Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Altar Music by Christin Lore Weber
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 04, 2009 03:21AM

Don't want to spoil the novel for anyone who is going to read it...
Altar Music by Christin Lore Weber. []
But its basically about convent life.
And of course a novel can be about many things.

But one thing that is relevant here, there is a huge cross-over with the Byron Katie situation.
For example, the main problem with the convent, is that people are sworn to SECRECY and OBEDIENCE. That has nothing to do with "God", its just about humans controlling other humans in an organization.
POWER. Every cultish group does the same thing.
And when things start going bad, when people start getting abused, no one tells anyone.
If the first time the abuse started, the person spoke up, maybe that would stop it?

And the abuse cannot just be reported internally, as they will cover it up, like every organization.
And if a person is afraid for themselves, they can report the abuse anonymously, they could write it up, and then post it everywhere, and take it to the papers...

So the abuse in the nunnery is similar to the abuses of priests. Its an abuse of POWER, and the SECRECY of the organization covers it up, so it goes on for years, and many people get hurt.
Some people even die from suicide related to the abuses.

So how is this connected to LGAT seminar groups, like the Byron Katie system, and many others?
Its about the abuse of power, and secrecy, and cover-ups, and the abuse can be financial, as well as emotional.

In that sense, its virtually identical, right down to people being FORBIDDEN TO SPEAK at meals, and following all sorts of arcane rules, to train them to be obedient.

But most important is the secrecy and the forced obedience. For example, BK people are not allowed to say anything critical at all about The Byron Katie Work, or they will get kicked out. That is enforced obedience.
And its reported that everyone involved at medium-higher levels are all signed up to gag-contracts, so they can't speak out. They have enforced silence and obedience.

In that sense its exactly like a nunnery (convent). You have a Mother Superior in charge, and there is enforced obedience, and secrecy is the rule, and abuses are covered-up internally to try to maintain their "image".

As far as Christin Lore Weber, who knows what she really thinks? She is a smart person, it would be interesting to see what she has to say. But if there was a copyright dispute, or other problems, isn't it her duty to tell people what happened? After all, she wrote that ridiculous book A Cry In The Desert [] which tries to set Byron Katie up as some kind of 2nd Coming.
But if it all turned sour, over money or something else, doesn't the concerned public have a right to know?
Why is everything always so hushed up and secret? There doesn't appear to be ONE WORD from her about what happened with Byron Katie, which completely contradicts how she ended that book.

Its exactly like a nunnery when there is abuse, and they just hush it up, and try to pretend it never happened.
Even in the novel, Altar Music, it didn't appear the police were called in to deal with the abuser.
What if the abuser nun were just moved to another nunnery to do it all over again?
So old "habits" die hard.

That is why all the censorship and top-down control has to be directly challenged. If people have been taken advantage of, or used, or abused, its essential to speak-up, and break the vow of silence and the vow of obedience.
Those who are silent about abuses and exploitations that happened to them, or that they saw happen, are just allowing it to continue to happen to others.

Christin Lore Weber seems like a reasonable person. But to write an outrageous book like A Cry In The Desert, which tries to make a very damaged but extremely manipulative woman into some type of 2nd Coming...and then to go completely silent about it afterwards?
That is beyond nonsensical.
What happened?

Don't people also have a right to have a dose of REALITY, after all the extreme over-idealization and "projection" trying to turn some damaged manipulator into the new Womanchrist?
In the novel Altar Music, the highly controlling, damaged manipulative, abuser nun, is highly relevant to this story.
Just imagine that same person running a "spiritual" LGAT seminar in street clothes.
And instead of taking young nuns into the woods, they have "spiritual" workshops.

There is a part of the book A Cry In The Desert, where there is information about some type of nude or partially-nude close embracing female "workshops" that would happen in water? If someone has time, perhaps they could find that info and post it?
That is quite similar to some of the material described happening between the nuns at the convent, although some was "spiritual" and some was sexual abuse?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Meadow ()
Date: August 04, 2009 04:12AM

Anticult, is this what you are referring to?


After Katie’s conversation with the people in the other car, we proceeded to the hot springs, showered and entered the women’s pool naked. No one else was in the pool. Some old women were sitting in the sun outside and up above the pool. My three-year-old self took over and in a small child’s voice I spontaneously asked Mama Katie if she loved me. She immediately responded by coming right to me. She looked me directly in my eyes and told me the truth: that she loved me. I asked her if she would ever go away, and she told me clearly she would never go away and would love me always. My sobbing self was then embraced by Mama Katie, my breasts touching her naked breasts in the hot pool of water – rivers of tears cleansing my heart, my body, my soul – our bodies touching so every cell in my body knew the moment of love entering, the full embrace of love. All the years of loneliness, abandonment, and fear were being washed away in the women’s pool, in the healing waters, in the embrace of One who knows herself and can love unconditionally the wounded self.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Altar Music by Christin Lore Weber
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 04, 2009 05:47AM

Yes, that was it, thanks.

That passage is almost identical, emotionally, to passages in the book Altar Music, about certain nuns who "communed" with eachother touching eachothers chests/hearts, except they were not nude in a pool in the book!
But there were other areas of the book, about the sexual abuse from the older nun to the younger nuns, but they didn't go into much detail?

People need to be very very careful.
What is happening above in the "pool" is another deep instant conversion and Transference.
What MAY have happened is this.
Byron Katie likely questioned Christin in detail, about her various sensual "spiritual experiences" in the convent, perhaps with another "Motherly" nun as described in the book Altar Music?
She then goes and recreates the essence of that experience, but in the pool.

Its more Transference.
Its the same technical process as when Byron Katie ELICITED how Janaki felt about her former Guru with many questions and listening to her speak about him, and then Transfered that to herself, as explained in this thread.
Same process with Carol Skolnick, and probably many others.

Its very standard stuff.
1) They elicit exactly how the former Guru/God is represented in the mind of the follower, with great specificity.
2) Then they Transfer that to themselves, using the various techniques described in this thread and elsewhere.

Anyone who reads the book Altar Music, will see how similar this type of "communion" is to what is described in the book, in its essence. And its also quite similar to other female to female sensual "experiences" described by various other characters in the book.

When your Guru is getting you literally naked in a pool, and encouraging an infantile level of emotional Transference and sensual attachment to her personally as Mama Katie, its time to get the hell out of the pool. Never get into the pool.
Its literally childsplay for an experienced advanced persuader to take people with these deep mystical leanings, and transfer it to themselves. They can do it in a few hours of contact.
They can do it physically with hugs and nude Love-Bombing, or they can do it with a touch to the cheek, at the right moment, with the proper build-up.
Believe it or not, all of this stuff has been figured out, how to install the Guru, and how to transfer the guru emotions to their own personality, and how to keep it fresh.
Its the same process as the wedding ring transference.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2009 05:59AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 04, 2009 10:55AM

I was once a very involved Roman Catholic.

I have had conversations with current and former members of Benedictine, Franciscan orders and also the Jesuits.

The three official vows, are poverty, chastity and obedience to religious superiors.

But there is no comparable 'vow of secrecy' if one is a nun.

The closest would be the vow taken by a priest to never divulge what someone confides during confession (aka Sacrament of Reconciliation).

This only applies to priests.

There is no equivalent of a canon law sanctioned vow of secrecy/ 'confessional seal' that to religious sisters or nuns, not even heads of religious orders. For in Roman Catholicism, women cannot be ordained to the priesthood and thus cannot hear confessions.

If someone happens along who is an expert on canon law, please correct me if this is in error.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Altar Music by Christin Lore Weber
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 04, 2009 12:37PM

well, there is no vow of secrecy, but the Altar Music book is about the veil of secrets and lies and denial, they all are living behind.
And obedience to authority, means you cannot speak critically about your superiors.
(frankly, "Obedience" is just a very old-school way to control large groups of people, and get them to follow orders, its a purely human construct, and a very bad one).

And the point taken from her book, is that the rules are not being followed anyway. The main character leaves the convent at the end.

There is a confession in the book, where one nun wants to tell what has been going on with the sexual abuse, but the priest in the confessional tells her if she "promised" not to tell, then she shouldn't. That is obviously "criminal" as that is just setting up the next person to get abused by the predator. Hopefully, that was the point she was trying to make?
So who knows what Christin wanted to say with all of this?
But that kind of secrecy is poison. The sweeping of abuses under the rug.

The point relevant to this thread, is in every LGAT seminar system, there is a huge veil of secrecy everyone hides behind.
And the Byron Katie people literally cannot say anything in the open about any problems, they are signed to gag-orders, and will get kicked out if they do.
In that sense, the Byron Katie School LGAT seminar is very much like the convent in the book, as in, you can't talk during dinner, no sex, no outside materials, excessive rules about everything, etc.
Except the "confessions" are recorded on video, and then played on YouTube and/or sold for profit.

There is a massive veil of silence surrounding most of these LGAT seminar and sects, very much like the walls around a convent. Those on the inside know what is really going on, but they are not allowed to say anything.

Thankfully, with the internet, they can now report what is happening, and post it in threads like this.

And when former insiders speak-out, people should listen very carefully to what they are saying.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2009 12:43PM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 04, 2009 09:18PM

And by offering one of the few spaces in which one can bear witness, the message board resembles a witness protection program.

Note: I am not saying's message board is an official witness protection program.

But it does have some of the functions.

Must say, protection is needed. As in protection from shaming, and vigilent oversight from a modertor to prevent this site from losing its identity as a witness sanctuary by the space being flooded with noise from shamers and distractors.

As TAC noted, and Janakis 43 page blog are about the only two places where BK and the Work can be discussed, without BK's minions controlling the discussion.

BK has plenty of venues elsewhere on the internet filled with convent choirs singing her praises.

Books published.

But these two teensy little independent venues that BK cannot control--to her groups they can't stand it.

Result: Constant visits from disruptors.

Its like trying to run a single independently funded radio station that plays classical music. All the other stations in the area play the same corporate rock music,.

Instead of being left alone to continue offering and the independent classical music station, is harassed by call in's nagging the station to play corporate rock.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 04, 2009 10:29PM

What the Culture Had to Offer--The Feminist 1980s

When looking at an entirely different question, elsewhere on this thread, I found
references to a book from the 1980s, same period as the WomanChrist movement.

This was a book that started as a sleeper and became well received and by word of mouth-The Hero Within by Carol S Pearson.

She identifies six archetypes as being especially potent because they are shared and Pearson features of the surrounding culture re-inforce them:

Ive emphasized these archetypes in boldface. Pearson wrote


"The journey described here is more circular or spiral than linear.
'It begins with the complete trust of the Innocent, moves on to the
longing for safety of the Orphan, the self-sacrifice of the Martyr, the
exploring of the Wanderer, the competition and triumph of the War-
, and then the authenticity and wholeness of the Magician."



By observing what we do and how we interpret what we
do, we can identify the archetypes that inform our lives. Sometimes
we even can recognize the archetypes dominant in someone's life by
their body language. A person trudging along in a stoop as if every
step were a chore is possessed by the Martyr archetype, while another
person, whose life is controlled by the archetype of the Warrior,
walks purposefully, chin jutting out aggressively, body leaning for-
ward as if striving to meet a goal.

Archetypes are numerous. How is it then that I write a book about
only six of them? Although there may be quite a large number of
archetypal plots available to us, most do not have the influence upon
our development that these six do, For an archetype to have a major
influence upon our lives, there must be some external duplication or
reinforcement of the pattern: an event in one's life or stories re-
counted in the culture that activate the pattern. Therefore, both our
personal histories and our culture influence which archetypes will be
dominant in our lives.

**So perhaps we can suggest that archetypes do merely adorn our lives, as gilded paint or stucco embelllishments do when placed on the surface of a house.

(Archetypes are internalized and supply ways to filter, rearrange and inform reality. They dont create reality but influence what parts of it we see, what parts we see in distorted form or do not see at all and may play a role in regulating our emotions.

Archetypes may influence the stories that 'speak to our condition' such as imagry from Rime of the Ancient Mariner. And persons like Milton Erikson may have understood this when crafting and selecting 'teaching stories--all this is my interpretation Corboy)

She acknowledges gratitude to Ann Shaef (Ann Wilson Shaef?) and there is a possibilty this book may have found its way onto shelves at halfway houses and recovery facilities.


Ann Shaef was a hugely influential writer in the mid to late 1980s when the 12 step recovery program hit popular culture, via John Bradshaw's On the Family TV program. Shaef's books were everywhere.

And to fill in the cultural context, Bill Moyers TV series on Campbell's Power of Myth was a smash hit. The Hero's Journey part of it had special impact because the Star Wars movies were wildly popular and footage and inteviews from Lukas featured as part of that episode. This, friends was the cultural context, and just part of the cultural context in which BK reportedly entered the halfway house and had her meeting with the Cockroach Goddess.

Pearson has some thoughtful things to say:


Were I to rewrite The Hero Within today, I would expand the dis-
cussion of the positive contribution of the archetype of the Innocent
and of the downsides of the Magician, especially the dangers of
raising havoc, as does the Sorcerer's Apprentice, if we take on more
than we can handle, or do harm, as does the Evil Sorcerer, if we
use the Magician's power for egocentric and inhumane ends.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: August 05, 2009 09:19PM

Very interesting points raised re archetypes and Christine Lore Webers two books. I woulod suggest that since Weber had a copywright dispute with Bk over the 'Cry in the Desert' she was also probably subject to a gag order, usual practice in such cases. Most writers manage to get around the enforced secrecy of a gag order by writing an allegorical novel on similar themes as Weber seems to have done with 'Altar Music'

Reading such a novel would allow the reader to understand the themes in a visceral way--the same way that much of mystical teaching is done---even though explicit comparisons are not drawn between the novel and the BK experience. The attentive reader can still take learning and useful knowledge from the 'fictional' piece.

Much of good childrens literature is also written this way, the learning is not explicit but the knowledge is embodied and can be very useful in later experiences.

The problem of course is that BK is attempting to use just these methods to implant not useful life lessons for the future but an infantile dependency and willingness to surrender everything to herself and her organisation.

The sad truth for all of us is that if we are over 21 we are adults, however immature, and there is no going back to Mama Katie for unconditional love no matter how badly we might want that. We might get unconditional love in the womb but even the most benign of parents have expectations of their offspring.
Forget the unconditional love, like permanent bliss states and 'enlightenment' it is another pipe dream that only exisits in imagination.

Mama Katie's love is never unconditional. The huge financial price tag is bad enough, but the real devastation is the emotional price you pay, having surrendered your life, mind and soul to this fraud who will inevitably betray your trust.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 05, 2009 10:44PM

Yesterday I committed a typo. That friends, is what lack of a good nights sleep can do to someone)

I wrote:


So perhaps we can suggest that archetypes do* merely adorn our lives, as gilded paint or stucco embelllishments do when placed on the surface of a house.

I actually meant to write: '...archetypes do not merely adorn our lives, as do gilt or stucco decorations on the surface of a house.

'Archetypes may become structural components of our thought material, not merely adornments of speech.'

We dont just speak metaphorically.

Perhaps simile and metaphor may become part of the DOS or C code that our thoughts and emotions are composed of.

In short, perhaps metaphors may become part of the programming code or become commands written in such code, which create microcommands influencing the content of our thought and emotion, or even in some cases, compressing or bypassing areas of thought and memory and what we call 'experience'.

One can say'Mary Poppins' or refer to 'Ancient Mariner' or say 'telling-my-story-like-an-Ancient-Mariner-with-the albatross-around my neck' and this metaphor can function like the command CNTRL V in MS-DOS

As TAC noted, most of us think we know who Mary Poppins was, because in popular culture, most of us get the Mary Poppins story from the Disney movie.

TAC reminded us that in the original story by Travers (a Gurdjieff disciple--and Gurdjieff called his method 'The Work') the orginal Mary Poppins was much more stern and forbidding.

And I noted that in Coleridges poem, the Ancient Mariner was freed from his curse, and did not go about telling his story with the bird still hanging from his neck. So the popular assumption about the Ancient Mariner being under a perpetual curse to inflict his story on everyone, and do this with the dead bird still hanging from his neck is a commonplace assumption--but it is not an accurate one when compared with the poem.

But if a garbled, inaccurate version of a poem is remembered in the culture at large, it still becomes a potent image.

To repeat:

The Mariner did not inflict his story on everyone. (He was not a human potential entrepreneur). The Mariner did at times feel a burning need to tell his story, yes. But he did so only in relation to a person whom he felt needed to hear that story. In the poem the Mariner meets three 'gallants' (young men) who are guests on their way to attend a wedding. If the Mariner had been a typical pub orator or human potential
recruiter, he would have told his tale to all three men. Instead, he singles out one man
and the two others are free to go their way.

And The Mariner, after telling his story, which is filled with horror but ends as a heroes journey home, ends with grace and redemption, the Mariner allows his listener to go home. He does not ask for money and does not talk to a large audience. He tells is story to just one person at a time, and then departs from that persons life.

The Mariner does not suggest that his listeners form 'Friends of the Ancient Mariner' fellowships to dwell upon the Mariner's personality or upon the Mariners story.

The reason for a liberal arts education was to learn the use and structure of language (rhetoric), and to learn literature so as to learn the metaphors that influenced
spirit of one's culture.

To paraphrase that French gourmet (Brillat Savarin) who wrote, 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are'

'Tell me what metaphors you think with and feel in--and I can guess, to some extent, who you are.'

Peter Brown has some things to say here about metaphor and Ericksons use of it:


'Erickson's assumption was that indidviduals have abilities* in other areas that they are not using in their problem situation. Hence metaphor, with its ability to extend knowledge, was an ideal vehicle for this sort of transfer. (Haskell 1987)

*(Note that Erickson reportedly respects his clients as having potential strength. That is far different from dwelling endlessly on cancer, death, etc. C)

'Erickson used stories and situations that paralleled the nature of the problem confronting the patient.

'Stories, which are particularly effective at bypassing habitual conscious mental sets make the information presented more memorable by virtue of both the associated imagry and the narrative sequence. Above all, the metaphorical approach encourages the patient's own individual responses and creativity rather than prescribing some externally prescribed solution.(Zeig, 1980)' (Corboy italics for emphasis)

'Metaphor,is, in effect, a transduction process (information changes level in both directions) between our perceptual experience and our cognitive and emotional valuation of that experience.

'Erickons use of stories in combination to achieve a cumulative effect was similar in approach to the work of the playwright or film director who builds toward an effect by a combination of scenes. Erickson's work was a therapeutic version of Sergei Eisenstein's theory of montage, in which the juxtaposition of two images can result in the creation of a third association that results from the gestalt properties of the whole.'

'The human response is naturally to try to make a connection between the various elements. That connection builds invariably from the connections already made.'

Brown The Hypnotic Brain pages 244-245


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: August 05, 2009 10:53PM

Stephen Cope, in his book "Yoga and the Search for the True Self," writes a lot about the "orphan" archetype, and how that can push people into the arms of unscrupulous gurus. He writes about his experiences with the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, but I found his book very helpful when I was trying to get out of another group. I think that his insights can apply to a variety of gurus and groups.

Pages 277-279:

--"In the guru and in the community at Kripalu, thousands of seekers sought the perfect Dad and Mom."

--"Orphans bring a tremendous amount of idealization and projection into their relationships with their teachers. We fall in love with our teachers and with our communities, and as a result, we do not see them at all clearly."

--"With our teacher," said Jack (Engler- a psychiatrist) our longing for love and recognition, for perfect goodness and caring, for perfect fairness and justice, is so deep that we project it and see it whether it is there or not."

--"While we may be aware of the wish for empowerment, we may be unaware of (the equally strong) wish for passivity and dependence. While we may be aware of spiritual longing, we may be denying our unconscious sexual longing."

--"Many Eastern teachers, not understanding the depth of the 'orphan' archetype in the West, walk right into situations in which they are highly idealized. If the teacher is not aware of his own unresolved needs to be admired, highly praised and adored, he may begin to believe the idealizations of the students."

--"We need our powerful love objects to help us to learn to separate from them. There is nothing more difficult."

I saw this dynamic in my own group -- the intense idealization of our lay leader. Some members seemed to see him as our perfect father. I see it in this thread about Byron Katie. She has hooked all these orphans, who are projecting their need for the perfect mommy onto her. And yet, a good mother takes care of the child -- while at the same time, encouraging age-appropriate independence. Mama Katie is certainly not going to help her "dearest tweeties" to separate from her because this is all meeting her needs for adoration, power and money.

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