Male Headship Symposium Day Two: Satan is Behind Feminism

Laurel Damsteegt took the "Women's Ordination: History, Issues and Implications" symposium into unusual territory Thursday morning, making the case that Spiritualism (communication with evil spirits) is the root cause of feminism and the Women's Rights movement. Speaking from the "Secrets Unsealed" studio in Fresno, California on day two of the symposium sponsored by male headship proponents, Damsteegt said that gender issues are a direct outgrowth of "Type Two Spiritualism."

Speaking before a live audience and online viewers, Damsteegt proposed ways in which Satan communicates directly with people: seances, knockings and levitations, which Deuteronomy labels "abomination." A second type of Satanic influence, she said, has to do with Satan's lie in Genesis, "Ye shall be as gods." The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil provided an opportunity for Eve to submit her judgment to God's, but instead, the archetypal woman overrode God's judgment. She became as God. "That is what I call 'Type Two Spiritualism,'" Damsteegt said.

Like several of the fifteen presenters at this Male Headship symposium, Laurel Damsteegt was a member of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee tasked with studying women's ordination.

Weaving together stories of purported spiritualists and figures in the Women's Suffrage movement, Damsteegt set out to show that feminism, and by extension, the move to ordain women today, has satanic origins. Women's Rights advocates, by seeking to fill men's societal roles and rise above their God-given stations in life, fell into "Type Two Spiritualism," Damsteegt argued. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as an example, wore clothing similar to men's clothing in order to be able to do all that men could do. Stanton's spiritualistic ideas have been embraced by modern feminism: open marriage, easy divorce, lesbianism, cross-dressing more acceptable, Damsteegt said.

Audience members responding to Laurel Damsteegt's presentation.

Victoria Woodhull, under the guidance of a spiritualist, became the first woman to run for president of the United States on a spiritualistic and Women's Rights platform, Damsteegt said. She concluded by noting that Scripture and Adventist principles are not compatible with feminist ideals. "Spiritualism," she said, "does not always assume the medium, rapping guise. Watch out for philosophical spiritualism."

One of the marks feminist spiritualism, according to Damsteegt, is a willingness to reinterpret Scripture based on human experiences or historical-critical or literary-critical methodologies, making the Word of God "of no effect." And for her, questions of interpretation supercede the issue of ordination. "If we think it's ordination, we've missed it. The issue is hermeneutics--how we interpret the Scripture," she said.

Damsteegt closed by confessing that she had felt drawn to ministry, and so she worked alongside her pastor husband, aiding his work, she was careful to add, in accordance with Scripture.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

unfortunately, laurel has misinterpreted patriarchs and prophets:59…i’ve heard other anti-wo adventists misinterpret this passage, as well…

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Mrs Damsteeg’s presentation, although interesting, is full of illogical statements, and some historical claims that are completely unfounded. For example, Spiritualists in the 1850s and 1850s took up many causes, including temperance, children’s rights, health reform, anti-slavery, cleanliness, dress reform, women’s voting rights. Are these all devilish also? According to her logic, these should all be opposed as forms of type-two spiritualism.
This is a false argument, the kind the devil would make.

Mrs Damsteeg goes way beyond the most conservative claims of early Adventists. Ellen White, who was ever watchful of spiritualists and their claims, does not make these outlandish connections. The advancement of women was championed by many religious groups including MIllerites and Adventists who had no connections to spiritualism. In addition, the Grimke sisters, who wrote and published as Millerites, abolitionists, and as women’s right advocates, explained the Gospel basis of these reforms long before Spiritualism became popular.

So why the supposed link between spiritualism and women’s rights?

The historical reason that Spiritualists became stronger advocates of women’s equality was that evangelicals who had been reform minded n the 1830s and 1840s began to back away from what they considered “unsociable” causes. Spiritualists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many others soon found disenchanted Christians attending their meetings. The Spiritualists merely filled the vacuum, as mainstream Christian groups divided over issues race, slavery and politics.

Perhaps the moral is, if Christians back away from promoting the good of all persons, with free and informed choices, then God will have the work done by others who will listen to God’s voice.


Laurel does the shrinking antWO lobby no favours with a presentation like this. This is no longer a discussion, it seems those rejecting gender equality have nothing but personal reasons for their position. The vote for Ordination based on vocation and giftedness should be a clear and final rejection of a view of God that suggests He favours race, colour, culture or gender.


Watched on you tube with interest. Although I warmed to Laurel as a sincere and warm hearted speaker,I thought that she made the links 'out of thin air’as it were. Very much generalizing that if a movement has certain dodgy qualities ITS ALL bad.

As Graeme pointed out:not so.


“Type Two Spiritualism.”

So now there’s a difference between juvenile spiritualism and adult onset spiritualism? Where do these people get their ideas from???


“Just as Eve was forbidden from eating the fruit of only one tree in the garden, Damsteegt argued, so women are allowed to fill any role in the church except the role of elder or pastor.”

Such creative interpretation. I have no doubt that those sponsoring this seminar and their audiences are sincere people. However, I find their message misguided and one that goes against what I do in my profession. After working hard to foster a “stable and secure sense of self” during therapy sessions for my patients, their message conveys that females are “less than a self” and subordinate to males. I find this repulsive as although I have two sons, I am married to a woman (female) and I do have a mother. I refuse to be deluded that my gender makes me superior to both my wife and mother. So I have decided not to watch any more of their uploaded videos but instead lurk behind Spectrum.


“a willingness to reinterpret Scripture based on human experiences”

Isn’t that exactly what she’s doing? There’s no reference whatever, in Genesis, to the idea of Adam (or men in general) being ordained as pastors.

This is a classic “mix and match” approach to Biblical interpretation, of the type that gives us “then Judas went out and hanged himself - go and do thou likewise”.


“The devil made me do it is a hoot!” – Tom Z


just look at the faces of those attending , so much joy in their faces ( Sarcasm )


Laurel Damsteegt is a courageous woman. I hope her courage inspires other women to stand up and be counted in a similar fashion.


She spoke up . The problem what she said . I contacted "Secrets unsealed " and ask them why they don’t smile and look so sad , they responded " For us the victorian era never came to a close and also at the beginning Pastor Bohr told us not to clap or smile , he said " clapping and smiling was spiritualism type 3 .


Wondering why she’s standing up at a pulpit and presenting a sermon to a group of (predominately) men? Isn’t that kind of undermining her whole thesis??


Can anyone explain WHERE Pastor Bohr comes up with a Type 1 Spiritualism, a Type 2 Spiritualism? I have never heard of Type 1 and Type 2 Spiritualism.
Since it is his program and Seminar, he must have gone over Laurel’s notes prior to her presentation [Teaching NOT Preaching].


Ha!the irony.BUT she seemed like a very nice sincere lady who id gladly sit down and have a chat with.I disagree with what she said,and the connections she made,but I respect her for doing the Lords’work as she sees it. Being ‘nice’ and sincere goes a looooooong way in my book.

I honestly dont feel that way about the other two presentations I watched.Bohr and Prewitt. I felt arrogance and no warmth from them.


I’ve heard a lot of kooky things lately, but this takes the cake! I guess, in certain quarters, the most emphatic way to say that some thing is bad is to say that it came from the Devil. Don


I am reminded of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. the Priests (males) ask Jesus to make the people stop praising Him–men, women, and children. Jesus relied. --If they stopped the very rocks would cry out. Yes there is a story in Acts where a woman possessed tormented Paul. But try and make that a stretch to WO is heresy. Let us look back over time starting with Davenport, then the president of Andrews caught in D.C., The President of PUC exposed in a long term affair, The treasurer of the Lake Union in an affair with an academy student at athe then Broadview Academy, That is just for starters, all of whom were ordained. yes the devil made them do it. Tom Z


Is this for real? I’m sure Ms. Damsteegt is a very nice woman . . . and very deluded. I wonder if she votes?


All “con men” are “very nice” and convincing when they try to “sell” you something. These meetings are only a few miles from me but I don’t have the stomach to go, watch the videos or listen to their very convoluted reasoning.

From a very spiritualistic observer ;<)


Hasn’t it always been the excuse for things against one’s own beliefs: It’s from the Devil?