Ellel: Deja Vu All Over Again





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by Orrel Steinkamp

Ellel is another version of the inner-healing phenomena based on Freud's deep unconscious teaching and the need to regress people into the hidden inner regions of the so-called unconscious mind and heal current seemingly unexplainable habits and hurts.

by Orrel Steinkamp

Yogi Berea, hall of fame, New York Yankee catcher, isn’t known for his correct English. Actually he is known for his witty statements and comments and for breaking the conventions of the English language, so much so that a few of his expressions have become commonly known and used in everyday speech. Such is the case of his most famous expression “Deja Vu All Over Again.” The attraction of this maxim is the redundancy of “all over again” for that of course is the meaning deja vu in French which Yogi apparently didn’t know or he purposely stated it this way to emphasize his point The bottom line is that this phrase comically expresses that something is repeated over and over again and over again.

Such is the case with yet another ministry called Ellel. Ellel is another version of the inner-healing phenomena based on Freud’s deep unconscious teaching and the need to regress people into the hidden inner regions of the so-called unconscious mind and heal current seemingly unexplainable habits and hurts.

Ruth Carter Stapleton, Ann White and Rita Bennett first publicized and made famous inner healing in Christian circles. Based on Freudian depth psychotherapy, Stapleton and White morphed and adapted Freudian and Jungian ideas and practiced these techniques in the early charismatic movement. Actually Agnes Sanford preceded these two ministries. Sanford actually can be called the “mother of the so-called Christian inner healing” In early charismatic days just about every charismatic bookshelf had copies of her books. But her inner healing was related to New Thought/New Age thinking current early in the 2Oth century. Her seminal adaptation of inner healing was passed on the many students and disciples that she taught at her school of Spiritual Healing. John and Paula Sandford proudly represent Agnes in the current inner healing scene. John was taught and discipled by Agnes Sandford. John is not her son but has a similar name.

But beginning with Stapleton, White and many others, inner healing became more dependent on Freudian and Jungian concepts. Stapleton and White spawned probably hundreds of inner healing practitioners. These practitioners wrote and published. Each of these practitioners were eclectic in that they cherry-picked from each other and produced a virtual smorgasbord of inner healing methods and thoughts. But they all spring from a common core of ideas.  They do differ is certain respects but they are all one genus. They are like dogs. Some are large some are small, some have long hair and some short, but they are all dogs. They all have four legs and bark.

Inner healing has some metaphysical roots in New Thought concepts, and it also has roots in Freudian/Jungian psychology, but it all has a common center from which it derives its central thesis namely that the traumas of the past, inflicted upon us in childhood and even within the womb become buried and repressed within the unconscious mind and cause adverse human behavior. It is affirmed that the mind never forgets anything but stores it in a memory bank. If an experience is particularly unpleasant it may be repressed and hidden to the unconscious mind. This repressed memory though hidden still intrudes itself into the present hindering ones ability to relate to others and to ourselves.

In  Freudian  psychoanalysis  the therapist is trained to regress people into their past and help identify the sources of trauma. Often they will employ hypnosis to uncover these areas.

Jungian therapists employ similar methods. Jung described the inner man in more spiritual terms.  Jung himself credits a spirit guide named Philemon for developing his thought and procedures. In any case there is a need to travel back into the past via the unconscious mind and to first locate the hidden trauma of the past and then bring healing to bear.

Some in the ministries of inner healing attempt to disguise their dependence on the Freudian/Jungian template of the human psyche. Actually some Freudian promoters realized that Freud’s threefold breakdown of the human psyche into the ego, superego and id was too difficult to explain. It was W.  Hugh Missildine who developed a new phrase with which to describe basic Freudian understanding. He chose to refer to the unconscious as the “inner child.” Stapleton adapted the phraseology of the inner child into practice of inner healing.

Christian inner healers accepted without question the central thesis of Freud regarding the hidden traumas affecting our conscious life, and the need to regress, and travel back in time via the human memory and effect healing.  Rather than using the techniques of a clinical psychoanalyst, they chose to introduce the idea of Jesus regressing people and Jesus effecting the healing in the past time of the person.

Brooks Alexander comments:

“A new and interesting thing happens, however, when Freud’s view of human behavior is woven together with humanistic perfectionism and a cross-less Christianity. The result is a system of therapy with a built-in tendency to bypass and depreciate rational consciousness. If the “root cause” of behavior  is  lodged  in  the unconscious, perhaps it can be purged  by  the  techniques  of psychological manipulation to reach the unconscious mind directly… Once a “policy decision” has been made that the rational mind should be bypassed for effective inner healing, a new problem presents itself. The rational mind after all, is an active and integral part of the human personality and from a biblical point of view, a legitimate and necessary one. The tact is that the rational mind wants to be involved, and it resists being “bypassed” or otherwise ignored. Techniques for bypassing the rational mind only work until the rational mind gets wise to what is happening. At that point it becomes necessary not only to bypass the rational mind’ but to Outwit it as well.” (Brooks Alexander. SCP Journal, April 1980, Vol.4/I).

Thus the need to empty the conscious mind by concentration on Jesus and “centering down“.

This is effected by guided imagery techniques in which Jesus is purported to actually travel into the past using the road of the memory. This supposed Jesus is usually visualized. It is at this point the New Thought ideas introduced by Agnes Sanford bring a new dimension of concern. This kind of visualization technique is a widespread technique in occult circles to contact the personalities of the spirit world. Even Jung found that this introduced him to spirit guides who gave him knowledge he didn’t have before.

Consequently many inner healers also become exorcists. For they appear to encounter demonic spirits in this internal travel time warp into the human soul. Obviously the deception of demonic spirits makes the whole industry of inner healing a very dangerous venture. Most often inner healing gurus label re traumas of the past are to demonic personalities. The demonic powers behind the trauma must be named and labeled and then commanded to leave.

Jung especially taught that in the subconscious people had “archetypes” which he identified as spirit world personalities of previous lives of peoples and cultural groups (the collective unconscious). It is not surprising that Christian inner healing often includes tracing back ones ancestors and finding some ancestor that practiced certain sins etc and that these ancestors have some influence in the inner man. Consequently the need to “cut the bloodlines” in order to escape the particular sin or influence that secretly impinges on our consciousness and thinking.

Ellel, the new kid on the block

Actually, Ellel has been in existence since 1985, but it has in very recent times expanded its role exponentially. Peter Horrobin is the founder and director of this ministry. In searching their website I could not find any rational for the name of the ministry.

Incidentally I did find in a web search that Ellel was the name of a deity of the ancient Canamites. I am however; sure that has no relevance to their name. It can be assumed that it has to do with one of the OT Hebrew names for God, which is “El and or Elohim”.

Ellel now takes it place in inner healing history, joining innumerable ministries of inner healing. Just to name a few: Francis McNutt, Dennis and Matthew Hinn, Betty Tapcott, Seamans and myriads of others. Most recently and still finding some acceptance is the ministry called “Theophostics.But they all are a predictable rehash of the central core teachings of their predecessors. Indeed they have their differences in approach and even terminology, but they are simply repeats of the former.

Ellel is based in England. They have luxurious English manors located on expansive historical properties. They have country estates in the Grange, Glyndly, Pierropont, Bairmore Scotland, Gilbulla Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Norway, India and Tampa Bay in the USA. In every location they have historical country estate buildings, which seems to be their signature. They have developed elaborate programs for their ministries. They have weekends, 2-week courses, 4-week courses, and even long-term courses up to 9 months and an interactive course on line. They do not reveal their teaching in the articles on the net.

But in the elaboration of their courses one finds all the telltale clues of their ministry. There you will find courses in “getting to the root of the problem.” generation sins, God’s healing through Drama, demonic footholds through sin. The basis of demonic intrusions: What is inner healing? In some of the course descriptions they make statements as “we are made up of three connecting parts which are body, soul and spirit… the human spirit is fragile so it can easily be damaged and defiled through occult sin. This sin arises either through generational iniquity or involvement in occult activities. They have courses on spiritual warfare and related topics.

Although, it is not spelled out in great detail enough is said to know full well it is your stock in trade inner healing paradigm. They have endorsements from the Wagner Leadership Institute, and from the Elijah House ministry of John and Paula Sanford. What more does one need to know that this is as Yogi Berea said: “deja vu all over again.”

Inner Healing and the Bible

Although there are valiant attempts to use biblical texts to justify the inner healing paradigm and practice, it is common sense that nothing even remotely like inner healing is found in scripture. Consequently passages and biblical words are cleverly redefined. Many inner healers take the biblical word “heart” and import into that word the whole meaning of Freud’s deep unconscious. But the source of this is not the canonical scriptures but is clearly derived from Freud and Jung. John Sandford transparently refers to his ideas as related to Jungian thought. Why would we want to learn from an atheist like Freud and an Occultist like Jung? Can they just say that all truth is God’s truth even if an Atheist and occultist discovered it?

So we need to turn to the scriptures which have historically been the sole authority of faith and practice, which is included in the scrimpy reference of the beliefs on the Ellel website.

How does God deal with our past sins? Does the Bible suggest that God must send Jesus on a metaphysical time travel journey into our hidden memories of the past? Isaiah 43:25 states “I am He that blots out transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.” Now if God not only blots out our past sins and intentionally will not remember them, then doesn’t it follow that we should forget our sins and not try to regress into the so-called unconscious to rediscover them? Thus whenever in our conscious mind our past rears its ugly head is not the way of victory to forget them realizing they have no existence before our holy God?

Passing lip service is often given to the cross. But in all of inner healing teaching there is little or no attention given to what Jesus accomplished on the cross. While much is made of the unconditional love of Jesus. This love is disconnected from the atonement. The finished work of the cross is clearly a missing element of inner healing, teaching and practice. The absence of the atonement also relates to an unbiblical view of sin. Sin in inner healing is usually seen as produced by the reaction to the victimization of traumas in our past. The assumption is that if the trauma can be identified and removed, then healing will automatically follow. Sin is thus only a violation of my wholeness, and not God’s law. This makes the cross work of Jesus really unnecessary. But when Jesus cried out “it is finished”, God’s law was satisfied and all our sins conscious or unconscious were not only forgiven, but put death (Col. 2:15) and were nailed to His cross. This being a public disclosure that when Jesus died for us our sin also died. Ryan Habbena reinforces this:

“The author of Hebrews notes that, ‘now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself’ (Hebrews 9:26). The point is established in the Scriptures, ‘He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people’ (Hebrews 2:17). …

This act of propitiation, at the cross, was an event that happened once for all on the canvas of history. ‘For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified’ (Hebrews 10:11- 14). It is through Jesus’ office as High Priest that the cross finds its continued power and significance. He is continually providing us with His righteousness. Perpetually, He is interceding for us and protecting us from our angelic enemy.”  (Ryan  Habbena, Eternal Scars, Xulon Ress, 2004, p.49)

Whereas Jesus dealt with our sins once for all, inner healing is a never-ending series of psychic trips into our unknown past to deal with these sins and their continual effects.

Inner healing is not a once for experience. How could it be, for who can know just how many different and assorted traumas lie covered in the unconscious? Any unpleasant thoughts or feelings could well be the tip of the ice berg which points to traumas still hidden in waters of the unseen unconscious. So inner healing is a life long vocation that is repeated over and over, as were the sacrifices in the Old Testament. But Jesus work at Calvary was a “once for all” triumph. Praise be His name.

It was the apostle Paul who declared that: “because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died, and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15). The Apostle Peter also has words that apply here: “Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18). The blood of Christ has ransomed us from the ways of our fathers. Tim Challies says: “When Jesus death was near, He cried out, “It is finished!” It was a cry of triumph It was a cry that pierced history and divided humanity. It was the greatest, purist, most meaningful utterance the world has known In His Death Christ took our sin upon Himself. He took Satan’s accusations on our behalf. As God turned His back on Jesus, while at the same time poured His wrath upon Him, Jesus atoned for our sins. He entered a claim for the lives of His children. My sin became His and His righteousness became mine. The accuser has lost his claim. When Satan accuses me now all I have to do is believe, trust and affirm that his claim is null and void. My sin has been removed. My guilt has been taken away.

Finally, The Apostle Paul obviously knew nothing of inner healing techniques. He was keenly aware of his historical sins so much so he called himself the chief of sinners. If he only had access to Freudian deep unconscious psychotherapy and the guided imagery of Christian inner healing practitioners, maybe he could have been healed of his traumatic scars. But, rather, we see the apostle living above and beyond his past. In Phil. 3:13-14 Paul sees no need deeply in his past whether us or unconscious: “But one do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

The operative words here are “forgetting” and “reaching forward.”  This is intentional forgetting. Paul poises himself as a runner, who forgets all his past defeats and focuses thoughts on what lies before him. Paul suggests that he had no regard for his past? No, as we see in this passage he recalls the past to motivate himself into the future. He reminds himself that the past is behind him and in the example he cites, the past is worthless.  His focus is on “what lies ahead.” Why can Paul so easily forget his past? Surely it is because of all his sin and hurt of the past was dealt with once for all at the cross, he is a new creature in Christ.  All of this suggests that Paul would not have signed up for the relatively costly weekend of inner healing in the Ellel or anywhere else.

Don’t bother to read anything about Ellel. There is nothing new here. It’s just “deja vu all over again.”