human awareness institute
Date: May 06, 2006 08:52AM
I was going to do a private post to DayDreamer, but I'm prevented from doing so until I have had 10 approved posts. Thus, I'll just say what I have to say to everyone.
DayDreamer, I just reread your post of 03-24-2006, and I must say that you've described perfectly what I feel about my own experiences with HAI. I won't quote you, because I'd be tempted to quote the entire post--you really hit the nail on the head with everything you said.
I also attended L1 and (despite initial trepidation), I got a lot out of the experience. L2 damn near drove me nuts, and--like you--I did things that I would probably NOT be willing to ever do again. Also, like you, I suspect that I could have gotten more out of the experiece than I did, however, in my case, I would say that the more shocking group exercises in L2 really fried me emotionally and left me with no energy for the self reflection/self knowing exercises done individually in the small groups. Those small group exercises were probably of greater value than the large-group exercises that I found so upsetting. One thing that I find odd about HAI is that there really isn't a lot of emphasis on being alone with yourself and gaining understanding through a reflective process. Instead, it's group exercise after group exercise after group exercise. It's organized cruising, in my opinion.
My situation was somewhat different than yours, however, in that I feel that I lost my partner to HAI, and I admit that I am grieving that loss very much. My boyfriend was attending HAI workshops when I met him, but he seemed to have his life in balance. However, about a year ago, he became a HAI assistant, and that's when the trouble started. Suddenly, our weekend schedule (we lived in different states) had to be coordinated around HAI, because basically, if ANY HAI workshop was happening, he made it clear to me that he preferred to be there, rather than with me, even though he wasn't necessarily required to devote that much time. In essence, he told me that our relationship had to take a backseat to HAI.
This past January, he became a HAI intern, which requires a larger time commitment. Increasingly, he was unhappy that I wasn't enthusiastic about HAI, and he became (in my opinion, of course) quite obsessive in his engagement with HAI--basically, if there was a HAI workshop, party, or support group, he was there. As this happened, I really came to question that HAI was about love at all, despite their constant emoting of "I love you" in their workshops. My boyfriend claimed he loved me, but increasingly, I became expendable if I interfered with HAI or questioned HAI's principles and practices, which I certainly didn't consider very loving. He told me that I was too distrustful and that I could trust ANYONE in HAI without hesitation. As I looked around at this group of people, I felt very much the opposite!
Over the months that passed, my partner lost interest in clubs and hobbies that he had had before getting involved with HAI. It was like a drug to him, and all he wanted was to get back to another HAI event. And this wasn't some young kid, either. This was an adult man, with a great big IQ, well educated and well respected in his field. The change in him was really shocking--and rapid.
Any organization that causes a person to lose interest in anything except devotion to that self-same organization is, to me the very definition of A CULT.