Guruphiliac: Byron Katie Poisoned By Success?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Byron Katie Poisoned By Success?

File under: Gurubusting and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Seemingly from the inside, folks are beginning to lament the effect her success is having on Byron Katie:
Someone I know who was recently at the "Certification" workshop told me that one of the workshop participants did a "worksheet", that's one of tools of The Work, on Katie asking her to stop talking about all the money that the TurnAround Houses will be making. He also challenged her to stop being fake and having a different public and private persona and actually live what she is telling others to do.

It's hard to accept that Katie has lost her way because it appears that she once was genuine, sincere, and honest. Now it seems she has become fanatical about the agenda of bringing The Work to the world. And in her zealousness she is using her own process of The Work to justify doing whatever she wants to do. She is incredibly skilled at acting kind and caring and she shifts to a very different person once off the stage and out of The Work process.

If you watch Katie in an interview she constantly has to refer back to The Work. In her mind every situation can be handled by doing The Work. As I watch her I see a woman who needs The Work instantly to deal with any confusion or discomfort. It is her only answer to everything.

Katie has a charismatic personality and she has gathered a flock of followers to spread The Work. It's free, but there is a catch. You will be encouraged to go to an event or use a facilitator and it will far from free.

Yes, there is a free hotline which is staffed a few hours a day. But beware, the people who are answering the phone aren't particularly comfortable about what they are in, which is usually way over their heads, and all they will do with your despair is tell you to write down your thoughts and ask yourself some questions. And if you stray from that exact process, in their discomfort with your actual life, they will tell you to stop and stick to it.

If it feels abrupt and discounting and strangely artificial believe in yourself because the person on the other end of the phone is mostly likely scared as hell and doesn't have a clue how to help you other than to say "Do The Work" like parrot.

If you can find a person who hasn't been infected with the BKI Persona virus and has a shred of genuineness left in them, then have them do The Work with you. Meditative inquiry has value at certain times used in certain ways. At other times and used in the wrong way it can get you more lost and further away from the truth of you.

As difficult as it may be if you are in pain and looking for help, trust yourself. There are a lot of confused people in BKI and there is a lot of interest in getting you to give them some of your money. If you feel you are being manipulated stop. Many of the people in BKI want to be helpful and many "believe" they are being helpful. But they are actually very controlling and fearful and they are using this method to mask their anxiety.

There isn't much genuine freedom or joy in BKI, it is on the fast track to becoming a group of burned out believers following a charismatic leader who has become a fanatic and blind to the wrong turn (around) she has taken.

Katie, just stop. Stop the bullshit you are in. Stop acting as though you aren't in this for the money. Stop acting as though The Work is working. Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you. See what is, Katie. Most of the people around you are faking it.

Katie, there is always the opportunity for you to stop this and return to the truth you were once living. Go back to the desert and walk with yourself in quiet. Stop this insanity you have gotten into.

Ask yourself if the world really needs you to end it's suffering or if you really are using the world to distract yourself. The Work is losing it's power because you are losing your way.
Byron Katie is a long way from the conniving type like Sri Sri or the Kracki, but being human comes with faults, and acting like you don't have them only makes them that much more apparent. There is no cure for suffering, Bryon. You can help folks through their lives a bit, but as soon as you begin to believe your own hype, you're doomed as a true guru.

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At 4/15/2008 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Byron Katie and Oprah.

Here we go, another Oprah brewha. Byron Katie and Oprah are going to have a chat on Oprah's "Soul Series" radio show. No surprise as the Tolle has endorsed Katie's process.

Watching Oprah interrupt and interpret Eckhart is a perfect example of the massive misunderstanding that is happening as the mass market gets into this.

Oprah is on a Big Head trip and wow, she is lost in a mental mind trap. Eckahrt's constructs and concepts will assure that she stays there walking around in her mind maze and "teaching" those who call in with a question.

And now we'll have Byron Katie to cluck out Do The Work...Do The Work...Do The Work.

Isn't is great, all this talk about waking up is sure to put us to sleep as our eyes and ears shut to the noisy preaching of Oprah and those grabbing onto her mass media market.

At 4/15/2008 12:43 PM, Blogger Peggy Burgess said...

well hell, it's called the "Work" What could be a bigger drag? I'm gonna save the world with my "Work". It's called ego, it makes ya miserable, it makes everyone around you miserable.

At 4/15/2008 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>"well hell, it's called the "Work" What could be a bigger drag? I'm gonna save the world with my "Work". It's called ego, it makes ya miserable, it makes everyone around you miserable."

Exactly! Any time I hear somebody talking about "my work" (including myself), I know...beep beep beep: "ego alert"! It's all so very "important", don't you know and I'm "working" so very hard...getting better every day..sigh!
It's catchy though: "The Work"..has it been copyrighted yet? Hey, wait a minute, didn't Gurdjieff teach something called "The Work"?

seen too much

At 4/15/2008 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are a hypocrite.. selecting comments and censuring others which is harmful to YOUR little hate campaign .. you had me going there for a moment.. but now you lost me.

At 4/15/2008 10:44 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

you are a hypocrite

I am under no obligation to provide a platform for every attempt at a rebuttal. This is my opinion blog. It's always been that. You can go to the forum and make up your own thread to make your case. As long as you aren't rude, have at it.

YOUR little hate campaign

That's demonizing. My campaign is to provide tools to understand how gurudom works in our society, while attempting a few jokes at the expense of those I believe are inhibiting understanding by projecting the image of a divine guru for themselves.

At 4/16/2008 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing regarding Katie's hookup with Oprah (and Tolle's): Oprah has a way of tearing through ideas and pulling her followers along with her, skimming off the top layer and then racing on to the next thing... leaving a "burnt field" of "been there/done that" behind her. One year it's "relationships- lite", the next year it's "taking care of your body-lite", the next year it's "spirituality-lite". It would appear to be a mixed blessing to take up with Oprah. Did anyone read Oprah's interview with Pema Chodron in "O" Magazine? I the dentist's office. It was a real piece of even further dumbing down of Chodron's already watered-down presentation of Buddhism. People have said to me, "well, you have to present these ideas in ways that don't 'frighten' people". Uh, I'm not too sure about that. I think the theory is that people will get "seduced" into a deeper level. Sounds fishy to me.

seen too much.

At 4/16/2008 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't even mind the ego of a teacher if she/he isn't insisting on everyone else get rid of theirs.

Godmen want obedient followers with no sense of self (called ego) volunteering long hours for nothing while paying huge fees for his programs.

The only person allow to have an ego, and a gigantic one at that, is the guru godmen.

At 4/16/2008 3:35 PM, Blogger Global Purple Orchestra said...

I thought gurus want your ego intact and surrendered totally to them. What makes the disciple do the work and what makes the guru to have his work done are both ego only?

Few gurus have encouraged to keep the ego of ones own and for ones own welfare. But then, minus ego, where is the teaching possible and how is the learning possible ?

-seen many but stuck to one..

At 4/18/2008 12:57 PM, Blogger stuartresnick said...

When we're infants, we have only one way to learn: imitation. Those of us mature enough to read this blog are no longer infants. We can still benefit from learning... but we can move beyond imitation.

Byron Katie had some sort of special experience, and was able to articulate it in a way that some people find useful. That's all good. We simply need to avoid considering her infallible (like we automatically viewed our God-like parents when we were infants).

We can take whatever's useful from The Work and other teachings and teachers, and ultimately make it our own, without imitating or following anyone.


At 4/19/2008 5:27 AM, Blogger gregory said...

stuart, i agree with you... byron katie has one great gift to teach, how to keal with emotional reaction, and she does it well.... anything else is not important

At 5/05/2008 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Byron Katie is presenting a simple non judgemental way for one to look at oneself.

People come to her because she inspires them and shows them how to live the word that they expect others to live by.

If others are willing to financially support people like this then wow, what a beautiful world. It seems like a win/win to me. People bettering themselves, turning from substance abuse or possibly violence and finding love and purpose in their lives.

If Byron Katie is not living in integrity somehow that is her business. I am grateful that she has reminded me to live in my own.

Ask some of the prison guards at the prisons that she has visited whether Byron Katie has had an impact on their lives....

At 5/05/2008 4:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Here is my experience with Katie. I spent a lot of time with her in the 1990's. The most valuable thing that I feel I got from Katie was to question my own opinions about things.

It may sound kind of like 'duh,' but prior to meeting Katie, I really did think that my opinions were correct, and if someone had a different opinion than I did, that person was wrong. I never even questioned that assumption.

So, that was a big opening for me, to begin to see that there were extremely 'subjective' ways to view things, and then more 'objective' ways to view them.

On the personal side, I always found Katie to be extremely loving and kind, and I felt that she was entirely genuine.

As far as the 'technique' of 'The Work' goes, I think that it is pretty extreme, and as such, not suitable for everyone, especially those who are kind of delicate emotionally, or not all that well-balanced mentally to begin with, and Katie seemed to attract a lot of people like that.

The last time I saw Katie, the crowd was totally different from the old days when everything was free. This new crowd definitely seemed 'up-town,' and they also seemed a bit more emotionally balanced. But, hey, that was just my opinion, based on a very brief observation.

At 5/15/2008 8:43 AM, Blogger Frank Barning said...

I was in the Katie crowd in the old days, mostly in San Diego and Barstow. We had personal access to her and all we saw, heard and felt was the truth, as we saw it. As her crowds got bigger, for me the personal touch was lost and we no longer went to see her. But The Work still works for me, despite my personal disconnection.

Then someone suggested Tolle's "Power of Now." It felt like a Katie graduate program.

Now we have the Oprah connection to Tolle and Katie and all the static on the internet, utube, etc. How delicious, how entertaining, as are comments on this site and elsewhere.

It is a joy, the good, the bad and the ugly, which are all the same, part of the fun of living.

I am enjoying the ride and don't take all of that too seriously,even what I have posted here. When I take myself too seriously, that gives me a laugh, too.

Frank Barning
Las Vegas, NV

At 5/26/2008 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart, a Friend, Kathi and Frank,
I can't say it better than you all already have.

But here's what I'd add.

The Work seems to be doing me some good and that's that. I don't believe anything about Katie other than she is doing what she wants. (The same goes for Tolle, Oprah, etc.) If it doesn't hold up to my standard of honesty or morality or anything else, well... that's my business. And that's just a fact. "If I don't like her (their) peaches... etc."

And the Work doesn't always work for me. But I must admit that I don't get stuck in a downward spiral of doom and gloom like I used to do.
So something about the Work is helping.

I have to say, also, that I do feel free now (whatever that means). I really do. It's kind of like a knowing. What I'm knowing I can't rightly say.
Here's a metaphor; I'm tightrope walking and without looking down I sense that there's a net down below me. The tightrope walking is just that, 1 step (1 moment) at a time. And that's the only one I can be in. Sometimes it feels fine and sometimes not.

A friend turned me on to this link and I'm glad he did. I've enjoyed reading what you all had to say. And I told him exactly what I said above.
It all comes down to me, one step at a time.
It's only when I take myself (or anyone else) too seriously that I trip.


At 6/01/2008 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I feel more free than I used to, and it really seems that BK is giving people permission to be true to the life force within. I think that's a good thing.

Although it costs a lot to see BK in person, I'd argue it really doesn't matter. It's free to get the worksheets online and to watch stuff on youtube. It IS extreme, and so I don't go 100% percent with the philosphy of accepting everything as it is, but it sure helps to at least aspire to try to accept life as it is.

I've also found that since doing the work, I've got out of the hateful rut I was in of thinking people stupid and not caring about my ego.

That has opened the door to increased empathy, which makes life feel a lot better than before, when I felt in almost complete separation.

The Work has a lot to offer itself, many many things which aren't even written "on the box" for instance, accepting and loving the body, and learning how to stop seeking attention or acceptance.

All i have to say is that, whilst Katie does go very extreme with her techique, she has shown it to work very effectively, it's not a complete scam. If it was it wouldn't move people to tears or forgiveness, would it.

I do agree however that it was very cringeworthy to see Tolle on Oprah and I have to admit to losing respect for him lately, as I'm starting to think that a lot of what Tolle is talking about is just personal interpretation and opinion. Whilst I enjoyed listening to his talks it didn't bring me any closer to experiencing myself. Sometimes I felt that Tolle was actually prejudiced against people who "weren't there yet", and I can't stand that in religious/spiritual teachers. As far as I'm concerned, if someone's come to save humanity from the hell of mind, then they ought to accept everyone, no matter how poisoned they are! I feel The Work is more informative of attachment than anything Tolle has said. His pain-body theory is a perfect example of how he appears to have gotten ahead of himself. Pain isn't an entity, it's clearly a physiological reaction...

At 6/03/2008 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read "My Stroke of Insight" in one sitting - I couldn't put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it's a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I've ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.

At 6/04/2008 9:19 AM, Blogger Frank Barning said...

To Anon...

Byron Katie does not give you permission. You give yourself permission, or you withhold permission from yourself. She has nothing to do with it. In The Work, I point in, not out.

You also wrote "it's not a complete scam." Therefore, you must have concluded that it is a partial scam. So why bother with The Work at all if you believe that it includes some scam?

At 8/15/2008 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shall we do the Work on the original essay?

Is it true that BK has lost her way? What proof do you offer of her $$$-loving ways? (charging fees to sustain programs does not count. Every organization has expenses)

Are you absolutely sure?

Take it from here thru the questions + do the turnaround.

I know it's a blog, rich in opinions but let's not be so poor in facts.



At 2/16/2009 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm more generous than Katie/BKI

I wanted to attend 'the school'. Figured I could afford $2400, applied for partial scholarship. Got email back saying 'Katie is thrilled to welcome you to the school. You will receive XX tuition assistance, which you can pay back at $100 month via your bank account. I'd be paying that off for 1 1/2 years.

So let me get this straight, I go into debt to become free??? That makes me laugh.

Didn't like their response at all. But then I remembered what Katie says, that if you want to know how someone REALLY feels about you, tell them no when they ask for something. I became aware how I really feel about Katie/BKI when they told me no. Realized I think of her/it as greedy.

So I did turnaround, and realized I'm greedy. So I went out and bought a nice box of chocolates and mailed it to BKI scholarship committee, thanking them for rejecting my request for partial scholarship.

Wow! I'm more generous than BKI, and all it cost me was a box of chocolates and shipping to realize that truth.

At 4/01/2009 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I visit your blog from time to time... always enjoy what I read. I like to go back and read what I missed in between times... and finding this one was a REAL TREAT.

I remember back when you posted about Byron Katie earlier on, and somehow became convinced that she was on the up and up by one of her followers... an acquaintance of yours, I believe.

I'd already been to The School, and was figuring out what a jerk she really is. In fact, it was a sample of my post of Rick Ross that you included in your blog.

I wouldn't say she's been poisoned by success... but now that she has success, she certainly doesn't have to work as hard to hide her "other side".

It's sad and funny, both, to see the Byron Katie fanatics here trying to stamp out any opinion that might shake them into reality... and squash their perfect vision of their guru.

I know at one time, I would have been posting that garbage too... trying to get you to do turnarounds on your opinion, and angrily swearing that it was all your own projections... meanwhile trying to portray a loving, grateful and enlightened disciple... light years beyond your understanding... giving my "amens" to those who were on our side. All I can say is...


You nailed it this time.

I've been in counseling ever since I got out of that mess, and I'm happy to report that I no longer wake up doing the work. I no longer blame myself for everything that happens to me, and force myself to pretend that I'm happy and peaceful about it. I no longer claim that I don't understand it, but I only know that it helped me... it totally messed my life up... and I didn't even realize how badly until I'd been free of it for several months. I finally "woke up"... and realized... I'd been sleep walking through that weird world of Byron Katie for too long.

I'm so glad this blog is here, to give another (and more accurate, objective) perspective to this crazy Byron Katie thing.

At 4/15/2009 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the posts (left by the previous Anonymous Contributor here, April 1st) on the Rick Ross forum and felt well fore-warned about The School for The Work. I thanked you many times during my own experience. I went, despite your warning. I write to thank you now.

I contacted Byron Katie before the school, asking specifically about the practices detailed in those posts. I stated that I hoped these allegations were not true, since they seemed harsh and extreme, and that, if they were part of the program, I would be opting out of many of them . I received a kind and warm reply, reassuring me that all exercises were optional and that I was naturally encouraged to set my own boundaries there. And so I did.

I found it was often pretty tough to police those boundaries. Surprise is such a big element at The School. And Staff asks why one is not participating. They even phone the hotel room if they notice your absence. In a very strange instruction, Byron Katie told us early on that, if we were "unable" to get to a session or exercise, we should call the staff and they would come to our rooms and physically carry us to the conference hall. That conjured some visions and stories, I can tell you! What, exactly, does "unable" mean in that context? One of my children, at age two, used the phrase, "I can't want to!" I've always loved that. So often, when something inappropriate for me was happening at The School, I found I just couldn't want to. And I wasn't calling staff to drag me there, either.

Many of the exercises were built upon previous ones, so missing one often left me out of the loop for those that followed. After a while, there was a real difference between those who were "on the bus" and those who weren't.

In the end, what was clear to me was that I was in the wrong place. And that I had exercised my free will, both in being there and in opting out of some experiences. I would have preferred more clear and factual responses to my letter to Katie. If only she had said, "Yes, those are exercises we do and we consider them important to the whole experience...and you might want to reconsider attendance or setting your boundaries so firmly." Of course, that kind of response would never happen. There's that no-refund policy. And the Gotcha in the end is always Katie's injunction to, "Get what you came for."

So, I just felt foolish and my wallet felt lighter. Sounds like I got off less scathed than some. I have the Anonymous Contributor to thank. Your disclosures were not in vain.

At 6/29/2009 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish there were even more posts here.

My concern with bk is all the contradictions she says. I wish I had the time to write more. Truth is I can't figure out if the work is great for me or harmful. I want to figure it out. My sense is the technique is useful, but all the stories around it (her word) which she and Steven write, may be misleading. I think every cult has some great carrot. Good stuff. My concern is she is a cult figure, and the carrot comes with a lot of subconscious baggage she has repressed.

I hope people will continue to post more info be resources and stories.

At 9/21/2009 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contradictions is right! For example, she always mentions that "everything is as it should be." So then aren't you a hyprocrite if you try to change anything about your life? She mentions a time when her purse was stolen and 'she was so happy that someone could partake of everything in it.' She then proceeds to cancel all her credit cards. This philosophy is FULL of contradictions at every turn (though I do acknowledge some truth in it).

At 9/28/2009 12:32 PM, Blogger Jim Dodds said...

Katie turns everything into The Work because The Work applies to every situation. All she ever does is ask the questions. And leads to the end of suffering. The Work is a spontaneous incarnation of the truth of Advaita, that we’re all birthless, deathless, and can’t be harmed by what happens in the world, or by the mind trying to convince we’re separate beings.

At 11/07/2009 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to the School twice. I plan to go again. Each time I return, I see changes in life -- positive changes. I am a nicer person to be around, and feeling much more peaceful, happy and energetic inside.
I don't do all the exercises. Katie often says: "No one has to do this exercise," but even if she didn't, I'm pretty strong-minded and will do what I want to do -- if I think that it won't help me, I don't do it. A couple of times she has said something that I felt was wrong, and when I spoke out in the audience about my concerns, she said, "good catch! thanks for pointing it out."
I don't do The Work on myself exactly as specified, but during The School I try to follow the format, to see if I can learn something. One thing I learned at The School is that I don't listen well, and tend to interrupt people with my advice when they are talking about their problem -- because of The School, I've learned to really LISTEN, and it has reaped huge dividends in my relationships with my family and friends.
In short, Katie has given me the tools to really make a difference in my life, and I'm grateful for that. But if her method doesn't resonate with you, then no one says you have to do it.
I also like the way she often says "this is YOUR school." It's a reminder that we can put into it what we want, and go at our own speed. I certainly don't follow all the recommendations! I drink my coffee, etc.
But I am planning to go again. And again. Until I feel it isn't helping me anymore.

At 7/25/2010 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forms of this technique have been around, it just didn't always take this structured form. I think the problem comes when absolute teachings gets into the hands of some of us that are prone to fear because we lack faith in much of anything, it is then that we may grab on to someone who seems to convey that faith or peace that we lack. We need to keep her or him on that pedestal in order to keep our lives from spinning out of control. We don't see the truth because we really don't want to be set free....that is, until its time.

I too "fell under the spell" Byron Katie and The Work. Initially, I found this technique to be an effective tool for dealing with the stories that my mind liked to cling to and hold on to, for whatever reason. This worked nicely as a reality check for basic life problems. But, I after many years I have learned that there are not easy fixes to all of life's challenges, no black or white answers.

This was my personal experience doing The Work; my home burned to the ground.......I did the Work. The stresses of the loss caused my family to shatter..... I did The Work. My husband became unfaithful during this time ....I did The Work. My husband lied and turned my children against me....I did the Work. I did the Work on everything, I worked so hard at the "WORK" that I worked my way into nervous breakdown and a hospital stay for couple of weeks.

No, I can't say that the Work was responsible, but I do know that friends had begged me to stop doing the worksheets on these issues and turning them around on myself. They encouraged me to try to do enjoyable activities and to be self affirming. They saw that I couldn't stop crying and I was deteriorating daily, I didn't listen. I thought that doing this was the only way out of my suffering. I was wrong.

Now, I try to self examine and be honest about my thoughts and feelings. I try very hard to take responsibility for my actions, but I am kinder and more gentle on myself now. I also hold others responsible for their own behavior and don't make it my fault or responsibility. Now... two and a half years later, I am happy and......... sane. ;)

At 7/26/2010 1:09 PM, Blogger Jim Dodds said...

Dear Anonymous,
Your misfortunes have certainly been multiplying, but I want to ask if you did The Work by yourself as this downward spiral continued. When The Work "isn't working" it's often because we're so wrapped up in our pain that we simply aren't doing it right, and need help from a certified practitioner. Above all, who Katie is and how The Work like anything else can be abused are very separate issues. Call the Hotlines. The Work does work.

Jim Dodds

At 9/06/2010 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen to me, everyone. I am a great guru. I will tell you all the secret behind "The Secret", behind Byron Katie's Work, behind many forms of lukewarm New-Agey semi-Buddhism. Two words: THINK POSITIVE. (Or, the longer version: "Don't worry; be happy!"
Ok! Now, send me money, so I can be happy, too. Think of all the time and energy I saved you in books, programs, dialogues and retreats. Woo-hoo! : )

At 2/07/2011 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It can all be summed up in "SHUT UP and listen to me cause I'm right about it all." Or even shorter in the newest catch phrase in our society....."Really?". Please send thousands of dollars to my fund at a

At 9/20/2011 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A comment by a Byron Kati follower that disturbed me about a family member who had brain cancer was 'she seemed to attract that type of thing to herself.' Wow.. how could that be helpful to anyone? Blaming her for her own cancer. That is cold, and not the type of 'work' I could support.

At 9/01/2013 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found all the comments here authentic, and I thank everyone for there heart felt honesty. I have found in my own life, that until I'm ready to take responsibility for my joy and happiness it's not going to happen. I belonged to a 12 step program for many years, and was told I was in a "cult". My experience was one of growth, and Self Empowerment, and self empowerment feels good. I don't believe the Work of Byron Katie is for everyone, me included, but if it has helped people thousands of people view themselves and life in a loving light and if it resinates with you go for it. For me at this time, it doesn't feel right..but I honestly can't say it is not of benefit to many people. Mbstaig

At 4/29/2014 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the School for the Work about four or five years ago. There were over 200 people there with teams of staff. When I would ask for help they told me I had to figure it out on my own and when I pressed the issue they acted extremely inconvenienced. I had paid over $5000 to attend and got absolutely no individual attention. Plus she makes you starve for 3 days during a 9 day workshop and lies saying that she provides all meals. I attended a few more of her workshops after that and was struck about how insincere and controlling she is and her official facilitators are.I had roomed with one woman who would yell at me and demand so much from me I was frightened of her. And she was one of Katie's official facilitators. When I complained to Katie's main staff about the woman's insane behavior toward me they told me that I had to pay more for a workshop that I had already signed up for and they told me to do the work on it and hung up. In other words, not only were they absolutely no help to me, they were confrontational and aggressive toward me. I think Byron Katie is a sociopath. I think that she is extremely fake and that her work doesn't work at all. I think that she is a money grubbing con artist. I hope she no longer gets away with ripping people off.

At 6/15/2014 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found "The work" while searching how to help my mom who is in depression for many years. She's using antidepressants and visiting a psychologist form time to time.
After reading some excerpts from BK's books and watching some videos I became thoughtful. Yes, that might actually work. It helped me to quickly pinpoint some of my own issues. No, I won't send my mom to The School. But I could give her the BK's book to see if the Work makes any sense to my mom.
While reading the comments here. I see that the work has one trap which has caused troubles for some. For example, if I say that BK has become greedy and then I do a turnaround and find out that I myself am greedy, that still doesn't change the fact that BK might be greedy, too. When you do the work and change your attitude and after that find yourself feeling guilty instead of feeling free - you're doing something wrong. You can't be guilty for someone else. After you find your own errors, you don't have to become depressed. The real work is not just finding your problems inside you and feeling miserable for being wrong. The real work is to fix the damage you have done and then go on living. It doesn't have anything to do with BK, you don't need her nor her school at all. Just take the best out of her work and then do your own work. I'll try to do the same. Good luck to us all!

At 11/12/2014 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Integrity is the touchstone of a true teacher. If your teacher lacks integrity, what do you think they're teaching you?

At 2/23/2017 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you think you are more than anyone, that's the ego. Another story.

At 2/25/2017 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this article is really great, Jody. I know it was written a long time ago but everything you wrote is even more true now.

I'm one of the many former certified facilitators of The Work with insider stories to tell.

The bottom line is that in the interest of continuing her marketing machine, Katie's denial of her flawed humanity, denial that she is a believer just like everyone else, has enabled countless fearful and rigid people to hang on to their self-hood. The religious zeal with which they quote her and literally parrot her without even considering to question what they're doing... well...This is ironic and also sad.

May open eyes eventually come to all in The Work who need it.

At 7/09/2017 12:30 PM, Blogger Which Is said...

Thank you thank you for this blo. I have a close friend at work who gave me all of Byron Katies books and talks this stuff nonstop. I finally heard the victim blaming when I confided in her about my husband's physical abuse. My God, I thought, and a light went off--what a cruel philosophy this is, a disciple so blind she cannot hear the struggles of a friend? The work, the worksheets, the crippling self blame at the hands of this enlightened friend? Done. Thank you. You and your commentators showed me that my work on The Work is done. I won't try to help my "friend"; no honest Byron Katie follower would expect me to help anyone, not even myself.

At 4/09/2018 8:45 AM, Blogger Tom_Kathy said...

Basic characteristics and control techniques of destructive mind-control cults:
1. The rules only apply to the followers. The leader does whatever she want to and gets away with it.
2. Your goals don't matter. Your goal should be to further the cult.
3. Conform! You are no longer your own person.
4. Lack of info on the cult from within, you're not allowed to question
5. You're not allowed to have a negative thought; if you do, the fault lies with you (not the cult)
6. Your 'history' is rewritten. Before the cult, you were "mis-treated" by your family. The cult tells you you're lucky to have found them. THEY really care about you.
7. You can't trust yourself. Trust only the leader. You learn to deny the evidence of your own senses, this keeps you blind to reality and the truth. For example, "You're not really physically hungry (when yes, you really are), it's "psychic" hunger, and you need this cult.
Finally, if they don't want you to leave - LEAVE!
Our son is all in with Byron Katie Mitchell's The Work. She is his onliest authority. He throws common sense out the window, along with time and money. He is also depressed and OCD, and they take advantage of that. It's been several years now for him, and there's no improvement. But her authoritarian charisma and reframing of emotions has crippled him.


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