My escpae from a New Age/2012/"enlightenment" cultic relationship
Date: May 28, 2011 11:16PM
I apologise in advance for the length of this post, but I would like to share my experiences within a 3 to 4 month cultic-type relationship that I recently exited. This post is intended to highlight some of the problematic issues in what I will term the New Age/sci-fi/enlightenment type mindset, a worldview that I previously held, and which I am now seriously questioning due to the experiences that I endured within this relationship. It is also intended to illustrate the extent to which “cultic” patterns of belief and control have diffused to such an extent through the reach of the internet, that it seems that almost anyone now can run a “cult” – even a cult of one or two. I think there are some interesting observations about the New Age/enlightenment type mindset here, and I would be interested to receive feedback from others about this.
Firstly, I need to give you some background on where I was coming from when I met this guy, whom I will call Nick.
A 28 year old woman, I have spent most of my whole adult life so far holding what I would describe as an “enlightenment”-type worldview. There are various aspects of the “New Age” that I have embraced to one degree or another: namely 2012 “enlightenment” scenarios, David Icke’s theories, reiki and the Law of Attraction.
Having witnessed an obviously non-physical entity in my room as an adolescent , I have believed/known for a long time that what we call the ‘spirit world’ is real. I have also experienced non-physical energy through reiki (for example, intense feelings of heat from a clearly non-physical source) and the opening of the heart and throat energy centres in the body (or “chakras”) through meditation previously. It is therefore difficult for me to adopt an entirely materialist or atheistic worldview.
Having completed though a degree in social anthropology at university, and still able to exercise my critical thinking skills, a lot of New Age approaches just don’t square with me. I have never felt an affinity with much of what the New Age has to offer in the way of extra-terrestrial cults, ‘Ascended Masters’, spirit guides, channelling and misappropriation of indigenous religious systems. Moreover, I have never been hugely comfortable with “channelled” information – partly because I know some of this information to be factually incorrect, and partly because the idea of giving one’s body over to another entity just doesn’t feel right to me. (I wasn’t raised in any religion, as my parents are basically agnostic, and so I don’t believe my aversion to this is due to any overt religious programming.) However, it is only now that I realise just how much of the “New Age”/enlightenment/2012 information that I bought into is purportedly channelled.
Anyhow, I will cut to the chase. I met "Nick" in a generic, non New-Age-related internet chat room a few months back. He contacted me. The first thing he messaged me with was to ask whether I kept seeing 11:11. Now, as some of you will know, the concept of “synchronistic” sightings of the numbers 11:11 are doing the rounds in the New Age community. At the time, I really did thinking I was seeing 11:11 on the clock all the time (forgetting of course, all the times I saw other numbers), so Nick had my attention right from the beginning.
And it turned out that Nick and I shared many of the same views. We both accepted the idea of 2012, “enlightenment” and non-duality, the Law of Attraction and many of the theories of David Icke, and we were both vegetarian (indeed I still am). As the days and weeks went by, and we corresponded by internet and phone, often into the small hours, or even right through to the next morning, it seemed to us both that we were clearly ‘meant’ to meet, that we were soulmates. The fact that we met in a national chatroom yet lived only 30 miles apart seemed to cement the fact that we were ‘meant’ to meet. We were also close in age – Nick was only 3 years older than me.
Nick seemed to me to be such a free spirit. Unlike me (who was in a demanding government job that I had invested in and studied for, but was very disillusioned with), Nick ran a small business from home, which was related to a sport/hobby that he had enjoyed since he was a child. It seemed that this was the only type of work he felt he could do, as he would find it impossible to be part of the “rat race” (or society). Several years previously, he had withdrawn from the more social aspects of his business (which involved travelling to large events etc) as he could no longer cope with the demands that this placed on him to mix with other personalities, and to essentially have an “ego” front. He had basically made a decision to live in such a way as to foster “enlightenment” within himself, even though this meant becoming a recluse. As time went by, Nick disclosed that he often experienced uncomfortable feelings or spiritual attack when exposed to “negative” people in environments like supermarkets etc, which meant he avoided these as much as he could. I personally witnessed Nick fleeing supermarkets on a couple of occasions.
At the time I met Nick, he had been living for several years with a woman (who I will call Sarah) who had a steady professional job. Sarah took care of a large part of the bills (rent etc), whilst he chipped in when he could, since his business didn’t provide a sufficient or steady enough income to support even himself entirely. As he explained to me from quite early on, his relationship with Sarah was a “karmic agreement” in which both their needs were met (his in terms of having a place to live, hers in terms of having a ‘house husband’ to cook, clean and shop), and they both knew that at some point they would need to move on from this arrangement. Nick explained to me that he had personally manifested this relationship, by sending out the intent to meet a woman who was a doctor, lawyer or teacher. They had apparently met by chance in a shop. In the event, it turned out she was a teacher. Nick said the reason he wanted to meet a woman like this was to observe and study someone who was living heavily in the 4th dimension of vibrational density (as opposed to 5D or 6D, where we should be). And, one guesses, to have his material needs taken care of.
Nick’s office was at his parents’ house not far away, and as time went by I realised just how much his parents did for him and his business. His father took care of all the mundane financial tasks that had to be done, and many of the mundane personal tasks as well (like filling out forms for a passport, car insurance and repairs etc) – apparently his father liked doing these things, and besides, this meant Nick didn’t have to, which meant he could exist on a higher plane of reality. Nick tended to see his key relationships with others in terms of cosmically-provided “service”-type arrangements, whereby he or the other party would meet certain specific needs belonging to each other. It wasn’t that he was freeloading off people - it was just a mutual karmic arrangement that fulfilled each person’s needs at that time. Nevertheless, he felt a great deal of frustration with those around him, in that they couldn’t appreciate that he was a spiritual “master”, and couldn’t appreciate the “truth” of what he spoke about. (His parents and ex-girlfriend were, it seemed, fairly outwardly “normal”, middle-class people.) For year, I had felt the same frustration with my family too.
Of course, to Nick, I was different/special. As far as Nick was concerned (and increasingly, I too), we were both members of a handful of spiritual volunteers from the 5th/6th dimension, who had incarnated to assist humanity in its spiritual ascension sometime around the year 2012. Our meeting had, we believed, been entirely synchronistic. We had both been lonely with no-one around us to share our beliefs and hopes with, and Nick had apparently been sending out the intent to meet a spiritual equal (his girlfriend was not, he considered, a spiritual equal). We were fated to meet. Nick told me that when he saw my (nick)name in the chatroom, he actually felt a ‘kick’ or ‘jolt’ - like he was being prompted by something to talk to me.
Nick told me about the experiences and visions he had had over the past few years, in which he “knew” he was here to help humanity ascend. He showed me pages and pages of notebook writings and diagrams, showing his notes from ‘downloads’ he had received during this time. According to Nick, both he and I had already ascended in a previous incarnation, so we had already “done” this, and so were more advanced than the rest of humanity. Nick posited a scale of “types” of human, going from Type 1 to Type 5 or 6, based on the type of lifestyle or mindset they were plugged into. Whilst out and about, Nick would often identify people according to where they fit on the scale and said it was a fairly fool-proof method. Naturally, people like us were at the top of the scale.
Nick was very invested in the idea of being a spiritual volunteer, and said he had built his business plan around ascension (or some other type of big change) happening around 21st December 2012, the supposed end date of the Mayan calendar. I was always a little more circumspect about the 2012 idea however. Although I thought 2012 was significant, I wasn’t as invested as Nick was in everything changing around then – after all, what if we were wrong?
Nick was very resistant to the notion that he was a “New Ager” or “2012-er” or “Icke-ist”, as he saw these movements as primitive; apparently he was more advanced than the people in these groups. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help thinking that for someone who wasn’t a “primitive” New Ager, Nick seemed to have picked up an awful lot of New Age or esoteric type lingo: service-to-others and service-to-self, non-duality etc. He watched New Age-type videos on Youtube sometimes, and listened to woo-woo Coast to Coast Radio quite a lot. Having listened to a podcast Nick downloaded from Coast to Coast (an interview with a “past-life regression therapist” named Delores Cannon) which had a big impact on him, I believe it was this information that led to Nick’s belief that aliens probably created much of the plant, animal and human life on earth and may even have towed the moon into place.
Nick also had some email contact with a wannabe New Age channeller, in which he told her about his experience of meeting his “Twin Flame” (i.e. me). He showed me the email he had sent her, in which he had contrived a story about meeting me by chance in real life (i.e. NOT via the internet). He was quite open with me about contriving this story, and said that he had also told it to his parents. I guess meeting via the internet didn’t sound “synchronistic” enough to persuade others that our “Twin Flame” connection was true. He asked me to tell this version of the story to my parents too.
Nick said he had picked up most of his ideas by “downloading” them spiritually over the years - not through the internet, but through his own meditations and spiritual experiences, i.e. his personal experiments in sex-magic , experiences on the astral plane and inducing DMT-experiences within himself (apparently by using his “intent” to press on the pineal gland so that it would release the DMT hormone and give him a “natural” trip- he gave me detailed verbal instructions on how to do this.)
Among Nick's other beliefs were these:
- The destruction of the Twin Towers (a giant number 11) was a signal that the world of duality was collapsing (rather than a horrific and tragic loss of life and an attempt, on the part of whichever group, to manipulate humanity into fear and chaos). Apparently Nick knew as soon as the towers came down that the event was about duality and non-duality.
- That he was one of the most powerful people on the planet.
- ET’s probably created much of the plant, animal and human life on earth and may also have towed the moon into place
- Humanity is evolving to become more androgynous - in the future/on another dimension, men and women’s body parts will be more similar to one another and sex will involve sharing urine. This will be ok though, as urine will be cleaner. This came to him in a spiritual vision.
- The theory of the oversoul (Nick came to formulate this idea during the time that we knew each other). You might have 5 or 6 human being who are incarnate and have separate thoughts, personalities and identities, but who share the same oversoul. He often said that he and I were “ the same person”.
- It is desirable to experiment with having sex as the opposite gender – i.e. men taking the woman’s role in sex (and therefore embodying feminine energy), and vice versa.
- When “charged-up” with sexual or other energy, sleep isn’t necessary. If this approach makes you feel tired, you’re doing it wrong.
- Planning ahead (even a few days ahead) isn’t a good thing, as it takes you out of the present moment.
- Talking about illness should be avoided, as it will make you ill.
- People fall ill with colds, flu viruses etc because they have been thinking about catching these illnesses.
Even so, Nick rejected the notion that he even HAD beliefs or opinions, or even a “worldview”. Apparently beliefs, opinions, arguments and theories were “primitive” or “right-brained”, and he was above these. He just KNEW these things. He also said that he had never read a book; sadly, I can well believe that.
Nick encouraged others to practice meditation as much as possible, but his own meditation practices didn’t appear to benefit him, as after these sessions he would sometimes experience terrible migraines, which completely incapacitated him. At other times, he would experience a sort of psychical overload. Phone conversations with him would be cut short and I would later receive a curt SMS message advising that he “wasn’t in the social zone”, which I found hurtful and bewildering. He would then later relate these episodes back to a supposed heavy meditation session earlier in the day.
Nick was very persuasive in trying to get me to accept his ideas - often calling me a “dick” if I didn’t “get” certain things (apparently this was a joke). If I questioned things that he had said, he would say that I was “always twisting things”.
To some extent, I did accept Nick’s ideas, but there were always doubts in my mind. A couple of months into the relationship, I was beginning to feel that Nick and the enlightenment/ascension project were demanding more and more of my time and energy, and I was finding it difficult to take care of normal tasks and activities, especially at weekends, because of his reluctance to engage in everyday society. I was beginning to feel more and more isolated from my friends and family, and indeed Nick encouraged this isolation – after all, my family and friends weren’t spiritually advanced. He didn’t really want to meet my friends and family, although it was fine for me to meet and spend time with his folks when necessary (e.g. if I was visiting him, or if his family were going on a camping trip).
As time went by, I also began to see that Nick wasn’t all he was cracked up to be, and began to seriously question what I had gotten myself into. During the months that we knew each other, Nick had left his “karmic”-type arrangement with Sarah, the woman he had previously lived with. He had since moved back in with his parents. I had also left my government job (which, admittedly, I had many misgivings about) and moved to a lower-paid but more enjoyable job. At times Nick would talk about us marrying and moving into together, and him getting a job, but these ideas seemed to drop off the radar as time went by (a case of ‘why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free’, I can’t help thinking - needless to say, Nick and I had entered into a sexual relationship by this point.)
The pressures of trying to balance maintaining a “normal” life (working a busy job to earn money to support myself, as well as maintaining relationships with family and friends), and trying to fit with the enlightenment/2012/volunteer/”relationship with Nick” project placed a huge mental and emotional burden on me. It was as though I was leading two parallel lives, with two sets of irreconcilable values. Nick didn’t seem to appreciate the demands having a job placed on me – seeing it as an annoyance more than anything else. After all, having always been provided for by his parents or girlfriends, he was above mundane things like employment. When I explained some of the difficulties I was having with reconciling the increasingly disparate aspects of my life, Nick was adamant that he would not change, either in his lifestyle or his worldview (although having conversations about his worldview was always fraught, since he rejected the notion he even HAD beliefs or a worldview).
A couple of times, I made attempts to end my relationship with Nick, but somehow he was always able to talk me round – either because he refused to break off contact or would insist on seeing me; even waiting outside my home or pretending that he was. I would then be chastised by Nick for trying to leave - it was clearly my inability to get with the program, so to speak, and my “excessive mental duality” that had caused my “meltdowns”. Always, always, the problem was with me.
Eventually though I “saw the light” and was able to break things off for good. This happened after Nick disclosed that after my most recent effort to end the relationship (in which we did actually separate), he had slept with Sarah, his ex-girlfriend. It turned out that she wasn’t in fact “over” him, was very hurt that their relationship had ended and was desperate to have him back. I said to Nick that it didn’t sound much like he and Sarah had shared a “karmic agreement” – was she even familiar with such a concept? He admitted that she probably wasn’t. I got the impression that Sarah was very emotionally dependent on Nick, and was quite isolated – but according to Nick, she didn’t like most people very much.
Nick said he was very anxious to “do the respectful” thing by everyone, and couldn’t “destroy” his ex-girlfriend over this. He repeatedly expressed frustration at the fact that people couldn’t just have “loving” relationships with each other (including sex) without the need for “politics”. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that the only thing he could do would be to go back to his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and for her to see how miserable he was without me. Then she would be able to release him voluntarily from the situation. Immediately after Nick told me this, he tried to seduce me, which I would not allow.
Once Nick had made his decision to go back to his ex-friend, she apparently “saw the light” about the situation and Nick’s desire to move on. Nick and I agreed to reconcile, apparently with Sarah’s blessing. But even after this happened, he still spent a couple of nights over at her home, which was only a couple of miles from his own - he assured me though that nothing was “going on”. Feeling very confused and hurt myself, I decided to leave Nick for good.
I now have no contact with Nick as I feel it is futile and even dangerous for me to, though he has made repeated attempts to re-engage me in dialogue. I should mention that I have never had any communication with his girlfriend/ex-girlfriend, and am therefore unable to verify much of what he has told me about his relationship with her. On one of the last occasions that I spoke with Nick, he told me he had walked away from the “spiritual volunteer” mindset (a case of telling me what I wanted to hear, I guess). The next day, he sent me an email in which he said that this wasn’t actually the case. He basically admitted that he hadn’t been truthful with me about this.
The whole experience with Nick has been a rollercoaster for me, and has led me to seriously question many aspects of the New Age and “enlightenment” worldview. I have no doubt that Nick has had many experiences that most of us haven’t (although I have no desire to partake in astral travel, sex magic, or induce DMT-trips myself). In this sense, I believe he has tapped into a potential or ability that remains latent or unexplored in many people. But I’m no longer sure if it is desirable or advisable to explore these potentialities - and as for “enlightened”, I certainly question this. For as well as all the above, Nick showed a disturbing lack of emotional maturity and sensitivity at times - e.g. he would sometimes make jokes about rape and pretend to simulate rape in my presence. When I confronted him about things like this (usually when I had reached the brink of my mental and emotional endurance), he accused me of going into “hyper ego” mode, or “meltdown mode”. His most recent email to me (which is peppered with four-letter words) is addressed “Dear Anna-ego”, and says that I am “sick” and “crazy”.
Needless to say, this relationship bore many of the hallmarks of a cult – even though there were only two, or possibly three or four people involved (if you include Nick’s parents and ex-girlfriend). Interestingly, Nick did say to me on a couple of occasions that he felt he would be very capable of running a cult, especially if it involved women - although of course, he said, he would never do that. Nick seemed to have quite a narcissistic streak, and was very confident of his appeal to women. Sometimes, he would describe himself as “awesome” or “naturally awesome” without a shred of irony, and ask why any woman wouldn’t want to be with him.
I am not posting this information with the intent to ridicule Nick or his beliefs or seek some kind of revenge. But merely to highlight the extent to which so-called “enlightenment” (if it really is enlightenment) can co-exist with significant personal dysfunction and negative character traits. Also to illustrate the extent to which New Age ideas integrated with “cultish” styles of controlling behaviour can seemingly be adopted by anyone – even “lone” operators.
I don’t believe Nick’s aim or intent was to run a cult - even if he did talk about it. But that’s exactly what happened, I think. And it led to me re-examining, in a much more critical way, the very ideas that had led me to think I might share some special bond with him: 2012 ascension, David Icke’s spiritual worldview, “New Age” concepts of “enlightenment”, Law of Attraction, non-duality etc.
I feel now too, that there is a kind of divine paradox out there: the more we believe we are “God” (however you define that), the less “god-like” we become or behave. Conversely, the more humble we are, the closer we are to God (again, however you define “god” – and I’m not so sure of that nowadays). I’m wary now of ideologies that claim otherwise; they seem to appeal to something within human beings that seeks dominion, control and power (including power over others).
If the end result of this rollercoaster was that I “woke up” to some of the darker or more twisted aspects of New Age/non-dualistic thought and practices, I am not altogether sorry. Better to “wake up” now than later, or never. But it has been a bewildering experience and I have little left in the way of a definite worldview; the world seems a stranger and more mysterious place than ever.
Before I finish this, I need to say that what really DIDN’T help me in my predicament with Nick was that the friend whom I mainly confided in is himself heavily into the New Age, including some of the ideas that Nick espoused. This friend of mine has himself experienced a very dysfunctional relationship with a so-called “Twin Flame” – a New Ager woman whom he met on the internet, and with whom he now has no contact, although he still feels some hope that the relationship can be resumed in the future. Any problems or confusions about Nick that I related to my friend were usually met with a knowing “ah, that’s the Twin Flame thing coming out” or some explanation about Nick and I each having a “mirror” held up to us, hence all the negativity “coming out” in our relationship. But according to my friend, it’s was all part of the plan and a necessary process. Unfortunately my friend is very much a New Age workshop junkie, and recently had a very worrying health scare after visiting a (generic) prostitute in an attempt to sort out some “sexual energy” problems. Needless to say, I am carefully reviewing whether it is healthy for me to remain in a friendship with this person after my recent experiences. I feel great regret over the fact that I effectively introduced this person to New Age ideas, by introducing him to reiki and David Icke. I have related to my friend my concerns about the New Age, but he is still very much enamoured with this worldview.
Incidentally, I no longer visit chat rooms; nor would I meet someone from a chat room again.
Thank you for reading my post.