The Secret in "For Christ's Sake" by Glenville Whittaker

In the book Whittaker quotes ¬†the controversial American politician, Donald Rumsfeld: "There are things we know that we know. There are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns — there are things we do not know we don't know". This book is an extended tour de farce on a similar idea: "There are secrets we know that we know. There are secrets that we know we don't know. But there are also secret secrets — there are secrets we do not know we don't know."

Whittaker believes he reveals and proves the two major secrets of human life.

The Secret We Know We Don't Know: Jesus was a Master who through a secret initiation ceremony could reveal an inner experience of God (or god) which totally transformed the lives of his disciples in fantastic and meaningful and totally joyous ways (though it was a sort of secret transformation which didn't appear to change them really at all). Naturally this made them totally devoted and loyal to him (though not in a way that made that obvious in a crisis).

The Secret We Don't Know We Don't Know: For this initiation to be successful, the initiatee must already have total faith in Jesus and of course if you already have total faith you are already totally devoted and loyal to him. This has got to be the Catch 666 that wrecked our trip when we tried to get our kicks going down Route 66.

Whittaker is certainly not the first person who has stated such total prior belief and faith were necessary before the Master's initiation could be successful. It is and has been a staple of religious/spiritual life. Why? People like Marcion, Valentinus, Carpocrates, Basilides, Cerinthus, Bardaisan and Mani have become famous for leading Gnostic groups but how many members of these groups do you think actually had a direct experience of God?

It's not as if this is something minor, run of the mill or common. How many people do you know that manifest the astonishing fruits of such an amazing experience? God, the infinite, infinite love, infinite compassion, infinite joy. So if you want to remain the leader of a group of Gnostics who believe in you, support you, often pay for you to live in luxury and allow you to enjoy the libertine delights of access to the sexual favours of your followers of both sexes then you need to convince them that you have infinite wisdom and an astounding knowledge and experience of God which they can pass on to you in the most holy and secret initiation. But you must also convince them of the reasons they don't and why their initiation was something of a damp squib instead of an incredible explosion of divine light. The simple and most effective method is to blame them. They didn't and don't have enough faith and trust and they're such spiritual sluggards that not even the infinite grace of the Master was enough to get them over the fence onto the greener pastures … yet. But if they just keep trying …

Until recently Whittaker's Master, Prem Rawat, recommended an aspirant watch 80 hours of filmed recordings of Himself speaking. A minimum of 60 hours was required before a person could be initiated by watching a DVD of Rawat demonstrating and explaining his techniques to them. This has recently (2014) been downgraded to only 7 hours presumably because so few people were prepared to inflict the whole 80 hours on themselves.

Here some of Whittaker's statements about Jesus' need for prior faith and complete trust before healing (or in Whittakers terminology 'initiating') anyone. It does not appear that he has supplied any evidence for this rather uncompassionate behaviour by Jesus.

p.125 "The only qualities apparently required by Jesus, and presumably Buddha also, were sincerity, love, and trust."

p.170 "But this unveiling is not for everybody. The key to making it take place is to believe that Jesus can indeed do it. Any doubt will cause the 'miracle' not to happen. The word Jesus uses is 'trust', which is now usually translated as 'faith'. It appears that if you trust Jesus and ask for his special gift, you might be in line to receive it and be admitted to the Kingdom. The act of initiation was not just a sequence of physical interactions, of instructions, leading to an inner revelation, but a powerful bonding of trust and love between a teacher and a supplicant during which a profound inner transcendence took place. It was a private and confidential affair, which is why Jesus repeatedly told those he had 'cured' to keep quiet about it."

p.174/175 "An essential preliminary part of this healing procedure might have been preparation; smoothing away those elements in a person's make-up that prevented a clear access to the heavenly kingdom. Today we might call them projections of the mind, mental blockages or egotistical traits that would manifest as doubt, skepticism, hesitation or simple fear, preventing the development of the faith or trust necessary in the operation. The busy mind, the ego, had to be abated, replaced by a trusting heart. But there may well also have been more extreme cases of deranged minds which needed his 'cure', not egotistical people but genuinely troubled souls; giving these the solace of his initiation may well have been behind his reputation as an exorcist."

p.187 "as Jesus constantly tells the people he has cured, or made whole, a matter of their trust, their faith, their absolute belief, and it is this alone which makes the ember of divine light suddenly burst into flame" — Whittaker raises the stakes. He now says it requires "absolute belief" to "make the divine light burst into flame." It requires something even stronger as "divine light" is never mentioned in the Bible.

p.189/190 "Jesus was only interested in enlightening those who were truly sincere, who had faith and trust in him. The very fact that the priests were convinced they were God's representatives on earth, and therefore this man with the startling claims an imposter, made it impossible for them to have the trust and sincerity necessary for them to request the experience for themselves. — Jesus never uses the word 'enlighten'.

p.190 "The 'faith', the trust, was the Catch-22. If you had it, the experience worked, if you didn't, it didn't. But how to get it? Some saw what was happening, and their hesitations were washed away, they were caught up in the euphoria and excitement around them; a real prophet, a real messenger from God, had appeared. Others may have had a more solemn recognition, an inner attraction to this charismatic teacher which, over a period of time, waived doubt aside. However it came about, trust was the prerequisite to being shown the Kingdom of Heaven within." — No evidence given

p.198/199 "Again, the active ingredient in this potent mix appears to be that the individual has to have genuine trust that Jesus can lead him or her into the light. There could be no skepticism, no element of doubt or withholding of trust in the bargain, no attitude of "Let's see if it works". God would give his all to you but in return you had to give your all to him, seemed to be the unspoken equation. The more open you were, the more your heart was 'as a child', the more this flow from one to the other, from higher to lower, could take place. " — No evidence given

p.199 "Maybe, as we suggested earlier, the doubts, the sense of suspicion, the questions and reservations, which would act as dams and blockages in this flow of grace, or divine favor, that allowed the light to manifest, were the devils and evil spirits which Jesus seemed so adept at quelling, especially in those whose inner battles were affecting their very sanity." — That could certainly explain the Gadarene swine! Those doubting pigs might have had question and reservations about divine light but not apparently about jumping off a cliff. Maybe they should have doubted their ability to swim.

p.302/303 "But it was not something that just anybody could receive. It would only work if you had faith, the word that originally meant trust. You had to trust that Jesus could do it. If you did, if you really had the trust, you were ready for it. Jesus many times used his key word, faith. Have faith and you will be healed. Have faith and you will be made whole." — Jesus' cures did not require faith before they worked. Some required faith and some didn't. He healed 10 lepers but only 1 returned to praise him. There were probably far more healings done in people who didn't have the faith, they just had to be in the crowd and Jesus healed them out of compassion. Sometimes he healed people because of the faith of those who brought them along. Seems rather strange that you'd be initiated because of the faith of someone else. Sometimes he healed (exorcised) people who didn't want to be healed. Whittaker provides no evidence (except begging the question reiteration) that Jesus required belief and faith and trust before he healed ("initiated") someone.

p.87 "There are other embarrassments, such as his apparent rejection of his own family, his own rejection by the population of his home town, and his subsequent need to escape from them when they try to throw him from a cliff top" p.111 "It was probably not a coincidence that Jesus, setting out to begin his teachings after his home town neighbors had given him such short shrift, causing him to complain that prophets are not honored in their own country" p.113 "We are told Jesus started his mission in his hometown and, after meeting rejection, headed for Capernaum" — Yet even there he casually healed a few people in passing: "And Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among¬† his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." (Mark 6:4-5)