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.
Back to Top of File
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?
An example of a very popular manipulation tactic used by cults is often referred to as ‘love bombing,’ which is usually the first step towards being recruited into a cult.
Let’s say, for example, you decide to go check out a ‘self help’ type of seminar that you were handed a flyer for on the street.
(Or you respond to adverts for 'Free Meditation' events -- the posters have been
on your neighborhood phone poles and bulletin boards for months and you are curious --C)
It could even be something as unassuming as a vegan cooking class that you signed up for online.
When you arrive, everyone is so friendly and happy to meet you and they all shower you with a ton of attention and affection (these scenarios actually happened to two former cult-members I spoke with). This sort of environment where you feel so loved and admired can be very appealing, so when they invite you to come back the next day for another meeting or workshop it can be hard to resist.
But the red flag in these scenarios is that real friendships don’t happen instantly, they take time to cultivate. When a new group of people are immediately trying to convince you that you are welcome to be part of their family, you should be cautious.
The excitement was palpable and the people were fascinating. Doctors, lawyers, businesspeople—they’d all inexplicably, and somewhat recently, decided to become computer programmers. As a senior in college, finishing off a questionable combined degree in philosophy and music studio recording at a small state college, I found their professional life-choices bold and impressive on a number of levels.
I finished the last sips of what was the best cup of gourmet coffee I ever had when he strode into the room.
Rama was a handsome, white guy, with an aquiline nose, a helmet of blond curly hair (it was the early 90’s), a black leather jacket, and jet-black sunglasses. He stepped onto the small, low stage, sentineled by two large, stunning arrangements of flowers.
At the microphone, Rama looked around with a grand, Tom Cruise smile. He performed a monologue about politics, movies, and meditation which everyone in the room, including myself, found hysterical. From time to time he made little statements that sounded like deep, Zen puzzles, such as, “I like my students not to understand everything. If they understood everything, they would have nothing more to learn… Understand?”
He eventually sat on a stool and told us to meditate on him, with our eyes open, and watch what happened.
I got comfortable in my seat, took a few controlled breaths, and within a minute the entire room glowed as if every inch of the place, and everyone in it, had been inlaid with radiant gold leaf. I was slammed with a wave of pump-my-blood-with-opium-and-purring-kittens euphoria. I internally calculated that, if this is the kind of thing I experienced on my first night with Rama, it’s a no-brainer to follow this guy for the rest of my life. I was twenty-one years old.
Twenty three years later, I can tell you with a certainty that drugs had not been slipped to us and the guy calling himself Rama was not emitting mystical energy. Those in the room, who shared this exact same vision, were what modern psychologists call: shitheads.
No, actually the phenomenon is slightly more complex than that, but only slightly.
Let’s jump back to a month earlier, where we can watch the first stages of Jim getting fucked over.
Enter the Boston Meditation Society, which posted colorful fliers on every one of UMass Dartmouth’s concrete columns, announcing free meditation classes. I had always wanted to learn meditation, curious to see if it could calm my restless, distractible mind. And nothing sounded better to a college student without a pre-paid meal plan as, “Free.”
That Thursday evening, Ali and I sat in a small classroom with eight other college students. Randy, the meditation teacher, was dressed in a business suit and tie, had kind, smiley eyes, and clearly loved talking about meditation. We finished an exercise where we concentrated on our breath with our eyes closed, and watched our thoughts float by. Then Randy talked about these people who could meditate really well, and how they gave off a kind of golden glow. You can see this glow depicted as halos in paintings of Jesus, Buddha, and saints from around the world. And for those who were spiritually sensitive… well, they got to see the glow.
For everyone keeping score at home, we’ll call this: Red Flag #1.
After going to a few of these mediation seminars, and staying after to talk with Randy about spirituality and hear more stories of historically enlightened people, he invited Ali and me out to dinner at… Olive Garden. While Ali and I gorged on bread sticks, he clued us in that he could tell we were indeed spiritually sensitive people and that he could let us in on a little secret. He was a student of a guy who is one of these enlightened beings.
Back to the Olive Garden where Randy was staring at me with bugged out eyes: I was a cult recruiter’s wet dream.
For those keeping score at home, we’re going to stop counting Red Flags. This entire piece is a list of Red Flags.
So Ali and I got a box set of Rama tapes, on which Rama discussed, in a smooth, cool tone, techniques for “Buddhist” meditation and the mind states to carry when walking around in the world. We listened to these tapes all the time and learned that people vibrated, spiritually, on different frequencies, and that those who vibrated at lower frequencies drained everyone around them. We’ve all been around those people.
And since, according to Randy, Ali and I naturally vibrated at a higher frequency, the key to spiritual growth was to meditate and save your energy from being drained by slower-vibrating people. That way we can grow a savings account of, what is called, Kundalini. This will eventually lead to enlightenment. And by studying with a teacher like Rama, we get an extra boost of Kundalini every time we meditate with him, and instead of having to reincarnate for a thousand lifetimes to gather enough Kundalini, we could attain enlightenment in just one. In the world of Buddhism, this is considered a sweet deal.
We also learned that our minds start out as pure vessels, and when we have a negative thought about anything, especially during meditation, we should give it a little shove aside. We’re just picking up negative psychic junk from the slower-vibrational people for miles around. I had some doubts, but it didn’t sound entirely implausible.
Randy told us that Rama was coming to the east coast to speak at a formal dinner. It cost $300 per person (1992 money) to get into the event, but since Ali and I showed such promise, and Randy was such a successful computer programmer, he was going to pay our way.
That brings us to the tuxes, gowns, delicious food, and Christmas lights.
That night, Ali didn’t see the golden glow during the meditation, but she did feel a surge of good feelings. What she also felt, like all of the people who didn’t see anything that night, was that she was somehow lacking and would have to work harder or somehow be more worthy to see the gold. Since we walked in wanting 1) to be special, and 2) for life to have some magic, they had us, whether we saw the gold or not.
In a short time, after that first of many nights in the presence of Frederick Lenz (aka Rama), I would start organizing every item of clothing by color, keep an OCD-clean apartment, quit college (with 9 credits to go) so I could lie my way into a computer programming career, break up with Ali (relationships drain the spiritual path), and decide to move away from my family (more drains) and never again see anyone I ever knew.
I’m leaving out the two dozen other compulsions and anxieties I learned over this course of time.
We certainly created, especially in Vancouver, a community of people who were, for the most part, young actors and artists and entrepreneurs. There was certainly an environment of people who were like-minded trying to help each other achieve goals. We'd have parties and events, and people who were really striving toward bettering themselves in whatever way would see what we were creating and say: "I want a part of that."
When did you start hearing about allegations against Keith? Did he have a reputation with women?
In the beginning, I was told he was celibate. So he had no material possession. He was like a monk. He didn’t indulge in those types of things because he didn’t need to—he was so evolved. It sounds ridiculous now. I remember asking if Keith had a girlfriend a couple of times. Later, polyamory was more deeply formulated as part of our belief system—that it was OK for men to be nonmonogamous, but women should stay monogamous. That’s more where he almost stopped making an effort to keep it hidden, and just made it OK. It never occurred to me that he was keeping more than one partner. Still, I thought it was none of my business. If I asked questions they were shot down. I didn’t figure it out until I left.
While meditating, his followers usually listen to music that he has
created with his band Zazen. The music is not required, but they all
started out using it and now seem to be hooked. It's very soothing
music, and if you live in a noisy place it blocks out extraneous
noise. Lenz claims his music also blocks out other peoples auras,
which are so prevalent on this over-populated planet that no one can
meditate as well as they used to (like back in the good old days of
Japan and Tibet). He calls other peoples thoughts "psychic pollution"
and claims to be highly sensitive to it. He's always whining about how
hard it is for him to be so telepathic.
Another purpose of meditation is to "gain energy". "The more you
meditate, the more 'Energy' you will accumulate." Everyone in the
group is encouraged to meditate as often and as intensely as possible
(minimum of twice a day). Most of them enjoy it and will have nothing
bad to say about it. It can be one of the few profoundly individual
and joyous experiences that his students ever have. The only problem
is that most of them associate this personal experience not with their
own "connection to God" but with "Rama" and "his energy".
Lenz agreed with the basic idea of ‘The Force’ from the Star Wars films, and described people who disagreed with him as having "fallen to the Dark Side." According to Mark Laxer, Lenz told him that "Star Wars creator George Lucas was wrong to portray Yoda as being gay." I must have missed that Star Wars spin-off.
He recommended the use of music to assist in meditation, especially the Zazen, a group whose records he produced. During the life of the band, Zazen churned out 21 albums. This is their single ‘What is Dancing?’ from the album ‘Techno Zen Master’.
Much of his teachings, focused around the computer industry and a large majority of his students worked in software development. In 1994 he formed four software companies with his students. By 1997, he was recommending that his students found Internet companies, which led to the founding of Funwomen.com, a softcore website on which his female students posed nude.
Playing on the feminist values of stars including Emma Watson and singer Kelly Clarkson, 35-year-old Mack was wildly enthusiastic about a 'human development and women's movement' that had done so much for her own personal growth.
'As a fellow actress, I can relate so well to your vision and what you want to see in the world,' Mack gushed in a tweet to Emma Watson.
Neither the Harry Potter star nor Clarkson took up the offer — so were spared what could have been a deeply unpleasant experience.
As is now being laid bare in a New York court case that is transfixing America, Allison Mack was allegedly the chief recruiter for a sex slave cult.
Far from gathering for earnest debates on female empowerment, members were allegedly expected not only to have sex with their female 'masters' and a male 'grandmaster', but even to help brand each other with their leader's initials in a horrific act of mutilation.
In an era of the #MeToo movement and a fierce backlash against predatory men, the idea that attractive young women — including well-known actresses, models and billionaire heiresses — could willingly become sexual chattels has stunned America.
Allison Mack has been charged with sex trafficking. She is on $5 million (£3.7 m) bail and under house arrest.
Read more: [www.dailymail.co.uk]
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