Apologetics Index

P — Catchall

This is an archived entry. If you encounter broken links, see this.

We use ‘Catchall’ pages for brief entries that have not been assigned their own page (for one reason or another — but usually because they are too brief).

Pace, Charlie

Heads a small faction of Branch Davidians. Expanded on Lois Roden‘s teaching that the Holy Spirit is feminine, by claiming that the Trinity consists of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Daughter. Pace is anti-Koresh.

Panchen Lama

The second most important lama in Tibetan Buddhism.


A world view. (pan = “all”, en = “in”, theos = “god”). Pantheism is the belief that “God is All, All is God.” Panentheism adds to this that God is more or larger than All.


A world view. The belief that only the spiritual dimension exists. Pantheists refer to the perception of a material reality as maya, which means illusion. Some pantheistic religions are: Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Pantheism also forms the basis for Transcendental Meditation and some aspects of New Age mysticism.


Supernatural; not scientifically explainable.

Partners in Harvest

Organization set up by Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship after the Association of Vineyard Churches asked the church to disengage itself from the Vineyard movement (December 5, 1995) due to the Vineyard’s concern over the “Toronto Blessing.” Partners in Harvest is a network of like-minded churches, pastors and leaders.

Passantino, Bob and Gretchen

Founders of Christian discernment ministry, Answers in Action. Closely associated with Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute.

The Passantinos have been outspoken opponents of theories regarding cult mind-control.

Bob Passantino passed away on Nov. 17, 2003.

In Aug. 2006, Gretchen Passantino joined Hank Hanegraaff in his support of the Local Church, which theologically is a cult of Christianity.

Gretchen passed away in October, 2014.

Pement, Eric

Until mid-2000, Pement was Senior Editor of Cornerstone Magazine. He is a veteran online apologist; cult expert; and an author (see articles in Cornerstone Magazine). He is no longer affiliated with Jesus People USA. Eric’s Homepage.

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Pensacola Outpouring

Controversial revival movement. Also known as the Brownsville Revival. Named after the Brownsville, Pensacola Assemblies of God church (Florida) where “revival” services took place since Father’s Day, 1995. See Controversial Renewal and Revival Movements

Pfeffer, Leo

1998 American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year. Cult apologists often quote Pfeffer’s inaccurate statement:

If you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps the religion;

and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;

but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.

Of course, a religion does not stand or fall with whether or not people believe in it. A sect is not identified by whether or not people care or don’t care about it. The vast majority of apologists and counter-cult ministers neither fear nor hate cults.

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Philadelphia Church of God

Splintergroup of the Worldwide Church of God. Adheres to Armstrongism

Pierce, Dr. William

Former American Nazi Party officer. Headed the National Alliance, a hate group. Author of The Turner Diaries, written under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald. Pierce died on July 23, 2002.

Poehlmann, Roger

Member of the San Francisco (International) Church or Christ. Theologically, the ICC is a cult of Christianity. Sociologically, it has many cult characteristics as well. Poehlmann is a lay cult-apologist who has been active in a number of public Usenet groups. Nevertheless, he now claims not to be a public figure.

See: N-Files Presents: The Poehlmann Page

Non-Christian Polygamy


See this page


A world view. The believe that there are many different deities, both co-equal or in hierarchy.

Pop Apologetics

Sensationalism and speculation masquerading as apologetics.

Pop Spirituality


See this page

Popoff, Peter

The updated entry on Peter Popoff have been moved.

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Positive Confession

Power Evangelism

Popularized by Francis McNutt, John Wimber, Charles Kraft, etc. Proponents teach that Jesus and the apostles met the needs of people by healing, casting out demons, and even raising the dead, thus interesting people in the Good News. Teaching that the gifts of the Spirit have not ceased (as some claim), they say today’s church can be more effective by approaching evangelism the same way Jesus and the apostles did.

Opponents include those who say the gifts have ceased. Others warn that in some movements the emphasis on spiritual gifts – even for the purpose of evangelism – has lead to and attitude of experience over Scripture.

Prabhupada, A.C. Bhaktivedanta

A guru.

Prabhupada was the founder of ISKCON, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, whose followers are more popularly known as “Hare Krishnas,” who can be frequently seen in public, dancing, chanting and begging for money. ISKCON is a Vishnuite sect that makes the Hindu god Krishna the supreme diety.
– Source: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs Harvest House Publishers, Oregon, 1996.


Sanskrit for “breath” or “life-force.”

Prana is believed to be universal divine energy residing behind the material world (akasa). Prana is said to have five forms, and all energy is thought to be a manifestation of it. Swami Nikhilananada describes it in his Vivekananda – The Yogas and Other Works as “the infinite, omnipresent manifesting power of this universe” (979:592). Perfect control of prana makes one God. One can have “infinite knowledge, infinite power, now”
– Source: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. 1996. pp 601

The concept of prana is further described as part of this description of the eight limbs of Yoga.

Prayer Cloth

An item sometimes mailed out by televangelists – primarily those associated with the Word-Faith Movement. They claim that God may provide healing through the prayed-over cloths. They base the practice on this Bible passage:

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
– Source: Acts 19:11-12 NIV

Evangelist and Faith Healer Oral Roberts used to mail these cloths imprinted with the following message:

“I prayed over this cloth for God to deliver you–use as a point of contact (Acts 19:11-12). Oral Roberts, Tulsa 2, Okla. It is not necessary to wear the cloth unless you feel you should. It can be used more than once or for more than one person. If you wish to request more, I will be glad to send them to you. The important thing is to use the cloth as a point of contact for the body … I have prayed over this cloth in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and asked Him to heal you when you apply it to your body.”

This practice is often abused by money-hungry “evangelists.” For example, in 1992, Marilyn Hickey mailed out prayer cloths that, according to the letter, would only work if returned to her along with a seed-faith offer… According to Hickey, “Receiving follows giving.”


In certain movements, notably those associated with today’s renewal and revival movements, “pregnancy” is part of the terminology indicating that – they claim – God is birthing something spiritual in or through them (or a movement, church, denomination, etcetera). More at birthing

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Price, Frederick

Prominent Word-Faith teacher

Probe Ministries

Probe Ministries is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. In seeking to accomplish this mission, Probe provides perspective on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity.

In addition, Probe acts as a clearing house, communicating the results of its research to the church and society at large.”


Commercial company falsely accused of supporting the Satanic Church.

NOTE: Recently, a new version of the rumor mentioned has surfaced. This time it is claimed that an unnamed P&G executive appeared on the Sally Jessy Raphael television talk show in March 1998, embracing Satanism. The rumor is false. It is debunked on the home page of the Sally Jessy Raphael Show (Accessed August 10, 1999), as well as in the site’s FAQ section:

Sally listens: Rumor has it that the president of Proctor and Gamble said that he was associated with the Church of Satan. This show supposedly aired on March 1, 1998. I would appreciate more information if you have any, perhaps a tape of the show if available. If this is a hoax, please let me know.

Sally Sez:
The rumor going around that the president of Procter and Gamble appeared on The Sally Show and announced he was a member of the church of Satan is not true. This a hoax that’s been going around in one form or another for the past 20 years…only originally, it concerned the Phil Donahue Show…then evolved to the Jenny Jones Show…and now it’s evolved to The Sally Show. The president of Procter and Gamble has NEVER appeared on The Sally Show…NEVER. Nor has any other person in authority at P&G. Any president of a multi-national corporation (including the head of P&G or Liz Claiborne) would be immediately fired by the board of directors if he or she did such a thing. Also, profits from any such corporation go to the stockholders…not a church designated by the president. Do not send money in to get a transcript. We do not provide transcripts or video tapes of our shows to the public. Frankly, this thing has gotten out of hand. If we had this man on our show, and he had said what it’s alleged he said, we would have scored a broadcasting scoop and would have trumpeted it to all the newspapers. It would have been to the show’s advantage. But there was no scoop, and there were no headlines.
– Source: Sally: Frequently Asked Questions (Accessed August 10, 1999)

In a letter reprinted on the P&G site, the executive producer of the Sally Jessy Raphael show writes:

There is no truth to the rumor that the CEO of Procter & Gamble appeared on the Sally® Show and embraced satanism. Nothing about this rumor is true. Please do not send any money to the Sally® Show or request a videotape, as this is a complete hoax.
– Source: Letter from Maurice Tunick, Executive Producer

– Articles –

Secular The Facts About Procter & Gamble’s Trademark Procter&Gamble has dedicated an entire page to the rumor. Includes information about the logo, a letter from Phil Donahue, and letters from various religious leaders.

– News Articles Database –
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

Older items:
(May 16, 1999) Judge Tosses P&G’s Lawsuit
(May 12, 1999) Amway Stood To Gain From Rumor
(May 3, 1999) Amway sells Satan rumors, Procter & Gamble claims in court
(May 3, 1999) Federal Trial Opens Against Amway
(Mar. 30, 1999) P&G lawsuit against Amway thrown out
(Mar. 30, 1999) Amway Suit Tossed by Federal Judge

– See Also –

» Amway
» Conspiracy Theories
» Hoaxes

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or UnorthodoxGrey Zone, Unsure, or Offkey Prophecy Club, The

A for-profit “ministry” that specializes in conspiracy theories, pop-apologetics, and presumptious prophecy.

The organization’s statement of purpose:

The Mission of The Prophecy Club®: To inform Christians of current events that confirm Bible Prophecy, and the evil devices of Satan; To warn Christians that judgment is coming to America; To challenge Christians to stop sinning and turn to Jesus with all their heart; To provide a platform for Christian speakers to be heard.

The Prophecy Club’s site states “The Lord started The Prophecy Club® because ‘in general’ churches will not sound the warning.” Describing the benefits of membership, it promises: “As a partaker in the ministry, you become a partaker of the anointing, blessing, and protection that is upon The Prophecy Club®.”

People associated with this movement call each other apostles and prophets. They have started to establish so-called city-churches under the guidance of Peter Martinez and Stan Johnson.

At Apologetics Index we don’t think ‘The Lord’ started the Prophecy Club.


Proselytism is the act of encouraging people to convert from one religion, belief or party to another. Also: to make proselytes. In some countries, notably in the Middle East, evangelizing with the aim of getting people to change religions (esp. from, say, Islam or Judaism to Christianity), is discouraged or illegal. Some faiths consider any evangelism by other faiths to be disrespectful. And in today’s post-modern society, some people see evangelism as intolerance or even a hate crime. Sometimes referred to as “sheep stealing”

‘Protective Parent’ movement

Reporting on a police search for two missing teenagers, Minnesota-based newspaper the Star Tribune quotes a police officer who says people have been unwilling to help.

“Every person we’ve talked to had the same anti-government, “family court sucks’ attitude,” [Lakeville police Lt. Jason] Polinski said.

Polinski was referring to a vocal, passionate group, both in Minnesota and nationwide, that is sometimes called the “Protective Parent” movement. Those in the movement believe that family courts are broken and judges in custody disputes are ordering children to live with abusive parents. Some in the group say the noncustodial parent in these cases has no choice but to hide kids in a loosely organized underground network.

“There are networks, little pockets throughout the country of abuse survivors … who have dug in their heels and are forming ad hoc shelter, refuge for children,” said Amy Neustein, a sociologist in New Jersey who has studied the underground and became a critic of family courts after losing custody of her daughter.
– Source: Police: Network of family court critics is hiding Rucki sisters, Star-Tribune, November 4, 2015

  • Children of the Underground By the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, a project of Columbia Journalism School. This is a 6-part Dart Award-winning account of the hidden network that shelters youngsters escaping from sexual or physical abuse at home — real or alleged — and a judicial system perceived as unwilling or unable to help them. Originally published in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette in December, 1997.
  • Family Abduction Watch monitors Family Abduction Searches, Hague Convention Cases, Recoveries, Trials and Sentencing, and says “There is never a legal excuse for a Domestic or International Parental Kidnapping.” The site also lists Protective Parent Group leaders and supporters.


Beliefs, practices or movements claimed to be “Christian,” but which are actually outside of orthodox Christianity.

See also: Cult – a theologicial definition (Cult of Christianity)


The study of mind and behavior. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists can not prescribe medicines. Considered by some to be incompatible with Christianity – specifically Christian counseling.
– Articles –


Can Christianity and Psychology Co-exist in an Integrated Counseling Program? (CONTRA) by Jeff Spencer

– News Database –   » About this News Archive

(May 11, 1999) Blend of traditional therapy, spirituality going mainstream
(May 5, 1999) Scientology’s attack on Psychiatry
(Apr. 21, 1999) Psychology Research Rarely Recognizes Religion
(Feb. 25, 1999) Religious counseling melds psychology with biblical teachings

– Sites –

ChristianAcademic Christian Association for Psychologial Studies (CAPS) CAPS is a professional association of Christians who serve as psychologists, marriage & family therapists, professional counselors, pastoral counselors, psychiatrists, professors, researchers, etcetera.

Grey Zone, Unsure, or Offkey Psychoheresy Awareness Ministries (CONTRA) “Exposing psychoheresy and its increasing stranglehold on the Church.”

PluralisticAcademic Psychology of Religion

A resource for people interested in psychological aspects of religious belief and behavior.

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First published (or major update) on Monday, May 5, 2014.
Last updated on February 20, 2023.

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