Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and former members, Ex-BK
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 14, 2009 01:10AM

here's my 2 cents on some of this.

first off, anything to do with these culty things is very confusing and emotional. So people will get very upset at times, that is to be expected. Its also extremely complex, as it deals with "what is reality" so at times people literally don't know which way is up.
So expect strong emotions.

also, that guy who was posting had made many other posts for Byron Katie all over the internets, including on her blog, as pointed out.

But that being said, I did agree that at times some of us critics can jump too fast on people who are perhaps still halfway involved in these culty groups. Its hard not to do this, as they can sometimes be trolls, other times they may just be confused, or undecided.

That's why it would also be great for former deep members of the Byron Katie system to talk to eachother. There are lots of Ex groups out there for various cults, and at some point, an Ex-BK message board might be a good idea.
That being said, the problem is that current BK members and leaders will troll those groups, and confuse people on purpose. They are experts at that.
Even Stephen Mitchell, if you look at some of his informal emails, etc, is a master at screwing with people's minds.

So a thread like this might be too strong at times, for those who are currently believers in Byron Katie. But for those with doubts, this could help them think it through for themselves.
and for those who are NOT YET members, this thread shows why they should NEVER attend the Byron Katie School, as its a dangerous LGAT seminar. That's a fact, just read her own disclaimers.

But many current Byron Katie members are having a lot of confusion and doubts about Byron Katie and what she is doing. These types of threads are useful as they can have a look at it, and make up their own mind for themselves.
Anyone can see, that not one Byron Katie member can explain why Byron Katie has such an extreme set of disclaimers for her seminars. They can't explain why she does all these dozens of common LGAT seminar techniques.
Its all there in black and white.

But that is the danger with the Byron Katie thought reform system, a person could get to the point where their entire sense of reality is inverted. Byron Katie knows that people can be taught to literally believe anything, and she knows exactly how to do it. The books and youtube videos are just the bait on the end of the hook. Where the deeper stuff happens is in the several years and hundreds of hours of LGAT seminars she runs, and it even goes beyond that...

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and former members, Ex-BK
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 14, 2009 01:39AM

also, just for the sake of history, Carol Skolnick was referring people to Jon Willis as well.
search Google for

"jon willis" "carol skolnick"

but since then, it appears he packed it in, and stopped making posts about how wonderful Byron Katie is?
That is the basic pattern with these LGAT style culty groups.
People get all psyched up and over-excited, they join up, go to all the seminars, spend thousands or tens of thousands for a few years.
Then they wake-up, and realize they got scammed, or worse, blame themselves for not doing it right.
(most people who get scammed never talk about it out of shame or pain).

Sadly, some go through that cycle with about 10 different Guru's for decades, until they realize they are getting played!
Its very healthy to look in the mirror and admit you got scammed, punked, and played. No need to beat yourself up over it though, it happens to everyone, and these are very sophisticated people.

The solution is to carefully study their methods and techniques, and that makes it much more difficult for it to happen again. These Guru's are clever, but not THAT clever. Its possible to see what they are doing.
And after a few years of study of these techniques, sometimes you can see what they are doing in seconds.

and then after a person comes out of it, why not make some posts about it to help others? Maybe it could save others from making the same mistakes?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Trolls
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 14, 2009 01:50AM

Thanks CB, for bringing up the trolling issue again. I'm remembering how unsettling troll behavior can be. It's so helpful to point out exactly what the trolls actually do. A Jon Willis type might actually believe in what he is saying, and that type of troll can end up being the most dangerous because of their sincerity. Dangerous to one's mental health, that is.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: quackdave ()
Date: March 14, 2009 03:20AM

I think it's entirely possible that Jon Willis actually could have been doing the bidding of the Katie/Mitchell bunch, without realizing it. If there are 'no rules', i.e. no Reality, then you can lie to yourself or others and it's no big deal. So the whole mess could actually have been the programming at work through an individual who wasn't even aware of what he was accomplishing, I suppose. This whole damn Katie thing is so convoluted (maybe I should use the word 'diabolical'), that there could be trolling and disruption going on, while the perps actually think they are just merely chatting. I don't put anything past these creeps anymore. My eyes have continued to open wider for months now, and as far as I'm concerned the gloves are off. I will, nevertheless, endeavor to be civil, as RR admonished during the flaming around the time of the Jon Willis debacle.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: freedom fighter ()
Date: March 14, 2009 04:36AM

I've been away from this sight for a year. I saw a video of BK a while back and my first impression was that she was sorta syrupy and cocky all at the same time. She reminded me of my old boss that ruined my family. I questioned my first impression. I thought that she sorta looked like my old boss or that her age and essence was similar. I then thought that maybe I was just judging her wrongly because of that.

It's really interesting all the info. about her. It's good to know my gut feeling was right on. I've been reading a lot of self help books - most of which I was drawn to were helpful in what I've been trying to get through and become an authentically driven person. I read through one of BK's books. There was one story of a girl who had been molested and BK was "talking" her through it. I don't have the book in front of me to reference right now but the particular story pissed me off to the point I started crying. I felt like something was wrong with how she concluded her session with this person. She was making the girl admit it was her responsibilty for wanting love and closeness and indicated to take responsibilty for sexual assault against herself. I wanted to throw the book away. I then decided to keep reading because I thought I was just having an emotional moment or something.

All I can say is that one's first gut instinct is most always correct.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 14, 2009 05:55AM

freedom fighter
All I can say is that one's first gut instinct is most always correct.
Yes yes yes!!

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Byron Katie (the Work) and childhood rape and sexual abuse
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 14, 2009 06:08AM

one of the worst "teachings" of Byron Katie is around childhood sexual abuse and child rape.

Why does she do this?
In terms of her audience, she knows that many in her audience have suffered childhood sexual abuse of some sort, as that can lead to terrible pain that affects people for many years. She targets people who are in severe PAIN.

But BK says she was also sexually abused as a child, and she tells a big story about it, and basically says at the end it was HER FAULT, and then basically denies it ever happened by trying to erase history from the mind. (that is called Change Personal History, from NLP hypnosis).
Well, its one thing for Byron Katie to think that about herself.

But its another thing for her to TEACH that to people in pain.

For people who were sexually abused as children, the most important thing for them to realize is that it was NOT their fault, no matter what. No matter what happened, it is NEVER the child's fault. The adult was the criminal.
Ask any proper psychologist who treats people who have been through this.

Of course, that does not mean a person spends the rest of their life only in "blaming", but they learn to heal in their own way, with proper therapy, etc. Part of healing is appropriate blame, and the blame for child rape goes on the adult. That is reality, and that is the road to psychological healing.

When it comes to sexual abuse, here are two of the worst things a person can do...

complete DENIAL, and SELF-BLAME.
Those are the worst things a person can do.

And that is what Byron Katie teaches.

Why does she teach that? Is it just her own psychological ignorance and pathology?
Or is she aware that teaching that is going to send people into severe self-blame and depression, and even delusion?
Why does she have a "death clause" in her contracts you have to sign before a seminar?
Is that related to suicides of people attend those seminars?

If people blames themselves for childhood sexual abuse, they are going to get severely depressed and guilt-ridden, even suicidal.
If a person DENIES it happened, and just tries to blank it out, then that also causes terrible problems, as has been proven.

This doesn't mean a person then does the opposite, and gets full of rage and hate at the criminal offender and thinks of nothing else. That is not healthy either.
Treatment for this is complex, and has been refined over many years.

But what Byron Katie suggests for dealing with childhood sexual abuse could destroy a person's life.
Why is she even allowed to deal with psychological issues like that in a seminar? She says in her contract that she is NOT doing any type of psychological treatment.
(again, its just word games to cover their asses).

But for people who have been sexually abused as children, please do not listen to a word Byron Katie says on this subject. She is utterly clueless, completely ignorant, and what she is suggesting is extremely damaging, and could even lead to suicidal impulses. (is that why the "death clause" is in her contract you have to sign?).

For sexual abuse, only see licensed, trained, and experienced professionals, who know what they are doing.
You will see just how heinous the "treatment" that Byron Katie offers is. Byron Katie literally knows NOTHING at all about this.

Always carefully evaluate people who say they treat sexual abuse issues. That also applies to licensed professionals.

And always stay away from people like Byron Katie who is completely ignorant of everything about this subject, she knows nothing, absolutely nothing. Maybe that explains part of her pathology and victimizing of others.

But there are many Quacks out there who use the pain of childhood sexual abuse as a profit center.
They know the pain is so bad, people will do anything, pay anything to try to escape it.
very sad.
Stay away from these quacks like Byron Katie, and many others, at all costs. One day the real story is going to come out about what is going on behind closed doors, and who is getting hurt, and re-victimized.

The good news is there are responsible, licensed, trained professionals who know how to help people, and who charge correct market hourly rates to help people. Some even have a sliding scale, or can be covered by insurance. Recovering from childhood sexual abuse is a medical issue, and needs to be treated as such.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Trauma
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 14, 2009 07:36AM

Thank you for pointing out how terrible Byron Katie's approach is regard sexual trauma/abuse.

The severe pain connected with such a thing needs to be acknowledged and dealt with, rather than "Work-ed" away.

I've tried The Work and other similar approaches to deal with my own trauma issues and they always end up adding to the pain that is already there. Not good. In fact, it's absolutely awful.

With all the pain I've endured from various traumas coupled with the damage from these bogus approaches, I'm lucky to be alive.

How Byron Katie can live with herself, I don't know. She really does seem to be sociopathic.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Trauma
Posted by: freedom fighter ()
Date: March 14, 2009 09:17AM

Wow. That is so true you guys. It literally blows my mind the magnitude of how many people get duped. It's really sad when these people are put up as some miracle cure. I truly wish trauma was that simple to get over, but it is a process to undo what was done. Facing trauma almost makes you literally feel insane at times but that is the truth - the trauma IS insane not the victim! And if someone slips in there with wrong advice it simply holds a person in limbo until they realize it isn't that person who sets them free but it's your own readiness to look at the wrong doing against you and then to accept that it can't hold you back anymore. Whew.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Christa ()
Date: March 15, 2009 01:36PM

Thanks, corboy! Great idea to initiate this review session.

I completely remember the time period when jj52 was posting. I was thinking, this is really what the Internet's all about. We don't know each other, we're scattered across the globe, yet we can all be here on this thread, learning, teaching, healing, making common cause against thought reform and money-grabbing gurus.

Then "Jon Willis" showed up and BAM!!!! Class dismissed. Game over. Everybody out of the pool.

I did the author audit that corboy suggested, and I must say the evidence is pretty stark. jj52 started posting on Feb 22nd, and she appeared to be getting a lot of benefit from being on the site. She also contributed an extraordinary about of information. Jon Willis took care of that with 8 posts and in just 3 days March 3 to March 5. Both of their final posts appear on March 5. It's a disgrace.

[For the rest of this post, I'm going to change the name of a cult that was founded by a hack science fiction writer in the 1950s. I will call his group Horsemanureology. I do this in hopes of preventing trolls from retrieving this thread. It's probably a waste of time, but I'll feel better.]

During the period jj52 was posting, I knew enough about trolling to recognize what was going on, and I learned a ton from some great posts on this forum. I have to say, though, that spending time on ex-Horsemanureology boards has been a graduate seminar in The Theory and Practice of Trolling the ex-Cult and anti-Cult Web, with Special Focus on the Whys and Wherefores Thereof.

For a moment, I'd like to take the thread Off Topic (abbreviation deliberately avoided, heh heh) and provide information that might not be widely known. Do any of you ever wander over to the ex -Horsemanureology boards? There have been some very heartening developments in that community, and I give the Web the credit. The Web allowed former members to find each other, share their experiences, and realize that, far from being only loser who had been deceived, witnessed abuse, failed to gain the power to see through walls, heal illness, and levitate, they were part of a vast community failed by the cult. As people outside the group learned the truth, outrage grew and formerly isolated former members gained powerful allies.

Top Horsemanureology leaders recognized the danger of the Web early on, and over the years they've deployed armies of rabid followers (I'm not being melodramatic here) to wreck threads that endanger their income stream (although they told the armies they were battling religious bigotry). Nonetheless, Horsemanureology membership is plummeting. At a recent talk about the group (up on Googlevideo), one ex-member commented that she wasn't worried about reports that Horsemanureology is now focusing marketing efforts on gays "because once they get on the Internet and see what's really happening, they won't go." She's right.

One of cult leaders' most effective techniques is to lure the unsuspecting to meetings and then to set them, like the mythical frog, on a slow boil. What group would have more than 10 members if the general public knew --BEFORE they went to the first gathering-- that leaders' promises are emptier than Jessica Simpson's head?

Back to the topic. I feel pretty pessimistic about whatever happened to jj52; at minimum she's no longer taking full advantage of a great resource. But I think luring her back into the fold was not the main reason "Jon Willis" came after her. His goal was to prevent her from releasing more information. One of the first sentences of her very first post on Feb 22 about the 9 day school is, "We were sworn to secrecy about the events that go on there so as not to 'spoil it for others' who would attend in the future." Well, freely available information about what goes on in the School wouldn't spoil the experience for future attendees, because there wouldn't be any. Secrecy (like everything else about cults) is enforced for the benefit of parasitic gurus, and without it they might have to go out and get real jobs, which would certainly spoil their future experiences.

Would it maybe be an idea to put up a sticky thread or add to the FAQS info about trolling and its importance to the survival of cultic groups? If jj52 had known more about the motives of her new friend Jon Willis BEFORE he appeared on the scene, it might have been easier for her to accurately assess the situation. His last post occurs 6 HOURS after hers; it looks to me like when she left he got what he came for.

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