Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and telling it like it is...ASSERTIVENESS
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: March 23, 2009 11:53AM

let me just fine-tune what I said there...

for one's OWN recovery, people really need to restore very strong personal boundaries. That is what I meant about being blunt, blunt with yourself.
Also, if some Guru is trying to mess with your head, then being powerful and blunt ends it. They don't even bother with you.
Once a person has powerful boundaries, even one LOOK from a person, and the cult recruiter won't even bother with you. You are too much work. They look for easy targets.

They LOOK for people often who have personal dependency issues, etc. They look for "suckers" and "fresh meat" and "babies", that is what they call them.
They TEST your boundary with some violation, and if there is no response, they move in.

but reaching out and trying to "help" someone already in a cult, is a completely different thing.
That's something Steve Hassan would know about, he's the expert. [See disclaimer regarding Steve Hassan below]
but of course, one should never criticize a family member like that, they will just turn off.

But all I can say, is for a person to help themselves, they have to toughen up! There are literally hundreds of versions of these cults out there today, and so many people seem to be way "too nice".
They get taken advantage of.

Also, for example, if some Scientologist street recruiter comes up to you, to try and dupe you with some fake-stress-test, what's wrong with telling them to fuck off? Sure, its rude. But its 100x MORE rude for them to cruise the streets looking for victims!! Scientology street recruiters TARGET people who are naive, impressionable, and in pain. They test people right on the spot, and are trained to do so. If a person tells them to GET LOST, they are trained to ignore those people.
Also, giving negative feedback to cult recruiters is a civic duty. If most people told cult recruiters to get stuffed, no one would do it.

For example, the Byron Katie salespeople target people who are "too nice" and also desperate and in pain. And then they lie to them, over and over again. Some of these folks "act nice" but are wolves in sheeps clothing. They are blatant liars, and very manipulative, and they hurt people to try to make some money.

But hey, eveyone has their own personality and their own way of coping.
As far as cult leaders, and seniors cult promoters, those people are tough, and ruthless. They are predators. They are smart, they are cunning. I say REBUKETH the evil-doers. It works.

But helping a family member is a completely different thing.
Personally, I don't play any games with people, and just tell the truth.
Someone tries to pitch SGI, I tell them why its a cult.
Some young male Mormon recruiters were rude the other month, as I ignored them, and they made some sarcastic comment like "nice day to you too". I turned around, walked up to them, and asked them why they said that? as in...did I ASK you to try to recruit me on the street? Then I tell them that Joseph Smith was a con-artist, and he made up those fake-gold plates, and chewed them out for about 5 minutes, etc. Maybe they will think twice next time. (again, not for everyone!!).

so anyway, its not for everyone, and each person needs to find their own way.
I just wanted to say, that powerful ASSERTIVENESS, works wonders.
Not angry aggressiveness, not passivity, by very powerful assertiveness. blunt reality.

Like...hypothetical example here.... can so-called "spiritual" people take overseas business cash income and donations, and put $10,000 cash in their suitcase to evade taxes, and then cross an international border? Since that was business income, and they are giving it back to the Guru in the USA, that would appear to be highly illegal. As in, don't people go to freaking jail for being a money "mule"? (mule is a good term in many ways...they do all the work, and get no benefits).
If they don't think its illegal, then they should phone up the IRS RIGHT NOW, give them their name, and tell them how many times they did it, and who gave them the 10K to move.
But no...they are "spiritual" people. It really is almost beyond all reality.

anyway, just wanted to put that out there.
Assertiveness is great, Guru's are terrified of it. If people were assertive, Gurus would have to get a goddamn job, at get off their lazy Guru asses!!!

But of course, no point being harsh to friends in a cult, etc.
Its about healthy self-boundaries.
The exact thing that Byron Katie works so hard to destroy. Believe me, I've listened to all her material, etc. She is very powerful,and very cunning. You have to be extremely mentally tough to fight back, otherwise...a person can get taken in for years, for decades.
but with powerful assertiveness, they are powerless.

Disclaimer regarding Steve Hassan

The Ross Institute of New Jersey/May 2013

See []

The inclusion of news articles within the Ross Institute of New Jersey (RI) archives, which mention and/or quote Steven Hassan, in no way suggests that RI recommends Mr. Hassan or recognizes him in any way.

News articles that mention Steve Hassan have been archived for historical purposes only due to the information they contain about controversial groups, movements and/or leaders.

RI does not recommend Steven Hassan.

RI has received serious complaints about Steve Hassan concerning his fees. Mr. Hassan does not publicly disclose his fee schedule, but according to complaints Steve Hassan has charged fees varying from $250.00 per hour or $2,500.00 per day to $500.00 per hour or $5,000.00 per day. This does not include Mr. Hassan's expenses, which according to complaints can be quite substantial.

Steven Hassan has charged families tens of thousands of dollars and provided questionable results. One recent complaint cited total fees of almost $50,000.00. But this very expensive intervention effort ended in failure.

Dr. Cathleen Mann, who holds a doctorate in psychology and has been a licensed counselor in the state of Colorado since 1994 points out, "Nowhere does Hassan provide a base rate and/or any type or accepted statistical method defining his results..."

Steve Hassan has at times suggested to potential clients that they purchase a preliminary report based upon what he calls his "BITE" model. These "BITE reports" can potentially cost thousands of dollars.

See []

Steve Hassan runs a for-profit corporation called "Freedom of Mind." Mr. Hassan is listed as the corporate agent for that business as well as its president and treasurer.

RI does not recommend "Freedom of Mind" as a resource.

RI also does not list or recommend Steve Hassan's books.

To better understand why Mr. Hassan's books are not recommended by RI read this detailed review of his most recently self-published book titled "Freedom of Mind."

See []

Steve Hassan's cult intervention methodology has historically raised concerns since its inception. The book "Recovery from Cults" (W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 174-175) edited by Dr. Michael Langone states the following:

"Calling his approach 'strategic intervention [sic] therapy,' Hassan (1988) stresses that, although he too tries to communicate a body of information to cultists and to help them think independently, he also does formal counseling. As with many humanistic counseling approaches, Hassan’s runs the risk of imposing clarity, however subtly, on the framework’s foundational ambiguity and thereby manipulating the client."

RI has also learned that Mr. Hassan has had dual-relationships with his counseling clients. That is, clients seeing Mr. Hassan for counseling may also do professional cult intervention work with him.

Professionals in the field of cultic studies have also expressed concerns regarding Steven Hassan's use of hypnosis and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Based upon complaints and the concerns expressed about Mr. Hassan RI does not recommend Steve Hassan for counseling, intervention work or any other form of professional consultation.

i'm not sure how to express this properly; but on the issue of flowery language versus bluntness: particularly in groups where secrecy ( where do those 10 000 dollar donations go?) is part of the picture , honesty is crucial.
But sometimes gentleness is also helpful in cult recovery.

To be blunt here; in some groups particularly those that practice versions of the "Hot Seat" type stuff, then if your communication with followers consists of rants explaining how narcissistic etc they are, then you may not actually sound that different than their group leader who has probably insulted them in much the same way.

Or they may have had to watch while others were ripped into psychlogical shreds.

I think Steve Hassan often also promotes a gentle approach;I think (though I may have remembered it wrong) that he talks about a time when, while working for the moonies, an outsider fed him and asked him about his family.In one of his lectures I believe he suggested that if he met a moonie he would be sympathetic, ask them when they last spoke to their family,and offer to pay for a phone call so they could speak to their family again, pointing out how much their family must be missing the cult member.

Anger is a wonderful protective mechanism,helping people to rebuild boundaries, and an important part of the recovery process for many people.
It is also useful to be aware that there are many different approaches to helping people.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2013 08:49PM by rrmoderator.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: newagesurvivor ()
Date: March 23, 2009 04:32PM

Byron Katie International Inc
287 S Montgomery St, Ojai, CA 93023-2762
Contact Phone: (805) 646-6855
URL (web address):
Business Category: Religious Organization in Ojai, CA
Industry (SIC): Religious Organizations

Religious organization? I didn't know that. I don't think many people in my country (in Europe) know that either. Are the teachers who teach The Work as a method of self-inquiry and personal development aware of the religious connection? I doubt that.

In my country they give short classes in adult education centers introducing The Work. Nowhere it is ever being told that The Work is religious or that the organization behind it is religious.

I live in a very secular country where people in general are quite wary of any religious indoctrination. So, were the religious roots made clear it would mean that many adult education centers and students of The Work would just reject the whole thing.

But what those nice people teaching The Work as a method of personal development do tell is that "this has nothing to do with religion". I myself attended one course in an adult education center a year ago, with no mention of The Work in the course brochure, but out of the 7 hours of the class maybe 2 was just introducing The Work. And when someone asked about connections to religious or woo stuff the teacher said "this has nothing to do with any religion or religious thinking".

Are the teachers of The Work liars or just ignorant?

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: March 23, 2009 09:25PM

"Are the teachers of The Work liars or just ignorant?"

Probably a combination of both, and I don't mean ignorant in a negative way. If BK is listed as a religious organization, which she is not, then she is doing so to avoid paying taxes.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: March 23, 2009 10:33PM

Anticult; thanks.That makes a lot of sense. Definitely agree that being able to say No is crucially important; you are right that strong boundaries and being able to be impolite to people trying to recruit can be very necessary at times.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 23, 2009 10:53PM

A way to see persons who have been recruited into cultic groups is to understand that they have been recruited into something that is not what it says it is.

IMO a cult or shitty relationship can be regarded as an ongoing lie undergirded by a social structure and cover story.

One can also see a cult or shitty relationship as a dynamic of unreciprocated loyalty.


Yasmin wrote:

Definitely agree that being able to say No is crucially important; you are right that strong boundaries and being able to be impolite to people trying to recruit can be very necessary at times.


Persons who have been pulled into The Lie need care, because they are in a shock when they face they have been lied to.

But if you're fending off recruitment and dont want to be pulled into what I enjoy calling a Lie Factory--you have every right to raise hell and put up your dukes. If you make enough noise, you not only protect yourself but others who overhear may learn stuff they need to know so they can avoid recruitment into a Lie Factory situation.

We have to be gentle with persons already entangled in a bad group, and especially persons who have already sacrificed time, treasure and relationships to a group.

To find out that your love and loyalty are not reciprocated is a ghastly discovery
and care is needed.

A friend gave me an unexpected example of how to handle defrauded persons with care and compassion.

My pal gave me an example of this that he had learned during his Continuing Educatioj coursework---in this case, as an attorney.

He was listening to a DVD on Ponzi schemes. This was some years ago...before Bernie Madoff hit the news.

The attorney who spoke about Ponzi schemes came across as a very tough guy. But my friend told me that he had some psychologically astute and compassionate advice for how to break the terrible news of Ponzi betrayal to someone whose money has been looted.

The guy said that its not only terrible to learn ones money is gone...its even more terrible to discover one has been tricked, betrayed.

So what this attorney recommended was this:

Identify as many people as possible who have been ripped off.

Arranged for them to arrive as a group and break the news to them as a group.

That way, the victims all discover that they are not alone. THat they were taken advantage of by a very clever person.

That they have company in thier suffering.

It also ensures that they can share names and phone numbers and be a source of support to each other--vital when betrayal is severe and cuts to the heart.

This is an example of redemptive and healing gentleness.

But...when fending off recruiters, I agree with Anticult.

I dread to think of what I will have to face if I must do this when someone tries to abuse the context of a 12 step meeting, such as my favorite Alanon group, to pimp Byron Katie.

The woman who tried to pimp Byron Katie to me did this after I was weepy from having shared some heavy duty stuff.

I was far too polite in fending her off.

Byron Katie is NOT 12 step material and according to the traditions, one is really only supposed to recommend 12 step literture at a 12 step meeting, not use that meeting
to recruit people into non 12 step stuff--particularly by people who are not licensed
professionals but merely clever business people.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2009 10:58PM by corboy.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Jay Cruise ()
Date: March 23, 2009 11:06PM

Here is another story about Josh Baran (director The Work Foundation, worked on some of Katie's books and PR for Byron Katie as mentioned on his site) about being an exit counselor in 1977 for a Muktananda community.

"Over the course of time, our household became a kind of way station for people leaving the community to come and talk it out with us. Josh Baran, the author of the book on "Dark Zen”, was an exit counselor who would frequently come over to our house and talk to the people who were leaving. I came to learn that some people were actually being offered money by the community if they would just quietly disappear. One couple that I know of received $10,000. This was no blackmail, it was voluntarily given and accepted. The community was apparently extremely concerned about bad publicity."

Same Josh Baran authored 'Dark Zen - Zen Holy War?'

He founded "Sorting It Out" a berkeley cult counselling center.

The Mill Valley Record 1985
"Rothbaum, an East Bay social worker, and Josh Baran, a former Zen Buddhist monk and a self-styled public relations consultant, formed Sorting It Out in Berkeley in 1979, with the assumption, said Rothbaum, "that we were interested in spiritual growth."

Rothbaum and Baran say they have seen more than 2,000 clients from more than 250 groups.

"We don't do deprogramming - kidnapping. We do transition deprogramming," Rothbaum emphasized.

Three or four years ago a "rash" of JDC leavetakers sought assistance from the two counselors, Rothbaum said. "The JDC contacted him (Baran) and told him people are saying we're a cult. They asked him to mediate."

When contacted in Los Angeles, where he also has an office, Baran said "The JDC asked me to help resolve some of the problems. I talked to both sides of how they could right the wrongs."

Baran said his efforts did not meet either side's expectations. "Some leave-takers still felt they were not heard. Essentially, they felt they could not communicate with the leader clearly.

"It's a system of a perfect master at the top, incapable of human error," Baran said.

Since that incident, Baran said the church has contacted him "from time to time". Six weeks ago, a church representative called to ask him for his mediation services again because a number of people had left."

Pachelbel 1979ish
My newfound skepticism, which I hid from everyone, including my wife, advanced quickly in the following months, fed by a couple of critical events in my life. The first was my meeting with Joshua Baran, one of the producers of the movie “The Day After” and, at that time, a founder of a Berkeley organization called “Sorting It Out.” Josh, a former ordained Buddhist monk, had founded SIO to facilitate healing for, at the time (during the Jonestown era), hundreds and eventually thousands of disenfranchised devotees of various cult leaders in the Bay Area. He had worked with devotees of Jim Jones as well as Scientology, the Krishnas, and the Moonies (devotees of Sung Myung Moon) and most if not all the major cults so popular in the Bay Area throughout the late 60s and 70s. I met Josh at a major public event I put together for my graduate school, which he attended as an extended education student. When he discovered that I was an active member of BFJ’s community he became wide-eyed and took me aside privately for a lengthy discussion. He told me that SIO was seeing more of Bubba’s devotees than any other cult of that time and that, surprisingly to him, they were by far the “MOST DAMAGED” former cult members of any group in the Bay Area.

While I was still a dedicated member, in spite of the recent Krenz manuscript, I argued my case to him as fervently as I could. But in the end, Josh had me: The fish always stinks from the head down. In the end, given my background in politics, I found it difficult to argue his point. If there was a tight-lipped, highly authoritarian cult around BFJ – his so-called “intimates” – perhaps, as Josh suggested, Bubba held some degree of responsibility for that fact. Perhaps, as allegedly omniscient Supreme Divine Maha-Siddha and Savior of the Universe, this responsibility was even more than a little.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and telling it like it is...ASSERTIVENESS
Posted by: freedom fighter ()
Date: March 23, 2009 11:39PM

Does anyone know or heard what Byron Katie is like in private when she's dealing with people. She has an eerie resemblance to my ex boss who was extremely nice and polite and soft spoken to everyone outside the cult. Inside she was like a viper, or a human satan with dark beady eyes, if anything was out of line to her satisfaction. She hid her evil side to everyone except for all of us who she tried to control.

It's the way Byron talks and her aura that is really shady. Her polite approach is faker than an extreme case of plastic surgery gone wrong.


Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: quackdave ()
Date: March 24, 2009 12:03AM

Man, I'm only gone for a weekend and I come back and this thread is JAM PACKED with great new information. Good job, everyone. This is the lively intercourse that I just love about this thread.

I'll say one thing about the 12-step groups (which saved my life about 12 years ago and started the freeing process I'm involved in right now) and that is to quote:

Taken from a 12-Step Preamble
...not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.

To me it's pretty damn clear: "We don't talk about ANY other stuff here." I'll also say this, the "bleeding deacons" (old-timers) in my group would not hesitate to tear you a new asshole if you tried to push anything outside of the main purpose on others at the meeting; particularly in front of the new members. That kind of brutal honesty saved my life. As TAC said, 'not for everyone', however.


Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 24, 2009 12:44AM

Regarding Jay Cruises info..this is very jolly interesting.

Recall that Janaki reported formerly having been involved with Muk and claims a friend of hers involved with Muk later told her about BK.

Given the number of former Siddha YogaGurumayi--successor of Muktananda/SYDA yoga (Muktananda) devotees who apparently have gone on to become involved with BK..and seem to have referred one another to utilize BK..hmm.

I suggest that if anyone wants to research BK, they need also to study up on Muktananda and Gurumayi and the Siddha/SYDA yoga axis.

And, never forget that Werner Erhard was reportedly a friend of Muktananda and that according to one source, Muk used EST 'tech' as part of his Siddha Yoga intensives. How can you make a full recovery from something if you dont even know the names of all the techniques used on you?


The Werner Erhard/SY connection was an unregulated psychology experiment whose effects are still being felt--and not fully recognized.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2009 12:50AM by corboy.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Meadow ()
Date: March 24, 2009 05:25AM

I have been studying the Ken Keyes document a bit, the one that Janaki links to on her weblog. This is the last page of the document and it is interesting. In her comment Janaki calls this a ‘description of someone who has done the work’. I actually think it is a description of BK, that is to say, a description of how BK wants others to see her. Janaki writes in her story that she noticed a change in BK, and she noticed a stage personality had emerged. This is obvious on the various BK clips on YouTube, especially in the ones where she addresses large audiences. She literally plays the audience in the way that a professional performer does. Janaki concludes that there is a gap between the BK personality on stage and the BK woman in private.

This quote below dates back to June 1980. According to her bio on her website, BK had her experience in February 1986. Perhaps BK was reading these books, and perhaps she learned how to model herself after this example.

(From the Ken Keyes document)
1. Mindfulness: Broad awareness of “what is” instead of ignoring or not noticing important aspects of the here and now.
2. Wisdom: Balancing all the factors of the head and the heart so as to produce a skillful and compassionate response to life instead of a confused, inappropriate response due to overemphasizing some factors and underemphasizing others. Wisdom is seeing the overall picture.
3. Energy: An energetic participation in the games of life instead of a lazy, sluggish approach.
4. Rapture: An interest or fascination with life instead of a bored, dulled, grayed-out feeling.
5. Tranquility: A calmness, serenity and inner peace instead of a frantic, threatened, overly emotional handling of the here and now.
6. Concentration: An ability to focus the mind on what’s now instead of a butterfly-like flitting around that doesn’t come to grips with a situation long enough to find a skillful response.
7. Equanimity: An equal-valued perception of the games of life as not personally threatening, as opposed to experiencing things as heavy in their consequences with doom always around the corner.

BK always talks about ‘loving what is’ (nr. 1). She talks about bringing the head and the heart together. With the work she calls people on their behavior, or what you could call a confused and inappropriate response (Nr. 2). She definitely comes across as energetic (Nr. 3). From her website you can conclude that she is being described as a person with rapture and tranquility (Nr. 4 & 5). Look at how she focuses (especially when she gazes at people, or leans into them, or when she gazes at the lense of a camera) (Nr. 6) . And we have all read on this thread how she tells people that nothing is personally threatening, including cancer, being violated or raped (Nr. 7).

So the lady is a good actor. Someone should go to one of her programs and hand her an Oscar!

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