New Age spiritual influences on society
It is an alternative to Western philosophies and religions which more or less exhausted their potential. Introduces missing concepts like karma, reincarnation etc., and answers important existential questions (personal identity, nature and meaning of life and suffering, life in this universe and beyond – Brahman etc.).
It has raised an interest in environment and inspired an endeavor to protect it although the goal is just sense gratification. Increased interest in vegetarianism, natural healing, paranormal phenomena and alternative explanations of history (forbidden archeology theory – Daeniken, Sitchin, Hancock, Thompson & Cremo) can be ascribed to it. This is undermining the authority of materialistic science by attacking its linchpin, evolution theory.
– It brought incorrect or wrong understandings of the actual philosophical concepts and impersonalism undermining the position of theistic religions with society values and structure (family) they upheld.
– There is a tendency to make profit by any means (like yoga and yoga teacher trainings in the western world, Western new age healing modalities that only take a short course certification to learn, or even misusing astrology for doomsday predictions) all of which gives bad name to all alternative paths and teachings. (see e.g. http://www.aics.org/war.html to see the effects of when the real Lakota spirituality gets bastardized by the Western world)
– Violent and catastrophic scenes in movies often including inimical aliens are meant to invoke fear for easy manipulation of people (e.g. millennium (Y2K) or 2012 phenomena). Negative entities need fear emotions to feed on.
– Negative vibrations polluting one’s consciousness.
Vedic tradition, offers knowledge (especially para-vidya) to everyone.
Joke: Do you know 5 kinds of material suffering? Birth, death, disease, old age and New Age.