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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: rob ()
Date: May 20, 2008 04:58AM

Hi cinnamon, you are not ranting. This is good posting. I really wonder what the new age or for that Katie and Tolle and all abundance believers have to say about jesus saying that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than, (I think) a camel going through the eye of a needle. But I guess the answer will be, you can be rich, as long as you are not attached to it. And if you're poor it's your own fault (as you pointed out). But of course than there is also written 'blessed be the poor' . Really want to hear them comment on this one.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Cinammon ()
Date: May 20, 2008 07:57PM


Thanks, Rob.

When it comes to 'blessed be the poor', they'd probably say something like, 'Yes, all people are blessed; but isn't it BETTER to be rich? (The Universe WANTS you to have what you want, you know.) Buy my book, follow my system, and I'll show you how YOU can become rich - just like me!', thus hopscotching neatly (and almost psychotically unrealistically) over every socio-economic feudalist capitalist system that's been put in place, it seems, precisely to stop the poor becoming the wealthy.

They do have an unhealthy obsession with wealth. With gaining it, with defending their gain of it, and with explaining why it's OK that they have it, while millions of their fellow men don't have enough to eat. If you believe that Jesus divided the loaves and fishes and gave them away - the New Agers would 'divide' the loaves and fishes, and sell them at an extortionate markup. And if you couldn't afford them, why then, you'd have the great experience of going hungry. See how 'God' looks out for you???

Whether it's Reiki or workshops or talks or even, sometimes, newsletters or transcripts of their talks - they don't give anything away for free. It would be plain pathetic if it wasn't so obscene. They're like greedy, greedy children, who've been given a bite of the pie and been carried away by it...Or worse: they're hell-bent on starting a new Empire/ religion, and so, apart from their own demands, they need every new financial contribution for the power it'll bring.

The sheer brainwashing power of it - the mind boggles. Talk about the Emperor's new clothes ...

The pity of it is that there is some good stuff in there. But they don't seem to care about that. Only about the money it brings them. (Although, lately, I'm starting to wonder if there IS good stuff in there, given that so much of it seems to make you your 'own' God, and thus take you away from the real humility that lets you accept God, and Jesus ...ah, who knows?)

But I do think it's dangerous. Much more dangerous than any sane person would ever believe, when they first pick up one of those cute little books. I don't WANT to start seeing the devil in every nook and cranny; but maybe it's there, snuggling in the New Age section, under the guise of Love. Maybe ...



Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2008 08:20PM by Cinammon.

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Re: Byron Katie - Carol L. Skolnick, SOUL SURGERY, CLEAR, Scientology
Posted by: yg ()
Date: May 20, 2008 11:41PM

I felt The Work was helping and even revisited several times. I have shared it with others feeling that it was helping me. When someone is brain-washed, no matter to what degree their delusion, they think they are doing the right thing. Makes me very hesitate to ever judge another, as if I can know what is in their hearts. I was in the TM movement for 7 years and shared that very well meaning from my heart.

I have had tendencies most of life to look for the "love bomb" as you all call it. It is a weakness and I remember that David Bohm spoke to this in one of his books. Ever since then I have been aware of how easily we are effected by sweet words, I still melt when I hear someone call me honey!

Fortunately for me my Soul or whatever we can call that part that will speak loudly if you keep ignoring it, will let me know something is off sooner then later anymore. But 20 years I was not so fortunate, and was taken again and again because of my "need" for love and community and "enlightenment".

However, I don't know of anyone I met over the years who I feel were not sincere, because I have walked in those shoes, and I have always felt to share whatever it was I was sharing because I believed it was helpful to me.

Cheez, I still have a friend, who although out of Scientology for many years, I still can't say anything wrong about Hubbard. We are all "deluded" in our own way. We have our prejudices, our world views etc.

BTW, I had a license psychologist try to get me to go to Jesus cause she wanted me happy. Everyone has their own map, their view. So the credentials are surely not a safeguard either.

What I think is dangerous about something like The Work, is that there is a power of seduction for people in a way that will be hard to break later, and it gets deep into your mind.

Fortunately, I have been working with somatic body awareness practices, and whenever something ain't right and I have "left my body" to go to heaven or to bliss, it doesn't feel good for very long. I just can't disassocciate like I used to back in my TM days or Course in Miracle I-am-not-body days.

I am actually shocked to see that I fell into this again and overrode the signals that were coming from the beginning.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Cinammon ()
Date: May 21, 2008 06:31PM

Hey yg

As you said: it gets deep into your mind. And we do have a tendency to 'trigger' things like that when we're under stress - as if the brain scrolls through a list of 'what to do when ... ' and clicks on the New Age techniques we think we've deleted(!)

Mm, yes, the love bomb. The sweetness in the New Age/Self Help books seems to raise your emotional blood sugar artificially, in a very unhealthy way, and so, of course, when the buzz from that wears off, and your blood sugar falls, you feel a craving, and look for a way to raise your blood sugars again (buy another New Age, self-help book; go to a seminar, etc.) It's like any addiction - you end up needing greater and greater amounts of the stuff. Very unhealthy; usually very unwholesome. It's actually a technique (sorry; I'm sure this has been mentioned before) used by abusers: first the love bombing, then the abuse, then the love bombing; and all the time your self-protection instincts about what's right, about what love is, are being worn away, and you do end up brainwashed, and giving control of yourself; your environment, over to somebody else.

Personally, I think - and I'm NOT saying this is an absolute - that when we feel the need to tell everybody else about this 'wonderful' thing we've discovered, whether it's a mainstream organised religion or a New Age cult or whatever, it's because we haven't digested it properly ourselves, and thus we kind of vomit it up over whoever's closest. It's a way of subduing our subconscious doubts about it. (sorry again if I'm just saying what everyone here knows, and has been posted here a hundred times before.)

But you usually find(?) those people who really are convinced about a thing; who are genuinely subconsciously at peace with it, don't have this need to try to convince others about it. So even our own subconscious doubts can work in favour of the cults (unless, of course, our fervour sends people screaming in the opposite direction. But it's all still grassroots stuff - and nobody knows the power of grassroots support better than the 'gurus'.)

Meant to say re Byron Katie's mirror stuff - at the end of the day, all you get when you look in a mirror is your own reflection. Enough of that will drive you mad in the end. It all forces you back on yourself, and I don't think that's as healthy as we've been led to believe. Being trapped in a hall of mirrors can drive you mad. (There's even a New Age book called 'Wherever you go, There you Are', or something similar. But I haven't read it, so shouldn't comment on it. Apologies if it's something completely different ...)

All this 'you are gods' stuff can/does take you away from God(?) and it can drive you mad (narcissism isn't in it ...!)

And, because we're only human, and not gods, we get scared; our egos trip out, and we end up needing endless reassurance from the gurus. Which they charge you for ('There's a hole in my bucket ...')Funny how, if we're all gods, we end up still needing the gurus; and they tell us we still need to do what they say.

GGRRRRR. BAD racket. (Actually, Eckhart Tolle is almost an anagram of 'the racket'. It's certainly lexigrams into 'Lock a heart racket'/ 'take/heat a heart racket/hell at heart', etc etc.

But if you're not into lexigrams, you'll think I'm mad, so I'll stop here..(!)



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2008 07:01PM by Cinammon.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: HenriTheSkeptic ()
Date: May 24, 2008 05:05AM

"Oh, I see Sashen has also commented in that section, if you go to the link and scroll up the page. Now what would *his* interest be in Skeptic magazine?? 'All the other guru's and teachers are phony, except for the one I'm pushing...Don't worry, listen to me, I'm safe.' Yeah, right. Really, though, maybe the BK question will silence Sashen for a while. In the meantime, he's a fox in the henhouse on Salerno's blog, I'm afraid."

Actually, there are few foxes in the henhouse on Salerno's blog. Sashen is just the most obvious one. I too am waiting for the BK article. Sashen has never addressed any of Salerno's requests for explaining his involvement with BK. Sashen continues to post on Salerno's blog.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: HenriTheSkeptic ()
Date: May 24, 2008 06:40AM

Anticult, I am curious as to what you make of Steve Sashen? He has a blog, which he calls The Anti-Guru blog.


He frequently comments on Steve Salerno's "Shamblog", which is a blog that 'busts' the self help movement, and he seems to be quite friendly with the other commenters there. Just one of the gang.


Salerno has stated quite some time ago that he was going to do an in-depth story on Byron Katie, but he has yet to produce the goods, so to speak. One anonymous commenter asked Salerno, somewhat facetiously (and yet it was a point that needed to be made) if he was going to interview Mr. Sashen for the Byron Katie piece, since Mr. Sashen teaches The Work, Byron Katie's material. No one commented on that at all.


Salerno has also been friendly with "Cosmic Connie", another "new wage" B.S. buster.


It just seems to me that Steve Sashen is getting all friendly with the people who are out there calling B.S. on new age/cult guru-types, and no one on Salerno's blog, not even the sharp as a tack Crack Emcee (who sees cults EVERYWHERE and doesn't put up with it from anyone: [] ) is calling Sashen on the fact that while he appears on the surface to be "anti-guru", he himself is pushing the teachings of one very dangerous guru.

AntiCult, I am curious about what you think of Salerno's blog. I have read it for quite some time, but it seems to be getting filled with Byron Katie/Toll commentators pretending to be anti-shamsters. They seem to be shaming Salerno into allowing their comments. They are not promoting these gurus outright, but they are playing mind games on his blog with regular commentators. I think a lot of anti-guru blogs are being poisoned by them.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 25, 2008 09:04AM

AntiCult, I am curious about what you think of Salerno's blog. I have read it for quite some time, but it seems to be getting filled with Byron Katie/Toll commentators pretending to be anti-shamsters. They seem to be shaming Salerno into allowing their comments. They are not promoting these gurus outright, but they are playing mind games on his blog with regular commentators. I think a lot of anti-guru blogs are being poisoned by them.
Can you give an example of this please?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: exscientologykid ()
Date: May 26, 2008 03:06AM

I'm sensitive to cult issues, since I grew up with family members in Scientology, and est, and have a set of grandparents who are Jehovah's Witnesses.

I've been reading Byron Katie's books recently, watched nearly all her videos on YouTube, and have called her hotline six times (in two months, usually to head off a panic attack; I have an anxiety disorder). I was considering going to her nine-day school, and I decided I should research what her dark side might be. I did see the YouTube video of a fan so enraptured she was weeping at Katie's feet. Though I think that says more about the fan, than Katie. Still Katie has an effect on such people, and that was worth investigating. So I did some googling and found this site.

Thank you to the poster who attended and spelled out the activities of the The School. I read a response elsewhere that those activities were voluntary, and people were allowed to leave whenever they wanted. Still, I can understand how it upset you to see those activities "suggested" and then followed by the majority of the group.

Also, I had never heard the word or concept LGAT before, and it's nice to finally have name to put to the phenemenon.

To the poster who claims that the hotline is used to sell seminars or products, you are simply incorrect. My six calls lasted anywhere from between 20 minutes and 60 minutes, and never once were The School, the books, or any products even mentioned a product must less suggested as a purchase.

To the poster who thinks that psychotherapy would be a better way to address these issues...well, there are two psychotherapists at the UW mental health center for students that promote Katie Byron's method. That is originally where I heard of her. One of the therapists is even certified as a Facilitator by The Institute for The Work. Whether this legitimizes The Work or reduces your opinion of professional, clinical psychology probably depends on your point of view. Personally, I have an incredibly low opinion of clinical psychology to begin with, and have had extremely poor experiences with it. Perhaps I will write about that another time, and how Katie's attitude and approach is much more useful (in my experience).

And to the poster who refers to people who seek out LGATs and the New Age coaching of the world as "idiots", wondering why they don't consult family, friends, or clergy...use your head. If your family was abusive, then your clergy probably condoned it, and how the hell are you supposed to make friends? Apparently they can't make friends with you because you consider them "idiots." Complete lack of compassion and understanding by people towards those who are seeking out healthy relationships but don't have the skills to have them is a huge part of why people get sucked into LGATs to begin with. Sure, it's not your responsibility to befriend such people, but it's not "idiotic" for them to keep searching, it's pretty normal and predictable.

For the record, I have no idea who Eckhart Tolle is besides a new age nutter, and I loathe, I mean LOATHE "The Secret." Anything that claims that bad things happen to people who think the wrong thing is just systematic victim-blaming.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: yg ()
Date: May 26, 2008 06:35AM

Hi RB,

I like what you wrote. Very unbias. I have noticed the idiot and angry words used before on people who can fall for these things.

I guess it's time for me to share a little bit of my experience and why I know that Katie and Eckart can be dangerous, as much, oh my god, and this is the truth that I like them and don't believe for a moment that they are doing this maliciously. THIS IS WHAT MAKES IT MORE DANGEROUS.

I had a friend who was so powerful and did "healings" on folks and people loved and trusted her and she made herself a guru. She never till this day sees what was happening.

I have another friend who is friends with Eckart and what I feel is that they really believe what they are saying and doing to the nth degree.

I don't feel it serves anyone to call people idiots. What I also found in what is stated here is the inaccuracy of certain things, such as the facillators trying to sell anything. The ones I used were always ready to give me their time in all sincerity. But I do see the danger in it.

This last time -- guess I was idiot 3 times with Katie--I began to see how I was starting to dissocciate big time. Years ago I didn't know what "disassociating" felt like. I had done Course in Miracles for a while and felt fine, and then a few years ago when I thought I would take a look at it (yea...idiot again :) after reading it just for a short time I could feel myself leaving my body...dissociating I call it. I have been doing a lot of work on getting ground and coming into my body, feeling my body somatically etc., so now I am not so easily duped.

After working with The Work this time around for 3 weeks or so I found that after the first week I started getting more and more disassociative with my life. At first I was more peaceful--I think this one of the dangers the peace that can come from dissassocciating or denying what you feel and the sensations that come from Nature.
However, around the 3rd week I began to see what was happening, although not too clearly. When I happened on this forum, it was like someone threw a bucket of ice water on me, I just woke up.

Attacking anyone, including the "cult leaders", is not necessary. I think that presenting the facts is important--isn't this the scientific way? I have read many places in the forum where I know what i said is simply not the way it is. I am familiar ET and actually had 3 sessions with his girlfriend. They are both sincere people. And I repeat that is what makes all of this more dangerous in the end. But to say they are this or that without say they know what they are doing and to think we can know someone else's motivations, doesn't serve. Because if you really want to reach people caught in throws of some of these teachings, presenting it so aggressively will and I am sure does turn people away, like it did me several years ago when I visited this forum.

I don't mean this as a put down. Knowing that is the intention of most of the people here to present the reality of some of this, it makes sense to be as accurate as possible and also to not call people idiots, because in reality you are calling me and RB for example an idiot.


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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Steven Sashen
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: May 26, 2008 08:21AM

I haven't read all the posts in detail above, but my guess is that Salerno on SHAMblog is a big believer in open debate, as any healthy person is. (unlike these cultic groups).
Maybe Salerno is going to run a feature article on Katie in some magazine, or maybe the Byron Katie Borg has gotten to him with more "private phone calls".
You will notice that Byron Katie has certain people out there who literally get people on the phone and start "working on them". These are not stupid people, they know how to manipulate people one-to-one.
Carol Skolnick, for example...her main method is to isolate people and talk to them one-on-one privately. That is a very common method. They won't come on an open forum like this one, as they fear facts and open debate.

But its clear that Stephen Sashen is quite a slippery self-promoter, and a promoter of Byron Katie and The Work, in an indirect permissive way. That is more effective than banging on drums and shaving your head bald.
You can call yourself an Anti-Guru, but still promote your own Guru.
So there are a number of "faux-skeptics" out there these days, who try to make themselves into Skeptics, but in reality they are apologists for their own Guru, or AntiGuru Guru, or whatever they want to call it. They even get away with it.

Of course with Byron Katie you are going to get MASSIVE BLOWBACK, done in a quite sophisticated way. Her supporters and senior people are quite smart, and they can talk circles around most people.
Carol Skolnick is one of these folks, and so is Stephen Sashen.

So is anyone saying the Byron Katie Hotline phone-line is legit. ITS NOT. Its a bunch of strangers, that even Byron Katie does NOT support. It could be a criminal on the Byron Katie Hotline, who is trying to do Identity Theft, or anything else. You are talking to a complete stranger, and telling them all your personal details. They could record it, and do anything with it. Its VERY dangerous.
They could enrol you in Amway, or another cult, or anything.
They are complete strangers with NO OVERSIGHT AT ALL.
People should NOT call strangers like that, who have no training, and no nothing. Who are these people? Most of them are bogus LIFE COACHES looking for CLIENTS.

Byron Katie is absolutely full of shit.
In that, she is CONSCIOUSLY doing dozens of LGAT techniques on people, Persuasion technique, NLP, and many many other things. Its totally blatant.
And she lies, yes she does a bald-faced "lie" and pretends she is some Savant who got attacked by a cockroach, etc.
Many people can't see her technique.
Her senior people play the same bullshit game Katie does and pretend its magic.
But other magicians see how other magicians do their tricks.

The women weeping at Byron Katie's feet is ENGINEERED by Byron Katie.
Its all there in the text, and its explained in this thread.
People better wake-up and do some homework, and learn about persuasion and hypnosis, or you too might find yourself weeping on your knees in a parking lot and handing over your wedding ring, and handing over your entire SELF and MIND to some AntiGuru Guru who wears a sweater and pantsuits and pretends to talk about "love" to use as a LoveBomb upside your lonely heart.
What do people have to do?
Shave their heads bald and bang on drums?

Things are far more sophisticated now, and people better go and learn these about techniques, like all of the one's Byron Katie uses.
Its all technique.
For example, put Byron Katie in front of a room of NLPers and hypnosis people, and she is powerless. Except for the people who want to learn her methods, so they can make a pile of cash too.

Byron Katie is extremely dangerous, and extremely nasty and abusive in her misuse of these techniques. Don't be duped by Byron Katie Apologists.
They are subtle.
They don't play bongo drums and have bald heads and chant.
They speak softly, use humor and jokes, pretend to be skeptics, and are very subtle in how they do it. These are skilled and trained people, not hacks.

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