Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 23, 2012 05:14AM

human · 16 weeks ago
AnnetteVictoria and Karen.....thank you.

Karen ~ I know of Jerry, and Malcom, and Tenor. If I recall, I believe they all posted various comments on the Diamond-Cutter website. I might be wrong, but I do recognize their names. I might recognize them from Esangha as well.

I feel I need to clarify my story a little more.

I was introduced to Buddhism years ago through a former partner. They had lapsed in their Buddhism when I had met them. However, at one time they had been intimately involved with the FPMT....lived in India, studied at Kopan, did a 3 month Vajrasavtta retreat, came back and lived and was one of the caretakers at one of the retreat centers, etc. Tantra initiations, the whole nine yards. My former partner was even acquainted with several of the women who did the first retreat with Michael Roach. One of them was even a very close friend at one time. My former partner had even met Michael Roach through the retreat center they were a caretaker for. I found their experience fascinating, and the interest of Buddhism was sparked inside of me. Even if they had become a lapsed Buddhist, I could see how their experience had defined who they were in the present. (a positive thing)

With that said, I studied Buddhism, and even went on a beginner retreat/teaching at one of the FPMT.
(I believe it was a 7 day retreat) All at the encouragement of my former partner. (although they had chosen due to their own experiences to not be involved in Tibetan Buddhism in such a direct way as they had been in the past. Reminds me of Matthew. They went on to get a real job, plant a garden, etc.) I also bought the Beginner Buddhism Teachings from the FPMT. Last, on my retreat, I did take refuge.

Through my seeking, I encountered some great advice from other long term practitioners. Basically, this advice was to apply the teachings of the Buddha to my own mind and see if it works for me, and to leave the cultural bullshit of Tibetan Buddhism back in Tibet. "Being a Tibetan Buddhist doesn't mean a Westerner needs to become a Tibetan".....something along those lines. :)

Basically, I learned from their experience and mistakes, without having to make the same mistakes myself. I would also like to say that I agree with whoever posted that Tantra is too fast tracked for Westerners. I, too, could of been fast tracked into Tantra, when in reality, I hadn't basically even grasped the 4 noble truths, the eight fold path, etc. I can say this now in hindsight, but their was a time that, I too, would of been taking Tantra initiations, without really having a foundation. As I said, I was blessed by being surrounded by the experiences/wisdom of my former partner, as well of the wisdom of some of the other long term practitioners that I encountered.

And, of course, following the Michael Roach story as the first retreat ended. Perfect example to me at the time on how Tantra can be so dangerous.

With all of that said, I still call and consider myself a Buddhist. I am just still working on grasping the very, very basics of Buddhism, and will be content that if before I die I have somehow grasped/realized the 4 Noble Truths, as well as created some bodhichiita in my heart.

I have beginner heart and mind, and have the wisdom that it will be OK that I don't receive enlightenment in this lifetime :) Just realizing somewhat that attachment is suffering will be good enough for me.

Incidentally, I like Tonglen a lot.

I hope my story helps in some way and that I have properly expressed what I have meant to say. i am not as eloquent as I would like to be. Report Reply +13 Vote up Vote down

Karen Visser · 16 weeks ago
I'd say you're perfectly eloquent and more of an insider than I realized. I really do agree with you, I think a few of us have been writing about Bodhichitta being the most important thing. I personally think it's more important than the rush to individual Enlightenment.

I'd have to ask one of the scholars here, but I don't believe Enlightenment is even possible without Great Compassion. I believe the highest and most difficult aspiration is the Way of the Shepherd, to wish to go to Liberation after all other sentient beings have gone before you.

Full disclosure here - my Lamas are old Tibetans (I know Tibetan Buddhism is taking a hammering here), I have no problem remembering that they're Tibetan and I'm not. I think of myself as a beginner too when I'm around these role models, I can see what a lifetime of practice has done. It really does work. And do you know what they talk about all the time? The Four Noble Truths, Bodhichitta, Tonglen, having a warm heart and loving others

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 23, 2012 05:20AM

I assumed that the madyamika perspective and the teachings at DM were the same and it was for this reason that I thought "TB has it wrong", when I realized that what is taught at DM is wrong - specifically Karmic management.

It is only after other DM students told me that the DM and Madymika perspective were different, that I began to listen to teachings by HHDL and Alexander Berzin. Once I sarted listening the differences became fairly clear.

Here is a quote from Alexander Berzin:

"Let's say I cross the street and I'm hit by a car. Did my karma cause the car to hit me? Well you can't really say that. Then you get into a very solipsistic view of the universe and everythng is caused by me.

I didn't cause the other person to drive the car at that time.

Does my karma ripen for me to cross the street at just the time when the other person is going to be driving? Well, no, you can't say that either.

Cause that again seems as though I am influencing the other person driving.

So you have to say the are many many causes and circumstances that are ripening from the other person's side for them to drive the car at a certain time. And here's another circumstance from my side that I am crossing the street"

This seems to diectly contradict what is taught at DM and the notion that you can control everything if you just plant the right karmic seeds. Report Reply +14 Vote up Vote down

· 15 weeks ago
Ben, Thank you for that quote from Alexander Berzin.

That explains karma in a very different way from what I was taught in my ACI classes & from what I was told directly by one of my ACI teachers.

A very traumatic event occurred in my life a few years ago during which I was physically & emotionally harmed by someone I didn't know. I was being told by my ACI teacher that I needed to "work through my purification" in regard to my karma and this event.

Instinctively, I knew that what I was being told didn't make sense because it felt like my teacher was blaming me for a situation outside of my control. Luckily, I listened to my intuition & chose to distance myself from him after that as well as from further ACI initiations & teachings.

I find the Alexander Berzin quote to be very enlightening and it presents a much clearer picture of karma that I find to be more healthy.

I'm very grateful for that, thanks.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 26, 2012 12:13AM

How India Can Send People Off Balance

Many people do not know the extent to which India can be de-stabilizing.

Time zone change. You arrive short of sleep and disoriented.

Little or no privacy. Boundaries as we negotiate them in the West do not exist.

Sensory overload.

Food, language, social customs unfamiliar

No doenst mean no. You say no, they keep nagging at you until no becomes yes.

Emotions considered bad by spiritual aspirants are constantly inflamed by the stresses of India--guilt, shame, rage when people refuse to leave you alone. Then you feel shittier because you have flunked your self examination for what it takes to be a good person.

Risks of illness - travellers diarrhea, dengue fevers, food borne illnesses. Dehydration and illness can impair judgement.

A desperate need for finding someone or some-thing to cling to so you can regain your inner coherance. This can leave even the strongest person vulnerable.

If a traveler is young, is genetically loaded for bipolar affective disorder, a condition that can be triggered by time zone shifts, he or she may have a disabling episode for the first time, and far from home.

Anyone with a family history of bipolar affective disorder is urgently advised to consult with a physician who understands the condition before going on a transcontinental flight for the first time. Stress and insomnia can also trigger BAD breaks. In the context of India and ashram life, a manic swing can be interpreted as spiritual progress and not understood for what it actually is--a serious medical crisis. Ditto for the dangerous depressions that follow upon manic episodes.


Over fifty years ago, Jan Willem van de Wettering told how he wanted to go East in 1957 or so and wisely, before leaving the Netherlands sought advice from a university professor he knew and whose judgement he respected.

The professor advised him to study Buddhism in Japan. Interestingly, the professor advised Jan to avoid India, and listed the reasons why. He warned that the poverty of India was so horrifying that it sent too many Western visitors off their heads. Furthermore, in India there was too much risk of getting sick and dying.

In Japan, modern medical care was reliable if anything went wrong and one could easily locate the Dutch consulates or the embassy.

(Willem van de Wettering The Empty Mirror)

van de Wettering did encounter bullying in Japan, but ironically, the worst of it came from a Westerner who had studied Zen longer than he had--and was appointed to be Jan Willem's preceptor!

But, de Wettering did not become incurably ill or insane. What is interesting is that when he did become ill due to an inablity to thrive on the diet provided by the monastery, the abbot directed him to go see a doctor and when the physician prescribed a higher protein diet, the abbot arranged for the young man to have meals at a restaurant where he could get the food he needed to maintain his well being and follow the practice schedule.

His Dutch mentor had supplied quite excellent advice.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 26, 2012 12:17AM

Note for those fluent in modern Hebrew

There may exist a first rate literature on India related travel and psychiatric concerns in Israeli medical and sociological literature.

Israelis have been travelling in large numbers to India for many years. When Israeli citizens need care and re-patriation, the Israeli government takes this seriously.


Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2012 11:50PM

India Syndrome and a follow up on Jonathan Spollen.

Friends, there is a fine article in the Irish Times


He had robbed in Nepal, got a stomach bug and after a stumble on a trail had been left with al imp. And been diagnosed with kidney stones when in India in December.

Anyone who has had kidney stones can tell you how horrible the pain is. It is very worrisome that Mr did not tcontinued to remain in the backcountry despite this painful condition and also was left with a limp after stumbling on a trail.

We must hope that he will come back or someone can find out what happened to him.

When ailments cluster together in this way, its easy to become worn down.


Before he left Hong Kong, Spollen arranged for his laptop and camera to be sent home.

He travelled first to Nepal, where he was robbed in October, before flying from Kathmandu to Delhi in late November. He had a three-month Indian visa that was due to expire on February 21st.

After spending time in the southern state of Kerala, he made his way to the sacred city of Varanasi, and from there north to Rishikesh.

In December Spollen had been diagnosed with kidney stones, but he did not tell his family. In mid-January he went on a two-week trek and returned to the town with a stomach bug and a slight limp he developed after a stumble on the trail.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2012 11:51PM

Following publication of the Details article Death on the Path to Enlightenment, there were a series of comments here.



Growing up in India, Westerners who came to India in search of spirituality were mostly regarded with cynicism, with a touch of pity, at least in the circles I moved in. There are an awful lot of sketchy gurus out there.

It seemed that every other week there would be a story about a new expose about an ashram -- strange sexual exploits, or torture, or being bilked of all one's money. That whole scene just seemed to attract a really dangerous blend of predators and prey -- exploiters and the vulnerable. My parents' attitude was always to stay as far away as possible.
posted by peacheater at 1:30 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]

There are an awful lot of sketchy gurus out there.

As a cynical friend said back in the late '60s, hard to believe a continent with hundreds of millions of poor people would develop con men.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:37 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


I have spent a great deal of time in India -- at first as a student, later as part of my work. And there is no demographic of foreigners I find more disturbing than the spiritual tourists from Europe and North America (and to some extent, Israel). Part of this is, admittedly, my own cynicism at work: it seems to me that many of these people are traveling halfway around the world to a) enjoy the strength of their own nation's currency while b) staring at conspicuous poverty that has the "happy" effect of c) highlighting how privileged their own lives really are, which d) makes them feel more "grateful" for their own comfortable lives and thus, tada!, more "spiritually awakened."

Like I said, though, I'm aware that this reading predominantly reflects my own cynicism.

The other reason I find these spiritual tourists so disturbing is that too many of them seem to treat their daily lives in India like a game, to which no real consequences can attach. As a result, I have seen the most incredible instances of gullibility and naivete from such people. I won't even get into the drug use that abounds in certain "spiritual tourist" capitals throughout India (Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj, Varanasi, Haridwar and Rishikesh, Pushkar...oy, Pushkar). But in general, "spiritual tourists" seem more likely to take tremendously stupid risks (both in what they do and whom they trust) than other demographics of foreigners in India. I'm not sure if this naivete is born of their explicitly spiritual agendas ("Keep an open mind"? "Accept all opportunities that arise"? or what have you), or of an Orientalist assumption that Indians, generally speaking, are more "spiritually enlightened," and a connected inability to grasp that people are people everywhere, and thus are capable of the same evils as well as the same virtues as folks "back at home."

At any rate, I do sense undercurrents among certain communities of foreigners in India, and *particularly* in those "spiritual tourist" hotspots I named above, that uncomfortably evoke, to me, the same kinds of mindsets that supported Orientalist and old-school colonialist behaviors. India is not a game, an amusement park, a playland designed solely to foster your self-exploration and spiritual development: it's a country full of people going about their daily lives, and you need to proceed with respect and caution, just as you would back at home, in your own part of the world.

Sigh. This has begun to turn into a rant, and an uncharitable and perhaps unfair one at that, so I'll desist.

I should say, I've met some lovely people who are spiritually-minded who comport themselves with warmth, respect, dignity, and sensitivity no matter where they travel, India being no exception. I'm not saying all spiritually-inclined tourists are buffoons

But I've run into more than a handful of such during my times in India, and as I said -- I am often as alarmed for them as I am by them.
posted by artemisia at 1:44 PM on October 18 [40 favorites]

There's nothing particularly high minded about seeking a closer connection to the supernatural if you're doing it for selfish purposes.

As a History of Hinduism professor (Indian) with an otherwise impeccable grasp of American idioms once said to us in graduate school, "That opens up a whole new jar or worms."
posted by kozad at 1:39 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]

The thing that's overlooked here is the number of people who fall prey to ecstatic religious experiences, such as speaking in tongues and exorcisms and such, right here in the states, who have never had any exposure to yoga or meditation. You don't need to travel to India to experience "India Syndrome", and you don't need to do yoga or meditation.
posted by PigAlien at 1:40 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]

posted by chimaera at 1:40 PM on October 18


Beginning in 1997, I lived in India off and on for more than a decade. Westerners whose journeys had taken a wrong turn were commonplace there. The most notorious was Gary Stevenson, a Texan supposedly descended from Robert Louis Stevenson, who, after joining the Aghori—a group of wandering holy men who demonstrate the renunciation of physical and material attachments by covering themselves in cremation ash—could often be seen on the streets of Rishikesh begging for alms, using a human skull for a bowl.

Did India make him come unglued, or was he already unstable?

So this behavior unequivocally makes this guy "unglued"? I admit it is somewhat extreme, but who is to say that Stevenson didn't truly have some sort of spiritual revelation?

I get what the author is trying to say here, but a lot of it seems sort of breathless . . . don't go to India because IT WILL COOK YOUR NOODLE!!!!11
posted by exlotuseater at 12:03 PM on October 18 [13 favorites]


Meditation-induced states are not universally benign. This is not very common, so it is unlikely to show up in the media. This kind of thing is not dissimilar to bad acid trips. They happen. I know a woman who is in a wheelchair because she jumped out a window on LSD, thinking she could fly. This is not just an urban myth.

Some meditation techniques, like the hyperventilating (supposedly kundalini-up-the-spine-producing) meditation session I attended once, taught by the quasi-Sikh Yogi Bhajan group 3HO, made me feel like I was tripping. I didn't go back.

Once I meditated all night long and couldn't really talk for a few hours.

Meditation is, for the most part, calming, and more, for those who like it. Its extreme effects are mostly benign, such as feeling the dissolving of all boundaries between oneself and one's environment. (There are neuropsychological theories about this...) I find this blissful, but I suppose it could feel scary to some.

Months of intensive meditation in a place where your usual social and environmental cues are absent could easily unhinge a person. Interesting article.
posted by kozad at 12:29 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]

don't go to India because IT WILL COOK YOUR NOODLE!!!!11

A wild eyed Spaniard came up to me at a conference in Barcelona last week and goes "OMG I LOVE Indian philosophy, it blew my mind, its so different, its this, its that, its the cheese on the moon bla bla bla"

Seems like India can cook your noodle without travel too.
posted by infini at 12:34 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Indiahhhhhhhh! While at university I studied abroad studying Buddhism in Bodhgaya, the town where the girl jumped. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had (even though I had diarrhea for pretty much the entire 3-4 months I was there, woooo). It was a transformative experience, one where I mentally went deeper into myself than I ever have. I think it made me a little wonky in the head for a little while, but nothing serious. Let's just say your fashion sense and the number of days you can go without showering changes drastically. But I definitely intend to go back at some point.

Having said that, it's not for everyone. There were about 30 students in the program living in a Burmese monastery, and one guy had to go home early. It wasn't known from the beginning, but apparently he had some history of mental illness, and this program seemed to make it worse. In class he would answer a question correctly, but it was as if the words were correct but the way he answered it wasn't right, something was off. As far as I know he started believing he was enlightened and had some other strange encounters with the students, and that's when the faculty made the decision to bring him home.

So in other words, meditation and mental illness don't necessarily work well together, and can only exacerbate the problem.


This was an interesting read... I guess I sort of knew that things like this happened, but it seemed rather far away from me when I was there. I definitely didn't know that this was 'a thing' related particularly to India.

I spent a lot of time in the Ladakh region (Leh, in particular), but I was there to work, and it was a really strange environment to find myself in because of that. Virtually every foreigner I spoke to there was there to get in touch with their spiritual side, or party, or it seemed like a lot of the time, both. It ended a lot of conversations very quickly actually. I mean people did the whole 'politely interested in what you're doing here' thing until it started to involve science and the obvious lack of spiritualism. Still met a lot of nice people but I always felt like we were at cross-purposes. That and I was never very good at just letting strange men aggressively hit on me, so. That ended quite a few social engagements too.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:08 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]

Stories like Spollen's feel like Eastern versions of Into the Wild, the 1996 book about a young adventurer who died after trying to live off the land in Alaska.

Reminded me more of Angus MacLise, dead of malnutrition in Kathmandu at 41.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:08 PM on October 18

I suppose this phenomenon is the high-minded equivalent to affluent westerners going to Thailand for debauchery and hedonism.

Affluent Westerner here who spent three months in Thailand while on a 9 month around the world trip. I think I missed the debauchery. Not enough electricity and too concerned about contracting malaria.

That said, in every guest house I stayed, it was blatantly, painfully obvious who had just come from India. They were invariably insufferable.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:17 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 22, 2012 10:45PM

Sources of Trouble in India



Chota Rani, a health care professional who practices OBGYN and lives in India wrote this:

'India Syndrome' – Yes, in my opinion there is such a thing- but it is not unique to India.

Allow me to explain.

I've seen many a foreign visitor to India & Nepal completely 'lose it' & become a babbling incoherent mess. About once a week in the tiny touristy town I live in some gori or gora just flips out. Haloperidol to the rescue!!!!

Here's my take on what's going on with these people- India is so completely overwhelming on a sensual, spiritual, & psychological levels their brain hits 'overload'. Think about it-

Visually India is overpowering to a westerner- colorful clothes, scenes of abject poverty, human & animal suffering, chaos, disorder, beggars, cows, filth, dust, smoke, people everywhere, rubbish everywhere, soaring temples, vivid idols & iconography, etc.

The smells you encounter in India are far more intense than what westerners experience in their own countries – burning incense, stale urine, rotting garbage, cow poop, sweaty bodies, the scents of unfamiliar foods & spices, heavy ittar, etc.

The constant noise in India – people, animals, horns honking, speakers blaring.

The emotional/psychological barrage of touts trying to sell you crap, nothing is ever 'on time', beggars pleading with you, extreme animal neglect, displays of human suffering, the frustration of just getting a train ticket/taxi/transportation without getting cheated, having to 'bargain' with people for services & items, exotic & intense religious rituals –

In the west we are all so isolated from interacting with people & avoiding/hiding suffering & poverty this can be an emotional 'shock'.

The physical strain of being exposed to new bacteria, viruses, parasites & microbes.

The physical strain of the extreme heat & humidity in monsoon & the dryness & biting cold in winter- most people don't realize dehydration can make you act nutty sometimes. Deplete your potassium, calcium & sodium levels (through vomiting, diarrhea or just not eating & drinking enough fluids) and your brain & or heart won't work properly.

Lets also not forget when travelling from Europe & the US the time change- your sleep is screwed up from the time change, night is now day so your cortisol levels are all 'out of whack'.

I think even the 'high carbohydrate/low protein' rice & dal diet most goris/goras try in India for the first time while visiting India probably fools with blood sugar/insulin regulation & affects thinking & behavior.

Soooooo…all this adds up to OVERWHELM!!!!

And the brain goes


We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto!!!

A bolus dose of a strong anti-psychotic medication, bed rest in a quiet isolated room & rehydration either orally or intravenously – they'll soon be 'sane' again. If all this doesn't help, then remove the patient from all the hyperstimulation (India) and they generally return to 'normal'.

Let me post this before the 'load shedding' kicks in here again.

10:15 pmOctober 18, 2012
Sharell शारेल

Mumbai, India


posts 639
Print this Post 25
Tamasha the Choto Rani said:

Here's my take on what's going on with these people- India is so completely overwhelming on a sensual, spiritual, & psychological levels their brain hits 'overload'. Think about it-

And you know what's so fascinating about the brain is that it can go haywire in the opposite circumstances too.

On those 10 day vipassana courses, where you're not allowed to speak or communicate with anyone the whole time, people flip out on every course.

It happened to a couple of people on the course I did (in Australia).

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: truthinlove ()
Date: November 27, 2012 11:37AM

Your best defence is to do everything that you wouldn't normally do, because the new age stuff warped your gifts, it grabbed on to your time and talents. The best thing is to resume normal activities. Also, attend a Christian church service. This wipes it out.

Bascially, do everything AGAINST what the voice from the New Age did to warp your brain. Whatever that demon is telling you, forget it!

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 22, 2013 11:13PM

"But have you experienced it?"

"Well, that wasnt my experience"

One can be drunk and experience oneself as being competant to drive an automobile safely, yet actually be impaired and unable to do so.

Corboy: Once, when ill with double pneumonia, my thermometer read that my body tempreture was 101 to 104 F, yet right at that same time, I experienced myself as freezing cold. Later, I learned that when running high fevers, the body releases chemicals that confuse the tempreture receptors in the brain.

This is an example of how even vivid experience can sometimes be misleading.

"Well, that wasnt my experience."

Well, what if you were in a special group--affluent or newbie, singled out for good treatment? What if you didnt happen to be the type that that the guru would target for rage fits or sexual molestation?

What if you were a new member being given flattery and good treatment, while persons who were in disgrace where kept in another location where you could not witness them being yelled at?

What if you were one of the affluent members who got to attend the ecstacy arousing events, but were not one of the low rankers selected as scapegoats, or who were kicked out in middle age after working at the ashram without the pension plan they'd been told about and trusted, years earlier?

From the comments section of Rituals of Disenchantment



Anonymous said...

If enough other people have experience that is negative and differs from yours, why would you not begin questioning the validity of your own experience?

Is is satisfaction, or denial?

February 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM
Anonymous said...
Anon 10:04

Personal experience that has been manipulated and secretly controlled by others is a very poor standard by which to judge the world. February 21, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Anonymous said...

The sickest thing to me is that the What is your experience? question was pushed back onto anyone who asked about Muktanada's "alleged" abuse of under age girls. As if the fact that you yourself weren't raped cancelled out his crimes.
February 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM
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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 19, 2013 10:06PM

Food for thought.

Victor Lustig was supposedly one of the best con artists of all time. Here is a list of his supposed ten commandments.

It appears he must have known how to frequent venues full of persons already troubled and eager to talk.

Note that in some situtations one can get away with being untidy or unkempt, or even be someone who does most of the talking. In situations where unconventional behavior is accepted, this can be successful.

A con artist might send out recruiters who do behave with the care and discretion described here.




The Ten Commandments of Con Artists

Victor Lustig's Rules

One - Victor Lustig


The Scam

Victor "The Count" Lustig is one of the greatest con artist's of all time. In 1925 he sold the Eiffel Tower to scrap metal dealers. In 1929, after the original victim's failed to go to the police, he returned to Paris and committed the same fraud for a second time. He even managed to convince one of his victim's to give him a bribe.

He also created a fake money duplicating machine that produced counterfeit notes. The machine didn't actually work but that didn't stop him selling them for $25,000 a pop!

His ten commandments for con men are still used today by con artists around the world.

Be a good listener - the myth of the fast talking, silver tongued con man should be ignored.

(Corboy note: some con artists or gurus do talk all the time--its called inducing confusion. But their recruiters might be the good listener types--the ones who induce us to go to a weekend seminar and refuse to tell us what will happen.)

Never appear bored - show nothing but interest in your victim

Agree with the victim's politics. Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them

Agree with the victim's religion. (Corboy Make it seem that your guru or LGAT
system is compatible with their religion or ethical guidelines. Later, when they are emotionally dependant, is the time to pressurize them to compromise their beliefs and submit to you or your guru)

Hint at sex talk without being explicit

Never discuss illness unless they bring up the subject

Never ask about personal circumstances.

Never talk yourself up. Your brilliance should be obvious

Never be messy or untidy.

Never get drunk or take drugs (Corboy Or find a way to hide it if you do.)


These commandments are also used by salespeople and those with an interest in affecting people's behaviour.

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