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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: OutofTransition ()
Date: April 08, 2013 04:35AM

To get back to the original poster's question, how do you recover from New Age mumbo-jumbo, my answer would be education. Quality education. Learn about REAL science, not pseudo-science. Now, I am a big fan of libraries and for me a good guide to whether something is science is where is it located in the library. In my library the pseudoscience, New Age, and religion are all lumped together in the same section. REAL science is a few rows over.

I hope I don't cause any offense by this but I have noticed that people who get drawn into this sort of thing are people who are deficient in education. By that I mean they may have gone to school and gotten that piece of paper but they really don't know anything about how the world really works or how we got from here to there. I have a good friend who has gone off the deep end as far as the New Age movement is concerned and in talking to her it is obvious she hasn't a clue that many of the things she is being told or listens to are either outdated ideas which mainstream science/medicine abandoned long ago, she has no grasp of history, no grasp of anything. I sit there and ask her questions and she just smiles beatifically and says that she just knows in her heart what is true and real, that she has no use for fear-based religions, that she refuses to live her life in fear. Fear? Who put it in your head that questioning is fear? She doesn't know the classic stories like the Emperor's New Clothes, she has no context whatsoever to evaluate what she is taking in because it's all good. I have pointed her time and time again to this site and said, just check this out. Just be aware of who some of these people are and what they are up to. You don't have to take every word on here as gospel. But my rule of thumb is, the more times an individual or group's name comes up in these forums the more cause I have to be wary.

So basically to escape the Dark Age trap that is New Age thinking--because it is a return to Dark Age thinking, not something new at all; it promises much but delivers little--you have to re-educate yourself. Reading is something a lot of people don't do nowadays and it's a shame. (My friend doesn't even know HOW to read a book, she just flips around until she finds something of interest, never mind context or what came before, almost like some of these people who chose to live their lives by just opening the Bible to a random passage and basing their decisions on that.). I would suggest atheist writers like Richard Dawkins. Or skeptical websites. Read and think. Read and evaluate. It's a long process and it takes time. But in the end, it's worth it to get your mind back.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by:  X  ()
Date: April 18, 2013 02:44PM

i took me quite some time to get my mind back to straight after being into all this stuff lol one thing that could help me is to redig the true essence of monotheism, difference between 'true' religions and cults, is that religion advocate the principle that the universe is ordered, that god is a being animated by reason, that he doesn't act on wimps, and that his will can be understood by people, underlying in fact also the basic principle that lead to scientific discovery, on the premise that the universe is animated by rational eternal principle, opposed to cults who make it look like the universe is more made up of chaotic pattern of energy that obey strange rules, often that only new age guru can predict accuratly, based on weird method of thinking that has no rational basis, religion normally actually forbid that kind of things, even all the christian based cult and 'fake chrisitan' often have belief that are closer to witchcract and sorcery than actually being truly in tune with the essence of christianism as a monotheist religion, this kind of philosophy helped to put the piece back together between science, rationalism and spirituality, where actually there is no opposition between spirituality, knowledge god, and science and rationalism, all people who preted otherwise are sort of polytheistic, pagan or into witchract more than being into a monotheistic type of religion

also avoid anything that has to do with entrencing/dissociating practice, or thing that tend to impair your congitive pattern of thinking straight, and ability to predict the future, predicting the future can be stressing, if you remove the LOA and suggar coated positive thinking, and belief into wierd kind of entity, but if you remove this activity of predicting the future in a rational manner, you become quickly not much more than a lobotomized vegetable, and all the transe or dissociative state inducing practice are clearly impairing this ability to think rationally about the future

the catch is that there are also many element embeded even in the core of science that are not even truly rationalism, all the lot of what is called 'natural science', and newtonian science, they are not really rational thing, they are more already issued from metaphysic, from artistolian way of thinking more based on empiricism and metaphysic, newton had a big foot in alchemy and esoterism, and his system doesn't come from a rational thinking pattern, all the lot of natural science is not valid until you know the method used to construct the actual science, what matter is not the belief, but the way you use to construct the belief, on this the whole lot of sociratic method of questionning and raitonal analysis of belief pattern can help big deal to sort out what is irrational or rational in what you believe as true, don't be any bit of ashamed to put down all what you might consider beleving in, and analyzing it rationally and questionning the validity of the belief and what method you use to assert if the belief is true or not, what is the more important is to build up a very strong method to assert if a belief is true or not rather than learning natural science or being too much on the empirist/infferent reasonning type of things

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 18, 2013 08:40PM

"People tend to believe these statements because they are usually so generally worded that there practically is nothing to disagree with."

Barnum Statements

These are statements that apply to many of us. Adroitly used, they can be used in questionnaire form or in dialogue to make it seem you have a condition that makes you special (Flattery/Love Bombing) or that you have a condition that is grave and requires help from the guru or crystal reader or group that is putting these questions at you.

Its like a one size fits all garment - and your being told it is custom made, exactly for you. Har.

Phineas Taylor Barnum

In 1948, psychologist Bertram R. Forer gave a personality test to his students and told them that they are each receiving a unique analysis based on the test's results which he asked the studends to rate on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) on how well it applied to themselves. However, each student actually received the same analysis:
"You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Your sexual adjustment has presented problems for you. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life."
The students did not know that they had received identical copies assembled by Forer from various horoscopes till after rating the analysis. On average, the rating that students gave to the analysis was 4.26.

As you can see the analysis consisted of various statements that could easily apply equally to anyone. These statements were later named Barnum statements.

Further studies on Barnum Statements have found that subjects give higher accuracy ratings only if the subject believes that the analysis applies to him or her, the subject believes in the authority of the evaluator and the analysis lists mainly positive traits.

In today's world barnum statements are a widely used tool. Newspaper astrologers - horoscope writers - use barnum statements to make their thin made-up facts apply to as large an audience as possible. Barnum statements are also widely used among mentalists, psychics, fortune-teller and illusionists.

Why do people believe barnum statements?



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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 18, 2013 09:53PM

And if you reply "Yes" again and again to a set of questions, or as an affirmation exercise, this too can function as a yes set.

Discussed here in another context.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 26, 2013 09:22PM

How to evaluate Buddhist writing. Can, with slight adjustments, be applied to other, more New Age material as well.


A WONDERFUL, belly laugh filled post at Nella Lou's Madhushala Blog -- The Buddhist Blogger's Crackpot Scale ...

[] ... pot-scale/ (http://[])

Here is part of it, but the whole list is priceless! Funny and oh so true! (I think I get 10 points for the capitalized "WONDERFUL")


This can be used to evaluate blogs, comments, articles, Facebook notes and even Twitter. I can also think of a few mainstream Buddhist publications that might want to include it in their editorial policies. The higher the score the closer to woo one gets.
•A -5 point starting credit. Might as well keep this one as there will be some who can use all the advantages they can get.
•1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false. This includes fake Buddha quotes, popular interpretations of secondary interpretations of poor translations of original Buddhist writings, blatant historical inaccuracies and distortions.
•2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous. “Because you and I don’t exist” is not an excuse for anything.
•3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent. A contradiction is a contradiction no matter how many times one quotes the Heart Sutra as a defense.
•5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction. Stubbornness is not one of the paramitas.
•5 points for using a personal theory that contradicts the results of actual scholarship, practice, doctrine and general consensual reality. This would include such things as astral travelers whispering new sutras about the dharma of Lady Gaga to you while you sleep.
•5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).
•5 points for each mention of "Chopra", "Tolle" or "saw that on Oprah".


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 26, 2013 09:31PM

A few things I would add to Nella Lou's list

*1 point for every time an author uses the term 'brilliant'. 'Brilliant' has become over-used.

*2 points for each time an author uses the term 'scathing'.

*5 points for endorsing any spiritual celebrity with a documented track record of associating long term with abusive teachers such as Andrew Cohen

*5 points for anyone who claims to be Buddhist but also includes elements from non Buddhist sources, such as Advaita (Advaita posutalates an enternal absoluate--this is contradicts Buddhadharma)

*5 points for anyone who adds gadgets to Buddhadharma and then trademarkes than sells this for big bucks.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 26, 2013 09:34PM

Clarification--those last points are my own -- not Nella Lou's.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Hollawitta ()
Date: May 07, 2013 01:54AM

As an indigenous person of America I've been contesting the New Age’s exploitation of American Indian beliefs for several years on their internet sites. Many of their internet forums have ‘Native American Spirituality’ sub-forums upon which much misinformation regarding indigenous Americans is posted. Whenever some of us join a particular New Age site and openly contests such misrepresentations it is not long before we fall under the scrutiny of both cult leader-like administrators as well as their cult-member-like underlings. Indians are snubbed or else set upon, often having our threads locked or deleted. If Indians protest or even question such treatment they are often banned. From my research on many of these sites, they all seem to have the same administrators and moderators, but going by different names sometimes claiming to be 1/16 Cherokee, Haudenosaunee or Blackfoot which for some odd reason gives them authority to be the spokespeople of all the Nations, tribes and bands here in North America. It is my opinion and that of other traditional American Indians these New Age fake Indians are both in it for material wealth and to take part in cultural genocide.

Oddly enough there is a well known internet site that is seemingly supporting American Indians, but in all actuality is operated by non-Indian New Agers. What better way to knock out other New Age competition than to proclaim being our allies?

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 10, 2013 11:30PM

Finding Good Playmates for Our Inner Children

As adults we must parent our inner children and make sure only honest kind persons get access to our inner children.

Oddly enough, warnings about unethical credit card services and moving van firms were greatly appreciated on Craigslist. But warnings about leaders and groups known to be dangerous--such warnings were met with screams of outrage.

The minute you become a spiritual teacher, you become free from ordinary accountability and people not even your followers will leap forward to defend you.

As one friend put it, 'Why is it spiritual to put blinders on, refuse to do fact checking and set yourself up to be burned by a smooth talking psychopath?'
Wilful naivete is regression, not spirituality. But it seems many of us are taught to equate it with spirituality.

Genuine spirituality includes adult discernment, street smarts, and the willingness to fact check everything and assume nothing.

This is plain common sense. In Las Vegas, casinos take precautions to ensure that no one deals from marked decks. Spiritual seekers could learn a thing or two from the casinos.

Accepting 50-50 odds is gambling--a form of honest play.

But as soon as someone covertly brings in a marked deck, its no longer gambling--it is robbery.

The spiritual scene is haunted by crooks who do the psychological equivalent of playing poker with marked decks. Learn who they are and warn your friends to stay away.

Do a check of telephone numbers on Google if someone is offering 'free classes' or if someone (friend or boss) is urging you to go on some retreat or seminar where no one will tell what will happen. (bad sign if its kept a secret. Some of us get destabilized if sleep deprived. What if a group keeps people up past bed time? One has to know about this in advance.)

First stay anonymous. Omit your name or where you live.

Two, think carefully before you respond to correspondance. You may encounter vicious responses to your posts and be tempted to respond to anyone who thanks you. Think twice. You do not want to divulge your name to someone who is in a cult and trying to identify you.

If you live in certain 'New Age' parts of the US, you could be in for trouble if you are known to be against a particular guru or cult, with many members in your area. If you apply for a job, or a training program, your boss or an admissions officer could be disciples of a guru you've been warning the public about. Ouch!

Expect to be called 'judgemental' 'cynical' 'closeminded','negative' or 'unevolved.' You get the idea.

If you warn people that a cult recruiter is operating in their area, do not expect straightforward gratitude. People are complex.

Make certain you're clear you are doing the right thing and provide information that can be fact checked. Because your efforts to educate the public will cause a surprising number of people to get mad at you.

No matter how much damage their group or guru inflicts, they'll ignore that negativity and berate you for being negative. If sophisticated, they may declare that your presentation of the evidence is 'more about the writer than the guru.'

Its called denial-New Age style.

An especially fascinating variation is from persons who have linked their hope and peace of mind to the guru ideal, but have carefully avoided ever living under the authority of a particular guru. They'll accuse you of being cynical, unevolved, etc. if you suggest that people fact-check the background of a spiritual teacher before getting emotionally involved.

Your information gives them pain they want to stop the pain. That means assuming that YOU, not their guru (or group), are what's hurting them.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 10, 2013 11:39PM

We are Walking Around Nude --Social Media can be used by Guru Recruiters not Job Recruiters

These days, thanks to social media, many people can be researched via Linkedin profiles, Facebook, Twitter posts.

Someone who gets your name and contact info after you have signed up for a retreat or for a guru's mailing list can do research on you not through psychic mindreading, but just by studying what you have already written online. A lot can be learned about you by a friend who is already a disciple.

Having such information, a guru or retreat leader if unethical, may pretend to be able to read your mind, or use this information and know what buttons to push.

Suppose you once were in a Buddhist group (hypothetica example here) that disbanded because the leader got into scandal. In a lecture where you are present, a recruiter or guru can make a passing snide reference to the troubled Buddhist leader of your group and tweak it to give you pain and at the same time, make it seem you are joining something better and wiser.
For those who say it is bad to be 'judgemental' Dr Deikman says this:

'We make judgments of groups all the time, whether we wish to or not.

'We decide whether to join or not to join, whether to support or to discourage, and it is necessary that we do so, both for ourselves and for others who look to us for guidance in these matters. As I discussed earlier, the unsatisfied hunger for spiritual fulfilment may take highly inappropriate forms and lead people to embrace organizations and leaders whose destructive activities can be extreme. In the case of less pernicious groups, precious time and resources are squandered and the person may be left with a barren and cynical outlook. For this reason alone it is necessary that we judge the legitimacy of a group and its leader.'

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