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16 years ago
Leopardgirl
If anyone is interested-I just completed a first draft of a one-act play based loosely on my cult experience, working title "The Burden of Desire." It's not a completed work yet; I have a reading scheduled for later in the month and a workshop performance planned for the summer. It might be expanded into a full-length play depending on how things progress. As it turns out, it'
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
16 years ago
Leopardgirl
Nativeflower, I totally understand where you are coming from. Formally a very "spiritual" person, I'm in a sort of "aethiest" stage right now as a reaction both my cult experience and so much pain, cruelty and total disregard for science that I see in both New Age circles and Chrisitianity. I am moving more and more away from any spiritual beliefs towards a sort of ration
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
16 years ago
Leopardgirl
I, too can totally relate to what you're going through, Question4truth. I went throught the same mindf*ck with a small, under-the-radar cult I was invovled with for three years. It took me a very long time to regain a sense of my own integrity. Somehow I allowed myself to believe that the abuse this woman was perpetrating was not only okay, but "good" for everyone involved. All of
Forum: Large Group Awareness Training, "Human Potential"
16 years ago
Leopardgirl
I have noticed a disturbing trend since the tsunamis in South Asia: 1. Some guru gets on the internet with a somber warning that the tsunamis happened because "the Earth is cleansing" (nice way to honor the dead, by the way--by claiming the earth didn't want them or that they "wanted to leave the planet"--as if any one can make that claim about 250,000 people they don
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
Forgive my ignorance, but what is an SDA group? One thing that started to set off alarm bells for me in the group I was in was that a few months after 911, the guru started talking about nuclear destruction, and there were suddenly plans being devised for the group to move to Canada and all buy houses together in this one little backwater town up there. Supposedly so that we would remain "
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
Gee, it all sounds a hell of a lot like the guru of the group I was in. I suspected on a number of occasions that she was bipolar, but of course, that was just me being mean and critical and egotistical. :roll: She was definately manic, no doubt about it. She had marathon sessions where she could talk for 8-9 hours straight sometimes. It was exhausting. But she never tired out. And she drank
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
There is one very telling scene in the book where Luna has her final conversation with her son. There is this overwhelming sense that he is trapped in his own myth. He KNOWS he's made mistakes but he can't admit to to any wrong doing because then the whole house of cards would collapse. He seems stressed and sad, but still rigidly clings to being "right" and "all-knowing.
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
One of the things that I found so interesting was the suffering that Luna went through because of the tension between her doubts (framed by Andrew, of course, as resistance) and the dazzling displays of "enlightenment" that kept her questioning her deepest instincts and turning it all back on herself as the one to blame for why she couldn't surrender. It was extremely sick and sad.
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
What an amazing, amazing book! I read it straight through in one 8-hour sitting. I was totally blown away. It is helping me gain clarity on my cult experience like nothing else has so far. Has anyone else read it? What did you think? I have a lot to say about it but right now my head is reeling and I just need to let it a "percolate" a bit.
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
QuoteA minister friend once said, 'You dont make flowers appear by screaming "Bloom damn it!" You have to provide water, food, sunlight, keep the plants free from weeds, then trust the plants to produce flowers according to their own natural process.' That's exactly how I feel about freindship and love. It takes time and work and patience. In this group, everyone went a
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
One thing I have been thinking about in relation to cults, or at least the one that I was in, is this whole "forced intimacy" thing. I remember the guru always ranting about how we had to learn to love each other. Yet the environment that was set up made true intimacy with any one in the group almost impossible. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty because I couldn't really "f
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
What was your experience with them?
Forum: Large Group Awareness Training, "Human Potential"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
I was in a relatively small (about 70-80 people) "under-the-radar" cult; very selective recuitment, non-publicity-seeking, based somewhat on TM but really centered more around the guru, who claimed to be fully enlightened through numerous experiences with alien beings. She said that she studied with Maharisha and a high-ranking Rimpoche in Tibet. She was well-educated and had an impress
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
The guru of the group that I was in practiced this "strategic rejection" with cunning and precision. Not only that, but she spent obsessive amounts of time lambasting and criticizing those who left, holding them up as examples of spiritual degeneracy, failures in life and love, lonely, miserable and "attached to their victimhood." This is another thing that always bothered me
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
QuoteThere is also a subgroup of people who have been badly hurt by spiritual teachers. They can only deal with thier pain by convincing themselves that thier suffering was unavoidable, was ncessary, and was good for them. They will aggressively insist that 'The spiritual path is never risk free' and often they may argue that gurus are infallible, are exempt from normal standards of eth
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
that she couldn't talk to anyone in her circles about the process that she was going through in shifting to skepticism. Gee, what compassionate, loving New Age colleagues. :roll: So threatened by her challenge to their narrow beliefs that they couldn't find it in themselves support her emotionally. This is why I have rejected so much of the New Age community. They are just as close-min
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
Good for her. I hope that good things come out of this. She is very brave to be so honest and forthright with her experiences. I am behind her 100%. After the experiences I've had, I will never again allow someone to tell me that the thinking mind is a "distraction" or "ego" or some evil in the way of my enlightenment. My thinking mind saved my ass, thank you very muc
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
In the U.S., massage therapy is regulated by the individual states. All states have different licensing and education standards and requirements, including whether or not state board exams are required. I have not taken the National Exam, but the last I heard it focused only on competencies in anatomy, physiology, kineseoligy, pathology, proper use of technique, and health and safety standards--w
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
I think everyone has their own ways of trying to cope with total insanity that is around us. So they develope bizarre ideas to create some semblance of order for themselves. Otherwise, maybe they'd go insane. It seems perfectly natural to me that this would happen. We're existing in chaos and we need something to hang on to. I agree that we could all use more critical thinking.
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
I don't tell people for the most part, unless there is some really good reason. (I just posted the story here after lurking for a year on this board!) Some close freinds know what happened because I stayed with them for several nights following the big, traumatic event that led me to leaving the group. It's very hard for people to understand unless they have been through it. It's
Forum: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
"people who are bipolar, 'flying high' in a manic episode can induce an unsettling effect in sensitive persons. A person I knew who was a casemanager and worked on an outreach team for homeless people told our team he knew when someone in a manic phase was sitting in the waiting room, even when X had the door to his office closed; he could sense a high intensity 'crackle'
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
This may sound like a strange question, but has anyone ever seen a gurus eyes turn an odd silvery color? I saw this several times with my teacher and I always attributed it to a trick of lighting or something until I mentioned it to a freind after I had left the group. She freaked out and told me that she had seen the same thing in a guru back in NYC who she had met breifly. I have wondered at ti
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
Yep, I'm plugging away at it, alright. A book I read that helped enormously was "The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power" by Joel Kramer and Diane Alstad. It's excellent. Also, all the fantastic information on this board. Slowly, peices are starting fall into place; all of these things that I had a difficult time with in the group, unanswered questions, certain incidents
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
About her background: She went to study with Marharisha at the age of 19, and stayed with him for 6-7 years. Then, she studied with a Tibetan spiritual leader (I don't know how to spell the name--Duju Rimpoche, maybe?) for several years in her thirties. She claims to have had alien abduction experiences throughout her life from the time that she was a young child. Her final enlightenment exp
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
You brought up some interesting points about “discreet groups.” I think that part of the reason I was sure that this was not a cult was because this woman did not use the aggressive recruitment techniques that I has always associated with cults. She held public speaking events only two or three times a year and most of the people in the group were introduced to her through oth
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
(sorry about that--I was having trouble getting the post to "post" and it kept vanishing...) Since this experience, I have read and researched a lot about cults. I find it very ironic that I never once recognized this group as a cult. After all, I'm educated, intelligent, perceptive--surely I would have know a cult. We weren't forced to wear the same clothes and only eat ve
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
17 years ago
Leopardgirl
Hello, Everyone, I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my story. I've been lurking on this board for about a year now. It has really helped me to gain clarity and insight into an cult situation I was involved with for about three years. I have to say first off that I am very lucky compared to a lot of the people whose stories I read about on this board--I "go
Forum: "Cults," Sects, and "New Religious Movements"
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