A conservative news magazine is under fire across the U.S. due to its links with controversial religious leader Roy Masters.
The monthly magazine, New Dimensions, is also increasingly finding its way into the hands of politically conservative evangelical Christians, as its publishers have been giving away free ads to conservative groups, according to the January 1991 Cult Awareness Network News. In an apparent push to thrust the magazine into the mainstream, thousands of free copies are being regularly passed out, with many evangelical pastors receiving them.
What many don’t yet know is that the magazine is loaded with advertisements and propaganda for Masters’s Foundation of Human Understanding, which has long been considered a pseudo-Christian sect by experts, including the Christian Research Institute (CRI).
Walter Martin’s The New Cults, published in 1980 in collaboration with the CRI research staff, concludes: “The basic doctrines and many of the practices of Roy Masters and the Foundation of Human Understanding are decidedly not Christian. They are certainly not in harmony with what God has revealed to us in the Bible” (p.317)
A recent issue of the magazine had three full-page ads either promoting Masters’s nationwide radio program, “How Your Mind Can Keep You Well.” or booklets his organization sells.
Spokesmen for New Dimensions have claimed no official connection with Masters or the Foundation. However, Masters is listed in the magazine’s “staff-box” as a “contributing writer” along with conservatives Cal Thomas and Patrick Buchanan. Editor-in-chief is Mark Masters and the art director is David Masters, both sons of Roy Masters.
Despite the denials, the Watchman Fellowship’s (a Christian countercult group) Craig Branch has pointed out that prior to 1986 the magazine, under the name the Iconoclast, was the official publication of the Foundation. And as late as the June 1988 issue it was listed as “a monthly publication” of the organization. Moreover, in the mandatory legal notice buried in the back of the December 1990 issue, Masters’s Foundation is listed as the “only major stockholder of New Dimensions” (Watchman Expositor 8:6 , pp. 8,10).
New Dimensions has a listed address in Grants Pass, Oregon (the same community Masters moved to from the Los Angeles area with many members), and according to the November 29, 1990 Washington Post, the magazine is published in a house next to the Foundation’s church building.
The magazine regularly features leading conservatives as contributing writers. But now with publicized allegations that New Dimensions is merely a front for Masters’s organization, or at best a public relations tool in the same vein as the Unification Church-owned Washington Times, some leading voices have been trying to distance themselves from the magazine.
According to the January 1991 Cult Awareness Network News, after CBS commentator Andy Rooney learned that his column was running in the magazine, he insisted it be withdrawn.
Others have been critical of Christians associating themselves with the magazine due to Masters’s heretical view of Christ, and his open antagonism toward Christians. In the previously mentioned issue of the Washington Post, John Lofton of the Conservative Digest criticized Christians promoting New Dimensions because, as he put it, Masters is “a false prophet and theological fraud.”
However, in a telephone interview with the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, Christian columnist/commentator Cal Thomas said it was not that simple — he didn’t know he was listed as a “contributing writer” for the magazine.
“I have no special relationship with them and no agreement with them,” Thomas said. “In fact, I’ve never even corresponded with those people.”
Thomas said his syndicated column is managed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. Only recently did he find out that New Dimensions is one of many publications that purchases his column. “I saw the name New Dimensions on my royalty statement,” he said, adding that he didn’t at first know what it was. Thomas added that his listing as a “contributing writer” might be misleading since most “contributing writers” are in steady communication with their publications.
At the core of Masters’s sect, which was founded in 1960, is a reliance on meditation, yoga, and hypnotism mixed with many Eastern concepts. Although he claims to be a mystical Christian he rejects the central doctrine of Christianity — Christ’s death on the cross as atonement for sin.