The following is a copy of a letter I sent to Susan Hull Bostwick in March of 2007, I never received a response! Nor do I ever think I will! I am glad I got this off my chest back then. When I wrote this letter, I still believed that the "tech" or "tools" were valid, I no longer carry this viewpoint and know them for what they are
TRANCE Hypnosis being proffered as being "spiritual tools!"
March 22 2007
To Mrs. Susan Hull Bostwick
Church of Divine Man
2018 Alston Way
Berkeley Ca 94704
Dear Mrs. Bostwick
After many years of going to classes, serving and working for the Church of Divine Man, I am informing you at this late date that I am completely disassociating myself from the church and anyone involved with it either marginally or directly. I relinquished my ministerial licensure from the Church of Divine Man several years ago after obtaining another. However now it is time to completely sever all connections. I am writing you this letter to establish a clear boundary and my professional stance regarding "spiritual counselors."
First, let me make it clear to you that I do not respect your authority as a leader spiritual or otherwise. You have shown gross incompetence as a leader, in addition to total disrespect, abuse and usury of your congregation, staff members and students. I do not acknowledge your title as a bishop and as such I will not refer to you as such. You do not have the background, education or any level of qualifications in the ecclesiastical field which would warrant such a title.
From my clinical and professional observations, the Church of Divine Man is not a church, but a cult masquerading as one. The fundamental philosophical belief systems contained with the church, when under the scrutiny of clear critical thinking show it to be narcissistic, tending towards isolation instead of community integration and a marginalization of the individuals therein from their families and communities. The church supports a value judgment system of belief that encourages discrimination and supports a level of spiritual competition that is unacceptable to those within normal society. These are the aspects of a cult and they foster a level of dependence that is unhealthy in an individuals well being.
The labeling of individuals with certain conditions, be they physical or psychological in nature as "trance mediums" is just a form of a value judgement and ostracizes those who are in need of help. Many "trance mediums" are dealing with anxiety conditions that are completely normal and may need medical assistance rather than a condemnation.
In addition the aforementioned about "trance mediums" there is also the discrimination which the church has towards homosexuals. Being told that ones mother/father is in ones space and that he/she is the cause of ones homosexuality is a value judgment that has no place in our society and gives one the impression that they can be "cured" if they move their mother/father out of their space. This philosophy denigrates men and women who are homosexual, and make them feel inadequate. You need to be reminded that Homosexuality was taken off the list of psychiatric disorders many years ago.
Then there is the aspect of "readings" or "spiritual counseling's." which are actually a form of "playing counselor" Those who "play counselor" and or "spiritual teacher" can cause more harm to an individuals well being rather than help them in their personal development as they do not have the proper credentialing or education necessary to do so. The "education," "supervision," and "training," the church provides for its students either as a "reader" or a "teacher" is not based on established scientific or psychological fact, but a fantasy and immature belief system rather than solid principles, spiritual, educational or otherwise. People come to psychics in need looking for answers to the problems in their lives. These problems may be psychological, exogenic or biological in nature and said "spiritual" or "psychic" counselors are not qualified to provide such counseling under any circumstance.
I do not know how many times I have worked with other members of the church who have been facing serious problems, health and otherwise who are despondent and depressed for what has happened in their lives. Telling someone that their cancer, illness, or medical condition was caused by an "energy" in ones space and that if they had moved said "energy" out sooner, they never would have had the developed the problem in the first place. This judgment is dangerous and as it lead to feelings that one has been forsaken. Many others, both from the church and from other walks of life, have spoken directly to me about their beliefs that because they were spiritual, meditated every day, were in contact with God, etc, etc, that they did not know why these things happened to them. It makes one feel like they are responsible for everything in their lives, good and bad. When things go well, people are ecstatic, when they do not they become despondent. This belief is fundamentally flawed and extremely dangerous to the mental well being of others. The church is extremely adept at supporting this flawed belief system and contributing to many individuals' problems and lack of seeking professional help.
Mrs. Bostwick, I am pursuing advanced degree work in Counseling Psychology. I will have a true Doctorate in Psychology in about 5 years. I choose this track in my life as I see the need people have for competent counselors, quality professional psychological services and solid leadership. As I worked towards my Bachelors in Business Administration, I developed heavy duty critical thinking skills and have come to realize that "psychics" and other spiritual organizations like yours should be closed down. I closed down my practice as a "spiritual counselor" for many reasons, ethical, legal, moral and professional. I refuse to take any more money for intuitive, psychic or spiritual work. My interactions and work with the church has cost me in so many ways personally and professionally. It nearly cost me my family, it almost cost me my health, physical and mental.
The Church of Divine Man is not one of service to others as most non-profits are, but one of service to ones self. Totally contradictory to the reason non-profits were created for in the first place. I leave the church with some valuable information, namely meditation, self-awareness and knowing that I can have a direct connection with my maker without needing an intermediary. Almost all else has proven to be inadequate and lacking in substance.
I am not proud to have called myself a psychic; I am embarrassed to have done the work that I did. I am ashamed to have become a minister through a cult masquerading as a church. However, I take from my mistakes the necessary knowledge that in order to make good choices in life; one must learn to think critically and to not trust intuition or spiritual guidance without carefully analyzing it first. It has proven to be detrimental rather than supportive in many ways, in both my life and in the lives of many others.
Jeffrey Arthur Watts BSBA
Former minister of the Church of Divine Man