The Sovereign Soul: A Spiritual-but-Not-Religious Womans Guide to Living a Soul-Centered Life

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Bronner's Magic Soap, which claims to clean both body and soul. The soap is widely available in health-food stores. Teaches like Process Theology that God is continually recreating Himself. This unification will come about through following 13 precepts and 20 directives revealed to Bronner by God. Allah: Arabic, Muslim name for God; see Islam. Altered States of Consciousness: Trances entered through hypnosis , meditation , drugs including hallucinogenics , visualization , etc.

State of being in which one allows the subconscious to take control and guide. May heighten one's vulnerability to suggestion or susceptibility to deception. Alternative Medicine: See Holistic Health. See Armstrongism. American Atheists, Inc.


O'Hair and two children disappeared in with a sizeable portion of the organization's assets. It is now believed they were murdered. Publishes American Atheist magazine. American Leadership College, Inc. See Apocalypse. Publishes the Phoenix Journal. Publishes the Anchor of Golden Light newsletter.

A UFO group whose leader, a. Dwight York claims to be form the 19th galaxy, called Illyuwn. A FBI report calls the group a "front for a wide range of criminal activity, including arson, welfare fraud and extortion. Ancient Wisdom Connection, N. Angels: Supernatural, non-human beings created by God. Angels worship God and serve as His messengers.

The angels who followed Satan and rebelled against God are called demons. Anglo-Israelism: See British Israelism. Animal Magnetism: See Mesmerism. Animism: The idea that all things in the universe are inherently invested with a life force, soul, or mind. This belief is an important component of many primitive religions, the occult , and spiritism. Annihilationism: Taught by most Adventist groups, including the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society , this doctrine denies the conscious, eternal punishment of the lost.

Instead, humans who do not receive eternal life will be destroyed and cease to exist. Anointed Class: See Little Flock. Anthropomancy: A form of divination based on psychic readings of the entrails of a human who has been ritualistically sacrificed. Apocalypse: Also called Armageddon. From the Greek word apokalypsis, meaning "revelation, disclosure, or unveiling," the term apocalypse refers in the Bible to the summation of human history through God's direct judgment upon the world. Central in biblical apocalyptic literature is the Revelation to John sometimes called The Apocalypse. A common feature of many pseudo-Christian groups is their attempts to predict the date of the apocalypse.

Apostasy: From the Greek word apostasis, meaning "rebellion," and the Latin word apostasia, meaning "abandonment," the term apostasy refers to a renunciation of the Christian faith. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society applies the label apostate to former Jehovah's Witnesses, who are then shunned by all Witnesses in good standing.

Apostle: From the Greek word apostolos, meaning "messenger," the term apostle refers to those leaders of the early Christian church who were chosen by Jesus. The criteria for being an apostle was 1 the individual was personally chosen by Christ; and 2 the individual must have personally seen Christ.

Members of the top two quorums of leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim the title today. Apostolic Churches: A branch of Pentecostalism including several denominations as well as independent churches with the name "Apostolic"; many but not all Apostolic churches adhere to Oneness Pentecostalism. Apostolic Overcoming Holiness of God, Inc. Salvation depends upon baptism, tarrying to receive the Holy Spirit, and holiness.

Publishes The People's Mouthpiece magazine. Applewhite, Marshall: See Heaven's Gate. Applied Kinesiology: New Age diagnostic technique sometimes called "muscle testing. Aquarian Academy, Robert E. Man's purpose is to reach the transcendental plane, release from the wheel of fate, astral projection , meditation , cosmic truths. Similar to Unitarian-Universalist. Publishes the Fiery Synthesis magazine.

Dowling, a New Age , apocryphal story supposedly based on the Akashic Records. Publishes the Panegyria newsletter. Based on the teachings of Alice Bailey see Arcane School. Publishes the Thoughtline newsletter. Similar to Theosophy. Arefu: Company created and owned by Japanese doomsday-cult Aum Shinri Kyo for real estate brokering, financing and seminars. On January 18, , the cult announced it was also changing its own name to Arefu Aleph , in English. See Church of God, International.

Armstrong, Herbert W. Armstrongism: The doctrines and religious movement originating with Herbert W. Armstrong rejected such essential doctrines of evangelical Christianity as the Trinity , the full deity of Jesus Christ , and the personality of the Holy Spirit. Armstrong taught British Israelism and believed that worthy humans could eventually "become God as God is God.

Under the leadership of Armstrong's successors, Joseph W. Scores of splinter groups, such as the Global Church of God and the United Church of God , continue to teach various forms of Armstrongism. Arn Draiocht Fein, P. Publishes News from the Mother Grove newsletter. Aromatherapy: Holistic health practice of seeking to heal certain diseases or illnesses by inhaling scented steam or fragrances. See Aromatherapy.

Publishes The Runestone newsletter. Ascended Master Teaching Foundation, Mt. Occult , New Age belief in alleged teachers or masters who live on an astral plane as non-physical entities beyond time and space. They can supposedly communicate spiritual truths to humans through channeling or other occult techniques. Membership includes Jesus , Buddha , St. See Sacred Name movement.

Publishes The Faith. Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, Ernest L. Teaches universalism , i. Martin was fired by the Foundation for Biblical Research an Armstrongism splinter group in Alhambra, CA in for espousing these doctrines. Riverside, CA: New Age , reincarnation and astrology. Association for Research and Enlightenment A. Publishes Voice of Astara. Usually a "cord" is said to connect the soul and body at all times. Also called astral travel. Astrology: An ancient fatalistic system of divination using the position of the planets, moon and sun in the twelve Zodiac positions at the moment of one's birth to gain occult or hidden knowledge of the future.

Astrology and Psychic News, N. Hollywood, CA: New Age periodical. Atheism: The assertion, to be taken on faith, that there is no God. Some atheists, such as Madalyn Murray-O'Hair, have fought to prevent any recognition of God in public life. See American Atheists, Inc. Purported to have been a highly advanced civilization. New Agers often claim to have recovered lost mystical wisdom and knowledge from Atlantis, sometimes through channeling.

Atman: A term used in Hinduism referring to the eternal or real self and sometimes refering to the principle of life in all things. At-one-ment: Term used by several Mind Science or New Thought religions such as Christian Science referring to the supposed metaphysical unity or "oneness" of human beings and God as demonstrated by Christ. Contrast the Christian term "atonement," which refers to Christ's death on the cross as the means by which he reconciled sinful human beings to God. Police raiding cult compounds discovered stockpiles of nerve gas and the basic ingredients of biological warfare.

Sect leaders have been charged with abduction and "murder preparation. The sect has followers in other countries including the U. On January 18, , the cult announced it was changing its name to Arefu Aleph , in English. Aura: A subtle light or energy field said to surround people or objects. Mystics explain that from the color of the aura, a person's emotional and intellectual moods can be determined. Author Services, Inc. Automatic Writing: Inspired from the spirit world, the writer has no conscious muscular control of his hands or arms.

Found in many occult and New Age groups. Avatar: Hindu concept of an earthly manifestation of one of the gods in human or animal form, e. Avatar, Flagstaff, AZ: New Age seminars similar to est and Lifespring , enables participant to have conscious shift of beliefs. Awareness Research Foundation, Inc. Teaches the balancing of vibrational centers for health through diet, exercise, herbs, and purification procedures. Bailey, Alice: Founder of the Arcane School. Often used as a symbol of Satan , especially in Satanism , and depicted as a Goat's Head symbol, an upside down five-pointed star cf.

If these dead persons then accept the LDS gospel while in Spirit Prison, they can potentially attain full salvation or godhood exaltation. This ceremony is performed only in an LDS Temple. See Baptismal Regeneration. Baptismal Regeneration: The belief that regeneration i. All Christians should be baptized Matthew The teaching that baptism is a prerequisite for salvation, however, is considered by many evangelicals to be a heretical compromise of the biblical gospel of salvation by grace alone Ephesians The extreme version of baptismal regeneration, which denies the salvation even of baptized Christians outside some particular church group, is clearly heretical.

The Beatles: A highly influential rock-and-roll group from the s. The Beatles are widely credited with increasing the popularity of Eastern religions in the United States. Publishes Believer's News. Bell, Art: Popular late-night radio talk show host. While his Coast to Coast weeknight broadcast and Dreamland weekend broadcast focus on a wide array of New Age and occult issues, as well as many conspiracy theories, one of the most common subjects discussed by guests on the program is UFO s.

Beltane: Occult , Celtic holiday, also called Walpurgisnacht, celebrated on the night of April Celts are alleged to have conducted fertility rituals and human sacrifice. Some people involved in the occult and UFO studies believe the Triangle is a supernaturally dangerous area, with many ships and airplanes disappearing in the Triangle in the 20th century. Bernard, David: A well-known Oneness Pentecostal writer and speaker.

Krishnamurti later renounced that role. Publishes The Prophetic Watchman newsletter. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Though this Indian guru is deceased, many followers still practice his unique form of Hindu philosophy and sexual yoga system to gain enlightenment. Bhakti Yoga: Type of yoga or spiritual exercise involving devotion to a guru. Bible: Considered scripture by Christianity. Bible Believers, Inc. Bible Code, Michael Drosnin: Bestselling book teaches that prophecies are hidden in a complex network of letters and words within the Old Testament.

Drosnin claims that he attempted to warn Israeli leader Yitzak Rabin of his impending assassination based on a prediction in the biblical code. The theory is a form of numerology and has some associations with the Jewish occultism of the Kabbalah. Bible Students: Various semiautonomous groups that broke away from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society after Joseph Rutherford took control of the organization.

Groups across the country go under various names e. Bible Way Publications, Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Bible Students group. Bind: See Spell. Bioenergy: New Age practice of healing. Balances the life-energy by opening blocked meridians see acupuncture. Biofeedback : The use of EEG electroencephalographic feeback instruments to monitor brain waves and skin resistance with the goal of modification of brain waves.

Participants can learn to control heart rates or generate brain wave activity alpha, beta, and delta at will to induce altered states of consciousness. Bio-Magnetics: New Age , the realigning of magnetic fields allegedly surrounding the body. Black candles are used and Catholic prayers recited backwards. Allegedly, the communion is occasionally performed using human blood and flesh. Black Muslim: Generic term referring to Nation of Islam and related groups.

Blessed Be: A common greeting used among Wiccans to invoke or wish happiness and well-being. Blood Atonement Doctrine: The belief, taught by the second Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young, that for certain sins the blood of Christ will not atone and for which the sinner's own blood must be shed to receive forgiveness Journal of Discourses, Vol. No longer taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , the belief is often preached and sometimes practiced by members of Mormon Fundamentalist splinter groups. To this day, Utah allows condemned murders to face execution by firing squad rather than methods that do not shed the criminal's blood, such as lethal injection or the electric chair.

Publishes the Solar Space-Letter. Book of Changes: See I Ching. Born Again: Biblical term used to describe regeneration John Some New Age followers teach that the term was Christ's reference to reincarnation or rebirthing. In context, Jesus was speaking of a spiritual event effected by God through the Holy Spirit see verses to restore a sinful, fallen human to right relationship with Him see verses See Gospel.

Brahma: The creator and first member of the triad of demigods in Hinduism , including Shiva and Vishnu. Brainwashing: Forced indoctrination using various techniques to cause a subject to abandon basic political, social, or religious ideas or beliefs and replace those ideals with a contrasting belief system. A translation of a Chinese word xinao, "brainwashing" became a popular term to describe the phenomena of radical change in behavior and core beliefs that took place in some prisoners of war held in Chinese camps in the mid-twentieth century. In a more general sense, the word is sometimes used to describe any form of persuasion perceived to be unethical that results in a radical and negative change in personality.

See Lifton, Robert , Mind Control. David Koresh A. Vernon Howell was leader from to He and many of his most devout followers were killed when their headquarters near Waco, TX, was destroyed by fire in during a government raid. Taught knowledge of the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation brought salvation.

Many followers still believe Koresh's messianic claims and expect him to be resurrected soon. Branham, William, : Oneness Pentecostal preacher who claimed he received healing and prophetic powers from an angel. Denied the Trinity , taught the serpent seed doctrine, and rejected other Pentecostal and traditional Christian churches. The group requires renouncing both family and worldly possessions in order to earn salvation see Salvation by works. Members travel nomadically, earning their nickname because of their practice of eating discarded food.

Family members note that Roberts hides relatives, moving the individuals to avoid familial contact. Note: This group is not affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, an Anabaptist denomination. Brinkley, Dannion: As chronicled in his bestseller Saved by the Light, Brinkley allegedly underwent a near-death experience after being struck by lightning. He teaches people to perform "life reviews" to enhance their perception of life and death and to find their life missions.

The monarchs of England sit on the throne of David. See Christian Identity Movement , Serpent seed doctrine. Also known as Center of Light and Life. Brotherhood of the White Temple, Inc. The Bruderhof Community: A communal society started in Germany in the s and based on the sixteenth-century Moravian Anabaptist sect of Jacob Hutter, which was part of the Radical Reformation.

The group is also called the Society of Brothers and the Hutterian Brethren. The basic theology of the group is Protestant but, according to former members and other critics, the group exercises inappropriate control over the members and practices shunning and other forms of spiritual abuse.

Buddha: Siddhartha Gautama Buddha "enlightened one" was born about BC in northeastern India and, according to legend, received spiritual enlightenment through meditation. During his lifetime, his spiritual insights and teachings became a major alternative to Hinduism throughout India. Diverse versions of his teachings can be found worldwide today. See Buddhism. Buddhism: World religion based on the spiritual teachings of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.

There are a number of versions or sects of Buddhism generally teaching paths to Nirvana enlightenment or bliss though the four noble truths recognizing existence and source of suffering and the eightfold path correct understanding, behavior and meditation. The name comes from the culmination of the festival, in which a wooden man with outstretched arms resembling a crucifix is burned by the crowd.

Cabalah: See Kabbalah. Caelum Moor, Arlington, TX: Private park now closed containing menhirs large upright stones similar to those found at Stonehenge. Newspaper reports claim trespassers have used the site for pagan ceremonies. See Stonehenge. Very influential in the public school arena. He helped popularize Native American shamanism , the hallucinogenic peyote , and New Age occultism.

Publishes the Castle Rising newsletter. Catholicism: See Roman Catholicism. Celestine Prophecy, The: A best-selling New Age book by James Redfield that teaches enlightenment through the fictional "Nine Insights" contained in secret manuscripts written by Maya natives in the jungles of Peru. Celticism, Celts: The Celts were a group of related tribes whose territory extended throughout Europe early in the first millennium AD , but who are most commonly associated with the British Isles.

The Celts worshipped local deities frequently associated with nature , often served by a priestly class of Druids. Human sacrifice was important to Druidic religion. Modern neo-pagans frequently claims to be Celtic, although the modern beliefs and practices bear little resemblance to ancient Celticism. Celtic Christianity: Augustine of Canterbury evangelized England in the late 6th? His work was later taken by Patrick to Ireland, who is largely credited with establishing the Celtic church. Celtic Christianity was heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, to which it was allied, although many individuals claim a greater reverence for nature in the Celtic tradition.

Differences in practice within the Celtic church were gradually eradicated during the Middle Ages as the Roman papacy asserted its authority over Ireland. Modern groups that claim to revive Celtic Christianity are frequently a mixture of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism , with few legitimate ties to the early Celtic church. Nonetheless, these groups should not be confused with neo-pagan groups that also claim to be Celtic.

He and his work, which is frequently supportive of new religions, are often used by alternative religious groups to support their activities when pursuing governmental recognition. Publishes the Interconnections newsletter. Publishes The Light Journal. The Centers Network: See est. Occult spells , hexes, curses, voodoo , witchcraft see Wicca.

Chakras: New Age , said to be centers for cosmic energy in the human body that are aligned to allow the Kundalini energy to proceed from the base of the spine to the top of the forehead. Channeling: New Age term for the occult practice of Spiritualism also called trance channeling. Spirit beings, Ascended Masters , deceased humans, familiar spirits , or animal spirits allegedly communicate important messages by temporarily entering the body and controlling the voice of a host channel or medium.

Most channelers give the same basic message, that man is a God. Chi: Invisible energy or force alleged to make up the universe and flow through all living things via meridians or chakras. See Taoism , Yin and Yang , Acupuncture. Publishes the MU News. Chinmoy, Sri: Hindu philosophy , meditation.

Chiromancy: See Palm Reading. Chiropractic Medicine: A holistic health practice whereby practitioners use a form of manipulative therapy to treat musculoskeletal problems. While many chiropractors are not engaging in alternative religious activities via their practice, critics claim that some chiropractors engage in chiropractic medicine in accordance with the Taoist principle of facilitating the flow of chi.

See Ayurvedic Medicine. Christ: Based on the Greek christos meaning "anointed one," equivalent to the Hebrew "messiah. Christians believe this to be Jesus of Nazareth, who died to atone for human sin. Other religions believe in a succession of Christ figures through history, sometimes including Jesus, who were great teachers. New Age groups sometimes understand the term "Christ" as a reference to the deity found in all humanity the Cosmic Christ.

Thus, Jesus was conscious of his deity or "the Christ within" and others can have this same " Christ-consciousness " by realizing that they, too, are divine. Other religious leaders have historically claimed to hold the office or ministry of Christ including Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Biblical warnings are given for "false Christs" Mark Christ-consciousness: New Age term expressing the belief that Christ is a divine potential in all human beings of which only some people are aware or conscious, rather than a unique title for Jesus.

Lightening Amen, claims to be the incarnation of Jesus. Followers dress in robes, no shoes, practice vegetarianism. Also rejects the ideas of heaven and hell. It has several splinter groups. Christian Identity movement: The belief that the true identity of the ten lost tribes of Israel is the white, Anglo-Saxon race. The belief is similar to but distinct from the doctrine of British Israelism.

A number of independent churches and organizations including some militant racist groups make up the general movement. Most deny the Trinity. Some teach a form of the Serpent Seed doctrine, believing that Jews are descendants of Eve's alleged sexual relations with the serpent Genesis 3 and are thus not fully human. Many also hold that non-Whites are descended from the union of Cain and a woman from a supposed pre-Adamite race.

Publishes The New Creation periodical. Eddy's teaching heavily indebted to Phineas P. Quimby , a mesmerist. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures functions as a virtual second canon of Scripture. Views God as infinite Mind, "the animating divine Principle of all that is real and good. Seeking medical help is discouraged, frequently resulting in preventable deaths. Christ is "the divine manifestation of God" most fully seen in Jesus, who only seemed to die. The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is rejected as polytheistic. Followers, called Christians, were initially viewed as a sect of Judaism.

It quickly developed as a separate religion as Jewish Christians became outnumbered by non-Jewish converts and, through a strong missionary emphasis, Christianity became a diverse worldwide movement. Except for cults , aberrant sects, and Liberal Christianity , those who claim to be Christians have historically believed the following: There is only one true God eternally revealed in three distinct Persons - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the Trinity. Human beings are sinners who without the grace of God received through faith in Christ are eternally lost. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, died on the cross and rose physically from the dead as the sole and sufficient payment for the sins of humanity.

Chrysalis : Swedenborg Foundation periodical. Chuang-tzu: Legendary founder of Taoism. Shepherding , mind control. Publishes the Green Egg periodical. Church of Bible Understanding C. Church of Christ: See Churches of Christ. Church of Freethought: A social organization for atheists that provides the opportunities for socializing, community service, and social support offered by theistic churches. Smith, Richardson, TX: Armstrongism splinter group. Denies Trinity , personality of the Holy Spirit, and the bodily resurrection. Teaches annihilationism , salvation by law-keeping, Sabbatarianism , and that man can become a member of "the God family" Godhead.

Publishes Newswatch Magazine and Newswatch radio and television programs. Publishes Notes For Bible Students newsletter. Main headquarters for the Church of God, Abrahamic Faith. Armstrong recently stepped down from his top leadership position amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and litigation. Publishes the Proclaim Liberty magazine. Publishes Bible Advocate. Publishes The Herald of Truth newsletter.

Publishes The Advocate of Truth newsletter. Publishes The Watchman. Smith claimed that the Father and Son appeared to him and called him to restore the true Church. God and his heavenly Wife begat billions of spirit children, the firstborn of whom was Jesus. Lucifer was the leader of God's rebellious spirit children.

Those spirits who did not rebel become human beings in order to begin process potentially leading to exaltation to Godhood. Jesus, however, became a God while only a spirit. He organized our world and is Jehovah, the God of Israel. He is a separate and subordinate God to Elohim, the Father. The latter is a divine energy, force, or spiritual essence that fills the universe and is used by all three members of the Godhead in the exercise and accomplishment of their will. The Church rejects the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

It also redefines salvation by grace to refer simply to resurrection. Almost all humans will be resurrected into one of three kingdoms of glory, the least of which is far superior to anything known in this life. Entry into the higher kingdoms, and one's rank there, depends not only upon the atonement of Christ, but also upon one's good works. Publishes Church News and Ensign magazine. Church of Jesus Power, E. Cooke, Sr. Atonement to be found in each person's own path. Publishes Metaphysical Messenger magazine. LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible , founded the church in and died in after which a struggle for leadership ensued between LaVey's daughters, Karla and Zeena, and his long-term live-in partner, Blanche Barton.

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Gilmore to be High Priest. Barton is now serving in a lesser role as Magistra Templi Rex. The church has claimed as many 10, members. LaVey, a former lion tamer, organist, hypnotist, psychic, artist, and photographer. Like the vast majority of Satanists, he did not believe in a literal, personal devil, but turned to Satanic imagery to provoke a reaction and illustrate his disdain for Christianity.

Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard: Humans are immortal spiritual beings whose experience extends beyond a single lifetime reincarnation , and whose capabilities are unlimited, though presently imprisoned by matter, energy, space, and time MEST. Salvation is the recovery of spiritual freedom, ability, independence and serenity, including freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death reincarnation , and full awareness and ability independent of the body, i.

Auditing can last for years and may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Teachings are also advanced through affiliated business management companies such as Sterling Management Systems , the drug prevention program Narcanon , and in public schools though Way to Happiness.

The writings and recorded spoken words of L. Ron Hubbard contained in over , pages of writings and over 2, tape-recorded public lectures constitute the scripture of the religion, his book Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health being foundational. Scientology has a history of alleged abuse and illegal activities, and is fighting legal battles in countries all over the world. Publishes Thunderbow II newsletter. Publishes the Crystals of Light newsletter. The assassination was allegedly carried out on the grounds of the Blood Atonement Doctrine. Publishes the Forerunner newsletter.

The church has also been suspected in the deaths of other rival Mormon Fundamentalists , including Rulon Allred, founder of the Corporation of the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic United Brethren. LaBaron died in a Utah State Prison in See False Prophecy. Church of the Plains Indians: Native American spirituality , sweat lodge.

Church of the Trinity, A. Crucifixion, Entombment, Resurrection and Ascension he imparted his Consciousness into the psyche of all. Publishes Newsletter for The Americas. Germain, channeling , guided meditation. Publishes Cosmic Channelling newsletter.

The Future of "Spiritual But Not Religious"

They believe Garcia's guitar is a channel for God. Currently led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Stone's restoration movement of the early 19th century, which was designed to promote unity among Protestants. Many but not all Churches of Christ today, however, differ from traditional Protestant doctrine in two key areas. Some also believe that today's Churches of Christ are the only true churches on earth and that they can literally trace their history to the first century church in Jerusalem. Circle Network News Mt. Horeb, WI: Paganism , shamanism , Wicca , goddess worship.

Publishes the Circle Network News newsletter. Circle of Light, Inc. Clairvoyance: The supposed paranormal ability to "see" psychic information, including historical or future events or other phenomena, that cannot be discerned naturally through the five material senses. See ESP , Divination. Cleage, Albert B.

Cognitive Dissonance: A mental, emotional, or psychological state which results from attempting to hold two totally incompatible beliefs or opposing attitudes at the same time. See Double Bind. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. The doctrines of the two groups eventually became radically different. The Community of Christ church has a slightly different version of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and they reject the Pearl of Great Price as scripture.

In recent years the church has experienced divisions, with more conservative Restoration Branches becoming independent. The current leader and prophet of the movement, Grant McMurray, was the first exception to this practice. Publishes The Beamer newsletter. Concerned Christians, Monte Kim Miller, Denver, CO: Ironically, begun in the early s as a Christian ministry to expose cults and false teaching, Miller's organization began to take on cult-like characteristics in later years. Becoming increasingly controversial and bizarre, Miller's group drew national media attention in when over 50 followers fled the Denver area and disappeared after Miller predicted the Apocalypse was to begin and that Denver was to be destroyed by an earthquake on October Miller, who claims to be one of the two end-time prophets mentioned in the Revelation 11, published Report from Concerned Christians and Take Heed Update.

Produced Our Foundation radio program. He is said to have collected, edited and written commentaries on four ancient manuscripts including the I Ching. Doctrines include ancestor worship, devotion to family elders, and right conduct based on the inherent goodness of man. Publishes The Herald magazine.

Publishes The Restoration Message newsletter. Publishes the Gentle Place and Quiet Space magazine. Contemplations, Inc. Life is crystalized light. Jesus is only part human and part God. Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to live sinless life and can do the same for any person. Salvation by works. Publishes Cornerstone. Jeffs, Sandy, Utah: Mormon Fundamentalist splinter group of between eight and twelve thousand members.

The group has a strong presence in Hilldale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona once known as Short Creek , which was the site of a government effort to prosecute polygamists in Allred was murdered in by members of a rival Mormon Fundamentalist sect. Cosmerism: Mixture of Christianity and Buddhism , but embraces all religions as having truth. Cosmic Christ: See Christ. Teaches that man is still in heaven with God and this life is a dream.

Coven: A group two or more people ideally thirteen practicing witchcraft see Wicca or occult arts. Also called a clan. Covey, Stephen: Mormon author with New Age affinities. Author of the best-selling, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and several sequels. Creation Calendar, Verlis W. Creme, Benjamin: See Tara Center. Crowley, Aleister: An English magician and Occultist. Crystallomancy: Divination or fortune telling by gazing into a crystal rock or crystal ball. Crystals: Many though not all New Agers believe that gems especially Crystals possess mystical, esoteric , spiritual powers to bring the bearer health, wealth and good fortune.

Cult: See the Definitions section in the introduction. According to Kisser, between and CAN was the victim of approximately 50 lawsuits directly or indirectly sponsored by members of the Church of Scientology , an organization considered by CAN to be a dangerous cult. Kisser warns that anyone now contacting CAN should be aware that they are very likely talking with Scientologists. A system that requires members to disclose to their leaders or superiors the personal thoughts, attitudes, and actions that do not conform to the group's ideals.

This practice diminishes healthy personal boundaries and privacy, and may facilitate additional abuses. Publishes Restoration Voice, The Vision. Dalai Lama: The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Dallas Fellowship, Inc. Publishes The Circle newsletter. In , over a decade after his death, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith a Vatican commission denounced de Mello's writings. They warned of false teachings in his works, including a denial of objective morality and the claim that all religion, including Christianity, are obstacles to truth.

Ron Hubbard , founder of the Church of Scientology.

An environment of blame and guilt based on an impossible ideal of human behavior or perfection. This shame-based culture punishes failure and can even subtly train members to punish themselves for their inability to live up to the group's ideals or standards. See Brainwashing. Demons: Fallen angels under the direction of Satan who seek to destroy God's purpose and people. Demons are invisible, spiritual beings Ephesians , are organized and have supernatural power and knowledge Matthew , Revelation , can possess humans and animals, Luke , Mark , and can inspire false doctrine 1 Timothy Deprogramming: A coercive attempt to dissuade an individual of religious or ideological convictions believed to be harmful, through a concentrated usually two to three days counseling procedure designed to produce a sudden "snapping out.

Often presented as an antidote for brainwashing or mind control , some deprogrammers rationalized the unethical use of force and coercion to rescue victims by illegally holding them against their will abduction or "snatching" in a process known as "involuntary" deprogramming. Watchman Fellowship does not support or condone such illegal and unethical behavior. Not to be confused with Exit Counseling. Devil: See Satan.

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Dianetics: Bestselling "bible" of the Church of Scientology. Disfellowshipping: As practiced by the LDS and many other groups, this is a level of church discipline involving a probationary period of restricted privileges, but retaining church membership. As practiced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society , it is an alternate term for "excommunication," being completely cut off from Jehovah's organization; see Shunning. The organization's dogma determines whether or not other groups or individuals have the right to exist.

All alternative belief systems or organizations are considered illegitimate. In extreme cases this mindset can promote violence or murder. Divali: Hindu philosophy of Enlightenment. Most often props are involved such as the hand palm reading , the stars astrology , cards Tarot , or random symbols I Ching.

The ideas and doctrines of the leader and organization overrule the personal experiences, conscience, and integrity of the individual. Publishes the Theologia 21 newsletter. The Door: See Potter's House. Double Bind: A mental or psychological dilemma caused when a person receives from a single leader or teacher conflicting messages or "truths" resulting in no appropriate response or answer.

See Cognitive Dissonance. Dowsing: Form of divination using a forked rod, a bent wire, or a pendulum. Used to locate people, objects, or substances, and to diagnose illnesses. They were the keepers of oral history and law, and officiates of pagan , occult religious practices. See Halloween. A similar doctrine called the Plural Covenant theory emphasizes other covenants in addition to these two major systems. Dualism: An understanding of reality as existing in two opposite extremes.

Ethical dualism posits a conflict between universal good and an equal and opposite force of universal evil e. Dungeons and Dragons: Occult , fantasy role playing game , allegedly uses demonic names and spells found in occult literature. Some parents have charged that children committed suicide under the influence of the game. Dyer, Wayne: Prominent New Age writer and spokesman focusing on business applications, personal transformation and motivational speaking. Also promotes holistic health , and Buddhism. Dynamic Monarchianism: A late second-century heresy denying the Trinity, put forth by Theodotue of Byzantium and later adoped in modified forms by Paul of Samosata, Noetus and Prazeas.

An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , Eadie claims to have died, gone to heaven, and returned to her body see near-death experiences. Her books contain a combination of New Age and Mormon beliefs. Earth Church of Amargi, St. Louis, MO: Paganism , ritual magic , witchcraft see Wicca , moon festivals, Kabbalah , goddess worship. Earthmother Therapy Center: Astrology , aura reading, chakra balancing, channeling , homeopathy , iridology , numerology , palmistry , past life regression , reflexology.

Eckankar, Paul Twitchell: Mixture of pantheism and eastern mysticism , astral projection , reincarnation. Emmanuel, J. Publishes The Gap newsletter. Emerald Circle: Paganism , know the Divine within, be part of Gaia. Enneagram: Occult symbol. A circle with its circumference divided by nine points; has connections with the "Tree of Life" in Kabbalah , astrology , or divination.

Erhard, Warner: See est. Esoteric: Hidden or deeper knowledge held by an elite few. See Gnosticism , Occult. ESPress, Inc. See National Spiritual Science Center. Essene Light Center, Mary L. Teaches the world has no objective meaning, enlightenment, and to live moment to moment with no regard for the future. New Age themes. In the midst of mounting troubles, Erhard decided to leave the United States. Est was discontinued and replaced by The Forum. Evangelical Christianity: Evangelical from the Greek euangelion, good news or gospel generally means a focus on the essentials of Christianity.

The term can be used to describe all Christians or churches that hold to or give heavy emphasis to specific conservative Protestant beliefs. In Germany, "Evangelical" is basically synonymous with "Lutheran. More specifically the term has come to be closely identified with a widespread trans-denominational shift towards more conservative Christian doctrine that developed after World War II.

See Fundamental Christianity. It means to become a God, exactly like God the Father and Jesus Christ, and to produce and rule over one's offspring throughout eternity. Exit Counseling: Thought Reform Consulting A non-coercive technique in contrast to deprogramming designed to help rescue members of religions or cults that are considered false, harmful, or dangerous.

The approach stresses true personal and religious freedom in the context of providing additional information and full disclosure, which facilitates more informed decision-making. Family counseling and intervention techniques may also be incorporated. Extrasensory Perception ESP : Alleged knowledge of an experience or a response to an external event apart from the five senses.

This experience can take place either in a wakeful or dream state. Publishes The Faith Word magazine. False Prophecy: Generally, any teaching by a prophet that is not true. Familiar Spirit: A spirit that can allegedly communicate with humans, often through possessing the body of a medium , channeler , or psychic. Also, a special type of demon that can impersonate a deceased person during attempts to communicate with the dead see necromancy.

Not related to the following entry. Best known for explicit sexual practices in recruiting converts and inner-group life, based on Berg's writings, the MO Letters. Not related to previous entry. Critics have expressed concern over the tremendous amount of time often invested in the games. More disturbing are reports that the games often emphasize rape, violence, spells, magic and other occult themes.

Some parents have also charged that their children committed suicide while under the influence of FRP. Farrakhan, Louis: Leader in the Nation of Islam. New Age , automatic writing , ascended beings. Fellowship of Isis: Paganism. Egyptian gods and goddess worship. Feminism: See Radical Feminism. Feng Shui: A religious "science" for the balancing of Yin and Yang in the environment, discovered or originated by farmers some 3, years ago and developed within Taoism.

Feng Shui teaches that there is an energy called Qi or, Chi flowing throughout the universe, and in this world through lines, sometimes called channels or meridians, to which one must be properly aligned for optimal health, fortune, and quality of life. The position and alignment of structures and objects in one's environment affects the flow of this energy and one's own ability to harmonize with nature.

Practitioners therefore arrange household and office furniture, design rooms and even whole buildings, their grounds and gardens, etc. They thus hope to improve the balance of nature around them, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit everyone in the area. First Temple of the Craft of W. See also Unarius Education Foundation. Publishes the Zen Notes newsletter. Flirty Fishing, Ffing : Allegedly discontinued practice of using sex to entice converts into The Family.

Publishes the Update newsletter. Followers of Christ Church, Walter T. White, Oregon City, OR: Practices shunning , exhibits legalism , and holds to a strict faith-healing doctrine. Doctors and hospitals are not allowed. State medical examiner claims as many as 25 children have died in the last two decades from complications from otherwise common medical problems. Form Criticism: A method of literary criticism used by many scholars in the interpretation of the Bible. It identifies the literary forms of specific parts of the biblical writings, such as the different types of psalms thanksgiving, lament, etc.

By noting common features in passages of the same form, various conclusions are drawn about how to interpret those passages. In liberal Christianity , which pioneered this method, many of the forms are assumed to be legendary or mythical especially those involving the supernatural.

Some evangelical scholars think form criticism can be useful if such liberal assumptions are avoided, while other evangelicals reject form criticism outright. See also Redaction criticism. Fortunetelling: A form of divination in which a person attempts to predict the future using alleged paranormal powers.

The Forum: New Age , personal transformation seminar; see est. See also Process Church of the Final Judgement. Publishes the Divine Truth Commentary newsletter. All religious leaders, including Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha were sent by God. Publishes A Call To Wisdom newsletter. Fox, Kate and Margarett: See Spiritualism. Fox, Matthew: Dominican Catholic priest silenced by the Vatican for teaching blatant New Age theology which he calls "creation-centered spirituality".

Free Bible Students: A small Bible Students splinter group currently consisting of only four congregations and approximately 27 home groups. Freemasonry: A fraternal order revived in the early 18th century in England, loosely based on associations or guilds of stone cutters "operative" masons. Freemasonry "speculative" masons sought to give philosophical, moral, or spiritual meaning to the lodge, tools, and oaths of the stone cutters.

Most modern adherents maintain that the organization is not a religion but a club or fraternity promoting high moral values and good works. They believe, therefore, that Freemasonry is compatible with and supplements Christianity and other religions. Critics counter that Freemasonry involves secret blood oaths or curses, and that the writings of respected early leaders Albert Mackey, Albert Pike, etc.

By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals. God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure.

Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. Some writers have criticised the statements above for being so firmly centred on human beings. Causing animals to suffer needlessly, for example, is described in as being "contrary to human dignity", rather than as being a wrong towards animals.

After all, if God was all-powerful he could prevent suffering, and if God was perfectly good he would want to prevent suffering. But animals do suffer on a colossal scale, and as there doesn't seem to be any logical necessity for them to do so Christians have some explaining to do. This problem of animal suffering is part of the general problem that Christians face in explaining the existence of evil and suffering in God's world. Theologians and philosophers have tried to deal with animal suffering - here are some of their attempts.

But the main objection to the argument is that it flies in the face of common-sense, as anyone who has seen the distress of an animal that has lost one of its young will tell you. One ancient theologian regarded animals as beings whose behaviour brought their suffering upon themselves. Christian theologians have traditionally taught that animals don't have an afterlife, and so will receive no compensation for suffering during their earthly lives.

If there is any sentient being which suffers pain, that being -- whatever it is and however it is manifested -- must find that pain transfigured by a greater joy. Some writers believe that the compensation of a glorious afterlife is the only thing that can reconcile animal and human suffering with the idea of a loving and omnipotent God. This isn't entirely satisfactory, and it doesn't work for those animals that lack self-awareness and have no memory of what has happened in their lives.

It is extremely doubtful whether even a zoological paradise, filled with pleasure and devoid of pain, could have any compensatory value in relation to the momentary pangs of creatures who cannot carry their past experience with them in conscious memory. If the life of a newt is merely a succession of sensations, what should we mean by saying that God may recall to life the newt that died to-day? It would not recognise itself as the same newt. Early Christians regarded human beings as greatly superior to all other animals. After all, human beings were made in the image of God, and God chose human form for his earthly life.

Furthermore, God clearly decreed that human beings should have power over non-human animals. Leading thinkers such as Augustine reinforced ideas of animal inferiority, concluding that animals existed entirely for the benefit of humanity. He taught that the universe was a hierarchy with God at the top. Each layer in the hierarchy existed to serve the layers above it. Humanity came above the animals, so animals existed to serve humankind.

In modern times, Karl Barth, the greatest theologian of the 20th century, taught that God's choice of human form for his incarnation showed that human beings are more important than non-human animals. Search term:. Read more.

Author Event Kaite McGrew, author of The Sovereign Soul

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. Animal rights Last updated Christianity's teachings about animal rights, animal suffering and humanity's role in the world.

On this page Introduction Modern and pro-animal thinking Churches' views Why do animals suffer? Historical attitudes Find out more Page options Print this page. Introduction Lamb For most of history Christians largely ignored animal suffering. The traditional Christian view When early theologians looked at "nature red in tooth and claw" they concluded that it was a natural law of the universe that animals should be preyed on and eaten by others.

Christian thinking downgraded animals for three main reasons: God had created animals for the use of human beings and human beings were therefore entitled to use them in any way they want Animals were distinctively inferior to human beings and were worth little if any moral consideration, because: humans have souls and animals don't humans have reason and animals don't Christian thought was heavily humano-centric and only considered animals in relation to human beings, and not on their own terms Animals and saints Not all leading Christians disparaged animals.

Some of the saints demonstrated that virtuous Christians treated animals respectfully and kindly: St Antony of Padua preached to fishes St Francis of Assisi preached to the birds and became the most popular pro-animal Christian figure Cows are protected by St Brigit St Columba told his monks to care for a crane St Brendan was helped in his voyage by sea monsters Top. Modern and pro-animal thinking Modern Christian thinking about animals Modern Christians believe they are 'stewards' Modern Christian thinking is largely sympathetic to animals and less willing to accept that there is an unbridgeable gap between animals and human beings.

This has significantly softened Christian attitudes to animals. Animal-friendly Christian thoughts Here are some of the animal-friendly ideas that modern Christians use when thinking about animals: The Bible shows that God made his covenant with animals as well as human beings Human and non-human animals have the same origin in God St.

Andrew Linzey, Christianity and the Rights of Animals. Lambeth Conference,