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Byron Katie (the Work) Complaints, California Board of Psychology, FTC
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 04, 2008 04:15PM

(link)
[forum.culteducation.com]

___________________________________________________
Here is some general information about the simple process of making a complaint.

Complaints can be made confidentially, and there is information on the sites about privacy protections.

Complaints can protect future consumers from also being victims of unlicensed abusive group psychotherapy, due to warnings received.
Consumer Activism can force abusive organizations to be less harmful, and protect other consumers from sustaining damage that can last for years.
Please post and link to this information in relevant locations.

Do complaints matter?
There was a recent case of "The Gentle Wind Project" that after a series of complaints to the Attorney General from former members, and after an extended process, they were shut-down, and restitution and reimbursement were given to victims. [www.windofchanges.org]


_________________________________________________
This is where complaints can be laid against LCSWs, others, and "those individuals who may be practicing illegally without a license."
California, Board of Behavioral Sciences Online Consumer Complaint Form
[app.dca.ca.gov]
______________________________________________________
If any citizen has any concerns or questions about psychological claims being made, they can make a confidential complaint to the California Board of Psychology. [www.psychboard.ca.gov]
From Website:
Quote

Complaints received by the Board of Psychology (Board) are considered confidential, and not subject to disclosure
The California Board of Psychology protects the safety and welfare of consumers of psychological services.
Who May File a Complaint?
Anyone who thinks that a psychologist, psychological assistant or registered psychologist has acted illegally, irresponsibly, or unprofessionally may file a complaint with the Board of Psychology.
-sexual contact with a patient
-violating the patient's confidentiality
-providing services for which the individual has not been trained or licensed
-drug abuse
-fraud or other crimes
-false advertising
-paying or accepting payment for patient referral
-unprofessional, unethical, or negligent acts
-focusing therapy on the licensee's/registrant's own problems, rather than the patient's
-serving in multiple roles, i.e., having social relationships with patients, lending them money, employing them, etc.

Note: Everyone has the right to file a complaint without fear of harassment. If you feel you are being harassed by the licensee/registrant you've complained about, you should notify the Board immediately.
Complaints that are not within the Board's jurisdiction will be referred to the appropriate agency, and the complainant will be notified.

_________________________________________________
California Attorney General's Office Consumer Complaints
[ag.ca.gov]

_________________________________________________

Use this form to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization.
[rn.ftc.gov]
_______________________________________________

IRS Complaint Process For Tax Exempt Organizations
[www.irs.gov]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2008 04:22PM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: March 04, 2008 10:43PM

Someone brought this to my attention, and I feel like it needs to be posted in this thread. This is a comment that an anonymous person on Guruphiliac's blog under the heading "Byron Katie Is Either Going To Enlighten You Or Kill You Trying" from February 23, 2008. Thanks a million to whoever posted it (and I have no idea who.)
________


There are many of questionable gurus making a "business" out of spirituality/self-help/psycho/loving what is. They get by and keep going because of the faithful people who want to be involved. One of the most protected gurus is Byron Katie. Few people will raise a single doubt about her because she is so very convincing. She is a savvy and clever business woman who is selling her work for a lot more money than she lets on. And of course there are many many people who are willing to volunteer their time to her and many people willing to pay what she asks, so it just keeps going. She too has a face lift all the while teaching to love one's body. There's more going on in the house of Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell that what most people who know them are willing to admit. - (The rest I am adding to what I had already posted)-

I have been around some people who are very close to Katie and Stephen and been to a few private events. What bothered me the most as I got an inside view of the BKI organization is that followers of Katie seem to think she is in a state of spritual grace and therefore she wouldn't be involved in aggressive business practices or manipulation or control or hypocracy. As I observed her behind the scences of her public persona, I observed a very aware, very manipulative, very controlling, and very appressive business woman who knows exactly what she is doing, what she wants, and where she is going.

She did appear to be sincere about the work and about helping others. Yet I was left with the awareness that whatever Byron Katie may have had to share with the world from a place of sincerity and vulnerable self reflection has now become an organization that is interested in pusshing an agenda and has gone way beyond the ability to honestly critique what it is doing and has become.

I haven't read any comments regarding the volumne of people who have set up businesses to deliver the work to others. Many of the charge $50 to $100 dollars and hour to do the work. Katie just recent'y began a ceritfication process so that those who go through the process can be officially certified through Kaite. It is expensive and time consuming.

It does seem her intent was born from a desire for quality control of all the facilitators who are doing the work with others, especially those charging money. However, she is making a lot of money off the certification requirement. The thing is, she continually repeats that it is only 4 questions and a turnaround. I wonder why so much money is involved in this simple process.

Some of it is demand, many people are wanting someone to do the work with them. So in a way Katie is simply supplying the demand that is out there. Yet, she also is creating it. Thus, I think the BKI organization has simply grown too big, too fasy and has lost its original potential as an intimate process for self-reflection, awareness, and genuine growth, even the possibilty for truth and freedom.

I don't think Katie or her organization is evil. To me that is a very strong word and it loses it potency if it is tossed around frivilously. I also don't think her organization truly qualifies as a dangerous cult.

However, I also think some of what happens at the worshops is potentially dangerous and there are not people qualified to deal with the situations that come up. I have witnessed a few of them. I do think Katie purposely manipulates very brilliantly the image of her finances and the money involved in BKI. There are a lot of wealthy and influential who Katie cultivates and benefits from. Again, this isn't anything that isn't done by many people in many different busineses, it just that there are so many people who are involved in the work who are far far from wealthy or influential and who are spending money they can't afford, using credit cards, and volunteering a lot of time to BKI and who haven't a clue that Katie is as savy a business person as she is. What I have seen is that most of the people so desperatley want to have a better life that they look to Katie and the work as saviours and completely lose the ability to discrimante what is happening. They do not want to see how they are being used and using others.

If Katie could just stop and see what the work has become, that very very few people are actually doing the work in the way she imagines, or getting the results they claime to be, she might put a stop to monster that BKI has become. Katie loves to say the work is working because that what people tell her. What I witnessed was a lot of people really wanting the work to work and so they pretended it was and in that pretending there were many emotional and mystical experiences happening. The thing is, is that they don't last and so there you are on the phone again, or meeting someone to do the work, it becomes an obsession. I met people who have been involved in BKI for years and years who are anything but free. They simply continue to get stimulated by the growing organization and the crusade to move the work.

I think meditative inquiry has great potential. It's been around for a long long time, way before Katie's experience. But the way it is being used by many people introduced to it through the work and the BKI organization is not meditative inquiry. What I've seen happening to people is a lot of confusion, obsession, manipulation, and control. Many of the people I met who have been doing the work for a few years are speaking BKI jargon and appearing to be sefless, or, clever and onto themselves. It ends up in emtional and mental stagnation and control and a lack of spontenaity and freedom. Exactly what it isn't suppose to do. And then of course the inability to be honest that it isn't working.

I met a woman who had been involved with BKI for many years. During a conversation we were having she bagan to cry and told me she was anything but happy in her life but she "thought" she couldn't be honest with anyone because everyone was to into speaking the jargon and pretending to be loving what is that she felt completely alienated.

Again, I think there is something genuine about mediative inquiry, the work, but the whole BKI organization is rapidly becoming anything but genuine, though I do think they believe they are.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 04, 2008 10:57PM

Quote
Jon Willis
Hi Helpme2times,

I've been using The Work for almost a couple of years - pretty intensively at times, which has tended to be my way with most things in life :-)

In response to your questions:

Is it at all possible that there might be something "off" about it? Even one thing? Can you consider that deeply and answer honestly?

Sure - I've seen a lot of different models for looking at stuff and for me The Work is one of the cleanest I've seen. By my nature I don't tend to believe something without proof (question everything). One thing I would say is that if my motive is slanted, for example I come to it wanting to prove or disprove something, as opposed to just examine it objectively, that throws it out.

And I do like to distinguish between The Work, which for me is the 4 questions (and some sub-questions) plus the turnarounds - a very clean formula for inquiring - and what anyone else says about their experience, including what Byron Katie talks about.

So, I'm assuming from your posting that you found something that was 'off' about it - what's the 'not good' stuff that you've experienced as a result of using The Work?

With love,

Jon
Jon, you don't know me yet are signing off your post to me "with love". Howzabout some boundaries, fella?!

(FYI, I used to be quite the lovey-dovey New Ager. I'm off that train now. Woo hoo!)

Back to you, Jon... It seems that you are unable (unwilling?) to find even one thing about the work of Byron Katie that might be "off" or in some way unhealthy. Okay. If I were still feeling sold on the work, as I had been for some months, I wouldn't want to enter into such territory either.

As for your request that I share something about what I find to be "not good" about BK's approach... it so happens that I'm in the process of figuring out how to express such a thing. For one thing I feel downright embarrassed that I got so taken in by it. I need to address that embarrassment before I express anything here or elsewhere re my experiences with Byron Katie's work.

Perhaps in the meantime you'd be willing to read the many posts in this and at least one other thread re BK, here at Rick's forum?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: March 04, 2008 11:17PM

Quote
Jon Willis
Hi JJ,

Well, I'm certainly open to hearing what people have to say - if there is one thing The Work has taught me is that if I'm resistant to someone or something, there's something for me to look at in there, so I'll at least try to do that if stuff comes up for me.

By the way, my ex-wife attended one of the schools a couple of years ago, also a weekend-intensive prior to that and certainly seemed to get a lot out of them, although as far as I know she doesn't do The Work anymore - yoga seems to be more her thing nowadays.

With thanks,

Jon

Hey Jon,

I overlooked these messages yesterday, but found them today. I want to be sure that I understand you correctly... does this mean that you do feel resistance to this forum? I think that it is admirable that you are willing to look at this and examine what comes up for you. It may not be easy. I'm making the effort to leave The Work behind me, and at times I still find it difficult to let myself see this stuff... when I do see it, it's even more challenging to accept it.

But, that's what I'm doing and I'm feeling so much better than I did while being involved with The Work. I'm learning to trust myself again, and feel my feelings without having to question them away. I feel human again... and I never fully appreciated that until I almost lost it through The Work.

Things can get pretty rough in here at times... at least for me. I loved "Katie"... and the image of her that I bought into. It's painful to see her for who she really is, to know that I was used, and let it go. I have lots of grief... that I won't even touch with Inquiry. I've learned that the only way to happiness is to brave the unhappiness first. I'm going to let myself grieve this one to the end.

Like your wife, I got a lot out of The School and seminars, too. I actually learned some very useful things. However, I think I could have learned them in a safer environment and without all of the mind control tactics that were used during The School. There are better ways of learning. Your wife was very fortunate not to have suffered the after-effects of it. Some don't. But a lot do.

Anyway... I'm interested to hear what you think and what you learn from all of this.

-jj



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2008 11:32PM by jj52.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 04, 2008 11:26PM

Great find, JJ.

I want to zoom in on one paragraph from that commenter at the Guruphiliac blog and highlight in bold one particular statement regarding Byron Katie:

Quote

I have been around some people who are very close to Katie and Stephen and been to a few private events. What bothered me the most as I got an inside view of the BKI organization is that followers of Katie seem to think she is in a state of spritual grace and therefore she wouldn't be involved in aggressive business practices or manipulation or control or hypocracy. As I observed her behind the scences of her public persona, I observed a very aware, very manipulative, very controlling, and very appressive business woman who knows exactly what she is doing, what she wants, and where she is going.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: March 04, 2008 11:41PM

helpme2times,

I had help finding it!

I noticed that same sentence, and it really struck me. I've seen that side of Byron Katie as well, but had blocked it out of my awareness with The Work. (I can't tell you how many Judge-Your-Neighbor worksheets I did on Byron Katie before I finally realized that what I was seeing was NOT a projection of myself.)

I remember that she gave a free public event (that was to be recorded) near the end of "The School." We had been with her all morning... she was short, impatient, edgy. But when she came out on stage for the public event... the cameras and lights were on and the applause was rolling, her demeanor shifted drastically. She became that sweet, gentle, loving "Katie" that you see in the pictures. I distinctly recall feeling put off by that, and then squashing my awareness of it with "The Work". There was "Katie" and then there was "stage Katie." And, boy, did she ever know how to put on a show!

I imagine that the real "Katie" is even more different in private.

-jj



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2008 11:45PM by jj52.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Loaded Language
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: March 04, 2008 11:58PM

Quote
jj52

I met a woman who had been involved with BKI for many years. During a conversation we were having she bagan to cry and told me she was anything but happy in her life but she "thought" she couldn't be honest with anyone because everyone was to into speaking the jargon and pretending to be loving what is that she felt completely alienated.

I really like this part of the comment. I can relate with what that woman was feeling. I stayed locked into the "family" for a long time after I had grown dissatisfied with it, simply because there was no one I could genuinely talk to about my concerns, and I didn't feel free to openly acknowledge what I was experiencing. I felt pressured to keep pretending with everyone. When I did try to speak up, I was challenged to question my thoughts some more.

This happened to me even during The School. By the end of the nine days... I was starving for some genuine conversation with a genuine person. I couldn't find it there. People were almost speaking a different language, I call it Katie-speak, although people seem to make up different dialects of it as they go along. Lots of "jargon", which is part of "loading the language."

Loaded language is item number 6 on Robert J. Lifton's Eight Point Model of Thought Reform (mind control.)

LOADED LANGUAGE. A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members "think" within the very abstract and narrow parameters of the group's doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a "black and white" mentality. Loaded terms and clich├ęs prejudice thinking.

[www.culteducation.com]

It's refreshing and validating to know that I'm not the only person who experienced this.

-jj

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Jon Willis ()
Date: March 05, 2008 12:09AM

Hi helpme2times,

Thanks - your post made me smile - I apologize if I stepped over acceptable boundaries with 'with love'!

You know, I'm really open to looking at this stuff - as I said, for me it's one of the things that I like about The Work - I see it as a very clean form of meditative inquiry - I'm certainly not unwilling to find stuff about it - at least I don't think I am, all I can do is check that out inside myself. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't open to checking that out.

The irony is that I can see that I would not have engaged in this kind of constructive conversation prior to using The Work in my own life - I was such an angry person that if someone didn't agree with me I got defensive and went on the attack (and I still do when I'm in that mode, but it doesn't feel good when I do it).

What I would say is that for me using The Work has been a humbling process and that has felt pretty rough at times - the 'stories' I found as I went deeper with it shocked me - just how biased, opinionated, sexist and a lot of other things that I used to be. How badly I treated other people in particular.

So it's certainly not been plain sailing with it, however I am happy to have gone through it - I have closer and better relationships with my family - closer than I would ever have imagined and I am also looking at jobs that I would never have considered before, but now feel much more 'right' for me.

And I'm still in the process of all that, so who knows, in the final analysis I might not see it this way. Live and learn.

I have skimmed over the posts and the other thread - obviously a lot to take in and I don't necessarily understand everything that's been said, but hopefully getting a reasonable feel for it.

And I do think that if people feel that they've had a bad experience with The Work or any of the events that they should do what feels right for them about it - get in touch with BKI or whoever they booked it through, do as The Anticult has suggested and contact whatever the relevant authorities are about it, or whatever else feels right for them. People / organizations with nothing to hide have nothing to fear and vice-versa.

As for what you said about feeling embarrassed, if it's any help, while I don't feel that way about The Work, there's certainly been plenty of other stuff in my life that I've had cause to feel embarrassed / ashamed about at times. Don't feel like you have to share anything (I'm sure you don't) - I was simply asking so that I could check it out myself.

So I'm going with 'with love' again because I'm grateful for what you're bringing to me... what can I say, I like playing with fire :-)

With love and thanks,

Jon

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: March 05, 2008 12:19AM

Quote
jj52

I think meditative inquiry has great potential. It's been around for a long long time, way before Katie's experience. But the way it is being used by many people introduced to it through the work and the BKI organization is not meditative inquiry. What I've seen happening to people is a lot of confusion, obsession, manipulation, and control. Many of the people I met who have been doing the work for a few years are speaking BKI jargon and appearing to be sefless, or, clever and onto themselves. It ends up in emtional and mental stagnation and control and a lack of spontenaity and freedom. Exactly what it isn't suppose to do. And then of course the inability to be honest that it isn't working.

Whoever wrote this has a beautiful way of putting these things into words. That is EXACTLY what I experienced and what I saw happening with many, many other people. Emotional and mental stagnation... that is exactly right. I think I've said this before, but here it is again... prolonged use of The Work appears to bring about the exact opposite of the desired results... only those people are so dissociated (living in the cult personality) by then they don't even seem to realize that they aren't happy. They insist they are happy and keep up the pretense. (And it is obviously a pretense.)

Many of my fellow "Schoolmates" became more manipulative and more controlling as time went on (I grew more passive and more easily manipulated). They (and myself) grew more and more confused. I can see how I was even obsessed with it for awhile after The School, especially during the 30 day aftercare program. Still, I saw many others who were much more obsessed than I was. The more obsessed they were, the more confused they were, too.

Since when did confusion, obsession, manipulation, and control become the definition of "the end of suffering"?

The commentor said he/she saw people:

"speaking BKI jargon and appearing to be sefless, or, clever and onto themselves."


Ummm... like ralpher? Skolnick? Or like Bryon Katie herself? It was almost like this glib, superficial, manipulative personality replaced the real people I met at The School on the first day. I saw more people come out this way than those who didn't come out this way.

The "inability to be honest", as this person has said... that is the most confusing part of it. Instead of finding truth and loving reality through "The Work"... most of the people I knew turned in the most obvious liars and worked very hard to maintain their denial of reality.

I can't find any webpages with information about the "cult personality" that people develop as a result of mind control (thought reform). Does anyone have anything online related to this?

Thanks.

-jj



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2008 12:22AM by jj52.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Complaints, California Board of Psychology,
Posted by: jj52 ()
Date: March 05, 2008 12:25AM

Quote
The Anticult
(link)
[forum.culteducation.com]

___________________________________________________
Here is some general information about the simple process of making a complaint.

Complaints can be made confidentially, and there is information on the sites about privacy protections.

Complaints can protect future consumers from also being victims of unlicensed abusive group psychotherapy, due to warnings received.
Consumer Activism can force abusive organizations to be less harmful, and protect other consumers from sustaining damage that can last for years.
Please post and link to this information in relevant locations.

Do complaints matter?
There was a recent case of "The Gentle Wind Project" that after a series of complaints to the Attorney General from former members, and after an extended process, they were shut-down, and restitution and reimbursement were given to victims. [www.windofchanges.org]


_________________________________________________
This is where complaints can be laid against LCSWs, others, and "those individuals who may be practicing illegally without a license."
California, Board of Behavioral Sciences Online Consumer Complaint Form
[app.dca.ca.gov]
______________________________________________________
If any citizen has any concerns or questions about psychological claims being made, they can make a confidential complaint to the California Board of Psychology. [www.psychboard.ca.gov]
From Website:
Quote

Complaints received by the Board of Psychology (Board) are considered confidential, and not subject to disclosure
The California Board of Psychology protects the safety and welfare of consumers of psychological services.
Who May File a Complaint?
Anyone who thinks that a psychologist, psychological assistant or registered psychologist has acted illegally, irresponsibly, or unprofessionally may file a complaint with the Board of Psychology.
-sexual contact with a patient
-violating the patient's confidentiality
-providing services for which the individual has not been trained or licensed
-drug abuse
-fraud or other crimes
-false advertising
-paying or accepting payment for patient referral
-unprofessional, unethical, or negligent acts
-focusing therapy on the licensee's/registrant's own problems, rather than the patient's
-serving in multiple roles, i.e., having social relationships with patients, lending them money, employing them, etc.

Note: Everyone has the right to file a complaint without fear of harassment. If you feel you are being harassed by the licensee/registrant you've complained about, you should notify the Board immediately.
Complaints that are not within the Board's jurisdiction will be referred to the appropriate agency, and the complainant will be notified.

_________________________________________________
California Attorney General's Office Consumer Complaints
[ag.ca.gov]

_________________________________________________

Use this form to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization.
[rn.ftc.gov]
_______________________________________________

IRS Complaint Process For Tax Exempt Organizations
[www.irs.gov]



Mulling this one over, Anticult. Thanks for the information!

-jj

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