Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Warning: Why One Should Not Glean From Jennifer Kennedy Dean!

A Warning:  Why One Should Not Glean from Jennifer Kennedy Dean!

On a recent Sunday morning a vivacious older lady stood in front of a congregation, of what can only be termed a solid gospel preaching, mission minded church, and announced to the women that all should sign up for its newest Bible study program that would begin shortly.  Touting both Set Apart, and Living a Praying Life she stated that the author --Jennifer Kennedy Dean--was also part of the National Day of Prayer. 

At my seat --I was writing down the information--for I knew my immediate assignment as a discerning Christian was, as Acts 17:11 instructs, to look into Dean to see if all she's taught and written stands up to scripture.  In short, "Should one glean or be learning from this writer Jennifer Kennedy Dean?"

So that very afternoon I began my investigation.  And it wasn't long into my research that I found "red flags flying!"   So what was it that made me know that Dean, and her numerous books were  something that I should not be buying into, nor following?  Let me explain!

Dean's "The Praying Life Foundation" Web Page 

I.  Dean's All About "Listening Prayer" Article

Checking out Dean's web page: "The Praying Life Foundation"--her bio, blog, articles, store, and more-- soon gave me pause.  For under Dean's store was a section titled "Free."  Clicking onto that I found many Dean articles.  Immediately, my eye caught the title: "Listening Prayer."  Knowing that this was a meditative practice that uses a mantra or repetitive phrase to clear one's mind so one can "hear God's voice" as one sits in silence I read the five pages carefully.  Scroll down to find article.

Did Dean support this unscriptural prayer method?  Indeed, Dean did! For Dean began her article by saying, "Spoken prayer will not reach its potential unless it is grounded in listening prayer.  In listening prayer spoken prayer is born."  And Dean champions going into "the silence"* when she says of the Lord, "He wants us to know his secrets, but his secrets come wrapped in silence." (p.1)
*  The Silence:  "Absence of normal thought."  (A Time of Departing: Glossary-p.205) 

Under "Wordless Prayer" Dean writes, "All noise all the time. ... Yet, it is in silence and solitude that we learn to synchronize our hearts with His."  Dean continues, "Richard Foster says, 'Contemplative
Prayer* immerses us into the silence of God.   How desperately we in the modern world need this
wordless baptism.'"  (Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home)    Red flag again!  For Dean admires Foster, and quoted from his book--a book filled with contemplative mysticism! (p.2)
* Contemplative Prayer is: "Going beyond thought by the use of repeated words or phrases."
(A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen: Glossary-p. 203)

II. Dean's "How to Do Listening Prayer Practices"

Jennifer Dean lists five "suggestions" as a "How To" primer to "wordless prayer."  These practices include: "Picturing Prayer," "Conversation," "The Word," "A Focused Heart," and "Worship with Abandon."

In the section "Picturing Prayer" (This is not New Age "visualizing" insists Dean.) she introduces the reader to mystic panentheist* Quaker Thomas E. Kelley** and the phrase: "In the inner sanctuary of your own soul." (p.4)
* Panentheism is: "God is in all things. ... The assumption all is one, therefore all is deity."
(A Time of Departing: Glossary-p. 205)

**  Notice Dean names "Thomas E. Kelley"; however, this middle initial and last name are spelled incorrectly as easily seen on where one can view the book: A Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. (Raymond) Kelly with cover endorsement by Richard J. Foster.  It is interesting to note also that the phrase she attributes to Kelly can be traced to "Meister Eckhart."  For  "The Light Within" (Chapter 1) of A Testament of Devotion reads, "Meister Eckhart"* wrote, "Deep within us all is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center,** a speaking voice, to which we may return."  Click on "Look Inside."

* "A Christian Mystic of the Past" (1260-1327) (A Time of Departing: Mystics List-p.207)
**  Higher Self, True Self, Divine Self ...:  "Supposed God-self within each human being."
(D Is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity by Kevin Reeves): ABC Word List p.10

In  "A Focused Heart" Dean tells one how to achieve a meditative state--no different than any other Eastern meditative practice it must be noted!  "... settle on a phrase* that calls your heart and mind back when other thoughts intrude," instructs Dean.  Dean adds, "When you find your mind wandering, as you will in the beginning especially, don't waste time condemning yourself.  Just speak the phrase that says a heart full and you'll soon see that it immediately centers your thoughts on Him."  Then Dean goes even further!  Jennifer Dean reveals her own phrase.  She says, "My phrase is 'Only You.'"  And some days, adds Dean, she repeats if over and over many times, while other days she may not use it at all.  (p.5)  However, Matthew 6:7 states, "When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do."

* A mantra is: "Word or words repeated either silently or out loud in order to induce an altered state of consciousness.  A way to turn off thoughts and enter the 'silence'"
(D is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity): Word List p.10   

James Bean--Just Like Dean-- Writes Article Quoting Thomas Kelly

It is troubling when one finds a secular article "Contemplative Silence--The Art of Tapping Into Our Source of Inner Wisdom and Guidance" by a James Bean that begins with the very same Thomas Kelly Quaker mystic quote used by Jennifer Dean. (Site: Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality/Surat Shabd Yoga: Meditation on Inner Light and Sound of God.)  James Bean says, "... there is also an inner voice of the Silence we can tap into.  Then who should Bean quote next -- why Meister Eckhart, the German Mystic quoted by Kelly!  In addition to Kelly, Eckhart, Bean also cited The Sakhi Granth, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mother Teresa, and many more.       

Bean relates, "The art of listening in the silence of meditation provides us with ... opportunities to see clearly without the usual day-to-day distractions, perceiving the events of our life from a higher vantage-point."  Bean attests, "It also makes it possible for the authentic self to rise to the surface, introducing a new divine power or grace into this dimension of reality."

Dean's Conversations with the Most High: 365 Days in God's Presence

In 2014 Dean updated her 1996 Secret Place of the Most High renaming it Conversations with the Most High: 365 Days in God's Presence.  In it Dean quotes from Eugene Peterson's compromised The Message "Bible"--with its occult phrase in the Lord's Prayer "as above so below!" and other New Age insertions.  In its "Introduction" Dean inscribes, "It (book) grows out of a lifelong pursuit to hear the Eternal Word speak His eternal words in my present moment."  (The term "present moment" reminds one of mindfulness meditation!)

In the intro Dean once again alludes to Thomas Kelly when she pens this statement: "Over the years I ran across certain authors and thinkers who seemed to have that same wonder for the invitation to the secret place.  Thomas Kelley (Should be Kelly. See prior note.) first introduced me to the idea I could live in a state of prayer and from that idea came the phrase that has defined my ministry for over 40 years: 'Live a Praying Life.'"  (Copyrighted by Dean.)    

January 1 begins: "Child, Walk in newness, I have called...." Here, Dean contends she was not taking dictation.  However, the way these devotionals are written are certainly reminiscent of Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling."  Some also begin, "Father, ...."  Usually, the devotionals have two parts:  Child, Father, etc. plus a Bible verse, a Jennifer K. Dean quote, or a quote from some other famous pray-er.

Dean's He Restores My Soul: A Forty-Day Journey Toward Personal Renewal

In her 1999 book in "Section I-Beginnings"  Dean also speaks of listening prayer using the same quote listed in her 2012 "Listening Prayer" article:  " ... In listening prayer, spoken prayer is born."   Dean also issues an invitation to "join me on a journey of the soul." (p.3)  Dean follows this asking, "What is a retreat?"  She answers that a retreat is: "to intentionally withdraw for a time ... with the aim of listening to God's now speaking voice."  She continues that this is a time of "intentional planned solitude and silence." in which "...we focus on listening prayer.  Learning how to be open to God's present voice ...."  (pp. 4-5)  The next page talks of "centering" and "centering prayer." 

Once more Foster, Kelly, and others are quoted!  On her back cover "listening prayer" is mentioned.  And the problem with "listening prayer" is that the listener receives a subjective message. Forgotten is the scriptural warning from Proverbs 30:6 that reads:  "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."  Click on sample pages.

Dean's Praying Life Facebook Page Prominently Promotes JKD Quotes

Dean's Facebook Page gives one a window into Dean's world with its endless posts of various Jennifer Kennedy Dean quotes.   Her latest book-- Live a Praying Life Without Fear-- also is heavily promoted with free signed book giveaways thrown in.

Live a Praying Life Without Fear, as in a number of other Dean works, uses Eugene Peterson's The Message "Bible."  Its list of endorsees includes emergent type contemplatives such as Lucinda Secrest McDowell (author of Dwelling Places) who quotes St. Ignatius, Henri Nouwen, Ruth Haley Barton, and others; and Jane Rubietta (author of Resting Place) who touts Lectio Divina, Brennan Manning, St. John of the Cross and more.  Click on
"Look Inside."

The bottom line on this Facebook page is --instead of scripture being lifted up endless Jennifer Kennedy Dean quotes are everywhere.  In this "Selfie Age" with "Repeating Tweeters," authors, by no means just Dean, lift self up and soon it is their names, their quotes, and their teachings that are put on a pedestal for all to read while scripture takes a back seat!  The Psalmist, however, was awed by--not his own words--, but with "thy word!"  Psalm 119:161-162 says, "...but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.  I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil."

The Lesson for Us All Is: "Study to Show Yourself Approved Unto God!" 

In summary, each and every time a Bible study is announced do not surmise that just because the word Bible is in it, a church stalwart endorses it, a pastor allows it, a friend loves it, or a prominent writer teaches it that you --just like an ant rushing madly to obtain sweet bait-- should sign on.  Before you do, prayerfully and carefully research the book, the course, and the author.  See what sound research apologists have to say, and learn to discern whether what a particular author or book is touting sticks to scripture, or whether there's hidden "poison" therein.

Learn to spot "red flag" words, phrases, practices, and teachers who add or subtract from the Word.  And if you see a contemplative thread in their teachings--spiritual formation, contemplative prayer, listening prayer, centering prayer, mantras, meditative phrases, mystics, experiences, men like Richard Foster, and so on-- run the other way!

It is up to each of us to become, as II Timothy 2:15 states, "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  We must forgo the work books containing contemplative teachings, such as those taught by Dean and a host of others, and return to the Word book!

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:  II Peter 3:17,18

"Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ..."

For More Information:

*****5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer (2013) by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse
Trails Research)  If you can not purchase any other booklet this one is a winner!

"National Day of Prayer Featured Author Promotes Contemplative" (May 15, 2007) by  Lighthouse Trails Editors (Lighthouse Trails Research)*

"General Baptist Ministries Going Toward Contemplative?" (July 11, 2008) by Lighthouse Trails Editors (Lighthouse Trails Research)*

*Articles on Jennifer Kennedy Dean

A Time of Departing (2006) by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse Trails Research)  Especially read chapter two: "Yoga of the West" (explains contemplative prayer)  and chapter four: "Evangelical Hybrids" ( all about Richard Foster and Brennan Manning).  Also check out the "Glossary of Terms," and the "Christian Mystic List."

A Serious Look at Richard Foster's "School" of Contemplative Prayer (2015) by Ray Yungen
(Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)

D Is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity (2016) by Kevin Reeves and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails (Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)

The Message "Bible": A Breach of Truth (2014) by John Lanagan (Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)


Monday, February 27, 2017

Another Shack Attack Coming March 2017 via 'The Shack' Movie

Another Shack Attack Coming in March via 'The Shack' Movie

It's back --"The Shack" is coming to a theater near you.  Are you prepared?  Have you armed yourself with both the Word, and knowledge of what The Shack is actually about?  If not, this update is for you.

Some Shack Back Stories You Should Know

Young's Boyhood Background

Canadian William Paul Young was born in 1955 to Christian and Missionary Alliance parents William Henry and Bernice Young in Grande Prairie, Alberta Canada.  Taken to Papua, New Guinea at ten months, Paul testifies he was raised by the Dani Stone Age Tribe whose language he learned from babyhood.  His parents, Henry and Bernice, were so busy with their mission work that they allowed the tribe to practically raise their little "ghost" boy.  Paul often reiterates that he felt estranged from his parents, and especially from his stern and legalistic father.

Beginning at age four the tribe began to sexually abuse Paul often within feet of his parents who were unaware of what was happening.  At six, following the common missionary practice at that time, he was sent to a CMA Sentani Boarding School where more sexual abuse ensued.  Profoundly impacted by these horrendous experiences Paul shares that he became adept at hiding his hurts from others.

Young's College Background

In 1965 Paul, then ten, suddenly found himself back in Canada where his dad pastored various churches.  Moving often, Paul attended a number of schools before arriving at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Canadian Bible College (CBC) in Regina.  Later CBC became Ambrose University.

And it was at Ambrose Paul, in 2008, was welcomed as an honored Ambrose alumnus.  There he spoke to the students and faculty about two unforgettable dreams he had during his third year at CBC.  In them, Paul with friends ascend a steep mountain into a large cathedral full of winding stairs, and themed rooms,

In the second cathedral dream, Paul and a classmate Terry miraculously escape the cathedral.  Once free they meet a hooded figure who advised them never to return inside for if they did they would die in that world.  Terry, says Paul, went back but he ran on.  After, Paul recalled he felt he was pulled out of his old world, and into new freedom.

As a MK Paul recalled he had been a model student as well as the Junior Class President.  However, he tells of his great disappointment when he missed an opportunity to obtain a coveted scholarship because the denomination felt he was not a "good investment."  After CBC, Paul went on to complete his undergraduate degree in Religion graduating from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. (Church of God, Anderson Indiana)

Click on "William P. Young-Testimony at Ambrose University" to hear lecture.
Young's Early Ministry and Marriage

After college, Paul led a large youth group, and met his wife to be at East Hill Foursquare Church, in Gresham, Oregon.  It was during this time that he had a horrific accident in front of his pastor's home landing him unconscious in the hospital.  Paul relates how he adapted to his role as a husband, never revealing to his wife his hidden past.

Paul doesn't share much more about his married life until he had six kids, and Kim confronted him with an adulterous affair.  It was at this low point he told her of his experiences.  After eleven years of dealing with his pain and receiving counseling, Kim is able to ask him to write the Christmas story gift: The Shack for his kids.  This story is his life story in the form of a parable with theology woven into a fictional account.

Wm. Paul Young and James B. DeYoung

James DeYoung lived close to Paul outside Portland, Ore. and was involved both with his family, and with Paul himself.  In fact DeYoung and Young were part of M3Forum, a Christian think tank, for seven years driving to and from meetings. (p. XIII)

And in his book Burning Down 'The Shack': How the 'Christian Bestseller' is Deceiving Millions
DeYoung explains how in April 2004* Young presented a paper to the M3Forum embracing Christian Universalism.  Distinct from pagan universalism, DeYoung points out, Christian universalism claims all come to God through Jesus Christ before or after death.  If after death in hell, all will be purged from their sins--even the devil and fallen angels--so hell will be emptied and all will go to heaven. (pp. XIII-XIV)  DeYoung notes, " ... hell ceases to exist.  There is no eternal judgment.  This is the form of universalism embedded in the The Shack."  (p. XIV)

*  April 2004 was before The Shack was written which shows that Young already accepted a different gospel.  As DeYoung says, "He deliberately stated that he was putting aside his earlier 'evangelical paradigm.'  He was not just considering a new belief; he had committed to it." (p. XV)

DeYoung addresses specifically fifteen views of Paul Young in the book listed on pages XVI-XVIII.  DeYoung explains, "I'm writing this book for a twofold reason: " ... to uncover the embedded errors in The Shack ... and to show from Scripture why they are serious--how they strike a dagger into the heart of the gospel." (p. XXI)

Wm. Paul Young and Anglican Rector Harold Munn

In  "Shack Author Has Personal Ties to Victoria" (Canadian Christianity)  Lloyd Mackey tells the story of Paul's mother Bernice, who as a nurse in training in 1947, courageously saved the life of a premature one pound baby--Harold Munn.  Munn then grew up to become head rector of Victoria's St. John the Divine Church.  Bernice, on the other hand, married Henry Young, had Paul, and went off to New Guinea as a Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary.
Read article at:

Fast forward many years, Bernice reconnects with Munn telling him how she saved his life.  Later on, Bernice learns Munn is encouraging his congregants to read her son's book The Shack which she has declared "heretical."  Bernice then asks Munn his opinion of Paul's book, and Munn helps allay her fears about it.  Later, Young himself conducts "Divine Intervention" sessions at St. John the Divine.

The Shepherd's Garden Blog fills in the rest of the story when its author writes, "At face value, it is a wonderful story: A Christian pastor with ties to the family reassures the elderly concerned mother about her son's theology.  But there is a reason Harold Munn has no trouble with The Shack because Munn's church holds to a wide-open interpretation of who Jesus is, and what Christianity means."  For more click here:

Wm. Paul Young with Rick Lawrence

In a December 2014 piece "William Paul Young on the Goodness of God", Group Magazine's Rick Lawrence interviews Young.  In it Paul reflects, "... what's the truth of your being?  This is where Jesus at the center of the cosmos becomes absolutely critical.  ... Unfortunately, when we grew up the truth of our being was depravity.  That's the fundamentally massive deception in the goodness of God which is the question I'm after in The Shack."

Lawrence also quizzes Young on the "re-imagination" of the Trinity asking if he would change anything.  Paul answers as it was just a Christmas gift for his kids he would never change a thing.  Paul adds, "I didn't want my kids growing up with the God I did--white, distant, unreachable, unknowable, the darkness behind Jesus that needs to be appeased."

Wm. Paul Young on "Ready to Roar" Podcast

In an August 2016 podcast: "The Reality and Humanity of The Shack with Paul Young" Paul tells interviewer Jon Fuller about his January 4, 1994 encounter with his wife over his affair where he says he got caught.  As he shares about this crisis time he makes a statement that unlike his conservative brothers and sisters he does not know when he was saved, and maybe that time was it.  Young also makes this startling comment, "Thank God, New Agers are ahead of us in being human."

Paul tells Jon that a person can have a "low view" of being human, or a "high view" --the high view being that we ourselves are incredible.  Paul puts down the idea that we are wretched, or in need of a Savior as taught in old hymns.  And using bad language Young declares this theology is totally untrue!

Young states, "The way of your being matches the truth of your being."  Don't believe people who are telling you that you're not good.  Young rails against believing in a mean, arrogant, malevolent God.  Young uses John 14:20 to prove all are in Jesus-- not Christ. 

At the end a very conciliatory, admiring Fuller tells Young he's gotten a word for him: "Healing--healing for the younger generation."  But rather than healing--heresy and deception-- should be the words one would take from this recent podcast!

Wm. Paul Young at the Global Grace Seminary Conference

In September 2016 Young, listed as a professor at Global Grace Seminary, spoke at the first Global Grace Seminary Conference along with Dr. C. Baxter Kruger and Dr. Steve McVey.  Young spoke on the "The Rising Tide of Reformation" in which he says we are at the cusp of a new beginning coming out of past division, separation, and categorization.  or

Young, former evangelical, fundamentalist, protestant MK, acknowledged while missionaries had had magnificent intentions that caused incredible spillovers into education, health, and the
availability of truth to the world.  However, asserts Young, we caused a lot of trouble with our "destructive theology" which began with separation which was "an absolute lie."

He then pauses, and comments he's going to do something he's never done before, that is ask
forgiveness of his Asian, African, and Aboriginal sisters and brothers.  Why forgiveness?  Young states in the name of the God we spread a gospel that was not the gospel.  And adds Young, brothers and sisters all over the globe are finding this out, and experiencing a cataclysmic transition as they work their way out of bondage that we put them in with the best of intentions.  "And we were wrong!"

Young goes on to say we've been presented a God who is masochistic, who treated his Son abusively* just to be right with other people--like my dad who never knew how to be a real dad.  And relates Paul, my own experience matched my theology.  Why, explodes Young, it is all craziness this idea God would pour out wrath on his Son.  It is absolutely diabolical.

*  Language used at conference very troubling.

Then Young puts on his "angry glasses" for he is going to read verses from Isaiah 53 which he will need to "rework" for those past translators with their "angry God" were wearing their "angry glasses" writing "angry words."  Hear the video: "Wm. Paul Young-GGS Conference 2016" at

How heartbreaking are the above statements and language, and how absolutely sad is it that millions
have bought into the man, and his Shack gospel.  A similar 2010 Concordia College speech heard by Ray Yungen as recorded in "The Shack Author Says: "The God of Evangelicalism Is a Monster" can be read here:

Wm. Paul Young's Connection to Bradley Jersak

At the GGS conference above, Young details how during a visit to Vancouver, BC he had gotten to meet author Brad Jersak and others during "The Shack" movie shoot.  Jersak, once Evangelical, now an Eastern Greek Orthodox ordained 'Reader,' is someone whom Young greatly admires.

In fact, Young is an endorser of Jersak's 2016 book: A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful  Gospel.  Along with Eugene Peterson, Fr. Richard Rohr, Brian D. McLarin, Frank Schaeffer, C. Baxter Kruger, PhD, and others, Young raves over this work as challenging our views of God.  Young also adds it is "a breath of clean and clarifying air."

Jersak, it may be noted, indicates many, whether a believer or atheist, carry "a toxic view of God."  He says, "Even the Christian gospel has repeatedly lapsed into a vision of God where the wrathful King must be appeased by his victim Son."  To interviewer Dr. Andrew P. Klager, Jersak explains his reason in writing the book was this:  "The book emerged from a growing need to ... offer alternatives to a prevailing view of God as retributive (or 'monster--god' to cite Brian Zahnd, who wrote the foreword)--a God unlike Jesus to whom many in the Evangelical tradition still cling, or from whom they are attempting to flee."  Jersak, incidentally, is known for his adaptation of a presentation called "A Gospel in Chairs."

Read articles here:

It can be noted also that in October 2016, Young and Jersak took part in "The Grand Embrace Retreat Workshop" with spiritual director Lorie Martin, and contemplative singer-song writer Cathy AJ Hardy.

Wm. Paul Young with Fr. Richard Rohr 

Fr. Richard Rohr with mystic emergent Mike Morrell recently wrote The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation with Young writing its foreword.  Inside, its dedication says:  "From Richard Rohr: To all unsuspecting folks who do not know they are already within the 'Divine Flow.'"  In the foreword Young says, "May we feel within us the eternal life of Jesus reaching through our hands--to heal, to hold, to hug--and celebrate the bread of our Humanity, the sanctity of the Ordinary, and Participation in the Trinity."

Other endorsers include Rob Bell, Brian D. McLaren, and a host of others.  As Lighthouse Trails Research points out in "In Case You Still Aren't Sure About the Shack and Its Author" perhaps Young's "Twenty Books Everyone Should Read" will convince you otherwise.  Click onto the article here:

And Young, continuing his close association with Rohr, will join him and Cynthia Bourgeault
in April 6-8, 2017 to take part in a program titled: "Trinity: The Soul of Creation" in Albuquerque.
Its online descriptive ad reads, "Rohr, Bourgeault, and Young believe the Trinity ... has the capacity to change everything.  We already participate within this dance whether we realize it or not.  But when we consciously engage in loving communion, we open ourselves to being transformed at the deepest levels.  Bring your heart, mind, and body to this ... conversation.  Join an ecumenical and inter-faith gathering, moving together through reflective experiences, including contemplative prayer, music, movement (Yoga, Tai Chi Chin, and walking meditation), group and individual processing. ..."

Wm. Paul Young Promotes Another Gospel

In conclusion, the above stories are but a few of many that demonstrate clearly that Young has departed the faith for another gospel, and sadly he has deceived, and confused millions with his aberrant theology.  And as "The Shack" movie debuts, even more will travel down this destructive and deceptive pathway.  For as James B. DeYoung told  "If the film is a faithful portrayal of the events and the theology of the book, then every Christian should be gravely alarmed at the further events that smear the Evangelical understanding of the truth of the Bible."

Therefore, more than ever, one should heed Paul's admonition to the Colossians in verses 1:4, 6-8: "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words... as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught ...  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."       

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:   Colossians : 4:6

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

For More Information:

THE SHACK and Its New Age Leaven by Warren B. Smith (Lighthouse Trails)

"Exploring the Deception of New Age Pagan Teachings in THE SHACK" by Chris Lawson (Update December 2016-Spiritual Research Network)

"When Sexual Abuse Comes to Light" by Sarah Eekhoff Zyistra  (
names the CMA boarding school that Young attended in Sentani, Indonesia.  Zyistra also named
other denominations, and noted that the CMA denomination has now made changes.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Lynch Foundation Lures Schools into TM Quiet Times

The Lynch Foundation Lures Schools Into TM Quiet Times

Perhaps you've read of the Transcendental Meditation guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his famed Beatle aficionados.  And maybe you've surmised the TM mania had mostly gone away.  But, you're dead wrong, for there's been a recent resurgence of TM training aimed at vulnerable young tweens and teens in our public schools under a benign sounding program called "Quiet Time."

Yes, "Quiet Time!"  Now what could be wrong with that?  Plenty!  Most certainly it's not a "quiet time" such as a nap time, nor is it a time of daily devotions; rather it is a "quiet time" where kids, twice a day in their classrooms, are going to use a TM mantra to practice fifteen minute periods of meditation.

The Lynch Foundation Leaders

Now, the foundation sponsoring this time of silence is headed by the eccentric TM devotee, famed film producer David Lynch, who can be labeled as an apostle, guru, evangelist, proselyte, teacher, and passionate promoter of the practice of TM.  Lynch, along with his loyal longtime TM co-meditator, and executive director Bob Roth of the foundation, declare that TM is not religious, nor is it philosophy but just a simple way to tamp down stress and promote calm especially among youth with special needs or the inner city poor.

However, one thing Lynch and Roth neglect to say up front is that in order for teachers to teach TM or for students to practice TM is they all must attend an "Initiation" time with a personal TM teacher that includes attending a Hindu puja ceremony, learning a personal Hindu mantra, and kneeling down to Guru Dev the revered mentor of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Oh, all initiates must bring along an offering of a piece of fruit, some flowers, and a handkerchief.  And one other thing TM is not free-- it costs money!

The Lynch Foundation Chicago Forum

So, exactly how do Lynch, and Roth sell such a program to public schools?  Well, for starters they've assembled quite an entourage of famed meditators such as Dr. Oz, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Perry, Jerry Seinfeld, and so many more to champion TM, and to raise funds for it.  In addition the Lynch Foundation has a well planned program that it uses to sell "Quiet Time" to public schools.

A March 23, 2016 video "Chicago Education Forum" exposes exactly how this TM infiltration is carried out.  The forum, led by moderator CNN news lady Candy Crowley, allows one to peek inside the presentations presented to, and foisted on school administrators, teachers, parents, and youth.

To put forth their agenda the DLF assembles charismatic administrative staff, and teachers already trained in TM to talk up the technique.  In addition, they invite well-known professional TM meditators of varying stripes who tout TM as the best answer to every ill in our schools.  Always, they include Bob Roth, past devotee of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, meditator extraordinaire to sell the program.

At the Chicago forum besides the above attendees, John Wolf, a speaker for the University of Chicago's Crime Lab and Urban Education Lab announced its studies being conducted on meditating students in both Chicago, and NYC public schools.

Included in this forum was a principal who meditates along with her students making it a practice to pop in on various classrooms as they engage in "Quiet Time."  Another gregarious educator testifies, after learning TM, she taught it to her own children (including a four-year-old), and soon her husband too had become part of their now TM family.  Imagine if a Christian teacher in a public school arena told how he or she had become a Christian, and how their whole family now followed Christ.
Certainly, this bubbling TM testimony could be likened to a religious conversion.  Ah, this process, despite DLF statements to the contrary, is religious through and through; but oh how devoid of God it is, instead it is centered on the diving into the divine self within!

Following up on the educator recitations of their successes with TM moderator Crowley quizzes Bob Roth, who was on the panel, as to just how one might get a four-year-old to meditate explaining she'd love to have her own young grandchildren meditate too.  Roth replies that young children between four or five and up to ten are able to do "walking meditation."  Roth then stresses older children ten and up can do "sitting meditation."  While he mentions a personal TM trainer, nary a word is said about the mantras! and

Some Lynch Foundation Information 

A hot-off-the-press article relating to the above forum featured in the December 2016 Smithsonian Magazine by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz titled:  "Director David Lynch Wants Schools to Teach Trans-cendental Meditation to Reduce Stress" mentions more about the Crime Lab's multiyear study of "Quiet Time", the DLF's school meditation program.  With 6,800 subjects in Chicago and New York City, it's one of the largest randomized controlled studies ever conducted on meditation for children.

Gritz tells how Lynch himself has meditated since 1973, and how his foundation raises money from events by stars such as Perry, Sting, and so on.  Gritz emphasizes that TM is different than mindfulness.  Gritz reveals she herself has been a meditator since when?  Ten!  Gritz says, " People who learn TM are given a mantra, or sound, and a specific technique for using it.  You repeat the mantra, and, if all goes well, your mind settles down into a deep, expansive silence."

Of course, this validates the well-known fact that all TMers, kids or otherwise, must have their own personal TM teacher to introduce via Hindu puja and Sanskrit chanting their own mantra.  Interestingly, one can read Gritz grew up in Fairfield, Iowa attending the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment now part of Maharishi Vedic City.

Transcendental Meditation in the Public Schools

Gritz, fascinated by the fact TM had become mainstream again in of all places, public schools, also wrote a November 10, 2015 piece in The Atlantic: "Mantras Before Math." In it she shares her childhood connections to TM.  She also notes because TM is trademarked, all who use it must receive the same personal instructions.  With one's mantra, Gritz explains, TM is so automatic that the meditator just begins their mantra and transcends.

Because Gritz questioned exactly how TM would work in a school setting she visited several Cali-
fornia schools to see what the kids were doing.  A Redwood City High School principal gave her some answers--one being that meditation wasn't just for students, but for the staff as well.  Aha, just as one would suspect--they are going after all the teachers too.  And sooner or later shame on the educator who doesn't buy into the system!

Gritz found some "Quiet Time" programs have full-time site meditator managers whose salaries come from the DLF or the Hass Fund.  One school even rewards kids who meditate for certain periods of times with parties.  Some schools use upperclassmen to form an "Advanced Meditators Crew" to teach their peers to meditate.  Gritz' lengthy article, and its findings can be read here:

Transcendental Meditation Guru Lynch

Claire Hoffman, with a childhood background in TM like Gritz, wrote another revealing article "David Lynch Is Back ... as a Guru of Transcendental Meditation" in the New York Times Magazine in 2013.  In it Claire details her attendance at a David Lynch meeting in LA of newly initiated TMers, youthful Hollywood actor types, who had gathered round Lynch in his studio for a morning of meditation and instruction in the nature of consciousness.

After the meditation, which was led by Lynch, there was a Question and Answer Session.  Asked about his first meditative experience Lynch told the group precisely the time and place there in LA where he'd begun his lifelong meditation habit.  In contrast, a Christian can tell the time and place where they repented of their sins, and asked the Lord to come into their life.

Of Lynch's life Claire wrote, "... Lynch drank, made money, married a number of women, and directed violent and dark movies.  Still he loved meditating-- 'diving within.'"  Reflecting on this quote one would have to note that Lynch's own life surely had not demonstrated the "peace" and "calm" he advocates others buy into by practicing TM. 

Claire shares Lynch once had a rare opportunity to bond with the late Maharishi by taking an Enlightenment Course offered by the guru to the tune of about a million dollars per student.  After Lynch signed on, he went abroad only to find this conference would be telecast without any personal time with the guru.  In spite of this, Lynch returned home with a new sense of mission, and in 2005 founded his foundation.

Transcendental Meditation Memoir Overview

In addition to the above article Claire wrote a recent 2016 book Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood  that pulls back the curtain to reveal exactly what TM is all about.  In it Claire tells the poignant story of her own TM besot mother, and her TM saturated childhood in Fairfield, Iowa.  Her book is dedicated to her mom who believed in Utopia, and to her daughters who forced her to see it might be true.

The beginning chapter "Initiation" tells of Claire's first step in the pathway of Enlightenment-- the receiving of her own private "Word of Wisdom" at the age of three. (pp.3-7)  Chapter three "Stanger in a Strange Land" finds Claire in Fairfield where she and her sibling were unable to afford the Maharishi School, and instead were forced to attend the "Townie" public school.  Marked as a "'ru" or "guru"  or "meditator"  the children were often mocked. (pp.44-47)

The chapter "Levitation" tells how the Maharishi dictated one December would be called "A Taste of Utopia" where hundreds would come together to meditate.  Claire recalls how eager her mom was to take a course to become a Siddha--someone who had superpowers--so she might learn to "fly" or "levitate." (pp.49-57)  In "Taste of Utopia" she details the arrival of seven thousand who gathered to meet the Maharishi, and to meditate in The Shed.  The event began with a greeting "Jai Guru Dev!" (Praises to Guru Dev; god-like guru who was mentor to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) after which school children sang the Maharishi School anthem announcing that diving deep within The Self Life would be bliss.  Bells rang out.  The guru reported they'd all just reached "the first Taste of Utopia for all mankind." (p.65)

"Fortunate Are We!" tells of Claire's first days at the Maharishi School where she learned to recite the Maharishi's Sixteen Principles of SCI or Science of Creative Intelligence.  In that school it seemed that, wrote Claire, "everyone stated every sentence with 'Maharishi says ....'"  Besides SCI, a Vedic prayer before meals had the children saying they were radiating the light of life, and that they were never to entertain negativity. (p.78)  However, the most important thing emphasized was the phrase "Being on the Program."  This meant all who climbed the seven rungs or ladder of consciousness would become like Maharishi--"blissful or enlightened." (p.79)

Claire also reminisces "... friends in Fairfield always remarked how lucky we were to learn meditation so young.  ... Even our teachers treated us like chosen ones--Brahmin reincarnated ... selected because of an infinite lifetime of good karma to be leaders in the Age of Enlightenment."  (p.84)

In "On the Program" Claire recalls her ten-year-old sitting meditation initiation in an incense filled room kneeling before a picture of Guru Dev while her teacher rattled off a long list of Sanskrit words--names of the many gods who had helped them meditate.(pp.111-112)  In short, Hoffman's book enables one to understand what school systems are really buying into when they adopt TM programs!

In the book Claire updates the reader on changes in Fairfield, and her adult search into TM through her journalism.  She describes one interview she had with David Lynch in which she relates how Lynch nearly wept on the phone as they discussed 2008 death of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Claire wrote, "I felt pushed away. ... I didn't love the Maharishi."  She also spoke with Deepak Chopra, once heir apparent to the Maharishi, who had had a falling out with the late TM master.

As Claire discussed her growing doubts about the Maharishi's program (2013 meeting) Lynch challenged her.  She also wrote how TM is said to better one's health.  As an example she names Dr. Norman Rosenthal,* avowed TM practitioner and author of Transcendence, with his endorsements; and she cites Dr. Mehmet Oz, famed doctor, with his positive TM video testimonial.  But, still she had doubts.  In the end, she felt that Lynch when confronting the public made TM seem to be nothing more than a simple meditative practice; but in private "wanted to make sure I believed that Maharishi's way was the Truth, that he hadn't been a man who made mistakes or had his own selfish impulses." (p.246) However, the Lord Jesus, in John 14:6, speaks about these very issues where he says: "I am the way, the truth, and life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

*  Dr. Rosenthal was one of the speakers at the Chicago DLF Forum in March 2016.

Transcendental Meditation City Revisited

After the birth of her own children, Claire once again wanted to believe in TM and the Maharishi's mission so she returned to Fairfield, took the Flying/Levitation course to try to reconnect to her past.  After, Claire wrote, "But as far as the great guru (Maharishi)-- I had to let him go." (p.255)  Claire questioned why she or her family had wanted him to be more than human, and why he himself wanted to be more than human when he was not.

Of the TM she grew up in, Claire reflected, "The Movement I had grown up in--call it a cult, a religion, a community, it was all these, it rescued my family from a scary time."  Claire adds, "We were given a sense of magic and mystery and superpowers--we believed we could control our
destinies and the fate of the world." (p.255)

Transcendental Meditation Initiation Description

In chapter eighteen Claire paints a vivid portrayal of her young daughter's TM initiation at the David Lynch Foundation in Hancock Park, California.  Deciding to keep meditation for herself, and her children Claire made arrangements with Bob Roth, the effervescent DLF executive, to be the trainer to initiate her four-year-old Josie.  Hoffman tells how she took Josie to an LA DLF house where they brought their puja offering of Starbucks bananas and street-vendor flowers.  On the walls of the house hung photos of David Lynch along with other famous meditators, among them Jerry Seinfeld and Russel Brand. 

Upon meeting Roth they entered an initiation room with golden armchairs that faced a photo of Guru Dev hanging over an altar.  In front of the altar were puja containers of incense, camphor, and rice.  There Roth gave her four-year-old her first mantra: "A Word of Wisdom."  The little gal gave Roth a rose which he crushed.  Chanting softly he lit the incense, put the petals in water, and burned camphor while Claire cried. (pp.256-258)  Readers remember that all who participate in TM must go through this ritual, and that includes all of the public school staff, and children who participate.  While the parents may have given written permission for their students to participate in what they believe to be a nonreligious program, at its core it is Hinduism.
TM Belief:  You Control Your Own Destiny-So Dive Within!  

A back cover blurb on Hoffman's book by Melissa Coleman, author of This Life Is in Your Hands, best summarizes not only how Hoffman sees TM, but also how the whole DLF portrays it as nonreligious and as a simple meditative method to produce calm and peace.  Coleman writes,   "Claire Hoffman, ... tells of the struggle to find her own path to truth while growing up amid the distraction and contradictions of a guru's prescribed utopia.  Her triumph, and the reminder for us all, is in excusing the external guru and trusting the guide within."  Notice how Coleman speaks of life being in our own hands, and truth being something within ourselves.  But the Bible tells us otherwise when it says in Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the motives."  And in Proverbs 16:9 we read: "A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.  Lastly, Proverbs 16: 25 states: "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

The Lynch Foundation Links to the Maharishi University

It is a well documented fact that the David Lynch Foundation with its Hindu rituals, and TM mission is tightly connected to the Maharishi University School of Management (MUM). For Lynch has sponsored "David Lynch MUM Weekends," supported MUM on its web site, headed a graduate MUM film course, and participated on its trustee board.  In addition, Lynch was MUM's 2016 commencement speaker where he was awarded an honorary "Doctorate of Peace."  The notion there's nothing religious about TM is patently false.  Of the famed TM guru, Lynch at MUM's June graduation, called the Maharishi "the greatest master who ever walked the earth." and

But, the greatest master that ever walked the earth was not a mere mortal man as was the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, but was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God.  It's not by following a Yogi, or a Guru we attain salvation or bliss or enlightenment , but it is as Acts 4:12 states: "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

To conclude, Isaiah 26:3-4 tells us to focus our minds on the Lord, and to trust in him forever!

Learn to Discern Granny Verse: Isaiah 26:3 

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee."

More Information:

Herescope: "Mainstreaming Mystic Mindfulness: Eastern Meditation as the Universal Cure-All" by Gaylene Goodroad.  
Find at:

Home: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa:  Tells what can be found in this model city: Vedic Architecture, Vedic Health Care, Vedic Agriculture, Vedic Education, and Vedic Administration.  Find at: 

Home: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa:  Outlines "Best Bet-City Tour including: Raj Health Center (TM and TM-Sidhi Program with Yogic Flying); Pandit Campus (Hindu Holy Men); and Golden Domes on MUM campus (Group Spaces for Peace and Harmony Meditation).
Find at:

"Falling Down the TM Rabbit Hole"  Find at: