Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Date: May 19, 2008 11:47PM
Byron Katie was always one I felt an instinctive repulsion about. While I think there MAY be some use in her idea of switching everything around - if we DO see the world as a sort of reflection of us, it may then be useful to turn it around sometimes; to get out of the mirror.
On the other hand ... this just seems to be what they all do: hold out a bit of good and useful truth as bait, then reel you in. (And, of course, put a lot of blame and stress on you in the process ...)
The deal breaker for me is always the money they charge. If they are so good and pure and interested only in helping - why on Earth charge the obscene prices they do? They've capitalised/privatised 'Love'; and that is, at its root, disgusting. And so cynical and manipulative and cruel.
And there's always the same sort of cover story: I WAS depressed: I WAS suicidal: I WAS on drugs, and then - !!
Oldest before and after advertising trick in the book! Snake oil salesmen at an international fair! Neale Donald Walsch had his nights of despair, and his yellow legal pad. Byron Katie had the cockroach. Marianne Williamson had drug addiction. And so on and so on.
The brainwashing they use is, I feel, very real and very dangerous. There are some real hypnotic tricks in all of them, too - repetition, dissonance, no complicated word/grammar structures, and then, when your defences are low, they come in for the brainwashing. There's the separation from the masses who just don't 'get' the guru; the ego massage because you 'do'; then the guilt because you 'get' it and yet things still aren't changing; and then - the need to follow the leader to expunge it; get to the next 'level', etc etc. And the prices rise exponentially. And - almost worse - there's the idea of 'thought control'. Your every 'bad' thought, apparantly, has a negative effect on you. (Handy, that, if people ever start questioning the gurus.) They get you to be your very own thought police. The priests and nuns of the New Age religion. Instead of 'impure thoughts' it's 'sending out negative vibrations'. God give us strength ...
The books they all have out are just, I think (to state the obvious?) the original hooks. The real prize comes later: attendance at seminars that cost thousands; donations and of course - oh, of course - the way everyone's told to recruit new 'disciples' to the cause. Just when humanity was disentangling itself from the worst of the old mind control religions - whoops, here's the new one!
Whether it's Karma, reincarnation, doing the Work or tithing your income to one of Walsch's many new organisations.
Same old con trick; brand new clothes.
The Conversation with God books are lovely on one level; deeply disturbing on another. In Book Two, 'God' is supposedly advocating: a One World Govt; a totally visible, cashless, society; the compassion and wisdom of George Bush I; the fact that technological aliens have helped us invent things like the mobile phone (gee, thanks).
It helps, perhaps, to see the CwG books, not as Conversations with 'God', but as a manifesto for a Centralised world Govt ('Golly gee' I can hear Walsch saying, 'isn't that most elegant coincidence ...)
But perhaps the most disturbing thing they all do is make you feel that everything bad that happens, whether it's a pain in your toe, or a complete disaster, is all your own fault. PLUS: they're now touting the idea that, if you're obscenely rich, it's not because you're obscenely greedy, oh no. (Nor is it because you've got an exceptionally manipulative and shamelessly relentless hard sell going on.)
No: it's because you're following Universal Laws of Plenty, and being rewarded for it. So, by definition, anyone who is undergoing a really hard time, is undergoing it because they're not 'evolved' enough, to live 'properly' by the Universe. Like the gurus do(!) And, should you dare question this, you're told that, if you grudge them their riches, you're sending out a message that you disapprove of wealth, and thus YOU'LL never accumulate any, 'cos the Universe will KNOW ... '(really: we need another word to describe their tactics. 'Shameless' doesn't always seem strong enough ...)
Talk about stress; talk about a blow to the self-esteem. Of course, there's also the other point of it: that God, the Universe or whatever, loves these people enough to personally intervene in their lives and ultimately make 'em millionaires. Gee - shame 'God' doesn't feel the same way about you. As David Icke said, re secular celebrities: 'Doncha just wish you didn't work down the laundry?'
Anyone who can be rich to the tune of tens of/hundreds of/millions of millions when there are children starving to death is not, in my opinion, any sort of a 'spiritual' leader to follow.
There's a reason the Jesus figure is portrayed as a poor man ...
It all seems part of the new capitalist greed; part of making us all feel discontented; 'less' than, not good enough.
And it's very well orchestrated, and I'd love to know just who's pulling the strings.
The New Age - hah! It's all a bit too 'Animal Farm'. Just the cruelest, trickiest form of crowd control. Destined to make humanity feel bad about itself all over again.
Frankly - although I hold no liking for most of the bible - I think a lot of New Age gurus and their followers could do a lot worse than read the Book of Job. And, of course, some of the New Testament ...
Sorry to rant on a bit. I am, as you can prob. tell, a recovering New Ager. Recovery is harder than you'd think ...