Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel
By Warren B. Smith (Chapter Updates)
Chapter 3 Update
Neale Donald Walsch
To further encourage people to accept the teachings of the New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality, Neale Donald Walsch founded a new organization in 2003 called Humanity’s Team. The expressed purpose of Humanity’s Team was “to change the world” and this was briefly outlined in New Connexion: A Journal of Conscious Evolution:
- Its purpose is to change the world.
- It seeks to do this by creating the space of possibility for a New Spirituality to emerge upon the earth
- This is a spirituality that enlarges and enhances humanity’s current belief about God and about Life to include new ideas and new thoughts that could change forever the way we interact with each other, bringing peace and harmony to our planet at last.
- What we are going to do is change the world.1
At the first “Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering” held June 27-29, 2003 in Portland, Oregon, Walsch described Humanity’s Team to his leaders:
A grassroots, citizens movement with chapters and people active in cities, towns and communities and villages all over the world…. We seek to create the possibility for a New Spirituality to emerge on the planet…. We seek to encourage humanity to expand and explore its ideas about God and about Life. To change our fundamental beliefs in such a way that we alter our collective reality…. We are trying to create the hundredth monkey…. We are trying, we are seeking to create a cultural story for the whole of humanity.2
The Humanity’s Team Leadership gathering was a concerted effort by Walsch, Hubbard and their other New Age colleagues to further develop the new paradigm concept of self-declared “servant leadership” as an organizing principle by which to change the world. In the Preface to the “Humanity’s Team Leadership Declaration Agreement,” Walsch tells his self-declared New Age “servant leaders” that:
By declaring yourself a leader, you’re taking initiative and moving into a role of influence in a lively and vital network that’s changing the world. We’re changing the world, first by changing ourselves and then by touching the world as changed beings. We believe the change in us catalyzes change in others. So in changing the world, we’re choosing to be the change we wish to see in the world. By taking on this leadership role, you are choosing to be the change too.3
In another section of this same Agreement, entitled “responsibilities of self-declared leaders,” it states: “To serve, because that is leadership’s function.” On his Humanity’s Team website Walsch has a “worldwide servant leaders list.”4 He invites those visiting his website to declare themselves to be “servant leaders.”
The term “servant leadership” originated with former AT&T business executive Robert K. Greenleaf who wrote the 1977 book Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness.5 Greenleaf stated that he was inspired to create the “servant leadership” model after reading German-born author Hermann Hesse’s mysterious, metaphysical book Journey to the East:
The idea of the Servant as Leader came out of reading Herman Hesse’s Journey to the East. In this story we see a band of men on a mythical journey, probably also Hesse’s own journey.6
Hesse was described by his publisher as “a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought.”7 The publisher explained that Journey to the East was the story of a group of seekers from a “secret society” whose ultimate destination was “the East”—the “Home of the Light”—where they expected to find “spiritual renewal.”8 Greenfleaf’s inspiration for “servant leadership” came from Hesse’s “Leo,” the obscure “servant leader” of this secret society that was journeying toward the East. Greenleaf wrote that he received his insight about “servant leadership” as he “contemplated” Leo:
…I did not get the notion of servant as leader from conscious logic. Rather it came to me as an intuitive insight as I contemplated Leo.9
Greenleaf described how his “servant leadership” model was based on the idea of a “servant leader” that was a “living” leader, as Leo was to his group, rather than some “dead prophet” from the past.
Some who have difficulty with this theory assert that their faith rests on one or more of the prophets of old having given the “word” for all time and that the contemporary ones do not speak to their condition as the older ones do…. One cannot interact with and build strength in a dead prophet, but one can do it with a living one.10
It is no wonder that a “living” New Age “prophet” like Walsch—who is obviously trying to overturn the Bible’s “dead prophets”—would find Greenleaf’s mystically inspired model of “servant leadership” compatible to his Humanity’s Team New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality leadership movement. Greenleaf’s term “servant leadership” might sound biblical, but it clearly is not.
Ironically, in 2003, when Neale Donald Walsch founded his worldwide Humanity’s Team on the principle of self-declared “servant leadership,” self-professing Christian businessman Ken Blanchard also founded his worldwide “Lead Like Jesus” movement on this same principle of self-declared “servant leadership.” In their curiously similar 2003 “servant leadership” programs, both Neale Donald Walsch and Ken Blanchard had their leaders sign statements declaring themselves to be “servant leaders.”11 There is often overlapping language, common to both of their “servant leader” movements. Walsch’s Humanity’s Team Leadership Declaration encourages his “servant leaders” to “be the change” they wish to see “in the world.”12 In Blanchard’s 2006 book Lead Like Jesus he also tells his servant leaders they should “be the change” they wish to see “in others.”13 There is an obvious danger of these overlapping servant leader movements. One day soon the Christian “servant leader” may very well become indistinguishable from the New Age/New Spirituality “servant leader.” In fact, at the end of Hesse’s book Journey to the East, the figure of the author/seeker merges into and becomes indistinguishable and at “one” with the servant leader Leo. Thus Hesse’s book, along with Greenleaf’s notion of servant leadership, actually facilitate the plans of the New Age “Christ” who is trying to transform biblical Christianity into the emerging New Spirituality.
Walsch, Winfrey and the Press
One of the important things that Neale Donald Walsch wanted to impress upon his “servant leaders” at his initial 2003 Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering in Portland, Oregon, was how to effectively deal with the media. In a conference session at Walsch’s Leadership Gathering described as “The Care and Feeding of the Press,” Walsch taught his team leaders some of his tricks of the trade. Because he and his Conversations with God books were so controversial, he warned that they would have some problems with the press. To make it easier for people to accept his ideas, Walsch described how he was in the process of “repackaging” himself. He explained that founding Humanity’s Team was actually an important part of the repackaging process:
You’re fighting an uphill battle here because I’m the guy who says he has conversations with God and nobody in the media wants to touch that with a ten foot pole…. The reason we formed Humanity’s Team was to get it away from me. And to get it away—at least one step away—from the Conversations with God stuff…. We formed Humanity’s Team as a way frankly… of repackaging, repackaging the product, if you please, which is the New Spirituality. And suddenly we are getting media, suddenly we are getting interviews…. We’ve stepped into a place that generically is difficult to disagree with. Humanity’s Team is difficult to disagree with. Conversations with God brings up disagreement almost at once.14
As Walsch continued speaking, he disclosed some interesting things about himself and the media. In an almost overly frank presentation, he used a personal situation with Oprah Winfrey to illustrate the problems he has had with the media and why he felt the need to “repackage” himself. In the following discussion, Walsch reveals how New Age leaders and some media personalities are manipulating their audiences as they lead them step by step into the teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality. Because the context is so important I have quoted Walsch at length.
You know Al Gore. I know Al well and he says to me, “Hey Neale, I used to be the next president of the United States.” Al has read my books and loves them, but he can’t possibly say that publicly…. He should be able to, and in the society we’re going to recreate he will be able to, but right now he can’t. But let me just make a comment real fast. I do believe in miracles and I will be on these programs, but not until I complete the process, which is going to be a six or eight month process, of reinventing myself. I’ve repackaged myself. The reason Wayne Dyer can do it—I’m going to say it again because you might have missed it—is Wayne Dyer is not saying I talked directly to God…. Wayne Dyer talks about human potential, the possibilities of the mind…. He does not say, “Oh, by the way, I had a conversation with God this morning—directly—and she told me to tell you this.” There is a nuancical difference that is huge and enormous between Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav and myself.15
Then Walsch described how Oprah Winfrey had him flown into Chicago to do The Oprah Winfrey Show, but the program was never aired. Walsch explained:
…Oprah brought me to Chicago. She loves Conversations. In fact she says it is her favorite book. She says that on the air—“This is my favorite book”—and she holds up Conversations with God. So she brought me to Chicago and she said, “Let’s do two hours.” I’m gonna do a two hour special. And she interviewed me on videotape for two hours and we had a fascinating conversation, the way only Oprah can, ‘cause she gets right into the interior of it. And I went back home, flying back home, and I thought, “My God, they’re going to do a two-hour special. This is incredible… talk about zooming sales.” And I went home and… it stayed in the can for a year and a half. I did not call her, ‘cause I didn’t want to bother Oprah with, you know, “Where is my program? When are you going to put it on?” …But finally the producer called us and said, “You know, Neale, we just can’t use it. You are so incredibly provocative in what you’re saying about your relationship with God, humanity’s relationship with God, where religion currently stands in the world etc., etc.,… that we’ve looked at this thing, we’ve watched this program eight times and all of us agree it’s just too soon. You’re way ahead of the curve, we can’t put this on now.”16
Walsch then explained how the unaired interview became a public relations problem for Oprah and her staff. They knew that the public wasn’t quite ready for the Walsch interview and for Oprah’s open endorsement of his New Age/New Spirituality. They were not happy that Walsch mentioned the unaired interview in one of his newsletters and took him to task for bringing it all into the open. Walsch stated:
I made a comment about this—just a short one or two sentence comment in a newsletter about a year and a half ago—about this. And she didn’t get a thousand e-mails, she got about six thousand e-mails and phone calls and letters. And they actually had one of her personal assistants call me and say, “Neale, would you just, could you just not do that, because you’re hurting yourself more than you’re helping yourself. You’re irritating the producers here. I know you didn’t do it personally, but you’re upsetting. You’ll never get on the show that way. Don’t do that…. Don’t send letters of protest to Oprah because you’ll just ruin it. Any chance.”17
Walsch proceeded to use the Oprah incident to teach his Humanity’s Team “servant leaders” how to avoid antagonizing the media. Walsch suggested that it was his low-key reassuring attitude that helped Oprah and her staff find an alternative way to introduce him to their millions of viewers. It also set up the possibility for eventually airing the longer interview.
We’ve got to make Oprah and her people totally okay with the decision they made. You know what I said to Oprah, I called Oprah personally. I know Oprah. I called her personally. I said, “You know, Ope”—see now, you know you know Oprah personally when you call her ‘Ope.’ I said, “You know, Ope, I totally get it. I totally understand. I’m totally okay. I’m right there with you. Don’t you put me on your program one minute before you think your audience is ready to receive it. I would not have you jeopardize all the wonderful good you’re doing in the world by stepping into that before your audience is ready to go there with you. You will know when the right time is and I will be there, unless I’m not.” And she got to feel like, whew…, totally understood, totally embraced and totally made okay with the decision that she had made. That’s how I’ll get on Oprah if I’m ever on it.
So what happened? Last January Oprah did this really neat program. Last January—you may have seen it. She said the ten most influential people in my life. She had Nelson Mandela. She had Vaclav Havel. She had people at that level, and she had a clip from our interview. And she said, “Neale Donald Walsch.” It was a minute and fifty-seven second clip—less than two minutes of an interview of that two hours. She took about two minutes. But you know what—traveling in pretty fast company… and even with those two minutes, our book sales just went right through the roof…. So we learned don’t—that’s my last word to you here today—don’t antagonize the media.18
Walsch’s revealing account illustrates how New Age leaders and media sympathizers, like Oprah Winfrey, are spiritually molding an unsuspecting public. They understand that the media is the message and that timing is everything. They are pushing their New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality but they have to make sure the public is ready for what they have to say. This is why they have to always anticipate what their audience can handle. And this is why Oprah and her staff decided to introduce Walsch in a short, carefully edited clip about “memorable thinkers” rather than in the longer two-hour interview as “the man who has conversations with God.”
Walsch, Hitler and Death
In a special Tutorial Session that followed the Humanity’s Team Leadership Conference, Walsch described another problem his team leaders were sure to encounter. It had to do with the controversial statements Walsch’s “God” had made about Adolph Hitler—like the “Hitler went to heaven” statement.19 Walsch advised his leaders that they needed to be prepared to answer some hard questions in regards to his “God” and Hitler. He explained that the Hitler material had the potential to damage their message about the New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality.20
To prepare them for the inevitable criticism, Walsch provided a question and answer role-playing exercise. He introduced a seemingly logical, somewhat formulaic routine that could be used to try to convince people that Hitler had actually gone to heaven. The routine led one to conclude that if God’s capacity for love and forgiveness was all-encompassing, then God could forgive anyone of anything at anytime, if they were really sorry—even if the person was already dead—and even if that person was Adolph Hitler. But for all his talk of God’s love and forgiveness, Walsch was not able to adequately explain why his “God” was providing such an extensive spiritual rationale for Hitler and for the desirability of “death.” Was Walsch’s “God” laying the foundation for a future “selection process?” After all, “God” had told Walsch:
You know you have found God when you observe that you will not murder (that is, willfully kill, without cause). For while you will understand that you cannot end another’s life in any event (all life is eternal), you will not choose to terminate any particular incarnation, nor change any life energy from one form to another, without the most sacred justification.21
In the last book in Walsch’s Conversations with God series, Home with God, Walsch’s “God” continues to glorify death. He also teaches that no one can die against their own will. In other words those who were killed by Hitler actually consented to the process! Here are some of the “thus saith God” quotes from Walsch’s “God” that could one day be used to justify the killing of those who do not conform to the dictates of his New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality—those who dare to deny the New Age “at-one-ment” process which affirms that God is in everyone and everything. Walsch’s “God” states:
Dying is something you do for you.22
You are the cause of your own death. This is always true, no matter where, or how, you die.23
You cannot die against your will.24
Death is never a tragedy. It is always a gift.25
Death does not exist.26
It is no wonder that Walsch wanted his self-declared “servant leaders” to be as prepared as possible to answer the hard questions that were sure to be asked about the New Spirituality—about Hitler and death and the “selection process” of his New Age “God.”
Spiritual PR Man
Today, Neale Donald Walsch continues to speak to various groups around the world, conduct ongoing workshops and write new books. He has written nearly one book per year since September 11, 2001. He released Honest to God: A Change of Heart That Can Change The World (2002), The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (2002), Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (2003), What God Wants: A Compelling Answer to Humanity’s Biggest Question (2005) and Home With God: In a Life That Never Ends; A Wondrous Message of Love in a Final Conversation with God (2006). He also wrote the script and played the lead role in a New Age movie about psychic children entitled Indigo Children that is readily available in video stores. Conversations with God has also been made into a movie that plays upon Walsch’s former “homelessness” and his seemingly improbable encounter with “God.”
What most people don’t know about Walsch is that prior to his “Conversations with God” book series Walsch wasn’t just your average lapsed Catholic seeking answers from God. Walsch had been extensively involved with occultic/New Age teachings for years. In fact, ten years prior to his encounter with “God” Walsch had been hired by two top New Age leaders to do their public relations. He was first hired by New Age spiritualist and “death and dying” author Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.27 He was later hired by New Age Church of Religious Science minister Terry Cole-Wittaker.28 In Cole-Whittaker’s 1986 book entitled The Inner Path From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be, she acknowledged the then differently middle named Neale Marshall-Walsch for helping to “produce” her New Age book.
An extra special thank-you to my friend of the soul, Neale Marshall-Walsch, truly a master writer and editor, who always brings his Higher Self to the challenge of producing a book and in so doing inspires me to new levels of sharing and creation.29
Most people reading Walsch’s books and watching his movie will never know the story behind the story—that Neale Donald Walsch was a New Age believer long before his “conversations with God.” He has used his down-and-out story of how a formerly homeless man meets and converses with “God” to convert countless numbers of people around the world into the New Age/New Spirituality. In many ways Walsch is proving to be a leading “advance man” for the New Age “God” and “Christ.”
1. New Connexion: A Journal of Conscious Evolution: Portland, Oregon: Miriam Knight, May/June 2003, p. 15.
2. Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering, Portland, Oregon, June 27- July 1, 2003: “The Care and Feeding of the Press.” Transcribed from audiotape provided to author..
3. Humanity’s Team Leadership Declaration Agreement. This agreement was distributed to the attendees of the Leadership Gathering in Portland, Oregon, June 27-July 1, 2003.
5. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership web page: What is Servant-Leadership? http://www.greenleaf.org/leadership/servant-leadership/What-is-Servant-Leadership.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership.
6. Robert K. Greenleaf, SERVANT LEADERSHIP: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (New York: Paulist Press, 1977), p. 7.
7. Hermann Hesse, THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST (New York: Picador, 1956), back cover.
9. Greenleaf, SERVANT LEADERSHIP, p. 12.
10. Ibid., p. 9.
11. (Walsch): Humanity’s Team Leadership Declaration Agreement. This agreement was distributed to the attendees of the Leadership Gathering in Portland, Oregon, June 27-July 1, 2003. (Blanchard): Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, THE SERVANT LEADER: TRANSFORMING YOUR HEART, HANDS, & HABITS (Nashville, Tennessee: J. Countryman, 2003), pp. 120-121.
12. Humanity’s Team Leadership Declaration Agreement, p. 1.
13. Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Times (Nashville, Tennessee:W Publishing Group, 2005), p. 209.
14. Humanity’s Team Leadership Gathering, Portland, Oregon, June 27- July 1, 2003: “The Care and Feeding of the Press.” Transcribed from audiotape provided to author.
19. Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue: book 1, p. 61.
20. Humanity’s Team Teacher’s Tutorial: Session 12, Portland, Oregon, June 30- July 1, 2003: Transcribed from compact disc given to author.
21. Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue: book 1, pp. 96-97.
22. Neale Donald Walsch, Home with God: IN A LIFE THAT NEVER ENDS: A wondrous message of love in a final Conversation with God (New York: Atria Books, 2006), p. 7.
23. Ibid., p. 8.
24. Ibid., p. 10.
25. Ibid., p. 42.
26. Ibid., p. 89.
27. Walsch, Friendship with God: an uncommon dialogue, p. 268.
28. Ibid., p. 284.
29. Terry Cole-Whittaker, The Inner Path From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be (New York: A Fawcett Crest Book, Ballantine Books 1986), p. xi.
Original PDF book format Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel.
Purchase Reinventing Jesus Christ under the new title, FALSE CHRIST COMING: DOES ANYBODY CARE?: What New Age Leaders Really Have in Store for America, the Church, and the World.
- Helen Schucman, Marianne Williamson, and A Course in Miracles
- Barbara Marx Hubbard and The Revelation
- Neale Donald Walsch and Conversations with God
- Benjamin Creme, Wayne Peterson, and Maitreya
- The Light That Was Dark
- The Global Renaissance Alliance/Peace Alliance
- The New Age Campaign for Peace
- The Armageddon Alternative
- The New Age Doctrine of Separation
- The Silent Church
- The Final Word
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