We happened upon a TV special about the guru James Arthur Ray and his robotic followers. Three of them died at his spiritual warrior sweat lodge event. Many went to the hospital.
The "law of attraction" came up as a basic theme of self-help. Simply put, positive thoughts attract positive events while negative thoughts invite negative experiences. This was promoted in a best-seller called The Secret.
I do not know why this is a secret. Norman Vincent Peale plagiarized it from an occult woman's book, and Robert Schuller spun it into Possibility Thinking.
All this comes from the occult, from paganism, and doubtless is drawn especially from Asian religion, which is also imbued with the notion of material success.
On page 162 of A Time of Departing, Ray Yungen explains the important background information to this scenario. He noted that George Mair's book, A Life with Purpose, which was a "positive account" of Rick Warren's life, stated that:
"New Age prophet Norman Vincent Peale was at the foundation of the church-growth movement and furthermore 'many of Peale's uplifting affirmations originated with an "obscure teacher of occult science" named Florence Scovel Shinn.'"
One of the mediating influences is the Masonic Lodge, which is the basis for the Mormon Church, where future grooms are considered for their PEP, as one father told us - Potential Earning Power.
Where the Means of Grace are absent, all kinds of nonsense rushes in to fill the void. That is why this is especially noticeable in Mark Jeske, coming from an anti-Confessional sect. WELS considers the Book of Concord to be a quaint, boring, irrelevant book, which the clergy never study and the laity know nothing about.
|Jodi Arias believed in the "law of attraction" too.|
One can listen to the Jeske guru a few minutes and hear the New Age swami talk coming through his patronizing, stained glassed whisper. Attaching some Biblical words to his nonsense is part of the spin. Millionaires eat this up - it is their compass in life and business, which happened to work for a time. After all, now they are rich and have young wives. That alone validates The Secret, they imagine.
The cult mindset is one of robotic obedience, which is excused by saying, "We will entertain no negative thoughts." How else can anyone explain Bishop Martin Stephan leaving Dresden in a ship with his mistress in the next cabin, his sick wife and children back at home? Clearly, as Walther explained "confidentially," the fault was Mrs. Stephan's (Walther - Servant of the Word).
CFW Walther and his brother never noticed - they were busy kidnapping their niece and nephew from their parents' home. The cult followers of today excuse this, "The kids wanted to go to America." Try that on the modern court system and see how soon the handcuffs come out.
Positive thinking really means - abandon all critical thinking. That allows any text to be re-interpreted in opposition to the harmony of Biblical truths.
Various WELS, ELS, LCMS, and CLC (sic) leaders hated on me for criticizing their precious Church Growth Movement. They never stopped to wonder why they were meeting ELCA leaders at those same Fuller, Willow Creek, and Trinity Divinity training events.
If they had said, "We want to adopt paganism and magic and visualizing success, because it works," they would be driven out with pitchforks and burning torches. But instead, they wanted the church to grow and anyone who did not adopt their gimmicks was lazy.
- not reading about abusive cults
- not reading about the New Age groups
- not reading the real history of the synods.
If you do, the stark truths will appall and dismay. Many clergy stopped talking to me when I published about this. Some of them woke up and said, "It is far worse than anything you said." But they got their brains re-washed and went back to Holy Mother Sect. They are far more content now than ever before. Their gurus gave them a new way to not think about all this.
One of the James Arthur Ray followers said he spent a small fortune on those seminars and cannot pay his bills. He said, "I am putting it out there. I need more money." He was saying, "If I visualize the need and tell the universe about it, the money will come." And if the Prince of This World gives him his desires for a moment, he will be even worse off than ever before.