Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 11, 2009 10:20PM

Quote from one of the sources cited above:


To recover from Muktananda and his path, one may also need to study up on LGATs, and their unromantic but very potent Werner Erhard derived LGAT 'tech'---an area that many former devotees seem never to examine.

How can one recover from an LGAT if you dont even know your supposedly authetnic Hindu guru applied LGAT tech and did not say so?

At least someone who felt harmed by thier session in (say) Lifespring, would know exactly where to go online or what to tell a therapist or exit counselor.

But if a seemingly Hindu guru covertly used American LGAT tech, devotees might never know what was done to them, and lack the full information needed to give an accurate account of their situation to an exit counselor.

This is not a problem generated by the craving minds of devotees.

It is a problem generated by pseudo spiritual entrepreneurs whose efforts meant that
SY based on a secret list of ingredients.

Suppose someone trying to recover from Muktananda goes to an exit counselor.

The exit counselor, unless he or she read the AOL discussions, has to go by reports that Muktananda used only methods derived from Indian Hinduism.

If the exit conselor doenst know that Muk was covertly using methods derived from the EST LGAT, that exit counselor is like a doctor who doesnt know the actual name of the poison that is continuing the affect the patient.

Legions of people may be blaming themselves for being negative and failing to recover from Muktananda because they dont know that Muk decieved them by covertly using methods borrowed from a non-Hindu source which was kept secret--Werner Erhard's EST.

Former devotees who are not aware of this (and how can they be aware if the EST tech was hidden from them like a drug slipped into their drink?) may remain highly
sensitized to other LGATS, because the triggers are still present.

I hope more people begin to look at this. It is an unexamined area that needs closer

When people arrive in town offering 'satsangs' or 'retreats' or 'darshan' I now wonder how many of them are for real and how many did a layover in an LGAT and learned the tech.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 09, 2009 12:12AM

There is an interesting library of articles here.

I disagree with the author's beliefs about the nature of HIV and why the HIV pandemic has become so severe.

This said, a number of the articles led me to some interesting books and research leads.


Items 10 to 14

and 22 and 23 are worth a peek.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: laarree ()
Date: November 12, 2009 03:01PM

There is an interesting library of articles here.


This said, a number of the articles led me to some interesting books and research leads.


Items 10 to 14

and 22 and 23 are worth a peek.

Thanks, corboy. I've had an interest in browsing through critiques of transpersonal psychology and Stanislav Grof's work in particular, and your link pointed me to a little gold mine full of this. Shepherd's site reminded me of a time in my life when I was deep into New Age mumbo jumbo, reading about Findhorn in the book "The Secret Life of Plants", experimenting with a raw foods diet and fasting and wishing in vain to do LSD therapy with Grof to heal myself of birth trauma. This all made me easy meat for my cult leader.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 12, 2009 10:41PM

Larree, I cannot even remember what pattern of internet searching led me to Mr Shepherds site.

Yeah, its a gold mine. He provides yet more information on how Esalen was a very important venue during which many people touched contact.

It all fits in with that sociologists concept of 'cultic milieu'--a social venue in which people explore alternatives to mainstream ideas and treatment modalities.

The cultic milieu isnt all bad. It is often the first entry point for material that later, when tested scientifically, through double blind studies and peer review, turns out to be of demonstrable worth and is later incorporated into mainstream medicine.

Its when ones participation in cultic milieu leads to devaluing critical thinking and overvaluing charismatic leaders and feel good stuff that trouble develops.

My take is that if we are unwary, hanging out in cultic milieu and forming friendships
can soften us up for later recruitment by cult leaders who are severe enough to fit the Lifton protocols.

BTW here is a great article in the current issue of Wired magazine that deals with why scientists have such difficulty in debate with anti-rational ideologues in the cultic milieu.


The rejection of hard-won knowledge is by no means a new phenomenon. In 1905, French mathematician and scientist Henri Poincaré said that the willingness to embrace pseudo-science flourished because people “know how cruel the truth often is, and we wonder whether illusion is not more consoling.”

Decades later, the astronomer Carl Sagan reached a similar conclusion: Science loses ground to pseudo-science because the latter seems to offer more comfort.

“A great many of these belief systems address real human needs that are not being met by our society,” Sagan wrote of certain Americans’ embrace of reincarnation, channeling, and extraterrestrials.

“There are unsatisfied medical needs, spiritual needs, and needs for communion with the rest of the human community.”

Looking back over human history, rationality has been the anomaly.

Being rational takes work, education, and a sober determination to avoid making hasty inferences, even when they appear to make perfect sense. Much like infectious diseases themselves — beaten back by decades of effort to vaccinate the populace — the irrational lingers just below the surface, waiting for us to let down our guard.
An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All


and the text only version


Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 13, 2009 12:19AM

A post script:

Larree, I did some reading just last night. I discovered that news we were given about the claims that the diet of Hunza confers special health priviliges, and the media stories, including a National Geographic article--

We were misled by Shangri-la romanticism or Himalyan Hype. Folks wanted their beliefs confirmed that

1) Vegetarianism is best

2) There still exist unspoiled paradisical parts of the world, unsullied by evil modern technology, where people live to phenomenal ages.

Remember the news coverage about Hunza 20 to 30 years ago, and how it was ballyhoed as reputedly such a healthy place and routinely produced people who lived to healthy and advanced old ages? I recall a national geographic article about all this in the 70s or so.

It started a craze in the West for apricot oil and Hunza raisins.

Turns out there was other, and different, information available.

Well, last night, I picked up a book thats a collection of traveller accounts in Central Asia. The selections range from the 1910s to the 1980s.

Here is material from a geologist, Dr Clark, who spent a year living in a Hunzan village in the 1950s. He not only researched the mineral and mining possiblities but used his
time to teach people how to earn income through woodcarving, identified marble
that could be used to decorate mosques and buildings, brought in seeds for new varieties of vegetables that people could grow in their yards to supplement their food, and he ran a first aid clinic. He also lived on equal terms with his employees, instead of the usual master servant relationship--including sharing meals with them.

Evidently, Hunza was already being mythologised by proto-New Age romanticists as far back as the 1950s.

And here is the basis of Clarks experience: He lived in Hunza two years, including winter. He ran that clinic and by his estimate, saw 5,684 patients.

Here are excerpts from John Clark's essay 'Hunza: Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas' giving his observations, in 1950, on the health of the villagers:


Each family owns so few animals that they can butcher but one or two a year, which they do at Tumashuling in December. As one sheep lasts one family about a week, this means the average family gets meat for one or two weeks per year. Since visitors always come in summertime, this also explains the ridiculous tale that Hunzas are vegtarian by preference.

John Clark, Hunza: Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas, Chapter Six of Around the Roof of the World, edited by Nicholas and Nina Shoumatoff, University of Michigan Press, 1996

Then Clark gives the punch line


As their diet is deficient in oils and Vitamin D, all Hunzas have soft teeth, and half of them have the barrel chests and rheumatic knees of subclinical rickets.

Clark then says, sardonicaly, "Happy healthy Hunza, where everyone has just enough."

The chapter heading stated that Clark had to discontinue his work in Hunza because its very success aroused the jealousy and threatened traditional power structures. The elders stuck with established custom and the young followed their example, not daring to dissent.

Oh, here is Clarks description of buttermaking in Hunza:


Late in May, the flocks move up to summer pasture at 12,000 to 15,000 feet, with a few men and boys from each community to herd. THe herders milk into gourds (never washed) and shake this gourd for a short time until the butter forms. They wrap the butter into ten and twenty pound pats, which they wrap loosely in birch bark and then bury in sheep dung to protect it from rats until someone packs it down to the village.

God knows we are conned to eat enough shit in the New Age scene. I bet someone is gonna find a way to peddle this at the local health food store. Wanna start taking bets?

Now, just put Hunza and Healthy into the google slot and see what you get:


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2009 12:28AM by corboy.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: laarree ()
Date: November 13, 2009 04:31AM

Jeez, corboy, I think you are the gold miner!

I remember reading a book about the Hunza ages ago--how I wished to visit them, as well as to eat the giant cabbages grown at Findhorn blessed by plant devas, sit in hot tubs at Esalen while talking to extraterrestrial walk-ins, meet avatars living out of sight of the Chinese in Tibet and drink yak butter tea with them, and have volcanic perinatal regression experiences laying next to Stan Grof, perhaps aided by a dose of ayahuasca. Luckily or unluckily, I was broke and too unimaginative to pursue these alluring phantoms at all cost, and merely had my mind fscked around with for a few years by a local sociopath instead of getting led to a psychotic break far away from home. I never ate any of the little turd-like Hunza dried apricots I saw on sale in health food stores. :-)

Re: the Wired article, which discusses Dr. Paul Offit and all vaccine-related panic promoted by celebs like Jenny McCarthy -- I actually shot a couple of photos of Paul Offit backstage at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, which took place in New York City back in September. He was the keynote speaker. Here are a couple of photos: Offit1 and Offit2

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: November 13, 2009 04:08PM

It may be useful to point out that Dr Paul Offit is a physician and millionaire whose financial wealth is alleged to have come at least in part from his vaccine invention.
Unfortunately, not all vaccines are safe for everyone.


Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 14, 2009 12:19AM

Lets not turn this into a dogfight on vaccines. The Wired article deals with Offits business ties.

Rick has had to close some excellent threads when someone did that.

As for what I quoted on was a total fricking accident that I found that information the night before I posted it.

Some friends of mine had the great good fortune to go on a 9 month long journey in 1998. Their itinerary took them through Thailand, India, up to Nepal, into Pakistan,
where they spent time in Lahore, then to Peshawar, then up the Karakoram Highway
(KKH) into Swat, Gilgit, Hunza, then to Kashgar, through which they entered China, traveled through the Uighur regions in North Western China, then by train through
Han China to Beijing, then Hongkong, Tokyo and thence homeward.

They gave me that copy of the Shoumatoff book, and I picked it up for the first time
on the evening of November 11th and made it a priority to read about Hunza as I am interested in the cultures of Pakistan.

So...that was where I found the information.

I recalled that National Geographic article on Hunza that came out in the 1970s and the articles by Alexander Leaf that ballyhoed Hunza and its allegedly superhealty vegetarian diet.

What is interesting is that Clark made that acerbic comment in 1950. Apparently there was some romanticizing going on even then, a good 20 years before the National Geographic article was published.

(Note, for fun, go and look at old issues of NG from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Then comapare them with articles from the 1970s, then articles written today. You will see a very distressing 'dumbing down'. The older National Geographic articles are sophisticated, densely written and assume that the reader is interested, highly literate and capable of paying attention. Those where the days when a diploma from a good public high school was equivalent to a high quality AA or BA degree today. )

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 14, 2009 12:57AM

First there were Hunza Superfoods--Heres the Inside Dope on Tibetan Gojiberry
Regarding Hunza apricots and raisins and other such imports--I'd say, by all means
if you want to support NGOs fostering local projects in Hunza, thats a fine reason to buy and eat them.

Or if you have an interest in Pakistani mountain people's cuisine, using Hunza grown dried fruits and nuts would lend an authentic flavor.

But dont buy the stuff thinking it will make you live to 100 years plus because you are led to believe Hunza is crawling with centenarians. How do you have that many healthy old people when the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency, as reported by Clark, who lived there two years, was so very high?

The Shangri La myth sells stuff. Here are some other examples.

NTW there is a currently fashionable product that you'll see in stores--those
lamps made from huge chunks of 'Himalayan' rock salt. You see himalyan 'pink' salt, too.

There is also a fad for 'Tibetan Goji berries.' also and supposedly full of special, oh so special properties.

Turns out these are also known as Chinese wolfberries.

The Latin botanical name is Lycium Barbarum


Goji berries or wolf berries what is the difference?
October 26th, 2009 by admin
Goji berry is also termed as wolfberry or the western snowberry. It is a native fruit of southeastern Europe and Asia. There are so many names given to this fruit which includes Chinese wolfberry, mede berry, duke of argyllís tea tree, Barbary matrimony vine, and red medlar. Tibetian goji and Himalian goji are the names given to the products derived from this plant.

These fruits are in bright orange-red color ranging in size from 1-2 cms long. The fruit is ellipsoid in shape and the plant with these fruits is pleasant for the eyes to look at. The curved embryo in the fruit has seeds varying in number and they are yellow in color. They ripe in the months from July to October.

These plats grow in evergreen shrubs found in temperate and subtropical regions found in Mongolia, Himalayas, China, and Tibet. These fruits have a great range of nutritional and medicinal value. These plants also produce flowers. These fruits are found in clusters in the plant. Goji berries are always found in dry condition. Goji berries look like red raisins



A fruitless search for the Tibetan goji berry

Author: Simon ParrySouth China Morning December 2, 2006

Nomads with goji berries in Nyingtri. It was the first time they had seen the berries marketed as Tibet's "true miracle food".Standing beside her yak-hide tent at the southern end of the TibetanHimalayas, an elderly nomad woman examines a packet of dried red berries,pours some out into her hand and asks: "What are these?"

Yangzim Lhamo hasspent a lifetime wandering these mountain valleys. If something grows there,she should know. So it comes as something of a surprise that in her 60 yearsshe has never seen one of these berries before.In western supermarkets and health food stores, the sweet fruit, called the goji berry, is being sold as Tibet's "true miracle food" - a centuries-old tonic that allegedly fights cancer, wards off heart disease, boosts energy,improves sex lives and helps people to live to over 100.

Launched last December, already a huge hit in America and Britain and soon to go on sale in Italy, Spain, Germany and Singapore, the berries are said to be enjoyed by celebrities including Madonna, Kate Moss, Brooke Shields and Steven Seagal.

The company that ships them around the world at the rate of about 50 tonnes a month is called Tibet Authentic. But Ms Yangzim and her husband Tsedak,59, who herd yaks across an 80km stretch of Nyingtri in Tibet were bemused at the sight of the goji berries."We have some berries high in the mountains here, but there is nothing like this," Mr Tsedak said.

His reaction is not unusual. After a week in Tibet on the trail of the superfruit, hardly anyone we spoke to had even heard of locally grown goji berries.

The man who bears most of the responsibility for the extraordinary hypesurrounding Tibetan goji berries and their introduction to the west is aflamboyant Australian called Antony Jacobson. The founder and president of Tibet Authentic, Mr Jacobson said he "discovered" the goji berry four yearsago when he took a break from his Melbourne-based patenting business andtravelled through the Himalayas in search of new health products."

I saw people in the fields picking a little red fruit," he said. "I sawthem eating it off the trees, I saw them applying it to their skin and totheir hair. I was told it was a berry that is very famous in Tibet, longheld in traditional communities from generation to generation. It was awondrous berry that was not only good for your health and your soul but alsovery good for your whole character."

(Corboy: Your whole character?????)

Mr Jacobson returned to the capital of Lhasa and teamed up with the Chinese government*-owned Tibetan Medical College whose experts, he said, showed himremarkable evidence of the health benefits of the little red berries.

"I was introduced to a number of people who were very, very old. One womanwas 106 or 107 and she told a story about how she ate the goji berry fromthe first day she could remember. There was another lady who was 109. Fromwhat I heard, to live beyond 100 years [in Tibet] is not uncommon, and thereis a famous story about a Tibetan scholar who is said to have lived to morethan 500 years as a result of consuming the goji berry."

In reality, Tibetans have a life expectancy of 67 - five years less than themainland's average.

And goji berries have for years been exported to the USfrom Ningxia province in northwest China, often as wolfberries or Chinese gojis.

What made Tibet Authentic's product different, Mr Jacobson claimed, was thatthey were grown in the pollution- and pesticide-free Tibetan Himalayas.By teaming up with the Tibetan Medical College, Tibet Authentic had, he said, tapped previously unavailable sources of wild goji berries, certifiedby provincial officials as coming from Tibet.Goji berry production in Tibet, he claimed, had gone from virtually zero to 50 tonnes a month, and his company was now collecting so many berries it was preparing to launch a concentrated goji juice early next year, and later agoji face cream.

Mr Jacobson, a 41-year-old father of two, said that he was living proof ofthe berry's benefits. "I used to wear glasses to drive at night," he said."After consuming goji berries for about a year, I put them in a drawer and haven't used them since. When I started taking the berries, it used to takeme 30 minutes to do my daily three-mile jog. I now do it in 22 minutes."

Tibet Authentic claims its berries come from the remote Shannan and Nyingtriregions of Tibet. However, when we flew to Lhasa, the company refused to take us there or say exactly where they grew, claiming the areas were closeto the Indian border and off limits to foreigners.While in Lhasa, we visited 12 shops in the city's Yu Tuo Road, the national centre for traditional Tibetan medicine, and not one had any native goji berries for sale. All instead stocked goji berries from Ningxia, in China,which sell for about 15 yuan for a 250-gram bag."We have been in business for six years and we have never heard of Tibetangoji berries,' said Xia Ma, manager of one medicine store.

Richard Zhang, a Seattle-based importer of Chinese goji berries, said the stigma of the mainland's polluted environment made the berries difficult to market, while Tibet's image was a far more potent sales pitch.

"We marketour product as Chinese but when we sell them on to sub-distributors, theylabel them as Tibetan or Himalayan berries," he said. "People are much more willing to buy a health food product from Tibet than from China."

Mr Zhang, who sells 30 tonnes of goji berries a year in the US, said: "I went to Tibet to look for goji berries myself and the people there asked me:`What are you doing here? We don't grow goji berries here'. Goji berries grow best at low altitudes and need four months of sunshine. The altitude in most of Tibet is 10,000 to 13,000 feet [3,100 to 4,000 metres]. I believe if someone tells you there are goji berries growing in Tibet, they are probablycoming from somewhere in China."

Tibet Authentic's efforts to convince people of the purity of its product is not helped by the fact that its goji berries are actually processed and packed in Chengdu , 2,000 km away in southwest China. Chengdu is also the main centre for packing and distributing Ningxia berries.

Rong Feng, 30, manager of Yi Feng Chinese Medicine Trading, said his company packed 600 tonnes of goji berries a year from Ningxia and sold 100 tonnes of them to traditional medical shops in Tibet.

"If the goji berry is growing in Tibet, why not set up a packing factorythere?" he asked. "And why not sell it in China where there is such a big market for Tibetan traditional medicine?"

It was in Chengdu that we finally met up with Mr Jacobson. He said the factory location was chosen because it was an existing Tibetan Medical College facility and because the effects of altitude on plastic packagingmade it impossible to carry out the process in Tibet. Explaining how Tibe tAuthentic had gone from a standing start to such a scale of exports, Mr Jacobson said the Chinese government had corralled farmers into action and persuaded them to grow the berries .Mr Jacobson said he had been escorted to some of the growing areas by his Chinese partners, and what he saw "exceeded my expectations", but had not visited others because of the treacherous journeys involved."

I have made drivers turn back after up to 12 hours driving and take me back to Lhasa," he said. "I found the driving so damn hairy, and at the end of the day I couldn't go on. In those cases, I've sent my staff and seen pictures and video."Determined to hunt down the elusive wild goji berries for ourselves, we hired a four-wheel-drive to take us to Nyingtri, one of the two regionswhere his company says it picks its berries.

At an altitude of about 2,015 metres - nearly half that of Lhasa - Nyingtriis a Chinese military base in a fertile mountain valley near the border withIndia and is unusually lush and green for Tibet. With no sign of a single goji bush on the spectacular day-long drive through nomad settlements, we finally arrived in Nyingtri's main town, Bayi, and consulted a traditional medicine expert.

Dhundup Tsering, 35, confirmed that goji berries grew in the surroundingmountain valleys, but only in limited quantities. When we told him of the scale of exports, he said: "That's impossible - there aren't enough around here to send even one tonne overseas."

After a bone-shaking drive along a fertile mountain valley, we finally found some wild-grown goji berries sprouting haphazardly on bushes along the edgeof Banna village, Nyingtri county.A pig farmer who guided us there was perplexed at our interest. "Sometimes,if there are many berries, we pick them and sell them in the town," saidPenba Niyama, 42. "But Tibetan people don't buy them - only Chinese soldiers stationed here who like to put them in their wine. Some old people eat them if they have a headache but usually we just leave them for the birds to eat."

When I told him people in the west paid the equivalent of 140 yuan for asmall bag of the berries, he shook with laughter. "People there must be very strange," he said.

It was a view at least partially endorsed by Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation. "The UK and the US seem to be obsessed with the latest health fads of the moment and this is feeding into the media frenzy for these latest so-called superfoods," she said. There is evidence to suggest fruit and berries have previously unrecognised health benefits, she said, but research on such effects is in its early stages.

Her advice for western consumers fuelling the goji berry craze was blunt."Air miles and environmental damage is considerable when fruit travels sofar. Why buy goji berries when there are perfectly good strawberries andblackberries available?"

(pages 1 to 4. If there are more pages in the article they may be readable here on the PDF version.)



(1 votes, average: 4 out of 5

Takes the romance out of it in a hurry.

You're not just buying a food, you're buying into a cultic milieu mindset in which mythologising is a big part.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/2009 01:05AM by corboy.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: November 14, 2009 04:39AM

To whom it may concern:

The topic of this thread is "New Age mumbo jumbo" not vaccinations.

Please stay on topic.

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