Mother Nadine Brown is a mother no longer.
Here's something you don't see very often. Archbishop Lucas of Omaha has suppressed the Hermit Association of the Intercessors of the Lamb founded by Mother Nadine Brown. One of the charisms of this group was Spiritual Warfare. The following statement is from the Archdiocesan Office of Communications as posted on Spirit Daily, an independent publication.
October 15, 2010
Today, for grave reasons, I suppressed the Hermit Association of the Intercessors of the Lamb. The reasons for this suppression are noted in a separate news release, principally, the refusal of the lay civil board of the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., a Nebraska corporation, to acknowledge my authority in making much-needed reforms in the community. The way of life of some fifty vowed members was in peril due to actions of a handful of civil directors. The vows of the former members have ceased (c. 1194), and they are to set aside the habit and refrain from using the titles “Mother,” “Brother,” or “Sister.” They are no longer considered to be in consecrated life or assimilated to it in the Church. I am providing for the care of the former members in the short-term, and remain committed to helping them in any way I can in the future.
From this point forward, The Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., is in no way associated with the Catholic Church. As Archbishop of Omaha, and in view of my authority to govern and guard the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church (c. 835 §1), I hereby decree that no liturgical or sacramental celebrations are to occur on any property owned by the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., within the Archdiocese of Omaha.
Priests, deacons, and lay ministers are to observe this prescription. The chapel formerly known as the Our Lady of Light Chapel on the Bellwether campus in Omaha is no longer a Catholic chapel. Catholic faithful worldwide should be aware that any alms given to the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., are not being given to a Catholic organization. Those who previously had scheduled retreats or other Catholic ministry opportunities there should look elsewhere.
Those who consider themselves “companions” or “associates” of the Intercessors, some of whom have even taken vows, are hereby informed that such vows were never canonically recognized in the Church. Even if such vows were binding in conscience, they too cease in view of the suppression of the Hermit Association of the Intercessors of the Lamb and c. 1194. Of course, Catholic faithful are always welcome, in virtue of their baptism, to associate together and to pray. I would encourage those companions and associates to continue to pray for the former vowed members of the Intercessor community, for the Church, and for the needs of the world.
In attempting to do some research on this group I found there was very little concrete information available. The official website has been shut down and some of the religious publishing houses which carried Mother Nadine Brown's CD's and books, have stopped distribution and instead give a link to the above statement of Archbishop Lucas. It's really difficult to find much more than is listed in a Wikipedia entry.
Everything I was able to find on Nadine Brown indicates she is pretty much equivalent to a New Age Channeler. More interesting is that aspects of her story are not all that different from Mother Angelica's except Angelica managed to amass great deal of wealth through a media empire and Nadine Brown managed to get her little empire suppressed. I'm not sure what that says except maybe one Bishop's Mother Angelica is another Bishop's Nadine Brown. It's interesting that in view of the dissent within Angelica's order, dissension that culminated in a break away group, that Angelica's order still enjoys canonical sanction. I'd hate to think this had anything to do with the amount of money Angelica managed to get to back her.
In any event both women claimed to be hearing directly from God or angels, both apparently ran the orders they founded like little dictators, and both strongly advocated and taught the concepts of Spiritual Warfare. In case one thinks these two women are aberrations, think again. There are any number of these recently founded Catholic lay apostalates, usually founded by a woman channeler, who all advocate Spiritual Warfare of some sort. Sometimes these groups will work together such as in the case Mother Angelica's community and the group Opus Angelorum. OA was established in 1949 in Austria on the writings of another woman channeler Mother Gabrielle Bitterlich. She too founded an order of nuns and an associated order of priests. Opus Angelorum was later given the Canonical status of a Public Association of Christian Faithful, but at the price of the suppression of some of the private revelations and associated rituals revealed to Mother Bitterlich.
The Vatican and assorted bishops have always had problems with mystics and private revelation. It doesn't seem to me that it's rocket science to look at this phenomenon and call it what it is, channeling. It's actually a fairly well researched phenomenon in which psychics, mostly all New Age, have undergone various medical and laboratory testing. This kind of ability is not limited to Catholic middle aged women, New Apostolic Reformation leaders, practitioners of Scientology, or any other religious and spiritual group. It's a product of human consciousness. Handled poorly it can lead directly to psychosis and paranoid schizophrenic type symptomology, handled well and with some mature discernment, it can lead to healing and enlightenment.
These abilities which seem outside normal sensory parameters need to be looked at dispassionately and free from religious paradigms or medical assumptions about their psychopathology. In the case of many channelers, especially female, there is very frequently a history of disassociation due to early trauma or abuse. One can also find the same mental states generated in meditation, centering prayer, from the use of certain drugs, and yes, the deeply focused repetitive prayer Catholics call the rosary. People who learn to disassociate early in life have an easier time entering these specific states of brain wave activity.
Some good research studies indicate this may have a lot to do with neurotransmitter Dimethyltryptamine, commonly referred to as DMT. DMT is a member of the serotonin family and is common to the drugs used by Indigenous communities to facilitate hallucinogenic states of spiritual communication. Brain wave patterns do not directly correlate with any notions of holiness. They just are.
What does correlate highly with religious enculturation is what one experiences when generating these specific brain wave states. This is a phenomenon I have written on before in which I used the analogy of the rolodex. If your personal rolodex only includes angels and devils and a war between them, that is all you are going to see because your fear and ignorance level will not let you see anything else. People who can achieve these states absolutely need emotionally and intellectually mature spiritual advisers or they will experience some seriously 'bad trips'--trips they may never recover from. Operative words in the previous sentence are emotionally and intellectually mature, not religiously orthodox.
I agree with Archbishop Lucas's decision to suppress this group. What he needs to do is find a Catholic who is trained in trans personal psychology to help with some of the wreckage amongst the members of this group---wreckage which is being hinted at in the blogosphere, but not specifically delineated. This is powerful stuff these kinds of groups are into, and maybe it's past time Catholicism looks at it seriously from a less religious point of view and a more rational point of view. It's important to do so if only to understand why this whole concept of channeling and spiritual warfare is so useful to the dominionist agenda of the New Apostolic Reformation.