Aw Rick, you didn't give me a chance to ask him about those "serious misconceptions" he mentioned in his first post. I especially wanted to question his view of the Bleep movie and the Ramtha connection. I know those questions won't get answered over on [i:be09c91169]their[/i:be09c91169] board, and besides, they probably won't let [i:be09c91169]me[/i:be09c91169] on [i:be09c91169]that[/i:be09c91169] one anymore.
Gian Maria's indeed brutal assertion that for Laitman and his "chosen" Jewish men, the rest are just the means to the end, must have brought about some serious cognitive dissonance for Mike, if we assume he is under a different impression. And the fact that SkippyPB has let this damning information go by without a word like it was never even posted is quite peculiar, in my view. Of course, it is true that one can study Ashlagian kabbalah superficially at kabbalah.info without any reference whatsoever to the doings and opinions and plans of the core group of Bnei Baruch in Israel.
From what is admitedly just my personal perspective given my residence inside another cult 12 years ago, and the present situation, and reading about many others, I want to make two points.
The first is that it always seems to be true that the public face of an organization like this is just ever so inviting, so innocent, showing nothing that anyone might question or quibble with. All the people you meet or might deal with are helpful and smiling and enthusiastic, and you [i:be09c91169]assume[/i:be09c91169] that they're well on their way to attaining the "goal" or that they have attained it, but they won't tell you a thing about their own personal level of attainment--it's a secret. But then, if you [i:be09c91169]live with[/i:be09c91169] the inner core of people, thinking that will be better, more, shockingly you find (if that is, if you don't become one of those willing to carry on the illusion/delusion) that things are so very very very different, so very negative, and that the worst of human traits are in front of you on a daily basis, and not that lovingkindness you expected. And the leader!? Has his/her supposed closeness to Source/God/Christ/Light/Creator made of him a kind and wise human being? It always seems to not be the case, sadly. I highly recommend an online free book that I didn't see listed on this site, Stripping the Gurus. The chapters that speak about the psychology of cult involvement across the board are:
And they are always offering you something, something you want, something you need. In the present case, what you get (eventually, somehow, with the "scientfic" kabbalistic method) are answers to life's deepest questions and yearnings and admission into the presence of the Creator Itself (eventually... as I said before). And the intoxicating rush may be there--you've found IT, what you've been looking for, all your life maybe. But soon, too soon, you see that you absolutely, positively can't get there overnight, and you're going to have work at it very very hard for a long, long, long time. And not only that, but your ugly EGO will be rubbing elbows with every body else's ugly EGO. And it gets ugly.
The second point, which Gian Maria made so well in his letter to katot.org, is what may happen to you when you finally have the courage to leave: they will hate you, revile you, act like you are nothing if they might meet you on the street. I KNOW this is true, because I experienced this exact treatment upon leaving the cult I was in. In fact, where I was so long ago, we were taught to do this, expected to do it--reject utterly the person who dares leave, no matter if it was your wife, father, child, sister, didn't matter. And my husband rejected me when I left. We had occasion to meet about 6 months after, and he wouldn't even touch me, because I was now "unclean" and he didn't want to become "defiled." The above chapters also give many examples, and explains the psychology of it much better than I am able to do.
I want to quote from the letter, and note that it bolsters Rick's comments about issues of spiritual elitism:
"This general attitude is combined together with the inducted feeling that whatever is outside the group, being part of the big swindle (or physical appearance of creation), is fake, low, pathetic and unbearable. As a result Bnei Baruch members measure people who belong to the group and those who don’t in a completely different way from the norm. The group is your life, the air you breathe, your refuge, your family, the gathering of your only friends, your only and exclusive spiritual hope. Outside the group there is no life, people are like beasts (meaning their behaviors and desires are no different from those of animals) and there is nowhere to go. The group owns the Way, the group owns the only tools to possibly reach the target, the group owns the truth. Everyone, once they have been accepted to become one of the group, is indoctrinated to fear finding himself outside!
The group’s behaviour towards its members can be summarized by the motto “either with me or against me”. The comparing of opinions is allowed and promoted inside Bnei Baruch, as long as it doesn’t exceed the theoretical limits outlined by Laitman’s teachings. Could it be any different? Should it be?
Unfortunately things become problematic when it concerns the view and treatment of people who have, for one reason or another, left the group. The one who is sent away, or leaves the group for ideological reasons, becomes infected, ceases to exist and ‘dies’. As a rule, people within the group are not allowed to talk with them anymore, nor even look at them and say “hello”. I will try to be more precise with a personal example, and it merely illustrates many other similar cases.
Approximately one year ago, for reasons connected to bad feelings she had collected in the space of two years and partly related to what I’m writing here, my wife decided to leave the group. The women of Bnei Baruch rapidly rejected her, to the point of ignoring her existence. The men simply supported, or even pushed, their wife’s position, or encouraged me that ‘after all she was a bit crazy’. They suggested that this was only a disturbance that, as always, would lead me closer to the target because, for His mysterious reasons, the Creator likes torturing those He loves… Someone said “her eyes are dead”, another tried to convince me to behave like the horse in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and told me “work harder!”, others suggested that I should consider getting married again and that a woman after all is nothing but a cow that brings cattle into the world. Most of the so-called friends were apathetic.
Now, the terrible thing is that in other places or ages, behaviors of this kind would surely have resulted in a harsher dismissal, such as lapidation (stoning), mutilation, or other violent abuses of human rights. Only the fact that we are living in more enlightened times spared everyone from falling into such an abyss. Nevertheless, the quality of the facts remains unchanged. To make it clearer, we could call it social lynching. This behaviour might be considered normal for a pack of hyenas that fights over a chunk of meat, but it is unacceptable when originating from the “most developed souls” of the world. It is much closer to a sectarian or tribal behaviour than to the attitude I expected from those who want to spread the universal religion of “love thy neighbor as thyself” all over the globe." [/color:be09c91169]
[I want to thank Gian Maria for being willing to write more on this message board, seeing as how it could be construed that I somewhat forced his hand, so to speak.]
I think Orwell's [i:be09c91169]Animal Farm[/i:be09c91169], btw, is a good one to read, or reread in this context.
Well, whether anyone else is or not, I am satisfied that what I had done a year ago with kabbalah was become interested and involved in just one more of the world's many metaphysical cons. I hope I am going to finally wise up, and not feel the need to go wandering "off to see the wizard" anymore.