"Yes, but that's not been my experience"
Posted by: goneinawhistle ()
Date: August 15, 2017 01:03AM

Hi all,

During a recent, and hopefully the last, discussion with a current member of the group to which I used to belong, this phrase came up in various ways: "Yes, but that's not been my experience".

The implication being of course that it is my fault what happened to me.

It triggered me, but it also triggered a memory of reading something about how this subjective analysis is not sound, but I can't find the reference. I thought it was Ross and Langone's 'Cults: What Parents Should Know', but I couldn't find it there.

Can anyone point the way to what I might have read, or to how to look at this?

Re: "Yes, but that's not been my experience"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 15, 2017 10:56AM

Here's a discussion of exactly this alibi.

GM --- Gurumayi, leader of a cult called SYDA Yoga (SY)



Subj: innie/outie
Date: 96-05-27 19:48:04 EDT
From: Dissent222

Dear AOL readers:

I think the recent points about inner vs. outer circle impact in SYDA are
really important. Because, as Violet says, the outer circle impact is more
subtle, there is not so much concrete material for those in the outer circle
to hold on to -- and it is easier to let self-doubt lead to a slide straight
back into the mind control.

People in the so-called outer circle will say again and again, "that's not
my experience
." And yet I think many of them, if they were confronted with
video and audio coverage of some of the deviant acts of the SYDA gurus, would
still say, "well, that's not my experience." I know for a fact that those
who are assigned to handle people's questions about the New Yorker article,
for example, have previously acknowledged Mutananda's sexual activities with
young women and girls. Yet they will tell a person who asks them about that
issue, "that's not my experience of Baba." This is the desperate rationale
of people who live in fear, who have been made to feel terrified of telling
the truth.

On the other hand, inner circle people who witnessed abuse and deception, as
Howie points out, are accused of lying, having a chip on their shoulder,
having big egos, etc.
So you don't have much success with those who can't hear, regardless of which
circle you were in.

I guess what is important to me is that a small group of us here on AOL are
finding the courage to tell the truth, although we keep our identities
protected, and wisely so. I for one am tremendoulsy grateful to hear what
others who know what really goes on in syda have to say, because lord knows,
we are not likely to get much support to talk about these issues from our
syda yoga therapists, our syda friends, or from official syda spokespeople.

In her famous message about "surrender and obedience", GM made it very clear
that she loathed people in the ashram who had friends and who attended to
human relationship at the expense of their unbroken focus on pleasing her.
Wanna read the quote? Here it is:

'Many people form friendships, cliques in the ashram. When they form
friendships, they go to their friends for help instead of the Guru. When
they talk among themselves they talk about their friends, not about the Guru.
Then when they have a problem they have to take drugs

EXCUSE ME????????

Having friends and significant others that I can be honest with is what has
saved my life from the syda mess I was in. GM and her insane, hateful
messages to the devotees she so desperately needs to dominate and exploit,
can go jump in her environmentally incorrect lake.

Re: "Yes, but that's not been my experience"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 15, 2017 11:52AM

"But that has not been my experience"

It may not have been your experience because:

* You may have been surrounded only by new recruits who were still high, happy and in the honeymoon phase.

* You were not aware that full information about the group was deliberately concealed, that you were shown only the bright side. (See the quoted material below)

* You believe no one is being abused because you've you've learned to distrust your own feelings your own perceptions and can rationalize bizarre, shocking behavior. Bonus points if you grew up in an abusive family. A guru or group can easily socialize Adult Children of Alcoholics/Addicts to become disciples who are BLIND to abuse that is done to them or happening right in front of them.

* It is not your experience because leader or the group made sure you never witnessed abuse or heard anyone voicing serious misgivings. While being courted as a recruit and welcomed as a new member, you'd have been shown only the Happy Face side of the group. You'd have been kept well away from anyone expressing doubts, anyone voicing complaints. Anyone being shunned or overworked would be kept out of sight. Wealthy members
are often pampered; they will rarely be aware of the overworked low rankers
slaving away before dawn to cook breakfast.

* If you became a member of the inner circle, you became so after you've
been thoroughly vetted and tested beforehand. You become a member of the inner circle if you do any or all of the following.

Why Inner Circle Members Do Not Recognize Abuse as Abuse-They Endure Anything.

* You so crave the guru's favor that you will rat on and betray any friend
you have who is also a member. Your sole loyalty is the guru, never a fellow member.

* You may have married another member of the group. Bonus points if you marry another member and have a kid within the group.

* You select sect members to go to for professional advice. That means you're
monitored all the time.

* You bring business and useful information to the group.

* You have demonstrated that you have dropped your outside friends, keep secrets from your family.

* You conceal that the guru and group are your total life when talking to
outsiders. You get used to concealing your vacations
are indoctrination retreats, and (say) theater group and gardening serve only the and leader sect. , not freely chosen by you. were tricked to believe
that the tension of keeping secrets was evidence of your superiority, that you
were strong enough to live in this tension and that telling the truth is for

* Over time, you're socialized to regard straightforward truthfulness as childish and unenlightened, and that Realization or 'Crazy Wisdom' is beyond
conventional morality.

A man who spent decades as a disciple of Adi Da, and who was a member of the inner circle describes some of this.



As mentioned on the Daism site, the general policy in Adidam is that only good news gets reported, and this creates a culture of lies. It works both ways. Adi Da is not supposed to hear bad news, so Adidam for years resembled a Stalinist cabal, where all the bad news was kept secret from the leader, and he was fed lie after lie about the glorious happiness of his loyal followers.

Likewise, people outside the inner circle were not to hear bad news or stories of Adida's abuse of both people around him, or his abuse of drugs, alcohol, and sex. Or, if some such stories were to get out, they would be described in a "spiritual context".

In essence, only Good News was to get either in or out. The guardians of the inner circle were thus the only ones who knew the full picture of what was going on. This gave them an incredible feeling of power and responsibility. Lying to both sides of the community was taken to be a kind of sacred puja of service to God. Of course, the people became very twisted up and perverted inside by this life of lying, but they generally took pride in being able to "handle it".

Most devotees couldn't handle it. I've had many conversations with inner circle people about this issue of lying, and it's kind of fascinating to hear people rationalize it. You would literally think that it was some kind of spiritual path to enlightenment to hear them describe it. To them it was almost the epitome of devotion to their Guru, because of the sacrifice it required on their part. To them, telling the truth would have been the easy way out, and they even looked down on me when I advocated telling the truth, as if I were just not advanced enough to understand the subtleties of the art of devotional lying.

I would advocate telling Adi Da the truth about the community, and telling the community the truth about Adi Da, and on both counts was always shot down as hopelessly naive and "stuck on integrity". And I'm talking about conversations at the very highest levels of Adidam, not some local mid-level bureaucrat.



Lying becomes a way of life, such that truth itself seems untrue to them, and the lying is the only truth they know. This is where cognitive dissonance is taken to its logical end, and you have what could truly be called brainwashing. Here it's the brainwashers themselves who have become the most brainwashed people, because they can literally not tell the difference anymore between the lies they tell and the truth.

The lie literally becomes more important than the truth, because it's the lie that keeps you going.

And Adidam is built on so many lies at so many levels that it is literally just a charade, a joke, that everyone involved can hardly take seriously, but they keep it going because they need the show to go on.

Now this isn't to say that everything in Adidam is a lie. Far from it. It's just that from inside Adidam, the lies are virtually indistinguishable from the truth. They have become so interwoven that both seem indispensible to one another.

There really are Divine truths within Adidam, and real experience of the Divine. And side by side with that truth is a whole pastiche of lies and deceptions that boggle the mind.

Separating the two is not only difficult, it is considered a heresy within Adidam, because it would mean identifying the true as true, and the false as false, then throwing away the false and keeping the true, which would literally destroy everything that Adidam has built up so far and require rebuilding it from scratch, and that is just way too much work for Adi Da and everyone else involved to do. They literally wouldn't have a clue where to begin.

Adi Da and the rest of his inner circle are simply too old for something as creative as that, and it would threaten the world they've created for themselves.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2017 02:45AM by corboy.

Re: "Yes, but that's not been my experience"
Posted by: goneinawhistle ()
Date: August 18, 2017 09:00PM

Thanks that's helpful!

On a side note I can totally relate to the quote in the first post about not being allowed to have friends. Any time I started to get close to anyone I found it being undermined, especially if I voiced frustration of any kind. Constantly being stressed into "taking it to Baba" if I had any problems, many of which Baba was no doubt instigating.

Re: "Yes, but that's not been my experience"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 18, 2017 09:56PM


If Baba is inaccessible, locked away in a palace compound, how can
you get in to see him? Especially if you've already voiced doubts
or reported abuses? Someone will rat fink you to the security detail
surrounding Baba and you will never be allowed to see him.

If Baba is dead, you cant "take it to Baba" except by engaging
in imaginary dialogues that will keep you trapped for years -
and if you report these dialogues to a preceptor in your group,
will in turn be reported to higher ups who keep an eye on you
and mirror back invalidating information that keeps you
stuck in the maze.

In Buddhist situations where someone reports abuse or doubts,
a commonplace response is "You have to deepen your practice."

Yeah. "Deepen your practice" until your boundaries turn to mush
and you've become complicit by witnessing years upon years of
abuse inflicted upon you and other students.

No amount of deepening your practice is sufficient to
legitimize reports of abuse.

Upshot of all this is, you become one of the old timers
who is too invested to leave and you become the
one to tell the next generation of younger doubters
to "Take it to Baba""Deepen your practice."

Re: "Yes, but that's not been my experience"
Posted by: hopeeternal ()
Date: March 18, 2018 09:15PM

This is an article about 'I-got-minism' from Matthew Remski on Facebook


I'll preface this idea by saying that, in accordance with the clinical research, I do not believe there are strong correlations between prior life experience and the likelihood that a person will join or stay in a cult (or "totalist", or "high-demand" group.) What follows is a speculation, based on memory and anecdote, on why people who are already inside such a group may be more prone to the kind of enabling and moral harm that Philip Deslippe has described to me as "I got mine-ism" (IGM).
IGM is a defensive strategy by which a member who has not (or believes they have not) directly experienced abuse or institutional betrayal within the group deflects stories of abuse within the group by immediately self-referring, saying things like: "I don't know about other's experience; I find/found the teacher/teachings to be profoundly helpful in my life." The statement is usually followed by an unwillingness to act on behalf on victims or mitigate future harm.
In my own two cult experiences, I adopted the defence of IGM to varying degrees, and I remember many others who did as well. In the circle of people I'm thinking of, none of us (that I'm aware of) had prior experience with therapy. We had all come from family and social cultures in which that just wasn't part of the wellness toolbox. When we gravitated towards the techniques of meditation and yoga offered by the groups, we found that they could have powerful self-regulatory effects we had never felt before, and we were hooked.
I believe that many of us were under the illusion that the meditative/yogic technique was the key to our new-found capacity for self-regulation. I don't think we understood that we'd been love-bombed, or acquired a new family / safe haven in one fell blissful swoop. We didn't understand that our internal changes were as much relational as they were intra-personal. The messaging was always singular and privatized: "You can go within, you can find x, you can choose y, you can be responsible." One was never encouraged to really examine who was saying this to you, or why, or what they might want.
A paradox formed part of the group's deception: you were told you were entirely self-responsible, and yet the benefits you experienced were mostly if not entirely coming from the group dynamic. You were emotionally isolated within a group somatic process that made itself invisible.
My own, and I believe others', prior training in self-responsibility (or lack of experience with therapy) gave us the impression that we were in a place in which we had to resolve all conflicts or grievances internally. In a cult you can't ask people for help and expect transparency or existential honesty. It's palpable, whether you cognize it or not, that anyone with standing in the community who you would go to for help will reframe your appeal in relation to some deeper way in which you must surrender to the teaching or the leadership. In other words: the counselling is highly motivated and manipulative. It's designed to protect the dynamic by making it manageable. Nobody will suggest that you leave, when leaving might be the only healthy thing to do, as hard as it would be.
If you're aware of all of these rules, I believe you'll double-down on the hyper-individualism that makes sense and seems to keep you safe. You remind yourself that you are there for your own development: that's all you have control over. Yes, there are problems, ups and downs, hypocrites and assholes. People get hurt. Some recover, some don't. Such is life, you feel, and it's the same in here as it is out there. God is both shrugging and chuckling at the thought that you would have it be different.
And so nothing has really changed from before you were enmeshed in this new scene: you were always on your own, just you and God and the fates, and it's the same now. And this feeling of the atomic self, having nothing but a technique for self-consolation, means that you have no time for the sorrows of others. How could you bear to add them to your own?
The height of my own IGM was catching myself thinking uncharitably about an older woman who died of cancer while in the group. She had sought out and received no care, in part because she maintained an affect of complete and total devotion to the leader. So obviously, she was fine.
Instead of being able to understand that I was part of a network that enabled harm, I criticized her in my heart. I remember distinctly feeling: her death was her own fault. She was stupid for not seeking treatment. But at some point I realized that I was criticizing her for not being able to do what I actually needed to do: reach outside of the group, restore other relationships, recognize that I had been fooled by my society into believing something that the group had expertly amplified: "You're on your own, so you've got to get your own."
I don't want to abdicate responsibility for any way in which my IGM hurt other people, like those I hardened myself against and refused to sympathize with, even after I saw them emotionally and physically abused by a leader. At the same time I think it's important to recognize that IGM is enforced by the isolationist dynamics of such groups. Cult members who are incapable of bearing witness to the trauma of their fellows are stunted, I believe, by a subtler form of trauma they are able to mobilize into a sophisticated defence that looks like spiritual dedication."

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