Re: A Cult Like No Other
Date: January 13, 2022 03:29AM
I think you would find it pretty difficult to get legal representation when using words like "shakti" or "psychic" and "spiritual energy".
Here is what I see:
1. You were very much hopeful of becoming famous and well known in your cycling career. The yoga group bolstered that. Presuemably your career and fame did not take off as smoothly as you were led to believe.
2. You have a history of mental illness. This is actually the demographic of most spiritual cults. They thrive and exists because of people like you who have had trauma or simply are wired in a way that the mind is causing them anxietly. If you have been to therapy or done cognitive behavioural therapy, then you probably know that things like anxiety and depression are often times simply the way some folks are wired. Medications, regular therapy, journaling and yes, exercise and otherwise keeping to a simple lifestyle of eating well and sleeping well will help in most cases pretty dramatically.
3. Without you explaining exactly what took place: How and in what way your guru controlled your thoughts or behaviour, someone telling you that you will die or commit suicide because of not following some guru's orders is a royal ton of pure shit. So do explain what it was you experienced and felt in terms of so-called control on the part of your guru or senior members of the cult.
4. Hearing voices, seeing abberations in reality or sensing that you lack control over your own actions and thoughts is a medical issue. If that is happening to you or has, there are many reasons why that can be. Not succeeding in a career, loosing a loved one, problems in sexual relationships or intimate relationships or losing money or getting in sever debt all can contribute to a psychotic break and suicdal ideation and attempts.
I am sorry if anything I mentioned is off the mark, but your video and mood suggest all the above to some extent.
A lot of spiritual cults, be that devotional or some sort of enlightenment trap are simply a type of controlled obsession.
Think Beatle-mania or sports fanatics. Some people are just wired to get more of a kick out of those types of obsessive behaviours (which usually means that they need to balance and scale back those obsessions to feel less anxiety or find better ways to channel the emtions surrounding the obsession).
I have good friend for example who goes to his son's basketball games and literally shakes in anticipation, sometimes even cries but definitely gets obsessively excited and goes to every single game. You can say he's a great dad, and he is, but in the end it's a type of addiction that creates a frenzy in his mind. The end result is that while he may experience a type of "high" or heightened emotional state for a few minutes while at the games, he will often fall pretty hard emotionally when the game is lost or there is some perceived injustice.
There are people that are for whatever reason more emotional/sentimental/sensitive and they tend to get a type of "high" when they encounter and deal with those types of scenarios. We all have that one friend who can't get enough of some cheesy sentimental TV show while we can barely stand a few minutes of it. Most of us humans span the gamut. Those who tend towards such spiritual groups come from all walks of life.
There is nothing inherently powerful/energetic or any "shakti" present in a mantra, a certain worship of some particular god or adherence to some guru's rituals, rules and methods.
Calling things by Sanskrit names only serves to create an ambiguity surrounding the actual rational explanation for what is taking place in these cults.
And actuality, what's happening in these groups is really basic human psychology. Things like groupthink, tribalis, trauma bonding and so on are the general mechanisms at work and are well studied.
There's also ample enough evidence and proof that things like mantra chanting and any kind of repetitive ritualistic behaviors as well as things like getting a special initiated name and the general initiation ceremony and process as well as many other so-called yoga practices simply work because of basic science, not some complicated transcendental woo-woo.
The more we acknowledge these cult mechanisms, the more we disempower them. But the more we subscribe to their lingo, the more we are empowering them.
In many ways, it simply boils down to Linguistics and really taking a deep look at what's going on.
In the particular case that you're describing, you had people who were rooting for you. They were also taking advantage of your vulnerability. You say you suffered from anxiety and so on.
It is not uncommon for many people to join spiritual groups and religious organizations when they feel despondent and at wit's end and vulnerable.
Oftentimes these temporary setbacks and states of Mind are easily solved with cognitive behavioral therapy or other types of basic philosophical constructs that allow us to gain a certain level of mindfulness. But there is no need to stay in that type of state perpetually nor is it beneficial.
At a certain point, the "aura" and so-called shakti surrounding the whole thing wears off or starts to be used for abuse of purposes as you've seen.
Basically, there is always going to be someone in these religious organizations who takes advantage of those who are innocent, sincere are vulnerable. That's just simply human nature. There is always going to be a rotten apple somewhere.
The bottom line is to know exactly what's going on. In other words, it's great to be able to enjoy various different Eastern religious practices and philosophies from a sort of traditions if it helps you and becomes a way that you can build up and fortify yourself in the world. At the same time, these things can quickly become the very mechanisms for causing us Stress and Anxiety and unneeded suffering. I have seen it time and again in my own life and the life of others who subscribe to such spiritual Traditions as a go-to cure-all for their problems in life.
People often use these types of groups as a type of psychological security blanket to not actively deal with and taco Real psychological issues that they may be suffering from and are deeply rooted way Beyond The Power of any Mantra or gurus words. These are personal challenges that our best work done with qualified therapists and people who actually study the way the mind works and how the brain and neurons function and the modern world we live in.
Oftentimes, the recipe that these spiritual groups offer is based on a naive and hopeful ideology and idealism that really doesn't have much depth. It may sound like it at face value, but the more you deconstruct it you see that the mechanics at work are actually very simple, which makes sense because they were developed during a time where people were pretty simple.
My parting words would be that unless you show very specific, tangible evidence and proof or wrongdoing on the part of the cult, you will have a hard time getting any legal entity to get involved. If you have a letter, text, recorded call that shows that they threatened you if you did not give them money or cooperate with their dynamics or in some way psychologically trapped you and isolated you (ex-communication, social rejecting by the group, shaming, insults, embarrassment), this will be helpful in building a case. Otherwise, no matter how unfair and shitty it feels to you, there is little to nothing that can be done from a legal standpoint.
My personal feeling is that these groups all need to have waivers and disclaimers that state: If you have any prior diagnoses of mental illness or if you are expecting this group to make you happier or find some meaning or purpose to life, then this is not for you.
Even the best of these cults can at most give you soom tools to try out and work with. For some it is mantras, inspirational chanting or scriptural ideology that has some insight into the mind and human condition etc. But that is all. As soon as you start to feel that the group is asking you to give money, preach for them, proselytize, bring recruits/followers, get initiated, practice odd rituals or justify the words fo the guru or scriptures or their actions that feel off to you, you just leave wit as little fan fare as possible.
To be clear, I do believe that such groups do have a dramatic influence in the lives of their adherents. Absolutely. But I firmly believe and can show that it always boils down to scientifically verifiable mechanisms. The stuff that does not, is more than likely a result of personal mental illness. Things like epilepsy, schizophrenia, nervous system disorders, drugs, brain disorders etc have been responsible for 99.9% of all so-called spiritual revelations and experiences. This does not make god any less real or unreal. That is a subjective opinion that does not change the basic dynamics of the physical world and it's limitations. There is nothing transcendental breaking the laws of nature in this world. So when something appears to be doing so, it is important to question what is actually happening.
Good luck and glad you ran away from this numbnuts group of charlatans. Sooner r later they will be exposed.