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Leader techniques - building anticipation
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 05, 2018 08:09PM

Keeping people waiting is a great way to build anticipation.

Many gurus demand that devotees arrive and be seated on time, yet show up late themselves. Devotees, disciples, students, murids put up with this, assuming it is a lesson for their own diseased egos, a way to burn off nafs, impurities, samskaras, by enduring lateness from their beloved leader.

It does not occur to them that this is a tried and true way to build anticipation and enhance the impact of whatever the leader says and does.

If they have to get up early and go to work the next day, sitting up late after bedtime for a long winded, late arriving guru is a great recipe for sleep deprivation - especially if they endure this frequently.




Nest a story within a story. The brain always wants to complete a pattern. Once the story is over, it is filed away, and the attention is shifted to the next thing. To sustain your audience’s attention for a longer time and create anticipation, begin a story and then take a detour through another story. Close the second story first and then complete the initial story. You will create nested loops to keep your audience craving for a resolution. Think about mystery novels that gradually unfold the unknown. The only caveat is that you don’t want to make it too confusing and impossible to follow. Don’t overwhelm the working memory with facts, engage emotions instead. Loop but don’t ramble!


Suspense is a coveted state that any speaker and storyteller would like to create for the audience. It is the ultimate tool of brain captivation that leaves the audience hanging on your every word, waiting to hear what happens next. How do you achieve suspense in speeches and presentations? Here are five strategies that can help:

(Corboy: this is an abbreviated list, go to the article to explanation of each of these 5 points.


1. Open powerfully...

2. Blend anticipation and uncertainty. ..

3. Let the audience experience the scene by using sensory language and compelling visuals... .

4. Escalate conflict..

5. Introduce a brain jolt...0.


Quote - read rest of article for more.


Excite Your Audience With Anticipation

By carefully creating anticipation, we turn our audience from observers into participants.
During an interview with poet Carl Sandburg, a reporter asked, "In your opinion, what's the ugliest word in the English language?"

The poet frowned. "The ugliest word in the English language?" he repeated, furrowing his brow and staring in the distance.

"Ugliest?" he muttered to himself. "Ugliest. The ugliest word."

He reflected awhile, face knotted in thought. After a long, pregnant pause, Sandburg's eyes brightened and returned to the reporter's.

"The ugliest word is - 'exclusive'."

The power in that story lies not so much in Sandburg's choice of a word as in the journey he took to get there. With the pauses - the repetition - the description of Sandburg's physical reactions - we do not merely hear the story, we participate in it. We sit in the room with the reporter, waiting for the great man's word. Then, once spoken, it is a revelation.

Another way to tell that story could have been: "Carl Sandburg once said that 'exclusive' was the ugliest word in the English language."

Not nearly as powerful, is it? The difference is that the first version puts us on the scene and creates a sense of tension in us - it fills us with anticipation.

Creating anticipation in your listeners can mean the difference between a so-so speech and a great one.

By carefully creating anticipation, we turn our audience from observers into participants. Instead of being passive recipients of our wisdom, they become companions on a journey, in which they feel they have something at stake.

By the end of this article, you'll know the simple tools that can create anticipation in your listeners - and you'll be able to use them in your next presentation. (By the way - I just used one of those tools!)

(deleted for brevity)

How do you incorporate the powerful feeling of anticipation into your speeches? Building anticipation should be considered part of the structure of the speech itself. A speech that uses anticipation to move itself forward is an "inductive" speech.

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Har, har, hardy har - the important role of doing introductions
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 05, 2018 08:10PM

Audience receptivity and expectations for the comedian are fostered by the compere or host - the person who faces the audience, makes opening remarks, gives background on the performer, praises the performer, then brings the performer, the comedian, the STAR, onstage.

Now, as you read, substitute 'guru' 'master' 'teacher' 'sage' for 'comedian' or 'act'.

A Look behind the Curtains of Stand-Up Comedy:
Psychology in Stand Up Comedy



The introduction – the acquisition of initial credibility – of Stand-Up comedians is often
done by comperes who act like an anchor for the show. They host the event and provide
the audience with information about the upcoming or past act, they secure the continuity
between acts, which may completely differ one another. Essentially, they ensure the
coherences of the whole show. However, one of the most important tasks the compere is
entrusted with is the aforementioned introduction of the acts – comedians. The basic
outline, which must not be, but in most cases is included, resembles the following:

- Contextualisation in which small details of background are offered about the

- Framing of response that directs an audience towards greeting the comedian with a certain attitude

- Evaluation of comedian by the compere as he or she passes comment on the
performance skills of the comedian
- Request for action from the audience by the compere – usually for applause
- Introduction of the comedian by the compere
- Audience applause
(Rutter, 2000, p. 466)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2018 08:10PM by corboy.

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Getting a Roomful of People Laughing - Its Social Control
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 05, 2018 08:14PM

Laughing shuts down our wise inner observer. It disrupts conscience and disrupts critical thinking.

A genuine educator uses jokes lightly, sparingly. Too much laughing disrupts the steady state of mind and emotion needed for genuine educational purposes.

Keeping control of a roomful of people, getting them to laugh, is a SKILL.

You have to learn it, practice it. Its showmanship.



I'm intrigued by how comedians co-ordinate the responses to their routines from the stage.

It's also difficult to learn to have the confidence to leave a pause for the audience to laugh, and to cope if they don't.

Comedians are very sensitive to the way that laughter can grow and fade in a room, and leaving a space for laughter to happen at all is a real skill.

Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, a stand-up comedian who also teaches comedy, points out:

"It takes a lot of confidence to stand on a stage and do nothing while the audience laugh - and it is hard to learn to come back in at the right point - not to trample on the laughter or wait too long and lose the momentum of the room."

Here is something to look at. Does gurus do this same thing with satsang audiences?

The Art and Science of Comedy



Dean said he started analyzing audience laughter and found that a good, solid laugh usually comprises an initial burst, then a pause for breath, then a rise to a peak. He teaches his students to come in with the next joke just as the peak has passed, like Berle did. That’s the first principle, which he calls classic timing, or one-liner timing.

The second principle involves what’s called tagging your jokes, adding a quick verbal redirection after the punch line, once or even several times. For instance, Dean said, he might say, “For Father’s Day I took my father out. It only took seven shots.” After the audience laughs at that, he might add something like, “Most people don’t get their priest that drunk.” That’s a tag, adding a new twist that surprises the audience and keeps them laughing.

Normally you don’t want to interrupt laughter, but tag timing is different, Dean said. The key is to deliver the tag when the audience is taking its breath after the initial burst of laughter. A good comedian can ratchet up the laughter with repeated tags and even begin to train the audience to hold its breath, to anticipate the tag like a dancer anticipates a change in a drummer’s beat.

For the rest of the article, go here




Perhaps more than other any other art form, comedy cannot exist for its own sake. Comedy requires a bond between performer and audience. And if either ingredient sucks, comedy doesn’t happen. But just as in real cooking, the container you put your ingredients in has some influence on the soup you’re creating.

Room size is very important. It needs to match the size of the audience. Too small an audience in too large a space does not work.

And, keep distractions to a minimum.


"A bad space can be large or small, but the key ingredient is usually layout. An audience needs to feel comfortable to loosen up enough to laugh, and they need as few distractions as possible."

Here is a description of what this comedian regards as the best space to do comedy.


I realize that calling something "perfect" can seem too bold. But I believe perfect spaces for comedy do exist. A perfect space is small enough to be intimate, with minimal distractions.

In this final clip, I’m telling the same joke I told in the first example, to perhaps forty people. But you can see how conducive this space is to comedy energy.

Sounds like a satsang set up, doesn't it?


For one thing, the seats are almost on top of one another. There is no elbow room. If you’re sitting next to someone, you’re almost on their lap, which does wonders to break the ice between strangers. Another big factor is the space’s low, almost cave-like interior, with its stone walls and low ceiling that seem to magnify even a small crowd’s laughs.

This is the club that Dave Chapelle was in when he said: “You people are lucky. You know you have the best indie club in the country right here.”

Comedy can inhabit any space, from tiny back rooms that seat ten people, to world-class performance spaces such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre. But the layout of a room can tell you what to expect before the first audience member ever steps across the threshold.

A Look behind the Curtains of Stand-Up Comedy:
Psychology in Stand Up Comedy


Note the phrase 'illusion of intimacy


1.3.1 The Venue and the setting

The venue the performance is taking place at has a great deal of factor to contribute with.

The comedian has to work with the given venue and the way the space is set up, the size
and seating of the audience, and the general nature of the space (Quirk, 2011).
According to Lee (2012) comedy venues – such as night clubs – tend to emphasize the
illusion of authentic communication. The venues support the illusion of closeness between
the audience and the comedian since this setting stimulates the feeling of intimacy and one on-one
conversation between the audience and the comedian. Since Stand-Up gigs come in
all shapes and sizes (Quirk, 2011), larger venues – like sports arenas – use jumbotrons or
other screening devices to capture the comedian’s emotions and mimics so even the furthest
seats can engage in the feeling of closeness (Lee, 2012). The size does, however, moderately
alters the dynamic of interaction (Quirk, 2011).

To this Quirk adds: “A successful room will usually show some evidence of an attempt to influence
the responsiveness - and even the behaviour - of the audience. The space is laid out to direct the
audience’s attention toward the performer and enhance excitement about the gig. Occasionally,
perception of commercial success is also managed by the layout of the space. The dead space in the room is minimised and the audience are prevented from becoming comfortable enough to be sedate, so that energy may flow more easily into laughter. (Corboy italics. Note how most satsang set ups are exactly like this.)

These efforts are usually subtle and audiences are
rarely aware of the way that both they and the space have been arranged to encourage responsiveness.
These activities are, nonetheless, common practices orchestrated specifically to influence the behaviour
of the audience” (Quirk, 2011, p. 229)
The room will change the attitude and overall act, the comedian must adjust to its
conditions (Quirk, 2011).


[] Page 94


Group dynamics in Stand-Up Comedy

Tracing these ideas back to Stand-Up Comedy, group dynamics is one of the factors why
people tend to join in and laugh, when the rest of the group laughs. One could argue this
is due to a certain degree of conformity the individuals in an audience are prone to. This is
presumably the reason why producers put laugh tracks into some TV-shows (Lockyer &
Myers, 2011). To be added though: “However, it is often clear for an attentive viewer that
something is amiss - the ‘audience’ laughs too aggressively or the timing is wrong. This clearly
illustrates that audience responses are not just bland, predictable and uniform, but that they are
sequentially sensitive and precisely timed to the witnessable performance in progress” (McIlvenny,
Mettovaara, & Tapio, 1992, p. 230).
Theatre will sell their tickets seating all of the audience members next to each other so
even if the show is not sold out, the audience is seated as a group and the influence of group
dynamics will increase. Theatres might also “paper the house”. They will give away free
tickets to cast members who will distribute them to friends and family (Downs, Wright, &
Ramsey, 2012). Still bearing in mind the simple idea of contagious laughter and that the
more people around the individual are enjoying the show, the more likely the individual
will join in and enjoy themselves (Provine, 2001).
In addition, he says it is crucial for the mere sound of the laugh not to escape the room, if
however the ceilings are high or the crowd half-empty this will happen and it will be to no
benefit. Furthermore, Quirk’s study states, that greater comfort makes the crowd more
passive which is unwanted.

More opportunities for Google research on this interesting topic here.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2018 08:16PM by corboy.

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Secure Attachments Emancipate, Free Us to Explore and Question
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 05, 2018 08:30PM

Secure attachments emancipate us. Secure attachments free us to explore, leave the next, free us to ask questions and disagree.

Alexandra Stein has found a way to understand abusive groups and relationships as unstable relationships from which one has been indoctrinated to seek stability.

Methods for Total Control


Abusive groups promise stability and nurture, promise orientation, and as bait, give new members intense feelings of joy, hope, relief. After the recruit has attachment bonded to the group and its leader, the member is then kept busy, drops outside friends and interests or hides their commitment to the group from outside friends and family.

This is the same as abusive "lovers" romancing, abusing, isolating us. The alternation between romance and abuse is disorienting. The abuser isolating us from our previous outside relationships tricks us to rely on the abuser for validation, and makes it hard for us to find someone to validate our doubts, support our indignation, and shelter us when we flee the abuser.

Further on, the recruit, having come to rely on the group as main source of validation and emotional supply, is subjected to unpredictability, fear, confusion, kept off balance and disoriented, with just enough doses of joyfulness and kind treatment to renew their hopes. but keep us off balance and disoriented, with just a bit of kind treatment to renew our hopes of nurture and stability.

Abusive joking and teasing are therefore hazardous because these foster ambiguity and fear, and can conceal hostility in the guise of humor.

Get people laughing in unison and its a feeling of instant belonging.

A feeling of belonging is a genuine human need. It makes us vulnerable
and deserves respect, not exploitation.

Without that feeling of belonging, we cannot stay healthy, our bodies go into
stress reaction. Without a feeling of belonging, some slide into physical depression, others become vulnerable to addiction.

Secure feelings of attachment actually free us to go beyond a relationship.

When people cling to a guru, refuse to allow any criticism of the guru, that is a clue as to the hidden insecurity between guru and devotees. A secure relationship fears no dissent. A secure relationship can hold and contain the stress and irritation of dissent.

The hidden insecurity between guru and devotee is a secret that cannot be discussed or even thought about. In a secure relationship, any question can be asked and any question will be heard and respected.

A feeling of belonging with others usually develops slowly over time, just the
way that it takes a long time to form a pearl.

Genuine human relationships are like pearls in another way.

Irritation is part of a genuine relationship and without the irritation of a grain of sand, a pearl cannot develop in an oyster's tender folds.

That powerful intense feeling of belonging generated by commercial gurus is (in Corboy's opinion)
an artificial product, a plastic pearl.

Unlike genuine relationships which do include irritation, a commercial guru and devotee group avoid any irritation which disrupts their artificial feeling of belonging.

That is why room set up and rules may be very important at many guru group events.

Online discussion groups which discuss troubling features of a guru and group are resented to varying degrees by by devotees, perhaps for the same reason that hecklers are unwelcome at a comedy show.

The feeling of belonging generated between comedian and audience, a rapport rapid fostered by the artifices described in the thesis quoted in the earlier articles - this is something easily disrupted by a heckling joke -- because that rapport is an artificial creation.

An artificially rapport is a fragile creation - and anything perceived as a disruption is hotly resented.

That is Corboy's guess.

Certain drugs, such as the opiates trigger the same neural pathways that
are triggered by physical intimacy.

Adroit technicians such as expert salesmen and commercial gurus know how to use
social techniques and room set ups to trigger intense feelings of intimacy -- far more intense than most of us experience in genuine gradual friendships.

This is deeply physical. We are social mammals. We are creaturely.

All my life, I was convinced I was supposed to be self sufficient. Got it
from my family, (lots of alcoholics and alcoholic attitudes in both sides
of my family) and further entrenched by American culture and its myth of
self sufficiency.

What rocked my world was finding a book entitled Addiction as an Attachment Disorder.

It may be helpful understanding some problems with gurus who foster dependence in devotees.


It is a user friendly book . The author gives the current
research and demonstrates that humans cannot stay psychologically stable or
physically healthy unless we are embedded into human relationships.

Addiction as an Attachment Disorder provided the insight that secure
relationships emancipate us, insecure attachments entrap us.

This may tie in with Alexandra Stein's insight that a cultic relationship is
one in which the person or group we look to for orientation and promises us
orientation actually fosters insecurity and confusion, leaving us trapped.

These are not confined to love relationships.

By relationships, whats meant is we need to be affiliated with groups
where we know and are known by each other. Coworkers. The people who
recognize us at the cafe, at the grocery store, the bus routes we use.

Places where we volunteer. Places where we worship.

Where people say, "We have not seen you in awhile. Where've you been? Are you all right?"

We need to be part of a "puppy pile".

Without this, our body chemistry and mental chemistry go out of alignment. Our stress chemicals go up. We get depressed, tense, angry, immune system is less efficient.

I hope some of this helps.

One does not stay in the puppy pile forever, though. The puppy pile is
part of the process that fosters our growth into social beings who can connect,
care for each other --- and explore new opportunities.

We can visit our puppy pile and enjoy it, but are not meant to stay in the puppy pile forever.

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Predation Upon and Exploitation of the Longing Heart
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 09, 2018 09:01PM

A profound them in Sufism is that of longing.

This can be cruelly exploited.


She TARGETS people, gathers intelligence, pre-frames them, talks on the phone, meets them, induces trance states, creates confusion to overwhelm the conscious mind, asks question to collect information, inserts powerful suggestions, creates Guru Transference, more suggestions, and on from there.

The key is to pick people with a dead Guru they are longing for!
Notice how many senior BK people have come from previous Guru's?


(A dead or absent parent, lover, child can be just as effective. But someone who
has been bereaved of a guru (or a Tibetan rinpoche ) is just as vulnerable.

And a former disciple of (say) a Fourth Way Gurdjieff teacher, Ammachi, Chogyam Trungpa, Rajneesh/Osho, Muktananda, may also know valuable techniques and people handling skills - useful for whoever recruits them.

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"Like... a group of false, sometimes cruel friends."
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 21, 2018 06:47AM


"It's like being absorbed into a group of false, sometimes cruel friends. Cults have the illusion of solidarity, but Stein describes them as a perverse group of deeply lonely individuals who have lost the will and the capacity to make decisions on their own. "You can't confide in anyone in a cult," she says. "If you say, 'There seems to be a problem here,' you will be likely to be punished, so there's nowhere to go. You're scared but you've got nobody else left in your life, so you cling to the very people who are causing you that fear."

That's how cults operate: on a cycle of fear and attachment. It's Stockholm Syndrome, only more insidious and confusing because you feel like you made the choice to join when you started out."

Quoted from


A cult studies psychologist named Alexandra Stein has published some
very interesting material describing the exact nature of the personal bonds
that distinguish cult leaders from genuine healers.

Fear is always part of the bond between a cultic leader (or abusive partner) and others.

A Cult Member Turned Expert Explains How Anyone Can Be Brainwashed

Dr. Alexandra Stein was brainwashed by a Marxist-Leninist sect as a young woman. Now she studies them for a living.


How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one


Professor Stein has also published a book:

Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein


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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 03, 2018 08:25AM

Contributed from another discussion on CEI message board.


Gaslighting is often misunderstood, but plenty of literature on it:

"How do you know if you're being gaslighted?

How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:

1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself

2. You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day.

3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work. (Corboy or after sessions with an abusive therapist or spiritual coach)

4. You're always apologizing.

5. You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happier.

6. You frequently make excuses for your partner's behavior to friends and family.

7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.

8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.

9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.

10. You have trouble making simple decisions.

11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person - more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.

(Corboy note: You used to be interested in lots more things, you used to DO things, try things out. Or you know you once had more energy, had more fun, were more venturesome, in the past you didnt have trouble leaving the house, did not have trouble going out at night to enjoy a movie or event, you used to dress up, used to be more active and athletic and now no longer are that way.

12. You feel hopeless and joyless.

13. You feel as though you can't do anything right.

14. You wonder if you are a "good enough" girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.

15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses"

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2018 08:29AM by corboy.

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That wide eyed, clueless look
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 10, 2018 12:32AM

On another thread, someone told how followers of a guru would look blank
when someone poured out their hearts.

A savvy person replied:


They have possibly been told to "stay as the self" as they listen to your problems, which I'm told involves glazing over and not engaging with you in any way. Then they just report what you said to someone else. Such is the life of what Alexandra Stein calls a "deployable agent". I'm told they don't even think they're human anymore.

This makes sense within the doctrine of the group but, of course, what it mainly does is invalidate and devalue the already distressed individual. This is acceptable because the individual has been labeled as being "in their mind".

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Training in theatre arts is a powerful resource for a cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 18, 2018 10:15PM

The more sophisticated cults train their members to be incredibly nice, even get a public reputation for being incredibly nice, always smiling, always cheerful.

If a cult has experience with theatre arts, they may train their subjects to tune you out without looking like zombies as they do it.

They may be tuning you out by visualizing their sheikh or baba while smiling at you, with luminous seemingly loving eyes as they do so.

Adroit use of radiant smiles and jokes to distract us can also be part of the repertoire.


They have possibly been told to "stay as the self" as they listen to your problems, which I'm told involves glazing over and not engaging with you in any way. Then they just report what you said to someone else. Such is the life of what Alexandra Stein calls a "deployable agent". I'm told they don't even think they're human anymore.

This makes sense within the doctrine of the group but, of course, what it mainly does is invalidate and devalue the already distressed individual. This is acceptable because the individual has been labeled as being "in their mind".

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Silence as a source of power and social influence
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 07, 2018 10:32PM

This article describes John de Ruiter, but persons interested in other silent gurus may find this material enlightening.

There have been plenty who have become famous by being silent.

Braco the Gazer


Meher Baba

Meera - silent darshan


John de Ruiter

Study reveals religious leader's silent secret


Leadership 101: Be Quiet
Elisabeth Eaves


Silence, Charisma and Power: The Case of John de Ruiter
Paul Joosse
Paul Joosse


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2018 10:37PM by corboy.

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