I have decided to rewrite this blog as I have opened a Pandora.
As I wrote, I had been reading a well researched NAFPS forum run by an activist group of Native people and their supporters who are exposing plastic shamans, fraud, deceit, money hunger, sexual exploitation, and cult- like new Age movement. We have been witnessing a new age phenomena of mixing occult, Tantra, Buddhist, Celtic, ancient religions with pseudo- psychotherapy, past life regression, UFO, and psychic healers . But there is much more than that and there are many who are quite creative in fooling people into pseudo spirituality that is nothing else but spiritual and emotional abuse, often sexual abuse.
Tricksters will always try to trap people with the false promise of quick fixes, easy feel-good answers, instant happiness or success. Spiritual healing has become a quite lucrative business. Out of curiosity, I have typed “sweat lodge”, “vision quest” or “shaman” into the Google search engine. I have found 48,200,000 results for “ shaman” and 30,700, 000 results for “vision quest”. Well, I haven’t expected such huge numbers but it indicates a spiritual hunger and a belief that spirituality can be bought.
Spiritual growth isn’t about buying an expensive retreat, workshop, teaching with “shamans” or gurus, energy healing, psychic healing or attending the sweat lodge or vision quest; it is about being painfully and intensely honest with yourself and facing own vulnerabilities. There is no shortcut but many are trying to convince us otherwise.
Let’s look at American Heritage Dictionary
n. pl. sha·mans
A member of certain traditional societies, especially of northern Asia and of North and South America, who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.
[Russian, from Evenki šaman, Buddhist monk, shaman, perhaps from Tocharian B ṣamāne, monk, from Prakrit (dialect of documents from the ancient city of Niya in the Taklimakan)ṣamana, from Sanskrit śramaṇaḥ, from śramaḥ, religious exercise, from śramati, he toils, practices austerity.]
So, the word “ shaman” is Indo-European in origin, that the Tungus peoples inherited the word from the Tocharians, and the Tocharians from Sanskrit.
But we have many white “shamans” who offer shamanic healing or mental health professional who identify psychospiritual crises as a shamanic crisis.
Let’s look at Stanislav Grof.
Stanislav Grof, Czech psychiatrist associated with Esalen institute, author of LSD Psychotherapy, Spiritual Emergance the founder of Holotropic Breathwork therapy, is known for his early studies of LSD and its effects on the psyche.
Some of the well known particular psychedelic substances that have been used to this day in Psychedelic therapy are: MDMA known as “ecstasy” , LSD, Psilocybin, Cannabis, Mescaline, 2C-B, Amanita Muscaria, Ayahuasca, Dimethyltryptamine, Ibogaine, Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, Ketamine Bufotenin Harmaline, and Salvia divinorum.
After taking LDS, a person typically goes through about eight hours of changes in sensory perception, mood swings, feelings of depersonalization and detachment. The LSD experience can be extremely traumatic. An unusual phenomena that may occur following the use of LSD is flashbacks, perceptual distortions or hallucinations weeks or even moths after talking the drug.
Acute psychosis induced by LSD intoxication, treatment requires hospitalization. As with LSD, no definite evidence shows that mescaline and psilocybin actually “expand consciousness” or create new ideas, rather, they mainly alter or distort experience.
Carson R., & Butcher J., & Mineka S. Abonrmal Psychology and Modern Life, p.385-386
According to Grof, “holotropic breathwork, in its theory and practice, combines and integrates various elements from depth psychology, modern consciousness research, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual philosophies, and native healing practices.”
I don’t want to waste my time on Grof’s theory. A friend gave mi Grof's, Spiritual Emergency. I can’t quote a very disturbing theory of spiritual emergency as after reading his book, I threw it to the garbage. Anyway, he compares symptoms of schizophrenia with identical symptoms that he calls psychospiritual crisis or spiritual emergency.
In his article about spiritual crisis, Grof, has stated that “ we can’t expect to find clearly defined and demarcated types of spiritual emergency. ‘ He further list “ of the most important varieties of psychospiritual crises”
1. Shamanic crisis
2. Awakening of Kundalini
3. Episodes of unitive consciousness (Maslow's "peak experiences")
4. Psychological renewal through return to the center (John Perry)
5. Crisis of psychic opening
6. Past-life experiences
7. Communication with spirit guides and "channeling"
8. Near-death experiences (NDEs)
9. Close encounters with UFOs and alien abduction experiences
10. Possession states
11. Alcoholism and drug addiction
And my final comment. I didn’t know that Holotropic Breathwork comprises five elements: group process, intensified breathing ( hyperventilation) evocative music, focused body work, and expressive drawing.
I didn’t know that HB includes art therapy. There are many therapists who use art in counseling without having a training. As an art therapist I would warn anybody not to use such therapy. Art therapy is very powerful and I have seen people disintegrated and retraumatized after the sessions with not trained in art therapy counselors. Well, when we add to it MDMA or other drug and HB, no wonder people develop schizophrenia like symptoms.
Spiritual emergency, eh?
After I posted my blog, I have found an interesting information about Holotropic Breathwork.
In 1993 the Scottish Charities Office commissioned a report into the technique, having received complaints concerning its implementation at the Findhorn Foundation, a registered charity. The report was written by Anthony Busutti Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Edinburgh), whose opinions caused the Findhorn Foundation to suspend its breathwork programme. In its report on the event, The Scotsman also published several critical comments concerning Holotropic Breathwork as a form of therapy, made by Dr Linda Watt of Leverndale Psychiatric Hospital in Glasgow. In response to literature about breathwork supplied by the newspaper, Dr Watt expressed professional concerns that the hyperventilation technique might cause seizure or lead to psychosis in vulnerable people. (The Scotsman, 14 October 1993).
Citizen initiative website has are some interesting critiques of Grofs' therapy.
Some critics now state that HB is one of the tools in the strategy of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Assn for Psychedelic Studies), founded by Rick Doblin. That Grof-related organization has an underlying aim to spread the use of psychoactive drugs according to the Grof mandate, which connotes a psychedelic society.
Some HB practitioners has stated do not rely upon psychoactive drugs. However there is an obvious contradiction because the underlying ideology involved in HB is inseparably related to Grof’s LSD and MDMA therapies, as attested by the books of Grof.
Ayahuasca, “shaman’s drug”, is also listed in Psychedelic therapy.
Ayahuasca: A Strange Brew
Can a psychotropic jungle potion cure the existential angst of the
By Gina Piccalo
But ayahuasca is no recreational drug. Unlike a drag on a marijuana joint
or a snort of cocaine, even a single encounter with ayahuasca can be
life-threatening under some circumstances. It poses serious risks when
taken with certain medications, such as SSRI antidepressants; reputable
shamans strictly prohibit the use of the beverage by anyone taking these
drugs. Some also demand abstinence from alcohol before a ceremony. A
Canadian woman, albeit with advanced diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular
disease, died in 2001 after an ayahuasca ceremony. An autopsy gave the
official cause of death as fatal nicotine poisoning due to tobacco mixed
with the ayahuasca preparation, an unusual method of brewing the drink. But
ayahuasca’s supporters consider the risks associated with the brew easily
avoidable with strict adherence to their shamans’ orders. The rewards, they
say, are worth the risks.
Let’s look at the sweat lodge, ritual offered by many “shamans”.
In October 2009, during a New Age retreat organized by James Arthur Ray, three people died and 21 more became ill while attending an overcrowded and improperly set up sweat lodge containing some 60 people and located near Sedona, Arizona.. Ray was arrested by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office in connection with the deaths on February 3, 2010, and bond was set at $5 million.
Who is James Arthur Ray?
James Arthur Ray (born November 22, 1957) is a motivational speaker and author. He is the author of Harmonic Wealth, a New York bestseller, frequently featured on the Today Show. In 2006 he appeared on CNN's Larry King Live and was a guest speaker in the film The Secret. Ray had taught Stephen Covey Motivational seminars while employed at AT&T and claimed he later worked two years for the Covey foundation, although the company has no record of him as an employee or contractor.
James Arthur Ray has his supporters.
Supporters of self-help guru James Arthur Ray said today they had hoped the man who helped them navigate life's hurdles would be shown leniency when he was sentenced for three counts of negligent homicide and decried the fact that Ray now must spend the next two years of his life behind bars.
"He's no threat. If you're going to call him a threat, you would have to call people who teach skydiving or scuba diving instructors a threat," said David McCall, a Texas trucking business owner who said he spent $125,000 to attend Ray's seminars in 2008.
Spiritual sexual healing
It is the most disturbing and many women fall a prey to those who use “spirituality” as a cover.
“ After 6 months of investigation, police busted an organized prostitution ring disguised as Alternative healing church. Instead of sexual intercourse they called it sacred union. The women were not called prostitutes but goddesses. Instead of brother or house of prostitutes they call it Church”
Phoenix Goddess Temple Raided as Alleged Brothel
By CHRISTINA CARONArizona prosecutors have charged more than 30 people affiliated with the Phoenix Goddess Temple, a 10,000-square-foot alleged brothel that had been operating under the pretense of providing "religious" services for hundreds of dollars in cash "donations," police said.
"They were committing crimes under the guise of religious freedom," Phoenix police spokesman Steve Martos said. "It's a sad situation when people are trying to hide behind religion and church to commit a crime."
The "temple" had been operating in Phoenix since 2009, but authorities didn't become aware of it until residents began complaining. After a local newspaper visited the alleged brothel and published an in-depth story, police launched a six-month investigation culminating in the arrest of 18 people Wednesday. They are still hunting down the other 19.
More expose of temple’s activities at “Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges”
I checked a website of another Temple of Goddess. Goddesses call themselves a certified tantric practitioner! Interestingly enough, their website had a major makeover just in 2 days. The detailed service offered by tantric practitioners that required $450- &650 donation disappeared. Furthermore, people who want to participate in tantric healing must be referred by registered or licensed psychologist!
Let’s look at other temples or healing centers.
European cult that mixes yoga with sex sets up base in Tamil Nadu
The Times of India
CHENNAI: A European cult that mixes yoga with sex and pornography has been found to be operating out of Chennai.
Training nearly 100 youngsters in yoga and 'tantric love' at a rented house in Chokalingam Nagar, Teynampet, for more than two years now, the Movement for Spiritual Integration in Absolute (Misa) is trying to spread across the country, investigations by TOI have revealed.
A team of seven Misa teachers, nationals of Denmark and Romania, is now in the city for a special camp, titled 'Tantra — The Path of Love'. A majority of them, including the lead couple Mihai Stoian and Adina Stoian, have starred in porn movies produced by Copenhagen-based production house Sublime Erotica, which the Misa group has close ties with. Misa operates under different names in different countries. It is Natha in Denmark, Tara in the US and Satya in India.
TOI is in possession of videos that show the yoga teachers, now in India, in explicit sexual acts. Misa's supreme guru, a Romanian called Gregorian Bivolaru, has been jailed on several charges, including pornography, and is now said to have taken political asylum in Sweden.
Florence, sex esoteric yoga centerInvestigate the power of attorney.
Repeated sexual violence, including through esoteric practices and pornographic. It was what happened, according to the prosecutor of Florence, in the international school of yoga 'Misa', which stands for Movement for the integration of the spirit in 'absolute, founded at the end of Years' 80 by yoga guru Gregorian Bivolaru, which appears among the suspects.
LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT ITALY. Investigators have raided the headquarters of the Florentine and other branches throughout Italy. Numerous suspects, who were alleged offenses of criminal conspiracy, slavery, human trafficking and sexual violence continued.
Leader of major Russian sect detained in Siberia
NOVOSIBIRSK, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - Police have detained the leader of Ashram Shambala, one of Russia's largest sects, near the West Siberian city of Novosibirsk, a deputy police chief said on Tuesday.
Konstantin Rudnyev, 41, established Ashram Shambala in 1989. The sect operates as a network of "ashrams," or small communities living in the same house or apartment, and has branches in more than 20 major Russian cities, as well as in Ukraine, Greece and Denmark.
The sect was estimated in 1999 as having approximately 10,000-15,000 members. The amount of current members is unknown.
In 1998, police in Novosibirsk tried to bring the "Great Shaman" to justice but he escaped and is thought to have spent five years in the sect's branches abroad. In 2004, he returned to Novosibirsk and was later detained in the Siberian village of Plotnikovo.
Russian Wiki about Ashram Shambala
Ashram Shambala (aka "Belovodie", A way to "Belovodie", International Academy of "The Way to Happiness", International "Academy of Happiness," "Esoteric Ashram Shambala", "The Russian school of Tantric" Sotidanandana yoga Center, "School geisha", "Olirna", etc.) - an occult religious sect , established in 1989 in Novosibirsk, Konstantin Rudnev - who identified himself as "Great God-enlightened Shaman Altai Altai Kagan," "embryo, caught a UFO on the ground," "Savior of Mankind", " The alien from Sirius.
The doctrine Rudnev very syncretic , and is a blend of occultism, teachings of Carlos Castaneda, reiki, astral karate, oriental cults and religions, pagan worship, shamanism, yoga and Living Ethics. There has also been promoting racial hygiene.
Source base of the Living Ethics is the same as the Secrete Doctrine of Madame Balvatsky
Affiliated organizations and activates
- Academy "The Way to Happiness"
- Occult Academy of Sciences
- Altai Ashram Shambala
- Center "Belovodie"
- "Women's Business School"
- "Women's University" Live Sun '"
- "Women's business magic"
- "Gold of the Young"
- International "Academy of happiness"
- "Society" Olirna '"
- "The way to Belovodie"
- "Rajneesh center"
- "The Russian school of Tantric"
- “Russian esoteric center"
- "Siberian Association of yogis"
- "Sotidanandana Yoga Center"
- "Toltekklub - SOMETHING"
- "Yoga Russian Federation" (Novosibirsk)
- School "Avicenna"
- "School of Spiritual Healing Academy Guru Sotidanandany
- "Esoteric School of Agartha" ]
- "Esoteric core business" workshop
- "Esoteric Ashram Shambala"
- "School geisha"
- "The School of Yoga"
- "The School of Goddesses"
- "School Kleoparty"
- Headquarters of the "Everest"
According to gazeta.ru on sale of property of adherents, video occult and pornographic content, lectures and seminars Roll earned about 10 million dollars.
Adults and children were "treated" with psychotropic substances (so-called "Schamanentee" of herbs). A striking feature of the sect is the strong emphasis on sexual practices as a means of enlightenment, including orgies and sex with animals was what the founders declared as "tantric yoga". Porn were sold and contributed to the considerable revenue from the sect. The term "cleaning" some members were trapped for several days in a dark room without food and sleep.
The Internet, eg on YouTube, circulate a variety of videos of the sect.
Meanwhile, the group also operates in Germany and in many European countries, Chile, Brazil and the United States are not only held seminars, but also sells "magic items" and Phonograms Treaty. Striking is the frequent reference to "Shamanic knowledge". Teachers of the sect operate under many different names and avoid disclosing the connection to the sect.
The organization operates under many names (see below www.newagefraud.org database
- Aharata yoga community
- Altai Ashram Shambala
- Golden Altay
- The Way to Happiness Academy, Academy of the Fortunate Way
- Center Belovodye
- Emblem of the Everest, Everest headquarters
- The Russian school of Tantric
- Siberian Association of Yoga
- Sotidanandana yoga center
- Geisha School
- School of Goddesses
- Shambhala Esoteric School
- School of Yoga
- The Avitsenna
- Esoteric Ashram of Shambala
- Universynergy Arts (Rudnev is here called "Altai Chi")
Interestingly, Russian Wikipedia has listed "Rajneesh center" as Affiliated organization with Ashram Shambala .
In 1974, BHAGWAN SHREE RAJNEESH, known as Osho or sex guru, founded his first ashram in Poona (Pune), southeast of Bombay with teachings which were a combination tantric sexual practices, and often-violent (i.e., to the point of reported broken bones) Western human potential movement (cf. Fritz Perls, etc.) encounter groups. Rajneesh was, of course, said to be sleeping with a selection of his female disciples.
In the early ’80s, RAJNEESH’s path to spiritual enlightenment” faced difficulties.
Three British sannyasins ... were arrested on smuggling charges in Paris in 1979. The most ambitious known smuggling attempt was made in 1979 when fifty kilograms of marijuana were packed into the frame and furnishings of a hippie-style bus traveling from [Poona] to Europe.
Geoffrey D. Falk, (2009). Stripping the Gurus, Sex violence abuse and Enlightement p. 134-135
As the Indian government investigated allegation of Rajneesh-sanctioned prostitution, international drug trafficking, gold smuggling, money laundering and tax evasion Rajaneesh decided to relocate to US. In 1981, Bhagwan’s representatives purchased Big Muddy Ranch in Central Oregon for 5,9 million. During the next four years the ranch has become the site of considerable crime and intrigue. There were public charges, civil law suits, government investigations and fines levied for land use and code violations.
From Controversial New Religions, edited by James R. Lewis, Jesper Aagaard Petersen. 124-125
Within a year, the leadership of the commune became embroiled in a conflict with local residents, primarily over land use, which was marked by hostility on both sides. The large collection of Rolls-Royce automobiles purchased for his use by his followers also attracted notoriety. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Osho revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The Dalles.
On 23 October 1985, a federal grand jury issued a thirty-five-count indictment charging Osho and several other disciples with conspiracy to evade immigration laws. On 28 October 1985, Osho and a small number of sannyasins accompanying him were arrested aboard a rented Learjet at a North Carolina airstrip; according to federal authorities the group was en route to Bermuda to avoid prosecution. Under the deal his lawyers made with the U.S. Attorney's office he was given a 10-year suspended sentence, five years' probation and a $400,000 penalty in fines and prosecution costs and agreed to leave the United States, not returning for at least five years without the permission of the United States Attorney General. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagwan_Shree_Rajneesh
10 comandments written by Osho in 1970
1. Never obey’s anyone command unless it is coming from with yoy also
2. There is no God other then life itself
3. Truth is within you and don’t search for it elsewhere
4. Love is prayer
5. To become nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment
6. Live now and here.
7. Live wakefully
8. Don’t swim-float
9. Die each moment so that you can be new each moment
10. Don’t search. That which is, is. Stop and see.
LOL! Very persuasive methods of mind control… “Truth is within you and don’t search for it elsewhere or Don’t search ”…..you may find lies and deceit.
Love is prayer……a convinent racjonalization of Rajneesh-sanctioned prostitution or sleeping with his disciples.
To become nothingness is the door to truth……”nothingness” doesn’t use mind and critical thinking to find out lies.
Krishnas face huge abuse claim
Former students of the Hare Krishna religious movement have filed a $400m claim against the organisation for alleged sexual and emotional abuse.
The lawsuit alleges offences including rape, sexual abuse, physical torture and emotional terror. It says young girls were given as brides to older men who donated to the religious community.
The current Hare Krishna leadership has carried out its own investigations and promised a compensation fund for any victims. Only one of its schools now takes boarders.