One Blog Closes, Another Laughs It Up
File under: Gurubusting
A few days back a reader informed us that the What Enlightenment??! blog has ceased publication. Founded to expose and investigate the abusive narcissist known as Andrew Cohen, the publishers of this excellent chronicle of the troubles which have constellated around Cohen feel that the work is complete, despite the fact that Cohen is gonna keep being Cohen, and that means plenty of troubled people are going to still be coming out of that head-screwing mindfuck, some with a lot less cash than they had going in:
In the more than two years since I personally "broke the code of silence," all of these disturbing events, and many more, were documented and corroborated on this blog, over and over again. Three former editors of What Is Enlightenment? magazine, including myself, spoke out strongly here about the abuses in Andrew Cohen's community. Other close students have also put their names on the line to attest to what went wrong with the community's beautiful dream of creating heaven on earth. The woman who financed Cohen's Foxhollow EnlightenNext world center wrote about how he unfairly took advantage of her vulnerability and largesse. Numerous other students have also contributed here, both named and anonymous, shedding light on the authoritarian abuses around Cohen, their causes and their harmful effects. In contrast, not one specific or credible factual denial has emerged from Andrew or anyone associated with him about what has been reported here in great detail and depth. Instead, we have only heard the refrain that we have failed to include the "context," as if any overarching purpose could justify the abuses described here and the pain they caused. No cry of "context" could obscure the devastating truth that the participants in this blog have had the courage to reveal...We're sorry to see the end of this parade of horrors, as it is a mightily-instructive journey into the heart of the pathologically-generated self-image of a guru. We suppose Cohen is never going to get it, as such is the fate of the habitually self-regarding souls who are convinced by their interpretation of their spiritual experience that they are special, rather than coming to know and promulgate the much less glamorous yet more accurate rendering of the truth, that self-realization and enlightenment do not make you special; they only reveal your utter ordinariness as a being – to yourself, others and the universe at large.
But I think that this particular forum has run its natural course. The essence of what needed to be expressed has been said. Most of the former students I know have moved on, or are in the process of doing so—they have regrouped or are regrouping, they value what they learned, both good and bad, and they have ventured into productive new lives. Those lives now may be less filled with drama, buzz and high romanticism, perhaps, than their lives with Andrew Cohen. But they seem, to me, to be lives that are far more genuine, lives that are making, or have the potential to make, greater contributions to this world.
Just as the door shuts on What Enlightenment??!, another has opened for us. Today a reader revealed the existence of YogaDawg, which is described as a snarky cross between The Onion and Yoga Journal. Seeing as we are decidedly outside the yoga "scene", a lot of it flies clear over our heads. But other folks seem to like it, and as we get more of a sense of its style, we find our admiration increasing. We're adding a permanent link, and if we miss anything that applies to what we're doing here, please give us a nudge in that direction.