Eastern mysticism’s influence in the West goes back further than one would suspect, even predating the drug movement and the invasion of the gurus from the East. We have already seen that Napoleon Hill received the basic philosophy of the PMA and success/motivation movements from spirit entities who deceitfully posed as ancient Ascended Masters known as the “Venerable Brotherhood of India.” At about the same time that Hill was introducing the business world to the occult, Agnes Sanford was bringing it into the church. A hundred years before either of them, however, occultism had established a major beachhead in the West through Masonry. Then in the 1930s and ‘40s the occult invasion was expanded greatly through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
The influence of AA’s 12 Steps has been enormous. One can scarcely keep track of the many 12-Step groups which have been formed as a result. In their excellent book, and one that every Christian ought to read (12 Steps to Destruction), Martin and Deidre Bobgan point out: “Thousands of groups across America use Wilson’s Twelve Steps, and most codependency/recovery programs utilize the Twelve Steps in one way or another…. All seem to merge the philosophy, psychology, and religion of the Twelve Steps into whatever treatment program they happen to have devised.”
The new terms “addiction” and “recovery” now include anything one can imagine. There are even “recovery” Bibles, notably Serenity for Every Day. Alcoholics Anonymous has spawned groups such as Adult Children of Alcoholics, Debtors Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Sex-Addicts Anonymous, Smokers Anonymous, Shoplifters Anonymous, Workaholics Anonymous—and even Fundamentalists Anonymous. The Dallas Center for Religious Addiction and Abuse sees parallels between families that produce Christian fundamentalists and those that allegedly produce alcoholics, and it targets mainline Christians for “recovery.” Of course, the anti-Christian groups are very comfortable with a “higher power” that can be anything one chooses to trust—and delivers them from the God of the Bible!