the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: LenO ()
Date: February 20, 2005 12:38PM

Thanks guys. Love - LenO.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: lilygirl ()
Date: February 22, 2005 11:56PM

Hi all,

Sorry this is so long in coming. I've been swamped.

Here is the article. Good Luck!

Dealing With Manipulative People
An Excerpt from the book: In Sheep's Clothing

By George K. Simon

Two Basic Types of Aggression

There are two basic types of aggression: overt-aggression and covert-aggression. When you're determined to have something and you're open, direct and obvious in your manner of fighting, your behavior is best labeled overtly aggressive. When you're out to "win," dominate or control, but are subtle, underhanded or deceptive enough to hide your true intentions, your behavior is most appropriately labeled covertly aggressive. Now, avoiding any overt display of aggression while simultaneously intimidating others into giving you what you want is a powerfully manipulative maneuver. That's why covert-aggression is most often the vehicle for interpersonal manipulation.

Acts of Covert-Aggression vs. Covert-Aggressive Personalities
Most of us have engaged in some sort of covertly aggressive behavior from time to time. Periodically trying to manipulate a person or a situation doesn't make someone a covert-aggressive personality. Personality can be defined by the way a person habitually perceives, relates to and interacts with others and the world at large. The tactics of deceit, manipulation and control are a steady diet for covert-aggressive personality. It's the way they prefer to deal with others and to get the things they want in life.

The Process of Victimization

For a long time, I wondered why manipulation victims have a hard time seeing what really goes on in manipulative interactions. At first, I was tempted to fault them. But I've learned that they get hoodwinked for some very good reasons:

A manipulator's aggression is not obvious. Our gut may tell us that they're fighting for something, struggling to overcome us, gain power, or have their way, and we find ourselves unconsciously on the defensive. But because we can't point to clear, objective evidence they're aggressing against us, we aren't readily validating our feelings.

The tactics manipulators use can make it seem like they're hurting, caring, defending, ....almost anything but fighting. These tactics are hard to recognize as merely clever ploys. They always make just enough sense to make a person doubt their gut hunch that they're being taken advantage of or abused. Besides, the tactics not only make it hard for you to consciously and objectively tell that a manipulator is fighting, but they also simultaneously keep you or consciously on the defensive. These features make them highly effective psychological weapons to which anyone can be vulnerable. It's hard to think clearly when someone has you emotionally on the run.

All of us have weaknesses and insecurities that a clever manipulator might exploit. Sometimes, we're aware of these weaknesses and how someone might use them to take advantage of us. For example, I hear parents say things like: "Yeah, I know I have a big guilt button." -But at the time their manipulative child is busily pushing that button, they can easily forget what's really going on. Besides, sometimes we're unaware of our biggest vulnerabilities. Manipulators often know us better than we know ourselves. They know what buttons to push, when and how hard. Our lack of self-knowledge sets us up to be exploited.

What our gut tells us a manipulator is like challenges everything we've been taught to believe about human nature. We've, been inundated with a psychology that has us seeing everybody, at least to some degree, as afraid, insecure or "hung-up." So, while our gut tells us we're dealing with a ruthless conniver, our head tells us they must be really frightened or wounded "underneath." What's more, most of us generally hate to think of ourselves as callous and insensitive people. We hesitate to make harsh or seemingly negative judgments about others. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they have don't really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect. We're more apt to doubt and blame ourselves for daring to believe what our gut tells us about our manipulator's character.

Recognizing Aggressive Agendas

Accepting how fundamental it is for people to fight for the things they want and becoming more aware of the subtle, underhanded ways people can and do fight in their daily endeavors and relationships can be very consciousness expanding. Learning to recognize an aggressive move when somebody makes one and learning how to handle oneself in any of life's many battles has turned out to be the most empowering experience for the manipulation victims with whom I've worked. It's how they eventually freed themselves from their manipulator's dominance and control and gained a much needed boost to their own sense of self esteem.

Recognizing the inherent aggression in manipulative behavior and becoming more aware of the slick, surreptitious ways that manipulative people prefer to aggress against us is extremely important. Not recognizing and accurately labeling their subtly aggressive moves causes most people to misinterpret the behavior of manipulators and, therefore, fail to respond to them in an appropriate fashion. Recognizing when and how manipulators are fighting with Defense Mechanisms and Offensive Tactics

Defense Mechanisms and Offensive Tactics

Almost everyone is familiar with the term defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are the "automatic" (i.e. unconscious) mental behaviors all of us employ to protect or defend ourselves from the "threat" of some emotional pain. More specifically, ego defense mechanisms are mental behaviors we use to "defend" our self-images from "invitations" to feel ashamed or guilty about something. There are many different kinds of ego defenses and the more traditional psychodynamic) theories of personality have always tended to distinguish the various personality types, at least in part, by the types of ego defenses they prefer to use. One of the problems with psychodynamic approaches to understanding human behavior is that they tend to depict people as most always afraid of something and defending or protecting themselves in some way; even when they're in the act of aggressing. Covert-aggressive personalities (indeed all aggressive personalities) use a variety of mental behaviors and interpersonal maneuvers to help ensure they get what they want. Some of these behaviors have been traditionally thought of as defense mechanisms.

While, from a certain perspective we might say someone engaging in these behaviors is defending their ego from any sense of shame or guilt, it's important to realize that at the time the aggressor is exhibiting these behaviors, he is not primarily defending (i.e. attempting to prevent some internally painful event from occurring), but rather fighting to maintain position, gain power and to remove any obstacles (both internal and external) in the way of getting what he wants. Seeing the aggressor as on the defensive in any sense is a set-up for victimization. Recognizing that they're primarily on the offensive mentally prepares a person for the decisive action they need to take in order to avoid being run over. Therefore, I think it's best to conceptualize many of the mental behaviors (no matter how "automatic" or "unconscious" they may appear) we often think of as defense mechanisms as offensive power tactic because aggressive personalities employ them primarily to manipulate, control and achieve dominance over others. Rather than trying to prevent something emotionally painful or dreadful from happening, anyone using these tactics is primarily trying to ensure that something they want to happen does indeed happen. Using the vignettes presented in the previous chapters for illustration, let's take a look at the principal tactics covert-aggressive personalities use to ensure they get their way and maintain a position of power over their victims:

Denial -This is when the aggressor refuses to admit that they've done something harmful or hurtful when they clearly have. It's a way they lie (to themselves as well. as others) about their aggressive intentions. This "Who... Me?" tactic is a way of "playing innocent," and invites the victim to feel unjustified in confronting the aggressor about the inappropriateness of a behavior. It's also the way the aggressor gives him/herself permission to keep right on doing what, they want to do. This denial is not the same kind of denial that a person who has just lost a loved one and can't quite bear to accept the pain and reality of the loss engages in. That type of denial really is mostly a "defense" against unbearable hurt and anxiety. Rather, this type of denial is not primarily a "defense" but a maneuver the aggressor uses to get others to back off, back down or maybe even feel guilty themselves for insinuating he's doing something wrong. In the story of James the minister, James' denial of his ruthless ambition is massive. He denied he was hurting and neglecting his family. He especially denied he was aggressively pursuing any personal agenda. On the contrary, he cast himself as the humble servant to an honorable cause. He managed to convince several people (and maybe even himself) of the nobility and purity of his intentions.

But underneath it all, James knew he was being dishonest: This fact is borne cut in his reaction to the threat of not getting a seat on the Elders' Council if his marital problems worsened. When James learned he might not get what he was so aggressively pursuing after all, he had an interesting "conversion" experience. All of a sudden, he decided he could put aside the Lord's bidding for a weekend and he might really need to devote more time to his marriage and family. James' eyes weren't opened by the pastor's words. He always kept his awareness high about what might hinder or advance his cause. He knew if he didn't tend to his marriage he might lose what he really wanted. So, he chose (at least temporarily) to alter course.

In the story of Joe and Mary, Mary confronted Joe several times about what she felt was insensitivity and ruthlessness on his part in his treatment of Lisa. Joe denied his aggressiveness. Be also successfully convinced Mary that what she felt in her gut was his aggressiveness was really conscientiousness, loyalty, and passionate fatherly concern. Joe wanted a daughter who got all A's. Mary stood in the way. Joe's denial was the tactic he used to remove Mary as an obstacle to what he wanted.

Selective Inattention -This tactic is similar to and sometimes mistaken for denial. It's when the aggressor "plays dumb," or acts oblivious. When engaging in this tactic, the aggressor actively ignores the warnings, pleas or wishes of others, and in general, refuses to pay attention to everything and anything that might distract them from pursuing their own agenda. Often, the aggressor knows full well what you want from him when he starts to exhibit this "I don't want to hear it!" behavior. By using this tactic, the aggressor actively resists submitting himself to the tasks of paying attention to or refraining from the behavior you want him to change. In the story of Jenny and Amanda, Jenny tried to tell Amanda she was losing privileges because she was behaving irresponsibly. But Amanda wouldn't listen. Her teacher tried to tell her what she needed to do to improve her grade: but she didn't listen to them either. Actively listening to and heeding the suggestions of someone else are, among other things, acts of submission. And, as you may remember from the story, Amanda is not a girl who submits easily. Determined to let nothing stand in her way and convinced she could eventually "win" most of her power struggles with authority figures through manipulation, Amanda closed her ears. She didn't see any need to listen. From her point of view, she would only have lost some power and control if she submitted herself to the guidance and direction offered by those whom she view as less powerful, clever and capable as herself. (Combination of Passive Aggressive Behavior and Narcissism?)

Rationalization -A rationalization is the excuse an aggressor tries to offer for engaging in an inappropriate or harmful behavior. It can be an effective tactic, especially when the explanation or justification the aggressor offers makes just enough sense that any reasonably conscientious person is likely to fall for it. It's a powerful tactic because it not only serves to remove any internal resistance the aggressor might have about doing what they want to do (quieting any qualms of conscience they might have) but also to keep others off their back.

If the aggressor can convince you they're justified in whatever they're doing, then they're freer to pursue their goals without interference. In the story of little Lisa, Mary felt uneasy about the relentlessness with which Joe pursued his quest to make his daughter an obedient, all-A student once again. And, she was aware of Lisa's expressed desire to pursue counseling as a means of addressing and perhaps solving some of her problems. Although she felt uneasy about Joe's forcefulness and sensed the impact on her daughter, she allowed herself to become, persuaded by his rationalizations that any concerned parent ought to know his daughter better than some relatively dispassionate outsider and that he was only doing his duty by doing as much as he possibly could to "help" his "little girl." When a manipulator really wants to make headway with their rationalizations they'll be sure their excuses are combined with other effective tactics. For example, when Joe was "selling" Mary on the justification for shoving his agenda down everyone's throat he was also sending out subtle invitations for her to feel ashamed (Shaming her for not being as "concerned" a parent as he was) as well as to feel guilty (guilt-tripping her) for not being as conscientious as he was pretending to be.

Diversion -A moving target is hard to hit. When we try to pin a manipulator down or try to keep a discussion focused on a single issue or behavior we don't like, they're expert at knowing how to change the subject, dodge the issue or in some way throw us a curve. They use distraction and diversion techniques to keep the focus off their behavior, move us off-track, and keep themselves free to promote their self-serving hidden agendas.

..............Rather than respond directly to the issue being addressed, Amanda diverted attention to her teacher's and classmates' treatment of her. Jenny allowed Amanda to steer: her off track. She never got a straight answer to the question. Another example of a diversion tactic can be found in the story of Don and

Al changed the subject when Don asked him if he had any plans to replace him. He focused on whether he was unhappy or not with Don's sales performance -as if that's what Don had asked him about in the first place. He never gave him straight answer to a straight question (manipulators are notorious for this). He told him what he thought would make Don feel less anxious and would steer him away from pursuing the matter any further. Al left feeling like he'd gotten an answer but all he -really got was the "runaround." Early in the current school year, I found it necessary to address my son's irresponsibility about doing his homework by making a rule that he bring his books home every night. One time I asked: "Did you bring your books home today?" His response was: "Guess what, Dad? Instead of tomorrow, we're not going to have our test-until Friday." My question was simple and direct. His answer was deliberately evasive and diversionary. He knew that, if he answered the question directly and honestly, he would have received a consequence for failing to bring his books home. By using diversion: (and also offering a rationalization) he was already fighting with me to avoid that consequence. Whenever someone is not responding directly to an issue, you can safely assume that for some reason, they're trying to give you the slip.

Lying -It's hard to tell when a person is lying at the time they're doing it. Fortunately, there are times when the truth will out because circumstances don't bear out somebody's story. But there are times when you don't know you've been deceived until it's too late. One way to minimize the chances that someone will put one over on you is to remember that because aggressive personalities of all types will generally stop at nothing to get what they want, you can expect them to lie and cheat. Another thing to remember is that manipulators -covert-aggressive personalities that they are -are prone to lie in subtle, covert ways. Someone was well aware of the many ways there are to lie when they suggested that court oaths charge a person to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth " Manipulators often lie by withholding a significant amount of the truth from you or by distorting the truth. They are adept at being vague when you ask them direct questions. This an especially slick way of lying' omission. Keep this in mind when dealing with a suspected wolf in sheep's clothing. Always seek and obtain specific, confirmable information.

Covert Intimidation -Aggressors frequently threaten their victims to keep them anxious, apprehensive and in a one-down position. Covert-aggressives intimidate their victims by making veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats. Guilt-tripping -This is one of the covert-aggressive's two favorite weapons (the other is shaming). It's a special kind of intimidation tactic. One thing that aggressive personalities know well is that other types of persons have very different consciences than they do. Manipulators are often skilled at using what they know to be the greater conscientiousness of their victims as a means of keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious, and submissive position. The more conscientious the potential victim, the more effective guilt is as a weapon. Aggressive personalities of all types use guilt-tripping so frequently and effectively as a manipulative tactic, that I believe it illustrates how fundamentally different in character they are compared to other (especially neurotic) personalities. All a manipulator has to do is suggest to the conscientious person that they don't care enough, are too selfish, etc., and that person immediately starts to feel bad. On the contrary, a conscientious person might try until they're blue in the face to get a manipulator (or any other aggressive personality to feel badly about a hurtful behavior, acknowledge responsibility, or admit wrongdoing, to absolutely no avail.

Shaming -This is the technique of using subtle sarcasm and put-downs as a means of increasing fear and self-doubt in others. Covert-aggressives use this tactic to make others feel inadequate or unworthy, and therefore, defer to them. It's an effective way to foster a continued sense of personal inadequacy in the weaker party, thereby allowing an aggressor to maintain a position of dominance. When Joe loudly proclaimed any "good" parent would do just as he was doing to help Lisa, he subtly implied Mary would be a "bad" parent if she didn't attempt to do the same. He "invited" her to feel ashamed of herself. The tactic was effective. Mary eventually felt ashamed for taking a position that made it appear she didn't care enough about her own daughter. Even more doubtful of her worth as a person and a parent, Mary deferred to Joe, thus enabling him to rein a position of dominance over her. Covert-aggressives are expert at using shaming tactics in the most subtle ways. Sometimes it can just be in the glances they give or the tone of voice they use. Using rhetorical comments, subtle sarcasm and other techniques, they can invite you to feel ashamed of yourself for even daring to challenge them. I remember how Joe tried to shame me when I considered accepting the educational assessment performed by Lisa's school. He said something like: "I'm not sure what kind of doctor you are or just what kind of credentials you have, but I'm sure you'd agree that a youngster's grades wouldn't slip as much as Lisa's for no reason. You couldn't be entirely certain she didn't have a learning disability unless you did some testing, could you?' With those words, he "invited" me to feel ashamed of myself for not at least considering doing just as he asked. If I didn't have a suspicion about what he was up to, I might have accepted this invitation without a second thought.

Playing the Victim Role -This tactic involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstance or someone else's behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and hostile personalities usually can't stand to see anyone suffering. Therefore, the tactic is simple. Convince your victim you're suffering in some way, and they'll try to relieve your distress.

In, the story of Amanda and Jenny, Amanda was good at playing the victim role too. She had her mother believing that she (Amanda) was the victim of extremely unfair treatment and the target of unwarranted hostility. I remember Jenny telling me: "Sometimes I think Amanda's wrong when she says her teacher hates her and I hate her. But what if that's what she really believes? Can I afford to be so firm with her if she believes in her heart that I hate her?" I remember telling Jenny: " Whether Amanda has come to believe her own distortions is almost irrelevant. She manipulates you because you believe that she believes it and allow that supposed belief to serve as an excuse for her undisciplined aggression."

Vilifying the Victim -This tactic is frequently used in conjunction with the tactic of playing the victim role. The aggressor uses this tactic to make it appear he is only responding (i.e. defending himself against) aggression on the part of the victim. It enables the aggressor to better put the victim on the defensive.

Returning again to the story of Jenny and Amanda, when Amanda accuses her mother of "hating" her and "always saying mean things" to her, she not only invites Jenny to feel the "bully," but simultaneously succeeds in "bullying" Jenny into backing off. More than any other, the tactic of vilifying the victim is a powerful means of putting someone unconsciously on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent and behavior of the person using the tactic.

Playing the Servant Role -Covert-aggressives use this tactic to cloak their self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a more noble cause. It's a common tactic but difficult to recognize. By pretending to he working hard on someone else's behalf, covert-aggressives conceal their own ambition, desire for power, and quest for a position of dominance over others. In the story of James (the minister) and Sean, James appeared to many to be the tireless servant. He attended more activities than he needed to attend and did so eagerly. But if devoted service to those who needed him was his aim, how does one explain the degree to which James habitually neglected his family?

As an aggressive personality, James submits himself to no one. The only master he serves is his own ambition. Not only was playing the servant role an effective tactic for James, but also its the cornerstone upon which corrupt ministerial empires of all types are built. A good example comes to mind in the recent true story of a well-known tele-evangelist who locked himself up in a room in a purported display of "obedience" and "service" to God. He even portrayed himself' a willing sacrificial lamb who was prepared to be "taken by God" if he didn't do the Almighty's bidding and raise eight million dollars. He claimed he was a humble servant, merely heeding the Lord's will. He was really fighting to save his substantial material empire.

Another recent scandal involving a tele-evangelist resulted in his church's governance body censuring him for one year. But he told his congregation he couldn't stop his ministry because he had to be faithful to the Lord's will (God supposedly talked to him and told him not to quit). This minister was clearly being defiant of his church's established authority. Yet, he presented himself as a person being humbly submissive to the "highest" authority. One hallmark characteristic of covert-aggressive personalities is loudly professing subservience while fighting for dominance.

Seduction-Covert-aggressive personalities are adept at charming, praising, flattering or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and surrender their trust and loyalty. Covert-aggressives are also particularly aware that people who are to some extent emotionally needy and dependent (and that includes most people who aren't character-disordered) want approval, reassurance, and a sense of being valued and needed more than Anything. Appearing to be attentive to these needs can be a manipulator's ticket to incredible power over others. Shady "gurus" like Jim Jones and David Koresh seemed to have refined this tactic to and art. In the story of Al and Don, Al is the consummate seducer. He melts any resistance you might have to giving him your loyalty and confidence. He does this by giving you what he knows you need most. He knows you want to feel valued and important. So, he often tells you that you are. You don't find out how unimportant you really are to him until you turn out to be in his way.

Projecting the blame (blaming others) -Aggressive personalities are always looking for a way to shift the blame for their aggressive behavior. Covert-aggressives are not only skilled at finding scapegoats, they're expert at doing so in subtle, hard to detect ways.

Minimization -This tactic is a unique kind of denial coupled with rationalization. When using this maneuver, the aggressor attempting to assert their abusive behavior isn't really as harmful or irresponsible as someone else may, be claiming. It's the aggressor's attempt to make a molehill out of a mountain. I've presented the principal tactics that covertaggressives use to manipulate and control others. They are not always easy to recognize. Although all aggressive personalities tend to use these tactics, covert-aggressives generally use them slickly, subtly and adeptly. Anyone dealing with a covertly aggressive person will need to heighten gut-level sensitivity to the use of these tactics if they're to avoid being taken in by them.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: LenO ()
Date: February 23, 2005 03:30AM

Thanks Lillygirl - LenO

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: prozak ()
Date: March 09, 2005 09:59AM

Towards the end of his life, Dr. Lenz asked a number of his female students to bare their tits on an Internet web site said to be devoted to 'Tantric sex'.

Something does not feel right to me about that. It's a gut feeling. Can't put words to it.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: DharmaLion2003 ()
Date: April 29, 2005 04:19PM

Towards the end of his life, Dr. Lenz asked a number of his female students to bare their tits on an Internet web site said to be devoted to 'Tantric sex'.

Something does not feel right to me about that. It's a gut feeling. Can't put words to it.

'TantraTech'--representing Dr. Lenz' obsession with tantra and the technology industry.

I believe part of the purpose of the site was a way for Dr. Lenz, in death, to continue to sow seeds of discord between his students. The women who ran the site took the guys' money but had nothing but contempt for the guys who subscribed. Dr. Lenz was always doing his best to damage friendships within the group, or so it seems to me, and I think this site was one of a number of things he set up just before he died to sow discord. (Of course the biggest thing was his--in my opinion intentionally created--legal battle over his will). He claimed towards the end to be trying to help the group heal but again I think his actions did not always accord with his words.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: DharmaLion2003 ()
Date: July 23, 2007 11:38AM

Just a thought : does sexual exploitation really NOT occur to the extent that we think? Or is it perhaps better hidden, or more consensual, when taking place in other areas of life, e.g. not-the-spiritual-sector?

Maybe, someone who acts out their power plays in a godhead position is already a special category of narcisist or psychopath, so their antics of sexual exploitation would be greater than than someone in a more conventional power position?

Your courage is admirable to admit to having your sexuality skewed from spiritual manipulations. It must take years to recover from. I have friend dealing with the same recovery - both shameful and painful.

Just revisiting this after some time. I do think it is true that powerful leaders have a tendency to abuse people with less power in a sexual way. However, there is in fact a difference (in addition to the ones you mentioned) between sexual abuse by a political (say) leader and sexual abuse by a cult leader. A political leader still has to spend the majority of their time focused on their job. Bill Clinton would not have gotten away with spending ALL of his time sleeping with interns, for example. He did have to deal with the small detail of running the country and that put some limits on his womanizing.

A cult leader, by contrast, once they've been in power for awhile can focus almost exclusively on control through sexual means. It is true that they have an organization to run, but that organization exists solely to maintain them in a position of power, and over time they can gradually structure that organization to give them (the leader) as much sexual access to members as the leader wants. The leader has the authority to delegate most of the less sexy aspects of the job to subordinates (while, of course, retaining veto power over anything that happens) and can spend more and more time on sex--or maintaining power through sexuality. This level of control only exists in cultish spiritual groups.

One of the difficulties in healing from this kind of situation is that I've never found anyone--male or female--willing to talk about specifically what happened with regard to sexuality in this group (Rama/Lenz). People will talk about other aspects of abuse (eg financial) but this topic seems to remain off limits among the former disciples, male/female/pro/con. Without clearly understanding what happened in this specific group, it can be difficult to heal.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 25, 2007 03:30PM

I've had real problems with sexuality in a cultive environment but I've not found ANY resources which has dealt with this. Basically, instead of being forced to express ourselves sexually it was more of the opposite - that sexuality was rigidly repressed, except under marriage. However fidelity rates were extremely low, with the leader having several wives, and the level of divorce and remarriage within groups was extremely high. This led to an awkward situation of ending up with your best friends (or worst enemies) from childhood suddenly becoming your step-sister or something, then breaking up after a year. As an organisation, everyone was extremely close, but emotionally fragmented and really quite confused.

Sexual segregation is rife in Subud, men and women conduct their rituals separately and there is an extremely confusing set of doctrines about how women must behave. Bapak (the leader, now deceased), would encourage women to wear make-up so their husbands didn't get bored of them. On the other hand, we also had to wear very long skirts and tops, always cover our breasts, arms, legs etc. We had to be extremely feminine without being sexual, aim for marriage without committment, etc.

It's a pattern of very secret sexual expoitation behind closed doors, coupled with very external piousness. As a 23 year old girl, I've been pretty messed up with this. Self respect? Whatever that means. I really truly don't understand. I'm totally messed up. There was also quite a lot of covert sexual abuse, but in a same-sex environment. I have several really vivid memories of groups of older women surrounding me in a semi-circle all becoming very emotionally aggressive to me towards sexuality. I was never even remotely promiscuous, but I also wasn't especially attractive nor particularly interested in being so. I remember very, very strongly being pushed and pushed and told I was worthless unless I was beautiful. We WERE expected to be sexual, it was absolutely expected of us, but it had to be secret, quiet. You have to be BEAUTIFUL - so beautiful, because beauty is an expression of spiritual worth. I can't get that out of my head. Beauty without sexuality. Cross the line and you're evil, demonic, plagued by lower forces. But if you're not beautiful you are worthless, utterly worthless. My father had three wives and countless affairs, which he spoke about to me in detail. He would criticise my mother to me for not being sexual enough. He would try and get me to talk to her, to get her to change. Of course I took everything as a veiled attack on myself. I ended up with an eating disorder and chronic dysmorphia. The attitudes of wider society towards sex are equally confusing - sex and beauty are also placed in such high agenda, but then words like self respect are bandied about, and I can't make any sense of it at all. It's honestly pure blankness.

There are so many questions I can't answer. I am absolutely perplexed about sexuality, morality, and what is "right". I get upset about it, but I also feel that I don't deserve to be because I was never openly abused, at least not physically. Sorry if this is not as intelligent and eloquent as the other replies. In my head this seemed relevant to the topic (what is RIGHT in terms of sexual behaviour, and how do you cope when there is external / internal dissonance? ), but it's just become a blurt, sorry.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: jjjbarry ()
Date: July 26, 2007 09:23AM

i went to some of his group meetings...where fred found his groupies
he was a liar and worse.......
see atheists ? ed tabash....he was there and is a lawyer

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: freedumb2000 ()
Date: July 27, 2007 06:37AM

There are so many questions I can't answer. I am absolutely perplexed about sexuality, morality, and what is "right". I get upset about it, but I also feel that I don't deserve to be because I was never openly abused, at least not physically.

You absolutly "deserve" to be upset. This is your state after having gone through such an intense emotional experience, no need to question yourself. It is no wonder that you are perplexed. It sounds like you were never allowed to define your own moral standards and expression of sexuality. So there is bound to be conflict and confusion now. Possibly a psychotherapy might be of help to you seperating the [i:701fb6dcc9]you[/i:701fb6dcc9] and the external indoctrination.

the bare breasts of the female Rama/Lenz students
Posted by: DharmaLion2003 ()
Date: July 27, 2007 09:13AM

I've had real problems with sexuality in a cultive environment but I've not found ANY resources which has dealt with this. Basically, instead of being forced to express ourselves sexually it was more of the opposite - that sexuality was rigidly repressed, except under marriage. However fidelity rates were extremely low, with the leader having several wives, and the level of divorce and remarriage within groups was extremely high. This led to an awkward situation of ending up with your best friends (or worst enemies) from childhood suddenly becoming your step-sister or something, then breaking up after a year. As an organisation, everyone was extremely close, but emotionally fragmented and really quite confused.

Sexual segregation is rife in Subud, men and women conduct their rituals separately and there is an extremely confusing set of doctrines about how women must behave. Bapak (the leader, now deceased), would encourage women to wear make-up so their husbands didn't get bored of them...

Hi Jupiter, thanks for the reply--it is a little difficult for me to fully comprehend the issues that must be involved when the unusual patterns of relationships within a cultish group are combined with family relationships or growing up. Rama didn't accept anyone as students who was under the age of 18, and in general he accepted only people who were single/divorced and childless. Thus it was, for the most part, a community of unrelated adults who had met only as adults. There were a few cases of single parents who had children from before they were involved with Rama. In most such cases, Rama would briefly meet such kids--and then would often "recommend" (that is, order) the parent to sign custody of their child(ren) over to an ex-spouse or other relative who was unaffiliated with Rama. Rama didn't want children around. I saw two mothers give up their children in this way. But this was the exception, not the rule. Mostly he avoided dealing with children by not accepting anyone who was under 18 or who had children under 18.

However, the story has been a little bit different after Rama's untimely (and still somewhat unexplained) suicide in 1998. The group has mostly stayed under the radar of publicity since about 1999, but some of the former students have had children since 1998. In some cases these children are alleged to be the "reincarnation" of Rama. There are, I believe, several competing claims by parents that their children are Rama's reincarnation. I cannot imagine what that must do to the kids involved to have to live up to such expectations--not that Rama himself always lived up to his own expectations, but to expect a mere kid to live up to the expectations of the image people are trying to maintain of Rama--must be very difficult. I certainly think it must be very difficult.

In Rama's dealings with adult women (albeit adults who were often a lot younger), it seems to me that he professed to be teaching the women to have a strong sense of self independent of a man--yet at the same time wanted them to be as attractive as possible to himself as a man. I get the sense that many of the women are still having a difficult time working through their feelings in this regard. I believe that many of them are deeply angry at Rama for what happened, but I also believe they do not wish to admit such anger at someone they still see as more-or-less perfect--so they take their anger out on others--other women or men who studied with Rama.

I have yet to see anyone within Rama's group deal honestly with this issue. In being honest about this issue I think you've taken an important step. Good luck!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.