Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We Say NO To The New Age & The 21 Keys Program Pt. 1

"All that is comes from the mind; it is based on the mind, it is fashioned by the mind."

The Pali Canon, 500-250 B.C.
(In Unit 5- How The Mind Works)
21 Keys Pg. 37

It has come to my attention that Peoria Public School District 150 (PPSD) has come to an agreement with The Pacific Institute of Seattle, Washington founded by Mr. Lou Tice, to provide certain educational training services. We also understand that the District plans to make training mandatory for all employees of PPSD.

We further understand that the goal of PPSD is to use the strategies and techniques contained with Pacific Institutes 21 Keys program in the class room, encouraging teachers to share what they’ve learned and implement strategies with students.

For reasons I will outline in this very important critique, the complete scenario is of great concern to me personally, as a parent, and also as a spiritual leader of the community. It is my hope that you will take this information and evaluation seriously and make bold moves to distinguish the PPSD 150 from the potential harmful material that the Pacific Institute offers our teachers and students.

The New Age Humanist Movement & Mind Cults

The New Age is not really new. It arose gradually and almost imperceptibly out of the hippie movement spawned during the turbulent decade of the '60s. Building on the foundation of the '50s' beatniks, who were into Zen and other forms of Eastern spirituality, the hippies eventually grew up to enter the corporate world, often taking with them their mystical spiritual and philosophical worldview.

During the '70s the so-called "Human Potential Movement" came to the fore, led by Erhard and est (and its later incarnation, the Forum, marketed through Transformational Technologies). Erhard has acknowledged that est was most heavily influenced by Zen, Mind Dynamics, and Scientology. Other influences were the German atheist philosopher Nietzsche, the Indonesian occult movement Subud, and the Hindu gurus Swami Muktananda and Satya Sai Baba. Other similar human potential programs and training firms established about the same time or since are Lifespring (John Hanley), Insight (John- Roger Hinkins: Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness), Actualizations, Krone Training, PSI World, Pecos River Institute, Sportsmind, and the Pacific Institute (Lou Tice).

Underlying all of these programs, to one degree or another, are the following concepts:

All of reality is part of one essence.

This is the Eastern philosophical view known as monism which teaches that "all is one." In other words, there is no ultimate distinction between God and creation, or between one individual and another. The distinctions we see are unreal or illusionary. This means (among other things) that God and man are the same

"If you don't see me God, it's because you don't see yourself as God," Shirley MacLaine told an attendee at a seminar in the New York Hilton.

A common New Age theme is that if man is God, (and the belief is that he is) then man has unlimited potential, able to accomplish anything he desires and/or is able to visualize. Finally, portions of Gestalt psychology are used in most modern New Age psychological programs. The significance of Gestalt was basically that the whole was representative of the group. Therefore the individual was less significant than the group. This psychology, which is the root of the 21 Keys program has been historically proven to be dangerous and harmful to ethnic groups in particular.

Both the concepts of unlimited potential and the creation of what one desires seethe through the 21 Keys Program from beginning to end:

21 Keys Pg. VII ~ "21 Keys for High Performance Teaching and Learning is grounded in the theory and applied research of the world’s leading research psychologists who are convinced that we all have far greater potential than we use. Employing, as foundation, the research of Dr. Albert Bandura at Stanford University, Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Gary Latham at the University of Toronto, the content of this course, and The Institute’s elementary age curriculum, is based on observations that:
  • Children have much more potential that they are currently using.
  • Each child has a sincere desire to use more of this untapped potential.
  • Children often limit themselves by their negative self-talk.
  • Beliefs are formed with this self-talk, limiting opportunities for positive growth and change throughout life.
  • All children can change themselves by changing their beliefs."
"We’re going to get into self-image, comfort zones and how to expand and grow and stop inhibiting ourselves so much. This is the whole idea of what we’re trying to explain to people. We have enormous potential, but the way we think blocks us. If we change the way we think, we change the way we act. Change the way we think, we change the way we live." 21 Keys Pg.29
"This whole curriculum is designed to help you achieve what you want to achieve. You don’t need more education, you need a vehicle to help you reach what it is you desire." 21 Keys Pg. 103
Philosophical Aim:
New Age philosophy teaches that humanity must undergo a "paradigm shift," a drastic change in the way we view the world around us. As New Age populist Marilyn Ferguson wrote,

"A paradigm shift is a distinctly new way of thinking about old problems... A new paradigm involves a principle that was present all along but unknown to us. It includes the old as a partial truth, one aspect of How Things Work, while allowing for things to work in other ways as well. By its larger perspective, it transforms traditional knowledge and the stubborn new observations, reconciling their apparent contradictions..."

This paradigm shift is accomplished by any one or more of numerous "psychotechnologies." These "intentional triggers of transformative experiences" include "sensory isolation and sensory overload...; biofeedback...; autogenic training...; 'consciousness-raising' strategies...; hypnosis and self-hypnosis...; meditation of every description: Zen, Tibetan Buddhist, chaotic, Transcendental, Christian, Kabbalist, kundalini, raja yoga, tantric yoga, etc...; Sufi stories, koans, and dervish dancing...; seminars like est, Silva Mind Control, Actualizations, and Lifespring...; Arica, Theosophy, and Gurdjieffian systems...; Logotherapy...Primal Therapy...Gestalt therapy...; Science of Mind...; A Course in Miracles...," etc.

The frequent result of all such techniques is that the individual comes to sense the dissolution of his person and a oneness with the Universe, referred to in Eastern religions as enlightenment, cosmic-consciousness, or God-consciousness or Nirvana.

We hold that 21 Keys is an initiation, or what I have called a "baptism" into the teachings of the New Age and a shift from traditional Western cultural values. The facilitators and evangelists of this program are teachers at classroom level. The targets are unsuspecting children at the expense of families of all socioeconomic and ethnic classes.

At best the Pacific Institute Programs are humanistic philosophies, at worst they are an cultic religious constructs, designed to slowly and effectively turn individuals away from historical and traditional values, which the program views as "negative". The aim is to turn individuals toward "New Age" and humanistic value sets. Spiritual values are also considered enemies and inhibitors to effective growth under the 21 Key program.

An example of this was found in the materials developed by Tice and used for Rockwell aerospace employees. Similar to the 21 Keys program, there are historical and philosophical quotes throughout the program. There is a quote by William Penn that would seem to affirm Mr. Tice’s statements regarding his beliefs and intents:

"Man must choose to be ruled by God or he's destined to be ruled by a tyrant and then might makes right."
In seeming contradiction to this in the same manual, there is a trainee affirmation as follows:

"I choose to treat myself with dignity and proceed to move toward full love, wisdom, freedom and joy, knowing that I am the authority over me"
Maybe Mr. Tice on one hand may acknowledge God but is saying that he has chosen NOT to be ruled by God, in any event he declares his authority over himself.

Similar to 21 Keys, the Rockwell training relied heavily on self-image psychology and says that the campus is:

"conveniently located inside yourself." Louis Tice, "New Age Training for Achieving Your Potential" (Seattle: Pacific Institute, 1980)

21 Keys changes the wording somewhat but the concept remain the same:
"Now you’re going to unlock the future for them, and that’s what I love about it. You’re going to give them ideas, fundamentals that are just so natural inside of children who have somehow been blocked and don’t even know it. When you are able to do this, you’re going to make them come alive for the rest of their lives." 21 Keys, pg. 23 (In his Lock in/Lock out concept as it pertains to children)
As noted the same primary staples of the 21 Keys program are similar to other programs that have been considered purely and obviously New Age. Some of the programs notably eastern religious metaphysical concepts are as follows:
  • Assimilation
  • Visualizations
  • Affirmations
  • Feel The Emotions
Assimilation: Pulling ideas into the subconscious realm of our cognitive process therefore making new visions a part of our lives.

Visualizations: To recall of form mental images from the imagination; to make perceptive to the mind; forethought; mental stimulation. Creative visualization is often a means of unblocking or dissolving barriers that we ourselves have created.

As mentioned this technique is a staple of most all New Age and occultic philosophical concepts.

Affirmations. Usually found in religious materials and circles, the Pacific Institute has redefined affirmations as follows for this program: "A cognitive act that establishes a specific course, direction, outcome or state of being for the future; a confirmation or ratification of a truth. Affirmations are written and spoken in the first person, present verb tense to emphasize their attainability."

What is "affirmed" is the belief in "self" or "self capability". In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with anyone being encouraged to increase their self-confidence, however, this program moves beyond mere self-confidence into a redefinition of values and "truths".

Upon closer examination PI’s definition of Affirmation is in part, "a confirmation or ratification of a truth" PI holds that all truth is relative to our preconceived notions, perceptions, belief systems and are therefore non-static and expendable:

"We are acting in accordance with the truth as we believe it; that’s the whole premise of this curriculum. We behave not in accordance with the truth as it really is, but what we believe it to be. If it’s not the truth, it doesn’t make any difference; we’re limited by it. We’re limited by our beliefs." 21 Keys Workbook Pg. AJ 41

PI would hold that all prior beliefs or "truths" as we know them, are incompatible to future growth and development:

"Is your belief level really the truth? If you’re still stuck with a belief from your youth, even though it’s not the truth, it affects your behavior as an adult."21 Keys Pg. 47- (Unit 6 "The Truth as I know it")
"I want to give you a principle. The principle very simply, is that human beings behave and act not in accordance with the truth, but the truth as we believe it to be."…Once you get a belief in your mind, which is called conditioning, it affects the way you view the world. It affects what you see and don’t see." 21 Keys Pg. 5
Further Mr. Tice gives clear indication as to what beliefs that he personally held that were flawed and undermining to his successful growth:

"As a child, or maybe even as an adult, you outrun the flames of hell your whole life. You’re not trying to be good because of the right reasons to be good, you’re doing good so you don’t go to hell. That is restrictively motivating oneself." 21 Keys Pg. 157- (This was said specifically regarding the problems with coercive motivation)

As one can see there is ample evidence from this brief introduction to cause one to call the Pacific Institute program into question. We would like the Peoria Public School District 150 to reconsider their relationship with the Pacific Institute and at the very least NOT implement any of their programs with our Public Schools.

Due to space limitations I will not place the complete critique on this site. The booklet is available for free by emailing me at or by calling the office at 1(877)677-6599.

Pastor Harvey Burnett- Exec. Director


  1. Pastor Burnett you are an idiot. Your mind is clouded by your fantasy religion. There is nothing wrong with this program. What is wrong is that you still believe in the occult. If you are teaching children that the occult/withcraft, etc is real that is a far greater problem than anything this program teaches. You and your religion are not in charge of society. This is a free country not a christian country. Our ancestors had enough of your witch hunts in the middle ages. Do something worthwhile with your life. Stop telling everyone else how they should live theirs.

  2. Ooh, I love it when you talk to me like that!!!! Let's me know that God hit the target.

    Look you're obviously a humanist/atheist ect...with an obvious non-starter argument so I won't even put you down here...You can go here

    And try to rationally answer why you're an antisupernaturalist...That's what I'd like to hear.

    So far as your suggestion that Christianity doesn't control the world...NETHER does atheism or humanism. Also, like you, as a member of FREE society I can challenge false religious beliefs and your erroneous atheist and humanist impositions too.

    You obviously don't know statistics regarding this country's religious beliefs either...but that's another story. Thank you.

    Pastor Burnett

  3. Also, this organization IS NOT to be confused with Pacific Institute which provides environmental services. The name is specific The Pacific Institute.

  4. Wow, just read your response to anonymous. That does not embody the Christian values that I know and try to live. That's embarrassing.

    You plagiarized profusely in this article. You cut and paste text from another web site. I don't think God approves of you stealing these words.

  5. Pastor - you obviously have some haters out there who do not wish to engage in any real dialogue with you as I would like to do. I am an MDiv student at Trinity Evangelical who just attended a Lou Tice seminar upon his personal invitation, and with no prior knowledge of his teachings. Throughout the seminar it was obvious to me that Mr. Tice was offering a method for self improvement and not a worldview, though at the same time, uncritical students could turn it into a worldview if they wished. When we discuss his teaching we must keep in mind this distinction between method and truth. He asks that we act As If we could determine our future, because it helps us reach higher levels of productivity and effectiveness - this is different from wishful thinking or new age hocus pocus or postmodern relativity. If your children are immersed in the faith, there is little to fear from this program.

  6. Jet thanks for the comments.

    Now, I also know that setting goals and have aspirations is a good thing and I certainy don't hold anything againt Mr. Tice or the program for that, but I believe those are standard elements of any motivational program. IE: I don't have a problem with the motivation, I do have a problem with the content.

    Which seminar did you attend? Was it their condensed version (I believe one or 2 days) or was it the drawn out deal (I believe over 8 weeks)?

    Also, how did he use (in class) the material on the Pali Canon and the my truth/my perception thing? Also the "I Think Therefore I am?" How was that material presented and to what point?

    I'm asking because I want to better understand how he's presenting these issues. People that have contacted me have also said that they are approaching his material in a more critical thinking mode and that's a good thing.

    Get back when you can. Thanks.