Occultism has also gained a new respectability both in the world and the church through its acceptance and promotion by numerous business and civic leaders and pastors. Among the latter, none was more influential than Norman Vincent Peale. A prolific and popular “Christian” author, Peale’s writings have introduced millions in the world and church to the occult. There are at least two sources of Peale’s occultism: the writings of occultist Florence Scovel Shinn (documented later in this book) and Freemasonry.
A 33° Mason, Peale was pictured on the cover of the Masonic magazine, New Age. He was inducted into the Scottish Rite [Masonic] Hall of Honor on September 30, 1991, and his portrait now hangs in the Washington DC Masonic Temple. He was often held up by Masons as an example of Masonic character. Yet instead of honestly acknowledging the truth about Masonry, Peale perpetuated its deceits.
According to its own documents, Masonry involves occultism. Its influence permeates both the world and the church. Although many professing Christians are Masons, Masonry is an anti-Christian religious cult rooted in paganism. Masonry contains much of the mysticism of Hinduism and Buddhism, and is Luciferian. Yet Peale declared, “I have never seen the slightest word or expression [in Masonic rituals] that is anything a Christian could not endorse.”
Such an obviously false statement sheds further light upon Peale’s perversion of Christianity. No one who has reached the 33rd degree could be so ignorant. Declarations by Masonic authorities expose Peale’s dishonesty on that subject. Albert G. Mackey, coauthor of Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, is one of Masonry’s highest authorities. In Manual of the Lodge, Mackey traces Masonic teaching back to “the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness….”
Albert Pike, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the USA, was “an honorary member of almost every Supreme Council in the world.” He authored Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree, which was published by its authority. This compendium of official Masonic lore traces Masonry to Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and other Eastern religions. In that volume Pike declared:
“Masonry, like…all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled…. Part of the symbols are displayed [in the Blue Degrees] to the Initiate [Mason], but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them, but…that he shall imagine he understands them.”
Secrecy and occultism go hand in hand. At the heart of Masonry is a secret Luciferian doctrine which a Mason comes to understand only when he reaches the higher levels. Manly Palmer Hall, another of the greatest authorities on Masonry, writes, “When the Mason…has learned the mystery of his Craft, the seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands….” Nevertheless, Masonry is highly respected in today’s world and Masons constitute a high percentage of those in leadership both in the world and in the church.
Those who deny that Jesus is the only Christ and that He came once-and-for-all in the flesh have embraced the spirit of Antichrist (1 John:4:1-3). Such is the teaching of Eastern mysticism and the mind science cults: that Jesus had attained to the state of “Christ consciousness” available to all mankind. Masonry declares the same:
“Jesus of Nazareth had attained a level of consciousness, of perfection, that has been called by various names: cosmic consciousness, soul regeneration, philosophic initiation, spiritual illumination, Brahmic Splendor, Christ-consciousness.”