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  1. TheWanderingTaoist is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/17/2009 6:02pm


     Style: TKD Hapkido Judo Tai Chi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi Carson! Perhaps the New Age situation is different in your area. Here there are little meditation groups but they are very devote and hook people in for a long time and some are connected to the larger groups. Then there's all the New Age books out there and most of the authors have huge followings. A good portion of the groups I see here are connected to those authors. Since Sedona is the fruitloop capital of the world many of those authors do hold gatherings in the area capitilizing on the mysterious beauty of the Red Rock country and things such as the natural vortexes that supposedly local tribes have said are so sacred.

    What's really disturbing after reading books on cults is how a number of the modern "Christian" groups are also cults if you look at their verbage and how they start controlling members. Its pretty scary. I kinda feel like I trust no one now because I see so many fallacies in the lies and empty promises of every group I have heard the words of.
  2. carson is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/17/2009 10:59pm

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     Style: Tae Chi

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    In the SF Bay area there are a lot of New Age people and groups who aren't into recruiting followers. Where I am living now, also. There are people who organize meditation groups, or chanting or drumming get-togethers, or organic community gardens, or who even run small new-age centers, but most aren't running destructive groups, that I can tell. Many are just a group of friends who get together with shared interests, and lead their own happy individual lives.
    I spent 15 years in TYK's groups. Fortunately, I can still trust others, but I'm also much more aware of any sort of coercion or spin doctoring, and I now have no fear of speaking up when I feel something is wrong. I've learned the dangers of not doing so, and hope I never forget.
  3. Failed Student is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/18/2009 1:43pm


     Style: My Own Do

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by carson View Post
    In the SF Bay area there are a lot of New Age people and groups who aren't into recruiting followers. Where I am living now, also. There are people who organize meditation groups, or chanting or drumming get-togethers, or organic community gardens, or who even run small new-age centers, but most aren't running destructive groups, that I can tell. Many are just a group of friends who get together with shared interests, and lead their own happy individual lives.
    I spent 15 years in TYK's groups. Fortunately, I can still trust others, but I'm also much more aware of any sort of coercion or spin doctoring, and I now have no fear of speaking up when I feel something is wrong. I've learned the dangers of not doing so, and hope I never forget.
    Carson - let me share with you and every other reader on this board that my cult experience has made me aware also, and that is why I contribute my efforts to groups that help victims of abuse. Not every New Age group is bad..one just needs to discriminate, and in this era of going green, we do need to reconnect with the earth and nature and the gifts we have been given..but I believe too that this is something one must do as individuals. Be individuals, make your own informed decisions.
    It took me twenty years to go back to the church of my youth and I am looking forward this coming Sunday to talking about cults, coercion, and my journey back into the mainstream.
    I wish you could all join me as I speak - the topic is titled - "The Journey and the Power of Dreams"
    Peace...FS
  4. TheWanderingTaoist is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/18/2009 4:48pm


     Style: TKD Hapkido Judo Tai Chi

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Failed Student,

    I think it is wonderful what you are doing with the upcoming presentation and devoting a part of your life to help others see the risks and dangers of cult involvement.

    And to everyone the reason I contribute to this thread is to also help reinforce what has happened to TYK students is not uncommon and is a danger that well meaning people unwillingly can become involved in. From talking to Failed Student privately we discovered that the leader of the cult I was in is/was friends with TYK back in Vermont and they used to visit with one another. They also use the same verbage in their brainwashing techniques & make many of the same requirements of group members. I don't think people realize just how often groups like this suck people in.
  5. bemused is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2009 4:07pm


     Style: JSW

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wohali View Post
    The leaders always look down upon western medicine and convince followers to not seek conventional treatments. One eldest member of our group has some kind of breathing and heart disorder and has spent years seeking so called Tibetan medicine men and Chinese healers and Native healers all the while she can hardly breathe. She has also constantly quit her jobs to go on summer long retreats every year thus has no health insurance thus has no way of getting formal treatment if she wanted it.
    It's a sad sign of the times that when mainstream health care is beyond people's reach, they may turn to alternative care of questionable value. It's even sadder when people who could access and benefit from mainstream health care choose not to because of some charlatan who makes unrealistic claims.

    All during my years following TYK, I was picked on for being a little spacey and getting colds and allergies frequently. If I had been taking thyroid medication as I do now, my health probably would have been a bit better. Of course, a consistently good diet and enough sleep would have helped too.
  6. bemused is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2009 4:37pm


     Style: JSW

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've been catching up with the discussion on harmless vs. harmful New Age practitioners. I try to judge a group by its dynamics and its leader's personality more than by its beliefs. I'm not really into anything New Age beyond seeking organic food and taking a few vitamins. I meet a lot of New Agers, though, just because of where I live and because some of them happen to like my music. I rarely have problems with them, although this is partly because I tend to keep my distance.

    I've actually had more issues with people I've met in the local music network. There's the songwriting teacher who is rather authoritarian and who can't get enough gratitude from his students. There's the DIY workshop leader who promises the keys to success and sounds just a bit like a network marketing salesman. There's the A&R guy from the record company who, while critiquing songs, just can't resist throwing in a few gratuitous insults. There's the venue owner who will only book you if you kiss up or you have something he wants, like a huge following or a famous friend. There are the artists who promote themselves constantly, even at casual social events, who try just a little too hard to dial up the charisma. And there are even fans who take a song too seriously, as if I could change their life. I haven't found any full-on cults, but all the pieces are there.

    I think many people can find at least some of these pieces of cults in their work, their church, their school, or their family. Whether a group is a cult or not is a matter of degree, and it's a degree of dysfunctionality, not mere weirdness.
  7. Failed Student is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2009 5:24pm


     Style: My Own Do

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bemused, you've hit the nail on the head with that last paragraph. May I quote you?
  8. bemused is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/19/2009 5:44pm


     Style: JSW

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Failed Student View Post
    Bemused, you've hit the nail on the head with that last paragraph. May I quote you?
    I would be honored. You may quote anything I have posted or will post on this thread.
  9. hyeongsa is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/20/2009 9:29am

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     Style: Jung SuWon

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The sweat lodge death gives new meaning to the t-shirt "I Survived the Som Tong" that was available after SDW's. There was occasion when weekend participants refused to take part in the som tong ritual. They were labeled "untrusting" and sometimes even driven home the next morning. She didn't want to give cause for others to stop and think on their own or join in with anyone doubting her methods. TYK is always good about removing anyone who does not go along with her, no matter how crazy she is. I guess you are a lucky one to be driven away, it was those of us who were deeply involved that had to face ridicule, group pressure and at times beatings because we had the nerve to speak up or have a thought of our own.

    There are countless times our "trust" in TYK was tested. Who remembers when we were all asked to run as fast as we could across the Do Jang while blindfolded? The purpose was for TYK to prove we could trust her even in the midst of doing something obviously very dangerous. She had the instructors line up in the front while she stood on her stage and shouted "Go!". They were meant to stop us before we hit the stage. Unfortunetly one JSW student ran very fast to show his trust and the instructors couldn't stop him. He his his head on a beam. Game over after that. She blamed her instructors and not herself for orchastrating such a lame exercise.

    Looking back, how telling it was. TYK having us run full force towards her with blindfolds on. A perfect physical manifestation of our lives in COL under TYK's manipulation.
  10. bemused is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/20/2009 1:49pm


     Style: JSW

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Wow, Hyeongsa, that's quite a story. It must have happened after I left. I hope the student who hit his head on a beam came out all right.

    At a backyard pool party, TYK asked us to have faith and jump into the pool. AS did so even though he couldn't swim, and he started to drown. The instructors quickly pulled him out. This is ironic because for a long time TYK herself was afraid of the water.

    Ah, faith. I've thought a lot about it. I think it's part of the way our brains work because as children we need to trust adults so we don't have to learn everything by trial and error. It persists into adulthood because we can't possibly learn everything there is to know on our own. It's a powerful mental shortcut, but it can make us vulnerable to believing and doing things without using our ability to reason.

    Cult leaders love tests of faith, the more absurd, the better. They know they're really in control if they can get their followers to do absolutely anything without thinking.

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