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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 18, 2011 10:23PM


Even his rude boy excuses of 'skillful means' are false.

It isnt just Cohen saying this.

Ken Wilber came up with that infamous praise of Rude Gurus


When it comes to spiritual teachers, there are those who are safe, gentle, consoling, soothing, caring; and there are the outlaws, the living terrors, the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls of God realization, the men and women who are in your face, disturbing you, terrifying you, until you radically awaken to who and what you really are.
And may I suggest?: choose your teachers carefully.

If you want encouragement, soft smiles, ego stroking, gentle caresses of your self-contracting ways, pats on the back and sweet words of solace, find yourself a Nice Guy or Good Girl, and hold their hand on the sweet path of stress reduction and egoic comfort. But if you want Enlightenment, if you want to wake up, if you want to get fried in the fire of passionate Infinity, then, I promise you: find yourself a Rude Boy or a Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable in their presence, who scare you witless, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, who will make you wish you were never born, who will offer you not sweet comfort but abject terror, not saccharin solace but scorching angst, for then, just then, you might very well be on the path to your own Original Face.

Most of us, I suspect, prefer our spiritual teachers to be of the Nice-Guy variety. Soft, comforting, non-threatening, a source of succor for a worn and weary soul, a safe harbor in the samsaric storm. There is nothing wrong with that, of course; spirituality comes in all sorts of flavors, and I have known some awfully Nice Guys. But if the flavor tends toward Enlightenment instead of consolation, if it drifts away from soothing dreams toward actually waking up, if it rumbles toward a God realization and not egoic fortification, then that demands a brutal, shocking death: a literal death of your separate self, a painful, frightening, horrifying dissolution a miraculous extinction you will actually witness as you expand into the boundless, formless, radical Truth that will pervade your every cell and drench your being to the core and expand what you thought was your self until it embraces the distant galaxies. For only on the other side of death lies Spirit, only on the other side of egoic slaughter lies the Good and the True and the Beautiful. "You will come in due course to realize that your true glory lies where you cease to exist," as the illustrious Sri Ramana Maharshi constantly reminded us. Your true glory lies on the other side of your death, and who will show you that?

Not the Nice Guys and not the Good Girls. They don't want to hurt your feelings. They don't want to upset you. They are here to whisper sweet nothings in your ear and place consolation prizes in the outstretched hand of the self-contraction, balm for a war-torn weary ego, techniques to prop it up in its constant battle with the world of otherness. In a sense, it's very easy being a Nice-Guy teacher: no muss, no fuss, no wrestling with egoic resistance and exhausting confrontation. Be nice to the ego, pat it on the back, have it count its breaths, hum a few mantras.

Rude Boys know better. They are not here to console but to shatter, not to comfort but to demolish. They are uncompromising, brutal, laser-like. They are in your face until you recognize your Original Face and they simply will not back off, they will not back down, they will not let up until you let go radically, fully, completely, unhesitatingly. They live as Compassion real compassion, not idiot compassion and real compassion uses a sword more often than a sweet. They deeply offend the ego (and the greater the offense, the bigger the ego). They are alive as Truth, they are everywhere confronted with egos, and they choose the former uncompromisingly.

Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, used to say that nobody comes to a therapist to get better (although they always say they do); they really come to perfect their neurosis. Just so, nobody comes to a spiritual teacher to get Enlightenment (although everybody claims they do); rather, they come to a spiritual teacher to learn more subtle and sophisticated egoic games in this case, the game of "Look at me being really spiritual."

After all, what is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It's not the Spirit in you, since that is already enlightened and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher: you want to see yourself in the presence of the spiritual game, you want to meet yourself tomorrow as a realized being in plain language, you want your ego to continue into a spiritual paradise.

And what's a poor teacher to do, confronted with such egoic cunning? Everybody who comes to a spiritual teacher comes egoically motivated. And teachers have two choices in the face of this onslaught of the separate selves, this conference of the self-contractions: they can play to the audience, or they can blow the entire building up.

Andrew Cohen is a Rude Boy. He is not here to offer comfort; he is here to tear you into approximately a thousand that Infinity can reassemble you, Freedom can replace imprisonment, Fullness can outshine fear. And that simply will not happen if all you want is consolation, soothing prayers, ruffle-free platitudes, "It will all be okay." Well, it will not be okay if you want Enlightenment. It will, in fact, be hell, and only Rude Boys are rude enough to tell you that, and to show you that if you can stand the rudeness, stay in the fire, burn clean as Infinity and radiate as the stars.


Note, friends that Wilber has never lived under the authority of any of the gurus he endorses. He keeps his rosy pink rear out of the dungeon while inviting others to go in and get abused--and insinuates that anyone with misgivings about it is a wussie.

Reminds me of what we did as kids.

One kid would dare another to 'step backwards' and not look behind befored doing so.

The person who stepped backwards would put his or her foot into a pile of dog feces.

Meanwhile, the person egging you to do it was at a safe distance, shoes clean.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 18, 2011 10:42PM

(Clarification--when I speak above of 'dungeons' it is metaphorically. However, it is worth noting that there was reportedly a room at Cohens Foxhollow compound where disciples were sent as punisment.)


Anonymous said...
Why would Ken Wilbur in any way disassociate himself with Andrew when he fundamentally agrees with him? Do those of you who remember the men’s sauna with all the posted letters and humiliating caricature s of us forget about the enlarged (almost Floor to ceiling) Ken Wilbur letter where Ken himself called us (Andrew’s Formal Men) “whiney Babies”. I believe this letter was in response to a missive Andrew sent to Ken complaining about how hard his life was trying to get us to move in the right direction.

I remember thinking, how the hell does Ken Wilbur know anything about any of this, the sauna, the humiliating “spiritual practices”, how I was asked to make a “man” out of someone by taking them to the large meditation room and “rough them up” & the rest of it. I remember asking myself who is he to call me a “whiney baby”?

It must be nice to have your ivory tower conversations published but I wonder what Ken would think with his head coming out of Laurel Lake for the 999th time chanting “I only got one side of the story”.

Wednesday, 03 June, 2009
Joel in Atlanta said...
I just want to thank you for making this stuff known. I'm grateful for having received this clear-eyed view of the situation BEFORE possibly getting too into Cohen and his teachings. I am still pretty into Integral and Ken Wilber. At least in the case of KW the integrity of the ideas is the most important thing, whether Wilber has such a raging shadow and why he associates with Cohen and whether he knows about this stuff that's been going on in Cohen's community is beside the point, I suppose.

Anyway, it's probaby scary and risky, doing what you're doing, but it is a real service to people, and it is much appreciated. Ah, human beings.

Friday, 05 June, 2009
Anonymous said...
I remember, following the first Montserrat retreat the Student members met with
Andrew (after waiting around for a couple of hours outside the
building – he was ‘busy’ with the Formal men – the Formal men left
looking decidedly browbeaten). It was my first exposure to private
Andrew – not contained or edited for public consumption. We crouched
or sat on the floor while he sat above us on the sofa. Someone asked
him what the difference between a student member and formal student
was. He said that we (the students) had made a commitment, but we
still had our lives, whereas the formal students had given him their
lives – they belonged to him. I remember being quite shocked at his
bluntness, but thinking “wow, how amazing to make such a commitment to
Andrew – to give him your life!”

A couple of years later Andrew (again in private) talked about being
the second face of God before whom we had to submit if we were ever to
overcome our egos. The ego will only submit to God and for our purposes
he was God. (He’s never been known for his modesty).

From Amy’s response:
“Q: Did Andrew ever emphasize the need to absolutely surrender to him?
A: No.”

If Amy is willing to lie about something that is so absolutely central
to Andrew’s relationship with his students – can we believe anything
else she says? And of course, nothing in Andrew’s world happens
without Andrew’s say-so, we know he approved Amy’s message before it
was sent. Integrity?

I've felt ambivalent much of the time about some of Andrew's "techniques". Sometimes you gotta be tough. Within the community people are occasionally honest about what happened in the past. I remember a conversation with a couple of people who had been in California with Andrew. They were quite clear that there were abuses, but of course Andrew wasn't to blame - if his students hadn't been so immature and difficult... Andrew's silence down through the years was one thing, but now blatant lies. Integrity?

Friday, 05 June, 2009
Rose Shapiro said...
I too am horrified by what I have read here and can't understand why Ken continues to associate with Andrew.
However to me, anyone who doesn't have the courage to sign his name to a post deserves to be called a "whiney baby." Rose

Saturday, 06 June, 2009
Anonymous said...
Given the reports of cruelty and how one departing disciple was tracked via rental car records to her out of state location by Andrews lackeys and persuaded to return, and how Stas reported getting creepy e-mails from Andrew after Stas departure and how Andrew had tried to upset Stas own adolescent daughter, many persons deserve to PROTECT themselves from further abuse by utilizing anonymity.

Using anonymity in relation to Andrew and his vicious crowd of enablers is wisdom, not weakness.

If anyone wants to see a whiney baby in action, read Ken Wilber's verbal spew--the infamous Wyatt Earpy tirade of 2006 wonders if Kenny knows a copy of his letter adorned the wall of the Foxhollow Gitmo sauna and...whether Ken LIKES IT that he is part of this fiesta of BDSM.

At least Michel Foucault, unlike Ken, went himself to the public baths and put his own body on the line. Ken, unlike Andrews much abused students, keeps a safe distance.
(quote) Do those of you who remember the men’s sauna with all the posted letters and humiliating caricature s of us forget about the enlarged (almost Floor to ceiling) Ken Wilbur letter where Ken himself called us (Andrew’s Formal Men) “whiney Babies”.(unquote)

If Ken had intregity hed go get himself whipped bloody by the gurus whose cruelty he celebrates. Then Ken would speak from embodied experience for a change.

Monday, 08 June, 2009
Carlos B said...
Well, it's a problem with anyone who thinks they have the truth. The guru lead community, be it political or supposedly spiritual, will always be abusive, particularly when the community is the source of the guru's income. We need to become our own students, learn how to learn from life.

I'm distressed by how many former followers of Cohen still talk about the spiritual benefits of their time with him. Of course it was a learning experience but how enlightened could you have been if you didn't recognise and react to basic abuse? I don't want to attack those people - the pressures of a cult are indeed very great - but continuing to give Cohen credit isn't helping them to break free.

There's a video on Youtube I'm sure most people know where Cohen interviews three gurus and they all whine about the pressures their devotees put on them. The comments are uniformly self-pitying and derogatory about their followers. It's absolutely pathetic and more confirmation that there's nobody out there that can do it for you.

Cohen talks about 'exceptional individuals' emerging from various traditions to lead the 'evolutionary process.' Well, who are they? Ken Wilbur? Continue your own spiritual practise with those who support and love you. I think that's all any of us can do.

Tuesday, 09 June, 2009
“Whiney Baby” anonymous poster. said...
Dearest Rose Shapiro (If that’s your real name),

What I appreciate most about this blog is that it is attempting to force due diligence on an immeasurably delicate and volatile circumstance. Namely, what does it mean to be a close student of Andrew Cohen one of the most extraordinary men you will ever encounter. The same holds true for Ken Wilbur – an extraordinary man and strong proponent of Andrew’s teaching.

I am willing to concede that not all the described methods used by Andrew were entirely unwarranted. We are talking about emancipation from the karmic wheel of suffering which remains one of the most daunting challenges any human being can undertake. The ego/my ego is one tough, nasty, deeply entrenched, dark son of a bitch potentially requiring shocking means to be brought to into the light of day necessary for its demise.

However, in my opinion a great deal of what is described in this blog, what I participated in, and what I witnessed should of never have happened.

If I had access to this information prior to joining the community I would have made a very different decision than the one I made. I entered the situation with Andrew because when I met him my heart was blown wide open and I tasted the extraordinary grace of liberation.

The party line in the community, fueled by the teacher, is that that overwhelming experience of emancipation, and in fact emancipation itself, is the result of meeting Andrew. You are encouraged to believe that this is the debt that can never be repaid and your bottomless outstanding balance is owed to Andrew. If you do not completely commit your life to this ideal liberation will never be yours.

At the base level what I/we are saying in this blog is that these things happened and this is how the situation was, and potentially still is. - Buyers beware.

I don’t know why there is such a delta between the answers provided by Amy Edelstein and the actuality of my experience and by all accounts those of others and not just a few trying to “bring Andrew down” (whatever that means). Even though I have my strong, and what I consider to be well informed opinions ultimately in such matters I have to ask: Who I am I? I am no great Spiritual Teacher. I don’t have the first idea how to liberate another human being. However, I do believe it’s most important that people know what they are getting themselves into in such a significant matter.

I realize that my first missive was a bit terse and confrontational. But I was genuinely, and I believe justifiably angry when I read Amy Edelstein’s responses to those questions. I am a human being like any other trying to make sense of my life and the decisions I made. Amy Edelstein’s answers were quite disrespectful to me in that regard.

As to my decision to remain “Anonymous”:

I realize that an anonymous posting on a blog is intrinsically suspect and devoid of accountability. I am relying on its content to validate its authenticity. Anyone that was in Andrew’s community can corroborate what is written here. As it has been a fair few years since I have endeavored to participate in such matters I don’t wish to become embroiled in the finger pointing, name calling or “boxing in” of all involved. I especially remain somewhat weary of being accused of things, accused of being a “whiney baby“inclusive. Thus I wish to remain anonymous.

Rose, you could have simply asked why I chose to remain anonymous but you chose to label me with no consideration or interest in why I made my choice. The very reason I choose to remain anonymous in the first place. It looks like you and Andrew have some things in common.

Wednesday, 10 June, 2009
Sol Ray ( said...
Previous comment says "Then Ken would speak from embodied experience for a change." Right on! Ken Wilber does not strike me as an 'experiencer', he seems more of an 'understanding orientated man'. He and AC seem to be two sides of a same coin though, complementing each other nicely, back to back, never having to really face each other. However, anyone, especially any so-called spiritual authoritiy, who knows about AC's psychotic cruel megalomania and still supports him is not worth a dime! Dragan

Wednesday, 10 June, 2009
Carlos B said...
I'm interested to know what the anonymous poster who describes Cohen as an 'one of the most extraordinary men you will encounter' means. Is Cohen a good man? He's accused of extorting money, mysogyny and committing gross emotional and physical abuse.

I have never met Cohen but from watching his videos he strikes me as being clever and manipulative but hardly extraordinary.

Wednesday, 10 June, 2009
Stuart said...
Anonymous said...
> Why would Ken Wilbur in any way
> disassociate himself with Andrew
> when he fundamentally agrees
> with him?

Here's my understanding of Wilber's teachings, as they relate to Cohen. I'm happy to hear from anyone who disagrees with my assessment.

Many traditions say that we're all metaphorically like a box of animal crackers. We each have different forms (elephant, tiger, etc), but our substance (the dough) is the same. From this viewpoint, we can recognize that individuals may differ in many respects (strength, attractiveness, intelligence, etc)... yet there's always a fundamental perspective of equality.

Wilber's teaching, on the other hand, always holds the concept of "altitude." That means that on a basic, fundamental level, some of us are more "developed" (or "evolved") than others. In the most important sense, this teaching does not see equality.

Wilber's teaching thus has appeal to anyone who sees himself as superior to the masses. Or similarly, to anyone who desires to eventually gain the "altitude" to be superior to others. If this belief in (or hope for) superiority is to be maintained, it's vital to cultivate ideas of higher/lower development, and equally vital to avoid the perspective of equality.

From this understanding, it becomes clear why Wilber has always sought support from authoritarian types like Adi Da and Cohen. Wilber and Cohen can reinforce in each other this vital belief in their superiority.

Remember when Cohen, in his blog, claimed that there were successes and failures in "spirituality," and that he and his believers were the most successful... like "the navy seals" of the realm? Isn't it easy to see that if one desperately wants to believe in such one-upmanship, the rest of the belief-system must be upheld, no matter how much it contradicts logic and experience?


Wednesday, 10 June, 2009
George said...
People keep asking why do people stay with Andrew? There’s the cultic aspect – the pressure of the guru, of the community, of the need to justify to yourself that the depth of your commitment isn’t just because you’re a fool.
But there is the undeniable fact that most people who become Andrew’s students do so because around him they have overwhelmingly powerful experiences that they interpret: 1. as spiritual experiences that might lead to enlightenment; and 2. most importantly, as being catalyzed by Andrew. No matter how much lip service everyone gives to being committed to the “teaching”, to the cause of Evolutionary Enlightenment, the truth is they’ve had powerful experiences and always want more. Whether or not Andrew is the catalyst and whether those experiences are genuinely spiritual in nature, I’m not going to touch on here. But the fact is just about everyone around him has those experiences.

One of the curious things about Andrew is that he simultaneously exerts constant pressure on those around him, pressure that seems to precipitate those experiences, and then constantly imposes discipline and control to prevent those experiences (individual and collective) from empowering his students and overpowering him.

In the year or so leading up to “Declaration Day” (Nov 20, 2005) – the student body around the world had a series of powerful collective experiences (again, I’m not going to speculate about the true nature of those experiences) that seemed to those involved (including me) to be overwhelming, ecstatic, truly collective and transformative. They seemed to be precipitated – not by Andrew – but by the collective intention and practice of the student body, particularly through the practice of Enlightened Communication (developed not by Andrew but by Chris Parrish). People craved more and more. Andrew stopped the practice of public enlightened communication and initiated a period of organizational change that kept people so busy and off-balance that the power of the collective experience could be controlled by Andrew and his senior students. Andrew’s drive to “stabilize” those experiences seems more to be a drive to retain control.

The experiences of the student body simultaneously fulfilled Andrew’s stated goals and threatened to undermine his control. If his teaching actually did produce enlightened autonomous human beings, the guru’s days were numbered, he’d be just one enlightened dude amongst many (and a not very pleasant one at that). It’s one of the curiosities that as the possibility of actual enlightenment seemed to open up to his students Andrew shifted the emphasis decisively away from an enlightenment teaching to saving the world through evolutionary enlightenment. His students are ALWAYS busy, what they’re busy with is ALWAYS changing. They’re ALWAYS undermined, ALWAYS off-balance, ALWAYS susceptible to control. But periodically you have these awesome, profound, ecstatic experiences - and they just keep you coming back for more


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 18, 2011 11:37PM

"Unfortunately, your strategic self, not your authentic self, attained enlightenment."

Many current or former disciples of Andrew Cohen still wonder whether Cohen was enlightened, feeling confused by the amazing experiences they had when with him, good things accomplished--yet the horrendous abuse alongside and in the midst of it all.

Well, here is an offering. A possible way to cut through this confusion.

Someone wrote this about their former guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It may apply here--to anyone, Cohen, Ken Wilber, Tolle, Byron Katie, Ken Wilber and others less famous but still as ambitious to spray paint their crude graffiti upon the inner lives of as many people as possible.


"Unfortunately, your strategic self, not your authentic self, attained enlightenment.

'This subtle but crucial difference has damaged the lives of so many people… The teaching of your strategic self is wrong.

'If you were emotionally enlightened, and not just strategically enlightened, you would stop being Maharish immediately.

'" You would take your picture and name off of everything. You would apologize to all your followers and send them to psychologists, psychiatrists and emotional healers for real help. "

"Your teaching is not the only way. Nor is it supreme knowledge

Nor is it worthy of secrecy or any special, sacred holiness.

It is merely the formulation of a man who’s emotional wounds are so huge, he had to plaster his picture and name on everything - down to the smallest door sign.

"Your entire persona as an enlightened sage is merely a compensation so that you won’t feel your (own)deep unworthiness and disconnectedness from life..."

""Transcending real feelings that live inside me is not the path to anything but denial. These feelings don’t go away or get healed by transcending. You described it as a bore to drill through a mountain. Well, the mountain remains. What I felt inside the entire time of my TM life is now coming out - the pain, hurt, existential fear that you have no solution for. Transcending doesn’t do a thing but delay the time to deal with these feelings. "



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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Martin Gifford ()
Date: January 19, 2011 09:39AM



“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.”

Yes. After I posted, I thought “That’s seduction.” And it’s true. He is a seducer. Phoney gurus display like peacocks, but they are really just glorified chooks underneath.

Are you aware of the Enneagram? Andrew is a 1 with a 2 wing which means he’s an idealistic perfectionist (1) talking about saving the world, etc., and he has a seductive intrusive aspect (2). So the 1 aspect inspires, criticises, and judges others and the 2 aspect seduces and intrudes into every detail of your life. However, I don’t think he’s a conman. I actually think he is sincere. It’s just that he is extremely deluded and his disciples and Wilber prop up those delusions.



“Note, friends that Wilber has never lived under the authority of any of the gurus he endorses. He keeps his rosy pink rear out of the dungeon while inviting others to go in and get abused--and insinuates that anyone with misgivings about it is a wussie. Reminds me of what we did as kids. One kid would dare another to 'step backwards' and not look behind befored doing so. The person who stepped backwards would put his or her foot into a pile of dog feces. Meanwhile, the person egging you to do it was at a safe distance, shoes clean.”

Yes. It also reminds me of people like George Bush and all the Armchair Warriors and Keyboard Commandos who got kicks out of America going to war. They know America will safely win because of the huge size of America’s military, and they know the homeland won’t be bombed because of its distance from the battlefront. So they know that they themselves are safe, yet they act tough while advocating war. And they call critiques “appeasers” and wimps. It’s exactly the same as Wilber. It’s shockingly juvenile. Shockingly Unenlightened.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 19, 2011 04:30PM

'However, I don’t think he’s a conman. I actually think he is sincere. It’s just that he is extremely deluded and his disciples and Wilber prop up those delusions.'

Whether or not Cohen is sincere or just sincerely deluded, the results for his disciples are the same. They are being conned and it is Cohen, with his supposedly 'higher on the evolutionary scale' state, who is perpetrating and continuing the con.
As long as his disciples are blindly caught in the con they cannot develop in the natural human way that allows the only measure of liberation that is available to human beings, the ability to make different decisions and life choices.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2011 12:08AM

Christa: Your PM mailbox is full.


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: WineGuy ()
Date: February 11, 2011 02:58PM

When your own mother writes a book criticizing you, you know you have something going wrong.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 17, 2011 07:53AM

On February 15th, Bill Yenner, a former disciple and entourage member of Andrew Cohen's small empire, published a compare and contrast between life in Scientology and Life Under Andrew Cohen

by William Yenner
February 15, 2011

In his recent New Yorker profile of the Church of Scientology (February 7, 2011), Lawrence Wright highlights a type of social pathology that, far from being confined to Scientologists, is a ubiquitous feature of many contemporary so-called “religious” or “spiritual” organizations. Yet in public discourse about the relative merits of any particular such group, there seems to be a characteristic obliviousness to the presence of this pathology, and it seems to be difficult for people to perceive and accept how pervasive and formulaic this type of pathology actually is.

For the entire article go here.


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 19, 2011 08:50AM

Overview from Factnet--The Culture of Integral Abuse


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: Martin Gifford ()
Date: February 20, 2011 08:35AM

I read the Be Schofield article at Factnet that Corboy linked to. Schofield’s discussion about how these leaders all prop each other up got me thinking:

There seems to be an in-group belief system for the ambitious gurus mentioned, and that system is also believed by their disciples. The leaders use that belief system to keep the disciples in their place, e.g. Ken Wilber praising the “rude boy” guru Andrew Cohen, and the disciples use the belief system to keep each other in place too.

So when Andrew Cohen’s disciples “jump in” to online discussions or start websites like Guru-Talk, they think they will win the argument because their groupthink works so well with each other that they assume it will work equally well with outsiders. So they mindlessly channel Andrew’s worldview. But when the outsiders demolish their arguments, they have no independent intelligence to fall back on. So they simply exit the discussion without comment and go back to their in-group to justify themselves to each other and prop each other up. You can see this at Guru-Talk where they only publish comments that agree with the writers there. And Andrew Cohen’s blog also edits out anyone who demolishes Cohen’s viewpoint.

At a certain point, this defensive process using the guru’s belief system becomes automatic and the leaders don’t have to give any further input. The leaders come to expect that they can continue hobnobbing with other leaders around the world raising their own profile, while the disciples, will continue bleating on the leader’s behalf and continue paying for the leader’s lifestyle. It’s quite an efficient system. It’s like a perpetual-motion machine. I mean, it got to the point where Cohen didn’t even have to slap disciples anymore because he could get them to slap each other! He even got his wife to slap disciples. Actually, this reminds me of Marx’s observation that the elite recruit people from within the oppressed class to dominate the oppressed class on behalf of the ruling class.

And all this makes me wonder - what could possible break this perpetual-motion machine? The law is the normal way, but these guys have all sorts of defences against that - mainly by playing with the grey area of interpretations. And this kind of corruption goes all the way up through society to the political level. Look at the deep corruption in American politics - both parties protect each other from prosecution regarding war crimes, torture, and financial corruption, and the media protects the whole system too. So it seems there will always be:

- elites and the oppressed,

- aggressive leaders and compliant followers,

- a few independent people,

- a few withdrawn people.

Yet no one in those categories can break the system. So the only way I can imagine a change is if some new wise person comes along who is outstandingly lucid and charismatic. Perhaps they can break illusions on every level of society. In a population of 7 billion people, shouldn’t there should be someone that smart and that charismatic? I know J. Krishnamurti was supposed to be the world teacher but he turned out to be a fizzer.

Until some person or factor forces a change, I guess we can only warn others as best we can.

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