not

that I give the mad kitten a new name everyday but of late she has started responding to “pid-pid” which somehow oddly suits her.

It has been one of those days where everything is taking me longer then I planned (and yet that is alright) and everytime I stick my head out the door I seem to be smack dab in the middle of someone else’s drama (which is not alright). Not that I am involved in it, but I seem to be arriving places just moments after it has occurred.

I have been witness to some truly bad and thoughtless behavior today. Truly bad and thoughtless and originating from the point of “it is all about me” for the person doing it.

Amazing to see, from the stand point of someone not involved, the ripple effect of bad behavior and it also has made me very aware of the delicate balance that so many people are living in right now. So many people. And yet, somehow it becomes ok to take it out on other people. We all do this sometimes, its part of the bad behavior that one learns to control and always has to relearn to control because it is very emotional in its root.

Still…

I am still working on the mobile site. They have this cutesy window on the editor that says “Did you know most people build their site in 54 minutes?”

I don’t think most people have over 200 pages of stuff.

Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

You know I wax poetic about the joys of meetup.com but there is a scary side to it as well. I was looking at trying out a meditation group (which I have been bringing back into my life on a regular basis) and something about the picture of the person struck me as funny. It was structured as a class, sort of a “learn how to meditate” thing and the organizer was wearing clerics (priest outfit) but there was no mention of their affiliation on the group or on their profile.

Now google is a wonderful thing. I googled the name.

And lo – they were ordained with something called the Center of Light. I was browsing through their very new-agey and benign site when I saw a picture that just bugged me. It was of a group of people at the center, just sort of hanging out, but they uniformly had a kind of exhausted, wide-eyed, kind of odd glaze to their faces.

Poke a little deeper.

The Centers of Light is part of the Order of Christ Sophia (OCS).

Poke a little deeper.

They have made the list of most dangerous cults enough times to merit deprogrammers that specialize in them. Reading the material on them was…downright freaky.

I mean, believe what you want to believe – yes, but when you are trying to win people over – please try to win them over, don’t kidnap them.

So hint hint, if you are thinking about any of the meetup meditation groups, why not google the group leader’s name and see what they represent? Anyone can fall prey to psychological manipulation, especially when it is tied to a promise of feeling good about oneself.

did you know (seems to be the day for this)

that “listen” contains the same letters as “silent”

funny that.

c.2010 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.

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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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3 Responses to not

  1. Crystal says:

    Dear Cassandra, I am a member of the Centers of Light outreach team and have been a student at the Center for about a year. I came across your blog posting through “Google Alerts,” which alerts us each time Centers of Light pops up on a website; this helps us to know how well our outreach work is going–who is hearing about us or talking about what we do.

    In your blog, you slandered a giving and loving spiritual community that holds high integrity and consciousness and teaches peace in this world and openness to all religions and spiritual communities. You based this slander on the assumption that the “deprogrammer anti-cult experts” on the internet know what they are talking about. You did not talk to any members of the spiritual community or ask the priest anything about the meetup and jumped right into believing that we would kidnap you. This is a very serious accusation that our community does not take lightly. You do not have the information or the authority to make such accusations and warn people to stay away from a spiritual community that you know nothing about. The Center of Light has never been accused of or charged with any illegal activities and is officially a nonprofit organization with 14 locations across the country with a primary purpose of spreading peace and light throughout this world.

    If you had looked more deeply into the “anti-cult experts,” you would have found some of them actually have a history of kidnapping people, locking them in hotel rooms, and trying to “deprogram” them for hours. One of the most prominent “anti-cult experts,” Rick Ross, did this frequently, and due to run-ins with the law he had to stop kidnapping people. However, he does continue his work using more sneaky and manipulative means.

    My family did an intervention with Rick Ross. He schemed with them to have my boss abduct me from work—serious violation of my civil rights. She told me we were going to an off-site work meeting, and staged the intervention in a hotel. He charged my family thousands of dollars, convincing them that they need to do everything they can to save their daughter from the horrible cult or they would lose me forever. Ironically, my family’s fear that they would lose me is coming true through their working with him–the abduction, lies, and manipulation. He has convinced them that nothing I say is true and that I’m brainwashed. I am a social worker with a Masters degree, working fulltime as an outpatient therapist, and professionally, I know that brainwashing is not possible. It does not exist.

    Rick Ross has a criminal record and like many other “anti-cult experts” makes a lot of money off of scaring families into paying up to “save” their children from the evil “cult.” I’m sure you are aware of how our society tends to thrive on fear and profit from it. We see it throughout the media every day, and sadly this fear factor technique that our society is so used to buying into can make it easy for people to fall into believing that any nonmainstream New Religious Movement (includes Scientology, the Mormon Church, Christian Science, etc.) is dangerous. Unfortunately, you will find the same slander on the internet about these groups that you found about us as well as extremely long lists of “cults” listed by “anti-cult experts” including Alcoholics Anonymous, Amway, and Buddhist meditation centers. I hope that you will choose not to be a part of these lies that foster the fear that is so destructive in our society. I expect that you will look further into your sources in the future and choose to correct the outrageous accusations you made about the Center of Light in your blog. Check out ReligiousTolerance.org, a website not affiliated with the Centers of Light that provides some interesting facts about New Religious Movements and the “cult” controversy.

  2. I am not sure if the comment I received from someone involved with “The Centers of Light” posted correctly or not (I am still trying to figure out how to do all that).

    They bring up a good point, essentially, research them yourself and make your own decision. They also offer some valid criticism of the process of declaring a group a cult or not.

    And in the spirit of everyone trying to be balanced and fair, I should expand on some information Crystal states about Rick Ross. His one criminal activity was expunged when he was younger so it is erroneous to say he has a criminal record. He since recovered himself enough to go on and also consult to the FBI on Cults most notably concerning Waco. You can find out more about him and his work at http://www.rickross.com/

    I also recommend that people see Steve Hassan’s site http://www.freedomofmind.com/

    Here is a site that you should read as it contains a very good description of what makes something a cult and provides a good relational description of how religious, commercial, self help, counseling and political groups can behave in such ways as to be considered a cult.

    http://www.howcultswork.com/

    Do you own research, make up your own mind, but make sure that in doing your own research you “find the family tree.” Often websites are related to each other and what may look like several different opinions or sources all come from the same place.

  3. Just a brief update…I have had some other comments from both sides of the issue (a lot actually), in keeping with the mandate of this blog however, I will not post comments through that are not phrased in ways that continue the discussion (ie language that contains personal attacks from EITHER side). Given that the nature of the original post was not about the OSC specifically, but rather used them as example of the cautions in accepting things on face value via the Internet it also does nothing for that discussion to let it become so narrowly defined and focused on one eeensy detail. The larger detail is how easy it is for people, in search of something good, to become involved with something around which exists a rather large question mark due to a lack of information offered with transparency and in good faith (esp. given the controversial nature), and a lack of effort on the person’s part in doing a little investigative leg work.

    There are many sides to this issue. The two main movements involved are the countercult movement and the cult apologists. I will leave it that if you are interested in investigating this issue more, start with searching both of those terms and you will find the major information sites for both.

    As for me, personally, I have formed my opinion of this particular group based on research into countercult and apologists inspired by the groups public presentation, and also from the evaluation of the content, presentation and communication style of the comments sent to this blog from their supporters and members. Let’s just say I definitely know where I stand and have no problem throwing my two cents in.

    Time to move on. Be safe, be wise, and always take the time to do a little investigative work before becoming involved with any group or individual who promises to hold any type of knowledge that can change your life or knows “the way” to anything. Even some of the most mainstream and accepted proponents of “life change programs” can have ill effects.

    One of the key points that comes up over and over in all material that discusses maladaptive control behavior is the presentation that one person, idea or group holds the sole means, way, or information to achieve a goal and that those who are critical of the idea proposed or not willing to accept it must be rejected from your life. An easier example to grasp is to look at what we all know about the nature of abusive relationships, one of the hallmarks is that the victim is isolated from outsiders and often manipulated to feel that it was their choice but then again, because they are following ‘the way.’

    One of the hardest things to learn in life is what it means to be tolerant. And there are boundaries to tolerance to be learned as well, when being tolerant can shift from being healthy to being overly accepting. There is good and bad in the world. Part of life is learning where, for you, the lines for each lie and being able to make decisions on where to place things as you encounter them. Now that last bit…that’s a slowly marinating post I do believe, and thank you all for (even if they were not posted) your comments and leading the discussion to this area.

    🙂

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