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Much I have read and learned the past few days about the goings on at the RSE. Of course noone was forced at gunpoint to attend the so-called school however I am very worried about a relative of mine even though attendance at the school was of her own free will. The contradiction between the promises of RSE and the actual practices and mal-practices of the school are at least under-handed and probably would prove to be criminal. As I read responses from RSE representatives I am reminded of a quote from one of Shakspeare's plays, Richard III.
"But then I sigh and, with a piece of scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil;
And thus clothe my naked villiany
With odd old ends stol'n forth of Holy Writ,
And seem a saint when most I play the devil".
"Of course no one was forced at gunpoint to attend the so-called school however I am very worried about a relative of mine even though attendance at the school was of her own free will."
This has always been misleading by JZR saying "there are no seat belts here. You are free to go at any time."
When one's critical thinking is suspended and the full effects of group-think has taken the reins, no one leaves.
On the OUTSIDE, it looks like they are free to come and go.
On the INSIDE (of the brain and thinking), it is a prison based on fear, but the "students" are not aware of it while IN the group. The "red in the rainbow" thing.
Women who have been in abusive relationships do not KNOW that they are in it, until some small miracle or crack appears. Once they have been shown, usually by a therapist or counselor, then they can start to see, but they have been blind to it the entire time.
Same goes for groups such as RSE.
One does not KNOW while they are in such a group.
It is only when a follower starts interacting with people in the "outside" world or taking some kind of reprieve or
has some small miracle come their way to open their eyes.
In my case, it was through a former "student" of RSE when I had the courage to ask them, "why aren't you in school anymore?"
They showed me this site.
And that was that.
My eyes and heart and brain were painfully opened.
How does someone know they are acting out of free will? We are conditioned from birth.
"...even though attendance at the school was of her own free will."
Yes, Willie, while I participated at RSE I THOUGHT I was attending of my OWN FREE WILL.
In my experience and opinion THAT is exactly what makes RSE a cult. Cults operate using an invisible form of mind control. People who are highly suggestible are most likely to get pulled in/victimized. Due to their predisposition for suggestibility a cult member quickly loses their ability to think logically. Unbeknownst to the cult member what one thinks is not what is. JZ/"Ramtha" capitalizes (in more ways than one) on this.
For example, "You create your own reality" really means you don't have to deal with anything you don't like. Just make something new up in your head and pretend that it is real.
Do you have any idea how appealing this is to someone who finds the world a harsh place? A highly suggestible person can do this with ease by virtue of their "larger than life" imagination. Who are these highly suggestible people? Many of them were abused as children and developed the ability to dissociate as a coping skill. All of the so called "disciplines" taught at RSE are based on dissociation. Someone who can readily dissociate is an example of the kind of person/victim that a cult leader is looking for.
Here comes the mind control: "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A VICTIM!" shouts "Ramtha" over and over and over again. A highly suggestible person automatically believes s/he is not a victim. Did the same scenario play out as a child? Is there a feeling of familiarity?
"THERE ARE NO SEATBELTS ON THE FLOOR! YOU CAN LEAVE ANYTIME YOU WANT!" shouts "Ramtha." Yeah, right. You can leave anytime you want as long as you come back. And the highly suggestible people/victims will. Isn't that the same prison the abused child lived in? That is how mind control works.
What about JZ's claim that she was abused as a child? I wonder if that is true or if it is presented as a hook. It gives innocent people who have been abused a point of reference, something in common. Is the intent of the revelation to create an invisible bond? Something that pulls the victim in? Another example of mind control.
In my experience and opinion RSE is a true confidence game from beginning to end. The biggest con of all is thinking one is doing something of their own free will.
Here is the kicker, Willie...A person believes s/he is operating from their own free will then enough evidence accumulates to suggest that what they thought was free will is actually indoctrination and manipulation. (Called a wolf in sheep's clothing.)
What do you think it takes to be able to admit that? To comprehend and understand that what one thought was free will was not free will at all? That one's mind has literally been hijacked and immersed in fantasy for the simple pleasure of giving someone else a sense of power and wealth.
Being taken advantage of and used is very difficult to admit particularly by people who HAVE ALREADY been taken advantage of and used. It's humiliating, mind numbing and extremely frightening. Do you think many people want to go there? Do you think many people have the internal resources to be able to go there?
This no win situation is what keeps a cult alive.
A study done by the International Cultic Studies Association (www.icsahome.com) found that on average former cult members do not seek out counseling for 10 years after leaving the group. That is a lot of denial for for many victims it is the best they can do in the absence of understanding, kindness and love.
In my experience and opinion no one attends RSE of their own free will. They only think that they do.
"You can believe that an illusion is real."
You have raised a question that has consumed countless hours of thought and deliberation over the centuries.
Yet, there is not a real consensus as to a complete explanation or answer.
Since there is still an on going debate, some of which has been recently enlivened through technology and advances in brain mapping.
For an interesting discription of varying views see:
In any event, most would agree that to "will" something is to make a choice and choices exist among other competing choices for various reasons, sometimes known and other times not.
I find that rather then get caught up in the debate of "free will" to look at the variety of things that can and do influence ones choices. Influence is the key word.
Inevitably, ones choices effect the direction and manner in which ones life travels.
To say that one has "free will" in the context that it is most often referred to seems to mean free from influence or at the least aware of the influences and their potential consequences.
In that respect, I would think you would agree that we all have had experience with "feeling" like we had been free from influences and yet were not.
As you sit at your computer and read this do you feel the pressure of your legs in the chair?? Where your arm is resting? And don't think of a Christmas tree.
All three statements (more then likely) influenced your perceptions of reality.
It would be difficult if not impossible for them not to. Yet, if you are aware of the hows and why they do so that gives you a wider field of choices on how you might respond to them.
As EWO said and I tend to agree with:
"In my experience and opinion RSE is a true confidence game from beginning to end. The biggest con of all is thinking one is doing something of their own free will."
With the exception of changing the ending to free from influence. My reason for saying that is because it is very easy to get caught up in the free will debate when the issue is simply a con. If someone has been conned, they have been influenced, sometimes one needs to look at the degree in which they have been influenced in order to realize that they indeed have been conned!
I have found that it is much easier to speak to someone "under an influence" about influence rather then free will because most if not all of us operate under the assumption that we are always operating through our free will, yet we all have differing ideas of what that means exactly.
So, the probability of one getting upset and defensive is greater (IMHO) when one feels their free will is threatened as opposed to a challenge of determining the location, causes, environmental factors, etc that might be effecting the amount of influence they are or have been previously exposed to.
For me the "free" part of free will depends on the amount of choices there are. In so doing, my free will does not always = comfort, happiness, joy, etc.
I feel that maturity (and I am not saying that age bound as I am sure we all know those who appear advanced in their maturity in some thing or another) is an ability to view and discern from a wide body of choices.
One may enter RSE with a degree of maturity, but once in, it is all about non-maturity ;"having the mind of a child", getting rid of ones "monkey mind" and the subtle removal through masking of ones choices through mind(*^*&^%& statements like "I will lie to you if necessary" which in the context it is given leads ones thoughts to constantly consider if something is a lie or not.
To pay for that and this is where the con comes in, does not leave much room for one to think "why didn't I go on a vacation instead of sitting in this muddy field?" "Why am I being pushed and bumping into walls for hours while my eyes are duct-taped instead of getting a massage"? And on and on...