|By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©1993|
|Psychic powers or effects may be transmitted to individuals by virtue of direct transference, but committed Christians are protected from such influences.|
Psychic powers or effects may also be transmitted to individuals by virtue of direct transference. Before reading this material, be assured that committed Christians are protected from such influences. Indeed, occultists have often found they have no power over genuine Christians who are living for Christ. Former witch Doreen Irvine is one example. In Freed From Witchcraft she recalls on page 98:
On the other hand, many of the gurus (e.g., siddha or power yogis), such as the late Rajneesh and Muktananda, or Sai Baba, Nityananda, and Da Free John, have induced the transmission of occult power into their disciples solely by touch, thought, or glance. Of course, Western occultists can do this as well. Nevertheless, the spiritual dynamics of this ability indicate it as a spiritistic phenomenon. Transference often occurs during ritual occult initiation or standard initiation into Eastern sects where it is known as shaktipat diksha. Here the guru or leader transfers occult power into the initiate for purposes of occultic energizing. (This is also a common phenomenon of psychic healing, which is, in effect, a similar transference of occult power.) In some cases, the effect is to spark interest in the psychic realm or to develop psychic abilities. But in many cases something more profound occurs: a complete religious conversion or a form of possession. Some of the gurus make regular converts by this method, almost as if it were a spiritual counterfeit to biblical regeneration and/or laying on of hands. One converted psychiatrist provides an illustration of the occult power involved (cf. pp. 153-55):
Johanna Michaelsen reports that when touched by the psychic surgeon with whom she worked (who was then under the control of the spirit guide), “A strange shock ran through my body as his hands touched me.”
When Swami Muktananda initiated Albert Rudolph (Swami Rudrananda) into his spiritual tradition (Vedanta), Rudrananda:
Rudrananda observes the relationship of this energy transfer/ possession and later speaks of the normality of the student being spiritually “possessed by his teacher.” He described his own experience of this phenomenon when he felt his own guru enter and possess him in a spirit form.
Carole Carmichael describes a typical experience while under the tutelage of Swami Rama:
But there is also the opposite phenomenon. Rather than an inputting of spiritistic power, the occultist draws energy from other people by some form of psychic vampirism. This typically occurs in mediumism to generate energy for spiritistic materializations, apported material, and other manifestations:
Then there is the strange phenomenon of mediumistic induction—the seemingly “innocent” transference of occult ability. This results merely from being in the proper environment, whether or not one intends to pursue occult practice.
The prominent neuropsychiatrist and psychic researcher Shafica Karagulla recounts a personal illustration of this phenomenon:
In another case, Martin Ebon, the well-known psychic investigator, mentions that the wives of W. B. Yeats and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (of “Sherlock Holmes” fame) “both became mediumistic when their husbands developed a lively interest in spiritistic phenomena.”
Dr. Fodor observes:
But when this occult energy, whatever it is, is either transferred into a person or taken from them, how might this affect the person physiologically, psychologically, or spiritually?
In a related area, occultists often seek to transfer their powers to someone else at death. If they are unable to do so they often undergo an unbelievable death agony. Indeed, for committed occultists in general, Koch observes from his wide experience that “a very difficult and terrible death struggle [is] a symptom which has emerged in every case of occult practice within my knowledge.” Dr. Unger comments that such a situation may become “a nightmare of suffering [for the occultist] when children do not wish to receive the occult power.”
Another dangerous element of transference is common to all forms of psychic healing where the “healer” temporarily assumes the sickness or disease they are seeking to cure. This can be excruciatingly painful and may last for hours or even days or weeks. It may also account for a portion of the unsavory character development which can afflict occultists. Dr. Hereward Carrington, an early supporter of mediumism, argues:
The point is well-taken, because from a biblical perspective who knows the extent of spiritual illness an occultist endures? Further, their defective philosophy makes its mark on their lives, and this moral character may, as Carrington observes, be transferred. The mental health of many occultists must also be considered. If mental conditions are to some extent transferred, one can only say, “Let the buyer beware.”
As an example, we mention one psychic who entered a trance state to help an emotionally disturbed woman whose brother had apparently been murdered. During the trance, the psychic actually “relived” the murder, including experiencing the sheer terror of the victim, and the hatred and revenge of the murderers and the murder itself. “It was all as if it were my own,” she reported. Leaving the condition of the trance was difficult, plus all of the emotions were brought forth into the conscious state where they remained, causing serious mental problems.
We provide one final example—this time of serious physical ailments—from the life of Indian miracle worker and spiritist Satha Sai Baba. Here, as mediums and psychic healers often do, he is allegedly taking upon himself the karma, diseases, etc. of other people. Considering the extent of his suffering, one could more reasonably assume he had come under the spell of sadistic spirits rather than healing energies.
So far, we have examined a number of negative consequences of the occult: mental illness, social consequences, familial hazards, and others. In our next chapter we examine the potential for physical damage and disease arising from occult practice.