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A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 31, 2008 06:32PM

From 1998 to 1999, I was a member of a Sufi order that has gone by various names. Some of the group's names are:

Shadhiliyya, Shadhuliyya, Shadhuli, Shaduli, University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism, Jaffe Institute. School of Energy Mastery

I definitely find this group to be a cult. It has taken me nearly a decade to come forth and say something about it.

There is only one other negative report I've found on this group so far:

[[url=http://www.angelfire.com/fm/shadhuli/]Divine Marriage/How did I come to be a Sidi Sheik Muhammed-style Sufi of the Shadhuli Order?[/url]]

The leader of the group is Sidi Muhammad (aka Muhammed) al-Jamal al-Rifa'i ash-Shadhuli. He is imam of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (aka Dome of the Rock) in Jerusalem.

There is an American leader of the group: Dr. Robert Jaffe, aka Ibrahim.

When I was a member of the group nearly 10 years ago, there was also an American female leader: Dr. Jody Prinzivalli, aka Jodi, aka Shams. Dr. Prinzivalli left the group shortly after I did and encouraged me to speak out about my experiences.

This is my initial report on the Shadhiliyya Sufi group. I will post a further report with more specific details soon.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2008 06:33PM by helpme2times.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 31, 2008 07:15PM

About my involvement in the Shadhiliyya (Shadhuli) Sufi order...

In 1998, a good friend told me that he had been having sessions in something called "Sufi healing". He raved about the sessions, said they went very deep and were really helping him.

I trusted this friend and being in a very vulnerable time of my life (my marriage was on the rocks), I decided to try one of these sessions. I arranged for a telephone session with someone trained by Dr. Robert (Ibrahim) Jaffe.

Just as my friend said, the session was very deep. Frankly it was too deep. I felt rather traumatized by the emotional places this healer, a medical doctor, took me to. Which set me up to feel a need for more sessions.

I had a few more sessions and was still hungry for more. So when I learned that there was to be a Sufi healing workshop given by Dr. Jaffe in NYC in late 1998, I made the arrangements and went to it.

Dr. Jaffe told a very moving story of how he'd been a hugely successful "energy healer" with his own school, but then he became quite ill with some sort of heart condition and was supposedly dying. (He claimed he "asked God" how much time he had left and heard the response, "six months.") Jaffe said that he then began putting his affairs in order and was preparing to die. But then a friend approached him and said that he had found a Sufi master whom he thought could help Jaffe. He decided it was worth a shot and so he traveled to Jerusalem to see if Sheikh Sidi Muhammad could help him.

Jaffe said that he was at first unimpressed by Sidi, that the man actually fell asleep in front of him at one point. But then Sidi said to him, "Allah tells me you have six months to live." He further said something to the effect of, "You are dying because you have forgotten how to love yourself the way God loves you." (I cried away when I heard that. It really got to me.)

And so Jaffe suposedly learned how to love himself ala God and was rescued from death's door.

He then shifted from his "energy mastery" approach to one of spiritual healing. He believes that all illness springs from spiritual disconnection. (Not so different from Christian Science.)

The Sufi healing workshop I took involved a lot of deep emotional releasing. I was so opened up that on the final day of the workshop I "took the promise" to be a Sufi in the Shadhiliyya order, even though I barely knew what that meant.

After I took the promise, a member of the group, Hamid, approached me and said that I needed to give some sort of donation to show my commitment to the path. He said that it needed to be a substantial amount. Bizarrely, he told me that there would be an animal sacrifice made on my behalf. I seem to recall giving somewhere around $600, which was no small change to me at the time.

(If I hadn't been flying so high from all the emotionality of the Sufi healing workshop, I would have been much more in touch with valid concerns about the group and probably would have run far and fast away.)

In the group we were urged to adopt Islam as our religion. I took that seriously and set about learning the five-times-a-day prayers, etc. I became extremely straight-laced and wore a scarf on my head as much as possible, since I was told I needed to protect against astral beings. On top of following Islamic practices, we were given a number of Sufi practices, such as chanting in Arabic thousands of times each morning and evening. It was quite time-consuming. And we were often asked to participate in costly events and give sizable donations to the group.

We were told that all sorts of things were "against God". Things like Reiki healing, which I had been involved in for some years. Over time I would learn that homosexuality and eastern religions were also "against God". By then, I had become quite disgusted with all that was being asked of me and I wrote an email to Dr. Jaffe announcing that I was leaving the path.

Jaffe responded months later and threatened that I could become sick and die from something like cancer for leaving. That did not happen. Instead, I discovered some years later that Jaffe's own wife got ill with cancer and died from it.

That is the gist of my involvement with the Shadhiliyya Sufi order. There is a lot of detail that I am leaving out, and a fair amount of it is hard to remember accurately now. I do hope that anyone who comes upon this group and has doubts about it will be helped by doing an internet search and coming upon my story, as well as the story I gave a link to in my first post. I also highly recommend reading Ibn Warraq's "Why I Am Not a Muslim." (No offense to anyone who finds great solace in Islam or any other religion, but I think it is important to know the roots of the religion if one is deciding whether or not to convert to it.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2008 07:20PM by helpme2times.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: May 31, 2008 07:52PM

Just in case the web page disappears at some point, this is the text for the anonymously published,

"Divine Marriage/How did I come to be a Sidi Sheik Muhammed-style Sufi of the Shadhuli Order?"

Some time ago, I arrived in Jerusalem in a very sad state. I was looking for something, and Sidi seemed to be an archetypal middle-easternern Holy Man. I was previously attracted to eastern gurus, but here was a man who seemed like an eastern mystic and the old testament prophetic model combined. Within a few days, I had a spiritual name and a whole new identity as someone who had 'taken the promise' to be a disciple. He seemed rather insistent on my doing this, and as I had very little confidence in my ability to do anything, at that point in life, I went along. Not long thereafter, he started putting me together with a disciple of the opposite sex. And I do mean putting together and he WAS there in the roon with us while it went on. There were candles and incense, the call to prayer going off, an exotic desert locale, new food, new prayers, a new language, a brand new holy book-- I figured this was he was just like God in the Garden of Eden and I and my partner were like Adam and Eve. In fact, he did keep saying, 'Be the real Adam for her . Be the real Eve for him' during the intense 'deep secret love' sessions he directed.

These sessions were intersperced with his frequent and insistent attempts to get us to marry. Later, I finally did marry this person...how could I not after an audition like that? I had tried to be proceed more slowly, but kept feeling like this was my one and only chance for love and redemption in a life that was going nowhere anyway.

Did my marrriage partner and I expect to simply glide into new, regenerated identities with no pasts, problems, addictions, hurts to examine and come to terms with? Did we really think all we had to do was turn ourselves over to Sidi? Was the advice he subsequently gave us based, as he implied, on his personal direct contact with the Divine? Did our 'stuff' get handled by taking on a new identity as a strategy? Was that Sidi's point? Would anybody from an Islamic milleau be treated the way we did? Was there any sanction of the way we were treated by Sidi? Did he have only our interests at heart or was there some need on his part for power, to get involved in another's intimate relations?

I don't know if I will ever answer all of these questions. It is certainly true that it is easier to condemn the man now that I have gotten over him and the group surrounding him, and done some work on myself in a traditional psychological way. Perhaps I 'needed' the container of this group. Perhaps I 'needed' to be put with another human being in this forceful way to break a habitual lonliness that was killing me. Perhaps others still need this now and I should shut up and let them have it.

Still, I believe that someone wondering whether the spiritual path consists of following another's descriptions of God and the path to Him, no matter how first-hand they SEEM to be, should remember the Qur'an when it says, " He who knows himself knows his Lord". There's no escape in pretending one is an Arab, or a 'son' or 'daughter' of a person more influential with God, or someone who is otherwise exempt from remembering one's past misunderstandings, hurts, and wrong-doings, amending them, and finding a place of balance among the community of humanity. I have that balance now, and I am sorry for so many that, having invested so many years in one 'spiritual community' or another, feel their identities are so contained within that leader/group/ideology that they dare not seek other options. It is actually a bit harder in a group like this which is not exactly a 'cult', at least as far a Sidi promotes it. For known cults there is known help. For this love-oriented sufi group there is mainly one's own betrayed hopefullness to get over.

[[url=http://www.angelfire.com/fm/shadhuli/]http://www.angelfire.com/fm/shadhuli/[/url]]

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: Coolhermit ()
Date: June 03, 2008 12:59AM

As John Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people"

As Jeremiah chapter 17 says, "cursed is the man who trusts in man."

Never let spiritual pirates board the ship of your life.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 03, 2008 03:09AM

That is some heavy stuff. Just from the text above, it appears they are using "modern" methods of indoctrination, with very "ancient" ones, like animal blood sacrifice?
I guess those guys in the middle east learned they can generate some serious cash from the west. Who knows where that money is going and what it is being used for?

And its obvious, even from the most basic overview, that Dr. Robert Jaffe is a Playa, when it comes to "our sect can heal your illnesses" and his "healing story". (notice they all tell the same basic "story"?)

If you die, its your fault for not believing hard enough.

All they have to do is TEST the mortality rates of members of the group.
But they all refuse to test it, like Christian Science refuses. Why?

I once knew a girl who worked in the office for one of these spiritual groups that "healed" people.
After a few years she quit in disgust.
She was a smart girl, and she realized hat the people in the clinic were dying at the same rate as anyone else with those diseases. there was NO EFFECT.
The fake "doctor" at the New Wage healing clinic knew that as well. He knew they were dying like flies on a daily basis.

But hey, making $500,000+ a year in income is pretty tempting.
too bad the money is coming from desperate, wonderful people who don't want to die, who are willing to sell their homes on any bogus New Wage treatment that promises them a healing.
Then after their death their family is left with nothing.

Only the most ruthless and sociopathic stay in that business for years. If you are a decent person, after a few years at most you realize you are exploiting dying people, and you quit, your conscience can't take it.
So the ones who keep doing it for years, know it doesn't work due to the death stats, but the money is just too good.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 03, 2008 04:22AM

Quote
The Anticult
And its obvious, even from the most basic overview, that Dr. Robert Jaffe is a Playa, when it comes to "our sect can heal your illnesses" and his "healing story". (notice they all tell the same basic "story"?)

If you die, its your fault for not believing hard enough.
While it is very sad that Jaffe's wife ended up dying of cancer, it was fortunate for me that I learned about it. Jaffe had tried to frighten me into staying in the cult by suggesting I'd get cancer if I left. I was able to overcome my fear of that happening once I found out about his wife.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 03, 2008 04:32AM

Quote
Coolhermit
As John Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people"

As Jeremiah chapter 17 says, "cursed is the man who trusts in man."

Never let spiritual pirates board the ship of your life.
Breezy comments like this are not helpful. At all.

If it were that easy to avoid being taken in by cults and the like, then a very active forum like this wouldn't exist.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 03, 2008 09:25AM

It never ceases to amaze that these people continue to try and blame people for their biological illnesses.
They just refuse to accept there is some randomness in Nature, and thus, sadly, some people get illnesses and die too early.

Byron Katie also uses "cancer" all the time as a hammer on people. Fear of a horrible death seems to be an effective tool for persuasion.

And its very true that cultic type situations are very complex psychologically. I bet probably 99% of what goes on we never hear about, as those who are victimized blame themselves, and never talk about it.
At least the internet allows people to get the word out now.



Quote
helpme2times
Quote
The Anticult
And its obvious, even from the most basic overview, that Dr. Robert Jaffe is a Playa, when it comes to "our sect can heal your illnesses" and his "healing story". (notice they all tell the same basic "story"?)

If you die, its your fault for not believing hard enough.
While it is very sad that Jaffe's wife ended up dying of cancer, it was fortunate for me that I learned about it. Jaffe had tried to frighten me into staying in the cult by suggesting I'd get cancer if I left. I was able to overcome my fear of that happening once I found out about his wife.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: rob ()
Date: June 06, 2008 07:33PM

Do you know this website ? Anab Whitehouse wrote a book about his abuse experiences with a sheikh.
www.sufi-spiritual-abuse-recovery-assistance.org

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 07, 2008 12:44AM

Quote
rob
Do you know this website ? Anab Whitehouse wrote a book about his abuse experiences with a sheikh.
www.sufi-spiritual-abuse-recovery-assistance.org
I did not know about this site. Will check it out. Thanks!

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