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'Free Meditation'..might be a front for Frederick Lenz Rama Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 09, 2018 04:46AM

Many free meditation courses are great.

Frederick Lenz, now deceased, was a notorious cult leader. He presented himself as Buddhist.

Lenz committed suicide in 1998. His followers are still active today.

Lenz's Free Meditation classes never mention his name. Lenz was a control freak and his free meditation classes include intrusive elements such as music (composed by him) and sound effects.

A former disciple wrote an analysis of Lenz's theology.


Lenz and his followers use concepts that do not exist in Zen Buddhism such as 'astral', will mention Atlantis and occult forces.

Lenz was paranoid about occult forces and negative energies and disliked children -- perhaps because he resented anyone he could not control and whose needs were greater than his own.

After his death, Lenz and his organization exert influence on Buddhist projects via the Frederick Lenz Foundation.

Extensive information here:


Appendix 1
Frederick Lenz, aka Zen Master Rama

History - The Ascent of a Guru


Biography - Goofy Fred or the Silver Tongue


Private Life of a Guru


The Sexual Exploiter



The Code Cult of the CPU Guru



In time, Lenz's techniques and philosophy changed from Chinmoy's friendly, chaste Hinduism to what Lenz likes to call "American Buddhism," which ex- followers and secretly disloyal initiates say is a hierarchical blend of Zen, mysticism, and New Age philosophy. The philosophical mix is slowly revealed to neophytes as they prove their loyalty through time spent in group activities.

Last spring, Lenz ended a year-long recruiting drive that included open meetings held in public places in cities throughout the country. Advertisements for "free meditation classes" were posted in universities, at YMCAs, and on the back page of the Village Voice. The advertisements did not mention Lenz or Rama, but reporters and disenchanted seekers found time and again that the classes, led by Rama's senior students, were fronts for bringing candidates into the fold.

When Kenneth Pollinger, who runs a New Age center in Nyack, New York, was told by a student that the well-dressed men offering free classes in his center (one of them was Kristopher Kane, who later appeared in the offices of WIRED hoping to stop this story from running) were a front for Lenz, he felt angry and deceived. They had told him that they had nothing to do with Rama.

When pushed, they finally admitted they were part of the Lenz group, and Pollinger recalled how he had been deceived by the same group years earlier, when a female disciple brought him to a lecture, promising it was free, only to demand money when they arrived.

"It was an insidious deception," said Pollinger, who also teaches sociology at a community college. "When confronted, they were obviously defensive."

In this day and age of the #MeToo, those of us who are disgusted with Weinstein et al. need to know that twenty plus years ago, Lenz was no better.

Years ago, on this message board, a former Lenz student wrote to us
with some distress.




was wondering if anyone had any knowledge of sexual ritual or similar activities in cultic groups. I am a former student of Rama/Dr. Frederick Lenz, a controversial American Buddhist teacher who committed suicide in 1998. Dr. Lenz was known for being a proponent of what he called 'Tantric sex' as described in books such as Snowboarding to Nirvana. Towards the end of his life, Dr. Lenz asked a number of his female students to bare their tits on an Internet web site said to be devoted to 'Tantric sex'. The male students were then encouraged to subscribe to this site as a fundraiser. The site lasted for about a year after Dr. Lenz' death but is no more.

As a male student of Dr. Lenz, I was one of the subscribers to this site. This experience has caused me mixed feelings which linger to this day. On the one hand, the women students were beautiful and seeing them with bare tits was definitely erotic. On the other hand, I was very saddened to see women whom I had known as friends for many years and whom I respected as being accomplished women posing topless as though they were strippers--and I was saddened to have participated in what amounted to a form of Internet prostitution. These were not women who ordinarily would have participated in this kind of activity--they did so, clearly, only because they were told to do so by Dr. Lenz.

This is only one example of many things about sexuality that were somewhat 'weird' in Dr. Lenz' circle--I don't want to go into too much detail about everything that went on because I wish to protect both my own privacy and that of others. Yet I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or suggestions on how to regain a 'normal' sense of sexuality after dealing at close quarters with a group with a decidedly unusual attitudes about sex. I find that many of my attitudes about sexuality are still shaped by this group, even almost seven years later. Any thoughts? I believe it is very common for cultic groups to have unusual attitudes towards sex yet books about such groups don't usually focus on this--they are more focused on the power dynamic and sexuality is cited as an example of this, but not usually dealt with in its own right.

Friends, suppose you are out and about, taking the dog for a pee, running your errands, etc.

For the past few months you've been seeing signs all over your neighborhood. Signs pasted on phone poles, benches, trees all advertising "Free Meditation" "Dharma", "Enlightenment" various promises of mind mastery.

You get curious - someone keeps putting new fliers up, and each new clutch of fliers has different graphics, all attractively done.

Your brain gets an itch - thanks your being descended from many, many generations of curious people. Why not see what these meditation classes are about? Besides, it will be cool to tell your friends about it - you can tell them
what's behind all those fliers on trees and at the laundromat and on the Safeway bulletin board.


That's what the publicity campaign is all about. To get you curious. You are
already doing what they want you to do.

You may be curious because you've been seeing all those Buddha face Free Meditation signs in your neighborhood week, after week, being reposted again and again and again.

Who is their leader?

Who is their leader's leader?

Do your background research before you establish a heart connection. We humans bond easily if managed with an adroit hand. IQ and education are no safeguard. Its all in our neurobiology, down in the paleo cortex.

For example, there's a dead leader named Frederick Lenz, known to his devotees as Zen Master Rama or Rama. Recruitesr will not tell you up front that they are
into Lenz and want you to get involved too. Nope. Google reveals too much and they want you to stay away from Google.

The guy was controversial to say the least. So...many people who consider Lenz their guru will NOT mention him to you, just as people who are devotees of Rajneesh will not refer to him as Rajneesh but as "Osho".

Instead, they wait until they get you emotionally invested in and trust them.

This is called 'Bait and Switch'. You cannot make a fully informed decision whether to join a group or select a meditation teacher unless you know
that teachers and groups ENTIRE history -- not just the abridged version.

Zen Master Rama/Frederick Lenz/ "Rama"

Lenz Dies On Drugs
150 sedative pills in guru
The New York Post/April 16, 1998


Diving into Conscience Bay

When New Age guru Rama was fished out of the waters off Long Island, he was wearing suit and tie and his pet dog's collar around his neck
Psychology Today/December 1998
By John Gallagher



To his followers, Lenz was a brilliant teacher who brought them to new levels of spiritual awareness and an entrepreneur who guided them to lucrative careers. Newsweek dubbed him the "Yuppie Guru."

To his critics, however, Lenz was a charlatan who lied without compunction, fleeced his students and sexually exploited women. "For someone who theoretically lived his life to help others, he spent a great deal of his time looking out for his own interests," wrote Steve Kaplan, an ex-follower, in a letter printed in New York magazine after the guru's death. "Lenz was a walking contradiction."

Lenz cultivated followers, not friends; surrounded by disciples, he apparently felt closest to his dogs. He proclaimed himself, "one of the 12 truly enlightened beings on the planet," but seemed beset by private demons. And in what may be the supreme irony, Lenz, who never evinced a twinge of guilt, chose to die in a body of water known as Conscience Bay.

More articles here.


So, any time you see and get curious about a "Free Meditation" class, demand to know who the leader is -- and you have the right to the full truth.

Next, consider this. "Free Meditation"

Hello, hello. Ever consider that perhaps you've already paid
for this so called free meditation classes - and you have not even attended one yet.

How can this be?

If you are an American tax payer, that's how.

If this free meditation class is offered by a religious organization, it is probably tax exempt.

One could contend that
you, the tax payer, have been indirectly subsidizing them and ya have not even stepped through the door just yet.

Your Rights When You Attend a Meditation Introduction - Free or For Money.

Suppose those publicity fliers advertise that the meditation class is, say
at 8PM on Thursday night.

If that is what the advertisement says, you have a reasonable expectation that
the medication class will begin at 8 PM, especially on a weeknight.

Your Rights as a Guest

The right for that class to begin on time at 8 PM.

The right for that class to end at a reasonable hour so that you and
the others can get home early enough for a sufficient nights sleep - especially on a weeknight.

The right to get up and leave if that class runs past your bed time.

Corboy's opinion is that if the group has the resources to run a publicity campaign, they should have their act together
to begin the class
at 8PM and end at 9:30PM, at the latest. Ninety minutes is enough time
to convey key concepts.

Keeping your audience waiting is disrespectful.

Sleep The Essential Nutrient

Before you go to the meditation class, take a look at the day and time.

* Is it in the evening, in the middle of your work week?

If you have to work the next day, be aware you have the RIGHT
to have that evening meditation class start on time and end at a reasonable hour - IMO no later than 9:30 PM.

A well run meditation class should give you all you need within an hour and a half.

Just because a class is free does not mean you lose your right to have it start at the advertised time.

If they run more than 20 minutes late, Corboy advises treating this like a bad
date. Get up and leave.


* Your time is valuable, especially in the evening and on a weeknight. . After all, you could have spent that time preparing for the next workday,
with friends,
or at home with your family.

Another reason to leave if the class is 20 minutes late - if you are kept awake past your bed time, this screws with your sleep wake cycle and it makes you more suggestible. And -- you risk feeling crappy the next day.

If they will not let you leave, shove past em and get out. They are exploiting your politeness. Don't let this happen to you.

If they say you are going to miss out on something wonderful or you're being
negativistic or ego driven or you're making a big thing out of nothing,
these are the standard ways high pressure sales people mess with your head.

Repeat, just because it is advertised as a "free meditation class" does not
excuse the organizer from beginning on time.

More info on Zen Master Rama from a guy who met him in the early years of the latter's guru career.


Edited 12 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2018 09:06PM by corboy.

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Free meditation - know when 2 leave, no matter what
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 09, 2018 04:51AM

Okay, before you go to that "Free Meditation Class" whose fliers with Buddha on them have been posted all over your neighborhood week after week, here are some to things to keep in mind.

You've already decided you will leave if the class has not started 20 minutes after the time it is advertised to begin.

Decide what time you are gonna leave, no matter what.

meditation salespeople will keep the class going late into the night. This will mess up your sleep wake cycle.

Do yourself a favor. Decide for yourself that you will (say) get up and leave at 9:30 PM, no matter what.

This is intelligent self care, this is not being egotistical.

You can bet that others in the group probably want to get up and go home and feel too shy to assert themselves.

If anyone tries to run a guilt trip on you to stay, its a bad sign. Your boundaries are being messed with. You don't have to put up with this nonsense.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2018 05:29AM by corboy.

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"Free Meditation" fliers with Buddha Face on them
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 09, 2018 04:58AM

Ask yourself this:

* Where is the money coming from to pay for all those fliers? Paper costs money. Print jobs cost money. If the printing is in color, it costs even more money. Who is paying for it -- and how much will you find yourself paying?

* Whose effort is putting up all those fliers? Some volunteers are working their asses off and not being paid to do it. Will you have the time to do this if you get involved?

* If this is a religious gig, most likely it is
tax exempt and you, a tax payer are indirectly subsidizing this.

You deserve to be treated well and get respectful replies to your reasonable questions.

If anything has images of Buddha or refers to Dharma, the class
should refer to Buddha's Four Noble Truths.

The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
The truth of the origin of suffering (Samud?ya)
The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)

If instead its about brain waves,
prosperity, mind mastery, psychic phenomena ask whats going on.

“There is a simple way to become buddha: When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate toward all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha. Do not seek anything else.”

? D?gen, Moon In a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2018 05:04AM by corboy.

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"Dosed with LSD" as initiation - Fred Lenz Rama
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 10, 2018 05:17AM


Goodbye Zen Man
Published: 09/25/1998 at 1:00 AM
. Stuart Goldman

Read more at []


It had been nearly 10 years since I’d met with Lenz, but the memory was
as clear as day. Back then, he wasn’t known as Lenz. He’d gone by the
moniker “Zen Master Rama.” At the time (1986), I was heavily involved in
investigating destructive cults; so when I saw the ad in the paper that
immediately went up.

On a cool Monday evening, I joined a massive line waiting to get into the
Wilshire Ebell theater in Los Angeles. Inside the auditorium, a sign read,

The people in the audience that night were a fairly well-heeled lot. No
fringe-clad Deadheads in this bunch. However, the most distinguishing
feature of the crowd was that a large portion of them had that peculiar
waxy-faced, glassy-eyed look that is common amongst New Agers.... .

A rather, bland, upbeat instrumental track filled the room. It had a
strange numbing quality to it. Approximately ten minutes later, the lights
went down, and a figure clad entirely in black appeared onstage. It had to
be. And indeed, it was. …

Zen Man had arrived!

A hush fell over the crowed. Zen man began to speak in a strange,
toneless voice. He told the audience that they’d be going through “lots of
different experiences” as he guided them through “the 10,000 states of

For the next hour, the music (written and produced by Zen Man himself)
played, during which time the audience was instructed to close their eyes
and “meditate.” Meanwhile, Zen Man simply sat onstage in the lotus position,
occasionally making little swooshing motions with his hands.

After a few moments, I stole a glance around the room at the entranced
crowed; I almost laughed out loud. These witless nincompoops had paid $15 a
pop to sit here and do nothing! Somehow the sheer preposterousness of
the scene filled me with a strange and terrible sense of glee.

Moments later I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see a man clad
all in black staring down at me. “You’ll have to step outside, sir,” he said

I followed the man out to the lobby, where he was joined by several more
all-black clad individuals. “We noticed you have a tape recorder,” one of
the Zen Goose-Steppers said. “Tape recorders are not allowed.”

Giving my best Jack Nicholson sneer, I pulled out my press pass, and
informed them I was “on assignment.” I then said that I’d like to do an
interview with Zen Man after the show. The black clad minions appeared to
grow nervous. They convened momentarily.

You must personally request an interview with The Master,” I was
informed. “However, if you want to come back inside, you need to leave your
recorder with us

I did as I was bid (I had a backup mini-recorder stashed in my bag) and
went back inside. The crowd, still entranced, sat silently while onstage,
Zen Man was going through a series of karate-like moves. The music droned

When the evening was over, I headed for the lobby. After looking around,
I finally spotted Zen Man, who actually appeared to be hiding in a far
corner of the room. I went over and introduced myself. After shaking a cold,
clammy hand, I told him that I was a reporter, and that I’d like to do an
interview. There was a long silence while Zen Man’s eyes — cold, blue and
dead — seemed to penetrate my skull. Then he asked me for my card, telling
me that one of his “people would get back to me.” As I turned to leave, one
of the Zen Zombies handed me a promo package, featuring a heavily
air-brushed photo of Zen Man on the cover.


I never heard back from Zen Man, so I did a little poking around. My
research turned up his real name: Frederick Lenz, a native San Diegoan who
had graduated from the University of Connecticut and taught English there
before hopping onto the burgeoning “guru circuit.” Lenz’ father had once
been the mayor of Connecticut.

But things didn’t get interesting until I did
a financial background check. This cat was loaded!

At the time, Lenz was
renting a $10,000 a month pad on the beach in Malibu, which he shared with
an inner core of his “followers.” The garage was full of classic cars,
including his favorite, an black Porsche Carerra. I uncovered numerous bank
accounts, all under various “corporate shell” identities. Lenz’ estate was
well in excess of several million dollars.

OK, so Lenz was loaded. And it was clear by now that he was the leader of
what appeared to be a cult. But the going got rough when I tried getting any
of his “devotees” to talk to me. Finally, I turned up a few ex-Lenz
followers, and the story broke wide open. People told of being dosed with
LSD as an “initiation” into the cult. They talked of being forced to turn
over their life’s savings. And there was more … including allegations of
rape and torture (performed by Lenz) against two female cult members.

Once the dam had broken, more people started talking. One individual
related an incident where Lenz had choked a puppy to death in a rage of
anger. Another told of him waving a loaded gun at several cult members who
were threatening to defect. Moreover, Lenz had been linked to the suicide of
one of his “students,” as well as the mental breakdowns of two others. And
something even more chilling: several cult members had mysteriously
“disappeared” — never to be found.

I filed my story, but it ran on an inside page of the paper and didn’t
garner all that much attention. A month later, the L.A. Weekly, (where I had
been the entertainment editor) ran a full-blown expose on Lenz, complete
with all the sordid details.

Several weeks later, Frederick Lenz did a Houdini. The rented Malibu
mansion was abandoned. The phones were cut off. Bank accounts were closed.

Yep. Zen Man had vanished.


So now Zen Man had decided to “leave this plane.”..several nights later, while watching a “Dateline” special on Lenz’
death, I experienced an unexpected emotion. As I watched Lenz during an
interview he’d conducted a year prior to his death, I studied his
countenance. On the surface, Lenz was his usual smug, arrogant self. But it
was the face that got to me. It was the face not simply of a monumentally
unhappy man — it was a face that was literally haunted. A face of someone
who was totally empty. Soulless. And as I started at that face, despite
myself, for the first time I felt genuine pity for the man called Frederick

Read more at []

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2018 05:25AM by corboy.

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Re: So you see a sign advertising 'Free Meditation'...
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 10, 2018 05:31AM

Back in 1994, when a technology consultant who was Lenz' disciple was asked about
her guru, she reportedly threw a fit.


When a television crew recently interviewed Christine Comaford, president of Corporate Computing, a Chicago-based consulting firm, they did not tell her what they wanted. Comaford is a regular columnist for PC Week and a pundit on Microsoft's role in the computer software industry. She is also a "student" of Dr. Frederick P. Lenz III, a mysterious and alleged cult leader who convinces followers like Comaford to work in computers, live by his strict rules, and worship him as a god. The interviewer began by asking Comaford general questions about computers. When he changed the subject to Dr. Lenz, the real purpose of the interview, she became hysterical and asked them to leave.

"They totally misrepresented themselves, and they'll be hearing from my attorney," she said when I asked her about the confrontation. Like most curious journalists, they did hear from Lenz's lawyers, but nothing came of it

For more, read here.

The Code Cult of the CPU Guru


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"Rama" Frederick Lenz recruiters - Clues and Tip Offs
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 10, 2018 11:11PM

This survey of Frederick Lenz's religion is highly informative. It includes descriptions of the lifestyle etiquette Lenz disciples must follow.

On the surface they are attractive, dynamic and charming - and marketable.

Lenz demanded it.



American Buddha

American Buddhist Rebel

- two titles given Lenz by his followers

As Lenz became controversial, he moved his operation to different parts of the country.


Rama Meditation Society -


As noted above, some signs that someone or something might be tied to Frederick Lenz/aka Zen Master Rama.

Lenz and his followers use these terms a lot. There might be references to
Star Trek

"Stop thought" and -- "impeccable"

"Stopping thought" or "stop thought" (Corboy note: this is NOT Zen practice and it is not mindfulness practice, either. It may derive from Lenz's time with Chinmoy, who was a Hindu guru.

*Stopping thought disrupts any doubts or gut warnings you're getting*

"Stop thought" is like riding your bicycle while grabbing the brakes at the same time. This disrupts your critical thinking and robs you of access to your BS detector.


Impeccable -- Lenz may have picked this up from Carlos Castaneda


More themes tied to Frederick Lenz and his followers today.

Negative spiritual and auric forces, Karma yoga, tantra/tantric zen, Atlantis, Egypt, Music Asian martial arts, Buddhism, Computer/Information Technology, meditation music, talk of menacing occult forces. Earlier Lenz recruits may have spent time in New York.

Negative spirits, energies, forces -- Lenz emphasized these as he became more paranoid. This is from Western metaphysics, NOT genuine Buddhist practice.



"It's not just that he has a positive message of how to live one's life," Mr. Markowitz said. "It's that he has hundreds of people who are intimately under his daily control, which includes severing their ties with their families and helping to deceive their families."

Ms. Walker, the former student who studied with Dr. Lenz for five years, said that he told his students that families were filled with negative energy.

"He told us that our families did not want us to evolve spiritually, that they drain our energy," Ms. Walker said. "He had a lot of different ways to isolate us. If someone didn't like you, you should stay away from them. If they did like you, they just wanted to steal your energy. So you should stay away from them, too. And anyone in the group was competition."


Karma Yoga


Tantra/Tantric Zen


* Atlantis and Egypt




Martial Arts


Karma yoga is a concept from Hinduism, not from Buddhism. Do be aware that Frederick Lenz started out as a disciple of a Hindu guru (and sex predator) named Chinmoy. So one trademark of Lenz is his incongruous mixture of Hindu terminology and Buddhist terminology. Chinmoy was into physical fitness,
a theme Lenz carried on in his own franchise.

His name, Zen Master Rama is a perfect example of this.

Any sign of fact checking on your part will be discouraged. Remember, genuine Buddhist practice and Asian martial arts are deeply rooted in traceable lineages. A teacher should be able to trace his or her teacher back through many generations and this lineage should be verifiable from sources independent of your teacher.

Truthfulness in the factual sense is a basic test of character. If your teacher
cannot be up front about his or her teacher, all bets are off.

Karma yoga, tantra, Asian martial arts, Buddhism, computers, meditation music.

References to Star Trek and Carlos Castaeneda (who himself was a cult leader and cruelly preyed on women, btw)

Lenzie's do not mention Lenz' name to outsiders who might be unsympathetic saying it is too intimate or too private. They wait until they know you are
so emotionally invested that you'll discount any kind of warning because 'it wont be your experience." Experiences can be manipulated - Frederick Lenz disciples are MIND HACKERS.

Bodyguards. Lenz had creepy control freak enforcers at his events. Some of his
successors do the same. As noted by the LA Weekly reporter, Lenz also had music at his events to set the mood.

Lenz obsessed that he was vulnerable to occult forces -- note that this is NOT something that ever comes up in genuine Zen teaching. This is a borrowing from Western metaphysics, NOT from Zen Buddhism.

Tip off:

They throw fits and freak out if someone else mentions Lenz's name. Frederick Lenz loyalists do this when outsiders penetrate the disguise.

Computers, martial arts, a hodge podge of other teacher's names.

Lenz got his disciples into computer work in the early days. He was also into martial arts. He had intimidating looking body guards at his lectures.

Interestingly, a so called Buddhist teacher named "Nicole Grace" reportedly had
body guards at her lectures and forbade being photographed.

When a CEI message board discussion tied her to Frederick Lenz, people got very upset.


Legitimate Buddhist teachers are not hidden names. If someone teaches Buddhist meditation, he or she MUST be able to name their teacher and their lineage, and it
has to be a lineage that can be fact checked using sources other than those given by the instructor.

If someone has zero history online yet claims to have studied for decades with a bunch of illustrious teachers, those teachers should all have histories that can be found online via multiple sources.




According to Jim Picariello, a devout Lenzie who left the cult a little more than two years ago, "initially, people joined seeking compassion, but came to learn that Lenz's brand of spiritualism was equated with money and power." Fear and "phobia indoctrination" were Lenz's means of manipulation, Picariello claims, adding that monthly meetings with Lenz were a "karmic slate cleaning ­ whether you'd screwed someone over, or lied on your résumé Š Lenz wiped your slate totally clean." But, says Picariello, Lenz also warned his youthful acolytes about the horrific "slap back" they'd receive if they left the cult: a karmic punch in the form of cancer, a fatal car accident, even insanity.

TeamAlliance, TeamSource, Client/Server Connection, Wall Street Forecasts Ltd., Retail Forecasting Systems Inc., and Interglobal Seminars Inc. form only a partial list of the companies bearing Lenz's name or fingerprints. What clients of these companies often don't realize, according to some who have retained their services, is that Lenz stays in close contact with these employees, who report directly to him or his high-level emissaries.

A self-proclaimed Buddhist, Lenz looks every bit the mogul, with bodyguards, two estates, a fleet of cars, and chartered jets. Perhaps industry watchdog Wendy Vandame, editor of New Jersey's Consultants' and Contractors' Newsletter, has stated it most plainly: "It's more than a cult story. Now it's big business."

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2018 09:15PM by corboy.

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How Fred Lenz recruited -Universities and College Campuses
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 10, 2018 11:22PM

If you are a university student, especially if you are majoring in the STEM
(Science Technology Engineering Medicine) departments, you have HIGH INCOME potential.

If you already have a Ph.D or MD - you are off the scale valuable.

You are a high value investment to add to the cult's portfolio of living breathing trusting people.

And if you are a STEM major and are a charismatic brilliant woman -- beware. You are especially valuable. Women trust other women, and if just one brilliant woman is recruited into an exploitative group, other women are more likely to ignore their misgivings.





Lenz's small band of believers searched for recruits on college campuses throughout the nation. One campaign involved 100 disciples distributing 4,000 posters and 100,000 promotional newsletters in California alone. Newcomers were invited to meditation sessions where, in an upper-octave monotone, Lenz promised to take them into the "light."

Lenz didn't accept just anyone. He was interested only in bright, diligent, presentable followers, so he required people to fill out lengthy applications - with photos attached. (Typical question: "Do you hear voices, or do you communicate with nonphysical beings?") Those who made the cut were taught what Lenz called American Buddhism, which included "what matters: making money."

Lenz had the foresight to recognize that computer programming for mainstream institutions, including Wall Street banks, held far more potential than, say, street-corner flower sales. He urged his flock to learn the basics of programming at Computer Learning Centers. Lenz said computer training was integral to practicing Buddhism; he insisted that writing code is like doing yoga, that it "puts you in a very high place."

"It was quite a radical thing to take people who were used to eating granola and send them down to Wall Street," recalls William Arntz, who was a Lenz student for 12 years, until 1994. "He said it was a warrior's task to go down there. He said the good thing about programming was that you can see how clear you are by how good your code works."

"In a lot of ways," says a current follower who, like several others, declined to be identified, "your computer career became a vehicle for studying Buddhism."

Lenz was certainly right about one thing: the shortage of skilled programmers in the early '80s. Coders like Arntz who were proficient in SQL or Fortran made $50 an hour, a rate that more than doubled by decade's end. From their earnings, followers would eventually pay Lenz a monthly tuition ranging from $125 for college students to $5,000 for the highest earners. Some would fork over as much as $1,000 to have dinner with the man who clued them in on everything from what to wear (Armani evoked authority, he said, while Calvin Klein was for wimps) to where to live (he endorsed certain "power" centers, like Westchester County in suburban New York).

Some disgruntled members charged Lenz with being a drug-ingesting charlatan.

Invoking a theme from Carlos Castaneda, Lenz told followers that their paths would be smoother if they made themselves "inaccessible" to outsiders who might drain their energy. That meant creating an elaborate shield to conceal their physical whereabouts: relying on post-office boxes, hiding behind email. Buying into the Lenz trip often meant moving every six months or so - whenever he requested it - and acquiring no more material goods than you could stuff in a car. It appeared that he mistrusted not only outsiders but his own students as well.

"This was a man who made you sign an eight-page form if you went out with him on a date," says a lapsed follower now living in the New York area. Lenz warned students that the backlash for leaving the group included personal tragedies like cancer and fatal car crashes.



The Lenzies often did respectable work, but not always. "I was one of the first people to give computer training, and I had only one year of data processing," recalls former member Mark Lurtsema. "Let's put it this way: Those courses were not college level." In the Consultants' and Contractors' Newsletter, whose readership includes managers who hire computer programmers in and around New York City, editor Wendy Vandame frequently reported on the impact of unseasoned Lenz followers at places like Nynex and Deutsche Bank. She estimates that, from about 1987 to 1994, Lenz's people caused millions of dollars in business losses in the New York metropolitan area, the result of missed project deadlines and spending on services that were inadequate or misrepresented.

Still, the Lenzies proliferated, in part because their technical training was backed with seminars about aggressive job hunting. One training document goes so far as to suggest, "Have a friend using a pseudonym act as your reference person."

Corboy note: The Buddhist precepts warn against lying.

Here are details on exactly how Lenz taught followers to use other followers as references.



Rama, in 1989, wrote
a manual for disciples in which he encouraged them to think of
a resume as "a mandala that reflects your new self." Rama wrote:
"They will believe anything you say, even when you intersperse
unrealities, because they feel the truth of your experience. When
you have your stories and images in place, arrange for your references.
Choose people from our group who are comfortable on the phone,
who sound professional and who have had data processing experience.
Give them a few notes about who they were."

This alone shows that Lenz was out for himself, not a Buddhist at all.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2018 09:29AM by corboy.

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Re: 'Free Meditation Classes'..can be a front for Frederick Lenz Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2018 09:28AM

Lenz loyalists may claim that Lenz' original message was excellent that only in his final years did he became a victim of negative energies.

No. Lenz was troubled and power hungry from the very beginning.

Here is an interview with professors who knew Lenz when the latter was a graduate student.

This includes a description of Lenz's instructions on how to angle job interviews.

Early in his career Lenz was a manipulator and a user.




ewsgroups: alt.buddha.short.fat.guy
X-Anonymously-To: alt.buddha.short.fat.guy
Organization: Anonymous contact service
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 03:48:15 UTC
Subject: "Take Me For a Ride" -- Epilog, Part 3
Lines: 323

This is 3/3 files contain the epilouge from the book
"Take Me For A Ride: Coming of Age in a Destructive Cult" .
The entire text of the book has been posted in newsgroup
alt.buddha.short.fat.guy with full permission of the author.
This is the true story of the author's seven year experience
in the cult of the CPU Guru, Dr. Frederick P. Lenz, also
known as "Rama" or "Zen Master Rama".
This book is electronically distributed with full permission
of the author. Please feel free to download and pass along
to interested parties.

* * *

In 1990 I spoke with the three English professors who, in 1976,
had served on Rama's doctoral dissertation committee. Louis Simpson,
a Pulitzer prize winning writer, told me he had written a poem
about a student, a brilliant lecturer, who creates his own system
rather than working within an existing one (Simpson, Louis. "Herons
and Water Lilies." In The Room We Share. New York: Paragon House,
1990). Paul Dolan told me that Fred's performance on the Ph.D.
oral exams had been slightly above average. Gerald Nelson told
me that while he had taken a liking to this graduate student,
he had never thought much of Fred's get-rich-and-famous schemes,
including the one to boost his credentials via a mail-order minister's

"Fred once asked me what I thought of his idea for a book called
The Thirteen Mystics," Nelson told me. "I joked that he would
already have a built in market for the sequel, The Return Of The
Thirteen Mystics." But Nelson had not taken lightly the way young
Frederick had been affecting undergraduates during his free lectures
on meditation. In 1975, Nelson recommended that Fred read about
Ken Kesey and about Charles Manson. The lesson was that while
both charismatic leaders had experimented with drugs and with
young peoples' lives, Kesey learned to check his power over others.
Manson did not.

"Yet it was difficult for me to guide Fred," Nelson explained.
"Though he was my student, he was Chinmoy's disciple."

Professor Nelson was a tall man with a strong, kind voice. I
wondered if Fred had been drawn to him in his search for a caring
father figure.

I asked Nelson if he had read the newspaper accounts of Fred's
recent schemes. He nodded sadly. "This is the sort of thing you
would expect from an intelligent, sensitive, abused child from
a well-to-do family. Fred quite obviously needs help, but is probably
too far-gone to realize or admit it."

In the mid-eighties, Rama sent Nelson self-promotional brochures,
tapes, and books; in 1986, Rama wrote in a brochure that Nelson
had been one of the three most influential people in his life;
in 1988, Rama confessed to Nelson that he only wanted to make
some money, that he no longer maintained a following, and that
he had finally learned his lesson about Ken Kesey and about Charles

Yet the more I learned about Rama through my continuing research,
the less I was heartened by Rama's confession to his former mentor.

In 1988, Rama persuaded many of the roughly three hundred disciples
to move to Reston, Virginia, and then to Westchester, New York.
He founded two for-profit organizations: National Professional
and Personal Development Seminars (NPDS) and Advanced Systems
Inc. (ASI) During regular meetings of NPDS and ASI he continued
to teach his disciples about spirituality. He continued to experiment
with mind control. He also experimented with new ways to make

Rama had been strongly encouraging disciples to study software
at the Computer Learning Center (CLC), a six-month technical school
which typically prepared people for entry-level programming jobs.

Several disciples, including my brother, Sal, and Paul, had developed
impressive track records in the software industry. But many were
only CLC graduates. During the meetings of NPDS and ASI, Rama
told disciples to share their knowledge of state-of-the-art software
technology. Then he told them to lie. According to the San Francisco
Chronicle ("Yuppie Guru Finds Cash in Computers: Devotees pay
$3,000 a month to sit at his feet", 7/30/92),

Rama, in 1989, wrote
a manual for disciples in which he encouraged them to think of
a resume as "a mandala that reflects your new self." Rama wrote:
"They will believe anything you say, even when you intersperse
unrealities, because they feel the truth of your experience. When
you have your stories and images in place, arrange for your references.
Choose people from our group who are comfortable on the phone,
who sound professional and who have had data processing experience.
Give them a few notes about who they were."

In 1991 Rama told New York Newsday's William Falk ("The Yuppie
Guru", 7/30/91), "It's the most amazing career that I know of.
You can start in the mid-30s, and in a year or two you can make
$100,000 to $150,000 a year."

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Re: 'Free Meditation Classes'..can be a front for Frederick Lenz Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2018 09:52AM


Comments from readers of "Take Me For a Ride"


a chilling account of being stuck in a cult
January 2, 2002
Format: Paperback

I read this book straight through. It's sort of creepy to see what this poor fellow got stuck in but he did get out of it. Oh seekers of truth, it warns us by just telling the story, don't give up your own truth for another's. I went to hear Rama in San Francisco in 87 with some friends from the SF Zen Center and it was a fun trip that we all got a big kick out of though we thought he was just a slick con man.

This book tells about the con and the madness and suffering going on with Rama and his students. It should stay in print and be kept in the libraries of all religious institutions.

Thank You to a brave man

5.0 out of 5 starsThank You to a brave man
February 19, 2014


Writing this book almost destroyed Mark Laxer, after all.the trauma in the cult and the trauma of leaving - - there were then all the law suits and lawyers draining his funds away... He finally published the book himself. A truly heroic effort that is benefiting so many. I wish he would update/revise the ending - - how Fred Lentz apparently committed suicide, etc.
We knew Fred Lentz in his early manifestation of Atmananda ( a leading disciple of our own 2-sided guru, Sri Chinmoy).

Although most cults in America now appear to be Bible-based, rather than Eastern or New-Age, this book transcends specifics and clearly illustrates the 'cultic dynamics' that characterize ALL high-demand, high-control groups (whether self-help, psychotherapy, social, political, corporate, religious).

It is following this dynamic 'social influence process' at work that makes this book so captivating and so informative. It helps outsiders answer the question: " How could a normal, sane person ever join a cult?" The answer is, no one ever (knowingly) joins a 'cult.'

They don't go to the Yellow Pages and look up
the nearest cult to join...The initially deceptive and later manipulative nature of cultic dynamics, coupled with the sincere spiritual seeking, need for social belonging, and the individual personality weaknesses (which we all have), particularly at times of transition and crisis, sets the stage for potential abuse. The spider sitting in the middle of the web, waiting to attract victims is the traumatic, charismatic narcissist...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2018 06:39AM by corboy.

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Re: 'Free Meditation Classes'..can be a front for Frederick Lenz Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2018 10:04AM

Lenz wrote a book entitled Surfing the Himalayas.

Look it up on Amazon.


What you will find interesting is that in each listing there are just a few copies with a promise that more are on the way.

Gotta wonder how many Lenzies buy this for friends.

Two reviewers identified many themes that are not Buddhist at all.



1.0 out of 5 starsCrap
ByDavidon December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback

This national bestseller is written in a flowing, easygoing style and uses readily accessible imagery. Unfortunately, it also throws a bunch of New Age terms out and, although the author does attempt to make some sense of it, more often it just comes out as a jumble of crap.

While reading this book, I felt like I was reading a cross between The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, which I found entertaining and insightful, and The Celestine Prophecy, which I found absolutely detestable.

There are a lot of valid ideas in this book, most of which I've read in greater detail and better description elsewhere, and then there's crap like this:

"...Master Fwap told me that most people who have been enlightened in their previous incarnations would normally begin to regain their past-life enlightenment-if they lived at sea level-at around the age of twenty-nine, when their astrological Saturn return took place. He said that living in or near sacred mountains, because of their beneficial auric influences, often made past-life returns happen even faster."

What?! Sea level? Saturn return? Auric influences? I'm not close-minded, but Lenz makes little attempt to make believers out of non-believers, he throws out jargon like this with impunity.

The quote on the cover by Laurie Anderson says, "A wild ride through the basics of Buddhism." Yet I don't think Buddhism has much to do with Western astrology, Atlantis, and lines of energy.

Furthermore, Lenz doesn't even mention the fundamental Buddhist precepts, the Four Noble Truths. When he does describe Buddhist concepts, I feel more comfortable because I understand, because it makes logical and philosophical sense. It's when he goes off on a wild tangent about how Atlantis sensed the pollution of the world's aura or something like that that I feel inclined to dismiss this book as nothing more than a piece of New Age fluff.

another reader noted:


A ridiculous hash of Kung Fu and Castaneda
ByA customeron June 4, 1999
Format: Paperback

A young snowboarder carving turns high in the Himalayas runs into (quite literally) a wizened, unpretentious little monk, and the unlikely pair share a philosophical dialogue based on Buddhism and boarding.

It's a clever story line, a potential blend of high adventure, an exotic locale, spirituality, and plenty of comedic pratfalls. In the hands of a competent writer, this could have been the rich little story that I'd hoped for when I opened the cover. But Lenz is not a competent writer, and he has managed to mire a clever concept in pedantics, colorless prose, and all sorts of New Age jibberish. It's a ridiculous hash of Kung Fu and Castaneda, but without the vitality of either. Humor? In Lenz's book, it's strictly unintentional.

I was disappointed right from the first chapter, in which Lenz manages to drain Kathmandu of all color and excitement -- not an easy achievement. Likewise, his plodding prose style flattens the Himalayas themselves. Anyone who loves mountains and snow will be turned off by Lenz's lack of interest in these subjects, which should provide the springboard for all sorts of spiritual musings. Instead, Lenz's idiotic surfer-dude claims to have easily tramped to the top of a nameless and formless mountain peak through "powder" (snow is ALWAYS powder in this book)-- in hiking boots!

This complaint may sound picayune and technical, but it illustrates Lenz's chief deficiency: he is so intent on getting his pedantic philosophical message across that he ignores utterly all story, setting, and style. And without those literary hooks to keep us reading, his book is nothing but a sophomoric and painfully dull treatise on spirituality.

If we want a treatise, we're betting off reading the Dalai Lama. For rich, loving descriptions of the land, culture, people and religion of this region, we're far better off with Peter Mathiessen (The Snow Leopard) and Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet). Leave Lenz on the self-help rack where his book belongs.

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