(editor's note: I originally wrote the following for Mysteries Magazine and it has gotten considerable internet airplay since then. Why is it that the world seems to be getting worst the more 'optimistic' people are becoming? The 'return of the repressed' most likely is the answer.)
Zen fascists will control you
You will jog for the master race
And always wear the happy face
–California Uber Alles, Dead Kennedys
Why has there not been a mass transformation of consciousness, culminating in peace on earth, as so many promised back in the early days of the New Age movement? The answer is that there may be a metaphysical COINTELPRO at work, all under the cover of love and light.
Most people remember COINTELPRO from the days of the Black Panthers, Yippies, and other revolutionary groups who threatened our government during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war. Sensing that these groups might incite American citizens into radical action, the FBI sent in agents to agitate members of these various groups, often pitting them against each other through various forms of subterfuge, such as blackmail.
It appears that the CIA, FBI, and NSA are now sending their goons into the metaphysical marketplace, making sure that people who think they are aspiring to higher and positively transformative things are, in reality, only becoming more self-indulgent, disconnected, and confused.
The biggest influx of these agents occurred during the blossoming of the “human potential” movement in the early ‘70s, through such institutions as Esalen. Legions of people threw away their protest banners and followed their bliss during a time when directly addressing the socio-political problems of the day was imperative.
Since then, the emphasis on personal development—and more recently, the You Create Your Own Reality movement—a significant segment of the population has been brainwashed into disdaining all socio-political issues. For what better way to disempower people than to have them focus on their personal evolution at the expense of their families, communities, and the countries they live in?
Probably the most flagrant examples of New Age COINTELPRO are channelers who convey disturbing messages from supposedly highly evolved discarnate entities. For example, when the war in Iraq first started in 2003, a well-known channeler in Santa Fe, NM, who channels the ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, allegedly claimed that the war was an “ultimate expression of [Sekhmet’s] compassion for the human race.” It would take a considerable amount of gullibility to swallow this kind of nonsense, but swallow it the New Agers did.
With such multidimensional “logic” at hand, practically any injustice, whether torture, environmental destruction, or manipulation of the economy by global powers, can be justified as an act of compassion. This is no different from the theocratic stance of George W. Bush when he said that God told him to invade Iraq!
Such metaphysical double-speak is dangerous, yet is nevertheless seeping into popular culture.
Of course, not all channelers are working for the shadow government. Rather, we should use much discernment in regard to channeled information. If channeled information through predictions of global cataclysm, for instance, creates fear and makes us feel ungrounded, unsure, and mistrusting, then it probably is coming from a COINTELPRO source and should be taken with an immense grain of salt.
The Optimism Gestapo
However, perhaps the most insidious aspect of the New Age movement is what I call the Optimism Gestapo, or those who regulate and insist on positive thinking by any means necessary, where any criticism or expression of negative or painful emotions are disdained.
I once brought up to an Ashtar Command “ascencionist” (i.e. someone who believes that extraterrestrials will come and save her), the fact that democratic senator Paul Wellstone may have been murdered in order to get republican Norm Coleman elected. Before I could elaborate, she cut me off by saying, “It was just his time.”
She was intolerant of the fact that I dared interfere with the reality she was creating, free of conspiracy, cutthroat politicians, and skullduggery. And the more I have played devil’s advocate with New Agers, the more I have discovered that such intolerance is the norm. For there currently is a belief amongst New Agers that anything negative that one expresses will only further magnetize negativity. However, those who pursue this line of thinking just end up repressing their negative emotions, only to have them burst forth in uncontrollable ways.
As an example, I once was in a massage therapist’s office proofreading a manuscript for him. I was reading how he had a deep respect for his Japanese ancestors who originated the massage techniques he used in his practice. The phone rang and I heard him say, “Just dial 911,” then slammed the phone down. He then turned to me and explained, “That was my wife. My kid just fell down some stairs. I can’t deal with it.”
On the surface, the massage therapist conveyed an aura of humaneness and caring, all the while repressing his shadow side, as evidenced by his coldness towards his wife and child. Dr. Carl Jung recognized the danger of such repression and recommended confronting the nether-regions of our psyches—primarily through dream work—as a way of achieving healthy psychological equilibrium.
Anyone seeking a supportive metaphysical community should first ask themselves if their ability to think independently is being compromised. For keeping one’s metaphysical radar functioning is most important in a world crawling with “forced cheer” gurus, COINTELPRO channelers, and self-help authors.