The Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon is not known for it’s progressive leanings (outside of the bubble called Ashland.) And newspapers need to try to keep readers by sometimes going a bit far afield from news and features. But here’s one for the books, which appeared in Grants Pass Daily Courier October 16, 2009. This from their “business journalist” Kathleen Alaks:
As an Interior designer, Catelin Hoover knows that the right placement of an object or color can make for a pleasing, comfortable, attractive home.
But as a devout Christian, she also believe that giving the placement of that object or color mystical or spiritual significant can be outright dangerous.
Hoover, who moved to Grants Pass a year ago and cares for her elderly father, has written and self-published a book, “Unmaking Feng Shui – A Christian Perspective,” in which she evaluates the ancient Oriental practice of feng shui and elaborates on how it is neither innocence or harmless.
“It is mostly base on superstition and divination, consulting the stars, the earth or some other force for direction,” Hoover says. “And God forbids divination. So this cannot be from the Lord. It’s from Satan.”
Feng shui is an ancient system of aesthetics believed to help one improve life by receiving positive chi or life force. In the traditional practice, specialists use compass-like instruments to determine the cosmic forces affect on a site and then align the construction of buildings and the placement of their contents with those cosmic forces.
Hoover first heard about feng shui in the 1980s while she was teaching interior design in Simi Valley, Calif.
“I saw this trend coming up which I couldn’t pronounce, got some books and read about it and thought it was strange,” she says. “It never made sense to me. I mean, just from an interior design sense, it violated everything I had ever been taught. It’s just not sound decorating theory.”
She thought feng shui was a trend that would soon fade. But as she heard more and more about it, she did more and more research. And what she found was a philosophy that she saw as a subtle form of the occult and a theat to her religion. (underlining added)
It’s all passed off as innocent, but it isn’t,” Hoover says. It started as a form of Buddhism, then pulled in ideas from Taoism, the I Ching, Confucianism, transcendental medication, which came from Hinduism and draws from the demonic world. Many things have touched it. There’s also a strong basis into paganism, holistic medicine and alternative therapies.”
Hoover contents that the practice of feng shui is dangerous to Christians and Jews because it brings the occult into the church and influences people to forego their faith.
“People read a magazine article or get a book about it and think, ‘oh, this will be fun.’ But if you do it for awhile, it becomes a habit. And you begin to believe it instead of your faith,” she says.
Hoovers book also attacks many of the practitioners of feng shui as untrained and deceptive.
“There are no credentials for practitioners. They have no background in interior design. That doesn’t make too much sense,” she says. “And some devotees of feng shui are quick to denigrate Christians and Jews and twist Bible passages to their own meaning.”
Whew! That’s a full frontal assault. Suzanne Chavez of Grants Pas then wrote to the editor:
What credentials does feng shui critic have?
Thank you for printing the interviews with Catelin Hoover, the interior designer whose self-published book educates us about the satanic roots of feng shui.
I now know that Buddhism, Taoism, confucianism, transcendental medication, holistic medicine and alternate therapies are dangerous and evil. I will now avoid my Hindu friends because I have learned they are closely linked to the demonic world. Hoover says she is available of talks and seminars, so perhaps I should invite my Asian friends for a meeting with her.
I also leaned from this interview that all practitioners of feng shui are uncredentialed and have no background in interior design. Maybe reporter Kathleen Alaks can interview Hoover again and ask what Hoover’s credentials ares, since the article did not make that clear.
I can see from the photo, however, that her philosophy of design is based on plastic bins with books shoved askew in them, chairs with ripped vinyl upholstery and desks with scratches gouged deep into the faux redwood finish.
A friend who works ow of Grants Pass writes, “the last word? We’ll see.” What do you think?