Spiritual Mapping and Spiritual Warfare - Muthee and the "Transformations" Franchise / 1
The Transformations videos are advertised as having been viewed by 200 million people in 70 languages. A star of the videos is none other than Thomas Muthee - the same man whose anointing of Sarah Palin has become an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. But the videos are important for far more reasons than Palin and Muthee. Muthee's words, just prior to anointing Palin, on invading and infiltrating society and government are not aberrations. They reveal the disturbing ideology of a growing and powerful religio-political movement in the U.S. and around the world.
An international explosion in "taking communities" through spiritual warfare and expulsion of demons, from individuals and from entire geographic areas, has impacted denominations around the globe. The popularizing of these methods is sourced in the massive effort to evangelize the world in the decades prior to the year 2000. Much of the dissemination of these ideas was through parachurch organizations (religious organizations not associated with a particular denomination), that emerged from Pentecostalism and developed networks around the globe. In the 1990s, a missions and church growth expert named C. Peter Wagner found a way to coalesce these activities into an organized structure now called the New Apostolic Reformation. His colleague, George Otis, Jr. simultaneously developed the Sentinel Group which has produced the series of Transformation videos and resulting Transformations organizations promoting these spiritual warfare ideas. The videos have been a major factor in the global promotion of "prayer warrior" networks specifically linked to these efforts.
The franchise has been so successful that the "Transformations brand" has a distinct meaning to many worldwide. The videos, which have been used as the central teaching tool of the movement for nearly a decade, reveal not just another grandiose program of global evangelizing -- but an explicitly theocratic political movement of consequence in a number of countries - including the United States. There are Transformation-related groups in almost every state and every major city.
The New Apostolic Reformation and the associated Transformations "franchises" aim to unify the church around the globe and take control of the world for the "Kingdom of God." This movement has evolved into its own distinct structure with networks of Apostles and Prophets around the globe who believe that that Christendom should be restructured under their authority to accomplish the task of bringing together a unified end time church that will help to usher in the Kingdom of God.
These believers are not waiting for the Rapture but believe they must combat evil themselves through aggressively taking control of society and government. The Transformations videos have been used as a major promotional tool for the advancement of the methods for taking control - spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare. The videos demonstrate the taking control of communities and nations through large networks of "prayer warriors." whose spiritual warfare is used to expel and destroy the demons that cause societal ills. Once the territorial demons, witches, and generational curses are removed, the "born again" Christians in the videos take control of society. The videos then claim that these communities experience an "alignment with God" which allows for miraculous curing of poverty, disease, environmental degradations, and other societal ills.
The video series glorifies the movement towards theocratic governance, real or imagined, in Uganda, Fiji, Colombia, and Guatemala, as well as the U.S. They are used as a tool for building "Transformations" brand organizations that in turn glorify the concept of authoritarian religious social engineering. The "stars" of these videos have already played a role in promoting witch hunts in Africa, endorsing death squads in Guatemala, the de-Catholicizing of Brazil, and the mythology of miraculous curing of AIDS in Uganda. The Transformations promote a complete merger of church and state and offer a glimpse of the "Kingdom" to come, when the world is purged of all other religion, and "Spirit-filled, born again" Christians take control of the leadership of all societal and government institutions.
In case this sounds esoteric and far away, it is important to underscore that this movement is influential and powerful enough to have encompassed not only the Governor of Alaska, but also Ted Haggard, the now disgraced but once nationally renowned head of the National Association of Evangelicals. These leaders are not the exceptions, but the rule, as the movement comprises hundreds of organizations and thousands of churches across the country. Their activities fly under the radar of popular media by operating through hundreds of stealth evangelizing programs, with the goal of fulfilling this dream. However, the movement is currently receiving more scrutiny due to the revelation of the anointing ceremony of Sarah Palin by Thomas Muthee and other ties between Palin and the New Apostolic Reformation.
This article is an overview of the history and activities of the Transformations brand and the use of spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare as a part of the New Apostolic Reformation. It is an illustration of the extent to which "Transformations," both the video series and the associated ministries and organizations, are impacting policy and government in the United States and around the globe. It includes a section on the significance of Palin's anointing ceremony in context of the Transformations phenomenon. The report is approximately 15,000 words and separated into Part One and Part Two with the following subsections.
--The Unique Evangelizing System of the Transformation Videos and the New Apostolic Warriors
- -Militant Anti-pluralism: Who is the Enemy?
The Transformations phenomenon has played a significant and underreported role in policy decisions in the US and in other nations, worldwide. These videos and the organizations they have spawned have been used to promote social and charitable programs with the underlying goal of eradicating all other religious expression other than their own, and enforcing government based on their specific religious beliefs. The idea that society can be transformed through the expulsion of demons and generational curses is becoming deeply entrenched in social and government policy in the areas of emergency response, physical and mental health, crime prevention, and others.
The Unique Evangelizing System of the Transformations Videos and the New Apostolic Warriors
The New Apostolic Reformation is the name of an emerging international phenomenon that has sources in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity, but has now become a distinct entity. The movement and its precedents are also referred to as the "Third Wave" or "Joel's Army." The Transformations videos serve as a media tool to market the worldview of the New Apostolic Reformation.
The New Apostolic Reformation was formed as an institution through the efforts of C. Peter Wagner. More details on the history of this movement are in the section "Sources of the Transformations." Wagner has developed a network of 500 Apostles, most with Apostolic networks of their own over which they have authority. In addition to this structure there is a national and international structure of "prayer warriors" overseen by Apostles. Initially named the Spiritual Warfare Network, this structure has been renamed twice, first to the United States Strategic Prayer Network (USSPN), and again recently to the United States Global Apostolic Prayer Network (USGAPN). There is also an international network under the authority of Wagner. Additionally other "prayer warrior" groups have been formed for specific purposes such as the Governmental Apostolic Prayer Alliance, under Apostle Chuck Pierce, and the Reformation Prayer Network under the authority of Apostle Cindy Jacobs. These groups along with the Transform Nations, Transform World, and other "transforming" franchises, have organized the "prayer warriors" to pursue the agenda demonstrated in the Transformations videos.
The video series has introduced an international audience to the unique evangelizing tools of the New Apostolic Reformation such as spiritual mapping and the expulsion of "strategic level territorial demons." The leaders of the movement have departed from traditional evangelism, turning it into a pseudo-science and developing detailed systems for targeting the demons which they believe prevent Roman Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and other Protestants from embracing their particular belief system. The main message of the video series is clear - social transformation can only be achieved through correct belief, and overcoming resistance is accomplished through the destruction of the enemy - whomever or whatever is the obstacle. This includes not only other faiths, but other Protestant churches also. Another well-developed idea that is prophesied throughout the movement is a civil war in the church in order to purify it for the end times.
The videos and related books have introduced an entire vocabulary based on spiritual warfare. Some of the terms are familiar but they take on new meaning in this context, and are concepts that would have been unthinkable in most conservative evangelical denominations thirty years ago. There are different levels of spiritual warfare including ground level, occult level, and strategic level. There are names and categories for the territorial spirits. Strategic level territorial warfare is the encounter of demons whose power controls entire cities or cultures. The enemy to be bound is the demonic stronghold or strongman. Spiritual mapping is the scouting and detailed mapping of the territory to document the sources of demons and generational curses. This exercise is conducted on foot, block by block, through communities. Gates and portals through which demons gain access are of particular significance. The participants are anointed by God for different assignments such as Watchmen and Intercessors, and the ability to see the location of demons. The outpouring of these spiritual gifts or powers provides the recipient with the tools used to accomplish the mission of conquest.
The Transformations series presents vignettes of cities and nations that they claim have already been impacted by the takeover process of the Transformations brand of "born again and Spirit-filled" Christians. In each vignette a geographic area is presented in the "before" and "after" stages. The before stage is plagued with horrendous social ills, environmental degradation, crime, poverty, and illness. Then, the "Spirit-filled" Christians from across the denominational divides come together in intercessory prayer and fasting to bring miraculous transformation: empty jails, healing of AIDS, the rebirth of coral reefs and repopulation of wildlife, booming agriculture with extra harvests of giant vegetables, improved public schools, and communities of religious unity.
The process is outlined with crystal clarity in the
The Videos of the Transformations Series
The "Transformations" are a series of videos and DVDs produced by The Sentinel Group, the media arm of the New Apostolic Reformation. The videos are marketed and presented through churches and ministries as documentaries despite the fictional nature and inaccurate material in the productions. The first video featuring Thomas Muthee was produced in 1999. Since its debut there have been eight more videos in the series. This report includes some of the major leaders and significant issues in three of the first eight videos.
Transformations I (1999)- Cali, Colombia; Kiambu, Kenya; Almolonga, Guatemala; and Hemet, CA
Others in the series include:
As part of the movement franchise, the Sentinel Group website also features a list of Transformation Associates and Ministries under the name Transform Nations. However, the related ministries worldwide far outnumber the groups listed on their website.
The following section is an examination of the major themes as well as major figures in Transformations I, II and IV (Let the Sea Resound). In each of these videos, George Otis, Jr. is featured interviewing and interacting with the community and government leaders, including police chiefs, mayors, legislators, cabinet members, and prime ministers, along with the evangelists leading the spiritual warfare efforts.
(For more details on the segments on Almolonga, Guatemala and Hemet, California including the "prayer induced" burning of the Transcendental Meditation Center, see "Muthee and the Witch - Journalists Miss the Point".)
The story of Muthee's witch hunting featured on the Transformations I video has been widely publicized - and debunked. The video presents the story of Muthee and his prayer warriors transforming Kiambu, a village in Kenya, from a crime ridden horror to an oasis of peacefulness.This is done through the expulsion of Mama Jane, who Muthee accuses as the "source of witchcraft hovering over the place." Like most of the Transformations stories, this one can easily be disproved. Mama Jane Ngemba is alive and well in Kiambu, a large and densely populated suburb of Nairobi. Link to "Mama Jane Speaks.
However, in Kenya mobs recently have killed elderly people accused of witchcraft and, this past May, eleven elderly Kenyan men and women were burned and lynched in Kisii, a provincial town in Kenya."The Raiders" according to one news account, "claimed the burning of the suspects would bring peace to the area." (see Kenya Broadcasting Corporation story, "Calm returns in Kisii after killing of 'witches' ")
Muthee's fame has helped him to build his own Apostolic network in East Africa as well as a megachurch in Kiambu. His website reports a network of over 400 churches in Kenya. Ed Kalnins, pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God (Sarah Palin's church in Alaska for over twenty years), stated in a recent sermon that he has traveled to Africa to visit Muthee three times.
The other vignettes on Transformations I feature a number of major figures, both religious and political, in the New Apostolic movement. One of the most influential in both of these areas is Harold Caballeros, recent candidate for president of Guatemala, and founder of El Shaddai, a 9000 member church in Guatemala City.
Caballeros is featured in the vignette on the transformation of Almolonga, Guatemala and is a Transformation Associate Partner. (Link here for more detail on Almolonga, a city that was supposedly transformed with 92% of the population "born again." This transformation is reported in the video as closing all the jails, producing three harvest yearly of gigantic vegetables, and miraculous healings.)
Caballeros is a long time colleague of the leader of the New Apostolic Reformation, C. Peter Wagner, and is head of his own extensive Apostolic network in Central and South America. In July 2007, in an interview with Christian Broadcast Network, Caballeros was credited with a major role in the transformation of Guatemala from a "once exclusively Catholic country to one where 30 percent are now Protestants and six out of 10 Catholics label themselves Charismatics."
These glowing reports, such as the above interview and the Transformation video vignette are used to advertise the evangelizing of Guatemala as a miraculous improvement of society. Historical accounts tell a different story of the role these religious activities have played in the political nightmare of the last several decades of Guatemalan history. This struggle continues.
Harold Caballeros has had connections to many of the controversial figures in Guatemala's political struggles. Erwin Sperisen, former Director of Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) belongs to Caballeros El Shaddai church. According to the New York Times, several officers in the PNC were dismissed in 2007 after a series of extra judicial killings.
"The officers in these squads belong to evangelical churches, the official said, and see the extrajudicial killings of gang members, known here as `social cleansing,' as holy work. But they also have begun to commit crimes for their own profit." ( New York Times, March 5, 2007 )
Dennis A. Smith, a Presbyterian USA missionary in Guatemala wrote an article on Caballeros which was published by the Latin American Studies Association, and PCUSA.Sperisen, of the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) used a weekly television show to provide police officers with the "spiritual resources they needed to combat the forces of evil." Dennis A. Smith translates Sperisen's statement,
"The prophet and Apostle of Christ, Brother Harold Cabelleros and his wife, the prophetess, of whom I am a humble servant, instrument and means for taking them to Power in Guatemala and having a Government of God, were charged with the moral and spiritual motivation..."
Smith also quotes Caballeros,
"The death squads that still function within the PNC and the Ministry of Government, are a holy enterprise that is organized by agents and personnel from Evangelical churches that know our obligations to society...I must recognize that the story published in the New York Times on March 5 of this year is true; the "social cleansing" that, together with Carlos Vielman as Minister of Government we carried out in the institution, had to be done and must continue, as I understand has been ordered to the new authorities..."
In May 2007, Caballeros decision to run for President of Guatemala was applauded by Apostolic networks worldwide. He and his wife created Vision con Valores (Vi Va - Vision with Values) a political vehicle which "promises to be ready for the next elections."
"Christians in the global South are way ahead of us in this area," C. Peter Wagner, founder of Global Harvest Ministries and head of the International Coalition [of Apostles], told Charisma magazine. "The values of the kingdom of God should penetrate every level of society, and they understand that....[Caballeros is] doing it right, going right to the top and taking dominion." -- Charisma Magazine, January 2007
The article on Caballeros bid for the Presidency. The article points out that the office had previously been held by two Pentecostals, Efrain Rios Montt from the Verbo Church, and Jorge Serranos Elias from the Elim Church.
Transform World Brazil 2008 credits Caballeros, C. Peter Wagner, George Otis, Jr. and Chuck Pierce (Wagner's second in command) with the transformation of this "unshakable Catholic stronghold for centuries" to one of the largest New Apostolic populations on the globe. "By May of 2005 seventy apostles from Brazil had been appointed." They have helped to form the Evangelical Parliamentary Front whose goal is to ensure that public policy falls "in line with God's purposes, and according to his Word."
Caballeros has served on an Advisory Board for a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to Harvard and Tufts, and has been invited to speak at an academic symposium funded by Templeton at the University of Southern California. John Horgan writes writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education,
"Largely as a result of Templeton grants, some 90 American medical schools now offer courses on links between health and spirituality."
In his article, Horgan also cites another scientist who claims that,
"the entire purpose of the Templeton Foundation is to blur the line between straightforward science and explicitly religious activity, making it seem like the two enterprises are part of one big undertaking."
While the Transformations I video focuses on four city transformations, the Transformations II video focuses on the miraculous healings and transformations of villages of the First Nations of the Canadian Arctic, and a recounting of "the descent of the "Shekinah glory of God" on the Hebrides in the revival of the 1940s.
The last segment of this video is a rewriting of Ugandan history as a Manichean battle between "born again" Christianity and devil worship. Again, the story includes a witch doctor, and this one dies after the prayers of the intercessors. The battle ends in the triumphant New Year's event on December 31, 1999, at which a covenant, signed by President and First Lady Museveni, dedicated the nation to God for 1000 years. The revival portrayed in the movie is claimed to have resulted in instantaneous healing of thousand of AIDS patients. Narrator George Otis claims these miracles were confirmed by astounded doctors. This video played a significant role in the American Religious Right's propaganda efforts to portray Uganda's abstinence-oriented AIDS program as a great success, despite the statistics showing that Uganda's previous success in combating AIDS has since been reversed. This reversal parallels the elimination of sex education and condom distribution, and the increased emphasis on abstinence only efforts mandated by PEPFAR, including events like Janet Museveni's "virgin parties."
Apostle John Mulinde who is featured on the video, serves on Janet Museveni's Uganda Youth Forum, and is also a "Transformation Associate" for the Sentinel Group, (Mulinde is also on the Board of Elders for the Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations, led by Tom Hess, another of Wagner's Apostles.) Since the filming of the movie there has been a pronounced split between many of the traditional Ugandan churches and the National Fellowship of Born-Again Churches, which supported the amendment to the Ugandan constitution to allow Yoweri Museveni a third term. Ugandan papers decried the impact of Apostle John Mulinde and the U.S. based "American prosperity gospel moguls."
From the Sunday Vision, Uganda, May 13, 2006:
Ugandan Christians who resent Otis and Wagner's interference in their country label the Transformations activities "Political Christianity." From a Ugandan Christian website,
"Transformations II Video/DVD series is a joint venture of Peter Wagner and George Otis. The two men are heavy believers in Dominionism Theology that Christians can take over World Nations and Governments and exert change through political offices and usher in the Kingdom of God on this earth. This is nothing but a front for Political Christianity, which is eating much of Ugandan Christianity today..."
And referring to the Born-Again support for Museveni's third term,
"...What made even matters worse was the meeting in which the thousands of Born-Again innocent Christians came to pray as they entered the year 2006. The National Stadium was filled to capacity and the 'Overseer' and other Christian leaders hoodwinked the undiscerning Christians into crying out for 'forgiveness' for a local opposition candidate who has been imprisoned by the incumbent while at the same time the "Christian" leaders pushed Christians towards a Christian Dominionist Political agenda."
"Let the Sea Resound" is a 2003/2004 DVD Transformations production covering the "godly invasion of government" in Fiji after the coup in 2000. The nation is split between indigenous Fijians who are mostly Christian and Indo-Fijians who are mostly Hindu, and make up over a third of the population. In 2000 the democratically elected Indo-Fijian Prime Minister and members of his multi-ethnic cabinet were overthrown and kidnapped in coup by ethnic Fijians. After the military restored order, an ethnic Fijian government regained power with support of a unity effort by the Christian population. The Sentinel Group advertising for the video states:
"In one of the most remarkable success stories of the modern era, the Fijian experience offers a potent reminder of what is possible when church and state come together for the well-being of society.
This 79-minute documentary covers the astonishing revival that is currently sweeping through the nation of Fiji. It is a moving and instructive testament of unprecedented Christian unity, contemporary signs and wonders, rapid church growth and genuine socio-political transformation. The breath of God has revived even the land and the sea."
Cabinet Minister, Epeli Kanaimawi claimed on the video that the takeover of the country by God-fearing leaders led to revivals and miraculous physical healing of both the people and the economy. Kanaimawi became the vice president of the unified church organization, Association of Christian Churches in Fiji, which would unite to support the reelection of a "born again" Christian government.
Reports on Fiji were posted by churches and organizations with glowing testimonials to the wondrous church and state melded government. Link to Charisma Magazine article
The claims made in the movie include a miraculous healing and renewal of the country after the Christian population joined in "Spirit-filled" revival. The video supposedly documents both physical healing and environmental healing, such as re-growth of coral reefs. Claims are made that prosperity returned to the island including unprecedented fish catches. The joyful revival culminates in a massive Crusade led by Reinhard Bonnke, a German evangelist who is known for healing and raising people from the dead and has had revival events with over a million people in Nigeria (link to Bonnke's ministry, "Christ For All Nations".)
However, the story moves on to one island area that remained blighted despite the miracles. This is an island on which the indigenous populations' ancestors had killed a missionary in 1867. The video shows the process through which the community prayed, fasted, and repented of this generational curse. Like other vignettes in the Transformation videos, native artifacts and ritual items like carved masks were thrown into bonfires. The descendants of the murdered (and eaten) missionary traveled to the island to attend a ceremony of repentance by the inhabitants and release them from the generational curse. The island was also miraculously renewed after the event, including the immediate cleansing of a poisonous polluted stream.
After the above event, Otis recounts the normal process for "eco-miracles" on the islands. He says that after prayer and fasting, residents make an offering of soil and water which is followed by a sign from God such as an instant rainstorm.
Leaders of this temporary period of church/state unity like Kaniamawa and Asenaca Caucau were featured on the video and are still listed as Associate Partners on the Transform Nations site. Caucau, who was featured throughout the segment, was the Minister for Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation. She was shown numerous times during the segment celebrating the new bounty and prosperity of Fiji after the revival. Happy Fijians are shown dancing and singing.
Transformation ministries around the world praised Caucau and her Fijian colleagues as representing a nation,
"where God is glorified on the floor of Parliament"
and where the,
"national government has declared a year of forgiveness and reconciliation, even forming a new government department focused on reconciliation.... Where government officials travel to other nations not in their official capacity but as "missionaries" carrying the torch of revival and sharing what God has done in their land."
Again, the historic reality is very different from what is portrayed in the movie, which almost completely ignores the Indo-Fijians except for a brief clip where hundreds of them are supposedly converted to Christianity, and in accounts that imply that they will be better cared for under the new government and through the charity of their "Spirit-filled" neighbors. Other accounts of the era between 2000 and the subsequent coup in 2006 present a very different version of events.
Others have described this supposedly utopian period between the 2000 and 2006 coups as a time of growth in poverty, squatters, and religious-based attacks on Hindu temples. Aseneca Caucau is quoted as likening the non-Christian Indo-Fijians to "wild weeds which take up too much space in the country."
The NGO Submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Concerning Fiji also paints a different picture of this era in Fiji's history. A video from a different viewpoint has been produced by Larry Thomas on the plight of the 100,000 squatters in Fiji with nowhere else to go. Thomas states,
"Adi Asenaca Caucau likened squatters to "thieves because they lived illegally on someone else's land." Caucau, who was the State Minister for Housing at the time, said that police should make "every effort to round up and remove squatters."
(Caucau was arrested earlier this year in the San Francisco Airport for attacking a woman with the heel of her shoe.) All three of the videos described above show communities or entire nations in which supernatural religious revival and the expulsion of demons and generational curses supposedly healed the people, land, and communities. These examples are being shown to others around the world in an effort to enlist them in similar conquest for the "Kingdom."
Source of the Transformations Phenomenon: The Sentinel Group and the New Apostolic Reformation
These methods of spiritual mapping and warfare are being applied to communities across the United States by the same leaders who developed the Transformations videos. The development of the current wave of spiritual warfare can be attributed to George Otis, Jr. of Sentinel Group and C. Peter Wagner, Convening Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles.
George Otis, Jr. is the son of the late George Otis, the former head of Christian Broadcast Network in the Middle East. George Otis, Sr. was credited by many, including an account in Charisma Magazine, for prophesying Reagan's rise to the White House during a visit to Reagan by Otis, Pat Boone, and Harald Bredesen. Otis established the Sentinel Group in 1990.
Wagner heads the International Coalition of Apostles with approximately 500 Apostles from the US and 42 other countries. These Apostles have their own networks, some with hundreds or thousands of ministries. They provide "apostolic covering" or authority, accountability and discipling to those in their network. Wagner also oversees several other groups of Apostles and Prophets including two inner circles, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) and the Eagles Vision Apostolic Team (EVAT).
The spiritual warfare movement was an outgrowth of the massive efforts at evangelism in the decades leading up to the year 2000. Wagner did not come from a Pentecostal background, but became interested in supernatural manifestations of the Spirit through his colleagues at Fuller Seminary, including the "Signs and Wonders" of John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Movement, and the teachings about deliverance ministry and generational curses of Charles H. Kraft. During the 1980s the movement was supported by a network of leaders connected through neo-Pentecostal organizations including Ed Silvoso of Argentina , Harold Caballeros of Guatemala, Alistair Petrie of Canada, Ana Mendez of Mexico (now Florida), as well as Cindy Jacobs, Dick Eastman, John Dawson, and Ted Haggard, to name only a few.
Collaborating with leaders of other "neo-Pentecostal" groups like Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and Women's Aglow, Wagner and Otis developed spiritual warfare as if it were a new science. The international proliferation of these parachurch groups, along with extensive church planting efforts of Pentecostals such as Paul/David Yonggi Cho of South Korea's Assembly of God network, helped to spread these ideas.
Peter Wagner and George Otis wrote numerous books including instructions and glossaries of new terminology. Wagner featured Muthee's witch hunting story in his 1997 book Praying with Power, along with two other witch hunting stories from Argentina, the location of the first large scale spiritual warfare success.
Through their work with AD2000 and Beyond, an evangelizing program under the auspices of the Lausanne Committee, Wagner and Otis worked with Luis Bush to systematically map the "lost people groups" of the world by ethnicity, language, location, level of poverty, etc. A decision was made to concentrate on the 10/40 window, or the area between the tenth and fortieth parallel, where it was believed that 97% of the "unsaved" could be found. Otis and Wagner broke away from some of the more orthodox concepts of evangelizing to apply their spiritual warfare ideas on an international scale.
In 1990, George Otis founded Sentinel Group and Wagner became the lead Apostle of the International Spiritual Warfare Network. By 1993 they held the first publicly announced convention on spiritual warfare in Seoul Korea, calling it the Gideon's Army Meeting. By the late 1990s leaders were going on major excursions to battle territorial demons. In 1996 Wagner left his position as head of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary and, on the invitation of Ted Haggard, moved his Global Harvest Ministry to Colorado Springs. Haggard and Wagner developed the World Prayer Center as the nerve center of the developing international operation.
The movement was reported as losing momentum in the United States after the year 2000, with the dismantling of AD2000 and Beyond as an evangelization vehicle, and a break between Haggard and Wagner in 2002. The remnants of the AD2000 operation were divided with Otis taking the helm of spiritual mapping, Wagner leading the spiritual warfare network, and John Dawson heading the International Reconciliation Coalition. Despite the ending of AD2000, these operations have continued to grow in influence. Wagner announced that the beginning of the New Apostolic Age took place in 2001. Much of the success can be attributed to the overwhelming international success of the Transformations videos and the popularity of the both the stories and featured stars as recognizable flag bearers of the movement. The Transformations brand has given the movement renewed life and it has now spawned literally hundreds of organizations for the "franchise."
These organizations serve the purpose of drawing in Christians of numerous denominations into the spiritual warfare activities of the Transformations and the New Apostolic Reformation. In some cases, the movement has essentially enveloped large portions of denominations. The Australian Assemblies of God has been completely absorbed and has been renamed the Australian Christian Churches. Increasingly churches across the spectrum of Christianity are being confronted with the ideas of New Apostolic style spiritual warfare through the participation of their members in "city-wide" activities or charities.
The organizations developed in the "Transformations" model often present a benign front as a "pastor prayer network" or Christian reconciliation and unity groups. At the local level they are billed as charitable organizations or intercessory prayer networks and comfortably mingle with those of other faiths, including Roman Catholics, often engaging them in their charitable efforts. But at the top level of leadership the message is very clear. All other religious systems are evil, under the control of specific demons, and must be converted or defeated.
In New Apostolic practice, anointing is the "impartation" of supernatural powers to prepare the believer for their mission of transformation through evangelism and conquest. This can be validated through the many references to anointings by the movement. This dynamic of imparting the anointing is also seen in the trip that Ed Kalnins, Senior Pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God, took this past May. After traveling hundreds of miles to visit two revivals that drew thousands from around the world, the Lakeland Outpouring and MorningStar Ministries, Kalnins returned to his Wasilla congregation and on May 25 performed an anointing ceremony. In this ceremony he passed on to his congregants the anointing which had been imparted to him. On June 8, he again anointed Palin, one of several public anointings of Palin by pastors involved in the New Apostolic Reformation. One of the pictures from that event was posted on the official State of Alaska website.
The Significance of Muthee's Anointing of Sarah Palin
Below: internationally-celebrated witch-fighter, star of "Transformations" brand, East Africa Spiritual Warfare Network Director Thomas Muthee, along with Wasilla Assembly of God head Pastor Ed Kalnins and Crossroads Community Church pastor Phil Markwardt, anoints and blesses Sarah Palin, as a political leader, on October 16, 2005. Little more than a year later, in November 2006, Palin was elected governor of Alaska.
Widely distributed video from a Wasilla Assembly of God service in 2005 shows the anointing ceremony of Sarah Palin by Thomas Muthee. At that time Muthee had already made his name as a star of the Transformations movies, including Transformations I and "The Quickening," and had been propelled by his Transformations fame into major leadership positions in both the U.S. and Africa. Palin also knew of Thomas Muthee's fame and purpose since, according to an Associated Press article, she had viewed the video long prior to her anointing ceremony.
Before Palin is called forward for her anointing by Muthee and the other two pastors, Ed Kalnins, and Phil Markwardt, Muthee refers to her by name and then says,
"When we talk about transformation of a community, we are talking about God invading seven areas of society."
Muthee then repeats this again,
"When we talk about transformation of a community, it is where we seek God's Kingdom and infiltrate and influence seven areas of our society."
Muthee goes on to discuss the seven "Kingdoms" or areas. He includes spiritual, economic, political, education, media, and then politics again. While Muthee jumbles the categories a bit in this introduction to Palin's anointing, he is clearly referring to the seven "Kingdoms" or mountains of the New Apostolic Reformation's "Seven Mountain Strategy" for taking control of American society and government. (link to the official video on the Seven Mountains Strategy.)
In addition to his Transformations fame, Muthee has served as a board member of the World Prayer Center International and as the East African director of the International Spiritual Warfare Network. (His counterpart, Mary Glazier, Alaska head of the United States Spiritual Warfare Network, has claimed Palin made a decision to pursue politics as a member of her network. link to "Palin and the Apostles".
Muthee's anointing of Palin has been defended as an expression of his own cultural background. However, a number of researchers who have written on the current wave of witch hunting and demonology among Christian groups in Africa and on other continents have found that the revival of the obsession is often sourced in the spread of American-introduced theology and through American authors. Paul Gifford addresses this issue in his book "African Christianity." The books of leading New Apostolics and other Third Wave figures are widely available in Africa, and these concepts are being taught in thousands of planted churches. American and other Western evangelists hold massive Crusades in Africa where they claim to heal or even raise people from the dead. Both Thomas Muthee and Wasilla Assembly of God head pastor Ed Kalnins have distributed, in Kenya, books by American authors such as Rick Joyner which promote these theological ideas.
Above: Kalnins and Muthee display Rick Joyner books they distributed in Africa, circa 2005.
Some prosperity doctrine evangelicals have incorporated the exorcising of demons for profit into their ministries. Families are told that misfortunes, such as illness, are caused by one of their children being possessed by a demon and offer to exorcise the demon for a price. Link to Guardian, UK article. There are currently many accounts of killing and maiming of these children by family members who are unable to pay the price for the exorcism. (link to video about children maimed in Nigeria because they are believed to be possessed.)
Rene Holvast has written one of the few academic works on spiritual mapping for his Doctoral Thesis at Universeit Utrecht, "Spiritual Mapping: The Turbulent Career of a Contested American Missionary Paradigm" (link to PDF document), later published. He also draws the conclusion that spiritual mapping originated with leadership from the United States despite it's early use in Argentina. Beliefs that were considered superstitious and old fashioned have received new life as they have been reintroduced in the guise of spiritual warfare and popularized as a part of a new and modern American style Christianity. As Holvast describes, from his experience as a missionary in Malawi during the 1990's,
"[Youth With A Mission] teams went into the cities and villages applying their Spiritual Mapping principles. They shared and practised it with the local churches with which they cooperated. Here again books, tapes and videos were distributed.
Prayer meetings were noisy with people speaking loudly, sometimes shouting, turning physically in all directions of an area and threatening demons. Teams and individuals travelled with (salad) oil, to anoint houses, villages or whole districts in order to demarcate and 'cleanse' these geographical areas."
Rene Holvast also recounts in his dissertation, a sudden emergence, in the late 1990's, of a "new paradigm":
"The new paradigm entailed that missionaries had to 'identify' and 'bind territorial spirits' and 'unleash' divine power. Evangelism was to be preceded by 'prayer walks', and prayer was considered best if done geographically 'on-site', within a 'target area'. Prayer became the identification of and confrontation with demons. It was designed to make missionary work more effective and was presented as a means to avoid a frustrating lack of success. All of this was categorized as 'Spiritual Mapping'. "
As Holvast describes, the source of the 'new paradigm' he noticed appears to have been linked to Neo-Pentecostalist groups closely liked with the New Apostolic Reformation such as Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and Ted Haggard's Colorado Springs New Life Church, parent church of the World Prayer Center :
"A team was flown in from in from the New Life Church in Colorado Springs secretively anointed traditional fetish huts and whole villages, and a team flew to the ancient and mysterious city of Timbuktu for a period of Spiritual Mapping. To organize these new activities among resident missionaries, the new part time position of 'Prayer Coordinator' was created.
Spiritual Mapping reached national churches as well. Some teams taught seminars to pastors and laypeople... Books, tapes and videos were distributed."
All of the following statistics are from "World Christian Trends, AD 30 - AD 2200: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus." Note: these are the statistics produced from a massive database collected by evangelical missions organizations and that this particular volume is from the publisher for the United States World Mission, Pasadena. It is authored by the team that produces the World Christian Encyclopedia set.
In World Christian Trends, the Third Wave is explained and categorized as follows: a First wave, classical Pentecostals; a Second Wave, Charismatics outside of Pentecostalism; and a Third Wave, Independents outside of both the second and third waves. The authors describe the Third Wave with this statement.
"By the 1990s the Third Wave has thus within its own sphere completely swept aside, ignored, and replaced the entire historic nomenclature of twentieth century denominationalism."
The term Neocharismatics is used in this volume to describe a combination of Third Wavers, Independents, Post-Denominationalists, and Neo-Apostolics. This category claims 295,405,240 members worldwide, which does not include those who identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.
The combined Pentecostal/Charismatic/Neocharismatic Renewal Groups growth figures from 1970 to 2000 are as follows:
World Christian Trends also list 280 features which
differentiate Denominationalism from Postdenominationalism including
a section on Apostles and Prophets and the latter is presented as the
trend of the future. The New Apostolic Reformation is a subset of the
Neocharismatic Renewal Group category above which has over 295
million adherents. However, the New Apostolic Reformation is
increasingly drawing from other denominations.
Spiritual Mapping and Spiritual Warfare - Muthee and the "Transformations" Franchise / 1 | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
Spiritual Mapping and Spiritual Warfare - Muthee and the "Transformations" Franchise / 1 | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)