What’s the Big Deal with the New Apostolic Reformation?

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  July 28, 2011 — 119 Comments

The English-language site for the Arabic news outlet Al Jazeera recently featured an editorial by Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor of Random Lengths News, on the neo-Pentecostal Christian network known as the New Apostolic Reformation. In the piece Rosenberg compares NAR with Islamist militia group the Taliban.

“Prior to 9/11, the Taliban government in Afghanistan did not register very much on American radar screens, with one notable exception: when it blew up two colossal images of the Buddha in Bamiyan province in early 2001. But destruction of treasured artifacts isn’t just limited to the Taliban. There’s a right-wing politico-religious presence centred in the US, but with a global reach, engaging in similar practises, destroying religious and cultural artifacts as a key aspect of its ideology of “strategic level spiritual warfare” (SLSW). Until recently a fringe evangelical movement, warned against as deviant, “spiritual warfare” is rapidly positioning itself within America’s mainstream political right. It’s well past time for political journalists to start covering what this movement is up to.”

Is the New Apostolic Reformation really comparable to the Taliban? I dislike making such comparisons because it clouds the issue. It gets people debating about Islam, terrorism, and comparing movements primarily based in the West with movements primarily based in the Middle East. It produces more heat than light. That said, I entirely agree with Rosenberg that reporters should take “a long hard look at the NAR figures endorsing Rick Perry’s prayer event on August 6.” So far most investigation of this group has come from specialty sites like Talk to Action, Right Wing Watch, and Religion Dispatches, along with a number of evangelical Christian critics, who see NAR’s practices as heretical. Even figures within the American Family Association have criticized the group, though political expedience has led them to cover that up.

“…leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation, a heretical movement that sprang from the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, claim that they hear directly from God, Jesus and angels. They even encourage their followers to contact angels despite the fact that Scripture expressly forbids contacting the spirit world because Satan and his demons can appear as an “angel of light” to deceive people. (2 Cor 11:14) Like the apostles who established the early church, these “restored apostles and prophets” believe they are called by God to lay the foundation and government for the new earthly Kingdom. Moreover, they believe that soon they will take dominion over government and dominate the world politically and spiritually.”

Some have questioned whether I am exaggerating, misunderstanding, or distorting NAR’s intentions. My only answer is that I truly hope so. I would rather be exposed as alarmist and have to eat a bit of crow than be proven right on this issue. But all the digging I’ve done, all the research I’ve done, points to disturbing trends and intentions within this network. Ever since they first came to my attention during the Sarah Palin witch-hunter blessing controversy, all I have ever found from them is uniquely focused dislike of Pagan and indigenous religions. Even if it were only dislike, I would not be worried, lots of Christians dislike Pagan and indigenous faiths, but their adherence to a doctrine of spiritual warfare in conjunction with that dislike is, in my mind, a dangerous mixture. They spread lies and misinformation about our faiths, believe that their prayers against “demons” are literally killing people, have taken credit for the earthquake in Japan, and claimed to have moved God to blind and give cancer to a Wiccan chaplain. That isn’t colorful exaggeration on my part, let’s quote the prayer warrior in question.

“In 1995, Mary mobilized a prayer network for Alaska’s prisons and began experiencing spiritual warfare as never before. She had received word that a witch had applied for a job as chaplain of the state’s prison system… Mary recalls, “As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer” … “Ultimately, the witch fled to another state for medical treatment. Soon after, revival visited every prison in Alaska. At the women’s correctional facility in Anchorage alone, 55 of 60 inmates found Christ. “Ask largely,” Mary says. “Intercessory prayer is making a major difference in North America.”

This is not generalized prayer to convert the world to Christianity, this is willfully malefic. If you truly believe that God would blind and give cancer to a Wiccan through intercessory prayer, that’s “black” magic. Nor is that the end of it. They brag about burning Native art, and thought that the upside of the Haitian earthquake was that it broke the “strongman of the occult’s” back.

Even taking all that into account, I wouldn’t make too much of a fuss. There are lots of crazy groups out there, I’m not going to worry about all of them. But in the last decade or so they have made massive inroads into political politics, and are trying to mainstream themselves by holding events at places like Harvard. That the endorsers list of the upcoming Texas prayer event The Response reads like a partial who’s who of the New Apostolic Reformation is disturbing, not simply because Governor Rick Perry might be sympathetic to them, but because it means this “Third Wave” has succeeded in becoming a part of the mainstream Religious Right. Anti-Pagan attitudes, plus spiritual warfare tactics, plus political power is the formula that worries me. That keeps me writing on this subject.

So when I mention their latest prayer initiative, DC40, on this site, it is through this lens that I analyze it. They have been crystal clear in their goals, and in naming their enemies. They don’t try to hide it. Simply scratching the surface of their quest to bring “light” to Washington DC exposes the underbelly of their ambitions. To pretend otherwise is to simply ignore what they themselves claim to want. Again, perhaps some of you will disagree with me that this group, this network, isn’t something to worry about, or pay attention to. That I’m being sensationalist. I hope you’re right. I hope they are simply an aberration that will fade away, but I’m not sure. I think they are gaining in influence and popularity. I’m not asking anyone to engage in spiritual or magical “battle” with these people, what I’m really asking is that we stay informed, and press our mainstream media to pay attention to the politicians who accept their endorsements, emerge from their churches, or woo them for votes. I’m asking for hard questions, for direct and informed questions. That we shine the “light” they so crave back on their own activities.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • EdthePagan

    The number 1 thing we can do is to continue to develop our voice, at every level. The fact we make up .5% of the population is not really the issue, but we can be part of a vocal minority. So if we can not get the mainstream press to ask the questions, we must find ways to get the questions in front of them one way or another. iReports on CNN, Twitter at stations when they run stories, call into talk shows, all of it creates a presence, and enough presence can shift this. The community ignored this in 2000, and we got the Veteran Pentacle Quest for the answer. This time, they can reach deeper into our government, and make it even more difficult. So yes, developing our voice is the best thing we can do.

  • When I wrote my post about spiritual warfare, as practiced by NAR, being malefic magic, I passed that post on to my Christian co-workers. NAR attacks Catholics and Mormons, as well as others, and their actions aren’t troubling to Pagans alone.

    • “Pagan” to the NAR means anyone who isn’t a part of their movement-Hindus, Buddhists,Mormons, Catholics and everyone else. That’s why they’re a fringe group and not considered mainstream Christian.

      • Guest

        I take your point, but “fringe” groups generally don’t advise presidential candidates and other politicians.

        • Nicole Youngman

          That’s part of the big problem–they have political power that is WAY disproportionate to their actual numbers, partly because of the disciplined hierarchy they have in their churches that “gets out the vote.” Although in some parts of the country of course the general population is closer to their belief system overall than in others.

  • sacredblasphemies

    My concern is that in recognizing these people as threats, we play into their plan for spiritual warfare. It is essential for us, as Pagans, to take the high road. Either ignore them, or embrace them with love and compassion.

    Any form of aggression or confrontation will only confirm our status as ‘a threat’ in their minds. Now, showing compassion to them might not change their minds or hearts, but it is the right thing to do.

    Also, if they continue aggressive behavior towards us, it reveals them to be the spiritual bullies that they are.

    • Sarsen

      They’ve been doing this for twenty years. They aren’t going to stop. Ever.

    • Mountaindwellinchick

      Respectfully, I have to disagree with ignoring them. Ignoring them is one reason they’ve been able to get in deep with politicians and become influential voices in mainstream Christianity. There’s an excellent book called “Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion” by Sheldon Culver and John Dorhauer. You can find more info including the synopsis by clicking here:
      They’re already having an impact on our lives by providing the support base for bills like the “Heartbeat Bill” in OH and being influential in the rewriting of school textbooks (as we saw with the revisions supported by the TX Board of Education). They’re a very politically motivated group – which is why in my comment above I state that while I doubt that they’ll achieve their dream of a one-world church they can make life harder for people by supporting bills and legislation designed to prevent LGBTs, women, and religious minorities from enjoying equal rights and protections. One of the best ways to “combat” them (if you will) is at the polls.

      • Its also a reason why Patrick McCollum is fighting for our rights to be Chaplains in Calif. prisons. The state is saying that any chaplin of any religion can take over for a Pagan Chaplin. So our people behind bars are not getting the religious care that other religions are getting….is this ok? That a Pagan who was dieing and asked for his Pagan Chaplin did not get him…in fact the Chaplin could not get his letters through. Ill prisoners are being told to remove their spiritual emplem before they can be taken to the doctor… So tell me, how patient should we be?

        We need to show up at the polls…too many Pagans think that they are above careing about politics…when this is how we change things for us and our future, as well as to protect our Earth with good laws. I know how far we have come, we need to now work to gain more…like equal rights in the hospitals and prisons, and schools.

    • I think there are more options for Pagans than ignoring them or embracing them that are also not aggressive or confrontational.

      Being politically active, making their activities and goals public, praying for freedom and continued pluralism, and protecting yourself and/or your event are all ways Pagans can take the ‘high road.’

    • When I was in high school, ignoring my bullies didn’t work very well for me. They continued to beat me, berate me, humiliate me, and hurt me in other ways for years, until I stood up for myself. For years teachers, administration, and police stood by. Only by taking power for myself, not ’embracing them with love and compassion’ and ‘turning the other cheek’ as I was admonished to do by my then-Catholic faith to do, did the beatings stop.

      From every video of theirs I have watched, from every sermon I have listened to, read, and watched, they do not recognize our validity as Pagans to practice our faith, and for some of the even more extreme sects, to exist. This is not something to be tolerated.

      They are aggressive in eliminating our, and many others’ religious freedoms. So let us be aggressive in defending our many faiths, ourselves, and our communities.

      • WarriorPrincessDanu

        I had very similar experiences when I was a child. I was sexually abused by two of my classmates. I tried ignoring them at first, and I tried going to my teacher for help, but they didn’t stop until I got so angry that I threw chairs at them. While my experiences are limited, I have never seen a case where ignoring a bully was an effective deterrent. There are ways we can actively respond to the NAR without sinking to they’re level. It’s self defense, just on a larger scale.

        • I’m sorry to hear you went through something so horrible, and that you were ignored when you went for help. That is…disgusting beyond words.

      • Sheta

        Well stated!

    • Jagkit

      The rabbit that ignores the fox, becomes dinner.

    • Bookhousegal

      Just remember that if someone’s goal is to start a ‘war,’ ‘escalation’ is one of *their* objectives, not necessarily ours, or America’s.

      That doesn’t always mean responding with kid gloves: in those eventualities, I suggest think kinda Jedi about it, if not ‘judo.’ (Looking up the basic teachings of aikido might serve people well, too.) Don’t get wound up in it, if you’re that kind of sensitive.

      (The fact is these ‘spiritual warfare’ types *already* believe they’re ‘under attack’ every time they look in a mirror or some of their own ill-working blows up in their faces. Their *intention* is actually an attack on America, and these United States. We’re on defense. (Interesting shades of “Lammas Night” there, eh?) And powerful allies have we. The land, the ancestors, the nation, our birthright of freedom and Liberty. Not to mention that whatever they think they’re directing against us and this nation, it’s not the same ‘God’ that most of the Christians believe in. As scary as their political influence and the tides of division and Dominionism in this nation are, they wouldn’t be as crazy as they are if what they were doing was working. And when you’re defending something, you generally *don’t* want to raze it by turning it into a battlefield.)

      Remember, too, that *they* are the ones who are limited to the ‘war’ metaphor and worldview. Everything they think is destructive, punitive, alienating, harming, territorial, even. We Pagans are *not* so limited. We are on the side of Life, the life of the world and spirit and all that. And Life has many ways to protect itself, hard-pressed as it may seem these days.

    • Sorry, but a threat is a threat is a threat. Pretending a hungry predator isn’t a threat won’t make it less likely to eat you, only more likely that you’ll get eaten. If you want to be carnivore chow, that’s your prerogative, but that’s not for me, nor, it seems, for the majority of the folks here.

      And there’s my 2 deben on the subject.

    • Kitsune

      Didn’t Pagans ignore or try to love militant Christians before? I believe that was how, ultimately, our faith, our art and documents were (nearly) wiped out. It was these types of people who started those periods in history that are oh so savory, such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.

      • Fritz Muntean

        You can’t seriously believe that any aspect of the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition was ever aimed at Pagans. Unless you’re prepared, of course, to embrace the NAR doctrine — so well articulated by Kate Dennis (above) that ‘Pagan’ means anyone who fell afoul of the Crusaders’ or the Inquisitor’s worldview. As Ms Dennis so aptly put it: ‘That’s why they’re a fringe group and not considered mainstream Christian.’

        • Kitsune

          Actually, I was talking about the shift of power from Pagans to Christians in the Roman Empire in my first two sentences, not that the Crusades or Inquisition were directed specifically at pagans.

          As for the “fringe group”, mainstream Christianity started off as a radical fringe group, and so did every other major religion that is alive today.

          • Fritz Muntean

            You’re certainly right about all religions beginning as ‘fringe groups’. Scholars refer to these ‘start-ups’ as NRMs (New Religious Movements), and they are the subject of considerable and enthusiastic study. Much in the same sense as scientists study the Big Bang. Contemporary Paganism is especially interesting to academics, because very few NRMs survive the death of their founder. Mormon and Christian Science are among the very few examples. Our case is even more unique in that Olde Gerald died in 1963, at which point CP really started to get ‘legs’. And less than 20 years later we started developing ‘denominations’. Basically, there’s nothing on record quite like us!

          • Fritz Muntean

            Talking about a shift of power from Pagans to Christians — see Robin Lane Fox’s “Pagans and Christians” for an entertaining and entirely historical blow-by-blow account of the tumultuous events of the 4th century — is one thing.

            But the classical Pagans of the day could hardly have been said to “ignore to try to love” the early Christians. Quite the contrary, on both counts.

            Nor did those Christians succeed, to any significant degree, in wiping out “our faith, our art and documents”. Not even (nearly).

          • Kitsune

            I was taught that the Pagans that were in control of the Roman Empire first ignored the new religious movement that became Christianity, and when it started to become aggressive, the ruling pagans started killing them. Im guessing this is when pagans started throwing Christians to the lions. But, as we know, this did nothing but aggravate the new Christians who ultimately returned the favor…

            Of course, public education is not the best, and I can be wrong. There is no telling the things they left out or fabricated.

          • Fritz Muntean

            Persecution of Early Christians by the Roman authorities was sporadic, and it was never so much a matter of Pagans vs Christians as it was part of an ongoing tension between Civic Cult and the Mystery Religions. The Roman authorities occasionally came down on the cult of Dionysos with rather spectacular displays of Force Majeur; the temple of Isis was destroyed on several occasions, at least one of which was marked by mass crucifixions; and the cult of Cybele was suppressed a number of times with typical Roman brutality.

            Like many NRMs, including our own, the ECs were home to some serious nutcases, and (not unlike among ourselves) effective pastoral counseling was not universally available. Martyrdom was not an ‘aggravation’; on the contrary, it was welcomed by those unfortunates who saw the eager willingness to die for their beliefs as the only really sure strategy by which they might hope to ascend immediately to a Christian heaven.

            And for their part, the Pagan Romans — who greatly admired Stoicism — and especially actual stoic behaviour — misread this enthusiastic acceptance of martyrdom as a positive sign that the ECs were representative of a ‘philosophical’ religion. Wrong, of course, but quite a selling point, once the 4th century got underway.

            And — don’t be too keen to denigrate ‘public education’. I’ve had a public education myself, right through grad school. The trick is not to drop out (or stop paying attention) in middle school.

    • SterlingSilverRose

      Unfortunately they will run you over with their propaganda and will make an example out of you. They don’t care about turning the other cheek as they’ve been instructed from their book, they care about saving all the souls and they biggest souls they want to save are the devil worshipers and witches. Make no mistake they are counting on you to do nothing which is how they came to power in the first place.

    • Nonsence. I am not saying that we should set out to do anything drastic, but as well as meeting them with love and compassion we better ward ourselves and do what we can to protect what is ours.

      As to them revealing themselves to be bullies? Those who are paying attention and sympethetic to us and other non apostlelic faiths are going to know already that those are bullies, the others will be more likely on their side.

      I guess its a difference in outlook, I will protect my people if attacked…you know we could take a leaf from the story of Jesus when he whipped the lenders from the temple door…He got pissed, he up turned the tables and chased the lenders away..they were going against what he thought was right for his temple.

      Well, I think that I did not get to the age of 63 on this path with not being able to take a hit on the chin and worse and being able to stand and give it back.

      Love and compassion only goes so far. Then you run out of cheeks you take aim. Our kids need a chance to know we will fight for their rights.

      End of rant.

    • You do your thing, I even respect it, but I’m gonna do mine too: Fire meets Fire.

    • AQ

      Oh. Hells. No.

      I will fight these people until my last breath, because they are a clear and present danger to freedom and to us pagans.

      If you want to play the “good indian” and not antagonize the Talibangelicals, that’s your own lookout–but don’t come crying to me if you wake up one day to find them in power and actively working to revoke your right to practice your religion.

  • I think your entirely right to bring this sort of information to light. Best to be vigilant now, than crying for help later when it’s too late.

  • Mountaindwellinchick

    I read an article on these folks not too long ago that essentially said that while many Americans who identify as Christian wouldn’t be opposed to seeing the Ten Commandments displayed publicly, most definitely would not support a return to a Leviticus-style legal system or a theocratic state. So that being said, given that the NAR is against anybody who *isn’t them* and believes that any Christians not of their stripe “aren’t really Christian”, it’s in everybody’s interests (Pagan, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, etc.) to educate themselves about these folks and take them seriously. While I personally don’t believe that they will ever succeed in obtaining their vision of a one-world church under their authourity devoid of all other spiritualities and religions, I do believe that they could do harm in the short term by voting for policies and laws that would discriminate against the rights of others in terms of religion, gender, and sexuality.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      And their first step in getting whatever they can is to latch onto potential candidates like Rick Perry and get him beholden to them so they can call in chits later. If he becomes Republican nominee they can call in a few chits to influence the 2012 GOP platform.

    • Rua Lupa

      The interesting thing about them wanting a one-world church, is that is one of their prophecies about the end times. And the leader of said church would be the anti-Christ. So it is kind of ironic.

      • Kitsune

        Well, isn’t their goal to hasten the end of the world anyway? “If we can get as close to the biblical descriptions, Im sure God will take it from there!” >:(

  • Sarsen

    “Spiritual Warfare” as a movement has been around for more than twenty years. They were claiming that long ago that Wiccans commit ritual murder. The Pagan community in Chattanooga, TN has had run-ins with them, as has Athens (GA) Pagan Pride. This isn’t new.

    Ignoring them isn’t going to work; doing so has only given them the opportunity to gain as much power as they have now. “Embracing them with compassion”…well, it might work on some of their followers, but I believe the leadership know perfectly well that we (and the Catholics, etc) are not the monsters they portray us as. They are using us to promote their agenda and gain influence, and will continue to do so as long as it works.

    Exposing them, especially their more horrifying activities (these are the same people who conduct exorcisms on children and sometimes advocate physical abuse in order to “get the Devil” out of them), shining the light of truth…that might work. It won’t convince the hard core of the movement, but it might get moderate Christians and the general public to see them for what they really are.

    • Rua Lupa

      I am not so sure about their leaders not believing what they are preaching though. Many leaders of maniac groups like this convince themselves of their own preachings, even if they initially didn’t believe it going into that role.

    • SterlingSilverRose

      My parents are apart of this holy roller extremist Christianity and when I was a single digit child I was made to watch an exorcism that my mother did on this poor woman to get her “demons” out of her and I was told that my stuffed animals would talk to me b/c demons can possess them as easily as people. I grew up with extremist behaviors and these are the same people who are only concerned with saving everyone who isn’t like them. I say this to expose them for what they really believe! They are real.

  • Alarmist or not, there has been enough crazy in the world that these groups must be made known. This does affect our community! Thanks for being spot on and forthcoming with this story.

  • I don’t think you’re being a sensationalist or an alarmist for bringing attention to the NAR or their perverted “spiritual warfare”. I think you’re being a sensationalist and an alarmist for continuing to attempt to link them to Rick Perry with very dubious evidence, at best. It seems like you’re more interested in dingiong a potential Republican Presidential candidate than in bringing a truly vile spiritual movement to light.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      “Dubious evidence”? This isn’t “Law & Order.” The way politics works, the manifested connections between Perry and the NAR create a sufficiently plausible political dynamic that it’s up to them, especially Perry, to deny.

      Perry is a small part of the NAR story Jason is giving us. It’s you who has “dubious evidence” that Jason is primarily motivated by anti-Perry animus. If he were this is the last place he’d exercise it; how many votes from this board would Perry pick up if he *weren’t* rubbing elbows with Paganophobes?

      • Well never let it be said that I’m not open to evidence. If the anti-Republican (not merely anti-Perry) bias I perceive is so illusory, then please point me to some examples of articles featured here at the Wild Hunt that have been pro-Republican or anti-Democrat. Three of each from the last year or so should do; if the bias is as non-existent as you say it is, it should be easy enough to come up with some examples to disprove my impression.

        • My coverage of Dan Halloran’s career has been very fair, and generally positive.


          Here’s me criticizing the “religious left”.


          Here I spotlight a Democratic candidate in Florida who had deep ties to the NAR movement.


          There are other examples I could provide, but all of those are from 2011.

          • Jason, many thanks for taking the time to answer, and apologies for not getting back to you sooner. My own response is too long to give here, but I’ve covered your examples in depth on my own blog:


            In a nutshell, your examples don’t prove what you claim they do, when one takes the time to actually read them.

          • Well, I’m sorry you feel that way. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a conservative, but have tried to be fair to all political points of view. I don’t think my reporting on Perry has been “anti-Republican” as you classify it. Nor do I think his connections with NAR are as non-existent as you would have it. My posts at The Wild Hunt are not filled with anti-Republican screeds or GOTV efforts on behalf of Democrats. I’m not constantly praising Obama, or any Democrat for that matter. TWH has never officially endorsed a candidate, nor will it. If my reporting hasn’t leapt over your bar, it is because you alone control where that bar is placed.

            I will continue to endeavor to be as fair as I can be, and you are always free to continue criticizing that coverage here, or at my comments section.

          • Just to clarify, I don’t believe I ever said that Perry’s links to the NAM were “non-existent”. I merely said that no convincing evidence to support the notion that he shares their ideology and/or theology had been presented. If we eventually have such evidence, I’ll be the first to decry him.

            I would also point out that the bar I set was very much on the low end of the scale. I daresay an attempt to find three posts critical of Republicans here int he last year would be met with considerably more success.

            In any event, I’m glad we can have a civil discussion on this (and other) things, even though we’re obviously on opposite ends of the political spectrum. I meant what I said about liking your blog, despite the occasional forays into partisan politics.

          • Cigfran

            Jason consistently reports, not from a politically partisan perspective, but from an interested pagan perspective. And as long as one political party invests its ambitions in vigorous embrace of fundamentalist, anti-pagan religion, his reporting will necessarily show what might appear to be bias.

            But one would have to particularly thick-headed to take that appearance at face value, without regard to its obvious context.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Word, Cigfran.

    • kenneth

      Whether or not Perry is a died in the wool supporter of these people is beside the point. He is giving them tacit support and apparently in broad agreement with the thrust of what they stand for, if not the word for word details of their platform. If that’s not the case, he could clear it all up in 30 seconds at a press conference. At the absolute least, Perry is cynically exploiting the ambivalent support/broad brush alliance with extremists in a way that gives them a veneer of mainstream credibility they would not otherwise have.

      • Honestly, no one can reasonably expect a politician to rush to a microphone to loudly and insistently denounce every looney fringe group that happens to say a kind word about them.

        You say he is giving them “tacit support”. How? By not denouncing them? That’s absurd, just as it would be absurd to expect Obama to go out of his way to denounce every ultra-leftist that advocates (or has actually performed) acts of violence in the name of The Revolution. (Just to take a certain real-world example).

        The fact that Perry doesn’t denounce them isn’t what gives them that “veneer of mainstream credibility”. It’s the tens of thousands of people who believe that garbage, give them money, and participate in odious events like this DC40 thing.

        They had that veneer long before Perry failed to denounce them; it’s time we look to the root of the problem, and seek to align with other religious groups (particularly Christian groups) to denounce them and call attention to just how delusional, hateful, harmful, and ultimately distant from the mainstream of Christianity they are. *That’s* where their “veneer of mainstream credibility” comes from; the fact that they hide their hate behind a cross, and millions of people see that and assume they must be just like them.

        • Grimmorrigan

          “Honestly, no one can reasonably expect a politician to rush to a microphone to loudly and insistently denounce every looney fringe group that happens to say a kind word about them. ”

          I think we can and should expect this. If we replace NAR with KKK I imagine the tone would be different.

          I’m sorry Jason is “picking” on a candidate you seem to favor and that your cries of anti-republican bias are not being universally supported.

          • That’s one of the weird things about this. I’m not a Perry supporter. I just don’t like to see wild accusations hurled around without evidence.

            As far as my perception that Jason has an anti-Republican bias, I would hardly expect a lot of support here. One never sees bias in reporting that supports one’s preconceptions.

          • Grimmorrigan

            And one sees bias in reporting that doesn’t support one’s perceptions. I’ve read “Ways of Seeing” too. 😉

          • Mountaindwellinchick

            There is an excellent book called “Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War” by Joe Bageant that we checked out from our library which pretty much explains why even though it would be great if this (denouncing loonies) happened, it likely won’t.

        • I take a pretty straightforward un-lawyer like read of this kind of thing: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. I don’t think Perry is the biggest part of the problem by any means, nor should he get more than his due of credit or blame for anything. Nor is the campaign over. On the other hand, this was not just some looney fringe group that endorsed him quietly in some internal newsletter. I’m not a political insider at all these days, and if I heard about this, as I have in several venues, that tells me the story has some legs.

          His alliance with these people is not fully defined, but it is definite enough to raise serious questions with reasonable people about his commitment to some key ideals of our Constitution and form of government. He is aware of this concern, or should be by now, and the fact that he has not addressed it head on tells me he’s pandering to these people. Maybe he’s a true believe, maybe not. But it most certainly emboldens them. Once one or two mainstream candidates bow and scrape to these people or even give them a wink and nod, the rest feel compelled to follow or risk losing votes that may be the critical edge in a close contest.

          Love em or hate em, real conservatives at least used to keep the loons of their movement marginalized. Now, they abase themselves before these cretins because they have no vision larger than their own acquisition and retention of power.

          • “real conservatives at least used to keep the loons of their movement marginalized. Now, they abase themselves before these cretins because they have no vision larger than their own acquisition and retention of power. ”

            If I may ask, and I mean this question completely seriously and honestly, do you really think that liberals are any different in this respect?

          • Inherently different? No. There was a lot of that sort of thing going in in the 60s and early 70s. However, there has not been any serious leftist extreme movement since the Reagan years. Since Clinton, Democrats in general have been restyling themselves as Republicans who are just a little hipper and more progressive. I would question whether there is any true liberal movement left in this country outside of Hollywood and a few enclaves like SF. Most of the people who the Tea Party brands as “socialists” these days would in fact be considered solid center right in almost any other part of the West.

            Obama in fact has lost virtually all of his liberal base precisely because he has spent most of his time in office pandering to the same elements as Perry. Not precisely the religious right because they hate him irregardless, but he ends up giving in to most of the Republican agenda in deed if not in word. The social conservatives aren’t getting their way with him, but the war interests and Fortune 500 folks get 90%+ of what they would have gotten under Bush, sooner or later.

            I don’t think liberals are inherently more principled people, but the dynamic that most presently threatens our freedom as pagans is the interaction between Republicans and extremist religious right movements.

          • Inherently different? No. There was a lot of that sort of thing going in in the 60s and early 70s. However, there has not been any serious leftist extreme movement since the Reagan years. Since Clinton, Democrats in general have been restyling themselves as Republicans who are just a little hipper and more progressive. I would question whether there is any true liberal movement left in this country outside of Hollywood and a few enclaves like SF. Most of the people who the Tea Party brands as “socialists” these days would in fact be considered solid center right in almost any other part of the West.

            Obama in fact has lost virtually all of his liberal base precisely because he has spent most of his time in office pandering to the same elements as Perry. Not precisely the religious right because they hate him irregardless, but he ends up giving in to most of the Republican agenda in deed if not in word. The social conservatives aren’t getting their way with him, but the war interests and Fortune 500 folks get 90%+ of what they would have gotten under Bush, sooner or later.

            I don’t think liberals are inherently more principled people, but the dynamic that most presently threatens our freedom as pagans is the interaction between Republicans and extremist religious right movements.

        • “Honestly, no one can reasonably expect a politician to rush to a microphone to loudly and insistently denounce every looney fringe group that happens to say a kind word about them.”

          Joseph, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) DID denounce Hagee in the 2008 presidential race and the proof of that is in the following link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/22/mccain-rejects-hagee-endo_n_103143.html. I know that HuffPost has a reputation as being a ‘liberal’ publication but there is NO reason for them to misrepresent this.

          I agree that they had their “veneer of mainstream credibility” before Governor Perry’s involvement with them, but it is in the fact that they ARE getting politicians to accept their endorsement when they target Pagans instead of Catholics (like Hagee did in 2008) is problematic for us.

          • That’s very true. However, I will point out that John Hagee has *not* endorsed Rick Perry (who isn’t even formally running yet) nor any other candidate, to my knowledge.

            I am certain that if and when Perry does announce, and if and when Hagee endorses him, the Catholic League will raise such a fuss about it that Perry will need to reject it formally, just like McCain did, and for exactly the same reason. Like them or not (and I fall squarely in the latter category), the Catholic League certainly knows how to raise a fuss and get heard.

    • Hugin

      Political parties aside, Perry is an enemy of our world and our dreams as pagans. We must recognize him as such.

      • Source? Something that shows that Perry *himself* is anti-Pagan, rather than just people who support Perry? That’s what this whole debate has been about.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          There’s an interesting article on The Response in the Washington Post today. Basically it’s a call for Christians to pray, fast (briefly) and repent on behalf of America, with an accent on several religious principles and nothing on policies.

          Perry has called on several deeply conservative Christian figures, including Hagee, to pull it together for him. (The American Family Association is renting the venue.)

          On the second of three pages it’s noted that Perry will have a problem if he needs to disavow anything one of these sponsors says — implicitly, as part of The Response, not an old clip retrieved from the internet. The example used is gay marriage — Perry is saying nothing on that but some sponsor might.

          The way to clear Perry of Hagee’s Paganophobia is make enough of an issue of it that Perry has to respond. In this environment that would probably be seen as a hostile, not a neutral action.

  • The Taliban, even before 9/11, was an armed terrorist group with the blood of thousands of civilians on its hands. Many of these civilians were victims of targeted massacres aimed at Shia Muslims and/or ethnic minorities.

    Bottom line: when NAR caches of rocket launchers are turned up, and or when they carry out their first massacre, then we can talk about comparing them to the Taliban.

    Besides being ludicrously inaccurate, comparisons with the Taliban are a distraction from the real question people need to ask: Just how different is the NAR from the rest of Christianity?

    All Christians who accept the authority of the Pope, or who follow the “religious” teachings of Luther and/or Calvin, have chosen to align themselves with religious traditions that not only share the “intentions” as the NAR, but, unlike the NAR, have solid historical track records of acting on those intentions.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      The specific comparison with the Taliban was notable vandalism of another religion’s artifacts, evidencing willingness to perform spiritual warfare on the physical plane. Jason passed along a claim that the NAR has connived in the same.

      For decades now many of the Christian institutions who once warred on each other, and did spiritual warfare by burnings at the stake, have worked together in ecumenical and interfaith ad-hocracies that would have been unthinkable 400 years ago. The NAR has not. (Nor has the Taliban.)

      • Christian missionaries, including Catholic and mainline Protestants, have spent the last century in a relentless effort to eradicate Traditional religions from sub-Saharan Africa. At no time has this effort been questioned or abandoned by any Christian denomination. The scale of this ongoing campaign of cultural genocide is staggering: in just a little over 100 years, about 10% of the human race has had it’s ancient religious traditions brought very close to complete annihilation. And this continues today.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Good point. At least the mainstream have the sense not to shit where they eat. NAR doesn’t.

        • I have tried explaining this to some people, and they don’t get it, and fall back on the assertion that “all religions do bad stuff”. By itself it’s true, but not all have engaged in an “ongoing campaign of cultural genocide.”

        • Fritz Muntean

          “At no time has this effort been questioned or abandoned by any Christian denomination.” What nonsense! Expressing strong (and angry angry angry) opinions like this — against the total entirety of other faith groups — without any effort on your part to read up on the enormous self-reflective changes that have been taking place in the worldwide Christian attitude toward missionary work over the past 100-odd years — is exactly the sort of vitriolic religious intolerance that we complain about (and are quite realistically worried about) when it appears in others. See Lk 6:41-42 for some free advice.

          • Another content-free reply from you, Fritz. If you wish to dispute my point, then please point to some Christian denomination that has seriously (or even not-so-seriously) called into question Christian missionary efforts in Africa.

        • Imbrium

          Back in the day, when my husband and I were training to be missionaries in West Africa, the mission we were with, Child Evangelism Fellowship, taught us that Christianization of a culture could be accomplished in three generations by reaching out to the children. If you can “save” the children and make the religion of the grandparents silly or unimportant, the “saved” children will raise their own children in a more Christian doctrine. By the time their children have kids, the religion of the original grandparents will be superstition and deemed ridiculous.

          • Pagans can learn a lot from Christian missionaries. Know Thy Enemy.

          • Fortunately the reverse is also true: You can free a people from the yokes of Christianizaiton in three generations or less. All it takes is for one generation to exercise their critical thinking and reject the fear that was used to keep their parents and grandparents servile. We’re seeing this in Ireland as we speak and Western Europe in general has gotten its mind back. We will too in this country, but not until we pass through some ugly crazy times. Our religious nutters are not going to go quietly.

          • *Shudder* Imbrium, that’s chilling.

            So all you Pagans out there, teach your kids, don’t neglect to teach them out of fear of “indoctrination”! 🙂

    • Way to miss the whole gist of Jason’s explicit and careful disclaimer, Apuleius. Since you missed it, here is what Jason said about the passage you cite:

      “Is the New Apostolic Reformation really comparable to the Taliban? I dislike making such comparisons because it clouds the issue. It gets people debating about Islam, terrorism, and comparing movements primarily based in the West with movements primarily based in the Middle East. It produces more heat than light.”

      Thank you for illustrating his point so very well. Do you have anything to say about the NAR, and the dangers of politically active religious extremist movements in the United States?

      • But why does this comparison require a disclaimer? Because it’s bogus, that’s why.

        Besides, that “disclaimer” does not even mention the fact that the Taliban and the NAR are completely different when it comes to what really matters: body count.

        • Grimmorrigan

          They may get that body count if we’re not careful.

          • Nicole Youngman

            And therein lies the difference–we have a political system that makes it very hard for them to get what they really, really want. People can push back in a democracy, however flawed ours may be. So they go after the stuff that’s kind of around the edges of their core beliefs and desires: gay rights, reproductive freedom, religious pluralism, etc.

          • Thelettuceman

            I think it’s only been hard for them to get what they want because they haven’t had the power yet. I do not want to sound alarmist or tin-foil-hat-ist, but how many laws and policies get piggybacked to other bills that Americans don’t really pay attention to? I’ll repeat a question I believe I read on this site: If (and when, but hopefully if) these people get elected, do we really think they’ll be ready to give up their power if the tide turns against them?

    • Fritz Muntean

      You keep asking ‘Just how different is the NAR from the rest of Christianity?’

      I keep replying that these dingbats differ radically from mainstream Christian beliefs by ignoring almost everything positive that’s in the Bible and non-Biblical traditions. Their hate-filled message relies entirely on the odd single-verse-taken-out-of-context biblical quotations.

      Then you respond, angrily denouncing Christianity holus-bolus by quoting odd single-verse-taken-out-of-context biblical passages while ignoring almost everything positive (eg Mat 5-7) that’s in the Bible and non-Biblical traditions.

      In what way then, does your path differ from theirs . . . ?

  • Charles Cosimano

    One should not so insult the Taliban.

  • Probably not a huge chance, but I’m hoping Gary Johnson gets the GOP nod.

    When asked to sign the Marriage Pledge (It asks candidates to oppose gay marriage, pornography and Sharia Law, among other things.) he refused and said “While the Family Leader pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance. In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions and everyone else who doesn’t fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.”

    Please not Bachmann or Perry. If so, I’ll be voting Third Party.

  • Anonymous

    After reading this article I practiced a divination. I learned 4 things;

    1. that this is uncharacteristically yellow-journalist of Jason

    2. that the NAR is not, as some of us would like to think, a true hate group but rather…like Ozzy back in the day, is shouting “devils,devils devils” to make some cash.

    3. That their ties to political groups are overblown at best

    4. any comparison to the Taliban is making a mountain out of a capitalistic ant-hill.


    • Here’s hoping you’re right!

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      1) Opinion.

      3) Opinion.

      4) Opinion, and please note Jason’t disclaimer about wanting to press the comparison.

      2) “NAR is not, as some of us would like to think, a true hate group but rather…like Ozzy back in the day, is shouting “devils,devils devils” to make some cash”

      I’d like to know more about how you arrived at that conclusion, ie, that DC40 is just a loud fundraiser.

      • Besides, at least Ozzy had “Mr Crowley” (even if he botched the pronunciation, “IT’S CROWLEY LIKE ‘GOALIE’ “–Red State Update video.) I don’t like the sound of DC40’s tune.

        • Each reference to the Red State Update Crowley 2012 video wins 10 bonus points. Each specific reference to the uncanny accuracy of Dunlap’s knowledge of Thelema/Crowley doubles one’s bonus point total.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Baruch,
        As I mentioned…these are divinations…they become opinions only after the Spirits have taught me. 🙂

    • Nobody took the Taliban seriously at first either. Back in the 1980s, they were “freedom fighters” whose rhetoric was screwy, but harmless…..

      • Grimmorrigan

        Neo-Cons took them seriously as a force which could be trained, armed, and sent to irritate the Soviets. Of course this was when the crumbling Soviet Union was the great evil challenging Neo-Cons mythology of American power. After them it was Clinton and now we have terrorism.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Clinton doesn’t get the credit he deserves for cultivating the Northern Alliance. Surely one does not think Bush II pulled that together in in a few months. Clinton’s CIA had even identified a crucial airstrip.

          • Clinton’s security team definitely had their eye on the ball concerning both the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

          • VisionFromAfar

            I do hope you’re joking.
            Clinton had a confirmed Bin Ladin location and a strike team ready to go, but couldn’t be bothered to leave his golf game to act on it before the opportunity was gone.
            See here.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            VisionFromAfar, I don’t think much of your reference. First, it’s to a book on sale, not a paper that can be read online. Second, that book is an obvious swift-boat number, hardly to be trusted as a sole source.

    • I do believe divination works, and I use it…but I wouldn’t use divination to try to figure things out like that. That’s just my 2 deben, though. Even if you’re right though, I’d rather be wary of something that turns out to be harmless than ignore a real threat. Again, just my 2 deben.


      • Anonymous

        deben…nice. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          though the word you’re looking for is probably Kadat or Kidet. It was a much smaller coin unit.
          I prefer sanaj.

  • Potey34

    I have been saying the same thing , It scares me and worries me, That’s why I’m calling All mystics to join together and use the gifts we have to combat IN A PEACEFUL manner DC40-51…If we do nothing in the face of what we see then how will we ever survive.

    • The Bony Man

      Agreed. That’s why I am staging a protest in my state outside the Capitol. I think that if other people set up protests in other states, then we might get a little visibility and support. It never hurts to stand around and ask for continued support of religious liberty, right?

      • Working on setting up a protest in Denver, CO as we speak. And, I am planning to be able to offer TO THOSE WHO WOULD BE WILLING TO BEHAVE CIVILLY bottles of cold water which I would be bringing in a cooler -of course assuming we don’t have a potluck

  • Anonymous

    I grew up in the churches that gave rise to this movement. These people seriously believe exactly what they say they do and to bring about their goals they will do whatever it takes. They have been working towards these goals for at least the last 30 years or more and do have the ear or more than just one of the Republican contenders. If you don’t believe they will do their utmost to put an end to any pluralism in this country your kidding yourself.

    • SterlingSilverRose

      Thank you! I too was raised in these churches growing up and have been saying the same thing to no avail. These people are dangerous and will do whatever they can to make sure they get what they want.

  • Rua Lupa

    Watching that video link ‘in naming their enemies’ I stopped after 15 minutes and fast forward to skim what is being talked about, and this person was suddenly yelling at the audience demanding that they go to war. The whole presentation was about destruction of anything that is not their God. Complete and utter annihilation of anything that is remotely different. My first thought was, “Psycho”. It is not just suggesting violence, it is outright encouraging it in prayer, so that it may become physical, and in isolating yourself from any outside influence that is not ‘of God’. Dangerous Cult much?

  • I am much more concerned with physical attacks than psychic attacks, which can be deflected or grounded. A few of these fringe groups have become violent in the past. Diligence. Keep the cameras on ’em (and the columns, and the podcasts).

    People have the right to demonstrate, to wave placards, to debate, to hand out tracts. People do NOT have the right to physically obstruct you, to break noise ordinances, to physically touch you, or to interfere with your children. They don’t have the right to property damage. That’s why we have law enforcement.

    If they turn up at Pagan events for protests, security must be made aware, and parents must keep an eye on their kids. And the cops kept on speed-dial. No, I’m not being paranoid. Yes, violence has happened at Pagan events.

  • SterlingSilverRose

    Having a father who is an extremist pastor with these exact views that if you are not in his church following his god then you are doomed to be unhappy and go to hell. This includes everyone who is not a charismatic christian, this includes Mormons, Catholics, Methodists, Pagans, Witches, Buddhist, etc. If you are not part of their churches you will be the target. I am a witch and they can’t deal with it at any level. These people are dangerous and need to be stopped – and we can no longer just ignore them and hope they will all go away b/c they won’t. The funny thing is as a kid growing up in this mentality, my parents and their church followers have always preached that they were the ones that would be the target of people to drag them out of their homes and beat them to death b/c they were Christian. Yet this is pretty much what they are wanting to do to everyone else who isn’t one of them. It’s time to wake up people and understand that they are serious and want to change the laws in this country to make it illegal to be anything but a “true” Christian.

  • Wow, I’m amazed how many people are blaming Jason for Paul Rosenberg’s words, as if Jason himself were the person who compared NAR with the Taliban instead of only being the person who brought it to our attention that others are comparing them.

    I’m also amazed how many people are completely ignoring the quote from Mary, “As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer” … “Ask largely,” Mary says. “Intercessory prayer is making a major difference in North America.”

    Why are so many of us ignoring this clear evidence that the members of NAR are actively doing what we recognize as witchcraft against us as Pagans?

    Why is it so difficult for us to take their energy work seriously? They are calling upon the stored power of a millennia and a half of focused and often desperate prayer; that is a LOT of energy to use as one’s back up.

    Is it that not all of us actually believe witchcraft/energy work is real? Or are we as a group just that easily distracted?

    • Pagan Puff Pieces

      Well… a lot of ex-Christians lost their faith when their prayers weren’t answered, so… maybe that has something to do with it?

    • Not taking the “black magick” seriously ‘cuz

      “Thy curses and thy sorcery
      Are powerless to injure me
      As my will, so mote it be”.

      Swiped from “Pagan Way” of Chicago.

      Yeah, am taking the political threat seriously, as well as the possibility of violent protests against Pagan events.

    • I think most of us know we shield…at least I do. Its part of my morning devotions. I just do not believe that they can get past that warding.

      And I also think that mostly the harmful things that “Mary” claims they did is phooey. It would be nice if they had a name of the Witch. I just do not think that they are above lieing to spread fear.

      I am not afraid of those people…politically yes, magickly Nope. My strength and my gods are stronger then their hate. I also believe in my Pagan community.

  • BlackJar72

    Some of these heretical things I don’t see heretical, and think more Christians should do them. Contrary to the authors interpretation, I believe that real Christians should contact angels, and anyone who doesn’t contact Jehovah and Jesus is not really being a Christian. (Note, I’m not a Christian, but I use to be, and that’s how I always interpreted it, then and now.) One problem I have with Christianity is that so few actually do this, and some even either discourage this or see it as “crazy.” However, I see the rhetorical desire to previllianize the villians, though these don’t need much villianizing as they are villians anyway.

    The things about a new earthly kingdom and so forth is VERY threatening, and not new (nor limitted to this group). There have been several groups pushing this agenda for a long time. Nummerous tracts have been published pushing so really “out there” views. The whole religious right movement is, to one degree or another, the U.S. equivalent of the Taliban (or that Taliban is just Afganistan’s religious right) — that is obvious, and I have seen it since the ’90’s, since before 9/11 and the general populations awareness of the Taliban.

  • Bugscuttle

    Count on me to raise an Energetic Mirror to their malefic rituals!

  • LunaLynx

    Found this site on FB. A good way to keep in contact about this whole thing and any new news we might individually find.

  • Mallet Tara

    Scary, very scary. 🙁

  • The NAR is far worse than anything that came out of Germany 1939-1945, and is the absolute mindcontrol tantamount to the Spanish Inquisition. If it is not stopped democracy will be dead and tyranny will rule worse than any evil before in the name of religion.

  • Make no mistake about it. These are the most dangerous people in this country and you are wrong not to equate them to the Taliban. What they preach openly is that their goal is to “infiltrate”–that’s their word–political institutions and they have anointed Rick Perry as their man. They are traitors and what they openly “preach” is sedition. It is disgusting that only MSNBC has had the balls to out these miscreants who have been denounced by most of the mainstream evangelical and Pentecostal groups. Two of their main leaders told Perry that God told them directly–they claim to have a direct line–that Texas was the center of this new apostolic movement and that God had personally told them that Perry has a role to play in their treasonous plot. These people make no bones about their desire to overthrow our democratic republic and replace it with a Christian theocracy. Michelle Bachmann, and one of her mentors, John Eidsmore, are leading proponents of this, claiming that the founders and authors of the Constitution actually intended this country to be a Christian theocracy. Thus, at a minimum, they are explicitly anti-Semitic and and a clear and present dangers to Jews everywhere. The similarities to the National Socialist Party in Germany, that ultimately brought Hitler to power, and the New Apostolic Reformation should not be lost on most Americans. One of their leaders has recently said that non-Christians have no First Amendment right to build houses of worship or practice their religion in this country. They are anti-Democratic scum and should be recognized as the totalitarian scum they are.

  • Hieronyma Jerome

    I think I may have at least one possible plan. What do you all think about this?

  • These kinds of people only become dangerous when they gain popularity and power, and if they’ve got one sitting at the head of Texas, they’ve most definitely reached their 3rd level, which is when people have to start consciously asking as to whether their Schemes have become more physically nefarious than “mass prayer warfare.”

    And I’m sorry, but if you think somebody who condones and encourages thousands of people to pray for a wiccan’s death, somebody who clearly encourages militant elimination of every other faith on the planet by utilizing socio-political power, and YES, someone who’s decided they get to be the “New Prophets” of Christianity that get to ignore everything in the Bible that doesn’t fit their form of fascism, then you must love the Taliban. Rick Perry is STUPID and dangerous as the TX governor, how he got voted in I will never be able to fathom. But him gaining the presidency, with Wagner’s NAR pulling his strings, is a dooms day Presidency in the making. And the worst part of it would be the FACT that they’re as much the Beast as any Islamic terrorist may now appear.

  • Anonymous

    There is a wing political-religious focus on the presence in the many countries but with global reach, engage in similar practices, destroyed religious and cultural artifacts as a fundamental aspect of its ideology.

  • Anonymous

    You are NOT exaggerating. If the NAR has its way, yes, they’d like a society not unlike that favored by mullahs in Iran. Yes, they are a tiny movement, but Hitler’s Nazis were also a tiny movement. Until they took power.