The Curious Mystical Text Behind Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Bid

By then, Ms. Williamson was rising into her position as a full-blown movie star, leaping between New York and the hills of Southern California. In 1991, she officiated Elizabeth Taylor’s marriage ceremony — a ceremony at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch — and provided counsel to Bill and Hillary Clinton at a 1994 Camp David go to. She crossed paths with Donald Trump, who requested her presence at a Mar-a-Lago fund-raiser in order that she and Marla Maples may meet. Time journal referred to as her “Hollywood’s New Age attraction.”

More books, primarily based on the Course, adopted at a daily clip — a minimum of six have climbed the New York Times best-seller listing — every providing nostrums on the healing energy of thought.

Weight loss? “The cause of your excess weight is fear, which is a place in your mind where love is blocked.”

Poverty? “Many people fail to manifest money because on some deep level they don’t think they should.”

“Disease,” she wrote, “is loveless thinking materialized.”

With movie star got here scandal and criticism. Early on, conservatives dismissed her work as lowbrow woo-woo. In a chopping evaluation from 1992, the Commentary author John Podhoretz referred to as her writing “unspeakably tasteless,” her theology shallow. He allowed that there have been flashes of homespun attraction however concluded, “Williamson is merely peddling a brand of Religiosity Lite.” Christian polemicists additionally went after Ms. Williamson, labeling the messages of the Course as heretical. One group, the Christian Research Institute, ominously described the narrator of the Course as not divine in any respect, however “a demon cleverly impersonating Jesus” bent on turning a “person’s perception against Christian faith and toward New Age occultism.”

There had been additionally high-profile fallouts with collaborators over time. Members of her charity’s board of administrators noticed her as an illiberal supervisor who hated to be upstaged; a number of the extra secular-minded members grew uneasy with Ms. Williamson’s penchant for opening fund-raisers with prayer.

Meanwhile, there have been management struggles in the neighborhood of Course scholars, which had continued to swell over time, largely due to Ms. Williamson’s work. There was by no means a central Course authority, precisely, which led to murky copyright disputes: If the channeled e book actually got here from Jesus, might anybody declare publishing rights?

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