Ken Keyes, Jr., was the founder in 1972 of Clear Mind Training Center (also known as Living Love Church), formerly known as Cornucopia Institute. He is one of the leading representatives of what is generally known as the New Age movement. An excellent evangelical critique of this movement’s theories and philosophy is Unmasking the New Age by Douglas R. Groothius (InterVarsity Press, 1986).
The basic philosophy of Living Love is a “synthesis” of Eastern philosophy and Western humanistic philosophy and psychology. Of the major religions of the world, it most resembles Buddhism (without temples, statues, etc.). The essence of Keyes’ philosophy is summed up in what he calls “the Twelve Pathways” (which remind one of the Eight Noble Paths of Buddhism). The leaders of Living Love attribute their teaching to “the wisdom of Buddha, Christ, Gandhi, and many paths of humanistic development.”
Key Keyes promotes a number of beliefs and practices consistent with this orientation. His center offers workshops on magic, “rebirthing,” group meditation, acupuncture, shiatsu, and iridology. Although the inquirer is told that there is nothing they have to believe, Living Love promotes a very definite belief system about man and the world. Their view of man is summed up in this statement: “You are an infinitely powerful being, capable and deserving of anything you wish.” Thus in one breath Living Love makes man God and sweeps away any notion of sin and judgment.
Ken Keyes is probably best known for his call to nuclear disarmament in The Hundredth Monkey. The theory of the “hundredth monkey” is based on a story of a group of monkeys who learned to wash sweet potatoes before eating them; supposedly, once a certain number (say, a hundred) learned to do it, the rest of the group spontaneously began doing it. According to Keyes and other New Agers, there is a lesson to be learned from the monkeys. If a certain “critical mass” or number of people learn to think in peaceful ways and eschew the use of nuclear weapons, the rest of the earth’s population will somehow spontaneously join in, and the world will disarm itself. This theory is not only contrary to biblical revelation, it is unscientific, as has been argued by Ron Amundson in “The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon,” Skeptical Inquirer (Summer 1985).