Part 1: Making no distinction between Victorian channeling writers of yore and today’s Christian
Part 2: Making no distinction between Victorian channeling writers of yore and today’s Christian
Part 3: Walsch, Young, and Beth Moore: ungodly channelers all (Part 3)
Conclusion: How do Christian authors end up channeling spirits and producing books from them? Pride
In the last two essays, I compared the Victorian Spiritist’s method of producing creative works through automatic writing with today’s certain Christian authors receiving ‘Divine’ revelation by invisible force. Automatic writing is when a writer clears his mind, gives his will over to another entity from the supernatural realms, and allows his hand to be used as a transcriber, thereby allowing the entity to produce the work, and not himself through his own consciousness.
The Victorians were very interested in Spiritism which involved contacting ‘the other side’ through seances, early Ouija boards, and trances. Many Victorian writers, painters, and composers allowed themselves to be used in this way to produce some of the more famous works we all know. Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim” is one of those. So is WB Yeats’s famous poem “The Second Coming”. Lewis Carroll and L. Frank Baum of Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz also were members of the Theosophical Society and whose works were influenced by this fervent fad of collusion with the demonic world to produce creative works.
Then I compared the current crop of Christian-ish writers who use the same methods today to produce works that adorn Christian bookstore shelves. I specifically looked at Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God, William P. Young of The Shack, and Beth Moore of When Godly People do Ungodly Things.
The point of the essays was not so much to examine the content of what these writers wrote about. Though discernment lacks in many a Christian heart these days, the ungodly moments in those books eventually become apparent to the readers who call upon the Spirit for light and illumination.
Rather, I looked at the method of writing. I asked the question, “How is receiving a poem through automatic writing after a seance through a spirit guide any different from holing up in a cabin, having a long conversation with God and writing down by invisible force the ‘Christian’ doctrines that are then published to today’s fervent acclaim?” I used quotes from the Victorian Spiritists and quotes from the above three named authors and in all cases the language and method of writing was virtually the same. Of course, the answer is that there is no difference.
In the course of researching the background for those two essays, I noticed two similarities in the emotional lives of these automatic writers used by spirits from the other side. This essay will explore how these authors are similar across time, and thus hopefully will provide an understanding of how satan works in the vulnerable for his purposes today.
One thing these people all have in common is they all had a Christian-ish background. The second thing they all had in common was abuse, parents who were distant either physically or emotionally, and trauma of severe kinds that usually resulted in a deep depression throughout adulthood. It was in the depths of their depressions at the bottom of their turmoil that they began to experience the call from the other side. Here are their stories.
Emanuel Swedenborg is ‘credited’ as the father of the latest iteration of New Age demonic Spiritism. He lived from 1688 to 1752. Swedenborg’s father was a theologian who preached to the Swedish King. Swedenborg’s father became professor of theology at Uppsala University and Bishop of Skara. However, Swedenborg’s father became involved in the Pietist movement which was a break from some of the basic tenets of the day, and his father was eventually branded a heretic. This caused Swedenborg to question everything and eventually he decided to pursue science as a career.
As an adult, Swedenborg had been thrust into a deep depression, and he started to record in great detail what was happening to him. He wrote:
“How I found, after I arrived at The Hague, that my interest and the love for my work were gone, at which I myself wondered. How the desire for women so rapidly changed, which had been the main passion of mine. How I have had the best possible sleep at night, which has been more than good. My clear thoughts in these matters.” Increased sleeping and difficulties in concentrating on his scientific work were accompanied by depressive thoughts about his own worth. He wrote in another place: “I wondered about having nothing left to do for my own honor, so that I was even touched; about why I was not inclined for sex, which I have been in all my days. How I was in waking trances nearly the whole time.” The changes in his emotional life and the withdrawal of desire was accompanied by hallucinatory or visionary states of the kind so common for Swedenborg’s later activity as a mystic.”
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India. At age 5 he was sent to reside with a couple in Portsmouth who boarded children of British nationals who were serving in India. This was customary at the time. Brits wanted their children raised in their own language and culture with a British education. Kipling later recalled the stay at his foster parents’ home with horror, and wondered ironically if the combination of cruelty and neglect which he experienced there at the hands of [foster mother] Mrs. Holloway might not have hastened the onset of his literary life. Kipling preferred to retreat into a fantasy world populated with stories, which he called lies. He also said, “I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture — religious as well as scientific.” (source) He also suffered at the hands of a sadistic brother, “Kipling describes an ugly childhood inquisition where his sadistic foster brother traps him into contradictions, and then accuses him of lying.” So in other words, truth became lies and lies became truth, as the endurance of abuse, separation from his parents, and an overly strict boarding school educational experience twisted his thinking on morals, ethics, and religion. It’s a wonder he even stayed sane.
WB Yeats as an adult recalled the religious crisis he had experienced as a youth in the following terms: “I was unlike others of my generation in one thing only. I am very religious, and deprived by Huxley and Tyndall, whom I detested, of the simple-minded religion of my childhood, I had made a new religion, almost an infallible Church of poetic tradition, of a fardel of stories, and of personages, and of emotions, inseparable from their first expression, passed on from generation to generation by poets and painters with some help from philosophers and theologians. … What Yeats may mean in the passage cited above is that for him religion is related to his perennial sense that life must be comprehended systematically. For the poet refers there to his first attempt to construct a religious system of his own.” In doing this, because the family had a strong tradition of clergy within it, Yeats was at deep contretemps with his father.
The religious system Yeats constructed contained Reincarnation, communication with the dead, mediums, supernatural systems and Oriental mysticism which fascinated Yeats through his life. And we know where that always leads…
Neale Donald Walsch was brought up as a Roman Catholic, was an altar boy, actually. In a conference on ‘God and Love’ at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center, Colorado in what looks to be about ten years ago, Walsch describes his growing disillusionment with the rigidity and minutiae of Catholic traditions as a youth and mocks it cynically in a ‘humorous’ speech. His family encouraged his quest for spiritual truth and eventually he wound up informally studying comparative theology for many years. In that quest, Walsch did not turn to the bible but to himself. “Walsch’s vision is an expansion and unification of all present theologies to render them more relevant to our present day and time.” In other words, Walsch’s journey was away from Jesus and toward a false religion updated and made modern to today’s seekers. Emotionally, in 1996 Neale Donald Walsch realized his life was a mess. He has written that his relationships weren’t working. His health wasn’t good. He got fired from his job. “I woke up one night just angry, really frustrated, and wrote down what was on my mind. God answered.” He then had successive conversations with “God” which became the nine-part series “Conversations With God.”
William P. Young was born to missionary parents and within a stone age cannibalistic tribe that his parents were evangelizing in New Guinea. At age six he returned to Canada and attended 13 different schools before graduating and then attending Bible College. He earned his religion degree and then went on to seminary. In his case, “sexual abuse was probably the most fundamental building block of my shack.” When he was a young child, he said, tribal people near his parents’ missionary station abused him, and more abuse came at a boarding school. At age 38 he had an affair that nearly cost him his marriage. Young says the book “The Shack” was born from the pain he was feeling inside while at the same time recognizing he was a religious performer: “Young says he became “a perfectionist performer with a persona that you present to the world covering up an ocean of shame. I’m the oldest. I took the brunt of some of the negative dynamics in our family at the time. A lot of those things fed into becoming a perfectionist performer. I held it together until I was thirty-eight years old, and then it all blew apart thanks to the grace of God, and I started an eleven year process of dismantling everything and putting it all back together.”
For the next 11 years Young worked through his understanding of “the nature and character of God.” By the end of 2004 he had come to “peace with myself and peace with my sense of who I believe God to be”—a process he condensed to a weekend in the book. He has also said that he wrote four chapters in one weekend and one chapter he never even edited, it just came out whole and stayed intact through all the editing processes of the book.
Beth Moore was raised a Christian in Arkansas, attending church and Sunday School regularly. She earned a political science degree from college and after a few years took a bible doctrine class at her church. Moore has been very open about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child from a family member, mentioning it every chance she is in public, just about. She is also well known for having shared her personal thoughts on her low self-esteem, worthlessness, insecurity, etc. and in fact has memorialized those feelings in most of her books. For all that, she is closely guarded about her personal life but it is my opinion that the frequency with which she raises her personal traumas is an indicator that they are not slain and are in fact indicative of a deep depression, despite all her perkiness.
In all the cases above the person who eventually descended into automatic writing and false doctrines had a working knowledge of the bible, Jesus, and theology. In other words, they were not atheists nor were they raised in a godless environment absent any or all knowledge of who God is or what He requires of us.
Secondly, I noticed that the people I’ve mentioned in part 1 of the old days and part 2 of the current crop of writers we are examining had severe and long-term trauma in their lives. They were horrifically abused, and/or were abandoned, fell into depressions, were attempting to claw their way out of some kind of traumatizing pain.
In the cases I read about, and they are anecdotal to be sure, none of the people said, “I was having a tremendously satisfying career, a strong marriage, and I felt joyful and grateful to God, when I suddenly felt the call from the other side…” Nope. In all the cases, the automatic writers were at their most vulnerable, and at their lowest point of faith, or having abandoned their faith for a false faith so of course it wasn’t there to shore them up.
When we are at our most vulnerable is when we are at our most vulnerable. It sounds redundant but it is a truism that when we are wrestling with why bad things happen to us we mix our sorrow with anger against God, that is when the spirits come. And of course by that I mean the demons, satan’s crew.
In the cases of our writers, many of them felt a sense of restoration after being contacted from the other side. When we’re down, we all want comfort. Yeats was revived in his emotions and his career after his first automatic writings. Young and Walsch have said that they felt restored through the process of writing these things. I believe Moore uses her writings and her talks on tv and at conferences as a therapy session, as I have stated before. What person suffering from trauma, pain, and depression wouldn’t want to respond to a whisper in their ear that ‘god’ can and will take the pain away? But we must guard our heart. What does that mean exactly?
At Gotquestions.org, it is put like this:
“What does it mean to guard your heart?”
“Every Christian is locked in a constant, intense war with demonic forces. Many of us become so intent on fighting the external spiritual war that we forget that much of our battle is not with external forces, but with our own mind and thoughts. James 1:14-16 tells us, “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” Sin always begins in the mind. A sinner must first conceive and dwell on the sinful action before he actually carries it out. The first line of defense, therefore, must be to refuse to even contemplate a wrongful action. The Apostle Paul tells us to take every thought captive, so that it conforms to the will of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).”
We live in a world that will pose tribulations to us.
- Acts 14:22- “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “ Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
- Romans 5:3 – And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;”
- Ephesians 3:13 – “Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory” are but three examples.
We live in a world that is actually satan’s. (2 Cor 4:4). We need strength to deal with the crafty cunning schemes of the satanic system that is all around us. God gave us armor but the armor does not do any good if it is in the closet. (Eph 6:10-19).
Here is an example of the craftiness of the devil’s schemes. William Young is talking about his writing process. He said “In the first draft there was more religious language. God was actually quoting Scripture, which kinda didn’t work. In the re-write I was actually able to embed Scripture in the conversation almost in a way that people don’t pick it up.” Do you think that God would send words to a person about Himself and then hide them so they are not picked up? ‘But it’s just fiction!’ you say. Well, I read Karen Kingsbury and scripture is quoted. You know it is scripture when you read it. It is not hidden, embedded, or slyly introduced so you don’t pick it up. But the craftiness is that once you divorce the scripture from its source you can then change the wording subtly. Worse, once you’ve done that, it is harder to keep the author accountable.
I hope this 3-part series has shown you that not only the content of certain ‘Christian’ works may be corrupt, but the method of their production may also be corrupt. In my opinion, there is no difference in the demonic contacts the Victorian Spiritists sought and the current crop of Christian-ish writers’ ‘divinely inspired works,’ except one: in the Victorian era the writers were not producing works that were directly about Christianity. Moore, Young and Walsch (and who knows how many others) are stating that God told them these things. Christian, beware. Put on your armor, pray, and go forth in confidence that if you are in the Word, you cannot be beaten down. You are a victor, through His blood and enabled by the Holy Spirit that dwells in you! And perhaps most importantly, if you see a brother or a sister that is struggling, go to them and build them up. Love them:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29). “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)