male
position. Theologically, radical feminism finds influence in diverse
religious traditions including liberal
Christianity, liberation theology, goddess
and New Age beliefs. The diversity of the movement aids in
widespread recruitment and promotes otherwise unusual political and
The, Claude Vorilhon (a.k.a. Rael): UFO
group founded by French journalist Vorilhon, who claims to have
communication with god-like extraterrestrials known as the Elohim.
Publications include: Apocalypse (a quarterly magazine),
The Book Which Tells the Truth, and Sensual
Rainbow, Dallas, TX: New Age, psychic,
Course in Miracles text, shamanism.
Publishes the Rainbow newspaper.
Rainbow, Charlotte, NC: New Age, Ascended
life regression. Publishes the Pathways
Rainbow Earth Dwelling Society, J.
Christine Hayes, San Antonio, TX: New Age, chakras,
Rainbow Group (Rainbow People): Nomadic,
New Age, communal society found mostly in the southeastern
Raja Yoga: See Yoga.
Ram Dass, a.k.a. Richard Alpert: New Age guru.
Ramtha: Spirit entity
supposedly channeled by J.
Rastafarianism, (Ras Tafari, Rastas)
Marcus Garvey: African/Jamaican religion. Teaches that the late king
of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, is God.
Ray, Sondra: See Rebirthing
REACH, Inc. (a.k.a.
Holyland), Bishop Luke Edwards, Meridian, MS; Emele, AL: Extreme Oneness
Pentecostal group, formerly associated with Pentecostal
Assemblies of the World. Both adults and children raise funds by
going on the “route” (going on the road for weeks at a time to
solicit funds). The most common approach is for children to solicit
funds outside stores under the pretense of raising money for abused
Rebirthing: New Age. Participants rid themselves of negative karma
(traumas/problems) by being regressed back to the womb and
reenacting the trauma of their birth experience or previous births
Originally hot tubs or saunas were used but later practitioners
developed “dry” rebirthing techniques.
International, Leonard Orr: Co-author of Rebirthing in the
New Age with Sondra Ray; helped develop and popularize the New Age practice of rebirthing.
Recovery Version of the New
Testament: Version used by the The Local Church.
criticism: A relatively new branch of biblical literary
criticism that attempts to infer the theological purposes of the
“redactors” (anonymous editors, compilers, or revisers) who are
thought to have helped to rewrite or shape various books of the
Bible (especially the Gospels) into their final form. Whereas form
criticism focuses on discerning the literary form and origins of
specific passages, redaction criticism focuses on the use of those
passages to convey the message of the book as a whole. Redaction
criticism assumes that the book in question was written using
different sources that were selected and edited to emphasize or
convey certain theological concepts. Scholars in liberal
Christianity typically assume further that the books that draw
on the same sources (notably the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke)
use those sources to convey conflicting ideas. Scholars in evangelical
Christianity are divided as to whether a mild form of redaction
criticism can be legitimately employed without impugning the
inerrancy of the Bible.
Redfield, James: New Age astrologer
and author of the best-selling fiction, The
Reflexology: New Age, holistic
health practice that purports to heal the body through massaging
certain parts of the foot or hand that allegedly correspond to the
major organs of the body. It is sometimes believed to work by
opening blocked meridians
in the body which will then allow the body’s energy or chi
to flow freely. The foot or hand is seen as a microcosm of the human
body and/or the universe.
16th century movement initiated by Martin Luther, initially intended
to correct, protest, or reform the doctrines and practices of Roman
Catholicism. Luther’s efforts (later joined and expanded by
Zwingli, Bucer, Calvin and others) quickly developed into a complete
break with Catholicism. The reformers’ major doctrinal issues
included a rejection of: the authority of the following: the
authority of the Pope, church control of Bible translation and
interpretation, a distinction in value between laity and clergy, and
salvation being a product of the church and its sacraments (salvation
by works). A more thorough (and in some cases unorthodox) reform
occurred with the Radical Reformation—the orthodox Anabaptist
movement being an example. To various degrees, virtually all Protestant
denominations today share a common heritage concerning the issues of
Reiki: New Age, metaphysical
theory of holistic
health involving the movement of the practitioner’s hand over
and near (but not on) the patient’s body to allegedly balance or
redirect energy chakras.
Belief originating with religions of the East (e.g. Hinduism)
that when a person dies he has the ability to come again to the
earth, inhabit a new body, and live as many lives as needed to
progress towards a religious goal. Whereas Hindus typically believe
that reincarnation includes transmigration of souls between animal,
plant, and even inanimate forms, New
Age believers typically restrict reincarnation to human and
celestial forms. Reincarnation generally assumes a doctrine of karma.
The idea is the basis for the practice of attempting past
Science, Ernest Holmes: One of the Mind
Sciences, professes to represent the best thought of all
religions. Similar to New
Remnant of YHWH, Mark Deacon, Abilene,
Name splinter group from House of Yahweh; teaches Sabbatarianism,
Reorganized Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), Former name of largest
Mormon splinter group. See, Community
A conservative split from the Reorganized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [RLDS] (now known
of Christ) that holds what they believe to be a more classical,
historical RLDS understanding of basic doctrines, Joseph Smith, and
of Mormon. They generally view the institutionalized Community
of Christ church as being too liberal in theology and perhaps on
social issues as well.
Reverend Ike, a.k.a., Frederick
Eikerenkoetter, II: Pantheism;
R I Research, New York, NY: New Age; selects people called Beyonders, claims to possess
Rice, Anne: Author of The Witching
Hour, Vampire Chronicles, Interview with A Vampire, and other
books with occult
Rice, Nancy, Broomfield, CO: New Age, Tarot
life regression, clairvoyance.
Right Knowledge: See Ancient
Mystic Order of Malchizedek.
Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gerald Peterson, Cedar City, UT:
Small polygamous, Mormon
Fundamentalist splinter group of about 100 people. Peterson
claimed that the spirit of Rulon Allred, who founded the Corporation
of the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic United Brethren,
returned to restore the priesthood to him.
Right Way, The: See Chen
Road Less Traveled, The: Book
written by Peck,
Roberts, Jane: New Age, channeler
of spirit entity called Seth.
Robins, Anthony (or Tony): Business
consultant, empowerment, personal transformation and motivational
speaker whose theories often contain New Age philosophies.
The Rock of Ages: Annual music concert
and convention held by The
Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and
Ayurveda, Denver, CO: Eastern mysticism,
Raja and Bhakti Yoga.
Rocky Mountain Research Institute, Fort
Collins, CO: Paranormal research, reincarnation,
Rocky Mountain Spiritual Emergence
Network, Boulder, CO: New Age, magic,
mystic rituals, astrology,
Publishes the R.M.S.E.N. Times newsletter.
Diverse worldwide religious tradition that officially looks to the
Pope and his predecessors/successors as God’s human leader of world
Because of its size and scope—both in membership (about a billion
people worldwide) and geographically, the actual beliefs held by
devout Catholics are widespread and eclectic. Catholicism has been
influenced by liberation
theology, especially in parts of South America. In Africa, the
Caribbean, and elsewhere, attempts have been made to blend
Catholicism with spiritism,
creating a type of Catholicism with occult
elements. In addition, since the 1960s there has been a small but
significant element of charismatic Catholics who have been
influenced by the larger charismatic movement. A small percentage of
Catholics are doctrinally evangelical, and others (such as Matthew
Fox) are part of the New
Age movement. As a whole, however, the differences between Roman
Catholicism and Protestantism
are still seen most clearly in the issues of the Reformation.
The 16th century reformers distinguished themselves from Catholicism
in two key ways. First, they saw the Bible as the sole foundation
for authority (sola scriptura) rather than the Pope, church
dogma or tradition. Second, the reformers taught salvation
by “grace alone” (sola gracia). They also insisted that
sola gracia could be faithfully maintained only by
understanding the gospel
to be the message of a free pardon and righteous standing with God
through “faith alone” (sola fide) in the imputed
righteousness of Christ. The Roman Catholic Church claimed (and
still claims) to affirm sola gracia, but anathematized sola
fide, teaching instead that grace is received and maintained by a
combination of faith plus works (religious rites, sacraments, or
Ro-Hun Therapy: Balancing the energy
fields of the human body (see chi).
Rosicrucian Anthroposophic League, S.R.
Parchment, New York, NY: Break-off of Rosicrucian
Fellowship, Max Heindel, Oceanside, CA: Reincarnation,
Rosicrucian Foundation, Swinburne Clymer,
Quakertown, PA: Oldest group of Rosicrucianism
in the U.S.; reincarnation,
Rosicrucian Order, a.k.a.
Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis (AMORC), H.
Spence Lewis, San Jose, CA: Most successful organization promoting
in the US. Esoteric
reinterpretation of Christianity;
mixture of occult
Secret Wisdom of past Masters, secret society, magic.
Christian Rosenkreutz: (Literally the “Rose cross”) Occult
secret society allegedly founded in 1407 in Germany by Christian
Rosenkreutz, who was under the influence of Egyptian occultism. The
movement has fragmented into a number of competing organizations
promoting variations of the same general pantheistic,
occult themes. Similar to Theosophy.
Rowan Tree, Paul Beyerlf, Minneapolis,
Mother Earth, magic,
Publishes The Littlest Unicorn newsletter.
Rune: A figure or
character in the ancient Nordic magical alphabet of 24 symbols. They
are used for divinination
of the future, performing magic,
or evoking Norse deities.
Russell, Charles Taze: Founder of the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society.
SSabbatarianism: Generally the view
that the Old Testament Sabbath commandment is to be observed
unchanged by the church. As used in this index, Sabbatarianism
refers to an extreme form of the belief in which membership in the
true church, or even salvation, is conditional upon keeping the
Sabbath law. As such, Sabbatarianism is at the least a form of legalism
and at most a denial of salvation
by grace. In most cases, the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) must be
observed by refraining from work, sports, and travel from sundown
Friday evening to sundown Saturday evening. The belief is often
accompanied by the observance of Jewish dietary laws and/or other
Old Testament feasts.
Sabellianism: Alternative name for Modalism.
Sabin, Robert: A well-known Oneness
Pentecostal pastor, writer, and speaker.
Sabo, Sandra, Gloucester, MA: Channeler,
healing, spirit guides.
Sacred Cycles, Bette Barr-Glover, San
Juan Capistrano, CA: Paganism,
divine feminine in each person, numerology,
Publishes the Sacred Cycles newsletter.
Sacred Mushroom and
the Cross, The, John Allegro: Book and corresponding church
by the late Dead Sea Scroll scholar, Dr. Allegro. “Jesus”
is allegedly the New Testament code word for a mushroom to be used
as a sacrament to induce hallucinations and altered
states of consciousness.
movement: Although some Orthodox Jews and others believe that
the name of God is too sacred to speak (and/or fully write), as used
in this Index the Sacred Name movement refers to a modern movement
that claims that God must be addressed by a form of the Divine Name
in the Old Testament (Yahweh, Jehovah, Yah, Yahvah, or some other
preferred form). Whichever one true name is chosen, all other
terms or names for God are considered incorrect or references to
false deities. Salvation, it is believed, depends on referring to
God by His correct name. Most Sacred Name groups also teach Sabbatarianism
and observe Old Testament dietary laws and feasts.
Sacred Order of Mystic Christianity,
Mountain View, CA: New Age, mystic keys, Inner God, Christ
within, higher self.
One of eight criteria of Mind
Control according to Robert
Lifton's theory of Thought Reform. The group considers their
doctrines and beliefs to be sacred and beyond question. Thus, no
alternative viewpoint is allowed to exist and open consideration of
alternative ideas and free discussion are quashed.
Sadhana Society Prescott, AZ: New Age, ESP, Astral
Projection, telekinesis, levitation, clairvoyance.
Sage Center, Ann Garner, Arlington, TX:
New Age, Use The
Urantia Book as the primary text.
Sage Woman, Point Arena, CA: Paganism,
Egyptian rituals, goddess
Saint Germain: See I
AM Movement, Ascended
Saint Germain Foundation, Schaumburg, IL:
Similar to the I
Salvation by Grace:
The doctrine and message of the gospel
that eternal life is not gained by or conditioned on works but is an
undeserved and free gift from God received through faith in Jesus
as the Lord and Savior who died for our sins and rose from the dead.
Contrasted with salvation
Salvation by Works:
Any doctrine that denies salvation
by grace alone by teaching that eternal life is merited, earned,
conditioned, or maintained through human effort, religious ritual,
financial donations, obedience to laws/commandments, church
membership, and/or moral behavior.
Samhain: (pronounced Sah-ween)
Alternative name for Halloween.
Sanctuary of Gaia, Santa Cruz, CA:Gaia,
Sanctuary of Revealing Light, Mildred
see also International
General Assembly of Spiritualists.
Sankirtana: Religious chant or mantra
repeated over and over to draw practitioners into an ever closer
state of God-consciousness.
“worship of the saints,” a syncretism of Roman
Catholicism and traditional African polytheistic
religions established when African slaves were introduced to the
Caribbean. Elements include animal sacrifice and voodoo.
Satan, (The Devil, The
Serpent): Lucifer, a high ranking angel
who wanted to be exalted to the position of God. Through this sin,
Lucifer fell and became Satan, the Devil, leading a large number of
rebellious angels with him who became the demons.
Satan and his host now seek to destroy the plan and people of God.
He will ultimately fail and be eternally punished (Matthew 25:41,
Bible: Scripture of the Church
of Satan written by the late Anton LaVey.
Represented by two separate groups, secular and traditional
Satanists. The secularists do not believe in in a literal, personal,
spiritual being called Satan, but rather consider Satan to be an
archetype or symbol that represents the ideas of Satanic philosophy.
Various satanic ideals include self-interest, indulgence, an
anti-herd mentality, and an emphasis upon rational self-interest.
Examples of modern Satanism include The Church of Satan founded by
Anton LaVey and now led by Peter Gilmore as High Priest, Michael
Aquino's Temple of Set, and Lord Egan's First Church of Satan.
Traditional Satanism, which involves the worship of the Satan of the
Bible through a perversion and parody of Roman Catholicism, appeared
in the fifteenth century coming out of the Inquisition. Contemporary
expressions of traditional Satanism are rare, and popular elements
of it, including the testimonies of alleged former Satanists and
Satanic Ritual Abuse have been discredited.
Savior of All Fellowship, Montclair, CA:
School for Esoteric Studies, New York,
NY: Masters of Wisdom include Jesus;
influenced by Alice Bailey. See Arcane
School of Ageless Wisdom, Arlington, TX:
teachings of Alice Bailey. See Arcane
School of Alchemy, Boulder, CO: Occult,
School of Metaphysics, Dennis Rodgers,
Norman, OK: New Age, reaching ultimate potential, karma,
School of Natural Order, Ralph M. deBit,
Baker, NV: Mixture of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Eastern
School of Thought, Hope Troxell, June
Lake, CA: New Age, Cosmic Brotherhood.
Science and Health with Key to the
Scriptures: Principal text of Christian
Science of Man,
Mother Ruth, Portland, OR: An esoteric and mystical order reviving
the doctrines of the now defunct Holy
Order of MANS.
Science of Mind: Textbook of Religious
Science, written by its founder, Ernest Holmes.
Science of Mind Church, Lunn Gardner,
Mobile, AL: New Age, channeling,
Scientology: See Church
Scripture Research Association, College
Park, MD: Sacred
Name movement, the names Jesus
Scully, Nicki, Eugene, OR: Egyptian
Seance: A meeting,
usually involving a medium,
in which there is a deliberate attempt to practice necromancy
by contacting or communicating with the dead using occult
Search and Prove, St. Paul Park, MN: New Age, karma,
projection, astral plain, Ascended
The Secret Doctrine: See Theosophy.
Secrets, Norma Cox, Marshal, AR: UFOs.
Publishes the Secrets newsletter.
Seeing Beyond, Capitola, CA: New Age, psychic,
Self-Realization Fellowship, Paramahansa
Yogananda, Los Angeles, CA: New Age, Awaken the God within, yoga,
Self-Revelation Church of Absolute
Monism, Swami Premananda, Washington, D.C.: Pantheism.
Doctrine that alleges Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3)
was sexual. Eve had intercourse with the Serpent and begot Cain,
whose father is really Satan not Adam. Cain’s descendants were
supposedly somehow perpetuated after the flood (usually through
Noah’s son Ham). Diverse groups teach variations of this doctrine.
Cain’s descendants are: Jews according to the Christian
Identity Movement, Communists/Atheists according to the Unification
Church, Whites according to the Nation
of Yahweh, the lost according to William
Seth: Spirit entity
SEVA, CRISTAL: See Spiritual
Seven Oaks, Madison, VA: New Age, channeling,
Celebration of Female Spirit, Native
American Vision Quest, Mother Earth, Gaia.
Seventh Day Adventist Church
(SDA), Washington, DC: The largest Adventist
church. Ellen G. White, who claimed to have “the spirit of
prophecy,” was an important early leader of the movement and taught
a number of distinctive SDA doctrines, including the Investigative
Judgment and Sabbatarianism.
While the church’s official theology now appears to be generally in
the tradition of evangelical
Christianity, certain SDA claims and unique doctrines continue
to raise questions. These doctrines include the SDA belief that
Sunday worship will result in the “Mark of the Beast,” imbalanced
teachings on keeping the commandments (baptism, Sabbath observance)
that often implies a kind of salvation
by works, the “Remnant Church” doctrine that implies that the
SDA is or will be God’s only true church, and the doctrine of the Investigative
Shafenberg Research Foundation, Ernest
Shafenberg, Kingfisher, OK: New Age, occult,
Spiritual world view of Native
American and other early cultures that believe that “shamans,”
witch doctors or spiritual leaders, can provide healing, guidance
or wisdom through the occult,
states of consciousness. The shaman’s soul is sometimes believed
to leave the body during a trance (see out-of-body
projection), at which time the shaman will speak with beings
from the other worlds or assume animal forms.
Shambhala Institute, Asheville, NC: New Age, visualization,
Shambhla Publishing, Boulder, CO: New Age publisher
Shared Heart Foundation, Joyce and Berry
Vissell, Aptos, CA: New Age, promotes numerous mystical and esoteric
Shenoa Retreat Center, Philo, CA: New Age, consciousness healing, uses A
Course in Miracles, Hinduism,
Christian growth is allegedly facilitated by yielding personal
freedoms to a discipler or “shepherd” who controls virtually every
aspect of an individual’s life. This is a form of spiritual
abuse, a manipulative distortion of true biblical discipleship
that can ultimately rob individuals of their liberty and autonomy
that is to be found in Christ.
Used by many traditional cults, as well as by some religious
organizations that are not cultic in their basic doctrine.
Arnold Murray Gravette, AR: Denies the Trinity,
teaching instead a doctrine similar to Modalism.
Also teaches that humans existed as “gods” in a pre-creation
existence with God. Advocates British
Israelism and a form of the serpent
(Shen-Tao “the way of the gods.”) Ancient polytheistic
religion of Japan that focuses more on Japanese Culture, traditions,
attitudes and ideology rather than a system of doctrines or code of
ethics. The roots of the movement are obscure, but it eventually
developed into the idea that Japan, unlike other countries, was
uniquely fathered by the god Izanami, whose consort, the
goddess Izanagi, gave birth to the Japanese islands.
Consequently the concept evolved that Japanese people are divine and
superior to other humans. In one form of the religion, State
Shintoism, the Japanese emperors were seen as infallible descendants
of the gods. Today devotion centers around public shrines and home
altars dedicated to ancestors and gods. The sun goddess
Amaterasu is the chief deity worshipped, and a belief in
kami, a form of spiritism,
is also maintained.
Shiva: The “destroyer,”
third member of the triad of gods in Hinduism,
the others being Brahma
Shriners: See Freemasonry.
(Disfellowshipping) An effective technique of control used by Jehovah's
Witnesses and other groups to instill discipline, punish, or
maintain idealistic purity. Members who do not maintain the group's
behavioral expectations or who disagree on dogma are isolate the
current, faithful members. This includes, in most cases, even family
members or friends, who are not allowed to talk or share a meal with
the shunned. The faithful, who violate the rule and communicate with
the dissident, can themselves be shunned. The practice has been
identified as a form of milieu
control, one of the characteristic marks of cultic mind
Siddha Yoga Dham of
America, Swami Muktananda Paramahansa, South Fallsburg, NY:
Siegel, Bernie: New
Age author/doctor promoting meditation,
Sikhism, Nanak: A religion, based mostly
in the Punjab province of India, that attempts to blend Hinduism
The movement is based on a vision and subsequent teachings of
founder Nanak in the 15th century AD. Disciples, called Sikhs,
follow the one true God named Sat Nam (“True Name”). Their
main scriptures are contained in the Granth Sahib (“The
Lord’s Book”), compiled by the guru
Arjan, and salvation is viewed as a merging with the universal force
(as in pantheism)
Silva Mind Control,
Jose Silva: New Age, seminars, changing core beliefs, holistic
Silver, Marshall, Tempe, AZ: New Age empowerment seminars, hypnosis.
Singer, David: New Age, seminars, based on Church
Singh, Sant Thakar: See Kirpal
Sino-American Buddhism Association, San
Francisco, CA: Basic Buddhism
Smith, David J.: See Church
of God Evanglistic Association.
Smith, Joseph: Founder of The
Church of Jesus Christof Latter-day Saints.
Societas Rosicruciana In America, Palmer,
New York, NY: Astrology,
Society for Organizational Learning
(SoL), Boston, MA: An affiliate of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, the SoL researches and promotes learning
organizations that facilitate institutional evolution and the
rethinking of conventional and reactionary beliefs.
Society of Pragmatic Mysticism, Mildred
Mann, New York, NY: Esoteric
Solar Quest, Seneca, MD: New Age, God is the Higher Energy Force, cosmic energies,
vibration patterns, homeopathy.
Soka Gakkai Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin:
A mystical form of Buddhism
based on the teachings of 13th century Japanese fisherman Nichiren
Daishonin, who taught that the true interpretations of Buddha’s
teachings were recorded in the Lotus Sutra.
Soka Gakkai International
(SGI), Daisakqu Ikeda, Santa Monica, CA: A cult of Soka Gakkai
Buddhism, formerly named Nichiren Shoshu of America. The sect
promotes enlightenment though gongyo. This involves kneeling
before a gohonzon (black wooden box containing passages from
the Lotus Sutra), quoting this scripture, and chanting the
daimoku (“nam-myoho-renge-kyo”). Compared with other forms of
Buddhism, this sect is very aggressive in their missionary efforts.
This sect allegedly practices mind
control, authoritarianism and desires world power.
Solar Temple: See Order
of the Solar Temple.
Songs of David, Marvel, TX: See Church
of the Most High God.
Sons of Noah: See B’nai
Sophia: Greek goddess
of wisdom also personified in neo-paganism
Soul Sleep: (Psychopannychy) The doctrine
that human souls sleep or cease conscious existence between death
and resurrection. Usually (but not always) a doctrine associated
Soulmates: Marriage partners from
previous lives. See Reincarnation.
Southern Dharma Retreat Center, Hot
Springs, NC: New
teaches from A
Course in Miracles, meditation.
Sovereignty, Inc., Eastsound, WA:
New Age periodical.
Spangler, David: Prominent New
Age writer and lecturer.
Spell: In witchcraft or
a ritual to affect a person or the future supernaturally or magically.
Often involves incantations, and the ceremonial use of herbs,
candles, knives, or other occult
Electronic Communication Society, Manchester, England: A spiritualist
organization founded in 1949 devoted to study Zwaan Rays, an alleged
energy field that supposedly can arouse latent psychic
abilities in humans.
Spirit of Prophecy Ministry, Las Vegas,
NV: Predicted the return of Christ in 1998. Publishes Insights
Specifically, the belief found in many primitive Cultures that
inanimate objects, plants and/or animals are possessed by spirits
(good or evil) which must be appeased through occult
practices. More generally, the term can refer to any alleged contact
with spirits through occult techniques.
Abuse: The damage or mistreatment of someone seeking spiritual
or religious help or guidance. This injury can occur when someone
uses a spiritual position or office to exercise an improper and
unhealthy domination or control over followers. Legalism
can be a form of spiritual abuse.
Spiritual Advancement of the Individual
Foundation, Sai Baba, Los Angeles, CA: Eastern philosophy, avatars,
records, teachings from the so-called lost years of Jesus.
Publishes the Sathya Sai newsletter.
Spiritual Advisory Council, Orlando, FL:
New Age, psychic
counseling, Mastering the Life Force; promotes Benjamin
Creme and Steve
Fellowship International, Author Ford, Philadelphia, PA: Spiritualism,
paranormal phenomena, ESP,
health. Joseph Fitch and Martin Ebon, and Elizabeth Fenske are
popular leaders in the movement. Affiliated with the Academy
of Religion and Psychical Research.
Spiritual Hierarchy Information Center,
Ft. Lauderdale, FL: New Age, cosmic Christ-consciousness.
Spiritual Horizons Church, Houston, TX:
Spiritual Human Yoga
(SHY), Luong Minh Dang (a.k.a. Kong King Knhang): Doomsday cult
whose founder was arrested in Belgium but released on 50 million
francs bail in April 1999. Dang relocated to St. Louis, MO, in June
1999 and started SHY there. He claims to be able to heal through
“laying on of hands,” but his techniques have been banned in several
countries due to child deaths. Dang has operated under several
names, notably Human Universal Energy, and the Institute for Human
and Universal Energy Research, Inc.
Spiritual Research Society, Edward Cain,
Grand Rapids, MI: New Age, Great
White Brotherhood, channeling,
Spiritual Science Institute, Santa
Barbara, CA: New Age, hypnotic
future life progression, UFOs,
movement that began in 1848 with the “raps” of the Fox Sisters (Kate
and Margaret) in Hydesville, NY. A form of spiritism
normally associated with mediums
who contact the spirits of the deceased (a form of necromancy).
Spring Hill Institute, Robert Gass and
Judith Gass Tierre: New Age, Inner Awareness.
Stallone Astrology Center, Jacqueline
Stallone, Toluca Lake, CA: Astrology
center founded by the mother of actor Sylvester Stallone.
Star Center for the
Americas, Montgomery, TX: New Age, pantheism,
Divine light or Christ
See also Church
of the White Eagle Lodge.
Starlight Mystic Awareness School, Diane
Tessman, Poway, CA: New Age, channeling
life Forces, UFOs.
Publishes The Star Netword Heartline newsletter.
Star Quest, Argyle, TX: New Age, visualization,
Starshine Center, Corpus Christi, TX: New Age, Reiki,
life regression, UFOs.
Stelle Group, Richard
Kieninger, Stelle, IL: Become One with God, The Brotherhood is the
Steps to Awareness, Telluride, CO: New Age, yoga,
Promotes philosophy of the Church
of Scientology through business management services, aimed
mostly at dentists, chiropractors, doctors, and
Stil-Light Retreat Center, Waynesville,
NC: New Age, meditation,
Circular cluster of upright stones called menhirs (long
stones) located in Salisbury Plain about 80 miles west of London,
England. Various theories of its origins include the belief that
built the site as a temple or that it was created by
extraterrestrials (cf. UFOs).
Some New Age followers, neo-pagans,
and others believe that the site has mystical powers or
Students International Meditation
Society: A branch of Transcendental
Words or messages communicated at a level below the conscious mind’s
ability to perceive. Allegedly, messages can enter directly into the
subconscious mind, thus by-passing the rational/logical center of
the individual’s brain.
Subud, Bapak Mohammad Subuh
Sumohadiwidjojo [1901-1987]: Originated in Java, Indonesia, Subud
has spread worldwide. Subud stands for three words, Susila, Budhi,
and Dharma. The three words taken together mean, “to follow the Will
of God with the help of the Divine Power that works both within us
and without, by the way of surrendering oneself to the Will of
Almighty God” (Internet;
http://www.subud.org/english/english.Btalk.html). This surrendering
of oneself occurs primarily in a spiritual exercise known as the
latihan (sometimes, latihan kejiwaan), a trance like
state that can produce anything from ecstatic movement and utterance
to profound calm. Disengagement of the “passions, desires, and
thinking” is essential for entrance into the latihan. “Only by
surrendering himself completely to God, not making use of his mind,
his heart or his desire, is it possible for man to come into contact
with the Power of God” (Ibid.). Thus all the higher critical
faculties that set man apart from beast must be suspended. Whatever
the experience thus induced, it is simply to be surrendered to and
“received.” From a Christian point of view this is a perfect recipe
for demonic possession. Regular practice of the latihan enables one
to discern one’s true self, which apparently turns out to be God.
“So this Divine Power, which works in us during the exercise, will
bring to each person what is already in himself…. Therefore, Bapak
says that it is God Who will lead you toward Himself and what really
happens in the latihan is that you will be introduced to your real
inner self—to the real ‘I’. You must not be afraid and you must not
be worried because whatever comes to you in your latihan is only
what is in you, and it comes from your inner self. It is the real
you that arises in the latihan,…” (Ibid.).
Sufi Order of the Sons of the Green
Light, New York, NY: See Sufism.
Sufism: Mystical sect
Rather than focusing on the Five Pillars of Islam, Sufis seek
ultimate religious experience through mystic trances or altered
states of consciousness, often induced through twirling dances
(the “whirling dervish”). Although the Qur’an is considered
scripture, many practitioners have more in common with the New Age movement than with classic forms of Islam.
Summit Lighthouse/Summit University: See
Universal and Triumphant.
Summum, Salt Lake City, UT: New Age, UFOs,
ascended consciousness, mummification.
The Sun Chapel Hill, NC: New Age periodical.
Sundoor, Peggy Dylan, Twain Harte, CA: New Age, self-realization, Native
American spirituality, firewalking.
Superet Brotherhood for Mankind,
Josephine C. Trust, Los Angeles, CA: New Age, Father-Mother God, auras,
Supersensonic Energy Technologies,
Boulder Creek, CA: New
Age health, crystals,
God is a force, pyramidology.
Sutphen, Dick: See Master
Sweat Lodge: Native
American spiritual ritual associated with spiritual purification
ceremonies and rites.
Foundation, Emanuel Swedenborg, New York, NY: Denies the Trinity,
rejects many books of the Bible. Swedenborg a geologist and
scientist who left his Lutheran background to become a medium and
mystic. He wrote Arcana Coelestia: The Earths in the
Universe. Latter-day prophet, spiritism,
writing. Publishes Chrysalis.
SYDA: See Siddha
Yoga Dham of America.
Synchronicity Foundation, Faber, VA: New Age, Hatha yoga,
Quinn Sedona, AZ: New Age, astrology.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India: A 17th-century
mausoleum considered to be a holy building by some, including New Age followers.
stones or amulets believed to possess power in themselves to guard
against evil spirits or for use in the invocation of demons
by sorcerers. Also an ancient occult
belief that certain objects or symbols contain supernatural magical
powers, used for attraction of love, health, success and power to
control nature or others. Closely aligned with witchcraft (see Wicca)
Tao, TaoTe Ching, Tao Tsang: See
Chinese philosophy teaching that there is no personal God—all is the
impersonal Tao (similar to the impersonal God-force of pantheism
The Tao is composed of conflicting opposites (Yin
and Yang) which should be balanced or harmonized through yoga,
etc., to promote spiritual wholeness. According to legend, Taoism
founder Lao-tzu wrote Tao Te Ching (“The Way and Its Power”)
about 550 BC. His teaching was developed and spread in the third
century BC by Chuang-Tzu, whose writings inspired the Tao
Tsang, 1200 volumes of Taoist scripture.
Tara Center, Benjamin
Creme, North Hollywood, CA: New Age, Maitreya is Jesus
Publishes The Emergence newsletter and Share
Tarot Cards: Occult,
used for divination.
Teachers of Light: See Church
of E Yada di Shi-ite.
Technicians of the
Sacred, Burbank, CA: Occult,
Temple of Danann, Michael Ragan, Hanover,
Temple of Kriya Yoga, Goswami Kriyananda,
Chicago, IL: New Age, rebirthing,
Temple of Set, Michael Aquino: Satanism,
Egyptian rituals, magic.
Temple of the Ascended Master, Ted M.
Pierce, Yarness, AZ: New Age, channeling,
God within, karma
Temple of the People, William Dower,
Halcyon, CT: Mixture of I
AM and theosophical
Temple of the Psychedelic Light and the
Church of the Realized Fantasy, Daniel Rakowitz, East Village,
human sacrifice, cannabilism.
Temple of the Universe, Amrit Desai,
Alachua, FL: Eastern mysticism,
Temple of Truth: See Light
of Truth Church.
Teresa, Joan (Power Products) Mars Hill,
NC: See Joan Teresa Power Products.
Teutonic Temple, Clarence Bartholomew,
The Dallas, OR: Occult,
sacred feasts, paganism.
Texas Wholistic Network, Azel, TX: Christ-consciousness,
higher self. Publishes the Lightworker newspaper.
Theosophical Society in America, Wheaton,
IL: Main organization in the Theosophy
Theosophical Society – International,
Pasadena, CA: Offshoot of Theosophy.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky: The Word “theosophy” literally means “God
wisdom.” Founded in 1875 to form a universal brotherhood of
humanity. Teaches pantheism,
striving for Christ-consciousness,
and paranormal phenomena. Important early leaders include Colonel
Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and Annie
Besant. Important texts include Isis Unveiled, The Secret
Doctrine, and The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society. Similar
and/or related to the Arcane
School, the I
AM Movement, the Liberal Catholic Church, and Rosicrucianism.
Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, CA:
Offshoot of Theosophy;
Lodge of Theosophists.
Therapeutic Touch: New
health practice developed by Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz of
using alleged body energy (chi)
to heal a patient. Therapists move their hands just above the
surface of the patient, never actually touching the body. This
process is said to release the body’s natural psychic energy,
thereby physically healing the body. Becoming very common in nursing
schools and hospitals throughout America. Similar to Reiki.
Third Eye: Highest chakra,
supposedly found in the middle of the forehead.
Thought Reform: Robert
Lifton’s term for Mind
Control, more popularly known as brainwashing.
Thought Trends, Roswell, GA: New Age newspaper.
(Lamaism) A blending of Buddhism
with the occultism
of Tibet which developed in the 7th century AD Lamas (priests) are
perpetually led by the Dalai Lama who is worshipped as the most
of Bodhisattva Chenresi.
TM: Acronym for Transcendental
Torres, Penny: New Age, allegedly channels
the spirit entity Mafu.
Touch for Health: See Therapeutic
Touch Stone, San Francisco, CA: Occult/paganism
Touch Therapy: See Therapeutic
Trance: An spontaneous
or induced altered
state of consciousness, similar to hypnosis,
which is often employed by channelers
Trance Channeling:See Channeling.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: (TM) New Age, altered
state of consciousness, yoga,
promises to expand creativity, self-awareness, and world peace. At
the group’s Maharishi
University in Fairfield, IA, TM students attempt levitation through
Transformational Seminars: New Age, stress management.
Tree of Knowledge, Westchester, IL: New Age, astrology,
higher consciousness, Tarot,
life regression, Fall moon meditation.
Publishes the Tree of Knowledge newsletter.
Trick or Treat: See Halloween.
Trinity: A doctrine
held historically by orthodox Christianity.
The one true God eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three are co-equal, co-eternal, and
one in essence. This doctrine contrasts with both Modalism
belief in three separate Gods. A denial of the Trinity doctrine and
a form of polytheism.
Ministries Church of God, William Dankenbring, Altadena, CA: Armstrongism
splinter group; publishes Prophecy Flash.
Triumph Publishing: See Triumph
Prophetic Ministries Church of God.
True Mother and True Father: Titles of
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification
Church, and his wife.
Tucson Tabernacle, Tucson, AZ: See Branhamism.
Two by Twos: Alternative name for Cooneyites.
UFOs: Acronym for Unidentified
UG, Farmingdale, NY: Eastern mysticism,
Unarius Academy of
Science/Unarius Education Foundation, Ruth Norman/Ernest Norman,
El Cajon, CA: UFOs,
Understanding Inc., Daniel Fry, Tonopah,
Unidentified Flying Objects
(UFOs): The term is used generally for all reported sightings of
unidentified objects in the sky, most of which turn out to be
natural phenomena (e.g., Venus) or man-made craft (e.g., weather
balloons). More specifically, the term UFOs refers to allegedly
sighted “flying saucers” or other alien spacecrafts. UFO beliefs can
range between innocuous speculation that extraterrestrial beings may
have visited Earth to quasi-religious devotion to the alleged
presence and teachings of aliens. Often these beings are believed to
be non-physical (spiritual) entities who are communicating
telepathically (psychically) with contactees. Their messages are
virtually always contrary to biblical beliefs.
Church, Sun Myung Moon, New York, NY: Full name, Holy Spirit
Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Jesus brought
only spiritual salvation; another “savior” is needed to fulfill
Jesus’ mission. Moon is that Messiah (or Christ)
and “Lord of the Second Advent.” This group has over 200 front
organizations. Moon’s Divine Principle is scripture. See Serpent
Generically, the rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity
in favor of the idea that God is exclusively one person. Unlike monarchianism
which view Jesus as a manifestation of the unipersonal God, or
subordinationism, which views Jesus as a secondary divine being
(e.g., the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society), Unitarianism views Jesus as a mere
human being. Specifically, the term refers to the Unitarian movement
that originated in late 18th-century New England and to the
denominational body that merged with the Universalists in the 20th
century to form the Unitarian-Universalist
Association: A denomination formed in 1961 by the merger of the
American Unitarian Association (the principal religious body
and the Universalist Church in America (which emphasized universalism).
While the two parent denominations were rooted in liberal
Christianity, the UUA does not even profess to be a specifically
Christian body. Its churches exhibit an eclectic blend of liberal
Christianity, humanism, atheism,
United Church of
United Church of Jesus Christ: Oneness
United Lodge of
Theosophists, New York, NY: See Theosophy.
United Pentecostal Church
International: The largest Oneness
Pentecostal church body.
United Research, James V. Goure, Black
Mountain, NC: New Age, Christ-consciousness,
energy fields, meditation,
extra-dimensional communication. Publishes the U R Light
Unitology Thought, Indianapolis, IN: Meditation,
Unity Churches: Affiliated with the Unity
School of Christianity.
Unity of Knowledge Foundation, Edith May
Custard, Arlington, VA: Mixture of Theosophy
and the teachings of Alice
Unity School of
Christianity, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Lee’s Summit, MO: New
Age. God is the invisible, intangible something called Life. The
Father is Principle, Jesus
was the most complete manifestation of the One Mind, and the Holy
Spirit is the activity of the God-Mind in the consciousness of man.
Denies the reality of evil, pain, sickness and death.
Unity Village: Unity
School of Christianity headquarters in Lee’s Summit, MO.
Universal Christian Movement, Glencoe,
IL: God is Power, uses Mind Power for healing; all humans are God.
Publishes The Christian Liberation newsletter.
Universal Faithists of
Kosmon, George Morley: Occult,
with the All Highest, channeling.
Universal Harmony Foundation, Seminole,
FL: Practical Metaphysics,
Universal Life Church, Kirby Hensley,
Medesto, CA: All people have the right to do what they feel is
right; subjective truth.
Universal Life Church of the Seven African
Powers, Miami, FL: Santeria;
honor the god Ogun.
Universal Life Temple, New Port, MI: New Age, Atlantis,
fifth dimensional consciousness, levitation, telepathy.
Universal Light of Christ Church, Pat
RaimondoAzle, TX: Raimondo claims that Jesus
appeared to her; latter day revelation, Christ-consciousness.
Universal Mother Mary’s Garden: See Mon-Ka
Universal Network, Aztec, NM: UFOs,
space communiqués, cosmic telepathy, spiritual hierarchy. Publishes
Universal Network newsletter.
Universal Spiritualist Association,
Chesterfield, IN: Spiritualism,
Universal Temple of Divine Light, Don
Slocum, Baton Rouge, LA: New Age, spirit entities, reincarnation,
Satan and Evil are illusions.
Generically, the belief that all people will eventually receive
salvation and eternal life. Many different groups hold to
universalism from various perspectives and for diverse (and
sometimes opposing) reasons. This doctrine is prevalent in liberal
Christianity (among both Protestants
Catholics), as well as in the New Age movement and in most non-monotheistic world
religions. Specifically, universalism refers to a movement dating
from the late 18th century that originally affirmed universalism on
the basis that Jesus’ redemptive death paid for the sins of all
people. As universalism developed it came to affirm that people are
acceptable as they are and that no atonement or redemption from sin
is needed or provided.
Universariun Foundation, Inc., Portland,
OR: New Age, Ascended
University of the Christ
Light, Charlotte, NC: New Age; inner states of consciousness; man is the essence
of God (cf. pantheism);
was an Essene (i.e., a member of a first-century Jewish sect that
New Agers theorize was more New Age than Jewish); Universal Mother.
University of the Trees, Christopher
Hill, Boulder Creek, CA: New Age, meditation
for children, balancing energies (cf. chi),
University of the 12 Rays of the Great
Central Sun: See University
of the Christ Light.
Upanishads: One of
the books considered scripture in Hinduism.
Upper Triad, Manassas, VA: New Age, pantheism,
many paths to God, astral
body. Publishes The Upper Triad newsletter.
The: Written in 1955, this 2,097 page book reflects a 19th
inspired gospel. Allegedly, Earth’s true name is Urantia, and it is
part of the universe of Nebadon (itself part of the larger universe
of Orvonton) ruled by a committee. The Nebadon commission of twelve,
acting under the direction of Mantutia Melchizedek, supposedly
delivered portions of the book to earth. Several organizations view
the book as scripture.
URANTIA Brotherhood, Chicago, IL: URANTIA-based
group established in 1955 and reorganized in 1989 after a corporate
shakeup. See Fifth
URANTIA Foundation, Chicago, IL:
Established in 1950. Holds the copyright on The
Urshan, Andrew: An early, well-known Oneness
Pentecostal writer and speaker.
compilation of four holy writings forming the oldest sacred
scriptures of Hinduism.
Verse 1 of Psalms 91, Marvel, TX: See Church
of the Most High God.
Virgin Birth: The
belief that when Jesus
was conceived and born of Mary she was a virgin, and that Jesus
was conceived of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18–25).
Vishnu: The preserver
and second member of the triad of Hindu
demigods-gods including Brahma
Vision Quest: Native
American spiritual ceremony involving out-of-body
experiences or astral
projection; also called the Way of Inner Journey.
Visions Travel, Los Angeles, CA: New Age, crystals,
New Age practice of using one’s imagination allegedly to
affect or manipulate reality. Meditating
on, affirmation of, or “naming” of an object or goal, which
supposedly creates the desired effect through “mind over matter.”
Voice of Reality, Phoenix, AZ: New Age newspaper.
Voice of the Olive Tree, Inc., Bernard
Harland, Monrovia, CA: Latter day prophet, Jesus’
second coming was predicted for 1986 (see false
religion, animal sacrifice, chants and incantations.
Vorilhon, Claude: (Rael) See Raelian
Waldorf Schools: Based on the occult
teachings of Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Anthroposophical
Walpurgisnacht: Alternate name for Beltane.
Warren Bible Students: See Bible
Watchman Nee: See The Local Church.
published by the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society; full name, The Watchtower Announcing
Watchtower Bible and
Tract Society, Charles Taze Russell, Brooklyn, NY: Satan
is the originator of the idea of the Trinity.
The Father is the supreme God whose real name is Jehovah. Jesus
is a created being known originally as Michael the Archangel; he is
“a god,” not Jehovah. Jesus only rose spiritually, not bodily, from
the dead. The Holy Spirit is the impersonal active force of God.
Only the anointed class (or little
flock) numbering 144,000 will go to heaven, while faithful
“other sheep” will live eternally on a paradise earth; the lost will
cease to exist (annihilationism).
Publishes the Watchtower
and Awake! magazines, the New World Translation of the
Holy Scriptures (their own version of the Bible), as well as
numerous books. Originally called International Bible Students,
followers today are called Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Way Corps, The: See The
The, Victor Paul Wierwille New Knoxville, OH: Jesus
is not God or co-equal with God the Father, a Unitarian
doctrine of God; latter-day verbal call from God to reestablish the
true church. The group meets in small groups called Twigs, usually
in members’ homes. Main recruitment course is the Way of
Abundance and Power, which replaced the old Power for
Abundant Living (PFAL) . The American Christian Press is their
publishing arm. Their annual concert/convention, the Rock of Ages,
has been discontinued. Current leader is Rosalie F. Rivenbark,
installed as third president after resignation of Craig
Martindale, who was under accusation of sexual misconduct. The
Way has experienced several splits in recent years.
Way to Happiness:
Twenty-one point ethics formula written by L.
Ron Hubbard promoted by the Church
of Scientology for use in elementary education.
Weil, Andrew: A medical doctor who helped
popularize New Age alternative medicine or holistic
health in his book, Spontaneous Healing.
Western Nath Order, Seattle, WA: Paganism,
guardian spirits, Inner being of Supreme light.
Whirling Dervish: See Sufism.
White Dove International, Stuart Wilde,
Taos, NM: New Age, human potential, higher self, stress reduction
White Dove Partridge: See Mon-Ka
White Eagle: See Star
Center for the Americas.
White, Ellen G.: See Seventh-day
White, Walter: See Followers
of Christ Church.
Whitelights, Westlake Village, CA: New Age, channeling,
Ashtoar and Athena, astral planes.
Whitney, Michael: See American
Whittaker, Terry Cole: See Terry
Whole Life Network, Santa Cruz, CA: New Age, psychic,
Publishes the Whole Life Network quarterly.
Wholistic Innerworks Foundation, Randy
Barns, Durango, CO: New Age; holistic
health, specifically therapeutic
Wicca: The practice of
witchcraft, nature worship, worship of the Gods and Goddess,
and neopaganism, various groups with assorted names. In modern form,
it is a revival of pagan religions (neo-paganism)
and the worship of “pre-Christian” Gods and Goddesses. A common
creed is, “Do what you will, and harm none.” Modern Wicca owes much
to the influence of Gerald B. Gardner and has been further advanced
by the writings of Patricia Monaghan, Silver Ravenwolf, the late
Doreen Valiente, and the leading occult
World Wide Ltd. In popular culture, films and television
programs such as The Craft, Practical Magic, Sabrina the Teenage
Witch, and Charmed have helped attract teens and children
to this growing religion. See Magic.
Wierwille, Victor Paul: See The
Wikima Arlington, TX: Occult,
ball readings, spirit guides, shamanism.
Wilde, Stuart: Prominent New Age author and lecturer.
Williamson, Marianne: Prominent New Age author and speaker. Best known for her book, A
Return To Love; also wrote Illuminata and other books.
Course in Miracles for underlying theology.
Willow Keep, Wilton, NH: Paganism,
Windsong Explorations, Bonnie Simrell,
Nederland, CO: Native
American spirituality, Mother Earth, therapeutic
Wisdom Institute of Spiritual Education,
Dallas, TX: New Age, God-within.
WISE International, Los Angeles, CA:
Acronym for Worldwide Institute of Scientology Enterprises; promotes
Wise Woman Center, Susan Weed, Woodstock,
worship, Equinox and Halloween
Witchcraft: See Wicca.
Witness Lee: See The Local Church.
W.J. Publishers, Brother Stanley,
Toronto, Ontario: New Age, Cosmic-Psychic Treatment, Egyptian rituals.
Woman’s Circle, El Prado, NM: New Age, shamanistic
American medicine bags.
Women’s Federation for World Peace, Hak
Ja Han Moon, New York, NY: Connection with the Unification
Womyn Healing, Sandra Boston de Sylvia,
Greenfield, MA: Paganism,
Movement: A movement based in large part on the teachings of E.
W. Kenyon (1867-1948) that became a distinct movement under the
teaching and leadership of Kenneth Hagin, a Pentecostal
faith-healing evangelist. God himself is said to have created the
world and to do all that he does by speaking words of faith. Man’s
creation in God’s image is commonly understood to mean that human
beings are “little gods” capable of speaking creative words of
faith. The fall of Adam into sin is interpreted as having
transformed Adam (and all unredeemed people) into Satan’s nature and
as having transferred Adam’s godhood or dominion on earth to Satan.
is believed to have become man in order to restore human beings to
godhood as renewed “incarnations” of God. He is said to have done
this by dying spiritually as well as physically on the cross,
suffering in hell, and then while in hell becoming the first person
to be “born again,” before finally being raised from the dead. Those
who believe in Jesus are supposedly empowered to speak words of
faith again, especially in order to obtain bodily health and
financial prosperity (both of which are supposedly guaranteed as
present possessions in the Atonement). . In contrast, traditional
Christian theology teaches that God and God alone can bring about
whatever he chooses; that man was created to reflect God’s character
and to implement his will, not to be little gods; that man is fallen
but not Satanic in nature; that God is still in control of this
world; that Jesus Christ alone is God incarnate; that Jesus died
physically, not spiritually, to redeem us; that Jesus therefore was
not born again; and that health and prosperity are promised to
believers in the future resurrection. In the meantime God heals and
prospers people providentially and miraculously when and as he sees
fit. Most of the followers of the Word-Faith teachers are
Pentecostals and other evangelical
Word Over the World (WOW): See The
World Community, J.E. Rash, Bedford, VI:
New Age, mystic, teaches the “five ancient Orders.”
World Council of Churches: An
international agency promoting interfaith dialogue and ecumenical
cooperation among churches. Most participants are mainline
denominations dominated by the theological perspective of liberal
World Tomorrow, The: The now
defunct radio and television program begun by Herbert Armstrong. See
Worldwide Church of God,
Herbert W. Armstrong Pasadena, CA: Under the leadership of its
founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, this church rejected the essential
doctrines of evangelical
Christianity, denying the doctrine of the Trinity,
the full deity of Jesus
and the personality of the Holy Spirit. The church epitomized the
somewhat eclectic set of beliefs and practices that became known as
Beginning in the early 1990s under the leadership Armstrong’s
successors, Joseph W. Tkach and his son Joe Tkach, this group has
undergone remarkable doctrinal transformation. They now hold to a
traditional evangelical position on the nature of God and the gospel,
teaching the Trinity
by grace alone, through faith alone. Large numbers of its
membership have left to join splinter groups that still teach
Publishes The Plain Truth magazine.
Worrall, Olda: See New
WOW: (Word Over the World). See The
Yahweh: Founder of Nation
Alternative name for the Sacred
Yahweh’s Assembly in Messiah, David
Barnard, Rockport, MO: Publishes The Master Key, Unlocking Bible
Truth magazine. See Sacred
Yang: See Yin
Yes Education Society, Washington, D.C.:
New Age, yoga,
Yi King: Alternative form of the term I
Yin and Yang: Taoist
concept, used in the New
Age movement, holding that the universe consists of two opposite
energy forces (positive/negative; male/female, etc.). Both are
necessary and both must be harmonized for proper function. This Yin
and Yang also flow through the human body so that a balance is
required to maintain health. Many New
health techniques, such as acupuncture,
are based on attempts to balance this alleged energy or chi.
When all is balanced, the Yin and Yang harmonize and the body works
(physical, mental or spiritual) based on Eastern metaphysical
assumptions designed to aid in enlightenment or self-realization.
Goals sometimes include altered
states of consciousness or uniting the practitioner with the
God. Types of Yoga include: Karma Yoga (spiritual union through
correct conduct), Bhakti Yoga (spiritual union through devotion to a
Juana Yoga (spiritual union through hidden knowledge), Raja Yoga
(spiritual union through mental control), Hatha Yoga (spiritual
union through body control/meditation),
Kundalini Yoga (spiritual union through focusing inner energy) and
Tantra Yoga (spiritual union through sexual practices). Yoga
philosophy is based on the concept of reincarnation
and is drawn from the Upanishads
and other Hindu
Yoga Journal, Berkley, CA: New
Age periodical. See Yoga.
Yoga Research Foundation, Jyotir Maya
Nanda, Miami, FL: Yoga, Eastern mysticism.
Publishes International Yoga Guide magazine.
Yoga Research Society, Phildelphia, PA:
alternative healing practices (i.e., holistic
health). Publishes the Yoga Research newsletter.
Yogi: A teacher or master of yoga.
York, Malachi Z., See Ancient
Mystic Order of Malchizedek.
holiday celebrated on the shortest day of the year, the winter
solstice (December 21). Because of its close proximity to Christmas,
the term Yule has often been used as a designation for
ZZen Buddhism: A branch of Mahayana Buddhism
believed to have originated in India from the teachings of a
Buddhist master, Bodhidharma, about 600 BC, but traced back by
advocates to the Buddha
himself. Practitioners seek satori (sudden illumination
enabling bliss and harmony), which cannot be explained but only
experienced. Techniques include zazen (sitting meditation
techniques) and koans, which are short riddles or sayings.
The koans (which number about 1,700) are not designed to have
cognitive answers but to promote the experience of Zen.
Rama, a.k.a. Frederick P. Lenz: Occult,
ancient Egyptian rituals, meditation,
Also known as the computer guru whose software company, Advanced
Systems, Inc., has been called a recruiting arm for his mind
control, New Age group. See Zen
Zendik Farm, Wulf Aendik, Boulveard, CA:
cosmic connection, psychic
Zentech, Don Mead, Surry, ME: New Age, meditation,
Zerubbabel, Inc., Hopkinsville, KY: God
is All (pantheism),
man is Christ
in true essence. Publishes The Intercessor newsletter.
Zodiac: See Astrology.
Zohar/Zolar: See Kabbalah.
Zoroastrianism, Zoroaster: Religion
thought to be founded about 600 BC in Persia (present day Iran).
According to legend, Zoroaster received enlightenment by the Daitya
river when, at age 30, he received a vision of Vohu Manah (“Good
Thought”) who took him into the presence of lord Ahura-Mazda. Lord
Mazda taught Zoroaster the “true religion,” rejecting magic
and idol worship and promoting belief in heaven, hell, a devil
(Angra-Mainyu) and one true god. Later followers, however,
worshipped Zoroaster in addition to Mazda. Good Lord Mazda and evil
Angra Mainyu are seen as equal in power. Teaches enlightenment and
by works, including fire worship and partaking of the
hallucinogenic haoma (soma in India).
Zwaan Rays: See Spirit Electronic Communication Society.
Zygon International, Dane Spotts,
Issaquah, WA: New Age, inner power, ESP,
fifth state of