Thanks for your contribution to our discussion, you are certainly in the right place, however if you also want to have an indepth discussion about the particular group you can also create a discussion for that as well. I participate in this discussion, when there is anything to talk about but I have also created a discussion-information piece on the group I was in (from my point of view and the others who have posted), which is the Gnostic Movement led by Mark Pritchard aka Belzebuub. [forum.culteducation.com
]. That should tell you about my personal experience and my perspective on it.
This leads me to my main point. It is very important to remember that the Samael Aun Weor phenomenon is a very broad topic, and this thread is not really about any specific aspect of that phenomenon. The one unifying aspect that we are all dealing with is the philosophy of Victor Gomez aka Samael Aun Weor. Something that is very helpful is to look at the life of the man in question to understand where his philosophy and believes came from. That is one of the main reasons why Latin America comes up so much, in addition to that that area is still effected so heavily by his messed up thinking.
Next I think we are then dealing with the particular schools of thought on spreading the Aun Weor teachings, a few weeks ago I attempted to create a scale for the type of groups are dealing with, or at least proposed that one should be worked on which conveys a danger level to individuals and society. From what you say the group you were involved in might belong on the mild end of the scale, where the Gnostic Movement is in the middle to a little higher. This important to keep in mind when you are evaluating others statements here, they may be coming from a completely different experience than you.
You mention that you consider the group you were in to be of no more concern than the typical religious group or youth group. But why should they not also be of concern?
I very much agree with you that more research needs to be done, that is why I have attempted to bring together as many sources as possible and reference them here. On that note i would like you to consider being more descriptive about group you were in and gives us a name, for those of us who do not know. Of course this would all be read as your perspective and therefore not slander. The key part of slander would be speaking about something that isn't true to the best of your knowledge (basically).
From my judgment I would say that Victor Gomez qualified as a cult leader for most of his life, some of the modern groups are less dangerous than him and some are more dangerous.
My biggest concern is the effect that these teachings have on peoples psychology, as it messed me up pretty bad. So I come at this from a limited but pretty significant experience. For me I could see the teachings doing the opposite of what they claimed to do.
Your point about Samael Aun Weor supporters seeing any analysis as an attack is quite accurate, for me this seems to show that there is something to hide and to be fearful of. It is not that they are sacrifcing children or torturing animals, it is the effect of the teachings and the manipulation that is used that is of concern. As I state before some groups are worse than others.
I think I have addressed my main concerns in your post.