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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Penelope ()
Date: January 14, 2011 05:58PM

I just got a copy of William Yenner's American Guru yesterday. I admire Mr. Yenner for having the courage to write this book, if Cohen's group isn't a cult I don't know why we even have the term.

I checked out the ForaTV talk and it's interesting that the comments that are critical are all directed at Deepak Chopra. Is Cohen just not that well-known or am I missing something? Like corboy said, if anyone treated a dog or cat or parakeet the way Andrew treats his students there would be a massive outcry.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Christa ()
Date: January 15, 2011 01:42PM

Quote
corboy
Andrew Cohen and the Future

Quote

..and Urban Zen hosted a dialogue with Andrew Cohen and Deepak Chopra, entitled “Creating a Spiritually Empowered Future.”

The dialogue was moderated by Arianna Huffington.

(for full text read here)

[americanguru.net]

Worth noting that Arianna Huffington is up to her neck in MSIA cult bullshit. She's a very, very smart woman (although she did plagiarize her books about Callas and Picasso) and she's definitely carrying water for the abusive John-Roger. Her book "The Fourth Instinct," written back when she was a Republican, is pure John-Roger.

I am disappointed that someone who wields so much power as an opinion leader is able to dodge questions about her involvement with this cult; OTOH it's possible that no one's thrown any questions at her lately. If you can find Peter McWilliams wonderful book "Life 102: What To Do When Your Guru Sues You," there's a photo of John-Roger "baptizing" her in the river Jordan. I don't think she particularly covers up her involvement; I think she counts on people's not knowing how dangerous cults are, and on people's thinking that intelligence and success inoculate against cult predation.

No one is immune from cult victimization; we're all vulnerable human beings.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 15, 2011 05:47PM

There is a sense in which 'worldly' success (of the kind that Huffington embodies--becoming an opinion former) serves to legitimise an organisation, and Cohen is very calculating in that he consciously seeks out and aligns himself with such prominent successful types in order to gain legitimacy by association.
This is most obvious in his self-published house magazine which features in every edition a dialogue between luminaries--- Cohen and whoever is the current newsworthy member of 'the great and the good' in the religious/spiritual sphere.

It is very similar to the 'brand positioning' in advertising, where manufacturers attempt to get their product associated with, and so considered on a par with, things and events generally coveted and considered exclusive.

This strategy seems to be working for Cohen who recently led two sessions of the 2009 interfaith 'Parliament of World Religions' whose stated mission is to:
"............cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”

[beyondgrowth.net]

'The 2009 Parliament was epic in scale with around 6,000 delegates from more than 80 countries, hosting more than 650 separate programs populated by an even larger number of speakers. The major speakers at the event included some of the world’s most influential inter-religious voices such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, President Obama’s religious adviser Jim Wallis, editor of Tikkun magazine Rabbi Michael Lerner, and the heavy-hitting theologian Dr Hans Küng.'

and

'Cohen was very careful to cultivate a reasonable persona at the Parliament, thus simultaneously enjoying the legitimacy it bestows upon its speakers (disclosure: myself included) and funneling new students into his program where they come to know a somewhat less reasonable Andrew Cohen. The choice is yours.'



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2011 05:50PM by Stoic.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 15, 2011 08:19PM

Here, from Falks 'Stripping the Gurus' (free to download), the chapter on Cohen, 'Sometimes I Feel Like a God':

[www.strippingthegurus.com]


Here is Cohen's own apology for his behaviour. He is, in his own estimation, engaged in creating Utopia-- heaven on earth--and this requires developing a new kind of human being (thus the 'Evolutionary' spirituality). The magnitude of this self-appointed god-like task thus excuses the bad behaviour necessary to bring it to fruition. Q.E.D.

[www.andrewcohen.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2011 08:20PM by Stoic.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 15, 2011 10:39PM

Here is material about John-Rogers from an interview years back with David Lane, who researched Eckankar and then researched spin offs of Eckankar. Eckankar was bricolaged by Twitchell with material from a legitimate shabd yoga tradition in Northern India, which Twitchell did not mention.




[www.culthelp.info]

Quote

At Hillcrest's Espresso Roma Cafe, Lane confides, "The people who scare me are John-Roger's people, not Eckankar's." John-Roger Hinkins, founder of the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (M.S.I.A., pronounced "Messiah") has gotten a lot of bad press lately. Last year former cult member Peter McWilliams published a scathing tell-all, Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You, November's Vanity Fair linked Arianna Huffington's allegiance to M.S.I.A. to her husband's unsuccessful Senate campaign, and the March issue of Playboy ran a detailed exposé. But Lane had the jump on all of them when back in 1984 he wrote, "The J.R. Controversy: A Critical Analysis of John-Roger Hinkins and M.S.I.A."

Lane pays for my coffee and his Coke, and we sit down at a small dark table. The walls are covered with Andrea Zuill's dramatically lit oil paintings of monstrous chalky-fleshed zombies. I imagine them as the tormented souls of all the cultists who have lost their faith because of Lane. "John-Roger was a follower of Eckankar," begins Lane. "In '68 he was a 'convener,' which means he held ECK satsangs [classes] in his home in Rosemead, California. After a year or so, he branched off and started his own group, M.S.I.A., claiming that in 1963 he had a kidney stone operation and that after nine days of being in a coma he had been commissioned to be the Mystical Traveler Consciousness." At first Hinkins thought it was the legendary Rebazar Tarzs who came to him on the inner planes and passed on the "keys" to the Kingdom, but, later, after seeing a photo of Radhasoami guru Sawan Singh, Hinkins decided that it was really Sawan Singh who had given him the mantleship.

Browsing in a bookstore, Lane stumbled upon one of John-Roger's books and noticed it was a "rip-off" of Eckankar. "You can imagine how I felt," exclaims Lane. "This was in '76 or '77, and I was twenty years old, so it's like All the President's Men. I wrote to him, and he wrote a real nice letter back, saying that we should get together and talk. This guy's pretty smart, because he knows that if he pays attention to me, that's a good way of buying me off, so he can spin-doctor my research. He invited me to his house in Mandeville Canyon, a beautiful house, a mansion. I should have been suspicious because there were really good looking guys all over the compound, washing his car in short-shorts. I was very naive. The minute he saw me he canceled all of his appointments and spent six hours with me." Lane leans across the table towards me and grins. "I never thought he was gay until everybody said, 'Hello-o, looks like he likes you a little too much, Dave.' One of his major disciples, Victor Toso, later revealed that he had kind of a quasi-crush on me."

I nudge, "Can't you tell when somebody's got a crush on you?" Lane looks away shyly. "Did John-Roger ever make any moves on you?"

"No, no, no, no."

Okay, Dave.

"He's really into setting it up so that I would get to the place where I would want it. That's his mentality. I was flattered that here was a spiritual master who was spending hours with me instead of dissing me or suing me. He wanted to know every dirty piece of laundry on Twitchell and Eckankar. He was obsessed. He used to send me Christmas cards, he gave me his personal phone number, and he offered me $5,000 to help with my research on Eckankar."

"Did you take any money?"

Lane shakes his head. "No. I kind of knew he was a fraud, but at the time he was being nice to me so I wasn't in the mood to expose him. Well, the upshot of it is, we were friendly for five years, and then in 1983 four of his closest disciples defected. They knew what I had done with Eckankar, and they thought, 'Well he can do this with J.R. ' So there was a secret meeting in a Santa Monica condominium with these defectors. Very top secret, for they were really scared of upsetting John-Roger. I taped them for five hours." The accusations leveled against Hinkins included embezzling money, plagiarizing from the teachings of Paul Twitchell and others, skirting zoning laws, illegally obtaining airfare discounts, setting up tape recorders throughout his house to obtain information that he would later use to appear psychic, and sexual misconduct.

Lane pauses and thinks for a bit. He's concerned about sounding homophobic, particularly since he knows I'm staying with two gay men. "This is where I've got to be careful. Everybody's sexuality is different than everybody else's. I imagine we have a wide spectrum. The problem is that John-Roger claims to be celibate. His disciples told me he would pick a guy every night out of the staff and claim that they needed to have sex with him in order to be increase their aura-or they needed, pardon my language, a 'rectal innerphase' in order to burn off karma."

"Innerphase?"

"He has this thing called aura innerphasing, where you do aura balancing, soul balancing, etheric balancing. He usually likes heterosexual disciples, that is people that are not overtly gay, to have sex with. The disciples felt used and manipulated for spiritual reasons. It's not as if J.R. said, 'Look, I find you attractive. Let's go to bed.' That's one clear way of doing it-instead of saying, 'I'm God and God says that in order for you to get to the higher astral planes you need to get on all fours or whatever.' A friend of mine calls him the Divine Rump Ranger."

After the secret meeting, Lane phoned Hinkins to ask him about these charges. "He went nuts. The courtship was over. Man, it was a nasty conversation. I told him I didn't plan to write about him, but he started to send out smear letters around the country, saying that I was a gay FBI agent in San Diego, that I had researchers working for me that I wasn't paying. Some letters contained death threats against me and my informants. In one he refers to me as 'Lane the widower'. So then I wrote "The J.R. Controversy" for a new journal called Understanding Cults. When it came out I got a twenty-five page letter from a group in Wilshire called the Coalition for Civil and Spiritual Freedom. It never existed. It was a P.O. Box with John-Roger's own name signed to it."

Four or five months later, on October 5, 1984, Lane's apartment in Del Mar was broken into. "John-Roger personally came and robbed my house. I was teaching at UC San Diego at the time. I came home around 12:30 in the afternoon and the place was ransacked, I mean I couldn't get in the door. So I had to climb through the bedroom window. The bed was overturned, drawers were everywhere. The phone wire had been disconnected. And there was a big note on a box that said, 'NO MORE.' No jewelry was gone-he took only research stuff, including materials for my doctoral dissertation."

"He took nothing else?"

"He took my wife's personal diaries, a camera which he must have thought had film in it, video tapes, an address book, and my recipe file containing my favorite recipe for Del Mar Lentil Loaf. He probably thought my recipe file was written in code, had secret information, or something like that. Gumby and Pokey were laid out on the bed, like they'd been thrown. I said, 'I know it's John-Roger-look at Gumby and Pokey!' I called John-Roger immediately. I got one of his disciples. I said, 'Where was John-Roger yesterday?' The guy turned totally paranoid. His voice changed, 'Well, we can't reveal that information.' 'Was he in San Diego?' No reply. The next day Channel 8 News came out and did as their lead story 'Cult Researcher Robbed.' They took a picture of Gumby and Pokey lying on the bed, and of a copy of my article, 'The J.R. Controversy.' But they didn't name John-Roger."

About four weeks later Lane's guru in India, Charan Singh, received a letter, supposedly from another follower in San Diego, criticizing Lane and quoting from his wife's stolen diaries. Charan Singh realized the letter was a fraud and forwarded it to Lane. That same week Hinkins wrote to Lane assuring him that he wanted to be friends again and that he had nothing to do with the robbery. Hinkins also wrote to Charan Singh asking him to use his influence to get Lane to stop doing research on him. All three letters are printed in the same typeface with the same malfunctioning capital A.

"Then," Lane says excitedly, "John-Roger committed the biggest mistake he's ever made. He took my wife's diaries and made hand-written notes in the margins. 'Should I send this to the IRS?' 'Should I send this to Eckankar?' Little notes he was making to himself. Then he mailed some of the stolen documents anonymously to Eckankar, under the assumption that they would use it against me, and I would think Eckankar robbed my house. But Eckankar's attorneys mailed the package back to me. It came from a P.O. box that John-Roger had personally paid for. The guy's like an idiot, right? And so I had handwriting analysis done on the writing on the diaries and on that NO MORE sign. Two different analysts verified they were all written by John-Roger Hinkins. Moreover, people within John-Roger's group have confirmed that on the day of the robbery he was in San Diego, and he came home that night, hot, sweaty, like he'd done something really bad, dude. Another person in John-Roger's group, who has to remain anonymous because he's right next to him, admitted to me that he was with John-Roger the day of the robbery, and that John-Roger personally entered into it."

Lane decided against pursuing a lawsuit against Hinkins, but he did go public with his story. In Understanding Cults Lane published "The Criminal Activities of John-Roger Hinkins," a laborious account of Hinkins' alleged break-in and smear campaign. He also gave full accounts to the San Diego Sheriff's Department and to numerous news agencies. "On the Marie Vega Show in Los Angeles, I said, 'John-Roger Hinkins robbed my house.' He threatened to sue the TV station for a million dollars if they ever ran the program again. But they kept running it, and he never sued them." In August 1988, The Los Angeles Times published an extensive two-part critique of John-Roger's activities, based on Lane's research. Lane also appeared on Geraldo Rivera's Now It Can Be Told. "Geraldo was in New York and I was on satellite hook-up at Universal Studios in San Fernando Valley. 'The Cadillac of Cults. Are your tax dollars being spent by this group?' So they interviewed me, and I had this rainbow tie on, and Geraldo and I were going at each other. I said, 'Yeah, Geraldo, this guy robbed my house, he did this he did this he did that'-all on national TV. I just went off on him. At this stage Peter McWilliams, the guy who later wrote Life 102, was still pro-John-Roger, so he was putting his hands on the camera, that kind of scene, when they tried to interview John-Roger. So you get this juxtaposition, Lane really going off on John-Roger and McWilliams trying to protect J.R.'s reputation."

After such an exhausting chronicle, I feebly inquire, "Are you still doing research on John-Roger?"

Lane takes a deep breath. "No."

Also cited here

[webspace.webring.com]

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 16, 2011 10:53PM

This material appeared on Craigslist

And a buncha current links for anyone who wants to study this media nexus further.

Quote


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 2011-01-15, 11:17PM PST

***Beware:MSIA, JON ROGER, UUNIVERSITY OF SANTA MONICA.....MAY BE (santa cruz)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


be possibly dangerous to your wellness....
Beware of anything of anyone associated with MSIA or Movement of spiritual inner awareness. This cult like program preys on vulnerable and weaker people who are truly seeking help and guidance... They are a cash machine and nearly all their material is plagiarized . Their founder has numerous allegations and documented history of exploiting people for sexual favors, see below links...These are not light allegations.

Also, be aware of the University of Santa Monica which has no accredation nor State endorsement , but charges people for a "degree" in spiritual psychology... The basis of their beliefs is centered around repetition , "love bombing " and exaggeration which Freud knew can capture anyone, with enough of it......, throw in some vulnerable people and there you go. Please check out these links if you care about anyone involved with this program or are thinking yourself about it.

This belief system has been characterized as self-serving from a founder with a self serving prophecy and, yes , you guessed it , a huge bank account supported by his members. Brainwashed tithing included! Check out his claims of being the " chosen one" and how he is more powerful than Jesus Christ and the books written about his racquett ( which incidentially MSIA purchased the copyrights too...ha ha ).The book is called " When your GURU sues you"

This program enrolls spiritually broken, naive and sometimes vulnerable people and then walks them down their own belief path to " enlightenment" , and then the brainwashing must continue. They have invested courses and books for whatever you want. I challenge you to read a book or two, written by this character ( Jon Roger) before you sign up.

This is a serious brainwashing program that has a very controversial leader that has a history of exploitation and abuse ( of young men) ...here's some links to choose and think for yourself ( and hear through others words) : there are hundreds more examples, become informed! See the many google videos with expose' from David Lane.... The school has no accredation and the degree is useless....pass this to your friends... be informed...spread the word, see for yourself. Heres some random links: Thank you to Rick Ross ! Look at Rick Ross's forum carefully....it's all there


[www.people.com]

[forum.culteducation.com]

[forum.culteducation.com]

[www.culteducation.com]

[www.culteducation.com]

[video.google.com]

[video.google.com]

[en.wikipedia.org])

[en.wikipedia.org]






[sfbay.craigslist.org]

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Martin Gifford ()
Date: January 17, 2011 09:21AM

Quote
Stoic
There is a sense in which 'worldly' success (of the kind that Huffington embodies--becoming an opinion former) serves to legitimise an organisation, and Cohen is very calculating in that he consciously seeks out and aligns himself with such prominent successful types in order to gain legitimacy by association.
This is most obvious in his self-published house magazine which features in every edition a dialogue between luminaries--- Cohen and whoever is the current newsworthy member of 'the great and the good' in the religious/spiritual sphere.

It is very similar to the 'brand positioning' in advertising, where manufacturers attempt to get their product associated with, and so considered on a par with, things and events generally coveted and considered exclusive.

This strategy seems to be working for Cohen...

Exactly. And that post was extremely well-articulated too.

What strikes me about Cohen's approach is that he interviews and respects absolute charlatans because they are famous and it helps his ambitions. Yet Cohen constantly claims to have the most perfect integrity ever. And his disciples never criticise him for it.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 17, 2011 06:07PM

What strikes me about Cohen's strategy is that he is entirely indiscriminate regarding the integrity or lack of integrity of those he chooses to latch onto in order to increase the perception of his own legitimacy.
The deciding factor appears to be the high profile of those he latches onto---which suggests to me that he is far more interested in using these people to further his own interests and recruitment than in what any of these people stand for.
In my view this makes this an obvious publicity ploy rather than any attempt at integrity or presenting a reasoned argument, similar to the z list celebs who will attend the opening of an envelope in order to get attention.

He interviews and respects absolute charlatans along with bona fide religious leaders, the common factor being the interviewees high profile and existing group of followers.
Perhaps Cohen also hopes to impress a few of those existing followers into his own ranks to be evolutionary humans and build Utopia here and now, whilst also raising his own profile and legitimising, by association, his own organisation?

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Martin Gifford ()
Date: January 18, 2011 09:21AM

Well, he changed his magazine title from "What is Enlightenment?" to "Enlightennext". That was a move from supposed enquiry (really selling his own message) to a more honest title that admits that he's selling his own message. So it's not, and never was, and "attempt at integrity or presenting a reasoned argument". Many people praised What is Enlightenment? magazine because they thought it was an honest investigation, but it was always really only pushing Andrew's agenda.

Also, Andrew gets respect for the way he respects others in the new age business. But he is not really respecting them. He is just nudging them in into his agenda by giving enthusiastic responses and by showing respect. It's a kind of creepy collusion. I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine. He lured a lot of disciples into his organisation using this method. He would praise them when they said things he agreed with and so they would say those kinds of things more often to get more praise from him, then once they were in the organisation he started attacking them for not living according to those ideas that he likes.

Quote

Perhaps Cohen also hopes to impress a few of those existing followers into his own ranks to be evolutionary humans and build Utopia here and now, whilst also raising his own profile and legitimising, by association, his own organisation?

Yes. And I'm sure that's how he and his disciples rationalise his interviewing of charlatans. It's all for the sake of the whole, and everything can be sacrificed for that goal. If I were in a similar situation I would play the game a bit, but on certain points I wouldn't compromise. With Andrew, it seems there is no line he is unwilling to cross to promote himself and his agenda.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 18, 2011 04:50PM

' He would praise them when they said things he agreed with and so they would say those kinds of things more often to get more praise from him, then once they were in the organisation he started attacking them for not living according to those ideas that he likes.'

Pretty much the standard seduction model for abusive manipulation. Crazy-making for the recruit as long as he believes that Cohen is sincere in what he promises he can deliver. The real 'enlightenment' happens when the recruit starts to see through the charade and realises that Cohen is a charlatan himself with a bit of psychological savvy and nothing but utopian fantasies to offer.
Even his rude boy excuses of 'skillful means' are false. There is nothing skillful in his crude treatment of his followers as simply objects to be manipulated and fooled--any conman does the same.

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