Chapter 23 Cult Behavior
While in Missouri I traveled around a little and attended a few weekend workshops on energy healing. At one, a regional leader from California taught one of the courses. Since he was held in such high regard by others I sat up front and wanted to ask questions about things I’d experienced in my practice if the opportunity arose. We spent most of the time sitting in hard chairs, and it was natural for me to adjust and change my position to keep my legs from falling asleep. However, if I crossed my arms, the instructor would tell me I was being disrespectful and would ask me to uncross them. A little while later I’d forget and do it again, and he’d get on me about it again, and this happened several times. Then if I crossed my legs, he made an issue about that too. It was as if he took these things as a personal insult.
During a break, I approached the guy and asked if I could ask a question. I told him about the time my crown and perineum chakras fluttered powerfully and how the energy blasted out of my hands. The guy snapped at me saying; “It happens every time you do healing, you just don’t notice it.” Then he abruptly turned away. He acted like he was angry with me for crossing my arms while he was talking. There’s no way that powerful pulsing energy phenomenon happens every time I do the healing. No way at all; It’s happened two times out of thousands of sessions and with only one person.
I later asked a friend who also attended the workshop about it, and he laughed. He said that guy has been working at this for many years and here I come along and fall off the turnip truck and I’m doing things he can’t do. Of course, he’s angry. I thought the whole episode was just dumb as could be, but it’s all too common. Authorities who get their hackles up from imagined slights coming from strangers don’t come across as people you’d want to look to for answers. It’s a shame too because often the material being taught has many merits, but the teacher sullies it with a thin-skinned pious attitude born of insecurity.
After thinking about it, I wonder if crossing your arms is a natural way we instinctively shield ourselves from unwanted, or unhealthy energies.
Years later, when I was doing a review of a Pranic Healing course from a different instructor I casually mentioned that the man who had done the research and written the books, Mr. Choa Kok Sui was “a pretty cool guy.” This devotee of the man reacted as if I had spit in his face. It was ridiculous. He chastised me and told me I needed to go home and study the material more and pointed at several books. He also pointed out a small poster with lots of names of archangels and saints along with Jesus and Buddha, and in and among this hierarchy was the man I casually referred to as “a pretty cool guy.” I wondered who created that poster and why should I automatically be expected to bow my head and genuflect each time I mentioned the name of this one “pretty cool guy”?
I have tremendous respect for Choa Kok Sui, and I recognize that in other cultures the title Master means teacher or someone who has attained a high level of mastery of a subject. It’s an honorific. Calling someone Grand Master is meant to be an even higher honor, but in some cultures insisting that someone should be called Master, or Grand Master isn’t well received.
Indoctrination is an insidious mechanism to control the minds of men. If you aren’t allowed to ask questions or you are chastised for making casual compliments toward those you are expected to exalt, you are probably being indoctrinated into cult behavior. If you are treated with self-righteous indignation for imagined offenses, someone is likely trying to dominate your mind and bend your will to theirs. Be aware of the big and the small muckety-mucks, their minions, and the cults they cultivate.
Imagine taking a college course on electrical engineering and casually commenting that you think Michael Faraday was a pretty cool guy, then getting called out by the instructor for being disrespectful.
If you are being indoctrinated with the idea there is a need for guru devotion you can pretty much guarantee you are dealing with a cult. Look up the definition of the word cult, do some research on the organization in question and deal with it accordingly.
On the other hand, I once asked a friend if a particular organization was a cult and he said something like “You might learn more from a cult in three years than on your own in three lifetimes.” I recognized there’s some truth in that. There’s no need to fear a cult if you know the nature of the game. Learn what you can, but do pay attention to their tactics and don’t stop thinking for yourself.
If stated intentions are to help the world, but evidence shows a proclivity for amassing wealth, heed the evidence. You’ll not hear cult leaders or megachurch evangelists apologizing for amassing money and maybe stashing it in offshore bank accounts rather than helping the community.
I sometimes imagine what it will be like when these energies and healing techniques are widely acknowledged and practiced in the world. I wonder how the schools will teach it. How soon would kids be introduced to it? Would you learn in a community college? What would a very scientific approach to all of this look like?
Now, I’d like to touch on the idea of a hierarchy. It’s wise to be receptive to guidance from people who have attained a high level of mastery in a subject. This goes for any domain, any topic, i.e. basketball, piloting an airplane, music, art, healing, etc. Moreover, it would go without saying that those who have mastered a subject have those they turn to for guidance. It makes sense that spiritual guides have spiritual guides. The trick is to know when it’s appropriate to enter into a relationship with a mentor or guide, and how close it should be, and when to sever the relationship and move on.