Blog Post

Messages from Beyond: What’s Wrong With Automatic Writing?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

MB asks: "Is there any danger in automatic writing? Some kids I know like to fool around with it and say they get messages 'from beyond.' Is that possible."

It's absolutely possible. Kids who are dabbling in this might think they're only fooling around but this is no harmless parlor game. It is an occult art and it should be abandoned immediately because while engaged in this practice they are in direct contact with demonic entities.

For those who are not familiar with automatic writing, this practice is similar to the Ouija board only instead of spelling out answers to questions with a planchette, a person "receives" these answers on paper. They hold a pen which is said to move independently across the page and write out messages, usually from deceased persons or from unknown discarnate entities.

Automatic writing is also known as trance writing because the person goes into a kind of trance and writes whatever comes to mind very quickly and without forethought. New Agers believe this allows a person to tap into the subconscious mind where the "true self" exists and where deep and mystical thoughts can be accessed. Others use automatic writing to access outside "intelligences" and spiritual entities for advice and guidance. Some psychotherapists also employ the practice as a way to release repressed memories although there is no scientific evidence proving that trance writing has any therapeutic value.

Perhaps the most famous of modern-day automatic writers is Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox residing in Switzerland, who disseminated 10 – 12 volumes of messages that she believes are from Jesus Christ.  Even though Mrs. Ryden’s messages promote devotion to Jesus and Mary and faithfulness to the Magisterium, her method of receiving them raised many red flags. For example, as this blog explains, she claimed that her hand was forced, almost against her will, to write, and that she later began to hear interior locutions that she would write down without her controlling it. This is indicative of automatic writing, not the inspired writing of saints. Because of doctrinal errors, the Vatican eventually issued a directive to bishops asking them not to allow her works to be disseminated.

The writings of Sarah Young, author of the best-selling Jesus Calling, have also been called into question because, at the time she wrote the book, she was emulating the work of the authors of God Calling, who were engaged in automatic writing. As this blog explains, Young explained her admiration for these writers, as well as her desire to imitate them, in the original foreword of the book; however, the association with God Calling caused enough of a controversy that the publisher eventually removed this from the book.

Helen Schucman, the author of A Course in Miracles, is another famous automatic writer who claimed to have been channeling Jesus Christ when she wrote her now famous course in brainwashing which is designed to totally dismantle a person's Judeo-Christian worldview.  Schucman insisted that Jesus dictated the book to her over the course of seven years, describing His voice as being "strictly mental . . . otherwise I would consider it hallucinatory activity."

Jane Roberts, a popular psychic and spirit medium, claimed to be channeling a spirit named Seth who imparted all the wisdom of the universe to her which she shared with the rest of the world in a series of best-selling books. Roberts and her husband met Seth while playing with a Ouija board and eventually abandoned the board and took up pen and paper to continue their dialogue. Roberts' husband even painted a picture of Seth, which the entity claimed was a very good rendition of himself. During these sessions with Seth, the entity would take control of Jane and she would speak aloud while her husband wrote down everything she said.

The dangers of experimenting in these practices are more than I can recount in a single blog because the practitioner is putting his or her their soul at risk by opening themselves to the influence of occult forces. Practices such as automatic writing, which is considered to be a form of divination, are categorically condemned by the Church because they "all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect and loving fear that we owe to God alone." (Catechism No. 2116)

I would like to give a word of advice to those friends of yours who think automatic writing is a game  - get prepared to lose because this a game you just can't win.

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