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Re: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?

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  • Marianne Salcedo
    David, Bitterness is okay.  It s an authentic state of being.  I thought Jonathan s response to your query was actually funny.  Comedy is okay.  In fact,
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 11, 2010
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      David,

      Bitterness is okay.  It's an authentic state of being.  I thought Jonathan's response to your query was actually funny.  Comedy is okay.  In fact, it's supreme. Let's laugh at ourselves like the Zen Buddhists do.  Unlike the artificial affect one is forced to accept if you drink the koolaid of Eck. 

       If you believe as you do, why did you leave?  Stay, man, stay.  If your current religion works for you, as Eckists used to tell us in introductory talks, stay with it.

      BTW, I HATED the coolness factor in Eck.  "My spiritual experience is better than yours."  Well, maybe it is.  How's that workin' out?

      Marianne

      --- On Thu, 2/11/10, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:

      From: David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...>
      Subject: Re: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
      To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 7:33 PM

       

      Golly Gee, Jonathan!
           I feel like I touched on a raw nerve there!  I'm sorry if I so offended your sensibilities! 
           In retrospect, I could argue, and probably very rightly so, that the years I spent in Eckankar, which were about 13 years or so, were lost years that could have been better spent getting ahead in life in more practical, material ways.  But I suppose that I can feel lucky that I only lost about 13 years and not 20, like you. 
           But couldn't you also say that Eckankar came into your life, and stayed for as long as it did, because you had a need for it at the time?  For a while, Eckankar seemed to fill the gap and give you what you needed.  But I suppose that old saw that, as Soul, you are exactly where you're supposed to be in your spiritual evolution is a kind of New Age truism that was much abused in Eckankar.
           I just hope that you aren't overly consumed by bitterness regarding your years in Eckankar.
                                                 Sincerely,
                                                     David

      --- On Thu, 2/11/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com> wrote:

      From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
      Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
      To: eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 9:35 AM

      David,

      Yes, I did have some positive experiences when I was in Eckankar. But unfortunately, it also ruined my life by sidetracking me with spiritual experiences when I should have been doing other things of a practical matter that would have ensured that I could continue to live my life. I erroneously believed I was being "helped," but in fact, I was not being helped where it mattered most, which was in my everyday existence.

      And if you want to say lots of nice things about Eckankar, I suggest you get your own message board, and I would suggest to you that a message board for former Eckists who want to gush about Eckankar is going to be rather lonely experience for you.

      jonathanjohns96

      --- In eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
      >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
      >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
      >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.

      >  May the Real Blessings Be,
      >   David
      >



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    • David Osborn
      Dear Marianne,      I left Eckankar many years ago, shortly after the transition from Darwin to Harold Klemp.  And I left for good reasons, and am not
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 11, 2010
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        Dear Marianne,
             I left Eckankar many years ago, shortly after the transition from Darwin to Harold Klemp.  And I left for good reasons, and am not regretting that decision.  I explained my reasons for leaving when I posted my story on this board.  But, to make a long story short, I felt it was just an initiations game, and they didn't even listen to me when I said I wanted to go back to my second initiation to get things right, because I felt like I hadn't gotten what I needed to get from my 3rd and my 4th intiations. 
             I just noticed that I didn't feel the intense negativity about Eckankar that most people in this group are expressing.  Neither does that mean that I want to blindly follow Eckankar and fall in with them again.  I also didn't like the changes that Harold Klemp brought to the organization and the teachings
                                                        Sincerely,
                                                            David.

        --- On Thu, 2/11/10, Marianne Salcedo <salcedo_marianne@...> wrote:

        From: Marianne Salcedo <salcedo_marianne@...>
        Subject: Re: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
        To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 6:45 PM



        David,

        Bitterness is okay.  It's an authentic state of being.  I thought Jonathan's response to your query was actually funny.  Comedy is okay.  In fact, it's supreme. Let's laugh at ourselves like the Zen Buddhists do.  Unlike the artificial affect one is forced to accept if you drink the koolaid of Eck. 

         If you believe as you do, why did you leave?  Stay, man, stay.  If your current religion works for you, as Eckists used to tell us in introductory talks, stay with it.

        BTW, I HATED the coolness factor in Eck.  "My spiritual experience is better than yours."  Well, maybe it is.  How's that workin' out?

        Marianne

        --- On Thu, 2/11/10, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:

        From: David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...>
        Subject: Re: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
        To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 7:33 PM

         

        Golly Gee, Jonathan!
             I feel like I touched on a raw nerve there!  I'm sorry if I so offended your sensibilities! 
             In retrospect, I could argue, and probably very rightly so, that the years I spent in Eckankar, which were about 13 years or so, were lost years that could have been better spent getting ahead in life in more practical, material ways.  But I suppose that I can feel lucky that I only lost about 13 years and not 20, like you. 
             But couldn't you also say that Eckankar came into your life, and stayed for as long as it did, because you had a need for it at the time?  For a while, Eckankar seemed to fill the gap and give you what you needed.  But I suppose that old saw that, as Soul, you are exactly where you're supposed to be in your spiritual evolution is a kind of New Age truism that was much abused in Eckankar.
             I just hope that you aren't overly consumed by bitterness regarding your years in Eckankar.
                                                   Sincerely,
                                                       David

        --- On Thu, 2/11/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com> wrote:

        From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
        Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
        To: eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com
        Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 9:35 AM

        David,

        Yes, I did have some positive experiences when I was in Eckankar. But unfortunately, it also ruined my life by sidetracking me with spiritual experiences when I should have been doing other things of a practical matter that would have ensured that I could continue to live my life. I erroneously believed I was being "helped," but in fact, I was not being helped where it mattered most, which was in my everyday existence.

        And if you want to say lots of nice things about Eckankar, I suggest you get your own message board, and I would suggest to you that a message board for former Eckists who want to gush about Eckankar is going to be rather lonely experience for you.

        jonathanjohns96

        --- In eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@ ...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
        >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
        >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
        >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.

        >  May the Real Blessings Be,
        >   David
        >



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      • David Osborn
        Dear Leafeater,      As I said, I decided that, in the balance, I felt that things were not right, and that it was best, all things considered, for me to
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 11, 2010
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          Dear Leafeater,
               As I said, I decided that, in the balance, I felt that things were not right, and that it was best, all things considered, for me to leave Eckankar.  I am not trying to condone Eckankar and its misguidance of others.  Perhaps it's just the fact that, for me, over twenty years have passed since I left Eckankar, and things have mellowed with the passage of time.
                                                             David

          --- On Thu, 2/11/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:

          From: tomleafeater <tianyue@...>
          Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
          To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 6:37 PM

          David...

          I've had some second thoughts about the title of your post. It took awhile for the meaning to sink in. Touched a nerve, indeed.

          About trashing eckankar: eckankar trashes everyone who chooses not to follow it, but especially those who follow it and then leave. Eckankar and it's followers trash all other religions and philosophies, and yet eckists have the gall to get their knickers in a twist when people point out the hypocrisy. I could post bushel loads of eckankar quotes that trash nearly everything under the sun to back this up. In fact, the entire world and it's contents are called the "trash can of the universe" in Eckankar literature. Talk about trashing!

          Eckankar sets itself up as the lord and judge of everything, and it's judgment is everything is "trash" except that which meets eckankar's approval, which is basically anything directly connected with Eckankar and little else. This is spiritual hubris of the worst kind. Eckankar trashes anyone and everyone who doesn't support it.

          And to point this out is a warranted response to that arrogant mentality and mind set, and not merely gratuitous, empty "trashing" of an allegedly "nice" religion that just happens to be based on a multitude of fictitious claims and lies.

          As to your notion of people following eckankar because that is what they needed, which reflects the notion that everyone is "where they are supposed to be" and that everything that happens is "meant": I completely reject that assertion. One cannot justify lies, literary theft, manipulation, and enslavement because it was "meant to be."

          And if things are meant to be, then Jonathan is "meant" to have his views about eckankar, David Lane was "meant" to write his excellent expose', and I am meant to write this justifiable criticism of eckankar. And also, eckankar is "meant" to be called out for trashing its former members.

          As to bitter former members: Eckankar is a bitter path in terms of its pathetic, transparent manipulations, thus it is no surprise that people find that it leaves a bitter taste. Thus, the bitterness of some former members is justified and according to your philosophy, it is also "meant."

          And I was "meant" to realize what a waste following eckankar was for all those years. People who employ the concept that everything is "meant" and that people were "where they were supposed to be" usually ignore the contradiction of that platitude. If everything is meant, then all the lies that Paul Twitchell told were meant to be exposed for what they are. You can't selectively choose what is meant, and what is not. In my view, it is an empty concept that falls apart under scrutiny. It is used as a tactic by cultists to justify all manner of wrongs in human society, including the ill behavior of cults, but is pure bullshit, since anything and everything that occurs is equally "meant," including the realization that eckankar is a fraud. Since everything that is past is equally "meant," the concept really means very little. That the past was "meant" does not mean the past was "good" or that it should be embraced as anything except the past.

          Speaking for myself only.

          Leafeater





          --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
          >
          > Golly Gee, Jonathan!
          >      I feel like I touched on a raw nerve there!  I'm sorry if I so offended your sensibilities! 
          >      In retrospect, I could argue, and probably very rightly so, that the years I spent in Eckankar, which were about 13 years or so, were lost years that could have been better spent getting ahead in life in more practical, material ways.  But I suppose that I can feel lucky that I only lost about 13 years and not 20, like you. 
          >      But couldn't you also say that Eckankar came into your life, and stayed for as long as it did, because you had a need for it at the time?  For a while, Eckankar seemed to fill the gap and give you what you needed.  But I suppose that old saw that, as Soul, you are exactly where you're supposed to be in your spiritual evolution is a kind of New Age truism that was much abused in Eckankar.
          >      I just hope that you aren't overly consumed by bitterness regarding your years in Eckankar.
          >                                            Sincerely,
          >                                                David
          >
          > --- On Thu, 2/11/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
          >
          > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
          > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
          > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 9:35 AM
          >
          > David,
          >
          > Yes, I did have some positive experiences when I was in Eckankar. But unfortunately, it also ruined my life by sidetracking me with spiritual experiences when I should have been doing other things of a practical matter that would have ensured that I could continue to live my life. I erroneously believed I was being "helped," but in fact, I was not being helped where it mattered most, which was in my everyday existence.
          >
          > And if you want to say lots of nice things about Eckankar, I suggest you get your own message board, and I would suggest to you that a message board for former Eckists who want to gush about Eckankar is going to be rather lonely experience for you.
          >
          > jonathanjohns96
          >
          > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
          > >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
          > >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
          > >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.
          >
          > >  May the Real Blessings Be,
          > >   David
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >




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

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        • tomleafeater
          No worries, David. I hope I didn t come on too strong there, I can be intense sometimes. It s not always easy to read correctly another person s intentions on
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 11, 2010
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            No worries, David. I hope I didn't come on too strong there, I can be intense sometimes. It's not always easy to read correctly another person's intentions on the internet. I've noticed that former eckists all have somewhat different ways they view the nature of eckankar and how it may have influenced their lives, for good or bad. And that is fine, and as it should be. No problema, amigo.

            Leaf



            --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Leafeater,
            >      As I said, I decided that, in the balance, I felt that things were not right, and that it was best, all things considered, for me to leave Eckankar.  I am not trying to condone Eckankar and its misguidance of others.  Perhaps it's just the fact that, for me, over twenty years have passed since I left Eckankar, and things have mellowed with the passage of time.
            >                                                    David
            >
            > --- On Thu, 2/11/10, tomleafeater <tianyue@...> wrote:
            >
            > From: tomleafeater <tianyue@...>
            > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
            > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 6:37 PM
            >
            > David...
            >
            > I've had some second thoughts about the title of your post. It took awhile for the meaning to sink in. Touched a nerve, indeed.
            >
            > About trashing eckankar: eckankar trashes everyone who chooses not to follow it, but especially those who follow it and then leave. Eckankar and it's followers trash all other religions and philosophies, and yet eckists have the gall to get their knickers in a twist when people point out the hypocrisy. I could post bushel loads of eckankar quotes that trash nearly everything under the sun to back this up. In fact, the entire world and it's contents are called the "trash can of the universe" in Eckankar literature. Talk about trashing!
            >
            > Eckankar sets itself up as the lord and judge of everything, and it's judgment is everything is "trash" except that which meets eckankar's approval, which is basically anything directly connected with Eckankar and little else. This is spiritual hubris of the worst kind. Eckankar trashes anyone and everyone who doesn't support it.
            >
            > And to point this out is a warranted response to that arrogant mentality and mind set, and not merely gratuitous, empty "trashing" of an allegedly "nice" religion that just happens to be based on a multitude of fictitious claims and lies.
            >
            > As to your notion of people following eckankar because that is what they needed, which reflects the notion that everyone is "where they are supposed to be" and that everything that happens is "meant": I completely reject that assertion. One cannot justify lies, literary theft, manipulation, and enslavement because it was "meant to be."
            >
            > And if things are meant to be, then Jonathan is "meant" to have his views about eckankar, David Lane was "meant" to write his excellent expose', and I am meant to write this justifiable criticism of eckankar. And also, eckankar is "meant" to be called out for trashing its former members.
            >
            > As to bitter former members: Eckankar is a bitter path in terms of its pathetic, transparent manipulations, thus it is no surprise that people find that it leaves a bitter taste. Thus, the bitterness of some former members is justified and according to your philosophy, it is also "meant."
            >
            > And I was "meant" to realize what a waste following eckankar was for all those years. People who employ the concept that everything is "meant" and that people were "where they were supposed to be" usually ignore the contradiction of that platitude. If everything is meant, then all the lies that Paul Twitchell told were meant to be exposed for what they are. You can't selectively choose what is meant, and what is not. In my view, it is an empty concept that falls apart under scrutiny. It is used as a tactic by cultists to justify all manner of wrongs in human society, including the ill behavior of cults, but is pure bullshit, since anything and everything that occurs is equally "meant," including the realization that eckankar is a fraud. Since everything that is past is equally "meant," the concept really means very little. That the past was "meant" does not mean the past was "good" or that it should be embraced as anything except the past.
            >
            > Speaking for myself only.
            >
            > Leafeater
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Golly Gee, Jonathan!
            > >      I feel like I touched on a raw nerve there!  I'm sorry if I so offended your sensibilities! 
            > >      In retrospect, I could argue, and probably very rightly so, that the years I spent in Eckankar, which were about 13 years or so, were lost years that could have been better spent getting ahead in life in more practical, material ways.  But I suppose that I can feel lucky that I only lost about 13 years and not 20, like you. 
            > >      But couldn't you also say that Eckankar came into your life, and stayed for as long as it did, because you had a need for it at the time?  For a while, Eckankar seemed to fill the gap and give you what you needed.  But I suppose that old saw that, as Soul, you are exactly where you're supposed to be in your spiritual evolution is a kind of New Age truism that was much abused in Eckankar.
            > >      I just hope that you aren't overly consumed by bitterness regarding your years in Eckankar.
            > >                                            Sincerely,
            > >                                                David
            > >
            > > --- On Thu, 2/11/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
            > >
            > > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
            > > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
            > > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
            > > Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 9:35 AM
            > >
            > > David,
            > >
            > > Yes, I did have some positive experiences when I was in Eckankar. But unfortunately, it also ruined my life by sidetracking me with spiritual experiences when I should have been doing other things of a practical matter that would have ensured that I could continue to live my life. I erroneously believed I was being "helped," but in fact, I was not being helped where it mattered most, which was in my everyday existence.
            > >
            > > And if you want to say lots of nice things about Eckankar, I suggest you get your own message board, and I would suggest to you that a message board for former Eckists who want to gush about Eckankar is going to be rather lonely experience for you.
            > >
            > > jonathanjohns96
            > >
            > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
            > > >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
            > > >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
            > > >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.
            > >
            > > >  May the Real Blessings Be,
            > > >   David
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
          • jonathanjohns96
            David, Thanks for your response. Yes, you did touch a raw nerve. I went postal and wrote a very short response. I was going to write a detailed response but I
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 12, 2010
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              David,

              Thanks for your response. Yes, you did touch a raw nerve. I went postal and wrote a very short response. I was going to write a detailed response but I decided to wait until I calmed down a bit. Also, the explanation of how Eckankar ruined my life would require the equivalent of a short book to really do it justice.

              In reading my response to your post, I'm a little bit embarrassed by my last sentence. It was an attempt at sarcastic humor. As I am looking at it now it is looking a little too nasty, and I apologize for that.

              Immediately after making my post I was already thinking that you did not intend to get me stirred up. And I was also thinking that you just didn't realize how unwelcome a suggestion to "say more good things about Eckanakar" would be on this message board.

              There are actually times that I would like to say something positive about Eckankar, but I almost always hold it back because I assume that it wouldn't be welcome. At times that makes me upset or frustrated, or feeling like I am being censored. The specific purpose of this message board is for former members to speak out about Eckankar, and too many positive comment are just not going to be very popular. I suppose that this leaves this message board looking like a bunch of angry, disgruntled former members of Eckankar who have no real life other than bashing Eckankar. That's unfortunate, but in general, I have come to the conclusion that having a "balanced" message board about Eckankar is not really possible. If the moderator Sharon allowed it here, I think the message board would soon turn into a war zone.

              At times I have had a desire to sincerely discuss my inner experiences while I was a member. However, there are many members of this message board who have dropped essentially everything they learned in Eckankar, and I'm sure that somebody's inner experiences with Eck masters is the last thing that they want to hear about. I actually started to make my own message board detailing my own inner experiences, but it got sidetracked. I was probably thinking "Nobody cares," but you appear to be so someone who might be interested in it. But I think inner experiences may be outside the scope of this message board. Strangely enough, as I see things now, if you discuss your inner experiences somewhere, I might be the first person interested in reading about them.

              I sometimes say something positive about individual Eckists. I see them as decent human beings who are caught up in a scam. And all of us former members were once "current members." We weren't all terrible people back then. But just because member of Eckankar are decent people, that doesn't mean that I am going to avoid speaking out and showing how delusional they are as a result of being members of Eckankar.

              Lots of people say things to upset me, but in the end I heal it and release it. So people who get me upset are actually doing me a favor. Of course, when I am going through it, it doesn't look that way, but only at the end when I look back on it.

              I hope you continue to contribute to the message board.

              Jonathan


              --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@...> wrote:
              >
              > Golly Gee, Jonathan!
              >      I feel like I touched on a raw nerve there!  I'm sorry if I so offended your sensibilities! 
              >      In retrospect, I could argue, and probably very rightly so, that the years I spent in Eckankar, which were about 13 years or so, were lost years that could have been better spent getting ahead in life in more practical, material ways.  But I suppose that I can feel lucky that I only lost about 13 years and not 20, like you. 
              >      But couldn't you also say that Eckankar came into your life, and stayed for as long as it did, because you had a need for it at the time?  For a while, Eckankar seemed to fill the gap and give you what you needed.  But I suppose that old saw that, as Soul, you are exactly where you're supposed to be in your spiritual evolution is a kind of New Age truism that was much abused in Eckankar.
              >      I just hope that you aren't overly consumed by bitterness regarding your years in Eckankar.
              >                                            Sincerely,
              >                                                David
              >
              > --- On Thu, 2/11/10, jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
              >
              > From: jonathanjohns96 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
              > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 9:35 AM
              >
              > David,
              >
              > Yes, I did have some positive experiences when I was in Eckankar. But unfortunately, it also ruined my life by sidetracking me with spiritual experiences when I should have been doing other things of a practical matter that would have ensured that I could continue to live my life. I erroneously believed I was being "helped," but in fact, I was not being helped where it mattered most, which was in my everyday existence.
              >
              > And if you want to say lots of nice things about Eckankar, I suggest you get your own message board, and I would suggest to you that a message board for former Eckists who want to gush about Eckankar is going to be rather lonely experience for you.
              >
              > jonathanjohns96
              >
              > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
              > >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
              > >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
              > >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.
              >
              > >  May the Real Blessings Be,
              > >   David
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
            • Sharon
              Hi David - You know, in the past I think I ve probably come down hard on people who come here & start spouting eckspeak in one way or another. Many people
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 13, 2010
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                Hi David -

                You know, in the past I think I've probably come down hard on people who come here & start spouting 'eckspeak' in one way or another. Many people find ecky-newagey jargon offensive, perhaps moreso right after they leave ekult and are more sensitive to it.

                I think your questions are valid and understandable. Leaf always says it a lot better than I do. <gg>

                I had my best experiences before ekult. I thought ekult and its "master" explained everything. I was wrong.

                In fact, earlier today I was e-yakking with another former member who's always had experiences, awesome ones!! Had to laugh, though, when he said for a long time, he just didn't see the truth of one of his ecksperiences with Klemp - as a member, he didn't see it for what it was, but instead, slapped on that "high holey spirichul" ecklabel. I won't give details, but it was very much like the experience I had that I always interpreted as my first initiation, and something "good". I'd totally missed what it was really telling me. See Message ##6748

                It's nice that you want to see the "positive" side of your cult membership. I guess. But, it's sort of like abused women who get out, and look for the positive things like having the crap beaten out of them eventually made them stronger.

                Not only do I feel I would've been better off spiritually without ekult, but it was also the direct cause of a lot of bad choices in my life. Oh, I'm not going to moan & cry about it, but I *am* sad about those lost years, and decisions based on "inner" b.s. and what would enable me to be a better eckist, and effective "Vahana".

                And please don't think that former members sit around feeling anger, hate, bitterness, etc. We all have great satisfying & fulfilling lives - not perfect, of course, but a hell of a lot better than our cult years. My philosophy has basically always been that shit happens, and ekult is probably the biggest example. Life's too short to waste time holding onto grudges, etc. Even before the cult, I always tended to shrug things off, move on, and just forget. The reason I'm speaking out on the internet is because I'm thankful that other former members were here speaking out when I got here.

                I tend to post happy non-eckthings simply because I tend to get yakky. And I'm a lot more interested in gardening & grandkids than about a silly little new-age cult I used to belong to!

                About my own personal "spiritual" life, well, although I think I've posted some things, mostly I'm more protective of myself and tend to keep private things private. Nowadays I *do* really believe in just a physical & non-physical division. Just because there are "dream" experiences (even though they're "real" and much more than dreams" and other similar stuff, well...I no longer assume that they're "higher" and "better", or even true.

                That's something I've loved since getting out - freedom from that burden of "knowing"!! C'mon, we can't *really* know a lot of things altho we like to tell ourselves we do.

                For me, when I got out, I feel I needed to *totally* cleanse and purify myself from anything "eck", even if it came from older sources generally accepted as "good" and "true". And that took a very long time. Like Leaf, I will never again give anything any kind of power over me, or join or "follow" anything specific. I may play around with things, investigate things just out of curiousity, but I have no interest in "believing" in anything specific about things we truly can *not* definitely know, you know what I mean? It's just not important to me, either. I figure I'll find out & have any questions answered eventually. Maybe. It's not important.

                Ha, my mind wandered here a bit - years ago a Wiccan friend of mine told me she used Sting to visualize the "God", etc. <gg> I think it's natural for you to think ekult "helped" you in some way, but it didn't. Seriously, I think you'd have had those experiences without the eckstuff - focusing on your big toe and chanting "boo" would've "worked" just as well if you thought it would.

                I can't begin to tell you how, 11 years later, I look back on ekult and it's *so* silly and totally meaningless. Except it wasn't, exactly. It hurt me, damaged me & my life, and held me back. But nowadays I tend to not think of that much, anymore than I think of some really dumb things back in high school that seemed so important at the time.

                You know, if you really want to discuss "spiritual" experiences, I'm sure there are lots of places on the internet where just-plain-folks get together to yak, without being attached to anything specific. There's really nothing special in ekult that you can't find freely from many other sources. That's what Twitch did - he got it all at the public library!!

                Okay, take care now!

                Hugs,

                Sharon

                --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi David,
                >
                > I guess you're replying to Sharon's reposting of a comment I made (thanks Sharon!) so I'll respond.
                >
                > Warning: this is a long-winded answer. heh.
                >
                > I think the range of attitudes about whether anything good is taken away from the Eckankar experience that is directly attributable or creditable to Eckankar itself varies widely among former eckists, and even the same individual will go through possible phases in terms of how well they regard Eckankar as time accumulates after leaving. I think that is only natural. I first felt as if there were good things I learned, until I realized I'd learned those things from other sources before Eckankar. And in my case, the most moving and dramatic inner experiences came before Eckankar. Eckankar actually detracted from those experiences and eckists ridiculed those experiences I had, since those experiences didn't support Eckankar. Overall, Eckankar was bad for my well-being, and it tried to obscure my own sense of connection with my inner, authentic self, however anyone might define "self." Eckankar made me less self aware.
                >
                > But that's just me. And my way of seeing these things keeps changing, and have ranged from complete disregard for all that I've experienced in the past, no matter what the source, to more nuanced thoughts about it all. Others' experiences may be different.
                >
                > But it's hard for me to accept that if something is completely based on a fraud (as Eckankar is proven to be), it somehow deserves to get credit for something real or good that may have happened to someone. Can a fraudulently based path produce a valid spiritual experience? I think it's true that ANY experience from ANY teaching can give people something that will benefit them, even if that teaching was overall completely fabricated and plagiarized, but that is hardly much of a compliment to that path.
                >
                > I could dumpster dive in back alleys and occasionally find a gem, but that is hardly a defense of dumpster diving as a way of life, or that dumpsters are necessary to for self discovery. There are better ways to find gems.
                >
                > I think that if a person has a spiritual experience while in Eckankar, it certainly has nothing at all to do with the Living Eck Master, since those masters have been exposed as complete charlatans who are without any powers whatsoever.
                >
                > The only thing that one could justifiably credit are some of the basic exercises which are actually derived from Indian yogic groups, such as Rhadasoami and other run-of-the-mill generic yogic groups. The basic, fundamental exercises in Eckankar are rip-offs of yogic techniques practiced all over India. So do you credit Eckankar, or do you instead credit the teachings that were ripped off? If someone rips off some writings, and those writings help you in some way, isn't it more accurate to credit the real source or author, if you're determined to credit anyone?
                >
                > You could have had the same experiences no matter which of the groups you joined, since the techniques are nearly identical in a variety of other groups.
                >
                > So my answer is that any benefit is more due to your own efforts, using techniques that are commonly available through a wide number of similar groups, and thus not reasonably attributed to any intrinsic, unique factor found exclusively in Eckankar. If you believe Eckankar has some unique ability to link you to spirit that other paths don't have or that you couldn't do for yourself, you still must think it is in some way an authentic path, despite all the evidence that proves otherwise.
                >
                > Mostly, I think the notion that anyone outside yourself deserves credit for your own discovery of self awareness is fraught with problems and leaves people vulnerable to manipulation by whoever is given the credit. I think most of the credit, no matter what the path or what the circumstances may be, should go to the person who actually had the experience. It's an old trick of cultists to make the follower dependent on the teacher for his or her own self-awareness. That's a big trap that should be avoided.
                >
                > Bottom line: I will never again give another person, teacher, organization, or path that kind of power over me. But if you have a different take on it, no problem. Maybe I've mellowed a bit after all the years...I don't take it as seriously as before, I guess.
                >
                > Speaking for me only,
                >
                > Leaf
                >
                > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
                > >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
                > >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
                > >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.
                > >                                           May the Real Blessings Be,
                > >                                                   David
                > >
                > > --- On Thu, 2/11/10, Sharon <brighttigress@> wrote:
                > >
                > > From: Sharon <brighttigress@>
                > > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Workshop For Former Members in March (CALIF)
                > > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                > > Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 8:21 AM
                > >
                > > (I'm posting this for Leaf because it wasn't showing up here.  Is anyone else having problems posting?  Oh, I agree, "Take Back Your Life" is a great book!!  S.))
                > >
                > >
                > > > From: tomleafeater <tianyue@>
                > > > Subject: Re: Workshop For Former Members in March (CALIF)
                > > > To: eckankartruth-owner@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 5:41 PM
                > > > A few words are in order about the
                > > > workshop:
                > > >
                > > > This workshop in California is worth attending, for those
                > > > who live in the bay area.
                > > >
                > > > Janja Lalich is the guest facilitator. I've read one of her
                > > > books (Take Back Your Life) and found it to be very
                > > > insightful in its exploration of cult psychology. The book
                > > > helped me recognize in my own experience many of the phases
                > > > that former members may experience who leave a cult.
                > > >
                > > > For example, the chapter on children who grew up in a cult
                > > > and what they experience in leaving was spot on. I was just
                > > > 14 when I first read an Eck book, 16 when I joined, and
                > > > while I was not exactly a young child, a good chunk of my
                > > > life was missed at that age since I spent my time "spreading
                > > > the word" instead of enjoying my youth like other kids. I
                > > > found the book to be surprisingly helpful because it
                > > > reinforced some of my own conclusions about cult
                > > > psychology.
                > > >
                > > > One of the facilitators is Colleen Russell, who used to
                > > > post on some of the ex-eckankar groups and is a former
                > > > eckist.
                > > >
                > > > Way to go, Colleen!
                > > >
                > > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com,
                > > > Sharon <brighttigress@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Workshop for
                > > > > > Former Members of Cults
                > > > > > or High-Demand Groups
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Special Guest Facilitator:
                > > > > > Janja Lalich, Ph.D., former cult member &
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > author of Take
                > > > > > Back Your Life and Bounded Choice
                > > > > >
                > > > > > March 13th, 2010
                > > > > > from 1:00 â€" 5:00
                > > > > > P.M.   ­   Mill
                > > > > > Valley, CA Location
                > > > > >
                > > > > > (In the San
                > > > > > Francisco Bay Area)
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Fee:
                > > > > > $45.00   ­ Â
                > > > > > Participation limited to 20
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > This is an
                > > > > > opportunity to meet and participate with other
                > > > former
                > > > > > members of cults or
                > > > > > high-demand groups. Our goal is to provide a
                > > > safe,
                > > > > > respectful environment
                > > > > > in which participants may gain mutual support,
                > > > share
                > > > > > perceptions, and learn
                > > > > > from each other. We hope to focus on typical
                > > > post-cult
                > > > > > aftereffects and
                > > > > > responses, the process of recovery and personal
                > > > > > development, strategies and
                > > > > > successes for a creating a life of one’s
                > > > own making.
                > > > > > While this is not a
                > > > > > therapy group, it may be therapeutic.Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > The session will
                > > > > > begin with brief introductions, followed by an
                > > > open
                > > > > > discussion in which
                > > > > > participants can expand upon anything previously
                > > > stated,
                > > > > > comment on emerging
                > > > > > thoughts and feelings, and address relevant
                > > > > > issues.Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > >  Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > The
                > > > > > facilitators, Colleen Russell and Janja Lalich,
                > > > expect a
                > > > > > lively, interactive,
                > > > > > and in-depth exploration of issues raised by
                > > > participants,
                > > > > > such as trust;
                > > > > > relationships and communication; healthy group
                > > > functioning;
                > > > > > magical thinking;
                > > > > > disconfirming inaccurate, self-limiting beliefs
                > > > > > internalized from cult
                > > > > > ideologies; boundaries and saying
                > > > â€Å"no�; loss
                > > > > > and grief; anger and
                > > > > > other emotions; critical-thinking skills;
                > > > connecting to
                > > > > > society-at-large;
                > > > > > self-acceptance; post-traumatic stress; family of
                > > > origin
                > > > > > issues; personal
                > > > > > accomplishments and goals.Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Colleen Russell,
                > > > > > L.M.F.T., is an
                > > > > > experienced
                > > > > > psychotherapist and a Certified Group
                > > > > > Psychotherapist. In the 1970s she
                > > > > > was a â€Å"higher initiate� and area
                > > > representative
                > > > > > of an Eastern/New
                > > > > > Age cult.  Ms. Russell facilitates an on-going
                > > > group
                > > > > > for former members, now in
                > > > > > its eighth year, and she endeavors to support
                > > > healthy as
                > > > > > opposed to cultic
                > > > > > group functioning and dynamics. In addition to
                > > > her
                > > > > > general therapy
                > > > > > practice with individuals, couples, and families,
                > > > she
                > > > > > specializes in cult
                > > > > > education and recovery.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Janja Lalich,
                > > > > > Ph.D., is Professor of
                > > > > > Sociology at California State, University, Chico.
                > > > In the
                > > > > > 1970s and ’80s
                > > > > > she was a high-ranking member of a San
                > > > Francisco-based
                > > > > > political cult. Since
                > > > > > leaving the cult in 1986, Dr. Lalich has become
                > > > one of the
                > > > > > nation’s
                > > > > > leading experts on cult phenomena, including
                > > > cult
                > > > > > indoctrination and its
                > > > > > effects and recovery from such experiences.Â
                > > > In
                > > > > > addition to her own works, she
                > > > > > coauthored two books with the late Dr. Margaret
                > > > Singer. Dr.
                > > > > > Lalich facilitated
                > > > > > former member support groups for many years in
                > > > the San
                > > > > > Francisco Bay Area and
                > > > > > has worked with many individuals and families
                > > > affected by
                > > > > > cults.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >  Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Location of
                > > > > > Workshop: The setting for the workshop is
                > > > > > in the apartment
                > > > > > above Ms. Russell’s Mill Valley office, a
                > > > comfortable
                > > > > > environment with expansive
                > > > > > views of the Redwood-covered ridge.Â
                > > > Refreshments will
                > > > > > be provided.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Call with any
                > > > > > questions and to register:  Colleen Russell,
                > > > > > 415.383.7721. Â If you
                > > > > > are planning to attend, registration fee must be
                > > > received
                > > > > > by March 6th,
                > > > > > 2010.  Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > >  Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > >  Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Colleen Russell
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Licensed Marriage and Family
                > > > > > Therapist
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Certified Group Psychotherapist
                > > > > >
                > > > > > 38 Miller Avenue, #139
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Mill Valley, CA 94941
                > > > > >
                > > > > >  Â
                > > > > >
                > > > > > 415.383.7721
                > > > > >
                > > > > > 800.619.5705 (Long Distance)
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Website:Â
                > > > > > www.colleenrussellmft.com Â
                > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ------------------------------------
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                >
              • David Osborn
                Thanks for your reply, Sharon,      I understand where you re coming from, and respect your right to your own opinion, even though I don t see eye to eye
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 13, 2010
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                  Thanks for your reply, Sharon,
                       I understand where you're coming from, and respect your right to your own opinion, even though I don't see eye to eye with you on all things.  My late father's biggest criticism of Eckankar was that it was loaded with what he called solipsisms, which he said were things you can't prove or disprove.  Since then, I have come to understand the concept of solipsism as the philosophical doctrine that, ultimately, all experiences are real only to their experiencer.  You may get corroboration of the validity of your own experieces from outside sources up to a point, but this corroboration applies mainly to external experiences in the outer physical world.  When it comes to inner spiritual experiences especially, they are ultimately real and unique only to their experiencer.  So who am I to judge another's experience? 
                       Since I left Eckankar many years ago, I have been involved in many different spiritual teachings and groups.  And, from my own personal experience, I would not put Eckankar on the bottom of the heap.  There's definitely worse stuff out there than Eck.  But still, at the same time, in the balance, and being who I am now, I have no need to go back to it.
                                                                 Sincerely,
                                                                     David

                  --- On Sat, 2/13/10, Sharon <brighttigress@...> wrote:

                  From: Sharon <brighttigress@...>
                  Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Just Trashing Eckankar?
                  To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Saturday, February 13, 2010, 6:16 PM

                  Hi David -

                  You know, in the past I think I've probably come down hard on people who come here & start spouting 'eckspeak' in one way or another.  Many people find ecky-newagey jargon offensive, perhaps moreso right after they leave ekult and are more sensitive to it.

                  I think your questions are valid and understandable.  Leaf always says it a lot better than I do.  <gg>

                  I had my best experiences before ekult.  I thought ekult and its "master" explained everything.  I was wrong.

                  In fact, earlier today I was e-yakking with another former member who's always had experiences, awesome ones!!  Had to laugh, though, when he said for a long time, he just didn't see the truth of one of his ecksperiences with Klemp - as a member, he didn't see it for what it was, but instead, slapped on that "high holey spirichul" ecklabel.  I won't give details, but it was very much like the experience I had that I always interpreted as my first initiation, and something "good".  I'd totally missed what it was really telling me.  See Message ##6748

                  It's nice that you want to see the "positive" side of your cult membership.  I guess.  But, it's sort of like abused women who get out, and look for the positive things like having the crap beaten out of them eventually made them stronger. 

                  Not only do I feel I would've been better off spiritually without ekult, but it was also the direct cause of a lot of bad choices in my life.  Oh, I'm not going to moan & cry about it, but I *am* sad about those lost years, and decisions based on "inner" b.s. and what would enable me to be a better eckist, and effective "Vahana". 

                  And please don't think that former members sit around feeling anger, hate, bitterness, etc.  We all have great satisfying & fulfilling lives - not perfect, of course, but a hell of a lot better than our cult years.  My philosophy has basically always been that shit happens, and ekult is probably the biggest example.  Life's too short to waste time holding onto grudges, etc.  Even before the cult, I always tended to shrug things off, move on, and just forget.  The reason I'm speaking out on the internet is because I'm thankful that other former members were here speaking out when I got here. 

                  I tend to post happy non-eckthings simply because I tend to get yakky.  And I'm a lot more interested in gardening & grandkids than about a silly little new-age cult I used to belong to! 

                  About my own personal "spiritual" life, well, although I think I've posted some things, mostly I'm more protective of myself and tend to keep private things private.  Nowadays I *do* really believe in just a physical & non-physical division.  Just because there are "dream" experiences (even though they're "real" and much more than dreams" and other similar stuff, well...I no longer assume that they're "higher" and "better", or even true. 

                  That's something I've loved since getting out - freedom from that burden of "knowing"!!  C'mon, we can't *really* know a lot of things altho we like to tell ourselves we do.

                  For me, when I got out, I feel I needed to *totally* cleanse and purify myself from anything "eck", even if it came from older sources generally accepted as "good" and "true".  And that took a very long time.  Like Leaf, I will never again give anything any kind of power over me, or join or "follow" anything specific.  I may play around with things, investigate things just out of curiousity, but I have no interest in "believing" in anything specific about things we truly can *not* definitely know, you know what I mean?  It's just not important to me, either.  I figure I'll find out & have any questions answered eventually.  Maybe.  It's not important. 

                  Ha, my mind wandered here a bit - years ago a Wiccan friend of mine told me she used Sting to visualize the "God", etc.  <gg>  I think it's natural for you to think ekult "helped" you in some way, but it didn't.  Seriously, I think you'd have had those experiences without the eckstuff - focusing on your big toe and chanting "boo" would've "worked" just as well if you thought it would.

                  I can't begin to tell you how, 11 years later, I look back on ekult and it's *so* silly and totally meaningless.  Except it wasn't, exactly.  It hurt me, damaged me & my life, and held me back.  But nowadays I tend to not think of that much, anymore than I think of some really dumb things back in high school that seemed so important at the time. 

                  You know, if you really want to discuss "spiritual" experiences, I'm sure there are lots of places on the internet where just-plain-folks get together to yak, without being attached to anything specific.  There's really nothing special in ekult that you can't find freely from many other sources.  That's what Twitch did - he got it all at the public library!!

                  Okay, take care now!

                  Hugs,

                  Sharon

                  --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater" <tianyue@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi David,
                  >
                  > I guess you're replying to Sharon's reposting of a comment I made (thanks Sharon!) so I'll respond.
                  >
                  > Warning: this is a long-winded answer. heh.
                  >
                  > I think the range of attitudes about whether anything good is taken away from the Eckankar experience that is directly attributable or creditable to Eckankar itself varies widely among former eckists, and even the same individual will go through possible phases in terms of how well they regard Eckankar as time accumulates after leaving. I think that is only natural. I first felt as if there were good things I learned, until I realized I'd learned those things from other sources before Eckankar. And in my case, the most moving and dramatic inner experiences came before Eckankar. Eckankar actually detracted from those experiences and eckists ridiculed those experiences I had, since those experiences didn't support Eckankar. Overall, Eckankar was bad for my well-being, and it tried to obscure my own sense of connection with my inner, authentic self, however anyone might define "self." Eckankar made me less self aware.
                  >
                  > But that's just me. And my way of seeing these things keeps changing, and have ranged from complete disregard for all that I've experienced in the past, no matter what the source, to more nuanced thoughts about it all. Others' experiences may be different.
                  >
                  > But it's hard for me to accept that if something is completely based on a fraud (as Eckankar is proven to be), it somehow deserves to get credit for something real or good that may have happened to someone. Can a fraudulently based path produce a valid spiritual experience? I think it's true that ANY experience from ANY teaching can give people something that will benefit them, even if that teaching was overall completely fabricated and plagiarized, but that is hardly much of a compliment to that path.
                  >
                  > I could dumpster dive in back alleys and occasionally find a gem, but that is hardly a defense of dumpster diving as a way of life, or that dumpsters are necessary to for self discovery. There are better ways to find gems.
                  >
                  > I think that if a person has a spiritual experience while in Eckankar, it certainly has nothing at all to do with the Living Eck Master, since those masters have been exposed as complete charlatans who are without any powers whatsoever.
                  >
                  > The only thing that one could justifiably credit are some of the basic exercises which are actually derived from Indian yogic groups, such as Rhadasoami and other run-of-the-mill generic yogic groups. The basic, fundamental exercises in Eckankar are rip-offs of yogic techniques practiced all over India. So do you credit Eckankar, or do you instead credit the teachings that were ripped off? If someone rips off some writings, and those writings help you in some way, isn't it more accurate to credit the real source or author, if you're determined to credit anyone?
                  >
                  > You could have had the same experiences no matter which of the groups you joined, since the techniques are nearly identical in a variety of other groups.
                  >
                  > So my answer is that any benefit is more due to your own efforts, using techniques that are commonly available through a wide number of similar groups, and thus not reasonably attributed to any intrinsic, unique factor found exclusively in Eckankar. If you believe Eckankar has some unique ability to link you to spirit that other paths don't have or that you couldn't do for yourself, you still must think it is in some way an authentic path, despite all the evidence that proves otherwise.
                  >
                  > Mostly, I think the notion that anyone outside yourself deserves credit for your own discovery of self awareness is fraught with problems and leaves people vulnerable to manipulation by whoever is given the credit. I think most of the credit, no matter what the path or what the circumstances may be, should go to the person who actually had the experience. It's an old trick of cultists to make the follower dependent on the teacher for his or her own self-awareness. That's a big trap that should be avoided.
                  >
                  > Bottom line: I will never again give another person, teacher, organization, or path that kind of power over me. But if you have a different take on it, no problem. Maybe I've mellowed a bit after all the years...I don't take it as seriously as before, I guess.
                  >
                  > Speaking for me only,
                  >
                  > Leaf
                  >
                  > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, David Osborn <panfluteman2000@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear Eckankar Truth Members:
                  > >      So - I have been a member of this group for a few days, about a week or so now, and all it seems I have seen members do is trash Eckankar!  I'm just wondering - did any of you experience anything positive, or come away with anything positive, from your Eckankar experience? 
                  > >      All of us, including myself, have decided, all things considered, that the balance weighed against us staying in Eckankar, and that it would be better if we left.  But in spite of all the rampant plagiarism and cult psychology, I did get quite a few positive things from my Eckankar experience.  Most importantly, I did get some of the most awesome and profound spiritual experiences of my life while in Eckankar, which have scarcely been equaled to this day.  I will treasure those experiences forever. 
                  > >      Or would you say that it's just a mere coincidence that I had these experiences while I was in Eckankar, and that Eckankar had nothing to do with it?  And that the spiritual experiences I had were the result entirely of endogenous factors concerning my own inner spiritual development and readiness to have those experiences?  Would you say that it was the result entirely of my own efforts and inner awareness in doing the spiritual exercises, and not through any linkup with the Light and Sound performed by the LEM?  I'm interested to know your take on this.
                  > >                                           May the Real Blessings Be,
                  > >                                                   David
                  > >
                  > > --- On Thu, 2/11/10, Sharon <brighttigress@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > From: Sharon <brighttigress@>
                  > > Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Workshop For Former Members in March (CALIF)
                  > > To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 8:21 AM
                  > >
                  > > (I'm posting this for Leaf because it wasn't showing up here.  Is anyone else having problems posting?  Oh, I agree, "Take Back Your Life" is a great book!!  S.))
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > > From: tomleafeater <tianyue@>
                  > > > Subject: Re: Workshop For Former Members in March (CALIF)
                  > > > To: eckankartruth-owner@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 5:41 PM
                  > > > A few words are in order about the
                  > > > workshop:
                  > > >
                  > > > This workshop in California is worth attending, for those
                  > > > who live in the bay area.
                  > > >
                  > > > Janja Lalich is the guest facilitator. I've read one of her
                  > > > books (Take Back Your Life) and found it to be very
                  > > > insightful in its exploration of cult psychology. The book
                  > > > helped me recognize in my own experience many of the phases
                  > > > that former members may experience who leave a cult.
                  > > >
                  > > > For example, the chapter on children who grew up in a cult
                  > > > and what they experience in leaving was spot on. I was just
                  > > > 14 when I first read an Eck book, 16 when I joined, and
                  > > > while I was not exactly a young child, a good chunk of my
                  > > > life was missed at that age since I spent my time "spreading
                  > > > the word" instead of enjoying my youth like other kids. I
                  > > > found the book to be surprisingly helpful because it
                  > > > reinforced some of my own conclusions about cult
                  > > > psychology.
                  > > >
                  > > > One of the facilitators is Colleen Russell, who used to
                  > > > post on some of the ex-eckankar groups and is a former
                  > > > eckist.
                  > > >
                  > > > Way to go, Colleen!
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com,
                  > > > Sharon <brighttigress@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Workshop for
                  > > > > > Former Members of Cults
                  > > > > > or High-Demand Groups
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Special Guest Facilitator:
                  > > > > > Janja Lalich, Ph.D., former cult member &
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > author of Take
                  > > > > > Back Your Life and Bounded Choice
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > March 13th, 2010
                  > > > > > from 1:00 â€" 5:00
                  > > > > > P.M.   ­   Mill
                  > > > > > Valley, CA Location
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > (In the San
                  > > > > > Francisco Bay Area)
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Fee:
                  > > > > > $45.00   ­ Â
                  > > > > > Participation limited to 20
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > This is an
                  > > > > > opportunity to meet and participate with other
                  > > > former
                  > > > > > members of cults or
                  > > > > > high-demand groups. Our goal is to provide a
                  > > > safe,
                  > > > > > respectful environment
                  > > > > > in which participants may gain mutual support,
                  > > > share
                  > > > > > perceptions, and learn
                  > > > > > from each other. We hope to focus on typical
                  > > > post-cult
                  > > > > > aftereffects and
                  > > > > > responses, the process of recovery and personal
                  > > > > > development, strategies and
                  > > > > > successes for a creating a life of one’s
                  > > > own making.
                  > > > > > While this is not a
                  > > > > > therapy group, it may be therapeutic.Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The session will
                  > > > > > begin with brief introductions, followed by an
                  > > > open
                  > > > > > discussion in which
                  > > > > > participants can expand upon anything previously
                  > > > stated,
                  > > > > > comment on emerging
                  > > > > > thoughts and feelings, and address relevant
                  > > > > > issues.Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >  Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The
                  > > > > > facilitators, Colleen Russell and Janja Lalich,
                  > > > expect a
                  > > > > > lively, interactive,
                  > > > > > and in-depth exploration of issues raised by
                  > > > participants,
                  > > > > > such as trust;
                  > > > > > relationships and communication; healthy group
                  > > > functioning;
                  > > > > > magical thinking;
                  > > > > > disconfirming inaccurate, self-limiting beliefs
                  > > > > > internalized from cult
                  > > > > > ideologies; boundaries and saying
                  > > > â€Å"no�; loss
                  > > > > > and grief; anger and
                  > > > > > other emotions; critical-thinking skills;
                  > > > connecting to
                  > > > > > society-at-large;
                  > > > > > self-acceptance; post-traumatic stress; family of
                  > > > origin
                  > > > > > issues; personal
                  > > > > > accomplishments and goals.Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Colleen Russell,
                  > > > > > L.M.F.T., is an
                  > > > > > experienced
                  > > > > > psychotherapist and a Certified Group
                  > > > > > Psychotherapist. In the 1970s she
                  > > > > > was a â€Å"higher initiate� and area
                  > > > representative
                  > > > > > of an Eastern/New
                  > > > > > Age cult.  Ms. Russell facilitates an on-going
                  > > > group
                  > > > > > for former members, now in
                  > > > > > its eighth year, and she endeavors to support
                  > > > healthy as
                  > > > > > opposed to cultic
                  > > > > > group functioning and dynamics. In addition to
                  > > > her
                  > > > > > general therapy
                  > > > > > practice with individuals, couples, and families,
                  > > > she
                  > > > > > specializes in cult
                  > > > > > education and recovery.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Janja Lalich,
                  > > > > > Ph.D., is Professor of
                  > > > > > Sociology at California State, University, Chico.
                  > > > In the
                  > > > > > 1970s and ’80s
                  > > > > > she was a high-ranking member of a San
                  > > > Francisco-based
                  > > > > > political cult. Since
                  > > > > > leaving the cult in 1986, Dr. Lalich has become
                  > > > one of the
                  > > > > > nation’s
                  > > > > > leading experts on cult phenomena, including
                  > > > cult
                  > > > > > indoctrination and its
                  > > > > > effects and recovery from such experiences.Â
                  > > > In
                  > > > > > addition to her own works, she
                  > > > > > coauthored two books with the late Dr. Margaret
                  > > > Singer. Dr.
                  > > > > > Lalich facilitated
                  > > > > > former member support groups for many years in
                  > > > the San
                  > > > > > Francisco Bay Area and
                  > > > > > has worked with many individuals and families
                  > > > affected by
                  > > > > > cults.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >  Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Location of
                  > > > > > Workshop: The setting for the workshop is
                  > > > > > in the apartment
                  > > > > > above Ms. Russell’s Mill Valley office, a
                  > > > comfortable
                  > > > > > environment with expansive
                  > > > > > views of the Redwood-covered ridge.Â
                  > > > Refreshments will
                  > > > > > be provided.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Call with any
                  > > > > > questions and to register:  Colleen Russell,
                  > > > > > 415.383.7721. Â If you
                  > > > > > are planning to attend, registration fee must be
                  > > > received
                  > > > > > by March 6th,
                  > > > > > 2010.  Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >  Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >  Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Colleen Russell
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Licensed Marriage and Family
                  > > > > > Therapist
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Certified Group Psychotherapist
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > 38 Miller Avenue, #139
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Mill Valley, CA 94941
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >  Â
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > 415.383.7721
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > 800.619.5705 (Long Distance)
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Website:Â
                  > > > > > www.colleenrussellmft.com Â
                  > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ------------------------------------
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  >




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                • colleen
                  Leaf and Sharon, thanks for posting this, and, especially as a former  eckist , I appreciate your support.  At this time, the majority of my clients are
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 26, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Leaf and Sharon, thanks for posting this, and, especially as a former "eckist", I appreciate your support.  At this time, the majority of my clients are former members of various cults.  My work has been important to my own understanding and integration of  past experiences in eckankar, my family of origin, and my current life.  I've enjoyed facilitating an on-going group for former members of cults or high-demand groups for 8 years now.  I deeply appreciate the in-depth work of participants and the genuinely supportive potential and functioning of groups and relationships that contrast the larger group of eckankar, and smaller groups of satsang classes and the Los Angeles Center crowd when  I was "spreading the word" as a "co-worker with God".   (I still deliberately use the same lettes for "eckankar" and anything "eck"-related  in rebellion to Twitchell's demand to use all caps!) 
                     
                    I read Leaf's earlier statement that he would never give up his own inner authority to another person or group as he did in eckankar.  Neither will I!  And whether I'm attending a group with the Northern California Group Society or a conference with the International Cultic Studies Association, I will test to see if the group and/or leader(s) genuinely support differences and if the environment is counter to those of dysfunctional, authoritarian cults. In some situations, I've found relief with differences and suprises of similiarities to cultic group interaction when I least expected them.
                     
                    Best to All....
                    Colleen
                     
                     
                    This electronic mail transmission may contain privileged,
                    confidential and/or proprietary information intended only for the person(s) named. Any use, distribution, copying or disclosure to another person is strictly prohibited. If you are not the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to such person), you may not copy or deliver this message to anyone. In such case, you should destroy this message and kindly notify the sender by reply email.
                    ***************************************************************



                    From: Sharon <brighttigress@...>
                    To: eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thu, February 11, 2010 8:21:27 AM
                    Subject: [eckankartruth] Re: Workshop For Former Members in March (CALIF)

                     

                    (I'm posting this for Leaf because it wasn't showing up here. Is anyone else having problems posting? Oh, I agree, "Take Back Your Life" is a great book!! S.))

                    > From: tomleafeater <tianyue@earthlink. net>
                    > Subject: Re: Workshop For Former Members in March (CALIF)
                    > To: eckankartruth- owner@yahoogroup s.com
                    > Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 5:41 PM
                    > A few words are in order about the
                    > workshop:
                    >
                    > This workshop in California is worth attending, for those
                    > who live in the bay area.
                    >
                    > Janja Lalich is the guest facilitator. I've read one of her
                    > books (Take Back Your Life) and found it to be very
                    >
                    insightful in its exploration of cult psychology. The book
                    > helped me recognize in my own experience many of the phases
                    > that former members may experience who leave a cult.
                    >
                    > For example, the chapter on children who grew up in a cult
                    > and what they experience in leaving was spot on. I was just
                    > 14 when I first read an Eck book, 16 when I joined, and
                    > while I was not exactly a young child, a good chunk of my
                    > life was missed at that age since I spent my time "spreading
                    > the word" instead of enjoying my youth like other kids. I
                    > found the book to be surprisingly helpful because it
                    > reinforced some of my own conclusions about cult
                    > psychology.
                    >
                    > One of the facilitators is Colleen Russell, who used to
                    > post on some of the ex-eckankar groups and is a former
                    > eckist.
                    >
                    > Way to go, Colleen!
                    >
                    > --- In
                    href="mailto:eckankartruth%40yahoogroups.com" rel=nofollow target=_blank ymailto="mailto:eckankartruth%40yahoogroups.com">eckankartruth@ yahoogroups. com,
                    > Sharon <brighttigress@ ...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Workshop for
                    > > > Former Members of Cults
                    > > > or High-Demand Groups
                    > > >
                    > > > Special Guest Facilitator:
                    > > > Janja Lalich, Ph.D., former cult member &
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > author of Take
                    > > > Back Your Life and Bounded Choice
                    > > >
                    > > > March 13th, 2010
                    > > > from 1:00 â€" 5:00
                    > > > P.M.  ­  Mill
                    > > > Valley, CA Location
                    > > >
                    > > > (In the San
                    > > > Francisco Bay Area)
                    > > >
                    > > > Fee:
                    > > > $45.00  ­ Â
                    > > > Participation limited to 20
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > This is an
                    > > > opportunity to meet and participate with other
                    > former
                    > > > members of cults or
                    > > > high-demand groups. Our goal is to provide a
                    > safe,
                    > > > respectful environment
                    > > > in which participants may gain mutual support,
                    > share
                    > > > perceptions, and learn
                    > > > from each other. We hope to focus on typical
                    > post-cult
                    > > > aftereffects and
                    > > > responses, the process of recovery and personal
                    > > > development, strategies and
                    > > > successes for a creating a life of one’s
                    > own making.
                    > > > While this is not a
                    > > > therapy group, it may be therapeutic.Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > The session will
                    > > > begin with brief introductions, followed by an
                    > open
                    > > > discussion in which
                    > > > participants can expand upon anything previously
                    > stated,
                    > > > comment on emerging
                    > > > thoughts and feelings, and address relevant
                    > > > issues.Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > The
                    > > > facilitators, Colleen Russell and Janja Lalich,
                    > expect a
                    > > > lively, interactive,
                    > > > and in-depth exploration of issues raised by
                    > participants,
                    > > > such as trust;
                    > > > relationships and communication; healthy group
                    > functioning;
                    > > > magical thinking;
                    > > > disconfirming inaccurate, self-limiting beliefs
                    > > > internalized from cult
                    > > > ideologies; boundaries and
                    saying
                    > “noâ€&#65533;; loss
                    > > > and grief; anger and
                    > > > other emotions; critical-thinking skills;
                    > connecting to
                    > > > society-at-large;
                    > > > self-acceptance; post-traumatic stress; family of
                    > origin
                    > > > issues; personal
                    > > > accomplishments and goals.Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Colleen Russell,
                    > > > L.M.F.T., is an
                    > > > experienced
                    > > > psychotherapist and a Certified Group
                    > > > Psychotherapist. In the 1970s she
                    > > > was a “higher initiateâ€&#65533; and area
                    > representative
                    > > > of an Eastern/New
                    > > > Age cult. Ms. Russell facilitates an on-going
                    > group
                    > > > for former members, now in
                    > > > its eighth year, and she endeavors to support
                    >
                    healthy as
                    > > > opposed to cultic
                    > > > group functioning and dynamics. In addition to
                    > her
                    > > > general therapy
                    > > > practice with individuals, couples, and families,
                    > she
                    > > > specializes in cult
                    > > > education and recovery.
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Janja Lalich,
                    > > > Ph.D., is Professor of
                    > > > Sociology at California State, University, Chico.
                    > In the
                    > > > 1970s and ’80s
                    > > > she was a high-ranking member of a San
                    > Francisco-based
                    > > > political cult. Since
                    > > > leaving the cult in 1986, Dr. Lalich has become
                    > one of the
                    > > > nation’s
                    > > > leading experts on cult phenomena, including
                    > cult
                    > > > indoctrination and its
                    > > > effects and
                    recovery from such experiences.Â
                    > In
                    > > > addition to her own works, she
                    > > > coauthored two books with the late Dr. Margaret
                    > Singer. Dr.
                    > > > Lalich facilitated
                    > > > former member support groups for many years in
                    > the San
                    > > > Francisco Bay Area and
                    > > > has worked with many individuals and families
                    > affected by
                    > > > cults.
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Location of
                    > > > Workshop: The setting for the workshop is
                    > > > in the apartment
                    > > > above Ms. Russell’s Mill Valley office, a
                    > comfortable
                    > > > environment with expansive
                    > > > views of the Redwood-covered ridge.Â
                    > Refreshments will
                    > > > be provided.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Call with any
                    > > > questions and to register:Â Colleen Russell,
                    > > > 415.383.7721. Â If you
                    > > > are planning to attend, registration fee must be
                    > received
                    > > > by March 6th,
                    > > > 2010. Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > Colleen Russell
                    > > >
                    > > > Licensed Marriage and Family
                    > > > Therapist
                    > > >
                    > > > Certified Group Psychotherapist
                    > > >
                    > > > 38 Miller Avenue, #139
                    > > >
                    > > > Mill Valley, CA 94941
                    > > >
                    > > > Â
                    > > >
                    > > > 415.383.7721
                    > > >
                    > > > 800.619.5705 (Long Distance)
                    > > >
                    > > > Website:Â
                    > > > www.colleenrussellm
                    target=_blank>ft.com Â

                    >


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