Confessions of a Cult Leader's Son

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posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by WatchRider
reply to post by Never Despise
 


This is interesting, a weird theory I have about back then was that the decade of the 1980s started off fairly well and did peak at about the point of the mid-1980s.
Then after that point, some state 1986 or '87 as the exact year things began to descend and helter-skelter a bit and lead into a whole different timeline or pathway.
Now I've already heard that something weird caused it but I wasn't sure what it was....

So with this bugging me (as it has for a while) I specifically asked him what caused this.
He reckoned that all across the earth there's a sequence of stones, that when 'aligned' cause a 'shift' in conciousness.
He told me that these 'stones' were moving into alignment (late 70s to early 80s) and actually aligned perfectly in 1986 - 87, then moved slowly out of alignment again.
He was in a big city when '86 and '87 were going on and in his words 'many people were kind of crazy', or 'possessed by a kind of madness' for that period....


I had that same feeling that things were going well in the 1980's and then things began to descend in the late 80's. (I'm not sure about the stones your friend talked about.) I figured it was the stock market crash of 1987, but there were other interesting things going on in 1987:

“The Harmonic Convergence (of 1987) is the name given to the world's first globally synchronized meditation, which occurred on August 16–17, 1987; also closely correlated to an exceptional alignment of planets (8 planets formed a Grand Trine) in our solar system..”

“ The convergence is purported to have ‘corresponded with a great shift in the earth’s energy from warlike to peaceful.’"

“According to Argüelles, the Harmonic Convergence also began the final 25-year countdown to the end of the Mayan Long Count in 2012, which would be the so-called end of history and the beginning of a new 5,125-year cycle. Evils of the modern world, e.g. war, materialism, violence, abuses, injustice, oppression, etc. would end with the birth of the 6th Sun and the 5th Earth on December 21, 2012.” (condensed from Wikipedia)
en.wikipedia.org...

“Black Monday refers to Monday October 19, 1987, the largest stock market drop in Wall St. history when the Dow Jones plunged 508 points, losing over 22% of its value. That fall far surpassed the one-day loss of 12.9% that began the great stock market crash of 1929 and started the Great Depression.”

“ The crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, hitting the U.S. after other markets had already declined by a significant margin.”

“Later that morning, two U.S. warships shelled an Iranian oil platform in the Persian Gulf in response to Iran's Silkworm missile attack on the U.S. flagged ship MV Sea Isle City.”

“By the end of October, stock markets in Hong Kong had fallen 45.5%, Australia 41.8%, Spain 31%, the U.K. 26.45%, the U.S. 22.68%, and Canada 22.5%. New Zealand’s market was hit especially hard, falling about 60% from its 1987 peak, and taking several years to recover.” (info condensed from Wikipedia)

Other significant things that happened in 1987:

World population reached 5 billion.
Supernova 1987A in LMC first seen; first naked-eye supernova since 1604.

President Reagan signed a secret order permitting the covert sale of arms to Iran.
USS Stark hit by Iraqi missiles, 37 sailors die.
US warships destroy 2 Iranian oil platforms in Persian Gulf .
First military use of trained dolphins (US Navy in Persian Gulf).
Philadelphia celebrates 200th anniversary of the Constitution.

Iceberg twice the size of Rhode Island sighted in Antarctic.
175-kph winds cause blackout in London, much of southern England.
Digging begins to link England and France under the English Channel.
Worst peacetime shipping disaster, Dona Paz collides with Vector 1,749 confirmed deaths (probably closer to 3,000)

Texaco files for bankruptcy.
Fiji becomes a republic, after belonging to Britain since 1874.

Rudolph Hess, Nazi leader, dies at 93, after 46 years in Spandau Prison.
Joseph Campbell, mythologist (The Hero’s Journey), dies at 83.
Federal Judge Morris E. Lasker sentenced Ivan Boesky (the real life “Wall St” Gordon Gekko) to a three-year prison term.


edit on 5-1-2012 by AuranVector because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 09:54 PM
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Thank you for all your various comments, AuranVector. I would like to address one specific point:


Originally posted by AuranVector
In any case, their "mystical" experience was not of the highest order. The evidence is in the way they lived their lives.


Now, this puts its finger on an interesting issue. The question is whether the "order of magnitude" of the experience is automatically reflected in the way the experiencer then goes on to live his or her life.

I'm not going to get into the "order" or "rank" of what my parents experienced...they presented it as being the absolute ultimate, the pinnacle of all experiences, the highest order. That doesn't mean it was, of course. Having not experienced it myself, I cannot say for sure one way or the other.

But let's leave that aside and look mystical experiences in a more general sense. If you have a mystical experience "of the highest order," does that automatically go on to make you saintly, morally pure, and ethically stainless? This seems to be an assumption implicit in your quote above, and you are certainly not the only one who would think this way. A lot of Eastern mysticisms have this conception, like the "sudden enlightenment" of Rinzai Zen, or some aspects of being in tune with the Tao in Taoism, or some Vedantic philosopical conceptions of enlightnement. It is as if the seeker becomes perfectly pure at a single stroke and the rest of their life is smooth sailing, morally and metaphysically speaking. Or else, the seeker approaches morality through mysticism. If the right state of consciousness is achieved, morality will flow naturally, the theory seems to go.

I cannot agree with this view of things, because I don't think there is any sort of automatic cosmic mechanism for translating profound experience into a morally sound life. I contend that these two things exist on totally different levels and that the seeker has to approach them totally different. Conflating them and considering them automatically linked seems the biggest mistake of mystics, including my parents and their friends.

I contend that it is perfectly possible to have a mystical experience of the highest order, and still live as a jerk. In the warm afterglow of the experience, morality may seem to flow automatically, as within a state of grace. But this warm afterglow vanishes eventually and unless you put in real sweat and effort to being moral, it's going to get warped and/or fade. Nobody is exempted from the gruntwork of moral choice. And a funny thing about morality -- it has zero correlation with inelligence. Intelligence is good, but no guarantee of morality. In the same way, I firmly believe that a mystical experience (of any order, high to low) is a good thing, but it, too, is no guarantee of morality. This is my opinion, based on the observation of my parents and also what I have read about other mystics in history.

If you or anyone has thougts on this I'd be interested to hear them.


Originally posted by KarensHoliday
The OP is a very smart and articulate person who has a great insight into psychological matters. I wonder if this is something he inhereted from his father too, besides writing skills, hmmm?



Thanks for the reply...you make me blush, perhaps that's your intention. Hmmm?
I hope you are not a 40-year-old dude. "Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course."


I'd like to think I learned a thing or two about a thing or two. Whether or not one is insightful is always for other people to say, not oneself.


One thing very different between me and my dad: My father had a powerful positive presence and I have almost no presence at all. If my father walked into a crowded room, everyone would notice him out of the corner of their eye even if he wasn't doing anything, he gave off that kind of aura. Me, on the other hand, if I walked into the same room, nobody would notice and I might even have to shout to get people's attention. That's fine by me, no news is usually good news.

edit on 5-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 01:36 AM
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Originally posted by Never Despise
Thank you for all your various comments, AuranVector. I would like to address one specific point:


Originally posted by AuranVector
In any case, their "mystical" experience was not of the highest order. The evidence is in the way they lived their lives.


Now, this puts its finger on an interesting issue. The question is whether the "order of magnitude" of the experience is automatically reflected in the way the experiencer then goes on to live his or her life.

I'm not going to get into the "order" or "rank" of what my parents experienced...they presented it as being the absolute ultimate, the pinnacle of all experiences, the highest order. That doesn't mean it was, of course. Having not experienced it myself, I cannot say for sure one way or the other....


You’ve brought up many interesting things. Let’s break this down:



ND: “If you have a mystical experience "of the highest order," does that automatically go on to make you saintly, morally pure, and ethically stainless?”


AV: Yes, after having a mystical experience of the highest order and becoming ROOTED in that state, one becomes a saint. A saint is merged with God. God is morally pure & ethically stainless. The actions of a saint may seem strange to us, to people of ordinary consciousness, but the actions of a saint flow from God, they are aligned with the Tao (for lack of a better word), their actions are always perfect.



ND: “It is as if the seeker becomes perfectly pure at a single stroke and the rest of their life is smooth sailing, morally and metaphysically speaking.”


AV: A seeker does not become “perfectly pure at a single stroke.” If it seems that a seeker reaches the highest state in a single stroke, you can bet he has been working on it for lifetimes. We are not privy to all the sadhana (spiritual work) he has done previously. (Reincarnation is real.)

Just because one becomes rooted in the highest state does not mean that the rest of his life is “smooth sailing” – the surface appearance of that life may be full of struggle & pain. Just enough ego is left to hold the spirit to the physical body. There is “no one” there to suffer. Morally and metaphysically speaking, it is “smooth sailing” because there is “no one” there to agonize over making a choice or decision. What needs to be done does not require analytical thought – right action flows naturally – it is always perfect. “The gruntwork of moral choice” (as you put it) is for those of us who are not rooted in the highest state.



ND: “I cannot agree with this view of things, because I don't think there is any sort of automatic cosmic mechanism for translating profound experience into a morally sound life.


AV: The highest state does not need any “cosmic mechanism for translating a profound experience into a morally sound life.” Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Let’s say that you have an experience of “Cosmic Love” – in this state, it’s as if the veil has been lifted from your eyes and you can see what is really here. What you see is that everything here is so beautiful that it makes your heart ache. You can see that everything is already perfect. You can see that everything is already worthy of your love. It’s ALL God.

This is not romantic love (a parody of Cosmic Love). It is not personal, it does not need anything from anyone else. It is unconditional. It is as if you had suddenly been transformed into a Sun radiating its Light on everything around you, falling on the Just and the Unjust. That Light is Cosmic Love -- Infinite LovingKindness.

All your actions flow naturally from this Cosmic Love. Would you hurt other sentient beings in this State? No.

ND: “I contend that these two things (profound experience & a morally sound life) exist on totally different levels and that the seeker has to approach them totally different.”

AV: In our ordinary consciousness, we have a very limited vision of what exists. We see things thru the filter or perceptual grid of our ego. What we see is distorted by our ego’s needs – by what we want or what we think serves us. Our judgments & decisions are distorted by this limitation.

Rooted in the highest state, our vision expands & rises above the petty, selfish ego. We can see that everything is connected – that we cannot hurt others without hurting ourselves. Our actions cannot help but be in alignment with natural morality.



ND: “I contend that it is perfectly possible to have a mystical experience of the highest order, and still live as a jerk. In the warm afterglow of the experience, morality may seem to flow automatically, as within a state of grace. But this warm afterglow vanishes eventually and unless you put in real sweat and effort to being moral, it's going to get warped and/or fade.”


AV: You just answered your own question. Yes, one can have high mystical experiences and still be a jerk.
It should be obvious to you that your parents were not ROOTED in the highest state. They may have glimpsed it, but they could not hold on to it. A man rooted in “Cosmic Love” would NOT be exploiting confused, love-starved girls in the sex industry. He would not be playing malicious head games with people. He would not need to control people. He would be fearless of the world.



ND: “And a funny thing about morality -- it has zero correlation with intelligence. Intelligence is good, but no guarantee of morality. In the same way, I firmly believe that a mystical experience (of any order, high to low) is a good thing, but it, too, is no guarantee of morality. This is my opinion, based on the observation of my parents and also what I have read about other mystics in history.”


AV: Yes, intellectual brilliance does not guarantee morality – it’s not the same thing as wisdom. An intellectually acute mind can actually get in the way of experiencing the highest state. Intellectual acuity can inflate the ego, for one thing. A disciplined mind capable of concentration is a useful tool, but it cannot take one to the highest state. In the end, the mind has to be transcended.
edit on 6-1-2012 by AuranVector because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by AuranVector
 


Thanks for the comprehensive reply.



ND: “If you have a mystical experience "of the highest order," does that automatically go on to make you saintly, morally pure, and ethically stainless?”

AV: Yes, after having a mystical experience of the highest order and becoming ROOTED in that state, one becomes a saint. A saint is merged with God. God is morally pure & ethically stainless. The actions of a saint may seem strange to us, to people of ordinary consciousness, but the actions of a saint flow from God, they are aligned with the Tao (for lack of a better word), their actions are always perfect.


Well you see my friend, this is where our views diverge. The way you explained it (and most of the rest of your post) is totally compatible with the creed of our community. I understand the logic…I just don’t buy it. I don’t think there is ANY human whose “actions are always perfect” or who is “merged with god” to a greater degree than other humans. I disagree with this, because I have seen no such person, I have read about no such person (convincingly) in history. I have seen a lot of people who believed this but couldn’t walk the walk, and history is full of these people too. Not to denigrate your beliefs, mind you. I just stand opposed to this way of thinking, although it was drilled into me as a child of course.

I believe one can have valid mystical states, glimpses, momentary epiphines, altered states and peak states. But I firmly believe none of this guarantees anything beyond the experience itself. No matter how profound, a mystical experience cannot guarantee that the experiencer is on a higher plane.

You talk later about being “rooted in the higher state” and that makes a little more sense to me. I think you can have these states, learn from them, and use them as a foundation to build a better life. But you still have to do the hard work of living every day, that I am sure of.

My opinion, obviously yours differs. In such matters there is a yawning chasm of faith, and it usually cannot be bridged by words. I hope your belief system brings you fulfillment and happiness, even if I cannot accept it myself. Peace.



posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by Never Despise
reply to post by AuranVector
 


Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

ND: Well you see my friend, this is where our views diverge. The way you explained it (and most of the rest of your post) is totally compatible with the creed of our community. I understand the logic…I just don’t buy it. I don’t think there is ANY human whose “actions are always perfect” or who is “merged with god” to a greater degree than other humans. I disagree with this, because I have seen no such person, I have read about no such person (convincingly) in history. I have seen a lot of people who believed this but couldn’t walk the walk, and history is full of these people too. Not to denigrate your beliefs, mind you. I just stand opposed to this way of thinking, although it was drilled into me as a child of course.


AV: Your position is entirely understandable. After all, you grew up with a fraudulent “spiritual” teacher. It seems you did not have any spiritual experiences or experiences of “higher states” of your own, so you have a jaundiced, cynical view of all such teachers and their experiences.



ND: I believe one can have valid mystical states, glimpses, momentary epiphanies, altered states and peak states. But I firmly believe none of this guarantees anything beyond the experience itself. No matter how profound, a mystical experience cannot guarantee that the experiencer is on a higher plane.


AV: I agree. One can have glimpses of high mystical states and epiphanies, and none of that guarantees that he will live a moral, ethical life from there on. It does not guarantee that that person is permanently on a higher plane.



ND: You talk later about being “rooted in the higher state” and that makes a little more sense to me. I think you can have these states, learn from them, and use them as a foundation to build a better life. But you still have to do the hard work of living every day, that I am sure of.


AV: Actually, if you re-read my previous post to you, being “ROOTED in the higher state” is in my first sentence.
“You still have to do the hard work of living every day” only if you are NOT rooted in the higher state. As I tried to convey to you before, once a person is rooted in the highest state, right action flows naturally.



ND: My opinion, obviously yours differs. In such matters there is a yawning chasm of faith, and it usually cannot be bridged by words. I hope your belief system brings you fulfillment and happiness, even if I cannot accept it myself. Peace


AV: What I have tried to describe to you in my previous post is not a matter of faith for me. I do not have the power to transmit this knowledge to you.
A spiritual teacher rooted in the highest state could.

Thank you for the good wishes. People understand when they’re ready to understand. “There are as many paths to God as there are breaths drawn.” Some paths are more efficient than others.

Getting back to your father, I’m curious about what kind of meditation he taught. Did he use ritual of any kind? Were followers encouraged to read? If so, what?
Any physical exercises? Any breathwork? Etcetera.
edit on 6-1-2012 by AuranVector because: reformat



posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by AuranVectorGetting back to your father, I’m curious about what kind of meditation he taught. Did he use ritual of any kind? Were followers encouraged to read? If so, what?
Any physical exercises? Any breathwork? Etcetera.


The regeme changed over time, but basically the day was considered to be divided into four quarters: work, meditation/prayer, study, and everything else (eating, sleeping, minute slivers of free time). There was hardly any free time at all, although the higher levels had more freedom. There was no media...no TV and no radio, and this was before computers were at all common, remember. My dad had a TV and a radio in his office, that was all. No pop music. There was a library for group use, and educational materials for the kids. You could read and write, or do art, but actually the routine was strict so there wasn't in practice time for the adults to do any creative work. Kids were able to, and had a little more freedom this way, but our days and schedules were tightly regimented.

He experimented with lots of different types of meditation and practice, mostly quasi-Eastern in flavor. People were supposed to study a series of different traditions first, this was part of the basic study module everyone had to complete. Then each person had to decide for himself/herself which of five different "paths" resonnated best with them. You could choose among the following five paths: Prayer/Devotion, Emptiness Meditation, Chanting/Fasting, Bodywork, and Esoteric. Once you chose a path you were supposed to stick with it. The regemes for each path were drawn up by my dad, my mom, and Robert (not real name). These were the three members of the seven-person council who remained after Ben and the other three coucil members left. Both my mom and Robert were rubber-stamp yes-men to whatever my dad suggested, so as usual the whole thing was his show. He experimented with different techniques within these paths, fine-tuneing them. Of course, he had no formal training in any of these so he pulled it all out of thin air based on what he'd read. He did read a lot, but its no substitute for the real thing. I could tell he cared about the curriculum, though, and he was very precise and detailed about the path designs, as with all else he did.

If you chose the Emptiness Meditation path, for example, it was a very stripped-down, bowlderized version of Theravada stuff, and then when you'd been doing that for a while, you'd switch over to Zen. If you were on this path you were supposed to be reading works from the world's great religious traditions on emptiness.This was supplemented with little notes, commentary, directions, exercises, etc. stapled together in little xeroxed packets, which were studed alongside the texts. Examples of primary sources for the Emptiness Meditation path include: Nagarajuna the great Mahayana Buddhist philosopher, Chinese and Japanese Zen masters (he especially loved Bodhidharma and Huineng), some Eastern Orthodox Christian stuff, like the Heychast mystics, other Christians like Pseudo-Dionysis the Aeropagate, Gregory of Nyssa, the Flemmish mystics, some of the Gnostics after he's read about that, some Vedantic philosophy, and Taoism. Not bad base materials to work with....which is proof that cults cannot be explained solely through the theologies or ideologies they espouse. You can have good ideas and end up with rotten scenes all the same. Let that be a warning to all.

As time went on, the Esoteric path became more important to him, and he started to include some left-hand tantra-style stuff. He tried to whittle down the other paths and almost all the new girls ended up on the Bodywork (
) or Esoteric paths. He also experimented for a while in the 1980s with selling "empowerments" and "initiations" in a graded system, but he didn't get far with it and scrapped the whole thing after a few years. He was always trying different things out, working with them a little, dropping them later. His stuff stayed almost entirely within the realm of religious history, and he looked back towards past tradtions, both Eastern and Christian. There was also some respect and study for Shamanism, Native American stuff, and Vodoo/African stuff, but he never tried to practice along those lines. Some material on these were part of everyone's academic reading, though. He didn't go in for aliens, crystals, astral beings, or that sort of more late-20th-century stuff, he was always looking back to the past.


edit on 7-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 03:13 AM
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I’d like to look a little at how my dad’s cult was different from some larger or more famous ones. First of all, it never got involved in a major scandal like Manson murders, or a shootout like Waco, or a mass suicide like Jim Jones. So he never got splashed all over the press. Second, he did not attempt mass publicity, like the Hare Krishnas, the Moonies, or The Children of God. It was never his intention to recruit en masse from the general public; he always wanted it to be a closed group that kept a low profile. There were no leafleting campaigns, nobody on the streets or in airports begging for donations or selling flowers, no mass membership drives or attempts at advertising/publicity. No publications or products were sold. My dad never expected the group to grow beyond the kinds of numbers it had, and it didn’t. He selected new recruits very carefully, and targeted a very specific social milieu (the adult entertainment industry). The women had to be young and sexually desirable, the men had to be rich and willing to bow to my dad in all things. Because of the low public profile and the strong tradition of privacy in rural New England, we were left alone and didn't have too many hassles with the authorities or the wider world.

I learned about several other groups (one in California in particular) that had a similar organizational structure to my dad’s, and I think there must be plenty of others like this, of varying degrees of sophistication and organization. As for famous cults, in terms of organization and secrecy along these lines, its closer to Heaven’s Gate or the Order of the Solar Temple, although fortunately it never devolved into mass suicide like those. It was even more isolated from wider society, even more separated out. In this it resembled Jim Jones’s church or Waco. (Even more separated than Waco, maybe?) As far as I know, my dad had no real knowledge of, interest in, or contact with other cults or cult leaders. Which brings up an interesting question: Do these groups and ways of organizing appear spontaneously, in different contexts and places? I think they do. This shows us the way wide-ranging social patterns shape us even when we have no idea they are impacting us. Or perhaps it isn't social patterning...perhaps its something deeper, more organic in human psychology and behavior.
edit on 7-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by Never Despise
 


I just wanted to post a quick note for now. There's a lot to respond to in your two new posts.

I'm curious which rituals your father was using in left-handed Tantra. Most Westerners confuse Tantra with sexual Tantra (which comprises only a small portion of Tantra). And that quickly devolves into using the "Tantra" label to have sex. Very funny, as long as the person using it, is not posing as a "spiritual Master."

Are you aware of Rajneesh/Osho? He was one of the worst "scumbag gurus" to hit the West.

Hopefully, I will have time to respond more fully to your posts tomorrow.



posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 04:24 PM
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I would like to ask the following questions:

1) Your dad comes across as somebody who very callously and almost off-handedly manipulates and plays with the minds of people around him. Did he treat you differently, as you were his son? If so, how?

2) You mention new, bigger walls, and extreme isolation from the outside, "even more than Waco." It sounds like paranoia was growing, and from what I've read about other groups like this, it seems to be a common theme. These groups get more and more paranoid as time goes on. Why do you think that is??



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by FailedProphet
I would like to ask the following questions:
1) Your dad comes across as somebody who very callously and almost off-handedly manipulates and plays with the minds of people around him. Did he treat you differently, as you were his son? If so, how?


He treated me with affection and hair-ruffling fatherliness, but he was distant and I didn't spend much time around him growing up. I was usually in the care of my mom or other women. When I got into teenage-hood he started taking me into his confidence a little more, talking about how the community worked here and there. Usually practical things, such as gardening or plumbing, or else religious theory. Not so much on psychology but I learned a lot watching him.

In many ways he was a difficult father. A psychologist who worked with me later after leaving the group helped me to understand something very important about him and his personality type: When I was a kid, he pressured me to excel and put impossibly high expectations on all his kids to be smart, to be well-behaved, to study, and to adhere to discipline.. Yet if I ever showed any sign of doing anything at all better than him, or if he thought any other person was giving me too much attention, he'd suddenly become mean, frosty, churlish, and spiteful, either shouting at me or punishing me in some way. The psycholoigist believed that this double bind was at the heart of our father-son relationship: On the one hand, I would be punished if I failed to excell, but on the other, if I actually did anything excellent, I'd also be punished. I agree with her analysis, I think that psychiatrist was correct. By learning to understand that dynamic in our relationship, I was able to see the source of much of my own anger and frustrations, as well as self-destructive tendencies.


2) You mention new, bigger walls, and extreme isolation from the outside, "even more than Waco." It sounds like paranoia was growing, and from what I've read about other groups like this, it seems to be a common theme. These groups get more and more paranoid as time goes on. Why do you think that is??


It is indeed a mystery, but I think it can be said that perhaps paranoia builds on itself, like a self-amplyifying feedback loop. Paranoia creates more paranoia, which creates more paranoia, and so on. I can think of no other reasonable explanations. He did want what went on to be hidden, to remain hidden, and fear of exposure as well as fear of other things might have been a factor. Perhaps it is an infectious thing, like a witch-hunt, that can inflame an entire community.

edit on 8-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 01:05 AM
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Originally posted by AuranVector
reply to post by Never Despise
 


I just wanted to post a quick note for now. There's a lot to respond to in your two new posts.

I'm curious which rituals your father was using in left-handed Tantra. Most Westerners confuse Tantra with sexual Tantra (which comprises only a small portion of Tantra). And that quickly devolves into using the "Tantra" label to have sex. Very funny, as long as the person using it, is not posing as a "spiritual Master."


He had no actual training or transmission in Tantra, and he could not read any Asian languages in their original, so all his material was made up based on the texts he'd read in translation. To his credit, he absorbed a lot of scholarly material. Snellgrove's scholarly work on Tibet was the source of a lot of his material, and he took in as much Hindu-based material as possible. Looking at his notes, it's a lot of the typical sexual stuff that you would find in those types of texts.

I think it is fair to say he was in no way a master and it just "devolved into using the "Tantra" label to have sex" as you put it. I think it is an accurate assessment of what happened.

One thing - Although he had no formal training in Tantra or any of the other paths, he felt qualified to expound on it endlessly from his lofty pulpit. He felt qualified to set up all these programs. This is because he believed, after having had The Experience, he was now plugged in to a straight conduit of divine wisdom and he would be able to draw any necessary experience direct from the source, as if inspired. Now perhaps you can see why I have an aversion to the whole idea of enlightened masters whose every act on earth is perfection, due to having had a profound mystical experience.




Are you aware of Rajneesh/Osho? He was one of the worst "scumbag gurus" to hit the West.

Yep. I am aware.

edit on 8-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 07:55 AM
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edit on 8-1-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by Never Despise
 


'The Experience' as you describe it, resembles what others would call a Kundalini experience, and, indeed, what yet others describe as a Mystical Experience, yet others may call it a Samsara moment, or whichever name or interpretation and meaning one wishes to give to it. It is a moment of total and complete understanding of... everything! It is a very intimate and personal experience that blows the lid off everything you have ever believed in and held as true. And yet, you know, that what you have discovered is true... for YOU! Since we each are a part of Consciousness having a Subjective Experience of Itself, with our own perspective on things.

Knowledge comes after the fact, on our plain of existence, and that involves studying and working on, yourself, to reach greater understanding of your Nature. Dragging and forcing other people into such an intimate and personal quest, stems from the insecurity of having to 'go at it alone'. It took some time for me to understand that. The force you use, is not so much meant as a tool to control. Not at the beginning. This drive to 'reveal' stems from 'seeing' and actually 'knowing' things that apparently no one else sees or knows. And you're so full of 'good news' that you want to share it with everyone and 'make' them understand, in any which way, shape or form.

When you do not expose yourself freely and openly to more knowledgible sources and become mere listening and observing students of one's self again, and do not allow or withhold knowledge from others, it is obvious, that you are and always will be, the Master of your own Knowledge.

I'm sorry, I'm blabbering on here. Please continue...



posted on Jan, 9 2012 @ 01:39 AM
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The End of the Road

In the end I can’t point to one single factor that brought the community down. There were multiple causes. Cracks and fissures started to form in the mid-80s, when on the surface both my dad and the community had never seemed stronger. He was traveling quite far with the girls now, and constantly sending selected small groups back and forth to Boston, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and LA. I remember as a kid how it always seemed exciting when my dad or some of the members would leave and arrive at the gates in one or several of the group’s small fleet of Chevy Suburbans with hardcore-tint windows. The scruffy post-hippie look that had defined the group in the 70s was long gone; the 80s had brought with them spotlessly clean new houses, sharply tailored clothes, and a different aesthetic altogether.

His association with the adult entertainment industry had brought him into contact with numerous marginal characters, in addition to the girls he honed in on like a laser to recruit. A lot of them were criminals and sociopaths/manipulators such as himself, of course. Birds of a feather. It wasn’t long before his restless, brilliant mind and surface charm had him all wrapped up in questionable business ventures with men of this type. I won’t necessarily go into this, but use your imagination a little, think of the kinds of people he’d be rubbing elbows with in that world, I’m sure you can see how easy it was to fall into all sorts of things. New, large lines of cash began to flow into the community for certain...services performed, I guess you could say. Nobody but my dad and a few males close to him knew about this new and growing pot of cash, which was re-invested in further sketchy activities.

Doctrinally, the group had seen a shift towards more tantric-oriented practice, as described above, but the real shift was that my dad was getting careless with doctrine and training in general. Money and sex were now visibly more important than spirituality to him, although he never abandoned the spiritual veneer entirely. When he did speak as a religious leader, his words were portentous, full of dogma and black-and-white thinking. There was an “us versus them” message, which kept people separate mentally from the wider world even for the women coming and going for “business.” You were either with him or against him. Violent temper-tantums and fits of rage were becoming more common.

He seemd to be sexualizing all of the paths. A module from the Prayer/Devotion path from around this time says: Submissiveness in all things is the natural inclination of the devotionalist. The love and tenderness of the wounded heart touched by the divine finger inclines easily and naturally towards a tendency of submissiveness towards one's master both in earthly matters and in the transcendental realm. The microcosmos mirrors and in fact can exert an influence on the macrocosmos, and devotion and total sensual submission to one's master on earth can be the key to unlock the wounded heart of the true devotionalist in the transcendent realm..." I find this highly distasteful and dangerous, personally. A devotionalist is a person who opens his or her heart to the divine. It is an incredible sacrifice to make personally and a difficult, challenging path that requires the object of devotion to be divine, not earthly. By sexualizing this path, my father twisted and perverted this inward sacrifice of self, dragging down to earth what was meant for heaven. To me, willingness to do this demonstrates a monstrous appetite for exploitation and obscene callousness. What kind of a prophet snatches a sacrifice meant for On High from the altar to feed his own dark needs?

The seeds of dischord my dad had sewed in the community among the women turned eventually to small power-blocks jockeying against each other. It was becoming one big gossipy scene with several groups of women who hated each other. My dad just couldn’t leave well enough alone. He had created these cliques with his constant fussing and meddling in the minutiae of people’s social life, and now it had undermined the community to the extent that harmony was no longer possible.

In 1987, eighteen people left all at one stroke. My dad’s power-politics had finally backfired on him, and he couldn’t stop these people from ganging up against him under a younger male. He was livid, furious, but there was nothing he could do. It was a powerful lesson to the rest of us: The giant had feet of clay after all.

Also in 1987, the stock market crash and the resulting bad business environment took most of my dad’s money. Turned out he had been highly leveraged, typical stuff. He thought he knew everything about investing as well as mysticsm, but in reality he knew next to nothing. Over the course of two years, he went from prince to pauper.

He seemed a broken man by the end of the 80s. He’d lost his enthusiasm for everything, and lacked the optimism he had had earlier. His charisma was fading, and his drinking started to become heavy, constant. He holed up in one wing of the compound with two young women he picked out and wouldn’t see anyone else for months at a time, including me and my mother. We had to pass him slips of paper through these girls, and his answer would come back in a scrawled hand that was a pale shadow of his earlier, militantly-neat penmanship. The man was losing it.

The early 90s are a long, slow tale of decline and people gradually slipping away. My dad had lost his connections in the Adult Entertainment industry, he was no longer bringing in any money. By 1992 we were down to 22 people, and the number was 14 in 1993. We were surviving by selling off assets at a loss – mostly land that my dad had bought in happier times. Eventually the last of the cash was gone and we folded up shop in 1994. As I said earlier, my dad and eight of his ageing, hardest-core supporters ended up living together in an apartment, eeking out a sad existence. Like overthrown royalty in exile, my dad presided over the last of his followers as a cantankerous scarecrow, a drunk shadow of his former self. His rants grew more extreme, his thinking shoddier, his speech more slurry and incoherent. As a son it was painful to watch. He died of liver failure in 2006.

Thanks for reading, I'm gratified by the interest this thread had gained. Please feel free to ask or discuss anything, I'll be around.

Peace,

Never Despise
Jan. 2012


edit on 9-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2012 @ 03:01 AM
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reply to post by Never Despise
 


Never Despise thank you for opening up your heart and telling your story all for the benefit of all of us here on ATS. You really should write a book as you weave a fantastic tale, and I can only imagine how hard it must be bearing all about a childhood and youth spent in an environment that so many people have preconceived ideas about.

I and I'm sure many others would be quite interested if you could expand on the contents of 'The Works' if you can find the time, maybe even scanning and uploading a few key pages here if you're so inclined. I would guess your dad may have started off with some sort of summary of everything he believed after his experience on the mountain prior to be corrupted and I personally think this would be the most interesting part, but obviously I'm only guessing.

But whatever you choose to do, what you have done already has been truly insightful. Once again thanks for one of the most interesting threads I've ever read.
edit on 9/1/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2012 @ 07:30 AM
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All I can say about your final installment is "wow." Firstly, I'm very sorry for your pain and sorrow at your father's decline, for your loss at his death. That wasn't that long ago, really. I'm sure at least some of that pain is still fresh. I have a (now long in recovery thankfully) alcoholic father which while no means the same as what you've described, taught me how painful it can be when a parent succumbs to such things while all you can do is watch. Because you still love them in spite of yourself because, well, how can you not?

Secondly, thank-you for having the courage and ability to share your story with us. I'm sure this has been a valuable, insightful read for many here. And it should stand as a cautionary tale for those on a spiritual path in my opinion. Never be too sure of yourself. Good intentions can quickly sour, and humans have many weaknesses and pitfalls potentially laid out before them, whether they know it or not.

Peace.



posted on Jan, 9 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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Do you have contact with other ex-members?

After all these years, have they recovered and are they living normal lives? Or have people been damaged for life bu their experiences?



posted on Jan, 9 2012 @ 04:37 PM
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Holy geez that was intense. Thank you so much for all of the time you put into this thread. I'm glad you are able to be who you are (what I know of you). I wish you all the best.



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 12:53 AM
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Sorry, I wanted to ask you a few more in additions to my other ones. You don't have to answer them all...too many maybe.


But anyway:

-Do you remember any good, happy times with your dad?

-Did you live with your dad and mom and siblings (?) as a family unit? (How many siblings, too?) I mean to say, it sounds like there are many people living together, so did you all live as one "family", or did you have seperate family units for related people? How much "boundry" was there between your immediate family and everyone else: a little? None at all? I am curious how non-traditional family structures impact people, yours seems very unusual to say the least. Do you think it makes a difference to grow up in a non-nuclear family?

-You wrote a little about your early childhood, but what were your teens and early 20s like while you were in that community, for you personally? Did you have friends, enemies? Was there adolescent rebellion? What were you thinking about the world and yourself at that point? I mean not about the group, but about you personally, if its not too private.

Thanks!



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 01:50 AM
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Originally posted by KarensHoliday

-You wrote a little about your early childhood, but what were your teens and early 20s like while you were in that community, for you personally? Did you have friends, enemies? Was there adolescent rebellion? What were you thinking about the world and yourself at that point? I mean not about the group, but about you personally, if its not too private.

Thanks!


I too would be very interested in the answer to this question. Going through your teens is already a difficult enough time, i can't imagine what it would have been like in your sitution. Especially being a teenage boy (and the cult leaders son) in a female majority compound where most of those females are young and from the adult entertainment industry.....





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