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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 21, 2013 09:21AM

Name Dropping

A group may want you, not because of any basic respect for you, but because you have useful social connections. Or you are married to someone who has useful social connections. Or your son or daughter has useful social connections.

If you or your spouse has high rank in the military or government, or has retired from such a position, that carries a lot of prestige.

Ditto if you or your spouse have jobs in a high powered brokerage firm, advertising agency, the entertainment industry, or fame in the arts or sciences.

Ditto if you or your spouse have graduated from a university with instant name recognition, (Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Caltech).

Or one of your children has become famous or has attained high powered social or academic affiliation.

More examples:

You or your spouse are an admissions officer for a local private school where legions of parents are desperate to secure enrollment for their

Or if you or your spouse work for someone in local government, the courts, or the police department.

Your spouse or your offspring might disapprove of the group or tolerate your interest but remain at a distance.

But what you and they may not know is that a group recruiter may tattle to a potential recruit, just after you have stepped out of the room, "This is between you and me. X's husband is a retired brigadier general."

Or "His son is in his second Harvard." (It doesnt matter if the son thinks the cult is full of shit. He doenst know he's being mentioned -- along with his Harvard connection -- to a potential new recruit.)

So, labor under no delusions.

Dare to ask yourself. Are you loved and respected for who you are? Or is there the tiniest chance that your being an MD, or having wealth, your job title or your spouses job title might make you a source of derivative legitimacy for the group?

That you or your spouse or your child's triumph might be tattled about behind your backs as a way to make the group look attractive to others?

Or make it seem more trustworthy place than it actually is?

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 21, 2013 09:26AM

If a group with secretive or eccentric beliefs is seemingly full of persons who are respectable pillars of the community, that doesnt mean it is OK.

It can mean that persons driven to attain social success may have inner demons left over from childhood, and long for something that offers them a safe and secret sanctuary where they can submit and trust as little children in an idealized and seemingly infallible parent figure.

In places like India, this adulation of living human beings as god is normative, and one doesnt have to hide it.

But in the West, this is considered an embarassing hold over of primitive belief. Those who do this will therefore keep it secret and be quite careful to test potential recruits through a lengthy probation process.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 21, 2013 10:24PM


If some group is trying to court you, and they mention or hint they have high prestige members -- be alert.

That means they will feel just as free to refer to you, at risk of your own privacy when later courting the next potential new recruit.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 22, 2013 12:19AM

The original for this was writen by a former member of Yogi Bhajan's fake Sikh group the kundalini yoga Happy Healthy Holy Organzation, aka 3HO.

It describes what it looks like after one has made so long a social commute that one is mostly hanging out with members who share the same beliefs.

Now..what I will do is take the liberty of re-writing just a little bit here and there. Feel free to read the original.


"You know you're in a 'cult' when"

September 4, 1999
By Siri Seriously Singh, S.S.S.
The pages of your phone book are all filled up almost exclusively with other members of your group.

(Your mobile phone is full of numbers and websites for other members of your group. And has a picture of your guru or avatar in it.)

All or most persons on your Facebook page are either members of the group--or make you look good to the group.

The wallpaper for your computer or phone screen is designed to remind you of your ashram or worship sanctuary.

Your iPod is full of music from your group.

You spend your date or honeymoon in a hotel owned or run by the group or at least by someone who follows a guru.

You spend your honeymoon in some city your guru visited.

The only real vacation you've taken in 20 years is a group sponsored retreat for some courses.

The only way you really know what's going on "in the real world", is by watching movies, which you do quite frequently.

You're really worried that you forgot to prepare your food as the group says.

Even your daughter's dolls look like group members.

All of your son's animals also are dressed up like members.

The only music that you own comes from your organization or its authorized list.

You think that most people that aren't in your group are alcoholics, drug addicts, or neurotic (unless of course, they're friends with your leader).

You were once an alcoholic, or had friends who died during the drug scene you were in with them. You are terrified you will lapse back to your sordid past unless you follow your religion.

The only things you can remember about your past are the painful parts.

You are in a profession based on evidence based science, you put up with all the statistics and research design classes so you could pass, get your license, but now you're a full on believer in your groups non falsifiable doctrines of astrology, past lives, avatars, kuli yuga. You live a split life between mainstream society what you actually believe as part of your religion. But you bring credibility to your group.

You wonder how it is that you can have a health problem when you know you've done everything just right like you were told by your group and its leader.

When you have health or stress problems you go to practitioners who are part of the group. So you lack an outside perspective on how strange your life has become.

You take a financial hit so you can move closer to where the group has its main sanctuary, because you notice that only people who live nearby and in the same city or town have prospects of promotion within the group.

The real estate agent who helps you find that new house or apartment is also a member of the group.

The only way you can really like people is when they are members of, or potential recruits for your group. Your old friends get edgy and stop seeing you, not because they dont love you--it is because they get the creeps seeing the picture of your guru.

You do your two and half-hours of evening meditation and still wonder if that was enough and feel bad because you think you can never really do enough.

You stop wearing colors you like and that suit you, because you are under pressure to wear colors and types of clothes favored by your leader.

Your leader or the persons favored by the leader decorate their houses and plant their gardens with only certain types or colors. You do it too.

You wear jewelery that doesnt even suit you because you are supposed to wear it.

Even though you might think that a piece of clothing looks good that's "not approved"--you don't even allow yourself to want it.

You think all the other groups just like yours are "cults," but not yours.

You think all the other groups just like yours don't ask enough of their members, but yours is better-- because you have to do even more than they do.

A lot of stuff that you used to think was really weird you are now doing.

You protested the Establishment when you were a hippie or a punk musician, but now you've become even more Establishment than your parents were.

Even though you told yourself that you would never bow down to a human being--you just touched your teacher's feet. Or worse, compromised your own moral principles.

You don't care anymore who understands and who doesn't if they're not in your group.

Even though you wouldn't trust your mother to make dinner for you--you now trust group members with your child.

You find it easier to forgive your friend's husband for arbitrarily, abandoning his children and stealing her money--than to forgive her for disobeying a group rule.

Your group states only sex within marriage is permissible. But they find ways to re-define what 'marriage' actually is.

Especially the leader.

Outsiders see pictures of or meet your guru and either laugh or are given the creeps.

Your old friends fade away. You feel hesitant to ask them why because you fear they will tell you what they actually think about your guru and that the way you are decorating your house is giving them the creeps.

And they may have learned things about your group that they feel afraid to tell you because they know it will break your heart or cause you to say cruel things to them.

They want to preserve good memories of you and hope you wake up. So they slink away and hope someday to hear from you when you are finally having doubts--or you've been kicked out.

Keep their phone numbers and give them a call.

Or look them up on Facebook.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 22, 2013 12:27AM

(Watch out)

Some groups expect members to write letters to the guru or Master.

You have no way to know if your letters and the private information you disclose will be kept confidential.

If you confide/confess a lot of stuff by letter, you may forget you have done it. But unconsciously you may feel afraid to leave.

If you have confided anything confidiential about yourself or about another person in the group, anything that could expose you or others to legal consequences or social disgrace, you can end up trapped.

Beware of anyone tries to get you to do this.

No therapist should ever disclose sensitive information unless you are in danger to life or limb. And no therapist, not even in a religious or esoteric group should blab confidential matters, either. Thats against the rules governing his or her profession. Those rules and the law are not cancelled out merely because the therapist has a guru.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 22, 2013 12:34AM

If you get married within a group, you are seriously trapped. If you go on to have children, its worse.

If you find you no longer believe the group or discover that its going in a wrong direction, you may risk divorce if your spouse is instructed to treat you as an enemy.

If investigating a group, never let them disrupt your marriage or partnership if your SO doesnt share the group beliefs.

They have no right to do this. And any group that tries to distance you from a non believing spouse is demonstrating it is already rotten.

The most trapped people are the ones who are tied into a group by marriage. In event of a divorce, the cult can easily, if wealthy, obtain legal advice for its member.

And then find ways to get at assets the member obtains after the divorce settlement.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 22, 2013 11:18PM

To repeat, the advice, so often given to prospective recruits, "Take what you like and leave the rest" -- that advice is invalid, even misleading, if the recruit is not told full details of the belief system and full disclosure of the social commitment required.

You cannot take what you like and leave the rest, if you dont know what the entire package consists of.

In the book, Losing Moses on the Highway, the author examines the link between crowds, idolatry and how, as part of a crowd's clinging to a transcendant experience, outsiders are peceived as threatening or at best, as timewasters or distractions.

One thing many recruiters themselves cannot know is how they can be changed by membership and crowd process. If they do not know, they cannot give prospective recruit any insight, either.


The transcendant experience becomes something to cling to.

This and the previous pages describe a group that has made a quite lengthy social commute away from mainsteam society.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 23, 2013 09:42PM

What Greatly Lengthens Social Commute -- Apocalyptic/Kali Yuga beliefs

Mainstream society is rooted in the assumption that life will somehow go on.

If a group or leader has a core belief that the world is evil, progress is an illusion or that the world will end and most persons, especially those outside the group will die, this is a belief that very greatly separates its members from the outside world.

In My Father's Guru Jeffrey Masson tells how the family guru, Paul Brunton (P.B) became convinced that the world would end in a nuclear disaster and that only those who went to live in South America would survive. Masson's family and several others left the United States and relocated to Uruguay and other places. Masson tells that the worst part was that they were forbidden to tell anyone else. Masson felt utter grief that so many people he knew and loved were going to die and he could do nothing about it.

If a group's literature refers to Kali Yuga or believes in cycles of time, it is possible that apocalyptic belief may be part of their mindset--and possibly be kept secret from all but trusted inner circle members.

If a group takes such beliefs seriously they may move to a particular location, as Brunton's followers did, or may do what the members of Elizabeth Clare Prophet's church did: build an elaborate sanctuary with underground bunkers.

Even if the current guru doesnt seem to take Kali Yuga seriously, he or she might become obsessed with the subject if in old age or illness a state of paranoia takes hold.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 23, 2013 09:49PM

A leader or group that makes references to Kali Yuga, even in passing, -- pay attention to its beliefs and social behavior.

* Often a belief that ours is a dark or degenerate age goes hand in hand with elitism, and an elitism that is often concealed if one lives in a democracy where such snobbishness is disapproved of and would incur ridicule or worse from outsiders.

* Believers in Kali Yuga or a degenerate time will claim for this reason they need leadership, guidance and protection from a guru or magus who has special powers.

*In degenerate times, this guru or magus may be regarded as especially vulnerable to outside attack from bad mojo, so people will feel protective of this leader and keep him or her a secret from an unsympathetic outside world. This increases the social burden for members. They may find it easier in the long run to shun thier old friends and associate only with those who 'know'.

*Access to the guru or magus may become a source of competation within the group. This can take up energy and cannot be discussed with outsiders or even with each other if matters are especially fraught.

*Under the strain, the guru or magus may become more and more neurotic and dictatorial and this will add to the tension. A group may seeminly have a simple and chaste lifestyle, but the tension burdened leader who is supposed to protect guide everyone through the Kali Yuga may break down with various stress related illnesses or process addictions. It is painful burden knowing the secrets of unfolding time and having eyes and hopes upon you.

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Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 23, 2013 10:01PM

Buildings may become a problem for a group and increase social commute for members, and perhaps increase isolation. Some have jokingly called this Edifice Complex.

*Maintaining a physical plant costs time and money. Members may be under subtle or not so subtle pressure to donate labor to keep the place maintained. A group may claim to serve the community, but in practice, this may mean just its community.

*If a lot of traffic to and from the groups meeting area develops, this can be a burden for neighbors. A group that keeps mostly to itself may lose ability to negotiate graceously and responsively with neighbors.

*Over years, members may donate time and money and labor to build a new ashram. But once that ashram is complete, access to the all important leader may become more difficult. And if that ashram is large, fancy but brings heavy traffic to the area, the neighbors may be annoyed.

This can add to existing tensions about Kali Yuga.

Members may become yet more shy about interacting with outsiders. may at this time think you have a nice balance between your love affair with a group and guru and be able to balance this with your outside life.

You may feel your social commute isnt so difficult.

But if the guru becomes more and more eccentric and a secret to be kept, if you are let in on teachings that this world is degenerate or your ashram is fancied up and then access to the guru cut off to all but certain favorites, this is stuff you cannot discuss with outsiders.

As mentioned earlier, one may find oneself encouraged to move more closely to the ashram. You may be on the receiving end of a lot of care and kindness while making that decision.

But once you do move to the same town as the ashram, eventually, that and your sacrifice and show of devotion will become old news. You may find that you are now encouraging other friends to make the move. So as to justify to yourself that what you did was actually worth it.

And...your social commute will increase. Unless you either embed yourself more and more within the group, or decide you need to leave.

If you lived or chose to live in the same area as your group and now have left the group, this can be very awkward.

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