The Bible warns, “8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:8-9
Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions
“Jose Silva (1914-1999), the founder of the occult Silva Mind Control technique, now called The Silva Method (TSM), taught people to contact ‘inner advisors’ for information and guidance. TSM is a spiritistic NEW AGE ‘self-help’ seminar that claims to represent ‘the next phase of human evolution on this planet.’ It claims that by developing the ‘unused potential’ of the mind and by learning how to function psychically, individuals can dramatically improve the quality of their lives. TSM was started when, during astral projection, Silva contacted what could be termed an ‘angel’ who helped him develop the principles that became TSM. In comparing TSM with the Christian concept of salvation, we find that most of what is supplied by faith in Jesus Christ, biblically speaking, is claimed to be supplied by TSM. Thus, sin and guilt are not removed by the atonement and personal faith in Christ, but through positive thinking. TSM graduates are taught to rely entirely upon themselves for all of their spiritual needs. Biblically, however, such a doctrine comes under God’s judgment, since it perpetuates rebellion against Him, and a prideful human self-dependence (Isaiah 2:22). Even secular scientists have issued warnings with TSM and related practices. There have been reports of clients suffering from paranoid neuroses as a result of taking mind training courses. And since TSM is designed to generate ESP and establish contact with ‘inner counselors’ (which are really demons), Christians should stay far away from TSM and the like.”
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23
(Note: The Hebrew word translated as “heart,” leb, refers to the inner self, including the mind)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 23:6
In the 1970s, several types of mind and human potential training, including the development of paranormal mind powers, were proliferating. One of the popular programs was the Silva Method, started by Jose Silva (1914-1999), who had experimented with hypnosis and mental training exercises. Silva also had an interest in parapsychology and ESP (Extra Sensory Perception, another term for psychic abilities).
Silva claimed his program would help students develop untapped powers and potential of the mind (mostly paranormal) and also teach students to heal the body using the mind. Instruction included visualization and guided imagery (both forms of hypnosis), self-induced hypnosis, and meditation (http://www.skepdic.com/silva.html). Silva based much of his theory on what is called the right brain left brain dichotomy (split brain), a theory since put in much doubt though it is still popular (see “’Right Brain or ‘Left Brain’ – Myth or Reality?” at http://rense.com/general2/rb.htm ). In actuality, people use both sides of the brain most of the time.
The Silva programs have not gone away. The website for The Silva Method states that it offers two programs: the Silva Life System (SLS) and the Silva Intuition System (SIS). SLS “teaches you specialized techniques to put yourself in greater contact with your true potential by training you to use guided imagery and focused awareness to achieve your goals.” SIS trains you to recognize and take control of your intuition, that part of you that feels a hunch, or has a sudden insight into a situation before you” (http://www.silvamethod.com/). Guided imagery is a form of hypnosis.
The main techniques are forms of hypnosis and meditation. Through these methods, students are introduced to “inner guides” or “inner counselors” to help them. Since Silva is more polished now, they may no longer use those terms. However, this exercise would introduce a person to a spirit guide as the “representation of the Spiritual You” as described below:
“This is a humbling exercise that allows you to experience how you are connected to and One with Universal Source Energy, the energy from which everything comes and where all information exists. You will create a representation of the Spiritual You that is One with Source Energy and will help you solve problems. Learn how to discipline your imagination so you can control your intuition.” (From the Silva Mind site at goo.gl/WUBRSP).
From the same link, here is a direct reference to “guides” (this page is very revealing):
“In this meditation your personal representation of Source Energy guides you to plant seeds along your future timeline that will flourish throughout your living experience and successfully keep you on your chosen path.”
Naturally, such guides are fallen angels. Hypnosis is the easiest way to introduce someone to a spirit guide(s), and all forms of the New Age and occult teachings will eventually introduce participants to such guides, either deliberately or inadvertently, through a form of hypnosis or meditation (this is how this writer “met” her main spirit guide, described as a “spiritual master” in the Inner Light Consciousness training she took).
Other mind development programs may incorporate Silva training or methods similar to it. In fact, most organizations that offer motivational teachings or mind training are using techniques similar to Silva, including some in the church. (See CANA article, “In the Image of Man: An Overview of the Human Potential and Motivational Seminars” at http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_HumanPotential1.html).
Detecting and Responding to Silva or Similar Systems
The warning is simple. Any program that offers
- “breakthroughs” over a weekend or short period of time
- exaggerated results such as “you will be a new person” or “you will never be the same”
- you will feel closer to God
- Guided imagery and/or forms of meditation or visualization
- does not disclose what will transpire during the training
- and/or requires a signed statement from the participant not to reveal what happens during the seminar
or anything similar, should be avoided.
The Christian is being renewed by the Holy Spirit through the process of Bible study, prayer, worship, and serving the Lord. It is not an instant process or even one that takes place over a short period of time. Rather, it is a lifelong walk of study, faith, and testing but which can result in rich and authentic growth. There is no shortcut to Christian growth.
Nobody should want his or her mind manipulated through hypnosis or being reprogrammed according to a secular worldview or New Age spirituality. It is a waste of time and money at the least, and the possible spiritual danger is too profound to risk.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
Critique of spiritual underpinnings of Silva
Dangers of Silva
Excerpt==Silva Mind Control or the Silva Method espouses beliefs and teachings that point its subjects towards the goal of bettering humanity. Its methodology includes positive thinking, visualization, meditation, and self-hypnosis. Josй Silva taught that through right brain thinking individuals could connect with a “higher intelligence” or what he termed “Christ consciousness.”
Despite his use of the name “Christ” here, Silva’s teachings emphasize powers within the self. His 48-hour Silva Basic Lecture Series stresses self-developed power to manage stress, dreams, memory, and negative habits. Through the use of visualization and meditation, subjects can accelerate physical healing and solve problems. It is rightly deemed a self-help program — the emphasis on self!
People are strongly cautioned to consider a danger with Silva Mind Control — the emphasis on “looking inward” and tapping into the self and subconscious. The Bible lets us know that God is the source of help; we are not. “It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5)
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”