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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 11, 2013 12:05AM

Strategic Rejection Strategic Selection

I was reading some material on a thread dedicated to faux Gurdjieff groups and began to suspect that some small group leaders enhance their power just as much by knowing whom to kick out from the group, as whom to recruit into the group.

First, an I am speaking of persons skillful at identifying people who are in adult bodies, who are intellectually and socially sophisticated, but emotionally still in early childhood.

Many of us are adult in some domains and in other areas still in childhood or can easily regress to that level. (Think of the last time you or someone you know went into a blinding fury when the computer malfunctioned. Pay close attention to what you remember of this episode. For a brief period, while still in an adult body, you may have re-visited psychological territory in early childhood. But.. you only landed there for a few minutes. What if you are in a crisis where, without realizing it, you're in that area for hours or days? Thats where we are all capable of becoming vulnerable.

A skillful spiritual countefeiter recruits from this pool of nice and vulnerable people, many of whom already equate spirituality with the total trust of childhood and refusal to fact-check.

Anyone who is a t skeptical adult is jeered at and written off as cynical and judgemental.

Spiritual counterfeiters devalue mature adults precisely because such persons are a threat to the operator' strategy. One skeptic can disrupt an entire group and so skeptics must be kept out of the recruitment pool or removed as soon as possible.

In some cases, once within a group, a formerly trustful and mallable disciple may, by following the counterfietier's guidance, make genuine progress--so much so that the person comes on the verge of outgrowing the counterfeiter, on the verge of seeing that the entire venture is bogus. A disciple who makes this kind of progress becomes undeserible to the counterfeiter and becomes a candidate for strategic rejection. More about this later.

Another strategy is to recruit those persons who will tolerate abuse and drive away anyone likely to protest such abuse. Some successful gurus will use vicious, provocative behavior, rationalize it as crazy wisdom. Anyone who puts up with it is a promising disciple. Anyone who is disgusted and leaves the room is someone the counterfeiter wants to see leave.

Another tactic is to present the teaching (and the guru's abuse) as something that can only be appreciated by persons 'ready for a challenge' 'strong enough to take it.' Anyone who is put off by nasty behavior is jeered at as 'weak', 'narcissistic', 'touchy feely' etc. This strategy works well on men and on women who want to be brave and venturesome.

A lot of us are ashamed of being weak, so we may let ourselves be recruited into a situation that is a theatre of cruelty. Ability to witness, inflict or rationalize guru cruelty is seen as a sign of being of an elite status, tough enough to take it. So is the abililty to endure the stress of lying and rationalizing guru behavior or business practices that are increasingly repugnant and perhaps illegal. One man who expressed dismay at the practices that led to the downfall of Enron was told his ethical concerns meant he didnt have what it takes to "Run with the big dogs". This mindset can be found in abusive groups.

Ken Wilber rationalizes it here with his screed on Rude Boy Gurus.


Others have spoken of Ken Wilber's Integral as a culture of abuse


Strategic Rejection.

This can take various forms. A friend who shows up shattered and seems unable to tell you what is happening--ask if someone told her or him to keep the situation a secret or if your pal feels a need to protect someone. Anyone who leaves another human in such pain should be talked about even between two friends over coffee.

I experienced a crude, unsophisticated form of strategic rejection when my leader abruptly cut me loose. After reading stuff from other members, I have come to suspect certain group leaders hone this 'strategic rejection' to a fine art.

In certain harmful groups strategic recruitment of especially vulnerable persons may be combined with what I choose to call strategic rejection.

When used together, these two ploys enhance each other and inflict such trauma that victims may never understand what was done to them.

And unless very perceptive, many mental health professionals may not be able to identify exactly how these survivors were traumatized.

I'm still grappling with how to express this process. It is subtle, and disables conscious insight.

I suffered a form of strategic rejection from my former leader and years later, when finally able to understand what was done to me, I summed it up:

'When it happened, I was in a state of mind that could not describe its own anguish.'

Severe, shattering trauma eludes insight because it hits us at two levels:

1) The adult level of conscious awareness

2) The level where thought processes and emotions are below conscious awareness and still operate as they do in early childhood.

When trauma is severe enough to have impacted both levels our wounded selves may shift wildly between an adults way of experiencing things and a child's way of experiencing things.

Our suffering is enhanced because we have difficulty accessing a stable part of ourselves that can and does integrate the child-level of functioning and the adult level of functioning.

Severe trauma of this kind can literally dis-orient this. Its like a visual field where objects are going in and out of focus, like a home movie that has been filmed using a camera held in a pair of trembling hands.

In such a condition, you can dread you're going crazy. And if an abusive guru leader suggested that you WERE crazy while he or she inflicted the trauma of Strategic Rejection, you're tempted to believe what he says--because you're still idealizing the person who is injuring you, and value his take on reality.

Here are some hunches how Strategic Rejection works. I hope more persons who have experienced this will come forward and describe the process--and especially what helped them recover.

Speculations Concerning Use of Strategic Rejection and Selective Recruitment

Strategic Rejection is a trauma that clobbers us both at the (adult) conscious and (childlike) unconscious levels. It may cause us to feel terrified of anything that could help us heal.

In Strategic Rejection, you're kicked out of a group (or scapegoated before being kicked out) precisely because you were actually getting healthy and were about to wake up and out-grow the group/guru.

The guru or bad boss may even have sensed your doubts, perhaps by noticing your body language no longer signified enthusiasm. Or you winced in growing dismay or boredom. Seeing this, the guru, feeling vindictive, decided it was time to shit you out.

But..when people are growing, they still need validation from a guru whom they believed was sincerely interested in helping them grow. After all, thats what the guru was saying. It wasnt just the subjects imagination.

So a self centered guru may talk fine words about wanting you to grow, but feel threatened (just as some parents do) when you do sincerely follow guru guidance and start growing -- and are about to either become more mature than the guru or (worse!) catch on that the guru has limitations or is even self centered.

So before the progressing student reaches that level of insight, the guru may find a way to not only reject the student but do it in such a way that the student can take no pleasure in any sense of progress.

THis is sadism.

One set up (and I witnessed this done to a friend) was that my friend was given a promotion and a raise.

A week later she was fired and given no reason why. I walked into her office minutes after she learned this news and she was shattered. Just as her joy and loyalty had been raised to new heights--she'd been shat out.

The person marked for rejection doesnt know, as this friend did not know, what was about to happen. The mark still idealizes the guru or the evil boss who is about to inflict this disorienting rejection, still values input and validation. An idealized image of the unworthy guru or boss is still internalized within the victim to be.

A person in this predicament is already You're 'half in and half out' of the group or gurus influence but dont realize this.The guru does, but you dont. The person who is half in and half out still idealizes the guru or leader who is about to inflict the blow.

A real teacher welcomes it when the student shifts from idealizing transferance to a realistic adult perception of the teacher. A real teacher doesnt want narcissistic affirmation from students--its an obstacle to genuine spiritual growth. A real teacher will encourage students to out-grow thier idealizing transferances, not stay stuck in them.

But an abusive spiritual teacher only wants students to idealize him, provide narcissistic affirmation and prop up the gurus false self. The abuse spiritual teacher vindictively punishes progress despite verbal claims of wanting students to progress

If that teacher senses that the student is on the verge of out-growing the idealizing transferance, the teacher will punish the student for such healthy maturation.

This makes you extremely vulnerable. You have made real progress but you do not yet know that your trusted teacher is getting ready to punish you for being on the verge of outgrowing him and seeing through his facade. Because you still idealize the group and guru, still trust the guru's take on reality more than your own reality, you'll be unable to trust your new knowledge when the the guru you idealize sudden turns a cruel, rejecting face in your direction.

In the instant that you're being covertly punished you're still idealizing the guru--so you cant defend yourself.

Similarity to Date Rape

Its a lot like the disabling shock reported by victims of date rape where a sweet wonderful person suddenly turns vicious and brutally assaults them. On the basis of past behavior, they reasonably formed an image of this person as a friend. The assailant prob, and go into shock and cant protect themselves when suddenly and brutally the assailant reveals he's not a friend at all, but a predator.

You still think the guru desires you to grow. What you do not yet know and are about to find out is that this particular guru is threatened by disciple's authentic growth--and will punish you for outgrowing him/her. Its like deliberately punishing a plant when the first petals begin to break the bud open.

The fake guru percieves your progress as abandonment, because you're no longer idealizing the guru.

If others are instructed to shun you after you are kicked out and you are never given an explanation, you are robbed of the social circle who validated your new experiences.

And because you still idealize the person who punished you for your growth, you cant imagine that perhaps this person demonstrated unworthiness as a teacher--that this person could only welcome student admiration and dependance, not student maturation toward autonomy and even loyal but insightful skepticism.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 11, 2013 12:08AM

More discussion here.

For persons who have been treated this way, reading memors by other survivors can be valuable. For some reason, occult, Gurdjieffian and badly run Sufi groups seem to do this sort of shunning.

"Leopardgirl" described such situation.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 12, 2013 10:21PM

Bhutan--"Shangri-La" Created by Exclusion of non Drukpas

Before anyone travels to Bhutan they may wish to read this first. Then decide for themselves what to do.

We have seen the pretty pictures of people wearing 'the traditional national clothes' of Bhutan. But, that is the garb of the Drukpa majority. All are required to wear it, whether Drukpas or not.

Shangr-La, or Construction of a Potemkin Village

From the Minorities at Risk report, quoted in full, below.


Ethnic conflict began to sharpen in Bhutan in 1985 when the citizenship law was retroactively applied. (Corboy italics)

Under this law, anyone born after 1958 who had only one Bhutanese parent had to apply for citizenship, demonstrate fluency in the national language of Dzongkha, and produce evidence of 15-20 years of residence in the country.

In 1988, the law was followed by a census to identify Bhutanese nationals. The census reclassified as "illegal" about 100,000 Nepalese who had arrived in recent decades. Many Lhotshampas were reported to be falsely registered for years as "southern Bhutanese" citizens.

In addition, a 1988 edict required Bhutanese to wear national dress on public occasions. Another enjoined a code of conduct based on Buddhist precepts and the teaching of Dzongkha, the national language, in schools. Schooling in the Nepali language was stopped in 1989. In 1990, many primary schools in southern areas heavily populated by ethnic Nepalese were (and still remain) closed. Today, discrimination is widely prevalent against Nepali-speaking Bhutanese in education, seeking employment and obtaining business licenses (ECDIS06 = 4).

Imagine if you are an American, being required to dress in Amish garb. If British, Irish, or lowland Scots, imagine being required by law to wear the Highland great kilt.

Corboy, and who sets the standards defining whether someone is is 'fluent' in Dozenogkha? The applicant may speak a colloquial version, and the examiner may be from the Drukpa aristocracy and consider only those speaking an upper class version of Dozenogkha to be 'fluent'. What if they discriminate against someone who doesnt have an upper class accent.? See the problems that can arise? Imagine some dictator establishing a national literacy test in say, the US. What would happen if someone from South Central Los Angeles came up for an exam conducted by an examiner who considered only Boston upper class spoken English to be acceptable?

From the "Minorities at Risk" website run by the Unversity of Maryland


Assessment for Lhotshampas in Bhutan
View Group Chronology

Bhutan Facts
Area: 46,620 sq. km.
Capital: Thimpu
Total Population: 1,908,000 (source: U.S. Census Bureau, est.)

Risk Assessment | Analytic Summary | References

Risk Assessment
The Lhotshampas have the following factors encouraging rebellion or protest: territorial concentration in southern Bhutan, where they constitute a majority of the population, and significant political, economic, and cultural discrimination. As of the end of 2006, the leaders of Nepal and Bhutan remained in talks regarding the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.


Analytic Summary
Bhutan, a land-locked territory the size of Switzerland, is located in the eastern Himalayas. The Wangchuck dynasty from the Drukpa ethnic group has ruled Bhutan since 1907. King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1952-72), considered the father of modern Bhutan, began a program to move the kingdom into the modern world from medieval seclusion. Although he retained strong executive powers, the King created several important institutions, including the National Assembly (1953), the Royal Advisory Council (1965), and the Council of Ministers (1968) to provide broader participation. Land and legal reforms were also initiated. His son expanded upon those policies while emphasizing Bhutan's traditions and seeking to limit Western influences on the small, isolated country. Bhutan crowned a new king, 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, and held its first parliamentary elections in 2008.

Bhutan's official population consists of two broad groupings -- the Drukpas of the north, the original inhabitants, and the Lhotshampas of the south (GROUPCON = 3), who are immigrants of Nepali origin (RACE = 1). Lhotshampas constitute approximately 35 percent of Bhutan’s total population and differ from the plurality Bhote (or Ngalung) linguistically (LANG = 1), culturally (CUSTOM = 1) and religiously (BELIEF = 2). At the turn of this century, some Nepalese were brought in as laborers while others migrated to the southern plains of Bhutan. As a one time only measure, in 1958, these immigrants were granted Bhutanese citizenship.

In 1952, ethnic Nepalese set up the Bhutan State Congress (BSC), reportedly following the example of Nepal's Congress Party. The BSC, Bhutan's first political party, pressed for democratization and the provision of citizenship rights and political representation for Nepali settlers. The Drukpa majority refers to this period as the "first anti-national revolt." The Congress parties in India and Nepal are alleged to have provided support to this Bhutanese campaign.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of Nepali laborers reportedly entered Bhutan and never left. Ethnic Nepalis were estimated to constitute around 30 percent of Bhutan's population by the 1980s. The Buddhist Drukpas began to fear that they would lose their majority status in the tiny kingdom. Two other events also likely heightened their perceptions. Nepali migration to the independent Himalayan state of Sikkim led this group to outnumber the Buddhist Sikkimese and was seen as critical in leading the state to become part of India in 1975. Further, an ethnic Nepalese campaign to establish a separate state in India arose in the mid-1980s (led by the Gurkha National Liberation Front). The Drukpa-dominated government worried that Bhutan would soon be faced with a similar situation.

Ethnic conflict began to sharpen in Bhutan in 1985 when the citizenship law was retroactively applied. Under this law, anyone born after 1958 who had only one Bhutanese parent had to apply for citizenship, demonstrate fluency in the national language of Dzongkha, and produce evidence of 15-20 years of residence in the country. In 1988, the law was followed by a census to identify Bhutanese nationals. The census reclassified as "illegal" about 100,000 Nepalese who had arrived in recent decades. Many Lhotshampas were reported to be falsely registered for years as "southern Bhutanese" citizens.

In addition, a 1988 edict required Bhutanese to wear national dress on public occasions. Another enjoined a code of conduct based on Buddhist precepts and the teaching of Dzongkha, the national language, in schools. Schooling in the Nepali language was stopped in 1989. In 1990, many primary schools in southern areas heavily populated by ethnic Nepalese were (and still remain) closed. Today, discrimination is widely prevalent against Nepali-speaking Bhutanese in education, seeking employment and obtaining business licenses (ECDIS06 = 4).

Bhutanese language laws require the use of Drukpa for all official purposes and positions, and these laws also explicitly ban the use of Napalese in education, business, and government. Moreover, the Nepalese names of places in southern Bhutan have been replaced officially with Drukpa names (CULPO206 = 3). While Bhutanese law allows for freedom of religion, the Bhutanese government restricts this right in practice, recognizing only one official religion: Buddhism, specifically the Drukpa Kargupa sect. For instance, as the U.S. State Department noted recently: "The King declared that major Hindu festivals were national holidays, and the royal family participated in them. However,...NGOs reported that permission from the Government to build a Hindu temple was required but rarely granted" (CULPO106 = 2).

Growing discontent among the Nepalese led to the formation of the opposition Bhutan People's Party (BPP). The BPP dismisses the validity of the National Assembly claiming that they are under-represented and that the Assembly is not democratically elected. The BPP has called for a constitutional monarchy to be established. It also seeks multi-party democracy, amendments to the citizenship act, including an end to the 1958 cutoff, abolition of the traditional judicial system, and the right to preserve Nepali dress, language and culture including the right to carry the traditional knife, the khukri.

Clashes between the Nepalese and government forces during the early 1990s, widespread human rights abuses against the Nepalese by state security forces, and the forced expulsion of large numbers of Nepalese under the country's citizenship law led to a large-scale exodus from Bhutan's southern region. Around 90,000 Nepalis remain in refugee camps in Nepal while another 30,000 are in India awaiting a return to Bhutan. Some analysts refer to this period as an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Nepalese. Bhutanese citizenship laws continue to deny citizenship to Lhotsampas and thus largely exclude them from the political system (POLDIS06 = 4).

Both Nepal and Bhutan (whose foreign and security policies are determined by India based on a 1949 agreement) are within the Indian sphere of influence. Although dissidents say Indian support is crucial, New Delhi has not pressed Wangchuck to institute political reforms. The reason could be Delhi's shared fear about a "Greater Nepal" bringing together close to 30 million Nepali speakers in the Himalayas -- 20 million in Nepal, over 8 million inside Indian borders and the rest in Bhutan. In recent years, India itself has "pushed back" 25,000 Nepalese who were illegally living in Assam and other northeastern states.

Doubts remain as to whether ethnic Nepalese in Bhutan will soon experience an improvement in their political, cultural, or economic status. In July 1998, the King instituted some political reforms, including giving the national assembly the legal power to call a no-confidence vote against him. However, the government also tightened restrictions on the employment of Nepalis in the civil sector and began resettling northerners on land that belongs to Lhotshampa refugees. There are limited reports about some unrest in the south, often attributed to the Bhutan People’s Party, but given the closed nature of Bhutanese society, it is not possible to get a clear picture of these events.

The future of the 120,000 Bhutanese refugees who have spent most of the past decade in Nepali or Indian camps also remains bleak. Since 1996, the refugees have held numerous demonstrations and hunger strikes to press for their repatriation and the institutionalization of democracy in Bhutan. The Indian government's continual refusal to allow the refugees to cross its territory to return to Bhutan is viewed by some as a sign of India's position on the issue. To date, New Delhi says the issue should be resolved bilaterally and thus has refused calls to mediate.

In 2001-2003, Nepal and Bhutan held several rounds of negotiations to discuss the refugee issue. After years of deadlock, in 2001, the two countries agreed to intensify the process of verifying and repatriating Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. At the same time, Bhutan maintains that most of the refugees are not legitimate citizens. In addition, there are continued reports of the resettlement of Bhutanese people on land that formerly belonged to the Lhotshampas. This will be formidable block to the successful repatriation of the refugees.

In 2003, Nepal announced that thousand of refuges will start returning to Bhutan in early 2004. This apparent breakthrough should, however, be viewed with skepticism. Several human rights organizations have condemned the process of refugee screening as a serious violation of international and human rights norms. Under the complicated scheme of ethnic classification, only about 2.5 percent of the refugees were placed in category I and therefore eligible for repatriation to Bhutan. An additional 70 percent, under Category II, would be required to reapply for Bhutanese citizenship. Approximately 24 per cent will have their citizenship rejected, and the rest classified as criminals. Only about 9,000 refugees will be allowed to return to Bhutan, leaving the majority stateless.

Unless more concrete steps are taken to address both the refugee situation and democratic reforms in Bhutan, the possibility of increasing violence cannot be ruled out.


Asiaweek. Various reports. 1990-97.

Dahlburg, John-Thor. 12/23/1995. "Bhutan: A Shangri-La No Longer?." The Los Angeles Times.

Keesings Record of World Events. Various reports. 1990-95.

LexisNexis. Various reports. 1985-2006.

Rizal, Dhurba. 2004. "The Unknown Refugee Crisis: Expulsion of the Ethnic Lhotsampa from Bhutan." Asian Ethnicity 5:2.

Sinha, A.C., "Bhutan in 1994: Will the Ethnic Conflict be Resolved?", Asian Affairs, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1995.

U.S. State Department. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bhutan." 2000-2006.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 12, 2013 10:24PM

Bhutan--Know Before You Purchase the Entry Visa, Plane Ticket and Daily Tourist Fees.

By all means, go if you want to. But you will be paying a lot of money to go to Bhatan. So you deserve to know the backstory before ponying up that money.

Bhutan--more information on the people who paid the price for the construction of this alleged Buddhist kingdom.



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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: newfuture ()
Date: May 18, 2013 09:46AM

Fascinating...This 'strategic rejection' is exactly what happened to me in landmark.

I had an older woman there who declared herself my 'mentor' (a label which I did not accept). She even declared herself to be a new type of 'mother' to me - which I also did not accept since I already have a mother who is alive and well and who I'm close to, and I have no need for another especially not someone who I don't even know from Adam.

When I was not complying with her wishes to dominate me and to control me and my life (she literally wanted me to go to her for every single life decision which I refused to do), she said to me 'I love you but I do not like you' which was intended to make me feel bad. Then without telling me she switched me over to another 'mentor' (again another attempt at rejection) and acted as if I'd done something to offend her for which she was punishing me, although she never told me what this was.

She gave me the silent treatment and shunned me for a while, all of which I found to be very immature and juvenile, not to mention extremely bizarre. I was just left thinking "what the f**k is going on here? this woman is crazy." especially when this was a 60 year old woman and I'm half her age. I thought it was just pathetic behavior from an older person who was obviously playing some kind of strange mind game with a younger person who she had expected to idealize her and didn't.

In the end, after much verbal abuse and attempts to psychologically manipulate me (which I found very disturbing), she said "I just cannot make a difference with you". Although she thought saying this would make me feel bad, I simply took it to mean that she was admitting that she could not break my spirit. At that moment, I knew she'd lost whatever game she had been playing with me although I couldn't have said at the time precisely what that game was (and now I have the terminology for it: strategic rejection!)

Unfortunately the strategic rejection technique which she was trying out on me didn't work because: 1) i didn't like her either and thought she was crazy and 2) I don't seek other people's acceptance so her rejection was meaningless. I can imagine though that for those who are looking for acceptance/validation from others, this would be very hurtful and destabilizing.

I must admit though that I did find it disturbing because I could see that it was some kind of mind game and it was very odd to me that someone would think this was an appropriate way to behave. I didn't realize at the time that this is just part of her own and landmark's modus operandi, and I wouldn't be surprised if apart from just being a natural bitch she was also being coached in this from someone higher up.

However, it was clear to me at the time - and even now - that she thought that if she acted in this way, I'd say sorry, would go back to her and comply with her wishes. Which didn't happen.

Instead I felt a huge sense of relief that she was far away from me and this is part of what led to me just leaving the whole nonsense.

It's very sad that people act like this. I'm glad that I don't naturally seek external validation/acceptance and more driven by my internal values because if I did, I'd have been a wreck by now.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 19, 2013 06:47AM

You are lucky you didnt take her seriously.

In my twenties I was put through a lot of this stuff and I just didnt have the street smarts to set boundaries.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 05, 2013 10:52PM

Posted in the comments section on What Enlightement Blogspot


The list of warning signs I got was:

– Has a superior attitude.
– Excludes members of any race or cultural group.
– Expresses an us-vs.-them point of view: “They’re out to get us” or “We’re better”.
– Is bigoted.
– Is shortsighted.
– Is attacking or violent.
– Is insensitive.
– Is overly serious.
– Has a “Do what I say, not what I do” point of view.
– Drinks heavily or consumes lots of drugs.
– Is ingratiating.
– Is controlling.
– Makes you wrong or an outcast for questioning.
– Teaches by belittling or making you an example in front of everyone.
– Wants lots of money up front.
– Has assistants or senior students who act inappropriately in your view and whom you are expected to obey.
– Believes the form of ritual is more important than the results.
– Pretends to be perfect.
– Is overly idealistic, not practical.

Any of these, on a regular basis -- avoid.

Corboy will add a few more:

If you are kept waiting half an hour past the start of the lecture, get up and get out, no matter how much you paid or how famous the person is, or even if your dearest friend or boss is pleading with you to stay. Keeping people waiting is a power play and can mess up your bed time.

If its an event for a humanitarian cause but the focus seems to drift to the charisma of the heroic humanitarian giving the talk, be careful. These folks can get addicted to attention and celebrity. If someone like this runs late, and then shows up with an aw shucks disorganized charm--dont buy it. Someone who acts like a late, charming child is not responsible enough to run a humanitarian aid organization or responsibly oversee the thousands or millions of dollars donated to it.

People are made to wait in line and claims are made there is a shortage of seats. This builds craving. In a well organized set up, there should not be a shortage of seats and should not be a clusterfuck in the parking lot, either.

Shows up late for lectures or sessions, but viciously rebukes students who cannot arrive on time. Making people wait is an insult. And a power play. Dont fall for it.

Refuses to tell you what will happen at workshops.

If you want to leave, scowling people are at the exit doors.

Lecture starts late and you risk being kept past your bedtime. Even mild disruption of sleep routine can throw people off balance.

You are pressured to turn in your laptop or cell phone. Dont do it. Leave.

Even if you find you travelled to a strange city or retreat center--LEAVE if anything like this goes on.

Finally, deep in middle age, I can offer this:

My being unable to stay up past 10 pm and needing 8 hours of sleep to function has saved me from a lot of trouble.

It hasnt protected me from everything--but it has protected me from a lot. Many bad causes try to interfere with your sleep wake cycle.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 07, 2013 10:01PM

From a discussion site for ex members of Prem Rawat (formerly Guru Maharaj - Ji)



I think Nigel hit the nail right on the head with his assertion that the most toxic belief of premies is that they have an experience which is not dependent on belief.

Every experience is run through our belief system to see what meaning can be associated with it. There's no other route to meaning. Is there?

(Corboy--the term for this in cognitive science may be 'transderivational search'. Humans are pattern seekers)

Premies have learned to associate good experiences with Rawat, or 'Knowledge', and bad experiences with 'being in their minds', or whatever the jargon is currently. Since they deny the fundamental role of belief, they believe that their experience is direct, uninterpreted, 'pure'. They believe that they know something that is beyond belief. Which I guess is something they have in common with all religious fundamentalists.

I too used to believe that my 'experience of Knowledge' was so fundamental as to be beyond belief. Now that I have dropped that belief, my good experiences and bad experiences continue, without the need for evaluating them using Rawat's fundamentally flawed spiritual measuring system.

(Corboy note: Fill in some other guru or Pir/Sheikh's name here. Many do this same thing)



I think Nigel hit the nail right on the head with his assertion that the most toxic belief of premies is that they have an experience which is not dependent on belief.

Yeah, I totally agree with Nigel. I think it's important to know and understand how that happens in destructive cults.

The whole point of the Rawat belief system is that it is not dependent upon belief or religious ritual (that was true even in the 70s) because Rawat's got the exclusive route to "that experience" which only he can explain, impart, and control, with the result being that a premie becomes indoctrinated (coercive persuasion, mind/thought control or reform, brainwashing) to the point they can say (and believe their own words when they say it): "I don't believe anything, I know -- through my experience of Knowledge."

It's starts with the constant repetition of hearing Rawat say the same things over and over, with the use of calming music and beautiful natural scenes that can eventually cause a vulnerable person to make those particular language associations, and even the natural scenes, to Rawat. It's a classic cult tactic to recruit and retain. Interesting is that Rawat continues to use instrumental music in some videos of Arti and other older devotional songs that would never be sung in the current day. Those evoke in older premies the "old days" when open worship of him was common.

Every experience is run through our belief system to see what meaning
can be associated with it. There's no other route to meaning. Is there?

True, under normal circumstances. But, what Rawat and other cult leaders do is reinvent the language by loading words and phrases with new meanings and associations, that, when successful, terminate logical thought and critical thinking.

The most problematic circumstance is when premies continue to listen to Rawat repetitiously, because they try to meditate on the breath which puts them in a trance
state. Then they likely go under the sheet for the full boat. That's how this cult leader controls the minds of his followers. And that's why I never, ever recommend the K techs for anyone, especially those who are trying to extract themselves from that cult.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 08, 2013 09:20PM




The air of paradox, however, is merely what Dennett calls (in conversation) a “
deepity,” a claim that appears profound but is in fact a superficial equivocation.


Dan Dennett talks about purposely-confusing theology and how it's used. He also
describes his new project interviewing clergyman who secretly don't believe
anymore, and introduces a new term: "Deepity."



Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Pseudo-profundity - from "Believing Bullshit"


Pseudo-profundity is the art of sounding profound while talking tosh. Unlike the art of actually being profound, the art of sounding profound is not particularly difficult to master. As we’ll see, there are certain basic recipes that can produce fairly convincing results – good enough to convince others, and perhaps even yourself, that you have gained some sort of profound insight into the human condition.

If you want to achieve the status of a guru it helps to have some natural charisma and presentational skills. Sincerity, empathy, or at least the ability to fake them, can be useful. Props also help. Try wearing a loincloth, a fez, or, in a business setting, a particularly brash waistcoat. But even without the aid of such natural talents or paraphernalia, anyone can produce deep- and meaningful-sounding pronouncements if they are prepared to follow a few simple recipes.



Contradict yourself

A second technique is to select words with opposite or incompatible meanings and cryptically combine them in what appears to be a straightforward contradiction. Here are a few examples:

Sanity is just another kind of madness
Life is a often a form of death
The ordinary is extraordinary

Such sentences are interpretable in all sorts of ways and can easily appear profound. In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, two of the three slogans of the Party have this character:

War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength

If you’re an aspiring guru, why not produce your own contradictory remarks? The great beauty of such comments is that they make your audience do the work for you. Their meaning is not for you, the guru, to say – it’s for your followers to figure out. Just sit back, adopt a sage-like expression, and let them do the intellectual labour.

The thought that contradiction is a mark of profundity sometimes crops up in a religious context. Non-believers will suppose contradictions within a religious doctrine reveal that it contains falsehoods. The faithful are likely to take the same contradictions as a mark of profundity. Contradictions have other advantages too. A series of simple, unambiguous claims is easy to refute. Not so a series of such cryptic remarks. So, if you’re planning to start your own religion and want to say things that will both appear profound and also be invulnerable to criticism, try making a series of contradictory pronouncements. Assert, but then deny. For example, say that your particular god is. And yet, he is not. Your god is everything, and yet nothing. He is one, and yet he is many. He is good. But then again he isn’t.

I found this term 'deepity' in a discussion on a freethought blog offered by Indians and Desis.

Here is a discussion thread.



Deepity" has such a nice ring to it. I'm reminded of a comment by Sri-squared Ravi Shankar in a video posted in one of the forums here:

"You don't use breath. Breath uses you."

I think that qualifies as a deepity too?

Corboy note: It is easy to manufacture this stuff.

What one does is, in an audience of adults, covertly change from use of asymmetrical logic to symmetrical logic. One needs asymmetrical logic to make distinction between self and other, and to create thought models of causality and passage of time.

Here is an essay from on a concept termed bi-logic. It was a model developed in the 1970s and some psychoanalysts continue to use it today.



he Unconscious as Infinite Sets: An Essay in Bi-Logic
Home > Library > Health > Psychoanalysis Dictionary
In The Unconscious as Infinite Sets: An Essay in Bi-Logic, a major work published in 1975, Ignacio Matte-Blanco introduced an important modification of Freud's notion of the unconscious. His purpose was to save the notion from being progressively forgotten in contemporary psychoanalytic developments. The author refused to consider the unconscious as chaotic (Freud, 1933a [1932]). If a characteristic form of functioning, like the primary process (the processes of the id), may be described as belonging to the unconscious system, then, he thought, one can discover a different organization for it than the one ruling the conscious system. Grounded in this idea, Matte-Blanco studied the logical principles that would allow systematic unconscious violations of classical, asymmetric logic, the basis of consciousness.

Unconscious logic rises from two principles: the principle of generalization and the principle of symmetry. The principle of generalization, also present in classical logic, postulates that in the unconscious each entity is treated as part of a set with other elements, this set being treated in turn as a subset of a greater set, and so forth. Entities are distinguished one from the other and grouped together again through abstraction of their similarities. The second principle is that in the unconscious, asymmetrical relations are selectively treated as if they were symmetrical (Rayner, 1995), with the result that relations of succession and contiguity, like time and three-dimensional space, disappear. A part can equal the whole, and similarities can be transformed into identities.

The unconscious is conceptualized as an aggregate of infinite sets. According to the definition of the mathematician Richard Dedekind (1831-1916), infinite sets are those in which a specific subset, for example, the even numbers, can be placed in a one-to-one correspondence with the whole set—for example, the set of natural numbers. The part is equal to the whole.

Symmetrical logic is the expression of a symmetrical system, according to which reality is a homogenous and indivisible whole. Asymmetrical logic is the manifestation of an asymmetrical system, where reality divides into parts. In states of intense emotion, the experience and logic of the symmetrical system are dominant, so for the mind, the emotional object is infinite and is also part of an infinite set.

Matte-Blanco succeeded in formalizing (or mathematizing) the study of the unconscious. He discovered a startling isomorphism among the emotional, the unconscious, and infinite logic (Bria and Durst, 1992).

Source Citation

Matte-Blanco, Ignacio. (1975). The unconscious as infinite sets: An essay in bi-logic. London: Duckworth.


Bria, Pietro, and Durst, Margarete. (1992). Ignacio Matte Blanco (Portrait). In A. Negri (Ed.), Novecento filosofico e scientifico. Protagonisti (Vol. 3, pp. 409-443). Marzorati: Milano.

Freud, Sigmund. (1933a [1932]). New introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. SE, 22: 1-182.

Rayner, Eric. (1995). Unconscious logic: An introduction to Matte Blanco's bi-logic and its uses. London: Routledge.


The Unconscious as Infinite Sets: An Essay in Bi-Logic

I first encountered a discussion of bi-logic in a chapter describing thought processes of custodians who justify violations of boundaries.

In early childhood, we can deal only with symmetrical logic. We are not yet able to distinguish between self and other, between actor and object being acted upon by the actor.

We slip to symmetrical logic as adults if we become sufficiently stressed out, when in dream states. Artists may be able to access this state. And some have suggested that slippage into symmetric logic is characteristic of 'trance logic' a state in which a formerly conscious responsible adult become unable to notice boundaries, or feel concerned with contradictions because, in symmetric logic, one cannot distinguish between subject/object, or distinguish between self and other.

One can be walking about in this state, look 'normal' yet in an imporant sector of one's mind, be in a state of early childhood. Unconsciouness.

Or one can talk as if one is in such a state by uttering deepities, by taking assymeterical logical statements and converting them to symmetrical statements.

A = A

As we grow older we become capable of formal operational logic and can use assymetrical logic.

A not equal to B.

Actor and object acted upon become distinguishable. We become capable of thinking in terms of longer and longer chains of cause and effect.

"You exhale breath"

You (subject) exhale (verb) breath (noun, object of the verb 'exhale')

This is assymmetrical logic.

By the rules of Aristotelian logic (which I suggest for the purpose of this mini essay is the deep structure of the adult Western modern mind)

It violates logical rules to assert "Breath exhales you".

If someone utters such a sentence (especially amid guru theatre props)

such an utterance may fit Dennett's criterion for a 'deepity'.

All one has done is come up with a sentence that violates the rules of Aristotelian logic. may by mimicking the symmetrical logic used in unconscious though, bring adults right into a light trance.

This last is a hunch on my part.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 08, 2013 09:30PM


Adding some scientific jargon or references can be particularly useful in lending your ramblings further fake authority and gravitas. Many purveyors of pseudo-profundity have learned the insight expressed by the great 19th Century scientist James Clerk Maxwell that such

is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase.

References to quantum mechanics are particularly popular among peddlers of pseudo-scientific claptrap. Quantum mechanics is widely supposed to make weird claims, and hardly anyone understands it, so if you start spouting references to it in support of your own bizarre teachings, people will assume you must be very clever and probably won’t realize that you are, in fact, just bullshitting. So perhaps, if you’re feeling ambitious, put on another seminar entitled “Positive Attitudinal Energies And Quantum Mechanics”.

Corboy note: Cognitive scientists and neurologists are now becoming chic. Books are appearing written by brain scientists and physicians having spiritual crises and then writing about it.

If such a book is taken up and marketed heavily for the new age/inspirational lecture and its author consents to become an inspirational speaker, run a fact check.

Its so much more fun to go before audiences already eager to believe, versus dealing with crusty colleagues who treat you as an equal.

If anyone

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