Author Susan Brinkmann warns indulging in New Age practices can open a person up to Satanic forces.

WCR PHOTO | THANDIWE KONGUAVI

Author Susan Brinkmann warns indulging in New Age practices can open a person up to Satanic forces.

September 28, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Susan Brinkmann was working for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's newspaper The Catholic Standard and Times, when her editor assigned her to the job of reporting on Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life, a 2003 Vatican document.

Brinkmann herself had previously dabbled in New Age traditions, including consulting a psychic.

As she pored over the Vatican's "provisional report" on New Age "spirituality," her eyes were opened to disturbing implications of even the most culturally accepted practices of the New Age, including yoga, acupuncture and purported "energy medicines" such as Reiki.

"I started finding one piece of fraud after another – all this energy nonsense," said Brinkmann.

"I started seeing what yoga really was; I had no idea it had all these deep Hindu roots – and Reiki, it relies on spirit guides. It was scaring me."

The award-winning journalist, who has since devoted herself to building up the Church through writing, speaking engagements and television appearances debunking New Age practices, spoke at Sacred Heart Church in Wetaskiwin Sept. 12.

The faith formation workshop was Brinkmann's first speaking engagement in western Canada.

She explored the origins and bases of many New Age options in today's society promoted to gain peace, balance and harmony, and why they are not Christian.

The number of healing techniques based on the existence of a universal life force energy has tripled since it was estimated at more than 60 by the U.S. National Institute of Health a decade ago, she said.

ENERGY GUIDES

Brinkmann listed Yin/Yang, Ki, Prana, Reiki, Tai Chi and innate intelligence among the variety of names this New Age energy guide goes by.

"They're just proliferating, these different energy-based healing techniques," she said. "New Agers believe God is this impersonal life force energy. When they need healing, they turn to this god the way we turn to Jesus."

Energy medicine practitioners believe illness occurs when the energy that flows through the human body becomes unbalanced, and that they can restore that balance by manipulating these energy fields, said Brinkmann.

Because this energy has no credible scientific substantiation, practitioners are not regulated, and there are no professional standards, she said.

Brinkmann claimed these energy-based practices can endanger a person's health and may expose users to a spirit the practitioner is channeling.

She warned that New Age practitioners generally tend to be involved in a number of other occult practices.

Dabbling in occult activities can lead to demonic infestation, oppression and possession, said Brinkmann. "It can cause all kinds of havoc."

People don't understand Satan and the powers that he has, she said, noting the New Age movement does not believe in this evil.

REMOVE THE POISON

Event coordinator Maria Chrunik said the event posed an opportunity for people to renounce things which they might have gotten into, sometimes from just seeking something deeper and seeking more union with Christ.

The parish began mobilizing to bring Brinkmann to Wetaskiwin following a Life in the Spirit conference last year.

When they told their pastor, Father Nilo Macapinlac, that some parishioners did not fully understand the life in the Spirit, he concluded "there must be a removal of the poison before there is a renewal of the Holy Spirit," she said.

In prayer, Chrunik said the Lord showed her "in a flash" what the poster should look like and told them to do a seven-month novena to the precious blood of Jesus Christ and the saints whose intercession they were to seek for the event.

They had been praying since last December to bring in Brinkmann. When they got ahold of her, she said she would not be available until September, said Chrunik. They arranged the event to coincide with the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

"Our Lord set it up for this weekend," she said.