by Orrel Steinkamp, 3/20/06
The Plumbline, Volume 11, No. 1, March/April 2006
Yogi Berea, hall of fame, New York Yankee catcher, isn't known for his
correct English. Actually, he is known for his witty statements and
comments and for breaking the conventions of the English language -
so much so that a few of his expressions have become commonly
known and used in everyday speech. Such is the case of his most
famous expression, "Deja Vu All Over Again." The attraction of this
maxim is the redundancy of "all over again" for that, of course, is
the meaning of deja vu in French which Yogi apparently didn't know,
or he purposely stated it this way to emphasize his point. The
bottom line is that this phrase comically expresses that
something is repeated over and over again and over again.
Such is the case with yet another ministry
called Ellel. Ellel is another version of
the inner-healing phenomena based on
Freud's deep unconscious teaching and the
need to regress people into the hidden
inner regions of the so-called unconscious
mind and heal current seemingly unexplainable
habits and hurts.
Ruth Carter Stapleton, Ann White and Rita
Bennett first publicized and made famous inner
healing in Christian circles. Based on Freudian depth
psychotherapy, Stapleton and White morphed and
adapted Freudian and Jungian ideas and practiced
these techniques in the early charismatic movement.
Actually, Agnes Sanford preceded these two
ministries. Sanford actually can be called the
"mother of the so-called Christian inner healing". In
early charismatic days just about every charismatic
bookshelf had copies of her books. But her inner
healing was related to New Thought/New Age
thinking current early in the 2O~ century. Her
seminal adaptation of inner healing was passed
on the many students and disciples that she taught
at her school of Spiritual Healing. John and Paula
Sandford proudly represent Agnes in the current
inner healing scene. John was taught and discipled
by Agnes Sandford. John is not her son but has a
But beginning with Stapleton, White and many
others, inner healing became more dependent on
Freudian and Jungian concepts. Stapleton and White
spawned probably hundreds of inner healing
practitioners. These practitioners wrote
and published. Each of these practitioners were
eclectic in that they cherry-picked from each
other and produced a virtual smorgasbord of
inner healing methods and thoughts. But they
all spring from a common core of ideas. They
do differ is certain respects but they are all
one genus. They are like dogs. Some are large
some are small, some have long hair and some
short, but they are all dogs. They all have four
legs and bark.
Inner healing has some metaphysical roots in
New Thought concepts, and it also has roots in
Freudian/Jungian psychology, but it all has a
common center from which it derives its central
thesis, namely that the traumas of the past,
inflicted upon us in childhood and even within
the womb, become buried and repressed within
the unconscious mind and cause adverse human
behavior. It is affirmed that the mind never forgets
anything but stores it in a memory bank. If an
experience is particularly unpleasant it may be
repressed and hidden to the unconscious mind.
This repressed memory, though hidden, still
intrudes itself into the present hindering one's
ability to relate to others and to ourselves.
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the therapist is
trained to regress people into their past and
help identify the sources of trauma. Often they
will employ hypnosis to uncover these areas.
Jungian therapists employ similar methods.
Jung described the inner man in more spiritual
terms. Jung himself credits a spirit guide named
Philemon for developing his thought and
procedures. In any case there is a need
to travel back into the past via the unconscious
mind and to first locate the hidden trauma of the
past and then bring healing to bear.
Some in the ministries of inner healing attempt
to disguise their dependence on the Freudian/
Jungian template of the human psyche. Actually
, some Freudian promoters realized that Freud's
threefold breakdown of the human psyche into
the ego, superego and id was too difficult to
explain. It was W. Hugh Missildine who developed
a new phrase with which to describe basic
Freudian understanding. He chose to refer to
the unconscious as the "inner child." Stapleton
adapted the phraseology of the inner child into
practice of inner healing.
Christian inner healers accepted without question
the central thesis of Freud regarding the hidden
traumas affecting our conscious life, and the
need to regress, and travel back in time via the
human memory and effect healing. Rather than
using the techniques of a clinical psychoanalyst,
they chose to introduce the idea of Jesus
regressing people and Jesus effecting
the healing in the past time of the person.
Brooks Alexander comments:
"A new and interesting thing happens, however,
when Freud's view of human behavior is woven
together with humanistic perfectionism and a
cross-less Christianity. The result is a system of
therapy with a built-in tendency to bypass and
depreciate rational consciousness. If the “root
cause” of behavior is lodged in the unconscious,
perhaps it can be purged by the techniques of
psychological manipulation to reach the
unconscious mind directly... Once a "policy
decision" has been made that the rational
mind should be bypassed for effective inner
healing, a new problem presents itself. The
rational mind, after all, is an active and integral
part of the human personality and from a biblical
point of view, a legitimate and necessary one.
The tact is that the rational mind wants to be involved,
and it resists being "bypassed" or otherwise ignored.
Techniques for bypassing the rational mind only
work until the rational mind gets wise to what
is happening. At that point it becomes necessary
not only to bypass the rational mind' but to Outwit it
as well." (Brooks Alexander. SCP Journal, April 1980, Vol.4/I).
Thus the need to empty the conscious mind by concentration
on Jesus and "centering down".
This is effected by guided imagery techniques in which Jesus is
purported to actually travel into the past using the road of the
memory. This supposed Jesus is usually visualized. It is at this
point the New Thought ideas introduced by Agnes Sanford bring
a new dimension of concern This kind of visualization technique
is a widespread technique in occult circles to contact the
personalities of the spirit world. Even Jung found that this
introduced him to spirit guides who gave him knowledge
he didn't have before.
Consequently, many inner healers also become exorcists.
For they appear to encounter demonic spirits in this internal
travel time warp into the human soul. Obviously, the
deception of demonic spirits makes the whole industry
of inner healing a very dangerous venture. Most often inner healing
gurus re-label traumas of the past to demonic personalities.
The demonic powers behind the trauma must be named and
labeled and then commanded to leave.
Jung especially, taught that in the subconscious people had
"archetypes" which he identified as spirit world personalities
of previous lives of peoples and cultural groups (the collective
unconscious). It is not surprising that Christian inner healing
often includes tracing back one's ancestors and finding some
ancestor that practiced certain sins etc and that these
ancestors have some influence in the inner man. Consequently,
this brings about the need to "cut the bloodlines" in order to escape the
particular sin or influence that secretly impinges on our consciousness
Ellel, the new kid on the block
Actually, Ellel has been in existence since 1985, but it has in very
recent times expanded its role exponentially. Peter Horrobin is the founder
and director of this ministry. In searching their website, I could not find
any rationale for the name of the ministry.
Incidentally I did find in a web search that Ellel was the name of a
deity of the ancient Canaanites. I am sure however, that has no relevance to
their name. It can be assumed that it has to do with one of the OT Hebrew
names for God, which is "El and or Elohim".
Ellel now takes it place in inner healing history, joining innumerable
ministries of inner healing. Just to name a few: Francis McNutt, Dennis
and Matthew Hinn, Betty Tapcott, Seamans and myriads of others. Most
recently, and still finding some acceptance, is the ministry called
"Theophostics." But they all are a predictable rehash of the central core
teachings of their predecessors. Indeed, they have their differences in
approach and even terminology, but they are simply repeats of the former.
Ellel is based in England. They have luxurious English manors located
on extensive grounds. They have country estates such as Ellel Grange,
Glyndley Manor, Pierrepont, Blairmore House, Scotland in the UK and other
quarters in Gilbulla, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Norway, India and Tampa
Bay in the USA. In every location they have historic country estate buildings,
which seems to be their signature. They have developed elaborate
programs for their ministries. They have weekends, 2-week courses, 4-week
courses, and even long-term courses up to 9 months and an interactive course on
line. They do not reveal their teaching in the articles on the net.
But in the elaboration of their courses, one finds all the telltale
clues of their ministry. There you will find courses in "Getting
to the Root of the Problem", Generational Sins, God's Healing
through Drama, Demonic Footholds through Sin, The Basis of
Demonic Intrusions, What is Inner Healing? and etc. In some
of the course descriptions they make statements such as,
"We are made up of three connecting parts which are body, soul and
spirit... the human spirit is fragile, so it can easily be damaged and defiled
through occult sin. This sin arises either through generational iniquity or
involvement in occult activities. They have courses on spiritual
warfare and related topics.
Although, it is not spelled out in great detail, enough is said to know
full well it is your stock in trade inner healing paradigm. They have
endorsements from the Wagner Leadership Institute, and from the Elijah
House ministry of John and Paula Sanford. What more does one need to know
that this is as Yogi Berea said, "deja vu all over again."
Inner Healing and the Bible
Although there are valiant attempts to use biblical texts to justify
the inner healing paradigm and practice, it is common sense that
nothing even remotely like inner healing is found in scripture.
Consequently, passages and biblical words are cleverly redefined.
Many inner healers take the biblical word "heart" and import into
that word the whole meaning of Freud's deep unconscious. But the
source of this is not the canonical scriptures, but is clearly derived
from Freud and Jung. John Sandford transparently refers to his ideas
as related to Jungian thought. Why would we want to learn from an
atheist like Freud and an Occultist like Jung? Can they just
say that all truth is God's truth even if an atheist and occultist
So we need to turn to the scriptures which have historically been the
sole authority of faith and practice, which is included in the scrimpy
reference of the beliefs on the Ellel website.
How does God deal with our past sins? Does the Bible suggest that God
must send Jesus on a metaphysical time travel journey into our hidden
memories of the past? Isaiah 43:25 states "I am He that blots out transgressions
for my own sake and I will not remember your sins." Now if God not only blots
out our past sins and intentionally will not remember them, then doesn't it
follow that we should forget our sins and not try to regress into the
so-called unconscious to rediscover them? Thus, whenever in our
conscious mind our past rears its ugly head, is not the way of victory to forget
them, realizing they have no existence before our holy God?
Passing lip service is often given to the cross. But in all of inner
healing teaching there is little or no attention given to what Jesus
accomplished on the cross. While much is made of the unconditional
love of Jesus, this love is disconnected from the atonement. The
finished work of the cross is clearly a missing element of inner healing,
teaching and practice. The absence of the atonement also relates
to an unbiblical view of sin. Sin in inner healing is usually seen as
produced by the reaction to the victimization of traumas in our
past. The assumption is that if the trauma can be identified and
removed, then healing will automatically follow. Sin is thus only
a violation of my wholeness, and not God's law. This makes
the cross work of Jesus really unnecessary. But when Jesus cried
out "it is finished", God's law was satisfied and all our sins conscious or
unconscious were not only forgiven, but put death (Col. 2:15) and
were nailed to His cross. This being a public disclosure that when
Jesus died for us our sin also died. Ryan Habbena reinforces this:
"The author of Hebrews notes that, ‘now once at the consummation of the
ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself’
(Hebrews 9:26). The point is established in the Scriptures, ‘He had to be made
like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and
faithful high priest pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the
people’ (Hebrews 2:17). … This act of propitiation, at the cross, was
an event that happened once for all on the canvas of history. ‘For by a
single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified’
(Hebrews 10:11- 14). It is through Jesus’ office as High Priest that
the cross finds its continued power and significance. He is continually
providing us with His righteousness. Perpetually, He is interceding for
us and protecting us from our angelic enemy." (Ryan Habbena, Eternal
Scars, Xulon Ress, 2004, p.49)
Whereas Jesus dealt with our sins once for all, inner healing is a
never-ending series of psychic trips into our unknown past to deal with
these sins and their continual effects.
Inner healing is not a once for experience. How could it be, for who
can know just how many different and assorted traumas lie covered in the
unconscious? Any unpleasant thoughts or feelings could well be the tip
of the iceberg which points to traumas still hidden in waters of the
unseen unconscious. So inner healing is a life long vocation that is repeated
over and over, as were the sacrifices in the Old Testament. But Jesus' work
at Calvary was a "once for all" triumph. Praise be His name.
It was the apostle Paul who declared that, "because we have concluded
this: That One has died for all, therefore all have died, and He died for
all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him
who for their sake died and was raised... Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he
is new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2
Cor. 5:14-15). The Apostle Peter also has words that apply here: "Knowing
that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers,
not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious
blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1:18). The blood of Christ has ransomed us from
the ways of our fathers. Tim Challies says: "When Jesus death was near, He
cried out, "It is finished!" It was a cry of triumph It was a cry that
pierced history and divided humanity. It was the greatest, purist, most
meaningful utterance the world has known. In His death, Christ took our sin upon
Himself. He took Satan's accusations on our behalf. As God turned His
back on Jesus while at the same time poured His wrath upon Him, Jesus atoned
for our sins. He entered a claim for the lives of His children. My sin
became His and His righteousness became mine. The accuser has lost his claim.
When Satan accuses me, all I have to do is believe, trust and affirm that
his claim is null and void. My sin has been removed. My guilt has been
Finally, The Apostle Paul obviously knew nothing of inner healing
techniques. He was keenly aware of his historical sins so much so that
he called himself the chief of sinners. If he only had access to Freudian
deep unconscious psychotherapy and the guided imagery of Christian inner
healing practitioners, maybe he could have been healed of his traumatic scars.
But, rather, we see the apostle living above and beyond his past. In Phil.
3:13-14 Paul sees no need deeply in his past whether us or unconscious:
"But one do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies
ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of
God in Christ Jesus."
The operative words here are “forgetting" and "reaching forward." This
is intentional forgetting. Paul poises himself as a runner, who forgets
all his past defeats and focuses thoughts on what lies before him. Does Paul
suggest that he had no regard for his past? No, as we see in this
passage, he recalls the past to motivate himself into the future. He reminds
himself that the past is behind him and in the example he cites, the past is
worthless. His focus is on “what lies ahead.” Why can Paul so easily
forget his past? Surely it is because of all his sin and hurt of the past was
dealt with once for all at the cross and he is a new creature in Christ. All
of this suggests that Paul would not have signed up for the relatively
costly weekend of inner healing in the Ellel or anywhere else.
Don't bother to read anything about Ellel. There is nothing new here.
It's just “deja vu all over again."
74425 Co. Rd. 21 Renville, Minnesota 56284
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Posted by First Plumbline Apologetics at 12:19 pm