This book is part of the "Making Life Count Series" and was published in paperback by Pathway Press, Cleveland, Tennessee 37311 in 1975 E.V. The answer to the title is, of course, according to the author whose name is nowhere given, "Yes". Never mind the fact that Christianity is a relatively "new" religion, based upon a misinterpretation of the teachings of Jesus the Nazarene, or that it is a perversion of Judaism and earlier religions, and that Christianity is a kind of totalitarian "faith" that insists that everyone must accept the Christian faith or be condemned for all eternity; and never mind the fact that Christianity today is one of the most barbaric and superstitious of all the world religions. A ruthless, jealous, vengeful, tyrannical God, Jehovah, in the form of a dove, impregnantes a mortal woman who mysteriously retains her virginity even after the birth of her half-god son, and this demi-god grows up and performs miracles that are still (supposedly) performed today by Christian ministers who have one healing hand on a person's head and one stealing hand in the person's pocket, and then this demi-god died and arose from the dead, against every law of nature and science - breaking the laws of the Creator. And today in the Christian mass, a grotesque replica of the tortured, bleeding demi-god nailed to a wooden cross prominently displayed - the kind of thing one might see in a sado-masochistic underground club - there is a ritual blood-drinking and cannibalism of the demi-god called "communion". Is Christianity, the way of sacrifice, torture and death, denial and restriction, opposition to nature, the only Way? God! I hope not!
In this book Hinduism and Islam are dismissed. Likewise Judaism is dismissed, although the author of this "resurrected" book, available today, was very careful as to what he actually said in regards to Judaism. Still, it was said on page 30 that
"a kind of socialization and urbanization of Judaism [has occurred] in which many Jewish ceremonies and holidays have lost most of their religious significance"
but cannot the same be said of modern day Christianity? And the author goes on to say that
"As Christians we do have a responsibility; for if we believe in the one way of Christianity, then, we must see the importance of witnessing to the gospel of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of all the promises of the Jewish religion."
That is to say, the 'poor dumb Jews' need to accept Jesus as their Messiah (Christ), forsake their religion which existed long before Christianity and may exist long after Christianity has been forgotten by all but religious scholars, and become Christians to be "saved". Never mind the fact that Jesus was a good Jewish boy and a "rabbi", and it was apparently his intention not to create a new religion with himself worshipped as God, but rather to straighten out the perversions that perceived had crept into the Judaism of his time and return that faith back to its original purity as he saw it.
In speaking of Buddhism, again, which existed long before the misbegotten birth of Christianity and is likely to survive long after Christianity has been cast off by a maturing humanity, the book says on page 73
"Thus, we can learn a new appreciation for the power of Christ. Guatama Buddha was a mere man with a humanistic philosophy. Jesus Christ was the very revelation and incarnation of God. While Buddha is dead; Jesus Christ is alive and lives in the heart of every born-again believer."
Just as modern day Christians seem to think that Jesus' surname was ... excuse me, is...Christ ("Ah, Mr. Christ, please come in. We have reserved a table for your last supper."), they confuse and oversimplify the other world religions to ridicule them. Fact is, while Gautama is dead, the Buddha lives on in all of us for "Buddha" is not a man but a Principle, the Principle of Enlightenment which is in each and everyone of us - even the idiot who wrote Is Christianity The Only Way? - and it is up to each of us to discover and uncover that Buddha Nature, that burning Star of Light at the very core or centre of our being.
If it sounds like I am ridiculing Christianity here, let me just answer by saying: Yes, I am. However, this is not to say that I am ridiculing the basic teachings and principles that Jesus the Nazarene taught. It is the dogma of tyranny and perversion of those simple teachings that I am opposed to and here ridicule - returning the ridicule to people like the author, publisher and readers of this book who infect the world with their disease every day of their miserable, bigoted, self-righteous lives. Interestingly, my first eight years of formal education in a Roman Catholic school failed to give me an appreciation of Jesus or Christianity. I merely dismissed all the nonsense about a Virgin Mother, physical resurrection of the dead, and the rest of the myth - not even feeling the need to rebel, for although nominally Christian, my family, all born and bred on a farm, close to nature, is more Pagan at heart than they today realize. It was not until I seriously began my studies into the so-called "occult" that I learned to appreciate the Jesus of the four gospels and later Gnosticism, despite the mixture of ancient mythology (like the flight into Egypt) and other twaddle. I am a down-to-earth, practical, thinking man, and so, carefully examining Christianity, it was easy for me to dismiss the superstitious flummery that today passes for "religion" - in fact, the only true religion! - and yet appreciate the man Jesus, a man who probably existed and was one of humanity's greatest teachers. The perversion of his teachings was not his fault. But, as usual, I digress - with, however, a purpose.
Eventually we get to Chapter 10 of this book and find "A Contemporary Look at Cults". The world "cult" is defined according to the dictionary after which the book says
"At first glance these definitions are not half bad. ... Usually a cult grows up around a controversial leader who embraces some bizarre philosophy or belief."
Such as Jesus, who, approximate 2000 years ago, was blasphemously called the Son of God by his followers and who, we are told today, preached, among other bizarre things, about physical resurrection of the dead? Like the late Jim Jones? Or Pat Robertson? The Bakkers? Swaggart? "The Pope"? And further in the book:
"In our day we have witnessed a cult explosion that nets millions of dollars annually and claims the devotion of literally millions of people."
Need I repeat myself? Ever notice how, very often, the people charging others with certain "sins" and crimes prove to be themselves guilty of those very same "sins" and crimes?
Well, astrology is "outmoded scientifically" according to this understandably anonymous author
"astronomy has discovered at least two other planets ... which the astrologers ignore"
which, of course, is untrue as every astronomical discovery is eagerly accepted by genuine astrologers and the possibilities presented are explored with great enthusiasm; and, naturally, according to this anonymous author, "astrology violates basic biblical principles". I will not even dignify that charge with commentary.
The Krishna movement is attacked (a guru is defined as a "so-called holy man", italics mine, for of course one can only be "holy" if one has accepted Jesus as one's "personal saviour" and converted to Christianity), as is Zen Buddhism, Baha'i, and Transcendental Meditation. It comes as no surprise then that the author, on page 124, declares that
This is the "God" who will condemn us to eternal punishment and damnation if we dare to use our God-given brains and disagree with the tyranny of Christianity. If this is true, I would say that our situation is rather hopeless. So what the hell!
Finally we get to Chapter 11
(underware, being hidden under clothes, might be said to be "occult", therefore Satan is master of your BVDs), and here Voodoo is briefly attacked and both Anton LaVey, head of the Church of Satan, and of course Charles Manson are brought up. I am not here interested in discussing or defending any of these or the previously mentioned "cults", for my main interest in this place must be the following:
"In modern civilization Satanism (the worship of Satan) was subdued and kept underground for centuries; however, in 1875 a man by the name of Allister Crawley [sic] was born of the son of a wealthy British brewer. From childhood he was a terror who delighted in shocking people with fiendish and bizarre behavior. Ultimately he became a classic egomaniac who 'made a pact with Satan, wrote odes to murderers, called Queen Victoria dirty names, seduced a housemaid and experimented with homosexuality' (Petersen, 1973, p. 76).
"To top things off Crawley [sic] became a master magician, dedicated his talents to Satan, and gave birth to a type of Satanic religion.
"While his efforts to attain a following were never very successful, he did bring Satan worship into the public eye. Finally, at the age of seventy-two he died in a cheap boardinghouse in Hastings, England. He was hooked on heroin and in his dying hours begged for morphine to kill the pain."
The book referred to is given in the bibliography as Those Curious New Cults by William J. Petersen, Keats Publishing, Inc., 1973 E.V., New Canaan, Connecticut.
First, the correct spelling of Aleister Crowley is the easiest thing to discover in a genuine, objective, scholarly approach. The fact that Crowley's "wealthy British brewer" father was a fundamentalist Christian belonging to the Plymouth Brethren is conviently ignored. And Crowley did not make a pact with Satan, he did not worship Satan, he did not believe in Satan, and he employed the term only in discussing the beliefs of others or in a poetic, metaphorical or literary way, thus he had nothing to do with "satanism" in any way, shape or form - with the possible exception being that he disagreed with Christian dogma, which, of course, everyone who is not Christian does. In the mindless world of people like this unknown author, if you are not Christian you are a satanist. Period.
Called Queen Victoria dirty names? Ghads! Now there's a "sin" punishable by eternal torment and damnation if ever I heard one! I dare say that there were quite a few good Christian English men and women who more than once had a nasty thing or two to say about Queen Victoria.
And he seduced a housemaid? No worse than many vicars, priests, ministers and today's televangelists, and not nearly as "bad" as Crowley was neither guilty of child molestation nor hypocrisy.
Yes, he wrote all kinds of poetry, expressing just about every possible point of view including Christian faith and devotion, although I am not sure which "odes" are here being referred to. And yes, he did become "a master magician", although how successful his efforts were cannot be judged at this early stage of the Æon of Horus, so soon after his death. And yes he did die at the ripe old age of seventy-two, and one could say he died in a cheap boarding house - and why? Because he devoted his life and the major porition of his money to the accomplishment of his True Will and the Great work, which entailed the education of humanity and the preparation of humanity's Next Step upon the evolutionary Path of the Wise. However, he was not "hooked on heroin". His addiction caused by a doctor's perscription was beaten years earlier, but with his constitution immune to less powerful drugs, he did use - not abuse - heroin in his last days to ease the physical pain of several illnesses accumulated over the decades by world travel and mountain climbing, as well as the degeneration of old age itself. His annoyance with having to rely upon something outside of himself, so to speak, to ease his physical discomfort has led some to believe that he was mastered by a drug which, in fact, he had mastered. As for him begging for morphine to kill the pain in his last moments, there is a story to that effect, and while he may have asked for it I sincerely doubt a man as proud as Crowley would have begged. I dare say that when our time comes to die, if there is pain, we might ask for something to make the passage from this state of consciousness to the next a bit easier, and shame upon the physican who would deny us that last reasonable request.
The biggest joke in this book is that it opens with these few words on an otherwise blank page:
Christians charge that satanists turn everything around so that, for instance, truth is a lie and a lie is truth. Seems to me to be a typical case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Is Christianity the only way? If the Christianity expressed in this book were the only way, then the way would not be worth going. Thank God it is not the only way!
Especially during the height of the Satanic Panic, but even to this day, we hear a lot from Christians about dangerous and "destructive cults" and how they threaten the very fabric of society. Every trick of language, every little twist of the truth, is employed to condemn "cults" so that the virtually inoffensive word "cult" has, in the minds of many, become a dirty little four-letter word. Christians seem to forget that shortly after the death of Jesus and for quite a long time thereafter Christianity was considered a "dangerous cult". Times have changed. Christianity has spread throughout the world, the first mass conversions being achieved through coercion, torture and execution. The status of Christianity was upgraded. It is no longer a "dangerous cult". Now it is a full-fledged "dangerous religion".
Today Christianity's representatives, primarily the self-appointed ones, go on and on about "destructive cults", labelling all of them "satanic", either outright or in a sly manner, and yet during the Satanic Panic when it was claimed that millions of babies and children were being sacrificed to the Devil and others fell victim to cult murder, the FBI could not find a shred of evidence to prove these wild allegations. However, to find the true dangerous, destructive, "doomsday cults", one need not look towards satanists or the occult community - a community that does not generally have a pathological fear or longing for the end of the world. That which millions of Christians fear is to be found right there within their own community. To wit:
The "Reverend" Jim Jones, the People's Temple and the Guyana tragedy.
Vernon Howard, aka David Koresh, the Branch Davidians and the Waco tragedy.
And just recently, Marshall Applewhite, Heaven's Gate/Higher Source and the California mass suicide.
To name but a few dangerous and destructive doomsday cults*, and what do they all have in common? Was Jones, Koresh and Applewhite members of the occult community? Were they satanists? No. They were Christians and the core of their cults was based upon Christianity and the pathological Christian fear of the "end times" with the grossly elitist and highly irrational belief, in one form or another, of the Rapture.
Christian cults are amassing weapons, building bunkers, committing mass suicides, taking innocent children with them, not Witches, not Thelemites, not Voodooists, not any of the "cults" said by the Christian propagandists to be dangerous and destructive. CHRISTIANS.
Even Applewhite's cult is described as a curious mixture of science fiction and Christianity, and their desire to leave this world which they felt no longer had anything to offer them and go on to a better place is nothing more than another version of the longing for the Christian heaven or the fanatic desire and expectations of the fundamentalists' Rapture. It is nothing more than a manifestation of Christian escapism, which goes hand in hand with gross irresponsibility and the scapegoat mentality that causes them to refuse to face the true cause of socital problems and instead pin their sins upon others, such as those in the occult community.
"THEY did it! THEY are to blame! It's all THEIR fault!"
When the mass deaths in these dangerous, destructive, doomsday CHRISTIAN cults are discussed on television it is always said that the families cannot be blamed. Why not? Why can they not accept part of the blame? If one is honest and objective, and if one has the nerve to accept the truth, the root of most of today's problems in society is to be found in family upbringing and the Judeo-Christian religions.
It has recently been said that there are an estimated five thousand cults in America today. Why? Because Christianity, primarily, has failed completely to answer society's questions and satisfy its needs. And yet, because Christianity is the most familiar belief system to most people, it is the cult with the Christian elements that attracts the most people, and unfortunately it is those very same Christian elements which prove to be the seeds of destruction. The only difference between recognized, orthodox, organized Christianity and the plethora of Christian-based cults is that the cults tend to self-destruct in a relatively short period of time while Christianity is in a very slow and yet very definite self-destruct mode.
The Christian rails against "cults", blames all of the "evils" of society whose roots are in Christian dogma upon the unchristian cults, and sets out upon one witch-hunt after another, seeking someone or something, anyone, anything, to pin its sins on and sacrifice, rather than to face the fact like spiritually mature, intellectually responsible adults, that the "evil" that permeates society is not to be found without themselves, but within. The very dogma that they promise will lead one to heaven is sending society straight to hell. Christian dogma breeds all manner of intellectual and sexual perversion, it leads to dishonesty and hypocrisy, and why? Because it chooses not to deal with the realities of life in a reasonable, rational manner. And so, Christianity fails utterly. As the dualistic and inflexible dogma of Christianity forces a belief in The Devil to counterbalance and make excuses for God, so too does it virtually force into existence satanism. Because of rigid Christian doctrine and its unrealistic, unhealthy tendency towards the restriction of every basic human need and desire, people by the thousands are leaving their family religion, joining cults, mostly the cults with teachings that are familiar to them, having some basis in the Judeo-Christian Bible, and sometimes we see the results on television, in the newspapers, splashed all over the lurid covers of magazines. These are not unproven allegations. These mass murders and suicides are not the wild fantasies of a fanatic on some sensationalistic talk show. They are fact. Fact as cold and rigid as the bodies of believers who are left in the wake of yet another dangerous, destructive, doomsday CHRISTIAN cult.
*We should not forget the Roman Catholic Church, the many priests who have been discovered to be child molesters, aversely effecting the lives of hundreds if not thousands of children, protected by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, incidents hushed up for decades, nay, centuries, with reparation only now being made because too much has recently been exposed by the glaring light of mass media. While they accuse the occult community as a whole of these crimes without a shred of evidence to prove their allegations, look at all of the now undeniable evidence revealed which condemns so many in their own priesthood of these crimes. It is worth noting that the criminal in society very often attempts to throw society off of his trail by falsely accusing another of the very crimes he himself has committed, and by turning that innocent party, that scapegoat into a wanted criminal, he can use him as a "common enemy" with which to rally others to his cause, under his leadership. The perversity of this, the gross injustice of such a situation, is astounding, and the far reaching effects it has upon society as a whole is staggeringly horrible.
10 April 1997 E.V.
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