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Hot picks: M Scott Peck, Peter Popoff, Harry Potter, Prosperity Gospel, Psychic


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Pacific Institute, The. Caution Hot Topic The Pacific Institute (often abbreviated by them as TPI) is an organisation founded by Lou Tice in Seattle, Washington, USA in 1971 which runs New Age based seminars and courses for maximising potential, stress management etc. Courses are also available for children and young people. In their article Off SiteNew Age in the Workplace The Watchman Expositor lists some of the New Age thinking taught in one course.

One of the most popular is called New Age Thinking, a motivational seminar distributed by the Pacific Institute of Seattle, Washington, founded by Lou Tice.

In 1983, this seminar was conducted at Northwestern Bell in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following the course, one of the employees wrote a personal evaluation in which he recorded a number of statements made by Lou Tice in the videotapes.

The following are a sample of statements recorded by the employee "word for word to the best" he was able to record them:

  • Truth is what we perceive reality to be in our mind.
  • As I think, I am.
  • Self-hypnosis is helpful for adopting New Age Thinking techniques.
  • Universal knowledge exists and can be accessed through ESP (known as intuition).
  • You are in control of your life, your destiny.

The employee also stated that during the seminar, guided imagery was used and follow-up cassette tapes were given to the employees which included lessons on deep relaxation and affirmations.

Thus, there is more to these seminars than building team spirit and rallying everyone around the goals of the company.

In reality, they are a form of indoctrination which promotes the New Age view which is in direct contrast to the basic beliefs of orthodox Christianity.

Pathlights has Off Sitean article which descibes the courses:

And if this were not enough to gladden the hearts of New Agers everywhere, the latest news from the halls of industry should be. For suddenly courses in "New Age Thinking" have become the order of the day -- particularly for middle and upper-level management personnel and salesmen. From General Motors and Chrysler Corporation through AT&T and southwestern oil concerns such courses have been offered. One such course that has been in wide use at many major corporations is called "New Age Thinking" and is taught by Lou Tice of The Pacific Institute, Inc.

Employees attending these institutes are even encouraged to bring their entire families. Self-image psychology is stressed as part of a new "mental tool kit." Like other psychotechnologies, the perceptions of the participants are played with in an attempt to shift their focus to "New Age Thinking."

Participants are basically taught that they create their own world by their own thought-forms and that by ignoring or downplaying negative inputs their world will become a brighter, better place. Of course, believing you are your own god is the next logical step. And where does such a program tell one to go for spiritual and religious guidance? Again, dear to the heart of the most dedicated New Age psychic and spiritualist, they are sent to the major advocates of the "deity of man": Pierre Teilhard deChardin, Herman Hesse, Eric Fromm, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and most outrageously of all, Ram Dass -- an avowed enemy of orthodox Judeo-Christian religious tradition and proponent of a mass conversion to Hinduism and other forms of Eastern mysticism.

Clearly, enforced attendance at these New Age seminars is a form of religious discrimination by the employer that should not be tolerated. Neither should it be made a ground for promotion or demotion among those attending or refusing to attend. Could an employer demote or promote one for regularly attending mass or evangelical services? The answer, of course, is a clear no. Neither should the employer be allowed to do this to those whose consciences do not permit their attendance at seminars promoting "New Age Thinking."

It is unclear how many of The Pacific Insitute's courses contain such strong New Age teaching.

Pack, David C. David C Pack (born 1948) is the founder and leader of the Restored Church of God.

Packer, Rob & Lyn. Danger Hot Topic Rob & Lyn Packer run Creative Fire Ministries, and lead Extreme Prophetic in New Zealand. Rob & Lyn Packer are rated Danger for their association with and support for Extreme Prophetic's Patrica King.

Parking Management Authority LTD. Danger Hot Topic Scam. This company does not exist in the New Zealand Companies Office Register. It is a name used by the barely legitimate (but notorious) NZ Wheel Clamping Co Limited, apparently to appear more authoritative than they are. Also called "NZWC Parking Authority" on their carpark signs and "Parking Managament [sic] Authority LTD " on their own scam parking infringement notices. They are on record for not including GST on their invoices, or stating the wrong amount of GST, and for including bogus and unexplained totals on their invoices.

The Passion of the Christ. See the listing for The Passion of the Christ on the Religious Movies page.

Patriotic Christian Distributors. Caution A Seventh-day Adventist publishing company in Christchurch. Prints and sells Ellen G White books and prints the free tabloid newspapers The [South Pacific] Signs of the Times and (formerly) Sunday Law Times.

Patterson, Ross. Caution Hot Topic Printable version Ross Patterson is a computer programmer from Whangarei and is associated with Anchor Stone International. In association with Daniel McKibben he promotes Ron Wyatt's false discoveries including the claim for a particular site in Turkey being Noah's Ark.

In 1992 Answers in Genesis investigated the evidence and thoroughly refuted any idea that the site is or ever was Noah's Ark. From the Off SiteAnswers in Genesis special report:

True/False?

  • Radar shows man-made (boat) structure..........FALSE
  • There is a regular metallic pattern............FALSE
  • Lab tests show petrified laminated wood........FALSE
  • Turkish scientists found metal rods............FALSE
  • Metal artefacts have been proved by lab........FALSE
  • There are ‘ship’s ribs’ showing................FALSE
  • There is lots of petrified wood................FALSE
  • Turkish Commission says ‘it’s a boat...........FALSE

Off SiteAnother refutation was co-written by David Fasold, a former supporter of the site who has excavated at the site and concluded it isn't Noah's Ark; it's a natural formation, not man-made:

Conclusion

Evidence from microscopic studies and photo analyses demonstrates that the supposed Ark near Dogubayazit is a completely natural rock formation. It cannot have been Noah's Ark nor even a man-made model.

However, David Fasold is still quoted by Daniel McKibben and his colleagues as supporting the site being Noah's Ark. Similarly with their attempts to give support to their claims by references to geologist Dr John Baumgardner. Although he was initially enthusiastic about the site, Dr Baumgardner now categorically denies the formation is Noah's Ark, and Off Sitegoes much further:

I am almost 100% certain that Ron 'planted' them [the rivets allegedly found at the site]. ...

Also from these excerpts it should be clear that I consider Wyatt's misrepresentation of my views as morally wrong and dishonest. But his deception of multitudes of Christians who have not had the opportunity to check his claims firsthand as I have is an even worse crime.

With evidence so readily available disproving that the site is Noah's Ark, it is the position of the New Zealand Cult List that anyone who still promotes the false Ron Wyatt Ark site and its associated false evidence is either willfully ignorant or is deliberately deceiving.

The NZ Cult List regards Ron Wyatt as a con artist. We hope that Ross Patterson is not similarly deceiving people, but it doesn't look good. Misrepresenting sources like he does with David Fasold, Dr John Baumgardner and many others is particularly bad. Like Ron Wyatt, Ross Patterson hasn't been given a Danger rating because his claims are not likely to do any damage other than to people's wallets.

Pawson, David. David Pawson (born 1930) is a Christian teacher and author of more than thirty books. His teachings are presented on Shine TV (channel 25) and Map TV (channel 45). He visited New Zealand in 1982.

Peck, Morgan Scott. Danger Hot Topic M Scott Peck (23 May 1936 – 25 September 2005) is the author of The Road Less Traveled (1978). In People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil (1983) he wrote "After many years of vague identification with Buddhist and Islamic mysticism, I ultimately made a firm Christian commitment — signified by my non-denominational baptism on the ninth of March 1980". However, his theology and teaching was decidedly New Age and very non-biblical. For more information see Off SiteM. Scott Peck: Traveling Down the Wrong Road by H Wayne House:

If Peck were merely saying that God can use one’s past religious experiences to lead one to the truth of Christianity, then I would have no quarrel with him. But Peck is open to all these religious views as being adequate to bring “salvation.” The Bible, on the other hand, reveals that there is only one road to God, through the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). And this salvation is made possible by the grace of God.

...

According to Peck, Jesus shows us the way to salvation. He doesn’t save us. As Peck says elsewhere, “Becoming the most we can be is also the definition of salvation.” Despite Jesus’ admirable qualities which we should emulate, Peck says, Jesus was usually frustrated, depressed, anxious, scared, rude, and prejudiced.

Those verses are worth quoting in full.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

– John 14:6 (NIV).

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

– Acts 4:12 (NIV).

M Scott Peck is rated Danger because his teachings are so very non-Christian yet are so often mistaken as being Christian. It is especially disappointing to hear Christian leaders embracing and teaching Peck's views.

Peek, Hammond. Hammond Peek is the chairman of Subud in Christchurch. In his professional life he has won two Oscars, for his sound recording and mixing work on The Return of the King and King Kong, for which he is to be congratulated.

People Knowhow. Danger Hot Topic Group that runs Turning Point program, a course based on Landmark Education's Landmark Forum. The course has apparently led to the death of a woman in Australia - see Off Sitehere and Off Sitehere.

Peoples Worship in Freedom Mission. An Auckland church who had the misfortune to have conman Charles Hohepa sell their building without their knowledge in 2002. This is an FYI listing.

Philadelphia Church of God. Danger Cult. Based on the teachings of Herbert W Armstrong. Legalistic, sabbath worship, etc. Founded in 1989 by Gerald Flurry and John Amos as a breakaway group from the former cult Worldwide Church of God when the Philadelphia group decided they wanted to keep the doctrine of Herbert Armstrong rather than accept the reforms that were happening in the Worldwide Church of God. The Philadelphia Church of God very sadly claims the reformed group was "doctrinally hijacked and spiritually destroyed." Mains forms of outreach include The Trumpet magazine and Key of David television programme.

Placebo effect. See placebo effect in the Glossary.

Popoff, Peter. Danger Hot Topic Peter Popoff is a charlatan, fraud, scammer and con artist, pure and simple, and is currently (March 2009) screened on New Zealand television. In the 1970s and 1980s he claimed to have supernatural powers - "word of knowledge" of people's medical conditions in particular - but was exposed by skeptic James Randi as wearing an earpiece and receiving messages transmitted by his wife. She and a couple of helpers, prior to the meetings starting, had spoken with needy people attending the events and gleaned information from them about what they wanted prayer for. As a result of the exposé Peter Popoff claimed bankruptcy in 1987 but has since made a comeback. In 2007 Inside Edition and ABC's 20/20 ran stories exposing and highlighting his activities, which show he is apparently using the same techniques once again to con people out of money. Present mail scams involve "miracle" items such as miracle spring water, miracle manna and other items, and are used to raise huge amounts of money. For more information see Wikipedia's Off SitePeter Popoff article.

Ploughshares. See Aotearoa Ploughshares.

Potter, Bert. Danger Bert Potter, Off Sitedeceased 6 May 2012 aged 86, was leader of the Centrepoint Commune. In 1992 he was imprisoned for seven years on child-sex charges. Not related to the fictional Harry Potter.

Potter, Harry. Caution Hot Topic Harry Potter is a fictional character in an on-going series of books (and more recently movies) written by J K Rowling. Much has been said for and against the books (and the movies) with some parents swearing by them, claiming that their children were not interested in reading before coming across the books. However, a great many people have strong concerns about the books' questionable morals and implementation of discipline, and the way they promote a pro-occult worldview and encourage children to play with the occult. From an excellent Off Siteessay by Steven D Greydanus:

"Sometimes Harry is legitimately driven by necessity to break a rule; other times it's only because he feels like it. Sometimes he is caught, sometimes not; sometimes he is punished, sometimes not... Yet closer examination reveals that Harry and his friends are only ever really punished for breaking rules when they're caught by one of the nasty authority figures... When it's one of the benevolent authority figures... there are no real consequences for breaking any number of rules, because Harry's heart is in the right place, or because he is a boy of destiny, or something like that."

Especially good (wonderful, even) are the seven "hedges" explained in that article - each hedge being a literary characteristic that other authors (such as C S Lewis) use to separate the reader from directly identifying with occult activity and magic within the story.

"[The hedges] have the net effect of limiting and restricting the role of magic in their fantasy worlds, essentially acting as barricades or hedges between magic and the reader, in effect saying: "Magic is not for the likes of us." ...Furthermore, none of these 'hedges' are found in ... the Harry Potter books. ... Consequently, greater parental guidance is required to avoid the pitfalls of the use of magic in the Harry Potter books..."

Numerous articles exist on the Internet about the occult in Harry Potter. (Off SiteExample article.)

Harry Potter From Hell

Power for Abundant Living. An introductory course for The Way International cult.

(The) Power of Purpose. Not Yet Rated A course run by Kairos Foundation. Said to be "similar [to] Landmark".

(The) Power of Self Esteem. Not Yet Rated A course run by Kairos Foundation. Said to be "similar [to] Landmark".

Powerhouse. Danger Hot Topic A small group at Kaikohe, Northland, led by Ray and Linda Adams. Said to have only about a dozen member, but they have been reported to be practising most of the techniques of mind control, including exclusivism, very strong relationship control and shunning which has separated families, and fear, guilt and intimidation. With further information the rating has been changed from Caution to Danger (October 2014).

Practical Philosophy. Danger Name of a course run by the New Age cult School of Philosophy. The school's teachings have nothing to do with real philosophy.

Pranic Energy. Danger New Age healing technique.

Primal Youth. Primal Youth started as churches specifically aimed at young people - indeed, run by young people, teenagers even. One of the aims was to feed them into normal churches at 20, but it was a little unclear how that was to happen. However, now "the vast majority (if not all) of the Primal churches operate out of local 'normal' churches and are their youth ministries, under the oversight of the elders of that church." Founded in 1994 by Dean Rush, from Christian City Church (CCC), now C3. There are branches of Primal Youth in New Zealand and Fiji.

Promise Keepers. OK Hot Topic Christian men's movement with the aim of improving Christian men's spiritual and moral lives. They have a Off Siteweb site. Reader Joel comments: It's not OK, it's awesome! Sadly, for their 2007 Promise Keepers Conference radio advertising they chose a petrol-head wheel-spinning theme, thus condoning illegal and irresponsible activity.

Prosperity Doctrine/Prosperity Gospel. Danger Simply put, a false belief that Christians will automatically be healthy and wealthy (if they have faith). Part of the Word Faith Movement.

Providence Church. Danger Cult, also called Providence, or in many Asian countries as JMS (Jesus Morning Star), which is also the initials of the founder, Jung Myung Seok. Present in New Zealand as Nikau Church led by Crystal Liu. Other names include Spirit of Truth, Christian Gospel Mission, International Christian Association, Setsuri, and The Bright Moon Church. Front groups include Kotuku Models and Global Association of Culture and Peace which is also known by many other names, such as Bright Smile Movement. Dance With Me is believed to no longer be a front group. The cult targets Koreans, mainly students, but its presence in New Zealand is believed to be small. For more information see Off SiteProvidence Cult Watch or Off Sitewww.jmscult.com.

Purification Program. Danger Name used by Scientology cult. Stay well clear of it.

Psychic. Danger A person with an occult ability to tell the future. Claims of this ability are widely used in New Zealand as a drawcard for 0900 telephone numbers. It should be noted that most people claiming psychic ability are simply scammers trying to make money off the gullible, using cold reading and the Forer effect. Some people actually believe they have real psychic ability, but no case of such ability has ever been proven. See James van Praagh for an example of a psychic and his possible methods. However any particular psychics actually operate, they should all be avoided by Christians.

Pyramid scheme. As reported in Off Sitethis Stuff article about Circle: "Hallmarks of pyramid schemes are that they require continued recruitment of new members, who have to pay to join, and there is an expectation members will eventually profit from being involved. These schemes collapse and those at the bottom lose their money. In addition, anyone operating or promoting a pyramid scheme risks prosecution." Also see multi-level marketing scheme.

 
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