31, 1898 - December 24, 1993) was the author of The Power of Positive
Thinking and chief progenitor of the theory of positive thinking. With
his wife, he founded Guideposts magazine in 1945. He was born in Bowersville,
Ohio and died in Pawling, New York. He was educated at Ohio's Wesleyan
At the age of 34,
Peale accepted a call to Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan where
he remained for 52 years as one of New York City’s most famous
preachers. Membership grew from 600 when he arrived to well over 5,000
In 1945, Dr. Peale,
his wife, Ruth Stafford Peale, and Raymond Thornburg, a Pawling, New
York businessman founded Guideposts Magazine. They managed to raise
$1,200 from Frank Gannett, founder of the Gannett newspaper chain, J.
Howard Pew, the Philadelphia industrialist and Branch Rickey, owner
of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Guideposts was designed
to be a non-denominational forum for people – both celebrities
and ordinary folk – to relate their inspirational stories to provide
a spiritual lift to all readers. Today, the 48 page, full-color magazine
under the direction of Ruth Stafford Peale is the 13th largest paid-circulation
magazine in the country with a circulation of over 4 million.
Peale put his writing
skills to work over the years. His fourth book “The Power of Positive
Thinking,” was published in 1952 and has sold nearly 20 million
copies and has been printed in 41 different languages. Peale completed
what has been called his all-time inspirational best seller at age 54.
He was the author of 46 inspirational books including “The Art
of Living,” “A Guide to Confident Living,” “The
Tough-Minded Optimist,” and “Inspiring Messages for Daily
For 54 years, Peale’s
weekly radio program, “The Art of Living,” was on the air.
His sermons were said to be mailed to over 750,000 people per month
and in 1964 a movie was made of his life entitled “One Man’s
Peale also co-founded
“The Horatio Alger Association,” with educator Kenneth Beebe
in 1947 dedicated to recognizing and honoring contemporary Americans
who have achieved success and excellence in the face of adversity.
The Guideposts family
of nonprofit organizations includes the Peale Center, the Positive Thinking
Foundation and Guideposts Publications. Their purpose is to be the world
leader in communicating positive, faith-filled principles that empower
people to reach their maximum personal and spiritual potential.
On Christmas Eve
of 1993, Dr. Peale died at the age of 95 years old.
- Peale is also
the person who is most responsible for bringing psychology into the
professing Church (particularly the false gospel of self-esteem), blending
its principles into a message of "positive thinking." (Peale
confessed that as a youth he had "the worst inferiority complex
of all," and developed his positive thinking/positive confession
philosophy just to help himself.) In 1937, Peale established a clinic
with Freudian psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton in the basement of the
Marble Collegiate Church. (Blanton brought with him the "extensive
experience" of having undergone psychoanalysis by Freud himself
in Vienna in 1929, 1935, 1936, and 1937.) The clinic was described as
having "a theoretical base that was Jungian, with a strong evidence
of neo- and post-Freudianism" (Carol V.R. George, God's Salesman:
and the Power of Positive Thinking, p. 90). It subsequently grew to
an operation with more than 20 psychiatric doctors and psychologically-trained
"ministers," and in 1951 became known as the American Foundation
for Religion and Psychiatry. In 1972, it merged with the Academy of
Religion and Mental Health to form the Institutes of Religion and Health
(IRH). To his death, Peale remained affiliated with the IRH as president
of the board and chief fund raiser. Indeed, Peale pioneered the merger
of theology and psychology which became known as Christian Psychology.
[In 1940, Peale also formed the psychologically-oriented "Foundation
for Christian Living," which in 1988 purchased Eternity magazine;
by the end of that year, Eternity had ceased to exist.]
- Peale also advocated
such New Age and/or occult teachings as visualization/positive imaging,
pantheism, human potential, positive confession, positive thinking,
etc. On a 1984 Phil Donahue Show, Peale, a 33rd degree Mason, said,
"It's not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God,
I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine" (cf. Jn.
3:3). (Shintoism is an ancient Oriental religion that fuses ancestor
worship with mysticism.) He also said, "I've been to Shinto shrines
and God is everywhere. ... Christ is one of the ways! God is everywhere.
... Just so we think good thoughts and just so we do good, we believe
we'll get to heaven" (cf. John 14:6). (Reported in the 12/14/84,
Sword of the Lord.)
- Peale denied the
necessity of believing in the virgin birth, and maintained that Jews,
Muslims, and other non-Christians worship the true God, and that a person
must do good works to get to heaven. Peale did not believe that Christ
was eternal God, and thereby, he rejected the Christian doctrine of
sin, did not believe that Jesus Christ's sacrifice atoned for sin, and
did not believe in the physical resurrection of Christ. In Peale's writings,
God is never presented as Judge, nor even as Savior -- he defined religion
as: "... a scientific methodology for thinking your way through
problems" (Stay Alive All Your Life, p. 147). To Peale, there was
no such thing as true religion or even moralism, only self-esteem, self-help,
and self-recovery. Peale's "faith" was not faith in God, but
"faith in faith," which means faith in your own capacities
as a means in attaining the well- adjusted life (1/3/94, Christian News).
- In an interview
with Modern Maturity magazine (Dec-Jan 1975-76), Peale was asked if
people are inherently good or bad. He replied:
"They are inherently good -- the bad reactions aren't basic. Every
human being is a child of God and has more good in him than evil --
but circumstances and associates can step up the bad and reduce the
good. I've got great faith in the essential fairness and decency --
you may say goodness -- of the human being" (cf. Psa. 51:5; Isa.
64:6; Eph. 2:1-10; 4:18; Jn. 6:44; Rom. 3:10-19; 8:6-8; 1 Cor. 2:14;
2 Cor. 4:4).
- Peale also wrote: "Just as there exist scientific techniques
for the release of atomic energy, so are there scientific procedures
for the release of spiritual energy ... God is energy." This, of
course, is pure occultism -- the worship of creation (natural forces)
instead of the Creator. (When a witchdoctor slits a rooster's throat,
sprinkles the blood in a certain pattern and mumbles a formula, the
spirits must do their part. Occultism operates by the laws of cause
also endorsed the use of occultic automatic writing: "It little
matters if these writings come from Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus of Jane
[referring to Jane Palzere, co-author with Anna Brown of The Jesus Letters
-- the book was supposedly communicated to Palzere in 1978 and 1979
through "inspirational writing," through a "communicating
entity" identifying itself as Jesus], they are all the same consciousness
and that consciousness is God. I am a part of God, and Jane and Anna
are part of that same God." [The Jesus Letters was also endorsed
by psycho-occultist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Lines from the book
such as "You are not your brother's keeper; you are your brother,"
and "God does not see evil; He sees only souls at different levels
of awareness," are two examples of the true demonic source of the
- Peale said, "through
prayer you ... make use of the great factor within yourself, the deep
subconscious mind ... [which Jesus called] the kingdom of God within
you ... Positive thinking is just another term for faith." His
thesis is obviously false: many atheists are positive thinkers, but
Jesus said faith must be in God (Mk 11:22). Peale also wrote, "Your
unconscious mind ... [has a] power that turns wishes into realities
when the wishes are strong enough."
- One of 's most
"successful" protégés is Robert Schuller. (On
Schuller's 1000th Anniversary television show [The Hour of Power, aired
on 4/2/89], Schuller's son said of Peale that he was "responsible
for dad's possibility thinking.") Schuller teaches that there is
no need for one to recognize his own personal sin, no need for repentance,
and no need for the crucifixion of self. Concerning the latter point,
Schuller teaches just the opposite philosophy -- that self is to be
exalted -- which is nothing less than an outright denial of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. (See Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, wherein Schuller
says, "Jesus knew His worth; His success fed His self-esteem. He
suffered the cross to sanctify His self-esteem and He bore the cross
to sanctify your self-esteem. The cross will sanctify the ego trip"
[cf. Matthew 16:24].)
- was an apostate
liberal and a Mason who rejected key Bible doctrines (see 10/1/90, Calvary
Contender). (Peale served as Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New
York, Imperial Grand Chaplain of the Shrine, and was inducted into the
Scottish Rite Hall of Honor in 1991. His oil portrait hangs in the House
of the Washington D.C. Temple.) He got his "power of positive thinking"
ideas from the Unity healing cult. His Positive Imaging book teaches
visualization and other occultic/New Age ideas. A review in the 6/21/93
Christianity Today of a new biography of Peale mentions four "conversion"
experiences. It said his key formula was "Picturize, prayerize,
actualize." Though calling Peale "a devout Christian who injected
vitality into a church that was losing touch with ordinary Americans,"
the article also said: "Peale always believed his message was biblical,
but it lacked much reference to sin, to atonement, or ... to an incarnation.
The Christ he preached was very like Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill
Wilson's ambiguous Higher Power." The Christianity Today reviewer
thought it revealing that Peale devoted nearly all his time after retirement
to motivational speaking at business meetings, and concluded that "the
church of Pealism ultimately requires only the lively spirits of a banquet
room" (7/15/93, Calvary Contender).
: APOSTLE OF SELF-ESTEEM
Updated April 7,
2003 (first published April 26, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist
Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,
email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing
or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the
died on Christmas
Eve, 1993, at the age of 95. He was one of the most popular preachers
of the twentieth century. His famous book The Power of Positive Thinking
has sold almost 20 million copies in 41 languages. It was on the United
States best-seller list for a full year following its publication in
1952. Peale pastored the Marble Collegiate Church, a Reformed Church
in America congregation in New York City, from 1932 until 1984. At the
time of his retirement the church had 5,000 members, and tourists lined
up around the block to hear Peale preach. For 54 years Peale's weekly
radio program, "The Art of Living," was broadcast on NBC.
His sermons were mailed to 750,000 people a month. His popular Guidepost
magazine has a circulation of more than 4.5 million, the largest for
any religious publication. His life was the subject of a movie in 1964
entitled One Man's Way.
THE FATHER OF CHRISTIANIZED
Peale was one of
the fathers and key promoters of the self-esteem gospel, the unholy
mixture of modern psychology and the Bible which has almost taken over
the Christian world and which has made deep inroads into fundamental
churches in the last 10 years. In 1937 Peale and psychiatrist Smiley
Blanton established a counseling clinic in the basement of the Marble
Collegiate Church. Blanton had undergone extended analysis by Freud
in Vienna in 1929, 1935, 1936, and 1937. The clinic was described as
having "a theoretical base that was Jungian, with strong evidence
of neo- and post-Freudianism" (Carol V.R. George, God's Salesman:
and the Power of Positive Thinking, Oxford, 1993, p. 90).
In 1951 the clinic
became known as the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry,
and in 1972 it merged with the Academy of Religion and Mental Health
to form the Institutes of Religion and Health (IRH). Peale remained
affiliated with the IRH as president of the board and chief fund raiser.
In 1952 Peale published
his famous book on positive thinking, thus becoming one of the chief
fathers of that wretched mixture of psychology and Bible which has flooded
Christendom in the latter half of the twentieth century. Robert Schuller,
pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in California, has patterned his ministry
after Peale and has been called "the of the West." Schuller
is also in the Reformed Church in America.
Peale also was a
promoter of the idea of "positive imaging" which has become
popular in many charismatic circles. Peale's latter years were dedicated
particularly to giving motivational talks to secular businesses. He
was paid fees of $5,000 to $10,000 by companies who were seeking his
services to help them make more money by his positive confession methodologies.
For example, a group
of Merrill Lynch real estate associates gave Peale a standing ovation
after he told them this:
"There is a deep tendency in human nature ultimately to become
precisely what you visualize yourself as being. If you see yourself
as tense and nervous and frustrated, if that is your image of yourself,
that assuredly is what you will be. If you see yourself as inferior
in any way, and you hold that image in your conscious mind, it will
presently by the process of intellectual osmosis sink into the unconscious,
and you will be what you visualize.
"If, on the
contrary, you see yourself as organized, controlled, studious, a thinker,
a worker, believing in your talent and ability and yourself, over a
period of time, that is what you will become.
"Now, you may
believe that this is all theoretical. But I believe, and I've tested
it out in so many cases that I'm sure of its validity, that if a person
has a business and iimages that business at a certain level and fights
off his doubts ... it will come out that way--all because of the power
of the positive image" (Jeanne Pugh, "The Eternal Optimist,"
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, Religion Section, June
This is the same confused, unbiblical teaching which is coming from
the lips of men such as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn,
and Paul Crouch. Perhaps it is not surprising that Strang Communications,
publisher of the charismatic world's most influential periodical, Charisma,
featured Peale on the cover of its Christian Life magazine in November
1986. The National Religious Broadcasters, which claims to be an evangelical
organization, honored Peale with its Award of Merit.
As could be expected,
Peale's testimony of salvation was not clear. He claimed to have had
a number of "conversion" experiences. When he was a boy, Peale's
father instructed him to pray for renewed faith and trust in God and
"to get converted" once again. The doctrine of the once-for-all
new birth was muddled by this type of teaching. Peale claimed to have
had another conversion experience in England in 1934. He said he "prayed
aloud, confessing his weaknesses and surrendering himself to the Lord,"
and immediately he felt "warm all over" (George, p. 82). Peale
also described conversions during a Graham crusade in 1957 and while
watching Rex Humbard on television.
In an interview
with religious news writer John Sherrill, Peale testified: "I have
accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I mean that I
believe my sins are forgiven by the atoning work of grace on the cross.
... Now I'll tell you something else. ... I personally love and understand
this way of stating the Christian gospel. But I am absolutely and thoroughly
convinced that it is my mission never to use this language in trying
to communicate with the audience that God has given me" (Christianity
Today, June 21, 1993).
The problem with
this testimony, as we have seen, is that Peale did not necessarily mean
what we mean by these good Bible terms. How did he define "the
atoning work of grace on the cross"? What did he mean by atoning
work, by grace, by the cross? The very fact that Peale said God did
not call him to express the gospel this way shows his rebellion to the
Word of God. There are not multiple ways of stating the gospel! There
is only one way, the Bible way. Any other way of stating the gospel
is a false gospel and is cursed of God.
We don't know what
Peale's spiritual condition was when he died, and we hope that he was
born again, but if Peale had been truly converted, we believe the Holy
Spirit would have caused him to repent of his modernistic thinking.
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you
into all truth..." (Jn. 16:13).
INFLUENCED BY A
Peale was reared
in a Methodist home, the son of a Methodist preacher. Though we do not
know how sound his father's faith was, we do know that his parents encouraged
him to attend schools which were hotbeds of liberalism. Peale's modernism
was nurtured at liberal Methodist schools--Ohio Wesleyan University
and Boston University School of Theology. In a sympathetic biography,
God's Salesman, author Carol V.R. George devotes an entire chapter to
"Learning the Lessons of Liberalism." George describes Peale's
"... he was guided by his professor of English literature, William
E. Smyser, to works by Emerson and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
for a sympathetic unfolding of the power of the individual mind. ...
Peale's discovery of James and Emerson, and to a lesser extent Marcus
Aurelius, acquired in the atmosphere of romantic idealism that seemed
to flourish on the Methodist campus, eventually became part of his mental
equipment and then a lifetime fascination. He would soon encounter the
Emerson of Transcendentalism again in seminary as a shaping force in
liberal theology. ...
of study at seminary was therefore a mixture of theology, philosophy,
and social science, of the mysticism of Personalism and the activism
and ethics of the social gospel. ... it became another means for nurturing
a metaphysical subjectivism that had been planted in his religious outlook
in his earlier days....
"When he left
seminary he described himself as a liberal ... in any conflict with
fundamentalists his spontaneous reaction was to side with the modernists"
(George, pp. 36-37, 49- 52).
Parents who send their children to liberal schools and who stay in denominations
which allow room for modernists and who continue to support the denominational
institutions by their tithes and offerings should not be surprised when
their children become apostate or weakened in faith.
TICKLING THE EARS
OF AN APOSTATE GENERATION
Peale's first pastorate
after graduation from seminary was at the King's Highway Methodist Church
in Brooklyn, New York. His populistic, positive message gain instant
acclaim: "In the three years he was at King's Highway, between
1924 and 1927, the church experienced phenomenal growth, increasing
from just over a hundred members when he arrived to nearly 900 when
he left..." (George, p. 56).
notes, "His message was already assuming the contours it would
retain; it was a theologically liberal, inspirational talk that emphasized
the transforming result of a relationship with Jesus and with the church"
(George, p. 57).
The problem was
that Peale's Jesus was the not the Jesus of the Bible, but the Jesus
of his own creation. Peale's Jesus was a Jesus that did not condemn
sin; a Jesus that was not born of a virgin; a Jesus that was not the
eternal God; a Jesus that did not die and shed His blood for man's sin.
Peale used the fundamentalist's
vocabulary, but he used the modernist's dictionary. This is why so many
were deceived by the man. Peale's god was not the God of the Bible,
but the god of self. His faith was not faith in the Jesus Christ of
the Bible, but faith in faith. His gospel was not the gospel of repentance
from sin and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, but a gospel of self-esteem,
self-help, and self-recovery.
PEALE AND THE EVANGELICAL
In earlier years
Peale was labeled a heretic by the evangelical world. For example, an
article in Christianity Today, November 11, 1957, said, "Peale
speaks much of faith, but it is not faith in God, but `faith in faith,'
which means in your capacities. ... This is neither religion, moralism,
or anything more than self-help baptized with a sprinkling of devout-plus-
medical phrases. For those who believe in the God of Scripture, the
reality of vitality of good and evil, and the grace of God unto salvation,
there is nothing here but the frenzy of a guilty life and the misery
of creeping death."
The May 1, 1955,
issue of United Evangelical Action, noted: "Unless one is deeply
discerning it will not be noticed that Peale has caricatured God, ignored
sin and its needed repentance."
As the years passed,
Peale did not change his heretical position, but the Christian world
became increasingly apostate and blind. In recent decades Peale has
been widely hailed as a man of God. Billy Graham helped raise Peale's
status in the evangelical world by inviting him to give the benediction
at a crusade in New York in 1956. At a National Council of Churches
luncheon on December 6, 1966, Graham said, "I don't know anyone
who has done more for the kingdom of God than Norman and Ruth Peale,
or have meant any more in my life--the encouragement they have given
me" (Hayes Minnick, Bible for Today publication #565, p. 28).
Peale's wife, Ruth,
was a member of the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society
(ABS). Peale addressed the 171st annual meeting of the American Bible
Society in New York on May 14, 1987. In the announcement for this event,
the ABS described Peale as "an author who has inspired millions
of his fellow human beings the world over to think `positively,' an
uplifting radio and TV personality, and for more than 60 years, a preacher
of the Gospel of Christ truly filled with the Holy Spirit" (Christian
News, Feb. 16, 1987).
In 1988 Eternity
magazine, which has a stated goal of helping "believers in America
and elsewhere develop a genuinely Christian mind-set," was taken
over by Peale's Foundation for Christian Living. Well-known evangelical
leader James M. Boice, editor of Eternity, wrote a glowing report of
the merger which he entitled "An Exciting Milestone." Boice
gave no warning about Peale's modernism. (By the end of that year, Eternity
had ceased to exist.)
Eric Fellman, one-time
editor of Moody Monthly, resigned in 1985 to become editor-in-chief
of Peale's Foundation for Christian Living. Moody continues to print
articles by Fellman.
Seminary offers a Scholarship in recognition of the supposed "outstanding
ministry" of this apostate (The Fundamentalist Digest, Sept.-Oct.
In a review of a
biography on Peale, Christianity Today said this of the positive thinker:
"is a devout Christian, who injected vitality into a church that
was losing touch with ordinary Americans--with the salesmen and housewives
and schoolteachers who found him so inspirational. Peale spoke their
language, much as televangelists and megachurch pastors who followed
him have done. But did he pay too high a price to connect?" (Christianity
Today, June 21, 1993, pp. 35-36). This is the typical new-evangelical
hallmark of tiptoeing around the hard issues. Unwilling to come out
negatively against heresy, Christianity Today merely throws out a mild
question for its readers to answer themselves rather than make a plain
statement that Peale was an apostate.
Many were deceived
by Peale's winsomeness and his use of Bible terminology. Guideposts
magazine goes into the homes of many Bible-believing Christians who
are unaware of Peale's heresies and who do not have pastors brave enough
to warn them of heretics. As we have seen, few if any of the popular
Christian publications are willing to lift a voice of warning.
The United Evangelical
Action of May 1, 1955, mentioned earlier, made this discerning observation
about Peale: "'s philosophy is so high-sounding, so full of secondary
gospel truth, that millions of his patrons fail to see that the basic
redemptive truth of the gospel is completely ignored. Unless one is
deeply discerning it will not be noticed that Peale has caricatured
God, ignored sin and its needed repentance. Peale presents a very convenient
God who is a sort of `glorified bellboy.'"
Though Peale rarely
spoke in clear theological terms, he did on occasion openly deny the
Christian faith. In an interview with Phil Donahue in 1984, Peale said:
"It's not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God;
I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine. ... I've been
to the Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere." Donahue exclaimed,
"But you're a Christian minister; you're supposed to tell me that
Christ is the Way and the Truth and the Life, aren't you?" Peale
replied, "Christ is one of the ways! God is everywhere." Peale
told Donahue that when he got to "the Pearly Gates", "St.
Peter" would say, "I like Phil Donahue; let him in!"
Mr. Peale gave comfort to some in the audience who believed that "just
so we think good thoughts" and "just so we do good, we believe
we'll get to heaven" (Hugh Pyle, Sword of the Lord, Dec. 14, 1984).
Peale was a Mason
and served as Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New York City and
Imperial Grand Chaplain of the Shrine. On September 30, 1991, he was
inducted into the Scottish Rite Hall of Honor, and his oil portrait
hangs in the House of the Washington D.C. Temple (The Berean Call, Oct.
In an article that
appeared in the Masonic Scottish Rite Journal in February 1993, Peale
"My grandfather was a Mason for 50 years, my father for 50 years,
and I have been a Mason for over 60 years. This means my tie with Freemasonry
extends back to 1869 when my grandfather joined the Masons. ... Freemasonry
does not promote any one religious creed. All Masons believe in the
Deity without reservation. However, Masonry makes no demands as to how
a member thinks of the Great Architect of the Universe. ... men of different
religions meet in fellowship and brotherhood under the fatherhood of
This is a true description of Masonry, of course, but it is strictly
contrary to Christ's exclusive claims as the only way to God and the
only Savior, and flies in the face of such Bible demands as 2 Corinthians
6:14-18--"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with
Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ... Wherefore
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch
not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
In a July 22, 1983,
interview with USA Today, Peale was asked, "Do you think herpes
and AIDS is God's punishment of homosexuals and the promiscuous?"
Peale responded, "I don't believe God spends his time revenging
himself on people. These things come about because of scientific methodology.
God is too big to spend his time in revenge."
In the same interview
Peale said, "The church should be in the forefront of everything
that is related to human welfare because the church is supposed to be
the spiritual home of mankind and it ought to take care of all of God's
In an interview
with Modern Maturity magazine, December-January 1975-76, Peale was asked
if people are inherently good or bad. He replied, "They are inherently
good--the bad reactions aren't basic. Every human being is a child of
God and has more good in him than evil--but circumstances and associates
can step up the bad and reduce the good. I've got great faith in the
essential fairness and decency--you may say goodness--of the human being."
In the same interview Peale said regarding Christ, "I like to describe
him as ... the nearest thing to God..."
In 1980 Peale attended
a dinner honoring the 85th birthday of Spencer Kimball, president of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--the Mormons.
Peale endorsed the
use of occultic automatic writing: Speaking of Jane Palzere and Anna
Brown, co-authors of The Jesus Letters, which professes to be the product
of automatic writing under the inspiration of Jesus Christ, Peale said:
"What a wonderful gift to all of us from you is your book, The
Jesus Letters ... You will bless many by this truly inspired book. ...
It little matters if these writings come from Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus
of Jane [Jane Palzere] they are all the same consciousness and that
consciousness is God. I am a part of God, and Jane and Anna are part
of that same God" (Advertisement for The Jesus Letters and Your
quoted above gives this information about the automatic writing recommended
"Initial contact from the entity was made with Palzere on February
3, 1978, when she was sitting at her desk in Newington, Connecticut
writing a philosophy of healing for a course she was taking. `My hand
began to write "You will be the channel for the writing of a book,"'
she explains. From then on, one message came each day. Palzere reports
that `they would be preceded by a tremor in my hand, would come without
hesitation and would end when the message was completed.'"
In this strange book the supposed Jesus channeled by Palzere and Brown
says, "God does not see evil; He sees only souls at different levels
Of this unscriptural
occultic nonsense, Peale testified, "I found myself fascinated,
deeply moved and having the feeling that he [the `Jesus' of The Jesus
Letters] was also speaking to me as I read" (Ibid.).