Sadly, the author of this important book — a former New Age leader — is no longer with us. He was killed on May 5 in an automobile accident, just days before the book was ready to be released to the public. (According to Huntington House, an official investigation is in progress concerning several suspicious details surrounding the incident)

The most powerful part of Inside the New Age Nightmare is its first three chapters. These tell Randall Baer’s moving story; how he was first lured into the NAM, then avidly pursued many New Age spiritual paths, went on to become an internationally respected speaker and author (writing two best-selling books on crystals for Harper & Row), and finally came face to face with the powerful evil that lurks behind the seeming­ly benign face of the NAM: a consuming darkness from which he could only find deliverance through Jesus Christ.

The remaining nine chapters take a broad look at the NAM in terms of its prac­tices, participants, social inroads, and hostil­ity toward orthodox Christianity. The author, with 15 years in the NAM, knows his sub­ject thoroughly. He offers fresh insights on the nature and operation of the NAM.

Baer devotes special attention to “fore­warning” and “forearming” the spiritually vulnerable so they will recognize how Satan uses the seductive allurement of New Age mystical “highs” to produce ever-increasing dependency on and bondage to the occult. He also applies the “You shall know them by their fruits” test to the NAM with compelling thoroughness.

The book is not without some notewor­thy flaws. For example, he fails to docu­ment debatable claims (see, e.g., p. 145). He also believes and cites questionable authorities pertaining to the supposed heavy dependency of Hitler on the occult and alleged plans of New Agers to “cleanse” the earth by exterminating Christians. Such failings, however, can be largely excused because of Baer’s newness (two years?) to the Christian faith.

For those who find the other books described here too scholarly, this one will be a refreshing alternative. It presents com­parably valuable information and analysis in a simpler, more personal style. It also affords several moments of “comic relief” as Baer recalls some of his wild and whacky encounters with New Agers.

In closing, we at the JOURNAL would naturally like to think that the new books by our publisher and editor (Walter Martin’s The New Age Cult, Bethany House Publishers, and my own A Crash Course on the New Age Movement, Baker Book House) also belong on this list. But we will leave that judgment for others to make.

Elliot Miller

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