This is an excerpt from the latest Christian Science Journal. It is an inteview with Kittie Burris, an FBI Agent turned Christian Science Practitioner. If you want to read the whole article, it is posted here:
Was there any particular story from your time at the FBI that helped prepare you for the practice?
There are some really great examples of protection and guidance while in danger, but unfortunately I can’t really talk about them. Confidentiality in the Bureau and confidentiality in the practice are just about the same thing. But there’s one story that has stuck with me that I can share because it was before I was with the FBI.
To me, prayer is universal—it's for all humanity. It's communion with God. It’s living my life as a Christian Scientist, looking for the good in people, hearing and seeing what I can of God’s love for them.
Don and I had not been married long, maybe a few months. He was not a Christian Scientist then, and he had not read the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson with me. So one day I read the Lesson out loud to him. Of course, you know what the subject was, everybody’s favorite mouthful—“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”!
Later that day we went out—in those days we did do some partying—and we went to a dinner club. Wouldn’t you know it! The star that night was a hypnotist. He came out, and he started to do his thing. It was obvious he was not successful. He could not get people to go under.
Finally he walked out—now this was a crowd of probably three or four hundred people—and he walked right over to our table with about six of us there. He looked right at me. Then he turned around to the rest of the crowd, and he said, “I cannot perform this evening. There is a Christian Scientist among our group.”
Yeah! I wish Don was here to verify it because he loved to tell this story. I mean, I didn’t know whether to stand up and say, “Yes, it’s me!” or go under the table!
What did you do?
I just smiled at him, and he actually gave me a very pleasant smile. He was not unkind. He just went back up, and he said, “I’m very sorry, but I cannot perform.” With that, he walked off the stage. Of course, the ones with us were all looking at me like, “Whoa!” They all knew I was a Christian Scientist. They weren’t, but they knew I was.
Were you praying during this?
Well, I left that part out. Yeah, I was! As soon as I realized that we would be seeing a hypnotist perform, I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’ve just read the Bible Lesson about hypnotism being denounced. What is Don going to think?” Then the thought came, “There are not minds many. This ‘hypnotist’ does not have a mind separate from God.” I prayed to know that he could not invade my thinking or make what I had read in the Lesson not only untrue, but questionable to Don. I wasn’t trying to disrupt the hypnotist’s performance, but I was defending my own thought, as well as trying to defend Don’s thought.
What was Don’s reaction when the hypnotist singled you out?
Well, you had to know my husband to know that. He just shook his head. Years later I gave it as a testimony in church one time, and afterward he just shook his head, and he said, “That was Kittie; she was always getting me into some crazy situation.”
We continued to talk about that particular Bible Lesson, which had been very clear that there could not be any transference of thought. That’s another way of describing hypnotism. If you’re hypnotized, you’re under the influence of someone else’s thought. You act like you’re awake, but you’re really asleep. The Christ comes to human thought to keep us truly awake to any wrong thinking or mental manipulation.