TESTIMONY OF “JENNY” Former New Ager.
I came from a very dysfunctional family, and while my parents loved me very much they weren’t quite sure how to show it. I was abused at the age of ten. My parents separated at the age of twelve, and my mother passed away when I was fifteen. My father was and still is an alcoholic, and through all these trials and tribulations. I have had as a child, as I went into adulthood it gave me a sense of confusion. I didn’t know how to love unconditionally. It gave me all sorts of problems.
About five years ago, two of our children were diagnosed with serious diseases. My son was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and within 12 months our daughter was diagnosed with a tumour. It was a very hard time for all of us. I wanted to know why this was happening to me – all these problems kept happening, because I also had marriage problems as well. I started to question life. I couldn’t understand why things kept going wrong.
Some friends of mine came around one night and we sat around the fire and started talking about spiritual beliefs. They wanted to know where I was coming from. I had believed in God but that was about it. There was nothing more to it. My friends spoke about their beliefs in evolution, reincarnation, they spoke about the universe, their star signs, peace and energy, and most of all to be in touch with self.
Round about this time when we were talking about all this, I was very vulnerable as you can imagine. I was looking for answers. I wanted answers. I wanted to make my life better and make it better for my husband and my children. I had all these problems, and they were always put on me. I thought I was the one who had to fix it – after all, it was all my fault!
Through all this I started to look into the New Age. I looked into holistic healing, because of my son and daughter. I wanted to heal therm because it was my fault. I looked into Homeopathy because I wanted to heal them I went through Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Hands on Healing, Naturopathy, Yoga, and lots of Self-help course to find out what sort of person I was, because I was so confused with the upbringing that I had. These courses cost me a small fortune, because when I finished one course I would go into another because I didn’t quite get the answers I was looking for. I was searching and searching. I wanted to believe in something, I wanted to believe that there was a way out.
During 1994, our daughter was diagnosed with cancer, and she had her right leg amputated during this time. My girlfriend from New Zealand rang me after five years of not hearing from each other, and she had heard about the bad news and wanted to console me and she asked me how I was. I said to her, “I have got it in control – I’m not worried – everything is fine. We are happy, my daughter is happy, and everything was just fine.” She was a bit concerned about that because she couldn’t understand, after everything I had been through, how I could be so together.
After a few phone calls, she started to question my spiritual beliefs, and I just told her that I was involved in Hands-on-Healing, and those other things, and she told me that she was a Born-Again Christian. I thought, Okay. We talked about a few other things and before I knew why I kept ringing her back because she had a heart for helping me, and I sensed that. I didn’t realise how hard my heart was. After many conversations and talking to her about my problems, it made me realise that what I had been going through over the past five years was such a lie. I wasn’t honest with myself, I was always worrying about how I was around other people. I had no values or morals. I was so selfish, It was all me, me, me! There was no giving or anything. I had this motto, whatever felt good, then just do it. I didn’t worry about what the consequences were.
In June 1995, I felt I was changing. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. I was totally confused and I was out of control and most of all, what I was trying to run from, I was alone more than ever. Because of this I judged myself. I thought “I’m not getting this right.” I was in so much anger and despair, I didn’t know where to turn. I was talking with my girlfriend from New Zealand, and she obviously sensed over the phone there was something changing within me. She guided me and after I got off the phone I went into one room in my house, and I fell to my knees and for the first time I spoke to God, I said “I need help!” I surrendered my life to Him, I told Him to take control of my life.
Since I gave my life to God, my values and morals have been put into order, my relationship problems stemming from my childhood are being made right, and there are many more things to learn but I know that God is there right by my side, and He has said to me that He will never leave me or forsake me, and He will always be there for me, holding my hand.
There are a couple of Scriptures which are close to my heart. It isn’t just through the children’s diseases or my husband and I having a turbulent marriage, and at this stage we are still separated, but God has His hand on that, and He is building our relationship the way it always should have been, and in Romans 5:3, we read, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” That Scripture is a real comfort to me.
Whatever happened in my childhood and through my older years and my children and my marriage, God is now turning it all around and will use it for good.
Another promise the Lord gave me is in Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” For the first time in my life, I have hope and things are getting better. He will restore my heart, my children and my marriage. The desire that I have always had in my heart that I want both a mother and a father for our children under one roof the way it should be – a whole family unit. Why am I sharing all this with you? You should never, ever give up hope,
Proverbs 3 :5, says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” What a promise!
To conclude this, when I went through the New Age, trying to find answers, there were no answers there – it was all lies and deception, and false hope. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can every find real hope – He is there beside us, and gives us the answers and the love we are looking for. I pray and hope that God will make Himself known to you too. All we have to do is ask.
TESTIMONY OF “JOHN” Former New Ager
“I would like to tell you about my involvement in the New Age. I grew up in a Christian church. In the late 1980’s I found myself with a number of personal problems which I couldn’t resolve. I felt there wasn’t an answer in the church for me, so I left. Leaving the church after all those years left an enormous hole in my life. I was looking for something to fill that gap so one day I saw an advertisement in the paper for Alpha Dynamics and New Age philosophy. I thought it sounded very interesting and went along to try it. I signed up and it was quite expensive.
I did a weekend seminar and I was totally wrapped (excited). It was so good. Basically, what we did was we were taught to meditate and take ourselves down into a trance. In that trance state, we constructed a workshop at the very centre of our being. In that workshop we gathered all the knowledge of the world. We went to the great libraries and we put all this knowledge, knowledge about medicine, physics, science, maths, we put it all into our libraries. Of course when you think of it, that does away with the concept of God. We have knowledge ourselves. Then we invited into our workshop a companion, someone who would guide us and help us to access the knowledge we had. My guide, when I invited him into my life, came to me with a Bible name, the name was Samuel. It was a name I could relate to and respond to. Of course, a spirit guide does away with the person of the Holy Spirit.
Also in our workshop we gathered all the tools and equipment you could ever need in order to perform a task, or anything else. All of this mechanical equipment, the technical equipment was all there and you use it in order to resolve problems to build things in your mind to heal people. Of course, on reflection, that does away with the power of the Holy Spirit. Finally in our workshop, when we had a problem, you would take that problem to your workshop and work on it with your knowledge tools and your companion. You could bring healing or create things in your mind which then manifest outside in the physical. You could take a person into your mind, work on their back, for instance, and then they would be healed. It was enormously powerful.
While I was connected with Alpha Dynamics, teaching it and helping with seminars and giving public demonstrations on mind control, a few incidences happened which frightened me. I began to question, ‘could this happen if this was the God of Love, the God of compassion?’ I began to think about that and the though occurred to me that this was wrong. I shouldn’t be doing this. Around about the same time, I felt God whispering, “John, I want you back,” I resisted for a while but then I contacted a friend who I trusted, an Anglican priest, and I arranged to meet with him, and I told him about my involvement in New Age, and my confusion, my despair at the time, how I was thinking about suicide, divorce and all sorts of things. He talked with me again about my Christian faith, and we went back through the basics. We began to put it together again who God is, who Christ is, and who the Holy Spirit is, and how they related together. In doing all of that I began to realise where things were wrong.
In 1991, I repented of my whole New Age involvement, and I sought forgiveness and renounced it all, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour at the same time. In fact after all my years in the Christian church I met Jesus for the first time in 1991. I discovered that the Holy Spirit wasn’t a ‘thing’ or an ‘it,’ but a person who is still active in the world.
This was just tremendous for me. To people who are thinking about New Age or involvement in it, I say, get out of it and don’t touch it – it isn’t harmless, it is powerful and it works. If you are person who is interacting with someone involved in the New Age, don’t patronise them, don’t suggest to them it doesn’t work, because they, more than likely, know that it does. Treat them with respect, but continue to minister Jesus to their lives.
Deliverance from New Age Bondage, by Robyn Jackson, N.D.
It’s hard to know where the deception all started.
I had problems early in life and was a rebellious teenager. I remember trying to have a s�ance with friends when I was about thirteen and being really scared when the candle we were using for light went out mysteriously just as we began. It wasn’t until I was thirty that I became more interested in the occult. I say “occult” because I believe many of the things I became involved in, such as astrology, tarot cards and psychic development, brought me under the influence of satanic powers. These powers, or demons as they are called in the Bible, seek to live within us. Some activities popular with New Agers are quite acceptable, such as organic farming and gardening, caring for the environment, home schooling and natural medicine. Many of the other practices I took part in, however, were evil.
How it all started
In 1979 I left my first husband and moved to Auckland. I had decided to become a vegetarian, and had become tired and out of sorts. (I didn’t know that to be a good vegetarian you must do more than cut out red meat, and that it doesn’t suit some people!) I went to a health food shop for a vitamin supplement, and started reading different health books. This led me to want to treat myself and others.
In 1980 I enrolled in a three-year part time diploma course at a naturopathic college. Many of the things I learned there I still use today, and while there I became aware of the spiritual aspect to my life. But during those years and the following ones I also encountered many dubious New Age practices. I frequented New Age bookshops and read avidly, also dabbling in such things as pendulum usage, crystals, and colour therapy.
I began to believe in reincarnation and karma, which have their basis in eastern religions, and got into yoga, which was supposedly “just good exercise.” Many people say to me now, “I’m only doing yoga for the exercise!” I don’t believe you can. I recommend the book Death of a Guru by Rabi R. Maharaj (1984) to anyone wanting to explore these things more.
I had my and my children’s astrological charts done and spent a fortune on astrology books. Later I read a book called What Your Star Sign Doesn’t Tell You, by ex-astrologer Charles Strohmer, and came to see astrology was based on superstitions and deceptions.
Because of problems I’d had with strange thoughts and fears, I started a therapy using hypnotism. The things I was led into believing were bizarre. Hypnotism allows thoughts other than our own to come in. These are often believed as our own “memories” when they are not. They can be from the therapist, but they can also have evil spirititual sources. The treatment, which cost heaps, left me worse than ever. I’d never recommend it to anyone.
I tried meditation, without much success. I obviously wasn’t the type, and it was just as well because this can let in the same sorts of dark influences as hypnotism.
I also attended a week-long course on Chakra balancing. This modality was supposed to balance energy centres. We were suposed to learn how to do it for others. Talk about the blind leading the blind! This week left me in a disturbed state and far from healed. Despite that negative experience, however, I still didn’t think there was anything much wrong with the practice. In the New Age the rational mind is always overridden. Not long afterwards I was asked to organise the healing tent at a big music festival near Auckland. There I did Chakra balancing on other people.
From tarot reading and astrology I moved into reading the I Ching for regular advice. All of these are forms of divination, forbidden by the Bible for good reason. Every time we do them it’s like holding open a door to the forces of darkness and shouting “Come in!”
Once I attended a channelling session. This is where a “dead person” or a “highly developed being” supposedly speaks through a medium. It was another spiritually devastating practice. Now I know it is not the dead person who speaks but what is known as a “familiar spirit” which has hung round that person while they were alive. I believe the “highly developed beings” are also demonic forces who want to possess someone and often do.
I went to two New Age festivals, and at one of these went into an Indian sweat lodge. There I allowed a healer to treat my two sons as well. He told me he used to see other hands working through his. I shudder to think now who they could have belonged to. Another time I took one of my sons to a psychic healer from the Phillipines.
I also did a course to help me use the psychic ability which the New Age tells us we all have. I was even starting to get “good” at it, having dabbled in so much occult stuff by this time. I am now convinced it was not my power I was using, but a polluted spiritual power.
After graduating from college I set up a part-time practice as a natural health consultant in New Lynn. I focused mainly on diet, vitamins and minerals and deep muscle massage, which I believe there is nothing wrong with. But I also brought in fringe ideas like muscle testing and Bach flowers. After a time of using them I began to have serious doubts about them. I eventually gave up the practice because I became so unsure of what was good and what wasn’t. During these years I set up my own college, where with help I ran courses on fasting, healthy living and massage. I also become interested in politics. One of the last New Age therapies I tried for myself was “rebirthing,” a breathing technique. I went only once. While lying on the bed I thought I saw Jesus and heard him say, “Come with me and I will show you real love.” He had spoken to me through the darkness. I never went back.
In 1985 I met Bruce Collins, who had similar interests to mine, and we eventually married. He had just graduated from Lincoln College with a diploma in horticultural science, majoring in organics, and was working as a gardener at a New Age centre in Swanson. This place promoted yoga and many practices linked to Eastern religions. Together we attended a firewalking seminar there, and between us we have probably touched upon nearly every aspect of the New Age. Bruce was more into the Eastern religions side than I was. He had run two vegetarian restaurants and lived in two ashrams (yoga centres).
Before meeting Bruce I’d begun attending a church in New Lynn, where my boys went through Sunday School. During this time I burned all my astrology books and occult literature including my I Ching book. I also stopped having immoral relationships which I’d had ever since I was a teenager. But the regular Bible teachings at the chapel were still fairly foreign to my polluted mind. I often tried to fit them into a New Age worldview, as many New Agers do. I could understand the moral teachings though, and self-righteously promoted these, now that I was free from the pattern of “just another relationship.”
In 1987 Bruce and I got married in a little Anglican church. Bruce wasn’t keen on the church I was attending, and so we stopped going. However we continued reading Christian books, saying grace, and trying to live good lives.
Light bursts in
One day in 1989 I was reading a book which had a prayer of commitment and relinquishment in it. As I prayed it on my knees I surrendered my life completely to Jesus Christ, receiving him into my heart as Lord and Saviour. His life came into me and I became a new person.
You would have thought things would improve for me now, and in one sense, of course, they did. I now had forgiveness, a personal relationship with God, and eternal life. But in another sense they got worse. As I now had the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, the oppressive demonic spirits had to go. As they had started to be driven out, they were manifesting themselves. I desperately needed to be set free from their influence.
We started looking for another church and were led to St Saviours in Blockhouse Bay, where they believed in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It was here that I started a long period of being ministered to. Through prayer, counselling and deliverance I’ve been set free from much spiritual oppression. These demons had come into me not just though occult activities but through wrong attitudes such as jealousy, pride, envy and fear, and wrong sexual behaviour. Spiritual oppression had also come down from some of the wrong things my ancestors had done.
During this time I learned to use Bible texts to heal my sometimes confused mind. As a friend said, it’s like putting in a new floppy disk and being reprogrammed. The Bible helped me to see life from a Christian worldview. It overcame faulty programming, some of which had been in me since childhood. It taught me who I am in Christ, that I am his precious child.
Although I believe I am now free from any oppression I came under from New Age involvement, I still ask for prayer when the Holy Spirit shows me I have needs in other areas of my life – and there are plenty. I find the Lord Jesus is always faithful to forgive and cleanse me.
In December 1997 Bruce died from cancer. He too had sought God’s healing and forgiveness for his involvement in Eastern religions, yoga and occult activities, and he knew Jesus’ cleansing power and love. Although he wasn’t physically healed, he was spiritually whole. After years in the darkness we had both come to the place of knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord, Saviour and deliverer, the only true healer.
In 2001 Robyn married Bert Jackson. For several years she ran a health shop in Hamilton Today she works as a natural health consultant and is actively involved in community issues. The Jacksons attend St Davids Anglican Church in Hamilton.