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Humans are wired to have experiences-via non gurus
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 09, 2013 05:41AM

"If, as I have suggested, that anybody can act as a conduit for such (seemingly)other-worldly experiences, then Kirpal and gurus like him should be judged on some other criteria, since their claims for uniqueness and exclusiveness are anything but unique and exclusive."

Humans are influenceable by the social manipulation used in Large Group Awareness Trainings.

Here is something worth examining. *Even without* the powerful impact of being in an LGAT set up, just a few minor suggestions can elicit reports of subjective auditory and visual experiences.

David C Lane tells us how, without using LGAT tech, and with only his authority as a mere classroom teacher, he could potently influence people.

If Lane had found a way to *add* LGAT tech, he could have turned these people into his slaves.

But he was ethical and did not do so.


It turns out that almost everybody has the inherent ability to see inner light and hear inner sound. Moreover, almost everybody has the capacity to have an out-of-body experience and behold wondrous inner visions. You don't need to go to an Indian guru to have such experiences indeed, you don't need to go anywhere at all.

But that's not what Kirpal Singh and his successors told their vast following. Instead, unsuspecting seekers(who number in the thousands) were taught to believe that it was the guru himself, not the disciple, who was orchestrating the elevation of the soul into higher regions. But Kirpal and crew were not being completely forthcoming about the mechanism which governs access to such amazing sights and sounds. That mechanism is the brain and that three pounds of glorious tissue is the lot of all humans.

In the early 1980s when I was teaching religious studies at a Catholic high school, I tried several meditation experiments with my students which convinced me that Kirpal Singh and other gurus like him were taking undue credit for their disciples' inner experiences. In my trial mediation sessions, I informed my students beforehand about the possibility of seeing inner lights and hearing inner sounds.

Naturally, given the boring routine of secondary education, my students were intrigued. I informed them that I knew of an ancient yoga technique that would facilitate their inner voyages. I turned the lights off, instructed them briefly about closing their eyes gently and looking for sparks of light at the proverbial third eye. I told them that I would touch some students on the forehead lightly with my fingers. They meditated for some five minutes. I then proceeded to ask them about their experiences.

[Kirpal Singh invariably did such a process directly after his initiation ceremonies; he also kept a running tally of how many saw stars and so on-something which I have called the 'Kirpal Statistic'.]

To my amazement, since I felt that Kirpal Singh and others were actually transmitting spiritual power, the majority of my students reported seeing light. A few students even claimed to have visions of personages in the middle of the light. Others reported hearing subtle sounds and the like.

I repeated the experiment on four other classes that day. I have also in the past ten years conducted the same experiment on my college students (both undergraduate and graduate). The result, though differing in terms of absolute numbers, is remarkably the same. The majority see and hear something. It doesn't take a neuropsychologist or a sociologist trained in statistics to realize that Kirpal Singh and others were simply tapping into an already built reservoir of meditational possibilities.

What was unique about Kirpal's approach, at least in comparison with other Radhasoami gurus, was that he claimed to be the responsible agent, the medium through which such inner experiences can be transmitted. Kirpal's disciples generally did not question his grandiose claims, since many of them did indeed see and hear something during their meditation. What they, of course, did not fully appreciate was that almost anybody could have induced them to have inner experiences.

[I don't mean to suggest, though, that Kirpal Singh was not a good catalyst, but only that he was not unique and that his success at providing thousands with access to inner lights and sounds was not necessarily connected to his mastership.]

Religious devotees seem overly eager to give up responsibility for their own neurological happenings, believing instead that it takes a 'Master' to draw their attention 'within.' This may or may not be the case (and I am not implying that gurus don't have anything good to offer), but one thing is certain: Kirpal's claims, and others like his, cannot be divorced (as they often are in Sant Mat related groups ) from an initiates own cultural and psychological field of interplay.

It is that interplay, that acceptance as fact of a guru's method and the disciple's own inherent capacity-neurological or mystical-for inner experiences, which fuels the claims of would-be masters.

It seems wise to me, in light of Near-Death Experiences and the plethora of other meditation accounts, to inspect how we see and hear during our inner voyages of light and sound. Then we may be able to understand why such experiences can occur to almost anybody, anywhere, anytime. It may also help us contextualize and appraise the claims of gurus like Kirpal Singh, who insist on taking credit for their disciples' wondrous visions.

If, as I have suggested, that anybody can act as a conduit for such other-worldly experiences, then Kirpal and gurus like him should be judged on some other criteria, since their claims for uniqueness and exclusiveness are anything but unique and exclusive.

The 'Kirpal Statistic' is exactly that: the probable outcome that the majority of meditators, provided the necessary instructions in Shabd or Nad yoga practice, will see and hear something.

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So if you see adverts for a guru who produces visions
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 09, 2013 05:48AM your money, time and freedom.

Our own minds can generate some amazing theater.

I have had one or two inner voice experiences and a sort of mental vision that would have been great fun to convert to an artwork.

Neither of these was triggered by use of drugs. All seemed to be triggered by stress.

If some authority figure had claimed to produce these, I would probably have believed it. But because I was by myself, I knew these were endogenously triggered.

And I never felt a need to build a career or get these validated.

THe take home lesson is that the human body and nervous system can generate some quite amazing things--whether in dreams when asleep, or these visions and auditory happenings when awake.

There is no need to give your life and adult agency into the ownership of some authority figure just because you had one of these.

Thats like claiming the midwife created and owns your baby.

At best, the midwife helps you give birth. But he or she doenst own you or your child.

Any midwife who claimed to create and own every infant he or she delivers would land in trouble.

Dont let a guru or workshop leader claim ownership of you or your creativity.

You can be grateful to the person. But that doenst require you to grovel and become a slave.

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Anger Checklist - How to tell if you are in a bad situation
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 04, 2014 12:46PM

This is from a website for surviving infidelity. But it is transferable to other situations, too, especially set ups where direct acknowledgement or communitcation of anger is frowned upon.

In some situations, this may be a clue that someone else, such as a friemd. leader or boss, is hiding anger.


(partial quote - entire article well worth reading)

The Healing Library
Checklist For Hidden Anger - by cd103

If we have any natural fault, it is hiding our own anger from ourselves. Here is a checklist to help you determine if you are hiding your anger from yourself. Any of these is usually a sign of hidden unexpressed anger.

Procrastination in the completion of imposed tasks.

Perpetual habitual lateness.

A liking for sadistic or ironic humor.

Sarcasm, cynicism or flippancy in conversation.

Over-politeness, constant cheerfulness, attitude of "grin and bear it".

Frequent sighing.

Smiling while hurting.

Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams.

Over-controlled monotones speaking voice.

(Corboy note: Some might use a chirpy or perky tone to conceal anger)

Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleep through the night.

Boredom, apathy, loss of interest in things you are usually enthusiastic about.

Slowing down of movements.

Getting tired more easily than usual.

Excessive irritability over trifles.

Getting drowsy at inappropriate times.

Sleeping more than usual - maybe 12 to 14 hours a day.

Waking up tired rather than rested and refreshed.

Clenched jaws- especially while sleeping.

Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching and similar repeated physical acts done unintentionally or unaware.

Grinding of the teeth- especially while sleeping.

(Corboy: One may have jaw joint pain. In extreme cases, this may lead to chronic tooth grinding. Your dentist may mention this. If long term, tooth grinding can lead to dental stress and cracked, easily broken teeth)

Chronically stiff or sore neck.

chronic depression-extended periods of feeling down for no reason.

Stomach ulcers.

(Corboy note: Persons with diabetes may find themselves having difficulty regulating blood sugar levels, despite conscientious adherance to diet, exercise and medication. A diabetes educator once told me that her hospital
spent the first week of diabetes education teaching patients how to identify and manage stress levels and obtain good sleep -- thats how important this is.)

Everybody has his own bodily signals indicating current on-the-spot anger. Look for yours: Friends and relatives might be helpful, since they may be aware of your irritation before you are, and may be able to tell you how they can tell, when you are upset.

Some common signals are:

Clamming up;


Shortening of breath;

Drumming with fingers;

Foot tapping;

Shaking or twisting;

Laughing when nothing amusing is happening;

Patting or stroking the back of the head;

Clenching jaws or fists;

Tucking a thumb inside a fist;

Yawning or getting drowsy;

(Corboy: in extreme cases, a person who dislikes a situation, wants to escape and cannot admit this may go so far as to fall asleep.)

Suddenly refusing eye contact with another person;


Apologizing when none is asked for;

A pain in the neck, gut or back;


A rise in voice pitch.

(Corboy this can indicate not only that someone is angry; in some cases, a sudden rise in voice pitch can indicate the person is also lying.)

The list is interminable. Try to find out what your signals are. If you find yourself depressed or blue and don't know why - think back over the past twenty-four hours and try to figure out who did something to anger you. (Depression is usually the result of repressed anger. )

Again, these are a few excerpts from an excellent article.


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Indian social scientists discuss ashrams
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 07, 2014 01:06AM

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A Dog Is As Good As It's Master - Observations of a Darshan
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 11, 2014 12:49AM

Excerpt from an article by Brad Warner originally posted on Suicide Girls website



Brad Warner attended a darshan event by Amma some years ago. A former Amma devotee named Marnie quoted this section of the article.

"The scariest part of the whole thing to me was the men standing around her (Ammachi)transfixed just like dogs ready to obey their master. The expressions on their faces were just like the expressions you see on a Doberman waiting for its master to say "fetch" or "kill."

"A dog is only as good as its master.

"the master tells the dog to fetch the paper, it fetches the paper. If the master tells the dog to maul the black man who just moved in next
door, it mauls the black man.

"The dog's only criteria is pleasing its master. It has no will or moral center of its own.

"Blind obedience is never a good thing, even when it's directed at a supposedly "good" person.""

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The Hidden Agenda of Mantra Meditation - Bronte Baxter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 20, 2014 11:32PM

(Caution - anyone who is devoted to his or her religion may find the linked article quite challenging, perhaps even upsetting. Read at own risk.)

In case anyone is interested, here is an article in which the author, Bronte Baxter, asks very serious questions about the actual implications of mantra
(aka chanting, japa, dhikr)

The author uses different terminology and classification than skpetics might use. But Bronte's questions are valid. Use of chanting and mantra (aka japa, dhikr, bhakti, kirtan, bhajans) affects people.

Blowing the Whistle, Chpt. 1: The Hidden Agenda of Mantra Meditation

What I expected to see when I came back to the Fairfield scene after 20 years
away from Transcendental Meditation was a group of mainstay meditators ... the-gods-alive-and-well-and-working-towards-the-new-world-order/ - 192k - Cached - Similar pages

Suppose we consider heavy duty chanting and matra-ing as a form of sorcery, a way to get a crowd to become energy donors.

By contrast with the years long relationships many forge with gurus, a rock concert - a rock concert is time limited.

Yet look at how passionately followers devote themselves to their favorite musicians.

At least some rock musicians have been frank about their interests in power and magic.

Suppose we dare look at the Rock star guru tradition of India and as exported to the West. Let us ponder whether it could be sorcery dressed in white or colored robes -- and with a support team of PR consultants, accountants, investment advisors and a legal team.

Why should anyone need to monopolize our attention in this totalistic manner?

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A loose list of things to watch for if invited to get involved
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 06, 2014 12:32AM

Spartacus gave this thread a great power tool by using information
on Bronte Baxter's site to compare SGI with Transcendental Meditation


I can offer some additions (I nearly misstyped it as 'addictions')

Things to watch out for:

Stuff to watch out for if your friend is in a group or you are urged to join.

***A guru who is, according to biographical information, in his or her 70s or 80s but looks smooth faced and younger by two decades. A guru who needs plastic surgery is still in the grip of ego -- and high maintainance.

*A guru who has CPAs and a PR strategy. Avoid. If a formerly humble and unpretentious guru acquires these -- leave.

**The first lectures are free. Okay. Those lecture, the room rental, the printed literature, internet site, the posters -- all those cost something. Where'd that money come from for all those free classes?

Eventually YOU will have to pay for it. Remember this. You may be told the guru lives humbly. Maybe now. But later the guru may want an ashram or already have a big ashram.

*A guru who wears a lot of fashionable clothing or gold and is always surrounded by an entourage. If the guru has kids or relatives, they may need pampering, too. (Private schools, Harvard, Stanford, ski vacations, expensive weddings, etc)

**Does the guru bliss people out? What is the price of this bliss? Are people being beaten up by gangs by teh guru's followers at home in India? Thats the price for the bliss you are enjoying, safe in the US at the guru's event.

Look things up. See if in his or her home country, the guru or group is part of a political agenda and what its beliefs and behavior is. Do you agree with that political programme? In Asia, gurus especially when rich, become involved in political patronage. Look all this up before you get involved.

*What can someone who lives with an entourage teach all of us who run our own errands? Even if the founding guru lived in simplicity in an ashram and still was waited on, hand and foot, that person is still living as a wealthy person. The rest of us dont have entourages.

A celibate guru urges followers to marry, get good jobs and have kids. This is quite a departure from Indian (and most Asian traditions) which mandated spiritual quest for renunciates.

That means two things:

**Disciples usually return to their home countries in the West. They dont stay around at the ashram and become a drag on its resources. Back in the West by following Gurus instructions to become householders, marry, get good jobs and have kiddies, they are kept busy. Morale is boosted by guru study groups and letters. They earn money. They are tied to family life and less likely to go live 24-7 at the gurus ashram in India and become a drag on resources. Its better for members to build their assets in their home countries. Why? Because Australian and US dollars, Euros, Swiss Francs and British Pound Sterling have vastly greater purchasing power than Indian rupees.

The guru can come to these countries for visits and bring hard currency back to India -- and with increased purchasing power buy political support and buy gold and real estate.

* Big building projects. They become money-pits. Two, when you slave away to donate money and labor for that fancy ashram or sanctuary -- watch out. Once it is built, you may no longer be able to see the guru -- who will remind you that you are being egotistical to feel disappointed at guru's lack of gratitude.

When a guru (whether Hindu, Buddhist, Christian or Sufi (fake Sufi, genuine Sufi makes no diffence) acquires a fancy ashram -- all too often favoritism crystalises. Who is allowed into the sanctum and who is not? Who gets the best appointment slots for access to the music studio for recording a ghazal or kirtan or chant one has composed? Whoever is in favor, thats who.

And whowever is in favor can change at any time. Palaces bring problems.

*A stance of smiling serenity maintained at all times, even in circumstances where most of us would be upset. These persons may give an impression of strength and remarkable confidence, but this calm and smiling facade will shatter if someone knowingly or unknowingly makes fun of their guru and religion. Then the smiles and serenity will be replaced by childish viciousness.

With time, you catch on that that this smiling serenity is not from genuine psychological integration but is a well rehearsed default response. Sweet condescending humor may be used to distract or trivialize your concerns as though you are a whiney child. Smile, smile, smile.

If someone is in a "smiley face group" for very many years and cannot afford facelifts, the person may over years develop grotesquely deep smile lines at corners of eyes and mouth.

YOu are invited to a weekend event and they refuse to tell you what goes on. Dont even bother going and ignore anyone claiming you are a coward or close minded. Its not cowardice to refuse to jump into an alligator pond. As an adult you have the right to fully informed consent, especially if an event is billed as life transforming but they dont tell you what they will do to you.

If an event is powerful enough to be transformative it is powerful enough to have side effects. There is *no such thing* as something 100% beneficial and
0% harmful.

*You are kept waiting. Beware. The guru says he or she will lecture at X hour. You all show up on time and the guru keeps you waiting. This in Asia is considered a sign of power domination -- keeping people waiting displays the power and prestige of the leader. If your time is not respected you are not respected.

This is also a clever way to keep people awake past normal bedtime -- a key method to destabilize critical thinking.

If you avoid anything or anyone that keeps you up past your normal bedtime, you will be protecting your own welfare in a very effective manner.

A friend of yours is suddenly happy and glowing. Most human problems, if dealt with via work and stable insight, resolve gradually. If someone is suddenly happy or euphoric, in a manner that seems out of character, they may be 'high' on group influence of some sort. Such sudden mood shifts can easily be produced by adroit social engineering especially combined with well orchestrated attention and flattery from a group. (insta intimacy) Diddle our neuroreceptors in just the right manner; the human animal will feel ecstatic. (Get and read Marc Lewis' Memoirs of an Addicted Brain to learn more about this)

In the West even those of us who are not Christians are influenced by the story of Paul of Tarsus being converted from hate to love in a surge of blinding light.

And we love our friends and wish them well. So be cautious if a friend has gone through sudden, simingly miraculous transformation and wants you to do it too.
Too often these ecstacies can be produced via adroit social engineering.

Even the most intelligent and educated among us is not immune. Remember, we are mammals. No amount of education or life experience changes this. IQ, education, those are applications. Underneath, at DOS level, we are mammals and can be tickled into rolling over and going gooey if some operator handles us and tickles us just the right way.

So if you fail to share your friend's enthusiasm, ask the background of the people who sent her into happiness, and she or he reacts by yelling at you, accuses you of being a 'hater' or cynic, or just goes icy silent and remote --thats a signal her or his happiness is a fragile achievement, not deep rooted healing that can withstand queries.

(Corboy note) In general, watch out for any group that is reportedly all about love, love, love. They're the ones who turn savage when their guru is exposed.

* Members are so dependant that they have pictures of their guru -- sometimes very many pictures - fostering an impression that they little different from young children who need to carry a favorite blanket or teddy bear at all times. In some cases, they may not have pictures of the guru but may decorate their rooms and offices in a manner prescribed by the guru.

*Some groups encourage members to dress only in a restricted range of colors, encourage a sugary, sentimental style meant to attract good karmic influences or assist in removing bad karmic impressions. This style may seem non specifically "new age" to outsiders, but have a quite specific theological meaning inside the group.

*The cult seems to value money and materialism too much. One *does* have to earn money to survive in this economy, but one should not be under pressure to have a certain 'look'.

*Building projects that are pushed through with no respect for concerns of neighbors. If you're the ones who know God, why care about the ignorant?

* A cult pushes for a particular type of dress code, or even, in some cases, a particular style of interior decor. (Anthroposophists do this. Some groups encourage members to dress only in a restricted range of colors, encourage a sugary, sentimental style meant to attract good karmic influences or assist in unwinding samskaras)

*****Beware if there is a high rate of marriage within a cult.

*****Be especially concerned if there's subtle or not so subtle pressure to have children, and especially if the guru and upper mangement seem to favor or be comprised of persons married in the cult and also who have children, while persistently single members are not nearly as favored -- unless they are affluent and have useful social or business connections.

******Be yet more wary if you notice that there's a trend to divorce non believing or disaffected partners followed by a second marriage to someone already in the cult.

If you note If you and your spouse are both in the cult, and one of you is mistreated or has doubts, you risk being divorced by your spouse and shunned by the group if you complain.

If you are both married and have children while in the cult and then one of you has doubts, the doubter may risk being shunned, divorced, may not be able to afford an attorney of the same caliber as the one supplied by the pooled wealth of the cult.

One feature listed by Spartacus:

Drugs are forbidden/discouraged – credit for drug abuse recoveries assigned to practice/master

(Corboy) Some groups may prefer to recruit people who have been through drug and alcohol hell. That way, the person lives in fear that if he or she questions to cult, or gets kicked out, they will relapse.

One sign if if a group (or a therapist affiliated with a cult) fails to mention or even discourages participation in rehab programs offered by hospitals outside of the cult. Another tip off: a group discourages or forbids participation in 12 Step programs such as AA, NA and Ala-non.

12 step groups encourage diverse viewpoints, and even atheist AA groups exist. And 12 Step groups, unlike cults, encourage service, but never at the expense of a person finding and keeping jobs and family life. And the 12 Traditions of AA forbid prosyletizing on behalf specific religions, sects, or political projects.

And in 12 Step, unlike cults, one is free to come and go, and you can dump your sponsor if you feel your sponsor is behaving like an asshole.

You are asked to fast or strongly encouraged. Going without food can mess with your blood sugar and interfere with your thinking.

You are advised to give up coffee as part of preparing for some guru's lecture. Caffeine withdrawal is no joke, the headaches and physical disruption are serious. Dont go without any drug or medication you are accustomed to - not even coffee. Do it on your own, for yourself, and when you have spare time to cope with the withdrawal, not because some guru has blown into town.

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Another thing to watch for
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 06, 2014 12:45AM

Gurus or masters who giggle all the time, wiggle and waggle and tilt their heads in peculiar ways.

Maharishi and Rajneesh did this. So, I am sorry to report, does the Dalai Lama. Wiggling and giggling.

These can be part of an overall distraction technique.

Another strategy is to tell long complicated stories that go on and on and tire and confuse you, or make you feel high in a way you cannot make sense of.

In some situations, you may find yourself feeling sleepy and others may be falling asleep.

There are methods of trance inducation in which story telling is used.

Gurus who act crazy like foxes or just weirdly giggly and talkative, bombarding you with sensory input may be using quite intentional methods of confusion induction.

Seemingly 'strange' misuses of words and grammar may be intentional.


Look for material written for this message board by The Anticult


and Walter1963


Nested Loops


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How dualist thought may have helped us
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 06, 2014 07:07AM

One suggestive essay on how dualitic thought has helped us.

This is not the last word on the subject. But...just something worth pondering.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 11, 2014 10:32PM

An old but good page from this thread -- page 18


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