Current Page: 18 of 28
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 24, 2016 11:01AM


Sufis from around the world. Note that many do not wear white. Many cannot afford white clothes or the cost of maintaining and laundering them.

It would be a hardship for a company to require employees to dress this way, all white clothing is practical only for protected environments and special occasions.

These examples of clothing worn by Sufis around the world give a more representative picture. And it isn't all white, either.

In Kashf al Majub (Unveiling of Secrets), written in the 11th century by
Hujwiri and regarded as the earliest Persian practice manual for Sufis, Hujwiri describes blue, not white as the color most closely associated with Sufis at that time.

Enough so that he tells of imposters wearing blue (!)

Here are some excerpts.

Blue as a color convenient for travel and a sign of mourning.


Now, as to their garments being mostly blue (kabild}^ one
of the reasons is that they have made wandering (siydkat] and
travelling the foundation of their Path ; and on journeys
a white garment does not retain its original appearance, and
is not easily washed, and besides, everyone covets it. Another
cause is this, that a blue dress is the badge of the bereaved and
afflicted, and the apparel of mourners ; and this world is the
abode of trouble, the pavilion of affliction, the den of sorrow,
the house of parting, the cradle of tribulation : the (Sufi)
disciples, seeing that their heart s desire is not to be gained
in this world, have clad themselves in blue and have sat down
to mourn union (with God). Others behold in the practice
(of devotion) only imperfection, in the heart only evil, in life
only loss of time : therefore they wear blue ; for loss (fawt)
is worse than death (inawt). One wears blue for the death
of a dear friend, another for the loss of a cherished hope.

A dervish was asked why he wore blue. He replied : " The
Apostle left three things : poverty, knowledge, and the sword.
The sword was taken by potentates, who misused it ; knowledge
was chosen by savants, who were satisfied with merely teaching
it ; poverty was chosen by dervishes, who made it a means of
enriching themselves. I wear blue as a sign of mourning for
the calamity of these three classes of men."

Sufi imposters in blue


Lack of positive religion and of morality arises from
heedlessness {ghaflaf). Well said that great master, Yahya
b. Mu adh al-Razi : " Avoid the society of three classes of men
heedless savants, hypocritical Koran -readers, and ignorant
pretenders to Sufiism." .... The
ignorant pretenders to Sufiism are they who have never
associated with a spiritual director (pir\ nor learned discipline
from a shaykh, but without any experience have thrown If**
themselves among the people, and have donned a blue mantle
(kabi idi\ and have trodden the path of unrestraint.


Afghanistan - Malang, aka Dervishes


Nakshibandhi Sufis, Central Asia, Turkey, etc

Chisti Sufis, Ajmer India

Khiva Central Asia

Senegal, Africa

United Kingdom

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2016 11:16AM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 01, 2016 09:55PM


"You never bring friends to church with you because
> you are embarrassed by how weird the church is

If things go on at your lodge that you don't feel you can tell your
outside friends, and worse, you feel you must not discuss this with members of your own lodge, this is how oppression takes over.

Bad enough to keep secrets from your outside friends; it is even more oppressive to keep secrets from yourself, you fear to have a conscious inner dialogue about your own life.

When there are too many incidents you fear to admit to yourself, fear to reflect upon within yourself, your inner life dries up. It happens at first at the edges of your awareness, the way some eye diseases blind us by eroding our side/peripheral vision. One can lose most of one's vision without awareness of loss if blindness creeps in from the periphery.

One goes numb inside. This can be mistaken for serenity, but lacks the vibrance of serenity.

One may cease to have dreams -- especially if one is required to discuss one's dreams with a lodge preceptor or with a therapist affiliated with your lodge whom you fear does not respect confidentiality. (One good reason among many why ethical therapists avoid conflicts of interest.)

One may grow numb and become more and more dependent upon the joyful feelings manufactured by the group's rituals.

Over time You can find it too much of an effort to maintain lodge life and outside friendships, precisely because there are too many things you cannot tell your friends.

So, over time you may, by default, spend less time with your outside friends and end up with only the church and its people for company. You can
end up surrounded by people who have done the same thing -- dropped
outside relationships.

Ever so slowly, like fog drifting in, you end up lacking outside perspective.

** of the things you dont like to be aware of is...feeling trapped. That becomes one of the things you find you dont want to face, and that feeling of being trapped becomes another secret you keep from yourself. It can be tempting to become yet busier with church or group projects and convince yourself that all this is right for you. And that feeling trapped is just a temptation from ego.

And because one often drops outside friendships by default, by not
thinking about it, you dont realize you've done it.

And these days, when so many of us have the 'busy disease' our
outside friends may be too distracted to catch on that they
are not seeing us quite so often.

Some exploitative leaders and groups deliberately keep people busy for
exactly this reason - no time to think. Cleaning toilets, endless volunteering
requests, endless music practice, theatre practice, endless requests for
help on child projects tied to the group -- you'll be kept too busy
to have a genuine inner life. This can create sleep deprivation, which
is a tried and true method of keeping one's mind and emotions blunted.

When one is run ragged, whether by secular society or by an exploitative
guru or employer, one becomes too busy to be a person. One becomes a blur.

And..finally. Watch out if during pastoral counseling or shepherding, you are told something about yourself that turns into an oppressive secret.


An off balance Sheikh or Pir or Msd
wants you to keep secrets. God doesnt deal in secrecy.

Privacy is negotiated between equals. Privacy supports truthfulness. Secrecy
generates lies and oppression.

Secrecy is imposed -- and it serves the Adversary. Paul told his judges that he
preached openly and things were not done in a corner.

Whispers and rumors and secret keeping are signs of a bad relationship, whether a group or friendship going sour -- or a church going sour.

The ways to confuse us are many.

* Keeping people busy and short on sleep. This hampers our ability
to use critical thinking -- and that includes discernment, a delicate
process. Skits? Costumes for skits? Rehearsals? Setting up the
theatre? Creating and editing the script and the music?

Plenty to keep a person too busy to find his or her own soul.

Quite different from the Prophet Jesus/Issa who said "Come to you all who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest; my yoke is easy
and my burden light." Jesus gave missionary assignments but didnt micro
manage them; his disciples were sent out in pairs on their own.

* Exploiting crises when people are under stress due to hardship
in their lives. This happens to any of us - we get sick, or someone we
love gets sick or has some other hardship.

* People we love and trust are tricked into putting their trust
in something misleading and we trust their recommendation because we love
them as friends. This happened to me.

* Hanging onto good memories and not being able to face that a once
trustworthy leader or group has changed for the worse.

*Becoming used to living with unease. I have fallen into this trap a lot. I
grew up in a very anxious family and so before I could think, I was
accustomed to living in the midst of unease. People from this kind of background
can easily ignore bad signs or incongruities.

Properly taught and understood, God works through creation and through our bodies and relationships, not against them.

* Are you getting sick more often? When I got out of a bad situation, I
had fewer colds. A girl pal of mine who was involved in a miserable relationship
and got out of it, was amazed when her grades improved and her anemia went away. She'd been suffering heavy GYN bleeding due to stress. When she left this
bad situation, her health improved.

* If you get sick do you discover you are glad because that means you dont have
to go to church or to meetings of a group that is making you miserable?

* Do you find yourself feeling angry or anxious or depressed when on your way to church or a group that you formerly enjoyed?

*Are you doing more stress eating? Doing shopping compulsions you never had before? Instead of feeling shame and berating yourself, treat these as clues and apply discernment. I was once very angry at someone. Instead of being able to face this, I did something I had not done before -- purchased and read books about battles and military affairs. I remember being puzzled. Only after I got out of the situation did I realize I was feeling as though in a war, and acted it out in my choice of reading materials. So...notice changes in your own behavior -- it may be a sign of a secret you are keeping from yourself.

* You find you are putting more effort into hiding things about yourself
because you dont want to allow an opening that could lead to your being

* You learn to avoid key words or topics that trigger discord or work requests
from your domineering leader

* You stop telling your family or friends about what is going on because you feel afraid that if you do tell theml, they will stare and think it is strange or bad for you and you dont want to face this kind of honest input from your friends.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2016 02:49AM by corboy.

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Visions and energy experiences are neutral
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 12, 2016 02:55AM

The apparent ability displayed by some pirs, sheikhs and munchies, a seeming
ability to 'give' stunning experiences of bliss, electricy, or in entire groups -
this appears to be a skill that anyone can do.


In the wrong hands, this can be done to get people addicted.

And, there is no such thing as a 'positive addiction'.

People often get involved with addictive drugs and alcohol because
of fragile or wounded selves.

The addictive trigger mechanism thus created by use of the soothing or
elevating drug gives the feeling of self cohesion, gives the feeling of
self maturation.

But feelings are not facts.

One has only the illusion of having been healed, backed up by one's own

This doesnt build character structure. Thus one remains dependent on the source of bliss, whether it be a guru, marijuana, gambling, alcohol, etc.


In some important ways, an Addiction Trigger Mechanism (ATM) mimics the functions of a self object in providing the self with an experience of relief
from dysphoric (painful feelings) states; however it is not a genuine self object.

(For)it (the addictive trigger mechanism) lacks the inherent capacity to add structure to and hence transform the self.

On the contrary, an ATM functions as an ersatz selfobject. As such it only mimics the structure building functions of genuine self objects. However, though lacking the power to transform the self, an ATM possesses the often deadly power to deform and in some cases, to destroy the self through
trapping the person in addictive ritual and habit.

Dissociative Anesthesia and the Transitional Selfobject in the Intersubjective Treatment of the Addictive Personality: Richard B Ullman and Harry Paul, page 112 of New Therapeutic Visons Progress in Self Psychology, The Analytic Press, 1992

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2016 10:18AM by corboy.

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Mind reading is actually mundane research
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 15, 2016 01:26AM

"Mind reading", an ability credited to many pirs, babas, sheikhs as being proof of their special link to G-D may be much more mundane than that.

A learned skill set.

So many of us crave to be known and understood. Plays right in.

Ditto for astrologers.



The cold reading, at its best, provides the client with a character assessment that is uniquely tailored to fit him or her. The reader begins with the same assumptions that guide the psychological reader who relies on the stock spiel. These assumptions are (1) that we all are basically more alike than different; (2) that our problems are generated by the same major transitions of birth, puberty, work, marriage, children, old age, and death; (3) that, with the exception of curiosity seekers and troublemakers, people come to a character reader because they need someone to listen to their conflicts involving love, money, and health.

The cold reader goes beyond these common denominators by gathering as much additional information about the client as possible.

Sometimes such information is obtained in advance of the reading. If the reading is through appointment, the reader can use directories and other sources to gather information.

When the client enters the consulting room, an assistant can examine the coat left behind (and often the purse as well) for papers, notes, labels, and other such cues about socioeconomic status, and so on.

Most cold readers, however do not need such advance information. Geronda Joseph (formerly Ioannis Voutsas, now Abbot and father-Confessor at St. Nektarios Monastery, Roscoe, NY).

The cold reader basically relies on a good memory and acute observation. The client is carefully studied.

The clothing- for example, style, neatness, cost, age- provides a host of cues for helping the reader make shrewd guesses about socioeconomic level, conservatism or extroversion, and other characteristics. The client’s physical features–weight, posture, looks, eyes, and hands provide further cues.

The hands are especially revealing to the good reader. The manner of speech, use of grammar, gestures, and eye contact are also good sources.

To the good reader the huge amount of information coming from an initial sizing-up of the client greatly narrows the possible categories into which he classifies clients. His knowledge of actual and statistical data about various subcultures in the population already provides him the basis for making an uncanny and strikingly accurate assessment of the client.

One person reported she had learned to do cold reading without any awareness
of doing so; at the time she did not know what cold reading was.



For instance, an understanding of cold reading would have helped me a great deal. I never knew what cold reading was, and until I saw professional magician and debunker Mark Edward use cold reading on an ABC News special last year, I didn't understand that I had long used a form of cold reading in my own work! I was never taught cold reading and I never intended to defraud anyone—I simply picked up the technique through cultural osmosis.


I was always a very bright and skeptical person. Even in my early teens, I was able to see right through questionable things like est, Scientology, breatharianism, urine drinking, and the really dangerous cults-yet that same skepticism and intelligence actually helped me validate other unusual experiences (of which I had many). I knew many psychics and alternative healers who seemed to be very good at what they did, and I directly experienced healings and psychic readings that I couldn't logically refute.

In that period, it would have been wonderful to come upon skeptical and critical thinking techniques, but alas, critical thinking wasn't taught in my high school. I didn't even know the category existed! When I went to junior college, I took geometry and logic for my critical thinking courses and thus I missed out on the subject once again. In my education, I didn't gain the skills I needed to help me understand what was occurring when New Age and metaphysical ideas and techniques seemed to work. My empirical experience “proved” the validity of things like psychic skills, auras, chakras, contact with the dead, astrology, and the like—and I had very little in my intellectual arsenal at that time to help me understand what was truly occurring.



When people approach me about what some have incorrectly termed my “conversion” to critical thinking and science, they seem to be looking for some evidence of a crisis of faith. But it was never a crisis of faith; it was always a crisis of conscience. As a healer, I specialized in working with survivors of severe dissociative trauma, and I knocked myself out trying to help these already-injured people feel safe, cared-for, and protected.

Therefore, I was always studying different modalities and healing approaches, and learning about the many questionable (and oftentimes troubling) alternative healing practices that were being offered to trauma survivors.

And here we arrive at the crux of the matter, and the central reason I left the New Age behind: With its time-honored “no-judgment” rule firmly in place, there is simply no formal way to test, question, or bring full critical faculties to what is offered in the New Age. And that’s not okay.

I became a healer because I wanted to help, and because I didn’t want to see people suffer. But I saw plenty of suffering in the New Age as people chased after the magical promises that come so fast, and so continuously. And because there is no formal mechanism for questioning or for consumer protection in the New Age, no one was ever held accountable when things failed to work … and I got really tired of watching it happen over and over and over again.

I also got tired of hearing these failures referred to as “valuable learning experiences.” I was working with people who had been traumatized and who were sometimes struggling through a kind of waking nightmare, and everywhere they turned, magical promises were being lobbed at them. They were wasting time, energy, and money on empty promises. That’s a hell of a lot of learning experiences.

As I searched for responsible information about all of the endless healing modalities, gurus, cures, diets, tinctures, meditation techniques, workshops, and herbs, I found a surprising thing. Because there is no mechanism for consumer protection in the New Age, an entire subculture arose to do it for us. I discovered the work of the skeptical community, and though I was put off by a great deal of the tone and behavior I found there, I’ve done enough shadow work (see my posts on the shadow here, here, and here) to know that what enrages and offends you is often the thing you most need to understand.

Some thoughts about going numb:

A major source of going numb: teachings that sexuality is mere 'lust' that is only good if within marriage, preferably for procreation.

Teachings that 'mere lust' compromises one's status in the afterlife is guaranteed
to engender tension, crabbiness and numbing.

This tension can compromise one's meditation.

This kind of tension can drive people to seek refuge in workaholism -- which can be readily exploited by the same leadership that teaches sex negative doctrines.

This becomes yet worse if this is a church or lodge in which one must confess one's inner fluxions to a preceptor. What the hell do you do if you're suffering
the usual mammalian consequences of feeling horny yet denied any outlet?

Go through the squirming shame of confiding this to your preceptor? How is your
confidentiality protected?

If you decide you do not want to confess all or part of your miserey to the preceptor, shepherd or practice leader, you're stuck keeping a secret which
is against the rules. Go too long without admitting to your erotic torment
and you will dread Management will suspect you're holding something back.

Just read a few memoirs by people who lived through Catholicism prior to Vatican II.

At least there, you could tell Father you'd stolen cookies, instead of telling Father you'd done other things too embarassing to mention.

In most cases you didnt have to worry about being summoned to a disciplinary session where Father would say, "Son, you've been coming to confession for the past six months and never said a thing about chastity temptations.

"Are you sure your only problem has been cookie theft?'


Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2016 09:31AM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 19, 2016 10:35AM

The decision to have children, and how many children is for
the couple to decide.

No guru or master or mistress has the right to interfere in on so private and
momentous a decision.

No guru, pir, sheikh or avatar is wise enough or good enough to tell you
whether to have children or how many.

One's standing in a lodge or spiritual academy should never depend on whether
one is married or, if married, whether one has children or how many children.

Nor should anyone ever suggest or . hint that unmarried persons are spiritually or karmically inferior to those who have married.

Having children does not mean one has more virtue or is at a higher level of
spiritual attainment than those who do not have children.

Ditto for marriage vs. remaining unmarried.

People who prefer to delay marriage and children and those who decide to remain single for life must not be devalued in a lodge or tariqa or church.

Parents are overwhelmed by the workload; persons who remain single or coupled without children have more energy to get involved with neighbors, remain interested in wider range of topics and more readily pursue continuing education and travel.

They can offer often have an independent perspective which will prevent a leader and group from becoming socially inbred. These members can assist the group to develop and then maintain friendly and candid ties to the larger neighborhood. .

Long term, this will have benefits for everyone.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2016 04:00AM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 30, 2016 08:59PM

Persons who remain single should not be pressured to do extra caretaking jobs
for the elderly high rankers of the lodge, church or tariqa.

Nor should persons who remain single or who are sophisticates and entertaining conversationalists be favored at the expense of loyal members who are fine people but quieter and more matter of fact.

Those members who are sad and anxious due to a child serving in the armed forces, care for aging parents or faltering sibs; heavy-laden by advocating day by day for a son or daughter with special needs, those members are just as loyal to the lodge or tariqa. They may likely have spiritual perspectives that are of the utmost value, precisely because of their extra hardships in life.

But from bearing with real world needs which are concrete and lack glamour, those same members will not have the energy for sparkling wit, tactful flattering, nor will they thrill to the guru's choice of a particular color for the wall paper.

It is only too easy for a guru to favor those who have no such responsibilities
and are more entertaining and affirmative company.

If people are dating or newly married or are parents, they should not be forced to disrupt their relationships to go on long and tiring work assignments away from home, just because higher ranking members of the group need servants or because unwieldy buildings need upkeep and management is unwilling to hire local labor at a fair wage.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2016 09:09PM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: Moriarty ()
Date: August 01, 2016 08:23PM

Shaykh Asrar discusses sufi cults and manipulation: []

I also have experience with these groups which I am willing to shae.

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Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 25, 2016 06:14AM

Brillat Savarin, the first modern food writer, wrote, "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are."

It is entirely possible that the music you actually like, that actually vitalizes
you is the key to who you really are.

Not the music you've been told you must like. Not the music you've persuaded yourself that you like because your guru favors it.

The music that your molecules actually dance to.

If you have forgotten who you are, try bootlegging some music you repudiated
so as to please a guru or sheikh. Music you were told you should not love
but that deep down you actually do love.

If your soul actually rejoices in Jerry Garcia, take a break
from ghazals and lend an ear to the Grateful Dead.

Or it just may be Sylvester who makes you feel mighty real.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2016 07:26AM by corboy.

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Pay attention to your "parallel" or "peripheral" awareness/self
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 05, 2016 09:19PM

You can believe you are in control of a situation so long as you are peripherally aware that you're observing and monitoring.

Problem is, this peripheral awareness records incidents one by one, but cannot
compute all the incidents over time to form a pattern that gives you the
information you need to either stay or leave.

This peripheral self monitors the leader and group's inconsistencies, unkept promises, acts of ingratitude, the abuses. But, the peripheral self records these as separate incidents.

In an abusive situation or group, this peripheral self with its 'itemizing awareness' cannot add things up. Each incident is recorded, one after the other, then that long scroll of incidents rolls up.

Over time, over years, decades, that list of untoward incidents noted by your peripheral awareness would, if converted into cash register tape, form a list that if laid flat would stretch from the county line downtown to City Hall.

So long as the self - and awareness -- is kept peripheral, abuses, gut warnings, lost friends, misgivings are merely itemized and observed in isolation. Nothing is done to sum them up, look at them together, in context, and over time.

The peripheral self is
aware, but only aware of each incident and cannot see the entire pattern or
of abuses you and others have endured.

Because peripheral awareness itemizes inconsistencies and abuses one by one and
in isolation, there is timelessness - no sense of time passing, no sense of time
being lost or wasted.

Not so. Your true self has been shoved to the sidelines, or as they say in
sports, your true self has been 'benched'.

One can send *years* even decades, just waiting for the right sign to
leave, and all that time you're become accustomed to the very situation
that has led to this self cleavage.

Because this peripheral self cannot add up each incident that self cannot
ever compute to convert all those isolated incidents of abuse into not
incidents but information -- information that you're in a game that does not
even follow the rules it claimed to follow when you were recruited and later

So long as awareness is peripheral awareness, awareness of abusive incidents
can go on for decades because in peripheral awareness you cannot compute
those incidents into information that forms a pattern.



There have been long term victims who have written about a separate or parallel "self," awareness, or consciousness hidden away from the cult "self" that quietly records the real truth and acts as a dump or repository for all the doubts, questions, skepticism, humor, and other un-cult-like thoughts or impulses. They describe this awareness as something they attempt to ignore, though it seems to have a life of its own and often asserts itself in sleep or times of stress. They use cult techniques to silence it, often blaming themselves for their inability to destroy it completely. Religions have taken this "self" as a sign of satan's untiring vigilance and impetus for people to work harder and harder to maintain control of their own (the church's) minds, apparently having no problem with the paradox or hypocrisy. I find the existence of this parallel self heartening. The ones who are most successful at dampening this awareness are in reality the failures, the apparent failures the truly successful, being those who release themselves to a higher truth above the cult or religion's definition. Sad to say, this truth has more questions than answers, more doubt than certainty, and more "unknowing" than most people can tolerate. Too bad the human race is so quick to rush to the safety of answers and certainty. It might be our undoing.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/05/2016 09:36PM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 25, 2016 02:49AM

We often learn of a theosophical society through .through someone who is already
a friend -- a friend who has become curious. At this point our buddy or girl pal does not yet seriously believe that humans are rank ordered in terms of planes of realization.

Again, the varieties theosophy are numerous - some theosophical societies are open, inclusive, the doctrine is open book, available to all. Others speak the language of inclusiveness but give one set of answers to the general public, new members and potential recruits, with a quite different set of rules disclosed only to those already emotionally and socially invested.)

If at some point in friendship your pal becomes a potential recruit for a secretive lodge, he or she is shown the best side of the lodge and its members. The ones in disgrace will be kept well away from her.

Later, as your friend comes to believe in levels of realization and has been told or given hints that he or she is at X level of realization and that all non initiates are lower, your pal may decide to keep this secret from you.

Worse, your friend has been taught that persons at the higher levels of realization are not just special and require obdience, but are under intense assault from bad demonic influences or astral powers. This shows up a great
deal in the various theosophies.

This is the beginning of fear induction. The leader is at a higher level and is both privileged and endangered, powerful, yet fragile. Outbreaks of temper
vicious mood swings, expensive caprices on the part of the leader are rationalized as beyond understanding by persons at lower levels of realization.

Disciple doubts are blamed for a leader's illness.

Skeptical outsiders become a threat.

Repeat, in your friends new value system, after initiation, your friend has risen in rank,
while you unknowingly are lower on the scale --- a scale of values that was not in effect when you two first became buddies. It feels delicious to be told one is superior and have the company of the Elite. The cost of this is a changed attitude
toward outside friends. The convert's superior spiritual status is something
to be kept a secret from all outsiders. A cosmic war is going on. Much is at stake. Loose lips sink ships.

This is what can happen in badly run lodges.

It is one thing to keep some things in confidence. But to be an American citizen
and covert to a belief system that rank orders non members as lower and inferior
--that is an awkward new knowledge that would expose the convert -- and the lodge -to derision and ridicule from the outside.

Whoever is mentoring your friend may, through your friend's disclosures, learn
a lot about YOU.

You may become an object of interest to the lodge without your friend understanding this - when we are grateful and happy in a new group, recruitment
is the very last thing that crosses our minds.

Think this unlikely? A group in New York has done this espionage like
recruitment for YEARS.



(for entire history of this particular lodge, go here)


Later, if your friend becomes a member of a secretive lodge or tariqa, he or she may be required to give personal confessions to an authority figure. The lodge may learn enough about you to invest resources to retain you and keep you close, as a long term potential recruit.

Even though your friend may have been trustworthy when you befriended them years before, your friend's induction into a bad lodge will have changed them.

The lodge leader, the center of all hopes and worst, all fears, has become the center of the member's lives.

In extreme cases when things go bad, a needy and adroit lodge master becomes more important than than one's spouse, more important than the universal ethical guidelines under girding citizenship in a participatory democracy.

Anyone not a member of the lodge is an inferior being. A friend of a newly initated
member of an arrogant lodge is viewed by a new set of values -- rank ordering
of spiritual worth, with outsiders as less evolved than members.

This also conflicts with any belief system that posits equal status of all
humans before divinity. Say an intiate is told he or she is high up the scale of attainment. Your friend can freely discuss this only with other members of the lodge.

Estrangement from outside friendships begins in this way, without anyone even having to tell initiates to drop outside friendships.

When you are given proof you are of superior status, that becomes something to keep mum about, like being a close relative to a mega celebrity.

Repeat, once your friend becomes a member of a badly run lodge, this is not like your friend becoming convert to (say)Unitarianism.

Unitarianism is grounded in the equal inherent dignity of the ordinary human person, regardless of that person's beliefs or lack of them. If your friend converts to any of these, he or she will still see you as a human being.

At first, initiates may not comprehend that their core values have shifted to a new set of values that will set them up for a life of secrecy and estrangement from mainstream society. If you're joyous and kept busy on lodge projects, you'll not have time to sit down like Rodin's The Thinker and ponder implications.

As one loses outside friends and gains more friends inside the lodge, the new
values are reinforced and re-affirmed. Echo chamber.

Without realizing it, your friend will have put the welfare of the guru and lodge ahead of everything else, because they'd never have been initiated had they not already been so changed that they depend on the lodge for their sense of self and emotional survival.

Your friend will look and seem the same to you, but because a bad lodge is secretive, your friend will have hidden large parts of herself from you.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2016 11:05PM by corboy.

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