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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2020 09:32PM

(Corboy aside)In sophisticated groups you learn how to impersonate being smilingly serene and above it all, when challenged by an outsider or by outside information. After years of behaving this way, you risk becoming a performance instead of being a person.)

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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: Resilient ()
Date: December 15, 2020 09:40PM

The cult I was indoctrinated into was very eclectic, and aside from the Guru's books, CDs and videos, there was mandatory reading from Theosophical Texts. There was strong encouragement to stick to the prescribed reading list, lol. There was a prescribed regimen - an esoteric mashup - of Qigong exercises/breathing/meditation, Yogic breathing/meditation/healing, watered down (and very selective) Buddhist teachings (including Tibetan), rosicrucian/occult rituals, New Age thought (working with crystals & angels - although they denied it was New Age) and theosophical/mystery school teachings. The Hierarchical Structure of the Occult and Ascended Masters was never fully explained, and the Guru's image was always shown in the hierarchical structure along with the Ascended Masters. We chanted Sanskrit mantras as well as the Lord's Prayer and the Great Invocation. We adhered to the Theosophical school's full moon rituals.

There were a lot of secrets, doled out carefully, and the organization is also hierarchical, so there was always a carrot dangling to entice you to work towards the next "level". Some things simply required the cost of admission, others required some sort of secretly-qualified permission to advance, or both. There was a lot of waiting, and this was mentioned in a previous post, where a person of means, education and influence is not accustomed to waiting for advancement when all of the boxes have seemingly been "checked". The problem here is that they've capped the "level" you could possibly attain, making it clear that you could never reach the level of mastery as The Masters in the organization. Built-in humility via glass ceiling, bound by hierarchical trickle-down.

This group attracted many intelligent, lovely, successful professionals. If you had a network of influence, you were a catch. Love-bombing and the whole shebang. If you brought people into the group, you were rewarded. Some people had their whole family involved - moms, aunts, cousins...As long as you were in your immediate supervisor's "good book" with your free service and other efforts to support the Guru's vision, you were encouraged to "hang around", which meant to increase the numbers of the group and contribute financially and energetically.

This group creates fear of leaving in a very interesting way. They've cherry-picked some pretty powerful practices that have positive effects on your body and mind in certain ways - and you are made to believe that this is an all-or-nothing path, where if you leave the group/quit the practices/think badly of the group or Guru - you will "deflate like a balloon" and lose all of the power and protection bestowed upon you. Basically, if your life has been made better by the Guru, it can also be made very much worse. Also, they made a point of both creating ego inflation (focus on power) relative to "ordinary people" and working on sublimating the ego in relation to the group's hierarchy. It was not the only conflicting practice, which created confusion when studying the group's teachings closely.

Emotional detachment is a hallmark of Theosophy, in my opinion, and I made it clear to my teacher that I would not engage in any practice or activity that might create conflict within my marriage. My spouse was respectful with me, but monitored my attitudes, words, spending and behaviours in relation to this "school". He told me later that there were some red flags, but he knows me well and we have a great relationship, and he said he was confident I would figure it out on my own, although not without a little harm done. I am fortunate to have him in my life for so long - many people involved in such groups have no one they can trust to reflect honestly and gently with, in what can be a painful recovery process.

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"At times it feels more like Hollywood"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 06, 2021 01:29AM

Pay very close attention to the matter of who gets special treatment.

Someone wrote this about a Hindu group. But - it applies to other traditions as well.


When it comes to helping other devotees, the priority always goes to the ones that are very well established in the group.

If anything happens to the so called “advanced” teachers, I am sure that money will flow as well as 100 servants to the rescue.

And not to forget the kids of the so called advanced devotees. They get special treatment and even they break all regulative principles, they are still welcomed.

Just because they are the kids of those close Butler associates.
Not only they are untouchables so are their kids, people married to their kids...

Let us not forget that the cult of personality does not only apply to Butler but also to the so called advanced devotees.

It is so sad to see so much partiality in a spiritual group.
After the special advanced devotees, the ones that everybody look up to are those who are the most surrendered, talented, useful...

Meaning those who work day and night on projects.

It is not so much a spiritual community. At times it feels more like Hollywood.

Those kind of connections and who is who is more a show business mentality.

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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 01, 2021 02:17AM

This was contributed by a former devotee of a Hindu group, but can apply to situations that might arise in theosophical lodges as well

One thing that is extremely dangerous in that groups is how abuse is so easily accepted.
In Bhakti Yoga, “chastisement” is seen as a mercy. It is supposed to make one more humble and turn them closer to God.
This is why the Guru and so many angry, manipulative disciples get away with “abuse”.
I understand that in a group we need discipline.
I don’t mind either the times I was justly and correctly disciplined.
Most times chastisement came from a place of anger and control.
Would damage the person rather than help them.
I personally don’t like to blame the path for the actions and spiritual blindness of most so called “devotees”.
I myself have been under that toxic spell and get how others fall into that hole.
We always live in the fear of doing something wrong that will have us expelled or as some affectionately state (to be in the dog house).
So basically it seems as though we are being trained to be mindless, obedient robots. Not so much lovers of God.
The more you want to “serve” and the more you will have to abide by the rules and be under the control of the so called “disciples”.
The spiritual happiness is very often tinged with the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. It is extremely taxing on the psyche too.
The more you give, the more you will be accepted usually and somehow “admired”.
With time, we get lost in that fake sense of spiritual security.
It quickly becomes a game of who is doing more. It all becomes and “admired”, “respected”.... Just like being a member of the popular crowd in high school.
Those who cannot perform as much are still accepted of course. However the value of those who serve 24/7 is truly higher.
I cannot say that I have just bad experiences. I am grateful for the positive experiences. I must very honestly say that I am grateful for what I got out of it.
I will always miss and respect the good friends and teachers I associated with.
I must also recognize the destruction and damages that being part of that group has caused in my life.
I try to take responsibility for putting up with the non sense for so many years.
But like many other people, I was afraid to lose the security of having a so called spiritual community.
The usual “Beggars can’t be chosers”.
Many people do very well in that community.
The “surrendered” old time disciples and their kids (as well as those who marry into the SOI royalty) have a totally different experience.
Admired and respected no matter where they go. They have immunity from other “devotees”....
If you even walk in the shadow of a so called advanced devotee, you have some protection.
And those who are so “surrendered” that they will never question anything.
Those people also do quite well.
I never thought in a million years that I would be posting in such forums.
I lived with the fear of going to spiritual hell for many years.
“Bhakti” is supposed to be a path of love and devotion.
However it seems as though as fear, emotional/spiritual abuse, ego trips are much more present that the essence of the process.
Many things that go on in that group is not acceptable on a spiritual level.
Some will never see it. Some see it and are afraid to speak up.
If they do speak up, they will be banned forever or for a few years.
As I said it, many do super well in that process. They will never question or feel unhappy.
However I hope that those who know in their hearts that something is way off, find the courage to honor the inner voice.
I know that we will always be a minority as it is very hard to leave a cultish situation. Especially covert ones that are not as bad as a Jim Jones type.
Spiritual, emotional (even physical as many lose sleep and overwork their bodies)abuse is still going on even if SOI is not as bad as such and such organization.
We must do our best to expose it so that it can be somehow rectified or improved

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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 21, 2021 10:38PM

This was written by a follower of a Hindu bhakti sect that has branched off into many different sects.

In South Asia, hrough many centuries,Muslim sufi and Hindu bhakti traditions have had great influence on each other.

(Devotee wrote)

I would never completely trash the guru because his teachings also helped me in many ways.
However the problem is that when you enter any spiritual community, it is like they call it themselves a mental hospital. Everybody is carrying their own baggage. You must put up with people you would have never chosen as friends just because they are interested in the same path and the same guru.
I am going to go straight to the point of the DANGERS one must be aware of on the path.


*When you chant the Maha Mantra and follow the philosophy, you become much more tolerant. If you your boundaries are weak, alpha dogs will try to dominate you all the time in the group. And you will easily become the humble doormat. Those beautiful qualities make one too vulnerable in a pack of wolves.


Abuse is normalized because they say that it is chastisement and that it is suposed to chip away your false ego in order to uncover your true identity:
Eternal servant of God. My so called guru gave himself permission himself to treat people like dirt just because he was supposedly an expert spiritual false ego surgeon.
Everybody thought he was funny and cute. Total free pass to excuse a narcissist.
Also in order to turn you into a very obedient servant, they can ban you for months or years. Just because you stand up for your rights or justice.
They call it being in the dog house. And I have heard many disciples humbly say
“I am in the dog house”
These sick methods will break you more and destroy your psyche. Giving abusive gurus and disciples more control over you.
A few people have commited suicide under the extreme mental pressures.


* Now this one is the number one tool of control. You constantly walk on eggsheslls. It feels like big brother is watching you 24/7.
Even though I have been away for 13 years, I still feel that they are watching me!
You must aleays be careful what you say, how you say it, to whom you say it.
If a disciple is abusive you cannot fight back or else they will throw you out. Also even if they are abusive, you cannot be offensive toward that person because it will ruin your spiritual life. The guru is off limits. Forget about doubting him or if you ever say something negative about him, pack your bags and wear a bullet proof jacket. If you thought Catholic religion is fear based, think again!
They can smell people like me from a mile. Those who can be easily be manipulated through fear and they will use it against you.


*Our guru has built a mini empire off the free time and talents of the devotees. His projects are supposed to elevate humanity. However these are businesses that make lots of money. People babysit, clean houses, work regulat jobs to make sustain their bodies. Then they must put hours, be sleep deprived to work on the money making businesses. This way they save millions in salaries per year.
Also the direct service (cooking, cleaning... for the guru).
When te guru has a few disorders going on, it can get very destructive for the devotees that serve him. Serving a Howard Hughes style guru is like entering a sciense fiction realm.
Many phony gurus are using devotees making them believe that by serving them, they are serving God. This is true when your spiritual master is genuine, kind and a simple Saintly man.

* Finally what keeps you in this hell hole is your affection for God and the relationship you have with him. As well as the dependence on others to have congregatiinal chanting with other devotees.
Love and loyalty to the guru whom you see as the perfect medium. The so called boatman who will get you to the spiritual realm. And all austerities are glorified because the more austere you are, the closer you get to God.

So this is a very nutshell version of how people get trapped in this process.
They use God, powerful mantras and scripture to hold souls prisoners.
Once you are in, it is very hard to get out.
PLEASE I am begging you to be careful and share this information with anybody who is struggling.
Anybody can have a personal relation with God. If you cannot find a fewr free, loving community, just do it ALONE.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2021 10:43PM by corboy.

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Interfaith Bait and Switch
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 31, 2021 09:48PM

A former devotee from a Hindu sect wrote:

(Quote) Ironic, isn't it? Learning to love ... all of us are spirit, but after being bombarded with love, the new lamb will learn that there is a hierarchy in the group. Companions of the Guru, initiated serious, frivolous, sympathizers, etc.

A separate respectable category are comets, which from time to time give a lot of money. They will be covered with a kind of adoration that a hard-working sheep will never deserve.

...Hierarchy in the group. All children in brahmacari school are supposed to be equal, but it turns out that the Guru's son is treated better than the Filipino or American children and Poles are worse than American. The sweetness of the sect illusion.

> But I love chanting the holy
> names, so I just go there to have a nice time.

Ordinary working sheep are nice and do a lot of good like feeding the homeless etc.


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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 08, 2022 11:21PM

(More insights from a former devotee of a Hindu bhakti sect)


I want others not to fall for the candies that fall from the sky and keep accepting abuse because something magical happens here and there.

I am here to tell others that no amount of extraordinary dealings with unseen forces should keep them in a situation where they are treated like stray dogs.

"Oh I think (Guru X) is a genuine guru because he answered the question I had n my mind in today’s lecture. Falling for synchronicities that van be so easily created."

Who arranges the transcendental dealings? And why?

What loving entity keeps souls hostage in such a toxic setting?

These are all valid concerns and questions.

And even if everybody thinks my views are absurd or crazy, I am doing this to expose the forces who know very well that all am saying is true.
And that they could no longer fool ME with all their luring tricks.

When I see people go back with their tails between their legs after years of being put in the dog house, I know exactly what pushed them to go back.
That addiction to phenom and feeligs that are superhuman. That makes them believe they have come across the spiritual world and god.

No devotee is truly masochistic by naure and if the pleasure do not surpass the pain, they will just vanish.

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Mormon Tabernacle - Theosophical Architecture
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 21, 2022 09:22PM

Joseph Smith learned a lot about theosophical material during his early years as member of a Masonic lodge.

One can speak of a Mormon/theosophical aesthetic in architecture. interior decor and personal presentation. This article describes some of them.

A woman who grew up Mormon revisits her faith by touring D.C.'s LDS temple


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How Cults Seduce What Is Best in Us
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 11, 2022 10:58PM

Religious lies, conmen and coercive control: how cults corrupt our desire for love and connection
Published: July 10, 2022



Steel reveals members of cults usually experience a triggering event prior to joining...

A triggering event may be something like a divorce, the death of a loved one, or another event that’s traumatic, or perceived as traumatic...

Durkheim referred to this personal feeling of change (loss of existing rules, values, beliefs) as “anomie”, which basically means everything in your life has gone to shit, producing a desperate need to find meaning, belonging and control again (or perhaps for the first time).

Corboy note: A friend or relative of ours may be affiliated with an exploitative group. This person can turn an opportunistic recruiter when we land in a disorienting crisis.

The friend may do this in all innocence, recommending that you consult their therapist, body worker or guru -- someone they do not (yet) know to be a predator.

Other groups teach members to befriend persons who are potentially valuable as long term 'investments' - human capitol added to the cult's portfolio of human assets.

These stalkers will gladly laugh with you, have coffee and lunch with you, name drop their wonderful therapist or guru now and then.

When your life turns to shit, and you are especially isolated, they will be oh, so available for face to face contact.

That's when they step up the flattery, grooming and love bombing and you get reeled in.

We humans are social mammals. We are wired for social contact and connection.

Unlike ordinary honest unorchestrated relationships cultic recruitment is bonding that is strategically, tactically done -- and without the targeted person's informed consent.

Unlike genuine, ethical psycholtherapy or pastoral counseling, cultic recruitment and cultic spirituality is always tactical, strategic and operates from a nonconsensual and hidden agenda.

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Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 15, 2022 11:23PM


Dr. Jackie Johnson, a former self-described cult member and a cult recovery specialist based in Savannah, also noted that cultic abuse can take place in any setting.

“A book club can be a cult. An equestrian center can be a cult,” she said.

The characteristics which set it apart can often seem benign: The group may be intent on meeting new members, it might see itself as very tightknit, or maybe its members just seem very zealous about their beliefs. But to Johnson, these groups and the abuse within them amounts to social crisis.

“If a group can manage to control our most primal urges, like our sex lives and our sexual identity and shunning your own children, it can really do anything else to you,” she said.


“It is often during times of transition when people are most apt to get involved with something of this nature,” said Van Meir.

Former House of Prayer followers claimed to USA Today Network journalists in previous reports that the church specifically targeted military service members, setting up seminaries near six different military bases throughout the United States. Patterson thinks those allegations square with recruiting tactics typical of cults.

“It certainly fits the pattern when you think about it,” said Patterson. “People in the military, especially if they're living on base, likely aren't living close to or with family. They may not have a lot of other social ties outside of the group.”

For many, the realization for what they truly are involved in comes too late.

“No one really wakes up and says, ‘I want to join a cult today,’” said Van Meir. “And often by the time they realize there are issues, they have gotten so in over their heads that there is a ton at stake in leaving.”

The road to recovery
It is profoundly difficult for members to leave a cult.

“Despite all of the terrible things they endured, there usually was something positive that attracted them in the first place,” said Van Meir. “There are relationships, memories and the feeling of being part of something they thought was making the world better.”

Johnson agrees. After many failed attempts, she left an abusive cult for good when she was 52. Though she had a background in therapy, she found that few of her peers understood cultic abuse.

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