Blog Post

The Occult, the New Age and Politics

The talk all weekend was about Delaware GOP Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell's confessed dabbling in witchcraft during her high school years, but where was the rage when then First-Lady Hillary Clinton was taking advice from New Age guru Jean Houston who taught her how to hold imaginary conversations with the dead? Former U.S. Congressman Bob Beauprez is pointing out the disparity in the press coverage of two dabblers in the dark side, overplaying something O'Donnell did in high school while never even mentioning Hillary Clinton's occult connections while she was First Lady. "Hillary isn't so much as questioned about her witchcraft dabbling while living in the White House and she's now the Secretary of State," Beauprez says. Meanwhile, "Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell is having to fend off ridiculous attacks on her character. . . " The controversy erupted after a 1999 video segment from Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" surfaced showing Christine O'Donnell confessing to having "dabbled in witchcraft" while in high school. "How many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school?" O'Donnell asked fellow Republicans at a GOP picnic in southern Delaware on Sunday when confronted about the video. "There's been no witchcraft since. . . " By comparison to O'Donnell's seemingly casual contact with the occult, Hillary Clinton had a long and serious relationship with New Age guru Jean Houston, the same woman who taught her how to use guided imagery to conduct imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Ghandi. Houston is well-known and even revered in New Age circles. In her own brochures, she describes herself as a "leading pioneer in the exploration of human potentials and human consciousness."  According to the New Age Encyclopedia, Houston claims a first grade teacher in a Catholic school treated her so harshly she escaped into some kind of profound mystical experience that was described as "pantheistic" and "monistic."  (I guess this means it was the Church's fault.) Houston later married Robert Masters, the psychotherapist and sexologist who co-authored the notorious Masters-Johnson report. The Encyclopedia states that she and her husband experimented with LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs, believing that drug-induced altered states of consciousness were the best way to convey "psychic truth" to people. Although she claims to have earned a number of Ph.D.'s, records show that she received a doctorate in psychology in 1973 from Cincinnati Union Institute, "an alternative education program," that did not become accredited until 1985. Needless to say, Houston has a definite New Age occultic world-view whose books attempt to teach students how to make contact with an entity called "Group Spirit" which is supposedly the collective consciousness in which we can find the wisdom and creativity of us all. The fact that someone like this was spending long hours in the White House counseling a First Lady was first reported by CNN in 1996 when famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward published a revealing behind-the-scenes look at the Clintons, entitled The Choice. In it Woodward describes Houston as an influential advisor who urged Hillary to write her book, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us, and in the process "virtually moved into the White House" for days at a time to help with revisions. Naturally, the White House hoped to keep her relationship with Houston a secret. "Most people in the White House did not know about Hillary's sessions with Houston. ... To some of the few who did, the meetings could trigger politically damaging comparisons to Nancy Reagan's use of astrology," Woodward wrote. By contrast, conservative First Lady Nancy Reagan was skewered in the press for consulting with astrologers as a way to keep her husband safe after the assassination attempt on his life in 1981. Time Magazine devoted a cover and lengthy article under the headline "Astrology in the White House" after learning that Nancy was consulting with socialite and astrologer Joan Quigley. Apparently, Quigley made a believer out of the First Lady when she showed her an astrological chart showing how dangerous it was for the President to have traveled around March 30, 1981, the day he was shot. From that time on, Nancy did everything in her power to consult the stars before her husband's engagements, even convincing him and Russian President Mikael Gorbachev to sign their intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty when the stars were properly aligned. The moral of the story is that while not even the White House is immune from the New Age and the occult, press coverage from the notoriously liberal media completely depends on what political party you're associated with.