Re: Subud
Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 19, 2009 05:03AM

Just in case the above came across too harshly, I wanted to tell a story which I witnessed in my early Subud days.

There was a woman, newly opened, who began to have some concerns about Subud. She wrote articles in some publications labelling Subud as a 'Muslim cult.' She was vocal on her opinions and it wasn't long before she was brought to the attention of the regional and national helpers. She actually said some very sensible things and was clearly very appreciative of the Latihan itself. Still, her opinions brought her much negativity and I was in one group where several members claimed to have become 'ill' because of this woman 'polluting' the Latihan hall by the strength of her nafsu (Subud term for lower forces). I saw one woman have a fainting fit because she 'experienced' this other woman 'drain' the power of God from her in the Latihan, sucking all the spirituality out of the room and into herself... members stopped talking to her and wouldn't show up to Latihan when she was around. The instance with the mysterious 'illness' caused by this lady, I saw with my own eyes. You wouldn't believe such a lack of humanity unless you saw it yourself - they literally claimed she sucked the divinity from the hall like water being pumped from a dirty pond. It was horrible to watch. On another occasion I heard that this woman showed up and found the hall locked and bolted and all the lights switched off.

Obviously in the end she felt bullied and harassed and simply quit, harbouring much resentment. When she eventually quit, the Subud members from that group had to do a 'clearing latihan' before they would go back into the Hall. Afterwards they started saying how much better it was now she wasn't there. Why was she bullied and mistreated so badly? Why did she face so much abuse for her opinions?

I believe that Subud is very resistant to change. Obviously there are avenues to change, like Subud Vision and holding workshops. I have heard a thousand times that it is the 'young' (ie, people under 65) who will change Subud and that so long as we just wait for the old regime to die off then the organisation will be okay. Come on, even in jest that's a terrible thing to say, and absolutely summarises Subud attitudes to me.

I'm afraid I just don't trust the populace to listen to any genuine complaints without instant, blanket rejection followed by complete character assassination and absolute refusal to believe anyone else's ideas but their own. I know the reactions all too well, having experienced many of them myself....

Re: Subud
Posted by: pacifica ()
Date: July 19, 2009 09:08AM

Hi Jupiter

As a lover of literature, and a critic of Subud ideology, you might enjoy this site:

[www.blaketashi.com]

The whole thing is tongue-in-cheek, and the message is: When you have at your doorstep great Western literature, why are you wandering over seeking Eastern literature, which you don't understand.

This:

[www.blaketashi.com]

had me in stitches.

Re: Subud
Posted by: Andrew Hall ()
Date: July 20, 2009 01:02AM

Hi Jupiter,

First, please be assured that I will fully respect your wishes regarding the outside use of your words on this forum, and this goes for anyone who writes here.

Secondly, I wouldn't describe the Christchurch Congress as one of the biggest ever to be held. They will be lucky to get 1200 registrations in total. New Zealand is a long way from Europe and North America, expensive to visit and most of the fervent Subud members are now seniors and less likely to travel.

My purpose in holding workshops at the World Congress is to encourage Subud members to reflect on what has happened in Subud and ask themselves, what has worked, and what has failed or gone wrong.

For instance, another workshop I want to hold is about testing - What are the limits of testing, both personal and organizational. Most Subud people have experienced testing that works and testing that has been a complete disaster. I think it worthwhile to reflect on that, to use our minds to sort out what happened and share our learning with each other.

Thirdly, I will be running the workshops and since I am a number 8 in the enneagram, indeed, I will be in charge of the workshop. Anyone who decides to go into crisis or to start attacking someone else will be quickly invited to take it outside. Manners and respect will be modeled and demanded.

I know, how unlike Subud!

You are probably right, as soon as your own story or anyone else's come up, I am sure that people will offer other versions or object that your view is too one-sided. All we can do is let people offer their alternative view, but it has to be respectful.

For me, I see the cult-like aspects of Subud culture as just one end of a continuum. Other people may lead more balanced lives and be more guarded about going to the helpers to test, but they may still believe that Bapak really does know stuff that the rest of us are still getting wrong.

Most importantly, they are not empowering each other nor their children if they constantly defer to what Bapak said. Why not admit confusion, disagreement or revulsion. It's normal, even good in many circumstances. Read my article on Subudvision about reading Bapak's talks if you want to see what caused me to realize that Bapak is not my guru.

I am not trying to bring Subud down. I personally want to take Subud in the direction of a saner, more grounded spirituality that has learned from the painful but well-intentioned mistakes of the past 50 years.

So that's where I am coming from.

My personal email is andrewinottawa at gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Andrew

Re: Subud
Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 23, 2009 02:55AM

Pacifica, haha that site was hilarious!!

Hi Andrew,

A couple of thoughts:

Quote

You are probably right, as soon as your own story or anyone else's come up, I am sure that people will offer other versions or object that your view is too one-sided. All we can do is let people offer their alternative view, but it has to be respectful.

It is quite common in Subud for helpers, when faced with conflict, to resort to testing, and one of the most common questions is "what should x's attitude be to blah?" This is supposed to give x a 'perspective' she might not have thought of. In reality though it is extremely difficult to genuinely believe something that you don't feel. x might, for example, behave in the way 'God' wants her to when in her group, but when she's at home that resentment or conflict will still be there. she might end up feeling guilty that she can't be the person that 'God' wants her to be - she isn't as kind, as open, as understanding as she 'received' she should be, because her pain hasn't gone away yet.

My point is the opposite of this: whatever you feel is a valid feeling. period. conflict is valid.

feelings change in time but not when they are forced. wounds heal but at their own pace.

I don't think ANYONE could offer a perspective on my own, personal life and experiences that would change my feelings unless they really really shattered a myth and exposed my own feelings as a lie. I don't think anyone in Subud has the authority to do that, as much as they claim to. My own life is my own, and quite frankly someone who hasn't been through my experiences can't say whether my interpretations are valid or not. Only I can assess the validity of my own feelings and examine if my early anger was appropriate or not. Only I can truly analyse the layers of thought and motivation behind my actions for any vanity or caprice that added to my own 'downfall.'

When I left Subud I was accused of all sorts of wrongdoings. Some of them were shocking and really hurtful. I was accused of avarice and greed and of basically having a terrible character when all I wanted was to be valued and to do something good. Lifelong friends would burst into hate-fountains then turn around and say they 'received' to say all the horrible things they said. Honestly. Zero accountability.

I'm not going to claim I'm a saint or the Buddha - I'm just as messed up as anyone. I've done really bad things myself and, you know, I continue to do so... because I'm human (not animal or higher-human or blah blah). I'm just human.

Quote

For me, I see the cult-like aspects of Subud culture as just one end of a continuum. Other people may lead more balanced lives and be more guarded about going to the helpers to test, but they may still believe that Bapak really does know stuff that the rest of us are still getting wrong.

Andrew, in no way do I mean any attack by this, but out of curiousity, what do you see as being RIGHT in Subud? What is happening on the positive end of that continuum?

I can't see a way out, personally. When you're IN Subud you see things differently to when you LEAVE, and nothing else in my life has ever given me that experience. Nothing normal should require two different mindsets between staying and leaving.

I don't know. Subud has made a lot of my life feel uncomfortable and makes me want to erase almost everything I've ever done. I can't. My actions exist, as much as I wish they didn't. Subud exists, Subud members exist, the past exists..

Sorry, I'm rambling. If I had seen anything in Subud that could really be fixed I would have stayed. I'm not a coward or a quitter... I just had enough.

It might take me a while to write that summary sheet, but keep reminding me if I forget... I wish for everyone's sake that Subud can fix itself, but even if it became Heaven on Earth I doubt if I'd ever go back. It just seems so crazy to me.

Re: Subud
Posted by: Andrew Hall ()
Date: July 25, 2009 11:55AM

Hi Jupiter,

All I want to do during the workshop(s) I hope to hold at the World Congress is to speak about my own feelings and needs and ask people to speak about their own. As the workshop chair, I will try and ensure that people speak about their own stuff and refrain from judging others as far as possible.

Let me try and give an example. For instance, let's say start with a quote from your last post:

Quote
Jupiter
I was accused of avarice and greed and of basically having a terrible character when all I wanted was to be valued and to do something good. Lifelong friends would burst into hate-fountains then turn around and say they 'received' to say all the horrible things they said.

I might then begin the discussion by saying how sad and upset I feel that Subud people would say hateful things to someone who feels it is necessary to leave Subud, because it doesn't meet my need for trusting in God by letting people find their own path in life and honouring their choices.

Someone might start telling a story about another incident this reminded them of, or start quoting Bapak (what are the chances, eh?), whereupon I would gently ask them to not tell stories but please talk about their own feelings and needs concerning your situation.

They might then say they received to say something, to which I might reflect that they felt they had received something and they needed to express it. I would then add (or someone else could) that I felt angry when I heard they had received something because it didn't meet my need for everyone to be treated and heard equally when some people claim they have a receiving from God.

And so it goes. Who knows where it will lead, but it will not degenerate into a session of name calling, that I can assure you.

I hope this gives you some idea of what I plan to do, and where I am coming from.

All I can really speak about when it comes to Subud (or anything else) are my own experiences and my own feelings and needs, which are quite different than yours. This is not to quarrel with nor invalidate your own story, at all. I just want to make it plain where I am coming from.

I was in my early 40's when I joined Subud and the small Subud group I joined consisted of about 25 people, most of them my age or older. One of the couples had just broken up and the man was with another women in the group, and the group was clearly traumatized about this - people avoided each other, it was a heavy load, etc. By this time, 1993, Subud had gone through some spectacular business failures, and people no longer had the naivety or idealism of their youth when most of them had joined Subud in the 1970s and they expected Subud to change the world. They by then had the disappointments of their own lives and failed relationships, and their own experiences with testing, from good to so-so to disastrous.

None of them, it seemed to me, was loud and insistent, but they had all been around Bapak and had had some clearly powerful experiences, and probably felt this proved he really was someone special. They were all diligent and devout and Subud (and Bapak) had become their religion. But they weren't aggressive about it, not at all.

My break with Subud orthodoxy came in 2003 when our national Subud group was trying to insert a non-discrimination clause in our national by-laws and people reacted very badly because they felt this was saying that homosexuality was OK. That was a real eye opener to me because I couldn't imagine anyone objecting. Was I ever wrong. In fact, one member showed my a book with a question and answer session with Bapak after the Briarcliff Congress in the early 1960s and it nearly made me sick, then just plain angry. It was the most dehumanizing and non-compassionate stereotyping of gay people that I could imagine and it was a wake up call to me.

From then, I began following the Subudtalk discussion group on Yahoo, and learned more and more about the origins and inconsistencies of Subud, a lot of it thanks to a fellow called Mansur Geiger (sp?) who died last year. Then two years ago, I got involved with Subudvision and have continued to learn more about the shadow side of Subud, as well as meeting people who seem to manage to avoid most of the crap and who I genuinely like and admire. As a grandfather, I especially like taking my grandkids to our regional Subud gatherings each spring. It is a wonderful experience and I am grateful to Subud for making this possible.

For me, being in Subud is like any other group. I find people I like and mostly avoid the others. I try to be respectful of everyone and ask the same in return. I'm not sure where I am going, but at my age in life (58) I feel a compelling need to make sense of my spiritual impulse and talk about it so my children (and other young people) will think it healthy and worthwhile to talk about mistakes and lost opportunities, to ask the big questions, and not to be afraid to do this. A lot of this means looking back and pointing out where I think Subud went wrong and why. (I am blessed that there's lots to talk about.) And, finally, like many Subud people, I am somewhat obsessed with the whole thing.

You ask what I find RIGHT in Subud. I have personally found latihan and testing to be beneficial and worthwhile, and I like many Subud people. Thankfully, I haven't encountered or had to deal with nutcase helpers who feel they have the right to tell me what to do. It seems these are common in some Subud groups and this is really unfortunate, but it isn't my own experience.

Now, when I read your last post, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that anything anyone else says can trump your feelings. But I wonder if you are objecting to this, whether it is some helper or Bapak quoter who manages to shut everyone down. It seems that Subud has not empowered you to feel confident about your choices and this is unfortunate. In fact, I wonder if the exact opposite seems to have happened.

I really am shocked that people would call you full of avarice and greed and having a terrible character for leaving Subud, and express horrible things, claiming this was received. This sounds really perverted. Do they feel so threatened by what you do and say that they are willing to forget their own humanity?

So, I am not sure that I see things differently in Subud. In fact, my goal and bottomline is to be in Subud and be completely normal, not hiding Subud from my family and co-workers, afraid and embarrassed by it, but being matter of fact and open. You say you do feel different and I can understand why this is so.

But I certainly don't feel you are a coward or quitter. I think what you have done and are doing is very courageous and admirable. I do feel privileged to have read your posts and gotten some sense of who you are.

I repeat that I hope you will send me a short summary of your story that I can use at the workshop in January. I want to reassure you that it will be treated respectfully.

Take care, Jupiter.

Andrew

Re: Subud
Posted by: Lincoln ()
Date: July 26, 2009 02:20PM

So Andrew, youre all set to REFORM Subud are you? Well I'd start by telling everybody the TRUTH for a start. That might help. And that truth is that Subud is a 'Pentecostal Muslim' sect masquerading as an all inclusive spiritual brotherhood. Does that make sense? The 'pentecostal' part can be translated as 'charismatic' or speaking in tongues and other various 'manifestations of Gods power(aka the 'latihan') as demonstrated in pentecostal and charismatic christian churches today.
Then you could tell everybody how Pak Subuhs teaching compares with true biblical teaching and that might open their eyes. Then you could point out that love is the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT and if they don't have it then they had better seriously consider whether they really have the true Spirit of God as defined by Corinthians Chap. 13 and Galatians Ch. 5 :22. and in relation to the scripture ' You shall know them by their fruits"
Perhaps you could remind them at that stage there is not a single mention of the word LOVE in the Koran. That might shake a few though they will be desperately trying not to THINK too much possibly by this stage as you are bursting their bubbles. I appreciate your good will Andrew but Subud is built on some major false assumptions which if addressed would dissolve the whole organisation. I personally pray that that happens and releases all those poor deluded souls.
Perhaps we will see its demise as we have witnessed the demise of so many other man made organisations in their time. This appears to be happening to Subud and we welcome its disintegration. You are part of its rotting hull and I would suggest you move on. Try a friendly local Christian Church for companionship for your family and you will be much better off. If I got the chance I'd tell the whole lot of them just what I'm telling you now. God Bless. Linc.

Re: Subud
Posted by: pacifica ()
Date: July 26, 2009 04:21PM

Hi Andrew

Reading yours to Jupiter, two things:

(a) It seems that telling your own story is as compelling, if not more so, than telling Jupiter's. If you say Jupiter was maligned, well, they can make excuses: she got it wrong, she was part of a bad group, blah, blah, blah. But if you say that you read Subud texts that made you want to throw up… it's a little more difficult to discount the testimony of someone standing in front of you, innit?

(b) Small correction: it's Mhd Mansur Medeiros, not Geiger.

Re: Subud
Posted by: Andrew Hall ()
Date: July 27, 2009 02:51AM

Hi Pacifica,

My apologies if telling my own story seems too compelling. I bet you've read it several times by now.

I tell it here because I want to let Jupiter (and anyone else reading these pages) know where I am coming from, what my own experiences are. Jupiter's experience with Subud is very different from mine in some ways and very much the same in others.

If I know where some is coming from, it helps me understand them better. It can also help me understand where they want to go.

It might help me to understand you better?

As to how people will react if they hear about Jupiter's story, you are right that some may dismiss it as an extreme case. That could lead to an interesting discussion as we bring up other cases of disastrous testing and question the taken-for-granted assumptions around testing.

And, don't worry, I am happy to tell my story about how I became a Subud apostate whenever it seems appropriate.

Finally, thank-you for correcting me on Mansur's name. As I consider him the patron saint of Subudvision, I am embarrassed that I confused him with someone else.

Hi Lincoln,
I find it difficult to relate to the Christian dogma you are telling me, although I agree that the Subud edifice is built on some questionable assumptions. It's just that your list of these problems may be different from mine.

Frankly, I don't want to exchange Subud fundamentalism for Christian fundamentalism, which I wonder if you have done. Aren't you still following the same impulse that first lead you to Subud and to follow the disastrous talent testing, a willingness to sacrifice or deny your own life for something bigger, the Will of God?

Myself, I rarely find certainty and I am frequently confused. It is part of my life.

All the best,
Andrew

Re: Subud
Posted by: Lincoln ()
Date: July 27, 2009 06:01PM

Hi Andrew,
For whatever reasons you perceive I have exchanged one cult for another is irrelevant to the discussion really. The point I am trying to make is that Pak Subuh falsely advertised the fact that Subud was inclusive of Christianity which is clearly patently false advertising and misrepresentation.Subud continues to misrepresent its true nature to this day.
It should be clearly stated its 'teachings' are Islamic to the core and the 'latihan' is a form of 'Sufi-ism" that Pak Subuh was heavily involved with prior to Subud. Read about it in Prio Hartono's "The Mystical World of Java" online at www.subud.net/booksonline.shtml .
Here Prio explains how the Muslims of Java are regarded in a different light by the rest of the Muslim body in Indonesia. It seems well recognised that the Islamic faith as practised in Java was a syncretic mixture of Orthodox Islam blended with superstitious spiritualism, a remnant possibly before Islamic subjugation.
I am merely exposing Pak Subuhs imaginative interpretations heavily tinged with Islamic theology of Bible stories and teachings. The 'teachings ' that were not 'teachings' formed the basis for peoples understanding of the latihan and Subud as members struggled to make sense of it all.
Quote "Myself, I rarely find certainty and I am frequently confused" end of quote. Well I think that about says it all regarding Subud members. Life is strange and unrelated, disconnected, a virtual reality of illusion and delusion.
Life doesn't have to be like that Andrew unless you particularly like it but then, thats another of Subuds fatalistic Islamic based doctrines. God Bless and may He lead you out of the maze.

Re: Subud
Posted by: Jupiter ()
Date: July 28, 2009 01:08AM

Okaaaaaaay. Everyone: deep breaths, please.

Andrew, my experiences with testing are by no means the highlight of my anger with Subud. It is very different when you are born in Subud to when you join it as an adult, I know that you may question how exactly this is different, but regardless of whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Subudian or Atheist, I hope we can all agree that developmental psychology is a stable, established and not particularly controversial field (yes, I have traded Subud for science). Therefore, children growing up in Subud or any closed organisation (lets not debate this one, 3-month application process = closed organisation) are subject to different experiences than children who are developing in open society. Normal parents make weighed and calculated decisions based on probability, love and reasoning. My parents made decisions based on dreams, testing and impulses and didn't worry about how those decisions would affect people because they had already received their actions were right. God wouldn't ask you to do something that harmed your family, would he...? Or maybe He agrees that your family are responsible for themselves, and if they are angry at your actions, that is their problem, because YOU are doing God's will, and that's all that matters.

Andrew, what you are experiencing is called cognitive dissonance. It is where you have a valid anger and pain at something but you try and justify that anger because you have an emotional need to remain in the situation that makes you hurt and angry. You have stated this need clearly: your search, your family, your personal values. Those are unique to YOU, they are YOUR reasons for remaining in Subud. They do not make Subud exist on its own (a plastic model of a Saturn V rocket will not fly you to the moon), but they are YOUR reasons for staying (a plastic model of a Saturn V rocket may allow you to dream of going to the moon, and that dream allows you to get through dull, difficult and drudging days). Moreover... even if you know that the plastic rocket isn't real, and your dreams are just dreams, and you'll never actually get to go to the moon, the abstraction of the toy rocket on the shelf allows you to believe that, in the future, your children or grandchildren will, and that keeps up the belief of a better tomorrow. You are more able to teach the next generation positive values because you retain that dream of a better tomorrow. The dream is still beneficial even when it is only a dream.

Subud is not a plastic toy rocket, I'm well aware of that. But the concept of abstraction is really important when it comes to understanding the mechanics of what is happening here.

You see, to expand on Pacifica's point, you start with the premise that Subud is good for you, that you've had positive experiences and it is beneficial to your life. At some stage, all of us have experienced that in Subud, that's why we stayed (otherwise we would have left after our first Latihan and we wouldn't be in this state). So, in a sense, I understand what it is you feel. That desire to take the thing you are emotionally invested in and 'fix' it is honourable. But this could just be your desire to purify your own refuge - nobody wants to be involved with something that makes other people miserable. Survivors of oppressive regimes often feel terrified of their new freedom and complain endlessly that life was better under the rule of a dictator. I'm not saying Bapak was a dictator, of course not, that's ridiculous. My point rather is that everyone needs to believe in something, but believing in something doesn't make it real. A lie can never become the truth.

You see, if Subud didn't exist, you still would. You were not born into Subud, being there is a product both of your choice AND the fact that Subud exists. If that structure didn't exist, you would have found something else to meet your needs for spiritual fulfillment. If nobody had designed the t-shirt I am wearing then I would have bought a different one. If Milton hadn't written Paradise Lost, I would be reading the Aeneid instead.

But you see, I'm different to you. I only exist because of Subud: my parents met through it. Subud isn't a pottery class. My parents wouldn't even have looked at one another had they passed in the street. They wouldn't have spoken if they were next to each other on a plane. They had no similar interests, no connections, no common ground. They met in a Subud hall and got married because of a receiving and a dream, respectively. No, they are not still together (they separated because of a dream as well).

My whole existence is a lie.

That's something I have to live with every day of my life. Diploid delusion. From that basic fact, everything is painful. From that first misbegotten seed, everything is a parody of life. Why were my parents in Subud in the first place? Because they both suffered bereavement whilst still young and neither of them ever dealt with it, turning instead to a group which believes that your own actions determine what happens to your ancestors after death (purification). Come on!!!! It still amazes me that they have spent their entire lives running from basic facts that are obvious to everyone except Subud members. I repeat: Subud is not a pottery class. It is full of very dangerous, illogical and quite frankly blasphemous (and that's coming from an agnostic) teachings which are packaged under the ludicrous banner of 'there are no teachings.' It is held together under pidgin-Islam which is about as related to REAL Islam as that plastic toy was to the real Saturn V ("Subuslims" regularly eat bacon sandwiches and drink whiskey). Subud syncretism is chaotic and pointless, but really, it isn't possible to take one part and discard the other. A lie can never become the truth. You can't distill a lie into a truth any more than you can turn lead into gold. But if you don't believe me, feel free to keep trying.

Once again, I am not angry at Subud because of debt and disastrous testing. I'm not angry at the actions of other members that resulted in being evicted from my home, losing my dad and then my mum to daydream, being kept away from school, being deprived of high-school education and being thrown in the world and left to fend for myself. I'm not angry at the friends who 'reported' me to the National Helpers for speaking out against Subud. I'm not angry that my parents forced my boyfriend to be opened when I was eighteen. I'm not angry at the helpers who sat around a table and decided that a member in serial crisis would be better off if they died. I'm not angry that I lost everything and was told it was my fault. What I'm angry at is the thought process behind these actions: pomposity, naivety, blatant lack of adult responsibility, zero-self awareness, chronic repetition of basic mantras, perpetual contradiction, circular logic, brick-wall selfishness, impetuousness, delusion, bloated self-importance and flights of fancy that would tire an albatross.

I'm angry that there's nothing I can say or do that will get through to anyone. Most Subud members are so clearly in pain but you just can't get through to them. I'd have more success explaining quantum physics to a duck than trying to explain ordinary human emotion to someone stuck in Subud. It's absolutely infuriating. So why do I bother? Because there is life on the other side and it's tougher, better and a billion times more real than the truncated pseudo-life of kejiwaan days and Who Does God Want Me To Be This Morning nonsense.

Cognitive Psychology 101: thought shapes action. If you think God wants you to be something, then God can't love you as you are. If God doesn't love you as you are, then there's something wrong with you. If something's wrong with you, you're not okay. If you're not okay...

Subtract the Subud mindset (What should I do, who should I be) and insert: I am in control of my own life and God love me exactly as I am, and those fifty odd books of Bapaks Talks all fall apart. Eating goat-meat won't make you a goat and the chair isn't sitting on you.

Subud is like the Glass Wall in Zamyatin's 'We'. You know there's something else on the other side but you've been brought to believe it's scary and primitive. Even when you go to the other side you still don't want to see. Keep believing to the last. Funny how so many of the great novelists understood instinctively what we can't see.

You can't make something better that is inherently broken. The best will in the world can't erase the mistakes of the past. That's why broken governments fall. The cults of Athena and Mithras were just as beneficial for their members as Subud is to you. That doesn't mean those Gods were real or that we need to believe in them now. And if you believe the Latihan is real just because you feel it, it doesn't take much effort to explain this - it's basically called 'Magical Thinking,' and is a well documented effect.

Subud members try way too hard to be clever and twist the words of others just to win an argument: 2+2=5. They do this because it is inconceivable to them to ever be wrong. They can't be wrong, because God made them right. But it's all nonsense. Closed organisations might have their benefits in a limited way, but their members aren't right. There is no verifiable objective truth - we're human! We're alive! It sucks, it's supposed to suck. Life is crap for everyone. Life is confusing and sucky and painful for everyone alive (and indeed everyone who has ever lived), and not just because they haven't been opened yet.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of human pains and fears just waiting to be exploited. Subud exploits them in a bumbling and demoralising way. It makes members selfish and pompous, paranoid and confused. It makes the worst parts of human nature seem 'divine' and the best seem unwanted and dark. There's this little invisible bubble that surrounds Subud, a little half-sphere not too dissimilar from an artist's impression of a colony on Mars.

Anyway, I'm losing myself to ranting again...

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