Vol. 7, No. 2, 1990

Articles on the New Age

New Age Beliefs Lead to Death

Carolyn McHaney

Her followers came from many walks of life - yet they all shared the same destiny - strange or puzzling deaths. All left wills and/or gave assets to their New Age self-styled guru, Terri Hoffman. Ms. Hoffman currently has two lawsuits against her alleging her use of mind control, hypnosis and profiteering on seven victims, all now dead, to name her or her organization, Conscious Development of Body, Mind and Soul, Inc., beneficiary of insurance policies and wills.

These seven deaths were either suicides committed because the person believed him or herself to be terminally ill or bizarre accidents such as falling out of a building, driving off a cliff or drowning. Over a period of twelve years, nine of her followers died by suicide or accidents. While Ms. Hoffman taught the usual New Age fare of meditation, astral travel, rays, karma and reincarnation, it was during the late Seventies, when the teachings became more radical. She would lead her students on "wars" against the evil "black lords."

Leaving the group was unforgivable. She urged her group to spiritually hurt one member who left. Yet, a member did leave when he realized that the group was "a cult" and the inner circle of students "was definitely a place for violence... mind control... witchcraft."

Ms. Hoffman's teachings are sold on cassette tapes and literature and also teaches a meditation class at SMU that includes a professor, an engineer, a City Hall admini¬strator even a DISD curriculum writer.

A biography her organization puts out states her as a native Texan, 51 years of age who as an orphaned child was befriended by spirit guides or masters that were her teachers, (The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, December 17, 1989, pp.1A and 26-28A.)

Not all New Age groups or teachers are harmless, easy ways to expand your spirituality - it can kill you.

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