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LORD OF THE FLIES ATTRACTS FOLLOWERS
One has to seriously wonder about some New Agers, their names, claims, and beliefs.
Back in July 2010, Perth, and a number of other cities around Australia and several other countries, supposedly had an ‘AWAKENING’! Perth supposedly ‘lit up’ when a ‘Divine Spark Within You' event was hosted in the State Library theatre by some people calling themselves the ‘Perth Gnostic Group’ (also: ‘Gnostic Movement’, ‘Gnostic Awakenings’). Apparently around 50 people heard about it and checked it out.
This group is part of a network of Gnostic movement branches or centres with 5 in Australia; 3 in Canada; 2 in Britain; 2 in the USA and 1 in Cyprus. This movement of scattered groups are led by ‘an independent spiritual master’ - a quiet, if not slow, speaking Welshman by the name of Mark H Pritchard.
Pritchard, like almost all mystical gurus, claims to have had mystical childhood experiences and an unusual interest in spiritual matters. [Would his parents, school chums, teachers and others who knew him during his childhood confirm these claims of being so spiritually and mystically different to most other children??]
He claims to have discovered Gnosis at the age of twenty-six - whatever that really means. [Gnosis is the Greek word for knowledge gained - usually in a mystical supernatural way, rather than through the exercise of using one’s brain - thinking, researching, evaluating etc. ‘absorbing universal wisdom’.]
Pritchard claims that through [his version of] Gnosis he discovered the underlying spiritual basis, or roots, of all religion as a result of his ‘inner journey of self-knowledge and transform-ation...achieving the spiritual awakening within—as mystics of the world have done throughout time.’ He goes on to ‘humbly boast’ about himself that: ‘He is now recognized as Gnosticism’s enlightened spiritual teacher, imparting a profound wisdom in his many works and books from his journey to awakening’ [by whom?? - anyone independent and outside his circle of similar thinking New Age Gnostics??].
Like so many others into the various shades of New Age spirituality, Pritchard promotes: inner wisdom, peace, love, happiness, astral travel, the importance of dreams, and much more. He gives weekly podcast talks and answers questions through network link-ups. In these, however, he has revealed that there has been negativity in the movement and at various centres. This negativity had made things difficult for him. Some of the ‘teachers’ in his movement had been disagreeing and claiming knowledge and authority about which others [including Pritchard] had been unhappy.
Pritchard didn’t start this movement - he took it over from others after the original South American founders died. According some critics who had known him, Pritchard, like so many others, doesn’t seem to have many original thoughts or ideas but has ‘borrowed’ and probably plagiarised from several sources.
But most informatively,, Pritchard decided to give himself an interesting ‘spiritual’ name: Beelzebub, later changed to ‘his spiritual name Belzebuub (pronounced Bel-se-boob)’.
Many people today have no idea what this name means or where it comes from. The Gospels accounts of the New Testament record the displeasure and jealousy of some of the religious leaders of the day and their accusation that Jesus was demonised and driving out demons by the prince of demons:
‘But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.’ (read Matthew 12:22-28)
The name Beelzebub, also Baalzebub, was an ancient Canaanite deity, and means ‘Lord of the flies’.
Whatever possessed Mark Pritchard to call himself Beelzebub/Belzebuub, ‘Lord of the flies’ and prince of demons??
Perhaps it is no wonder that people are reporting significant problems with him and the movement he has taken over. As some former members have reported in forums:
‘We have assembled a group of ex-students and ex-members of the organization, who have prepared accounts of the detriment it caused them : Divorces, Depression, Financial Hardship, Abandoning Family, being ordered to move cities and countries, and in most cases finally being banned from the organization and left to fend for themselves. In addition we have accounts of wrong doing by those in charge especially its Australian founders Mr. Mark Pritchard and his wife Edith, who run the Gnostic Movement with an iron fist, removing anyone who questions their authority...In short the various Gnostic Movements could be described as a strict religious cult of Messianic and Apocalyptic thoughts, an Esoteric philosophy that is subconsciously programmed into their students minds. Most people would call it NONSENSE not Gnosis. (greek for knowledge)...new english speaking “Master” known as Belzebuub, (original name Mr. Mark Pritchard) has “arisen” and groups of The Gnostic Movement are spreading rapidly...Belzebuub, who first spelt his name as Beelzebub but later changed it, has many books and publications, but nothing truly original. His works are just a more fanatical rehash from previous Gnostic groups, who, as mentioned were never original in the first place, taking most of their ideas from Rosicrucians. Like the Master himself, those in charge are quite frankly high functioning delusionals, being astute and organised, and yet making some bizarre choices and decisions about life, and subtly pushing those decisions onto others. Of course there must be an element of free speech in the world, but when it starts to destroy people’s lives, cause depression, break up marriages, and when profits and personal gain for the select few, are derived from generous donations and unpaid 18 hours work days, given to what is meant to be a benevolent spiritual non profit organisation. Then obviously it should be reported before it gets out of hand.’
(See forum comments at: http://www.factnet.org/vbforum/archive/index.php/t-14938.html; also see: http:/movementsofgnostics.wordpress.com/)
An ‘Awakening’ and cities being ‘lit up’? - We don’t think so!! If anything, here is another example of counterfeit messengers of ‘light’ (see 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
(TACL Sep-Oct 2010, Vol. 31, No. 4)