top of page

The Cult of Self: Institutional Occult Indoctrination and Deliverance

On a quest for healing, I found myself in an esoteric haven that held authority as an institute of higher learning, which opened the door to the occult rabbit hole.

Spirit Sanctified


Are you in occult bondage and looking to Jesus for salvation? You don't have to go it alone. Apply to join the Clarity Accelerator where you can leave confusion and chaos behind and tether fully to Jesus Christ.

Intergenerational Trauma Created Hooks for the Enemy

Though all roads may lead to Rome, all spiritual paths do NOT lead to salvation. This is a hard pill to swallow for New Agers ensnared in the deception of occult bondage – particularly those of us stalwart seekers of healing and spiritual evolution.

My story of salvation begins before God fashioned me in my mother’s womb. It begins somewhere in the far reaches of my lineage from where trauma descended. With each generation, our trauma bank accrued interest. By the time I came along, trauma flourished in my family.

I grew into an insecure, anxious, melancholy young woman who felt cursed by an unfillable hole in my heart. I floated through life untethered. Any true sense of identity, home, or belonging escaped me. I was a living ghost. The effects of intergenerational trauma – and my longing for healing and relief - created hooks for the Enemy to set up shop in my life.

Early Doorways to Occult Bondage

At 23, I moved across the country to San Francisco. To my impressionable eye, the famed city by the Bay sparkled. I escaped myself during those early days; however, as beguiling as she was, San Francisco couldn’t exorcise my inner demons. I was in the belly of the beast.

Within months of moving, I wandered into an occult store and purchased my first occult item: a Thoth Tarot deck. I had never heard of Aleister Crowely, hermeticism, kabbalah, Thelema, or magick. It wasn’t an immediate love affair, but I certainly felt an affinity that I couldn’t put my finger on. The deck’s trove of occult symbolism alluded me, but over the years I turned to it for guidance – and it provided in all manner of synchronicity and wonder.

I had no frame of reference for the sin I committed, nor any inkling that I had turned away from God.

Institutional Occult Indoctrination

Around this time, I saw a therapist for panic attacks and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from my childhood. And so began my mission for healing in the San Francisco Bay Area. I dove into a self-help circuit of psychotherapy, 12-step programs, art classes, and Chinese medicine before landing in a graduate program to become an expressive arts psychotherapist.

This program put me on the mental health licensure track, so I was educated on conventional psychological theories and modalities; however, I was hungry for something else – something to fill that hole in my heart.

I gravitated towards the more unconventional areas of my graduate study, which were the bread and butter of the school: transpersonal psychology, depth psychology, humanistic psychology, the human potential movement, archetypes, synchronicity, eastern spirituality, non-dualism, integral theory, bioenergetics, goddess spirituality, cosmology, meditation, guided imagery, and more.

In hindsight, I imagine there were other students and faculty like me. Intelligent, curious, and well-meaning (albeit covertly prideful) seekers captivated by the mysterious fringes of the human condition while longing to fill their own lonely hole within. Had I had any sort of theological grounding in the Word, I may have recognized that my hole was Jesus-shaped.

In hindsight, I imagine there were other students and faculty like me. Intelligent, curious, and well-meaning (albeit covertly prideful) seekers captivated by the mysterious fringes of the human condition while longing to fill their own lonely hole within. Had I had any sort of theological grounding in the Word, I may have recognized that my hole was Jesus-shaped.

Instead, I found myself in an esoteric haven that held authority as an institute of higher learning. There were so many possibilities, theories, healing paths, and spiritual influences to entertain. I began to think of God as an impersonal energy that I could dip into when I needed a charge. I truly believed that all religions and spiritual practices led to the same God, which I called Source.

All roads did lead to my metaphorical Rome, and the idol sitting on its throne was healing through knowledge (or what I now understand as gnosis). I ate it up hook, line, and sinker.

The Enemy is clever to infiltrate our trusted institutions and systems, and with extraordinary finesse at that.

The Slippery Slope to Demonic Obsession

I embraced my psycho-spiritual journey, which – let’s be frank – indoctrinated me into the cult of “self.” The drumbeat of postmodernism and progressivism saturating the San Francisco Bay Area created an environment where such indoctrinations could run rampant. Truth is relative, all truths are valid - so long as you do no harm, do as thou wilt.

This is how the Enemy works. He’s a master of the slippery slope. That first Thoth tarot deck grew into a collection of tarot and oracle decks, dowsing rods, pendulums, and crystals. The veiled gnostic and eastern spirituality underpinnings of my graduate training led to years of involvement in synchromysticism, meditative and non-ordinary states of consciousness, hypnotism, shamanism, energy healing, psychedelics, the divine feminine, and neo-paganism.

I considered myself a good person. My intentions were well intended. I felt I’d been of help to some people. The “Universe” sent me synchronicities left and right. I was even convinced that I encountered “God” while tripping on psilocybin.

But in the end, none of that mattered. In the throes of deception, I opened dangerous doorways. For all the signs and wonders that convinced me I was on the right track, there was also an escalating stream of red flags that should’ve stopped me in my tracks.

The most overt sign of affliction manifested as troubling sleep disturbances: involuntary astral projection; graphic nightmares of demonic encounters, possession, rage, psychopathy, and murder; sleep paralysis involving physically aggressive entities; and astral sexual assault (incubus attacks).

More subtle was the ever-present melancholy and anxiety. In a Winnie the Pooh parallel universe, I was an Eeyore-Piglet hybrid at best. This oppressive state had been with me for as long as I could remember, and I accepted it as an immovable aspect of my nature.

Lord Jesus Christ Had Mercy on Me, a Sinner

When I shared these disturbing experiences with other new agers, their response was something along these lines:

Your spirit guides are testing you, so you’re on the right track.

Spiritually gifted people are like bright lights that attract the spirit world.

You’re an empath!

Think about that. We think we're humble, but are full of pride.

I now know that I was experiencing demonic obsession, possibly bordering on vexation. Satan had a call on my soul. I was “healing” myself straight to Hell. I wish I could say I quickly realized this mortifying truth, but it took me just shy of 20 years for the scales to fall off my eyes.

Thankfully, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9).

Like many others, the insanity of the last two years (2020 to present) woke me out of my spiritual stupor. Conspiracy and skepticism of the powers that be weren’t new to me; however, having my eyes peeled open to the nature of the evil operating in the world was.

Around this time, the Lord extended his mercy to me. Our good Lord relocated my family to a community abundant with churches, billboards praising Jesus, and a little old woman who on our third day in town welcomed us and whispered to me, “God’s calling his children home.” He gave me ears to hear and eyes to see, woke me up to the reality of Satan, and convicted me to choose a side.

The Lord made Himself known to me at my grandmother’s funeral. He guided me to a non-denominational “come-as-you-are” church where within a month I was baptized. It was the perfect place for me, a brand new baby Christian, to land. As my journey with Him continued, he brought me to the Eastern Orthodox Church, where I became a catechumen.

I learned that the Lord speaks to me through the people He places in my life. He called me into obedience and repentance. When I followed, He answered my prayers and reunited me with my estranged mother. We haven’t seen each other in 18 years, but we now talk on the phone and are actively healing our relationship through our shared faith in Christ.

The Lord filled my heart with peace and love for holy scripture. He led me to Teresa Yanaros’ Clarity Accelerator Academy, which became my deliverance lifeline.

People, God is good.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

The Enemy deceived me into believing I could save myself and hid the truth of salvation: that Jesus is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

I denied the existence of sin and failed to understand the beauty of repentance.

I dismissed the narrow gate and embraced subjective truths and universalism. In my mind, all spiritual paths led to God (never mind the encroaching One World Religion).

With the help of the Clarity Accelerator Academy, I realized the gravity of the soul-damning doorways I opened. By the Grace of God, I’m taking the first steps on my salvific walk with Jesus Christ.

I went from trying to save myself to surrendering to the authority of Jesus Christ, and now I feel so grateful for the mercy and love of our Lord. What the occult stole from me – my identity in Christ and inheritance as a child of God – Jesus restores and renews.


About the Author

Krista Harrison is a homeschooling mom and writer who, after a near 20-year search for healing in the new age, found Jesus Christ in 2021. She’s a former psychotherapist who branched off into a spiritual counseling practice that included shamanic healing, hypnotherapy, and energy work. She was on the verge of starting an Akashic record reading business for her quickly growing Instagram community when the Lord gave her ears to hear and eyes to see. Now, she’s focused on grounding her spiritual formation and spiritual identity in Christ, introducing her children and homeschool to the Lord, and respectfully solidifying her faith-walk within a multi-generational household of non-believers. She’s interested in writing about institutional occult indoctrination, spiritual warfare, the occult roots of the divine feminine, and new age to Christ mothers and parenting. Krista is a participant in Teresa Yanaro’s Clarity Accelerator Academy and is over the moon to serve the Kingdom and support new age to Christ deliverance work as the Managing Editor of “Real Stories” at Spirit Sanctified.

INTERESTED IN THE ACADEMY? If you are a Christian who left the new age, apply to join the CLARITY ACCELERATOR ACADEMY. The Academy takes the entire process from start to finish of getting oriented after leaving the new age, grounding into theology and spiritual warfare, deprogramming new age lies, renouncing Satan's influence, remaining delivered, and establishing a firm context for Christian living and spiritual formation, bible study, how to pray, how to share the gospel, how to build your testimony, how to share your testimony, and put it ALL into this academy. IT WORKS. People's lives are being transformed by this framework, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Jesus, for deliverance!

Krista is Managing Editor for "Real Stories" with Spirit Sanctified.

The above article may contain affiliate links. You are not required to use these links, but if you use any of them to make a purchase, Spirit Sanctified makes a small monetary return at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

This article appeared first on Spirit Sanctified. This article (The Cult of Self: Institutional Occult Indoctrination and Deliverance) on Spirit Sanctified and is free and open source. You have permission to share or republish this article in full so long as attribution to the author and Spirit Sanctified are provided.


bottom of page