Jul 17, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 7/16/2021 (NXIVM, Canada, Spiritual Abuse, Social Groups, Shunning, Transcendental Meditation)

NXIVM, Canada, Spiritual Abuse, Social Groups, Shunning, Transcendental Meditation

Goa Chronicle: The bizarre religious American cults
"On July 4th, it was final that Allison Mack- an actress from Hollywood would spend 3 years in prison. The reason was her involvement in the NXVIM sex cult that was behind human trafficking, child abuse, mental harassment of people, etc. The actual founder of this 'group' Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years imprisonment last year.

NXVIM started off as a life enhancing company. It talked about issues that have some or the other effect on every life in today's world. This ranged from the 'pursuit of happiness in life' to 'personality development' to even 'feminism' where they claimed to be emotional support and a "family" to the women deprived of the same. Basically, the cult claimed to change lives and indeed it did the same by exposing even minor girls of 13-14 years to sexual abuse and mental trauma. Worse is the part that many Hollywood celebrities who on other occasions self-portray as messiahs of humanity were connected with this club. Investigation is still on and it is being said that the arrest of Allison Mack is just the tip of the ice-berg and even bigger names can come up."

Southwest News Media: Spiritual Reflections: The church cannot turn away from the past
" ... In the church's experience of historical revision, we are struggling to repent of the abuse of power social status regularly allowed: clergy infidelity; financial embezzlement; child sex abuse; institutional misogyny and racism. This summer, evidence of this abuse of religious power has been found underground. Nearly 1,000 unmarked graves have been found by Canadian Indigenous engineers using ground-penetrating radar. They have been surveying some of the 130 former church and government Indian boarding schools in Canada run for 100 years.

The search has been for the nearly 6,000 missing children who died during those years, forced out of their homes in an attempt to assimilate them into western culture. Stripped of their families, forced to adopt English language, dress and traditions, thousands upon thousands languished and were lost to emotional, physical and sexual abuse and trauma. Canada has officially apologized to their Indigenous tribes for this tragedy. The Roman Catholic Church, which ran the schools, so far has not."

Doug Hamilton: "Off the Program" and
"Out of Order with the Gospel!"
"Defined social groups, movements and communities in organization will describe and defend themselves by mission statements as to their reasons for being, and also describe themselves in mission by who they are facilitating, in membership.  In looking at spiritual practice of intentional communal groups it can be a useful insight to observe and gather how groups describe dissonant members who at variance may 'fall away' from what were initial formative values in group communal missions.

Within the narrative of internal partisan fragmentation (schismogenesis) in communal groups it is useful to note how groups may look at members who would like to see, to move or take their group back, or into other directions of movement. Group self-descriptions of those memberships who may separate or 'fall away' from the group can become a parsing of communal life in separations from foundations of mission.  

Christian sect members falling away may be labeled as "apostate" and members who once were insiders separating to become distinguished as disgruntled, vocal and perniciously confrontational then the term rises to  "false apostate", as the old hymn attests:  
  • But wisdom shows a narrow path,
  • With here and there a traveler..
  • Which false apostates never knew.
Different communal groups will have their own colloquial parlance for where this happens as members might fall outside developmental missions of a group's communalism:
  • Old Primitive Baptists employed a term for those members as being,  'at variance'.
  • In the old Society of Friends these members could come to be known as, 'out of unity', 'separated', or 'disowned'.
  • In old Amana it was said of these, "The Blessings of the Lord have Been Withdrawn".
  • For the Shakers, apostates were  'Out of Order with the Gospel'.
In modern day parlance these distanced members of the TM movement are described variously as being, 'Off the Program',  'OTP', 'Out of harmony with the group', 'a crack in the coherence of the group', 'not a good fit'.

Within the Church of Scientology, they have 'disconnection' of memberships.  

It is said,  "The Church's disconnection policy is similar to that of the Jewish faith of shunning. There is no policy in Scientology that requires Church members to disconnect from anyone, let alone from family and friends who simply have different beliefs.  However it is said, — there's no half-in, half-out. You have to 100% be on board, or you're considered an enemy to your group."     - -NPR interview about her new memoir,Troublemaker actor Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology after more than 30 years.

A Star Trekkie shares, there is Klingon 'Discommendation', ..a folding of arms, turning around to give the back, and names not to be spoken anymore.
In Mormon terminology there is resignation, they "resign" people where names are taken off the rolls.

Context often is everything in these judgments of fidelity.

In the TM community with being on or off 'the program', OTP, as someone is being perceived as 'OTP' depends a lot on who you are talking with, even from inside the group.    Within the meditator community in Fairfield, Iowa there are gradations of being 'on or off the program'.  Culturally this works in nuanced communal questions formed around meditating in Fairfield, Iowa.  How 'on the program' is someone?  At the outset, "Are you a meditator?"

Just a meditator?  "..Do you practice TM, or not?  Are you 'regular' (a twice a day meditator) in your practice of meditation?  Have you learned, do you practice the advanced TM-Siddhis meditation?  Do you have a 'valid' Dome meditation entry badge, or not?

If you have a valid Dome badge, do you go to the Dome to 'do your program' there with the group?  "Not?"  Oh, no?, ..you, or someone it seems is 'off the program', OTP!
And, maybe one should not even have a valid entry/membership badge to the Dome meditation.

Are you a TM teacher, or not? A Citizen-Sidha? Are you 'recertified' as a TM teacher?  You were denied a Dome badge? Has your badge been taken away?

In most conversations in Fairfield, Iowa there is calculation about affiliation and then where conversation can go with people falling on a continuum from town-non-meditator, to meditator, practitioner, to belief-based or cultural TM true-believers.  

Rajneesh Osho, writing on this observes that 'post-founder' spiritual communities characteristically are composed of orthodox members and mystics, with orthodox in his estimation coming to numbering 70 to 80% and mystics 20 to 30% of community membership. After four and a half decades of a TM community being in Fairfield, Iowa and now (in 2018) 10 years 'post-founder' these percentages possibly have evened or reversed themselves depending on how this is looked at."

Forbes: New Netflix Reality Series 'My Unorthodox Life' Takes A Strong Stance Against Fundamentalism
Controversy is already swirling around Julia Haart and her upcoming Netflix reality series My Unorthodox Life, which premieres July 14.

The show centers around Haart's personal and professional life and details her escape from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York. The mother-of-four grew up there and left in November of 2012 when she was 42-years-old. This was the only life she had ever known and she didn't know anyone in the outside world. Prior to the series premiere, Haart has already experienced both backlash and support.

'I am not an anti-Semite," Haart stated in a phone interview. "I am Jewish. I love my religion and I love the people in my community. Fundamentalism, however, has nothing to do with Judaism. Fundamentalism has to go.'"

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