Has America become Hindu? Discover how deep Hinduism has influenced the post-modern world with guest Caryl Matrisciana on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on June 17, 2012.
Dr. Reagan: Hinduism has had a major impact on religious beliefs in the Western world over the past half-century, so much so in fact that “Newsweek Magazine,” recently featured an article entitled, “We Are All Hindus Now.” What did they mean by that assertion? Is there any truth to it? And why do Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism seem to be growing in popularity? For the viewpoint of an expert on Eastern religions, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My colleague Nathan Jones and I are delighted to have as our special guest this week a wonderful Christian lady by the name of Caryl Matrisciana. Caryl welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
Caryl Matrisciana: Thank you so much for inviting me.
Dr. Reagan: I love that smile. And I appreciate you flying all the way out here from California.
Caryl Matrisciana: What a flight.
Dr. Reagan: Oh yeah, I understand you got fogged in and flights had to be changed and all that.
Caryl Matrisciana: But I am here.
Dr. Reagan: You are here yes. I don’t think the Devil wanted us to make these programs and I think our viewers will understand why when we get into it yeah.
Caryl Matrisciana: I am excited about getting into it.
Dr. Reagan: Well folks Caryl is a best selling author and filmmaker and is a recognized expert on Eastern religions, contemporary cults, paganism and the occult. She has been involved in the production of more then 60 documentaries over the past 30 years. Wrote a biography published in 1985 was titled, God’s of the New Age, it became an instant best seller. It was republished in a revised edition in 2008 under the title, Out of India. In 2002 she won the National Religious Broadcasters Award of TV producer of the year for her video about the Harry Potter novels. The clever title of the video was, Harry Potter Witchcraft Repackaged Making Evil Look Innocent. Some of her more recent video productions have been 1 in 2007 titled, God’s of Entertainment, it was about the power of the mass media to influence and corrupt the values of society. In 2008 she released a hard hitting video called, Yoga Uncoiled, in which she exposed the dangers of yoga and debunked the popular idea that there can be such a thing as Christian yoga. In 2009 she produced another very hard hitting video entitled, Islam Rising, in which she clearly demonstrated that Islam is anything but a so-called religion of peace. She is currently putting the final touches on a new video production to be called, Wide is the Gate, it is an expose concerning the apostate Emergent Church Movement that is sweeping through evangelical Christianity today. Caryl tell us about how you became an expert on Hinduism.
Caryl Matrisciana: Well I wish I could take credit for it, but actually I was 5th generation born in India.
Dr. Reagan: Wow.
Caryl Matrisciana: So it was my environment, it was my personal experience I was born in Calcutta India. Calcutta is named after the black goddess Kali who has her tongue sticking out, she has the 29 heads of her husbands who she has slaughtered and killed because she desires blood. So Kali got the steps of Calcutta, the steps to Kali was the city that I was born in. And I saw first hand incredible worship to Kali, the goddess Durga, Shiva he is the consort who has the serpent wrapped around his neck, serpent around his arms, serpent around his legs so that whatever he is thinking the serpent is thinking it for him, whatever he is doing with the serpent around his arms wherever he goes with the serpent around his legs. So serpent power is integral in Hinduism, actual in all eastern mysticism the serpent is raised as a being of power, knowledge and wisdom. And so I had this as a child growing up realized the power and the adoration of everyone around me for this sort of so called white incredible wisdom and yet as a little child I could feel the spiritual fear somehow, I can’t explain it; it was just always an ongoing dichotomy.
Dr. Reagan: Well now tell us more about your background you were born of British parents?
Caryl Matrisciana: I was born of British parents my father was in the British military and my great grandfather before him in diplomatic service.
Dr. Reagan: Now were you brought up in a Christian home?
Caryl Matrisciana: Actually I was raised a Roman Catholic.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Caryl Matrisciana: Fifth generation Roman Catholic.
Dr. Reagan: And a very devote one.
Caryl Matrisciana: Very devote because in India and because of my fathers dividedness my life was orchestrated by Jesuit Priests and by nuns who they advised my father as to which schools I should go to. And so even when I was sent to boarding school later on in my life in England it was under the protection of the nuns, the convent, the Sacred Heart Convent that they had decided and put together.
Dr. Reagan: And so were you introduced to principles of Hinduism by anyone.
Caryl Matrisciana: Well you know interestingly in every country that Roman Catholicism is it takes on the culture of the country.
Dr. Reagan: Yes that is true.
Caryl Matrisciana: So in India Roman Catholicism is actually deeply influenced by Hindu mysticism. So it was a very easy step for me after I left school about 17, 18 being introduced in those days London, I just come to London we left our parents, my parents had left India, we came to England in the late 60’s where swinging London the Beatles were in there, the “Hair,” the theater show was absolute number 1 swinging hit. And I remember the promotion of Hinduism and yoga had been completely repackaged for the West. The Hare Krishna’s Devotees were going down the London streets, Oxford Street in their orange garb crashing their cymbals Hare, Hare, Hare, Rama, Rama, Rama. And I used to remember I heard this as a child in India but it was much darker, it was sort of blacker. It hadn’t been repackaged for the western mind the way that Hinduism came through the Beatles through Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, through transcendental meditation, through the celebrities so that when the celebrities talked about eastern meditation, eastern mysticism, yoga, it came packaged with celebrities status and it was very appealing as we were young people growing up in our 17, 18, 19, 20’s seeing our superstars turning to drugs and eastern mysticism of course we wanted to be involved too.
Dr. Reagan: Well in your book, wonderful book which we are going to tell our viewers more about later on called, Out of India, in this book one of the things that really stands out is you tell about when you got to London and you were 20 years old, I think this was in 1966 that you went to see a musical and that it was like a life transforming event, a spiritual event. What was the musical?
Caryl Matrisciana: Yes, it was, Hair, it was, Hair, and it was transforming.
Dr. Reagan: And you had thought you had found the truth.
Caryl Matrisciana: Well yes, and really what was incredible about that was it was the manipulative way that music had now come into that generation, of course now it is in this generation who are consumed with music and the powers of music. But music was the conduit to take you into spiritual realms and without even realizing the spiritual realms that I was being taken into was this polished Hinduism and yoga that I had just come out of. But in India you could see it, the way, you know there are 100’s of idols, 1000’s of idols in the trees, in the monkey guard, in the elephant guard. And the cow in the middle of the street which you car is not permitted to move, if a cow is in the middle of the street because that is god.
Nathan Jones: Sacred cow, huh? That is where we got the term.
Caryl Matrisciana: A sacred cow, a holy cow. You can not move the cow, the deity of the street at that moment can hold up your meetings but you can not kick that thing out because you can’t kick god. But you see it’s not only the cow, every animal, every living thing is divinity; the trees, the rats there are rat temples.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, there is a rat temple, yes.
Caryl Matrisciana: Snake temples, so the idea of being one with divinity is part of Hinduism, and yet in Roman Catholicism I was raised with the idea that Jesus Christ on the cross was sort of a divinity I couldn’t reach because I had to go through Mary, and I had to go through prayers, and burning candles and had to go through mass and through benediction, and my daily devotionals. So it was a God that wasn’t reachable, but in Hinduism everything is divine and so the conflict is huge.
Dr. Reagan: I want to come back to a point you just made. You inferred that the Beatles were very important in packaging Eastern Religion to be acceptable in the West, develop that.
Caryl Matrisciana: Well the Beatles of course were out of England, North England group young kids played their band in the garage in Liverpool.
Nathan Jones: The original garage band.
Caryl Matrisciana: Liverpool access, the original garage band, yes. Discovered by Radio Luxemburg promoted by English titles that then suddenly swept across to America.
Dr. Reagan: But they seemed so innocent at first, and then what happened to them?
Caryl Matrisciana: Well they were sweet little love songs. I think the point is that they got rich very quickly from a garage in Liverpool to suddenly having adulation worldwide can go to ones head.
Dr. Reagan: “More famous then Jesus.” John Lennon said.
Caryl Matrisciana: John Lennon said that, that was his quote. And I think what happens is that the, and I know from my personal experience because I very quickly in the swinging 60’s rose to being a top model and went from England to America. When you get fame and money so quickly life becomes kind of empty because you have no value on the richness that you have acquired so quickly and then you start looking for spiritual things. But the spirituality that was around in those days was Eastern Mysticism because these gurus from the east were flooding into.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, and they came under their influence.
Caryl Matrisciana: And everybody came under their influence, in fact Maharishi Mahesh Yogi did an incredible marketing ploy he used the Beatles and all the Hollywood celebrities that were involved and flew them out free to Rishikesh which is the northern part of India where the goddess flows with all of her energy and powers out of Rishikesh to the whole of India. So here you’ve now got the indoctrination of these celebrities who are trendsetters for the world and they are being filmed all the time. So that when the came back to the west they came indoctrinated and they….
Dr. Reagan: In fact they put out a new album, Sergeant Pepper’s Band, I believe it was called in which they had an album cover where they were standing in front of a grave for the Beatles it was symbolic of we are burying the old Beatles and we are becoming the new ones and we are very much involved in Eastern religion.
Caryl Matrisciana: And every one of their songs as you got more and more involved in the lyrics of their songs because they started off as sort of sweet little love songs.
Nathan Jones: I Want to Hold Your Hand.
Caryl Matrisciana: Yes, and then as you got involved in their lyrics through the transformation of lyrics and music we became Eastern devotees whether we liked it or not. Whether we even understood it, “imagine,” “I am you, you are me,” “he is she,” these were all words in the songs which is that god is everywhere, we are all divine.
Dr. Reagan: Okay you start out as a Roman Catholic in India mainly going through the motions, not having a real personal relationship with God, but doing all the things that you do there. And then you get involved in this new form of Eastern religion brought into the West and you get all caught up in the hippie movement and that sort of thing. Where did you meet the Lord?
Caryl Matrisciana: Well, interesting you see that was pre-New Age after that this thing got called the New Age and this New Age spirituality has crept into the whole of society now. But in those days because you were on a mystical search, a spiritual search even if it was for Jesus it was still called a mystical spiritual search. I mean nobody differentiated between the two because Jesus was one and one in all, and it was actually on a modeling job in Chicago that I through another two models that were on the job, it was a wonderful story, I have written it in my book.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
Caryl Matrisciana: It is a little too complicated to get into in full but the point was I was taken to the back room.
Dr. Reagan: They invited you to Bible study, right?
Caryl Matrisciana: Well I didn’t know it. If had known it was Bible study I promise I wouldn’t have gone because I did not, I thought Jesus was very narrow minded because in my New Age embrace of everything Jesus was too narrow, the Bible was too narrow, Christians were hypocrites and bigots. I was by this time a complete lover of peace, and to the environment, a vegetarian, a feminist. I did yoga, I contacted spirit worlds, I was gung-ho for the New Age.
Dr. Reagan: Wow.
Caryl Matrisciana: And these friends invited me to a party in downtown Old Chicago and I thought there was going to be drugs there. I didn’t realize that I had gone into a Christian bookstore because the Lord had so blinded my eyes. I was raised and I’d done graphic-design, I was an art student but my eyes could not see all the graphic images because you know when I came out why. But I went into the backroom where I thought everybody was passing around drugs because this was such a happy group of people, they were smiling and they were at peace. And I wanted to see where the joint was and there was nothing there, but I saw this man, this young bohemian sort of hippie reading from a well worn book in the corner, and he was reading and everyone was listening. And slowly I started realizing he was talking about God that tuned me in, that God words in the environment that you are in, that tuned me in, so I came off the idea of looking for where the drugs were passing and realized something incredible about the authority of this man, I didn’t know what it was but he spoke with an authority. And afterwards they prayed and their prayers were very personal, I remember thinking that because I had been raised on the rosary and rote prayers sort of repetitive prayers. And this was very free for all praying and I was so touched by that I went to him afterwards and I said, “Thank you very much for this.” And he said, “How long have you been a Christian?” And I said, “All my life.”
Nathan Jones: Oh.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, you did? That was your answer.
Caryl Matrisciana: That was my answer, “all my life,” because and that is the confusion today, a lot of people who aren’t Christians think they are but I truly believe that I was a Christian. So I said, “All my life.” Here I was doing yoga, contacting spirits, involved in spiritism, I was involved in every occult, satanic possibility that I could have been involved in that era of my life. So he asked one other question which completely changed my life, “When did you accept Jesus Christ into your life?” I had never been asked that question, I didn’t know, I didn’t know that. And I think he felt me stumbling and he came in right there with a 12 minute Gospel which is a power of God onto salvation, 12 minutes he had me riveted, I was focused I realized that there was somebody who had died for me that loved me so much that he died for me. I had a lot of boyfriends by that time.
Nathan Jones: A model of course.
Caryl Matrisciana: All of them told me that they loved me, but none of them would have died for me, I promise you.
Nathan Jones: That’s true amen.
Caryl Matrisciana: And just to know that somebody died for me it totally changed my life.
Dr. Reagan: Wow, the love of God.
Caryl Matrisciana: And he said, “Would you like to accept Jesus Christ into your life right now?” Of course! I mean how could you deny inviting somebody who loves you so much that He gave His life for you. And at that moment it was almost like a vacuum cleaner came into my life, every one of my transgressions was wiped away. I was slated clean, I walked out of that little room at the back and the room that was in the front was a Christian Bookstore with 100’s of books all about Jesus.
Nathan Jones: Your eyes were opened now, you could see that?
Caryl Matrisciana: I thought how did I get in here not realizing?
Nathan Jones: Spiritually blind huh?
Caryl Matrisciana: It was incredible.
Dr. Reagan: What a story. Well we are going to take a break for just a moment and we’ll come back and talk about the impact of Hinduism on the West.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to our interview of Caryl Matrisciana we have been talking about her journey from Hinduism to Paganism to Christianity. Caryl I want to thank you for the testimony you just shared with us. Man I was tingling all over and wanted to stand up and shout hallelujah and everything else it was great, it is one thing to read about it in your book it is another thing to hear you tell about it. Going into a place looking for drugs and coming out with Jesus Christ well I mean that is really something. I tell you what I would like for you to just tell our viewers how they can get in touch with you get on your newsletter mailing list, so would you just look in that camera and tell them.
Caryl Matrisciana: Well thank you so much, yes actually you can just go to my name it is spelled differently C-A-R-Y-L, so it is www.C-A-R-Y-L-tv.com, Caryltv.com. And you can subscribe we have a free newsletter that comes out very regularly on contemporary issues; how the New Age Movement and all the new nuances and the new spirituality are coming into our churches and into Christianity. And thank you.
Dr. Reagan: Okay Caryl.
Caryl Matrisciana: And all the movies.
Dr. Reagan: Alright.
Caryl Matrisciana: You get a 10 minute trailer and you have a preview of all the movies that we have made.
Dr. Reagan: Okay. Now Caryl I want to talk with you for just for a moment about the impact of Hinduism on the Western World and also on Christianity and I would like to do it by quoting to you from a Newsweek Magazine, article that I just thought was phenomenal. The article was entitled, We Are All Hindus Now, and it said, “America is not a Christian nation, we are it is true a nation founded by Christians and according to a 2008 survey 76% of Americans continue to identify themselves as Christian. But according to a 2008 Pew Forum Survey 65% of Americans believe that many religions lead to eternal life including 37% of white evangelicals the group that is most likely to believe that salvation is by Jesus only. Also the number of people who seek spiritual truth outside the church is growing, 30% of American’s call themselves spiritual and not religious according to a 2009 “Newsweek,” poll and that is up 24% since 2005. Stephen Prothero a Religion Professor at Boston University has long framed the American propensity for the divine, deli, cafeteria religion as very much in the spirit of Hinduism.”
Caryl Matrisciana: Well as I told you earlier I thought myself a Christian and yet here I was involved in all of these New Age new spirituality, pagan, Occult, Hindu, Eastern mystical practices and yet truly, truly believed I was a Christian. So I can see where a huge percentage of people would answer that kind of survey saying, “Yes I am a Christian,” but do they actually understand Biblical Christianity. That’s the difference.
Dr. Reagan: Most are probably what you would call “Cultural Christians,” just born into a Christian society, go to church, but never really know the Lord.
Caryl Matrisciana: No, and that’s the danger because we are all born with a vacuum inside of us to know God, and if society through the celebrities, through movies stars who are turning towards Buddhism, Hinduism, even our Christians from the pulpit that are speculating, not even speculating recently Rick Warren was right on there inviting his 3 expert guests who are all involved in Eastern Mysticism, Hinduism, Transcendental Meditation to come onto the screen. And so if you’ve got a pastor like Rick telling the people to follow their health and well-being program and you think here is a Christian telling me to do things, you don’t realize that all of this is becoming confused and in enmeshed in our Christian culture, in our Christian churches that are embracing Eastern mystical ideas.
Nathan Jones: How do we identify that then? I mean you grew up in Hinduism you’ve lived through Hinduism in an American type in the British setting but for the rest of us who believe that we are in a Christian nation, or even maybe a post-Christian nation, how can we identify that Hinduism has reached into the United States and where is taking hold?
Dr. Reagan: Or even into our church?
Caryl Matrisciana: That is a great question and you know there is only one way that is to really know your Bible. See it was the first time that evening when I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ that I went on a crash course because they told me, “Have you got a Bible?” I said, “No, Bible?” A Christian all my life.
Nathan Jones: Christian don’t need that.
Caryl Matrisciana: I didn’t know that I needed a Bible. I read the Bible from cover to cover in those 6 weeks, 5 times.
Nathan Jones: Wow.
Caryl Matrisciana: Because I had a hunger.
Dr. Reagan: When you give your life to something you really give your life.
Caryl Matrisciana: Right you suddenly realized you have been missing the bread of life, the water of life, the food of life and you just…
Nathan Jones: Filling that desire, right.
Caryl Matrisciana: …it suddenly fills it up. So I think the way you can really tell a transformed Christian is if they have a love of the Word, love of the truth, and then they are filled with the Holy Spirit that then applies that truth to in answer to your question, to be able to discern what is evil and what is good. Because you can work out from that survey for instance that talked about that many Christian believe that there are many paths to eternal life. Not true, if you know the Bible Jesus says, “I am the Way, the truth and the life you get abundant life through me. I introduce you to the Father you can only come to the Father through me.”
Dr. Reagan: But you see our major value today Caryl in American society seems to be tolerance and that is so intolerant to say Jesus is the only way.
Caryl Matrisciana: Yes, because that is a part of Hinduism. You see Hinduism is all embracing, it believes that all paths lead to God, that you can have your truth, you can have your truth we can all have our truth and let’s have unity.
Dr. Reagan: And you can have the elephant god, and I can have the rat god.
Nathan Jones: Why is that? What is their view of God then?
Caryl Matrisciana: Well God is a consciousness and it is a consciousness that you have to connect to mystically, that was what yoga was designed for. Yoga is the only path into changing your mind, your consciousness to go within yourself to arouse the snake which is believed to be inside of you and then connect to God consciousness which is a force and then you realize your divinity. In Eastern Mysticism there is no such thing as sin, it is your ignorance that you are divine. So yoga and every mystical practice is to connect you with your divinity which will then connect you with the whole embracing universe.
Dr. Reagan: Reminds me of Shirley MacLaine and her books talking about, if you really want to find God you must go inward.
Caryl Matrisciana: You must go in.
Nathan Jones: Like we have the answers?
Caryl Matrisciana: Well and look what the Bible says, Jeremiah 17 says,
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Caryl Matrisciana: “There is no good thing within us.”
Dr. Reagan: No.
Caryl Matrisciana: Jesus says, “That what comes out of our mouth is what defiles us.”
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Caryl Matrisciana: So to go in which is what I had been doing through Eastern Mysticism you get confused, you get lost, you start living subjectively, volitional processes take over, emotions become your truth, what I feel that’s truthful, I feel that’s truthful. But when I got redirected back to the Bible, I could then go to my objective truth and say, “Well what does God say about that? Is that, can I have eternal life, do all paths lead to God? Are we all divine? Can we all become one with everything?” So it has to be the Bible that becomes our yardstick and I tragically believe that hundreds of thousands of Christians in America go to church on Sunday but do not read the Bible. They have maybe a little Bible verse thrown up on a screen, multiple screens up there on PowerPoint’s and stuff like that but they do not go and check what they are being taught against the Bible. In Acts Paul said that the Bereans were more noble minded then the Thessalonians because they searched the Scriptures daily and checked them against what is taught.
Dr. Reagan: How much more should they check you and me?
Caryl Matrisciana: Check me 100%.
Nathan Jones: What are some other things about Hinduism that you could definitely point out so we can say, “Hey you know let’s stay away from that.”
Caryl Matrisciana: I think anything that makes you rely on your emotions and your feelings and your experience.
Nathan Jones: Well that is very Post-Modern Emergent Church isn’t it?
Caryl Matrisciana: That is, see the whole belief is that nothing is, truth is not absolute, that we can all find our own truth. And so when you have that coming into Post-modern thinking, into the seminaries, into Christians that are being trained to be pastors and then they go out onto the pulpit and say, “Well whatever you all believe is okay, I want to be politically correct. I don’t want to offend anybody. You are not all sinner. “Which is of course what Hinduism teaches, but that isn’t what the Bible teaches.
Dr. Reagan: So if your pastor comes in and says, “We are going to have a lesson this morning on what, homosexuality for example and instead of saying what the Bible says, says, ‘How do you feel about this. Let’s talk about how you feel about it.'” You’re really off on the wrong track.
Caryl Matrisciana: You’re Hindu. Well in Hinduism homosexuality is embraced, In fact homosexuality is part of religiality or mysticism.
Dr. Reagan: Caryl I am sorry to say our time is up. I wish we could keep going on and on, but we are going to have to bring this to a close. Would you be willing to come back next week and talk with us about “Christian Yoga.”
Caryl Matrisciana: I would love to, thank you very, very much.
Dr. Reagan: Well we would love to have you do it. I know you are a real expert on it, so thank you and we look forward to having you back. Well folks that’s our program for this week, I hope it has been a blessing to you and I hope you will be back next week when Caryl will be talking about Christina Yoga. Until then this Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries says, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program