1. You said in your last post: The obvious answer is to limit the practice to those who are grown-ups and who do not require a "daddy".
What if the practice has the effect of eroding critical faculties and access to the normal range of emotions?
What if the practices lead adults into regression and boundary erosion?
Here are various things social psychologists have learned over the years. And these all add up to the verdict that its likely that Vajrayana practices would indeed erode adult critical thinking skills and the boundary functions needed to behave ethically in ambiguous situations.
Its in ambiguous situations that early warnings of boundary violations by authority figures begin.
First, the role of authority figure corrupts people--and in just a couple of hours.
In the Stanford Cookie Experiment (my term), people were randomly assigned leadership roles in small groups. The task lasted a couple of hours.
during the time, a plate of cookies was brought in. The designated leaders (assigned to the role, who had not sought that role, and who were in the role for just a couple of HOURS)--they were statistically more likely than the group members to do the following greedy, messy behaviors.
* Chew with mouths open
* Leave crumbs
* Take more cookies without being asked.
**One can say, "Oh, but once one has realized Buddha Nature, one becomes impervious to temptation and will no longer act this way--I reply, I dont buy such an argument. Being in the leadership role affects people. And look at the ones who have been in leadership roles for decades (Ole) or since childhood (tulkus).
Effects of Practices
Humans are influenceable by designated authority figures, influenceable by social settings, and influenceable by what they do.
(Influenceable by a designated authority figure)
Stanley Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiments demonstrated how many, very many adults, were willing to (so they thought) give painful potentially lethal electrical shocks to someone who was a designated authority figure due to being labelled the experiments supervisor and wearing a lab coat. In the days when Milgram ran those experiments, science still had prestige.
Today, its Tibet that has prestige and the trappings of authority are abundant. Your as likely to forget your ability to say NO in a Tibetan setting as in Milgram's laboratory.
(Influenceable by social setting)
Philip Zimbardo's Prison Experiment demonstrated how adult college students, assigned the roles of either guards or prisoners all forgot that they were free at any time to leave the setting.
(Influenceable by what you do)
This has been demonstrated for years via the research on cognitive dissonance.
If you pay a big fee, you are more likely to believe in what you paid for. Its otherwise too painful to face that you spent that money on something that you disliked or that gave you the creeps. (Paying big money to go see a guru who acts like an elderly adolescent. So much more tempting to persuade oneself he's actually doing crazy wisdom, rather than admit you paid big bucks to support a circus act)
Imagine the impact of doing a lot of ngondro
prostrations plus all the visualizations.
If you do something that makes you feel foolish (fuck, I am citizen yet here I am bowing to some guy or gal who is on a throne??!!) or arouses your doubts, then continue to do it, you will resolve your cognitive dissonance by persuading yourself that what you're doing is OK or even beneficial.
The Rule of Dissonance--Internal Pressure Is the Secret
There is only one way . . . to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.
Most of us feel more harmony in our lives when everything is consistent: our jobs, our homes, our habits, even our soft drinks. Consistency is the glue that holds everything in our lives together, thereby allowing us to cope with the world. Think of all the people you admire. I'll bet, by and large, most of them are consistent, congruent people. What they believe, what they say, and what they do (even when no one is watching) flow together seamlessly. Typically, a high degree of such consistency in one's life is indicative of personal and intellectual strength.
People are naturally more inclined — even subconsciously — to gravitate toward and follow individuals who are consistent in their behavior. The converse is also true: Inconsistency in one's personal and professional life is generally considered undesirable. The person whose beliefs, words, and deeds don't consistently match up is seen as hypocritical, two-faced, confused, or even mentally ill.
The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance
Leon Festinger formulated the cognitive dissonance theory in 1957 at Stanford University. He asserted, "When attitudes conflict with actions, attitudes or beliefs, we are uncomfortable and motivated to try to change." Festinger's theory sets the foundation for the Law of Dissonance, one of the twelve laws of Maximum Influence.
The Law of Dissonance states that people will naturally act in a manner that is consistent with their cognitions (beliefs, attitudes, and values). Therefore, when people behave in a manner that is inconsistent with these cognitions, they find themselves in a state of discomfort. In such an uncomfortable state, they will naturally be inclined to adjust their behaviors or attitudes to regain mental and emotional consistency. When our beliefs, attitudes, and actions mesh, we live harmoniously. When they don't, we feel dissonance at some level — that is, we feel awkward, uncomfortable, unsettled, disturbed, upset, nervous, or confused. In order to eliminate or reduce such tension, we will do everything possible to change our attitudes and behavior, even if it means doing something we don't want to do.