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trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: Brynhild Tudor ()
Date: September 22, 2010 12:25PM

All my life I looked for somewhere to belong, and though I tried Christianity and Paganism, they didn't fit, and someone suggested my beliefs were too "fluffy" for Paganism, and "there's the new-age movement. Go join that." So I did. Uh-oh...
Now I wished I never had anything to do with it, because I'm mentally and psychologically screwed up, and I don't even know how I got into it in the first place. It just kinda happened, after starting out innocently enough. The messages from channeled entities, personal and planetary ascension, lightworkers, Suzanne and Matthew Ward's messages on the Matthewbooks site, 2012, (it sucks you in), Byron Katie, Sal Rachele, Meg Blackburn Losey, new-age internet radio, The Abraham Hicks teachings, The Secret, Karen Bishop, I've tried it all. If you google my name you'll see my posts on the Abe Hicks forum, and their responses (which were patronizing and felt ignored my questions, especially when I questioned some of the Abe teachings and I got not exactly shunned, but not popular when I disagreed with them) and I wish I could erase those search results. I've been in the new-age for 5 years and though I haven't bought any books, tapes/CDs or attended any seminars, I spent hours on websites, and now it's as if my mind, my way of thinking, is permanently changed to think as they do. I'm analyzing and questioning every single thought that pops into my head, I'm going about my daily activities as usual but I'm disconnected from them, unhappy, not focusing. I just want my life back, before all this new-age crap happened, and I did not realize how far I'd fallen down the rabbit hole until I had a dream one night, woke up and realized how messed up and different I'd become.
I looked up the definition of cult, hoping that could help, but I can honestly say that the new-age things I've been involved in aren't cults, the way the ones you see on the news are. They say, "look within, follow your bliss/intuition, you're the only one responsible for your actions, it's all about you". There's no actual leaders, no physical harm done, but that made me feel as if I were to blame for my inner feeling that something is wrong. They say, "logic is bad and intuition is good" and part of me says, "why would you be given logic and reason if you're not supposed to use it" but part of me says, "they say the mind was never intended to have spiritual experiences. You were given logic and an ego, but you're supposed to destroy it or use it minimally." and I don't want to think like that, I want to have my normal life back and in 2009 I decided "that's it. No more looking at new-age sites." Everything was going well for 6 months and then when I had a relationship problem, I got a compulsion to look at a site, and I thought, "just one, I won't look anymore after this." But it sucked me back in again. Like a drug addict's relapse, you know? And I thought if I came here, I would not have to do this alone because you could support me, or talk to me, or something.
But I am afraid that if I try to think in a new way, I'll be resistant, and you'll see that, and question whether I want help, and leave me. And then the cycle will continue and I'll never get out, the way I so desperately want to. It's just so hard, and it's not like I can just go to counseling because they wouldn't have time to research all the sites I've been to to know where I came from, and even if they looked at them, they'd say, "it's not an overt cult, so we're not going to help you."
I have nobody to talk to and noone to turn to. I am sorry for my ramblings, and hope you can make any sense of what I've written. Can someone help? Anyone? I'm so embarrassed and ashed to say I've been involved in this and I can't believe what I did to let it get this far. This is supposed to be a forum for cults but it's not exactly a cult but they control your mind anyway, at least I think they do, but if you go to them, they'll never come right out and admit it might be a cult. So I don't know where to get help.
I am sorry...
Brynhild Tudor

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: September 23, 2010 12:22AM

Thanks for coming here and sharing, Brynhild. Many of us here are well aware of New Age groups and the fact that while not easily categorized as cults, they can be equally dangerous to the human mind. That is why this board also involves "controversial religious movements".

Personally, I've seen the damage they can do. Also, in case you don't know, many of these New Age groups are based on thought persuasion tactics copied from the military and Madison Avenue. You are not "weak" for being influenced by them. They are using SOPHISTICATED techniques meant to steal your money, your ego, your time, and whatever else is made available to them.

I'm a rank amateur, and would defer to the advice being given by pros like Rick Ross, but here is my layman's advice.

1. Read. Read books like Carl Sagan's "Demon-Haunted World". A good dose of scientific secularism can definitely affect one's viewpoint. If at some point, you go back to religion of any sort, you will do so with a more scrutinizing eye, and be less likely to get sucked into dangerous thought reform groups or ideologies.

2. Get involved with groups organized on non-religious principles. Groups like youth sports, groups that help senior citizens and the infirm. That will help you with the isolation it sounds like you are experiencing, and remind you that there are plenty of sane and kind people on the planet who don't need "Dear Leader" to tell them every move. They all need volunteers and love people who want to help!

3. Keep posting here, there are plenty of people with good tips.

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: Brynhild Tudor ()
Date: September 23, 2010 01:02AM

I'm trying to find Carl Sagan's book in Braille. Thanks for the tip. I've never heard of those military tactics. What are they? I never knew there was such a thing as thought reform/persuasion tactics. I thought those channeled entities were telling the truth when they said "if you want to ascend, you must change your way of thinking and being." That's what Karen Bishop says. I don't mean to argue or be defensive. I just want to know.

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: pegasus ()
Date: September 23, 2010 06:11AM

Hi Brynhild
I was touched by your heartfelt and sincere post. I think that with that kind of sincerity and honesty you will find your own way and your truth given time. It seems to me that you are strong and have a good sense of being able to sort truth from false teachings already - you could see the things that didnt feel right within the Abe Hicks teachings and you were strong enough to say so and go against their 'party line'. That does show that you have a good sense of intuition and truth I feel.

I believe that you have been exposed to a cult without any doubt. Cults have done their job well when you come out of it and you cant see that it is a cult. When I left the meditation centre that I followed I thought there were lots of 'bad cults' out there but my group was nothing like that. Now I feel you can tell it is a cult and that you have had a cult experience when you have been given the message consistently from your group/teachings that:
- You do not know what is best for you or what is the truth but we (the teachings)do
- You must follow what we say in order for you to find the truth
- If you dont follow us you should be afraid of what will happen to you.

this is not said in those words but using cult jargon - eg follow us to 'ascend' - from that you get the meaning that you will decend/fall or in some way not be good enough if you do not follow them.

My cult also said that the mind is bad and to use the 'heart' and intuition. While there is certainly truth in this - that intuition is very important in life, what is much more important here is to see that this is a hidden tactic of the cult.
What they are really saying is 'dont follow what you think, follow what we say'
Clearly that is not using your own intuition or your own mind. It is using THEIR 'mind'. When they tell you what to believe or give advice they are certainly using their minds.

This is a very clever and such a dangerous thing becos when we start to sort out our experience and try to recover we tend to halt our own progress by doubting ourself. Because we believe so strongly not to use our own mind due to this cult belief that has been instilled in us for so long, we doubt ourself. We have to use our mind to sort this all out. It is an important part of us.

You may feel later on looking back at this that it was in fact your own intuition that allowed to to feel the teachings were not right. If the teachings were true to their word they would surely say to you to do what you believe to be best and not turn it around to say you have to follow what we say.
You can learn and read things others say but then I believe it is essential to run it past your own self to see if you agree. Ask yourself 'What do I think of this? What is my opinion?' we have to find our own seves now and change the habit the cults brainwashed us into doing which is the habit of swallowing their beliefs without our own filter.

Another way of looking at this is to consider that the teachings say not to judge, to be present etc.
However when you look at what they are actually teaching it is completly judgemental. If we were truly not judging we would not consider the mind bad and the teachings good. If you look at it, the teachings actually consider many things to be 'bad'. These are hidden messages sometimes though so you get a sense of it but you can't argue the point with them because they dont say it explicitly. They cover it up in flowery language.

I have personally battled with the same things you are - you are not alone. I have spent many hours trying to work it all out, walking on the beach for hours, praying for answers and also writing it all down and trying to find the truth. For me this has been most important because I needed to find my own truth - not just follow what a book or someone else said. I had to really know what I know now. And I am getting there. I feel I have for the most part found my answers to all this and found some much needed peace. I am still learning and growing though as we all are. I no longer believe people or teachings that claim to have all the answers. It has to be a personal thing - we have to all follow our individual paths and that means completely individual - not someone elses.
That said books have also helped - Steve Hassan's book on Mind Control opened my eyes. Then I have found understanding counselling concepts such as boundaries and applying this to my life good. The cults actually really overstep the mark when it comes to boundaries by the way and they teach us to continue this on ourselves - analysing everything we do and JUDGING ourselves constantly.

Feel free to send me a private message if you want to share more
all the best

Disclaimer regarding Steve Hassan

The Ross Institute of New Jersey/May 2013

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The inclusion of news articles within the Ross Institute of New Jersey (RI) archives, which mention and/or quote Steven Hassan, in no way suggests that RI recommends Mr. Hassan or recognizes him in any way.

News articles that mention Steve Hassan have been archived for historical purposes only due to the information they contain about controversial groups, movements and/or leaders.

RI does not recommend Steven Hassan.

RI has received serious complaints about Steve Hassan concerning his fees. Mr. Hassan does not publicly disclose his fee schedule, but according to complaints Steve Hassan has charged fees varying from $250.00 per hour or $2,500.00 per day to $500.00 per hour or $5,000.00 per day. This does not include Mr. Hassan's expenses, which according to complaints can be quite substantial.

Steven Hassan has charged families tens of thousands of dollars and provided questionable results. One recent complaint cited total fees of almost $50,000.00. But this very expensive intervention effort ended in failure.

Dr. Cathleen Mann, who holds a doctorate in psychology and has been a licensed counselor in the state of Colorado since 1994 points out, "Nowhere does Hassan provide a base rate and/or any type or accepted statistical method defining his results..."

Steve Hassan has at times suggested to potential clients that they purchase a preliminary report based upon what he calls his "BITE" model. These "BITE reports" can potentially cost thousands of dollars.

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Steve Hassan runs a for-profit corporation called "Freedom of Mind." Mr. Hassan is listed as the corporate agent for that business as well as its president and treasurer.

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RI also does not list or recommend Steve Hassan's books.

To better understand why Mr. Hassan's books are not recommended by RI read this detailed review of his most recently self-published book titled "Freedom of Mind."

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Steve Hassan's cult intervention methodology has historically raised concerns since its inception. The book "Recovery from Cults" (W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 174-175) edited by Dr. Michael Langone states the following:

"Calling his approach 'strategic intervention [sic] therapy,' Hassan (1988) stresses that, although he too tries to communicate a body of information to cultists and to help them think independently, he also does formal counseling. As with many humanistic counseling approaches, Hassan’s runs the risk of imposing clarity, however subtly, on the framework’s foundational ambiguity and thereby manipulating the client."

RI has also learned that Mr. Hassan has had dual-relationships with his counseling clients. That is, clients seeing Mr. Hassan for counseling may also do professional cult intervention work with him.

Professionals in the field of cultic studies have also expressed concerns regarding Steven Hassan's use of hypnosis and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Based upon complaints and the concerns expressed about Mr. Hassan RI does not recommend Steve Hassan for counseling, intervention work or any other form of professional consultation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2013 09:13PM by rrmoderator.

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: Brynhild Tudor ()
Date: September 23, 2010 10:28AM

Hi Pegasus,
Thanks for your post. It gave me a lot to think about. I was reading another post along these lines, I think it was Recovering from New-age Mumbo-jumbo, and one of the posters, I think it was Quackdave, said something like, "If you want to stop, then stop. Just don't look at them anymore. It's simple." I felt when people say things like that, "just do it. It's simple but not easy" type thing, it is just a cop-out. It does not acknowledge how hard it actually is for some people. Anyway, I will tell you the sites I visited so frequently, that I can remember, because many times I'd just google "ascension/channeling/2012" or any combination thereof and read them. Just so you know what they are:
I used to be addicted to Karen Bishop's energy alerts, which are archived. She stopped posting them and I'm glad, because if she didn't, I probably would still be looking at them.
I admit I look at the monthly channelings, though I don't want to and disagree with some of them. I guess I just want to believe that if one thing resonates with me, everything should. It does not make sense for someone to say, "find your own truth", then turn around and say, "this is the truth. You will all awaken to the truth, the real truth, that life is a dream and you will awaken from the illusion." What if I disagree with that statement? They come back and say, "Spirit doesn't remember what choices you made." So I think, "well, maybe they're right. I mean, if I don't remember, I'm not concious of that because I really don't remember, so how would I know?"
The Secret and the Abraham Hicks stuff. If you google my name I'm on their forum. I asked for their help with a situation and their responses, which you can read, were condescending and patronizing, but part of me is like, "what if they're right and I'm missing the boat? If I don't think this way, then I won't get the "anything is yours to be or do or have." Imagine being able to have, do and be anything you want. I've gone through so much in my life and have always dealt with people's unhappy reactions when I've stood up for myself, or asked for what I've wanted (they say to speak up, stand up for yourself, and then when you do, instead of being glad you did it, they don't like it.) Imagine going through life never feeling any pain or negative emotions. It looks so ideal. Who wouldn't want that? Imagine being able to get everything you've ever wanted, no effort. I'm not talking about being lazy. I'm talking about working and struggling all your life to get what you want, if you ever get it at all, because many times I didn't, and saying, "I'm tired of this! There must be another way that isn't so hard to achieve." And then Abe comes along and starts talking about most people being rewarded for paddling upstream, and they don't know it yet, but all you have to do is turn your boat downstream and life will just fall into place. And if you even question or disagree with Abraham or the Secret one bit, they say, "well it won't work them. It's a law. It never fails. It works no matter what. So whatever problems you have, it's you, nobody else, cause you're responsible for everything, whether you want to hear/believe it or not. This is reality. But you can create your own."
That doesn't make sense. They are contradictions, aren't they? If you create your own reality, what's the point of absolute, unchanging reality then?

Anyway, when I spoke up and disagreed with part of the teachings, and read another poster's comments on them who attempted to disagree with them, they didn't even address my issues. They just say, "oh, it might not be for you. They're not for everybody. Walk away." So I did, but they did not want to debate anything with me. I disagreed with parts of Paganism and Christianity, and got the same responses. One of the things I asked about the Abe teachings was, "Abe keeps saying we humans never get it over with, always learning and screwing up and that's the way it's supposed to be, don't you love making mistakes, you don't want to be in the vortex all the time (even though they inferred you're supposed to be because all the negative emotions were lower down the emotional-guidance scale and who wants to be there?) Anyway, you say that humans are constantly wrong, we're always learning. Well, what is Ave learning? Why doesn't Ave admit when he's wrong? Just once, I wish Ave would say, "you know, we thought we knew what we were talking about, but we don't. We're making as many mistakes as you humans are and doing trial-and-error learning same as you, and we've discovered there are other laws in the universe that govern us, and that we didn't know about. So everything that we've taught you, well, take it with a grain of salt, because we're not even sure how accurate that is."

They kinda ignored me when I asked what Ave was learning. Actually, they didn't even seem to be speaking or thinking for themselves. They just referrenced an Ave quote from somewhere. "humans are on the leading edge of it." Whatever that means. And I didn't ask because it didn't seem like they wanted to explain it. There was a poster who said they'd been trying the Ave teachings and said they didn't work, how they'd been analyzing their lives, modifying their thinking for 2 years, spending all their time on that forum, and "first I'm frustrated but now that I wrote this I'm annoyed." or something like that. Instead of admitting, or acknowledging that their might be a flaw in the teachings, the group just ignored the issue and said, "good for you! You moved up the emotional guidance scale! It doesn't seem like you're making progress, but in a few years it'll be obvious because of your wonderful life. It takes time, but you're learning. Good for you!" And by the end of the post, the original person was praising the group for not belittling him like he thought they would.

But I saw the group was belittling that poster. And I knew I had to get out of there.

Anyway, I've read the Kryon channelings, listened to the World Puja network, and Maureen Moss, and
That's all I remember. So now you know.
I'm trying to give myself permission to have my oppinions, like saying Oprah and Dr. Phil are manipulative, egotistical, self-rightess people. But the new-age says I'm not supposed to judge anyone, have no oppinions/expectations, always be in the void, etc. Part of me is resistant, saying, "it's okay to have expectations, that's what makes you human." But the other part of me says, "the whole human experience is to battle your ego and destroy it" and even if people say "you're not supposed to destroy it. You're supposed to modify it and reprogram it to change the destructive beliefs it has come to believe since human history began." It still seems like a lot of work.

Why would a loving God send us to Earth, or allow us to come here, and ask us to purposefully go against the grain of what feels natural, which is to have expectations and oppinions? Just so we can realize we're spirit and, then what? They make it look as if when we "remember who we are" or realize we're spirit, or realize that life is a dream, life will be wonderful, but they don't give details because they don't know what the details are?
All these thoughts are spinning around in my head and I'm trying to make sense of them. How did you come to find peace within yourself, and how long did it take you? What did you do? How did you feel okay to have human oppinions and not have contradictory feelings? "what if the new-age is right and I'm wrong" fear type thing? They say, keep waiting, your perfect life will come. And when it doesn't and we question things, they come back with "time doesn't matter, just keep faith" How did you break free of that?
Inquiring minds want to know!
There are books on mind control? They never said anything about those, yet they told us to question everything and see if it felt right. But if that were true, they would've let me know where the mind control books were, wouldn't they? Then I could read them.

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: pegasus ()
Date: September 24, 2010 06:22AM

I really relate to what you are saying - I feel like it is very similar to what I would say so many times and agonize over so much. What you are going through sounds the same as me and others on this site because altho it is a different group using different language, it is the same thing really going on here for you as it was for me or other people in other cults.

We want to do the right thing so we dont want to judge because we feel that is not good. But the cult cleverly manipulates us to believe that having an opinion is the same as judging. It also manipulates us to believe that judging is a very bad thing with very bad consequences (fear tactics).

It is easy to see in other people who have been manipulated in the same way as us but from a different cult. Eg. I have a friend who was in Jehovha Witnesses. She believed that the world is going to end soon and that you should only recruit new people for the church and not spend time on a career becos only the Jehovhas will be saved and with the world ending there is no point in a career etc. So she would be very afraid to have the opinion that a job she liked was ok when the church said it was not.

Another example - in my group if you joined single you were not allowed to have a partner nor get married. When I fell in love I believed I was doing an absolutely terrible thing - in our group it was called 'impure' to have a husband/partner. The logic was that you were to be devoted only to the path/God. I was very very afraid to have the opinion that it was ok to have a partner because I believed terrible things would happen to me if I did so.

You can see the fear tactics and manipulation in those examples Im sure. And I can see that it is ok and perfectly normal to have an opinion that you don't agree with everything Abe Hicks says. Can you see the fear tactics being used when they say - that is fine, stand up for yourself - but if you diagree with us you will be stuck in the vortex and not have the perfect life we promise you.

Those are fear tactics. The same as my group saying i will be punished for my impurities when I die if I have a boyfriend or the Jehovhas believing that souls will be lost if they do not save them before the world ends.

Those same tactics are there with the idea of leaving the group. I just could not imagine leaving my group. I was taught so well that I believed that I if I did not follow the teachings, I would have a terrible life and an even worse afterlife. Cult speak was used, as it is in your teachings - things like 'you will be off the path' with 'ordinary people in low consciousness' etc It was absolutely certain that I would not be spiritually minded anymore, I would fall into the 'ignorance of the world' and be lost if I did not follow the teachings and Guru of my group.

So if you have a different opinion to this - if you believe that it is not true that I will be punished for leaving my guru that simply means that you have a different opinion to the group.
Or if you do not believe the world will soon be ending and we should be afraid, you simply have a different opinion to the Jehovhas.

Is there anything wrong in having those different opinions? The cults would say so, they need you to believe so in order to keep following them.

But it is dangerous not to have your own opinion as you can see.

In my case I could see how cult like these other groups were and I did not believe mine was a cult. I was afraid of disagreeing with my guru for a long time. And this fear dominated my life completely and absolutely.
the day I read some examples of other groups and could actually see how the same priniciples were going on in my group it dawned on my that my group must also be a cult. And that just maybe I could have a different opinion to my group. That was a massive thing - I cant tell you how big a change that was for me. A huge step.

So I know it is so hard to go against the teachings and it is understandable that you would go back to them and read them. I think you are really doing well to be questioning the way you are and to be considering other ways of thinking. for so long I would not read anything apart from books my guru had written. I would never consider anything else ok or safe to read. So you are on the way.

Also I dont think you have to say everything in the teachings is somehow 'right' or 'wrong'. For me there is truth in all the teachings and there is also unhelpful things in most of them as well. Or things that dont help me or suit me. It doesnt help me to think I am in the vortex because that makes me feel afraid and not ok as I am. It is helpful to me to aim to judge people and things less because that makes my life happier but its also important for me to check out things with myself now and know what I think rather than believing completely something someone else says to do.

For me I could not be happy and have peace until I worked it all out and found truths - my own things that I believe - that made sense to me. It helped to analyse the things that bothered me the most and really look for the truth of it. But that also was hard to do when I was afraid and upset by it all. So I hope you can take it easy and try to feel that you will sort this out and that you are doing well with it.

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: Brynhild Tudor ()
Date: September 25, 2010 06:03AM

Hi Pegasus,
I've been trying to go back and look at this new-age stuff with a critical eye. Here are some examples of sites I used to frequent, in case you wanted to see them.

If I were to think for myself, I'm afraid you'll see me as immature, but here goes:
If you look at all these sites, they say, "look at how great the ascended earth is going to be and how awesome life will be! But you have a choice. So we don't want you to do anything out of fear. But if you choose not to ascend, that choice will be respected, and you'll have to learn the lessons of unconditional love in another 3D world." So they're inferring that it'll be like this 3D world, which isn't fun to live in. Here is where my brain comes in.

I look at these and think, "ascension is too much work. I'm not interested." And then they tell you what the ascended world looks like, and I'm like, "the same crap is happening to you and you're just looking at it differently? That's all? That doesn't sound fun. I don't want it." But the other choice, living in limitation/darkness/fear, they don't make it sound great either. Basically, they say, "in the new earth, you'll be challenged, but just joyfully see it as an opportunity for growth. You'll see everything that way. But you'll be off the karmic wheel. You won't suffer anymore."

Call me weird, but I see contradictions in that...

I mean, if somebody finds things "challenging" they usually have to go through some kind of pain, discomfort, or a process that, for lack of a better word, they don't enjoy, or isn't fun. They might have to "suffer" some physical obstacle/illness/whatever to get where they want to go. If they did not, then life would be catigorized as easy.

The "5th demension" as some channelings and teachers would have you believe, is fun and definitely easier than the 3rd demension, if not easy. Of *course* we're gonna wanna ascend to the higher demension, if you make it sound that good. But if you make it sound like tons of work to get there (clearing karma, healing your past, examing negative emotions, all of which, if you ask me, is a never-ending or near-impossible process since we'll never be free and clear of anything), and then say life will be challenging in the new world anyway, if ascension doesn't sound that it's all it's cracked up to be, some of us might not want to ascend after all. Then why do you say, "okay, it's your choice. You have free will. You'll just say in duality/limitation/conciousness, you'll just stay in the world of wars and poverty and lack." Which isn't fun either, because the whole reason why you wanted to ascend was to escape all that. Then just when you think you've done the necessary work to ascend, they say, "ascension isn't about going anywhere. It's about staying right here and creating the new earth, which you all came to this planet to do, you just don't remember." Um, isn't that a bait-and-switch thing? Why didn't you tell us that before?

Why do we have to do all these technique for spiritual development anyway. "work on your spiritual growth" they say. They say, "if you don't want to work on various processes, then spiritual growth is not a priority for you. That's okay." Not the way you just said it, it isn't. On one hand, you say spiritual growth is completely voluntary, but on the other, you maka it sound anybody who has any intention of ascending, getting to the next level, whatever, will do certain spiritual growth work. And if we don't, you don't say it, but we must be... we must be... what's the word... lazy, which seems to be a bad thing, particularly if we want to do things that are fun.

I've come to think that the curse words for spirit are "easy" "fun" "comfortable" "pleasant" all the good stuff. Yet we're not supposed to judge anybody or their decisions in any way. Aren't they saying one thing and implying another?

I mean, it's either "you're totally responsible for every single little thing. There are no victims, only volunteers" which I disagree with, or you're either "get rid of/destroy/reprogram your ego/mind. Or use your analytical or critical thinking skills, but only for certain purposes, for getting through daily life in the 3D world." Isn't that controlling how you're using things? Isn't that controlling your thoughts and feelings? And they say "give up control, control is a bad thing. But in the new earth, you can control whatever you want. Well actually, you have free will, but it's limited." Limited free will?? Which is it? Make up your mind!

In Christianity I questioned why a loving God would be so judgmental, and I actually believed I'd go to hell if I didn't attend church weekly. In Paganism I questioned why we had to parallel nature exactly, and work on balance if it was near impossible for us to achieve it anyway. If you're going to work on something, deities would not give you an assignment and then make it impossible for you to completely succeed at it. Don't give us the Rede, the Charge of the God/goddess, the witch's pyramid, and then get all excited when we have trouble following it perfectly, and then say, "you're not supposed to follow it perfectly. It's impossible to not do harm to anyone. Even when you breathe, you're harming the microbes." Why did you tell us to do something you knew it was impossible for us to do then? Even if the Rede is only a suggestion, don't give it to us unless we can do it properly! I questioned why humans had to strive to be exactly like nature, although I acknowledged we can parellel nature in many ways. But when you worship/honor the earth and how loving it and deities are, then turn around and say how a natural disaster must be respected, even if it causes awful destruction you still love the earth anyway? I don't think so. What if we don't want to reincarnate? You say, "you can have that belief, but it doesn't matter, because this is the reality and you'll want to reincarnate when you die, you just can't remember it now. You don't know what you're saying/thinking."

What is the point of giving us concious free will to make decisions if you say the majority of our decisions are made from spirit, and we can't access spirit anyway? You can't say "this is the only realm where you have complete free will" then turn around and say, "there are limitations to what you can control." That's contradicting yourself.

As much as I disagree with the new-age belief that "we're all one", it's so prevailent that I can't get away from it, and I wonder if they're right after all. I wish I knew where the belief in separation-conciousness and oneness-conciousness came from. Living in oneness and living like Eckhart Tolle does not sound appealing at all to me, but the new-age says that's where we're headed, like it or not, and we're apparently all supposed to want that, though we can't remember it, and we'll love it when it happens.

Then they say "you must learn the difference between your ego and your spirit." There's all these definitions of what ego is, and none as to what spirit is. If you ask someone how you know if something comes from spirit, you get, "you'll just know. Nobody can tell you" which is the vaguest answer I've ever seen. But if you ask what ego is, you get, "oh, that's your concious rational mind. Do away with it and expand your conciousness." So we're supposed to expand our counciousness but not be concious of it? Or not know we're concious? Or what?

The new-age makes it seem as though you have to be a hermit to study all this information, which prevents you from going out and living your life. Yet they say you must do both, which is virtually impossible, and they answer that with "it's challenging/hard but it can be done." Really? Then why has nobody ever managed to do it successfully? I wrote to Karen Bishop's sister once, and asked why, because I couldn't help noticing, why all the self-proclaimed enoightened new-agers all seemed to make a business out of it. They sold books and tapes teaching other people how to be enlightened, published magazines, channeled spirits, traveled the world, and gave talks and seminars. You never see then in what they'd consider to be "mundane" life. Why weren't there any enlightened housewives/ factory workers, people with actual occupations?

She didn't like that at all...

The only spiritual concept I've loved since childhood, and still do, is heaven, the afterlife, near-death experiences. I've always been fascinated by death, ever since I can remember. So I asked Sal Rachele, who channeled a particular spirit, if that spirit could tell me what life was like. What she did all day (or whatever their concept of time is), what were her relationships like, activities, etc. Because I'm just curious. Do you know what the answer I got was?

He wrote back and said that the spirit he channels is very busy with important things, like working with the Galatic Confederation and assisting people with personal and planetary ascension, and was too busy to answer my mundane questions. I guess I'm supposed to be concerned with important things, like spiritual growth and spiritual matters, if I am to be anybody. Even if I think the spiritual life is very boring. And I thought spirits who ascended to the 6th demension were supposed to be warm and friendly. I thought the higher you go, the nicer you are. If you look at Sal Rachele's site, he says he's ascended a certain high percentage, and I guess he has a background in science. I know nothing about these things so naturally I'd believe people who say they're scientists. There's articles on "the accuracy of channeled messages" where they warn people of the dangers of channeling, then imply that "not us, we're a good source, we channel only high-demensional beings." Sometimes I wonder if it's the messages that are screwed up (they're true to a point, and I recognize you shouldn't live your life in total fear of everything, but they don't acknowledge that fear can be a good thing.) or whether these new-agers twist them.

The only thing I've loved since childhood is Sylvia Browne's books. People say, "that's great. Go with that." But it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to believe something when everyone around you doesn't believe it themselves and all you read of an author is controversial. I grew up with authoritarian parents and there was a lot of emotional/mental/psychological/physical abuse, which noone will admit to, and which I got the brunt of because I questioned everything. Even as an adult I'd get, "if you're in the minority, you have to start wondering if there's something wrong with you" from my family. My younger brother and sister were, and still are, like 2 peas in a pod, but I spent life alone because I was made fun of for my beliefs. Or things that were seen as flaws in my personality were changed by state social workers. I'm totally blind so when you have a disability the state likes to barge in and put help on you when you don't want it, and you're supposed to thank them and not resist because they say they know more than you do, and when you stand up to them they don't like it at all. They physically forced me to cross streets because they said I had to know how to do that by the time I was 18, even though I said I didn't want to. My vision teacher wrote in my yearbook "I know I've changed a lot in you, but it's all been for the better."

And I've never fit in anywhere, in social circles or in religions, because I never agree with everything totally. Having unique beliefs can be very lonely, and it helps me when there's people who share them. There's strength and safety in numbers, at least for me. I'm easily influenced by everything. You know how a brick building can stand on its own and is really strong because there's hundreds of little bricks to help it stand with a common purpose? And you know how a little twig will go ever-which-way in a breeze because there's nothing to hold it up? And asking the little twig to stand by itself in a storm is impossible, because a twig cannot do that when it's all alone?

Well, I'm the twig. That's why I came here. Maybe we can all be twigs together and the next time a belief comes along we could ask each other questions and be stronger that way. And eventually, we'll be like a brick building, strong enough to stand up on our own.

I do not mean to support these new-age beliefs. They just come out of my mouth and my brain before I can stop them. I see contradictions, and my logical mind is saying that might be a sign they're not for me, but the other side is going, "maybe spirit does not have to do with the logical mind at all. How would you know? You don't know everything. You don't want to be the only one who feels a certain way about things, do you? What if we're right and you're wrong?" I struggle with that a lot.

I hate myself for getting involved in this. I just want my life back...

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 25, 2010 06:43AM

To whom it may concern:

The human mind really isn't that strong.

Rather than blaming cult victims by labeling them "gullible" or "cowardly" it's important to understand the manipulation, coercion and deception that is involved in cult recruitment and retention.

It is possible for people to simply be "brainwashed" and therefore unable to think critically or independently enough to break free.

Read these links:





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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: pegasus ()
Date: September 25, 2010 01:41PM

Hi Brynhild,
That was so cool to read what you had to say about the contradictions in the different groups. I can really relate to that and I have also spent a lot of time feeling frustrated and upset by contradictions I could see which it seemed like no one else could see at the time. It seemed to me that these contradictions were everywhere - which is similar to what you are saying, you found it in Paganism, new age and Christianity and I also found contradictions in my group. Then after I left that I went to a course in miracles group and I also trained as a counsellor. Even during my counselling training when I followed one particular type of therapy which led to some workshops/weekend intensives and I again found the same type of contradictions there! It was so upsetting, especially when everyone around you is saying you are wrong and you just end up feeling crazy! Actually I could not hold my own sense of things in those situations and I ended up agreeing with the therapist thinking they must know best what I should be doing. Now I can see that what he said to me was judgemental and invasive - in some way it feels violating. Like the therapist is the God of me, just as my old cult leader/guru was. Those situations were so destructive because the leader/teacher/whoever was telling me who I was and what I should be doing and using words that really inferred that I was flawed in some was as I was and I must do what they said to be acceptable/ok/worthy etc. Its like someone else has taken you personal sense of things when that happens, I suppose it would be called your personal power. They labelled me, analysed me, judged me and prescribed what I must do, none of which i was sure I believed, i just felt confused.

Anyhow its a horrible thing and I have felt like this is a very harmful form of abuse because your own mind is turned against you. You can try and sort it thru but then you get the doubts because your mind has been so confused as to not know what is right or wrong anymore.

I also followed Tolle and some new age for a while but I could also see the contradictions you are mentioning. I agree with what you are saying - I think you are right, what you say makes sense. Also I think what they say and what they infer - the meaning they give is not always the same thing. What are they really saying? To me, I feel they are usually saying - you must follow our techniques to have any chance of a good life and find the happiness you are looking for. You dont have to follow them, but if you don't you will not have any chance of finding your happiness and actually you will have a bad time of it. Simple. You feel youd better follow them. They prey on your need to find meaning and happiness and I feel they abuse that need in some ways.

Also it all seems so cold and hurtful the way in which it is all delivered. The detached approach comes across to me as uncaring and lacking any human heartfelt decentness. Its like 'we dont need you, but you need us'. Just feels so cold to me.

I was so happy to see that you like the near death experiences stuff. I love this and of course its not going to be for everyone but for me it did resonate. I felt like I could trust some of what they said and I felt it to be genuine. After losing my faith and having a deep fear of God/the universe, I slowly found some faith again. A starting point was to see that it is all love and no judgement after death (according to the NDE). That was really something I needed to hear. I also prayed or kind of called out inside to God (or whatever you want to call God) and I felt some answers at times that helped. One thing that meant a lot was I felt that God loved me with no conditions. So I felt it must be true that I am accepted as I am - I dont have to do a particular thing to be ok. That is really very important to me.
This must be an individual journey for us all, so I dont want to suggest that you take on anything I say, but I do hope we can share things with each other which is fun and helpful isnt it?

I know what you mean about being on your own.I have also felt I dont belong anywhere - i seem to disagree with some aspect of each group. And after being in a cult i am very sensitive to any sign of someone telling me what to believe now, I just can't handle that at all. I have found it hard to work this out on my own. At times I have just felt so helpless and lost and just cried, feeling like the only person in the world with this problem. When you feel like that its also easy to feel useless in some way for being so different. That was a bad time for me, but I did come thru that even tho I didnt think I could or would. And I do feel stronger for that. I had to find something of my own inside me and not just follow what someone else said.

I just see rules, all those groups just have rules that you have to follow. What if the rule does not suit you? There are so many ways to live - there just cant be one right and one wrong.

What do you like about the NDEs or Sylvia Browne? Maybe something you like there could be a start to finding what means something to you - something that is true to you? Just an idea.

I think this is a very hard and painful thing in part because we all need a philosophy or something that we believe in, in order to make sense of life and to have some idea how to live it. When I left my group, it was like I just didnt know what was true anymore at all. I envied regular people who at least had some values, perhaps they valued family or their career or had a lifestyle that they believed in. I did not believe in anything because the things I had so strongly believed in now were falling apart - they were not true. This is a crazy experience and you can feel crazy when that happens. It was very stressful for me, so hard. It seems that you are also trying to find a philosophy you can believe in to make sense of your life and how to live it. I understand if that is so important to you, I dont see how people could live without values.

Have you considered the idea that we all have individual paths- what I mean by that is while we may certainly share beliefs with others and enjoy doing things together we may have completely different things we are working on or learning about at any one time. And we may not share all the same beliefs as another person. If that was true then it would not be a good fit to say we should all do exactly the same technique becos we would be best to be doing what was best for us. Also what we are learning about could vary over time and change, not be easily categorised. So we could be learning or on a spiritual path but it could be quite personal to us what we are learning. In my case this has come to make sense.

I am learning how to change my habit of looking for what I 'should' do (looking outside to someone elses rules) to seeing how I am feeling, what I may be needing or wanting and feeling safe enough to do that (looking more internally) I find I get lost if I look outside too much now without checking to see how I feel about it.

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Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Posted by: Brynhild Tudor ()
Date: September 26, 2010 06:39AM

Hi Pegasus,
I think I can sum up the new-age movement in a nutshell. It seems to be saying: "we aren't saying this to scare you, but to make you aware of the truth. Ascension is going to happen, whether you like it or not. (list of justifications as to how it's already happening.) The ascended earth is a wonderful, glorious world! (gives a sharp contrast between this world and the new earth, in which this 3d world is given all the negative traits and the 5d earth is given all the positive ones, which naturally makes you want to go there.) So if you want to ascend (and who wouldn't, after that description!), you must do a lot of worthwhile inner work, and here are various techniques to help you (they don't tell you how much work it is till you start doing it) and if you don't want to ascend, that's fine. Nobody will judge you and you don't have to fear anything. You'll just go to another 3d place where you'll continue to learn lessons through suffering. It's just the way it is." After you've done the inner work, they say, "Ascension is not about going anywhere, it's about staying right here and creating the new earth. If you think it's about going somewhere, you're in for a rude awakening. Isn't this what you signed up for? We can't tell you what an ascended world will look like, it's all your creation! But here's a blueprint of what it looks like. Rather than seeing things as suffering, you'll see everything as an opportunity for learning and growth, expanded awareness and understanding"

So basically, the same crap happens to you, you're just looking at it differently? That doesn't sound appealing. If you get harmed in any way, you'll just be like, "oh, I got robbed. But that's not a bad thing, it's a growth opportunity!" Kinda twisted, if you ask me. But I can't see any blatant fear tactics, as was so obvious in the Christian church (if you don't go to church weekly, you'll go to hell.) Can you find any tactics that I'm not aware of? It might help me break free.
Thanks for asking me about Sylvia Browne. I love Victor Zammit's book on afterlife, which you can read for free on his site. I think what I love about it, besides the fact that it resonates with me, is that it makes perfectly logical sense. Actions have logical consequences. If you were an ax murderer, after you die, you're gonna go to the realm that would most accomidate you, which is usually a lower one, as the God/universe doesn't let an ax murderer in a high realm. It just doesn't strike fear or rebellion the way the new-age nutshell does, and I can't figure out why.

It's so funny how you say technically we're all on our individual path. All religions and forms of spirituality say that, too, but then they magically seem to have a lot of followers. If everyone were truly on their own path, there wouldn't be a need for common beliefs or organized religion. They say, "find your own path", then you join this group with other people on the same path, so it's really not your own anymore, and then you get all this doctrine and dogma. If you were on your own path, nobody would indoctrinate you. And saying, "this is what we believe, although you don't have to believe what we do" doesn't count either. The fact that a majority of people hold a particular belief is sufficient pressure and reason for you to believe the same thing.

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