agree, in ILP i had "the best life", looking back, i don't see what was so great about no free time, lacking in money, and extreme stress.
In my ILP there was a mix of people of all ages. I do not think age has anything to do with it.
However the older you are the more likely it is that you will be aware of cults....I hope :-)
(a small excerpt quoted from a longer article.)
Cult belief systems present a vision in which any individual, through following the group's teachings, can begin to realise their own higher potential. Believers begin to aspire to a 'new life' or a 'new self', based on these ideals. At the same time as they begin to aspire to this improved new self, believers begin to see their old self, their pre-cult personality, as having fallen short of the ideal. An old self - new self dichotomy can grow up within a cult member's mind, as they gradually eschew beliefs and behaviour associated with their old self, and adopt attitudes and affiliations that seem appropriate for their new self. They may even come to see their unreformed old self as the enemy of their emerging new self.
". Effectively, a cult uses a person's own energy and aspirations against them.
This analysis proposes the term 'Bi-polar mind control' to denote a generic class of 'devious psychological techniques' used by cult organisations to gain and control adherents. Essentially, bi-polar mind control works by encouraging an aspirant to identify with an imagined ideal new self, and then, from the perspective of this new self, to see their old self as comparatively inferior and flawed. It is ego-utopia or hubris for the new self, and ego-dystonia or shame for the old self. "
'Hartley' is describing how he found himself lonely, unable to buy into what the others in the group seemed to swallow whole.Quote
The post about Adi Da taking credit for the Berlin wall coming down but not for Iraq was making me remember that it was considered to be DEVOTEES who were causing the war (in Iraq) when I was in Fiji. I'm not sure who this talk originating with, but I remember everyone jammed into I think it was the dining area quite late at night, summoned in panicked tones for an urgent meeting. People were weeping with apparently broken hearts about this talk (that we were causing the war) -- or maybe the broken hearts were over their abuse of the guru.
I remember sitting there, watching a room full of largely very high IQ people actually believing they were causing a war in the middle east because they could not please their guru. It was one of those moments in my time in the community where I was stunned beyond speech or any response whatsoever. It was like being in an insane asylum -- a very distant one, with the inmates in charge of all exits! If I had not actually witnessed this scene, I don't think I would have believed that it was possible to create this level of thought distortion in the human mind. There was such a terrible loneliness about it too. I kept wondering: why is this not "taking" in my mind? Why is this working on everyone else? It almost felt like my brain had to be structurally different from all those other people who were sitting there listening to the very same words and drawing such profoundly different conclusions.
And now I'm wondering: were some of those people faking?
This is especially a question for people on this forum who were there in these kinds of meetings where the most preposterous claims were being made (no guru at the front of the room distorting people's grip on reality by dissolving their minds in bliss, instead him off "in jail" or somewhere and everyone else wringing their hands with worry). Did you believe these assertions and threats?
When I was a devotee, whenever I questioned any of these things, it was as if I was proposing ideas so off the wall, so BIZARRE, that the other devotees could not even begin to imagine how my mind could go along such strange paths.
I remember the blank stares, and the stunned bewilderment, when I said I thought Adidam was a cult. It was literally as if this thought had never once crossed the minds of the other people. And we are talking about people who had been in the community for years and had graduate degrees. What does it all mean??!!
('Broken Yogi' is a former inner circle member of this particular group. This is his attempt to make sense of what Hartley described.)Quote
My experience was that there was a wide range of opinions, not just among devotees, but in devotees' own minds, but that range was always flattened out in any open discussion, and only the most banal, orthodox view was allowed to be voiced or affirmed in those kinds of gatherings. In private, afterwards, devotees might privately voice other views, or at least acknowledge that they didn't have any way of knowing whether these crazy ideas were actually true, but knew that they had to "play along" not just to avoid conflict, but because that was somehow "our sadhana".
There's this strong notion even among the most intelligent devotees that for some reason they can't begin to comprehend, it is somehow necessary to go along with all this crazy stuff because it is in some bizarre way working a purification of themselves*, of the world, of the spiritual process, and they just decide not to question that, but accept it and go with the flow of it, even participate in it to some serious degree. They have such a strong conviction that Adi Da is the Big Kahuna that they give license to just about anything, at least in their own minds, and give a huge benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, what people are actually willing to do is quite different. Amazingly, a lot of people do take this shit very seriously and even act on it, making complete life plans on the basis of it. But many, many others only let it take only a relatively small bite out of their practical life, or even just give it lip service. Which is of course something Adi Da endlessly complains about as well - the lack of commitment his devotees show.
*(corboy note: the misery of cognitive dissonance is re-framed as a spiritual discipline aimed at self purification. In the film Outrage, one person suggested that politicians who are closeted homosexuals may rationalize their in-the-closet misery as a voluntary disciple that proves their own toughness and validates their superiority, and they tell themselves that persons who come out of the closet are the ones who are weak and inferior. This is similar to how persons who endure abuse from a guru often rationalize cult defectors as being too weak to endure it.)
But to be honest, a lot of what you hear in those open gatherings is meant for the "little fish". You might notice that very often the community leaders themselves don't even bother attending such meetings, and don't speak out if they do. Most of them don't take this apocalyptic talk seriously, or only half-seriously. They've become too jaded from seeing too much of the inner circle, and hearing this shit too many times. Half of them know it's crazy, the other half knows they ought to take it seriously, and the third half is looking to see what's in it for them. (devotees are almost all multiple split personalities, composed only of fractions of fictional people).
Are some people faking it? You might as well ask if the people in pentecostal churches are faking it when they speak in tongues or writhe on the floor in ecstasy. It's almost exactly the same phenomena. Yes and no is the only coherent answer.
'What's going on is that the person is so split into so many different characters, that some of those characters actually believe what's going on and some of them actually lie to their other internal personas about it. Trying to talk sense with such people is just impossible.
You can't even get all their personalities to come out at the same time and hash it out.
So the answer you get from them depends entirely on which persona is dominant at the time you are speaking to them. This is why devotees who might be your best friend one day are suddenly condemning you as a crazy heretic the next (are you listening, Randog?) It's not that they actually changed their minds about you suddenly, it's just that a different persona became dominant that previously was only partially seen, or even entirely hidden from view.
Cults thrive on the old motto: divide and conquer. Except that the primary divide they encourage is an internal one in the minds and hearts of the cultist.