Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: allalong ()
Date: February 24, 2020 12:47AM

I have a bunch of books I've already donated a while ago--books by Marianne Williamson, Bryon Katie, etc. with thanks to this forum.

However, I can't seem to let go of others. I feel like I'm going to be back to where I started when I first got into spiritual type stuff.

I'm going to donate the following books by the authors:
Eckhart Tolle
Wayne Dyer
Oprah
Mark Nepo
Deepak Chopra
Louise Hay

Are any of the following authors normal/not cultish:
Brene Brown
Thich Nhat Hanh
Don Miguel Ruiz
The Dalai Lama
Michael Singer
Melodie Beattie

How do you all know which authors are not cultish, and which are? Or should I just get rid of them all?

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Re: Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: February 24, 2020 02:05PM

allalong,

I understand your concern. I would definitely NOT lump The Dalai Lama in with the charlatans. He is a legitimate religious leader. I don't know as much about Thich Nhat Hanh, but i believe that he is also legit.

It is my understanding that the books by Don Miguel Ruiz draw from the Toltec tradition. I have no reason to think of him as a cult leader, but maybe others have more information than me.

The others, (on the 2nd list), i am not familiar with.

I have been "New Age" since the 70's. At that time, it was just a bunch of people exploring spirituality, energy, psychic phenomena, etc. They developed their personal philosophies according to what they intuited/ believed. It was not organized.

Between then and now, certain people saw a potential for profit, started referring to it as "New Age," and tried to impose a structure on it, with themselves at the top. Bits and pieces of old, traditional religions, unfamiliar to the West, also got swept up into the whole mess.

My advice would be to look at the behavior of the people involved. Are they making crazy promises about "empowerment" while delivering just the opposite? The beliefs are irrelevant. Look at the beliefs of most of the Western world. They would seem crazy to some. Yet, our culture is largely based on those beliefs.

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Re: Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: allalong ()
Date: February 27, 2020 09:24AM

kdag Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> allalong,
>
> I understand your concern. I would definitely
> NOT lump The Dalai Lama in with the
> charlatans. He is a legitimate religious leader.
> I don't know as much about Thich Nhat Hanh, but i
> believe that he is also legit.

Oops. I meant no disrespect to Buddhists. I don't know why I lumped The Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh in there. I think I'm just being careful of spiritual types of messages. My apologies if I offended anyone. That was a mistake. I know so little about this, and I am just looking to understand who the true gurus are. Thank you for pointing this out.
>
> It is my understanding that the books by Don
> Miguel Ruiz draw from the Toltec tradition. I have
> no reason to think of him as a cult leader, but
> maybe others have more information than me.

From what I've read and heard, he isn't cultish either. I should not have included him or TNH either.
>
> I have been "New Age" since the 70's. At that
> time, it was just a bunch of people exploring
> spirituality, energy, psychic phenomena, etc.
> They developed their personal philosophies
> according to what they intuited/ believed. It was
> not organized.

That is interesting to hear. Too bad we can't get back to the way things were back then.
>
> Between then and now, certain people saw a
> potential for profit, started referring to it as
> "New Age," and tried to impose a structure on it,
> with themselves at the top. Bits and pieces of
> old, traditional religions, unfamiliar to the
> West, also got swept up into the whole mess.

The history of how this happened is good to know. It's too bad a bunch of charlatans had to go and try to make a profit out of this.

> My advice would be to look at the behavior
> of the people involved. Are they making crazy
> promises about "empowerment" while delivering just
> the opposite? The beliefs are irrelevant. Look
> at the beliefs of most of the Western world. They
> would seem crazy to some. Yet, our culture is
> largely based on those beliefs.

This is all helpful to read. I've since realized one of the groups I referred to as a soft cult wasn't a cult at all. It just had a few people in it who used the teachings in somewhat harmful ways, but that's not how the person running the group meant it to be.

What you wrote here sort of reminds me of the teachings of the book "The Secret" that one of my yoga friends had recommended to me a while back. I just don't believe in that sort of thing.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2020 09:41AM by allalong.

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Re: Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: allalong ()
Date: February 27, 2020 09:38AM

I'd like to edit my original post. I am embarrassed. I was in a place for a moment of wanting to discard anything that reminded me of spirituality. But I know that is not necessary.

I'm going to donate the following books by the authors:

Eckhart Tolle
Wayne Dyer
Oprah
Deepak Chopra
Louise Hay

I'm going to keep books by the following:

Brene Brown
Thich Nhat Hanh
Don Miguel Ruiz
The Dalai Lama
Pedra Chodron
Tara Brach

Feel free to post about books you passed on or books you kept.

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Re: Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: February 27, 2020 01:08PM

Allalong,

I generally tend to pass on anything that sounds authoritative. LGATs and cult leaders are noted over and over to be very authoritarian. You can feel a definite contrast on exposure, especially if you have had experience with the ones that are not like that. You can usually tell just by cracking the book open in a few places and reading a few paragraphs. Theres a whole different "tone" to it. Then you can just avoid buying them in the first place. The books i like give information. Some of the information i like and accept, and other parts i might reject. The main point is that those books don't tell me what to do.

One of my all-time favorite authors was Jane Roberts, who wrote many books in the 70's, (the Seth material). Her material was channeled, though, so that might not be your cup of tea. Some people find her material hard to grasp, and this could have led to some misunderstandings by some, and attempts to lead people down the garden path by others.

If you read the Bible, there are many possible ways to interpret much of it. Some are inspired to be a better person and love their neighbors. Others choose to start crusades and torture people. It depends on the reader as much as what is written.

Go with your gut, and do what works for you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2020 01:12PM by kdag.

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Re: Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: allalong ()
Date: February 27, 2020 10:00PM

> I generally tend to pass on anything that sounds
> authoritative. LGATs and cult leaders are noted
> over and over to be very authoritarian. You can
> feel a definite contrast on exposure,
> especially if you have had experience with the
> ones that are not like that. You can
> usually tell just by cracking the book open in a
> few places and reading a few paragraphs. Theres a
> whole different "tone" to it. Then you can just
> avoid buying them in the first place. The books i
> like give information. Some of the information i
> like and accept, and other parts i might reject.
> The main point is that those books don't tell
> me what to do.


Good points--I immediately thought of a Tony Robbins book I borrowed from a friend years ago.

I've read books on another particular subject where it was easy to see who was just trying to sell something as a fake guru/sly businessperson, versus who knew what they were actually talking about.
>
> Go with your gut, and do what works for you.

Thanks for the important reminder for us all.

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Re: Authors - Who's cultish, who is not?
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: March 08, 2020 01:21AM

This just flitted through my mind, and you might find it mildly amusing;

From my point of view, as someone who has watched the whole thing deteriorate: Groups like Landmark are to the metaphysical community, as Dolores Umbridge was to Hogwarts.

(And no thanks - I'm a Weasley! ^^)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/2020 01:36AM by kdag.

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