Monday, 24 October 2011

Heythrop College - New Age incubator

Today I won't name a long list of Heythrop College (ex Maria Assumpta Centre) connections to the New Age. I will just concentrate on the latest one: the forthcoming "Sacred Foundations and Cosmograms" conference that will take place on 3-4 December 2011, organized as  "Gatekeeper Conference 2011".

First question: is Heythrop College Catholic ?
- Founded 1614 in Louvain (Belgium) for the education of English Jesuits.
- In 1926 the two faculties were reunited in a single campus at Heythrop in Oxfordshire.
- In the mid-1960s began admitting non-Jesuit staff and students.
It says on their website: Since 1970, it has been a College of the University of London, while retaining a modern Catholic ethos, and offers an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives.
Well. I guess the key word here is 'modern Catholic' ...

Second question is: how New Age is the conference
The answer is: VERY much!
To start with, its organized by the Gatekeeper Trust.
The Gatekeeper Trust was established, among others by Sir George Lowthian Trevelyan – who was also involved in the establishment of the Fildhorn Foundation and is called a father of the New Age Movement. 
He said:
"We are talking about the emergence of a different world view in our time. This is a phenomenon that is happening during your generation. It's the most curious, the most extraordinary thing. This is not somebody's thought out idea; this is not an intellectually conceived hope of improving society or anything like that. Something extraordinary is actually happening inside our thinking. There has really been a turn-about in the centre of human consciousness."
"We are co-creators of that which truly is the Body of Christ. This is the New Jerusalem. And the change of consciousness could come ‘in the twinkling of an eye’.
Right: different world view, co-creators, change of consciousness ...
doesn't that that not sound New Age enough ?
The speaker - Peter Dawkins - is also a founder member of Gatekeepers Trust as well as English founder of the Francis Bacon Research Trust. Since 1978 he has written on the Baconian-Rosicrucian philosophies and "Ancient Wisdom" teaching (Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm). 
He is the Founder-Director of the Zoence Academy which runs a training course in Zoence (a Western equivalent of the Chinese feng shui).
I don't really know what there is that is Catholic in his biography. New Age full power. 
Then we have a list of speakers:
- Anthony Thorley (landscape zodiacs as sacred spaces)
- Marko Pogacnik (Earth healing work by 'Lithopuncture')
- Helen Raphael Sands (a journey through the elements)
- Louise Coe (feng shui consultant and inner alignment practitioner)
- Lucy Wyatt (trustee of Gatekeepers)

I am sorry, but I think I missed God in any of the speakers' descriptions ... I mean Jesus Christ, not the universe....

And all that under the umbrella of 2012 and Olympic Games ... One more thing - for New Agers the date 2012 is significant, they expect some planetary illumination and get so excited with the Olympics and they don't take it as a coincidence ...

So, back to the Catholic Heythrop College - still educating priests, nuns and catechists .... don't be surprise to see what you see afterwards in your parishes and communities ...
Back to the Gatekeeper conference, I wonder why they use the name of Maria Assumpta centre even though the building was sold to to current Heytrhrop College and has nothing to do witj Maria Assumpta ? I am sure they love it, it add nice Catholic credentials to those who dont know much about New Age Movement.

Please write to the College asking them to stop inviting those people or to change the name to New Age College ...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Oath Against Modernism

On September 1, 1910 St. Pope Pius X issued Motu Proprio a document called Sacrorum Antistitum in which he provided the Church with an 'Oath Against Modernism'. Previously Pius X had defined Modernism as a heresy in his encyclicals Pascendi Dominici gregis of 1907, and Lamentabili Sane. The oath continued to be taken until July 1967 when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rescinded it.
It is, however, still taken before priestly ordination by some clergy voluntarily and by certain confraternities
He explains what he is about in the first paragraph:
It seems to Us that it has not been ignored by none of the holy Bishops [Sacrorum Antistitum] that the class of men, the modernists, whose personality was described in the encyclical letter Pascendi dominici gregis, have not refrained from working in order to disturb the peace of the Church. They have not ceased to attract followers, either, by forming a clandestine group; by these means, they inject in the very veins of the Christian Republic the virus of their doctrine, by editing books and publishing articles in anonymity or with pseudonyms. By reading anew Our aforementioned letter, and considering it carefully, it is clearly seen that this deliberate movement is the work of the men that we described in it, enemies that are the more dangerous the closer they are; that abuse their ministry by offering poisoned nourishment and by surprising the less cautious; by handing a false doctrine in which the sum of all errors is enclosed. …


Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .

The following are the principal decrees or documents expressly directed against modernism.
  • The pope's address on 17 April, 1907, to the newly-created cardinals. It is a résumé which anticipates the Encyclical "Pascendi".
  • A letter from the Congregation of the Index of 29 April, 1907, to the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan with regard to the review "Il Rinnovamento". In it we find more concrete notions of the tendencies which the popes condemn. The letter even goes so far as to mention the names of Fogazzaro, Father Tyrrell, von Hügel and the Abbate Murri.
  • Letters from Pius X, 6 May, 1907, to the archbishops and bishops and to the patrons of the Catholic Institute of Paris. It shows forth clearly the great and twofold care of Pius X for the restoration of sacred studies and Scholastic philosophy, and for the safeguarding of the clergy.
  • The decree "Lamentabili" of the Holy Office, 3-4 July, 1907, condemning 65 distinct propositions.
  • The injunction of the Holy Office, "Recentissimo", of 28 August, 1907, which with a view to remedying the evil, enjoins certain prescriptions upon bishops and superiors of religious orders.
  • The Encyclical "Pascendi", of 8 September, 1907, of which we shall speak later on.
  • Three letters of the Cardinal Secretary of State, of 2 and 10 October, and of 5 November, 1907, on the attendance of the clergy at secular universities, urging the execution of a general regulation of 1896 on this subject. The Encyclical had extended this regulation to the whole Church.
  • The condemnation by the Cardinal-Vicar of Rome of the pamphlet "Il programma dei modernisti", and a decree of 29 October, 1907, declaring the excommunication of its authors, with special reservations.
  • The decree Motu Proprio of 18 November, 1907, on the value of the decisions of the Biblical Commission, on the decree "Lamentabili", and on the Encyclical "Pascendi". These two documents are again confirmed and upheld by ecclesiastical penalties.
  • The address at the (Consistory of 16 December, 1907.
  • The decree of the Holy Office of 13 February, 1908, in condemnation of the two newspapers, "La Justice sociale" and "La Vie Catholique". Since then several condemnations of the books have appeared.
  • The Encyclical "Editae" of 26 May, 1910, renewed the previous condemnations.
  • Still stronger is the tone of the Motu Proprio "Sacrorum Antistitum", of 1 September, 1910, declared:
  • by a decree of the Consistorial Congregations of 25 September, 1910. This Motu Proprio inveighs against modernist obstinacy and specious cunning. After having quoted the practical measures prescribed in the Encyclical "Pascendi", the pope urges their execution, and, at the same time, makes new directions concerning the formation of the clergy in the seminaries and religious houses. Candidates for higher orders, newly appointed confessors, preachers, parish priests, canons, the beneficed clergy, the bishop's staff, Lenten preachers, the officials of the Roman congregations, or tribunals, superiors and professors in religious congregations, all are obliged to swear according to a formula which reprobates the principal modernist tenets.
  • The pope's letter to Prof. Decurtins on literary modernism.

The statue of Pope St. Pius X
in St. Peter's Basilica

Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and eternity.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Catholic Croatia going nuts on Hinduism ?

Two days ago I came back from Medjugorje. My last stop was in Split – a beautiful city (second biggest in Croatia) on the coast. Wondering the street at the dawn I couldn’t stop noticing the posters advertising Yoga. I was even more puzzled as few days ago, on my trip to Medjugorje from Split I met a young lady who was (as she described herself) a ‘nun’ in the Bhakti Marga community – a community of Guru Sri Swami Vishwenanda. Her main purpose to visit Split was to assist the ‘guru’.

I was really puzzled – such a concentration of Hinduism in Roman Catholic Croatia. I checked the latest data about the religion in Croatia – yep, still Catholic (88%), then Orthodox, then Atheism or Agnostism and the others. Well, it doesn’t say Hindu to my knowledge. What is really going on here ? Why that confusion ?

I was amazed to discover so many yoga centers in Croatia, enough to check Wikipedia.
It also says that : “a Croat-Indian Society set up in June 1994 has been active in organizing social and cultural events including classical dance performances, animation films based on Indian mythology, various documentaries on India and its traditions. An Agreement of Cooperation was signed between the Diplomatic Academy of Croatia and the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi in January 2000. Seven Croatian diplomats have attended the Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) at FSI, New Delhi. Shri Santosh Kumar, Secretary & Dean (FSI) attended the conference of Deans at Dubrovnik, Croatia, on 29-30 September 2003.”
One videos on YouTube are quite revealing: for example Hindu Converts In Rjeka

People are in spiritual search but their search is not genuine. There is luck of fundamental knowledge about Eastern Religions. And there is lots of manipulation creating confusion.

Let’s take the case of the mention guru Sri Swami Vishwenanda and its Bhakti Marga Yoga community. In Hinduism Bhakti is a term for religious devotion, understood as active involvement of a devotee in divine worship. Bhakti Yoga is described by Swami Vivekananda (we already talked about him – he was the instrumental person in bringing yoga to the West) as "the path of systematized devotion for the attainment of union with the Absolute".

The discussion I had with my befriended “follower” was about God, their beliefs, devotion, purpose, meaning, love, etc. I found it really confusing as she stressed that their belief is a combination of Orthodox Christianity with Hinduism (even though when you look at their website is a pure Hinduism with few icons of Our Lady). They have a votive chapel with relicts but she couldn’t name any saints of who the relicts belong to. To my amazement she knew very well some readings of Saint Teresa of Avila (Interior Castle – she explained that Seven Mansions were like seven chakras) or Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and The Sacret Heart of Jesus (omitting that the visions were about a form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the First Friday Devotions of each month, the Eucharistic adoration during the Holy Hour on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart).
It did not surprise me at all, when asked how this all started for her, she named yoga and reiki as initial practices. I will repeat my mantra but those practices are like open door to different reality. Not mentioning that they can take you for a real magic trip where devil will start to do his work. I repeat after Father Amorth: those practices may lead to possession and some supernatural experiences are already a serious warning. And to my sad surprise my befriended “follower” did experience some of them.
I don’t know that community well enough but all that she told me seem to me a mishmash of Hinduism and Christianity (the second one being more for familiarity and smoother conversion of the Westerners). 

There is a great post from South Africa about the dangers of that Community and its leader. 
Many facts are presented, among them one that is a clear sacrilege:

“Swami Vishwananda was recently indicted in Switzerland for stealing relics from a church. He explained this behavior to some brahmacharis by stating that “Jesus told him to do it” and that it was not wrong because he did not profit from stealing the relics, i.e. he did not resell them to anyone so it was OK. Swami has on occasion actually worn costumes, dressed as an orthodox priest, to gain entry into churches in an effort to acquire relics. It is well-known that Swami frequently visits churches in France and other countries in search of relics. Why is this such a passion for him? Is it possible that he gets power through the relics? Why else would it be important enough for him to have that he is willing to face prosecution for acting illegally?
On Obedience (my acquaintance did mention something like that)
“Whenever something is asked from me or me through an appointed person, it has to be done without delay. If it comes from me directly, it has to be done without thinking about it and without asking questions.” – Swami Vishwananda.

Sounds to me like a sect! How come those things can exist and flourish in any country, helas in Catholic country is a mystery … or the work of evil!

My trip left me perplexed about the state of our faith in one of most Catholic countries in Europe – Croatia. Someone told me once that New Age will enter the religious countries via false mysticism and false spirituality – the ground is there, it just needs some adjustments. 

I will pray for my befriended “follower” that her heart turns into the real truth and light. May Our Lady of Medjugorje protects her and guides her to Our Lord, Jesus Christ (a real one, not a manifestation of supreme Brahman). 

And anyone involved I fully recommend a book: A death of a Guru - The story of Rabi Maharaj

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Modern Primitives

Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices while making reference or homage to the rite of passage practices in "primitive cultures" These practices may include body piercing, tattooing, play piercing, flesh hook suspension, corset training, scarification, branding, and cutting. The motivation for engaging in these varied practices may be personal growth, rite of passage, or spiritual or sexual curiosity.
Roland Loomis, also known as Fakir Musafar, is considered the father of the modern primitive movement. The 1989 RE/Search book Modern Primitives is largely responsible for the promotion of the concept of modern primitivism. It involves some sort of strange juxtaposition of high technology and "low" tribalism, animism, and body modification - a kind of 'Technoshamanism,' if you will, at once possession trance and kinetic dance.

What does make the modern primitive movement unusual is its pursuit of sensation. Borrowing from the S & M sexual subculture, the modern primitives suggest that one of the effects of modernization and industrialization has been psychic numbing. People no longer know either authentic pleasure or pain, and have forgotten the curious neurochemical ways in which they are interwoven. Piercing is more than just inscription; piercing of the genitals or other sensitive areas of the body means pain, especially during sexual intercourse... but it is a pain that becomes part of the ecstasy for ModPrims... there is this idea of a knowing through pain which modernity has forgotten.

When Mustafar or Stelarc hang themselves from hooks, or pierce themselves with sharp painful implements, they are only duplicating a practice found all over the world. It is a key ritual for many "primitive" and other societies for the person to go into trance and to demonstrate their "absorbtion" by the divine through the negation of pain and injury. The ModPrims claim that their performances are a pursuit of transcendence, proving the ability of the mind to go beyond the taxings and limitations of the body. Stelarc calls himself a "Cyberhuman," pointing to his belief that the future of human evolution toward a greater interconnection of men and machines will require humankind's mastery over (rather than suppression of) passion, suffering, and pain.

Futher, within the ModPrim movement, there is this sort of obsession over technological invasion of the body, through prosthetics, genetic modification, implants, and so on. This bodily invasion is at once feared (as a colonization by capital) and desired (by permitting people to directly neurally link into the "consensual hallucination" of Gibson's Virtual Reality.) The body is seen as information (DNA provides the 'code') and its invasion as either 'scrambling' (through viruses, cancer, etc.) or 'purification' (by removing 'noise' or 'distortion.') The technological modification of the body is seen as a reworking of the shamanic 'deconstruction' of a past era, where the shaman is torn apart by the gods of his tribe, and then his bones and flesh are replaced with quartz or fire or something else...

ModPrims also embrace the rave as a sign of the uniting of past and future. The rave is at once 'primitive,' with its gathering of 'tribes' of young people for the experience of Levy-Bruhl 'participation mystique' through kinetics and MDMA (Ecstasy), and 'futuristic' (or modern) with its use of digitally sampled and remixed music, laser and light effects, and multimedia expositions. Ravers at once dress in way that signifies past and future - piercing their ears with computer chips, wearing 70s (or earlier) clothes with futuristic hologram jewelry, combining the fashion of folk and punk. They consider themselves the heirs of the 60s counterculture, and also its antithesis, since they reject its anti-technology, pro-natural, 'peace and harmony,' and idealist emphases for a more pragmatist, aggressive, and techno-positive viewpoint... to the raver, whether a drug is synthetic or organic is besides the point.

Besides raves and piercing, ModPrims are perhaps best known for their attempts at juxtaposing magick and science. Publications like Virus 23 juxtapose Crowleyan occultism with chaos theory, Neo-Paganism & Wicca with memetics and information theory,etc.

From article: "Modern Primitives": The Accelerating Collision of Past and Future in the Postmodern Era


Paganism, which is also referred to as contemporary Paganism, Neo-Paganism and Neopaganism, is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe. Contemporary Pagan religious movements are extremely diverse, and there is no set of beliefs shared by all of them, although there are commonalities shared by most of them. These include an approach to theology that embraces such beliefs as polytheism, animism, and pantheism. Many Pagans practise a spirituality that is entirely modern in origin, while others attempt accurately to reconstruct or revive indigenous, ethnic religions as found in historical and folkloric sources.
Contemporary Paganism is a development in the industrialized countries, found in particular strength in the United States and Britain, but also in Continental Europe (German-speaking Europe, Scandinavia, Slavic Europe, Latin Europe and elsewhere) and Canada. The largest Contemporary Pagan religion is Wicca, though other significantly sized Pagan faiths include Neo-druidism, Germanic Neopaganism, and Slavic Neopaganism. The modern popularisation of the terms "Pagan" and "Neopagan", as they are currently understood, is largely traced to Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, co-founder of "the 1st Neo-Pagan Church of All Worlds" who, beginning in 1967 with the early issues of Green Egg, used both terms for the growing movement. estimates that there are roughly 1 milion  Pagans worldwide (as of 2000), including "Wicca, Magick, Druidism, Asatru, neo-Native American religion and others". High estimates by Pagan authors may reach several times that number. A precise number is impossible to establish, because of the largely uninstitutionalised nature of the religion and the secrecy observed by some traditions, – sometimes explained by fear of religious discrimination.


Beliefs and practices vary widely amongst different Pagan groups, however there are a series of core principles common to most, if not all, forms of contemporary Paganism.


Sociologist Margot Adler noted that one of the "most important principles" of the Pagan movement was polytheism, the belief in, and veneration of, more than one god and/or goddess. For many in the Pagan community, these polytheistic deities are however not viewed as literal entities, but as Jungian archetypes that exist in the human psyche. Many Pagans adopt attitudes similar to that of American theologian David Miller, the professor of religion at Syracuse University who argued, in his book The New Polytheism, that the adoption of a polytheistic worldview would be beneficial for western society, replacing the dominant monotheism that both Miller and many Pagans believe is by its very nature politically and socially repressive. Adler remarked that many Pagans informed her of how they had adopted polytheism because it allowed a greater freedom, diversity and tolerance of worship amongst the community than that permitted in monotheistic religions. In Wicca, (especially Dianic Wicca) the concept of an Earth or Mother Goddess similar to the Greek Gaia is emphasized. Male counterparts are usually also evoked, such as the Green Man and the Horned God (who is loosely based on the Celtic Cernunnos.) These Duotheistic philosophies tend to emphasize the God and Goddess' (or Lord and Lady's) genders as being complementary opposites analogous to that of yin and yang in ancient Chinese philosophy. Many Oriental philosophies equate weakness with femininity and strength with masculinity; this is not the prevailing attitude in Paganism and Wicca. Among many Pagans, there is a strong desire to incorporate the female aspects of the divine in their worship and within their lives, which can partially explain the attitude which sometimes manifests as the veneration of women. Other Neopagans reject the concept of binary gender roles.


Another pivotal belief in the contemporary Pagan movement is that of animism. For modern Pagans, this "is used to imply a reality in which all things are imbued with vitality."Animism was also a concept to common to many pre-Christian European religions, and in adopting it, contemporary Pagans are attempting to "allow their participants to reenter the primeval worldview, to participate in nature in a way that is not possible for most Westerners after childhood."


A third pivotal belief in the Pagan community is that of pantheism, the belief that divinity and the material and/or spiritual universe are one and the same. For Pagans, it means that "divinity is inseperable from nature and that deity is immanent in nature."


Worship and ritual

Several Pagan religions incorporate the use of magic into their ritual practices. Among these are Wicca, Shamanism, Druidism, and other Pagan belief systems, the rituals of which were at least initially partially based upon those of ceremonial magic.

Sociologist Margot Adler highlighted how several Pagan groups, like the Reformed Druids of North America and the Erisian movement refuse to take their rituals seriously, instead incorporating into them a great deal of play. She noted that there are those who would argue that "the Pagan community is one of the only spiritual communities that is exploring humor, joy, abandonment, even silliness and outrageousness as valid parts of spiritual experience." Adler also noted how there were many Pagan groups whose practices revolved around the inclusion and celebration of male homosexuality, such as the Minoan Brotherhood, a Wiccan group that combines the iconography from ancient Minoan religion with a Wiccan theology and an emphasis on "men-loving-men", and the eclectic Pagan group known as the Radical Faeries. Similarly, there are also groups for lesbians, like certain forms of Dianic Wicca and the Minoan Sisterhood. When Adler asked one gay Pagan what the Pagan community offered members of the LGBT community, the reply was "A place to belong. Community. Acceptance. And a way to connect with all kinds of people, gay, bi, straight, celibate, transgender, in a way that is hard to do in the greater society".


Most modern Pagan religions celebrate the cycles and seasons of nature through a festival calendar that honours these changes. The timing of festivals, and the rites celebrated, may vary from climate to climate, and will also vary (sometimes widely) depending upon which particular Pagan religion the adherent subscribes to (see Wheel of the Year).

Neopagan symbols


The New Age - A Pathway to Paradise ?

A bit oldish movie but ideas are still around.

First established in London in 1977, the Mind Body Spirit Festival has been going on for over 35 years. Now its twice a year:

Monday, 29 August 2011

Yoga was introduced to the West by the occultists

While talking to my fellow Christians about yoga I have been trying to explain them that yoga IS a spiritual exercise if they like it or not. Apart from its definition that speaks volumes, its crucial to understand how yoga got to the West - KNOW ITS HISTORY!

Its definition says that its a is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India whose goal is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Sanskrit word yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", from a root yuj meaning to join, to unite, or to attach. The more technical sense of the term "yoga", describing a system of meditation or contemplation with the aim of the cessation of mental activity and the attaining of a "supreme state" arises with early Buddhism (5th century BC), and is adopted in Vedanta philosophy by the 4th century BC.

But its equally crucial to understand WHO brought yoga to Europe and the United States???

David S. Katz in his great historical account "The occult tradition" writes the following:
"By the early 1890s, then, it was clear that India had taken a central place at the bar of antiquity, and was seen as the mothers of civilization. There is no doubt that all of the current India-centered projects played a part in this development; Max Muller in Oxfrod, Madame Blavatsky in London, and the many writers of contemporary occult texts. Olcott and Blavatsky had begun their work in the United States, and in due course Indomania took root there as well."

Who was Madame Blavatsky? Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (born as Helena von Hahn (12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891) was a self-professed psychic and mystic, and a founder of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society together with Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others in September 1875. Its initial objective was the "study and elucidation of Occultism, the Cabala etc. In the Theosophical Magazine "Lucifer" issued in 1887-1888 we can read about yoga experiences. 

"The watershed was the "Parliament of Religions" opened on 11 September 1893 as part of the World's Columbia Exhibition, better known as CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR
H. S. Olcott, Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater
at the international Convention, Adyar,
December 1905
(...) Far more celebrated was the appearance at the "Parliament of Religions" of an Indian monk named VIVEKANANDA (1863-1902) whose performance was a bombshell. Vivekananda was a monastic name of Narendra Nath Datta, a follower of the celebrated Sri Ramakrishna (1836-86). Swami Vivekananda was in the United States from July 1893 to April 1895, and then again from August 1899 to July 1900. (...) Vivekananda wrote what were probably the first books on yoga, now classics. Many of the Swami's American followers came to him through THEOSOPHY, but Vivekanada himself had no illusions about Madame Blavatsky and her theories, as useful as she and they were. (...) Despite Vivekananda's disparaging remarks, Blavatsky's theories did very well in the United States, where an independent Theosophical Society was established in 1895. Back in India, Theosophy continued to thrive, even after the death of Madame Blavatsky in 1891. When Olcott died in 1907, ANNIE BESANT was elected president of the Theosophical Society (Adyar), the post she held until her own demise in 1933. In 1902, she persuaded the Austrian Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) to form a Germanic section of the Theosophical Society, which he did. The loose canon in India was Charles Leadbeater."

Charles Webster Leadbeater was a well-known clairvoyant and theosophist who dedicated his life to the dissemination of Theosophy. He left his position as a clergyman in the Church of England in 1884, traveling with Madame Helena Blavatsky to India to help her in her work for the Theosophical Society. For those interested in more information about him good site with archives.
"(...) In 1909 he disccovered Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986). (...) Leadbeater inaugurated the 'Order of the Star in the East' in Krishnamurti's honor in 1911, proclaiming him to be the 'World Teacher'. Rudolf Steiner was so appalled by this turn of events that he refused membership in his German section to anyone who had anything to do with the Krishnamurti cult, and was expelled from the Theosophical Society for his trouble. Steiner founded his own Anthroposophical Society, which continues to thrive from its headquarters in Dorlach, Switzerland."

"The importance of the Theosophical Society far outstripped the implications of Madame Blavatsky's speculations. One one of the key underlying principles of British colonialism was the notion that only a Christian could be s fully functioning and rational human being, while Hindus were incapable of individual development due to their incapacitating fatalistic pantheism, which promoted ascetic withdrawal from the evil world. Theosophists argued in return, on behalf of the Indians, that it was Christianity that fostered unhealthy individualism, while Hinduism had a more comprehensive view of society, in which people were expected to use their talents for the good of the whole. Even caste was described as social duty (...)"

The emblem of the
Theosophical Society
Broadly, Theosophy attempts to reconcile humanity's scientific, philosophical, and religious disciplines and practices into a unified worldview. As it largely employs a synthesizing approach, it makes extensive use of the vocabulary and concepts of many philosophical and religious traditions. However these, along with all other fields of knowledge, are investigated, amended, and explained within an esoteric or occult framework.
The present-day New Age movement is said to be based to a considerable extent on original Theosophical tenets and ideas. "No single organization or movement has contributed so many components to the New Age Movement as the Theosophical Society. ... It has been the major force in the dissemination of occult literature in the West in the twentieth century." Other organizations loosely based on Theosophical texts and doctrines include the Agni Yoga, and a group of religions based on Theosophy called the Ascended Master Teachings: the "I AM" Activity, The Bridge to Freedom and The Summit Lighthouse, which evolved into the Church Universal and Triumphant. These various offshoots dispute the authenticity of their rivals.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

What Catholic Church says about the magic, divination, sorcery, etc ?

The Catholic Church teaches that the first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself, for example, in the introduction to the Ten Commandments:

“I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of Egypt, where you lived as slaves.” Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. . . . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. ‘Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength.' (Isaiah 45:22-24, see also Philippians 2:10-11)”

Because God’s identity and transcendent character are described in Scripture as unique, the teaching of the Catholic Church proscribes superstition as well as irreligion and explains the commandment is broken by having images to which divine power is ascribed as well as in divinizing anything that is not God. 

“Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons … power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc.” The Catechism commends those who refuse even to simulate such worship in a cultural context and states that “the duty to offer God authentic worship concerns man both as an individual and as a social being.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that this commandment is recalled many times throughout the Bible and quotes passages describing temporal consequences for those who place trust elsewhere than in God:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part 3 Life in Christ, Section 2


2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.

2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.

2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them." God, however, is the "living God" who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."

Divination and magic
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. 

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible.
often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.

Quite clear all that, isnt it ???

An Interview With Fr Gabriele Amorth - The Church's Leading Exorcist

On the bumpy flight to Rome I read The Bible all the way. The passenger on my left - a wiry businesswoman from Wisconsin - found this disconcerting. As the turbulence worsened and I moved from Jude to Revelation, she hissed at me, "Do you have to?" "It's only background reading," I murmured. She grimaced. "What for?" I turned to her and whispered: "I'm going to meet the exorcist." "Oh Christ," she gasped, as the plane lurched and hot coffee spilled over us.

Father Gabriele Amorth is indeed the exorcist, the most senior and respected member of his calling. A priest for 50 years, he is the undisputed leader of the city's six exorcists (appointed by the cardinal to whom the Pope delegates the office of Vicar of Rome) and honorary president-for-life of the International Association of Exorcists
. He is 75, small, spry, humorous, and wonderfully direct.

"I speak with the Devil every day," he says, grinning like a benevolent gargoyle. "I talk to him in Latin. He answers in Italian. I have been wrestling with him, day in day out, for 14 years."

On cue (God is not worried by clichés) a shaft of October sunlight falls across Father Amorth's pale, round face. We are sitting at a table by the window in a small high-ceilinged meeting room at his Rome headquarters, the offices of the Society of St Paul. Father Amorth has come to exorcism late in life, but with impressive credentials. Born in 1925 in Modena, northern Italy, the son and grandson of lawyers (his brother is a judge), Gabriele Amorth, in his late teens, joined the Italian resistance.

Immediately after the war, he became a member of the fledgling Christian Democratic Party. Giulo Andreotti was president of the Young Christian Democrats, Amorth was his deputy. Andreotti went into politics and was seven times prime minister. Amorth, having studied law at university, went into the Church.

"From the age of 15," be says, "I knew it was my true vocation. My speciality was the Madonna. For many years I edited the magazine Madre di Deo
(Mother of God). When I hear people say, 'You Catholics honour Mary too much,' I reply, 'We are never able to honour her enough.'

"I knew nothing of exorcism - I had given it no thought - until June 6, 1986 when Cardinal Poletti, the then Vicar of Rome, asked to see me. There was a famous exorcist in Rome then, the only one, Father Candido, but he was not well, and Cardinal Poletti told me I was to be his assistant. I learnt everything from Father Candido. He was my great master. Quickly I realised how much work there was to be done and how few exorcists there were to do it. From that day, I dropped everything and dedicated myself entirely to exorcism."

Father Amorth smiles continually as he tells his story. His enthusiasm for his subject is infectious and engaging. "Jesus performed exorcisms. He cast out demons. He freed souls from demonic possession and from Him the Church has received the power and office of exorcism. A simple exorcism is performed at every baptism, but major exorcism can be performed only by a priest licensed by the bishop. I have performed over 50,000 exorcisms. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, sometimes many hours. It is hard work multo duro

How does he recognise someone possessed by evil spirits? "It is not easy. There are many grades of possession. The Devil does not like to be seen, so there are people who are possessed who manage to conceal it. There are other cases where the person possessed is in acute physical pain, such agony that they cannot move.
"It is essential not to confuse demonic possession with ordinary illness. The symptoms of possession often include violent headaches and stomach cramps, but you must always go to the doctor before you go to the exorcist. I have people come to me who are not possessed at all. They are suffering from epilepsy or schizophrenia or other mental problems. Of the thousands of patients I have seen, only a hundred or so have been truly possessed."

"How can you tell?"

"By their aversion to the sacrament and all things sacred. If blessed they become furious. If confronted with the crucifix, they are subdued." "But couldn't an hysteric imitate the symptoms?"

"We can sort out the phoney ones. We look into their eyes. As part of the exorcism, at specific times during the prayers, holding two fingers on the patient's eyes we raise the eyelids. Almost always, in cases of evil presence, the eyes look completely white. Even with the help of both hands, we can barely discern whether the pupils are towards the top or the bottom of the eye. If the pupils are looking up, the demons in possession are scorpions. If looking down, they are serpents."

As I report this now, it sounds absurd. As Father Amorth told it to me, it felt entirely credible.

I had gone to Rome expecting - hoping, even - for a chilling encounter, but instead of a sinister bug-eyed obsessive lurking in the shadows of a Hammer Horror film set, here I was sitting in an airy room facing a kindly old man with an uncanny knack for making the truly bizarre seem wholly rational. He has God on his side and customers at his door. The demand for exorcism is growing as never before. Fifteen years ago there were 20 church-appointed exorcists in Italy. Now there are 300.

I ask Father Amorph to describe the ritual of exorcism.

"Ideally, the exorcist needs another priest to help him and a group nearby who will assist through prayer. The ritual does not specify the stance of the exorcist. Some stand, some sit. The ritual says only that, beginning with the words Ecce crucem Domini
('Behold the Cross of the Lord') the priest should touch the neck of the possessed one with the hem of his stole and hold his hand on his head. The demons will want to hide. Our task is to expose them, and then expel them. There are many ways to goad them into showing themselves. Although the ritual does not mention this, experience has taught us that using oil and holy water and salt can be very effective.

"Demons are wary of talking and must be forced to speak. When demons are voluntarily chatty it's a trick to distract the exorcist. We must never ask useless questions out of curiosity. We but must interrogate with care. We always begin by asking for the demon's name."

"And does he answer?" I ask. Father Amorth nods. "Yes, through the patient, but in a strange, unnatural voice. If it is the Devil himself, he says 'I am Satan, or Lucifer, or Beelzebub. We ask if he is alone or if there are others with him. Usually there are two or five, 20 or 30. We must quantify the number. We ask when and how they entered that particular body. We find out whether their presence is due to a spell and the specifics of that spell.

"During the exorcism the evil may emerge in slow stages or with sudden explosions. He does not want show himself. He will be angry and he is strong. During one exorcism I saw a child of 11 held down by four strong men. The child threw the men aside with ease. I was there when a boy of 10 lifted a huge, heavy table.

"Afterwards I felt the muscles in the boy's arms. He could not have done it on his own. He had the strength of the Devil inside him.

"No two cases are the same. Some patients have to be tied down on a bed. They spit. They vomit. At first the demon will try to demoralise the exorcist, then he will try to terrify him, saying, 'Tonight I'm going to put a serpent between your sheets. Tomorrow I'm going to eat your heart'."

I lean towards Father Amorth. "And are you sometimes frightened?" I ask. He looks incredulous. "Never. I have faith. I laugh at the demon and say to him, 'I've got the Madonna on my side. I am called Gabriel. Go fight the Archangel Gabriel if you will.' That usually shuts them up.

Now he leans towards me and taps my hand confidentially. "The secret is to find your demon's weak spot. Some demons cannot bear to have the Sign of the Cross traced with a stole on an aching part of the body; some cannot stand a puff of breath on the face; others resist with all their strength against blessing with holy water.

"Relief for the patient is always possible, but to completely rid a person of his demons can take many exorcisms over many years. For a demon to leave a body and go back to hell means to die forever and to lose any ability to molest people in the future. He expresses his desperation saying: 'I am dying, I am dying. You are killing me; you have won. All priests are murderers'."

How do people come to be possessed by demons in the first place? "I believe God sometimes singles out certain souls for a special test of spiritual endurance, but more often people lay themselves open to possession by dabbling with black magic. Some are entrapped by a satanic cult. Others are the victims of a curse."

I interrupt. "You mean like Yasser Arafat saying to Ehud Barak, 'Go to Hell' and meaning it?"

"No." Father Amorth gives me a withering look. "That is merely a sudden imprecation. It is very difficult to perform a curse. You need to be a priest of Satan to do it properly. Of course, just as you can hire a killer if you need one, you can hire a male witch to utter a curse on your behalf. Most witches are frauds, but I am afraid some authentic ones do exist."

Father Amorth shakes his head and sighs at the wickedness of the world. At the outset be has told me he is confident he will have an answer to all my questions, but he has a difficulty with the next one. "Why do many more women seem to become possessed than men?"

"Ah, that we do not know. They may be more vulnerable because, as a rule, more women than men are interested in the occult. Or it may be the Devil's way of getting at men, just as he got to Adam through Eve. What we do know is that the problem is getting worse. The Devil is gaining ground. We are living in an age when faith is diminishing. If you abandon God, the Devil will take his place.

"All faiths, all cultures, have exorcists, but only Christianity has the true force to exorcise through Christ's example and authority. We need many more exorcists, but the bishops won't appoint them. In many countries - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain there are no Catholic exorcists. It is a scandal. In England there are more Anglican exorcists than Catholic ones."

Although the post of exorcist is an official diocesan appointment (there are about 300 attached to the various bishops throughout Italy) and Father Amorth is undisputably the best known in his field, there is some tension between Amorth and the modernising tendencies in the Church hierarchy.

Devil-hunting is not fashionable in senior church circles. The Catholic establishment is happier talking about "the spirit of evil
" than evil spirits. The Vatican recently issued a new rite of exorcism which has not met with Father Amorth's approval. "They say we cannot perform an exorcism unless we know for certain that the Evil One is present. That is ridiculous. It is only through exorcism that the demons reveal themselves. An unnecessary exorcism never hurt anybody."

What does the Pope make of all this? "The Holy Father knows that the Devil is still alive and active in the world. He has performed exorcism. In 1982, he performed a solemn exorcism on a girl from Spoletto. She screamed and rolled on the floor. Those who saw it were very frightened. The Pope brought her temporary freedom.
"The other day, on September 6, at his weekly audience at St Peter's, a young woman from a village near Monza started to shriek as the Pope was about to bless her. She shouted obscenities at him in a strange voice. The Pope blessed her and brought her relief, but the Devil is still in her. She is exorcised each week in Milan and she is now coming to me once a month. It may take a long time to help her, but we must try. The work of the exorcists is to relieve suffering, to free souls from torment, to bring us closer to God."

Father Amorth has laughed and smiled a good deal during our three-hour discussion. He has pulled sundry rude faces to indicate his contempt for the pusillanimous bishops who have a monopoly on exorcism and refuse to license more practitioners. In his mouth it does not seem like mumbo-jumbo or hocus-pocus. He produces detailed case histories. He quotes scriptural chapter and verse to justify his actions. And he has a large following. His book, An Exorcist Tells his Story
, has been reprinted in Italy 17 times.

Given his shining faith and scholarly approach, I hardly dare ask him whether he has seen the notorious 1973 horror film, The Exorcist
. It turns out to be his favourite film. "Of course, the special effects are exaggerated. but it is a good film, and substantially exact, based on a respectable novel which mirrored a true story."

The film is held to be so disturbing it has never been shown [until recently] on British terrestrial television and until last year could not even be rented from video shops. None the less, Father Amorth recommends it. "People need to know what we do

And what about hallowe'en? The American tradition has made no inroads in Italy. "Here it is on Christmas Eve that the Satanists have their orgies. Nothing happens on October 31. But if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that.''

It is time to go to the chapel where our photographer is waiting. Father Atnorth, used to the ways of the press, raises an eyebrow at us indulgently as he realises the photograph is designed to heighten the drama of his calling. Pictures taken, he potters off to find me of one ot his books.

"What do make of him?'' asks the photographer. "Is he mad?"

"I don't think so,'' I say. The award-winning Daily
and Sunday Telegraph Rome correspondent, who has acted as interpreter br the interview, and is both a lapsed Catholic and a hardened hack, is more empathic: "There's not a trace of the charlatan about him. He is quite sane and utterly convincing."

Surprised at myself I add: "He seems to me to be a power for good in the world." With a smirk, the photographer loads his gear into the back of the taxi. ''So he's Peter Cushing then, not Christopher Lee," he says.

Father Amorth reappears with his book and smiles. "Remember, when we jeer at the Devil and tell ourselves that he does not exist, that is when he is happiest

August 2001 | Gyles BrandrethThis interview first appeared in the 29th October 2000 issue of The Sunday Telegraph 

Thursday, 11 August 2011


The emerging church movement ECM refers to those churches and organizations that align themselves, whether formally or informally, with the vision and philosophy of an organization officially named Emergent.  The Emergent organization can be found online at  Emergent identifies itself as, "a growing, generative friendship among missional Christians seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ".  This organization was founded and is led by prominent spokesmen like Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and others.  “Emergent Village began as a group of friends who gathered under the auspices and generosity of Leadership Network in the late 1990s.
We began meeting because many of us were disillusioned and disenfranchised by the conventional ecclesial institutions of the late 20th century. The more we met, the more we discovered that we held many of the same dreams for our lives, and for how our lives intersected with our growing understandings of the Kingdom of God.”

Leadership Network was formed in 1984 to work with leaders of innovative churches to explore these questions to generate kingdom results.  “Believing that meaningful conversations and connections can change the world, Leadership Network seeks to help leaders of innovation navigate the future by exploring new ideas together to find application to their own unique contexts. Through collaborative meetings and processes these leader map future possibilities and challenge one another to action that leads to results.  Through our publications, books and on-line experiences we share the learnings and inspiration to others and surface new conversations worthy of exploration.”  

Leadership Network is a part of OneHundredX, a Dallas, Texas based 501c3 nonprofit that seeks to accelerate the impact of 100x leaders. Its current president and CEO is Tom Wilson.  

You can check their latest financial report HERE – fascinating reading !

The Organization's vision is that these leaders will be effective in the transformation of lives, communities and the world. This mission is achieved through a variety of events, publications, and various strategic alliances. 

OneHundredX has
1)    Leadership Network whose mission is to identify, connect and multiply the impact of innovative leaders primarily in the church. Leadership Network was co-founded by Bob Buford is a cable-TV pioneer, social entrepreneur, author, and venture philanthropist. He became founding chairman in 1988 of what was initially called The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management (now Leader to Leader Institute). In 1988, Dick Schubert, Frances Hesselbein and Bob Buford convinced Peter Drucker to lend his name, his great mind, and occasionally his presence to establish an operating foundation for the purpose of leading social sector organizations toward excellence in performance. Bob serves as the Founding Chairman of the Board of Governors. Through its conferences, publications and partnerships, The Drucker Foundation is helping social sector organizations focus on their mission, achieve true accountability, leverage innovation, and develop productive partnerships. “Started in 1984, Leadership Network serves as a resource broker that supplies information to and connects leaders of innovative churches. The emerging new paradigm of the 21st century church calls for the development of new tools and resources as well as the equipping of a new type of 21st century church leader, both clergy and laity. Leadership Network serves the leadership teams of large churches, as well as leaders in the areas of lay mobilization, denominational leadership at the middle and regional judicatory level and the next generation of emerging young leaders.”

2)    The Halftime Group - In 1998, Bob launched FaithWorks (name later changed to Halftime) to mobilize and equip high-capacity business/ professional leaders to convert their faith into action and effective results. The mission of Halftime is to inspire and equip business and professional leaders to embrace God's calling and move from success to significance. Halftime is taking on the challenge of joining two distinct cultures – those of the business/professional leaders and the nonprofit leaders – in partnerships at the local community level where the business/professional leader sees and touches the lives of the recipients the partnership services. 

3)    Cross Match with its vision “to fill this gap by matching proven and passionate executives and leaders—many of whom are sensing the call to service for the very first time—with the organizations who most need their expertise. The net result is a dramatic acceleration in the accomplishment of daring Kingdom objectives.”

Churches and organizations that would fall under the emergent label come from a diversity of Christian traditions.  Many of these churches have evangelical roots, but you will also find Catholic, Orthodox and Mainline protestant denominations allied with the Emergent group.  Accordingly, the theologies found within the emergent church are as diverse as the traditions that make it up.  This theological diversity is widely celebrated within the movement and is the primary reason behind the emergent church's disinterest in producing statements of faith, which are viewed as constricting and limiting to ongoing dialogue and theological imagination. 

Socially and politically, the emergent church is also a diverse group.  However, most commentators point out a greater propensity towards liberal interests and causes.  Emergent churches also tend to be predominantly white.  At the same time, while not necessarily a rule, emergent churches are often found in urban settings.  Emergent churches also place a high value on social activism and concern for the urban poor.

As for the style and methodology of the emergent churches, you will find a tremendous amount of diversity here.  Again, reflecting the diversity of traditions that make up Emergent's "generative friendship".  Some of these emergent churches will resemble settings like coffee houses or nightclubs, settings geared towards a multi-sensory worship experience.  But others will take the opposite approach, favoring a more contemplative or liturgical feel in their worship gatherings.  And some will blend both. 

For those in the UK here is the website leading the way for the emerging church movement ECM: emergingchurch

·         Brian McLaren
The person most commonly associated with the movement. Former English professor who is now a pastor, traveling speaker, and author of several books. Recognized as one of TIME magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America," he serves on the board of the social activist organization, Sojourners. His book, A New Kind of Christian
won an award of merit from Christianity Today in 2002. Another of his works, A Generous Orthodoxy, has achieved something akin to Scripture status in the Emerging Church movement.
·         Tony Jones
National Coordinator of Emergent, an organized network of cooperating emerging ministries. He is a doctoral fellow and senior research fellow in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary whose books have been highly influential in the movement.
·         Dan Kimball
Author of several books, including The Emerging Church; Vintage Christianity for New Generations (a Christianity Today best book of 2004). He is the pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California.
·         Rick Wareen
An American evangelical Christian minister and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States (this ranking includes multi-site churches). He is also an author of many books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, sold over 30 million copies.
·         Tony Campolo
is an American pastor, author, sociologist, and public speaker known for challenging evangelical Christians by illustrating how their faith can offer solutions in a world of complexity. With his liberal political and social attitudes, he has been a major proponent for progressive thought and reform in the evangelical community. He has become a leader of the movement called "Red-Letter Christian", which claims to put the emphasis on the words of Jesus that are often in red type in Bible editions.
·         Eddie Gibbs
Professor of church growth at the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Author of several books including Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures (which he coauthored with Ryan Bolger). His book Church Next: Quantum Changes in How We Do Ministry
was a Christianity Today best book of 2001.
·         Erwin McManus
Author and speaker who is described on his website as "The lead pastor and Cultural Architect of
Mosaic in Los Angeles. Known around the world for its spiritual creativity and cosmopolitan diversity, Mosaic is a community of followers of Jesus Christ committed to live by faith, to be known by love, and to be a voice of hope. Since the early 90's, Erwin has led Mosaic in a pioneering enterprise whose primary focus is to serve the post-modern, post-Western, and post-Christian world.”
·         Leonard Sweet
Professor at Drew University whose writings are popular in the movement. He sometimes veers very close to New Age concepts in his writings.
·         Stanley Grenz
Now deceased, former professor of theology who co-authored the influential book, Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context
·         John Franke
Professor of theology at Biblical Seminary in Hartfield, PA. Co-author of Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context
·         Stanley Hauerwas
Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School. Named "America's Best Theologian" in 2001 by TIME magazine. Heavily influenced by postmodern philosophers, he has in turn had a profound effect on the Emerging Church movement.
Known to frequently use profanities in his speaking engagements.
·         Brad Kallenberg
Professor of Religious Studies at University of Dayton. His primary interest is in ethics.
·         Doug Pagitt
The pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis. Author of several books who is a recognized leader in the movement.
·         Nancy Murphy
Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her book, Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism
has influenced many emergent leaders.
·         Steve Chalke
British Baptist once known for his doctrinal orthodoxy who has embraced the movement, retreating from his former views. His book, The Lost Message of Jesus
created great controversy in the UK. In 2001, Steve laid the foundations of the Faithworks Movement and in 2003 became senior minister of Christ Church & Upton Chapel. Waterloo, as it is now known was first in the Oasis vision to develop a church network around the UK that aspire to be, open 24/7, global in impact and holistic to the local community. Oasis have recently opened Salford and Enfield
·         Dave Tomlison
Since it was published two years ago, Dave Tomlinson’s The Post-Evangelical has made a rare impact. It has handed the Christian press a long-running story; presented church traditionalists with a new target, and given the Greenbelt Festival a pocket-sized manual. More than this, though, it has prompted many evangelicals to re-think their faith in the light of postmodern culture.
·         LeRon Shults
Professor of theology at Bethel Seminary. Author of books such as The Postfoundationalist Task of Theology
·         Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor is a Brit who lives in Los Angeles, California where he does a number of things that, at first glance, don't seem very connected. He teaches theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he is the Artist-in-Residence for the Brehm Center. He also teaches advertising and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, topics that were part of his theological doctoral study programme. He also teaches on faith and culture, and helps shape alternative stuff at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. He has written a few books: A Matrix of Meaning with Craig Detweiler, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, with Spencer Burke, as well as his latest, Entertainment Theology.
·         Chris Seay
Baptist pastor and author who is collaborating with Brian McLaren on The Voice project, a retelling of the Bible as a collection of stories, poems and songs.
·         Spencer Burke
Creator of, traveling speaker, and author of several books (Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor, A Heretics Guide to Eternity)
·         Rob Bell
Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, in Grandville, Michigan. Author of Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
·         Bill Dahl
Freelance writer, social activist, and speaker who frequently contributes articles to various publications and websites.
·         Donald Miller
Author of several popular books, including Blue Like Jazz
. His works have been highly coveted in the movement, and he is contributing to the Voice project.

To be continued ….