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spiritual perestroika


american-soviet Backchannels for global oneness

By Carl Teichrib

During Gorbachev’s era as the Soviet leader, an unusual spiritual-political interlock took place between American-based New Age thinkers and Kremlin power brokers. It operated through a backchannel of sorts, a California retreat and educational center that mixed human potential teaching, Eastern religious philosophy, and social transformation. Indeed, change did happen.

The following article is an except from my book, Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment.

“The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept of socialist construction both in theory and practice. Such is the essence of perestroika, which accounts for its genuine revolutionary spirit and its all-embracing scope.”

An unusual meeting took place in Alexandria, Virginia in February 1988: The Soviet-American Citizens’ Summit.

Remember, this was during the Cold War, and the Soviet Union was a closed society, restricting travel abroad and careful about managing what ideas entered its space. The “New Spirituality,” nevertheless, found a solid foothold in the last years of the USSR. [1]

Chaired by futurist and New Age leader, Barbara Marx Hubbard, the Summit brought together Soviet officials and cultural figures with “new consciousness” thinkers from the West. The purpose: to “facilitate the new way of thinking and acting” in response to the “awakening going on across the planet.” [2] It was a “convergence process” with Task Forces overseeing themes of politics, education, business, religion and spirituality, psychology and social change, and other mutual concerns.

Organized by the Center for Soviet-American Dialogue (CSAD) in cooperation with the Soviet Peace Committee, a state-sponsored agency engaged in “active measures,” the Summit pulled together approximately 100 attendees from the Soviet Union and another 300 from the United States. Western participants included former UN official Robert Muller, astronaut Brian O’Leary, Willis Harman, Hazel Henderson, US Ambassador John McDonald and other personalities associated with the US security and foreign affairs establishment, and Ted Turner of CNN fame. [3]

Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union, sent an appreciative message to the gathering. A few months later he would personally meet with some of these same “peace delegates.” [4]

Global Family, a networking group co-founded by Barbara Marx Hubbard with the motto “connecting to celebrate our oneness,” headed up the Summit’s Convergence Center, a clearinghouse for Task Force outcomes. “In this convergence process,” Global Family reported, “the relationship between ourselves and the Soviets will not only expand, but will begin to shift global consciousness.” [5]

Global Family described the Summit as moving “the energy of ‘Harmonic Convergence’ from sacred sites in nature to a conference center.” [6]

“This is New Age,” Robert Muller told the distinguished delegates in his opening speech: “We need a new cosmology, a new cosmic paradigm for the future of this planet. I think that the religions together with the scientists can produce such [a] cosmology.” [7]

The Summit was groundbreaking on a number of levels, but it was not the first interaction between Western New Agers and the Soviets. CSAD already had an interesting connection with the Soviet Union.

In 1985, Rama Vernon, a pioneering yoga instructor and co-founder of Yoga Journal, established CSAD as a way to bridge the divide between the two superpowers. Over the life of the organization, it sponsored dozens of Soviet-American awareness projects, including a new teaching program in Moscow and Leningrad. The announcement read in part: “In March of 1986, we will, as citizen diplomats, take A Course in Miracles to Russia, as we apply the principles of the Course into our meetings and interactions with Soviet officials, theologians, artists, writers, actors and physicians.” [8]

Other Soviet-based events included a Planetary Healing Pilgrimage, a meeting of the International New Thought Alliance, and a Global Family conference with the leader of the Pentagon Mediation Club. CSAD arranged “the first official Yoga demonstration in the Soviet Union,” sponsoring Swami Satchidananda to lecture in Prague, Moscow, Leningrad, and Odessa. On the Black Sea, participants meditated and discussed consciousness and “interspecies communication” with dolphins. Later in 1989, 250 Soviets participated in a CSAD Yoga and Meditation Conference. Speakers included the Soviet Minister of Health and “TM teacher,” Deepak Chopra. [9]

Barbara Marx Hubbard also hosted CSAD projects in the Soviet Union. Bringing together “Soviet officials, educators, psychologists, foreign relations specialists, scientists, journalists, theologians and healers,” her 1986 Positive Future dialogue asked the following questions: “What is the Communist dream that has not yet been fulfilled? What is the American hope of a New Order of the Ages? What might the Soviet and American people be able to create together?” [10] In response, Radio Moscow and Soviet National Television interviewed Hubbard.

Hubbard, who had been placed in nomination for the US Vice-Presidency on the 1984 Democratic ticket, sat on the CSAD executive board. Willis Harman did as well. Swami Satchidananda was on its advisory board, along with James Garrison of the Esalen Institute.

It should be no surprise that Esalen already had a foothold in Moscow.

Back in the mid-1960s, Michael Murphy had “put feelers out” to Soviet scientists working in the field of parapsychology. Murphy was fascinated by psychic possibilities, and the publishing of Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain fueled his interest in what lay behind Russia’s dark doors. [11] On a Soviet research trip in 1979, he and his colleagues connected to an eclectic spirituality far outside the norm of secular Marxism: Theosophy, yoga, shamanism, psychics, spiritualism, and Christian mysticism.

Murphy explained: “[At] Ismailov Park, Moscow we would get together with psychics and physicists and groups of singers who sang pagan, pre- Christian songs… Everywhere we’ve been in the Soviet Union, we’ve met people who are interested in the ‘new age’.” [12]

Esalen entered a special relationship with the Russians in 1980. Leveraging the political ties already made by the Institute, the organization established a bi-national Exchange Program,

Like Americans, the Soviets are beginning to yearn for some spiritual dimension that has been missing in their organized, rational lives. It was this common interest in self-improvement and personal growth that led to the creation of Esalen’s Soviet-American Exchange Program. [13]

Seed money came from the “Rockefeller Family Fund, Apple Computer Inc., the American Express Foundation and the MacArthur Foundations.” As Murphy reminded potential supporters in a fund raising letter, “being a good citizen these days requires being a global citizen… the world has grown truly interdependent.” [14]

Spirituality and human potential entailed one aspect of the Program. More concretely, Esalen was a vehicle for the new field of “citizen diplomacy,” becoming a conduit – a back channel – for American and Soviet officials, cosmonauts and astronauts, academic and business leaders, and members of the intelligence community. [15] Esalen had entered a complicated field of work, becoming a mentor and bridge for personnel connected to the KGB, CIA, the State Department, and the Kremlin.

According to a 1982 Esalen document: “The project management is committed to continuing this program with a policy of openness and disclosure about its activities to all interested parties while maintaining a low public and media profile.” [16] Esalen was playing in the world of spooks and spies.

Cultural exchanges, too, were important. Jeffrey Kripal tells us,

In 1982… Esalen employed satellite communication technology to pioneer the first spacebridge communications between Americans and Soviets… described in the Esalen catalog as a ‘Satellite Rock-and-Roll Fest.’ American and Russian bands and ecstatic youth in San Bernardino, California, and Moscow screamed, grinned, and danced to each other’s music as they watched one another on large screens. [17]

A “Global Gestalt,” an emotional and psychologically moving encounter – a unifying of opposites – it was thought, was needed for planetary wholeness.

Central to the Soviet-American complex was James “Jim” Garrison, the son of Baptist missionaries who served in China. Turning from his parent’s faith and adopting an antinomial view of God, Garrison – introspective and generous with a catching personality – met Murphy at Cambridge in 1982. By the mid-1980s, he was the Executive Director of the Soviet-American Exchange Program, a position held until the early 1990s. [18]

One highlight was securing the Institute’s hosting rights for Boris Yeltsin’s 1989 trip to the United States. Fifteen other organizations were vying for the opportunity, including the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, along with the Council on Foreign Relations. [19] Garrison was put in charge.

Face-to-face with the daily affluence we take for granted in a society built on free enterprise, Yeltsin was overwhelmed by America, concluding the Iron Curtain was meant to keep Soviets unaware of the truth. His Soviet-instilled illusions had been shattered like glass. “We were told fables!” he said to his assistant. The experience of Yeltsin’s trip was a factor in his later break from the Party. And while his on-tour drinking problem was a public embarrassment, stressful for Garrison, the venture was largely successful. But there were concerns. Yeltsin could be overbearing in sensitive meetings, hinting at a power complex. Garrison sent Mikhail Gorbachev a memo. [20]

Esalen favored Gorbachev. He had become a political celebrity and was the public face of perestroika, the concept of restructuring the economic and civic framework of the USSR. It would also have an inward dimension.

“Perestroika is to provide a melting pot for society and, above all, the individual himself,” explained the General Secretary. The new society would be “a shining temple on a green hill.” [21]

“It will be a renovated society.” Gorbachev continued. “Today our main job is to lift the individual spiritually, respecting the inner world and giving him moral strength.” [22]

But restructuring was not to be divorced from the past,

The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept of socialist construction both in theory and practice. Such is the essence of perestroika, which accounts for its genuine revolutionary spirit and its all-embracing scope. [23]

At the 19th All-Union Conference, Gorbachev invoked Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin in “building a society of social justice.” These pillars of Communism would guide “us in our revolutionary perestroika.” [24]

Appeals to Marx and Lenin notwithstanding, the communist system could not be reformed. But the economic, social and political lid on the long-closed box had opened too far to shut. The Soviet situation rapidly moved in complex and unforeseen ways. Gorbachev’s “new thinking,” an internationalist approach, also morphed within the shifting domestic and global context. Something extraordinary was happening in Russia. [25]

In late December 1991, days before the USSR’s dissolution, Garrison was brought into the Kremlin and told about Gorbachev’s secret resignation plan. Approximately one month later with Yeltsin as Russia’s president, Garrison found himself back in Moscow. This time he was meeting with Gorbachev at his new headquarters, the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies. Here, at this session, it was agreed to establish an outpost in the United States of America: the Gorbachev Foundation/USA.

A new game was in play.

Armed with immense political and social capital, Gorbachev could export his “new thinking” through an American non-profit entity. The Gorbachev Foundation/USA would be the first non-military organization to be housed at the Presidio of San Francisco, an historic Army base in the process of closing. [26] Garrison became its president.

At the heartbeat of the Foundation was the “Revisioning Global Priorities” agenda. [27] This was the body’s larger mission, and to that end it set up the State of the World Forum in 1995, an event that became its own organization. Another Gorbachev Foundation office had already opened in Calgary, Alberta and in 1997, a North American branch was announced for Boston’s Northeastern University. At the Presidio, the Foundation folded into the new project and Garrison became president of the State of the World Forum, with Gorbachev as chairman.

“We are giving birth to the first global civilization,” proclaimed the Mission Statement of the Forum.

A “global brain trust” was to be established. From 1995 until 2010, Garrison advanced the “new thinking” through a series of high-level networking events and dialogues around the world. The first Forum gathering took place in San Francisco during late September 1995.

Officially titled Toward a New Civilization, the Forum was a who’s who of world influencers. Forum “Fellows” included George H.W. Bush, Nelson Mandela, Brian Mulroney, Carl Sagan, Maurice Strong, Sonia Gandhi, and Ted Turner. Willis Harman of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Esalen’s Michael Murphy were Fellows also. [28] Actor and New Age author Shirley McLaine attended, as did Barbara Marx Hubbard and Robert Muller. Buddhists leaders from Southeast Asia were the main religious representatives.

“We must reinvent the world together,” Gorbachev informed the participants. “We need unity in diversity.” In a debate between the Soviet politician, Bush and Margaret Thatcher, it was evident that divisions of opinion over the role of the United Nations existed. [29] However, a general consensus was in the air. Global governance and collective measures were repeated themes.

“The universe is seeking to fulfill itself through us,” Deepak Chopra, another Fellow, reminded the audience. “Are we up to the responsibility?” [30]

Noticing the emphasis on Buddhism and New Age thinking, some members of the press questioned why Christian leaders were not represented. Former National Security Advisor and co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, tried to answer: “I happen to know that President Gorbachev is a very good friend of the Pope – and I am too.” [31]

It was a weak response.

Christian author Berit Kjos, who attended with press credentials, commented later on the Forum’s religious situation: “Looking at reality through the utopian filter of the new global paradigm, they have no idea what Christians believe nor the value of the liberty we treasure.” [32]

The 1995 Forum was the first in a line of similar “new civilization” events hosted by Garrison and Gorbachev.

During the year 2000, the Forum focused its attention on the Millennium gatherings in New York City. Garrison sat on the steering committee for the United Nations Millennium Forum, an event I participated in, and his office coordinated with the Interfaith Center of New York in anticipation of the UN Millennium Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. [33]

The main show for Gorbachev and Garrison, however, was Forum 2000.

Cooperating with the UN Secretary General’s office, Garrison positioned his event to run concurrently with the most important high-level meeting of the year, the United Nations Millennium Summit. Together, the Summit and Forum 2000 would constitute a “global town meeting,” highlighting issues of governance, UN empowerment, and planetary loyalty. [34] Heads-of-state attending the Summit traveled the few blocks to the Forum, which had its own contingent of world-known personalities and ranking officials. These sister events became revolving doors of power and prestige.

Appealing to the inner dimension, Forum 2000 also explored religion and spirituality, cosmology, and the “Evolution of Human Consciousness.” [35] Each day a different spiritual teacher opened with meditations. One morning it was a rabbi “whose belief in the universality of spiritual truth led him to study with Sufi Masters, Buddhist teachers, Native American elders, Catholic monks, and humanistic and transpersonal psychologists.” On September 7th, it was Audrey Kitagawa, a well-spoken and passionate devotee of the Divine Mother who was said to embody the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Deepak Chopra led meditations the following day. [36]

The Forums hosted by Gorbachev and Garrison, and the corresponding Millennium meetings, were instrumental in projecting a global spiritual politics. Enchanted by a sense of human grandeur in planetary service, the millennium changeover anticipated a political future in-step with the metaphysical ideal of Oneness. It is a dream that continues.

In 2006 the former Soviet leader wrote: “Nowadays humanity, so multifarious within its oneness, needs a new philosophy of life, a new ethic that can shape the fundamental values which are common to all religions and which rest upon the consensus of all the peoples of the earth.” [37]

As demonstrated by the above statement, Mikhail Gorbachev’s worldview had moved a long way since his time in the Kremlin. Or maybe not.

Recounting the final years of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev noted that perestroika – his esteemed “new thinking” – was firmly situated in Oneness,

What are the basic postulates of the new thinking? Its starting point is the recognition that despite their dissimilarities all the nations of the world are interdependent. We speak of recognition because this interdependence, which is the form of unity or oneness, had been taking shape for decades… interdependence was a tangible reality, impossible to disregard, and by the mid-1980s it had become the foremost tendency in world relations. [38]

The former Soviet leader continued,

The recognition that interdependence was the real state of affairs in the world meant that the foremost trend of development was not one of ever deepening division but one of ever greater unity in the worldwide system. And the Soviet Union – as part of this system – should search for and find its new place within this framework. [39]

“A new revolution in consciousness is needed,” he had said in 1989. “Only on this basis will a new culture and a new politics adequate to the challenge of our times be created.” [40]

Keep in mind that the above statement was given when Gorbachev was the avowed Communist leader of the USSR. And yet the recipe he presented then, and at other times, sounds familiar: ingredients from the human potential movement, a dash of Eastern wholeness and New Age spirituality, all baked into the cake of global interdependence. Where did the Marxist politician find such a well-stocked pantry of new thought?


That the Institute and its affiliated networks played a part in fostering such thinking is clear. Exactly how much influence is difficult to verify, and to put too much emphasis on one group runs the risk of oversimplification and inaccuracy. Nevertheless, there is an important correlation between Gorbachev’s evolutionary thinking and the concepts that emanated from the retreat center on California’s shore. Jim Garrison himself has cautiously acknowledged Esalen’s participatory role in glasnost and perestroika. [41]

But there are hints of something more.

Remember, Esalen was a diplomatic back-channel for the two countries. It would then make sense that Moscow had a secret listening device on location. Jeffrey Kripal relates an interesting story of what was thought to be confidential discussions in an Esalen building known as the Big House,

…in the late 1980s, Esalen figure and career diplomat Joe Montville became increasingly convinced that the Gorbachev administration was actually taking some of its ideological cues from that very room… He couldn’t help but notice how they would explore a particular theme at a gathering, and then a few weeks later Gorbachev would be saying more or less the same thing in his public speeches. At the first symposium held at the Gorbachev Foundation, Montville decided to ask Gorbachev about his theory. Gorbachev simply smiled, as he pointed to the ceiling in the traditional Russian sign of ‘you were bugged.’ [42]



[1] Russian interest in esoteric subjects is longstanding. For Russian Cosmism, a spiritual- technological belief, see George M. Young, The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his Followers (Oxford University Press, 2012). Regarding metaphysical topics in the USSR, see Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder (Prentice-Hall, 1970). Note: Kripal described the findings of Ostrander and Schroeder as real but flavored with sensationalism.

[2] Welcome to the Soviet-American Citizens’ Summit: Social Inventions for the Third Millennium [sic], February 1-5, 1988, Alexandria, VA, official agenda, p.1.

[3] Some of the security establishment participants included Marcus Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies and former National Security Council Assistant for Disarmament; Theodore Taylor, former Weapons Director at Los Alamos; Robert Legvold, former Director of the Soviet Studies Project at the Council on Foreign Relations; Stephen H. Rhinesmith, President Reagan’s coordinator for US-Soviet exchanges; Geoffrey Kemp, Carnegie Endowment fellow and former staff member with the National Security Council; Helmut Sonnenfeldt, member of the Brookings Institute and former State Department Counselor and advisor to Henry Kissinger; Arthur M. Cox, former member of the Central Intelligence Agency and specialist with the State Department and Brookings Institute; Toby Gati, Vice President of the United Nations Association USA, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and later made Assistant Secretary Of State For Intelligence And Research by President Bill Clinton; Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute and formerly with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Research Advisory Board (Amory would later be named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people); and Carol Rosin, former Corporate Manager of Fairchild Industries (an aerospace company that designed the A-10) and confidant to Wernher Von Braun during his last years. Rosin was a space-and-missile defense consultant, and founder of the Institute for Security and Cooperation in Outer Space, which included Astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

[4] On Gorbachev’s message, see “Summit Breaks New Ground for US-USSR,” Soviet- American News, Center for Soviet-American Dialogue, Vol.1, No.1, Spring 1988, p.1. About the later meeting, see “Gorbachev Speaks to World Peace Leaders,” Soviet-American News, Vol.1, No.2, Winter 1988-1989, p.2. Two important resources on Soviet peace programs are: Philip C. Bom, The Coming Century of Commonism (Policy Books, 1992), which examines the role of peace movements during the Gorbachev era; and Frederick C. Barghoorn, Soviet Foreign Propaganda (Princeton University Press, 1964), which gives an overview of active measures associated with the early peace movement.

[5] “Building Convergence at the Citizens’ Summit,” Global Family: Connecting to Celebrate our Oneness, Special Summit Edition, February 1988, p.1.

[6] “The Soviet-American Citizens’ Summit: Harmonic Convergence Revisited,” Global Family: Connecting to Celebrate our Oneness, April 1988, p.1.

[7] “Muller Asks For New Set of Ten Commandments,” NRI Trumpet, March 1988, p.7. Three days after the Summit closed, a meeting was held at the United Nations for the purpose of introducing the event’s outcomes to senior American and Soviet officials.

[8] A Course in Miracles Goes to Russia, promotional flyer, Center for Soviet-American Dialogue (CSAD), March 2-16, 1986.

[9] As taken from Citizen Diplomacy Trips to the Soviet Union, 1986-1987, CSAD, brochure; International Citizens Diplomacy Missions to the Soviet Union, China, Africa & Central America, 1989, CSAD, fact sheet; History of CSAD Trips: May 1985 through November 1990, CSAD, fact sheet.

[10] In Search for a Positive Future, CSAD, January 19 to February 2, 1986, invitation sheet.

[11] Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain was written by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder (Prentice-Hall, 1970).

[12] As quoted by David Landau, “Citizens Diplomacy,” The Guide to New Age Living, pp.77-78. For more on Murphy’s Soviet experience, see Kripal, Esalen, chapter 14.

[13] The Esalen Institute Soviet-American Exchange Program: An Interim Report, September 1982, p.1. Document on file.

[14] Letter with supporting corporations and foundations on file.

[15] “Citizens diplomacy” was coined as Track II diplomacy by Joseph Montville of the US State Department. As an Esalen personality, he was considered the Institute’s unofficial State Department representative.

[16] The Esalen Institute Soviet-American Exchange Program: An Interim Report, p.2.

[17] Kripal, Esalen, p.334.

[18] Garrison’s personality is gleaned from my conversations with his siblings and a life-long friend. Regarding his early interaction with Murphy and other Esalen members, and his view on God, see Kripal, Esalen, pp.393-394. For more on his antinomial position, the belief that God has a light and dark side – good and evil – see Jim Garrison, The Darkness of God: Theology After Hiroshima (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983).

[19] Kripal, Esalen, p.393.

[20] Ibid., pp.394-397. For extra details on Yeltsin’s trip, see Conor O’Clery, Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union (Public Affairs, 2011), pp.79-80.

[21] Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (Harper and Row Publishers, 1987), p.29

[22] Ibid., p.30.

[23] Ibid., p.35. On July 1, 1988, during the 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU, Gorbachev said: “Every Communist must become a fighter for perestroika, for the revolutionary renewal of society. Let that be the chief mandate of our Conference.”

[24] Documents and Materials: Report and Speeches by Mikhail Gorbachev, 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU (Soviet Life/Embassy of the USSR, 1988), p.93.

[25] Perestroika and what Gorbachev called the “new thinking” always had international implications. An early and important set of interpretations is found in Perestroika: Global Challenge (Spokesman/Russell Press Ltd., 1988, edited by Ken Coates). For more on perestroika see the following: Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (Harper and Row Publishers, 1987); Mikhail Gorbachev, Socialism, Peace and Democracy: Writings, Speeches and Reports (Zwan Publications, 1987); Documents and Materials: Report and Speeches by Mikhail Gorbachev, 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU (Soviet Life/Embassy of the USSR, 1988); Baruch A. Hazan, Gorbachev’s Gamble: The 19th All-Union Party Conference (Westview Press, 1990); Stephen F. Cohen and Katrina vanden Heuvel, Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers (W.W. Norton & Company, 1989); Judith B. Sedaitis and Jim Butterfield, Perestroika From Below: Social Movements in the Soviet Union (Westview Press, 1991); Robert G. Kaiser, Why Gorbachev Happened: His Triumphs and His Failures (Simon & Schuster, 1991). Post-Soviet interviews and analysis can be found in Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization (Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs).

[26] The April 17, 1993 edition of The Kansas City Star reported: “His foundation is considered a desirable tenant because it may attract other prestigious organizations with an international focus, a theme the Park Service is promoting.” (Article title: “Gorbachev’s office is on military post,” p.2, first published in the Los Angeles Times). Eventually a number of diverse organizations would take up residency in the Presidio: Aspen Group, Tides Foundation, Bright Minds Institute, The Wilderness Society, United Religions Initiative, All Species Foundation, Panchamama Alliance, EcoTalk, Guild for Psychological Studies, Consultative Group on Biodiversity, International Forum on Globalization, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Interfaith Center, Rudolf Steiner Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, and the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (to name just a few).

[27] “Revisioning Global Priorities” was taken from a Gorbachev Foundation/USA letter. The letter laid out key areas of work, two of note: The creation of the State of the World Forum, and a project called Redefining Global Security. Letter has no date; copy on file.

[28] Taken from two different State of the World Forum documents: a “confidential” pre-event Fellows and Participants list (no date), and a preliminary Toward a New Civilization agenda package (May 10, 1995). Both documents on file.

[29] Quoted by Samantha Smith, “Gorbachev Forum Highlights World Government,” Hope For The World Update, Fall 1995, p.2. Smith attended as a member of the press.

[30] Quoted by Berit Kjos, “Gorbachev’s Global Conference,” The Christian Conscious, November 1995, p.36.

[31] Ibid., p.37.

[32] Ibid., p.37.

[33] Known as the World Peace Summit, 1,000 religious leaders gathered in the cause of global unity. At a 1999 World Federalist event, Maurice Strong told me how the forthcoming World Peace Summit was conceived. Ted Turner woke up one day with the thought, what would happen if all the religions could work together? Ted phoned Strong, then Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, and told him of his idea. The rest is history.

[34] The Summit adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration (A/RES/552), containing a number of empowerment provisions. It also birthed the UN Millennium Development Goals. Re: Forum 2000. According to the event’s Executive Summary, Gorbachev’s opening plenary was themed, “Globalization and the New World Order.”

[35] Taken from the Forum 2000 daily agenda, September 6, 2000. Document on file.

[36] Biographies and meditation schedule, Forum 2000 booklet. Document on file.

[37] Mikhail Gorbachev, Manifesto for the Earth: Action Now for Peace, Global Justice and a Sustainable Future (Clairview Books, 2006), p.100.

[38] Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World (Columbia University Press, 2000), pp.187-188.

[39] Ibid., pp.188-189.

[40] Ibid., pp.192-193.

[41] Kripal, Esalen, p.399.

[42] Ibid., p.399.

Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment, by Carl Teichrib, is a comprehensive investigation into the changing nature of Western Civilization, the replacement of the Judeo-Christian framework with a new, yet ancient paradigm. It is a journey into the cracks and crevices of big history; an expedition into the expanding realm of transformational movements and influential ideas – forces of change that are shifting how we think, behave, and relate. 


Game of Gods is a must have for any serious Christian researcher interested in the manifestations of spirituality prevalent in our day. 


– Mike Spaulding, host of Soaring Eagle Radio.