"cleverly hidden, subtle elements of the New Age Movement"

Fr. Bloom,

I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your various websites and related links.

I live in Hilton Head, SC and also belong to Holy Family Catholic Church. I started my own home-based business 2 years ago and have been actively involved in various self-improvement books/tapes/programs,ect.

I came to a frightening realization that many of these programs have cleverly hidden, subtle elements of the New Age Movement. As a brief background, let me say that my ultimate goal in this life is to become holy and go to heaven. I am complete agreement with all teachings/traditions of the church.

What I found so frightening is how subtle these references were and also how little writing/info is available. I spent several hours searching the internet the other day and only found a couple documents re. the NAM. It was a pastoral letter written by a ArchBishop from Mexico in 1996.

One of the people I listen to mentioned he was reading a book on Edgar Cayce and while searching for any link with "catholic and Edgar Cayce" I came across your website. I know Cayce is way out of bounds, but I did notice that every one of these groups try to make some association with Christianity.

Do you have any recommended readings that might elaborate more on books, authors, ect to avoid. Also ones that you recommend.

I appreciate any insight.

God bless, Bob Hoskins


Dear Bob,

Thanks for your email and for the encouraging words. Good to hear about your ministry. Also your awareness of how the New Age Movement - and others - can subtly subvert Christianity. Hispanics have a saying about deceptive merchants who sell a cat for a rabbit (gato por liebre). The only way to avoid being cheated is to carefully examine the merchandise. For example, New Age folks will cheerfully talk about "God" but only as a vague product of evolution or human consciousness - not as a separate being who created everything and will one day judge each of us according to a standard of right and wrong.

This kind of deceptiveness pervades our media. How often do you hear commentators patiently explaining to us that sexual expression is "natural", "healthy", "beautiful", "normal", "nothing to fear or be ashamed of", etc., etc.? When young - and not so young - people take them at face value, they often wind up doing terrible damage to themselves and to others.

One of my seminary profs used to say that the most dangerous thing in the world is an uncritical mind. We have to examine things carefully before making our investment.

About self-improvement courses, I think they can be of great benefit. How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Road Less Travelled, The Seven Habits, etc. all have some good points. Often what they do is remind us of basic things - like accepting responsibility, planning, follow-though, taking the other person's perspective into account - that we easily ignore. But they can also contain values & philosophies contrary to the faith. A lot of the current talk about "self-esteem" is very misleading.

I have heard Fr. Mitch Pacwa (EWTN) speak about the New Age Movement, although I have not read his books. He seems quite knowledgeable.

God's blessing for you, your family, your business.

Fr. Bloom


Other Questions

Letter from New Age practicioner

Resources to combat the New Age

Simple Catholicism

We Are Church Slogan

Need for Dogma

Dissent and the Catechism

C.S. Lewis: To Dissenting Priests

Catholic Teaching on Birth Control

Women Priests

The Crisis of the Catholic University

The Abortion Issue.

Homily on Abortion and Homosexuality

The Challenge of Secular Humanism

The Religion of our Culture: Naturalism

The Catholic Church: Founded by Jesus

Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History

Pictures from Ordination of Deacon Armando Perez (Holy Family Parish, July 15, 2001)