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Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 24, 2007 06:15PM

I just wondered if there are any ex-members of Subud out there. I've had some really messed up experiences but have nobody to talk to about it. Most of the time I just feel like it must be all in my own head, and I feel totally invalidated.

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Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 24, 2007 09:42PM

Dear Jupiter: Ive never done this practice but there is a fascinating
description of it in this book entitled

'Call No Man Master' by Joyce Colin-Smith


Joyce Collin-Smith was a practitioner of Subud in its very earliest days when Pak Subud brought it to the United Kingdom--forty years ago.

Colin-Smith saw quite a number of things both about Pak himself, his wife, and the effects of the practice that were quite troubling to her. She was middle aged, and was troubled to see herself and other sober persons becoming emotionally volatile as a result of the practice.

Sadly, she later ended up in a situation even more damaging for her than Subud. But this early account may fill in some gaps for you and be validating.

There is one thing in Joyce Colin-Smiths account that she does not mention but that jumped out at me--that people took Pak's word for it, that he had been given credentials to teach.

It never occurred to anyone to check and see if Pak was actually telling his Western devotees an honest and accurate account of his background and qualificatoins.

These kinds of esoteric practices are usually kept private. I personally wondered if Pak S. left Indonesia either to seek his fortune, or because he'd gotten into some sort of trouble at home and needed to go someplace else to make a fresh start.

The social context is interesting. If I remember correctly, many persons in the UK were left disoriented when Oupsensky dismantled his group and later died. A few years later, Gurdjieff died. These people were deeply interested in alternative paths but were also very much in need of strong, charismatic leaders--and this social circle provided a good fishing-pond for other spiritual entrepreneurs who arrived on the scene.

If you were led to become involved as a result of recommendation from a good friend or trusted spiritual advisor, its hard to face when the group or practice turns out to have undesirable or even hurtful effects. Many sensitive and attractive persons got attracted to this practice forty years back, and its very, very hard to distrust recommendations made by persons we love and care about. One doesnt even imagine it necessary to fact check a recommendation from a friend--that's the power of word of mouth recommendations.

I live in an area that is a hotbed of alternative and dysfunctional groups and I never see recruitment ads or fliers for Subud.

If it is practiced, it appears this is done discreetly, if not secretively. The trouble is, keeping a secret requires energy, and can have a distorting and constricting effect on one's inner life and relationships.

If secrecy is a large component of Subud, that secrecy can generate trouble, in addition to any issues that might

The trouble with anything that is more secretive than necessary is that it often attracts people who grew up in dysfunctional families where secrecy was the bond. This sort of thing can seem familiar, even feel safe, but if a high proportion of group members come from this kind of fraught family background, they bring unresovled personal issues that get amplfied and lead to eccentricities in the group--and that is before one adds on anything that might come up as a result of doing the practice. apart from the practice itself.

And if a secretive group becomes near total focus of relationships and social support, leaving that kind of secrecy and adjusting to 'above ground' relationships can be tough--especially if one has been shunned. The very persons one can count on to understand all this are the ones refusing to speak with you anymore.
Good luck.

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Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2007 11:17PM

Dear Jupiter, based on what you have described, it is possible that
the type of therapy that would help most would be from someone
who has actual training on cult-exit issues, or possibly, someone
who has been trained in assisting persons from highly dysfunctional

Given what you have been through, you should check any one
you are thinking of working with to ensure they have been properly
credentialed and have a clean record. Its also a good way to activate critical thinking in relation to caregivers--and its NOT wrong to do so. Its a totally appropriate way to take care of yourself.

Yes, it is possible for sexual intrusiveness to take place via emotional
abuse of the kind you've described.

And a pattern of chronic secret keeping can estrange one from ordinary human relationships--especially when being ordinary and human is devalued by the group.

This article may also be food for thought. Groups of this kind flourish in a particular social context in which things are taken on faith and skepticism is considered something negative.

Part of what you are going through in questioning subud may be that you're transitioning from one culture to another.


Here are some additional books

1) [i:7a9684cae5]My Father's Guru[/i:7a9684cae5] by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. You may find some validation here. The Masson family were into Theosophy and they had a family guru who lived with them--Paul Brunton. It turned out that most of what Brunton said about himself was just not true. When Jeffrey Masson went to Harvard and studied Sanskrit and Asian philosophy at the academic level, scales fell from his eyes and he began to realize that Brunton had made most of his stuff up. Masson also found himself socially unprepared for independent living, and with great embarrassment describes how he floundered when trying to figure out relationships.

What is also very interesting is how Brunton taught the Masson family a very sex negative, puritanical doctrine, but in such a way that a high level of sexual tension existed in the household. Jeffrey himself describes a lot of wierd, intrusive behavior on the part of the adults--and how, when he protested, he'd be accused of being ashamed of his body--when in fact, Jeffrey was being 100% age appropriate in trying to get these off kilter adults to respect his privacy.

2) [i:7a9684cae5]In Search of P.D. Ouspensky [/i:7a9684cae5]by Gary Lachman. This gives an early history of Ouspensky's involvment with Gurdjieff and how he ran his own group in London--the group whose members were the recruitment pool for Pak Subud. There appears to have been a very high level of authoritarianism in Ouspensky's group and a penchant for excessive secret keeping. It is interesing to ask why on earth Joyce Colin-Smith and so many others put up with this and why so many capable adults were
willing to behave so submissively. This pattern continued after Ouspensky
died and the group was taken over by others.

3) [i:7a9684cae5]Madame Blavatsky's Baboon [/i:7a9684cae5]by Peter Washington. This doesnt tell much about subud, but gives a lot of information about Bennett, the man who become interested in subud and was its first important patron in the UK. It appears that Bennett was (IMO) taken advantage of by a number of opportunistic types.

So, one way of looking at it is to consider that a group of this kind is likely to attract a particular type of person, and this will generate a very fraught
atmosphere and create a large scale dysfunctional family situation.

Children of those who are in these groups may find themselves neglected
if the parents are preoccuppied with group matters and too distracted to
be attentive to their children. In some cases, children may try to make themselves appealing to their parents by becoming involved with the group, as a way to get some kind of nurturing interest from the parents and other adults who drift in and out. In this way, a pattern can set in over generations and its very hard to question it and leave.

3) Try and learn about dissociation. Its a state where we split off emotions and experiences that we find unbearable, or experiences that are painful, urgent, for which validating information is unavailable. One often feels oneself in a fog, and no matter how intelligent you are, your intelligence doenst function, because you regress to powerless childhood. The kind of group-bullying you describe from the older women sounds ghastly, and its possible you might have gone into some sort of dissociative confusion in order to cope.

A clinician told me that in dissociation, one can have perceptual distortions, such as foggy vision, things may seem weirdly at a vast distance, or close up, or peripheral vision may be impaired--it may fog up or get smoky at the edges.

Interestingly, Ouspensky, in his book, In Search of the Miraculous, decribed how he followed Gurdjieff's self remembering exercise, and then had a split in conscious awareness in which for the better part of a day, Ouspensky ran errands all over town, with no conscious awareness of what he was doing--a dissociative fugue state.

A modern day psychotherapist would consider this dissociation-but Ouspensky was led to believe by Gurdjieff that this was a realization of the actual nature of human consciousness.

So...if self remembering, taught by Gurdjieff himself could trigger that kind of dissociative experience in Ouspensky, it is very possible these practices might have similar effects on others--whether the group is a 'true' Gurdjieff group or a faux group. Its important to research the full variety of gor

Dissociation cannot be cured by an act of will. It is often tied to body experiences of adrenal arousal, fight and flight response, and can be re-triggered by stress. Cognitive Behavioral therapy is a valuable tool for the right problem, but if you have dissociation, you need to work with a therapist who is credentialed to work on trauma issues.

IMO the big problems in these groups are the excessive secrecy, authoritarian social set up, and constantly having to take someone else's word for it--and that so much of the assertions cannot be fact checked.

It produces a strange combination of sophistication yet one learns to use adult reasoning and critical thinking selectively, by never, ever questioning the way the group is run, its actual history, or its leaders.

More material can be found here:

Problems and pitfals in small groups


Gurdjieff work in general




Some Gurdjieff groups incorporate so much material from psychotherapy that they may fall into the catagory of what have been termed 'psychotherapy cults'


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Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: July 27, 2007 03:46AM

Anne Haas runs a Subud group in Sonoma county. She is the former wife of Alex Horn, a notorious cult leader who taught Robert Burton and married Sharon Gans, another cult leader.

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Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: July 27, 2007 03:48AM

Anne Haas runs a Subud group in Sonoma county. She is the former wife of Alex Horn, a notorious cult leader who taught Robert Burton and married Sharon Gans, another cult leader.

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Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 27, 2007 10:53PM

My dad used to worship at the Subud group in Sonoma. Reading the posts about Anne Haas has really clarified quite a few things for me... I'm extremely disturbed by everything I hear about Subud right now. I was desperately struggling for validation but I think I wasn't emotionally prepared for what to do when I found it. I'm going to take a bit of time out, and maybe come back to these boards when I'm less shaky about the whole thing. I've lived my whole life in denial and there's a lot to take in all at once.

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Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 27, 2007 11:17PM

Corboy: somehow the replies I made never showed up, though I think I deleted them by accident instead of posting. I could relate hugely to everything you wrote and will check out those books. I'm trying to limit my reading a little right now because I get so emotional so easily. The only book I'm aiming to read is Sagan's Demon Haunted World, but want to read more about the things you mentioned when I'm a bit stronger. I'm in a bit of a shaky place right now. Some days I can be really strong, but others I just can't believe what has happened to me. It goes against all my logic and scientific values. I also can't believe I've adored and supported Subud all my life, and even brought others into it and done things which I'm so horribly ashamed of now. I'm just feeling so much more pain and guilt; I will revisit this post & site when I'm able to write more coherently regarding such a huge and complicated thing. Sorry for being flaky,

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Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: July 28, 2007 01:18AM

I've recently discovered that some of the Subud members got involved with Satanism. There has been a Masonic/Satanic group in Sonoma for many decades. The core involves families who have lived in Sonoma for several generations, such as winery owners, bar owners, grocery store owners, real estate agents and local "traditional" church, business, and health professionals. There may be members working in the local schools as well.

For example, when Anne Haas' son, Moses "Mo" Horn (his father was Alex Horn), fell out of favor with the Subud group circa 2003, he was ousted from his cult-owned house. That's right, his own mother turned against him. I believe it may have been, at least in part, because information about the very existence of the Subud group was spreading around town and Mo was being blamed for leaking information about it (unfairly, I might add).

Why was there so much secrecy? I don't think it was all about just the ego trip of exclusivity. For one, some cult members were selling and trafficking illegal sustances. Who knows where the profits from those activities were going.

Anyway, Mo found a new place to live, got a new girlfriend, and became very antagonistic toward one of his housemates. Mo bothered this housemate with "Satanic" type threats and curses, left pentagrams and other such icons about the household. What is frightenening is that Mo's children, Leon and Flora - aged about 9 and 7 - are still living with Mo, and if not with him, then with Anne or some other group member.

If you are wondering if your Subud-involved family member might be involved in Satanism as well, look around the home. Books like the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, fascination with astrology, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, theosophy, Gurdjieff, Sufism, Egyptology, numerology, and divination of various kinds. It's not any one of these interests singally that is an indicator, but when you see several them in one house, I'd take a much closer look. Your family member will NOT tell you the truth. Their cult believes override any family "loyalty," as we can see by the way Anne treated her own son, Mo.

Many Satanists ARE into Gurdjieff, believe it or not. Some Gurdjieff writings are on the Church of Satan/Temple of Set suggested reading list. Just check online.

Some Satanic cults involve members of other cults. Read Judith Spencer's "Satan's High Priest" for a good look at how a Satanic cult operates and infiltrates the politics of a town, and how members of other destructive groups participate in their activities.

Anne Haas calls herself the "White Witch." The question is: what the heck does Subud have to do with witchcraft? Uh, nothing that I ever heard of.

Some members of local law enforcement ARE covering up cult crime in Sonoma. It is possible that the cover up goes as high as county government and may even be corrupting agencies put in place by the state government that ostensibly protect children.

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Posted by: shakti ()
Date: July 28, 2007 01:33AM

. Books like the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, fascination with astrology, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, theosophy, Gurdjieff, Sufism, Egyptology, numerology, and divination of various kinds. It's not any one of these interests singally that is an indicator, but when you see several them in one house, I'd take a much closer look. Y.

While it would not surprise me that much if there were a group like this operating in this manner in Sonoma, your post does not do much service to your effort to enlighten us. You make a series of allegations that aren't really backed up. Also, while it is possible that a Satanist might have books on those topics, many people who own those books have NOTHING to do with Satan.

The notion that if someone who owns those books is probably a Satanist is totally wrong-headed. For example, I consider myself a serious skeptic of cults, Satanic and otherwise, yet on my bookshelves you would find the Egyptian Book of the Dead, astrology books, Sufi poets, books on Egypt. I also have the Holy Bible. I despise Satanism and it's tenets, but that doesn't mean that those books are "Satanic". Your post smacks of a Salem witch trial attitude, not a balanced, secular critique of Satanists or occult practices. In fact, nothing has done more harm to efforts to scrutinize and confront dangerous cults than over-reaction and windmill-chasing by the Christian right which has freaked out over things like the Teletubbies, Harry Potter, unicorns on t-shirts (a personal experience of a friend), and seen Satan under every bed.

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Posted by: mxkitty ()
Date: July 28, 2007 01:57AM

I agree that mere ownership of certain books and materials does not indicate for certain that one is a Satanist. For instance, an individual who is merely doing research can have a plethora of "questionable" texts on the shelves. Doing research does not make one a Satanist. Just like a kid owning a Ouija board does not mean that that kid is a Satanist either.

But do read closely. I did not say that any of the books I listed ARE Satanic. I merely stated that one should take "a closer look." My statements are based on my own experiences and observations.

(I should have added Tarot to the list, especially the Crowley Tarot deck, and Tantra.)

But in deference to your clarifications, yes, it's not just the books and materials that may indicate involvement in Satanism, it's the materials PLUS the behavior and statements the owner of the materials exhibit, behaviors and statements that have been well described by many other invididuals on this site.

I just didn't think it was necessary to reiterate them all yet again.

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