Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update! I’m T. A. McMahon and this is the tenth program in our series of addressing biblical eschatology—what the Bible has to say prophetically about the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ. My partner in this discussion is Carl Teichrib. He’s the author of Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment.
Carl, welcome back, and thanks for joining me in our ongoing discussions of where the world and Christendom are headed according to the Scriptures as history draws to a close.
Carl: Thank you. Thank you for just continuing to engage in this conversation, and I can’t believe this is our tenth already? Wow!
Carl: It’s gone quick, hasn’t it?
Tom: It has, it has. And, you know, our hope and prayer is that we are really communicating something that’s very important to the body of Christ, you know, to those out there who have yet to come to the Lord, and hopefully this will be an encouragement. You know, much of the information that we’ve been presenting in this series, as I’ve mentioned before, taken from four books: your book, Carl, Game of Gods; America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice; and Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict; and most importantly, the Bible, which is God’s direct communication to mankind.
You know, last week we did an overview of America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice: The Rise of New Age Shamanism. And I mentioned that Dave Hunt and I wrote it primarily for evangelical Christians to…the idea was to give them—give it to those they knew, pretty much their (maybe extended) family members and friends who were attracted to the New Age movement. Well, that was 32 years ago, and the New Age movement at the time had little impact on the church. Not so today. Today we have the contemplative movement, which has Christianized much of the beliefs and practices of Eastern mysticism. Its meditation is a mind-emptying technique that is contrary to biblical meditation, which is filling the mind with God’s Word, thinking deeply about its teachings. We have yoga classes taught in evangelical churches under the false belief that it’s simply, you know, an exercise program for health. No, it’s the principal spiritual practice of Hinduism. Yoga means “union,” and its goal is union with Brahman, the supreme spirit of Hinduism.
Carl, last week we pointed out that more than a few things entered the picture since Samuel Andrews penned his discerning words 120 years ago. I’d like to go over a number of those things. So what comes to mind for you?
Carl: Hmm. Well, I think something that our listeners have to keep right front and foremost is that this is really an issue of: do we trust the Creator or creation? Romans 1 brings this out…let me—allow me just to read a little section.
Carl: In Romans 1, we read this:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanliness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forevermore.”
Does that remind you of a chapter in America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, chapter 6, “The Resurgence of Nature Religion”?
I think, Tom, for myself, the thing that strikes me about Andrews’ time period from then till now is how this nature of religion, the worship of the creation, has manifested so profoundly and so powerfully. Whether it’s through the sense of mysticism now connecting to the “god within,” which is just nothing more than a natural manifestation according to that type of thinking; or to literally the creation itself, whether it’s Earth Day, or it’s the climate change narrative—it’s not just simply religion, it plays out in the realm of politics, culture, ethics, morality. It’s all affected.
Tom: Mm-hmm. So he was dealing with that, as we’ve gone over. Folks, I hope if you’re new to this conversation, this discussion that Carl and I are having, that you’ll go back and look at some of the other programs. Because as I mentioned earlier, we’re dealing with basically four books, the Bible being the most important, but they’re…120 years ago, what he had to say, his discernment was just incredible.
But again, 120 years ago! Things have gone exponential with regard to the things that are happening, even some things which we’ll talk about in this program and the next couple about things that he wasn’t aware of then, or things that… You know, he wrote his book and there were some things that I’m sure were going on (which we’ll point out) that he didn’t emphasize. But we’ll underscore some of those things.
Carl, as you know, Andrews spelled out how scientific materialism, evolution, and naturalism were beliefs that the atheists and agnostics looked to in order to—what? To dismiss the personal Creator of the Bible, which is just what you read in Romans 1. Then they jumped out of the frying pan into the fire, the fire being pantheism and mysticism. And ironically, those are religious beliefs that are based upon the religion of Hinduism. Pantheism is the belief that God is all, and in all. In other words, God is composed of everything, and therefore everything—everything is God.
You know, what followed since the days of Samuel Andrews was various attempts to describe spiritual things in scientific terminology, thus avoiding the religious aspects which, well, it was a basic turnoff for many people. Enter in the pseudoscience of psychology. Much of psychology was the leader in that endeavor. But scientific—as scientific materialism dropped off, some true science discoveries opened the door for pantheistic speculation.
You know, in America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, Dave and I wrote about—well, for example, Nobel Prize-winning neurophysiologist Sir John Eccles and others, such as Wilder Penfield, they theorized that the nonphysical mind, soul, spirit is the operator of the brain. Eccles was—has described the human brain as a “machine that a ghost can operate.” And of course, the “ghost” being one’s spirit, mind, and soul. And that concept was immediately hijacked and used to support some of the mystical…by giving it what? A scientific façade. It supports psychokinesis, the nonphysical mind-over-matter, which seemed to legitimize psychic phenomena, untapped mind powers, the belief in infinite human potential as well as the existence of other nonphysical entities.
The problem was those things still retained a religious characteristic which inhibited it from being accepted by the general public. They needed to be promoted as science, no matter how irrational the means.
Carl, I’m sure you’re aware of this, but Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for example (the guru to the Beatles), he provides, I think, an example of scientific “now you see it, now you don’t.” He was prevented from introducing what he called the “spiritual regeneration movement” in US schools because it was a Hindu religious practice. So he changed the name to the science—the science of Transcendental Meditation. Only the name was changed to imply that it is a scientific endeavor which brought about its acceptance in the schools as well as other places. Likewise, today we have mindfulness. That’s a similar practice based on Buddhism, yet it’s supported as having scientific legitimacy.
Next week, the Lord willing, we’re going to take a look at the false science of psychotherapy as really the chief advocate of Eastern mysticism as having scientific legitimacy.
Carl, in your mind, what else has enabled pantheism and its related beliefs and practices to—and, folks, this is the case; all you have to do is look around—to displace the traditional Christianity of the West?
Carl: I think one of the things from Andrews’ time till now, and we saw this beginning in the 1950s in a significant way, was an interest in the spirituality of the East as the Christian worldview was being challenged—indeed, a lot of things were being challenged. At the end of World War II, America was in a point of time where there was a lot of—there was a diversion, a crossroads of things taking place. The whole world had gone through a tremendous experience, a cataclysmic experience. World War II, at the end of it, the final symbolism of modernity was a mushroom cloud. And so in the 1950s, there was a movement that, it’s quite interesting, it was the…a movement of students going from the West to the East, going now as religious, philosophical, adventurous. And so that began in the 1950s; that really moved quickly in the 1960s, as then the East recognized that the West was hungry for something.
I think of Michael Murphy, who’s the founder of the Esalen Institute, which Dave and yourself document in the book, and how the Esalen Institute opens up—to the Western world it opened up Eastern mysticism, combining Eastern mysticism with the human potential movement, with gestalt practices, with all kinds of different integrative philosophies as they were searching for some type of meaning in really what is the material. Well, Michael Murphy was one of those early adventurers who went West…pardon me, who went from the West to the East looking for spiritual meaning, looking for meaning in the ashrams of India and came back with a new mentality, a new way of thinking.
And so there has to, first of all, be a hunger or a crisis within the mind, specifically here talking about the Western mind that allows this new way of thinking to come in.
In the 1960s, Tom—I was only born in the latter part of the 1960s, but I realize now more than ever how important that time period was as the West was looking for some type of purpose, some meaning. It had rejected Christianity, there was a process of rejecting hard materialism—well, what’s left? It’s the mystical, it’s the pantheistic, it’s the Eastern. And it came in like a floodwater! It came into the Western—into Western thinking.
And it wasn’t just simply, you know, the Beatles. It wasn’t just the Hollywood insiders and musical insiders of that day, though that was important. But at that point in time it was—it was straight-cut men with well-paying jobs. It was apron-wearing moms. Everybody seemed to all of a sudden have this, this little spark of interest in what this—in what this new thing was, what was being sung on the radios, what was being displayed already in the culture. And so much of that was popping up from the Esalen Institute and from those associated with it.
So there had to have been a clean slate, or at the very least an opening for the East to come to the West, and that’s where Maharishi comes into play; that’s where Sri Chinmoy comes into play with his meditative practices, going to the United Nations—that is where we begin to see the Eastern gurus recognizing that the West is willing to pay good money to explore Eastern mysticism and Eastern worldviews.
Tom: You know, Carl, we mentioned in the book something that few people were aware of, and that was the largest missionary group in the world was not evangelicals, it was the Vishva Hindu Parishad, which was… As many, through the drug culture…
You know, this was my time period. This was…I started college in the early ‘60s, so people dropping out, trying to find themselves, and why? To underscore what you just said, we had materialism—not scientific materialism, we had “the goods.” But somehow that didn’t play out; that didn’t mean—didn’t have the meaning people had hoped, or when they got into it, that they would realize through it and so on. So what did they do? They went off to India to find themselves, their real selves.
Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, had a sign out of his ashram: “Leave your shoes and your mind at the door.” Because common thinking, common sense, had nothing to do with what he was into. It was mind-altering, not—either through drugs or through the different techniques and so-on.
So this missionary group, and—you know, as you pointed out, in terms of seeing that the West was hungry for something, but they also had a purpose: they wanted to destroy Christianity, biblical Christianity, okay? Because we’ll talk about a number of things under the guise of Christianity that’s not Christianity.
So they sent the gurus, they sent Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, you know, through the Beatles. They sent Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, who opened an ashram of 66,000 acres a little bit north of Bend, Oregon, where I am right now. And 66,000 acres, as I said, turned it into a cult complex of, you know…horrible situation. And Baba Muktananda—now here was one of the gurus who impressed the Hollywood folks, but also the academics. He was behind some of the things like a course in creative…in creativity taught at Stanford for the MBA class.
So this…they found ways and people who could impute their ideas, their concepts into life, into businesses, into all these different things. The Dalai Lama, for example, I think you mentioned in one of our programs his converting people near Bloomington, Indiana.
Tom: Yeah, so this was a flood of these gurus who came here, and the time was ripe for them, the conditions were ripe. So this, again, I think this would have freaked out…that’s hard to say, but… Samuel Andrews was so sharp, but I don’t think he would have been aware that this thing could actually take place in the way it has. It’s just overwhelming!
Carl: And then you add into the mix in the 1960s the intense interest academically, but then into the culture the experience of psychedelic substances, either LSD or psilocybin. But this intense interest to find a new consciousness by taking the—by taking the “sacrament” of LSD, and that is how Timothy Leary described LSD: it was a sacrament. And there was a combination—the two came together of psychedelic substances and Eastern religions.
In fact, Leary had made a famous trip into one ashram—I’d like to read just little sections of what he said:
“I came to the ashram and joined the meditating chanting service. Then those who were ‘take the trip’ remained,” he was supposed to give them a trip on LSD, “remained for more prayers and contemplation. The LSD had been placed in chalices on the altar. Incense and flowers adorned it. The LSD sacrament was mixed with holy water from the Ganges, blessed, and drunk.”
And then he goes on and on to talk about what that was like. He says, towards the end, he says, “I was a Hindu from that moment on. No, that’s not the way to say it—I recognized that day in the temple that we are all Hindus in our essence. We are all Hindu gods and goddesses: laughing Krishna, immutable Brahman. That day in the temple I discovered my Hindu-ness.”
Tom: Again, going back to Samuel Andrews 120 years ago, he spelled it out for us: the philosophers moved from atheism, agnosticism, to Hinduism through pantheism and so on. But again, the time was ripe for this, even back in—you know, you talked about Andrews writing about the Parliament of World Religions. Well, what was going on at the time? You had a preparation already for that. You had Christian Science, Unity, New Thought, Transcendentalism, theosophy, you had Catholic mysticism, which is huge today, okay? Mormonism—Mormonism? How did that work? Well, you know, as the gods told them, “As you are, we once were. As we are, you will become.” I mean, talk about preparation! You had the kabbalah, Quakerism, hypercharismaticism…you know, that’s probably not a word, but you know what I’m getting at, okay?
Tom: So again, the preparation was there for overwhelming…for the East to take over the West philosophically, idealistically, as well as theologically. You know, there it was.
Carl: It’s interesting how this has so permeated our culture, and yet we somehow…we refuse, in a sense, to see it, because it’s been sold to us as science. It’s been sold to us as stress relief. It’s been sold to us as human potential, as personal development.
I’m not sure if I’ve shared this in some of our other conversations, but in 2015 at the end of the Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, I took a drive south. I drove an hour south to Spanish Fork, which is a very concentrated Mormon community, and there in Spanish Fork, Utah is a Krishna temple, the Lotus Temple. And when people think of Utah, everybody thinks typically of Mormonism, but there’s one of the largest Krishna temples right there in the heart of a very saturated Mormon community.
And so I spent some time at the Krishna temple. I had to listen to the guru who was teaching that day before they would allow me to go up and take pictures of the temple. And, Tom, what was interesting is the guru said to me—he says, “We are,” and I’m just paraphrasing, but he says, “We are evangelizing the West, and we’re doing it through yoga and through the Holi Festival of Colors,” which a lot of Christians might not have heard that term, the Holi Festival of Colors, but a lot of our youth groups and church organizations have partaken in color runs and color festivals. It has its foundation in the Holi Festival. And so it was interesting how this guru was telling me—he was, in essence, boasting to me how we have all become Hinduized in fact. We may not join an ashram, but we have been Hinduized in the way we think and in our spiritual outlook. And he recognized that it was through yoga and now through the Holi Festival.
Tom: You know, and I know I mentioned this in other programs, but talk to some teenagers today, use some of the terms: mantra, yoga, meditation, karma. “Oh man, that’s…that happened because I’ve got bad karma working!” and so on. They don’t really understand this stuff, but it’s in their mindset. And when these gurus are…you know, they’ve got a problem, because—"Yeah, we, you know…” Just like the New Agers had a problem: they wanted to get it going, but they found that if they used words that smacked of religion, it wasn’t going to go the way they wanted it to go.
So as we’ll talk about, the Lord willing, next week, how the transition was made by eliminating the religious concepts and putting them into a, really, a false science, a false scientific category. And it’s been incredibly successful. Even though, again, the psychology of it is bogus, the psychotherapy is subjective, it’s experiential, it’s feelings-oriented…it’s mysticism! You know, it’s another form of mysticism, but it makes people accept it because, “Oh, wait a minute, no, no, we’re not in a religion! This is legitimate science.” No, this is pseudoscience. This is false science at the max. But again, it’s attractive even though it doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked, it can’t work. And why would I say that?
Well, look: Carl started off talking about Hinduism, so have I. What has it done for India? One of the poorest countries, one of the most confused countries in the world. Rats running all over the place, and being worshipped! You know, animals, because, hey, all is one, so they’re gods. You know, there’s, what, 30 million gods, okay, in Hinduism? Talk about utter confusion! And what’s been the result? Nothing good. Nothing good.
Carl: Well, and I think it’s important for people to recognize just how—I mean, that world has infused its thinking in Western culture. We’ve said this a couple times, but we have to really reinforce this: look, this is what we have become already, to the point where in 2009, a Newsweek magazine asked the question, or made the statement that Americans now are more like Hindus and look less like traditional Christians. Boy! When the secular press recognizes that this shift has occurred, I think it’s indicative for those of us in the Christian community that we need to open up our eyes! We need to open up our eyes to recognize what has happened, where we have gone. I mean, yes, namaste, “The god in me recognizes the god in you.” Sorry, we have now accepted this worldview.
Again, I think it’s important to note that we’re not going to all go run off and join ashrams. We’re not! We’re not. We don’t have to. The worldview has already been infused within the culture.
Tom: Yeah. And of course, where’s it all going, which is how we started off this series? It is developing, it is preparing the world and the church—obviously not everybody in the church, but nevertheless, many in the church have fallen into this, but it’s setting up the religion and the kingdom of the Antichrist. That’s why Samuel Andrews named his book Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict. It’s all heading in that direction. But, as we’ve also been saying, you know, God’s Word has the answer. God’s Word has the antidote, okay, the solution to the problem, and it’s in Him, as we started off this way.
Carl, there’s one other thing that Samuel Andrews alluded to and we deal with bigtime in America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, and that is spirit communication. You know, certainly during his time, spiritualism was growing, and the people who were into spiritualism would shock many people today: from our presidents through, I mean, across the board—big name people. You know, whether it be through seances, whether it be through devices that would—they would be able to contact these spirit entities and so on. And we’re talking demons here! We’re not talking about lost loved ones—or not lost loved ones, but loved ones who have died. We’re talking about demons impersonating them, and we’re seeing more and more of that today.
The whole UFO deal, I mentioned last week that this isn’t anything new. We go back to the 1800s and there were ships, you know, big, huge foremast ships, okay, over San Francisco, over Stockton, California. It’s all documented. What’s with that? Well, what was interesting about that is that they were always ahead of the time, just far enough ahead to be attractive and so on. “Hey, look, they must be from somewhere else!” Even though they didn’t have flying saucers back then because people couldn’t relate to that, but they could relate to something that was seductive, that drew them to a contact with these entities.
Well, just one more thing that has expanded, that has grown exponentially in our day, so we’ll talk more about that later.
Carl: You know, it’s important for people to recognize that as the West moves away from the Judeo-Christian worldview, which recognized that God is distinct, that all creatures, both in the physical and in the spiritual world, all will bend their knees to Him. But as we have stripped that away, and then looked for meaning in materialism, and then looked for meaning in something else in the sense of re-enchantment—this sense of, now, wonder from the East, mysteries coming in from the East—with that then comes a resurgence and an interest in spiritual things, including spiritual contact. It does come together. It’s like as one domino falls, the next domino falls, then the next one goes as well, and now…well, from a scientific point of view, all of a sudden we’re having academic conferences asking, “Is there an integration between science and spirituality? Are other entities, other contacts possible?” It all becomes—it’s all wide open. The box is opened, the lid has flung open, and with that we begin to…we become interested in a whole range of phenomena. And that becomes, literally, an open door for the West to say, “Okay, yeah, all right. We’ll cater spirits. We will go down that road.”
I’ve been to a number of Wiccan, witchcraft conferences—not about it from a Christian point of view, but no, going into their setting, into their culture, and they take it very seriously. They believe that they are in direct contact with spiritual entities. The seances and spiritism of the 1800s was huge, but we’re coming full circle again, Tom, to accept that type of spiritual thinking now.
So we’re materialists, but we’re mystical materialists. We’re secularists, but we’re spiritual secularists. We go back to Romans 1…
Tom: And if that puts you off, I mean, not you, but if that puts some people off, “Hey, we’ve got a scientific explanation for that. It’s not really entities out there that are real, it’s the collective unconscious. It’s these things that come up. We’re really talking to ourselves because we have this infinite potential.”
Folks, Lord willing, we’re going to deal with that next week.
So, Carl, again, thank you, bro, for…just for your input. And our prayer for all the viewers is that you’ll take heed to these things, because this is what the Scripture has pointed out, points out will take place in the days to come.
Carl: Thank you, Tom.