Walsch, Young, and Beth Moore: ungodly channelers all (Part 3)

Part one: Making no distinction between Victorian channeling writers of yore and today's Christian authors
Part two: Walsch, Young, and Beth Moore: ungodly channelers all
Conclusion: How do Christian authors end up channeling spirits and producing books from them? Pride

In the last two essays, I compared the Victorian Spiritist's method of producing creative works through automatic writing with today's certain Christian authors receiving 'Divine' revelation by invisible force. Automatic writing is when a writer clears his mind, gives his will over to another entity from the supernatural realms, and allows his hand to be used as a transcriber, thereby allowing the entity to produce the work, and not himself through his own consciousness.

The Victorians were very interested in Spiritism which involved contacting 'the other side' through seances, early Ouija boards, and trances. Many Victorian writers, painters, and composers allowed themselves to be used in this way to produce some of the more famous works we all know. Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" is one of those. So is WB Yeats's famous poem "The Second Coming". Lewis Carroll and L. Frank Baum of Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz also were members of the Theosophical Society and whose works were influenced by this fervent fad of collusion with the demonic world to produce creative works.

Then I compared the current crop of Christian-ish writers who use the same methods today to produce works that adorn Christian bookstore shelves. I specifically looked at Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God, William P. Young of The Shack, and Beth Moore of When Godly People do Ungodly Things.

The point of the essays was not so much to examine the content of what these writers wrote about. Though discernment lacks in many a Christian heart these days, the ungodly moments in those books eventually become apparent to the readers who call upon the Spirit for light and illumination.

Rather, I looked at the method of writing. I asked the question, "How is receiving a poem through automatic writing after a seance through a spirit guide any different from holing up in a cabin, having a long conversation with God and writing down by invisible force the 'Christian' doctrines that are then published to today's fervent acclaim?" I used quotes from the Victorian Spiritists and quotes from the above three named authors and in all cases the language and method of writing was virtually the same. Of course, the answer is that there is no difference.

In the course of researching the background for those two essays, I noticed two similarities in the emotional lives of these automatic writers used by spirits from the other side. This essay will explore how these authors are similar across time, and thus hopefully will provide an understanding of how satan works in the vulnerable for his purposes today.

One thing these people all have in common is they all had a Christian-ish background. The second thing they all had in common was abuse, parents who were distant either physically or emotionally, and trauma of severe kinds that usually resulted in a deep depression throughout adulthood. It was in the depths of their depressions at the bottom of their turmoil that they began to experience the call from the other side. Here are their stories.

Emanuel Swedenborg is 'credited' as the father of the latest iteration of New Age demonic Spiritism. He lived from 1688 to 1752. Swedenborg's father was a theologian who preached to the Swedish King. Swedenborg's father became professor of theology at Uppsala University and Bishop of Skara. However, Swedenborg's father became involved in the Pietist movement which was a break from some of the basic tenets of the day, and his father was eventually branded a heretic. This caused Swedenborg to question everything and eventually he decided to pursue science as a career.

As an adult, Swedenborg had been thrust into a deep depression, and he started to record in great detail what was happening to him. He wrote:

"How I found, after I arrived at The Hague, that my interest and the love for my work were gone, at which I myself wondered. How the desire for women so rapidly changed, which had been the main passion of mine. How I have had the best possible sleep at night, which has been more than good. My clear thoughts in these matters." Increased sleeping and difficulties in concentrating on his scientific work were accompanied by depressive thoughts about his own worth. He wrote in another place: "I wondered about having nothing left to do for my own honor, so that I was even touched; about why I was not inclined for sex, which I have been in all my days. How I was in waking trances nearly the whole time." The changes in his emotional life and the withdrawal of desire was accompanied by hallucinatory or visionary states of the kind so common for Swedenborg's later activity as a mystic."

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India. At age 5 he was sent to reside with a couple in Portsmouth who boarded children of British nationals who were serving in India. This was customary at the time. Brits wanted their children raised in their own language and culture with a British education. Kipling later recalled the stay at his foster parents' home with horror, and wondered ironically if the combination of cruelty and neglect which he experienced there at the hands of [foster mother] Mrs. Holloway might not have hastened the onset of his literary life. Kipling preferred to retreat into a fantasy world populated with stories, which he called lies. He also said, "I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture — religious as well as scientific." (source) He also suffered at the hands of a sadistic brother, "Kipling describes an ugly childhood inquisition where his sadistic foster brother traps him into contradictions, and then accuses him of lying." So in other words, truth became lies and lies became truth, as the endurance of abuse, separation from his parents, and an overly strict boarding school educational experience twisted his thinking on morals, ethics, and religion. It's a wonder he even stayed sane.

WB Yeats as an adult recalled the religious crisis he had experienced as a youth in the following terms: "I was unlike others of my generation in one thing only. I am very religious, and deprived by Huxley and Tyndall, whom I detested, of the simple-minded religion of my childhood, I had made a new religion, almost an infallible Church of poetic tradition, of a fardel of stories, and of personages, and of emotions, inseparable from their first expression, passed on from generation to generation by poets and painters with some help from philosophers and theologians. ... What Yeats may mean in the passage cited above is that for him religion is related to his perennial sense that life must be comprehended systematically. For the poet refers there to his first attempt to construct a religious system of his own." In doing this, because the family had a strong tradition of clergy within it, Yeats was at deep contretemps with his father.

The religious system Yeats constructed contained Reincarnation, communication with the dead, mediums, supernatural systems and Oriental mysticism which fascinated Yeats through his life. And we know where that always leads...

Neale Donald Walsch was brought up as a Roman Catholic, was an altar boy, actually. In a conference on 'God and Love' at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center, Colorado in what looks to be about ten years ago, Walsch describes his growing disillusionment with the rigidity and minutiae of Catholic traditions as a youth and mocks it cynically in a 'humorous' speech. His family encouraged his quest for spiritual truth and eventually he wound up informally studying comparative theology for many years. In that quest, Walsch did not turn to the bible but to himself. "Walsch's vision is an expansion and unification of all present theologies to render them more relevant to our present day and time." In other words, Walsch's journey was away from Jesus and toward a false religion updated and made modern to today's seekers. Emotionally, in 1996 Neale Donald Walsch realized his life was a mess. He has written that his relationships weren't working. His health wasn't good. He got fired from his job. "I woke up one night just angry, really frustrated, and wrote down what was on my mind. God answered." He then had successive conversations with "God" which became the nine-part series "Conversations With God."

William P. Young was born to missionary parents and within a stone age cannibalistic tribe that his parents were evangelizing in New Guinea. At age six he returned to Canada and attended 13 different schools before graduating and then attending Bible College. He earned his religion degree and then went on to seminary. In his case, "sexual abuse was probably the most fundamental building block of my shack." When he was a young child, he said, tribal people near his parents' missionary station abused him, and more abuse came at a boarding school. At age 38 he had an affair that nearly cost him his marriage. Young says the book "The Shack" was born from the pain he was feeling inside while at the same time recognizing he was a religious performer: "Young says he became "a perfectionist performer with a persona that you present to the world covering up an ocean of shame. I’m the oldest. I took the brunt of some of the negative dynamics in our family at the time. A lot of those things fed into becoming a perfectionist performer. I held it together until I was thirty-eight years old, and then it all blew apart thanks to the grace of God, and I started an eleven year process of dismantling everything and putting it all back together."

For the next 11 years Young worked through his understanding of "the nature and character of God." By the end of 2004 he had come to "peace with myself and peace with my sense of who I believe God to be"—a process he condensed to a weekend in the book. He has also said that he wrote four chapters in one weekend and one chapter he never even edited, it just came out whole and stayed intact through all the editing processes of the book.

Beth Moore was raised a Christian in Arkansas, attending church and Sunday School regularly. She earned a political science degree from college and after a few years took a bible doctrine class at her church. Moore has been very open about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child from a family member, mentioning it every chance she is in public, just about. She is also well known for having shared her personal thoughts on her low self-esteem, worthlessness, insecurity, etc. and in fact has memorialized those feelings in most of her books. For all that, she is closely guarded about her personal life but it is my opinion that the frequency with which she raises her personal traumas is an indicator that they are not slain and are in fact indicative of a deep depression, despite all her perkiness.

In all the cases above the person who eventually descended into automatic writing and false doctrines had a working knowledge of the bible, Jesus, and theology. In other words, they were not atheists nor were they raised in a godless environment absent any or all knowledge of who God is or what He requires of us.

Secondly, I noticed that the people I've mentioned in part 1 of the old days and part 2 of the current crop of writers we are examining had severe and long-term trauma in their lives. They were horrifically abused, and/or were abandoned, fell into depressions, were attempting to claw their way out of some kind of traumatizing pain.

In the cases I read about, and they are anecdotal to be sure, none of the people said, "I was having a tremendously satisfying career, a strong marriage, and I felt joyful and grateful to God, when I suddenly felt the call from the other side..." Nope. In all the cases, the automatic writers were at their most vulnerable, and at their lowest point of faith, or having abandoned their faith for a false faith so of course it wasn't there to shore them up.

When we are at our most vulnerable is when we are at our most vulnerable. It sounds redundant but it is a truism that when we are wrestling with why bad things happen to us we mix our sorrow with anger against God, that is when the spirits come. And of course by that I mean the demons, satan's crew.

In the cases of our writers, many of them felt a sense of restoration after being contacted from the other side. When we're down, we all want comfort. Yeats was revived in his emotions and his career after his first automatic writings. Young and Walsch have said that they felt restored through the process of writing these things. I believe Moore uses her writings and her talks on tv and at conferences as a therapy session, as I have stated before. What person suffering from trauma, pain, and depression wouldn't want to respond to a whisper in their ear that 'god' can and will take the pain away? But we must guard our heart. What does that mean exactly?

At Gotquestions.org, it is put like this:

"What does it mean to guard your heart?"
"Every Christian is locked in a constant, intense war with demonic forces. Many of us become so intent on fighting the external spiritual war that we forget that much of our battle is not with external forces, but with our own mind and thoughts. James 1:14-16 tells us, “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” Sin always begins in the mind. A sinner must first conceive and dwell on the sinful action before he actually carries it out. The first line of defense, therefore, must be to refuse to even contemplate a wrongful action. The Apostle Paul tells us to take every thought captive, so that it conforms to the will of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)."

We live in a world that will pose tribulations to us.
  • Acts 14:22- "strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “ Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
  • Romans 5:3 - And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;"
  • Ephesians 3:13 - "Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory" are but three examples.
We live in a world that is actually satan's. (2 Cor 4:4). We need strength to deal with the crafty cunning schemes of the satanic system that is all around us. God gave us armor but the armor does not do any good if it is in the closet. (Eph 6:10-19).

Here is an example of the craftiness of the devil's schemes. William Young is talking about his writing process. He said "In the first draft there was more religious language. God was actually quoting Scripture, which kinda didn’t work. In the re-write I was actually able to embed Scripture in the conversation almost in a way that people don’t pick it up." Do you think that God would send words to a person about Himself and then hide them so they are not picked up? 'But it's just fiction!' you say. Well, I read Karen Kingsbury and scripture is quoted. You know it is scripture when you read it. It is not hidden, embedded, or slyly introduced so you don't pick it up. But the craftiness is that once you divorce the scripture from its source you can then change the wording subtly. Worse, once you've done that, it is harder to keep the author accountable.

I hope this 3-part series has shown you that not only the content of certain 'Christian' works may be corrupt, but the method of their production may also be corrupt. In my opinion, there is no difference in the demonic contacts the Victorian Spiritists sought and the current crop of Christian-ish writers' 'divinely inspired works,' except one: in the Victorian era the writers were not producing works that were directly about Christianity. Moore, Young and Walsch (and who knows how many others) are stating that God told them these things. Christian, beware. Put on your armor, pray, and go forth in confidence that if you are in the Word, you cannot be beaten down. You are a victor, through His blood and enabled by the Holy Spirit that dwells in you! And perhaps most importantly, if you see a brother or a sister that is struggling, go to them and build them up. Love them:

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29). "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)


  1. I have never heard of conversations with God, so I looked up some quotes from the book. They are actually so unbiblical.

    Apparently God told him that we should place more value on our experience with God than the word of God:
    "In fact, you place so little value on experience that when what your experience of God differs from what you’ve heard of God, you automatically discard the experience and own the words, when it should be just the other way around"

    He says the only way to grow in God is to question what you believe is true:
    "The only way to move forward on this is to ask yourself, “What would happen if everything I thought was ‘wrong’ was actually ‘right’?"

    And then he gets into blatant satanism:
    " thing is only right or wrong because you say it is. A thing is not right or wrong intrinsically."

    " do not love “good” more than I love “bad.” Hitler went to heaven. When you understand this, you will understand God."


    "My child, everything in life is holy."

    It fits that it came to him as a spiritual conversation with a supernatural being. I wonder if he thinks God looks like a serpent in a tree?

  2. If Walsh was Catholic, then he merely moved from apostasy to apostasy.

  3. Did young have connections with the occult? Is there any more evidence to the channelling? This is because I am opposed to the shack and has christians from my former church inspired by the false doctrines.

    1. Hello Ian,

      I do not know how deeply Walsch went into the occult. His channeling was chronicled by the NYTimes in an article from which I quoted and linked to in part 2 of this series. Here is how Walsch described his channeling

      Walsch denies his books have been channeled into him, but this is how he explained to the NY Times how his books came about:

      "In the spring of 1992...an extraordinary phenomenon occurred in my life. God began talking with you. Through me. Let me explain. I was very unhappy during that period, personally, professionally, and emotionally, and my life was feeling like a failure on all levels. As I’d been in the habit for years of writing my thoughts down in letters...I picked up my trusty yellow legal pad and began pouring out my feelings. This time...I decided to write a letter to God. It was a spiteful, passionate letter, full of confusions, contortions, and condemnation. And a pile of angry questions....To my surprise, as I scribbled out the last of my bitter, unanswerable questions and prepared to toss my pen aside, my hand remained poised over the paper, as if held there by some invisible force. Abruptly, the pen began moving on its own. I had no idea what I was about to write....Out came....Do you really want an answer to all these questions, or are you just venting? ... Before I knew it, I had begun a conversation. ... and I was not writing so much as taking dictation. ... Often the answers came faster than I could write, and I found myself scribbling to keep up. When I became confused, or lost the feeling that the words were coming from somewhere else, I put the pen down and walked away from the dialogue until I again felt inspired--sorry, that's the only word which truly fits--to return to the yellow legal pad and start transcribing again."

  4. Hello there. I am new to your blog. I have found this series both interesting and disturbing. (Disturbing in the sense that so many writers have used this abominable practice, that is.)

    I do want to address something though. You responded to a commenter that we shouldn't ever trust our hearts because they are deceitfully wicked, when he said that he could tell right away that something was off about the Shack.
    However, if we are redeemed by the blood of Christ and made righteous, then the Holy Spirit of God now indwells us, right?

    Therefore, why is it so heretical to believe that the Holy Spirit can prompt or lead us away from those things which contradict His Word.

    Though I do not like to put much stock in my feelings that can change like the wind, there have been times when my whole being has recoiled at something, or someone, only to find out why later on.

    For example, some of the writers' works you have mentioned above, i was told I should read to my children, (or they should read them when they got older) and yet every time I would pick up one of their books, my spirit would recoil. It was the same thing when I began reading the Chronicles of Narnia books. I remember getting to one part of the book (and I didn't understand it until later) and the Holy Spirit within me began to recoil.This was so different from just my feelings. I could not bring myself to read even another paragraph. It was only after I did some research that I discovered the abominable meaning behind what I was reading. After that I threw every last book away.

    This could turn into a book quite fast if I continue to go on with specific examples.

    Though I am not a charismatic, I don't look or desire special revelation, and I always look to scripture as the authority to make certain I haven't been led into falsehood, there have been many times that His Spirit within me has led me away from falsehood.

    Is that not something He does within us?

    Have you ever met someone, and everything within you knows within moments that you need to get away from him before he even does anything? (Or away from your children?) There are times that this happens, and I have learned not to second-guess that intuition. The times I have chastised myself for "trusting in my own feelings" were times I should have seen them as promptings from the Holy Spirit, because I end up regretting not listening.

    I hope I'm making sense here.
    I still believe this is different from divine (special revelation) that adds to scripture or contradicts it. Also, I would never create a ministry or write doctrinal books based upon "divine intuition" because I believe that there are times when we get it wrong. That is why despite these occasional strong promptings, my faith rests squarely on Christ's atoning work on the cross and His infallible Word.

    1. Hi Mischa,

      You make a well-founded point, and I agree.

      I don't think we should trust our hearts, but I do agree the Spirit leads or prompts. As long as leading or prompting drives us back to the Word, it's all good. As Ronald Reagan said, "Trust, but verify".

    2. Thank you for your quick reply, Elizabeth. I do like that quote from Reagan! You have given me much to ponder on this site.

      As a writer and artist, I have often prayed for God to lead me in my projects and that He would help me to sift the wheat from the chaff so that I know that what I create/write would glorify Him.

      Since there is nothing in scripture outside of God leading artists to create the temple, it can really stymie those of us who are creative-to the point of paralysis!

      Often though, it is His Word that inspires me to want to create something. It is filled with word pictures and metaphors. The danger can come if we over-spiritualize the work, and it turns into a gimmick or cliche.

      For example, today I was reading in Proverbs, "say to wisdom you are my sister..."
      and for a brief moment I envisioned a T-shirt that said, "Embrace Sister Wisdom!" Umm... and suddenly we become one with new age hippies, right? Which is why it's hard to trust the weird, creative way my brain works at times.

      So how should we approach the creative process, apart from rejecting the obvious silly ideas that I gave an example for above?

      Pray and ask for Him to lead us, and then pick up our paintbrush or pen and have at it, hoping He will guide us? If I do it this way, then it sounds like I could fall prey to automatic writing (or painting) for that matter. Right?

      Can a demon really control us if we are God's child and are filled with His Spirit?

      And if this method makes us vulnerable to the Enemy using our creative tools for wicked means, then how should we biblically approach the creative process?

    3. Hi Mischa,

      I really like your inquiries into the creative process, and how to make sure we're honoring God with the talents he's given us.

      I took a course from RC Sproul at Ligonier.org ($9, if I remember, for a multi-week online course) called Recovering the Beauty of the Arts. In the course, he explored the church's historical and current reaction to creative things, from music to architecture to visual art. I'm going to ponder your questions more and write a blog essay about it at some point soon.

      Meanwhile, your three questions, my first pass of taking a stab at answering them-

      1. Pray and ask for Him to lead us, and then pick up our paintbrush or pen and have at it, hoping He will guide us? If I do it this way, then it sounds like I could fall prey to automatic writing (or painting) for that matter. Right?

      I think the difference here is where your mind is. Praying before starting an endeavor is always good. We know the Spirit will always lead us. Setting our minds on His glory as we go is good. Automatic writing or channeling is when we deliberately let go our mind and ask for other entities to enter. The seekers deliberately open their mind and desire to be controlled by another 'something'. In the former, our minds are being transformed into His image. In the latter, satan is controlling our minds for his purposes. I don't think we can accidentally let the latter happen.

      Can a demon really control us if we are God's child and are filled with His Spirit?

      From my understanding, no. Hew might be able to influence us, but not control us. If we were controlled to the degree that the channelers in this essay describe, and we were producing written material, we'd be producing scripture (and the actual scripture writers never even produced material that way, they were fully in control of their faculties.)

      And if this method makes us vulnerable to the Enemy using our creative tools for wicked means, then how should we biblically approach the creative process?

      That is the question the class I mentioned sought to address, and one that I'd like to explore more. Good one!

  5. Thank you for your reply, Elizabeth. I've been poring over some of your articles today off and on. This series, in particular. Those were my thoughts as well, but it's good to get affirmation from a fellow sister in Christ. I don't get to discuss these issues much with other creative people who have a conservative view of scripture.

    Some of the Christian creative books on the market tend to be written either by liberals who seem to take pleasure in creatively using profanity throughout their books, justify it, and seek to completely re-define the arts or those who are so conservative that there is no room for art that isn't strictly classical in nature.

    As for RC Sproul, he will be greatly missed by many. I did not agree with some of his teachings, but I had a lot of respect for him and loved his personality. I also enjoyed his thoughts on the Truth project that our family watched a few years ago.

    He had a lot a good insights.

    Will be back to read more of your thoughts here, Elizabeth. Thanks so much for taking the time to share them!

    1. Hi Mischa,

      I don't agree with some of what Dr Sproul taught as well, mainly his eschatology. I did enjoy his course on beauty, but if you'd like to consider another resource, I also enjoyed this book,

      Art for God's Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts by Philip Graham Ryken

      It's a slim volume and not expensive. I've not found many resources on the Christian's creative process, and that's a shame. If you ever find a suitable one, please pass it along :)

  6. Thank you, Elizabeth. That sounds interesting! :)


Post a Comment