I did get out of a cult group which uses principally the Samael Aun Weor teachings and those of Gurdjieff’s 4th way. It was in Canada, in the province of Quebec. They have an association in the two biggest cities of the province.
Here’s a link to their website:
You will see that there are three languages available just below the eagle icon (French, English and Spanish). A lot of links is showed about online books and documents concerning “masters” as Gurdjieff, Blavatsky, Ouspensky, etc. I think some are broken.
Let’s start from the beginning, but, I’ll try to summarize the most possible my story. I was in the college and meet a friend whom I’ve talked a lot about philosophy, psychology, religion and such. He wanted me to meet his friend who has a lot of knowledge about these subjects. Soon after, this friend introduced me to his other friends who have a lot of interests with the spirituality including of course, the subjects mentioned above. We had meetings once a week where we had some discussions, we did mantras (chants) and meditations. It was really a new perspective in life for me and I felt good after I was with them. I felt I had new friends who understand what I live about the actual world, about me.
Maybe 2 months later, they talked about some lectures of the Gnosis that was given in a public center. As you may have guessed, they invite me in these courses which are given once a week. Everyone was invited, of all ages and all cultures. They give us a prospectus about how the courses will be given: 3 cycles (A, B, and C) A is more about the psychology, B is about sexuality and C is more “advanced” practices including the two previous cycle. Don’t worry, we didn’t do sex openly with each “students” (obviously, that’s how we are called when we follow the courses). The more we’re going through these lectures, the more people will quit the group. It’s because of the contents, they use a lot of Samael style of speech/writing. He likes to hit with his word. It’s rhetoric like some of you said here.
Anyway, after the C , if you’re well accepted by the group, you can enter the 2nd chamber : which most consists of some church like rituals with a special vestment, the bread and wine (mostly grape juice) and a homily given by the sacerdotal (kind of head priest). Once you’re still in and want to do more for the good of humanity, you’re invited to do the instructor course which consists of being confined, more or less, in a house with all the future instructors. A lot of exercises, rituals, lectures are given during 5 days a week. During the weekend, you can go back to your home and see your family and relatives, or such. BUT, you’re suggested to stay in the house so you’re more focused.
Finally, when you “graduate” for being a sacerdot (for a man) or an Isis (for the female), you are given the duty of giving the message of the Gnosis. For this, you have to go in place recommended by the cult leader. My wife and I were sent to do so but lately (last year) we decided to stop being their “disciples” for a lot of reasons.
These reasons concern me with the fact of how I see what is going on in the group:
- People were saying more and more about a superior law has priority over an inferior law. From what I’ve understand, it’s like to use people for the benefit of your salvation (“self-realization” is the term which they use a lot). Like this website says in the cult formation: "Anyone who has not seen the light and therefore lives in the realm of evil can be justifiably deceived for a higher purpose." [www.culteducation.com
- They say that you are independent and you can go with your rhythm when you’re in a mission. But, contradictory, you have to hurry up, to always study your courses you have been given and repeat those to others (like a parrot?) because the end is near. How and when will it happen? Nobody can tell but it will be a big planet called Hercolobus will collides or will passes near the Earth (depending the version) and create chaos/hell on the planet. So you’re always stressed and fatigued with this life style.
- If you want your salvation, you have to believe truly that Samael is the one and only avatar of the Aquarius. We didn’t really know who he was and of course, they always tell us good thing from him. Ironically, during the beginning of the courses, they tell us not to worship him but just to see him as a man who did bring a teaching for the humanity…
- You have to submit to the authority unless you want to be expelled. Strangely, they seem to mix-up humility and submission, which is in my humble opinion, isn’t the same at all.
- The hermetism of the people. People tend to be just in their own circle of cult member and want to stay away from the “common” people (much called non-Gnostic).
- Importance of the utilization of the Gnostic vocabulary. If you want to explain with the simple sentences what you feel, some won’t understand (or doesn’t want to?). Ex.: Me:” I don’t want to go to the lecture tonight.” A Gnostic fellow:”Why is that? What it is in you that you don’t want to go? It’s really important yet you don’t seem to know that”. For them, it would have been better if you said it like that: “My inner being said to me (it could be via a drawing of tarot cards or within a dream or in a vision during a meditation) that I should not go to the lecture tonight and He has prepared something else for my progress in the spiritual way”. It’s like Keir said previously:
"Unfortunately there are also language barriers which prevent ex Samaeleans from comming all together".
- As stated above, overuse of the tarot drawing and the dreams. The leader has a lot of visions within his dream or in a drawing of tarot that can persuade people of an event or an omen. Interpretation is really subjective to the person though Samael made a booklet about “universal” symbols in dreams. When my wife and I decide to move out of this cult, the leader attempted to intimidate us by telling a dream from a sister/brother (where we often called ourselves and our fellow Gnostic) that she/he had a dream where a small group of people (us) will go in the dark side while the rest of the group will go in the light side of the path.
- The use of Gurdjieff method of “pushing button” of the people so that we see our own ego, defects, etc. A leader can insult, hurt, and discredit a fellow Gnostic so he/she discovers that he/she is too much “identified” with the situation. The leader said he has the permission from the intern worlds (what is that?? Astral world? Causal?) or the “masters” who are in these world. Ironically, they say that a humble master/leader never brags about such power.
Why I did go so far in this cult? I’m not too sure about an accurate answer. Maybe because I did challenge myself to see where I can go in an Elite group like this? Because I was curious to see where this cult group can go? For what I’m sure, I search a lot myself, what is my purpose in this world. This cult, like many others, wants to show you the answers.
"I have realized that I have been spending too much time looking at the Gnostic Movement since leaving it. My motivation was a need to defend myself from what is implied about people who leave."
That’s what I feel a lot since I left this group. It’s really hard to not think about all the events we lived in there. I could go and go and tell many other things but the most of it are in the statements above. I’m really happy to tell this experience on the forum and hope I can clarify others like me, who went through this.