Course in Miracles or in Brainwashing?
Course in Miracles [ACIM] is a religious sect created by research
Schucman who claimed Jesus dictated A Course in Miracles ACIM to
her. The essence ACIM is allegedly love and forgiveness.
unexplained reason Jesus did not appear in person to give his message of
love to everyone or at least to a group of people so everyone is
confirmed that we are not dealing with an impostor but chose to dictate his Course in Miracles to
just one individual, Helen
Schucman who compiled ACIM and made it available to mankind,
leaving all of us in doubt of her credibility, honesty and truthfulness
-- a terrible mistake on the part of Jesus, that can only lead to
This article is a study of "A Course in Miracles"
and its evaluation
in the light of reason.
Here is what Hellen Schucman the founder of the A Course in Miracles
can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
(T-Intro 2:1,2,3,4) 
Let us test the claim
of Schucman and ACIM by the litmus of reason. If
it is real then nothing can threaten it.
Humans are born free. The greatest freedom we have is
the freedom of thought. Followers cannot be freethinkers. Only sheep
need follow. Rational humans are supposed to think and make their
choices independently. The choices that we make must be based on logics.
We are free to believe in anything we want, but to be rational we have
to be able to prove our beliefs. As humans we have to be rational
thinkers because the antithesis to rational thinking is irrational
Beliefs are either true or they are false. True
beliefs can be defended with logics and as Schucman said nothing can
threaten them. False beliefs cannot be defended logically. People who
love the truth are not afraid of scrutiny of their beliefs. They care more
about the truth and if they find what they believe is false they will
abandon it. People with false beliefs are afraid to talk because they
cannot defend them logically and hence avoid discussions. They are
filled with fear and insecurity.
One definition of critical thinking is as follow:
“Thinking critically – reflecting on the
assumptions underlying our and others’ ideas and actions, and
contemplating alternative ways of thinking and living – is one of
the important ways in which we become adults. When we think critically, we come to our
judgments, choices and decisions for ourselves, instead of letting
others do this on our own behalf. We refuse to relinquish the
responsibility for making the choices that determine our individual
and collective futures to those who presume to know what is in our
best interests. We become actively engaged in creating our personal
and social worlds.” 
Another definition is:
“Just what do we do when we're thinking critically? To
think critically is to think clearly, accurately and fairly while
evaluating the reasons for accepting some belief or taking some
action. The goal of thinking critically is simple: to
guarantee, as far as possible, that one's beliefs and actions are
justifiable and can withstand the test of rational analysis. To achieve this goal one
must rigorously scrutinize one's own beliefs and actions as well as
the beliefs and actions of others.” 
Let us evaluate and test with reason the claims of Hellen Schucman to see
whether her claims about A Course in Miracles are true.
Feel Good Factor:
Before going into that let us talk about the “feel good factor”. The
feel good factor is subjective and it must not be taken as a valid
argument in defense of any belief. People who follow any cult or
religion do so because it makes them feel good. They think they have
found the truth and they are very happy with their findings. But of
course some of those beliefs are very dangerous. The followers of the
Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide because they thought an
extraterrestrial ship hiding in the tail of the comet Hailey is going to
take them to Heaven. They murdered themselves happily. The followers of
Aum sect poisoned people in the subways of Tokyo believing that this
will liberate their victims from the painful cycle of birth and death
and take them to their nirvana. They committed murder of innocent people
happily and with clear conscience. The same is true in the case of the
terrorists of the September 11. So the feel good factor must be
discarded at once because it is extremely misleading. The fact that a
belief makes you feel good is no proof that it is true. That feel good
factor is subjective and could be false.
How It All Started.
Now, let us take a quick look at the genesis of A Course in Miracles. Hellen
Schucman was a research psychologist, an atheist and ethnically a Jew. She claimed
receiving revelations from Jesus in the form of dictations. She wrote:
I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still
very surprised when I wrote, "This is a course in miracles."
That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to
be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a
shorthand notebook.” 
Did she give any proof for that claim?… Absolutely none. She expects
people to believe in her claim and take her for her words. How could we
know that she told the truth?
Did she really hear voices? If so then could it be that she was
schizophrenic? Schizophrenics hear voices in their heads and those
voices are real to them. They also are obsessed with religion and God.
Or perhaps all that started as an experiment. Think about it! Schucman
was a research psychologist; she was into experiments on minds, she did
not believe in God, therefore she did not have any qualms or fear of God
for misleading people and lying about Him and she decided to test the
gullibility of human beings. She invents a religion using Christian
terminology to target the Christians, even though she did not believe
in Christianity. Why Christians only? Aren’t the rest of people
children of God too?
The Jewish Influence:
As I said Hellen Schucman was a Jew. Not surprisingly the religion that
she invented reflects the Jewish concepts of Christianity. In A Course in Miracles Christ is not the Son of
God but one of his many sons. Schucman denied the exclusive station that the
Christians attribute to Jesus and claimed that he was an enlightened
person and that all humans as sons of God who can reach the station of
Christhood if they evolve or “mutate” spiritually. This concept of
course is not Christian but Buddhist.
George P. Walmsley, Jr. in the Miracles Study - An Introduction writes:
time was the fall of 1965; the place was New York City, and these words
infiltrated the mind of a hard-nosed, Ph.D, research psychologist by the
name of Helen Schucman. She would become the scribe of, "The
Course", learning that the identity of the voice she was
hearing was none-other than, Jesus, yet quite different from the
one Christianity would exalt to the status of, "The Only
Begotten Son of God." This time, Jesus would identify
himself as our elder brother - identifying us all as Christ,
and part of the same Sonship to which he belongs. It is this
Jesus that is the author of, A Course in Miracles - the same Jesus
Helen had a love/hate relationship with for a good part of her life. 
In Chapter 3
of A Course in Miracles Schucman denied also the crucifixion. That is strange
since the crucifixion is expressly stated in all the four books of the
evangels. So why would Schucman deny it? The answer again is that she
was a Jew. Jews deny the crucifixion. They never accepted the
responsibility. Schucman grew up being influenced by Jewish propaganda.
Even though later she became an atheist, Judaism was the foundation of
her education. Therefore it was natural for her to implement her own beliefs into her
self-made religion than accept what is written in the New Testament. A Course
in Miracles states:
A further point must be perfectly clear before any residual fear
still associated with miracles can disappear. 2 The
crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection
did. 3 Many sincere Christians have misunderstood this. 4 No one who is
free of the belief in scarcity could possibly make this mistake. 5 If
the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it does
appear as if God permitted and even encouraged
one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. 6 This particularly
unfortunate interpretation, which arose out of projection, has led many
people to be bitterly afraid of God. 7 Such anti-religious concepts
enter into many religions. 8 Yet the real Christian should pause and
ask, "How could this be?" 9 Is it likely that God Himself
would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have
clearly stated is unworthy of His Son?” 
Room For Non Christians
Most people are gullible. Some started believing in her. As a matter of
fact it makes no difference what you preach. There are always people who
are credulous enough to believe in you. What started as an experiment,
(assuming it was not schizophrenia) eventually took the shape of a religion
when followers flocked in. At this point Schucman had the choice
to come clean and say it was just a hoax folk, or continue. What would have
happened if she had told the truth? She would have angered many people
who had fallen for her lies. So she decided to continue and stir her
foolhardy followers to what she thought would be the best. We should not
overlook the ego factor either. As a human she must also have ravished
in her newfound popularity and respect that she received from her
followers. Power is ecstasy.
The experiment worked. It always works. Bertrand Russell in "Marriage and Morals"
fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that
it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the
majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish
Russell had it right. The majority of humanity is just silly. And silly
people are easy to fleece. Now that she had the Christians hooked, she
decided to accommodate others and make room for non-Christians as well.
One of the most prominent figures in the Course is the ex singer Marianne
Williamson. She authored a book called A Return To Love. In the
page 41 of that book she wrote: "A Course In Miracles does
not push Jesus. Although the books come from him, it is made very clear
that you can be an advanced student of the Course and not relate
personally to him at all."
Now that is bizarre! How can one believe in a teaching while rejecting
the teacher’s authority? This can only be interpreted as intellectual
dishonesty and the desire to promote A Course in Miracles at any cost.
The Doctrine of Illusion:
A Course in Miracles sums up:
is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must
be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion. At best it seems
like life; at worst, like death. (T-23.II.19:all) 
In other words what you and I experience here is noting but illusion.
Living and dying, are just good and bad dreams.
Among other absurd teachings of the Course we learn that “Real
life is only Mind, but the body is a lifeless illusion and God did not
make the body”
The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who are
life. …God did not make the body, because it is destructible, and
therefore not of the Kingdom. (T-6.V.A.1:all) & (T-6.V.A.2:1) 
So who made the body?
Even if we believe in this absurdity, there is nothing new in
that. This is the Berkley’s idealism. According to Berkeley's
principal metaphysical position “nothing, including material objects,
exists apart from perception; external objects are ultimately
collections of ideas and sensations.” 
we see Schucman is preparing a cocktail of already existing ideas.
Nothing taught in A Course in Miracles is new and therefore no revelation was needed to tell us humans
what we already knew and some of which we already discarded as false.
Further, on the subject of illusion Schucman writes:
"Once an individual has been caught in the
world of perception he is caught in a dream. He cannot escape without
help, because everything his senses show him merely witnesses to the
reality of the dream" (A Course In Miracles: What Is It?, p. 7). 
The reality compared to a “dream” is a borrowed concept from Daoism.
The book of Zhuangzi narrates:
day about sunset, Zhuangzi dozed off and dreamed that he turned into a
He flapped his wings and sure enough he was a butterfly.
What a joyful feeling as he fluttered about, he completely forgot that
he was Zhuangzi.
Soon though, he realized that that proud butterfly was really Zhuangzi
who dreamed he was a butterfly, or was it a butterfly who dreamed he was
Maybe Zhuangzi was the butterfly, and maybe the butterfly was Zhungzi?”
In this story, the Chinese philosopher is trying to say that the world is
an illusion. The concept of the illusory world therefore predated the
"revelation" of A Course in Miracles by at least 2500 years in China and even more
in India. It was already thought by sages who were not prophets and did
not claim to have received any revelations. Did God learn this concept
The question arises, if the world is just a dream and every thing is just
an illusion, what should we do to wake up.
Kenneth Wapnick, one of the key players of A Course in Miracles explains:
"If we now attempt to follow the Holy Spirit's thinking, and we want
to prove that the world is not real and that the sin of separation
never happened, all that is needed is to prove that sin has no effect.
"If we could prove that the cause had no effect then the cause can
no longer exist. If something is not a cause it is not real, because
everything that is real must be a cause and thus have an effect. If we
remove the effect we are also eliminating the cause.” 
The absurdity of these statements are self-evident. Wapnick is not
suggesting to remove the sin but to pretend that sin has no effect. So
if one is a victim of a crime all he has to do is to pretend that the
crime never happened and therefore he cannot be harmed by it. What if
the victim is dead? What if the victim loses a limb, an eye or
becomes wheelchair bound? What about the survivors of the dead victim?
Should they just pretend that the crime has never happened and their
loved one is among them? Could they?
"Now, if the greatest effect of sin in this world is death,
demonstrating that death is an illusion simultaneously demonstrates
that there is no sin.” 
Shucman is dead. Is that our illusion or is it hers? Could we tell a
mother who has lost a child, oh don’t cry you are just having an
Schucman makes startling statements such as:
"There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left. But
there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false
beliefs of your Identity, Which God alone established in reality.
According to the above, Man is still in heaven. It is simply the illusion
of sin and death that have caused false senses of reality.
Therefore all these wars, crimes, calamities, pains and
sufferings are figments of our imagination and are not real.
Course in Miracles also teaches that evil does not exist. It is an illusion that
must be overcome by right thinking.
is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist."
According to the Course pain and suffering are illusory. They are only in
the imagination of the person who is suffering.
are the dreamer of the world. You, singularly and individually (but not
personally as a separate entity, as that "you" is illusory),
are dreaming the entire universe of pain and suffering, sickness and
Is that true? If we stop “dreaming” about terrorism, wars or the
natural disasters do they go away?
As I understand from this explanation, you are responsible for
all the evil things going on in your world because you are dreaming
them. So all you have to do is stop dreaming and your world will become
a paradise. Looks like according to this doctrine each one of us is the
writer and the director of this universe. A universe that exists nowhere
but in our own minds. All we have to do is to change
our dreams and the world will change accordingly.
The more we read the more we realize A Course in Miracles is a course in
stupidity, a course in absurdity, in brainwashing, in fantasies and in
self-deceptions. But the
stupidity does not end there.
A Course in Miracles states:
No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. 5. Any
concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces
the idea that blame is justified. " [T-6.I.16]
This is absurd. Sin means transgression of a divine law. Those who
transgress are sinners. And if there is a divine justice the sinners and
non-sinners cannot be treated both equally. Hitler cannot sit next to
Gandhi and enjoy the same privileges or the divine Justice becomes
meaningless. If we survive our deaths, as A Course in Miracles states, would it be
just if a criminal is not blamed for his crimes? Are we humans not
responsible for our actions?
Another disturbing deduction of this philosophy is that since “Sons of
God are not sinners” and pain and suffering are only illusions, a
rapist is not guilty but his victim is. He is not
to be blamed because as the son of God he can't commit sin, but she is guilty for imagining all that pain and
suffering. The pain is not caused by the aggressor but is the cause of
the separation of the victim from God. It boggles the mind to think that
otherwise intelligent people would let themselves be fooled by this much
A Course in Miracles teaches that there are no absolutes; truth is relative and is determined
by one's experience. According to the Cyclopedia In A Course In
Miracles, "only what is loving is true."
This is yet another intellectual fallacy. Truth is the state of being
factual. It is neither loving nor cruel. Truth is bereft of feelings.
2+2=4. This is a true statement. To be loving or not has no relevance on
the outcome of truth. Truth must be factual. If it is not factual it
is not true. Love is subjective. It has nothing to do with facts. One
can love anther person believing him to be his father. That belief could
be untrue but that love is real. What we are seeing here are vague talks
that have no meaning whatsoever. Mixing love and truth together is like
adding apples and crocodiles.
Sources of the Revelation:
Much of what Hellen Schucman claimed to be revelations dictated to her by
Jesus are actually taken from Eastern philosophies. “All ways lead to
God” is a Hindu concept that is incorporated in the Course. Also
Hinduism teaches that the world and all that is in it is Maya, or
illusion. Looks like the Jesus that dictated to Schucman had a crash
course on Hinduism and plagiarized many of their concepts.
“Hinduism considers the world in which we live as
a projection of God and unreal. It is unreal not because it does
not exist, but because it is unstable, impermanent, unreliable and
Revelation’s Earlier Versions:
Even though Schucman claimed that A Course in Miracles
was dictated to her by
Jesus, an unedited, earlier
version of that book has surfaced – with a number of key
differences between it and her final version. Some Internet sites have
published that version and this has caused some legal fight between the
Foundation for A Course In Miracles who claims to have the copyright
to Schucman’s writings and the sites who say the words of Jesus are
not copyrightable. 
The point is who decided to revise and edit the words of Jesus?
and Gloria Wapnick, the executive directors of the Foundation For A
Course in Miracles [FACIM] of Roscoe, N.Y., which holds the book's
copyright, say the early manuscript is nothing but a rough draft. On
February 19, 2000, Ken told the Salt Lake Tribune
lot of changes had to be made because Helen's hearing was not all that
good," he said. "The early material was not polished or
well-written and had a number of inconsistencies." 
But didn’t Helen Schucman say that the voice did
not make any sound? In that case her hearing abilities are irrelevant.
She heard those "internal dictations" in her head. She could have been deaf for that matter and hear the voice.
Kenneth Wapnick wrote:
“Helen took down her internal dictation in stenographic notebooks,
using her own version of shorthand, and dictated these notes to Bill. Helen
intentionally omitted some material while dictating to Bill,
who typed Helen's dictation.” 
her unpublished autobiography Hellen makes a startling statement that
she wanted to change the whole manuscript:
wanted to change just about everything, but I knew that Bill was
right. Any changes I made were always wrong in the long run, and
had to be put back." 
Thetford was an associate of Hellen Schucman who helped her in the
compilation of A Course in Miracles. Weather she actually made the changes or not
we don't know. Maybe she did and disclaimed it just to make appear
that the script is authentic transcript of what the voice had dictated. However what is
revealing is her admission that she wanted to change
everything. Why would she want to change everything if the
script was not hers but belonged to Jesus? The very fact that she had
this itch to revise the early version makes us suspect that the book is
entirely hers and just like any other writer she wanted to go back and
do some editing. If she believed that those words were from Jesus, would
she allow herself the thought to revise them? She could be a psychologist but still
she made the same stupid mistakes that others make, which exposed
her lies. Under this light I discard the hypothesis that Hellen
Schucman was schizophrenic who really heard voices. It appears that she was a plain and simple
charlatan who never received any dictations and knew perfectly that she
is fooling the gullible.
The course uses a standard technique of brainwashing, which is mindless
parroting and repetition. The
"Workbook for Students" consists of 365 lessons, an exercise
for each day of the year. This one-year training program begins
the process of changing the student's mind and perception. "
In the introduction to the course it states:
“Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find
hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling. This does
not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed
to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use
them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show
you that they are true.
It would be foolhardy to deny that as a psychologist Schucman did not
know this is the way to brainwash people. Using this method, you do not
need to explain anything. People will eventually believe just by doing
repetitive constant exercises. This is exactly the process children are
indoctrinated by their parents. Children do not question the validity of
the beliefs and practices of their parents. They simply emulate them and
eventually those beliefs and customs become part of their own belief
system. Schucman demands that you relinquish your rational thinking and
submit to her like a sheep.
A Course in Miracles continues:
“Remember only this; you
need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not
even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this
will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to
make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and
whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than
that is required (Workbook, p. 2).” 
These are nothing but established and proven
techniques of mind control. It is saddening that otherwise intelligent
people allow themselves consciously to be brainwashed.
The Course claims to be the third book
of the Bible. However there is nothing new in it. The book is a
concoction of Eastern and Judeo-Christian philosophies. Most of the
writings are senseless and tautological. It contains vague statements
that give the impression of conveying the truth. The book however
contains no truth unknown to the average man but it burdens him with a
lot of nonsense.
A Course in Miracles is an industry to
make money. Some
famous personages such as Oprah Winfrey may have possibly accepted this
belief and hence it has become popular amongst some TV. Personages. Oprah
in one of her shows bought 1000 copies of A Course in Miracles and gave
it to her guests. However, Oprah cannot be ranked amongst the
intellectuals of the society. I am not sure whether she has a college
degree. Oprah is a good show woman, but not an intellectual. It is disappointing
that people take movie stars, singers and showmen as their
source of guidance and not the philosophers, and thinkers.
Course in Miracles is a hoax. It teaches no new wisdom unknown to man.
It is just an industry to sell books and make money. It is absurd to think God would communicate with humans in this way.
Again as Bertrand Russell stated: "It is undesirable to believe
a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it to be
true." And there is absolutely no ground whatsoever to believe
in the proposition that Hellen Schucman heard the voice of a man who died
2000 years earlier.
Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. is a psychologist who was an acquaintance
of Hellen Schucman. He gave
a eulogy at her funeral. Fr. Groeschel wrote:
woman who had written so eloquently that suffering really did not
exist spent the last two years of her life in the blackest psychotic
depression I have ever witnessed."
Maybe that psychotic depression was the result of her awareness of
being a hoax and her pang of conscience for defrauding people.
Something she could not easily get out or.
A related article
Related Link: http://skepdic.com/cim.html
(1987). Developing Critical Thinkers, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass)
 (Page 79 of, "A Still, Small Voice, A
Practical Guide On Reported Revelations", by Fr. Benedict J.
Groeschel, C.F.R., Ignatius Press 1993)