A chapter from the book “Dowsing – An Exposé of Hidden Occult Forces”, by Ben G. Hester

It is impossible to write anything on the subject of "good and evil" and expect to reach the mind of every present-day Christian. This is because many Christians refuse to accept the idea of a literal being called Satan, that Satan was the original "tempter" in the Garden of Eden, or that there is an intelligent force of evil. So in fairness to all, we must declare ourselves so that every reader knows without doubt from which standpoint we come.

We were talking to a parapsychologist recently. He is a Godless man who considers himself a hard­headed realist We asked him if he believed in an active force of evil, thinking the question to him might be a stupid non sequitur. He surprised us with his answer. "Every person who deals with the occult knows only too well that there is an intelligent, malevolent force out there which will move in on you when you least expect it"

We found that the "moving in" is something to be dreaded by anyone having such an experience. Yet some Christians, in their ignorance of reality, have taken the intellectual stance that there is no such thing. Yes, we do recognize Satan and the active evil, and from personal experience. We refuse to be drawn into arguments as to the origin of the idea of Satan, whether Satan was or was not the serpent in the Garden of Eden, or the niceties of the role of Satan presently. We know him and what he does from personal exposure, which, even the above mentioned parapsychologist agreed was the real thing.

So, in considering dowsing from a Christian view­point, we believe that good and evil play an impor­tant part, and are crucial to its understanding. We do not recognize the Universal Mind theory or reincar­nation as worthy of consideration simply because they are anti-biblical and anti-Christian. Also, we do not accept, in spite of the attempts of some Chris­tians, that the idea of evolution is compatible with the story of creation. All of these points are of prime importance in a consideration of dowsing.

The Power Sources

Not being able to think of any others whom we must alienate, may we get on with it. If this intelligent power source is believed to come from outer space or other worlds, it must be remembered that this idea only attempts to link science fiction and the Ufonaut to something that is not in the Bible. If there are any other inhabited worlds, and there is no denying that possibility, there is no biblical evidence that any other planet has experienced the disobedi­ence to God's universal law as we did. In other words, there is no biblical hint that other worlds, if there are such, are 'sinful' as we are. Since we were created full-fledged, highly intelligent beings, and disobedience was not necessary to fulfill our holy destiny, and since we have obviously deteriorated since we disobeyed, we seem to be unique in the universe. To speculate that other worlds were creat­ed any less than perfect carries the exercise too far. Therefore if there are other worlds, and if the inhabitants could visit us, they could not lie to us or harm us, both of which are elements of dowsing and the UFO phenomenon (which continually 'crops up' in the dowsing picture).

The Christian who believes in disembodied spirits (spirits of the dead) will fit one of two classifications. Either he believes that the spirit of the dead goes on to its immediate reward, or it stays somewhere in limbo (paradise?) waiting for that great day when its body will be resurrected and given back to it perfected. There is, of course, another classification of believers who believe that the dead only sleep, awaiting the resurrection. Certainly, if "the dead know not anything", they cannot come back. If they have "gone on to their just reward" they cannot be the source either. The dowsing power source is historically, and presently amoral, so the perfected spirit could not be the source, and the spirit in hell would certainly not be allowed to come back to be a dowser's mentor. There is just no biblical justifica­tion for such a theory. This leaves the spirits in limbo; there are two facts that render this theory untenable. It is not biblically substantiated, and the abilities of the dowsing power source are positively super­human. They include total recall of the past, the ability to foretell the future, superhuman knowledge of all things, and the power to over-ride our laws of physics. There is no reason to believe that a yet imperfect human spirit could suddenly acquire such abilities.

However, many dowsers are convinced that the power source is an entity, in fact a spirit of a dead person. One such case, of which we have personal knowledge, is that of a dowser-teacher who held a dowsing seminar in an adjoining city. He allowed us to tape record his classes, and we have those tapes. He stated flatly that several well known historical figures were his "spirit guides". This man was a sincere, humble and able dowser. He expressed his surprise to the class that he should have been singled out for the attention of these spirits. One of those he told about was the spirit of the prophet Moses.

With all due respect for this man's honesty and sincerity, the picture of the spirit of such a great figure as Moses placing itself at the beck and call of a stick waving dowser, much as if it were a genie to be brought out of a bottle at will is, to say the least, preposterous. To add to the insult by using this spirit to make a woman ill because she inconvenienced him, and to boast with a chuckle that he could use this same means to make a man in Chicago "sick as a dog" from his photograph, is so out of character as to be impossible. Yet this man is a highly intelligent person with his emotions under normal control. This was positive reality to him. The rather obvious explanation of this is that this man has been misled by some power source that lied to him convincingly. This instance is not rare—it is commonplace in the occult scene. Who are they? What are they trying to do?

The Power Source Identified

The Bible gives a most positive answer to this. The references may easily be found in both Testaments. They are described, and the inference is clear that they have been a commonplace occurrence in the life of mankind since Adam disobeyed. They are positively identified. There is clear warning that the spirits must be tested to prove their origin before having anything to do with them. The manner of testing them is made plain. The deceiving spirits are identified as evil angels-those who chose to be on the side of Lucifer who became Satan, and whose one and only intention is to deceive mankind and to lead away from the one true God. These deceiving spirit entities, benevolent, seemingly honest, sincere and wise, historically and presently lead mankind away from God by being truthful just enough to establish acceptance, and then the completely destroying lie is slipped in as innocently as if it were a continuation of the preceding truths. These lies are anti-God, every one of them.

So, there are spirit entities. There are two classes. Only one of them is amoral, lying, and hurtful. They are among us, and have been since Eden. They can materialize at will and convince us of reality that is not so. They are masters of the hoax. Eve, our first mother, and presumably the most intelligent wo­man ever to have lived was taken in by the first hoax lie, ". . . ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" without the least hint of the terrible consequences that accompanied the risk. They have been success­fully hoaxing the intelligent among us ever since. According to the Bible, they were created as a higher classification of beings than man. Since their rebel­lion they have used this higher condition (which all of us know well) to defraud us. They fit every known need in an understanding of the occult. We submit that dowsing is an occult act, and has been known as such from ancient times.

The Gigantic Hoax as Seen Today

The fact that dowsing has an undeniable physical element does not detract from an understanding of its occult aspects. There need not be any confusion over this. It is simply a fact that the physical element of the occult is not truly the physics of our planet, which it can and does over-ride. It is also a fact that the physical part of the occult is not even consistent It seems to be used at the whim of the particular spirit or spirits confronting us at that time. It cannot be denied that there is gamma radiation from within the earth, and that there is an incredibly weak radiation from living cells, and that some inanimate objects radiate energies. However, the picture that emerges from a close examination of dowsing reveals a twisting of facts and an adding to our physical phenomena. Sometimes there is evidence of the abrogation of our laws of physics. Again, it is the old trick of using our reality or truths just enough to bait our curiosity, and we are like moths to a flame. We cannot leave it alone. We submit that all of the occult elements of the parapsychological phenomenon are a part of a gigantic hoax to lead man away from God. They are contradictory, unde­pendable, and will not repeat in a scientific manner. The parapsychologist plays with them, or he de­mands that we restructure our physical laws to include things of the "etheric". This is also the method of the dowsing world. It has been in their literature since the turn of the century. We believe that our presentation has made this plain.

The great cry today is to stop condemning the unknown. Those who wish to withhold acceptance until identification and proof are forthcoming are ridiculed. There is an almost senseless demand that the unknowns of what used to be known as the occult world be presently included in the unknowns of the scientific world (Le. quantum physics). It is time we awoke to the intellectual dishonesty (or is it plain stupidity?) of this cry. We hope to present adequate clarification of this accusation.

The Christian Dowser

First, consider the plight of the Christian dowser. If he, or she, is ignorant of the psychic elements he may take rod in hand and go out to find water, nothing more. He does not know that by his decision to dowse also for an ore of his choosing, his rod will oblige. He may not know that other Christian dowsers dowse for ores thinking that that also is a purely physical act. We know of Christian dowsers who have used it as a tool for their own use and to help others for almost a lifetime. It is impossible to accuse them of being occultists, yet they have been using an occult method in ignorance and innocence. This is truly innocent involvement. We wish to discuss this later.

Then there are Christian dowsers who do know, but they find the desire, or necessity, great enough to take the chance. They may never experience any inkling of occult involvement unless they become conscience stricken and desire to stop. They often confess to having prayed for protection, or they tell themselves that this must be a gift from God, suspecting all the while that it just may be something else. Not once have we ever heard one of them admit to having tested the spirits, or that they prayed for enlightenment. We have heard the dowser's smiling prayer, "If this is not from You, do not let it happen!" to show us how wrong we were in our opinion. The rod always worked perfectly after such a prayer. Against this we would present case histories of where prayer stopped the dowsing rod cold! We will also relate case histories of water wells being found by prayer alone.

We will also relate the findings of Christian counselors that tell of the effects of the dowsing exper­ience. We will point out that involvement in the occult almost always occurs in noticeable "steps", just one at a time, with the first one so casual and innocent as to be undetectable. We are certain that dowsing is one of those first steps, and from the Christian standpoint we hope to prove it.

More often, the Christian dowser simply justifies his actions by the acts of someone else. "But Pastor X is a dowser, and he is certainly a holy man! Don't tell me it is Satanic!" We wonder if this holy man committed adultery, and it has happened, would it justify the act? Some consider it to be of so little significance in the light of what greater awful things are being done, that surely nothing will come of it. However this is entirely different from the ordinary committed mistake or sin. In this case the dowser is deliberately putting his hand in the hand of Satan for services rendered. Experience will show them as it has for many before, that just one such contact is all that is necessary for being introduced to the next step or temptation. We are not theorizing. We are dealing in hard facts.

The Trickery of Satan

When once the Devil is seen in the dowsing act, the seemingly outlandish question of Satan's ability to 'do good', and man's using evil or an evil source to do good raises its ugly head. The apostle Paul wrote letters to the fledgling churches or communities in the then civilized world. In those letters he tackled the problems that faced the new and inexperienced Christians. He wrote of these two problems which evidently existed from the beginnings of Christianity. He encouraged them to take a firm stand in a letter to the Christians in Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:13,14) he spoke of false pastors (apostles) and warned the people against them saying that they deceitfully acted like true apostles. Then he went on to say that this was no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." As an angel of light, good and truth must appear to be there or men would not be deceived. If Satan were to appear and act like a monster, or the horned red devil of artist's depiction, he could never deceive a single soul.

The trickery that entraps a Christian is something that appears so delightfully sane, true and good that the lie slipped in to entrap is swallowed with the rest. There is a real world of evil that most people never know about, would not recognize, and certainly will not accept as real. The occultist and parapsycholo­gist know it well and avoid it at all costs. Stepping into it is physically, mentally and spiritually trauma­tic.

Referring again to the parapsychologist who recognized the reality of intelligent evil, he tele­phoned us one night in desperate trouble. He begged us to talk and keep talking to him since he needed "the reality of your voice". He told us that the occult blackness had moved into his house as punishment. He had to wait until it chose to leave to see to dial the phone. This total blackness is so feared that suicide is considered a welcome escape. It engenders a panic fear that is above anything ordinarily experienced. He confessed, what at no other time he might, that he had inadvertently been reading something in "that (expletive) Christian line!" This, he was forbidden to do. He stated it clearly, "I am not allowed to read that stuff. If I do, they move in on me." People laugh at Martin Luther's statement that when the Devil appeared before him, he threw his inkwell at him. Those of us who have never experienced that personal confron­tation are very fortunate, because it just happens to be reality.. The point is, and we repeat it to drive it home, Satan is real, he is the worst enemy of mankind, and he deceives by assuming the role of goodness. He does this just enough to lull and entrap. Then, if one steps out of line, the whipping is immediate and severe.

The End Justifies the Means

Paul also addressed himself to the problem of using evil to do good, so this too is nothing new. In his letter to the Christians in Rome* he stated that the non-believer's gossip that these new Christians were doing evil that good might come of it simply was not true. He wrote that they even charged the Christians with actually saying, "Let us do evil that good might come of it" No, the text does not continue with an exhortation against the use of evil to do good. The strength of the text is that both the letter-writer and the recipients were so aware of the moral standard, there was no need to belabor the point Paul's obvious reason for mentioning it was to voice a scathing denunciation of those so slander­ous of his brethren. This obviously raises a question a non-Christian may never understand.

A perfect case in point is the news story about a Christian dowser who, with the financial help of his church brethren, went to the refugee camps in Cambodia early in 1980 to find water wells for the desperately thirsty refugees. There was supposed to be no underground potable water in that area. Wells had been dug to no avail. He dowsed well after well of good water. The photograph in the press of children gathered around a stream of water coming out of a hand pump, and the expression on their faces was answer enough to the question of the dowser's success.

In Grants Pass, Oregon, Paul Macomber, a staff writer for the Grants Pass Daily Courier, wrote up the story and was shocked at the letters he received from Christians who condemned the dowser for his act of sorcery to do a good deed. In the May 30 issue of the Courier, Macomber answered these charges. He retold the story and remarked on the dowsing debate that is old and will probably continue "for generations to come". He admitted to being a skeptic, but he also found it difficult to credit the Devil with success and goodness. He stated that faith has much to do with the acceptance of things not having "conventional scientific explanations" and he felt it is easy to give God the credit for those things of which we approve, and blame the Devil for the things with which we do not agree. He agreed that life would be simpler if God would supply annotations to the Bible every year or so to update it and clarify which things were "heaven sent and which are the work of the devil"

Meanwhile, he said, our guideline is to know people "by their fruits". He ended with the question of who is really to blame, the man who did the truly altruistic deed, or the people sitting in their easy chairs finding evil in things they do not understand, and passing judgment on people they do not even know.

He wrote us that his column was not aimed only at the critics of witching. He just did not believe, he said that" either God or civilization is served by hollering 'evil' and pointing fingers." He only hoped for a more thoughtful dialogue. He said that on the bottom line he wondered whether it made any difference how the refugees were helped; by prayer, committed volunteers, financial aid, or democratic process, as long as God gets the glory.

We are certain, even from our limited contact with Paul Macomber, that he is an honest man and a good reporter. His editorial reply to the critical Christians seemed to be aimed at their "holier than thou" attitude, yet the overall thought of his com­ments summed up by, ". . . I really wonder how much difference it makes. . . as long as God gets the glory instead of a black eye on behalf of his believers," epitomizes this problem that has always haunted Christians. The Jesuits put it more succinctly in their motto, "The End Justifies the Means". Carried to its extremes it has been a blot on the face of Christianity, yet in its less violent aspects it still poses a question of ethics a Christian must face.

There is, perhaps, no way that criticism of this dowser could be made without the critic being labeled an unfeeling, self-righteous, carping skunk, yet does the Christian have the right to use a pagan act of divination to do good? The Bible says no! and for a very good reason. It offers another means to the same end, and peculiarly Christian. It is what is called 'prayer'. The idea of finding a water well by prayer would be laughable to most Christians today because it is just not done that way and it could not be done so if one wanted to. Oh yes it is being done so. The history of this way of doing the impossible goes back to the earliest Christians who were solving their problems in the name of Jesus Christ. Our dilemma today is that we have slipped so far from those days of real faith we do exactly as accused by Paul Macomber. We sit in our easy chairs, say it can't be done, and find fault with the doers. What an unbelievable witness for Christianity finding those wells in Cam­bodia by prayer would have been!

The Only Alternative to Dowsing

In collecting anecdotes about locating water wells by prayer, or the experiences of dowsing and prayer, we ran across one outstanding fact. Regardless of the interpretation we hear made of certain biblical promises concerning it, prayer cannot be used in the same sense one used dowsing! Success in locating water wells by prayer is recorded. Complete failure is also recorded. There are case histories of the dowsing rod being stopped cold by prayer, as well as bitter disappointment because there was no reaction from prayer. This is reality, so there must be a reason. Since God cannot lie, does not change, and has promised answer to prayer, the answer has to be in the supplicant.

This places us in the uncomfortable position of apparently standing in judgment on the Christian who has failed to receive such an answer. This we dare not do, but in justice to the Christian reader whom we might have persuaded to try prayer as an alternative, we must point out that there are facts to consider. The easiest answer is to write it all off as chance-however one wishes to do it However, this is not honesty. Some of the case histories of well-finding by prayer contain facts that make the odds against chance too great. So, if prayer does work only part of the time, why? If we have heard one story about answered prayer, we have heard three of unanswered prayer.

So, to return to the problem of using prayer. To explain this, the use of dowsing must be reconsid­ered. Any person, pagan, Christian, or whatever, can with faith, use dowsing to his own ends. One learns the formula and the use of that power is at his finger tips. Not so of prayer. This is not to say that the Christian who gets no affirmative answer is in reality evil-it is more complex than that. In talking to that very small minority of present-day Christians who do receive phenomenal answers to prayer, it is apparent that the first factor is the complete dedica­tion of their lives to Jesus Christ. (That eliminates much of what we others accept as a normal way of life-no details necessary.) The second factor is the daily dedication of their wills to God. ("Thy will be done" is obviously the most difficult prayer imagin­able.) The third factor is their continuing effort to ascertain God's will before making a specific prayer request. (How many of us would think of spending time in prayer to ascertain if we should purchase that piece of property in the country. We see it, we like it, we buy it!) Every anecdote of answered prayer we have run across has had one common, and seemingly important factor. The prayer was one of humble supplication. It was not a phone call to take advantage of an advertised offer. There are other elements of unanswered (or refused) prayer that we just do not understand. We only record what we have witnessed in the dowsing scene.

It does seem that successful request prayers are dependent on the kind of Christian experience that places the will of God uppermost, the sincere offer of one's self to be used by God, and the humble placement of the personal need before Him. It seems to be something like a child-to-father rela­tionship with the attendant sensitive communica­tion. Few of us are privileged to know this firsthand. It points up the fact that there is nothing in common with the request to occult power. We will remark on this later. First, there is the matter of locating water wells by prayer.

Following are two illustrations of the use of prayer in finding water where it was either difficult to find, or there was supposed to be none there. Note a significant difference in this prayer method and dowsing. In 1980, a sincere Christian man and wife in northern California had to have a water well to live on the country acreage they owned. They were urged to call in a dowser. They believed dowsing to be sorcery, so they would have none of it. They prayed about it repeatedly, not having the least idea of how the answer might come. Finally the day came when the driller arrived and they still had no answer, yet they still held to their belief that prayer was the right way. The driller approached them, dowsing rod in hand. They told him they did not want the property dowsed. In complete misunderstanding of their reason, he assured them there would be no charge for the dowsing. They repeated their refusal, and asked him to wait for a few minutes. They went into the house to pray one last time. When they came out again, the man pointed to a spot conven­ient to the kitchen and said, "Drill there." The resultant well turned out to be one of the best in the area.

Chance? Maybe, however there was one curious fact about this well. It so happened that water in this region was so difficult to find, a stream had to be located and penetrated to get any water at all!

The second anecdote is about a couple in France, Luc and Patricia Fouchard who live near La Chapelle in southern France. this area is the typically hot, dry country where irrigation is a necessity. The Fou­chards have a small, self-supporting rehabilitation center for youth there, and an important part of their program is the youth participation in an extensive organic farming project. So water in adequate quantities is a prime necessity. The water supply, as it was several years ago, diminished during the hot summer so that one field after another had to be abandoned, and finally there was not enough for bathing or flushing the toilets. With forty to sixty people at the center, this became an impossible situation. Something had to be done. The four drilled wells that had been put down in the past were failures. Finally some Christian friends in the U. S. raised enough money to drill once more. Consulta­tion with geologists and local people who knew the area, elicited the discouraging information that water there could probably not be found-at any depth. Everyone involved prayed earnestly, right up to the time of arrival of the driller. He set up to drill and hit an abundant supply of water at only 45 feet, and it held right through the dry summertime.

If the two above wells had been dowsed, these successes would be casually accepted. However, since they were not, one is tempted to think in terms of chance. Yet, was it any more of a miracle to have found water in these unlikely places by prayer than by dowsing? Is it any more questionable that God could, or would, put it into the minds of these prayerful Christians where to locate the well than to accept the idea of another supernatural intelligence transferring this knowledge through the dowsing rod? Did it really require any more faith to believe that prayer would result in the finding of water than the dowser exercises in picking up the witching rod? For anyone who has not yet learned the power of prayer, or who has no geologist friend, or knows an 'old timer' who knows 'the lay of the land', or does not live in an area close enough to a scientist who has a scintillation counter to be able to afford his services, dowsing may seem the only way out. At least it will be a big temptation. They must decide whether it is worth it to make a pact with Satan for this convenience. We use the word 'pact' with good reason. It is recognized that Satan's one purpose toward the human race is to cause the loss of souls. Therefore Satan only 'does business' with a person toward that selfish end. Also, therefore, if a person accepts a favor from Satan, he is indebted- he has made a pact of a favor for what? Satan then has a claim upon him. He has also weakened himself for the next temptation which will come. It will not be just any temptation, but one tempting just a little larger step into the occult. This is a recorded fact. The Christian cannot afford the smallest step in that direction.

Innocent Involvement

Now it is time to look at the problem of the innocent dowser. It is shocking to find Christians who refuse to believe such a thing is possible. They believe that the innocent will be protected from such a thing. However, reality proves it is not always true, and since God is loving and good, there must be a reason. In the occult world, there are two ways it may occur. It may be inherited! The entire occult world knows this and a few religious writers remark on it. One hears the statement, "My grandmother was a water witch, so was my mother, and it comes natural to me." Or, "My mother was a sensitive, so was her mother and grandmother." This is generally followed by an unusual tale of unasked-for occult ability by the person making the statement. The world of witchcraft is proud of it and it is not 'an old wives' tale'. We know this from personal experience. Thus it is that an innocent one may be called to fight the psychic the same as an inherited disease or mental problem. However, if occult power has not been inherited, then the innocent has had to learn it. He may have been misled by someone in whom he has implicit faith, or perhaps no reason not to. Or, it appeared to be convenient. We know of a sincere Christian woman who was shocked and unbelieving when told that the Ouija Board she was using to advise her was, in fact, not a God-given answer­ board but a Satanic device.

She had inherited large landholdings she was unable to handle. She heard of the Ouija Board and purchased one in her need. It worked fine. When one thinks of the innocent, it is generally the picture of a sweet innocent-faced child. There is no argument against the obvious circumstances of protection that we all know. How­ever, there is a difference in the circumstance of the child walking along the edge of a cliff, and using a dowsing rod, which she was taught to use, "because children are such apt pupils and learn to dowse so quickly". When she picks up the dowsing rod to astonish her adult audience, she is actively playing with 'an intelligent, amoral force' that wants just one thing— her destruction. How much more foolish is her action if she is a grown woman with perception.

This author's mother was a staunch Christian, but also a natural-born telepath. She used it innocently enough, but looking back, we realize it was directly responsible for the catastrophe that befell her and for which she paid dearly. Now, in many years of retrospect we realize she never once made personal application of the knowledge she had about the occult. Was God to blame because she was not protected from herself? This is an extremely com­plex situation, and it is altogether too easy to close the mind to its reality and to blame God. We make no claim to have answered the question fully. Perhaps only 'on the other side' will the answer be known.

It is completely incompatible with the understanding we have of a loving God that a person could be held accountable in a judgmental way for innocent wrongdoing. It is also true that it seldom happens that our wrongdoing is entirely innocent. We generally have some inkling of the true nature of the desire or temptation. This brings us to the hurt we bring upon ourselves by our wrong acts. It is a common occurrence to abandon common sense, and when payment time comes about we cry to God for extrication. Sometimes in old age and looking back is the first time this is seen clearly.