Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 14, 2010 11:35PM

Corboy: A corrective. I wanted to put a link in to the forum/message board on Straight Dope in case any topics there might be of interest. Here it is:


The main website cited above, has some raunchy drawings. If you dont like that kind of thing, avoid. Registration here on requires that a person state, truthfully, that he or she is aged 18 or older.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: newagesurvivor ()
Date: December 27, 2010 12:36AM

I'm not sure if this has already been linked to here, but Vinstonas Wu has written a piece called Debunking the Law of Attraction and "Thoughts Create Reality" Concept. The contents of the article are
Common sense and ordinary examples that logically refute this teaching
Beware: Whatever you expect to happen, will happen! And whatever you fear will manifest! Or will it?
Whatever you think of yourself will be what others think of you - Yeah right!
Example of circular reasoning by its adherents
The ultimate experiment for Wayne Dyer and his fans that would prove him wrong
The teaching fosters a victim-blaming mentality and unjust persecution of the innocent
Can thoughts influence or affect reality? What does science say?
Appendix: List of questions for those who believe that "thoughts create reality"

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Penelope ()
Date: December 27, 2010 08:56AM

I'm not sure if this has already been linked to here, but Vinstonas Wu has written a piece called Debunking the Law of Attraction and "Thoughts Create Reality" Concept. The contents of the article are
Common sense and ordinary examples that logically refute this teaching
Beware: Whatever you expect to happen, will happen! And whatever you fear will manifest! Or will it?
Whatever you think of yourself will be what others think of you - Yeah right!
Example of circular reasoning by its adherents
The ultimate experiment for Wayne Dyer and his fans that would prove him wrong
The teaching fosters a victim-blaming mentality and unjust persecution of the innocent
Can thoughts influence or affect reality? What does science say?
Appendix: List of questions for those who believe that "thoughts create reality"

Thanks for the link newagesurvivor. It's really horrible to constantly have to monitor your fears for fear of manifesting what you fear(!) When I was part of a "law of attraction" online group, one woman had a miscarriage and actually thought her negative thoughts caused it to happen. That was one of the things that helped me snap out of it. Not many people on the site agreed with her luckily and a lot of us tried to console her. But it was one of the last straws for me. Another one was reading NEW AGE ANONYMOUS 12 Steps For The Recovering New Age. I thought it was a light-hearted parody but the more I read the more I realized it was totally spot on:

I don't know if anyone has read "Top Secret" by Robert Price. It's a good analysis of The Secret and other new age pop mysticisms like a Course in Miracles, The Power of Now and Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, and a few others. The only part of the book I didn't agree with was his essay in the appendix on cults. I had never heard of Rick Ross when I read it, but even I thought it was a bad analysis (he thinks people leaving a cult are like people going through can't rely on their opinion or analysis because they're just 'bitter'.)

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 27, 2010 11:17PM

I want to make it clear that this small article is not an exercise in tracing conspiracies. I consider conspiracy theories a waste of time because they cannot be disproved. So if anyone is interested in conspiracy theories, please take your interests to another place.

This said...

What I propose to examine in this small article is a suggestion on how to trace the routes by which ideas and symbols have been shared, much the way understanding geography and road networks can assist us to understand commerce and the diffusion of ideas through different territories.

The forms by which ideas from India reached American audiences appear to have reached 19th and 20th Century Americans via some already very western influenced Indians--some of whom had been influenced by Masonry--the same set of ideals that brought out the best in George Washington and America's Founding Fathers.

For a book on some of the beginnings of commercial yoga in the United States,
get and read []

The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in Americaby Robert Love

Article in New York Times


Part of the context in which Pierre Bernard (he changed his name to a French one to make it classier) created his yoga group in Nyack, New York was that this area had been an area where many Theosophists and Masons had lodges. A great deal of the symbolism and ideas that had been handed down through Masonry was incorporated by Mm Blavatsky into her Theosophy.

Blavatsky may not herself been a Mason, but this article from the Blavatsky trust states she had relatives who were Masons and Masons were among the early members of Blavatsky's group of helpers.

This article claims that Blatvatsky got access to Masonic information via channelled sources. Yet this same article acknowledges that Blavatsky had relatives and associates who were Masons--yet never considers that she might have charmed them into telling her sensitive material. (Note: Masonic lodges existed in Tsarist Russia from at least the early 18th Century and both Casanova and Cagliostro sought access to high society in Russia using thier Masonic membership)


H.P.B. was exposed to Masonry via relatives and friends in her formative years, and later many of her associates were Masons. Among them were some, including Col. Olcott who helped in the founding of the Theosophical Society and became its first President,. At the time of the founding of the Society, however, there had been no public exposition of Theosophy. Later there were intimations of it in Isis Unveiled and in many of H.P.B.'s early writings. The great comprehensive teaching only came out in The Secret Doctrine published in 1888.

The significance of this in the matter of Masonry vis-à-vis Theosophy is that with the publication of the Theosophical teachings some hitherto closely guarded occult secrets were made public for the first time.


What is all the more interesting is that Masonic lodges were founded by the British in India, in the 18th century, especially in Bengal, where the earlier British rule was most active. (Calcutta, in Bengal was the capital of British India before the Raj moved to Delhi)

What adds to the interest is many Bengali intellectuals who led the Hindu Reform movement had partly Western educations and were member of Masonic lodges--including, it appears, Vivekananda, who addressed the World Congress of Religion in Chicago, in the early 1890s.



Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies. It is a world-wide organisation based on the principle of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. It is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by series of ritual which follow ancient forms and use stone masons' customs and tools and allegorical guides. It seeks to make good men better and there by make the world a better place in which to live.

Freemasonry has been in existence in the present form for nearly 280 years in the world and for over 250 years in India,



Indian Order of Freemasons

The Indian Order of Freemasons has, as its head, its Grand Master, who is elected for a term of three years. M.W. Bro. Maj. Gen. Dr. Sir Syed Raza Ali Khan, the Nawab of Rampur, was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India: The present Grand Master who-is 14th on the line since the time the Grand Lodge of India was formed is M.W.Bro. Capt. Dr. Balaram Biswakumar, O.S.M. Some of the prominent Indians who have been Freemasons are Swami Vivekananda, Shri C. Rajagopalachari, Shri Moti Lal Nehru, Shri Fakhuridin Ali Ahmed, as also several serving and retired judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, serving and retired Defence Personnel and Civilian Officers besides many Industrialists, Business men, Business Executives and other Professionals.




In 1717 A.D. when an era of comparative peace and harmony dawned on the European scene, the Grand Lodge of England took shape at a meeting of the local Lodges of London, to elect a Grand Master. A United constitution was drawn up and recognized by all the Lodges. A democratic tradition in the election of the Worshipful Master of a Lodge was prescribed. The Worshipful Master was authorized to appoint his team of officers.

It is therefore of interest that within 12 years of the constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, constituted for the purpose of exercising supervision over the lodges in London, and its neighboring areas, a petition was sent by a few Brethren in India to constitute a Provincial Grand Lodge in Calcutta. The Petition having been granted, a Provincial Grand Master was appointed to supervise Masonic activity in India and the Far East in 1728 A.D.

Full details regarding how the First Lodge was constituted in India, are preserved in the Minutes of the Grand Lodge in London. First a petition was presented on December 28, 1728 and at the end of the minutes of that meeting, the text of the "Deputation" from the Grand Master: "to Empower and Authorize our well beloved Brother Pomfret....that he do, in our place and stead, constitute a regular Lodge, in due form at Fort William in Bengal in the East Indies...." This was signed and sealed "the 6th day of February 1728/9 and in the year of Masonry 5732 (which shows that Grand Lodge used Usher's Chronology in dating the Masonic era - as the Grand Lodge of Scotland still .

The Lodge at Fort William -- that is, Calcutta -- appears in the Engraved List of 1730, as No. 72. It was to meet at Fort William in Calcutta. The coat of Arms was adopted from the East India Company a golden lion, rampant guardant, supporting between the forepaws a regal crown. In 1729, Captain Ralph Farwinter was appointed "Provisional Grand Master for East India in Bengal" and also James Dawson as "Provincial Grand Master" for East Indies.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Madras was formed in 1752 and The Provincial Grand Lodge of Bombay was created in 1758. Although it appeared in the Roll of Grand Lodge there is no record of how it came into being.

The first Indian Mason was Omdat-ul-Omrah, Nawab Carnatic initiated in 1775. The doors to Hindu Masonry was flung wide-open might one say, by the unstoppable determination of one Mr. P.C. Dutt of Calcutta to become a member of the craft. After much opposition from the Provincial Grand Master (Hugh Sanderman) and nine years after he was proposed for initiation Mr.Dutt became Bro. Dutt in Anchor and Hope, No. 234, in 1872. Twenty-three years later, he was Deputy District Grand Master.


A list of lodges and their founding dates in different Indian cities--including Madras, (where Blavatsky and Olcott set up Theosophy's world center--Adyar, the location of the Theosophy HQ is a district in Madras (aka Chennai)


This alone would have been a radical challenge to Indian culture of the time, with its caste system and emphasis on clan rather than universal brotherhood of men.

And making this world a better place would also have been a radical new idea for the subcontinent, rather than seeking release through moksha.

With his prior socialization as a Mason, Vivekananda would have known how to organize his material to ensure he would establish plenty of points of contact with this audience, many of whom would have been Masons or Thesophists who had already been influenced by Masonic material as filtered through Theosophy.

Thus Vivekananda, who had himself been Westernised, would have would have been able to present an interpretation of 'Hinduism' that woudl have seemed thrillingly ancient but was full of familiar themes and features, and not representative of the actual panorama and diversity of schools, rituals and traditions that actually existed throughout India and which Vivekananda, a western educated Bengali, lacking training in Sanskrit and other major Indian languages, would have been unable to access.

What he presented was a product like a whitewater rapid that had been tamed down by a series of levees into a nice, reassuring book, rather like so called curry recipes from American cookbooks in the 1950s --stuff presented in a white sauce with a polite store bought curry powder added to the sauce. enterprising student could do an interesting series of articles or books on this subject and use Colin Campbells concept of cultic milieu as an organizing feature.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 30, 2010 11:54PM

A Nuanced and Corrective Overview of the Life of Ramana Maharshi



Ramana was the son of a brahman (a member of the Hindu priestly caste) who worked as a lawyer at Tiruchuzi, a village in the Tamil sector of South India. His real name was Venkataraman Iyer. While still a teenager, in 1896 he underwent an “awakening” experience. The current Wikipedia article on the subject describes this event in terms of “liberation” (meaning moksha).

“Later followers subsequently rationalised this event as a sadhana [spiritual discipline] which lasted half an hour and was completed on the spot. They wanted to believe that he had gained the ultimate realisation known as sahaja samadhi in this brief period of awakening, though he himself did not say that” (Shepherd, Some Philosophical Critiques and Appraisals, 2004, p. 153).

Ramana retrospectively referred to his “absorption in the Self [atman].” There is the complexity that he also described his “awakening” in terms of possession, apparently his early reaction to the experience, and relayed to his first biographer B. V. Narasimhaswami (David Godman, Life and Teaching).

The “awakening” occurred at Madurai, where Ramana was in the habit of visiting the Meenakshi temple, associated with Shiva-bhakti and the sixty-three Shaiva Tamil saints of the nayanmar tradition. He had read a book (the Periya Puranam) on those saints which inspired him. In his later life, he acknowledged the significance of bhakti (love, aspiration), which is something quite different to the Advaita doctrines. Indeed, his own report states of his continuing visits to the Meenakshi temple (after his awakening) that he would sometimes pray for the descent of divine grace “so that my devotion [bhakti] might increase and become perpetual like that of the sixty-three saints” (Arthur Osborne, Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge, London: Rider, 1954, p. 23).

In 1896 he left home and school, journeying to the town of Tiruvannamalai, there staying in temple precincts and subject to an indrawn state. He eventually settled at nearby Arunachala Hill, strongly associated with the deity Shiva. His “pre-ashram” sojourn in caves on that hill was lengthy, dating from 1898 to 1922.

The basic feature of that early period is one of acute introspection. He was no longer a brahman, having jettisoned the sacred thread that signified caste status. He was now an ascetic sadhu and wore a loin-cloth, not the ochre robe of Vedantic renunciates. Ramana was not an official Vedantin or sannyasin. Devoted attendants saw to his simple needs and protected him from intrusions, diverting unwanted sightseers who thronged the pilgrim locale of Arunachala. At first, his introspection was so acute that food had to be pressed into his mouth in order to keep him alive. Afterwards, he is reported to have accepted only a single cup of food daily, and he was accordingly emaciated.

Ramana required an attendant for survival purposes, and for years (until circa 1906) would not speak to visitors. He is reported to have lost his ability to speak normally until that juncture. A different kind of problem was jealous sadhus, local holy men who resented his increasing fame.

A visiting group of sadhus expressed the extremist belief that their own distant sacred hill was home to a rishi who had been practising austerities for thousands of years, and who had told them to abduct Ramana for initiation, after dramatically preparing him for the attainment of occult powers or siddhis. “Whether hemp addicts or alcoholics (or both), they evidently entertained some of the more fantastic and predatory ideas associated with Tantric Yoga” (Shepherd, op. cit., p. 155). Ramana is reported to have made no response to these visitors; he never expressed esteem for siddhis, which are an unhealthy preoccupation.

The concession to public spotlight was accompanied by some unusual characteristics. Ramana retained a very simple lifestyle. He did not refuse visitors, though he could seem indifferent in company, and his statements tended to brevity; he seems to have modified his jnani emphases if he considered that the audience was uncomprehending. He did not fit the customary ideas and expectations about holy men. He was notably averse to giving initiations, which were an accepted part of the popular Hindu spirituality.

Furthermore, Ramana was often requested by admirers for permission to adopt the life of renunciation. Yet he generally opposed this desire, a persistent trait which caused puzzlement. According to him, the effort needed was internal, and nothing to do with the formal vow of sannyas (renunciation). He evidently regarded many of the renunciates as rather distracting sources of misinformation, a point not always emphasised by commentators.

For very much more, read the full article.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 02, 2011 07:54AM


A discernment guide



The following points are designed to assist sincere seekers in their quest for authentic Sufi representatives. These days there are many Sufi organisations. Some are genuine and some are not. It is too common to hear reports of negative experiences of people who have been "burned" by dubious groups. The points below should help seekers avoid such groups.

A sincere devotion to Allah Almighty, a deep reverence for the Holy Prophet - peace be upon him - and a love of a life of prayer and rememberance of God are the main signposts to authentic groups. These are always more important than claims of "unbroken chains of transmission" and other claims of "authority" based on dreams or visions. Don't be too concerned about claims of "authority". seek groups where the Sufi life of prayer and brotherly love are tangible and real. The proof is in the pudding.

Does the Order have a proper relationship to Islam?

Sufism is the interior perspective of the Islamic religion. Avoid groups that deny this or that claim that Sufism is entirely independent of Islam. Avoid de-Islamicized forms of Sufism. A Sufi Order should have a strong, healthy connection to (externalist) Islam and be respectful of the Islamic faith. The people who run the Order should be pious, sincere Muslims.

Are members of the Order required to be practising and committed Muslims?

While some Orders will permit non-Muslims into the introductory levels, properly constituted Orders will insist that serious long-term members are practising and committed Muslims. Avoid Orders where this is not so or that are indifferent to the religious affiliations of members.

Does anyone make money from the operations of the Order?

While it is proper for an Order to cover its costs a Sufi Order should not be a profit-making business. Avoid Orders that operate as business ventures or that require expensive membership fees or on-going financial contributions from members.

Does the Sheihk have some other occupation by which he makes a living?

"Sufi Sheihk" is not a job. Sufism does not have a paid priesthood. Avoid Orders where the Sheihk is not successfully established in some other occupation beyond the Order.

Are the private and family lives of members respected?

A Sufi Order should not interfere in the private or family lives of its members. Members shoulds never feel pressured to change jobs, marry or divorce, move location, etc. Avoid Orders that do not respect the right of members to pursue their own private and family life.

Are members free to come and go from the Order's activities as they please?

The Sufi path should be freely entered. It is arduous and demanding. Members of an order should be free to drop out at any time for any reason without having to justify themselves and without being pestered or pursued. The decision not to continue participation should always be respected. An Order should not in any way coerce or pressure members to participate. Avoid Orders where this is not the case.

Does the Order have a tolerant and universalist perspective?

Sufism is an esoteric perspective. At an esoteric level all religions meet. There are many paths. Avoid Orders that insist that they and they alone are the true path or that are hostile to religions other than Islam.

Is there a fraternal spirit in the Order?

A Sufi Order should have a well-developed atmosphere of fraternal love between members. This Platonic fraternal nature excludes members using an Order as a dating pool or a marriage agency. Avoid Orders that do not have a fraternal atmosphere or that are incestuous.

Is there a proportionate sense of formality and chivalry?

A Sufi Order should have an appropriate code of behaviour that is both formal and chivalrous. If the conduct of the Order is too casual then it is merely a club. Sufism is a serious spiritual endeavour. Avoid Orders that are too casual or frivolous.

Is the Order directed exclusively to spiritual purposes?

An Order should only have one purpose - the spiritual advancement of its members. They come together for rememberance of Allah Almighty. Avoid Orders that combine Sufism with other, more profane purposes whether it is a sport, learning Turkish music, bellydancing, etc.

Does the Order mix spiritual forms and systems or employ profane methods and philosophies?

Sufism is a rich self-contained tradition. Avoid Orders that try to blend Sufism with other disciplines or spiritual systems such as yoga, Gurdjieff, pop psychology, gestalt therapy, American Indian rituals*, etc. Seek an Order that is purely Sufi in its philosophy and methods.

Gurdjieff related stuff would eliminate the alleged 'Sufi enneagram'

'pop psychology and gestalt would eliminate enneagram related stuff as well as anything peddled by persons who passed through Esalen in the 1970s. Things have settled down since then

*The bit about 'american indian rituals would elminate traditionalist stuff such as what Schuon practiced

Adding to all this:

A Sufi Order should not operate for the financial or social benefit of the Sheikh, Murshid or Pir's family. Members should not be pressured to buy expensive gadgets or clothes through businesses or import set ups run by the leader's family or favored friends. Nor should this operate as a way to get relatives into the country on easy terms, nor should the group be a source of money for educating relatives or providing funds for houses or wedding dowries, etc.

It should never be fiscally expensive to be a Sufi. The early dervishes wore old clothes and lived on what they were offered. Others lived by their occupations. One son of an Abbasid caliph ran away in the night to become a poor dervish and when he died, only a paper and an expensive ring he had hidden away revealed whom he had been.

A current and very revealing description of Sufis (real ones and rich rip offs) in Southern Pakistan can be found in Albinian's book, Empires of the Indus, in the Chapter River Saints.

Albinia sadly reported that wealthy leaders of Sufi orders lived like feudal princes, giving audiences only to the wealthy and to foreigners. One sat on a haystack in token symbolism of his poverty.

One 17th century Sufi had tried to lead a local revolution to give the peasants freedom from extortion. He and his community were brutally massacred. His current decendant and head of the order lives as a prince and claims to be the avatar of his murdered and saintly ancestor--and people eat it up.

In the name of spiritual endeavor, if you are born a citizen in a participatory democracy do not throw it away to turn into an income earning peasant and grovel to some charlatan who lives as a Maharajah or Zemindar and makes an utter travesty of his ancestor's treaching--and the way of the Prophet, peace be to him.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 03, 2011 12:22AM

Critique/Overview of Gurdjieff and enneagram


New Age Stuff--Year 2012, Whats Real Sufism, General Topics
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 03, 2011 11:28PM

Human mass anxiety, massaged by advertising, is harder to cope with than the arbitrarily selected event (2012) thats the focus of the anxiety.

2012 Survival Cults

Expect to see these popping up in ever increasing numbers.

One variation on the 2012 theme is to state that NASA is predicting a massive solar flare.

What is NOT mentioned is that the NASA official website is that the projected 2012 flare
is going to be powerful, but not as powerful as the big-ass solar flare that happened in...
..drum roll...1958


This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

That was a solar maximum. The Space Age was just beginning: Sputnik was launched in Oct. 1957 and Explorer 1 (the first US satellite) in Jan. 1958. In 1958 you couldn't tell that a solar storm was underway by looking at the bars on your cell phone; cell phones didn't exist. Even so, people knew something big was happening when Northern Lights were sighted three times in Mexico. A similar maximum now would be noticed by its effect on cell phones, GPS, weather satellites and many other modern technologies.

For more, read here


The take home lesson is---we already survived the 1958 solar flare.

We got the hippies, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, disco, punk rock (Are We Not Men? We are DEVO!) and on and on and on.

We also got (for better and for worse) the Internet, cell phones, etc.

If any social psychology departments want to do a repeat of Leon Festinger's participant observation study, published in When Prophecy Fails.

Shelters are already being marketed.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2011 07:08AM by corboy.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 09, 2011 10:57PM

This morning, one of our message board members published a post. It has so much good advice for seekers that it deserves attention from everyone.

The title is Pearls and Fish Eyes

One of the proverbs quoted is:

'It is easier to invite a god than to send one away'.

Read the rest here:


Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 11, 2011 07:15AM

A possible source of background material for later new age guru/teacher in-the-desert narratives.

Theos Casimir Bernard died in 1947.

Wrote an early book on hatha yoga that was published shortly after his death.

Wrote and published an earlier book describing his travels in India and Tibet.

As he died young, he would have had no say in the matter if others were to borrow elements of his story and use it for their own narratives--such as Carlos Castaneda claiming he got his teachings in the desert from a Don Juan who was untraceable and from whom Castaneda gave no notes or photos.

Here is a outline of Theos Bernard's story.There is no way we can know whether the guru who visited him in Arizona was actually "for real" or whether Theos came up with this based on a genuine encounter between his flamboyant uncle, Pierre Bernard, who, against staggering odds, had met an Indian guru in the midwest decades earlier.

The elder Pierre Bernard had studied 14 years with this man and then after the guru told him he had taught his American protege all he could, went back to India.

Pierre Bernard and his younger brother Glenn, had both studied with this guru. Glen later broke off with Pierre, married and named his son Theos.

Years later, Theos, after allegedly meeting his guru in the Arizona desert, went to visit his uncle Pierre,who had developed a lucrative yoga empire and celebrity centre.


A yoga teacher I met, with 30 plus years of experience, was eager to obtain a copy of Bernard's Hatha Yoga manual, saying it was still valued by teachers and that many regretted having thrown or given away their copies.

It is a forgotten book today, but one that might have been quite eagerly consulted by persons looking for reading material accessible in English.

It is worth wondering whether some authors of 'Enlightenment in the desert' might have found inspiration
from Theos Bernard.

He made great media capital when he returned from his trip with photos of Tibet and reports that he had reached Lhasa and been recognized as a lama and given tantric initiation.

He reportedly was the first to make a PR splash as a 'white (man) lama'--which would have slotted into Theosophist catagories and myths,

Rabbi Alan Lew*, author of a memoir One God Clapping:Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi, tells of Rudrananda/aka Rudi.

Alan Lew's brother was a dedicated early disciple of Rudi's and Alan Lew met Rudi himself.

Alan Lew states 'Rudi's real name was Albert Rudolf. He was a Jewish guy who grew up in Brooklyn. The story was that a man from India came to Rudi's house when Rudi was a kid ato get him because he was supposed to be a swami in India.

'No one ever explained, however, how it was that Rudi's mother let him go'

*(Now deceased. May his name be found in the Book of Life)

From One God Clapping--page 51.

by contrast, here is the current Wikipedia page on Rudi.


Albert Rudolph (Rudi) was born January 24, 1928 to impoverished Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York.[2] His father abandoned the family when he was young and his mother could be quite violent.[3]

According to his autobiography, Rudolph's first spiritual experience occurred at age 6 in a park. Two Tibetan Buddhist lamas appeared out of the air and stood before him. They told him they represented the heads of the "Red Hat" and "Yellow Hat" sects, and they were going to place within him the energy and wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism. Several clay jars appeared, which they said they would put inside his solar plexus. The lamas said these jars would stay in him and begin to open at age 31. He would then begin the process of assimilating their contents, and would continue to do so for the rest of his life.[4]

Rudolph began his his first job at age 12 in a pocketbook factory, due to a labor shortage during World War II. To supplement his income, he searched through neighborhood rubbish bins to find items to sell. His next job was at a textile company when he was 16 years old, where he worked for the next two years.[4]

Rudolph joined the U.S. Army at age 18. For 1½ years, he was an instructor for the government, teaching ROTC at the University of Washington in Seattle. After being discharged, he returned to his job at the textile company in New

All this is very different from Alan Lew's retelling of the story of Rudi being discovered, still a child by a swami. Most mothers will NOT let their kids go--and Jewish mothers are renowned for not wanting their kids to leave--especially if the child is a boy and Dad has already deserted.

and after WWII
(Note: Bartley, in his biography of Werner Erhard founder of EST/Landmark also tells us Werner investigated Subud.)

During this time, Rudi began to attend meetings based on the teachings of Gurdjieff, which he continued for 5 years.[4]

Rudi joined the Subud organization, studied with its founder, Pak Subuh, and helped establish the group in New York. In 1958, Rudi met Shankaracharya of Puri during his first visit to the United States, and lived with him in New York for 4 months.[1][2]

In early 1959, Rudi declared himself a spiritual teacher and began teaching students individually in his store. Rudi’s method was to sit opposite a student and gaze intently into their eyes for perhaps five to ten minutes, said to allow him to transmit shaktipat energy.[2]

In 1960, Rudi began to hold classes in his apartment, which consisted of an open-eyed meditation where he "transmitted shaktipat energy" in a group setting, followed by a lecture. Spiritual teacher and friend Hilda Charlton was frequently in attendance. Occasionally after classes, Rudi would invite the students up to his living room to play poker, or he would take them to dinner in Chinatown.[2]

Moral here is, no matter how thrilling and influential--see if a teachers legitimation narrative stands up to fact checking.


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