I could actually write a lot about this EST stuff that my parent went through the serious things that occured. Not everyone got what they did. It depended on where you got the training and who your trainer was. I had one man say EST was not that, but for some it was and many were threatened to never speak of what they went through.
As far as myself and a getting a director, I can not locate one familiar with what I am experiencing and be Christian in my area. One Christian spiritual director wanted to send me to a Buddhist. That is not want I desire. Anyway, enough of me.
It seems that est training has been a positive experience for some and negative for others. Maybe the location and leader does make a significant difference. However, through another forum (on horsemanship, not spirituality), I "know" someone who seems to have gone through it, and, boy, I'd hate to have that kind of a person as my parent...or even as a friend.
Just to clarify---Landmark has been called a less "abusive and profane" successor to est. I understand that these were consenting adults who attended est; my concern, though, is that those adults are also parents, husbands, wives, etc., and it appears that some come home from from the seminars and practice those abusive and profane ego-dismantling attempts on children and spouses. I read quite a bit about est this past spring due to the teacher that I spoke of above, whose terminology, teaching style, and history suggested he/she had been into est.
Gurus can do similiar things to create another Guru. They will take a person who is really vunerable (K raging) and do something out of the blue to totally break their devotee down. This can cause many serious things to occur. This is why they want you to surrender to them. I have heard of Buddhist who do similiar things.
Christians or anyone for that matter, please carefully examine these type of things and compare it with the laws of the OT and what Christ actually did with his disciples and others. It's not there. They might twist what he said to fit their "it" or "is", but be careful. There is a false teaching (half truth) in this and be warned. These people are masters at mirroring anything you have and tear you down. That's their goal. No, Christ wanted people to be loving and cause no harm in anyway. Be like Christ is what I say. Steer clear of things that will cause people to vomit, have seizures, go mute, etc. Christ made seizures calm. He calmed the storms and didn't cause confusion. Big differences I see. Interestingly enough, he blew on the tops of people's heads to give them the Holy spirit.
EST and the things like it are not to be taken lightly. Trust me there are people involved who get their ego off on destroying you before groups. They love the power and control. Yet they claim they got rid of the ego. This is a bag of lies people. I wouldn't send anyone to anything of this nature watered down or not. It's too dangerous. You don't know how one is going to handle the seriously abusive stuff.
My radar is picking up that there is a powerful anti-Christ movement coming with this attached. Be careful. I went to one website that was using powerful mind control directed at the third eye area.
Is EST or Landmark still going on? I thought that had all died out.
Some the the encounter groups from the 70s could also be psycho-bruising experiences. Same for even some of the groups in addiction treatment centers. But it's been my impression that those sorts of things have fallen by the wayside.
Phil--I've put most of what I read about est/Landmark out of my mind after reading about it in a genuine try at understanding the teacher I know---but I think Landmark is still functioning. I don't remember for sure.
HealingWater--I've had just a taste of abusive, bizarrely rationalized ego-bashing through seeing it directed at a good number of other people, but, wow, if you had to live with that kind of thing from a parent, I'm sorry to hear that. That has to leave deep scars. Yes, Christ can heal them, but I believe He often wants to be embodied in us to do His work...if you can find a good counselor, I'd agree with Phil that maybe that's a good move.
Ariel, It sure sounds like you were getting a tast of the "it". I don't know of this "it" mass producting Saints by any means. Most of what I saw was people going around acting puffed up with their self-righteous experience of getting the "it". Yes, they got the "it" alright. Vulgarity was just a hairpin of what all was involved with this to get you to get the "it". They had a program for children as well and inappropriate activities between the ones attending and trainers was not unheard of either with this. Again, this was NOT always the case for all. All these weird smiling people. It was really creepy being around anyone that really proclaimed to be a graduate of the "it". This "it" contradicts the Bible in many ways.
By the way, thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, it has been very difficult even today. I was a broken spirit so to speak before EST came in the door of our house. I went throught things that were life-threatening types of abuse with serious violations attached. Then, EST came in the house one night and more turmoil came.
Phil - I think it can go by the name "Forum" or "The Forum". It went to Europe and may be in Austrialia. I am not sure. They learned from all the lawsuits by spouses and family members from EST, so they make people sign all these waivers. They try to pass it off to businesses to make "better" employees type of thing too.
HealingWater, I'm glad to hear from you again.
Yes, Erhard sold est to his brother, who re-packaged "the technology" as Landmark Forum/The Forum. It's not something I'd ever be interested in, though apparently it's still attracting people.
It's been my impression that "It" is freedom from the need for others' approval and the sense of inner liberation that comes from that. But if the need for others' approval and fear of their disapproval was the primary constraint on one's bad behavior, then that does leave the door open for all sorts of abuses.
Freedom from the need for others' approval is a good thing, but one must also decide what life-giving values and principles one will live by. It's not enough to be inwardly free; with freedom comes responsibility to choose wisely. My sense through the years is that some est graduates were irresponsible in their exercise of their newly found freedom, which, in the absence of principles and subservience to a Higher Power, left the Ego also free to inflate.
My parent got something sounding a bit different. Maybe they got a different "it". My parent would even say so and so claims they got the "it", but they didn't. So not everyone got the same "it". That was part of this lie. You fill in the what the "it" is to you. This guy was a salesman and he sold the "it". "It" is what you make "it".
My parent got something on the nature that you are nothing, but a vile word and that's all you are. However, you are also God and create everything. If you were raped as a kid, you "created it". If you were in the holocaust, you "created it". If you had a miscarriage from some man hitting you in the stomach, you "created it". You are literally God of everything. Nothing happens to you that you don't create. You cause the sun to shine and the weather. It was that type of thing. You are literally Christ. It got into you head is nothing more than a device. There's some truth to that, but this "it" is demeaning the heavenly creation that you are and not just some low down "it". It got deeper, but look "it" does contradict the bible. But, most importantly, the "it" even contradicts itself in a way.
I just read Job the other day and God confronts Job with things like "Do you bring out the constellations in its season?" Job 38:32. According to EST, you do. That's a bold face lie from the deceiver. God in the Old Test says to Job more or less - you don't know Jack. You are my creation and don't know or understand my ways. Did God tell Moses, "Go tell the Pharoah you are God or the "it"? No man in the Old Test went around saying, "I am God. This is an illusion of my consciousness. How do you like the weather that I created." What? According to the Jewish law, you were a dead man going around claiming to be God.
By the way, I thought this was rather amusing. I had heard about some Guru that claimed to turn his water to oil for his car. What a joke. Of course, this was a total lie. These people are not God. They can't make a hair grow on a completely bald head let alone make the sun rise. That is not to say some can do healing, but the Creator gave them that ability. All comes from the Creator. Some Gurus will say we conceived God and no man hears from him. I say 0what is the bible a joke book to you fella? No, these people indeed got to speak to this "it" as they want to call the Almighty and they trembled. They were humbled to the point of throwing dust on their heads. I can't imagine how the Creator thinks of all this "it" stuff.
Phil and HW--
Through reading I've seen est's "It" used to have both meanings. Alan Watt's "It" seems to be from his idea of existence playing a game of hide and seek with itself--IOW that It all is God hiding Its divinity from Itself, and "getting It" is realizing one's inherent but hiding godhood..."Tag--you're It!" From Watt's influence Erhard got his "It" terminology in the beginning. From that original It grew the idea that you have all the power you need to re-create your life, but you must get that freedom from the need for approval.
Phil, I did this reading on est because of another teacher of mine. She's a Christian with a lot of Buddhist and some Hindu influence, a scientist, and a brilliant and creative teacher when she sticks to her field of expertise; and full of a desire for honesty and integrity. Yet est or something very like it has screwed around with her in a pretty ugly way. I would tend to think, too, that it's the lack of principles and subservience to a Higher Power that cause some of the problems with est; but the teacher I know has both high principles and acknowledgement of a higher power in her life, and still her ego--which she believes is dead or subdued--is running the show. And she has It--no-one can show her frailty and failings to her because she doesn't care about anyone's approval.
Ariel - That last statement you said really struck the truth of my experience living with a parent as an EST graduate. After my K awakening, I looked into many religions and saw that EST did steal many concepts from both Buddhism and the Hindu. I sound like a mantra here, but what God did with that cross will conflict with some of their mindsets. They can do awesome things and know how to get in states of consciouness to lessen suffering to a point. If this is all just consciouness and illusion, why was Christ on the cross and raised from the dead? Something is off.
There was a story that I wished that I kept. It was a Christian who went fully into Buddhism. One day, he saw a golden light appear to him and say, "I miss Jesus". He tried to shake it and he went to his Master teacher. The teacher gave him more mantras, but the soul kept speaking - "I miss Jesus". The man couldn't take it anymore and went to a local church and there in that church he had his melt down. He had no idea that his soul was madly in love with Christ and longed for Christ. There to me was this man's full moment of getting the "it". He wasn't broken down. He wasn't abused. His soul told him the truth and not some mind controlling thing created by man spoke to him of his inner truth- surrender to Christ for your soul is longing for him.
As a Christian, I believe all mankind knows deep in their soul that man on the cross did what no man in history can do. He took on the shame, sin, and death of Adam. Almighty God raised him up. In my opinion, I believe even the strongest Buddhist can not explain what Christ did. For no man can do what he did. They can't over come shame, sin and death with no amount of mantras. The Buddhist and Hindu say we are stuck in a wheel of birth and death. But, Christ wasn't. He took that wheel man is on and threw it away. He rose. He was the only one that did this and there's no getting around it to me. That's the one I follow - the ONLY risen one. He is the only master to do this and be taken even off this Earth in some way.
Even the Dala Lama (sp?) said in and interview something like this, "If I met Christ today, I would ask him - Who is the Father?" They are doing practices everyday to reduce the suffering of man that work, but who overcame it all. Only one did- that's Christ.
There was an amazing story that I saw on youtube. There was this minister that said he got a call from a Satanist trying to give him a curse. That minister didn't take this he told that Satanist "God is coming for you." and hung up on him. That Satanist called him back about several weeks or months later. I can't remember, but he told that minister - You will not believe what happened to me. I was shaken by your words. I couldn't eat or sleep. Long story short, the man went back to his Satan worshipping thing and he and many people were there giving their offerings to Satan. Christ came out of the fire and walked up and touched the mouth of every member. All their demons were cast out. What a story! These things don't get in the news, because man has a problem with God. He wants to be God of his life in everyway. He lies to himself and others - I don't need your approval. Yes, you need to love and care for your fellow man and you need to be right with your Creator. Love and repentance here are key. Where does EST say repent?
You do need to get your heart straight and set your eyes on the cross. There's the truth. NO man, but Christ has the truth and deep within us we know that. In fact, Christ died on the cross for things like EST. It's the doctrine of man trying to deceive himself - He doesn't need God or be sole God of his own life. This is not totally correct. It costs money to get EST. Christ is totally free and we can't not even humanly imagine this type of love that our Creator has for us. He forgives us from using things like EST to escape from turning to him fully. To me, EST is the illusion or the "snare" mentioned in the Bible. You can't be God. You can't be even the Buddha or the Krisha. You are not Buddha or Krishna. There is one you and one creator. There is one Christ. You can't exist without the Creator. All is dependent on the loving Creator and he is so loving - He gives us the freewill to choose. You get a choice everyday you exist choose God's way or man's self-created things. As he said, "All who are heavy burdered, come to me." Amen! Christ is there. He is risen! Praise Christ! Blessed and praise HE the one who came in the name of the Father to save us from ourselves.
That's a great "I miss Christ" story, HealingWater.
And, kind of along the sames lines as what you wrote: "All you who are heavy burdened, come to Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls," I was thinking how Landmark now, due to lawsuits, advises people with known psychological problems (and who is entirely psychologically healthy?!) to not attend their seminars. Whereas Jesus said of Himself, "A bruised reed I will not break and a smoldering wick I will not snuff out."
Yes, indeed - Ariel. Amen!
I so much appreciate all that is being shared here by you all. I've not had much time to chime in, but I'm so glad to be reading your rich discussion.
Phil-- I'm wondering if we could re-name the thread something like "Isha Yoga and Est/Landmark experiences," which better identifies the thread discussion. Otherwise, the fruitful sharing about Est might be overlooked by someone doing a superficial search of the topics. See what I mean? Or better yet, maybe split the thread into two.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shasha,
Shasha et al, see what you think of this new thread title.
- - -
Ariel and Healing Water, I'm beginning to think more that Est and similar movements deconstruct the Superego, leaving one with a sense of freedom from social "shoulds, musts, oughts," etc. When that happens, it can be "anything goes" until one decides which values to live by. I think that's different from Buddhism and Hinduism, which do stress moral values. Abusive gurus and yogis aren't good representatives of Hinduism, even though their methods can be abusive of the Ego.
Phil, I concur. I have went to classes with Hindus and observed them with their practices. They were nothing like my parent (post EST) in any way. This doctrine -"You are nothing but a curse word. Your mind is nothing, but a tv set." How dare this deceiver - called EST - deliberately put down the Holy temple of the living God. It's spewing vile all over the place and saying you are God to boot. This is illogical. Even a small child can see this is not right. . This parent was talking non-stop about EST and the entire family was getting bits of the training put on them. I didn't want to get near them and they were doing weird staring techniques on my third eye area. They were actually witnessed whistling to see evidence that the entire family left them without a note. They didn't care at all about any of us post EST. I witnessed them actually smiling at the funeral of someone they knew for over 20 years. As a kid, I hated this thing - this 'it' that came in our home. I felt this is not my parent at all. They didn't even make the same expressions.
I will never forget the night my parent came home from EST. They were cursing every other word and they never spoke like this. They were moving chairs around quickly in different ways. They were saying "Forgive me - I am a curse word." Then, "You are nothing, but a curse word." They were smiling like they were high on something and claimed the parent that didn't go to EST didn't have the 'it'. Next, they would be wailing. Believe me EST murdered my parent in some way. They are gone. The Stepford wives false face look is still there to this day.
My parent was told nothing by their sibling about what would happen to them at EST. It was just training to better their business and the best thing they ever done type of thing. That's all they got informed and their sibling paid for this. That sibling lied to my parents, but that is was what EST told them to say and absolutely nothing else. That's how they recruited people. Some would pay for it even for you and you would in turn do the same for others. It was a pyramid thing. My parent lost everything. They gained absolutely nothing, but their own self-righteousness 'it'. It's tragic really for all involved.
For what it's worth, I remember my parent getting their 1st cousin involved. They were like similar in many ways -very similiar -even down to personality. My parent paid for them to go. They got up in the middle of the training and walked out. The trainers were furious and even tried to physically restrain them. The trainers refused to give them their valuables back to get them from leaving completely. (EST did not want people to share the techs). I actually don't fully understand what happened to my parent, but EST did appear to get rid of any shred of accountability. You don't know how someone is going to process things like this EST. But, as I pointed out earlier, I did not see any evidence of EST mass producing those strongly desiring to walk closer to God.
What a horrendous experience for you! I'm so sorry to hear of what you've lived through, Healing Water. How can a child not be traumatized by such a sudden shift in your parent into a kind of monster?!
I was doing some searching on line about est and did see that there are many others who felt abused by est. I wonder if you'd be interested in a support group for survivors of spiritual/cult abuse? I'm sure there are many others who have had their lives torn apart by est. There's a book, Recovery From Cults, that might be helpful to you too.
In any case, I'm glad to see you feel safe enough to tell your story; there's healing in sharing.
God's love and tenderness,
From my memory bank, there was a book called "Snapping". I have not read this, but it was recommended to my parent that didn't go to EST.
I have forgotten all about that book recommendation from years ago, I just ordered it. I will take a look at it. It may help explain many things that my family went through. I will give an update on that. Thanks again for the recommendations.
I just dealt over the years with the abuses pre-EST, but I am realizing how damaging from a spiritual, emotionally and psych perspective the EST experience actually was to me and my entire family. After the K. got active, it has brought all this back up for cleansing - very painful, but necessary.
Dear Shasha, and others,
What you described as a parbola-like shaped entity/energy structure is not dissimilar to what I experienced with the guru I was involved with. In the case with the one I was involved with, I would call it a huge amoeba like structure which I "was" pulled into. In the fancy of the charm/seduction I was under, I then disregarded my better senses, seeing it instead as some kind of motherly-like, cosmic womb.
I was reading from the book of Matthew last night, Chapter 7:
(13) Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. (14) But the gate is narrow and the way is starightened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. (15) Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are wolves. (16) You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? (17) Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the sickly (I use the Amplified bible and here it inserts, "decaying")tree bears bad fruit.
I did first visit this guru once in 2004 and then again in 2005. While with today's hindsight I can say I was affected even then, I was not "conscious" of it at the time, for I was also by then under the sway of a charismatic energy worker also into Goddess worship. When I did return to see the guru in late 2008, which is when I began the devotional practice of worshipping her as a manifestation of the Goddess, I sat for what is called an Atma Puja ceremony. Guess what I saw in my inner vision? Images of rot, decay, death. I disregarded them. I drove away in between sessions and heard an inner voice quietly remind, "Kristi, remember critical thinking." But I was too much under the sway of blissful, ectatic feeling energy, thinking I had found "love." I continued. Many more were my warnings, until finally God had to literally throw a log before me in the road. Really, on my last trip, as I drove in the middle of the night, there was a very large tree trunk spanning the width of the highway lane in which I was driving. I was unable to avoid the log, but I was able to slow my speed enough and swerve that I hit it with only my right side tire. I continued on to the retreat location. While there, I napped between morning and evening sessions and I dreamed that there was an intense battle between dark and light, very real, and very happening inside of me. Still, I stayed for the evening session, sort of believing I was finding the light. I could not have been more wrong. Shortly after returning home, I sat for meditation on two evenings, feeling all the energy of my being going to this woman. It was after that, that I "realized" how lost I was.
Chapter 7 of Matthew goes on to say: (18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear excellent fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
I have, since withdrawing my practice and severing ties, been feeling incredible surges of heat in my body. While I am perimenopausal, I have never experienced the likes of the heat surges I have been experiencing since withdrawing my connection.
There has been significant provocations to fear. I think many (perhaps most) of these bogus gurus (in the name/guise of love) feed on fear. After reading paragraph 18 above last night, I was moved to wonder if what has been getting "burned" out of me is the fear, and whatever else I opened myself to as a result of my involvement with this guru.
I find I am still uncomfortable talking about this publicly.
Just before the dream I had the other evening (which I posted in a separate thread on "Kundalini, Reiki and Other Things"), I also dreamed of being caught up in the midst/middle of a religious war where there was terrorist activity, sprays of gunfire against which I was warned to "get down," seek cover. Not sure if that is just a complex speaking, or perhaps certainly telling me to continue to lay low, as I continue to bring this to Jesus and Mother Mary, given I next dreamed myself at the center of their care.
... for I was also by then under the sway of a charismatic energy worker also into Goddess worship. When I did return to see the guru in late 2008, which is when I began the devotional practice of worshipping her as a manifestation of the Goddess, I sat for what is called an Atma Puja ceremony. ... Shortly after returning home, I sat for meditation on two evenings, feeling all the energy of my being going to this woman. It was after that, that I "realized" how lost I was....
I find I am still uncomfortable talking about this publicly.
I certainly understand why you'd be uncomfortable talking about this here. For starters, most people won't really believe that what you've encountered is evil in those lovely practices. Have you found a mature, Christian mentor or spiritual director to help you process what has happened? I noticed from the "Kundalini, Reiki, etc" thread that Phil tried to warn you about your venturing into the use of spiritual guides who seemed innocent. People tried warning me too, but I was the type who needed to have my own experiences. I did not see the wisdom in those scriptures you provided.
Also, have you received prayer ministry to help with severing those spiritual ties and what you gave of yourself to the guru and reiki master (or whatever they are holding onto of you)? I find it's not sufficient to do this alone, although your private, personal renounciations are an essential beginning to your being set more free.
I know what you mean about the seductive, blissful energy which feels like love. I too saw nothing wrong with Goddess worship of the many wonderful people and teachings of Amachi (I met her several years ago) and another powerful Kali (Goddess) worshipper, who was also a Siddha master. The teachings are all very beautiful aren't they? Love, selfless service, renounciation of worldly attachments, etc. But what is wrong? I think it goes back to Ephesians 6 warning about the "powers and principalities in heavenly places." I didn't experinece anything harmful connected with Amachi, but I experienced horrible attacks and delusions as a result of my entanglements with the other gurus I've opened myself up to. But I was never involved with Amachi other than a few santangs. You can read some of the details in my paper/topic "From Seeker to Saved," which is on this Transformative Experiences thread.
So happy to see that Lord Jesus is now the center of your life. But His being the center is not enough. For me, at least, I've found it essential not only to make Christ my primary Lord, but my exclusive Lord. There's a good reason why God is a 'jealous' God and why He wants all, not part of or most, of us...it's just dangerous to bow to other gods/energies. God wants to PROTECT us from other gods and false teachings...out of His Love for us, His Love for you, Kristi...
I remember those scriptures from my childhood, when I read the New Testament. I guess I too had to go and have my own experiences. And yet, what I learned of Christ early in my life is what called me back to Him. I might have wandered, but I certainly feel like the good shepherd has come to find me again. And I am not about to stray.
Only in reading again (now) my earlier threads from 2002 was I able to see with increased clarity how Phil was trying to warn me. I also see now that I was sort of "free-wheeling," thought I had all the answers, going it on my own then (really), without Christ.
One of the concerns in sharing of such things publicly is the worry that one will not be embraced by others. Not just that those who have not experienced it may not be able to relate to the reality of it, but that they may actually judge me for my involvements.
I have found a local charismatic prayer group with a Catholic church in my area. They meet bi-weekly and additionally have a monthly healing mass. I have phoned the group's point of contact and will meet with them when next they gather.
I have who I think is a very good Jungian Analyst that I meet with weekly and am very forthcoming with her. I also believe I have found a fine Spiritual Director.
I really feel like I will only now begin growing in my walk with Christ.
And this is where the pain of betrayal comes in, for I was putting hope in what I felt were the positive aspects of the teachings. I think so many of these false teachers feed on our unmet needs, our longing for true love. It is abusive. I earlier read in another thread here on the forum (don't recall which this moment), how false prophets use scripture to lure others in (my paraphrasing here, not the exact words of the author of the post). Seeing/facing all of this has been hard. I do feel like my innocence was abused. And yet, I can also see areas in my self that are sinful, that have needed cleaning up. I continue with remorse.
Thank you, Shasha. There will be no more bowing to any but Christ in my life, now.
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