Cult News, This Week …

Yay! Some fellow “disgruntled ex-students” have shared items of interest. Thought I’d pass along the latest in cults:

New Documentary: Holy Hell 

Will Allen directed and Jarad Leto produced this movie about a now defunct West Hollywood cult, The Bhuddafield, formed in 1980s. Allen happens to be an ex-member (20-year tenure) and he was also the group’s archivist, since he joined after graduating from film school. The documentary sews together footage shot by Allen back in the day and current interviews with ex-members. Based purely on the trailer, looks like these cult doobies had a lot more fun than we did; that is until (surprise, surprise) the leader got drunk on his own power and allegations of sexual abuse started to surface. Something tells me I’ll see some parallels to “school” in this doc. We’ll see.

Standing up to Sharon Gans: This Blogster has been quite busy; adding video posts, and supplemental blogs. Personally, my favorite recent development is the post that calls “school” out for falsely claiming ownership of Fourth Way ideas: “They tell the new members that ‘the Work’ or ‘the Study’ is entirely an oral tradition straight from ancient times and cannot be found in any writings. They conceal from members that the foundation of the cult is the spiritual system called ‘The Fourth Way.’ Gurdjieff and Ouspensky are never mentioned.’ ”

Once upon a time, I discovered a little book called “Introduction to The Gurdjieff Work” — low and behold, it contained ALL of the “never-to-be-found-anywhere-else-because-this-is-an-oral-teaching” ideas exclusively “taught” (cough) in the hallowed halls. Five-years worth of anger bubbled up. I saw “school” lying to me, and everyone else, from start to finish. Time to expose the “invisible world”.

Thank you for all of your hard work, Mr. S!

Lastly, have you ever donated clothes to these guys?

The word on Planet Aid is that it’s just another cult called “The Teacher’s Group”. The organization sells the donations for charity, it says. Others, like the FBI, say that “The Teacher’s Group” diverts the money for personal use. It’s leader, Mogens Amdi Petersen, is on the run as the Danish Government wants to charge him with charities fraud and tax evasion.

Isn’t that heartwarming?

God, how I hate cults. But they have been around for God knows how long … the real question, I suppose, is why do they exist. They are feeding on some kind of emotional/psychological need. I guess it’s up to us cult-busters to sort that out.


5 thoughts on “Cult News, This Week …

  1. Brad says:

    …the real question, I suppose, is why do they exist. They are feeding on some kind of emotional/psychological need.”

    Cults latch onto certain human tendencies that we have in life — a need for community, courage, meaning, wonder, curiosity, purpose, stimulation, attention. passion, love, challenge, approval,

    and often provide it very quickly.

  2. Brad says:

    re:teacher’s group:

    Oddly familiar…

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Hi Brad, Thanks for your comments … I just started reading the humana alert and thought, “wow”. Yes, too familiar. I’m gonna have to read through the rest tomorrow, as I’m a little tired.

      To be honest, I’m still grappling with the question, why do cults exist … I understand what they do, what they are latching on to, but the fact that there are so many groups like this and so many people have been duped some sociopath … narcissists. Humanity must really be missing some basic spiritual/emotional elements that so many of us have sought for thus falling prey … but anyway, I’m off on a tangent. Something to continue chewing on.

  3. leviathan says:

    From my readings, reflections, and comparisons it appears that they (cult-type groups, in all sizes) are indeed all alike. They may dress themselves in different trappings and have slightly different modes of operation, but the basic principles of control and abuse are always there and always the same. I have had people vigorously defend their time in The Forum to me because they only went to two or three weekend sessions, and they found the techniques enormously helpful. OK, good for you. It’s still an abusive, controlling cult that is only seeking to make money off of you. It wants to control you and hopefully increase your commitment and have you bring more people because…(can you guess why?) Then they will make more money! Yea!!!!! Money for them. Not for you. (Read about those weekend seminars – they will also sound familiar). So, yes, humans are susceptible to whatever it is that cults offer, and humans somehow are “getting” something out of their abusive cult relationships, or rather they think they are. One must remember that these groups actually are practicing a reconstruction on your brain. Hypnosis is real and mind-control (or the more spectacularized idea of Brainwashing, with its now almost cartoon-like connotations) is definitely real. We forget this because we do not wish to believe we can be so easily influenced but we are. Humans are curious and suggestible. Advertising works on YOU – yes, it really does. I will bet that most people reading this would be able to think of some product they have decided they ‘wanted’ in the past year. That want is the result of advertisement. Doesn’t matter if your friend has it and you thought it was cool, or it would help with your exercise, or you want to start that diet and this seems like an easy way – somewhere in that chain you bought into the ad’s idea. And so did your friend.

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Hi Leviathon –
      Yes! We are social creatures and are vulnerable to social pressures. We are impressionable and our psychology can be manipulated, deconstructed and re-wired. It’s disturbing, scary, in fact. Most people don’t want to see themselves this way; but if we want to keep ourselves and those we care about safe from the vultures, we have to understand our vulnerabilities and recognize the emotional traps. Yes, the emotional/psychological manipulations used in advertising and marketing can be applied in any number of ways that range from innocuous to damaging.

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