Thursday, August 19, 2010

Open Thread for Our Readers

Here is your space.

Discuss anything on your mind—or in your heart—in the comments below.

Or, if you have a topic or article you would like us to post on the blog page, just email me at




John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Hi John,

Thanks for having this blog available to everyone with a cultic experience.

Me, I can't forgive the leaders of the Spiritual Rights Foundation because they still do to others what they did to all of us.

But as far as anger goes, writing in my blog helps me get rid of my anger. When I can say all the things SRF did not allow me to say, I become relieved and a lot more happy.

The founder Bill Duby would always say "sticks and stones may break my bones but word can never hurt me."

I think the remaining leaders Rev. Robin Dumolin and especially Rev. Angela Silva forgot about all of that. It takes a lot of anger to go after people who have a right to speak out as they have. It takes a lot of anger to want to file a lawsuit against two people who speak the truth as they did to us.

Of course, they lost their suit and had to pay our legal expenses.

I think we have all found a way to do to SRF the things they have done to so many people - drive them crazy. So crazy, they run into walls and hit their thumbs with a hammer when they see their own wacky behavior right in front of their faces.

The difference is: we speak the truth. We speak on all the things we saw them do. We report those events truthfully and accurately. We make our own comments about those events.

Being free is a great thing. Being able to go to a warm island when the weather at home is cold is freedom. Being able to seek medical and dental care is freedom. And not having to suffer abuse every day is freedom.

Yes, we all felt angry soon after we parted from the cult that is the Spiritual Rights Foundation. Some of us still feel angry.

I understand that.

I also understand that the freedom to express ourselves in a way that causes no broken bones is the real essence of life. We use words to heal from the sticks and stones hurled at us.

Being who we are, being the person we truly want to be is true freedom. And being something a madman or greedy gypsy woman wants you to be is noting more than enslavement.

We have a good thing with the internet and our blogs. And no one can take that from us ever again.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Looking back at the perverse and demented psychic classes I attended at the Spiritual Rights Foundation, I am surprised I believed them - especially the bogus classes on "prosperity and havingness".

The Spiritual Rights Foundation's prosperity formula involved something like taking all the money you have in the world, shoving it up a dead chicken's ass and leaving it on Angela Silva's doorstep. If the chicken turns into a KFC bucket full of bones, empty gravy containers and leftover cole slaw the next morning, you can expect to see prosperity.

It wouldn't be your prosperity you'd see, but you would find a certain individual belching up the smells of last night's KFC seems to be wearing new jewelry and has added gold trim to her car.

But that's proof the Spiritual Rights Foundation prosperity plan works! The only thing is: it won't work for YOU

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Thank you for sharing this, Mike. I detect a lot of angst, grief and possibly very understandable bitterness. I think I can identify, to some extent.

What comes to mind is that we are, as sentient beings, given to comparisons. There is no such thing as "long" or "short", but by comparison, of course, we can determine which is longer, which is shorter. I'm told that this insight, high-low, loud-quiet, etc. comes down to us from the Phonecians.

Obviously, all of us want to compare our object of discontent with something else so that we can understand it better. Mark Twain reminds us that as a child, he thought his father was the dumbest person he had ever met, but later, as an adult, he felt his father might have been one of the smartest.


So, how do we compare one teacher, one spiritual guide, one spiritual con-artist with another? Was it easy/hard to learn? Free/expensive, Effective/ineffectual, Long-lasting/short-lived, and so on.

Earlier Deborah or Debra or Katrina posted a very interesting, very useful set of criteria. (Sorry, I can't locate it.)

So, I'm wondering if we can, perhaps in a separate thread, put together some sort of theoretical standard for measuring, comparing and understanding our many disparate experiences.

From my perspective, Mahesh/Maheshism does not stand very tall when I evaluate my own experiences against experiences in other contexts of spiritual exploration. So far, however, whilst I have many old war stories, as John put it, what I do not have is any means of clarifying for any one else the terms in which Mahesh/Maheshism fairled.

Again, Mike, thank you for sharing. While I cannot directly address your experiences, you have helped me see not only why I cannot, but what might prove useful if I/we could construct an evaluation device.

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