Educating for Pagan change: Earth Day and the First National Teach-In

by Carl Teichrib


In 1970, "Earth Day" was introduced to the public. Now, thirty years later, people around the world celebrate this annual ritual-and it has grown increasingly pagan in all aspects. Dubbed as a "family outing," Earth Day events have become drawing cards for New Age/occult recruiters. This isnít surprising when one understands the spiritual history of Earth Day.

A number of years ago my hometown high school asked if I would be willing to sort through boxes of old textbooks. It turned out the school was trying to create storage space and had to find a way to get rid of thousands of outdated texts. Knowing Iím a book lover, the principal gave me first pick of anything I wanted. In the process of sorting, I came across dozens of copies of The Environmental Handbook. A quick glance through the yellowed pages and it was apparent I had stumbled onto something of importance. Gathering up these well-used paperbacks, I took them home for further study.

The Environmental Handbook was the official publication of Friends of the Earth, and was specifically prepared for public educators to use during the first Earth Day in 1970. The bookís Foreword stated that this handbook was "to serve as a source of ideas and tactics for the April 22 first annual teach-in on the environmental crisis." After reading through the 367-page book, it was obvious that the "ideas and tactics" presented were steeped in paganism. The teachings that emanated from this text were nothing more than an indoctrination into Earth-based New Age concepts of politics, religion, social structure, morality, and life ethics. It was an occult smorgasbord aimed at impressionable minds.

The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In, was edited by Garrett De Bell and was published by Friends of the Earth and Ballantine Books. The text is actually a compilation of New Age and deep ecology writers, each, in their own way, calling for a new religious and social structure based on pagan Earth principles.

The following quotations are a small sampling of the "ideas and tactics" presented throughout the handbook. These quotes are page numbered and referenced to their particular author and chapter title. While reading these excerpts, keep in mind that this book was used in public schools as an in-class textbook. Students across North America were taught from its pages, and tens of thousands adopted its philosophies and ideals as their own life standards.

From The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In,

What we do about ecology depends on our ideas of the man-nature relationship. More science and more technology are not going to get us out of the present ecologic crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one. (p. 24)

No new set of basic values has been accepted in our society to displace those of Christianity. Hence we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom... (p. 25)

Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not. We must rethink and refeel our nature and destiny. (p. 26) -Lynn White, Jr. "The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis"

How many discoveries, like quinine, or the antibiotic virtues of abalone blood, or paper, even, remain undiscovered in wilderness? How much more do we need to learn about evolutionary processes there? What was it that enabled Eskimo shaman, their minds a product of the taiga, tundra, and sea ice, to travel on spirit journeys under the ocean and to talk with the fishes and the potent beings who lived on the bottom? How did the shaman develop the hypnotic power they employed in their sťances? What can we learn from the shaman who survive about thought transference and ESP? The answers are in the arctic Wilderness still left to us.

Wilderness is a bench mark, a touchstone. In wilderness we can see where we have come from, where we are going, how far weíve gone. In wilderness is the only unsullied earth sample of the forces generally at work in the universe.

New perspectives come out of the wilderness. Jesus, Zoroaster, Moses, and Mohammed went to the wilderness and came back with messages. It was from the wilderness, and the people who knew wilderness, that the first concern about pollution and environmental decay came. (p. 148) -Kenneth Brower, "Wilderness"

Stabilizing the U.S. population should be declared a national policy. Immediate steps should be taken to:

1. Legalize voluntary abortion and sterilization and provide these services free.

2. Remove all restrictions on the provision of birth control information and devices; provide these services free to all, including minors.

3. Make sex education available at all appropriate levels, stressing birth control practices and the need to stabilize the population.

4. Launch a government-sponsored campaign for population control in the media comparable to the present antismoking campaign.

5. Offer annual bonuses for couples remaining childless and eliminate tax deductions for more than two children.

Control of world population growth is simply a matter of survival of the human race. Federal priorities must be made to reflect this fact. We propose:

1. Massive federal aid to supply birth control information, planning and materials to all countries that will accept it.

2. Foreign aid only to countries with major programs to curb population growth.

3. Increased research on birth control methods and on attitudes toward limiting births. (pp. 317-318) -Keith Murray, "Suggestions Toward an Ecological Platform"

Explore other social structures and marriage forms, such as group marriage and polyandrous marriage, which provide family life but may produce less children...We must hope that no one woman would give birth to more than one child. (p. 324)

It must be demonstrated ceaselessly that a continuing "growing economy" is no longer healthy, but a cancer. (p. 328)

To achieve the changes we must change the very foundations of our society and our minds...Nothing short of total transformation will do much good. What we envision...[is] cultural and individual pluralism, unified by a type of world tribal council. (p. 330)

It seems evident that there are throughout the world certain social and religious forces which have worked through history toward an ecologically and culturally enlightened state of affairs. Let these be encouraged: Gnostics, hip Marxists, Teilhard de Chardin Catholics, Druids, Taoists, Biologists, Witches, Yogins, Bhikkus, Quakers, Sufis, Tibetans, Zens, Shamans, Bushmen, American Indians, Polynesians, Anarchists, Alchemists...the list is long. All primitive cultures, all communal and ashram movements. Since it doesnít seem practical or even desirable to think that direct bloody force will achieve much, it would be best to consider this a continuing "revolution of consciousness" which will be won not by guns but by seizing the key images, myths, archetypes, eschatologies, and ecstasies so that life wonít seem worth living unless oneís on the transforming energyís side. (p. 331) -"Four Changes"

The call from The Environmental Handbook was clear: change the present religious, political, and social structures-adapting society to a New Age world-view of nature worship, communistic and socialistic political thinking, deviant family planning practices, and complete earth indoctrination within the education system.

Earth Dayís agenda of nature worship is diametrically opposite to what Godís word tells us. Romans 1:21-25 explicitly states,

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised.

Earth Day offers us, as Christians, a vivid example of the planned "social transformation" which is now taking place in our schools, churches, businesses, and families. Godís word, on the other hand, offers us, as Christians, the sure foundation and guiding light we need in order to navigate our way through this New Age civilization. Romans 8:38-39 assures us that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." What a privilege it is to be able to rest on Godís promises!

Carl Teichrib is Director of Research at Hope For The World. Some of his research can be found in Gary Kahís latest book, The New World Religion, which can be ordered through this website. For more articles and information by Carl Teichrib, subscribe to Hope For The World Update. Information on this, and other products, can be found at