Skip to comments.New Age Invasion - Is This Spirituality Replacing Catholic Faith?
Posted on 05/08/2005 3:56:34 PM PDT by NYer
The First Commandment is "I am the Lord Thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me." But, according to one local convert from the New Age, San Diego Catholics who aspire to know their God better are sometimes presented with information on strange gods instead.
Moira Noonan, a resident of Encinitas, authored Ransomed From Darkness which tells the story of her conversion from New Age spirituality to the Catholic faith. Noonan believes most Catholics are being insidiously exposed to New Age ideas in the Church.
How long have you been a Catholic?
I finished RCIA about 10 years ago. Actually, I was baptized Catholic and attended Catholic school as a little kid. New Agers are constantly searching, always looking for something new. The first true I hate to say it 'enlightenment' which dawned on me was that I didn't want to be reincarnated. And I thought, "How do I get off this wheel of reincarnation?" I remembered something from when I was a [Catholic] kid about 'eternal life.' Yet I was constantly being bombarded with reincarnation in the New Age. I just said, 'I don't want to come back. If there is eternal life, or if any of those Sacred Heart nuns who taught me as a kid are in eternal life now, won't you pray for me right now?' It triggered something.
Reincarnation is one of the biggest demonic heresies in the world. When you consider how much of the world's population believes in reincarnation, it's scary. All New Agers believe it. And most of the people I knew in the New Age were fallen-away Catholics.
What do people mean when they say, "I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual?"?
"Spiritual" seems to be one of the trendy catch words coming out of the New Age movement, because New Agers never say, "I'm of this faith" or "that faith". What they say is, "I'm spiritual" because the New Age movement came from the spiritualist movement. The spiritualist movement was a big movement in America around the turn of the century, with people like Madam Blavatsky. This all came from the time when people started believing in Darwinism. We didn't need God anymore. Now people are saying that they are "spiritual." We don't need any religious truth or religious facts, because we can make up our own gods again.
Is their any link between homosexuality's ascendancy and the New Age movement?
I don't recall seeing homosexuals in the New Age movement, or at least I never met any. They seem to prefer to stay in their own community. But apparently now the lesbian movement is huge in the New Age. This is what's happened to some women's religious orders. Many of them were feminists who turned to Wicca or white witchcraft. It's much more pervasive on the East Coast and, thankfully, I was never a part of any of that. I agree with our Church['s position] that it [homosexuality] is gravely disordered.
I used to go to confession at the Cathedral downtown. One time, when I walked in, I saw a book on the Enneagram (a New Age personality type test) sitting on the priest's chair. What's wrong with the Enneagram?
First off, the Enneagram is being used in almost every Catholic spiritual direction and retreat house in America. It's now the main tool for teaching people how to do spiritual direction. Its origins are occult, not Christian. Now why is this different than using traditional Catholic spiritual direction and counseling, such as St. Ignatius of Loyola's exercises to discern God's will? The Enneagram isn't about working with God's will or understanding it, it's all about personality. It's a personality exercise, not spiritual, and it's not based on God's will. It relies on the human spirit, rather than something divine."
So where is this New Age infiltration happening in the Church in San Diego?
I really don't want to mention these sisters by name, because some of them were very helpful in my conversion a long time ago. I can tell you that they are in a beach community where they operate a retreat house. They also use the Celestine Prophecy for spiritual direction. The Celestine Prophecy was a popular New Age novel which, like the Da Vinci Code, was taken as fact but in reality slanders the Catholic Church. It enjoyed a brief vogue in the 1990s. It's all about developing psychic powers. I was a former New Ager and I sure didn't need these nuns teaching me New Age stuff after leaving the New Age movement. After that experience, thank goodness, a priest from out of state got me to go to Prince of Peace Abbey for spiritual direction. And that is the only place I would recommend anyone in San Diego to go."
For some time now, the La Providencia retreat center in Alpine has been offering Reiki. It's been said that Reiki is just a type of massage therapy. Is that correct?
I don't know anything about La Providencia, but I can tell you about Reiki. Reiki is psychic healing. It is not reconcilable in any way, shape, or form with the Catholic Church, because it uses spirit guides. Spirit guides are fallen angels not guardian angels but deceivers. It's not Swedish massage. It's occult massage. In order to do Reiki, you have to follow a master. It's like being consecrated to a guru or master. I can say that, because I was an advanced Reiki master healer.
Some photos posted on the internet from Cardinal Mahony's latest religious education congress, show people walking around through labyrinths.
They're using labyrinths in Christian churches and New Age churches. The big difference is that in the New Age churches, they are doing it to a mantra. If it's done in a Christian setting and with a Christian mindset, then I wouldn't have any objection to it.
Does the San Diego diocese contribute to this New Age contamination?
I can tell you that here in North County, there is a coastal parish where I just finished a basic catechist course I really don't want to mention it by name -- that is so bad you cannot believe it. This is where they are training people to be religious education teachers in parishes. I was told by this instructor not to mention Mary, the rosary, statues, novenas or "any of that superstitious stuff." This is the director of religious education for that parish who teaches the class. It was so unbelievably awful. And, just as in the New Age, he told us that no stories in the Bible were literal events." He said that the Bible is, "nothing but stories, not an accurate account."
And most of the people I knew in the New Age were fallen-away Catholics.
Did a google search on new age catholics and discovered this web site.
"On the subject of the Return of Christ Alice Bailey states that there is a growing belief 'that the Christ is in us, as He was in the Master Jesus, and this belief will alter world affairs and mankind's entire attitude to life'.92 Jesus of Nazareth is 'the Master Jesus' who was 'Christed' during his lifetime - just as we are! He is just an ordinary human being who needed to work through his own karmic cycle in endless incarnations."
Oh brother! That statement comes from:
Is this an issue in your diocese?
This does a good job of explaining the hidden secularization of Catholicism.
Alice Baily was very evil.
Her mentor was Helen Blavatsky.
The New Age influence is getting very brazen in this generation.
I think Satan,s time on earth is very short
PS I've known Fr Dr Vosko since he was in high school. Strangely, he grew up in one of the most beautiful traditional churches in the Albany diocese.
Wow! What an article!
Alice Baily was very evil.
Her mentor was Helen Blavatsky. >>
They started the Lucis (Lucifer Trust) which is affiliated with the UN. More info. on my homepage.
Compiled by Bruce Sabalaskey
The Enneagram is a popular New Age tool which has found its way into Catholic practices, including parish classes and in retreat programs. This article is a short summarized compilation of four authors who have studied the Enneagram. They are Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Msgr. William Smith, Dorothy Ranaghan, and Rick Kephart. See the excellent references for details.
The Enneagram is a circular diagram on which personality types numbered one through nine are symbolically represented at nine equidistant points on the circumference. The numbers are then connected by arrows in significant patterns which point the way to health ("integration") or to neurosis ("disintegration"). Each human personality is said to fall into one of these nine types. This number is said to reveal the hidden motivation for everything a person does. Intelligence is given three centers: thought, emotion, and instinct, which are always imbalanced. The result of this imbalance is that a person's "true self" is always hidden beneath a "false self". The Enneagram is supposed to enable a person to gain knowledge of his true self, exposing the true motivations for actions and illusions developed regarding himself and regarding how to deal with the world. Msgr. Smith says:
"Each of the nine personality types (numbered 1 through 9) is described negatively by some compulsion, fixation, or basic driving force to avoid something unpleasant. This compulsion is seen as one's basic psychological orientation. To discover your number, you have to realize what you seek to avoid, what your compulsion is."
The personality types and the animals symbolizing them are:
|Personality Type||Related Animal|
More and more frequently the Enneagram is sold as a " modern psychological method" to make one "more effective in dealing with others." The "spiritual" connection is downplayed and the secular "business value" is emphasized. With modern "scientific" principles espoused, who could argue with wanting "self-improvement?"
First, the Enneagram is derived from a groups called the Sufis, who are a mystical offshoot of Muslims that follow various pagan spiritualities, as will be described. Two non-Catholic men, George Gurdjieff and Oscar Ichazo, were primarily responsible for bringing this system into Western culture in modern times.
Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. says the following:
"The Enneagram, from the Greek ennea (nine) and gram (line drawing), is a system of classifying personality types based on the figure of a circle with nine points on it, [each] connected by lines. Each point stands for an ego-type that has its own distinctive vice and virtue. Each can get worse by moving against the arrow."
"I was taught the Enneagram in 1972 while a student in the Jesuit theologate. We used it in our spiritual and social life. But we noticed we were typing people incorrectly, and interest faded. "In the '80s, I saw an Enneagram industry develop, but the versions being taught were contradictory. So I did research. The Enneagram is supposed to be ancient Sufi wisdom, thousands of years old. But the Sufis, who are Muslim mystics, aren't that old of a movement. The diagram itself can't be older than the 14th or 15th century. It was discovered in the 1890s in Central Asia by a Greek-Armenian occultist named George Gurdjieff. He got it from a secret brotherhood of Sufis called the Naqshbandi, who were using it for numerological fortune-telling. Gurdjieff, a charlatan and a swindler who was into gnosticism, taught it to his disciples as a symbol of the cosmos. Gurdjieff died in 1949 but left followers. Oscar Ichazo, a Chilean who claimed to have had out-of-body experiences since childhood and studied all sorts of psychic practices, learned the Enneagram from such a group."
"In the 1960s, Ichazo devised a personality system of nine types -- each with its animal totem -- matched to the Enneagram. Esalen Institute psychologist Claudio Naranjo, another admirer of Gurdjieff, collaborated with him. Naranjo spread the Enneagram through Esalen classes."
Dorothy Ranaghan confirms the background. About Sufis she writes:
"There is much in the zeal, devotion and asceticism of Sufis that is admirable. Yet, in contrast to the contemplation and the yearning for holiness of the Muslim mystics of former ages, contemporary Sufism, which claims over 40 million adherents, has become a mix of pantheism, magic and rationalism with a belief in telepathy [ calling it projecting "baraka"], teleportation, foreknowledge, transmigration of souls and a denial of a personal God."
Dorothy Ranaghan further confirms that George Gurdjieff was the man primarily responsible for transmitting the Enneagram into the West. He was also into occult practices in a major way, which influenced the present day New Age movement:
"[Gurdjieff's writings are] filled with descriptions of planetary influences, astral bodies, clairvoyant and telepathic experiments, and with explanations of the true significance of occult interests such as 'kundalini' and the Tarot."
For Gurdjieff, the Enneagram had secret powers not particularly allied to personality typology. "The Enneagram is a universal symbol," Gurdjieff believed. "All knowledge can be included in the Enneagram and with the help of the Enneagram it can be interpreted."
Lastly, Fr. Pacwa writes about Oscar Ichazo:
"The occult also influenced Oscar Ichazo's life and writings. At age six he began having out-of-body experiences, which led to his disillusionment with the Church. He could not accept Catholic teachings on Heaven or hell since he had been there and knew more about it than Christ and the Church. Later he learned that living in one's ego was the real hell. To gain control of his own consciousness, he studied Oriental martial arts, Zen, Andes Indian thought, psychedelic drugs, shamanism, yoga, hypnotism and psychology. He joined esoteric groups in Bolivia and Argentina and traveled to Hong Kong, India and Tibet to study mysticism." 
Authentic Catholic study of self is rooted in becoming holy, that is conforming as best as possible to Jesus Christ our Savior. While the Enneagram focuses on "self-improvement" via human understanding, the Catholic focuses on his or her littleness, weakness and total dependence on God's Grace. Catholic "self-improvement" means "intimate union with Christ" - the more in union we are with Him the more holy we are. In other words, dying to self, decreasing so that God may increase within us. The support and action of God via His Grace is totally missing from the Enneagram. Great spiritual works by St. John of the Cross (Ascent of Mt. Carmel and Dark Night of the Soul) emphasize properly the top place that God has in our "self-improvement" towards holiness. The Enneagram is totally self-centered - that is based on pure human ego. As with other dissenter systems, holiness is also completely absent from the Enneagram, which instead focuses on ego and compulsions. Also noticeably absent is the need for the Sacraments of the Church on the path to holiness. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly tells us:
CCC #2013 "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity." [Lumen Gentium 40 ß 2] All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." [Mt 5:48]
In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that ... doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints. [Lumen Gentium 40 ß 2]
CCC #2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called "mystical" because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - "the holy mysteries" and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.
The origin of the Enneagram certainly does not come from Catholic sources. Besides its occult roots, the Enneagram is built upon pagan beliefs. Therefore, like horoscopes, the Enneagram is absolutely incompatible with the Catholic Faith.
Father Pacwa says:
"I have two criticisms [of Enneagram]. First, it's theological nonsense, suffused with Gnostic ideas. For instance, the nine points of the Enneagram are called the "nine faces of God," which become nine demons turned upside down. No one should speak that way. . . . And the way the Enneagram is taught is Pelagian -- self-salvation through a man-made technique, not by God's grace."
"Secondly, this is a psychological system that hasn't been tested by professional psychologists. We have no independent evidence that it's true. As a result, Enneagram experts -- who aren't necessarily aware of the occult aspects -- are making up descriptions as they go along. It's irresponsible to pass this off as true."
Msgr. William Smith in  states similarly:
"The basic premise of the Enneagram is that there are nine and only nine personality types; this is simply given as true, it is nowhere demonstrated as proven. To my knowledge, there are no scientific studies to determine whether Enneagram theory can be integrated with other typologies; but that would not really bother some advocates one way or the other... The more you read about it, the more it begins to resemble a college-educated horoscope; and that is not compatible with Catholic doctrine or practice. ...."
"As a tool for spiritual direction, it seems to me most deficient, even dangerous. The Enneagram is really built on a theology (?)-perhaps ideology-of self-renewal and self-regeneration that is a far cry from (perhaps contradiction of) the Gospel teaching: 'Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit' (John 12:24)"
Ranaghan also observes that Christian proponents of the Enneagram encourage practitioners to deny their Christian standards to deal with their problems. Promoting sin to obtain so-called "self-improvement" is the exact opposite of Catholic teaching. Holiness, the Catholic "self-improvement," is based on removal of sin from our lives.
"Progress in the Enneagram seems to be movement from one sin type to another sin type. Persons who are 2s (the 'nervous breakdowns' in the world) need, according to Sister Mary Helen Kelley, to 'come to conscious selfishness' for redemption. Sister Barbara Metz states that 'to come to wholeness . . . the 6 (the loyalist) needs to walk into the darkness of deviance and disobedience.'"
Enneagram terminology sounds Christian, but really is not. This is the same tactic that dissenters have used today, whereby a word's meaning was twisted to sound proper to deceive the reader. Ranaghan observes:
"Redemption, for example, does not mean, among Sufis, the saving action of God in our lives, but 'return from ignorance.' The very worst thing, according to Sufi doctrine, is 'not sin, but ignorance.' All Gnosticism flows from this premise."
Kephart offers a more detailed analysis exposing the pagan mimicking of the Catholic Faith:
Catholics using the Enneagram talk about things like saints and sin and faith and "fruits of the spirit". Using these words makes it sound legitimate. But they are only adapting these terms to the Enneagram, by giving them different definitions.
The word "saint" is used in the Sufi religion, but can have an entirely different meaning. It has nothing whatever to do with holiness. A Sufi "saint" ("wali") is a person who is illuminated to Reality. This is the word used in the Enneagram (even by Catholics): a "saint" is a person who overcomes his false self and knows and acts according to his true self.
The word "sin" is used a lot, but with a new definition. Sin is not a deliberate transgression of God's law. The word is redefined into personality traits that separate people from God or their real selves. Sin is the sinister motivation everybody has for everything they do, a part of human personality. It must be accepted and brought under control. The number assigned to a person by the Enneagram indicates what their one "root sin" is and will always be. "Sin" is also called "addiction".
"Original Sin" has nothing to do with Adam and Eve. Their "Original Sin" is a psychological condition, meaning that a person is never at any time in his life undamaged or free, but is always exposed to harmful forces. It describes the conditions in the environment which cause the imbalance among the three intelligence centers.
Another term used in the Enneagram is "fruits of the spirit". These have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. In the Enneagram, the fruits of the spirit are good inclinations a person gets according to his number in the Enneagram. The "Holy Spirit" according to the Enneagram is not a Person at all: He is a synonym for "power" or "energy" in Enneagram spirituality (unlike the Father and Son, who are recognized as real persons).
"Prayer" is talked about as part of the Enneagram, but their definition of prayer has nothing to do with God: prayer is absorbing elements from the environment into oneself, or projecting oneself into the environment, or delving into Nothingness. "Redemption" in the Enneagram has nothing whatever to do with Christ. It is the same as maturity, which is what they call freedom from one's "false self" to one's "true self". This true self is also called the "soul", another redefined word. Even "Heaven" is given a new definition: it is only a symbol for the perfection of freedom from one's false self to one's true self.
Two other terms which are given new definitions according to the Enneagram are "faith" and "obedience". According to their definitions, a person cannot have true faith unless he has doubts. A person cannot be truly obedient unless he refuses if he disagrees; in fact, in the very act of defiance, a person is being truly obedient according to the Enneagram's definition of obedience.
The Enneagram has found a home in many Catholic places, both in parishes and retreat centers. Many religious support and teach the Enneagram. Unfortunately, as we learn from Church history, being religious does not prevent a person from following falling away from the Faith (apostasy) or following error (e.g. heresy) - in fact many Bishops have started heresies in the past.
Best would be to follow the advice of Pope John Paul II who said on Nov. 1st, 1982: "Any method of prayer is valid insofar as it is inspired by Christ and leads to Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)." The Enneagram, an occult pagan tool, is focused on self and therefore leads us away from the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Have nothing to do with the Enneagram.
Where did you get that pic from?
Was this one of the churches that Egan closed down?
As a student of reiki, the whole thing about spirit guides is news to me. It must depend on one's teacher. I have not prayed to any spirit guide at any time.
I've met many fallen away Catholics in the new age movement. I was one myself and I found that one can be a Roman Catholic and be deeply and religious which always meant spiritual to me. A lot of ex-catholics love the 'new age' because it gives them license for their base desires,etc. There's no one judging your behavior as wrong.
Relax everyone- It's an Anglican Church... But still, it serves as a cautionary tale. It was a bizarre spectacle to see-the stained glass apostles staring down on this wacky bunch.
I knew it! LOL
Does't Total Body Modification work better than Reiki?
You tell me. Here is a selection of "events" published in my diocesan newspaper:
Siena Spirituality Center Programs include evening prayer, tai ji, passage meditation, yoga, AA meditation and Al Anon, Siena Spirituality Center, 615 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, for details on programs call 631-726-4740.
Silent Meditation Contemplative prayer community utilizing Zen discipline, offered Tues-days, 10-11:30 a.m. & Wednesdays, 7:30-9 p.m., Tabor Retreat Center, 60 Anchor Ave., Oceanside, 516-536-3004.
Enneagram II Concludes May 7, presented by Living Waters, registration required, 631-754-3990.
All-day Interfaith Zen Sittings 9 a.m., St. Ignatius Retreat House, 251 Searingtown Rd., Manhasset, pre-registration required, 516-621-8300 ext. 10
Never heard of it and now that I looked it up, it looks real interesting. The only reiki I've done is on myself.
The Church of the Holy Trinity here somehow became "Adhi Shakti's Kundalini Meditation Space for Earth Healing."
Kundalini is nothing to mess with.
A little bit here, from a one-time practictioner. At one point he out-and-out calls it demonic.
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