Even within the New Age movement, channeled spirits were famously revealed to be psychopathic liars in "The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts" by Joe Fischer.
Some spirits channelled by Tibetan mediums are considered to give reliable advice: Tseringma, Yudolma, Nechung, to name a few and mediums in many cultures channel spirits in order to heal people, often with great success. It's wrong to presume they are all pathological liars.
Aren't all these examples subjugated
spirits and deities? If anything, you proved my point.
I've never known any deva to lie to me, or a person that I've spoken to. I have no idea why they would want to lie about almost anything--although I see how pride might persuade them to under circumstances. Asuras, on the other hand, they are known to be unruly, quarrelsome, and maybe cantankerous. I've never been surprised the few times I listened to asuras and they have lied. But calling any deva, asura, or preta a "pathological liar" applies only on an individual basis. You cannot say, "humans are pathological liars" just because many humans are, because many other humans are not
pathological liars. Devas are just other beings, like us, some of them might lie while others might never have lied during their lifespan. So, I don't know how such a view would come to your mind... ...
On the other hand, "spirits" or "demons" which people speak of in therapy, shamanism, animism, etc. are of course another subject altogether. Gods, demigods and hungry ghosts that I have communicated with are of course just beings and cannot all be pathological liars nor the contrary. However in medicine and dreaming, spirits such as demons or "guides" don't really follow strict rules, because they are ultimately products of mind, and their nature differs from case to case, according to individuality.
Whether some people refer to devas or asuras as their "spiritual guides" is a specific detail, because MOST PEOPLE have no idea that these other beings even exist, let alone are aware of them in any particular way. Mostly, devas are unconcerned with humans and what we do, but it is true that spiritually advanced practitioners attract the attention of these beings, and a relationship of guidance can come from that. This is more of an "instructor" and "pupil" relationship, however. In my past experience, it was often me
who was using my prayer to help devas
, not the other way around, for instance healing trees and transmitting positive things. However I have called upon devas' powers for health, healing, various protection, weather, and spiritual guidance. Their abilities are useful and they should always be respected.
The way that Tibetan healers are portrayed--I have never met one to have a conversation with--it seems to me that with all the talk of "subduing" and "channeling," that they are referring to spirits and not otherworldly beings like devas and asuras. Spiritual demons and what not are all crazy and mystical and usually require subduing, and so forth. What's important is never basing your views on hearsay--the Buddha himself disapproved of this. You can't learn by going off hearsay. What matters is experience and understanding it, evaluating, and focusing on the factual insight of experiences with your own reason.
Shamanist "spirit guides" have been very helpful to me in the past, and Tibet has always been a Shamanic culture, just as Thailand is hugely animistic in culture. Guiding animal totems, spirits of the dead, and demons are not devas and devas are not these spirits. Anyone who can see devas, it is obvious to them--they aren't spirits, they have solid bodies, their own mind and life and cannot be controlled by human beings.