Passed Over For Initiation, Feeling Afraid to Ask Why
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 20, 2018 09:44PM

This was written about a group called Eckankar, but may apply
to some Sufi or Theosophical groups where "initiation" and "Levels of Realization"

(3rd Plane, 4th Plane, 5th Plane, 6th Plane, 7th Plane/Avatar) are considered important.

A lot of this is not based on actual level of attainment, but money and bureaucracy.


One often may hear eckists parroting that such
outer initiations matter little, yet privately, most eckists seem to
feel very strongly about the initiations they are awarded.

This isn't spoken of very much out in the open in eckankar, but people
such as the woman in the example can become quite disillusioned and
depressed over not keeping up with their peers, feeling left behind,
unwanted, and forgotten by the Mahanta. They see others who are
seemingly less deserving receiving initiations, whereas they, despite
being very devoted to eckankar and the associated disciplines, seem to
fall hopelessly behind.

Due to eckankar's policy that one not ever
request initiations, many suffer in silence, sensing justifiably that
something isn't quite right, yet fear to even ask about the possibility
of an error. In many cases, even when they do ask, they face a stony
silence from the org, or are told they are being "tested" spiritually,
when all that is needed is a quick check of the record.

This is one of
the way's such a system can inflict undue pain upon its members, and is
one reason I am taking the time to write about this in detail.

For the full story go here:


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2018 10:10PM by corboy.

"I liked myself better before I had to keep so many secrets"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 28, 2018 10:15PM

The Downside of Secret Keeping

If you are in a sufi, metaphysical or theosophical lodge keep this in mind
if you are asked to keep silent about why someone has been betrayed, is in disgrace, has been
banished or someone unqualified has been promoted to a higher level through favoritism.

A person recovering from an abusive group said this in another discussion:

It is a painful predicament to hide all this behind a smile.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2018 10:19PM by corboy.

Re: The State of Being Emotional Hostage
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 08, 2018 09:11PM

Many schools and eldercare facilities are tied to religious organizations.

Schools and facilities which are not affiliated with religious organizations may have employees or volunteers whose beliefs are sincere and heartfelt.

Most of the time things things go well. But there have been situations where there is trouble.

Trouble arises if:

* Some employees or volunteers exploit the job setting as a venue for proslytizing without prior knowledge or consent.

* You are not told clearly and at the very beginning what if any doctrines underlie the curriculum or philosophy of care at your loved one's school or care facility

* Disruptive clique dynamics between those clients and personnel who do not know of or share the religious beliefs of the school/care facility vs clients and personnel who do share the religious beliefs of the school/care facility

* Disruptive clique dynamics in which persons who are more affluent or who are friends with high ranking lodge members are favored at expense of people who are in modest circumstances and are not buddies with influential members of the lodge.

* Anyone trying to discuss these concerns fears to do so because they don't want to be seen as a trouble maker so they force themselves to ignore this, hoping it will go away or they wont need to patronize this facility after a few more years.

* You are afraid to discuss any of this for fear you or your loved one will lose access to the resources provided by the eldercare facility, the therapist or the school.

Here are examples.

Rick Ross, CEO of Cult Education Institute got involved in this work when he discovered a cult had infiltrated his grandmother's nursing home.


"Q How did you end up being a cult expert?

A My grandmother got me involved. She lived in a nursing home that was infiltrated – that is, the paid staff were – by a particular fringe religious group that targeted the elderly. "

Waldorf schools are notorious for concealing information about their doctrine when offering school services to parents.

You deserve to know the actual complete doctrine behind any school or facility where you pay for services and, often volunteer your time. If you do not know this, you are expected to follow a set of unwritten rules which is crazy making.

Our Brush With Rudolf Steiner
by Sharon Lombard


Lombard was not told that a specific set of doctrines undergird Waldorf school education. As a result, she found herself up against a set of unwritten rules. She was reprimanded for violating rules she was unaware of - which is a fast track to crazy making.


Soon doubts about our decision arose but they seemed superficial. I ignored the ever mounting references to cosmological forces, the zodiac, and other peculiarities, indulging myself that certain individuals were overtly "New Age."

Our new Waldorf school required participation from parents, and I threw myself into service with much enthusiasm working for what I believed to be a good cause. I volunteered to be on the school store committee to help raise funds. As an artist appreciating aesthetics and color, my first attempt at improvement was to transform the existing store into something with more pizzazz. I had hoped to use children's illustrations as part of the new decor, but I found it not to be acceptable. Not understanding what was wrong with my lovely collection of drawings, I put them away assuming that people just could not imagine the final effect.

So, instead, using my assortment cans of paint, I went to work transforming the blank walls with color. Soon, I received notes, phone calls, and a visit from one of the faculty who asked if I had permission to paint the walls as I had done. I answered that the store committee had given me the go ahead. Despite the disapproval, I thought the store looked much better than it had and was happy that sales increased.

During this time, I came up with a fundraising idea.

To help the store reach its financial goal, I designed a T-shirt to be printed with a small self-portrait drawn by each student in the school. I couldn't imagine a parent being able to resist buying one! Bundles of small squares of paper and black markers were distributed to teachers with instructions that each child should quickly draw a picture of themselves. These would be collected for me to have silk-screened.

My idea met with great opposition! I found out that markers were not permitted in Waldorf schools, no exceptions. I passed this off thinking that crayons and pencils were probably more environmentally sound, and I suggested that dark pencils could be used instead. The teachers were aghast; pencils were not allowed in the kindergarten.

After negotiation and hours at the copy machine reducing the large block crayon self-portraits and redefining the lines lost in the process, the T-shirts were eventually printed. They raised a nice sum for the school, but what was wrong with pencil line drawings? Along with these indiscretions, I had apparently inadvertently broken other rules and an inquisition took place before the faculty, accusing me of being "irreverent" and "nonsupportive".

Lombard was not told that use of black markers and pencils is forbidden in the lower grades at Waldorf schools -- because of the religious philosophy held by Rudolf Steiner, a theosophist whose doctrine is called Anthroposophy.


As a member of a committee, I had been pressured to study the work of Rudolf Steiner but had rejected the imposition, intuitively equating Anthroposophy study with bible study. Apart from a photograph of Steiner that hung on the faculty lounge wall and the constant references to him, I hadn't a clue about the man. I assumed that he was indeed the scientist, educator and philosopher that the school purported him to be....

Tackling Steiner's Art in the Light of Mystery Wisdom, I waded through his endless injunctions to try and fathom the "wet-on-wet" technique and found many clues:

"In painting, the line is a lie; the line is always part of the memory of life before birth. If we are to paint with a consciousness that extends across into the world of spirit, we must paint what comes out of the colour." (p. 68)
The wet paper, liquid paint, and large brushes are used to frustrate the possibility of line. Along with logical thinking at a young age, line is believed to affect the health in later life. But what of the paper with its cut, rounded corners and the "blobs" of color? According to Steiner, the astral body is a perfect circle. Perhaps that is the connection! He instructed that only liquid paint in pots could be used - in order to make the color shine inwardly. He explains his reasons in Colour:

"You will see that a yellow surface with definite boundaries is a repulsive thing; it is quite unbearable to artistic feeling. The soul cannot bear a yellow surface which is limited. We must make yellow paler at the edges, then paler still : in short the yellow must be full in the center, shining out into a still paler yellow. If we are to experience its inner nature we cannot imagine yellow in any other way." (p. 33)

As perplexing, is the added mystical significance of liquid paint:

"The `I' itself is within the colour. The human `I' and astral body are not to be separated at all from the colour; they live in colour and inasmuch as they are united with the colour they have an existence outside the physical body. It is the `I' and the astral body which reproduce colour in the physical and etheric bodies. That is the point." (p. 54)
It is impossible to go into detail concerning Steiner's heirarchies and decrees on color due to their sheer complexity and quantity, but it is important to note that contemporary Anthroposophists like McAllen endorse his views: "The colour sequence works as a cleansing-reorientation of the soul, helping the individuality to accept the present incarnation in a physical body." (p. 40) So, these wet-on-wet pictures are actual moral exercises exposing pupils to the healing influence of color. For instance, the use of yellow and blue in the kindergarten is a mystic weaving of the soul with the hereditary body, until the growth of secondary teeth, when the etheric body enters. On and on it goes. A rather bizarre benefit concerning the years spent experiencing these color exercises was more recently expressed in Drawing: From First Grade to High School: "It should help protect them from being sucked out altogether into the physical world." (p. 165)

Another idiosyncrasy I found in Steiner's book Colour is that "The soul lives in the actual colour of the skin ...Of all the varied colours in the world around us peach-blossom is the colour we would select as being the nearest to that of the human skin..."(p. 24) From reading Art Inspired by Rudolph Steiner, I discovered that the classroom walls must be painted with a transparent wash so that pupils can see through them into the spirit world. ( Now I understand why my paint job was such a shock!)

Just as the liquid paint had a mystic mission in preparing the well-reincarnated for the new world order, so too do all the myths, legends, and fairy tales Steiner adopted in his Anthroposophical pantheon and Waldorf curriculum. This was born out in Colour where he expresses his doctrine:

"Until we have thoroughly overcome the habit of inquiring in terms of symbols and allegories and of interpreting myths and legends allegorically and symbolically, and start sensing the breath of the spirit that weaves throughout the cosmos and feel its life in the figures of myths and fairy tales - until we do this we shall not have attained real spiritual knowledge." (p. 68)


Women (and, increasingly, men) can get hostaged into bad situations because of their roles as parents and caregivers. If women rely on services or institutions (schools, eldercare facilities) and the agencies and personnel do a wonderful job, a tired mother or daughter has high exit costs if over time she gets powerful gut feelings
that something is seriously amiss.

You may find you are in an emotional hostage situation if find you have misgivings but
feel afraid to follow your gut and investigate further.

To be hostage is far more than being appreciative of a valued service such a therapist, a school for your children, your own training program, an agency that cares for your elderly parents, or a job that finally finally meets your needs.

To be hostage is different from gratitude or reliance.

If, this moment, your gut is feeling sweaty as you read this, you may be held hostage by a situation and dread having your fears confirmed.

To be hostage is to be in a state of fear so profound that you do not want to admit just how afraid you are - or how angry you feel.

Hostage situations are where you fear you or your child or parents cannot survive outside the situation itself. You fear this because of high exit costs.

Exit costs can be social, financial, emotional

Some examples of exit costs

* A child or parent who would be heartbroken losing friends or care providers -- do I want to compromise their welfare because something about the situation is giving me the creeps or seriously pushing my buttons.

*The angst of looking for another school or care facility all over again

*Financial costs including lost time from work due to searching for another school for your child or another care facility for your parent/s

* Loss of the routine and stability you've come to rely on

* Loss of friendships you've formed with other parents at the school (unless they turn out to be real friends who stand by you)

* Leaving a school or care facility that is affordable but gives you the creeps which means you will have to pay more (or fear you must pay more) by sending your child or elderly parent to a different institution.

*Discord with your spouse or partner if the latter just does not understand why you want to get out of the situation.

These are examples of exit costs that make parents utterly, anguishingly vulnerable if they
have doubts and misgivings about a school or care facility they have come to rely on.

In a hostage situation you feel as though you are in a situation that has no outside.

A room that had an entrance but, once you stepped in, all doorways and windows have vanished. You may be socially and intellectually brilliant but in the hostage situation, primal fear has snuck in and slowly colonized your mind and emotions.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2018 09:37PM by corboy.

Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 29, 2018 10:05PM

People may laugh your doubts away, make you feel foolish.

They may even smile and say, of course we are a cult. They may claim that
people who have made complaints are disgruntled because of personal

Laughing things away is a highly effective way of invalidating your thoughts and emotions. Using humor strategically to deflect an adult's anxiety, anger, fear is disrespectful.

A big red flag is if you are told that if someone has been asking troubling questions, that you are not to talk to them but you must send them to whoever is in charge. You are paying money for this facility, you are volunteering your time at this facility, yet you are not trusted to speak for yourself with someone else who is concerned.

Worse, you are taken aside and attempts are made to get you to toe a party line that you've not even been told about.

Or you're asked to name others who seem troubled by the situation. Ask yourself if you are being asked to tattle tale.

Asking questions is adult activity and it is participatory democracy. You are paying to support this place - don't let them shame you or marginalize you for asking questions/expressing misgivings.

Women are usually in primary caregiver roles along with work and usually feel tired and guilty juggling these three roles - though today, more and more fathers are in this situation as well.

If someone seems to be doing an affordable wonderful job helping us care for our elderly parents, educating and caring for our children, we are very dependent on them. We make friends with other parents there. We will not want to examine any doubts or misgivings we have.

But if you become afraid to examine your own fears and doubts, you are emotionally enslaved, held hostage even if you are not a member of the church or sect which runs the facility.

You get into an inmate mentality, and lose full access to your mind and emotions both of which you need to be a fully functioning adult, partner, parent.

If you feel guilty about even thinking of going to someone outside of the situation and asking questions about the facility, whether others have had the same worries you now have -- feeling guilty and scared at the more thought of doing outside research is itself a RED FLAG that something in you fears
you are in a hostage situation -- a situation where you fear the exit costs
are more than you and your family can bear.

Never forget that you have customer rights.

Talk to someone outside of the situation. Schools and care facilities
are accountable to state regulatory agencies.

Therapists are accountable to moral and ethical guidelines.

Never let someone con you to believe that therapist or facility is the only one that can help you. That's how we get trapped.

Talk to people outside of the situation.

If you feel afraid to do even this -- that is worth examining.Women are usually the ones who become heavily involved in support of schools for their children and facilities for eldercare of their parents -- though today more and more men are in this situation as well.

If a fanatical group or cult operates or infiltrates a school or care facility you're dependent on, you might never get involved with the doctrines of the group, but over time your participation might slowly change to hostage syndrome, like wood that,
under unusual and specific conditions becomes petrified.

Rick Ross, CEO of Cult Education Institute got involved when he discovered a church had infiltrated his grandmother's nursing home.


"Q How did you end up being a cult expert?

A My grandmother got me involved. She lived in a nursing home that was infiltrated – that is, the paid staff were – by a particular fringe religious group that targeted the elderly. "

Waldorf schools are notorious for concealing information about their doctrine when offering school services to parents.

You deserve to know the actual complete doctrine behind any school or facility where you pay for services and, often volunteer your time. If you do not know this, you are expected to follow a set of unwritten rules which is crazy making.

Our Brush With Rudolf Steiner
by Sharon Lombard


It all starts when you come to believe that this therapist, the school your child is in, the eldercare facility, is your only option.

At first you are thrilled because you've been flattered to believe, assured by other families, that this facility or therapist is the best, that the others are inferior, less affirming of your or your child's full potential, less empathetic with eldercare.

But what if, over time, an incident here, an incident there adds up and you start getting the creeps. Or you find yourself at the bottom of a hierarchy that no one admits exists.

Recognizing that your self respect is being compromised exposes you to a predicament with high exit costs. You may know nothing of the doctrines of the sect that runs your child's school or your elderly parent's care facility, but your emotional life is tied up in knots.

Something is going on in your therapy, or at your child's school or your parent's care facility. You don't share the religious beliefs of your therapist, your children's teachers or those who sponsor your parent's care facility.

Little things happen when you are part of volunteer work supporting this facility.

Something is going on that offends your beliefs. Your self respect and your boundaries are under siege.

Yet you have come fear you cannot get the same kind of care anywhere else.

In a situation like this, you see each insult or incident as something that is isolated, then you persuade yourself that someone did not mean it, or that you're making something out of nothing, or everything else is so wonderful, why rock the boat.

What you do not do is remember each incident and then ask if these are part of a long term problem.

Your child is affected or your parents, if it is a school or eldercare facility.

You have finally, have a routine going that supports your work and your marriage and perhaps (miracle!!!!!) your budget, too.

To exit all that because you are getting the creeps or your boundaries are offended seems crazy and unreasonable.

This is called cognitive dissonance.

If we fear that the cost of leaving is too high or too terrifying, most of us cannot consciously bear to entertain any doubts or disturbing emotions or subversive insights.

These, financial hardships and social consequences, form the exit costs.

Most of us suppress our doubts and hope we are mistaken or tell ourselves that things will get better.

Few people will validate our concerns; many will invalidate them.

Women (and, increasingly, men) can get hostaged into bad situations because of their roles as parents and caregivers. If women rely on services or institutions (schools, eldercare facilities) and the agencies and personnel do a wonderful job, a tired mother or daughter has high exit costs if over time she gets powerful gut feelings
that something is seriously amiss.

If you find yourself getting a painful sweaty feeling in your gut when something comes up that raises your own doubts or questions -- misgivings and emotions you do not want to have -- this signals you are in a situations wher you feel trapped. You feel trapped because the you fear the exit costs of leaving are more than you, your child or your parents -- and your WALLET - can bear.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2018 10:49PM by corboy.

You have dignity even if paying less to a facility than others pay
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 12, 2018 11:04PM

Don't slide into describing yourself in terms of affiliation to a school or facility. "My child goes to X school" is different from identifying yourself as

"I am an X school parent." Pay close attention if you notice it is normal and even encouraged that people identify themselves as "X school parents."

When we so identify ourselves with an institution, we risk equating ourselves with that institution and boundary blurring begins. We are less able to recognize early warning signs that something is amiss.

Never allow yourself to get intimidated by gossip or rumors that people are kicked out or fired if they ask too many questions or are regarded as too difficult. An atmosphere of intimidation can be fostered through hints and gossip just as much as through tanks and jackboots.

Don't let yourself succumb to a grinding subtle fear that you or your loved one are in danger of getting banished if you dare to ask questions or do something wrong.

You must not become hostage to any facility just because you or your loved one are paying less (or you are told you are paying less) because you or your loved one is on a grant, scholarship, insurance or sliding scale while others are paying full price.

You have as much right to express your opinion, voice misgivings, point out inconsistencies and ask questions as those who are paying full price.

Your primary loyalty is your loved one's welfare and your own dignity. Do not let anyone trick you into believing that a school or care facility or therapist is your only affordable option and that you or loved one are doomed if you are kicked out or leave. your are supposed to be humble, eat your gruel and not dare ask for more like Oliver Twist.

You are entrusting your loved one to this facility; you have a duty of care to your loved one and THAT COMES FIRST.

AMROC San Jose -possible source for your teacher's special stuff
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 12, 2018 11:37PM

Just in case anyone is curious where their lodge leader or guru got their special ancient wisdom, have a peek at this blog.


Western esotericism has had various systems which posit levels of spiritual realization - much of this goes all the way back to Plotinus (3rd Century CE) and later Neoplatonic philosophers. Plotinus taught that there are multiple levels of reality that emanate from the One down to crude matter. The higher levels of reality are beyond discursive thought but can be accessed by attuning oneself to corresponding levels of consciousness each more refined than the prior one. One prepares for this through moral discipline and philosophical training. Plotinus stressed philosophy; later Neoplatonists recommended and taught the use of ritual.

Plotinus - Stanford


Neoplatonism - Stanford


Neoplatonic text material reached the Islamic world via scholars in Baghdad (8th - 9th Centuries) and soon influenced the loose group of scholarly spiritual aspirants later catagorized as Sufis.

The take home lesson is that these teachings are ideas which have traveled far, not some perennial wisdom.

If someone is teaching this material and is abusing you, feel free to leave. No teacher has sole monopoly of this material. The only difference is a teacher's back story, charisma, and whatever group dynamics has formed in the lodge.

This stuff is like ice cream -- there is no single brand, no one has sole monopoly, There is life outside of Haagen Daz.

Feel free to defect to Double Rainbow or Ben and Jerry's.

This material has been taught in various versions, recycled and given new names.

Don't fall into the trap of letting one teacher claim that he or she has the Terminally Unique monopoly on these teachings.

Multiple levels of nearness to God, corresponding to levels of consciousness plus notions miracle working masters, astral projection and working on higher planes is recycled again and again.

Theosophical books had a wide readership in India late in the 19th Century, and as a result, Indian spiritualists soon adopted Blavatsky's Theosophical concepts and vocabulary when creating and teaching their own material.

A comedy of errors ensued. When affluent Westerners flocked to India followed by the hippies, they found Indian teachers offering exotic spirituality in language familiar to them. Theosophical vocabulary and concepts familiar in the West reached India long before the 1920s.

Teachers read each other's books all the time and
claim it was revealed to them from some exalted Source. That source was most likely the local bookstall - and these days, the internet.

Joseph Smith, creator of the Church of Latter Day Saints, came from a family that was interested in western esotericism. Anyone from an LDS background could readily adapt other teachers' metaphysical systems -- even create something and call it a new revelation.

The Early Mormon Chain of Belonging

Samuel Brown


A Republic of Mind and Spirit:
A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion

by Catherine L. Albanese



Of particular interest is Albanese’s attention to the hermetic background of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other founding figures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The idea of buried plates of revelation requiring magic to be discovered and understood is derived, she believes, from Native American beliefs, and other key Mormon teachings are heavily indebted to the strains that flowed into the tradition of Hermes, notably the enormous influence of Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth-century Swede of Lutheran background who impressively joined undoubted scientific learning to prodigious flights of metaphysical imagination. Mormon concepts such as the coequality of matter and spirit, the eternal covenant of celestial marriage, and the ultimate destiny of human godhood, she suggests, are all drawn from the fusion of Hermes and Christianity going back to the Italian Renaissance.

There is no doubt, she contends, that Joseph Smith and others in the nineteenth-century religious world of upstate New York were intimately familiar with, and engaged by, this centuries-long history of hermeticism. “Swedenborg, in effect, had articulated in one form or another a number of the major tenets of Mormon theology as Joseph Smith put it forward through his revelations.” Joseph Smith’s heavenly realm “was inhabited by a God suspiciously similar to Swedenborg’s Divine Human and to the Hermetic vision in general.”

Mormonism was of a piece, says Albanese, with other movements that were not so much post-Christian as moving Christianity in strange directions. Universalism, for instance, “evoked the mystical boundary where Christianity touched Hermeticism and where, in its 19th century embodiment, a progressivist Romantic vision came to dominate numbers of American spiritual quests. The God who loved humans and sought to ‘happify’ them was also the God who beckoned along a road to ever-increasing perfection and so ever-greater spiritual power.”

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2018 09:29PM by corboy.

Re: Westernized Sufi and Theosophical Groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 04, 2018 09:38AM

Schuon's "connection with Islam" not "absolutely essential"?


Maude Murray on Frithjof Schuon


How chanting makes us endorphin addicts - and exit costs
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 06, 2018 10:35PM

"Most of the people you'll be meeting in SGI have a raging endorphin habit going - they're endorphin junkies, so they won't want to go too long between the extended chanting sessions."

Quoted from below.

What follows applies to any group whose disciples are taught to use intensive

The group described is called Sokka Gakkai (SGI). Change the name to your
own group and it still applies.

Members of SGI must have a special shrine in their homes containing a scroll with the scriptures of the sect; this is no different from having an altar
dedicated to a picture of your Baba, Pir, Shiekh or Murshid.

If heavy chanting must be done each day in front of this picture, and disciples also have pictures of the Baba, Pir, Sheikh or Murshid on personal jewelry, on their automobile dashboard altars, digital screens, office desks, this
massively reinforces the effect of the chanting done each day at the main altar at home.

Think carefully before getting into any relationship with a person involved with all this.

You will be in three way. The guru will always win out.

Detailed information about social isolation induced by overscheduling disciples with group mandated tasks.



One person replied with a comment:


What I would warn you about is that their meetings are set up to induce a trance state - the purpose of the chanting and recitation at the beginning is the same as the singing, praying, and recitations at the beginning of a Christian church service. Those create an endorphin release, which relaxes the audience and renders them suggestible by disabling their critical thinking. Once lulled into that trance state, people are far more likely to accept unquestioningly everything they're told.

Most of the people you'll be meeting in SGI have a raging endorphin habit going - they're endorphin junkies, so they won't want to go too long between the extended chanting sessions that provide them their "fix". There are a lot of WAY healthier ways to get an endorphin boost - going for a walk or a run, doing a favorite hobby (like painting or playing a musical instrument), going out with friends, even seeing a movie (BLACK PANTHER this weekend!!!!!!!!).

Some of the isolation techniques to watch out for - they use a private language that "outsiders" don't understand, so when you start learning this private language, if you want to discuss ideas that incorporate those concepts, you'll have to discuss them with another SGI member. Nothing unusual there. However, that's one step to getting you to isolate yourself.

The chanting practice is also isolating - even when you're doing it with others, you're not interacting with them in anything approaching a healthy social scenario. The practice - morning and evening - will isolate you, because you can't be both interacting with someone and chanting single-mindedly, y'know?


BlancheFromage 2 points 10 months ago
I asked a friend that meditates a lot why I feel better when I chant, she replied that I developed a habit over the years.

This is something we have analyzed in some detail - here are some links if you want to see the material for yourself. Long story short - if your SGI connection told you to "Try it for 90 days and you can see for yourself whether it works or not", that person did not tell you that's how long it takes to get a habit established. If that person had said, "Try it for 90 days (or 100 days) and by then it will have turned into a habit you'll have trouble breaking", would you have been willing to try? That's the standard invitation into the cult, BTW - I don't know if they're still doing that, but there it is. Do ANYTHING for 90 days and it becomes a habit. And you're more likely to continue with something once it's become a habit.

Chanting is an unhealthy practice that can create an endorphin dependency habit that can be difficult to break, just like any habit. The life of the person chanting the magic chant is passing him/her by just as surely as the life of the opium addict lying on a couch in thrall to beautiful drug-induced visions. We do not condone that sort of time-wasting here. Source

The time a person spends chanting is time that is forever lost. This is bad for several reasons:

1) Spending that time further isolates the person 2) Spending that much time alone within one's own thoughts, especially chanting to bend reality to one's will, simply reinforces one's own attachments and delusions 3) Being isolated and within one's own mind will cause one's social skills to atrophy and degrade

It is in a cult's interests to isolate the members within the cult and its practices. SGI is no different.

All that time chanting, all that time going to activities - this leaves less time for outside interests and outside friends.

People who have been SGI members for any length of time will likely have no friends at all "on the outside" - this serves SGI's purposes wonderfully. When all your friends are inside the cult, that raises the costs of leaving for you, because you know you're going to walk out alone.

What passes for "friendship" within SGI is "we see each other at SGI activities". You KNOW that without your shared belief in SGI, you have nothing in common to serve as a basis for a friendship. And you've heard how they talk about people who leave, so you know what they're going to be saying about you after you're gone.

No one will be willing to risk being seen with such a "bad apple".

Chanting produces an endorphin addiction


Chanting meditations not recommended


There's a reason that SGI meetings all start with gongyo and chanting. It's the same reason church services always start with hymns and shared recitations/call-and-response style segments. The music/singing/chanting and recitations serve to induce a trance state, in which the person being thus affected unawares "feels better" and is rendered more suggestible, more gullible, more open to accepting whatever the speaker is then going to pour into his/her consciousness. It's a tactic to disable critical thinking. And it works.

When you stop doing something that has become a habit, you will inevitably feel an empty space in your psyche. RE: SGI membership, I refer to this as a "cult-shaped hole".


For example, let's suppose you get laid off from work. You go home, go to sleep, wake up the next morning - and you automatically start your routine of getting ready for work! But you don't have a job to go to now! Sure, you can get busy looking for work and filling out applications, but it's going to feel weird and awkward - you're suddenly aware there's a job-shaped hole in your psyche.


And you may well feel anxious and stressed until you find some other similar job that fits into that hole.

When a person leaves SGI, they suddenly have a lot more free time because no more activities, particularly if they see no reason to continue with the personal practice. What I recommend is to try a breathing meditation instead. It's something you can do anywhere. What you do is to start taking deep, slow breaths and focus entirely on the sound of your own breath, the feeling of the air coming into your nose and down into your lungs, the feeling of your chest expanding, and then the sound and feeling of the air being expelled.

It's very relaxing, and will provide you with a different way of calming yourself/relaxing until you've managed to break your chanting habit.

The longer you don't do something, the less you'll feel driven to do it. When people leave a cult, they often feel "I must find a different religion to do instead." Unfortunately, having just left a cult, the hole is cult-shaped, so it's VERY likely this person will end up diving right into another cult. The longer this person can hold off on joining a religion, the less likely s/he will end up saddled with another cult.

Now that you have all this time freed up, think about all the things you used to enjoy that you didn't have time for because SGI. Think of the things you might have enjoyed trying, TV shows you kind of wanted to watch but didn't have time. Now you can get caught up! One of the first TV shows I watched post-SGI was HBO's The Tudors. I'd wanted to see it years back, but we didn't have HBO and besides, I was too busy with SGI. Really enjoyed that one.

Smiles -- How to Assess Them
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 16, 2018 10:00PM

If you find yourself dealing with people who consider themselves highly spiritually evolved and smile a lot, they may be sincere.

However here is a type of smile to be alert for.

If you encounter this, trust your gut.

Duping delight


Duper's smirk


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2018 01:09AM by corboy.

If you unexpectedly come into money or are born into money
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 11, 2018 09:00PM

"The subject, Lalich says, never suspects that he or she “has been part of hours of planning this out in detail."

You are vulnerable to predation if you have money - you unexpectedly come into money or are born into money or through your own work plus good fortune, build money.

If have a large estate and are concerned for the welfare of those who inherit - your spouse, your children - educate them about this. Anyone with wealth or who may acquire wealth should make it a habit to conduct background checks on any group, project or cause that is pushed at them -- even by their most trusted friends.



for the wealthy there are a few cult recruitment methods that are especially dangerous. “Wealthy people are easy to guilt, and guilt is one of the main emotional buttons that get pushed by cults or cult recruiters,” says Janja Lalich, a cult expert and author of Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships.

“The other thing is, wealthy individuals, like anyone else, go through moments of self-doubt, questioning their behavior, their personality, their choices. In moments of vulnerability, that’s typically when someone responds to the allure of a cult.”


wealth, social cachet, and celebrity are the best tools to appeal to people from prominent backgrounds. “If you can get some celebrities involved, and some people with serious money, they will draw in other people with serious money,” Ross says.

Lalich, who was a member of a political cult before leaving and becoming an expert on cults, recalls recruitment meetings at which she and other members would discuss strategies for luring affluent people into their organization. “We would assess the best way to get that person to emotionally respond to what we were saying, to determine what their weaknesses were. We would figure out where to push their buttons and figure out who the best people were to be in those recruitment meetings with them. We didn’t pick just anybody—it had to be someone of the same caliber. It was all done very carefully and craftily.”

The subject, Lalich says, never suspects that he or she “has been part of hours of planning this out in detail.”

The night Oxenberg first went to a Nxivm program, one of the speakers was filmmaker Mark Vicente (he has since left the group and has spoken out about its practices). “I was a fan of his work,” Oxenberg says. “He was someone who had a very successful career. That gave it credibility.”


New recruits to any cult almost never know exactly what they’re getting into. “That is by intention,” Ross says. “It’s very deliberate and manipulative. Someone would just be your friend or business associate, someone you admired or worked with, or knew from other projects.”

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