(from Encyclopedia of Cults
and New Religions, Harvest House, 1999)
INFO AT A GLANCE
Name: Silva Mind
Purpose: SMC is a
spiritistic, New Age, "self-help" seminar that
claims to be able to institute "the next phase of human
evolution on this planet."
Founder: Jose Silva
Source of authority: Jose
Silva; "controlled" esp.
claims that it is "the first and only fully guaranteed method
known to be effective in developing and controlling Effective
Sensory Projection"1 (i.e., "mind projection" for
Psychic development, spiritism and other forms of occult activity.
Key literature: The
Silva Mind Control Method; I Have a Hunch: The Autobiography of
Jose Silva; Reflections; Mysteries to the Keys of the Kingdom;
and other books by Jose Silva.
Attitude toward Christianity: Rejecting.
purpose on earth was to train everyone to use their ‘right
brain,’ to become clairvoyant. " (Jose Silva, I Have a
Hunch, Vol.1, appendix, p. 8A.)
Note: SMC has resulted in a number of
"off-shoots" that have utilized SMC techniques, including
Mind Dynamics and est/The Forum. According to Silva, both Alex
Everett, founder of Mind Dynamics, and Werner Erhard, founder of est/The
Forum, are SMG graduates.2 A number of popular books also utilize
SMC principles. Jess Stearns’ bestselling The Miracle Power
of Alpha Thinking is basically SMC.3
God: Unipersonal or
Jesus Christ: An enlightened man who used
the principles of Silva Mind Control.
Silva Mind Control and the right brain hemisphere to achieve
spiritual enlightenment and solve the problems of humanity.
Man: Potentially a god.
Sin: Ignorance or
failing to think properly.
Universalist; spiritual progression to higher planes of existence.
INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY
In 1979 a group of people caused
worldwide press coverage for their attempt to use "ESP" to
affect the orbit of the then faltering Skylab, which later came
crashing to earth. After their failure, the project founder
height of the orbit was not influenced by the mental projections from
earth."4 This vainglorious effort represented the brainchild of
Silva Mind Control International (SMCI), a large occult "human
potential" organization, which had earlier attempted to
psychically influence astronauts while in space.5 Since Silva Mind
Control claims it is designed to develop psychic powers in anyone
within only four days, perhaps the SMC attempt at such stalwart
projects is understandable
Thousands of professionals
have been through SMC and utilize some of its principles in their
respective professions. Some executives at RCA use it, as do directors
in the Mary Kay Corporation. Numerous physicians and psychiatrists use
it as well as over nine million others in every American state and in
107 countries and 29 languages around the world.6 Founder Jose Silva
hopes to see literally tens of thousands of ministers, physicians,
psychologists, government leaders, law enforcement officials,
engineers, archaeologists, meteorologists, astronomers,
industrialists, financiers, executives, pilots and others become
psychic and change the world into a paradise.7 Allegedly, "His
work signifies and has become one of the first steps taken toward the
second phase of human evolution on this planet."8 It is claimed
that Jose Silva is "recognized as a genius in the fields of
business, education, athletics, science, art and philosophy," to
name a few.9 Silva himself states unabashedly, "Before we
developed this method, there had been no such training since the time
of Christ."10 Jesus, naturally, was an expert in Silva Mind
Today the organization is
a large corporate structure. For example, there is the Institute of
Psychorientology, which is defined by Jose Silva as "the study of
orienting Mind in the subjective world of the [psychic] mind
dimension."11 It is the central organization and manages
"research and development," although most of its power has
been turned over to Silva Mind Control International, Inc. Another
branch, Silva Sensor Systems, coordinates parapsychologically oriented
bookstores and provides continuing programs for graduates, tapes and
SMC lecturers for the general public. As of 1999, SMC had been taught,
often with academic credits available, in scores of colleges and high
schools and even numerous elementary schools. SMC offers special
lectures and courses for professionals.
PRACTICE AND TEACHINGS
Despite claims to uniqueness, the
SMC method is merely a variation on numerous common forms of human
potentialism and meditative psychic development, and it often has a
According to SMC,
"negative thinking," using terms such as
"can’t," "won’t," "hate" and so on,
is forbidden. SMC even believes that employing certain
"negative" cultural phrases ("He burns me up")
slowly programs people into sickness, pain and death. Hence, a central
premise, as in the modern "Christian Faith" movement, is the
tremendous power of words to impact the psyche (cf. our The Facts
On the Faith Movement). Silva declares, "Words have special
power at deep levels of mind,"12 and, "Words do not just
reflect reality, they create reality."13
1. Jose Silva, Silva Mind Control:
Alpha Theta Brainwave Function (Laredo, TX: 1977), brochure, p. 1.
2. Personal conversation with Jose
Silva, May 1986.
5. Jose Silva, I Have a Hunch: The
Autobiography of Jose Silva, vol. 2 (Laredo, TX: Institute of
Psychorientology, 1985), p. 158.
4. Mind Control Newsletter, vol.
10, no. 9, p. 5.
5. Silva, I Have a Hunch, Vol.
1, pp. 258ff.
6. Personal conversation with Jose
Silva, May 1986.
7. Silva, I Have a Hunch, Vol.
1, pp. 11A-24A; Jose Silva, The Mystery of the Keys to the
Kingdom (Laredo, TX: Institute of Psychorientology, 1984), p. 11.
8. Jose Silva, Reflections (Laredo,
TX: Institute of Psychorientology, 1982), pp. 5-6.
9. Silva, I Have a Hunch, Vol.
2, p. 1.
10. Ibid., p. 161.
11. Harry McKnight, Silva Mind
Control: Key to Inner Kingdoms Through Psychorientology (Laredo,
TX: Institute of Psychorientology, rev. 1975,1976), p. 82.
12. Jose Silva and Philip Miele, The
Silva Mind Control Method (New York: Simon and Schuster,
1977), p. 60.
13. Ibid., p. 56.