Examining The Roots Of The Inner Healing Movement

Be sure to read post script apology at the bottom, esp. if not reading entirety.

Inner Healing – Christian or Occult?


Originally posted on January 31, 2013 by mkayla

Having been trained as a SOZO minister I know the dangers it presents first hand. The following is a well written article which relates to SOZO (Christianized inner healing with no basis in scripture.) 

I know there are many of you out there with questions and concerns. I hope this helps shed some light on its origins and why we need to stay away. Christ is sufficient for all our needs. Every one of them.https://mkayla.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/inner-healing-christian-or-occult/

*’SOZO’ is not referenced below but draws from the same sources, applying the same principles. I will leave site links to specific ‘SOZO’ information. All inner healing that focuses on supposed, suppressed, subconscious memories, is suspect, and in my estimation, to be scrupulously, prayerfully examined, before any consideration. I believe God can and does reveal what may be hidden from one’s present understanding, that can be addressed, without delving into deep, supposed, spurious, subconscious, matters.

*Daryl – I implore the reader to read all the way thro’, examining the roots of the movement, considering this: Is there a point when truth becomes more important than our emotionally-based perception?

Inner Healing/Healing of Memories

Christian or Occult?*

–  Healing of the memories, or inner healing, or healing of the emotions has its roots in the teachings of anti-Christian and occultist, Agnes Sanford. It was carried on after her death by those she influenced, such as lay therapists Ruth Carter Stapleton (deceased sister of Jimmy Carter), Rosalind Rinker, John and Paula Sandford (currently of Elijah House, a demon-deliverance and memory healing center in Port Falls, Idaho), William Vaswig (of Renovaré fame), Rita Bennett, and others. John WimberDavid Yonggi Cho, Robert Schuller, and Norman Vincent Peale are some of the well-known pop psychological practitioners of inner healing, but it has spread widely in so- called evangelical circles in a more sophisticated form through such “Christian” psychologists as David Seamands, H. Norman Wright, and James G. Friesen, as well as a number of lay therapists like Fred and Florence Littauer. (Two of David Seamand’s books, Healing for Damaged Emotions and Healing of Memories, are considered the “inner-healer’s bibles” in today’s psychologically-oriented pulpits.)

Inner healing therapies are offshoots of Freudian and Jungian theories rooted in the occult. They have destructively impacted secular society for decades and are now taking their devastating toll within the professing Church. A variety of “memory-healing” psychotherapies are masquerading under Christian terminology and turning Christians from God to self. Among the most deadly are “regressive” therapies designed to probe the “unconscious” for buried memories which are allegedly causing everything from depression to fits of anger and sexual misconduct, and must, therefore, be uncovered and “healed.”

–  The basic teaching of inner healing is the theory that salvation or healing comes through the uprooting of negative memories or “hurts” caused by others in early childhood that are supposedly buried in the “subconscious” from where they tend to dictate our behavior without us even knowing it. Thus, the blame for one’s bad behavior (a.k.a. “emotional problems”) in the present is placed upon others (who are perceived to have sinned against us in the past) rather than upon ourselves where it belongs (cf. Ezekiel 18). In order to “heal” these “diseased memories,” the occultic technique of visualization (which is in reality a type of sorcery or divination which has been used by shamans, witchdoctors, and sorcerers for thousands of years, and is specifically forbid by the Bible) is frequently used to recreate the distressful childhood scene, “image” Jesus (if one is a professing Christian), bringing Him into the past situation as a “spirit guide”/ ”healing agent,” and then causing Him to sanctify the event, forgive the person who supposedly caused the hurt, and in most cases, even alter the reality of the situation in the subject’s mind, all so that the subject might be “delivered” from the “crippling emotional pain” associated with the past negative experience that supposedly “diseased memory” in the first place. (Charismatic Roman Catholic memory-healers employ the same techniques, but generally substitute Mary for Jesus as the “healing agent” whom the subject meets in the fantasy.)

–  One of the seemingly attractive forms of inner healing is to have Jesus enter a painful scene from the past. The inner-healer helps the person recreate the memory by having Jesus do or say things that will make the person feel better about the situation. For instance, if a man’s dad had neglected him when he was a boy, an inner-healer may help that man create a new memory of Jesus having played baseball with him when he was a boy. Through verbal encouragement, he would regress him back to his childhood and encourage him to visualize Jesus pitching the ball and praising him for hitting a home run. Some inner-healers regress people back to the womb and lead them through “rebirthing” by guided imagery and imagination. Thus, through these psychoanalytic/occult techniques, inner-healers should not be surprised at the possibility of actually altering or enhancing the memory in their zeal to replace bad memories with good memories. Inner-healers are always in danger of unwittingly enhancing or engrafting memories through words or actions that mean one thing to the inner-healer, but may communicate something else entirely to the highly vulnerable subject.

–  Inner healing is based upon the implication that we clearly need something more than God’s love and forgiveness in order to love and forgive others who are perceived to have wronged us in the past. Since the Bible distinctly teaches that Jesus can never be called-up and forced to “perform” at our command, any “Jesus” actually visualized would have to be a demon spirit and not of God. Of course, that is precisely the danger of the occult technique of visualization — subjects are being taught to experiment with things that God has repeatedly condemned in both the Old and New Testaments alike, not because the phenomena visualized (i.e. “spirit guides”) are not real, but rather because they are produced by demons determined to lead one into the worship of other gods and ultimate destruction (Deut. 13 ff.). The Bible repeatedly warns against becoming involved with the occult on any level, because of what the Bible identifies as “spirits of demons working signs” for the purpose of deceiving the whole world (Rev. 16:14; cf. 13:14). This exposure to the occult, however unintentional and innocent, could easily lead the undiscerning into far more serious spiritual or “emotional” problems than they ever dreamed possible. Unfortunately, the research is replete with such cases of demonic/occultic influence experienced by first-time dabblers.

–  Inner healing practices of regressing into the past, fossicking about in the unconscious for hidden memories, conjuring up images, acting out fantasies and nightmares, and believing lies, all resemble the world of the occult, not the work of the Holy Spirit. An imaginary memory created under a highly suggestible, hypnotic-like state will only bring imaginary healing. It may also plunge people into a living nightmare.

What is being taught as inner healing/healing of memories is nothing but basic sorcery, which is an attempt to manipulate reality in the past, present, or future, and denies God’s omnipotence by implying that He needs our “creative visualization” in order to apply effectively His forgiveness and healing, while simultaneously, sets us up as gods who can, through prescribed rituals, use Him and His power as our tools. In fact, inner healing/healing of memories is nothing but “Christianized psychoanalysis” that uses the power of suggestion to solve so-called problems, which the technique itself has many times created.

–  The Bible has much to say concerning the healing of memories (besides condemning its methodologies). The Bible clearly teaches that moral choices rather than past traumas determine our current condition and actions, and thereby, our responsibility; the Bible has always taught that it is not the act in the past but how one reacts to the act that determines “which soul has sinned” (Ezekiel 18 again). Since there is no Biblical evidence that any prophet, priest, or apostle ever dealt with anything remotely related to buried or repressed emotions or memories, then shouldn’t one question why this is so if inner healing is the big truth that its practitioners say it is?

–  If prayer and Bible study and the power of the Holy Spirit are not enough for saints today to deal with life and problems, then the saints of old, including the apostle Paul, must have been greatly lacking. Despite his many hardships described in Scripture, Paul was able to function and rejoice in the Lord without the help of psychoanalysis. Paul forgot the past and pressed on toward the prize (Phil. 3:13-14) promised to all those who love Christ’s appearing (2 Tim 4:7-8).

Likewise, throughout Church history Christians have managed the same when they should have been at a great disadvantage without the “insights” of modern psychology. It is a dangerous heresy to insist that we must accept this new “revelation” by psychologists or live deficient lives. The past is of little consequence if Christians truly are new creations for whom “old things are passed away [and] all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Searching the past in order to find an “explanation” for one’s present behavior conflicts with the entire teaching of Scripture. Though it may seem to help for a time, it actually robs one of the Biblical solution through Christ. What matters is not the past, but one’s personal relationship to Christ now.

– Instead of being healed, there is a very strong possibility that the recipients of inner healing are now living on the basis of a lie from the pit of hell. Inner healing is not based upon truth. It is based upon faulty memory, guided imagery, fantasy, visualization, and hypnotic-like suggestibility. And, while the inner-healers may conjure up a “Jesus” and recite Bible verses, such inner healing is not Biblical. Jesus said, “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31-32).

Moreover, inner healing is insulting to God when the “healers” attempt to take away His power to bless “emotionally-distressed” people simply in response to their repentance and prayers. It is extra-Biblical, blasphemous, and carnal in its visualization and manipulation of the Son of God. It is dangerous in the way it forces people into childish self-interest, subjectivism, and emotionalism. And it is wickedly presumptuous in its priestly bestowing of forgiveness and assurance.

* Major portions of this report were adapted from: (a) the Fall 1989 issue of PsychoHeresy Update(now the PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter), (b) the 2/93 issue of The Berean Call, (c) two articles in the September 1990, Media Spotlight Special Report entitled “Latter- Day Prophets: The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets and the Kansas City-Vineyard Connection” and “Testing the Fruit of the Vineyard,” and (d) the books The Seduction of Christianity, Beyond Seduction, and The Healing Epidemic.https://www.truthforfree.com/theophostics-pseudo-christian-inner-healing-deception/

 Here is a sample of Agnes Sanford’s theology as referenced in “Abusing Memory”, by Jane Gumprecht,M.D. page 153“Jesus, our time traveler, literally takes us back through our memories and heals them. He entered the collective unconsious of mankind on the cross. We contact our inner child through visualization or creative imagination with Jesus as our spirit guide. Freudian/Jungian unconscious governs our lives.”

False Memory Law suit –  In the early 1990s a Canadian lawyer, under the tutelage of John Sandford, left her law practice to head up Canadian operations for Elijah House. However, they closed down the Canadian offices in the early 2000s. Around that time a man sued for divorce, saying his marriage was torn apart as a result of counseling that caused his wife to have false memories of sexual and satanic abuse. Recently, the wife apparently realized that she had been deluded and she sued Elijah House. More information is in linked statement.

One of the biggest deceptions I believe exists with TheoPhostics is that it presents PERCEIVED healings, not necessarily actual. 
My point in sharing this is that makes sense to me that the devil can introduce lies in the name of “exposing the lie” and thus a person is set free from a false lie (if there even is such a thing) that was only just introduced by the devil… In other words, this was not an actual healing or deliverance at all, but a demonic con job. I’ve watched it happen many times, so I am not persuaded by the argument that says, “it has to be true because there are countless healings”. 

The simple truth is NONE of this stuff in TheoPhostics is the least bit biblical. It is an absolute, undisputed fact that the creator of TheoPhostics was fully trained in secular new age therapeutic tactics. It is an absolute fact that he has CHANGED the wording over the years in his training materials to avoid scrutiny. It is an absolute fact that there are things he once declared were given to him by divine inspiration that he later dismisses or avoids or says that he never taught, when there is much evidence to the contrary.
Is there a point when truth becomes more important than our emotionally-based perception?


Theophostic Prayer’

*’Theophostic Prayer’ developed by Ed Smith and similar models all draw from the same sources or same basic principles of supposed, afflicted subconscious memories.

The False light of Inner Healing – The continuing Influence of Agnes Sanford

Some people think that if you are healed or benefit in a “positive manner” that it must be of God. God does good therefore all good is God. That we can use whatever spiritual practice works no matter what its origin or source is. As much as some think this is Christian view, acceptable in Christianity, it is not. It is really pragmaticism overruling clear Biblical guidelines. The Bible has many instructions on avoiding spiritual practices that are not from God and can be harmful, but at first looks good. Just like the fruit Eve was tempted to eat, it looked good, she was told it would benefit her greatly and she followed this instruction even though her conscience knew what God had already said. That is the majority of people that are willing to experiment beyond the clarified guidelines in the Bible.

Agnes Sanford’s was a child of missionary parents who taught her the Bible but this was not sufficient and she was not satisfied that this is what God had to say. Sanford began dabbling in Tao (the force) when she was young.

Agnes Sanford was a universalist and the founder of the spiritual field of healing of memories that began in the 40’s. Her book “The Healing Light” was first published in 1947. Sanford taught that the principles of both prayer and healing are included in all religions, yet transcend all religions. She believed there is a spiritual energy, that is greater than the information contained in the Bible, this power is what she claimed to use. As with all mystically incline seekers, her experience shaped her theology.

Her healing was done through meditation, visualization, imagination and positive confession. She said that if she spilled hot oil on her hand in the kitchen, she would positively confess: “I’m boss inside of me. And what I say goes. I say that my skin shall not be affected by that boiling fat, and that’s all there is to it. I see my skin well, perfect and whole, and I say it’s to be so” (The Healing Light, p. 65).

Sanford taught that everything is a matter of thought vibrations which if “negative” make us ill, and if “positive” heal us. Indeed, “positive thought vibrations” projected upon sinners can even turn them into Christians. So her teaching was an rudimentary accompaniment of the word faith teaching of today. Yet she had a metaphysical basis that accompanied healing, “every cell in the body has a rudimentary mind and will hear your words.

Sanford’s occultic teachings are often attributed to her pastor, Morton T. Kelsey, who studied at the C.G. Jung Institute near Zurich, Switzerland, and who became a Jungian psychologist. One cannot define Sanford’s inner healing without Kelsey who was an influential Episcopalian priest who had communication with and guidance from the dead (Kelsey, Christo, p. 39, 148-49; see also Kelsey, Afterlife: The Other Side of Dying.) Kelsey equated shamanistic psychic powers with the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Supernatural, pp. 120-43), and said “Jesus was a man of power. He was greater than all shamans.”

As the old saying goes, error begets error. Although Agnes Sanford is no longer with us, she died in 1982, her books are sold are in Christian bookstores and therein is the danger. And new inner healing practices are formed from her basis. For example Theophostiic counseling is another inner-healing technique that came from of Agnes Sanford’s teachings. She taught that one should visualize a past situation, and then envision Jesus coming into the memory to solve the problem. This being used in a number of healing methods, including Richard Foster.

In the Healing Light On pages 21-22 four steps are given for tapping into this “God-force,” the second being ” She taught of a “God-force” can be turned on by simply saying to it, “Whoever you are whatever you are come into me now!” She admits to invite into her something she cannot identify, but assumes its God. Sanford accepted whatever way was offered to enabled one to tap: into what she called “this flow of energy,” this “high voltage of God’s creativity. (Sanford, Light, p. 146.) Claiming that “we are part of God,” (Ibid., pp. 10, 34-35.) Sanford also called God “primal energy” (Ibid., p. 30.)

Sanford called God “the very life-force existing in a radiation of an energy . . . from which all things evolved.” She declares that “God . . . made everything out of Himself and somehow He put a part of Himself into everything. (Agnes Sanford, The Healing Gifts of the Spirit (Fleming H. Revell, 1966), p. 22,27. This is pantheism. To support her Science of Mind, she quotes a scientist: “a vibration of very, very high intensity and an extremely fine wavelength, with tremendous healing power, caused by spiritual forces operating through the mind of man, is the next thing science expects to discover” (p 32). She goes on: “The love-vibrations and the faith vibrations of God and His saints [she includes dead “saints” “there is no death” (p. 143)] enter through our thoughts of life and love. In the same way, the destructive thought-vibrations of mankind, and of ‘Satan’ [whoever or whatever ‘Satan’ may be; her metaphysical system requires no personal devil] enter through our thoughts of illness, hate and death” (p 43-44). She even taught that one could forgive another’s sins through visualization (Ibid., pp. 63-64, 68, 112)

Here is how she describes Jesus and the atonement:“God’s love was blacked out from man by the negative thought-vibration of this sinful and suffering world.… So our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane undertook the great work we call the Atonement—the at-one-moment which reunited man with God.

He literally lowered His thought-vibrations to the thought-vibrations of humanity and received into Himself man’s thoughts of sin and sickness, pain and death…. So He cleansed the thought-vibrations that surround this globe.... (The Healing Light p.125, 1947)

The atonement did not happen in Gethsemane, any Bible student would know this and it certainly did not have to do with thought vibrations, a concept found in the new age movement.

But she goes even further into a metaphysical explanation ‘His blood, that mysterious life-essence.. .remains upon this earth, in plasma form, blown by the winds of heaven to every land beneath the sun, exploding in a chain reaction of spiritual power…. (ibid.)

She explains “I have learned to combine the sacramental with the metaphysical approach… [but] not everyone has the open mind and the visioning faculty necessary if one is to use the metaphysical methods. (The healing light pp,125 1947, The healing gifts of the spirit 1982 pp.140-41: Quoted in Seduction of Christianity Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon).

In her book The Healing Light, she presents a false “God” who is the “life-force” in everyone and in everything. It is a form of “energy” like electricity: “the original force that we call God (p 30)….we are part of God (p 34)….He’s in nature, and He is nature (p 35)….I was conscious of oneness with God, and therefore with the snake which God had made” (p 69). Her pantheism and panentheism is clear.

She claims her book will be a step by step guide on how to use the healing gifts for yourself and others. Hardly feasibly in light of what the Bible teaches on the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts she taught were within everyone: “Now in the speaking with tongues, this power latent in the unconscious mind of all people is.. . quickened, so that the unconscious may make rapport with the unconscious mind of someone else living anywhere upon this earth or of someone who has lived before or of someone who will live in the future or even of someone from heaven. (Sanford, Light,p.152 underline mine)

After understanding her basis of operation we can better understand statements like, “A new age is being born…when love-power [projected] at the command of ministers [and others] is sufficient to change hearts….we [have] an inner source of power that can be tapped at will.” (Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light (1947 ed.), 21-22, 60, 75.

Sanford delved deeply into New Thought, Jungian psychology, and other forbidden territory. She taught that there is a “spiritual body” within the physical body from New Thought teacher Emmet Fox (Sealed Orders, p. 115), this is Kenneth Hagin’s (word faith) concept of the spirit man. Agnes Sanford, accepted Jung’s statement that the child had a psychic life before it had consciousness” (Jeremiah Abrams, ed. Reclaiming the Inner Child  (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1990) p. 293.

Sanford taught that the individual should ask Jesus to go back through all of the stages of his or her life and heal everything, even to birth and beyond.

Follow the soul of Your child all the way back to the hour of birth and heal the soul even of pain and the fear of being born into this darksome world. … *And if even before birth the soul was shadowed by this human life and was darkened by the fears or sorrows of the human parents, then I pray that even those memories or impressions may be healed, so that this one may be restored to Your original pattern, the soul as free and as clean as though nothing had ever dimmed its shiningThe Healing Gifts pp.122 123″ *(D.G. pre-existence of the human soul/spirit – est.heresy by early church fathers)

-First of all no soul is born free but is in held to its human nature, which is no sinless but fallen. If this affected everyone born like she assumes we would all be in far worse shape Clearly this not Christian teaching, it is something foreign. It is Jungian psychology overuling biblical Christianity. In fact she uses Jungian terms to define the gifts of what she thinks is of the spirit.

“For now we know that we have within us another mind than the conscious, and this unconscious mind is not disconnected from life but is connected with the mind of the race: the collective unconscious. Therefore we can ‘pick up’ thoughts and impressions from another or from life outside ourselves, or from memories of the race(Agnes Sanford, Healing Gifts of the Spirit (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincot, 1966) p. 136)

Have you heard of those teach about picking up others thoughts? They have probably read her book. This is all spiritual mumbo jumbo that should not be taught to anyone.Sanford’s influence can be seen with Rita Bennett, Richard Foster, Bill Vaswig, Ruth Carter Stapleton, Rosalind Rinker; all took some of her concepts. Bill Vaswig (of Renovaré) wrote: “Perhaps the most important thing Agnes Sanford taught me about prayer is that it has to do with the imagination.”

When we hear Richard Foster say that Agnes Sanford is one of mentors we should understand there is a symbiotic relation of their teaching.Richard Foster wrote, “I have been greatly helped in my understanding of the value of the imagination in praying for others by Agnes Sanford …. This advice… [of] prayer through the imagination . . . pictur[ing] the healing . . . and much more, was given to me by Agnes Sanford. (Foster, Celebration, pp. 36.136.)

Sanford saw the Creator and the created as the same.

“Having quieted our nerves and minds by sitting in the most comfortable position and by relaxing, let us now open our spirits to receive the abundant life of God. How easy this becomes when we realize that God is not a far-away sovereign, but is actually the medium in which we live – the very breath of life! . . . For as we tune in our thought-vibrations to the thought-vibrations of God, we expose ourselves, as it were, to His eternal shining and so receive His image upon ourselves.”

This kind of teaching is prevalent in the new age movement and it is fast becoming accepted in the church that does not exercise Biblical discretion.

Sanford said, “It is no longer possible for me to do this work [of prayer] individually, person to person, for the field has grown too wide. The Lord has therefore guided me to a broader and more subtle way of prayer. It baffles me in a way, because I cannot tell what my spirit does and whither it goes. But that it does travel and that God does work through my spiritual body even when my mind is quite unaware of it, becomes more and more apparent.”

(Quote from Robert L. Wise, Healing of the Past (Presbyterian and Reformed Renewal Ministries International, 1984), p. 30

Here we have the occult teaching of soul travel better known as astral travel in new age circles. There is not Bible justification for this.

She went on to say,“Spirits of those [dead] for whom we have prayed on earth are working through us…..One conveys that healing force to the inner being [of the sick] through the law of suggestion …He [the person doing the healing] has made a thought-track between his spirit, subconscious mind and body; the body, the subconscious mind and the spirit of the patient … (Sanford, The Healing Light. pp.98-113,142-43.)

This is about spiritually dangerous as it can get. Among the many false teachings she introduced saying spirits of the dead work through us is as close as one can get to demonism defined in the Bible.

Speaking of someone whose repressed memories failed unaware they were buried

So I thought, ’I will repent of them in her name’ I will say to Jesus Christ, ‘Let the grown woman free, for I will take the responsibility for her sins of fear and hate. Since she cannot see them herself to repent of them herself, I will repent of them in her name and so open the door for the forgiveness of Jesus Christ ” (Agnes Sanford, Healing p. 120.)

And here we find the concept that so many practice today on reconciling people, groups and nations, this is especially found in YWAM. That we can stand in the gap and release people

She taught that the Great Tribulation is in the past; we are now in the Millennium and Christians must, through Science of Mind techniques, take dominion over this earth, even removing the effects of the Fall without the return of Christ. (Creation Waits, Logos, 1978)

Abusing Memory: The Healing Theology of Agnes Sanford by Jane Gumprecht may be a helpful book in understanding what this actually is http://www.amazon.com/Abusing-Memory-Jane-Grumprecht/dp/1885767277

John And Paula Sanford

The Sanford energy goes on and on…

John and Paula Sandford said of Agnes Sanford, “for all of us the forerunner in the field of inner healing . . .[and] our own first mentor in the Lord, our friend and advisor….”

In 1961 John met Agnes and said of this, “I knew by my psychological training that Agnes was praying for the inner boy [his inner child] from conception to thirteen whom I could not reach. It worked. I was healed” (The Transformation of the Inner Man p. 4).

The “child within” is found throughout Sandford’s teaching, and is from the teachings of Sanford and Jung, who certainly was not a believer but had ties to the occult.

John and Paula Sandford began Elijah House as a deliverance and memory healing center. No relation to Agnes except the similarity of ministry practices that they attribute to her influence. And have influence in the theophostic prayer, and the Healing Rooms another type of inner healing ministry.

Like Agnes Sanford Sandford says Memories need to be healed. In fact he goes further, “Memories need to be healed in animals as well as in people. Demons must be cast away, but not without removing their access by healing the memories” (p. 235 Healing the Wounded Spirit)

He says, “the same principles hold true for the deliverance and healing of animals as for people. … we can meet an animals spirit and read its character as we can with humans” (Deliverance and Inner Healing by John Loren Sandford, Mark Sandford 2008)

I have to say that this is beyond speculation and enters fantasy.

Sandford described himself in one of his books as a “super-spook mystic always having dreams, seeing visions, and having far-out experiences” (Healing the Wounded Spirit, p. 255).

So many who have an inclination toward mysticism end up in the same place.

John and Paula attended Chicago Theological Seminary and in 1958, John was ordained in the Congregational church.
John Sandford has written a number of books, Deliverance and Inner Healing;

Transforming The Inner Man: God’s Powerful Principles for Inner Healing and Lasting Life Change (Transformation) which ass sold over 300,000 copies.

The Elijah House Ministries’ website states, a “key principle of prayer ministry will always include looking for the root causes that lie beneath the surface of most problems.

The root cause of all problems is sin. Our trespasses against one another and God.

In Sandford’s view, Everyone is a victim therefore everyone needs deliverance. They use the past that you may or may not remember (or did not happen) to implement their unbiblical method of inner healing, a blend of psychology and distorted scripture interpretations.

Greg DesVoignes, apologist and founder of Christian Research Ministries, in Spokane, did a critique on Sandford’s book, Transformation of the Inner Man.

DesVoignes says: *“Sandford teaches that as part of transformation, the counselor must take a person through visualization, back into their childhood, even back into the womb, to contact their inner child, find out what the problem was at that time, speak to it, and this will allow changes to be made in the present life.”

“John and Paula Sanford were at the fore front of the ‘inner healing’ movement…in the mid to late 1970’s to early 80’s. Ever seeking to “go back and heal the inner child” led John and his wife, Paula to seek”further revelation” concerning the causes of certain “wounding” evidenced in people’s lives. I remember when John & Paula received the revelation that each of us was a spirit child of god before we were born and that “inner healing” had to go back before the womb to deal with trauma of a pure, holy spirit child entering a corrupt fallen body in this world of flesh. (The adherents to the Mormon doctrine of god birthing spirit children that need to come and live in a physical body to mature and be perfected, would love this coming out of the ‘christian camp.)…You might remember Sanford claiming to have wrestled with a demon and a dead woman.” ‘Integrity’ p. 175 by D. Min Th D. Stover Jr. *Again, pre-existence of the human soul/spirit – heresy

I ask where is this in the Bible? I guess if you think you have an Elijah ministry you can teach what is not Scripture but for those who know the Scripture that is insufficient justification for using any kind of Christianized psychology and occult practices.

John Sandford teaches that one can repent for another’s sins. Which is not possible logically or Biblically.

“I go into the Garden (Gethsemane) as often as I need to. There I identify with the pain in the other, with my part in that pain, my part in tempting someone to wound me. I experience the other’s pain, and God’s pain, and am devastated – because their pain becomes my own. Feeling such anguish, I can forgive, or deeply repent, either for myself or on behalf of the other.” (Elijah House, Workbook. p.1-67.)

It’s no surprise that Peter and Doris Wagner of Global Harvest Ministries says “John and Paula Sandford are true pioneers in the fields of inner healing and deliverance,” John Paul Jackson, founder of Streams Ministries, and James Goll, founder of Encounters Network, credit the Sandford’s with influencing and shaping their ministries.John and Paula Sandford have cut back their ministry at Elijah House in recent years to focus on their larger mandate of “restoring all things.” In the last decade, they have moved into reconciling the hearts of Catholics and Protestants, Native Americans and Caucasians, Jews and Gentiles, youth and elders.

Richard Twiss of Wiconi International was also influenced: “John and Paula have been avid supporters of God’s work to bring healing to our First Nations people through the presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ in culturally relevant ways to our people. As an Osage leader, John was … at the inaugural World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People in New Zealand [in 1996], like an apostolic father affirming his commitment and blessing as we danced, drummed and sang our prayers to the glory of God.


“If the “inner healing” teachings of Agnes Sanford is the root which is corrupt. The teachers that follow in the same vein,would their teachings not be corrupt as well? Did not Jesus say this exact thing when he said “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matt 7:17-20)

You cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit with Jungian psychology and methods that are not found in Scripture that are of the Occult and contrary to it. This is a mixture that man may use, but God does not use.”

SOZO – site links

Link:- https://bereanresearch.org/victims-bill-johnsons-sozo-ministry-speak/?-utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=emailhttp://www.piratechristian.com/berean-examiner/victims-of-bill-johnsons-sozo-ministry-speak-out https://hauntedsoul.org/the-dangers-of/sozo-a-dangerous-inner-healing-and-deliverance-ministry/

https://dynamitepublishing.com/2019/03/31/the-real-roots-and-history-of-sozo-randy-clark-of-toronto-blessing-jungle-and-barnyard-animal-behaviors-bethel-church-argentina-and-more/ Interestingly, the cross (the message of “Christ crucified”) is found nowhere on the official Bethel Sozo website.  I spent a good amount of time going over every page, and no cross!  Therefore, this is yet another good reason to believe that Sozo is a false gospel.  Also, I contacted several official Sozoers and Sozo leaders and asked them how I could know I am saved.  Most of them told me that Sozo [rather than Christ] is “the way to obtain a connection to the Father”!  One of them told me that if I do Sozo, it’s like a “three in one deal” and that I would surely get connected to God via Sozo.  Another Sozo leader told me that if I can hear an actual voice (i.e., of God), it is a sure sign of being saved.  Most of them (all but one) could not explain to me the real Gospel message of Christ crucified, but instead told me to just do Sozo to get connected to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!  

https://closingstages.net/2011/02/03/sozo-ministry-of-bethel-church-iii/ M’kayla, a fellow blogger commented: “Before I was walking with the Lord I went through some guided imagery with a therapist. I can’t say why and it makes no sense, but the sozo was far more dangerous than what was considered secular. I had more visions and strange experiences during those moments than ever. It did more damage than good in an area that God had already settled in me some time before. All the peace he gave me previously seemed to erode away after those sessions and my experiences were horrifying. In the end, nothing positive comes of the sessions and nothing inside ever changes, but becomes worse. I think it is possible for a person to lose their sanity because of what transpires.” As I stated in my second article, one lady who was involved in the Sozo ministry made a strong point that the Sozo sessions were nothing short of spiritual rape. It makes victims of people seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and I am astonished at how aggressive these ministries are to get everyone Sozoed.

https://closingstages.net/2012/10/07/ihops-sozo-the-foundations/ “My wife conversed with a lady on Facebook who had been a member of Bethel in Redding, California who told my wife about a friend of hers and her experience in a sozo session.She said that while her pastor {at the time} took her through the “sozo process”, she saw Jesus under an Apple tree; so, my friend being smart enough to TEST THE SPIRITS (1 John 4:1-4), began asking this figure appearing as Jesus; “DID JESUS COME IN THE FLESH”, and,” IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD”. THE FIGURE THEN SAID …NO!” Whatever god they seek in the Sozo experience I assure you it is not the Biblical, Historical Jesus of Nazareth! It is an impostor masquerading as the Christ yet denying the power thereof (2 Tim 3:5).

Theophostic Prayer- site links

https://www.truthforfree.com/theophostics-pseudo-christian-inner-healing-deception/   http://www.verhoevenmarc.be/PDF/TheophosticPrayer.pdf

The Theophostic Prayer Ministry Process


Participants in a typical Theophostic Prayer Ministry session are the ministry recipient, a ministry facilitator and optionally a prayer partner.[8]

The ministry facilitator ensures that the ministry recipient understands the process before the session begins.[9][10]

The facilitator begins the session with a prayer of encouragement.[11]

The ministry recipient closes his eyes and concentrates on feeling the emotional pain from which he is seeking relief. The purpose of focusing on the emotion is to allow his mind to drift back to a related memory[12] . That memory is of a situation that the recipient regards as painful and which he has interpreted to form a belief about himself or his situation.[12] The event that is contained in the memory may have occurred many years ago, for example in the person’s childhood.[12] The emotion provides a bridge to the belief.[13]

The ministry recipient describes the memory to the facilitator.[12] The facilitator asks the recipient some questions that will enable the recipient to drill down to the core belief housed in this memory that is troubling him. The questions are not leading questions,[14] as the facilitator does not assume anything about the memory’s content. Rather they are open questions, posed to help the recipient himself to identify the core belief. This core belief is known in TPM parlance as a “lie” that causes lie-based pain. The lie arises from the recipient’s interpretation of the situation.[15] For example, a rape victim may have formed a belief that she is dirty or shameful, whereas she was actually an innocent victim. Though her belief is false, it has the same impact on her emotional state now as if it were true.[16]

Once the recipient has identified the core troublesome belief, the facilitator prays, asking the Lord Jesus to provide the recipient with his perspective, that is, what he would like the recipient to know.[6][12] The Lord answers that prayer in various ways. He might provide his truth to the recipient by means of a mental picture, a feeling, a scripture, a word, a realization or some other way.[12] The truth received from Jesus replaces the painful lie previously believed.[12] The result is peace.[17][18]

*The above is a definition from wikipedia, only! Theophostic prayer still draws upon repressed memories.



Dawn Hill – Video – What you may not know…about inner healing



Post Script Apology!

Post Script – It has been pointed out to me today that in my efforts to dismantle ‘inner healing heresy,’ I grievously gave the impression that trauma from abuse was either non-existent, or an insignificant issue in the life of true abuse victims, and that traumatic memories or even dissociative repercussions, should be just put behind and forgotten. Although this was not my intention, nor do I believe this, never the less, the impression was given. A new friend I met today, Loren Grace, being a survivor of such, kindly reminded me that, although the ‘inner healing heresy’ is known for producing ‘false positive’ results in abuse memories, (false memories), I failed to acknowledge the reality of crippling, debilitating, traumatic abuse. For this I sincerely apologize and ask your forgiveness, esp. to those who know the pain of such abuse! Thank you Loren for the willingness to speak up. May this provide opportunity for Godly perspectives and Biblical response to be introduced to the Church, the Body of Christ, regarding the truth of these matters. I post Loren’s link with her response to my earlier blog on this issue. I also posted her blog response on my blog site. For more information visit her blog site. To those who are victims of such abuse, I will endeavour to let the reality of your truth be known, that true healing from the power of the cross, and the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, be known!

God bless. Daryl


3 thoughts on “Examining The Roots Of The Inner Healing Movement

  1. First, I 100% agree with the basic premise of this article.

    Second, no doubt there are some who lie about their past; and no doubt there are some who have been led to believe lies about their past. I’ve certainly seen evidence of this myself through my unfortunate and awful experiences with “deliverance counseling,” which operates from a “theophostic” standpoint, a type of “counseling” that is blatantly occult.


    I’d like to get something off my chest here, and I may end up blogging at length about it later, but for now, this comment will have to suffice. Too many other projects going at once. 😀

    I’ve noticed three major issues that most Christians whom I have come across fail to address, and barely even want to recognize, when expressing warning others away from a so-called “inner healing” type of “therapy.”

    The first is ritual abuse and the fact that it does exist. The second is mind-control programming and the fact that it not only exists, but is a huge part of Satan’s end-time plan. The third are the issues surrounding severe and chronic dissociation.

    I’ve written a ton about it on the blog I share with Carolyn as well as on my personal blog, so I won’t write a whole story here… lol… but the main point I want to make is that many adults who have gone through ritual abuse as a child, well as TBMC (trauma-based mind control programming) as a child, have very little to no memories of that abuse, and many of their memories of this abuse from childhood aren’t often recognized as actually being memories. This is because the trauma was so severe, they dissociated from the trauma.

    And so, as an adult, when they are exhibiting behavior that they don’t understand; or saying things that they don’t understand; or being drawn to belief systems without understanding why; or having portions of their days where they are “blanking out,” unable to give account for what they have done or said; or are having recurring obsessive thoughts that are haunting them and giving them nightmares; or are under constant demonic attack; or are being controlled by people in their lives without being able to break free; or a million other things… when these adults then go to the average Christian for help, the answer they are given is an answer that based upon a horrible misinterpretation and misapplication of Scripture (such as: “forgetting those things which are behind”).

    This is abusive, both psychologically as well as spiritually.

    If the TRUE Christian understood the issues behind ritual abuse, TBMC, as well as the related issues of dissociation (also related to PTSD), then perhaps they would be more equipped to give a compassionate and Biblically sound solution. Instead, the true Christian, through their ignorance, are actually pushing away the very people who they (the true Christian) are actually more than equipped to help because of their solid foundation in the Word of God.

    So I blame, in part, the true Christian who, through their ignorance of the subject matter, turn survivors away from the simple gospel of Jesus Christ, causing survivors to seek out non-biblical solutions that are actually leading them into occult practices. I have yet see anyone point this out, but those Christians are actually making Satan’s job a lot easier in corralling survivors into the place where the demonic want them to be, including “deliverance and inner healing” types of “ministries.”

    I make my sincere plea to those true Christians: don’t let your own misunderstanding of how the demonic work through ritual abuse, TBMC, dissociation, cause you to push away people who you can help through discipling them in the truth of the Word of God. ❤


    1. I appreciate your response Lauren. The truth of which you speak is way beyond my knowledge to respond, in that manner. In reading your response, I realize my input is incomplete. The thing that inner healing counseling does, generally speaking, is to treat all inner healing ministry as if every one needs the type of healing application that ritual, trauma and mind control subjects do, thus creating, so to speak, false positive results. I believe, in my blog, I refer to such instances. I’m quite willing to add or adjust the ‘Inner Healing’ blog to include the fact that ritual abuse etc. is real. If you have suggestions re: this issue, please let me know. I will read up on this more from your web site, and will do what I can to disseminate these realities. Thanks again. I’ve read a lot a few years ago, so I understand the truth of it. Thanks again Lauren. I wouldn’t have tho’t of it if you didn’t mention. Perhaps I can put a link to your site, regarding this info. Blessings! P.S. The Body of Christ needs one another to be complete and walk in the truth. I appreciate your portion Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

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