I’ll say again: forget the Freemasons. The group to watch in Dan Brown’s new novel is the Institute of Noetic Sciences (hat tip to Dan–thanks!):
With website traffic increasing from 800 to 65,000 a week in the two weeks since Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” was released, the Institute of Noetic Sciences will launch a multi-part teleseminar series from Washington D.C. as a field guide for readers and people just learning about noetic sciences to help them more deeply understand and enjoy the clues and mysteries of The Lost Symbol.
IONS was founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell and former Standard Oil executive Paul N. Temple — who, interestingly, is also a major contributor to the allegedly evangelical Christian group The Family, the sponsors of the annual National Prayer Breakfast since the Eisenhower administration.
“Noetic” comes from the ancient Greek nous, and refers to “inner knowing” or “intuitive consciousness”. In short, it’s gnosis, the same spiritual drum that Brown’s been beating since Angels and Demons.
The point is that Brown’s fiction meets reality in IONS, and IONS has been influencing prominent American evangelical politicians through The Family since at least 1987, when The Family’s Doug Coe co-chaired a conference with New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard near Boulder, Colorado. The retreat appears to have been organized at the instigation of Paul Temple.
The Obama administration just may be the culmination of this New Age infiltration into evangelical Christianity. The Family still has access to the White House through the congressmen and senators of both parties who meet and fellowship under its aegis, and IONS fellow Van Jones was, for a little while, one of the advisers hand-picked by President Obama’s confidante, Valerie Jarrett.
IONS is indeed going mainstream. And what they’re bringing to Main Street America is a scientific veneer to communing with demons.