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Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: Dr. Logic ()
Date: February 02, 2010 04:48AM

I've been lurking in this forum for a long time, and I have a few questions for The Anticult.

1) Do you think there's such a thing as spiritual truth?
2) Do you think there's such a thing as an authentic spiritual teacher?

The reason I ask is because whenever someone starts a new thread about whether a particular teacher is legitimate or not, you always seem to conclude that the teacher is a charlatan. Not once have I seen you say, "So-and-so looks okay to me." This makes me wonder -- do you think ALL spiritual teachings and teachers are frauds? If not, can you please give me one example of what you deem to be a true teaching and/or teacher?

I have another question for you. It's a hypothetical problem related to a principle in psychology that has been discussed many times on this forum. After you answer, I'll explain my reason for asking.

Two men are stuck in a traffic jam which causes them to miss important job interviews. Mr. A is furious. He leans on the horn and screams obscenities. He bites his fingernails until they bleed. Mr. B, on the other hand, is very calm and relaxed. He decides to sit back and enjoy the music on the radio. He refuses to let the situation disturb his good mood. He asks himself, why get upset over something I cannot change?

These are two people in identical situations, but their reactions are completely different. One man is suffering and the other is not. My question for you is this: Who, or what, is responsible for Mr. A's suffering -- the traffic or Mr. A himself?

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 02, 2010 05:29AM

Dr. Logic:

Are you attempting to blame cult victims for their own personal injuries through this misleading analogy?

See []

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

9. The group/leader is always right.

10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".

4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.

7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

Ten signs of a safe group/leader.

1. A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.

2. A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.

3. A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.

4. A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.

5. A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.

6. A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.

7. A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.

8. A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.

9. A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.

10. A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: Dr. Logic ()
Date: February 02, 2010 06:26AM


Would you care to explain how your warning signs are in any way relevant to the questions I asked? It seems to me that you posted them in order to imply something or as an attempt to stifle critical inquiry.

I am not attempting to blame anyone for anything. I am attempting to discuss a subtle philosophical point with The Anticult. There is nothing "misleading" about what I wrote, and I would appreciate it if you would allow me to ask my questions and have them answered without unfair interference. To paraphrase a few of your warning signs, a safe group has the following characteristics:

*Tolerance for questions and critical inquiry
*Acceptance of the possibility that the group/leader may not always be right
*Allowance for a process of discovery beyond the group leader's exclusive means of knowing "truth"
*Encouragement of critical thinking

Is this a safe group where I can ask questions or is it not?

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 02, 2010 06:29AM

"Dr. Logic":

The "Warning Signs" are objective ways to gauge a potentially unsafe group by its behavior, structure and dynamics.

Your misleading analogy demonstrates that you are attempting to minimize the damage done by destructive groups and essentially spin the blame on the victim instead.

You are here as a "troll."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2010 06:32AM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: February 02, 2010 06:56AM

Dr Logic;
Am not Anticult, but is it ok with you if I put in my two cents?
Guy in the car, obviously would be better off cultivating a more relaxed attitude.
But if I may also propose a different scenario;
A man is lying on the beach, enjoying the sun, while his two young children are playing in the water.
Suddenly, an onimous fin appears, and a shark approaches the children.

Man A looks at the beautiful sand lying around him, the sparkling sunlight on the waves, and realizes that the shark is merely following his own nature. There is no need to interfere, for he loves what is. Life is all illusion anyway. As his children scream for help with their last cries, he relaxes into watching the glorious play of sunlight on the waves.

Man B leaps up, risks his own life by racing into the waves, and saves his children,pulling them to the shore,and kissing their heads while he cries with relief.

Which of the two would you consider to be the more spiritual?

Perhaps sometimes detaching from reality is not neccessarily the right answer??
All the best,

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2010 06:57AM by yasmin.

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: Dr. Logic ()
Date: February 02, 2010 07:01AM


I didn't make an analogy, far less a misleading one. I asked a question. That's it.

The Anticult has mentioned Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy many times, and the purpose of my question was to illustrate a central tenet of CBT that I wanted to ask him about.

If you visit the homepage of the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, it says, "Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change."

What I wanted to know is whether The Anticult agrees with the NACBT on this point, or whether he feels that they're promoting a philosophy that blames the victim.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2010 07:11AM by Dr. Logic.

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 02, 2010 07:11AM

Dr. Logic:

You seem to be simply trolling for an argument.

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Re: Questions For The Anticult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: February 02, 2010 08:01AM

"Dr. Logic" oversimplifies the foundation of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) -- I suppose for his/her own ends, whatever they may be.

Dr. David Burns is a well-known expert in CBT. From his popular book, "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy":

"Because cognitive therapy asserts that only your thoughts create your feelings, you might come to the nihilistic belief that you cannot hurt anybody no matter what you do, and hence you have license to do anything. After all, why not run out on your family, cheat on your wife, and screw your partner financially? If they're upset, it's their problem because it's their thoughts, right?

"Wrong! Here we come again to the importance of the concept of cognitive distortion. To the extent that a person's emotional upset is caused by his distorted thoughts, then you can say he is responsible for his suffering. If you blame yourself for that individual's pain, it is a personalization error. In contrast, if a person's suffering is caused by valid, undistorted thoughts, then the suffering is real and may in fact have an external cause. For example, you might kick me in the stomach, and I could have the thoughts, 'I've been kicked! It hurts! ____ ____ ____!' In this case the responsibility for my pain rests with you, and your perception that you have hurt me is not distorted in any way. Your remorse and my discomfort are real and valid."

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New Wage "spiritual" teachers distort the axioms of cognitive therapy
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: February 02, 2010 11:29AM

If one looks at the top of this page, there is a title called Cult Education Forum. That is the subject, not promoting new age "spiritual" multimillionaire entrepreneurs, especially those who have escaped public scrutiny, like Byron Katie, Guy Finley, and many others.

If one analyzes the facts and evidence, then the so-called "spiritual teachers" being analyzed often are focussed on self-promotion, making millions tax-free, concealing assets, hundreds of provable lies, covert persuasion, propaganda, abuses of hypnotherapy, egomania, sexual abuses, exploiting volunteers, giant houses paid for by tax-free donations, and 100 other things.
That speaks for itself.

As far as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT, that also speaks for itself through hundreds of scientific controlled studies. The axioms of cognitive therapy are not "truths", and the basic point about cognition and its relation to emotion was known from Epictetus. That is the point which is misused by the New Wage "spiritual" salespeople, when they take a basic insight and then deliberately overgeneralize and distort it to match their own New Wage religion.
CBT acknowledges none of this is absolute, and that cognitions, emotions, behavior, biology, environment all interact as shown in this model. [] Note, its a "model" its not a "truth" of the universe ordained by a New Wage godman.

Making vague statements about alleged "spiritual teachers" gets nowhere. It has to be about a SPECIFIC person and their system they are selling.

Dr. Logic is likely related to one of the groups being analyzed, a wild guess would be Kevin Hogan or perhaps Guy Finley who has totally escaped scrutiny so far.
Guy Finley is very clever []
Perhaps Guy Finley should stop concealing the millions of dollars they have collected tax-free, and open up their alleged "non-profit" accounting to start.

Or perhaps Kevin Hogan, who has also pretty much escaped scrutiny, and is wide open with all of the brazenly FALSE claims he is making. []

If someone has a problem with all of the scammers, tricksters, cults, sects, crooks, quacks, fakes, con-artists, and sociopaths running around selling themselves as having the solution to instant enlightenment for sale, then perhaps one should take it up with them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2010 11:32AM by The Anticult.

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Re: New Wage "spiritual" teachers distort the axioms of cognitive therapy
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: February 02, 2010 08:59PM

I was going to offer Dr Logic a cup of ginger peach tea--but I think your last post hits the nail squarely on the head, Anticult.

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