Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: scrambledeggs ()
Date: June 10, 2009 07:46AM

To expand on a concept The Anticult presented months ago, like a worm on a fishing line, the "Work" is bait. Its true purpose is not love, kindness, or personal growth. It exists to lure people into turning their minds and their money over to Katie and Stephen Mitchell. Like any bait, it doesn't always work, and most fish get away.

That most fish escape does not change the fact that the "Work" is set as bait. Discussion of its benefits is a dangerous waste of time. It's like a fish contemplating which seasonings to sprinkle onto a worm that wriggles on a fishhook. That fish is contemplating the wrong issue. A wise fish races away from the bait.

Sometimes, though, a fish is reeled in. Note that a fish, like a person, must be deceived into profiting another at the expense of its own life.

In the preceding analogy, forum readers, BestLife was the fish. S/he sounds as if s/he's been hooked. S/he takes Katie's deranged gibberish seriously and appears to believe that the "Work" provides genuine spiritual nourishment. Her/his viewpoint is both offensive and pathetic.

Time for me to speak up.

Much like BestLife - and other Byron Katie's flunkies who comb the web doing damage control - I was a fish that got reeled in. Years of my life were spent proselytizing The Work and volunteering at her events.

I ignored every red flag ("the nastiness" referred to by sylvias) because I totally believed BK was the real deal. I never questioned her methods or motives. Thanks in large part to the information on this forum and on blogs like Janaki's, I woke up to "the reality of it" and finally gained the strength to leave that loony world and everyone in it behind.

Even after getting away, for a time I still believed that The Work had value. Only recently have I come to see that I am virtually the same person I was before: a childhood sexual abuse survivor who defers to authority, struggles with setting healthy boundaries, dissociates, and doesn't always know who she is or what she wants. Classic symptoms.

Those still in the "family" would tell me "your Work's not done." To them I say: bollocks!

According to Suzanne Sgroi in Stages of Recovery for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: "Survivors of child sexual abuse use coping mechanisms to deal with the horror of the abuse. One such mechanism, protective denial, entails repressing some or all of the abuse....Victims also use dissociative coping mechanisms, such as becoming numb, to distance themselves from the psychological and physiological responses to the abuse."

The Work and the "Katieisms," only served to aid and abet these coping devices, delaying the true healing taking place now.

I was a secret lurker here for months before I woke up. Obviously, I had doubts. Surely there are others like me reading this now.

If you are one of them, are you open? I "invite you" to take your life back.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

--Leonard Cohen

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Christa ()
Date: June 10, 2009 02:28PM

Thank you for this enlightening, heart-warming post. I am very glad you're here.

The resources this board offers are phenomenal. This thread alone is the equivalent of a graduate seminar in NLP, mind control, and cultic manipulation.

I also wish to invite lurkers who are breaking away from cults and lgats to post here. It can be very healing just to tell your story to people who understand.

And I want to thank sylvias for her post, which I hope will not be her only one.

Everyone, she is absolutely right in what she says about free speech, and the EFF offers wonderful, abundant info about this most basic of human rights.

You have a right to your voice, your perspective, your opinions, and your story. No one can take that away from you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2009 02:35PM by Christa.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Meadow ()
Date: June 10, 2009 04:33PM

Thank you Scrambled eggs, for your honest post. It would be great if more people would speak up and tell their stories here. Many people thought Katie was "the real deal", because she did donation programs for at least 7 to 8 years. People figured that if she is giving it away for free, she must be the real thing. It is how they used to compare her to others who were charging money. This has proven to be a succesful strategy, wether it was intentional or not, because now people gladly seem to hand over vast amounts for BK programs. It reminds me of an old Tom Lehrer song:

When the shades of night are falling
comes a fellow everyone knows
it's the old dope pedler
spreading joy wherever he goes

Every evening you can find him
around the neighborhood
it's the old dope pedler
doing well by doing good

He gives the kids free samples
because he knows full well
that today's young innocent faces
will be tomorrow's clientele

Here's a cure for all your troubles
here's an end to all distress
it's the old dope pedler
with his powdered (Working) happiness

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Meadow ()
Date: June 10, 2009 05:21PM

One of the forums on the Institute for The Work is called "Byron Katie's topic of the month". This particular forum is just one of the ways they use at BKI to portray Katie as an enlightened being or a saint. Here she posts questions for her followers to answer. The Question of the month for April was:

I have always known you, do you know me? Please answer this question.

I can't help but wonder if they are all that blind. Can't people see that there is something wrong here, just by asking such a question? Can't they see that it reeks of self-glorification, arrogance and narcissism? That this question is driven by an attitude of superiority? Can't they see there is something wrong with anyone who dares to ask such a question, let alone post it for the general public to respond to?

Clearly people don't, by reading some of their answers. Here is one:

I have your picture tacked over my desk. It is so hilarious to me - whenever I look at your picture I feel like you are talking to me. I hear you loving me, correcting me, concerned about me, doubting me, encouraging me. I realize the advice I hear is my own advice as much as looking at your picture is a reflection of where my mind is. Do I know you? Yes, when my mind is still enough to realize you are me and we merge.

Responses like these reveal how fishes take to the bait. How people cater to a so-called authority and then cease to think for themselves. How personal opinions go down the drain and how some people are desparate for approval of the 'master'.

This is far more dangerous than people realize. If there is ever a note of criticism towards Katie or the work on one of there forums, all the Katie-lovers rush to defend and to attack the person in question with the work, like what happened with Janaki when the open forum was still in tact. And we have all seen that if the criticism comes too close to the truth, they simply delete an entire forum under the pretext of "in order to serve you better...." . Scrambled eggs said it short and sweet: 'bollocks to them!'. And to think that BK has the nerve to propagate self-inquiry and self-reflection. She doesn't even begin to grasp the meaning of the words.

I am deeply grateful for websites such as this one and for the internet in general, where people can safely and anonymously speak up.

And Sylvias is right, even if only one person has been helped by these words, a wonderful thing has been done. And I sincerely hope there will be a lot more than just one.

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Byron Katie (the Work) 4 Questions and a Guilt-trip, addiction
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 11, 2009 04:07AM


thx for your perspectives. It can be very helfpul for people still caught up in the Byron Katie mania, to see others who got out, from the inside.

How similar is Byron Katie's "performance" at each LGAT seminar she runs? Many of these LGAT's start to sound like broken records for the "volunteers" who have seen the same seminar a few dozens times.

Did doing the same Byron Katie LGAT seminars over and over, help to begin to see the specific methods being used on people?

But one should NOT blame themselves too much. Why?
Because yes, Byron Katie is utterly ignorant when it comes to any kind of healthy psychology.
But Byron Katie is also extremely intelligent, and as shown in this thread, is using many of the worlds most advanced LGAT group persuasion techniques on people.
She has also deliberately chosen an audience who has no training in that area, so they are easier fish to fry.

If Byron Katie went to an NLP or hypnotherapy based "Persuasion" conference, with other advanced persuaders and people who also conduct LGAT seminars, she would be laughed off the stage as some kind of parody. (until they saw she was serious).
It has nothing to do with intelligence or anything else. Its simply training and knowledge. Most regular folks have not spent time leaning all of these advanced persuasion techniques, as they have better things to do. But once people spend some time learning how they work, it all becomes very obvious what Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell are doing to people.

The nastiness behind the scenes, is very apparent.
The Byron Katie group uses the Love-Bombs constantly..."I Love That ____" and lots of lovey-dovey language with strangers.
But its fake. Its bogus. Its a linguistic technique to manufacture false intimacy.
That's why Byron Katie uses it.

And what is really interesting, is they use the EXACT same technique, to do passive-aggressive attacks and insults as well.
For example, Stephen Mitchell does it, seems he learned it from the wife.
Stephen Mitchell gets his "kicks" []

Byron Katie does the exact same thing. When she is trying to smack someone down, she uses the same type of passive-aggressive language, that delivers the "kick" but also makes it seem she is holier than thou. And of course, closes it off with "love".

When it comes to Trauma, there are basically 3 things a person can do, that are very damaging.
1) denial 2) self-blame 3) extreme flooding of the trauma without trained support
Well, the BK system does all of those, that is what it is based on. In the LGAT seminars, people are encouraged to "flood" the trauma, and that is extremely dangerous if not done properly, and then resolved, and done one-on-one with a trained, licensed expert.

Why is she promoting the most damaging techniques? Ignorance? wanting to break people down so they become more dependant on her personally? raw power?

It certainly isn't to "heal". Its all there in their contracts where THEY say Byron Katie knows absolutely nothing about anything. Her own contracts say she is a complete untrained psychological ignoramous. []

What does Byron Katie know about dealing with trauma and PTSD? nothing at all.
She says she was a codeine pill-popper for years. [] That is also a quick way to Dissociate from pain.
So is drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Just because a person SAYS they put down the bottle and stopped pill-popping, doesn't mean they are any better. (it also doesn't mean they have actually stopped pill-popping either, to control weight and emotional pain).
But if a person did stop pill-popping, and then just Dissociates 25x a day to kill the pain, they are no better off. They are still an addict.

Current psychology says the opposite, that to be healthier people need to learn how to "tolerate dysphoria", that is, to tolerate emotional pain. (there is a lot of info in these areas).

And the Byron Katie 4 Questions and a Turnaround Guilt-trip, are only a small part of what Byron Katie does. Maybe at most 10%. The other 90% of what she does are all these other LGAT persuasion techniques.

4 Questions and a Turnaround, is a clever "gimmick". []

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Byron Katie "I have always known you, do you know me?" hypnotherapy
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 11, 2009 04:58AM

One of the forums on the Institute for The Work is called "Byron Katie's topic of the month". This particular forum is just one of the ways they use at BKI to portray Katie as an enlightened being or a saint. Here she posts questions for her followers to answer. The Question of the month for April was:

I have always known you, do you know me? Please answer this question.

This is a fascinating example, which reveals Byron Katie's skill, technique, and concision.
First off, she knows that posing Questions is the way to go, as it "invites" people and draws them in. This is the more modern, permissive persuasion method. Its much more effective.

Also, there are are several embedded presuppositions in that sentence.


I have always known you, do you know me? Please answer this question.
"I have always known you".

That is the same language pattern and Tech Byron Katie was using in her old banned books.
Its the Guru-Transference Technique. (she did that on Janaki, as described)
Its also a similar language as the New Testament, and other more "Gnostic" religious texts.
Its also based in the past-tense, to give it a supernatural flavor. (I am that I am) sorta thing.
What is IMPLIED is that Byron Katie is some type of supernatural being, who ALWAYS knew you, one assumes going back into eternity, past incarnations as a cockroach, etc. It literally implies that she is "God", without saying it. Its a common ploy.

Technically, religious stuff aside, she is also severely abusing hypnotherapy language. What she is doing is substituting the BYRON KATIE identity on top of what is supposed to be your own "Unconscious". To any person, your "unconscious" can feel like "another person" or your "higher self". That is a common experience. Proper hypnotherapists are supposed to help you to tune into yourself, and your own unconscious, in a helpful way.
But here, Byron Katie is DELIBERATELY inserting herself INSIDE of your mind, so people begin to think their own unconscious IS Byron Katie. For people who study this type of thing, one cannot express how diabolical and frankly evil that is. Its off the charts.
She does this all the time, trying to FUSE her identity with yours. This is even further. She is trying to get people to think that their own unconscious mind IS Byron Katie. You can't go really any further down the rabbit-hole than that. That is frankly as bad as it can get.

The second phrase of...

I have always known you, do you know me? Please answer this question.
"do you know me?"

Now, she brings it from the past-tense to the present-tense. This is also standard hypnotherapy for making a Suggestion more effective.
She uses the leading question.
She also uses the question to get people to come to their OWN conclusion that Byron Katie is some mystical divine being. She knows its 1000x more powerful for people to seem like they "discovered" it themselves. This is called in hypnotherapy being Artfully Vague, and that induces a deeper trance state. Its a leading question, and people have been primed to come to the "discovery" that Byron Katie is the "center of the New Age". If asked about it, she will give some vague Zen koan, meant to do the same thing.

The third part of the sentence...

I have always known you, do you know me? Please answer this question.
"Please answer this question".

This is where she gets more into the direct command...erase the word please, and the embedded command is ANSWER THIS QUESTION.
So its moved from a supernatural statement in the past-tense, to a leading permissive question, to a direct command with the "please" softener.

So its very standard stuff really.
They sit there for hours in their house coming up with many of these multi-layered phrases and questions to inject into the minds of their people.
And it does work on people who are not trained in these areas.
But thankfully, once a person has some training, it completely backfires, as you see this person is trying to screw with your mind, using common techniques.

Then one can use other techniques to get them out of your mind.
For example, one is going to have to dig Byron Katie out of one's unconscious, using some strong techniques.
But as far as the unconscious, one might use a fun image from "mythology" to do it. One could meditate and let your own unconscious come up with an image the represents your own unconscious mind. Maybe something comes up like a tiger, or a wizard, a waterfall, or whatever. (in proper hypnotherapy, one should NOT lead a person, and let them come up with their own images).
Then once you have your own natural image for your unconscious, just let that image give the Byron Katie image in the mind a smackdown! Just throw her out like yesterday's trash.
One can have some fun and play out a little "psychodrama" in their own mind. One's own healthy unconscious defences will come up with a way to kick her out of one's unconscious forever.

One can also use verbal Disputing too.
- No, you have NOT always known me, you were a pill-popping drunk for years, and now you are a LGAT seminar salesperson. You are just trying to screw with my mind by injecting yourself into it.
- no, I do not know you, as you are a stranger, a mass persuader, and an entertainer. But I know your behavior and methods are atrocious, and want no part of them.

IDEAS on how to KICK-OUT byron katie from your Mind-Soul-Life forever

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2009 05:06AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 11, 2009 11:31PM

For Readers' Information:

I checked this morning, (june 11 2009 8:31AM PST)

Guruphiliac's forum and found this:


We have completed the scheduled maintenance. During the next few ours you may experience degraded performance as the caches are primed, but everything should be back up to speed shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Some fine voices have borne witness there, so drop by and pay a visit.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: sylvias ()
Date: June 13, 2009 02:01AM

I think that the following post, appearing on page 1 of this thread, is very important and beautifully expressed:



I am sorry you've fallen for whatever kernels of truth Byron Katie uses to suck people toward her black hole of madness, and now you feel you need to defend her. I feel I need to defend truth. I'm posting here, below, what I posted on another section of this board.

With all due respect, none of your points matter, nor are they logical. I'm not talking about other phonies, frauds, con-men, fake gurus and soul-snake-oil salesman, who certainly exist and perhaps your examples are accurate. Right now, I'm talking about Byron Katie. I don't care how old she is, I have no undue sympathy for her packaged lunacy because she's middle aged.

You say: That's amazing that a person who is insane is a best selling author and seminar speaker. I wonder how she does it if she is so insane?

I admit to being nearly paralyzed right now with the implications of the answer. Let us all stop a moment and ask ourselves these very questions. How is this possible?

Of course I never said that everyone who buys her books are insane. However, after you've read the books, and seen the videos of her "work" with people, if you still swallow her reality whole, then yes, I do doubt your own connection to reality.

Of course there are many kernels of truth in Katie's pronouncements, if not it would be nothing but raving madness. But there is also RAVING MADNESS built right into "The Work" itself. And people continue to flock to her.

I think the purpose of this board, to expose cults and cult mindsets, speaks to the answer quite well. There is simply a shocking appetite in the culture for the kind of solace offered by people who are willing to lie about the nature of reality and proclaim themselves enlightened leaders in some respect. People want to believe the lies to end their suffering. They will believe almost anything it seems. They will believe Byron Katie's insane reversals of reality. They will believe Scientology's space-dramas and Thetans and Xenu. They will drink the Kool Aid.

As for judging you -- yes, I will judge. I will judge with my rational mind, with my God-given faculties for discernment, with my hard-earned intelligence.

Golfer, please, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of human evolution -- seek truth. Honor truth above all else, regardless of whether it brings pain. Value truth.


After reading about Byron Katie on this board, I was interested to see her in action. Here is a link showing a session with an Israeli woman who tells Katie that she's afraid of war.

I've never seen anything so insane in my life, outside of a mental institution. I've watched other videos and read parts of her writing, and now I am just stunned, once again, at what people will pay money to believe.

Katie's reasoning is more deranged than anything put forth by Landmark Education, though there are basic parallels. She incorporates Landmark's extreme (to the point of completely irrationality) existential you-create-everything and blame-the-victim philosophy, but then she essentially attempts to turn reality completely on its head with her reversal questions. For example, "My father abused me" becomes "I abused my father." This doesn't even begin to make rational sense, it's like insisting you can wear your hat on your feet and walk just as easily, if not better.

My friends and I have been watching these videos with our jaws on the floor.

In this one, Katie is dealing with an Israeli woman essentially suffering from PTSD, who needs some basic therapy and human support and understanding. She's afraid of war. Of course she's afraid of war. This is perfectly normal and sane, given where she lives. In fact, it's healthy and important. Her fears of war could lead her to take every kind of appropriate action.

But according to the New Age Self-Help snake-oil soul "savers," no one need or should ever be afraid, ever be upset, ever be angry or feel guilt or shame or anything "negative." By promoting this patently ridiculous concept, they create the illusion that people actually could walk around in a state of bliss all the time -- and this they call a state of "grace" -- by simply disconnecting from their egos, their rational selves, and their critical minds.

If they just did back-room lobotomies it would be so much easier -- but they'd sell less books.

Landmark and other LGATs of course trade in this counterfeit psycho-babble, at the expense of people's lost minds and souls, but Byron Katie seems to take it to a new level perhaps because she was, for many years, actually barking mad.

So we have a barking mad woman now telling people to just "reverse" their thinking until they can convince themselves maybe nothing is what they believed, maybe everything is ass-backward, maybe everything is just FINE if they only stop thinking rationally . . . and people are calling her a guru and "the real deal."

She actually tells this poor woman that she shouldn't worry about war, because the FLOWERS ON THE TABLE are not worrying about war.

That's right. The flowers. They're not worried. They have no brain. Be like the flowers.

What a sick, sorry situation we're finding ourselves in today, people. We are devolving. We need to be rational in order to survive. It's our critical minds and rational thinking and respect for pain, fear and danger that allowed us to rise up out of the primordial swamps, harness fire, build cities, create laws, art and our greatest ideas. These New Age lunatics will have us drooling like the mental patients they once were, incapable of correct action because we no longer trust our most important faculties.

What the fuck is going on in this world???

There are consumer protections for objects, for baby car seats and tires and medications -- but what about this faulty New Age psychology, these damaging mind viruses delivered in respectable hard-cover packages and CD sets? We don't feel they can be regulated because people are "free" to believe what they want, but at the least they should come with some kind of warning!

WARNING: The enclosed material may be hazardous to your mental and psychological health!

WARNING: The enclosed material may have been fabricated by a former mental patient or sociopath and has not been tested for accuracy or validity!

WARNING: The enclosed material may be at the very least a waste of your money, and at the worst may confuse you to the point of psychosis!

WARNING: You may fall into deep depression after viewing the enclosed material, realizing you have just financially contributed to the growing New Age Empire of Mass Derangement and you've been taken for a complete fool

Byron Katie was once locked up and she should be again, IMHO.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 14, 2009 11:00AM

Well I've just discovered an important post about Byron Katie/The Work which was published on RR's message board back in 2005. It's from someone called "question4truth". Here it is:

I decided to join this messege board to get help and feedback for myself related to Byron Katie's and The Work. If there is anyone who has had experience with her, or with any people she trained through "The School", I would really appreciate your sharing your experiences if you can.

I finished reading Margaret Singer's book, Cults in Our Midst, which really helped me to believe in my experience enough to share What I wrote which has turned out to be a small epic. if you don't want to read all of it. I put "part 2" section about her tapes, further on, or even the last set of questions I have, would be very appreciated.

I've been really frustrated, because I haven't found anything on the sites I've looked at on The Work with Byron Katie,relating to people's experience with it, except her own site. Sometimes, I question whether or not I have over reacted to my experience and impressions, which after 2 years, are still with me (in part because my friend is still involved and I worry about him)

I am also hoping to share my experience, in the hopes that anyone who has been negatively affected, or tends to think the work is perhaps a form of mind control, or at the least coercive, will realize they are not alone This has been my experience, though a limited one.

About myself, I had been involved in a cult experience many years back in Florida, called The Living Process for 3 months and it had a big impact on me, and it took several years after the fact, to admit that it had been a cult. I was very sensitized to this and I think this prevented me from getting fully involved in The Work.

A while back I had read Byron Katie's book, "Loving What is" and it seemed to be interesting and somewhat appropriate to where I was at the time, : questioning negative beliefs one has about oneself, one's future etc. In her book she talks about 4 questions "that can change your life" and whenever you are having a judgemental thought to ask yourself these questions:

1. Is is true?
2. Can I absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do I feel when I think that thought or Is there a peaceful reason to keep that thought? and
4. Who would I be without that thought?

At the time I read the book, I was not thinking of her as a "charismatic leader" of something that seemed cultish, but an author of a book.( it was co-authored by her husband whose name has slipped my mind. I think he may have been responsible for authoring alot of it, in terms of its structure but I dont know)These 4 questions she outlined in the book, seemed to be important questions, ones which could aid me in changing self-limiting beliefs.

I was in alot of pain at the time, over incest memories I was facing-which I had been trying to deal with for a long time, (they were not coerced by a therapist, thank God). I experienced some very painful things in childhood and had done alot of work on myself for many years, while remaining free from drugs and alcohol, but new layers of pain were coming up related to the memories,as I continued to stay clean and sober (10 years) At the time I did not have a therapist, (I coudn't afford one-thankfully now I can) and was in a very vulnerable place. The book seemed to really help my friend and He said that other people had trained in working with these questions, and maybe this person could help me with some of the pain that I was in.

I traveled to see a woman who had trained with Byron Katie and who my friend had recommended. I figured that this woman was a therapist but I never bothered to really investigate or find out details about her. (My understanding now from the web site, is that the satellite groups are formed throughout the US and now the world, of people who have trained at Byron Katie's 9 day intensive at The School with Byron Katie,which they go to twice. This is the only training or credential needed)

When I got to her office, and she asked me why I was seeing her, I eventually began to talk about the pain that I felt about the sexual assaults I was reexperiencing in childhood. I stated something like I felt that the abuse was awful and impacting my life alot to the point that I was having trouble functioning which is why I was there and that I needed help.

I'm not sure if I said that the abuse shouldn't have happend to me or if it was she who said, "You think it shouldn't have happened dont you?", but eventually she started to ask me the first question which is, "Is is true that the abuse shouldn't have happend to you?" (see above again for the questions). She then went on to say the Byron Katie herself had been sexually abused and that BK realized she had abused herself with the memories by replaying what happend over and over again, that she was now the abuser. I felt like the blood just left my body when she started to say this. In that moment I realized that the 4 questions were not only used to challenge negative beliefs about oneself beliefs which I do understand could be valuable, (such as "I'm a horrible, bad person" etc),but about many things, including violence towards oneself from another person.

I knew in that instant that something was very off but also was questioning my reaction. I knew enought about PTSD, that part of the problem, is that memories come up like flashes over and over. When I was getting flashbacks, I was not conciously reliving them to abuse myself to be "a victim". I knew this but One thing that makes me vulnerable to others opinions is that I question my gut feelings, especially if someone is challenging me or in a seeming position of authority. I immediately regressed into this early child hood state of "I am wrong. "

I cannot remember the specifics of what ensued at the end of the session, but I remember that she began to ask me these 4 questions in a manner, that felt very pressuring and I felt patronized. The feeling I had was that if I did not answer these questions or accept that "I cannot absolutely know it's true", about my perceptions than I was resistant to doing" the work" of inquiry and that at that moment and that I was trying to stay a victim. I feel much more clear in my boundaries that my goal is to not remain "a victim", but to strive in compassion for myself but at the time I felt disoriented and I also felt ashamed guilty, like if I was more enlightened I wouldn't be upset, I would just accept what she said is true. There was also the thought what if I do want to remain a victim?What if I dont' really want to look at myself?What if I'm just being resistant because I dont want to grow? What if what if what if..

There was also a part of "the work" I hadn't known about until the 'session',which entails switching the judgement- so that if you say "I'm angry at _____ for sexaully assaulting me" you say "I'm angry at myself for sexaully assaulting myself". (I understand about projection,that it is possible to accuse others of what oneself is doing-Freud talks about projection extensively-but used in certain contexts such as that one, felt so violating and disorienting). Even if it is not mind control, which I think it is, to put this method on all sexual abuse survivors is in itself intensively disrespectful, in my opinion. ( I can imagine Byron Katie would say "is that true that it's intensely disrespectful?Can you absolutely know that it's true?"

The session ended and she told me that there was a group that met once a week, where people do "inquiry", and that I could come and that it was free. Feeling already uncomfortable I told her I lived too far away to travel there and I never went. Immediately after the session, I stayed with my gut feeling, and experience years ago with abusive groups (another story) to trust some aspect of my instinct. But she gave me some tapes of Byron Katie doing the work at her school. These were not the ones that are sold on the web to my knowledge, but ones she had taped herself and I began listening to them in the car and for about a week.


Still battling with myself about this (because I felt I "should always be open to new spiritual ideas" a belief I've since tempered with discretion), I listened to the tapes, which were of Byron Katie doing "the work" in a one-on-one therapy style session, in front of what sounded like a large audience. The audience seemed to laugh and cry with the person who was up on the stage with her.

I listened to these tapes for about a week, struggling with whether or not I was crazy that what I was hearing seemed very strange. The problem for me, was that there were those ideas that seemed to have truth, interspersed with what seemed very much like mind coercion and group pressure to conform.

While listening to the tapes, I kept thinking about the book. She looked normal on the cover of her book. It was a normal cover of a normal book, published by a normal publishing company. What's wrong with that? But Byron Katie's speaking style, different than the book, was filled with paradoxical, mind binding statements which were incredibly difficult to follow or make sense , (and I consider myself very open to "out there" stuff). Some of these statments, I wrote down because they were so bizarre to me (I wished I saved them but I didn't and gave back the tapes later) During a one-on-one session with a person,she would slip in what seemed almost like advertisements related to her spiritual enlightenment, in such a way as to make you go "huh?, I must not be getting something". she would talk in this intensely loving and soothing tone of voice and I would feel guilty to question . I could feel myself going into a trance state just listening to her, and I wasn't even in the same room. This was just a tape!

In one of the tapes I listend to ,one woman who came up on stage to do "the work", had had a husband who had died 3 weeks earlier. She had written her judgment to read to BK which was that her husband shouldn't have died. Byron Katie then began to question "is this true that your husband shouldn't have died?" and it went on from there.
This woman was naturally in grief. She was crying. This woman was just sad, the way anyone would naturally be and it was treated as something that needed to be "righted." I recognized in this woman, my own tendency to make my own natural impulses and painful feelings somehow open to scrutiny, as if, if one is not always in the quest for "self -improvement" or if one is in pain, there should always be a spiritual answer to fix it.

At one point something about her husbands casket was questioned by Byron Katie, and the audience laughed in a manner that suggested "poor dear, she isn't enlightened yet". I felt really horrified and really sad .

It seems from the Work, that all the issues and difficulties of the person, are first to be funnelled into the form of a judgement which is then disputed. You are to "judge your neighbor", and then you are to ask if it is true? And if you think it's true, can you absolutely know for sure that it is true? Listening to these tapes felt like hearing a document of a spiritual crime that had taken place. Maybe it wasn't the Moonies and it wasn't Jonestown, but it felt very spiritually coercive .

I was compelled to keep listening, trying to analyze how this manipulation is taking place, in part because i knew my friend was really into this, and I didn't know what to do. I thought somehow if I could figure out how she was manipulating people, I could convince him to leave it.

Another woman brought her judgement about violence in media and that there shouldn't be such violence. Byron Katie, questioned "is it true there shouldn't be violence on the media. Violence is there, that is Reality and then.."when we argue with Reality we lose, but only absolutely", which is one of her "katie-ism" But whose reality? Evenutally Byron Katie proclaimed, "It's all God" relating to violence on media and in the world. She was saying that it is all God because it is all Reality. Whose Reality? This to me is really dangerous. If one has deluded oneself that "Its all God", then this belief can eventually be used to justify actions and beliefs that are anything but God, in the name of God.

To my knowlege, None of this was in her book, by the way, which showed me that the book can be different than the group process.

What I think is dangerous, is not questioning one's reality, belief systems etc, but its doing so but for whom, and for what purpose? To be accepted by a group? To be "love bombed"? To be given the stamp of spiritual approval by a guru?

I am so glad I didn't get involved further, but it affected me very deeply, because I didn't know what to do to reach my friend. I told him that I was uncomfortable with the Work and pulled away from him when I found that he was doing the Work with mutual friends, because I didn't know how to express to him my concerns. Then our paths crossed again and he said that he went down for the 9 days courses

I think alot of survivors of trauma and abuse are perhaps looking for a way out of the pain and I feel upset to think that my friend and others could be abused and completely numb to a false form of resolution that is being constructed and which I think is addictive.

This issues are so important to me, and that's why I joined this messege board, and wanted to share this experience.

Believe it or not, there is more that I could write, but I'll stop for now.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 18, 2009 11:24PM

Some behind the scenes nastiness has been alluded to and I want to allude to it a little more.

A number of us have discussed it privately.

Certain people seem to fancy themselves as having a great reputation and also seem to have become paranoid that their reputation may have become tarnished.

Is it true?

(All of a sudden I am appreciating that question. How about that.)

Following is a really interesting perspective on defamation -- which it's important to note involves FALSE information.

What if the information is true?


Why Commencing A Defamation Action Is Not Aways A Good Idea

While people who are targeted by lies may well be angry enough to file a lawsuit, there are some very good reasons why actions for defamation may not be a good idea.

The publicity that results from a defamation lawsuit can create a greater audience for the false statements than they previously enjoyed. For example, if a newspaper or news show picks up the story of the lawsuit, false accusations that were previously known to only a small number of people may suddenly become known to the entire community, nation, or even to the world. As the media is much more apt to cover a lawsuit than to cover its ultimate resolution, the net effect may be that large numbers of people hear the false allegations, but never learn how the litigation was resolved.

Another big issue is that defamation cases tend to be difficult to win, and damage awards tend to be small. As a result, it is unusual for attorneys to be willing to take defamation cases on a contingent fee basis, and the fees expended in litigating even a successful defamation action can exceed the total recovery.

Another significant concern is that, even where the statements made by the defendant are entirely false, it may not be possible for a plaintiff to prove all of the elements of defamation. Most people will respond to news that a plaintiff lost a defamation lawsuit by concluding that the allegations were true.

In other words, the plaintiff in a defamation action may be required to expend a considerable amount of money to bring the action, may experience significant negative publicity which repeats the false accusations, and if unsuccessful in the litigation may cement into the public consciousness the belief that the defamatory accusations were true. While many plaintiffs will be able to successfully prosecute defamation actions, the possible downside should be considered when deciding whether or not such litigation should be attempted.
[[url=]Expert Law - Defamation[/url]]

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