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    Back when I was in the music profession, I had numerous private piano students, and most of them I taught at their home. I often had all the children and even parents as students. In one such family I had all the kids, four I believe but that was a long time ago. They were extremely nice, Evangelical Christians, and home-schoolers, and also very creative and artistic. At some point, they gave me this book, and its sequel, Piercing the Darkness, and I thought they would be interesting. However, lots of things changed drastically in my life, and the books got put away, unread. Well, I pulled them out recently and put them in my "immediate-to-read box," and was excited to get started, especially because the title indicated another appropriate book for our current situation. But it was not until I picked it up to begin that I read the tiny blurb on the back cover, which said:

Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the entire human race.

    Say what??? I groaned. Hideous New Age plot?? Now, those who read my articles know I have some real issues with the whole New Age thing, and I learned the hard way that there was a lot of insincerity among those who preached it. HOWEVER, there's a lot of insincerity in the Christian church, like say televangelists, for instance, and certainly pedophile priests, although I realize that Fundamentalists Christians do not recognize Catholicism as Christian. But to put everybody in league with Satan who practices meditation, seeks Higher Consciousness, is Buddhist, Hindu, or Pagan, or anything coming from Eastern philosophy, which greatly influenced the New Age movement is, well, offensive to say the least. In fact, the "bad pastor," who was part of the group who were working with the demons, who planned to take over the town and the world, actually had the audacity to preach ideas such as "saving the whales." GASP! AND these New Age people's goal ultimate goal was the New World Order. Really. After a few chapters, I thought, I need to put this in the Goodwill donations bag, but a voice told me, "NO, just read on a bit." So I did, and I am so glad. I ended up loving the book, because there is just too much truth here to reject it. I began to adjust my interpretation of his extreme prejudice to not even fathom that he is referring to people like me, or the millions of other gentle souls who have devoted their lives to awakening humanity.
    But the compelling part of this novel, which is basically a Fundamentalist Christian fantasy/horror, is that everything that happens in the story IS REALLY HAPPENING NOW. It just isn't "us" who are doing it. And so I forgive his ignorance and bigotry and prejudice and closed-mindedness, because he really did write a good book. It was written in 1986, and I realize a lot of people felt "threatened" by this new, "off the wall" way of perceiving ourselves at the spiritual level. But so much of their original ideas have now been integrated into the lives of even regular Christians, that I would hope Peretti's opinions have eased up by now. They probably haven't but it is not my concern. Incidentally, Peretti's belief that all a Christian has to do is pray, and there will be an angel there to give assistance is equally as ludicrous. If that were the case, this permeating evil that has been on the planet for millions of years would have been long gone by now. Here is the Wikipedia page on Peretti. There is a page for this book, too, but it is not very good or accurate.
    I have an immense amount of commentary to share about this story, but first I will just give you a synopsis of a rather lengthy novel. Then I will share some quotes and specific points. In addition, I will be writing an article using this novel as a reference.
    We begin in the little town of Ashton (which appears to be somewhere in New York) during the summer festival, as two angelic figures glide through the town. Their focus is on the Ashton Community Church, where its persecuted pastor, Hank Busche, has been crying out for help. He has been placed there for a reason, which is that the tiny town, for some reason, is being overrun by demonic forces. OH! It's because there are all these evil people participating in the New Age group, The Universal Consciousness Society. It is a secret society, and is working to create one world mind, to be controlled by the New World Order. Huh?
    Meanwhile, not only is the pastor under attack, but so are two people at the Clarion, the local bi-weekly newspaper recently bought by Marshall Hogan to get away from NYC, where he held a previous position in journalism. He has a wife, Kate, and a daughter, Sandy, who is hateful towards him.
    The day after the festival, as they are trying to get the next edition published, Bernice Krueger, their top reporter has not shown up for work, nor can she be contacted. It seems she has been arrested for prostitution. Marshall bails her out. She has been set up, of course, for taking some photos she should not have taken. The police chief, Alf Brummel, was involved. Bernice finds that her camera film has been tampered with. Marshall pays Brummel a visit. He is a member of Busche's church, yet at the festival, he seemed chummy with the pastor at the other church, Oliver Young. (We'll get to him later.) Brummel is one of the people trying to oust their new pastor, and there are quite a few people who cannot understand why he even got the job. (God wanted it.) The real creepiness begins when, as Marshall speaks to Brummel, he can feel his willpower begin to weaken, and leaves the office feeling drained and terrified. Kate has driven Bernice's car to the courthouse, and then Marshall will go to pick up Sandy after her psychology class at college. He is not looking forward to this because they only fight. He is trying to make things better.
    He finds his way to the right building and the right classroom. The class is "Psychology of Self" and he chuckles at something so stupid. Curious, he unobtrusively walks into the classroom and is seated. He suddenly feels that same terror he felt in Brummel's office. Professor Juleen Langstrat glares at him. "The look that suddenly crossed her face gave Marshall a chill; she gave him a knifelike gaze, like the eye of a treed cougar." Then she ordered him out of her classroom.

And he was out in the hall. He leaned against the wall, staring at the linoleum, his mind spinning, his senses scrambled, his heart pounding. He had no understanding of why he was there, but he was out in the hall. Just like that. How? What happened? Come on, Hogan, stop shaking and think.

    He also recognizes that this is the same loss of will he felt in Brummel's office. Well, that begins the investigations, because it seems that there is corruption and illegal activity. But nobody realizes yet that it is a takeover by demonic forces. Two factions are working on uncovering the truth, and both are attacked by demons and by their physical followers. Marshall Hogan and Bernice Krueger are looking at it from a legal perspective, and one that they would publish in the paper. They are quite unaware at first of the demonic or supernatural forces at work. But they sense illegal activity and begin their dangerous quest to root it out. By the end of the story, both are aware that something unearthly is going on.
    Meanwhile they uncover more cases where people just suddenly left town under suspicious conditions. The former owners of the grocery store. The former owner of the Clarion, the former Dean of the college. And all of them seem extremely fearful when contacted by the paper. And then there is Bernice's sister, who was a college student, and "supposedly" committed suicide. Lots of stuff here that begins to look fishy when the dots are connected.
    Pastor Busche, however, is completely aware that he is being attacked by demons. His answer to every difficulty is to pray. OK, so that seems silly to those of us who think that's a naïve way out of our current catastrophic situation, BUT, on second thought, when I am attacked, what do I do?? Well, I meditate, in order to get my mind clear and bring Light and powerful energy where I need it. Let us just say that I had lots of "second thoughts" about this story, and found way too many points to which I could relate.
    Anyways, there is a meeting being held to oust Busche, led by Brummel and the people of the congregation will vote. One of the final straws against Busche is that he ousted a prominent member who was known to be committing adultery. OK, so my attitude towards that kind of stuff is that it is none of anyone's business, however, if you are a prominent member of a Christian church, you should set an example of moral behavior that is in line with the religion in which you profess, so I agree with Pastor Busche.
    In the midst of all these investigations we meet the crew of angels and demons, The two most powerful being Tal who slew Ba-al Rafar in Babylon. Well, Rafar's back and he's bad, and he's out to get Tal. I have to mention that this is not a dry and serious book at all. It is filled with humor and delightfully entertaining. And there is one other demon who is even more powerful, and we meet him later in the book. He is known as the Strongman, and sometimes inhabits the human called Alexander Kaseph. I have to note here that these demons were in possession of the people who were doing their dirty-work. That, I also believe is true and is rampant right now! But the angels work their master plan, which, I must add, includes the fall of both Marshall and Pastor Busche, who end up in jail together and finally meet and compare notes. But the bigger master plan is that that their fall gives confidence to the demonic group who believe they have the situation all under control. However, they have been ferreted out, so to speak, to gather them all in one place where the legions of angels have also gathered. Is that not what many of us believe is happening now? All my articles about Covid-19 being a "gift" that is bringing all the evil to the forefront so that people may finally recognize it and awaken . . . is that not what this is about?
    Of course, "God" wins, as expected, but do WE who have devoted this life and past lives to the eradication of evil and the restoration of divinity to the planet, the universe, and all life, have any less determination to win? If you want to call it "God," that's fine, and if you want to call it simply "Spiritual Awakening," that is fine, too. Though the book disagrees, any open-minded person would see the two as the same goal.
    I also want to add that not only do the demons take on human appearance, (although they actually possess certain people), the angels also do the same, especially as more people show up who are willing to help on the side of good. One is Susan, Bernice's sister former best friend and college roommate. She is the "Maidservant" of Kaseph, and she turns sides. That is particularly dangerous, and I want to add that there is murder involved here for people who dare to speak out. But she finds herself with protection from the angels, and she also has documents that prove illegal activity and fraud against Kaseph. And do WE not (us non-Christians) also believe there is a protective force working with us? I certainly do.
    That is all I will say about the book, so here are some quotes and additional comments. Because I took SO many notes and really do not want to skimp on what I believe is important, an article will follow, which can be found under the Articles link above. Let's start with the Universal Consciousness Society, which is a secret society, please note. OK, so the New Age movement was anything but secret. In fact, everyone who thought they could make a buck from books and/or workshops jumped on board and they were not secret at all. And while many of them have proven to be frauds over the decades, including so-called "psychics," and most of them were, in fact, frauds, there were also those who were absolutely genuine. I would consider myself in that category, because I really have nothing to gain in what I am doing except service to others, and ridding the planet of this rampant evil. Gradually through the years, much of the frauds have been weeded out, and in fact now, there is little organization, except for individuals linking up with those whom they respect. But it would certainly not be considered a "universal" society, or even a global or national one. And as far as Hindus, Buddhists, and Pagans, they have been doing their thing since way before Christ, and as in all groups, some are sincere, and some are not. And speaking of Christians, are there not secret Christian societies?? So, to pin the blame on such a vast group of people shows only ignorance. And have not Christians been just as violent and wicked, forcing people to convert to their beliefs? Read your history and see just how much slaughter there has been in the hands of Christians, determined to make their beliefs "universal." Eh?
    But we must also speak of cults, and if Peretti had gone along those lines, I would support him absolutely. Are there not secret Satanic societies, even now which are proliferating, which include sexual and abusive rituals especially to women and children? These people in the story were much more like that. Did not cults seek to brainwash people? Of course! But they do not represent the ideals of the New Age people, who mostly just wanted to fulfill a yearning within themselves to know the truth about who they really were and to live in peace, joy, love, and abundance. Zillions of books were written, and they filled whole shelves of bookstores—not a secret at all. Workshops were given but in most cases nobody twisted arms to get participants. I took the Silva Mind Control course, which Jose Silva founded in the 1940s to help his child stop her bedwetting—to "program" her to awaken when she had to go. (Peretti makes a subtle reference to him.) Silva was a devout Catholic, and there is absolutely NOTHING in the course that is cult-like or dangerous. It teaches people how to control their own minds, not someone else's and we could sure use more of that today. Shakti Gawain got her start with that course, and John Lennon took it, and I believe Wayne Dyer, and lots of other famous people. But as for me, ultimately most of what I learned was through books, really, quite independently, and I am sure many others followed that route. How could that be threatening?
    But that's not to say that there truly were "gurus," who made themselves masters of their student's life. I know people who studied Transcendental Meditation. They were good people, but the problem I had with that particular method is that you had to give yourself over to the guru. If he or she was sincere, you could benefit, but you could also become too reliant, and never gain the freedom you sought, or even end up in trouble.
    But to link New Age with the New World Order is . . . ?? In fact, lots of people who are powerful now are Right-Wing Christians, like Pence, and certainly Trump supporters. I have a friend whose mother supports him just because he is against abortion. I would also guess that there are lots more Jews and Muslims who want to control the world, than Hindus, Buddhists, and Pagans. But from what has come out this past year, I'd say most of them are Satanic. Anyways, there is the argument I have to present concerning Peretti's prejudice.
    But Peretti really WAS implying that everything the New Age people represented, was demonic, which is offensive and ignorant. In my notes, I have a bunch of quotes, where I wrote in the margin, "OK, so what's wrong with that? This quote is from when Marshall is grilling Pastor Oliver Young, who is the "bad" one that is part of the conspiracy. Here are his beliefs:

"It's not for us to determine what another person must do with himself, or think about his place in the cosmos. Each person must find his own way, his own truth. If we're ever going to get along like any kind of civilized family on this earth, we're going to have to learn to respect the other man's right to his own views."
"Your God," said Young, "is where you find Him, and to find Him, we need only to open our eyes and realize that He is truly within all of us. We've never been without Him at all, Marshall; it's just that we've been blinded by our ignorance, and that has kept us from the love, security, and meaning that we all desire. Jesus revealed our problem on the cross, remember?"

    Well, I certainly sidewith the bad guys, then. and here are some of the studies (gasp) offered by Professor Langstrat. Marshall and Bernice are discussing this "problem."

What in blazes is all this stuff? 'Introduction to God and Goddess Consciousness and the Craft: the divinity of man, witch, warlock, the Sacred Medicine Wheel [Hey that is traditional Native American healing!!], how do spells and rituals work?' You gotta be kidding!"
"Read on, boss!"
"Pathways to Your Inner Light: meet your own spiritual guides, discover the light within . . . harmonize your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual levels of being through hypnosis and meditation.'" Marshall read a little further and then exclaimed, "What? 'How to Enjoy the Present by Experiencing Past and Future Lives.'"

    I have to chuckle on that one especially since I just wrote about past lives in the article Invaded. The thing is, most of this stuff, here forty or fifty years after this movement began, has become pretty mainstream except by Fundamentalists. And that is still a problem because so many of these people are hindering the truth about everything corrupt and evil being brought to Light. These are the ones who prefer to ignore the fact that our government and military slaughters innocent people, including spraying poisons and pathogens on their own population. And won't raise a voice or lift a finger to stop it because "God" must want it that way. Talk about being possessed by demons and brainwashed!!
    And so, I will end here, but an article is forthcoming, because there is so much more to discuss, including the attacks the "good" Christians were enduring from the demonic forces which sounded just a bit too familiar to me and what I have been enduring as a "spiritual warrior."
    I cannot begin to recommend this book highly enough, particularly if you can keep from being offended and read the real message. Because it sounds WAY too much like the takeover happening now by those who want to control the planet through the New World Order. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. By the way, the title comes from Ephesians 6:12:

"For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

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