Princess Huff-Post And The Evil Red Monk
File under: The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus
We pulled this tip about Arianna Huffington from the spam bin this morning, and just spent some time explaining to the tipster why we weren't going to post about it:
The reason I won't post about this is that nobody is claiming special divinity. These kind of closed-circuit paths (strong leader whose ideas are rarely questioned) are culty, but that doesn't mean it's all exploitation. I'm convinced they can often work, but mostly out of a placebo-like effect. A persuasive description of the human condition leads to acceptance of the spiritual guidance it's packaged with, usually nothing more than a reflection of the leader's narcissism. Yet, despite how shaky the ideas may be, they can still work marvelously for right person.But then we actually read the whole thing, and got to this:
Huffington's loyalty is only evidence that she believes it works. Her attempts to cultify her org are a function of her unconscious grandiosity more than evil cult impulse. If somebody was saying they were God, and it made them special, then I'd be inclined to comment.
John-Roger is depicted as a paranoid leader who secretly wires each room in Insight headquarters with a microphone connected to his office, who taps the phones, and who warns that his critics "had been infected by a powerful and contagious negative force known as the Red Monk," a spirit of whom members were terrified. He removed "negative entities" in a popular "exorcism-like" ceremony known as the "Super II's," organized hours-long "Prana Awareness Trainings" involving "repeatedly answering a simple question," and organized followers into a complex hierarchy, including a Melchizedek Priesthood and an inner, elite circle of attractive young male ministers known as "the Guys."It's not like Huffington is the first well-regarded person to fall for a wackadoo guru (if these fables of psychic warfare actually do circulate in the org,) but it is a bit of a letdown to read about it in light of her substantial contribution to the national conversation these last few years.
But come on, evil red monks and awareness drilling? It sounds like J-R has been smoking too much Star Wars.