Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update. I’m T. A. McMahon, and in this program we are 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 discussion of where the world and Christendom are headed according to the Scriptures as history draws to a close.
Carl: Tom, it’s good to be back, and I’m looking forward to our conversation.
Tom: You know, much of the information that we’ve been presenting in this series is taken from four books: your book, Carl, Game of Gods; America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice; Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict; and most importantly, the Bible, which is God’s direct communication to mankind.
Now, last week we discussed some of the points Dave Hunt and I wrote in our book America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice: The Rise of New Age Shamanism. In particular, we pointed out how psychotherapy, which is the cash cow of psychology—I mean, folks, it’s a $300 billion industry—has been the leader in ushering the world into Eastern mysticism. That’s been accomplished mainly by describing spiritual phenomena in pseudoscientific psychological terms, thereby giving the impression that it has scientific basis.
For example, a ghost or spirit is said to be a projection from one’s own subconscious, or a poltergeist activity is related to manifestations from the “collective unconscious.” One academic source we quoted stated, “A large and growing number of psychotherapists are now convinced that the Eastern religions offer an understanding of the mind far more complete than anything yet envisioned by Western science.”
To the contrary. Eastern religions are clueless regarding and understanding the mind, and that goes double for psychologists. Nevertheless, that hasn’t slowed their rush toward accepting and promoting pantheism and its accompanying occult practices.
Carl, any more thoughts about psychology related to what we covered in last week’s program?
Carl: A couple of things, Tom—one is a quote that comes out of a book I’ve been reading or rereading. I’m going to read you this quote speaking on psychotherapy: “Its popularity and influence in society continues to grow almost exponentially, and its mushrooming army of unabashed missionaries persist in foisting upon the public its messianic myths.”
Who wrote that, Tom? That’s you and Dave! That’s you and Dave, and you nailed it! It is…they’re foisting upon the public a messianic myth that they can be saved by going within, by discovering themselves, by discovering their higher self, and it always ends up pointing to the creation worshipping itself.
Can I read a couple of Bible passages I think would fit…
Tom: Sure, absolutely.
Carl: …you know, the bigger theme that we’re discussing here. Second Timothy 3, the first part—you know this, but it really fits:
“That in the last days, perilous times will come, for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy….” The list goes on. But what strikes me with that passage is that they are “lovers of themselves.”
Now, we’ve always been like this. We’ve always had, in human history, the lovers of self, right? We’ve always had lovers of money, boastful, proud—that’s nothing new. But in “perilous times,” this is heightened. This is brought forward as 2 Timothy 3 brings that to our attention, that in the “last days perilous times will come,”= and then these characteristics of the attitude of our hearts in those perilous times as we move closer to that.
And then 1 Timothy 4…
Tom: Well, Carl, before…
Carl: Yes, go ahead!
Tom: I would challenge anybody to find a generation… We know self got its—reared its ugly head right after sin entered the world. Satan certainly slipped something in over on Eve, but then Adam, you know, his response to God was, “Well, it was that woman.” Does that have anything to do with self-preservation, a self issue? And then who did Eve blame? She blamed the serpent.
Tom: So what I would challenge anybody to find a generation in history…certainly, as you’ve said, we’ve all had this self-serving bias from the time that sin began. However, find me a generation in which self became the solution to man’s problems! You see, again, I’ve said this before, there’s God and self—you reject God, you’re left with self. You’ve got to make it work. So every generation—well, not every generation, but at least within the last hundred years, that’s been the key: find self, self-love, self-esteem, self-idolatry, self-deification. You can’t find that. So that quote from 2 Timothy:3:1-2 and then what follows, they follow because that’s loving of self. That’s what you’re going to reap. That’s what it’s all about. But…
Carl: Right! And it’s true, Tom: this is a generation—the last two generations, three for sure, but two where it’s been just hammered home so strongly. This has become our guiding principal. Second Timothy 3, becoming the lovers of ourselves, that has become our guiding principal for our culture, for our Western civilization.
First Timothy 4 fits beautifully with it: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times, some will depart from the faith [which is interesting], giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
What I find interesting in this comparison between the world of psychology and psychotherapy, the love of self and the realm of entering now into Eastern mysticism and going down the road of esoteric philosophy (because that’s what you end up doing with this) is that it runs smack into this aspect of having a deceiving spirit or doctrines of demons, and Carl Jung is a prime example of that. And Jungian psychology, the Jungian worldview has had a tremendous impact on Western culture in shaping how we now think, which brings me around to another passage. I think it’s very important in this discussion, and that’s Romans:12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world.” Wow, talk about a change right there! “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of…” what? “…by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove that which is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.”
Tom: Amen, amen.
Carl: So I’ve got a question for you, Tom. I tossed out an article to you—I believe it was last night—by a New Age shaman. He wasn’t a true shaman, but he was a New Age shaman who had gone through a traumatic experience, had undergone psychotherapy, had spent time with counselors, partook of all kinds of what the world would expect you to do if you’re having a mental health crisis. And at the end of it all—and this is not found in the article but in the author’s bio, his personal story—at the end of it all, he came to the realization that, through a dream state, he really had a shamanistic presence. He was really a shaman, a dream state shaman. And then he uses Jungian psychology and Jungian perspective to emphasize that shamanistic side of his soul.
Now, this is…you know, I read it, you read it—it was like What?? It’s New Age gobbledygook. That’s what it really is. But here’s a guy who went through a traumatic experience, he went through all the hoops, and the bottom line was a shamanistic Jungian worldview that he adopts.
Now, I know—and I batted this out to you before the show began, so you know what’s coming—I know, Tom, that you have a personal connection to the mental health industry. You grew up on the grounds of a mental health facility, so you’ve seen this firsthand, the industry from a young person who rubbed shoulders with it on a daily basis. What was your takeaway? What were your thoughts on this, Tom? Looking back now, when you—how you see the world of psychology and psychotherapy and what you as a young person encountered, where does your mind go? Where do your thoughts go when you consider your past?
Tom: Well, Carl, you know, the Lord has, in His ways, He has really orchestrated my life, even way before I knew Him, all right? And I know that looking back in retrospect. For example, I was 30 years Roman Catholic, but Dave Hunt has written some of the best books about dealing with Roman Catholicism. But one thing that Dave did not have, and that is the experiential part of Roman Catholicism. I grew up—I know how the people think. I was a part of that for 30 years. The same with the mental health community.
We lived on the grounds of a large mental institution. My dad was a psychiatrist, okay? I used to say, “Well, I’m the son of a psychiatrist, you know. I’ve got all the answers.” You know, it’s like, Yeah, right! But the point being is that I was able to observe the field, the mental health field—highest amount of suicides, six to one over every, you know, regular people, okay?
The…my father had issues coming from his practice. Carl, how would you like to spend—I don’t know how many hours a week—40, 50 hours a week in somebody’s garbage pit, listening to their stuff day after day? And the worst part is—well, maybe it’s not the worst part, but it’s a part of it—he couldn’t do anything about it! You know, he would deal with an issue or try to deal with an issue and they’d be coming back, and they’d be coming back, and they’d be coming back. So more suicides, more drug use, more alcoholism, you could go down…sexual immorality.
I spent—I was at the Freud museum in Vienna, okay? There are pictures on the wall—they were having a special on the therapist’s couch. It was a sexual device for seducing their clients, okay? So this field is—it’s outrageous, and it destroys lives.
And again, the sad part is maybe many get into it wanting to help people. But the man that you sent the article of, he’s typical of those who get into not necessarily—well, psychological counseling, because they’ve been through it, all right, and they think now they know and now they can help people. No, they can’t. It’s a sad note.
So that was my takeaway, that after I became a believer, I still thought, “Well, wait a minute—I know how to counsel now because I’m the son of a counselor.” And then I started reading the Word of God, and that verse that you quoted earlier, 2 Timothy:3:1,2, it says, “Mark my words: in the last days there will be perilous times.”
I tell young people I was alive—I’m alive at the time of fulfillment of prophecy: 1948! Now, most young people, they know of that prophecy fulfillment, that Israel is regathered as a nation. They know that. But I said, “Now here’s one for you,” and then I quote that verse from 2 Timothy:3:1,2, because that’s huge, as we’re going to develop and talk about, as we have, and so on.
So it’s recognizing what the world’s trying to do, which is hopeless, which creates more problems. I think we’ve mentioned this before, I may have mentioned it: there are more than 500 different therapies, and there are 10,000 variations on those. So you go to a psychotherapist, you get what he was trained in—psychoanalysis, okay, selfism teaching, whatever it might be—and you’re forced into that so that he can help you or she can help you with your problems. No, it doesn’t work that way.
It’s a sad case of people needing to have their lives changed, and only Christ can do that. Their life has to conform to the Word of God, and it can only be done by being born again, by submitting their life to Christ, who paid the full penalty for their sin. So…never saw any of that. Most psychotherapists, psychiatrists are atheists, big time. And now, as we’ve been talking about through the past weeks, now they’re moving into—which is the next way to go—they’re moving into pantheism. They’re moving into “all is one, God is in everything,” and so on, and we can work this out, because they’ve rejected the only One who can work it out and who has worked it out, who’s paid the penalty for our sin. So that’s—it was…
Well, I do want to say this: growing up on the grounds of a large mental institution, I take a backseat to no one when it comes to compassion, my compassion for the people that I interacted with as a young boy, and that’s never left me. But now to see how what they had to go through—and most people are incarcerated, at least back when I was a youngster—they didn’t want the world. They set up their own ideas, their own feelings about things, and they just wanted to exclude themselves from the world, and so on. So my compassion has never changed from that point, but now my knowledge has, my understanding of what this is all about and how destructive it is. Hopefully we can get that point across, not just with these programs, but in the future.
Carl: Right, and I’m glad you brought the compassion in, Tom, because these are souls. These are people—they’re people with real traumas, real hurts, there’s no question about that. But the world is giving them an answer (or is attempting to give an answer), and the answers are as varied as you just described, as varied as the opinions, as the schools of thought, as the latest theories and techniques may be. And they will all fail because they’ve failed historically, they fail in the present, they will fail in the future. The only true answer, the only real hope (and hope is essential), the only real hope is found in Jesus Christ, the one who heals our souls, the one who loves us, the one who has created us.
And that’s why Romans 1—pardon me, Romans:12:1,2 is so important: that we conform ourselves to Him, and that we experience the transformation of our mind through Him, because of its being transformed by the way the world wants to transform us, we’re stuck. We’re stuck in a rut. And I appreciate how you’re bringing in the Eastern mystical side of it, because that’s been there, and we’ve already discussed this a little bit, but it bears repeating: that has been there within the world of the psychological community for a long time. Carl Jung was deeply, deeply involved in that—deeply involved.
And then when you jump into the world of Esalen, we’ve been talking a little bit about the Esalen Institute in prior conversations—the Esalen Institute on the shore of California became this place where it mixed it up even more. Humanistic psychology, Eastern mysticism, psychedelics, the human potential movement—it became the birthplace of the New Age. It became that connecting point between shamanism, Eastern philosophy, psychology, and all that goes into it. It became like a blender that just absolutely spun it together and then projected it outward into our Western culture. And we’ve been living with the consequences and the worldview of it ever since, and it’s important for people to realize this comes from somewhere. It just didn’t spring up out of the blackness of the night, it came from somewhere.
Tom: Carl, let me—let me feed our listeners or our viewers some more information about this. You know, the subtitle of the book that I had the blessing, really pleasure, of helping Dave with is—the subtitle is, The Rise of New Age Shamanism.
Now, for those not familiar with the word shamanism or shaman, it’s a term used in Siberia to identify a man or woman who is a mediator or negotiator between humans and entities that reside in the spirit world. Now, that’s—folks, you need to lock onto that. What were they about? They were mediators, negotiators between humans and entities that reside in the spirit world. Now, in other cultures, they’re known as medicine men, healers, witch doctors, priests, and tribal elders.
So what is a New Age shaman? Well, it’s a person who is a—hear this—mediator or negotiator between humans and entities that reside in the spirit world. You’ve got to keep that in mind, because we’re going to be throwing out some stuff, you know, of making it sound scientific, giving you the impression that it’s not just these guys who are into things that they’re making up. These are tribal people who don’t know what they’re talking about; they don’t have the education and so on. Well, you see, the New Age shaman is the same, but it has some new twists. The word shaman has been replaced by, well, the title “psychotherapist,” and the spirit aspects are couched in psychological language. Transpersonal psychology, for example, is known as spiritual psychology. It majors in mystical experiences, spiritual crises, altered states of consciousness, religious conversion (well, certainly if you grew up in a fundamentalist background, you need to be converted to, you know, to another view), and spiritual evolution.
Now, I’m going to give you one description: “The disciplined attempts to describe integrate spiritual experience within modern psychological theory.”
Now, Carl, I’m curious: when getting a doctorate in psychology or a medical degree in psychiatry, how much of that involved the study of spirituality? Hmm?
Carl: Good question. Now spirituality is a very important component within studying the mental health world.
Carl: That…people don’t realize that. Spirituality has become a touchstone for the mental health community.
We were talking earlier about Esalen—can I give you one example?
Tom: Well, wait—Carl, let me…
Carl: Sure, sure! You’re good.
Tom: …because I’ve been waiting for this, okay?
Carl: Okay, yes!
Tom: Now, okay, so if they didn’t study to get their medical degree, they didn’t study spirituality or their Ph.D. in psychology, I’m sure that many took postgraduate courses at Esalen!
Carl: Oh, yes! I know!
Tom: Okay, so I want you to read from the catalogs exactly what they learned and what they were into. Go for it, buddy.
Carl: Oh sure! Absolutely. I’m going to start—I’ve got a few quotes that I’ve pulled from the Esalen catalog. One example though was taken from Esalen’s 50th anniversary publication, it’s a short publication. It’s a timeline of major milestones in the programming that they were running at the Esalen Institute. And this is from the 1970s now. This is their quote—I’ve shortened it a bit, I’ve taken some of the names of the psychologists, some of the teachers out, because it was long. But I left a number in so you get the idea.
“As residents at Esalen, Stanislav and Christina Grof [you know who they are, Tom!] coordinated…”
Carl: Yes, massive transpersonal psychology, right? “…coordinated 28 month-long experiential and thinktank seminars that featured such guests as Joseph Campbell, Huston Smith, Michael Murphy, Dick Price, Will Schutz, Humphrey Osmond, Tim Leary, Gordon Lawson, Arthur Hastings, Ralph Messner, Jean Houston….” These are big names, especially back then! It goes on to say, “Various Tibetan lamas and Indian spiritual teachers, Native American and Mexican shamans, and Christian mystics. These month-long seminars focus on such themes as Buddhism and Western Psychology; Parapsychologists and Psychics; Maps of Consciousness; Aboriginal Healing and Modern Medicine; Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science; Higher Creativity; Frontiers of Science and Energy—Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.”
They—Esalen recognizes this was a highlight for them. Boy, back in the 1970s—actually, going back to the 1960s… So I’ve pulled a few different course curriculums from the Esalen catalogs. Allow me to read some, and some of them are a little bit lengthy, but I think it helps hit the point. This is from the 2010 Esalen catalog—I think it’s a spring edition, and it is entitled, “The Way of the Shaman—Nature, Power, and Healing.”
“To the shaman’s eyes, the world around us is alive and inspirited. In this introduction to course shamanism, you can learn to see with those eyes. Explore the hidden worlds and access timeless wisdom known to our ancestors. Through initiation to the shamanistic journey, you’ll be taught skills of divination and healing and can experience the shamanistic state of consciousness to help awaken spiritual awareness.”
This is where it’s interesting, and if you listen as they say “as they bring healing in”—this is about healing yourself, healing others—it goes on to say, “You will be provided methods for journaling…” Pardon me: “…for journeying to discover and study with your own spiritual teachers in non-ordinary reality, a classic step in shamanistic practice. You’ll be shown how to restore spiritual power and health, and how shamanism can be applied in daily life to help heal yourself, others, and the planet.” And it goes on and on and on.
But some of the courses at the end of the catalog listing will give you continuing education credits.
Carl: And some of them are for nurses, you know, say specifically for nurses or for psychologists. Here’s one that does both: “Open Minds Training: Innovations in Meditation and Mind-Body Healing. Open mind training provides instruction in meditation in mind-body healing from both a psychological and spiritual perspective. Participants will be taught to develop a user-friendly relationship with the unconscious, and to directly contact the resources of the core self. Meditative techniques of various Buddhist schools, particularly Tibetan and Zen, will be explored. Tibetan meditation uses mindfulness, insight, and visualization to activate psychological and physiological energies. Participants will also learn various forms of breathing, chanting, trance states, and mind-body healing exercises. This workshop presents skills to calm the mind, develop trust with the unconscious, and explore inner healing resources. Credit is available for nurses and CE credit is available for psychologists.”
Tom: Now, what’s really stunning about this is because, in many cases, you know, Michael Murphy, who was really, along with Price, was really the founders of Esalen… And, you know, there are a lot of things that happened there that we don’t know about: deaths, everything through drug use and all of the above. And he said, “Well, we were adventurers. You know, if we had to do it over again, we would maybe change some things, but that’s what happens when you get into an adventure.” Bad deal!
But these individuals who they would have speak, tribal individuals and so on, I didn’t hear in all those descriptions that you gave anything about spirit entities out there. Because, folks, as you’ll hear—and I guess, you know, we’ve only got about five minutes left in this, so we’re going to pick up on it, the Lord willing, next week—but I didn’t hear anything about spirit entities, although that’s what these true shamans, real shamans, know. That’s what they understand. But what’s happened? All these things are now changed into gobbledygook, as you mentioned. In other words, they’re given the unconscious, the collective unconscious, all these things that nobody has a clue about; nobody understands that stuff.
Carl Jung, for example, admitted in, you know, his last years of life that he got these things from Philemon, a spirit entity who was just as real as a person out there. In other words, he didn’t do that at the beginning, and this was a manifestation from his unconscious, and so on. No, that’s so bogus. It’s a crime, it’s a fraud.
But anyway, that’s how these folks who may have a medical degree in psychiatry, a Ph.D. in psychology, now they’re into spirituality. But this is not anything that they can support. What kind of instruments do we have to judge spirit? I mean, there’s no way possible to support this from a rational, logical, well, simply a reasonable way of understanding it.
Carl: As I’ve said on a few occasions, I’ve gone to Burning Man for research purposes and for other purposes, including evangelistic outreach to that community. Tom, I’ve been to workshops at Burning Man with real shamans, and have been to a few of the workshops with shamans as they are there giving their guidance and direction on neuroscience, psychedelics, and discovering your higher self, because that’s ultimately what takes place at Burning Man are people looking for their higher self. It really is Esalen in the desert. That’s what it has become.
Carl: But they’re there, they recognize that there is a spiritual linkage, a spiritual connection, and what I pull away from those experiences listening to these shamans—not New Age shamans, real shamans—is that there is this incredible overlap between the spiritual, the mental, the physical. As a Christian I recognize we are spiritual beings, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and it’s sad—it’s actually tragic to see as the world is trying to find some way of healing the hurts that are in our very complex personalities. And so they will look to shamanism, they’ll look to psychedelics, they’ll look to all kinds of neurochemical enhancers, whatever pill can be pushed that will supposedly heal us. Back to what you described in the book, America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, they’re the priests and they’re selling you a messianic vision, whereas…
Carl: …Tom, the only real messianic vision, the only real hope of messianic salvation comes from our Creator, who knows us better than ourselves.
Tom: Absolutely. Carl, I’ve got a couple of quotes here, and then I want to give our audience, our viewers, some homework. I hope they’re not grimacing at that! But anyway, research psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey writes, “The techniques used by Western psychiatrists are, with few exceptions, on exactly the same scientific plane as the techniques used by witchdoctors.” Now, that’s not sarcasm, he’s laying it out, “This is what’s going on.”
Another practitioner adds, “Shamanism is really like gestalt therapy. It’s like primal therapy, and it has a lot of Jungian psychology in it.”
Now, here’s a quote you held up America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice. This is a quote from Dave and me: “Having ridiculed and debunked for nearly 80 years of mankind’s universal and longstanding belief in things spiritual, psychologists have begun to reintroduce ancient occult beliefs and practices, but with the new labels of their own secular ‘spirituality.’ The same occult powers are being sought through basically the same altered states, but now as,” as you’ve been pointing out, Carl, “human potential, instead of as coming from independent spirit entities, which is the reality. Many of the same words and rituals are used, but with altered meanings that fit the new religion of psychology. God is now the collective unconscious, and spirits have become splits of the psyche.”
Now here’s the homework for those who are interested in: some years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing a real shaman, a Yanomamo shaman named Chief Shoefoot. His tribe resided deep in the Amazonian rainforest in Venezuela, and he described his experiences to me that involved his communications with the spirit entities. That’s what it’s all about.
One unique thing about shamanism: no matter where you go, there might be slight variations, but it’s all the same. Siberia, the Fiji Islands, all across the world—wait a minute! These guys from the Fiji Islands, did they get in their canoes and, you know, row their way to or sail their way to Siberia? No! But there must be a spirit entity behind this with this content pushing and promoting it, because it’s all the same, and you can’t explain it any other way.
So, folks, I’ll give you the website—well, it’s our…it’s The Berean Call website, and the title of the article is “Spirits of the Lie.” So that would be good homework for what we’re going to finish up with next week, the Lord willing.
So, Carl, again, brother, thank you so much for your input. And, folks, our prayer is, you know, we’re not just saying this to hear ourselves talk. This is a huge concern for certainly true believers, but for the church and the world. We want to rescue people from this, so the information has to get out there.
So God bless you, bro, and thank you for being with us.
Carl: Thank you, Tom. Looking forward to our next conversation.