Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Jay Cruise ()
Date: April 18, 2009 10:05AM

Corboy the article about Rosenman's study is amazing. You can see this behavior in Byron Katie stories even prior to the halfway house awakening. Her children were put in the mothering role and, while it becomes clear they were facing some serious issues themselves, Katie's mental problems took total precedence. Her daughter for example claims she found it necessary to carry a knife for potection and was still more fearful of her mother. Her son (I forget whether it was Ross or Bobby) had to leave home to escape her raged outbursts while the other son tended to her every need. Her years of chronic depression are posted all over the internet and anyone who comes in contact with "The Work" would first become acquainted with her alleged bed ridden "trauma".

So the real perpetrator became the victim and the victims became the perpetrators or the mother became the child and vice-versa. She infused her victimhood into her children identities and made it impossible for them to express their own. Katie has a long history of this guru/perpetrator behavior.

You'll notice in interviews Katie deliberately softens her voice to a near whisper, uses terms of endearment excessively, smiles profusely and contracts like a turtle to make herself seem as harmless as possible. What was that she said in the Tony Vera video? "I am a safe person to love." Then, as Janaki mentioned, when giving lectures she will straighten her back, boom her voice and become an incarnation of a male guru like Muktananda. She is not really feminine at all when she gets going. It's a perpetrator's act.

After reading how Janaki became involved wth Katie, which is reflected in other articles and videos, BK focuses heavily on having a "loving" relationship with her followers.

"Do you love me yet?"

It can seem quite flirty and romantic and most of her follower are female so it becomes a transcendental form of "pure love". She is even given the title of 'Mother' or 'sister' by her followers. This deep loving relationship with her followers then becomes her victimized children mothering her all over again. She becomes a bad mother to a whole new "family".

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: April 18, 2009 11:43AM

(Just as a side note:)

AC: It looks like the 'fuck yoga' guy is still in business on the Net. If I had $35.00 to spend on a t-shirt it would be a lot of fun to buy and wear that around. It would be one way to make a stand and I would rather enjoy the look of horror on my friend's faces - especially those still involved with my old group.


“Even those grievously victimized by Cohen still feel afraid to be disloyal and this has greatly muzzled the survivor's community and prevented it from becoming an effective agent for reform. Despite knowing how cruel and dangerous Cohen (one particular "guru" we've been following in CA) had been to them and that he was continuing to do this, most of the survivors pull their punches and feel afraid to be disloyal or hurtful”

In fact, re-reading this quote and thinking about it, wearing a ‘fuck yoga’ T-Shirt would really be a ‘cop-out’ on my part. It would be a covert way of expressing my feelings as a kind of joke, while not being openly disloyal to the group or the leader. I agree that even though I am no longer active in my own group, I still struggle with issues of guilt over whether I should remain in contact with my guru’s wife & family and a sense of being ‘disloyal’ even when I post on this site.

I don’t contact them because I am no longer willing to act humble around them or be treated like a family servant … yet I still feel emotionally linked to them. I imagine Janaki may have similar conflicting emotions regarding the blog she posted about Katie. Well, it’s a moot point I guess. I don’t have $35 to spend on a t-shirt due to the fact I’ve had to re-build my life from scratch after being in the family ‘yoga business’ for ten years!

I agree with Jay that the Rosenmann article is fascinating (thanks corboy). After everything I've read here I find Byron Katie unpleasant to watch. The low tones of her voice sound gratingly insincere and the higher/louder tones are too shrill and strident.It's like seeing the Wizard of Oz operating without the curtain - everything dishonest and self-serving is plainly revealed.

I can imagine though, how hypnotic a true believer might find her delivery. There is a lot to learn here just over the past couple of days alone.

Helpme: I got a good laugh from the Scary Mary Poppins trailer. :D

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: April 18, 2009 08:40PM

Helpme: I got a good laugh from the Scary Mary Poppins trailer. :D
Hi Solea, someone sent me that video last year and I remembered it as soon as Anticult talked about Mary Poppins in connection with Byron Katie. I thought, how perfect!

So nice to be able to laugh about this stuff now and then. :-)

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: quackdave ()
Date: April 18, 2009 09:21PM

I was just wondering if perhaps Byron Katie is, herself, a true, clinical sociopath. She sure fits the mold. If so, maybe we can look forward to her inevitable "fall", which seems to be the pattern. Reports on this and other threads seem to indicate that she is becoming increasingly uptight, emotional, hostile and drained. Hopefully, she won't take 900 souls with her when she drinks her death cocktail.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Sociopath?
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: April 18, 2009 09:33PM

Hey qd, it so happens I picked up the book "The Sociopath Next Door" from the library yesterday afternoon. It is chilling reading and I'm inclined to agree that Byron Katie fits the mold of sociopath.

I have my doubts that she will commit something along the lines of leading a mass suicide, as she seems too into the material gains of her "work". But you never know.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 18, 2009 10:24PM

This material decribes a different group from the one discussed here on this thread.

I hope the material that follows does not derail the present discussion but instead will supplement it.

My intention today is to offer first hand information about legal obstacles faced by adult VICTIMS of undue influence--via information from someone who, from her description, tranferred 2 million dollars to her abusive guru under harsh conditions.

Note: this particular guru has a pattern of demanding love letters or abject apology letters from disciples. This has been verified from multiple sources. Not wedding rings, but love letters.

Jane describes her fear of having her love letters,written to this guru, used against her in court.

Anyone in a group different different than the one Jane belonged to, can read this and see if it seems familiar to their own, different situation--or not.

My intention is to supply templates by offering other descriptions from first hand participants, of the context in which adults can be led, step by seemingly small step, to 'give up thier power'.

A love letter written when your guru is still being charming and attentive to you, will feel like a gift from your heart.

The relationship has not turned abusive, not yet. You are still being romanced by the guru.

Only later, after many many abusive episodes from that same guru, when the guru is battering you, rather than romancing you, and you finally leave, do those earlier love letters, written IN A DIFFERENT AND NOW OBSOLETE EMOTIONAL SOCIAL CONTEXT take on a new meaning---those letters, still in the guru's files, are now a threat and source of fear for you.

That friends is how adults can be led to give up their power. Its not their craving minds, either. It is not knowing what lies in store.

Therapists dont seduce. Bad gurus do seduce. THat is why the sober warnings from a therapist are so often at a disadvantage compared with the seduction of a bad guru.

A therapist is forbidden by ethics and law to seduce and must tell you the truth.

A bad guru is free to be seductive.



Item #2 and its accompaning comments--all of them--are fascinating. Its intriguing to see the frequent 'blame the victim' theme, combined with insightful contributions.

To me, Item #1 describes selective recruitment.

Jane writes:


When I met (Guru X)in 1993, I had been seeing a psychotherapist four times a week for eight years.

Guru X and many others in his community knew this.

It’s clear to me in retrospect that in making my $2 Million and other donations to X I was acting out some of the self-destructive issues that I had long been in therapy in to deal with.

When I told my therapist about meeting Guru X , she warned me I that was vulnerable to potential brainwashing.

In contrast, when I revealed to X the insecurity and anxiety I felt about the prospect of joining his community, he told me how intelligent and bright I was, and how fully capable I was of making a mature decision on my own.

Who was I going to listen to—someone who told me I was weak (my therapist), or someone who told me I was strong (Guru X)?

At the time, the choice seemed clear, however misguided, and I left my therapist and fell deeply into the vortex of Andrew’s community—the amazing people, the happiness, the feeling of belonging...."

(what follows is a precise and hair raising descripton of how Janes friends in the X community, under orders from the guru, followed directions and pressured her. Meanwhile others in the community were told to stay away from Jane, thus isolating her. If you read comments sections following both articles, one of the people who participated in the pressurizing confirmed, using her own name, what Jane had written was true, shed done her part on orders from the guru, to pressure Jane for the money.)

Jane who wrote the two articles replied in the comments section after #2 and shed light on legal problems involved if one realizes one has been harmed: THe usual legal statute of limitations is 5 years.

THe abuse this woman suffered, the one who surrendered 2 million dollars of her own money, took her 8 YEARS to recover from, so the statute of limitations had passed.


From Jane

Martin, your comments are accurate, certainly for me. I am doubtless that I was a profoundly needy individual who was seeking some "dad" figure to guide and direct me.

(Guru X's) seduction, in my case, was to call upon my desire for "true independence and true integrity." I knew I was a needy insecure person and I wanted relief from it and he seemed to promise real spiritual depth and INDEPENDENCE. Which was an utter lie, obviously.

For him it is ultimately about submission and dependence.

I did actually try to pursue the legal front, which is when I discovered the law regarding undue influence. At the time I think I was in a pretty confused, perhaps traumatized, state and couldn't bear fighting Andrew publicly. I feared he would use all he knew of my life to make me suffer more emotionally. I feared he would bring out all the endless love letters I wrote to him as proof that it was all voluntary. (he saves them) I feared facing all this. Again about two years ago I sought legal counsel and discovered there is a statute of limitations on this kind of case and a judge may have interpreted it as 5 years from "the gift", 5 years from the last "donation", or 5 years from the time I left. It would be difficult to know.

What would be hard to prove, which I believe to be true, is that it should be 5 years from the time you get out from under the spell and confusion of the situation, which for me has taken years!

When I did begin legal proceedings, even threatening a class action lawsuit, where my attorney would gather a group of people in the same situation and bring the case up to date, thereby, circumventing the statue of limitations. X lawyer challenged us and are waiting to hear from us. We'll see what develops. ...

On the prostration front, it is no joke. To be more accurate, at that time I had had 3 knee surgeries and couldn't do the full prostration so I did 1000 push ups each one ending with the full hands over the head, fingers touching his picture. I was one of the few who had to modify the real prostration, but it wasn't unusual if someone was hurt. Yes it is true. The men and women did them separately. At the time I think I was with a group of 10 or 12 women. (we each had our own personal photo). On one weekend a month, Andrew had push up competitions. The men had a world-wide competition. On Sunday night we would find out how many the "winner" had done in how-ever long a time it took. It was actually a time of fun and sport and joy and teamwork, everyone supporting each other. I was in the best physical shape of my life at that time. Emotionally, psychologically, a shell, an empty, individual. I can hardly do 100 push ups now. Besides when I do do them, a lot of memories come back, not always welcome when I am at the gym. By the time you are doing the kind of practice I was, you have proven to Andrew your total submission to him. Folks who are on the periphery don't know whats going on closer in. And by the time I was that far in, I was, as you say brainwashed or at a minimum, so sold on the ideals he set up that I would do what he asked. So yes we did do this. We did horrendous things to each other in the name of surrendering the ego.

We allowed X to break us down and we broke each other down, in the name of destroying ego. we broke each others spirits and hearts and in some who were already too vulnerable and fragile(corboy italics), we perhaps destroyed their spirits.

I AM compassionate of the students because I have seen that it has taken me nearly 8 years to feel comfortable in my own skin, enough to take responsibility for what I participated in, and to call a spade a spade..., ..... X defines the boundaries of what is acceptable and what it is not.

And the concern would be that the boundaries keep shifting until it gets really really dangerous to be close to him.

He always said the closer you'd get, you'd burn, but ideally that should mean you are less and less selfish, self-centered and unethical, not the opposite.

.....I don't look back with pride at the times I peppered my "friends" with examples of their weaknesses in our endless meetings. I am not proud to have participated in rituals that utterly humiliated individual women who were in need of whatever Andrew would call it. There were lots and lots of ways we used humiliation on each other to try to "destroy the ego." What else was destroyed along the way?? No I am not proud, I am responsible for my part. But it is complicated.

One person wrote:


One thing that deserves much closer scrutiny is whether discples remain with abusive leaders by mis-using healing methodologies to suppress their genuine suffering and to suppress their doubts.

These methods include and are not limited to prescription medication, stress reduction, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga.

Healers consulted by abused devotees may be unaware that the client is suffering chronic abuse. All too often devotees keep quiet and conceal the origin of thier stress--physical injuries.

A body worker or therapist may lack the alertness needed to tell clients, 'For you, the treatment of choice is NOT yoga, body work, or acupuncture. Its to pack your bags and leave, ASAP.'

Like alcohol or tranquilizers, alternative therapies can be mis-prescribed and applied in such a way as to enable suffering disciples to tolerate the chronic anxiety of living in a hurtful community, rather than feel their suffering with full awareness, claim their energy--and leave.

So it is worth asking whether one has used (or told to us use) yoga, bebirthing, acupucture, presecribed medication, etc to numb out and remain in a bad situation longer than they would have, without these palliatives.

Otherwise, one may never comprehend using these methods for numbing conscious awareness instead of supporting conscious awareness could have played an important and unexamined role in causing them to delay their departure.

It may well be that for every abusive leader, there may be a network of massage therapists, yoga teachers and other stress reduction specialists who are unknowingly colluding by assisting suffering devotees to tolerate a harmful situation instead of recognizing it for what it is--and leaving before worse harm is inflicted.

This is part of the social network that keeps a bad guru going.

It is far more than students 'giving their power away to the guru.'

Gurus are kept in power by collusive social networks that go far beyond the student teacher relationship.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2009 10:38PM by corboy.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 18, 2009 10:58PM

Rather than pity the perpetrator/shame the victim, I suggest this:

Justice for victims

Accountability for perpetrators

Insight as to power issues and social context.

Most perpetrators are wounded little kids in adult bodies. They have a wounded child's pathos and desperate sunny charm, but with adult autonomy, adult planning skills, and adult rhetorical skills and in some cases, access to adult media networks.

The most skilled perpetrators use pathos to distract their victims and distract the media the justice system from paying attention to the harm the perpetrator has done or continues to do, using his or her adult agency.

The most compassionate thing we can do for perpetrators is keep them from using thier adult verbal skills and adult bodies to inflict their childhood legacy of harm to the next generation.'

And the rest of us have the duty to prevent spirituality from being abused to rationalize that this matter is a trivial, illusory issue, one that can be vaporized by playing language games.

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Re: Byron Katie, Mary Poppins, P.L Travers, Gurdjieff The Work,
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: April 18, 2009 11:38PM

This Mary Poppins Byron Katie connection, is very interesting.
The most basic level works as a Regression of the BK School-mates, making adults feel like little children with Byron Katie as your new Nanny.
Mary Poppins is a "magical nanny" who TAKES CHARGE of a group of children, and she is "stern, vain, and cross".
Mary Poppins never admits her "magical powers", and is a type of mystical being blown in from another dimension, who abruptly leaves...'pops-out'.
So obviously, that is a play on the word Pop-In. Mary Pop-In.

Recall how Byron Katie had others imply that she is a 'walk-in' spirit from another dimension.
(there appear to be some in the new age who literally believe this type of silliness.)

So the Mary Poppins fictional character, is quite similar to the Byron Katie fictional character.
I bet those original Mary Poppins books have more mystical mystery cult stuff from Gurdjieff in them. Pamela Travers was deeply involved with the Gurdjieff group/cult for most of her life. [] Even to this day, they feature her on the front page of the Gurdjieff website.

So the fact that Gurdjieff's method was also called The Work, can't be a coincidence.
Also, Gurdjieff/Ouspensky thought the Moon influences all life on earth. (Losing The Moon reference) []

There are all kinds of links between Byron Katie's people, and the Gurdjieff/Ouspensky mystery cult stuff, which was big in the 1970's. Maybe a group of them were involved in aspects of G/O The Work, behind the scenes, as a type of mystery teaching? Maybe its Michael Katz who seems to have a finger in every pie?
Byron Katie clearly copied the Gurdjieff method of confusion-creation and charlatanism, in exchange for very large cash "gifts".
But of course, that is the world's 2nd oldest profession.

"All His Followers Turn Over Their Worldly Goods to "The Master" to Be Used For Further Propagation Of Strange Faith" []
(all kinds of other people picked up on it too of course)

Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies []
Try to identify a group named 'The Work' Alex Horn []

Sharon Gans-Horn, and Francis Horn - Founders of "The Work"
a "Fourth Way School" []

The Anticult
check this out.
(apparently the Mary Poppins books are much less fluffy than the movie)

Michael Katz, Byron Katie's partner...said BK was like Mary Poppins. []
Mary Poppins was created by writer P. L. Travers.
P. L. Travers (Pamela Travers) was deeply influenced by Gurdjieff. []
Gurdjieff method was called The Work.
"He is most notable for introducing what some refer to as "The Work".

QUOTE from article by P.L. Travers: []
"The Work, as his method came to be called, had, as it very soon appeared, been only too accurately named..."
By 1924 The Work was sufficiently well established for Gurdjieff to set out on the first of his trips to the United States...
Those who knew the Teacher could gather only by rumour and hearsay that there were other Gurdjieff’s—the healer of psychic illnesses, the one who could cure alcoholism, Gurdjieff the business man, and the Gurdjieff known as “Monsieur Bonbon,” an old eccentric gentleman whose sole mission in life, it appeared, was to dispense candy to local cronies and children..."

George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877–1949)
by P. L. Travers
from Man, Myth and Magic: Encyclopedia of the Supernatural 12 vol., (London: Purnell, 1970-1971)
This essay was published by Traditional Studies Press, Toronto: 1973, as a ten page pamphlet

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Re: Byron Katie, Mary Poppins, P.L Travers, Gurdjieff The Work,
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: April 19, 2009 01:25AM

There are quite a few links with Jack Kornfield and Gurdjieff, and Kornfield does talk about Gurdjieff.

and that connects with Michael Katz, who is/was Jack Kornfield's agent, and close associate with Byron Katie.

All of these types of guru's, all have backroom "teachings" which they share only with eachother in private, which are very different than the stuff for the public. This relates to group influence and how it works, and also more "esoteric" ideas that they believe the public "is not ready for".

Its not that the "content" is in anyway similar, its the metaprocess that is similar.

Old-school flim-flam artists like Gurdjieff, knew how to get it done.
They knew that inducing confusion in people is very powerful, it destabilizes their belief system and identity.
When you are inducing confusion, the "philosophical content" is not relevant in the least, its totally irrelevant.

After the fog of confusion, the confused person is led back into the light, by the person of extreme confidence.
Gurdjieff was a man who exuded confidence and charisma. Deliberate piercing eyes, and a big moustache helps with this process. Byron Katie also has one of these attributes.
(its easy to make your eyes look piercing, just over-open them very very slightly, try it in the mirror)

Often, this is all it takes.
Induce a fog of confusion into people, and then lead them out of confusion with your supreme confidence.
This is the origin of the term...Confidence Man, then Confidence-Artist...Con-Artist.

Notice how Byron Katie always appears supremely CONFIDENT in her pronouncements of her certainties...telling you to not believe your create confusion, and destabilize your beliefs.
Meanwhile, Byron Katie acts more confident in her own thoughts than the Pope.

woo...another Stephen Mitchell said, they create these childish paradoxes on purpose.
Its not that hard to do, just blow smoke and confuse the shit out of people with a bunch of tricky words, then act confident like you have the answers to dispel their exchange for a large financial "gift".

Just stare at them deeply in their eyes, get your moustache waxed daily, and act like you know the secrets of the universe.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2009 01:33AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie, Mary Poppins, P.L Travers, Gurdjieff The Work,
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: April 19, 2009 02:51AM

by the way, just to clarify.
Obviously someone like Gurdjieff, mixes in complex info gleaned from many sources, with disinformation meant to confuse people, with personal charisma, outright deception, etc.

The reality is these guys just weave a complex labyrinth that lure people in, and never ends. Again, Gurdjieff appears to have been extremely intelligent in that sense.
But Gurdjieff also appears to these eyes to be highly comical, with his mental parlor tricks to liberate large amounts of cash from wealthy widows. He was very old school in that way, along the lines of Mesmer. Its really at the level of a Mel Brooks parody.

But in the overview, there are a lot of similarities in style with Byron Katie.
They both know how to get groups of people to work for them for free, for example.
They both know how to get wealthy folks to hand their money over too.
Byron Katie uses a similar viral system, to move the work, person to person.

Also, Gurdjieff appears to have used the Moon as a central metaphor in his symbol system.
And this thing with the Moon, Losing The Moon, is interesting...Byron Katie choses her words/images very carefully.

There are some "advanced" followers of Gurdjieff, who to this day, still consider him the supreme mystic, and do their "secret studies" in small private groups. They see themselves as a little secret society.
If could very well be that BK, and some of her inner circle, were involved with these Gurdjieff methods, as well as all the other ones mentioned. the BK system is a grab-bag of techniques from many areas.
The overall structure of what she is doing is very similar, except that the "schtick" has changed with the times.

Byron Katie was very clever to not reveal her sources, as this makes her appear like an Originator to her people. BK has set up a very clever system, but at this point, the entire thing has been explained and debunked.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2009 02:56AM by The Anticult.

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