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Re: Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, Native American Shamanism

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  • jonathanjohns96
    All, In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from
    Message 1 of 23 , Mar 8 5:09 AM
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      All,

      In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from giving lectures there. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I think her attiyude was very short-sighted because my opinion at that time as a member of Eckankar was "Satanism now, Eckankar next."

      I think that Jesus said something that might apply here "Judge not lest ye be judged."

      Jonathan

      --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
      >
      > All,
      >
      > This is a partial quote from my previous post:
      > "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."
      >
      > "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"
      >
      > [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.
      >
      > In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.
      >
      > I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.
      >
      > Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.
      >
      > I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?
      >
      > Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.
      >
      > Jonathan
      >
    • jonathanjohns96
      All, I think I finally figured out how this subject relates to myself and Eckankar. 1. I had a personal interest in Native American Shamanism, but one reason
      Message 2 of 23 , Mar 8 8:08 AM
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        All,

        I think I finally figured out how this subject relates to myself and Eckankar.

        1. I had a personal interest in Native American Shamanism, but one reason that I was never able to pursue it was because I was an Eckist and I was always worried that I was doing something that was not approved by Eckankar.

        2. Some Eckists are hypocritical. They badmouth Satanism or Scientology, but expect the mainstream members of American society to respect Eckankar. Right before I left Eckankar I did hear one Eckists commenting on how much money people have to spend as members of Scientology (so Eckankar would look good in comparison). I don't badmouth Scientology because I know nothing about it.
        Jonathan


        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
        >
        > All,
        >
        > In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from giving lectures there. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I think her attiyude was very short-sighted because my opinion at that time as a member of Eckankar was "Satanism now, Eckankar next."
        >
        > I think that Jesus said something that might apply here "Judge not lest ye be judged."
        >
        > Jonathan
        >
        > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
        > >
        > > All,
        > >
        > > This is a partial quote from my previous post:
        > > "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."
        > >
        > > "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"
        > >
        > > [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.
        > >
        > > In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.
        > >
        > > I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.
        > >
        > > Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.
        > >
        > > I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?
        > >
        > > Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.
        > >
        > > Jonathan
        > >
        >
      • mishmisha9
        Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a
        Message 3 of 23 , Mar 8 10:12 PM
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          Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
          regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
          big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
          mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
          one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
          the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
          manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
          can feel superior to other religious groups while they
          themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
          the eckankar circle.

          I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
          practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
          fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
          are pretty scary.

          Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
          fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
          he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
          He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
          care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
          female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
          teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
          not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
          the best aspects of it . . .

          But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
          manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
          groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
          fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
          I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
          if I do not share their beliefs.

          Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
          posts.

          Thanks,
          Mish

          --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
          >
          > All,
          >
          > I think I finally figured out how this subject relates to myself and Eckankar.
          >
          > 1. I had a personal interest in Native American Shamanism, but one reason that I was never able to pursue it was because I was an Eckist and I was always worried that I was doing something that was not approved by Eckankar.
          >
          > 2. Some Eckists are hypocritical. They badmouth Satanism or Scientology, but expect the mainstream members of American society to respect Eckankar. Right before I left Eckankar I did hear one Eckists commenting on how much money people have to spend as members of Scientology (so Eckankar would look good in comparison). I don't badmouth Scientology because I know nothing about it.
          > Jonathan
          >
          >
          > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
          > >
          > > All,
          > >
          > > In th epast year or two before I left Eckankar I heard one member of Eckankar comment on how the local Barnes and Noble had prevented Satanists from giving lectures there. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I think her attiyude was very short-sighted because my opinion at that time as a member of Eckankar was "Satanism now, Eckankar next."
          > >
          > > I think that Jesus said something that might apply here "Judge not lest ye be judged."
          > >
          > > Jonathan
          > >
          > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > All,
          > > >
          > > > This is a partial quote from my previous post:
          > > > "...No religion ever perfectly translates to another culture."
          > > >
          > > > "Many years ago I knew a girl, she was about 17 at the time. Her mother was from Haiti. She could hardly keep from laughing as she described to me what her Catholic mother did. She told me that "My mom has this alter with these little figurines of Mary and Jesus, but also a number of figurines from Voodoo. I don't even know what she does when she is there." Obviously, this is Haiti's version of Catholicism. (You probably know what teenagers are like.)"
          > > >
          > > > [Me:] I just wanted to mention that I have nothing against Voodoo. This quote was just a story about a teenage girl being embarrased by her mother's religion.
          > > >
          > > > In American culture (read Christianity} there seem to be a bias against several religions. The four that I can think of are Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, and Native American Shamanism. People from a Christian-based perspective tend to look at all four of these as "devil worship" to one degree or another.
          > > >
          > > > I honestly don't know anything about most of them except Native American Shamanism. I know that putting curses on other people is found in Voodoo and Wicca. Probabaly also in Native American Shamanism, but most shamans today don't do that. Of course, I'm not in favor of putting curses on other people, but Christianity and Eckankar put curses on their followers by giving them a fear of damnation and astral Hells, but then instruct their followers to not do the same.
          > > >
          > > > Personally, I try not to look down on, or judge other people's religions. I thought that is what Eckankar taught me. And since I know very little about these religions I am even less inclined to judge them.
          > > >
          > > > I personally knew a guy whose mother was a Wiccan. He seemed perfectly normal to me. He was a lot higher quality person that a lot of other people I have met. So if a Wiccan (single mother) raised a great kid like this, who am I to judge?
          > > >
          > > > Is Native American Shamanism devil worship? A few years ago an African-American Christian woman told me that it is although what she actually said was that Native American Shamanism is Satanism because it believes in animal spirits. I was shocked to hear this lady's opinion, but that's what relgions do to people.
          > > >
          > > > Jonathan
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • jonathanjohns96
          Mish, You also mention the Eckists as elitists trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post. You also stated I do respect
          Message 4 of 23 , Mar 9 1:06 PM
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            Mish,

            You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post.

            You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty scary."

            I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with that.

            A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore, the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody to be like they are.

            So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore the war is a noble and justified cause).

            If there are religions in the world that restrict women then let the men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose. It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.

            Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very long time.

            So, onto my next discussion:

            I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog named "Religion or Revelation."

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Blog named "Religion or Revelation"
            http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/

            Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?
            We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we are.

            Interesting facts: probably already outdated!
            In our country there are many different religions.
            Buddhism – 1.5 million +
            Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)
            Hindu – 1 million +
            Agnostics – 1.4 million +
            Atheists – 1.3 million +
            Baha'i – 120 thousand +
            Taoist – 50 thousand +
            Scientology – 100 thousand +
            Eckankar – 30 thousand +
            Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +

            So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in America.

            Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?
            Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion of the one true God's revealed truth.
            The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
            John 14:6 (ESV)
            6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

            In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.
            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we often get as a result of that.

            It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience with Eckankar and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.

            Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.

            In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:

            Present members of Eckankar:
            They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast Scientology and Satanists.

            Former members of Eckankar:
            They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.

            Jonathan


            --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@...> wrote:
            >
            > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
            > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
            > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
            > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
            > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
            > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
            > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
            > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
            > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
            > the eckankar circle.
            >
            > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
            > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
            > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
            > are pretty scary.
            >
            > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
            > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
            > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
            > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
            > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
            > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
            > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
            > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
            > the best aspects of it . . .
            >
            > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
            > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
            > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
            > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
            > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
            > if I do not share their beliefs.
            >
            > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
            > posts.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Mish
            >
            > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
          • jonathanjohns96
            All, I guess I vented a whole lot about US foreign policy in my last post. But I truly believe it is related to our discussion: respect for other religions.
            Message 5 of 23 , Mar 9 1:31 PM
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              All,

              I guess I vented a whole lot about US foreign policy in my last post. But I truly believe it is related to our discussion: respect for other religions. The United States' Christian attitude is going around the world trying to impose their beliefs on everybody else.

              I'd like to tell you about one more thing. I knew a very insecure man (not Paul T) who married a very compliant, unworldly woman. She disn't care to be informed about the world and that kind of stuff. So he was the "big s$!t" in the family. He knew everything, he was always right. But after 15 years of marriage, she grew, she became smarter, she started to have an opinion. Eventually, she kicked him out and divorced him. You know aht he told me? He told me that his marriage broke down because his wife didn't go to church enough. If only she had gone to church she would have understood the basic, God-based marriage. The truth is, this guy hadn't been to Catecism since about age 14 and had absolutely no interest in religion of any sort. Funny how even near-athiests have no problem invoking the importance of religion when they need/want to control people.

              One point about this story is this. My friend would want you interfering in his affairs. It's nobody else's business unless he or his wife commit a crime. It's up to them to sort it out. Likewise, I don't think the U.S. should be interfering in other countries affairs.

              Sorry for going off topic, but I guess it is releted, but in a global sense.

              Jonathan

              --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
              >
              > Mish,
              >
              > You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post.
              >
              > You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty scary."
              >
              > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with that.
              >
              > A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore, the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody to be like they are.
              >
              > So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore the war is a noble and justified cause).
              >
              > If there are religions in the world that restrict women then let the men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose. It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.
              >
              > Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very long time.
              >
              > So, onto my next discussion:
              >
              > I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog named "Religion or Revelation."
              >
              > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              > Blog named "Religion or Revelation"
              > http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/
              >
              > Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?
              > We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we are.
              >
              > Interesting facts: probably already outdated!
              > In our country there are many different religions.
              > Buddhism – 1.5 million +
              > Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)
              > Hindu – 1 million +
              > Agnostics – 1.4 million +
              > Atheists – 1.3 million +
              > Baha'i – 120 thousand +
              > Taoist – 50 thousand +
              > Scientology – 100 thousand +
              > Eckankar – 30 thousand +
              > Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +
              >
              > So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in America.
              >
              > Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?
              > Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion of the one true God's revealed truth.
              > The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
              > John 14:6 (ESV)
              > 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
              >
              > In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.
              > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we often get as a result of that.
              >
              > It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience with Eckankar and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.
              >
              > Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.
              >
              > In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:
              >
              > Present members of Eckankar:
              > They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast Scientology and Satanists.
              >
              > Former members of Eckankar:
              > They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.
              >
              > Jonathan
              >
              >
              > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
              > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
              > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
              > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
              > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
              > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
              > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
              > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
              > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
              > > the eckankar circle.
              > >
              > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
              > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
              > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
              > > are pretty scary.
              > >
              > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
              > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
              > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
              > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
              > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
              > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
              > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
              > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
              > > the best aspects of it . . .
              > >
              > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
              > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
              > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
              > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
              > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
              > > if I do not share their beliefs.
              > >
              > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
              > > posts.
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > > Mish
              > >
              > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
              >
            • etznab@aol.com
              I think there were more members than that During the time of Darwin Gross. Someone at atom.org suggested 3 million by the time Darwin was ousted. I never heard
              Message 6 of 23 , Mar 9 4:44 PM
              • 0 Attachment
                I think there were more members than that
                During the time of Darwin Gross. Someone
                at atom.org suggested 3 million by the time
                Darwin was ousted.

                I never heard that number during my time
                in Eckankar (beginning 1987). The number
                that does come to mind is 50,000 +.

                If those figures you gave are correct then
                membership has declined, I suspect.

                BTW, there was an article in paper today
                about a new study about religious members.
                Part of the title read "Those claiming to have
                no religion on increase" The report was from
                The Program on Public Values at Trinity Coll-
                ege in Hartford, Conn. They surveyed "54,461
                adults in English or Spanish from February
                through November of last year".

                Etznab

                -----Original Message-----
                From: jonathanjohns96 <jonathanjohns96@...>
                To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 3:06 pm
                Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism,
                Native American Shamanism



                Mish,



                You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be
                including that fact in my discussion in this post.



                You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs
                and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty
                scary."



                I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if
                they
                try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none
                of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then
                they will ahve to deal with that.



                A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply
                means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In
                other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow
                Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately
                "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the
                United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who
                practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are
                radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that
                Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news
                media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean
                something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore,
                the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody
                to be like they are.



                So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that
                a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of
                course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his
                shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our
                involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                the war is a noble and justified cause).



                If there=2
                0are religions in the world that restrict women then let the
                men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose.
                It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of
                America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an
                extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change
                others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian
                Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.



                Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in
                Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both
                Christianity and Islam for a very long time.



                So, onto my next discussion:



                I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog
                named "Religion or Revelation."



                ----------------------------------------------------------

                Blog named "Religion or Revelation"

                http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/



                Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?

                We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we
                are.



                Interesting facts: probably already outdated!

                In our country there are many different religions.

                Buddhism – 1.5 million +

                Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)

                Hindu – 1 million +

                Agnostics – 1.4 million +

                Atheists – 1.3 million +



                Baha'i – 120 thousand +

                Taoist – 50 thousand +

                Scientology – 100 thousand +

                Eckankar – 30 thousand +

                Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +



                So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in
                America.



                Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?

                Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion
                of the one true God's revealed truth.

                The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament
                which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace
                alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.

                John 14:6 (ESV)

                6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one
                comes to the Father except through me.



                In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of
                the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.

                ----------------------------------------------------------



                Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what
                Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our
                religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge
                and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we
                often get as a result of that.



                It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience
                with Eckankar20and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see
                out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point
                about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we
                should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I
                am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is
                Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.



                Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start
                calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of
                the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that.
                Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.



                In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:



                Present members of Eckankar:

                They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an
                elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast
                Scientology and Satanists.



                Former members of Eckankar:

                They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so
                much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds
                them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.



                Jonathan



                --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9"
                <mishmisha9@...> wrote:

                >

                > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments

                > regarding other religions and how eckists
                view them. A

                > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's

                > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen

                > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,

                > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely

                > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas

                > can feel superior to other religious groups while they

                > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within

                > the eckankar circle.

                >

                > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and

                > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by

                > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions

                > are pretty scary.

                >

                > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite

                > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that

                > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.

                > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not

                > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a

                > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such
                religious

                > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does

                > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices

                > the best aspects of it . . .

                >

                > But frankly, I have come to not like re
                ligions at all . . . they
                are

                > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating

                > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill

                > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and
                violence.

                > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even

                > if I do not share their beliefs.

                >

                > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting

                > posts.

                >

                > Thanks,

                > Mish

                >

                > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com,
                "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
              • prometheus_973
                Hello Jonathan and All, I thought that I d reply to some comments with my opinions as well. Jonathan wrote: Mish, [J]: You also stated I do respect other s
                Message 7 of 23 , Mar 9 6:18 PM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hello Jonathan and All,
                  I thought that I'd reply to some comments
                  with my opinions as well.


                  Jonathan wrote:

                  Mish,
                  [J]: You also stated "I do respect other's rights
                  to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit
                  that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                  fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                  are pretty scary."

                  I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals,"
                  but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise
                  what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking
                  the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with
                  that.

                  ME: I think that 9/11/2001 was a way of forcing
                  Islamic beliefs on to us just as other religions
                  use other methods and by any means necessary.

                  [J]: A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that
                  "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows
                  a very basic form of their religion. In other words,
                  Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who
                  follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are
                  all legitimately "fundalmentalists."

                  ME: I don't think that is accurate. Fundamentalists
                  take their scripture literally! This is what makes them
                  dangerous and motivates them to make sure that their
                  scripture is fulfilled. Thus, anything they do for their
                  God, or his Prophets, is justified and the highest law.

                  [J]: So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans
                  into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women
                  (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with
                  a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
                  It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement
                  in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                  the war is a noble and justified cause).

                  ME: Islam restricts women by (civilized) World Standards
                  and not just by U.S. standards. Islam will remain a barbaric
                  (uncivilized) religion because of its scripture. These fundamental
                  beliefs cannot be changed, unless, the scripture is changed.
                  And Yes, to some extent the war in Afghanistan is a noble
                  and justified cause when women are denied an education
                  and have acid thrown on them.

                  [J]: If there are religions in the world that restrict women
                  then let the men and women in those religions do
                  something about it if they choose. It really is nobody
                  else's business to interfere. This policy of America
                  interfering in other peoples around the world is really
                  an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the
                  right to change others to what it believes is right. It
                  happened during the Christian Crusades, and the
                  United States of America is doing it today. Yes, I know
                  Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did
                  it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been
                  a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very
                  long time.

                  ME: How can the women do anything when the men
                  have seen to it that they have no power or authority?
                  Besides, it would go against their scripture to do
                  something else, thus, there wouldn't be anything
                  that anyone could do! The trick is to keep people
                  ignorant, poor, and stirred up. This is how fundamentalism,
                  especially, and religion, in general, works as a opiate
                  for the masses.


                  [J]: Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether
                  I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then
                  I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well,
                  and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are
                  cults or all of them are religions.

                  ME: Yes, all religions are cults! Even the "loving" Jesus
                  threatened people, or else! Religions are Groups of like
                  minded people who want to be told what they are supposed
                  to do. Fundamentalist Religions encourage a Mob behaviour
                  where right and wrong no longer exist because there are
                  "higher" laws to be followed. There is no individualism
                  within these religions. It is not tolerated. Where religions
                  have control of the government and religious laws are
                  higher than manmade laws one cannot practice freedom
                  of belief. They must agree with the Religious Leaders and
                  the Mob mentality or else they and their families will be
                  persecuted. Actually, control of the government and of
                  the masses with their own laws are what all religious
                  leaders are striving for. Misery loves company. Power,
                  money, lust and fear still control religious belief.

                  Thus, I believe that all religions are impractical and
                  unnecessary. Religions are like modified forms/versions
                  of marketing pyramids or vice versa. They are full of
                  myths, distortions, and lies. There are always "leaders"
                  who "know" more than timid and ignorant followers
                  (sinners). And, no follower can ever surpass the "leaders,"
                  unless, they are chosen (by the leaders) to do so. No
                  "unapproved" follower is permitted to disagree with
                  the leaders and with the scripture, or to excel in spirituality
                  beyond that of the "Leader."

                  Prometheus



                  mish wrote:
                  >
                  > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                  > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                  > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                  > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                  > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                  > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                  > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                  > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                  > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                  > the eckankar circle.
                  >
                  > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                  > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                  > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                  > are pretty scary.
                  >
                  > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                  > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                  > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                  > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                  > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                  > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                  > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                  > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                  > the best aspects of it . . .
                  >
                  > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                  > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                  > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                  > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                  > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                  > if I do not share their beliefs.
                  >
                  > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                  > posts.
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  > Mish
                  >
                • jonathanjohns96
                  Prometheus, I don t think 911 was Moslems forcing their religious beliefs on the United States. I don t understand your thought process on that. You think we
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 9 7:43 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Prometheus,

                    I don't think 911 was Moslems forcing their religious beliefs on the United States. I don't understand your thought process on that.

                    You think we have the right to invade Afghanistan because women are being abused. Plenty of women are abused in the United States. So I assume that you support Moslems or any other country invading the United States for that reason.

                    Afghanistan is their country. It's that simple. The United States has no right invading countries in the world and then changing their culture. We go over there, force our beliefs on them, and it just makes things worse for the people there (including the women) in the long run. Afghanistan will still be there 100 years from now. The United States won't. When the invasion no longer suits our purposes we will be gone, leaving Afghanistan in ruins. That's what the United States always does.

                    Why don't you talk to some educated Filipinos and educated Indians to see whether the West helped their countries? Americans have said "Look how much we helped the Philippines." Brits have said "Look how much we helped India." I think you should get some opinions from the people in those countries. I think you should get some opinions from people in those countries and not just believe the propaganda you've been fed in the United States.

                    Invading armies always do what is good for themselves. The idea that the invading country "cares" about the people there is just propaganda. All invading countries use this propaganda. The Russians do it, the United States does it. They do it because it plays good at home.

                    If you talk to the Afghans, they don't necessarily believe the Americans are any better than the Russians. If you talk to Vietnames, they don't necessarily believe the Americans were any better than the French. But the United States always manages to serve up a large helping of propaganda that people in the United States always seem to believe. The point is, they want their own country. They don't want any foreigners there. Just like Americans wouldn't want foreign soldiers occupying their country. I've spent thousands of hours talking to foreigners. Have you?

                    And regarding 911 and America's reaction to that. Every time America invades a Moslem country it creates another 100,000 Muslim terrorists. That's progress in the "war" on terror?

                    Just before the invasion of Iraq, the CIA released a report saying that there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They went on to say that invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Husein would likely destabilize Iraq and lead to a situation where Al-Qaeda would get themsleves established. My point in mentioning this is that this is that Bush's contention that there was Al-Qaeda in Iraq was just propaganda.

                    Likewise his assertion that WMDs were there was also propaganda. I watched Colin Powel's WMD presentation at the UN. I have extensive government experience with imagery. Everything Colin Powell said was a pack of lies, although I think Powell probably lacked the experience to realize that. Again, more government propaganda.

                    bty, thanks for starting a new thread and changing the title.

                    Jonathan


                    --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973" <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hello Jonathan and All,
                    > I thought that I'd reply to some comments
                    > with my opinions as well.
                    >
                    >
                    > Jonathan wrote:
                    >
                    > Mish,
                    > [J]: You also stated "I do respect other's rights
                    > to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit
                    > that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                    > fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                    > are pretty scary."
                    >
                    > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals,"
                    > but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise
                    > what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking
                    > the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with
                    > that.
                    >
                    > ME: I think that 9/11/2001 was a way of forcing
                    > Islamic beliefs on to us just as other religions
                    > use other methods and by any means necessary.
                    >
                    > [J]: A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that
                    > "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows
                    > a very basic form of their religion. In other words,
                    > Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who
                    > follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are
                    > all legitimately "fundalmentalists."
                    >
                    > ME: I don't think that is accurate. Fundamentalists
                    > take their scripture literally! This is what makes them
                    > dangerous and motivates them to make sure that their
                    > scripture is fulfilled. Thus, anything they do for their
                    > God, or his Prophets, is justified and the highest law.
                    >
                    > [J]: So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans
                    > into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women
                    > (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with
                    > a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
                    > It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement
                    > in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                    > the war is a noble and justified cause).
                    >
                    > ME: Islam restricts women by (civilized) World Standards
                    > and not just by U.S. standards. Islam will remain a barbaric
                    > (uncivilized) religion because of its scripture. These fundamental
                    > beliefs cannot be changed, unless, the scripture is changed.
                    > And Yes, to some extent the war in Afghanistan is a noble
                    > and justified cause when women are denied an education
                    > and have acid thrown on them.
                    >
                    > [J]: If there are religions in the world that restrict women
                    > then let the men and women in those religions do
                    > something about it if they choose. It really is nobody
                    > else's business to interfere. This policy of America
                    > interfering in other peoples around the world is really
                    > an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the
                    > right to change others to what it believes is right. It
                    > happened during the Christian Crusades, and the
                    > United States of America is doing it today. Yes, I know
                    > Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did
                    > it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been
                    > a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very
                    > long time.
                    >
                    > ME: How can the women do anything when the men
                    > have seen to it that they have no power or authority?
                    > Besides, it would go against their scripture to do
                    > something else, thus, there wouldn't be anything
                    > that anyone could do! The trick is to keep people
                    > ignorant, poor, and stirred up. This is how fundamentalism,
                    > especially, and religion, in general, works as a opiate
                    > for the masses.
                    >
                    >
                    > [J]: Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether
                    > I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then
                    > I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well,
                    > and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are
                    > cults or all of them are religions.
                    >
                    > ME: Yes, all religions are cults! Even the "loving" Jesus
                    > threatened people, or else! Religions are Groups of like
                    > minded people who want to be told what they are supposed
                    > to do. Fundamentalist Religions encourage a Mob behaviour
                    > where right and wrong no longer exist because there are
                    > "higher" laws to be followed. There is no individualism
                    > within these religions. It is not tolerated. Where religions
                    > have control of the government and religious laws are
                    > higher than manmade laws one cannot practice freedom
                    > of belief. They must agree with the Religious Leaders and
                    > the Mob mentality or else they and their families will be
                    > persecuted. Actually, control of the government and of
                    > the masses with their own laws are what all religious
                    > leaders are striving for. Misery loves company. Power,
                    > money, lust and fear still control religious belief.
                    >
                    > Thus, I believe that all religions are impractical and
                    > unnecessary. Religions are like modified forms/versions
                    > of marketing pyramids or vice versa. They are full of
                    > myths, distortions, and lies. There are always "leaders"
                    > who "know" more than timid and ignorant followers
                    > (sinners). And, no follower can ever surpass the "leaders,"
                    > unless, they are chosen (by the leaders) to do so. No
                    > "unapproved" follower is permitted to disagree with
                    > the leaders and with the scripture, or to excel in spirituality
                    > beyond that of the "Leader."
                    >
                    > Prometheus
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > mish wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                    > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                    > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                    > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                    > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                    > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                    > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                    > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                    > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                    > > the eckankar circle.
                    > >
                    > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                    > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                    > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                    > > are pretty scary.
                    > >
                    > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                    > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                    > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                    > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                    > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                    > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                    > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                    > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                    > > the best aspects of it . . .
                    > >
                    > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                    > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                    > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                    > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                    > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                    > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                    > >
                    > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                    > > posts.
                    > >
                    > > Thanks,
                    > > Mish
                    > >
                    >
                  • prometheus_973
                    Hello Jonathan and All, My point was that all religions, including Eckankar, are unnecessary and are, in many cases, the causes of war. Religions are
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 9 9:13 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hello Jonathan and All,
                      My point was that all religions, including Eckankar,
                      are unnecessary and are, in many cases, the causes
                      of war. Religions are antiquated, full of myth, and
                      mostly benefit a hierarchy of men. The Moslem
                      terrorists of 9/11 were on a Jihad for their God.
                      It was not political! However, with Islamic countries
                      politics is intertwined with the religious scripture,
                      but the religious dogma will always have the greater
                      influence. With our government Capitalism (money)
                      has the greater influence. In truth, money, power,
                      lust, and fear have influence over all religions and
                      governments.

                      Prometheus


                      Jonathan wrote:
                      Prometheus,

                      I don't think 911 was Moslems forcing their religious beliefs on the United
                      States. I don't understand your thought process on that.

                      You think we have the right to invade Afghanistan because women are being
                      abused. Plenty of women are abused in the United States. So I assume that you
                      support Moslems or any other country invading the United States for that reason.

                      Afghanistan is their country. It's that simple. The United States has no right
                      invading countries in the world and then changing their culture. We go over
                      there, force our beliefs on them, and it just makes things worse for the people
                      there (including the women) in the long run. Afghanistan will still be there 100
                      years from now. The United States won't. When the invasion no longer suits our
                      purposes we will be gone, leaving Afghanistan in ruins. That's what the United
                      States always does.

                      Why don't you talk to some educated Filipinos and educated Indians to see
                      whether the West helped their countries? Americans have said "Look how much we
                      helped the Philippines." Brits have said "Look how much we helped India." I
                      think you should get some opinions from the people in those countries. I think
                      you should get some opinions from people in those countries and not just believe
                      the propaganda you've been fed in the United States.

                      Invading armies always do what is good for themselves. The idea that the
                      invading country "cares" about the people there is just propaganda. All invading
                      countries use this propaganda. The Russians do it, the United States does it.
                      They do it because it plays good at home.

                      If you talk to the Afghans, they don't necessarily believe the Americans are any
                      better than the Russians. If you talk to Vietnames, they don't necessarily
                      believe the Americans were any better than the French. But the United States
                      always manages to serve up a large helping of propaganda that people in the
                      United States always seem to believe. The point is, they want their own country.
                      They don't want any foreigners there. Just like Americans wouldn't want foreign
                      soldiers occupying their country. I've spent thousands of hours talking to
                      foreigners. Have you?

                      And regarding 911 and America's reaction to that. Every time America invades a
                      Moslem country it creates another 100,000 Muslim terrorists. That's progress in
                      the "war" on terror?

                      Just before the invasion of Iraq, the CIA released a report saying that there
                      was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They went on to say that invading Iraq and deposing
                      Saddam Husein would likely destabilize Iraq and lead to a situation where
                      Al-Qaeda would get themsleves established. My point in mentioning this is that
                      this is that Bush's contention that there was Al-Qaeda in Iraq was just
                      propaganda.

                      Likewise his assertion that WMDs were there was also propaganda. I watched Colin
                      Powel's WMD presentation at the UN. I have extensive government experience with
                      imagery. Everything Colin Powell said was a pack of lies, although I think
                      Powell probably lacked the experience to realize that. Again, more government
                      propaganda.

                      bty, thanks for starting a new thread and changing the title.

                      Jonathan


                      --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973"
                      <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hello Jonathan and All,
                      > I thought that I'd reply to some comments
                      > with my opinions as well.
                      >
                      >
                      > Jonathan wrote:
                      >
                      > Mish,
                      > [J]: You also stated "I do respect other's rights
                      > to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit
                      > that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                      > fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                      > are pretty scary."
                      >
                      > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals,"
                      > but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise
                      > what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking
                      > the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with
                      > that.
                      >
                      > ME: I think that 9/11/2001 was a way of forcing
                      > Islamic beliefs on to us just as other religions
                      > use other methods and by any means necessary.
                      >
                      > [J]: A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that
                      > "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows
                      > a very basic form of their religion. In other words,
                      > Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who
                      > follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are
                      > all legitimately "fundalmentalists."
                      >
                      > ME: I don't think that is accurate. Fundamentalists
                      > take their scripture literally! This is what makes them
                      > dangerous and motivates them to make sure that their
                      > scripture is fulfilled. Thus, anything they do for their
                      > God, or his Prophets, is justified and the highest law.
                      >
                      > [J]: So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans
                      > into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women
                      > (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with
                      > a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder.
                      > It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement
                      > in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore
                      > the war is a noble and justified cause).
                      >
                      > ME: Islam restricts women by (civilized) World Standards
                      > and not just by U.S. standards. Islam will remain a barbaric
                      > (uncivilized) religion because of its scripture. These fundamental
                      > beliefs cannot be changed, unless, the scripture is changed.
                      > And Yes, to some extent the war in Afghanistan is a noble
                      > and justified cause when women are denied an education
                      > and have acid thrown on them.
                      >
                      > [J]: If there are religions in the world that restrict women
                      > then let the men and women in those religions do
                      > something about it if they choose. It really is nobody
                      > else's business to interfere. This policy of America
                      > interfering in other peoples around the world is really
                      > an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the
                      > right to change others to what it believes is right. It
                      > happened during the Christian Crusades, and the
                      > United States of America is doing it today. Yes, I know
                      > Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did
                      > it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been
                      > a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very
                      > long time.
                      >
                      > ME: How can the women do anything when the men
                      > have seen to it that they have no power or authority?
                      > Besides, it would go against their scripture to do
                      > something else, thus, there wouldn't be anything
                      > that anyone could do! The trick is to keep people
                      > ignorant, poor, and stirred up. This is how fundamentalism,
                      > especially, and religion, in general, works as a opiate
                      > for the masses.
                      >
                      >
                      > [J]: Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether
                      > I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then
                      > I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well,
                      > and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are
                      > cults or all of them are religions.
                      >
                      > ME: Yes, all religions are cults! Even the "loving" Jesus
                      > threatened people, or else! Religions are Groups of like
                      > minded people who want to be told what they are supposed
                      > to do. Fundamentalist Religions encourage a Mob behaviour
                      > where right and wrong no longer exist because there are
                      > "higher" laws to be followed. There is no individualism
                      > within these religions. It is not tolerated. Where religions
                      > have control of the government and religious laws are
                      > higher than manmade laws one cannot practice freedom
                      > of belief. They must agree with the Religious Leaders and
                      > the Mob mentality or else they and their families will be
                      > persecuted. Actually, control of the government and of
                      > the masses with their own laws are what all religious
                      > leaders are striving for. Misery loves company. Power,
                      > money, lust and fear still control religious belief.
                      >
                      > Thus, I believe that all religions are impractical and
                      > unnecessary. Religions are like modified forms/versions
                      > of marketing pyramids or vice versa. They are full of
                      > myths, distortions, and lies. There are always "leaders"
                      > who "know" more than timid and ignorant followers
                      > (sinners). And, no follower can ever surpass the "leaders,"
                      > unless, they are chosen (by the leaders) to do so. No
                      > "unapproved" follower is permitted to disagree with
                      > the leaders and with the scripture, or to excel in spirituality
                      > beyond that of the "Leader."
                      >
                      > Prometheus
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > mish wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                      > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                      > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                      > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                      > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                      > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                      > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                      > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                      > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                      > > the eckankar circle.
                      > >
                      > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                      > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                      > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                      > > are pretty scary.
                      > >
                      > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                      > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                      > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                      > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                      > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                      > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                      > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                      > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                      > > the best aspects of it . . .
                      > >
                      > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                      > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                      > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                      > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                      > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                      > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                      > >
                      > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                      > > posts.
                      > >
                      > > Thanks,
                      > > Mish
                    • mishmisha9
                      Jonathan, When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions. I think you
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 9 11:47 PM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Jonathan,

                        When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions. I think you misunderstood by comments when I pointed out that Islam is an antiquated religion, primitive and one as a woman I would not want to be associated with . . . . but there are plenty of zealots in various religious groups throughout this country. I also think it is ridiculous for people of differing faith to go as missionaries into foreign countries to convert . . . but many religious groups, including eckankar and its vahana missions, fall into this category as well. So I do agree that we should not be working to convert peoples of the world to other religions. Also democracy does not work everywhere either. All this government needs to say in order to get support for a war in the Middle East is to say our troops are going there to free the people, etc. LOL! But there is also the flip side to what our intentions are and what other zealots in other countries have on their agenda. A fanatic is always wanting to convert others . . . that is a forefront mission. And they will do it in various ways, including conquering and forcing their will/belief on others. For instance, just take a look at the history of Egypt and how it came to be 90% Moslem . . . I can assure you it was not nice. It was very bloody . . . people converted unwillingly . . . a country that had some of the earliest Christian churches in the world almost converted totally overnight . . . just how does that happen? An epiphany by the masses . . . or was it by force? And try to live there as a non-Moslem today . . . 10% are not Moslem. .

                        Now, getting back to just letting people have their religions and not be concerned? Well, for the most part, I guess one can. However, many cruel things have been done and continue to be done in the name of God/religion. My whole point basically is that religions as I said before exist to control and manipulate people, women usually being the most controlled and kept subservient. Religion to me does not afford freedom . . . so why should they have free range to do some of the idiotic and atrocious things they do. Why turn a blind eye?

                        I lived in the Middle East for a time. I enjoyed the association with many Moslems, but among them are the fanatics . . . and at one time, I got caught up in a disturbance which was dangerous . . . with my child . . . Mob mentality is really scary . . . to the point that the non violent of a faith are intimidated to keep quiet.

                        But we have many hard headed fundies in this country too--not so sure they are as violent though . . . not at this time.

                        I could say more but I'm not seeing the point of going too deep on this subject. Sam Harris' book End of Faith is an interesting read. I do recommend it if you haven't read it already. : )

                        Mish



                        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Mish,
                        >
                        > You also mention the "Eckists as elitists" trait (my words). I will be including that fact in my discussion in this post.
                        >
                        > You also stated "I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions are pretty scary."
                        >
                        > I understand your concern over "fanatics and radicals," but only if they try to force their beliefs on me. Otherwise what they do is none of my business. If they are breaking the laws of their country then they will ahve to deal with that.
                        >
                        > A Moslem man acurately pointed out to me that "fundalmentalist" simply means that a person follows a very basic form of their religion. In other words, Christian Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Moslems who follow Islam as it was followed 500 years ago are all legitimately "fundalmentalists." What has happenned is that the news media in the United States has brainwashed Americans to believe that Muslims who practice an ancient form of Islam (fundamentalists by definition) are radicals as well. They have done this by reinforcing the belief that Muslims restrict women, therefore they are wrong, therefore the news media managed to change the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" to mean something dangerous. Something that need to be controlled. Therefore, the United States can justify going around the world forcing everybody to be like they are.
                        >
                        > So the new media has managed to brainwash Americans into believing that a Muslim society that restricts women (by American standards, of course) is synonymous with a Muslim man with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. It's a big lie. But it was used to help justify our involvement in Afghanistan (we're there to help Afghan women, therefore the war is a noble and justified cause).
                        >
                        > If there are religions in the world that restrict women then let the men and women in those religions do something about it if they choose. It really is nobody else's business to interfere. This policy of America interfering in other peoples around the world is really an extension of Christianity which feels that it has the right to change others to what it believes is right. It happened during the Christian Crusades, and the United States of America is doing it today.
                        >
                        > Yes, I know Muslims have done this too. I know that Muslims did it in Eastern Europe and Northern India. It has been a tendency of both Christianity and Islam for a very long time.
                        >
                        > So, onto my next discussion:
                        >
                        > I just did a search for blogs about Eckankar and the #1 hit was a blog named "Religion or Revelation."
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > Blog named "Religion or Revelation"
                        > http://christfocused.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/religion-or-revelation/
                        >
                        > Ever notice the universal reality of how "religious" our world is today?
                        > We live in a "enlightened society" and notice how highly religious we are.
                        >
                        > Interesting facts: probably already outdated!
                        > In our country there are many different religions.
                        > Buddhism – 1.5 million +
                        > Mormons – 13 million (worldwide)
                        > Hindu – 1 million +
                        > Agnostics – 1.4 million +
                        > Atheists – 1.3 million +
                        > Baha'i – 120 thousand +
                        > Taoist – 50 thousand +
                        > Scientology – 100 thousand +
                        > Eckankar – 30 thousand +
                        > Pagans/Wicca/Druids – conservatively – 1 million +
                        >
                        > So conservatively we have millions of "Religiously" lost souls in America.
                        >
                        > Why would I say they are "religious" and lost?
                        > Every religion that is not based on "God's Word" alone is a distortion of the one true God's revealed truth.
                        > The truth is only found in the 66 books of the Old and New Testament which reveals God's will and way to heaven that comes to us by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
                        > John 14:6 (ESV)
                        > 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
                        >
                        > In truth all other religions according to Scripture are distortions of the reality of what Biblical Christianity teaches.
                        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Notice the last sentence that I quoted. It sounds exactly like what Eckankar says, doesn't it? It's an elitist view that says "Only our religion is correct." Soon after that people like this start to judge and criticise things they know nothing about. And this blog is what we often get as a result of that.
                        >
                        > It seems to me that some former Eckists are taking their experience with Eckankar and then applying it to every religion/cult that they see out there. I think it is a shortsighted practice. I guess my point about the members of Eckankar and all of we former members is that we should strive to comment on what we have experience in. For myself, I am going to try very hard to critique only what I know about which is Eckankar, and to a lesser degree, Christianity.
                        >
                        > Ultimately, I guess I have been struggling with whether I should start calling Eckankar a cult. If I did that then I would have to call all of the large religions cults as well, and I am not prepared to do that. Either all of them are cults or all of them are religions.
                        >
                        > In conclusion, perhaps this is the overall pattern I am seeing:
                        >
                        > Present members of Eckankar:
                        > They blast small religions/cults because these current members have an elitist view that Eckankar is inherently superior. So they blast Scientology and Satanists.
                        >
                        > Former members of Eckankar:
                        > They blast small religions/cults because these former members have so much anger at Eckankar, any time they see something else that reminds them of Eckankar they blast it too. So they blast Scientology.
                        >
                        > Jonathan
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "mishmisha9" <mishmisha9@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Jonathan, you have made some interesting comments
                        > > regarding other religions and how eckists view them. A
                        > > big part of the eckankar dogma is to instill in a member's
                        > > mind that being an eckist is to be an enlightened/chosen
                        > > one--planting the seed of spiritual superiority. And yet,
                        > > the way chelas are held back from advancing in a timely
                        > > manner via initiations, it seems rather funny that chelas
                        > > can feel superior to other religious groups while they
                        > > themselves are kept in a very subservient standing within
                        > > the eckankar circle.
                        > >
                        > > I do respect other's rights to their religious beliefs and
                        > > practices, but admit that I am concerned and bothered by
                        > > fanatics, fundalmentalists and radicals. In fact, these factions
                        > > are pretty scary.
                        > >
                        > > Yesterday, I met a gentleman--a very interesting and polite
                        > > fellow who shared a bit about his background, stating that
                        > > he came to North America in 1972 from an African country.
                        > > He very easily added too that he was a moslem. Now, I do not
                        > > care for Islam at all as I believe it is very archaic and being a
                        > > female . . . well, I'm just glad I never had to follow such religious
                        > > teachings. However, I liked this man very much and it does
                        > > not bother me that he is a moslem at all. He obviously practices
                        > > the best aspects of it . . .
                        > >
                        > > But frankly, I have come to not like religions at all . . . they are
                        > > manmade for the purpose of controlling and manipulating
                        > > groups of people. I have never met a religion that didn't instill
                        > > fear in its followers . . . and some also teach hatred and violence.
                        > > I do not respect religion, but I do respect and like people, even
                        > > if I do not share their beliefs.
                        > >
                        > > Anyway, just a few comments in response to your interesting
                        > > posts.
                        > >
                        > > Thanks,
                        > > Mish
                        > >
                        > > --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "jonathanjohns96" <jonathanjohns96@> wrote:
                        >
                      • prometheus_973
                        Hello Mishmisha, I agree with what you have said. Here s a site that has some information as to how and why Islamic men see women as they do.
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 10 9:50 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hello Mishmisha,
                          I agree with what you have said. Here's a
                          site that has some information as to how
                          and why Islamic men see women as they do.

                          http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Qur%27an%2C_Hadith_and_Scholars:Women

                          BTW- I hope this come up.

                          It's interesting, too, that ECKankar denies women
                          the opportunity to become LEM's (12th Initiates),
                          due to "polarity" since women are "negative."
                          Also, the Order of the Vairagi Adepts (pg 222
                          EK Lexicon) is made up of "just men," but then
                          a make-believe female Master (Kata Daki) is added
                          to the "inner" ranks in order to placate the EK
                          female members who do most of the work!

                          Prometheus


                          mish wrote:
                          >
                          > Jonathan,
                          >
                          When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics,
                          fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions.
                          I think you misunderstood by comments when I pointed out that
                          Islam is an antiquated religion, primitive and one as a woman
                          I would not want to be associated with . . . . but there are plenty
                          of zealots in various religious groups throughout this country.
                          I also think it is ridiculous for people of differing faith to go as
                          missionaries into foreign countries to convert . . . but many religious
                          groups, including eckankar and its vahana missions, fall into this
                          category as well. So I do agree that we should not be working to
                          convert peoples of the world to other religions. Also democracy
                          does not work everywhere either. All this government needs to say
                          in order to get support for a war in the Middle East is to say our
                          troops are going there to free the people, etc. LOL! But there is
                          also the flip side to what our intentions are and what other zealots
                          in other countries have on their agenda. A fanatic is always wanting
                          to convert others . . . that is a forefront mission. And they will do
                          it in various ways, including conquering and forcing their will/belief
                          on others. For instance, just take a look at the history of Egypt and
                          how it came to be 90% Moslem . . . I can assure you it was not nice.
                          It was very bloody . . . people converted unwillingly . . . a country
                          that had some of the earliest Christian churches in the world almost
                          converted totally overnight . . . just how does that happen? An epiphany
                          by the masses . . . or was it by force? And try to live there as a non-
                          Moslem today . . . 10% are not Moslem. .
                          >
                          Now, getting back to just letting people have their religions and
                          not be concerned? Well, for the most part, I guess one can. However,
                          many cruel things have been done and continue to be done in the
                          name of God/religion. My whole point basically is that religions
                          as I said before exist to control and manipulate people, women
                          usually being the most controlled and kept subservient. Religion
                          to me does not afford freedom . . . so why should they have free
                          range to do some of the idiotic and atrocious things they do. Why
                          turn a blind eye?
                          >
                          I lived in the Middle East for a time. I enjoyed the association
                          with many Moslems, but among them are the fanatics . . . and
                          at one time, I got caught up in a disturbance which was dangerous . . .
                          with my child . . . Mob mentality is really scary . . . to the point that
                          the non violent of a faith are intimidated to keep quiet.
                          >
                          But we have many hard headed fundies in this country too--not
                          so sure they are as violent though . . . not at this time.
                          >
                          I could say more but I'm not seeing the point of going too deep
                          on this subject. Sam Harris' book End of Faith is an interesting
                          read. I do recommend it if you haven't read it already. : )
                          >
                          Mish
                        • etznab@aol.com
                          Most of the favoritism of men over women came from Patriarchal religion replacing the earlier matriarchal beliefs, IMO. The Moon was worshipped long before
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 10 4:23 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Most of the favoritism of men over women
                            came from Patriarchal religion replacing the
                            earlier matriarchal beliefs, IMO.

                            The Moon was worshipped long before
                            Muhammad, I believe, and the moon still
                            appears on certain national flags. I think
                            the Moon is a feminine symbol.

                            One thing men cannot do is "create life"
                            (give birth). In the ancient world this would
                            make women revered over men, IMO.

                            My suspicion is the ascendency of men
                            over women came with the age of war. Be-
                            fore that, during earlier civilizations when
                            the towns were unfortified, women would
                            have been central to the survival of human
                            society. They gave birth, raised children,
                            cooked food, made clothing and baskets,
                            etc. Men probably worked in the fields &
                            did a lot of the things the women did, too,
                            but when armies and the weapons of war
                            got to be big business I suspect these over-
                            powered the vocations of women and put
                            men into the top positions of importance.

                            Just musing about this.

                            Etznab


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: prometheus_973 <prometheus_973@...>
                            To: EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 11:50 am
                            Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: Fundamentalism and Religion



                            Hello Mishmisha,

                            I agree with what you have said. Here's a

                            site that has some information as to how

                            and why Islamic men see women as they do.



                            http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Qur%27an%2C_Hadith_and_Scholars:Women



                            BTW- I hope this come up.



                            It's interesting, too, that ECKankar denies women

                            the opportunity to become LEM's (12th Initiates),

                            due to "polarity" since women are "negative."

                            Also, the Order of the Vairagi Adepts (pg 222

                            EK Lexicon) is made up of "just men," but then

                            a make-believe female Master (Kata Daki) is added

                            to the "inner" ranks in order to placate the EK

                            female members who do most of the work!



                            Prometheus



                            mish wrote:

                            >

                            > Jonathan,

                            >

                            When I stated that I was concerned and bothered by fanatics,

                            fundamentalists and radicals, I was applying this to all religions.

                            I think you misunderstood by comments when I pointed out that

                            Islam is an antiquated religion, primitive and one as a woman

                            I would not want to be associated with . . . . but there are plenty

                            of zealots in various religious groups throughout this country.

                            I also think it is ridiculous for people of differing faith to go as

                            missionaries into foreign countries to convert . . . but many religious

                            groups, including eckankar and its vahana missions, fall into this

                            category as well. So I do agree that we should not be working to

                            convert peoples of the world to other religions. Also democracy

                            does not work everywhere either. All this government needs to say

                            in order to get support for a war in the Middle East is to say our

                            troops are going there to free the people, etc. LOL! But there is

                            also the flip side to what our intentions are and what other zealots

                            in other countries have on their agenda. A fanatic is always wanting

                            to convert others . . . that is a forefront mission. And they will do

                            it in various ways, including conquering and forcing their will/belief

                            on others. For instance, just take a look at the history of Egypt and

                            how it came to be 90% Moslem . . . I can assure you it was not nice.

                            It was very bloody . . . people converted unwillingly . . . a country

                            that had some of the earliest Christian churches in the world almost

                            converted totally overnight . . . just how does that happen? An
                            epiphany

                            by the masses . . . or was it by force? And try to live there as a non-

                            Moslem today . . . 10% are not Moslem. .

                            >

                            Now, getting back to just letting people have their religions and

                            not be concerned? Well, for the most part, I guess one can. However,

                            many cruel things have been done and continue to be done in the

                            name of God/religion. My whole point basically is that religions

                            as I said before exist to control and manipulate people, women

                            usually being the most controlled and kept subservient. Religion

                            to me does not afford freedom . . . so why should they have free

                            range to do some of the idiotic and atrocious things they do. Why

                            turn a blind eye?

                            >

                            I lived in the Middle East for a time. I enjoyed the association

                            with many Moslems, but among them are the fanatics . . . and

                            at one time, I got caught up in a disturbance which was dangerous . . .

                            with my child . . . Mob mentality is really scary . . . to the point
                            that

                            the non violent of a faith are intimidated to keep quiet.

                            >

                            But we have many hard headed fundies in this country too--not

                            so sure they are as violent though . . . not at this time.

                            >

                            I could say more but I'm not seeing the point of going too deep

                            on this subject. Sam Harris' book End of Faith is an interesting

                            read. I do recommend it if you haven't read it already. : )

                            >

                            Mish
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