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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: July 26, 2019 09:31AM

“Captive Minds: Hypnosis and Beyond.” National Film Board of Canada, 1983.

“Discusses hypnosis and similarly effective means of mind control used by such diverse groups as religious orders and the military. Points out the common denominators of isolated environment, stressful conditions, and a dominant authority figure that exist in these groups.”

[archive.org]

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: July 27, 2019 08:27AM

That is a fascinating documentary, Swissalyst. Thank you for sharing. At around 10.00 in the video, there is a very disturbing scene of people being led into a trance state. Quite shocking, actually. Well worth watching.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: July 27, 2019 06:07PM

Yes, and shocking, too, to realize that as far back as 1983, at least some people realized this whole guru business was a matter of hypnosis. In fact, it was well enough known for someone to make a documentary about it.

The book I mentioned at the bottom of page 2, Dennis R. Wier's Trance: From Magic to Technology, is another take on the same thing. There is one unsatisfactory (for me) chapter, where he tries to construct a mathematical model of trances. But the rest of the book is shockingly revealing.

Wier spent many years involved in transcendental meditation. His studies over 30 years lead him to believe that, again, the whole meditation and guru business is nothing but trance induction.


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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: July 28, 2019 02:01AM

I am about halfway through Dennis Wier’s second book, The Way of Trance. It adds some practical examples to the theoretical material in the first. Here are some relevant quotes from what I’ve read so far:

“If you are a hypnotist, you will want to disable critical judg­ment as soon and as rapidly as possible so that your client or target will not be able to critically think about the nonsense you are feeding them” (p. 91).

“If you join a cult – or you think it might be in a cult – be alert for suggestions which result in your giving up your per­sonal responsibility for yourself. In other words, if you are en­couraged or even demanded to follow the leader without criti­cal thinking, or if your critical thinking is turned against you, then you should think seriously about leaving the organiza­tion. Cults always ask you to give up your personal responsi­bility so that you are more easily controlled” (p. 97).

“When you are in the presence of someone who is adept at generating and maintaining a charismatic trance, you are compelled to go into a trance yourself; you really don’t have any choice” (p. 135).

“Most people in a charismatic trance do not have much compassion, because they are not concerned with the external as much as with serving their internal trance loops. Generally, those in a charismatic trance only feel the effects of their inner trance as real; they cannot feel others in an au­thentic way” (p. 136).

“The identifying characteristic of a charismatic trance is the existence of two hypnotic trance loops. The first loop contains a belief that they are on a mission; it has a fixed idea or focus. They compulsively talk about their “mission”, and demon­strate ego­mania. . . . However, the second hypnotic loop goes from the outside to the inside; that is, they pull others into focusing energy on their mission. In other words, every idea other than the mania, is actively asso­ciated to the mania. It is this second loop that invites your participation, demands your focus and, when repeated, draws you into a hypnotic trance. . . . Personality cults can re­sult when people give up their own power to the person who is in a charismatic trance” (p. 138).

Wier proposes the “wyrd” as a unit of measure for the strength of a trance. I assume this is a humorous play on words based on his name and the word “weird.”

Not advertising or anything, but if you are interested in his books, it’s easier to get them from Lulu rather than Amazon.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: July 28, 2019 07:55AM

Thanks Swissalyst,

I have just read part of that book "Trance - from magic to Technology".
On page 179, I found the following:

"In general, hypnotic trances are quite dangerous if the content of the external stimulation is not controlled.

It is specifically because some cognitive functions are disabled that suggestions from external sources have their effect. Suggestions can alter the trance forces which have been generated by the energy changes in cognitive functioning. These trance forces will have far ¬reaching effects when the intensity of these forces is high.
Once it is realized how hypnotic trance is created and used, the answer to the frequently asked question: "Can you be made to do something against your will when you are in a hypnotic trance?" is yes. Those who say no either want to abuse you hypnotically or they don't know what they are doing."

Pretty creepy stuff - and it backs up what I have read from other sources.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: July 28, 2019 08:57AM

Take a look at this: [www.youtube.com]

Derren Brown hypnosis tricks. Absolutely fascinating!!!

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: July 28, 2019 09:03PM

Yeah, when the hypnotist instructs someone, "You just have to believe it yourself," he's teaching the student how to become a cult leader.

What I most remember from Wier's first book is the phrase "impoverished reality." Wier repeatedly points out that people who are deeply entranced tend to end up with an "impoverished reality."

The "impoverished reality" may or may not include financial poverty.

He defines it like this:

"I assume that a robust life is a life of variety and wide options, and that an impoverished life is a life with few options and little variety" (p. 123).

It makes me think of low-paid or no-paid workers in spiritual communities, who imagine they are on some grand spiritual adventure, yet who in reality are leading shabby and restricted lives.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: August 03, 2019 03:39AM

Be Scofield has announced that in November 2019 she will release a book titled Toxic Spirituality: Abuse, Denial and Delusion in New Age Culture.

The chapter list is at [www.toxicspirituality.com]

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Byron Katie & The Work
Mooji
Abraham Hicks & The Law of Attraction
Teal Swan
Marianne Williamson & A Course In Miracles
Eckhart Tolle
John of God
Agama Yoga & Tantric Abuse Scandals
Mindfulness & Meditation
Pattabhi Jois & Yoga Abuse
New Age Culture
Nicole Daedone & Orgasmic Meditation
Modern Cults
The Four Agreements
Ken Wilber and Integral Theory
Spiritual Bypassing & Narcissism
Sacred Activism
Trauma & Healing
Bentinho Massaro
Nondual Satsang Movement

It looks as though it will draw on the articles she has previously published at [gurumag.com] though hopefully the book will also offer some reflections based on all her research.

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