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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: February 29, 2008 01:40PM

Some years ago I corresponded with Carol Skolnick, before she hooked up with Byron Katie. I met her via the various incarnations of the ex-SY lists. SY is Siddha Yoga, the Baba Muktananda and Gurumayi cult. I joined and mostly lurked on those lists as I had been part of a yoga-based guru-centered cult that shared some similarities with Siddha Yoga. Carol had been pretty badly burned in the cult and had what I saw as a very clear understanding of all levels of the cult dynamics. She's a very intelligent, witty person and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit way back when. It is disconcerting to see that she's become a true BK believer. However, I am guessing that as the BK Cult continues to grow ever wackier, somewhere down the line Carol is going to start feeling the burn and will wake up and get out. At least I hope so. Given how clearly she saw what was going on in SY, she's gotta be able to see it at some point.

That's too bad, really. I don't blame Skolnick for her involvement. I don't know what happened to her in the yoga cult, but I'm sure it left her very vulnerable to BK's thought reform. Keep in mind, BK is covert, covert, covert. She really knows how to cover her behind... and is so charismatic it's unbelievable. For someone who had been involved in a more extreme cult like Carol, I'm sure BK seemed totally benign and safe. My questions: Is Skolnick a licensed mental health professional? Or does she just get paid to do The Work with people? If so, how does that legally happen?

Since I've never been involved with a more extreme cult, I can't say for sure... but I get the impression that BK's buttery smooth ways might be actually more intoxicating, and harder to identify from a subjective standpoint. I feel very lucky to have gotten out of it. So far, I still have heard nothing--not even rumors-- of anyone else getting out.

So, if there's anyone else out there lurking whose been through it, and abandoned it... please, I'd love to hear what you have to say!


P.S. Does any one else think that BK looks EVIL in this picture on wikipedia? I find it rather disturbing.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2008 01:41PM by jj52.

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Byron Katie(the Work) sexual abuse, incest, denial, false memories FMS
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: February 29, 2008 04:17PM

Warning: this content is about sexual abuse and The Work.

I was marginally joking when I stated that if one does The Work, then that person literally CANNOT LIE, as there is no such thing as truth. Well, its not a joke, people are buying it 100%.

This is why its so important to find the true origin of The Work. There are a few posts on Usenet about how Byron Katie seems to have copied aspects of Werner Erhard, but did a Turnaround from being an ESThole to LOVE-BOMBING. If someone can find factual evidence of the true origin of The Work, this will invalidate the entire fabricated Story of the origin of The Work.

Below are some excerpts of the extremely damaging ways The Work is applied to sexual abuse. That should qualify as malpractice, Soul Surgery run amok.

Conclusion: the sexual abuse never really happened. Denial-Dissociation. And you victimized yourself. Self-Blame.

This is why its very clear that when one is dealing with someone deep into The Work, sadly, you literally cannot believe a word they say, as they put no reliance on objective reality, facts, or telling the truth we all live by. Its all just a Story, so they can make up whatever they want, and not only feel no guilt about lying, but get a RUSH of JOY from doing The Work and fabricating a new Story on the spot. So lying, literally becomes something joyful.

That is why The Work, and the Stories make no sense, as it is confabulation and fabrication, mixed with imagination, false memories, and conscious distortion and deflection, science fiction, and anything else one can simply make up. It reminds one of FMS, False Memory Syndrome. The Work when taken on fully, is literally creating False Memories. Installing Delusions.

(notice the irony about Truth at the end comment. I do feel deep empathy for the victims of this sham called The Work. But the conscious perpetrators who are promoting it for profit, need to be held accountable for the harm they are causing for their own benefit. They have no guilt or remorse, as they have dissociated from it, you can sense the Joy they feel as they do a Turnaround and do what we call "lie". Lying becomes as fun as making up Science Fiction Stories).


The Work of Byron Katie on “I am a victim of incest.”

I am a victim of incest - is it true?
Thought: I am a victim of incest.

Instructions: Feel the answers. Let the answer arise. ...

Question #1 - Is it true?

No. I feel a tight contraction in my solar plexus, telling me this is not true.

Question #2 - Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

Still no. Same contraction.

Question #3 - How do you react when you believe this thought? (Make a list.)

I act like a victim. I act like I cannot take care of myself. I blame others, particularly my father and his friend, Ray. I carry a lot of tightness in my shoulders. I feel helpless. I want others to do things for me. I feel like my father, even the world “owe” me something. I cry a lot. I have trouble moving, walking, doing physical things. Sometimes I gain weight. I am afraid. I generalize my blame to all men. I am closed to others, shut down, in many ways. I show a false face. I am not myself, but a tight cariacature of myself. I hold myself back from things I like and things I would like to do, be and have.

Subquestion: Does that thought bring you peace or stress?

Answer: Stress. Unquestionably, stress.

Subquestion: Can you find a peaceful reason to keep that thought, and I am not asking you to drop it? If so, check. Is that reason truly peaceful?

Answer: No, I can’t find anything peaceful in the thought “I am a victim of incest.”

Question #4 - Who would you be without that thought or that story, “I am a victim of incest?”

Reminder: Feel the answer. Let the answer arise. Just wait and be with the question.

Answer: I would be peaceful. I would be stronger. I would be doing, being and having things I’ve always wanted to do, be and have. I would treat myself better. I would be more relaxed around men. I would be more relaxed and more powerful around my father and other men. I would be much happier, much happier. I would have peace. I would move more spontaneously in the world, and through my life. I would hear and act on Spirit’s guidance more clearly.

Turn it around. (Simply find an opposite of the original thought. Turn arounds may be to self, other or an opposite word or quality.)

Turn Around #1: I am not the victim of incest.

Question: Is that thought as true or truer than the original thought?

Answer: Well, anything is as true or truer than an untrue thought, and in Questions 1 & 2, what came up in my bodily knowing was that the original thought was untrue. No incest is happening at this moment. So, in this moment, I am not a victim of incest. In fact, if I think of it that way, I have not been a victim of incest, couldn’t have been, except in my own mind, for 30 years. It all stopped in 1975.

Turn Around #2 - I am a survivor of incest.

Question: Is that thought as true or truer than the original thought?

Answer: Well, as the original thought was untrue, yes. But otherwise, there is just as much stress and lying in this thought as there is in the original thought. I can write out the whole worksheet on that, and I decided to cut to the chase and include it here. I will likely write it out next, as my reactions to being a “survivor” are a bit different.

Turn Around #3 - I have incest in my history.

Question: Is that thought at least as true or truer?

Answer: Again, it is at least as true.

I read science fiction and practice meditation, so if I really look at it through those eyes, how do I really know what happened in the past?

I don’t. Not ultimately. Maybe I don’t have incest in my history. ...

Turn Around #4 - My thinking is a victim of incest.

Question: Is that thought as true or truer than the original thought?

Answer: I laugh when I do the “my thinking” turn arounds. It is so freeing to realize that my thinking is what seems to be a “victim” of something called incest. That is so much truer to me.

Question for Advanced Study: How long did the incest last?

Answer: About 5 years give or take.

Question for Advanced Study: And how long have you been victimizing yourself with this thought “I am a victim of incest?”

Answer: That went on for about, oh, let’s say 25 years or so.

Good to notice the truth. People ask Katie if she is enlightened, and she is known to reply, “I am just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn’t.”

If it hurts, you are lying.

Inquire. Turn around. Find the truth.

I bow to the floor, kneel in praise, of those who discovered Truth before me and were kind enough to talk and write about it. Jesus, Siddhartha, Katie, ...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2008 04:28PM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: February 29, 2008 09:23PM

P.S. Does any one else think that BK looks EVIL in this picture on wikipedia? I find it rather disturbing.

Yeah. I think she looks quite like the evil twin of JZ Knight, "channeler" of the dead dude Ramtha. (This would be a case in which BOTH twins are evil. Bwahahahaha.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2008 09:30PM by helpme2times.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Zentient ()
Date: February 29, 2008 09:37PM


Check out the post by serendipitous1, 2/23/07 4:56.

One of Katie's followers may have committed murder. There is not much out there about this. Some of you who are more adept than me with Internet searches may be able to find out more.

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Re: Byron Katie, Byron Kathleen Rolle, Byron Katie Rolle, aliases...
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: February 29, 2008 09:49PM

The Anticult
Over time, it would be very useful to do more research into the founding of The Work, by Byron Katie Rolle.

Obviously, she just did not get tickled by a cockroach, and then it appeared by Magick. That obviously is not true. Is it true? No it ain't!

It was cobbled together from various LGAT, Human Potential seminars, New Religions, Scientology, hypnosis, Gurus, and psychotherapeutic stuff that went on through the 1970's and early 1980's, and ever since.
Is it too hard to conceive that a burning-out depressed and anxious, real estate hustler in Southern California in the 1970's, started attending various advanced sales trainings, personal growth seminars, maybe even EST, and maybe in 1985-86 The Forum, with Werner Erhard?
It sure does seem that way. OR maybe it's the husband, Stephen Mitchell, who has taken advantage of what appears to have been a severe psychotic break in BK.

Currently Wikipedia sez this about Mitchell:


Stephen Mitchell (b. 1943 in Brooklyn, New York) is a poet, translator, scholar, and anthologist. He is married to author Byron Katie.

Mitchell was educated at Amherst College, the University of Paris, and Yale University, and de-educated through intensive Zen practice. He is widely known for his translations of ancient classics, which use a poetic rather than literal approach. Languages that Stephen Mitchell has translated from include German, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Danish. Languages that he has not translated from, but rather put together interpretive versions from existing translations into Western languages include Chinese (Tao Te Ching), Sanskrit (Bhagavad Gita), Akkadian or ancient Babylonian (Gilgamesh). He has also written the nonfiction book The Gospel According to Jesus, and co-wrote two of Byron Katie's books, Loving What Is and A Thousand Names for Joy.

Furthermore, in that LA Times Article on Byron Katie, the reporter said (bold emphasis is mine):


With Mitchell conveniently nearby whenever Katie and I sit down to talk, posing the question about how new religions are born is irresistible. Is it possible that, generations hence, the story of a woman with little education, suffering from acute depression and spontaneously becoming a charismatic teacher will be an article of some new faith?

"If we're lucky, people will have forgotten all of that, because it's not about her, it's about The Work," says Mitchell. Still, he will allow that "this kind of radical questioning is in the lineage of the great spiritual traditions. The 'inquiry' is in Buddhist traditions and my own Jewish tradition, from the book of Job to Spinoza." He won't go so far, however, as to say that they are actively trying to put a new brand of spirituality on the map. "I've never heard Katie say, 'I have the truth.' It's not like that. It's not a doctrine," he says. "She doesn't want to spread the word. She doesn't want a following."
Stephen Mitchell sure seems like the mastermind behind "Byron Katie International". Though BK and Mitchell could totally be in cahoots.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: February 29, 2008 10:35PM


Check out the post by serendipitous1, 2/23/07 4:56.

One of Katie's followers may have committed murder. There is not much out there about this. Some of you who are more adept than me with Internet searches may be able to find out more.
Gadzooks, Zentient, nice cyber-sleuthing!

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Re: Byron Katie - Carol L. Skolnick, SOUL SURGERY
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: February 29, 2008 10:56PM

I'm checking on Skolnick's credentials.

Don't find anything that suggests the right to practice "soul surgery" on people.
That's right, Carol Skolnick has no credentials for counseling people, other than her Byron Katie "training".

Check out what she says in a recent "Soul Surgery" blog entry:


Love is a murderer. If Love wanted to call me home, to consume me, wouldn't it come fiercely, an irresistible force that completely unravels me?

Bring it on.
"Love is a murderer?" That is some scary shit and evidence that she's deeply internalized BK's psychotic take on reality.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2008 11:02PM by helpme2times.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 01, 2008 01:02AM

Alleged Cross fertilization between a Hindu Yoga Outfit (SY), NLP and EST in the 1980s

If you read through this comments section following an article on a blog written by a former member of this Hindu Yoga group (SY---led by a female guru, BTW)
some former members discuss ties between that group and EST.

It will take some time to read through all the comments (some even include tips on how to make certain foods-a plus in my book--but, in aggregate, the comments give an amazing range of perspectives, information....and perhaps, research leads for those interested in how seemingly disparate groups cross fertilized during the early to mid 1980s.


Go read the sections around August 28th--30th. Some discussion about provider patient confidentiality, too--and how entourage members were pressured to ignore signs their health was being impaired.

Esoteric Mythologization

Mark Miller, a former disciple of Da Free John, (says something about a process he terms 'mythologization'. He makes it clear that one can buy into a guru-entrepreneur's mythmaking process and become indoctrinated (a psychoanalyst might say, one can internalize that guru's public persona into oneself)...before you even have met the person.


"....the essence of what makes the whole phenomenon of DFJ and his community possible is the collective commitment of all involved to mythologizing everything associated with DFJ. His words and actions are consistently interpreted as "lilas" or divine acts, regardless of what they appear to be when viewed plainly. Dysfunctional, abusive, and inconsistent behaviors are explained away as the paradoxical expressions of an enlightened being, designed to teach and transform others. Devotees inject their spiritual fantasies and expectations into their perceptions of DFJ and his behavior in a habitual way that gets reinforced by others in the community. ...

"This myth-making activity becomes habitual and unconscious in those who are most closely involved with DFJ.

"I have also seen this process operating in people who've never even met DFJ, but who've deeply bought into the image created in his books and tapes.

(This is relevant to those who tell of getting pulled in, merely by a combination of personal stress combined with a guru's tapes or CDs. A guru's own story is a seed crystal, around which a prospective recruit's mythologization/idealization condenses--C)

As I see it, everything associated with DFJ, including his books, his talks, his manner of living and his evolution into a religious icon over the past 5 years or so all work together to justify and recruit people into the "esoteric" practice of DFJ mythologization. All of the things that DFJ has called "agency" function to facilitate that activity and harness it to DFJ's personal benefit. Everything he does is incorporated into a marketing plan designed to sell the idea that he is a larger than life superman who is the greatest spiritual figure in history.

Miller writes: 'I know that when I was 19 years old I bought into the extraordinary claims ..... to the point where I didn't see the obvious when I met him - i.e. that DFJ was extremely irresponsible and was exploiting people to satisfy his whims and fantasies.

By the time I met DFJ and saw things about him that would previously have caused me to reject him out of hand, I was already sufficiently indoctrinated to assume that anything he did was a form of teaching.

Miller then makes a most important point: It is possible to leave a guru yet, covertly continue to mythologize.

"Anyway, let me get to your final question. Once people leave the group, there is no guarantee they will stop the "esoteric practice" (ha ha) of DFJ mythologization. That is just one reason why some people you've met who leave the group still believe in all kinds of nonsense about DFJ. It can be difficult to see all of the ways in which habitual mythologization is operative and to understand the full range and scope of its influence. Waking up can take time. Many can't seem to develop much insight into their delusions and commitment to myth-making about DFJ, beyond identifying the crudest and most obviously "cultic" level of it. This is why some of the group's beliefs and assumptions are retained indefinitely by many people, even long after they leave.

"The funny thing, though', writes Miller is that this myth-making activity* I´ve described really is an "esoteric" practice in some sense. It truly is "hidden", as it is largely unconscious and almost entirely uninspected in the community, despite DFJ's frequent criticism of cultism. He superficially criticizes some aspects of cultism, yet at the same time creates an entire culture devoted to it. It is remarkable that he is able to focus everyone´s attention on what he writes and says, rather than what he does and how he lives. "

*Corboy note: what Miller calls 'mythmaking activity' may actually operate wholly or partially at an unconscious level. If one has incurred trauma and betrayal from a care/giver parent (the first guru in ones life) that trauma may deflect insight and lead someone to re-enact by getting involved, via subconcious undertow, with a series of gurus who behave and create groups similar in dynamics and secrecy, to one's family of origin. THe tension, the power imbalance, the secrecy will feel family, like gears clicking into place.

Though Miller does not say so, this may mean that a person may become disillusioned with Guru A, yet be unable to apply insight to the much more subtle, deeper process of idealizing-mythologization, and go off with a 'Guru-Shaped-Hole'---and then become involved with Guru B, blind to Guru B's problem's, yet retaining clear and indignant insight into the abuses perpetrated by Guru A.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2008 01:15AM by corboy.

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murder, Rochelle Laudenslager, facilitator, The Work, Byron Katie
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 01, 2008 03:01AM


Check out the post by serendipitous1, 2/23/07 4:56.

One of Katie's followers may have committed murder. There is not much out there about this. Some of you who are more adept than me with Internet searches may be able to find out more.

According to the reports, Rochelle Laudenslager was a facilitator for The Work, and "pleaded no contest to third-degree murder".


Rochelle Laudenslager, 45, pleaded no contest to third-degree murder this morning in the shooting death of her former lover, Elaine Pierson. Appearing in Perry County Court, Laudenslager also pleaded no contest to aggravated assault in the knifing of a state police trooper when she was arrested a year ago. Under terms of a plea agreement, she is to serve 20 to 40 years on the murder charge and 10 to 20 years on the assault charge, consecutively. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4.

(note: the relevant article excerpt below uses the last name Mitchell, which appears to refer to Byron Katie Mitchell, as stated earlier in the article. )

Murder suspect claimed self-help plan helped her

By Tatiana Zarnowski, Sentinel Reporter, April 5, 2007

Rochelle Laudenslager reported in an online post about a year ago that a self-help process called “The Work” helped her deal with personal issues.

The Work teaches people to examine their beliefs about how life should be and to realize they can embrace a reality that may never meet their expectations, according to its founder, Byron Kathleen Mitchell.

But The Work didn’t solve all of Laudenslager’s problems. She was scheduled for formal arraignment this morning in Perry County Court in connection with the December 2006 shooting death of her ex-lover, Elaine Pierson, of Rye Township.[...]

Laudenslager, of Lower Paxton Township, wrote on The Work’s online network in April 2006 that she had attended an intensive weekend session with Mitchell and later used Mitchell’s inquiry process to coach employees at Highmark in East Pennsboro Township, where Laudenslager was director of western regional professional services.

Laudenslager, 45, said in her online profile that The Work helped her deal with “family issues, health issues, relationship issues, success and failure, weight, diet or body image and work place issues.”

She expressed interest in “doing The Work with others as a volunteer facilitator” on the phone or in person — an offer that Mitchell says she doesn’t endorse for anyone on the Web network.

“The Work continues to reveal all answers/wisdom within — working with the true self, not against,” Laudenslager wrote. “As my mind continues to meet itself with understanding, open to seeing alternatives, I notice how a false belief gradually holds less power, unravels and falls away.”

[...] Matangos, however, confirms that the posting was made by Laudenslager.

[...] “It’s like years of psychology in a moment,” Mitchell says. But she makes no claims to be a psychologist.

[...] Laudenslager’s actions don’t jive with the lasting inner peace that Mitchell says her process brings to those who practice its “inquiry” every time a disturbing thought surfaces.

Mitchell says The Work can heal mental illness. Those who see the truth can never return to their former lives of anger or despair, she insists.

So what went wrong with Laudenslager?

“I would say she got off to a good start and it just wasn’t enough,” Mitchell says. “It takes work. I don’t call it ‘The Work’ for nothing.”

Treated for depression

In October, a few months after Laudenslager discovered The Work and wrote about how much it helped her, she was discharged from the Carson-Tahoe mental health facility in Nevada, where her sister said Laudenslager was being treated for depression and a sleep disorder, according to a police report filed by the Reno Police Department.

On Oct. 15, police say Laudenslager smacked her sister, Carol Koletar McMillan, in the head with a frying pan in Reno, Nev., while the woman slept in bed at 5:30 a.m.[...]Laudenslager contended she didn’t hit her sister but went to check on her after she heard McMillan scream. Laudenslager also said the two garage doors were open after the attack. Police say the doors were closed when they arrived 20 minutes later.

The misdemeanor domestic battery charge was dropped because Laudenslager was ruled incompetent with “numerous psychiatric issues” during the incident, authorities said in a court disposition.

Just 10 weeks later, police in Perry County say Laudenslager fatally shot her ex-lover after taking Elaine Pierson from Pierson’s home on Trout Lane. Pierson’s body was found in a wooded area off Lamb’s Gap Road Jan. 5.

State police say Pierson told a friend she feared Laudenslager after the attack on McMillan. Laudenslager called Pierson from the Nevada jail and asked for bail money, but Pierson refused, the friend told police.

Laudenslager told police before her arrest that she wanted to re-establish a romantic relationship with Pierson, but Pierson was involved with another woman, so that wasn’t possible.

Below are some relevant excerpts from the posts on the Crime Library site, about this murder report.
Serendipitous1 02-23-2007, 04:56 PM
Anyone familiar with "The Work of Byron Katie"...beyond what is on the website? When Laudenslager offered to be a "facilitator" last April, her profile included:

Q - Issues where The Work has been helpful in your life or in working with clients?
A - Family issues; Health issues; Relationship issues; Success and failure; Weight, diet or body image; Work place issues [emphasis added].

Q - Any other personal comments that you care to make about The Work and how it affects your life?
A - The Work continues to reveal all answers/wisdom within- working with the true self, not against. As my mind continues to meet itself with understanding, open to seeing alternatives, I notice how a false belief gradually holds less power, unravels and falls away.


Guess "The Work" did not work very well for her! Just my opinion....
By the way...where is "Byron Katie" (Byron Kathleen Reid) when you need her?
...Can anyone say S-T-U-P-I-D C-U-L-T? Just my opinion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2008 03:06AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: thomrutledge ()
Date: March 01, 2008 07:19AM

I am a psychotherapist and author who does not believe that happiness and fulfillment in life is as simple as so many successful speakers/authors out there would have us believe. There is something understandably very attractive about these approaches -- like those of Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle and Rhonda Byrne's gang of self-help hucksters. The Secret really got my attention a while back, because it seemed to go far beyond oversimplification, all the way to what I believe is actually dangerous for many people. If you have a little time, and are so inclined, I hope that some of you will consider my perspective on The Secret: Thanks. Thom Rutledge

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