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I am writing because I had considered attending a Ramtha retreat. I was given a copy of the White Book by a friend in London. I thought it was great. But then when I checked out the Ramtha website I was put off by the commercialism. Why were they selling capes and antiques if they were a spiritual organisation. Also I listened to a couple of old tapes of Ramtha given to me by the same friend - the drinking was disconcerting, as well as Ramtha telling students to "shut up, I am trying to teach you" It was obvious that everyone was drinking. So, I decided that Ramtha was just another off-the-wall new age fraud. But then I discovered the internet radio BTO. David Hawkins, who is a great spiritual teacher was on BTO every month. There were "ads" for Ramtha's school during his broadcasts. I thought how could someone with his integrity allow those ads if Ramtha were an outright fraud. I thought Dr. Joe Dispenza was a credible speaker and he was a Ramtha teacher. I also thought the women running BTO were women with integrity, and they had become students of Ramtha. I thought I should have another look at it. I listened to "Dr Greg" on BTO and found him interesting but very arrogant. I now note that Dr. Hawkins has stopped giving interviews. The same with Dr. Joe. I read a list in one of Dr. Hawkins' books on the qualities of a true spiritual teacher - and Ramtha just didn't seem to fit. So I decided to just stick on the straight and narrow path. I am finding that Hawkins material offers a credible spiritual message and there isn't any school or retreats, just reasonably priced seminars if I ever get a chance to go to Sedona. I can understand how the people who feel they have been hurt by the Ramtha organisation were pulled in. I was considering attending one of the European classes. I think the Ramtha message appeals to our spiritual ego - it made us feel special - we could be taught to do amazing things. Now I read in Hawkin's material that these amazing things are really the "siddhis" a by-product of a high spiritual state. We don't learn them, they come as a gift as we evole to a higher state. So, why am I writing here? I don't hate Ramtha or JZ Knight - if I had chosen to go there, it would just have been a bad choice - my own inability to tell the real teacher from a false teacher. That is all that you have done - made a mistake, an unfortunate decision. But where is your spritual life now? Do you have a new teacher or spiritual practice that you follow? I hope you don't waste too much more time on Ramtha and JZ. I hope you will find a true teacher and move on. I send you love.
First of all, in my opinion, I think you posted a very mature, well thought out post. I'm impressed.
I agree with you that I made a VERY unfortunate decision by becoming a student in the school - especially for as long as I was there. I did leave for a while, because I saw so many red flags that I just couldn't rationalize it all away anymore, nor accept Ramtha's "reasoning" for the things that I experienced. What some people may not understand is, especially if you do not live in the Yelm area, it is easy to attend an event, get sucked into the dogma, and then go home where it isn't as intense in one's life. So, repeating this pattern, when you only "have to" go there twice a year to remain current (and that even has wiggle room), becomes an easy trap to fall into. I had "doubts" on and off for years, but because I was partially removed from it, and wasn't living in the midst of the gossip circles, I was out of the loop on many things. At another point in time, that changed, and I had made connections that shed more light on the red flags that I had seen for years.
Now, as I've already posted, I was highly intuitive since I was young. So, the teachings, with the *initially* positive message (that changes the deeper into it you get), were easy for me to accept. I already knew that there was more than just what we could see in the physical world. I figured that if I was intuitive, surely there had to be levels of intution that were much more than what I experienced. Therein lay my vulnerability. I naively believed that what was being taught, was honest (Ramtha said at some point he will lie and not to trust him), and noble, with integrity, respect, compassion, etc.
Anyway, I am digressing. Yes, it is a terrible mistake that I made, and now I carry the emotional and mental scar because I was duped.
Dr. Joe was FIRED. Allegedly, there are many people who believe that he became a threat to the status quo as he gained his OWN notariety. One would think that a SECURE businesswoman would be honored and satisfied to see that someone gained enough from the teachings that they were taking out into the world and being a light unto the world. But, no. Despite students being told to take this out to the world and be a light (the teachings), and to teach their families and tell their friends - it only really means, be a recruiter ! It's enslavement. It's a dictatorship. That's my opinion.
Where is my spiritual life now ? I am very distrustful now. Understand - that after MANY years of being told one thing, then having the teacher say the opposite and do the opposite, that has a very confusing effect on people. I have seen a number of students kick in some serious defense mechanisms in order to cope. They will just shut down and justify everything away with "teacher knows what is best", and they will tolerate things that they would not normally tolerate from anyone else in their life ! I no longer know what is true. I take one day at a time. I've pretty much dismissed all "channelers". There are a few "spiritual teachers" that are educated professionals, such as Carolyn Myss, that I have respect for. Her "teachings" are available for EVERYONE, and there is no hierarchy to her teachings, nor is there a mandatory event. What garbage that is. That's another conversation.
Perhaps others will post their stories in response to your writing, spiritual seeker. Generally speaking, this is mine. I am moving on. But for me, moving on does not equate shutting up and disappearing and ignoring the things I know are true about RSE.
Your reference and concern about hearing Ramtha on the audio teaching telling students who are clearly drunk to shut up (etc), is not uncommon. I have witnessed people being verbally berated with words that would shock most adults...and this happened regularly (and has as of just within the last year), in front of the entire audience, including children. I have witnessed a few incidents where Ramtha has physically hit two different adults. It is my opinion, that either Ramtha is not very evolved, or JZ is not channelling at all and perhaps if she believes she is, she is tapping into some very base level of energy. There are all sorts of viewpoints about "is he or isn't he". That, too, is another topic !
Thank you for posting. You sound like an intelligent, mature, thoughtful person. Making fully informed choices is a very wise thing to do !
Dear Whatcha, Thank you for replying to me. I believe you are right - we should be very careful of channelled entities. It is also helpful to have open discussions, like these about various teachings and teachers. We are in fact trusting our very souls to our spiritual teachers.
I think the main thing that we need to remember is that we do know that we are more than just this one life, more than just our bodies. We are spirits living in bodies. We are here living our current physical life and we are evolving. And we make mistakes along the way. I have at times felt great resentment - towards the religion I followed for many years and then my spiritual searching took me down many false roadways, but thankfully, I feel I now have a more balanced view of my spiritual life. But to become balanced I did have to forgive those that I felt had led me astray and forgive myself because I felt stupid for being mislead for so long.
Now, I also think Carolyn Myss is a great teacher. I have read her books. So,there are good teachers out there. Teachers who are inspirational and loving.
I also think it is important that we do call false teachers to account as you are doing with this site. But the most important function you have here has to be the support of people who have come away from a cult feeling abused, bereft and alone. But in order to move on we do have to let go and forgive. I think its so hard because a spiritual betrayal rocks us to our very core. But you will have to forgive this betrayal and help others that come to you through your site to do so as well. I think you have suffered but because you are loving you want to help others who have suffered in the same way. Love will see you through this - so when I spoke about moving on, I only meant that you shouldn't get too caught up in fruitless discussions about how awful Ramtha and RSE is - you can't do anything about that but you can offer advice on what to do and where to go when disppointed former students come to you. That is where I believe the strength of this site is going to be. I wish you well.
As wathchmacallit noted - yours is a mature and well thought out message. Reminds me of when I was faced with the decision to take acid with my boyfriend - in the 60's - I read, listened, studied and decided it wasn't for me.
I can only truly speak for myself - that the intent here on this web page and in this message board it to reach out to people who have left or are in the process of leaving the RSE - to let them know they are not alone. My "recovery" from RSE/Ramtha is over 13 years old -- but when I learned that one person could name 9 people off the top of her head who had committed suicide as a result of their involvement with RSE; and when I learned of all the recent deaths of people from illness and unexplained car accidents as a direct result of their involvement with RSE, I feel compelled/called to reach out. If that takes going over, reporting what went on and goes on at the RSE, then so be it. Many readers/commenters seem to me to confuse a healthy sharing from a healthy centered space in an effort to support and help as a wallowing in the past and in victimness. Wallowing victims don't have the courage to do what David McCarthy did in organizing the first gathering of former students. Wallowing victims don't care about other people as they struggle to survive.
Following the RSE logic, an adult who experienced abuse as a child cannot continue to gain wisdom from their experience nor be compassionately understanding and supportive of others who have experienced similar abuse. Following the RSE logic, if the mere span of 10 years makes a person’s experience and wisdom irrelevant, than why listen to a teacher who’s experience and wisdom is 35,000 years old?
The very fact that this website exists, and this message board started is indication that we have moved on from 'victim consciousness'. The very fact fact that this website and message board exists is indicative of people living their spiritual truth - to love and to serve.
And all this is not specifically directed at you, spiritual seeker, - it is for all who come to this space.
It is far more than chosing a bad teacher or a 'doesn't fit with my truth' teacher. It is far more than a personal trip to ventilate. JZK Inc. is selling a poisonous product, and we have seen too many fall. The least we can do is offer the recognition, based on our experience, this is poison - and there is help if you've already taken too much.
Blessings on your journey. As I said in 'free for free' - the Universe provides a continuous cirriculum for me.
Thank you, spiritual seeker.
I agree with your thoughts. Not that this is about agreeing. But, I Do agree. I have not yet come to a place of total forgiveness. I can do that for myself, but I shared this teaching with my innocent children, and that makes me mad. I was a FOOL for trusting that the teacher had integrity. I was oh so wrong. Now, as I backpeddle with my family, who thankfully stood by me during my involvement with...what I believe to be a cult... and together we are healing and moving on. Part of my healing, is to be a presence, as you said, to help others. What was almost as bad as the egg cracking with the realization of "You've been DUPED." was the education I received from the large community of folks that I later connected with, after "quitting" the "school".
I truly felt, and *understood* the path that the former students had been on, standing back and waiting and watching and wondering about the students during events. Worrying. I have learned SO much since I have "quit". One woman said that the second best thing she ever did was to join RSE. The first best thing she ever did, was to get out of there. I agree.
To expose the truth and stand up for one's rights is a LOVING act and is not fear based. Exposure is needed as people continue to be gullibly misinformed by the RSE organization. The theory sounds wonderful. The observable evidence is abundant in the Yelm area where the majority of students live.
Grace, I would be interested to hear of your stories of RSE related suicides, car accidents etc. I have heard snippets of information and had contact with someone living in the Yelm area who found a young German student shot herself as my contact was driving to work one morning. No one knew the student personally.....just that she was a student.....so it is inconclusive if involvement in RSE was the cause.
I have heard other stories also. One was that a student committed suicide because of the disaster their life had become. This I know too well.
Dear Grace and Cristel, I am writing as an outsider; I did not go to the school and do not have your experience, but I was originally taken in by the White Book and thought I would attend an event. I did not mean to suggest that you shouldn't share your experiences and I do not think you are a "victim". I am sorry if anything I wrote suggested that I was being critical of what you are doing with this site. In fact, I think all of the links and information contained in the site are valuable. When I left my religion, it was traumatic and I suffered a lot of guilt, anger, and depression and it took forgiving myself first and then others before I moved on. That was all that I meant. Like you, I was just sharing and giving an opinion. I believe that this site can help people forgive and move on. I wish you well.
Hi All -- I don't know if spiritual seeker checks this website anymore; however, I'd like to make an addition to this part. Christel & Graced, I didn't attempt to commit suicide, but I wanted to die. In 2000 I didn't have the money to go to my retreat and then decided I didn't want to go back. I, at that time, was severely depressed & became more-so. 2 yrs. later I had a nervous breakdown with anxiety/& outright panic attacks. I wanted to die at that point. Several of my friends from RSE have died as a result of terrible diseases; I became disillusioned with life in general. At that point, I asked for help; my sister took me to see a private counselor for a session. When the counselor asked me if there had been abuse in the school & I answered "yes" is when the truth started crumbling the walls. Another shocking truth came when she asked if I'd thought about suicide. I said "no", but that I had thoughts of wanting to die. That's when I realized my life & mind were in serious trouble. That was in 2002.
I was given a website about 2 weeks ago that may be of help to those who are still dealing with the aftermath of a collapsed life. It's by Gary Craig, founder of "Emotional Freedom Technique". The basic manual is free to download, so that anyone can use this energy psychology technique. I'm using this with some interesting results. Thanks, M.
Warning: Whoever reads my posts should know that I have an "allergy" to newagey myssticks---that's a pun. 'spiritual seeker' above mentioned Carolyn Myss in a positive light as a good teacher. My advise is, if you are in recovery from an experience like RSE, avoid teachers like Myss like the plague----you do not need more airyfairy nonsense to guide your recovery. Of course, you may not want to follow my advice. I can give more reasons for why I feel this way, but please peruse her website info first.
someone asked me to add to the above:
To me, Myss fits into a category of teacher that follows a New Thought psychic
perspective. NT was developed in the 19th century by Phineas Quimby (hypnosis,
suggestion, positive thinking) and led to Christian Science, Religious Science,
Science of the Mind, etc. Basically those groups and teachers tend to
exaggerate the powers of the mind and sell workshops and books that offer
techniques to tap the "unlimited powers" of mental focus or the "inner self."
Not much different than JZ-R but not overtly abusive like the RSE. I call it
"metaphysical snake oil" in a soft bottle. JZ sells hard liquor.
here's a list of the category of teachers that Myss falls into below--took me 3
seconds on the net to track it. I've read or heard most of these neo-mystic
entrepeneurs. Some are more manipulative than others:
This is a list of some our favorite author's websites:
Rosemary Altea - http://www.rosemaryaltea.com/index1.cfm
Sylvia Browne - http://www.sylvia.org/home/index.cfm
Edgar Cayce - http://www.edgarcayce.org/
Pema Chodron - http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/
Dr. Wayne Dyer - http://www.drwaynedyer.com/home/index.cfm
John Edwards - http://www.johnedward.net/
Daniel Goleman - http://www.eiconsortium.org/members/goleman.htm
Louise Haye - http://www.hayhouse.com/
Esther Hicks - http://www.abraham-hicks.com/
George Leonard - http://www.aikiweb.com/interviews/leonard0400.html
David Morehouse - http://www.davidmorehouse.com/
Thomas Moore - http://www.careofthesoul.net/
Robert Moss - http://www.mossdreams.com/
Wayne Muller - http://www.kripalu.org/presenter/368/index.html
Carolyn Myss - http://www.myss.com/
Gary Renard - http://www.garyrenard.com/index2.htm
Don Miguel Ruiz - http://www.miguelruiz.com/
Mona Lisa Schultz - http://www.hayhouse.com/authorbio.php?id=162
Dr. Judith Orloff - http://www.drjudithorloff.com/
Susan and Donovan Thesenga - http://www.sevenoakspathwork.org/sevenoaks/donovansusan.html
Eckhart Tolle - http://www.eckharttolle.com/home.php
Iyanla Vanzant - http://www.innervisionsworldwide.com/main.htm
Stuart Wilde - http://www.stuartwilde.com/
Marianne Williamson - http://marianne.com/book/index.htm
Gary Zukav - http://www.zukav.com/
And other good websites:
Omega Institute - http://www.eomega.org/
Like I said, you may not be in cult city with the above, but you will get
dragged into a twilight zone of self-contemplation and might spend a lot of
money doing it. In a way, those folks are selling powers to you that you already have, or promising powers that none of them can demonstrate or prove exist. Remind you of anyone?
Re: Joe the above post & links,
Could you elaborate on what you mean by "twilight zone of self-contemplation"?
Spiritual Seeker, at the end of your first post you said "I hope you will find a true teacher and move on." Other people who have posted here have asked what paths ex-Ramtha students have followed. I have learned that there is only one "true teacher" and that is the one inside of us.
Before I ever got involved with Ramtha in the 1980s, I had learned to listen to my own inner teacher--and to distinguish that voice from those times when my ego wanted to put its two cents in. I say this in a short sentence, but it took me a lot of practice and life experiences to learn this. I was later able to save other people a lot of time by sharing my experiences, and in 1 short class, they learned how to hear their own inner guidance and how to distinguish the voice of their soul from that of their ego.
After I met the "Ramtha" of the White book days, I heard him denigrate inner guidance that comes in the form of words, and I stopped listening within. But once I left RSE for good many years ago, I began going within once again, and therein lies my one, true teacher. I "follow" no channel or guru now.
Since one purpose of this website is a discussion about channeling, I will start a separate thread on that. I have a story to tell about what can happen when one thinks they are hearing guidance from their soul, but they are actually hearing from what may be called a "spiritual subconscious."
Thanks for a most thoughtful post.
Joe S. started his posts in this thread with these words: "Warning: Whoever reads my posts should know..."
Joe, I am responding to your pronouncements in this thread in which you seem to denigrate anything that falls under the area of "New Thought."
In the interest of full disclosure, shouldn't those who read your posts also know that although you left the cult you were involved with, that you are currently a practicing member of one of the world's most well entrenched mainstream churches?
And doesn't that church have a leader who is supposed to tell all other church members how God wants them to practice that religion?
And don't members of that church feel that they have special knowledge because unlike all other churches, their leader is the only one who hears the true word of God?
And while I DO NOT condone "Ramtha" exposing children to drunkenness and foul language, isn't it true that many people in positions of authority in your religion have been convicted of committing numerous acts of criminal abuse against children?
I have not asked these questions to attack yours or any religion. But if this website is going to go beyond discussion of Ramtha and RSE to honestly and openly discuss involvement in cults in general, then what real difference is there between giving one's power away to follow whatever Ramtha says is the truth, and giving one's power away to follow whatever religious leaders say is the truth?
to answer 'dance w the wind': that "twilight zone" quip I made is my way of indicating a semi-conscious state touted by many meditation groups (TM for one) as filled with a treasureload of possibilities for self-awareness and god-awareness. Jose Silva identified it as "alpha" state in his Silva Mind Control (Method). Briefly, I am not impressed with the "powers" or levels of self-awareness of longtime meditators or practitioners in those groups. By their fruits will you know them? Maybe not, but it is a good indicator. Seems like an awful lot of effort--not all the side effects are beneficial---hypersensitivity, anxiety, sleep disruption for up to 40%. The other 60% are apparently happy with results. That's from an old German study on TM. New Thought people access it in other ways.
That area of emphasis (semi-conscious) as somehow better than consciousness can prove to be a trap instead of a passage---like a drug. I mean, how many times have you gone back to C&E for answers that hardly ever came, for example?
I'm not sure I answered that so well--but I'll leave it for now.
Mea culpa, mea culpa. I figured, since I spoke openly about this last year at the LARSE gathering that all of you knew that I am a practicing CATHOLIC.
My criticisms of any "cult" all apply to my religion where appropriate. Since I am so close to it, I do not merely study catholicism, I "gut" it. Your criticisms of Catholicism point to many warts on the hide of the elephant, but the wart is not the elephant. This is true of any of the historically established religions.
The problems with RSE are at its core--it is a different animal altogether with a history of only one rider that cannot be distingushed from the animal she supposedly rides. There is some indication from JZ that the "animal" is the same one ridden by Blavastky, but ole HPB might dispute that if she were still around!
But to your question:
'.....what real difference is there between giving one's power away to follow whatever Ramtha says is the truth, and giving one's power away to follow whatever religious leaders say is the truth?" '
The difference is in the quality of the teaching. What makes a tradition "great" is its social history and scholarship that refines approaches to and definitions of a religious life. For example, the Vedic tradition has the wonderful advaita philosophy of the 8th century saint Sankara. RSE has tapes with JZ speaking. The content does not compare in quality to Sankara. I hope you get my drift.
The story of the 9 blind men feeling the elephant is instructive, I think. New Agers like to point out that the 9 men are like 9 great religions that know only a part of the elephant. I have a different view. When the 9 men discuss openly what they know, the true shape of the animal appears. This is true of any religion or philosophy. It is true of harmful cults as well. Some elephants are bad characters and can't be ridden safely.
Speaking of the twilight zone...
In ACOA we had a story about the elephant in the living room.
What's with these elephant anologies???
By the way, OnehandontheELEPHANT (here we go again) Thanks you for you above posts.
Joe, thanks for your explanation and I can see why the statement you made about the "twilight zone" was a perplexing to me. Its a difference in perspective.
I actually feel way more grounded, centered and happy when I am in a state of God and self awareness. I guess I fall into the 60% who are happy with the results of meditation.
Personally I have not used C&E to get answers?? I'm not sure I understand what that means...
I use C&E along with other focusing methods to remember I am a spiritual being HAVING a human experience. It reminds me I am greater than my body and there is more to this life than what is "seen" by the body's physical eyes.
I have a friend who has been into just about every teaching/channeling/guru/ alternative healing methodolgy imaginable. She has been at it for decades.
It is quite apparent that none of them really work as stated and the presenters of them are often making a lot of money. In some cases they are not making much money out of it but the lives of those involved are the evidence and hers is definitely no different from the common populace that is governed by well known rules (such as if you have an education and take up a certain occupation you get a better income than if you made a choice for an occupation that was known not to provide the same financial benefits.
I have observed plenty of others involved in New Age Spiritual type things also. One of the best spiritual healers in the city I live in had to regularly see a psychologist because he had a nervous breakdown many years before and still got anxiety attacks.
If something really worked there ought to be visible obvious evidence amongst many of those involved rather than the hearsay of enthusiasts.
Joe, in response to your post:
But to your question:
'.....what real difference is there between giving one's power away to follow whatever Ramtha says is the truth, and giving one's power away to follow whatever religious leaders say is the truth?" '
You said: "The difference is in the quality of the teaching. What makes a tradition "great" is its social history and scholarship that refines approaches to and definitions of a religious life. For example, the Vedic tradition has the wonderful advaita philosophy of the 8th century saint Sankara."
Joe, you didn't address the central issue of my question, which has to do with giving one's power away to follow someone OUTSIDE of oneself--religious leaders, cult leaders, the scholars you referred to--instead of listening and talking to God DIRECTLY, WITHOUT NEED OF ANY INTERMEDIARY. Religions/cults (most religions were seen as cults when they started) reserve for their top authorities the ability to communicate directly with God. That way the religious/cult leaders don't risk their "jobs" becoming obsolete and they don't give up their power to control people, wealth, and resources.
You speak of traditions and teachings that go back centuries. Followers are supposed to accept the information in those ancient teachings "because the Bible (insert the book of your choice) says so." This certainly doesn't allow for new understandings to evolve, and most important, it implies that God hasn't had anything new to say to us in thousands of years!
Christians accept the virgin birth and the resurrection after centuries of being told that these events happened, but if some Group X claimed that those same events had happened in modern times, and that their leader had once again been born of a virgin birth and had risen from being dead, those same Christians would demand PROOF and accuse Group X of being a cult. The pot calling the kettle black...long-established cults calling themselves established religions and pointing fingers at the newcomers, afraid that the newcomers will steal some of their followers.
Joe, one of your tactics is to speak in generalizations of New Age this and New Thought that, sounding as if your nose is wrinkled in disgust when you use those words. But those labels were invented by mainstream religions and have been applied to anyone who walks away from those centuries-old traditions and dusty old prayer books.
There is no New Age movement for me to join, even if I wanted to. It doesn't exist. My own, direct experiences have led me to go within. Twice in my life, without my reading from a prayer book or anticipating the experience in any way, I heard a voice as clearly as Farm Girl described in her post on this site. Each time, I looked around to see who was speaking, the inner voice was that "loud." Each time, the guidance of that voice produced wonderful, life-transforming results. Somewhere around my house, I have an article written by a Christian leader whose life and perspective was changed when he, too, heard God's voice so clearly that he looked around for the source. I'll try to find it and post the name of the magazine and issue it appeared in, if you are interested.
Most of the time, it is the still, small voice I hear when I sit in silence, and it never tells me what to do, but when asked, it offers insights and ideas. God (others use different labels such as High Self, Divine Guidance, Father/Mother God, Great Spirit, etc.) in my experience is like a wise parent who lets her children follow their own dreams for their life, but if the child asks for help, is there to offer insight and help provide resources to help the child grow and create.
Of course I'm speaking of the part of the elephant that I'm touching. But at least I'm touching the elephant, not relying on a centuries-old book about elephants!
Ditto ditto ditto!
With all my HEART ( on Valentines day no less!!)I thank you for taking the time and effort to clearly and calmly make write these posts.
Who ever you are your a GEM.
The QUALITY of a teaching is a matter of the perspective of the person recieving the teaching.
Social HIS-story doesn't "make" anything "great"...
yea... the part of the elephant we're touching.Yep. Thank you.
i hope somebody is enjoying this
"Of course I'm speaking of the part of the elephant that I'm touching. But at least I'm touching the elephant, not relying on a centuries-old book about elephants!"
I could not have pointed to your problem any better!
New Age to me means many things. It is an umbrella term for a mix and match of spiritual modes, but what stands out is the propensity for the "ultimate democratization of religion" (Marcello Trucci). Trucci was pointing to the channeling phenomenon which led to everyone becoming their own channel or connection to god, transcendence, brahman, (whatever). Having said that the two streams of modern belief that most influences what we know as New Age are Theosophy and New Thought. Both streams are fed by that same propensity to tap the "occult" powers of mind to gain ascension, transformation or god awareness, healing powers, etc.
Personally, I have no problem with you and your hand where ever it is on the elephant. Whatever floats your boat!
One of my favorite sayings from Agni Yoga was : It is better to go in your own leaky canoe than in another's ship.
I used to like this saying from W Blake: I must create my own system or be enslaved by another man's.
Of course, both Blake and Roerich (of AY) were sharing in myths and ideas formed by texts and traditions that came before them. Roerich by Blavatsky and an esoteric form of Buddhism, and Blake by Swedenborg, Greek myth, and the current of Romanticism.
But this comes my point---I do not think I used a tactic to avoid your question. Humans are social creatures. We know ourselves from the feedback we get from others in our environment. We cannot and do not survive well in an intellectual, social, or economic vacuum. We share ideas---your use of the "elephant" in your email id comes from an old eastern fable of the 9 blind men---you did not make that up.
So, I would think it is important to check the quality of our influences.
onehand... said: "That way the religious/cult leaders don't risk their "jobs" becoming obsolete and they don't give up their power to control people, wealth, and resources."
This argument/discussion will go nowhere if we try to compare RSE or your personal ideas of god with Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, or any well-established tradition. We can only look at, say, an aberrant monastery within Buddhism (like so many zen centers that fell into abusive cult behavior here in the past 30 years). One bad zen center or teacher does not destroy Buddhism, but it does "violate" it. RSE compares to that.
As for the "still small voice"---talk to any Buddhist monk or Catholic nun or Muslim sufi or Jewish rabbi---that is where they most find God too. Their very tradition cultivates it. I dare say that every common Lutheran secretary approaches God with that same still small voice. It is unfair to other folks in any religion to judge them as not doing that. You do not have a corner on the still small voice, but your expression of it is open to judgment. So is mine. So is the pope's.
To Joe S and David M:
Do Joe's put-downs of "New Agers" so-called "airyfairy nonsense" belong on this forum? Certainly, Joe, you can use New Ager as a derogatory term and put down anyone you wish, BUT DON'T THOSE DISCUSSIONS BELONG ON ANOTHER WEBSITE?
I refer to the stated purpose of the EMF website:
"Welcome to the Enlighten Me Free Message Board Forum. This forum is primarily intended for former students of the Ramtha teachings. It's a place where they can disuss and share experiences and receive support within a sense of community & network with others. Family and friends who need support due to concerns they have with regard to experiences they've encountered from their loved ones in RSE are also welcome to post."
I have been following this thread closely.
I am not sure what you are referring to?
The conversation has been brilliant, candid and at times to the bone.
I do not perceive Joe’s attitude or post's as a put-down to "New Agers"..
He does criticize yes … but Joe also takes the time to explain his point of view.
And respond to questions.
But speaking as a former NewAger myself for over 35 year’s…
There is undoubtedly a massive amount of "airy-fairy nonsense" out there
And sold and practiced as spiritual wisdom.
JZ Knight has certainly has niched out a slice of the “market” for herself
and guards it ferociously.
I for one... really appreciate Joe’s post’s on this thread…
As I do yours..
Thanks, David. I do not expect anyone to defend me here. I am trying to define what I mean and not "attack" with stereotypes.
Interesting to note this new "tactic" by onehand....
It is called "dispensing of existence" by the illustrious Robert J Lifton who defined as well as anyone what constitutes a totalist system, his eighth theme: (this is a brief version from www.csj.org)
"The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)"
Maybe you, onehand..., do not intend this, but it seems to me that you are suggesting to "dispense" with me from this dialog based on your misreading of my intent about New Age. You seem to feel it is okay to berate my Catholicism, however, with stereotypes.
If the consensus by EMF and the site manager is that I am picking on you and your sacred beliefs, then let me know and I will end this, or they can lock me out.
"Even a man who is pure in his heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright."
The spiritual vampire takes on many appearances and the Cathlolic Church is one of these vampires. A very large vampire.
The Church is the greatest black magician of the Piscian Aeon. Christ vs Anti Christ and all.
The reason we know this is due to their unwillingness to "Parlay" with another with "Parlay" meaning "to increase or otherwise transform into something of much greater value."
There is nothing greater in the mind of the Church, except the Church. The so called chosen body of Christ. The go between between worthless man and God. The individual to the Church is nothing but a commodity. It has no divinity without the prescribed bountries of the collective, which is predetermined by the one who is said to have direct "Parlay" with God. And that position is held by the Pope.
If Joe is a practicing Catholic then at his core belief is the fact that INDIVIDUALS have no right to liberty and the pursuit of happeningness except thru his corporation.
I am here because I have seen Judi playing the role of the Pope and to point this out so that many more will leave the RSE nest and live a wonderful life on their own without the fear of not being part of the controled collective.
And so I must ask you Joe. Why are you here?
Are you part of the "Jesuit" training program?
Or just here for recruiting purposes?
and "ditto" yet again...
"This argument/discussion will go nowhere if we try to compare RSE or your personal ideas of god with Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, or any well-established tradition"
and WHY IS THAT Joe?
It's already going no-where fast, isnt it?
Yet once again, here in our little "support group"
1.We are told (in a nice way) to not use "new Agey" words or phrases, OH wait!! we're NOT told not to, we're just told who LIKES them and who doesnt...
2. It's suggested to us which teachings we should not follow based on a, What did you say Joe a "3 seconds on the net to track it" parousal... and you missed http://jesusgetreal.com
"BUT DON'T THOSE DISCUSSIONS BELONG ON ANOTHER WEBSITE?"
It must be obvious that no, they do not.This is exactly where these discussions belong because this is exactly what WE ARE DEALING WITH.
Ive been watching this thread closly too, and although "but Joe also takes the time to explain his point of view." so has Onehand. Clearly and repeatedly.
I too apprieciate all your posts, its very enlightening.
I have to admit I'm a little confused. It seems that there are different viewpoints about where one "should" put their attention/beliefs, if they are going to put them anywhere at all ?
I think I have a third viewpoint, or a fourth, or whatever. I'm not really counting. To me, it really doesn't matter if the "belief system" is Catholicism (with its long history), or the New Age (which really also has a long history, much of which is in pagan roots). I believe none of them are infallible.
When I left RSE, I had several long talks with some local folks that I kept crossing paths with, who were connected with a local hotel. These folks saw many, many people come and go over the years. Many would come and stay for events for a few years, never to be seen again. They were seen as cult members as the folks who observed their goings on believed them to be in their own viewpoint.
Anyway, these observers had never gone to RSE. Among them, they talked and speculated about what the truth really is. One day, they shared something with me about their view of life that I found interesting.
They said that they feel it's their responsibility to live a good life; to be a good person and help others as much as they can, and NOT to hurt anybody. If they could do this every day, then they felt that they lived a life they could have peace with, and that whomever GOD is, would be pleased that they basically lived from the heart. The one thing they commented on that struck me, was that they LIVED their lives. No church, no RSE. They were some of the kindest, most helpful people I had met out there!
In my years at RSE, I now realize, that I wasn't living my life. I was living for the next event, and my next emotional hit, or tidbit of wisdom from the almighty teacher. (uggg) For as many times as we were told to be "in the moment", I didn't get that. I THOUGHT I got it.
But, NOW I do get it. Now, I live EVERY day in the moment. Perhaps that is why I feel inner peace and moments of sheer joy. I slow myself down when I catch myself getting caught up in a rush. I'm learning to not NEED to have all the answers - such as to, "What is God?" It's okay with me if it's abstract. What I do know, is what I do daily. HOW I live my life. That I am paying attention when I am baking cookies, going for a walk, talking to a friend, whatever. Not going through the motions and living in my head, in the future, of the next event, or something from a teaching that I didn't "figure out".
Who am I to say what brand of religion/spirituality will work for someone else ? If I want to be a pagan and dance under the full moon to the God Pan, that's my choice. If I'm not hurting anyone, so what ? If I'm living a happy life and bringing joy to myself and others, I am pleased.
If I want to be a Jew, a Catholic, a Muslim, a New Ager, so what ?
So, getting back to my confusion with this thread...I THINK that Joe and OneHand are trying to state their points, and they have passionate beliefs. If anyone is "guilty" of trying to push their viewpoint onto anyone else, then perhaps it's best if that is considered in future postings. I'd think we've all been through enough, that we don't need to FEEL that we're being led toward any agenda. Having said that, I'm not saying anyone IS doing that. It just seems to me there are differing viewpoints. When I post, I do my best to clarify that what I post is MY opinion and perception, in an effort to not be misunderstood as expecting anyone to accept my viewpoint as THE viewpoint.
Personally, I can't toss out all of the "new age" stuff, because I know that, for me, SOME of it is valid. I also think SOME of the traditional religions (Judaism and Christianity) hold some truth to them, too. But, I also think they are ALL fallible. So that leads me back again, to myself.
I do like Carolyn Myss and I've spend next to nothing on any of her materials, as most of them are FREE at many libraries. I like that she dissuades people from dependency on channelers. She suggests that people work on themselves every day. No required events. I happen to like that. Maybe she is a fraud. I don't think she is. If she is, someone prove it to me if they are able to. (I'm not being sarcastic)
I also like the deceased Emmet Fox's work. He used christianity in the traditional sense, but read into it the same perspective of a spiritualist. So did Neville. I assume some of you who are reading this, know these names. Anyway, it was more of a Gnostic viewpoint, which for me, suits my belief.
It did prior to RSE and it still does.
So, that's my chiming in. For what its worth. If nothing, forget ya read it !
I wont forget I read it. Like a BREATH of fresh air!!!
SO BE THAT and thank YOU once again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Has it been so long that you posters have experienced an honest informed balanced conversation that you have difficulty recognizing one? You can't be anymore confused than me, Watcha.... I don't get onehand's concern. -- and quickly add that I've quite enjoyed her post's -- I actually laughed out loud for the first time on this message thing with the take a NYC subway ride in summer at rush hour!!!! PERFECT. ........ So it was like an RSE/Judy's Ramtha flashback to have this sudden switch of personality - or so it seems/feels to me that onehand's response is.
Joe's comments have stretched me in new ways - to examine myself and what I do and who I believe in and why. I'm quite grateful. I've told him repeatedly that I draw the line at Santa Claus - but he can unmask anyone else. I don't at all hear him bashing everything that has unfortunately been labeled "New Age" and is in fact ancient. He has information which I don't have, and he shares it evenly. I didn't know Sogyal Rinpoche was a woman abuser. I learned greatly from him. I too learned from Carolyn Myss and Pema Chordron and it would take a book to describe how life saving and forming the Edgar Cayce Readings have been for me. Joe's comments and information help me clarify what I know, and how my Ideal has been the thread that always brings me back to me. Ironically the Cayce Readings, as Thich Naht Hahn, as Father Thomas Keating as anyone I think is a real teacher - encourages each person to stay with their tradition - to recognize and acknowledge its flaws warts traiterous acts and to call forth its heart essence with the sincerity of ones love and vision. I have no comprehension, really everyone, I have no comprehension where the bashing of Joe because he says he's Catholic comes from. It's so Judy. Where is there not hate and violence and control;name a person; name an institution; not a single molecular spot in this universe. Does any of you know that the bottom line in Catholicism is to listen to one's conscience? At least that's what a priest told me.
There is so much money making marketing under the name of New Age it makes me sick; so too with Christianity. Same too with everything in our culture. Is Joe bashing anyone by putting out, in fact, don't put your trust in someone else; use your heart mind and soul to research something. Did you slay your grandmother for warning you to look before you leap?
Please - what is the problem here.?
wolfman. Are you growling at me or was that just a friendly howl? And what's this paranoia about Jesuits?
"If Joe is a practicing Catholic then at his core belief is the fact that INDIVIDUALS have no right to liberty and the pursuit of happeningness except thru his corporation.
I am here because I have seen Judi playing the role of the Pope and to point this out so that many more will leave the RSE nest and live a wonderful life on their own without the fear of not being part of the controled collective.
And so I must ask you Joe. Why are you here?
Are you part of the "Jesuit" training program?
Or just here for recruiting purposes? "
Apparently you have not read the Vatican 2 documents.
Have you perused the vatican website or Catholic encyclopedia on line lately? The church can answer you if you care to look. I'm not an apologist. get back to me after you've read all that.
My position on cults has nothing to do with Catholic dogma. I've been hired as an exit cousnelor by Mormons, a Wiccan, Muslims, atheists, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, members of nearly every Christian sect,as well as an Anthroposophist who hired me to work with his wife who was instutionalized in Australia in 1993 after she attended an RSE event.
I do not recruit or witness. On many cases clients wondered if I were a Hindu, Buddhist, or something else because of my attempts to clarify a tradition in the face of the distortions imposed by a cult. Someone asked me to disclose my religious orientation here, so I did. I could care less if anyone who reads my posts ever joins Catholicism.
And as a Catholic, I cannot judge who is "saved" or not. Neither can the pope.
What I see happening here with some posts on this thread is reactionary, not informed, when it comes to Catholicism.
I know from personal experience that recovery takes many stages. Ex-members of groups tend to hold on to some group beliefs, sometimes for life. For example, it is not unusual for ex-channeling cult members to try out other channling groups or channeled doctrines that have a more open system and a softer demand on time and money. To me that's a step in the right direction.
Exit counseling if anything is an effort to expand points of view and choice outside of group influence. Cult life is one of restriction, tightly wound around the ideas of a leader who cannot be properly questioned or doubted with any depth from within the system. If my remarks, perhaps inept, about New Age or New Thought, offend, then challenge me specifically about something we can get a grip on.
I mentioned Myss, for example. Some folks find her comforting as they might Emmet Fox. Beyond my "allergy" to them, I do have specific reasons why I may not recommend them to a friend. I do not like my friend less because he disagrees with me. btw, my wife was a professional dancer and is a ballet instructor. I've been in the arts a long, long time. Most of our mutual friends would be classified new-agey or non-aligned spiritually. The arts create and attract seekers on the fringe --- or is it cutting edge? As a Catholic, I'm an oddity to them.
Ever have to counsel somebody sexually abused within the Catholic Church?
I read between your lines..
I would recommend you step with caution in this neck of woods….
There are many traps….
Trashing any religion be it Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim or even RSE
is a trap… set by the very forces we would say corrupted that religion.
If we take the next step into this trap and condemn others for that religion
We have unwittingly become an instrument of those forces we condemn.
And perhaps have closed the door to exposing the corruption and the ability to help eachother
out of those dark woods….if indeed they are?
To Joe S. and David, all I intended on this thread was to question the derogatory manner in which Joe speaks of (seemingly all) alternative paths to growth. In his two posts on Feb. 13 (in this thread), just look at the language he uses: newagey myssticks (his pun)… airyfairy nonsense…metaphysical snake oil...manipulative…you will get dragged into a twilight zone of self-contemplation…
Look especially at how he prefaces his list of authors:
“Here's a list of the category of teachers that Myss falls into below--took me 3 seconds on the net to track it. I've read or heard most of these neo-mystic entrepeneurs. Some are more manipulative than others.”
This language seems to imply that it’s a negative thing to be an entrepreneur, to write books, to make—dare I say it—money? What, is entrepreneur another word for bank robber? Is it manipulative to present lectures and workshops? Why?
I thought this website was “for support, sharing opinions and experiences for those who have left RSE?” I left RSE behind a long time ago, so I don’t really need support on that, but I have been posting on this site to offer my own experiences to others who may find this useful. However, I don’t see any point in sharing my experiences with someone who would denigrate them in the way that Joe does, so from now on, I’ll refrain from responding to Joe’s posts.
Joe's statements are not derogatory, he's calling it the way he sees it. And each one of us has that perogative as long as we don't attack anyone else and he hasn't.
Hello everyone. I started this thread in early January sharing my Ramtha story but mostly to offer encouragement to the organisers and users of this site in helping former RSE students move on. I shared my view that love and forgiveness will eventually see us through the ups and downs of this life - but especially in getting over what amounts to spiritual rape.
So, I found it very interesting to return and to see all of the discussions. I was surprised considering the content of my posts that Joe only picked up on my one brief remark that I had found Carolyn Myss to be a great teacher which was in response to Whatcha's comment on Myss. I also mentioned that I thought David Hawkins was a great spiritual teacher as well. This is just my personal opinion. I found these teachers to be helpful to me along with many others which I didn't mention. (but some of whom also appeared on Joe's list of dubious teachers, which is just his personal opinion.)
There is something that most of us who have posted here, have in common. We were attracted to Ramtha because we were searching on a spiritual path. Choosing Ramtha was a bad choice and led to great heartache for many of the people who have posted here.
I thought Joe's comments were a bit of a put-down. I thought it might have been kinder if he just offered his own choices of spiritual teachers rather than denigrating others. But then he has had much experience in helping people heal following abuse in cults and I haven't.
I think we can all agree on one thing - that the underlying, original teaching of all the old, great religions was Love, regardless of whether everyone has always been able to live up to that ideal. Love is also the underlying theme of much New Thought. In the end, most of the posters here left RSE because they saw that the Love was missing. Many of us also moved on from the old religions because we felt there was something missing in their message for us.
We don't all have to agree about everything but we can try to search for the goodness that we all have in common. We can do this with respect for each other even if we don't agree. We can look for the underlying Love that draws us to care for one another.
I send love and blessings to you all.
Onehand - again, I have appreciated your posts here -- which is why I feel so baffled by your responses to Joe.It seems to me that you are not reading what he says in the way he intended it. (just like a recent editorial in the local NVNews was completely misinterpreted by someone). Instead of one long post, I will break up my comments and questions into separate posts - and it's fine if everyone simply wants to skip them.
You said:"...which has to do with giving one's power away to follow someone OUTSIDE of oneself--religious leaders, cult leaders, the scholars you referred to--instead of listening and talking to God DIRECTLY, WITHOUT NEED OF ANY INTERMEDIARY."
Your comments, to me, reflect that you lack information about the heart essence of different spiritual paths. The exact point of Jesus, for instance, was that you don’t need an intermediary. So – because the institutions and individuals within what is called Christian have misunderstood and abused the simplicity of Jesus’ message does that invalidate the message? Does the fact that governments have abused and raped and murdered the governed mean that no government is valid? Does the fact that some parents beat and rape and abuse their children mean that there is no validity in parenthood?
Bottom line – what does Joe’s Catholicism have to do with anyone here or anything he says. Apply the principle he is encouraging – sift the wheat from the grain. Learn what you can from anything – and – be mindful/use your head/pay attention/look before you leap before giving your power away. Look at your own language and the unconscious rhetoric that has remained part of our thinking. After 13 years I still find myself using Judy’s phrases – scares me!! To me, that’s all Joe is saying – look through the rhetoric; look for the sources of information; look for the heart essence. He’s not throwing the baby out with the bathwater – he’s asking us, in fact, to pay more attention to our baby so that we don’t do something so stupid. It seems to me you want to throw the bathtub at Joe for suggesting that we think.
Onehand said: "You speak of traditions and teachings that go back centuries. Followers are supposed to accept the information in those ancient teachings "because the Bible (insert the book of your choice) says so." This certainly doesn't allow for new understandings to evolve, and most important, it implies that God hasn't had anything new to say to us in thousands of years!"
Joe never said people are to simply accept without question. In fact, he's saying quite the opposite. Again you reflect your lack of knowledge about Christianity itself and most sacred traditions. Have you ever studied Christian mystics. Have you heard of Fr. Thomas Keating? Do you know what the Archbishop of Canterbury is now touting? Have you read any contemporary Christian theologians? …. I quickly add that I could vomit – literally – when I read some contemporary Christian literature regarding “marriage and family”; I was absolutely blown away when I attended a Christian workshop for Pastors and church leaders about racism!! – i.e. that racism is still an issue ???!!!! – I’d been so long outside of ‘the church’ I’d simply assumed that some ‘issues’ had been handled. Not. But every day I learn more and more about what the Bible tells me what the Buddhists tell me what the Aborigines tell me etc – and how at their heart essence they are One. An organization is an organization no matter its overt function – and it will be rifled with all the stupidities humans can do. If we have an Ideal of love and compassion then it is our task to bring those qualities to whatever we do --- and there isn’t any place where there isn’t an organization --- even the lone farmer in the midst of 1000 acres is part of an organization – of dirt and seed and air and water and worms etc. – and it is his task as well to bring love and compassion to the situation.
I would bet a million dollars that Joe could detail more atrocities under the name of religion/
Christianity/Catholicism etc. than you could. At the same time I have heard/read not one word from Joe regarding what his religion means to him; let alone him presenting it as a ideal of truth.
I simply do not understand where you are coming from.
Onehand said, regarding "New Age"- "those labels were invented by mainstream religions and have been applied to anyone who walks away from those centuries-old traditions and dusty old prayer books." – which to me is part of what Joe is saying - i.e. that the label has been applied to what seems to be a diversity of paths and sources - some of which are really the same; some of which are garbage; some of which have validity; some of which are all or none of the above - therefore, examine it; taste a little piece before gobbling the whole.
If I follow your logic Onehand....
Because Sogyal Rinpoche and apparently many many many other Budhist ‘teachers’ masters rinpoches geishas etc have been molesting women – just like priests – just like Protestant ministers – just like fathers and brothers and uncles and neighbors have – just like wiccans – just like “First Peoples” – just like…have and wherever men and women are gathered - are we then to conclude, based on your logic, that no spiritual path, or male human being have any validity. We haven’t even talked about abusive mothers – so now we can eliminate all mothers as having any validity. Then there are abusive bosses. Therefore no one should ever work. Which is not a problem because no Mothers have validity, therefore no children have validity. ….. Well, that simplifies it all. No one has validity. Nothing anyone says should be listened to. ….. Am I understanding your logic correctly?
Onehand said: “There is no New Age movement for me to join, even if I wanted to. It doesn't exist.”
Exactly what Joe is saying – to me anyway. I never realized that there are two common threads (Theosophy and New Thought religions) in so much of what is umbrella-ed under the name of “New Age”. To me its food for thought. And, Joe’s comments actually reinforced for me that I have been ‘listening within’ – that although I have learned from many, with the most embarrassing exception of Judy’s Ramtha, I have not ‘followed’ anyone. And even when I was involved with Judy’s stuff, I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t following Ramtha. And, It was that still small booming Voice that lifted me out of the ‘muck and mire’ of Judy’s world.
At the same time I have seen people go from Judy’s to another channel to another teacher to another someone and never understand/see the pattern; just as I’ve seen people, as myself, go from one abusive/ controlling relationship after another without understanding/seeing the pattern. To me, Joe is suggesting – look at the pattern. Become aware. What is offensive about that to you?
Onehand said: "This language seems to imply that it’s a negative thing to be an entrepreneur, to write books, to make—dare I say it—money? What, is entrepreneur another word for bank robber? Is it manipulative to present lectures and workshops? Why?"
It was very interesting to me that the man who taught the blind to see never charged money. The name of this website is Enlighten Me FREE. That doesn’t mean buying a book is wrong or attending a workshop, it simply means enlightenment is available free.
"I don’t see any point in sharing my experiences with someone who would denigrate them in the way that Joe does,"
How exactly have your experiences been denigrated by Joe? Mine have been enhanced, light put on them, made greater by new awareness.
I have to confess that in personal conversations I've referred to those 'yaya newagers'. At the same time I defended the heart essence of those referred to as "New Age" before a group of Christian ministers. It's almost a nightmare to me to see "What the Bleep" touted in the same book catalogue as Thich Naht Hahn -- there's good bad and downright ugly in one book catalogue. Is pointing that out denigrating to your experience?
Who's doing the denigrating here?
"At the same time I have seen people go from Judy’s to another channel to another teacher to another someone and never understand/see the pattern; just as I’ve seen people, as myself, go from one abusive/ controlling relationship after another without understanding/seeing the pattern. To me, Joe is suggesting – look at the pattern. Become aware. What is offensive about that to you?"
Excellent point Graced, thank you.
I was sort of going there in my "forgivness "post.
If one listens to the language and finds that it is deceptive, controling, and/or cloaked in some authourity that one cannot account for, then gets decieved and duped, yet continues to listen to the same type of language there is a pattern there.
People "cult jump" all the time. Most of the time it is because they have not given themselves enough of a chance to begin thinking criticaly again. Not that it is not understandable since when one leaves a cultic group and does encounter critical thoughts, instead of feeling comfortable with it, it can cause discomfort and conflict. The engaging in previous behaviors, even if it is simply "changing channels" can be comforting because it relives the conflict.
On a large scale an example would be the former The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. When it was dissolved in the early 90's it became a cult leaders paradise. Many cults made their inroads during that time. The reason being that after the dissilusion, a substancial number of those who had for so long had the State do their thinking for them, in their moment of freedom became conned into a similar situation.
For me, I had to take a step back & realize the years of manipulation at RSE regarding all religions. Most students I met had been brought up with some sort of religion, and many were not satisfied with mainstream churches & were searching. Upon entering the school, we were constantly bombarded with the "evils of the Catholic church, the disgrace of the Jewish religion, the nothingness of Buddhism"... No religion spared, this was at the core of most of the teaching & it was ongoing. I have had to take a good look at how I was influenced, no matter what my level of agreement was.
All I can do is to agree with you: you didn't understand what I was saying in my replies to Joe. To use a common understanding, I was talking about apples, and your responses indicate you thought I was talking about oranges. So there is no way I can respond to you.
However, I will comment on one thing you said: "It was very interesting to me that the man who taught the blind to see never charged money." No, he didn't charge and he didn't allow those he trained as teachers to charge. As a result of that "money is unspiritual" thinking, the Mind Sight teachers he trained had to find some other way to earn a living instead of teaching Mind Sight. I have not been able to find any Mind Sight teachers, and I feel that is because they weren't allowed to charge for their time!!
SO I ASK AGAIN IN A DIFFERENT WAY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH CHARGING MONEY FOR A PRODUCT OR SERVICE? If I spend years acquiring a skill, and other people want to come learn that skill from me, what is wrong with my charging for my time and effort so that I can pay my bills? Why would it be ok to charge for giving piano lessons, but not for giving Mind Sight lessons?
A widespread assumption seems to be that one is being charged fairly if they have to pay for the piano lessons, auto repairs, etc., but that they are being victimized if they are charged money for spiritual counseling, meditation lessons, Mind Sight lessons, etc.
I think the underlying assumption is that money is unspiritual and that it's somehow greedy and selfish to want to make money, even though one can hardly survive in today's world without it.
This sets up a contradiction. Very simply, if I truly desire a spiritual life, and I believe that money is unspiritual (this belief was instilled in me when I was quite young and I discovered it running like software in my subconscious), then my subconsious mind is going to resist bringing any more of that unspiritual money into my life than is absolutely necessary.
I found beliefs such as these in myself. Now I would rather "upgrade my software" by remembering that everything in our physical reality is energy vibrating at different wavelengths (my layperson's summation of quantum physics), and money in its various forms must also be made up of that same energy.
I believe that some higher power I call God created everything in the universe, including the energy vibration we call money. So in a sense everything is "spiritual." That is a very simplistic, short summation, I know, but I am attracting more of that vibration into my life now that I am perceiving it differently.
Joe, I appreciate your posts of your knowledge, wisdom and experience.
My sister in law is Catholic and involved in the Catholic education system in Australia. She is a teacher and was a Vice Principal at Primary School level (ages 5- 12). I am personally uninterested in this and her husband, my brother, is agnostic.
Her religion is non destructive in her life. She does not try to convert anyone, nor does she give a proportion of her income to her church. It is her own personal interest and it does not intrude in any aspect of her life in a fashion that it devalues it. She does not go along with everything the church teaches. She retains discernment about what is offered and whatever doantion she chooses to give is agreed upon by her for whatever she gets out of it.
Organizations like RSE ARE DESTRUCTIVE in many lives and I would conclude that the administration of it is far more corrupt than most branches of the church.
Most organizations on the planet listen to and respect their customers. RSE does not.
Again, I admit I dumped a load on some of you when I cut & pasted that "Myss" list here. I should know better. Forgive me. Recovery and sorting this stuff out comes in stages and not everyone will end up on the same page. As some of you seem to grasp, if I am "recruiting" for anything here it is to apply the methods of skepticism...and I emphasize methods; being "skeptical" is merely an attitude not a skill.
I hear people in cults commonly say "I am a skeptic."
Let me give you a hint: I'll pick on Myss here [so turn away from your tv set if you do not want to read this]. When I examine a teacher or guru type, I start with their claims, not with what someone else claims about them. Myss claims to have a PhD and advertizes that way. Her PhD came from a now defunct, not properly certified "diploma mill" or correspondance school called "Greenwich University." Does that make her a bad person? No, but it appears to be dishonest. She does collaborate with a Harvard educated MD, Norm Shealy. I would look next to see what he is all about. She calls herself a "medical intuitive" and that places her in the occult tradition of Edgar Cayce, for example, a class of "healer" that fits better into shamanism than modern medicine. I have respect for traditional shamans that act properly within their tribal context--I've know a few when I lived out west. But this brings up a whole other discussion about claims within a context. What checks and balances does the healer submit to?
I'll stop here. Again, to apply skepticism takes intellectual work---you can't just breath it in for hours on end as RSE promotes.
wolfman asked: "Ever have to counsel somebody sexually abused within the Catholic Church? "
I am not a "counselor". 'Exit counseling' is a neologism---I act more like a consultant in this area.
Yes, I've spoken with abuse victims, but what I do does not apply.
An old friend (since 1971) of mine who is a licensed counselor, a bilingual psychologist with a legitmate PhD from San Juan, was granted a contract paid for by Church authorites in New Mexico to counsel a group of Catholics who successfully sued the Church over past abuses by clergy. My friend is not Catholic in orientation--he follows the Self-Realzation Fellowship of P Yogaganda.
Maybe that's too much info, but I want to point out that any organization, to stay helathy, will pay for its sins. For decades the church used the prevailing model that sex offenders and pedophiles could be cured---there was a treatment facility near Los Alamos NM for that purpose specifically paid for by the church. The prevailing model also said that patients have a right to keep medical records sealed. Studies have subsequently shown
that the disorder can not be cured, so the treatment model had to be changed. Today the church [after getting hit over the head with a hammer]is going along with the prevailing recommendation of science. Will that change? Who knows. I cannot predict what science will find.
That brings me to a new thread---a discussion of a new book by am RSE member.....and the caudate nucleus in the brain.
Joe says, “She does collaborate with a Harvard educated MD, Norm Shealy. I would look next to see what he is all about.”
Joe, here is some information that you, and/or others on this forum, may find of interest. Have at it !
A little more about Myss, too. There is one reference to her Ph.D. degree being in "Energy Medicine". I do not know of a traditionally accredited college/university that gives a degree in that. If she wanted to study that topic and "major" in it, she had no choice but to study at an "alternative" college/university. I don't see where that discredits her as a fraud.
Carolyn Myss collaborated with Norm Shealy for years at which time they specifically worked on “testing” Carolyn’s medical intuition for its accuracy. He apparently saw something in Carolyn, because this accomplished physician chose to work with her in collaboratively.
An excerpt from Dr. Norman Shealy’s biography as listed on his website:
“C. Norman Shealy entered Duke University at age 16 and Duke Medical School at 19. He was elected to both Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha honor societies and became the permanent class officer of his graduating medical school class. He interned in Internal Medicine at Duke and then had a year of General Surgery at Banes Hospital, followed by a five year residency in Neurosurgery at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Board Certified in Neurological Surgery. In 1961 he spent 9 months working with Sir John Eccles, Nobel Laureate, at the Australian National University. In 1977 he earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from Saybrook Institute, the leading Humanistic Psychology school. And he received a Doctor of Science degree from Ryodoraku Institute.”
“Co-Founded with Caroline Myss the American Board for Scientific Medical Intuition”
“Caroline Myss graduated with a B.A. in Journalism in 1974 from St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana. Working as a journalist in her native Chicago, Myss interviewed Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., who was devoted to the study of death and the dying. She credits Kubler-Ross with inspiring her to go on to Loyola-Mundelein University, a Jesuit school in Chicago, to get an M.A. in Theology in 1979. Myss then started a small New Age publishing company, consulted with holistic doctors, and gave individuals intuitive readings. It was her pairing with Dr. C. Norman Shealy, founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, in 1984, that began to thrust her into the limelight in energy medicine. With television appearances on such high-profile shows as Oprah, Myss is the best-known intuitive on the circuit of holistic practitioners. Her belief stems from a principle that the mind and body work together to contribute to a person's well-being. While the traditional medical community is skeptical of the scientific basis for her claims, her international popularity continues to rise.
Her first book, Anatomy of the Spirit, was published in 1996, followed in the fall of 1997 with Why People Don't Heal and How They Can. Those, along with an audiotape series called Energy Anatomy, are bestsellers. By 2000, Myss discontinued private readings and devoted herself to workshops and seminars worldwide.”
Caroline Myss earned her B.A. in Journalism in 1974, her M.A. in Theology in 1979, and her Ph.D. in Energy Medicine in 1996.
In 1994 she stopped giving private medical intuitive readings (which Harvard-trained neurosurgeon C. Norman Shealy estimated to be 93% accurate), opting instead to deliver her message to a wider audience through lectures and workshops.
Thank you One, When someone pays to study a skill, then YES they should charge for the service this skill provides, I have given my skills away for FREE many,many times, out of compassion. They said I don't have any money, only to get the free service. Because I learn later that they have extra money for other things. What, was peace of mind, and healed emotions not worth paying for? that is bull ****! I like myself, SO I charge a fare rate, and give seniors a 30% discount. Good Night to All
i agree that charging a fee for one's time is certainly fair and reasonable for services and products that someone has to offer. you made a good (true) point about people spending their money, too. they'll say they don't have the money for something if they don't want to spend the money, but then you realize that they sure did spend it on something else.
one thought about it, is that going for a somewhat costly healthcare treatment (for example), that is not covered by insurance, is something someone might do, and pay for out of pocket. because they know it's probably of limited duration. maybe after several massages, they are feeling fine again. it's not a mandatory, never ending commitment with no closure to it, unless you leave.
i think for some people, they get upset, though, if they REALLY don't have the high amount of money to pay for a spiritual teaching because they feel that someone who may have a gift in that way, will only offer it with a price tag attached to it - thereby - it gets perceived as saying that one would deny another human being SOULful knowledge based on whether or not they had money to obtain it.
i'm not saying it's right or wrong, i'm just sharing viewpoints i have heard over the years. i was lucky that i had the time/money to attend all the years that i did. yet, the issues i'm sharing with you/readers, are still valid for plenty of people.
it's a lot easier to have the time/money to treat oneself to an occasional seminar on a topic of your choice, than it may be for an adult with a full time job to get time off of work to attend several weeks of "mandatory" events per year. or for a mom who stays home with little kids to get the time and money to leave her kids and travel to an event. not only are the teachings beyond what some people can afford in money, but also what others can afford in time....or both.
if one travels just within the USA for the mandatory events, it's going to cost for fees for hotel/car rental/food/air fare/event admission cost/gasoline/rv rental. each trip is easily $3,000, give or take a little. twice a year, and it all adds up.
also, if you get a two week vacation at work, when do you (not YOU...in general "you") vacation with your own family ? or just have a few weeks off to be with them ?
so rse is structured to appeal to those who have time and money. many, many students have given those things up in order to attend, but have not achieved mastery, so that they could replace the many dollars spent on admission to the [self proclaimed] school of enlightenment.
in any case, these are issues i have heard discussed over the years, so i thought i would add them to the conversation.
thanks watcha! I read through all that before. I cannot spend too much time on this, but here's an inkling of where I would go with assessment. Again, I am not intending to offend (my approach here is like a kitten---fear not, I will not let the lion out).
"A little more about Myss, too. There is one reference to her Ph.D. degree being in "Energy Medicine". I do not know of a traditionally accredited college/university that gives a degree in that. If she wanted to study that topic and "major" in it, she had no choice but to study at an "alternative" college/university. I don't see where that discredits her as a fraud."
This is not about "fraud" because we cannot prove that anyone's spiritual beliefs are false or intentionally deceptive. This is about protecting yourself from someone else's "flawed" reality.
Myss made a choice (intuitive?) to get a degree from a disreputable school, a diploma mill. PhD is supposed to mean something in my world. If you accept what Myss got from Greenwich U, then you have to lower your standards for PhD or completely change what that stands for.
Read this report:
here is one quote from it:
“The (Theology) Panel was also of the opinion that the coursework presented to it for evaluation was not of equivalent quality to that offered by other Australian universities at postgraduate level. The Panel found that most of the units it examined were more typical of introductory undergraduate studies than coursework in postgraduate programs in Australian universities. The Panel also found no evidence that the coursework available to students in the School of Theology would prepare students adequately to write a thesis at Master's or PhD level according to Australian university standards.”
Anne Salisbury who founded the Transpersonal Hypnotherapy Institute got her "PhD" from GU also---she did her disseration on "accessing intuition through self-hypnosis. As an intuitive (clairvoyant) she hold's a minister's license." http://transhypno.com/about/faculty.htm
Norm Shealy: I just read a few dozen pages of stuff by him and on him.
For the sake of simplicity, I'll stick to one interview with him from 1993 to point out why I distrust his views as a "doctor."
in 1965 NS was attracted to acupuncture through "intuition."
(Joe: My wife studied acupuncture in 1983, I had many acupuncture treatments from 1979-1987 and volunteered at a famous Chinese acupuncture school as a "test subject" for students. I know what it is from "experience" and no longer value it highly though I think it has limited value).
This led NS to positive experiences with other areas of alternative medicine, eg. chiropractic and even turned to the ARE (EdgarCayce Inst) for inspiration--a "reading."
"Not long after that, I attended a "week of attunement" at the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment) in Virginia Beach. I had my first past life therapy session. I met Joel Andrews, the harpist, and went into a trance while he was playing music, had out of body experiences. It was quite a week."
In medical school NS was a self-proclaimed "maverick". He developed an effective means to treat backpain without surgery (good for him--I'm serious here). NS came to dislike the entire medical industry, so he went alternative.
In my view he became part of the problem, not the solution. He rails against not having enough "family physicians" but he never became one.
NS seems to have a weird response to crazy folks --- the kind I deal with on a daily (nightly) basis:
"DR: What kind of cases give you the most difficulty?
NS: There are two. First of all, psychotics. I can't deal with psychotics. Their energy is disruptive to me. I find myself feeling attacked, and I want to run away. I see energy around them. They have what looks like a storm taking place around them, chaotic energy, usually over the right shoulder near the head.
DR: Have you seen people who used to have that storm around their head, and something was done, and they no longer have it?
NS: Yes, I have seen that. I can work with a psychotic between attacks, when they are back in their body, so to speak."
As for Myss and her intuitive powers:
"Shealy concluded that her ability to diagnose illness - even from remote distances - was 93% accurate."
If you buy that claim at face value, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you in New York.
The question comes up: Why do some people accept claims like "93% correct intuitive diagnoses" and others do not?
Hypnosis, trance induction, self-suggestion through meditiation, breathing, sedative drugs have a long history in human spirituality and healing. Shamanism utilizes many techniques according to culture from ancient times to today. Both high arousal and low arousal techniques work to change orientation and increase belief: eg, Soccer fan rally, chanting "Om" at a conference.
Making someone suggestible cuts two ways. Good feelings can arise, blocks to solutions for inner problems can go away, somatic changes can appear, demons can retreat, awareness can seem to expand....good stuff. All of these techniques reduce inner noise, help a person to focus and decrease critical thinking or reduce the ability of the discursive mind to sort through information. The mind "floats" as immediate acceptance of suggestions and commands is increased. The random images in dreams and visions will "collect" and be immediately rearranged by the brain to make stories, myths to help us sort and enrich our reality------or fool us.
Stage hypnotists depend on this human ability to put on a show.
Most (maybe all) cults my peers and I have studied introduce and emphasize altered state techniques: intense prayer, chanting, breathwork, guided meditation, visualization, group rallies, etc. Not all humans are equally suggestible. Maybe 15% in any audience will be good subjects for a hypnotist, and they know it. Being suggectibel has nothing to do with intelligence or IQ---genius artists, writers, scientists might have this quality and usually do However, all people in cults will rise on the suggestibility scale the longer they practice altered state techniques.
If someone recruited into a cult has a wonderful experience or a "healing" as a result of using a trance technique, that person will more readily accept the milieu uncritically. The self-suggestion is: If this expereince was good and right for me, then the source (group, leader, dogma) of this experience must be good for me. Critical thinking becomes "doubt" or distrust and none of us likes to distrust people we like.
Myss, N Shealy and co. all depend on the client's to be suggestible, non critical of there "results". They attract that type of person who may need an alternative appraoch for a problem one that will work, but then one who equally will defend all the other claims they make. It is a twilight zone of reality where self-deception canreign.
I saw this happen to me with Liz Prophet's cult. First meeting I went to they had me try a violet ray "decree". It left me with a nice "buzz." They interpreted the buzz for me: Ascended masters working with my "magic presence" or monad and my "christ self" ifused my "4 lower bodies" and chakras with the "healing energy" of violet flame. It was called "Science of the Spoken Word." All very scientific? No, but highly suggestive. Cayce depended on his devotee's suggestibility to "justify" his predictions (mostly wrong) and healings (mostly generic).
Toward the end of the interview (mentioned above) with Shealy in 1993, he "predicts" something:
"I think the public is way ahead of the medical profession. Now, dentists and nurses, and half of chiropractors (the mixers) are way ahead of the allopathic physician . . . Most physicians today don't know what's happening. They don't realize that they have, in the last ten years, totally lost control of the situation. The situation is now 95% in the control of bureaucracy. The good news is, I think it will go bankrupt of its own weight, of its own policies.
DR: What takes its place if that happens?
NS: Who knows? It depends on what happens to the federal government. One of two things will happen in this country. We will either have hyperinflation in this decade, which means, if we do, that we have the risk of a totalitarian dictatorship taking over. Or we'll have a total deflation. It's going to happen this decade. I believe it will be no later than 1995. Probably by 1994, perhaps as late as 1998. It will happen this decade. I hope it's a deflation, because otherwise we're in the economic position where Germany was before Hitler took over."
Shealy is grandiose if anything, perhaps easily suggestible himself. I do not trust his claims of psychics who are 70% or 96% accrurate based on his studies. I'd have to see what his standards for success were, and then run those same psychics through tests I devise. He never mentions peer review or repeatable experiments by someone not influencd by him.
Again, if you believe Shealy at face value, I have this bridge......