New Age teachings are dangerous because they encourage us to assume that we know what is best for our salvation and when we enter into these teachings we jeopardize our eternal life in ways that we may never know — until it is too late.
Sharon Lee Giganti is a popular speaker on the new age phenomenon with tragic, first-hand experiences with its dangers. Sharon was recently a guest on Teresa Tomeo’s EWTN radio program “Catholic Connection” where she shared the family tragedy that resulted in her New Age philandering and her passions to ensure that new age teachings are seen for what they are — evil.
The cornerstone of Sharon’s speaking and upcoming book is based upon a list she calls “The Devil’s Dirty Dozen.” Sharon’s website is www.NewAgeDeception.com . Sharon was kind enough to give me some of her time to answer a few questions and offer resources.
Dickow : How did you get involved in new age teachings?
Giganti : I got into New Age spirituality when someone handed me a cassette tape they thought would be helpful for me — it was a taped session of Esther Hicks channeling a spirit named, “Abraham,” teaching something called, “The Law of Attraction” — the false (and occult) belief that we are “attracting” everything that happens to us through our thought and feeling “vibrations.”
Dickow : Can you explain what you mean by “vibrations?”
Giganti : Your thoughts and feelings are “energy vibrations” and you will attract a “vibrational match” to whatever you’re thinking and feeling. So, if you’re feeling good; thinking positively with no worries or concerns, and “visualizing” everything happening perfectly for you, you attract good things into your life and relationships. In the moment that you’re feeling negative emotion — feeling angry, worried, concerned, or fearful — you are in the process of “attracting” negative situations into your life — everything from a flat tire to a deadly disease.
Dickow : That seems like an almost overwhelming burden for a person to carry — that sort of personal responsibility of every single life experience.
Giganti: I believed that this “Universal Truth” was true, and thought that if we could just learn to think more positively, and stop being fearful, or worried, or negative, we could attract all the good that ever alluded us, and we would STOP “attracting” all of the terrible experiences that cause us so much suffering — no more illness, no more frustrated careers, no more financial worries – and perhaps, through the power of our “vibrations” we could even “vibrationally influence” or “attract” healing for loved ones who were suffering from horrendous mental and emotional sickness and devastating addictions.
Dickow : I know this had a particularly important, personal interest for you. Can you share why the idea of attracting healing for loved ones was something you latched onto in the new age teaching?
Giganti: Since I believed this “new” information could help so many people, I soon dropped my acting career and became known as an Abraham Ambassador teaching Law of Attraction Workshops. I was not prepared for the devastating effects of this false worldview. The intervention that my brother so badly needed, as he experienced a deadly decline—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, never came. I had been counseling those closest to him, to “take your eyes off the conditions as they now stand… stop worrying and feeling all of that negative emotion… stop making him feel as if any of the hazardous things he was doing were “wrong” or “sinful”…stop making him feel “guilty” — because all of those thoughts and feelings were actually “holding the negative situation in place.” The answer, I kept preaching to them, was simply to “visualize” the situation changing to perfect health and wellness –and then we would begin to “manifest” our vision.
Dickow : I know that this visualization of your brother becoming well never came to pass and that tragedy ensued. Could you please share that with us?
Giganti : Without the diagnosis, help, correction, and intervention that he so desperately needed, my brother wound up taking the life of his own 4 month old son. My brother is now serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
The promise of being able to create all that we were wanting through the “power of our thoughts” never materialized and many lives were destroyed.
Dickow: As things deteriorated, can you tell me why you never sought professional help for your brother?
Giganti: When people ask this spirit, Abraham, “Shouldn’t we face reality?” Abraham notoriously answers, “NO! Never do that, unless it pleases you in every way.”
Dickow: Sadly, I’ve heard you share other personal stories of New Age teachings gone terribly wrong. I know that you were so entrenched in this teaching that you couldn’t see yourself clear from it — even when these tragedies surrounded you. Can you tell us a little of your friend’s suicide?
Giganti : A friend came to me with questions regarding the taking of one’s own life and I answered with the most common New Age teachings, especially those of Abraham, and another well known New Age teaching: A Course in Miracles .
I told this young lady, “No, it is not wrong as there is no absolute right or wrong, good or bad, you’ve only been conditioned to believe it’s wrong.” Quoting Abraham, I told her, “In Truth, every death is a suicide, since we each are in charge of when we re-emerge into the Non-physical dimension.”
“Would her family be devastated?” she worried.
“Only if you envision them that way. You can create that scenario if you want, but you can also create a better scenario with the power of your thought and feeling vibrations… No, God would not be displeased since there is no ‘God’ that exists as such a judge.” Quoting Abraham again, I told her, “God is nothing more or less than the Law of Attraction, and you are free to attract anything you want, even death.”
She left my home the next morning, locked herself into a hotel, and drank poison until she died.
Dickow : When and how did your conversation back to the Catholic Church take place?
Giganti: With each devastating tragedy, I realized more clearly that the New Age promises were false, the tenets un-workable in the real world with real people…. I saw that the teachings produced (almost uniformly) only broken hearts and destroyed lives. Some New Age teachers use selected Scripture texts to “validate” their teachings When I was led to open up a Bible, I read, in contrast to New Age teaching, the Truth about reality, and God’s plan of salvation. I found the true diagnosis of the human condition, which is our fallen sinful condition, as a result of the Fall of Man — and the real cure — accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and committing to obeying all that God commands. I could finally see the Truth about all that was going on around me, and especially in the books of Wisdom, Proverbs, Sirach and Psalms. I saw a very clear picture of the wise man in contrast to the fool, and saw very clearly that so many New Age teachings, whether they realize it or not, are actually training people in becoming fools!
Dickow: There seem to be endless ways in which new age teachings are quite dangerous. Based upon your experiences, can you share what you believe to be the top dangers?
Giganti: So many dangerous aspects of New Age abound, I hardly know where to begin. In general: they teach you a false and erroneous worldview. They teach you false descriptions and definitions of who and/or what God is. They give you a false description of who you are. Most New Age teachings deny the truth that Satan exists, that demons exist and that they seek to do harm to humans through tempting them to sin. Most New Age teachings deny that Hell exists, and so they leave you with a false sense of security — feeling as though anything you do is “alright” as we’re all here just learning lessons, and we all wind up in the end, in the same paradise — back home with God, as we “evolve” our way back to our “Godhood.” The reincarnation teachings are especially hazardous as people are lead to believe that we all live thousands of life-times, and we’ll get a thousand chances to “get it right.”
Dickow : Can you give us a bit more information on the “Law of Attraction?”
Giganti: The Law of Attraction teachings cause people to act in reckless ways, believing they’re “safe” as long as they’re feeling good. Harmful situations are downplayed or ignored because the student is taught that you only get more of whatever you’re focusing upon. Consider some of the outlandish claims in the recent best-seller The Secret . Promises such as, “You cannot catch anything unless you THINK you can catch something.” Law of Attraction teachings can cause a person’s heart to become calloused, as one begins to develop repugnance for any kind of negativity or suffering since one believes that those negativities will “contaminate” your pure vibration. The voices of New Age assure us that we can simply walk away from the disturbing scene, and we can contribute so much more, by simply visualizing a better scenario. If no healing or positive change takes place, we are to remember that “You’ll have a thousand more chances to get it right.”
Dickow : You talk about channeling Abraham. Can you tell us about this aspect of New Age?
Giganti : Another dangerous aspect of new age teaching comes from “channeled spirits” that people mistakenly believe are helpful, good, and Holy spirits. THEY ARE NOT!!! Since God forbids us to seek out or invoke unknown spirits that speak through mediums, no spirit of God’s Kingdom would participate in channeling or mediumship activities. See Leviticus and Deuteronomy: “Do not go to mediums for you will be defiled by them.” By being led into so much that is occult, New Age spirituality can expose one to malevolent forces of darkness, and put his or her spiritual health in danger.
Dickow : Is there a way to specifically spot something that is New Age? What are the common denominators of new age books, videos, ideologies? (Note: Sharon offers presentations on this and we’ve shortened the list to include just the first few.)
Giganti: Please refer to my list entitled “The Devil’s Dirty Dozen” which is copyrighted in 2008. It lists the top 12 false and counter-Christian tenets so often taught in New Age spirituality.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ABSOLUTE TRUTH, “GOOD” OR “BAD”, “RIGHT” OR “WRONG”: There is no Divine, Transcendent standard of human thought and behavior, so we have no right to judge or “impose our morality” on others.
THE FALSE FREEDOM OF THE NEW “TOLERANCE”: Absolute, unrestrained freedom should reign, with no restrictions enforced and nothing declared “off limits.”
MISTAKEN IDENTITIES: Wrong definitions of God & false claims about who and what you are: God is an ‘energy-force’/You are ‘awareness’/You are God.
PERSONAL INTUITIONISM: Your feelings are your wisest guide in all matters.
ALL RELIGIONS TEACH THE SAME TRUTH: All paths lead to God.
YOU ARE AN UNLIMITED SUPER-BEING: “There is nothing that you cannot have, or do, or be”… Human potential is limitless… “Conceive it and you can achieve it.”
Dickow : Are there particular persons or organizations or publishing houses that are particularly prone to advancing new age teachings? With Christmas right around the corner I know that people are apt to pick up books that “look good” and might inadvertently be offering new age teachings to friends and family.
Giganti: The worst of the worst, in my opinion are: Hay House Publishing (Louise Hay) which publishes nothing but New Age, and especially the most famous new age leaders:
Oprah Winfrey is currently the number one outlet for all things New Age. Her critics are correct when they say that we can give Oprah Winfrey most of the credit for making the New Age “normal” and “mainstream”.
Neale Donald Walsch (Famous for his “Conversations with God books”)
The Abraham-Hicks books and teachings (All on The Law of Attraction)
James Arthur Ray
Marianne Williamson (The most prominent voice for A Course in Miracles ) You won’t really understand the depth of A Course in Miracles depravity, unless you read some of its samples that I’ve listed on my free document: “A Warning About A Course in Miracles”—found under Free Resources, on my website www.NewAgeDeception.com .
Ken Wilber and his “Integral Spirituality” Empire
Dickow : Sharon, thank you so much for sharing this and God bless you in the work you to do! We encourage all our readers to visit your website www.NewAgeDeception.com and to invite you to their parish or vicariate.
Giganti: I hope some of this helps, thank you for wanting to include me in your article.