Newly recovering lesson assessment
Posted by: Delphina_9 ()
Date: January 08, 2005 10:17AM

Hi, I don’t really know where to start here. I have recently decided to stop attending meetings of a group who study a form of energetic healing. This decision was made with a great deal of angst, it’s a very hard choice to make to leave a group of people with whom one has associated almost exclusively for years. I decided to stop attending, (perhaps I should just say I have left the group) because I have grave concerns about a technique now being taught and used. I feel as though the teacher and the group in general left me, as the tenet of this new technique of healing actually IMO goes against the original beliefs taught which drew me to the “work” in the first place.
When I asked direct questions about this technique, I felt punished and belittled. Answers to my questions, (looking back I can now think of several occasions I asked direct questions) were not directly forthcoming. Things were said like… “You have to start thinking on a higher level.” Or “If you were doing your work, you would understand as the others do.” I assure all reading this, I “did my work” almost exclusively for years. To the detriment of my other friendships, my family, my home and hobbies, I did little else but my “work”.
After having stopped going or even associating with most members of this group for several months now, I realize little else had changed in my life except the state of my neglected life, and the size of my checking account, neither had benefited. I still have all the same problems and challenges present in my life I started with, and a few more, as I am now busy mending relationships with family, friends, and debtors.
Other things have changed actually, I feel betrayed, shamed, stupid and bewildered, and angry. I don’t trust my own abilities to discern truth from lies. I don’t trust others either. I no longer trust my own abilities to do anything I was taught while attending these meetings, so how can I ask others to trust me to help them heal themselves? Big lessons have, after all been learned, but surely not the ones I thought I was learning.
My concerns now center on the rest of the people in the group, and those who are being currently recruited to do this healing work. I am aware after doing some reading here and elsewhere, that the likelihood of this being a destructive cult does exist. I can find several correlations between Singers writings and Hassan’s, as well as Mr. Ross’ research, and the ways of the leader of this group. The form the group now seems to be taking also is reminiscent of a group described in a classic Science Fiction novel, known to be a favorite of the leader. It is also apparently spreading from the U.S. and moving down under…. Concerned Oz might want to take note.
I don’t really know what I am asking for here. Just some support I guess as I find my way through this. I welcome any questions anyone cares to ask…although I am somewhat reticent to give specifics in such an open forum. I’ve never communicated in a medium such as this group, and I don’t know if there is a less … public way to give details. I do want to get word of this group, and any others like it out to the public, but I am a bit concerned for my own welfare, as retaliation in one form or another is not unheard of within this group. Perhaps by doing this I can redeem a bit of self respect. Thanks for reading this far, Delphina9

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Newly recovering lesson assessment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 08, 2005 08:51PM

1) To get a take on how the leader might have gotten started (this is just a hunch), get and read 'Prophetic Charisma' by Len Oakes, who is a clinical psychologist and researcher in Australia.

Dr. Oakes was once in a group led by a charismatic leader and if you can locate him (use Google) he may be able to offer you some pointers. His book may help you de-mystify the leader.

Another book, by Amy Wallace, describes her life in a secretive group centered on Carlos Castaneda, entitled 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice.' Its a painful book to read in places, so if youre feeling fragile, either wait or make very sure you have some supportive friends. The reason I recommend the book is it gives brilliant descriptions of two features of the group: people were selectively recruited. And once you were in the group, you were forbidden to ask questions.

Forbidding people or shaming people for asking questions puts them in a very difficult position.

When you're forbidden or shamed for asking questions, you're likely to feel anxious and off-balance much of the time, and you constantly scan the leader, senior members and environment for cues so you will know how to do the right thing--not do something that would result in a scolding or worse.

To be forbidden to ask questions shifts the power dynamic to favor the leader and dis-empowers the members.

Life within a group like this can feel deliciously intense. Giving up that sense of intensity, the promise of power and that feeling of being special --its painful to walk away from. And you lose the easy comraderie of people in the group.

In case this helps, here is an interview describing how someone left another group that specialized in energy work--in this case they called it 'Siddhis'. In this case, the person felt he'd benefitted from psychotherapy, but acknowledges that others may not find this necessary.


Possibly a Codependants Anonymous 12 step meeting could be a helpful resource, as well. The 12 step model is non-authoritarian and a very good contrast to an authoritarian group. Even if you go to such a group for just a brief time, you will be able to see that there are ways to form a group that will not go in an authoritarian direction.

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Newly recovering lesson assessment
Posted by: Delphina_9 ()
Date: January 10, 2005 11:28PM

Corboy, thanks for the advice, I am searching for the book, the exerpts I have read on the web seem very interesting, and certainly the name fits the group I am familiar with. Also searching for Mr. Oakes, and will attend a 12 step meeting next week to see if that might prove helpful.

Some days are better than others, life moves on and I am grateful for friends and loved ones who were just waiting for me to "come home."

Thank you for your concern.

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Newly recovering lesson assessment
Posted by: jocie6 ()
Date: October 18, 2005 02:46PM

Hi Delphina,
I read your story, it is almost exactly like my sisters story, oh boy is she suffering. I notice this is a reasonably old post and I would just love to know how you are doing now? You poor thing, please know that my entire family know just how you are feeling. My sister is away for 2 days, but when she gets back I am going to show her your story, she will be amazed! I really hope you are feeling alot better. Kindest regards, Jocie

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Newly recovering lesson assessment
Posted by: i_was_one ()
Date: October 20, 2005 08:24AM

Hi Delphina,

I too was in a cult, the cult of Scientology. And I have gone through periods when I wondered if I was naive, or gullible, or whatever for staying with the group as long as I did (13 years, I left in 1990). Not only that, but I spent tens of thousands of dollars for their services. Realizing that I spent so much in a cult religion that I left for good, has at times seemed like a waste of money. Most of the benefit I derived from the auditing I received while with the Church I could have received through psychological counseling and AA, at a much lower cost.

So, believe me, you have company. Just keep on trucking and put this cult behind you.

Best of luck to you in moving on with your new life. I am sure it will be much better than the life you are leaving behind in the cult. I've had my share of struggles since leaving Scientology, but my life after Scientology has been a lot better than my life was during my Scientolgy years.



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