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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Steven Sashen
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 26, 2008 09:33PM

Quote
The Anticult
[snip]
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.
And that is exactly how I got into "the work" - via Steven Sashen.

I found out about him in the course of reading Guruphiliac's blog (which I have come to find to be a very mixed blessing). I enjoyed some of the comments left by Sashen on Guruphiliac's blog, so I visited his website and Anti-Guru blog. (I now see that Sashen's blog is quite bizarrely named, as he almost never discusses gurus.)

I enjoyed Steven's sense of humor and seeming skepticism enough that I decided to try a session with him in "the work". (Prior to that, I had checked out Byron Katie and her method and had intuitively felt turned off by it. I wish I had recalled that at the time I discovered Sashen's site.)

My first session with Sashen was so enjoyable and seemingly helpful that I ran out and purchased a copy of "Loving What Is", so that I could continue to do the work on my own. I was on quite a high at the time. I really thought I had found something incredible. Of course I now know that there ARE some aspects of the work that DO work. Unfortunately there are other aspects of it that are decidedly harmful, as detailed in this forum, including the lure into involvement with the cult of Byron Katie.

Sashen is very charismatic and I had several more sessions with him. The thing is, I found as time went by that the work wasn't working as well as it did in the beginning. Which led me to ponder attending the 9-day school. My thinking was, maybe I need a deeper immersion into the work, and also maybe it would be a good idea to learn from "the master"?

Thankfully my former cult involvement came to mind by then and I decided to do a thorough web search on Byron Katie. Fortunately JJ had very recently posted the details of her awful experiences in the 9-day school, and I am beyond grateful that she did that. Wherever she is now, I hope she is doing very well.

Ah, I nearly forgot to say... besides my coming upon the negative info on Byron Katie in this forum, I had an experience during a session with Sashen that caused me to stop consulting with him for good. What happened was, he did a "turnaround" with me on a deeply traumatic experience from my past that was downright insane, just awful. It really f&@ked with my head and I had to go process it in psychotherapy.

I won't repeat what his turnarond was, as I feel it to be too personal.

Whew, I've finally said something about my experience with Sashen. It's taken a while for me to feel comfortable enough to do so. I hope something I've said will help others beginning to suspect that all may not be rosy in the world of Byron Katie.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Steven Sashen
Posted by: yg ()
Date: May 26, 2008 10:31PM

Has anyone read the Guru Papers ? This was a book I found years ago and it was the beginning of my coming out of my New Age delusion. The reality is though, I have been in this surrender to Authority mind set for all my life. Starting with my parents out of necessity. I am going through an even bigger unraveling than I was before now understanding how we give our power away and how ready we are to do it.

But when you don't know any better or have never even considered that this surrendering deal is not a good idea, you can only do what you do. More over you have been taught from the beginning from your Mother that surrendering is the way to go. Then you get religion and it is all the more indoctrinated. Surrender to God is it? Or is it surrender to the beliefs of the church and their intrepetions of the Bible.

You are in a self contained system just looping again and again, first the church, then the power goes to a lover, then it goes a system, a guru, a teacher (non-guru types :-). Then you pop out of it when you read a book like Guru Papers and have been burrnt so badly both financially and emotionally by a friend making her self a guru. YOu go to therapy for 3 years and find that your therapist wants you to be happy and tell you about HER experience with Jesus and that this might be the way for me while I pay HER.

Everyone has their own maps and wordviews, it seems that there comes a point where everything really has to questioned--not like the Katie questions! The Guru Papers does a good job of breaking about Authority both inner and outer. I am finding it very helpful.

YG

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Jill Boylte Taylor
Posted by: exscientologykid ()
Date: May 27, 2008 12:54AM

Anyone could be on the hotline including criminals? Ok, that applies for any phone number, including those of psychologists and psychiatrists who advertise on the web.

I was never asked for my name or any personal details. I was never asked to bring up any important details of my life. Sometimes I would give ONLY the troubling thought I was working on, with zero context. I was NEVER asked for financial information. Katie doesn't support them? They are all enrolled in her program to become certified facilitators. Even if you think her program is crap, you can't say she doesn't support them.

They include their personal phone numbers, email addresses, web sites and pictures. I give them nothing. Most of them are facilitators in training. Are the ones who are certified looking for clients? Probably -- and yet not a one I talked to suggested I hire them.

I don't know anything about Steven Sashen.

As for Katie's bizarre awakening, it sounds very very much like a left temporal lobe seizure or stroke (Robert Sapolsky wrote about these experiences in an article called "Circling the Blanket of God"). I have a friend who went through the same, and when Byron Katie heard about Jill Boylte Taylor's stroke and experience, (a PhD in neuroscience) she immediately wrote to her. Taylor wrote back and said she had read Katie's book and understood completely.

As for Katie's philosophy, it is a blend of Rational-Emotive Therapy and Taoism. I'm also reminded vividly of Shambhala Buddism.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Jill Boylte Taylor
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 27, 2008 06:51AM

Quote
exscientologykid
Anyone could be on the hotline including criminals? Ok, that applies for any phone number, including those of psychologists and psychiatrists who advertise on the web.

I was never asked for my name or any personal details. I was never asked to bring up any important details of my life. Sometimes I would give ONLY the troubling thought I was working on, with zero context. I was NEVER asked for financial information. Katie doesn't support them? They are all enrolled in her program to become certified facilitators. Even if you think her program is crap, you can't say she doesn't support them.

[snip]

As for Katie's philosophy, it is a blend of Rational-Emotive Therapy and Taoism. I'm also reminded vividly of Shambhala Buddism.
Exsci, I'm not sure what you mean by Byron Katie supporting her hotline facilitators.

Those people have paid through the nose to get to the point that they can "facilitate" for her for free.

If BK were trained in Rational-Emotive Therapy and offering that, or teaching some type of "Taoism" sans any therapeutic component, then there would likely be no problem. But that's NOT what she's offering.

Your statement that "anyone" can be on the other end of a web-based phone number does not excuse Byron Katie's use of a hotline manned by unlicensed people who are practicing what is essentially therapy, and untested therapy at that, upon trusting people, at least some of whom may suffer from serious psychological or psychiatric conditions. To me that's unconscionable.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Jill Boylte Taylor
Posted by: exscientologykid ()
Date: May 27, 2008 08:59AM

I'm not sure why you think it's therapy to read off of a worksheet, or why that needs to be tested.

Are you also against suicide-prevention hotlines? The people who answer those hotlines are also nonprofessionals, and are literally talking people out of suicide. Perhaps the real issue is that The Work Hotline is being called a "hotline" when it should be called a "call someone who will go through a worksheet with you".

Again, I'm not sure why people are up in arms that Byron Katie is exploiting those who need psychotherapy. Do you all think psychotherapists are some sort of magicians? Do you realize that a huge segment of her attendees are in fact psychotherapists, or that several licensing bodies give continuing education credit for attendance there? Or that psychotherapy itself is largely untested and unproven?

I'm wary of the LGAT that The School has become, sure, but I think it ridiculous that only licensed psychologists should be allowed to speak to someone who is stressed out -- or even in true psychiatric crisis. There is a full page disclaimer on the BKI website you must read before even being able to view the numbers of the folks available to call, taht explicity refer people elsewhere if they are suicidal or at risk of self-harm. Please make note, I was raised by Scientologists and I know damn well what it is for a cult to replace psychiatric help. You are not ALLOWED to seek help from them. You are REQUIRED to go in for "auditing" if you dare to visit one. This is not even remotely what is going on with Byron Katie's people.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Jill Boylte Taylor
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 27, 2008 09:14AM

Quote
exscientologykid
I'm not sure why you think it's therapy to read off of a worksheet, or why that needs to be tested.

Are you also against suicide-prevention hotlines? The people who answer those hotlines are also nonprofessionals, and are literally talking people out of suicide. Perhaps the real issue is that The Work Hotline is being called a "hotline" when it should be called a "call someone who will go through a worksheet with you".

Again, I'm not sure why people are up in arms that Byron Katie is exploiting those who need psychotherapy. Do you all think psychotherapists are some sort of magicians? Do you realize that a huge segment of her attendees are in fact psychotherapists, or that several licensing bodies give continuing education credit for attendance there? Or that psychotherapy itself is largely untested and unproven?

I'm wary of the LGAT that The School has become, sure, but I think it ridiculous that only licensed psychologists should be allowed to speak to someone who is stressed out -- or even in true psychiatric crisis. There is a full page disclaimer on the BKI website you must read before even being able to view the numbers of the folks available to call, taht explicity refer people elsewhere if they are suicidal or at risk of self-harm. Please make note, I was raised by Scientologists and I know damn well what it is for a cult to replace psychiatric help. You are not ALLOWED to seek help from them. You are REQUIRED to go in for "auditing" if you dare to visit one. This is not even remotely what is going on with Byron Katie's people.
Exsci, you say "I'm not sure why people are up in arms that Byron Katie is exploiting..." Are you for real? That is the reason for this board! Cult leaders and their ilk EXPLOITING people!

Like it or not, you sure are coming across as a cult apologist, kiddo.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 27, 2008 09:29AM

A reminder to some people... this board is a place where people are seeking information and/or support in dealing with cults and unscrupulously persuasive people/groups... NOT a place to defend said cults and people/groups.

Thank you.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 27, 2008 09:36AM

We have figured csp out.

So, someone else has arrived to play dodgeball.

"I'm wary of the LGAT that The School has become, sure, but I think it ridiculous that only licensed psychologists should be allowed to speak to someone who is stressed out -- or even in true psychiatric crisis.'

That whole sentence is enough to give someone mental whiplash--its a logical snarl.

The 'kid' (whoever signs on to use RR.com's message board has to state he or she is 18 or over--rather old to be a 'kid') professes to be wary about the LGAT that BK's school has become...the suddenly there's this illogical jump into thinking it ridiculous that only licensed therapists should be 'allowed to speak to someone who is stressed out'.

Then after professing to be wary about what an LGAT 'The School' has become,
writes this stuff making it seem BK offers something better than psychotherapy?

Are you also against suicide-prevention hotlines? The people who answer those hotlines are also nonprofessionals, and are literally talking people out of suicide. Perhaps the real issue is that The Work Hotline is being called a "hotline" when it should be called a "call someone who will go through a worksheet with you".

Again, I'm not sure why people are up in arms that Byron Katie is exploiting those who need psychotherapy. Do you all think psychotherapists are some sort of magicians? Do you realize that a huge segment of her attendees are in fact psychotherapists, or that several licensing bodies give continuing education credit for attendance there?

Then says this:


' Or that psychotherapy itself is largely untested and unproven?'

Not so. Licensed therapists are supposed to offer treatment modalities that have been researched, tested and that meet a legally mandated standard of care. BK's work has not been tested or researched and, despite her tremendous energy spent marketing herself has never demonstrably used that energy to get herself into an accredited program in clinical psychology or clinical social work...which plenty of concerned loving healers do.

But a licensed psycotherapist is someone who is both legally and socially accountable for his or her work...and has to pay insurance premiums, go to mandatory continuing education courses, none of which is required if one is a human potential entrepreneur who does not have a clinical license.

That whole screed is a logical snarl and a potential energy drain. First the person professes warniness about BK, then finds ways to invalidate the work of licensed therapists, subtly making BK seem equivalent, then dares us to disagree, saying,

"Please make note, I was raised by Scientologists and I know damn well what it is for a cult to replace psychiatric help. You are not ALLOWED to seek help from them. You are REQUIRED to go in for "auditing" if you dare to visit one. This is not even remotely what is going on with Byron Katie's people."

I agree, this is sounding fishy. The time this correspondant claims to have spent in Scientology has left an impressive set of obfuscatory skills intact.

Ever notice that when discussions are getting active here, someone comes in to generate a distracting energy suck?

Cough, cough.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Jill Boylte Taylor
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 27, 2008 09:41AM

Quote
exscientologykid
I'm not sure why you think it's therapy to read off of a worksheet, or why that needs to be tested.
Because I experienced facilitation as therapy, and bad therapy at that. Well, once the initial high wore off. Which thankfully was pretty quickly in my case, and then I woke up and got my precious psyche the hell out of there.

I'm in therapy with a licensed professional now and the difference is like night and day. I'm deeply grateful that there are folks out there who truly want to help people and invest in a lot of training to do so. Training that is based on research and standards. So unlike what most if not all cult leaders engage in.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Jill Boylte Taylor
Posted by: exscientologykid ()
Date: May 27, 2008 09:45AM

Ok, I get it, this forum is only for discussing the negative aspects of such organizations.

I just wanted to point out that not everything being said about The Work sounded accurate to me, and having grown up scientologist (I'm 32, my parents left the CoS when I was a teenager), it doesn't sound nearly as detrimental as a cult.

I'm utterly baffled by people's responses to me, but no matter. I won't bother folks with my opinions further.

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