A dear and wonderful friend sent me an article about the most fantastical religious trend I think I’ve come across to date. In all my wandering around the cyber highways and byways of American religious culture, I have clicked on a lot of surprising beliefs and hashtags, but this one beats them all. To sum up, a nice young person styling herself as a spiritualist medium to Hollywood’s A-listers, and charging a mere $1,111 an hour for her services, has built up a business by “channeling” someone she calls Yeshua. Here’s how the piece begins:
At the front of an open-air room, a seat awaited Ms. Schumacher under a large floral arch. After guests, including the actresses Jennifer Aniston and Uma Thurman, filled the rows of chairs, others moved to the floor. Andie MacDowell reclined on a rug among a heap of pillows.
Other celebrities are named dropped all over, including Brad Pitt. All these people are the brightest and best of the day, the people who have the money and who know what we should all believe and how we should vote and such like. But rather than pouring over books and ideas and anything like that, trying to be models of wisdom and beauty, in the poverty of their spirits they are paying lavish amounts of money to someone with a complicated past whose favorite clothing brand, I kid you not, is Faded Glory. That, at least, is a comfort, for it must be that spiritualism is for both the great and the lowly. Let’s skip to the good bit:
In late 2019, just as the world was on the precipice of a plague of biblical proportions, Ms. Schumacher said she began channeling Yeshua, as she refers to Jesus Christ. Transcribed recordings of some of those sessions appear in a new book, “The Freedom Transmissions,” out Nov. 30. The party was for the book, but it was also a chance for her clients, many of whom hadn’t experienced the Yeshua channeling, to see what it was all about. Maybe she would channel him at the party. No one was quite sure.
And also this:
One day, she said, she returned home from a hike and felt a blue flame swirl down her spine. She heard glass shatter and a baby cry. She said this is when she first felt Yeshua’s energy. Her naturopathic doctor suggested she meet Danielle Gibbons, who lives in southern Oregon and says she has been channeling the Virgin Mary since 1994. (She has a YouTube channel.) In 2011, Ms. Schumacher attended Ms. Gibbons’s workshop in Los Angeles, and subsequently booked private sessions with her roughly once a year. Ms. Gibbons told me that she didn’t know Ms. Schumacher was a Yeshua channel until much later, in 2019. Ms. Schumacher said that she spent the next decade preparing her channel for Yeshua. She meditated daily, cut out sugar and caffeine, and limited her diet to five foods: broccoli, cauliflower, turkey, chicken and watermelon. “If someone’s channel is diluted,” she said, “there’s a kind of film or gunk that the energy gets stuck in and can’t push through.”
In the fall of 2020, Ms. Schumacher emailed recordings of Yeshua transmissions to her clients. Among them was Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, who was referred to Ms. Schumacher after leaving her longtime job running the literary department at WME. She thought Yeshua’s teachings could be a book and connected Ms. Schumacher with the publisher of Harper One, which will release “The Freedom Transmissions.” Though there’s some Christian iconography in it — references to the crucifixion, for instance — the rest is a more neutral smorgasbord of divine power surrender, Buddhism, repairing the fragmented self after trauma, and accessing “the God self,” a reference to Carl Jung. Ms. Rudolph Walsh said that Yeshua’s teachings changed her entire nervous system. “I don’t react to the weather,” she said. “I don’t report the weather. I am the weather. And the weather is always peace.”
I mean, you probably want to read the whole thing, even if it means paying a few dollars. I trotted over to YouTube to see if I could find this person but she’s pretty elusive. All I got was Drew Barrymore with a totally different medium, weeping over the messages delivered to her from the dead.
Anyway, I love this for so many reasons, the first of which is that Jennifer Anniston is already in her 50s—my, how time does fly—and the second of which is the delightful irony that people will believe in anything at all. “I believe everything” Drew Barrymore is wont to say. But I’ve noticed that the willingness to believe anything and everything usually is a mask for being unwilling to believe one thing—that Jesus is a real person who rose from the dead. I mean, for a person to be channeling the dead, and then pick on Jesus as one of the dead to be channeled is pretty clever. Except that he isn’t dead, so whoever it is this person is channeling, it can’t be Jesus.
Also, I am excessively curious about the broccoli and watermelon. The book deal, of course, makes perfect sense, but broccoli? That I am not quite so sure about. I don’t know enough about spiritualism to understand the question of “gunk,” but I do believe with no problem at all that this person is welcoming some powerful, though certainly by no means friendly and good, spirit into her life who really does know things about the people paying her money.
Oh! And the weather! That is marvelous. That “Jeshua” or whoever should have “changed her nervous system” to make her “into the weather and the weather is always peace” is one of the nicest lines I’ve gotten to read all year.
Anyway, just to be obvious and pedantic, the way to “get in touch” with Jesus is not to channel him as a spirit, but to go to him in the humility of your soul and say to him–because he is alive and can listen to your prayers through the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing those prayers before the throne of the Father day and night–I’m sorry for all my sins and please help me. When you do that he does come to live in you, through, again, the power of the Holy Spirit. You then are not a channel, but a tent, a place where God lives in the fullness of his glory. You don’t have to only eat broccoli and cut out caffeine, though the weather will not always be “peace.” I, for instance, am drinking tea at just this very moment and am having no problem communicating with Jesus, whose words are next to me here in this special book he took a lot of trouble already to give to all us poor people. You probably want to save some of your cash by not buying any “Yeshua Transmissions.” The one…what’s that called…oh yes! The Bible is free online.
Oh my word…somebody pray for Jennifer Anniston. Have a nice day or something!