n the east coast his recruiting
arms included: Boston Meditation Society (Massachusetts),
Hartford Meditation Society (Connecticut)
Philadelphia Society for the
Meditative Arts (eastern Pennsylvania)
Diamond Mind (Washington,
D.C. and Maryland)
New Jersey Meditative Society (southern New
Jersey and Princeton area)
Virginia Meditative Society, and Manhattan
Meditation Forum (New York City and Westchester).
On the west coast:
Banzai Tantric Institute (Silicon Valley)
RCF (San Francisco,
Marin County, and East Bay area),
Pacific Meditation Society
(Lenz)told disciples to promote their talks by postering
universities. He told them to pay particular attention to bulletin
boards around engineering and computer science departments.
In 1991, articles on Rama appeared in New York's Newsday, "The
Yuppie Guru", 7/30/91; The L.A. Weekly, "Rama Rerun", 11/29/91;
and in several issues of the Consultants' & Contractors' Newsletter
(CCN). I read in CCN (July/August, 1991 issue) how Rama's followers
had become known in the computer industry as the "California Raisins."
The Raisins apparently had been causing companies, recruiters,
and agencies in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to lose
a substantial amount of time and money. In the same issue, I read:
"...we think it only fair to put cult members on notice that knowledge
of their activities is widespread...local area recruiters are
now circulating a list of those known to be cult members, which
is regularly updated as new names are added...In other words,
local recruiters, typically thought of as competing with one another,
are acting in unison when it comes to fighting the onslaught of
this group...if you want to adhere to a certain faith or religion,
go ahead, it's what our country was set up to protect. But don't
continue trying to raise money through fraudulent behavior which
neither the courts, nor most religions would condone...Further
info. available from (201) 299-1535."
Also in 1991, I read in Newsday that Rama did not permit disciples
to live near him because he did not want them to "lower the vibe"
of Long Island. I read about one follower who committed suicide
after "speaking incessantly about Rama and about making enough
money to get back into the group." I read about Brenda Kerber,
a follower who disappeared from her White Plains apartment on
October 9th, 1989, and who, at the printing of this book, is still
listed as "missing." I read about Rama's claim that those who
had not done well in his program were "simply unrealistic or lazy."
And I read about Rama's claim that he merely wanted to teach,
travel, meditate, and, when time permitted, date women. "I have
a great life," Rama was quoted as saying. "I'm one of the happier
people I know."
Lenz has consistently insisted that his members sever all ties with their former friends and families and focus on him. He tells them the people who know him best will more easily be able to drain them of their psychic energy. He tells them to be wary in crowds, as they are vibrating at a much faster rate than non-members and are more sensitive,so it is painful and will hurt to be around the average person vibrating at a slower rate. They are made to feel that other people will try to steal their power, and that when this life force leaves us we will die.
Contact with anyone outside the group is taught as dangerous to his follower's spiritual well being. Said one former member, "Rama said you're supposed to separate yourself from everyone else - your friends, your family, and anyone you had any ties with." So basically Rama is the only person you trust.
Followers develop a fear of outsiders, and even of fellow members. Demons play an important role in Lenz' teaching and activities. In the past Lenz would tell his students they were full of demons trying to kill him, that they were psychic abusers possessed by demons. Some of the circle would get up and confess they were possessed by demons. Said one former member, "After several people confessed we started to believe maybe we were possessed." He reached such a state that he wore sunglasses to group gatherings in order to ward off "psychic attacks" from fellow students who were trying to drain his energy. People would avoid eye contact and not talk to each other so no one could get their hooks into you. The group became so paranoid that few students knew each other's last names, addresses or phone numbers.
Lenz reinforces this by telling his members that former friends and family members may bring demons to attack them, draining their psychic energy. In addition, a considerable amount of organizational paranoia is induced. When the adverse publicity in 1988 occurred Lenz blamed the Cult Awarness Network and told his members they were fundamentalist religious bigots out to get them.
The daily routine he requires from followers further isolates them from conventional social contacts. They are encouraged to meditate at least two hours a day. In addition they are required to listen to his lecture tapes regularly. In the past he required members to take martial arts classes, but Yoga now seems to be emphasized. When this is coupled with the fact that most of them are engaged in computer programming and engineering, with a relatively limited amount of social interaction, the followers are left fairly well isolated from other people even if they go to an office each day.
A particularly effective control method is rejection. As an exit counselor put it, "Freddy plays the guru game well. He controls them by kicking them out of the group and they'll do anything to get back in. It's reverse psychology." He periodically expells members saying they are not progressing spiritually, that they don't deserve to be close to him. Those remaining feel as if they are very special and belong to an ultra-elite club. The rejectees (who are not coming up with the proper amount of money) will redouble their efforts to get back in.
About a year ago he expelled eighteen women, called "The Debs", from the group in New York and told them to go to Seattle. During one six month period one of those expelled sent him two $5,000 checks in an attempt to regain favor. An appended report gives more details on the "Debs" and on the death of <deleted>.
The use of all the above methods, and including sleep deprivation due to the intensive demands he makes on their time and the fact that they are kept off base, fearful of rejection, has resulted in an exceptionally effective system of control in a group that is not physically sequestered. At one period in the eighties Lenz would use fatigue as a way of inducing hallucinations. The members would be instructed to climb a hill to meet him. They would arrive exhausted while he would arrive fresh, having driven. Then he would harrangue them. Their state of fatigue would make them susceptible to hallucinations.
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SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR FOLLOWERS OF FREDERICK LENZ
Followers of Frederick Lenz indignantly deny that they are the victims
of thought reform, or that they are under mind control. Most of them
probably don't know it, or realize it, and those that suspect it are
taught to put it out of their minds. However, an observant
interviewer will find numerous manifestations of mind control by
carefully questioning. Basically, followers who are being interviewed
have a serious problem. Lenz has thoroughly indoctrinated them on
many subjects. When asked as question on such subjects they answer
readily. In fact, most of them will answer such questions in the
exact same way using almost the exact same words. However, when they
don't know how Lenz wants them to answer a question, even though they
know the answer, there is a real problem. They will hesitate
noticeably and then attempt to evade answering. The following
questions are designed to demonstrate manifestations of this kind of
1. How much to you pay Rama each month? Is this for computer
instruction or for spiritual instruction?
2. Does Rama give the computer instruction? If not, what is he paid
3. How does the cost of this instruction compare with other
4. Does Rama bring you business? Does he use his occult powers to do
5. Many of his students remembers past lives. Do you?
6. As you bothered by "entities"?
7. Tell us something about the monthly report you submit to Rama?
8. Did you know Dr. Christopher Morasco? Do you know why he left the
group? Would you like to talk to him?
9. Are you allowed to decieve people about the nature of your
10. Why do you think your group is controversial? Do you know any
other Buddhist group that has been singled out for criticism in the
11. Tell me three things you don't like about Rama or your studies
12. If you had not become a student of Rama what do you think you
would be doing today?
13. What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?
14. Where do you live?
15. Why do you use a mailbox for an address?
16. Does Rama have an office? Do you know where it is? How do you
get in touch with him if you need to talk?
17. Have any of the members of the group had financial problems?
18. Would you let me visit you in your home or spend a day or two with
you to see what your life-style is like?