Wow. This is very helpful. I’m sorry I know nothing about this cult but find lots of similarities and the discussion is very informative. I think what happened to me is described below and will read the other thread that’s referrenced.
> Recall how Sahara described his or her own
> experiences, how these were happy, illuminating,
> grounding, clarifying and did NOT induce confusion
> or disorientation as many persons have reported
> Moo's methods do.
> Moo claimed Poonja was his guru. There is a memoir
> entitled The Mother of God that gives a quite
> detailed description of Poonja by a person who
> lived near him and with him for at least a month -
> Luna Tarlo, mother of Andrew Cohen, whom Poojna
> claimed to be enlightened and sent out to be a
> guru and to "start a revolution amongst the
> Andrew Cohen became a notoriously abusive guru.
> Luna Tarlo wrote a book describing all this and
> tells us how Pooja informed her, Tarlo, that she
> herself was enlightened. Tarlo reports this left
> her feeling more confused, more bewildered -- and
> more and more dependent on the two authoritarian
> males who had told her this - Poonja and her son
> Among other things, Tarlo states that Poonja had
> told his own sister that she was enlightened.
> Despite this, Poonja's sister remained silently in
> the background, doing the household drudgery.
> Being told by Poonja that you were enlightened did
> not give you dignity or autonomy. You were still
> subordinate to him.
> As The Who sang, Meet the new boss, same as the
> old boss.
> Tarlo described many episodes in which she felt
> spaced out, alienated from her surroundings.
> Andrew and his guru HWL Poonja assured her that
> these states of mind were evidence of
> Significantly, these assurances did not give Tarlo
> any sense of empowerment or confidence. Instead,
> she felt more confused, more powerless--and yet
> more dependent on Pooja and her son for guidance
> and validation.
> It appears that many of the experiences she
> describes were episodes of
> depersonalization/dissociation, and not
> enlightenment at all.
> Tarlo began experiencing these episodes while
> reeling with the news that her son had 'become
> enlightened' was suddenly deferred to and adulated
> as a guru, and began demanding deference and total
> submission from his followers---and his own
> And all this was happening in India, a foreign
> country that many new visitors like Tarlo find
> quite overwhelming and stressful.
> If you're under massive stress, experience
> depersonalization and are told that this is
> evidence, not of distress, but proof that you're
> enlightened, this will not empower you. It will
> only make you more dependant on the person
> peddling the enlightenment label.
> Its a perfect method for a hustler: place people
> under stress. Confuse them and disorient them.
> Trigger depersonalization
> Tell them they're enlightened
> Tell them they need more exposure to the kind of
> treatment that has disoriented them.
> Play this game properly and you'll keep people
> confused and dependent on you forever.
> This is from an earlier discussion some years ago
> entitled What Some Call Enlightenment May Be
> Depersonalization Derealization Disorder
> All this seems quite different from what Sahara
> described. Ive had a few peak experiences and the
> ones that mattered most helped me feel more
> attuned and connected with people and my
> surroundings, while preserving a sense of
> independent agency, responsibility and dignity --
> the best of both worlds, as it were.
> Derealization Depersonalization