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Dangerously close to flaming, cyber-bullying
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: November 26, 2010 12:20PM

For me the issue is the mindless stupidity of labelling anyone as dangerous and New Wage simply because they hold a different belief system or express a different point of view. Even then, people are free to be mindless and stupid, should that be what floats their boat. quote]

A polite explanation and respectful request for the poster to make future inquiries in the appropriate manner would have been sufficient in this circumstance. It also would have been a more gracious attitude towards a relative newcomer to the forum.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2010 12:20PM by solea13.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 26, 2010 12:37PM

From time to time, things "flame" up a bit.
In the Byron Katie thread, sometimes innocent sounding comments got flamed a bit, as some people had been trolling the thread trying to play mind-games with people.

But sometimes people are totally new to understanding New Age trickery, and it takes a long time to figure out what is happening.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: November 26, 2010 04:45PM

'A polite explanation and respectful request for the poster to make future inquiries in the appropriate manner would have been sufficient in this circumstance. It also would have been a more gracious attitude towards a relative newcomer to the forum.'

Thank you Solea13 for your little homily on gracious behaviour. Unfortunately polite and respectful cuts no ice with manipulative behaviour--calling the manipulator on their BS is at least honest and gives the bullshitter notice that the game has failed to snare a victim. I haven't seen any polite, respectful or gracious behaviour from Brynhild, all I've seen is someone working a sob story in order to get others to do what that person can, in truth, only ever do for themselves.
You are not doing this person any favours by treating them and allowing them to continue behaving like a demanding and stroppy child.

'But sometimes people are totally new to understanding New Age trickery, and it takes a long time to figure out what is happening.'

Sometimes people are totally new to thinking at all, -- an adult earning their own living in the same world we all live in? I don't know how a person manages to pull that off, but then what do I know? This person has no trouble thinking when searching the new age scene for the mythical ancient wisdom, or for picking out a handy scapegoat of millions of foreigners in order to curry favour.
This person has no intention of figuring anything out. This person is a manipulative user, and hey, its working. Let's all feel guilty for his/her claimed disabilities and fall over ourselves to enable poor Bryhild to find some ancient wisdom to believe in.
That kind of patronising attitude is far from respectful of the innate capacity of any living, breathing human for learning something new.
Innate capacity is there but only the person can put it to work, braille or no braille.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2010 05:11PM by Stoic.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: November 26, 2010 07:26PM

On the subject of generalisations and black and white thinking, there are plenty of superbly clear and logical thinkers to have emerged from a Hindu cultural background, its that 'damaging.'
Higher mathematics emerged from the Arabic muslim cultural background. My god, that culture is damaging.

No culture in itself is damaging, what's damaging is the refusal of human beings to adequately employ the god-given brains they were born with---whichever gods they fancy gave them the brains in the first place.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: November 26, 2010 09:55PM

Google the Brynhild Tudor who is 'a secular humanist,' 'prizes critical thinking!!! (my emphasis) and is quite into scientific explanations.'

This Brynhild Tudor also has a good grasp of the mechanics of manipulation:

'butt everyone has free will, and if you are infringing on someone else's free will to get you want, you are manipulating the situation in your favor, which is good for you but other people may not appreciate it. An ex who you *want* to be with, but who does not want to be with you, for example, and eventually they wind up with you because you wanted it that way.'

So. Maybe not so naive after all, maybe just lazy and trying out a bit of that manipulation, twanging on the heart-strings of what he/she sees as soft-hearted suckers.

After all, in her own words:
..........' particularly since I happen to be totally blind and I can identify people’s hidden underlying emotions, even if those people are unaware of their own feelings.'

Brynhild, you are busted. Get your finger out and do your own work.
Here's another bit of ancient wisdom for you: if you are not prepared to do your own thinking-- it just ain't ever going to get done.

Something I know about totally blind people is that if they have any brain activity at all they develop other senses in compensation.
Totally blind does not equate to totally stupid, and our Brynhild is not totally stupid---- just stupid enough and manipulative enough to try her crap here, and to try to continue the charade well after she was first called on it.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2010 10:14PM by Stoic.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: Brynhild Tudor ()
Date: November 27, 2010 01:44AM

I did not pick secular humanism because I'm into science or philosophy. It's nice and I like watching Nova and Secrets of the Dead on PBS, but that's about it. Like I said, if the majority of people believe something, I believe it, too, and whenever I've held a different oppinion and tried to express it (such as I don't like Oprah and everyone else does), it makes me feel like I'm missing something. Having a physical perspective of science helps me slowly let go of any religious beliefs I have that I don't want anymore, such as "God created the world." It's not easy for me to just drop them.

I tried the secular humanism label to see if it would fit. I have been alone all my life, and would like a group to belong to, and would like it to be okay for me to feel that I can belong to something. When I left new age, and decided I was done with religion and spirituality, and that I would just be a good human being, a humanist (because I was human), interested in secular things, and I wanted to find other people just like me, because it strengthens and validates my wanting-to-believe that I'm okay, and helps me deal with the fear that "bad things will happen if you don't believe us" that you get when you leave spiritually-oriented groups.
But if I were just one person believing it, it gets shaky, and I think, maybe something bad will happen.

You ever see a leaf blowing in the wind? There's only one of them, and nobody stands up for it or tries to help it. It blows every which way because it has no support from anyone else around it.

Look at a brick building in a wind. It can't float around because all these little bricks are holding each other up, and supporting each other, and a wind can't knock it down because there's other bricks around to help one.

I don't think there's anything wrong with hinduism or Buddhism at all. I think, for people that are interested in them, that they are beautiful religions, and they provide something for people. I was only looking at that one person, that one "life is a game" belief, that, if I remember correctly, was seen as destructive on another thread, and thought to help people like Calm, who was destroyed by that sort of thing, avoid it.

I did read Lifton, and Margaret Singer's articles, and that was why I was so shocked when another poster paralleled my own experience with the cult signs, and they had to do it for me because I could not see it myself.

Nobody told me there was a western and an eastern definition of enlightenment. So how would I know? How would I think to look if I only saw one? If you only see one everywhere you go, you think that's all there is. At least, I do.

I still hold some beliefs that I would like to be true. I love the idea of an afterlife and angels. But that's it. No other religious or spiritual practices interest me. I wanted a group, and the closest I could find was secular humanism. Because I'm secular.
But secular humanism does not fit me. I cannot be a part of cold, hard intellectuals with no emotions, no feelings, no heart, some of whom have an ivory-tower mentality. I cannot do that.

It seems that everyone can find a place to belong. Even the new agers and the Pagans, who claim to be individualists, have some common beliefs. So even they have a group, a shared thing.

You all have a common belief, too, or at least a way of life. Lots of you are intellectuals, interested in science, enough to do tons of research and it peaks your curiosity. I'm not like that. I'm happy to do basic stuff, like background checks and read stories of other people's cult experiences, and articles, and if I don't understand something, I ask. But that is not the type of help people seem to think I should be looking for.

But there is no place for me, a Christian who was never interested in Christ or the Bible, a Pagan who doesn't care for nature or reincarnation, a new ager who isn't interested in metaphysics or spirituality, a secular humanist who isn't interested in science.

I thought the response that could happen from my original post, from people who were cult survivors who supported each other, would be: "Hey Brynhild, thanks so much for the info. We appreciate you taking the time to look out for us and our safety and well-being. You probably didn't know, but this person actually died in 2009. We think the "life is a game" belief is destructive, too, and we'd discussed it on other threads as being such, so thank you for spotting it."

But obviously I did not receive supportive responses. It's kinda funny how you say, when something goes wrong, cult leaders blame the person because they weren't doing it correctly, it's always the person's fault, the person's in the wrong, never the group.

Weren't you doing that to me???

No really, hear me out. Look. I say or do something, and your responses or hurtful comments are never your responsibility. It's always "I'm not thinking critically, I'm in the wrong, I didn't read this enough, I'm reading into things too much, it's my fault." Never the group's. Never.

Isn't that the thing you're supposed to be speaking out against? But you do it, too.

So I will go now. I do not wish to make any enemies here, or be seen as a manipulative liar. I wish to be known as someone who is honestly telling her story. But clearly it is not seen that way.

It was nice meeting you all.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: November 27, 2010 02:01AM

Stoic, I've read the original post over several times to see if I missed something in its tone or intention:

"While researching how to destroy my own cult beliefs, I came across this article and thought you might want to watch out for this guy. Maybe there's another thread about him somewhere, but just in case, I thought I'd post this."

It may have been rash for Brynhild to label the thread "dangerous New Wage guru", but it simply doesn't strike me as "manipulative", "childish" or "stroppy". I’m not sure how you’re coming to this conclusion, particularly considering the few attempts this person has made to post. What I wrote appeared to you as a homily. So you would rather I use your own direct approach and call it like I see it? Okay, fine. What you are doing is tantamount to flaming and cyber-bullying another less knowledgeable person on this forum. Whether this person is visually impaired or not I would similarly refuse to condone it by remaining silent. Your deliberate and now repeated personal attacks (such as implying that the poster is stupid for example) are intended to humiliate the poster, exclude them from the discussion and ultimately drive them with their tail between their legs from this forum.

Let's face it, the guru in the article has people swooning over him like infatuated virgins:
"I'm falling more and more in love with him," sighs Manjushri.”

Quite frankly, my own response to this is "yuck". The guru also has his own magical ‘enlightenment’ story:
“Nisargadatta lived in a small loft in a congested area in Mumbai, where Balsekar went to meet him. Maharaj was alone. On seeing Balsekar, he said: "So you have come at last. What took you so long?"i]

According to the journalist, who apparently is more concerned with fawning over his lastest spiritual find than any kind of objectivity whatsoever, “Such a rigorous approach seems to be producing results. According to one of his disciples, at least five or six of his students have realized whatever they had to realize”.

The guru's devotees “realized what they had to realize” oh, good! That really clears things up for everyone then. Oh and surprise, surprise, “His characteristic negation extends to his own teaching.” Um, like I haven’t heard that kind of 'negation' before with a charming chuckle from my very own dear guru, “I’m not the reincarnation of Christ, that’s just who my disciples say I am.” Bleh. In fact I didn't hear one piece of advaitan 'wisdom' (if there is such a thing) in this article or one thing to convince me that this teacher was any more 'spiritual' than my mail carrier.

So in fact it would take someone with a considerable level of understanding and research behind the scenes to initially sort out whether this is a 'genuine' teacher in the Hindu tradition (if there even is such a thing). It’s actually a very complex issue. I’m not disputing that Brynhild needs to do his/her own thinking and research and come to his/her own conclusions. I am strongly disputing the need to attack this poster personally and drive them from the forum based on the posts they’ve made thus far. In fact, if the guru wasn’t already passed on I think Brynhild would have done us a favor by posting the article on him. Maybe we can keep an eye on his successor or disciples anyway, just to make sure there's no issues in the future.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2010 02:05AM by solea13.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: November 27, 2010 03:19AM

For further information, this is the guru's official website: Ramesh Balkesar Official Website
This is a really nice website. It looks like it might take quite a few ‘donations’ or (more likely) lots of unpaid devotee time to maintain.

From corboy’s link:
Ramesh's flawed teachings compared with the teachings of our teacher, authentic sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
"By 1989 it was only too evident that, while Ramesh was a very good spokesman for certain aspects of authentic Advaita wisdom, there were important discrepancies in Ramesh's teachings compared to those of our great mentor Sri Nisargadatta (e.g., a laissez-faire indifference, fatalist determinism and almost nihilist absurdism had crept into the teachings, despite protests to the contrary). It seems that Ramesh's teachings were being influenced far more by Wei Wu Wei (the Irishman Terence Gray, 1895-1986, one of Ramesh's favorite authors) than by Nisargadatta. I was also concerned to hear about the charging of hefty fees at some of Ramesh's retreats for spiritual aspirants … "

There are hints of both financial and sexual scandal with this guru. Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time by far:
“As far as the sexual stuff... well... all I can say, is that I was really upset at first, because something happened to one of my good friends... as it turns out, it turned out to be a positive thing, it made her deal with a lot of things from her past and childhood. She realized this was something inside of her that required this experience to happen.” (From the Lightworker discussion board as posted by corboy)

Huh, so if this actually happened (which we don’t know for sure) she was asking for it by her own admission, just like the women who were sexually abused by Muktananda. I see!

Further information about bullying:
"Emotional bullying is when someone tries to gain control by making others feel angry or afraid. It is characterized by verbal abuse such as name-calling, sarcasm, incessant teasing, threatening, mocking, putting down, belittling, ignoring, and lying. Also known as adult and workplace bullying, emotional bullying also includes such abuse as exclusion from a group, tormenting, ganging up on others, or humiliation. Moreover, this type of bullying also extends to racially or sexually abusive comments and behavior."
Handling Emotional Bullies

This forum should be a safe space for individuals to discuss the merits AND controversy of any and all spiritual teachers. None should be considered above criticism, no matter how highly esteemed they appear to be in their particular tradition. Lack of open criticism is one way in which gurus come to believe themselves more than human and free to do whatever the heck they want to people in the name of God.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: November 27, 2010 04:13AM


Perhaps you should research the requests for help that Brynhild has made on this forum--she hasn't been seeking a safe space to discuss the merits and controversies of spiritual teachers--she hoped to catch some bleeding hearts to do her research for her and feed her the answers, and she didn't care who she trashed in the process. Where have we seen such behaviour before? Every sincere offer of help was repudiated because Brynhild was not getting the answers she wanted.
She came here to manipulate and I can recognise an overplayed hand even if you are not able to admit that you were taken in.

Bluntly calling a manipulator on their bullshit is not bullying--emotional blackmail is bullying, deliberately conning people of good intent is bullying.
I notice that Brynhild has dropped the 'poor me who is unable to do anything for myself so please do it for me--the way I want it' act in her last post, that should tell you something.

Any half-way competent manipulator has an exit strategy planned before beginning and Brynhild, though not up to much in the conning game, at least has enough experience to know when she is out of her depth. Conmen improve at their chosen game exactly the same way anyone improves at anything, by taking the knocks and learning from them. Brynhild has a way to go yet before she is competent.

I know absolutely nothing about Balsekar, third rate teachers have never interested me--but if you want to debate the general merits and controversies of the teaching of non-dual concepts, I'm game but I am plain speaking.
If you are going insist on gracious then be aware that I always respond in kind.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2010 04:20AM by Stoic.

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Re: dangerous New Wage guru to be aware of
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: November 27, 2010 11:23PM

To whom it may concern:

It's best to stay on topic and to be as reasonable as possible.

No one need do any research for anyone.

And it's fair to say there have been many trolls trying to subvert this message board on a regular.

Having said that let's move on and end any bickering.

This thread should stay focused on the topic.

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