Friday, March 13, 2009

PyroMarketing Hagiography

"The pastor's partners at Reader's Digest aren't worried about readers being turned off by a Rick Warren overload. On the contrary, they're counting on his global appeal. "He's a powerhouse," says Alston in explaining the publisher's decision to take on the new title."
-- TIME, 3/11/09


hagiography: (noun) A biography that idealizes or idolizes the person (especially a person who is a saint); the writing and critical study of the lives of the saints.


In a March 11, 2009 TIME magazine article titled "Rick Warren's Magazine: A Publishing Leap of Faith," it describes the next step of Rick Warren's massive global marketing campaign. Rick Warren has his own magazine, Purpose Driven Connection, which is compared to Oprah Winfrey's "O" magazine, which is all about self-promotion for the well-known New Age TV celebrity. In fact, the same Reader's Digest executive who launched Oprah's magazine now oversees Rick Warren's magazine. Commenting that one article on Rick Warren's ventures in Rwanda "veers toward hagiography," TIME explains:

The premiere issue features a softly lit, smiling Warren on the cover (though his spokesman Larry Ross is quick to make clear that the cover images will change - "this isn't going to be like O"). Inside, no fewer than seven articles are written by Warren or his wife Kay.


What is significant about the launching of this magazine is that it is to MEMBERS, not mere customer SUBSCRIBERS. Rick Warren is still following the PyroMarketing strategy laid out by Greg Stielstra in his book of that title, which we reviewed in an article series called "The Dopamine-Driven Church" in 2007 here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. The TIME article explains how this membership formula works:

The idea is to market the magazine through Warren's existing pastor networks. Reader's Digest has already sent out "pastor kits" (with copies of the new issue and DVD) to 100,000 churches that have worked with Warren in the past and contacted an additional 130,000 pastors with e-mail pitches. . . . What Warren and Reader's Digest have created is essentially a new marketing and distribution network for Christian small-group materials, packaged in a glossy newsletter-on-steroids that features full-spread ads from groups like Compassion International and Regent University. [emphasis added]


The idea of "membership" it not unrelated to the concept of "Manifestos, Declarations and Covenants" that we covered several posts ago. By becoming a "member" you are not just a simple "consumer" or "customer," but someone who has joined up -- a psychological mechanism to get you on board with the whole global plan and agenda.

As we pointed out in May 4, 2007, in Part 6 of "The Dopamine-Driven Church" entitled "The Goals for Coals," each part of this slick network marketing model is based on the previous media campaign. Here is what we summarized and predicted:

PyroMarketing summarizes the steps of Rick Warren’s first successful campaign:
  • Rick Warren collected the “driest tinder” – the thousands of pastors who had logged onto his www.pastors.com website and registered as members.
  • “When it was time to launch the Forty Days of Purpose Campaign, he sent a message to the pastors on his list and twelve hundred signed on.” (p. 207)
  • At the end of this very experiential campaign, the final purpose was evangelism where “people were told to share the gospel with others.” This turned into people recommending The Purpose-Driven Life book to others. (p. 207)
  • The Forty Days of Purpose Campaign kept a database of people ("save the coals") who read the book and logged onto www.purposedrivenlife.com, and also maintained a database of over 20,000 churches that participated in the campaign. (p. 208)
Knowing this successful format, it can therefore be imagined that the next stage will utilize the saved coals from the previous campaigns to launch the forthcoming campaign. This is a no-brainer. Even political candidates "save the coals" from previous campaigns to build a contact list of potential voters and donors in their future campaign, often building on a precinct-level cellular operation. Many non-profit and political action groups do the same. In fact, when Tim Challies' website documented the troubles that Greg Stielstra was having with Rick Warren over the publishing of PyroMarketing two summers ago here and here, he concluded that:

“But why does Warren fear this book? From all I could find, Stielstra has never written anything negative about Rick Warren or The Purpose Driven Life. If anything, he has praised both the book and the author and appears to respect Rick Warren as a pastor and as a church leader. After two rounds of changes that were subsequently approved by Warren's agent it seems clear that the book will be likewise positive in tone. What would cause a person to knowingly risk interfering with a contract made between two other parties? Based on the comments made by his representatives, it would seem that the explanation lies in Warren's fear that his critics will misinterpret the book and twist Stielstra's words to prove that Warren is not a pastor, but a marketer. He feels that people will come to view The Purpose Driven Life as a marketing success rather than a ministry success. This may also impact Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. plan which is in the beginning stages even now. Perhaps when people become aware of PyroMarketing techniques they will come to see themselves as ‘glowing coals’ and realize they are part of a larger marketing campaign.” [emphasis added]


The TIME magazine article concludes with skepticism about whether this new Purpose-Driven Connection magazine will fly. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. But one thing is for sure -- Rick Warren will have saved a whole new bag of coals with which to light the next stage of his global marketing campaign.


The Truth:

"...I will spread My net upon them..." (from Hosea 7:9)



READER NOTE: The Discernment Ministries website is currently down and undergoing some major reconstruction. We will notify you when it is back in operation.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

News Flash!

If you haven't been over to Constance Cumbey's blog lately, now is a good time to take a look. She has been posting updates on the latest maneuvers of a false messiah who calls himself "Maitreya." See her recent posts February 27th and March 1st which discuss an advertising blitz in Texas announcing the reappearance of this New Age "christ."

In response to this situation, Mrs. Cumbey has decided to make both of her books available online. They can now be downloaded free.[1] If you have never read these two books, do not delay! You can locate them by clicking on this link: http://idisk.mac.com/cumbey-Public?view=web

The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and Our Coming Age of Barbarism

A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age "Messiah"


Constance Cumbey first broke the story about the New Age Movement, warning Christian believers about the Luciferian Theosophists and their agenda to create a global religion, a new world order, and a new global "messiah" that was NOT Jesus Christ.

Most of us working in discernment today were directly or indirectly impacted by the groundbreaking research of Constance Cumbey. We all owe her a debt of gratitude. It was her courageous and bold writing and speaking that served as a wake-up warning. Yet she paid a heavy price for this personally. Already the evangelical church was becoming enamored of new spiritualities and well on its way to compromising. As this blog has reported (September and October 2005), by the late 1970s evangelical leaders were already openly fraternizing with Willis Harman, one of the leading Luciferians. And Constance wrote of a disturbing Gold Lake conference between evangelicals and New Age leaders in her September 1988 New Age Monitor newsletter, which is now posted online here.

Subsequent writers, such as Warren Smith who himself was once involved in this New Age Movement, wrote about the strange mix of "Evangelicals and New Agers Together." Smith has also warned about this false "Maitreya" messiah (see his book Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel posted online at www.reinventingjesuschrist.com ).

Below is a brief synopsis of the New Age Movement. We encourage Herescope readers to read Constance Cumbey's two books and share them with friends. These books are just as current now as they were a generation ago, and with the resurgence of publicity for this false messiah, it is time to sound the warning again.



What is the New Age Movement?
A brief synopsis [2]

"See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ." (Col. 2:8)


During the 1970s America underwent a rapid and profound transformation from a culture that was primarily Christian to one that is now mostly pagan. In the 1960s the Beatles rock group had imported eastern religion via their guru Marharishi Mahesh Yogi and popularized drug use. Eastern mysticism believes that each man determines his own truth – a very subjective way of looking at reality. In eastern religions Jesus isn’t THE way, THE truth, THE life, he is just an ascended spiritual “master” who is but one of many truths about spirituality. Jesus is not seen as the Son of God who died for our sins on the cross and was resurrected. Rather, in Eastern and pagan religions, Jesus is put on a par with other deities who are worshiped, and in some case even called by the names of these other idols.

It is important to understand the roots of what is now called the “New Age” movement. Constance Cumbey, a Christian attorney from Michigan, was the first one to alert evangelicals to this movement in her landmark book, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (Huntington House, 1983). She discovered that the modern move towards pagan religions and occult practices was actually initiated in 1875 by an organized group of Satanists who called themselves the Theosophical Society, headed up by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Their goal was to unite all world religions. From channeled demonic transmissions the Theosophists wrote extensively about how they would destroy Christianity and replace it with the occult. Alice Bailey, another Theosophist leader, wrote two dozen books laying out the specific instructions for creating a “New Age” on the Earth. The Lucifer Publishing Company (now Lucis Trust) published her writings which are still available for purchase and can be found on the Internet. Constance Cumbey warned:

“Plans for religious war, forced redistribution of the world’s resources, Luciferic initiations, mass planetary initiations, theology for the New World Religion, disarmament campaign, and elimination or sealing away of obstinate religious orthodoxies – all were covered extensively in the Alice Bailey writings.” (p. 50)

The Theosophists believed that they could best achieve their goals by remaining underground for a period of years and by infiltrating the world’s religious, educational, medical and governmental establishments. Their conspiracy surfaced to public view in 1976 when a modern disciple of Alice Bailey, Marilyn Ferguson, published a bestselling book called The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J.P. Tarcher, Inc.). This book had a prominently displayed “666” logo on the cover, representing the Theosophical belief that this number would invite the “Christ” to their New Age. Ferguson divulged the “Plan” and bragged about how it had already become an integral part of American society.

A foundational doctrine for the New Age movement is the belief that humanity is evolving, and that we will attain a higher level of consciousness and emerge as a new species (homo noeticus or homo universalis). A corollary doctrine teaches that truth itself is evolving, and that our understanding of spiritual things is becoming enhanced as we work collectively for a common good on the planet. Perpetual change is seen as a method to constantly accelerate this evolution. Visioning techniques, borrowed straight from the occult, are also used. Other occult methods have been mainstreamed into medicine, education, social sciences, business, and even the church. Marilyn Ferguson even ominously suggested, “Evolution may be speeded up by certain genetic mechanisms.” (p. 160)

Disunity with this Plan is seen as a hindrance to this coming “paradigm shift” in which a benevolent “New Age” of peace will transform the planet. The New Agers expectantly await their own messiah, a New Age “Christ” figure (also known as Maitreya) who will institute peace on earth.

Constance Cumbey’s original warnings went unheeded by evangelical leadership. Over the past three decades Christians began to rapidly replace the Scriptures with this mystical “New Age” worldview.[3] These new doctrines didn’t come into the church all at once, but in small doses of leaven, often placed in books and teachings by key evangelical leaders. The effect of this leaven has been disastrous in the church.[4]



The Truth:

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:4-5)


Endnotes:
1. Constance Cumbey explains on her blog:
NOTICE: The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, A Planned Deception, and other materials of mine are available for free download by clicking here. When you get to that box, then click on the right down arrow of any document or item you wish to download. I will appreciate your feedback! You may make unedited copies for your friends and acquaintances, churches, etc. I reserve all rights for mass reproduction and updating.
2. "What Is the New Age Movement?" by Sarah Leslie, Discernment Ministries Newsletter, Volume 17 Number 5, September/October 2006, http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLSeptOct_2006.htm

3. For more detailed historical information about the New Age movement, listen to the talks given by Sarah Leslie at the 2004 Discernment conferences. To see how this has entered the church, visit: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NEWAGETerms.htm
4. See "What Is Transformation?" by Lynn and Sarah Leslie for more information on this topic.


We will return to our series, Lord willing, shortly. . . . Stay tuned!