The proliferation and popularity of psychic networks is evident by the commercials on TV and in newspaper ads. Occultism is one of the growth industries of our time. In November 1996 USA Today reported: “Kabbalah is the rage in Tinseltown…. ‘It’s the kind of thing Jews don’t talk about,’ [TV’s] Roseanne [noted]…. ‘I’m a Catholic shiksa,” actress Diane Ladd says, ‘but I’m on a spiritual journey….’ She was introduced to Kabbalah by comedian Sandra Bernhard…. Jeff Goldblum took the basic course. Barry Diller and Dolly Parton attended a private class. Roseanne explains…‘[Kabbalah] is about connection between mind and body, astrology, Atlantis, reincarnation and computers.’”
The universality and persistence of a belief in mysterious powers that exist in a realm beyond the material dimension has been dramatically demonstrated in the former Soviet Union. For more than 70 years, Marxist atheistic materialism was forced on the entire populace. At the same time, believers in any religion, from Christianity to witchcraft, were the objects of relentless persecution.
Once the Iron Curtain came down, and with it the repression of diverse opinions, belief in the occult suddenly exploded. As of this writing early in 1997, one of the most popular television programs in Russia is the “Third Eye,” aired each Saturday. Its guests include witches, parapsychologists, healers, and Orthodox priests, who mix their peculiar application of the Bible with crystal balls and all manner of occultism.
One psychic popular on Russian television claims to be able to tell from a photo whether the person pictured is alive or dead, his or her state of health, where the person (or dead body) is located, and other data. A Russian woman “healer” teaches how to use occult power to restore health. Another popular psychic claims to have raised the dead in a mortuary and to be able to lower the levels of toxins in food and drink through ritualistic motions of his hands. Then he infuses the food or drink with his occult powers and sells it. Purchasers throughout Russia swear by the benefits they have received in this way.
In America, Daerick and Nedrra Lanakila are the inventors of “energy medicine and quantum healing…healing products designed for direct interaction with the body/mind intelligence.” Through their organization, Y.A.T.O. Enterprise, they distribute the “Li.F.E. Energizers System for Vibrancy.” It consists of vials filled with “spiritual energy in an aqueous solution of distilled water” designed to “work on all four systems—physical, emotion, mental and spiritual….” Many other examples could be given.
A visit not only to large cities but to small rural towns across America reveals a staggering variety of occult shops, some on the main thoroughfares. There is no denying that in spite of the skepticism one would expect in an age of science, interest and even belief in the mysterious is growing. Nor is there anything new about the occult. “New Age” is a misnomer. In spite of computers and space exploration and communication satellites, neither the gods nor the rituals have changed.