Info at a Glance
Description: Channeling occurs when someone permits a spirit
entity to possess him or her usually for some form of psychic
knowledge or power, e.g., psychic diagnosis or healing, or to use the
personís vocal cords to speak in order to give spiritual teachings or
practical advice. Various forms of spirit communication by channeling
exist, such as automatic writing, narrated visions, and inner voice
dictation. In addition, many people say they channel entities who
claim to be angels, even though these "angels" are indistinguishable
in their methods and teachings from the spirits channeled by
occultists in general.
Founder: The first recorded incident of channeling per se is
found in Genesis 3:1 (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:5, 13-16).
How does it claim to work?: Channeling claims to work through a
variety of means. For example, through meditation, relaxation,
visualization, hypnosis, altered states of consciousness, and other
methods, channelers claim the spirits are able to enter, possess, and
control them much in the same manner as a puppeteer controls a puppet.
Channelers claim that by permitting spirits to possess and speak
through them, mankind can attain a wealth of spiritual and practical
wisdom directly from spirits, who have "passed on" and are highly
evolved. The spirits claim they can assist people toward true
individual, social, and spiritual enlightenment.
Scientific evaluation: Certain aspects of the practice can be
scientifically examined, as in parapsychological research, but science
cannot evaluate the specific claims made by channelers concerning the
spiritís existence, nature, or purpose.
Examples of occult potential: Channeling is chiefly used for an
endless number of occult purposes, from realizing so-called "higher"
states of consciousness, to developing psychic powers, to attaining
Major problem: Channeled spirits who claim to be wise and
loving entities, or angels sent from God, are lying spirits which the
Bible identifies as demons. Despite their seeming charm and
benevolence, this is only a ruse to establish trust. As one channeler
points out, "Guides have a vested interest in being friendly" (Laeh M.
Garfield, Jack Grant, Companions in Spirit: A Guide to Working with
your Spirit Helpers, Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984, p. 42).
Biblical/Christian evaluation: Channeling is part of what the
Bible calls Christians to stand against in spiritual warfare (Eph.
6:10-18). And under the name "mediumship," it is a practice
specifically forbidden (Deut. 18:9-12). The hidden purpose of the
spirits is to gain the confidence of men so they can influence and
control them to bring their eventual spiritual ruin (2 Cor. 4:4).
Potential dangers: Spiritual deception, occult bondage, demon
possession, mental breakdown, physical harm, shortened life, financial
and other risks perpetuated by fraudulent channelers, and other
Note: The New Age Movement as a whole is largely undergirded by
channeled revelations and activities (cf., our The Facts on Spirit
Guides, Harvest House, 1988).