“I give to students of my course an assignment: to be in a garden and lay down in the ground and be permeated by the universe’s presence above them and by the planet sustaining them,” said Olavo de Carvalho in the beginning of his movie titled “The Garden of Afflictions,” premiering in 2017.
Even though he also tried to fit a historical Christ and his sufferings in such garden, his emphasis was “in the universe’s presence,” a term quoted by him more times during the movie.
Interaction with the universe is a significant characteristic of the New Age philosophy, a movement born in the foundation in 1875 of the Theosophical Society, which mixed philosophy and spiritualism (esotericism, occultism). Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was the founder of the Theosophical Society.
The movie ends with a spiritualistic poetic tone, with Olavo de Carvalho saying:
“In my lifetime, I had never the impression that the dead are absent… My dear dead… I do not miss them, because they are present, they exist… Eternity is the current and simultaneous ownership of all our moments… What happened here, during a fraction of seconds, is in eternity.”
If, as he said himself, in his lifetime he had never the impression that the dead are absent, then his spiritualist concept only was adapted to Catholicism, in a syncretism very common in Brazil.
Would it be far-fetched to imagine a link between New Age and the worldview of Olavo de Carvalho’s 2017 movie, ‘The Garden of Afflictions’?
Reality points stronger connections than mere figment of imagination or coincidence. Movie director Josias Teófilo was already known as contributor in the magazine Sophia, a national publication in Brazil published by the Theosophical Publishing House.
Yet, connections do not stop here.
Teófilo has already lectured in several major theosophical lodges in Brazil, including Hope Theosophical Lodge, in João Pessoa; Sirius Theosophical Lodge, in Campina Grande; and also the Brazilian headquarters of the Theosophical Society, in Brasília. Just as other lecturers in the theosophical lodges, Teófilo has a degree in philosophy.
Following the example of Freemasonry, Brazilian theosophy calls its meeting places “lodges.”
In the Campina Grande lodge, Teófilo spoke about the importance of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s spiritualist vision on September 27, 2014.
In her best-selling book “The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and our Coming Age of Barbarism,” published in 1983, evangelical jurist Constance E. Cumbey said (page 29):
“A vast organizational network today, the New Age Movement received it modern start in 1875 with the founding of the Theosophical Society by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. A basic teaching of this organization was that all world religions had ‘common truths’ that transcended potential differences. Strongly propounding the theory of evolution, they also believed in the existence of ‘masters’ who were either spirit beings or fortunate men more highly ‘evolved’ than the common herd. This was a doctrine which was to have a substantial impact on the development of Hitler’s Nazism several decades later.”
In the International Theosophical School held in Brasília on July 2012, Josias Teófilo delivered a lecture to youth in the workshop “Mysticism and Neoplatonism.”
Neoplatonism is an esoteric philosophy unmasked by evangelical author Nancy Pearcey in her book “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity,” dedicating Appendix 2 “Modern Islam and The New Age Movement,” to address exclusively this subject.
Pearcey described New Age Islamic adherents’ passion for Plato and Aristotle. Among adherents, she mentioned René Guénon, a French Catholic who converted to Islamic esotericism.
Similarly, Olavo de Carvalho, who is considered the responsible for making Guénon known in Brazil, even having translated into Portuguese one of his books, is a promoter of Neoplatonism, which may, among other connections, have brought him near Teófilo.
Guénon founded the Traditionalist School to promote an esoteric anti-Marxist conservatism.
Carvalho’s “conservative” and “anti-Marxist” base comes from Guénon’s Traditionalist School, who was one of the most prominent leaders of the New Age’s Islamic esotericism. To understand Carvalho’s esoteric base, read “What Draws Olavo de Carvalho to the United States?”
Carvalho’s current supposedly “conservative” and “anti-Marxist” career is marked by many forecasts in the political realm. These forecasts, or handling of tips with several different and even antagonistic previsions, come from his experience and history as the founder of the first school of astrologers in Brazil in the 1980s.
Even today, the power of his astrological influence is so sharp that a Protestant teacher who became his hard-core disciple, fighting inflexibly Marxist indoctrination in the classroom, incurred into the severe fault of taking astrological indoctrination into the classroom. Last month, in a public Facebook post in Portuguese, she confessed that she frequently teaches her students to make astral maps. Because astrology is totally forbidden in the Bible, it is evident that the Protestant teacher did not learn this occultist practice in the Bible or Protestant churches. Because she is a prominent student in Carvalho’s “philosophical” class, it is evident the origin of her attitude of taking astrological indoctrination into the classroom.
It is not possible to separate Carvalho’s “political” forecasts from his New Age history, just as it is not possible to separate a New Age soul from “The Garden of Afflictions,” because its director is so involved in spiritualistic philosophies as the movie’s main character.
“The Garden of Afflictions” is more than a movie personifying Guénon’s anti-Marxist traditionalism. It is a personality cult of astrologer Olavo de Carvalho, directed by a Brazilian theosophist. No one better than an esotericist to speak of another esotericist.
By watching “The Garden of Afflictions,” the unsuspecting evangelical public suffers esoteric influences from its director and character.
Brazilian evangelical churches and publishing houses spent much of the 1990s warning about the dangers of New Age. If “The Garden of Afflictions” had been launched in that time, it would have been rightly identified as New Age propaganda, right in Guénon’s anti-Marxist traditionalist style. There is no lack of evidence to support such identification.
Today, Brazilian evangelical churches and publishing houses hardly talk about New Age stuff. Consequence? Even Pentecostal ministers are unconsciously recommending and promoting New Age.
On June 2017, Victorio Galli, an Assemblies of God minister and congressman, spoke at the floor of the Brazilian Congress to praise “The Garden of Afflictions.” Publicly, he also praised theosophist Josias Teófilo.
On July 2017, Marco Feliciano, an Assemblies of God minister and congressman, incurred in the same fault, publishing a public Facebook post tagging Carvalho and Josias Teófilo and asking his public to watch, like and share “The Garden of Afflictions,” which was recommended by him at the floor of the Brazilian Congress.
It is not the first time Feliciano has stumbled horribly. In early 2017, he recommended books by Paulo Coelho, an internationally famous New Age author.
Galli and Feliciano were “naiver” than Americans. In the premiere of the movie in New York in July, the American public did not appear. Just a few Brazilian immigrants did.
Even Americans who are members of the Inter-American Institute, headed by Carvalho, did not attend the premiere of his movie and did not recommend it.
“The Garden of Afflictions” is a New Age movie, from character to director. It is sheer propaganda of the anti-Marxist traditionalism that esotericist Guénon already promoted many decades before Carvalho. The only difference is that it has pinches of Carvalho’s Catholic syncretism but it does not make it different from most Brazilian Catholics. It is hard to find a non-syncretic Brazilian Catholic.
If we were in the 1990s, soaked in the Protestant world in exposés against New Age, “The Garden of Afflictions,” his character and director could not enter the churches and be praised by Assemblies of God ministers at the floor of the Brazilian Congress.
Yet, today Feliciano cannot identify the threat. New Age, in philosophical apparel, became stylish to them.
With “The Garden of Afflictions,” it became easy to enter Protestant churches and hearts. This occultist invasion happens in a time when the powerful American Left has recognized that the main conservative power in Brazil are evangelicals. Such fundamental acknowledgment is nonexistent in “The Garden of Afflictions,” because its greater mission is to promote his own syncretic Catholic character as the main power and intelligence in the Brazilian conservatism.
If even the American Left sees that evangelicals, who give glory to God, are making the real difference in conservatism, why did Feliciano prefer to give glory to a mere astrologer, who has distinguished himself for turning his Protestant disciples in mere syncretic religious individuals (as it is the case of the Protestant teacher adherent of astrological indoctrination in the classroom)?
If ministers like Feliciano do not perceive that they are being undermined, Brazilian evangelicals may become weak to continue leading the Brazilian conservative wave.
They need to read as soon as possible the article “What Draws Olavo de Carvalho to the United States?” before the propaganda of “The Garden of Afflictions” turns them in mere fools in the service of New Age.
Portuguese version of this article: “O Jardim das Aflições,” um filme da Nova Era
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