Monday, February 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Witchcraft

God and Hillary Clinton: An interview with Paul Kengor

October 2, 2007 by Dr. Warren Throckmorton

In light of the attention given to Paul Kengor’s new book, God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life, I asked Paul some questions to go a little deeper into topics of interest to readers. Of course, the fullest treatment of these issues comes from the book, but Paul here provides more depth on the reports of “seances” and her views on abortion and homosexuality.
Throckmorton: Many are interested in the spiritual experiences with Jean Houston. Would you characterize her conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt as resulting from a seance?
Kengor: No, no, not as a seance. It has been reported that way, but that’s not what I say in the book. I note very carefully in the book that these sessions, which were indeed very strange, were described by Hillary’s critics as “seances,” but that they did not seem to be quite that weird. Now, that said, they were definitely bizarre and far more out-of-line than anything First Lady Nancy Reagan did with her astrologer in the 1980s.
Hillary's Guru --New York Post
Let me explain what was happening: She brought in a kind of spiritual adviser named Jean Houston, who worked with Hillary in these sort of spiritual-
psychological-emotional sessions where Hillary “connected,” or “conversed” in a way, with deceased historical figures, namely Eleanor Roosevelt. Bob Woodward actually first reported this in his book in 1996. Mrs. Clinton did not deny the reports, and neither did her staff. Once the revelations became public, she tried to joke about them and move on, clearly embarrassed, especially politically.
Now, aside from a “séance,” some pundits ridiculed this as “channeling”—allegations that the first lady and her staff vehemently denied. Yet, these suspicions were not totally unmerited. The work of Houston and her husband, Robert E. L. Masters, went well beyond the typical goofy New Age stuff. Houston and Masters did channeling in the past. Masters had his patients channel the Egyptian god Sekhmet. In her book, Public Like a Frog: Entering the Lives of Three Great Americans, Houston introduced three individuals that she said were available to be contacted through a trance or altered state of consciousness: Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickenson, and Helen Keller. Somewhere along the line, Eleanor Roosevelt also presumably made herself available.
This is beyond my expertise, but in the book I pause to note that there are different forms of channeling. According to Jon Klimo, an expert on the subject, these range from full-trance channeling to sleep channeling, dream channeling, light-trance channeling, clairaudient channeling, clairvoyant channeling, open channeling, and physical channeling, among others. Some of these involve the use of Ouija boards, while others manifest themselves in scary forms like levitation and voice alteration. Among them, clairaudient channeling sounds closest to what Hillary was reportedly doing with Houston; it involves relaxing oneself in either a fully conscious or mildly altered state of consciousness and then listening to one’s “innerself.”
Hillary was not, as far as we know, levitating above a table in the White House.
Nonetheless, what Hillary was involved with had the potential to be dangerous, and is widely condemned by the vast majority of Protestant denominations.
After this, for whatever reason, whether spiritual or political or both, Hillary got back on track to more conventional Christianity. The United Methodist Church, her denomination, came to the rescue with an offer of a major speaking engagement at the annual conference in April 1996. She then gave a major speech on her more conventional religious upbringing and beliefs.
Throckmorton: You mentioned that Jean Houston felt Hillary was enduring some kind of “female crucifixion.” What does this mean and what was Mrs. Clinton’s reaction to their characterization?
Kengor: According to Bob Woodward, Houston had come to the grandiose conclusion that Hillary was personally carrying the burden of 5,000 years of women being subservient to men—nearly the entire history of female subservience had been tossed upon the back of Hillary Rodham Clinton. This was her cross to bear. Now, affirmed Houston, history was at a turning point, on the brink of genuine gender equality, and it was Hillary alone who could turn the tide—another Joan of Arc. Houston reportedly told Hillary that, next to Joan of Arc, she was there on the front line as arguably the most pivotal woman in all of human history. But she was a victim, a sufferer of bitter, unjustified personal attack; she was, said Houston, like Mozart, history’s greatest composer, but with his hands cut off.
Woodward says that although Houston herself did not articulate the image, “she felt that Hillary was going through a female crucifixion.” Nonetheless, said Woodward, Houston told Hillary she would prevail. She must persevere, as the new possibilities for the world’s women were too much for her to cast aside.
Apparently, Houston helped Hillary identify a couple of means for fulfilling her global, millennial potential: Hillary should proceed with the book on childcare that had been germinating, and she should attend that U.N. conference on women in early September 1995, specifically, the Fourth World Conference on Women in—of all places—Beijing, to be held September 4-15. There, of course, feminists hoped to save the world by winning for women a global right to legally abort children.
Throckmorton: Does Mrs. Clinton ever grapple with how she can see the face of Jesus in little children and then defend abortion rights so strenuously? From your research, how does she reconcile the two positions?
Kengor: She is very careful to avoid addressing questions like “does life begin at conception?” or “what would Jesus think of abortion?” She shrewdly recognizes that this is a minefield. Unlike pro-choice liberals like John Kerry, she seems smart enough to realize that once you acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child, and particularly from the moment of conception, then it becomes very troublesome to argue for the right to take that life. She generally avoids publicly trying to reconcile the two.
Of course, we must keep in mind that her denomination, the United Methodist Church, supports legal abortion and in fact is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. So, she points to her denomination for guidance on this matter and, lo and behold, gets backing in being “pro-choice.” The minister at her Washington, DC church, one of the top Methodist leaders in the nation, is pro-choice. Why wouldn’t he be? The UMC leadership is pro-choice, as was, by the way, a fellow Methodist named Harry Blackmun, author of Roe v. Wade, who, incidentally, was invited to take the pulpit at Hillary’s church one day in 1995.
Throckmorton: Does Mrs. Clinton’s religiously based opposition to gaymarriage carry over to her views regarding civil unions? Did your research turn up anything on Mrs. Clinton’s religious views regarding the morality of homosexual behavior?
Kengor: This is a very interesting issue. She has traditionally been against gay marriage, citing the Bible and the Biblical tradition. She defends the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Republican Congress and her husband. On the other hand, she continues to become ever more embracing of gay rights. This is one issue where she is obviously increasingly ambivalent, and I could see her eventually changing on this one if it helped her politically.
Throckmorton: Do you think Mrs. Clinton will be able to garner any high level evangelical endorsements? If so, who might be inclined to support her?
Kengor: Only from liberal evangelicals like Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, not from conservatives. Look, I try to be as fair and charitable to her as possible in this book, even saying from literally the very first pages that she undoubtedly appears to be a Christian and is truly a lifelong committed Methodist, albeit a very liberal Christian, a Religious Left Christian. She is also a Christian who in my view is tragically wrong and misguided on abortion. That said, if you’re a conservative evangelical and someone who is a deeply pro-life Christian, you are almost certainly going to be repulsed by her stridency on abortion. She is to the left of everyone on the abortion issue. I would not expect any high-level endorsements from conservative evangelicals.
The Choice
By Bob Woodward
Chapter One: Spiritual Adviser Aided First Lady's Search
President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, invited a group of popular self-help authors to Camp David to help them dissect what had happened in the first two years of the presidency and to search for a way back after the Democrats' devastating loss to the Republicans in the 1994 congressional elections. They met the weekend beginning Friday, Dec. 30, 1994.
Three of the attendees were well-known: Anthony Robbins, author of "Awaken the Giant Within"; Marianne Williamson, author of "A Return to Love"; and Stephen R. Covey, author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Their names later leaked out publicly and all three declined to discuss the substance of the meeting.
The identities of the two others did not leak, and they were the ones who played a significant role over the weekend and the year that followed.
The first was Jean Houston, co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research, which studies psychic experience and altered and expanded consciousness. Houston, then 55, the author of 14 books, was one of the most high-energy seminar leaders in the country. She was a believer in spirits, mythic and other connections to history and other worlds. Houston believed that her personal archetypal predecessor was Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. She conducted extensive dialogues with Athena on her computer that she called "docking with one's angel." Houston wore an ancient Hellenistic coin of Athena set in a medallion around her neck all the time.
The second was Mary Catherine Bateson, Houston's colleague, an anthropology professor at George Mason University in nearby Virginia and the daughter of celebrated anthropologist Margaret Mead. Bateson, a respected academic, was the author of "Composing a Life," the story of the struggles and frustrations of five women on nontraditional life paths. Hillary said "Composing a Life" was one of her favorite books.
As the five authors sat with the president and the first lady for hours, they asked Clinton to describe his best qualities.
"I have a good heart," Clinton said. "I really do. I hope I have a decent mind." He said that he wanted to do the best that he could for the American people.
Clinton acknowledged that he was feeling pretty beaten down. As both Clinton and Hillary described their lives and the White House, Jean Houston felt their deep torment. But she saw possibilities in their extraordinary openness about their pain.
The president said he was looking for a way to see the presidency and to speak to the public from another perspective.
There is a "field," Houston told Clinton, that comes with being president. The office brought a whole historical procession of previous presidents, of the country and the struggle. Houston advised that Clinton, as a student of history and biography, take the fact of the unique historical circumstances of his presidency and go back to his predecessors and try to harvest their learning. From that the president could construct a vision of the better society, what she called "the possible society."
Hillary and Houston clicked, especially during a discussion of how to use the office for the betterment of society. Houston said Hillary was carrying the burden of 5,000 years of history when women were subservient. The rising of women to equal partnership with men was the biggest event in history, Houston said. Hillary represented the "new story." She was reversing thousands of years of expectation, and was there upfront, probably more than virtually any woman in human history -- apart from Joan of Arc. Hillary was a stand-in for all women, and as such had a historic opportunity.
Houston saw some bitterness, but more sorrow in Hillary over her failed attempt to reform the nation's health care system and the constant personal attacks she endured, which had forced her to the sidelines of the policy and public issue debates. Houston felt at one point that being Hillary was like being Mozart with his hands cut off, unable to play. Though Houston did not articulate the image to Hillary, she felt that the first lady was going through a female crucifixion.
Houston told Hillary that she would prevail. Hillary was creating a new pattern of possibility for women. She had to hang in there, not give up. Her time would come when she would be in the place and the role that she could really express the fullness of what she was.
The third year of her husband's presidency was a difficult time for Hillary. She was continually being battered in the various Whitewater investigations. And the outright rejection of her health care reform plan was more than an incidental setback. It hit directly at the core of the definition of herself as a competent if not visionary policymaker. The failure also undercut the notion of the partnership she had hoped to have with her husband, and the expected sharing of his presidency.
She did not attend the evening campaign meetings that her husband began holding each week in early 1995 in the White House residence. She and her husband had decided that her participation would feed suspicions about her role as the hidden hand of the administration. Her thoughts and advice, which were plentiful, would be given to him alone in their private time together.
She seemed jerked around by the muddled role of first lady, as she swung between New Age feminist and national housewife. Her sense of high purpose and doing good had been thwarted.
She was reaching out and searching hard.
Jean Houston and Mary Catherine Bateson had followed up their weekend at Camp David with a series of letters, proposals and ideas on defining her role as first lady and rising above the criticism and attacks. Houston had strongly encouraged Hillary to write a book, and Hillary had begun one, on children. Hillary invited Houston and Bateson to the White House; in Hillary's office, Houston noticed a big picture of Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady 10 presidents back.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a particular favorite of Hillary's. In the first month of the Clinton presidency, Hillary had said, she often turned to Eleanor Roosevelt for inspiration, holding imaginary discussions with Eleanor. "I thought about all the conversations I've had in my head with Mrs. Roosevelt this year, one of the saving graces that I have hung on to for dear life," Hillary said Feb. 21, 1993, at a New York dinner to raise money for an Eleanor Roosevelt statue. Hillary said the questions she put in her head to Eleanor included, "How did you put up with this?" and "How did you go on day to day, with all the attacks and criticisms that would be hurled your way?"
As a teenager, Houston had met Eleanor Roosevelt about six times, and she recounted those encounters to Hillary. Houston and Hillary talked about Eleanor's lifetime struggle on behalf of the poor, and her fight against racism and sexism.
"God," Houston thought, "this is really a serious Eleanor Roosevelt aficionado." Clearly Eleanor was Hillary's archetypal, spiritual partner, much as Athena was for Houston. On her visit to the White House in early April 1995, Houston proposed that Hillary dig deeper for her connections to Mrs. Roosevelt. Houston and her work were controversial because she believed in spirits and other worlds, put people into trances and used hypnosis, and because in the 1960s she had conducted experiments with LSD. But she tried to be careful with Hillary and the president, intentionally avoiding any of those techniques.
Houston and Bateson met with Hillary in the solarium, a sun parlor with three sides of windows perched atop the White House. It was afternoon and they all sat around a circular table with several members of the first lady's staff. One was making a tape recording of the session. The room, which Hillary had redecorated and was her favorite place for important meetings, offered a spectacular view to the south of the Washington Monument. Fresh fruit, popcorn and pretzels had been set out.
Houston asked Hillary to imagine she was having a conversation with Eleanor. In a strong and self-confident voice, Houston asked Hillary to shut her eyes in order to eliminate the room and her surroundings, and to focus her reflection by bringing in as many vivid internal sensory images as she could from her vast knowledge of Eleanor.
We admire you, said Houston. She was trying to create an atmosphere of mutual admiration.
Hillary settled back in her seat and shut her eyes. She had just returned from a 10-day trip with her daughter, Chelsea, through South Asia, India and Nepal -- a trip Houston, an old Asia hand herself, had encouraged her to make.
You're walking down a hall, Houston said, and there's Mrs. Roosevelt. Now let's describe her.
Hillary did. She had a wonderful description of Eleanor smiling, outgoing, slightly frumpy, always engaged, always fighting.
Go there to Mrs. Roosevelt and talk about the possible future of the children, Houston said.
Hillary gave a long answer. Children were her subject, 25 years of legal and policy advocacy on their behalf.
Houston asked the first lady to open up herself to Mrs. Roosevelt as a way of looking at her own capacities and place in history. Houston regarded it as a classic technique, practiced by Machiavelli, who used to talk to ancient men. What might Eleanor say? What is your message to her? she asked Hillary.
Hillary addressed Eleanor, focusing on her predecessor's fierceness and determination, her advocacy on behalf of people in need, the obstacles, the criticism, the loneliness the former first lady felt. Hillary's identification with Mrs. Roosevelt was intense and personal. They were members of an exclusive club of women who could comprehend the complexity, the ambiguity of their position. It's hard, Hillary said. Why was there such a need in people to put other people down?
Houston encouraged Hillary to play the other part, to respond as Mrs. Roosevelt. The discourse with a person not there, particularly a historical figure in an equivalent position, opened up a whole constellation of ideas, Houston felt.
I was misunderstood, Hillary replied, her eyes still shut, speaking as Mrs. Roosevelt. You have to do what you think is right. It was crucial to set a course and hold to it.
Houston thought that in many great people's lives a period of isolation and betrayal was followed by their most productive years. Attacks made their mission clearer. But Hillary was facing much greater toxicity and negativity than Eleanor had.
Hillary reviewed various attitudes and setbacks she had encountered. Each time Houston asked her: How would you explain this to Mrs. Roosevelt? And what would she respond?
The White House had been a shock, Hillary said. She had not been prepared for the kinds of attention she had received for every statement or move she made. Unintentionally, her allies often isolated her as much as her opponents, giving rise to impossible expectations, placing the spotlight on every aspect of her words, action and past.
Houston said Hillary needed to see and understand that Mrs. Roosevelt was not just a historic figure but was someone who also was hurt by all that happened to her. And yet Mrs. Roosevelt went on with her work. Hillary needed to unleash the same potential in herself. In adversity she needed to find the seeds of growth and transformation. It then would become possible to inherit from these mythical or historic figures, and to achieve self-healing.
Bateson, who was watching more than participating in the session, considered the activity a kind of meditation, reflection or even prayer.
Next, Houston asked Hillary to carry on a conversation with Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu leader, a powerful symbol of stoic self-denial. Talk to him, Houston said. What would you say and what would you ask?
Hillary expressed reverence and respect for Gandhi's life and works, almost drawing his and her own life together with her words, opening herself up wide, acknowledging the level of his exertion, empathizing with his persecution. She said he too was profoundly misunderstood, when all he wanted to do was to help others and make peace. It was a strong personal outpouring -- virtual therapy, and unusual in front of a large group.
Talk with Jesus Christ, Houston proposed next. Jesus was the epitome of the wounded, betrayed and isolated.
That would be too personal, Hillary said, declining to address Jesus.
After about an hour, the session was over. Chelsea had called her mother earlier and had complained of an upset stomach. Hillary wanted to go see her daughter.
Houston and Bateson said they would be available to meet with Hillary at any time in the future. Of course, they would not charge the government or Hillary for their services but they wondered if it was possible for Houston to get a reduced government airfare from her home in New York state. It turned out not to be possible.
Most people in the White House did not know about Hillary's sessions with Houston and Bateson. To some of those who did, the meetings could trigger politically damaging comparisons to Nancy Reagan's use of astrology, which had heavily influenced if not determined the schedule of her husband, President Ronald Reagan. Astrology only changed timing, and it was a kind of pseudoscience that could be fun or worth a laugh. Yet the Reagans had been ridiculed. Hillary's sessions with Houston reflected a serious inner turmoil that she had not resolved.
Hillary continued her meetings and in-depth discussions with Houston and Bateson. Houston was writing her 15th book, a kind of autobiography called "A Mythic Life." She sent one chapter to Hillary that was called "The Road of Trials." Hillary said it really s truck home for her. The chapter was built on Sophocles' notion of "wisdom through suffering." The sufferings, or "woundings," as Houston called them, were necessary for growth and could be converted to opportunity.
Hillary told Houston she was moved by the chapter. The first lady also said that she and the president had read Houston's book, "Manual for the Peacemaker: An Iroquois Legend to Heal Self and Society."
Houston had at least one more deep, reflective meditation session, in which Hillary closed her eyes and carried on an imaginary discussion with Eleanor Roosevelt. Houston's purpose was to move forward so Hillary could put her "wounding" in the middle of her story, ending with the birth of a new grace.
Houston regarded this as intensely difficult. Hillary was not there yet.
In 1995, this articulate woman of great intelligence, talent, stamina and genuine caring seemed not to know what course she was on or where she was heading.
In public she kept up a good front, declaring that she felt no confusion or pain. She laughed, giggled and dismissed most suggestions or questions about her apparent setbacks and difficulties.
Hillary spent a lot of time thinking about Vince Foster, the deputy White House counsel who had committed suicide in 1993. Foster was from Hope, Ark., along with Bill Clinton, and later had been Hillary's law partner. In the Arkansas years she would have ranked Foster as among the three most together people she knew. "From the outside it just looked like he was absolutely rooted, connected," Hillary told an associate. "Suicide is as old as time so there are some things you really can't avoid, but really when you think about it, it's the ultimate example of not being equipped. For whatever combination of reasons, you've got to be able to dig deep down and you've got to be able to hear your mother's voice, your father's voice, your brother's voice, you've got to be able to hear that and you've got to be receptive to that."
Voices were on Hillary's mind. Whether the voices of Eleanor Roosevelt or Gandhi in the sessions with Houston and Bateson, or voices from her immediate family or her own past, the first lady seemed to be straining to hear them.
She continued to her associate, almost as if she were giving herself a pep talk. "Part of being equipped is to know yourself well enough because of the inputs you've gotten from other people, starting with your parents, to be able to make adjustments, to be able to say wait a minute, this is not working, this is not right for me, how do I get myself out of this?"
Hillary remarked that she was sure that good habits were the key to survival. "I really believe you can change the way you feel and think if you discipline yourself. You know, there's that great phrase, I think it's in Alcoholics Anonymous, that somebody once told me, `Fake it till you make it.' "
"Life throws a lot of crap at you," Hillary said. "When the inevitable crap comes, which it will in anybody's life, and not just once but several times, that there is a cushion of capacity there, and there is a structure that gets you up in the morning."
She added, "The more I see of the world, the more impressed I am that the vast majority of people do that every day. You know, it's amazing to me that people actually stop at stop signs, that they do feed their children."
Houston had encouraged Hillary to write a book about children, but the first draft had not satisfied Hillary. So in October and November 1995, Houston virtually moved into the White House residence for several days at a time to help. One period was about five days, with an interlude, and then approximately another five days. Bateson came to help at the end. They were spirit raisers, encouragers, idea people. H ouston and Bateson did variations of chapters which Hillary then took and rewrote. "It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us" was published in early 1996 and became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.
On March 21, 1996, Houston visited the White House and thought that Hillary seemed a little down. In her role as spirit lifter, Houston told some jokes and stories.
Maggie Williams, chief of staff to the first lady, said later, "Oh, Hillary's ticking. She's had her `Jean fix.' "
As Williams saw it, Hillary found Houston very smart and colorful, a vivid personality with a great gift for language. In these toughest of times, Hillary had 10 to 11 confidantes, including Houston and Hillary's own mother. But Houston was the most dramatic.
Houston sensed the president's nervousness around her, and she was not sure Clinton liked her. So she asked Hillary whether he did.
"Oh, yes, yeah," Hillary replied.
"Sometimes he's uneasy," Houston said.
"Well, he's basically a very conservative man," Hillary said.
Houston wondered what might happen if her role as adviser and friend to the first couple became public.
"If I ever get caught," Houston asked Hillary, "what should I say?"
"Just tell the truth," Hillary replied, "just tell them you're my friend."
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