Religion and Revolution
Until I made the breakthrough in 1983, my attitude toward
Christianity and the other major
organized religions was ambiguous.
On one level, it’s quite natural for occultists to feel apprehension
toward all religious establishments. Our whole traditional
literature is full of accounts of witch-burning and other
I’ve always been aware that such things could happen
right here in Twentieth-century America if the New Right and other
political factions controlled by Fundamentalists ever achieved
control of the government, or even if the majority of American
Christians again became Fundamentalists, as they were in past
centuries. That fear has been in the back of my mind all my life,
but it was never really a rational fear.
In reality, the majority of Americans have become progressively more
tolerant of occultism and alternative religious systems over the
last twenty years. A Fundamentalist minority still preaches against
us, but when they attempt active persecution, even the clergy of the
largest Christian sects – Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans,
Episcopalians, etc. – are usually quick to condemn the persecutors
as a lunatic fringe and to defend people’s First-Amendment rights to
A number of my friends in the Sixties movement considered themselves
devout Christians or Jews. They simply dropped those aspects of the
traditional doctrine they found incompatible with their beliefs as
members of the counterculture, and incorporated the rest into their
new lifestyle. For example, they’d quote verses from the New
Testament that supported the peace and love doctrine of the
counterculture, and make statements like “Jesus was the original
hippy.” (Jews in this category sometimes expressed regret that Jesus
had been persecuted by the Jewish establishment of his day instead
of being recognized as a divinely appointed prophet and reformer.)
Many of the leaders of the civil rights movement have been members
of the Christian clergy, from Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson
right on down to the community level, including whites as well as
blacks. The same has been true of leaders of the peace and
anti-nuclear movement. Most of these people assert that their
religious beliefs are what motivate them into political activism,
and quote scripture to support their ideologies.
Another cause of my ambiguous attitude toward religion is the lack
of a clear-cut boundary between organized religion and occultism.
Many Spiritualists consider themselves members of the Christian
community, even though I myself feel that their actual beliefs and
practices make them part of occultism. The same applies to a lot of
people who call themselves Gnostics, Magdalenian Christians,
Christian Magicians, Cabalists, etc. I’ve always got along as easily
with people in this category as with occultists, Pagans, Witches,
and New Agers.
However, I took an instant dislike to the “Jesus Freaks” in the
At first, I couldn’t identify exactly what turned me off
about these longhaired Christians who proselytized from storefront
churches in counterculture areas. Then a few of my Christian friends
in the counterculture became Jesus Freaks. They went from saying
“Jesus was a hippy. He drank wine, so why should he mind if I smoke
dope?” to “Get high on Jesus instead of pot.”
As a psychic, I had to
admit that spiritual experiences are just as efficient at altering
consciousness as drugs are; but the longer my friends stayed in the
Jesus Movement, the less they seemed to act high at all. They also
started arguing with me and preaching to me. Eventually, they all
either dropped out of the Jesus Movement or stopped speaking to
people like me.
And the ones who remained Jesus Freaks gradually dropped out of the
counterculture. It all came clear one night when I saw some the
movement’s leaders interviewed on a television evangelist’s program.
“We’re basically a rescue mission. We go onto Satan’s
territory up there in the Haight and try to rescue sinners.”
the guy shook his shoulder-length hair and fingered his paisley
shirt and continued,
“And if we have to wear Satan’s uniform while
we do it, then that’s what we’ll do. Praise the Lord!”
I was frightened of black militants who preached a fanatical Islamic
doctrine that included anti-Semitism, and of Palestinian Arabs who
condoned terrorism. However, I was just as disturbed that some
militant Zionists condemned all Palestinians for the acts of a few,
or asserted that Moslems did not deserve the full rights of Israeli
And even though I had spent several years studying
Vedanta, I felt an instinctive dislike for the Hare Krishnas as
When people asked me why, I’d say,
“They’re Vedantic Puritans.
The people I worked with were Shivites who smoked ganja, practiced
sex magic, and had vibes more like occultists.”
I didn’t realize
till I’d made the breakthrough that all these people (Jesus Freaks,
Zionists, and Hare Krishnas) had one thing in common. For now, I’ll
call it Fundamentalism, but I’ll have another name for it in Part
The principal difference between Fundamentalists and other believers
within a given religion is not just conservatism in the sense of
unwillingness to make changes in traditional religious doctrine or
custom to avoid conflict with the religion’s external environment.
Instead, the Fundamentalists take social and political action to
convert the whole society to their views, whether the rest of the
population wants to change or not.
It’s ironic that modern American Fundamentalists call themselves
religious and political conservatives. Their philosophy is really
radical or revolutionary, because they desire sweeping changes in
social and political institutions, and they try to impose these
changes with vigorous action, sometimes including force. However,
they call this right-wing radical ideology “conservative” to project
a respectable public image.
The Fundamentalist-backed New Right claims to be a conservative
movement that advocates “a return to the traditional American
values.” This is a blatant lie. Even the most casual look at
American history shows that this country’s traditional values are
actually quite liberal. Politicians all over the world have used the
U.S. Constitution with its Bill of Rights as a model for designing
liberal, democratic institutions.
The Founding Fathers included some
of the most famous liberal political philosophers of all time:
Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin,
and others. History also shows that American social and political
institutions have been moving steadily toward the left during the
country’s whole history.
After I made the breakthrough and learned exactly what the
Fundamentalist ideology is and where it comes from, it became
obvious why people are so willing to think of it as “traditional”
even though it has always been a minority viewpoint in the United
States. It’s an extremely ancient and powerful ideological system
based on a profound knowledge of human psychology and the nature of
psychic and spiritual reality; it’s also the source of most of the
evil in this world, as I will describe in Part Two.
My attitude towards Christianity and all other organized religion
became increasingly ambiguous during the last ten years before I
made the breakthrough. On one hand, I saw many examples of
cooperation, tolerance, and openness. For example, a number of
occult, Pagan, and New Age groups in the San Francisco Bay Area have
rented space and held their meetings in various non-Fundamentalist
Christian churches since the Sixties and enjoyed friendly relations
with their clergy and congregations.
Leaders of some of these
Aquarian Age groups have even belonged to local Councils of Churches
and participated in their charitable and public service work. This
has also occurred in other large cities all over the country.
Yet at the same time, Fundamentalist-controlled religious radio and
TV stations frequently broadcast outrageous slanders of the Aquarian
“All non-Christian religious activity is
and everyone who participates in it is possessed by demons.”
Fundamentalist propaganda also frequently made the news with claims
that rock musicians brainwash young people with subliminal messages
about Satanism. Even the ultimate lie about occultists and Pagans
was mentioned occasionally: that they practice human sacrifice,
especially of babies. And the harassment wasn’t all verbal: several
groves in Bay Area regional parks where Pagans hold outdoor services
were routinely vandalized with crosses carved on trees and “Jesus
Saves” painted on rocks.
During this same period, Fundamentalists in religions besides
Christianity were causing major political problems all over the
world. Most readers will be familiar with the trouble Islamic
Fundamentalists have caused over the last twenty years. The
kidnapping of American diplomats by Iranian revolutionaries was
partly responsible for Ronald Reagan’s victory over Jimmy Carter in
the 1980 presidential election.
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was
assassinated by Moslem Fundamentalists because he had made a serious
effort to work with Israel and bring peace to the Middle East.
Perhaps the most glaring example has been the virtual destruction of
Lebanon, which used to be one of the most advanced and progressive
countries in the Islamic world.
There are many other examples of serious political problems caused
by Fundamentalist movements, both in Christianity and in other major
religions that most Americans may not identify as such.
For example, some of the groups that the press in this country calls
“right-wing death squads” in South America are actually Catholic
Fundamentalist secret societies, and are merely a highly visible
part of a Fundamentalist movement within the Catholic Church in that
part of the world. This movement is quite small and confined mostly
to the upper and middle social classes, but it has been a
significant factor for years in moving South American governments to
the right, toward fascist dictatorship.
This movement has received
much less publicity in the United States than the various left-wing
Catholic movements that have formed in reaction to it among the
impoverished majority of the population in the same countries, but
it is definitely a significant political force in South America
The “Moonie” Cult in the United States has attracted major publicity
for misrepresenting itself when proselytizing, holding some of its
members against their will under conditions of near starvation and
hard labor, etc.; and Rev. Moon himself has been in and out of jail
on tax charges. All of this has caused minor problems for the
Aquarian spiritual movement in this country, because too many
Americans don’t realize the Moonies have nothing to do with this
movement at all.
The doctrine of Moon’s Unification Church is a mixture of
Fundamentalist Christianity with elements from Buddhism and other
Eastern religions, and is the direct antithesis to everything the
Aquarian movement stands for. The main reason why this import from
South Korea hasn’t done more harm in this country is that we already
have our own Christian Fundamentalist movement, which fits into our
culture better and appears less bizarre. However, the Moonies and
several similar Fundamentalist groups have a major influence on
South Korean politics and are one reason why that country has swung
so far to the totalitarian right.
Religious Fundamentalism among both the Sikhs and Hindus was a cause
of the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the bloody religious
warfare between those two groups that’s been going on ever since.
I’m certain we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. One of the basic
causes of Apartheid in South Africa is that large numbers of the
Afrikaners are Fundamentalist Protestants.
responsible for much of the repression and totalitarianism in the
Black African nations; Islam, Christianity, Vedanta, and various
tribal religions are all involved. There’s also a Fundamentalist
movement within Judaism, which pressures the Israeli government into
aggressive military and expansionist policies and makes achieving
peace in the Middle East just that much more difficult.
These are just a few examples of how Fundamentalist religious
movements all over the world seem to be working to sabotage the
progress of human civilization. The most significant thing about
them is that it is very difficult to see how their activities could
serve anyone’s self-interest. Until I made my breakthrough, I
attributed such activity to a form of insanity: religious fanatics
become so obsessed with “pleasing God” in hopes of achieving
“eternal bliss” or some other benefit after death that they
completely lose contact with earthly reality.
However, I was never
able to determine why religious fanaticism should do this to people.
The puritanical, reactionary philosophy of the Fundamentalists has
always put them in conflict with religious as well as political
liberals. Since the late Seventies, as the New Right has been trying
to achieve political power, I have noticed an increasing liberal
backlash within the Christian religion it self. Until recently, only
the Fundamentalist wing of Christianity seemed truly vigorous and
fanatical. The majority of Christians in this country were liberal
or moderate in both their political and religious views, but they
were also rather conservative about trying to convert others.
Also, for most of this century, the Fundamentalists were the only
American Christians who made full use of the psychic power inherent
in all organized religion. When most Americans see terms like
“charismatic preachers, “religious ecstasy,” “faith healing,” or
“miracles,” they associate them only with the Fundamentalists. The
liberal wing of the Christian Church has traditionally been more
concerned with social and political issues than with spiritual
This situation has recently started to change.
There are now urban
Protestant congregations that raise just as much psychic power as
the Fundamentalists do, but are definitely liberal. The same
churches often have female clergy and racially mixed congregations.
Many make an effort to proselytize among homosexuals, feminists,
psychedelic drug-users, political radicals, and other types of
people whom the Fundamentalists bar from membership in their
churches unless they first agree to totally change their philosophy
Because of the information I learned through my breakthrough, my
present opinion of this revolutionary movement within Christianity
is still quite ambiguous. I like the political and social ideologies
involved, but these people are still doing some dangerous things on
the purely psychic and spiritual level.
They mean well, but the spiritual forces they are openly opposing
are, for the time being at least, still much stronger than they are.
Worse yet, they have entered into this conflict with a completely
erroneous idea of what they are fighting. I’ll follow up on this in
Before I made the breakthrough, my personal beliefs about deities
were just as ambiguous as my attitude towards organized religion. I
usually described myself as a Pagan, because I felt vague psychic
perceptions that there are beings on the astral plane that seem to
be superior to the spirits of ordinary deceased humans. I assumed
that these are what all the organized religions have called “gods”
and “devils,” and that they’ve had a significant effect on the
course of human history by communicating telepathically with living
However, I wasn’t willing to commit myself to devout belief in any
particular Pagan sect, because I also had an intuitive dislike of
deism in any form, monotheistic or polytheistic. I acknowledged that
god-like beings do exist, but I didn’t have much to do with them.
They’re too capricious and egotistical. Instead, when I communicated
telepathically with the astral plane, I concentrated on forming
working relationships with spirits who say they are not deities, but
ordinary people in a discorporate state between earthly lives.
of the entities I’ve had as spirit guides have told me that their
previous incarnations were on worlds other than Earth, but they
still say they are people, not gods. My relationship with my spirit
guides has been extremely important to me since I first started
becoming aware of it in childhood, but it’s very different from the
relationship between deists and their gods. What I have is a
friendship between equals that doesn’t violate my individual
sovereignty. It’s based mostly on the mutual exchange of
information, and on working to achieve shared political or ethical
goals, and I’ve never believed my spirit guides would or could do
any harm to me for disagreeing with them.
The relationship between deists and gods is more like
friendship: the gods dictate and the worshippers obey. Even worse,
deism is based on the postulate that the nature and motives of the
gods are beyond human understanding. I don’t like totalitarianism or
paternalism on Earth, and I don’t like them any better in
relationships with spiritual beings.
Another major area where I disagree with the basic doctrines of all
the major religions concerns life after death. A strong belief in
reincarnation is one of the foundations of my whole concept of
spiritual reality. This automatically puts me in disagreement with
Judeo-Christian doctrine, which is based on the concept that people
live only one life on Earth and then spend eternity in Heaven or
Hell. (Some individual Christians and Jews believe in reincarnation,
and a few minor sects of both religions have worked it into their
doctrines, but it still contradicts the mainstream of
From this, it might appear that I would agree with the doctrines of
the major Eastern religions – Vedanta, Buddhism, etc. – since they
include reincarnation; but this is not the case. After studying
these religions closely over a period of years, I came to the
conclusion that their traditional, mainstream cosmology about the
afterlife is operationally identical to the Judeo-Christian view,
and that the apparent differences are insignificant.
The actual mainstream belief of the Eastern religions derived from
ancient Vedanta (including hundreds of modern Hindu and Buddhist
sects, Jainism, Sikhism, and a number of others – a billion or more
believers in all) is centered on moral judgment of the soul by
deities and salvation by divine grace just as much as
Judeo-Christianity is. Many Westerners fail to realize this because
their knowledge of the Eastern religions is based on books that
confuse Eastern occultism with the mainstream of Eastern religious
Eastern occultism is very highly developed and has never been
formally disavowed by the leaders of the mainstream religions as has
happened in the West. However, it is a mistake to equate the two;
they are very different belief systems practiced by entirely
different types of people. Eastern occultists, like their
counterparts in the West, have always been a small minority
alienated from the majority of the population.
In the West,
occultists were persecuted quite openly and their activities made
illegal by governments. This did not happen to nearly the same
extent in the East; in fact, the leaders of many Eastern religious
sects often preach that monks and nuns who specialize in practices
that many Westerners would call occultism are especially devout and
worthy of veneration.
However, even though Eastern occult masters – Yogis, Tantrists,
Taoists Zen Masters, etc. – are often publicly venerated as being
holy and spiritually advanced, few of the people who honor them
actually imitate their beliefs and practices. Both Eastern and
Western occultists are seeking spiritual development, whereas
mainstream believers in both parts of the world look forward to
divine salvation. Such disciplines as Yoga, Tantra, Zen Meditation,
etc., are intended to strengthen and enlighten the soul, much as a
person gains strength and learns motor skills through physical
training and exercise. Traditional Western occultism teaches exactly
the same things under different names: i.e. divination, spiritual
healing, ritual magic, alchemy, etc.
The key to understanding all these practices is that they are things
people do on the purely physical, intellectual, or emotional level,
under control of the conscious will. They are intended to have a
beneficial effect on the soul allowing the person to use various
psychic senses and powers to learn about the nature of spiritual
reality. In other words, the basic postulate is that an individual
can become an adept or saint by his or her own efforts, as one would
learn athletic or professional skills. This is a purely humanistic
concept: the application of the “doctrine of human perfectibility”
to spiritual and psychic development.
The viewpoint of both the Eastern and Western mainstream religious
system is exactly the opposite of that: people are innately inferior
spiritually, and the only way they can make progress is by pleasing
the gods enough to receive their “grace.” Exactly what people must
do to receive this favor varies from sect to sect in both East and
West, but it usually involves attending religious services regularly
and performing various ritual acts.
The next three chapters will describe some of the ideas I was
exposed to just before I made the breakthrough.