Monday, May 04, 2009

"What Enlightenment" Reignites

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A persistent reporter has spooked Papaji acolyte and EnlighteNext magazine founder Andrew Cohen, causing him to make public denials through lawyers to the authors of What Enlightenment, which carries unflattering descriptions of Cohen's behavior with his students. Cohen's action has caused ex-students to rally to the truth, and this truth hurts:
I would say that slapping and physical assaults were pretty infrequent. I have heard of a number of incidents over the years, but on the whole I would not say it was something that formal students came to expect. Perhaps it was more so for the very small group of “Committed Students”—the few, perhaps three to seven most senior students who led Andrew’s communities. I can personally attest to being instructed one time to go to Craig Hamilton and Carter Phipps, coeditors with me of Andrew’s magazine What Is Enlightenment?, shout an angry message, and slap them both, hard. Andrew emphasized that I must really mean it and hit them hard. I did this. He also had me do the same thing to Amy Edelstein (who sent the replies to you from EnlightenNext). For the record, I also witnessed Amy Edelstein herself slapping Craig and Carter under similar circumstances. In the incidents I witnessed or participated in, no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, I find it abhorrent, and this event was one of the “final straws” that helped me to realize that Andrew, and now I, had crossed a line that should not be crossed.
We suspect Cohen is now wishing he'd have kept this bag closed. While his little slaparchy might have made a good episode of the New Three Stooges, it definitely also makes for really, really bad PR.

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39 Comments:

At 5/05/2009 2:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the main thing here is that cohen, who endlessly blabbered about how important integrity is for him, is now caught just plain lying.

and the whole story has now hit been published in a major site in israel:
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/55/ART1/886/469.html

 
At 5/05/2009 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the new revelations, read Cohen's boasting of his integrity and disparaging his detractors at: http://www.andrewcohen.org/blog/index.php?/blog/post/declaration-of-integrity/

It blows my mind that he still has (seemingly) intelligent students who trust him. Talk about blind (deaf, and dumb) faith.

 
At 5/05/2009 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone should go take cohen to an s&m dungeon or something. he obviously likes slapping people, someone should slap him.

 
At 5/05/2009 6:00 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

no one was physically harmed. Nevertheless, I find it abhorrent,

you can't really know this, physical blows with any kind of force are capable of doing damage that isn't always apparent, it's never a good idea to shake up the brain or apply velocity to the neck, and that doesn't even begin to estimate the psychological toll taken on all concerned, why you would want this on your conscience i can't imagine, but it was proven that it's possible to manipulate people to this extent quite easily, as in the famous experiments where they got college kids to administer shocks to other participants . (I don't think they were real shocks , but the shockers thought they were. So i guess just know that we all can be coerced and manipulated for someone else's agenda. I'm glad i don't know this Andrew Cohen gut cas I might have to mess him up.

 
At 5/06/2009 5:31 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

'I'm glad i don't know this Andrew Cohen gut cas I might have to mess him up.'

I ran into him a long time ago, by accident, and it was clear then that he was already seriously, psychologically 'messed up'

He is a man on a total power trip, and it is quite chilling that he has the charisma and superficial plausibilty to gather a following-- as well as some social acceptance with similar power-trippers like Wilber.

I think there is often value to be found with some gurus/teachers, this life is a learning process for all of us and who else are we to learn from if not each other?

Even gurus and teachers have the good/bad mixed bag of personality traits we all carry but what is so startlingly obvious about Cohen is that no-one else exists in his world except Cohen, he has rigid, 100% self-belief and this is very seductive to some who are seeking validation. He totally believes his own hype and is determined to impose it on anyone foolish enough to allow that.

I don't much like using 'spiritual' terminology but Cohen has had a glimpse of the notion that we are all of us 'god', thinks it applies only to himself not everyone else and has decided to entrench himself there, milking it for the power over others and kudos it brings.

Psychologically that is infantile narcissism that when present in adults is malignant. It helps no-one but the narcissist because others are seen to have no value except to supply the narcissist with power.

He cannot help his students to 'self-realise', although they can learn, through aversion, to stay well away from such a person.


Cohen will implode eventually, I hope he doesn't hurt too many of his students beforehand.

 
At 5/06/2009 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When someone or an organization is abusing you, the only rational thing to do is to leave. Whether the abuse is dressed up as "being for your own good" or "you made made me hit you" it is still a violation of your boundaries. Since when is hitting or stealing your money a sign of enlightenment? If someone wants all of your money HE IS NOT GOD. Does the CIA train some of these so-called gurus in brain washing techniques? If one is indeed enlightened they should know better than to hit. I'd put more faith in gaining enlightenment from Chuck's mule than any of the self-styled gurus I've read about here. People need to engage their critical thinking skills and stand up and walk away from hurtful situations. THAT is where enlightenment can be found.

 
At 5/06/2009 9:40 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymush, I must inform you that my mule, Da Free Jack, has retired from active teachin... After a incident in witch the fellow hurt his leg breakin through a fence to get at a shetland pony in the next pasture, the mule has remained silent! At this point I am considerin the collectin and selling of his plop as a healing salve.

Yomamma, I would admire seein you messin up this Andrew feller! Though he may strut like a rooster, he will always remain a Co-hen...

 
At 5/06/2009 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether the abuse is dressed up as "being for your own good" or "you made made me hit you" it is still a violation of your boundaries.

exactly, but the trap of these gurus is, that tragically they attract people with the least amount of self esteem and then abuse them further.

thats why its so so wrong!

 
At 5/06/2009 12:20 PM, Blogger s e m b l a n c e said...

I'd put more faith in gaining enlightenment from Chuck's mule than any of the self-styled gurus I've read about here.
----------

Good you brought this topic and woke me up too. Chuck and his mule are the only topics that interest me in this blog besides some raunchy gurus who cant stay without diddling like most of us. But anonymush should know that Chuck's mule is not just a pushover like the way it is for those fleas in its shed. Chuckji has discoursed in large details about its kick and tell techniques and how it brings instant nirvana inside that gassing chamber.

Now from the fact chuckji is not to be heard or seen I seriously wonder of swine flu hitting dime box in a big way. I also contemplate how does a enlightened mule handle such worldly things as swine flu? and when swine flu hits a mule will it become mule flu ??

Only Chuckji can tell..

 
At 5/06/2009 1:41 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Semblance, my friend, strange that you should bring up the swine flu since I had jist been dealin with this sort of thang. Here is what I had writ at the TM Free blog the other day....


This here recent talk of men breedin with mules and hogs is a little close to home for yours truly... I've been hid out lately dodgin the slings an arrows of verbal barbs by certain folks here in Dime Box, Texas who cause of my weight have been blamin me for the break out of swine flu! Just cause a man has a little more weight than is socially acceptable, a naturally red face, small up turned nose and little piggy eyes, he has been forced to endure notions that he is the missin link between hog and man! Added to that my feet is dainty for a man of my gurth, so when I walk folks say they hear the tip tappin of split hooves!

All my young life I had to hear talk that my momma must have laid down with a boar hog. Since momma is naturally horse faced, folks said, “You must have get your looks from your daddy...” Bein horse faced is no problem for man or girl, since bein called such is a compliment in East Texas! But such is not true of bein hog faced! Now as far as boys and farm animals goes, I was taught early it was a sin to be avoided. Worse thing for me was that I was oft times pointed out to the other boys as a example of what could happen if romantic feelins for a yorkshire sow was allowed to go too far!

 
At 5/06/2009 2:44 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Cohen has been a full-time teacher of 'enlightenment' for the best part of 30 years. To date, and by his own admission, not a single one of his students has made any progress.

Da Free Jack, talking or silent, has more to teach than this clown.
(Hope his leg heals, Chuck)

Some-one should tell Cohen that he is doing it wrong.

 
At 5/06/2009 6:11 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Ellen wrote...Cohen has had a glimpse of the notion that we are all of us 'god', thinks it applies only to himself not everyone else and has decided to entrench himself there, milking it for the power over others and kudos it brings.Note the similar sentiment in the response from Susan Bridle that this Guruphiliac report links to: I find Andrew Cohen one of the many great mysteries of the dharma. He had a profound enlightenment experience... At the same time, I believe that he has a number of blind spots.Like so many people who practice meditation etc, Andrew had some Big Special Experience that blew him away. Big Experiences are fun and educational, they're certainly not bad in themselves.

But to cling to the experience, to hold the idea that some passing experience has put you on a higher spiritual platform than the common folk... that seems to logically and inevitably lead to authoritarian or meglomaniacal delusions, the type that "What Enlightenment??!" is exposing.

Stuarthttp://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 5/06/2009 7:12 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Stuart said: 'Big Experiences are fun and educational, they're certainly not bad in themselves.'

It's maybe time we stopped making such a big deal about the Big Special Experiences. In secular language they are known as 'delusions'

I think you're right that they are not bad in themselves, but they can be very seductive.
As a spiritual goal they are the equivalent to believing the hard- sell marketers hype "I can make you rich/thin/happy" ---it is the emotional hook that catches the punters.

The best advice I ever got was to ignore them, not chase them, not expect them. And as you say, drugs are anyway more reliable providers of the experiences.

I came to understand that my brain will produce what is expected and requested of it. It can do a lot better than Big Special Experiences.

 
At 5/06/2009 7:55 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

ellen said...
> It's maybe time we stopped
> making such a big deal about the
> Big Special Experiences. In
> secular language they are known
> as 'delusions'

I'd imagine that an end to making such a big deal out of special experience comes with time and maturity. We can adopt a "middle way," not thinking of the experiences as delusions (just because they're non-oridinary), and yet not thinking that they make us Spiritually Superior either.

> I think you're right that they
> are not bad in themselves, but
> they can be very seductive.

Eating ice cream on special occasions, or drinking a Margarita now and then... are very nice activities. But if you get seduced into doing these things at every meal, that's a problem.

> The best advice I ever got was
> to ignore them, not chase them,
> not expect them.

After a big experience at a meditation retreat, I told a very kind Zen Master about it, and she said, "Just forget about it!"

Stuart

 
At 5/07/2009 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is that guy on the guru drinks advert.
pls dont take his picture off, he's well goodlooking! it's not jody is it? if it is, i have to say, you are well fit jody!

soz, carry on u peeps!

 
At 5/09/2009 2:42 AM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

Andrew Cohen said: “Face everything and avoid nothing.”

So why can’t he acknowledge the truth? It’s because his ideals seem so noble that he believes others can be slapped around in order to implement his ideals. Questioning himself feels like questioning his ideals, which he equates with God. He believes his actions are implementing the creative evolutionary side of God’s will. After all, how can you question God’s will?

Why can’t his disciples acknowledge the truth? They projected their ideals onto AC and so they fell in love with him, which is the same as falling in love with themselves. That’s where Andrew gets his power. He reflects people’s ideals back to them, tells them that their ideals are divine, and implies that he embodies those ideals, so they fall in love with him. Any attempt to leave Cohen is interpreted as sacrificing your own ideals, sacrificing everything great that you believe in, and denying God, Reality, and the meaning of life.

What would it take for Andrew to face everything and avoid nothing? Trust in life at large, not just trusting ideals.

What would it take for his disciples to face everything and avoid nothing? Trust in life at large, not just trusting ideals.

Cohen’s disciples do not need him or ideals to hold them up. Andrew Cohen does not need ideals, lies, and disciples to hold himself up. God doesn’t need Andrew Cohen or his organisation to hold She/Him/It up.

Regarding enlightenment, I think experiences and states are perfectly valid and real. The problem comes when we interpret those experiences and states. In Cohen’s case, he interpreted his experiences and states immediately as divinity and he also concluded that is old idealism was part of that divinity.

Real enlightenment would mean the confronting end of previous ideas and reference points.

 
At 5/09/2009 11:06 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

In spiritual groups, it's so common to be obsessive about something, must meditate more , chant more , work more, love more, etc, all in an effort to be what you already are.

 
At 5/12/2009 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ellen said...
> It's maybe time we stopped
> making such a big deal about the
> Big Special Experiences. In
> secular language they are known
> as 'delusions'

stuart said...
I'd imagine that an end to making such a big deal out of special experience comes with time and maturity. We can adopt a "middle way," not thinking of the experiences as delusions (just because they're non-oridinary), and yet not thinking that they make us Spiritually Superior either.

> I think you're right that they
> are not bad in themselves, but
> they can be very seductive.

stuart said...
Eating ice cream on special occasions, or drinking a Margarita now and then... are very nice activities. But if you get seduced into doing these things at every meal, that's a problem.

> The best advice I ever got was
> to ignore them, not chase them,
> not expect them.

stuart said...
After a big experience at a meditation retreat, I told a very kind Zen Master about it, and she said, "Just forget about it!"

Stuart

5/06/2009 7:55 PM


---------

Jody,

I've been reading posts by this guy, Stuart, for years now. Something just hasn't set right in reading him as he has spread out over the years, on sights over the Net. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but some discussion on the Rick Ross website has really helped to put some of what I was questioning in to perspective.

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,12906,70899

In Stuart's quoted text above from your website, he says:

"I'd imagine that an end to making such a big deal out of special experience comes with time and maturity. We can adopt a "middle way," not thinking of the experiences as delusions (just because they're non-oridinary), and yet not thinking that they make us Spiritually Superior either."

He then goes on to say:
"After a big experience at a meditation retreat, I told a very kind Zen Master about it, and she said, "Just forget about it!"

Jody, he talks about "maturity" and then goes on to quote a "teacher". Why does Stuart need to quote a "teacher", and a female teacher at that? Where is Stuart's voice by himself, is he capable of living life and speaking without quoting a "teacher"?

Another reason I bring up his 'timing' and the quoting a 'female teacher', is that recently on the Rick Ross website (a link you even hold on your website here, Jody), Stuart was called out on some issues, and equally important, his Zen teacher, Seung Sahn, was talked about. Some very interesting information came to light about Seung Sahn during the discussion on the Rick Ross website (discussion can be read here:)
http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,12906,70899

Stuart is a poker player by his own admission. Watching Stuart post over the years, I've noticed the different hands of poker he will play. Take for example, his quoted text at the beginning of his comment above from your website. I would call that one his 'opening hands', swaying and welcoming someone in to the game.

Stuart may be genuine in some of his commentary, but I also suspect strategic poker playing in the mix. I've watched him woo people, yourself, Chuck and mule on this site to name a few. He does this well, but watch out, Jody, if he ever finds reason to play another hand of poker with you, he will.

Stuart screamed across many websites on the Net, once he had the encounter on the Rick Ross website. His aggression was alarming to follow and read, to say the least. Attempts at deflection seem to play a role in his communication at this level of engagement.

He will pound people over the head with his 'school of Zen' philosphy, all the while he has been building up his name as a recognized Zen teacher it now appears. Jody, you even featured him in that role here on your site in February of 2009:

Stuart Resnick on Youtube

File under: Endorsed

We are delighted to have discovered Gp pal Stuart Resnick on video on YouTube, where he parses popular culture and his own life, picking out metaphoric assists for the illustration of zen notions. He's very plain spoken and quite funny:


Insight with humor as a reinforcing influence is a teaching tradition we are always happy to endorse.
reply
quote
08th February 2009 13:24 p.m.

http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html

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

Jody, I ask that you now team up with the Rick Ross bloggers and bring another side to this picture.
I ask that you do a full segment on Stuart's Zen teacher, Seung Sahn, some of the abuse that has been reported, and some of the abusive techniques Seung Sahn has been reported to use. Some seem to be a match for Stuart's 'more mature/advanced' hands of poker/communication posted on Net websites (when he raises the bar on his aggressive approach).

I realize that you, Chuck and mule, and others may be quick to come to Stuart's defense (he's good at building this around him, plays his hands well in doing so).
But, it seems there is another side to this story, one that needs to be fully explored and told.

I again attach the URL to the Rick Ross discussion with transpired. This is the one which triggered Stuart's scream across the Net.

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,12906,70899

It will not surprise me to watch Stuart launch in to a series of rants about the anti-cult movement being just like a cult, not allowing open discussion.

I can counter this with the thought that Stuart has fallen in to a cult thought system of Zen, where he beats people over the head again and again with his repetitive statements, and raises the level of aggression if a discussion does not go the way he wants it to.

Jody, please do some digging. Team up with the Rick Ross URL listed about. Post a full series. Let's see if a on-line intervention of sorts is called for. Has something with much more dark matter than even expected been hiding in plain sight all of this time?

 
At 5/13/2009 4:44 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

Anon 5/12/2009 6:47 PM

Stuart was responding to my posts, I don't have a problem with that. I put my view, Stuart responded with his variation. Off-line this is called conversation, its how we all communicate and learn.

I am concerned at your attempt to demonise/scapegoat Stuart and wonder at your need to paint him as some kind of devious and malevolent being.

So he plays poker, others play bingo or football. I worked in casinos worldwide for 25 years--- its a job. He is a longtime zen student--me too, 30 years and counting. Neither of the above make him the bogey-man you wish him to be.
Many people study many different disciplines. There is no inherent evil in any discipline.

Maturity comes when you are able to see all others as fallible and often deluded. It is the human condition and none of us can escape.

Martin is wrong when he states that "Andrew Cohen does not need ideals, lies, and disciples to hold himself up."
Clearly Cohen needs these things far more than his disciples need Cohen. Without these things Cohen is just another bumbling human being and he could no longer pretend to himself that he is special.

Worship/demonisation are two sides of the same coin, you are better off without either.

 
At 5/13/2009 7:58 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Dear Anonymush,

Yore meds aint workin...

 
At 5/13/2009 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

up chuck
yore spelling, breeding, brains aint working....but wot u gonna do, buttface!

 
At 5/13/2009 11:30 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

'Maturity comes when you are able to see all others as fallible and often deluded. It is the human condition and none of us can escape.'

Missed the most important word in the above:

Maturity comes when you are able to see YOURSELF and all others as fallible and often deluded.

 
At 5/13/2009 1:26 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

anonymush said...up chuck
yore spelling, breeding, brains aint working....but wot u gonna do, buttface!

Its all done been said before, sir... I would think that judgin from the passonion of yore words that you could be either a champion anti cultist or a half baked cultist yoreself! You could go either way, good buddy!

 
At 5/14/2009 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I applaud Anonymous for so boldy, and clearly, pointing out what I also see as a glaring problem with Stuart. As well as his teacher, Seung Sahn.

I also applaud Jody for publishing the comment. I sometimes fear that Jody might have a bias when it comes to his friends. It seems not. (At least in this case!)

I direct people's attention to a Guruphiliac item entitled, "TM Wants To Own Your Kids' Minds":

http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/2009/02/tm-wants-to-own-your-kids-minds.html

Stuart pounced on John Knapp in the comments section and it turned out that it was because he was upset over his experiences in the Rick Ross forum.

I was rather shocked at Stuart's treatment of John. Apparently I was not alone.

Cosmicwaters replied to Stuart: "Geeze Stuart, it's not all John dude. You *are* being a bit of a git about it. Do you converse with people like this in real life?"

Unfortunately I've witnessed Stuart act in similar fasion in other cyber spaces.

Really now, couldn't it be that Stuart has been in denial about his own cult involvements?

I say involvements plural because it's not just Seung Sahn. There's his stint with the SYDA gang too.

It's all too human to get sucked into a cult. It's all too human to not even know it for a while.

It can happen to the best of us.

This IS a blog taking a close look at gurus. I think a look at Seung Sahn is warranted. Especially since he's become a hot topic within the discussions on Byron Katie.

Thank you.

 
At 5/14/2009 10:12 AM, Anonymous Miss Terry said...

Chucky baby, how do you know those two comments are by the same anonymous person? The tone of the second anonymous does not match that of the first.

I think it's quite reasonable to question Stuart's defenses of his sex-addicted guru. Multiple student sex partners? And he's a Buddhist teacher?

Serious Buddhists take vows. Teachers take still more vows.

One of the "five precepts" is:

"To refrain from sexual misconduct."

One of the "ten precepts" is:

"Refrain from un-chastity (sensuality, sexuality, lust)."

Go ahead and have all the sex with all the partners you want. Just don't call yourself a Buddhist "master" if you do.

 
At 5/14/2009 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jody,

I want to clarify that this post and the anon post dated 5/9/09 at 6:47 p.m., are the only two posts I have made. I did not send the other anon post after mine was listed here.

The Rick Ross site also talks about LGAT as a tool employed by some of these organizations. You have a wide readership. It would be very helpful to link to their resources on LGAT. Outreach and education on what someone (not knowing what it is) may encounter could save them years of being snared in one of these dubious organizations.

I'll sign: t-1 (to let you know what anon this is)

 
At 5/14/2009 12:46 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

To be honest, I find these criticisms of Stuart totally lame. The only reason I'm posting them is because it provides Stuart more contrast from which to make his points.

 
At 5/14/2009 11:33 PM, Blogger Oona said...

I think it's pretty cool that Jody is providing a forum for Stuart to gain more contrast in order to make his points. It is a bit lame though at the same time, as you say Jody.

I'm reminded of a famous quote by Oscar Wilde "The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about". I guess that's probably true for a lot of folks and apparently helpful for some such as Stuart. Maybe not - I don't know Stuart. This Reminds me of how children act "inappropriately" in the eyes of some, and the conclusion typically seems to be that they desire attention. Any kind will do. Is it any different in "grown-up-land"? I don't think so. This does not apply to everyone, but clearly to some.

Gurus come, gurus go, life marches on with or without them. I will say for the record that if anyone slapped me, they should certainly expect the same in response.

I wish everyone would stop following others and find the God within themselves if that's what they are seeking. Perhaps some are seeking a beating? Who knows?

S&M is alive and well, that's for sure! I wonder why it's illegal to be a dominatrix or the dominated, and not illegal in other situations such as activities in so called "spiritual groups". There is typically a financial exchange of some type in both scenarios - whether for an hour or a lifetime. The financial exchange may come in the form of hours of service to another; i.e. time = $$, or just a straight exchange of currency.

People pay for the darnedest things! And pay and pay and pay. And finally I'm also reminded of a line in a song some may recall "If it makes you happy, then why the He-- are you so sad?" Insert the word "mad" in place of "sad" if that works better for you.

 
At 5/19/2009 12:16 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Jody ain't got no issues with cults or sex preverts,

As long as nobody is getting hurt!

just don't call yourself God!

Just don't claim to be more God than anyone else!

 
At 5/19/2009 12:19 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

I on the other hand say that if you just act like God thats enough to get ya busted. You can't use the" I'm too far beyond all this " clause to make excuses for drinking, womanizing and downright piggery. The Emperor is still naked no matter how you try to rationalize it.

 
At 5/19/2009 12:39 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

I'm too far beyond all this

There is no such thing. Everybody poops on the pot. Everyone is within their rights to expect their spiritual teachers to be good people. Enlightenment gets you out of nothing other than ignorance about your true nature.

 
At 5/19/2009 1:19 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

As long as nobody is getting hurt!

but since there is no guarantee of this it is probably best if the playing field is equal. Is it a good idea to have sex with your boss? or god forbid your Dad? why do people want to have sex with a spiritual teacher or vice versa? the deck is stacked against the student in most cases. I don't know why people lose all good sense in spiritual matters.

Just don't claim to be more God than anyone else!


often not necessary , when there are so many willing dupes around who will do it for you! Again they just throw good sense out the window.

 
At 5/20/2009 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yomamma,

Thank you for your insight and deep seated wisdom, to help cary this very important conversation through all of its twists and turns.

I've read your entries on different sites, but I have never conversed with you directly.

If I may add to your insight, I offer the following for reader consideration and possible reading:

Declaration of Reverned Pamela Cooper-White:
called as an expert witness in the matter of Bertolucci vs. Ananda

http://www.anandainfo.com/cooper-white.html

Two books:

Pamela Cooper-White, the author of the book:
"The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response", published in 1995

Peter Rutter, M.D., psychiastrist on the faculty of University of California, San Francisco Medical School, and the author of "Sex in the Forbidden Zone" (published by Tarcher, 1990)

I also highly suggest visiting the website of Joan Radha Bridges, former member of Siddha Yoga, and sexually assualted by Swami Muktananda. Ms. Bridges has brought together different survivors of sexual assault, of differeent groups.

Ms. Bridges is in the process of publishing and releasing a video.

http://www.shadowoftheguru.com

I highly applaud Ms. Bridges.

As a footnote:
There are those who were sexually assualted by family members in their formative years. They have been noted to go on to give an affirmation to future sexual assualt(s) by spiritual fathers (and/or high ranking members of groups). The transference of imprinting/natal experience to another source beyond DNA family, is a subject of deep study and consideration.

Thank you again, Yomamma.

 
At 5/22/2009 11:27 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

I have read Radha Bridges material and commented on it on this blog. Thanks for the recommendations , I will check them out.
As you say it behooves us all to look into familial imprinting and how it affects our choices later on down the line.
while we are recommending stuff, I found this while I was looking form the dish on Stuart, I didn't really find anything about Stuart , but found this interesting online book; http://www.strippingthegurus.com/index.html#stgtoc

 
At 5/23/2009 1:56 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

'As you say it behooves us all to look into familial imprinting and how it affects our choices later on down the line.'

I read with interest the court testimony of the Rev Pamela Cooper-Wright referenced above and found it to be very realistic on the vulnerabilities, particularly of women, when dealing with a relationship of power imbalance.

Anyone wishing to avoid being exploited in such a relationship would find the document of benefit.

However, from my own experience I have learned that it is futile to expect society and the world to adapt to my particular vunerabilities.

There are undoubtedly spiritual teachers whose main aim is to exploit, as there are exploiters in every walk of life.

The workable solution is not to demand that all such people be 'pure'(I might want that but it is tantamount to wishing for the moon to land in my lap) but for me to learn some critical thinking and so learn to discriminate wisely. That entails first learning to think realistically and coherently.

I don't know, or ever expect to know Stuart. I know less than nothing about his teacher, but I do know that Stuart is not answerable for his teacher's actions; he is answerable only for his own. So far he has posted reasoned and sane comments on various blog threads.

I do find it very strange that extremely tenuous links have been imagined between Stuart, Byron Katie, poker playing and zen practice to try to build a picture of Stuart as some kind of dangerous
predatory guru. Are there not enough of these jokers at large in the world without imagining new ones behind every blog post?

The rick ross threads involving Stuart are classic examples of assumptions based on no evidence at all added to imagined links and a heavy dollop of supposition. Stir this mess with a good dose of fear and you have classic cultic thinking----a readymade conspiracy with a handy scapegoat.

The way out of this kind of thinking is with learning to discriminate wisely between what you personally know and what someone else concocts and insists that you believe as reality.

Stuart's postings are consistent in pointing to the necessity of this discriminatory thinking. Whoever he may be in his day-to- day life, his postings are helpful in this regard.

It is hard work to think critcally and certainly not as entertaining as finding bogeymen to scapegoat but, for those of us who have suffered for our vulnerabilities, it is the only way out of permanent victimhood.

 
At 5/26/2009 9:07 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

Stuart is not answerable for his teacher's actions;

still all this innuendo goes along way toward explaining that curious bulge under Kwan Yin's robe at empty gate!

 
At 6/01/2009 1:56 PM, Anonymous Spiritual Enlightenment said...

Now, I don't like talking bad about people but if someone is new on the path to enlightenment like I was, I still wish to share my experience as a word of caution.

I did my first meditation retreat with Cohen and was a bit shocked. One lady went to the hospital after a mental collapse, another one I had to pull back, and in general his treatment was pretty hard core. I took some beating and after the retreat his behavior was treating. After returning back home, I went to his center for some time until I received the same kind of beating from the leading students at the center.

After this treatment I left the center and started to read some of his books and books about him. Notable was two things:

1) Even though Andrew thought he was enlightened, his former teacher did not think so and even told people who had been hurt by Andrew to come to him for an appology.

2) In his own books he often used the word "sword" when talking about truth - something that sounds a lot like Christian fundamentalists.

In in end I came to the conclusion that his devoted students must have been used to beating from their parents since they chose to continue this practice with Andrew.

Finally, I totally agree that the truth does not hurt and enlightenment is not aggressive.

 
At 6/01/2009 2:07 PM, Anonymous Spiritual Enlightenment said...

...I see the same conclusion that I come to has been refered to here. I clearly see Enlightenment as teaching with love and compassion and its aim is to get you out of what ever karma you carry with you from your parents. What Cohen does it to increase the karmic pattern and the damage carried on by his student.

 
At 11/03/2009 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a disciple of Andrew when he first came to the US after teaching in Europe, back in the 80's. I had been skeptical, but had to check it down since the satsangs were right down the road. I had some dialogue with Andrew, and received a jolt of energy that almost knocked me over. That evening, I went home and had a dream where Andrew was the antichrist (which to me means: "looks like, sounds like, acts like... etc., but is actually the polar opposite"). In my dream, my Sufi teacher had to come and save me. I did not got back to satsang for a week, but then felt choicelessly drawn back (forgetting the dream) and went to satsang daily for the next few years. When Andrew moved to Marin, I left my husband, job and home (definitely encouraged) to join Andrew in Marin. I suffered for years in the name of "enlightenment", beating others emotionally and being beaten by others emotionally, cutting myself from anyone who was not a member of the satsang, and ignoring my children (all strongly encouraged). I finally left (only because I could not see being homeless with my two children for doing some "bad" thing which I was berated for even asking what it was). Although on the one hand I am very glad to have been willing to follow my spiritual inclination even if it ended as it had, it took years to recover from the emotional and psychological abuse. I am grateful to have been able to get out, and saw many many others who were not so lucky.

 

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