The Influence of Eastern Mysticism
By Dave Hunt (
, Harvest House, 1998)There is a growing missionary spirit in Hinduism.... A small army of yoga missionaries isready to go to the West. They may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yogacame from and where it goes. — (From an editorial in
titled “An OpenLetter to Evangelicals,” by its editor, Reverend Palaniswami, a Hindu monk
)In 1974, Stanford Research Institute (now SRI), with funds from the Charles F. KetteringFoundation, undertook a study to determine how Western man could be deliberately turnedinto
an Eastern mystic/psychic. Directed by Willis W. Harman (who later became presidentof Edgar Mitchell’s Institute of Noetic Sciences), the project was called
Changing Images of Man.
The scientists involved sincerely believed that a turn to Eastern mysticism was theonly hope for human survival.
The task of persuading the public to accept this new direction fell to one of Dr. Harman’sfriends and admirers, Marilyn Ferguson. She fulfilled her assignment with the publication in1980 of her groundbreaking bestseller,
The Aquarian Conspiracy.
In it she said:
A great, shuddering irrevocable shift is overtaking us... a new mind, a turnabout inconsciousness in critical numbers of individuals, a network powerful enough to bringabout radical change in our culture.This network—the Aquarian Conspiracy—has already enlisted the minds, heartsand resources of some of our most advanced thinkers, including Nobel laureatescientists, philosophers, statesmen, celebrities... who are working to create adifferent kind of society....The [Eastern mystical] technologies for expanding and transforming personalconsciousness, once the secret of an elite, are now generating massive change inevery cultural institution—medicine, politics, business, education, religion, and thefamily.
Eastern mysticism has penetrated every area of Western society. Children’s comicbooks that once offered Charles Atlas courses in body building now advertise courses inmind power, which teach how to control the minds of others. Movies such as the
series, TV series such as “Kung Fu,” “Highway to Heaven,” and “Touched byan Angel,” and TV cartoons by the dozens (“Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Power Rangers, Mas-ters of the Universe,” etc.) have made Eastern mysticism the normal way of thinking.Across America, YMCAs offer classes in yoga, and churches of all denominations followthe trend. According to Palaniswami, the editor of
yoga and other forms ofEastern meditation “were too sophisticated for public consumption 30 years ago, but todaythey’re the hottest item on the shelf.”
Universities now offer courses in Yoga Psychology; Metaphysics, Hatha Yoga, TheOrigins of Salem Witchcraft, Eckankar, Tarot Card Workshops, Psychic Development andTechniques, Astrology, Self-Awareness Through Self-Hypnosis, and similar subjects. A
article about a Maryland grammar school was titled “Meditation Comes tothe Classroom,”
reported that inmates at Walla Walla State Peni-tentiary were learning “stress management” through the regular practice of Hatha Yoga.
Anationally syndicated columnist wrote: