Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: alyb45 ()
Date: October 28, 2010 10:42AM

I was a Tolle fan so I understand what you're saying. His hypnotic, mind numbing teachings are hard to get out of. I swear that man is evil.... anyway,

I would suggest focusing on reality some more since his teachings pull you into a "floating" disconnected state. I don't really know what to say except disregard his stuff. Start to let it go day by day. Focus on the world around you. Start to allow yourself to act like a functioning, normal person immersed in the people around you and the world. That's all I can advise.

Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: alyb45 ()
Date: October 28, 2010 10:44AM

oh, and another thing. Tolle tends to use thought control or thought blocking. Perhaps it would help to starting letting your thoughts happen (the good and the bad) and saying what you want without fear or hesitation. Practice your own personal freedom to let this insane guru out of your life!
Hope this helps!!

Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: Tiredofthis ()
Date: October 28, 2010 11:25AM

Thanks, Alyb45, that's good advice: just curious, you said you were once a Tolle fan. What threw you off eventually?

Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: alyb45 ()
Date: October 29, 2010 12:15AM

The wake up call came when I was talking to my boyfriend at the time and he said I seemed 'brainwashed' 'out of it' and like I was hesitating before I spoke. He mentioned that I was speaking of happiness but always seemed serious, calm, and out of any spark of emotion or life. I felt I simply couldn't function in society if I applied his teachings...that woke me up. Feeling isolated and in my own head with his words in the background.

I've let it all go and can't believe how good I feel.

Looking back I see Eckhart Tolle differently. I see him now as a weird, strange person who really wants to capitalize and hypnotize people. I see him as an anti social, egotistical person who wants to bring people into a cultish environment where they can't critically think.

Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2010 01:03AM

aly, if you look back on how you once came across, did you seem to imitate the way Tolle himself presents when he is onstage or on his tapes?

If a person finds life and emotions painful, wants to sidestep the pain of human living and finds a way to bypass or freeze thoughts or emotions, this person can convey a sense of mastery, but only so long as that person is protected by an entourage and PR system that does the real work of keeping the messiness of life and difficult people at bay.

The rest of us dont have an entourage to do the shopping for us, nor do we have people to do the driving for us.

All that person can do is teach others to sidestep emotions rather than include emotions in one's practice.

So...this is the question, looking back, did you seem to imitate Tolle's mannerisms, and possibley lose access to your accustomed thought and emotional patterns and take on Tolle's speech and emotional mannerisms?

Note, a very experienced member of our Zen community, one who has practiced for decades and done many retreats, told me that ones basic personality doenst change much, one just gets quieter inside and doesnt get as easily thrown off balance or into turmoil by ones own emotions or others.

One still is able to care, connect and relate. My informant remained able to function in a job that entailed heavy social contact and responsibility.

And for this person, the challenges dont stop. She told me that despite her years of experience (validated by her having been ordained to the priesthood, given formal accreditation to teach and finally, being granted what is known as dharma transmission, which makes her a lineage holder in the pedigree of our tradition)--she said that she still has lots of time when, driving her car in traffic, she struggles with
anger at other drivers. Then thats the signal for her to recognize how she needs to regain equanimity.

This person does her own driving. And so do most of us.

Its easy to present as a serene 'all knower when a legion of people do the errands for you.

This is a long essay but may have some clues. This little snippit is an excerpt from a much longer essay. The interesting point is the suggestion from one correspondant that
giving satsangs and enlightenment speak is something that can be learned, a mere social skill that can be mastered if someone has sufficient interest in doing so.


The truth is that “giving satsang” in the way many people do it today is the easiest thing in the world! Once one has learned some of the Absolute-truth rap (easily available after reading just a few books or articles), a certain basic peacefulness and ease in social settings, and, last but not least, the dialectical questioning “maneuvers” (e.g., “Who is asking the question?” “Who wants enlightenment?” “Have you traced that thought/feeling back to its source?” “What would you be if you gave up that belief?” etc. etc.) one could “give satsang” easily, endlessly, while half-asleep. It all flows out quite “effortlessly” from the conditioning one sets up in the mind.

And much of it is nothing more than a fancy-looking oneupsmanship game by those who've mastered a certain kind of "social virtuosity." Those with lots of bravado and chutzpah, little humility and no capacity for self-criticism or self-doubt will do really well at this...

and the same correspondant had this to say about 'sudden enlightenment'


On the first and last point, note that the great Ch'an and Zen masters of China, Japan, and Korea, though they taught the way of "sudden enlightenment," usually had spent decades of study of the scriptures and scriptural commentaries and usually years of traveling around meeting other highly respected Dharma Masters before presuming to teach. Rarely does one find such depth and breadth and maturity in those who presume to be facilitating neo-Advaita satsang or various other spiritual movements today.

We might here also talk about the phenomenon of producing books, since that is something with which i'm involved.

It's one thing to carefully study the spiritual traditions for many years and share the depths of one's research with others in the mode of a helpful “spiritual friend” with a high-quality literary product on which one spends thousands of hours, a book that brings a lot of good, useful info and inspiration to others.

It's quite different to have a few big “Eureka!—I've found it” experiences, then sit around “giving satsang,” while others are required to “volunteer” (or for paltry slave wages) transcribe, edit, publish and market “the brilliant Guru's talks” and then charge money for it--almost all funds then going solely to the teacher


Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2010 01:18AM

Note: It can be useful to note that other highly influential gurus have utilized peculiar speech patterns that have hypnotic effects.

Somone wrote this concerning Rajneesh/Osho, now deceased, the guru with the long white beard, collected Rolls Royces, and whose followers tried to skew an election by poisoning a salad bar at the local restaurant with salmonella bacteria in hope that people would get sick, stay home, not vote and give advantage to the gurus followers)


In the early 1980s I also saw a short film of excerpts from one of Rajneesh's talks, and was able to see first-hand his hypnotically slow, coy, seductive, and provocative manner of speech and body language, with his strange way of hissing the "s" sounds at the end of many of his words.


Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2010 01:23AM


Rajneesh's early talks (reproduced in the earliest Indian books and booklets) and later works are filled not just with some useful wisdom but also laced with ridiculously inaccurate, broad-sweeping generalizations about religion, society and human nature, and a quirky mix of self-effacing, feigned "humility" with self-inflated boasting.

For instance, by his own account, he had attained the state of complete Enlightenment while sitting under a tree on March 21, 1953, though he "kept it a secret" for many years afterward.


Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, said her moment of truth was when crying on a bathroom floor.

Byron Katie alleges her awakening came when a cockroach ran over her foot when she was on a floor in a halfway house.

Tolle alleged that his awakening was while sitting on a park bench.

Rajneesh says he was under a tree.

Just pondering these similarities can sharpen ones own mind and rebuild those critical thinking skills.

Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2010 01:41AM

"Create an unsolvable conflict within people and then they are easy to control"

"Every time the devotees used their intelligence, they felt guilty. The smarter they are the bigger the conflict"

The person who wrote the analysis of one guru noted that the sex negative churches that many western seekers came from treated a natural gift and instinct as wrong--sexual feelings.

Humans cannot help but have sexual feelings, so bang, by the standards of the church, they automatically land in the wrong and are put in conflict and have to get salvation from the entity that put them in conflict in the first place.

The gurus that became popular produce the conflict a different way--get you to feel guilty and conflict ridden about another natural gift--your mind.

These days commercial gurus have a common approach--using ones critical thinking, using ones MIND is the big no no.

Tolle seems to attract intelligent people.

So did Rajneesh/Osho.

A person wrote something here about how Rajneesh created a recipe for conflict and it may resemble a conflict bind created by Tolles manner and his materials.


Osho defrauded some of the most beautiful and intelligent people on the planet. Therefore his fraud had to be sophisticated. The best trick he used in his fraud was telling everybody “Use your mind in the world, but go beyond the mind in the spiritual”.

In other words, “Don’t use your mind around me. If you use your mind, you are in your head and you are missing out on the spiritual.” Osho mainly targeted and attracted very intelligent people who have strong minds. Osho here used the same strategy as the (many churches that have sex negative teachings) – create an unsolvable conflict within people and then they are easy to control. [...] The church demanded people feel guilty about perfectly natural things like sex and the church said that the only way to free yourself of this guilt is by adhering to the church’s commands.

Osho’s “Go beyond the mind to be spiritual” had exactly the same effect. It’s ok to point out that the mind has serious limitations and many mental habits cause misery. H

However it is outright fraud to say that the only way to be spiritual is to ignore the mind. This creates a conflict with truth, because the mind is needed to recognize untruth. If the mind is ignored, the person becomes unable to distinguish between truth and lies. [...] The more intelligent the person, the stronger the mind and the stronger the conflict. Every time sannyasins used their intelligence, they felt guilty. The smarter they are the bigger the conflict.

Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2010 02:13AM

Here are some comments from

Am gonna copy some of them just to save em for posterity.

What is interesting is that one or two correspondants said they knew of others who had zoned out.


Toward the end, someone wrote:

Posted on 16 Oct 2010 16:56 BST
Charlieost says:

Why is it that some people feel the need to analyse the existence out of something. I got what I wanted. Maybe you should stop being so angry.

(Please not that the person seems to think that analysis is wrong and that anyone with concerns or reports about ET is therefore 'so angry'.

You will now read what others have to say--and it is quite interesting, given the concerns voiced here on the thread.

Note: I excluded some posts that had to do with The Secret, as I wanted to cluster the contributions given about Tolles material)


In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2010 17:08 BST
MP Knight says:

i think it's just that some of us care more about what's true than what makes us feel better or comforted. that's the point of existence isn't it? to help our species progress forward by uncovering truths and doing right by our fellow humans.
btw - when did being angry about someone lying (for profit or to themselves) become a bad thing? did i miss a meeting?



Is it me, or is Eckhart Tolle a cult leader?
See latest post

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first Showing 1-25 of 57 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Oct 2010 19:59 BST
MP Knight says:
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Am I the only person who finds Eckhart Tolle a little scary and disturbing...?


Posted on 11 Oct 2010 20:34 BST
Shakti~ says:
I've never read any of his books, but he used to write regularly in a magazine I used to read, I found his writings quite interesting.


Posted on 11 Oct 2010 21:24 BST
monica says:
Is that an either/or question? because I don't know which of you is a cult leader.

Seriously, is there any evidence of his starting a cult? All I know about his stuff is what I googled when my GP recommended him. (And when I did, I lost a lot of the regard in which I held my GP.)


In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2010 21:42 BST
MP Knight says:
No, I can assure you i'm not a cult leader!! :)
Tolle does concern me tho... take a look at the following link:


Tolle's work just concerns me. In his corporate promoted 'The Power of Now' he uses several devices in the introduction to rhetorically inoculate his readers against questioning. The first is a little curly-cue symbol which is sprinkled throughout the book. He says "after certain passages, you may want to stop reading for a moment, become still, and feel and experience the truth of what has just been said." Well maybe I might want to decide whether what I read made sense to me or not before I meditate on the "truth" of it. But he's preaching to the converted. People who've bought his book have already decided he's a "wise man" who knows more than they do, so they're uncritically lapping up his every word. The curly cue-symbol basically says, "pause here to be sure you thoroughly hypnotically induct yourself with this particular piece of spiritual propaganda before moving on."

Tolle is not used to being questioned. He's so convinced of his rightness that he simply "deals with" people's objections with that sickly-sweet patronizing haughtiness we've come to expect from guru types:

"questions or objections may occasionally come into your mind as you read. They will probably be answered later in the book, or they may turn out to be irrelevant as you go more deeply into the teaching-and into yourself."

In other words, "if my hypnotic suggestion's not working on you right away, give it some time and it will eventually." Then comes the flattery. Every good con man butters up his mark as he enlists their cooperation. Tolle is no exception as he pretends to the role of humble facilitator:

"I can not tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don't know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten. Living knowledge, ancient and yet ever new, is then activated and released from within every cell of your body."

Then a defense of the inevitable vagueness:

"I use words such as "mind," "happiness," and "consciousness" in ways that do not necessarily correlate with other teachings. Don't get attached to any words. They are only stepping stones, to be left behind as quickly as possible."

This guy is practically self-refuting. Don't get attached to words? That's right, if you actually read the words, (you know, those groups of letters we use to convey meaning) and process them with your mind, you might figure out that what he's saying doesn't make sense. It's the oldest rhetorical trick in the book. "Oh, don't listen to my words, they mean something different when I say them than when other people say them." It's equivocation, trying to make oneself a priori immune to argument.

If my GP had recommended him - I would report him or her. There have even been reports of recovering 'Now-ists' and people suffering with depersonalisation from his works.

Worries me that people buy into this stuff 'en masse'.

Posted on 13 Oct 2010 11:21 BST
MP Knight says:
i agree with you that concentrating your present moment is useful sometimes is useful. it's an v.v.old idea though - and i can't see why dear eckhart needed to cash in and write it.
as for "living in the present is a spiritual technique.... it may or may not have value for you.....". i'm more interested in what is actually true as opposed to a spiritual technique. while there are obvious benefits to being in the moment this seems more of a financial or pyramid sales operation with tolle and oprah sat at the top. hop online and you'll find 24/7 tolle tv to brainwash you. if you go to his website and check the FAQs you're not given any definitions of his teachings or advice - it's all 'how can i place my order?' and 'how can i get hold of tolle's books in other formats?'. spiritual? no. financial? yes. and, that's before his very sinister encouragement to not think or question his teachings. gives me the heebie-jeebies....eugh!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2010 18:06 BST
MP Knight says:
i agree with you D.Enamu. you have to be a focus on the present - but to do that all the time and, as Tolle encourages us to do, stop thinking because as he puts it "Thinking has become a disease" is just plain wrong. in my opinion humans aren't broken, they're mostly just confused. We may not know ourselves so well, but we're operating exactly as nature intended. We're greedy, competitive, with a short attention span, seeking instant gratification. But we're also kind, long-suffering, generous, wise, and empathetic-with the two camps always in conflict within each of us. Solutions to human problems will come from realist introspection, critical thinking, rationality and acknowledging of the darkness, e.g. more rationality and less mysticism.
have i been affected by tolle as you put it? yes and no. not directly myself. but i lost someone close to me to this new-age mumbo-jumbo. a normally rational person who lost the plot and became convinced in all sorts of disproved psuedoscientific nonsense. and tolle was one of the triggers. it changed their personality completely and they became glazed over like one of those people giving testimonials on late-night infomercials...invasion of the body snatchers!!
that led me to long investigations into this kind of material. and, in a roundabout sort of way, this discussion. i'm trying to establish why people are duped by this kind of thing. at best it's buhddism lite, at worst it's a corporate cult spreading across the globe.
Posted on 15 Oct 2010 22:50 BST
Gillian Smith says:
What a relief to come across this Forum - I was beginning to think I was the only person who had serious misgivings about Mr Tolle. I particularly enjoyed MPKnight's posting of 11th October - well observed! And very accurate. I've seen Tolle, back in 1999/2000 when he first published Power of Now. He does have a strong transmission, but his work is unfortunately very naieve and he's virtually in total denial of the shadow. Unless it's to criticise it. Unfortunately this can have the result of making people feel even worse about themselves. His "joy of being" is nauseating and insulting and totally misleading. Yes, Consciousness is joy/bliss -but when appearing as phenomena (i.e. our bodyminds) it is a sacred marriage of "heaven and hell". Tolle misses out the "hell" bit and pretends we can somehow fix it. We can't.

Yes, the fact that he's a worldwide bestseller with marketing products to boot should tell any serious spiritual seeker that he's not the real deal. He's only a tiny piece of the jigsaw.

Anyone old enough to remember Rowan and Martin's laugh-in may remember the German guy who used to come out from a bush saying "velly interesting". I think of him every time I see Tolle's smug smile!
reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2010 16:19 BST
MP Knight says:
@ Gillian Smith.
Thanks for your comments. Don't worry - you're not alone. I'm amazed that people buy into Tolle's work. It seems so fundementally flawed. The big difference between him and other snake oil salesmen like deepak chopra is that a) he has corporate backing and, b) he very cleverly never puts himself in a position of debating someone who actually DOES know how to challenge some of his views in a public forum. you can search youtube all day and you won't find him in conversation with a qualified psychologist, let alone a harris, dennett, hitchens or dawkins.... he simply surrounds himself with sychophants or people, like oprah, with a vested interest and discourages anyone challenging his viewpoint.
scary guy.


Okay, Eckhart Tolle himself has done plenty of thinking.

He had to engage in thought in order to write his books, in order to engage in a marketing process by which he became famous, and he has to think every time he unzips his fly and has a wee, unless he is in custodial care and someone has to take care of #1 and #2 for him.

Yet, he states that thinking is a disease.

That means, if anyone buys into ETs material and then finds themselves unable to function, then try to THINK about it, by Tolles own teachings their attempts to use the human gift of thought (which Tolle himself used to write, speak, market himself, gain access to his audience)--is part of a disease.

Its OK for Tolle to think, but it isnt OK for us, the peasants who have enriched him, to think. Double standard.

I got this by putting these items into the ordinary Google search bar

tolle 'has become a disease"

If he thinks, wonderful. If we think, we are diseased and negative

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Re: I want Eckhart Tolle out
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 29, 2010 02:25AM

Note G.P. is in the United Kingdom, a physician who practices General/Internal medicine, and therefore likely to be ones primary health care provider.

Two persons on this discussion thread wrote


Posted on 11 Oct 2010 21:24 BST
monica says:
Is that an either/or question? because I don't know which of you is a cult leader.

Seriously, is there any evidence of his starting a cult? All I know about his stuff is what I googled when my GP recommended him. (And when I did, I lost a lot of the regard in which I held my GP.)

another replied


If my GP had recommended him - I would report him or her. There have even been reports of recovering 'Now-ists' and people suffering with depersonalisation from his works.

Worries me that people buy into this stuff 'en masse'.

If someone physician is recommending a commerical guru who has no license, no accountability (except to an accountant, ha ha), that is malfeasance.

Health care providers are not supposed to proslytize, whether its for a church, or a guru.

And lest we forget there is this. Brianna Wilkins, 2006




common sense tells us a little planning does help. And a little reflection never hurt either. Attempting to live totally in the moment can cause you to repress your feelings, which may lead to conflict avoidance, rather than conflict resolution. Of course any regular reader of this column will know my personal approach to life is to get right to the heart of the matter, painful as that might be.

The problem with books like Tolle's is a bit like the problem of alternative cancer therapies. They won't really hurt you in and of themselves, but they don't help you either, and they may cause you to live in fatal denial of the seriousness of your situation. In this way the wrong medicine can become as deadly as poison. I watched a vivacious young woman named Judith Simon die (of untreated cancer) this way when I was a boy.

Focusing and meditating and being in the "now" won't make up for lack of a jacket or food when the temperature drops way below freezing--or much of anything else. Tolle would no doubt deny that this is what he teaches. "Of course," he would say--"use common sense." But that's the danger you create when you sell a totalistic philosophy. You are speaking to vulnerable people. Living entirely in the moment may be something a person would be ready to do after years or decades of focused mental training. Like Tiger Woods' legendary golf swing, such knowledge can only be acquired through intense devotion--which also requires balanced development in all areas of one's life.

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