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Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret

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The Enneagram of Personality has been embraced by of a growing number of evangelicals. First introduced into the church by disciples of Roman Catholic priest, mystic and "contemplative" Father Richard Rohr, it has come to be regarded as a spiritual tool—but is it a spiritual tool which brings about better understanding of one's self and the God of Scripture? That is the question this book aims to answer.

Many of us attend church to learn about God, to learn about ourselves, and to connect with God and others. Along with that is a general belief that the church is spiritually safe. After all, the best source of knowledge about God comes from His self-revelation, which is contained in His inspired, inerrant word: the Bible. We rely on church leaders to interpret the Bible, to carefully teach and guide the church family while keeping false teaching on the other side of the doors. But like a virus on a physical level, false teaching can operate on a spiritual level. A church leader may be introduced to new concept or spiritual tool by what is believed to be a reliable source. It may be embraced as a path to a better understanding of God and self. Even with the best intentions and efforts of spiritual leaders, they become spiritually infected and pass their infection to their flock. In Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret, we explore the spiritual infection of those who have embraced Richard Rohr and the Enneagram he has delivered into the church through his disciples.

The claims for the Enneagram are simple. Supposedly it is an ancient tool used by some of the Early Church Fathers. It is claimed to be the "face of God" and each Enneagram number is an individual spiritual path to deeper spiritual understanding and fuller self-awareness. But what if this seemingly harmless tool is in fact one of the largest deceptions perpetrated upon the Christian church in recent history?


Published March 27, 2020

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About the author

Don Veinot

3 books1 follower
L.L. (Don) and Joy Veinot are co-founder and president of Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. (MCOI), a mission to cults and non-Christian religions based in Wonder Lake, IL. Don and Joy (his wife since 1970) have been involved in discernment ministry as missionaries to New Religious Movements since 1987. Don is a frequent guest on numerous radio and television broadcasts including The John Ankerberg Show as well as being a staff researcher and writer for the Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Journal. Additionally, Don is co-author of the book A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life as well as contributing author of Preserving Evangelical Unity: Welcoming Diversity in Non-Essentials. Furthermore, he is the author of various research articles in the CRI Journal, PFO Quarterly Journal, Campus Life Magazine, Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Midwestern Journal of Theology, and other periodicals.

Don was ordained to the ministry by West Suburban Community Church of Lombard, IL at the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, Israel in March of 1997. He is a charter member of International Society of Christian Apologetics (ISCA) and is also the current President of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR), a consortium of counter-cult/apologetic and discernment ministries from around the country. In addition, Don co-hosts a weekly webcast with Ron Henzel, Senior Researcher for MCOI, called “The Unknown Webcast,” which can be found on their YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/MidwestoutreachOrg. The MCOI website is www.midwestoutreach.org. MCOI also
has a weekly e-letter, The Crux, and you can follow Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Parler, and USA.Life.

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Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Morgan Kahler.
39 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2021
Into the Enneagram? Please read this book! The Enneagram is a snake that has slithered it's way into the church and it's due time it's head was crushed. I wish this book was published 5 years ago when I got introduced to the Enneagram. It is a solid resource and one of the few out there that holds the Enneagram up to scripture. I love Marcia Montenegro and admire her work. I applaud the thorough research done for this book. This book is not just about Richard Rohr but since he is the main catalyst of the Enneagram and has taught many of the popular current teachers, it address the reasons why Christians should not be looking to him for spiritual guidance. Rohr is a heritic. This book also goes into the reasons why the Enneagram isn't biblical and why it cannot be used by Christians.
Friends I urge you to FLEE from the Enneagram! It is not and cannot be a Christian tool. One example of why: it's roots are not Christian, they are undoubtedly found in the New Age movement & the occult. Did you know that the 9 types and their descriptions came to Claudio Naranjo through automatic writing? That alone is reason enough to flee! Open your bible! Start with Leviticus 19:31. This is the info about the Enneagram that needs to be shared instead of more books and podcasts by heretics (Richard Rohr being one of many) lying about the origins and calling it a Christian tool. I had no idea what I was getting into years ago and I'm grateful God convicted me a year and a half ago. The wool was pulled right over my eyes just like satan wanted it to be. I have a lot more words to say about this topic but please feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to talk more about it with you. Anyway, read this book.
Profile Image for Marcia.
113 reviews
January 1, 2021
This book opened my eyes to the origins of the Enneagram, which are in mysticism, occultism, and New Age. Unfortunately, many Christians are buying into the Enneagram, and some churches use it as the basis of sermons or classes. The authors give a clear explanation of the history of the Enneagram and explain Richard Rohr’s role in bringing it into the churches.

2 Timothy 4: 3,4: For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Profile Image for John Waldrip.
Author 4 books4 followers
September 27, 2020
Thanks to Dr. Martin & Diedre Bobgan for giving me this book, catching me completely by surprise. Though pastoring for 42 years, this one surprised me. Completed today, I asked the first two Church members I saw if they had ever heard of Enneagram. One of them had. I will ask the rest of the congregation tomorrow. This is serious corruption and subtlety and must be dealt with for its deceit and undermining of the Word of God and foundational doctrines. The authors do a wonderful job of exposing this doctrine of demons.
Profile Image for Nathan.
19 reviews
February 17, 2022
The information was enlightening and I believe it is important, but sometimes the writing was hard to deal with. I often found myself distracted by some awkward sentence structures and grammar. However, the book does shed light on the Enneagram's origins and theological claims that I think are important for the church to be aware of today.
Profile Image for Dave Nisly.
26 reviews3 followers
July 20, 2020
Pastors, take note!! This is a well-documented and enlightening read on the origin and underlying theology of the enneagram... especially with the increasing popularity within churches.

Is the enneagram a modern-day golden calf?? Are we deviating from the true gospel for an alternative that is more appealing??
45 reviews3 followers
March 18, 2021
I decided to read this book because our pastor is a gung ho supporter of the enneagram, but to me with my own Th.M. in Pastoral Counseling the enneagram seemed more like complexity in search of a need. Back in seminary, almost 50 years ago, I was trained in the Myers Briggs personality inventory, and liked it at the time. Since, however, I've had the same concerns about the Myers Briggs -- that it claims to explain more than it actually can, and has little to do with Christian theology.

Our previous church had a personality inventory it used, about what kind of animal are you? It called me an "otter" (fun-loving extrovert), and ever since that has seemed a more easily-understandable characterization than my Myers-Briggs ENTJ score.

Having now read this book, I feel comfortable saying goodbye to the enneagram as New Age hokum that Christians can safely ignore.

In reading this book, I was particularly impressed by the discussion about various heresies that have threatened the Church throughout all ages, with some of them still in enneagram teaching today. These authors usefully point out that New Age teachers of the enneagram don't see Jesus and the Christ as both being the same God. Rather, they appear to think of the Christ as an essence which can also be revealed as our true inner nature, somewhat as taught by early Gnosticism. That has further implications of there being no original sin that affects us, and universal salvation for everyone, both concepts explicitly denied by accepted teachings of Jesus in the Bible.

I got a hint of that last night listening to Rob Bell teaching at our former Illinois church back in 2016. As always, he was a fascinating teacher, with lots of good points to make. But at the end I noticed that nowhere in his long discussion of Genesis chapter 3 did he mention WHY Adam and Eve were hiding from God after eating forbidden fruit, with Bell instead emphasizing how much God wants to just hang out with his human friends.
Profile Image for Katie Marschner.
34 reviews2 followers
March 30, 2021
This is a must-read for any Christian who is concerned about discerning false teaching. Now, I understand, if you have been involved in learning about the Enneagram or are simply interested in personality tests, you may wonder why I would even make a statement that implies that the Enneagram is in the category of false teaching.

The Enneagram has exploded as a “useful tool” is recent years, and has been marketed as an ancient tool that Christians can use for spiritual growth. The book Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret exposes why the Enneagram is not any such thing.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this book would be very useful for you. I wish that anyone involved in the Enneagram would read this book and understand why the Enneagram should not be used by Christians. Period.

Marcia Montenegro and Don and Joy Veinot are trustworthy apologists, well versed in the cults and discernment, and Marcia has personal, first-hand experience with the occult and New Age beliefs. She was a certified, professional astrologer before she became a Christian. I mention this because it can be our tendency to disregard those who are in discernment types of ministries and exposing false teachings as just another person who is sensationalizing a topic for gain. This is not the case for the authors of this book. They have a life-time of experience with the beliefs they are exposing, and as Christians, it would be wise for us to at least consider what they have to say regarding this topic.

One of the main reasons this book was so helpful to me was it created a timeline of the Enneagram and the concepts within it, how it has changed through the years, who the main people were/are promoting it, and many of their personal and spiritual beliefs.

If you are like me, you may have been exposed to the Enneagram by a friend or family member who you care deeply about. In recent years, the Enneagram has become mainstream within some subsets of Christianity.

“At the moment, it does seem to be all the rage; but prior to 2016, very few within the evangelical and confessing church had even heard of the Enneagram. There is a reason this is the case. Since its inception, it only resided within the domain of the occult, New Age, and a handful of Roman Catholic priests.” (page 22)
“The Enneagram has been in the New Age since the 1980s and until recently, the majority of Enneagram books were written by New Age authors.” (page 96)

The authors of the book argue that the Enneagram really did not come from ancient sources as at all, as is consistently claimed by those who are “experts” in the study of the Enneagram. Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret guides the reader through the history of this tool and teaching as we know it today. One will read the history of the Enneagram, from with George I. Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, Claudio Naranjo, all the way to Richard Rohr. Richard Rohr was the main player who introduced the Enneagram into Christianity. His beliefs regarding creation, the Bible, sin, Jesus, the atonement, the resurrection, and salvation completely contradict Biblical teaching. However, he is the mentor of many authors and experts on the Enneagram within the Christian sphere today. The authors of two of the most popular Christian Enneagram books, Christopher Heuertz (The Sacred Enneagram), and Susanne Stabile (The Road Back to You) were mentored by Richard Rohr. This should be alarming to any Christian who has read these books and used them as tools to help them in their own spiritual lives.

Although the Enneagram did not start off as a typing system or a way to understand personality, the way we understand the Enneagram today is through nine types. Claudio Naranjo is the man who is understood to be the origin of the nine typing system we know the Enneagram to be today.
“In a 2010 video, Ichazo’s student, Claudio Naranjo, states that Ichazo told him that he received the information on the ego fixations from a: higher source, not a historical source ... from inspiration, from revelation, and that is his word, and Naranjo says, “I trust it”. In the same video, Naranjo, who is credited with revealing the Enneagram’s personality types, adds that he (Naranjo) received most of the information for the types via “automatic writing.” Automatic writing is a form of spirit contact in which one opens up to a channel of communication from a supernatural source by allowing the source to move the hand and/or dictate the words (this can also be done with a typewriter or computer). It is not surprising that Naranjo, as one who engaged in other forms of esoteric and occult practices, would seek or have such experiences.” (page 68)

Christians should seek to stay as far away from occultic practices as humanly possible! The Enneagram as we know it today is the direct result of the Occultic practice of automatic writing, and the source is not God, but demons.

Many other topics are covered within this book, including syncretism (mixing faith with other things) and the major repercussions of that, the belief of the false self/true self often presented as part of the Enneagram, typing Jesus, the phrase “God can use anything”, and whether or not we can simply remove the New Age aspects of the Enneagram and use it as a tool.

If you are a Christian who is wondering if the Enneagram can be used as a spiritual tool, I urge you to read this book. If you are a believer who is concerned about someone in your life who has become enamored with the Enneagram, this book would serve as a basis for strengthening your understanding of this topic. Either way, it is definitely a valuable resource for the times in which we live.
Profile Image for Dara.
79 reviews25 followers
July 29, 2021
I hate the phrase "this is a must-read for all Christians" but in this case, I don't know any better way to say it. It is really a must-read for all Christians.

This little book packs a massive ton of information about the Enneagram - its real origins in occult/New Age beliefs, how it's being twisted to appeal to Christians, and how it deceives Christians by presenting a false gospel that is directly and thoroughly contradicted by Scripture.

As a result, it's impossible to come away from this book without a clearer, BIBLICAL understanding of the Enneagram and why Christians need to be, at the very least, wary of this new "personality test."

Fellow Christians, we need to get back to our Bibles. The only reason the Enneagram has become so popular in churches is because we are forgetting what Scripture clearly teaches. Remember 2 Peter 1:3. The Enneagram is not only unnecessary, it's a distraction from the real Gospel.
Profile Image for Amy Langmaack.
412 reviews8 followers
January 24, 2023
I think everyone who has ever read an enneagram book or said they believe in it needs to read this book.

The formatting for me (library ebook) was way off and the writing was super repetitive. But it was informative. Well researched and well worth my time.
86 reviews
April 14, 2022
Can I give this 10 stars? A must read for all Christians and for all users of the enneagram. This book exposes all the evil that is the enneagram and is rife with biblical quotes and research.
Profile Image for Mona Roux.
5 reviews
March 31, 2021
I had no idea...

A fascinating book that really opened my eyes. I had heard of the enneagram but did not know the history and had made assumptions. My assumptions were wrong.

July 6, 2021
There’s a lot about the origins of the Enneagram that most Christians aren’t aware of, because many are under the impression that the enneagram is just a personality test. I was in that same boat myself at one point, deeply fascinated by it, and a self proclaimed “9”. Thankfully, I came across christian leaders who were willing to dive into the issue. (Alisa Childers, Marcia Montenegro, Don Veinot, Dr. Chris Berg, just to name a few.) I am so thankful for the intense research and thorough explanations that Don Veinot and Marcia Montenegro provide in this book. A wake up call for Christians indeed.

To sum it up, some of the key features that really should solidify our decision of whether we partake in this or not are:
1. The enneagram was written through automatic handwriting. (That is channeling spirits A.K.A demons.)
2. It was originally taught in an Occult school in Eureka by Oscar Ichazo.
3. The goal of the Enneagram is to find your ego-fixation (which is your number) and to see that it’s not really “you” and to find your “pure self”. As Christians we know that there is no way we can purify ourselves, and that we all have sin nature from the fall. Jesus is the only way of sanctification, hope, peace, joy and purpose. Our identity is in Jesus Christ, not our enneagram number. The enneagram just encourages more fixation on self, and less fixation on Christ.
4. The enneagram is an easy stepping stone to other new age practices. Manifestation, meditation, the “shadow child.” It��s origins are rooted in a combination of New Age and the Occult, and that knowledge alone should be enough evidence for us to turn away from the “Christian” version or non-christian teachings of the Enneagram.

Even just knowing a snippet of what the creation and original intentions of the Enneagram was, should speak clearly enough for itself that as followers of Christ, we should separate ourselves from such things. It’s unfortunate that this is being promoted in churches, and that Christian authors are trying to spin the Enneagram to make it a tool for Christians. You can’t take the doctrine of demons and make it legitimate.

I recommend reading this book, as well as the book by Dr. Chris Berg to get a full picture of the history of the Enneagram and its co-creators. There are also wonderful interviews on YouTube done by Alisa Childers with Marcia Montenegro, an ex-astrologer now Christian. Josh McDowell also has a very in depth interview with the author of his own book, Dr. Chris Berg.
Profile Image for Chuck.
111 reviews6 followers
April 25, 2021
Well researched. The authors documented what they've written and clearly noted the lack of credibility behind the Enneagram. It's sad that so-called Christian teachers like Richard Rohr are accepted so readily by Evangelicals. From the last chapter:

"We take time to expose the various claims of the Enneagram as being ancient are false; and we reveal it was originally invented by a Russian mystic (George I. Gurdjieff) as the cosmic explanation for everything. We track the changes and additions made by New Agers Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo, who have twisted and distorted the original meaning of the Enneagram through the direction of spirit beings and automatic writing. Finally, we show how Richard Rohr incorporates his theology of Panentheism and Perennialism—heretical worldviews unto themselves—into the occult system of the Enneagram. He also teaches each Enneagram number is an individual path back to the realization we have never sinned. In his view, we have always been sinless; and we are ourselves 'The Christ,' since 'The Christ' is the cosmos of which we are a part."

Claudio Naranjo admitted that he and Oscar Ichazo fabricated the idea that the Eneagram is ancient and that he got the "types" from automatic writing. Listen to the video and hear it for yourself, on YouTube under: "The Origins of the Enneagram-Marcia Montenegro." See the full interview with Naranjo on YouTube under: "The Origins of the Enneagram-Claudio Naranjo Speaks."
Profile Image for Alex.
386 reviews11 followers
March 23, 2021
The lines have become so blurred for Christians. Richard Rohr, David G. Benner, amongst others stand on those lines smudging the edges creating the blur. This book aims to refocus Biblical truths, which do not support pantheism or Perennialism and definitely not the enneagram.

If you're a Christian, the Bible is it. There are no other texts or doctrines that should be as important, according to Christian apologetics. This book reminds Christians what the Bible has to say about New Age concepts (enneagram) leaking into mainstream Christianity.

I was never into the enneagram and left my ten year old New Age practice in 2012, so reading this book was more about curiosity for Christian apologetics than anything else. It is really, really well written and has all the references including endnotes required of sound, quality research. Although Richard Rohr holds most of the attention throughout this book, I look at the Biblical focus as the most important aspect.

Profile Image for Carlene Bridger.
10 reviews
January 12, 2021
I really enjoyed this book. It is quite short, so it is more of a primer to understanding why the Enneagram is concerning, especially as Christians, rather than being a conclusive guide. They dove nicely into the sketchy history of the Enneagram given how many pages they had, discussed Richard Rohr's unbiblical theology (and why it is an issue to listen to his guidance on this topic), and they provided references in their book to sources they use, along with Scripture to show what the Bible says. They also remind us in grace and love that the Bible and our lives are not about us, the Enneagram is not an invaluable spiritual tool (they say that if it was, Jesus would've used it), and show us how this is becoming an idol in the church today, which is not okay. Definitely an eye-opening read.
Profile Image for Patrick.
14 reviews3 followers
December 20, 2022
Small close-minded bogus nonsense from a pseudo-spiritual evangelical.

Please don't be taken in by his mis-reading of Rohr and the history of the Enneagram.

And if your Christian walk and faith are rooted in sola scriptura, that's fine. But don't attack paths that others have gained great value from exploring.

For those troubled or confused about it, I recommend reading and listening to pastor Ian Morgan Cron from some further grounding in how it fits into spiritual growth.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2 reviews
October 26, 2021
Can the Enneagram be “Christianized?” Being a direct product of gnostic, occult, and New Age beliefs, truly the Enneagram should have no place amongst Christians. This book does a great job uncovering the way in which this secularized tool for self-development has seeped its way into the church and why we, as Christians, should be concerned about this. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Bryan Atkinson.
65 reviews4 followers
April 6, 2022
This book thoroughly lays out the history of the enneagram and its teachers. It compares the objectives and values of the enneagram with the Bible. It makes clear that the enneagram has no validity within psychology and that anyone's claim to be an expert on the matter is arbitrary. This is an important topic within the American church right now.
120 reviews2 followers
March 12, 2021
Clear and concise criticism of the Enneagram and why Christians shouldn't use it. This book is edifying and loaded with Scriptural truths, my hope is that many will read it and turn from false teaching
281 reviews7 followers
October 7, 2020
These former new ager's ,the authors, give meaning to the phrase 'Not all scripture is for us but all scripture is to us.'
Profile Image for Rob.
102 reviews12 followers
October 31, 2020
If you're even thinking about getting involved with the Enneagram read this book first. If you're already using the Enneagram read this book.
Profile Image for Lauren O'Neill.
92 reviews5 followers
June 20, 2022
If you’ve heard the word Enneagram at your church or in your friend circles, that’s your cue to get educated. This book is simple and direct. I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Danielle.
17 reviews1 follower
December 7, 2022
A must read for every Christian, no matter your current views on the enneagram.
This goes into depth, which I greatly appreciated.
Profile Image for Janette.
61 reviews
January 22, 2023
This book exposes the false teachings of this occult tool. If it's only a personality test, there is no scientific research to back up validity.
Profile Image for Pamela.
32 reviews
May 9, 2022
This is a very important book. No Christian should be involved with the Enneagram.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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