Immaculée Ilibagiza, is her message mixed with New Age?

I read “Left to tell”, Immaculée Ilibagiza’s story of surviving the horrors of Rwanda. I was impressed and inspired until the end when she was discribing how she found a job and some other things after she was free and safe. What she said sounded a lot like the message of the book “The Secret”, that you have the power to bring what you want to you. The Secret tells you that you are your own God. Now Immaculée Ilibagiza, was devout, but she talked about certain things in this language that sounded vaguely disconcerning. It also doesn’t help that she is being promoted by motivational speakers who I am sure are intrenched in New Age beliefs.
Immaculée Ilibagiza stroy is still amazing, but I can’t refer to it as a source of inspiration because I was so exasperated by “The Secret”. Many of my in-laws were so excited about it and they are practising Catholics. I worry about this New AGe “entitlement” message being mixed in with amazing stories and told by charismatic beautiful women like Immaculée Ilibagiza, I can just see my SIL, MIL, FIL all eating it up and putting her book next to The prayer of Jabez, Secrets of the Milionaire Mind and The Secret, right above their Anthony Robbins tapes.

Sorry that was a long story.

ANyone agree or disagree? Please share.

I disagree. I read that book and got no such impression. Besides the fact that she wrote that book before The Secret even got popular. Immaculee is very devout, she speaks at Catholic Churches. That’s where I heard her story.

I mentioned the Secret as it had been a movie I was asked to watch by my in laws. The New Age notion that you are powerful and can bring what you want from the universe to your self is not a new idea.

I know Immaculee speaks at Churches. Reiki masters who channel spirits work at catholic hospitals, it doesn’t mean anything.

I believe Immaculees intentions are good. I was touched by her story, but I wonder if there is not something that has crept in there that is wrong and dangerous.

Feel free to disagree. I may be over sensitive regarding this. This is why I am posting here. I am not attacking Immaculee I am sorting out my thoughts on her book and message.

I haven’t read the book, but I’ve heard her speak several times on TV, and admire her very much.

Do you think it’s possible that what you are perceiving could be explained by the difference between Western (American) spirituality vs. African spirituality?

I really don’t know much about Africa other than what I have seen in our Nigerian priests (we have many!), but I know that Africa is different than the U.S., and as a result, they will think differently about spirituality than us.

I know that Eastern spirituality (e.g., the Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholics) is very different than U.S. spirituality. The icons are very precious to the Eastern Christians, whereas I just can’t comprehend what all the excitement is about; I look at them and see really ugly pictures of Jesus and the Blessed Mother, whereas they see them as portals to heaven! :confused:

And I know that the Far Eastern spirituality is really different, but again, I have a hard time putting my finger on it. I just know that I’m not them, and I never will be!

I appreciate all the differences and the people who love Christ in a different way than I do.

So I am assuming that Africans will have a different spirituality than Americans, and perhaps this is what you’re sensing about the book. It’s not “bad,” just different.

I do know one missionary (Protestant) to Africa, and she says that Africans interpret the Bible very literally. In her church, all the women wore head-coverings because the Bible said to. No “interpretations” or “modern-exegesis” or “scholarship.” The Bible said it, they did it, and that’s all! (She was a missionary to Ivory Coast, which is probably very different from other countries in Africa.)

?? Is my idea a possibility? Perhaps someone with a lot more knowledge and experience than me could confirm if this is even possible. Thanks.

I read the book also. Was wonderful. I don’t think I could do what she did.


There’s a huge difference between Immaculee’s message of having faith in God our Father to provide everything we need (even if that means dying–He knows what’s best for us and will always only give us the best :thumbsup: ), and the New Age idea that we have the power to bring good things to *ourselves *without any help from God.

I have the same questions as Jehanne Darc. I read “Left to Tell” and listened to Immaculee speak on “World Over”. I admire her so much. BUT, why does she associate with the people of the New Age so much. I was doing some internet research on Immaculee a while back and began getting mail from the New Age Movement. Immaculee’s book was included in the literature. I just don’t get it. Didn’t she become a worker with the UN? If you study the UN, they are a very evil organization. I pray for Immaculee’s protection. God be with her.

She was on with Fater Groeschel a few weeks ago and he asked her about this issue. Father asked her outright if she is New Age or a devout Catholic. She replied that she is a devout Catholic, that she prays the rosary every day, and that she is not New Age.

If Fr. Groeschel thought the question needed asking then at least I know that someone wiser than myself is also picking up on something. I will keep her in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this information. We are always under attack and those like Immaculee perhaps more so.

Oh I just realized that Fr. G. might have posed the question just to allow her to state where she stands because of people like me who suspect new age stuff to be everywhere.

Maybe she is just allowing her message to be spread by New Age evangelists just to ensure that something good comes from them as well.

I do not want to contribute to calumny just clarity.

Jehanne Darc,

Though I had heard of Immaculee Ilibagiza, and seen her interviewed on a couple shows, I only read her book, “Left to Tell,” a few weeks ago. Like you, I was uplifted by her story, until the end when the book began to use the law of attraction language. It was confusing, and I believe real. I do not think you were wrong in thinking there was something a little off the Christian message. There is a fine line there that I think the language crossed. Then I was conflicted, because I certainly had to admire how she made it through her ordeal with the power of faith and prayer, but then inserted this other into her story. It really didn’t seem to fit. Ironically, just a few days later she was on with Fr. Groeschel.

I got the impression that she had gotten mixed up with the New Age people rather innocently, not knowing anything about it. Perhaps the publishers of the book subtly changed her words since her command of English wasn’t yet strong–I don’t know. I notice that she is still on the Catholic speaking schedules, so my hope is that those who know more than I trust her message. The language in her book, however, does still trouble me.

I have to admit, i am still troubled with immaculee’s involvement with the new age or people of the new age movement. Why did she have dr. Wayne dyer write the forward for her book “left to tell”. And then her next book she has rick warren write the forward. He scares me and misquotes and misinterprets scripture constantly. This i feel he does not by honest error, but to mislead his massive following. I loved immaculee’s story “left to tell” and i will continue to ask god to protect her from those she is associating with at the united nations and the new age movement.

I just finished the book and, yeah, there’s some stuff that sets my teeth on edge.
I think she ran afoul of what of what the nuns used to tell us – “Choose your friends wisely.” I can see how she might have fallen in with the New Age crowd since Hay House which publishes Wayne Dyer et al. bought her story, provided the co-author &c.

I also suspect that she is devout but perhaps not that sharp theologically (no slur intended) and may not realise how wrong New Age thinking is.

I’ve seen these postings in the past, but as there continues to be much concern expressed that Immaculée is mixed up with or involved in the New Age movement or that her Catholic views are blended New Age, I must post a reply here.

First, I can tell you unequivocally that these things are not true regarding Immaculée or her beliefs. I have personally known Immaculée and her relatives since 2006, and have been with them at various types of events, functions, and family gatherings and have seen and been with her in all types of settings. She is very strong in her Catholic Faith. In her first book, “Left to Tell,” the language was changed by the publisher, Hay House, to better suit their target audience which is New Age (in fact they cut a great deal of her first manuscript and tried to de-Catholicize it as much as possible). Sitting right next to me at a meeting with a Catholic Publisher, Immaculée told us that she fought with the publisher on various things regarding the first manuscript, but that she lost. So yes, whatever concerns or New Age sentiments or mentality that you pick up in the first book, came from the editing of the book by Hay House, they were NOT Immaculée. Her strong faith still shines through in the book even despite Hay House’s severe editing of her book. With her second book, “Led by Faith,” they didn’t change the wording nearly as much (because she had become so popular). With her third book, “Our Lady of Kibeho,” they told her that she could be as “Catholic” as she wanted.

Secondly, she very much would like to work with a specific Catholic Publisher, and they want to work with her. She wanted this Catholic Publisher to have her third book, “Our Lady of Kibeho,” however Hay House would not release this manuscript or her to them at this time. Hay House is very reluctant to release her because of her international popularity, as well as the fact that she’s a wonderful source of income for them. Her primary audience throughout the world is Catholic, and most of her talks are at or connected to Catholic Institutions.

Third, she is grateful to Hay House that they have gotten her message out to the world, even despite the fact that it is not the “ideal” situation that she would have had with a Catholic publisher. Pray that eventually Hay House will release her from the contract, and then her words will fully shine forth when printed with a Catholic publisher.

Lastly, Immaculée has not worked for the UN for a long time. She devotes herself full-time to this mission of spreading the message of God’s love and forgiveness, as well as raising awareness for the suffering of the people in Rwanda (primarily the orphans). Her other main emphasis is to spread the Message of Our Lady of Kibeho which are the only apparitions in Africa that have been approved by the Vatican.

Hope this clears up the concerns regarding Immaculée and her writings.

When she spoke at an event in our diocese, I was very impressed with her. I have read three of her books and, like others, find nothing against our faith contained therein **except **the association with (and her praises of) Dyer and others. And, I then remind myself, Jesus associated with sinners.

Time will tell, I suppose . . .

Thank you. Yes, this does clear up questions about Immaculee.

May the Holy Virgin help to remove the false image of Immaculee made by the publishers of her book. What a shame that publishers are able to do these kinds of things to good people!:mad: Just proves again that we must be careful of believing all we read!


My class read this book for school last year, and when we were discussing it in class, my teacher brought up the topic that has been addressed in this thread. She said that Immaculee was helped in the writing of this book (if you notice, it says on the cover: Immaculee Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin) because English is not her first language. Her take on it was that the New Age elements towards then end were more his interpretation of what Immaculee told him than what actually happened. I don’t know. It was an incredible story, but I was kind of thrown for a loop by the whole “positive thinking making things happen” idea.

Lol. I didn’t read the post right before mine, which says basically the same thing. Whoops.:rolleyes:

I am so glad to find this discussion!

I just finished Our Lady of Kibeho. When I noticed who the publisher was, I too was worried about the New Age thing.

This was a little dismaying since I have heard Immaculée on the radio (I don’t have TV if she has been on) several times and her story has increased my devotion to the rosary. She does not sound like someone trying to spread New Age thoughts.

Thank you IrishGalinCal–your comments have reassured me.

I, too, will add to this discussion as the book has had a great impact on my family. I read it aloud on a trip to a wedding this summer, to my husband, 13 year old daughter and 16 year old son. I admit to softening some of the graphic scenes, especially where children were killed.

That aside, I am grateful to see many discerning minds in this very respectful discussion. It is so important to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our understanding and to ‘alert’ us when something just isn’t right. Remain sensitive to those ‘alerts’ and you will save many troubles. Try to hold off being offended by a perceived criticism until you have listened well and considered the comments offered.

We have purchase two of her Left to Tell books to circulate among friends, now. IrishGalinCal, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your reply! I will be including it in each book that we loan out so people understand what to watch for and that it was not her intent to associate with the incorrect teachers. It is actually easy to understand how a charismatic personality such as Dyer can pull someone in with their kindness so we must be continually discerning! You will only recognize a falsehood when you know the truth so continue to study and pray.

Also, we might need to be careful about loaning the book to unbelievers as it might direct them incorrectly unless maybe you take the time to explain a couple of things to them first.

We are in the middle of Led by Faith and have purchased Our Lady of Kibeho to read next. We fully support Imaculee and pray that God continues to hold, guide and protect her from misleading or deceitful influence. Remember, the devil seeks to destroy our faith so we need to be aware that he sneaks quietly in our back doors. None of us would let him in the front door if we knew it was him!

One last note. Be aware that any one of us can be misled. I recently read an old book called The Beautiful Side of Evil written in the '70’s. It, too, showed how real the realm of evil is and that, if we don’t seek the truth of God that even well intentioned people, Catholics and otherwise, can be drawn into the occult and other evils. This person was a young girl when she unknowingly got mixed up in terrible evil and was, by God’s grace and love, saved from such a dark existence. She didn’t understand, at all, what she was involved with. I recommend it highly, just to help understand how to be discerning.

God bless you all! ej’s wife, cj :slight_smile:

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